Date: April 18, 2012
Kagami employs innocence to get information from Hitoshi! …But how much of it is a trick and how much isn't becomes blurry at the end…
"Shattered Memories - Innocence, or a trick?"
Abandoned Mansion: Holding Room
A room with very sparse decoration. Walls made of reinforced concrete and wood floors with similar concrete below. This room was obviously made to hold someone, or something. The decorations are largely lacking, the walls a plain grey with an utter lack of any sort of windows or wallpaper. The only breaks in the room are two large metal doors, which lead out into a hallway and ninja-proofed restroom. The wooden floors are scuffled here and there, with various cuts and marks in it like people have tried to escape it in the past, and in the center of the room is what looks like a hastily boarded over attempt to dig out of the room.
Slightly out of place in the bedroom is an actually relatively nice bed, adorned with flower-print sheets and a comfortable-looking quilt. The bed's frame is made of a reddish wood that has been polished to a shine, and the pillows are fluffy and probably feather pillows. On one side of the bedroom there is a single heavy dresser, with a handful of yukatas stuffed in haphazardly.
It's been a day or two since Kagami last visited. Luckily, she left some fruit of some sort for Hitoshi to eat while she was gone. It wasn't much, but it was something for him to eat so that he wouldn't starve to death. Most of his meals have been sparse. Breakfasts tend to be filling and brought in extremely early in the morning, and dinner has been later at night and a lot lighter. After each meal she's made sure to take the food out again, and the occasional light torture has been used here and there.
But mostly she's just let him sit alone with his thoughts in that empty room, and very little that he could use as a weapon. The likely-familiar sound of the bar being lifted, and then the click of the door being unlocked is heard, and soon the door opens. "Hello, Hito-nii-kun~." Says a much… more cheerful tone than the usual tone of Kagami. And when she steps in, her short hair has been pulled into a pair of pigtails, and she's wearing a lot more pink than normal. Along with that, her eyes have more … depth to them than before, rather than the emptiness they usually hold. And there's a bright smile on her face.
More importantly, she's brought a somewhat substantial meal for dinner. Some fresh fish (possibly fished herself?), with some rice and vegetables. The fish has been cooked with various spices, and actually smells decent. For all that she's done, the meals she's brought have not been bad-tasting. If a bit bland here and there when she feeds him porridge. And even that usually has some minor fruit, cinnamon, and sweeteners available, usually.
There wasn't a window. Was it day or night? Hitoshi didn't know. He had been unable to to keep up with what day it was since waking up. Of course, it probably didn't matter at this point… Kagami seemed to be more and more intent on keeping him here as the time passed. All he had was the clothes on his back. And even then… he wasn't sure who they belonged to. The yukata he was wearing wasn't his. And without his forehead protector, his hair had been left to hang down, shadowing his eyes as he sat on the bed, knees drawn up to his chest. The clicking, which had at first given him a cause to stir had no longer really drawn his attention. The torture had taken it's toll… he was weak. Tired. Hurting.
When the apparently improved Kagami had decided to make an appearance, he didn't look up immediately. Instead, he had hesitated… but when he does look up, he reaches up and pushes his hair out of his eyes so he can see properly… and he squints a little bit. A new tactic, maybe? He says nothing, and he just watches her.
He remains drawn up, and he makes a small noise. Yes, he's acknowledging her presence. The smell of… -food,- though, actually hits his nose then… and he looks up again, blinking. Real food? He looks to her again, before looking to the food she was carrying. Nn. As if trying to betray him, his own stomach growls…
Kagami walks towards Hitoshi, holding a tray with the food on it. A sense of carefulness is still there in the preparation. The knife and fork are both plastic, things that while they could hurt, would not be the most dangerous thing in the world. There's also chopsticks for if Hitoshi thinks he's strong enough to eat with them, but they set at the side, as she sets the tray down in front of him. "I'm sorry I was gone for so long, Hito-nii-kun. I left enough food and water for you, right?" She asks softly, before turning towards the door and leaving briefly. She pulls in another relatively large water bottle. Large enough to keep him hydrated for the day, more or less.
Luckily for Hitoshi, there was one door that remained unlocked at all times. And that was the bathroom. But even the bathroom didn't provide much relief, as the light in it was minimal. Enough to see by, especially for Hitoshi who had likely adjusted to it by now. She smiles towards Hitoshi and moves over to him again. "I figured you could use some better food since I was gone for so long~." She says cheerfully, moving to sit on the chair next to his bed. She's intent on watching him eating.
"Hito-nii-kun, what are mom and dad like? I can barely remember them… all I remember is what happened right after our parents got attacked by the Touketsu." She murmurs, rubbing at her eyes a little with a faint yawn. Maybe she was tired? Hm. It's hard to tell if she really was or not. The travel between Kirigakure and here late at night usually was more than a little tiring.
When the tray with the food is set in front of him, Hitoshi looks to it quietly and then toward her. His stomach growls again. He can't simply fight the impulse… he had eaten, but the fruits and the like weren't that sustaining. It was only so much, after all. As she sits there to watch him, he doesn't make eye contact. His own eyes were slightly dulled… she'd notice that dulling over the last few days. It was probably a result of his lack of sleep. His lack of serious nutrition. Maybe the lack of contact with people he wanted to see. In any case, he was just… kind of there. And the impulse to eat was too strong to resist.
Fingers immediately go for the chopsticks. He may be weak… but he is able to use them well enough to begin eating, and slowly, he begins to dig into the tray of food in front of him.
Then… the questions start. This was where things will probably get -bad.- As he eats, he considers her first question about their mother and father, and he looks up toward her, tilting his head a little bit… the dullness fades slightly.
"Having them home is kind of a luxury sometimes," he whispers gently. "They stay gone a lot. They're always doing some kind of business out of the village," he whispers gently. Why was he being so free with the information now? Perhaps he knew if he didn't say -anything,- he knew he'd be punished for it. Pain, or some other means…
"They're still loving and kind. I… take care of our home when they're gone, though. That's pretty often…"
Kagami smiles a little when he starts to eat. She'd noticed he was getting a little weaker than she'd liked. And for now, she genuinely cared about his health. The slightly lessened dulling of his eyes is good as well. She folds her hands politely on her lap, watching him quietly as he ate at first. She nods slightly. "Yeah… that sounds about right for merchants. Though it seems kind of cruel to leave their son alone at home. I remember, you're a year younger than me…" She shakes her head slightly. "But you're a ninja now, so I suppose you can take care of yourself."
You know. When not being kept alone in a room by a stronger ninja, kept just strong enough to not be /too/ weak. At least, food-wise. She can't help the fact that he's not sleeping. She doesn't have jutsu for that. "Loving and kind… is that what they were like? Did they make you train much? Did you go to the academy, or just take the exit tests to be a genin?" She asks, her tone curious. No malice in her voice.
"Do you know where mom and dad are now?"
The last question was asked after the first ones, attempting to trick Hitoshi into answering it by just slipping it in without pause. She didn't necessarily expect him to fall for it, but who knows. The question is, what *would* she do after finding them if he /did/ give her where they are…
"They volunteered me to the Academy after we settled in Konoha."
Hitoshi quietly continues to eat, not looking toward her. "I didn't want to at first. I was afraid that I wouldn't be good enough. My mind, though, was strong enough to let me make it through without having to focus too heavily on my physical deficits." A bite here, and a sip of water there… he was thinking about that. About her questions.
"When it came down to it, I remembered you," he remarks softly.. "I… wanted to get through the Academy for you." A bite, and he quietly continues to eat. "… I wanted to come find you. Mama and papa wanted me to try and find you one day." He pauses, then, looking up from his food and trying to meet her eyes.
"… By my third year in the Academy, though… It occured to me that… by then… you were…"
Choke. He looks back down, and fights that emotion to keep it from showing too much. "I didn't want to stop. But… in the end… I didn't do what I sat out to do." He continues to eat then, and he just shakes his head… and he frowns a little when she asks about where they are.
"I don't know. Probably home by now," he remarks softly…
Lies. They had to be lies. Her birth parents couldn't still care about her. It'd been years. Kagami's eyes lose some of that almost-joy that they'd had when she came in. "You went through all of that for a sister that probably was dead by then?" She asks softly, looking at Hitoshi carefully, thinking about that last little bit of information. Home. Home. She thinks on that, before nodding. "Maybe I should start helping you get strong again." She smiles and reaches a hand out to rest it on her cheek, a seemingly-genuine smile spreading on her face.
"Then we can both go home and see mom and dad… you want that, right?" She asks softly, pulling her hand away so that Hitoshi can keep eating. "Unless you don't want to, of course. I can kind of understand that if you don't… I've been kind of mean to you.." She looks down a bit, her hands gripping at her knees firmly. "It… it hurt… so much… all of those years… the training… the disdain… I couldn't… I couldn't do anything right to the people who used to live here…" She sniffles a little, small tears actually falling onto her hands. "I tried to run away… I tried to get back home…"
"I got beaten for it. I kept a journal, too. Trying to remember you, and mom, and dad… they found it… they found it and burned it afterwards. It got harder and harder… eventually I became a genin but all I could do is loathe my partners… it took me three years to become a chuunin… and when… when I finally got it… I didn't even get a 'good job'… they just… said 'oh? It took you so long…"
"And that's why I killed them…"
"… I would want to bring you home," Hitoshi remarks softly. "And… start over. I know that this should've never happened," he remarks softly. "We shouldn't be like -this,-" he whispers. He begins to shake a little… the chopsticks becoming uneven in his fingers as he fights that emotional outcry. Like it or not, she had broken Hitoshi over the last few days, and he was getting a little bit more raw as time went on. The actual answers he had started giving seemed more and more genuine… but at the same time, how could she be right? Could he just be lying to, like she had been doing to him… play with her heartstrings?
"I wouldn't care whether you wanted to make me stronger or not," he whispers softly, "I'd just be happy to have my family whole again…"
Tears. He hadn't been able to fake those. he hadn't even cried or had tearful moments during the torture. He chokes, then… and pushes the tray away, reaching up and rubbing his eyes. "I'm sorry," he whispers softly… "I'm sorry they left you…"
He looks toward her, still trying to keep his emotions in check… but failing… at least until the mention of having killed her… 'adopted family' comes to light. And then, his eyes widen…
"You… -killed- them?…"
"I wonder…" Kagami murmurs, "I wonder if you're saying that, or if it's just those things I did saying that…" Kagami looks towards Hitoshi silently for a long time, listening to him. "…I didn't do it to make you stronger. I did it out of … out of malice. I… I'm so jealous of you… so jealous… but it wasn't your fault… I … I can forgive you. You were too young for that." She nods to herself slightly. Before looking towards Hitoshi.
"Well, I didn't… kill most of them directly. They were Jounin. I was barely a Chuunin. They would have killed me. They… just… ended up dead. But it was probably my wishes that did it. I wanted them dead… I wanted them dead so badly after all of the beatings and the absolute contempt for me that only got worse after Chiyo was born." She looks down towards the ground. "I can still remember the feeling of her blood on my hands after I stabbed her in the back. Clean. Quick… one slice to paralyze her and then I left."
"…They got what they deserved. They treated me so badly…" She nods slightly to herself, before looking up towards Hitoshi. "I think I almost died so many times… you understand… right..?"
In a way, Hitoshi understood. She had finally hit her breaking point. He had been there. He had been there during the Chuunin Exam, when he had squared off against all the adversity in the caves. He had almost hit the breaking point when faced with the idea that he was so low. He had overcome it, though. He had faced that particular internal demon and made it work for him… and it helped him thrive.
He says nothing, though… he just kind of stares at her. There's pity, sadness in his eyes as he does…
"This never should've happened."
He gulps, then… and his eyes dry, and he breathes in slowly, sighing some and looking down. "It's too late to change this," he remarks quietly. "I know that. I just…"
He sighs again, keeping his eyes averted. He just… doesn't know what to say now.
"Nee-chan…" It sounds so weak.
"…I understand." Is Kagami's simple respond, that brief brightness that she'd had completely gone by now, as she reaches up to pull out the hairties she was using, discarding them on the ground. She stands up and looks towards Hitoshi. "…It happened. Your sister has been living a nightmare." She turns away from him and begins to walk out of the room, not bothering to collect the tray, knife, and fork. That was his food, and he hadn't finished it.
"I did horrible things. … I'll leave you alone for now." She pauses, grabbing a small package from just outside the door, which she slides just inside of it. And then the door creaks shut. The package was fairly obvious what it was from the shape and size. There really wasn't any question. It was several books. Something for Hitoshi to use to spend the time.
~The shared living nightmare.~