Date: March 6, 2012
After catching up to those pursuing Sasuke, only to spend watching the final confrontation paralyzed by his own doubts to actually interfer. Ryoji finds himself reflecting over it all along side his faithful caretaker.
"What if? Self-Insertion - Different World, Not so Different Iga"
Konohagakure - Residential District
Ryoji sat upon the edge of his apartment building, silently thankfully for its great height as his neighbors, and just generally those within the village, being understanding enough to allow such a time of peace without fretting over his well-being. After all, surely if one sees any person sitting upon the edge of a roof top, smoking from a pipe, and looking contemplative as they stared off into the distance towards a setting sun that said person intends to take their own life! Thankfully, years spent following this same routine has long since assuaged such worries… not that the Iga, or as the general populace knew him as, the Wakahisa truly cared about at this moment. The only thing that /did/ seem to be on his mind, and to some may be even predictably after returning from his latest mission, is the memories playing back over and over in his head in regards to a certain blond haired boy’s relationship to dark haired one. The latter of which being the only known survivor of the massacre to his clan besides another; but now equally a traitor to the village. A frown soon graced his features as he took one last deep drag of his pipe before turning his head partially back towards the hatch leading up to his quiet abode.
“You know, it is a rude thing to intrude on another’s private moment.. Shun-kohai.” He stated irritably before letting milky blue eyes peer back at the hatch.
“.. And you know it to be unproductive, to wallow in self-pity and despair”, a lighter voice replied before the hatch pops itself open smoothly, allowing for another red-haired figure to join Ryoji up top. A slimmer, more feminine figure just from the visible curves making themselves known through the average looking apparel of a typical konoha villager, sea green eyes kept at narrow slits, and a more regal tendency of holding themselves up as they meandered over to sit along side Ryoji. As soon as the other sat, Ryoji turned his gaze back upon the sun with the intentions of staying completely silent and within his own world. At first at least until the other half of his nature forced a cough out of him.
“Remember during those academy days? Back when — ”
“ — You’d frequently cut class, hold weekly pranking competition with Naruto, and kept greeting Ino in the morning with surprise ‘hugs’ from behind her.” Shun interjected smoothly, snickering politely behind a raised hand.
“Ah yes, dear ‘ol cousin Ino used to make such a fuss about that and kept forgetting — ”
“That you are blind and kept help needing to ‘grope’ around to be sure… *sigh*.. The sheer amount of complaints I received about /your/ behavior..”
Ryoji nearly choked from the bubble of laughter erupting from his being as he took another drag of his pipe. “So many memories and then some…. Like that time Itachi-kun popped into our room for a late night chat. Well, a short, one-sided one that is, given the fact he /did/ just become a S-rank Criminal that night!”, Ryoji emitted mirthfully. Shun on the other hand stayed quiet for a time this time around.
“Did you honestly know what was about to happen that night Ryoji-dono… predicted, I mean,..”
“.. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what was gonna inevitably have to happen if one keeps their ear to the ground long enough.. *sigh*.. But not long enough appearantly — ”
“Stop! Just.. Just don’t go there Ryoji.” Shun interjected once more albeit through gritted teeth this time and her fingers dug into the sleeves of her shirt. Ryoji however refused to heed Shun’s warning. Instead, he merely shook his head negatively in sardonic amusement then turned upon Shun, smirking. “But its true! I read the signs, I tolled to manipulate things into a more favorable conclusion, Heck! I even put my own life on the line trying to — ”
“ — To keep from making the same mistakes as your father!” Shun cut him off mercilessly, glaring daggers at her cousin now, slaying instantly whatever else Ryoji might’ve intended to say. “Its great that you finally discovered your ‘will of fire’ and actually grew attached to this village without /me/ having to force anything, but… but you have to understand that these things just happen… that no matter how much foresight a person has, some things just can’t be changed.. or repaired… just accepted and learned from,” Shun went on to say, gradually calming down with every word until the last of her surge of anger falls away from her. Much like her own words faded into a whisper. Despite the sound logic behind her words and his own depression weakening as a result, Ryoji was too stubborn to let things go so easily.
“I failed them Shun-chan. All of them. And I’m not saying this because of what Otou-san did to us…” Ryoji stated morosely before slowly pushing himself up to his feet; grabbing along the way a pair of journal’s that had been resting next to him the entire time, and stuffing them into his pockets. “I said what I said, and I’m saying what I’m saying now because I’m tired. That’s it, in a nutshell….. I’m tired of stepping around the bullshit, tired of holding myself back for the sake of our clan’s survival… tired of just observing things while trying not to care about what’s going on…. I'm just… so damn tired of it all….. but…” He paused to carelessly empty his smoke pipe over the side of the building, then replacing it with a silver teaspoon stuffed into one of the pouches of his konoha chunnin vest. A quick flick of the wrist sent the spoon skyward as he continued to speak. “I can't rest right now and I refuse to stick around and rot from the inside while there’s still something I can do — ”
The spoon starts to come to its zenith…
“I can hear Jiraya-sama talking to Naruto-kun about traveling with him for the next few years — ”
It reaches its zenith, spinning slowly as if stuck in mid-air…
“So, with or without the hokage’s permission, with or /without/ Jiraya-sama who /still/ owes our clan big for all that info our clan supplied him with over the years before — ”
It starts to fall just as Ryoji turned his head up as if to watch it descend…
“I will entrust you with you keeping an eye on things while I’m away, making amends n’all that, neh-edo?”, Ryoji manages to emit before leaping off the building; flashing one last mischevious smile as he descend, then whip around to catch the tea spoon in his mouth along the way towards the ground, then vanish completely out of sights into the shadows below. Shun meanwhile observed his display, masking her shock and growing sense of disbelief behind a faintly amused mask until she was certain Ryoji was long gone. Only then did she allow the mask to fall away with a sigh, then rise as well to ‘watch’ the last few rays of sunshine slip away.
“Baka. Nothing you say make much sense… but I suppose that is how things were fated to be in this world… including my wish for you to make me your lover be put on hold a little longer..” She stated, shaking her head negatively. ‘… Maybe, in another world filled with open, wide spread tribulations.. Mmm… *giggles*… No, knowing my luck you’d sweep another off her feet instead of me…. *sigh*… what a bothersome boy just wasting years of pushing yourself up through the ranks for their sakes… just to fix a problem that Naruto-geki figure his own problem out on his own' She thought with finality, then vanished all together in a swirl of leaves…
She did, after all, have much to do now that Ryoji had left her in charge…