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ANBU Legacy

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[Jun. 3rd, 2013|03:05 am]

Katsuko deposited the bowl in her sink and turned around, studying the place that had been her home for the past year. “I’ve still got the boxes I used to move in,” she said. “We can pack the stuff in the kitchenette up first. There’s not a lot.”

‘Not a lot’, in this case, meant several cups, two sets of utensils, and barely enough plates and bowls to fill one cardboard packing box. Katsuko put it to the side as Raidou brought out the rest of the empty boxes from her closet, setting them on her floor. Besides her weapons, she didn’t have many things she was attached to; her brother’s paintings that she kept hung on the wall, yes, definitely, and her sketchbooks, maybe. Everything else was replaceable.

“Can you check if my alarm clock’s broken?” she asked, unpinning one painting from the wall. “I think maybe I punched it this morning. Might have been a wishful dream, though.”

Raidou picked the clock up from her bedside table, turning it over in his hands. “Casing’s cracked,” he diagnosed. “The tick still works. Want to keep it?”

“Might as well,” Katsuko sighed, disappointed. “Until the next time I punch it, anyways.”

He put it back down and moved over to her shelves, bringing an empty box with him. He spent a few minutes filling the box with her books before asking, with his back to her, “How do you feel about the changeover?”

She paused in the middle of storing her ink brush set. “Ruffled,” she said at last, checking the fine hairs on her thickest brush. “We’d just hit our stride as a team. A year wasn’t nearly enough time.”

The last book went into the box with a gentle rustle of paper. Raidou looked at her, sympathetic. “That’s how it goes in ANBU, mostly. You get a year, then it all shuffles. Six months for teams that’re really killing each other. It’s rare for people to stick together— you’ll be my first.”

Katsuko glanced at him. “I remembered your mask,” she said, abruptly. He raised an eyebrow, and she clarified. “From my Trials. The first day I met the team, I saw your mask and remembered it from when... I tried to blow you up. It was awkward.”

Raidou blinked at her, once. “You little shit,” he said, after a moment. “I didn’t think you’d realized.”

“You punched me in the face during the second Trial,” Katsuko said. “It would have been hard for me not to remember your mask. Dick.” She waved a dismissive hand. “Anyways, what I wanted to say was— we came a long way from that. You were a good lieutenant. You’re going to be a good captain. I’m glad they stuck us together.” She paused and added, “And I’m really glad I’m not your lieutenant.”

He looked like he was fighting not to smile. “Are we having a moment?”

“Ugh, no,” Katsuko said. “What does this look like? A kids’ movie?”

Now he was outright grinning. “Is this whole thing your way of angling for a hug, Ueno? Because I can do that. We can have emotions— we can process emotions, even. I bet you have ice cream.” He started towards her, spreading his arms. “Bring it in, rookie.”

Katsuko— squawked was the term for it, really, but she’d deny it to her dying day. “What? No!” She bolted up to her feet and wavered on the edge of retreat, unwilling to run away from him in her own room. “You’re going to try and crack my ribs. Is this revenge for the neck massage?”

He dropped his arms, still grinning. "Little bit. I wouldn't, really."

“Uh huh,” Katsuko said, doubtfully. “Very convincing, captain.”

"Well, unless you asked, but that's different." He picked up an empty box while Katsuko sputtered. "What's next?"

She made a face at him and waved a hand towards her dresser. “Clothes, then my weapons.” A splash of color on the far wall caught her eye: a painting of Makoto’s that she’d missed before, distracted as she’d been with the sudden talk of emotions. “Can you get that for me?” she asked, pointing. A few of her brush pens had fallen to the floor when she’d surged to her feet. She knelt to pick them up again. “It goes in the box with the rest of my art stuff.”
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