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What We Become [Katsuko] [Jul. 8th, 2012|02:00 am]

[Backstory; takes place December the year Katsuko is 19, three years before the current storyline and three years after How to Disappear]

They arrived back at Konoha the first day of the Winter Festival. Katsuko handed out the mission pay to her team, giving each of them a friendly slap on the shoulder. “Nice job, all of you,” she said. “Go home, enjoy yourselves. You’ve earned it.”

Sagara chortled, dashing off a sloppy salute. “Don’t have to tell me twice, Taichou.”

Kiyosuke, their medic, gave him a stern glare. “The first thing you and Mayu are going to do is check yourselves into the hospital. No bar crawling for you two until they reinforce the stitches.”

Mayu groaned, wrapping a slender arm around Sagara’s waist. “That’ll take hours. C’mon, Kiyo-chan. It’s the Festival!”

Kiyosuke bristled, angular shoulders rising almost to his ears. “Don’t call me that!”

“Children,” Katsuko interjected, dryly. They started and turned to look sheepishly at her. “Play nice and don’t give Kiyo-chan an aneurysm.”

“But you’re the youngest, Taichou,” Sagara complained, full mouth twitching. Beside him, Mayu stifled a giggle.

“Physically, yes. Mentally...” Katsuko shrugged, smirking. “Well, I guess there’s a reason they put me in charge.”

She left them laughing at the base of the Hokage’s Tower, waving at her until she turned the corner.

“Ueno-taichou, wait!”

Katsuko glanced over her shoulder. “We’re not on a mission anymore, Kiyosuke-san. I do have a first name.”

Kiyosuke fell in beside her, smiling. His cheeks were a little more flushed than the crisp air of the day called for. “Then, Katsuko-san, I was wondering— after Sagara and Mayu are cleared, do you want to go for a drink? I mean, all of us. It was your first mission as a jounin, right? So we all thought that— afterwards, maybe, we could celebrate together.”

She raised an eyebrow. “‘Celebrate together’? Nishimura Kiyosuke, are you propositioning me for a foursome?”

What?” He sputtered, caught between laughter and horror. “Oh gods, no. Sagara and Mayu were on my genin team, it’d be like incest. But with you—” He coughed, reddening all the way up to his hairline.

Katsuko considered him. Kiyosuke was dark-haired and handsome, with long-fingered hands and a smile that lit up his eyes. He’d been thoroughly professional on the mission, betraying none of the interest that warmed his gaze now. It was nice, for a bit, just to dwell on the feeling of being wanted.

She shook her head, ruefully. )
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Tomorrow Will Be Kinder [Genma, Katsuko] [Jul. 7th, 2012|09:17 pm]

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[Takes place in mid-September, approximately a week following Somebody Saved Me, a month before Ryouma’s return.]

Genma was on his way back from the convenience store, paper sack of late-night provisions in hand, when he saw the pair of stiff-backed Uchiha police staring up at something on the roof of the Merchant’s Exchange Bank. One of them had his arms folded in the universal sign of the displeased authority figure, while the other was elbows-out, hands together, forming seals.

It was probably nothing Genma needed to worry about. He was off duty, out of uniform, and hungry for the rice balls he’d just bought. Raidou would be home within the hour, most likely, and the cops clearly had the situation under control. It was probably some genin kids goofing around on a rooftop where they didn’t belong — who would be foolish enough to rob a bank in a ninja village?

He stopped anyway, staying back in the shadows, trying to catch sight of whatever the MPs were focused on.

“This is your second warning,” the male cop said. “Move to the edge of the roof and identify yourself. If you make us come up there, you’re only going to make this harder on yourself.”

Genma thought he could see a hint of a shadow that wasn’t part of the roofline. It didn’t appear to be moving. Poor kid, frozen in a panic, probably. Caught, and knowing that Uchiha eyes would see through any jutsu he used to cover an escape.

“Last chance,” the cop said.

Abruptly, there was movement: a body-sized object came rolling down the slope of the tiled roof.

“What the...? Ikuko!” The man shouted. The woman released a jutsu that cast a bright phosphorescent glow over the street, illuminating the falling... body. Yes, definitely a body. It tumbled as if the owner were absent, almost until it hit the ground.

Three things happened at once )
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Aren't Any Heroes Here [2/2] [Katsuko] [Mar. 26th, 2012|09:32 pm]

[[Takes place directly after Aren't Any Heroes Here (1/2)]]

”You overextended yourself again,” Hideki-sensei said, lighting a cigarette with a snap of his fingers. He took a deep drag off of it and stared down at her, a dryly amused expression on his face.

Katsuko grinned up at him from where she was sprawled out on the surface of the lake, covered in cuts and bruises. Her pathways ached with exhaustion, the trickle of chakra left in her system barely enough to keep her from sinking into the water. “Gotta keep up with Nori and Beni, Sensei. I’m not gonna be this team’s dead-weight.”

After a long moment of silence, Hideki-sensei sighed. He crouched down beside her, cigarette sending curls of smoke up to wreath his head. “There’s such a thing as overkill, Katsuko. Training’s all well and good, but the way you’re going it won’t be long ‘til you—”

burn yourself up—

She couldn’t breathe, it was dark and she couldn’t breathe— )
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Family Matters [Ryouma, Katsuko] [Feb. 21st, 2012|09:14 pm]

[Tags|, ]

[[Takes place the morning of November 4th, the day after The Truth of the Matter.]]

At some point, Ryouma reflected, he should probably stop picking fights with the skinny short girls. They always ended up wiping the floor with him, and they were too pretty to melt in retaliation.

At least the sky had stopped spinning. He located his fingers and fumbled carefully at the side of his head. No blood clotted his hair; Katsuko had used the flat of her blade.

The flat of her wrapped blade. She’d claimed it would be an insult to use a wooden bokken or bamboo shinai on him, but apparently it wasn’t insulting at all to hit a recovering man over the head with a sword and drop him in the mud.

Served him right for asking her to help him figure out how to use his new knife, anyway. Kakashi had vanished into the seal labs early that morning; Katsuko had shown up not ten minutes later, with a cheerful grin, a demand for breakfast, and an offer to spend the day doing absolutely whatever he wanted, no task too hard, no activity too weird--unless it involved paperwork. Ryouma had considered the likely results of dropping Katsuko in with the Canal Street kids for all of ten seconds before he decided that they’d probably eat each other alive. Or, worse, encourage each other.

Instead he’d asked her to join him in the training fields. She’d promised not to go too easy on him. In retrospect, he probably should have asked her to promise not to try to kill him, either.

“Can I yield yet?” he asked the sky. “Or d’you have some point to prove, beyond the fact that you’re shorter and lighter and still better than I am?”
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Aren't Any Heroes Here [1/2] [Katsuko] [Jan. 31st, 2012|03:40 pm]

[[Backstory: Takes place during the 6-month timeskip, in early July]]

They’d told her to report at 0600. At 0610 Katsuko slammed open the door to briefing room three, her mission scroll in one hand and a sandwich in the other. “Ueno Katsuko,” she panted into the sudden silence. “Reporting for duty.”

The Intel agent standing at the head of the table glared at her. “You’re late, Ueno,” he said.

“Sorry, sorry,” Katsuko said, pulling out the closest chair and sinking into it with a relieved sigh. An amused snort made her start and turn, blinking at the room’s two other occupants.

Akimichi Daichi was leaning against the far wall, arms folded over his barrel-like chest. He lifted a large hand in greeting, a smirk crossing his usually placid features. “Slept in again, I see. How you doing, Ueno?”

Katsuko grinned, taking a bite out of her sandwich as she slipped the mission scroll into her belt pouch. "Pre’ee goo,” she said, through a mouthful of ham and cheese. “Coul’ be be’er, but y’know.”

The woman sitting cross-legged on the floor next to Daichi chuckled. )
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The Truth of the Matter [Ryouma, Kakashi, Katsuko] [Jan. 30th, 2012|11:20 pm]

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[[Takes place the morning of November 3rd, a few hours after Same Ghost Every Night.]]

There was a wolf in his dream.

He’d been trout-tickling at his favorite spot on an anonymous little creekbank in Lightning Country, except the trout grew legs and teeth and fought back, and his grandfather and Shiki and a grey-haired man with yellow teeth sat on the other side of the bank, drinking yellow-label rotgut shouchuu, and calling advice to the fish. Ryouma was too busy scraping fish-men off his arm to drive them off, but advice turned to taunts, and the teeth grew longer and sharper and sank into his flesh, and the clear water of the creek began to run red—

The wolf came wading upstream, chest-deep in blood, and the men on the other bank went silent. The wolf lowered its head and bit one of the fish-men off Ryouma’s arm. The fish-man stretched like a leech and then snapped with a tiny scream, and the wolf crunched it and swallowed.

The other fish-men dropped away with tiny plops, like real fish jumping. Ryouma took a deep, unsteady breath. “You shouldn’t have eaten that,” he said. “Fish bones can be dangerous.”

“I know,” the wolf said. It scrabbled heavily up the bank and lay down close beside him, radiating heat. “It’s okay,” it said. “Everything’s okay.” It swiped its tongue over Ryouma’s bloody fingers, then pinned his wrist with an enormous paw and began to work its way steadily up his lacerated arm. Its tongue was rough as sandpaper, and tickled in the raw wounds.

'You can't eat ME,' Ryouma said. )
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Same Ghost Every Night [Kakashi, Katsuko] [Jan. 21st, 2012|06:25 pm]
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[[Takes place early on November 3rd, four days after As The World Burns]]

She’s burning, everyone’s burning, flesh melting away from blackened bones. Honoka’s standing over her, bleeding around the dagger in her throat, silent accusation worse than a death sentence. Daichi’s screaming, curled around the blackened stump of his leg—

It was ANBU headquarters; people were used to random noises at all hours of the night. When Katsuko flailed awake, falling out of bed with a resounding crash, the only thing the woman in 316 did was knock on the wall between their rooms and call, “You still alive?”

After a moment, Katsuko stopped panting long enough to form words. “Looks like,” she croaked.

“Try not to put any holes in things,” 316 advised, and that was that. Katsuko kicked the blanket off and sat up, closing her eyes and pressing the heels of her palms into them hard enough she saw stars against her eyelids.

There was insomnia, and then there was seeing dead and injured teammates every time she dozed off. )
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As The World Burns [Kakashi, Katsuko, Ryouma] [Jan. 21st, 2012|05:25 pm]
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[Takes place on October 30, seven days after Nothing To Fear]

After her conversation with Ryouma in the cafe, after she’d finally reassured herself that he was alive and well and not a figment of her imagination, Katsuko had parted ways with him at a nearby intersection and started making her meandering way back to HQ. A glint in the display window of a nearby pawnshop had caught her eye and she’d stopped to look at it, curious.

What she found there made inspiration spark.

The refitters had said it would take a week to get the inscription done, so at ten in the morning—seven days after she’d bumped into Ryouma in an elevator and found out he wasn’t dead—she knocked on the door of one Hatake Kakashi’s apartment and waited, holding a wrapped package in her arms.

She’d forgotten to eat, as usual, and her stomach growled faintly as she shifted her weight from foot to foot. Idly, she wondered if Ryouma would be willing to let her rifle through Hatake’s kitchen. Surely a living legend would have a few spare granola bars laying around?
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Somebody Saved Me [Genma, Katsuko] [Nov. 30th, 2011|11:26 pm]

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[Adult Content Warning: This thread contains one NC-17 moment, about half-way through, which is noted in the title of the entry containing it.]

[Takes place in early September, approximately four months following Tiny Little Fractures and Something We’ve Been Missing.]

When Genma got the mission assignment, he didn’t tell Raidou. Not the details, anyway. Not that it was an eros mission. He packed up his kit and put his tools together, and sealed the necessary clothes and equipment into a scroll while Raidou was out for a run.

It wasn’t like Genma was cheating exactly, but... He felt weird about it. Felt so weird about it that he couldn’t quite bring himself to say, when he was kissing Raidou goodbye, “By the way, I’m going to be sucking cock on this mission. Don’t worry, I’ll play safe.”

He kissed his lover goodbye, shouldered his pack, pulled his mask into place, and went to the mission briefing without managing to mention what kind of mission this was at all. And he felt just a little like a bastard about it.

The briefer was a woman Genma knew pretty well )
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Nothing To Fear [Ryouma, Katsuko] [Nov. 20th, 2011|06:27 pm]
[Tags|, ]
[Current Mood | blank]

[[Takes place October 23, two days after Resting Easy.]]

It was hard, when you were the only person in ANBU--hell, in the village--with chakra reserves bloated to a size slightly larger than your average elephant. There was no precedent for how to deal with it when the inevitable erosion of your coils began, nor did anyone know what to do when you nearly blew yourself up trying to light a campfire with a D-level sneeze of a katon jutsu.

They didn’t know how to fix you, but that sure as hells didn’t stop them from trying.

Katsuko let the door to the examination swing shut behind her, feeling like someone had clawed her skull to ribbons from the inside. The hour-long appointment had been torture, as usual, exercise after exercise of trying to contort her chakra into seals and jutsu too small to accommodate it anymore. It was humbling to realize that she’d have to light fires the civilian way from now on, unless she wanted to singe her eyebrows and ruin another pair of gloves again.

If it went on like this, if her control continued to erode, she’d only be useful as a walking bomb. She sighed, rolling her shoulders to dissipate some of the tension that had built up over the session, and tried not to think about it.
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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?”
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In a Place Like This [Katsuko] [Oct. 31st, 2011|07:35 pm]

[Backstory: Takes place during Katsuko’s six-month imprisonment in the labs, a year after Kyuubi. Katsuko is fifteen in this.]

There was no night down in the holding cells. For there to be night there’d have to be day, and who could tell which was which underground? Time was measured, instead, by the small increments between one experiment and the next—the hours between the rattle of a key in the lock, the creak of old steel as the orderlies wheeled the gurney down the long hallway.

They took away her forehead protector and weapons, her clothes and the family photo she kept in the leather pouch strung around her neck: vestiges of an old life, proof of an identity she no longer owned. In return she was given a number, 24, and a syringe of gleaming, clear liquid that burned as it forced into her veins. Before dragging her downstairs, into the dark, the orderlies shaved her head down to smooth stubble and dressed her in a rough tunic that came down to her knees; the drug they’d injected her with kept her numb and compliant, loose-limbed as a rag doll.

The first night was the worst. )
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Escape Velocity [Haruichi, Katsuko] [Mar. 30th, 2010|05:40 pm]
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[Current Mood | crappy]

[Backdated!! Takes place directy after Reconaissance and Recovery].

Everything hurt.

The desert laboratory and the flaming wreck they'd made of it seemed lifetimes ago. Katsuko heaved in a gasp of dry desert air and tasted blood. Each step jarred her wounds; her checks on the steady feel of Haruichi's chakra grew more frequent.

They ran with the night. No one from the labs came after them, but why should they when sustained wounds and harsh desert winds would do the job? Katsuko and Haruichi needed to find shelter before daybreak, and fast.

Haruichi signaled and veered abruptly left just as dawn broke over the horizon. She blinked and followed. Too tired to be puzzled, she fixed her gaze on Haruichi's back as he rounded a large rock outcropping. He stopped abruptly, and she stumbled and nearly slammed into him.

She blinked again, ignoring Haruhime's squawk of outrage, and looked up.

Oh, thank the gods. A cave. A nice, cool, hidden desert cave. Katsuko sighed in relief and followed her partner inside.
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Morning, Alone [Katsuko] [Feb. 23rd, 2010|03:05 pm]
[Current Mood | contemplative]

[[Takes place the morning after Let's Not Speak of It Again]]

She should really be freaking out right now.

Like, now.

Any second.

Katsuko stared up at the ceiling of the inn, breathed a bit, and failed to freak out. A small breeze filtered in through the opaque rice-paper windows, making her shiver and pull the linen sheets up over her bare torso. The human-shaped lump beside her let out a soft sigh, barely audible amidst the early dawn noises of the old ryokan.

She stilled, not wanting to wake her partner, and glanced over at the other side of the futon. Ryouma’s dark brows were relaxed, the usual lines of tension in his angular, lean face smoothed out in sleep. It made him look younger, more innocent, and for a brief moment Katsuko could see him as a carefree teenager--a civilian, even. Some rake who was apprenticed to a respectable trade, and whose biggest concern was whether pretty Hanako would dance with him at the spring festival. Someone who’d only heard of shinobi in ghost stories and plays.

Katsuko’s lips quirked in a fond smile as she leaned over, callused fingers ghosting over a stray lock of hair that had fallen into Ryouma’s eyes.

He frowned in his sleep and rolled away from her with a drowsy murmur.  )
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Something We've Been Missing [Kakashi, Katsuko] [Feb. 8th, 2010|04:46 pm]
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(Takes place on April 10th, the day after This Time It's Different, and an as-yet unposted Kakashi/Genma thread.)

It could have been the start to a wonderful day. There'd even been birdsong and blue skies, which should have warned her straight off that everything was going to go to pot--but hell, she'd always been an optimist.

Katsuko rolled out of bed somewhere between late breakfast and an early lunch, shrugged on a shirt (that was, strangely, several sizes too big for her) and loose pants, and meandered down to one of the training fields. Her swords she left in their gleaming armor stand on her dresser, not wanting to handle live steel when she was still sleep-dazed. Dredging up the effort to go find her wooden practice bokken had been quite beyond her, so it was only with her hand-wraps and work-out bag that she found her way down to a wooded field near the outskirts of the Village.

She hadn't practiced her kata in gods-only-knew how long, so after contemplatively chewing on a stale meal bar for a few minutes Katsuko sighed, stretched, and started on the first empty-hand set.

It didn't take long for her to fall into the half-trance that repetitive movement and exertion induced, sweat running from her hairline and the nape of her neck as she kicked and spun her way across the clearing. Worries, petty annoyances, the latest mission with Ryouma--it all faded away. There was just her, the wind, and the next move in the pattern-dance.

Of course, then it all went to pot.
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Let's Not Speak of It Again [Ryouma, Katsuko] [Dec. 26th, 2009|11:39 am]

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[[Takes place early in the morning of April 8, the day after Something That the Knife Took and two days after Lay Your Armor Down. Titles inspired by Dashboard Confessional's song Don't Wait.]]

By the fifth mile, the shallow cut on Ryouma's hip had clotted and he was beginning to find his stride. At the fifteenth, when they paused for a breather and for Ryouma to burn his reeking gloves and scrub his crusted hands, two of Katsuko's clones peeled off to backtrack. They caught up again half an hour later, running with easy satisfaction. One of the sharp-faced masks was sprinkled with blood. Ryouma thought about asking, and decided to focus on running instead.

At least they knew the territory. When Katsuko swung in a wide west-ward circle to avoid Ashirogi Swamp, Ryouma followed her without question. When her next clone peeled off, it returned quickly with a canteen refilled from a stream running cold with snow-melt. And when, near midnight, Ryouma veered south-east again into the low forested foothills near the border of Plains and Fire Country, he found the ancient ryokan still standing among its sheltering pine-trees.

The frail, white-haired old landlady was still there, too--a little deafer, and more than a little rumpled from the bed they'd rousted her out of, but still as bright-eyed and energetic as she'd been when Ryouma had first stayed here on his way to the border five years ago. She was also obviously dying of curiosity, but any innkeeper who made half her living from ninja clientele was a past master at the art of discretion. There were no other guests at the moment, she informed them as she entered a neat spiral-leaf sigil in the register. The baths were open-air, but heated by hot-springs; they would be quite safe, too, because years of ninja guests had left the perimeter so heavily trapped that not even squirrels could cross from the forest into the ryokan grounds. (The landlady's kitchen garden fared quite well in the absence of four-legged brigands.) She would stir up the maids and have supper waiting when they finished in the baths. "And a medical kit," she added, with an unsuccessful attempt not to stare at Ryouma's shoulder and Katsuko's broken armor. "Is there anything else you require, shinobi-san?"

'Privacy,' Ryouma said, slinging his good arm over Katsuko's shoulders. )
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Something That The Knife Took [Ryouma, Katsuko] [Dec. 15th, 2009|09:59 pm]
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[Current Mood | awake]

[[Takes place April 7, the day after Lay Your Armor Down.]]

Dawn came, bright and cold.

Katsuko rolled out of her blankets and looked at Ryouma's sleeping form for a moment, then slipped outside. She flinched at the sharp morning air, coughed as it raked a freezing trail down her sinuses. The sky was stained red and gold, the rising sun hidden by a veil of wispy clouds.

Last night's conversation--the soul-baring honesty of it--scared her more than even the nightmares that followed. At least the horror of her subconscious memories was familiar. It was an old terror that she'd grown used to, if not comfortable with. Ryouma's embrace, his openness in displaying his scars, her reaction--it was all new. It was all frightening. He hadn't flinched away, hadn't changed the subject as her family did. There'd just been the silent listening, understanding, sympathy.

Confusing, how a near-stranger could offer her the comfort that her own blood relations couldn't.

The sleepy curl of chakra and a slight rustle in the tent told her Ryouma was up. Katsuko stood by the dead campfire and didn't turn around as the tent flap unzipped a minute later. The weight of his dark-eyed gaze settled on her back.

"I'm going to wash up." Her tone was matter-of-fact, brusque. She refused to glance behind her. "I'll be ready to go in ten."

She strode off toward the stream. Behind her, Ryouma lifted a hand, then dropped it. He watched her for a moment more, but said nothing. At last, he turned and went to get changed.

A few hours later, Katsuko and Ryouma were well on their way to setting the record for "Most Voluntarily Silent Mission, Ever." Masahiko's fortress was easy enough to locate, garish perversion of military architecture on the landscape as it was, and the former cloud-nin had even been considerate enough to forbid any sort of town or civilization to spring up around his walls. The number of civilian casualties would be drastically reduced, a fact that cheered Katsuko to no end. She could kill and burn to her heart's content.

They stood amidst a grove of trees on a hill directly overlooking Masahiko's fortress. The faint sound of weapons drills drifted up to them from the compound's courtyards. Miniature black dots moved with mindless (mindless-looking, down there it probably made more sense what they were doing than it looked from up here) efficiency on the fort's walls and ramps.

Katsuko stirred restlessly, turning to Ryouma. "We got a plan? Or we just going to go in there and start killing? I'm good, either way."
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Lay Your Armor Down [Ryouma, Katsuko] [Nov. 21st, 2009|10:53 am]

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Takes place April 6, the morning after All My Regrets Are Nothing New, a week after Katsuko and Ryuichi's mission in Knife's Edge and No Rest for the Wicked.

Ryouma stopped by the mission office just before breakfast, right after his morning workout and the mission desk shift change. The gangly young chuunin who manned the desk for the morning shift was new--he'd just come in a few weeks ago, after an injured knee took him off active duty for the next month or two--and unlikely to ask questions. In fact he seemed much more interested in the sudoku puzzle in his newspaper than in the reasons Ryouma had spent a week on Personal Leave and now wanted the first mission that would take him out of Konoha. "Things're always slow at the beginning of the week," he said, poking through the open-assignment missions stacked on his desk. "There's a B-rank surveillance out in Mangrove Country, but--"

"I need somethin' with less time to think," Ryouma said. "Team'd be good." Dammit, where were Arata and Hiroyuki when he needed them? "There's not anything up by the Lightning Country border, is there? Near the post that replaced the Dainichi Nyorai Temple Base?"

"Operations there are extremely limited right now," the chuunin said firmly. "But... Hold on a sec." He swiveled his chair around to paw through another basket of sealed scrolls. "You said your name was Tousaki, right? Then you're just in time. Another two days and they'd probably have pulled you off Personal Leave for this one, or assigned someone else. Reiko-san must've been keeping this one back for you. You're good with straightforward assassinations, aren't you?"

'My specialty,' Ryouma said. 'Who's coming along for the ride?' )
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Reconaissance and Recovery [Haruichi, Katsuko] [Oct. 28th, 2009|06:03 pm]
[Tags|, ]
[Current Mood | sleepy]

Takes place directly after Celestial Navigation.

With Haruichi tracking, it'd taken them a scant half-hour to locate the fortress. By that time the moon had come out, throwing their shadows into sharp relief on the blank white desert. Eerie quiet reigned as they closed in on their destination, with not even the soft whisper of booted feet upon the sand to give their presence away.

Katsuko kept her eyes trained on Haruichi’s back as she ran, trusting the Hyuuga to lead the way. The byakugan and his encyclopedic knowledge of the stars made him more of an expert on this bit than her; all she had to do was focus on providing backup. She skimmed her fingers over the hilt of her mother’s katana, double-wrapped and oiled with balm to protect against the harsh desert winds. The mission brief had said to expect heavy resistance. She’d be ready.

The Intel bastard had been half-right: the bunker was near a cliff, and a godsdamned mountain range. It’d be pushing it to call it the ‘Cliff of Sorrows’, though. Looked more like the ‘Sad Little Half Hill’. The bunker itself almost dwarfed the cliff, its builders having added onto the original design since Konoha had obtained the floor plan. It clung to the side of the mountain like a parasitic mass; obviously, the architects thought that normal geometric designs were for weaklings. The bunker itself was divided into round little ‘pods’, similar to the structure of Sunagakure. Bridges manned by hidden guardsmen connected each ‘pod’ to each other, leaving Katsuko with the impression of a giant insect nest glued to the side of the mountain. Mountain range and attached bunker were located in the deepest part of a desert valley, shielded by genjutsu that had taken all of Katsuko’s and Haruichi’s skill to see through.

Now both Konoha ANBU were crouched behind a stand of boulders on the lip of the valley mouth, looking down on the slumbering bunker below. Katsuko raised an eyebrow at the size of the thing. Rather more than two ANBU could handle.

Good thing she’d brought extra explosive tags.
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Celestial Navigation [Haruichi, Katsuko] [Oct. 25th, 2009|07:16 pm]
[Tags|, ]
[Current Mood | confused]

[Backdated!! Set on March 3rd, not long after Can't Choose Your Family]


Well as first days went, this one hadn't been so bad. Katsuko set up her things in her new apartment and laid traps around her soon-to-be permanently opened window. Then she wandered around HQ, learned nothing about its layout, and got hopelessly lost. Somehow, she made it back to her room for a quick catnap that ended up lasting several hours.

And then that message summoning her to a mission debriefing came.

Katsuko sighed and eyed the lone couch in the room. It didn't look nearly long enough to accommodate her lounging frame. Briefly, she considered sprawling out on the floor to continue her nap.

Then the door slammed open and her mission partner stalked in.
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