Date: January 24, 2012
Atsuro takes Taiki up a mountain to teach him Gatsuga and ends up pushing him over the edge (but not literally).
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
"Inuzuka Pride - Tsuga and Tsarcasm"
Jagged Mountain Path
Most of this mountain seems to be twisting pathways and narrow ledges, but there is a small part of it that is totally wide open and flat, ideal for training with a low chance of accidental falls. And being so high up, the air is relatively cool, unlike the hellish wasteland below. Atsuro found it a day ago, and that gave him an idea. He left a note for Taiki to meet him here at noon, ready for training. Atsuro himself has already arrived and now sits in the shade of a large boulder, Taizen lying nearby. Suddenly, Atsuro groans a little. "Ugh, should've brought a lunch." Hopefully Taiki shows up soon.
Taiki was a little preplexed by this note, as he had not expected to do much training in Suna other than strictly physical stuff like running and the like, or walking on walls, to keep his body in decent shape. But he shrugged it off and changed clothes to his ninja gear, then leaving with Shinobu, following the map. The guards didn't give him much problem, as he showed the closed letter and stated, "Clan business, I'll be back very soon." With that he and his partner made their way out here. Now that they're arriving, Taiki looks around and says to Shinobu, "Wonder what kind of training Atsuro'sensei has in mind?"
Atsuro hears this and, being Atsuro, has just the right thing to say. "What Atsuro-sensei has in mind is something you've been ignoring for far too long, my dear cousin," he says sinisterly. Then he gets lazily to his feet then waves Taiki over. "And I'm not talking about your hygiene," he cracks a grin, then continues. "So, you've known how to do Tsuga for a while now, right? It's /been/ a while since I taught you, so let's hope so." He gestures to the wide open space they have here. "Why don't you demonstrate?"
Taiki tilts his head to one side and blinks a couple of times at Atsuro. "I'll ask when I sleep walked to bubble in your breakfast later," Taiki finally says as he shrugs. "And I bathe daily, thank you very much," he adds as he lowers himself into a four legged stance. "Tsuga," he says normally before jumping into the air and spinning, becoming a tornado of movement as he rushes in the indicated direction. It's a pretty decent tsuga, great for him considering taijutsu is, at this moment, a secondary form of combat for him.
"/Mean,/" says Atsuro, "Can't you just let me have my fun?" He pauses. "And of course you bathe 'daily,'" he adds, using ridiculously exaggerated air quotes, "Whatever you say." He watches Taiki's demonstration of Tsuga, and nods slowly in approval. "Good. I mean, I suppose that wasn't /too/ embarrassing to watch. So I think you're probably ready to take it up to the next level. Yes, you too can learn the secrets of Gatsuga." He stops for a second. "Or rather, you too can learn the secrets of Tsuga," he says, then pauses dramatically beforing looking straight at Shinobu.
Okay, so that got Taiki's attention like nothing else would. He looks back at Atsuro and smiles widely. "Gatsuga training? Really? Great!" Taiki looks back at Shinobu who is barking animatedly and enthusiastically. The two look at each other, then look back toward Atsuro and smiles. "One more step…" he says with a grin as he remembers what he's worked out about his contribution toward the Inuzuka techniques earlier. Shinobu in the meantime looks back at Atsuro, seemingly eager.
"Oh, flibble," says Atsuro, "People are getting that excited about being taught by me now? I just keep digging deeper and deeper…" He shrugs. "Anyway, Shinobu, a dog does it pretty much the same way as a human. Taizen will demonstrate." He waves over Taizen, who lumbers over beside him. "Okay, go." Taizen, lowers his head to the ground slightly, then jumps up. Within a second of leaving the ground, he's entered a wild spin, arcing through the air. A classic Tsuga. "You just focus your chakra, jump, spin, and keep spinning." He reaches over to give Shinobu a condescending pat on the head, "So easy even you can do it, eh?"
Shinobu growls slightly at the condescending air that Atsuro was putting on, but resists the urge to snap at the hand on his head. Instead he backs away and crouches down toward Taiki. To be honest, they had been practicing getting the dog to be able to do this for a while now, and were pretty close. But the final steps needed work, as well as the collaboration between the two. Still, the ninken jumps and starts to turn as he makes his way down toward Taiki, only to fall down and skid on his side, coming to a stop at Taiki's feet. Taiki in the meantime looks over his partner and nods. "You're lucky Shinobu, you have all that fur to protect you from ground burns.."
"Ouch," says Atsuro mildly. "Well, obviously we need to do some work here. Let's see…" He pauses to rub his chin and think about what Shinobu did wrong. "Not enough spin, not enough energy put into the jump. It's pretty easy to control once you've got it going, but you need to get it going first… which you didn't. Watch me." Atsuro focuses his chakra, gaining the usual wild appearance of the four-legged stance, then jumps into the air, immediately transitioning into a spin, but doesn't actually do the technique, instead simply stopping and landing. "Just like that, except you commit to the technique."
Shinobu looks up at Taiki as if to say just how lucky he felt, which wasn't very. It felt like his fur was being pulled out by the roots in handfuls. Still the dog got up and barks once, then watches Atsuro. The dog jumps up and puts more oomph into it, which sends the dog careening toward the mountain. Bits of rock loose dirt are picked up and quickly ripped apart as Shinobu makes it back to Atsuro, coming to a stop near the chuunin. Only thing is, the dog is wobbling slightly, apparently slightly dizzy.
Atsuro sighs and reaches down to steady Shinobu. "Forgot about that part. Yeah, you'll be dizzy until you've practiced a little. But there's no time like the present, so take a minute to settle and give it another try. We haven't even gotten to the second part of this technique yet. Remember, it's not just about the both of you spinning, it's about coordinating your attacks to be as effective as possible. So we've got a whole 'nother load of work ahead of us." He grins at Shinobu, "I'm sure you just can't wait, huh?"
"Yeah, it does get better Shinobu. Remember I was at first?" Taiki calls out, encouraging his partner. Shinobu gives a happy yip and starts to settle down. After a few moments the swaying disappears, leaving the dog ready for another spin. The dog leaps, and performs a tsuga again, this one nearly as good as Taiki's own just a few minutes ago. Shinobu pulls to a stop at Taiki's feet and barks while swaying a little. His tail is wagging happily as he looks up at his partner. "The dizziness appears to be getting better Sensei.
"Wow," says Atsuro, "Such rapid improvement. I was hoping to tease you for at least another half hour." He mock-sighs, "Well, I guess we can try having the both of you do it at once. First thing's first: don't hit each other. If one of you hits the other, the best case scenario is that you both stop and fall. The worst case is that you both end up in the hospital. Luckily, I know how to make you fall only. If you hit each other side-by-side, you'll just stop and fall. So, the both of you try it parallel to one another. Then practice until you've got enough control to avoid bumping into each other. Harder than it sounds." He points at Taiki, "Maybe even for someone who's already been doing it for a while."
"Truth be told he's been practicing Tsuga for a while Sensei, under my watch. Not so much for the Gatsuga, but because when we're under Juujin Benshin, he needs to be able to do it as well so we can fool our opponents." Taiki nods and then gets down on all fours, adopting the normal feral looks as he does. Shinobu moves over beside him and gets ready, and with some invisible signal they're off. So focused were they on not colliding, however, that they careened in opposite directions and plowed up some fresh dirt and rocks in the process. Both stand up and look at eachother before nervously chuckling.
"Well," says Atsuro. Then he just stops talking for a few seconds. "Well," he begins again, "You didn't crash into each other, but that's not exactly going to strike fear into your enemies' hearts. It might strike laughter into their mouths. Which could actually be pretty useful, but you should find another way of doing that." He shakes his head. "Try it again. This time, focus on just going in a straight line. We're trying to learn control here. You're going to need it more than ever when you do a full-fledged Gatsuga."
Taiki looks at Atsuro and grumbles something about, "Go ahead, laugh it up." He and Shinobu walk back until they're side by side. After a moment's concentration they're up in the air again, this time the opposite problem happens, and they scrape each other. But the effect is rather spectacular to watch as they once again speed off in opposite directions to plow into the ground. Both are alive, and appear relatively unharmed, but both wind up coughing up some dirt in the process.
"I wasn't even laughing," says Atsuro, "I was trying really, /really/ hard not to, in fact. But apparently I should have just gone ahead and laughed at you." He sighs dramatically, then watches as Taiki and Shinobu crash once again. He doesn't manage to hold his laughter back entirely this time, and lets loose a little chuckle. "Nyeheh. You two should have seen that. But maybe it was better with front row seats, eh?" He shrugs. "Anyway, try keeping a steady pace in your spinning. If you slow down, then speed up, then slow down, it's harder to control."
"You don't need to actually laugh when you stand there and tell us we'd make our opponents laugh instead of fear us. You might as well let it out then, because we know you are on the inside." Taiki and shinobu try again, and actually make it a ways before coming out of it. Only problem is it was slow, as if they decided to try to perfect the form first before putting speed behind it. They're both slighly dizzy, but they also have looks of pride this time. At least they didn't make fools of themselves…
"Oh, Taiki," says Atsuro laughingly, "How cruel. Sometimes I swear you don't even like me." He watches them perform the technique once more. "Okay, well, not bad," he says, assessing the performance with a shrug. "You could be a little faster, but you also could have crashed into each other, so I guess we'll call it a wash. Keep practicing, I guess."
Taiki looks over to Atsuro as the world stops spinning and says, "Since when is telling the truth cruel sensei? Especially when you admitted to trying really hard not to laugh?" Taiki then shrugs and looks to Shinobu. After hearing a whine from the dog he says, "Don't worry, I don't hate you or anything, and I'm aware we must look pretty comical, just its aggrevating sometimes. But you're actually not that bad." With that the two take off again, managing to avoid hitting each other, but Shinobu drops out of his tsuga early, but manages to catch himself instead of crashing into something.
"You don't know it's true," says Atsuro, "And besides, you said, in effect, that all of my effort was totally wasted. It's like if I bought you a cake and you told me it was all for nothing because you hate chocolate." He grins. "It's the thought that counts. And— " He stops to gasp loudly. "I'm 'not that bad?' Now you're just being nasty." He shakes his head and watches the next attempt. "Shinobu, you need to commit fully to the move. You can't go halfway."
Taiki stops for a moment and looks at Atsuro as if he's grown a second head. "Where has /this/ come from?" the genin asks, his eyes narrowing a bit. "I can't even begin to figure you out sometimes. It's not as if I'm going to confess my never-dieing love to you. Sorry, but I'm straight and there's someone I like already." He then smirks and lines up with Shinobu again. They both manage to pull off a somewhat straight line, save that they waver a little close to each other once or twice. Fortunately contact is avoided, so there's no spills into the ground. It's still slow, but they seem to be taking the get the forme down, then add speed approach to things.
Atsuro laughs. "Nyahahahaha! I don't know what you're talking about, actually. When did I say I wanted you to be in love with me? If you could quote the exact sentence as well, I'm sure it would help me avoid some awkward moments in the future. Like this one. I'm pretty sure it's your fault, but I'm open to criticism." He watches the next attempt at the technique. "Better," he says, "Still a little slow, but it'll get better with practice, I'm sure. Of course, this is only /part/ of the full technique. You have to be able to weave in and out and around your opponent, and still avoid each other."
Taiki just shakes his head. "You know what… forget it. I can't keep up with you when you get this sarcastic. I've reached the end of my abilities in that department." With that he and Shinobu look at each other and seem to start communicating on another level. Both crouch down at the same time, and with just a little more speed kick off and perform two tsugas, moving parallel to each other. They seem in better control of their direction, but not quite there yet. Still, its an improvement.
"Don't feel too bad about it," says Atsuro, grinning triumphantly, "Few can. Although, I still have no idea what /you/ were talking about." He stops and frowns. "You actually tired me out a little bit. Who'd've guessed, eh?" He sits down in the shade of the boulder again and watches the two Tsugas. "Okay," he says, "Better. I sorta liked it back when you were crashing and stuff, though. More fun to watch." He sighs wistfully, "I guess I took it for granted."
"The whole point of this, /sensei/, is to actually learn how to do this. But don't worry, I'm sure we will be able to provide you with enough amusement once we start trying to weave around each other," Taiki says with a shake of his head. "And that comment about love was a response to your comment about how sometimes you think I don't like you or something. Sorry that went over your head." With that he and Shinobu try again, but Taiki was distracted by trying to gauge his distance from Shinobu, and winds up taking a spill as he swerves… straight down.
"I think /my/ comment went over your head first," Atsuro replies, "The love thing still really came out of nowhere. Unless you mean to say that students shouldn't like their teachers. Which… I suppose is a reasonable philosophy, from a certain point of view." He shrugs. "But that isn't /my/ point of view. You kids had /better/ like me, after all I've done for you. Which isn't much, but I'm just naturally charming, so it should be enough." Then he watches as Taiki dives into the ground. "See?" he asks, grinning and putting his hands behind his head, "Now that wasn't so hard, was it?"
Taiki sighs and hangs his head for a moment. "You just don't get it, do you?" he asks as he looks up. "I don't know, maybe I'm just a failure at sarcasm, but you said something to the effect of "How cruel. Sometimes I swear you don't even like me." I came back with a sarcastic "You're not that bad," to which you started to say I was getting downright nasty. Then I fired what was meant to be sarcasm right back, and you seem to have taken it the completely wrong way. So I guess I failed sarcasm 101." He then shrugs and looks back to Shinobu. "What do you think? Should we continue or just go back? I think this entire misunderstanding is a little counter-productive." Shinobu whines, then barks, offering an opinion of perhaps it may be better.
Did Atsuro cross a line, or is this just Taiki entering the stormy teenage years? "Oh, come on," says Atsuro, "Fine, sorry, I guess I was being a little obnoxious. But it takes two to tango. You provoked me, I did what I do when I'm provoked, you never asked me to stop. If you really wanna go, I was going to suggest you take a break anyway, but don't do it like /that/."
Taiki looks at Atsuro for a moment, then says, "I'm trying to learn to stand up for myself. It's not easy for me. I get that it's easy for you. You've seemed to cope with what the dark side of the Inuzuka can dish out by flinging it right back at them. Me… I had to keep my head down. I learned not to ask for people to stop because they won't. Then you come along, and start pushing me to stand up for myself. Okay, I can get how that's better than what I've been doing. But part of it is I'm fighting myself as much if not more than I'm fighting you, for practice, and them, for real."
Shinobu whines a bit, giving a little encouragement to his partner. Taiki looks down at his canine partner and smiles before looking back at Atsuro. "Verbal sparring with you takes a lot out of me, and sometimes my skin can be worn a bit thin. When that happens, I just want to leave. It's not ideal, nor is it savory, but it is what it is. But asking for someone to stop has never gotten me anywhere, so why would it occur to me to ask now?"
Atsuro considers all of this for a moment, then shrugs a little. "I dunno. I'm the sort of person who /would/ stop. I guess I just assumed you'd realized that by now. I'd rather just hold my tongue for a little bit and /not/ have my student twirled at me. Easier in the end." He gets to his feet again and sighs. "And now you've got me talking about my /feelings/ and everything, so I think I'll just stop myself right there. Are we good?"
"I've never seen evidence of that Atsuro'sensei, but only because it's never come up before. That is because I never asked. Thus we found ourselves in this situation tonight." Taiki shrugs a little and then says, "Yeah, we're good. I think a break here would be ideal. I think I'm going to run back to Suna and bathe again though, after this excercise and the run back, I'll need it."