Date: February 2, 2012
Relaxation in the desert involves a lot more soaking in water than most people would think. But it's not quite relaxation for two girls of the Uchiha Clan. Serious discussion takes places, and fateful decisions as well.
"Soak Your Cares Away"
Hot Springs - Sunagakure
Another day in the Land of Wind had gone by another strange, sandy day. While Berii's light outfit did well for keeping her somewhat cool with all this wind, sand did manage to get around quite easily. Which led to an increase in bathing, to get rid of the combination of sand grime layered onto sweat. It was much too easy to look and feel unpleasant in this village.
Though today Berii wanted to treat herself, after recent events she needed some time to think in what is hopefully a more relaxing setting than the cramped tub she had back where her team was staying.
"Oh, another Konohagakure Ninja…" A male worker says, peering down at Berii from behind his desk. "Yep, forehead protector. I just guessed by how dolled up you were. How do you guys even win wa-" The man is smacked upside the head by his co-worker who gestures for Berii to carry on.
The Uchiha pretends that that conversation did not just happened and simply moved along, grabbing a set of towels and heading to wash off in the showers before going to the main hot spring. The multiple parts of her complex get up put aside as neatly as possible.
Fuyu is, of course, still recovering. But she was hospitalized back at the start of January and it's now March, so with a mix of physical therapy and additional treatments she is almost completely recuperated. Not 100%, but 90%+ is good enough to travel. Thus, the Uchiha Clan Head has travelled to Sunagakure with the tournament phase of the first international Chuunin Exams beginning. She doesn't have any students or others competeing that she knows of, as Hinotori is already a Tokubetsu Jounin and Taji and Nobu are both… Well…
She had put that thought aside. She had been going over and over it so much already. She doesn't need to fill herself back up with pain to replace the suffering she gave up. It's time to look to a future built upon the lessons of the past here in the present. The regret of losing two of her team mates… It's just more regret for all the others she has lost. Regret won't change things. Neither will taking a soak in the hot springs, but it will make her feel a bit better after the journey here. So it is that Berii is entering the showers and preparing to get clean as Fuyu herself is already in there. The hot water is spraying down from a nozzle head onto the form of the older female, her long black hair sleek and heavy with moisture as she just kind of… Stands there.
She spaces out, eyes closed, head tilted back a bit, and just lets the water hit her in the face, throat, and chest. She's trying to lose herself in the sound of water drumming like being indoors during a rain storm and watching it through a window… The warmth like the kiss of a lover… But she has never watched the rain just to watch the rain. She has no lover and never has. She has never kissed anyone, even. Instead, the first impressions she receives are of distant explosions. Memories surface unbidden of hot blood spraying onto her when she has killed at close range. The flashbacks to running through the forest in the dark, balls of flame going up in the distance, rapid breathing to match rapid heartbeats, the fear, the excitement, the enemies coming out from behind the trees suddenly! Her blade flashes from its sheathe and she strikes—
Her eyes open to slits suddenly, red of the Sharingan active without her consent as she becomes aware she's not alone. The flashback is over. It felt like it took hours but it might have only been minutes or seconds. Blinking the water from her eyes a few times, Fuyu turns her head to look over her shoulder, spotting the Chakra silhouette of another person by some lockers, setting aside clothing. Short, female shape, moderately above-average Chakra level, Fire Chakra Nature affinity…
Fuyu keeps looking over her shoulder, watching the other girl, but she doesn't say anything. She does turn off the shower though. Water is valuable out here, and she has wasted more than enough of it already. Instead she drips dry for several seconds before turning and heading over to where she put her own clothing to get her towel and wrap it around herself. It happens to be in the row of lockers one over from where Berii is located.
Eventually Berii would drift off mentally, humming some random song as she finally gets to pulling out the ribbons from her hair. The sudden movement of her weighty hair causing her head to bob back a bit.
Berii looks over her shoulder, getting that soft vibe that someone was watching her. No obvious peeping is spotted and Berii assumed that it was just paranoia from hearing so much stories about peeping. The girl reaches for her hair and adjusts, making use of it to cover herself up.
With that she would go back to her business, rummaging through her clothes and pulling out a scroll labeled 'Wardrobe' for reasons that were obvious in a few seconds as she seals away her pile of clothes atop one of the marked areas within the scroll, tossing said scroll into the locker just as Fuyu comes up. Initially, Berii has no idea who it was she was sharing the room with, curiousity caused her eyes to slide over and glance at Fuyu.
Still not instantly recognizing the woman since she only caught a glimpse of the woman and well, she only really was aware of who Fuyu was when she had clothes on! This lack of recognition is what causes her brain to overload when she does fully turn her head and it registers. Words do not come together, instead her brain tells her to do this…
Shouts Berii as she takes a quick step away from Fuyu, her face going red instantly as she realizes that was well, dumb, "Hnn, I mean uh…" Berii bows, "Good afternoon. Fuyu-sama, hnn." Berii then clears her throat, looking between Fuyu and the shower. Berii wanted to run to avoid further confrontation after that awkward introduction… yet.
That would be rude or, at least she assumed the Clan Head would have to dismiss her or something. After hearing rumors of the terrible things Fuyu was capable of, Berii wanted to make no effort to anger her.
Fuyu responds to the sudden shout heard from her row of lockers not with some crazy ninja agility or insanely overkill technique or anything. She just… Jolts a bit! A kind of surprised 'jump' without leaving the ground. Turning her head and leaning out of her row to see who cried out like that, Fuyu quickly wraps her towel around her head for her wet hair and moves to see if the girl with the light-lavendar or pale-pink hair or whatever kind of tone that is is okay and if there's someone else in the lockers who shouldn't be. She doesn't see anyone else though, her Sharingan a pale red that seems to be without the 'light' and 'life' that the dojutsu usually possesses while active. She doesn't really need to try that hard. Chakra is Chakra. She's alone in here with the girl, who looks embarassed or something.
…Oh, probably the whole reputation thing. Or maybe it's because the Clan Head is standing in front of Berii naked + hair towel. Though that also may tie into reputation. Or breast envy LIKE FUYU TOTALLY DOESN'T HAVE FOR THAT HYUUGA CLAN HEAD. Grumble. Nodding her head and allowing her serious frown of caution to fade away to a more perplexed look, Fuyu says, "Good afternoon…" She racks her brain for roster lists only momentarily, her Sharingan matching the details of a photograph to the list itself. Berii looks a bit different with her hair down and without clothes and all, but she's the same girl. "…Berii, right?" She's certain already, but better not to just act as though they've met before.
"Everything alright over here?" she asks. "I thought I heard you cry out." Modesty is not something Fuyu normally concerns herself with, and doubly-so not around other females, but she does have a sense of DECENCY at least. So unless she receives an indication that something IS wrong she starts making her way back to her locker to get a towel to go around her body for the actual soaking portion of this trip to the baths.
She knows her name~
Berii assumed this had something to do with her gathering a small bit of prestige or something. Confidence was somewhat restored and Berii does a better job at not looking down at Fuyu's feet but, instead making eye contact with that Sharingan which seemed to be on without reason. The odd color of it led Berii to stare even longer, wondering of that were some sort of… fourth level of Sharingan. Eyes rapidly dry and is what eventually causes her to cut her staring and take in what Fuyu had said
Berii blinks a bit, the child did not know what to do next or how to explain why she had acted so strangely. Berii's right foot squirms a bit as if her toe was trying to dig into the ground or something. "Neh, awight? Yes." Berii gives a firm nod, "I uh just, you." Berii… explains? Fumbles again, that could be read as wrong, "Hnn, I've been… nevehmind." Berii bows to Fuyu once more and then shifts to head into the shower. As soon as she turns it on she starts to mentally berate herself.
An oppurtunity like this messed up because of a failure to speak, it wasn't like Fuyu would've said yes anyway. That's what she tells herself to justify her failure until something else comes to mind. A sudden thought of Hitoshi… His bold decisions and what it got him.
The shower water is intensified, soaking the mass of hair as she thinks things through, while speeding up the washing off process in order to catch Fuyu before it's too late and without much thought, Berii comes running out of the shower calling out, "Aye! Fuyu-sama!"
Fuyu provides a slow nod, without any indication of confusion, ridicule, or being put-off by Berii. It's almost enough to make one think she understands the problem that Berii is experiencing! She proceeds with her towel-getting then. The older female is probably used to the surprise, awe, or at least nervousness others display in her presence by now, so maybe she DOES understand. Though the limited speech capabilities are slightly unusual, everyone has quirks and indiosyncracies. Getting hung up on tiny differences has caused too much trouble for humanity already.
After wrapping herself up, she is beginning to move further inwards, to the baths themselves, only to hear the slap-slap-slap of bare feet on wet tile, along with Berii's voice calling after her. Fuyu pauses and turns to look back at the pale-lavendar-haired girl and brushes some of her own ebony hair aside from her face. She doesn't respond immediately, or ask what the girl wants, or anything. In the past she probably would have been frowning. She also probably would have asked with some degree of irritation, 'What is it?' as though she were being interrupted in the middle of something important. Now she just waits patiently, her mouth rather neutral instead of an annoyed scowl. Berii will say what she has to say when she's ready. Why rush her?
Berii comes to a sudden halt, using her heels out of reflex she'd find herself sliding forward out of control instead of actually stopping. There was a short moment of panic until, she remembers she's a ninja! That ninja dexterity kicks in and with a little flail of her arms she manages to stop still with a few foot adjustments.
"Neh…" The smaller Uchiha looks up to the lacking expression from the older woman, not entirely sure what to do with it she just continues on as planned. "Fuyu-sama? I was wondewing…" The girl rubs the back of her neck, the coldness of the air hitting against wet skin getting her to hurry up with what she had to ask. Berii's eye contact breaks as she looks around the room
"Do you take students or, something? Hnn, my pawents don't weally do much, it seems like they just want to dwess me up." Berii takes a glance at her own long locks, frowning slightly. "I have a sensei but, he's an Inuzuka and I just got this befowe coming to Suna." She points down to the floor beneath her to emhpasize Sunagakure as her Sharingan activates, the two tomoe swirling into each eye.
"I wanna leawn how to use it bettew and I thought you being, you um, kinda, worth a shot. Eh heheh?" Berii's face was almost as red as her Sharingan at this point, nothing to do with her current nudity. Clothes wouldn't of made this situation better at all.
Fuyu arches an eyebrow as her eyes widen ever so slightly. 'She awakened it already at her age? And at that level? Amazing.' She hears the questions, considers the request, and then… Well, she doesn't have an instant answer. She has to think for a moment, but just standing there silent will probably make the younger girl even more uncomfortable. "Well… It's sad that your parents aren't capable enough to teach you… And truly unfortunate that you are being taught by an Inuzuka. Even the ones who tend to use Genjutsu, in the Omega branch, can only give you general lessons for Genjutsu. Eye-contact hypnosis is something that only another Uchiha can teach. Luckilly for you, that's my specialty."
That seems to be an agreement then! …Though she hasn't necessarily said that explicitly. Instead she looks down at the floor. "…I've been the student, and I've been the teacher. But just as an Inuzuka is unable to teach you how to properly use your eyes, my former students weren't very well-suited to my lessons. Hinotori learned some things… But not Genjutsu. However, out of my three students, only one is still alive. The other two… Were lost during the last war with Kirigakure." Her eyes sink to half-closed as she spaces out for several seconds.
Eventually she looks back up, lifting her head. "…." She moves forward, and places one hand on Berii's left shoulder lightly. Fuyu looks at Berii and waits to make eye contact. Then she says, "I'll teach you. I didn't do a good enough job with Nobu or Taji. I didn't give them the attention they deserved. I think they would have survived if I had taught them better. You have a lot of potential, and I'm not going to let it go to waste being taught by some… Canine-enthusiast!" Fire returns to her eyes, her expression no longer the hollow shell of a woman who is simply trudging through life waiting for something to happen to give her a reason to continue. She has determination and willpower again. She has EYES of FIRE!
She then does something she does very rarely. She smiles at Berii, squinting her eyes nearly closed in the process. It's… A very, very nice smile. Whatever else she may look like normally, when she smiles, she's beautiful. She smiles down at Berii and says, "I'll take you as my student, Uchiha Berii." It seems like she's going to stop there, but instead she continues on to add, "…After all, if a little girl like you has awakened your Sharingan and already advanced to the two-tomoe level, then you'll be really strong when you're older! Really, it's amazing! How old are you anyway? Five-years old?" …. "Six?" …. "Six-and-a-half?"
Does Berii really look that young!?
Berii only caught the shift in expression out of the corner of her eye simply because her Sharingan was active, it sort of slowed the motion down and processed it for the girl. Was Fuyu THAT surprised that someone asked her to train them? Did she really get avoided so much, she was just about to over ponder that simple expression before Fuyu starts to speak up. The initial words getting Berii's eyes to light up, it seemed like Fuyu was swinging the way of teaching her until, well, Berii starts to think again.
Was she going to toss another Uchiha at her to teach her? Was Fuyu just stating a fact to toy with the girl's head. Once again Berii is distracted by something else Fuyu does, the woman also breaking her watch. This motion lets the courage Berii needed to look up to Fuyu fill her soil and so, the Sharingan settles on the woman. Her doujutsu deciphering the emotion for her, if it wasn't already somewhat obvious. Berii had never heard of Taji or Nobu, though Hinotori rung a bell. So, he was the last one… "Neh, I didn't know…" Berii gnaws on her bottom lip for a moment before bearly mumbling out, "S-sowwy I sh-wait what?" Her head cants to the side as she actually takes in what was said /after/ the fact.
All thoughts of further apologies get shot, then shot again, if those thoughts made any attempt to crawl away or showed any sign of life then a few more shots will be wasted on them.
Anyway! Another success!
Berii meets Fuyu's sweet smile with a large grin of her own, holding back excited giggles. "Neh?! This is good?" Berii points at her eyes, thinking that was the normal thing to do, looking a little bewildered her confusion continues to hover as Fuyu fails to guess her age, hoping the woman wasn't being serious she slowly states, "I'm… tweve." She then realizes her birthday was coming up, "Thoiteen in a few days." A solid nod comes with the quick, "Hnn." that follows.
…Seriously? Almost thirteen? Well, Fuyu didn't really look too closely at Berii's body, as that would be rather rude even for a brazenly forward and rude individual such as she. But a quick glance reveals that Berii really is older than she appears based on her typical hair-style and… Speech impediments. Well! Fuyu blushes VERY faintly in embarassment before coughing into one hand. "Well… I'll wish you happy birthday early then. We can discuss training when we're done with out baths though. Care to join me?"