Date: June 11, 2015
A Jinchuuriki seeks the company of his mate on a dreary day, but finds a mystery instead.
"Bloody Pursuit - From Another's Perspective"
Kirigakure - Residential District
As rain from a day prior continues to fall, a lone blonde-haired giant treads briskly through the shower, immune — or so he portrays to onlookers — to the cold pouring down upon an exposed head, arms, and… tail? Yes, indeed he bore the white-furred and waterlogged limb without a care as to how bizarre it might look to others. He need not worry. If not because of the rain then simply because of the earliness of the hour, few were about to worry about. This made it all the easier to focus on the goal of reaching Kiji's apartment.
Kiyoshi is only so patient today. The proof of this: His turning to looking for other avenues to get inside if after the first few knocks go unanswered in some way.
Kiji had sensed Kiyoshi's approach so she had managed to e at the door about the same time he started knocking. She just opened the door and stepped back to let the giant in. Her apartment was sparse as per usual, her bed messed up and a few dishes in the sink in the kitchen, but mostly clear. She closed the door after he entered and moved over toward the counter where a pot of.. was that tea? sat. It smelled terrible, bitter. "Ohayo…." She said, pouring herself a cup of the awful smelling stuff.
Kiji was wearing a strap tee and shorts, her pajamas really, and her long white hair was mussed and falling freely, not even brushed or braided for the day. From a drawer, she pulled a bottle of pills and took two out. Unless Kiyoshi stopped her she would take the pills along with that nasty smelling tea before turning to face him tiredly. "What's up Kiyoshi?" She looked half asleep. It wasn't that she was unhappy he was there, she just seemed like she barely woke up.
Kiyoshi was taken aback for a moment, but recovered swiftly and entered after a curt head bow given to Kiji, heedless of the trail of water left behind. To the giant, it was something of a rare treat to see his mate in her own environment, so of course the eyes do roam a little. Before any real consideration over the sights can come to mind the man is reeling both physically and mentally from the scent coming from the kitchen.
"Oh… Ohayo." Kiyoshi manged to force out. His eyes narrow at the bottle, but beyond that, he remained silent and speculative. It did not… smell poisonous. Even so, the man is becomes just that more tense. "Hm? Oh, uhm… Gomen, if I had disturbed you… Gomen…" He trails off there, scratching a cheek with his eyes averted. "… I wanted to check up on you to see if you alright, and to… apologize for yesterday."
Kiji made a face as she literally chugged the foul smelling tea, finishing it in one go. For a second she looked like she might throw up. Then she was moving again, disappearing into the bathroom ad coming back out with a towel for Kiyoshi. She handed oe to him and then wrapped the other around his wet tail and started gently drying it off. "You're soaked Kiyo-kun." Her voice was quiet and concerned. She wasn't upset that he was wet, just a touch worried he might catch a cold.
Once the tail was toweled off she tossed the towel into the bathroom again ad started a pot of normal tea. "Breakfast?" She blinked at him, eyes a kind of blue-purple when he mentioned yesterday. Kiji couldn't help her reaction. She looked down and to the side for a moment as she tried to keep her expression stable. "I managed to sleep some at least."
From the corner of an eye, Kiyoshi watched as Kiji consumed the drink and grimaced at the sight. Short of training or orders, there was nothing in the world that could get the Moto to do the same. Nothing. "Kiji—Are you-…" But she recovers on her before the rest can come out. His eyes close and shoulders sag as a sigh of relief slips out of the giant. His eyes do not open again until Kiji startles them open by speaking up so close. "Wha-… Oh, thanks." He says, grinning sheepishly before setting his hair to drying.
Moments later, the giant all but freezes up completely from his tail being grabbed. Kiyoshi cannot even muster the strength to yelp, so sudden was the contact. Gentle or not, the thing was surprisingly sensitive when his guard was down. "Ah… *coughs*… Sure.." Kiyoshi belatedly replies as he returned to drying himself off again. While he doesn't quite catch the color change in her eyes, other clues on the wind and tone are enough to earn the man's concern. He drifts over closer to Kiji and rest his back against the nearest wall instead of finding a seat. "And the medicine?"
Kiji blinked then chuckled softly at Kiyoshi's reaction to her drying off his tail. Then got to work on making some food for both of them. Eggs would do. She pulled out a rectangular omelet maker and began working. She noticed his sigh of relief but then also noticed him leaning against the wall. Six eggs got cracked open as he asked about the medicine. She paused, then walked over to stand in front of Kiyoshi… For a long moment she kept silent.. then she pulled a chair over and stood on it before wrapping her arms around Kiyoshi's neck, hugging him and resting her head on his shoulder. "They help the pain a bit. I'm… kind of in a tight spot." She pulled backa bit to look at him but didn't let go. She wondered if she should mention the various concerns between Yoichi and Sei and herself… Kiyoshi seemed…. on edge… She didn't want to make that worse. "Do you like green peppers?"
The silence gnaws at him a little, though he quickly shrugged that off as being the results of her needing to focus on cooking. When she stood abruptly before him, Kiyoshi cannot help but recoil for a moment there, worried that he might've miss stepped earlier. His bewilderment only continues to grow when a chair gets introduced. He remained in place despite it, and found himself soon chuckling softly into her ear. The chuckling was cut off with quick by her words, rekindling the giant's worry.
Thoughtless, he embraced her back and tried in futility to reign back the intensity his stare as his eyes searched for more clearer answers in her visage. "What?" And just like that, the intensity is gone again. "Uhm.. I.. don't mind them… Stop distracting me. What else is going on Kiji?" He says, inquiring coming out more like a demand.
Kiji was relieved Kiyoshi still hugged her back, but it was a short lived relief. He answered her about the food then suddenly demanded to know what was going on. Kiji sighed softy and nuzzled his neck before pulling back just enough so they could look at each other. "Sei said I disappeared and so did his spiders for several hours. Then I reappeared i the oasis. His spiders only got a few glimpses of what was going on but he said that…. He thinks.. I was.. tortured and they tried to make me do something for them.. whoever they were… Yoichi-sensei wants me to be checked out by the Shimizu clan but then Sei said he didn't trust them. I don't know what to do… There's nothing really wrong except these headaches….." She sighed again then rested her head against his shoulder. "A..and I…. I was stupid last night…. Worried.. about that Hitomi girl…. No one would answer me about what happened." She closed her fists in his shirt. "Do…. you still want to be my mate?" She looked tired, afraid of the answer, but there was a hint of hope in her eyes….
The fact that she sought to comfort him first made him all the more worried. Kiyoshi managed to restrain himself more successfully this time, though it is clear in his form that the case wouldn't be dropped easily. After listening to it all… Well, Kiyoshi felt no true moment of relief knowing the truth, but nor did he seem as ready to run off and deck how many aggressors were involved in harming his mate.
"What kind of a question is that?" Kiyoshi chides. His hear clenches at the heat of his own words, but he resolved himself to keep going. "Of course I still want you to be my mate! And I don't get why you were worried about Hitomi or how that even ties in to all this, but I /do/ know there ain't nothing there to worry about." Kiyoshi states gruffly. "Now, back things up a bit. What do you mean disappeared for hours? When was this?"
Kiji flushed and looked down when Kiyoshi chided her for asking her question. He might not understand but she had been honestly worried. He had been physical with her in public and hadn't answered her when she asked about 'the nest' and it made her uncomfortable. But just hearing it from Kiyoshi, even in that tone, made her relax a bit about that.
His secondary focus, however, made her sigh softly. "I don't remember what happened. I don't remember leaving the oasis Sunday or anything… I just woke up, sick and exhausted. Sei found me. He lost contact with te spiders in my hair for hours. And then i just 'reappeared' in the Oasis later…. I don't remember anything but there' several missing hours." She looked up at him, watching his reaction to this whole thing. "Sei made me go to the hospital and they checked me out but there were no marks or anything. His spiders only remembered something about a door and me saying something like 'Wont work for you'. S..so.. he thought it meant that someone tried to force me to be a spy… I don't know…"
Kiyoshi turned away and exhaled heavily. Although suspected, he knew not if he pushed Kiji too far with his verbal blitz. Resolved or not, what happened couldn't be counted as something courageous or truly necessary, increasing his guilt all the more. It was only after feeling her begin to relax in his embrace that he turned back to her, a little confused and curious, and yet relieved as well.
"Sunday…?" He murmured under breath, then gasped sharply. "I… I don't know how things are run around the camp, but those cousins of yours must've done something." He growls out.
Kiji blinked and tilted her head as Kiyoshi suddenly gasped as things clicked for him. But what he said didn't make any sense to her. Not really. A sinking feeling began to make itself known in her belly but she held onto him. "Wh…what about my cousins? What happened?" She suddenly felt her heart quicken. Did Kiyoshi know what happened? o, he couldn't have known everything… He would never have allowed them to lay a finger on her if he had. So why couldn't she remember Kiyoshi? She tried to think back, tried to remember exactly what happened.. and Why did he mention the camp— And then suddenly she was doubled over, hands pressed tightly to her temples, a soft cry of pain, something she never allowed herself.
Budding anger blinded him at first, so no swift answer is forthcoming from the giant. It bubbles to the point that he had to pull a hand away or risk tearing into her backside by accident using shape-shifted digits: the embodiment of his anger. Her questions did not go completely ignored in the heat of the moment. Instead, they added the became fuel that left his visage stormy as he considered her words.
Before he can arrive to an answer her crying out — soft thought it was — yanked him back to the present. "Kiji!" Kiyoshi lowered himself and took hold of her shoulders. After looking her over for any signs of an injury or weapon, the Kirryu turned to scanning her apartment for any signs of danger, teeth bared openly.
Kiji felt Kiyoshi's fingers digging before he let up on his grip on her just before she bent over in pain. She faded back into reality with his hands on her shoulders and he was looking about like she was being attacked. It took her a few moments to breathe slowly before she could take her hands away. "S.sorry… It hurts… When i try to remember." She turned and reached up to touch his cheek, trying to direct his gaze back down to her. Her eyes were pale but blue or the most part. "Tell me what you remember? Please?"
Even with her assurance, Kiyoshi is not entirely convinced that things are so alright. But despite temptations he doesn't dare try to warn her away from trying to remember; not if there's even more trouble brewing over the horizon. If he were to be more honest with himself however…
"Mn… Just take it easy." He murmured, grip loosening on her shoulders. Kiyoshi hesitates in answer the question that followed, and tried to look away. Unfortunately yet fortunately, he can't quite muster up the strength to fight of a greater compulsion. "I… I got curious about the camp, and about you. Your cousins.. I think .. one of them was named Noz.. no… Nobu, I think." He shook his head. "Something like that. Anyways, he and this other guy caught wind of me, and grilled me about why I was there. After telling them that I was looking for you, they gave me this real funny look at first, then asked me to wait at this — I don't know what to call it. Some kind of bunker I think, though it didn't feel quite right. Anyways, that Nobu fellow and some girl said they'd be right back with you. Had me sit there for nearly an hour before you showing up with you."
"Threatening us both and… talking about some deal. You wouldn't let me tear into them, so when I left, I tried to get of Meruin-sensei and Yoichi-sama like you asked. But Yoichi-sama was away on a mission, and Meruin-sensei-…" Kiyoshi paused and bowed his head, teeth clenched to keep from cursing. "I couldn't even get a message to him without getting stone walled.. After that, I tried heading back to the camp myself, but dear old Surumu-niibaka caught me on the way out. He… didn't even believe me when I said I was 'fine' and needed to get going."
"He just kept hasseling me over wanting to check out the seal and make sure I wasn't — *groans* Long story short, that's what happened." He says heatedly.
Kiji blinked several times and settled own on the chair, listening to Kiyoshi's story. Faint flashes of memories of Kiyoshi in a room, Kiyoshi in danger, flashed through her mind. She grit her teeth and tried to focus on the images only fr the burning headache to start up again. She backed up from the situation and took a breath. If Kiyoshi was threatened and then she had little doubt that she would have done everything she could to protect him up to and including giving herself over to her enemies…
After his words she shook her head and carefully stood up, reaching out to take his hand firmly with both of hers. Then she led him to the couch and sat down on it, trying to tug him down with her. If what he said was true… "If.. if you were in trouble… did I…. no… Nobu… What…" She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to calm down. "Okay so.. so if that was Sunday then… they must have had something to do with the missing time…" She was trying to work through it without forcing the memories.. A hand went to her head. "Th..then they must have done something to keep me from remembering.. Meruin-doo wouldn't be pleased if he found out… So… so maybe they were covering their tracks.. oh god if it was them…. Yoichi-sensei asked me to go to the Shimizu to be checked out…. I was going to go today…." She turned a look on him suddenly, an emotion she had never shown before… fear. "Are you okay? did they hurt you at all?"
If there had been even a moment in which the headaches returned…. But it didn't come to that, so Kiyoshi continued the story without fail with eyes narrowed and watchful. By the end, the moss-haired man is gritting his teeth behind closed lips, knowing as she struggled to piece together clues that again he was helpless to do more than just 'be there' for her. Had she not taken hold of his hands, both would've been balled up into tight fists at his sides. As things stood however, Kiyoshi is startled out of introspection.
There is no resistance after the initial tug, though Kiyoshi kept a closer eye on her during the short journey. Also, he hesitated for a moment when it came to seating down. Afterwards, Kiji had his undivided attention. The Moto remained 'twitchy' whenever he saw her struggle over a memory, but those moments paled in comparison to seeing such naked fear on her face. If their hands are not still connected in any way, then Kiyoshi made a point in taking hold of closest one and giving it a gentle squeeze. "How can I be 'okay' after what they've done to you?" He asks, eyes drifting up to meet Kiji's own, hardened by pain.
Kiji blinked a few times. She had made note of his rapt attention as she had struggled over what she could and could not remember. But when he squeezed her hands and asked her how he could possibly be okay, a kind of odd calm came over her and her eyes warmed to a soft green-gold. Se leaned up and pressed their cheeks together in a small hug. "I'm still alive. I.. I just get the idea that.. I was protecting you." She pulled back a little and looked up at him. Her eyes didn't show that stark fear anymore at least.
Still, she leaned back, never breaking their mutual grip. She pondered silently several minutes, wincing a few times but then shaking her head. "I can't even remember their faces.. It hurts when I try…"
His gaze does not soften easily, though uncertainty over her intentions during the first brief few moments she grew close melted the errected mental barrier. For a few short moments afterwards, Kiyoshi allowed himself to not only calm, but also smile affectionately. "You were in your own way, though if not for the alternatives, I would wish you didn't… You know how much I hate seeing you risk yourself like that." He complains somewhat childishly before letting the silence engulf them completely.
"… I bet its a seal. Cus' if Yoichi-sensei and… I guess Sei didn't find anything else, then its gotta be something like that… I need to talk to Surumu-niisan."
Kiji saw the expression on Kiyoshi's face and if ever she had doubted his feelings, it was clear in that moment. She found herself flushing and smiling a little when he did. She felt like a small fish trying to net a shark but she would go to extremes to protect those she cared about, to protect Kiyoshi. And apparently she had done so.
"A seal…" She let out a breath the nodded slowly… That made sense. A seal could easily be causing her headaches when she got too close to remembering something. And if they were from the Shimizu clan they would need to cover their tracks or face punishment for attacking one of thier own. She looked up at Kiyoshi then and tlted her head. "Does Surumu-niisan know about seals?"
Kiyoshi is already nodding fiercely before Kiji's question is even fully spoken aloud. "Mn! At the very least, he owes me one after dragging me away that day." Kiyoshi says, barely restraining the urge to growl. "And if nothing else, it'll beat sitting around on our hands while those bastards get to walk free." He adds, losing some of that restraint before in the heat of the moment.
A grim thought occurs to him. One that leaves him smiling without any real mirth or joy behind it. "'Course, if Meruin-dono let me, I could just go rampaging at the camp t'ill they show up."
Kiji raised an eyebrow at Kiyoshi's rigorous nodding as she asked her question. He certainly seemed intent on this. Kiji could tell he was upset and getting more and more 'excited' as the subject went on. She was unhappy with the idea of a seal in her head but she was less happy with the idea of not knowing what had happened. And a seal on her memories could mean someone wanted to betray Kirigakure and she did not want to facilitate that either. She squeezed Kiyoshi's hands lightly. "Killing all my cousins won't fix the situation, Kiyoshi." She tried to smile at him. "So…Should we go to him or.. do you want to bring him here?" Either way was fine for Kiji.
"Not kill them, just scare'em a little… maybe maim a few if it comes to it." Kiyoshi shrugs his shoulders careless, making it all the more difficult to tell if he had been really serious or not. "Hmm…. If you think you can hold off for a little while, I can go bring him here. It'll be faster than us going out to look for him." He says aloud, though inwardly he adds, 'Assuming he ain't doing 'that' again' Shaking his head, Kiyoshi dismissed the disturbing line of thought before tapping his forehead a few times using his free hand. "Kiji… answer me honestly. Do you think you'll be alright for a little while?"
Kiji listened as Kiyoshi explained he didn't want to kill the Shimizu just maybe maim a few she shook her head slowly, amazed at his reaction to all of this. When he said it would be quicker to bring Surumu to Kiji, the girl nodded. His initial question had her blinking and tilting her head. They would the be concerned about her being alone for a little while? She tried to smile reassuringly."I'll be fine. I can just stay here and read or something." She leaned up and kissed his cheek softly. "Really. I'll be okay."
Whereas words were not entirely enough, the kiss went a ways in assuaging some of his worries. Plenty enough of them remains behind, leaving the moss-haired giant paranoid and a little tense beneath the surface. Kiyoshi hid it as best as he could behind a smile, though chakra and actions do not lie. When he went to hug her he held her almost as if there might not get another chance to do it. Realizing perhaps on some level what had been given away, Kiyoshi broke the embrace quickly, pecked at her cheek, and then withdrew, forcing a smile. "Be back before you can even blink." And with that, he took his leave of the apartment.