Date: May 15, 2014
Ayumu and Arata(Eremi) meet for the second time. And after much deliberation (not really), Ayumu offers a lover of forget-for-me drinks a job…
"An Iga's Proposition"
Sand Storm Bar [Sunagakure]
The Sand Storm bar has a rather simple layout, which pleases a lot of its patrons. There are two choices of seating. One of the many tables, or a stool along the bar. The only entertainment in the bar is fellow patrons, and there is always at least a few bartenders behind the bar.
The menu for drinks is posted behind the bar, with the specialty being the the 'Sand Shark'. It is a very potent alcohol, which few people know contains some special poisons, that somehow are neutralized in the mix. All in all, it makes for a very delicious drink, and is the fastest way known in Sunagakure to forget your troubles.
At all times of day and night, there are people in the bar, either drinking or serving. It is a frequent place for fist-fights to break out, so it is not an unusual sight to see one half of the bar needing repairs, or a few broken chairs and tables tossed in a corner until their replacements come.
Here at the Sand Storm Bar, patrons come to drink their stress away, enjoy the company of others or simple forget about their past. It is normally a place one would find quite crowded, but considering it was just after afternoon and only a small handful of degenerates drink at this time of day, the bar was rather empty. Sitting up at the bar by themselves with a few empty glasses in front of them was Arata. It's unclear what time the man got here, but what is clear is that he may be already drunk and there is still so much of the day left.
Ayumu bore no false illusion that a strong drink would really bring any relief to him. However, an old compatriot of his thought otherwise, so for her sake he would meet her at the Sand Storm Bar. Paranoia, an only subconscious issue during his wanderer days, prompted him to arrive well before the arranged meeting place and canvas it first. "…! Well, this is awfully too good to be true, perhaps." Ayumu muses aloud as he drifted away from his main course towards Arata. Then, wordlessly seat himself either directly across or right next to the wanderer, hands steepled together on top of the table top.
Arata's face was deep in another mug of this Sand Shark brew the pub is so found of. It was stronger than he expected, but still wasn't enough to get him exactly where he needed. "Ugh…" Licking his lips and placing the empty glass down he'd signal for the barkeep to get him another, but just as he did he caught Ayumu off to the side. It was a partially familiar face, "Oi, where's your girlfriend?" Inclinging his head as he signaled the barkeep for two drinks instead of one and sliding the second to Ayumu. "What brings you to this place? Oh, I'm Arata by the way."
Ayumu simply held his tongue for awhile longer. He wanted a moment or two more to exam the man's in more depth than last time before devoting his energy on words. The drink being slid over to him prompts him to speed up the process a tad. "Iga, Ayumu and considering you seem more… stable, this time, the girlfriend bit is a misunderstanding." He explains, turning the cup idly as he mused over the thought. "She is my cousin. And in part, why I am here… but that aside, what brings you to these parts, Arata-san?"
"Yuck…Cousins." Taking a sip from his glass, "You don't want to go down that path." Arata shook his head as he placed the glass down, leaving a hand to rest on the handle. "Me…" Turning his head slowly to glance at Ayumu and get a better look at the man. There was something about the guy that let Arata know he had been through a lot. If he wasn't a shinobi for Sunagakure, he'd be surprised. "The search for the greatest drink in the world?" It wasn't true, but wouldn't that be an epic quest. "That I guess and just this is where my feet had led me. Probably not the best tourist spot though. It's pretty warm around these parts."
Ayumu nods in something akin to a sagely manner, or at least, a mocking variation of it. When Arata first trailed off, Ayumu turned to regard the man fully… despite it being unnecessary and pointless given his 'handicap'. He would be confirming Arata's suspicions to a degree. The skin about his eye, and along the back of his neck was warped, or better yet, waxy in appearance. He stance betrayed a certain readiness to move at a moments notice. All in all, the man has been literally and probably figuratively burned enough times and in such a way as to convey a life that had little to do with the mundane one of a civilian at least.
"Indeed it is, and indeed its not to a degree. But, we have are own diversions here and there, available to those willing to seek it out or, well, find themselves a rather people friendly guide." He chuckles softly as he returned his focus straight ahead. "Honestly, I'd imagine such a brew would be in the Land of Water by this time of the year though."
"The Land of Water? That couldn't be true. Most those feces throwing monkeys could create is a nosebleed and that would just be from trying to think too hard. Argh!" Arata quickly brought the glass to his mouth and took a bigger swig than last before slamming the glass down. Obviously the Land of Water was a touchy subject for the man, but trying to get it out of him might be like pulling teeth. "So did I hear right, you're a tour guide? I guess I wouldn't mind taking you up on that offer. Not like I've got a busy schedule or anything.
"Now I never said I was anything of the sort." Ayumu says, still wearing the grin after Arata's sadly eighty-percent accurate description of Kirigakure in the past. The rest of the Land of Water back then remains largely a mystery for the Iga, seeing as how most of his time there was devoted towards its ninja village solely. "Though that's not to say I would not suffice as well, so… up to you I suppose." He says, throwing in a careless shrug on top of it all
Arata shrugged himself, "If it were up to me I'd just stay in this bar all day long, but I think the bartender would get sick of me after a while and want to see his family or something." Sighing into his mug before another long and drawn out sip, "I did wake up in this nice bed before I stumbled into this place, doubt I'd be able to find my way back there though. Not that it matters." Smiling. "I'm just as find sleeping on the streets as I am a bed…but you guys get sandstorms around here don't you?"
"Well, your right on two points. T'is why you'd hardly see a bum in plain sight around these parts." Ayumu replies, smiling thinly as well. The memories of those days in which his pride and debts blinded him for a few moments, binding him in silence. He shakes them away after a time, and goes back to dividing his attention between the obvious and the not. "And also why Shun and I set you up for at that hotel, at least for the week. Although if the outdoors is preferred I… hmm… I may or may not know of a decent place or two to crash without eliciting trouble for a time."
Arata wasn't sure he liked the thought of Ayumu messing around with him after he passed out, "Oh, that's how I got there. Thanks…but I hope it was your cousin that did most of the handling of my unconscious body." Snickering with a dirty thought crossing his minds and he'd quickly take a drink to try and drown it out, but…"Too bad she didn't stick around so I had something to wake up to. Wait, you said you were meeting her here right…what's that about?"
Ayumu smirks, knowing that if Shun had heard that in her present state that there would probably be an Arata sized hole in the ground. "I don't believe I made any mention of such now… though I am awaiting another." The Iga admits, propping himself on the counter with a hand at rest against his cheek. "Call it a foolhardy adventure in these times of peril if you will, but… But a gamble is better than shredding one's soul repetitively… wouldn't a man of your nature agree?" He peers in Arata's direction from the corner of his eyes.
Arata hmms as he tried to recall exactly what Ayumu had sad just moments ago, "Eh, well, you said something about her being the reason you are here. Guess you meant you needed a reason to drink and picked her. I understand now." He raised up his glass as if to toast to the thought and then taking another drink, "I'd definitely drink to that as well?" Chucking while taking another drink and putting the mug back down.
Ayumu silently ahs and nods, though kept his silence until the question came about. "I would have to agree to disagree to that. Anything more or less would be a lie." Ayumu closes eyes completely at that point, seemingly slip off into dreamland right then and there. "… She helped me get in contact with an old… friend, of mines. All in the hopes of another gamble." He chuckles again. "Say, you wouldn't happen to be of the.. how frank should I put this…. a retired sell sword? Merc? You know, things of that nature now would you?"
Finishing his drink, he'd push the glass near the others and just sit empty handed for the time being, "Well, that sounds like a personally story. I won't ask you about that." He sure doesn't want anyone asking about his, but that's pretty unavoidable, "Who me?" Shaking his head, "No, I'm not any of those. I can defend myself well enough, it's why I'm still alive, but I doubt I could tangle with any shinobi."
Ayumu lofts a brow in surprise. He could've sworn that — "I see… even so, would you still be interested in doing a little work for me. I'll admit up front taht it is a bodyguard gig, but without needing to tangle with shinobi. At least, not this early in my intended venture." He admits, pushing his glass over to Eremi. No point to waste booze he didn't plan on drinking.
Arata pondered for a moment, "I guess. I don't mind doing a bodyguard gig so long as you don't mind me drinking on the job." Seeing the drink slid over to him, Arata wouldn't hesitate in grasping the handle and taking a big swig of the Sand Shark before setting it down and wiping his mouth on his sleeve, "But I got to ask. Why would you want a drunkard for a bodyguard job? Unless you're making me some charity case and trying to help me get back on my feet…"
"If only things were so simple…" He says mysteriously as he eased back in his seat. "But no, hardly a charity thing. It is your form that has garner my curiosity. That, and a simple need for a hire hand who I believe will fit in well given what I have in mind." He admits readily enough. "So, do you truly accept that is oddball's offer, or drown yourself for whatever reason until you've pushed your luck too far with the local establishment."
Arata listened to what Ayumu had to say, not really sure what the man was getting at. Does Ayumu think there's more to Arata then meets the eyes? Not wanting to go into it, he instead picked up the mug and quickly chugged back the contents before slamming the glass on the bar. "Barkeep. Fill 'er up." Tossing the smallest of the three gourds attached to his side at the man before spinning on the stool to stare at Arata. "I'll accept almost any kind of work if not to help pass the time.. Can't go wrong with getting paid to drink on the job. But tell me, who are we protecting and when do we start?"
"That, my new found friend, all depends on how another deal today goes. Suffice it to say I'll be needing to get back into contact with you later regarding it, so for now, do enjoy your day." Ayumu slides out of his seat, and set down a few bills meant to cover Eremi's last two drinks and thensome before taking his leave. Since Shun would be arriving later for the deal in any case, there was no real need for him to stick around. And besides, it wasn't as if she wouldn't have things covered to begin with, so… free day for Ayumu? :D