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Old 04-12-2014, 01:14 AM   #1
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Despite her appearance, Tetsumi was not a girl who was overly given to brooding. The black had been a way to set herself apart from her teammates at first—Orika had always been an attention grabber, and Kiyoko's bloodline set her apart. The beatnik/goth/mysterious stranger thing had been Tetsumi's way of embracing her role as the least well-known as TKO. Now, her typically jet-black attire was stained gray and yellow and brown; the day's excursion in the jungle had not been kind to Tetsumi's wardrobe. She didn't mind. Mainly, she didn't notice.

To anyone who didn't know what secret the teenager's slim form held, Tetsumi seemed lost in thought. She spoke in sporadic bursts, addressing her hands and the air, and sat by herself. It hadn't been difficult to find somewhere she wouldn't be disturbed; most people took one look at the dusty, masked girl talking to herself and left well enough alone.

"For Matriach's sake, guys, I'm not mad," Tetsumi said, not for the first time. Had anyone ventured out to the outcrop where she sat, legs dangling over choppy water, they might have noticed that her clothes... moved. "I understand. He was—yes, I saw his carapace. It was quite pretty. Yes, I know you're sorry. No, I'm not going to punish you. Really? Yeah, I was mad, but I also understand that you have a biological imperative." There was an extended pause, during which Tetsumi chuckled. "That was very nice of you, to want to give me half lightning demon offspring. I'm touched, guys. You know he was a male though, right? It wouldn't have—No! I don't need a picture. That's quite alright."
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Old 04-12-2014, 01:27 AM   #2
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Takeo was definitely glad to be back Last Landing. The more time he spent away from that forest the better. There were things out there that not even he could explain. But he had made it out of everything okay…pretty much unscathed. His team even made it out alright… they were all alive still…well the ones that were already alive that is. The Chuunin definitely had questions for Taisuke but didn’t really want to deal with it for the time being.

He remembered Tetsumi’s condition and her bugs. He decided that while there was time, he’d find her and make sure she was alright. Not to mention that there was a question that he had put off at the time that he figured she wanted answered. Takeo left the little hut that he was given to stay in and began walking around, wondering where she might have been. Finally he found her sitting down at the coast and he watched for a moment.

Takeo took a deep breath and then walked out towards her, clearing his throat before sitting on a rock, not really wanting to interrupt. She was talking to her kikai about something, probably about what happened in front of the bijuu. ”Hey, Tetsumi. You doing alright?” He had left his sword in the hut, not really needing it around the small makeshift village. It wasn’t as if he used it anyways. His eyes looked out towards the water and the waves as they licked against the coastline and the docks before turning his attention back to her.

”Things got a little hairy down there. I’m glad you are okay. I did have to hold back a little bit against Kizetsu.” The kikai were surrounding the beetle when it was time to open fire and things could have went badly if the redhead unleashed katon on it.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:05 AM   #3
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Ever since Masuyo had snuck up on Tetsumi that day she had gone for a visit, the chuunin obsessively kept at least one buggy lookout stationed in her hair. Even in the relative safety of Last Landing, this hadn't changed; she was alerted to Takeo's presence before he worked himself up to speaking. Well, to be more specific, she had been alerted to "the man-Tetsumi with fire inside of him and coloring to indicate that he is toxic," but Tetsumi was used to their terminology by now.

"Hey." She smiled at Takeo from her seat on the ledge. "I'm doing fine. Poison's completely flushed from my system and they've plugged up the holes in my esophagus. Taisuke's buddies at the temple gave me some tea, too. It had a mild sedative in it, but I think they meant well." Tetsumi clasped her hands together self-consciously. "It makes sense to sedate me—well, them. What happened was... unexpected."

Tetsumi didn't know how else to describe her kikai tearing their way from her body to start a fight with a bijuu, leaving her to die from a massive dose of poisonous spores in the process. At the time, it had been terrifying; now, it was food for thought. The Aburame had spent much of the return journey trying to think up a way to ensure her that her kikai remained levelheaded if another irresistible bug-shaped demon happened along. She thought maybe a second bonding ritual would work, some kind of contract, but the details were still hazy.

Maybe Masuyo-sensei will be able to help. She did say she was working on unconventional contracts...

The chuunin pushed the idea to the side for now. Takeo was here, and there were questions to be asked and answered.

"Thank you," she said in response to his mention of holding back. "Both for keeping a level head and not massacring the only things keeping me alive." Tetsumi grinned. "My tactics aren't usually that self-centered, believe me. I know your specialty—had I been in control of them, I wouldn't have gotten in your way." It was embarrassing; Tetsumi knew her strength, and yet the person she had been spending more and more time with had saved her twice, now.

Once on that first mission, once here. The girl sighed ever so slightly, then looked back across the water. Her weakness preyed on her, especially with the map the temple had revealed.

"There are other bijuu out there, did you see? Five of them." Tetsumi waved a hand; the kikai coating her raised to form the image burned into all their minds.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:19 AM   #4
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The redhead returned the smile and figured that one of the bugs had tipped off Tetsumi to his presence. Of course it wasn’t like he was trying to surprise her or anything. Instead he didn’t want to bother her conversation with her bugs. He laughed slightly to her being sedated and the monks at the temple not really knowing what they were getting into. ”I feel like in a different situation…like you not dying immediately, I might have done things differently.”

Takeo’s tactics weren’t really well thought out…if at all. Most of his decisions came at the spur of the moment and almost all of them were emotionally fueled. Perhaps that was something that he’d need to work on at some point, but it’s gotten him this far and it wasn’t as if he was operating solely on a single emotion any more. So it was an improvement. ”But you don’t really need to thank me. I owe you a lot more than you owe me…that much is for sure.”

His eyes followed her for a moment before leaning forward towards her but not wanting to encroach. He wasn’t sure how the kikai would react to contact at the moment since they were likely still agitated from everything that had been going on.

”I really am not too keen on fighting many more. Especially if this one wasn’t a full bijuu. Kizetsu was a pain in the ass to deal with so I don’t want to imagine fighting a full bijuu.” Takeo sighed a little bit at just the thought of finding more of them out there. Really he was ready to head back to Konoha but as long as Tetsumi stayed out here in danger, he’d stay out here with her.

His eyes looked over the map that the kikai had formed, remembering that she had asked about his summon contract. He had to fulfill his end of the contract soon. His eyes slowly looked around and decided that he’d wait before finding something for the Swarm.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:44 AM   #5
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Tetsumi waved off Takeo's comment about owing her like a stray kikai. "Stop it," she said firmly. "I know you think you owe me, but I don't, and no amount of thanks is going to change my mind." Her voice softened. "I like you, silly boy. I like spending time with you. Any personal growth that has occurred because of that has been—an unintended bonus." Tetsumi fiddled with her sunglasses before removing them entirely. The sun would be setting soon, and she despised being that guy. The kikai would have to deal with the sight of her weird human eyes. They had earned a little discomfort.

She rubbed the bridge of her nose, glanced at the map, and buried her head in her hands.

"I can't say I want to fight another gigantic, lighting-wielding beetle that's actually a demon, either," Tetsumi muttered. "Morally, though, I can't walk away from this." The words hung like pretty little nooses in the twilight. "Last time the bijuu were around—well. Now that the population has risen again, the density of cities has gone up..." Tetsumi lifted her head and gestured vaguely. "A lot more people would die. I imagine that's why they're contained on this island, if that's what this is—do you remember what Kizetsu called Taisuke and the other priests? Watchers. And with that tablet..."

Tetsumi was unused to thinking aloud. It came from too much time with Kiyoko, probably; the extent of their conversation would have been "I'm staying." The chuunin stared at the map. Her eyes, lungs, skin ached from the effects of the pollen. She needed to rest, but her mind wouldn't settle.

"It's going to keep getting more dangerous, but I'm going to stay." The sentiment might have been foolish under any other circumstances, but the opponent they were facing was the opponent, the demons that had ravaged the world. "I'm getting involved, even if Taisuke doesn't hire us again."
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:53 AM   #6
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His head dropped to the ground for a moment as he looked at the sand beneath his feet. This was…unintended. Takeo hadn’t planned to have a true heart to heart with Tetsumi. It’s not like it wasn’t welcome since she was pretty much the one that saved him from himself. His head lifted up a bit and he looked out towards the horizon once more. ”I don’t mind where we have come either. I do like spending time with you and you are definitely growing on me…for the good.”

He took in a deep breath listening to her talk about the bijuu. It sounded like she was going to stay and if that was the case than he was going to stay with her. Takeo wouldn’t let her tell him that he wasn’t going to and he wasn’t going to take no for an answer. :”If you are staying than I’m staying. It’s as simple as that. I don’t really want to fight these things any more but someone has to and I’m already here. Not to mention I want to stay out here with you.”

The request was selfish, he had intended it to be selfish and he didn’t feel bad for it coming out like that. Instead he stood up from the rock and moved towards her, sitting behind her and wrapping his arms over her shoulders a bit. It was definitely dangerous and a bit scary but with her, it would be fine. She had the confidence in him that he needed.

”I wonder what sunset looks like out here. I imagine that it looks pretty nice.” Really he didn’t come to be serious. At least not about this. Maybe he’d need to bring up the subject of his contract. ”So I’ve made a contract with a few bugs myself. Sorry I never brought that up before.”
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:35 PM   #7
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Some of the tension leeched out of Tetsumi's shoulders at Takeo's declaration. There weren't many leaf shinobi on the island currently, and the chuunin much preferred to work with people she knew and trusted over strangers with unknown abilities. She did feel guilty that her decision was influencing Takeo's, but at the same time, Tetsumi wanted him to stay.

If we're going to be facing monsters out of the stories, it's going to be a hell of a lot easier to do it with someone I trust at my back. Appropriately, Takeo settled in behind Tetsumi after he had spoken. She let him take some of her weight; Tetsumi was in worse shape than she wanted to think about.

She turned to press a kiss to Takeo's cheek. "I'm glad you're staying." The words may have come out more wearily than Tetsumi intended, but she smiled to mitigate the vulnerability. They settled in, watching the roaring waves and sinking sun. Tetsumi felt herself relax. When Takeo spoke again, it was easy to laugh.

"You should be sorry," she teased, but still sat up and turned around to face Takeo. As nice as it was just to sit and recover, Tetsumi would never be tired enough to pass by a learning opportunity when she saw one. "Ants, huh? I think I had a... great uncle, or something, who used ants instead of kikai. He was crazy, of course, but the ants were nice enough. Can I meet yours? Do they hate the kikai as much as Kizetsu did? How did you even find them? Konohagakure isn't sitting on a nest of supernatural insects, is it?"
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:15 PM   #8
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”Of course I’d stay with you. I just hope that you wouldn’t think otherwise.”

Takeo smiled a bit as Tetsumi kissed his cheek and relaxed a bit while holding her close. She reacted better than what he had expected and his eyes closed for a moment. Her slight laugh though caused the redhead to open his eyes and he looked to her with a slight but sheepish grin. She wasn’t wasting any time with the questions was she?

Takeo was forced to pause for a moment and think of how to explain it. ”Hmm… how to explain it.” Takeo rubbed the back of his head for a moment and looked up at the sky before looking down towards Tetsumi’s eyes. ”I made a contract with a family of bugs. It’s not just the ants, there are others. It’s nothing like your kikai though.”

Takeo leaned his forehead in to press against Tetsumi’s. His eyes closed once more and he struggled on thinking how to explain it. ”I figured…it would bring us closer together if I picked up this contract. I guess I could have talked to you about it first but…” The redhead shrugged a little bit and sighed silently. She seemed a little excited about the whole thing but really he hadn’t thought too far into it.

”I realized that I should start focusing more on ninjutsu and they will help me achieve that.” Talking about picking up the contract was a bit rougher than he thought it would be. ”It also will help in keeping us safe out here I think. I just have to take some time here soon and find an offering to give them. Shouldn’t be too hard though. I can take care of that later.”

Part of him wanted to say how comfortable he was staying with Tetsumi like this, but another part of him didn’t want to ruin the moment with anything too mushy. So far he’d been careful with what he’d say to her but only time would tell.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:37 PM   #9
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Tetsumi didn't laugh at Takeo's reasoning, but her eyes did crinkle with a hidden smile. "I like it," she said earnestly. Tetsumi liked most things related to bugs. "Just don't go getting any tattoos of my face, or anything. It's one thing to find a new meaning for kanji, it's another to explain why you have the face of that chick who went crazy and went to live with the insects as a tramp stamp." She did laugh, then, and bumped her forehead gently against Takeo's. "Joking, I probably won't do that. But please, no tattoos."

The fact that Takeo had bug summons was enough to distract Tetsumi from visions of horribly drawn, horribly permanent marks, though, and she found herself staring into the distance. "What other bugs?" she asked, because of course she had to know. "What kind of gift do you think they'd like? Ooh, some of the local fauna, maybe some of the soil..." The Aburame cast around them for a likely-looking plant, and found nothing she would deem fit for a family of giant insects.

"We may as well scout something out now. As long as we avoid the Rots..." She was already standing. Tetsumi had to brace herself with a hand on Takeo's shoulder until the nausea went away. "You'll protect us, right? I'm sure there can't be that many giant, two-headed snakes on the island." She spoke a word to the kikai still lounging about, and they formed into two groups—one a ridiculous, but appreciated, cane to lean on, and one a small terrier that bounded ahead along the coast.

Tetsumi extended a hand to Takeo. "Care for a walk in the sunset?"
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:02 PM   #10
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”You don’t have to worry about that. I don’t really plan on getting any more tattoos any time soon.” Takeo remembered back to when he somewhat explained one of the tattoos on his forearms but he wasn’t really in any good state of mind to make heads or tails of much that happened that night. Of course it wasn’t going to be something that he would completely volunteer. Tetsumi knew about them, at least one of them and if she wanted to know, she’d ask.

Instead Takeo looked to Tetsumi and thought for a moment, trying to recall the bugs he had contracts with under that family. ”There’s a cicada, some bees, beetles, the ants, and a mantis for now. I need to build up more respectability within the family but the head of the house is a Queen Bee.” He then looked around the beach for a moment before shrugging.

”I think they prefer harder gifts. Like amber, bones, and wood. Probably something that will last quite a bit.” He watched her for a moment as she braced herself then he took her hand, standing up slowly and smiling, keeping her hand in his own.

”Of course I’ll protect us. Did you really have to ask?” Takeo poked a little fun at Tetsumi before realizing that she probably wasn’t talking to him at all. It didn’t change what he had to say though. At this point Tetsumi had to have realized that he’d do anything to ensure the safety of the two of them.

Gently then he took her hand and squeezed it before walking with her on the beach. His eyes went out to the horizon, watching the sunset and the many colors that came with it. ”This truly is a beautiful sight. Wish we could enjoy more of it.” His eyes turned towards Tetsumi briefly. He hoped that he wasn’t ruining the moment as that was the last thing he wanted to do.
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