Naruto Rare Pair Bingo Prompt: Genma
Genma Week 2019 Prompt: ANBU
She stared at the one person who claimed to love her the most, hot tears burning a trail down her cheeks. “Shishou…” The word was a broken plea that fell on deaf ears long since closed to the people around her. Shizune bit the inside of her mouth until the metallic taste of blood hit her tongue. Tsunade was all she had. They were the last pieces of a broken family shattered beyond repair.
A few tears dripped from her chin, splattering against the sticky varnish of the bar counter. Her gaze searched Tsunade’s face, a child’s foolish optimism seeking just a hint of hope. The blonde’s eyes diverted to the sake bottle in her hand, head lowered. Shizune knew that for what it was, a way to block her out.
The medic-nin clamped a hand over her mouth to stifle the sob rising in her throat. She took a step back, then another. An intoxicated patron slurred curses and insults at her when she ran into him on the way out. Shizune ducked beneath his arm, with all the grace of her chunin rank, and pushed her way out of the bar through the back door. She slammed it shut behind her, back hitting the door. Only then did she let the frustration and grief take control. With a sob, she slid down the door into a hunched over crouch.
Tsunade drowned her sorrows in booze and gambling to numb the memories haunting her day in and out. She wore her losses like a second skin, close to the surface and too raw to ever truly heal. Shizune knew that pain, she lived it with Tsunade in the memories of her parents and Uncle Dan. That solidarity formed the basis of their bond.
When did Shishou become numb to me as well?
The rustle was so slight, she almost missed it in her emotionally compromised state. Shizune inhaled slow and steady to calm her nerves. Her muscles tensed as she strained to listen. There it was again. The slightest rustle and a… groan? Shizune was on her feet in an instant, medical training pushing her through the urge to stay curled up in her own self-pity. Not when there was a job to do.
She reached out with her chakra, seeking the individual in need of assistance. Her chakra slid against another signature in a gentle probe. The foreign chakra flickered weakly against her own, dipping in and out. The chakra flared three times, a short followed by two long. Shizune cursed, heeled sandals clicking against the cobblestones as she squeezed down the narrow alley between the bar Tsunade currently occupied and a brothel.
That was Konoha code and the shinobi was fading fast.
She found him slumped between a dumpster and the brick wall, immobile. One arm guard was completely missing, the other cracked so it hung loosely off his wrist. The grey flak jacket soaked crimson across his chest and onto the ground beneath him. “Leaves blow in the autumn wind,” Shizune recited as she dropped to her knees at his side. She pulled a pair of latex gloves from her medical pouch and tugged them on.
Gentle hands had already begun to turn him over when the wheezing reply came. “Then r-regrow in sp-spring.” The porcelain mask muffled his voice, deepening the timbre. The greeting was the most basic of Konoha code, used to discern friend from foe. A crackled fox mask stared up at her as she settled him on his back. A Konoha ANBU. “Designation and rank?” Glowing green hands grazes across his limbs, checking for fractures or artery punctures. She pressed the tips of his fingers and exposed toes, watching the skin shift from white to pink. Good, there’s no internal bleeding in the appendages.
His muffled breathing came in gasps, ragged and wet from beneath the mask. “K...Kitsune.” He coughed around the word. Bits of red trickled down his chin and into view at the mask’s edge.
Shizune bit the inside of her cheek again. That sounded like a punctured lung. “Rank.” She ordered as the chakra around her hands slid effortlessly from green to blue and sharpened into Chakra Scalpels. She sliced through his flak jacket and shinobi blacks like butter and pulled the pieces open. An abyssal slash crossed deeply over his chest from collarbone to hip.
Kitsune hissed and clenched his hands so tightly, she was sure they’d turn white beneath his gloves. “A-Ansatsu Senjutsu... T-Toku...shu Butai.” It was good to keep him talking, that kept him conscious and alive. But each word was more of a struggle for him. “A-ANBU…”
“This is going to hurt, don’t scream.” Kitsune’s chest heaved beneath her hands as Shizune’s chakra morphed back to green and pushed into the open wound. The ANBU’s back arched, muscles taught in silent agony, but he didn’t make more than a weak groan.
The medic focused on the task at hand, meticulously knitting the severed tendons and muscle back together from the deepest point outward. The cut was clean and straight through, most likely from a katana or other sword type. The nerves stitched beneath the invading chakra, though reattaching veins took more concentration. Kitsune wheezed on a moan, blood almost choking him when he coughed again.
That damn mask is obstructing his airway! Shizune reached to remove the mask.
Kitsune grabbed her wrist in a shaky, yet hard hold. “No.”
“You can’t breathe with it on.”
“Not h-here, please...” His grip loosened, then went limp as the ANBU passed out.
Shizune huffed but finished healing the wound to the point he could be moved without bleeding out. She hefted the unconscious ANBU into her lap, slipped her arms around his ribs and formed a tiger seal. Shizune felt the unfamiliar pull on her chakra as she teleported both of them into the hotel room she shared with Tsunade.
The medic gently but quickly laid Kitsune out on his back and stripped him of his tattered shirt, flak jacket and mask. Setting both aside, she returned to the half-healed wound. Shizune stitched the remaining muscle and skin back together. The ANBU’s toned muscles quivered beneath her healing touch. She infused the epidermis with a bit of her chakra, smoothing out the rather angry scar it left behind.
With the threat of him bleeding out neutralized, she ran a quick diagnostic jutsu over his lungs and heart. Miraculously, his heart avoided any damage, but the right lung was half collapsed and full of blood. She left his side long enough to retrieve the medical bag Tsunade rarely allowed her to touch. If Kitsune’s breathing was any indication, he was running out of time.
Desperate times called for desperate measures.
Shizune pressed her fingers firmly into his bare skin, searching until she located the clavicular notch and costal cartilage of the seventh true rib. Using these two points as a guide, she inched across his torso until she found the fleshy space between the third and fourth true ribs. Using a finely sharpened Chakra Scalpel, Shizune parted tissue and muscle into the collapsing lung. She fed her chakra in a steady trickle through the small cavity to slowly reinflate Kitsune’s lung. Her chakra skimmed the lung’s interior, healing any remaining damage from the sword strike.
Shizune traced the fourth rib around the ANBU's side and used her Chakra Scalpel to make a second, small incision into the lung. It was from the second access point the chunin medic drew the pooled blood from his lung. Crimson splattered across the floor and her clothes. Kitsune's breathing eased a bit. She healed the second incision shut once the blood was all removed.
With one hand, she snapped the medical bag open and withdrew a chest tube. Coating it with chakra, she eased the tube through the small cavity and into the ANBU’s lung. Next came the sterilized, parchment-thin balloon. Perspiration broke out across Shizune’s temple as she fed the balloon through the chest tube and used her chakra to slowly inflate it and shift it into position so he could breathe. Slowly, she eased her chakra from the lung, letting the balloon support the lung on its own.
The medic waited with bated breath as Kitsune inhaled and exhaled shallowly. The balloon held, Shizune let out a sigh. With a dwindling reserve of chakra, Shizune taped the tube to his chest, healed the skin around it and securely covered the opening with a shinobi-grade field dressing. “There, Kitsune-san, good as new.” The balloon would support his lung while it healed. Another medic would have to remove it back in Konoha.
She removed the bloody gloves, folding one inside the other with practiced ease. With the most prominent injuries taken care of, the young medic turned her attention to Kitsune’s head. Her cheeks flushed softly as she got her first good look at the ANBU she’d been working on. He was young, very young actually. Not much older than her if she judged correctly. And handsome. Oh! So, handsome. Even with the left side of his face badly bruised and swelled around the cranium.
Shizune reached deep and dragged the last vestiges of her dwindling chakra into her hands for a diagnostic jutsu. Her hands swept skillfully across his skull and down the base of his neck. She lingered over the swelling, letting out a relieved sigh when it turned out to be a mild concussion and nothing more serious. Shizune didn’t have the chakra reserves to repair a fractured skull or brain swelling. “Lucky bastard.” She muttered under her breath.
“Definitely lucky to wake up to a beauty like you.”
Shizune jumped at the quip, hands quickly withdrawing from his copper locks. What kind of ANBU wore their hair longer than she did anyway? “You’re awake!”
“Awake huh?” Kitsune chuckled and winced, most likely having jarred his wounds. He’d be sore for weeks with that balloon supporting his lung. “I could’ve sworn I died. How else could I be seeing an angel?”
Shizune’s cheeks tingled, but she shook her head and rolled her eyes. “You’re very much alive, Kitsune-san.” She pushed down on his ribs, gaining a pained grunt for her effort. “I’ve had a long day. Don’t make me regret saving your butt.”
Kitsune brought a shaky hand to his chest and grinned. “Wouldn’t think about it, Tenshi.”
The medic felt her ears start to burn, her entire face reddening quickly. That smile made his cheeks dimple and- and- he was so damn good looking it was a sin! “Don’t call me that!”
“But you’re the angel that snatched me from the claws of death.” He waved his hand lazily in the air, brown eyes soft when he looked at her. “My saviour, Tenshi suits you so well- ack!”
Shizune shoved a roll of gauze into his mouth. “Looks like we don’t have to worry about your concussion.” She pressed lightly around the dressing on his chest, drawing a muffled groan from her patient. “Your lung seems to be working well with the balloon’s support.” She ignored the way his eyes bulged in surprise. “Yes, your lung was punctured by that katana. It was collapsing when I found you. I used a medical balloon to reinflate it. You’ll have to get it removed in Konoha in a week or two.”
Kitsune spit the gauze out and pushed up onto an elbow, his fingers curling over the bandage that covered the chest tube. “Holy shit! I would’ve drowned in my own blood…” He glanced over to her in sheer wonder, eyes dark with an emotion she couldn’t quite place. “You really did save my life.”
She snapped Tsunade’s medical bag shut with a smile. “That’s my duty as an iryo-nin.”
“I would do it again, Kitsune-san.” She smoothed some medical tape across the edges of the field dressing out of extra caution. This was an ANBU. Who knew what danger he’d fling himself headfirst into when he left her care. “Not that I make a habit of shunshining strange men into my hotel room.”
Her attempt at a joke went unnoticed. Kitsune continued to stare at her with that unreadable expression in his dark eyes. “What’s your name?” He finally asked.
She swallowed around the sudden lump in her throat. Her stomach fluttered and did a weird lurch beneath the intensity of his gaze. She squirmed a bit, abashed and anxious. “Sh-Shizune Kato.” There was really no reason for her to feel so flustered.
“Shizune… The name suits you.” He reached for her hand and drew it to his mouth. Kitsune’s lips brushed lightly across her knuckles.
The medic-nin jumped and yanked her hand back. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Just showing appreciation to the angel that saved my life.”
Shizune pushed the medical bag back under Tsunade’s bed. “As I said, I just did what any iryo-nin would do.”
“Well, you’re one heck of a medic.” Kitsune let out a low whistle and rubbed a hand over the newly healed sword slash. He pulled a senbon from his thigh holster and bit down on it. His shoulders dropped a bit, tension Shizune hadn’t noticed before slowly easing from his muscles. He was just as nervous as her.
“So, Shizune Kato, medic-nin extraordinaire, since I’m going nowhere fast why not tell me a bit about yourself?”
Once Kitsune donned a standard-issue Konoha uniform from summoning scroll and sealed the remains of his ANBU uniform back into it, she did just that. With a steamy pot of oolong tea between them, the unlikely pair settled at the small kotatsu. “I never knew my father. My mother died on a mission when I was five. My uncle Dan raised me after that and when he died, Shishou took me as a medical apprentice. We’ve been travelling outside of Konoha since I was a genin. I got a field promotion last year.”
“An, so a chunin then.” Kitsune poured them both a cup of tea when it was done steeping. “That’s one hell of a master you’ve got.” He tipped the teacup up to take a swig-
“Tsunade-shishou is quite incredible.”
-and promptly spat it out in shock. “Tsunade-hime of the sannin is your teacher?!”
“So you’ve heard of her.” Shizune sipped her own tea daintily.
“Heard of her?!” The ANBU slammed his teacup down on the kotatsu. “She’d a fucking legend! No wonder you’re so damn incredible!”
Shizune couldn’t help but grin. “So, Kitsune-san, what about you? Can you tell me anything about yourself?” This felt like a strange grey area now that he was out of the ANBU uniform. She didn’t know exactly where they fell on the confidentiality scale.
He clicked the senbon between his teeth as he considered the question. “At this point, it’s safer for me to finish my mission as a member of the normal forces. The Magaki group are looking for an ANBU.” He propped his chin on an upturned palm, head tilting to one side in thought. “I suppose the next time we cross paths, you’ll know who I am, having seen my face and all.”
“Well then, let’s try this again.” Shizune stretched her hand across the small kotatsu towards him. “Shizune Kato, chunin medic of Konohagakure, just turned fifteen today. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Well, Happy Birthday to you, Tenshi.” He grinned, accepting her hand for a light shake. “Genma Shiranui, seventeen, tokubetsu jounin at your service.” He laced their fingers together and settled their joined hands onto the kotatsu top.
Shizune felt her cheeks heat up again but relented to the contact. It wasn’t bad. On the contrary, it felt kind of nice. She could feel the callouses along his palm from handling weapons. Medic-nin lacked such a telltale shinobi signature. “So, Genma Shiranui, I must know. What’s with the choker?”
“Oh, this old thing?” He tugged the high collared shirt down enough to reveal the black cord around his neck. “It was my big sister’s back in the day. She gave it to me for good luck when I took the chunin exams. I kept it after she died. Memento mori and all that jazz.”
“I’m sorry for your loss.”
Genma ran his fingers over the leather fondly. “Tsuru was shinobi, we all know the risks.” He shrugged a shoulder and bit down hard on his senbon. His fingers pressed over the field dressing again. “...It’s just me now.”
Shizune looked down at her teacup. She knew that kind of loneliness far too well. “No one deserves to be alone.”
“Oh, I’m not alone.” Genma poured himself some more tea. “I’ve got my best friend Raidou and our platoon mate Iwashi. He’s one of those genius kids who rise through the ranks fast, so we keep an eye on him. It’s like having an annoying kid brother around all the time. Raidou’s got a great partner too. Then, there’s Minato-sama and my ANBU partner Hound-san, though that kid’s got a stick up his ass the size of Hokage Rock.”
The medic-nin stifled a giggle in her sleeve. “So he’s either a strickler or really annoying.”
“A bit of both if I’m honest. He just needs someone to look out for him, like Iwashi does. I think that’s why Minato-sama paired me with him.” Genma held the teapot out to refill her cup.
“Thank-you.” She blew the steam away and took a sip. “Minato-sama is the new Hokage, right? You must work closely with him.”
The ANBU puffed his chest up, only to wince in pain and ease back onto the zabuton. “I’m part of the Hokage Guard Platoon with Iwashi and Raidou.”
Shizune mimicked his low whistle from earlier. “That is impressive.”
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were teasing me, Shizune.”
She smiled wide enough to show her teeth. “Of course not, ANBU-san.”
The conversation continued with the light-hearted banter. Talking to Genma felt like greeting an old friend. His easy-going nature and perchance for flirty teasing has her laughing and rolling her eyes throughout the conversation. The topics shifted from their precious people, to jokes, their favourite food and to the weapons they used.
“I’m surprised Tsunade-hime didn’t pass on that monstrous strength of hers.” Genma pulled his shirt up so Shizune could check his wounds and do a bit more healing.
The skin knit together nicely, though it was still fragile and tender to the touch. The chest tube and balloon responded well when she sent a trickle of chakra through to double-check her work. “I prefer poisons. They can cause some nasty damage when combined with fuinjutsu.”
Genma stared at her, the senbon slipping from his slacked jaw. It clattered to the floor, momentarily forgotten. “Damn, I think I’m falling in love.”
“Quit saying things like that! Love isn’t something to joke about so lightly.”
“You can’t fault a guy for being honest.” He pulled a few cobalt tinted senbon from his holster and held them out to her. “Bet you could mess stuff up pretty bad dousing these with your poisons. Cause of the four rules that govern medical-nin, you can’t fight close range. These’ll help with that restriction.”
Shizune took the senbon reluctantly and turned them over in her hand. They were slightly thicker than normal-grade. “Did you get these specially made?”
Genma shrugged and tugged his shirt back into place once she gave him the all clear. “Think of them as a birthday present.”
“Thank you, Genma, that’s really sweet.” She smiled, eyes softening as she tucked the senbon into the weapon holster beneath her skirt. A small voice reminded her that’s all she got for her birthday, but Shizune pushed it down to linger with her disappointment and pain. Just because they were currently at odds didn’t mean Tsunade stopped loving her. Shizune worried for her Shishou. Nothing she did seemed to ease the sannin’s pain.
“You know I wasn’t joking about the love thing.” Genma squeezed her hand lightly. “You’re damn amazing, Shizune. I’d love to go out with you if you’re willing to give me a shot.”
Shizune’s brain stuttered to a stop as it tried to wrap around the sudden declaration. Her stomach did a weird flip, cheeks burning with embarrassment. “...You can’t be serious.” She tried to pull her hand away, but he held firm. “W-We just met.”
"I am serious, I really like you." He shifted closer on his knees and brushed his thumb across her knuckles. "We're shinobi, we spend every damn day with death on our heels. I could walk out of here and get killed. I'm not going to waste time on regrets or what-ifs. You're smart and funny and one heck of a medic. I want you to be my girl."
Her breath caught in her throat, her stomach doing that weird flip-flopping thing again. Shizune searched his face, trying to pick up some hint of disingenuity. Those dark eyes remained fixed on as he waited for her answer. This was really happening. He was asking her for a relationship. Not just a date, but a solid commitment. "I haven't been to Konoha for six years. I don't know if I'll ever return. Shishou needs me. As long as she travels like this, I'll go with her."
Genma scowled, his head lowering for a minute. "Then I'll come to see you. We can send letters, that's what messenger hawks are for. We'll figure it out as we go."
Something bound tight inside her eased at that and seemed to lift a heavy weight from her shoulders. Genma wanted her. He genuinely cared. That nagging loneliness wasn’t quite so prominent at the moment. "Are you sure? It won't be easy…"
Genma grabbed both her hands and clasped them firmly between his own. "Shizune Kato, chunin medic of Konohagakure, will you give this relationship thing a whirl with me?"
Shizune blinked, caught off guard by the sudden declaration. A giggle bubbled up inside her, then another until she was laughing so hard tears brimmed in her eyes. "Yes." She nodded when he stared at her in stunned silence. "Yes, I'll give it a try."
"Aw yeah!" Genma let out a whoop and pulled her in for a hug.
"Careful your wounds!" Her hands went to his shoulders to keep pressure off his chest.
"My new girlfriend's so thoughtful." He teased playfully and pressed their foreheads together. Genma slipped his fingers through her short hair, letting the dark locks twist around his fingers. "I hope you don’t mind, but I'm going to kiss you now."
Without waiting for a response, he tilted his head and fit their mouths together gently. Her eyes widened, then slid shut. Shizune's hands tightened on his shoulders, her fingers digging into his biceps through the thick shinobi shirt. Her heart pounded in her ears, lips tingling from the soft pressure. Her breath hitched when he pressed quick butterfly kisses to her mouth, then both cheeks and her forehead.
"W-wow." She stammered when he finally drew back. This was her boyfriend she'd just shared her first kiss with. How surreal and terrifying and wonderfully exciting!!
Genma drew her close and tucked her head beneath his chin. "Happy Birthday, Shizune. Here’s to celebrating many more together."