Kagero - Inferno

Description: [Personnel] The games that shinobi play can be dangerous. They move in the shadows, the worlds beyond that lay unseen. They only know how to exist when everyone around them wants their kind to die. The games shinobi play can be deadly. But they are not games. In the tower that eclipses even the sun, some remember just how beautiful an existence is, when balancing at the brink of the end of everything.

After-hours in Geese Tower are never quite as dead as they are in most other corporate offices. There's always someone hanging out in the offices or other areas of the building, whether due to work running late or for other reasons entirely. Suzume Nakatani? She's here for 'other reasons entirely.'

The young kunoichi had been sent on a number of jobs recently, both solo and with others: tasks requiring negotiation both with the tongue and the edge of the blade. They were all related, really, all small components of one larger project, and it had all wrapped to a neat resolution last night. Suzume had been pleased with her work, pleased with her pay for it, pleased with the stability of her current existence as just one cog in the greater mechanism that was Southsynd-- and then, she'd gone home, and felt empty nonetheless.

Earlier in the afternoon she'd gone to make the necessary reports and appraise the relevant people of the progress made in the previous few weeks. That she was still here now was a consequence of that irritating need for socialization-- and networking-- that afflicted the human race. She'd lingered around for hours talking, making connections, smiling those empty smiles she knew so well... and now she's finally got a moment to herself.

She's spending a moment in the staff lounge before she heads out. Standing all day long in heels is starting to take its toll, and she's not looking forward to going out into the summer heat. The woman has long since removed her suit jacket, leaving only the white button-down beneath and her black slacks, and she's seated rather peacefully in one of the lounge's chairs: her everpresent 'cane' at her side.

For some, a staff lounge is merely a place for rest and social interaction--a font, in ways, to provide a simple human need for communication. That is how houses are made--to facilitate a basic need of human communication, and without it, houses would not look the same as they are today. Geese Tower was no bizarre example of the exception--a building of that size had at least 6 or 7 break rooms, gyms, and lounges of the like, but in this so-called 'secured' area of the Syndicate's main operations, the lounge unwittingly serves a secondary purpose.

The massive glass walls of the lounge invite the coming dusk over Southtown, burgeoning summer heat having long since reached the expected peak, but casting long shadows where the office's power does not take precidence. Solemn, in this area, there is silence.

Until, momentarily, an array of objects begin to buzz ambiently.

A familiar sound, for those who could place it. Those who have met Seishirou Ryouhara of recent could easily place the man's ninkou--ninja craft--conveyance he has seemed to favor ever since the crippling failure at Howard Arena months ago. The buzz was attributed to a small symphony of motors, some powered electrically, others powered..by other means. Somewhat symbolic of the young man's preternatural blood fixation on technology, the chair and his subsequent white vestments and darker attire esconce him fully, leaving only a somewhat unkempt head of black hair to shroud a frigid countenance. This, and slim fingers that work the controls to the mechanized dragon of advancement which he rides.

It would be an all too familiar sound for those who have met him recently.

It is a shame that very few have met him recently.

It is by conscientious work and conspiracy that Seishirou now shares the floor with relative few but one whom has in fact, had the somewhat dubious pleasure. "To accomodate the solitude of those whose minds are burdened with history," he speaks, detached as if reading from a plaque on the wall. For the room's unwitting second purpose, it might seem he has. The logic is simplistic. Simply enough, this is the closest lounge available to those whom do the greatest share of the Syndicate's dark work. It is the most secure facility of rest in recent memory and one of consequently chief precidence.

How Seishirou would have managed to penetrate this far into the facility is a secret he does not yet speak on.

Instead, his chair moves ambiently to the window. "Enjoying yourself."

It is a question. Posed to--he is speaking to you.

A shame indeed. Fortunately, Suzume was one of those few that -have- met the Ryouhara. While it cannot be said that their meeting was recent, it transpired a short enough time ago that she recognizes that telltale whir of mechanisms... and ninja craft.

Suzume does not, at first, look up. She allows Seishirou to field his 'greeting,' and permits him his question that, in reality, isn't much of a question at all. Her gaze remains fixed downwards, resting thoughtfully on the cane that dallies between her knees. Her hand rests on the kashira with an absent lightness that-- for all its carelessness in the present moment-- could just as soon transform into murderous intent in the next instant.

Minds burdened with history. Is that a generalization, a mere platitude-- she is aware Seishirou is fond of spouting fine words-- or does he know more about her past than he is letting on? Her hand, momentarily, tightens on the smooth wood of her cane; she does not let on that his words did, in fact, disquiet her... reminding her of what she once had.

Instead, she looks up, meets his eyes, and smiles. The expression is neither welcoming nor particularly pleasant. "I wasn't until you got here," she replies, her low tone rife with a certain amusement. "Unexpected intrusion does break up the monotony of an evening rather nicely. You seem to enjoy worming your way into all the most dangerous places, Ryouhara." No questions of how the hell he got up here, no questions of how he thinks he's going to get out; but then again, neither does Suzume move to call for any assistance or security: even though she could.

Of that wonder, Seishirou decidedly fails to provide any satisfactory answer. Silence, therein. More formatively, a pause. Disconcerting then at Suzume's warmer welcome, the Ryouhara shinobi's sharp glance moving sidelong across the expensive finish on the table between them contemplatively. From there, the period is left to pass.

"Dangerous places," he echoes, his tone taking a meaning more than the words themselves. The term seems to roll in his skull gently, as if he contemplates it entirely--"I beg to differ." The judgment comes fast. For him? "There is no such place. You should know that as well." He taps his handrest, briefly the vision of impotence, pensive and discomfited by the ease with which Suzume gives him her subtleties. --or perhaps, for some other reason.

The moment is ultimately ephemeral.

"Wriggling past the multitudes of arms and eyes?" His smile is faint, but the whip-thin glint of a fang is yet detectable. "They have none of either. Like so many before, they invite me warmly." His truth is something tilted, something that doesn't speak the entirety of what he means.


Ryouhara now watches Suzume closely, holding her gaze. Entertaining the lazy fold of her hand across the hip of her blade. "From your word and my measure ... I'd imagine you would know better than I." The ambient whirring cuts short, at the tap of a finger. The young man studies the kunoichi in dead silence. Clinical, the quick, dark eye gifted him by a mother long dead is a thin slit to match the downturn of his lip. He continues.

"Perhaps there is yet still a dangerous place left in this world for me.."

"One day," Suzume begins in reply, leaning forwards, "you'll get yourself killed, Ryouhara. Precisely because of that belief." A faint smile snakes its wry way across her lips. The young woman, in her interactions with Seishirou, bears a certain comfortable, familiar affability even though they are strangers: perhaps feeling that curious bond shared by two members of a dying breed, solitary figures amidst the relentless march of the modern world.

Her cold smile lingers briefly. Several moments pass, and half of it drops away: leaving only a smirk. She leans back in her seat, one heel pushing out languidly, her cane lifting to rest across her knees. "What I submit to you," she eventually continues, "is that every place is a dangerous place. Some more so than others. No matter how safe you think you have made it, or how much you have prepared..."

Brief silence. Suzume's black eyes study Ryouhara. For a moment, it might be imagined the look in them was bitter.

"...no place is free from that threat." The woman's eyes slowly track downwards, breaking from his gaze. Her long fingers shift on the hilt of the weapon, spidering down and slowly tightening, until with a minute *click* a threadbare glint of steel bares amidst the polished wood. "There is a dangerous place in the world for you, Ryouhara. It is every place. You just won't -know- to call it dangerous until the danger has leapt for your throat."

The silence unspools. With time, Suzume eventually looks back up, as if surfacing for breath after a long submerge. "What do you want, Ryouhara?" From the tone of her voice, she fully remembers their last encounter; and his answer determines what she does next.

As the sun begins to sink beneath the horizon, Ryouhara is briefly difficult to make out, eaten in darkness. Perhaps with ease one could think the thing reactionary--the moment Suzume's eyes tore from his own, the ninja seemed to shift just so. Realism is a cold thing to slide down one's spine as the sun sets. But Ryouhara feels.. nothing. "I..." he pauses. "...can only hope. A world without danger is not one my ideal could exist in."

Without an ideal, Ryouhara--in all ways--is dead.

"Interesting that you remember that." he asks, a chill eye stabbing a razor's line to the kunoichi beneath the set of his brow. "...the meaning of risk, that is." He looks up. "Surrounding yourself in monotony," he begins, using her own word, "I was afraid... you would have forgotten what the risk of our old world even was."

"Your blood," Ryouhara finally clarifies. "I wondered if the heart that it ran in was still familiar with the challenges of the old ways. The risks that are necessary to live and breathe in this world as someone who is still 'alive.' The love of her blade is fickle..." Slowly, his eyes follow up the length of her sheath, settling on the familiar glint at the slit of her sheathe's root and what lay within.

"To you, I'll bring a reminder of those old ways."

His foot braces upon the rest as he shifts. "And what shadows truly mean for you." His hand dips beyond the confine of his chair, to something that lay in its own cradle in a fixture just behind the wheels. It finds the rayskin wrapping of a blade at the chair's back, and it is with a silken siren whisper of steel on engineered leathers, Seishirou stands, drawing the hidden length of Senchakiri--the Tea Cutter--from his ninkou's confines. He stands now, the appearance of his being crippled since Geese's attack a simplistic illusion at best.

"...If it pleases you."

The setting sun gilds the woman across from Ryouhara in deep golds and reds. Light filters through errant strands of her black hair, diffusing across the lower half of her face. Her eyes remain in shadow, a result of the fact her head has tipped slightly forwards and away from the source of light. His words reach some dormant part of her far more than she will outwardly show or admit.

Enraptured by fervent ideals, is he? Perhaps these two are far more similar than they at first seem.

"Risk is something I never forgot," she replies coldly, perhaps mildly irritated at his implication she had gone soft: safe and complacent, entirely happy with the stable existence she's carved out in the heart of the indifferent modern age. "If there is one thing I have learned, it is that risk finds us all even when we do our best to hide from it."

She watches him stand, seeming unsurprised by his deception; she's a kunoichi, and she is very familiar with this sort of deceit. She watches him draw that blade, and her eyes follow its curve as it slides free and touches the dying sunlight. She is silent for a time in the wake of his words-- unpromisingly so-- and then in one smooth motion she is on her feet. Being in heels does not seem to hamper her ability to move.

"I didn't leave my village to run from the old ways," she begins evenly. "I was tired of the old ways -hiding- from the world, content to remain mired in all the tried and true tricks that lost their applications centuries ago. I wanted to see the cities for myself... and I wanted to bring the abilities I was raised with into the future they held. To blend them with the greater world my village refused to acknowledge." Her voice chills, eyes narrowing: a hint of actual anger only now beginning to show its edge under the silk of her demeanor. "I don't need to be -reminded- of the old ways, Ryouhara. Do not think I will forgive you if you come here merely to patronize me."

Seishirou's fingertips slide across the mahogany tabletop as he walks--moving lethargically at first, to stretch legs that have rarely seen the ground since the day he was struck by Geese Howard's Raging Storm. The touch is cool to some. To him, it is warm. "Hm. Is it?" he asks.

"There is a reason the old ways hide from the world. It is because the world is incompatible with the old ways. And fear is something shinobi know well. It is an inherent factor of risk. And now, with the world as it is, the ways of shinobi wither in the face of the burgeoning future.. a future where brutes become gods, and merchants become kings. My family long ago sought to halt that advance by advancing the strength of shinobi. Now I am all that is left."

Those words seem enough to him, enough to explain.

Slowly, Senchakiri whirls in his opposite hand, until the blade is held in a particular fashion, flase between his thumb and the last two fingers of that hand. "Ninjutsu. Something that resides in one's blood. It is not something that can be denied. But when the world scorns ninjutsu, the spirit of the shinobi can be killed. That is why the old ones hide."

"Beyond their knowledge, a world in which the shinobi can once again retain a dominant position can be forged. A future that can be ruled by skill and honor as opposed to words and dumb force. You see, I did not leave the Academy to blend my abilities with the world.."

"I left to change the world with my abilities."

He frowns. "A future worth living in would require nothing less. To think you leave merely to coexist peaceably with a world that will only use you for it's own gains and discard you like an old hunting hound... is laughable."

"Lies, properly forged, can be useful to shinobi. But don't think to become so arrogant as to believe I patronize you when your lies are plain before these eyes." He raises his blade. "If not to remind you of the old ways... then I will allow you to taste.. my new way." The very tip of the teacutter rests on the mahogany surface.

It glints in the silence.

An instant later, the table falls in half across a diagonal, the aftermath of a flick of Seishirou's wrist. If Suzume is not fast on her feet, even the kunoichi is at risk to the utterly deceptive range of the blade which emits no sound. Logically, a blade of that length.. cannot cleave an entire table in half. But it did.

"They hide," Suzume replies sharply, "because they will not change to adjust their incompatibility. As you do, they expect the world to change first. THAT is arrogance, Ryouhara. To come here and read lies in what I have said, where there are none, is arrogance." Her eyes narrow. "I have been more forthright with you than I have been in years. You should be flattered. Difficult as it may be for you to believe, Ryouhara, there are in fact times when kunoichi do not lie."

Eyes hard, her stance edging dangerously close to a bristle, Suzume watches Seishirou handle his blade. Her attention splits evenly between his words and the whirl of his steel. "To coexist with the world... is that really so terrible? What is life but being used and using others? Were ninja any different in the past? Retained, used, discarded... no better than highly-skilled errand runners. We can never avoid being used. All we can do is use those who use us, in turn. Once, I might have thought otherwise--"

She stops there. A few silent moments pass. She has no desire to go further into that topic; and more than that, she can feel the hum of something impending. She slips back, wraithlike, in the last instants before the table falls into two. Glancing down at the halves, she considers them a long moment.

"...I would be surprised," she eventually begins coldly, "but I was already aware that 'subtlety' did not exist in the Ryouhara vocabulary."

Her shikomizue, held loosely in her right hand, shifts. Her grasp tightens, that glint becoming a thin ribbon as an inch of steel bares. "How do you think you alone are going to change anything?" Her voice has lost some of its bite, its tone lowered to a breath and whisper: genuine confusion laid beneath the hard outer shell of coldness. "How do you think you are exempt from having to fit into the world as it is?"

The shorn edges of the table are smooth, as if finished by a craftsman for hours. In reality, as the table falls in half, it has just been cut that finely. The ability of Senchakiri to cut even with its tip is nigh unrivalled, as the sharpest tool the Ryouhara shinobi has ever forged. A tool, yes. Beyond a sword--it is ninkou like anything else Seishirou touches.

"Hmph," he retorts.

The glinting edge of the tea-cutter is lifted, the spine of the weapon cradled delicately against the nape of Seishirou's neck, as the shinobi considers the kunoichi's words. He has been called much of what Suzume allows to roll off her tongue and then those other things that linger just beyond the tip of that tongue. Insane? Arrogant? .../evil/. Tere are many attributes Seishirou has heard put to his name and none of them have been kind. It is no surprise when he only blinks once at the venoms in her word.

It is only that she doesn't return the attack that gives him pause.

Low now, the shinobi responds. "If... you really know the old ways, you will understand when I say it is the nature of shinobi to become one with the world. When that world changes to one that abhors the very idea of them, the idea of coexistence becomes impossible. In this age, there are only two deaths a ninja can die. With honor. Or in mediocrity."

There is a faint, bitter frown. "Through my own will, I will change everything. But it will not...cannot..." He has difficulty admitting it, "..be something that is done alone. If that future is something that I need to die for... I will give my blood ten times to realize it."

He raises a hand to his face. "You have been more forthright with me than any other... then I wonder, to what degree have you been forthright with yourself?" His hand grips his face tightly--so tightly his fingernails draw blood-- and in an instant, he draws away, taking with his hand the strange powder substance over half of his face. A kind of disguising makeup, it reveals a long angry scarline drawn straight as if by an artist's hand from his brow to his chinline. "Failure is something I am accustomed to. But the ideal I have requires nothing less than my life itself. And of you? If the world--your mediocre world--as it is is of any importance to you.. if you truly believe the words that leave your mouth..."

He steps forward, lowering the blade of Senchakiri while studying her own shikomizue. Without the intervening obstacle of rich mahogany in the way, Seishirou can move as close as he prefers. Close enough for even a whisper to be heard. "Ideals are deadly. If all that you have lost, and all you stand to lose is not something you will miss... Stand behind your own and draw my blood in buckets."

Suzume holds her silence, standing before Seishirou. Her blade is held at a ready: but it is never used. She can't deny any of what Seishirou has just said. The young woman has never given any of this much thought, never really sat down and mentally gone over the problems of coexistence at any length; she has never been the sort to philosophize, after all.

All she's ever done is simply get by in life, acting according to her own ambitions and desires: fitting herself carefully into the modern world. In fact, the only time she had ever felt the kind of fervor Seishirou expresses was when she had devoted her life to that man.

In the back of her mind, however, she had always been slightly troubled at how consistently difficult she, as a kunoichi, found it -to- fit into the world. She had always been disquieted with what had become of her kind in this age. These days, all they could choose was to conform with all the rest... or to disavow the idea of coexistence and seek change.

She had always thought her ambition was to carry what she'd been raised with into the world: to change it, and herself, to fit what society had become. What Seishirou now says reveals that he wants to approach it from the opposite direction. He wants to change -society-. And Suzume, bereft of the only thing that ever meant something to her, can't help but be drawn to that.

To what extent has she been forthright with herself? Suzume gives no direct answer, but when she finally speaks, evidence that she has not been very forthright at all swims in the current of her words. Seishirou might read her temptation in the slowness of her voice. "...How do you plan to bring this future? What... what will it be?"

The Ryouhara shinobi is close. It would be a small trifle to draw blood from here--from either of them. But it seems a thin thread of perseverance--and mutual understanding--that none is drawn. The odd geometric shape of the katana Senchakiri glints under the light as the young man moves it away, perhaps indicative of his lack of killing intent.

Or perhaps, inviting of Nakatani's own.

The concealing powder is delicately wiped off of his free hand. He couldn't afford to leave a trace of it here. It is a weakness he won't tolerate from himself, just as he seeks the meaning to the other shinobi before him. Someone who has abandoned everything for the meager scraps of the commercial life. The tragedy is not something Seishirou is of the mind to tolerate from someone whom doesn't have the will to protect it. He senses a pause in her words, and his eyes narrow.

It wasn't an indicator he needed. Should she have believed what she said, he'd be missing exactly one finger now in the following scuffle as he'd thought it to likely unravel. It was a calculated risk he'd taken of his own will. A cost he was willing to pay to realize it.

It.. "That future of mine isn't something you or any other who wakes in the daylight will see." He measures out his cold statement. "The world as it should be by nature cannot be built under the eye of those who have taken over."

He turns away suddenly, walking back to his chair. "Using what is already here.." Without any meaningful movements from his hands, thin plastic threads snake from his sleeve, wrapping around the segments of the meeting table as he passes. Countless binding cords whip around the table, the hissing as they part the air the only sound of their passage. Through sheer mechanical force of /something/ underneath Seishirou's coat and the strength of his own arm, the massive table is winched together tightly. "I will build a new world of skill and mind, underneath even the cowardly weak underworld." More cord unravells, piercing into that perfect shearline. One handseal triggers the jutsu that makes the plastic cording in the wound white hot. It melts instantly. The tension of the cooler cords are such that the joint is held together by sheer force. "I will do it though calamity, and revolution. Through this, death may be necessary to acheive that goal. But when all is realized.."

The cords snap away, one by one, retreating into his sleeve. But when they do, the perfect shear has disappeared entirely. The table remains. Without a single blemish on it, the table stands on its own. Repaired at whim just as it was bisected at whim. "... The world is reinvented. And no one will understand what has changed, but the pride and honor of those from beneath will support this new world. The sickly heart of this era will be destroyed. And a new one will beat in its place."

Only now does Seishirou turn slowly to regard his works. The table is solid, whatever he did having set some sort of mechanical bonding instantly. It is with a dimmed eye and a faint frown that he absently dusts off a /single speck/ from the shearline, fastidious in his eye for attention and care.

"That much can be told to anyone," he murmurs absently. "But to know any more.."

He looks up, serious. "Your life is forfeit."

It is obvious Suzume doesn't have the will to guard or defend her 'ideal.' It's not as if she's terribly attached, after all, to the life she leads now. It's pragmatic, it's secure, it's safe, sure... and it's also the antithesis of what a ninja should be... the antithesis of what she was before, even after she ran away from her clan. And she feels that clash, every day. The last time she was truly happy was years ago: the man responsible for making her happy now dead.

And so-- perhaps to Seishirou's surprise-- Suzume does not draw blade to defend her life against his sharp words. Her grasp on her weapon even slackens. That in and of itself, however, is surprising enough. For a woman as loyal to her contracts as she is, the fact she isn't throwing Seishirou out right this instant is shocking.

The woman watches his display. In silence, she absorbs his words as the last flicker of light makes the object whole. For a long time, she had told herself she had tired of the sneaking ways of her kind; that she was content to be what she is now. But ever since Seishirou came whirring into her life... she's begun to doubt that. She's doubted it every day since he last found her. And now...?

"Your words are typical of a Ryouhara," she eventually says. Her blade finally lowers to a complete nonaggressive cant, the woman advancing slowly towards him... black eyes leveled on his own. Her latent fervor-- subjugated by the specter of necessity, ever since she lost her first sponsor-- has sparked again now that there's something to truly hold its interest, and the gleam of it flickers from under her lashes. "But they are compelling. I am tired of just 'getting by.' I am tired of just being a part of this world."

She comes in close, even despite the threat of that blade. "Once, I felt as you do now. But I didn't think I would find anything that could make me feel that way again." By now, he can count her lashes. Her eyes narrow, hand tightening on her weapon. She knows... "-Tell- me."


Even his Senchakiri cannot cut the tension that thickens the air now. Were they any other two, unaccustomed to the feeling that any moment, life could end.. were they, they would have long since suffocated in the heat of the exchange. That much is proof that Seishirou is not wasting his time. "Typical of anyone who has seen the future for what it is," he corrects, chillingly.

She is close now, closer than even he was but a moment prior. At this distance, the last of the Ryouhara's crows does not seem so cold and distant. To the contrary--this close, there is a distinct /heat/ about the shinobi, a tangible thing that dances just on the edge of imagination but yet still existent... This makes it clear. It is not for want of warmth that he acts as he does. It is because the fire inside his heart is spared for everything else but the ideals that drive him. That passion is only for the future he sees in his dream. Nothing else.

It is a passion Nakatani can taste in every one of Ryouhara's next words.

It is one of the few times he will ever truly smile.

So he elects to oblige the female whom has opted to gamble her dreaming world to truly live. "The change in the world wrought by Jinchuu will be nothing in the face of its successor. It will be born in the root of a civil war serving as the soil to sow the seeds for this new world. In that soil, I will give people the means to decide. Of all things my clan has forged, there will be nothing like what I will create there to capture the minds of the world. It will all begin with the ancient seed I have already sown deep in the ocean. On those hallowed grounds, I will complete the masterwork blade.. Shiraha."

It is the first time the word has actually been spoken. "But.."

"From the moment you have heard that name, you are indebted to this cause."

In an instant, Seishirou's blade passes within centimeters of those silken lashes and those dark eyes. An impossibly sharp edge that cuts things it cannot touch. Steel. Bone. It matters little. The odd geometric katana is held at Suzume's throat. That edge does not touch. It cannot, not without drawing blood. "If you play games, kunoichi... if you think to impede that cause, even for an instant... I'll not hesitate to find seven different ways to kill you." He takes a step into Suzume's 'space', the already intimate space shrank by half again. He whispers over that gleaming edge. "Until that time comes... you are one of mine."

That deadly edge turns away. Senchakiri's peculiar wrapped hilt is offered to Nakatani. A short chain hangs from the pommel, with a gleaming silver symbol attached to the end.

"This tool.. is attuned to the resonance of my jutsu. Take it. When the time comes, you will use it to find me. Return it, and then the rest can be made clear."

Tension-- of multiple sorts-- thrums through the air around them. The electric quality of the scant space -between- them is unfathomable. Suzume's dark eyes pierce through that oppressed, heat-stamped distance, level and intent, a hint of her old intensity burning through the complacency that had, up until now, claimed her life. It's an intensity that hasn't seen the world since the man who led her out of her clan-- the man she'd devoted all her being to-- was killed.

It -is- a gamble. But then, Suzume Nakatani-- despite her earnest attempts to like and embrace it-- was never a soul to settle for a life of comfort and routine. All she needed was something to devote herself too... and Seishirou Ryouhara has provided it. Genuine change. Revolution. Something more than the menial, meaningless existence she's led for the past year and change.

The woman's eyes travel instantly to the edge of the katana as it flicks to her throat. Her own blade lifts, flicking a third of the way out of its sheath, ready to intercept in an instant: but at this stage, she does not. Why? Within the first few moments of its motion, she could already tell from the held-back force latent in the swing that the blade would never touch her throat. Ryouhara's blood may have made him master of the creation of such a tool... but Nakatani's renders her discernment impeccable when the blade is put to use.

The Ryouhara threatens her. Suzume just leans forward a little, her throat coming within hairbreadths of that dangerous edge. The unhinged smile that starts to knife slowly across her face looks about as sharp as the blade. "It's been a long time since I heard those sorts of endearing words," she replies lowly, eyes half-shuttering. Her smile widens, a little crazily. The young woman is feeling the rush of purpose once again, and that heady feeling is starting to reflect in her crooked smirk. "Very well, Ryouhara. I'm yours."

Her hand closes around the hilt. Suzume handles the blade with loving skill, feeling the balance of it instantly: coming to know it in a mere few looks and weighting tilts of the blade. Somewhere in the back of her mind she is aware of the recklessness of what she is doing, especially given their current location. But that doesn't stop her from making her reply. "When the time comes," she echoes, and finally straightens: leaning back out of Seishirou's space.

"It's been awhile since I've seen that kind of look.."

Ryouhara is known for the numbers flitting through his head, for all of the possible attacks, and counters. He is known for his exhaustive preparations, of the ninkou and jutsu he has ready for just this moment and every other moment. He has bombs, fire, blades, points. He has mechanisms, weapons, launchers, shields. He has fists and feet, ghostlike speed. Every single asset in his possession he brings to every moment, and every asset is an option he considers every one of those moments. Every single second that passes is another plot, another series of formulae to end someone in the next. To the point where Seishirou's ideals and his plans are first in his mind, his observations the second, and the people a distant third. Seishirou is distant by nature, preoccupied with his greater goals. But, for all of those thousands of options, of numbers, jutsu, weapons, techniques.. for all of that.. For those moments she leans in close, he is still.

Perhaps even beyond his own knowledge, defiance and restraint flash in his eyes.

For just that moment or two, the kunoichi has his full attention.

"It's clear you know everything you need to as of this day," Ryouhara lows, his dark eyes with the barely perceptible flash behind them studying the strange light in Nakatani's own. "Your obligations are your own. Serve them at your discretion." The tension is broken as it comes to that head; Ryouhara turns away when she leans back, stepping past his wheelchair and taking the thing by a hidden catch. It shifts the ninkou's center of balance and allows him to pull it at will. He leaves her his blade. Moving to the large windows, he throws them open with both hands. And without a second's more thought, he pitches the entire mechanism out the window. It is surprisingly anticlimactic.

But when Seishirou steps on the sill next, the situation changes.

Yes, it was dangerous for him to be here, and do this thing. But there are more layers than can be immediately discerned by the lay person. "For now... Geese is an ally of mine," Seishirou reveals with not a single blink. How did he get in? --Who do you imagine designed some of Geese's more.. tangible security systems? "There is no conflict of interest," he adds. He could have asked Geese at any time to assign the kunoichi to him. But he didn't. For his world, her heart is more important than her orders. "But."

The ice cold wind this high up catches his haori, sending his white sleeves billowing about him. With reflection, he looks at Suzume and states very clearly. "Do. not. dull. my. blade." Words with more than one meaning seem to be Seishirou's specialty.

Then he leans backward and disappears, falling.

It is as if he was never there.

Log created on 21:23:58 06/07/2008 by Seishirou, and last modified on 22:36:21 06/17/2008.