Date: June 27 to July 22, 2013
Mushi runs into Aburei after a long absence and they catch up on matters of learning, life, and love.
The Waterfall [Land of Fire]
A large waterfall that streams into a massive pool. Surrounding this beautiful location are green trees and lush bushes. The element of nature seems plentiful here, as deer and even predators come here in a neutral alliance to drink from these waters. The waters of the waterfall crash onto large rocks, causing a faint mist to surround it. The pool is a dark blue color, signifying how deep it is. The true depth of the water is unknown.
It's laundry day! :D Which for Aburei means any day he happens across a convenient opportunity to scrub the one extra outfit he carries around with him. n.n Hey, a frequent traveler's gotta pack light. :P Aburei sits by the edge of the waterfall pool, humming a tune while soaking and scrubbing his clothes.
Mushi had nearly fallen out of contact with anyone, as she wandered to the remotest areas on the continent. But now she's back to the powerful shinobi villages, where things thankfully seem to have calmed down. She wouldn't say everyone is the best of friends, but perhaps this year things can be more civil. It's with these thoughts that she's returned to Konoha, to see a few fond faces. Imagine her surprise when she is going through the forest, picking up mushrooms and wild onions, only to see her favorite bard/healer.
"A-Aburei-kun," Mushi says in astonishment. She glances to his clothes and back to him. "Wow it's been…some time." She'd trot on over and then give him a rib creaking hug.
Aburei blinks and looks up on hearing his name spoken by a familiar voice. "Mushi-neesan!" :D His voice may not be quite as familiar. X) Like Mushi said, it's been a while. His springy body hasn't changed much, though, as Mushi's hug will no doubt inform her. "Erk! It sure has been! Last time I stopped at the Medical Center, nobody knew where you'd gotten to. Where've you been? Got any exciting stories to tell?" :)
Mushi steps back to look at Aburei. He's…tall as her. And despite his springy build, definitely bigger than her. Of course she's not going to be one of those old women who says 'I remember you when you were /this/ tall.' She gives Aburei another hug and then her smile fades a little. "Well…not really," she says. "A good friend of mine was very sick. I've been staying with her for a very long time, to help get her…back to health. It wasn't easy but she's on the mend." She gives a shrug, as if pushing that conversation off. "But no one ever contacted me for an emergency, so that's good. How about you? What crazy adventures have you gotten into Aburei-kun?"
Aburei nods soberly. "I see. Well, it's good you were able to help her." Aburei scratches the back of his neck. "Nothing too wild has happened to me since that thing with the badgers. Mostly I've been helping to clean things up in the aftermath of the unrest there's been lately. Jump helps a bit with that, it's useful that people know they aren't connected with any of the big powers." n.n; Aburei smiles widely. "I've been practicing the summoning technique. I've gotten to the point where I can reliably summon Hachimitsu-san. He's kind of small as the badgers go, but he's fierce. Keeps hoping there's a fight to be had when I summon him." X)
"Oh yes you have those badgers of yours now," Mushi says with a smile. "I hope they're doing well. I visited my birds, and they're doing well in their forest." However, her eyes go a little distant, as if lost in thought, when Aburei mentions Jump. It seems that it was an organization here to stay, not just a fleeting dream. "And Jump is doing well too, I hope. Umm…how is Goh-kun?" she asks. She keeps her tone light, but there's an anxious note behind that.
Aburei taps his chin thoughtfully. "…Busy, I guess? I actually don't see him at the Jump headquarters too often. But then, I only visit there on occasion. It's not too unlikely that he'd happen to be off on some job at the times when I stop by." Aburei shrugs. "But the organization as a whole seems to be doing okay. Every time I visit, certain members seem to get an instinctive impression that it's okay to be even rowdier than usual, because there's somebody there to patch them up." X)
"Hehe sounds like he might be avoiding people," Mushi smirks. "Or just you. Oh, I'm only joking. But I have to admire Jump's integrity. It hasn't tried to use wartime or peace time to grasp for power. It really is kind of a…union." She looks Aburei up and down and says, "So they trust you to take care of them. When I was your age, I wasn't anywhere as talented as you are. You're going to surpass me one day soon. And I've been wanting to ask you something. What is your more advanced and powerful healing technique as of now?" Her eyes are intent, curious, as she watches Aburei closely.
Aburei rubs the back of his neck again. "Oh, I've just had the benefit of a great sensei. I'm not that talented, Mushi-neesan." n.n; Aburei's head retreats back slightly as Mushi's gaze turns intent. Just like a good sensei should, she's evaluating him. X) "Well, um…I guess my healing technique is what they'd call C-rank amongst ninja, and I know enough herbology now to prepare some pretty effective poultice bandages from whatever's available in a given area. I usually don't run into emergency situations where people have just been given a serious injury, so I've focused on techniques to aid in long-term recovery." Will the answer meet Mushi-neesan's approval? c.c; Lub-dub, lub-dub.
"Long term healing huh," Mushi says, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. "For our kind of off-the-battlefield work, that's the best type." She gives a nod of approval and then of all things grabs both of Aburei's hands and draws him down. Then she'd say, "Lemme show you a technique I've used before. As a genjutsuist if you want to learn this one it should come easily to you."
If he'd let her keep a hold of his hand, Aburei would feel a soothing, mind numbing feeling spreading through his body like cool, sweet water. Affecting the same parts a genjutsu would impact, from his head to central nervous system. It's a restorative heal, but concentrated in strategic parts of the body. "This is a heal focused on helping to relax a person, like a stimulant. But it's also useful for those suffering from the strain of a genjutsu. Chiyoko-chan gave me the idea, and I made it and called it Soothing Heal. If you want to learn it eventually or make something along that line."
Whoops! From evaluation to further lessons. X) But hey, that's a score for Aburei, right? He sits down and pays close attention while Mushi demonstrates her technique. Feels…pleasant. Dreamy even. |3 "Sure does feel nice. I would like to learn that one, Mushi-neesan." Aburei hopes he'll be able to show it to Raili-chan, maybe it'll calm her down some. X) …Then again, does he really want that to happen? c.ca
"I'm sure you can learn it," Mushi says with a smile. "You're a whiz with chakra control. Just remember. Most medics have the luxury of being given books, rules, an education that matches with the other healers they live with. But when you're hired to go somewhere you won't have a team to help you. And knowing how to do a variety of different medical techniques is essential for a lone medic." Then, her smile fades a little. "Aburei-kun, outside of the Center have you ever had a patient you failed to save? It's unlikely since we don't fight on battlefields, but you've been out wandering for some years."
Aburei nods concurringly. That's a lesson he's already learned from experience, but it doesn't hurt to hear it said aloud. "Understood, Mushi-neesan. I'll keep expanding my skills." >:| Aburei blinks at the next question. "Well…a few, I guess. I do try to go to places that need medical help, and sometimes there are people who are still hanging on, but it's too late to help them, or…I just don't have the skill. So I pray with them." Aburei sighs. "What's saddest is the ones who can't be helped in their body, and don't want help in their spirit." :/
Mushi nods solemnly. "Well, we can't save everyone," she says. "I've had patients like that before, who don't want to help themselves." Then she makes a few hand seals and slaps her palm on Aburei's arm. But stops a few inches from it and lifts her palm. "That's actually not a technique I'll demonstrate. Euphoric Seal. It's a seal that triggers euphoria, like a chakra-forced high. It's no better than drugs and one that I regret ever making. It's dangerous to make any technique that affects someone emotionally. Even if it is meant to help."
Aburei tilts his head. Okay, not gonna get to see another technique after all. c.c "If you say so, Mushi-neesan." No better than drugs? Well, sure, but…they use drugs. c.c Sparingly of course, carefully, and the more potent the drug, the greater the caution that has to be employed. Is this technique really so dangerous? Maybe…maybe because it's easy to produce, once learned. Drugs take raw materials, often rare ones, and expert preparation. Ninjutsu just take expertise with chakra.
Aburei blinks and glances aside at his soggy outfit. "Oh! I have to finish this." He grabs the clothes and starts hanging them over a convenient tree branch. "So where are you headed now, Mushi-neesan?"
"I say so," Mushi says with a nod. "Used improperly, it's a technique that can completely erase someone's emotional pain so they never have to cope with it." She looks at his clothes and taps his shirt absently. "Scrolls. Look." She takes out a scroll from her pack marked 'clothes.' "I have scrolls inside of these scrolls, holding my wardrobe. You can carry around as much as you want by collapsing them." She seems to be leaving off answering his question as she slips away her scroll. "I'm visiting…Shintaro-kun," she says. "I wonder if Goh-kun is here. Neither of them called me," she adds, with an unhappy note in her voice. She gives a small sigh and glances in the direction of the village.
Aburei nods as he spreads the clothes across the limb. "Ah, yes, that's very handy, Mushi-neesan…although I've never really had enough belongings to make that sort of thing worthwhile." n.n; Sort of a self-perpetuating condition, of course; Aburei doesn't see a need for much luggage because he doesn't have a lot of stuff, and he doesn't collect stuff because he figures he can't carry it. That and he's habitually self-denying. X) Aburei glances down the road toward Konohagakure. "Ah, of course…" Aburei looks at Mushi quizzically. "You wanted Goh-kun to call you? I thought you'd decided definitely on Shintaro-san." c.ca Grown-ups are so complicated. -.-
Mushi gets a dark look on her face. And the next thing she says is in one dark, long breath. "How should I put it…I guess I was expecting it because as soon as I did away with Goh-kun's memory, he pops up alive and then when I tell him it can't be his salamanders come back later to say that he needs me I was so sure he'd bug me all over again this time too but he didn't call and even Shintaro-kun didn't, didn't he even miss me, I bet he's dating some pretty Nara girl by now I really will punch him into the horizon if that happens." She makes a fist to demonstrate as much, and then shakes her head. "But no," she sniffs. "I hardly missed either of them."
Ooookay. X) "Sometimes it seems like Kami-sama has a really bizarre sense of humor," Aburei remarks. "Of course, most of the comedy comes from our reactions." n.n Aburei finishes spreading out the clothes. "So you're going to Konohagakure then? Maybe I should tag along, if you don't mind. See if I can learn anything while you're around. I haven't met Shintaro-san yet either." :)
"It's not something to be laughed at by men or Kami," Mushi says softly. "I've tried to push both of them away, but it seems both of them will always be in my life. And so I'll always be hurting one of them." Her voice is quiet, but there's a deep note of unease there. She gives a soft sigh and then runs her fingers through her hair. "Anyway…we could go around Konoha if you want. But…I want to meet Shintaro-kun by myself," she adds, with a shy smile. Then she'd sidle over to Aburei-kun and start towards the village. She asks with a smirk, "But I've been curious. Have you confessed to that girl you like, Aburei-kun?"
Aburei starts walking with Mushi, with a brief glance of concern back at his laundry. c.c Oh well, he can come back and get it later, it's not that far to the ninja village. Who'd steal a set of plain clothes like Aburei's? Somebody who needs it more than he does, that's who. n.n And Kami-sama can provide him with more if necessary, just as He provided those clothes in the first place. "Girl I like?" Aburei says quizzically, turning his head back to Mushi. There are plenty of girls Aburei likes, from fellow students at the Neutral Medical Center to children in villages all over whom he's healed or helped a loved one of theirs. Mushi-neesan must mean someone in particular though, probably someone she's seen with a connection to Aburei relatively recently, like… "You mean Raili-chan? And what do you mean, confess? Did I do something wrong?" c.c
Mushi looks closely at Aburei. It's hard to tell whether he's pretending to be thick, or honestly clueless. "Yes, you've mentioned her more than once," Mushi says. "You like her, right? If you do you can confess, every girl likes to be swept off her feet from the confession of the guy she likes." She gives Aburei an encouraging smile. She even reaches out and gives Aburei's shoulder a firm squeeze. Although she is watching him closely, wondering…
Yep, Aburei really is that oblivious about certain things. n.n But to preserve credulity (and keep the scene moving along), he does eventually figure out what's being talked about after absorbing enough clues. *grind, grind, grind, grind…whirrrrrrr…CLICK!* "OH! You mean LIKE, like, I mean, um…as in…sweethearts?" *n.n*; Aburei's pretty flushed now. "We're really not like…I mean, I've never really thought of Raili-chan like…" Well, not in all aspects of it. Consciously. c.c I mean, he has wished he could hang out with her more often, he'll readily admit he enjoys her company…but it didn't occur to him to call that an attraction. Partly, perhaps, it's because he's been trained from childhood to look on anatomy with a clinical eye, appraising the individual parts for their fitness and function rather than appreciating the form as a whole. When he thinks about it, Raili-chan does have a cute face…and let's face it, she's very shapely. *>.>* "I…don't think she'd be interested, anyway," Aburei murmurs. ._.
Mushi is watching Aburei's expression and trying not to laugh. He really is oblivious, though at least he managed to figure out where she was going. She smiles warmly. "Oh Aburei-chan, of course she'd go for you," she says. "You're a skilled medic. An intrepid wanderer. A creative and inventive ninjutsuist and summoner. A nice guy. And not bad looking. Funny. Intelligent. Above the petty squabbles of the shinobi villages. And most of all, one thing a person likes about their loved one is that they're loved back. Sometimes that alone is enough. But just make sure of one thing. If you fail with her, make sure it's not because of some other guy. Is Raili-chan popular?"
Aburei frowns dubiously. "I think you're exaggerating on some of those, Mushi-neesan." Skilled medic? Eh, compared to a layman, sure, but he's got a long ways to go still. Intrepid wanderer? It's not like he was trying to get into all those scrapes. u.u Funny? Says who? c.ca "Besides, even if all that was true, it doesn't stack up that great compared to Raili-chan. She's a genius inventor and a jounin-level ninja who could squash me with her pinkie toe." c.c; Nothing screams unattainable for a guy like a girl who is socially, physically, and competitively out of his league. X) When Mushi asks about Raili's popularity, though, that somehow feels like a more comfortable angle on the topic. Probably because it doesn't directly involve Aburei. "Well, she does seem to get a lot of attention from guys. I think she enjoys it, but I dunno if there's anybody she's particularly interested in."
"You stack just fine Aburei-kun," Mushi says. "There's a reason it was you I asked to help me work out things with Choumei-san. The same reason Raili-chan isn't required or expected to hang out with you, but does anyway." She pauses, considering pressing her point home. But she's not perfectly comfortable with discussing Aburei's feelings either. She rubs the back of her neck sheepishly and turns her attention to the path towards Konoha. "Ah Shuuren-kun, he's so wonderful," Mushi says. "Smart and strong. Always trying his best for his clan and his sister. Stacks really don't matter when two people love each other. I think you'd like the Nara Clan, they're the cleverest in Konoha."
Aburei chuckles faintly. "You talk about my good points and say I stack up fine, then say stacks don't matter?" n.n; Oh well, shouldn't prolong that discussion, he's lucky to be off the hook. X) "I'm sure I will like them, when you let me meet them." ;9 And so they trod onward toward Konoha.