Zakuro is the fastest on their team. So it’s unsurprising that, after the explosion, he’s the first by her side–slowly helping her sit up from where she had been thrown.
“You idiot,” Zakuro says, half fond, half worried, before smacking the back of Konran’s head. The blow is cushioned by three layers of cloth and hair so she hardly feels a thing, not that it was terribly strong anyway.
Konran coughs in response, a puff of thick, dark smoke leaving her mouth. Her face and the front of her jacket is likewise covered in soot, making her grin a bright sickle of white in contrast. She tries to talk, but only succeeds in agitating her lungs–she coughs again.
“Stop it,” Ringo admonishes, before gently laying a chakra covered hand on her chest. The first time he had hesitated and Zakuro had nearly turned purple with laughter, the implications obvious even if she hadn’t hit puberty yet. But they’ve been a team for years, and even if her chest isn’t as flat is it once was, Ringo’s her medic.
That strange contradictory sensation of cold warmth seeps into her skin, her muscles, her ribs, her lungs, repairing the damage she’s done to herself.
“Now exhale,” he orders, and she obeys, pleased to find her breathing restored.
“Thanks,” she says, as they both absently reach a hand out to Zakuro, who easily pulls them off the ground. She looks down to check over the state of her jacket and frowns, “I don’t think this one’s salvageable.” Even if she washed it, there would still be stains in the fabric–where it isn’t completely incinerated, anyway–and the zipper teeth are fused together.
“Sweet. Can I have it?” Zakuro says, because he’s kind of an jerk, “I’ve been meaning to make some kind of dummy trap, and I was considering using some of my stuff, but if that’s wrecked then I might as well use it,” he explains, because at least he’s a productive jerk.
Ringo punches his arm anyway, which leads to a short scuffle between the two boys. “We should head to my place,” he suggests, casually, as if he didn’t have Zakuro in a headlock, "I got some more clothes for you,“ he adds with a shrug.
For some reason, Ringo occasionally receives girl’s clothing as gifts. Which he then re-gifts to Konran because, well, he doesn’t want it and she’s always up for getting free stuff.
As they head towards the unofficial Nohara clan neighborhood, Konran chattering away about how she’s sure next time the one-touch barrier seal will work, Zakuro suddenly stops. Turns around. Stares at an innocuous looking patch of road. Then reaches out and shatters an area genjutsu so strong it makes his two teammates shut their eyes lest they become nauseated by the chakra backlash.
When they open their eyes, they see what Zakuro uncovered. There’s a hatch in the road.
A/N: Yup. I have no idea where this is leading, or if it leads anywhere at all. Is it an ANBU tunnel? A ROOT tunnel? An abandoned Senju secret base filled with cool stuff?
Shout out to @cheloneuniverse who sort of reminded me about this series by liking all of the previous installments.