Shooting Hoops (and the Breeze)


Atsuro, Daisuke

Date: September 5, 2013


Daisuke comes across Atsuro as he's playing basketball and decides to join in.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"Shooting Hoops (and the Breeze)"

Mangetsu Intersection

In addition to all its shops and restaurants, Mangetsu intersection has a a few recreational facilities in the surrounding area. This includes small parks, gardens, and plazas, but if you know where to look, you can even find areas for sports. Probably not surprisingly, Atsuro and Taizen know. And they're here this afternoon, having a day off, for a little one on one.
At one end of the court stands Atsuro, dribbling the ball and trying to keep it from… Atsuro, trying to grab the ball from Atsuro. They don't look quite right, though. A little more bestial than Atsuro normally appears. Looks like basketball is a little different when ninja are playing. There's nobody else on the court, nor anyone in the bleachers, so it seems they're just having a private game for now. Still good to get some practice in and have some ninja/nin-dog fun.

Heading out through the Mangetsu Intersection on his way to his Aunt's office, Daisuke found himself taking a long way, through the small parks and gardens, enjoying nature a bit. Because of him taking this odd route, he is able to spot Atsuro and … Atsuro out on the small basketball court looking like they were having fun. The young Senju decides to check out the action, quietly walking over to the bleachers to take a seat for awhile, wondering how long it would be until he was noticed. He wasn't all that familiar with the sport, though putting a ball through a hoop didn't seem too complicated to get the hang of.

The Atsuro with the ball has been backed into the corner of the court by the other Atsuro. For a moment, he can do nothing but dribble the ball, but just as the other Atsuro closes in on him, he pushes past, shielding the ball with his body. Figuring he's probably not gonna get another shot anytime soon, he shoots at the faraway net and, amazingly, scores. "Awww," says the other Atsuro, "No fair, using my body." The other disappears in a puff of smoke. When it clears, Taizen is sitting there. "You suggested we use Beast Human Clone," the dog points out. Atsuro just ignores that. "How come you changed…" Sniff, sniff. "Ooooh…"
He grins and looks over to Daisuke on the bleachers. "Didn't see you come in," he says, "Was too focused on the game." He walks over to Daisuke. From this distance, it's probably obvious they've been playing for a while. Taizen is panting, while Atsuro's hair is damp with sweat. He wears a jersey and a pair of shorts, quite different from his usual outfit. "Thought you'd play a game with us?" he suggests.

Daisuke watches as one Atsuro takes the shot and scores from an impressive angle and distance, wondering which one had scored. As Atsuro starts to complain Daisuke grins, figuring out that Taizen had trumped him yet again. As Atsuro finally notices him, Daisuke stands up from his seat and chuckles. "Your nose must be on the fritz." he says as he walks down to the courtside and greets Taizen appropriately, looking out over the court at Atsuro's suggestion. "Not sure I've ever played." he says with a bit of hesitation in his voice, not one that likes looking like a newbie at anything he does.

"You don't know?" Atsuro asks, "Daisuke, you haven't had some kind of memory loss or something, have you?" He grins and spins the ball on his finger, "I'll just assume you mean you haven't played before. No shame in that. Plenty of people in this village don't seem to recognize the game." Giving a shrug, he adds, "I thought it was pretty popular, but whatever." Daisuke's little barb doesn't seem to faze him much and he just shakes his head. "It's an intense game," he says, "Takes a lot of focus sometimes. And focusing on your sense of smell doesn't help much. Plus, I'm all sweaty. Kinda tough to sense you over the scent of lime and cucumber." Figuring he may as well offer, he holds the ball out to Daisuke.

"Lime and cucumber that are three weeks old, maybe." Daisuke snipes back as he reaches out to take the ball in his hands, giving it a few bounces on the ground. "I lived a sheltered childhood, sue me. Plus, unlike soccer, you don't see kids running around playing this much, when all you need for soccer is a ball and some open area. The hoop is kind of limiting your options of where to play." he points out as he moves onto the court while bouncing the ball, testing how his movement has to change while the ball is in his hands to keep control. "So what do we do?"

"I'll just assume you're embarrassed at how good you think my sweat smells," Atsuro teases back, "Don't worry, I won't tell Satomi. And even if I did, she'd probably approve." He smiles once Daisuke seems to accept. "I play soccer too," he says casually, leading Daisuke out to the court, "But you kinda need a goal for it to work, which isn't a /lot/ easier than a hoop." He watches Daisuke practice dribbling for a bit, nodding in approval. "Fast learner or something," he notes, "That's not bad. You have to dribble the ball like that whenever you want to move. The better you get at dribbling, the easier it is to get around on the court without the other guy grabbing it." He points to the hoops. "That's your hoop, that's mine. You wanna defend your hoop from me and throw the ball into my hoop."

"Two logs or rocks can easily act as a 'net'." Daisuke points out as he dribbles a bit more, raising and lowering the height of his dribbling hand to test bouncing and momentum. "I'd imagine it is quite a bit harder to do with an opponent." he says to Atsuro's comment about fast learners, looking up as he points out the hoops. Seeing a chance for that playful 'inner monkey' of his to let loose on a court like this with a ball, Daisuke uses his agility to bounce the ball up into the air and lean forward into a handstand, springing up from the ground with his arms to twist his body, catch the ball, and slam it down through the hoop. "I think Son would like this game." he says as he lands, "Though the pavement is less preferable for such stunts.."

Atsuro prefers actual goals himself, but it's not like an improvised goal doesn't work. Especially considering that the people Daisuke watched growing up were probably kids too. "I guess," he says, giving a shrug, "I won't argue with the sheltered guy about the exact /nature/ of his sheltering. I can tell when I'm not gonna win an argument." Since they aren't playing yet, he just stands and watches as Daisuke performs a super-stylish slam dunk. "Two points," he says, then points out the 3-point area, "If you shoot the ball in from outside that area, it's three points." Grinning a little, he figures he'll try giving Son Goku a hard time again. "Oh," he says, "I thought he'd be too preoccupied with great matters unknowable to mortals for some silly game."

Daisuke listens a bit as Atsuro explains the point system after giving up on pressing the issue about the simplicity of soccer to basketball. He retrieves the ball and passes it to Atsuro as the Inuzuka speaks up about Son. "He is very competitive, in anything we do. Whether it be how many of the enemy we can take out per minute, or how many goals or points we can score in a game. I've been letting him help with my taijutsu lately. It really is quite unique the way monkey's can move, throws people right off, it's enough to develop a whole style around." he says as he waits for Atsuro to make a move or explain more.

Huh, really? Weird to think of a chakra-demon monkey king that way. But then, it's weird to think of a chakra-demon monkey king at all. But in a way, it makes sense. "Always wants to be the best?" he asks, catching the ball. Maybe time to get a half-game going. Daisuke doesn't seem to be quite interested in a full-out one on one game, but he seems fine with adding a little more to this. Atsuro dribbles the ball, then slowly starts to move over to the hoop, watching Daisuke to see what he'll do. "A style based on monkey-like movements." He gives that trademark smirk, "Why, master that and you'll still be almost as good as me." He turns to face the hoop and makes a jump shot.

"That's the plan." Daisuke says as he moves in the way of Atsuro, blocking his path to the net. "One day, anyway. I have already increased my daily physical activity by 10 times since I started training in Taijutsu. Who knows what god-like form of perfect my body will sculpt itself into after I complete such a style." he adds with a smirk, because what was a conversation between the two without at least one match of abs vs. abs. "Speaking of which, have you been training much? Or more helping with duties during the exams?"

"Maybe it'll be like mine," says Atsuro, "You know, if you're lucky." Normally, this would be a great opportunity to do some flexing and prove just how god-like and perfect his body is, but he's in the middle of a basketball game. Once the shot goes in, though, he pauses to do it. "Have I been training much?" he repeats scornfully, "You can tell just by looking, young Daisuke. Not like the jersey hides it." He grins and points to the ball, "Two points for me. Now, when somebody scores, you bring it back to the center. The referee — that'll just be Taizen for us — hold it up, and you both try to jump up and knock it towards your hoop." He adds, "Not the biggest believer in the exams, I think I've mentioned. I'm glad they're not doing it tournament style this year, at least. Makes it feel a little more serious." He grins, "Incidentally, doesn't that mean your champion title can't ever be touched?"

Daisuke watches the ball go in the net, ah well, he was more having fun catching up. "Your body is pretty much at it's peek, so I can't say I could see the extent of your training anymore than the next person." he says with a chuckle as Atsuro explains some more rules. He walks back to center court, having no intention of jumping lower than Atsuro this time to win the ball. "Once a champion, always a champion. I'm not sure I like this new format, it doesn't exactly show much flexibility and their ability to adapt to different situations. But hey, it is in Konoha this year, at least we aren't looking over our shoulders every minute."

"Thank you for noticing," Atsuro says, using some willful ignorance to take that as a compliment, "But really, wouldn't it be more accurate to say that I'm at the peak for /all men/?" Taizen walks over and sticks his nose up for Atsuro to balance the ball on. "Makes it less of a dog and pony show, though," he points out, "The nobles or whatever get to see them in a combat situation. A combat situation which /isn't/ NinjaFight Xtreme." He counts, "Three, two, one…" Taizen bounces the ball off his nose, up into the air.

Daisuke lifts up off the ground to reach up, basically equal height with Atsuro, with no real height difference between the two. He notices the ball just out of reach an a single tendril of that red chakra, the width of a finger, reaches up to tip the ball in his favour as he is able to secure it. No rules were given about that to him! "I find most of the bad accidents and deaths happen in the 2nd round, anyway, so Ninja Fight, as you call it, was really a good chance for us to stretch our legs out and let loose. You know all too well that I don't get to do that anywhere much anymore." he says to Atsuro as he begins dribbling. "Sure it's all about flexing your village strength, but for the kids themselves, it is a chance to show off while gaining valuable information and experience."

This is a casual game, and the rules /technically/ don't mention chakra use. Atsuro shoots an 'I noticed that' smirk at Daisuke, but lets him take advantage of that little loophole for the moment. "Gosh," he says loudly, "It's as if there's some mysterious force assisting you." He shakes his head and sighs, "Well, the deaths are certainly… not something I like. But the tournament really just lays it all bare for you, you know? Ninja aren't typically hired to fight in arenas." He reachs out at Daisuke a couple times, feigning attempts at grabbing the ball from him. "I dunno, maybe I'm just old and crotchety? I turned twenty-two a few days ago. Venerable by ninja standards."

"To each their own, I'm sure you aren't alone." Daisuke says as he watches Atsuro's feet for signs of movement. A step right and then a crossover to the left has Daisuke making his way down the left side of the court towards the hoop, most likely with Atsuro right on his side. "Twenty-two, god you are getting old, Gramps. Speaking of which, are we doing the annual May birthdays celebration at the bar? Maybe we can drag a few more people out in case someone drinks too much again." he says as he stops near the three point line, letting Atsuro get back into position and debating what to do.

"No," says Atsuro, "I'm pretty sure I'm the only 22-year-old in the village. Weird, eh?" He does indeed keep up with Daisuke, carefully following his footwork too. He's going a little easy on him, of course. No fun learning a game when the other person insists on squashing you — admittedly, it might be tough to go as far as /squashing/ Daisuke. "I've turned you into an alcoholic, eh?" Atsuro asks Daisuke, "Maybe I should get you an intervention for your birthday. How old are /you/ turning now?" He gets in front of Daisuke, holding his arms out to try and block the shot.

"17 years, I am getting up there, should start thinking about retirement." Daisuke says with a chuckle, using the opportunity while socializing to lift the ball up and take a shot, having to avoid Atsuro's arms. The shot is not perfect, a few bounces off the rim before it does go in, a dirty shot but worth the points anyway. "It's more about the celebration. Do you know that we only really started hanging out on a regular basis around this time last year? See it as a moment in time marked by the best month anyone could be born in, ever. That is certainly a cause for celebration, no?"

"I should have started thinking about retirement five years ago?" Atsuro asks with mock surprise, "Court, my bank /swished/ me." He nods approvingly as Daisuke makes the shot. "Not bad," he says, " Five to three, in your favour. You want a teammate?" He nods in Taizen's direction, "Teach you about passing and all that kind of thing." He nods and smiles as Daisuke mentions that they both have great birthdays. It's true! "Just a year ago?" he asks, "Feels like so much has changed. But didn't we do stuff before then? We had the man meetings, right? Not like we never talked — just never talked over a beer. Which, okay, we'll definitely do."

"We met occasionally, at the meetings, etc. We never really hung out tho until around that time. Certainly didn't train or anything." Daisuke points out. "Or reveal any secrets, etc, etc." he adds with a chuckle. He looks over to Taizen and nods his head. "Sure, come on over, lets wallop Atsuro. I saw you beating him one on one, already, should be a breeze." he says with a smile. "So." he says, turning back to Atsuro as they meet up in the middle. "You found a team yet?"

"Fair enough," says Atsuro, "I guess I didn't specifically keep track of the way our friendship turned out, eh? I dunno, I thought you were pretty cool. But now that I think about it, things did kinda change once we started going out for drinks and that kind of thing." Taizen trots over to Daisuke, wagging his tail. "I will do my best," he promises Daisuke. "You weren't watching for that long," Atsuro teases Daisuke, "Maybe he just got lucky. Tai, you're the referee for like two seconds." Taizen gets ready to throw up the ball again. "A team?" Atsuro asks, "Usually it's just some friends and I — oh. Well, your aunt gave me a student. Kid named Ato. Strong as rebound, apparently. He uses a huge hammer and a huge sword. Still trying to find others."

"For me it was really my first numerous experiences, including alcohol, and being fairly active in a social aspect, so it sticks out as a positive milestone in my life. I mean, hey, with the newfound confidence you gave me I asked Satomi out the moment I saw her, bypassing a handful of kids and dashing their dreams. The old me wouldn't have even thought to do such a thing." Daisuke says as he waits at center court as Taizen goes to prepare the ball, this time he wouldn't use any tricks, just a normal toss and jump. "And every time I seem to come upon you and Taizen sparring or training, he always seems to have the upper edge, so I think I'm on the right team." he says with a wink to Taizen as the dog readies. "Three…two…one."

"Still amazes me that /I/ was the one who revived your flagging social life, or whatever," says Atsuro, "You always seemed pretty chill to me." He winks at Daisuke, "Well, in comparison to /some/ people I know. Maybe you were confident all along, and I just helped you discover the confidence, or some other lesson you might find in a kid's book?" He smirks a bit, "You seem awfully pleased about wrecking those kids. They have something in common with you, after all: bad taste in women. Heh heh heh. Okay, no, you could have done a lot worse." He grins a little at Taizen, "Maybe it's part of someone's plan to make it look like one of us is better than the other, thus allowing us to surprise our opponents in combat…" Taizen bounces the ball up into the air.

"As for confidence, I've really grown into my skin in the last year. I am confident in not just my social skills, but I am 'confident' that I don't need my Aunt's watchful eye anymore and I can life a somewhat normal ninja life. That, more than anything, is amazing to me." Daisuke says as he lfits off the ground as Taizen tips the ball, his hand reaching out to tip the ball to the right side where Taizen had retreated after tossing the ball up in an attempt to pass instead of grab, somewhat easier and requiring less control.

Atsuro grins, "You definitely have a net of a story. Going from your first date to having a live-in girlfriend in less than a year. Now, I'd have played the field for a bit in your position, but only so many people can pull off the Atsuro lifestyle. And if you still feel it isn't totally normal… well, I mean, I guess maybe you're a special case, but… y'know, fake it 'til you make it." There is one disadvantage having Taizen for Daisuke: Atsuro knows how to read that dog. He snatches the ball away when Taizen attempts to pass and starts to dribble and maneuver around slowly to pass them and get to the other side of the court.

Daisuke shakes his head lightly as Atsuro lets him know things aren't getting any better on 'that' front, poor Taiki. "I think I'm ok with my situation. I've never really wanted to play the field, though I'll admit it does have certain appeals. I'd rather not have to worry about wooing multiple women and come home to a loving girlfriend, put my feet up, and start drinking." he says as he notices Atsuro able to read Taizen and has to scramble to cut off Atsuro, using his speed to flicker in front of Atsuro with his hands up in the air, waving them slowly from there to down beside him in case he tries to get around. "I still haven't met any significant others of yours."

"In all seriousness," says Atsuro, "Don't feel like you have to if you don't like the idea. Different strokes for different folks — which is also pretty good advice if you /do/ decide to play the field." He grins and waggles his eyebrows. He stops and shields the ball with his body as Daisuke gets in his path. Hrm, this could be tricky, especially with two-on-one. "I'm private," he explains, "I don't /hide/ the people I date, but I don't go out of my way to show them off to my friends either. I've already got plenty of rumours about me in the clan, for one thing, and I don't need to add to them. As for just introducing my friends and stuff… it happens. Trust me, when I fall in love, you'll know." Well, the game has been on for a while now. He may as well just try and score. He jumps up and throws the ball. C'mooooon…

Daisuke jumps up as Atsuro lifts up into the air in a jump shot and the tips of his fingers just get enough of the ball to change its course. Of course, this lifts the ball into a higher arc and, after suspenseful moments, the ball swishes into the next to try the game 5-5. "Tie game, alright, time to get serious. Taizen, I expect more." he says as he grabs the ball and the trio continue to play on for another hour or so.

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