Date: March 7, 2013
Goh and Itami catch-up.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
A long and steady trip now behind him, the travelling pickler known as Goh has returned to one of his favourite Villages. The blonde looks as he has lately, with a tattered black cloak falling loosely across his back. Held into place by what look to be damaged clothes and other accessories. His hair is brushed back, arms folded across his chest.
He just sort of stands there, barefoot on the green grass. He stares into the central pond, taking in the lush enviornment that surrounds him. To be sure, this was the only patch of greenery in nearly the whole country! It was a great place to escape. To think. To meditate. Goh has his eyes open, as he perhaps does a mixture of all three.
It's fairly late at night, so there's not much of a sound. Most have gone to bed, even the senior shinobi. Goh has been 'missing' for a fair while. Not many know exactly where he went, save for his closest allies. Itami and Rise, really. That's it.
With boots removed, an individual moves with a steady gait towards the central pond. The plush grass crinkles softly under each step, clearly a sound that indicates a person is not intending to hide his or herself. Before long, the sound grows louder until it comes to a stop behind Goh. For only a few moments, it remained silent before making their way around to one side of him and taking a seat beside him.
A bit of popping of bones can be heard and shifting before finally settling into a comfortable position. "So, how have you been?" Itami inquires of Goh.
"You know, that's really gross." Goh replies simply, hearing the popping and crackling of bones. "Probably not very healthy either. Athritis and all that, huh?" He muses, looking down to Itami as she sits next to him. He himself remains standing for the moment, just looking. "Not too bad, Tam. Not too bad. Long story with it all… I can fill you in on what I did if you like." He then looks down to her, peering at her curiously.
"I'm sorry." He admits. "For leaving so suddenly, and… well, heaping responsibility onto you like that. With Jump and everything. How have you been?" His arms fold across his chest, and just like that, he sits down next to her. Almost in a heap, though ends up cross legged.
"Ah, that stuff? It's normal," Itami chuckles. "I'm healthy as can be! That sort of thing is the result of doing nothing and lazing around," she laughs. "But yes, fill me on on what you did. I'm ready to hear all of it and then I'll tell you what I've been doing," she nods. "It'll be short, simple, and to the point," she gestured with her hand in the air to indicate how short and sweet it'd be. "But you're forgiven. About leaving. I might be a bit disappointed, but I'll get over it. I've been just fine dealing with Jump. Trying to indentify with all the members I haven't met."
"Nice one. I knew I made the right choice when inviting you to help lead it with me." A grin widens across his face. "Well, I guess I will go first then. Only if you promise to get an arthritis check." He muses. Adjusting himself in his stead position next to Itami, he sucks in a breath… and then begins.
Over the next hour or so, Goh explains exactly what he has been up to over the past months. He's been gone a while, so he makes sure to give everything a decent context and ensure Itami knows where he is coming from. Though given how much she knows already, there isn't that much to explain background-wise. His explanation details the pickler journeying all the way down south into strange lands, following the trail of the bounty hunters that were after both he and Risu. His travels took him far, and while he did manage to find an outpost of Akuu bounty hunters, it was not the main 'hive'. After dealing with the hunters there, he slowly made the return trip back to known countries. And here he now was!
Despite taking the hour to explain things, he's no doubt skipped over plenty of little adventures along the way. Those he likely deemed unimportant.
"So now I'm back, and ready to find the main hive. Up north I'm told it is. But who really knows?"
Itami offered a lame salute to Goh in response to her leading Jump. She wouldn't exactly call what she did leadership, but that's just her. She doesn't make any promises about the arthritis thing as she feels just fine, so she winks instead at him and smiles.
As he starts into his story, she listens closely to what he describes. She knew all the other things for the most part, but there were a few others that were new. By the time he finished, she was laying down on the grass and staring up at the sky from the opening in the gardens. Seems like he had a lot going no. "I see, I see. Up north… Isn't that more like the Land of Lightning?" She wondered. "Well, considering. It's the only north I can think of, even if it's not true north."
"Hmm. More past Iwagakure." Goh replies, looking down at Itami sprawled on the grass. "The Land of Lightning is more North East. I'm talking about North from where we are right now, which is beyond the Land of Earth. To be honest, I haven't been that far up since the clan wars were raging. It's a fairly different place now I'd think." He shrugs.
"So what have you been up to here? I notice the Villages have decided to not go slaughter each other yet. Bonus, huh?" He chuckles at that, leaning back on his palms. "Give me the updates, Tam. What's going down? Any super secret plots? Hidden agendas? Saucy affairs?"
"Ah, gotcha," Itami remarked. "We might have to go there together. If you ever need a raging dragon beast that blasts fire and tears up everything, let me know," she snickers. "What have I been up to? Not much," she rose up from the ground and dusted some grass off of her. "I've just been trying to figure out what's going on in the world and…it seems like there's something stirring up," she explains. "I'm still trying to make my rounds. I have a lot to discover, but thought to take a break here in Suna."
"Good, I've been feeling like I'm getting rusty," Itami chuckles. "But yeah, stuff is stirring. People seem to be worried. I can see it in the faces of the people here in Suna, but not a great deal. It's largely other people outside of here. The smaller villages settled around the Land of Wind. I want to look into it a bit more…" She began to rub her arms to remove the itch generated by the grass. "But…if you need me more, then the most I can do is let the members of Jump know."
"I'm flattered, Tam." Goh replies with a small smile, though it's not quite a smirk. "While I could always use the company for my trip, it's certainly not something which I definitely need you for. I'd feel super guilty if I had taken you away from something that you really wanted to do. Especially if this just turns out to be a wild goose chase — and the hive of bounty hunters have escaped to somewhere else. You know?" His nose wrinkles, before he lifts a hand to rub it.
"But if you wanted to come, that'd be great. Romantic adventures, invasions, battle… All that fun stuff. Oh! Hey. By the way. If you ARE getting rusty." He points a finger at Itami. "I need to give me senjutsu a whirl. See how I measure up on the bad-lizard lady from Sunagakure. Keen?"
"Romantic adventures…" Itami almost missed all the other things that were mentioned prior at that one remark. She wonders if this was revenge for what she did to Soren? "Wait, you want to test some senjutsu? Really?" She grinned and popped up. "Then let's! I haven't had senjutsu used against me and I'm ready to see what it's all about!" She seems /really/ excited.
She didn't even bother waiting up before she hurried her way out of the gardens. Of course, she did so in a manner that wouldn't damage the grass path or other plants.
"W—Wait a sec!" Goh calls after Itami, who is already on her feet and gone before he can finish! "I don't actually /know/ any senjutsu techniques yet." He calls, scrambling to stand up himself. "I can just transform and use senjutsu. I'm still looking for ideas when it comes to senjutsu based techniques." He does hope that this doesn't burst her bubble, because she did look amped.
Trailing after her and out of the gardens, Goh puts his boots back on. The very bright sun causes him to squint, the pickler still adjusting to life in the desert.
"You lead the way, Tam. And tell me any ideas you have that I could use for senjutsu. I'm all ears."
Itami was already outside and heading to an open area. "We'll go outside the village. I think what we might be getting into could potentially be dangerous," she states to him. "So, naturally we need to be in a place that can support what may come." Heading out the village, she'd take them to the desert just outside Sunagakure to get started.
Goh follows Itami like a pup would its mother, not willing to have too much distance seperated between them. He might get lost in this crazy place, after all!
Walking out into the desert, Goh draws a deep breath as he looks around. A solid wind whips his tattered black cape behind him dramatically, just as the pickler crouches down to pick up some sand. Letting it run through his fingers, he then steps up and dusts his gloves off.
"Alright… Like I said, I don't actually have any senjutsu techniques yet. But hopefully I can be a bit of a challenge for you. Get the blood pumping and stuff."
Placing his palms together, Goh then closes his eyes. Focussing. Growing still. Ready to enter his hermit mode.
Itami looked at Goh, observing the changes he underwent upon entering Sage Mode. So this is what it was all about, hm? She could definitely sense a change in him and it made her a bit eager. She decided she was going to enter one of her stronger forms as well. Of course, the transform explains why her bones might pop a bit. Something that happens to her as she endures the changes from her body changing from human to something lesser so. Her face elongates, she gains rows of teeth and fangs, her skin scales over while her body changes height and size and from it all, a long tail grows and takes shape. Not to mention the claws. "I look forward to a challenge," she smiled, showing all the teeth ready to be utilized.
As Goh's eyes remain shut, his own physical features begin to change. His hair morphs into a fiery red, the colour changing from the roots and growing out to the tips. His skin looks to become harder, and there are even some scales that can be seen. The colour of his eyes also change, becoming a dull grey. A large contrast from the bubbly blue that they usually reflect.
Truly, this was a spar unlike most. The ability and strength that these two wielded would rarely be rivalled, jinchuuriki aside. Finally, when the transformation finishes, he loosens up a bit.
"There." He breathes. His voice doesn't sound any different. He just looks… different. As if he had fused with a salamander.
"Nice teeth." He comments with a grin. "You look super hot."
Itami cackles. "You're not too bad yourself. Looks like we aren't all that different," she smirks. "But there may be differences in our skills. Let's see how this works out…" Her tail flicks back and forth as she proceeded to close distance between the two of them, using the powerful legs she gains to her advantage to approach him quickly. With he hand raised, she begins to use all the force of her running momentum to place it into a heavy handed palm strike, its intent to be more of a crushing blow than a simple strike.
Goh watches as Itami rapidly approaches, the Sage bending a little at the knees. His eyes snap open wide to take in the surroundings, before rushing in to get closer to Itami! It seems that despite her speed, he can keep up. At least for now.
Stepping in so that he's very close, Goh's head passes alongside Itami's missed strike. His ear just grazes her open arm. At the same time, his own right fist will erupt from his side. A quick right hook, aimed to catch the lizard-like Itami square in the side of the head.
Like his friend, he's not going for a sharp strike. He's just going for blunt force trauma — and will start with hopefully having her ears ringing.
Itami was countered and in return, she allowed her scales to do the work. She was successful, though it came at the cost of taking a bit of damage that she was able to grunt away, after a few shakes of the head. "Hehehe," she chuckled. Her ears were definitely ringing, but that didn't mean she was down just yet. While she was close she struck out with a kick to launch Goh into the air so she could follow up with a strike to smack him back down to the earth. It became apparent when she began to wind up her tail to prepare for the attack.
The whole movement happens at such a great speed. Most regular eyes, even those of the shinobi, would likely struggle to keep up. Not to mention even react in time!
Goh's eyes narrow at the hardening of scales, seeming genuinely surprised by that move. "Ho." He gets out with a grin. "That's pretty fancy."
A quick backstep puts him out of range from the first tail strike, the pickler anticipating the move, though Itami's second swipe is enough to not only catch him, but send him hard into the ground. He sort of skids along the sand a good few meters, now at a distance from Itami, before rolling back onto his feet with what momentum he has left.
He doesn't even form a seal, so quick is his stamina-to-chakra conversion that he's spitting out a series of fire needles just as he stands up straight. They hurtle across the ground, aiming to hit Itami with precise strikes. Pew pew!
Itami snorted softly as the dust began to make its way into her nose. She'd sneeze it back out and sniffle somewhat while watching Goh closely to see how he was going to pick himself back up. Her gaze was sure and unwavering. She did not blink. Her tail was still recovering from the strike against Goh, flicking as if it was almost happy it had brought him such pain. If there was anything, her tail was probably a good indicator of exactly how she was feeling.
She began to scratch at the sand and place her feet back atop it so that she wouldn't be stuck in place when it began to surround her feet. Adding to the heat of the surrounding desert, fireballs come flying towards her and she puts her legs to use once more. One fireball was particularly fast, so she utilized chakra to her advantage to shoot into her legs and give her the boost necessary to push her body to the limit. Of course, limits can be reached and she was struck with a fireball that singed her skin and caused her to roar out as she fought through the flames and evaded the other fireball that came after it. She grew a bit too comfortable it seems. "That fire was hotter than I inteded it to be…" she remarked while planting herself on the ground and handsealing to prepare a fireball of her own, if it could be called such. From her maw spews a great ball of fire with the face of a dragon.
Taking a casual sidestep as Itami moves to dodge around his attacks, though not quite getting around them all, he watches as the ex-Sunagakure shinobi preps her own fire move! To be honest, he did not know that Itami had such adept fire skills. Though this was good, as it provided Goh with more knowledge on what she was capable of.
Slamming an open palm onto the sandy ground, a large wall rises from the depths in front of Goh. This wall, encrusted with various designs and patterns of the salamander, is able to protect the pickler from the dragon headed fireball! It impacts against it and explodes, not causing any damage.
After, Goh leaps to the top of the wall, balancing on the top. It's about ten meters high, so definitely jumpable. "Phwoar. Close one." The scaled Sage gets out, before he grins, and then points to Itami's feet. Not a moment later, a series of salamander will erupt from the ground! These salamander are long with little feet, almost looking like snakes. Three of them in total, all trying to wrap themselves around Itami's legs, body and arms. And then? Bite! Injecting her with some toxins.
Itami licked her lips with her serpentine tongue after she finished spewing out the fire from her mouth. It was blocked, of course but that only made her more eager to get to him. It seems, though, that many things take place at a distance and she has to close it in order to make any progress against him. In the meantime, she has somehting more to deal with. Salamanders were beginning to wrap around her legs and she couldn't allow them to go any further. So, she focused herself and turned her body to mist, causing the salamanders to slip through her form and fall back to the ground. She took advantage of her opening and leapt forward toward Goh, a trail of mist following after her before she materialized with her mouth opened wide to lock down on him and subsequently thrash him on the ground in a deadly roll.
Goh blinks a bit when watching Itami almost turn completely to mist, seeming… well, perplexed. He had not seen that before! He has a tough time keeping track of her movements, and before he knows it, she's right there! "Tch!" Goh tries to leap clear, but Itami is quick enough to CHOMP down onto his leg. Hard. "Woah—!" And then, he's pulled into a deathroll from the top of the wall that he summoned earlier.
Both of them fall to the ground, though it is Goh that takes all the damage as Itami completes her technique. "I know I'm a handsome lad, girl. But let's keep the making out until later, huh? Gecko." Of course, this hurt. but with Itami so close, he hopes to take advantage.
Reaching down to try and grasp her shoulders, Goh will hopefully detach the lizard woman from his leg. And, lifting her up, will then HURL her straight into the ground! Of course, it is sand, but given the strength he has behind him, fueled by additional chakra, the impact is sure to be great.
Itami would continue to gnaw on Goh's leg and it's possible she was enjoying it a little /too/ much as she hadn't had a taste of anything human for a long time. She'd hiss out a snicker at his remark, but it's fairly clear that she's not too keen on letting go of him just yet. So it takes him lifting her up and slamming her back down into the sand to get her to release his leg from her mouth. She'd lay on the ground stunned for a few moments. It seems she's taken one too many head blows this match and she finds that she's a bit dizzy at the moment. The chakra that manages to penetrate her scales was a problem. Guess that was the risk of trying to bring combat to him.
"I think we might stop there. To be continued." Goh muses. The Sage exhales slowly and as he does so, his body appears to revert. His leg bloodied and wounded from the bite, and his ribs aching from the earlier tail thrash that Itami nailed him with.
Falling onto his rear, he begins to pant aloud — recovering his stamina. "Those are some wicked techniques you've got up your sleeve, Tam. The whole lizard thing is pretty wild. And to think that's even when you were holding back." He doesn't even want to consider what she will be like at full strength!
Moving to dress his leg wound so that he doesn't bleed to death, the pickler will climb to his feet after a period of sitting down. "Are you okay? My punches aren't something to take lightly! Even if you make your skin as hard as a dragon."
Itami was waiting for the world to stop spinning as she lay on the ground, hand raised to her head as if it will quell the spinning. This isn't necessarily the case, but she does find that placing her hand over her eyes helps to slow the spinning to a degree. She thinks she might have to remain this way until she's fully recovered. "Thanks," she finally remarked about the compliments offered to her. "It's all still a work in progress," she chuckles. "We should probably get you back to Suna so we can get you taken care of. I enjoyed this match."
"Yeah. Well, we should probably get you back too." He replies with a smirk, before crouching down to help his partner up onto her feet — even going so far as supporting her while standing if she needs it. "Yeah, it was a good little play around. I got a few ideas, too. That skin hardening thing — you'll have to explain to me one day how it works. I think I could definitely get in on that. Though it doesn't seem to help you from concussion, huh?" He chuckles.
The pair will then walk/limp back to the Village proper, back to a place where they can both get patched up.