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Wise Men Keep Secrets [Kakashi, Ryouma] [Nov. 18th, 2011|10:09 pm]

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[[Takes place the morning of October 21st, directly after Resting Easy.]]

The carpeting outside of the Hokage’s office smelled faintly of blood. The two flanking guards were spotless in their uniforms and blank-faced, but the chuunin assistant behind the receptionist’s desk looked a little pale.

Kakashi stood with his hands shoved into his pockets, freshly showered and shaved and dressed in jounin blues, and waited. On the other side of the thick, brass-handled door, muted voices argued back and forth. Occasionally, the Hokage’s steady murmur would break in.

“Hatake-san, you don’t have an appointment,” the chuunin said wearily. He was a short, slim man with slicked back hair and a white scar cutting across one cheekbone. “Sandaime-sama is busy.”

“I’ll wait.”

The chuunin blew out an aggravated sigh, returning to the heavy stack of paperwork in front of him. One of the guards looked fractionally amused.

The sun drew a slow arc across the floor, edging warmth up Kakashi’s leg as the apex caught him just before noon. He meditated on his feet, ignoring the rustlings and pen-scritchings of bureaucracy, the guards’ shift change, the scent of the chuunin’s bento-boxed curry lunch. Diplomats and council-members with appointments arrived and were politely turned away, informed that the Hokage’s morning meeting had run unexpectedly long. More than one of them threw a curious glance Kakashi’s way.

“Is that—” began an older woman, cutting herself off.

“Sakumo’s son,” muttered the elderly man accompanying her.

The woman looked very much like she wanted to spit; Kakashi wondered which family member she’d lost to his father’s mistake.

It was an hour past noon when the office door suddenly slammed open, startling the chuunin into dropping a pen. The guards didn’t blink. A tall, hawk-faced man stormed out, followed by two younger men, only to be brought up short by Kakashi in his way. The first man was wearing the grey and black diplomatic robes of an Iwagakure envoy, stitched with gold threads down the sleeves; his eyes widened slightly.

“You,” he snapped. He whirled back on the doorway. “Is this deliberate?”

The Hokage gave Kakashi the barest edge of a look that suggested he wouldn’t mind whacking him upside the head with his official hat.

“Merely a coincidence, Kanen-san,” he said, tucking his hands into his sleeves. “I believe Hatake-san has a separate issue he’d like to discuss with me.”

Hatake-san. Kakashi stayed expressionless. He hadn’t been Agent Hatake for three months, now. )
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Tiny Little Fractures [Genma, Raidou, Ibiki, Asuma] [Jan. 23rd, 2011|09:17 pm]

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[Takes place May 3, the same day as Off the Reservation]

Genma shut the apartment door behind him and leaned against it, holding the scroll in one hand. He looked across the apartment to Raidou who was in the kitchen, drying clean dishes.

"What was that about?" Raidou asked, pausing mid-motion, damp glass in one hand, tea towel in the other.

"It was Ginta. He wants me to give this to Arakaki on the sixth." Genma stared at the scroll, a standard mid-mission report type, like countless scrolls he himself had filed from the field on longer missions. It was sealed and secured, addressed to Arakaki, and coded with the red and black stripes that marked it as ANBU-specific, A-class or higher, and urgent.

"He can't hand it in himself?" Raidou asked. He put the glass and towel down and took a few steps towards Genma.

"He was dressed in his gear, like he was heading out on a mission." Genma turned the scroll over and over, as if he could somehow read it through the opaque outer covering. "But there's no way he's mission-fit yet. I mean, shit, he and Kakashi were both in the ICU the same time as us, and look at us." He shrugged his arm in its splint and sling, tilted his head back to expose the remains of a more-than-a-month-old garrote injury, still fading red lines under a dusting of stubble. Looked at Raidou's bandage-covered cheek, where the worst of the burns still hid.

Raidou graced Genma with the dryest of grins. "Speak for yourself. I'm the picture of health." He came the rest of the way to Genma to peer down at the scroll. "Assuming 'stamped-on shinobi' counts as healthy, anyway. You gonna open that?"

"I don't know." Genma met his partner's eyes. "It's sealed for Arakaki, it's a mission scroll. That right there makes it a big deal for me to violate the seal. And then he looked at me and he was all, 'I'm trusting you, Genma.' Like... Like I don't even know. Serious. The only time Ginta's ever serious is on a mission."
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Off the Reservation [Ginta, Arakaki, Kakashi] [Jan. 1st, 2011|09:54 am]

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[Takes place May 3, approximately a month following All My Regrets Are Nothing New, three weeks weeks following This Time It's Different and two weeks following Hair of the Dog.]

Ginta was concerned. In fact, more than concerned. In fact, if you considered the pace at which he was limping down the hall, he was downright alarmed. He'd been home in his own apartment for three weeks, and in all that time he'd seen no sign whatsoever of Ryouma or Kakashi. Which, well, that was their business and he was staying out of it from now on, but they were his friends, dammit, whether or not either one of them thought so. So he'd been keeping an eye out for them, and not just because he knew Kakashi was still recovering and Ryouma was playing a dangerous game with chakra pill abuse.

The thing was, both apartment doors stayed locked, and both men were listed as "on mission." And not with one another. But there was at least a little flicker in Kakashi's status: he'd be "on mission" and then "in debriefing" and then "available" for half a day, before "on mission" went back up by his name on the status board. Ryouma was just continuously on mission, but the date he was expected back had been changed, Ginta was sure, a couple of times, before it was obliterated with a heavy black censor bar and replaced with "classified."

When he analyzed the other missions and who was assigned to them, though, it painted a disturbing picture. Because in amongst the various assignments that composed ANBU's mission load, there was a flavor of urgency, and a suspicious pattern of team make-up, with non-ANBU Inuzuka and Aburame trackers assigned on teams with field medics and heavy muscle, over and over, in little four and five day bursts. It looked like — disturbingly like — a search and rescue operation. And Ryouma was the only agent on that board who was neither deep cover Intel nor S-ranked jounin whose return date was classified.

It was when, on a bright early May morning, Ginta checked and found Ryouma's status itself had been changed from "on mission" to "classified", that he'd really started to worry. Then he'd gone digging. He had time on his hands, with nothing to do but work on regaining his strength and stamina now that the cast was finally off his leg, and there was only so much training he could do in a day before it started to hurt enough he wanted to reach for a bottle of pills. So he had both the time and a lot of connections — in Intel, in the mission assignment office, in documents and forgeries, in mission support services — that he used to put together a nightmare puzzle.

Ryouma was missing, had been missing since the fifteenth of April, and there was no sign of him.

Ginta went with a sick heart to do what he should have done three weeks ago )
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Clematis [Closed to Sumire and Arakaki] [Mar. 2nd, 2008|08:14 am]
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It had been some time since Sumire had been given the honor of speaking with Arakaki-sama. She hadn't bothered worrying about the infrequent snatches of conversation and orders she received: Arakaki Hisoka was a busy man, and she didn't expect to be on his top ten, no, top one hundred, thoughts. She was all the more surprised when neatly filed between her papers for the afternoon's work was a small, sealed envelope


"Mm? What's this?" she broke open the seal and removed the paper. The wording was concise, written neatly in Arakaki-sama's current secretary's hand.

Your attendance is required this afternoon in the Director's office.

Please arrive promptly at 15:45, Agent Murakami.

--Himuro Rika

Sumire folded the paper back up, looking for a watermark or some other note that would ask her to be elsewhere at a different time and found nothing. She glanced up at the clock above the door of her office and frowned. It was already 3:30, she'd have to hurry. Quickly, Sumire packed away her codes and straightened her uniform. She checked her hair, her makeup, and her teeth, before hurrying to his office. She arrived on time and was ushered through by Himuro, who quickly excused herself. Sumire kept her posture straight, her head held high and her eyes directly on her superior's chin.

"You wanted to see me, Arakaki-sama?" Don't squeal, don't squeal, don't squeal ----- rub this in Ren's face later.
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Pride and Falls [Haruichi, Raidou & Genma] [Feb. 7th, 2008|08:49 pm]
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[Current Location |ANBU HQ Training Rooms]
[Current Mood | pissed off]

follows directly from Paradigms of Professionalism

Hyuuga Haruichi, being who he was and the way he was, very often deserved an ass-kicking. He didn't dispute it, just took steps to avoid it, especially when the person looking to knock him senseless out-ranked him in just about every way possible. Unfortunately, Arakaki Hisoka was entitled to deliver this one under the guise of testing his physical profficiency; and thus it was that before Raidou returned from dropping his unconscious sparring partner at the hospital, Haruichi was twenty minutes into being kicked wall-to-wall and knocked floor-to-ceiling in the training rooms by the Director of ANBU operations.

Haruichi would've been utterly affonted if he wasn't so busy trying not to lose his teeth. He was a Hyuuga, his ultimate fighting speciality was close combat. Hand-to-hand and up-close-and-personal was the way he worked in a fight, his blood, his training, his whole combat style was geared to it to the nth degree.

He'd have been kicking Arakaki Hisoka's round ass square if only the bastard had let him use the jyuuken. As it was, Haruichi was going to be lucky if he managed to keep his brain in his skull by the end of this, because if he wasn't allowed to channel chakra into his strikes (if he had to fight like "the common people", as Arakaki put it) the best he was going to manage was the honour of landing a few fingerprint-sized bruises on the man currently and repeatedly smashing his foot into his ribcage.

Because they were both discovering, asking Haruichi to throw a good old fashioned forward punch was like asking a cat to bark, and in the end the sound that got made as his face hit the mat for the tenth time that minute was pretty much the same.

Clearly Poke-of-Doom-no-jutsu wasn't going to cut it, so when the older ANBU knocked him down once again Haruichi decided to embrace new levels of "commonality" and bit him square in the leg.
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Paradigms of Professionalism [Closed to Haruichi & Raidou] [Feb. 2nd, 2008|02:16 am]

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[Current Mood | cheerful]

Raidou was, by all accounts, a reasonably smart man. He could speak in full sentences, conjugate a decent verb when the mood took him, and even add up columns of small numbers.

He certainly considered himself a logical man.

When he discovered that Shiranui Genma, his solid mission partner for the past six months, had been assigned to a reasonably complex mission requiring back up without him, Raidou suspected the higher-ups of non-logical thinking.

Being a logical man, he set out to correct that somewhat egregious error.

Being a decent shinobi, he considered the official channels first. Time, however, was against him. Genma's mission commenced first thing in the morning and that was not nearly enough time to request a transfer with the ninja partnering him.

Raidou's replacement.

Of course, there was always the more direct route...  )
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Back in Black-Ops [closed to Haruichi] [Jan. 28th, 2008|12:09 am]
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[Current Location |Konoha]
[Current Mood | cynical]

Night had fallen quick, bitter and icy throughout Konoha, once again reinforcing Haruichi's belief that venturing outside was the business of fools and heroes - and he was emphatically neither of those. Nevertheless, outside he was - skirting rooftops and chimney vents fast as he could move, and if he was less than thrilled about it he was smart enough to hide the fact.

After all, if your Kage called you to an out of hours meeting late at night you were definitely about to be pitted against more than gales, snow and patches of black ice… and in Konoha since you weren't the slave of some insane despot or patently homicidal lunatic warmonger you were expected to look cheerful about it.

Haruichi was settling for looking a little less like he'd just crankily dragged himself out of the wrong side of the bed, and to hell with anybody who didn't think that was a colossal enough effort - even if it was the Hokage himself. )
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