Date: July 15, 2012
Kazeodori and Asao may not have the best of relationships. They often bicker, fight, and taunt one another (be it with brains, brawn, or both). During a simple training session, however, their interactions take an unpredicted turn, and the pair become a little less enemies and little more friends.
"Epiphanies Pt. 2"
Training Fields - Sunagakure
The mid-morning air is crisp and playful, tucking beneath clothes and running through hair, leaving behind a twilight of chill in the late dawn. The sun's slow, soft, winter rays have but barely spoken to the day, their conversation so far skinny and whispered. The stone walls around the Training Fields riposte the more dramatic of the desert winds, but a few slim wits slide through here and again, reminding the constituents that it is still cold outside. It is such a morning that only a handful of shinobi are in the Fields. Two young students are practicing basic Taijutsu with their instructor; a Chuunin is hurling sets of kunai at a straw-boned man; an older man leans against the surrounding stones, legs splayed forward and interested eyes following the ninja actions. Too is there a young Genin - Kazeodori - sitting next to the man, engaged in what seems be a mundance but jolly conversation, the pair sharing smiles, and some laughs, but neither looking at the other, both focused on the other ninja, as one does when watching without actually seeing.
Asao showed up much like he did when out on the looking for training, book in hand, nose buried in it as he'd walk into that training area. Still like normal, Asao ignored the cold that seemed to effect some people. It was simply a matter of mind over matter to him and as such, he did think the temprature mattered. Pausing at the entrance to the training area, he'd spy Kazeodori talking to an older man. Asao frowned as he'd study them, focusing himself while looking over the two sitting up on the surrounding stones. Interesting. Something that could be tested. Asao would nod to himself and shut the book as he'd walk over to where the two sat at. Hopping up, he'd land lightly off to the side, before straightening up to look over at them once again. "Sasaki-san. The morning sees you well?" Attention would shift for a moment to those training on the field. "Are you looking to attempt training today?"
The older gentlemen harrumphs, giving Asao a single glance before standing and leaping away as a pencil would if bounced along the ground, a mutterance left for the intruder, and though picked up by the wind, can perhaps be heard:
"Kids these days, so da—" But there is no more heard, for what was is now lost to the sky. Kazeodori, with what seems an equal measure of disdain (perhaps for the interruption, perhaps for reasons other) glares up at Asao from his seat on the rocks, the rise of the sun coming just above the pinnacles of stone leaves a band of light across Asao's face. The Genin grins, returning his gaze to the practicing shinobi.
"Yes, I was well," he nods.
"And that depends…"
The boy stands, not tall enough to block the sun from Asao's face, but still willing every inch of his height to hold him higher, his chin pointing to the heavens.
"Did you want to practice?"
Asao watched the older man leave, although he wouldn't say anything anything in response to the man leaving. Instead his attention shifted back to Kazeodori as a single nod was given. "Hai. I could use a morning work out." Turning away, he'd leap down off the wall, landing lightly in one of the clearer areas are in the training ground. Focusing himself, that chakra pulse would have the pack on his back go empty. Tokkan it seems, was set up to be used as part of the training that was going to begin. "As an equal, Sasaki-san, I am not going to hold back. you better prepare yourself for such."
Kazeodori stares down at the Chuunin below him, the boy's own chakra channels flooding with the charge of battle. The Genin can't help but grin, perhaps in anticipation of him eating his own words; perhaps at the chance to have another round with Asao. Whatever the case, Kazeodori does not seem displeased to be engaging in combat on such an early morning as this. He shouts to the sand below, to the puppeteer atop it, that his words not be lost in the wind.
"You may do as you wish! But I wish to fight you! Up close!"
With this, the boy leaps from the stones, a battle cry erupting from his lips, infatuating the air with his fury of the fight. No hand seals flash in the mid-morning light; no words of power embark from his lips — instead, only his fist cocks back, to engage, as he so simply stated, the Chuunin in hand-to-hand combat. Up close. That he might see the will of his opponent.
SMACK!! That fist would plow right into the face of Asao, a wooden thunk of flesh hitting puppet as the henge faded away. The ticking surged forward as those puppet eyes pivoted to peer down at Kazeodori. Tokkan's arms came up then as Asao, who was sitting in the shadow of the wall, flicked his fingers and with a counter attack, it would strike twice at the genin. "If you want to get up close to me, move faster." Lightning coursed along chakra strings, engaging those plates on the puppet just before it's fist would impact against the genin.
The Genin grits his teeth as his fist connects with nothing but the hard face of Tokkan, and would grimace, wince, and fall as the two fists of the puppet connect with the soft, human flesh of himself, the charged plates sparking electricity along the young boy's body. Once fallen, keeled over from the force of the puppet's impact, the boy would stay down, on his hands and knees, breathing heavily, dribbling blood. He would stay as such for some time, unaware of any words spoken, any gazes given, any hands offered. Soon, too, would blank wet become company with the sand-beaded red, the drop of the boy's tears methodical in their fall. And from that, wrath would rise, like steam, choking away the boy's sentiment. Stand, he would, and yell, at the puppet, for his notice of the real Asao would not yet be.
"Are you worked out now?! Do you feel practiced?! Beating up a Genin?!"
Kazeodori shakes his head, but the fury won't clear, won't cease, the anger clutching his heart as the blackest of hands.
"And don't give me some damn lecture! You are no man to talk, for no man does this! You're nothing but a boy!"
The Genin laughs - a crazed, foolish laugh - and throws his arms into the air.
"I guess we must be equals!"
"I am no man." His voice rang off of the wall, although he did not raise it signifigantly. Unlike anyone else, Asao didn't bother trying to offer help to Kazeodori. Indeed, the puppet stayed right where it had been, the ticking soft as only a machine with inexsaustable patience could be in how still it stayed. Pushing off the wall, Asao was intent on Kazeodori. Something within the genin sparked in response. Maybe this was the core of the wild sharp replies to different prodding? Interesting, very interesting. Slow steps carried the chuunin over to the beat up genin from where he had been at, Tokkan only after Asao approached would click through from attack stance to standby. The chuunin leaned against the arm of Tokkan as he peered hard at Kazeodori for a long moment, before finally pulling something out of one of his vest pockets and holding it out to Kaze. That paper was carefully marked with the chakra symbols, the center a different sort of paper that seemed even more fragile than the rest. "Take it and focus on what you felt when Tokkan hit you. There is something more to you, Sasoki-san. Use the paper to find out what it is." Yeah. Telling Kaze what to do always worked in the past too. However it wasn't a superior to a weakling. Instead, it was said more on that equals both curious about the specifics of some information.
The beast that is catharsis does not come unless it is paid. But once its wages have been given - for this, the release of an anger long brewed - does the demon grab away the black that infects our hearts. Such is Kazeodori, having given himself over, breathing heavily, his face wet, his fists no longer clumbed into manifestations of hate. His eyes stare through Asao, to a point beyond, beyond all the rage, and the hatred, and the fury; beyond the end of the desert, of the constant winds and blasting sands; beyond his years of solitude, and the bury of his loathing for his father that made it so; to the nothingness, the warmth that such an oblivion is. The Genin exhales a single, large breath, and his breathing returns to itself, his heart slows. Concession - but more importantly, the belief in what that brings - has Kazeodori holding forth his hand, palm up.
"What is this?"
The boy doesn't move to take the paper from Asao, but instead keeps his hand held out. Old habits, so the saying goes, do die hard.
"Chakra paper. It reacts to the elemental chakra buried in anyone. You are very strongly wind attuned. However, there was something else there. A connection clicked with Tokkan. Find it, we'll see what the paper does, Sasoki-san." Not that Asao really cared rather Kaze took it or not. Instead, it was simply layed flat on the out stretched hand. Considering the chakra paper would connect with skin was the most important part. A slow step back taken, Asao's focus turned to that paper as he'd lean once again against Tokkan. Hey, if the machine was there, why not? Besides, the clicking that could distract so many, seemed to comfort the young chuunin.
That the boy is still young, his chakra not so easily controlled, it is but the breadth of a hair in time before the paper wrinkles itself up. Kazeodori stares at it for some, expecting, perhaps, that it is to do more than simply crinkle up like an old fish. After a few moments of nothing more, the boy turns his hand over, letting the paper whisper and sail down and down, the piece delicately landing atop the grains of sand. The boy waits a touch longer, staring now at the paper upon the ground. Still nothing. He returns his gaze to Asao, and though his annoyance with the puppeteer is not entirely deafeated (that ticking!), the Genin asks, with an intrigued sense of self:
"What does it mean if it doesn't do anything?"
It would be foolish to think that the boy did not notice the change of the paper - from flat to wrinkled - but, to him, unknowing of such a simple device (for never had he the need to use one), such a simple difference does not constitute 'something happenin'.
Asao on the other hand, understood exactly what it meant. A slow nod of his head was given as he'd rub his chin with one hand, the other arm curled about his middle. "Interesting. Very interesting. Wind and lightning. That does lead to the connection I felt on the chakra strings. Intruging." Blinking, the thought process that was said out loud cut off at the question from Kaze, he'd give a shake of his head. "It's subtle. Chakra is of course, a subtle force. Stronger than nucleai connection but weaker than the gravitational connection. Ultimately, the paper crinkling up like that is the exact result of stimulus we were looking for. Quite impressive Sasoki-san, to be able to hold back the wind chakra so you could obtain that response." Asao would give another nod of his head then, straightening up as his arms would drop. "Like I, you have a lightning affinity. It's something that you can start focusing on when you train to bring it out within yourself, hai?"
"Umm… right. Of course. Impressive."
The Genin stumbles through his acknowledgments, not entirely of what it is he just did, but- ooooooooooh.
The boy blinks, staring at the sand before him, that his thoughts might adjust themselves without having to stare Asao in the face.
"You're telling me…"
That Asao enjoys the mannerisms of a clock so, perhaps he would see with understanding the gears turning within Kazeodori's mind.
"That I have…"
It's not the boy is stupid, but certain things - often in regard to himself - seem unbelievable, and thus, are usually disbelieved.
"A lightning nature too?"
Here, Kazeodori looks up, into the face of Asao, that the other might assure him of what it is he just discovered. Rather, what Asao just discovered, for without the help of the puppeteer, perhaps such a thing would have gone entirely unnoticed.
Asao would watch, passively analysing the whole pattern that Kazeodori ran through. This seemed a common trait that the genin had in previous encounters Asao has had with him. There is probably some core reason to such results that would require further study to acertain. "Lightning. Like what Tokkan did to you. You can do it to others." Asao would smile slightly. "It's only because of your challenge for a fight with me that I found it. It's subtle, not something to see easily, for a second elemental affinity."
The Genin blinks, smiles, looks at Asao, laughs, and runs over to hug the poor puppeteer (or is it his puppet?).
"Really? Lightning?! HahaHA!"
The boy, it would seem, is rather enthused, but quickly releases Asao nonetheless, clapping him on the shoulder instead.
The widest of grins dominates the Genin's face, and he - as best he can - curls his arm around Asao's shoulders, standing next to the puppeteer with a look of triumph pasted so available upon his features.
"Can you believe that?"
The boy shakes his head, a mite unsure of the reality of the sitatution, but eager to accept it as the truth. Time will only tell, perhaps, as to the extent of such things, but - of the time being - there is naught to hinder the good-natured feelings which have seemed to overwhelm the youth, forgetting, even now, the injuries he garnered at the hands of the puppeteer but minutes ago.
Asao would blink in surprise as he got.. hugged? Err, ok. Watching Kazeodori curiously, it would definitely be something that wasn't a normal response from the genin. Then again, he just learned a fundamental aspect of himself which was previously unknown. The parameters of an unusual response were appropriate. Asao would simply smile in response with a light nod given. "I am glad to be of assistance, Sasoki-san. If you wish, Tokkan and I can teach you how to enable the lightning chakra to enhance your physical attacks, as you continue to work on obtaining a mastery over it so there is a consistant flow of the electrical chakra. It is a good step in a stronger direction for you, I believe." A nod of his head given, Asao would motion towards the entrance of the training area. "I however, need to go report in. As we have not gotten a mission for our team as of yet, I need to see if there is something specific for me to do, or if I am doing another patrol in the sands. Congradulations, Sasoki-san and good luck with your continued training." He'd step forward then, waving as Tokkan went through those steps of converting from person to puppet and sliding into that pack of Asao's while he'd walk off.