Chapter 16- Stupid Farmgirl?
"Raido?" She couldn't believe her eyes! But she saw the guarded look in his eyes. Maybe he had been avoiding her.
"Hi Kiyoko. How are you?" He sounded tired,as if he didn't want to be there and he just wanted to get home.
"I'm good. How are you?" She didn't know what to say but the flip flops her stomach was doing were making her sick and she felt as if she was going to fall over. She wanted to hug him, or hold him or something but he didn't have the look of someone who wanted to be touched. In fact the look he was giving Genma might have killed a weaker man. She wondered what was going on.
"Well, look at that. Raido needs to be walked home and so does Kiyoko. I trust you two kids can figure that out. See ya!" Genma disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Kiyoko looked lost, where had Genma gone? She looked to Raido and said "Where did he go?"
"He used a body flicker technique to leave quickly."
"Because if he didn't I might have killed him." He smiled sadly. He knew exactly what Genma's game was and he didn't think it was a good idea.
"Why?" Kiyoko was confused and beginning to feel like she didn't want to be here just now.
"Never mind. Did you need a walk home?"
"No. I don't get lost anymore. At least not between home and work. But Genma said you did. Why?"
"You ask why a lot." He smiled at her. He had managed to forget how much he liked her company.
"Well. If I don't know what's going on then how else am I supposed to find out?" She was getting irritated with him for not answering any of her questions. She looked him over, he looked pale and very tired. "Are you ok? You don't look well."
"I'm fine." But the fatigue on his face gave him away.
Kiyoko noticed a bench nearby. "Lets sit a minute." She grabbed his arm and pulled him over to it.
He sat down and looked at her. "So what questions don't get answered?"
"Why have you been avoiding me?"
Wow. Smack in the eyes with the question he wasn't supposed to answer. Damn. He sighed, "I haven't been avoiding you."
"Well then. How come I haven't seen you in three days?"
"I've been busy."
"Hhmmm. You know. I'm not a little girl. If you don't want to spend time with me you can just tell me."
"Kiyoko. It's not that." He sighed again. "Could you walk me home? I am really tired."
She looked up at him. "Sure."
So she had walked him home. When they got to his place he stood at the door for a minute. "Kiyoko. Please, I really need to sleep."
"Yeah sure. I can take a hint." And she had left. So much for being in love.
Raido sighed and leaned against the door as he shut it. So much for that. He couldn't have pushed her away any more effectively if he'd tried.
But those moments in her presence had been like heaven. Her smile and her sweet innocence. He had sensed something else though, she wasn't the frightened little kitten she had seemed to be when he'd last seen her. Genma had nicknamed her that, Raido's little kitten. She was still out on the street, he could run after her, try to explain, without actually explaining. Hell, he could lie. But he didn't think that was a good idea.
Well, he still needed to sleep. The walk had worn him out, it might have been the pacing in the hospital all morning trying to figure out what he was going to do.
Kiyoko stormed away. She was going to find Genma and spear him with that senbon he kept in his mouth. It was clear to her that he had engineered that little event in order to get them together and she wasn't happy.
She thought about where she might find him. If he was at the tower there was nothing she could do. She was still new here and storming into the Hokage's office to yell at one of her guard might be frowned upon. But if he was still wandering in town congratulating himself. She heard a familiar chuckle. Glancing around she noticed him standing off to the side with Shizune. They were talking intently. She didn't care.
She walked up to him and said "Hello Genma." At the same moment she grabbed the senbon pin hanging from his mouth.
Genma and Shizune both gave her a startled look but she didn't give them a moment to say anything.
She pointed at him with the pin, "Do I look like a stupid farmgirl to you? Because if that's that case you can take your friendship and stuff it!"
Genma was very surprised at the emotion rolling off of her. "Kiyoko?"
"NO. Don't you Kiyoko me. That wasn't fair. You up and left me with a man who doesn't even want to spend time with me. I have never been so embarrassed in all my life." She stopped briefly to realize that that statement wasn't quite true given the last few weeks of her life but decided she should keep up the roll while it was good. "If you ever pull a prank on me like that again, I'll, I'll..." and then she burst into tears.
Genma looked to Shizune for help. This had been her idea after all. He'd have been much more slick than that.
Shizune put her arm around Kiyoko. "It's all right. Lets get some tea. Hhmm?"
Shizune led her into a tea house and indicated that Genma should follow.
"Tell me what happened." Shizune said when she had calmed Kiyoko down. "What did Genma do to you?"
Genma shot her a nasty glance. No way was he taking the blame for this but he'd wait for now.
Kiyoko repeated what had happened and how it had ended. When she was done she looked at Shizune, "I am so confused, and I don't know what to do."
Shizune looked miserable but Kiyoko couldn't figure out why.
She said "Kiyoko. I think it's my fault. I'm the one who suggested Genma do that. I knew Raido was going home today and I thought you two might like to see each other. I had no idea."
Kiyoko was surprised. Shizune hadn't seemed like the type of person to pull such a prank. "So you thought you'd foist me on a man who's been avoiding me and it would just work out? If he doesn't want to spend time with me then that's fine. I'll forget him in a while."
Shizune's ears perked up. "Would you need to forget him, Kyioko?"
"Yes. No. I mean. I don't know. Shizune can we talk?"
Kiyoko turned to Genma who had retreived his senbon pin and replaced it in his mouth. "Genma, I'm sorry. I should have asked before I jumped to conclusions."
"It's ok. I did look like the guilty party and truth be told I might have tried something similar if I'd had the chance. I'm going to clear out so you ladies can talk." He left but this time it was by the door much to Kiyoko's relief.
Kiyoko turned to Shizune, "Have you ever been in love? Or rescued?"
Shizune wasn't sure how to answer that one. "Umm. What do you mean?"
Kiyoko sighed, "I don't know, honestly. Raido was so amazing, rescuing me and bringing me back here despite the mud and skunk smell. He never said a word or complained that I smelled or slowed him down. He even held me during the night we stayed out while I had a nightmare."
"And you think you're in love with him now?" Shizune asked.
"No. I didn't think I was in love with him then. I was grateful and I liked him a lot but I wasn't attracted to him."
"So when did that change?"
"Well the second night I stayed at his house. I had shared my experience with him and he had held me the night before. I got the idea that Fumio's kisses were making me have nightmares because they were the only kisses I'd ever had. So I asked Raido to kiss me so that I'd know what a nice kiss was like."
"And he did?"
"Yeah" Kiyoko got a faraway look in her eyes remembering that kiss.
"Shizune, it was the most amazing kiss. I didn't know they could be like that."
"Just how hard did he kiss you?"
"Just a peck on the lips, really. Nothing special. Only it was. I never wanted it to stop."
"And it did?"
"Yeah. He jumped up and said he needed to take a shower and get to bed. And he's been avoiding me ever since." Kiyoko could feel her control slipping away again, she didn't want to cry.
"Kiyoko, he hasn't been avoiding you."
"I know. Everyone keeps saying that but no one has told me what he has been doing so I think they are all just trying to make me feel better."
Shizune, at that moment, made a decision that she well knew might come back to haunt her, especially if Lady Tsunade found out about it. "Kiyoko, that morning that you started work? When Raido supposedly started avoiding you? He had a mission. It was one that only he could do. We figured, since he's good at what he does that he'd be back before you got out of work and you'd never know. But he wasn't, so a search party went out, and he came back, straight to the hospital. He didn't even wake up until the next day. Lady Tsunade didn't want any rumors so only a few of us knew anything. We couldn't say anything to you, her orders. In fact, if she finds out I told this I will be in big trouble."
"I won't say anything. But then why did he seem to eager for me to leave? He hardly wanted to spend time with me today. He wasn't even happy to see me."
"I think he's confused too Kiyoko. Relationships are hard for a ninja. What I do know is that he kept asking for you in his sleep. Give him a day to rest. He's still tired."
"Hmmm. Ok. But I don't think he's interested in seeing me."
Genma knocked on his friends door, he was going to rip his head off.
Raido answered wearily, "Kiyoko, I'm sorry, I am just so tired," Belatedly he realized it wasn't Kiyoko at the door.
"Hey there big boy. Let's get you to bed."