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[May. 22nd, 2014|04:53 am]

Katsuko stared at Kakashi, who was motionless beneath his nest of blankets. After a moment, she asked in a quiet voice, “How bad was the fight with Iebara?”

The clone she’d sent to interrogate Raidou had dispelled itself once it had learned the bare details of Genma’s, Kakashi’s and Ryouma’s side of the mission. Katsuko had the Bingo Book memorized; Iebara’s name had sent chills down her spine.

Genma’s eyes went flat with exhaustion. One hand lifted towards his bruised throat for a second, then dropped. "Bad. It was bad. I was doing my damnedest to avoid it—we almost had an agreement brokered with their captain." He glanced at the door, in the direction of the bunker’s prison cells. "And then Iebara recognized Hatake and broke ranks."

“And Kakashi killed Iebara with Iebara’s own jutsu, while you and Ryouma took out the rest of the squad.” Katsuko catalogued Genma’s visible injuries, feeling her mouth thin. “Iebara used his blood jutsu on all of you?”

"He took Tousaki's and my blood and used it against Hatake."

Katsuko hissed through her teeth. She studied Genma’s bruised throat and glanced over at Kakashi again. “I get it now.” She’d be pretty damn protective of the others, too, if she’d been in Kakashi’s place. Though she doubted she would have fared as well against Iebara as Kakashi had.

Sometimes she forgot Hatake Kakashi was a legend in the making. She had a hard enough time remembering he was supposed to be a genius. Every so often, though, things like this drove it home.

Grudgingly, Katsuko said, “I guess I should stop bullying him.”

When Ryouma got back from the shower, she was going to install him next to Kakashi in the blanket nest and never let them leave. Her rookies had gone above and beyond the call of duty for Team Six’s second mission, and they deserved rest.

“That might be a start,” Raidou murmured. His hand brushed against the back of her head. She could almost feel him frowning. “Also might want to explain this knot to the lieutenant.”

Taichou,” Katsuko said, appalled at his betrayal. Then she switched over to Genma, trying to mitigate the damage. “I got tackled through a wall, lieutenant, but it was a very thin wall and I feel a lot better now.”

Genma had his ’I am concerned about your health and your intelligence’ look on. He reached up and cupped the back of her head, probing the wound. “Any loss of consciousness or memory?”

Katsuko squawked. “Ow! No! Stop poking it!”

He dropped his hand. "I'll deal with that in a minute, then. Keep your arm folded across your chest, I'm going to do that nerve block now. It’ll hurt for a second, but then everything from your shoulder down should go numb."

No wait,” Katsuko blurted, and, when Genma paused, said in a voice full of spite, “Taichou has a head injury, too. A massive one. Someone punched him into a building and he left a dent.”

Genma paused, hands poised, and looked at Raidou with the calm expression of a man who’d accepted his team was full of idiots. Dryly and deliberately, he said, “Any loss of memory or consciousness?”

The sour note in Raidou’s voice made Katsuko smile beatifically. "It was a very thin building. I promise I'd tell you if I was dying; you can focus on her collarbone first."

Genma visibly made the decision to proceed as if two senior members of his squad hadn’t just told on each other like Academy students. He looked at Raidou. “Got her steady?” When Raidou nodded, Genma asked Katsuko, “Ready?”

“Hit me,” Katsuko said.

The green glow of the medical jutsu flared. Katsuko’s shoulder went numb. She breathed out as she leaned against Raidou, who’d made himself into a wall behind her, and thought about other things. Hopefully Ryouma would be done with his shower by now. She was looking forward to the influx of his helper clone’s memories.
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