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Call to Darkness...(P, Kagami)

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Kazuki Mizushima

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Call to Darkness...(P, Kagami)

Post by Kazuki Mizushima on Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:54 pm

Total darkness seemed to completely blanket Sukaigakure as the winter night was in full effect - the wind howled hard against the many steel skyscrapers that formed the residences of many businesses and citizens. Sukaigakure was almost a playground, a concrete jungle with many tall buildings to navigate, alleyways to hide in and tall sightlines made this a dream village for almost any ninja with a knack for stealth and deception. 

Jet-black hair rustled and shimmered with the breeze of the wind - not helped by the fact he was at the village's tallest point - the air was frigid and ruthless, the wind occasionally rather violent before settling into a more chilly draft. 

A strong elbow rested against the guardrail of the tower, a white Hannya mask adorned the face of the muscular and taller-than-average individual - a look of slight boredom melded with a gaze of pure contemplation as he awaited something. No, someone. 

He was about to meet an old friend of his, she would have no idea what she was in for however, the ANBU required total secrecy, meaning that merely inviting her to the head office wasn't an option. What he did was ensure that a letter was placed on her door - with a very short and distinct command. 

"Meet me on the spire of the village's highest point. An opportunity awaits you. 
- An Old Friend"  Nothing seemed ordinary here, no emblem or address to familiarize oneself' with, no phone number. Nothing, just one line and a signature which had no hint towards an identity. Everything was vague, but that was how the Black Ops operated, in secrecy as they shrouded themselves behind the dark cloak of politics and warfare. 

Kagami Uchiha, was the name of the woman he was here to meet, Kazuki's identity however - would be completely unknown behind the traditional mask. He knew her from a few years back - befriending her as a Genin shortly after passing his exams, and saw her again at the Chuunin Exams but apart from that, while their relationship was friendly - it had been well over five years since they were last acquainted - it should prove heart-warming when she knew what she was in for. 

A bored stare filled with a monotonous lack of joy seemed to bore holes into the blackened scenery below - the only light source being the street-lamps, lanters and the many windows that the skyscrapers boasted. 

He didn't expect to be waiting long however, all Uchiha were very capable ninja, and knew a Jounin ranked one would have no issues making it up to the spire despite the instability from the roaring winter winds, the approaching warm spring air didn't take too kindly to the wintery conditions, causing all sorts of wind-related issues.

Absolute silence filled the night sky as he glared at the many twinkling lanters and neons - somewhat letting himself be distracted in the shimmering aura emitted by the pretty neons. 

Kazuki hadn't recruited anyone like this before. But after a few cutbacks on the ANBU squad, he'd have to do it. He wasn't at all nervous as it'd be his friend he'd be dealing with. But...It's been so long since the last time, and people change. Kazuki was rather young during the Chuunin Exams - and now he'd grown a set of muscles and to the tune of 6 foot tall. Who knew what Kagami looked like these days? Nonetheless, he couldn't afford to be distracted by her. His identity would need to be kept safe until he was fully confident in telling her everything.
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Uchiha Kagami

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Re: Call to Darkness...(P, Kagami)

Post by Uchiha Kagami on Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:19 pm



It was hours since the sun had dipped below the horizon, and the gaudy neon lights of Sukai’s towering skyscrapers illuminated the streets. Despite the particularly fierce wind that night, the streets were still bustling. The laughter of men crowded around tiny tavern tables, drowning their sorrows over one-pint-too-many, the monotonous cries from merchants huddled around market stalls, still trying to hawk their wares before the streets grew empty, the soft cooing voices of women wafting from the shadows of scattered alleyways as they conducted their business - the sounds of the village-that-never-sleeps were all carried up to the rooftops on currents of rising steam, where Uchiha Kagami found herself that night.

Running along the snow-covered rooftops of Sukaigakure in the middle of the night wasn’t exactly a strange occurrence for the young woman, but being summoned to the highest point of the village out of the blue by a mysterious stranger was another story.

“Meet me on the spire of the village's highest point. An opportunity awaits you.”

It wasn’t the strangest thing she had come home to, not by a long shot, but it piqued her interest. The message was vague, and there were no signs on who left it. No finger prints, no chakra residue, not a trace of evidence anywhere, and yet there was something oddly familiar about the way the characters were written. Something naggingly nostalgic about the way the ink strokes were formed. It reminded her of something or someone she had known long ago, but long forgotten. That alone was reason enough to meet this mysterious stranger.

Her long chocolate-brown twin tails trailing behind her, Kagami vaulted from building to building, quickly approaching the tower in the centre of the village. The frigid winter winds tugged at her crimson Haori coat, lashing it violently from her body with each gust, easily penetrating the white cotton of her short kimono-dress and black thigh-highs.

The young kunoichi was well aware that she could be running into a trap, or an ambush, or any number of things - the person who left the note clearly did a good job of erasing their tracks, but Kagami paid it little heed. Even though she didn’t want to admit it, her arrogant streak hadn’t mellowed in the last half-decade. Or longer, for that matter. If this was a trap, then she’d just have to do what she was best at. What they paid her to do. Kick ass and take names.

Seeing the top of the tower come into view, Kagami kicked off the thick glass window panes she had been running along, and grabbed onto the concrete overhang of the tower. With ease, she pulled herself up and vaulted the rusted guard-rail onto the gravely rooftop overlooking the village.
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Kazuki Mizushima

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Re: Call to Darkness...(P, Kagami)

Post by Kazuki Mizushima on Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:24 am


A second volley of gale-force winds hit the side of the skyscraper, creating a distinct roar as the steel deflected the sheer wrath of the elements themselves, the young shinobi's feet remained planted however, a white cloak fluttered and flapped to the left side as the wind almost threatened to put him off balance had it not been for his shinobi training. 

He'd read the dossier he was given on Kagami, and she seemed a very experienced ninja - definitely fit for the role. 22, an Uchiha clansmen which gifted a natural proficiency in Ninjutsu and Genjutsu - the art of deception and pure, unbridled murderous intent were traits that were more than welcomed among the Black Ops. And in truth, he was excited to see just what she was capable of after all these years. However, training would be the last part of all of forthcoming sequence of events - the training was ruthless, rough - as it prepared the Black Ops soldier for situations such as torture, kidnapping - hostage rescue and VIP protection which seemed to branch off a lot from the standard Shinobi force - it was a lot to stomach, and these were all practices Kazuki had hammered into his brain from the tender age of 11. 

At the same time, he was worried. This was a friend he was talking about here! The torture training was really the worst part of the ANBU squad, while it was obviously very limited for safety and security reasons, it was still painful and sometimes traumatic nonetheless. Kazuki remembered having scalding water poured on his groin. That was the treatment for males however. The masked man seemed to shudder as his memories flickered through his mind like a cinema reel. 

But, pangs of excitement seemed to burst through his psyche, if she passed he'd be working with an old friend of his, full-time! The most important things to Kazuki were his friends, and his faith. If Kagami was as motivated to defend the village, the Kage and the rest of its' citizens, she'd have no problem fitting into his ANBU squad. 

Taking a few steps back from the railing as he sensed a presence, straightening up his appearance, the first thing she'd notice would be the mask - of course. He figured she'd probably know what kind of Ninja wore masks like these, but it was for the sake of not involving the public that he didn't walk up to her directly. 

"Uchiha Kagami." The young man quoted, hands folded behind his back as he addressed the youthful looking adult. She really was youthful! She looked younger than he did! Then again, a bunch of years out in the field murdering and not taking petty jobs did that to you. Thankfully his outfit disguised the many scars the young man possessed. 

"It's been a while, you may not remember me, so we'll talk in a safer space." He smiled behind the porcelain white mask, the only thing visible through it being a lone, 24 carat shimmering eye, the other hole completely devoid of light from the Squad Leader's eyepatch. 

Performing two hand seals he placed his palm, outstretched to the side of his body. "Meiton: Kanashimi no Haro." He seemed to whisper, forming a large upright purple disc with many strange runes emitting from its' circumference. "Follow me through here, take a seat when you're inside." He gestured to the young lady, proving it was safe by sticking most of his body through the strange portal, leaving only his head and arm behind to watch her next movements - being sure not to spoil his identity in any way before he got to the safe spot.

Through the portal, was a large, cushy office featuring a comfy chair fitting for the leader of the Black Ops - a globe stood on the desk along with a phone, Buddhist Guanyin and a finished stack of paperwork, opposite the large galvanized maple wood desk was another comfy chair, for his correspondant to sit at which rested atop a plush, sky blue carpet. 

It would be obvious as to what she was getting into, a large ANBU crest stood behind Kazuki's desk - imprinted onto the wall. He waited for her to ask him something before he started, pointless going on a lecture if he didn't have her full attention.
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Uchiha Kagami

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Re: Call to Darkness...(P, Kagami)

Post by Uchiha Kagami on Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:39 pm

Kagami’s open-toed ninja tabi landed gracefully on the snow-laden rooftop, her long twin-tails fluttering around her face, caught in a sudden gust of wind. Standing directly opposite her, against a backdrop of twinkling neon lights dancing along the horizon, was a man cloaked, his face hidden behind an ornate white hannya mask.

ANBU? What did black-ops want with her this time?

Kagami’s sapphire eyes lingered on the mysterious shinobi, pouring over his every detail, drinking in every clue as to his intentions, and the connection they shared. She didn’t need the aid of her sharingan to feel a familiarity in the way he composed himself, the way he stood and the way his chest moved as he drew breath. At the same time, his towering figure, broad and muscular, was one she would remember, and yet couldn’t seem to place.

He called out her name, voice distorted beyond recognition by the mask he wore.

Before he even uttered the name of his jutsu, she recognized the pattern of hand seals. A Meiton user!?

Kagami remembered a boy, a few years younger than her, from her days as a Genin. He was soft spoken like her brother Shinji, blessed with good looks, even then, despite how shy he acted around her and the other girls. But most of all, she remembered the piercing yellow of his left eye. That same glow she saw peering out from behind this man’s grinning demon mask.

There was no denying it. She breathed an inward sigh of relief, and let her expression soften. She approached the purple disc of a portal that she just witnessed her old friend pass through, and without a shred of hesitation, slid her hand in after him. The harsh wind and bitter cold of Sukai’s night air melted away in an instant, replaced by the welcoming warmth of his office. Kagami embraced their change of scenery and slipped inside.

The kunoichi was greeted by the warm yellow of artificial indoor lighting, and the comforting warmth of a well-heated modern building. She blinked as her sensitive eyes adjusted to the change, and glanced around the room. Wide maple desk, paperwork, chair - it was the quarters of an officer, someone who outranked her. Well whad’ya know. Already a captain.

Making herself at home, Kagami slid over the arm of the chair in front of her, sinking deeply into its soft cushion, crossing one leg over the other and grinned. “Well, well. What does ANBU want with little old me?” She feigned ignorance.
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Kazuki Mizushima

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Re: Call to Darkness...(P, Kagami)

Post by Kazuki Mizushima on Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:34 pm

Kazuki's white boots trudged along the sky blue carpets, thankfully the lack of rain meant his shoes didn't stain the plush carpet which he walked on. Sliding his chair back a little bit he sunk himself into his seat, now that he thought about it, Kagami hadn't changed too much since their last encounter - she matured quite a bit, definitely. But the same distinct style, those eyes and twin-tails. Some things really never change. 

He picked up a folder conveniently placed in the center of his desk - containing information about the Uchiha that sat just across from him. "Well..." He started, his hands reaching out to cup both sides of the mask, slowly lifting it over his head and placing it gently on one of the corners of his desk, the porcelain ornament emitting a distinct clack similar to a plate being laid. Normally he wouldn't be too quick to reveal his identity. But who was he kidding, this was a Sharingan user - he figured she'd probably have the slightest impression as to who he was. He opened the folder revealing a few pictures attached to mission reports - most if not all producing good results. Expected for someone of her heritage.

"Oh, not much." He smirked - figuring she'd probably know his identity after seeing the rest of his face, and that distinct ornamental eyepatch shielding his right eye from view. "The Sukaikage and myself have been having a little chat - given that I'm the newly appointed Captain of the ANBU naturally, I put your name forward given your records and abilities, 'cause I'm nice like that."

 The young man explained, he used to be such a shy individual - but given his maturity he'd have enough confidence to talk to her with the confidence that someone of his rank should possess, even with a slight grin as he could finally reveal his identity to his old friend. New role - new responsibilities. "I'd like to wish you congratulations on being hand-picked as a covert operative. But before I can give you any details I gotta ask you something, Kagamin." He smirked, picking up the many reports and flicking through them, before raising his pupil from the information scrawled onto the dossier. "What is your Ninja Way?" He questioned, an inquisitive yet content look adorned the man's rugged features, a powerful elbow resting on his desk as he rested his head against his fist - wondering what her answer would be. If it'd be similar to what it was way back when. If he liked what he heard - and she liked the sound of it then they could talk business.

But for now, he shouldn't get too deep too quickly, this was secretive after all - even if they were friends.

The question was a very simple one, instead of asking her about her past which would be so common, it wasn't required. The ANBU cared not about pasts, but merely of motivations and goals, if someone could serve the village with almost cold-hearted devotion. All this was was a question that could give many different answers but also a very easy way to assess someone's psyche and what they seek to achieve. 

She was a capable ninja, and they often had goals which were very difficult to reach - some powerful shinobi preferring to take the route of destruction. But given her service to the village thus far, such a demeanor seemed unlikely. It'd been ages since he last asked her this question. Just what was it she strived for in the end?
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Uchiha Kagami

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Re: Call to Darkness...(P, Kagami)

Post by Uchiha Kagami on Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:56 pm

"What is your Ninja Way?” Such a simple question, with such a simple answer. And yet, Kagami, a Jōnin of twenty-two years found the words catch in her throat. Without thinking, her eyes slid from the face of her old friend and rested on the maple desk, betraying her hesitation if but for a moment.

Images of her father, sternly looking down at the young girl nestled in his lap, enraptured by the polished stones of his Go board, and of her brother, grinning with pride at the polished silver cloud sigil emblazoned on his freshly minted forehead protector, rushed through her head. She remembered the gentle expression her father would take, as he explained the world to her so many moons ago, the way his eyes would wrinkle when he would laugh at her naiveté. She remembered the fire in her brother’s eyes as he matured into a young man, so very different from the cowering child she once knew. She remembered the words they both held so closely to their hearts. Their “way of the Ninja.” And most of all she remembered hearing their words play back in her head, over and over and over, as she stood over their graves and wept.

Kagami blinked. She had let her emotions get the better of her. She clenched her jaw. It had only lasted for a split second, but she hoped her friend and superior hadn’t noticed. She closed her eyes and took a breath.

“Hey, Kazu-kun, have you ever thought about the way ‘Nin(忍)’ is written?” She spoke softly, slipping a paper scroll and brush-set from her pouch. She unrolled it on the desk in front of her and gracefully inked the character for him to see.

“A long time ago, my sensei told me it means to endure.” She pointed to the top of the kanji. "See here the blade that strikes downward...to here." Her hand traced down the stylized drawing of a blade complete with fleck of blood that formed the top half of the kanji to the strangely curved line and three dots at the bottom that symbolized a heart.

A thin smile crept across Kagami’s face. “I had the… misfortune to ask him out of the blue, what it all meant. Endure what? Who? Why?” She laughed with nostalgia. “He just scowled at me and grumbled something about me still being wet behind the ear… or something like that…”

“It was a really long time before I realized… the meaning of his words. That it was my - our - hearts, that must endure the pain of loss.” Despite her composure, her words dripped with emotion. Of experiences no normal girl should have to bear. “That we are destined for a life filled with death. That we can never truly just… be. Be human. Be… normal…” She raised her sapphire eyes once more, staring straight into the single golden orb sitting opposite her. “To be shinobi, is to live with a blade through our hearts. To endure the sadness. The suffering. The blood on our hands…” Her words spilled from her soft lips without thought or consideration.

Her mind pulled itself back to reality. Kagami blinked quickly and cleared her throat. “Yes, well, in any case… what I meant to say was…” She was flustered, but did her best to hide it. “That a ninja needs to have the strength to endure… well… anything, really. Anything and everything. What gives them that strength… doesn’t really matter. Just that their will is iron. Like a flower that will never wilt.”

She hadn’t meant to launch into such a lengthy story, or lecture her old friend on etymology and calligraphy, or act like the know-it-all she used to be. Old habits die hard. “But, I hope that answers your question, Kazu-kun.” She shook the sadness from her voice, letting it return to its normal sing-song nature, her head tilting to the side as she spoke her friend’s name.
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Kazuki Mizushima

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Re: Call to Darkness...(P, Kagami)

Post by Kazuki Mizushima on Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:31 pm

Immediately, Kazuki noticed the effect of his unexpectedly easy question. This technique was very simple since a lot of people don't expect such a simple first question when sitting across the Squad Leader of a Black Ops team - expecting more along the lines of an inquiry about battlefield experience. But in fact, the question merely served as to analyse one's determination and the emotion that something could bring. This definitely scaled towards the fact that devotion, endurance and responsibility being the traits that the ANBU cherished when it came to recruiting. However, the reaction was certainly different.

He'd been trained to analyse emotions, while usually there was an interrogation bureau within the ANBU in certain fast-paced situations the interrogation would need to be done on the fly by one of the operatives, analysing facial experessions and simple gestures such as a gulp when it came to fear or reflecting on a moment of sadness - the latter being what he'd picked up on with her body language, it may have been brief but he definitely noticed. 

An eyebrow curled in suspense as she pulled out the whole calligraphy set from her bag. Did people just carry things like that around? Kazuki was battlefield-smart. Assertive more than intelligent. While he definitely wasn't stupid he was hardly one to remember a full calligraphy or language lesson on something like this. 

A firm shake of the head being the answer to her question. One the young adult found perplexing. Placing palms on either side of the desk-top he leaned forward to assess the grammar lesson she was giving him. His heart somewhat warmed from the story she was telling him. He could tell from the way sorrow crept into her words. She'd lived the same kind of life as him. Having assumed she'd lost the ones she cared for most. "...More than adequately, Kagami-chan. I can relate to your analysis on a personal level and I fully understand and appreciate the strength and devotion you've shown towards your village on a regular basis. Sukaigakure is proud to have you." He smiled compassionately, as if he related to the harrowing moments of mourning cherished family members, he'd been there at the loss of his sister and parents from a clan hierarchical war.

"However I'd be lying to you if I said the role was 'normal' or 'human' compared to civilian or standard ninja duties. It's not pretty - the days of picking cats out of trees and catching petty shoplifters are a far cry from what we occupy ourselves with here in the ANBU. But, I strongly believe your ninja way is honorable and thus makes you more than deserving of it. Unfortunately, there isn't much individual fame involved, but we're the Kage's most trustworthy unit and are treated with unparalleled respect." He continued, making it clear that it was very different from any usual ninja jobs. There was hardly an easy day's work, but it was all for a cause. "You'll be trained to deal with only the most demanding of missions. And it can be incredibly demanding."

"I don't want to rush your decision, since it can be a jarring one to make. The only rightful thing I can do is ask if you'd like a drink while you reflect." He asked, a slight grin on his face as he kicked back against his chair, hands resting behind his head as he waited for a reply from his counterpart, preferring to kick the gravity of the situation at hand, to not pressure her into anything. After all if she declined all she'd have to do is never speak of what she saw. And at the end of the day, they were friends. He wasn't here to make her contemplate life itself or force her into a daunting decision - she knew full well what she was getting into at the end of the day. People knew the role of the ANBU.
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Uchiha Kagami

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Re: Call to Darkness...(P, Kagami)

Post by Uchiha Kagami on Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:30 pm

Kagami could tell, even without the aid of her crimson Sharingan, that in the time they had been apart, Kazuki had been through a lot. It wasn’t just his appearance that had matured, but his demeanour as well. He spoke with a certain gravity that could only come from experience. From seeing things. From being pushed to your limits and breaking them. Over, and over, and over again. Somewhere deep down it saddened her, that such a sweet little boy had been forced to become a man at such a young age. But she was hardly one to talk.

The Jōnin stood at the precipice once more, and was faced with a decision she knew would shape the course of the rest of her life. Would leap into the dark abyss head first, accepting the hardships and suffering that came with it? Or would she, for once in her life, make the smart decision and turn back. Accept how far she’d come and just be satisfied for once? Kagami smiled inwardly. Of course not.

She let her eyes wander the office, drinking in her surroundings. She had often considered joining the black-ops. She was friends with a handful of them, and had drank with even more. She knew how hard their bodies were pushed, and their sanity even farther. She had heard the tearful regrets of men sick of wearing the mask. She had seen the anguish in their eyes when they lost a man. No funeral. No grave. No one even missed them in fact. She remembered the words of her roommate Ritsuko, her father having served when she was just a girl - that when you join the ANBU, you become a ghost. To the rest of the village, and the rest of the world, you’re already dead. No one will mourn you, and no one will even notice that you’re gone.

Honestly, that terrified Kagami. It had taken her so long to finally muster up the will to live again, after she lost her brother, that the thought of giving up any shred of normality left in her life was almost unthinkable. Unthinkable, and yet, she was still her father’s daughter.

“What kind of a question is that?” She giggled. “Since when have I ever backed down from a challenge?” She threw her arms up and stretched overhead, the folds of her kimono parting enough to reveal her ample chest. “You better break out the good stuff!” With a grin, Kagami hopped out of her seat and stretched her hand out over the desk, her chocolate brown hair doing little to hide the way her dress hugged her body.

“Its a pleasure, Tai-Chō-kun~” Her melodic voice let each sugary syllable linger in the air for just a moment as she slowly pronounced the rank of her new squad leader. If they were going to be working together from here on out, might as well do away with the formalities and warm up to one another.

Kagami leaned in a little closer, a her soft lips spreading into a smile, her voice dropping to a purr. “But you better not be doing this just to see me all tied up somewhere.”
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Kazuki Mizushima

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Re: Call to Darkness...(P, Kagami)

Post by Kazuki Mizushima on Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:37 pm

It may have been sad having to have to become his own man since the age of 11, since his first call-up to the ANBU he had to adjust to become a fully autonomous member of society. He was adopted, sure. But the life of a ninja usually involved having a teacher at some point. Not Kazuki, he gained his own abilities and tactics through vigorous and almost torturous solo training, and surprisingly - prayer.

At the same time, no one really taught him about social tendencies. And while technically he'd be considered a Noble in this village due to his relationship with both village leaders but in reality, he was a gruff - war torn general and he loved his job.

While your existance was virtually unknown to normal citizens, the bond within the ANBU was one of pure unity and camaradery. Kazuki encouraged squad morale understanding that the bond between the ninja under his command could mean the difference between life or death.

"That's the Kagami I remember." He grinned, reaching down into a cupboard on the lower right of his desk, which was actually a mini-fridge of all things. His hand reaching to clasp the cold can of imported. "One of the perks of being here is you can afford some of the finer things in life." He chuckled, reaching across to hand her the can, taking one for himself.

"A pleasure, word of warning though the training here can be...Intense." He gave her a sly grin, they were notorious for the extent of their training and infact it was what most of the operatives got up to when they weren't doing field work.

Pulling the tab he blushed slightly at her final comment. "Well. Actually we tend to be the ones doing the tying up." He giggled slightly, taking a few swigs of the ice-cold ale. "I haven't seen you in a while, how's life been?"


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