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1remembering  Empty remembering on Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:21 pm

Things had changed. Four years was a rather long time though. Maybe it was normal for things to change as drastically as they have. That belief that it was normal was reinforced by how hard it was to notice the change at times. It had all happened very gradually. Each piece of his environment shifted around him slowly. Before he could see what was happening his world had changed completely. He was a frog in a warming pot of water. That metaphor made it sound like he was an incredibly bad position, but the quickly boiling water was a much more preferable environment to where he had been before. He could see the steam clearly around him now, even if it was painful. All of his sanity was evaporating away, but at least he was aware of what was happening. Before the heat had been raised he couldn’t even see his position clearly for what it was. It was difficult to reflect back on that time. He had been happy, even if he was ignorant. Somehow, the memories of that happiness made it harder to think about. Not reflecting back on those memories at all though would also be painful, although a different sort of pain. Self reflection was hard. How was he supposed to look back at himself and judge his experiences with a clear eye? Surely he couldn’t ask another, as there wouldn’t be anyone who would care to give him that sort of experience. Even those closest to him, Haka and Verdandi, couldn’t give him what he needed here. Verdandi, his sweetheart (had he ever asked her out officially? Chigetsu couldn’t remember now) would give nothing close to an unbiased response. She was infatuated with him, just as he was infatuated with her, and even if she hadn’t been the princess would have given far too lackadaisical of a response to satisfy the cravings in his stomach. Haka, his other squadmate, was much more useless. Another variety of princess, the heir to the Osada Clan was something of an enigma to him. Mysterious. They shared some understanding in the passion of violence, but even then the warmth and energy that Chigetsu brought to the battlefield couldn’t be compared at all to her cold and calculating nature. Even if their approaches to the same event was as different as night and day he knew she enjoyed it the same way he did. He could see it in here eyes. Her response would be equally as cold though. Likely a blank stare and something along the lines of ‘I don’t care.’, assuming she even entertained his question in the first place. He was more likely to just get the glare. It was almost funny now to imagine, and so Chigetsu couldn’t help but giggle a bit as the imaginary Haka judged him. These were the sorts of things he thought about as he waited for his rice to finish cooking.

It was getting old now. The plastic on his trusty rice cooker had been a pristine white when he first purchased it, even though it had been used. The years had taken its toll on the machine though. He didn’t take the best care of it either, not washing it nearly as often as he should. His dinky little apartment was seeing less and less use as the days went on. The luxury of his lover’s wealth was something he freely could indulge in, and even if he couldn’t the Osada Clan mansion was open to him. Any time he wasn’t sleeping at one of those two locations he was likely on a mission, and so his home rarely saw him more than once a month now. He had no true purpose for this apartment anymore, but still he kept it. Even if he didn’t need it, this was his. His space. The few possessions that were kept inside its walls were his possessions, and this little slice of Kirigakure was his little slice of Kirigakure. The luxury of the Yuki and Osada was beautiful, and he was no stranger to indulging on those pleasures, but none of it was his. It was all borrowed, or graciously given to him. He had always desired something of his own. Always, even if he hadn’t been able to recognize that as a child. There was so little he had, and so he greedily hoarded every little treasure that he could call his own. And with so little to claim to his name, could he be blamed? What truly did Chigetsu have? Not a family. He slept in the Yuki and Osada Clan complexes, with Hozuki Tower being a taboo place for him to enter. The name he bore was a curse against him because of the circumstances of his birth. All because his mother abandoned the clan. All of those sins fell down to him. The nomads that he had been dumped with didn’t seem eager to give him any mercy either. He was a stranger to them. Sailing to Kirigakure to work out a life of his own from them was the best decision he had ever made. He was given permissions to enter the academy, with the promise that he would sent back a bit of his proceeds once he became a full fledged shinobi. An odd agreement for them to make, but they were just as eager to be rid of Chigetsu as he was to be rid of them. It was an agreement he held himself too, even though he had no real reason anymore. It wasn’t a legally binding contract that kept him to it, and it had only been a verbal promise all those years ago that he made in desperation for a better life. Still, a section of every paycheck he received disappeared. Kirigakure first took their cut, and then the Storm Nomads would be sent their pay. The loss of money wasn’t something he really noticed anymore. It had been a lot when he was first beginning as a Genin, but now as a Jounin, and a Hunter-Nin at that he was given more money than he honestly knew what to do with. It was nothing compared to the luxury that he experienced with Verdandi and Haka, but Chigetsu’s beginning as a dirty street rat tempered his desires. He desperately wanted something of his own, but he was no materialist. Other than a few kitchen appliances he had nothing of real value in his apartment. Only the empty vase that had previously held a long dead houseplant served as any real decoration. Sure, it might have been nice to spend what he had towards a bit of luxury of his own, but that was only momentary pleasure. It wasn’t permanent and it held no substance, and any of what he desired in terms of pleasure was already there for him to reach out towards. It was why he still rented this apartment, even though it would be hard to actually describe him as living there. It was the closest thing to a home he had. Even this apartment wasn’t truly his, and was only something he had rented, but the time he had spent here gave him a bit of an attachment to it that made him want to forget that.

Coming into wealth was something he had never expected either. Money. It was something that was incredibly ellusive to him. At times during his period at Genin he had trouble just feeding himself. Going back to the simple rice cooker that marked his younger days was sobering. It cleared his head and helped him organize his thoughts. His first meeting with Verdandi solved that problem entirely. After the Princess of Heidel took interest in him he wouldn’t ever have to go hungry again. His life changed so drastically in those moments. Romance, something that Chigetsu hadn’t ever given thought before seeing her eyes, blossomed like the most beautiful spring flowers. It was natural and beautiful. He really loved her, even if it was difficult for him to directly admit his affections. It represented something more than just finding a lover, as strange as that might sound. Verdandi was Chigetsu’s first real friend. Sure, he had other acquaintances before meeting her, but none of them were built around an entirely positive relationship. Mokuzai had been something close to a friend, but their relationship was built mostly on the desire to beat each other up. He enjoyed that sort of relationship, but it wasn’t really anything comparable to a true friendship. How shallow his relationship with Mokuzai was became obvious when the two of them lost contact with each other. All it took was them returning back to their home country. Mokuzai was one of the reasons that Chigetsu looked fondly (well, fondly by his standards) upon Konoha shinobi. They weren’t bad. Maybe a bit stupid, but not bad. Verdandi filled that hole though, as much as she could. But there was something else. Even though she filled him with a warm feeling everytime they were together he felt more and more hollow every passing day. There was something missing. It was an impossible feeling. He could never shake it off, and not for lack of trying. As he gained more contacts and acquaintances he felt lonely. As he talked with his lover it felt silent. As he struck down his enemies in combat the blows felt hollow. It was like he was dreaming. There were times when he wondered if that was all this was. A dream. It could be a genjutsu too. Maybe he was still in that horrible hellscape opened up by Sero, caught in a genjutsu. It was something he considered before. Breaking out of a genjutsu required Kai, but his inaptitude with genjutsu likely meant he couldn’t break out from such a powerful world shattering genjutsu anyway. Pain was the other option. As a Hozuki though he couldn’t exactly hurt himself. His hydrification was something that happened even against his will. It wasn’t as simple as just slicing at his wrist with a pocket knife. He would need to use fire or some sort of electricity. Jumping into a bonfire or sticking a fork in an electrical socket weren’t exactly on his list of things he planned on doing though, even if it was one of the better way to get out of genjutsu. Doing either of those things would probably break him out of just about any genjutsu, but it would also likely break him out of the genjutsu called ‘being alive’. He didn’t exactly want to die. Not just yet, anyway. So many times he had told himself he wasn’t afraid of dying, but now he stopped denying it. Not again since what happened in Sunagakure. Chigetsu was afraid of dying. He was afraid of dying more than anything else. He didn’t want to die.

What happened in Sungakure wasn’t on his list of things to reflect on. He didn’t want to think about it.

He remembered what he forgot, as he was thinking about what he didn’t want to think about.

Chigetsu broke out laughing. It was funny. Too funny. Like a punchline dropped suddenly three weeks after the joke had been set up. Except the punchline was a hammer crashing against a skull now, making a horrible wet sound. He laughed so hard. He couldn’t stop laughing. It was so funny. He wasn’t laughing. It was disposed from his body at first. Somebody was laughing, and he had thought it was himself. It took him a second to realize. They were laughing as he figured it out, letting it all in like it was something they had waited too long for. The voices. They all had faded from his life. It was so graduale too. The voices that had been so saturated in his mind evaporated away little by little. It started as soon as he met them. As soon as he started with his team and brought Verdandi and Haka into his life. Having friends, and in Haka’s case somebody he had an understanding with, made them start to go quiet. The weapons stopped whispering one by one. The incredibly chatter of nonsense dropped down into silent whispers, and then into nothing at all. He spoke to them every day as a genin. They were the only things for him to speak to. During all of his time in Sunagakure he could remember now only hearing their voices on two occasions. The last was before he had been run through the chest by Izumi, and later kidnapped by her. Thinking about it made the scar on his chest itch. He could remember the pain. All the voices that comforted him previously had disappeared. Even his kunai. It should have been obvious, especially with how close he was to it. Everyday he put the wooden kunai around his neck. It hung from twine in an ugly makeshift necklace that he had made as a child. It was his closest companion for years, like a teddy bear that could talk to you. It wasn’t always agreeable, but it was the closest thing he had to a family. It drove him forward and convinced him he needed to become a great shinobi for Kirigakure and support his village. It convinced him that he needed to become a weapon, and think of shinobi as weapons. It convinced him that he was destined for greatness, when nobody else had ever spoken such a thing to him before. It was still hanging around his neck, close to his heart. He stared at it. The laughter had come from it. It hadn’t been a sad laughter, but something forced. Mocking. Angry. He could feel it. Now that he thought actively about them he could feel the resentment that had been swallowed up by the wooden blade. The weight of it all came crashing down on him, and he suddenly felt a very strong gravity weighing down at his heart. He lost the strength to stand, and would slump down awkwardly against the closest wall he could lean against. Chigetsu realized then that his breathing was erratic, full of short and shallow breaths, and his heart was beating like the drums that the Storm Nomads carried out onto their ships. The pain from the chidori flared up again. Images sprung up in his mind of when he had been electrocuted. He couldn’t shake it out no matter how hard he tried.

He could only cry now as he was overwhelmed by the waves of emotion.

The sound of the rice cooker finishing snapped him out of his nervous breakdown. It kept beeping repeatedly to signal that it had finished. It was impossible to ignore. If he didn’t get to it the rice would all end up burnt, and a fire would start in his apartment. It was scary enough of a thought that he managed to stand up again, even with his little strength he had left in his legs. The kitchen would be hobbled over to weakly, and the cord of his pressure cooker would be pulled from the socket. The smell of fresh rice would then assault his senses. He was still hungry. That episode of mental weakness had reduced his appetite, but there was still nothing in his stomach. With food right in front of him now it was difficult to ignore. He would take some deep and steady breaths. In and out. In and out. It took him a few cycles before he wasn’t shaking anymore. This was more than he could process right now.

He would eat dinner first. This crisis could wait.





[2661]
[1616]
________
[4277] Total [Using 40% reduction from Genius, Quick Learner, and Prodigy]

[1200] - A-Rank: Water Release: Enrapturing Rainy Day
[1200] - A-Rank: Generous Jelly II
[1200] - A-Rank: Hydrification - Apricot Temptation II
[600] - C-Rank: Water Clone: Clot
[77] Remaining - Discarded


____

remembering  GSmttz8

remembering  2uLtLjA


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