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A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis]

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PostSubject: A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] EmptyThu 05 Feb 2015, 12:03 am

RETURN: A lone shadow moved silently but steadily across the plains of the Lightning Country. From a distance it'd seem that this shadow had no particular form as it moved quickly forward. It wasn't until one would come up close that they would notice the hints of a feminine build underneath all the clothing. She was clad in black pants which fit her snugly, a black tank top and her black coat which was zipped up. On her feet, Kirima was wearing ninja boots like the ones she had previously owned. In order to hide her crimson hair so that she wouldn't be spotted from a great distance, she had the hood of the coat covering her head. Atop of that hood was a pair of cute cat ears, which were very much in contrast with the overall shady look. This coat was something she had previously owned before the whole -accident-, and despite finding those ears a bit strange, she had decided to take it with her. The lower part of her face was hidden underneath a dark brown scarf which was tied around her neck. She was rather warmly clad, and was sweating her ass off, but it was windy and Kirima also wanted to make sure that she wouldn't be a screaming target as she travelled. It was better to blend in like this. On her right hip she had a ninja kit she had managed to get her hands on, and some scrolls. During the time she had spent in the Water Country, she had managed to gain most if not all of her possessions back - one way or the other.

Her bright blue eyes scanned the surroundings as she kept walking. It was just about two days ago that she arrived in the Lightning Country, and so far nothing had really happened that would be triggering her memory. She had been walking for the most part of those days, only stopping when she needed to sleep or if she came across an interesting piece of landscape that she wanted to investigate. This country truly was beautiful, all the mountains stirred something within her, and even if her mind remained blank - then her heart told her that she was home. At times she had felt so moved she was close to tears. The young female however avoided people and any villages since she didn't want any trouble. If someone would recognize her, it would probably end badly. The last thing she needed right now was trouble. Kirima didn't want to fight anyone. She didn't want to hurt anyone and most certainly would she want to avoid killing people. However, she had a strong sense of survival and knew that she would put up a fight if anyone would attack her. Even if she wasn't all that familiar with her own abilities then she was in a pretty good shape. All the injuries she had received during the fall of Kirigakure had healed, but a small scar remained on her right temple where the nasty wound had previously been.

The same wound which had robbed Kirima of all her memories.

It was roughly around afternoon that her stomach started growling fiercely, reminding the young woman that she hadn't had a bite since the day before. With a quick glance in every direction, she swiftly moved up a small hill and had a seat there so that she might have a nice view in every direction. Her back rested against a large boulder which would act as a shield. It seemed like these parts of the country held very little population so she was safe for the most part - but one never knew whom could be on the move. There were after all ninjas everywhere, or so she had been told. After being seated, she pulled the backpack off her back and pushed the scarf down so that it would stop covering her mouth. The backpack was opened and out she pulled a loaf of bread and a chunk of cheese. Not really a huge selection she had of food, but truly she did not care at the moment as long as she had something to feast upon. A bottle of water was pulled out as well before the female started eating at a slow pace.

Just where was she heading now? What exactly was her destination? What was her goal to return here? Deep down she knew that she was circling Kumogakure, like a cat would circle a bowl of hot soup. She wanted to go there, every single cell in her body was screaming at her to do it, but that would be an act of suicide. Atsu had explained to her just what could happen to a Jinchuuriki like herself. She wanted to believe that people could be understanding and kind and actually listen to her story ... but Kirima was no idiot. She knew that most likely she'd be locked up or killed. That was apparently the life of a ninja which had disregarded of their birth village. But I was kidnapped wasn't I... this sucks. Just why did I stay in Kirigakure after being kidnapped? Why did I say goodbye to my old life? Something must have happened back in Kumogakure. Maybe something bad... maybe I did something bad? Am I perhaps a criminal on the run? Did I allow for myself to be kidnapped?

"What a harsh and complicated world this is."

A heavy sigh escaped the female before her pearly white, slightly sharp, teeth bit a chunk out of the bread. Even as she thought about it, she was quick to deny the fact that she was a killer on the run. Despite not knowing much about herself, she could feel that she wasn't a cruel person. A bit of a ditz, a little insecure, perhaps a bit shy - but a murderer? No. It just wasn't a chance.

But if that really is the truth... then what will I do?

She chewed slowly on the food whilst staring off into the nothingness. If it was true that she was a criminal on the run, she would not return again to the Water Country. There was a rather high chance that she would simply turn herself in.
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PostSubject: Re: A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] EmptyThu 05 Feb 2015, 3:02 pm

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K-thunk... shiff... k-thunk... shiff...

Over and over again, the dagger flipped in his hand, razor edge twining delicately around practiced fingers, before being tossed down into the soft loam once more, piercing the earth with a dull thud. Each time, it made a gentle sound of shifting dirt as it was withdrawn, and tossed again. Gouka never once looked at the knife as he played with it, never once needed to. His mask askew across half his face, a cigarette tucked in his lips, deep blue eyes gazed sightlessly across the endless plains as he... Enjoyed would be an entirely inappropriate word... as he suffered, through the burning cancer stick. The wind had picked up on the plains, and he detested the carcinogen tubes enough without having the smoke blow back in his face. So for the moment, he would allow himself to... not quite relax, not quite rest, but remain not quite as tense as he normally was.

He looked, plainly speaking, like a corpse that had seen too little sunlight. His skin was pale, which only further enhanced the appearance of the dark bags under his eyes. He looked of a man who had only a casual relationship with sleep, when the screaming and eternal struggle to retain his identity didn't send him careening awake in a cold sweat. His hair, black as coal, hung limp on his head, with a greasy unkemptedness that spoke of little hygiene in some time.

Tou-san! Tou-san!

Orihime, no!


He took a long, slow drag on the cig, hacking as a coughing fit hit him. Some missions were harder than others, it seemed, and he would much rather replace the cigarette with something liquid, but he knew deep down that once he started drinking, he'd never stop. Cancer, at least, would kill him slower, and if nothing else, the nicotine helped combat the prolonged, relentless sleep deprivation. He may have been able to outwit the Hebinoo as far as his waking hours were concerned, but in the depths of the night, the attempted possession continued in earnest. Some nights, it was subtle; he'd be having an almost pleasant dream, when the nightmares would start. Most nights, his nightmares were the sort of stuff that, if he were being honest during his pysch evals (if he had to undergo psych evals to begin with), would get him declared unfit for duty so fast one would think he'd rediscovered Hirashin.

The cigarette slipped from his mouth as he let it fall, a boot crushing down on it to ensure it was out. Slipping his mask back into place, he retrieved his knife a final time, slipping it into its sheath. He'd be back within the village soon enough, and then it'd be the same old routine; paperwork, proof of death, and then back out again. As long as there were two people left in the world, someone would want someone else dead; as long as there was a Hidden Village, there would always be voiced that needed silencing. Kept Gouka employed at least, though he wonder what the little boy that had gone into the cave all those years ago would have thought of the man he'd become. He snorted softly to himself. 'He'd probably wish for his death in that cave.'

Standing up, Gouka extracted himself from the hollow in the hill he'd positioned himself in. As he stoo up, he caught a flicker of something, off in the distance. Keen eyes narrowed, tracing the movement. A dot of black, moving across the plains. There for a moment, then gone as it disappeared behind a hill. He considered his options for a long moment. Whatever it was, it had been a fair ways off from the "road," that is, the path along the plains where the grass tended to be thinnest from periodic foot-traffic. Could just have been a wild animal, but something about the shape had seemed... Off.

He ran his tongue along his teeth in consideration. Most likely, investigating would just be a waste of time... But then, it wasn't as if he had a particular appointment to keep. KYOBU typically got large amounts of leeway in their missions; it would take extraordinary lengths of time before any thought to question an Operative's absence. Who knows; it might simply be a lost traveler, or a fellow Kumo shinobi returning from their own mission. And if they proved less than savory... Well, a KYOBU's work was never done.

He leaned down low, holding himself level with the ground as he stalked off. For an operative of his skills, it was child's play to keep low out of the line of sight, to follow the curvature of the land to keep hidden. He was also capable of a fairly moderate, ground-eating pace; certainly nothing of compare to his top speed, but it was a moderately fast pace that he could maintain indefinitely, and perhaps most importantly, quietly; a KYOBU without stealth capacity was an assassin who couldn't get away with the deed if he tried.

He began to slow down as he got closer to where he'd sighted the movement, his mind focusing inward; by his reckoning, his was roughly within sensory range of the target now. Crouching down as he came to a complete stop, his sense of perception drifted outwards. Across the vast, empty plains of Kumogakure, there was little to no life, it was easy enough to home in on the chakra signature; even at the absolute edge of his perception, the sheer mass of it was more than enough to-

He forgot how to breathe.

He wasn't fully aware of when he started running, setting a blistering pace as he forwent all efforts and attempts at stealth. He moved only by sheer instinct, his mind still frozen in the moment of discovery. It couldn't be. He couldn't afford to have hope, not no. Not after so many years. If he was wrong, he'd simply break all over again, and there just... Wasn't enough pieces left to survive that.

He tore over from the other side of the boulder, arcing through the air as he twisted to face himself towards it. Feet slammed against the ground as he skidded across the dirt, digging little trenches as he bled off momentum. He froze in place, hardly remembering to breathe once again. Face, a little older, her shock of red hair covered by a ridiculous cat-eared cloak, but the eyes- eyes clear to the world. The eyes that helped him get through the nightmares, to keep getting up day after day.

For the first time in over two years, Takeshi Gouka had come face to face with Hanzoku Kirima. Unable to hide the tremor in his voice, for the first time in a long time, he sounded not at all like the KYOBU operative he had become, and like the wreck of a young man he'd allowed to die. "... Kit kat?... Kirima?"



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PostSubject: Re: A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] EmptySat 07 Feb 2015, 11:35 pm

CONFUSION: The last piece of bread was popped into her open mouth before the young female took a few large sips of the water. She was full, fairly content, and ready to go. It'd have been a lot nicer having a warm meal, and being able to eat something more juicy. But oh well, a lone traveller couldn't be too picky. She sighed, started packing her things, and then looked one more time over the scenery which lay in front of her. A slight chill ran bone deep as she looked at the highest peaks of the highest mountains. Why was it that she got this looming feel of dread whenever she looked upon the beautiful mountains? They certainly were a sight for sore eyes after having spent some time in the somewhat flat Water Country. And mountains sure as heck beat deep water and the ocean. Is this just my hidden memory telling me that something is off? She finally stood up and tore her eyes away from the landscape. This was not helping her mood the least bit. But just as she was about to swing the backpack upon her back and continue her journey, the young red head froze.

Something... no ... someone was close?

It had been a sharp stab at the back of her head this sudden appearance of another person. However Kirima had no idea just who this person was or where the heck they were for that matter. All she knew was that she was sensing someone whom could just as easily be standing on her head without her noticing it properly. The problem with not remembering properly that you are a ninja makes it really difficult trying to control your ninja abilities. Her thoughts kept tumbling around in confusion until she could suddenly hear the soft thuds of footsteps - coming straight in her direction. It seemed that whomever she was sensing had also sensed her. Did that mean she was now in really deep shit?

Kirima had barely even gathered her bearings and started thinking of some sort of a plan when a shadow suddenly appeared before her. A human being was in front of Kirima, and not just any human being - because it was not normal for anyone to be able to move this quickly. Silence fell over the two as he had skidded to a halt and turned abruptly in order to face her properly. Kirima's hands squeezed tightly onto the backpack she was holding as she looked with uncertainty and a bit of fear at this stranger. His face was covered with a mask but she could make out a little bit of very pale skin and dark, lanky hair. He seemed tall and even if he looked rather thin - then it was apparent he was in very good shape. This young man (it seemed from first glance that he looked around her own age) kept gawking at the young Jinchuuriki. He looked a bit like he had seen a ghost. And perhaps that was just what she was. The silence kept stretching on as she was but -stared- down, and the very uncomfortable woman was just about to ask what his deal was, when the male spoke out with a trembling voice.

"... Kit kat?... Kirima?"

Her sapphire eyes grew huge in her face. He knew her?! Kit Kat. Was that some nickname of mine? The backpack dropped down onto the ground from her frozen fingertips before Kirima reached her arms up and peeled the hood off of her head, allowing her wild and fiery hair to come fully into view. Her heart felt like it would flutter out of her chest any minute now as she fought to contain the excitement that was threatening to burst out. She was now the one whom stared at him like he was the ghost. She had met someone that knew her!! Someone that even had a nickname for her! This was the chance she had been waiting for! But... the excitement also quickly turned into nervousness as she didn't even know -how- this person knew her. Did they perhaps hate each other? Had they parted in anger and hate? Was he perhaps the one sent out to hunt her down?

The obvious doubt, fear, hesitation and suspicion were all too easily mirrored in the depths of her beautiful eyes as she looked that male over once more, before parting her lips slightly. Would she dare ask just how exactly he knew her? Would she want to hear the answer?

I can't become a coward now! Not when I'm this close to the truth!

"I..."

She swallowed nervously, tried to stop the trembling from reaching her voice.

"Y-you know me."

She wasn't exactly asking it, since it was fairly obvious. But she wanted ... something more. How well did he know her? What had happened? Who was he? Was he a nice person or a bad person? Why can't I remember? What's wrong with my head?! The despair was starting to take a hold of her. What if she would never remember? What if this was her destiny? To be without her past forever... The nasty, familiar pressure which had snuck into her head after the accident seemed to grow more persistent the more she tried to remember, and almost automatically did her hand fly up towards her temple where the scar lay. Stop this. I need to remember. Stop.

"Please, what's your name? How do you know me?!"

She took a step closer to the male, her whole body shaking from the mental anguish over not being able to recognize that nickname nor the voice carrying it. It was apparent from the rising pitch of her voice and the overall expression of the young woman that she was in quite the shocked state.

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PostSubject: Re: A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] EmptyMon 09 Feb 2015, 4:42 am

Legend:
 



It had been hard, waking up from the nightmare to find out his life had been traded for Mikado Kaze's death. It had been harder still, learning of the loss of his parents, and being force to pull the plug on his own sister. But nothing, nothing in all his life, had been harder than the ceremony for Kirima's "funeral." A shallow, empty grave, the ceremony attended only by a few officials and a man Gouka had presumed to be Kirima's grandfather. Her gravestone was just a few short paces from Kaze's own empty grave. It had been on that day, knowing his last remaining friend was gone and never coming back, that Gouka had first seriously considered taking his own life. He had stood alone at the grave stone for a long, long time before heading home.

He'd lived. He'd survived. And he told himself every day, that Kirima would beat seven different kinds of daylight out of his ass if he went through with it. He'd thrown himself into his work, no sooner finishing one mission than heading out into his next. With every kill, with every battle, a little part of him silently hoped that this would be the one that'd end his life. That he would finally find peace.

And now, here he was. His best friend before him, alive and hale, and not a scrap of recognition on her face.

Fear, panic, confusion, everything raced clear as day across those sapphire blue eyes. Hidden by his mask, Gouka's own eyes were alight with the faintest glimmer of hope... And a pain that cut him sharper than any knife, deeper than any of the myriad of scars decorating his body. For of all the emotions reflecting in Hanzoku Kirima's eyes, recognition was not one of them. She looked at him like she'd never seen him before, and it hurt more than Gouka could have ever expected.

She moved slowly, hesitantly, removing her hood, fully revealing her shockingly bright, vivid red hair. "I... Y-you know me." There was fear and hope in equal measure in the trembling of her voice. She took a step closer to him, her voice rising, cracking. "Please, what's your name? How do you know me?!" Gouka couldn't take his eyes away from her face. All her fear was laid out bare, and still she didn't recognize him. His eyes darted over her face, looking for something, anything- and latched onto the vicious looking scar on her forehead.

Just like that, things clicked into place. He almost heaved a sigh of relief as the logic train pieced together; something had happened on that mission, something to out her out of commission and maker her forget. But she was here. She was home. She'd come back. 'She didn't abandon me. Not intentionally.' He took a deep, shuddering breath, his hands rising up to grip his mask. "I... I know you. I know you very well." His fingers trembled slightly as he unhooked the mask, pulling it down from his face. His eyes squinted for a moment in the bright sunlight, and he was suddenly extremely self-conscious of the way his facial scars stretched across his cheeks as he spoke. "Your name is Hanzoku Kirima. Two years ago, you saved my life." He attempted a weak smile, but it simply felt... Wrong, with his scars.

"From the day I started the academy, you were my best friend." He shuddered slightly, his voice lowering as he continued. "Two years ago, you helped me discover the fate of my father, and it nearly killed us... But saving me cost us both a... Friend, and left me in critical condition. While I was recovering, you were sent on a mission after a missing nin. You never returned, and vanished without a trace." He looked her fully in the eyes, his pain clear to see with his mask out of the way. "What happened, Kirima? Where have you been? You were... You were declared dead, after the first year." He abruptly shook his head, swallowing heavily. "No, no... It's pretty clear you remember next to nothing."

He hesitantly took a step closer. Deep down inside, some human part of him he thought long dead wanted to rush across the last few steps and throw his arms around her, just squeeze until something felt right again. But he knew, at this point, that that would be going too far. She was liable to bolt like a startled deer, and honestly, as tense and high strung as he was, he was liable to simply fall apart. The closest thing he'd had to "physical contact" was when he slid his knife across a target's throat.

"So... Let's work through this. What can you remember? What questions do you have?" This time, he did manage a small, crooked, broken grin, as a small, meager portion of humanity returned to him. "We might both be pretty broken, but their might be enough pieces of the puzzle between us to make a collage, at least."


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PostSubject: Re: A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] EmptyTue 24 Feb 2015, 11:01 pm

CONFUSION: "I... I know you, I know you very well."

Kirima felt as if she had been robbed of her breath as she listened to that man speak out. He had been looking at her with such a bewildered expression that it almost scared the young red head, but the joy and excitement over being recognized conquered the uneasiness within her chest and mind. So she waited, waited eagerly on what more he would say. What kind of information he could give her. At the same time she was also terrified that her memory would never come back. A small tremble ran through her body as she watched him slowly take off his mask. Her gaze swept across his slightly pale face, lingered a bit over the bizarre scarring, before she looked deep into his dark blue eyes. Her heart started pounding so hard it almost hurt.

"Your name is Hanzoku Kirima. Two years ago, you saved my life."

Yes, that's what Atsu said my name was. So I can trust that this male really does know me. She kept staring in his eyes. Hoping and praying that suddenly, like a thunder from the sky, her memory would strike her and return fully. If she had saved his life, then she was bound to remember his face. He had probably meant something to her. It just had to be. Simply from the way he had been looking at her told Kirima that they had been close. Then why had she woken up in the Water Country?

"From the day I started the academy, you were my best friend."

Kirima swallowed and swallowed but her mouth was so dry that her tongue got stuck to her gum.

"Two years ago, you helped me discover the fate of my father, and it nearly killed us... But saving me cost us both a... Friend, and left me in critical condition. While I was recovering, you were sent on a mission after a missing nin. You never returned, and vanished without a trace."

Her eyes opened wider at that. So, just before she had been taken to Kirigakure... that had happened? The pain in that male's eyes and his voice caused Kirima to flinch slightly. Just what had happened? Why had she stayed in Kirigakure after being kidnapped there? Atsu had only managed to give her a tiny bit of information on the matter, and even he hadn't known exactly why she had decided to stay there. I left this guy. This friend of mine. Why? Was it because of this incident he's speaking of? The feelings were welling up inside of her, her heart was hurting a bit and a knot was forming in her stomach. There was a slight hint of a buzzing and weirdly pressuring feeling which was appearing at the back of her head, like her brain was desperately trying to recall these events - and her body was responding with a bit of panic in return.

Did she truly want to remember? Was she ready to face the truth?

"What happened, Kirima? Where have you been? You were... You were declared dead, after the first year."

Her lips parted, but no sound came out at first. She didn't know what to say. How to respond. She still knew nothing, despite her feelings attacking her so abruptly before. Just what was she supposed to say right now? Even if he backed down with the questions, admitting that she probably didn't remember after all, then she still felt pressured to at least try and say something.

"I...I'm sorry I can't really.."

Her hand went up to her temple again, rubbing lightly at it as Kirima's panicked gaze was lowered to the ground. Her limbs were trembling now from the strain of her emotions. The female noticed that dark haired man stepping closer to her, and instantly her head snapped up as her gaze went back to his face. He looks so vulnerable. So confused. Just like me. I... I wish I could help him somehow. Give him answers, but I don't even have answers for myself. Somewhere deep down, something was telling her to just step forward and hug that guy. Wrap her arms around him and comfort him and perhaps herself at the same time. But Kirima couldn't move. It was like she was stuck to the ground, like her legs were made out of solid stone.

"So... Let's work through this. What can you remember? What questions do you have?" Her large, slightly slanted, cat-like eyes kept staring at him with that same confusion and fear reflected in them as before. Truly she remembered very little if anything at all, but she did know... oh boy did she know that she had indeed left him behind. Could she really tell him the truth? What would he think and say? It would definitely hurt him a great deal if everything he had been saying was correct. "We might both be pretty broken, but their might be enough pieces of the puzzle between us to make a collage, at least."

Her hands were clasped in front of her and she anxiously rubbed her fingers together. Sweat gathered rapidly in her palms as she avoided his gaze, unable to look at him any longer.

"I..."

She swallowed, licked her dry lips, glanced up at the male.

"I can't remember anything before the ...accident I was in a few weeks ago. But a person that was with me filled me in on a few things. Told me what my name is, and told me what exactly I am. And I got to know that I had been in Kirigakure for some time. I was staying there as one of them."

She paused and looked past the man, her gaze wandering over the scenery which surrounded them. Again, the sight of the tall and proud mountains gave her a chill. Bone deep, cold chill.

"I don't know why I was there. I was told I got kidnapped, probably during that mission you speak of... but the rest. I don't know. I don't know why I decided to stay there. I don't really know anything at the moment. Atsu told me that the Mizukage at the time had somehow convinced me. But..."

She frowned and paused. A flicker of something kept crossing her mind. Blue eyes, blonde hair. Then black hair and green eyes. The face of a middle aged man. A soft groan escaped the female as the pressure kept building in her head.

"This incident. I need to know more. Was that why I decided to stay away? Just what happened exactly? ... ummm I'm sorry but your name?"

It was strange to keep speaking to a guy she couldn't even address properly, so no matter if it hurt him even more, Kirima had to simply ask him for his name.

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PostSubject: Re: A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] EmptySat 28 Feb 2015, 9:09 pm

Legend:
 



"I...I'm sorry I can't really.."

It pained Gouka. It really, truly, physically pained him, the expressions on Kirima's face. There was nothing, not the faintest trace of recognition on her face. There was fear, but there was excitement as well; it clearly meant a great deal to her that she had managed to stumble across someone who recognized her. Still, Gouka found himself hating the expression, because for all the hope in her eyes and for all that it felt good just to see her again, it just ate at him inside that she could so completely forget him. The circumstances were beyond her control, perhaps, but still, the pain was there.

By the time he had finished speaking, nervous fear had taken over her expression entirely. Hands rubbed against each other under a sheen of sweat, and her gaze darted around, looking anywhere but his eyes. It made a pit in the depth of Gouka's stomach, and he felt it slowly filling with his own share of nervous fear. She clearly remembered something, but the hesitance she was exhibiting made him wonder what precisely she remembered. What do you know, Kirima? What are you afraid of telling me?' The question, ringing in his mind, he kept to himself.

"I can't remember anything before the ...accident I was in a few weeks ago. But a person that was with me filled me in on a few things. Told me what my name is, and told me what exactly I am. And I got to know that I had been in Kirigakure for some time. I was staying there as one of them..."

One of them.

It felt like he was slowly detaching from his own body, his spirit just, floating away, a passive observer. Her words had swiftly become a distant echo, barely coherent to him. It couldn't be. Not that. Not Kirima. Anything at all but that. He barely registered a mention of the kidnapping, which almost managed to lift his spirits for a moment, but then the knowledge that the Mizukage had convinced her to stay. Not coerced, not threatened, convinced, persuaded. Time seemed to slow to a stop for him, his mind unable... No, refusing, to consider the implications of this.

HAH! WHERE IS YOUR RESOLVE NOW, MORTAL?

Every muscle in his body instantly clenched and strained, almost visibly quivering as the Hebinoo made its influence known. It didn't overtly try to gain control, but it was very pointedly exercising its existence in his chakra circulatory system. He could almost feel the vile chakra coursing through his veins as he chuckled with a low, prolonged hiss, like rustling autumn leaves.

WHAT'S THE MATTER, JESSSSSSTRE? It hissed out his name with a mocking slur that made his skin crawl. It had never referred to him by name before, and it made him hate the name more than he'd ever thought possible. IT'S OBVIOUS YOUR SO CALLED 'FRIEND' IS A TRAITOR. YOU'VE CUT THEM DOWN SO READILY, SO EASILY BEFORE, WHY SHOULD NOW BE ANY DIFFERENT? Suddenly, the snake began pressuring on his mind, and his hands clamped fiercely to the hilts of his daggers, visibly quivering. CUT HER DOWN, AS YOU'VE CUT DOWN SO MANY OTHERS. DO IT! It laughed again, a dry sound like bones crumbling to dust.

'No!' He snapped back at the snake, it laughter cutting off as he flared his chakra, throwing off its poisonous influence. It was all he could do to control his breathing. He knew the struggle would have been obvious, but that... He couldn't deal with that right now. There were already too many struggles in store for him on this day. And Kami as his witness, he'd be damned if he believed Honzoku Kirima, his best friend, was a traitor.

"This incident. I need to know more. Was that why I decided to stay away? Just what happened exactly? ... ummm I'm sorry but your name?"

That broke him out of his stupor, like a slap to the face. He'd thought it hurt enough knowing that she couldn't remember him, but putting it so... Solidly. She couldn't even recall his name, and it hurt Gouka more than he'd already thought possible.

"... Gouka. My name is Gouka." He whispered it quietly, just barely audible. And it struck him then, as well, how odd his name felt. It was like he was speaking of a stranger. Slowly, it dawned on him why. He hadn't heard his name; the name that was the only legacy of his mother in his life; spoken aloud in nearly two years. Not since Kirima had disappeared. It brought into him a coldness he did not care to dwell over. He pressed on, launching into answering her question.

"I'm not sure how much I can tell you, about the incident. I spent most of it unconscious, and learned most of the details second-hand. But, I'll tell you what I do know." He shifted on his feet as he moved slowly, taking care not to alarm her as he moved past her, sitting down on the hillside. He felt completely drained for reasons he could not begin to describe, and the seat made him feel a little more at ease, if for not other reason than no longer having his back exposed. He continued on.

"A couple months before you disappeared, we were assigned to a mission together." He clasped his hands to his knees. "Short version? An underground cave that held the remains of my father, and the team that'd been escorting him, also turned out to be holding a metric fuck-ton of wolves." One of his hands rose up, rubbing along his stomach. Even now, the sensation of those jagged fangs ripping him open was vividly impressed on his mind. Without Kirima's field-aid... The memory still woke him in a cold sweat some nights, among others.

"As far as I could tell, they were some kind of wild summon; ravenously hungry, and the larger ones could manipulate lightning. We almost escaped... Until one the size of a house caught up to us." He hesitated a moment now. He couldn't be sure how much she'd forgotten, how much was lost in the mists of amnesia. He had no idea how she'd react, if she didn't already know... But he had to tell her, even then. "I... Don't know if you still remember this... But you're the host of the Nibi no Nekomata. We were sealed in the caves, and you used your powers to help us escape. The effort drained you, and the giant wolf was catching up, so... I summoned a clone to carry you to safety, and used all my exploding tags to reseal the entrance, while I held it off from simply digging its way out."

That fight had been the worst in Gouka's life; worse even than when he'd been broken saving his sister, worse still than any fight since. There were nights when he still woke up, choking down a scream and drenched and sweat, as the memory of those fangs snapping shut flashed in his mind. It was the one set of scars he was most tempted to have healed, the memory he would least mind forgetting.

"I... Survived, barely, and continued to survive until you came back, about a month later. With Mikado Kaze." He paused again, watching. Looking for a sign of recognition in her eyes. If she remember Kaze, and yet not him... He didn't want to dwell on the thought. "I sensed the two of you, and tried to meet up, only to be ambushed by the few remaining wolf stragglers. The fight knocked me out. By the time I came to again, it was in the hospital in Kumogakure, and..."

He swallowed nervously. Memories flashed in his head, of dirty blonde hair and hazel eyes and such a beaming look of pride when Gouka had taught him how to better throw a kunai. He regretted not being a better friend... Or really, a friend at all, to Kaze. "... By the time I came to, you had already been missing for weeks, and Kaze was over a month since buried. He'd died saving me, and you'd been forced to leave his body behind." He clasped his hands together. "Anything else that happened after that, is apparently locked in your head. That said..."

He paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts. If his faint, hazy memories of the politics of the nations were true... Well, he'd fervently cling to the possibility that he'd managed to conjure. Anything at all was more likely- he viciously silenced a whisper of thought that said 'More likeable'- than the idea that his best friend had turned her back on the village. "You say you were kidnapped to Kirigakure, and persuaded to stay by the Mizukage... If my memory serves me, the Mizukage at the time was Yamanaka Inoshi. A renowned and powerful genjutsu user, and equally skilled in the mind-controlling abilities of his clan." Fighting down the part of himself that told him he was trying to convince himself more than anything, he met her eyes. "It's... Highly likely he could have used those abilities, combined their effects, to convince you you were a willing defector, to make you think it was your own decision to stay. A jinchuriki is a powerful tool to have, and not one easily relinquished."

He hated himself a little even as he said it, but it had to be said; most villages saw their Bijuu hosts as little more than weapons. And it was far, far easier to believe Kirima had been brainwashed into staying in Kiri than it was to believe the... Alternative.



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PostSubject: Re: A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] EmptySun 22 Mar 2015, 7:48 pm

CONFUSION: Her frightened and nervous gaze flickered to the young man's face as she awaited on his response to what she had said. This was probably a lot for him to take in at once. This meeting of theirs seemed to be tip toeing on the thin line between pure bliss and a great disaster. Atsu  had already told her that the villages were supposedly enemies and therefore it'd probably be better if she wouldn't go blathering on about where she had been for the last years. But there was no way she could lie to this man whom stood here in front of her. No matter if she was perhaps endangering herself... Kirima felt like the truth had to be told. If not only to better help her retrieve her own memories. Although it hurt her to see that look of confusion, shock and something resembling anger on the man's pale and scarred face. Her keen eyesight had also noticed how suddenly his body had tensed up, and truly at that moment had her heart jumped up into her throat.

Because no matter what this man said he -had- once been to her, right now he was just ... a stranger whom could possibly kill her. Even if Kirima was unaware of her own skills and especially the Chakra Sensory, she could still feel the fluctuations of the male's Chakra. It.... scared her even more. Her nostrils flared slightly as she tried swallowing, but her mouth was as dry as sandpaper. She had also noticed the twitching of his hands, she knew he was armed. Knew he was deadly. Am I going to die here?

"... Gouka. My name is Gouka."

A small twinge in her heart, something told her that she did know her name - yet it was still so foggy. Everything remained hidden within her mind. However, she was still alive. It seemed like whatever it was that had caused Gouka to fight so fiercely with himself was now resolved, as he told Kirima he'd share with her whatever information he had. And so her blue eyes followed him as he passed her and then promptly sat down on the ground. Sympathy and guilt swirled around in her mind as she watched that dark clad, dark haired friend of hers sitting there; she felt like she had betrayed him in so many manners.

Kirima almost held her breath as he kept talking, explaining that they had gone to some mission in a cave and how a bunch of wolves had attacked them. The female shivered, looked away from Gouka and back to the mountains which surrounded them. Was that why she felt so negative towards the mountains? Did her body remember that time in the cave? Was there some sort of an alarm system going on in her mind that she was currently unaware of? The more Gouka shared with the young female, the more shocked she felt. What kind of a sick mission had they been sent on? Just what was going on inside of this crazy ninja world? She let out a shaky breath, just as he started talking about how she had used her Jinchuuriki powers in order to help out.

So clearly he knows about that part of me... so he is probably not lying about anything.

The pressure was returning inside of her head, immense and dreadful pressure that caused Kirima to groan slightly. For a second, she felt as if her nose was filled with the damp, rotten smell of old earth. Her teeth were gritting as she rubbed her forehead and hissed out a breath of discomfort. Had that mission been so disastrous that her mind had decided it was just for the best to forget? But then, another name she was supposed to remember was uttered out.

Mikado Kaze...

By now the pressure was so intense, she thought she was at the verge of fainting. Her distraught eyes looked at Gouka as he now switched the subject to Kirigakure. As if nothing was more natural than talking about such a terrible thing from the past, and then going back to the subject at hand how she might be a traitor.

"It's... Highly likely he could have used those abilities, combined their effects, to convince you you were a willing defector, to make you think it was your own decision to stay. A jinchuriki is a powerful tool to have, and not one easily relinquished."

"So....so I've heard."

Her voice was but a hoarse whisper as she dragged in a shaky breath. Yes, a weapon. A weapon of the ninja world. That was who she was. Tears started gathering in her sapphire colored orbs, her lips shook slightly as she tried her best to keep it together. That disgusting smell of rotten earth... dampness... fear and blood lingered in her nose. As she closed her eyes, she could have sworn she saw a flash of something... a beastly face, hazel eyes, blood, Gouka's pale face.

"Gouka... I remember... something. You... I remember ..."

His name sounded almost like a plea for help as she let herself fall down onto the ground into a crouching position. The tears she had been fighting so desperately started to pour down her cheeks and dampened the earth she was sitting upon. She was actually starting to experience pain for the first time in her head, something more than just the pressure. She cradled her face in her hands, her body shaking violently as the first few images and thoughts were dragged by force into her mind.

"He... died. Kaze died."

She sobbed the words out between her fingers. That sadness, sense of loss, guilt, anger - they were all coming back to her. As if everything had happened just the day before. By the time she actually looked again at Gouka, her eyes were blazing with all the emotions she was experiencing at once. Her hand lifted hesitantly as she reached for Gouka, before suddenly her arm dropped again and her expression darkened. Exhaustion crashed over her. Regret came next, regret that she would be forced to remember all this.

"I don't want to remember this. I don't want to experience this again. Gouka, I... I don't know what I can say. I don't know what happened with that Mizukage. I don't know why I decided to..."

She had to look away. Couldn't possibly meet Gouka's eyes because she -knew- that deep down she had blamed that old friend of hers for the death of Kaze. She feared -that- had actually been a part of the reason why she had left. And she really feared that he would figure that out as well.

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PostSubject: Re: A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] EmptyTue 24 Mar 2015, 4:40 pm

Legend:
 



Takeshi Gouka had felt many things in his life. He'd been stabbed, beaten, tortured, felt the pangs of near starvation and had more bones broken then he cared to recount- once, a wolf the size of a small house has even nearly eaten him. Everyone of importance to him had been ripped away, and he'd looked his sister in the face as the last, shallow semblance of life had left her as the machines turned off. He was a battered, broken mess of scars, both physical and mental.

He had never hurt more than he did now, seeing Kirima cry.

It had come slowly at first. The longer he talked, the more hurt had built up in here eyes, until finally, she remembered... Something. Nothing about Gouka, it seemed. Only Kaze... And his death. He watched numbly as she fell to the ground, tearing falling to soak into the parched earth. A lonesome, quiet part of him, a distant memory of an echo, screamed for him to do something, anything- comfort her, hold her, something. But the echo was lost long before any semblance of an urge could reach his limbs.

"I don't want to remember this. I don't want to experience this again. Gouka, I... I don't know what I can say. I don't know what happened with that Mizukage. I don't know why I decided to..."

Her voice trailed away, and she was unable to look him in the eyes. 'I don't want to remember this.' 'I don't want to remember this.' 'I don't want to remember this.' Somewhere in his mind, something went click... And an icy cold fit to put the arctic tundra to shame swept over him. A cold that he'd subjected himself to time and time again to complete his missions. His duty. Whatever might have happened, whatever their past might have been... This was not the Hanzoku Kirima of his childhood. This was not his best friend. This was a scared, terrified woman, who didn't even know him... Nor did she want to.

Jestre was a Kumogakure shinobi, a KYOBU, through and through. This woman was not the same Hanzoku Kirima... But he was still a former ninja of Kumo. She was still the Nibi host. He knew what his duty was, what would be expected of him. He almost started reaching for his daggers. Almost.

Unbidden, his mind briefly filled with memories. A laughing, smiling face, their chases, their times together... the fights, the reconciliations. For the longest time of his childhood, Kirima had been his greatest friend. When his father had gone missing, she had been there for him. When he'd lost the rest of his family, even after secluding himself away for four years, she'd been displeased with him, had been hurt... But she forgave him. When he found the trail of his father, she went with him. When he'd been gutted open, she'd patched him up. When he'd trapped himself in those caves to save her, and she'd come back for him anyway.

'Do it. I can't. You know your duty. I... can't. You are a KYOBU. You are an agent of the village, and you know what that demands of you right now. And before that, I was a blacksmith's son, and she was my best friend.'

His hands trembled at his sides for a long moment, before finally stilling. He took a long, deep breath, chest expanding fully, straining momentarily against his coat before he exhaled. One breath at a time, his heart rate steadied its frantic beating he hadn't before been aware of. Caught between loyalty to a woman who had once been his friend, and loyalty to a village that was all he had left... He found himself unable to fully commit to one or the other.

"Okay." He whispered. Slowly he stood up, his fingers loosely wrapping around his mask. "Okay." Slowly standing up, his composed his face into a calm, cool visage, betraying no emotion, as he more firmly gripped his mask. "I... Cannot force you to remember. I can't force you to explain." He shifted his mask into both hands, carefully holding it. "But  my duty as a KYOBU is clear. As a former Kumo nin, I am... Obligated, to bring you back." He looked aside, now himself unable to meet her gaze. "The village will... Not be gentle. They will press and twist and break, until you either remember, or they decide you are... Unreliable, and rip the Nibi out of you to place in a more... Acceptable, host."

He slowly brought his mask up to his face. "Out of respect for the woman you once were, for the friendship we once had... I can pretend this meeting never happened. Once." Softly clicking it into place, only the face of Jestre was visible to Kirima now. "If you truly intend to... If you truly, do not wish to remember... Leave Lightning Country, and never return. Go somewhere far, far away, where word of a red headed woman with unnatural chakra reserves and abilities, will never reach here."

He turned away from her. Even with the mask hiding his expression, he just... Couldn't. He couldn't look at her. It hurt far, far too much. "Good bye, Kirima... For both our sakes, I hope we never meet again." Without another word, he was off, exploding off the ground like a shot. His speed carried him rapidly away, never once looking back. He had to get away; away from the memories, away from the pain.

Running away. The story of his life.

[End]



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PostSubject: Re: A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] A grand return [Arrival thread - Travis] EmptyTue 24 Mar 2015, 6:52 pm

It can never go worse than badly: No matter how much time would pass, no matter what would happen from this moment on: Kirima was sure she'd never forget that hurt, betrayed and resigned look upon Gouka's face. It was as if she had plunged a knife into his heart and was now twisting it and turning. Her words had come in the form of that knife. She had said something selfish, without even regarding that man's feelings or thoughts on the matter. Just because she was scared, lost, felt alone and terrified; she had hurt him terribly. And she knew it was wrong, and she knew she should apologize or say something to make everything better. But the sobbing and the pain stole away her words. She couldn't comfort anyone in her current state. Not herself. Not Gouka. She was just ... a mess. Unfit for this life.

When Gouka finally started speaking, all she could do was look at him as tears kept flooding from her eyes. Soft hiccuping sounds escaped her every now and then, but the longer he talked - the less tears came out; and she just sat there frozen in place. Those things he spoke of. They sounded horrible. His duty was to... was to do things like that? Help out with something of that kind to happen? I.. I don't want to die. I don't want this to happen. Why... Had she come all this way just to be tortured? Killed? The young female was at the verge of begging him not to take her with him back to the village, but she -couldn't-. She had no right to ask him for anything. Not after what she had said and done. If he felt it was right to let these things happen to her, then surely she could at least just go with that and hope he could forgive her. And stop looking so miserable.

But.. I don't want to die.

There was a great deal of an inner battle within the young Jinchuuriki. She wanted to do the right thing. She wanted to apologize, do what he would ask of her. Go back to that village if need be and just take whatever would be thrown her way. Yet, she also wanted to live. She did -not- want to give up. The deep-rooted need for survival was protesting louder and louder the more that former friend of hers talked. But then she stilled completely and looked with wonder at him. He was going to let her go. He was going to turn a blind eye on this meeting, and just let her leave.

"If you truly intend to... If you truly, do not wish to remember... Leave Lightning Country, and never return. Go somewhere far, far away, where word of a red headed woman with unnatural chakra reserves and abilities, will never reach here."

There had been no time for her to say 'thank you'. No time to do anything before Gouka had taken off. Leaving her sitting there, completely heartbroken and frightened. For a few long minutes she just sat there and stared in the direction he had gone off to. Kirima couldn't quite believe what had just happened. She felt like she should sense some relief, gratitude even, but the only thing she felt was regret and despair. Her body was still shaking, the trembling reaching out to her limbs until she could not sit still anymore. With a fierce scream she grabbed her head between her hands. She howled out again from the stabbing pain deep within her heart. Slammed her open palms onto the ground, laid down upon the dirt. Her fingers dug into the earth, fingernails broke, skin was split open; yet she kept pushing and dragging her fingers without mercy into the hard ground as she wept and cried out.

This was unfair. Too unfair. It was cruel.

It wasn't until the sky started darkening that her sobbing had stopped, no more tears seemed to be left in her tear ducts and the trembling had finally subdued. Kirima just lay there, exhausted and completely spent. Stared with dry, red and swollen eyes up into the sky as a grim expression edged itself into her fair features. Ever so slowly she got up and collected her things. This was no time nor place to just sit around. Her death might be closer than she thought. No matter what Gouka said, he could always change his mind and come back with more people to catch her. She couldn't take any risks. Not at this stage in her life.

Her footsteps were heavy as she moved away from the spot. Her heart felt even heavier as she tried to block out the image of Gouka's face from her mind.

I don't have time for this. I must move on. I -have- to move on.

[Exit.]


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