Date: May 1, 2012
Hashiramako and Hitoshi’s father meet. Kokoro shows his hand, and his own true colors are displayed out of malice. He is given the opportunity to leave before the Hokage breaks his hand.
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
"Shattered Memories - The Truth"
The Hokage’s Lookout, Konohagakure
The lookout is quiet on the upper levels, save for the sounds of activity going on below in the lower levels. There appears to be a meeting going on between the Hokage and another individual. The door is closed so that no one could interefere. "I'm sure you're aware that your son has gone missing. We're doing what we can to get him back…" She started. "I have confidence in those that will be retrieving him."
On the other side of the Hokage's desk sits a middle-aged gentleman, dressed in a rather formal yukata, blue in color, with the seal of the Land of Fire embroidered on the left side of the chest, his dark - but slightly graying hair - gathered up in a ponytail. His sharp, hazel-colored eyes are focused on the Hokage, and his face is set sternly. "So, he's not dead, then. My wife, she wanted to be here, but since his… disappearance, she's fallen ill. When you initially called us to state you wanted to arrange his memorial… that did it for her. You can imagine the stress the potential death of our son has put us through, I'm sure, Hokage-sama." He smiles, then, tilting his head. "This news of the fact you have apparently located him alive will put her at a little ease… nothing will bring her around more than to see her son come home, though." Taniguchi Kokoro, a Trade Envoy to the Land of Fire's Daimyo, sits there, eyes locked on the Hokage now.
Hashiramako nodded softly. "Yes, he's not dead. I understand that your wife is not in the greatest conditions and I only wish her well through this illness she's enduring. I know we had intentions to arrange his memorial, but that has changed due to recent information received. I can only imagine, Kokoro-san," she bowed lightly at the waist in apology as well as respect. "But we have every intent of having Hitoshi-san come home and as quickly as possible." She rose from her bow and stood upright. "Do you know how he could have ended up in the Land of Water?" She inquired.
"Well, that seems pretty simple, doesn't it? He told me, and his mother, that he was assigned to a mission to assist in Toyotomi-hime's recovery," Kokoro remarks softly. His eyes narrow slightly at the Hokage's attempt to be familiar with him, but he says nothing about it directly. "Isn't that correct?"
"No, no, I understand that. What I want to know is who would keep him there? Who would want him?" Hashi began to take a seat to relax herself. Standing wasn't doing any good at this point. "It is correct," she added. "He was in a mission and was subsequently captured."
"That's what I thought."
There's a mild furrowing of the man's brow as the Hokage keeps her line of questioning up, though, and he tilts his head a little. "I wouldn't begin to know," he remarks softly. "That… is a odd question to ask a relative of a captured combatant, Hokage-sama. I couldn't begin to know Kirigakure's inner workings on how they handle their affairs."
Hashi leaned forward in her seat. "Hitoshi is being held in the Land of Water…not Kirigakure," she stated. "In fact, he's being held captive outside of Kirigakure's borders. That doesn't tell me Kirigakure is involved directly." She remarks. "So who in the Land of Water could want a boy like Hitoshi-san? Has he caused some problems? He's been a decent ninja and one that isn't involved in trouble."
"You mean to tell me, in all of your elaborate intelligence networks and the money you funnel into your ANBU, you can tell me my son is alive… but you don't even know if it's one person or an entire army holding him hostage?"
The look on the man's face becomes a bit coy, then, and he tilts his head a little bit. "Come, now, Hokage-sama. If you're so aware of my son's history as a shinobi, then shouldn't -you- know, being this village's leader, if one of your shinobi could be targeted by a larger organization that could cause trouble -for- your village?" His eyebrow quirks, then. It's a game of wit, for him… surely, though, the Hokage isn't so dim.
Hashi's eyebrows went aloft, but slowly lowered back down to a neutral smile. "I can assure you that our intelligence networks and ANBU are top notch, but we're still missing the point. I'm aware of his history and that's exactly my point. His history hasn't lead me to believe that he could be targeted by a larger organization that could cause trouble for my village…" She paused. "So what is this larger corporation that you speak of? You seem to be concerned about these larger groups and or corporation. They must be important if you feel the need to mention them."
"Never mind -that.- Why don't we stop dealing in hypotheticals and you begin to explain what exactly the poker you -do- know. We -are- still talking about my -son,- after all."
First the bridge-side, then the claws. Kokoro's apparently full of surprises! He stares at the woman, frowning a little bit now and shifting slightly in his chair… leaning to the left a little. The chair must be uncomfortable, for one reason or another.
"Alright, we'll talk about your son." Hashi started. "Your son is being held captive outside of Kirigakure by someone we don't know. We know that he hasn't caused trouble in any form to warrant being captured. To be snatched away so randomly implies that there's a motive and a connection. Why just him? Why not take away others involved in the task force?" She wondered. "A genin, of all people," she stared at Kokoro as she began to lean back in her seat. "So, as your son he has connection to you. This leads me to believe that this person is also connected to you in some way." She offers. "Is this not impossible?"
"Tch. If you say so, then."
The stare was getting to the man. How could such a young woman… -have- such power to make an older man such as himself feel so uncomfortable in his own skin? He shifts some in his chair, and just stares back at her. "You're obviously trying to go somewhere with this, Hokage-sama. Why not get to the chase, eh? Even though my son is missing, I'm still a busy man. I don't work, the finances to the village slow their flow." He cocks his head, then, and frowns a little.
"I understand you're a business man and you're not one for trivial matters, but…do you think that his sudden disappearance from the field might be…related to a sudden disappearance of another in the past?" Hashi wondered. Her expression didn't give anything for him to read other than the glint of curiosity in her eyes. "It seems unlikely anyone would want him for no reason and not try to take one of the more experienced ninja. No, this attack was personal. /Very/ personal. This connection is unmistakable I think. So, I'd like you to try and help me out with this. This is your son we're speaking of, after all."
The man's eyes narrow, and Kokoro stares at the Hokage intently, frowning a bit. However, that stare and imposing frown falters, and his eye contact breaks. His eyes drift to the left.
The Hokage's got him figured out, and he knows it. But he isn't going to openly let it be known. Not yet. Not unless she can read him well enough.
Who's he kidding? She wouldn't be the Hokage if she couldn't pick up on something so subtle. It's almost Interrogation 101, at this point: His next statement will be a lie.
"I have no idea what you're talking about, Hokage-sama. Why don't you enlighten me?"
"Your family is short one member," Hashi deadpanned. She went silent and lifted her hand to her chin in a thoughtful gesture. "Is that enlightening enough for you? Do I have to go further?" She shrugged. "That is your choice. Just know that your son could die and I may have to arrange a memorial service for him. Just because I have confidence in my shinobi's ability doesn't mean that death is not certain. You have your wife's health to consider as well. Her illness may very well grow stronger. Her boy would still be coming home. She can find solace in that, I suppose. He'll be a lifeless body maybe not even that. Maybe a lifeless piece of his body. There's no telling how he'll be found if it happens to go that far."
"… How -dare- you bring -that- up, you over-idolized wench?"
There's fire in the man's eyes now after she finishes her little speech, and he growls. "How -dare- you bring up such a -dead- past? Are you trying to make -me- sick?" He's standing, then, a fist pounding the woman's desk with a definitive CRACK. Of course, he winces from pain almost immediately afterward. He, after all, is not a shinobi… but rather, a civilian. And obviously, a civilian with a rather… sordid past.
"Are you trying to insinuate that… -she- is involved in this? Do you have -proof?!-" He leans forward, then… and is practically in the Hokage's face at this point. He is quite uppity for someone who, while having such a decent civilian position, could have his neck snapped in an instant by the woman he's facing down…
"Are you trying to blame this on my -dead daughter?-" He's in a quiet rage, now… shaking. "Answer me!"
Hashi remained cool in the face of this stuffed up, blowhard. He was filled with a great deal of hot air and it looks as if he was close to deflating now, what with the way he was releasing it all on her. "Your dead daughter? Yes, I'd say with words like that, the past is quite dead. To you, that is." She pointed out. "You never knew if she was dead or not. You assumed she was dead. She's probably the only familial connection to you in that land and now she has your son. The irony in that must be painful."
Hashi would be quite right at this point. Not just deflated - he's popped. There's a vein visible in the man's tempel, throbbing away as he stares down the Senju. Perhaps it was the fact that Hashi had trampled directly on several different nerves. In any case, Kokoro's hand lashes out. He fully intends to backhand the Hokage, by all necessary accounts.
"You are a /JOKE!/"
Hashi reached up and grabbed Kokoro's hand before it even has a chance to connect with her face. She grips it tight enough to lock him in place, but not enough to break it. "I'm not your wife, Kokoro…" She removed the honorific from his name and took a deep stab at him. "Please, contain yourself. If I'm the joke, then you must be the fool…"
The man's eyes were wide, the hazel iris shrunk slightly as he realizes he is in probably one of the worst physical positions he's ever been in… in his life. A woman could very well crush his hand at this very moment, and not even blink twice. Kokoro's true nature has shined through… and it is certainly not pretty.
"L-let… me go… you rancid… lowlife…"
The color is draining, steadily, from his face. He definitely doesn't have that calm and cool composed look anymore. He's partially frightened, partially angered still, and… there's a tyraid of emotions playing across his face as he tries to pull his hand away.
Hashi didn't let him go. Not just yet. She maintained her grasp on him. He had to realize the error of his ways. "You know that intelligence network you mentioned earlier? Well, it's been keeping an eye out. I know that you've been up to no good and now it's about time that you realize that you're not as free as you perceived yourself to be. Using shinobi without my discretion? That's a bad move, but not the worst you've done. What's more is that you thought that you didn't find out. That was the second worst." She squeezed his hand a bit tighter to put a pinch on his nerves.
"The idea that you would sell off your own daughter to save yourself? That is despicable. You are no real man, much less a professional. You're a terrible coward that hides behind your clout to make yourself look important. In my eyes, you're the lowest kind of beings and it's because of you that your son is in danger. I'm sure if you had enough of a mind to hand of your daughter, you'd care much less about your son. That is your worst mistake."
"Who are you… to lecture -me,- about how to raise… my family?"
The pulling continues. That is, until the nerves are pinched down on, at which point, Kokoro lets out a rather loud, pitiful whimper… but that doesn't stop the insults.
He is, however, running low on that hot air, and his balloon is pretty much completely deflated. He's about as harmful as a cute, newborn kitten that's not even opened its eyes yet.
"You're… gonna pay for this one day… you -trump.-"
"Because a real family man doesn't sell his daughter to save himself, much less place his son in danger." Hashi remarked simply enough. She squeezed harder just shy of breaking his hand and she rose from her seat, narrowing her eyes as a darkness seemingly passed over them from the weight of this situation. "Threatening the Hokage is a serious offense, but you won't even have to worry about that. Because you've placed the life of two people in danger, your daughter and son, you can be arrested and jailed for such an offense and have your sentence lengthened for attempting an assault against me as well as threatening me. Your possessions will either come under my ownership or be divided out to benefit the village," her tone was grave. "You should leave while I have enough mind to let you go."
She then releases his hand and allows him to go as he pleases.