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A Little Touch - Part one
oxo ---------------------------- oxo

Ikashi's P.O.V.

A sharp line of light ran across the nearly blackened sky, soon followed by the loud boom of thunder. I watched as the medic in front of me jumped slightly, her sentence being interrupted by the loud noise. So even ninja can be scared of thunder.

I exhaled slowly after she continued, my brain trying to soak in all the information she was telling me. So many precautions for one person. It was slowly straining me and I could feel my temper flare up. To think this brat that could barely lift a sword back in the day had caused so much trouble.

"All in all, make sure the collar stays around his neck. It shouldn't be too difficult."

"Collar around neck. Make sure it stays. I get it." My expression and tone must have given her the idea that it was time to leave, for she started to pack up all the various tools laid out on the bed. The same bed he was lying in. My bed.

"It will be a couple of days before the anesthesia will wear off. That should give you enough time to prepare."

I lead her to the door as she continued to run on like a fountain before she stopped suddenly. She turned toward me and gave me a stern expression. "Are you sure you want to do this? You know what he is capable of..."

A long moment of silence stretched between us, our gazes never faltering before I answered, "I'm sure."

Company in my apartment was rare and in this moment I remembered why. I sighed a breath of relief after closing the door, being left alone in total silence once more. The days behind me have been long and beyond stressful. Full of yelling and flat out begging, anything to keep him out of that hellhole of a prison. I knew what would happen to him there. I feared what he would do to the others locked within those walls with him.

Before I knew it, I stood in my room once again, in front of the bed where I had been moments before. I let my gaze slide across the collar that had been the object of conversation for the past few hours. It looked heavy and uncomfortable. Several markings were etched into it, most likely correlating with the many jutsu placed on it. Anything to keep those massive chakra pools suppressed.

Shaking my head I stared at his face. Kagura. After chasing him down and having to put up one the most exhausting fights I had ever been involved in, I was able to bring him back. It was still hard to believe that it had come to this. Hard to believe that the shy, insecure kid I grew up with managed to send several people scrabbling after him. I couldn't hold it against him, to be honest. Not after going through what he had. I could still see it clearly. His deathly pale face from the loss of blood as he screamed in agony. Kenjiro had all but dragged him the entire way back to our post in a nearby village just in time before the full force of a blizzard hit us. The trail of blood in the snow that followed the two and a blood soaked Kenjiro had haunted my dreams many months afterwards. The world had come dangerously close to losing him on that day. I almost lost him...

Grinding my teeth and clenching my fists, I spun around on my heel and nearly stormed out of the room before slamming the door shut behind me. I leaned back against the door as I pressed the palms of my hands into my eye sockets. No, I needed to get out of the past. Kagura was here now. He was here and literally could not leave my place, even if he wanted to. I laughed to myself as I slid down the door until making contact with the floor.

Why would he ever want to stay here with you?

oxo ---------------------------- oxo

The first time he woke up, he had attacked me. His fist had wasted no time in connecting with my jaw. I had stumbled back in shock, definitely not expecting such a reaction. It had only taken my brain a fraction of a second to reboot and counter his second round of attacks, easily pinning him to the floor. He squirmed and growled under my weight. It reminded me of a cornered animal, one that was not meant to be cornered. Even so, his physical weakness - something that had always been evident - still showed as he continued to struggle and failed to do anything but exhaust himself.

I waited it out until he stilled. He sent a glare that could even rival one of my own directly at me all while fighting to catch his breath. "Are you done throwing your little tantrum?" I drawled. The question only served to rile him up again. Letting out another one of his animalistic growls, he continued his squirming. I pressed my knuckles against my forehead and sighed loudly. This was not starting out well at all.

oxo ---------------------------- oxo

The next few days had been trying. I had exploded several times, Kagura doing the same. He had thrown almost every object he could lift above his head at me after discovering his chakra had been suppressed.

"What do you mean it isn't so bad? It's like them taking your obnoxiously pointed teeth away from you!" I ducked as one of the silverware knifes thudded into the wall above my head. Okay, so maybe not putting those somewhere out of his reach was a bad idea.

"It was either that or your head! I saved your ass! You should be thankful!"

"Thankful? I should be thankful? For what? Bringing me back to this hellhole?" He punctuated his statement by throwing a book in my general direction.

I listened to him continue with the occasional thump as he threw things around in a fit of rage. It was obvious that Kirigakure only brought him pain. It only reminded him of the past. And of her.

Sighing, I stood up from my hiding place behind the sofa. Kagura paused mid-sentence to glare at me, another knife in his hand. I couldn't help but stare at him. The way his brows furrowed together and tugged downwards, the way his hair was an absolute mess, and the way he bared his teeth at me. He was a mess and I'm more than sure if this had been anyone else but me standing in front of him, they would be stunned with fear. I didn't put it passed Kagura being able to smell that fear.

"Look, I understand. I really do, but you also need to understand that this is the only option you have. This," I lifted my arms up to gesture toward my apartment, "this wasn't even an option at first, you know. If I had stood by and let them do what they originally had planned, you would be locked up somewhere with so many jutsu placed on you, you wouldn't be able to move! Is that what you want?"

The silence that followed after that slowly became unbearable until it was interrupted by the sound of the knife in Kagura's hand dropping to the floor. His head had also fallen, looking downward as he brain processed the information. He disappeared into my room, silently telling me to leave him be by closing the door harshly, leaving me once again in silence.

oxo ---------------------------- oxo

The following week after that incident became fairly tolerable. Kagura had seemed to come to terms with the current situation, though he still refused to show his face at the table during meals. At first it was strange, cooking for a second person. I had never done such a thing, so naturally me preparing too much or too little happened often at first. After time it became easier to plan. It seemed somewhat, intimate? No, not that. I shook my head, trying to shake the thought from my skull.

It didn't change the fact of Kagura being absent during meals, the plate made for him left untouched. It would be hours later after I had retired on the sofa before I would hear him slink out of my room and into the kitchen. Usually I ignored it. Tonight was different.

Pressing the switch, the lights in the kitchen flickered before staying lit, illuminating the room. Kagura froze, a fork in his hand at the ready for an attack. When he saw it was me, he relaxed slightly yet stayed on alert.

"Do you hate me that much?"

The question seemed to have caught him off guard going by the way his eyes widened a fraction. "What?"

"You never eat with me. Why?"

Kagura stared at me for a moment, almost as if he hadn't heard the question, before letting his arm fall to his side and his gaze downward. "I can't do it anymore..."

His reply was almost too quiet for me to catch. "What do you mean?"

"This whole 'eating together' thing. It feels too close."

Fear. The fear of getting close to someone and losing them again. I knew it would be a problem for him, but going as far as not being able to eat with others surprised me. We stayed in silence for many moments, something that we had grown accustomed to seeing as it happened often between us.

"Will you at least try?" Kagura's gaze slowly wandered back up to meet mine. "For me?" I almost expected m question to be left unanswered when nothing came from him except his lingering stare until he slowly nodded. I felt my expression soften and I let out the breath I hadn't realized I was holding.

Turning around and returning to the sofa, I left Kagura alone to eat.

oxo ---------------------------- oxo

Kagura's P.O.V.

I knew what he was doing. It was so easy to see. I would have to be blind not to have seen it. He tries to make me into the person he still believes I am. He still treats me like the shy pathetic mess my sixteen year old self was, as if eleven years haven't passed since then. It sickens me to no end. He's just like everyone else. No he isn't. He's the only reason why you're sitting here.

"Shut up!"

Ikashi stopped mid-way into his bite of his breakfast to stare at me as if he had done something wrong. Shock ran across his face before asking me what was wrong.

"Nothing," I muttered before looking away and grimacing to myself. The rest of the meal went on uninterrupted.

oxo ---------------------------- oxo

Every now and then Ikashi would suggest doing something together, even if it be sitting in the same room and reading, something I did often to pass the time. It had only taken me a week to read through everything readable in his apartment. Taking trips to the library to bring me something back had become second nature to Ikashi. After coming home from mandatory reports to the Hokage he would always drop a new pile of books in front of me. It was endearing yet infuriating at the same time. I was more than able to do these things on my own, but no, I was trapped within these walls. I wonder how long they can keep this up before I finally figure out how to release the jutsu on the collar around my neck.

One thing I was very grateful for was the privacy Ikashi granted me. I'm sure he was doing it out of politeness. I spent many nights awake scanning through jutsu related books, researching what exactly they put on the collar. It was after three weeks that I understood that releasing it would be impossible. "Idiots!" I growled as I tossed a book into a corner. "Who in their right mind would think up something like this?!" A blood seal. A seal that can only be released with the blood of its maker. But who made it? It could have been nearly anyone in the village. The rest of the night passed sleeplessly for me.

oxo ---------------------------- oxo

The glances and openly gawking were becoming more obvious day by day. It was an instance of me returning from showering that I had caught him red-handed. I will admit, I had done it purposely, not putting on a shirt before entering the living area that Ikashi was seated in. He had claimed to be looking at the useless stump hanging on my right. I had done so many times, scanning the scar tissue and skin, the way different shades swirled into one another.  This, however, was different.

So the first time it happened, it wasn't much of a shock. Unexpected, but not shocking.

It was a night that I had decided to use for sleeping and not endless calculation. I stirred, instantly noticing the placement of weight on the mattress was different. My back was facing the only door leading into the room but I already knew who it was. Ikashi leaned over me before crawling onto the mattress completely. I felt him carefully inch toward me under the covers before his arm snuck around my waist, pulling me back against his chest. His face found the crook between my neck and shoulder instantly, pressing his face into the skin there before inhaling deeply. Suddenly I felt like a teenager again as my face heated with a blush. Realizing that I wasn't going to stop him, Ikashi's arm tightened around me, pulling me even farther into him as he curled around me.
I opened my mouth to say something but stopped before a word could escape. Ikashi trembled behind me followed by a sob. As if on cue I felt tears soak into the back of the thin shirt I wore. I wanted to twist out of his grip and see his face. To ask why he was crying. Was it for me or himself? But I didn't. I found that being here like I was, being held onto like I was all that mattered, felt nice. So instead I gently ran my hand over the arm across my chest before curling my fingers around Ikashi's wrist. His hand gripped at the material of my shirt, creasing it no doubt.

Eventually I feel asleep in that same position, Ikashi hugging me from behind, his hold never once faltering. And once I woke to sunlight shining on my face, Ikashi was nowhere to be found.

oxo ---------------------------- oxo


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