Date: December 21, 2014
Taiki awakens to a room of worried people and offers a short explanation…
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Retaliation - Of Causes and Consequences"
Konoha Hospital recovery room
Taiki and his ninken were given the best care possible since the group's return to Konoha. A several-hour long operation stabilized him, and went a long way into healing some of the more potentially serious problems, including a shredded digestive tract, several areas where his skin no longer existed, and a rather potentially dangerous infection in his ear. After a couple of days of observation in a heavily guarded room, they finally declared Taiki fit enough to be moved. They also reduced the levels of medication they supplied in order to allow him to finally awaken, though no one knew when that would be.
In the meantime, Shinobu and Nozomi were also transported to the new room for both ease of monitoring as well as for the comfort of all three. Both ninken are all but stripped of fur, and appear just about as bad off as Taiki himself, only instead of an ear, the dogs were missing an eye. Still, at the moment all three are resting in relative comfort, though the room they occupy remains guarded, just in case.
Takeo has been with Taiki and his ninken ever since he saw Uzumaki Tenken to safety. Although he mostly whiled away the hours guarding his cousin, word is that he gave enough of his own blood to satiate the needs of three men. There was some small hope that his natural regenerative abilities might help to repair the damage done, though this seems to have not held out. Still, the Jinchuuriki tried, even after the exhaustion of transforming into his Bijuu.
Still, Takeo is here, propped against a wall with arms crossed against the breadth of his chest. He'll keep standing guard, even if he can't help Taiki and his companions to mend.
Since the Kirigakure Chuunin exams, Ryo spent most of his time away from the village. That really had not changed. However upon hearing news of Taiki's condition, Ryo figured it would be a good thing to stop by and at least check on his former team captain. Luckily for him, he's spent enough time in the hospital to know where they keep people and how to check names on the folders outside the door.
Ryo quietly opens the door, slips in and closes the door behind him. He offers a slight nod to Takeo as he spots him. There are no quick or sudden movements. He did not want to cause a fight with someone he'd not met yet.
As everyone makes themselves comfortable in the comparative silence of the room, the rhythmic sound of breathing changes a little. At first, given the three people actively sleeping, it is hard to determine who's breathing changed, but after a few moments Shinobu's body starts to twitch, as if he's experiencing a dream. Fortunately, the twitching is mild, but after a few short moments he lets out a loud "YELP" and opens his eyes to look around, though the haze of the drugs still appears to affect him. Taiki and Nozomi, on the other hand, remain solidly asleep.
Takeo's field of vision slides quickly toward the door as Ryo enters. After a moment spent examining the man, he looks back to his self-appointed charges, only to see one of the trio return to consciousness. If his blood can't be of help to them, then he at least takes some solace in the fact that the medications likely contend with the pain. He leans away from the wall and walks around so that he can address Shinobu.
"Be at ease," Takeo says to the nin-ken, lifting a clawed hand so as to touch the underside of his muzzle. He stops short, however, for fear that some wound barely mended might be opened once more. "You're in Konohagakure. All of you live, Shinobu-niisan."
Ryo's eyes travel to Taiki. He moves to the free side of the bed before turning around to the noise. He watches Takeo for a moment as he moves over to the ninken. "They look like they have seen better days." Ryo admits. He then turns his attention back to Taiki. "What did you get yourself into this time Taiki?" The bald headed Uchiha boy gives a shake of his head. "I cannot be everywhere. Even if I could…"
A faint knock comes to the door. Soren's standing in the way, walking in slowly. The young man looks like he's been worried sick. Possibly a bit sleep deprived. But he's here now. "How are they?" he askes, as he walks in the door.
Ayame trots in, in pup form just behind her partner, walking in, and taking a seat next to Soren as he stops. "Hi~" she says, slightly less cheery than her normal demeanor.
Shinobu looks around jerkily at first, but takes in Takeo's words and stares at him out of his good eye. "Free?" he asks in human tongue as he unblinkingly looks at Soren. "Difficult to see… My eye truly gone then." His gaze settles on Ryo before he says, "Good to see you…"
While Taiki still remains out of it, his breathing starts to quicken slighly, but Nozomi seems to be beating him to wakefulness as she lets out a soft growl to convey the pain she feels. "Safe?" she asks a moment later when that growl is not rewarded with pain.
"Free," Takeo says to Shinobu, "and very safe. I haven't left your sides since I saw the old Uzumaki safely back to the walls. Badly wounded, but safe, so say the med-nin." He speaks softly for once, perhaps aiming to avoid startling Shinobu. After he appears comfortable with the nin-ken's circumstances, he steps around to stand alongside Taiki's bed. He looks down upon his still sleeping cousin, perhaps most beloved among his kin but for his mate, and thinks on how he might best help him now.
An idea occurs to Takeo as he pulls his upper lip back a touch, baring enlarged canines in a faint grin. "Now, it's time for you to wake up, you lazy origin of a sensei," he says, voice low and with a light growl rolling within his throat. "If you don't, who's gonna teach me the lessons of being polite? That one /has/ to deserve some correcting, or do I need to start questioning your parentage?" He leans forward, commanding through his teeth, "Wake /up/."
Ryo offers a slight smile to Shinobu. He always found it a bit off that the ninken could speak, but then again he'd seen wierder things. Of course as Takeo begins berating Taiki, Ryo shakes his head. "Let him rest. If he gets up now, it'll be that much sooner that he is back out there getting in trouble."
Ryo then turns to Soren. He motions for him to come in. "We should not cause too much comotion. Taiki's still in bad shape. The nurses would not want us raising his blood pressure." he states with an eye towards Takeo. Ryo could see Usagi coming in and dealing with him.
Soren nodded slowly, motioning for Ayame, the fox quickly assuming her spot atop Soren's head. He then smiles, walking a bit closer. "Heh… well, getting himself into trouble, or working himself back in here." he says, scratching his cheek. His gaze falls on Shinobu first, his look drooping just a bit, as it drives to Nozomi. He shake shis head, before sighing.
Ayame baps him. "Stop it. Nothing you can do about it now."
Soren glances up at her, before sighing, and finding a place to sit, reaching up to scritch her behind the ear. "Not gonna happen little one." he says with a smile.
Perhaps someone should instruct Takeo that it's not exactly nice… or safe to growl at someone who's been through hell, like Taiki, especially when that someone last remembered being in the middle of a group that was just about to kill him. Takeo's desire is granted, but not quite in the way he would've thought, as Taiki instinctively shoots out a bandaged hand to grab Takeo by the throat and pull him forward. This motion stops before his teeth get to Takeo's throat, but Takeo should be glad that Taiki's claws have yet to fully grow back, or there would be several puncture wounds in the Tokobetsu Jounin's neck.
Taiki takes a second tentative sniff and lets go of Takeo's throat, which causes him to softly fall back onto the bed. "Not exactly the way I'd hoped to wake up…" Taiki's hoarse voice growls out. "Shinobu… Nozomi… safe?" Both dogs whimper to let Taiki know they're there, causing the clan head to breath a sigh of relief.
Takeo is most obliging in allowing Taiki to seize his throat and pull him forward. When his cousin stops just short of the bite, he once again brandishes that mild grin. "Hi," he says, keeping the opening greeting simple. "I figured one of those insults would pull you back into the land of the living. No medicine quite like rudeness." Just the same, when the Jinchuuriki lifts an arm to brush Taiki's claw down with the back of his hand, he does so gently.
"They're all safe," he assures Taiki, who he actually hadn't seen in what felt like an age. So much to say, yet such an inappropriate time to relate all of it. "Even the Uzumaki, Tenken. I carried back in my mouth. Fortunate for him; old man flavor does nothing for the appetite."
Takeo steps aside so that a view can be provided of the ninken his old sensei in matters of etiquette inquires about. "Badly wounded, just like you, but you'll recover. At least, that's what I got out of the med-nin and their babbling." He adds, "You've got about three bags of my blood running through your veins. I'd hoped maybe the old man's power would work for you, too, so I pushed them to try it. Didn't work out like I'd hoped, but hey. At least it means you owe me one, and you can hardly die with a debt over your head."
Ryo does nothing to stop Taiki from reaching out and grabbing Takeo's throat. It was an expected response. "So what exactly happened? I mean besides you almost killing one of your clan. Also, if you need a weapon, I brought a blade…" It was the least Ryo could do for an old friend. Not that he thought Taiki would used the bladed side on Takeo. He'd probably beat him with the blunt side.
Soren grinned just a bit, offering Taiki a nodd from his seat. "Well, you're certainly energetic for a nearly dead man." he says, with a hint of kidding.
Ayame grins. "Are we sure he needs to be in here? He seems to have plenty of Bite left in him." she says, immidiately grinning wide. Soren just groans.
Taiki waves off the kunai that Ryo offers, instead just groaning. "Young ones, no respect…" Of course, he's probably teasing, but its hard to tell right now. He may just be crabby. He looks over toward his partners and winces. "Bu… Noz… I'm so sorry…" he almost whines.
"NO!" both ninken snap in unison before looking at each other. Finally Shinobu, who looks marginally better than Nozomi, picks up the thread. "It was… luck… they found us. I woke up briefly… and they were boasting about unexpected gains. You did everything you could."
Taiki moans and sighs as he lays back on the pillow. "Tenken is… in many ways stronger than any of the Kages. I'm glad you brought him back here, Takeo…" He then shudders, grimacing as that shudder sends pain throughout his body. "He was putting seals up to keep our nighttime resting places hidden, and using other seals as traps. I think… it was the traps that led them to us. Somehow they overcame Nozomi, who was on guard duty, and broke through the… fu…fuinjutsu. Next thing I know, I wake up to being slapped and insulted by Fumiko-teme. She then started to ask questions about the clan… tor… tortur… torturing Tenken-sensei, Shinobu, and Nozomi when I refused to answer. Tenken-sensei escaped, which caused Fumiko-teme to start in on me…"
Takeo shakes his head once after the dogs both yelp out a denial, lightly slapping Taiki upon the nearest bicep. "Shut it. You fought the best you could. What matters is you're back, and that means there's always a second chance at revenge," he says. "As for the Uzumaki, I didn't give him a choice. He was wearing himself out going at it with that woman. If I hadn't grabbed him and taken him into my shell, he'd have kept going until the end. Tough for his years, I'll give him respect in that." A pause. "He knows a thing or two about me, too." That part's offered with somewhat meaningful emphasis to Taiki.
"Anyway. The woman escaped, but a lot of the Recluse with her didn't. I drowned them," Takeo says, loosing just a tough of anger as he rounds the bed. "A lot of us came for you. Even some woman I couldn't see. Authors me off that I my nose ever smells anymore is water."
Takeo decides to be polite, so he returns to his place propped against the wall, arms crossed. "Back to guard duty. Start healing faster; I've got helluva lot of stuff catch you up on when it comes to this cub's life. Meanwhile, you've got some other visitors." He parts a hand from his chest for long enough to hook a thumb toward Ryo and Soren.
Ryo simply listens for the most part. His ears perk up a bit at the concept of a woman Takeo could not see. He pondered if it was a former love interest of Taiki's. Likely not though. That ended a long time ago. Maybe the guy had dull senses. Who knew. "You know Taiki, there are ways to reach me if you ever need a hand. Its not like I just vanished for months on end." Ok, so that was mostly a lie, but he did check in from time to time.
Soren smiled when he heard the Ninken step up for their human. Even more when he heard Takeo speak. Ayame smirked, and layed her head down, small enough in this form to lay pretty comfortably on Soren's head. Soren grinned, looking up and offering a wave. "Glad to see you're still with us." he says with a smile, and a nod.
Ayame takes a moment, and hops down from her bed atop Soren's head, and climbs up onto Taiki's, the little fox pup nosing his hand, before grinning up at her. "Hope you get better soon, Tai-kun." she says with a huge smile. "You're gonna have to help me with some new tricks!" she says with a biiiig grin.
Taiki opens his mouth and lets out a big yawn. "All this healing is taking energy," he says somewhat sheepishly as he looks around. "Ryo, only select members of my clan and the Hokage's office knew vague details of where I was going. The plan was to visit my known spies in attempts to find out where their new hidden village is, then come back and make plans. But…" Taiki shudders for a moment as remembers what happened. "They got lucky, and we got caught. And all we found out is that the Recluse have at least one Uzumaki member, who apparently is teaching the other non-Uzumaki various Uzumaki clan techniques. If Tenken-sensei was going raging against Fumiko-teme as much as Takeo suggests… then the Uzumaki with them is a rogue, and very, very powerful."
Taiki yawns again and looks down. "That information must get to Daisuke-sama as soon as possible. It makes them even more dangerous… but I'm too tired to do a report…" He looks down at Ayame and chuckles a bit. "We'll see what I can do," he says with a tired wink before turning his attention toward Takeo. "Though it seems there's still a lot for me to do…"
"When we returned to the cave, the old man said that they'd figured out how he escaped," Takeo explains to Taiki. "I only know one seal, so I can't exactly tell you much, but he did something at the entrance and didn't like the results. That's when he said it." Scratching lightly at his jaw with a finger claw, he seems to recall, "When they were fighting, Tenken was surprised that she knew how to do something. He asked when she'd learned how. Before that, she was reaching for your heart with water around her hand, but she had to step aside. If she hadn't, my tail would've crushed her." Happily, that brings to mind, "Now, when people say I'm an agency, I'll take it as praise."
Shaking his head once after a moment, the young man slides down the wall and into a comfortable squat. "That's enough details for today. You need to rest first, worry later. I'll tell you anything else I can recall in the morning, and then you can have your fill of all I've done while we've been apart. You've missed quite a lot." Rolling his eyes, Takeo says, "Not that I can blame you. The Hokage's been here and never seemed to want my company, anyway. Says a lot about what a sensei thinks of his student." He evidently has quite a few teachers, for some reason.
"I'm standing guard, niisan. Don't get proud and bitch about it. You'll just open something they put all that work into closing," Takeo says, lifting his chin proudly. Oh, yes. He'll be here until Taiki's on his feet and defending himself again.
Ryo shakes his head. "I get the need for secrecy. However you keep returning like this which makes me think that you should open up to a few more people. As for the guard… if you ever want some peace and quiet, I'll be happy to take him out back. Guessing from the way he talks, he's got a shell and some water manipulation going on, I think it'd be a good fight." Ryo states with a grin. The bald boy then stands. "If you want him here, I'll leave without him."
Soren grinned. Atleast with Takeo on guard, there wasn't a whole lot to worry about, and with the monk also standing watch, there really wasn't too much need for Soren to be there.
Ayame just grinned, her tail starting to wag a bit, as she nosed his hand again, demanding atleast one pet before she hops down from the bed, at the same instant that Soren rises from his seat. "Just remember, you can't do what's needed, if you don't take care of yourself first. Take time. Rest." she says, before hopping up onto Soren's shoulder.
Soren grinned, and pet his partner a bit. "You've got the support of everyone, Taiki-kun. Just remember that, atleast until you get back upto speed. Ok?" he says with a nod and a smile, before heading for the door. "Get some sleep. And you two try not to argue over who will stand watch." he says, turning for a parting grin. "Ja ma~" he says with a small wave.
Taiki lets loose another yawn and chuckles. "Takeo-kohai is fine. He's a cousin of mine, and one of my current students." He then closes his eyes and says, "You're welcome to stay or go yourself, but I'm going to rest now…" With those words he drifts off to sleep again, somewhat more relaxed now that he knows everyone is safe.