Ultimate Shinobi - A Naruto RPG
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Unwelcome Guests [Mission]

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Allie
Allie

Posts : 150

Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Vide
PostSubject: Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Unwelcome Guests [Mission] EmptyWed 19 Jun 2013, 11:48 am


Part 1. . .

The floor boards were protesting quietly as someone moved down the hallway, approaching his bedroom door with a lightness that suggested they were either small or trying to be stealthy. He wasn't particularly worried about it though. While he hadn't recently brought someone home, maybe it was one of the rare occasions he had drunk himself in to amnesia. Last night was rather fuzzy. The nights before all of his missions were usually spent relaxing as he saw fit, and last night had been his first bar stalk since he had started training with Inoshi. Morning light filtered through his half open curtains, sending soft rays across his half naked body sprawled across the bed. He had no shirt on, and his pants weren't even buttoned properly. One arm was half slung over his face, allowing one golden eye a view of the rest of the room and the door. It fixated there as he waited for his guest to enter.

As if on cue, the door handle turned, and it swung open with a soft creaking. A young girl waltzed in to the room, probably no older then 8 years of age. She had hair the color of obsidian, bright blue eyes the color of a summer sky, and wore a sundress to match it. His voice was soft, slightly chiding, but there was a tiredness to it's sound. "Solia...I warned you about barging in to my room." She made a face at him, something between childish anger and arrogance, flicking her long hair over her shoulder and placing her small hands on her hips. It would have been intimidating...if she'd been about 3 feet taller. "You told me to make sure you woke up early! You're lucky I convinced Tania to drag you to bed or you would have woken up on the doorstep naked." He was pretty sure he was still completely clothed when he had passed out, and that his disgruntled clothing state was Tania's doing, but he didn't say it to the culprit's own sister. He knew it would come back to haunt him.

With a sigh, he pulled himself in to a sitting position and set his feet to the floor. "Right. I'm sorry then, I forgot I asked you." The man raised a hand and ran it through his hair, find a few tangles that easily unwound with gentle tugs. "You should go home now. She'll be worried if she gets home from work and you aren't there." For a moment, the young girl looked caught off guard as if she hadn't expect to be asked to leave. Disappointment was clear in her large eyes as she turned back towards the door, "Fine...but can I ask you something first?" Akahari was standing on his feet now, crossing the room stiffly towards the bathroom. "Shoot." Stopping, he turned expectant eyes on the girl as she fidgeted uncomfortably.

"What is an Inoshi? Tania asked me because she says you mumble it a lot in your sleep, but I told her I didn't know either." Those golden eyes stared at her a moment. Unyielding, revealing nothing, even though this young girl would never be able to understand it.The attention made the girl visibly uncomfortable and glanced worriedly at the door as if looking for an escape route. Blinking away his distant thoughts, he shook his head with a small smile. "Just a friend I'm worried about. Go home, I'll thank Tania personally for last night when I get back." A brisk nod, the sweet innocent smile that only a child could muster on her face before she left. She seemed to be so happy about not being rebuked for the personal question. He listened to her steps down the stairs as he frowned at the open door a moment longer. Talking in my sleep...

To be truthful, he was purposefully avoiding the blond this week. He couldn't stand to face him as it was, and this mission gave him the perfect excuse to find room enough to breath away from him. Maybe it would make him feel better. Besides, it was him they were asking for wasn't it? Only one other person in the village had red hair and golden eyes, but that was a genin. They specifically said it was a high ranking Uzumaki. As to what he wanted, he could only assume it had something to do with a conflict long forgotten from Konohagakure. He had been informed about their leader, Tatami, but couldn't recognize the name. It must have been important. The situation was a dangerous one though, and it was foolish to go alone. What if it was a blood feud? They wouldn't so openly announce their search in that case, because they'd be targeted if he wound up dead. It would be seen as a terrorist act against Kirigakure as long as he wore their headband.

Still, the line was agonizingly thin in this case, but the caravan he would be meeting up with was only passively aggressive on it's own. Tatami was the one with a reputation, but he couldn't exactly hold the other nation's charges against him. Truth be told, if they stormed the city looking for him, he would not only be forced to act but his Mizukage would be put in danger over his mistakes. While Inoshi was capable of handling himself just fine under normal conditions, accidents happen. There was no way he would be either directly, or indirectly, responsible for him being harmed. He wouldn't let it be a possibility. The red head did his usual routine hygiene routine before returning back to the room and getting dressed in silence. The man wanted to be gone before a burden was forced on him for this mission, so he would just grab something to eat on the way to the rendezvous place. As he double checked the lock on his front door, he wondered what they wanted to badly as to come all the way here.

-1004 words.
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Allie
Allie

Posts : 150

Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Vide
PostSubject: Re: Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Unwelcome Guests [Mission] EmptyThu 20 Jun 2013, 3:40 am


Part 2. . .

The guards greeted him at the front gate, walking up to him casually to inquire about where he was headed. He remembered these two as regularly patrolling the Mizukage's tower, and it seemed they had recognized him as well. It was awfully brave of them to spark up conversation, or maybe they were just that bored or stupid. Or, rather, he just acted differently in the presence of the Mizukage and they didn't realize the urge to avoid him that so many others felt. A few clipped words had them fidgeting in their suddenly awkward position. He just watched them in silence as he waited for them to let him pass, hands shoved in to the pockets of his black, fur lined jacket. It was a warmer day then most, but it was a comfort object that he had been neglecting. Balancing it out was a thing, red tank top and faux denim black jeans that were more comfortable then the legitimate thing. Eventually, they waved him through with embarrassed glances to each other and wished him luck halfheartedly.

He honestly didn't think he needed it. This was more of a thing to pass the time, he didn't expect to run in to any real trouble with the caravan unless he had forgotten some old blood feud. Maybe it was just a misunderstanding and he wasn't even the right person. His steps brought him through the gates, and his golden eyes took in the thin mist clinging to the closely knit trees as he approached. They hadn't made any attempt to hide their location, just a stone's throw from the main village. Dangerous, but not worth a war if they weren't posing any real threat. A bunch of civilians and a few shinobi defects were nothing for the great village of the mist. In all honesty, they had considered contacting Konoha about Tatami, but it was an uneasy enough suggestion that Akahari's willingness to handle it himself had gone over nearly without a hitch.

It maybe took an hour of casual walking before he heard the first hints of human occupants in the woods. Shouting, laughing, children playing. Someone was chopping wood, a distant thack, thack, thack, while there was someone playing an instrument that set a gloomy undertone to the whole thing. It reminded him of walking through the slums where he used to live. It was when he pushed through a particularly difficult throng of foliage that he was suddenly exposed in the open. A clearing stretched out before him, full of people and tents, a few livestock and covered wagons set of to the sides, and many dotted fires. Many people turned to look at him all at once, and it was almost uncomfortable how they stopped and stared. The majority of the colors hiding beneath their skins were faded or dull, none of them were really shinobi except one or two who were standing together. They were dressed the part of Konoha shinobi, but without headbands visible on their bodies. Guards?

The two approached him, but they must not have been much stronger then genin if that. Of the two, the taller one seemed older and more experienced, and he was the one who spoke first, but both were still younger then him. "You. You're the one we've been looking for. Are you here in friendship, or hostility?" The posed question was a surprise. He hadn't intended to be so quickly pointed out, but many people had also stopped and started staring at him. What was going on here? It wasn't the largest group...maybe 30 adults stood before him, and 5 or 6 children off to the side. Well, they probably would have been told to look out for him so that the word spread when they visited the village. Everyone was waiting for his answer, and it was almost as if he could feel their collective breaths being held. "Seeing as I don't know why you want me, I'd say neither and both." It was a vague answer, and mumbling started in the crowd as the two shinobi glanced at each other. The more serious one nodded, accepting too easily Akahari's words as meaning he wouldn't cause them harm unless harmed. The tension died down as the crowd slowly drifted back in to their previous activities.

The other man offered a friendly smile, nodding his head back towards the throng of people. "Tatami isn't back yet from hunting, but he should be due back soon. Gray-san requested he be allowed to speak to you, as well. If you would please, we'll take you to him first." Gray? The name was faintly familiar to him, but he couldn't draw out the reasoning behind it. His mouth set in a line, hiding his confusion at the situation. It didn't feel like these people meant him harm, but that could just be a ruse to get him to let his guard down. If it was possible, he was supposed to get them to leave in peace to avoid repercussions and grudges from family members possibly still in Konoha. Reluctantly, he nodded, and watched the ninjas so easily turn their backs on him without waiting to see if he would follow. So trusting, or just so stupid? This wasn't making any sense to him, but he followed the two in to the parting crowd and seemingly ignored the side ways glances. In reality, he was all too aware of their attention.

-1004 + 913 = 1917 words.
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Allie
Allie

Posts : 150

Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Vide
PostSubject: Re: Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Unwelcome Guests [Mission] EmptyThu 20 Jun 2013, 5:07 am


Part 3. . .

The quiet one made no motion to be friendly to him, but the younger one was trying and failing hard at making casual conversation. What was it like living in such a gloomy place? I don't mind it. What was the food like? Not that much different. Was everyone as rude as the gate guards? For the most part. Did he miss Konoha? Not really. Even as they approached the large tent, looking more like a makeshift castle among peasant homes in this place, he wouldn't shut up. Eventually, Akahari just stopped answering and walked in silence. He didn't feel like telling this stranger any more about him, because he just wouldn't understand. It was only out of some streak of courtesy that he had answered any at all. "Alright, here we are." The serious one stepped forward, pulling back the curtain and peering inside for a moment before giving the other a look. The annoying shinobi gave him an apologetic smile before pulling back the other large flap. "It seems he isn't here. We'll fetch him for you if you'll just wait inside a moment."

A moment's hesitation as he peered inside, finding it empty of the living but full of the inanimate. He pushed past the two and entered it quietly, eyes glancing over the rich taste of the furniture artfully set up around it. He followed their presences through his mind's eye until he was sure they were unable to see him any longer before he started examining the odd style. Cherry blossom tree designs, cranes, tranquil scenes of water or plants were on almost everything. What was wood was a dark, rich color. The fabrics were black silks with gold trimmings. Something seemed important about the set up, especially the jars and viles of poisons labeled and artfully set up in a large cabinet that hung open as if to be showed off. He approached it, noticing a pattern on each tiny label. It seemed as if the words were written with a silvery marker, more grey then white so it showed up, but glinting like it had glitter. There was a symbol next to each name of poison. Twin circles overlapping each other, with a dot in the very center of their joining to make a picture like a sideways eye with only a pupil.

His eyebrows knit together. That symbol...he reached up and picked up a tiny vile labeled Ricin Extract-Lethal when consumed. Ricin was found in castor beans, and the plants that bore them he remembered well. One of the men that...requested him often always brought him to a house where the plants, with their spiky red bulbs and pale gray-green leaves, were everywhere in the gardens. Lining the walkways and encircling the bushes and trees to make it look like everything was drowning in water that resembled war zone rivers and lakes. A sea of gray that hid the fallen, but not their blood as it drifted to the surface. The startling phrase was the last piece falling in to the place, as they were the words of the very man himself. His hand twitched, convulsing around the vile as his hand lowered slightly. Gray.

Suddenly, he felt something he hadn't in a long time. Genuine fear.

As if summoned by the thought, he felt the familiar presence as a wash of fresh air entered the tent. The only motion he made was slipping the vile in to an inner pocket of his jacket. It was hard to push through the tension in his body and turn, but doing so would allow his back to not be open to the man who was the leading role in many of his worst memories. "Kazuki." Those golden eyes looked to the dark silver of the taller man as that smug, victorious curl to his lips made those feminine features suddenly very feline. It made him want to bolt to the door. The memories associated with that smile... "It's been too long, Akki-chan..."

-1917+672= 2589 words.


Last edited by Allie on Thu 20 Jun 2013, 9:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Allie
Allie

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Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Vide
PostSubject: Re: Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Unwelcome Guests [Mission] EmptyThu 20 Jun 2013, 9:53 am


Part 4. . .


The slender man took slow, exaggerated steps towards him. There was a familiar sway to his hips, a devilish light in his tilted eyes, that suggested he was thinking of things that would give Akahari nightmares. Despite the fact he had probably endured some of those particular things, already. Kazuki was a creative man. The stories said he had been training to become the head of the information retrieval unit in Konoha when he was young, but he had decided his father made enough money that being a shinobi too was just overkill for his wallet. Although, he would inquire, if I'd graduated from my training I'd have a license to do what I already do in my bedroom. No, instead he had dropped out and enjoyed living off his father's endless amounts of money from being the leader of a successful merchant ring. Indulging in all the pleasures of being a rich, spoiled child. One such indulgence had been not needing to earn anyone's love, and buying a false version of it. This was how they met.

"Come now, don't be so rude. Won't you even greet your favorite master? I taught you better then that." The red head swallowed, stepping slowly to the side as if being in direct line of sight of the other man made him uncomfortable. "What do you want from me? I'm not on the market anymore." A long fingered hand reached up, tucking a lock of his long silver hair behind his ear as he faked a shocked expression. It made those slanted eyes childishly large, those pale pink lips making a little o shape. At one time, that used to make him feel like he should apologize, but he had quickly realized how wrong that was. "Oh my, what a shame! Back in Konoha we mourned the loss of such a...." He paused, that gaze slipping down his body like some tangible creature crawling over his skin. Assessing him, remeasuring him. He could see the knowledge of his body pass over the other man's eyes and felt such contempt and disgust."...gifted child."

Akahari's lips pulled tight over his teeth, revealing them in something caught between a sneer and a snarl. "I'm not a child anymore." No, he had said the wrong thing. The smile touched those lips again and a black, manicured nail lifted to tap them thoughtfully. "Oh yes, I see that. Though, you weren't much of a child when I last had my hands on you either. Even the deviants kept asking after you even after losing the boyish charm and becoming the silently brooding stud before me." There were so few feet left between them, but there would never be enough distance between them for him. He could never get far enough away to feel safe. His brain was screaming at him. Run. Flee. Get away. Don't let him touch you. But he couldn't muster the strength to move. Old habits die hard, and as a child he had been taught that running away would just make it worse. Punishment would follow, and it was always promised to be 10 times worse then anything he would have gone through if he'd just played along with it.

A shiver ran through his body as one of those hands rested on his shoulder, inhaling sharply as he leaned away. Kazuki was looming over him, probably a full 5 inches taller then himself, and staring at him like he would devour him right there. Not like a deprived man to a virgin, but more like he was the best tasting food in the world in front of a starving man. Yeah, that sounded more like him. The other hand slipped under his jacket near his shoulder, pushing it off of him slightly. "I missed you most of all. You and that red eyed child were always my favorites. Especially when I got to watch you together." The last sentence was a whisper as he felt the men bend down towards him. Fingers wound tight in the fabric of his jacket, an iron grip for such a fragile looking man. Looks were deceiving, and this person had been the one that taught him that.

His body had gone the still of a statue, but why? Wasn't he stronger now? The red head was no longer 18, he was 25. Years had gone by since he left the life of being the play thing of the ones gifted with the money to buy him from his mother so she could get her next fix. So when those harsh lips brushed his temple...a slender hand caressed his cheek...he just let his body react like he had taught himself to. He jerked back out of the man's grasp and sent a solid fist in to that soft face. The man went down hard on his behind, the sash almost pulled loose from his black and gold kimono. Why had he not noticed what he was wearing earlier? Weird. Just as weird as him letting this creep touch him at all. Blood trickled on to the pale lips from a most likely broken nose, but that was not the shine of pain in his eyes. Akahari's jacket was slipping from his shoulders as he stared down at the man who had caused him so much pain. A small motion sent the jacket falling to the floor as he cocked back another fist, watching that quick flash of fear in the bottomless grey pools.

A suffocating presence suddenly entered the tent, and if it had been any less "eye" catching he would have ignored it and bashed the man in front of him in to the floor. It sent a shiver down his spine, and he stepped back and shook his head like an irritated beast. His eyes were changing, red circles making the gold shimmer and glow in contrast as small spots like rose petals bloomed through it. Akahari was breathing heavily, struggling to take his gaze of the man before him to look at the intruder as they spoke. "What's this, a lover's quarrel? I warned you not to taunt him, Kazuki." Blinking confusedly, his brows furrowed as he realized what he was looking at. "You..."

-2589+1022= 3611 words.


Last edited by Allie on Sun 23 Jun 2013, 8:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Allie
Allie

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Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Vide
PostSubject: Re: Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Unwelcome Guests [Mission] EmptySun 23 Jun 2013, 8:01 am


Part 5. . .


It was confusing at first to stare over in to those familiar eyes. His eyes. Not just gold like that kid back in the village, but the shape and set was similar. Almost all of this man's facial features were harsher echos of his own with the difference being a slightly tanner skin tone and choppy, black hair. Without realizing it, his eyes traveled down along the curves of this man's body. Their body types were so similar, with the exception of this man being slightly taller then him with thicker arms that suggested he was more upper body combat then lower like Akahari. Normally these things wouldn't bother him so much seen on another person seperately, but the real thing that had caught his attention was the smile across the man's mouth. One corner of his mouth higher then the other in a way that revealed the white of one of his canines. It was a smile he had picked up from his mother and uncle in his childhood, but was this the original creator standing before him? It certainly fit with the rest of him.

The man took two large steps in to the room, spreading his hands wide in a 'I mean no harm' gesture. "Forgive me, I forgot to put a leash on that gray dog before I'd left. If I'd known you were going to visit so willingly he would have been halfway out of the country by now." That rough, apologetic look turned upon the man at his feet with contempt. It seemed that this stranger didn't like Kazuki much more then he did, which was a point in his book already. The gray eyed man flicked that gaze nervously over his shoulder before scrambling to his feet and moving several steps toward him. "We were just having a little misunderstanding, Tatami-san." A look passed behind the man's eyes, and he huffed a bit of laughter that unsettled the feminine man who was readjusting his clothing. "You don't need to lie to me anymore. I heard it all. 'His lover' you told me, but to him you say 'master'. His reaction to you is enough. If I had not intervened, would he have ripped off your clothes of your face?"

The gray man looked uncomfortably over at the red head, who was flexing his hands at his sides as if he had claws bared and ready to show them the true answer to the question. There was some satisfaction in seeing the man squirm under his scrutinizing gaze, but Akahari had an important question to pose. "What do you want from me...Tatami?" That smile didn't waver as he walked further in the room, pulling a chair out from a small breakfast table and settling himself in to it with the grace that was long lost to most his size. With a sigh, he waved a hand at the seat across from him. It wasn't a large table, maybe less then 3 feet of space was between them if they both scooted in. While he didn't sit, he did move closer cautiously and stood behind the empty seat with his jacket draped over the backing. "I honestly had no clue to the...relationship between the two of you. I had heard rumors of his cruelty, but he swore it wasn't like that with you. He was...a bit of an insurance policy, which was why I agreed to bring him at all."

Kazuki made an angry sound from across the room. The red head watched him busy himself with a bottle with lettering he recognized. Alcohol? The glass, now filled with a syrup-colored liquid, was brought to his lips and swiftly drained. Idly, he watched the man pull out two more glasses and fill them as he spoke. "'Never take the word of a man who wears makeup." A hearty laugh from the man across from him, genuine sounding enough to make him look over at him for a moment in slight confusion. "Using his own words against him; Maybe you really are smarter then the average whore." His lips pulled down in a frown. No one had used that word on him in a long time, yet he had a feeling this man didn't use it in spite. "It's about time someone reminded Kazuki that he's a man. He bleeds red and pisses standing up like the rest of our lot, eh?" The man in question was ignoring them both, walking towards them with a sneer making those features sharper and more predatory. He set the glasses down hard enough to shake the table before leaning against a closed wooden cabinet behind Tatami.

"I'm not here because you want to reunite as lovers, am I?" Another gruff laugh before the other man took a swig from the large glass and set it down again. "No, but I'm afraid you've made it harder for me to explain with your reaction. First things first though..." He lifted a long finger and pointed to the red head's chest, and he had to look down to figure out what he was trying to draw his attention to. All he saw was the silver asterisk on it's leather strap, settled against the red tank top. "You wear the symbol of the Tatsugami family. You should be wearing the Uzumaki or Uchiha symbols." He was confused for a moment, before the pieces fell in to place. It was almost stupidly obvious. His face must have given away the reaction, the curiosity and the anger he bore, but the older man held up a hand. "Ok, so you understand that at least. To answer a few of those questions I see rattling around your head..." There was a small pause as he stared tensely in to those golden eyes.

"...if I'd known you existed, even for a moment, I'd have scoured the city endlessly for my only son."

As much as most others might have liked hearing those words from their long lost father, he could taste the lie in it. It wasn't something visual so much as the expression Kazuki made behind him when the words were spoken. He was liking this man less and less. Something told him that Tatami knew he existed, but just never bothered until now? Why? "Why you may ask?" That was too close to what he had just thought. "It's because Konoha needs your help. I need your help." There it was. The big catch. "We need your connections in the upper echelon to get beyond their guards, and strike them down when they're at their most vulnerable. Using this technique we can weed out most of the unsavory in a timely and undercover manor." He took another sip of the alcohol and got up, stretching as if sitting down for such a small amount of time had made him tense. In fact, he knew this game well. This man who claimed to be his father was trying to bully him in to the position, suggesting he would be forced if he refused. He was just not impressed.

"So...you want me to fuck them, then kill them?" Kazuki made a face at him, "Unless you changed your style and the order is reversed, yes." Tatami made a face at him before taking his glass across the room. This was a chance he couldn't pass up, but the gray man was watching him. Somehow, he felt he liked Tatami much less then the Uchiha liked him. Regardless, he was confident he could cut him down faster and quieter then his supposed father. Slipping a hand silently in to his jacket pocket, he withdrew the Ricin extract vile and popped the top. He poured it into his full glass, an exact copy to the one in other man's hand. Now it was just hoping he could have the opportunity to get him to drink it. His eyes looked up to dare Kazuki to speak up, but those bottomless eyes were flat and shark like. Apparently, the idea of taking out Tatami appealed to him enough that he kept his mouth shut as the Uchiha came back and set the glass down. Right next to his. This was the only reason they were standing less then a foot apart.

A falsely sincere smile was plastered across that lying mouth, and a large hand set on his shoulder in a fatherly fashion. What a horrible actor. "I know this sounds degrading, and I don't want to force you to relive those dark years..." Liar. "...but this is more important then the feelings of you or I. Everyone in Konohagakure is in danger from the corrupt hierarchy. We must protect those civilians unable to protect themselves." That was funny to him, considering Akahari's job would be making civilians as defenseless as possible and killing them. The taller man dropped his hand and turned towards the third member of the conversation. "As an act of good faith between us, I will even let you take revenge on Kazuki and cover for you. You could hang him from the trees, drown him cut him open, even give him a taste of his own medicine. I'll tell his people that his actions finally overwhelmed him with guilt and he took his own life. They won't dare to argue with me."

He acted quickly, grabbing up the man's drink and stepped away from him while those eyes were turned away from him. His own poisoned drink sat deserted on the table by the other man's hand as it reached down for it. The silver haired man leaning against the cabinet had gone white with fear until he saw what the red head had done. A spark in those pale eyes, then nothing more showed he had the slightest idea what was going on. "As compelling as your offer is, I've pledged my loyalty to someone else already. Which means I'm a permanent ally to this village as long as he remains in good relations to it or it pleases him to change." The facade fell all at once as the man sighed disappointedly, reaching down to pick up the glass. "That's a shame. What happened to not being on the market? I offered you the freedom to choose, but you would rather be enslaved to an ass loving sadist like Kazuki." Akahari watched unblinking as that glass tipped to his lips and he took down half the glass in one swallow. Both their glasses had been filled to the top when they sat side by side on the table; Of course he wouldn't notice the tampering until he felt the Ricin's effects. The alcohol was strong enough to cover it's slightly sweet flavor. A small smile tugged at his lips as his gaze flickered to Kazuki. There was that satisfied smile making those feminine features softer, almost pretty.

-3611+1816= 5427 words.
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Allie
Allie

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Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Vide
PostSubject: Re: Unwelcome Guests [Mission] Unwelcome Guests [Mission] EmptyTue 25 Jun 2013, 10:16 pm


Part 6. . .


The red haired man knew what was going to happen moments before the first wave of movements happened. It wasn't that he had seen the future or anything, but this man was so easily read through. He could see the rustling of the colors hovering above his skin, the chakra that reacted to his body tensing and preparing for the fight. The large glass, still half full of alcohol and poison, was flung at him so suddenly he barely had the time to hop to the side and use his hand to knock it in the other direction. Mistake. The bigger man was upon him, brandishing a small, straight bladed knife like a miniature kusanagi as they fell to the floor. It was thankful this was just to spook him, not to kill him, or the blade would have probably been struck in his throat right now instead of dangerously close to his face. Hovering, waiting, but with no conviction to it's quivering blade.

In between his natural reaction to fight back and his hate for the gesture, he grabbed the man's arm with both hands and forced himself to hold on and turn on his side. The positions were quickly reversed, and as he sat triumphant on the older man's chest he saw saw the blood drip on to the pale face. It wasn't until then that he had realized he had been cut at all. With his free hand, he brushed the shallow slice wound on his cheek and his fingers came away wet with his own blood. The redness mesmerized him for a moment until he felt a hand on his shoulder, "Look. It's starting to take effect. You might want to move out of the way." With a glance down he realized the Uchiha had broken out in a sweat, his cheeks gone red and his eyes squinting as if he had trouble focusing on their faces. Well, it was a highly concentrated poison and he had just sped up his heart rate trying to fight him. No wonder. He had just barely gotten away fast enough to avoid being thrown up on. Tatami had rolled on to his side, evacuating the contents of his stomach in a useless effort. "Damn...it...ugh..."

Kazuki was smug as they stood next to each other, staring down at the man as he moaned in pain and writhed on the floor. "That was a clever trick, I'm surprised you paid attention to my teachings about poison." A huff of laughter as he crossed the room, stepping over the remains of the glass he had been holding when he was attacked. "I didn't; I only remember that plant because of how often I saw it. How could I possible forget it?" His quivering hand closed around the neck of the open bottle set on the counter, and he brought it to his lips and drank straight from it. While he did so, the gray man spoke again. His voice was oddly quiet. "So, are you going to kill me, too?" Akahari, satisfied, set the bottle back down on the table mostly empty. The man laughed then, a harsh sound as he turned those bi-colored eyes on the speaker. It seemed like he was contemplating what he saw.

"I should, but I owe you." The invasive red of his irises slowly seeming to be washed away by the gold. He had come close to losing his cool twice now, and that didn't bode well for him. He couldn't risk shedding more blood by killing Kazuki and besides...there really was a debt he had to repay. "I know you were the one who kept me out of the hands of the worst of them. In you're own fucked up way...you love me don't you? My mother used it as a threat once. 'I'll tell that gray bastard to go to hell and sell you to the first pedophile that shows up with a knife in one hand and enough money in the other to set me up for life.' I had mentioned us running way together. Saving up our money to start a new life where no one could bother us." In other words, the reason Kazuki had been his worst tormentor was because he had threatened his mother against selling him to anyone who would cause him permanent mental or physical damage. The other man was silent, and for once that expression was unsure. Fractured. Not knowing what it should put on display for the world.

The man on the floor was having coughing fits now, and he looked away in case he coughed up blood. Grabbing the bottle, he drained the last of it and threw the bottle angrily at the wall. It shattered, raining glass down the wooden cabinet it had struck. They were far enough from the main camp that he knew the sound wouldn't he heard well if at all over the sound of the people's lives moving forward. "And if anything, you did treat us well when we weren't pieces in your sick bedroom games. I don't even know if I can truly blame you for being born so weak and flawed. If I should pity you for the naturally occurring defects, or take it upon myself to rid the world of another useless nuisance." A moment passed as he examined a shard of glass imbedded in the cabinet from where he stood. "But the world honestly doesn't care about you, or your feelings, or anyone else's. It keeps spinning on it's broken axis and allowing the atrocities borne from it's shadows to become the twisted, demented things referred to as humans."

His breath came shivering from his lips, not from over exertion but from the emotion. Was he confessing his inner thoughts to Kazuki, of all people? Maybe it was because he felt he could understand how he felt. In a way, it seemed he did. The man on the floor was forgotten, but it seemed he had already stopped struggling and gone quiet as if listening. It was like the world took a breath as the gray man stepped forward and said the words he had known but didn't want to admit. "You're in love, too, aren't you?" Akahari looked away, his face twisted in a scowl as if he was disgusted. This man was always so good at reading him, too, though. They had certainly spent enough time together to figure out the small things, but his face always gave him away regardless if he felt strongly enough. "It's that person you pledged to, isn't it? I saw it in your face. It was a look I used to wish I'd see on your face when you thought about me. That was why Tatami gave up on you so easily. He saw it, too."

"Shut up." He hissed, moving in angry steps back to where the Uchiha lay face down in filth. Reaching down, he pressed his hand to his neck. No pulse. Good, now he could go home and be done with this mission. Home? Since when was Kirigakure a home to him? "The irony of your situation makes me want to laugh. Running from a master you do not love, who loves you. Right in to the shadow of a master who does not love you, but you would die for. God has a sense of humor, indeed." That was it. He was done with this conversation. So done. Kazuki started to speak again, but the younger man spoke over him. "The next time I see you, there won't be an unpaid debt to save you. I will cut you down without a second thought." Those intense eyes bore down on the man, glaring with an intensity similar to staring in the sun's midday brilliance. A small note in his voice suggested hesitation as he spoke, "I have to report back to Mizukage-sama before sun down. I will tell him the caravan will be gone before the weeks end. If it isn't, I'll be back looking for blood Kazuki." He passed through the tent flaps without another word, staring straight ahead even after bumping in to the duo who had brought him there in the first place. They stared after him for a moment, and the younger one said something he couldn't hear, but they let him be. That was all he wanted.

-5427+1402= 6829 words.

[End]
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