Date: June 15, 2015
An imposter has been running around Sunagakure! Or so it has been said. Itami, along with the help of Jiro and Arika had sought to find out who this imposter is and get much more than what they bargained for. Wedding plans!
"Wedding Bells - Here come the Planners"
How in the world did it get so cool? To others, it was the perfect temperature. In fact, it was pretty nice out here. It's that time of the year where summer heat begins to dwindle and is replaced by chilling cold in the evening hours of the desert. Who says it can't get cold here? Of course, not everyone takes to the change of weather very well, but it appears that the only person that's having the worst time appears to be Itami. She's already sniffling and dabbing at her nose with a tissue. Seems she's caught herself a pre-cold.
There weren't anymore hot spots for her to sleep at this time. No, everything was getting cold and she couldn't stand it. Still, that wasn't the least of her problems, no. Apparently, there's some doppelganger around here that's claiming to be her. Is that what happens when she goes on vactation? She gets replaced that quickly? Sigh.
Jiro has no such problem with the change in weather. In fact, he's quite pleased with it! Sure he's used to the long hot summer days, having grown up outside, but there was something about the chill of a winter night in a desert that allows one to snuggle up with blankets and make it just super awesome. The boy seems fairly chipper despite his loss at the tournament, something that's weighed heavily on him and made him rather grumpy since the return trip. It just so happens the weather change is enough to make him a little happier at least. He's just kind of wandering the area without anything particular in mind.
Naturally, there is an Arika hot on Jiro's tail! The girl sort of darts alogn rooftops behind him, making sure to keep an eye on her friend (or is he keeping an eye on her?). The girl has gotten used to cooler weather after being in Kiri all that time, so she doesn't mind it. It was kinda cozy! But she prefers the heat of the desert. Eventually she lands next to Jiro and says, "Jiro-kun! What d'you wanna do tonight?" Still chipper as ever.
Itami has been asking around to see what this double situation is all about. In exchange, the only thing she gets in return is how she managed to change her hair color so quickly and her attitude could stand to be a little better and when did she wear such nice clothes? She could stand to be baffled by the former questions, but the last one had her a bit self conscious. She didn't think she dressed that badly.
She continued along until she managed to run into her favorite duo that still owe her a spa day! "Jiro and Arika!" She nasally chimed. "I'm glad to see the both of you. I seem to be having a problem right now," she admits. "…I'm always having problems, let's be honest, but that's not the point I'm making right now, so just hear me out…" She paused. "Do I dress myself badly?" Yes, that was a very important question. "Now be honest with me. I need to know this for certain."
Jiro doesn't quite get around to answering Arika's question since Itami interrupts them anyways. The boy looks up at the dragon with a little frown as she starts talking about problems, and then somehow moves to clothes. He looks over what she's wearing now, then shrugs a bit before he says, "I dunno. You kinda usually wear wha' I do on the stree's." To him that's not a bad thing, but it could probably mean that she dresses rather dirty and poor. And he seems completely honest about it to, like he's not even telling a joke. Just the facts…
Arika blinks and peeks over. "Itami-sama!" The girl hops over and attempts to perch on the woman's back, seeming pleased if she does and pouty if not. Regardless of what happens, Itami gets a very blank stare from the girl. "I dunno. What d'you usually wear?" she eventually asks. So oblivious she doesn't even remember the Kage's clothes!
"Hmmm," Itami tapped her fingers together thougtfully and sniffled softly while listening to Jiro and Arika's replies. She dresses like he does on the streets…and Arika doesn't have a clue. So her clothes are messy and unmemorable. She cleared her throat. "Fair enough," she offered. "Okay, with that out of the way, I've been hearing reports about someone around here that looks like me. I guess she has…an attitude, her hair color is different and she wears nice clothes. Seen anyone that has fit that description?" She wondered. "I can guarantee that her name isn't Itami, whoever she happens to be."
"I can'na imagine you wearin' nice clothes," Jiro says, hands flopping lazily on his head as he watches Itami. "An' ya always kinda 'ave an attitude too." So there's about a fifty fifty chance this isn't even the real Itami at this point. That's helpful, right?
Arika wrinkles her nose a bit. "Who's copying you? They're not allowed to do that!" she huffs, all grumbly. At the very least, she's got faith that the one they're talking to is the real one. The other Itami dresses nice and is friendly, which is totally not like this Itami at all!
Itami's face twisted up at Jiro's reply briefly before she regained a mildly forced smile. "Right, because I'm not fashionable and nice at all," she chuckled while firmly pressing her clasped hands together. She couldn't just ball them up and hit someone, right? No, that wouldn't be friendly or nice, but it'd feel amazing. "Well, I suppose you two will help me find the culprit. It shouldn't be so hard to find someone that looks like me, right?" She hopes not. The way they describe her, she's an entirely different person and none of them have even met her yet!
Well, their search shouldn't prove too difficult. It appears whoever it is doesn't appear to be making it hard to spot her. "I don't know what you mean about any meetings. As far as I know, I don't have any scheduled today…or know about them for that matter," the woman states. "But if it must be done, I suppose I can handle it. Shouldn't be that difficult…I mean, I only just arrived here and it already appears that I'm neeed. Is it always like this?" She comes walking down from Sentou Valley, questioning a few people that have surrounded her. She was finely dressed in a simple, black kimono, red hair attop her head and a seemingly nice disposition. Topped all off with glasses. Strange how the most obvious artifact was left out.
"If you guys help me find this individual, I'll cancel the spa day you guys owe me. Deal?" Itami offers, having not yet taken notice of the woman yet.
Jiro doesn't seem to notice the near-miss of a good throttling as his hands move to fall on top of his head, clasped together in a lazy motion. "'ow do we know tha' yer the real one, if some'un is pretending to be you?" He asks suspiciously, looking the dragon lady over as if trying to find some random flaw or something. But then, oh look…Jiro just happens to be facing the way the woman arrives from and the boy leans sideways a bit without moving his hands. "Well tha's a deal," he mutters about cancelling the spa day. Then he drops one hand to point off towards the woman. "There she is." That was about the easiest deal ever! Even easier than stealing from a blind merchant!
Arika nods a bit. "I like that deal! Oh, hey!" She points to the woman, too, grinning a bit. "No more spa day for you! Should we go get 'er, Itami-sama? Or are you gonna do it?" she asks, poking Jiro a bit when the two essentially point the woman out at the same time.
"Wait, what?" Itami looked at the woman as she was pointed out. "That quickly? No, that doesn't count. You two still owe me a spa day. That was far too easy and wasn't a good test of your shinobi skills…" She paused. "You all should be ashamed of yourselves just thinking that this test was so simple." Sure, it was a test all along. "Why should I go and get her? She's a target that you should bring to me, not to find myself. And you two call yourselves shinobi. Haven't I taught you both better?" She continued with her switcharoo. "But you should catch her, yeah. She'll probably put up a fight or something now that she's been figured out." She sniffled. Still adjusting to the cold, it seems.
ooc :replaces that period with a question mark.
"Nope, you sai' we wouldn't 'ave ta. Yer supposed ta be some important person now so ya can't go back on yer promises," Jiro seems to believe that they are free and clear regardless, no matter what Itami tries to say. A deals a deal after all! "I think yer just bein' lazy, tha's why you don't want ta talk ta her yerself." He adds, scrunching up his face as he looks up at Itami. "Yer way too lazy." But that doesn't meant he's not going to go talk to this other lady at least. Without preamble he simply walks over, hands still flopped on his head, and stops in front of the ladies path. "Who are you, an' why are ya tryin' ta pretend ta be obaa-chan?"
Arika grumbles at Itami. "You said if we found 'er, there'd be no spa day. So we found her!" The girl nods sagely before going after Jiro, approaching the woman from the back just in case she wanted to try and run away. Might as well get this over with! And not clue her in on the fact that Jiro ain't alone.
Dammit. "Okay, fine. I'll still cancel the spa day. Just go ahead and do your thing," Itami huffed. Can't believe she can't get her feet treated to some extra care. She watched from afar, though began a slow approach as Jiro and Arika took after the woman. She seemed confused at first and was almost insulted before she came to realize she wasn't the old woman being talked about. "I'm assuming you're referring to the one everyone is calling 'Itami'," she emphasized the name as she adjusted her glasses to look more closely at the two kids. "You both appear to carry a particular scent, but you're…not…" she lofted a brow. They look nothing like her… "Well, I'm certain you know I'm not her. I'm something far greater. Now, can you point me in her direction?" She questioned.
Itami drew close where she began to speak to Jiro once more. "I'm not lazy, I broke my back for this village and got stabbed, gutted and cut for it too! You wouldn't have to worry about that happening thanks to me!" She sniffed once more. She cut her eyes to the double that they found and she began to pale. Was she growing sicker? Yeah, it sure felt like it. "…You…you two…" She began to stutter. "I think I owe you both a spa day instead," she muttered. "Why did it have to be you two? Why have the heavens curse me?" She nearly whined.
The woman lofted a brow. "Itami!" She chimed. "You never wrote me or stated anything about where you've been this whole time! That's a terrible thing to do to your mother."
Oh Itami owe them a spa day? Jiro is totally down with that! As he watches and listens to the interloper he nods, "Yea', Itami," he says, confirming the name. When Itami nears and starts whining again Jiro just rolls his blue eyes and turns to give her some additional snarky remarks when he notices that she's kind of pale. "You 'kay?" He asks, hands dropping to his side and head canting to one side. And then the woman says that she's Itami's mother and Jiro turns back around to look the imposter over again curiously. "Yer obaa-chan's mother?" He asks, apparently wanting some confirmation.
Arika blinks and immediately attempts to climb onto this mysterious woman's back! "Yer Itami-sama's mom?" she asks, poking a bit at this new person before she hears that Itami is gonna give her and Jiro a spa day. Yay! Happiness!
"Yeah, I'm fine. N-no problems here," Itami failed at maintaining her composure, but she sure as hell didn't try to relent, although her body really wanted to. "I see she hasn't talked about me much," the now non-imposter rolled her eyes. "But yes, I am her mother. I go by the name Kotone, not Itami if that wasn't already clear and if I had to guess, the title 'obaa-chan' tells me that you certainly aren't her children. Are you both adopted?" She questioned Jiro and Arika. She paused and then gasped, recoiling just a few. "Itami, now be honest with me. Are you incapable of rearing children?"
Itami went silent, but one could almost be certain that she had turned to stone and was beginning to crumble on the inside. Did she just ask that aloud in front of these kids? She's been in plenty of battles, but there isn't one that equates to this moment.
Jiro snorts loudly when Kotone mentions Itami raising children, and their being hers. "Nah, we aren't 'er kids at all, hiibaba-chan." Yes the insults of old age just keep on flyin'. "Obaa-chan doesn't 'ave any kids that I know 'bout, and 's prob'ly a good thing too cause she isn't really all that good with kids. An', well look at 'er," he half turns to motion to Itami, "she's wearin' clothes like I used ta when I lived on the stree's."
Arika blinks a bit and peers at Kotone. "Itami-sama's not my mom!" she huffs. "She's more like my aunt or something." Sagenod. The girl glances over to Jiro a bit, leaning on Kotone casually. "Heheh… Itami-sama doesn't look /that/ bad!" she comments, but she's used to what Jiro used to wear and what he wears now. It's just a thing. There's… quite a lot of grumbling about birds when Itami introduced her mom, and she frowned a bit and poked herself in the head.
"I'm inclined to agree with you. You're just such an adorable rapscallion," Kotone smirked at Jiro. "I wouldn't say you've stepped too far ahead of the curve, but judging by appearances, her clothes do look a bit worn. I could take that tattered mess and turn it into something brilliant," she tsked. "An aunt isn't much better, really. She has three more sisters. They should be aunts, but they're not. Not yet, at least," she replied to Arika. "I think I've arrived just in time. I see I'll have to get her whipped into shape and more presentable. There's certain to be someone up here that's interested…"
Itami had since crumbled and turned to dust, but she recovered and shook it all off, regaining some of her color, but maintaining all of the sickness. "No, absoutely not. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I don't need you meddling in my life." Kotone doesn't look convinced. Not that she would, anyway. "No, I think I do. Oh, your sisters are on the way as well, so you might as well get all the sand out of your scales now while I'm here. We're in for a long stay to see how you're faring in these parts. Besides, you have two lovely children that are of no relation to you at all. I think I could use their help up here. This one knows the streets, so…what do you know?" She points out Jiro's knowledge, though she wonders what Arika can do. "Anything you can offer to this intervention?"
Itami's face twists into a scowl. "You can't possibly be serious. They're kids. They have nothing to do with my love life." Kotone shrugged. "They certainly do. They're the only living children I can stare at with some meager amount of hope that you can acquire some of your own one day."
Jiro is all over this nonsense! As soon as Kotone mentions a mate for Itami he's tapping his chin thoughtfully and going over people he can think of. "Hmm, there's Zankaru…Ginrei…Ayumu…but 'e's not really 'round anymore. Oh, maybe Kaidan woul' be a good one." Yep, he's going to spill all the beans and dirty secrets he can possibly think of to this awesome mother. Oh then there's the mention of sisters and more of them coming! "Ohh…she 'as sisters? Why didn'cha ever mention tha' obaa-chan?" Jiro gives Itami a disappointed frown.
Arika hmms… "I would mind if Itami-sama was my mom! I like her! And she sorta looks out for me, so that's like parents, right?" She was an orphan under foster care, if one really wanted to get technical, and Jiro, though his parents were alive, was living away from them and with her. Itami isn't looked to until she actually recovers from her dustiness, and Arika tilts her head a bit. "Umm… I know where you can find Kai-kun! And also where to find someone who makes really good cakes and super pretty decorations!" So she can help with a wedding?
"You didn't mention your sisters either? I can understand why you wouldn't mention me, but at least you got along well with your sisters. You could have at least spoken of them in passing or something," Kotone scolds Itami. "They were never here and I didn't think I needed to. It's not like mentioning their names somehow gave me extra abilities to conduct my duties with," Itami retaliated. "I needed to think for myself while I was here. I had long since left home and didn't think it was anything worth thinking about." Kotone lips twitched in a show of disappointment. "I didn't think you had that much disdain for your home." Itami folded her arms. "It wasn't home I had disdain for, it's…" She stopped herself short of a deadpan remark towards her mother. She sighed and shook her head. "Anyway, you're here now, so I suppose that counts."
Kotone didn't show it on her face, but she knew exactly where Itami was coming from. "I'll copy down the names of all these potentials you've just mentioned…I don't think I ever caught your name?" She slipped a pen out and pointed it at Jiro directly to indicate him prior to writing the names down on a small pad. "So, Itami takes care of you even though she isn't your mother? And you say you're not adopted. I find that a bit strange, but I suppose friendships don't need to come with a particular age attached. Are there any adults she knows? Far be it from me to say she can't be friends with kids, but if they're her /only/ friends, well then…" She shrugged. "But all that aside! Yes, let's find a planner and cakes…decorations… Anything else?"
Itami raised a hand. "Yes, I just would like to know how this visit turned into a dating game?"
Jiro jumps up to grab Itami's arm when she raises her hand, using his weight to try and drag it back down. "She wasn't askin' you obaa-chan," the boy neatly informs the Kage before turning back to Kotone. "'m Jiro!" He thumbs himself in the chest when he says the name to indicate himself. "Tha's Arika," he adds, pointing to the girl just in case she didn't get her name either. "An' yeah, I think she 'as older friends too. Um…" he considers, then looks over to Arika uncertainly as he tries to think of names. "I mean…she's go' friends in Kiri too righ'?" He asks, scratching his head as he tries to figure it out. And then…oh, a wedding! "I wanna help with the weddin'!" He adds, grinning widely up at Kotone. "An' I can go'n find those people if ya want me ta," he adds before pointing at her notepad.
"I'm Arika, and that's Jiro-kun!" the girl says almost at the same time as Jiro. Dang, they are probably in each other's presence too often… The girl peers a bit at Itami as she thinks of names, then looks to Jiro. "oh! She hangs out with Kuroki-sama! And Kai-kun! And sometimes she spends time with Ping-san." Sometimes. Not that often, though. In fact, it's probably really stretching things. "Ooh! I can probably find Kai-kun! Or Ayumu-san." She eyes Jiro a bit. "I dun think Zankun is a good idea. He's barely older than us!"
Arika also totally nodded at the random question that was posed her way. Yep
Itami felt the weight of an entire boy dragging her arm down and she slumped to keep from making an unwanted trip to the ground. "She didn't need to ask me, I'm the one whose life is about to be jeopardized!" She used her free arm to bop Jiro across the head. "Itami! Is this how you intend to raise your future children? Hitting them is not appropriate." Itami recoiled. "What?! You hit me! How is this any different?" Kotone continued copying down notes. "No, I spanked you. I never closed my fist and struck you. There's a difference, you know…" Itami growled, though she had to admit she was right. "Arika and Jiro. You two will have to entertain me further when we go out together to discuss further planning. I think I'll place the both of you on the committee. You both know Itami well enough and honestly, it seems she's in dire need of an intervention. You all just don't know how important you all are right now!"
Itami could not believe what was happening right now and when she opened her mouth to voice further complaint and aggravation, the only thing that came out was a sneeze. Guess her pre-cold is catching up with her and is turning into something more. She took one deep sniff to try and work out her nose. "There isn't any wedding. I haven't even found anyone yet!" She paused and facepalmed. "I mean…Anyway, I can find someone completely on my own! And yes I have adult friends, you don't need to guess at them all." Kotone hummed. "Alright, name them." Itami cocked her head. "Eh? Name them? Well, let's see, you guys already listed some of them…" She began to mutter to herself to determine who else was out there. This doesn't appear to be looking up at all.
Jiro's grin widens as he's told he gets to help with the planning and all that. "Yea'! I'll help a lot!" He agrees, looking over to Arika and nudging her with an elbow. "We're gonna make it the best party ever, righ'?" It's not really a question but he does pose it as such. At this point he seems to pretty much be ignoring Itami and whatever arguments she might be trying to come up with. "Zankaru…well 'e's older'n us though!" Jiro taps his chin thoughtfully before he nods, "I think we shoul' find Kaidan firs'. I think he'n obaa would be a good match, an' then they can 'ave kids fer us to play with!"
Arika grins and nods, excited. "'course! I'm ready as I'll ever be, and I can help a bunch!" She blinks at Jiro. "You think Kai-kun? I dunno if he's a good choice since he and Itami-sama never seem to see each other. But maybe! 's not like they're on bad terms," she says with a small nod. The girl makes a handseal, and a second Arika appears. "Le's try t' find him quick!"
"Sounds like a plan. So we'll need to find this Kaidan person," Kotone circles his name on her notepad. "This isn't a plan, this is a disaster waiting to happen!" Itami argues, but Kotone approaches her quickly enough to shush any other disagreements she may have. Wrapping an arm around her shoulders, she gently taps her lips with her fingers to silence her. "Just let this happen. We're all here to help and you're being difficult right now." Itami scoffed. "Difficult?!" She's silenced once more with taps and soft pettings. "Yes, difficult. Just look at them. They're doing this for you. Have you done anything for them?" Itami thrust her arms out in emphasis. "Yes, I've done everything for them! They took all of my money!" Kotone grinned. "Then you should understand. You've done everything for them, now they wish to return the favor."
Itami laments and sniffles. "This is not good for my health. I need to go to the item store so I can get some medicine."
Jiro rolls his eyes though his grin doesn't fade any, "Oh stop bein' so dramatic!" As if he's really one to talk about all of that. "We're jus' tryin' ta help make sure yer happy, an' I think Kaidan would be good fer ya. And the other way 'round too! Yer both a bit crazy so 'm sure that it'll work out good." Yep! When the clone Arika appears Jiro nods, then points in one direction. "You start goin' that way, 'kay? An' I'll go this way," he points in another direction, then looks to the real Arika, "An' you go that way. An' whoever finds 'im first bring 'im back 'ere. Got it?"
Both Arikas gives a quick salute, saying, "We'll find Kai-kun super quick! Itami-Sama, go and get some rest and don' worry about anything. We'll find Kai-kun and get you some really awesome seats at the theater and get you a fancy dinner and everything!" they declare at the same time, the real one shooting a grin to Jiro even as they plan. "Le's go!"
"I didn't think crazy qualified for finding a mate. I have been around enough crazy in my life, but…maybe it rubbed off on me?" Itami wondered. "Did I become crazy by proxy?" Kotone gave it some thought. "No, you have always been a bit off." Itami grumped. "I came by it honestly, don't you think?" Kotone nodded. "Yes, I never denied that it was in the family. Definitely your father's side. I'm not the slightest bit of disturbed at all." Itami could only whimper softly.
"Good luck finding him!" Kotone chimed. "Let's go to the item store and get you that medicine you mentioned. I need to do a little shopping anyway." Itami whined further. "Oh, don't be so dramatic. Listen to Jiro. Just accept that you're crazy and a whole host of other things people have mentioned about you, probably. It'll make things easier. I did and I'm doing just fine. We'll get you a special someone yet."