Date: October 12, 2013
Kiyoshi and Yuriko meet Hissori for the first time, and later Hissori is taken in as Yuuka's student.
"Unruly Kids! Kaiju: Chapter 1 Part 1 & 2"
Boneyard Gardens, Academy Barracks, Kaguya Village
Boneyard Gardens [Kirigakure]
As you enter the gardens from the street, you realize 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 visible, it seems that the dirt has a strange consistency, 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 realize the morbid truth; This place of lush, nurtured growth is a graveyard.
That's about all he could do. But that damnable collar the instructors put on him was so darn loud. Kai couldn't see how many there were this time. More than he knew he could take, or even outrun, but he had to try. Lead them away from that other kid that they were picking on.
He found himself in a strange place. There were bones everywhere, and in the midst of curiosity, the pack of wild students follow him there, hot on his trail!
Kaiju has the sense to hide well enough behind a fence he noticed on the side as he ran by, and leapt over it to roll into a crouch as the other kids ran by. Now in front of him was an area that was usually frequented by people coming here to think, or be alone. And now in Kai's case, run away from assailants.
He'd never been out here, so after the other kids run by and disappear behind some other layers in the backdrop of the setting, he gathers the will to stand and take a look around, turning to look at this little area he only got a glimpse of when he jumped over the fence and peeked through to watch the other students dash off looking for him.
The Boneyard Gardens.
The normal training grounds for the littlest Kaguya for as long as she could remember, and for the most part was relatively quiet. The gentle splash of the fountain a constant comfort. A thrown kunai sticks halfway into the trunk of a tree when the first angry voices are heard, giving Yuriko pause enough to glance over her small shoulder at the commotion. A small frown tugs at her pale brow when she sees the group of older kids. They keep running southwards, chasing after something or someone presumably. "Hm."
Weight drops audibly a few yards away, drawing a pair of vivid aquamarine eyes upwards to blink at Kaiju.
Joints pop as Kiyoshi straightens back out with a sigh of relief. As much as he disliked aiding the old grounds keeper for the Boneyard Gardens there was nothing quite as relaxing as the job itself while said old man is away for lunch. No yelling, no pointing, few visitors, and a semi-free lunch all added up to what promises to be a good day. That is of course when things went down hill from there. "Eh? Uugh… What is it now?" He mutters glumly to himself as he turned towards the source of all the racket. As luck would have it they didn't >seem< interested in causing trouble, or more specifically starting up with him as they rushed past, though then again the look he gave to those foolish enough to look towards the gardens may have something to do with it. Until they are far out of sight Kiyoshi stands at attention just ready to help them 'reconsider' tearing through gardens.
The tension eases from his shoulders with their passage. The last spot he tended to his given a lengthy stare down before the masked Genin simply shakes his head and starts to roam in search of one of the few places within the garden that guarantee a restful break.
Kaiju stops dead in his tracks when he sees her. It was a heartbeat away from turning around and heading the other way again. But that was probably stupid to leave the one place that has some sort of refuge in the area that he has found.
Flop. Kai sits down on the ground, reaching to his back and pulling out some gauze, lifting a sleeve of his shirt where some damage to him can be seen. It looks like someone slammed his arm in a door… or hit it with a book or a board of some sort. He starts wrapping the gauze around the forearm, eying the Kaguya girl the whole time like he expects her to scream or come at him or something. She was younger than him, so he assumes she's just in shock of how he looks.
'Kaiju!! We're gonna find you~!' A faint voice from the other side of the trees shouts out.
Kai's head snaps to look towards where the voice comes from, but slowly turns back to watch Yuriko again.
Kaiju blinks at her, and for a moment Yuriko blinks back. It wasn't difficult to put two and two together. The group of boys were chasing after this one in particular. The nameless boy flops on the ground to begin quickly tend to his arm, even as voices of others could be heard calling out to him.
Yuriko makes a face to herself as she glances to Kiyoshi. He wasn't pleased either, but for entirely different reasons. Not that he doesn't normally have that face to begin with, but Yuriko can tell the difference. Exhaling a small breath, she murmurs, "We need to get rid of them somehow."
Kiyoshi slaps the side of his head, silencing the 'little' voice in his head before it could get on a roll again. Unfortunately, this proves more painful than actually effective. Just as he began considering to try and hunt down one of the elder Moto brothers for help, a familiar voice grabs his attention. "Huh? Yuriko-san?" He asks as he meander over for a closer look. Kiyoshi stops short upon sighting the strange boy bandaging himself up before her. "Who is this?" He asks, eyes now narrowed suspiciously at the Kaiju and stance subtly shifted to something more defensive.
When she says what to do with thee other boys, Kai perks up and stops bandaging for a second. It takes him a moment to start again but it was merely to hold the gauze in his mouth, cut it with a kunai, put the kunai away, then the gauze, and then tuck it in beneath itself so it wouldn't fall off and pull his sleeve back down.
Right as he finished he saw Kiyoshi. He stands up rapidly with his hands in front of him defensively with open hands, taking two steps back but backing up into a tree, sliding around and behind it easily, he looks quickly to check where the path was that he kinda skipped to get in here, and sidesteps towards it in front of a big bush. He starts to back out between the two large bones when something happens.
The other kids run from the side, and tackle Kaiju out of sight from Kiyoshi and Yuriko's perspective outside the entrance to the gardens in the street. Two of them could be seen partially. Throwing punches and kicks down at him while the verbal assault begins.
'Little monster runs away, it gets hunted down!'
'A creature so vile, and the heroes destroyed it! Hahaha~!'
'Go ahead, call out for mommy! Scream, cry! Don't just lay there! Fight b—'
The wet crack of fist to face and one of the kids stumbles backward from assumably where Kai punched him in the mouth. It continues.
Kiyoshi wanders closer, and Yuriko shrugs her shoulders at him idly. "I'm not sure. I think its the boy the others were chasing." she murmurs, though when the boy glances up at Kiyoshi, she blinks as she watches him quickly retreating, as if fearful that Kiyo would start to beat him up too. She frowns deeper at this. "Hey, it's okay. He only looks scary." Yuriko tries to reassure him, grinning.
The boy quickly retreats, and Yuri makes a face, giving Kiyoshi a look as if to say she's a little annoyed with the fear they were shown. "You think we should follow him?" The question is mute really. She wouldn't be able to just sit around while someone get beaten up. So when he tries to use trees and bushes to hide behind, she easily follows. And already he's swarmed by other kids. Taking off in a sudden dash, the Kaguya girl slides between Kaiju and the bullies, a hand snatching up to smoothly redirect the thrown punch so that that boy follows through to open air, making him stumble.
"I think it's time for you guys to leave." Yuriko murmurs evenly. The boys would recognize her instantly, seeing as they had been her fellow classmates fairly recently.
Kiyoshi nods absentmindedly in response to the first statement, but kept his gaze upon the boy. At some point he even leans in closer for a better look, though once Yuriko makes a comment about how he 'scary' he looks, the girl earns a mild glare in return. His attention snaps back to the boy when he hears him begin to shuffle away. Aside from lofting a brow in confusion, Kiyoshi does not bother pursuing Kaiju when he gets up to leave. He simply gives Yuriko a glance, wondering and waiting for an explanation, be it by word of mouth or expression.
"Not really." He deadpans, eyes closed as he gave a careless shrug. When there's no response from Yuriko, Kiyoshi opens his eyes to narrow slits, then fully upon seeing the hem of her Kimono disappear around the corner. "Figures." He takes off after Yuriko, mindful all the while to avoid messing up the gardens along the way. Caution costs him the chance to intervene before Yuriko puts herself in danger. He is angry… but rational enough to stick to the background for the time being, arms crossed across his chest and back against the rib marking the entrance.
It isn't enough.
"She has a point ya know. Ya wouldn't wanna catch oji-san's attention now would'ja?"
The kids stop and all start backing up together, looking like a pile of morons as they all try to backpedal away from Kaiju— Well, away from Yuriko and Kiyoshi, the one that seemed to be a leader esque-type stayed for just a moment, wiping his mouth of a bit of trickling blood (he's the one Kai hit in the mouth) 'I'll see you in class tomorrow, freak show."
And he runs off around the corner following his counterparts. The number of them was around five or six.
Kaiju wasn't in terrible shape, but he had marks on his face and dirt on his clothes, which were also ripped at the shoulder of his outer coat and the front of his undershirt. As well his eyes were shut from where someone had grabbed dirt from right next to his head and smeared it in his eyes. He was rubbing his eyes and standing up watching the last boy run. He stood behind Yuriko, but when it was all over, he sat back down in that same seated position and started looking over his own wounds, pulling out that gauze again.
Yuriko narrows her eyes on the leader for a hard moment, as if daring him to try something. Instead, the boy spits out a threat at Kaiju before running away with the others, with tails between their legs more or less.
She scoffs at them before turning away, glancing back to the boy as he plops on the ground. Once more tending to wounds he had gained in the brief moments. Exhaling a small breath, the little Kaguya turns to face towards him and kneels, legs near her chest. Yuriko extends a handkerchief out for him to take. "Here." she offers. "At least you got one punch in. Next time you should try two or three. Or more than that." she giggles.
One, Two, Three — Six in total. That's a large amount of kids that needed to be taught a lesson, but Kiyoshi was confident that he would find the time. In the meantime, there was still the matter of taking care of their victim, or more specifically, making sure said victim doesn't get rough with Yuriko. NOT that Kiyoshi didn't think she couldn't handle herself…
"Or try running faster." He states with a roll of his eyes. "Anyways, mind telling us what that was all about?" He asks, in spite of what his gut was already telling him.
Kaiju looks at Yuriko offering the handkerchief to him. He sets the gauze roll on his thigh and reaches both hands out to accept it, and he bows his head down enough that his temples are between his biceps, taking the kerchief and folding it delicately. It takes him a moment, because he's interrupted by Kiyoshi who asked the all-important question. Kaiju deadpans at Kiyo for a couple seconds, but he just looks down and away for a second, then goes back to following the handkerchief and then takes a corner of it and wipes his eyes and a bruise on his cheek.
He coughs once, and reaches to hold his left side, merely wincing and shutting his eyes hard without a sound. His head snaps up and backward from the pain. Lifting his shirt on that side would show some bruising. Maybe a bruised rib.
Yuriko reaches out to bat at Kiyoshi's leg, giving him a face. "Be nice. He'll be able to defend himself soon enough. I can tell." Even if it was just one punch, it had showed her that Kaiju was willing to fight back. That only means that he need practice at it. She tries to give the boy a smile when he takes the offered handkerchief to try to clean himself off.
The sudden tensing with obvious pain, it makes Yuriko tense as well. He pulls at his shirt and already it was becoming obvious that his whole side was bruised, the purple spreading. Yuriko grumbles unhappily. "If you aren't careful, this can get worse quickly." she mutters.
Kiyoshi stares flatly right back at Kaiju until he looks away, or at least would have if not for Yuriko taking a swipe at his leg. In return Kiyoshi gave guttural growl and muttered, "Whatever." before setting his sights back on the boy. The bruise is no laughing matter. And yet, Kiyoshi feels a snicker rising up. He clears his throat, saving (or perhaps only prolonging) himself from looking like a jerk again. "We mine as well escort him, Yuriko-san." He pushes off the rib, stuffs his hands into his jacket pocket, and then meanders a meter or two down the path the other kids took off in. "That is, if they haven't really gotten their fill yet for one day."
Done wiping his eyes, Kaiju folds the kerchief over the opposite way so no dirt was exposed, and would offer hesitantly it back to her. Gauze around his ribs, and he watches Kiyoshi walk away, eyes narrowing so slightly. But his eyes relax, and his eyes shift from one side to another slowly moving downward in embarrassment. He stands up as quickly as he can with only two stumbling steps to catch himself as he shakes his head and waves his hands in front of him to decline the escort.
Yuriko takes back her handkerchief, and makes a note to wash it later. Pushing herself up to her feet, it takes all of her to resist the natural urge to help the injured boy to his feet, but Kaiju staggers to his feet. Kiyoshi may have suggested the escorting, but Kaiju clearly doesn't want the help. The young Kaguya just shakes her head at the both of them. "Boys are so stubborn." she mumbles to herself. Her bright eyes flick towards Kiyoshi as he heads northwards, hands in his pockets. "And where are you going?"
"I heard that," says Kiyoshi, the boy who couldn't honestly disagree with the notion. As he considered a couple of options, legs thoughtlessly moving with every passing moment, Yuriko's voice cuts through the chatter. Befuddled, he turns back to glance at the duo. Whatever reply she expected form is slow to come for the masked boy, but when he does, a shrug preludes to it. "Figured I'd see bout find some place to take my break." 'And maybe scout ahead to see if those guys are waiting' He spoke, though the last bit he could not bring himself to say. Yuriko already had too many hooks in him as it is. "Ain't like Mute-san there is looking for an escort?"
As the other two spoke, Kai just listens to them, watching how they interact with one another and refer to him. He doesn't respond to her comment about stubbornness in males, but when Kiyoshi says about him not looking for an escort, an arm moves to hold his other arm at the elbow nervously, and he takes a single step with one foot backward, like he was about to start running away again. He looked embarrassed.
Hearing Kiyoshi's reply, Yuriko makes a face at his back before puffing a quick breath upwards, blowing some of her snowy bangs from her face in a grump. Boys. Kiyoshi was stubborn in a way as he was determined to stay mysterious. And that in and off itself was annoying.
Looking back to Kaiju, he surprises her by offering his elbow for her, even as he steps back with a little bit of nervousness. Her bright eyes blink at him for a short moment before she smiles easily. "You don't have to if you don't want. We're just concerned is all." She tries to make him more at ease by extending a small hand from beneath her overgrown sleeve, holding it out for him. "I'm Kaguya Yuriko-tan. You can just call me Yuriko-tan though. And the grumpy head over there is Moto Kiyoshi."
Kiyoshi stayed silent and observant throughout the exchange, unaware that as time progressed, his hands began to curl up into tight fists inside of his pocket. He exhales heavily, venting much of the pent up aggression before he did something he would regret. Now would not be the best time to 'remove' Kaiju — Kiyoshi freezes up, eyes wide in surprise. Bad Kiyoshi. Very baaad. He shakes head as if to sweep away the line of thought, then jerks back up at the sound of his full name being given out. "Ha… Hai…?" He murmurs, wary now that something might of slipped out. A look at the duo assuages him of most of his worries.
Most of them.
"Mine as well accept her help Muto-san. Ain't like your gonna get away otherwise."
Yuriko offers her hand out to him. A gesture that honestly he had never seen before. He tenses and freezes when she does it. A slow, deliberate look to Kiyoshi when he says that Kai should accept the help.
Her hand being out there reminded him of a story that Grampa told him a long time ago. About how his mom and dad had met. It dealt with dad being a knight, mom a warrior princess. He was strong and brave. She was strong and kind. WHen they met, dad's duty was to kiss her on the hand like always happens with knights and princesses.
He reaches out to take Yuriko's hand, and bends down at the waist in a bow and kisses the back of her hand without warning.
"Tokamou Hissori," he says easily just before his mouth touches her hand. "Sumimasen, Kaguya Yuriko-hime, Moto Kiyoshi-sama." He stands back up with a big smile on his face, but he doesn't say another word. His voice monotonous and not noteworthy except something like a fire behind it, as he meant every word.
The young girl blinks her bright blue green eyes as the boy takes her hand, rather than shaking it, he bows and kisses the back of her small hand. Her bright eyes blink once more as she becomes a brighter shade of red. Princess? For a moment she's just speechless, embarrassed by the unexpected greeting as he introduces himself and rises to his feet, still holding onto her hand. "Mm, nice to meet you, Tokamou Hissori. Is… Hissori-tan fine to you?" Yeah, distracted now.
The visor gives away nothing but Kaiju would still feel the elder boy's eyes upon him. There is no feeling to it however. At least not this time. It is not until after he sees the knightly display from Kaiju that his gaze grow more heated. He took a step forward, and then another, ready to lay into Hissori for reasons he didn't quite understand. Before the Moto can reach within striking distance of the younger male, Hissori says something that stops him in his tracks. For moment there Kiyoshi sees the honorific spoken by Hissori as something sincere, and as a result his ego swells.
Then he takes note of Yuriko's expression, officially killing the moment. He stared at them both and fumes. He could not hate Hissori. Not outright like Sei. The younger male has been nothing but meek and kind thus far. Still, he had no intention of standing around a moment longer while Yuriko made googly eyes at Knight-san, so he left as discretely as possible.
A large part of him might regret it later, but by the Kami he needed to put some distance between them now!
He gives a singular nod of approval to her at the name. He had returned to a neutral face now, and he looked at Kiyoshi turning around after he greeted and apologized to them in case he had been a bother to them. He didn't see Kiyoshi smoldering because Kai was kissing a princesses hand and introducing himself in a bow at that moment. So, he lets go of Yuriko's hand, and bows to the leaving Kiyoshi, even if he can't see him. He holds that bow for a few moments, then straightens again. But coming back up so fast he makes a small noise of pain and crouches down, hands shaking as he holds onto his side, a hand down in front of him as he grits his teeth and tries to stand, giving Yuri a pained wave and heading home to face the wolfpack back at the barracks.
Kaiju notices Kiyoshi leaving before Yuriko does, her bright eyes blinking at him first before glancing back over her shoulder.
Annoyance swells up inside of her as she shakes her snowy head to herself, looking back to Kaiju as he rises from the bow, instantly regretting it as he holds his side. Regret flickers through her expression, but the boy merely waves a hand towards her before turning to head northwards. Blinking once, Yuriko lifts a hand to cradle her head in a hand.
Stunned, they both managed to escape.
Academy Barracks [Kirigakure]
This is a very large stone building which is composed of a single room. Large openings in the upper part of the walls allow the cold wind to flow through here as freely as outside of the building. Large metal double-bunked beds are arranged in several rows, padded with a thin mattress, pillow, and a single thin sheet for warmth. A board of rules has been posted near the entrance on the wall.
Unruly Kids! Kaiju: Chapter 1 Part 2.
The Orphanage of Kirigakure (or one of them) closest to the Ninja Academy had requested some help from at least one nin to help the faculty keep order. Since with the recent influx of orphans, there has been an increase of resignations to the point they have to bring in help.
It was a quiet day that day for Kaiju. The encounter yesterday with the Kaguya girl and the masked boy still on his mind. He had even written about it in his journal with his ink and writing-brush. He blows on the ink for it to dry and set in the heavy paper journal and closes it, reaching to set it in his chest of drawers he has in his room that he doesn't share with anyone else because the last kid that was in the room with him had a panic attack in the middle of the first night. That didn't help Kai's feelings much.
A lot of kids were running recklessly about at dinnertime. There was a certain group of six, three that made a distraction during dinnertime, which they knew Kai was skipping today due to his injury from the day before, and three to push open the door.
Kai managed to get out of the room and run down the hall, aiming for the front door before he's surrounded, one kid walking up with his journal.
Leader opens it and reads it, "…huh… She. Is. Nice." He reads the sentences as one word at a time like they are too simple to be used as complete sentences.
"Her. Name. Is. Yu… ri… ko. Yuriko."
All of the others start oooo'ing and one whistles, comments about a guuuurlfrieeeend.
The moment that the door slams open simultaneously slams into another person, sending an armful of books scattering everywhere.
Yuriko blinks her bright aquamarine eyes at this for a moment before her expression becomes one of annoyance. Which could easily mean trouble.
Her eyes flick upwards and narrow on the group of boys, taunting Kaiju with a book. "Hey! You should be more careful going through doors like that." At least she hadn't been knocked on her backside. But still, annoyed. Her jaw tightens, and ignoring Kaiju for the moment she marches straight at the leader and lifts a hand to poke him in the chest. "You're going to apologize. To both of us. And then you're going to help pick up the books."
Now, these boys other than the leader were merely regular orphans. But that leader kid was in the Ninja Academy. And he was voiced about it, too! As opposed to Kaiju who wasn't voiced about anything… much… really quiet all the time.
"Genin-sempai, I apologize for your books." He looks at one of the other kids who runs over (more like waddles his fat self) to her books and huffs and puffs trying to grab them all so quickly, trying to hand the pile of them to her. They all seem to take their leave of Kaiju with the arrival of Yuriko. 'Yeah, let your guuurlfriieeend fight all your fights for you, Kaiju?!' 'We know what room you're in.' Shoulder bumping and petty pushing and elbowing they can get in moving past him down the hall towards the cafeteria where orphans were still roaming free in their natural habitat.
Kai would bend down and pick up his journal that was stepped on and brush it off, looking up from it to Yuriko.
Yuriko keeps her narrowed gaze on the leader, expecting some sort of confrontation, but there's none to be had as they retrieve her books. Six of them in total. And staring at them, the group departs through the doors. With one last scoff at them, the young Kaguya shifts the weight of the books in her arms as she turns to glance over at Kaiju when he picks up up his book. "How is your side doing… is it still bruised?" Yuriko asks.
Kai nods to her question. It was a quick nod, like he was trying to nod through pain. He gestures to the door to his room, it being wide open now, and he just goes in and sits down and lays back on his bed, stretching to the side so he can give his ribs some space. His face showed pain but he didn't make a sound. He looks up at her from his… pitiful current placement. He sits up slowly, trying his hardest not to coddle his bruised rib and work with it. Then he looks at her, giving her the once over to make sure nothing of hers was hurt, either. He gave her the questioning thumbs up with brows raised in interrogatory fashion.
She faintly lifts a pale brow at him, but doesn't hesitate to follow the boy through the doors, to what she assumes to be his room. Her bright eyes glance around curiously for a brief moment or so before looking back to Kaiju, seeing him try to lay down tentatively. The pained expression in his face speaks more than words.
Exhaling a small breath, Yuriko leans down to set the books on the floor near his bed, straightening. "You know, you can fight back." she murmurs, her rich blue green eyes looking into his. Serious. "They won't leave you alone until you do."
He looks at her, his face going serious, then a little grumpy. It morphs into sadness as he puts a hand on his clothes at the spot where that bruise is. He winces and turns his head away from her, his hand idly raising and touching his journal next to him on the bed. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small wooden item. A writing brush that was simple in design, like a painting brush, and it was in two pieces. His eyes begin to water as he holds it to his chest. It was freshly broken, too.
Though he was silent, the fluid emotion through his expression speaks volumes. Her bright eyes watch him quietly as he holds his side with visible pain. Then as his hand reaches into a pocket, he pulls out a small wooden item, a brush. Cleanly broken in two. It hurt a little to see his eyes start to water.
Exhaling a small breath Yuriko takes a seat beside Kaiju, the book between them. Without a word, she reaches over to take both pieces from his fingers. One piece in each hand, Yuriko looks over each individual piece before turning them in her palms, lining up the broken ends so that they fit together like puzzle pieces.
Then setting the brush in her lap, she reaches into her sleeve to pull out an ivory blade, the handle almost vine-like in appearance. Holding the Epigaea Dagger in her left hand, her right reaches up to press an index finger on the surface, holding there for a pause before drawing back. And with the finger a fluid strand of ivory. A small amount separates from the surface, and setting aside the dagger Yuriko shifts her attention back to the brush. The finger tip presses on the wooden surface and the white ivory spreads smoothly across, the thin layer connecting both pieces together.
"There. Now they can't break it, not even the bristles." Looking back up at Kaiju, she holds out the writing utensil for him.
Kai watches as she takes the brush. Watching her fingers take it from his. Why didn't he keep it from her?
He sits up with a wince, and he has to roll to one side, but he watches with intensity as she does the little maneuver. His eyes went wide as she did the thing with… what was that white stuff? He holds back the urge to touch it or the brush until she offers it to him. He blinks at it.
He then blinks at her. He gives a meek smile and reaches over with a small, faint grunt against the sting of the bruise to open his chest of drawers, top drawer. And he pulls out a small sheet of blank paper, thicker material than the notebook's pages, and he begins to draw, glancing at her every once in a while for probably a minute or two.
The small smile was brief it seems before he turns away, reaching for a drawer with a little bit of strain. She lifts a pale brow at him as she watches, tilting her snowy head when he pulls out some blank paper and starts drawing with the brush she had just fixed. Quickly brushing her bangs from her face, Yuriko leans closer, peeking at what he's drawing exactly.
Once he's done with the linework, he tilts his head at it, then looks at her. Then back down to the paper. He lifts it from the small piece of wood paneling about 2mm thick that he used as a backboard while drawing. The linework was so clean on it. He gently lifts it up and blows on it do help it dry what was the most recent brush strokes, and he smiles at it, looking from her to it a couple more times, and slides it off of the board and hands it to her with fingers spread out under the paper to support it so he does not have any chance to smear it. Looks like someone has a passion and outlet.
He's even got a big smile at her.
Yuriko blinks again at him, curious as he glances back and forth between herself and the piece of paper. Her nose twitches faintly, and when he holds out the drawing (painting?) for her, surprise flickers through her face. It was a sketch of her, holding a flower. Reaching up to take it, she smiles at it. It's probably his way of thanking her for repairing the brush. Yuriko giggles, "This is pretty. I think the only thing I'm good at is playing."
His smile turns shy and he puts the brush into the desk into a small holster for it after cleaning it and putting the ink away as well. He again breathes against the pain in his side as he goes to put it up. He then moves to slide off the bed, and looks up at her. He was about to say something when his stomach ruuuumbles and makes a noise like a monster seeking food.
His hands go to his tummy and he gets a look out the door to the hallway like he didn't want to go to the cafeteria today. That's why he always skips dinner, even lunch at the academy was… difficult and alienating.
The tummy rumbling makes Yuriko blink once before her hands clasp over her mouth, as if trying to hold in a laugh. She couldn't help it, it was funny!
That tentative look from Kaiju though… As her hands lower, her bright blue green eyes glance from him at the door. The boys had gone to the cafeteria earlier. No doubt Kaiju was afraid to even get food when he's hungry. Making a face, her lips press together as she glances back at the boy. "So, you're hungry." she states. Obviously. "You can go to the cafeteria. I'll even go with you. Or you can get food somewhere else, like my house." Yuriko easily grins. "My mommy always feeds people." she giggles.
Kai looks at her with wide, excited eyes. Her giggle makes him smile so big and those pearly whites peeking through his bronze colored skin, and he bows to her. "Arigatou, Kaguya Yuriko-hime." He says quickly and concisely, stepping to the side of the door, stretching out his arm and bows, one hand shooting out to the side to gesture for her lead the way. And his other hand goes to his stomach that growls again, louder this time and he groans and twitches a little in his bowed position.
Yuriko pushes herself up to her feet, sliding from the bed to stand. A touch of color rises in her cheeks as he calls her 'hime' again. "You know you don't have to call me that, right?" Though somehow she thinks that it doesn't matter to him. The painting is set carefully on the bed before they leave together through the doors.
Keeping an eye out for the bullies, they manage to leave without any trouble and make their way westwards, in the direction of the Kaguya district.
Passing through the gate, the scent of blood is as faint but constant in the air. Every building made from ivory, the same bone that they create used for most of anything that's needed. Yuriko continues to lead them through the street west until it begins to bend northwards. The houses fade behind them, taken over by the forest as the road becomes a worn dirt path.
After she gets to the doorway he grins at her about the 'hime' thing "Yuri-hime," he says with a funny looking grin, making his nose wrinkle. He steps over to the chest of drawers again, and gathers up his brush, ink and journal, tucking them in a few pockets. So he could basically be running away, because he just gathered up all of his precious belongings. He also snags the drawing, folding it gently and putting it in the breast pocket of his outer shirt, and then follows her out the door.
Through the Kaguya village they go, his eyes were moving every which way, taking in all the new sights he had not yet seen of Kirigakure. The dirt path crunches under his footsteps and he moves his hands to his pockets, watching the road ahead, but still glancing around cautiously every so often.
Kaguya Village [Kirigakure]
This area smells very strongly of blood and views of ivory, each building in this district made by the Kaguya that owns it and out of their own bone. At the far west end of the village there is one house that is double the size of any other which could presumably belong to the head of the Kaguya Clan. Among the buildings are small resturants and shops, all made of the same bone material as the other buildings, though the merchandise is not necessarily such.
Eventually the thick forest trees part with the steady reveal of multiple buildings, constructed expertly of polished ivory, the main house standing taller above the others. The cobblestone path eventually wind their way into the large, flourishing garden. Soft pink cherry blossom trees and a variety of colorful flowers arranged in beautiful patterns bloom amidst the summertime season. The woman working in the garden visible from behind as she sits calmly on her knees, white hair bundled up into a bun and held into place with a pair of chopsticks.
Yuriko smiles brightly and takes off ahead of Kaiju as she runs into the garden straight for the woman. "Mommy!" The Kaguya woman looks up has the same bright blue green eyes as Yuriko, however, there seems to be a quiet calm and gentle warmth to them rather than the bright and bubbly excitement usually seen in the little girl. Yuuka smiles warmly, growing as she chuckles and reaches out to catch the flying hug.
Kaiju stops as the path enters the garden. He waits just at the threshold where from him standing there quietly, his hands now out of his pockets and held in front of himself, fingers laced together as he watches the hug. His smile fades, as that old feeling of being left out starts to pang at his heartstrings again, plucking them with the deft fingers of fear and that same song that he's listened to in his heart for the last three years when he's around anyone other than his grampa.
Grampa wasn't here anymore. Kai swallows back the lump in his throat, even though it didn't matter, he had nothing to say to them anyway right now.
Yuriko giggles happily as she hugs her mother for a longer moment before letting go and stepping back. "Hey mommy? Can we have lunch with Hissori-tan? He's reeeeeally hungry."
Yuuka gently lifts a pale brow as she glances up at the boy, watching him quietly for a curious moment before her expression softens, warming. "Ah, so you are Hissori-san?" she asks gently. "Well it is nice to meet you, Hissori-san. Yuriko-chan has spoken of you. I am her mother, Kaguya Yuuka." She reaches up to softly rub at Yuriko's snowy head, making her giggle.
The young woman pushes herself up to her feet with smooth grace, brushing lightly at the front of her kimono. "Well then. We should head inside to eat. How does that sound, Hissori-san, Yuriko-chan?" Yuriko giggles happily and turns to rush back to the boy, grabbing his hand to tug him with her. "Come on!"
He goes to bow to Yuuka when she says this. He straightens, with only a hint of pain in his smile as his eyes close from said smile. ^_^ But when she grabs his hand, it's his turn to blush and his bronze color turns more a molten red from a full-face and neck flush when he's tugged along.
Hissori doesn't fight being tugged to the house, and he waited for them to enter the home before he would. He even tugs a little at the collar of his undershirt getting closer to the house and Yuuka.
Yuuka watches as Yuriko pulls Kaiju with her towards the door, a small chuckle escaping as she follows after them at a calmer pace. Sliding the door open, Yuriko is quick to kick off her shoes at the entrance and waits only long enough for Kaiju to do the same before tugging him with her again through the hallway, turning right and into the rather large and spacious living room, the table in the center containing a small grill and etched with a fire seal. Seat cushioning on each sides.
"So!" Yuriko beams, as her mother enters quietly. "What kind of food do you like, Hissori-tan?"
Kaiju is almost ragdolled when he's pulled into the house and his shoes come off dreadfully slow because of his ribs, then it's back on the footrace of the ages to the living room where he looks at the table, then Yuriko's hand holding his when she asks, gulping and looking up to her face.
"Uhhm…" his voice shaky and nervous. His tone was barely audible like it was taboo for him to say it, "…I like fish…" He smiles, and she might even see the oni-fangs he's got. Yes, he's quite the strange little boy.
Yuriko smiles brighter with his answer, releasing his hand as she giggles, oblivious perhaps to her mother as Yuuka slips behind her as she makes her way calmly to the Kitchen. "I like fish too." The little Kaguya brushes her bangs out of her face again as she turns to follow her mother into the Kitchen, ready to help set up for lunch.
"Here sweetie." Yuuka hands her daughter wooden box, plates, and a few sets chopsticks on top. "Start with that first, okay? Then we can bring out fish to grill at the table." The little girl smiles easily as she happily nods, turning with a twirl in her yukata as she returns to the table, setting the box and the chopsticks on the table and arranging it in the center. Her mother follows with a kettle of water, setting it to one side of the grill and activating the fire seal so that it heats up.
Kai feels like he's the third wheel at this point, the two of them deftly setting up the table, and he stands back, watching from the doorway at them. He quietly asks where the bathroom is. Upon bowing after one of them would inform him, he would step out for a minute. As he left, something fell out of a pocket inside his maroon overshirt. It was a small folded piece of paper that was the picture he drew of her earlier, shaken out probably by the small girl dragging him into the house.
The piece of paper has his initials in the lower left hand corner with a little heart next to it. TH <3
While Yuriko helps set up the table, Yuuka shows Hissori where the restroom is and making her way back to the Living Room. Her rich blue green eyes blink as she sees the folded piece of paper in the middle of the hallway, where clearly it hadn't been just a moment before. Bending down, she plucks it from the floor with her fingers and opens it with her thumb, holding it upright. Her expression softens as she sees the painting of her daughter. Expertly done even. Quietly folding it again, Yuuka carries it with her for now. Making a note to return it to him when there's a moment alone.
When Kaiju returns, Yuriko is already picking out bites of sushi from the box, her mother across from her laying down several strips of fish down on the grill to cook, sprinkling with spices that quickly rise into the air.
Hissori was shown to the bathroom by Yuuka. He bows in thanks, stifling a hiss at his ribs and Yuuka may see him nursing them with a light rub as he closes the door, stretching his arms to the sink, washing his hands and face before he dries them with the hand towel. He exits the bathroom soon after that heading back into the living room, he chooses a seat near Yuriko, smiling to her as he sits slowly, and he would grab a piece… maybe two of sushi, definitely being the one not wanting to overstep the imaginary boundary he placed on himself in his mind as a guest in their house. He eats them delicately, keeping his head tilted downward the whole time as he enjoys the flavors of the sushi and can't help but close his eyes. How long had it been since he ate something substantial?
While the fish is grilling, Yuuka turns her attention towards the boiling water, pulling it off the heat and setting it aside so that she can at the tea leaves. That starts to seep, allowing her attention to shift yet again to the fish, double checking to see if it's cooked evenly. Once satisfied, she takes each of the plates to begin serving the cooked fish.
While her mother is doing this, on more than one occasion Yuriko uses her chopsticks to playfully try to snap up individual bits of sushi for herself, giggling at the game regardless if he manages to defend his precious food or visa versa.
It takes a few moments for Hisso to realize she's actually playing. Such a foreign concept to him, that when she starts, he just starts taking pieces and shoving them in his mouth. A couple times he would try to block her chopsticks with his, but he has a smile on his face while playing, and a small mirth behind his eyes that wasn't there a day ago.
When Yuuka serves him some fish, he lowers his head, "Arigatou, Kaguya Yuuka-sama." He says, eating a tiny bite at a time of the grilled fish.
When Hisso plays back with her, Yuriko grins a bit brighter and ups the ante, moving just a bit quicker to make it more difficult to get to the bites that he wants. Not that he doesn't get any at all, he does, just has to try harder to beat her. Because she doesn't give in easily. One more than one occasion she giggles, victorious as she manages to evade his own chopsticks to snatch another piece up and pop it happily in her mouth.
Yuuka chuckles, watching as they play with their food, making a game out of it. And when Hisso thanks her, her gentle smile warms. "Yuuka-san is perfectly fine." she murmurs, quiet as she fills his cup with tea as well. "So Hissori-kun, can you tell me a little about yourself?" she asks calmly.
Hisso turns his head when Yuuka tells him 'san' is fine. His hair swooshes, some of it parting and his ear more towards Yuriko pokes out from under his deep green hair. An elongated ear, slightly pointy. "Oh… um." He starts.
"I don't know exactly where I come from. My grandfather died last week, and I couldn't go to the funeral. And I like drawing." He goes to reach into a pocket in his shirt, and then he starts looking really worried, checking other pockets in his shirt and pants.
Yuuka sees the ear, though merely notes it for now as she quietly watches the boy. A touch of sadness flickers through her eyes as she hears that his grandfather recently passed. "I am sorry to hear that." she murmurs softer, sympathetic without outright pitying him. And as Hisso starts search for the mentioned drawing, the kind smile returns. The folded piece of paper is gently removed from her sleeve and set on the table for him. Wordless. "Luckily you are in a village that accepts people from all walks of life. Whatever you chose for your future, I am sure he will be proud of you." Yuriko, a mouth full of food, nods quickly at this before swallowing, beaming brightly. "He's really good at it too!"
Hisso breathes in relief at her setting down the drawing. He then simply moves it to set in front of Yuriko. He lowers his head when given the compliment, and goes back to eating, brushing his hair back to hide his ear. He picks up his chopsticks again and starts eating, smiling so big his eyes close at Yuuka, then Yuriko to his other side. He liked being here. It was nice.
Yuuka watches this, as Yuriko smiles at the painting and pulls it closer, but without diverting her attention from her food. Contemplative, her mother pauses for a moment before speaking again, "Hissori-kun… Was your Grandfather your only family?" she asks gently, not really wanting to ruin the happy atmosphere for the children, but it couldn't be helped.
Hissori stops eating again, nodding solemnly to the question before he takes another bite, munching on the fish while he looks at Yuuka, figuring she'd as another question of a few, he puts the chopsticks down and watches her for another question to answer, sitting there at their table in the living room of their house.
The gentlest smile tugs at the woman's soft lips seeing as Hissori expected more questions now. Yuriko's chewing slows as she glances between them, sensing something important occurring here without knowing just what yet. Her mother assumed that without parents and his grandfather recently deceased, Hissori was staying at the Academy barracks with other war orphans. It was the best assumption. "How did you get the injury to your side?" Yuuka asks, just as gently.
Yuriko gets the smallest of glances from Kai, as he only moved his eyes and it was for a moment. When Yuuka asks the next question, he places a hand on his side, and his eyes shift to one side, his chin dipping just a little. He frowned just a little bit and shook his head. Not like he didn't know, but he did not want to divulge that. Maybe a heightened sense of dignity or something.
Yuriko bites at her bottom lip as she's given a glance, but she doesn't say anything. However, she does give her mother a little bit of a look. The thought was accidental, it slipped through the connection that mother and daughter shared and silent realization briefly flickers through Yuuka's rich eyes. "Hm." the corner of her soft lips tugs gently. "Well, I am not sure if you know this, but I am one of the Seven Swordsman of the Mist. I have taken young shinobi under my wing before, and if you show potential, I am more than willing to teach you. As your sensei."
His brow furrows and he looks at Yuuka with a slight tilt of his head in curiosity. "Seven… swordsmen?" He shakes his head a little while looking at her to say he didn't know what that was. If he had heard about them, it wasn't exactly that he heard much, other than the term. People with… swords? Okay, logic only gets him so far on this one.
On the topic of being his sensei, he had never been given that opportunity before to learn under someone. And he had never asked. "Yes. I would like that," he says under his breath. A shy muttering of acceptance of something he might think he doesn't deserve.
Her expression warms subtly, and Yuuka reaches out a hand to gently lays a hand on his shoulder. "I will give you the option of staying here, if you wish. But I will not pull you away from your studies at the Academy." she murmurs, pulling back the hand. "Just remember that your training is going to be difficult, but I will not put you through anything that I haven't with Yuriko-chan."
As she says that, Yuriko couldn't help but giggle, chewing the last of her dinner. With her plate clean, the little girl pops up to her feet and reaches for her plate, intending to take it with her to the kitchen. "Mommy? Can we have ice cream for dessert?" she asks sweetly. Yuuka lifts a pale brow at this, her eyes glancing towards Kaiju to see what he thought.
His eyes light up at the thought of staying somewhere he was accepted. He almost looked like he was about to cry. His speed only took him fast enough to her at a rate which, likely from her training could tell early on, and solidified when he got to her, that he wrapped his arms around Yuuka's neck in a hug.
It wasn't a cling, but it was a good solid huggle.
Though, when Yuriko mentions ice cream, he breaks the hug and sits on his feet, giving something between puppy eyes with those pupil-less blues sitting in fields of grey. A treat he hadn't had since he was with grampa. "Me and grampa used to eat ice cream sometimes." He lifts an arm to wipe the wetness from his eyes and nods quietly to Yuuka. He even hides his face for a minute to hide what he didn't want them to see, but they could both easily tell he was crying over something.
Yuuka blinks her bright eyes with a little bit of surprise when the young boy practically throws himself at her, clinging to her neck with a full embrace. Blinking again, her expression softens, a small chuckle escaping as her arms hold him back. He was a little boy that needed to be held, to know that he wasn't alone, and she knew that he was probably overcome with everything that's happening.
The young woman softly pats his back as she releases her hold on him. And as he tries to hide his face while wiping the happy tears onto a sleeve, Yuuka smoothly pushes herself up to her feet, bending just enough to place a hand on his green head to pat him. "It is okay. Let's have some ice cream. You can make your own cone and sit outside in the garden while you eat it. How does that sound?"
He sobs a couple times, rubbing his forearm across his face while he nods, still hiding behind his arm. He drags the cloth of his sleeve once more to grab all the remaining tears if he can while she pats him on the head. This causes him to look up and smile from ear to ear. Those extended canines of his showing up looking like little fangs of some predator. Ironic they belong to such a meek and mild (most of the time) boy such as himself. His looks betray his inner workings.
He shuffles from the living room to the kitchen looking at Yuriko, waiting to be given the opportunity to make his own ice cream cone!
He was excited, and it all just got to be a little too much for him initially to hold it in, but he's doing better now after a minute to let it all sink in and permeate.
Carrying the rest of the dirty dishes with her, Yuuka sets them in the sink to wash at a later date. Now is a much more important task. Dessert. Yuriko giggles as she bounces excitedly, eager to share a treat with her new friend as she bounces closer to the ice box, watching as her mother pulls out everything they'll need.
Setting the ingredients on the counter, Yuuka reaches for her daughter and lifts her up in the air, setting her on the counter to Yuriko's delight. She also reaches for Hisso, holding him with steady arms and sets him on the counter as well, frosty food between him and Yuriko. "Alright. Now you can make your ice cream however, you want, but do you want to show Hissori how you make your cone, Yuriko-chan?"
She giggles brightly, nodding and making grabby hands for the cone when it's handed towards her. "First! Chocolate pocky stick!" Yuriko puts it into the cone, chocolate dipped end in first so that it sticks out to one side. "Then chocolate ice cream!!" A generous scoop, naturally. "Theeeeen whip cream and a cherry!"
When Yuuko picks him up, he's almost as light as Yuriko. He's a scrawny kid she could feel just by holding him up to put him on the counter. He sits down cross-legged, and looks at the ingredients. He is then offered a cone. He takes the cone, inspecting it for a minute, then smiles meekly like he just found the cookie jar and won't tell anyone else where it is.
He slides the bucket of vanilla ice cream to himself, taking out a scoop and placing it carefully on the top of the cone. Scoop now in the bucket to rest, he reaches fooorrrr… wiggly fingers… goes for the chocolate sprinkles, and takes a pinch of them to drop on the top. THen, the crowning jewel. A cherry on top, with some chocolate sauce drizzled on top. Not a lot though.
After a few minutes, both children finish assembling their special treats and Yuuka helps to place them on their feet on the floor once again. "There we go. Now go have your ice cream outside in the garden while I clean up. And play a little. That is an order." Yuuka smiles, affectionately rubbing the top of Hissori's emerald head. Yuriko practically beams as she catch's the boy's hand again and once more pulls him with her through the hallway leading out, while making sure that they keep their cone's from falling over.
He held on to his cone, watching it cautiously as he was picked up again and placed on the floor, making sure it didn't topple over. Was any of this real? While Yuriko takes his hand again, his internal voice mulls it all over.
Her giggling, Yuuka's offer to be his sensei and even stay with them! Ice cream… never having to go back to that dreadful orphanage…
That's about the time they get outside, that that thought goes through his mind. When will I wake up and realize that I've just been knocked out again? Maybe thrown from my bed and kicked.
He looks at his cone. Then to Yuriko, who would probably by this time yank his arm off or pull him from where he was, but the thought passes anyway and he follow her, licking and carefully following her hand in hand through the garden.
Grampa. I found happiness again. ^^
At the entrance, Yuriko lets go of his hand but doesn't bother with getting any shoes on right now. There's no point to shoes in her opinion. Sliding the door open, sunlight warms her skin as she hurries ahead. She smiles brightly, picking one of her favorite trees to sit under while her toes curl into the soft grass. The cherry demands to be eaten first, so Yuriko plucks it from the top of the whipped cream as she pops it into her mouth, smiling with the stem sticking out between her lips.
He walks out without his shoes on as well. He got used to going without shoes before he moved here. It wasn't unnatural to him, either. And through the grass he walks, seeing her eat her cherry, he mimics her and does the same thing. He even gets bold and tilts his head and crosses his eyes at her, nyah nyah I ate my cherry first, too!
Yuriko glances up through her snowy bangs as Hissori stands ahead of her, grinning when he grins and crosses his eyes at her. She giggles, the stem sticking out at the corner of her mouth as she sticks out her tongue at him in retaliation! Plucking the stem from her mouth, Yuriko discards it and starts licking at her own ice cream, enjoying the taste of the whipped cream and the chocolate ice cream. Delicious!
He chews and eats the cherry in his mouth, and the stem dissappears. He starts making funny faces for a minute, looking off to the side and his lips pucker and shift from left to right and push out and pull up then down and he turns his head a little bit several times, but after a couple minutes, a bit of the stem sticks out from between his lips, and he reaches out to pluck it from there and pull out a stem that's tied in a knot. He looks at it and smiles, and tosses it away into the grass. "Grampa taught me how to do that." And he goes about licking his ice cream some more, looking at where the stem fell into the grass, even though he can't see it anymore.
While all of this is happening, Yuriko watches curiously. Her bright eyes staring intently for a moment or so longer while he works at twisting the stem in his mouth. When it emerges and she sees the knot formed in it, her blue green eyes widen with amazement. "Oo! I wanna learn how to do that! You have to show me how to do that sometime!" she says eagerly, excited at the prospect of learning something fun and new.
Kaiju nods, and he would teach it to her next time they had cherries available to them. But for now, he just licked his ice cream cone until he was digging into the cone so much that he had to start nibbling on the cone itself to get down to the last of the ice cream. He was extremely careful to not get any on his face while eating.