Date: Feburary 16th, 2010
Randomness, leading to an unusual confession.
The lanterns light up the darkness of night, shining throughout the marketplace as the smoke of cooking meat and food rises from separate booths, only further encouraging life to keep moving steadily through the narrow roads that all eventually lead to the busy marketplace. While others move quickly, sight-seeing, shopping, dating and laughing, Yuzuna moves smoothly through the current of people, taking the path of least resistance as her pale lavender eyes blink slowly at the list in her hand, narrowing on it slightly. Memorizing the short list was easy enough to do, though it was something to look at, other than the people moving around her, some even staring at her on occasion and remarking on her exotic eyes. She only lowers her hand, the long sleeve of her kimono draping over her forearms and hiding the last of the bandages that wrapped her fading injuries.
Bump! Bump! Amongst all of the people walking busily through the Isle, one figure appears to have some trouble navigating. The small form of Itagaki with pup Milo on his head bumps from person to person like a pinball, trying to grab attention as best he can. "E…Excuse me, Miss! Oh.." Ignored, he tries the next person. "Sir? Excuse me, I'm looking fo—" Ignored again! Baby Milo, the shaggy wolf pup, lets out a quiet snore, apparently unfazed by the interruptions. "It's tough being so small. No-body seems to even know I'm here." Sighing quietly, the Academy Student shoves hands into his over-sized pants, peering up. It's here where he spots Yuzuna. Or really, her eyes. Finding himself to be staring, Itagaki's mouth drops a little bit. "E… Excuse me.." A very quiet murmur addresses Yuzuna, almost wishing that she wouldn't respond. Scary!
Walking down this very same street at this time was Toukai as he too was shopping. His list wasn't much of anything except for a list of books and some rice to make sushi with. His eyes carefully scan over the crowd as he was always nervous around crowds of people for some reason, but being in masses like this also meant that it was harder to be spotted so the young Nara tried staying close to the booths and out of the centers of the street. It was then he bumps into an academy student with a little pup and looks down at him. Rubbing the back of his head, the Chuunin Nara smiles and bows to him. "Oh sorry little guy didn't see you there…" His eyes lift slightly to give notice to Yuzuna who was there and he chuckles nervously once more. "Hi there Yuzuna-chan…what brings you out here this time of night?"
Walking in the same area, Sinoe is looking down as she walks, not her usual chipper self. She's not running or training of any kind. She's just walking. She ends up looking up in time to see the young Inuzuka run into the older woman. She sighs and shakes her head as she approaches the pair. Her eyes are then caught by Toukai coming in as well. The little multi-ninja pile up taking place has her almost avoiding it but she instead decides to be social and nods as she walks up, giving Intagaki a half-hearted smile.
Kukiko would not be jingling as usual, her clothing changed to a kimono this time around, black with dark blue design. The woman not really looking to buy anything from here, she was just going on a lead, skimming through the crowd. This Hyuuga definitely had a much easier time getting through than the Inuzuka was and had managed to cover the same ground as him in a much shorter time. At first Kukiko paid the young Inuzuka no mind, though he stopped right in front of the person she wanted to speak to. "Hrm." A smile would be flashed to Yuzuna before looking down at the boy in front of her, seeing what he wanted and secretly holding her breath.
A hand reaches out, blurring with motion to grip on Itagaki's shoulder and suddenly pull him sharply to the side, closer against the nearest building and out of the direct current of steadily flowing people. Only a mere moment before a rather irritable-looking and broad man would have bumped into the boy. Yuzuna blinks her pale lavender eyes slowly, dark ebony hair drifting along her shoulders as she turns her head slightly, watching the large man disappear without incident before glancing passively to Itagaki for a silent moment or so, a slender hand pulling from the boy's shoulder. "You must be aware of your surroundings, lest unwanted situations will occur." The Hyuuga heiress murmurs easily to Itagaki, though her words are anything but scolding. Yuzuna narrows her eyes a moment before she glances up again, frowning briefly at the unusual amount of company all at once. Event the people walking around them still with strange glances. Lifting a dark, thin brow at each of them, she releases a slow breath and raises a hand, motioning with her fingers for them to follow her further into the market and to avoid blocking traffic any further.
Bumped again, once more by an unknown figure, Itagaki nearly trips! "Oh… ah, don't worry about it." Noting that he practically stole the person away from him before she has the chance to answer his question, the Student frowns a little. "I guess we'll just have to look yourself, Milo." But here comes Sinoe. "Sinoe! Hello!" Beaming that he's finally able to recognize someone, Itagaki lifts a hand to wave. "Hello hello! I am happy to see you tonight." Noting someone else behind him, Itagaki quickly steps to the side, letting Kuki pass if she so wishes. "Oh. I'm sorry! S… Sorry. Please, go by. I didn't mean to block your way." Back-stepping into the path of a burly man, he's eyes widen significantly as Yuzuna moves to grasp him. "A… Aah!" He cries out in fright, getting yanked to the side. Milo nearly comes off! But out of pure chance or luck, he remains clinging. Trembling with fear, Itagaki closes his eyes tightly. "S, sorry! I'm sorry! I don't have any money!" He must think that she's going to rob him. "Please.. don't hurt me." Despite the fact that her voice wasn't scolding, the sudden movement and hard grip was clearly enough to spook him. Perhaps so much so that he didn't even really hear her voice at all.
The Nara looks about and rubs his chin as this coincidental meeting occurred at such a busy part of the street. His eyes first go to the arriving Sinoe who seemed down and not her hyperactive self and Toukai wonders what's wrong with her today? He spots Kukiko arriving as well, a woman he's never truly had the honor of actually speaking to but has seen her around, approaches. He gives a slight bow and looks back down at Itagaki….who wasn't there anymore. His gaze looks up to Yuzuna who's taken him in an alley and out of harms way to speak easier he guesses. With a shrug, Toukai follows them into the side street to hear what she might have to say at least.
Watching as Itagaki is saved, Sinoe shakes her head and moves to the side as well, "Toukai." She states and nods to him before looking to Yuzuna, "And Yuzuna, yes?" She questions before her gaze falls on Kuki. She hmms and looks Kuki over before saying, "Hello." She nods to her despite being unnoticed prior. Sinoe looks at the young Inuzuka and reaches out to rub his shoulder, "You're fine." She states, "Quit being so jumpy."
'Causing a jam.' The woman looks off to the side, a bit disappointed that she was being 'one of those people', the kind that almost make her run into them by suddenly stopping. Her thoughts broken when the two greet her, simply smiling their way and then dismissing Itagaki's apologies. "No no. It's fine, I could've walked past you of course!" That's exactly what she does and when Yuzuna starts directing the group another way, she does just that, tossing Yuzuna a sideways glance as she continues heading through the crowd. "…some other time."
Yuzuna frown slightly as she glances over her shoulder, seeing Itagaki with eyes shut hard and trembling with fear. Watching him for a moment, the young Hyuuga woman sighs quietly before she turns back enough to place her left hand on the boy's shoulder, gentle and non-threatening as she gently leads him with her. With a respectful nod of acknowledgement towards Kuki and a tug at the corner of her full lip, the brief smile flighty as her pale lavender eyes narrow slightly at her surroundings, navigating through the street flawlessly, her eyesight sharp as it leads them effortlessly to a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant. She pushes the door open with her free hand before gently leading Itagaki inside, where it is considerably quieter and less chaotic. Yuzuna glances over her shoulder, giving a glance towards Toukai and Sinoe in turn. "I apologize, though I figured that if you wanted to converse, somewhere more convenient was in order." Yuzuna states easily, quiet as her pale eyes blink slowly and glance down at the boy whose shoulder she still held, quirking a brow at him before moving her hand away and lifting her fingers to the little wolf pup in greeting, letting him sniff her hand. "Are you a bit better now?"
"Eh?" Realizing that he's not being mugged, Itagaki slowly opens his eyes to peer out. "O-oh." Feeling redness come up around his cheeks, Itagaki shakes his head. "S… sorry. It's just that it happens sometimes, and I can't do anything to defend myself." Heaving a sigh, the Student lifts his head up. "I'm even the worst student at the Academy. Those kids can even beat me up." Checking on Milo with a hand to lift up onto his head, Itagaki nods a bit. "U… um.. thanks for getting me out of the way. That would have hurt." Suddenly being led through the street into a quieter area, Itagaki tilts his head a bit. Staring right back into those freaky eyes, the Student gulps audibly. "Y… Yes. I'm fine." Leaning to the side, he also waves again at Sinoe. Toukai gets a sort of perplexed look. "I… was just wondering where the exotic fruit market was."
Milo of course, sniffs and licks at the fingers that come his way. A dog in his infancy! Not much else he's able to do.
The form of Hyuuga Ryuk flickers into view on a rooftop, perhaps having been trailing the others. Taking a look down to the street he notices the others amongst the crowd, and follows them along the rooftops. Until they enter a restaurant, he was not feeling social, not a new thing for this one, and he was on a mission anyway. Ryuk hand seals and transforms into a small white cat, with a long and slender, healthy figure and blue eyes. Prancing into the restaurant swiftly, he runs into Yuzuna's lap, taking a look at the pup with a straight look.
Toukai enters the restaurant and waves to Sinoe, Yuzuna Kukiko and Itagaki all in turn as he bows to them. "Heh… sorry I'm not used to walking in large crowds like this as well. I tend to stay to my own devices." He looks about the place and it's marginally quieter than the streets at this point. His glance goes over to Sinoe and he asks, "So how have you been? You don't seem yourself tonight, anything we can help with?" He then looks down and pats Itagaki on the shoulder and smiles. "I'm Nara Toukai, you have nothing to fear from me… unless you're afraid of shadows… hehehe" He rubs the back of his head and turns to Kukiko and bows again. Again with an introduction of his name and a courteous smile, he welcomes Kukiko into the place and signals for a waitress to seat them.
Walking up toward the door of the restaurant, Sinoe stops. She watches the group go in, a cat go past her and into Yuzuna's lap, and then she shakes her head. Sinoe nods to Toukai at the wave but then a moment later she is doing one of the best forms of stealth. Blending. She disappears into the crowd with barely a word and just lowers herself down a little as she walks away.
"Just outside is the market center. The fountain is in the middle of it while on the side opposite is the stand you are looking for." Yuzuna answers lightly, turning her fingers to lightly rub at the side of Milo's ear before pulling her hand away and slipping into the booth the waitress lead them to. The weariness crept into her all at once it feels like. Her pale eyes blink steadily as she glances up at the doorway of the restaurant, narrowing slightly as Sinoe seems to step back into the crowd before disappearing entirely. "I wonder if she is still recovering…" she murmurs lightly to herself, pondering before turning her attention back towards Toukai. Her stoic expression forming a brief frown and her thoughts shift, "I apologize… Toukai-san, is it?" Yuzuna murmurs, "if this may seem strange, but have we met before? To be referred as chan seems unusually personal." Her attention is suddenly broke as a blur of white swiftly darts through legs, leaping up into her lap. She blinks her pale eyes at the slender cat, apparently confused.
"Toukai… It is nice to meet you. Scared of shadows?" This seems to make the boy only more confused, a little unsure of what the Nara means by that. With Sinoe, the only person that he really knows disappearing, Itagaki saddens. "Oh… well. I guess she needed to go." Milo opens his eyes mildly to view the cat, but appears to do nothing. Either he's lazy, or he's too young to realize that he's meant to catch cats. "Is that your cat, Yuzuna? It's nice." Realizing that he's at a booth table makes the boy gasp! "Oh no! I've become distracted." Standing up, or rather sliding himself out, the dark haired boy bows his head to the Hyuuga. "Good evening, Yuzuna. And Toukai. And Yuzuna's cat. Thank you very much for the directions. I need to get some fruit for the dogs back home. Enjoy your meal." Just like that, Itagaki vacates the building too.
Toukai's face flushes red as Yuzuna asked if they've met and the Nara turns away slightly. He regains his composure and shakes his head at her question. "My apologies Yuzuna-san. It's just that I came to visit you a few times at the hospital when you were injured and delivered flowers to your bedside." The sudden departure of Itagaki makes Toukai's eyebrow raise slightly and he sighs now as he's left alone with Yuzuna and her new pet cat. He looks to the ground for a second, not sure of what to say at this point.
Ryuk slinks onto the bench letting Yuzuna's lap free. The pup had not given him trouble and was off with the Inuzuka boy. He, Yuzuna, and Toukai were all that's left. He curls up in his spot and listens to the conversation passively, while he rests like a cat. He was hungry, maybe some food might bring Ryuk back to his real form, but for now he was in disguise, a lick of the paw brushes it against his head and goes back to 'sleep' breathing lightly.
Yuzuna blinks her pale eyes at the boy briefly before frowning gently, "I… have never seen this cat before." she murmurs, though only watches as Itagaki waves and hurries off. With a sigh, she lifts a hand to the side of her forehead before gently shaking her head, ebony locks shifting before giving the snowy cat another odd brief glance as it moves into seating next to her. Exhaling slowly, she lifts her chin to look up at the boy across from her, pale lilac eyes narrowing slightly as she watches him quietly with a passing silence between him. Lifting a hand from her lap, she reaches across the table and brushes her fingertips under his chin without hesitance as she lifts Toukai's chin, directing the boy's eyes upwards and towards hers. "Do not apologize. I am simply curious." Yuzuna answers easily, pale eyes quiet and analyzing. "Thank you for them, though why would you visit me if I have not met you before?" she asks with some curiosity.
This only made Toukai blush even further as he sighs, but relents to her hands adjusting. "I… I brought them because… you were injured on a mission and stuff… yeah." The Nara was a terrible liar when it came to hiding his intentions from a woman and it made him seem all the more suspicious. He clears his throat and shakes his head at what he just said. "Okay that was a lie…I brought them because… I was curious about you…" He breathes a sigh of relief as the waitress comes up to bring them menus and Toukai quickly buries his head in his to hide his reddened features.
It seemed to Ryuk that not Toukai's words mostly explained why he was being so forward with Yuzuna. A yawn from the ninja kitty, this could have been why they were at the restaurant, but a ninja such as Toukai in the pursuit of love was not necessarily interesting to him, or his business. In any case, the Hyuuga clan had customs of their own.
Yuzuna smoothly pulls her hand away just as easily as she had reached out to him, her slender hands resting over one another in her lap as she sits perfectly still and lady-like, listening to the boy across from her in quiet silence. She turns her dark head slightly at the approach of the waitress, glancing to her as the menus are set down on the table. A simple list, but all homemade. Opening the menu in front of her, the Hyuuga girl lets it rest on the table, fully aware that the Nara boy is fidgeting strangely behind his own menu with an unusual color in his cheeks. "Captive." Yuzuna murmurs with a steadily voice. "The mission failed and we were taken captive. The injuries we endured will be nothing compared to the strain that now exists between the Land of Waves and the Land of Fire." She almost seems quietly distressed at this, though she smoothly moves forward, pale eyes blinking slowly at Toukai. "You were… curious." Yuzuna repeats his words slower.
Toukai attempts to laugh it off as he replies with, "Hehe yeah! It's nothing really I just… uhm… heard your mission was a complete disaster and all… and… geez…" He points to something on his menu and the waitress bows to him and turns her attention to Yuzuna to get her order. Toukai for the time being leans back and crosses his arms attempting to think of something to say that won't make him look like a complete moron…
His eyes glance over at the white cat that's simply lying there and he chin rubs once more trying to figure out why the cat wasn't begging for food. Usually if they come up to someone and sit near them it's because they want something… what exactly did this cat want…?
As the waitress comes by again to take their orders it is almost like normal for her to look over to the kitty. Ryuk moves a paw to place a small stone holding the chopsticks onto the menu. On top of it some of his favorite, Ramen noodle soup. Strange to serve a cat, the waitress however takes his order, looks at the others like that was weird and to take their orders.
For the first time, her stoic expression breaks into a scowl of irritation at the words 'complete disaster', the subject still sensitive to her as she give her hands a brief look, her features soon smoothing out once more as she lifts a thin brow at him with some skepticism. "I believe Goh, Satoru, or Sinoe could have also offered you further details on this mission." Yuzuna points at the menu, ordering a cup of green tea. When the waitress takes the cat's order as well, the Hyuuga girl frowns as she glances towards it, pondering, "It must be an intelligent nin cat, perhaps…" she murmurs softly to herself. "You still have not clarified what you were curious about." she states clearly as her pale eyes lift at him, narrowing slightly in thought for a quiet moment or so, "Were you at the hospital for a checkup appointment? You look like you may be a bit ill… Are you feeling well?"
Toukai sweatdrops and sighs at his epic failures at this point. He hands off the menu and tries to be himself and leans forward towards Yuzuna. "Curious was a bit off from what I truly meant. I'm interested in you Yuzuna-san. However I know of your customs and I know I don't have a chance in hell to be with you, but I figured I should get that burden off of my chest before it caved. Also… Goh gave me the full rundown of what happened. I sort of blame myself for not being there as I could have gotten you all to safety without being captives. I must say though I'm glad you're at least back and able to continue being a shinobi." He looks over to the cat and sighs at it. "I'm assuming you want us to pay for your meal too huh?" To himself he thinks 'Geez… can this scene get any worse…? This is so troublesome…'
The kitten looks towards Toukai with a fanged grin, and curls himself back up into a ball of white fur. Sleeping until his bowl of food comes, he starts sipping the soup, only to suck up and chew all the noodles, and biting into the meat. A large yawn and Ryuk falls asleep.
Yuzuna blinks her pale eyes in surprise at the sudden confession, though now he is doing remarkably well at not stuttering too much. She ponders quietly as the waitress returns, setting Toukai's order in front of him, noodles to the snowy kitty while the green tea is set carefully in front of Yuzuna. "Well, do you feel any better now that you have?" she asks sincerely as her slender fingers lightly cup around her teacup, resting there on the table in front of her.
"I guess… but that still doesn't change the facts none…" He bows to the waitress that brings out his Mizo soup and wontons. He crunches up the crispy delights and dumps them in the soup and looks to Yuzuna's hands. After wiping off his own hands, the Nara makes a bold move and takes her cupped hands from around her cup and into his. "I know this may seem awkward, but is there a way for us to attempt any type of relationship? It's your eyes… your eyes have intrigued me so…" Toukai's nervousness seems to have passed for now until his palms started to sweat a little. He tries to maintain his cool, but this was his first attempt at trying to be with a girl.
Yuzuna blinks again as she watches him lightly takes her hand in his, holding it across the table as she lifts her pale eyes up to his. Arching a dark brow, the corner of her lips tugs with a smirk of mild amusement, "As does everyone else of my clan." she counters easily, brow still quirked. "You have not given any other reasons, nor an explanation as to how you became… intrigued, as you put it." Yuzuna narrows her eyes slightly before glancing to her cup of tea in thought, pondering. "I suppose that friendship would be adequate, though I know nothing of you as well, with the exception of your full name."
"Fair enough. I guess you should get at least that courtesy from me. It started back when I was with my father who had business in the Hyuuga's village. I saw you training with your tutors and our eyes met for the first time. Ever since then I've been trying to think of ways to approach you that wouldn't provoke an attack upon me. With all of my brilliant thinking and cunning I couldn't come up with anything. It seems by chance that opportunity has presented itself." He releases Yuzuna's hands, but keeps them touching in case she wanted to pull away or not. "I can't say it was love at first sight, but ever since then I couldn't shake you from my thoughts, my dreams, my goals in life." He takes one of his hands to grab his water and takes a sip to help calm him down some.
Yuzuna arches a brow skeptically at him, though there is mild amusement as she asks, "You think that I am that violent then?" she wonders out loud, though honestly she had never seen her clan as the violent type, his fingers relaxing hers as she pulls her hand away to cup along the side of her cheek thoughtfully. "I suppose I am honored you think so highly of me, Toukai-san." Yuzuna lifts her free hand from her cup gently wave, "You know of my clan's customs, correct?" Her pale eyes glance to her cup of tea as her fingers wrap though the slender handle. "Usually children are set into arranged marriages at an early age. Either to someone within the clan that has a high possibility of producing strong Byakugan heirs, or to other clans for political reasons and a show of mutual agreement and peace."
Toukai shrugs and smiles at Yuzuna. "I didn't mean you personally, but what I was told during class and all that the women of your village are guarded against the likes of people like myself that may come along. As far as your customs go, yes… after seeing you I took the initiative to find out more about your clan." He goes to eat his soup and makes an odd face as his wontons got soggy from waiting so long. He waves the waitress over to get some more wontons and looks back at Yuzuna. "I guess there's only one more thing to ask before I continue to make myself the fool. Are you arranged to another already or is there still a chance for me?" His hands clutch his bowl as he eagerly awaits an answer.
Yuzuna takes a sip from her tea cup, the taste settling on her tongue as she sips for a quiet moment or so before pulling it gently away, setting it on the table again with a hand relaxed around it. "As far as I am aware of I am, though my mother has not told me who as she thinks that it will distract me from my training and lessons." she murmurs lightly, her pale lavender eyes blink slowly as they seem to look her tea to a space beyond it. Quiet and thoughtful. "And also, I do not think of your acts as foolish. It took courage to do what you have, regardless of the circumstances." A frown gently forms, "However… I will keep this quiet and to myself. I do not want you to be bothered in the future simply for being true to yourself…"
Toukai fiddles with his spoon and nods to Yuzuna. "Well I guess not all dreams can come true, but the journey there was worth it. Thank you for your understanding Yuzuna-san." Although he's come to terms with the let down, his brow still furrows with shame that he's failed. Finishing his soup, he reaches into his pouch and places some ryo on the table to pay for the meals, including the cat's, and stands to bow to Yuzuna. "It was lovely spending time with you Yuzuna-san, there's still some shopping I must do before the stands close for the night." He heads towards the door seeming calm enough for what just unfolded before them. As Toukai got outside however, he ran to the nearest trash cans and fell to his knees. He punches the ground and his shadow comes up to cloak him from bystanders as he disappears without a trace.