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konoha_fifth in narukorp

Welcome to Konoha [Tsurude, Hizashiko, Ibiki]

Two days after he received Ibiki's report and the preliminary medical examination, Tsurude walked into ANBU headquarters for the first time in nearly six months.

Most of the looks he received were of surprise. Not surprising; when the Hokage needed something from ANBU, they came to him, not the other way around. But this was different - this was a delicate situation that required he handle things personally, in person, on site. He couldn't afford even a single word of this situation getting out, not yet, and while he trusted Ibiki implicitly (she was a fanatic, and you could always trust a fanatic to be fanatical), he did not trust her department. There had been too many leaks over the last two years to allow for any chance of discovery.

Because if he handled this incorrectly, he risked plunging the entire country into war.

The Hokage's honor guard ringed 'round him, preceding him down the sterile hallways and following him down dark stairwells. Their silent presence kept away of their fellow comrades-in-arms, who were also eligible for the honor guard but had either not been selected or did not meet the minimum qualifications. The honor guard had a reputation for being creepy, too, even more so than the regular ANBU. It was a good thing Tsurude knew all their faces personally - he was often their sole medic, above and beyond the ANBU one - and was beyond being moved by such supposed creepiness. Otherwise, he'd never be able to sleep at night, knowing they were always within earshot, if not closer.

Ibiki's office was on the second sub-level, with the records and cells for the less dangerous criminls and detainees. Seeing as the headquarters had a tendancy to be rather nocternal, the halls down here were not as busy as they might be otherwise, giving him quick access to her office without the need for stopping and talking to anyone. Good; the less people who noticed him the better. Not that rumor was going to spare him or anything.

One of the ANBU preceding him knocked cordially on the door to Ibiki's office. At the quiet Come in that issued forth, the door was opened and briefly checked by the same ANBU before Tsurude entered.

She was already on her feet when he stepped in. Good. He nodded respectfully to her. "Is everything ready?"

Comments

While Ibiki had been expecting the visit, his actual arrival still came unannounced. Not unnoted, however: a ring to her office from the reception desk warned her as much as the security monitors. Ibiki could only keep an eye on a few areas at a time and had to cycle between specific cameras. The actual security center, a few floors down and hard-wired with its own small emergency generator, covered the whole of the building and ten meters around.

The cursory check of Tsurude's ANBU was expected, and Ibiki nodded in response to the Hokage's question, though she waited until he was in her office and the door closed before responding. "Yes. Originally I had planned on Haruhi making another visit, but I expect as you are here you would prefer to do the exam yourself. Did you have any questions or requests before we see her?"

Her office wasn't exactly large enough to hold a half-dozen people. That was the point--she didn't want to encourage socialization So two of Tsurude's honor guard remained outside.
"No." With a gesture of one hand, an ANBU behind him opened the door again, allowing the Hokage to exit the room, followed by Ibiki. "Your report was detailed enough, as always. If there was anything more to know I'm sure you would have included it."

A Hyuuga that claimed to be Hizashiko, the twin sister of Hiashiko, presumed dead for fifteen years since her body was delivered to Kumogakure... no, Ibiki would have gathered as much information as possible short of torturing the woman (who had, he gathered, already been significantly tortured in the last fifteen years) already. He had everything he needed in his head; now he just needed to see their... guest.

He nodded at Ibiki, indicating she should precede them. "Please show me where she is."
"Hai," Ibiki responded with a soldier's curtness. Wordlessly and without the faint sardonic smile she otherwise would have indulged in, she opened a drawer in her desk and pulled out a plain manila folder that bore only three small, neat glyphs in lieu of a name. The glyphs were of Ibiki's personal signs, the written code she had developed over the years and who no one but she could read. In the terribly unlikely event someone actually figured out what the glyphs meant... that was what the second code was for. All in all, those three symbols represented five layers of encryption that would take a long time to break.

She explained: "Her chart." Medics liked to have the patient charts on-hand to make their own notes when making an examination. The contents of the chart were written normally, barring the shorthand of handwritten notes, so the final layer of glyph-code undid the seal that bound the folder shut. Trying to force the chart open absent disabling the protections would trigger an explosion tag fixed inside the chart, obliterating the chart itself and doing an impressive job on whatever schmuck had the luckless job.

However, in this instance Ibiki had already taken the time to undo the protections before the Hokage had reached her office. Never a good thing to accidentally murder your village leader.

Tsurude accepted the chart without a word.

Ibiki moved past the ANBU and took point, saying nothing for the duration of the trip except to inquire if Tsurude-sama desired Ibiki to be present during the... talk. The Hokage answered negative; unsurprising. Ibiki had a special knack for making people uncomfortable, and she had already shaken the Hyuuga's nerves enough.

They reached the unremarkable cell, and Ibiki did not announce who Tsurude was as she opened the door. He could do that himself. T
Hizashiko had expected to see either Haruhi, the ANBU medic, or Ibiki. Those were the only two she had really seen throughout her captivity and that's who she expected. So when a tall, powerful looking man strode through the doorway, alarm bells set off screaming in her head. Ibiki was there, too, but she didn't come in and ANBU were outside.

Hizashiko did not like this.

She had been dozing in the corner when that door had opened. Within the few seconds where she saw Ibiki and the man, she was standing, blankets falling around her. White eyes watched the man warily and she didn't hesitated to almost bark, voice wary. "Who are you?"
The halls were empty and quiet, echoing their footsteps as they made their way further down into the bowls of the ANBU headquarters, down where the 'special' guests were kept. The air was far chillier down here, and the florescent lights somehow more forbidding when so far away from the sun.

With a brief gesture his guard took up guard outside the door, with Ibiki, and Tsurude entered alone. The room was sparsely furnished but far better than most guests received down here; a table, a bed, a curtain for the privy, a lamp and a few books. The bed, however, was empty, as were the chairs that accompanied the table. Instead, the Hyuuga had chosen to make a nest for herself in the corner, and not-uncommon reaction for long-time captives who were no longer used to beds and were far too battle-weary to sleep where they couldn't assure themselves of safety.

It would impossible to miss the resemblance to Hiashiko in that face, though. Gaunt, suspicious, and wounded with unseen scars, but still exactly how he might expect Hiashiko to look after fifteen years of torture.

... freaky.

Tsurude pulled the door closed behind him and tucked the medical charts to his chest in an unconscious gesture that was called up from long years of practicing his bedside manners. "I'll be your personal medic from now on, Hyuuga-san. Haruhi isn't quite qualified for the full level of attention you need -" okay, that was a lie, but if Haruhi never heard him say that she couldn't kill him for the insult "- and also has other duties she needs to attend to. I hope you don't mind."
... she was now locked in a room with a man that she didn't know. Hizashiko may have been unable to bear children, at this point, but she sure as hell didn't want to invite someone to be... intimate with her. The thought made her skin crawl.

"You didn't answer my question," Hizashiko said, body tensing. "I don't care what the hell you're here for. I want to know who the hell you are."
Tsurude only gave her a reassuring smile. If Ibiki's reports, Haruhi's medical charts, and everything he could see radiating off this woman was correct, she deserved to be treated extremely gently until some trust in them felt warranted. There was no reason to feel offended or even worried about anything she said or did.

"I already said," he replied simply and without rancor. "I'm your personal medic from now on. If you wanted a name, though, feel free to call me Tsurude."
For some reason that little smile made Hizashiko oddly cross. She'd never liked medics to begin with and had always gone to her husband to patch up her wounds. If they required a hospital stay (which they rarely had in her later years) she had spent the minimal amount of time there and gotten out as fast as possible. While no nurse or doctor her ever been bad, their fake smiles and attempts at playing gentle had rankled her. The only nurse she ever responded well to was the one who threatened to tie her down if she didn't start cooperating NOW.

... Hizashiko wondered what happened to that nurse.

The name nagged at something in the back of her mind and the scarred Hyuuga continued to watch the man warily. He hadn't risen to the bait of her cursing or anything similar; a good medic then, one with a lot of patience for shinobi patients. Though the wariness didn't quite leave her, her body still tense and nervous, there was a very slow nod to the man. "... Tsurude-san. Thank you."

Tsurude gave her a grave nod in response, accepting her thanks and thanking her for it in return. She clearly had no great love of being down here, and he didn't blame her; it was a cold and intimidating place. However, he had to balance the doctor and the Hokage - he could feel empathy for her, but not too much. No matter how much the doctor wanted to put her in a much nicer place, like one of the private suites at the hospital, the Hokage knew that such a lapse in judgment and potentially security could be very, very bad.

He pulled the folder containing Haruhi's initial medical check away from his chest, breaking eye contact long enough to open it and scan down the front of the first page. He'd already read the copy that Ibiki had included with her report, but it was good to have a refresher. "I know you've already been given a cursory check up by Haruhi, but if you're willing I would like to do a slightly more thorough check so I can better prescribe a course of recovery." He looked back up to her. "I will need to touch you to do so. With exception for checking the wounds on your back, you would not need to disrobe."
Willing? Ahaha, that was funny.

Hizashiko inhaled and then exhaled it out in a sigh, still watching Tsurdue. She was smart enough to know that she did need an extensive medical checkup. Just because she didn't have open wounds anymore didn't mean that she was fully healed. Her bones and joints still ached, scars still stung, and her breath still rattled in her chest some times. Despite the food she had been taking in, Hizashiko could still count her ribs, if she really felt like it. She needed this medic.

And really, if he did try to attack her, she could still used the Jyuuken. And the Hyuuga woman had a feeling that even though she wasn't in the room, Ibiki was still watching. The woman was frightening and made Hizashiko uneasy, but she had been sincere; she wouldn't let someone who would harm her into the room with her.

"... all right." She finally said, agreeing to the checkup and to being touched. For now.
That was a good first step. She was obviously thinking things through and allowing her logic and good sense over-ride any fears she might have. That would make this patient much easier to deal with.

Setting the folder down on the table, Tsurude approached with his hands easily visible. "I'm going to feel your neck for any swelling or infection, as well as check your ears, eyes, throat, and nose for the same thing." When she did not back away, he proceeded to do just that.

The Hyuuga's - Hizashiko's - tension was palpable. Her rigid stance made it clear that she was not at all comfortable with his presence. That was fine; she didn't need to be. As long as she didn't attempt to Jyuuken him, everything would be dandy. He didn't want to accidentally break anything trying to restrain her. She was just so damn fragile.

Just from touch alone he could feel how badly emancipated she was. Obviously from sight she was, from with how strongly the laryngeal prominence strained against her too-thin skin. Her collar bones were also far too sharply defined. The first thing they would need to do, he decided as he acertained there was no infection in her tonsils, would be to put her on an intravenous drip of nutrients. Preferably for several days.

Hizashiko remained silent and still. Tsurude pulled a light pen from his pocket, displaying it briefly so he would not startle her, before checking the reaction of her pupils, the insides of her ears, and quietly asking her to open her mouth and say 'aaaaah' (how cliche) to see in the inside of her throat. All in fairly good order, considering, so long as one did not consider the state of her teeth. Kumogakure certainly didn't bother with her dental hygene; soft, even-temperatured foods would have to be on the schedule until some of those cavities were looked at.

He put the pen away and drew her attention back to him. "Beyond your obvious injuries, have you noticed any signs of a cold, stuffy nose, pains in your ears or throat, fever?"
"Sometimes my breath seems to rattle, in my chest," Hizashiko admitted, crossing her arms slightly. "It doesn't feel like being sick, I don't havce a stuffy nose or pains in ears nose or throat. It just rattles some."

He... wasn't so bad so far. Thorough, that was for sure.
Hmmm. Possibly walking pnemonia, or a lingering case of a bronchial infection. Not bad enough to cause her to couch, but bad enough to feel the rattle of liquid when breathing. Whether the infection was just starting or fading away, it was something that would require more detailed inspection - when the woman wasn't so on edge.

"Very good," Tsurude replied. He honestly hadn't expected her to be in good health; such poor physical condition brought about colds and fevers at the drop of a hat. "I may still put you on a light round of antiviotics just in case, judging by the reports." After a pause, he continued: "I've been told the worst injuries are on your back. Is this true?"
She had been in pretty poor health when she had stumbled upon the Great Fire Temple. The food, care, and warmth they had given to her then had given her good enough health to fight over what sickness tried to get her. She had no idea what walking pnuemonia was or how she might have it, she just knew her chest rattled. And if that needed to be treated, well, this medic would tell her it needed to be treated.

Hizashiko nodded when he said that she would probably need antibiotics- she had expected that. When he asked about her back, she shrugged slightly. "It could be. I've actually never seen my back. But it was whipped severely, so I would assume that it is pretty bad."

Damn that woman. If Hizashiko ever got a chance, she was going back to Cloud and hanging that damn whip expert with her own weapons.
And now for the difficult part. Hizashiko was already wary of him - honest, he believed, but certainly no trusting after so soon - and likely to be uncomfortable or resistant to a more invasive medical check-up. Tsurude fully intended to wait until she was comfortable (or sedated) before doing a chakra-examination of her pathways, organs, and overall health, but this much really did need to be done now.

Delicately, he asked, "Could you disrobe so I may examine the injuries? I'll stay behind you if you prefer."
"No," Hizashiko said harshly, voice every inch that of a proud Hyuuga who was used to her orders being followed. "Don't go behind me yet."

Maybe, maybe, if she knew who this man really was she wouldn't have talked to him in such a way. But chances are, she still would have ordered him to not go behind her. Behind her was where she couldn't see, where her Byakugan couldn't work, and where she was most vulnerable. If had gone behind her, her instinctive reaction would have been to hit him and then run away. And since she was in a space where she couldn't run away, run to her corner and brace herself for a fight or a beating. One or the other.

It wasn't that she was comfortable disrobing in front of him, as skeleton fingers picked at her clothes to take them off. And it wasn't even that she worried that he would attack her anymore. It's that she used to be a proud, fit, and fairly attractive woman. But now, skin and bones with scars of all shapes and sizes, it was embarrassing almost. She didn't even like to look at herself when she bathed anymore. This medic had likely seen worse, or the same in his time, but that didn't mean she had to be pleased she was baring herself and being vulnerable all over again.

Shrugging out of her sleeves, Hizashiko gave him and almost challenging look, daring him to react to her ugly form as she spoke. "Do you need the wrappings off as well, or is this good enough for now?"

Not that there was much to wrap up to begin with...
Tsurude only observed her mildly at the harsh rebuke, unmoved and unoffended. He hadn't been planning on moving behind her at all - he would have let her move at her own pace and turn when she felt ready to have him at her back. But this was more than good enough; she had no reason to trust him or her surroundings, but at the same time she was submitting to a medical examination. Truly, he was pleasantly surprised to have gotten this far at all.

"That's more than fine," he replied simply, taking in her form with a neutral medical eye. Her emaciated state was even worse without clothing to soften her edges, her ribs countable without needing to touch them. This woman definitely needed some good old fashioned fried food to put some meat back on her bones, once she was capable of stomaching it. Tsurude wouldn't be too picky about healthy food in this situation. "I just want to see the state of your wounds and clean them if necessary."
"I don't have any open wounds," Hizashiko mumbled almost sullenly, slowly turning around. "Takanobu-san cleaned them all."

Rolling her shoulders uneasily, Hizashiko took a breath and let it out, staring at the wall across from her. She seemed to zone out, mostly, letting her focus on the wall waver. It allowed her to put more attention to her hearing and her other senses. His fabric rustled and he breathed softly and his clipboard moved, clinking quietly. It helped her know where he was and let the wary Hyuuga gauge what his movements were and what he was doing.

It was some comfort, at least.

The skinny woman's back probably did bear the worst of her scars. It was a shiny mess of scars, long thin ones and broad thick ones where a whip had been in. There were what seemed like pockmarks, as if skin had been ripped out in chunks and left to fester themselves closed. Scars laid upon scars laid upon scars, as if she had been whipped, left to heal and scar over, and then whipped again, over the fresh scars. But as Hizashiko had said, none of them were fresh wounds. They were all healed over, with onnly a faint scab here or there to show where an infection had once been and treated.
... nasty. Tsurude allowed himself a brief moment of weakness to wince at the years of torture scribed on her back, before making himself look past that and consider what all the wounds meant.

Without a full chakra examination, there was no way of telling whether or not wounds were real or fake. However, if they were fake, they were very, very, very well done. There was no chance of a quick whipping and chakra healing - healing from a medic-nin would not leave scars like that, if any scars at all. All of those were naturally healed, the signs of infection written on each that hadn't healed cleanly, the shiny pink scar tissue of those that had healed without difficulty, the faded white of those from long long ago. From visual signs alone, the story on her back corroborated with the one she'd told them of fifteen years of capture and torture.

That was really all Tsurude needed to lend her eighty percent of his belief. The rest would come over time.

There was no need to physically exam her with no actual wounds open and needing cleaning, so he returned to his clipboard and quickly scribbled down his immediate thoughts and observations in swift, nearly illegible script. Antibiotics, definitely. Intravenous nutrients - and plasma, he wanted to make sure her immune system was well-boosted - also definitely. And something better than the cafeteria food served here at the ANBU headquarters or the crap currently served at the hospitals.

"Do you have any difficulties with needles?" he mused aloud as he wrote.
"Only if they're sprung on me suddenly."

Hizashiko pulled her shirt back on like a cloak, feeling calm settle about her again. Clothed, she honestly felt better and she turned to face him, watching him warily still. But her wary was much much less now- Tsurude had gained much of her trust. His no nonsense attitude and blunt instructions and questions made things much easier to bare.

This wasn't to say that Hizashiko trusted him fully. If When she was let out of this dug in almost hell hole, then she would trust him fully.
Good. Better than he expected. Of course, this was just what she said; it might be another matter entirely when it was time to actually stick the needle into her.

"The fact that you're up and on your feet when you're this badly malnourished is a good sign of your strength," he said, looking up from his clipboard. "However, the best way to help you at this point would be an intravenous solution of nutrients. Right now your stomach is likely to reject what you really need to get your health back. That's going to mean at least one day, preferably more, in a bed hooked up to an IV."

... although that might be difficult, exactly because of her malnourished state. Tsurude put aside the clipboard again and clasped his hands in front of him. "If I may see the insides of your arms?"
That made sense. Besides that she couldn't stomach much of anything, she couldn't eat much of anything either. Hizashiko hadn't noticed it before, but he teeth ached fiercely at times, depending on what she was eating. She had secretly taken to mashing up a lot of her food and sucking down the paste. It simply made everything a hell of a lot easier.

Resisting the urge to sigh, Hizashiko pushed up her arms and showed him her arms, just as he had asked. He should be able to get an IV in...
He gently took the offered arms, indicating that she should make a fist and hold it while he lightly pressed and felt for veins. What he saw and felt was better than he expected, but they still might have a problem finding a big enough vein to insert an IV. The backs of her hands were better; when the time came, they'd just have to try their luck with that.

With a little nod to himself, Tsurude released her arms and took a step back. "You can put your shirt back on. I would also like to examine your stomach, to see if you have any swelling of the liver, stomach, et cetera. That will require you to lay back, though."
... lay back? Vulnerable? So that he could leap on her, stab her, r-

No.

Everything about this man rang true. Hyuuga knew how to read people and Hizashiko was still pretty good at it, after all these years. He was a good medic and a patient person and he had not lead her astray yet. And again, it broke down to the fact that Ibiki would not let harm come to her. The way they understood each other aside, Hizashiko knew she was far too precious to kill quite yet.

For a moment Hizashiko simply started at Tsurude, and then she took in a dep breath and let it out. Sliently, she moved towards the bed and laid down, silent permission. But after a moment, she added in a rough voice that gave away her uneasy. "... if it can be quick, then please. Make it quick."