Date: January 14 ,2011
Atsuro making his way through the forest, happens upon Eremi who had just recently had a run in with a few bullies. Making sure the genin was alright, Atsuro takes Eremi to the hospital while learning about the situation.
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
"Shy, Timid and Bullied"
Toshiba Forest - Training Ground
The day was barely halfway through, the morning already gone and over with leaving the afternoon to take its place. Though despite the time, the sun that would normally be seen high in the sky with light that pierced through the trees, was completely blotted out by the dark and gloomy clouds that loomed overhead. The clouds have been around for several hours now, threatening with rain and if the temperature dropped any lower, possibly snow and yet the area was still dry. Not a drop of water had fallen, allowing those that wished to train at the grounds to continue to do so.
From the looks of this place however, with the assortment of throwing weapons, downed branches and relatively destroyed grounds, the 'training' itself ended just moments ago. There didn't appear to be anyone left in sight. Meaning eventually some unfortunate soul would be forced to clean up the mess left behind from others. The oddest thing that someone must have forgotten, sprawled out amongst the destruction, was a rather large…carrying case?
It was near one of the wooden poles, covered in black and white cloth that was in tatters and coated in dirt. It seemed like nothing more then an inanimate object. That is, until it slowly moved, bringing itself up into a sitting position and slumped its shoulders. More clear what it was now, a young teen that had seen better days. He didn't bother moving anymore, just staying where he was.
Not far away, sitting on a rather comfortable branch, Atsuro wakes up. "Nnn…" He fell asleep earlier in the day when the weather didn't look so threatening. But then it got so cold that it woke him up. "Snow," he mutters to himself, looking up at the grey sky. Getting to his feet, he balances on the branch. "Taizen," he calls down into the forest below. Unlike Atsuro, Taizen has a nice coat of fur to keep him warm, even in these temperatures. The dog gets to his feet and jumps up into the trees with Atsuro, then the two are off, bounding through the forest on their way back home.
Or so they think. But that's obviously not going to happen once they come across the ruined training ground. Atsuro lands in the middle of all the carnage. "…the noodle?" he wonders aloud. He turns, looking all around at the destruction. Taizen, however, has already spotted the carrying case. Giving a couple of whines, he points it out to Atsuro, who walks over. "What do we have here…?" he asks. "Oh, peanuts." He kneels down beside the teen. "How bad are you hurt?"
It took a few moments to register, after coming back from unconsciousness, just exactly was going on. When it did finally come back to him, the reasoning for being in the position he was in. All he could do was let out a long and trembling sigh as he slowly moved his hands along his body and face to check out the damage that was done this time.
It wasn't bad, with all things considering, the extent of his wounds. There were a few cuts and scrapes all around his body, some bruises that were slowly starting to form and a cut lip that was slowly starting to swell. At least he could take comfort in the fact that no one else was around to see this and hopefully when he regained a little bit more of his strength, he could sneak off back home to recuperate.
Then he heard it, the sounds of another nearby and coming closer. Instantly he imagined it being the ones from before, come back simply to finish what they had started. It wasn't them however, it was much worse. In response Eremi turned his face away from Atsuro as the man kneeled down next to him, "No worse then normal." He managed to force out, even though he was still shaking considerably.
"Peanuts," Atsuro says again, "Well, you look pretty damn awful to me." He gently pulls Eremi up so that the boy is sitting against him. He tries to wipe some of the dirt off Eremi's face with his fingers. "I guess I don't have to ask how this happened. Dammit, this is my fault. I'm sorry, I should have done something sooner." He sighs. He'd meant to do /something/, but things kept coming up. "I think you'd better see a doctor. Can you walk?" That's far from the only question he has, but he needs to manage priorities for the moment.
Upon being grabbed, even though it was done gently, Eremi clenched his eyes shut and gritted his teeth in response. All his muscles ached in agony and felt as if they were tenderized. Making it nearly impossible for him to even fight back against Atsuro so easily handling him. When he opened his eyes, there were tears starting to form. Not from the pain, but from the confusion and the other overwhelming emotions he was feeling from Atsuro trying to take fault for what had happened to him. He tried his best to keep his face lowered, to not let it be seen, but his sniffling as if his nose was running was normally a telltale sign of what he was going through. "Nothing is broken, the doctors will just say bed rest." He shifted a bit against Atsuro, making sure his legs were in fact, not broken. "I can, yes." Slowly he moved his arms to help with supporting himself as he moved to his feet. "And it's not your fault. It's no ones, but my own."
"It's a lot of people's fault," says Atsuro, getting to his feet. "And I say it's better that you see a doctor and turn out to be fine. Come on, we'll find a stream and get you cleaned up a little, then I'll take you to see a doctor." He says it in the usual Atsuroic, weary, 'why can't people just agree with me' way, but more firm. He'll probably insist on seeing a doctor unless Eremi says something more persuasive. He takes his eyes off Eremi for a moment and looks around the ravaged training area. "Who did it?" he asks.
Eremi stood still for a few seconds, shifting his weight from one side to the other, testing to see how much strength he had in his legs and how far they would carry him. It seemed it was just enough to get him home, but not enough to avoid being able to outrun Atsuro and avoid the trip to the doctor. Sighing, he looked up at the man, "If you think it is for the best, then I won't argue with you." His head then lowered and his eyes fell to the ground as he began his slow approach to the river that was off in the distance. He was hoping by not saying anything at all, Atsuro would let it drop just who did this to him exactly. It was a wildly long shot, doome to fail no doubt.
"Thanks," Atsuro responds simply. He most likely /could/ just force Eremi to see the doctor, but he figures it's best this way. He goes to the river with Eremi, then kneels down beside the water and tests it with his hand. "It's a little cold," he admits, beckoning Eremi to take a seat beside him. "Let's just get some of the dirt off of you. No need to dip your whole head in or anything." He seems to have forgotten about his question. Or at least let up on it for the moment. "You can just take a bath when you get home, right? I just don't want you walking around looking like a mud-person."
Reaching the river, Eremi watches Atsuro test out the water, then beckons him to take a seat. He was a bit reluctant to do so at first, not wanting to deal with getting down only to get back up again and would rather just have the day end by him laying in bed for the rest of it. Taking in a deep breath, a soft grunt escaped him as he lowered himself to the ground and sat near the river and Atsuro. He was hoping Atsuro wasn't planning on bathing him, he wasn't completely useless so began to do so himself. Dipping his hand in the water to get it wet before bringing it to his face and scrubbing off where he figured dirt would be.
"Okay," says Atsuro, once Eremi has reached an acceptable level of cleanliness. "Now for the doctor. I'll trust you on being good to walk, but I'm carrying you if I see you stumble," he decides, folding his arms sternly. "So what happened exactly? You got cornered and tried to fight your way out? And who was it, exactly?" Looks like he hasn't forgotten about his last question. In fact, he's added another to it. "I can help you, Eremi, but I need to know what's going on."
Being carried? Any other time Eremi would consider the offer quite generous, but now it just makes him feel as if he's sunk as low as he possibly could. "I'm good to go at it on my own." Frowning, he shook his hand some then wiped it off on his clothes before rising to his feet once again. He didn't bother to look at Atsuro with the questions being asked, instead keeping his focus to looking off in the distance. "That's sort of how it happened. Except I didn't fight back." The teen then shrugged, "I don't know their names, they've never bothered telling it to me. They know all about me though and my clans history. How most of us are too afraid of confrontation and intimidation tactics." He turned about, looking at Atsuro this time, a smile was on his face, "That is what's going on."
"Well, I guess trying to figure out who they are is in the plans. I guess telling you to fight back wouldn't be the best idea," Atsuro says slowly, "You can't just run, though? You have a nice big forest to get lost in, and the town's not too far away. You don't think you can reach safety?" He turns around to gesture for Eremi to follow him, then pauses seeing the smile on the boy's face. He points to Eremi's mouth. "Do I want to know what's going on here?"
Eremi didn't know what the best idea would be, they were bullies, plain and simple. Fighting back would only do good if he won and telling on someone might only incur their wrath further. "If it was a race sure, I would out run them easily, but it's never a fair race." He shook his head, "They only appear when I'm by myself and it's one of them to meet me, while the others are scattered about the area in case I do try to run. By now I don't even try to." With the gesture to follow, he did so, though his pace was some what slower then Atsuro's "I smiled because you want to help me so badly." He felt a little embarrassed having to explain himself. "There aren't a lot of people out there that would offer so much."
"So, what, you just set there and let them do whatever they want?" Atsuro is getting somewhat angry, but it's obviously not at Eremi so much as the injustice. He sighs, "You've got to at least try. You're fast, you're good at dodging, right? If you can get away from them at first, it should be fairly easy to keep away until you get somewhere safe. If you get past the initial encirclement, all they can do is chase you, right?" He pauses. "Well, I'm glad to help. It's nice to see you smile now and then. Cute." He turns back around and continues to lead on.
At this point, Eremi didn't know what to say exactly as he was trying to find anything to say that would make Atsuro understand, "I've ran before, time after time, but in the end they eventually do catch up to me. It might not be the same day or the next, but they find me and then…" He didn't need to explain what it was they do to him, his appearance once enough to answer that. "I got tired of running away, I just wanted it to stop. I hoped that by just giving in, they'd get bored and tired of me, but they never do." The tone in his voice was changing, cracking. He wasn't getting upset, but sad. It didn't make sense why this was happening to him and he just wanted it to stop.
"Oh," says Atsuro. It seems like it's more complicated than he realized. "Carbuncle. They just track you down, huh?" He sighs roughly, then pauses to gently lay a hand on Eremi's shoulder for a second. "Well, I sure don't get it, huh? So if you just let them do it, they leave you alone for a little while?" At least that, but this certainly sucks. "Well, it'll stop, alright," he promises, "We'll think of something, and then they're finished." There's a short pause, then he adds, "If you ever do feel like running, or hiding, though…" He sighs a little more. This might cut into his sleeping-in time. "What if you came to my place, just to hide out until the heat is down? The Inuzuka village is close to the training grounds here."
Eremi hummed, "Well, I'd like to think they don't actually track me and more or less just end up running into me again." He shuttered some at the thought of him being tracked down purely for their enjoyment, which in turn caused him to wince from the pain in his body. With Atsuro slowing to rest a hand on his shoulder he glanced up again with a smile, "Thank you Atsuro. I appreciate the offers." He then lowered his head to look forward ahead of them again, "Running and hiding still just falls back under the whole they'll end up getting me eventually situation. It's like my only option available to me is to stay at home, which I can't progress as a shinobi if I do that."
"I know," Atsuro says, nodding. They've made it to town now. Atsuro begins leading Eremi towards the hospital. "I'm just saying, the option's there, if it ever seems like a good idea. I'll give you some directions. Make sure you swing by once or twice, just so you know how to get there in a hurry, eh?" He shakes his head. "But no way I'm saying you should just stay at home all the time. You have the makings of a good ninja, Eremi. I don't want a bunch of marmosets to f— screw that up, even if there's a lot of them."
Making it to town, Eremi glanced around for a moment, curious to see if he would actually spot the guys that he would much rather avoid at this point. Not seeing them, he was relieved. Though he was sure Atsuro could easily handle the situation if one arose, "Alright, maybe even Taiki could show me. I'm sure he knows where you live as well." He continued forward making his way to the medical center, "Thank you Atsuro, that means a lot coming from you. After that spar with Naru, I definitely learned a lot more. It seems each time I go up against an actual opponent I learn a lot faster then training by myself."
"Well, don't expect to hear it too often," Atsuro says, "It's true, but I don't normally go for the touchy-feely silk." He gives Eremi a wolfish grin. "I don't know if Taiki knows, actually," he adds, "I assume he has ways of finding out, but I don't think he's ever dropped by, at least. But then, I don't know if he'd want to visit." He glances over to Eremi, pausing to take a good look at him for a second. "You seem like you're feeling better," he observes. "Oh, but don't think you're getting out of a visit to the doctor."
Eremi smirked, finding it some what funny the way Atsuro acts when it comes to showing how he cares. "I would have figured you've invited your team to your house at least once by now." He tilts his head in some what curiousity and amazement to the fact, "I've been to Tosai's family farm a couple of times already. It was actually the last time I saw him was when he said I needed to start training so I can be able to hold his weight and run around at full speed. Though I don't think I need that boulder anymore." The boy then shook his head, "I know better then to try and get out of anything by now."
They've reached the hospital now. Atsuro opens the front door and holds it open for Eremi. "After you. Anyway, no. For one thing, it's not a house, it's an apartment. Two bedrooms, one for me, one for Taizen. So it probably doesn't quite have the same 'team-bonding' appeal as a farm. Or it doesn't have an arena or whatever it is you were doing over there. Is the boulder thing good news? You've carried it around so long it doesn't even slow you down anymore or something?" He grins. "Yeah. You know me well, eh?"
Eremi sighed as they reached the hospital. Deep down he had hoped that Atsuro wouldn't make him come, but I guess it just that in some instances Atsuro can be pretty responsible. When he entered, he turned to face the other, "Oh. Well I'm sure they'd still enjoy being invited over. I know I would be….am" Remembering the offer previously, "From carrying that boulder around, mixed with the training that you showed me, my strength nearly doubled. I don't think I'm ready to run around with Tosai on my back, but I'm close." He then shook his head, "No, I meant in general that I know better then to try."
Atsuro grins as he leads Eremi down the halls of the hospital. "You say that now, but it's not exactly a party hangout. I dunno, unless reading some of my books, eating some of my food and crashing on the couch sounds like a wild time, I think you could do better. Anyway, it's good that you're getting stronger. And yeah, I'd just chase after you." At last, they've come to the right place, a little waiting room. Atsuro gestures to a chair against the wall. "I'll go get somebody."
Eremi hummed silently as he considered whether or not he was faster then Atsuro. Though it didn't really matter as Atsuro had already gained the teens respect and he wouldn't dare disobey the man, "Yes, surprisingly enough my wounds heal rather quickly. Perhaps luck or just my body being used to what I put myself through on a daily basis." He moved over toward the chair, taking a seat and waited patiently for Atsuro to return.