Date: September 16, 2013
With loss of life, Yuuka falls into darkness if only for a night.
"Sorrow at Dusk"
Namami Restaurant [Kirigakure]
Owned not by a single person but a group, the Namami Restaurant lives up to its expectations of being the place to be for Kirigakure's Ninja. No villagers dare tread into this area without an escort. The Namami Restaurant is a place of food and drink and pleasant conversation amongst the arguments and fighting. Bar fights are common and often stopped by authorities wandering in.
The place is not kept tidy, dirty floors and wars gives it its traditional feel of The Village of the Bloody Mist. The barman and the employees of this establishment are all well noted Ninja who keep control over its patrons in order to avoid unnecessary damage to property. Those who grow accustomed to this place call it the place to be for ninja meetings.
It was a dark day.
The dark clouds made the afternoon seem like night, lightning flickering beneath the outline of clouds moments before thunder rumbles over the Land of Water. The last couple of days was like this, ever since their return. And ever since… his death.
Yuuka occupied a corner booth in the Namami Restaurant, herself and several empty bottles of sake. And she was working on another. Senseless mumbles comes from beneath a curtain of snow white as she stretches out an arm, plucking the bottle to pour herself a drink.
Takeshi arrives at the Nanami restaurant without much fanfare which is just the way he likes it. In the morning he'll have to go to Konohagakure because duty calls, but for now he can relax and prepare for the long trip back to Konoha, again. Always with travelling to the Land of Fire, but it beats the desert. Inside the restaurant he shuffles around a bit until he comes upon Yuuka and meanders his way up into the seat, looking across at her.
"And? To what do I owe this drinking binge?"
Hearing the sound of weight settling across from her, Yuuka lifts her head up some, snowy hair falling from her face as her reddened eyes look up at Takeshi. Tears staining her cheeks. "Takeshi… sama…" she murmurs, her voice upon the verge of more tears as a hand tightens on the sake bottle. "Again… again." Yuuka repeats the word and bows her head down again. Seeing her former father-in-law and the closest thing she had to a father was yet another reminder of what she had lost. "Yoma… he's—" she chokes on her words. "He's gone…" As fast as lightning Yuuka snaps up one of the empty bottles and throws it across the room, making it shatter on a wall and making several jump with the shock.
Takeshi stares back across the table at Yuuka as she sobs about yoma. "I see. So, how did he end up gone? Are you sure?" There are many bottles and he quietly observes her taking more at her leisure, "Sure you should be drinking that much? You'll regret it in the morning." There's a smile at the girl across from him, "Well, I understand this must be hard on you. Keisuke and now Yoma, but you still have Yuriko. You should be strong for her."
Yuuka takes a slow swallow, trying to control her breathing, though her slender shoulders began to shake as a result. "Right after we got back from Konoha…" she manages to say steadily, forced. "He was immediately sent on a mission. I don't know the details about it, but—." Tears threatened to fill her voice again. "That moment…" Yuuka swallows again, elbows resting on the table as her hands curl into her hair. "I felt it the moment he was killed… And worse, Yuriko did too." Though her face was hidden, wet tears splatter on the table. "She hasn't spoken a word since then. She won't talk to me… she won't talk to anyone!" More tears. More tears from a loving wife and mother in mourning. "How am I supposed to be strong after both of them…"
Takeshi hmms, "I can't tell you how to be strong. Everone has their own way of strength that they themselves have to come up with. I want to say 'The same way I did after seven of them' but it seems inappropriate and doesn't wholly answer your question. What you derive strength from is something you have to find and it's not something I can give you." There's a long pause, "That being said, what I can give you is the same thing I always have. I'm here and I'm not leaving until the shinigami drag me from my home."
"I'm just so tired…" Yuuka mumbles thickly, shifting her weight if only to reach for the bottle and pour herself a drink. "Yasushi, Keisuke, Maikeru, Yoma… I'm dreading the days when Tsiro-kun or Meruin-kun also die on the battlefield…" Her fingers lift her drink, and she swallows the sake quickly. "I struggled so much to become strong so that I could protect the people I care for, the people I love, and this still happens. I'm so tired being strong and nothing showing for it." Yuuka lifts her tear-stained eyes up at Takeshi. "Please don't say that… I can't stand the thought of losing you too."
Takeshi laughs a bit, "Old men like me don't die, we're too stubborn." He leans back in the chair, "I understand what you're saying, but you can't protect everyone all the time. You become strong so that when you have a chance to protect someone you can. You won't always have that chance and we can't control what others do, but you also have to accept that people are inherently in danger of daying, especially now. It's what makes us human." A smile at Yuuka, "You have probably had enough to drink. And Yuriko will get over it I'm sure."
Yuuka scoffs softly, reaching up with a hand to wipe away the tears on her cheeks with the back of her hand. She still felt like she wanted to cry, and she probably will for several weeks, months even. He had a point though, she had enough to drink and it didn't make her feel any better. The Regeneration must be nullifying the effects of the sake. "I'm not so sure… Yuriko absorbs so much and this… I'm afraid it might be too much for her…" she says softly.
Takeshi hmms, "Maybe you should remember whose daughter she is. You, Keisuke. She has my blood running through her. Something like this isn't enough to kick an Odori and even if we spend sometime facedown in the dirt, the thing about Odori's is, we get back up. I believe in her, do you?" Since there's free sake, he reaches to grab a bottle and drinks some, saves him the trouble of buying any. "Besides…She was going to learn about loss one day. Whether or not you wanted her to. Better this way and now than later on when it's a friend she holds dear."
"One father, maybe, but two?…" Yuuka whispers, doubtful. Her entire world shaken, falling apart at the seams even. Exhaling a long breath, her reddened eyes watch Takeshi as he takes the bottle and drinks from it himself. "Our blood… But I can't separate myself from being her mother." She was fearful that she had lost all of her strength to be strong for her little girl, and its heard in her voice. "Unfortunately… yes. But I still wish a little girl didn't have to learn this lesson so young." It was wishful thinking. This wasn't the way the world worked. It was a cold world out there, and it took so many lives from her.
Takeshi nods at her, "Yeah, she'll pick up. Just give her some time to process everything." Another drink from the sake bottle, "I know what you're thinking. Probably the same thing I did after my family died. You're probably wondering about your own strength and if you ever actually had any. If you did what good was it. And now that you're broken, what about your daughter? Who will show her strength? Well that's a simple answer." He indicates everything around her, "This."
Her eyes instinctively glance around her. The village.
Yuuka exhales another long breath as she looks back at the table, looking through it at some open spot in space. "I'm starting to wonder if its impossible for me to find love…" Maybe she was cursed.
She makes a face and holds the side of her head, a headache forming behind the thick buzz. "Right now I just want to make it through the night. Then tomorrow I'll want to get through that day."
Takeshi nods and finishes off the bottle before sliding out of his chair, "Alright, well, Come on. I'll take you home and then you can sleep on it. Why don't you and Yuriko stay with me for awhile. I think the noise will do you both some good to not feel so alone."
Yuuka dips her chin with a small nod, pushing herself up to her feet, only to abruptly stop in place to keep herself from moving too quickly. The world steadily swirled around her with constant movement. "That might be a good idea." she mumbles. "And I know that Yuriko would like to visit. See her cousins." The young woman tries to pull away from the table, but the room swirls again and Yuuka ends up leaning against Takeshi for support. To home.