Date: October 29, 2016
Goh and Mushi catch up for lunch on a hot date near the Waterfalls in the Land of Fire.
"Splashes on the River"
It's another hot day. The sun shines down with a murderous intensity. People have taken shelter where they can, if they're lucky enough to have a day off. This so happens to be hers. She's been helping part time in the medical center, but today she spent it relaxing. And during lunch she invited Goh to come around and bring a bit of food. All the food in fact, so long as he didn't force any of those pickled vegetables on her. She waits at the waterfall, which is relatively free of people at the moment.
Some of the pool is rimmed with large rocks. Mushi sits on one of them, her pants rolled up past her knees. Her legs stick into the pleasantly cold water. The windy mist blows coolly into her face. It's a refreshing place to be. She's drinking from a jug of water, and an empty one already sits beside her.
Goh had been busy all morning, with some mix-up in deliveries and packages at the merchants guild meaning he had been given the wrong stuff! The end result being that he had to have a meeting with some other caravaners, and the group swapped their things around so they were in the right hands. Yep. It was an emergency. And given how difficult his life had been up until now, they are /definitely/ the sorts of emergencies he can get used to!
So now, with invitation to meet Mushi at the Waterfall, eh strides in that direction. Northwards. With sweat rolling down his face, the tall pickler emerges from the woodlands - smiling brightly as he spots the healer resting on one of the surrounding rocks. "Hey," He greets in a friendly manner, a hand lifting to wave. "Aren't you a sight for sore eyes? I brought us some lunch." True to his word, a basket can be seen in his left hand. And, as he arrives to show Mushi the interior, she may be pleasantly surprised to discover that it's filled with… sandwiches! Well, sandwiches and fruit, really. No pickled vegetables. "You wanted sandwiches, right?" He clarifies, placing the basket down on the stone nearby. "How's the water? It better be cold."
A deer is at the other end of the vast pool, dipping its muzzle into the water. A few squirrels chase each other around the trees. It's an idyllic scene. And it'd feel idyllic if it weren't so unbelievably hot. Even the cool waterfall can't cut through this kind of heat. Mushi splashes some water on her face when Goh comes up, and rubs the back of her neck. "Whew. This is some temperature." She reaches into the basket as soon as it's within range. By the time he settles beside her she's already halfway through her sandwich. She selects a piece of fruit. "Thank you Goh-kun," she says. "You know I was thinking a visit to Aburei-kun would be fun. You two liked each other well enough, right? My favorite man and my favorite student, all in the same room. Yum." She takes a plum.
"You're quite welcome." Goh replies to the thank-you, shrugging off the clothes that cover his upper body. Tossing the cloak onto the soft grass nearby, the man wades out into the cool water with a few steady breaths. Carefully, as to not scare off the animals. As he does so, he can feel his skin begin to goosebump. As he gets chest deep, and likely at maximum depth, he dips his head under the water for a moment and comes back out, wiping back his hair with a smoothening motion. The exhale he makes obviously signals a happy feeling, followed by a splashing of some water on his face to cool down. "What do you think is up with this heat? I can't remember it being this hot in ages." Granted, this is the first time he's been in the Land of Fire in near over a decade. Maybe he just forgot.
"Yeah, I think so. It's been a long time, but… yeah." He squints at the phrasing of 'yum', before snickering. "Did you just say 'yum' when talking about your stud— no, never mind." He raises his hands up in defence. "Where does Aburei live these days?"
"Can't I say yum when I think about getting two handsome men in the room with me?" Mushi asks with a mischievous smile. Then she waves that away with her hand. "But no I don't think of Aburei-kun that way. He'll always be my young student, even when I'm 70 and he's 60 something." She passes the jug of water to Goh. It's not water though. It's a sweet, crisp alcohol. The kind that bubbles up in the stomach and doesn't hit as much as hard liquor. There's something almost floral in the scent. Mushi eats a plum in a few bites, and then another one just as quickly. The third she nibbles on. "It is unreasonably hot," she says. "For Konoha. But you should wait till we go to Suna. Maybe we should travel towards Iwa…or Kumo." She smiles. She already seems to have forgotten about Aburei. She shrugs. "Who knows. We'll run into him eventually. Or I can have Kirameki find him."
"Maybe we should head to Sunagakure first." Goh suggests, wading back from the deep and into the shallows to take a sip from the jug. Just lightly, of course. So he can experience the flavours as they were intended to. After a few mouthfuls he hands it back to Mushi, before swimming back out and into the deeper ends. Obviously he's content to just be in the water for now. "We need to swing by my place anyway. All of my shinobi gear is stored there. Now that I'm back in business, I need to pick it back up. With any luck, Reiko will still be there. Guarding the hovel, just like I asked her. I haven't seen her since I left, y'know." Swimswimswim.
"There's no hurry with these things." He offers. "What did you say? One step at a time. Some of the stuff I got for the caravan also demands that I deliver to Sunagakure eventually. And I'd like to thank Itami while we're there. She was the one who recommended the Doc, right?"
Mushi rolls her eyes. "You're complaining about the heat here, but this is a bit of warmth compared to what you'll get in Suna," she says. She studies him for a few moments. "But I see what we're getting at. And we do owe Itami-san. I don't know how the Kazekage knew Taiki-kun specialized in repairing chakra networks, but it's a lucky thing she did." She puts a tender hand on Goh's shoulder. That had been a nerve wracking thing to watch. Somehow it was worse, standing on the sidelines rather than helping out. "I need to get better. And yeah, we need to get to Suna next." She glances at Konoha. "Did you know we've traveled to the two countries that have banished me at one time or the other? Both in Kiri and Konoha. Heh. But I asked extra nice later, and they let me back."
"'Banned' is such a subjective term." Goh pines with a smirk, getting out of the water and sitting down on the rock near Mushi. He drips all over the heated stone, but the weather is so warm that it quickly evaporates. His shoulder will be cool to touch though, made that way by the water he was just passing through. "But yeah, it's funny how that turned out, huh? It must be nice for you to head to a place that doesn't forbid you from entering its borders."
Shaking his hand clear of water for a bit, he reaches into the basket and withdraws a sandwich. Chewing on the white bread, he thinks. "Yeah, that's a good question." Said with his mouth full, of course. "I guess as the Kazekage, Itami knows all the big players in the world. In case of emergency or something?" Pause. "Hey, do you know what happened to Sousa? Is he still around?" Already his upper body is nearly dry again, despite having just getting out from the pond. Crazy heat is crazy!
"Even if banned is a subjective term, I don't think there's much alternative meaning for the Hokage saying it." She sighs. "To tell you the truth I'm not too proud of what I did. In fact I'm deeply ashamed. I tried to help a boy by using a sealing technique to isolate his condition. Instead, it went badly wrong and he died." She glances at Goh. "He was a shinobi of Konoha. To atone I helped them with a mission that got us in a fight. That's why I was banned from my medical center."
She splashes the water with her feet and takes the jug to drink a few more swallows. "Sousa-kun? He's doing just fine. He just decided to retire and leave Suna to the next generation. It's one of the nicer successions. Insted of, y'know, killing your predecessor. Kiri has a fifth Mizukage now."
"Don't let Daisuke ruffle your feathers, lovely." He offers helpfully, giving her a small pat on the back. "He's just a grumpy kid. Always has been." All this talk about knowing he Hokage's and Kazekage's /before/ they were at such a place makes the pickler feel a bit old, but he shrugs if off. "And yeah, I remember you telling me about it. Do you remember what I told you?" He queries, finishing his sandwich. "One mistake is not enough to condemn anyone, especially if their heart is in the right place. You shouldn't have been banned. That's overkill." Goh's face sours at the idea. "If I was there, I would have whipped his butt into shape." He nods definitively. "I guess it's all history though now. He saw the light."
When Mushi is done, Goh takes the jug and takes some mouthfuls too. "Sousa is one of the few guys that I see as a true Kage." With alcohol now fuelling him, he's beginning to lose sense. "Does that make sense? I don't know. He's always seemed so … grand. In control. Wise. Powerful. Out of reach. Nothing against Itami, of course." His head dips down in another nod. "Yeah, that's true. Nice not to have blood shed. So what did you get up to this morning, anyway?"
"Daisuke-kun is so full of himself it's a surprise he doesn't swell up and float away," Mushi says with a sigh, as if she's lost a beloved keepsake. "I've tried to speak with him, but he hasn't made any time for me at all. Maybe it's because I don't have my bijuu anymore. Or maybe it's because he's too lazy to get off his…eh well. You're right. What a grump."
Mushi grins at his assessment of Sousa. "Maybe you're right," she says, "but he's even more unassuming than me. We had an exhibition match, and I'd barely put a scratch on him before he conceded. I conceded at the same time. There was no way I was walking away with that much attention. A mere wanderer defeating the Kazekage? He really needs to…I dunno. Spar more. Yeah." She grabs the jug back to drink some of it. "Do you like it? I made it. I've been working on how to create it for months."
"There you go." Goh muses, playfully shoving Mushi in the shoulder when she rants about her frustrations. It was always good to vent! "That just adds to it though, doesn't it? With Sousa, I mean. No-one really knows how strong he is, and that adds to the myth of who he is. Maybe he doesn't spar because if he puts in any effort that requires moving more than his pinky finger, he will just blow everyone away." Goh smirks, taking a bit into an apple. When Mushi reaches to grab the jug though, Goh holds it from her! And just like that, he takes a few more gulps. "I do like it. You /made/ it?"
That news nearly knocks the pickler on his butt. "Mushi, that's incredible!" He hands the jug over at this point. "Can you make it in large doses, you think? We could bundle it with my pickled vegetables and make heaps at the markets, I reckon."
Mushi smiles. "I suppose it does add to his mystique," she says. "I've always wanted to find a good sparring partner. Why not a Kage? I've found I can beat most Jounin. Any Jounin in fact. But Kages are supposed to be the supreme shinobi." She looks a bit dreamy, as if she's daydreaming about what clothes or jewels she might want to buy.
That dazed look lasts until he mentions her alcohol as a marketable product. She laughs. "That's silly," she says. "It's just something I made informally. It's not that great. But thanks for saying so. That's very sweet." She sticks a hand in the pool and splashes some water up at him.
"Not silly at all." Goh protests, lifting a finger up. "In fact, that clear cutting booze is probably the perfect compliment to the pickled vegetables! We could bundle them up as packages, with little ribbons tying them together!" The ideas are hitting thick and fast now. Drunken ideas, but ideas nonetheless. "G&M's Pickled Booze Shop!" The man is now on his feet, casting a forlorn look into the distance. Into the sunset, if it was that time of day. "…it will be just marvellous." Yep. He's drunk. At least tipsy.
When he's splashed, the pickler reels in mock horror. "Water! My one weakness!" Before then splashing her back. "Come on," He encourages. "We need to start our heading."
Mushi rubs her chin in thought. "Well it would make those pickled vegetables taste more bearable," she says. Her tone is casual. She really doesn't like pickled vegetables, despite Goh's deep enthusiasm for them. Not to mention it's his trade. "It wouldn't hurt to have a bit more spending money too. Hmm…but no. We'll do it. I can make it in bulk. But there's no way we're calling it G&M's Pickled Booze Shop." She shudders.
She ducks to shield herself from the worst of the water. "Your one weakness," she says. "I thought riding vehicles was. Vehicles…or birds." She grins, remembering that flight they had. "But I joke. Let's just relax for the day." And they'd do just that.