How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

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How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

PostPosted by Raika » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:03 pm

"Kaitou-kun... meet me in one week at the Valley of the End. Whether you must walk or crawl, meet me there, no matter what. I'll see you then."

The last words she had spoken to him before that dream-like world had vanished.

Once, she had thought to call him to the Cliff, instead, but... this place was just as suitable.

It was where they had first parted ways.

Now, it would mark yet another turning point amidst the falling leaves of autumn, most already upon the ground or floating in the river below....



He stepped out of the forest, and the sapphire dragoness appeared before the feral man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, large, dulled sapphire eyes level with gold as the tip of one ivory claw touched his chest.

Swirling sapphire lines flashed across his flesh, Ryuujinscale forming a Kousei seal.

"Sweet dreams," she murmured as he lost consciousness, falling into a state of suspended animation.

A gentle paw lifted her old friend as another formed handsigns, and she slipped through a tear in the world darker than night itself, reality fixing itself behind her.




Morning sunlight spilled in through an open window, illuminating two figures in the quiet bedroom. One, a woman whose tears seemed unending, sitting in a chair by the bed. The other, a mere child slumbering beneath the covers.

Dull sapphire eyes studied the hand gently held in her own, now so small when it had once been always a bit bigger than her own. Once strong, now it felt oddly fragile....

Her gaze shifted to the bare-chested boy's face, peaceful in slumber, the matted mane of his hair in disarray atop the soft pillow. A panel of chakra floated in her peripheral vision, displaying his physical condition: all was well.

This was the second day since she had applied the seal that would save him and removed her Kousei seal, releasing him from suspended animation. Since then, his exhausted mind and body had remained in a deep sleep, finally free of the dangers that had plagued him for so many years.

She had saved him just in time, at long last. And now... now she could only sustain his body as she waited for him to awaken.
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Re: How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

PostPosted by Kaitou » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:00 pm

"OOOOOOrrryyyyaaaaahhhh!"



Chakra seemed to pour out of the creature's veins. Except, this was not a monster of the night nor a demon summoned through the dark outs. This youkai found its heritage in the faults of man. If the world could go back in time to the moment where this particular individual made his initial decision, at times his conscious wondered, would it be the same? His real mind drifted at the edge of a haze, watching in subdued agony as his body ripped craters across the earth's surface; breaking apart the very land he had originally wished to save. This was what happened when he lost control. Unfortunately, what had once been an uncommon occurrence happened regularly. Sometimes he would destroy an entire village. Other times it would be a loyal friend. Over the past months he had lost count. There were just too many tragedies with him falling into an abyss of apathy.

"Kaitou! Snap out of it!" The faces were starting to blur together, but even on the edge of reality he remember the tiny swordsman now attempting to impede his path. Well, no longer the small orphaned boy that had joined the band years ago. Zouka Michio had grown into a fine young soldier, and he was about to squander all the potential on stopping his former superior. "God damn-ughh."

The monster had caught the opposing man with a cross counter that sent his body careening through a half mile of trees. What was once a forest had rapidly cleared into a path of mulch. Kaitou's first step broke geysers of open earth across the ground while his next would have crushed the young captain's skull had he not attempted to block with a mountain of summoned shields. The force of the blow was enough to disintegrate the blockade of metal into shards of floating metal sand. Once more its bearer was thrown back, now into a valley that should have triggered portions of an all too sharp memory. Instead, the beast slowly walked towards his next victim.

His fist cocked.
"Sweet dreams"
Then, his soul finally succumbed to the dark.






Hey, this is it right?
Son of a bitch. Turns out I wasn't real?
This is impossible. I am the Ki-
Of shit. Silence, fool and take the end like a man.
Did you all have a good ride? Heh, can't believe I’m saying this but...thank you for all your hard work.



The sound of waves crashing against rocks slowly stirred the child from his slumber. One blink brought the light of the world into his view, a blurry vision of an angel within a golden lit room. The next cleared into a scene that brought a broad smile to his lips. His memories were still foggy, like trying to separate a singular water particle from a sea, but the woman who sat beside him would never fade from his mind. How many times had he dreamed this dream? It was a half remembered world he knew to never be...but why was that? Hadn't he always been Eta-naru Kaitou? Yet, his spirit felt broken in many pieces. What were the trails of battle flushing into his head?

"Omoi-kun? If this is heaven tell me you're just visiting." Kaitou grin was full of life, like a child released into the greatest of treasure troves. However, the brightness dimmed a bit once he noticed the tears streaming from his friend's eyes. "What's wrong? Certainly, I don't look that bad?"

He frowned. Why would he say the last bit? The last fight he remembered was sometime during their training to become bolt ops. That wasn't quite right. Hadn't he assaulted Otoha on his family compound, but why would he do that? Why couldn't he remember anything?

Kaitou moved his small hands to clutch his head. His. Small. Hands. "What have you done to me?"

"I am Eta-naru Kaitou...right?"
For once there was no internal answer to his question.
Despite the situation, his soul was at peace.

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Re: How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

PostPosted by Raika » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:21 pm

The confusion was deeper than she expected... had his memory been affected by it all?

When he had come, it had not been in a sane manner, all reasoning lost. But... somehow, he had still come on the proper day.

A light finger rose, touching the coiled eastern dragon over his heart, the seal she had placed disguised.

"Saved you. Finally...." The word was like a soft sigh of exhaustion, and then she was sweeping his small form into her arms and onto her lap, hugging her old friend tightly and burying her face into his hair, his shorts-clad form warm.

A rare smile formed on her lips, hidden by his hair as it grew dampened with her ever-flowing tears.

"And you said I'd never be able to do it...."

She'd taken back the first piece of her life that had fallen out of place, at long last. It was enough to pierce the armor around her heart for but a moment before she was hiding again, smile gone and eyes dull as her head raised and she gently set him back on the bed, facing away from her as gentle fingers worked their way into tangled blue locks, seeking to unmat it all and giving him a chance to piece his thoughts together... as well as for her to just calm at the simple contact and his presence, even if he was a bit... shorter... from a side-effect of her seal.

"Everything feel like it's working properly?" Her voice was calm, only the faintest tinges of warmth and emotion within.
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Re: How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

PostPosted by Kaitou » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:33 am

All the memories hit him like a sledgehammer ramming its way through paper mache'. His brain was a machine which refused to lose any compilation of data, thus the harder he tried to remember the more images came flooding inside. It was a harsh reality he had awoken to from his long dream. Scene after scene of blood, grit, gore, and crimes of the worst levels of humanity. There were the odd moments of gold where he could see the hero he had once envisioned himself growing up to be as a child. However, the longer his mind raced to frame the current situation, the more he wished it had all really been a dream. He was Eta-naru Kaitou. No matter the conditions which framed the acts, he could only blame one individual for his shattered life.

"Saved you. Finally...."

His body was stiff as a statue. To call the feeling shock was the understatement of the century.



"Yeah...yes you did."



"And you said I'd never be able to do it...."

To be honest he still couldn't believe it. Was that why there were tears streaming from his eyes? Or was that because he had walked a road of damnation that could have been deterred? It was the strangest feeling in the world. From the depths of his soul the boy wept joy, sorrow, and hope. If he could be saved, then that meant so could the rest of his clan.



"T-thank you. Oh, Omoi-kun..."



The rest of it was lost in the blubbering of a child, clinging to the woman as if she had given him life. In a way, that's exactly what she had done. The wise said second chances were to be looking upon with overflowing gratitude, but they had no idea. No one could possibly know what it felt like to literally fall to the depths of hell and ushered back into the light of hope. Even after she put him down, the man child tried to compose himself without much success. Eventually, the sobs ended with him blowing his nose all over the pretty bed sheets, all facets of coolness probably lost for an eternity to his friend.

"Ah, you mean besides lo-," A hiccup rendered chibi Kaitou's sentence irrelevant. His small lips compressed into a pout before he continued. "Besides looking like a four year old? Yes, I think I can still design a nuclear fusion reactor."

More importantly was he stuck like this for the rest of his life? It was a selfish question he tucked away for later prodding from his genius kousai. There was a more pressing matter at hand that he could tell, despite being unconscious for days.

"What's wrong? Is it Otoha?" Kaitou blinked serene blue eyes, shifting through the corners of the room. He was pleasantly surprised to see his senses still worked, although they seemed less sharp. "Actually, where is the bugger?"

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Re: How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

PostPosted by Raika » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:16 am

A simple glance led to the mess vanishing completely from the sheets, phased away to be handled by her castle's cleaning system.

Gentle fingers worked tirelessly to unweave the chaos of his mane, dead hair carefully being removed and phased away before it could even reach the floor.

Sapphire eyes were dull and blank, her tears still unending.

A long moment of silence following his question.

And finally, she sighed softly.

"That's a question for later, Kaitou-kun. Don't press me on it. And... try not to worry to much about it until I've told you everything. Your smile is a precious thing." Blue locks began to tumble free of the tangles, and she briefly eyed the great length of hair. "I can give you a haircut in a bit if you'd like...." she paused then, freeing one hand from the tangles, fingernails shaping into sharp claws as she lightly grasped one of his small hands in hers, showing him his palm before her thumbnail lightly pressed against his flesh for a moment.

A dot of crimson welled where she had touched, and she scented pain.

Her hand curled around his, and the tiny wound was gone, her point made.

"You're alive, you're sane... but you're fragile in return," she murmured softly. Her hand gently squeezed his, claws rescinding into simple fingernails before she resumed gently untangling his hair. She waited a few moments before continuing, "However. You do not have to stay this way all your life. I'll tell you more about the seal later. You need a bath and food when I'm done with your hair. Alright?"
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Re: How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

PostPosted by Kaitou » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:40 pm

His words had been met with silence, typically a good indicator there was something amiss. His brain was far too occupied with other matters to push the subject though. Omoi would speak to him about it when she was ready, but the way her eyes leaked like a fountain made him want to rectify the problem immediately. Her fingers worked tirelessly upon thick locks that had been left to go wild near the end of his tenure as a beast. Curious eyes mused on the fact that his hair had once again shifted back to the dark blue to near black of his earlier years.

"Alright, you will have to explain the science of this to me." Kaitou laughed, running his own hands through the copious mass of hair. "I guess all of the above is in order since I've returned to humanity. Well, maybe..."

The child sat obediently under the ministrations of his caretaker, for once. Her touch reminded Kaitou of those times his own mother had captured his devilish self for similar matters in his youth. Although he didn't view Omoi in that kind of light, his mind tried to grasp the exact frame of their relationship. They had been the best of partners which had evolved to an unbreakable friendship the last fourteen years. She was easily one of the most important people in his life and going forth that fact was unlikely to change. The thoughts made him think of his other relationships. Those were all going to change. Everything was going to change...

"So, how is Kumo these days?"



His mind could only flee from the responsibility of his personal life. Instead he focused on noting the specific state of his condition. His form seemed to have reverted back to when he was around the age of four, but his mind remained untouched by the shift. Physically speaking, his parameters had dipped tremendously to what he would view as a tenth of his original self. Kaitou mentally checked his chakra reserves only to find that he only had access to an equal amount. The rest was still there, yet it seemed blocked from his use somehow.

"Shouganai. I trained all this time to become the greatest warrior only to end up a cripple." His laugh was filled with heart despite the situation. After all, Omoi had mentioned something about being able to return to his normal self. Besides, his intellect remained undamaged, a far greater tool than all his strength could ever have been.

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Re: How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

PostPosted by Raika » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:58 pm

His warmth tempted her to smile again, but the feeling vanished with his next question.

"So, how is Kumo these days?"



Kumo....

"I'm not sure. Haven't been back there in a while."

More tangles were unwoven, his hair reaching a more natural order surprisingly quickly in Omoi's skilled hands.

"Shouganai. I trained all this time to become the greatest warrior only to end up a cripple."

"You're not a cripple," she chastised gently, appreciating the fact that his laugh was genuinely warm. "Besides, there's plenty things more important than physical strength. You're one of the most skilled and intelligent people I know." The last few tangles came undone, and she gently ruffled her friend's hair before forming a pair of scissors with Ryuujinscale, expertly twirling them before gesturing at the mirror, sapphire eyes gleaming with a sudden playfulness.

"What would you like, Okyaku-san?"
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Re: How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

PostPosted by Kaitou » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:21 pm

He was small, but he wasn't stupid.
Far from it.

For the time being Kaitou decided he would leave the subject of his homeland and things connected to it alone. There was definitely something going on and Omoi clearly didn't want to talk about it. He briefly considered Otoha's death, but somehow he doubted the young woman would even be able to function had that been the case. Had Kumogakure been attacked and another hero lost? To his knowledge he hadn't been aware of an altercation on the rise. Granted, he hadn't been aware of many things in the past months with the exception of his accelerated degeneration. The boy curled and uncurled his fist just happy to be alive.

"Fine, fine. Not a cripple but certainly an infant!" He harrumphed with enough force to make his hair puff out before falling back across his shoulders. "Stars, Omoi, I look like a rug or...or what was that thing's name again from the movie...Chewwie?"

"What would you like, Okyaku-san?"

"Sake."



By the look on her face he assumed the latter would not be a possibility. Unbeknown to his active mind the chibi stuffed his left thumb between his lips and proceeded to suck heartily. "Fwine. 'ow abou' you make 't 'houlder length!"

At his size the last thing he wanted to do was drag down the weight of his already oversized head with cumbersome hair. The thought popped in his head of having to age from this point forward, before being crushed under the force of his own unwillingness to accept that reality. Gods. If that were the case he would have to wait till puberty to be with a woman. For that matter wouldn't it still be ti-.

"Hey, Omoi-chan. Where are we?" His cheeks were colored, but the least he could do was save his mind the embarrassment of following that train of thought. The boy turned his head towards the window to marvel. The beauty of the place made him think he wasn't even on earth anymore; what a silly thought.

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Re: How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

PostPosted by Raika » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:34 pm

Omoi paused as her friend began to... suck his thumb. Obviously unaware of the matter, his pride would never allow....

...perhaps there were subconscious side effects of the reversal of the aging process, or....

Or....

The human-formed dragoness ran a hand through her hair, utterly bemused by this turn of events. Fortunately his thumb was removed from his mouth when he asked his next question, the flush of his face and the subtleties of his scent leading her to roughly guess what he'd been thinking of....

Recovering smoothly, she ran a hand through his hair, cutting away large clumps of hair to lighten its weight before starting to focus more on the subtleties, thinning it out a bit and making him look less like a wookie-rug-thing and more like a human being.

"We're in my pocket dimension. I've mentioned it to you before, I believe, but I never really told you the details of it.... At the moment we're in the castle portion of it. This room is yours to do with as you like, by the way."

She paused, sapphire eyes watching as the thumb moved once again....

"...uh... Kaitou-kun.... You may wish to pay more attention to your movements in order to maintain your dignity. Just saying...."
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Re: How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

PostPosted by Kaitou » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:00 pm

"Yes, of course, we're in your pocket dimension." The boy nodded sagely, practically ravaging his thumb at this point.

"IS WHAT YOU THOUGHT I WOULD SAY?!!!!!"



If there was a table to be flipped he would have done that exact thing. Kaitou bounced out of Omoi's lap with all the grace of a toddler. His legs gave out which ended up with a terrible fall only deterred by a combat roll. Yet, soon he was back to his feet, thumb carefully inserted for the best sucking angle. He paced like a man on the verge of scientific greatness with a gait so large...it took him fifteen steps to finish one length...

"One doesn't simply create a pocket dimension, Omoi."

The boy trotted in a tilting motion towards the window, grunting as he tried to peek above the sill.

"Stars, you could make a black hole in the center of the earth!"



To be honest, he wasn't exactly sure of the science behind it all, but felt the need to scold her any way. If only just because she had created one before him.

"Even worse the entire universe could collaps- OOOhhh, it's a fox!" Kaitou happily bounced atop the sill and pointed with his free finger.

"...uh... Kaitou-kun.... You may wish to pay more attention to your movements in order to maintain your dignity. Just saying...."

The color suddenly drained from the man child as his brain finally took account for what had previously been thought of as the natural order of things. What had he been doing? This body was alarmingly dangerous. Hell, the next thing you know he'd be breast feeding. On his way back to Omoi's lap the lecher in him mused if that would be such an awful idea. Well, she had grown to be a fine young dragoness.

"So, uhh..." Kaitou colored. "When you tell this story to your future children, leave this part out."

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Re: How to Save a Life (Kaitou)

PostPosted by Raika » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:34 pm

Omoi simply allowed her friend to once again make his way onto her lap before she resumed cutting his hair, the loose strands all whisked away by the cleaning system as had happened before.

"This place has existed for a good while now, and is perfectly stable, Kaitou-kun. A friend of mine who is quite sensitive to these things saw nothing amiss. Besides, pocket dimensions are not entirely unheard of in matters of high-level fuuinjutsu. I've already met at least two people who have ones of their own, though theirs are more... advanced. I'm fine with what I've set up inside the castle, though, I've got an entire network of fuuinjutsu supporting and controlling various systems."

She ran a hand through his hair again, continuing to snip away the excess.

"Temperature regulation, food, plumbing, lighting, cleaning, set-ups in my laboratories.... I'll have to show you sometime, there aren't many people I can talk to about it all."

Snip snip.

"And I have a communication network and such, though only for inside the castle as it's a bit large. And an interface to access the computer systems, and for planning and designing new projects...."

She gently brushed loose strands from his hair, running her hand through it again.

"And I have barriers set up here and there for various purposes, including in the dojo. There's one around each bedroom, as well, just in case."

Snip.

"And done."

The scissors vanished.

"Speaking of the systems, I should show you how to access them...."

Her hand stretched in front of them, the faint glow of chakra in her palm as she moved her hand to the side, a thin sheet of chakra forming and hanging in midair, forming as a menu... though not in any human language. A quick navigation of various buttons on the screen translated it so that he could read it, and another manipulation took it out of her personal controls and into the guest level controls. Room manipulation, food, communication, a variety of commands on the list, even down to something called "holographic designer".

"I... imagine it's pretty straightforward. Raika never had trouble with it, at least, when I showed her."

A small focus of chakra allowed her to grab the chakra screen and put it within Kaitou-kun's reach so he could play with it a bit, phasing out from under him so that he landed on the bed, a gentle hand steadying his small form before she moved out onto his personal balcony, sapphire eyes overlooking the ocean before turning towards the beach below.

Ah.... Shirotsume.

A white fox gazed up at her with red eyes, watching quietly before she waved him off, watching the creature unravel into smoke and travel away with the gentle breeze.

"The controls for the bath are similar, but those require a proximity to it before they pop up."

She turned back inside, settling in one of two chairs by a small table set up near the opening to the balcony: a simple place for eating, reading, whatever was needed.

She pointed to one of the door's three rooms.

"Your bathroom is there," she pointed to the door closest to it, "and there's your closet, though all that's in there at the moment is what you were wearing when I found you.... I'll make you something later. Any food that you select from the menu while you're in your room will appear on this table, by the way."
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