Date: September 16, 2010
After the events of the mercenary attack, one revolutionary returns to Sunagakure to finally resolve the conflicts of his people once and for all.
Nanpuu Street [Sunagakure]
It's one of those kinds of days. Very slow and stale; stagnant. The dust has finally settled in the village after what seemed like forever, the sun is out and naturally it's hot. There's still rubble lying out in the streets, casualties being treated and the like going on. However, the fact that the recovery effort is moving nicely along is good news. The problem is that things are starting to look a little slow. Things need to get a move on before the villagers get upset.
Already, there are whispers of what is and isn't being done. Needs are slowly changing and these needs have to be adapted to. In consideration of the situation, it is slightly difficult with a lack of resources and while is managable, will take time. All of these things are what Itami is thinking about as she observes what's going on near the gates. She's been moving more better lately thanks to the daily treatments she's been receiving. She's still carrying her staff, but doesn't necessarily have a need for it. She's grown comfortable with it and so carries it around despite the words of the medical ninja and others that have tended to her.
She's been making rounds across the village and while she still can't do certain things, she's able to do most things except heavy lifting. That has to be managed at another time, but for now, she's fine. Chakra is stable and she's doing better. If only the village could be the same way at this point. She sighs.
Suddenly, two Chuunin run towards Itami, hauling a boy with them as a captive. "Itami-sama! Look what we found here; A runaway from the village; what should we do with him?" They ask as one of the Chuunin lift up the boy's head to reveal that it's Kureno.
"We found him trying to sneak into Sunagakure." They say almost in unison; And Kureno doesn't look in great shape either. Beaten here and there. He still looks like he's ready to throw down if only his hands were free.
Itami looks at the two Chuunin that come running up to her and then the slightly battered boy held between them. She lofts a brow in curiosity, but the expression disappears quickly. Humming softly, she says, "Release him." In a very simple tone of voice. She might be thought crazy for this, heck, she had an actual record for said craziness, but there is a method for the madness. "I'll take care of him myself." She smirks, although it might be difficult to see behind her mask, it could certainly be seen in the way her cheeks raised slightly from the gesture.
Feeling as if the weight of the world pressed against his shoulders once the two chuunin released him; Gravity did it's part as he fell to his knees, looking at the floor. He still looked stunned and groggy, but in a bit he manages to look up with sheer willpower.
"I remember you…" Kureno says, hand suspiciously pressed against the floor. Itami may remember Kureno's fighting style. Whenever his hand was on the floor, bad things could happen. But still. He doesn't look even remotely capable of doing anything outrageous.
Itami hums, "Yes, I'm sure you do. You were once here in this village. I imagine it'd be very difficult to forget one such as myself." She speaks with Kureno in a conversational tone of voice. "So, why don't we get you cleaned up and settled in? You look thirsty as well as hungry. Come with me and we'll go and get you freshened up. Then we can talk a little more. How does that sound?" She sounds as if she isn't aware of her surroundings, but she isn't trying to be inflammatory either. She just wants him to come along easily, however if it comes down to something else, she can't say she'll be as laid back.
Kureno looks at Itami, trying to figure out her motives. But his shoulders hurt; He can barely keep his eyes open. And well, he did want to get into Sunagakure, and Itami is practically offering him to come along. To Kureno's dulled mind it seemed like the perfect idea. But if it were sharper, he might've refused. Violently.
So Kureno manages to stand up, and waves his hand to banish all thoughts of helping him; And then follows after Itami, not sure what to say to this.
Itami ignored the waves of Kureno's hand and continued to guide him to get him freshened up. She wouldn't accept 'no' for an answer. "I still take care of my own. Even if they decide to run away. I have no objections with welcoming you home, yet this does not mean you are in the clear yet. Because you have run away, you may have placed this village in further danger and that I cannot accept. You will be restricted in what you are able to do. There's a reason you came back and I intend to find out, but for now, I wish for you to be in good condition. So, do not refuse the hospitality. It's rude for one thing and foolish considering your condition." She says in a slightly scolding tone, but for the most part it was concern.
Hearing the words, Kureno tries to say something and it only sounds as 'Rain'. What does it have to do with raining? He protests, trying to push Itami away from himself. Oh no. It definetely looked in his eyes as if he wasn't gonna let himself be a prisoner. His mind starts clearing a bit, and he looks at his surroundings defensively.
"No." He manages to say through his teeth.
"Rain?" Itami repeats in confusion. That's why he ran away? In essence it sounds plausible, but not idealistic, so she says, "What you've said doesn't quite make sense. You'll have to be more clear. I don't think rain is enough of a reason to run away…" Her voice trails off and she stops in her tracks. There's an awkward silence that lifts into the air before she turns around to face Kureno. She reaches out and grabs at his clothes to drag him closer to her. "…You wish to die…?" She remarks slowly and questioningly. "You refuse aid…I do not understand your line of thinking. It is completely idiotic to me. Let me make this clear…" She pulls him closer. "I am in control here. Whether or not you do not want aid or not holds no water here. You will receive it and though I have taken you in, you are still the prisoner here. You will be fed, you will be washed. Is this understood?" She asks with a cold tone in her voice.
Kureno growls and tries to rip free from Itami, "If this world.. won't change.. then it needs.. to break.." Kureno manages to say weakly. "I deserve nothing less then death.. for following.. Uchiha.. Rainos." Kureno says, trying to be as defensive in his stance as possible, just in case.
Itami frowns softly. "So…you think that you…need death because you followed this Uchiha Rainos. Is this correct?" She inquires, but doesn't give long enough for a reply before her free hand whips out and lashes across his face. She didn't understand and didn't choose to. "Besides, that didn't answer my question, but I suppose I can satisfy a reply. The world changes at it's own pace, it doesn't need force to do so. People naturally change with the world over time. So to change the world is to also change the people and for it not to change is to break and yet, you break the people along with it. Tell me, how does that work? Do you think that the world is separate from everything else? From you or from I?" She asks and shakes her head.
"It's a shame what destruction ignorance can bring about. I know not who this Uchiha Rainos is, but I don't think it's enough for you to die over. I don't think I can sympathize all that well." She sighs softly. "Besides, death is a very weak move to make. It says a great deal about you, in fact." She ends on that note temporarily as she enters into the makeshift hospital and drags him through the area and into a curtained area to take a bath. "Wash up. If you don't do it, then I'll do it for you." She was serious.
Kureno blinks. Certainly Itami wouldn't dare to wash him. But what if she was? Heck, death seemed like a better fate then that. A humiliation like that could only be mended by seppuku. Then again; If he were to listen to her and submit, there's shame in that too.
So, what does he do; He waits for Itami to leave the room or at least close the curtain before he plants his hand against the wall; and it begins to slowly crystallize, and in a short time it's crystallized enough that Kureno can close his fist and watch the crystal fall apart.
Itami does close the curtain. She can respect his privacy. She doesn't leave the area, however, instead electing to stay right next to his bathing station. There might be a few times where she walked around, but never out of sight or area. "I don't hear any bathing going on in there. You might want to start washing before I go in." She calls to him over the curtain. "So, why don't you tell me about yourself, hm?" It's not as if she doesn't recognize him, but she wants to keep him occupied. Anything out of sight is a bit too easy to pass up as a means of escaping or other methods that might be in mind.
Slowly the wall unravels under Kureno's hand; and he is well aware of the lack of sound of bathing, but currently there isn't much he can do. "I am undressing. And it's hard to do that with you standing there." He says as something suddenly pops, "Woops. Belt." He tries to talk his way out of the strange noises as crystals fall into the tub. "I am a revolutionary." He says. "I am tired of war. Tired of Missetsu, my home, being on the mercy of Sunagakure. Rain promised he would change that, and I fought for him. But he failed, and I killed people for nothing." He says as there is a small hole in the wall now. Enough to look through.
Ah, this makes things much more interesting…A revolutionary, huh? "I don't care. Make it work." Itami replies to the first statement. She hears water splashing, but it sounds odd. She says nothing of it, though. "I hate people like you." She says in a blunt tone. "You're tired of war, but you're perfectly fine with killing people, something that war also does. What makes you and war so different? You've performed the same attrocities as a war without starting one. I can see why you all failed." She shakes her head, though it's unable to be seen through the curtain. "And again, it's amazing what destruction ignorance can bring. For the longest time, you were at the mercy of this Uchiha Rainos and yet you have the nerve to speak of your village being at the mercy of Sunagakure?" She chuckles softly.
"If you'd known any better, if you would have thought for yourself instead of allowing someone else to do the thinking for you, you'd see that your village, your Missetsu, has never been at the mercy of Sunagakure. They have always volunteered their services and at any time can choose to remove themselves from our presence. We haven't a problem with this. We never asked this of them."
"Sure, when Missetsu asked you for food you rejected us! What do you know of destruction that ignorance brings? You only prove that you are ignorant. But once we developed our Crystal Style /then/ you decided to offer us food." Kureno growls, "I was never at the mercy of Rainos, I was his retainer, one of the most trusted people on his side. And I am not afraid to kill people if it can bring an end to this senseless bloodshed. My actions only helped bring along a status quo faster then whatever you and Sunagakure can do with your lame spying!" Kureno almost yells and this results in too much chakra being sent into the wall; and the wall crumples loudly.
At least there was a opening now to escape. Bad news is, Itami no doubt heard the wall going down.
Itami stormed into the curtained room and saw the crumbled wall and a fully dressed Kureno trying to escape. "Senseless bloodshed?" She asks. "You don't think you caused senseless bloodshed with your actions? If you brought along a status quo you wouldn't have come here!" She shouts back at Kureno. "You came back here wanting death after failing to bring about the very thing you acted on! You killed people and it brought nothing!!!" She doesn't reply about Suna's actions yet, feeling to angered at Kureno's thinking and actions to dignify a response. "Is that what is not called senseless bloodshed!?" Of course. A revolutionary always thinks their actions are justified. She knows this, but indeed, she has the urge to kill right now, but doesn't want to act on it.
Not only this, but she had reason to be even more angry because now he was destroying things in order to escape and the village already experienced enough of it. The village was ravaged by attackers and caused enough problems as is, now she has to deal with this? This isn't going to fly with her.
Caught red handed, Kureno lifts his hands up into a guarded stance, looking around. He already feels enough clear headed to actually mount a plausible defense in response to anything. "Sure, I admit my ways of thinking are small, but I justified it with the greater picture. As to why I came here? Well simply to find a way to release Missetsu from it's oppression and not die of hunger!" He pauses, "And to be honest, I don't even like Sunagakure. For all I care, it can burn forever."
And then Kureno starts slowly retreating backwards, still facing Itami, carefully stepping to not trip over something in a moment where most his concentration is dedicated to watching Itami's movements.
"Are you blind boy?" Itami inquires. "Your people have been out in the streets of Sunagakure assisting in a recovery effort of this half destroyed village! They are well and healthy!" She shakes her head. "I didn't see not one sick clan member out there, except those that had been unfortunate enough to be wounded in the attacks on this village. Our village is working hand in hand with them! Perhaps /you/ are the one that needs to be freed from the oppression of your self delusion!" She doesn't give chase. "Your view of the greater picture is one of pure illusion. Your people are not oppressed. You are." She repeats in a different tone. "Weren't you the one that came here crying for death for following Uchiha Rainos? Why is it all of the sudden that your views have changed about him? This leaves me with the impression that you are still under his mercy. You're so confused that you don't even know what you're talking about."
"I know damn well what I am talking about!" Kureno replies angrily, and the words could've been dripping with poison. "I only said I deserve death because I was wrong! But that doesn't mean I can't make things better. If Missetsu were to leave Sunagakure, we'd have no source of food. Don't you understand that. The Seishukuni grovel at the Kage's feet because he throws left overs at them! Open your damn eyes. I am not under the mercy of Uchiha Rainos, nor am I his lapdog. He failed. He can't help me, and neither do I want to help him anymore. But that doesn't make me a friend of Sunagakure either! This place isn't my home." Kureno continues slowly retreating, and there are a few Chuunin and Genin around who cast an glance towards him, but out of earshot to hear his words.
"Times have changed since you were away, Kureno. You're still stuck in the past while your clan has moved on without you. Without your help." Itami replies back sternly. "How can you make something better when your are not within the current knowledge of your village? Of your people?" She asks and sighs softly. "My eyes are open, but you keep yours closed to the reality that surrounds you. First, you wanted to die because you were wrong and now you wish to live and make things better." She doesn't yell any longer, feeling it unnecessary since she sees what kind of a case he is. "I'm the only one that has ever seen Missetsu in Sunagakure other than your own people, invited by one of your own to see it. It is a beautiful place teeming with life. They have water, something that brings about life. They have food, in fact, one of the people sitting on the Seishukuni Relief Council is a supplier of food and various other things. They have been taking care of themselves, without groveling to us. This tells me how long you've been away."
Kureno slowly drops his guard, "R—really?" He asks. "Missetsu is.." He begins, "I never thought I'd survive my attempt, just show my people that freedom is within grasp. And yet.. they've achieved it without the need of me helping them." He steps back and lowers his head. "Missetsu.. I want to see it.."
"Itami-senpai!" Yells a nearby Jounin as he jumps from a building, cloak draped over his clothes and covering his head as his hands clap together, "Stand back!" And with those words he waves a huge fan emblazoned with the Sunagakure symbol, sending a sharp wave of wind at Kureno who only manages to erect a small crystall barrier which gets sliced in half, and the wave of wind passes through Kureno, who quickly falls to the ground in a pool of his own blood!
- NOTE: The last paragraph of this scene (the one in which Kureno is killed) has been retconned. *