|[May. 22nd, 2014|05:23 am]|
“That’s something." Raidou managed a faint, dark smile. "And Hatake yanked him back, even if he flatlined himself to do it. He's going to be insufferable about that when he's up again."|
Genma snorted quietly. "Probably.” His eyes darkened. “But Tousaki—”
“Had a bastard mission and a bastard fight on top of it, and a teammate that dropped himself. If that’s making you feel guilty, it’s probably making him feel worse,” Raidou braced his elbows on his knees. “He did okay after the last mission, but he was also unconscious for most of it—which is a habit I’m really thinking we want to break in our rookies.”
“That’d be a good place to start,” Genma said.
Raidou rubbed gritty eyes and blinked hard. “Later, then. For now—you need to sleep. I’m going to be wired for a bit. If Tousaki stays up, and I’m guessing he will since he just mainlined the same amount of caffeine as I did—” one of the secondary benefits of soldier pills, “—I’ll see if he wants to talk. Or we can be soldierly and silent at each other. So long as he’s keeping most of it together, he’s in better shape than the rest of us anyway.”
Genma gave him the sharp, light-eyed look Raidou was starting to recognize as the immediate precursor for a health check question. “Are you—”
“I need to tell you about my side of the mission,” Raidou interrupted.
Genma settled back in his dusty chair, bracing his shoulders against the wall and stretching his bad leg carefully out in front of him. He folded his arms loosely and nodded. “I’m listening.”
“Thirty second version,” Raidou said. “We hit Kiri-ninja from the start. They’d had time to set up. You already know about the genjutsu. They… got under my skin. The upshot is that I killed two, Ueno got the rest, and we took care of the mission objective. Downside: the house burned down to the studs, Ueno took unnecessary injuries, and I might’ve… broken part of the port.”
Genma blinked. “Broken the port?”
“Just the shipping docks,” Raidou said, studying the wall. “Only half of it. And a couple of piers.” He scratched the back of his neck. “And three or four ships.”
Genma digested that for a silent moment. “Masaaki’s house was near the docks. Was it… Did they take the fight outside?”
Sometimes Raidou could wish for a less intuitive lieutenant.
“One of them did,” he said. “We— They took us for a pretty dance with illusions. Made Ueno think she was chasing the parents when she was really going after a clone. Made me think—” He stopped. Restarted with the important details, and only those. “I killed the baby in the house. The last Kiri-ninja knocked me back under genjutsu before I could get the little girl, and evacuated the family down to the port. Ueno got me out, but took her collarbone injury doing it. I caught the Kiri-ninja before he could get the family on a ship, but—”
He could still feel the anger. Cold and tired now, like a fist of lead in his stomach, but he remembered how it had burned. How the whole world had gone red and black before it had just gone away.
He’d done that in the war, when there'd been nothing but blood and fumes and corpses where his friends used to be, and no end in sight. It'd been easier to fall deep down inside himself, to the place where wrath and fuck you lived, and let it loose on people he didn't care about killing.
He'd gotten very good about not caring, near the end.
But that was then, when control barely mattered. This was now, when it did. And this time, he hadn’t meant to do it.
“I got a little irrational,” he finished, looking up at Genma.