Date: October 9, 2015
Not long now. The sealing begins soon, and Fujiko is taught what it means to be Jinchuriki by Itami and Kuoroke
"The Curtain Rises: Meeting Sunagakure's Obelisk"
The only time the Land of Wind is pleasant enough to enjoy oneself in. The early morning. The temperature, cool though steadily rising. The one time in which is is proper to appear outside for long periods of time. Ah, Sunagakure. Whose winds, for now, blow cool air upon the city. There isn't long left before Fujiko takes on a new title. Today, she is still a no-one. A fleeting grain of sand in the desert. Within the week, her grain of sand will be carried by the wind for all time.
Perhaps that is one reason she isn't entirely hesitant to receive the village's will, and contain it. The actor without fame will grasp whatever it takes to return to the spotlight. Today, she is Fujiko. The day Shukaku enters her body, she will become a clever demon in the sand. A Demon Jackal of the Desert.
Fujiko spends her last moments right in front of the Motai theatre, playing the instrument she knows how to play best… The Koto. It's sounds would give wake to those whom sleep.
"Returning for your last goodbye?" Itami inquired of Fujiko as she approached the theatre. "It's always open to you, you know," she offered. "I don't want you having to say goodbye if you don't need to." She came to a stop beside her while looking up at the entry way of the building. "The last thing I want from you is to be unhappy. I've seen more than my fair share of it and I'd rather not add to it…" She clasped her hands behind her back.
"Have you met Arika and Jiro, yet? If not, I think you should at some point. I believe all of you will make good company."
Kuoroke's expression is grave as he moves, quickly, through the streets. In the village's morning bustle, he's simply yet another person, albeit an particularly hurried one. When he arrives near the theatre, the Kuroki comes to an abrupt halt, taking in Fujiko and mentally comparing her to what he'd read in the file. Kuoroke approaches the two of them, and for a second or two stands still in a manner that brings the word 'looming' to mind, especially as compared to the much lither girl he examines. Then, he bows to Itami, and speaks. "Kazekage-sama. I hadn't expected to see you here." He adjusts his glasses slightly, turning to Fujiko. "This is Jurojin Fujiko?"
Fujiko does not let the music stop. If the music stops, she feels the looming burden will cause her heart to do the very same. "The very same." She would bow her head to the brown-haired individual, whom likely is cloaked despite the morning hour. Though who could mistake the most famous Kuroki in the village. Not even their clan head is as reknowned as the until recently council member. "Kazekage-sama. Kuroki-Kyogikai(Council Member)… Your visits have become increasing in frequency. This usually can mean only one thing." Which she doesn't exactly specify. She has no regrets now. Itami witnessed what she was before, during her final performance. Her Kazekage knows what she was before the burden of being a vessel crushes the last of that. As long as someone knows. Someone, anyone. If they remember what she was like before, when the time of judgement comes, they will look upon what she had been before passing said judgement on what she has become. Her greatest fear is losing everything… but… "It's a duty…"
There's a chill that runs down Itami's spine that only a certain someone could create. So, it wasn't a shock that Kuoroke had just arrived. His stature and presence could be discomforting sometimes, even having worked with him for so long. "I'm trying to be everywhere I can be while I go through my therapy. The more I'm on my feet, the better, but I came here for a reason…" She focused back on Fujiko. "Yes, this is she," she nodded.
"We are here for you. Me and the obelisk known as Kuoroke," she chuckled. "We ought to make haste as we don't have much time to lose."
"I wanted to see you before." Kuoroke explains, looking over Fujiko. "And discuss the nature of what will happen." He looks about the crowded street. "Though, perhaps not here. These matters may be considered sensitive." He looks around warily, and then turns back towards the two females. "I would suggest we discuss this somewhere less public? And, Kazekage-sama, it's good to see you on your feet and recovering."
The music plays and plays for moments after Kuoroke gives the order. Ominous twangs of the Koto cut through the morning air. She had been playing all night, already affected by the insomnia she was told she would have to deal with after the sealing process. Finally, the music stops. Fujiko would stand, her actor's upbringing showing very clearly when outwardly her mood changes from 'I'm rather feeling down' to 'It is an honor above all' attitude. She would bow deeply to Kuroki. "I hope what you see pleases you, Kuroki-Kyogikai." She says with a coy grin.
"Let us move on then, shall we?" She says as she gestures down the road. "At a location of your discretion, Kuroki-Kyogikai." Fujiko would settle her instrument against the back of her white haori, keeping the rather mature-sounding child mostly hidden. Remember her eyes the way they were before. Common, unassuming, though a fair amount of ambition lay behind…
"Thank you, Kuoroke," Itami smiled. "That means a great deal coming from you. That being said, I will follow your lead. Matters of this caliber should be discussed where prying eyes and listening ears will not be. If you would be so kind as to do the honors?" She gestured to Kuoroke respectfully. "It appears as if Fujiko would like to make this quick. I can't exactly disagree with her."
Between his habit to always be in a hurry and his stature, Kuoroke keeps the pace rather high for Itami and Fujiko as they return to the Dome. It is still a considerable mess, but at least it can be used, again. Kuoroke makes sure to slow down a little once they're inside to give Fujiko the opportunity to get a good look around, and then they make their way to Itami's office. Kuoroke closes the door and speaks up again. "I suppose this is the first thing I wanted to say you should be mindful of. It is best if as few people as possible know of your being a host to the beast."
RPCOMBAT: Fujiko defends against with a SCROLLED-TERRAIN…15
This would make the second time Itami would come to the admin dome after its lift from the ground. It's still in a particularly sad state, but that will all change in due time. For now, it is at least functional and at the very least, water is being restored to it to flow freely through it in select areas. She coughed to herself as she made her way through, her body still a bit sensitive to her surroundings after her surgery. Dust had never been such a problem before until now. Huff.
She cleared her throat on the way to her office and once inside, she plopped down in her seat and rested her head on the still standing desk for a few moments. "The seats are in better condition now…" She spoke, her voice muffled from the desk. "So, you're free to sit now and keep from using chakra," she offered to Fujiko. She lifted her head from the desk once she'd recovered enough and brushed her hair away from her eyes. "Far be it from me to try and turn you away from your intended path, but this undertaking is starting to sound like it's making you less human. That has me concerned."
Kuoroke nods, his expression still grave. Rather than sit down, he begins moving around the room slowly and methodically, examining every crack in the wall. Just in case. "Itami is right." He agrees. "I wouldn't expect you to sever your social ties. If anything, they are an asset. There are plenty of aspects about the Shinobi life that are secret, things we must keep secret from our loved ones. Sometimes things nobody else will ever know. That does not mean," Kuoroke engages in a bit of hypocrisy here, it's no secret he's got no social life worth speaking of and is a stranger among his own family, albeit a welcome one, "we should isolate ourselves from the people for whom we do this."
He wakes a wide, sweeping motion with his gloved hand, indicating the building's state. "Look at what happened to this place. This is the Shukaku's doing. Like any of the Bijuu, it is a tremendous power. Not just in terms of raw brunt, but also in terms of mind. You will need to be strong enough of personality to withstand its presence. It's not an enviable fate, and we've gone to a considerable amount of risk, risk which did not come cheaply in the end, to spare you that fate." The Kuroki deftly fishes a small spider out of a crevice and crushes it between his fingers. "But, back to my point. You need to have a strong personality. A powerful sense of self. A clear idea of who you -are-, beyond and outside of it. And even if you have to keep some secrets from them, friends and family are vital to this."
"Your concern is commendable and not a thing I can actively deny. Those are things we concern ourselves with always," Itami begins. "Withholding information is one thing, but complete isolation is another. You can confide in me and Kuoroke as well as Arika and Jiro. Yet, being able to operate as a civilian is perfectly fine and is something to be encouraged. Too much isolation will also draw suspicion and I'd rather you not be separated to the point that general life becomes a difficulty. You serve this village as a shinobi, yes, but you are also a citizen of it. Your participation shouldn't be eliminated in favor of your duty. Your duty overlaps," she explained.
"I am the Kazekage, but when I exit this building, sometimes I just like to think of myself as just Itami. Someone who enjoys finding a nice hot spot in the village to relax in or going out to eat, spending time enjoying my hobbies. These things help to keep me stable and remind me that I am a person, even if I also serve as a tool towards the benefit of this village. Being a tool is what placed me in the hospital, after all. I do not like being in my current condition, but the downtime allows me to know life as a civilian before I have to return to full scale leader," she smiles at Fujiko.
"Hosting a bijuu is no small undertaking, but it shouldn't be a life sentence for you. There will be struggles, but as Kuoroke has said, we've taken a great risk to spare you this fate. Part of being spared from this fate is being a civilian."
Kuoroke glances at Itami, then turns back to Fujiko. "In that case, be sure to get to know your new family well. At least, -as- well as your security clearance will allow." Something happens to the tip of Kuoroke's mouth that might be a hint at a smile. Or it might be a nervous tic. Hard to tell. "If you are to truly remain in control of the beast, there needs to be some life you have outside of its presence. Your own capabilities, your own relationships, your own ideas. Once the creature is there, you won't be able to form these things. At least, not for a long time. And you will need them, so form such things now." He looks at Itami. "I realise the medic-nin consider this physiologically more risky with every passing day, but I would suggest we wait for her to assimilate in the shinobi aspects of village life sufficiently first."
Ah, the Kazekage was right. By secluding herself too much she risks drawing attention to herself. She opens her eyes and realizes. How could she have been so careless? "This is true…" She will still need to interact with people. She will still need to walk amongst the people. Her reaction to this realization is pained "How could I have been such an idiot!" She verbally punishes herself for having given up friendship with some of her more interesting friends too. She places a hand on her head and groans. "Of course, I realize this after I have already done the deed… I really liked him. Damned it!" such strong language! She coughs a moment as she closes her eyes. "Excuse me… Lord Kazekage. Kuoroke-Kyogikai. that was rude. Please forgive me." She would stand and bow her head.
She was likely to agree with Kuoroke. The longer she could live without the demon of the sands the better. "I agree wholeheartedly with the former council-member. My body will be fine. My logic, however, appears to be flawed. The mindset of a Jinchuriki has not yet made itself completely clear to me. Perhaps you will teach me these 'shinobi aspects', Kuoroke-Kyogikai, that are specific to the function I will be serving the village in…" Really, she's not being a Jinchuriki because she expects to get powerful due to it. That's not at all why she accepted. She accepted to raise herself from obscurity. When Shukaku is placed within her, she will forever be a part of the story of her village. She will be a part of some play someday she herself does not act in…
Itami nodded along with Kuoroke's words, finding that she didn't have any issue with them. Especially not with that attempt at what she perceived may have been a gesture that represents satisfaction. She wasn't sure, but she felt something may have been there in that tug at the corner of his lips. "Assimilation would benefit her…I understand the medics, but I am more inclined to go with your plan," she replied to Kuoroke.
She leaned back in her seat to make herself comfortable, but further to try and adjust herself as this cough seemed like it was making a return. "So, what do you th—" The Kazekage had begun, though she was cut off by Fujiko's response. Not that it was a bad thing. She was more surprised than anything. "You are forgiven…?" She glanced at Kuoroke with mild confusion prior to focusing back on the new jinchu. "It's not too late to reconnect. We can always craft up some story or reasoning for why you stepped away from your former life," she shrugged. "The people don't need to know, nor should they, about the details of your life in this respect. You can reintegrate just fine as I believe your window is still well within range of going back to maintaining contact with people without too much trouble."
Kuoroke waves her apology away. "I don't stand on formality, I stand on results. Don't worry about it." He says, a bit dismissively. Her suggestion elicits a bit of a frown. "I can teach you some aspects of it, but I believe that-" He glances at Itami "-Arika and Jiro may be better teachers for you in the areas that need work." He simply nods to Itami's words, as she's covered everything that he feels needs to be, and adds, "If you require help with that, I'm sure I can be of service.
All depends on if one considers Arika and Jiro… good teachers… Well, it isn't as if Fujiko has met them before. "They will have to suffice then." She says as she bows her head to Kuoroke. "Oh, you are too kind, Kuoroke-Kyogikai." Though, she could tell he likely didn't want to have much to do with her, it was his hesitance that interested her the most. "I feel that you will be an excellent teacher." Perhaps he disliked children as much as she did? She was still a child, true… "Where can I talk to these two individuals you have spoken of?" She asks to no one in specific, her eyes centered between the two individuals. Oh, were they not in town? That's terrible. Gone! Friends with exciteable little children whom are driven by emotion rather than logic! Terrible! Hark! Fujiko would wait to hear where her future comrades in arms would be.
"Arika and Jiro will be great to help you through this, but unfortunately, they are not in the village at this moment," Itami answered, having matched Kuoroke's eyes as he looked her way. "Kuoroke will help you until they make their return here." She momentarily turned her head away and outside to see how the village was doing and how the day was coming along. "All looks well," she spke mostly to herself. "But I ought to return to exercising soon. Is there anything else that would be had of me?"
"Not from me, Kazekage-sama." Kuoroke answers. He motions to Fujiko, and the two of them head out of the Kage's office.