Date: June 27, 2013
Yuriko meets Kiyoshi for the first time, and even takes him by surprise a few times.
"The Beginning of Friendship"
Boneyard Gardens [Kirigakure]
Boneyard Gardens [Kirigakure]
As you enter the gardens from the street, you realise that the curved white fence-posts with the strange-seeming cross-baring between them are large, curved rib bones; Likely from a whale, if their size is any judge. Within the walled off area, however, the ground is rich and lush; Tall fruit trees, staggered so that during any given season at least a few of the barrier-ring of trees would be in bloom and part giving fruit, rest covered with a network of creeping vines along the trunks. The ground seems almost carpeted by herbal beds full of mint, garlic, any number of things that one can imagine are likely here, growing.
The area seems to be a large, circular space; Trees at the far outside, concentretic rings of herb beds, and then a ring of low to the ground fruit-bushes. Where the ground is visable, it seems that the dirt has a strange consistancy, like light, bleached woodchips. In the center of this large garden is a grassy field, perhaps 60 feet across, at the very center of which is a water fountain; Upon the fountain's central pillar, in very small text, lists of names are written. When you find the name of someone who you had heard died within the last few months, you realise the morbid truth; This place of lush, nurtured growth is a graveyard.
Clouds lingers throughout the land of water as the sun begins to set, not that it seems to make much of a difference to one young villager. A makeshift rope swing has been set up in the Boneyard Gardens from one of the taller trees and the little Kaguya girl swings on it happily, her snowy bangs falling into her eyes as she giggles, trying to swing higher and higher with each pump of her legs.
Another day, another chance to bite into that disgusting yet pleasing sandwich called life. Thankfully on this fine, cloudy day a nugget of goodness could be found in the form of no training, no missions, and no bothersome brothers for Kiyoshi to deal with. However, while bereft of the usual distractions the young Kirryu found himself wandering aimlessly throughout the village; only vaguely aware of news of prior trouble circling the village. "Tut. Of course here," He murmured upon belatedly pausing in his travels to really take a look around. Boneyard Gardens a.k.a Sl-Work Camp as he knew it better. He sighs. Then almost turned to leave, but is stopped by the sound of giggling further ahead. Curious yet irritated as well, Kiyoshi went to investigate discretely until the source lies just a few meters and a lone, thin tree away from him.
Yuriko giggles again as she swings, the fabric of her kimono parted about her legs as she pushes for longer and farther swings. The wind in her light and silky hair and against her face almost made it feel as if she was flying. Her tiny fingers grip at the rope tighter and leaning back her weight swings her forward, becoming so close that she could touch the sky. This lasted several moments, oblivious to the world around her, though eventually the young girl ceases pumping her legs and allows the swing to slowly come to an eventual stop on her own. Her snowy, wavy bangs fall into her vivid blue green eyes as Yuriko looks up at the cloudy sky, spying streams of golden light between the creases of clouds.
The visor set in Kiyoshi's mask reveals nothing about the genin except the world around view before him. The shield however cannot hide everything, least of all the full effects of the sight before him being transmitted by a tighter grip on the tree and nervous shifting in place. Vaguely, Kiyoshi remembered seeing such open joy, an expression free of any cares about the world. None of it involved him directly. This… made him angry. Angry enough in fact to even boldly break from cover and begin to approach the Kaguya from just barely within her peripheral. As he came closer the heavy foot falls and swish of branches whipping back into place as he brushed past began to diminish gradually. Albeit, not because he slowed down or encountered less…
Holding onto the rope of the swing, Yuriko quietly kicks her feet back and forth as she gazes up at the sky thoughtfully, her mind wandering perhaps until the apparent footfall of someone approaching pulls her back to earth. She blinks her rich aquamarine eyes up at the boy and blinks a second time with open surprise. Everyone she knew was so much older than she was after all, and the students in the academy normally avoided her because their parents didn't want there to be any problems with Yuriko's mother. Not that the young girl was aware of this. She watches him for a pause before smiling brightly, swiftly reaching up to push back her wavy bangs from her face as she pushes herself up to her feet. "Hi! Do you want a turn on the swing?"
Kiyoshi starts and loses his tongue in the process. So, for the first few moments he just awkwardly stares at Yuriko before turning his head away and folding his arms across his chest. "N-naw. S'alright. Not much of a swinger," He replied softly. Then slipped into another awkward moment of silence before clearing his throat as he turned back to face Yuriko. "Could.. uhm.. I could push tho' if ya want?" The youth adds, feigning calmness but still bearing an uncertain edge behind his tone despite the effort. While waiting for a response Kiyoshi's mud brown eyes roam over the young girl's form before him. NOT for any lecherous reasons, but purely out of curiosity. For some reason Yuirko seemed familiar somehow. Weird.
Blinking at the boy, Yuriko curiously tilts her head for a brief moment while he awkwardly stares at her in return. He sure was a strange one. "Oh." So he doesn't want to swing with her. Oh well. The small look of disappointment was brief as he offers to push her instead, a smile brightening her face. "Sure." Her tiny hands take the rope as she lowers herself into the swing. "My name is Kaguya Yuriko-chan! What's your name?" As he looks over her, Kiyoshi inspects the pale fabric of her kimono, the light blue and pale pink flowers embroidered into it and long sleeves enveloping her arms that her hands practically disappear inside of them.
"Mm.. Moto. Moto, Kiyoshi-san." He replied hesitantly, gaze belatedly returning to meet Yuriko's own briefly before he drifted behind her while she settled in. Those tiny hands of hers are given a dubious look at first; especially given how over-sized her Kimono seemed. But after a short little mental debate he conceded and gentle placed his hands behind her back. The start up push he gives her is a little weak, his fear accidentally hurting her thanks to all the strength training kicking in. Disappointed yet reinvigorated by the failure, he pushes harder with enough force to send her breathtaking high and fast if she's not prepared.
"Kiyoshi-san." Yuriko giggles his name. He may be strange but at least he was friendly. Gripping the rope, she waits for the pressure of hands to push at her back, surprised that the first barely even nudges her before she's abruptly pushed especially hard. Her voice becomes a squeal of delight as she holds on, giggling while she's sent up high enough that she could almost touch the sky. "This is fun, Kiyoshi-san!" Wind wisps through her snowy hair as she looks back behind her, just as the swing begins descending. "Be careful! I'm coming back!"
The squeal nearly gives Kiyoshi a heart attack; but thankfully, the laughter that quickly follows puts him back at a semblance for ease. A small smile soon blooms unbidden. He did alright, no, he did better than alright! Before his heart could seen him to far from the present, Yuriko's call drags him back down to earth. Primed and ready, Kiyoshi bears down and grins by the gask mask. He could do it! All it takes is a little faith, careful timing, and — then swing with its occupant crashes straight into his chest; sending the poor genin stumbling back flailing for balance until gravity finally wins. It is official. The curse of eternal bad luck has yet to be lifted. "… Figures…" Kiyoshi mutters bitterly under breath, still laid out and thoughtlessly rubbing where bod met board.
The sudden impact sends the boy backwards to stumble before falling onto his back on the ground. "Kiyoshi-san!" Yuriko instantly hops out of the swing and is on her feet, hurrying to lean over where the boy lays. Her wispy snowy locks fall around her face as she does, her face hovering above him. "Are you okay? I didn't mean to do that… I'm sorry Kiyoshi-san." She frowns with worry as she looks him over. "Are you hurt anywhere?"
Sometime between the fall and Yuriko jumping off the swing Kiyoshi had closed his eyes. Thus, when he next open them and spied white locks and bright aquamarine eyes so close in view Kiyoshi audibly gulped and went stock still. Eventually her words are belatedly registered; but, beyond a shake of the head he could do little more for a while more. "Hnn, fine. Heal pretty quick." He murmured, then again with less of a nervous tinge to his voice. "Can you, move away a bit?" He asks, silently hopeful for quick reply so that he could at least sit up in a more dignified fashion. If allowed to make it that far the youth would turn to regard Yuriko, and then calmly pet her head to try and ease the tension.
Relief brightens her expression before the young girl quickly obeys, leaning back to plop onto her backside. The light pat to her head was unexpected, but she doesn't turn away from it, her innocent smile growing. "I don't think you've had much practice pushing people on swings. Do you want to play another game instead, Kiyoshi-tan?"
Kiyoshi withdrew the hand and let it fall in his lap. He groans and bowed his head in defeat at the honorific but doesn't bother correcting Yuriko. Something told him that doing otherwise would just lead them both in a circle. "Hnn… What game did you have in mind?" He asked curiously after turning to lock his gaze upon the swing.
Yuriko blinks her bright eyes, snowy bangs falling into her eyes as her head tilts thoughtfully for a moment or so. "Mm, we could play hide and seek. Or… blow bubbles. Or… do chalk drawings. Or…" she frowns deeper with thought, for a faction of an instant before she beams brighter. "We could do play with swords. I'm really good at that. Mommy plays with me all the time and says I'm getting better." The girl giggles as she lifts a hand to rub at the back of her snow white head. "She says I'll be allot better than all the other students when I go to the academy. But I just hope I can make friends."
Kiyoshi quirked a brow and mulled over each suggestion as they came to light. The longer he had to think the brighter the smile and the more furious the idle tapping at his shin became. "Huh?" Just like that, the train of happiness is derailed by honest to goodness confusion over the last suggestion. He canted his head to the side as if to say 'Are you serious?' then righted it, bowed his head, and grumbled a little. "Swords aren't for play'n around you know." He stated bluntly. "'nd the academy ain't for making friends too. Least, not last I checked." He added bitterly.
The young girl tilts her snowy head at him as she blinks her vivid aquamarine eyes, her expression blank for a moment before the smile returns. "Then you don't know how to play swords. That's alright." She knew better in this particular instance. Obviously she isn't convinced or dissuaded by his comments about not making friends at the academy either. Yuriko frees her hands from their sleeves and plants her hands on the ground, leaning forward towards Kiyoshi as her smile brightens. "How about you be my friend then? We don't have to play swords if you don't want."
Kiyoshi chuckled and almost countered with a scathing remark; but in the end, he holds it back after settling for the belief that Yuriko was just too naive. As he had begun to turn away after settling on dismissal, Yuriko manages to give him pause by stretching out a hand. He simply stares at dubiously and canted his head slightly to the side in bemusement. "Wha—" He starts to interrupt, only to choke on the unfinished word at Yuriko's offer. He was a little more than just taken aback. Kiyoshi was practically struck dumb.
"You… You want me? To be, your friend?" Even as he asked the question his mind remained heavily at war with itself. He could not have actually heard her correctly. Right?
Okay, now he's just being strange. Yuriko couldn't help but frown at him with confusion as he repeats what she said, tilting her head as her bangs fall in her face again. "I just asked that, didn't I?" The smile brightens her features when it returns. "And why wouldn't I? You're friendly and you even pushed me in the swing, and didn't get mad at me when I knocked you over. But I think it's too late now." Leaning her weight from her arms, she dusts off her hands before Yuriko pushes herself from her feet and skips the little distance there is to the fountain. Peering her bright eyes over the edge, she climbs onto the ledge and leans forward enough to splash her outstretched fingers through the falling water.
Kiyoshi nodded dumbly on reflex to the first question, but remained locked in place otherwise by the one that came before. When she leaves, Kiyoshi could honestly only numbly follow her movement to the fountain. But in time the paralysis works its way out of his system; aided, in fact, by her placing herself precariously on the edge of the fountain without a care. "Yu-Yuriko-sa..mn.. -chan. What did you mean by its too late now?" He asks haltingly. Then began to meander over to the pool, brushing irritant dust off his clothes and hands along the way.
The hand withdraws and Yuriko glances over her shoulder at him, smiling even brighter when he calls her by 'chan'. She giggles and splashes some water in his direction when he approaches. "Because you're already my friend. Silly." It takes her a full moment, then another before the young girl's expression falls blankly. As if just then realizing that that might be the case. "I mean, only if you want to be."
The young man had an idea of what was to come; but even so, he was still struck speechless upon hearing her reply. Unlike before — and albeit with great difficulty — Kiyoshi managed to quickly shake off the worst of the shock. Then answer warily and quietly, "I… I would not mind that." with his attention focused solely on the fountain to keep from breaking down mid-speech. Concerned, Kiyoshi sneaks a glance at the Kaguya.
The small bit of worry that is seen in her young face is instantly swept away with a warm smile when Kiyoshi accepts. For the most part. "Well that's good." she giggles, shaking off the water that was still on her hand. "Are you hungry? I got a bento box my mommy made for me. I can share if you want."
A blushing Kiyoshi sighed softly in relief. By some miracle he managed to avoid mucking things up. Maybe things are finally looking up for the youth? "Uhm… No, I—" It is in that moment Kiyoshi's stomach decides to interject, reminding its owner of his earlier haste leading requiring that he miss breakfast earlier. Aggravated, Kiyoshi cocks back a hand with the intent on punching the traitor for its insolence. After a moment's pause following the limb being raised the boy sighs in defeat and inclines his head. "Hnn… Just so long as there was a lot. I.. don't wanna… I mean…" He ends up trailing off, grumbling and groaning while rubbing the nape of his neck.
Yuriko blinks her bright eyes at him as he begins to reject her offer, but she clasps her hands over her mouth to hide her smile when his stomach audibly growls with hunger. She plops herself to sit on the edge of the fountain before sliding herself off, the skirt of her kimono rising around her knees until she lands easily on her feet. "At least your tummy is being honest." the little girl smiles at him, abruptly turning around to hurry towards the swing they were just playing with a moment before. Ducking behind a tree, half of her disappears as she digs before reappearing with a box inside of a cloth bag. "Here!" Yuriko giggles and hurries back to the fountain, setting the bag on the edge.
A chance glance up puts the partially uplifted kimono in sight that sends a jolt through the Moto. Why did he suddenly have the urge to rush up and straighten out the darn thing personally? If there was an answer forthcoming by his subconscious, the moment for it would pass in light of the spark of irritation elicited by Yuriko's first statement. He scoffs and considers leaving out of spite at this point while she was busy hunting for the bento. Unfortunately yet fortunately, Yuriko manages to recover it before he could decide; prompting his shoulders to sag before he follows along behind her until the reach the edge of the fountain. "What's in there anyhow?" He asks, peering over her shoulder with his head canted to the side.
Her small fingers work at the knot in the cloth for a moment or so, having difficulty it seems before the girl finally manages to get it unwrapped. Yuriko beams as she pulls off the lid and reveals two rows of neatly organized onigiri. "Rice balls! Yum!" Pulling herself to sit on the edge of the fountain, she smiles happily enough as she reaches for one and extends it for Kiyoshi to take. "Here you go. Have as many as you want." Should he take it, Yuriko reaches into the box and takes one for herself.
Kiyoshi frowns upon seeing the simple lunch. Somehow, and perhaps it had something to do with her being a girl, he had expected something more fancy. Or, dear he thinks, "cute". From his peripheral Kiyoshi spots Yuriko climbing. Thus, he starts to assist; only to end up yanking his hands back behind his back and shaking his head furiously. He stopped with his attention focused elsewhere while all the while hopeful she did not catch him. "Hnn…" He replies distantly before reaching in to grab one. Belatedly does he realizes that there was still one obstacle that existed. One he would have preferred to avoid removing… but reluctantly ended up removing anyhow. With the gas mask fully out of the way Kiyoshi's curly spring green hair bounced in away, now free to breath that fresh Land of Water Air. "Itadakimasu," Is murmured before intelligent, mud brown eyes drew to a close and the first bite is taken.
Yuriko doesn't catch that Kiyoshi had started to try to help her up, oblivious it seems as she settles. When he takes the rice ball from her hand, her smile grows, clearly happy that he was joining her for lunch, though blinks when he removes the gas mask to eat. His brown eyes are more visible now and catch the girl's interest. Then smiling brightly again, Yuriko leans forward and lightly tosses his bangs with her free hand, as if teasing them. "You look good without the mask." she compliments. "Itadakimasu!" Then, she promptly takes a bite out of her rice ball.
Kiyoshi paused mid-second bite and looked towards the girl with a brow raised and cheeks flushed from surprise."… Its not as if wore it to hide my looks," He replies , and then with a roll of his eyes returned to devouring the first rice ball. What remained by the time he is done is cleaned from his fingers and cheeks thoroughly. No point in wasting good rice, or walking around looking like a fool. He "hmm'd" and glanced towards remaining rice balls. Should he take another? "Ah-.." He shook his head, allowing green locks to dance about about before they are once more covered by the genin's gas mask. "… Arigatou gozaimasu, Yuriko-san."