intraspective: (listen to meeee)
"Yeah," Ino said, spinning around in her chair. "I've got it. Thank you. Let me know if anything changes, okay? Great! I'll be in touch."

Hanging up, Ino swung her feet up and over until she was lounging sideways in her chair, knees hooked over the chair arm, her back pressed against the other, and she let her smile fade.

Gods, but she had a headache!

No rest for the wicked, though, so she rapped smartly (but lightly) on Tseng's mind—he was mid-phone call himself, after all—and said, "Got a moment? Buzz me, when you do."

Then she picked up some of her neglected paperwork and tried to focus on that while she waited.

[For that boss dude.]
intraspective: ([Iris] judging princess)
It had taken her ages to fly across the greater part of a continent, and then over a piece of the ocean, in the dead of winter. Ino never wanted to repeat that journey, but it had given her plenty of time to think. Getting into her emails without being noticed was still a… well, she'd managed. But it had been a challenge. Ino was a born hacker of minds, not of machines.

It had been worth it though, when she'd found the first piece of the puzzle. Her phone bill was higher than it had been in years. At first, she'd thought it was due to her calls to Fandom, but while that made a bit of a difference, the bigger one was… Zack's account was in use.

She'd lost two days to that revelation, what it had to mean, and the rage and guilt and horror that it had inspired in her. What had kept her in one place had been less the rage and more the twin emotions of stark betrayal and incredulous joy. Neither had been conductive to stealth, so she hadn't tried. She'd taken her time.

If Zack's account was in use, if Zack was alive… then she'd been lied to for years. It sent her straight back into the empty, ugly spaces of herself where she could do anything, the empty, broken places she'd retreated into after losing him the first time around.

It took two days for her to shake that off, to pick herself up, to be an adult. She had to know the truth. She had to go home.

Now, she was home. )

It was a fragile, ephemeral conclusion that she came to, but it was the only one that made sense:

I think he was trying to protect us. Or maybe even just me. But from what, and why?

[For the one she's waiting for, please.]
intraspective: (tell me you're kidding)
[OOC: So yeah. If you're seeing this... I have no idea why you're reading Ino's journal years after I dropped her, but hi! This post was written waaay back in 2011 as a companion piece to this post over on [livejournal.com profile] puppy_fair's journal. (And you should go read that one because it's way, way better than this post.) Then it got lost in my inbox and I didn't feel like posting it and now I do? I'm feeling nostalgic tonight, I guess.]

It's pretty weird for you to be summoned directly to him and when you consider the fact that you've not gotten yourself in trouble--not even because of Silly--you realize that, really, he's probably summoned you to talk about the future and how to proceed with it.

And you're right, in a sick and twisted way that leaves you trying not to vomit on the carpet, as he tells you that he is dead in action and that he (not he) is sorry. He doesn't look at you as he says this. That's right, he was his friend too. You shake your head, long hair tumbling with the movement, tumbling like your thoughts, like your world is spinning and trying to realign and can't because the foundation you've found, made, used here is--

Gone.

You'd been told you had years. To change things, to fix them, to make the world a better place. That he died at some point during all of that.

You'd thought you had years to figure that out and change it. They'd let you go on thinking that, knowing you knew, and beneath the shock is a current of red-hot fury, but the shock is winning now. They lied. You're certain at least one of them loves you, but they lied and let you believe and let you wind your life around his and now… now you're all alone, in a world that's not even yours.

In a world that, maybe, you can still even save. You know a lot, though you didn't know enough.

He's gone, after all.

You realize hazily, belatedly, dizzily, that he, your boss, is waiting for an answer of some sort. Acknowledgement.

You've got none to give.

"No," you say, in a voice that might as well be dead, because you wish you were dead just then, and without hearing an answer (perhaps he gave one, perhaps he didn't) you walk out. You don't even know what you're saying no too. Just that--no. That's it, that's all there is: no. No, you refuse to deal with it. No, it didn't happen. No, he didn't, wouldn't, couldn't, just leave you like that.

No, he couldn't be gone is the same as no, this can't be happening. Except that it has and it did and you're all alone and even if you were to call someone, who would you trust? Those who knew lied to you. That means there's no one to trust. Not in your crumpled up, closed off heart that trusted little and loved few already.

You find yourself at the top of many, many stairs. You don't remember getting there. It makes sense not to go to your room, or to your other room. Too easy to be found by other people and you don't want to talk to them. If you're spoken to right now, you think you might go violent. It would be a release, since you can't cry. (Because this isn't happening. Your birthday is in a few days and he's got a surprise for you so it can't be happening.)

Your hands are trembling, shaking, when you look at them and consider the easiest way to get out of this nightmare. There's so many. Your room is filled with options, your person has others. You shake, wrapping your arms tight around you, leaning against the door and consider it.

But if you did, he wouldn't understand. That's still important to you, his understanding.

Instead, you force yourself down those steps. Waveringly, alarmingly, as they pitch and roll in your eyesight because everything's out of focus and worse, but you keep going, clinging to the railing like it's a lifeline, because it is. One step of steps, around a corner, then another. Then you start picking up your pace as you go spiralling down and down and down which is exactly how you feel and somewhere on the twentieth floor, tears start spilling down your cheeks and you keep running.

Reaching the bottom is like hitting the end of the line. You stand, shuddering, on the last step and refuse to take it. Refuse to touch rock bottom.

Instead, you turn and force yourself to go up and up and up so that you can go down again. You can't talk to anyone, you can't go outside--who knows who'll see you, and here you can at least move, run--you just have to hide from one person, that's all, because if he says anything right now, you might try to kill him and you don't want to do that just because he looks like someone who broke your trust. So you'll avoid him.

That's easy, when you don't feel like you exist anyway. What's one more layer to this farce?

You continue up and up and up so that you can go down and down and down.

And that's fitting too, whispers your thoughts, under the haze of no.
intraspective: (Make up!)
After saying goodbye to Hannibal, Ino had wandered back to her room and, upon finding Zack out, had smiled slightly, determinedly, and went about making her own preparations. It was not really necessary to change her clothing into something she'd have worn out on the streets of Midgar—pink, frilly, short (because short she could fight in, and pink and frilly could be worked around and the entire thing made her look ridiculously harmless)—and brush her hair out so that it was a bit fluffier than normal. A tiny bit of make-up to make her eyes look larger and her lips poutier (and her head emptier).

None of that was necessary, no. And yet, in order to get properly into the role it was.

Ino closed her door, but didn't lock it. If Zack came back he'd be concerned by a locked door. Taking a seat at her desk and crossing her legs, Ino took a moment to center herself in order to properly play the role she wanted to here.

(Reno was going to be angry, she thought, then shoved it from her mind.)

Then, she picked up her phone and dialled a number that she wasn't, absolutely wasn't, supposed to have.

Another deep breath and she let an insipid smile cross her face as she waited for the phone to be picked up a world away.

[Primarily for the one on the other end of the line, though open if you want. Door closed.

ETA: That Ino is calling someone is FB, the topics and identity of who she's calling is NFB, please!]

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Yamanaka Ino

July 2017

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