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The End Is Where We Begin [Jul. 12th, 2016|06:57 pm]

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[Takes place the morning of May 20, Yondaime Year 5, an hour or so after When the Last Roll Is Called and parallel to Worth the Pain]

Talking with Katsuko took half an hour, but the aftermath involved the head of ANBU herself, followed by paperwork and a meeting with Kuroda. And that took until nearly 1500.

As soon as he was alone in Team Six’s office, Genma took a sealed equipment scroll from his locker and keyed in the simple chakra sequence to release it. A tightly rolled t-shirt and faded pair of jeans appeared in a puff of orangish smoke, and dropped to his desk. The socks and underwear furled inside weren’t really necessary, but spare civvies were spare civvies, and he was eager to be out of his funeral uniform.

After he’d changed, Genma locked the new paperwork away and took out the folder with his copy of Team Six’s personnel files. He’d just opened Raidou’s profile to look for a home address when there was a polite knock on the office door. )
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God Save The Foolish Kings [Mar. 25th, 2015|09:26 pm]

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[Begins May 12th, Yondaime Year 5, the morning after Tell You My Sins (So You Can Sharpen Your Knives), and continues on to May 13th, Yondaime Year 5]

The morning after his breakdown, Raidou woke up half an hour before he should have been on the training field.

He stared up at the living room’s familiar wooden-joist ceiling. It was still dark outside, dawn barely pinking the horizon. Dark blue shadows drifted across the walls. His t-shirt was twisted, hot and sticking to his skin. Curled up against his side, Suki breathed slow and soft, paws twitching with small cat dreams.

Everything ached, except for his stomach. That felt hollow.

He turned over, buried his face in the pillow, and went back to sleep.

Ume woke him mid-morning with toast and a cup of steaming coffee. She was still wearing her robe, hair yanked back into a messy bun, pillow creases on her cheek. The sun poured bright and golden through open curtains. Suki had vanished to stalk small, edible, crunchy critters in the garden.

Raidou’s head pounded with a crying-hangover.

“Don’t you have work?” he rasped.

“Shun went. I took the day off,” she said. “My substitute needs the practice. And you need a shower. Then you can get to work on the gutters.”

He blinked at her. “You stayed home to make me do chores?”

“You’re welcome,” she said, and leaned down to kiss him on the forehead. “Drink your coffee before it gets cold.”

He did. The toast was still warm, freshly buttered; he ate that, too, then dragged himself off the sofa and into pursuit of the bathroom. There were two in his parents’ house: the fancy one in the master bedroom that Raidou and Shun had spent a summer remodelling together, and the guest bathroom opposite Raidou’s old bedroom. It had been his bathroom, once upon a time. When he pushed the door open, he found fresh towels already laid out and a candle burning next to his toothbrush.

Light a flame to cleanse new sins.

He swallowed, turned the spray up hot, carefully unwound stained bandages, and stepped into the stall. )
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Tell You My Sins (So You Can Sharpen Your Knife) [Sep. 20th, 2014|09:17 pm]

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[Takes place the evening of May 11, Yondaime Year 5, following Sound the Bells]

It was dusk fading into night when Raidou and his Intel escort finished the long, weary trudge up to the peak of the Hokage’s Monument. The first glitter of cold stars laced a bruised sky, and the air had a sharp bite after an unseasonably warm day. ANBU’s HQ crouched low and threatening behind the stony spikes of Sandaime’s hair, like a waiting predator.

Raidou attempted to divert his thoughts by wondering, not for the first time, whose bright idea it had been to carve giant heads into the mountainside of a secret village. And what Konoha would do when they ran out of room.

Raise a new mountain, probably.

“You should have enough time to clean up before they want you,” said his escort, with a significant look at Raidou’s travel-stained uniform.

If they planned to throw him out, it didn’t make a damn bit of difference what he was wearing. )
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