Chapter 21- It's Ok, I Understand
"Please don't leave me Kitten." Raido looked worn.
"Raido, are you ok?" Sakura observed him from across the room. He was still healing and she didn't want him to overdo it.
"Yeah. I do feel better physically, emotionally though, I'm a wreck." He smiled up at the young girl. "Can you tell me how she is?"
"She was poisoned, though not on purpose I think. Fumio gave her something to make her sleep so she couldn't escape again during the night. Unfortunately, he didn't account for the weight difference between himself and her so he overdosed her. I've given her the antidote, we just have to wait for her to sleep it off." She looked at Raido, she was seeing a side of him that she had never seen before. Always, he was the cool collected assassin, ready at a moments notice to serve his village, giving his life if that's what it took. Right now he looked like he might cry. "If you want to stay, it's ok."
Raido looked relieved, he didn't want to leave her side. "If you don't mind."
"Not at all. I have some paperwork to do. If anything changes just get me, you can push that button and I'll be here in a flash."
"Ok." He turned back to Kiyoko as Sakura left the room. Stroking her hand he thought about how she'd cried into his shoulder, how frightened she had been, he wished he could comfort her now, all he could do was sit there. He put his head down on the bed next to her hand, feeling the warmth come off it. "Please don't leave me, kitten. I don't think I can live without you now." He closed his eyes.
When they opened the sun was streaming in the windows, Kiyoko was still asleep on the bed. He must have fallen asleep. He wondered just how much sleep one man recovering from poison might need. He sat back, stretching and rubbing his eyes as Sakura came in the room.
"She's doing well. Her vital signs have returned to normal and she seems to be simply sleeping now. Do you want to get something to eat?"
"Well I want to examine her anyway. You'd still have to leave."
Raido was about to point out that Kiyoko had stood before him naked just last week but decided he didn't want to pick a fight with the fiery kunoichi before him, so he stood and said "I'll be right back."
When he returned with a cup of coffee Sakura was in the hallway. "She's fine. You can go in and visit." And she walked away.
Raido slid the door open slowly. Kiyoko was sitting up in bed looking out the window. Without looking up she said "Do you think it's over?"
Raido wasn't sure what she meant so he walked over to the bed, "Do I think what's over, kitten?"
Kiyoko's head snapped around. Her eyes fell on Raido and she burst into tears.
"Hey, hey. It's ok. You're safe." He tried to put his arms around her.
But she pushed him away. She'd done a lot of thinking about it. She knew why'd he run off after he'd kissed her, he'd been disgusted. She wasn't so weak that she needed to push herself on someone who didn't want to touch her.
"Kiyoko? What's wrong?"
She sighed, "It's ok Raido. I know. You don't have to pretend with me. I understand." She didn't and it wasn't ok but she couldn't change things so she would have make it that way. In time she'd forget how much she liked his arms around her. "Just leave please. I'm tired and I need to rest."
Raido was a broken man. He didn't know what to do. He wanted to draw her into his arms and tell her that she never had to worry again because if Fumio and Kin ever tried to touch her again he'd simply kill them. But she was staring out the window, she wouldn't even look at him. So he did as she asked. He left.
He was confused, he really wished he'd listened more when his Mom had tried to teach him about girls. He remembered the scarf he'd bought her on a whim and wished he'd thought to grab it. As he walked down the hallway he wondered what he'd done wrong?
Sakura looked up from the desk where she was making notes in Kiyoko's chart to see Raido leaving. She called out "Raido? Where are you going?"
He answered in a mumble, "I have no idea." And he walked away without looking back.
Sakura decided to check on Kiyoko again before she left.
She slid the door open quietly, she could hear Kiyoko sobbing softly into her pillow. She hurried over to the bed and sat on its edge. "Kiyoko? What happened? I thought you'd like to see Raido."
At this Kiyoko's sobs turned into full on tears and she wrapped her arms around Sakura's neck.
Sakura held her for a bit and then said, "Let's talk, huh?"
Kiyoko nodded her head and tried to get control of herself. When she had she looked at Sakura, "I just don't know what to believe anymore."
Sakura was a little confused, "About what?
The door opened and Genma stuck his head in, "Can the kitten have visitors?"
Kiyoko didn't want to see him either but she decided he at least deserved her gratitude for rescuing her. "Sure, I guess. But please don't call me that."
Genma saw that she'd been crying and as he made his way over to her, noticing that Raido wasn't here he started to get an uncomfortable feeling. "Why?"
"Because I'm not your kitten."
"I know that, silly girl. I didn't think that my rescuing you last night would change anything. You're Raido's kitten. I'm cool with that."
Kiyoko felt the tears threatening again. "I'm not Raido's kitten." She said this so quietly that Genma almost didn't hear it.
"What do you mean? Where is he anyway?"
"I sent him away. I don't want him here simply because he feels sorry for me. He doesn't need to pretend to like me anymore. You can have him back now." Kiyoko said it carefully because she felt as if her heart might just stop beating altogether. She wanted Raido's arms around her so badly right now that she didn't think she'd survive without them.
Genma sat down on the edge of the bed. "I think you're confused. Sakura, is that stuff out of her system?"
Sakura was confused too. "It should be. What do you mean, Kiyoko? Who can have him back? Raido hasn't been in a relationship since," she thought about it, "well, ever that I remember."
"I'm sorry Genma, to blow your secret then. But I know."
Genma was starting to get very uncomfortable and he had no idea what she was talking about. The confusion on his face must have been apparent because she shifted and pulled something out of her pocket.
"Raido dropped this the other day. I'd meant to return it to him when I saw him and I never meant to read it but I did, by accident. I'm sorry."
Genma took the note, wondering what in the hell it could be but as he opened it he started to laugh.
"Go ahead. Laugh at me for being naive. For thinking that a girl like me could land a guy like Raido."
Sakura looked at Genma with pure anger. "I don't appreciate you upsetting my patient. Maybe you should go."
Genma stopped laughing and pulled Kiyoko into his arms, "You couldn't be more wrong, Kitten." He handed the note to Sakura, her brow wrinkled as she read the note, realization dawning on her face and she started laughing too.
Kiyoko looked at Sakura, she had thought she would be on her side. Now they were both laughing at her.
Sakura stopped laughing when she saw the pain on Kiyoko's face. "We aren't laughing at you. Please listen."
Genma spoke up. "It's a running joke that Raido and I are a couple because neither of us have had a girlfriend in a long time. I was teasing him when I wrote that note."
"Well then what explaining does he have to do?" She wasn't sure if she believed him but Sakura looked as if she did. "Is that true, Sakura?"
"It is. We all mess with them. Once, when she was feeling particularly mischievous, Lady Tsunade even gave them their "anniversary" off. They were both steaming mad when she announced it in a meeting." She laughed at the memory but Genma just growled.
Kiyoko smiled. "So you are two aren't..."
Genma spoke up quickly, "No we aren't. So where is he anyway?"
"I sent him away. I couldn't face him. And what explaining does he have to do?"
"I think I'll go find him and let him do that." Genma smiled at Kiyoko as he stood. "I'll be right back kitten."
Genma wasn't sure where to fine Raido but he knew the places that his best friend went when he needed to think and he was going to check every one of them.
He finally found him in the last place he had thought to look, his apartment.
Raido answered the door, when he saw Genma he said "I'm not really up for visitors right now. Can I just be alone?"
"No." Was Genma's simple answer.