Fallen Leaves [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Fallen Leaves

[ About fallen Leaves | insanejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

[Links:| Thread Index || The Story So Far || Character List || Fallen Leaves Forum || Guest Book ]

Waiting for Silent Sunrise [Asuma, Ibiki, Kakashi, Ginta] [Jan. 28th, 2012|04:12 pm]

[Tags|, , , ]

[Takes place immediately following Somewhere a Clock is Ticking]

The medic was about as cheerful as a sack of wet mice, but at least she was good at her job—and she’d divested the landscape of Ibiki, which was no bad thing.

Asuma held his half-lidded trance, humming soft and tuneless in the back of his throat as he pushed heat into Hatake and Ginta, sweat prickling at his temples and down his spine. Ibiki’s fire was bright and healthy, making the shadows dance, another good source of warmth.

“Cracked skull,” Saiyuri muttered to herself, in the same low way she’d said broken orbital socket; broken nose for Ginta. Her glowing hands were still wrapped around Kakashi’s head, doing who-knew-what to whatever piece of damage was lurking under all that blood-matted hair.

“Is his brain bleeding?” Asuma asked quietly, because that was a career-ender right there, if it didn’t snuff Hatake’s life out completely.

She shushed him.

Asuma bit his tongue.

A little snow drifted down outside, hissing as it landed in the fire, but the sky was still clear and star-spangled, lit up silver by a sickle moon. Ginta’s breathing rasped, soft but even. Pakkun crawled into Asuma’s lap, banished from his master with a stern word and a sharp glare. Asuma rumpled his ears with a free hand, sparing a twist of heat for the little dog.

And waited. )
Link12 comments|Leave a comment

Stranger in a Strange Land [Asuma, Ryouma] [Jan. 5th, 2012|11:26 pm]

[Tags|, ]

[[Takes place the evening of October 21st and the morning of October 22nd, immediately after Resting Easy and Wise Men Keep Secrets, and the day before Ryouma’s meeting with Katsuko in Nothing to Fear.]]

The rumours of Ryouma’s return went through the village like wildfire. Asuma caught the gossip on the second evening, when he went to hand in a muddy but completed mission brief at the chuunin-desk, and found the pretty redhead in tears.

“Bad news, darlin’?”

She beamed at him, so he figured no.

It took him half an hour to get a coherent story out of her, but by the end of it he was grinning too.

“Crafty son of a bitch,” he said. “I thought for sure he was dead. Hey, is there any news on Akimichi Hitai?”

Reiko’s smile faded.

“Well, one out of two still ain’t bad,” Asuma said, a little sorry he’d brought it up. “I’m gonna have to take him around a cake, or something. You know where he’s staying?”

She wiped her eyes, blowing her nose lustily into the handkerchief he’d managed to find for her. Somehow, she managed to make that pretty, too. Kunoichi talent, he figured.

“I think...” she hesitated, and he arched his eyebrows. “It seemed like he was going home with Hatake Kakashi.”

Asuma blinked. )
Link25 comments|Leave a comment

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

[Tags|, , , ]

[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. )
Link20 comments|Leave a comment

How to Disappear [Asuma, Katsuko] [Nov. 13th, 2011|09:13 pm]
[Tags|, ]
[Current Mood | depressed]

[Backstory: Takes place in November two years after the Kyuubi, six months after In A Place Like This. Katsuko is fifteen and Asuma is seventeen in this.]

The cell to right of hers had been empty for two weeks, now. When the orderlies slammed open the basement door, supporting a limp body between them, Katsuko’s only thought was a listless, I hope the new guy’s quieter than the last one.

Hakuin coughed, a bone-dry rattle that echoed in the suddenly silent hallway. Ichiba was curled up in the far corner of his cell, eyes round as dinner plates over the huddle of his arms. Katsuko herself rose to a half-crouch, craning her head towards the new prisoner’s faceless silhouette.

One of the orderlies fumbled open the lock to the empty cell while the other manhandled the prisoner over the threshold; he landed on the dirty rushes with a heavy thump. She stared at him as the orderlies turned to leave, relaxing when she saw the ragged rise and fall of the man’s chest.

There was a collective sigh of relief when the basement door slammed shut; Katsuko exhaled, quietly, and crawled her way over to the grate set in the right wall of her cell. “Hey,” she whispered, peering at the dark form in the room beyond. “Hey. You all right there?”
Link28 comments|Leave a comment

Tiny Little Fractures [Genma, Raidou, Ibiki, Asuma] [Jan. 23rd, 2011|09:17 pm]

[Tags|, , , , , , ]

[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."
Link10 comments|Leave a comment

Up in Flames [Asuma, Tsume] [Jan. 12th, 2011|11:45 am]

[Tags|, ]

[[Takes place eight days after the Pirates and Ninja arc ends, and six days after the Sandaime delivered an invitation to Asuma and Tsume got roped into going, too, in Feuds and Families. Also takes place three days before Ginta and Kuromaru go drinking in Hair of the Dog.]]

Kuromaru nosed his way into Asuma's room, pausing with just his head inside the door. Asuma was uncommonly polite; all the other ninja kept their doors not only closed, but locked, and how was Kuromaru supposed to check on them then?

Asuma was sprawled in bed, fully clothed, one booted foot hanging off the side of the mattress. Kuromaru trotted in and dropped the squirrel he'd caught on the floor, then sat and looked at Asuma expectantly.

Asuma snored.

Kuromaru cleared his throat, then wagged and hopped up to all four paws when Asuma stirred. But Asuma only mumbled, rubbed his face, and rolled over.

Kuromaru sighed and picked the squirrel back up, dropping it on the bed. Then, aiming carefully and prepared to leap back, he barked. Once.
Link23 comments|Leave a comment

Pirates and Ninja. [Asuma & Tsume] [Jun. 15th, 2009|12:54 am]

[Tags|, ]

[Follows directly after Darkness and Light]

Awareness came slowly.

Time had passed; the sun had lifted. A thin beam of light hit the back of Asuma's hand, shivering a drop of warmth into the world. Slowly, achingly, his fingers began to clench. Pain rippled up his arm.

Pain rippled everywhere. It was like a living thing, clawing through his body, ripping a chunk out whenever he breathed. His ribcage hitched. Something very like a whimper eased between cracked, bloody lips.

It stopped quickly. Even half dead, Asuma had pride. )
Link91 comments|Leave a comment

Fire and Water [Tsume and Asuma] [Jun. 11th, 2009|08:35 pm]

[Tags|, , ]

[Takes place seven days after Words Without Meaning, six days after Fall From Grace, and four days after Kakashi returned to Konoha.]


Tsume cringed, halting finally on the dirt path. The agent had been following her for some time, but she'd been able to ignore him. Hard to ignore the fact that she was the only Inuzuka out here, though.

With a last longing glance toward the hospital--where Kuromaru was undergoing the last few days of chakra-cleansing after his close call training with Katsuko--she stopped and waited. "Help you?" she asked without looking back.

He wheezed to a halt, flailing a scroll around. "Orders," he managed to gasp.

She snatched it. It had to be a mistake. Or an order for something she could put off, at least--it wasn't like she could do missions yet.

Then her brows pulled down and in. )
Link37 comments|Leave a comment

Fall From Grace. [Asuma & Natsumi] [Jun. 3rd, 2009|04:23 am]

[Tags|, , ]

[[Immediately follows Shield of Faith.]]

Natsumi's laughter lasted for the first few miles, sparking back up when Asuma managed to hit on the right combination of flirting and teasing and good old dirty jokes. It was a good sound, musical and clear--a decent, distracting thing to focus on every time he had to lean over to pick a scroll up, and his side burned.

He tried to ignore that.

At the final count, they'd found five of his scrolls--all weapons, jutsu, or sealed bits of precious he didn't want to lose--and his very battered but still intact map. He folded the map into a spare pocket, stowed the scrolls into his waistband (which was not comfortable, but at least left his hands free), and called himself satisfied. He'd lost his armour, his med-kit, his cigarettes, and his pack, but he had most of the things that mattered.

And a still-breathing teammate that topped everything. )
Link42 comments|Leave a comment

Shield of Faith [Asuma and Natsumi] [May. 31st, 2009|07:45 pm]
[Tags|, , ]

[[Immediately follows Leap of Faith.]]

Air became water with punishing force. Asuma's grip tightened, crushing Natsumi to his chest; she choked off her involuntary cry just in time not to choke on the river.

Asuma didn't. Thrashing legs kicking for the surface slowed; the painful band of muscle around her ribcage loosened. Natsumi broke her hand-seal, grabbed the back of his neck in one hand, and pulled his head down to hers. He didn't resist. In the dark water, his face was deathly pale, and his open eyes stared down at her, terrifying sightless.

She didn't know any words bad enough, and couldn't use them anyway. Her chest was beginning to burn; the single breath she'd caught as her jutsu had flung them free of the waterfall wouldn't be enough for long. He was an impossible weight, limp and boneless, dragging them both down... )
Link55 comments|Leave a comment

Leap of Faith. [Asuma & Natsumi] [May. 29th, 2009|12:53 am]

[Tags|, , ]

[Set March 22nd, a week after One Step/Two Step, and five days after Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.]

Getting missions in ANBU turned out to be a lot more work than advertised. The pros got everything juicy--hunts, assassinations, pretty girls to rescue and escort--but rookies got the scutt work, like it or lump it.

Fresh back from two days spent in a nowhere town on the western border, mediating a disagreement between two minor fief lords that might have gotten ugly (but had mostly been boring as hell), Asuma was ready for something better. Anything better.

Which was why Saturday's dawn found him up almost-bright and far too early, wandering freshly showered into ANBU's mission room, ready to beg, bribe, or bargain his way into something with a little fire. The young chuunin behind the desk was pretty, brunette, and exhausted-looking, but brightened up a spark at his ready smile.

"Morning, sweetheart," he said, ignoring the empty chair in favour of leaning against the edge of her desk. "I'm wondering if you can help me..."

A little back and forth later... )
Link33 comments|Leave a comment

Fighting Words and Dirty Talk [closed to Ginta & Asuma] [Mar. 12th, 2009|07:41 pm]

[Tags|, ]

Takes place Sunday, March 16, the morning after Pleased to Meet You, Won't You Lock Me in a Cage, two days after Keeping Secrets with the Koi.

Ginta was a well-connected gossip, so it was no surprise that he was one of the first to know that the Hokage's prodigal son was back. In fact, not only was Sarutobi Asuma back, but he had been sworn into ANBU almost as soon as the ink was dry on whatever abbreviated background check they'd done on him. Rumor was he'd had an ANBU tail the whole time since he ran away, anyway. He'd spent a while bumming around playing farmer and sword-sharpener and a few other things, then settled down and become a respectable shinobi, standing as one of the Twelve Elite who guarded Fire Country's highest-ranking Daimyou.

Blood proved true, was the word on the street. So it was no surprise at all that after that little coup attempt on his daimyou went bust, Asuma was back in Konoha wearing the leaf on his forehead like he'd never left it. Ginta had to wonder if Asuma's retirement from daimyou-sitting duty was by choice or edict. For that matter, there was every chance those twelve guardians had all been undercover ANBU to begin with. He was definitely curious to see how fresh the ink really was on Asuma's tattoo.

Besides all that, they'd sort of known each other as kids. )
Link43 comments|Leave a comment

Pleased to meet you, won't you lock me in a cage? [Closed to Asuma & Tsume] [Jan. 26th, 2009|02:26 am]

[Tags|, ]

[Takes place the day after Playing Hero, and an hour after One Step / Two Step]

He should have just gone to bed.

Well, first he should have found the right floor, identified his room, hit on any pretty neighbours, and then gone to bed.

But no, he had to be curious. Because anyone who'd seen the gloomy, unappealing staircase leading downwards by the Quartermaster's cubbyhole would definitely head back to check it out later. It was a perfectly normal human compulsion.

In crazy people. )
Link37 comments|Leave a comment

Two Step. [Closed to Asuma] [Jan. 26th, 2009|02:12 am]

[Tags|, ]

[Takes place directly after One Step]

Even deep inside the Hokage's palace, midnight brought a kind of atmosphere with it. Shadows lengthened, silences deepened; even the empty hallways looked menacing, as if a hundred assassins' footprints had bled a watermark through the carpet weave.

And that didn't begin to cover the candles.

Brand new sword strapped across his shoulders, Asuma stood in the doorway to the main upstairs office, flanked by two stiff-backed chuunin, and studied the face of the future.

It had liverspots. )
LinkLeave a comment

One Step. [Closed to Asuma] [Jan. 26th, 2009|01:53 am]


[Takes place after Playing Hero]

Finding a hairdresser willing to cater to ninja was always a tricky proposition; most of them had long been put off by the typical shinobi reflex to any kind of bladed anything. And they seemed to have a freakin' sixth sense for who was and who wasn't a ninja.

Asuma got himself turned out of four places before he found a little backstreet barbershop off Silverbark Square that rated coin higher than personal safety and didn't care about the dirt on his clothes. Ten minutes and one very small flinch later, he lost two month's worth of beard growth and gained a haircut that didn't fall constantly in his eyes. Short in the back, longer on top.

It was a little weird to feel cool air washing over the nape of his neck, and even weirder to find gel-stiffened spikes whenever he dragged a hand over his head, but it looked a damn sight better. Almost neat, in fact. And just for tonight, when he took his oath, he thought he might care about that.

Which was why buying new shirts came next on the list. )
LinkLeave a comment

Playing Hero [closed to Tsume and Asuma] [Jan. 23rd, 2009|11:11 am]

[Tags|, ]

[Takes place March 15, the day after Pay it Forward, at the same time as The Weight of the World]

Mid-March was finally starting to bring the warmth spring always teased with, sending people flooding outside, awnings unfurling over cafes. At least until the next cold snap, when everyone would bundle back in.

For her part, Tsume found herself outside just for the sake of being outside, though it wasn't yet warm enough to wear anything but long sleeves--and tired as she was from attempting Inuzuka jutsu (next time, she really would follow the Hyuuga's orders, she promised), it seemed colder still. Kuromaru padded along beside her, his coat looking ragged and mangy. Winter fur was coming off in tufts. There were drifts of it in her apartment, and he'd only been home for a few days. She didn't mind.

The breeze whipped through the crowded little district, and for a moment people clutched at jackets and sweaters. Then it was gone, and everyone was shedding cloth once more as if it were warmer than it actually was.

In the lull between the old scents clearing away and the new jostling back in, Tsume caught wolf.

Her gaze cast around, finally striking a tall man sitting by the rail of a restaurant's patio, a canine curled around his feet. The canine rose first, uncoiling to nearly as tall as Kuromaru.

Beside her, Tsume felt more than heard a deep bass rumble as Kuromaru began to growl, his hackles rising.

"Easy," she murmured, resting a hand on his shoulders and purposely not looking at the other Inuzuka. She knew him. Knew the scarred shinobi with one missing finger, the lobe of his ear knicked short. One tattoo bled deeper than the rest, where he'd had it re-inked after a kunai had nearly parted his jaw with his face. He was a hard man, a strong leader, and a natural alpha.

All she had to do was walk past. Highly aware of the weight she'd lost after being injured and the bandages still over her finally-healing face, she rocked her shoulders back, stared straight ahead, and stalked closer.

Walking past was easy enough. If they both pretended they didn't see each other, there was no challenge. If she just ignored him and he didn't chase her down, there was no challenge. If she'd been whole, there'd have been no challenge.

She wasn't whole.

Someone bumped her, sending her catching herself against her hound, half a step closer to Botan than she'd meant to be. Her gaze landed on his table, only a few feet away from where she stood, with a thin metal rail between them. Beneath her fingers, Kuromaru's hackles rose further. His bones vibrated with a growl.

Botan moved. Tsume's gaze snapped up to his, fast and hard and sharp as a blade. For one heartbeat everything was fine. )
Link29 comments|Leave a comment

[ viewing | most recent entries ]