Date: February 12, 2012
A spector from Kuroyosai's past life shows up to cause trouble.
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
"Shadows of the Past"
Sunadome Stands and others
Kagetsu had left Katsuya with her mother today so he could go watch the matches at the Sunadome. He promised he wouldn't be long saying he'd be back in time for dinner. Hikaru would be at the Sunadome as well though on official business rather than simple recreation. Kagetsu didn't think Kuroyosai would be into watching two shinobi basically try to kill each other so that they could attain rank. He hadn't seen his brother since this morning come to think of it. Kagetsu had another agenda for going to the dome though.
Kagetsu was easily bewitched or charmed by women. It was a curse that had gotten him into trouble and hurt many times. He became too trusting and eager to please when confronted with a fair maiden. He promised himself he would never trust another woman again. His most recent 'crush' is a woman that he met at the Tenjin estate. She said she'd be watching the matches this day. Kagetsu had hoped that he'd run into her at the Sunadome.
A solitary figure in a nomad's cloak similar to the one Kuroyosai had worn the day he'd arrived is in the stands as well. He'd heard of the exams and how people from all over came to watch. A good place to look for someone specific, he'd thought. It was the same train of thought that had gotten Kuro to Sunagakure. This man, however, looks nothing like Kuro otherwise. His hair is a sandy brown and well ignored, left to the desert sands. His eyes are black as coals and there's a scar on his cheek. He looks like a plain old thug.
As he's scanning the crowd suddenly he finds his target. Black hair, mismatched eyes. His hair was cut now, but no matter. They'd taught the kid how to blend in. Besides, there was no mistaking that face. Making his way over closer to confirm the kid's identity he sticks back a bit, watching and waiting for him to leave or do something else to separate himself from the crowd.. Should that not happen, he'd just have to make it happen his own way.
The stands were packed. Kagetsu had to squeeze his way through people to find a seat. He was looking for a seat rather close so he could get a good look at the combatants. There were plenty of guards and patrol officers on duty; this eased Kagetsu's nerves, though only a bit. There have been many records of attacks occurring during the exams. With feudal lords present it was the ideal event for enemy or weary nations. Kagetsu sighsh and decides to put his trust in the shinobi watching over this place. The match hadn't started yet. His eyes scanned around for the woman he'd hoped to see here.
He didn't spot her by the time the match started. Kagetsu shrugged no really upset by it all. He'd come for the matches initially at first anyway. He never passed up an opportunity to learn about other shinobi and that was pretty much the main reason for the exams; Testing the power of each nation's shinobi. Kagetsu's attention isn't really divided or split. He keeps his eyes on the technique he sees in the dome below.
Tam had been on the brat's trail for months now. And each time he'd arrived just a few days too late to catch him. Then the trail had indicated the general direction of Sunagakure and the exams that were going on now. Thinking that the kid would stay in place for a few days and make a thorough search for whoever it was he was looking for, Tam could catch up and deal with the little gulp. He'd been right about sticking in place at least. Now he just had to take care of him.
Hate rose in his throat like bile as he watched the boy be so casual and relaxed. That was new as well. Kuroyosai had never seemed relaxed..ever. Even when he slept the boy had been on alert for something. It had been a running joke with the other nomads. Yet here he was, just chilling out, watching the combatants. Studying perhaps. Had these few months calmed him to this extent? Maybe he was going to be harder to sneak up on than Tam had initially thought…. No matter. This was going to be done.
Taking advantage of the thick crowd he makes his way over to where Kagetsu is sitting and slips into a seat beside him, one hand hidden in his cloak. Tam leans over closer to Kage as if to see something in the ring better. And that's when Kagetsu would feel the point of a blade against his ribs. The blade itself is hidden by the cloak, in order to stab Kagetsu he would need to shove the blade through the fabric of the cloak as well as Kage's clothes. But for now the threat remains and no one else would spot it.
"Long time no see, brat. Did you think I'd let you get away with that little stunt? Eh?"
Kagetsu looks on seeing fireballs and lightning being sent back and forth. So far he wasn't impressed or entertained. It was rather shallow to say so but Kagetsu was expecting to see a bit more tact at these things. Still he doesn't stop watching thinking that there could still be the possibility of this being a warm up. There were still matches to come anyway. He doesn't notice the cloaked figure until the person is sitting right next to him. Even so the man doesn't warrant anything more than a glance from Kagetsu. His attention remains on the combatants that is until he feels something poking against his ribs.
To Kagetsu's knowledge he hadn't made any enemiesnone that were still alive at least. But he knew that just his title alone made him an enemy to others sharing the same. Being called a brat was something new for Kagetsu. His eyes slowly pan over wondering what on earth he could've done to provoke this man. The stunt too was a mystery. Kagetsu would play along if only to gain more information. "How charming of you. You'll have to be more specific though. Do you even know who I am?" Kagetsu had a dark idea as to who he's been mistaken for but It couldn't hurt to check.
No one around them seems to notice anything's going wrong between the two, so far so good. Tam had almost expected the boy to growl or try to move but he simply sits there like he's not worried. -Typical. He always was arrogant…- Tam's objective was this brat's death, but he couldn't help but to toy with his prey now that he had him so close. It had been a long journey. "I've been tracking you for months, Blacky. I've been to all those litle villages just after you. WHat the crunch were you looking for anyway? You're mommy?" This seems to be a great joke to the man as he laughs openly. "But now I get to kill you and it won't be as easy as how you killed Jikei."
His tone drops into a grudging respect. "I have to say I never thought you had it in you to actually poison his food then slit his throat. And after you'd bound his wounds and everything. Little bit of overkill don't you think, brat? Poisoning and slitting the throat of a man barely able to walk?" The blade presses through the fabric of his cloak and starts inching closer to Kagetsu's ribs. "This place seems perfect for this. No one will even care of you scream, they'll just think you're cheering for the loser shinobi down there. Did you think you might become one? Eh? Little moron… You don't have the balls for headon combat. No matter how long my brother taught you or trained you, you're worthless, as usual. You should have stuck to cooking and cleaning up after us. But you had to kill him, after all my brother did for you, you killed him and ran away like a coward. Now I'll kill you like the coward you are." That last statement is compounded by the blade's pressure increasing, cutting through the outer layer of Kagetsu's clothes.
This guy sure did like to talk. If he wanted to kill someone he should just do it and save the speech. Though Kagetsu was grateful. It did give him time to think and even more important information. Blacky? That's most certainly not him. But the nickname did fit a person who Kagetsu could be mistaken for. He continues to listen to the man's words sensing the anger and malicious intent in his tone. He also took note of the blade and how much pressure was being exerted on it. But what came as most as a shock were the man's motives.
Revenge was simple enough but hearing how the man's brother was killed bothered Kagetsu. The poison and throat slitting wasn't shocking. It's effective if nothing else, Kagetsu thought. But to do so to a crippled man who had just treated you was too cruel to forgive. Kagetsu's eyes pan over narrowing slightly. At first he thought this man was talking about Kuroyosai but he'd never do something that underhanded. Kagetsu didn't want to believe that anyway. Each word after that is like an insult to Kuroyosai and a slap to Kagetsu's face. He managed to keep it together though and tried to see if he could get any more information out of the man.
With the blade closing in on him Kagetsu knew he was out of time. Now came the matter of how to deal with this guy. He'd claimed Kuroyosai had killed his brother in cold blood rather callous to the favors he owed him. Kagetsu can understand the man's feelings and can't blame him for pursuing justice. "I see. Well sorry to say this but you've got the wrong guy. My name isn't Blacky. I don't know any Jikei and as a matter of fact I am a shinobi. You've made a grave mistake. Withdraw your weapon now and leave and I can promise your safety." Kagetsu suggests. His tone was very much so serious and Tam might not know it but he was very close to snapping. -Kuroyosai isn't a coward-
Tam watches the kid closely as he waits. The brat had never had the guts to stand up to him before so the fact that he wasn't caving was striking him as odd. Even the year since Jikei's death shouldn't have allowed the kid to change to this extent. So when Kagetsu claims he's not Kuroyosai it strikes an odd chord and he withdraws a touch on the pressure, keeping the blade where it is for now. "So he wasn't sunstruck, eh? He did really have a twin. Heh. I should kill you just so he knows what it's like. I take it you've already found each other or you'd be more suprised than you are. Perhaps I should let you go…" He's practically thinking aloud and yes, Tam loves to talk. It used to irritate the slurp out of Jikei. "What do you think, kid, Want to know a few things about your brother? The bandit?" Tam snickers to himself. He's not comfortable sitting next to a shinobi without a weapon on him, though so the blade stays poised and ready to strike, but no longer threatening to cut instantly.
Kagetsu's eyes narrow again at the word 'bandit'. He doesn't know how much longer he'd be able to tolerate the berating this man was giving his brother. Kagetsu glances around seeing what shinobi are nearby. He hadn't spotted Hikaru but there were at least 3 relatively close to his position. He glances back to Tam. The blade had come off him a bit but his guard still came up now. "Yes he does have a twin and if you want to find him before he jumps town then you'll need me alive." Kagetsu says now trying to appeal to Tam's vengeance. "Though he's my brother I won't condone what he's done. I can understand your rage. What he did to your brother was dishonorable, no?"
Kagetsu looks back to the match. "I thought I knew my brother but obviously he's changed. You need not tell me anymore. Someone like him needs to be dealt with. Since he's my brother I'll take responsibility and assist you." He looks to Tam now eyes reflecting resolve and determination. It didn't sound like Kagetsu was lying. Perhaps there was some truth to his words. Either way now the ball was put in Tam's court. "We don't have much time though. He's leaving today. After that you'll find it nearly impossible to track him in this desert."
Now that was something he hadn't expected…. And the unexpected was not to be trusted. Tam presses the blade back to where it was, eyes sharpening. "And why should I believe that you'd help me kill your own brother? Forget it brat, Shinobi are liars just like us." But he isn't going to take any chances. He sensed trouble from somewhere but he couldn't quite place it. One thing about Tam was that when he got spooked he got twitchy. "I think I'll leave him a message for now… I don't need or want your 'help'. Check out the brat's left shoulder. He wears our sign just like the rest of us do…. If you survive that is." And with that the blade flashes forward. His aim had been offset by a few degrees so that if it does hit, it will miss anything vital, though Tam doesn't notice this, his attention had been effectively divided by the sense of danger and this kid's odd actions. If the strike lands he would withdraw the blade and himself quickly, to melt into the crowd afterwards.
RP: Kagetsu makes a Spd roll and got 12.
Well now he knows how Kuroyosai got so cautious. Kagetsu had hoped the man would believe him. Seeing as that wasn't the case he'd have to find Kuroyosai soon before this guy did. Kagetsu knew that once his lie had been called he'd be attacked. He reacted preemptively keeping the blade from piercing flesh. He'd fallen back into the laps of a few spectators after evading the attack. By the time he gathered his footing Tam was gone. "Kuro." He muttered before darting out of the stands. He had to get home.
His brother's whereabouts were unknown but he'd alert Yukiko and check with her before he searched anywhere else. He considered alerting a few other shinobi of what he just heard from Tam. Lei and Kira set out to find Hikaru and planned to rendezvous once everything had been talked out. Arriving home Kagetsu doesn't bother with the steps and lands on the window ledge of their home. Climbing in he calls out for Yukiko.
Yukiko is reading a book in the livingroom when Kagetsu arrives. She listens to what Kagetsu has to say and pales slightly. "Katsuya wanted to go to the park and Kuro-kun volunteered to take her… Oh my." She agrees to go with to collect Katsuya and leave the fighting to the shinobi — and one nomad— while she keeps Katsuya at home safe. The park isn't far from thier apartment. It's a nice little place with swingsets and a slide and a merry-go-round for the kids, pretty typical for a playground.
However, when they get to the playground, they find Katsuya kneeling by the still form of Kuroyosai as if checking to see if he's alright. As they get closer, of course there's no blood and out of Katsuya's vision he has one blue eye open. Around him on the ground are toy shuriken and kunai. Then he suddenly twists his body, turning to face Katsuya with a 'RAR' and he grabs her, tickling her mercilessly until she calls out surrender. It's the first time since he's been here that he's relaxed to this extent so he doesn't catch the air of danger and tension that surround Yukiko and his twin. Yukiko meanwhile, makes short work of gathering the toys and telling Katsuya it's time to go home. She's so efficient in fact that Kuro is left ont he ground blinking in a kind of awe. He looks at Kagetsu. "Did I do something wrong? I thought it was OK to play ninja …that's what she called it."
At the park Kagetsu was relieved to see that both his brother and sister were ok. He looks to Yukiko and nods. It would be better if no one was around Kuroyosai for now. Once Yukiko has gathered all the toys and takes Katsuya Kagetsu looks to Kuroyosai. He doesn't know what to think of his brother at the moment with the words of Tam weighing on his mind. He has to check though, to confirm these atrocious allegations aimed towards his brother. "Kuro do you know anyone by the name of Jikei?"
Kagetsu watches his brother closely, not expecting him to lie but knowing that Kuro would be inclined to if he wanted to keep something hidden. His eyes do go to the left arm of his brother a few times too. Tam mentioned something about a mark. Something that they all shared. Kagetsu was going to get the truth, though he might not like it. Even if Kuroyosai did in fact kill this man he wouldn't have done it without good reason. Although killing a crippled man by use of poison that'd also treated your injuries would require one smack of a reason.
Kuro stands up, brushing the dust off his clothes with his gloved hands then looks at Kagetsu curiously at first. But the words that come from Kage's mouth hit him like a strike. Jikei… There was no way he could have known that name. What was going on? He just stares for a few seconds as if he'd been put on pause then his expression tightens. Whether he's displaying pain or irritation is hard to tell. The only way would be for one of the group to have found him. He'd thought he'd lost all pursuers long ago, what had brought this on? -This is why I tried to tell him the other day…- Memories slide through his mind and he feels his gloved hands fisting tightly. His tone is taut as well. "Where.. did you hear that name, Kagetsu?"
"His brother is looking for you. He's out for revenge." Kagetsu explained. He could tell his brother knew this person. Now all that remained was to find out if he'd actually killed him under the conditions he was alleged to have. Kagetsu trusts in Kuroyosai though. "I let Lei and Kira know about him. It's only a matter of time before someone finds him I suspect. I just wanted to make sure you were ok." He says. He can't do it. He can't ask his twin about the killing.
Kagetsu sighs and just tries to lighten up the tension in the atmosphere. He can see Kuroyosai's fists shaking. "Good thing I found you first eh? It's all under control now though. Come on follow me to the rendezvous point." In his head he assured himself of Kuroyosai's innocence and denied that his brother would be a ruthless bandit.
Kuroyosai's face pales a bit as Kagetsu tells him that Tam's looking for him. Which meant that someone had run into the jackass. By the way Kage was talking it have been him. And that takes precidence over his own fear. Concern lights his face and he moves over to Kage, eyeing him head to toe and back again for injuries. "Are you alright? Did he hurt you?"
His fussing allows him to see a hesitation in Kage like something else was under the surface. So, Tam was still a big mouth. His voice lowers and he speaks softly, though with much apprehension. "What did he say to you, Kage? What's wrong? Even if I don't want you to know whatever it is.. I won't lie to you."
Kagetsu inspects himself quickly and nods looking to Kuroyosai as if he's wondering why he'd even be concerned. When Kuroyosai spots the apprehension Kagetsu had tried to keep buried within the young chuunin knew he had to come out and ask. He groans wishing Kuroyosai had just followed him in silence. "You killed Jikei right?" he asked.
Kagetsu didn't doubt Kuroyosai for an instant but for his brother to kill a man he was expecting it to be in the act of self defense and nothing else. "What happened after we split up Kuroyosai? How did you survive and make it here today?"
Kuroyosai had been expecting that question. He didn't want to hear it but he was expecting it. Nevertheless, he looks at the ground as he gathers his courage and takes a deep breath. Letting it out slowly he looks Kagetsu in the eyes and nods."Yea, I killed the chomp." But that wasn't all that Kage wanted. He wanted to know what happened. He'd already said he didn't care that he was a killer but evidently it did matter. So he looks around, verifying that they're alone. "You keep looking at my arm. So he told you about that belch tattoo huh? I'll show you how I survived then." He yanks each glove off his hands, exposing dozens of scars on his wrists and forearms. Possibly training scars but something Kuroyosai wants to keep covered by the way he wears those gloves.
Dropping them to the ground he makes quick work of stripping off his shirt and there are more scars. His eyes are duller than usual as he turns his back to Kagetsu. There on his left shoulder blade is a black tattoo of a desert asp, a bandit gang that travels in the deep desert. There are several scars on his back as well that could not have been caused by sharp weapons, they're not clean enough. "Is this what you're looking for?" His tone is nearly numb but he continues. "He came home about a year ago wounded badly. I just finished the job. And escaped."
So far Tam had been telling the truth. Though this is the first time Kagetsu has seen Kuroyosai so reveled. He must've gone through a lot of pain to sustain each of those injuries. Kagetsu moves a bit closer to his brother getting a better look at his body. He'd scene bodies mangled tattered and shredded beyond recognition but he'd never seen so many marks upon a living soul. Of the two it was apparent to Kagetsu that his separation was clearly the easier of the two.
Kuroyosai's story didn't satisfy Kagetsu's question though. "That it? You joined the bandits then just left?" he prods now. He got the feeling Kuroyosai wasn't going to give up the entire story without some twisting of his arm. "So you're telling me you killed a defenseless man for what then?" he asked letting his brother know that he had heard the details. "Kuro." Is all he says giving his twin a chance.
Kuroyosai's muscles tense, sliding under his skin before he quickly pulls his shirt back on. He hated showing his scars. He even retrieves his gloves before he starts to think again. Pulling each glove back on he looks at his twin with those same dull eyes… until Kage refers to Jikei as defenseless… So that was what Tam was telling people? He really was a jackass. Kuro takes another breath before he turns to face his brother fully. He keeps his voice regulated but he shows no signs of lying. "I didn't join them. They like to say that because they forced that snap tatoo on me when I was 10. I never raided with them, they never trusted me that far. And Jikei was /never/ defenseless. That's why I had to knock the munch out before I killed him. I'd tried to run away before and he kept finding me. He was the best tracker they had. I told you I was a killer." He pauses a moment then looks away finally allowing himself that emotional buffer. "I'm not getting any more into the rest. I lived through it once. That's enough." He curses inside. He hadn't wanted Kagetsu to have to deal with these things. And he had a fear that e'd be told to leave if not simply thrown in prison, so now he stands there, tense and distant, waiting for Kagetsu's descision.
It seems Tam was very bad with interpretation. Kagetsu's heart lightened when he heard how Kuroyosai had killed Jikei. It was comforting to see that he wasn't the kind of person Tam insinuated he was. Though Kuroyosai's refusal to say more gets a groan from Kagetsu. "I won't force you to tell me anything thing. But I'll give you some food for thought." Kagetsu looks to his brother hoping to drive his point across. "If you had told me this sooner I wouldn't have been at blade point with that man." Kagetsu folds his arms "You're not protecting anyone by not telling them anything Kuro." Kagetsu figured by now Hikaru and the others were at the rendezvous point. He turns slightly looking in that direction before glancing back to Kuroyosai. "You can't run from this brother. You always told me running never solves the problem. It's still there chasing you along the path you've taken and it runs through everyone along that path until it gets to you." He starts moving for the point. "I'll put an end to this. Don't worry."
To have Kagetsu accept all of this so easily is a relief, true enough. He lifts his eyes, now far more normal, to Kagetsu's face and shifts his weight. Awe swelled in him as he took in his brother's berating words and his admonition that he wasn't protecting anyone by keeping his secrets. But that wasn't true. Kuro was protecting himself. However, that the dangers of his past would run through everyone in his wake left an impression and rang true in his heart. What kind of protector allowed his brother to be at blade point with someone from his own past? It was pathetic. And he'd inadvertently put Katsuya in danger just by being near her. But what good would telling the story have done? Tam wouldn't have simply walked away at the gate.
Then he hears Kage say that he'll deal with it and his eyes focus on Kage's face, so alike his own but so much calmer and centered…. In that control, Kage had surpassed Kuro by bounds. Kuro starts to protest Kage doing anything about it then stops himself and considers for a moment. "Tam wants me, right? Let me come with you. If it will help you guys can use me however you want. Bait if you like. Unless he's gotten a burp of a lot better I can beat Tam in a fight. And he's too stupid to use poison." He's offering aid while still being under the shinobi's orders, something he'd usually chafe under. It showed that he was willing to try to fit in here. At least a little.
Kagetsu wanted to keep his brother out of this. It was still apparent that Kuroyosai was making the transition into trusting others. He figured if he took care of a specter that haunts his brother's past he can somehow make up for not being there and reach out to Kuroyosai. Kagetsu knew Kuroyosai was more than capable of taking out Tam. It wasn't about merely handling a bandit. It was far deeper than Kuroyosai could understand at the moment. This was better left to the shinobi. "Go home."
Kagetsu turns around and advises Kuroyosai to go home with Yukiko and Katsuya. He meant no disrespect but they wouldn't need him for bait or anything else. A physical description was more than enough; the tattoo would make it all too easy. Kagetsu doesn't wish to leave Kuroyosai feeling inadequate though. "You've done enough. We're pretty adept at preparation. The more we know and the sooner we know the better equipped we'll be to handle it." He explains. "I'll see you back at home. I promise." He assures his brother
Kuroyosai blinks a few times when he's told to 'go home'. Two things struck him at once. The first was that he'd basically been ordered to stay out of this despite it being his problem, the second was that Kagetsu had actually included him in 'home'. That and the further explaination is enough to subjugate his desire to rip out Tam's throat with his teeth for even thinking of hurting Kagetsu… Hmm, perhaps it /was/ best if he stayed out of this one… He eye-slides for a second then nods slowly, leaving at a typical pace to head home.
When Kagetsu arrives at the rendevous he finds that the three shinobi, Lei, Kira and Hikaru are indeed all there. Hikaru looks serious and Lei and Kira have a few scratches, But everyone seems unharmed. Lei speaks up first. "I think we got him, Kage-kun, we need you to make the confirmation that we got the /right/ bandit." Hikaru focuses on Kagetsu and assures himself silently that his adopted son is fine and nods. "Once you've verified his identity we'll bring some beef pot home to Yukiko. I'm sure this has upset her."
Kagetsu nods to Lei and moves forward to inspect the bandit they've captured. Kagetsu checked his left arm for the tattoo. It was there and his identity was confirmed. "Yep. He's the one." Kagetsu smiles a bit condescendingly at the man. He cautions the man for the last time now. "If you ever go near my brother I'll see to it that you join yours." He turns back and nods to Hikaru "Thanks again. I'm heading home. Katsuya and Yukiko are safe. Hurry back….Dad." Kagetsu waves to Lei and Kira before he departs.