Date: June 7 & 11, 2012
A group of friends visit Hitoshi in the hospital when Taiki's parents are brought in, and things just spiral out of control from there.
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
"Inuzuka Pride Chronicles: The End of Innocence"
Hitoshi's room, Konoha Hospital
Taiki is visiting Hitoshi today, as he has been the past three days, every day, since the teams got back to Konoha. There really hasn't been much to do, since his parents are both apparently out of town, with only a brief note from his father saying that everything was alright and that he'd hopefully be back soon. Given the note, Taiki doesn't think anything of it and thus comes here when he's not training. Thus we find the young teenager sitting not far from Hitoshi's bed with a graphite rod and a scroll. He seems to be taking notes on something that he's puzzling through, though he looks up at any noise at all. Shinobu lays down at his feet, also watchful of Hitoshi, or any visitors. The mood is quiet and contemplative. Of Taiki's entourage, only Nozomi is around, and she is sitting by the window, watching the room and Taiki.
Otherwise it is a quiet fall evening. The sun is just above the horizon, slowly turning red in what would look to be a beautiful sunset. All around town people are going about their business, some closing up for the day while others are just getting ready for the evening rush. Nurses are passing around food, which like most hospitals has been processed until nearly all the taste is removed. Taiki has some rabbit jerky in a pouch, though the food hasn't quite made its way to this room yet. Still there's at least another 2 to 3 hours of visiting hours remaining, so others have plenty of time to come by.
Three days…That's how long it had been since returning back to Konoha, from rescuing Hitoshi and 'capturing' his capture. Three days was also the same amount it had been since seeing Hitoshi. At least for Eremi. Not once stopping by to see if the boy, if his friend was alright. Feeling too much grief and faults in his own abilities and availabilities to be there and prevent such a tragedy. Just thinking about it brought tears to his eyes. To actually see his friend, lying in a hospital bed, it would be too much to bare. But to not come. To not visit. That would be exactly what he was trying to avoid. Being unavailable for his friends when they need him.
After taking his first step into the hospital, reaching the receptionists and being pointed in the right direction, Eremi quickly headed for the room where Hitoshi was being kept. His steps were slow and soft, but not devoid of sound as he approached. Reaching the entrance, he paused for a few moments, took in a deep breath then entered. Eyes instantly scanning around, he'd spot the two dogs then Taiki. A smile would form on his face, but quickly his eyes diverted to Hitoshi whom slept in his bed. The smile would fade at that point, turning into a frown that he tried his best to beat back. "Hi Taiki. How's Hitoshi?" Questioning as he moved closer toward the bed, placing a hand against the edge of it.
"Heeey," comes a sing-songy voice from the hallway. The door is thrown open, and in comes Atsuro and Taizen, Atsuro strutting in a somewhat obnoxious manner while holding his hands behind his back, and Taizen just walking normally while wagging his tail. For their part, Atsuro and Taizen have been busy and unable to visit Hitoshi much, but they've come when they could. "How you doing, k— " He stops as he notices that Hitoshi is far too asleep for that sort of greeting. "Oh," he says. He takes a somewhat sloppily gift-wrapped box out from behind him and places it on Hitoshi's nightstand, then reaches into a vest pocket and pulls out a card which he puts on top. "Finally have time to get a present and he falls asleep on me."
He quietly turns around. "Hey," he says quietly, greeting Taiki and Eremi. "How's he doing?" He cranes his head a little to try and get a look at whatever Taiki's scroll is.
As soon as they returned back to Konoha with their catch and Hitoshi, naru was one to quickly switch back into routine, training for indefinite amounts of time and living out her life, she did however come to visit hitosih every now and then, though was certain that things were going to be okay, after all with Kagami captured there wasn't going to be much to worry about, still after a day of training and washing up she decided to go ahead and check up on Hitoshi, a scroll resting under her arm as well she quietly made her way into the hospital and towards Hitoshi's room, naturally she was taken in by surprise to see so many people already in the room, she offers a slight wave and doesn't say much, instead she quickly began to move on her way next to Taiki, taking a seat next to him while her eyes slightly glanced at the scroll. " I didn't know we were having a party today…" Naru whispers outloud, a sigh escaping her lips. "Eremi-san…Atsuro-san, How are the two of you?" Naru finally greets with a slight smile, she keeps herself close to Taiki, hopefully briefly there eyes would catch, it was becoming easier to read him, she didn't really have to ask how he was anymore if she simply watched him.
Taiki looks up as Eremi enters and nods his head once, then setting the graphite rod aside. The nightstand next to Hitoshi's bed has quite a collection of flowers on it, and gifts, from well wishers. Taiki even got him a gift, and it is sitting next to a small vase from someone else. He opens his mouth to speak, but Atsuro enters, which causes him to close it as Atsuro starts his usual boisterous routine. Nozomi sniffs the air at each person's entrance, but takes her cues off of Shinobu who quietly "wuffs" a greeting at each of them. Taiki himself? He simply waits for a chance to speak before saying, "I think I remember his mother telling me he woke up earlier while I was out training. I talked to him a bit when I got here, but he was still asleep when I got here. Either that or he's upset at me and not saying anything."
Taiki turns a hopeful expression toward Hitoshi as Naru enters the room, then responds to her by saying, "They just got here." As Atsuro looks at he scroll he notices it is a detailed description of Tsuga. It is a complete breakdown of the technique in ink, but there are scribbled notes in graphite all over it, notating possible methods for integrating lightning into it. He doesn't even make an effort to cover it up, instead he looks at everyone here one at a time. "So I hope you all have been successful at getting back into the swing of things?"4
Silently staring at Hitoshi, watching the other sleep in the hospital bed, Eremi could feel the tears beginning to well up. He was mad and frustrated with himself, but moreso he just wished Hitoshi was ok after dealing with such an event. The fact that the culprit was the boys sisters made it all that much more complicated. Leaving little for anyone to do in regards to alleviating their own frustrations and angers. Thinking so deeply on such, the hand that gently rested on the edge of the bed had now turned into a fist, clenching hard into itself. For a moment he forgot that there were others in the room and it wasn't until he heard the rhythmical greeting that he arose from his thoughts and looked toward an opposing wall.
Slyly, trying to be, Eremi brought the hand from the bed and wiped it against his eyes before turning back toward Atsuro with a forced smile, not responding as Taiki did for the both of them. After which he'd also catch sight of Naru entering and seating next to Taiki. Their relationship blossoming so fast, with or without Eremi there to see them through it. "Hey…everyone." Scratching at the back of his head as he found it too coincidental for the first time that he stops by to visit Hitoshi, that so many others would be stopping by to visit as well. At least it was a clear sign that Hitoshi had friends that cared about him. "Usual as normal for me." Responding in general to the many questions posed.
"Surprisingly good," Atsuro replies to Naru, "For being in a hospital and everything." He takes a few steps away from Hitoshi's bed and leans against the wall, shoving his hands into his pockets. Taizen, follows and sits beside him, brushing up against his legs and waist a little bit. He looks at the scroll for a little more, then shrugs and looks at Hitoshi. It probably just has something to do with Taiki's style. Something he should keep up with, of course but now's not really the time. Eremi's expression seems strange to him, but once again, this isn't the time or place to be asking about it.
He's not really in much of a mood for talking, especially with Hitoshi sleeping not three meters away. For the time being, he just continues to watch Hitoshi, occasionally glancing about the room or out the window. Taizen does much the same for a bit, then walks over to be near Eremi, sitting down on the floor beside him.
"I've just been doing my usual thing… Not much out of the ordinary quite honestly," Naru replies back to Taiki, she sighed softly while her eyes kind of loomed and danced around, she brought her own scroll with her, but didn't even bother opening it, at least with this many people around and about. Naru had gotten Hitoshi a few things also, a few snacks, flowers, a card… She really didn't go too much in depth, she was his friend but she still didn't know what he truly liked in terms of nice things to have, she too fell silent after speaking up, like Atsuro she didn't want to speak too much when there was a sleeping baby in the room, instead she attempted to look over what Taiki was doing, a little bit of excitment building upon reading the scroll.
The prognosis for Hitoshi's recovery hadn't been too negative. When he had been admitted to the hospital upon the Team's return with him and his sister, he had pretty much been silent the entire trip back; barely speaking, stoic. His injuries were moderate… if only because of the fact he had been kept malnourished for so long. Now, being fed and kept watered, like any good plant… was beginning to slowly flourish again.
Hints of what had happened in the house remained, though. Healing well, there were still bandages around the boy's neck. They weren't wrapped tightly, but just well enough to cover… something. The gauze used to wrap it looks as if it's been soaked in some kind of gelatin; burn cream, perhaps? Those who -had- examined him prior to recieving medical attention would recall there were burn marks… strange ones, at that, and not like those caused by ordinary flame encircling the boy's neck, all the way around… kind of like a pair of hands had been placed in the burn marks.
Right now, he lays, sleeping in his bed. He had been too weak until a day or so ago to entertain visitors. Slowly, though, he was going to come around. Would today be the day? If it was… he sure had an audience for it. Shifting in his bed, his eyes flutter slightly under the lids, and he makes a little bit of a groaning noise… before yawning wide.
"… Seaweed wrap…" A mumble. For the time being, a muffled, dream-ish mumble was all they were gonna get.
Taiki perks up at the sound of Hitoshi's voice, his head tilting to the side as he barely, just barely catching the only descernable words in Hitoshi's murmerings. "Seaweed wrap?" he says questioningly. "Okay, well it is obvious he is hungry. I hope he doesn't mind the hospital food too badly," As if in agreement, Taiki's stomach also rumbles a little, echoed by the other two dogs with him. He solves this by pulling a large pouch of jerky out and tossing some to each dog before eating some himself. "Maybe the smell of the food will help him wake up," he says with a slight smile and a glance first toward Atsuro, then Naru, and finally Eremi.
Outside the room the sound of wheels and feet can be heard, though there are too many feet to be the dinner trays. Since everyone seems to be looking at either Taiki or Hitoshi, no one sees what is happening outside. Nozomi, however, catches the scent of something she recognizes and quietly gets up to go investigate. A soft huff from her tells Taiki that she'll soon be back.
When Taizen sat beside him, Eremi glanced down at the droopy faced dog before looking over toward Atsuro. Wondering if there was a reason for this or if the dog did it of his own accord. Either way, he couldn't help but to extend a hand to pet Taizen gently on the head while everyone else simply barely spoke, remaining as silent as they could for Hitoshi's sake. Every ones eyes scanning about the room and to each individual gathered around.
Luckily though, Hitoshi stirred gently from his sleep. Mumbling incoherencies that was enough to get the group focused on him, despite what the words were that were being said. Naturally Eremi would straighten up at the fact, his eyes locking on Hitoshi as he waited to see if the other would or wouldn't fully awaken. "It couldn't hurt…" offering to Taiki's suggestion of the scent of jerky to help with bringing Hitoshi awake.
Glancing out the window, Atsuro looks abruptly to the bed when he hears Hitoshi's voice. But he's only talking in his sleep. About food, of all things. Atsuro realizes he's holding his breath and exhales slowly, tapping his foot softly against the floor. He glances over to Taiki. "Maybe he wants to be a in a spa," he suggests, "I know that's where I'm going when I get a chance. Showers and shaves aren't enough after a mission like that. And Hitoshi probably needs it worse than any of us."
Taizen seems to appreciate Eremi's petting, opening his mouth and grunting a little, though it comes to a rather sudden stop with the commotion out in the hallway. The dog shuts his mouth and sniffs the air. He and Atsuro share a glance, then Atsuro sniffs too. "Blood," Atsuro says to Taizen, though it's no more than a whisper. Not much more than mouthing it, even.
Naru had no idea what was happening outside, but it wasn't exactly alarming here either, after all she had been in the hospital a few times, there was always things going on, people getting injured, people coming in with stabs, burns, among other things. Naru decided to push the thought to the side, and instead perked her ears at the hungry Hitoshi whispering for seaweed. " He sure is cute while hes sleeping isn't he?" Naru spoke out, attempting to take away some of the awkwardness from the rush outside, " You should give it a shot, wave the jerky in his face or something and he might wake up for a moment longer…" Naru suggested, giving Taiki some encouragement for his idea on waking up Hitoshi.
Perhaps it wasn't so much that Hitoshi was in a deep sleep… he was just slow to rouse himself up. It probably wasn't the fact he was that hungry, either. When he hadn't been sleeping - when they weren't visiting - he was eating the house poor. So, when he does begin to open his eyes slowly, they crack open… out of focus, slits fighting against the light with a bit of a groan… and a hand coming up to lightly tug at the wrap around his throat, around the wounds there. He says nothing else right at the moment, and he just quietly begins to let his eyes wander around the hospital room. Atsuro… Taiki. He expected them to be visitors.
The other two… not so much. He smiles, though, nontheless, and quietly begins to speak…
It's not much. A little hoarse… He's tired. It's to be expected.
Taiki had been eating still, though more slowly as Shinobu had relayed similar information to him. Still, he chuckles as he gets the go-ahead and in Naru's case, encouragement. He then stands and starts to walk toward Hitoshi, but stops when Hitoshi's eyes open and start to focus. Taiki just blinks for a moment and smiles widely at Hitoshi. "Hi yourself Hitoshi, good to see you awake." He looks down at the jerky in his hand, then at the throat wound, then shrugs before saying, "I suppose they have you on soft foods, don't they?" he says. It's obvious that he would offer Hitoshi a piece if he could eat it.
In the meantime the bustle across the way gets a little louder as two grown bodies block the sight from the doorway. The two are arguing with each other, quietly for now, but even though the words can't be heard, the tone is clear. There's a brief escalation in commotion, then it quiets down for a few minutes. The two mens' tones get even more tense, and Shinobu slowly gets up and positions himself in front of the door to Hitoshi's bedroom. The manner in which the dog moved was designed not to garner that much attention, but once Taiki's partner reaches the door, he is in an instant guard stance, his ears rotated forward and pointing, with no movement in the low-hung tail. Taiki, for the moment, remains oblivious.
Feeling the movement of Taizen from underneath his hand, Eremi briefly glances down to see if something was the matter. As if the petting was bothering in some way. He thought he caught Atsuro glancing over, mouthing something, but might have easily been mistaken. If it was important, it would have been shared with the rest of the group he's sure. What ever it was, didn't really matter anymore, as the real attention grabber was Hitoshi waking up.
At this point, Eremi could only smile, remaining silent as Hitoshi peered around the room and then offered a greeting. With a free hand, he gently waved in response. What ever commotion was going on outside would be ignored. Though if it escalated further, growing louder or spilled into the room. Eremi would deal with it then. Hitoshi had only just woken up and didn't need to be disturbed.
Well, it isn't a false alarm this time. Forgetting the business out in the hallway for a moment, Atsuro pushes off from the wall and walks closer to the bed. Taizen, too, tries to get closer to Hitoshi, pushing up against the bed so he can see more easily. "Nice to see you awake, kid." At this point, he'd ruffle Hitoshi's hair or something, but he figures he should hold off, given the boy's state. "How are you feeling?" he asks, "Relatively speaking, I mean. Any idea when you're getting out of here? Nobody's bothered to tell me for some reason…"
Taizen whines something to Atsuro about the commotion. Atsuro meets his eyes again, then nods. "Think I'll close the door," he says. If it's important, he can see what it is. If not, they'll stop bothering them. Win-win.
Naru for the most part kept her positioned seated, as to not crowd the area round hitoshi, though after all she did at least stand up to reveal herself, ofering a slight wave and maintaining a half smile, her eyebrows furrowed just a little bit, the commotion outside was absolutely annoying, and soon enough she does the one thing she didn't want to do, taking steps forward she crowded around next to Hitoshi, taking a stand next to Taiki, " You are the adult around here right? " Naru voiced to Atsuro while expressing a soft sigh, " Can you do something about whats going on out there?" Naru requested from Atsuro, though he was well heading to the door she was hoping he would be able to instate some further action. " Hito-kun, did the commotion wake you? You can go back to sleep if you want…" Naru spoke rather softly, she examined his wounds, he didn't even look beat up, it looked more like he was totured instead… "That girl.." Naru hushed herself before continuing on, her allies getting beat up was one thing..tortured was something to be venged.
"Nn?… Oh, no…"
Shaking his head, Hitoshi breathes in slowly, looking lazily toward Naru and tilting his head a little. He had to focus on Naru for a moment, before focusing on Eremi, and smiling a little bit at the wave. He raises his fingers lazily for a moment, waving… before looking toward Taiki and Atsuro, chuckling a little.
"Thanks," he remarks softly… though, he is distracted after a moment or two, looking toward the door and quietly furrowing his eyebrows. He does go on, though, with the conversation, looking toward Atsuro… and shrugging a little, beginning to get more at himself. "I don't know," he remarks softly, "but I think they want to keep me and see how well my neck heals, first. And then it's only light and restricted duties," he adds. Is there… a hint of frustration in his voice?
Taiki smiles at Hitoshi and nods fervently. "Well, I'm sure you'll make a complete recovery Hitoshi-san," Taiki says reassuringly. He listens to the others speak to Hitoshi, then glances at Naru when she mentions 'that girl.' He appears to be of similar mind as she, but is holding himself back, even going so far as to shake his head at her meaningfully. Yes, he wants a pound of her flesh to, but Hitoshi called her off limits, so he would not touch her. He wouldn't like her or trust her as far as he could throw her, but she would be safe from him.
As Atsuro reaches the door all breaks loose in the hallway. A red streak weaves in and out of the younger man's legs, sending him sprawling into the wall beside the door. Then it turns to growl at the man, and another stepping out of the door across the way. At this point Atsuro can definitely identify her as Nozomi, and she is highly angry at everyone but the oldest man. They are focused on her, however, and neglect to see another ninken limp into Hitoshi's room. Anyone who had seen Taiki's entourage would instantly recognize this dog as belonging to Taiki's dad.
The dog limps over toward the bed, stopping at the foot of it. A single growl gets Nozomi inside and beside Shinobu, as they now /both/ guard the door. What happens next though is uncertain, but the effects are instantaneous. The dog growls and huffs and barks a short message to Atsuro, sounding as grave as the multiple injuries the dog has sustained. Taiki freezes, looks at the older dog as his mouth falls open. The look becomes vacant as tears start to roll down Taiki's cheek, though he doesn't appear to notice them, or anything else for that matter. The lights are on, but there's no-one home.
Nodding at Hitoshi, "It's probably for the best. Getting well rested and staying on light duty. You don't want to push yourself too hard first coming out of the gate or you may end up right back where you started." Eremi would offer, but soon turned toward the door like everyone else gathered in the room. It was a good thing Atsuro had decided to check things out and quiet it down if at all possible. The ruccus was no place for a hospital where people needed to relax and rest.
He only stared a moment longer, before turning his attention back to Hitoshi and the others. "Maybe if it's allowed, you could borrow some of my weights…I don't know. I know you aren't recuperating lost muscles or learning to walk again, but just sitting around for days can take you off your whole training schedule and it's difficult to get back again." Trying his best at striking up conversations and taking the focus off the noise going on in the background.
In the end, it was a failed effort when the chaos begins. Eremi could only quickly snap around to face whatever may be the issue, hands clenched into fists at his sides as if he's ready to fight. Though that doesn't seem like it's going to be the case, yet. The boys eyes moving between the dogs that are scrambling about, then shooting between the Inuzuka's looking for answers, but when he catches sight of Taiki crying he can only begin to shake himself. Having no clue what the problem might be, what it is that got one of his very first friends so upset, it just makes him respond in such a way, that he can't really control his body at this point. The words can't even reach his mouth to even ask what's wrong and all he can hope is for someone to give an explanation to the situation.
Atsuro only looks out the door for a moment. Then, as the new dog comes into the room and speaks to him, he freezes. He closes his eyes for a second, then turns and shuts the door. Taizen whimpers something, but Atsuro continues without a word, taking a chair from inside the room and propping it up against the door so it can't be opened.
He walks over to Taiki and attempts to put a hand on his shoulder for a moment. "I'm sorry," he tells Taiki, then turns to face Taizen, who is already walking towards him. He bends down to take a sword from the dog's vest. The sheath is long, about the size of a katana, but when Atsuro draws the sword, it's just a ninjato. He carefully places the blade on a nearby table, then turns the sheath over into the palm of his hand. Out slides a scroll. He breaks the seal and reads a few lines before shutting it again.
That taken care of, he translates for everyone else here. "I'll read the rest of it in a minute," he says slowly. He finishes in a low voice, "Taiki's dad is in a coma and his mom is… dead."
Naru herself was just mingling for the most part, not much else was going on in the mind of her, for the most part she just stood idle, her eyes looming from the the group and then down to Hitoshi, it was actually perhaps just a little bit akward, just looking over him like that so she took a step back, slightly away from the bed to take a gaze outside the window.
It was then chaos began to ring and the loud commotion outside began to take form, she blinked for a moment, mostly out of curiousity and wonder, she didn't think she had to be on her guard? Or Did she. As the larger wounded ninken went forth she pulled up her hand almost as if guarding herself, she knew something was going on…. But she had no idea what it was. Things began to become even more weird especially as Atsuro quickly began to close and lock the door, the slight huffs and conversations between the Inuzuka and the tears begining to stream down Taiki's cheeks. " What…what is it?" Naru questioned, attempting to get some sort of answer, after all she didn't understand a darn thing… Though once Atsuro cracked open the scroll and spoke out to everyone she blinked, mostly baffled by what was said… She didn't know what to feel at the moment…But she did murmmer his name lound enough to hear it. " Ta-kun…"
"I may take you up on that offer, Eremi-kun."
Smiling pleasantly up until the commotion became too much to simply ignore, Hitoshi was looking toward the other boy with a quiet thankfulness in his eyes. When there's a burst and in comes… a very wounded animal, Hitoshi looks toward the door. At first… he wasn't able to really choke down what was going on. He was still kind of groggy from medication. But then, it kind of dawns on Hitoshi exactly what's happened… the dog. The noises. The reaction…
Atsuro's translation kind of seals the deal. He knew it couldn't be good… and it certainly wasn't.
In the meantime… a wounded dog lay on the floor at the end of his bed. There's that… and the fact Taiki's gone all but unresponsive over there.
What can Hitoshi do? Remain silent and quietly wail his fingers on that 'Nurse Call' button that, hopefully, will bring some kind of help.
Taiki doesn't respond to anyone or anything. Once the door is closed Shinobu and Nozomi turn and whine toward Taiki a couple of times, though they continue to stay by the door. Atsuro's attempt at comfort doesn't even begin to register, and Naru's voice for some reason just isn't reaching him. It's like his entire brain has shut down as he stares blankly off into space. The package of dried meat slowly slips out of his hand and onto the floor, almost falling in slow motion as Taiki's world had just collapsed around him.
Surprisingly enough it is the old, wounded dog that seems to react fully first. He walks toward Taiki and painfully rises up to his hind legs to put his paws on Taiki's shoulders. Now the dog is looking him straight in the eye, and for the first time speaks not in dog, but in human. The voice is rough and barely undrstandable, but this is one of those older ninken who have started to learn human speach. "Kenshin… love you… much. No… want… this. Let… wo-man… hold. You… no… alone." That said, he hops down and just looks at Naru, a soft whine escaping his throat even as he nudges her hand with his nose. Nozomi whines in agreement, promising she will remain with him.
Atsuro has begun to read the rest of the scroll, but the voice of the old dog grabs his attention. It's not a message for him, but as he looks up, he does notice Hitoshi calling the nurse. Knowing that he's just made that ineffective a minute or so ago, he puts a hand on Taiki's shoulder again for a second, then quietly walks over to the door and removes the chair, allowing access to the room once more. He'll have to read the scroll later. He peeks out into the hall, looking, listening and smelling around for either approaching nurses or, well, anything else.
Naru knew that there was going to be lots of to let lose after this situation, she cringed slightly, hearing a ninken speak like that, especially in human speech was gut wretching, especially with the words that came out of its mouth, Naru still didn't know what to do in the situation, she never dealt with it… The only lost she had was her own older sister, and at least she had her parents around to cope with that, it seemed like the ninken was offering her some advice though, advice that she would use as long as it surpressed Taiki for awhile, for some reason it seemed like bad news after bad news, and she slowly began to make her way forward, attempting to hug Taiki's from behind while whispering quietly.
"Shhh," she attempted to hush him for a moment, hopefully to slightly calm his nerves… She wanted him to break down and let it all out, save the anger for another moment… Just not here, not now, especially infront of the wounded Hitoshi. Keeping her arms wrapped around him she attempted to pull him down to the floor for a seat, comforting taiki was priority but she knew she could sustain, and deep down inside she knew she was burning with a fire to finally get rid of the people that was causing Taiki harm, she remained tight lipped though, just like Taiki, right now was mourning not revenage. " Just sit down for a moment… Ta-kun…" Naru attempted to sway him though she wasn't sure if it would hold…
At first Taiki lets Naru guide him to the floor. His body starts to shake as a hiccup sounds. This is followed by another, and then another before he openly starts to sob. He does not wail however, instead opting to try to get as much contact with Naru as possible. For the moment at least, her gambit is working…
Unfortunately Atsuro had to open the door and peek out. The timing couldn't have been more ironic, as the two younger brothers of Taiki's dad were about to pound on the door. A distraught nurse is trying to get through, along with the older gentleman that was with them, but the two are most insistant. "You will open this door now. We know Inuzuka Taiki is in there, and he will be coming with us," the older of the two says, though the ages aren't that far apart. The voice is harsh, cruel, and demanding, as if he is a person that is used to getting his way. Unfortunately for everyone, it's also Taiki's chief tormentor.
Had Taiki had been going through this at this moment, he likely would have cringed back in slight fear. Even if the elder had been a little less insistant, he would have probably just hidden behind Atsuro. But when the elder starts calling him names, something inside of Taiki snaps, hard. Now Taiki is trying to get up, his body shaking in pure rage as tears still trail down his face. "Let that son of a in here," Taiki snarls as his hands start to curl into claws. "He wants to see me, let him. I'll tear his eating throat out! I'll kill that traitor!" Shinobu seems to catch whatever madness lies within Taiki as he crouches down in Taiki's new style. He'll support his master.
Ignoring Taiki's yelling behind him, Atsuro shakes his head. "I've been ordered not to follow any such requests. I might be able to arrange a meeting some time in the near future, but we'll need some kind of third party there." He looks over to the nurse. "Sweetheart," he says, giving her a winning smile, "Would you do me a favour and ask security to escort these men to another floor? They might be armed." With that, he shuts the door and props the chair up against it once more.
He turns around. "Taiki," he says, "I'm sorry, but you've gotta pull yourself together. I don't know what's about to happen."
Naru maintained a tight hold over Taiki, she wasn't the strongest girl but she couldn't help but to tighten her grip, especially once he began to become more feral with the others banging up on the door, she just listened to the arguement and the ferice display of anger from both sides, more so from Taiki than anyone else. " You need to keep yourself in check no matter what Ta-kun… Getting agnry at them wont help the situation now…" Naru spoke softly, she just kept her hold, it wasn't like she could see much infront of him towards the door though, she was focused on keeping Taiki down and out of harms way, but she wasn't the best for that job… Not with her strength. " Listen to Atsuro-san… So we can try and help you through this…"
What Hitoshi had awoke to, he wasn't entirely sure. However, he's now sitting up in his bed, the medical gown he's been wearing pulled up slightly so as he remains decent… and he just stares at the door, becoming more and more aware of himself and the things going on. Angry voices. Taiki was nearby, apparently having sunk… down, down, down. And completely out. As the commotion at the door becomes louder and louder, he lets the 'Nurse Call' button slip from his fingers, and he moves to remove the blanket from over himself…
Only to reveal that he's armed.
Perhaps it had been a precaution for himself, should Kagami find herself loose from the authorities' grip. Should she decide he needed his life ended. He could at least defend himself. In any case, there was the shin gunto that he had begun to carry. Picking up the scabbard and sitting up further in his bed, he lets his legs swing so that his feet can slide to the ground, and he begins to stand up. Slightly hunched over, and a little wearily, he begins to shuffle toward the foot of the bed, not looking up…
"Will… you people… -please…-"
The tip of the blade is pointed toward the door, and more promptly, toward the said Inuzuka that's forced his way into the room.
"… Shut. Up. And get… out."
The voice is very tired, the stance appearing weak… but when Hitoshi looks up, there's a fire in his eye. That fire's being stoked greatly by an apparently long-awaited second wind that had been long in coming during his captivity. What an odd time for that will to finally kick in.
"This… is a place of healing. And a place of peace. But you come in here… raising -all kinds- of . No. Right."
The sword is threateningly slashed at the ground as he shuffles closer toward the door, those rage-filled eyes still pretty well flaring.
"-Get.- -Out.-" It's almost -ghastly.-
With three Inuzuka in the hallway, one of whom were bellowing at the top of his lungs, the nurse that Atsuro talked to had a little trouble completely understanding Atsuro. Add to that fact the elder of the two younger brothers was very vocal in his demands, and it would be of no surprise it took the pour lady a while to figure out what Atsuro said. But that confusion practically melted away when the loudmouth started to try to push the door open. It was then further reenforced by Hitoshi's show of… assertiveness. Of course this left everyone in the hallway stunned for a few moments, which allowed Atsuro to push the door closed and prop it shut again. For a moment, there was peace.
But only for a moment as shouting started up once again in the corridor. The pounding on the door resumed, but this shouting was joined in by the eldest brother, the Founder Clan Heir, who was trying to tell the younger two to shut up. A couple of muffled exclamations from the nurse followed, but her voice died after growing fainter, she had apparently decided to call in security, and perhaps other ninja. For now the door was holding, and the sounds from outside were muffled.
With the door closed and the elder Inuzukas out of Taiki's sight, it became easier for Taiki to regain control of his temper. Though tears fell down his face almost in sheets, his face was contorted into a cold rage now, instead of the hot rage that had been ruling him just a few moments before. He looks up to Atsuro for a moment, catching his sensei's eyes before he speaks. "I've tried to be calm," he starts in a voice as cold and as hard as steel, "I've tried to be patient. I've tried everything I could to control this situation. I've played their game, and got broken bones, cuts, and other even more serious injuries from my so called "family." The only family I truly trusted, and loved, were my parents. I may have learned to trust you sensei, but that came later, and not in the context of close family. And now… their threats have been made real. My mom is dead, and my dad is as good as. As far as I am concerned, my father's younger brothers, and their families, are /traitors/. They have betrayed the clan, they have worked with my mother's murderers. They are no longer family of mine. And I swear on my mother's grave, whereever that will be, and on the blood that runs through my veins, both her's and my father's blood, that I will see them destroyed for what they have allowed to happen. I will not ever forgive them. Same for this mysterious group. They've crossed the final line sensei. This. Is. War."
Finally Taiki looks over to Hitoshi and closes his eyes. "Thank you," is all he says, his voice soft and full of gratitude. He then allows Naru to pull him back once again, though he does open a couple of belt pouches just in case.
Atsuro looks between Taiki and Hitoshi. "Hitoshi, I'm glad you're with us, and Taiki, that resolve might be useful later. But this isn't the time or place for fighting. We're waiting for security." He glances towards the window. "But just in case, is everyone good to escape through the window?" He looks especially at Hitoshi, figuring that he might not be in the best shape for it right now. "Actually, maybe we should just go now," he says, "The important thing is that we keep Taiki with us and get to the Hokage's office."
It was just like Atsuro to take charge of the situation, and he did, she sits and watches the situation unfold. Naru remained back, arms wrapped safely around Taiki to keep him from bolting off or doing anything he might regret, more or less Naru agreed with Atsuro, this resolve needed to be bottled up and used at another time…. Hitoshi's sudden surge seemed to catch Naru off guard, almost calling for someone else to help wedge Hitoshi back into his bed. " Speaking with the Hokage should definitely be at the top of the list…that will help decide what happens next," Naru answered to Atsuro, and soon enough begins to relax her grip over Taiki. " It would be best if we could get some answers…Ta-kun…"
"Take him and get going, Senpai."
Hitoshi has, at this point, sunk to his knee and the sword is holding him up, the blade's tip placed on the ground. He's kneeling. Biding, recovering his strength from that show of force that… for him, before, was unprecedented. The hilt rests against his shoulder.
"And Ki-san… Don't thank me."
He's begun forming various handseals in quick succession, finally locking in on the Tiger and bowing back slightly. It's not gonna take brain surgery to realize what he's prepared to do. "I will follow once you're clear. I may be in a less than suitable shape to actually fight, but I can -scorch- whatever comes through this door that isn't another shinobi, security, or a nurse, until you lot are out and away." He remains bowed back, his focus on the door.
The fire in his eye is still an obvious sign. He won't take 'no' fo an answer. "You guys already bent over backwards and then over again to get me back here. Time for me to repay the favor, in an incriment. Get him to the Lady Hokage's office. I'll be right behind you." He keeps his focus on the door, waiting.
As the door rattles again with their beating, the Tiger seal is let loose and his fingers on his left hand are brought up, forming an 'O' ring a few inches from his lips.
"Get going." That's all that is said as Hitoshi holds his poise, ready to strike.
As things start to go downhill in a hurry, the sound of the pounding starts to get worse in the hallway. Now there are three voices shouting in the hallway, two working in concert and one trying to overcome the other two. Suddenly there's a loud, piercing whistle that hurts the dog's ears and makes even the human Inuzuka's cringe. This is followed by the sound of violence outside the door, strong enough to make the walls shake. It sounds like something or someone is tearing things up out there. But soon after the sound of violence begins, it ends with an authorative shout that can only be from the infamous "big head no jutsu," "Everyone will cease all activities now. No one is to move from where they are, or you will spend time in the detention center!"
Just then a shadow appears outside the window and taps on it, but doesn't open it. Whoever they are, they are wearing a jounin's vest and treading /really/ carefully. "I am Matsubishi of the Konoha security force. I do not mean anyone within this room harm. May I enter?"
Taiki stares at Atsuro for a few long moments while this is going on, looking for all the world as if he's weighing his options. Finallly the influence of both Naru and Atsuro win out, and Taiki nods. "But mark my words, sensei. It will come, and the next time I am attacked, I will put them down." His voice promises a reckoning, one that will likely be bloody, both metaphorically and literally. Then the knock on the window startles him, causing him to jump slightly. After the voice sounds out, he whispers to Naru, "Thank you Na'chan. But be ready, just in case this is a trick.
"That's very… heroic," Atsuro says, giving Hitoshi a 'what the ' look, "But don't even think about it. You aren't in any condition for fighting, even if it would solve anything." He says it in a sort of stern dad voice. "Never fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning." Thankfully, the sound of security arriving outside seems to put a stop to everything. Atsuro relaxes noticeably.
. He looks out the window to the jounin. "Just a second," he calls out to Matsubishi. He walks over to the window and takes a second to look at the guy, putting those Inuzuka heightened senses to use to look for any signs that he might be lying. Determining that nothing is amiss, he opens the window.
Stepping away from the window to allow Matsubishi in, he turns his head to look at Taiki. "If you thinks that's how a war is conducted, we really need to go over grand strategy."
There's a visible deflation of Hitoshi's gut as that chakra that had been building up for possibly the biggest fireball he's ever produced is quelled… returned to his centralized flow, his hands coming down from the seal as he looks toward the window, blinking. They instead move to grasp the sword, sliding it back into the scabbard for now… The 'what the ' look is met then with one of quiet demureness after a moment, and he shakes his head. Perhaps it's a question better asked later on.
As he watches Atsuro approach the window, he also- seems to visibly relax, especially when things are seemingly not amiss from the whole situation. He tilts his head a little bit, remaining silent for now. He eventually sinks to simply sit on his bottom, instead of remaining knelt.
Naru began to tense up slightly, there was way too many things going on around her at one time, more than enough to make her worry slightly, the tap at the window caused her a cold shiver to run down her back, but with Taiki telling her to be ready for anything, she did just that, soon enough her sharingan begins to fill her eyes, after all she didn't want anything to happen to Taiki, or for these traitors to get the jump on Hitoshi to take advantage of this chaos. She let go of Taiki and took a step back, clearing her mind and sustaining a focus, she turned her attention to the one at the window, Atsuro seemed to let him in rather simply… "Uchiha-san….Do you think you can get us out of here? Hitoshi-san as well… We also need to speak to someone about what has occured here…" Naru went on to speak, she recognized the name, though hasn't seen the face all that much… She made sure to look around the room and back at the Uchiha… taking anything in that might be weird… or out of place.
"It's not about strategy anymore sensei, it's about survival. They no longer have anything stopping them, and I'll be if I end up like my father, or worse, my mother," Taiki points out in a flat tone. He takes a sniff of the air for a moment, then scowls. "It took violence to get them to stop trying to break down the door. Do you honestly think they'll stop at a broken bone next time they corner me? I can't afford to worsen my odds by trying to capture them while they try to kill me. This. Is. War. And I will never forgive them."
When the window is opened the Uchiha slips inside and listens to what Taiki is saying, paying careful attention to the accusations he's making. The man's own sharingan blaze into life for a couple of moments as he listens. "Yes, it sounds to me like all of you need to go to the administration building," Uchiha Matsubishi responds. He then looks at Taiki and Naru, then over to Hitoshi. "Does someone want to carry the injured person? In the meantime, Uchiha'sama can you help… Inuzuka'san?"
Atsuro only frowns a little at Hitoshi. No time to talk about it now. Naru, thank goodness, seems to have settled into her role as voice of reason. That's more than he can say for Taiki. "I'm not— " he pauses, "Look, just calm down. You're not going to win by anger alone. I'm trying to help you here."
Matsubishi, luckily, seems to have a good grasp of the situation. "Yeah, that's exactly where we need to go," Atsuro replies, "We need to talk to Hokage-sama as soon as possible. It's an emergency." He glances behind him at the door out into the hallway. "As I'm sure you can tell. Anyway, we have important information for her." He glances over to Hitoshi. "Are you good to go?" he asks him, "If not, uh…" He exchanges a look with Taizen. "You can ride on Taizen. You might wanna put on some clothes or something though."
Naru wasn't at all a person to be carrying another person, she was weak, and at least some what fragile. Seeing that Atsuro had jumped on this and Matsu was supose to keep Taiki in check, she decided to let things go, though keeping her sharingan activated to keep an eye out for anything unusual. She lets out a final sigh of relief, though unaware of what was to happen next. "I'll… just keep an eye on things," Naru calls out, basically assigning herself something to do in the mean time. Naturally she would keeherself close to Taiki though. " We should leave right away…"
"I've got a change of clothes… and I can walk," Hitoshi responds softly.
Using his sword's scabbard to support himself, he begins to lift himself, pushing himself up with a little bit of effort. "I'm a little beaten around the edges, but the core's still good to go." He smiles a little, thumping at his chest slightly… before moving toward the dresser near his bed, opening it and tugging out a pair of his pants and one of his shirts… as well as his kunai holster, and equipment pouch. He then tugs the curtain around his bed to obscure the view.
It may take a minute or two, but when Hitoshi comes out from around the curtain, he dusts himself off, placing his sword's scabbard in it's place - at his back, strapped to himself. the only thing he's missing is his forehead protector… an article of equipment yet to be replaced.
"See? Good as new," he comments softly, moving to tug the bandages from around his throat. When he does, the palm-shaped scars are exposed… and right now, that's okay. He could care less.
Mitsubishi looks over toward Atsuro and shakes his head. "Hokage'sama is dealing with a very delicate political situation and cannot be desturbed at the moment for anything short of invasion. If you have anything you need to her to see, you can give it to me and you have my word it will reach her in the exact condition you gave it to me in. In the meantime, I can get you to the administrative building to get a temporary injunction against those people that he," he says, motioning toward Taiki, "appears to be concerned about." He then stops and thinks for a moment before saying, "After we get done in the administration building, is there someplace, preferrably not in the Inuzuka Compound, that he can go? His house has been… ransacked for the lack of a better word. And it is evident that he's not safe around his clan at the moment." This said, he picks up Taiki and motions for Shinobu, who is carrying the old wounded dog, to follow as they leave the room.
"I am calm, now," Taiki says to Atsuro. "Just being on the defensive has gotten us no where but hurt. It's time to stop reacting and act."
<Konohagakure> Junko has disconnected.
Atsuro isn't entirely sure that he should part with the package, but there don't seem to be any other options. And he seems to be honest enough. "There's just one thing," he says. He takes out of the scroll a letter. Then he hands the rest of the package over to Matsubishi. "This is for you," he says, holding the letter out for Taiki. He focuses back on Matsubishi. "One other thing. I'd like to request ANBU protection for everyone in this room and all members of their immediate families. I don't think just an injunction is going to be enough." He glances over to Taiki. "Is there anywhere you can stay?" he asks, ignoring the argument from before.
"Are you sure..thats necessary Atsuro-san?" Naru suddenly spoke up, Anbu protection seemed liek a stretch for her, or at least she didn't like the idea of someone constantly watching over her back, a sweat drop trickles down her cheek and hearing Mitsubishi's question had prompted a quick answer from Naru. " Ta-kun can come stay at the Uchiha Compound with me if he wants…" Naru offered, she looked at him briefly, but there was a sense of seriousness in her eyes. "It actually might be the ideal place for him to keep him protected…" she states, after all Uchiha clan aside from their battle ability was known for being extremely secure, eyes everywhere at any time of the night, of course there were other options on the table…
"My family's flat is in the middle of town," Hitoshi remarks, "easy to set up monitoring. And plenty of room," he remarks lightly, "for all of us to stay, if we have to. My… mother may welcome the addition," he notes lightly, shrugging a little. "It may not be as secure as the compound… but it'll also be a little more homely," he notes softly. "You've both been there before," he notes, looking toward Atsuro and Taiki for a moment.
He shrugs, though. "I'll leave it to you guys, though." In the meantime… he finds himself leaning against the wall a little, supporting himself.
"Nothing doing on those ANBU," Taiki says almost instantly to Atsuro's request, even while taking the letter. "I'll agree to staying elsewhere more secure during the evening, but I don't want to have…" He stops as Shinobu growls up at him. "It's a waste of manpower, Shinobu. They're coming after me anyway. I don't want… I don't want strangers hurt because they stood between me and my earnestwhile… family." The word 'family' is used in extreme sarcasm, as if the very thought of these people being family to him is anathema. Shinobu barks, the growls, the barks a couple of more times, and surprisingly Taiki folds. "Okay, okay, I'll take the ANBU guard," he says, resigning himself to fate. He then looks to Hitoshi and says, "Before I accapt your invitation Hitoshi'san, I need to know your family knows exactly what is going on and the danger they'll be in. My uncles weren't trying to beat down the doors to give me hugs, after all. And you know as well as I do that will probably take all night for you to explain. So here's what I'll do. I'll take Naru'chan's offer of shelter for a couple of days while you talk to your family and come to a decision. If they agree, I'll move there. But your family will have to take ANBU protection too. Will that do for now Sensei?"
Matsubishi remained silent for this interplay. He was seeming to judge each person based on their reactions, then nodded. "If that's they way you want it Naru'sama, and he agrees, that's the way it will be." He then takes the folder and says, "The Hokage may want to talk to you later regarding this," he says as he slips the scroll into his carrier pouch. "In the meantime the same question should be asked about you, chuunin-san. I doubt if your place is very safe either, especially if it is in your clan compound."
Atsuro gives Taiki an exasperated look. "You have got to be kidding me. I'm not just asking for guards for just you, in any case, so it's not your decision. Anyone you stay with — anyone you associate with, including me — is going to be put in danger. Everyone — EVERYONE — in this room, plus their immediate families. We're idiots for not having taken that precaution already." Yeah, he's getting a little at Taiki.
He turns back to Matsubishi. "That's why I wanted the guard," he says, "I also want a guard for my mom; she's in the compound too. Obviously you know about this sort of thing, so I'll go with any recommenations you can offer. Basically, there are certain people within the clan who aren't above abduction or murder. All I want is to make sure they don't have those options."
Naru basically just let things run their course, Taiki also didn't seem to be too happy about the Anbu but eventually someone did talk him into it. "Sounds like a good plan thus far…" Naru answered in, though it was quite obvious Atsuro was getting quite passionate about this, perhaps the first time she had ever seen such a show in emotion. "We can stay in the Uchiha Compound until we get some information on what we should do next…. But really we should probably get a move on…" Naru insisted, after all she was pretty sure Taiki needed some time to cope… His mother was dead, and she had a feeling Taiki truly didn't realize what that meant yet…
"My father is a non-issue," Hitoshi remarks softly. His voice is a little… terse as he says that. "And it's not like I never talked to my mother about my friends and their problems… She knows what I know up to this point, so I'll bring her up to speed. I'm sure she'll be glad to invite you lot in, though, when it's time for you to move."
There was more to this… perhaps something he hadn't talked to Atsuro and Taiki about yet. He remains leaning against the wall, taking a breath. "She's gonna be surprised. My discharge wasn't for another day or two," he chuckles a little. "But I think she'll be glad for me to finally be coming home. I think the visits here've been taxing her some." He just shakes his head at that, and takes a breath. He then looks around.
"I'll head home, and get this all sorted out. And… take care of some other business," he comments softly. "Senpai? You can come with me if you'd like," he remarks softly, looking toward Atsuro and tilting his head lightly. "Matsubishi-sama, Naru-kun and Taiki-kun can head to the compound… And get settled in there. We can join them later." This kills two birds with one stone. Atsuro and Taiki can have a little breathing room to stop locking horns - or teeth, as it were - and Atsuro can cool it a little.
Perhaps Hitoshi's getting better at reading Atsuro's level of annoyance. Yes.
Yeah… space would be a really good idea, as Taiki has just about had enough. "Atsuro'sensei," he says formally, his eyes looking back at the man, though the voice changes to one of a more heated anger shortly thereafter.. "It's not as if I'm going to run off and slaughter half the compound while they sleep tonight. First off, if anything happens, I'm a prime suspect as of the moment Mitsubishi'san stepped in. Second, that would really be idiotic of me. So give me a break. My last constant protections, other than my partner and prospective partner, has just been removed from consideration. And we just saw first hand how bold they're becoming. Trust me, if there's anyone among us who realizes just how much danger I'm in, it's me. Why the do you think I just demanded Hitoshi'san's family take ANBU protection to begin with as a condition of me moving in? Stop trying to get me to "remain calm." I may be trying to keep my temper even, but there is no way in I'm /not/ going to want justice… or revenge. Stop asking for you're not going to get." Yeah, Taiki's feeling too far pressed too. Finally he looks back to Hitoshi, then back to Atsuro and adds, "Go with him and calm down yourself. Because right now we're going to end up in a fight soon, and I'll wind up in the same condition as Hitoshi'san, and that will just make me /more/ of a target."
He then sighs and shakes his head, actually blushing a bit. "I'm sorry Na'chan, that you have to see me as out of control as I am now. I normally try to remain in control of myself around you… just it's a bit hard at the moment. But… I'm going to need your shoulder tonight," the last sounds strained as he's holding back a sob by mere willpower. "Please?"
Matsubishi in the meantime decides to put himself between Atsuro and Taiki. "Both of you are reacting, and not well. I think splitting you up for the moment would be a very good idea. Don't worry, Inuzuka'san," he says, looking at Atsuro. "I'll get guards posted on each family and specific target ASAP. You focus on your… cousin… and your team. But if I may? I'd stay with your student tonight if you can, stay away from the compound."
Atsuro closes his eyes. Focus. "That's not what I'm saying," he says simply, "I'll try to explain later." He turns back to Matsubishi, somewhat impressed with himself. Not too long ago, he might have just turned this into a screaming match.
"That'll be fine," he says, "If Hitoshi's family doesn't mind me staying with them. Otherwise I can just get a hotel room or something." He glances off to the side. "Really hope my apartment doesn't get ransacked," he mutters. "Anyway. Inuzuka Kaori needs a guard on her. That's it for my family. Can I be notified when I'm being escorted so I know when to go back to my place and pack? I've only got one set of clothes with me."
"You know my mom, Senpai. She loves you guys."
Hitoshi then smiles a little bit, nodding and gesturing lightly. "Shall we go, then?" He looks toward the others, taking a breath. "We'll try to catch up with you guys as soon as possible," he comments gently… steadily bringing himself upright again, he stretches his arms.
Taiki seems to accept that for now. Once the group gets to the Administration Offices, the paperwork has is checked and then processed. He is informed by the clerk a decision on the full wishes of Inuzuka Kenshin will be made once Inuzuka Kenichi can be found, interrogated, and consulted, in that order. The name should ring an instant bell for Atsuro, and be somewhat familiar to Hitoshi, as a lay name for the Founder's Clan Heir, and Kenshin's /older/ brother. After a quick explanation in hushed tones to Atsuro, the group is released to go their separate ways. Each person would find ANBU guards posted within 12 hours, and the families within two hours after that. It is quite evident the information passed to Uchiha Matsubishi is being taken seriously. Once dismissed, Taiki and Naru follow Matsubishi back to the clan complex, where they are left in Naru's parents' care.