Date: April 6, 2014
By the light of the next day, Kiyoshi seems to make some progress with Mushi. Only…
"You're Just All Heart"
Clouds are dotted about the sky, keeping the heat in and making the air stiflingly hot; especially indoors. The only respite comes from a cool, gentle breeze blowing lightly from the window embedded in the center of the southern wall that overlooks a king-sized bed. Of the two — perhaps three things that might help discern the character of the person the room belongs to, two are readily apparent. For one, they must have a great appreciation for the larger things in life, or happen to be pretty darn big themselves on account of the bed and the wide variety weapons displayed in just about every corner of the room. Secondly, Green is their favorite color given the wall. Mercifully for newcomers there's a healthy mix of other colors about, but… yeah, green is definitely predominate. Lastly and perhaps the most important part of it all… The rooms a mess. Not quite in the sense month old food buried under tons of clothing (though there is plenty of clothing scattered about), but more so in the sense the occupant had a thing about putting things up ONLY if and when necessary. The room is thankfully spacious enough to move about without constantly tripping over one thing or another, but even so, the overall look would make one more thing pretty obvious.
The room either belong to a slob or a pre-teen+ male. Anyone seeing the person partially consumed by the western style bed would obviously see that the latter can't be the case! Then again, there's a lot of blankets and pillows scattered about that may distort thing.
Besides the person sleeping in the bed, nestled at the foot of the door is non-other than Kiyoshi, still fully clothed.
Mushi usually wakes up with a throbbing hangover, and this is no exception. She gropes blindly for her bag with the scrolls in it. That's when she notices how alien her surroundings are. Usually she wakes up in the tidy, lovely guest room in Yuuka's manor. This room is a mess, decked out with lethal weapons, and yet somehow more warm than the precise and artful style her usual room is. It's greener too. She almost chuckles at that, but her head is about to split.
She also notices Kiyoshi asleep. Now that Mushi is sober and utterly miserable, she remembers. She has some sake. Naturally, she prefers shochu. But sake will do until she can buy some shochu. One flask of sake, which she extricates silently from her medic's pack, glancing at Kiyoshi to see if he'd woken up. He must've brought her here, and this must be his room.
Mushi could be as slick and as silent as she wanted without Kiyoshi stirring in the slightest. However, the moment the flask is opened up and the scent of alcohol hits the air, the boy's alert in an instance. He neither moves or says anything at first, but instead takes a few seconds to fully gather his wits about him first. A common practice taught in the academy and reinforced further by Meruin's more brutal training regime.
"Things won't turn out well for either of us if you go through with that." He states dryly, still without stirring in his spot. He hoped his words would be enough. If not, then there's always the more extreme and fool hardy approach via a belly flop.
Mushi licks her lips in anticipation when Kiyoshi suddenly speaks. She hadn't even noticed him wake up. She feels a twinge of unease—were her senses so dulled? She takes the time to make sure the two of them are alone. They are alone in the room, but not in this house. Someone sleeping, if she's any judge. Mushi doesn't comment on this, but she looks at Kiyoshi. And winces, as her head gives a painful throb. "Did you warn your family about me?" she asks. "That they'll soon have a drunk with a hangover screaming in the house?" She doesn't set the sake down, but neither does she take a swallow. Not yet. Her eyes are completely feral. She stands up. "I don't know how you drank all that shochu. But if you keep me here, that's abduction. I'll see you later." She starts for the door, holding her head which is about to burst open.
The boy's ears twitch once ever so often, absorbing and noting every little tic possible before he finally shifts enough to bring the eyes into play. They are speculative and hard at first, then relax back into the same apathetic air about them as the day before. "They are aware." He stated truthfully. This was neither the first or even the second time Kiyoshi's brought a complete stranger into the house while said said stranger was obviously feeling under the weather. While the story behind his 'charitable' attitude was different for each, the fact remains that his brothers have long since grown used to sporadic acts of kindness out of the youngest Moto. It is in fact the reason why the eldest left out so early in the first place.
"Besides that—" He rises to his feet, and after a bit of joint cracking, leans up against the door. While Kiyoshi harbored no illusions that Mushi could very well escape by other means if not take him out with much ease, Kiyoshi still had to try something at least. "Would you really repay kindness extended by leaving this soon?"
Mushi looks around the room for an escape route. Sure she could brush Kiyoshi aside and get out, or even get out without having to brush him aside. But it seems rude after he…carried her here? Or had he knocked her out? She could barely remembered. The thought of more shochu is enough to make her mouth feel parched and dry. Memories are resurfacing that she's managed to keep behind a cloud for some time. She lifts the flask…and then corks it. Mushi slips it in her pocket and then presses her hands against her forehead. "Get me some water to drink," she snarls. She's not going to try and escape, and Kiyoshi may be able to tell it from the lack of tension in the air. "Lots of water." Then she'd flop down on the bed, and cover her eyes with her arm. Just breathing. Breathing.
Lips part as if to voice a complaint upon seeing her about to take a swig of the flask, but no words leave it. The choice was her to make at this point, not his. Even so, instead of a spark of admiration reaching his eyes, there would be nothing but contempt in them had she chosen to go through with drinking. "Right away, Mushi-sensei." He says ALMOST cheerily before departing to fetch a buckets worth of water, smiling secretly.
"Don't call me sensei," Mushi says as he leaves. "It makes me want to vomit." When he leaves, Mushi considers her options. She could drink the flask of sake and try to sneak back to the bar. Or she could drink the sake and smash out the green wall of Kiyoshi's room to make a new exit towards the bar. Or she could stay, not drink, and have this little punk harass her. When Kiyoshi comes back the flask is not in evidence. Either consumed or untouched and hidden away. Her hand is on her stomach, and her eyes are closed. She's using the best healing technique she knows for hangovers. Then she opens her eyes and yawns.
"You tricked me," Mushi says. "Alcohol doesn't affect you. If it did, you'd have as bad a hangover as I do. But it's my fault…should've never fallen for it." She looks at Kiyoshi. "Why here? Why didn't you drop me back off at Yuuka's?"
The smile he left with only turns mischievous in response to the comment, and remains up until the last few steps. At which point he went back to being devil-may-care boy with a touch of blunt honesty and kindness. "I wasn't aware you were staying with them, for one." He says, handing over the drink after a moment of silently taking in his sensei's state. "And secondly, I didn't trick you. Technically. You only have your self to blame for that." Kiyoshi plops down on the corner of the bed and folds his arms across his chest. "In any case, It shouldn't have come to a bet in the first place.. Not after what was said the first time we met…"
When he mentions the first time they'd met, Mushi looks completely blank. She didn't remember, at least not now. When the bucket of water is given to her, Mushi sticks two fingers in and would purge it of any possible substance that might be laced with it. Then, she sucks her two fingers as if testing it. "Hmm. No, you tricked me. Set me up in a big way," she says calmly. "But that's not why we're here. You wanted to learn about your bijuu and how to be a Jinchuuriki like me. Which means you're having trouble with it. Tell me what's wrong. Is it physical? Mental? Something else?" She doesn't sound patronizing. Instead, she's slightly interested. Though that interest is regularly interrupted by Mushi self-medicating herself with chakra.
Kiyoshi just rolls his eyes and murmurs a "whatever" under breath. Things still came down to being Mushi's fault anyways. Mostly. "I didn't mean being a Jinchuuriki like you and it ain't like I'm having… trouble, with 'it'." Kiyoshi states hotly. "I just meant that I wanted to know all you knew about that.. stuff." He says, finishing weakly at the end and rubbing his hair roughly.
Mushi raises an eyebrow. "No trouble," she says. "My, you must be a master Jinchuuriki." She shrugs. It's a fairly broad topic to cover. "I guess the most important thing for a Jinchuuriki to know is that your powers are a double edged sword. You wield great power, but every time you use them, your identity as a Jinchuuriki is threatened. You may hurt those around you whom you care for. It can be an unstable power. But for all that, don't fear it. Use it. Not because you're a weapon, not because you're a Jinchuuriki, but because you have the power to save many, many lives."
She shrugs again. "If your seal weakens the bijuu's emotions can leak through. It will fill you with hate and bitterness beyond anything you've felt before. That's why it's important to counteract that with…peace, decency, and a strong will. I know they don't teach you that in Kiri. But the bijuu's rage on top of her own is what killed the last Jinchuuriki here. And you too, if you succumb to the darkness."
The hand falls away as Kiyoshi turns to give Mushi a flat look, allowing for curly, spring green locks to bounce back into place. In spite of the jab, Kiyoshi listens respectfully and even seems to perk up as the lesson goes on. His enthusiasm quickly dies in the face of the stark reminder of his own misstep, and the dire consequences that were avoided by share luck alone at the time.
"But that's another thing too. I… I mean, there were times I got that feeling from it. All the bitterness, rage, and.. hate… But then there's these times when it feels… I dunno. It's.. kind of hard to explain to be honest. Just that I don't really feel any of what your describing unless I'm already in a dark place too." He explains haltingly.
Mushi nods slightly. "There's two things that hold a bijuu in a host," she says. "One is the seal. The other, far more powerful one, is your will. When I say will I mean…your desire to not let the bijuu out. Plain and simple. If the seal is doing its job, the only thing that can let the bijuu out is your desire to let it out. The closer you get to hate and bitterness, the more you want to give power to that hate. And a bijuu is power. That's why in your darkest times, you come to a choice. Do you kill everyone around you, hurt the people who hurt you, and let everyone know your pain? Or are your feelings of decency and love strong enough to resist that? That's why you feel like you do."
Kiyoshi listens, but after a time he's chewing on his lips to keep from interrupting. "That's not quite it." He says haltingly once more, shaking his head a little. "I probably shouldn't say anything about this, but… there are times when I'm sleeping that I go to some place weird… It's like, a dungeon, yet not. A castle, and.. not…" He frowns. "Point is.. I've gone there several times and even met 'it' there… But I never got the feeling of any of those things when I did… 'cept-…" He pauses as if reconsidering her wors for a moment. "I just normally don't get that feel from 'it' while I'm there. But it ain't like it ignores me either.. Just…" Shoulders sag with a heavy sigh as Kiyoshi gives up on the effort of explaining things for now.
Mushi looks thoughtful. She thinks through what he said for awhile. "Every bijuu is different," she admits. "I've spoken with my bijuu before, as if we were in the same room. I'm not certain. Here." She chugs down some water. She looks down at with a sigh, wishing it were sake. Then she reaches out to touch Kiyoshi's arm. Not to read his health, but to sense his chakra. Any fluctuations, any chakra leaking out, anything strange with his body. "It may be that you're communing with your bijuu," she says. "Seeing a physical manifestation of your bond with it. Can you tell me anything else about it?"
Kiyoshi turns to look upon Mushi with a frown from her admission. He almost appeared disturbed by the notion too, though any such feeling is hid beneath other emotions. The most prevalant of which becomes mild agitation after the sigh. It didn't take a genius to figure out just what >that< was about. The exasperated shake of his head that was soon to follow is abruptly put on hold by Mushi touching his arm. Trapped between reflex and instinct, Kiyoshi can do nothing except peer down at the connection point in mute worry.
"Only that the place left like it was all 'mine'. You know?" He asks. "Again, a lot of this stuff is hard to describe. Though I know for a fact that the pool there is definetly >not< mines." There are a few spikes in chakra as he speaks, though that is not the strangest part of all about Kiyoshi. There's a leakage. Too minute for any inexperienced or average sensor nin, but a noticeable amount nonetheless. Stranger still is the pervasive feeling of some sort of bastardization of the two chakra sources embedded in every fiber of the boy's being. Then, there's the forth source just beneath all of that, leading Mushi (depending on her sensitivity again) back towards its source as being something at the back of Kiyoshi's neck…
Mushi shakes her head. "It sounds like a dream," she says. "But it doesn't sound like it, especially if it's happened repeatedly. And…" She trails off when she senses the different chakra patterns within Kiyoshi. Her eyes widen and she looks at Kiyoshi, startled. "Do you know what's happening to you, Kiyoshi-kun?" she asks. She'd place a hand on the back of his neck as well, to try and delve further into that abnormality. Mushi takes a few more gulps of water. She seems calm despite what she senses, but it's the kind of calm doctors have when they're about to deliver some very dire news.
His spirit may have been in a bit of turmoil after Mushi's first two statements, but his wits remained sharp enough to pick up on the woman trailing off. Dark eyes narrows as the woman's own widen in brief, mute surprise. Instead of an immediate reply, Kiyoshi turns away, knowing just in part what the woman meant, but remaining uncertain on how to answer nonetheless. The first tinges of the seals defenses measures beginning to tingle down his spine prompts Kiyoshi to gently take hold of her forearm. "Don't prod any deeper into that one. It's… bothersome, but it has to run its course. Just like the one on Yuriko." And that's all he would say on the matter if it can be helped. Even if the seal represented an opportunity of sorts, the boy just wasn't in the mood for any further manipulative tactics. "Honestly though, will be fine." 'In a few years..'
Mushi's eyes narrow. She releases her chakra when the seal comes close to triggering. Then, she glances around as if to make sure the area is clear. Her face is haggard from prolonged drink, but her expression isn't that of a drunkard. She says, "Tell me exactly what that is if you want me to leave you alone. Tell me everything about that seal. I'll prod as deeply as I want to. You wanted my help. And in dealing with seals, I'm second to none. Who put that on you? How long have you had it? What is it, and why is it on Yuriko-chan too?" It seems that Kiyoshi may be getting more help than he wanted. Mushi takes a few more swallows from her bucket, heedless of the fact she's drinking from a bucket. She sits on the bed, her legs crossed underneath her, leaning forward a bit as she scrutinizes Kiyoshi.
Kiyoshi sighs softly in relief and starts rubbing at the back of his neck should Mushi's hand no longer occupy the space. Sensing something remaining off, Kiyoshi sets his sights back fully on Mushi and… flinches. The haggard expression aside, it was the something beneath it all that unnerves him.
"I only wanted your help with the Bijuu thing…" He murmurs as he turns away from her. After a quiet moment passes them by, the youth grudingly clears his throat and says, "I don't know who exactly it was, and… I'd ask that you don't pry any further into it for both of our sakes." He looks up to Mushi with eyes almost pleading for his words to be heeded. Ultimatly, the decision was left to Mushi. He knew that if he were in her shoes…
"Just, don't, alright. The fact is the one that put this on us screwed up a little, and now me and Yuriko-chan are aging a little faster for awhile. I have no clue >why< exactly this happened to us, and as much as I'd like to get the one responsible back for it, Mer-… the guy's been dealt with already."
Mushi's eyes harden. "That's why she aged so quickly," she says, "and you. You were experimented on like a bunch of research material." There's deep contempt in her voice, but she doesn't look angry at Kiyoshi. With someone else. She pauses. "The person with that skill and that kind of motivation is…no, if you want to tell me, you can. I'm sure you're just sparing me the knowledge." She reaches out and tenderly runs a hand through Kiyoshi's hair. A close, companionable gesture. She says, "Kiyoshi-kun, if a day comes when you want me to fix your body then say so. On top of healing, I am a great fuinjutsuist. I'm able to remove any kind of seal, correct any chakra condition, and of course I know both your plight and the troubles that come with it more than most." Then, she'd upend the bucket half filled with water on his head. "Making me drink from a bucket, jeez…" she laughs.
Kiyoshi shrugged off the analysis. Neither caring for it or desiring to think upon the matter in further than he already had. He nearly lost a friend once because of his feelings over it on top of his secret. Once was enough. His thoughts quickly become scattered under Mushi's tender touch. Cheeks too begin to darken under the feeling, and for once, Kiyoshi didn't feel the reflexive need to pull away. Lulled into the false sense of security, Kiyoshi is unable to properly defend himself from Mushi's assault!
For his part, he manages to retains some dignity by not flying off the handle or lashing back at the woman immediately. Still, there would be a reckoning for the affront, that much was certainly obvious from the glare he gives her in return. "And here I thought I could actually start trusting someone besides my brothers and Yuriko." Kiyoshi states sarcastically before hoping off the bed. No point getting the darn thing soaked in more than Mushi decided to make it.
Mushi smiles wryly. "Truly Kiri is different," she says. "I poured a bucket of water on Aburei-chan once and he… well, no matter." When Kiyoshi goes back to his bed, Mushi stands up with a sigh. She rubs the back of her neck, and looks to Kiyoshi as he hops up from the bed. She smiles sadly. "That was a hurtful thing to say, Kiyoshi-kun. You try to help me, but then want me to take care of you? I'm done for, Kiyoshi-kun. My day is done. And if you have any sense, you won't trust me or believe a word I say." Then, she grabs the sake out of her pocket. Apparently, she hadn't drunk it, because when she opens it, the sake inside sloshes. She stands up to walk out the door while drinking sake. It seems her sobriety was short lived.
Kiyoshi regards Mushi with an odd look, but the issue about Aburei gets pushed aside. "I'll keep that in mind." He says grumpily. Like before, the scent of alcohol attracts the youth's attention in moments. He grows rigid at the sight of it… but ultimately, lets out his annoyance with a sad sounding sigh. "Just how long are you going to keep running away…?" He asks, eyes averted and seemingly focused on searching for something to dry himself off with.
Mushi smirks at Kiyoshi, and lowers the flask. "Kiyoshi if I was really running away, it wouldn't be with cheap booze," she says. "Do you know why I came to Kiri? It was for this very purpose. If a drunkard was in Kumo, they'd throw me out. If I was in Suna, some poison would've already been slipped into my drink. That is unless the Kazekage got to me first and tried to rehabilitate me. In Konoha, I'd have peoplevillager and shinobi aliketrying to help me. But in Kiri…well, it's the place to get sloshed. The bartender is astonished I haven't killed myself with this much alcohol, but he gives me as much as I want. Money is money. No one trying to make me feel guilty. Except you. Are you sure you're from Kiri? Heh."
He thought this whole time it had been obvious, but the tail incident hadn't given him away as much as he expected. Just about everyone knew he was not from Kirigakure or the Land of Water for that matter. There was a perpetual 'softness' to him that just wouldn't go away despite spending nearly two years in Kiri so far. "'Least not originally… anyways, If it seems like I'm making you feel that guilty about it I'll stop." He says rigidly.
Mushi stares at Kiyoshi. The flask slips from her fingers and hits the ground. The sake spills out and forms a pale puddle on the floor, but Mushi doesn't notice. She's just staring at Kiyoshi. It's not about his comment about her feeling guilty, but the fact that he wasn't originally from this village. Then, she smiles. And for a moment her eyes aren't flat and tired, but with the same glowing warmth they'd once held. It's gone as quickly as the sun passing behind a cloud, but the warmth doesn't leave her voice as she says, "Well…that explains a few things." And she'd go to sit right beside him, to put an arm around his shoulder despite getting soaked. "Kiyoshi-kun," she says. "I've met all the Jinchuuriki…but you're the one I like best. You've done well and…" She hesitates. "I'm proud of you." No bucket of water after this.
Kiyoshi tenses up at the sound and snaps around to admonish Mushi this time around for the mess, but catches himself upon spotting the look about her. He really didn't know what to make of it all; especially when she starts smiling 'creepily' at him for no reason at all. Sure he felt the warmth radiating from her, if only for a little while there, but nevertheless, it was just so… random.
He turns with a derisive snort, intending on going back to his search for something dry when she ambushes him with a hug. The impulse to shake her free is there, and yet, the green-haired youth couldn't bring himself to do so, with or without conviction. "Girls really are weird." He says softly with cheeks burning lightly and head bowed in embarrassment, sinking into the embrace withotu even realizing it.
"Boys just like saying that," Mushi says. "They're weirder than us. Just look, your hair is green." Then, she laughs. Not mockingly, but with that same warmth. "Let me tell you something, Kiyoshi-kun," she says, and at last she'd break the hug. She sits back to better speak with him. "The bijuu within me was running wild in my country. Destroying land and lives. As it tore through villages, many rewards for its removal were offered. When the bijuu was sealed inside me, I got that small fortune. I left much of that fortune with my village, and took the rest. I founded the Neutral Medical Center with the money. I hired architects to build it, security guards to protect it, found people through all walks of life to staff it, helped thousands of people within its walls and outside of it. I did it for a promise…to save the world. At least once. And I realized some years ago, the bijuu caused so much grief in my life, but it also made the medical center possible, and we wouldn't be sitting here enjoying some cookies together if it wasn't for that. Speaking of which, have cookies? Or anything sweet, really…"
"Yeah, yeah." He says grumpily, accepting the jest at his expense. Grudingly, he also accepted the removal of her arms, though the phantom feeling of the embrace continues to haunt him as he returned to the search. With impatience finally getting the best of him, Kiyoshi snatches up an old, white T-shirt and replaces his tops with it before settling back in to listen. If Mushi was expecting some type of reaction out of him throughout the story, she would be sadly disappointed. What he couldn't imagine as even possible and his experiences as a Kiri shinobi simply didn't allot for much. Still, he listened and… tried to wrap his head around it all.
Just as one mood had begun to settle over them both, Mushi effectively ruins it with her talk of sweets. He groans weakly in defeat. "Probably. But I mines as well get breakfast started in that case." He says as he rose up to make his way to the door. "Don't expect much though. Surumu-onii-chan has been on a bit of bender lately."
Mushi looks at Kiyoshi to see his reaction to her story. When she gets no reaction at all, she gives a small shrug. It's not like she's met anyone with a past even slightly similar to hers. And she'd left out quite a bit. She looks down at her clothes which are damp from contact with him. "Look at me, I'm all soggy now," she complains, as if it's Kiyoshi's fault. When he offers to make breakfast for them, Mushi nods. Breakfast would be nice. Shochu would be better. For now, she'll have to consider if the latter will continue from now on.
Kiyoshi snorts. "I'll lend you some of my brother clothes then. C'mon. I'll show you to the bathing room so you can get properly cleaned up." He says, pausing long enough at the door to get everything out before proceeding out. He stops again, though not to make sure Mushi was following or not. "And by the way, no Shochu. If you wanna get out of our deal faster I'd >suggest< trying to stay a little sober for awhile."