Date: November 19, 2010
A few ninja from Konoha bump into each other on a rainy day. Taji talks about Abel, Nobu talks about himself.
"A Rainy Day in Kusa"
Streets of Kusagakure
It is raining hard in Kusagakure today. So hard that the day's tournament matches have been cancelled. So hard that there's a good centimeter of standing water in some parts of the streets. So hard that just about any ground that isn't a street has been reduced to muck. Yet for all that, Nobu is still out and about, wandering the streets of Kusa, a thick woolen coat and large umbrella just barely keeping the wet and cold at bay. He doesn't seem to have any reason in particular for being out here, wandering around and paying more attention to the scenery than wherever it is he's going. Somehow or another he manages to avoid the worst puddles, stepping around them carefully. This seems to be the only indication that he's really concerned about the rain at all.
Even though it's raining Kegawa is out in the reeds with an umbrella over her head to try to keep her dry. She's waiting for Kuromi who's out in the reeds doing her business. She sighs a little bit as this is one of the great joys of having a nin-dog. Still she wouldn't have it any other difference.
An umbrella. Well, yes, it is. Paper coated in wax wrapped around bamboo but an umbrella none the less. The pattern on it is colorful and Taji carries it a bit gingerly. He seems a bit uneasy about the rain, trying to stay dry as he can with the colorful protection. He tiptoes, despite the heavy work boots that likely are waterproof. "Stupid rain." He mutters as he walks along avoiding the worst of the puddles. His umbrella likely will attract some attention, just for how, well, pretty it is.
As Nobu rounds a corner, he sees other people for the first time since coming out into the rain. And two at once, even. He glances at Kegawa for a moment as he trudges past, inspecting her a little, but not changing his expression much. As he gets closer to the other person, however, he can see the colourful umbrella past the rain, and then, when he's a little closer he sees that it's none other than… "Taji-san," he greets, raising his voice a little so that he can be heard above the pounding and splashing of the rain. "Hello. Nice weather, isn't it?" It's not clear if that was a joke, or if he actually likes the rain.
Kegawa looks around as she sees she's not the only one out and about on this rainy day. She wonders what they are doing out here. She sees a few of the weeds moving and she hops from one foot to the other as she waits for her nin dog to finish up.
Taji peers out from under his umbrella, and then up at the sky, "I dunno, it reminds me of home, kind of. But I found this cute umbrella and just had to buy it. What do you think?" He asks as he twirls it around a bit, the pattern on it shifting with interesting patterns, as it spins, designed almost as art, "Not many out here today." He pauses and then waves to the other person just to acknowledge that someone else would brave the elements, "So, Nobu-san? Why are you out? Just out for a walk or…?"
"You lived somewhere wet?" Nobu asks, wondering to himself if Taji had mentioned anything like that before. Well, anyway. "The umbrella looks good," he says, "I don't think I've ever heard you call anything cute before though. But it's eyecatching. I like the art." He turns to see who Taji is waving to, only to see that it's the girl he walked past just a few seconds ago. "Someone you know?" he asks Taji. "Anyway, I… just felt like I could use some fresh air. My medicine is making me a little bit dizzy."
Taji peers up at his umbrella and flushes slightly, but hides it pretty well, "Ah, well…. yeah… um, never mind about the cute bit then." He stammers, "Anyway, sorry to hear that your medicine is making you dizzy. And no, don't know her, but… so few out in the rain I thought I'd wave. It's nice to meet new people, after all. So long as they aren't Abel, disguised as an assassin trying to kill me mind you." He says, trying to make a little joke, "Did you know he tried to appologize to me? I told him he should be appologizing to Fuyu-sama instead. We'll see…"
Kegawa smiles as she sees her pup finish up, "Come on Kuromi let's head back in." She waits for Kuromi to come over to her and she heads back into the village.
Nobu seems a little surprised at Taji's embarrassment. "I was… agreeing with you. I don't think there's anything wrong with a cute umbrella." His own umbrella isn't especially cute, being made of metal and grey fabric. "And the medicine…" he continues, "Well, that sort of thing happens sometimes. You've… probably noticed that I take a lot of it. So side effects happen a lot." He raises an eyebrow at the mention of Abel. "He apologized to you?" he asks. "I wonder if that was after— well, the the point is, at least he realizes that he shouldn't have done it. Even if it's after being disciplined."
Taji shrugs, "It was after… whatever Fuyu-sama did. I know that much." He tilts his head, and studies Nobu for a bit, "I know you take a lot of medicine. You told me why once, something about a poison or something? I… I don't really understand, didn't they cure you? Aren't you all better?" He asks, sounding a tad confused, "Will you ever be cured? Or will you have to take medicine forever?" He asks as he stays pretty centered under his umbrella, the thing is big for him so provides a lot of coverage, more like an umbrella for a group really, "I just worry about you. Wish I could help some how… maybe as a team we could go look for a cure that would last?"
"I'm not convinced he truly realizes what the problem is," Nobu says in something approaching a sigh, "But I think he's made progress, at least." He looks down at the ground. "I was poisoned in a fight," he explains, appearing to be a little bit uncomfortable talking about this. "It was a strong poison. Maybe a few strong poisons. Either way, I was lucky to live. But… I never fully recovered. I came close, but there's only so much that can be done about it. The poison is gone, but there's still lingering damage." He looks up to Taji and smiles a little. "I'm flattered that you want to help. There might be a cure, but I have no leads, and neither does anyone who's treated me. It could be out in the world somewhere. Or maybe someone will invent it." He shakes his head a little. "Maybe I won't need medicine someday, but it's not as bad as it seems. And if I work hard, it gets better… just very slowly."
Taji nods slowly, "Well, maybe someone needs to mentor Abel, although I doubt Fuyu-sama will have the patience. I know he means well, but he's… well, dumb about a lot of things. He doesn't think about the consequences of his actions and… a ninja has to. If they want to keep their team and friends alive, you always have to think about what your actions mean." He pauses a bit, the rain drops falling around him, causing ripples in the water. He frowns as he looks down at the steady downpour and the water it has piled up. "Maybe… but poisons…" He shakes his head and mutters something hidden by the sound of the rain. Then he looks thoughtful, "Still though… maybe…" His brown furrows in thought, "No idea what the poisons are, right? I mean, the poisons are gone, not in you, it's just the effects, the damage they did? So if we could figure out a way to make you like you were, you'd be okay?"
"I saw him a few days ago," Nobu says, "I wasn't sure he understood, but I think he wanted to understand. That is… something, at least. The truth is, I don't know what happens to ninjas that are so… brash. There weren't many other students where I grew up." He glances at his hand that's gripping the umbrella. The team I was with was able to recover some of the missing-nin's equipment. I guess they realized it could be useful for the medics if they knew what the poisons were. So there might be some indication of what poisons in my medical records. But you're right. It's the damage that's the problem. It happened four years ago, so the poison is probably gone by now. If there was some way to fix the damage… maybe then I'd go back to normal. But I don't know for sure."
Taji sighs, "I wish I could help. I'm no med-nin." He says with a shake of his head, "And I stay pretty far away from the clinic when I can. But I know there are some pretty amazing things possible with enough effort and time and knowledge. Maybe I should ask Fuyu-sama, and… see if we can go looking for something to help you? Would you be upset if I asked her?" He ventures, clearly not wanting to do something that might upset Nobu, attentive to possibly doing something unwanted, "Even if we could just find a way to fix you enough so you didn't have to take some many medicines and get dizzy, that'd be something, right? Even if we couldn't 'fix' you completely?"
"Thank you," Nobu says, "But you shouldn't feel like you're under some kind of obligation to me. You don't need to feel bad just for not being a med-nin." He pauses for a second and frowns. "You avoid the clinic? You don't mean that you've been avoiding checkups or something, do you? Well, I can see why you wouldn't be going every day, but…" He lets that sentence go unfinished. "I wouldn't be upset," he says, "I've told her about some of this. Why I said I want to get stronger. When I exercise and get in better shape… it helps me a little. I need less medicine than I did before. But if we could find something like what you're talking about, it would be… nice." It seems as if he likes that idea a lot, even if it may not even be possible. His responsible side kicks in a little and he adds, "But you shouldn't have to worry about me." It's a bit half-hearted.
At the mention of regulare checkups, Taji kind of looks to the side. He says nothing, but clearly he has been avoiding such things. He looks back to Nobu and simply gives a little sheepish smile, "It's not something I have to do, but… something I'd like to do. You do things for friends, right?" He says as he shrugs a bit, "Anyway, I should get out of the rain, and try to dry out. Maybe the matches will start back up tomorrow. I'll see you back at the dorms? Right?" He ventures, as he seems to be getting ready to move on again.
Nobu sighs. "Take care of yourself, Taji-san. I've lost track of how many surgeries I've had. They're not pleasant." He glances out from under his umbrella to look up at the sky. "Yes, I guess you do. If your heart's set on it, then… I would appreciate it. And the dorms… I'd like to stay out for a while more. But I'll go back in not too long. I need the fresh air, but I can't stay out in this weather forever either."