Date: January 9, 2012
A bar fight spills out into the streets of Sunagakure, leading to an impromptu meeting between an awkward Kazuhito, an alarmed Hei, and an inebriated Itami.
"Disorderly conduct and a visitor"
Toufuu Street, Sunagakure
The smell of well cooked food wafts through the air, and it
is such a mingle of smells it is nearly impossible to figure out what
is actually being cooked. Two large buildings are set on either side
of the road, and both seem to be equally popular. On the east side,
there is the Sandstorm Bar, home to drinks of all varieties. Then
there is its competitor on the west side, the Tsuukai restaurant. A
horde of people are always present in this spot, either eating in one
of the two restaurants, or in the large section of benches and tables
that has been cleared for an outdoor picnic area. Thankfully for
anyone that wishes to use that picnic area, this area is almost
completely devoid of the all intrusive desert wind. The two large
buildings, and the opportune location on the Eastern side of the
village means it is the best spot to put such a place.
To the north is a rather well taken care of residential area,
and to the south is another section of well constructd homes, as well
as an intersection to the center of the town.
It is early evening in Sunakagure, and the wind can be heard
howling over the top of the village, dust obscuring the moon.
Fortunately, the high village walls guards the the village from the
worst of the storm, though it still better to stay near building walls
and shield one's eyes if one can.
The small genin Aida Kazuhito is doing just that with his left
arm, while his bandaged right arm hangs limply at his side. He seems
not to notice the loud commotion coming out of the Sandstorm Bar as he
walks back, eyes locked on the ground as if deep in thought. But when,
suddenly, a bar patron crashes out a door that is suddenly in need of
repair, his attention snaps up. "A- are you- alri-" he starts to ask
to the man in front of him, but his question is cut off when three
more men rush out of the bar, throwing punches at once another as they
go. Kazuhito stumbles back in surprise.
Ah, Suna. It hasn't changed one bit. At least as far as Hei
can tell, which isn't really a whole lot, given that he's stumbling
down the street holding a sleeve up in front of his face to protect
him from the sand being whipped about by the wind. There's some kind
of commotion up ahead, but he can't tell what. It's loud enough to be
heard over the storm, although just barely, from where he is, and
there's movement up ahead. He sees shapes moving around in front of
him that are vaguely person-like. "Uh, hey, uh, 'scuse me," he calls
to one in front of him, reaching ahead to tap it on the shoulder to
get his attention. As it happens, he's picked Kazuhito. "Do you know
where the inn around here is?" he asks, raising his voice to be heard
above the wind, "I had a room there, but I kinda got lost."
Kazuhito manages to keep his balance as the scene in front him
unfolds, though his startled jump as he is tapped in the back nearly
causes him to fall over again. Finally, after spinning and regaining
his composure (or rather, his nervous bumbling that is somewhat closer
to being composed than freezing in shock) he begins to stammer. "The
i-inn? I think- You are looking for- It's-" He glances up and down the
street, as if disoriented enough that he needs to double check his
directions. And he seems to not notice that one of the drunken
fighters is wildly swinging about the remains of a chair, and it is
getting rather dangerously close to the boy's back.
That guy getting close to Kazuhito wouldn't have to worry
about striking anyone with a chair as it's lights out for him as a
bottle comes flying through the air and hits him right in the head. If
anything, the only thing he'd feel was the splash of the liquor as it
fanned out nearby. The culprit of the bottle seems to be Itami, who
comes stepping out of the busted side of the entry way with cheeks
slightly flushed. It's safe to say she's a little buzzed.
She points out to the group of brawlers before she stumbles
her way into the mix to end the predicament the best way she knew how.
Oh, it worked. Hei tries to look out from under his sleeve to
see Kazuhito properly. The first description that comes to mind is
'frail.' The second is 'whoa, what's that thing moving behind him?' He
leans to the side to try and get a better look at the thing and sees a
burly man swinging around a piece of chair. "Is that some kind of
street show behind you?" he asks, "Is it safe for you to be standing
so close like that?"
It doesn't really matter, because the man collapses a second
later anyway. "Oh," he says, "Nevermind. Sorry, what were you saying
about the inn? I know it's around here somewhere, I'm just having a
little trouble getting around."
"Oh- oh- yes. I think I've got it now. That way." Kazuhito
points, then notices a bit of liquor has splashed onto his head. He
spins, bringing his hand back to shield his eyes against the sand. He
notices the still unsettled dust where the man has fallen, the broken
shards of glass, and finally, Itami before she stumbles into the fray.
Apparently, Kazuhito is a little more used to peering through the dust
than his new acquaintance. "Watanabe-sama!" He exclaims in a mixture
of surprise and greeting.
Then his brow furrows. He glances back at the glass bottle.
"Say, did she… Oh- Oh- no. No. No, this isn't a show." He glances up
at the sign to the bar, and his eyes widen. "Oh. I think- they might-
I think everyone's just trying to beat each other up."
Itami heard her name called and popped out of the fray to
figure out who called it. When she pin pointed who it was, she smiled
in preparation to greet, but took a blow to the face instead. It was
enough to send her for a bit of a spin, but when she recovered, she
returned the strike twofold as she drew her fist back and walloped the
guy hard enough to stun him. She turned her focus to the other, but it
seems he had other things in mind…like running. "Don't let me find
you later," she shouted to him above the storm. Now, where was she…
"Oh yeah, hi you two!" She'd spun around on her heel and
apprached them by this point. Upon spotting Hei, she leaned forward to
peer at him before wrapping him up in her arms in a nice, strong hug.
"It's been forever! Where've you been?!" She then gestures for
Kazuhito to join in the hug. Either that or be forced into it.
Hei's danger sense kicks in, and he springs into action! "Uh,"
he says, scratching his head nervously, "How about we just get outta
here and then you can just help me find it again." Yeah, he doesn't
really wanna be in a bar brawl. He turns around and begins to take a
step, but when he looks behind to see if Kazuhito is coming with him,
he sees nothing but a swiftly moving shadow which encircles him. "Oh
no, ru— huuuuuuuh, what are you doing!?" He struggles to escape from
He looks up to see a familiar face. "Oh, it's Itami-san?
What're— " He tries to wriggle away again, "What're you doing?"
"Oh- oh- she's really quite… Wow." Kazuhito stares as he watches
the woman dispatch larger men with little trouble. As she emerges from
the crowd and embraces Hei, he starts to slink away, as if immediately
assuming he's now the odd one out. But then, when invited to join the
hug, he just freezes, as if paralyzed. His normally grey face acquires
a distinct shade of pink. 'Forced into it,' it is, then!
"I'm giving you a hug. What's it look like I'm doing?" Itami
asks followed by a chuckle. "I'm giving you both hugs, actually," she
added after Kazuhito was pulled into the embrace. Eventually, she'd
release them from her grasp and look at them with a curious
expression. "…What are you guys doing out he—" She's cut off as she
begins to sniffle. She rubs her nose a bit, but it doesn't help to
prevent the sneeze. She didn't pay any mind to the dust and sand
flying around until it managed to work its way into her sinus and
cause her to give a hefy sneeze back out. Her eyes watered and she
proceeded to rub them while letting out a second sneeze. "…It's
dusty out here. Why don't we find somewhere else to talk?" They were
headed to an inn, right?
"I— well, that's very…" Hei keeps trying to escape Itami's
grasp. But then she finally lets them go, allowing him to retreat a
few steps to a safer distance. "You know, you're a little scary
sometimes, Itami-san." He reflexively hides behind an arm to avoid the
sneeze, though he's not likely to get any of it on him at this
distance, and the wind should serve nicely to disperse it
(hopefully?). Itami is acting kinda crazy right now, and he wants to
just go to his room at the inn and relax, safe from the storm and
people fighting at the bar. "Uh, well, you know," he begins. "This guy
and I," he points to Kazuhito, "Uh, he was just giving me directions
to somewhere, so don't worry about it. We can catch up later, since
you must be busy and everything."
Kazuhito can't hold back a small squeek as he is pulled into
the embrace. But soon after he's released, the corner of his lips
flicks upward slightly. He nods. "My eyes are… Stinging." He motions
with his head in the direction of the inn. He takes a couple steps in
that direction, then adds, "If- if- you'd like to follow. Or. If not."
He looks between Itami and Hei in confusion as the young man tries to
ditch Itami, plainly unsure how he is supposed to handle the
Kazuhito's sentence is punctuated by a glass bottle flying in
front of his face. Even though the first few brawlers are gone or
incapacitated, more people are pouring out of the bar.
Itami looks back and forth between Hei and Kazuhito as they
explain their case. Instead of replying, she lazily turned around, her
leg limply swinging around as she did so, to walk away toward the end.
"What are you guys waiting for? Let's go, already," she offered to the
both of them. Hei's words didn't click in until moments later when she
asked, "How am I scary? I thought I was the most lovable person ever!"
"Uh, yeah, sure." It seems Hei has no choice for the time
being but to stay with Itami, who has evidently gone insane while he
was away. He decides to follow Kazuhito, trusting his sense of
direction more than Itami's. And hey, maybe she'll just leave on her
own. "So, I'll follow you," he says to Kazuhito, "I'm Hei, by the
way." He glances over to Itami. Maybe it's better not to answer that
question? "Well, you know. You did just beat up a bunch of people. And
some other reasons too…"
"I- Er, yes, of course, Watanabe-sama." Kazuhito walks off in
that direction. "Oh. I- I should have introduced myself. I was just…
Distracted. But I am Aida Kazuhito. It is good to meet you, Hei-san.
I- you must be- that is, I'd guess- you are just visiting the
village?" He continues to walk as he struggles to hold up his end of
Itami took off her sash and wrapped it around her head to
cover her nose and mouth from the dust storm, making sure that there
was enough left to leave a thin strip to block anything else from
coming in. "I beat up a bunch of people that were causing problems. I
was doing my job. Unless you wanted to be hit with half a chair?" She
asked as if having a moment of clarity. Nah, she was pretty aware of
her surroundings. "Maybe the way I solved the problem may not have
been great, but I still stopped 'em! So, where are we going," she
wondered? "Someone tell me something so we can get there quickly."
"Oh," says Hei, brightening up a little. Nice to see that
someone around here is sane. "Nice to meet you too, Kazuhito-san.
I'm… yeah, just visiting, I guess. I'll probably be here for a few
months. I'm going to make some art, then sell it to the people here.
It's kinda… my job I guess." He shrugs. "I'm a wandering artist, so
it's what I do." He glances behind him at Itami. "That doesn't really
make you less scary. Plus, you came after me right away afterwards,
so. You know, still. Uh, we're just going to an inn." He points to
Kazuhito. "He knows where it is. I'm following him."
Kazuhito coughs, clearing some dust out of his lungs. "I think
we are…" He covers his eyes and squints, trying to make out the sign
on the building through the dust. "Yes. Here." He steps aside now,
letting the other two pass through the entryway first. "I thought…
Well. Maybe. Maybe joining in isn't the- er, maybe not exactly the
most prudent- but I thought you were impressive, Watanabe-sama." So
maybe not quite as sane as Hei would like.
Kazuhito then returns his attention to Hei, a hint of
excitement creeping into his voice. "A wandering artist! That sounds
interesting. I might- not that- I mean, I'm not saying- I don't think-
it would go over very well if I decided to become an artist instead of
sand shinobi. But otherwise, I might like a life like that. What sorts
of art do you make?"
"What's wrong with me hugging you? Is that somehow not
permissible in Toujitakumi culture?" Itami asked as if she was
insulted by the very idea…it's entirely possible that she was. "What
does my hug have to do with going to an inn, anyway?" She lifted her
hand to her face to rub her cheeks. They were a little numb from
smiling so much. "Thank you for that bid of confidence, Kazuhito. I
thought I was impressive too. It's all for you guys!" She nodded,
wandering ahead a little as they came to their destination. She
stopped and turned around to go back to the entrance and inside the
inn. "Finally!" Now she could remove her sash from her head. "You'll
do just fine as a sand shinobi. No problems. Just like Hei will do
well as a Stone shinobi. I…it's kind of weird since he uses clay
though. How is that related to stone?"
"Oh, we're here?" Hei asks. "Awesome. I thought it was a
longer walk than that. Good to be out of the storm." He heads on in.
He just kinda does his best to ignore the ninja-talk, going on to
Kazuhito's talk about being an artist. "Oh, you want to be an artist?"
he asks. "But someone's not letting you? That's too bad. Maybe you
could try it in your spare time or something," he suggests. "For me, I
do… well, a lot of stuff. Paintings, drawings… I guess my
specialty is clay. My clan's specialty, actually."
He glances over to Itami"I dunno," Hei explains nervously,
"It's just kinda weird when you go from beating people up to hugging
someone. I'm not a ninja, I don't know your ways." He pauses. "I don't
know, actually. I don't remember how it got brought up." Better not to
provoke her. "And I'm not actually a Stone shinobi, you know. Or a
shinobi at all. I'm just from there."
"For… us?" Kazuhito repeats softly, so softly in fact that
he might not be heard if no one is paying close attention. He slips
inside deep enough to get inside and shakes his head at Hei. "You were
pretty close. It was probably just hard to see." He coughs again, and
adds, "I probably don't- I couldn't really- afford any art, but maybe
I could come look sometime while you're in town?"
"You don't need to be a ninja to understands," Itami
chuckled. "I was just happy to see you!" Nodding at this, she finds a
seat to plop down into and relax. "I didn't know you weren't a
shinobi. I thought you were one. Everyone is one of those these days.
Like Kazuhito," she pointed to him. "He's a shinobi, right?" Of
course. "You don't need to afford any art, though when you can make it
yourself. I make my own art!"
"Well, I guess that could be it," Hei agrees with Kazuhito.
"And yeah, sure. And who knows, maybe my art is cheaper than you
think. Or you could give me something in exchange for the art. Like if
you found a really amazing rock for me to make a sculpture with, or
pose for a drawing or something." He shrugs. "I'm reasonable. It's
just to pay for the price of a room and food, and some supplies for
travelling, so it's not necessarily really expensive." He glances over
to Itami. Well, she does seem pretty crazy again. "Well, uh, I'm not
sure it's everyone. But I'm not, so…" He shrugs.
"I- I'm not a very good shinobi," Kazuhito feels compelled to
append, shrugging helplessly. For a moment, he murmurs thoughtfully in
response to Hei's suggestions about how he might pay for some art, but
then his attention is caught by something else. "I didn't know you
were an artist too, Watanabe-sama. What do you make?"
Itami sweeps her hand at the air in disagreement. "Not a very
good shinobi," she huffed at the thought. "An artist? Yes, I am one,
but I usually don't have time to work on it since I have everything
else to do," she states with a bit of sadness in her tone. "I work
with glass and when I'm not doing that, I'm drawing." She went quiet
for a few moments before raising up from her seat and thinking she
might just board here tonight. That storm doesn't look like it's going
to let up anytime soon. "I think this sake is starting to get to
"Well, uh," says Hei to Kazuhito, "If it makes you feel any
better, you must be better than me. I only know, like, the bare
basics. I can do living clay if I want to make a sculpture move
around, but that's pretty much it. I spent all my childhood drawing,
not learning ninja stuff. If not, I bet you'll be pretty good someday.
I mean, I don't /really/ know how it works, but you must be still
learning, right? You don't have that vest, so you must be a genin?" He
glances over to Itami. "Oh yeah? I knew you did glass, but I didn't
you know drew too. Huh." He pauses. "Oh. You're feeling tipsy?" He's
actually pretty sure she's plastered, but might as well be polite.
"Oh." Kazuhito looks back out and frowns. "I don't- I can't- I
shouldn't stay here. I told father that I'd- he wouldn't like it if-"
he shakes his head and finishes. "I should go. But-" he his head back
to Hei and Itami and offers them a bow. "It was good to meet you,
Hei-san. I hope I'll see you again soon. And- Watanabe-sama. Thank
you. For beating those guys up. I mean, I think. I'm still not sure it
was- but thank you anyway."
"Tipsy…yeah, I think that's it. It's not like I was
actually walking over here anyway. It was more like stumbling. I can
admit to that," she nodded a few times over. "And yes, I draw too. I
can show you some of my work later. I tended to make the higher-ups
angry at me for being an artistic type back at home. The military
academy was very hard in my first year…I didn't make it any better
by acting out. I got better over time, though…" She smirks, "You
wouldn't guess that I used to attend a military academy with the way I
act, eh?" She offered a thumbs up to Kazuhito saying, "And you're
welcome. I'm not exactly sure what it was either, but…it's over