An Unlikely Visit[Kaji]

Kagetsu Yuii

Active Member
Oct 23, 2012
Winter had come, striking with her usual fury at the peoples of Kumogakure as if she hoped to take one and all with her when the spring melt came. In order to combat her onslaught, the people of Cloud had wrapped themselves in the armour or their warmest winter gear until only their eyes were left exposed to her wrath. They resemble herds of wandering beasts made of down, wool and fur which wandered the streets of their vertical village on tasks of every nature.

For Yuii it was no different. Gone were the brightly coloured sweaters, traded for her practical canvas and fur jacket which protected head to thigh. Her black boots with blue laces had been set aside for a sturdy pair that reached her knees. Cold, blustery wind clawed at her face and hair as she made the final climb up the steps of the Torre Celeste, but the grey hat pulled at an awkward angle on her head and her grey scarf kept most of the cold's sting away. Dressed as she was and with her eyes cast downwards, Yuii was difficult to distinguish for the other shinobi running late evening errands through the tower.

The trip was familiar to a point. As she often did a dozen or more times a day, she passed the yawning doorway of the Torre and entered the unheated entrance hall that was only nominally warmer without the wind. Weaving past the odd person, she curved past the reception and common areas and made for the connecting doors that marked the beginning of the Legation.

But, as Yuii neared the usual route to her office she veered off suddenly, ducking down a little-used hall that led to storage and meeting rooms rarely used. Her hand flicked absently at each passing door, counting their numbers as she stalked past each one until finally, she stopped as an apparently normal broom closet. Opening it revealed all the cleaning supplies one might need available, stacked with militant precision, and a single broom huddled to the side.

Her eyes slipped past an old, crusted bottle of a liquid faded beyond recognition. The apparent ooze covering the bottle was repulsive and caustic in appearance, making one immediately cautious to touch it. The genjutsu carefully woven around it to suggest it wasn't even worth looking at was a subtle touch. The mess wasn't real, at least that was what Yuii told herself as she carefully avoided looking at the bottle even as she took a firm hold of it and pulled. The slime felt like glass but that didn't stop her from pulling away the moment the stone floor below her clicked unlocked.

Silently Yuii studied the floor over the edge of her scarf. The little notes a previous sennin had left about this doorway had been vague about how to open this hatch into the Sileo; something about stomping the floor. She gave the stone a cautious rap with her heel and was surprised when it popped up and revealed a slot large enough for her fingers to find perch and pull it open. Mystery solved.

She knew at the time of the note, this passage was little more than an emergency escape hatch and hadn't been closely guarded like the main entrances the Anbu used, but that the Anbu below would know she was in the Sileo within the first minute of her arrival. At least, they had been aware of her predecessor in that amount of time. Yuii, aware she wasn't just bumbling into a secret cellar, could give herself an extra minute to work with. Perhaps two because of the late hour. Unfortunately, she also knew in a vague sort of way that three minutes would be more than long enough to get irrevocably lost in the warren-like Sileo. Her only advantage was the vague sense of direction the tattoo of her hip gave her.

And so, with that in mind, Yuii slipped through the narrow door, down a ladder and into a passageway that brushed the top of her head and was choked with fine dust. The hatch swung shut far above, returning all to perfect darkness. Blind, she reached for and found the slightly damp smooth stone wall, then stretched across and touched the opposite side she judged was only a meter apart. With both hands against the stone, she began to follow the thankfully level passage. Step one to going undetected was creating no light to be found, but it was daunting when after a hundred steps the stone veered right into a new tunnel that was just as black as the first but much wider across and cleaner smelling. The next right brought confusion. The fourth understanding. Of course, an unguarded tunnel would have its own protection and this level was shaped like her favourite confection.

With that in mind, she did a second loop against the opposite wall, her fingers searching for anything that could be called a switch or lever. It occurred to her that there could be more of the floor panels like above but she reasoned that it had to be something easily found by those who were meant to be there. On her second pass, she chanced on a button that felt like a small stone set into the wall. It surprised her when it pressed in and a mechanical whirring started from behind the stone. again she was attacked by anxiety fed by the many horror stories spread about the Sileo. Had she set off a trap? An alarm? Would the floor give way beneath her feet?

It was almost a disappointment when a thin line of red appeared then widened as the stone slid away to reveal an elevator flooded with dim red light.

It felt too easy, Yuii reflected as she cautiously scanned for cameras then stepped inside. The interior wasn't much different from the one inside the tower, probably made at the same time, except for the red light that didn't shock her eyes and a tad less opulence. The buttons were different, she realized as the door behind her slid shut, and there was a scanner that she understood the meaning of all too late. The simple blend of chakra and technology wanted her to present an Anbu tattoo.

That was it then, Yuii thought with a pang of disappointment. She couldn't go any further without what was needed and she dared not phase through the elevator floor and chance what was below. It was impossible. She turned to leave but found there was no button to open the door again either. She was trapped until an Anbu found her- however long that would be. Yuii began to panic again, when an idea struck her that seemed irrational, even impossible for it to work. She did have a tattoo, one placed by a member of the Anbu, one that was supposed to help keep them close. What were the chances, she mused while peeling back her coat to reveal the intimately placed mark. that he had added a little more to it than that?

She felt idiotic balancing on her toes to let the scanner do its job. More so when nothing happened.

Well, damn.

"Of course it wasn't going to open, you're an idiot Yuii," she grumbled out loud, settling back to think about her predicament. She could get out, need be, but not without noise or damage. There was always trying to phase back through the elevator doors, but there was a good chance they were designed to stop even her. Sitting there until someone stumbled across her wasn't appealing either, for many reasons. Pride was foremost, then the small fear of starving to death. She also hated to leave Umeko alone for too long.

"I'd rather not stay here," she sighed, leaning back against the metal wall then sliding down to sitting. She sat there, head in hands, trying to reason out what she should do. Time in the red-lit box had no real meaning, but it felt like ten minutes passed when suddenly the elevator lurched into motion. The sudden, quick descent that felt an awful lot like falling was almost worse than being trapped. She no longer had time to decide, all that was left was a reaction.

At least she felt she the gap was closing between her and her goal.

Yuii was ready to have the whole of Anbu descend on her, but as the elevator came to a jarring stop and slid open she found herself a low lit tunnel that stretched right and left beyond vision. This section was empty but all around her were vague sounds of life. 'Apartments' she realized with some surprise. It had never occurred to her that there would be living quarters in Cloud's underbelly. She had never really thought about it either though- they weren't really meant to.

Suddenly Kaji maintaining a house in the woods seemed frivolous and vaguely heartwarming.

With the knowledge that pure chance had gotten her this far without being caught(or someone was watching and manipulating the playing field, Yuii veered left and continued to follow the incorporeal ribbon to its end. Vaguely she was aware of the militant decor growing richer, of the space between doorwatds growing further apart, of passing more elevators and branching paths that lead to the Anbu she was trying to avoid. Impossibly, no one crossed her path and yet she felt watched right to the moment she found the door she wanted.

There was no indication that this apartment was any different from the others. The numbers tagged on were meaningless to her. Yet, she knew it was right and knew Kaji must be there.

Yuii hesitated, sucked a breath between her teeth, and allowed herself to step inside.


Active Member
Apr 7, 2014
Re: An Unlikely Visit [Private]

Navigating the weaving bowels under the mountain of the Hidden Cloud would prove a momentous task for most uninitiated shinobi. The corridors were hued from smooth stone and sparsely lit, cold and gray like the village’s high altitude namesake. This place was the Sileo Tempestas— a facility designed with function over form. It was naturally uninviting to outsiders. Quiet halls painted with frescos depicted historical feats of the Cloud’s pantheon of Gods, heroes of old, and the many monsters they slew. Monumental sculptures at the end of many hallways resembled eerie shinobi in ancient masks, dressed for war with weapons drawn or their fingers twisting hand seals. Silent halls would have seemed deserted if not for the teeming spirits who roamed as rare sites.

The souls of many ANBU loomed beyond death, unable to retire as earthbound spirits forever in service to the village. Was it often the fate of those who put the greater whole of their society before themselves? A price worth paying? Not if you knew that price before agreeing to meet such a fate. There were occasional exorcists brought down to the Sileo from the Temple of Raiden to free the spirits, but many of them remained as clever in death as they were in life. Many of the ANBU who traversed the halls regularly knew nothing of the ghosts, yet the atmosphere they created had every creature moving through with unexplained urgency. Yuii Kagetsu, who was likely used to such sights, would find irregular ease in traversing the corridors given how few ANBU idled in them. Cameras hidden in the eyes of those statues likely saw her, but certain liberties were granted to a sennin within the Sileo— she went unchallenged.

The ribbon led her deep into the most desolate barracks of the Sileo. Within those halls, it was just as utilitarian as every other space, however, with less occupancy came more luxury for the tenants who did stay. When Yuii arrived at the door to where Kaji was apparently residing, it must have resembled a sad little box from the outside. There was simply a mahogany door with a number placard at eye-height above a peephole. She didn’t bother knocking, perhaps expecting a welcome— and maybe that was confirmed when the door was already unlocked, permitting her entrance. In fact, it wasn’t entirely shut and opened with a mere press on the knob.

If she followed her heart into the apartment, she’d discover a different take on the utilitarian ANBU aesthetic; a cramped living room which ran to a tall desk and office at its back. There was a bar and kitchen to the left; virtually empty aside from spic-and-span appliances and a loaf of bread in a glass bread-dish. There was a small bathroom at the corner of a short hallway, and a bedroom next to it. The entire place looked like it was decorated by a designer who went for a modern appeal. None of it suggested “Kaji Okada”, it was just a decent place to lay one's head at night.

“Back so soon— that was fast” came a voice so casually— it was the one she had longed to hear. There he was, sitting at the desk to the back of that den, straight ahead from the entrance. His raven strands were tied back, and emeraldine eyes were looking down at a computer screen as his fingers typed away. Kaji Okada seemed mostly the same since Yuii had seen him last; though he had shaved the wilderness beard and was back to his typical stubbly face. He wore a grey and black sweatshirt and the slacks from his uniform. There was a look of astonishment in his eyes when he turned to realize the blue woman in his doorway.
“Yuii?” he gasped, surprised and conflicted. Her sudden emerging sent a rush of confusion through Kaji, first as concern over their daughter. Umeko was being cared for well and Kaji had been visiting her regularly enough— though, he never managed to appear at the same time as his evasive wife. So he pushed out of his cubby and arose, standing tall to meet her. His form glid across the room with an even stride, closing a distance he couldn’t for months on end. But then, that normal hugging embrace didn’t happen, instead, he stopped short and held up his empty coffee mug. “This is a surprise” he admitted cooly. “But, I’m happy to see you, honey.” He avoided his typical longing stare in favor of cursory glances, ever aware of the effortless beauty which entranced him for years. Was he trying to stay angry? Perhaps.
“Here, make yourself comfortable— I’ll turn up the heater.”

Kaji notably kept the door unlocked as he welcomed Yuii into the apartment. He adjusted the dial on the thermostat and went into the kitchen where a coffee pot was still hot. “Would you like something to drink? Maybe a latte?” He rummaged through the nearly empty kitchen, revealing a cabinet full of a barista’s stockade between two utterly empty ones. The estranged Kaji got to work making two drinks, adding extra sugar to the second one. Although inviting, it was an awkward behavior for Kaji, who would have normally gravitated to Yuii and made her his sole focus after such a painful hiatus. “It’ll take a moment to froth some milk, but coming right up” he urged with his back turned to the lovely Blue. How could he seem so... normal? Could Kaji be unburdened by the loneliness that should have been tearing at him? But how?

The slightest investigative glances around the apartment would have revealed signs that Kaji must have been busy; the place was in disorder but not totally messy. It looked “lived in” at best. If Yuii had cat-like curiosity she might notice the things out of place, most notably if she followed her husband into the kitchen. To circle around the bar, she’d have to pass the hallway, and there, she’d most likely hear the sound of water left running in the bathroom. Forgetfulness on that level was unlike Kaji Okada but the alternative was inconceivable… was he not alone?

-- Kaji Okada has entered the thread.

Kagetsu Yuii

Active Member
Oct 23, 2012
Yuii couldn't have said why she didn't knock before entering. There was no expectation she would be welcomed warmly, like a long-awaited spouse returning home after an extended trip, but she had made assumptions. She had assumed Kaji would know she was coming, either through the same faint connection she had drawn on to guide herself or the observations of his highly trained Anbu. She had assumed he wouldn't leave a door unlocked unless he wanted her there, or that she wouldn't have even made it to said door unless he wanted her there. In short, she had made an ass of herself by thinking of herself as centric to his world.

Relief the door opened, shared confusion, then tension hit Yuii in rapid succession, winding her nerves tighter than bowstrings. The look he gave her, the lukewarm reception, her given name; they were three E notes played on the strings of her heart that echoed into her throat and took her breath away. She shouldn't have expected any different, not after the way she had acted. Not after allowing her grief to colour their interactions while ignoring his own. Not after purposefully avoiding him for so long. Kaji had said he would wait for her, but even the perfect man could only wait so long for his volatile, erratic wife to get ahold of herself before an emotional rift developed.

She shouldn’t have expected anything.

Unable to trust her own voice, vibrating with indecision and battling a platitude of emotions all vying to express themselves at once, Yuii could only follow and observe instead of returning his greeting. The odd energy in the apartment, the unlocked door, the lack of food, the running water were all noted as she slipped from her jacket and hat from uncharacteristically dark coloured clothing, readjusted her scarf, and followed him to the kitchen. She hovered, ever awkward, watching him make coffee like she was an estranged neighbour who had stopped by for an unexpected chat. All the while her mind and heart tried to agree on what picture the puzzle pieces of his Anbu apartment were presenting. What was she supposed to make of all this?

Half the answers made her want to run.

She found a seat and perched on the edge of it like she expected to leave at a moments notice. Likewise, her warmer clothing remained rolled in her arms, ready to go. “I thought I would come and see you. Talk.” she warbled out finally, nervously tugging her scarf up over her nose as she fearfully glanced towards the hall. Yuii didn’t want to know who was down there, she decided, she wasn’t ready for that. “But I should have warned you and asked. It was a selfish whim. I can go. Leave you to...", another glance at the hall, "whoever you were expecting."

She was on her feet before the last word was out, towards the door a breath later.

There were some things even Yuii was too scared to face.