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Somewhere a Clock Is Ticking [Asuma, Ibiki, Kakashi, Ginta][Dec. 9th, 2011|02:02 am]

[Takes place May 3, immediately following Tiny Little Fractures and approximately six hours following All Fall Down]

As mission partners went, Morino Ibiki ranked somewhere between creepy and bitchy, but at least he didn’t get seasick. The boat ride from Kuroihama to Hima was long, cold, and mostly boring. Asuma used the time to catch up on sleep in the hold, wedging himself between a netted stack of boxes and a dozen oiled canvas bags filled with sheepskins.

Ibiki stayed up on deck, brooding against the railing.

At least, it had looked like brooding. Maybe he’d been going over his grocery list.

When Asuma dragged himself yawning back to the deck, hours later, and forced a cigarette to light against the wind, the weather was icy. Unseasonably so for freakin’ May, even as far north as Lightning Country.

He found Ibiki still brooding, but on the opposite side.

“If you’re thinking of throwing yourself in,” Asuma said, nodding at the green-rimmed waves, “can it wait until after? ‘Cos I’m not leaping in after you.”

Ibiki turned from the ocean, giving him a cool look. “In this weather? Even if I were suicidal, I’m not masochistic.”

Asuma startled a bark of smoke-lined laughter. “Did you just make a joke?”

Ibiki smiled, ever so slightly shark-like, and turned his attention back to the approaching shore. “We should be docking soon. It should be a fast climb to Himawara pass. Your friend Sakamoto knows this country, right?”

“S’what the brief says,” Asuma said, flicking ash into the water. Did a lot of spook work up in Lightning, Ginta had said the one time they’d talked, before he’d done a conversational dance about friends and boyfriends and bad choices. He’d never mentioned anyone by name, but Asuma would’ve bet the ‘he’ from he started sleeping with my only straight friend was Hatake, and the formerly-straight former-friend was Tousaki.

On my birthday, too, which makes it all kind of extra sucky.

Poor bastard.

“Did Arakaki explain the whole love triangle deal to you?” Asuma asked.
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