'A Warring Conscience'

Tatewake sat in the chair of his hospital room, having managed to make it from the bed and into it on his own. Even if the doctors thought it was quite an accomplishment this early, he scoffed at his weakness. No, it wasn't the frailty his current physicality, but his weakness of need.

He admitted to himself, his progress wasn't so much for his own benefit, but because his 'angel' had faith in him; the blessed creature that believed in him, and that he would overcome his handicap...

The only reason he realized he did it was for her.

Whatever happened to the proud, unconquerable scion of the Kunos he once was? Whatever concoctions his ill-minded sister plagued him with weren't responsible for that, only the delusions surrounding them. With a smirk, he remembered a time when he even had Nabiki's respect, even if back in a time when she did give it a bit more freely. He wasn't deluded on his prowess in kendo, having even been headhunted during his sophomore year by many schools of higher learning eager to make use of his ability. That was before, he realized, the haze that was ever present in his mind began to thicken. Come to think of it, that began shortly after that fateful spat with his sister, and his father's depart...

Without turning around, the young Kuno acknowledged his visitor; their, most likely 'her', entrance announced by the sound of tall heels on linoleum. With a smile, he greeted the nurse he knew to have arrived, "It looks to be a lovely day today, would you not agree?"

"Why yes, brother-dear, it is to be a splendiferous day indeed, assuming I have your cooperation."

Tatewake's head snapped to the door, his eyes wide with shock, flash of anger, and barely disguised fear. "S-sister, I had not expected your presence."

With a grin of false cheer, the youngest Kuno strode into the room, her black rose kimono barely above touching the ground as she seemed to glide, "Yes, my visit has been... overdue, now has it?"

Tatewake frowned, "You needn't trouble yourself with your brother's welfare, I'm sure you have other matters to attend to."

"Oh, quite I do!" Kodachi's eyes lit up, as the conversation arrived at exactly the point she wanted it to head, "But I am at a loss, for you see, it has to do with a mutual acquaintance of ours."

The other Kuno's expression became guarded, "Indeed, and what assistance would I, or perhaps more appropriately 'should I' provide you?"

Like a shark tasting a mote of blood in crystal water, Kodachi searched out her prey, "I'm sure you understand I'm referring to that charming creature that is responsible for your present living arrangements."

Tatewake's expression grew grim, "I warn you sister, if any harm is to befall her..."

"Her'?" Kodachi laughed, "You are confused, brother-dear, for the dashing beast I refer to was quite masculine."

The fear that Kuno had been barely fending off renewed is hold over him. His suddenly parched lips opened slightly; nowhere near the diameter each of his eyes reached, and it was several moments before he could find his voice, "Kodachi... don't-"

The younger Kuno rolled her eyes, before standing up. With a dramatic sigh, she interrupted her brother, "Tate, must you forever be so difficult?" She patted down her ponytail, before continuing, "My dear paramour had paid me a visit the eve before. It seems that I may have... well, let us to say that first appearances were hardly reflective on my behalf. And since, I have not to have located him."

With a glint in her eye that promised mayhem, Kodachi braced her hands upon the arm rests of the seat her brother rested in, and leaned closer, "But, I presume that this... 'dear angel' that you have been ranting about, my intuition tells me that she may know his whereabouts."

Kodachi pursed her lips at the glare her brother attempted to pierce her with, before leaning away, and pretending to take on the drab, white decor of the room. "However, I also have this quaint little notion that she may become a tad... stubborn with her assistance."

Tatewake wished he could stand to tower menacingly over his sister so that his decree would have greater force, "Sister, if you do so harm a single pristine feather on her person, we will be kin no more, and only the gods could have less mercy than I will."

The younger sibling tilted her head, before bringing her left wrist up to hide her dainty mouth as she chuckled in mirth. She was quite sure that the drugs she had been administering to her brother had been mostly flushed out of his system, but she entertained the idea that his bravado was a product of them.

"Brother-dear, please do so refrain from making boasts that are not of your office. The one person capable of that is indisposed of in those infernal American Pacific islands. But need not fear, as I could never even harm a..." Kodachi smirked, "...feather... on such a magnificent creature's head."

With only a minute effort towards feminine grace, she plopped herself onto her brother's temporary bed, and crossed her legs to make herself comfortable, "No, I couldn't possibly want to hurt her. As my pet, she would be well cared for as only we Kunos are capable." Kodachi dallied her head from side to side, as she rolled her eyes to the ceiling, "I am in need of a new pet, after all..."

"WHAT?" the elder Kuno sibling demanding, as he erupted out of his chair, only to collapse forward. His sister only stared down her nose at him, embarrassed that the bumbling fool before her shared her privileged family name.

Tatewake pulled himself back up, bracing himself on the arm rest of his chair, "You would move to enslave a divine being simply for your amusement?"

"Even if divine, she still proves inferior to the Kuno bloodline," Kodachi responded, haughtily, "Her unabashed kowtowing about the home of that commoner riff-raff you spent such effort in wooing only sets to prove her station. A servant... of mine, and my lord's."

The elder Kuno matched his sister's contemptuous distain with a look of disgust, "And how would you gain your assistance? As you suspect, she will not be forthcoming."

"And this, this is where your assistance will be much appreciated, my loving brother." Kodachi almost laughed, but managed to refrain herself due to the delicacy of the current situation. "You see, you will ask her for me!"

Tatewake did not hold back his laugh. After several moments to regain his composure, while Kodachi silently fumed at his audacity, he replied, "Return home, sister, and forget this foolish fantasy you pursue. Even if I were so inclined to assist you out of family ties..." He shifted comfortably in his chair, ready to revel and savor the look on his sister's face at his next revelation, "...or the cocktail of psychosis inducing medications you had been serving me without my knowledge.

Kodachi snorted and looked away, uncaring if her brother had found her out, "As if it matters, brother-dear. I expected you to have discovered that tidbit of knowledge eventually, even if those said 'psychosis inducing medications' did so well a job to keep you in an oblivious state." She stood up; dusting her skirt off of some imaginary dirt she may have attached itself to her person while being in contact with such lowly quarters, "once you have returned home, I can once again without your knowledge work towards rectifying your current... loss of perspective."

She strode to the door, before turning around, "And no matter what you choose to believe, you will return home, brother. This visit is over, and please do be careful from crushing the floor with your granite skull in your attempts to prove yourself unhindered.

Kuno listened to his sister laugh, laugh all the way out the hospital. With a small bit of cons?l?r, he was sure that she would now not ever be allowed into this particular hospital. His thoughts turned serious, as he reached over, grasping the cell phone on the night stand.


The temple priest checked the clock in his modest office, nodding that his grand daughter should be returning from school soon, presuming that his loved yet oft-times irresponsible kin understood the necessity of hurrying to reinstate her duties, and give her grand father's tired old bones some rest.

His eyes lit up as he heard the knock at the door, but did not look up from the manuscript he was currently reading, "Such formality, you are not late nor am I upset with you, dear. You may enter."

"Um..."

The priest blinked, and turned to look at who had entered, "Oh, I'm afraid I mistook you for someone else, what is it you needed?"

"I..." the obviously young female draped in a cloak seemed to stall, attempting to get her bearings, "If it isn't too much to ask... someone to talk to?"