Date: October 13, 2012
Mushi tracks down Aburei to give him a very special gift.
Shiroku Hills [Land of Fire]
Little coordination seems to have gone into the building of Shiroku Hill, where every building clumped together in rows is a different color and shape. Any traveler will be tempted by resorts, hot springs, restaurants, fish markets, gambling centers and a hundred places to waste money just for fun.
The charming locale answers to a small council that claims no jurisdiction beyond the islands of South Beach. But the place where people seem in the biggest rush to hurry to or depart is Jump, an alliance of wanderers that come and go atop one of the tallest hills of the town. The headquarters stands out like a work of art. Or a sore thumb.
Aburei's been hanging around for a few days at this Jump place…just getting to know what's here, what the people are like, what goes on, etc. As he guessed on his first day, there's a fair demand for medical treatment for minor injuries resulting from squabbles. n.n; Although oddly enough, serious injuries rarely seem to happen, despite the flamboyant nature of the squabbles. It's as though the kind of people who join Jump (at least the ones getting into fights with each other) have some sort of luck shielding them from the consequences of their stupidity. In a few cases, of course, this luck takes the form of having Aburei on hand to fix them up. X) "There, the bone should set in a few days," Aburei tells his latest patient as he finishes tieing a splint. "Don't go breaking it again, I charge extra for the third time in a week." e.e
Mushi had made a statement about her policy towards Jump, but she'd never even seen it or even the island it was built on. After walking around the beach, looking at the exterior of the headquarters, and the various Jump members walking — or hobbling — down the street, her suspicions are confirmed. "I knew Goh was dumb, but not this dumb," she sighs, shaking her head. Though he does have a magnetic personality, so it's no surprise he was able to recruit so many members.
But she hasn't really come to evaluate Jump. She has a couple people to visit, and ironically the leader isn't one of them. So as Aburei is splinting a bone Mushi would be there moments later, right behind him. "Guess who," she says softly, though she wouldn't cover his eyes. After a few moments Mushi would ask, "Aburei-kun, what are you doing here?" That question could be taken more way than one.
Aburei blinks, then tilts his head way back. A smile spreads across his upside-down countenance. (: "Mushi-neesan! Fancy running into you here!" Aburei gets up and turns around, dusting off his breeches. "Then again, I guess it's not such a coincidence. Goh-san mentioned he needed to talk to you about this place. Did he already do that, or is that what you're here for? As for what I'm doing…about five minor healings a day. Dunno how long I'll stick around. I'd like to get back to finding places that really need medical help, and it doesn't seem like they'll collapse without me around here…but I have to admit it's nice having frequent work and pay, and apparently I'm the only medic on the island so far. Oh, maybe that's what you're here about?" :)
"I came all this way just to see you," Mushi says, quite honestly. She reaches out to brush something out of Aburei's hair. Or just to ruffle his head. When he mentions Goh Mushi frowns a little, and gives a shrug. "Maybe I'll see him later," she says dismissively. She listens more carefully to the rest of what Aburei has to say about his jobs and payment. She gives a nod. "There's nothing like real practice, it'll help you keep sharp for other matters. As for me…I don't plan to join Jump. It wouldn't be fitting as the leader of the Neutral Medical Center. It'd make it seem as if I was moving my organization towards it." Then she'd bonk him on the head lightly. "Remember that you're part of the Center as well…above and beyond Jump. Can you do that, Aburei-kun?" She speaks sternly but not unkindly to him.
Aburei winces slightly at the bonk, not that it hurt much, but he's not one of those ninja types who're trained to avoid flinching. "Of course, Mushi-neesan. I told Goh-san that's how it'd be for me when he first told me about his guild idea. I'm just using this place as another spot to bed down when traveling around, and a way to find out about places in need of help." Aburei rubs his head absently. "I don't really know that much about the considerations you have to think of, but if you think it's best you don't join, that's okay with me. It'd be nice if somebody could stick around here as their resident medic…but I guess it doesn't have to be somebody from the Neutral Medical Center. They can probably find some other medics eventually." Aburei snaps his fingers. "Oh, I just remembered! There was something I needed to ask the next time I saw you." Aburei folds his arms and tilts his head slightly. "Are you happy, Mushi-neesan?" o.o
"Yes well we're supposed to help everyone, not cut ourselves off from everyone, so it's fine if you're here," Mushi says with a smile. "The rule I put in place about neutrality is meant so we don't go to one village of the next war that comes around, not for things like this. That's why I came to tell you—don't do anything you'll regret. Not just about keeping out of something, but if you're friends here are in danger then help them." Then she'd bonk him on the head. "Just don't make me regret it…huh?" When he asks if she's happy Mushi looks alarmed. She hadn't really expected a question like that, well, ever. Then she smiles sadly and says, "No, not really. There are two men I love, and both of them love me. I'm hurting at least one of the depending on what I do. Hmm…I won't dodge around it. Nara Shintaro and, yeah, the Jump leader. What do you suggest I do, Aburei-kun?"
Again with the bonking! But Aburei only shuts one eye briefly in response this time, the question at hand is his focus. So, that's the situation after all…sorta thought so. "Hmmmm…my advice is…" Aburei shrugs. "Ask Kami-sama." :) There you have it, simple and noncommittal yet immensely practical wisdom from the bard. X) "Anyway, I'll have to try and meet this other guy next time I'm around Konoha. Nara Shintaro-san, right? Oh, and I'll have to talk to Goh-san too. The way he was talking before, he thought he didn't have a chance with you anymore, I'm sure he'll be pleased to find out otherwise." n.n Poor Mushi, Aburei may already make her regret letting him hang out around here. XD
Mushi looks horrified when Aburei mentions telling Goh what she just said. Wasn't he supposed to be her confidante, the person who'd keep this a secret? Her reaction is fairly straightforward. Instead of bonking Aburei on the head she'd grab him in a swift headlock and then poised her fist to noogie him. "You are not telling Goh-kun this," she says, "nor Shintaro-kun. Besides, the last time I was with Goh I said some things that hopefully will help him to move on and find someone better. As much as I love you, Aburei-kun, you'd better promise not to say anything or I swear I'll noogie you till you have a bald patch. So promise you won't." She'd let him go if he promises, but only tighten her hold if he failed to.
Ow, now it's starting to seriously hurt. x.X "Ouch! Okay, okay! If that's what you want, I won't bring it up, Mushi-neesan!" Sheesh, love sure is complicated. :P Aburei pats down his hair, as if it wasn't already a tousled mop before Mushi got at it. "Although, Mushi-neesan…I just hope you're not cutting yourself off from Goh-san because you'd feel selfish for going with him. You have that tendency sometimes, punishing yourself if you can't make everybody happy, even if that doesn't make people happier in itself." -.- Find someone better, pffft. :P
Mushi runs a hand through her hair, staring at Aburei with incredulity. How can this kid…? Ugh, she'd let only him say these things. And actually believe the brat. She reaches out to bonk him on the head again, seems the threat of noogies is over though. "Aburei-kun you can be a colossal pain in my butt," she says. "But no, I don't plan on seeing Goh-kun any time soon. It's not like I'm selfless or I care about everyone's happiness. It's just how it is."
"But I came to give you a gift," she says, rummaging in her pack. "A housewarming gift as it were, for joining Jump." She takes out a feather. It's a turquoise, going from green to blue, almost tropical in nature. It's also one foot long and three inches wide, which she'd hold out to Aburei. He may notice that the stem of the feathers isn't the usual plastic-like consistency. It's hard and unbendable as metal.
"When you need help channel your chakra through this," she says. "I'll come running. Never do it as a prank. If you do, I should remind you you're not bald yet." She says this threateningly, but with a joking edge to her tone.
Aburei accepts the feather with wide eyes. Pretty. o.o Aburei can't remember ever seeing a bird of that color, let alone with feathers that size. "Wow. Thanks Mushi-neesan. So you can sense it if I channel chakra into this? Does that have anything to do with your…" Aburei glances around to make sure nobody's listening closely. "…special capabilities?" c.c
Mushi smirks at his question of her capabilities. "I just returned from a journey where I'd seen a giant forest, surrounded by mountains," she says. "That's a hummingbird feather. A hummingbird bigger than you or me. I befriended them. They wish to see the world, and I needed a faster way to get from place to place when it comes to emergency calls so I ride them. That feather has a special resonance with the hummingbird it comes from. When it senses chakra flowing through it, it will contact me and we'll come down. Never lose that feather, always keep it somewhere out of sight. I'll come flying."
Aburei smiles. "Oh, okay. That's pretty neat. I'll look forward to meeting these hummingbirds sometime. Thanks a lot, Mushi-neesan." n.n Aburei looks down at himself, wondering where he can keep the feather…ah! He pulls out his Scroll of the Way, unrolls it a bit, places the feather against the parchment, and rolls it up again. Yup, it's been turned into a bookmark. X) But hey, it should keep it safe, out of sight, and handy, and if anyone does find it, they may presume there's no significance to it past being a fancy place-holder. "Y'wanna get lunch or something while you're here? I've gotten to know where the…quieter eateries are." n.n;
Mushi looks at the scroll, and then gives a nod. "They're really very beautiful," she says, "and a little scary too." She rubs her chin when he mentions eating. And then she glances up and down the street as if looking for someone, or perhaps trying to avoid a certain someone. Then she says, "Why not. I am kind of hungry. Lead the way, Aburei-kun." She'd fall in beside him if he were to walk. Then, she asks, "So met any nice girls you want to go out with? Is there anyone out there who you like?" She gives him a sideways look and the slightest smile.
Aburei starts leading the way down the street. "You like curry, right Mushi-neesan? I'm not big on it myself, but it's a nice shop, and they've got a good selection." Then it's Mushi's turn to poke into Aburei's love life, or lack thereof. X) "Oh, um…I'm a little young for that kinda thing still…aren't I?" n.n; Of course, nobody knows exactly how old Aburei is, as he showed up at the Neutral Medical Center alone when he was a kid…but Aburei will hide behind that ambiguity for as long as he can! Although, there was that dream Aburei had a while ago…Aburei almost says something, but clams up. No, can't talk about that, too embarrassing. *>.>*
Mushi looks Aburei up and down speculatively as they walk. Though some part of her knows Aburei is at the right age, part of her will always see the tiny kid who showed up so many years ago. "Yeah, guess so," she says. "There's plenty of time for that. But you know, I started dating when I was fifteen." Her eyes glint dangerously at her next words. "You will tell me when you get a girlfriend, right? So I can make sure she's good enough for you." She says that last part in a way that may not be fortunate for Aburei's future girlfriend. She smiles and say, "Yeah, I like curry. But if we go, I hope there's something you can get that you like. I heard there was excellent fish here. But every island claims to have the best fish, whether they do or not, hehe."
Aburei chuckles nervously, less for the threat to his potential girlfriend than for the pressure to get one. c.c; "Heh, sure, Mushi-neesan…you'll be the first to know." n.n; Aburei contemplates getting something spicy at the curry shack, just so he can pin his discomfort on that. x.x "I'm sure I'll find something to my liking, I've been there before, like I said. Actually, maybe I should try to, um, what's the phrase, expand my palate?" n.n; This will be a lunch that will not be soon forgotten…though Aburei may try. X)