Date: September 6, 2014
After coincidentally encountering each other in the Inuzuka Village, a quartet of shinobi decide to share dinner at Hachiman's. Future plans are made for a possible ryokan vacation, and other matters arise amidst it all.
"Lunch at Hachiman's"
Lunchtime! There are a few good options for lunch in the Inuzuka village. They may not be the Akimichi clan, but the Inuzuka know a thing or too about cooking meat, and the central part of the clan's village has a number of options. The Hound & Hound Pub, Wiener Dog Sausage House, Hot Dog's Spicy BBQ, a number of stalls in the marketplace, Arctic Hound Ice Cream, and finally, the pride of the clan, Hachiman's. Aside from being one of the top-rated restaurants in Konoha, Hachiman's is the only restaurant in the entire world to have a dog as its head chef. Hachiman, a nin-dog with a passion for food, worked hard to make the restaurant what it is today, and the Inuzuka clan loves him for it.
But even if you love something, you can't have it every day. Atsuro and Taizen stand at a crossroads. Literally, they're standing at the crossroads of the Inuzuka village, looking from restaurant to restaurant. "Hm," says Atsuro, "Where do you wanna eat today?"
"Meat," answers Takeo, who's been spending some time around the village recently. It would appear that he's gotten beyond his reluctance to be among his people, even if his blood isn't as theirs is any longer. "Really good, burnt, smoky meat. Especially if it's your treat." The young man approaches with a smile brandished and clawed fingers intertwined against the back of his head, cradling it.
As always, he has that peculiar habit of being more respectful to Taizen. "Hello, Taizen-niisan," he says, dipping forward into a light bow without ever lowering his arms.
"Umm… I heard there's a restaurant with a ninken for a cook. Or something like that…" Kenta speaks up behind all the tall people. When did he get there?! He's downwind of the group of Inuzuka, so there's at least a little chance that he wasn't detected sneaking up on them. Kenta has been in the Inuzuka's village many times already, mostly to meet with other people. It's the first time that he came by himself, after hearing about some interesting restaurant called Hachiman, so imagine his surprise when he ends up -not- by his lonesome again. Kenta trots around to the front of the group and dips himself into a bow. "Atsuro-senpai. Taizen-senpai. Takeo. Konichiwa," he greets by order of hierachy.
Ikari runs down the street, looking around at the different restaurants that were up and down these streets. She's already made herself known to most've the restaurants in the village and her clan's own village, it was time to see what the Inuzuka's had to offer. She perks up when she notices Kenta, Atsuro, and some stranger she didn't really know standing together. "Kenta-samaaa! Atsuro-san! Hiyaaa!" She runs at them at full speed and proceeds to try and glomp Taizen. "Taizen-puppy! How're you all doing? Hungry too?" She proceeds to try and nuzzle her face against Taizen's fur. "Who's a good boy? You're a good boy."
As usual, Atsuro smelled Takeo coming, so he's already well-prepared to answer him. "I said where," says Atsuro, "And they all have meat." Taizen woofs hello to Takeo softly. Despite his readiness, though, Takeo's approach actually did cause him to miss Kenta! "Wh-wh-whaaaa?" says Atsuro, spinning to face Kenta, "Eh, well. It's not really that weird, actually. Especially if you're here for Hachiman's. Hi, Kenta. How you doing?" Taizen wags his tail, "Hello, Kenta. I hope you are well. Would you like to have lunch with us?" Even as Ikari jumps on him, his demeanor does not change. "Hello, Ikari. It is nice to see you." Atsuro looks from Takeo to Kenta to Ikari. "Geez. Two and a half times what we were two seconds ago." He points towards one of the restaurants. "That's Hachiman's," he says, "And yeah, Hachiman is a nin-dog."
"I know they all have meat. It's the company that counts, anyway," Takeo says as he cants his chin slightly upward. He continues on until he's joined Atsuro, at which point he appears to lean forward as if to whisper something to Atsuro. Wait- did he just kiss the side of the Jounin's face? It was a fleeting and obscured thing, so one can't be certain, but the Jinchuuriki's all smiles when he turns to face the others. "Kenta! My beloved lieutenant. We're getting things rolling soon, but tonight, we won't worry about such things."
Takeo cants his head to look down at Ikari and how she interacts with Taizen. He then remarks to Atsuro, "Well, I don't feel quite so inappropriate about how I address Taizen anymore."
"I'll be honored to join the three of you for lunch," Kenta says with a smile. The smile quickly slips off when Ikari appears and starts treating Taizen like a pet puppy. Scandalized is the way to describe his expression. His eyes flick quickly between the ninken and little Akimichi girl, one to the other, over and over again. This thankfully makes him miss the possible kiss that Takeo gave Atsuro or he might have a heart attack right there and then. When Taizen doesn't react poorly, Kenta forces his own shock down. His voice is still a bit hesitant and unsteady as he tries to inject some normality into his words. "Umm… Takeo, this is Akimichi Ikari. She's a student at the academy, but will probably be one of the youngest raised to Genin soon." No matter Ikari's behavior, Kenta is still oddly proud of her skill and dedication, even though she's not a student of his.
Ikari gently gives Taizen's ears a few more ruffles and scritches before she looks up at Takeo curiously. She hmms to herself then looks between Atsuro and him critically. "You were both right. This Takeo fella -is- taller than you Atsuro-san. Nice to meet you! Kenta-sama's right! I don't gotta get too much further in my classes, and I've already been on dangerous missions too." She holds out her hand for Takeo to shake if he'd like. She's distractedly by Atsuro mentioning there's a restaurant with a dog for a chef. "How's he use the pots and pans an' stuff without burning himself? Do they got puppy dog oven mitts for his paws? What about hair? Does he gotta wear a net over his fur? My great uncle's gotta wear one over his hair. Has t'tuck it over his ears too cause hair pokes outta there too…Yeah! I wanna eat food a puppy cooks!" Thankfully she is usually back on the original subject just as quickly as she zips away from it.
"Well, I'm— " Atsuro stops in mid sentence. He gives Takeo the sternest look he can while still remaining subtle about it. Then he finishes. "So flattered. And I'm glad your team is taking off." He glances at Taizen, who doesn't seem to be worried much about how he's addressed by anybody. "Don't worry about it," Atsuro says, "Of course, plenty of what you do is in appropriate, so I'm not sure why you're worried about that in particular."
He turns to Kenta. "We'd be honoured to have you. Since you wanna go to Hachiman's…" he gestures to the restaurant again, then starts to head that way. "The chef is an expert. The food is healthy too. I'm sure the med-nins among us will appreciate that." He stops for a second, then rubs his shoulder. "Thanks for helping me out the other day by the way. Lunch is on me." He seems to recall Kenta refusing to accept any sort of thanks, but a lunch on Atsuro is surely in order.
"Only a little taller," he tells Ikari. "You've been on a dangerous mission? Recently?" That's sorta worrying. And as a jounin, he does realize he should hear more about this, even if being responsible and things like that are the last thing he's interested in at lunch time. Taizen explains Hachiman for her. "He has human assistants. But some of his equipment is specially made too. And he has practiced a lot. Some people might ask how you make clones, but you can do it, because you've practiced."
Takeo cocks his head back just a bit in response to the look Atsuro gives him. "Well, that wasn't what I expected," he remarks, a remark probably odd sounding to others in their presence. The Chuunin shrugs it off, literal shrug and all, before turning again to listen to Kenta. His eyes then shift to Ikari, having been suitably introduced to the unfamiliar young lady.
"One of the youngest, eh? I know a feeling similar to that. Of course, I have a hard time recalling some of my Genin days," he says. Takeo takes Ikari's offered hand upon his clawed fingers and dips forward, presenting her knuckles with a fleeting peck of his lips. "I'm honored to make the acquaintance of such a skilled shinobi, then, Lady Ikari. I've met your clan head, too. Ornery man, but tough as my shell."
"Seems a shame that you all should come out to the village and just leave after lunch. We should make something fun of it while we can, like, uh …" Takeo takes his hand back from Ikari to scratch at his jawline with a claw. "Ah, a stay at one of the ryokan with a good hot spring!" He then looks to back to the young woman among them and says, "Then again, maybe a bad idea. You probably have duties and studies and strict teachers, eh?"
"Ikari-chan ended up on an hijacked train and came back with burns after helping to save the day," Kenta reminds Atsuro. He rubs at the back of his head. "You don't need to repay me, Atsuro-senpai. I only did what any good medic-nin would. I'm just glad that your shoulder's healing nicely." He can tell that nothing's wrong by Atsuro's body posture and the way that the injured shoulder is able to move without telltale signs of medical problems.
Kenta edges a little closer to Takeo. He has to stand on tip toes to reach his ear… and still fails at the attempt. "She's an Akimichi. By the time that she finishes eating, she won't be able to move around," he whispers to his team leader. His naturally soft voice is very helpful with keeping the statement from being overheard. On the other hand, it might also keep Takeo from hearing everything that he's saying. "Be prepared to help Atsuro-senpai pay the bill. We might have to order a -lot- of food." Young as she is, Kenta has seen Ikari eat more than Atsuro himself.
The little Akimichi tilts her head, seeming slightly confused by Takeo's greeting but she greets him with a toothy smile nonetheless. "You mean Noab-sensei! He's gonna be there at my graduation. He said so. He's already teachin' me everything I need to know for when -I'm- his age -and- the clan head too. Can't be ready too early!"
Ikari skips along after Atsuro, trying to balance listening to Taizen explain with thinking over the question. "It wasn't -too- recent no…Th'train mission was a lil while ago…some folks tried t'hijack a train and fake a kidnapping thingy…Isura-san did all've th'fighting with th'bad guys…and I only got kinda scared when folks died and my eyes got a lil hurt…I pulled th'breaks to stop the train though! So I gotta help." She grins brightly and reaches out to keep a light grip on Taizen's fur as she walks along, stroking it between her fingers. "Th'last mission I was in was only kinda dangerous. I was part've a cover to stop a toy maker who was making bad stuff for the kids. Stuff that could've hurt them and th'village. But we stopped them! -And- Nobunaga-sama and his team was there to make sure I was gonna be ok…" She does trail off and admits to Taizen, "I don't know how t'make clones yet…I've been tryin' to practice. But I'm not all th'way there yet."
She looks back at Takeo and shakes her head, "I don't got nothin' to do today. There's no classes and I don't gotta sweep or nothin'. I can always train later t'day too." Not letting the eavesdropped snippet go unheeded she points at Kenta, "I can roll if I gotta! Good practice! We Akimichi is famous for rollin' and knockin' everything out've our way."
Atsuro's expression softens slightly as he realizes that he may have overreacted a smidge. "Maybe we should discuss what you were expecting sometime," he suggests, "But let's just not worry about it during lunch." Then he just backs right off as Takeo starts in on Ikari now. Geez, this guy. Anyway, he steps up to the door of Hachiman's and holds it open for everybody.
"Oh yeah," Atsuro tells Kenta, "I forgot about that. I thought she might have meant that someone was actually taking her on missions. That would be a problem." He nods. "I know," he says, "You said that before. And I'll respect your wishes but…" Need an excuse, "As the highest-ranking person here, I should pay for your lunch. Mednin are important, and we need to be accomodating to them."
"I think Tai was using an analogy," he tells Ikari as he leads the group over to a booth. He and Taizen can just barely squeeze into one side, leaving the other side for the other three. "Someday you will be able to make clones," says Taizen, "And then some people will wonder how you can do it. But please be more careful. We would not want you to get hurt."
Takeo's intentions toward Ikari were entirely pure! The chivalrous greeting ends in his following after Atsuro toward the restaurant, though he stares distractedly at the other Inuzuka's back, brow furrowed just slightly. "Relax, Isobu. He didn't mean it," the youth seems to mutter to himself.
Wherever his mind is at the moment, he's drawn back to the here and now by Kenta standing upon his toes to whisper to him. "Sounds fine by me. What's it the women say? I'm eating for two, myself," Takeo answers Kenta, brandishing his prominent canines in a grin. Without taking his eyes off of his lieutenant in the moment, he says sidelong to Atsuro, "I'll chip in on the bill."
"Don't worry about it. I can't make shadow clones, myself," Takeo says to Ikari off-handedly. "Water clones, yes. Shadow, no. We all have our talents, and we all learn what we're supposed to when the right time comes." A waiter is then cheerfully greeted with the request, "Place for four, please, and emergency order on the meat. Good and burnt."
Kenta slips into the booth next to Takeo, which leaves Ikari at the end of their side of the table. The young medic-nin nods gravely at Atsuro. "As the highest ranking shinobi, it's your prerogative to pay for our meals as you see fit. Thank you very much, Atsuro-senpai. I'll bring some dinner over to your office later this week to show my appreciation for your kind gesture." The young medic-nin turns to Takeo. "And I'll make you dinner too, if you're going to pitch in on the bill. That's only fair, since I'm going to do it for Atsuro-senpai."
Kenta settles into his seal and picks up one of the menus to look through it. He speaks without taking his eyes off of it. "You know, burnt meat is actually not good for is. It's full of carcinogens. It does make people happy, so maybe a little bit once in a while isn't a bad thing. I'm going to pick something healthier…" He frowns at the menu. Too many choices and he's never been here before. "I'm open to suggestions."
Ikari grumbles a little bit when she's stuck with the end spot, but plops into her seat. "That makes sense. And I'm always careful! Mostly…I just wanna be like you guys and do all sorts of exciting and helpful stuff." She finds the menu and skims through it curiously, "I want chawan mushi t'start with…lots've karaage…unadon…gyoza…an order of himono…rice…and… some sasamaki." She rummages through her pocket and starts to work on counting out her allowance. She isn't -completely- spoiled, she at least tries to pay part of her meal costs, even if her payment's usually refused.
In the meantime she looks back at Takeo curiously, "That's really neat! I've heard that's a really, -really- hard technique…but they ain't really explained what the difference is to us yet…I think all they tell us is that those clones aren't as…unsolid as th'ones we're taught to make…"
She trails off and stares at Kenta when he starts to use big words. "What's carc…carcinogeens?
Atsuro looks to Takeo for a second, not sure how to respond to that. Finally, after a moment, he says, "I just want to talk. That's all. I don't mean to mean anything." When Takeo says he'll chip in, Atsuro adds awkwardly, "Thanks." He turns to Kenta and opens his mouth to say that dinner won't be necessary. But what chance does he actually stand of convincing Kenta of that? "I'll look forward to it," he says, "Your cooking is always great." When Kenta requests it, he suggests, "The oden is a lighter dish. Really good here too. I actually prefer more rare meat myself." He nods to the waiter, "Could I get a beer? Some jingisukan, rare, and some yakitori?" Taizen orders too, "I would like nikujaga, please. And a bowl of water too, please." Once the waiter has it, he answers Ikari, "Someday you will be able to do all of that. But we want you to be safe too."
"Ah, and don't forget the sake, please," Takeo asks of the waiter. "Start me with, say, two bottles? Three. No, two's good." He seems a bit torn on that, but he ultimately nods and seals the deal on two bottles. Someone must be practicing restraint tonight, at least with the drink. "This is nice. I haven't had dinner with company in a while. Don't worry about it, by the way; it's not as if people who live in trees have expenses." The latter is addressed to Atsuro.
There's a moment when the young man exchanges looks with Atsuro, but it's passing. He turns upon his seat then to speak to Kenta. "Burnt meat is perfectly fine. That smoky flavor, that delicious crust, the good chew," he says, singing the praises of burning food. Then, Takeo opens his mouth and pinches one of his enlarged canines indicatively. "Befides, what duh you fink we Inuzuka haf these for? Tearin' at meat, fat's what." Thankfully, this particularly demonstrative lesson is only as brief as the statement. "I bounce back from these things, anyway."
"I still think a stay at a ryokan's a good idea. We could have a guy's vacation," Takeo says, beaming happily. Of course, thinking faster than a tortoise for once, he says, "Ikari would only naturally get a room all to herself if she happened to come along on that vacation."
"Carcinogens are… well, it's a little complicated. It's created by burning proteins and isn't very good for a person's health. You'll learn more about it when you're older," Kenta tells Ikari. He pats her on the head. "I'll even show you all the medical texts about the studies made on carcinogens. They're a little beyond you at this point."
Kenta sets the menu down and places his fingers on the items that he's ordering. "Oden… rice tea… teriyaki salmon bento box… That's it for me please." The young medic-nin's eyes flash towards Takeo. "Burnt meat can be tasty, but I'm staying towards the healthy side for today. The ryokan -is- a good idea though. We should do that at some point. Invite Nobuo and Tsukino too, so that we can spend time with the team as well. It won't be so lonely for the girls that way either." Kenta gently nudges Ikari, so that he can get out of his seat. "I'm going to use the restroom and wash my hands before we eat."