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weighted_wings in narukorp

Another mission [Nejiko, Yuugao]

[set after Marriage? What Marriage? Also, mission log of doom should (hopefully) be up by the end of the week, if anyone's curious.]



Once Nejiko was past the lobby area of headquarters, she unrolled the mission assignment Tsurude gave to actually read and only just kept herself from stopping short when she saw her mission partner. Apparently Yuugao hadn't been exaggerating when he had said that the higher-ups were considering them to work together on missions, emphasis on the plural. Not back in the village even a week, and she was going to be assigned another mission with him slated for departure at week's end.

At least chakra wasn't banned this time.

~

She found her erstwhile mission partner in, oddly enough, one of the basement records rooms. She tapped sharply on the door to get his attention before letting herself in. "Good afternoon, taichou," she greeted him.



Yuugao had been fully absorbed in the records since early that morning - right after he'd gotten off his last shift. The snack he'd packed was only nibbled on - he'd found an especially interesting file five bites into his sandwich. Thankfully none of his food was temperature sensitive. Nejiko's raps on the door broke his train of thought and he looked up, blinking a few times to refocus his eyes on something other than paperwork.

"...it's afternoon already?"

Unfortunately, he was entirely serious.



"...yes, taichou. For over an hour now." She looked around, wondering what he was researching but respectful enough to pretend she didn't read anything. "Hokage-sama has another mission for us," she said as she passed him the scroll.



"Oh," he took the scroll and skimmed it with tired eyes. He frowned at the note that he would have to dye his hair once again. ...maybe he should invest in a semi-permanent dye. It could certainly be less expensive.

"At least it looks better than the last one." Yuugao handed the scroll back and rubbed at his eyes. "I think I've been in here too long."



"How long have you been down here?" she asked.



"If it's one...then it's been..." He frowned as he counted the hours. "Seven hours, I guess. I came down at six this morning." Yuugao glanced back at the scroll he was reading and his frown deepened. "That's a lot longer than I intended."



Nejiko regarded him. Speaking with her mother, then with Tsurude and the subsequent mission assignment proved an absolutely wonderful balm for the way her temper had been raging earlier in the day. In all truthfulness, it was probably the mission that helped the most. Focusing on something that was work and therefore no way related to her personal life helped more. "What were you looking for?"



"Anything that would help me track down the prick that's blackmailing my mother," Yuugao leaned back in his chair and stretched out his hands to wake himself up more, perking up when he remembered his last conversation with Nejiko. "I forgot to tell you," he smiled faintly. "When I met with my mother it was...more than a little exciting. Complete with me chasing him down five blocks. Of course, he got away. Too many civilians and would you believe it? Too many men with purple hair."



"You chasing...him?" she repeated carefully after a single, confused blink. The number of men with purple hair comment was less strange.



"Yeah," Yuugao sighed. "I came across him harassing Kaasan and when I charged, he fled. Of course the roads were so packed I couldn't catch him. And guess what?" His put on a strained smile. "Even from just the glimpses I got as he fled, I can tell I'm his spitting image. Y'know, excepting thirty years, an ugly face, and a civilian's physique."



So he was jumping topics randomly. A result of spending too much time here? Probably.

Nejiko couldn't say she liked the strained smile on his face. "That does not sound like a 'spitting image', taichou." If anyone wanted to talk about spitting images, were she so inclined she would bring up her own resemblance to her aunt.

"What will you do when you find him?"



With how rare his hair color was and the fact that the man had brown eyes, too...well, Yuugao was still convinced.

"I..." Would like to rip him to shreds, torture him endlessly, wring his neck....

Yuugao frowned. "I don't know. Pain is an option that keeps coming up, but I'm not sure that's the best choice. At the least, I need to find out what the real situation is. How to rectify it will be a decision for a time when I have more details."



Nejiko nodded. "Excellent idea," she said. She agreed with the infliction of pain when it came to dealing with someone harassing your mother, as well as investigating further before a firm decision is made. "If you need it, and I am available, I offer my help." Sometimes, an intimidating presence was all you needed. Which made having eyes like hers handy; she knew the power of an all-white glare.



He couldn't help it - he smiled at even the thought of her company. Yes, he had much better control of his emotions now, but he still genuinely cared for her. He still enjoyed merely her presence in close proximity. "I'll be sure to let you know, thank you."

Now was not the time to reminisce and gaze fondly at her. He seriously needed to get out of this room, eat something - how long had it been? - and his legs could use a good stretch or two. "I'm not keeping you from anything, am I?" Nejiko was a busy person, he had no doubt about that. And he should be a busy person...except his social life faded in and out. Without that, there were still large stretches of time with unspecified tasks to be done.



"Nothing except for preparing for this next bit," she said, meaning their new mission. "We don't get much turnaround time between missions, do we." Again, not that she minded (especially given the situation back home), but it was a bit unusual to have, essentially, back-to-back missions like this. At least this mission was more Hunter-esque than the last? In the sense that she needn't dress up or wear the Fate-damned contacts.



Yuugao frowned at her comment. It was a little sooner than he had remembered recently. Not that he minded, either, but...it did make him wonder. Was there some other reason behind their quick turn around? For now, he would have to put it aside.

"I think it's a new trend," he said, ruffling his hair and then getting to his feet. "When I was a rookie I would have weeks between missions sometimes. Recently, though...the missions have been quite a bit more often."



"Hm." She glanced at his partially-eaten sandwich, glanced at him, and considered her schedule. She had nothing planned. Leigh was on a mission, and while she would let her mother and aunt know of her newest mission (her cousins, too), she was also in no way interested in rushing back to the council. And the change in trends for ANBU -- she was interested in hearing more if he had more to say.

"If you aren't busy, and as it is noonish, perhaps you might be inclined to get some lunch? I wouldn't trust your sandwich as it looks rather neglected."



For a wonderful split second, Yuugao felt a glimmer of hope that had been beyond him since Hayako's death. And then sense came back to him. Nejiko was likely just interested in conversation - lunch shouldn't mean anything. ...even if it was her extending the invitation to him on their off time of her own free will. If anything crossed his face it was only for a split second and could have been simply mistaken for surprise.

"My day's open," he said and put on his usual smile, glancing over at his sandwich. "It wasn't a very good one, anyway. A little dry, since I was in a hurry to make it last night." Another yawn escaped and he let it run it's course, putting a hand respectfully over his mouth and then rubbing his face after it was done. "A little sunshine would be good for me, too. Feel like I've been in this cave for years." He shoved the sandwich back into the plastic bag he'd brought it in and put it in the small shoulder bag slumped beside his chair. Slinging the bag over one shoulder, he closed the file folder and ticked off another line on his small notebook, closing it and slipping it into his pocket. With all that done, he should be ready to go.



"Then let's eat somewhere not the cafeteria? If you feel this place a cave, that place will not help the feeling." And if nothing else it would ensure social pressure to keep her virulent thoughts regarding the Elder Council to herself.



"Non-cafeteria food would be a blessing," he smiled and gestured to the door. "Shall we?"

It would be a good rest of the day. He was determined for that much at least.

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