Date: May 5, 2013
A quiet morning of meditaion is interrupted and leads to a demonstration of a unique style of reaching Zen, only to be railroaded by Ogo and Hiei whom inject a serious tone and introduce the team's first EVER, photo-op.
"A Ripple upon a calm pond!"
Zen Gardens, Konohagakure
The gray somber morning, is muted with the distinct lack of the awaking sun on the horizon. Thick gray and brackish clouds hustle and crowd each other to fill the morning sky. The calm hush over the forest is both relaxing and alarming, the morning birds are not singing their songs, the animals that are usually plentiful are scarce. A moist wind blows bringing the scent of wet earth and ozone.
Hiroyasu sits on top of the large rock in the rock garden, forgoing his usual lady killer meditating gear since he was in public with his regular garb. His eyes firmly closed and his inward chaos dwindling to a small ripple upon an otherwise still pond.
Misaki wasn't sure what to do today. After being forcibly revealed a jinchuuriki (a concept she wasn't even aware of) by another she has been a bit… distracted. So she came here to rest and relax. And even here the still ponds didn't seem silent. The harmonic trees rustled in chaos. And the soft grass seemed cold and uncomfortable. She sighs, while she wanders deeper into the gardens, in search of the zen she needs to set her mind straight. She isn't the only one. That was a relief. But why was this kept from her? Also by Matatabi? She needed to talk to him, but somehow the shock prohibited her from entering the inner sanctum by simply closing her eyes. She knew why… she wasn't calm.
When she finally reached the inner sanctum she noticed things were more… plain and hence tranquil here. Even worse, seems like somebody else had the same idea. She silently sighs and sits down on a nearby rock. She was far away not to disturb Hiro, though she wasn't subtle enough (no matter how hard she tried) for him not to notice her somewhat alien presence in this otherwise still garden.
Hiroyasu can hear the footfalls upon the ground in an otherwise quiet area, the chaos inside churns slightly as his curiosity like a wind sweeps across his inner peace sending ripples outward. 'They just want to be left alone, like I do.. Don't bother them.. don't break the silence' his internal monologue was fruitless as no matter how he attempts to logically see it, his emotions will have none of that nonsense and continue to lay sway upon his calm until the once calm pond now churns like an angry sea. A deep sigh escape his lips and a single eye pops open peaking about the area, 'It's Misaki!, but I shouldn't bother her' he continues to battle himself over his next course of action 'But she looks sad, and probably hungry!' his thoughts are tearing at him. He leaps from the large rock onto the boulder buddy which actually sat in the sand having been raked around by Hiroyasu to conceal it and to give him a footfall to get up the rock without disturbing things too much.
With a gallant leap his bare feet find truth the cool ground, his movements calculated and direct with each step. As he approaches he takes the moment to look at her body's language; sullen shoulders, muscle tense in the neck, but loose in the face, eye's distant. Existential crisis detect, set weapons to fun! "Good morning, Misaki-denka" he says softly bring his head into a bow and his hands into a steeple. "Are we seeking Zen on this beautiful morning?" he asks his eyes slowly moving about her features to gouge the response.
She sighs and smiles at Hiro. "I wish it was that simple." She nods at Hiro in greeting. "Sometimes I envy you, Hiro-bo." She chuckles quietly before focusing her attention on the actual pond near the rocks… sighing again while putting her hands in typical zen formation. Though, she never knew why monks did it nor how it would help her. In fact, it only tensed her since she was doing it wrong, she was irked by the inability to relax, her eyebrow twitching. "I'm sorry to disturb, I didn't mean to.." She speaks softly and calmly, clearly combating herself to try and relax.
Hiroyasu says "Difficulty is what you make it out to be. Things you think are hard become hard to do, things you think you can do are easy!" he scratching the back of his head "Ying, Yang" he holds his left hand and right hand "Meet, and you bring it into your being" demonstrating the hand gesture like you might teach a young child to tie their shoe, anecdotal. "But it isn't needed, it's routine. Find the position that is your center" he says sitting down next to her. "It's only as hard as you make it, Nee-San" he says jokingly.
She sighs and lets her head roll. "How do you drive out thoughts that are haunting you?" She seems calm while asking, smiling at Hiro when he makes the joke, though not giving it a hearty laugh. Just mimicking him a bit, trying to find that center. Though she's still tense, she does look more… physically balanced.
Hiroyasu says "You don't, the harder you push things the more turbulent your calm becomes. Thoughts are like stones that you drop into a pond, the harder the throw them the more ripples which continue to affect the surface long after the stone has sunk." trying to sound all wise but really he's just trying to put how he feels into words which ill fit the real description.
"The pond is already rippling, it doesn't stop.." She says with her eyes closed. "I c…can't even focus! ARGH!" She smashes her fist down on the stone and crosses her arms in frustration while looking irked. As if that should scare meditation into letting her be successful in it. And hey why not? This tactic worked for her in the past. She sighs and just glooms over not being able to relax for a moment. "You make it look and sound so easy!"
Hiroyasu says "Because I think it should be easy. I do this because I need focus, razor sharp to utilize medininjutsu at the scale that you and hiei will require of me. It's a troubling fact that you both will outpace my ability to heal with your ability to inflict it on both your enemies and yourself." bringing his hands into his lap "but that is not something I can control, so I won't try. I will spend my effort on the things I can do." before peeking an eye open "Care to explain, or perhaps you might benefit from a kata? Nee-San?" he says again, might as well he never had any siblings.
She looks at him and tries to smile… though she just ends up with a faint nod. "Why do you call me nee-San?" She asks, not angry, more curious than anything. She then sighs, shaking her head faintly. "Someone told me that, something I thought was true… something very dear to me, something that defines me… was only half the truth. I have so many questions, and the answers are impossible to find."
She sighs… now she was truthful. Cryptic, she didn't give away anything this way. But this really touched the center of the conflict she now has. "I have always been capable of… uniting with myself. If I can only relax… I hope to have some of these questions answered." She reaches over to her right shoulder, squeezing. "Though I can't relax now… so that only tenses me up more." She gazes at him and perks an eyebrow. "I have never done any Kata training. I lack the control…"
Hiroyasu says leaping over the initial question "That doesn't change much really, Your still who you were right. Others don't define us even if what they say is true, it's what we chose for ourselves that defines us. At least that's my thoughts on it." be leaps up "Kata, Yoga,.." he pauses looking around "They are just words that Martial artists and spiritualists use for to describe a dance. It doesn't take control, control is rigid. It takes carelessness which is fluid and free" he says hopping around on a one leg busting an odd looking pose before moving fluidly to another pose "If you speed up the maneuvers watch" before going into a flurry of fluid moves which end up like ballet with punches and kicks "Ancient Monk Secret, Dance slow enough, people think your training and leave you alone.. " he chortles.
Misaki looks at Hiro and shakes her head. Lifting up her shirt so her stomach is revealed to the belly button. She focuses her chakra, and a black marking reveals itself. It draws all the way from her left side, where it's built of elaborate figures, to her right side, which is a mirror image of the left. They're connected. If Hiro would recognize the seal (a very elaborate Uzumaki seal) he would know that it's called Soho no goi. Deriving with basic knowledge shows this is a seal that requires three approvals. Two from the inside, and one from the outside. The part marked by the outside (right in the middle of her stomach) is quite recognizably the Uzumaki family seal, but a variation on it. The other agreement seals however, are quite elaborate and foreign looking.
She lowers her shirt again. "My choice was taken from me, before I could make decisions." Misaki says, not elaborating on what that seal is or means. This was already quite a task for her to do. She just looks at Hiro as he demonstrates his chaotic dance of tranquility. Chuckling when he jokes about it. "Hiei was right, you can teach me a lot." She actually does smile now. Showing that seal was something she was reluctant to do, but now that she did it… even without explanation, it feels like half the weight of the world slid off her shoulders. It goes without saying that on this day where it might possibly rain that she put on a jacket, t-shirt and skirt instead of her usual dress.
Hiroyasu pauses in his dance when Misaki flashes him, with her hidden shame "A Seal, a very complex one. Negative feedback, an positive… two way?" his master over seals is limited to Negative feedback but he can identify the reverse by elimination. "Intricate, Powerful. Did you know that the more intricate the design the more powerful. That has several layers of reversing chakra polarities. " he covers his eyes "That has to be a forbidden seal, I don't want to see it, I might get curious." before peeking an eye through his fingers "Nice definition Nee-San." conversation deflection deployed. Before flopping on the ground and doing what is best described as the worm before spinning around and back to his feet "Come come, learn to be fluid, carefree." before busting out another martial arts dance.
Misaki blinks when he blabbers on about her seal. When he asks if it was two way she shrugs. "I don't know, I was never told. My uncle did it when I was born." He wasn't exactly her uncle, but known as uncle anyways. She blushes as he compliments her on her figure, or… the seal's figure. With Hiro you could never really know. She sighs and gets on her feet, facing him and bowing once. Before waiting for him to demonstrate, following along, thinking how silly she must look while she tries to copy his every move.
Ogosokamaru was never far away from any of his students. (Far is a relative term, distance to time traveled to reach a destination) And the Kumo jounin was in the Zen gardens. He wasn't walking, or strolling, but sitting by himself on a bench. He had a book with him, reading as he was leaning back with one arm extended along the top of the back, one leg crossed over the other, ankle over knee. A corner of what might be a couple of pictures poke from the bottom of the book, between the last page and the back hard cover. Ogo sets the book in his lap, opens to the back cover, and puts the pictures back into their makeshift sleeve of that little paper cover on the inside of the outer jacket. Kinda like a library book card holder thingy. In any case, he just closes the book and looks out over the garden, around at the flowers and trees, the stream and babbling brook bubbling and bleating it's way down between it's blossomy banks.
Ogo sighs for just a moment, and whispers to himself, just so he and one other could hear.
"You would have loved this place." He places a hand on top of the book for just a moment, and then grabs it up and stands, putting the book securely in his sleeve, and off he goes and- Oh, lookie there. Two of his students. Right behind where he was sitting! Who'da thunkit!?
He waits on the other side of the small brook from them, waiting for them to see him standing there ominously, as ominous as he usually is.
Hiei walks into the area, pausing briefly to see where people are in relation to himself. He spots Hiroyasu and Misaki doing katas or whatever it was that Hiro called where he struck the poses like a dancer. Blue eyes continue to scan until he spots Ogosokamaru standing by a brook looking ominous. He takes a step towards Hiro and Misaki, but changes directions, walking straight for his sensei. He's dressed in his usual outfit with his weights firmly attached to his arms and legs. He stops close to Ogo and crosses his arms over his chest. He watches the taller Jounin out of the corner of his eye. "Sensei..we need to talk."
Hiroyasu shakes his head "Don't copy what I do, Do what you want to do. You can fight right, start there use the moves, start out rigid, then just do whatever. Punch, punch, kick, kick" he demonstrates using footwork to bring each making it like a dance but not entirely. "If the song inside is violent, play to it, if your song inside is somber play that too" he says moving to slower somber set of moves as demonstration. "The seal itself isn't two way, it's made of a maze of them which seem to alternate positive and negative. A labyrinth of for chakra, whose purpose is beyond me. Why someone would need a maze for chakra with so many safeguards." then there it was that cold tingle, that feeling that a terrible demon was lurking nearby, whose gaze was set upon him like a hungry wolf. He glances about quickly, stopping the tell-tale sign the white hair of relentless demon and then something joins the demon, another white hair.. this one less demonic but forever trapped in the circle of pain.
Misaki nods at his instructions and was getting into it. Why? Because she hasn't even noticed Hiro looking away at the lurking demon(s) of doom. When Hiro muses on about her seal she just shrugs and keeps going. Why? Because she was finding her rhythm, her fists clench while her movements look more like hers. More limber and athletic. She then finally closes her eyes, and while her movements continue, turning into a fluid dance she finally finds herself back into her gardens. Looking at Matatabi. ~ Welcome back.. ~ He muses… connection reestablished. This call will costs you twenty cents per minute, additional costs might apply, check your provider for more info.
Hiroyasu stops his dance lesson as she seems to have covered the basics and is working well on her own. He claps twice and brings his hands into a prayer steeple. "A Blossom in the wind, finding it's path true, may one day grow into a tree" before clap clap, he takes the moment of silence to retrieve the boulder buddy from it's hiding place as a rock in the rock garden, using the rake he smooths out the sand. Before coming back to where they had setup dance shop, if everyone was here it was only soon to reason that all hell would break loose.
Misaki smiles and when she finally had been told what she wanted to hear she opens her eyes, blinking a few times, before sighing…. relaxed. "Thank you Hiro-san!" She jumps up and before he knows it gets a heartfelt cuddle. "That totally worked!" She smiles widely, looking at her fist and then back up to Hiro. "I never knew this could relax… thank you!" She tightens the hug a little bit before letting go, only now being made aware of the presence of captain ominous and his secretary miss slightly less ominous. "How….long have they been watching?"
Hiroyasu is hug-bombed and he strains to say "Your Welcome, and I figured this approach would suit you. " when she lets him down "Sparring is form of calm for people like you and Hiei. So I gave given you the sparring form for the soul. Eventually you should be able to turn you dance into a kata, with practice. So that even a slow movement is the battle of a thousand blows." before looking at her targets in her line of sight "couple minutes, I didn't want to interrupt them, it seems like they are talking. Well they are standing at conversations length and neither has drawn a sword.. so yeah conversation." he adds.
She nods while he explains that sparring is a form of calm for her. She nods. "Fighting is.. good to calm my nerves." She admits, finding what he says sounding somewhat logical. Though when he goes on about Kata he lost her. She giggles when he comments on them not having drawn a sword. "Maybe they're doing a stare-down. Probably Hiei's frustration at the bells." She chuckles.
Hiroyasu nods his head sagely "I imagine that he is none too happy about it, maybe he going to ask for advice. It takes a strong will to ask for help when your pride would normally stop you. He's becoming a true Yotsuki every day.. I think he has you to thank for that, nee-San" he says watching them in the distance.
Misaki looks at Hiro and perks an eyebrow. "Me?!" She says, completely surprised. "W-what do you mean?!" She's used to him calling her nee-San now. And… she doesn't mind. She doesn't have any family. And this feels… weird… warm, familiar but in a good way. She would be sad if he stopped, so decides to just enjoy it for now. "I didn't do anything I swear!" She thinks she's being accused of something. Not knowing that what he meant was somewhat positive.
Hiroyasu says "You did, He was missing something very important in his life. It held him back, I think. Clan life can be hard, you have expectations and responsibilities. His father treats him poorly and his mother is withdrawn, until you came to him, his heart didn't remember love. " he wipes a tear from his eye "You set fire to the flame and warmed his heart. Now he's moving forward." he say with a nod to himself.
She looks at him and shakes her head. "No I didn't set fire to anything I swear!" She stops… OHHHHH "Oh you mean?" She blushes for a moment while her eyes look for a potential escape route. Being accused of setting fire to stuff is… uncomfortable… Being accused of being someone's lovebird and light to move forward on and that sort of stuff isn't easy to swallow either. Especially for someone so determined to be shut off from everything. "No I'm not!" She adds, crossing her arms stubbornly.
To Hiei, Ogo speaks but doesn't turn his head. "Hn? And what exactly do you want to talk about?" Seeing the two converse over there, Hiro and Misa talking, hugging, her moment of quiet. That one got Ogo's attention, and he payed closely after that moment, but would still talk with Hiei about what he wanted to talk. Probably not for long though.
Hiei just lays it out there. "The situation with Kayaru-sama. I noticed the note you received when we were training the other day. I also noticed that you and he left quickly after that. I want to know if there is something that we, as a team, need to be aware of." He turns to look at the man fully. "If it's a family issue, I apologize for asking, but if it's something that affects us all, we have a right to know, so that we can be prepared for what comes next. You are our leader, we are here to support you and learn from you. Whatever this is, you don't have to shoulder it alone. Let us help you."
Hiroyasu pats her on the shoulder "Hai hai, nee-San. Okay okay, you didn't.. Must have been my fiery wit and rugged good looks." He busts a pose "Ooooohh yeah, this sets fire to all the hearts of Konohagakure and Kumogakure. Feel the burn.. uhhhh" flexing his puny arms into a pose that would be more comical if it was purely pathetic.
Misaki chuckles while he strikes his poses. "Yea, it's probably that.." She muses weakly, before turning to stand next to Hiro. Crossing her arms and staring at Hiei. "I wonder what they're discussing… If it's about food… I want in!"
Hiei gets a sidelong look, and Ogo even chuckles and reaches over to put his hand on top of Hiei's head heavily. Was he… showing some affection to a team member? Preparations for head explosions. T-minus ten nine eight…
Ogo removes his hand vertically and pats heavily Hiei on top of the head. Even when not trying, Ogo had a very heavy hand (literal and figurative). "The team sent to replace us was found dead. We'll be here a little longer, but my cousin and I will investigate, you three just keep training, and keep your guard up." He said all this from 'the team' to 'guard up' to all three of them, loud enough for all of them to hear.
Hiei doesn't wince when Ogo pats his head heavily. After-all, he's a Yotsuki, heavy-handedness runs in the family. Being that it's the first time Ogo has ever shown him any affection, his cheeks blush faintly. However, he listens to what he has to say and then nods. "Hai, Sensei. We'll be ready when you need us." First he got a private sword lesson from Ogo, and now a pat on the head. Something was wrong, but it kinda felt right. Unless Ogo had something else to add, Hiei would bow respectively and then turn to face Hiroyasu and Misaki, wondering if they heard what Ogo had said.
Hiroyasu face get serious when the conversation spills over "Distressing indeed.." and then his dawns on him that he has a message which must be passed on whenever the turbulent wind did blow his way "Sensei! Atsuro-sempai and Taiki-san wish to speak with you about something at your convenience. It seemed more than for an idle chat!" he says loud enough to him to hear. Maybe the things might be linked but in likely hood probably not. Before looking at Misaki "We will be ready, right nee-San?" he says.
"I'm always ready!" She says while clenching a fist. "Who are we beating up?" She looks at Hiro and smirks. It was half a joke. But the distress can be felt. And she was feeling it. "Argh… I hate being kept in the dark… I'm curious what Hiei has to say. I wasn't paying attention." She cramps out half a smile, waving Hiei over.
Ogo steps over the brook towards the other two genin as HIei is waved over, whether or not they were calling them both. And Ogo spoke to them, "I will be away for maybe a day, hopefully no more. I want to return to all three of you in good health and sound mind," eye Misaki for just a sec, "And when I get back, we will likely be staying here for a bit of a longer duration. I've already sent word to Kumo, we are on high alert until further notice, but it will take balance between that and keeping ourselves dignified while we are still guests and dignitaries here. Understood?!" He was sounding more like a real sensei than just a taskmaster bent on breaking them down. Awesome!
Hiei moves over with Ogo when Misaki beckons them. After Ogo says what he does, Hiei's jaw drops slightly. He wipes the stunned expression off his face quickly, moving to stand with his teammates. "Why would someone want to murder the team that would come to replace us?" He murmurs to himself, but then he nods to Ogosokamaru. "Hai. Travel safely, Sensei. We'll be fine until you return." His gaze flickers over to Hiro and Misaki. "We'll just keep our heads down and make small waves. Since we have no idea who's behind this or what their agenda is, I suggest we trust no one. Not even someone from our own village should they happen to show up here."
Hiroyasu nod at the instruction, it was more like he expected from a sensei. "Yes Sensei." before looking flabbergasted at Hiei "Wait, you mean you have being trusting people? Also, we shouldn't change our position. Anyone watching would notice the change immediately, so continue doing what you have been with the people you have been. Just keep your mind focused and alert." adding in to the strategy.
"And punch things that don't seem right..!" She adds, only now realizing how dumb she must have sounded. "Never mind, go with Hiro's plan." She chuckles and leans in to give Hiei a peck on the cheek. "Hello…" She blushes, recalling what Hiro said. Why did this prick named Hiro make it all so awkward! GAH! "Apparently I have a new brother.." She chuckles and side-hugs Hiro before noogieing his bald head. "Can I keep it?"
Ogosokamaru kinda sweat-drops a little seeing them all so… normal team-ish. It made him just look at them for a moment, and then blink a couple times lazily, then he shakes his head. "And I was told a few times you three wouldn't make a good team at all by a long shot." With the three of them standing there, Ogo looks behind him at a guy setting up for a photo opportunity with a black-powder flash camera, and Ogo moves to behind the three Genin, "Oi, photographer!"
The photographer grins, and puts himself under the heavy cloth behind, "Great, I needed a test shot!" And, poof goes the flash powder, and a picture of the three of them… just big enough to squeeze right next to the other pictures of what became another very important memory in Ogo's life, thought he didn't quite know it just yet. The picture of his team..
..in that same book..
on the upper half…
…of a two tiered shelf.
Hiei poses for the picture and then after Ogosokamaru leaves, he turns to Hiro and Misaki. "You two have become pretty chummy lately. A brother, huh? Should I refer to you as Katayama Misaki now?" He raises a brow slightly. He didn't catch the hug between them because he was busy talking with sensei. He runs hand through his hair. "I suppose you can keep him, just make sure you feed him, water him, and that he doesn't make a mess in the house." He winks, obviously teasing Hiro and Misaki both. "I want to go take a look around at that crime scene that sensei mentioned. I'll meet up with you guys later."
Hiroyasu says "We are a team Hiei, we should be comfortable around each other." in his matter of fact obvious kind of way "You shouldn't go alone, take Misaki with you. I'll be here to manage appearances" he says rubbing his hand on his jacket. That who photo thing, It might have been bad mushrooms again. Maybe he stop eating mushrooms.
Misaki smiles at that, nodding before joining Hiei. "Yea… you should take me with you.." She nods at Hiro in thanks. Wing-man Hiro saved the day. "See you later Hiro-sensei!" She winks at him, before strolling along with Hiei.
Hiei thinks about that for a moment. Having Misaki along would probably be better than him going out on his own. He nods. "Hai. Misaki-chan. Let's go." Turning on his heel, he sprints off towards the exit. He calls out over his shoulder. "I'll let you know if we find anything!"