Date: March 24, 2011
Yoshihiro and Yuuka discuss the complexities of their Kaguya heritage as well as some interesting tidbits of current events.
"A Conversation in the Boneyard Gardens"
Boneyard Gardens, Kirigakure, Land of Water
As you enter the gardens from the street, you realise that the curved white fence-posts with the strange-seeming cross-baring between them are large, curved rib bones; Likely from a whale, if their size is any judge. Within the walled off area, however, the ground is rich and lush; Tall fruit trees, staggered so that during any given season at least a few of the barrier-ring of trees would be in bloom and part giving fruit, rest covered with a network of creeping vines along the trunks. The ground seems almost carpeted by herbal beds full of mint, garlic, any number of things that one can imagine are likely here, growing.
The area seems to be a large, circular space; Trees at the far outside, concentretic rings of herb beds, and then a ring of low to the ground fruit-bushes. Where the ground is visable, it seems that the dirt has a strange consistancy, like light, bleached woodchips. In the center of this large garden is a grassy field, perhaps 60 feet across, at the very center of which is a water fountain; Upon the fountain's central pillar, in very small text, lists of names are written. When you find the name of someone who you had heard died within the last few months, you realise the morbid truth; This place of lush, nurtured growth is a graveyard.
The light clouds from before have faded some, allowing brief sunlight to gently warm the village, gracing over Kirigakure and threading through the treetops. Sitting on the edge of the fountain, water splashes quietly in the background as soft pink cherry blossoms gently fall through the air, caught by the breeze as some fall into the fountain itself to cling to the pool's surface. Yuuka blinks her right aquamarine eyes beneath long lashes as she watches the gentle ripple of the water, chewing quietly as she lifts one of the rice balls from the carefully prepared bento box.
"It's beautiful here."
The voice that speaks is soft, but firm, reminiscent of a fine steel wire wrapped in a handkerchief of velvet. The statement is spoken with a hint of reverence, but the predominating emotion seems to be simple appreciation. The speaker reveals himself to be Kaguya Yoshihiro, who approaches her spot near the fountain but stops short several feet from the structure itself. He leans back on one foot, arms crossed across his chest as he regards the gentle stirring of the water before him.
Swallowing her bite, Yuuka lifts her bright blue green eyes to glance in the direction of the voice, faintly quirking a thin brow as she sees Yoshihiro approaching, the light wind barely catching at his clothing with his movements. "Ah, 'Dreamy-san'." her velvet voice murmurs with some curiosity. Lifting the riceball, her lips wrap around one corner as Yuuka takes another small bite of the food. "It certainly is."
"Some people would be horrified to hear us say it, I think," muses Yoshihiro as he smoothly transitions his dual-colored gaze from the splashing fountain to the woman beside it. "This place is a graveyard for the many who have fallen, after all."
Even as he speaks, the young Kaguya lowers himself to one knee and buries his hand almost to the wrist in the fine, white chips that are strewn about the ground. When the hand resurfaces, it is filled with them bleached little bits of bone. No sign of revulsion crosses his face; only a calm reverence smolders in the pits of his eyes.
"I like to think of this place as /our/ place, a Kaguya place, and in so many ways. We are defined by bone, by the splendidness of ours but by also by the bones of our enemies as they fall and wither away; but even beyond that, we have been defined by death. How many souls did the Kaguyas of old sent screaming into graveyards like this? How many of us were sent here as well, driven by the nature of our clan's culture?" Yoshihiro looks up at Yuuka, a pale blush darkening his features as he lets the chips fall through his fingers. "I've said too much. Enough to ruin your meal, I think."
The corner of her soft lips tugs with a slight smirk of amusement, "Our view of the world is unique, after all. Who is to say that this is not beauty." Yuuka murmurs quietly. She breathes out a slow breath as she lowers her eyes to her food, taking another small bite of it as she chews quietly for several moments before swallowing. Her deep blue green eyes blink slowly as they glance towards him, lifting a thin, pale brow as he buries his hand completely in the soft soil, unearthing a mixture of dirt and bone in his strong hand while contemplating it. The kunoichi watches him in silence, the light breeze teasing through her long, snow white hair as she continues to blink slowly at him in thought. The hint of a blush, however, is unexpected. Pressing her lips together, Yuuka just faintly shakes her head as she murmurs, "No." she silently gesture for him to sit with her in invitation. "I am a bit jealous, I think."
This earns Yuuka a curious glance from Yoshihiro as the young shinobi pushes himself to his feet. He makes his way over to her at a sedate pace, but the leisurely pace of his stride is marked with a certain feral grace. Even when he settles himself beside her, his posture of repose is like that of a hunting cat - at ease, but never truly at rest. A small space is left between them, as is customary for him. "What about me could possibly inspire the slightest hint of jealousy?"
The corner of her lips tugs still as Yuuka watches the half-eaten riceball before she lowers it into the bento box in her lap, taking an untouched one as she takes it lightly in her slender fingers and offers it out to him. "You seem perfectly comfortable with who you are, with our clan. Your words were poetic and beautiful with a subtle pride that is honest. It makes me wish I was the same way." Lowering her deep blue green eyes to her free hand, her gaze looks over the surface of the open palm as she simply stares at it. "Right now… I am not anywhere close to that."
For several long moments Yoshihiro remains silent, sitting with his head tilted back slightly, his weight resting on his hands, which are behind him and pointed away. He does not look at his companion, nor does he visibly acknowledge her words while the silence lingers. Finally, he speaks, though his gaze remains fixated on some distant point.
"I don't think I'm someone to be envied in the sense that I'm unquestioningly proud of our heritage. My parents were taken from me at a young age. I was not raised here in Kirigakure. I was not instilled with the values of the Kaguya clan for most of my youth… if it can even be said that our forebears had many values worth instilling in children."
When he finally pivots his head to look at her, a small smile plays at his lips like ivy, shy but pleased. "When I speak proudly of the Kaguya, it is simply because I look at myself and I cannot help but marvel at these gifts that were given to me by my blood. And that's something you can find within yourself, too, I think. For all the confusion and bitterness of this world, doesn't your heart stir, even for just a moment, when you see the beauty of our bones, when you fly through battle with your Kekkei Genkai unleashed?"
He ceases speaking as a more somber expression settles on his face. "Still, if there is one thing that I am the proudest of, it's that our clan has been given another chance. The road that those before us took, they thought it was honor, but it brought nothing but shame and death. But today, here, now, /WE/ are NOT dead. The future will be written by us. We who have a chance to learn wisdom."
As his words come to a halt, Yoshihiro's eyes seem to adjust to the fact that Yuuka is offering him a riceball. A faint blush tinges his cheeks but he answers with a single shake of his head. "No, thank you."
Yuuka sets the whole riceball in the bento box before setting the box itself to her right, on the fountain edge. Turning her snow white head, the kunoichi lifts her bright aquamarine eyes as she glances up at his own bicolored orbs, silent as she listens before her gaze narrows faintly at him with a slight frown. "You… have a unique view of yourself then." she murmurs quietly, "A unique childhood. I think I am even more jealous now…" The corner of her lips tugs gently before a soft breath passes between those soft lips. "Recently… my kekkei genkai woke all at once. My emotions… my feelings are different now. Like I am not the same person as before… It is hard to marvel at my abilities when I am torn with the knowledge of the bloodshed that has come before me." Yuuka pauses as she watches his eyes, though eventually a light smile, soft and genuine does hint at her lips, "That is the only time when I know myself, when I am in tune and can hear, feel my bones in my mind… The moment is always perfect.
Her smile is answered with a full-fledged grin of Yoshihiro's own as the two of them bask in the shared memory of that most definitive of Kaguya experiences. He straightens himself into a proper sitting position and lifts a hand to brush an errant white strand from where it drifts over his left eye. When he speaks, it is to introduce a wholly new subject.
"Do you know who that other shinobi was on the mission the other day? He did not take a hand in the proceedings, but I sensed power in him. I wonder what compelled him to come along with us on what was essentially a simple search-and-rescue?"
Yuuka watches him a moment longer as Yoshihiro absently brushes a pale lock from his face, only to then switch to an entirely new subject. Her rich blue green eyes blink once before narrowing lightly in thought. "I had never seen him before then, not even in combat. So it is difficult to say who exactly he may be." Shaking her snow white head once, she sighs as she lifts her right hand to absently brush her slender fiingers through her snowy locks. "Not sure. He could be anyone, Jounin or higher probably."
"Hmmm… the war seems to be drawing to a close, but it feels like this is simply the calm before another storm. Perhaps it'll just be a sprinkle or a squall, not like the thunderstorm that was the war… but strange things are afoot. I assume you've heard about the attack on the Mizukage?" Yoshihiro's tone is more musing than concerned, though the idle drumming of his index and middle fingers on his right thigh betray some sense of agitation.
"I heard there was one, but nothing specific about it." Yuuka replies, her eyes glancing to his thrumming fingers before she lifts her gaze upwards to the trees around them, the last of the sun's rays fading while the full moon is large on the eastern horizon. "I doubt this war is over, though it will not be ours to fight."
"Well, as a fellow Kaguya, I'll look out for you," says Yoshihiro, tilting his head toward Yuuka to flash her a crooked smile, a warm expression despite its lopsided shape. As he does so, he pushes off from his seat and gets to his feet, dusting the back of his pants off. After all, even a light breeze often sends the bonechips fluttering about here in the Boneyard Gardens. He turns to face her and inclines his head, a symbolistic shorthand for a bow. "Thank you for a relaxing talk. You're wonderful company. Take care."
With a lifted hand, he turns to leave, though not before he leans in close to her… no, /past/ her, so his other free hand can snag the last riceball from her bento box.
Yuuka lightly lifts a slender brow as she turns her head to glance at Yoshihiro again, seeming curious in his offer to 'look out for her' and grin that boy-next-door grin of his. When he rises to his feet, Yuuka leans back slightly to offer him room as he does, the curve of her back perfectly straight when he stands. The corner of her lips tugs with a slight smile as she lowers her chin in return of the light bow. "Take care then, til we next meet." she murmurs. Though when he turns and leans close, Yuuka blinks with some surprise as he does, leaning down to take the last riceball she had prepared for herself. Originally. The Kaguya kunoichi lifts a brow again at him in suspision for a moment, though the smirk faintly tugs at her soft lips once more.