Log in

let my hair fall down

sadismislove in narukorp

So I brought someone home for dinner... [Ibiki, Tsurude]

Happens between Paperwork done? and Honesty is the Best Policy

Ibiki watched impassively as one of the senior interrogators schooled a fresh-faced kid in the art of resisting torture. Those new to Torture and Interrogation were never given quite the same instruction as the previous crop. This way no one could ever prepare for what possibly lay down the road. And unlike some other departments, Ibiki encouraged a cutthroat, backstabbing environment even more vicious than intel. Certain traditions, unspoken as they were, needed to be upheld. And the best agents never, ever let their guard down. Even amongst those they could call their comrades and friends.

Such words had no meaning in this department. You used, or you were used. It didn't matter who you were. Even Ibiki herself was a tool to be used, if anyone ever got the balls to actually do something to her. As yet no one promising had come along.

More's the pity. She would've enjoyed meting out the special training that Shida-sensei had afflicted her with for the whole tenure of her time in T&I. At least until she had assumed command of the department herself.

(The theories as to whatever happened to Shida-sensei that she overheard always did give her the warm fuzzies.)

A narrowing of her eyes at how the kid in the room twitched and trembled and shrieked in her chair was all the displeasure Ibiki showed. The senior didn't even show that much; instead she simply used posture to display her disgust, and that was only for the benefit for those watching. The kid herself wasn't even actually being harmed; it was all a genjutsu.

Tsurude-sama generally didn't approve of the first-wave wash-outs being unable to work for the village in other ways. As Sarutobi-sama had mostly pretended not to notice what happened in T&I as long as she was handed the clean results when Shida-sensei was in charge, and during Ibiki's time, the scarred woman chalked it up to Godaime-sama's medical training. Medics always were a softer breed. That's why the few medics kept in-house in T&I Ibiki always cultivated and trained personally as she trusted no one else to the task. Medics were uncommon enough outside T&I; inside, they were precious metals to be smithed with (relative) gentleness. Their credo of "all life is sacred" and general empathy had to be beaten out carefully and in such a way they could still do their job.

She sensed the approach of someone else before she saw them, and before they spoke. "Yes?"

The chuunin bowed. "Message from the Tower, sir. Hokage-sama requests your presence post-haste."

Oh? A request from the Hokage almost always meant something troubling - which meant something fun. In her mind, Ibiki was grinning toothily in anticipation. On the outside, the slightly bored expression never changed. "Tell Deguchi I expect a report when she's done."

"Yes, sir," the chuunin messanger replied as Ibiki swept by.


Ibiki took the underground tunnels to the Tower. She preferred her sudden appearances; always entertaining to see a seasoned shinobi's expression to her sudden looming presence. Nothing like a shower of paperwork to feel welcome. Uncaring of the extra work the girl had to do, Ibiki simply strode to the office door and knocked sharply on the door, waiting for permission before entering.

"You sent for me, Hokage-sama?"


Times like this, Tsurude wished he smoked. It was supposed to be relaxing and he really needed something that could do that (now that Shizuya had managed to find most of his alcohol stash in the office and his usual haunts had been labeled off-limits by the tyrants Elder Council). But then all he could think of was Asuka and she hardly seemed relaxed in the slightest so... maybe he should take up knitting.

He let out a sigh and looked at the letter he had just drafted to send to Yuuhi. No... somehow knitting wasn't going to cover this unless stabbing with the needles was somehow involved. He grabbed the paper and crumpled it, throwing it into the growing pile at the side of the desk. He threw up his arms in disgust and leaned back into the chair, trying to clear his mind. When the knock came, he answered absentmindedly.

He looked up as she entered, leaning back towards the desk. "Right," he said, pausing for a moment while he tried to remember what exactly this was about. It came to him right away and then it was just a matter of finding the report. "It should be in the stack somewhere," he replied, working his way through it. His frown increased as he did, finding his organizational system (composed mostly of the 'stuffing it in the middle' method) was lacking. He felt a twitch developing above his eye.

"Ibiki," he said, brow furrowed in concentration. "What do you do to relax?"
Ibiki quirked an eyebrow as she studied him, standing before his desk with her hands clasped at the small of her back. If it was possible for the man to look even more stressed out, then she was seeing it in his face, eyes, and posture as he searched for something in the messy stack of papers.

"While the methodology and subjects depend on the situation, I find it rather cathartic in general inflict torture upon the underlings in my department if no actual prisoner is available."

He stopped with his hand in the middle of a few sheets of paper and looked up at her, trying to decide if she was joking or not. Then he decided that he probably didn't want to know. "No I mean, what do you do for fun," he tried again before realizing that he probably didn't want to know that either. "Outside of the office," he specified, going back to searching. "I know you're enthusiastic about your work but there has to be times where you want to..."

The entire pile of papers spilled off his desk and landed with a thud at his feet. He glanced at it and tried to decide between kicking it or stomping it or just setting it on fire. Instead, he rather calmly turned to the next pile on his desk and continued his search.
"If by that you mean some mindless activity to keep me busy outside my work," she replied, "then the closest approximation to that would be my knitting. I have found it's excellent for retaining dexterity in one's fingers."

Her gaze slid the papers carpeting the floor before returning them to the Hokage. "Might there be something I could help you with, sir?" she inquired.
"No it's fine," he replied, ignoring the things at his feet. "It's not there," he added as if this was just a normal part of his organization system. He shook a foot free and placed it on top of them as if it was a rest he used all the time.

"But knitting... really? Do you stab things with the needles or something? Or do you just..." he paused and tried not to snicker. "Make tea cozies?"
Ibiki didn't roll her eyes. "My current project is a scarf to match the hat I finished shortly after I spoke with Sarutobi. After that, I'm pondering a pair of socks."
He stopped searching and looked at her intently. He searched for any sign of humor and naturally found none, but found no trace of dishonesty in her words. "I apologize," he said, turning back to the pile. "I didn't realize you were being serious." His forehead scrunched slightly as he tried to process the image of Ibiki sitting in a rocking chair knitting socks...

Yeah... that wasn't going to process any time soon.

"So knitting then," he said. "I can't say I'd fine it as relaxing as you. Too much like being a medic I suppose." He pulled a folder from the stack and handed it to her.

"This is an addition to the file for Zabuya. You'll find we've agreed to hire her but that the terms of this agreement are secret. She'll only be in contact with you and myself for mission details."
Ibiki took the folder, opened it to the first page, and skimmed it quickly before closing it again. "No apology necessary, Hokage-sama." Appreciated, but not necessary. "After all, who would really believe that I would knit to relax?" A bit of a wicked smile bloomed on her lips. "Sarutobi couldn't seem to grasp it, even though she saw me when she woke."

The smile melted back into her usual neutral face. The report wasn't the only reason he summoned her. All things considered... "Something new happen in regards to Yuuhi?" she asked, voice and eyes bland. She had people keeping a close scrutiny on Yuuhi, and so far nothing out of the ordinary had been reported.
He frowned and decided not to look too much into it. Ability to read people was her forte, there was no reason he should be surprised. He sat back in his chair and laced his fingers together in front of him.

"Yuuhi will be training Uchiha Sachiko," he settled on.
Was he, now. "I thought in light of Yuuhi's punishment he was forever barred from instructing anyone. Including Uchiha in the art of mindwalking." Her dark eyes narrowed. "What has changed?"
Tsurude shrugged. "Oh you know, the usual. Imminent threat to the village, possible weakening of the Kyuubi's seal, only known solution is to allow the man I publicly castrated train Uchiha to stop it while simultaneously making Yuuhi's ex-student's live even more miserable."

He looked at the stack of papers on his desk. "In short, another day at the office."
"Perhaps you might begin at the beginning," Ibiki suggested, "with the bit about a possible weakening of the Fourth's seal." Which admittedly does explain Uchiha's description of seeing the Kyuubi's essence move beyond the seal... "This has to do with what Uchiha saw in Uzumaki's mind?"
He tapped his fingers together and looked at her. Eyed her closely, was more like it as he tried to determine how many weapons she might have on her seeing as the next part was going to be unpleasant.

"Yes, it does. Uchiha mimicked her sister's actions and managed to push the Kyuubi behind the seal but the process was not like her sister's. Her sister has another form of Sharigan that can control the Kyuubi. A form of Sharigan that Uchiha knew about and kept from us during her interrogation." He should just gloss over to the next section, how being trained in mindwalking would help with the process next time, how Uchiha did not have the same Sharigan as her sister but he was being cautious.

After all, he had just told his master interrogator that she failed to extract information from a genin.
Ibiki's veins iced at Tsurude's words. She was human enough to feel disbelief, then the shameful fire of personal failure of being foiled by a child regardless of rank but the fact was Uchiha had been a rookie genin at the time burned.

Her gloved hands tightened on the folder as she stared back at him. Otherwise, she was completely still. She forced her mind to consider this with the same lack of emotional impact as when she interrogated, or faced interrogation herself. Cold and clean and clear.

During the months-long incarceration of Uchiha, Ibiki had made it a point to visit her repeatedly, questioning and prodding and searching and re-asking the same questions in exactly the same way, or in entirely new ways to reveal that which might be hidden. And yet, she had still missed something. How much?

She swore she could hear Shida-sensei's mocking laughter.

And ignored it to focus on the Sharingan. So much about that doujutsu wasn't known, even though that clan had been a part of the village since its very founding. More than likely, Ibiki supposed, because that clan had been a part of the founding. The Shodai Hokage's falling out with Sachiko's ancestor Madara aside, the clan's strength couldn't not be acknowledged. The lesser clans the Uchiha had conquered and ruled allowed for Konohagakure to spring up almost literally overnight. As gratitude for their help, the Shodai had allowed the clan to, in almost every way, rule themselves. Barely accountable to the Hokage as long as they leant their strength to the village, and even allowed to police the village's shinobi. Things changed after the falling-out; but the clan had still retained much of its autonomy and political power.

Ibiki wondered if that autonomy contributed to the opportunity for Itae to slaughter them all.

Hearing this bit of news, she became more further convinced. The Uchiha had guarded their doujutsu with extreme prejudice and jealousy. Her own living memory accorded her news of the transplant of a Sharingan eye into Hatake by Kiyoyama, and how that clan had howled, and only Minako-sama's intervention had prevented the pair of children from being executed then and there.

Ibiki knew she was the best at what she was, but even she wasn't perfect. This would be an exceptionally rare slip-up - but not her first. Even so it cut deep.

"There is more?" she asked with deliberate calm.
Tsurude tried not to shiver, seeing as the temperature of the room felt like it had dropped at least twenty degrees in two seconds. He didn't fidget, much, and instead kept his voice steady.

"Not much. It's a higher level of Sharigan. It is probably relate to what I had to help Kakami and Sachiko recover from when I first arrived here and... Jimaiya also mentioned something in her encounter with Itae." He paused and decided that was enough. How to acquire it... that was a fact that didn't need to be divulged.

last reposting! I swear!

"About how Hoshigake warned Itae about 'overdoing' it, yes. And then Itae's black flames that allowed that pair to escape," Ibiki mused aloud. She had spoken to the Toad Hermit about what happened to Uchiha and Hatake only after Tsurude's return to the village.

The sudden faint perfume of discomfort wafting in the air woke her inner sadist. She kept back the full force of focused intent from being visible while she fixated on Tsurude. Such was Ibiki's training that no one, not even the Hokage, was immune to her when she wanted information. To him she simply extended the courtesy of allowing him to voluntarily tell her what he knew before she began digging.

Her stance relaxed in that she no longer held herself so rigidly. She remained at attention, the folder shifted from a two-handed grip to tucked under her arm. "How free with her clan's information the girl's become...," she mused aloud. Now that she knew she hadn't the whole picture but that someone did (or enough of it to matter), she could see the tension in how his hand curled on his desk, a tightness to the neck muscles and the way he didn't quite meet her eyes. Uchiha had been rather free during her interrogation, too. Free enough Ibiki had no reason to expect Uchiha had neglected to mention anything. Back then the real threat of Ibiki performing a memory-search had terrified Uchiha enough to provoke a flood of information to spew forth. Ibiki had found no shadings or untruths in Sachiko's words... because she simply hadn't known enough to look for them in the first place.

She knew better now, and was looking hard.

Uchiha had mindwalked Uzumaki after goading the Kyuubi container into a fight. Uchiha had in the course of that mindwalking pushed the Kyuubi essence back behind the Fourth's seal. But the Fifth just stated Uchiha lacked the same evolution of the Sharingan that the other Uchiha possessed, the evolution that let the user actually control the demon nine-tailed fox.

"Please, Hokage-sama, would you enlighten me as to what else Uchiha Sachiko felt prudent to disclose to you, out of concern for Uzumaki's well-being?" Spoken as an inquiry as to the health of someone absent from work due to mild illness.

She knew that in order to hate someone, you had to care about them in the first place. The friendship between Uchiha and Uzumaki was as contorted as the rod shoved up the Council's collective ass was straight. That Uchiha harbored real hate for her once-teammate Ibiki knew, though the little chats she and Uchiha had once every month showed a definite change in the girl's attitude. Ibiki hesitated on calling it an improvement, but the change itself she acknowledged. Even if it felt rather sudden: something had given, then; some inside pressure released. Perhaps it was time to give Hatake a visit also. Better yet, talk to Uchiha and Hatake together. Inuzuka as well. Speaking with Uzumaki was a given at this point; Ibiki needed to know how much the blonde knew as far as what was going on with the demon inside.

"For," she continued without pause, "if our fears of the Fourth's seal weakening are real, and Uchiha seems to know how the Kyuubi may yet be controlled, she then might also know how to attain that necessary level of Sharingan."

While phrased as a statement, Tsurude should recognize that it was actually a question.

Re: last reposting! I swear!

He shifted slightly, trying to find a comfortable spot in the chair and finding none. He didn't dare look away from her, knowing all too well that was an admission of defeat. His interactions with Torture and Interrogation had been few and far between. His experience in situations like this had come from session with his grandmother and aunt after one of his 'misadventures'.

They were scarier then Ibiki.

Well... at least they were back then.

"She does," he replied evenly, giving nothing more. Tsurude had noticed the improvement in Uchiha as well. And he had a feeling that spreading around the nature of this special Sharigan would not be appreciated.

Mind you, trying to explain that to Ibiki was like trying to tell a cat with the mouse already stuffed halfway down his throat that he wasn't actually hungry. In short, it might prove problematic.
Bare-bones facts. Ibiki wanted to sigh. The stubbornness of the Sarurobi clan seemed to be something they passed on to students, Ibiki decided. That debacle with Yamanaka before. Now, Tsurude-sama. It would make [their] life considerably easier if people simply answered her questions truthfully. And didn't needed to be prompted to elaborate.

Of course, if getting information was that easy, she wouldn't have a job, now would she?

The challenge lay in that she couldn't really do anything to him. Well, she wasn't supposed to, anyway. Nothing permanantly scarring at least. Word-play had to be the only tool utilized else his ANBU might get a bit antsy.

Her eyes never left his. "Excellent," she nodded. "What does she need to do to reach that level?" For when dealing with the stupidly stubborn, blunt questions with no doubts as to the information desired worked best.
He smiled just a bit as he looked over at her. As expected, the more general explanation wasn't going to be enough. He laced his fingers in front of his face and carefully hid his mouth behind it. Clearly she forgot he was an excellent card player, above par just... occasionally unlucky. He could easily bluff his way out of this.

"That's... sensitive information," he informed her, trying to sound firm.
...and your point is?

Ibiki didn't say it, though the slightly lifted eyebrow was enough to convey the same. He was trying for a poker-face. She knew how bad he was at cards; she had even seen him in the gambling halls in Konoha before. Not that he would have recognized her as she could blend in quite well when she wanted to (something for which makeup and facial putty proved most useful).

"Of course it is, sir," she answered smoothly. Acknowledge the fact and even agree with it. Most any information involving Uzumaki and Uchiha was sensitive. To all of which she had free access. Information, the acquisition and usage of, was the core of her career. They both knew this. They both also knew that in order for her to do her job to the absolute best extent and ability she needed free access to every scrap of information, however inconsequential or distasteful another might consider it.

Not only that, but he only rarely attempted to hold back any information from her. His holding back now only intensified her determinaton to know as was often the case with those two, one misstep and the entire village would be fucked. Her solemn duty, in any event, to learn everything she could about any impending disaster and take every possible step to ensure said disaster didn't come to be could only be fulfilled so long as she was informed. Keeping her out of the loop, regardless of the reason, hurt everyone.

Especially if she had to go hunting for the information on her own. Then the hurting took on a more literal definition.

"Please continue."
Right... like he actually believed that was the end of it. Trying to push away the prickling sensation that tickled his spine, he continued. "Suffice to say, that special Sharigan is not an option. So the only option is Yuuhi." He frowned at this, again, unhappy with the conclusion of the discussion with Naruko and Uchiha but still knowing it was the only way.

"Still, until that is settled, I'll need you to keep an eye on Naruko," he continued, getting a bit more unhappy with each word. "You have to be non-intrusive, I don't want her to know she's been watched. I just..." He trailed off and failed to maintain his poker face against the lines of worry that appeared. "Just make sure she stays safe. ANBU are good but we're stretched thin as it is. I can't give them a mission to babysit a chuunin when there are S-ranks that need to be completed. Besides," he continued, "I know you'll keep both eyes on her." Especially, if she suspected that Naruko was part of the special Sharigan question.
"I can keep both eyes on Uzukami," Ibiki said. She saw his worry, and she saw more than he expected. She knew his village-worry face. The expression he wore now... He felt personally worried for Uzumaki; deeply worried. This went beyond the matter of the weakening seal. Uzumaki's continued existence was about as precarious as Uchiha's own, though relatively less obvious. With a demon housed inside Uzumaki, she knew the (theoretical) easiest point at which neutralize that threat to the village was before the Kyuubi worked free of the seal. Ibiki had been disturbed with the long-ago fight against the Hyuuga whelp. The news of their fight at the Valley and how Uzumaki grew a chakra-tail then made things worse.

The training with Jimaiya-sama was supposed to enable girl to learn how to exert control over the Kyuubi, but let's be honest: Uzumaki was a mere human, who had been sharing her mind with a centuries-old malevolent being since the girl had been less than a day old. That she hadn't been corrupted demonstrated the incredible strength of the Yondaime's jutsu. But like mountains eventually succumbed to the passage of time, so would Uzumaki. So if Uchiha could acquire the key to keeping the demon muzzled and fettered...

Everything had a price. In theory, to gain such an awesome ability, something of equal value had to be sacrificed. The usual price of a powerful and difficult jutsu was chakra and the effects of using [x]-amount in the middle of a fight, as well as the time and energy spent in learning/perfecting the jutsu in the first place. Also, at present Uzumaki was no more of a threat than she was yesterday, so then why...?

Just make sure she stays safe, he had said. Safe from... Uchiha, perchance?

"Uzumaki herself is the key to this Sharingan?"
Tsurude didn't say anything at first because attempting to lie would fail. Ibiki was searching and it was rare that she wouldn't find what she was looking for when she was this determined. So he considered her question for a moment and then mulled over his answer.

True, he said that Uchiha had changed, tried to believe it whole heartedly, but was that enough? When it came down to it, was he afraid that Sachiko could harm Naruko? That no matter what she had said, did Tsurude still believe that she would follow her sister's path?

Choose not to do, Hokage-sama

Those had been those words. And Tsurude, fool that he was lately, had believed them to be true out right. Thinking of that statement now, wondering once again if he could believe that Sachiko could change... he came to the only conclusion he could.

"No," he said, knowing that that was the truth. "No she's not. But with the seal weakening and Akatsuki in the area... it's better safe then sorry, I suppose." He smiled a bit, remembering briefly how happy he had been to see her before Sachiko broke the news. But it faded as he recalled the look she gave him when she was leaving.

"I'm just overprotective of her. That's all."
All of it was true, but there was so much being left unsaid. She frowned at him, allowing him to see her displeasure, her disappointment that she had to dig for this.

If it were only a matter of simple overprotection in regards to Uzumaki, he wouldn't be scratching himself on the thorny leaves of that bush he beat around so hard. What was the key Uchiha obtaining that Sharingan that had him so concerned for Naruko's safety to want an in-village ANBU guard? Especially with Uchiha herself still under ANBU surveillance.

But there was a difference between surveillance and guarding. The Hokage wanted Uzumaki protected. Not for the village's safety, but for the girl's safety. Ibiki doubted anyone in the village could threaten the power that girl could tap into.

The ghostly image of golden slit-eyes in a pale face shot through her memory, as did the tomoe-esque marks on Aki's neck. The same mark on Uchiha's neck. And unlike Aki, Uchiha liked to make use of the seal. Otherwise usage wouldn't be an issue. But it was, and from the reports not only had Uchiha attempted to kill Uzumaki, she had very nearly succeeded. Back then Uchiha stated her reasons for wanting Uzumaki dead as being jealously of Uzumaki's sudden incredible growth as the aggravation of the literal obstacle Uzumaki made on the path to the snake.

Call Ibiki paranoid, especially after the revelation that she had missed something in regards to debriefing Uchiha, but she doubted jealousy and aggravation were Uchiha's sole motives for wishing a former teammate dead. Especially when upon recalling personal accounts, Uchiha seemed more interested on getting to her destination as soon as possible than leaving bodies in her wake.

Tsurude-sama was personally worried about Uzumaki, and it involved Uchiha. Uchiha wanted training on how to help Uzumaki, but Tsurude-sama not only felt disinclined to allow the most direct route to controlling the Kyuubi to be taken, but refusing to tell Ibiki what that path was. The man had to know Ibiki would go searching out for herself if he didn't tell her. So why make it difficult?

...Because he was trying to save Uzumaki's life, she realized. He was only this tenaciously and unyieldingly stubborn when the life of someone he cared deeply for was threatened in any way. He was a medic; his job was to do everything in his power to make sure his 'patient' lived. If Uzumaki herself wasn't the key, then there was some quality to the relationship between Uzumaki and Uchiha that was.

"If she herself is not the key," she asked quietly, "then what is?"
He looked at her carefully. "Ibiki," he started, leaning forward, placing his elbows on the table and taking in a deep breath as if he was thinking over something very serious. His face set firm, his eyes locked on to her. It was obvious that he had already given this next part much thought.

Then he cracked a small smile. "If I told you outright... well, where would the fun be in that?"
A smirk of her own graced Ibiki's features. "Where indeed," she murmurred. This is where the fun of clashing wills came in. She did give him credit; he threw a decent red herring once in a while. Nothing to actually work at distracting her from her intended goal, but decent all the same. "One might think I was getting soft, expecting to be told the answers immediately. Still peeved about Shizuya finding most of your stash?"
He didn't frown, he out right pouted at that. "It's a conspiracy. You'd think I was a teenager or something." He crossed his arms over his chest and looked her up and down. "I'd ask if you had any but in all honesty, I'm afraid of what else you would add to it," he finished, eying her warily.
"Why bother adding anything to perfectly good alcohol?" Ibiki queried. "Just because they believe I've drugged a drink does not necessarily mean I have.

"Of course," she added as an afterthought, "they could be right." She reached beneath her coat before withdrawing a metal flask and tossing it underhand. "I figured whatever you needed to call me here for might require some liquid refreshment to get through. Enjoy."
He raised an eyebrow at her and unscrew the top. He sniffed it lightly. "Well, it doesn't smell like there's anything added," he said warily with a light hint of amusement. He didn't doubt the fact that the alcohol was clean. That didn't mean that he was above poking fun at her.

"Still better safe then sorry," he added sagely, reaching into his desk and pulling out two small cups. He carefully poured each and pushed one towards her. He picked it up and looked over at her. "Here's to... resurrected ex-Mist nin now secretly in our employ," he said.
Ibiki strode over to his desk to place the folder on a clear patch of wood before picking up the other small cup carfully in her large, gloved hand and lifting it in matching salute. "To doing what has to be done for the village," she answered, "however difficult and unpleasant the process."

She sipped from her cup in synch with him, her tongue rolling the liquid around in her mouth to better taste it before swallowing. Drinking was not among her list of vices as she preferred to have a clear head at all times, but she still enjoyed a rare cup of the good stuff. Squirrelled away in her own office (the last place anyone would look) were a few bottles of sake from Ricepad Country, acquired descreetly and long previous to anyone realizing the country to be a viper's nest. The flask she had tossed Tsurude was only a sample of what she had.
Tsurude drank slowly as well, relishing each drop and closing his eyes to better enjoy it. He took in a deep breath and let his taste buds place each distinct flavor. He smelled the damp fields and earthy odor of the mud. He smiled slightly.

"Matsuda Hiroku of Ricepad," he sang. "He has a nice little farm, acres and acres of paddies. The sake business is on the side but he could probably retire on its profits alone. You don't find much of his stuff here anymore. The last time I had a glass was when I stayed there."

He placed the empty cup down. "I wouldn't have guessed you were a connoisseur of sake."
Ibiki tipped her head to him, her cup still half-full. "As you said, there have to be times when I find myself outside my work and with nothing to do." Granted, those times were fleeting unless she scheduled them, but they did happen. Her activities depended primarily on her mood, and could encompass almost anything.

She liked to know if she was being insulted, or as was (relatively) more often the case, if she was being drugged/poisoned. A stash of common, potent antidotes she kept on her person at all times outside her office. They were in single-dose vials, and the reason why she almost never ate in public. Only food and drink that passed through her hands could she trust to be clean. Mostly. The food had been in others' hands before she would have picked it up from the market.
"Nothing to do," he said, running his finger around the edge of the cup. "I remember that. I used to enjoy it too." But now, between playing Hokage and running errands around the hospital and attempting to train a team...

Man, he was getting too old for this.

"Well, if you find yourself without anything to do in the future, I think I have something that might be comparable if not better then a bottle of Matsuda." And maybe if he wasn't drinking alone, Shizuya would leave him be.
"I would be interested in seeing what would be," she replied. She finished her cup before setting it down on his desk. "I had heard Matsuda was unrivaled.

"Do you believe Uchiha could be trusted with the task of helping to keep the Kyuubi under control?" she asked, abruptly changing the subject. "I know you're fond of Naruko, but Uchiha did attempt to kill her."
"She did," Tsurude said evenly, now intently interested in the cup. "And most days, I do trust her. I have to otherwise what would be the point in letting her back in the village." In other words, his feelings as Hokage had to override his own personal feeling in the situation. That... had been happening a lot lately.

"The real thing of it is," he continued, "is that I trust Naruko. She'll be able to fend off whatever tries to take her down." Fend them off long enough for either he or Jimaiya to get there to help her.
Ibiki nodded, her eyes once again intent on him. "You trust Uchiha, at the least, to do a duty to protect the village. You trust Naruko to be able to defend herself in case Uchiha turns hostile again."

Obviously she wasn't finished speaking, but she let the silence thicken until the air felt almost viscous.

"But you do not trust me with sensitive information," she added finally. "Which means you do not trust me. Which beggars the question of why am I still your head of Torture and Interrogation?"
He frowned and his hand left the cup. He glanced up at her, letting the gaze settle firmly. "If I didn't trust you, do you really think you'd be in this room right now?" He leaned back in the chair, settling in for an unpleasant conversation.

"There are thing you cannot know," he continued. "There are things you do not want to know, despite you're belief otherwise. I'm not punishing you or not trusting you. I trust each person to an extent but as it has been with all Hokage's before me, there are some things we cannot share, with anyone." He frowned at how hollow that sounded and put a hand to his forehead to work out the growing kink there.

"Besides," he said with a long sigh, "where would the fun be in telling you. I'm sure you'll get much more pleasure from trying to ferret it out yourself."
Good answer, she thought approvingly, and gave him a nod of acknowledgement. After all, she herself was never fully honest with anyone unless ordered, and even then she did not divulge what she felt was unnecessary to be shared for whatever the reason. She also heard the hollowness in his voice; another reflection of the constant stress and strain he was under. She made sure to keep that in mind; while she honestly cared little for the mental health of the majority of the village, the Hokage was among the few individuals she did concern herself with. And he clearly needed a respite from everything swirling around him, a distraction if nothing else.

She gave him a lazy, satisfied smile that showed no teeth and lessened the palpable tension in the air, insofar that it came from her. "You know me well, Tsurude-sama." She would enjoy the challenge of discovering what she wasn't telling him for herself. On the flip side, the fact he chose not to tell her implied that while yes, they should be concerned of the Kyuubi's status within Uzumaki, the danger did not yet constitute such a threat that Ibiki shouldn't have sufficient time to learn the controlling-key on her own.