Genma dived to the left landing on his hands, narrowly avoiding a hastily thrown boulder. He let the momentum carry him over into a roll and crouched.
He couldn't use any more jutsu, his chakra levels already too low. A discarded kunai lay a metre from him, discarded in a patch of grass. His own holsters were empty, not that the other shinobi was any better off.
Genma jumped to the side, grabbing the kunai with one hand and flipped himself upright just as the Iwa-nin charged at him.
The shinobi tried to punch him and Genma pulled himself out of the way of the chakra-infused blow.
He twisted himself coming to face the ninja's back as the punch pulled him forward and gripped the back of the Iwa nin's breastplate. He wrenched his arm back, pulling the shinobi backwards and swept his leg out to knock the ninja's feet from under him.
Genma released the grip on the back of his armour at the last second and let the Iwa-nin slam into the ground.
Genma grabbed the shinobi's furthest arm and pinned it into the ground and put most of his weight into digging his knee into the shinobi's stomach.
He raised the kunai and plunged it into the shinobi's neck and pulled the weapon across the skin.
The shinobi gurgled and choked, blood spilling over his lips and jerked under Genma's hold.
Blood drenched his gloved hand, joining his own blood scattered across his ANBU armour and the crusted blood across the cracked tanuki mask.
He yanked out the kunai and tried to ignore his muscle's screams as he stood.
It was messier than he usually liked but this mission apparently had it out for him.
He was due back a week ago but the assassination had taken longer than he'd anticipated thanks to the increase in the target's security numbers which had been updated after Genma had received the mission report it had made his job a hell of a lot harder. And it didn't help a squadron of Iwa nin had been tipped off about his location in Grass Country and decided to take their anger out on him.
Iwa could blow itself right off the map and Genma would honestly be a happier person all round.
He sheathed the knife and rolled his shoulders trying to release some biting pain from overworked joints. His eyes felt dry and heavy that spoke of far too little sleep.
He was still far from Konoha itself, he was over the boarder to the Land of Fire only an hour ago and had spent the last few minutes fighting another shinobi.
That was the last of the group unless they sent reinforcements which would be highly unlikely and not to mention stupid considering they were in the Land of Fire now and how far from Iwa they were and the fact that Iwa had definitely overstepped their boundaries — literally and figuratively.
Despite how desperate Iwa seemed to want to blow themselves up and preferably everyone else along with them, no one was in any place to be starting wars especially over skirmishes like this that could be all drawn back to Iwa's dire compulsion to wanting Konoha shinobi to bleed.
The sweat under his mask was stagnant and salty, dripping into his eyes and mouth. He lifted the mask up for a second, ignoring the fragments that further broke of and relished the cool breeze on his skin.
It would be another day before he reached Konoha if he pushed himself.
An inn was out of the question since he had no money on hand and his rations had run out a day ago.
He also couldn't afford to come into contact with any enemy shinobi with his unsightly lack of weapons, reduced to one kunai and low chakra levels. Although it was unlikely for any enemy nin to cross the border, it was certainly not impossible either.
He was exhausted, the faint tremors in his legs were not helping but the Hokage had to know about the Iwa-nin's unprompted attack in Grass and Fire Country.
He sighed. He'd make Konoha in a day. He had to.
It was Genma's legs finally giving up after being put under so much abuse that caused it. The exhaustion, the sleep deprivation, the tremors in his arms and legs and his chakra that had burnt out to a despairingly low simmer probably wasn't helping him either.
Genma had walked across the thresh hold of the hospital, having given his debrief when his right leg gave up. He felt the muscles go slack, and he fell forward.
The mask was holding in the heat and warming him up. The sweat held a thin layer of dirt to his skin, irritating. His vision blackened, the contents of the room faded away to nothing. His arms refused to co-operate, refused to catch him and his head felt like weighted bricks.
All he could do was hope he didn't concuss himself on the tile floor as he fell.
There was something beeping loudly. Too loudly. And it was right in his ear.
Genma tried to swallow and coughed instead. His throat resembled a desert and he coughed again.
There was a voice talking. He knew that voice. Knew it better than he knew his own.
He tried opening his eyes, trying to ignore the effort it took, his body uncooperative.
Genma blinked and groaned at the light of the room.
There was a flick and a voice, quieter this time, "try again, Gen"
Genma tried, he blinked again and opened one eye trying to focus on the man in front of him. Short hair, brown eyes and a scar across his face — the only person who mattered.
"Welcome back, idiot" Raidou leaned forward and kissed Genma's forehead.
"You've been out for just over a day. Docs said you practically ran yourself to exhaustion." Raidou said, his brow crinkled in concern.
"Water?" He rasped out.
Raidou's eyes widened for a second before he quickly grabbed the cup on the bedside table. He carefully fit his palm under Genma's head and lifted him up, holding the cup to his lips. Genma gulped the water down greedily and glared over the cup as Raidou snorted.
"How do you feel now?" Raidou lowered him back down and ran a hand through his hair as Genma forced his mouth in to some form of working order.
"How did I get here? And I feel tired. Tired and sore."
Raidou snorted again and tugged in a clump of Genma's hair gently. "You made it through debrief and took yourself to hospital. Made it through the door before you passed out."
Raidou's face was impassive to those who didn't know him but Genma could see the faint lines of stress, the pastiness of his skin and the tiredness in his eyes.
His arms left like lead, but he forced it to move. He clumsily reached out to Raidou, ignoring the shakiness of his hand. He placed his hand against Raidou's cheek.
"Sorry, Rai" He said. He felt his hand slip down and cursed to himself that he was so weak. Raidou's hand shot up and grasped his, holding it there.
"You're such a sap" he said. "I'm just glad you're okay."
Genma couldn't fight the lopsided smile, and he let out a content hum.
"Now, do you want some food? You look like shit babe."
"I look like the shit more like." Genma nodded for the offer of food and let Raidou manhandle him into an upright position.
Genma smiled again and let his head flop back onto the bed as Raidou fussed around him.
The life of a shinobi was no easy one, but if Raidou was what he came home to every time, it made everything seem worth it.