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[May. 22nd, 2014|05:25 am]

"Why?" Ryouma demanded. The first word was the fissure in the dam; the rest came tumbling after it, like uprooted trees in the flood. "She'd have killed us. She was about to slice Kakashi's head off when I stopped her. The lieutenant should have let her die. Why the hell are you helping her now?"

Raidou paused, with his hand still on the lock. "How many of her team did you kill today?"

"One. The lieutenant got another. And Kakashi got Iebara." Ryouma gritted his teeth. "It could have been none, if she'd kept a leash on her damn team. Or if she hadn't sicced the rest of them on us when she realized we could take down Iebara."

"I got two," Raidou said. There was a dangerous glint in his dark eyes, but his voice was cold and perfectly level. "Ueno took down another two. Don't you think someone should carry the news back to Kiri, what happens when they try to cut us down in our own land?"

He had a point. Ryouma kicked the dirt floor at the base of the bars. "You should've taken the lieutenant's deal," he told the Kiri nin.

Her mouth tightened, but she kept silent.

Katsuko's kage bunshin came back. Raidou opened the door and stood aside for the clones to lug the supplies inside. Ryouma's clone kicked the mattress into the corner. Katsuko's rigged up an IV in the woman's good arm with ungentle hands, then helped her strip out of her damp, bloody uniform and into clean—and weapon-free—clothes. Oversized Konoha blues were apparently all the safehouse had to offer. Katsuko's clone hacked the sleeve off the shirt with a kunai, and left the bandaged stump of the severed arm poking through. The bandage was spotted with blood, but not badly enough to be worth changing yet.

Ryouma's clone gathered up the woman's gear in the towel—damp and bloody from toweling her down—and hauled it out. Raidou cast a swift glance over the jumble and ordered another of Katsuko's clones out of the bunkroom to search through it, piece by piece. The clone hunkered down in the hallway. Ryouma's crouched down in its old spot just outside the bars, while Katsuko's first clone tugged the woman over onto the mattress, dropped the new blanket over her, and then slipped out.

Raidou went in, instead, ducking his head to clear the low iron frame of the door. He had a morphine syrette in his hand. He crouched down by the mattress, every move slow and clear, and injected the syrette through her pants into the meat of her thigh. Eye to eye with her, he asked, "Anything you want to tell me?"

"Fukuda Takedo," she said. Her voice still rasped with pain. "Kirigakure jounin, registration 0075393-Bravo." She met Raidou's gaze, steely-eyed. "Still planning on stealing my blood, Konoha?"

"Your teammate took ours," Ryouma said.

She swung a narrow look at him. "And yours killed him for it."

"And you'd have killed him, and I should have killed you. Cut the shit, Kiri." His voice, and his hands, shook with fury. He gripped the cell bars. The chakra limiters stung his hands like ragged little thorns. "Or I can finish what I started."

Fukuda smiled at Raidou, thinly, a gleam of sharp teeth. "Looks like you don't have much control of your team either, captain."

Raidou put out a hand behind him, flat-palmed, lowering: Calm down. His cold, steady expression didn't flicker. He didn't look around.

"Maybe I'll have the time to learn," he said, very quietly, "since mine are still alive."

Fukuda's lips thinned. She said nothing.

"You won't be harmed while you're here," Raidou said more briskly, "unless you try to escape. But I don't think you're that stupid. When this is all over, Konoha is going to want a word with you, but they'll probably send you home alive. Until then, try not to goad anyone into killing you."

"Doesn't seem like I'd have to try very hard with this one," she murmured.

Ryouma bit down on the inside of his cheek.
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