This is my first story with a beta, Knight-Bishop, and the creator of the idea for the story. Hope you all enjoy. If you do, check out his profile too for another fic we're working on together called "The Broken Mirror".
"No trouble so far?" A man wearing the hitai-ate of Kiri asked an elderly but able-bodied fisherman.
"No sir." The fisherman answered as he tried tying his boat to the dock. But he kept having trouble, it was as if his fingers weren't willing to fully cooperate with him. He knew he was getting old, but he loved his livelihood and didn't see any reason why he should stop just yet. "Nothing dangerous I've seen in these seas lately."
"See anything on the shore that appeared out of place?" A Kiri kunoichi asked too.
"Didn't look. When I'm out in my boat, all I notice is the water around me. Got no time to be paying attention to what's going on on land."
"Thank you. Let's hope things stay this calm."
The fisherman lightly laughed. "Nothing stays calm in the sea for long. It's always full of surprises even you ninja can never see coming."
The two shinobi thanked him for his time again, waved, and walked off to ask another if there were any disturbances. This was a routine requirement for the Land of Water; ninja needed to check out the well-being and potential danger of the docks. Sure, most people who worked there knew what to handle, but that was when some animal or the sea itself was the problem. The shinobi had to ensure no rogue bandits or foreign enemies were trying to damage the only way to connect Land of Water had to the mainland. And today looked like an uneventful day, which was both a good thing and a bad thing to a shinobi.
The two currently on the job was a man named Janzou Jounochi and a woman named Midorigami Kasumi. Jounochi had short black hair, brown eyes, a scar by his left ear from a past fight against a Kusa nin, and dressed a lot like Momochi Zabuza did, but wore just beige and olive colors. On his back he wore a dark red backpack along with a battle axe on top for easy reach, not the best ninja weapon but one few had experience countering. Kasumi had long brown hair with a white streak starting behind each ear reaching the end, hazel eyes, a dark blue battle kimono with a green leaf pattern scattered over it, and a regular ninja-to at her hip.
"I'm sure looking forward to going home." Jounochi stated just to get conversation started.
Kasumi nodded. "Me too; cause then we can try out chapter 24 of Icha Icha Tactics, right Jou-chan?"
"I thought we were saving that for our honeymoon koiishi."
"What if I don't wanna wait?" Kasumi added lecherously just to toy with him.
"You can't wait six weeks?" Jounochi asked rhetorically. He had mixed feelings about his fiancées new erotic behavior, which all started when she gave in to her friend's pestering and actually read one of the famous dirty books. Since then it was like her hormones were unleashed and rapid, but her morals were strong enough to prevent her from giving in. But boy did she like to tease now, which meant their honeymoon was definitely going to be fun, but the wait was killer for both.
"I can if you're up for some heavy petting at least." Kasumi answered as she looped an arm around his own. The two stopped to look into each other's eyes for a while and then kissed in a way only loved ones can appreciate. After they stopped, they went back to walking down the beach to the next pier; until something on the shore caught their eye.
"Is that what I think it is?" Jounochi asked as they both croutched down to examine it.
Kasumi touched it on a sensitive area. "Yes and no. Yes it is a body, and no it's not dead."
"This guy's still alive?"
"Barely; there's hardly any pulse or body heat. It's like he's unconscious with hypothermia or something. He needs medical attention now."
Jounochi nodded. "Then we'll have to bring him to Kiri right away. There's only a clinic nearby and they're only qualified for basic injuries and colds." Kasumi nodded, and Jounochi picked up the strange person who washed up on shore. "Hey, he's just a kid."
"Then we better hurry." Kasumi told him, her mind solely on the job now like the professional she was.
Without further commetning, the two Kiri jounin hurried back to their hidden village, wondering what this situation meant.
Terumi Mei, the newly appointed Godaime Mizukage of Kirigakure, and one of the few people with a kekkei genkai remaining within the village, was taking her break when a pair of shinobi came into her office unexpectedly. She internally sighed and carefully placed her unopened orange novel back in one of the desk drawers. Not that she was afraid or embarrassed they'd see it. "Yes?"
"Mizukage-sama, we found something you may want to see." Jounochi claimed.
Mei's cheerful expression and relaxed position didn't change. "Do tell."
"Ao-san can do that better. He's down in Holding Cell E with the... subject of interest." Kasumi told her.
Mei debated with herself about the significance of this situation for a moment. Part of her was curious and felt this was potentially a big deal, and part of her wanted to go back to her break and forget about business for a few minutes more. In the end she figured she might as well go down there and got out of her chair. "Fine, I'll be down shortly."
Down in a room labeled Holding Cell E, one of several used to contain Kiri's captive's, Mei met up one of her best guards, who also happened to be the one that bothered her the most, albeit unwillingly and unknowingly. "So tell me Ao, what is so damn interesting here?" All she saw was a man with an eye patch standing next to an examination table with a shroud over it. It was easy to see there was a person underneath it, but that didn't peak Mei's interest as much as she thought this might.
"This!" The cycloptic mist nin said before he pulled the shroud off the table.
Mei took a short look at the body and still wasn't impressed. "So?"
The body turned out to be that of a young boy close to thirteen years old at the oldest. He had blonde hair, marks on his face that looked an awful lot like whiskers, and an orange jumpsuit that looked cut up and faded in color now. He was unconscious, overall dry but still damp in some spots.
"So?" Ao asked in surprise. "On one of our patrols to check out our countries ports Janzou-san and Midorigami-san saw this young man washed up on shore looking like he'd been through a stampede or something. I'm amazed this kid was even still alive since he looks like he'd been floating out at sea for several days at least."
The mizukage's expression still didn't change. "I'm not interested in how he was found. What I want to know is why all of you deemed some small fry intriguing enough to bring me directly here."
"That's because of what I saw with this." Ao told her as he carefully touched his covered right eye, which happened to be a transplanted byakugan eye. Mei's head tilted slightly, telling him subtly she wanted to hear more. "My byakugan saw no wounds, although there were signs of healing. But the real interesting thing here is that I saw two different types of chakra in his network. One blue, and one red."
Mei gave the unconscious boy another look over, this time not smiling, before returning her attention to her guard. "Are you saying what I think you're saying?" She asked with slight fear and interest.
Ao nodded before giving the boy his own look over. "Yeah. I have a feeling this boy may be a jinchuuriki. Although I'm not sure which one. So what should we do with him?"
"We'll keep him held here for now and wait to see if he regains consciousness anytime soon. Then we'll figure it out." Mei answered and grinned yet again. "To be honest, I'm kind of curious about how someone like that would have ended up here."
"Yeah. We're a long way from the mainland. Makes me wonder what sort of horrible thing could make anyone get washed up like that." Ao commented, not noticing as usual Mei's expression darkening.
'...Whorey? ...With anyone? ...And washed up?'
"If I had to guess, he fell into the ocean and then currents that loop around the sea between us and the mainland carried him..." Ao started to think aloud.
"Shut up or I'll kill you." Mei told him in a dangerous way with an eerily friendly face.
'What did I do?' Ao thought as he tried to back away from the crazed woman, scared witless. She may look gentler than the previous mizukage's but she was no less intimidating. Not by a long shot.
Mei went back to work and heard nothing more regarding the 'guest' from parts unknown until the end of the day. At that time one of the Kiri Anbu told her that he was showing signs of waking up, so she headed back down but in no hurry. When she got there she saw he was already awake and had been transferred to an interrogation room with a window for her to look in through. Of course it was a mirror on the other side.
The washed up boy was sitting on a chair, not tied up but he had been disarmed and his hands were tied behind him. Ao stood in front of him but didn't obstruct Mei's view of the captive. Once his byakugan told him she was present, he got ready to begin. "So tell me boy, who are you and what are you doing here?" Right now he was trying the 'good cop' approach, even though he wasn't a professional interrogator.
The boy slowly raised his head and blinked several times, conscious but not fully aware of the situation yet. "Where am I?"
"I'm the one asking the questions here bub. So tell me your business here."
"What business? What is this place?"
"Again boy, I'm the one who'll ask the questions. But for the record, you're being held in Kiri."
"Ki... ri?" The boy repeated like he had never heard of such a place. "How did I get here?"
"Tell me your name." Ao demanded, wondering how long this was gonna take.
The boy looked like he was actually thinking it over. "Umm... I... I don't remember." He then gave Ao a frightened look. "Have I done something wrong?"
Ao looked curious. "What's the last thing you remember?"
The boy closed his eyes and looked either panicked or like he was trying to recall something but was having a hard time doing so. Maybe it was both. "Nothing." He finally said after a few moments. "I don't remember anything before just now."
Ao's byakugan checked the boy's pulse and saw it was normal. 'Either he's being honest or he's a damn good actor.' "Tell me son, do the names Konoha, Iwa, Kumo, or Suna ring a bell?"
"Umm...no, nothing in particular. Why; what are they?"
"Oh nothing. Do you have any idea why you were out at sea earlier?"
"I was at the sea? What was I doing?"
Ao kept his eye on the boy's pulse and still saw no change. "Excuse me for a minute young man." He then left the room and deactivated his acquired eye. "Mizukage-sama, I suspect this boy has total amnesia."
Mei nodded. "As do I. But let's keep him here until we have a chance to confirm this or his identity. I'll go over the records of known nin and see if anything matches up with him. But that may take a while. See to it he at least has something to eat and maybe something comfortable to sleep on in the meantime. No reason to be barbaric to our guest."
She walked away then and everyone remaining went back to work, wondering what to do with their new captive.