Few Comforting Words


Akina, Keiji

Date: September 16, 2012


A team struggles together in the aftermath of Asao's death

"Few Comforting Words"

Kazekage Administration Dome [Sunagakure]

Kazekage Administration Dome [Sunagakure]

The opening of the Kazekage Administration Dome leads up a flight of stairs, into the lobby of the expansive building. Looking upwards, the entire building is open to the sky. Each floor is a ring, built with a hole in the center to allow a view both upwards and downwards. It is a very impressive sight, with many people visible moving around the upper levels, and stopping to chat around the railings.
The lobby has a tiled floor, with a intricate concentric circular pattern, and the walls themselves have been actually painted, and have designs etched into the hardened sand. The only piece of furniture on the first floor is a desk, and directly behind that, a stair case moving up to the next level. On either side of the desk are Male guards, their faces covered, and a make secretary is seated behind the desk, ready to take any questions or arrange appointments.
No one proceeds to the upper levels without the secretary approving them, and in most cases the armed guards also check them out to make sure they are carrying no weapons. However, there are a few people who can walk back and forth easily without the guards checking them, although all of them must first speak with the secretary.


Now back in the safety of the village, Keiji has given his report to his superiors. He now remains seated in a set of chairs in one of the massive hallways. They say doubt is a fatal cancer to the shinobi. Unfortunately after knowing one of your subordinates was sacrificed for a mission, it seems to be all the Chuunin can think about. Despite the mask across his face, it is easy to tell the boy is saddened by the loss.
The sound of his finger clicking can be heard by those nearby. It is an idle motion that he does while he dwells in his thoughts. Anyone who knew him, could easily tell that he was running the scenario in his head. Over and over and over. He may have done this a thousand times. He may do it a thousand more. It is just the way of the boy's mind.

The presence of another being slides into the seat next to Keiji, without so much as a word. Dark eyes downcast to the floor her part lips part with a small breath. While he was feeling overwhelmed, she on the other hand was feeling guilty. Barely an hour into the mission and resorted to running away, fleeing with her tail between her legs like a coward. She may have given herself the excuse that she was backing up Kazeodori in case he needed her but being as weak as she was…

Keiji was not sure what to say to Akina. It was a good thing that her and Kazeodori retreated when they did. He probably would have felt even worse had they not. "If you had stuck around, you would have died as well. The mission was a bit out of our league. Each scenario usually ends with someone dieing. It simply seems impossible to see and outcome without someone dieing." The boy then shrugs. Maybe Akina would share what was on her mind.

Akina tightens her hands in her lap just a bit tighter, her jaw firming. "Yeah…" she consents. "I know. And I could not just leave Kazeodori by himself… but-" she shakes her dark head. "If I was stronger I would have been some help, made that little bit of difference that could have saved someone. Or even be able to help them escape… Just like if I was more versed in poison or medicine I could have helped my father…"

"But you were not. You were not even in command. You did not send either of them to their death or were you the cause of it. You will grow stronger and maybe in the future prevent this from happening again. He just had a bright future and he was always playing with those damn clocks."

A long breath of a sigh escapes her as Akina lowers her chin with a nod. "I know, that will happen eventually. Getting stronger, maybe even competing with you." she shrugs a slender shoulder gently and forces her fingers to relax. "He did… and he did not deserve to die so young. But it is the life we lead…"

Keiji gives a single nod of acceptance. He was not giving up. All he was doing was giving a friend a few moments of thought now that they were gone. There was a little shame in not returning with the body. It was horrible to leave the corpse behind. Hopefully the shinobi of Kumo would return the body. "I wonder where are team will head next…"

"Hopefully it will resolve our will as a unit, in his honor. Be stronger because of it. He would want that for us. At least, I think he would…" Akina pauses for a moment before turning her hooded head to give him a sideways glance. "How are you feeling."

Keiji listens to what is said. He does not speak until he is asked a question. "I am not sure how I feel. I have killed people before. Usually I am not on this end of it though. I am the aggressor. I use to wonder the morale repercussions. I doubt the other shinobi are considering that though."

The corner of her soft lips tugs faintly as she lifts a hand to gently pat at his forearm. "Maybe, maybe not, but that kind of thinking is a good thing. It proves you are still human. When you get to the point that you do not feel anything… that is when you have to worry." The hand pulls away. "And it means that we should do something fun to reassure your faith in yourself." The sly grin grows.

Fun was not exactly something Keiji was use to. "What did you have in mind?" he asks with a little curiosity. The way he was raised never really allowed for anything outside of training. It was something he was learning to get away from, but still it affected him. "I kind of wonder what Kaze's going through. He had a little rivalry with Asao."

"Hm." Maybe it was something she needed to think on, but it would be only a matter of time before she thought of a way to have some fun. "If that is the case… maybe we should bring him with. Let him know that we are here for him."

"I guess it would be a good bonding exercise." Keiji responds. He was still pondering what exactly she would come up with. Seemed she did not know yet. At this point, Keiji was ready to take a warm bath and call it a night. "Then again I wonder when they will hold his funeral. I hope it will not wait until the end of the war, if it starts…" It was entirely possible too. That was the sad part.

Akina turns her head to quietly watch him with a sideways glance, for several moments longer, just silence. He was hit harder than he let on and as much as she wanted to help him, something like this could only be handled through time, on his own. "Maybe, but… right now just think of the moment, of right now. Because otherwise… you might fall to pieces…" she whispers.

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