Date: June 18, 2015
This wedding planning is getting out of hand! Vendors from all across Sunagakure and even from afar have come to have their wares tested by Itami, hoping that their trip wasn't completely in vain. Besides, she invited them all here, right? She's got to choose something! Well, thanks to two meddlesome kids and a particulaly meddling mother, she's in far over her head and doesn't know how to get out. There might be some boon to all of this, Kaidan was invited also. What does he think of all this, anyway? Maybe this might not be so bad after all…
"Wedding Bells - Try Somethin' Will Ya?!"
As the wedding planning for the wedding of century continues, Jiro tries to get more involved because, well, this
is fun! And it's obvious quite torturous for Itami which increases the fun factor ten fold. So, in an effort to, ahem,
'help', Jiro had gathered together a bunch of different vendors so that they can do the best part of wedding planning
ever. Food sampling! Various food vendors and shop owners from all around Suna and even some from outside the Village
have come at the invitation, bringing small samplings of their best foods for people to nibble on and taste test. All
thanks to Jiro! Of course he had signed Itami's name on the invitations, but hey, that's neither here nor there. As for
costs…well, bill it to the Village. Not every day the Kage gets married.
With everyone all prepared and such Jiro had let Kotone know to bring Itami so that they can all sample. Of
course if some others 'accidently' got invited (like Kaidan) then oh well! The groom prospects should have a say in the
"WHEN DID HE LEARN TO FORGE SIGNATURES?!" Itami's voice boomed. All of this was on the village tab?! She
snatched the papers that were presented to her and tore them in half prior to torching them with a fireball. "That was a
bit dramatic, don't you think?" Kotone questioned. "No, that wasn't dramatic, that was rage. How is all of this going to
be covered?" Itami could rip her hair out at any moment now. "You should relax. Just the other day, you were pale in the
scales and now you're almost literally on fire." Kotone lifted her hand and dabbed her fingers with her tongue to put out
the flame that settled in on her sleeves. "Weddings tend to be a bit pricey, after all. You wouldn't even believe. I've
helped out on plenty of weddings, largely designing clothing for those involved, but I've done other things too.
Honestly, what's happening here is normal. Besides, everyone seems to be excited about the prospect of you finally
finding a mate."
Itami tried to suck in all the rage she just outed and sigh it back out in a cool breath. "I haven't found
anyone yet. That's the thing. How are we setting up a wedding for someone who is not present?" Kotone chuckled. "You
never know. Some people just…pop up. That's how it happened with your father and I. Anyway, we've arrived, so now it's
time to test out some food and see what you like." Itami entered shortly after Kotone and witnessed an entire field of
vendors just waiting for her to try their food. She had to admit, it certainly smelled good here, but now she was sick to
her stomach. "We'll be here for hours…" She whispered aloud, growing intimidated by what's taking place here.
Walking into the area, kind of missing Itami and Kotone as he walks by, Kaidan walks straight for Jiro, "What is
this all about, Lil' Britches?!" He asks angrily as he approaches the boy, "I am hearing nothing but rumors about the
Kage getting married and one of my friends is asking me if he can be my best man?" He blinks as he walks straight for the
boy, "I don't recall any wedding in the making and when I ask him who is spreading this, your name came up." He attempts
to snatch the boy up by the back of the shirt and eyes him, "So, why would your name come up with all this mess, huh?" He
looks around and notices everything that is happening and then looks at the boy, "And here I find you right smack dab in
the middle of all this. Stealing is one thing but you are seriously cruisin', boy."
Arika may or may not have helped Jiro with signing Itami's name. After all, she had gotten to see the Kazekage's
signature quite a few times because sometimes Ping leaves certain documents out… The girl is hopping around all the
food vendors, looking especially at the ones that sell mochi. Yummy! When she gets back to Jiro's side, her hands are
full of food samples, a few of which she offers to Jiro. "Kai-kun! Are you gonna help with all the picking and all? I got
Ayumu-san to come, but I dunno if he'll be in time." Pout. "But you're more around anyway, so I think you and Itami-sama
will work out better, anyway."
"So it would seem," a nearby vendor murmurs in response to Itami's whispered lament. "But perhaps, 'seem' is
precisely what you might want." The vendor holds out an assortment of jewelry and speaks to her in a louder voice.
"Kazekage-sama, would you be so good as to consider my humble wares? I am prepared to offer you a steep discount, merely
for the honor of increasing your radiance upon your special day." The vendor bows his head, conveniently obscuring his
lips within his hood as he resumes murmuring. "While I enjoy an increased focus upon my own pursuits these days, even I
could not help but hear of such an extravegant undertaking. You know, if you were to marry, they'd probably ask me to
be Kazekage again, at least temporarily. Would you care for some manner of…diversion?"
Jiro is a thief and a street rat! Not all thieving just involves taking what's obvious! Plus, he obviously had
Arika to help and, well, some of the seal training works wonders for his penmanship and copying skills. The boy scrunches
up his face when he sees Arika with a bunch of samples, "'ey, make sure ya save some fer obaa!" Then there's that angry
Kaidan approaching at Jiro turns to grin widely at him, only to be picked up by the scruff of his shirt. Grumble. The kid
crosses his arms over his chest defiantly. "We're 'elping obaa ta get married. 'er mama is here ta help too. An' yer the
best one I could think'a cause you an' obaa get along good." He doesn't seem at all frightened of the puppet man. "Jus'
sample stuff an' mark it on 'ere wha'cha like best," he adds, pulling a list that unfolds a good four feet and handing it
to Kaidan, along with a pencil.
When Itami and Kotone enter Jiro spies them, grin widening a bit as he makes a handseal and *poof!* Kaidan is
holding a small plate of samples instead of a boy. Trained him too well, you did. "'ey!" He says, waving as he jogs over
to the two ladies, handing them each their own lists before pointing over to the closest table. "Start there!" He gives
Itami a little shove to get her moving, completely unaware of her prior anger at the situation.
"I…I suppose I could," Itami remarked in a defeated manner. Kotone brimmed with happiness. "Now you're getting
it! Accepting defeat and surrendering will get you far!" Itami sniffled and muttered under her breath about breaking
necks as she approached the booth filled with jewelry. "These are some good pieces, I must admit," she plucked one of the
offered pieces and took a look at it. "I could go with a splash of color. The color currently adorning my lips would be
nice. A turquoise perhaps…I might even consider dying my hair to compensate—wait, wait a minute what is going on
here?" Kotone slid closer. "Your loss. Both in the battle and this war," she snickered. "You're actually considering
things now! I'd say I'm getting closer to my victory." Itami grumped.
Jiro's call doesn't go unheard by Itami and the rage she stuffed away was beginning to boil back up to the
surface once more. "You! You are responsible for all of this!" She found a list shoved into her hand and watched it
unfurl before her. She sets the jewelry in her hand down as she's shoved off to another table. "Wait, what about that
distraction you mentioned? Can I get it now?" She called to the mystery vendor while being pushed further away.
Distraction? No, diversion, but it seems that moment has passed!
Kotone picks up the piece Itami left behind. "I'd like to get this and a couple others…"
Blinking as he is now holding food, he glares at it before setting it aside. Kaidan follows after Jiro and
growls, "Come back here, punk!" He then glances down as he nearly walks over top of Arika. He sighs and stares at her, "I
don't know what has gotten into you two but this needs to…" He then looks up and then starts past her, "Itami, what is
going on here?!" He states in a rather rushed manner as he walks toward her, "I mean, honestly, I know that…" He looks
around and then clears his throat as he moves closer to her, "…I hadn't planned for things to progress this far this
quickly." He then looks around, "It isn't like I'm going to die tomorrow or something." He nods his head before looking
at Jiro and then at her, "Besides, isn't the man supposed to intitiate these kinds of ceremonies?"
Arika grins happily. "We're making sure the food will be perfect for the wedding! I mean you and Itami-sama still
gotta do all that normal stuff, but you'll eventually get married, right? Then you can have kids and adopt me and Jiro-
kun! It'd be super fun!" She nods a bit, then bounds over to Itami, climbing atop the Watanabe's back. "Itami-chan! You
should try this!" she says, offering a stick of lizard meat to the Kage.
The vendor chuckles. "As you wish," he responds, to both Kotone and Itami. He puts the jewelry down and sweeps
his hood back. "My apologies dear lady, I have a naughty little habit of gaining my first impressions of people before
they know who I am, but I believe I have already seen enough in the care you have for your daughter. Allow me to
introduce myself, I am Shodai Kazekage, Kokoroe Sousa. In terms of relation to Itami-sama, I was formerly her direct
superior in the chain of command." Sousa makes to clasp Kotone's hand between both of his. "Your daughter has been and
continues to be a most precious gem in the crown of Sunagakure, brilliant, sharp-edged, and ungrazable. It warms my heart
to hear she may soon achieve such great happiness." Sousa glances over toward Itami with a light sigh. "Indeed, I have
occasionally thought looking at her, were I but twenty years younger…" Sousa looks back to Kotone. "…or conversely,
were she but twenty years more advanced." ;)
The vendor at the first table bows with a flourish as Itami nears (willingly or pushed by a pipsqueak). "My dear
great Kazekage, please allow me to introduce you to some delicacies from afar." The man holds out a small platter with
five different finger foods on it. "This one is made from the finest salmon, seared and glazed with a light sweet sauce.
Next to that is yellowtail smoked and with a bit of a spice. This here is from only the best hand raised buffalo, grilled
to perfection over oaken chips. Next to that we have wild turkey, sauteed in only the finest of teriyaki. And lastly we
have eggs of the extremely rare blue tail fish. Raw, of course, and served atop a small bed of the finest rice in all the
countries." Another bow as he holds the plate out for Itami to try each of the dishes of what sounds to be a very, /very/
Jiro leaves Itami there to grab Kaidan and tug on his sleeve to pull him over to another plate of the same
selection at the table. "You'n Itami are gonna get marrie', an' I'm gonna be there! Tha' other guy doesn' get ta be yer
best man. Tha's me." Yep, he's already decided, first off, that it's Kaidan that will marry Itami, and that he is in the
wedding party. Lucky ducks!
Itami took a look at the fried lizard and she choked back a gag. "I think I'll pass…" She cleared her throat.
She decided to draw closer to the vendor with the sample platter. That might help her take her mind off that lizard. Poor
thing… "These all look…very good," she picked up the salmon and tried it, nodding in approval of the flavor. "I think
I'll consider that salmon…" She states and looks at the list she has on hand to check it off. "Kaidan!" She called his
name in response to his question. Her cheeks were still puffed with food in them when he inquired about what's going on.
She quickly swallowed it and continued, "I…I don't know what's going on. Everyone is planning for a wedding," she
shrugged cluelessly and perhaps a bit of shame. "I didn't expect things to go this far either," she whispered harshly,
still trying to get used to all this activity. "The man should have initiated, but…things are a bit…different for
Watanabe. In my clan both men and women can initiate. Usually it's the women, but men are evening the odds," she rubbed
her neck and chuckled sheepishly.
Meanwhile! "Getting to know someone isn't a crime. I may need to take some lessons from you," Kotone smiled at
Sousa. "The idea that I can capture first impressions by disguising myself? I'd have never thought it," she lofted a brow
at her clasped hand. "Hearing Itami described like that is refreshing. She's been the opposite for so long I never
thought she'd become polished. To know that she's been a gem that's had the chance to be refined her is just uplifting
for me. You do appear to be quite the charmer, certainly a way with words. You're not half bad," she chuckled. "I'm
certain I'd have been in hot pursuit of you had I known of you, but I don't tend to visit these parts often. I see
there's a variety to choose from here…"
Glancing at Jiro, Kaidan considers taking the kid on a long mission off a short pier. He then clears his throat,
"Yeah…sure…" He states and then looks back at Arika for a moment. Even Sousa in disguise gets a glance before he
looks back to Itami. Kaidan hears what she states and then tilts his head, "So, is this some kind of subtle hint then?
Cause it ain't subtle." He nods his head before looking to the side at Sousa and that woman with him. Kaidan then clears
his throat and then looks at this whole thing, "I'm not sure I'm quite ready for all this." He nods his head before
looking at Arika and Jiro, "I don't know how this got started but it certainly has gotten out of hand." He then takes
some food and eats it before blinking and scrunching up his face. He looks at what he just ate, "Is…is that eggs
Arika shrugs and chomps on her food, moving onto fried ice cream Michu. She has no idea how that works, but it's
delicious! "I can pick out desserts!" she yells to Itami, going off to sample some cakes and passing Kaidan in the
process. "Itami-chan's mom visited and wanted her to get married, so we're helping! Also, I wanna be Itami-chan's
whatever it is! Best woman?" Yeah, she knows a lot about weddings, clearly…
"You flatter me, madam," Sousa chuckles, moving around the table without letting go of Kotone's hand. He tucks it
over his forearm and makes for a little stroll around the sampling area…at a tangent to the path Itami took. Not
blatantly away, but enough to start putting some distance between them. "Indeed, Sunagakure is a thriving center of
diversity. Many would expect that it would be lacking due to its location in the midst of the desert, but it is precisely
because of its distinction as one of the very few large oases of civilization in this vast expanse that it draws so many
of the Land of Wind's nomadic cultures, and with them their delicacies. Come, you must try this pheasant breast, it has a
very unique yet understated piquancy…"
Jiro gives Kaidan a sagely nod before he looks around, scrunching up his face a bit as takes in the the couple
dozen different food vendors in the immediate area. They need to hurry it up or all the food's gonna be cold! Hrm. Jiro
turns on Itami and tugs her sleeve. "Try'm all an' hurry, cause there's lots more ta go." He then turns to Kaidan,
frowning when he hears the whole 'not ready' bit. He uses a bit of chakra to jump up and bops Kaidan on the head from
behind. "Yer ready." He states simply as he lands. Before Kaidan has a chance to catch him he's off again, skittering to
a stop in front of Arika and scrunching his face at her. "Don' eat all'a the desserts! They still 'ave ta try 'em. You
c'n only have yer part." He says, handing her a sheet to start marking foods off too. Then he's gone again, appearing in
front of Sousa and Kotone and grinning up at them before depositing the long lists and pencils in their hands whether
they want it or not. And then he disappears again! This time to start shoving Itami towards the next table. Sheesh, this
is so much work! Of course almost every time he vanishes and reappears there's some food missing from /somewhere/. Gotta
love that brevity.
"Ah, yes, that is the eggs. A delicacy and extremely rare good sir. Each portion costs only five hundred ryo
which is an extremely good deal, I assure you." The man waits until they try all of the different samples before giving
another flourish as they're pushed off to the next location. The next one isn't quite so delicacy oriented and has a
number of barbecued and fried animal bits in different glazes.
Itami shook her head. "This wasn't my doing. If I intended to have you as mine, I'd have made it known when I
felt it was right," she admitted. "I can't say I'm ready for all of this either, but now it's gotten started and I don't
quite know how to stop it," she states. "On one hand, it doesn't have to be you who is the suitor. On the other hand,
they have a number of other names on their list…" She pressed her fingers together slowly. "Would you like some
yellowtail? I've already tried the salmon and checked it off?" She offered some food from her sample platter in an
attempt to break this tension she was currently experiencing.
Kotone accepted Sousa's invitation for a stroll. Unspoken gestures are a art and he has it nailed. She walked
along with him, listening in earnest to his words. "You know, the same could be said of the Watanabe. Few truly
understand how the clan functions and it's no surprise. The clan isn't known to be entirely open, but each branch is
distinctly different. My daughter and I are of two different branches. Despite the differences between each of them, they
all contribute in their own way to one another. I imagine that's how these villages work here," she remarks. "So, this
pheasant. I can't say it's anything I've tried before, but the way you describe it already has me sold…"
Itami feels a tug at her sleeve and soon some shoving. "Alright, alright, I'm going. I'll go and sample all
these others if it helps," she states. She gives the okay to the vendor she just left to ensure them their food was good
and was in the running in the midst of all her pushing. "What's this one all about?" She questioned once she arrived at
the booth. They looked to be pretty good. Granted, she isn't much of a discriminator against food…"Barbecued animal in
A blink and he glares at JIro before sighing and then looking over to the others. He watches the directions the
boy moves before looking back to Itami with another blink. He then smirks, "You didn't look like you were thinking of any
other suitors last week at the springs." He tilts his head and nods before taking some yellowtail. He then looks Itami
over as if he were thinking about something…else. He then looks at the food and then grins at her, "WEll, whatever,
might as well enjoy the ride." He nods his head, "I know you…" He then looks at her and then takes a bite of yellowtail
leaving the last bit unsaid and then starting off, "Hey, Arika, wait up. I'm going to try some desert for comparison to
another desert I ate last week." He then looks back at Itami and grins at her. She thinks she can tease him with the idea
of other suitors, huh? He then just walks off.
Arika starts checking off most of the desserts she had tasted, then climbs so that she's perched atop Kaidan and
pointing him in the right direction of yummy food. "Over there is fried mochi ice cream. And they have iced milk tea over
there. And Takoyaki over there, but that's yucky. Don't eat it." Otherwise Gyuki will be mad at her. "And then there's
some fancy cake makers over in that stall over there. And some tiny sandwiches with cucumbers. I didn't like them, cuz
they have veggies. Over there is-" And she continues to babble about the different foods while Jiro nudges Itami in his
own way, occasionally zipping around to steal some food for himself.
"Ah, fascinating," Sousa remarks when Kotone brings up her clan's culture. "I fancy myself a scholar, you know,
and few things please me more than learning of the unique and exceptional. You really must tell me more about your clan
as we continue sampling. Here, try this gelatin next, I believe it should go nicely with the pheasant's aftertaste…" So
saying, Sousa gradually leads Kotone away to give Itami time to…regain control? Escape? Find a husband between bites?
Whatever she's gonna do, better take advantage of the chance. X)