Date: February 22, 2013
Waiting outside of a store for eleven hours is not fun! But getting ninja gear and pretty dresses totally is! Thank goodness for Sunagakure's ninja gear budget, and for Rinako's generosity. Otherwise Suki's day might have been really lame.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Protection, Coolness, and Pretty Dresses"
Sunagakure Item Store - Sunagakure
A ragged brown tunic and a pair of sandals is not really adequate attire and gear for a ninja in most cases. Especially not for a brand-new Genin who knows just about nothing about being a ninja. Thus, Setsuno Suki was invited to go shopping with her teacher, who would make sure the Suk-meister is equipped and dressed properly. Since shortly after meeting Rurohashi Rinako, Suki decided to model herself after her teacher a little bit. She put up her ridunkulously long hair in a high ponytail. It might be a lot smoother and longer than Rinako's own spikey ponytail of spikeyness, but it's still clearly a tribute to her elder and instructor.
Suki is busy brushing that long ponytail with a comb, right outside of Sunagakure's 'Item Shop', while she waits for her teacher to arrive. She is on-time, as she usually is. She is a very punctual person. How long she has been waiting is up in the air. Rinako is not a very punctual person.
The weather is typical of the Land of Wind. Hot, sunny, and unpleasant. However, it's getting to be later in the day and thus the sun is sinking lower and lower towards the horizon, resulting gradual cooling. This is good, because Suki is starting to get a bit dehydrated from standing in the sun for so long.
"Oh, Suki-chan." Rinako smiles and gives a little wave as she turns a corner and spots the student she's taken under her wing. The one she introduced to her sister. Who was probably super-mean to her the whole time. But Rinako had explained the whole situation, the ordeal ahead of Suki, her own unhappiness with how she was raised and trained, and her decision to not let the mistakes of the past be repeated in the future. No, Suki had a real chance at happiness as well as power. And Rinako would make SURE of that.
"…What are you doing here?" Rinako looks from the little girl, up to the store, and then back. Wait for it. Waaaaaaait for it. "OH!" A lightbulb goes off over her head as she smacks the bottom of her fist into her palm. "I was supposed to meet you heeeeeeeee- I mean, ahem! I was unavoidably detained. Sorry, y'know… um, ninja… stuff." It's like she's not even making an effort to make the lie convincing!
The former-jinchuuriki coughs into her fist and recovers smoothly. She gives the younger shinobi a wink, stepping closer and offering her the typical Rinako-ish cocky, saucy grin, reaching out to tug lightly on that incredibly-long ponytail. "Lovin' the hair, Suki-chan. Very cute, it suits you." Then she puts a hand on her shoulder and pushes her towards the shop with a hefty pat.
"Now c'mon, let's go get you some proper shinobi attire! And gear. You, uh, you haven't been waiting here long, have you?"
Suki looks up from combing her blue-black hair. "…Is this not the place I was meant to meet you, Sifu Rinako?" she asks, wondering if perhaps she had gotten the address wrong. Oh, but it's easily explained as ninja stuff coming up and rendering her teacher preoccupied. That's okay then. She smiles shyly and blushes a little at the compliment, actually tilting from the tug on her ponytail such is her light weight. She's so scrawny for her age! Infact she's… How old is she again? She told Rinako when they first met, but she's so TINY and SKINNY and LIGHTWEIGHT that she could pass for 10 or 11 years old easy. But no, she's a teenager. Just a very noodly one.
"Thank you, Sifu Rinako!" Suki replies as she bows to her elder. But then a hand is on her shoulder and pushing her towards the shop, and once again Suki's light weight works against her as she practically has to hop several times to avoid being sent stumbling and staggering through the linen drape over the door. "Only eleven hours, Sifu Rinako." She pauses once they're inside and squeezes her legs together. She leans in close to Rinako, cups a hand arond her mouth, and whispers, "May I ask where the restroom is?"
"HOLY ****! You've been standing out there for eleven HOURS needing to PEE!?" Rinako's look is one of complete shock and dismay as she points back out towards the spot where the younger kunoichi had been standing. Suddenly, she feels a little guilty, though whether it's for forgetting she'd told her student to meet her at all or because she'd just shouted out something Siku had obviously wanted to keep quiet is up for debate. The dark-haired woman points off in the direction of a pair of doors. "Bathroom's right over there."
Rinako stands and waits patiently for the girl to go and get her business done, sticking her hands in her pockets as she begins to eye the racks and shelves of items. If she'd been standing out there for even one hour she'd have gotten extremely bored, wandered off, and/or found her teacher and given him/her a thorough tongue-lashing. She really needed to teach Suki to stand up for herself!
She'd already tried to impart on her the need to find her OWN reason for being a shinobi, something that was HER desire and no one else's, but she wasn't sure it had sunk in. She just hoped meeting other kids at the Academy would help with drawing the girl out of her shell. She'd take her to meet some other genin for a mission, too. But really, it was just getting exhausting being with such a polite little girl all the time! She needed to rile this girl up, shake something loose, find a way to draw SOMETHING out!
So she starts pulling some items down.
Suki blushes even more at that announcement of surprise, and just nods her head while looking down at the floor. When she's pointed in the right way, she goes running towards the doors with her face toootally beet-red.
When she re-emerges a little while later, she seems to have regained her composure as she tap-tap-taps her sandalled feet out into the shop and looks around for her teacher. "I am ready, Sifu Rinako," she says whenever she locates her. Yes, polite little girls who AREN'T totaly terrors are just SO EXHAUSTING. Weird standards are weird. Suki is unclear what she's going to be getting equipped with here in this shop. She dares to hope that maybe it's something pretty. Maybe a flower-pattern tunic. Or a pink tunic. Or a tunic with a cat on it. Or… Or… But no, that's being far too presumptuous and self-important. She feels the need to apologize for daring to THINK she might want something like THAT. So she does.
"My apologies, Sifu Rinako." She just suddenly bows and apologizes, even though the ex-Jinchuuriki isn't privy to the thoughts in Suki's head. Heck, it almost seems like Suki isn't privy to the thoughts in Suki's head sometimes. Maybe she's taking after her teacher a little bit.
"Oh, THERE you are!" Rinako turns, her arms full of… stuff! She shoves it all at Suki. "Here, hold this! These are just the basic ****. YO! We need a basket over here!" She raises her voice and waves an arm at the teenaged girl behind the counter. When she's all 'Yes, yes, right away!' and brings a basket over, the older woman helps the younger girl put the items within it, and possibly pick them up off the floor, depending on how clumsy those noodle-arms are.
What kinds of items? Blank scrolls, blank tags, kunai holders, shuriken pouches, utility belts, bandages, and basically everything a ninja could ever use to accessorize their outfit with that had some kind of practical functionality. Yep. Not one pretty thing in the bunch.
"What are you apologizing for? Going pee?" Rinako gives the younger girl a weird look. "I've done that like five times today, don't worry about it." Once the items are all collected and put within, she picks up the basket and motions her charge towards the clothing racks. "Pick something out. You're gonna need to train in it and wear it on missions. Y'know, something you can get banged up so you don't have to rip up your regular clothes."
"Just one rule: whatever you pick has to be something you can move easily and freely in." She looks the scrawny girl up and down. "…Do you have clothes other than that?"
Suki has a bunch of stuff dumped on her. It's not that she's clumsy (much). It's just that she's not expecting it and has such skinny little arms that holding it all is a bit of a trial. It would be easier if she has a chest to speak of. It might provide something to rest all this on. But she does not, unlike Rinako, so some things just kind of slip through her arms and onto the floor. Still, as Suki pays attention to the instructions and eventually gets all this stuff relocated into a basket, she just keeps her peace and does not speak up unless she feels it's important.
Like towards the end.
"Um, no, Sif Rinako. My mother and I did not have money for more clothing than we arrived in and are wearing presently. It is was difficult just finding food." Suki suddenly feels self-conscious about how ratty her tunic is next to what everyone else is wearing. She starts picking out an outfit, her hand starting for a dress of some kind — the thing she SUPER WANTS because it's PRETTY and actually EXTENDS PAST HER KNEES — when she is reminded it should be ninja wear that she can get banged up without problems, and starts selecting items that will eventually comprise an outfit she thinks will look pretty neat! But then, she… She… Looks down at the basket, the clothing on the hangars in her hands, and her purple-red eyes get a bit watery as she looks up at Rinako, her teacher.
The young treen sets down the basket, and says, "…I am sorry, Sifu Rinako. I do not think I can afford any of this. I would have to check with my mother before attempting to make purchases with what little we have." She is likely unaware that she actually has some degree of money in her family now. Sure, they were given a nice apartment, but Suki herself is unclear on what their financial status is otherwise. As far as she knows, owning anything more than what she's wearing is a huge luxury that one must work hard one's entire life to be able to afford, and STILL might not manage to achieve such.
All this amazing ninja gear she was so wide-eyed over? A new outfit? Weapons and tools and knick-knacks and bricka-brack and what-not? She'd have to be a great general or a princess or something to be able to have such things! …Or to be Rinako, apparently.
Rurohashi Rinako frowns at the mention of it being difficult just finding food. But there was nothing she could do about Suki's past. She could only try to ensure she had a bright future. She saw so much of herself in Suki's eyes, an obedient little girl trying to live up to what everyone else expected of her. Of course, she'd become a teenager and eventually rebelled. "Don't worry so much about it. A lot of this stuff will just get billed to the village. As a new genin of the Hidden Sand, you are entitled to regular pay, full health benefits, and are to be provided with whatever tools you are required to have to complete your job."
"That includes standard weapons, tags, seals, scrolls, clothing allowance, and even specialized equipment for particular assignments if it's deemed necessary." She smiles as she pats Suki's shoulder gently, holding up a finger and winking. "If we made ninja buy all their own tools, then all our genin would go broke just trying to get the very tools they needed to survive and succeed in their assignments! Now if you want something SPECIAL, well, depending on what it is, that'd have to come out of your own pocket."
"Like this?" She holds up the tool pouch. "The Council will pay for this. And these." She says as she takes the hangers for the Pretty Neat outfit. "But this?" She turns to grab the dress Suki had barely even started to reach for at first. Hey, the self-proclaimed 'Friend of All Beetle-Kind' preferred taijutsu, she knew body movements! She holds the dress up and wiggles it.
"This is something you'd have to pay for yourself." And then, just like that, she rips the tag off the dress and shoves it at Suki's chest. "Go put it on. Consider it… a recruitment bonus. No." She holds up a warning finger. "Arguing." Then she snap-points at the dressing rooms like SHE was Suki's mother. "Go. I'll take care of the rest, and then meet me at the checkout counter."
Oh. Oh, well that makes more sense. Suki wipes her eyes with the back of one hand, and smiles. She feels very happy to have the life she has now, with people like Rinako teaching her, looking after her… And then she oofs at the air is nearly knocked out of her lungs by the dress being pushed into her chest. She bows repeatedly to Rinako and says, "Thank you, Sifu Rinako! Thank you, thank you!" then she scampers off to the changing room, with a bounce in her step and a wide smile on her face that has not been seen before now. Usually she's very subdued and quiet. But she's finally acting a little bit like a girl her age.
Maybe Rinako is making a difference after all!
Rinako watches the girl practically piroutte off into the changing room, looking like she'd just gotten the first Christmas present of her life. The Councilwoman just smiles, shakes her head, and heads for the counter. The helpful teen behind the counter gets all shiny in the eyes as she talks to Rinako, and seems almost apologetic at the amount she has to bill the older woman. She gives the Administration Dome's account number to the bill, the one specifically reserved for equipment purchases for the village. She'd need to make a note to take Suki to go raid the Hidden Sand's stockpile of weapons for things to fill the pouches and such with.
"I'll be making a second purchase, as well. A private one." She puts the dress tag on the counter and counts out the required coinage from her money-purse. When she's done with that, and the girl is done gushing about how nice she is and starts trying to ask if she works out, Rinako bids her a gentle, but firm, farewell. Really, she's saving the girl's life. Her twin sister would probably kill her!
Or both of them, she reflects as she moves just outside the store proper, ducking under the half-curtains over the entrance as the checkout girl is all 'BAI BAI, PLEASE COME AGAIN, RINA-SAMAAAAA~!' Now she just has to wait to collect her student!
Suki thankfully misses the lady behind the counter being dazzled by Rinako and looking like she's going to swoon at any moment. It might cause great confusion and harm the young Jinchuuriki's innocence somehow in some unclear and mysterious way! But mostly she just comes out of the changing room after a little while, in a pale-yellow sundress with daisy patterns on it. It's pretty simple. Just an over-the-head garment that's not much different from the tunic she was just wearing. But it doesn't looke like it has been through eight different wars and been buried in the mud for a century and then dug up and scrubbed clean only to leave it a shade of brown that could best be described as 'grey-brown'. No, this dress is very nice compared to THAT thing.
Suki seems quite pleased with it. But she's still carrying her tunic with her, cause, you know, waste-not want-not. Having two outfits is better than one! She runs up to Rinako, smiles brightly, and says, "Thank you, Sifu Rinako." She fails to restrain herself and attempts to hug the woman's leg briefly before stepping back to a respectful distance. Being a ninja appears to involve protecting things, getting cool stuff, and wearing pretty dresses.
That's what Suki has gathered thus far.
Dream job or what?