Date: November 13, 2010
A certain barrel of nautical naughtiness makes his first appearance since NMR 1.0, causing a mix of giggles and grief for the kunoichi of Sunagakure Team 01.
A mission? During the tournament? :o How unusual…especially considering how one of the team's members had a very long hospital stay not so long ago. Yet the mission envelope specifically details that Sunagakure Team #01 is to carry out this task. What could possibly be so important as to require this particular team's talents during what is almost a vacation in foreign territory? Well, let's see what the mission document says…
Team assigned: Team #01 (special exception: Maneshi Shemri is not to participate)
Client: Maneshi Aram
Mission rank: D
Please take care of Megumi-chan while we take Shemri out on a camping trip. You'll find some spending cash included with this mission request, and we'll reimburse you for any reasonable expenses past that you might have. We'll be back late tomorrow morning.
…So, turns out it's baby-sitting duty while Shemri's family whisks her away for some grown-up togetherness time. X) Could be worse, at least they're getting paid for it. Megumi-chan smiles brightly up at her 'aunties' after having been dropped off in their care. "Can we go get ice cream or somethin'?" :D
Babysitting? BABYSITTING!? …Babysitting! Considering the alternatives and what missions usually entailed, namely going up against nigh-unstoppable hordes of the walking dead for Team 01, babysitting a small child was by far one of the much more preferable choices. It might have even been THE best choice as far as Rurohashi Rinako was concerned. Not only did it mean that they weren't going to have to exhaust themselves to halt doomsday, but she got to spoil a small child in her mother's absence. Diabolical.
After assuring the one who'd dropped off the tiny girl into their care that she was in good hands, Rinako frowns down at her feet for a few moments. Just what did small children do for fun these days? She was pretty sure the words 'nap time', a personal favorite hobby of hers, wouldn't elicite anything other than a riotous negative response. But it seems the child had ideas of her own, which made things that much easier.
"You bet!" The kunoichi's brown eyes turn towards the other pair, idly waving a hand. "That'd be okay, right? We'll get so much icecream it'll make your stomach hurt so bad you won't stop complaining for a week. …Then you'll be just like my little sister." With one hand on Megumi's head, the other propped into a fist on her hip, the dark-haired jinchuriki purses her lips and squints her eyes. "Where do we get icecream anyway?"
Ruri stands there and looks placidly at her older sister. "I'm the one who complains non-stop? Is it opposite day and no one told me?" Rolling her eye she says, "There's a dessert bar on one of the streets around town. I forget where. They have icecream of various kinds. But I don't think we should be spending all the cash we were given on icecream. What if there's an emergency? We should spend what's necessary and not a single mon more!"
What a stingy woman! She is supposed to be spending money on this kid and instead she wants to save it? For an EMERGENCY!? Totally unreasonable.
Kara seems a bit subdued today. She just sort of stands in the background and smiles when it seems appropriate. No sign of Puppets anywhere, and she's wearing normal clothes for once. T-shirt, long skirt, and shoes appropriate to grassy terrain instead of sand. She even ditched her headdress thing. She can often be caught looking off into the distance or staring into space unless someone addresses her directly. It's not like Kara at all.
She seems to be totally unaware of the conversation going on too, because she doesn't seem to react to the mention of icecream -- something that is extremely rare in the Land of Wind. Possibly even something she has never had before.
Thought this one was going to be easy, didn't you? ;) Just a fun little escapade to release the tension of all that zombie-fighting, other-reality hopping, and assault-on-the-village-surviving the team's had to put up with, right? Well, it probably won't be as bad as all that stuff, but things /are/ about to get a /little/ more complicated. A Suna courier nin suddenly appears and hands Ruri another envelope. "Mission addendum," he states, and blurs away again. What could it be now? :o
We've just been asked to look after the son of a Land of Grass dignitary while he attends today's tournament matches. Since your team is already on a childcare mission, we decided it shouldn't be too much problem to include an extra child. Be aware, however, that there is political goodwill riding on this boy's treatment. Do your best to entertain him and fulfill his wishes, and do not try to manhandle or discipline him regardless of his behavior. You will be well reimbursed for the extra burden.
…Hmmm. Well, that can't be too bad, right? Maybe a bit of a headache having a snotty rich kid around, but as long as they keep him happy, how much trouble could he b--
"Avast there!" Another courier nin walks up, closely followed by the boy in question. He's a little bit older than Megumi-chan, and easily distinguishable thanks to a rolling swagger, a small wooden sword, and a fake eyepatch. "So, be these the lubbers that aspire to sail under the banner of CAPTAIN RED!?" >D
Megumi stamps her foot in typical disappointed child fashion. "Awwww, c'mon! Gramma told me it was for treats! An' I know just where to get ice cream, I been there every day since we got--" The arrival of CAPTAIN RED interrupts Megumi's arguments. "…What happened to your eye? Didja trip an' fall on that sword?" :o
"Yeah, c'mon! We're gonna get reimbursed, didn't you read the note? Geez." Of course, to Rinako's way of thinking, that meant they should run up the highest tab possible. "This isn't Suna, anyway. We aren't in the desert anymore, so icecream can't be THAT expensive. …Right? I mean-"
The dark-haired kunoichi is cut off as yet another courier arrives, falling silent as ruffles Megumi's hair just a bit. Other than her hand on a child's head, she was the picture of business. One would never know from looking at her that all that was on her mind right now was a sweet, cavity-creating creamy delight. "What's it sa-"
AGAIN interrupted by a courier-nin! How did one get that job, anyway? It seemed so easy, barely worth the honorrific 'nin' attached to it. Rinako takes in the sight of the approaching boy as he loudly broadcasts both his presence and 'name' for them all, one eyebrow raising slightly. After a moment, she points idly at herself.
"Captain Red, I'm Ruthless Rinako, the, ahhhhhhh… Quartermaster." She almost has to ask if he was an army captain or a navy one, but the eyepatch and word 'sail' saves her the trouble. "This is First Mate Megumi the Magnificent." Naturally, she takes it upon herself to make introductions for the others, pointing first at Kara! "That's Cold-Hearted Kara the Cannoneer." And then at Ruri. "And Swabbie Ruri the Rigid. …And I think our first task was to get the money for treats from those rigid little hands."
Ruri frowns. "No, it said any REASONABLE expenses beyond what was provided--" Then a Courier-Nin shows up. She takes the message and tears it open quickly. Reading it and hoping she's being called away on something that doesn't involve escorting children, she is sorely disappointed. "…It says we have incoming." A moment later, the boy shows up, boasting and hollering. "…."
At Megumi's question, Ruri raises a hand to her right eye, where her hitai-ite hangs over it, and says, "That's a long story. And it's not suitable for kids." Then she realizes Megumi was asking this 'Captain Red' about his eyepatch. "…He has both eyes. He's just pretending to be a pirate. Pirates are sea-faring criminals that kill people, steal things, rape women, and have incredibly poor hygiene. They suck, basically. Land of Lightning is rife with them along its coasts."
She then turns to Rinako at her assignment of titles, and says to the new arrival, "Actually, kid, you can call yourself captain if you want, by I'm the Admiral, and this team is MY 'crew'. You are a… Guest. You will be treated appropriately and with respect, of course. But orders are orders and all, and we already have a charter ready." She smiles sweetly.
Kara remains quiet. Then she suddenly seems to realize something is going on when the child shows up. She blinks a bit and then nods her head to the 'captain'. "Ohayoo, Anjin-san. What's your full name? Or was that included in the note?" She looks towards Ruri, to see if the child's name was actually given or not. If it wasn't, then she shrugs it off and goes back to staring at nothing.
Captain Red draws his little sword and brandishes it. "Belay that Admiral talk! There be crew, and there be cap'ns! Any man who thinks he can rule over more'n one ship has a mutiny comin'!" The courier nin shifts over to mutter in Kara's ear. "His real name's Kura Denji, but it's easier if you call him Captain Red like he wants. Matter of fact, just play along with everything. His regular caretakers say that's the only way you'll get anywhere with him." e.e With that, the courier disappears.
Megumi scratches her head, trying to process what Ruri told her. She understands the concepts of killing and stealing, but the other things go over her head. c.c Probably just as well, the basic point remains that they're bad guys, right? But why does this kid like pretending to be one, then? Doesn't he know that the good guys always win? :o "All right, me hearties, time to provision for our voyage! Set course for Twisty Cone!" Megumi decides quite suddenly that this kid can't be such a bad guy after all. n.n Captain Red sets off down the street, and Megumi trails after him. "Quartermaster, find out where there's booty to be had in these waters! Cannoneer, prepare a salute! Swabbie, purchase the provisions! And they better be prime vittles, arrr!"
"SHHHHHH-shh-shh-shhhhhhhh!" Rinako places a finger over her lips and makes a few slashing motions across her throat, eyes on her twin sibling. "Ix-nay on ape-ray around the ids-kay!" The elder of the Rurohashi girls rubs her temple, shaking her head towards the ground after a moment. "These aren't genin or students, Ru. You can't treat them like they are." A pause before she scowls off to the side. "…No one asked you… . Tch."
By the time the Suna kunoichi looks up, their 'Captain' is already setting sail down the street on his own, with his first mate in tow! One foot in the front of the other, the elder twin uses her longer legs to close the distance, brushing her bangs away from her field of vision as she tries to wonder what kind of 'booty' could be had in this vegetative town. Sure, there were lots of valuables they could try to swipe, but an international incident wasn't high on her to-do list. Time to think small time, Rin. Five-year-old small-time.
"Roger, Captain. The swabbie's real stingy with the loot, but I bet we can swipe a haul out from under the scalawags at our next port o' call!" Rinako was suddenly wishing she had paid more attention to those pirate-themed books as a child. Looking crossways at her sister, the jinchuuriki leans closer to the pirate-child, one hand on his shoulder, the other covering the side of her mouth as she lowers her voice. "If I make a distraction at the shop, think you and Miss Magnificent can lay your hands on the goods?"
Ruri knows what the letter said. She knows what the mission is. But diplomacy is not her strong point. "Hey, Captain Failsauce, apparently you didn't hear me the first time. This is MY team. This is MY crew. If 'admiral' does not cut it, then I'm a 'captain' too. I will consider your advice, but you don't give orders here." She follows after Denji as she speaks, but soon enough she is leading the way. "And if you'd like to try to take over my 'crew' from me, then I'll consider that to be a challenge to a duel. So any time you want to fight, just let me know. I promise I won't hurt you TOO much." A nasty smile at Denji, and then she turns to Megumi, suddenly all sweetness and light. "Megumi-chan, you can be our 'navigator'. You said you know where this place is, right? Well, please lead the way to the dessert bar or icecream parlor or whatever the correct term is. Okay?" She would totally jump on Rinako about what she's whispering about, but the whispering is going on in Ruri's 'blindspot', so she doesn't see.
She DOES cast a glance behind her, however. Kara has been remarkably quiet today. The absence of Puppets or Ancient Egyptian garments is likewise odd. The dark-skinned woman almost doesn't look like the same person without her usual clothes. "You okay, Kara-chan?"
Kara nods sagely to the courier-nin and then bows to him as they move to depart. "Thanks," she calls back, but he is already gone. Then everyone is heading down the street, apparently headed towards 'Twisty Cone', whatever that is. She remains distracted to a degree, but seems to be getting pulled out of her introspective mood gradually. When Captain Red calls out to her, she seems to realize she's supposed to do something. "…A salute? You mean like this?" She salutes a bit clumsily, like a sailor. Then she turns her attention on Ruri, hand still up by her forehead in a salute position. "…Oh, uhh, yes. I'm fine. Just feeling a bit thoughtful lately, I guess." She smiles all ^_^ but there's a bit of a sweatdrop too. "Thinking about the future. You know?"
Captain Red glances around guagingly. "Wouldn't usually risk a confrontation just for vittles, but this looks like a backwater port with no real garrison." Yeah, a hidden ninja village doesn't have any law enforcement worth worrying about at all. ;) "All right, we'll do that. I'll be waiting on your signal." >) Captain Red turns and walks backwards to see Kara's salute. "No no, a cannon salute! Nothing softens up a town of scared lubbers like a good show of firepower. Belay that order, though, we're going to go with a stealth approach now." Megumi blinks at Ruri. "Um…ai-yai, steady as she goes? We're already going the right way." Soon enough they arrive, and Captain Red starts making his demands. "Provisions for a long sea voyage! Preferably double chocolate!"
"Jesus, Ru!" The elder of the Rurohashi siblings rounds on her sister to whisper vehemently. "Let the kid play pretend, what's it gonna hurt!? He's like, what, seven? Are you trying to fail the mission on purpose and ruin our perfect record or something? Because provoking little boys into fights so you can play the bully is a surefire way to get us stuck on potato-pulling duty for a few months!"
Somewhere along the line of the shout-whispering match, their footsteps have taken to the local sweet eatery known as the Tastey Cone, where she assumed non-solid delights could be had. Rinako's voice suddenly raises a few octaves as she addresses the parlour attendant, tapping a forefinger roughly against the counter. "You heard the man, bring us the double-chocolate! …You have that, right? And something with mint. What does the First Mate want?"
A glance towards their team leader. "Where's the money?" And then back towards the self-proclaimed leader of their five-person troupe, putting the back of her hand to her mouth as she lowers her voice again. "Get ready, Captain."
How much trouble could they possibly get in!?
Ruri nods towards Kara briefly, not quite sure everything is okay, but knowing better than to press for answers right now. At Rinako's protest, she rolls her eye but does not argue with her twin. The elder of the two has a point about the 'Captain' being a non-threat. Still, this Denji kid rubs her the wrong way. Spoiling an already-spoiled brat when she and her sister have had a tough life with no room for weakness or misbehavior is repugnant to her. But Ruri tells herself in her head, just as a favor to her sister, that she will endure for now. The Village? Their record? The Village can go choke to death on the team's record. Ruri cares about what MATTERS. And a record is not one of those things.
Still, she says nothing further except to mutter darkly to herself about children in general. When the icecream is ordered, she withdraws a coin pouch from her tool pouch and holds it ready. "How much is this going to cost? Do you want one scoop or two, Rin?--Hey, Kara-chan, you want anything? Once in a lifetime opportunity here. Not going to get any icecream for awhile when get back to the Village." Then she turns to Megumi, apparently oblivious to the fact that the girl is the 'First Mate' that Rinako referred to, and says, "Two scoops or three? And you can have as many toppings as you want too." She does not make this offer to Denji.
Kara follows into the Twisty Cone and looks around. This is not the Dessert Bar that she visited before, but it still looks to have some tasty treats. She looks down at the shiny tiled floor and realizes she can almost see up her own skirt. "…Does the floor really need to be >that< clean? Could use some more sand." Then she snaps her head up when she is addressed. "--Uhh, I don't know. What do they have?" She moves forward to the counter to try to see what's on the menu. Resting her chest and elbows on the counter's surface, she hmms. "Banana split for me. I can't remember the last time I had a banana, and the picture looks like it's tasty!"
She glances in Rinako's direction and blinks a bit. "What are you two whispering about?"
The ice cream attendant is a little nonplussed by Captain Red's lingo, but he knows how to fill an order. "Uhhh, okay, one double-chocolate, one mint chocolate chip, one banana split, and…?" Megumi stands on her toes and pulls her chin up over the counter. "Fudge ripple with strawberry syrup!" Megumi found out through her earlier visits here that this strawberry stuff is tasty, and since it's mighty rare in the Land of Wind, she's getting all of it she can while she's here. :P The attendant quickly serves each of the frozen treats, leaning over the counter to hand the cones to the children.
"Nothing!" The elder of the twins couldn't have managed to look guiltier if she were wearing prison stripes instead of the usual basic-black kunoichi garb she typically toted around in. Despite being a ninja, she was no expert liar, spreading her hands slightly out to her sides and shrugging her shoulders as she stares at Kara with undiluted innocence.
"Huh?" Rinako manages to pull her attention away from the tykes and the Egyptian long enough to realize her sibling had asked her a question. Her lips purse as she squints towards the little signs that listed the choices on it, thinking briefly on the subject. "Oh. Better make it just one. Cold things disagree with my insides."
Idly, the young woman looks around the shop as she waits for their treats to be handed out, humming softly as her fingers drum across the counter's edge. Once she's handed hers, it begins to vanish in record time. Rinako typically ate like a horse, but right now she was outdoing herself by far! In three bites, most of the green-colored icecream has vanished, and a fourth bite-… is never delivered.
"HRK! Ghh… HNG!" As if she were choking, or maybe had been poisoned, the jinchuuriki drops the cone to the floor with a crunchy, wet *splat* and grabs at her throat. Her eyes cross and then roll back into her head as she wobbles unsteadily, her entire face beginning to turn a mottled shade of red, before she begins to fall, spinning around once as she does so. On the way down, she careens into a table behind her, knocking it off to the side and away, her legs twitching spasmodicly as the red in her face begins to turn an unhealthy shade of purple.
Ruri has just finished paying, apparently being ignored by Megumi as well as Denji now. Great. Tucking the coin purse back in her tool pouch, she moves away from the counter once everyone has their stuff. She pauses to stare at Kara and her resting of her chest on the counter, though. "…Hey, I know you can't really help it, but do you think you could not make those so prominent? We don't need random dudes interfering with our mission trying to pick you up, and you have a boyfriend now, so--" she is interrupted, however, when her sister starts making odd noises and choking. Her first thought is it was a brain freeze. But would her sister really drop her remaining icecream over a brain freeze? Not likely. She'd just wait for it to go away and then finish the rest!
When Rinako begins thrashing around and falling over, Ruri immediately goes into 'survival mode'. Some sort of poison? An immobilizing agent strong enough to take down a Jinchuuriki? Was this all a trick from the start!? Is the kid part of it!?! She doesn't know, but she draws a kunai and points it at the icecream attendant while moving towards Rinako. "What did you put in the icecream!?" she demands. Then she kneels down next to Rinako, and starts trying to knock whatever it is out of her throat by virtue of forcefully shoving her in the stomach with one hand repeatedly. Sort of a one-handed heimlech maneuver, only in the wrong position, and probably ineffective. She takes her gaze off of the attendant only for a second to look at her sister.
Then she is right back to glaring at the man behind the counter and demanding, "ANTIDOTE! NOW!"
Kara shrugs off Rinako's guilty denial. She'll let her and Red whisper about whatever they want. It's not hurting anything. Once she has her banana split she starts 'testing' it right there at the counter. No spoon needed. As Ruri starts talking to her about 'those', she 'Hmm?'s around a finger that had whipped cream on it until a moment ago, in confusion. Looking down at herself she moves away from the counter and says, "Sorry, Rinako-chan. I'll try to be less well-built in the future." She purposefully uses the wrong name, just like back in the old days, and smiles sweetly before heading towards a table.
The moment she is seated, however, she realizes Rinako is not just having a brain freeze. Looking concerned, but also a bit suspicious, she glances back and forth between Ruri and Rinako, and then looks towards the kids. 'Antidote?' she wonders. If there's a poison on the icecream that can take down a Jinchuuriki, why would they only poison Rinako? The other three are witnesses. If someone is willing to attack in this manner, they would also be willing to make sure there's no witnesses -- children or not! Kara leaps up and heads over to Rinako regardless, though. "I'll take care of her, Ruri! Watch the kids, please!" Her tone is dramatic, but she does not seem all that worried.
Placing a hand on Rinako's stomach where Ruri's hand is/was, she hmmmmms. Then she tries a bit higher, and tries to make sure that Rinako doesn't thrash too much as she checks out her throat. She hmmmmms again. Then she puts her hands on both sides of Rinako's head and… "I must give her mouth to mouth or she's a goner!" she announces loudly.
If that doesn't get the desired response, she'll just have to do something >more< drastic!
The ice cream attendant throws up his hands in a gesture that communicates both ignorance and surrender. O.O; "Whoa, hey! There wasn't anything funny in it! I swear, I'm just a server!" He works his way jerkily around the counter, torn between the urgency of the situation and Ruri's threatening demeanor. "Kinda hard to choke on ice cream…let's see, what kind did she have? Mint chocolate chip? Guess there could've been a heckuva chip in it…"
Meanwhile, Captain Red can tell this is quite obviously the promised diversion. >D He jumps up on a barstool and scuttles over the counter. Megumi, who is also in on the joke, giggles at the scene…until a tub of ice cream is tossed into her arms. o.o Huh? They're actually gonna /steal/ stuff? c.c; Apparently so, as Captain Red runs back around the counter carrying another tub, grabs Megumi's hand, and yanks her out the door!
'Oh man, she's going to be SO pissed…'
This is the thought that runs through Rurohashi Rinako's mind even as she instinctively tightens her stomach muscles against her sister's invasive shoving method that really was just going to make her want to throw up if she didn't quite! But swatting her hand away and telling her to stop it would give away the ruse. …Was it a ruse that was even worth it!? Likely not. But since she'd engaged it, the dark-haired kunoichi was committed to seeing it through, and that meant lying there like a rug as her own twin abused her abdomen.
This must be what kunoichi trained for.
As her face begins turning from purple to blue, mostly from her own hands around her throat cutting off blood to her face since it would take a lot longer for simple lack of oxygen to begin affecting her, Rinako's kicking grows weaker as she begins to feel a bit light-headed, vision starting to blur around the edges as sounds get further away from her. She couldn't keep this up much longer! But just as she was afraid she might fail in her sworn duty and absolutely HAVE to get her sister's hands off of her before she spewed freshly-eaten treats all over, gentler hands take over, and from far off comes a voice with that fateful declaration…
Immediately, Rinako's hand comes up, slapping against Kara's forehead to forstall any forward motion of that ominous mouth, her eyes slipping back into focus almost immediately as blood begins pumping through her veins more regularly, her face starting to lose it's mottled coloring. "No, no. Really, I'm fine. Uh…" She points lamely at her throat. "Just a brain freeze. Help me up? …Where's the kids?"
Ruri nods, not quite sure what Kara can do to help, but keeping an eye -- because she only has one -- on the children. The attendant showing honest concern makes her doubt he had anything to do with it, so she lowers the kunai and watches as… The two kids start stealing icecream!? She stares for a moment, the unreality of the situation making her brain fail to work properly. Rinako is choking to death and so the kids start stealing icecream? That is just so bizarre it CAN'T be a coincidence. She yells, "HOLD IT!" and starts to interfere with the theft.
Ruri thinks for a moment about throwing the kunai at their feet to show she means business, but that would be overreacting a hair. She thus instead leaps up and dashes towards the door, only to skid on the freshly-cleaned tile and come to an ill-balanced stop as she tries to halt her movement when she hears Kara announce mouth-to-mouth. She turns to stare at Kara and her sister, caught between the irrational desire to prevent it and the equally irrational desire to watch it happen.
But Rinako makes a miraculous recovery, so Ruri just glares at her sister without a single word and goes running out the door after the children. They can't have gone far. Kids have short legs. That means they take shorter strides. And they're carrying icecream. Going to be kind of noticeable. And if they aren't… She has WAYS of finding them.
Kara actually had not planned to really give mouth-to-mouth! …Unless Rinako continued to pretend, in which case she would have done it for sure. But she gets a hand to the forehead as the Jinchuuriki suddenly recovers. "Brain freeze, huh? That must have been one major brain freeze! Here, I'll heat your brain up." Then she puts Rinako in a headlock, mashing her face into Kara's chest and starts to >noogie her<! "Friction produces heat, you know!" she informs everyone. She lets go eventually, either because she was forced away by She-Hulk, or because she figures enough is enough.
"And you'll get a bigger one after you finish all the icecream the kids stole," she concludes. "By the way, how much for the two tubs? I'll pay for it." She lets go of Rinako and stands up. "Sorry about the trouble!"
The ice cream attendant scratches his head. Okay, he just got robbed, but the grown-ups are gonna pay for it? "Uh, I dunno," he remarks. "We usually sell this stuff by the scoop. Almost seems like I oughta give you a discount." c.c; Eventually he settles for the wholesale cost of the tubs with a fifty percent markup, which was actually a decent deal. He just hopes he can explain it to his manager later on.
Megumi doesn't know whether to be excited, ashamed, or just plain scared. o.o; Captain Red apparently doesn't feel much besides the thrill of the moment. >D He also apparently is accustomed to such escapades and the caretaker chases that come with them. He broke line-of-sight quickly after exiting the shop by ducking into an alley, and kept going on a zig-zag course from one street to the next. Of course, he /does/ draw a lot of stares from bystanders, he /is/ going much slower than a good ninja, and if all that's not enough, there's the occasional drip from Megumi's barely-started cone leaving a trail. Finally, he actually doesn't get too far because he runs into a dead-end alley…one which happens to be populated by delinquent drop-outs from Kusagakure's ninja academy. "Whoa, whoa," says a scruffy-looking boy, stepping into Denji's path as he tries to turn around. "Where are you heading with all that, huh?"
By the time any of Team 01 arrive, the scene is looking pretty ugly: a quartet of kunai-bearing street rats have Denji and Megumi surrounded, and of course Captain Red is just goading them on with dramatic swings of his little sword. "Come on, ya slop-swillin' swabs, the day ain't risen when Captain Red can't defend his own booty!" >D
Unintelligible sounds of protests come from the dark-haired kunoichi as she suddenly finds herself suffocating, flopping her arms all about her as if she'd momentarily forgotten that she both knew how to extricate herself from basic holds and possessed ridiculous amounts of physical strength. As she's released and her face is freed, Rinako sucks in a huge breath as if she were in danger of dying without it. Her hands move up to pull the dark-colored piece of elastic out of her hair that normally kept it up in it's customary messy ponytail, a ponytail made even MORE unkempt by the noogie.
"Just what were you trying to heat up again!?" She doesn't quite wait around for an answer, because apparently their charges have vacated! Well… she really should have seen that coming, she supposed, as she sprints out the door her sibling had gone through, leaving Kara to take care of both the figurative and literal mess. "Crap, crap, crap!" The jinchuuriki bounces up and down on her toes, trying to look over and around the occasional pedestrian as she attempts to divine the location of the runaway icecream bandits by simply willing a trail to appear.
As if Heaven-sent, her eyes fall onto the trail of icecream, and she begins following it, and/or her sister if she's even still in sight, like a gumshoe following footprints.
Leaping across the rooftops, Ruri tracks the children more easily than following a spotty trail of icecream. The people inside the buildings she is leaping on might not be happy about said leaping, but oh well. Sucks to be them. She thinks she sees them going into an alleway up ahead…
As Denji and Megumi are surrounded, and drop-outs start drawing kunai, a sudden mass of purple-red tentacles come streaming down from above and strike the ground all around the dead-end, forming a sort of 'cage' of tendrils. Inhuman eyes, deep red in the sclera and glowing a bright red at the center, are scattered across the surfaces of the tentacles. They stare unblinkingly in at the 'prisoners'. If anyone bothers to look up… They would find the dim outline of a human body suspended above them, hanging in shadow, as all the tentacles seem to be flowing out of the body's right eye-socket.
In a 'Voice of Doom' tone, Ruri intones, "You really shouldn't play with sharp objects if you don't have the training. You might HURT YOURSELVES!" A pair of tentacles smash down into the ground, shattering it. The 'bars' over the entrance into the dead-end 'lift' abruptly, providing an avenue of escape for the tormentors. Maybe using her Tomogan is overkill--Okay, it totally is overkill. But Ruri is too angry right now to care, and these punks are not on her agenda for today.
Kara just pays for the icecream as Rinako runs off. She'll need to be reimbursed for this for sure. Once everything is taken care of, she goes dashing off after the rest of the team. Or tries. Without Pharaoh she's not much of a tracker. "…I was ditched." She sniffs as her eyes get all big and watery.
Ooookay. o.O;;; That certainly alters the situation really really fast. The punks cut and run, screaming. Megumi flies to Auntie Rinako and wraps her sticky arms tightly around her waist. ;.; Meanwhile, Captain Red simply stares in awe. :o The little wooden sword clatters on the pavement, and Denji pulls off his eyepatch and stares at it for a moment. Finally, he clenches it resolutely in his fist. "Okay. I've made up my mind. From this day forward…"
*DRAMATIC POINT* "You're promoted to crew mascot and enforcer, 'Kraken-Eye Ruri'!!!" >D
A few 'tough'-looking boys come flying out of the alley as if the Hounds of Hades had been unleashed on their heels, which meant she'd either found her quarry, or something even worse. But before Rinako herself can turn the corner in her mission to find the two missing children, one of the missing children finds her, practically tackling her to the ground in adrenaline-fueled scared-child-strength. A hand pats the back of Megumi's tiny head as the kunoichi scowls at the entrance to the alleyway.
"Hey, hey, I've got'cha. There's nothing to be scared… of…"
Rinako's voice trails off as, with Shemri's daughter hoisted up in a protective scoop under her bottom in one hand, the jinchuuriki peers around the corner. The scowl only gets darker, despite the relief she feels at seeing the other half of their charges fully intact and unharmed, loudly promoting her sister to some kind of mascot. That was sure only to tick her off worse.
"Ru, you suck that right back into your head this minute! Do you remember what happened the last time you stuck those things out!? I told you I didn't want you using that thing any more! …And you're scaring the kids!" Rinako turns to hand Megumi off to the third kunoichi, only to find Kara absent! "Kara? Kara! KARAAAAAA!" Dammit, she had more big-sister-bitching to do and it couldn't be done effectively while coddling a little girl!
As soon as the kids start running, Ruri lowers herself down to ground level and lets all the tentacles retract into her head. Once that is done, she replaces her hitai-ite over her right eye, and ignore Denji completely. Instead she walks over to Rinako and says, "You got on my case about our record and how they're 'just kids' and then you help them become THIEVES? You have no damn place telling me what to do anymore. I knew you were immature, but I didn't know you were willing untrustworthy too." Then she turns on Shemri's child, and though she does not look scary anymore, she still looks serious. "Megumi, I am very disappointed that you went along with this. I thought your mother taught you better. Let's go find Kara. This stupidity is over. We're going to sit somewhere and stare at a wall until the mission is done."
Then she pushes past and walks off down the alleyway.
Meanwhile, back at the Twisty Cone…
>Close-up of Kara's face!< Her eyes are still all big and watery, and she's crying, with her cheeks all puffed up and stuff like her mouth is full. She is sitting at a table. Another customer, some old lady with a cat in her arms comes by and leans in to say, "Oh, dearie… Are you alright? Did your friends leave you behind?" Then Kara says, "N-no… It's not that… It's just…" She swallows whatever is in her mouth and then she clenches her hands into fists, a spoon in the grip of her right, and then tilts her head back to wail, with tears streaming down her cheeks. ">THIS BANANA SPLIT IS SO GOOOOOOOOD~!<" Then she resumes digging into the first icecream she has ever had in her life.
The old lady just goes, "Y-you don't say?" The cat she is holding just goes, "Nyaaaao~!"
The rest of the troupe comes back into the parlor looking a bit subdued. Denji is still keeping up his Captain Red act, but even he seems to sense that they've approached some sort of breaking point, and is just humming sea shanties instead of continuing his more outgoing antics. Megumi is hiccuping sporadically after a crying fit, having found Ruri's accusation to be rather cutting. It wasn't her fault! Everything happened so /fast/! ;.; Captain Red glances over at the ice cream attendant, has a momentary internal debate, then approaches the counter and clears his throat. "Ahoy, matey! Best keep a sharper eye on yer baubles, savvy?" Denji flicks something moderately shiny up onto the counter. It turns out to be a rectangular pin which says, 'Hello, my name is NORI'. The attendant blinks, sighs, and clips it to his apron. -.-;
With a roll of her eyes, Rinako manages to more or less shrug off her sibling's reprisals. If one didn't know any better, one would almost think they hated each other's guts from the way they acted in public. The elder of the twin pair spends most of the walk back doing her best to console the small girl in her arms, promising her that the 'wicked witch' wouldn't 'get' her. By the time they make it back, she's set Shemri's precious daughter down and even manages to feel bad for the precocious Captain Red! She gives her sister a deplorable glance as they reenter the shop.
"There, there, Meggie-chan. Why don't we see about getting you and the good captain a couple of spoons for the tubs and we can all eat our 'booty' until we're so sick of icecream we'll never want to see another drop of it again!"
By the time they get back, Ruri is still very upset at Rinako. The kid is a kid. He can be ignored. But that her sister would orchestrate something like this has damaged her belief in her twin's judgment. Megumi though… Ruri turns to her and says, "I'm sorry, Megumi. Children aren't the only ones who can be wrong. I was wrong to speak to you that way. You were caught up in the moment, and you thought it was a game. But in the future, just remember… You are your own person. Just because other people are doing something, especially if you know it's wrong, doesn't mean you have to do it too. But… Again, I'm sorry for what I said to you. It wasn't accurate, and I'm not mad at you. I'm just mad at the one who made this STEALING happen in the first place."
A new glare is delivered to Rinako. "But she and I will talk about that later. No reason to involve good kids like you." She attempts to give a smile towards Megumi, and then thinks of how to deal with Denji. First she looks towards Kara and her demolished banana split. "Thanks for covering for us, Kara. I'll reimburse you from the cash we were given." She takes a seat at Kara's table and looks towards 'Captain Red'. "I know you probably have had some pretty wild adventures of your own, but if you want to hear how I lost my right eye and got this 'kraken' in its place, I can tell it to you. And if there's time left, you can tell me about your own adventures. Sound good?"
Kara nods and smiles to Ruri. It's easier to smile when one hears one is going to be recompensed! "Sure!" she chirps. She looks towards Rinako, though, and wonders why this all turned out this way. Did the elder Rurohashi twin think it would just be 'okay' to steal? Was she counting on Kara and Ruri to cover for her? She shakes her head. Just another reason to go ahead with her thoughts from earlier. Should she announce it now or later? Well… She'll have to wait until it is a sure thing first, so probably later.
"It's a pretty cool story, Captain Red," she offers helpfully. "I didn't do much to help, but Rinako-chan over there >beat up a mountain<! Seriously! It was made out of skin, but it was trying to eat her or absorb her or something. But, uhh… I'll let Ruri-chan tell the story. It's a long one."
Megumi rubs the underside of her nose. "'m *HIC* not really *HIC* 'ungry…" But Ruri's apology helps settle Megumi's stomach, and in a little while everyone is enjoying as much of the ice cream as they can stand. The idea of story-telling, thankfully, proves to be an excellent means of controlling Captain Red's shenanigans; why stretch your immediate surroundings to play-act when you can make up whatever you want in an imaginary world? ;) So the rest of the day passes fairly uneventfully, and the team is duly rewarded for their emergency baby-sitting task.
Although, Kusagakure law officials are rather irked by the unsolved vandalism in a certain alleyway…