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  1. Shinjo Kurosawa     10:44 PM
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  3. A blink. The Shinjo was in a field, like before. Wide open grassland as far as he could see. A voice, but he could not hear it properly this time. He tried to step forward but his body was immobile, held into place. A fire broke out in the distance, thick black smoke filling the sky. The eager flames danced across the field, turning the soft greens into angry reds. The flames began to get closer and closer; Kurosawa struggled to move again, but could not. The fire finally reached him, the heat and smoke suffocating him. The beautiful plains were eventually engulfed entirely, as was he. A harsh, raspy gasp exploded out of him as he sat up from an unfamiliar mat. A thin blanket clung to his sweaty skin like a wrap as he blinked around trying to gauge his surroundings. His side burned, a hand quickly reaching to touch where the D Samurai had run him through with his katana. Soft, strips of cotton covered it now, concealing the damage underneath as his body worked to recover from the trauma. "Water," his voice was thick and hoarse. "Please, water."
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  5. Asahina Kairi     10:47 PM
  6. Kairi was there of course. She was there when Kuro was brought in and she made it a point to stay even though it was time for her to leave. Disapproving look would have to wait this time, the seriousness of the situation came first. She gently guided a cup of water to his lips, tipping it slowly so he could drink. "Easy now."
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  8. Shinjo Kurosawa     10:55 PM
  9. The cool water passed his dry lips and down his parched throat greedily. He drank steadily until the cup was drained, sighing with a softer aahhh in relief. A hand kept him upright, despite the protest from his wound from the effort. He bowed his head as deep as he could. "Thank you." His words almost sounded normal, still slightly off from disuse but more Kuro than before. His eyes opened and lo and behold, it was his cousin. "Forgive me, Kairi. I did not mean to end up here like this. Things did not go according to plan." A flash of pain from his stab wound spread like a thunderbolt from his side and despite his efforts a wince of pain snaked across his face before he managed to control his On once again.
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  11. Asahina Kairi     11:00 PM
  12. She filled the cup with water and offered it to him again. "I feel as if asking how this happened is unimportant. The fact that it happened is the problem. You find too much trouble and-" She cut herself off. Now was not the time for a lecture, even if she felt as if she needed to do just that. "You are just lucky that the best doctor here was available."
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  14. Shinjo Kurosawa     11:10 PM
  15. The man leaned forward slightly, wincing more but able to sit unsupported now. His now free hand took the cup from hers; were cups always so heavy? It dipped slightly in his grasp, but he shakily brought it to his lips again, draining it as she spoke. When she had ended, so too, had the water. The now much lighter cup was offered back to her before he began, gently clearing his throat. "I cannot simply sit back at home; we are in a war. I am here to fight, for the end of this war, so that our lives can return to normal." His voice was quiet; that wasn't really why he was here, but someone else had wanted that. "If I do not fight, another shall go. Someone else would be in this bed, or worse, dead." His wound throbbed at that, another wince that he turned his face away to hide. "Every victory we secure is a day closer to that peace. I am willing to sacrifice myself for that cause." A thin, humorless smile spread across his lips. "I would not say lucky; lucky would not be here. Maybe the Kami or the Fortunes prepared for you to be here, before they left, knowing I would need you."
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  17. Asahina Kairi     11:49 PM
  18. She made a face; a face that made it obvious how she felt about that. "Hai, I'd say lucky. If it were anyone else, you'd have quite the scar or scars ...." She leaned back and shook her head. "And just because we are at war doesn't mean you have to constantly go looking for trouble.
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  20. Shinjo Kurosawa     11:56 PM
  21. "I have only been in..." he had to count on his fingers, "three, fights here. One was necessary, the other two were accidents. All of my other wounds were earned with glory and victory. I would be proud to show off my scars." Someday he'd write a pillow book about all his glorious deeds in battle. Like jumping and missing a horse. "I regret nothing," his head nodding in affirmation.
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  23. Asahina Kairi     12:01 AM
  24. She turned quickly so he wouldn't see how that affected her. "And you think that's were it ends then? You get a few scars and everything is fine? But what about how how others feel-" she had to cut herself off again and slow down. "How others feel about seeing you like this? How others have to keep everything inside themselves while putting you back together? Oh don't worry, Kairi will be there. Good ol'Kairi. She'll just pick up the pieces and we will all just move on. Right?"
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  26. Shinjo Kurosawa     12:10 AM
  27. That certainly took the air out of his bravado. He truly believed what he was doing was right. It was for the greater good... wasn't it? Sacrifices had to be made, for war did not give, it only took and took and was never sated. The beast had to be quelled and if it had to be his blood then the Shinjo had already prepared it in a fine goblet. "It is unavoidable," he uttered out after a pause. "Our duty, as samurai, is to endure these hardships as best we can. From the distant battlefield, to our home, we all have our burdens to bear, Kairi." If she was still turned, he would try to put a hand on her shoulder. "You are a wonderful at picking up the pieces, cousin. I can only hope that by doing this, you will never have to pick up another piece of me or anyone else, again."
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  29. Asahina Kairi     12:16 AM
  30. When she felt Kuro's hand on her shoulder she quickly wiped her eyes and reached to grab a few herbs. "My apologies for that outburst. But at some point, the future without certain people in it is a little less bright." She busied herself by crushing the herbs and preparing a paste that would ultimately go onto Kuro's wounds the next time she cleaned them.
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  32. Shinjo Kurosawa     12:24 AM
  33. His heart panged at that. She had to bring up loss around him. He would take a thousand stabs from Samurai D than be reminded. It was not her fault; she did not know. Almost nobody did. "You do not need to apologize to me; I understand your words far too well." He stared down at the blanket that covered him, practically boring a hole into it with his eyes. Every day was less bright without his spark of joy. What sort of monster would he be, if he put out his own light and left those he loved in the darkness? "I cannot promise, I will not fight anymore." His tone was hushed, but serious and still. "But I will promise that I will not seek trouble, nor will I allow it to seek me." That was the best he could do in these dark times. "Will that put your heart at ease?"
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  35. Asahina Kairi     12:30 AM
  36. She stopped what she was doing and sighed. This wasn't the time to turn around yet, so she just looked down at the herbs. "It is the best I can hope for." Then she finally turned back around and checked the condition of Kuro's bandages. True, it was more so she didn't have to look him in the eye. Nothing had changed since the last time she checked. "You should be able to live your life how you wish without me dragging you down because of my worrying."
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  38. Shinjo Kurosawa     12:37 AM
  39. The man shifted uncomfortably, but to give her ease of access to where the blade had made a nice new hole in him. "We are samurai," he would remind her, "and we live our lives for our lords and each other. You do not drag me down; I thought we had settled that you picked me up?" A hint of a light tease there; perhaps some terrible humor would soften what was coming next. He peered at her from over his shoulder, searching for her eyes that were so focused on her work, the same eyes that were slowly losing their vision day by day. The eyes that he was failing right now, according to the Daidoji.
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  41. Asahina Kairi     12:50 AM
  42. "You've been through a lot, and now I put this on you. The title of best doctor may be up for grabs if I keep this up." She tried a little bit of humor to lighten the mood she helped bring down. Truth be told she wasn't quite sure why she reacted as she did. It was just Kuro, he always got hurt and she patched him up. That was the way it went, right? "You're going to be fine," she started, moving back into doctor mode. "Just rest now." A couple of blinks and she held her report close to her face so she could read it, going over what she had written again to make sure she had gotten all of the details correct.
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  44. Shinjo Kurosawa     12:57 AM
  45. "You would still win the title of best doctor if I were the judge. And if there were a doctor tournament." Maybe Sachio would teach him actual jokes someday. He laid back down, sighing with more relief. No bandage swap; he had expected the worst and it was passed. But the real pain was yet to come. He had news to deliver, after all. And it wasn't going to be fine. He cleared his throat, figuring now was better than never. "I... met with the woman from before, again. The Crane who said she would help me find your true love." He let that into the air; if she wanted she could pick up on it. But maybe she was too busy and he wouldn't have to do this part.
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  47. Asahina Kairi     1:01 AM
  48. The report was lowered and her eyes peaked over the top at him. He always seems to suprise her, here he was bringing this up at this time. Too bad her curiosity beggwdd her to ask about it. "Oh? And what did she tell you? That he's been close and I haven even noticed?" She laughed at that and finally set down her report.
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  50. Shinjo Kurosawa     1:09 AM
  51. If the Kami were around and had any mercy he would be struck down to death before he could go any further. He turned uncomfortably on his mat, facing distinctly away from her. "We were both let down, unfortunately. I too, submitted a poem," he admitted while staring at the wall. It was easier to say things when you didn't have to make deep eye contact. "Your candidate was all the things you wished. Strong. Kind. Confident. Assertive. He loves children. And his eyes were as strong as steel, and could outsee a hawk." He pulled the blanket over himself as his hands curled tightly into fists. "But... he was a fool. Is a fool. He is in love with someone else far and away from here, he said. And reason could not be worked into his," his teeth ground together, "stupid head."
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  53. Asahina Kairi     1:16 AM
  54. "I.....see. It's probably for the best then. I wouldn't want to drag him down if he is indeed all of those things. He's more than I deserve......most likely." Her hands searched for something to busy themselves with. "I have the children. And putting you back together. That will do. That will have to do....." Ah, the herbs she started crushing, that was a perfect thing to finish so Kuro didn't have to see how her face dropped. "These will be ready in a few seconds. Then I can reapply."
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  56. Shinjo Kurosawa     1:29 AM
  57. He could feel the disappointment in the air, and it was killing him inside. Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut, instead of unleash this pain upon the both of them. But he would have had to reveal eventually, and the longer a wound festers unattended, the worse it became. "He may have had all of those things, but he... is a terrible and unworthy samurai. He did not deserve someone like you." The lump in his throat was swallowed hard. "A samurai is dutiful and does what is best. He chose not to do them for a..." silly thing such as love, he almost said, which would have been terribly contradictory. "He insists on choosing wrongly, Kairi. And may his ancestors punish him for his misdeeds." His eyes squeezed shut and he curled up into a ball. Obviously he was messed up because he failed the mission, duh.
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  59. Asahina Kairi     1:37 AM
  60. "It's ok Kuro-kun." She spoke over her shoulder as she worked. "I have been given the opportunity to marry who I wish because perhaps it will never happen. Perhaps it is more important for me to watch over the orphans, to be their protector and guide. And to watch over the sick and injured, to be their hope and source of comfort. Perhaps this is my fate. If it is, then it is." She forced a smile as she turned around with what she needed to apply to Kuro's wounds.
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  62. Shinjo Kurosawa     1:49 AM
  63. He buried his face down deeper into the mat. It couldn't just end like this. But he couldn't just tell her exactly what happened, and why. That was his burden to bear, but yet it was clearly affecting others. If only he could just explain, but that would only hurt more. This much pain, they could both survive. "There is someone out there, Kairi; this first I have found, may be rotted, but I can find more. I can find better, do not give up just yet." His breathing came in shaky, but as he exhaled he managed to replace his On. And worse, he was able to face her, although with eyes a bit too shiny than normal. "I will change your fate, if it requires drag the fortunes back from heaven myself. I will not stop looking, Kairi, and you will have your perfect love." What was it that Akodo had said? A samurai did not have to promise; their word was as good as done?
  64. ((If you wish I will totally roll a sincerity roll))
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  66. Asahina Kairi     1:58 AM
  67. (I think it's safe to say she believes him, she is gullible after all  ) "Of course, of course. I believe you can do great things, this being no different. You don't have to.....but it is nice. Thank you Kuro-kun, but what about your own happiness?" In one quick motion she removed the bandages and reapplied the medicine she had just made. Fresh bandages then replaced the old ones. "You'll do great things," She repeated. (19 wounds healed if you need it)
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  69. Shinjo Kurosawa     2:09 AM
  70. He steeled himself for it, but pain was inevitable. His jaw clenched down and his hands tightened even harder than before. A gasp trying to escape his throat was forcibly killed before it's existence could be known. But before he knew it, the pain was over and the soothing sensation from the fresh herbs on his wound quickly began spread through his whole body. The Unicorn's muscles began to relax and unwind, and he sagged in the mat. As his body processed this, he realized he was going to have to do the second half of this song and dance. And no amount of herbs could heal that part even with amazing rolls. "I have enough time to focus on my own happiness later." The irony was lost on him. "And thank you, Kairi. For both the herbs and the words. I hope you are not wrong." He would aim to try to grab her hand and give it a reassuring squeeze and let go after a beat, unless she was too quick for him..!
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  72. Asahina Kairi     2:18 AM
  73. She was not too quick! She was paying more attention to the wound she just redressed than anything else. The feeling of his hand against hers caused her to jump at first and she almost instinctively pulled away. But she didn't. This wasn't a child who had grabbed her hand to walk by her, or the hand of a wounded soldier whose pain had just become to much to bear. This was different. "No matter how much you worry me, no matter how many times your blood ends up on the outside of your body when it belongs inside, I will always be there to put you back together." There it was, the first genuine smile since Kuro had come to.
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  75. Shinjo Kurosawa     2:27 AM
  76. She smiled! Like the sun shining after a terrible rain, there it was. It was infectious; a smile sprouted from his own face to match hers. Even if it mostly just masked his terrible feelings within, he was genuinely happy at this moment in time. "And I will always be there for you, Kairi. To protect and serve with every fiber of my being." He'd fall back and rest his head back, eyes closing. "When I wake, I will return to my mission once more," he murmured, eyes closing. Being awake this long and getting healed was taking it's toll on his energy, and his author also should be asleep but this was all too good.
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  78. Asahina Kairi     2:32 AM
  79. "Rest now. I'll be here." She set his hand down gently and made sure he looked comfortable. With a sigh she turned back to her herbs, making up a new batch to apply to his wounds when he woke. She practically had to hold each bottle close to her nose to read what was in them, someone had rearranged them on her. Normally her hands went right to the appropriate bottle, no reading required. She turned back one final time to look at Kuro before setting to work. (Great stuff, time for sleep I think, unfortunately)
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  81. Shinjo Kurosawa     2:32 AM
  82. ((Perfect time to end. Goodnight Kairi, thank you for the scene!))
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  84. Asahina Kairi     2:39 AM
  85. (that was so fun, thank you so much)
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