That Look: Retribution Of Heirs

Ch 12 Tha-thump

Kakashi flipped a page in his book, eying the perverse storyline with rapt interest...

...well, trying to if it wasn't for a certain someone pacing angrily back and forth in front of him.

Pacing was putting it delicately, she was stomping more than padding.

"I should be in there," Anko growled under breath, glaring at the door into the office Naruto and Hinata disappeared into along with all the Clan Heads and their prisoner Sabaku No Temari.

"I'm curious as to why you're not," Kakashi peeked over the top of his book at her, "You were the one who she surrendered to after being escorted out of Suna."

"They said something needed to be announced and cleared before I was allowed to come in. Something about Clan business."

"Oh, those," Kakashi dismissed with a blink of his eye. "It'll be over soon. Unless they let Hiashi talk, then you may want to just get something to eat, drink, take a nap, go scout for pick pockets, restock the fridge..."

"I got it, I got it," Anko grouched, "it could be a while."

A shadowy figure approached them with his broad shouldered trench coat flowing low on the floor.

"Anko. Kakashi," Morino Ibiki greeted with his deep baritone.

"You're going to have to wait, secret squirrel stuff," Anko grumbled, eying the door as if it had personally insulted her.

"Actually, I've been requested inside," He walked past the two of them, gripping the door knob to open it.

"Oh, sure, bring in the Interrogation and Torture Specialist, but leave me out it," Anko huffed, grumbling. "I'm sure I could get a few details out if I was asked."

"I was asked to bring you along, Anko," Ibiki called, opening the door for her. "We need you to verify a few things."

Anko gave a momentary start but followed through with an easy stretch of her arms, "Oh, good, about time they realized they needed the pros to go in there and square things away. No offense, Ibiki."

"None taken," He replied smoothly, not showing any more than a crack of a smile at her humor. "However, we won't be going in alone."

"Huh?" She paused at his side, studying his growing smirk.

"Thank you for holding the door for a lady," Kurenai's voice chimed silkily next to Anko, surprising her into looking over her shoulder at two crimson red eyes.

"What are you doing here?" Anko's lips curled in distaste.

"It's as you said, Anko-san," Kurenai nodded, breaching the doorway, "They need a pro to go in and square things away."

Anko didn't like Kurenai's tone. Her and the Genjutsu specialist always saw things at extreme ends in a lot of things, but they both held a deep respect for the other's field of experience.

"Then what am I going in for again?"

"Sometimes the method to retrieve information requires a crude and inelegant method, thus your experience should make you a prime subject matter expert," Kurenai's remark made Anko's hackles rise. "Another repugnant method would be for you to engaged in another one of your sexual exploits. Torture and pain is one of the preferred methods of extracting information from an enemy."

"Then there is boring them to death, lecturing over them and primly demeaning every aspect of their life in a pious overtone that leaves them annoyed enough to just want to kill themselves," Anko chewed off, grinning, "Sort of like your sex life, I'm sure. By the way, still hiding that hunk of a Saratobi in your closet? A real man needs to get out and enjoy himself. I know a dozen kunoichi who would put a smile on his lips if you're not careful."

Kurenai's small smile was utterly triumphant. "It's funny to hear you talk about love and lust so quaintly when you have no idea what you're saying. It's kind of like a Genin telling the Hokage how to use a ninjutsu. Just because you know something about sex, don't make you an expert on love or one other important thing that keeps a man with a woman."

"Oh yeah, what's that?" Anko snapped, cracking her knuckles hopefully.

"Being a lady," Kurenai flipped her hair at Anko, turning to thank Ibiki, she sashayed inside with her prim head held high.

Anko watched Hinata's sensei glide inside the room with a heated annoyance that made her want to scream.

"Court will be started as soon as you enter, Anko," Ibiki reminded her, still waiting patiently by the door.

"Alright, keep your panties on," She huffed, striding forward to the door as if she owned the court chambers and to find a spot as far away from Kurenai as possible. Turning to Kakashi, she called out, "Later, you one eye'd pervert!"

Kakashi waved his fingers without looking up from his beloved book. He flipped through a few more pages before saying to himself, "I would love to be a fly on the wall when they start talking again."

xxx

As she entered, she gave Naruto a wink. Observing the atmosphere to decided a playful attitude may not be the best way to approach this scene. Every face was stoic or disturbed, angry or seething. Only Naruto's new fangirl showed any kind of remorse for Temari's inevitable predicament.

Kurenai stood off to the side, waiting to be called upon for whatever reason they needed her. Ibiki made his way forward, waiting for instructions from the Hokage now that he and Kurenai were present.

Anko was far from unfamiliar with torture sessions or interrogation techniques that veered from the civilized to the straight out gruesome, but what was about to be played out had got to be something she knew was never going to forget.

Temari was strapped to a chair by her hands, elbows, knees and feet. Wearing only her open robe tied at her hip, she stared straight ahead with her teal eyes burning into the blue, blue eyes of the man about to dive into her mind and seek out whatever information he could to confirm or deny her claim that she worked solely to assassinate his little girl and Nara Shikamaru...

Inoichi pulled off his gloves, cracked his knuckles, and began to breathe deeply, almost panting, as he licked his lips and nearly salivated ravenously as he took in his prey.

...as painfully as he could.

"There is one protocol we must adhere to with an event of this nature, Sabaku-san. We have to ensure, at anytime of your trip over here, that you or the information you have inside you was not compromised." Tsunade called out, gesturing towards Ibiki and Anko. "Ibiki has been the ear to the Third Hokage during any validation from prisoner's of war and Anko was the capturing Jounin who you surrendered to. Do you agree, Hiruzen-sensei?"

The grizzled Third Hokage simply answered, "Hai."

"Now," Drawing the attention back to Temari and Inoichi, "before we begin, ask your captor what you asked us so we can continue."

Steering her gaze away from Inoichi, Temari turned to Anko, "Did you take any information from through any jutsu before I was awake?"

Inoichi, blue eyes still locked onto Temari, reached out so that Anko could place her own head against palm. Begrudgingly, she shuffled forward to do so. Glancing at Inoichi, her prisoner of just a few hours ago, she grinned cheekily, "You're not still upset about me roughing you up a bit before-hck!"

Anko's face locked up as if she'd just been jolted by a strong electrical jutsu.

Inside her head, she felt the presence of another mind, another soul seeping into the most insecure recesses till he found what he sought out. The image played out before him, simply displaying how Anko snuck up upon Temari, their little chat, and then Temari surrendering, being sealed in a scroll, and rushed back without a break into the Hokage's office.

"On my honor, Mitarashi Anko has not attempted any kind of information seeking jutsu or any other jutsu on Temari from the time she was sealed till the time she was released into the Hokage's custody." Inoichi called out confidently, releasing Anko.

The specialty Jounin fell to the floor, one leg twitching.

Her eye, though, were promising of a not so distant retribution.

Inoichi, however, was not deterred by her ocular threat. Right now, he turned his countenance to Ibiki, who studied Inoichi's profile. After a few tense heart beats worth of time, he turned to Tsunade and nodded, "I concur with Inoichi. Anko did not try to seek out any information from Sabaku no Temari during her trip over to Konoha."

"How do I know this isn't some kind of act?" Temari asked adamant to see that her secrets were still her secrets.

Ibiki was the one to answer, "Deception is an easy thing for a shinobi to tell an enemy, Temari of Suna, but honesty from subordinate to leader is quite another thing. Before you sits the whole of Konoha. They all want war and I am the one that will steer it one way or another. We are here to accommodate you for one purpose and one purpose only: Finding out the truth. Your rights have been executed, so now it is our right to do as expected of us."

Ibiki stood before her, hands clasped behind his back, leaning down to stare at the late teen with his weathered scars taking up her entire sight. "We are going to find out whether you acted solely out of revenge for your brother, as you claim, or if you were ordered by your father, the Kazekage, and attempted to kill our two Clan heirs. Right now, that is our goal."

Temari tried to calm her breathing, but a single line of sweat fell from the side of her brow.

"What do you mean by right now?"

Ibiki straightened himself, looking down at her with a thin smile. "You are our prisoner with invaluable information concerning many of the inner workings of Suna and its securities, policies, missions, and jutsu that could assist us should we ever decide to infiltrate and invade. Whatever information we can use to destroy your village, we will take advantage of for later use."

"No!" She shrieked, throwing herself against her restraints so hard that the leather holding her down stretched noisily, "I am to blame and acted with my brother, Sabaku no Kankarou, to avenge my brother Gaara! Leave my people..."

The tall, blond haired Jounin approached her menacingly, confronting her with his presence.

"You know who I am and what I'm going to do now, don't you?" Inoichi's voice was an undeniable calm.

Temari trembled, bracing herself for what was about to happen.

"However, just as your defense has made a request, I have made two for myself," with his free hand, he touched her smooth chin so that he could feel the skin of the pretty girl who partook of his precious little girl's death. "One, is that I want you to try and fight me with all you have. Resist me, try and defend yourself against me if you want. Hide anything and everything so that when I sort through all of what is your life, you make it worth the past week of suffering I have endured knowing I will no longer be able to enjoy holding my daughter again, see her live to become a woman who loved life and family, made friends easily and would have eventually been a wife to my friend's son, Nara Shikamaru, and joined our clans in a union that would have blessed both our houses. So, Sabaku No Temari, pleaseā€¦hold back, stop me, take any and every effort to prevent me from succeeding. If you can beat me, then I will forfeit my profession and retire. I will give you that much of a promise, not that you are deserving of it."

If Temari had believed she could defend herself against Inoichi's capabilities as a mind reader, she had only to look at Anko, who was still trying to get her legs under her.

She had a better chance trying to revive Gaara.

"And the second request?" She asked quietly, afraid of what could be worse than what he had planned for her.

Inoichi turned to the guard at the door, nodding.

Opening it, a woman with Ino's trademark long blonde pony tail, a long sweeping bang over one eye, with a bust almost as large as Tsunade's being held in place by her chuunin vest, marched straight right next to Inoichi to glare murderously at Temari.

Yamanaka Dita had come to personally witness her husband dig into the mind of the one who was responsible for her baby's death.

"I want my wife, Ino's mother, to watch."

Temari reminded herself that she needed to do this for her people and her village. Looking into the pupil less blue, blue eyes of Ino's parents, she was positive that she would have rather had a kunai in her own hands to kill herself with. Without a doubt, she knew that Dita and Inoichi were not going to give her the luxury of letting her die quietly.

She braced herself, trying to think of as many mental protective blocks as she could. Eye's pinched, she could already tell she wasn't as ready as her false bravado made her claim to be.

No one breathed when Inoichi, who was impatiently waiting with baited anticipation, heard the Hokage call out dutifully, "Before you begin, Yamanaka Inoichi, there is something I have to ask."

"Yes, Hokage-sama?"

"Just before this interrogation, you decided to break decorum in my office and disobeyed a direct order to not harm Temari. Am I correct?"

The reality struck Temari's core, shifting her gaze from one person to another.

Who saved me?

Inoichi flinched, taking on the full supportive gaze of his wife. Her reaching hand entwined with his sympathetically. "Yes, I did."

"Did you stop on your own accord or did you have to be restrained?"

Shikamaru and Inoichi shared a brief glance. Ino's father still felt a lingering betrayal, or so his eyes expressed through their narrowed glare. "I was restrained, Hokage-sama.

"As a veteran and one of Konoha's top Jounin, you know as well as I do how important Temari's knowledge of Suna and of the validity of her claim to not be ordered by the Kazekage to assassinate Shikamaru and Ino. If we were to trust you and allow you to proceed, what is to stop you from doing so much damage that you very well could compromise the integrity of the information?"

Exhaling a controlled breath, Inoichi forced himself to become centered, answering his Kage with, "I give you my word I will do as instructed, Hokage-sama."

Tsunade's soft brown eyes shifted to Ibiki, who had been keenly watching Inoichi. Speaking with a sharp authority, she asked, "Do you believe him, Ibiki?"

Inoichi met the Interrogation and Torture specialist's unblinking eyes. The two had worked together for years, each one giving the other pertinent information that would turn the tides of war in favor or to the detriment of the Hidden Leaf village. Sadly, they were now on opposite ends of the court room, one trying to gauge the other's fidelity.

"I believe the probability of him taking matters into his own hands at about thirty five percent, Hokage-sama."

Tsunade accepted her Interrogator's answer, repeating the probability, "Thirty-five percent. Is that all?"

Temari shied further into her chair from Ino's father, trying to make herself as small as possible. Yes, she was ready to die, but she had expected something clean, a swift kunai to the heart or across the throat. Not get into an extended torture session with a man who could delve into the deepest part of one's psyche and do untold damage from the inside of her most private thoughts.

That solid core of her spirit broke a little, hoping silently that this would end sooner than later.

In front of her, Ibiki was facing a shocked fellow Jounin. Had Ibiki called Inoichi a name, he would have been about as equally surprised.

"But...I will do my duty! Hokage-sama, please, believe me. I made a mistake, but I will prove to you I am worthy of doing this-"

"Fifty five percent, Hokage-sama."

"Damn you, Ibiki!" Inoichi grabbed the man by his trench coat lapels, bringing him eye to eye. "She was my daughter! My little girl! Don't you dare take this from me! She needs to pay! She needs...she needs..."

The soft sobs of his wife, Yamanaka Dita, were muffled at his shoulder, looking out at Ibiki pleadingly.

The Torture specialists didn't move, simply let Inoichi realize the folly of his admission. Placing his gloved hand on the blond Jounin's shoulder, he said, "My friend, I have no doubt that you are hurting. With all my heart, as your friend, and your peer, I will give you first rights to whatever pain that is coming to her, however, I can not trust you to do this job without jeopardizing the precious information we need. Do you understand?"

Exhaling a painful sigh, he croaked out, "Yes."

"I can do it." Dita offered, raising her hand to volunteer. "Please, allow me."

"No," Ibiki called out, denying her outright.

Dita wanted to object, but it went without saying that she would be just as eager to put Temari's pain a priority than to expel the information needed.

Tsunade wiped at her face in frustration. "I'm going to ask you this to simply get this out of the way, so we can proceed. Ibiki, you know as well as I do we have several Yamanaka's in our ranks that can read minds. Is there anyone that you would suggest that we can use to help retrieve the intel without prejudice?"

Ibiki considered it for a moment, then, shaking his head, he answered, "No, Hokage-sama. Most of the ANBU Yamanaka's are out at the front lines assisting with the Suna/Konoha border guards. The only one's we have locally are just Chuunin's without the necessary skill to do this delicately or with a level of precision for me to agree to their authenticity. Locally, we only have Yamanaka Dita and Inoichi, however I think allowing them to reach into Sabaku No Temari's mind would be disastrous. I honestly believe they'll enact their revenge if they were allowed to get a second into her mind."

Sighing, Tsunade glanced to both of Ino's parents apologetically, "It is by my order, that you two will be allowed to stay in this conference but are not allowed anywhere near the defendant. Any attempts on her life will place you both in jail for not only disobeying me but treason as well."

"Treason?" Inoichi murmured.

"Yes," Tsunade narrowed her eyes hard at him, "This girl has the information we need to either go to war, potentially costing us the lives of hundreds of our fellow shinobi, thus weakening our position for another attack from who knows where, and costing us whatever ties we have with other countries."

Inoichi didn't need her to go into anymore detail. "Hai, Hokage-sama."

Taking his wife's hand into his own, he bowed low to Tsuande, "I beg your forgiveness, Hokage-sama. I can only hope you will come to trust my wife and I again."

Feeling as if some ground had been recovered through one of Konoha's prestigious Jounin, Inoichi sat heavily in his chair, surrounded by all the other Clan Heads that were family to him, Shikaku and Chouza. Both men patting his back, murmuring words of encouragement and heartfelt condolences. Dita sat away from him, looking older than her forty plus years, trying her best to still be a professional in spite of the maelstrom of emotions stirring inside of her.

Shikamaru seethed at Temari's side, his hands clenching at his beloved's father being denied what he had hoped would be a sliver of righteous retribution, however, just taking a look at how Ino's mother grief stricken face and Inoichi's broken posture, he knew he had failed them.

He should have known better. Why didn't he see this eventually before hand? It was clumsy for him to not expect the Hokage to suggest alternative ways of seeking out the truth without a Yamanaka. Ino's father had proven himself unable to stay focused in the office, why would he be expected to do so now?

"Who was it that saved me?"

Shikamaru remembered that she was right there, next to him, that woman who had helped rid the world of everything he loved about the Ino that brought as much headache as she did tenderness to him. Now, here was Temari, saved again by the politics and procedure of Konoha.

He needed his revenge.

"I did." Shikamaru answered quietly, regretting his words as soon as they were spoken.

Temari's teal eyes focused on him, studying how his rage was all too apparent in his simmering brown eyes. "Why?"

His smoldering glare made her shift uncomfortably in her chair.

"Because you have to live. Our revenge won't be complete unless you live a very long life."

Temari decided she needed to be more wary of him than she had originally given him credit for. Most enemies would want a swift yet painful death for their enemies. It worried her that he wanted her to live.

But why?

"Hokage-sama," Shikamaru called out, "if we're not going to use a Yamanaka to procure the information we need to see if Temari is telling the truth or lying, how do you plan on getting the information?"

"Ibiki will continue in his stead." She gestured accordingly. "Please, proceed."

"Hai," Ibiki beckoned to the other side of the Courtroom where Kurenai sat. The Genjutsu mistress stood gracefully, moving silently around the chairs towards their prisoner.

Unrolling a scroll on a table, an assortment of syringes, tags, and glass flasks were displayed before her. A stand was brought out with a few hooks holding an assortment of fluid filled IV bags of different colors.

Temari tried to focus forward, ignoring what was happening around her.

The medicinal smell of antiseptic was strong, making Temari swallow hard. Two crimson eyes leveled before her, promising a smooth domination in a skill she excelled at.

"Shizune, will your assistance will be needed as well." Ibiki called out, piercing a rubber topped flask and filling it with a creamy liquid. Putting the cap on it, he placed it aside and started to fill another one, this time with an amber liquid.

The Hokage's aide waited for further instruction, which was given as soon as she appeared ready.

"You're going to monitor her vitals. Ensure that her heart and other organs function normally or within acceptable parameters. There should be no need for your interference, but I don't want to spare no expense should the need arise."

"Hai, Ibiki-san."

Shizune did an inspective scan over Temari with her hand glowing green with chakra. Everyone waited quietly, allowing the scan to complete. Temari kept herself stone faced as the reflective light crossed her skin.

Shikamaru watched her, praying that he wouldn't be denied what was so rightfully his and Ino's family's: Temari's punishment.

Shizune stepped away, making her hand dispel its glow.

"Her vitals are strong, but her heart rate is slightly elevated. She is still within parameters to begin interrogating."

Tsunade accepted her aid's word. "When you are ready, Ibiki."

"Hai, Hokage-sama," He turned his bandana clad head towards Kurenai, gesturing for her to start.

"Sabaku No Temari," Kurenai's deep, smokey words penetrates the Suna nin's concentration. "I am Yuhi Kurenai and you will give me what I seek."

Shaking her blonde hair, Temari didn't even notice Ibiki insert the first needle...then the second.

With only a few moment's glance, Temari was under the genjutsu mistress's spell.

A glowing ember of purple fire flickered between the two women, drawing her captive into her soothing words. Without pause, it began to strum with a thump, thump...thump, thump...thump, thump...

"Can you feel that, Temari?"

...tha-thump...tha-thump...

"Yes."

...tha-thump...tha-thump...

"I am going to ask you a few questions and you are going to answer me. Do you understand?"

...tha-thump...tha-thump...

"Yes."

...tha-thump...tha-thump...

"Tell me, Sabaku No Temari," Kurenai cooed seductively, entrancing Temari with her comfortable voice, "Why did you seek out Shikamaru and Ino?"

...tha-thump...tha-thump...

"Revenge...we...wanted...needed...revenge..."

"We? Who else wanted revenge, Temari?"

Temari's eyes glazed over, her pupils dilating wide. Her skin flushed pale and her breathing began to quicken. Temari shook her head, trying to fight Kurenai's questions.

"Answer the quest-"

"My...father...is angry...he...is dis...appointed...in me...in us...He...tells me to go...there...my...it...hurts..."

...tha-thump, tha-thump...tha-thump, tha-thump...

One of Temari's teal eye flutters, making that side of her face wince as if exposed to a glaring light. The other bisected symmetry is untouched.

"What hurts, Temari? Tell me."

...tha-thump, tha-thump...tha-thump, tha-thump...

Temari whines, but she could only stare ahead, hypnotized by Kurenai's melodic voice. Shizune reaches her hand over Temari's neck, feeling her pulse.

...tha-thump, tha-thump...tha-thump, tha-thump...

"She's in prehypertension, Hokage-sama."

Tsunade nodded, accepting the appraisal, but gestures for them to continue.

"Gaara...he doesn't...sleep...he hates...everyone...everything...he...hurts others...except us...he doesn't...love us...it...hurts..."

Kurenai stole a glance to Ibiki. Things weren't going right. Temari, despite the grounds they were making into pulling her into their genjutsu, she wasn't really answering what needed to be said.

...tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump...tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump...

They needed to get to the simple facts to move the decision of war one way or another.

"Temari, can you hear me?"

One of Temari's legs began to twitch, rocking back and forth. Whatever drugs Ibiki had injected into her system were causing side effects they were all too aware of.

Shizune did another diagnosis, turning to the Hokage, "She's in hypertension."

Tsunade considered it, but nodded. "Keep going."

...tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump...tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump...

"Y-yes...hear...you..." A small sliver of drool fell out of her lips and over her chin. "Hear...you...g-good..."

"Did your father, the Kazekage, send you to assassinate Nara Shikamaru and Yamanaka Ino?"

...tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump...tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump...

Temari's gaze found a fascinating spot on the ceiling, making her giggle. "He's...not...my father...he's...not...my father...I...take my fan...and...whoosh...there goes Shikamaru...whoosh...there g-goes Ino...all gone...all...gone...for Gaara...poor G-gaara..."

This wasn't going well. They were not getting any answers and everything was leaning towards Temari acting alone.

"N-no one...understood...him...he...didn't...want...the voice...the...st-stares...the...hate..."

"Temari, can you hear me?" Kurenai called out again, touching the girl's cheek to pull her back into her hypnotic focus. "Answer me."

Temari's eyes rolled, their teal irises dull and unfocused. "He...hates...you...all...My...father...wants...Konoha...gone...like...G-gaara...poor, poor...Gaara..."

This is what they were waiting for, hoping for.

...tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump...tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump...

"Did he send you to kill Ino and Shikamaru."

...tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump...tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump...

"...hate...him...he...hurt him...doesn't...u-understand...him...Lazy...murdering...evil...Shikamaru!"

Shikamaru angled himself so he could see Temari's profile. He wanted to hear her say it, to hear her announce that she hated him so he could hate her that much more in return.

"And Ino, did he send you to kill Ino, too?"

...thump, thump...thump, thump...

Shizune frowned, placing her hand over Temari's heart. The rythym was very...off and unnatural.

"Ino...is...weak...Ino...is...fake...she...is just...in...the way...Go away, little girl...go away...whoosh..."

Dita's muffled her cry into her hands.

"Temari, you need to answer me. Did your father order Ino's and Shikamaru's death?"

...thump, thump...thump, thump...

"N-no...not m-my father...Kaze...kage...hates...destroy...Kon-no...noha...must...be b-better...stronger...stop...hurting...him..."

"Temari, you are upsetting me," Kurenai's scolding tone was smothering. "You need to answer me or I will-"

"LEAVE HIM ALONE!" Temari's screech echoed off the walls, her body tensed so strongly it broke one of the arms. "LEAVE MY BROTHER ALONE! NO ONE LOVED HIM, EXCEPT MOTHER AND I! WE KILLED HIM! WE...kill...you...must...kill..." Temari's head lolled to it's side, staring lazily at Shikamaru. "we...must...kill...you..."

...thump...thump...thump...

...thump...

...

"Shikamaru...must...kill...you..."

Silence.

Shizune put a finger to Temari's neck, then another over her heart. "She's in arrest!"

Temari fixated her last glare at the Nara heir, giving him whatever murderous glower she could while drug induced and hypnotized. In return, he wanted to scream for her to wake up. It wasn't fair that she died without his revenge, without any real confirmation...and, as much as he hated to admit it himself...

...he actually respected her sense of loyalty to Gaara.

He believed her.