"So you're saying...after decades of non-stop fighting...slaughtering...governing, you've never considered using your Kekkei Genkai for this..." the Time-Traveling Shinobi questioned, his red-eyes struggling to stay open due to the northern lights indica the two of them have been smoking.
An elderly First Hokage could not help but laugh as he slowly took another hit. "I don't know if Tobirama would've approved of such behavior..." his giggles turned to coughs as he gasped for air. "Though I gotta say, I wish..cough I..cough..would've.." his coughing fit continued as he passed the joint back Jushiro.
"Not saying you're approach to peace wasn't noble, but if you'd light one of these with the leaders of the other great villages and clans, peace would've been eaaasily achieved in hours..." A seasoned pothead, Jushiro followed his statement with a massive hit before attempting to pass it back to Hashirama.
Still trying to regain his composure after his last go, the God of Shinobi's cough became disturbingly more aggressive and consistent as he signaled Jushiro to wait.
"Not saying he's a dick or anything but you should totally leave your brother with a massive field of this shit..." he paused to relight and let the roll sit on his lips. "Maybe if you convince him to smoke, he'd ease up and not persecute the shit outta those Uchiha mother-fuckers.."
"WHAT?!?!?" startled by Jushiro's nonchalant mention of the future and his inability to regain his breathe, he fell to his knees. "We'll finish this once I return. I must discuss this with Tobirama..." he rose and struggled to the door; every step require more concentration and effort than the last. "Am I supposed to feel this light headed?"
"For a man who's respected and feared for decades to come, you're kind of a bitch Hashirama." Jushiro playfully spoke, as he gazed at the joint only being half way through. "I mean we only just started an you're already this zootted...Maybe I should've paid younger you a visit."
Trapped in his own thoughts, Jushiro did not hear the fact the First Hokage had passed out immediately after exiting the room.
"Yeah, I think I came two, maybe three decades two late...Oh well, It is what it is..." Jushiro vanished shortly after.
Hours after Jushiro disappeared, Mito found Hashirama's lifeless body....
As Free as the Air
The forest was ancient. The trees thick and old, roots that were twisted. It's filled with bird-song and animals that roamed. Even now, as it was ages past its former glory, it still remains distinctly beautiful. It's canopy was so dense that you could only see the occasional streak of sunlight that rarely touched the forest floor. Even its thick vines were slowly taking away the last remnants of the temple that stood in the centre.
On the tallest tree that pierced the sky, a shinobi with white hair was lost in thought. "Why am I here again?" he surveyed the area with his eyes noticed a pathway of chakra with time-leaping potential. "Have I been here before?" Leaping down, he followed the trail to a large group of small chakra signatures surrounding the massive one. "An orphanage...?"
"Hmm...maybe somewhere even farther!! Like the world with the super tall trees!!" was her emphatic response. For years her adoptive sister had tried to get her to give up these trips, but Ten didn't budge. She loved showing the orphans the big wide world they were a part of. Or was it universe? Now, multi-verse!! That was the word frowny guy used!
She was brought back from her thoughts by the sounds of cheering and a very powerful signature beyond the orphanage's entryway. "I'll be right back!! Be good for the Abbess ok??" She received a chorus of yeses as she manufactured a portal before stepping through it. The woman popped into existence a few feet away from white-haired lad.
"HI!!!" she exclaimed.
"Spooky!!!" Jushiro responded, yet his nonchalant face and tone said otherwise. One look and he could tell she was the origin of the chakra signature. "My, my, so what do we have here. Kunoichi turned baby sitter?" he questioned comically, before following up with his more pressing question. "So, do you take these kids in some school bus and travel through universe or something?"
"It's a magic school bus!" was her emphatic response, "except...it doesn't have wheels." She frowns before recovering her cheery state.
"The universe! The multi-verse! Time! And parallel timelines! Everywhere and everything!" Meeting another Rinnegan user that wasn't her father only added to her excitement. "You should come with us!" Not waiting for an answer, she grabbed Jushiro by the hand and whisked him to the orphanage, where a few of the children eagerly awaited.
"Ok! We will be going to see my sister today! Well, a version of her." She nods several times as the kids whoop.
As Tenjin grabbed Jushiro's hand, all he could think was, "This bitch totally a witch..." The two entered the orphanage where a gang of kids directed their attention to the duo. While refusing to make direct eye contact with any of them, Jushiro curiously surveyed the room to see if the kids were under the influence of any illusions or seals —not that he would've done anything if they were.
Pulling out his flask of bourbon, Jushiro took several gulps as a way to prevent his mind from running wild with hypothetical situations, a habit he developed traveling between, as Tenjin would say, the multiverse. "Going to see your sister is what you call an adventure?"
"Rude! Life is an adventure!" she retorted before turning to small group around them, "READY?!!" She received a roar of joy in response.
"Let's go then!!" a portal opened, Tenjin pulling the group of kids, herself, and the bourbon drinking Jush through. They would land on a beach, one that was filled with the scent of weed.
She nearly dropped her blunt from the booming greeting. Putting it back in her mouth, she relit it while adjusting her shades. "Jesus Christ Ten, what did I say about inside voic-" she stopped herself from swearing as she saw the squad of small children with her. And a white-haired dude with a drinking problem. And no shirt. The red-head stood, fixing her bikini as she walked over.
"So...who's alcohol boy?"
"Who's the stoner?" the white-haired dude with no shirt quickly retorted, before taking another sip; it is almost time for a refill. Before anyone had time to answer, he quickly succeeded his question with a rather odd statement. "You're an Uzumaki aintcha...You know, I'm responsible for your clan's original demise in a multitude of timelines."
Almost as if he was uninterested the redhead's response, he turned to his captor. "Where do you stash you're booze..." he paused, having realized that he didn't know this odd woman's name yet.
"And you're a twat aren't you? Seriously, put a shirt on, you look like homeless garbage," she retorted, not going for the bait. The children ooooo'ed like a hype crowd.
Ten, however, gave Jushiro a thunderous flick to the head. "NO ALCOHOL FOR YOU. Meanies don't get alcohol!!" She too, realized that she had ever asked for the white-haired dude's name.
Whether it was due to the imbalance caused by the alcohol in his system or the fact the Ten really packs a punch, Jushiro was sent tumbling through the sand into the sea. Slowly rising from the depths, he exclaimed for everyone to hear. "A witch, she's a witch!!!"
Returning back to land, his eyes were filled with rage and anger. Chakra began to ooze from his body. But once within five feet of the proclaimed witch, he fell to his knees. "Pwease give this towtured soul some alcohol senpai, ~uwu."
The red-head couldn't contain herself; she started roaring with laughter, her blunt falling into the sand. "Oh..gods I needed that laugh."
A portal opened next to Ten, the woman reaching her hand in before pulling out a bottle of sake. She waved it. "You can have this ONLY if you stop being a meanie! Only nice people can have this! Apologize!" Tenjin then waited.
His pleading stance quickly converted to one of humility and respect. As if Ten, Sumira and the kids were royalty and he was a knight pledging his fealty, Jushiro spoke with meekness. "I ,Jushiro —family name unknown, regret my transgressions and plan to uphold a level of modesty and respect for each and every one of you." he paused for dramatic effect. "If thou accepts my apology please bless me with the holy ale you..."
Amidst his grand declaration, the conniving time-traveler was preparing a search and rescue mission for that sake. While submerged in the water, the man summoned a clone that remained in the depths of the sea; masking it presence. Using his surge of chakra as well as his comedic and humble pleas as a distraction the clone made it way beneath the sand beneath them.
How he managed to determine Ten would retrieve a bottle of sake for him was simple. He was somewhat of a savant for this time-traveling gig; examining alternative timelines with his ocular powers, he acted towards the most likely outcome to receive a bottle of sake. A genius move indeed.
"..please bless me with the holy ale you.." The clone emerged from the sand with exemplary speed and precision. His hope, in one fell swoop, he'd retrieve the alcohol and earn the admiration of the fickle children who were easily impressed. Master plan.
The clone would succeed, the glorious sake grasped in its greedy, waiting palms. Only for it to poof out of existence. He wasn't the only one used to hopping between timelines, pursuing alternatives, and seeing just how different the world could be after one different choice. Despite her childish behavior, Ten was a smart cookie.
"NOPE." She proclaimed. "Not only did you not apologize properly, you tried to be sneaky! No more alcohol for you!" The children cheered, a few wagging their fingers at Jushiro for his under-handed tactics.
"Poor form man, poor form," Sumira quipped, as she filed away Jushiro's name for safekeeping. She patted him on the back before whispering. "I have wares you just might be interested in though." A small snap of Fireball rested in open palm, before she crushed it to pieces, the alcohol dribbling onto the sand.
"Ooops. Guess I don't know my own strength."
"Defeated...once again..." Jushiro sighed in disappointment as his hands met the cinnamon scented sand. Sinking his fingers into sea of grain, he gazed up at Sumira. "I..promise...revenege!!!" he exclaimed as a single tear slid down his face.
But almost to outshine Jushiro's declaration of vengeance, an odd-looking creature sprung from the depth of the blue ocean. Half-turtle half-seal, its stature was short yet fierce looking. The creature was none other than Ninja Seal-Turtle. Famed for its combat at sea, the species challenges anyone whose chakra they detect within their territory.
Jushiro quickly rose and instructed the others to remain behind him. This was his battle. His stance immediately changed; shoulders shrugged and arms protruding outward. Suddenly, his appearance morphed, his facial features and colors became more exaggerated similar to another place in the multiverse.
As if they had rehearsed this hundreds of times before this moment, the Ninja sea-turtle mimicked his stylistic design and took on a unique pose of his own.
Jushiro began the dialogue in an estranged voice: "Jokaro..."
"-Iro..." the Seal-turtle responded, slowly approaching him with malicious intent almost as if Jushiro had killed a close family member.
"Oh? You're approaching me? Instead of running away, you're coming right to me?" Jushiro giggled in disbelief.
"I can't beat the shit out of you without getting closer." Jokaro retorted; oozing confidence and strength.
"OH HO! Then, come as close as you like..." Jushiro slowly walked towards his opponent.
The gap between them closed as the two approached one another. Tensions were incredibly high. And then, in a synchronized fashion, a flurry of punches from both parties directed at the other came flying at incredible speeds. Their fist connected causing small yet powerful shockwaves. For each punch, a distinct battle cry came from both fighters.
"MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA, MUDA!" Jushiro yelled
"ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA, ORA!" the Seal-Turtle responded.
Sumira took a seat, patting the ground next to her. The kids clustered around her. "I'd offer you some of my stash but..then people would yell at me for corrupting the young. So have this instead." Popcorn and candy popped into existence, the kids grabbing it while settling in to watch the fight.
"What's your name Ms. Red-head?"
"Sumira Uzumaki. Oh that's right; welcome to Rokuro's World."
"What's Rokuro's World?"
"Well, it's a world where my nephew had the balls to ask out a girl he liked instead of dragging his feet like he did pretty much everywhere else. They hit off and had a kid named Rokuro. Hence, Rokuro's World."
"So does she exist in other places?"
"Nope! This is the only one so far!" Ten chimed in. She generated protection from the shockwaves with the Asura Path, munching on popcorn as the fight moved closer to the sea.
The onslaught of attacks were relentless. The duo matched each other blow for blow. Hundreds of punches directed at each other and yet, neither of their expressions altered. Jokatro, the seal-turtle, remained stoic. While Jushiro, in a boastful manner, smiled in the face of his opponent.
After nearly half a minute of consecutive punches, Jokaro noticed his decline in speed and power. He cried out, "NANIIII!"
For the briefest of moments, Jushiro ceased his attacks. Maintaining his confident outlook he exclaimed, "ZA WARUDOOOO!". Suddenly, time within the radius of their battle had frozen except for Jushiro, whom was able to move freely. In that moment, the battle ended. Jushiro sent his opponent flying back to sea and he turned back to the group of spectators; also regressing back to his original outlook.
"Now, where's my drink?" he questioned, almost as if he didn't just finish a fight a few moments ago.
"Not here; you'll have to get your own alcohol boy," Sumira retorted, eating several jellybeans. She then tossed a bag of pretzels at Jushiro. "Here, have this instead."
Ten clapped. "That was fun to watch! Why were you two fighting?" she asked, taking another handful of popcorn. She passed it around to the kids.
While only alcohol would satisfy his urges, he caught Sumira's pretzels. "I really don't know the guy to be honest with you..." he opened the bag of pretzels before planting his behind on the ground. "He kinda just appears, no matter the timeline, and challenges me...."
"Does that mean...he has your number??!!" Ten asked, as several children nodded along.
"Seems like he does; are you two lovers?" Sumi asked, wiggling her eyebrows. She tossed another thing over. Upon catching it, Jushiro would realize it was a large rolled blunt.
"You seem like the type to be familiar with that stuff. Or will big sister Sumi have to show you?" Her expression turned teasing.
"Bold assumption, but no I'm more cold one with the boys type of guy than stoned as the Tsuchikage." While obviously more than familiar with the contraband he now holds in hand, without giving it a second thought, a fabrication came from his mouth. "Another thing, isn't this shit bad for the kids anyway?"
"Huh? Nah. My stuff is kid-safe, just in case curious hands find their ways into my customers wares. You learn that stuff when you have a bunch of nieces and nephews snooping around."
Ten wiggled her toes in the sand. "Hmm....so where do you want to go next??"
Sumi feigned a hurt look. "Leaving me already? You just got here."
Instinctually, Jushiro put the roll into his mouth and lit it. "We should totally go check what, one of the, future holds for each of these little monkeys you have here?" he suggested, well aware of the traumatic experiences that may cause these orphaned children. "Even if it's bad, it'll build character. Its only like one of the potential outcomes for them."
Ten thought on this. "Hmm...that could be fun. But! The future's no fun if there's no surprises! So....NOPE. They're here for adventures, not nightmares!"
Sumira nodded. "True that. Well, you still need to decide on a place to go....why not visit the world Sakuya's in now? See how she's recovering."
Ten thought about this too. "Hmmm....but that world's weird. It's all..magicky. And I'm not sure she'll want to see us!"
"Just go Ten; the kids should see what another universe is like."
"Magic..?" Jushiro questioned, the word peaking the intent of his dull mind. In the grand scheme of things, Jushiro was still relatively new to this freelance dimension hoping business. Most of his endeavors involved traveling between different iterations of the shinobi world, so hearing new things like this did bring out his inner kid. "What's magic?"
"Exactly what it sounds like!! Magical! It's basically chakra but super free-wheely!" was the emphatic response. Seeing the curiosity of Jushiro grow decided it for her. "That's it, we're going to see Saku! Thanks Sumi!" She gives the woman a near bone-crushing hug.
"Can't....breathe...." Sumira is set down finally. "You're welcome? Anyway, have you and the traveling troupe go. Say hi to Sakuya for me."
Ten fired up her space-time once more. "Ready??!" Another chorus of child whoops greeted her, only strengthened by copious amounts of sugar.
Rising from the ground, his eyes began to hold a red tint. "You should probably get someone with the wood Kekkei Genkai to increase your output. Plus I heard, chakra induced cannabis have a slight hallucinogenic effect." Whipping the sand off his pants, he then waved good-bye to the Sumira. "Thanks for the pretzels..." he paused, realizing he still hasn't gotten a full introduction from either of the two women. "Um...what your name again? Tin and Tsumami???"
"No problem. And I have those covered already. I just gave you some lightweight stuff cause I'm not having you be loopy while traveling," Sumira responded, "Name's Sumira Uzumaki of the Rokuro timeline. I should go see how that brat's doing actually,"
"Tenjin Yochi!! Though people call me Ten for short!" Ten said, introducing herself finally.
"Now let's be off!" she herded the kids through the portal before joining them, "later Sumi!"
As the group walked through the portal, Jushiro realized he still hadn't gotten his drink yet. As light of an entirely different world pierced his rippled eyes, he announced. "This place better fucking have some ale or I'm leaving immedia-" His declaration seemingly halted as an entirely new scene captivated his eyes. He's travelled all throughout different times in the shinobi world: the far future, the distant past; but he's never seen some shit weird shit like this.
"What type of fucking fairy tale magic kingdom bullshit is this?" he yelled, his eyes unable to lock on to one particular thing. The way buildings were constructed, the different cuisine, even the way people were molding their chakra was different.
"WELCOME." Ten proclaimed, watching Jushiro's eyes ping-pong about. "Oh, they're not using chakra by the way. It's actually magic power; I forgot what the locals call it. But it's super versatile! Way more than chakra is." She nods several times. "There's also cool creatures!" Ten points to the nearby forest, where the head of a dryad can be seen peeking out. It disappears upon realizing it was spotted.
"There's dragons, and gods, and demons, and fairies, and elves, and all sorts of cool people!!!!!" The children "oooh" and "aaaah" as she leads the troupe along. They meander through the nearby town until they reach a luxurious, modern chic home, complete with multiple levels and an olympic sized swimming pool on the upper deck.
"Here we are!!! I wonder of Supermodel Red is home....." she knocks several times before hearing a gruff "COMING. GODS."
"Magic power..." Jushiro mumbled, his positive outlook switching to a more reserved one. As the group walked to Ten's friends house, Jushiro kept to himself; his eyes no longer surveying the beautiful skeptical. Before arriving, Jushiro quickly opened his own portal, albeit much smaller than Ten's, and nabbed another flask; this time of vodka. He quickly chugged several sips.
With small amount running down his chin, Jushiro's outlandish tendencies seemingly returned. "Why the fuck are we waiting for her to answer the door. Even if itz locked, we can just ssslip in."
Ten karate chopped him on head, confiscating the vodka in the same breath. "BAKA. This is someone's house! Would you like it if someone just broke into your home?"
The door opened finally, revealing an average-sized woman with short-red hair and yellow-gold eyes. The air around her was heated, while she glowed like the sun in the dead of summer.
"Oh Ten, it's you. Another class of kids too? How many field trips do you plan on taking here?" she asked, waving them in. The children tumbled through the entrance when Saku finally noticed Jushiro.
"Who's dumbo? And why are you holding vodka Ten? You know I can't drink that stuff anymore."
"Ow" The blow did no real damage but Jushiro rubbed his head to soothe the pain anyways. As the kids stormed through the door, Jushiro noticed the attractive red-head. "Another UzuMAki?" Jushiro questioned, tilting his head to the side as he thought this world was supposed to be different from that of the shinobi world. "Do none of your friends drink Tincan? Ain't much of an adventure if we can't get fucked up."
Entering the house, he stumbled and swayed side to side. "If you don't drink then what do you do for fun?" His voice echoed throughout the massive estate.
"I didn't say I don't drink pea-brain, just not that stuff cause it really, really messed me up for a long time. I stick with hard cider and wine now. Or even beer," responded, closing the door behind her.
"Yes, another Uzumaki. People here don't know what that is though, so I just go by Sakuya. Hey!! Don't hang on that!" She plucks a kid off a chandelier.
Ten nodded. "YES! She's from our world originally, but she lives out here full time now! Mostly cause some bad things happened back home...." the woman seems to deflate, not wanting to go further.
Saku saw this. "Eh, don't worry about it. Living here's helped me get over it. Long story short pea-brain: my dad's dead, my mom's dead, my brothers are, you guessed it, dead. My favorite aunt too. They ran into a monster above their paygrade and got offed. Didn't help that I saw part of it. But it drove home that I didn't really fit in that world. Hell, my aunt was a fucking Kage, so if it could wipe her out, what chance did I have? Either way, I needed a reset button, and that was this magic, nakama powered world."
Jushiro looked back into Saku's eyes upon hearing her traumatic story. Still incoherent, he stumbled over to the Uzumaki, recalling the amount of death he's witnessed throughout the years; most by his own hand. Death was an old fried, but unlike Saku who considered him a mortal enemy, he was a trusted ally for Jushy. Placing his hand on her shoulder, a heartfelt look emerged on his face. ".....Who are you again?" Immediately, vomit was shot from his mouth at high speeds; the combination of bourbon, vodka, pretzels and everything else he consumed in the last day shot out. Not sure if he got any one her, he fell over, passing out right next to the pool of his own regurgitated waste.
Ten frowned as this happened. "This is why you don't drink!!!" she proclaimed.
Saku evaded the projectile vomit, nimbly landing several feet back. "No, that's not from the drinking. Not entirely. This dude had way too much going on in his system," she commented, "I smell bourbon, vodka...weed?? Whiskey...maybe stale beer? You never mix. that's how it all goes to the crapper. Gods it smells bad. Can you move him?"
Ten lifted Jushiro's unconscious frame, watching Saku take the carpet he fell on and roll it up.
"Well this one's a goner. He's lucky we have a spare that's the same texture and color. Ryese's anal about matching decor."
"Where is Supermodel Red?" Ten carefully deposited Jushiro in a chair.
"Exactly what it says on the tin: modeling. She has a big photoshoot with an even bigger payday." Saku placed the carpet next to the trash bin before grabbing the spare.
Despite his body wanting to sleep for hours at a time, Jushiro's mind wouldn't let him. His own thoughts were plagued with hours, no years, of slaughtering. The moment he passed, a nightmare caused him to sweat and moan and agony. "Stop.." he mumbled before leaping upwards. "Where the fuck am I?!?!?!" he yelled, surveying the room with his guard currently up.
Upon recalling his current situation, his chakra began to settle. "I need a drink..." His head was splitting and the noise coming from the kids was making it worse. "Let's play hide and seek!"
Ten would karate chop him on the head again, likely making the headache worse. "BAKA. No you don't. Drink this!" She pushed a glass of water his way.
Saku stared at him impassively, holding one kid by the head and another by the waist. "In my house pea-brain. Lay off the spirits alright? I don't need you screaming bloody murder. I get enough of that with myself."
His head throbbed. The pain felt like someone had taken a knife to his skull. Jushiro nearly snapped at Ten that's how much his head hurt. But it wasn't her fault. None of this was anyone's fault but his own. He sighed as to let all fury the built out. Grabbing the water from Ten's hand, he guzzled it down like a man who hadn't drank water in days. Letting out another loud sigh, he finally responded to Saku statement. "No promises but I'll challenge myself..." he end it there, didn't need the kids knowing the struggle of alcoholism.
Jushiro shifted his gaze to one of the children close by, a little boy with nothing but hope and excitement in his eyes; the kid had his whole life ahead of him. Wanting to something with the children, he repeated his proposition. "Would anyone like to play hide n seek."
Probably because he hadn't drank water in several days, if Saku had to guess, watching him drain the glass. She sighed as he received several cheers. "You're limited to this house, alright? Last thing we need is one of you getting lost in a world you don't know," Saku said, setting the two kids down. They immediately scampered off to hide.
Ten nodded. "You're the first one it!" She ran deeper into the home as Sakuya plunked down.
"I'm not playing. But you'll need to cover your eyes if you're going to be serious about this game."
Jushiro closed his eyes as directed. Not like it mattered though, while his ripple patterned eyes were indeed powerful, all his senses were uniquely trained and enhanced. He could hear the kids little footsteps scatter like cherry blossoms on a warm spring day. He could smell their distinct aromas - some more pleasant that other but he wasn't one to talk - leaving a trail to their current location. He tried not to focus on these senses though; what would be the fun in that. He started his count down. "Fifty nine fifty eight.."
More giggles gave tell-tales of their locations as they continued burying themselves in every nook and cranny possible. Yet one by one they'd fall silent. Sakuya picked up a water bottle before starting to drink from it, watching Jushiro count down. She wondered how long it would take for him to find them all; and she was absolutely certain that Ten would either be the first or last to be found.
"Huh...I guess it's nice having company sometimes."
As Jushiro counted down, he noticed their scents and giggles suddenly disappear. "It's as I thought, these children...are assassins. She's hosting some sort of assassination orphanage; an Assassination Classroom of sorts." ever so slightly, he began to count down faster. "Three, two one! Ready or not here I come!!!" he mumbled before opening his eyes. He surveyed the area with his eyes. "Where are these little fuckers..." When he couldn't pick up their chakra signatures, he began to narrow his focus looking to see if that Witch Tincan had opened any rifts.
Tenjin snickered as the kids gathered around her. They sat, safely tucked away into a middle dimension. She counted heads to make sure everyone was present and accounted for; she could hear Orihei's furious lecturing if she lost a child.
"Everyone be very quiet ok? We don't want to be found!" A few "shhhss" were uttered before silence fell once more.
"AHHHHHH!" A puzzled Jushiro squealed. There's no way they could've escaped his grasp this easily. Jushiro literally spent his entire life, decades upon decades, hunting and running. Some of the most infamous time-corruptors couldn't escape him; he's supposed to be that good. This trivial game should've been a cake walk. And yet, here he is, struggling.
His headache seemingly returned as the stress of not being able to find the kids overwhelmed him. Anger was about to overcome, he clenched his fist. "Grrr, One Clap!!!!" he exclaimed, disappointed that he'd even need a hint like that to track them down.
Saku snickered. "See what happens when you guzzle down alcohol like water? It makes you stupid. I should know; I'm still recovering. If you can't find them, then you can't call yourself a time-hopper. Then again, you just hitched a ride with Ten didn't you," she commented. She stood, moving to the kitchen as she grabbed from some fruit. She tossed an apple and an orange at Jushiro.
"Here. Some brain food."
Lost in his own anger and thoughts, the fruit bounced off cheek and shoulder generating no reaction from HIM. "Clap you...you..." he couldn't come up with a clever enough diss to throw at them. Man he was off his game. He focused more chakra into his enhanced eyes in order to pierce through whatever illusion Ten had conjured. Unfortunately, the surge of chakra had an adverse effect. The room started to spin and Jushiro struggled to maintain his stance. "No no no..." he proclaimed, focusing everything he had into not passing out.
"Clap you witch! I need a hint!"
Saku frowned as the fruits rolled along the ground. Nimbly moving through the home, she reached Junshiro before giving him a mighty slap across the face. The sound rang through the complex.
"Really? Losing your cool over a game? Get it together!" she snapped. He reminded her of a spoiled child; god-given power, gallivanting through the multiverse without a semblance of understanding regarding consequences. Almost like Tenjin; except, she actually cared and wasn't a drunk. And loved spreading happiness like an overgrown child.
That was exactly what he needed. Once her hand met his face, Jushiro was grounded. He hadn't noticed it before but damn she was beautiful. Completely forgetting about the game, he turned fell on one knee. "You are the anchor to my crazy pirate ship...Marry Me!"
"Eh. Eh? EHHHH?" Saku skittered back from the proposing Jushiro. Where the hell did he get that idea from? A slap? He thought a slap was a love tap? "What do you mean marry you? I just met you what, a few minutes ago? an hour ago? Absolutely fucking not!"
Meanwhile, Ten blinked. "Did he get lost?" she wondered, cocking her head to the side slightly.
"Maybe he forgot!" one kid decided.
"No, he probably had the adult drink again," another chimed.
"What's the adult drink?"
"The smelly stuff adults like. It makes them loopy."
Ten shushed them. "He's probably just confused. This is why you don't drink!"
Jushiro's heart was sliced into two as he heard Saku reject his proposal. "But but...I love you!" he begged, as tears flooded down his cheeks. But as quickly he is fell into this story state, Jushiro spontaneously rose up with newfound motivation. "It's because I have found the kids yet isn't." he vocalized, completely ignoring the sound rationale she just told him "You underestimate my power because I haven't found them. Well I'll show you just how strong our love is!!!!"
Biting his finger, Jushiro smacked his hand onto the ground. "Summoning Jutsu!" he announced, as the scripture and smoke emerge. As both seeming faded, about a dozen Ninken with Jushiro's eyes appeared in substitute. "Alright troops. This mission we must'n fail. Even if you have to search the darkest place in history we must find the woman connect to this scent." he grabbed the glass of water, Ten handed to him and rolled it to the mutts. "I will not accept failure as an option! Now scatter!" he order as each of the dogs took a whiff of the cup before surprisingly conjuring their own portals to hunt the woman down!
Saku's expression was incredulous. "What. The fuck. Did you not hear a thing I said? I. Do. Not. Know you. If you think finding Ten's merry bunch is going to suddenly make me confess non-existent feelings, you have another thing coming to you," she snapped. The redhead almost missed the dogs' disappearance, each one hopping into a portal.
"Ninken that use space-time? What?"
Ten, meanwhile, was starting to grow restless. The grumbles of the children told her she wasn't alone.
"He's taking too long! Want to go somewhere el-" she paused, detecting a faint disturbance.
"Time to hide again!" she prepared to make another portal to leap through.
One of Jushiro's mutts caught wind of her scent; the dog howled loudly as to alert Jushiro and the others. "The middle dimension, didn't think that witch knew about those." He spoke, in reality he didn't know much about them. The remaining hounds ceased their previous action and focused all their efforts on that one trial until.
"Found them!" Jushiro cheered, turning to his future wife before cracking another rift. "Be back in a bit babe." he winked, before leaping into the portal. When he got there he was greeted by....
Saku grimaced. "I'm not your babe. Call me that again and I'll deck you," she retorted. She picked up the fallen apple from earlier, brushing it off.
Ten blinked, halfway in, halfway out of a portal as she saw Jushiro pop up. "Uh oh...he saw me!" She ducked inside, the portal beginning to close behind her.
"If he sees you, does that mean you're out? Or does he have to tag you?" one of the kids asked.
"Good question! Let's....find out!" She took stock of their new surroundings. "Hmm...."
"I SAW YOU!" Jushiro cried out, as Tincan seemingly vanished. He wasn't going to return empty handed; not when his marriage was on the line. As the person who proposed the game, it was his right to determine the rules; classic only child ideals. And in his rulebook for hide and seek, he caught her by just locating and spotting her. This wasn't cop and robbers.
"I found you TINCAN! The game's over!!!" he continued, visibly upset as his victory wasn't as clear as he had hoped. The Ninken looked confused as their master was throwing a tantrum; they waited for their next command.
"POOOP. So it was sight!" Ten exclaimed, having heard Jushiro's loud, childish voice as she popped over into the next dimension.
"Sorry...the game's over," she stated sadly, receiving several groans and a few tears, "We can play aga-" her stomach roared, cutting her off. Several of the kids' stomachs did their own growling.
"FOOD TIME." Gathering the group of children, she spirited them back to Sakuya's home. Then, she returned to the middle dimension where Jushiro was stomping his feet.
"It's time for food!!" she proclaimed, before blinking out of existence.
Meanwhile, Saku blinked at the assortment of children staring at her. "What, this is a bachelor pad. Or bachelorettes' house. I don't have food for a bunch of children. You can make puppy eyes at me all you want; it won't work," she responded.
Her relief was palpable when Ten appeared again. "Your kids are hungry. And I can tell you're hungry. You should probably bring them back before you're gassed out."
Jushiro emerged last, now dressed in formal wedding attire. "Saka, I've done it! I completed the quest and now we can finally be together." he spoke, falling to a single knee. "Marry me..."
Ten stared at Jushiro before roaring with laughter. "HE WANTS TO MARRY YOUUU."
Sakuya steamed. "WHAT PART OF NO MEANS NO DO YOU NOT GET? LEAVE. MY. HOUSE. NOW," she snapped, starting to radiate light, as her presence caused the home to shake. Wings made of dawn's rosy rays framed her figure as her eyes glowed dangerously.
"Oooop. I think that's our cue!!" Ten tugged at Jushiro.
Falling to both hands and knees, a defeated look reemerged. "Struck down, like a bolt of lightning..." After but a moment of sorrow, Jushiro spontaneously regained his composure. "I'll take solace in the fact that you'd even recognize me enough to say no..." he nodded, before following Tincan. "What's next?"
As she sent the kids through one after another, she hummed. "Lunch! And to drop the kiddies off; they've sight-seen enough," Ten responded, nodding sagely. She hopped through the portal next after waving to an exasperated Saku.
They would land inside the orphanage, a very vexed Orihei standing there. "How many times have I told you not to spirit away the kids! What if you lost one of them? Huh?" she steamed, kids running by her as they were shepherded to the kitchen by the the abbess and a few of the other nuns.
"I'm feeding their imagination! Now, their stomachs are being fed!" came the emphatic response, earning a facepalm from director.
Despite his words, Jushiro broke off from the surprisingly interesting group of kids and their caretaker. In his place, one of his Ninken followed the group with a note attached to him.
"Alright Tincan and the many dwarves, I'm off! Gotta say you guys aren't half bad. As my appreciate for a fun day, Ima leave Mito here with you guys; make sure to feed her or she'll run off. If you ever need anything just ask reverse summon me, I won't appreciate it but feel free!"