Date: April 25, 2012
Another encounter with Kagami and HItoshi in the abandoned house. Tension mounts… and for a moment, Hitoshi considers an escape route. Due to his weakness (or his humanity), he was unable to do so. Could his captor also be showing some of her own humanity?
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
"Shattered Memories - Rising Shadow, Falling Star"
The abandoned house outside of Kirigakure that Hitoshi is being held in; the same, dank-ish room.
The familiar sound of the door being unlocked is heard, followed by the door opening. Right now, Hitoshi had been given semi-regular meals. He might actually be regaining some small amount of strength, at least enough to walk around without stumbling at all or anything of the sort. Mind you, she had been feeding him sparsely enough that he might look just a bit extra-thin in the bad way. But he's still alive, and that's what matters. Luckily, he's been fed slightly more filling meals lately, too. So some of his meat would probably be coming back! Especially if he'd been doing any sorts of attempts at training.
Long days and long nights, books and writing. There's still not much for Hitoshi to do, especially since those books he was given have probably already been finished at least once since they were given to him. Torture has been less frequent recently, either because Kagami felt it was dangerous for her to continue, or maybe because of the last time she had a meaningful talk with him. Each time he came in, she seemed to retain that completely empty gaze and smile whenever she did anything. Though she laughed, talked in 'cheerful' tones, and similar. It was hollow. The feelings were there, but they were… empty, for lack of a better description.
CRACKLE. "Hito-chan. It's time to wake up." Murmurs Kagami, as she walks towards the bed carrying a tray. On the tray, there is a real knife for once, oddly enough. Though the food is just some sort of thin soup with a small amount of vegetables and meat in it. "I figured you might want to trim your hair or something." She murmurs, motioning at the knife. Either she was confident he wouldn't attack her, or confident she could defeat him with how weak she's kept him. Either way, there is a knife. On the food tray. Along with the spoon and a cup of some sort of juice.
Hitoshi was unsure of how long he had actually been kept here now. Had a week passed? Two weeks? He wasn't entirely sure. All he knew was that he was tired, even when he slept. Constantly tired. In pain. This was Hell… it was tiresome. It was… potentially… his new life.
Until his kid-sister grew weary of taking care of him, or decides to stop feeding him. Then he'll die, like a neglected pet. In a way, that's kind of what he's become at this point. Possibly presumed dead, no one would look for him. He would be stuck here until the inevitable happenens… which, depending on his actions, may or may not be too soon from now.
His first priority of escape had proven futile. He couldn't break in the walls of the room… they were, as he had found out one night while experimenting on it, reinforced with hardened concrete. His bandaged right hand was proof of that. There was no way to tunnel out, either… the foundation of the house was sturdy. It was well-built. No windows, and the option of trying to strong arm his way out when she came in was an option… but a potentially futile and deadly one.
When she enters today, he looks up from his position on the bed, his knees still tucked up to his chest as he watches her with quietly slanted eyes. He had on a fresh set of clothes - another yukata, of course, provided by her. His hair has grown to be a little longer than he'd like… so when she mentions the knife, his eyes go to it.
… Is she trying to bait me?…
The soup is also given consideration, and quietly, he just reaches out for the bowl first. The knife is given no second thought for now. He lifts the bowl to his lips, slowly sipping… When he lowers the bowl for a moment, he sighs. "Miso soup," he remarks softly, "with a little bit of red pepper. You remembered mama's recipe," he remarks softly. "You always did like… to help her."
The aforementioned books from earlier are scattered about. Some are opened, with pages folded back… one in particular, a book with no discernable cover, is closed and kept there on the bed in front of him. There's also a quill resting on top of it. The journal she left him… That's got to be it.
«OOC» Kagami says, "I think right now it's 3 weeks. Saturday makes it a month."
Nope, there wasn't any real attempt to bait. Or maybe there was. It's honestly hard to tell, she doesn't seem worried either way, as she walks around the room beginning to carefully gather the books and pile them together neatly, making sure that his places aren't lost in them. Really, she's been oddly considerate despite keeping him in a hellish torture and starvation circle. She walks back over to the bed, leaving the journal alone for now.
She watches Hitoshi as he sips at the soup, smiling slightly as he comments. Empty. Completely empty. Her eyes still seeming to have that empty look to them as well, very little actual life visible in them. It's strange, it's almost inhuman. "I did. It was fun, cooking with her. Until she abandoned me. Then I couldn't cook anymore." Her parents fed her the medicine and herbs that are used in the cultivation of all Touketsu ninja, mixing it into her food. "It's nice not having the flavor of that stuff in my food anymore now."
Her eyes stray towards the Journal, probably ever-so-slightly curious about it. But that was private. She won't do as her 'parents' did to her, violating her journal and then destroying it. What a waste of a journal. She can hardly remember what she wrote in it now, as she looks back towards Hitoshi. "…Do you not want to cut your hair then?" She asks, motioning at the knife.
The bowl of soup is pretty well dispatched of quickly, and Hitoshi places the bowl back down with a light -clink' on the tray. His hand, for a moment, hovers over the knife as she gestures to it. It tenses, as if the fingers want to move and pick it up. Beads of sweat begin to appear on the boy's forehead… an odd reaction indeed. He slowly breathes in, and says nothing at first… but then his hand fails, withdrawing and resting on his knee.
"If I picked it up, my first impulse would be to try and pin you." His voice, at that moment, is frank, tense. But then, he speaks again, and his voice drops off slightly. "… I can't make myself pick it up for anything, though," he finishes, gulping slightly.
"… I can't fight the fact you're my blood."
He then looks over toward her, his eyes quietly taking her in and just… examining her. "Despite -everything- you've done to me. Everything you want to do… and everything you've done to other people you've told me about… I can't fight the fact you're still… my sister. I'm too weak," he finishes, averting his eyes, closing them, and pulling his knees back up. "Any other shinobi would've tried to kill you and escape by now…"
"And here I am… crying because you're my sister, knowing I can't."
"Ara ara. Is that what you're thinking all the time?" Kagami murmurs, watching Hitoshi's hand hover over the knife. "I did wonder what you do, and what you think about when I'm not here… surely you don't just sit there." When Hitoshi's hand pulls away from the knife, she reaches to pick it up, running her tongue along the flat of the blade slightly with a slightly audible slurp-ish sound. "It would be easy, too. I'm unarmed, you'd have a weapon… I'm a girl, so physically weaker than you." Of course she is talking utter baloney, considering she's a Chuunin and that comes with certain requirements.
"I am your sister. Or was. I'm not sure anymore. Physically I still am, I guess. But now I'm a Touketsu." Kagami murmurs to herself, watching Hitoshi silently afterwards. Before she tosses the knife up into the air, watching it spin in the air for a few moments. In a swift movement, she snatches the blade out of the air, holding it by the hilt again. "Hm. Unless you think of pinning me for another reason." She murmurs, her tone joking, as her other hand reaches to slightly pull her own kimono aside to show a slight bit of her flesh for a moment. But she moves it back into place again almost immediately.
"But I know you're not like that, from what you told me. You're my strong little brother who wants to save me… from what? My parents are dead now. Kirigakure doesn't really threaten me." Those empty eyes stare intently at Hitoshi. Silently focusing on him. "Or maybe… you mean to save me from myself." She runs the blade along the center of her own finger, drips of the blood falling to the ground as she does so. "Your sister… so broken… so sad… a danger to herself…" She runs her tongue along the blade again, cleaning it of the blood, before slipping her finger into her mouth and suckling on it lightly. Her uncut hand flicks idly, the knife burying itself in the lone dresser in the room.
"Which is it, Hito-chan?"
The -THUD- of the metal on wood after the little display is enough to cause Hitoshi to tense. The blood had, unconsciously, made him flich slightly… and the subtle innuendo was not lost on the boy. That was simply -wrong.- He just watches her for a moment, unable to really… respond to that. At least, not immediately. He seems to sink into a thought process, though… and he finally opens his eyes to look toward her slowly.
"Is this truly what you want?" he asks her slowly. "To torment me? To pry me until I break?… Until I give you our parents?" He gulps, then, carrying on after breathing… He's holding back himself from getting anger into his voice. He wants to remain calm… soft. Or try to.
"… This isn't you, Kazue."
No formality. No special honorific. He's speaking directly to his sister, the only way he can think of how. "Inside… you know it, too." He watches her. "You never treated me like this. We played and rough-housed… but you never did anything like you've done to me… lately…"
He stops, then, breathing out. "… why can't we just go home together?… Like we used to? We'd scuffle, one of us would get a scraped knee or something… then we'd make up, tend to eachother, and walk home…"
Kagami is silent as she listens to Hitoshi, those empty eyes starting to fill in, 'life' returning to them. But not the life that he wants, probably. "YOU THINK I DON'T KNOW THAT?!" She calls out, the sudden crackle of lightning dancing around her hands as anger suddenly flashes. "Kazue DIED." The crackle of electricity intensifies at first, before dispersing, her eyes narrowing as she stares at Hitoshi. She flexes her fingers a few times. Flashes of anger like this generally resulted in pain for Hitoshi. Luckily they're few and far between.
And this time is no exception, as she reaches out very suddenly to grab for his throat, attempting to force him down on the bed. She's not squeezing hard enough to choke much. Breath can still come. With effort. Painful choking effort, but it comes. "Why can't we go home together?! What makes you believe that I could go back there?! That they wouldn't see what I grew into and kill me?! The first years of my life I kept a journal. I was so hopeful then. I used to to try to keep my hope."
She releases her grip. "I wrote in it often, when I could and I wasn't trained until I was exhausted. You know what happened to it? After I tried to run away, my parents burned it and almost killed me." And then comes the electricity, the sudden CRACKLE as the hand around his neck crackles with electricity. But afterwards she pulls her hand away. "They /burned/ my hope. If I try to run again, what makes you think that I wouldn't just be hunted down again and /killed/ this time?! You know about the bingo book, right?!" She turns around and walks towards the dresser, but doesn't reach for the knife imbedded in it. She's pacing. "I'd be stuck in that, and then what? I'd die. I'd die again."
She turns towards Hitoshi once more, her eyes emptying again. "So we can't just go home together. We're from enemy villages. We scuffle. One of us would get stabbed or something, and then what? Then I am obligated to try to kill you. As you said the first day after I brought you here, I am risking my own life just HOLDING you here." She frowns, sticking the wounded finger into her mouth and suckling the blood that had welled up from it while the adrenaline pumped through her veins. Going silent. That angry flash having burnt out, it seems.
Pain. There it was. That familiar flash.
Eyes widen, and as he's being held down by the throat so suddenly, he tries to breathe in… it's hard, though, and he struggles only a little, as weak as he's gotten with the sparse feeding. His arms flail, knocking at her own… until the crackle and spark suddenly begin.
His body is then suddenly quite tense. Then fidgety… but not of his own volition. Once the shock subsides, his body slacks, and he lays there… for a moment, it'd be hard to tell if he were breathing, or even alive.
But the next thing that comes from his husk is almost shocking:
"… Kill me and get this all over with, then. Won't that be enough?"
Silence. After the electricity fades, there was silence. Not what she was expecting, really. Kagami looks towards Hitoshi as he doesn't move, briefly wondering if she accidentally killed him. And then he speaks. She frowns slightly at that statement, and walks back over to Hitoshi. She leans in and places a soft kiss on his forehead. "Why would I do that, 'Toshi-kun?" She asks softly.
"Why would you give up? You wanted to grow strong, to be able to save me." She murmurs, straightening up and caressing his cheek. Was that a tear that just fell onto his cheek? But looking up reveals those empty eyes, that empty smile. A single streak of liquid down her cheek. "Konoha asked about you, you know. I heard about it. They'll probably come soon." She murmurs softly, walking over to the dresser. She gives the knife imbedded in it a quick tug. "I can't leave this with you for now, I guess. You might hurt yourself."
She slips the knife into her kimono, before moving to sit at the end of Hitoshi's bed. Watching him silently. Empty eyes, and an empty smile. If not for the health to her flesh, one might think she was already dead.
And maybe she is, on the inside.
"… I'm already dead," Hitoshi remarks softly, "and once I finally -do- give you the information you need… or when you finally get fed up with… trying to force it out of me…"
He breathes out. "My usefulness to you is over. Killing me may keep you from getting killed by someone above you in the end… I've accepted the fact at this point that if there hasn't been one by now… there is no rescue. There is no point in hoping for one. I'm dead, and buried, in the village's eyes."
The tear he feels hit his cheek elicits a small flinch… she was crying hollow tears, now? Slowly, he begins to sit up once she moves, and he winces as he does, sighing a little bit. He reaches for his neck… running his fingers over some fresh electrical burn marks… He looks to her as he does… and just examines her facial expression, her eyes, slowly.
"If I died, it'd keep you from getting into any further trouble. It'd keep you from getting hurt anymore than you already have. That'd be worth it to me."
"No. Hitoshi. Your usefulness to me won't be over at that point." Replies Kagami, her eyes actually averted from him right now. Looking towards the wall as if it was terribly interesting. "I could kill you. It would take only a moment, but that wouldn't do anything to make me feel better." Kagami murmurs softly, standing up again. What WOULD make her feel better? "I know … all of this wasn't your fault. You didn't really do anything to me."
Why DOES she want to hurt him? "Your friends will come though. Those ones in the picture. They'll come. And I don't think they'll stop until you're found. They'll come straight to me." She looks back towards Hitoshi. "And when they do, I will fight." Her eyes seem to flash slightly, and though her tone has that creepy edge to it, it's more hollow. Maybe she's lying? "But I'm sure they'd overcome me. Even if they're all genin, three against one is not great odds in my favor." She chuckles softly.
"It probably wouldn't keep me from getting into trouble. It's only a matter of time until what I've done gets out. Especially since you know everything. I've already done something that will probably get me into the bingo book at this point in killing my parents. Really, some point in the future… I'm going to have to try to run again." She licks her lips softly. "And when I do, I will probably die. But it's okay, because Kazue wouldn't be dying." She murmurs softly, nodding to herself as she walks towards the open the door.
CLANG. … Silence? … Where was the sound of the locks? CLICK. Oh, there it is. And the second CLANG announces the bar lock being placed into place. And that last sound… someone sliding back against the door. The sight of Kagami's kimono might be just barely visible under the small lower edge of the door. There's no real sound, but on the other side, she just might be crying.
As she leaves, Hitoshi doesn't make any sudden movement. As her back comes to him, though… he does turn, watching her walk out of the door. As she closes and locks the door, those familiar clangs and clicks don't even cause the usual flinching reaction. Instead, he just watches the door… and he sees that bit of fabric under it. He blinks… and slowly, he moves to stand. It's an effort, but he does… and he stumbles toward the door, slowly.
Once he's to it, he makes no motion to touch or even listen… he just falls and quietly sits beside it, leaning his head and shoulder against it. Silence, of course, otherwise prevails… but like her, he shares in the emotion. Even if he doesn't realize it, he's got tears running down his cheeks, as well…
"… I don't want you to die again…"
The other side of the door has … very little sound to it for the longest time, silence. The occasional sniffle. Before her soft voice murmurs, "Then get stronger, 'Toshi-kun. Get stronger so that one day you can do that thing you wished to do for so long." The soft rustle of clothing can be heard as Kagami slowly stands again, pushing off of the door. After a moment, the pictures that had been in Hitoshi's pocket are slid under the door. "You have more reasons to live than you think."
And then the soft sound of Kagami walking away can be heard. Wooden shoes making a soft clopping sound as she leaves. The likely-familiar sound of the front gate squeaking as she leaves the house can be faintly heard from the outside world. And Hitoshi was alone again.