Date: February 9, 2011
Datura confronts Mune about the Medic-Nin's hate for the rogue Yamanaka.
Warning: Contains foul language.
"Tales Of A Gutsy Kunoichi"
Mune's Quarters - Location Unknown
She knew that she had been spending entirely too much time underground when, during a conversation with one of the minions who tended the subterranean base, Datura had mentioned so casually that it didn't bother her that much. She had paused, reconsidered, then gone on to correct herself, stating that it did, in fact, bother her quite a bit. The damp was bad for her hair, the cold bad for her skin, and the lack of sunlight was bad for her soul. Yes, her soul. Also, her sister hated it. When the minion had mentioned that he didn't know she'd had a sister, she'd told him to shut up, and almost bashed him in the head with a rock and pushed him down a chasm. Almost.
She kind of wished she really had.
As it was, four-inch heels were smacking loudly against the stone, leading up into thigh-high boots that terminated just below the high hem of a thick suede dress, of such a dark brown that it was almost black. The ensemble, and the woman inside of it, halt just outside of one of the portals lining this area of the hallway, a few curves and twists away from her original destination. She had meant to come here a couple of times, but had always decided against it. This time was different. She had practically tricked herself, concentrating solely on the Nogakujin's room, then making an abrupt right-face and smacking her hand loudly against the door three times before she could reconsider the action.
"Mu-mu?" Her voice sticks in her throat, prompting her to clear her throat and try again. "Mu-mu, I'm coming in." Rationalizing that she wouldn't put it past the medic to leave her standing awkwardly in the hallway, Datura decides to try to open the door. Surely the older woman wouldn't have booby-trapped it! Acid in her face was not going to make her day any better.
Mune never leaves her door unlocked unless she is in the process of passing through it. So when Datura tries to open it, it is locked. However, very quickly the doorhandle becomes unlocked, and the door swings inwards. Mune is standing there in a white tanktop and some… Red and black boxer shorts? Well… It's said that a woman in men's clothing looks better than a man in woman's clothing… Though with some of the pretty boys that one might encounter out in the world, one never knows. Mune's blonde hair is a bit frazzled, as though she had just woken up, but from the dark rings under her eyes she may not have been sleeping that much after all. Mune blinks blearily at Datura with her bright cyan eyes. Then she steps back a few feet, leaving room for the lighter-skinned blonde to enter, while she casts her gaze suspiciously about the hall. She has not yet said anything so far.
Once the door is closed, she locks it. And then she carefully sets some kind of latch that looks like if the door was forced it would scratch across a Seal or something on the door frame. What THAT might result in is unclear, but it is probably not good. Chemistry equipment is situated on a worktable, with various materials set out, but nothing is presently active. No Bunson burners, no percolators, no tesla coils, and no noxious fumes. Just about all the vials are empty and clean. Only a few have anything in them, and they mostly look like water.
Mune turns to look at Datura and asks, "Is it Kanami?"
The blonde in the hallway instinctively crosses her arms defensively as the one in the room opens the door. She stands there, leaning back slightly, looking almost surprised, as if she hadn't expected the medic to be the one to open the door. Once the dark-skinned woman moves aside, Datura waits several heartbeats, and then walks inside, her blue eyes bouncing around the room. It looked like a miniature science lab. Exactly the kind of thing she would have suspected the other woman of having in her private boidour. The only thing missing was the operating table with the manacles and old bloodstains. But maybe the bed turned into that.
She doesn't go very far into the room, before stopping to face the empty rows of vials and beakers. "Kana is fine. Better than fine. She's…" A slow smile creeps onto the younger woman's face. "…perfect." And then vanishes. "I'm not here about her. Not this time."
"You hate me." It's a statement, the way it's said, not even a hint of a question. "For what I've done. I know you do. I saw your thoughts as clearly as you saw mine. I…" Datura licks her lips, glancing at Mune, then away again. "…guess I deserve it. I wouldn't have told you about it. Any of it. Ever. But here we are." And now, she finally turns and levels a more or less steady gaze at the blonde-haired medical expert. "So what are we going to do about it?"
Mune stands with her arms at her sides, fighting the urge to cross her arms like she usually does when she is standing idle. She winds up flexing her hands. She clenches them and relaxes them, over and over. It's something to do. "Yes," she answers calmly, bringing her gaze up from she was distracting herself with the reflection on a beaker. Looking Datura right in the eye, she says, "Yes, I do. Murdering your sister is not on my list of things that are easily forgivable… But what really drove it home was that I had been wrong about you the entire time. I thought you were someone different than who you wound up being. As petty, and selfish, and vain as you were, I admired your free-spiritedness, and how you didn't let anyone boss you around. I wished I could define my own destiny as casually as you could. I've been fighting my entire life to learn so much that no one will ever be able to control me… I've been trying SO hard to never be vulnerable, and to never leave myself open. And you did it without breaking a sweat, and seemingly without a fraction of the knowledge I have struggled to obtain."
Mune looks away then. "I thought you were better than I was. Then I saw the truth. I hate you for showing me how weak I still am even with all I have learned. I hate you for bludgeoning your sister to death with a rock. But though I once said I can't forgive you…"
Mune sighs and finally gives in. She crosses her arms. It's too much of a habit to give it up in this situation. "…I can live in the present. The woman who stands before me is not the woman who killed Riku. She's Ryoko… She's Datura… And she's something else. You could have just hid in a cabinet and let Kanami and I die. You didn't."
"Wow." Datura settles back on her heels, her eyebrows raising a bit in surprise. It was in her nature to brush off the concerns, wants, and opinions of others. They weren't nearly as important as hers, after all. She fights her selfish nature, at least a bit, before using a hand to brush aside a few vials and make some empty table-space. "You thought all that about me? I didn't have any secrets, Mune." The blue-eyed blonde looks away. "It's easy not to be controlled or manipulated when there's nothing you care about."
Turning her back on the table, the pale-skinned goth braces her hands against the surface and slides her rear onto the now-empty area she'd made for herself to sit on. Hopefully there was no residue that would stain her dress. But the older woman appeared to be very meticulous with her cleaning. A habit Datura herself had never formed. Her hands settle in her lap, clasped loosely together. She looks down at the toes of her boots.
"It was just some arm. And still almost choked the shit out of me." A hand comes up to rub softly at her throat, where the bruise once was. "I would have killed you eventually. And all the others, even Kanami. I didn't feel anything for any of you. I didn't care about anyone. I'm not sure that's what 'strength' is. Maybe it is. I don't know. I'm still going to live how I want, do what I want. I just thought you should know…" She looks up. "If I could change things, I wouldn't have killed Riku. I can't fix it, I can't say I'm sorry, and I can't ever get rid of it."
A grim smile. "And don't feel bad for not suspecting just how fucked up I really am. Not even my parents knew."
Mune sighs and nods. "I was wrong about you. And though I know it's wrong to hate you… I can't promise those emotions will ever go away. It's like you said, it can't be taken back. It can't fixed. But you can move forward, and so can I." Mune uncrosses her arms and rests her left hand on her hip as she looks dubiously at where Datura has seated herself. Good thing there's nothing but water in any of those glass things. "I'm going to keep writing that book about you, you know. Though I suspect I'm going to need to change the main character's name. Something tells me that calling her 'Yamanaka Datura' won't be a very good idea in the near future. Any suggestions for a replacement name?"
Mune wanders over and picks up a manuscript for a novel that she is apparentl working on. It may take a moment to recall what the hell she is referring to. But she DID mention she was writing a book about Datura inside of the latter's mindscape, when confronting the rogue Yamanaka's inner self.
"You're really writing that? I'm sure there's more interesting people out there to write about. Unless it's some kind of cautionary tale to young women growing up everywhere." The Yamanaka runaway quirks her lips to one side, then the other, turning her eyes up towards the ceiling, as if making a big show about thinking it over. "How abouuuuut… Manayuri Riku? I think a tribute to my sister would be much more fitting than mentioning me. You should really rethink your plot outline. I think Kana-chan would make a much better character for a story. She's the actress, after all."
Crossed at the ankle's, the younger woman's legs shift slowly back and forth, as if trying to idly expend energy. "It doesn't matter, I'm sure it'll sell." The blonde-haired kunoichi changes subjects abruptly, her eyes coming back to fall onto the older woman, studying her form and stance. It's a long moment before she speaks again.
"You didn't know my sister. She wasn't anyone to you. How can you hate me so much for the murder of someone you never met? I've killed a lot of people, Mune. You saw that. A lot of them were innocent. Some were only children. Riku… is the one I regret the most. I thought I hated her," she says, shaking her head. "I was so glad after I'd done it. Like I was free, really liberated for the first time. No more obligations. But I really just killed the only person who accepted me no matter what I did or how I acted. …But why should that matter to you?"
Mune just nods and picks up a bottle of white-out. She can replace all instances of 'Yamanaka' and 'Datura' with 'Manayuri' and 'Riku'. "Well, it's actually an action-adventure sort of story… It's based on my perception of you as a person, rather than actual events that may have taken place. Revealing THOSE kinds of details would be… Unwise, given what we do." Mune seems to only belatedly realize what she's dressed in, and sets the paper and white-out down. "Sorry. Not used to having visitors in here." She moves to grab a bed robe, and tacks on sardonically, "…Believe it or not." Seems she is aware of what most people think she gets up to with men. The Medic-Nin slips into the garment and cinches it closed at the waist.
"Because I suppose it's one thing to see people I don't know and have never heard of dying. Maybe I hate killing, even when it's necessary… Maybe I find the idea of taking a life to be repugnant… But if it came down to a choice between my life and someone else's, I'd probably pick the other person." Mune turns around swiftly, pivoting on her heel and says simply, "Death scares me. Always has, really, but it didn't really terrify me until I came home from spending nearly my entire life on a different continent, only to find out that every direct family member I had was executed because my mother got into her head the idea to take over Kumogakure."
Mune seems to realize the subject is wandering, so she cuts to the point. "Everyone I knew and loved was taken from me and I wasn't even there to try to stop it. I feel guilty about that. I'm the one who survived. No one else did. And at any moment, some freak accident or random attack could claim my life too. And then what? I'm dead. That's the end. There is nothing else. I thought maybe you and I shared a common pain… That Riku had died in some kind of accident or enemy attack, and that you were trying to live all the pleasures that life could give you because you realized your own mortality. To find out that you had willingly and intentionally severed the strongest tie you had to your humanity… Your greatest chance to be protected, to be known, to be loved and treated well, to be so brutally TERMINATED like that… It's like the connection I thought we had not only never existed, but I feel like I've been spat upon and laughed at for daring to think there was someone else who understood."
"I've seen you in less." The former Konoha-nin shrugs her near-bare shoulders idly, brushing off the topic of Mune's near-indecency. But as the med-nin begins to encapsulate herself in her robe, the subject shifts dramaticly back to the issue at hand. Datura listens with uncharacteristic, quiet patience. Several times, she looks away from the woman during the explanation, and only nods vaguely. It's once more several long moments before she answers.
"So you thought we were bonded by a common tragedy." The former Kadomai resident bobs her head slightly as she pushes forward and slides off of the table. Her heels audibly hit the floor, and slowly, one after the other, click against it as she steps closer. "But why does it have to be something sad for us to bond over? I killed Riku and I thought I loved every minute of it. But the reason I never forgot any of it was because it was horrible. More than I could ever describe. In a way, my sister was killed by a monster."
The young woman finally stops coming closer, folding her hands behind her book as affects the air of sublime innocence she has perfected over the years. "Do you know who killed them? Did you make them pay? I could help you if you haven't. And I could help you with your other problem, too." The blue-eyed possession specialist toes the tip of her boot into the ground like a shy schoolgirl even as she smiles wickedly. "If you spend your whole life worrying about the end of it, you'll never enjoy any of it. If there's one thing I know, it's how to have fun, how to live free."
Mune sighs, nodding tiredly in agreement. "I'd like to move forward, as I said. There's got to be something else we can share… And yes, I know who killed them. The Raikage did. Not personally, of course. She just had her 'minions' do it for her. I'm not sure what Amuro-sama's plans are for Kumogakure, but that incompetent bitch needs to die if he expects anything good to come of the Cloud Village. She was only given her position because her teacher — my grandfather — was thought dead. They thought she was strong enough to kill the ones who killed Yotsuki Raiga. She got all the credit for ending the Clan Wars in the Land of Lightning, instead of the one who REALLY did all the work."
Mune shakes her head. "That's why my mother wanted to overthrow that woman. She knew that Raiko was too inexperienced, too weak, and too rash in her actions. And before she could even take a first step, she found herself and our entire family on the chopping block."
Sighing, Mune rubs her forehead with one hand and steps closer to Datura. "If you want to help me I certainly won't turn it down. Let's just hope that there's no immediate plans that involve preserving Kumogakure in its present state, because it's going to be SO screwed up when we're done with it." The dark-skinned blonde smirks at the thought. Then she attempts to put a hand on Datura's right shoulder hesitantly, and lean in to give a peck on the cheek. "Thank you, Datura. Even if nothing winds up happening, I appreciate that you'd offer."
"Well that's good. The stupid are much easier to kill than the intelligent."
The former Konoha kunoichi's smile widens, and as the hand is placed on her shoulder, she turns her head and leans in, closing her eyes delicately as she accepts the small gesture of gratitude, and perhaps affection, on her cheek. She bats her lashes when the separate, still smiling, and gingerly strokes the back of Mune's hand. "I have no use for any of the shinobi villages, and Amuro won't be around forever. No matter what, the loss of one shinobi won't matter much in the grand scheme of things. Once everything is wrapped up here in the Land of Grass, we'll head for the Land of Lightning immediately."
Then, the younger blonde turns and piroutte's away, towards the door. She takes care to move the latch that is designed to trigger the seal and unlock any of the mechanical door-stopping devices that the owner of the room may have relocked upon her entrance. She turns, giving a small wave and a sly grin, then vanishes through the portal, closing it behind her. Of course, it'll be up to Mune to reset all of the locks and the alarm/trap.
But once outside, she frowns, her heels clicking back down the hall, on her way to Kanami's room. No matter her words, or the stupidity of the one in the position, it wouldn't be an easy thing to assassinate a Kage. Even the smallest of ninja villages would have competent shinobi in them to protect their leader. Still, she remained confident. If she could twist the Land of Grass around her finger, surely the Land of Lightning would fall to her machinations, as well!