Dancing Shadows: First Step


Ei, Ayumu

Date: Unknown (log received October 22, 2014)


In Ayumu's usual and abrupt fashion, the Iga offers shadow clone training for his love. Why? Why for reasons of course! But in any case, that first step is a shaky one, to say the least.

"Dancing Shadows: First Step"

Village Center Area [Sunagakure]


The very center hub of Sunagakure, the Village Center is a bustling area. Crowds gather in huge groups, all across the very wide square. It is completely protected by the large buildings surrounding it on all sides, and the four desert winds do not seem to intrude into this area.
People can be found doing all manner of things, from hocking wares, to trading for certain fabrics and materials, selling their products, or any other activity from sleeping quietly, to getting into explosive arguments with people. Fights are not unknown here, so there is regularily guards overseeing the circle. The entire circle itself is built to face the largest structure in all of Sunagakure. It is a massive domed building, easily 5 stories high, that seems to be constructed out of seamless and flawless sand. No stones, no mud, just pure sand, caked hard and formed into a building. This is the Kazekage Administration Dome, the head of bureaucracy for the mighty city of Sunagakure.
Their are entrances in all directions into the square, except the south, which is where the Administration dome is located. People are always flowing into the circle from all directions, and leaving as well. Even during the night, it is a sure bet that a large crowd will be in the circle, talking about all manner of subjects.


Ayumu did not wish to part with Miyu anymore than Ei, but they both needed the break. A task made only that much easier said then done after accidently leading off with the suggestion of having "Shun" watch the child. Luckily (though he would forever wonder the reasons behind the why), entrusting the child to Atsuko was acceptable enough; freeing the pair to enact Ayumu's plan. Said plan took them as far as the Village Center. A place still undergoing some reconstruction, though luckily what repairs were already done allowed for some sense of normalcy to return to the place. It also happened to be the place Ayumu was assigned to help out. Of course he made mention of this at some point! Just… kind of not real. More like an offhanded comment implanted at some point and followed immediatly by an apology if pursued.
"I… I'll admit there's another ulterior motive for picking this place," He says warily, as they drifted past one stall to the next. All the while Ayumu kept his gaze warily away from Ei. Not that it would do the sensor nin any honest good.

It was, perhaps, a brief and not-very-fun discussion the moment he mentioned letting his doting guard care for the baby… but Ei let go of it quickly enough to agree that Atsuko was a fine choice. The woman was plenty curious as to what he had up his sleeve, but upon making it to the area being reconstructed, she looked curiously at him. A smirk and a roll of her eyes was the only reaction to his defense. She wasn't upset. Even if he'd just wanted them to work together to help rebuild part of the village… she'd be fine with that. Still, she had to wonder what the other motive was. "My dear, I know I make a good translator for you most of the time, but you really should be more clear about what you expect of me, you know?"

Ayumu nods hesitantly in agreement. "It is another area that I still striving to make improvements in." He admits more readily while messing about with the braides binding his pony tail. "S-so to clarify, and I only have an inkling of having discussed this with you.. though I'm not sure when that could've been-…" Ayumu pauses and furrows his brows in thought, only to quickly dismiss whatever concerned him in the first place. "With things being as they are I figured now would be as good a time as any to get your Shadow Clone training under way." The Iga says before slowing to a stop and turning about to face Ei fully. "That is, assuming your feeling up to it, and haven't changed your mind." He chuckles weakly. "Of course, we can just spend the rest of this day just simply enjoying ourselves too!"

Ei looks surprised by that, but not negatively so. Just… surprised. Then she giggles and grins at him. "Of course I'm still interested, Ayumu. We can work on Shadow Clone /and/ enjoy ourselves, neh?" Smirking a bit at him, she shakes her head in bemusement. "Let's get to it then, shall we? I have some knowledge in clones, but as I understand it, Shadow Clones are much different. So… what are some pointers you would give me?"

A sheepish smile lights up the Iga's features. "Yes, indeedy." He replies, then motion for them to start walking again. "Hmm… Kind of a yes or no thing given the way I had to learn it, BUT mostly yes." Ayumu admits with an absent nod. "Top of that list of pointers is none other than lots and lots of food. I learned this the hard way and nearly starved to death in some random hole out in the desert." He admits, rubbing his belly at the very reminder of the incident.

The girl walks along with him and frowns at that admission. "You nearly starved yourself?" There's a pause before she murmurs, "Don't do that…" Ei shakes her head at him before taking a breath and nodding her head. "Well, to be fair, I still have some fat from the pregnancy to wear off… so this should be a good way to get rid of it, huh?" She grins at him a little, chuckling. "I'll still eat, of course… I'm not arguing the necessity of that."

Aside from a frown touch his lips, Ayumu refrains from replying to the question. Although he knew how she might feel about the admission, the Iga refused to pussy foot around the dangers of the training. The joke earns a deresive snort out of the Iga. "Aye, but its not a bad thing.." He murmurs before finally allowing his hands to fall away from the braid. "Right then! So long as we're in agreement on the importance of the food stuff, there's only the matter of obtaining them left. What are you in for, my dear?"

Smiling at him, the woman nods her head. "Alright… That is a good question. Why don't we just grab something from one of the street vendors? A couple potatoes or something? Plenty of starch to burn." Ei smiles and moves closer to hook her arm around his.

Ayumu is already knee deep in trying to scent out a nice decent warm meal when Ei's question strikes him. He literally reels away from the green-haired girl, and wondered in earnest if she was alright. After a moment or two Ayumu calms down enough to resume walking again, though not without having some appearant trouble trying to wrap his head around the suggestion still. "Well, why I can't argue that'd be a good idea, I was kind of thinking — hoping for something less… plain." He smiles weakly. "But if its potatoes my dear desires, then a plucking we shall go for them, heheh."

Ei raises a brow at his behavior and shakes her head at him a bit. "There's a vendor that sells baked potatoes… and they have several fillings you can get it filled with while it's cooking," she tells him and chuckles. "If you have another suggestion, that could be good too, though."

The only response Ayumu could muster after all was said and done before face palming lightly. "Ah… Mmm… No, that…" He pulls the hand away and straightens out his posture, clearing his throat with the motion. "None that I'm up for exploring… Which reminds me-…" Without pausing in step, Ayumu forms the seals to summon a pair of Shadow Clones.
"Hello, Ei-sama, Ayumu-sama."
"Ohayo, oh humorless one, and Ei-hime~~"
Ayumu fights down a sigh at the varied and overlapping entries of the clones. "If you two would—" "It would be our pleasure, Ayumu-dono." The left and more formal clone interjected. The other looked about ready to add on to the statement, but ends up with its mouth covered and big dragged bodily into the crowd.

Ei was amused by his reaction, but she didn't giggle at him to let him save some dignity. When he went to summon the clones, she actually watched him. She knew, of course, that it had more to do with the chakra than any movement she could decipher from him, but still… Bowing her head to the clones, she grinned and then looked quizzically at Ayumu as the two of them headed off. "What is it you're having them do…?" Were they getting food… or something else?

"Hm?" Ayumu emits, returning Ei's quizzically look with one of his own. After a moment or two it clicks, eliciting a silent 'ah' from the Iga and a few nods. "I guess you can say I plan to capture three birds with one wind bullet," Ayumu replies more enthusiastically. "Or something like that… Truth is.. It's been awhile since I've been assigned something close to home, so I figured why not take advantage of that in as many ways as possible.. your training.. *headshakes*.. Being in your company being chief among them."

The woman smiles at him and nods her head. "Fair enough. As if we couldn't spend time together while ordering," she murmurs teasingly at him. Ei squeezes his arm and continues along with him. "So… is it weird, having clones, or no? I mean… in a serious manner. Having multiples of yourself… even if they are very different aspects…"

Ayumu tries to fight down the urge to grin, but the squeeze breaks his resistance. "That.. would still depend on your definition of weird… and perhaps, rather or not you belong to a clan used to look at things from a multitude of perspectives. Literally. Other than that…" Ayumu shrugs carelessly. "It can be at times, knowing that that reflection your seeing is alive and… is ready to walk a different path your own… A little disheartening too if they seemed to be doing a better job at it too.. But oi, heheh…" Ayumu explains. Throughout all of which his eyes are distant and air about him weary.

Ei listens to him and just smiles softly. "It shouldn't be too disheartening, dear… They /are/ part of you, after all. I often wonder if your need to wander stemmed from not knowing where you wanted to be or what you wanted to do. If that were the case, their interest in other things just means you still aren't sure." A soft shrug. "Perhaps I am mistaken, of course, and it is simply that you are, indeed, a Jack of All Trades, neh? Maybe the idea that they are doing better… is simply in your head."

Ayumu listens, though a little grudgingly at first. The whole fact that his clones were, in essence, apart of him was still a tough pill to swallow. He didn't hate those sides by any means, or at least, no more than the average person. Even so…
"Quite an interesting spin on it, Ei-hime… and who knows, perhaps it is just all in my head." Ayumu pauses in place and cups his chin with his free hand. "Though in which case, I should be disturbed by this fact."

Listening to him, the woman pauses with him and tilts her head a little. There's a moment where her brows furrow in confusion before she laughs at him. "/They/ aren't just in your head… if that's what you were thinking," Ei murmurs. "If they were, I'd be a figment of your imagination too… and that's just one big debacle I'd rather not get into." The woman smiles at him and shakes her head a little. "No reason to be disturbed."

"Hmm… well, I suppose it would be for the best. It'd be entertaining for a while maybe, though I doubt Miyu would like knowing her Mama and Papa went a little crazy back in their day over something so random as this." Ayumu admitted solemnly, though his expression didn't quite reflect that. If anything, he still seemed postively pumped over the idea. However, a few moments later the Iga gives his head a fierce shake in complete dismissal of the idea. "We, should probably get back to those potatoes now…" He murmured softly.

The woman listens to him and watches him as he still seems interested in the idea before he shakes it off. Ei chuckles at him affectionately and nods her head. "Indeed. Let's get some food and get to learning this… very interesting technique." She smiles and takes a step in that direction before pausing and letting him take the lead.

Although the red-haired wonder nods along in agreement, his mind remains somewhat entangled in the past still. By the time Ei pauses to allow him to take the lead, the Iga manages to snap back fully and /truly/ into the present. Ayumu gives an apologetic smile before stepping up and offering his arm. And while it would certainly be disappointing to him should she chose not to accept the offer, Ayumu would be quick to brush it under the table awkwardly and lead the way.
Unfortunately for the duo, it becomes steadily clear that having the blind lead the charge wasn't entirely a good thing. The flow of the crowds was too different from the norm, and every attempt on his part to compensate only left him visibly disorientated. "I think.." He starts to say, only to cover his mouth and heave.

Ei was happy to hook her arm around his. She even hugged it briefly before they were attempting to make their way through the crowd. When he seems to struggle, she gives a concerned look, but even if she did ask if he was alright, she figured he'd insist there was nothing wrong. He was stubborn that way. So, when he stops and looks sick, she is a bit surprised, but just stands in front of him. Her arms wrap loosely around him and she rubs his back in an attempt to settle his stomach. "Would it be better if you found us a place to sit and I'll go to the stalls?" She doesn't actually say the word 'food' or anything similar, figuring bringing it up might make him feel worse.

Her moving away seems to only intensify the disorientation to the point Ayumu starts to sway a little. Thankfully, he doesn't fall before she has arm about him again, steadying Ayumu after giving him a brief start from contact. Even without saying the word, the Iga's thoughts still drift in the direction of food. Nevertheless, Ayumu offers a pained yet grateful smile and nods in agreement with the suggestion. "Gomen, Ei.. Seems I've neglected a few things.. heheh."

The woman smiles at him, shaking her head. "Don't worry about it. Find a place to settle and I'll get us something," Ei reiterates, clearly sure she will have no issues finding him even in such a big crowd. Then she slowly withdraws her hands, allowing him to get used to the absense more slowly as she drifts away to get them some food. Potatoes, some kebabs that are mostly vegetable, and some water to drink. Craddling the food in the crook of her arm, she looks around to find him before making her way toward her beloved.

"Hai, Hai~", He says with as much enthusiasm as he could muster. Which in reality is not all that much. Again, Ayumu found himself smiling gratefully in her general direction as the last of her slips away from him, and continues to do so well after the fact. "Alright, Ayumu.. just like we've practiced," He murmured grimly to himself before gradually making his way to the only activity dead spot he could sense. When Ei later finds him the red-haired wonder sat at the base of one of the surrounding buildings, face buried in his hands with a sickly copy of himself standing and waving about until she approached.

Indeed, the copy was easy to notice, leading Ei to walk over and stand by him. "Are you alright, my dear?" She frowned her worry and thought about how this must be what he felt like when she initially started feeling her morning sickness. She wanted to help him, but she didn't know how. So she just carefully sat by his side, observing him as she held the food.

The clone sags in relief upon sensing Ei, and as soon as she's close to the original it 'poofs' out of existence. "Mn… Will be in a few.. moments," Ayumu barely manages to get out before the sickeness gets at him again. A moment or two later, he pats the empty space next to him. Well, virtually empty. "Haven't felt this way since I was a kid…" He shook his head wearily before leaning back fully and letting his hands fall into his lap. "How'd it go?"

Ei extends a hand with the bottle of water and taps his knee gently with it. "Here. Water. Maybe that will help." She smiles weakly, wondering what would cause him to feel like this… even as a kid. "It went well. Got us some potatoes and kebabs. I didn't get too much meat. Figured it was better to have the nutrients from plants if your stomach isn't treating you well," she explains.

Ayumu quirks a brow at the offer, but otherwise accepts with a murmured "Thanks" in passing. Although he takes a sip every now and then his condition doesn't improve all that much. "Heh… It'd be nice if it were my stomach, but this is something else entirely… Hmm.. but who knows, it might be the secret Obaa-chama mentioned before." A smile plays at the edge of his lips at the thought. "Shum.. hmm… Not how I planned it, but if your ready now, I can still.. urbm… still run you through the basics.."

The brows of the woman furrow slightly and she sighs, but nods her head. "Well, let's eat first. You can tell me about the basics and I'll start practicing once we're done." Ei settles herself in and hands him a potato and kebab before biting into the potato. Soft, seasoned, and actually pretty good.

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