Date: October 25, 2013
A chance meeting at the boneyard gardens leads to an argument over what it means to be a friend. The duo reconcile… Eventually.
"What Are Friends For"
Kirigakure's Boneyard Gardens
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 wood chips. 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.
Even if the Kirigakure sky is still full of the usual clouds, scattered just enough for streams of sunlight to break through and warm patches of the Land of Water, the heat of summer lingered in the air. Enough so that Yuriko decides to take a break from her usual yukata and instead wear a light, pale yellow summer dress edged with ruffles. The Boneyard Gardens is surrounded with trees, giving just enough shade that the heat isn't unbearable. She even planned ahead by packing away some food and lemonade for later. Because after a good hard play, she'll want a treat.
The Dance of the Camellia is difficult to master. She was shown the moves by her mother, but Yuriko can't seem to get them just right. Not the way she's seen them demonstrated. And on more than one occasion she forces herself to pause and make a face as she thinks over the mechanics of the dance. Taking a small breath, she closes her eyes as the smile fades away, her thoughts turning inwards.
As always it does not matter if it rains or if its sunny, snowing or plainly foggy, because regardless of Mother Nature's mood Kiyoshi is never dissuaded from wearing his trademark gear. The gas mask in particular is far too essential to maintaining a certain prestige… or something along those lines. Actually, there is but one small exception that cost Kiyoshi an extra ten minutes before leaving home; and that exception is the boy's jacket. It was difficult to part with its comforting near constant embrace, but it was either the mask or piece of extra clothing that needed to be left behind in order to avoid another beach episode. Then again, it was not his intent to visit Yuriko today…
"And yet, here I am," Kiyoshi mutters derisively to himself as he stood before the entrance lined by the bones of some giant unknown creature. Or maybe a Kaguya was responsible? It would explain — Kiyoshi rapidly shakes his head, derailing that line of thought before looking around sharply. No one is in his immediate vicinity. He sighs in relief, and then straightens up and marches into the garden. As much as he tries to mentally blind himself from anything that could potential relate to his friend (especially since he was still a little sore about Kaiju), Kiyoshi still wonders close to her usual stomping grounds.
The Epigaea Dagger is flipped in her hand, without even a glance down at it as Yuriko exhales another, slower breath through her small nose. And with a step forward, she tries to take the dance moves slower, attempting to flow like water as she's seen her mother move so often. The fluid movements twisting and dodging invisible enemies with deliberate twists, the motions still unfamiliar as her yellow skirt twists and turns around her legs. After a few moments of this, Yuriko comes to a pause, her back still towards Kiyoshi as she tilts her snowy head, feeling the presence of someone near by. Close enough to be in the immediate area she knew, otherwise she wouldn't feel anything at all. "Who's there?"
Kiyoshi manages to avoid starting at the sound of Yuriko's voice, as per the norm, but he is slow to draw to a stop and regard the girl. He is even slower at answer her question, though that had more to do with the boy trying to puzzle out who the heck was the girl in the sundress. Certianly NOT Yuriko because she was a fan of Kimono's from what he could recall. But then again…
"Moto, Kiyoshi Moto." He replies evenly as he turned around fully to face the back of the girl before him. It is at which point that he notices the Epigaea Dagger in hand. Without even thinking, the air about the boy becomes tense as he shifted around subtly into a more defensible position. Perhaps it was unecessary. Even so, it is difficult to keep from slipping into a combat oriented mindset with Meruin as a teacher.
GAME: Save complete.
Kiyoshi gives his name as Yuriko blinks her rich aquamarine eyes over her shoulder at him, surprise briefly flickering through her expression before it brightens with a beaming smile. A giggle escapes as she turns around and dashes straight for the boy, coming a few feet short but the apparent giddiness never fading. "I haven't seen you in a few days! I thought you were mad at me or something." she smiles. "You like my dress? Its new! I have to be careful playing in it though so it doesn't mess it up."
It takes every ounce of willpower plus the initial shock that it was Yuriko charging at him to keep Kiyoshi standing place, seemingly completely at ease. His facial expression tell another story, but thankfully the gas mask came with a one-sided visor. When asked about his disappearance, Kiyoshi opens his mouth to respond, only to close it again due to Yuriko's bombardment of words. Even once she seems finished the boy hesitates before simply shrugging, then stuff his hands into his pockets. "Why bother wearing it if you have to careful with it?," He asks bluntly. After hearing those words out loud, the boy quickly tries to amend, albeit awkwardly, by saying, "Not that it isn't very you.. wait.. yes.. no, the dress is very you, I mean."
Yuriko blinks her bright eyes at him as he asks what is a very silly question in her opinion. She tilts her snowy head, bangs falling out of her face if only for a moment. "Because I'm a girl. Silly. Girls like wearing pretty dresses." That seems obvious to her. And pulling a compliment out of Kiyoshi was like pulling teeth.
The little Kaguya tilts her head the other direction watching him studiously still. "Hm." He didn't /seem/ mad at her, though somehow she doubted that he would ever admit just why she hasn't seen him in several days. Exhaling a small breath, her shoulders slump subtly. And getting that answer sounds exhausting. "Nice to see you too." Yuriko waves her free hand, turning around to return to her little patch of the garden she had been practicing.
Kiyoshi looked away as he rolled his eyes in response to her reply. He really needed to stop walking into those kinds of traps. The "hm." draws his eyes back towards Yuriko. An action the boy soon regrets because the studious look in her eyes instantly puts him on edge. Questions and answers flit through his mind, and the longer she stared, the harder it became to try and sort through them. Let alone hold them back before he ends up blurting something he may regret.
A shaky sigh of relief escapes his lips when Yuriko finally turns away. He winces a second later. Something about what just happened seemed a little off. Did Yuriko just seemed annoyed right now? Perhaps even angry? Absentmindedly combing through his hair through those curly, green locks of his yields no satisfactory results as she walks away, so the boy tries to simply put the minor concern out of mind. It does not work. "… It is nice to see, Yuriko.. chan." He takes a breath. "And that dress of your is very… pretty." His heart heart for admitting that, but at least this way she'll be happier. Maybe. He did kind of sound flat at first, and the last part of the confession was rushed towards the end.
With her Dagger already out, Yuriko twirls it in her tiny fingers as she begins the steps again, trying to recall what her mother explained to her. It wasn't necessarily the pattern of the steps but using the motion of dancing in order to evade attacks and use momentum to her advantage. Still, this was tough!
Her bright eyes blink once as she glances over her shoulder at Kiyoshi, hearing him call her 'chan', followed by the compliment that she had wanted initially. Something flickers in her eyes before glancing away. "When you're gone too long, it makes me worry…" she admits, muttering quietly. But he would just say that she's worrying too much about him. He's said it before. Sighing lightly, she throws the dagger into the ground at her side before plopping on the soft ground.
On reflex Kiyoshi almost looked away when Yuriko's eyes were set upon him once more; but, by strength of will he manages resist. 'Your worrying too much' rested at the tip of his tongue after hearing the admission. And yet, the boy cannot bring himself to say those tired and true (from his perspective) words. It felt strangely wrong to even think along those lines. Just a little.
Frustrated, Kiyoshi clenched the hand tangled up in his hair. Then relaxed the hand and let it fall to the wayside as he approached Yuriko. The air about him grows tense as he grows closer but by all appearances he seems calm. Whichever side is the opposite of where the dagger rest is where Kiyoshi ultimately plops down to sit closely next to Yuriko. A moment of silence on his part passes before an arm is wearily roped around Yuriko's torso from behind to pull her into a half-hug. "I'm sorry… Yuriko-chan." He states evenly with his gazed focused solely ahead.
Hearing (feeling) him approach, Yuriko glances up at him, watching as Kiyoshi ultimately lowers himself to take a seat next to her. He almost catches her by surprise when he loosely wraps an arm around her shoulders in an attempt to comfort her, despite his eyes trained stonily ahead of them. Pausing for a moment, she leans into the half-hug. The moment lingering as they remain where they are, simply sitting. "Oh. I made you something." Yuriko suddenly says, reaching up to the Kirigakure Headband that dangles from around her thin neck to fiddle with something. The leather strap that's hidden behind it. When she undoes the necklace, she holds it out for Kiyoshi. It was an ivory arrowhead, looped with a simple, thin leather strap. "Here."
In spite of knowing that if he looks at Yuriko, he ran the risk of failing to keep embarrassment from getting to him, Kiyoshi cannot bring himself to ignore etiquette in favor of self-preservation. This did not mean he did not try at first, but inevitable his eyes are warily upon her. "Is that-…" He catches himself just barely before extending his freer hand out for Yuriko to drop the gift into. As soon as it is in hand Kiyoshi examines it by touch at first with his thumb, then more heavily by sight after raising it up and letting it dangle in the air by its leather strap. In what may be a surprising feat of dexterity and speed, the gift is dropped, snatched up, and covered completely by Kiyoshi's hand. "Why.. I mean, what made you make this for me?" He asks more curious than anything else.
Yuriko settles the ivory arrowhead in the middle of his palm before releasing the leather band, allowing it to fall between his fingers. And as he inspects it curiously, she watches him in turn. At least, she tries to gauge his expression through the gas mask. It tends to obscure her view though. "'Why'?" she asks, her bright eyes glancing up at sky thoughtfully for a moment or so. "That's what friends do. Gifts and hanging out and stuff." Yuriko murmurs. "I thought the arrowhead looks like something you might like, but I can change it if you want. I can't make my own bone yet, so I used a little from my Dagger."
Kiyoshi did not know what to say or how to really feel about the gift. So, when he next looked at Yuriko, it is with uncertainty clearly in mind. "Hnn.." He uncurls his hand to gaze upon the gift directly once more. While the intent by the gift may have been simple and innocent, to Kiyoshi it meant much more as he thought over what she said. For his sake she was willing to risk grievously damaging her fang. Also, in doing so she trusted him lend her his strength as well.
He really needed to stop over-thinking things…
"Thank you," He murmurs before pulling away to make space to use both hands to affix the gift around his wrist (since his headband was wrapped around his neck), firm yet loose enough for the arrowhead to dangle. "Hmm… shoot, sorry that I don't have gift for you Yuriko-san."
Yuriko smiles some when he silently accepts the gift and begins attaching it to his wrist, like a bracelet. "Its okay. You don't have to give me anything." she replies easily. "Kaguya bone is harder than diamond, so you don't have to worry about damaging it by accident or something. But if you want it to look like something else instead, I can change it. Make it look like anything!" The little Kaguya is rather proud of that fact, that she has such an ability. "Oh. I can also feel when you're close by too with it. Not very far, but a little bit. Its kinda neat."
Although Yuriko attempted to assuage the young Moto's worries, Kiyoshi still felt obligated to return the sentiment. Perhaps not today, but definitely sometime in the near future, if at all possible. "I'll keep that in mind, Yuriko-san. But for now—" He lightly flicks the arrow piece by its flat side. "I like it the way it is," He said with a small smile. Just as his gaze was about to turn back fully to the gift again the "oh" from Yuriko snags his attention. Worry immediately crept into his heart. As things turned it out his concern was not beyond reasoning, because Yuriko just tricked him into placing a tracking collar on.
"….N-Not very far, huh?" He chuckles nervously. Too late to give the gift back now. Kind of. But in any case, all it meant was that he would have to be very careful from now on. "Hmm… Is that trick the same one you share with your Yuuka-sama?" He asks.
Yuriko smiles a bit bigger, a giggle she couldn't help escaping. Clearly pleased that he likes the gift she'd made for him. She turns her snowy head to glance at him, shrugging a shoulder absently. "No, not very. I'm not very strong." she admits. "Mommy can do it farther away because she's had practice, she's stronger." Reaching for her dagger, Yuriko pulls it clearly from the soft earth and holds it flat across both of her hands. "This is made from Mommy's bone. And she says if I'm ever in trouble, she'll come to my rescue." She falls quiet, thoughtful as she looks over the vine-like design that makes up the dagger. "I wonder if I would get the Kekkai Genkai like hers. Not many Kaguya get it."
Kiyoshi listens respectfully, the entirety of his attention focused solely on the girl next to him. The Kaguya: Walking Bone Factories who forge weapons from their very innards. The thought of Yuriko doing the same sends a shiver down Kiyoshi's spine. They were weird, but then again, it is not as if he could really judge. More importantly…
"Ain't no point even wondering or worrying bout something like that Yuriko-chan," He says as pet her head softly (presumably if she allows it). "There's probably a lot pressure on ya about it, but don't even sweat it. That sense for bones is proof enough, tho' even if ya don't awaken your Kekkai Genkai it won't change nothun. Your-…" He pauses and closes his eyes, appearing thoughtful for a moment. "Your still a Kaguya. Your still Yuriko, and… mmm… You'll just carve your own path regardless." With his freer hand Kiyoshi pulls back the mask until it rested comfortable on top of his head without detaching and smiled weakly. "A path you and Yuuka-sama can be proud of, right?"
Yuriko is quiet, contemplative as she listens to Kiyoshi's pondering. Thoughtful on the subject as well. A small smile tugs at her lips at his bit of insight. He's always reassuring her, even now. A tiny chuckle escapes and she turns away, reaching for her cloth bundle to pull it closer. Undoing the knot with her tiny fingers, she pulls it open and pushes the top off. "And you've earned yourself an onigiri!" Yuriko smiles brighter, pulling out one of the rice balls to hold it out for him. "Thanks for saying that. I think that too."
Kiyoshi simply stares blankly at Yuriko, uncertain for a moment about rather or not Yuriko had manipulated him again or if he was just being paranoid. His stomach growls lowly in protest, settling the debate in an instant. "Hnn… Not a problem," He murmurs as he shifted the hand still at rest on her head to take up the offering. Without a second more of hesitation beyond a murmured "Itadakimasu" the youth takes one large bite, consuming well over half of it in one go. "Mmm… Remind me to thank Yuuka-sama later for this." He states before taking a smaller bite this time. He really wanted to savor it now.
Yuriko takes a rice ball for herself, "Itadakimasu." she giggles, taking a bite from it. And after chewing that first bite she glances back to Kiyoshi beside her. Smiling brighter and shaking her snow head so that it slides all around. Amusing her. "I got lemonade too. Just tell me if you get too hot again or whatever." It wouldn't do if he got heat stroke again after all. "K. I'll remind you. Maybe you could stay over some time too. That would be fun." Yuriko giggles. "Cookies and cocoa and staying up all night playing jokes." From the sound of her voice, she's almost wishful.
Kiyoshi shook his head after the first bit. "You really won't let that go, huh?" He asks as he peered at her from his peripheral. At some point when she spoke again Kiyoshi began to open his mouth to interject, then closed it in reconsideration. A wistful look overtook the usually calm facade as she drew near the end. It all sounded pretty nice… but with a shake of his head he derails that line of thought. The last two times he had been over Yuriko's house, he either left with a lot to think about or had to feign being asleep to avoid a possible interrogation from Yuuka. "Maybe Yuriko, tho' I'll need a heads-up if your planning to invite Sei… san, or that little kid from the other day around the same time," He says.
The little girl almost smirks. Almost. Taking a healthy bite, she makes a note not to bring it up again, preserving the boy's pride in the process. As she chews, she turns her head towards him, bangs falling into her face while Yuriko listens to him speak. A thoughtful look flickers through her expression. "I haven't seen Sei-kun in a while. Longer than the last time I saw you." she murmurs, "Why do you ask?" she asks curiously, bright eyes idly watching whatever expression he might have the moment she asks.
The elder child's eye seem to grow dim in response to the question. A flicker of darkness that Kiyoshi tries to hide by looking away and delyaing things by licking his fingers clean of lunch. Or is it breakfast? "I rather not have to deal with him just yet." He states with the hope that that will be enough. However, Kiyoshi knew Yuriko far too well. So after a moment of silence that is broken only by a weary sigh, he attempts to clarify things a bit. "Not sure If I told ya this before, but the last time we met, the first time as well, we got into a very-…" He trails with a frown. He knew what he >should< say, needed to in fact, but given the circumstances he continues on by saying, "Heated debate… L-long story short, I lost…. I don't wanna lose again." Now that the cat is out of the bag, Kiyoshi peers at Yuriko from the corner of his eyes, watchful of how she might have taken it all. Even with such precautions the nervous air about him cannot be mistaken.
A small frown touches her delicate brow as she listens. Kiyoshi's made it clear in the past just how much he despises Sei. Is 'despise' the right word? Yeah, that sounds about right. "Hm." Holding onto her half-eaten rice ball, her other hand reaches up to scratch at the back of her snowy head, thoughtful. "I can understand that, but I more meant why about company in general. If we had a sleep over." She was curious, no doubt. And she wanted to get that answer before letting the cat out of the bag that it might be impossible.
Kiyoshi double blinked and scratched his head in confusion. A second later and he pulls the hand away, groaning because he screwed up by using the finger licked hand. "It'd be very, very, VERY hard to focus around him." Translation: Chances are within the first few minutes of being in the same room, somebody is gonna try and hurt the other. Granted it may be too soon just to assume that after only one meeting with Sei so far. Nevertheless, at the moment that is how Kiyoshi felt. The look in his eyes certainly confirmed it. "I… I can try tho'… tho' chances are if it ain't a mission or our lives aren't at a stake, then chances are…" There need be nothing more spoken.
Yuriko makes a face, her expression going flat as Kiyoshi places further emphasis on that distaste. Looks like she'll have to clarify, Because he wasn't going to get off of his Sei-hatin' kick unless she pushes him off of it. She exhales a sigh, finishing off her rice ball. Then turning in her seat, she faces towards him. "My mom took a student in to teach, Hissori-kun. The boy you met earlier. And now he's staying at our house. But if we had a sleepover, we couldn't /not/ invite him. That would be mean."
Kiyoshi had wished to respond in kind upon noticing Yuriko's movement. However, given the fact that she felt the need to do something like that preluded to the subject remaining the same, and the discussion growing more heated. Out of some semblance of respect he still turned his head to regard her as she spoke and listened without interjecting or making faces that might only worsen the situation. After all is said and done he bows his head for a moment, eyes narrowed as he mused things over, then returned his attention back upon the clearing at large. A dreary sigh is emitted. Followed by a weary shake of the boy's head. "I know… but in that case, it'd be better if its just you three then." He snorts. "Not that it probably would'nove ended up being that case anyhow." He adds with a roll of his eyes.
She knew that kind of answer would be given.
Still her jaw firms and her eyes narrow on him, clearly displeased by his choice of answers. "Are you ever fun?" she murmurs with some flatness. "You know? What kids do? Fun?" Yuriko makes a face. "It isn't a bad thing to have fun. And I'm starting to think you're only just a wet blanket." Pressing her lips together, she makes a face again at him. "Not everyone has selfish motives to use you, Kiyoshi-kun. Sometimes a party is just a party. It isn't a bad thing to want you there."
Kiyoshi glanced sharply in Yuriko's direction after catching the murmured words; but, the instant he read the feelings behind her expression he looked towards the ground again. Never once did he look up after that as she spoke. He only gritted his teeth behind closed lips and pulled up the grass, absentmindedly venting his frustration with every blade that is freed. If she were a boy he probably would have interjected and yelled back at her at some point. He might have even gone as far as to pop her in the mouth for the insults. Maybe he might have even simply got up and left without another word. If she weren't Yuriko and so freaking right all the time…
"Your missing the point," He murmured dryly. "If I'm such a wet blanket, why do you even bother with me anyways?" He asked more bitterly than intended.
The little girl gives him a flat glance. "What's the point then?" she counters easily. If she missed something, she wanted Kiyoshi to tell her clearly without just hinting at it. But what are the chances of that happening.
Yuriko exhales an exaggerated breath as she shifts her weight again, turning and plopping herself on the ground, arms spread above head and snow white waves tousled to frame her head like a halo. Her bright eyes stare up at the sky. Again, a different question but the same answer. Would he get it this time? Or is this a problem on her end? "Because you're a good guy." she murmurs. "Despite how tough you try to act, you're a good guy that cares. And not just anyone could comfort me when my daddy died." She breathes through her nose as she closes her eyes. "And friendship isn't just about bad times. There should be good times too. But for some reason I don't think you want to let yourself have good times. And what kind of friend would I be if I didn't try to drag you into having fun?"
No answer is forthcoming from the boy because he honestly had no clue as to 'how' he should answer. He does try in earnest to figure it out. As time progressed and none still come to mind, the boy starts to retreat within himself, subconsciously folding his legs up and holding tightly against his body in the process. What was he missing? The thought nearly elicits a groan from the boy. Nearly. But before the feeling could manifest itself in the physical plane (in a matter of speaking), Yuriko speaks up, startling the boy, but also commanding his attention in an instant.
"… A much less annoying one." He deadpans. Soon after a ghost of a smile plays at his lips. "But a good one still," He admits with conviction. Afterwards he closed his eyes, girding himself for what was to be said next. "So when is this big sleep over supposed to happen?" He asks reluctantly.
Yuriko grunts, rather cutely even, as her hands begin fiddling with her snowy hair, eyes still closed. "Mm, it was just an idea to do something. Like festivals or picnics or… other fun stuff." She shrugs her small shoulders, opening her vivid aquamarine eyes to once more glance up at the sky, as the drifting clouds part to grace the gardens with a few stray beams of sunlight. "You don't have to do things you don't wanna do, just… don't keep yourself from trying thing either, k?" In reality Yuriko hated forcing him to do stuff with her. It felt as if she was forcing him to be her friends in those instances. And if she was, then he isn't really her friend to begin with now is he? "Bleh." The single sound summarizes everything it seems as Yuriko reaches out with a hand, searching blindly for the box before pulling out a rice ball for herself.
Kiyoshi suppresses a snicker at the cute little grunt from Yuriko. It is an endeavor that turns out to be surprisingly more difficult than one can imagine. But once that small matter is settled, Kiyoshi is free to focus on listening. Dark eyes turn towards eventually find themselves following their brighter counter-parts. The longer he stared up to the heavens, the more at ease he began to feel, though he did need to get more comfortable after awhile. Seemingly without much of a care in the world, Kiyoshi lets and falls flat on his back. "Oww.." He moans under breath before re-adjusting his mask from behind his head. The darn thing just had to get in the way. "…. I'll try, Yuriko-chan. But that's all I can promise," He says. And he would do just that if the opportunities every arrive. Partially in truth because… he honestly wondered what it would be like to go to festivals, picnics, and things of that sort, without have to worry about saying the wrong thing and attracting too much attention to his folks side business. At the same time he began to dread the idea. With just one idle glance at Yuriko, a glance that becomes outright staring — which he had not meant to — as she ate, his worries are assuaged. A little.
Yuriko hears Kiyoshi plop on his back beside her, laying on the grass as well as they both stare up at the Kirigakure sky. A quiet moment passes before he speaks up again, making that promise to her. She shrugs her slender shoulders, "That kind of promise you make to yourself, k? It seems like the kind of promise that would be more important to keep for yourself than someone else." As she nibbles at her rice ball, she holds out her free hand above her head, peeking at the clouds between her fingers quietly for another comfortable moment. Even as she's stared at, she uses her fingers to try to pinch at the puffballs high above her. "What sort of things would you like to do?"
Kiyoshi only mutters something unintelligible in response before finally refocusing his gauge back on cloud watching. While Yuriko may have found the need to toy with the puffballs with her fingers, using his imagination alone is enough to satisfy the young Moto. "What do you mean?" He asks absentmindedly as he canted his head a little. That narrow cloud up high looked kind of like a giant cleaver for some reason. "Must be this air," He mused quietly aloud. A second later passes before a look of panic flashes in Kiyoshi's eyes. With haste suprising for such an indolent fellow Kiyoshi lifts his head just far enough to secure the mask back into place before relaxing again. A satisfied sigh of relief is soon emitted.
Now the cloud looks like a zanbato.
Yuriko is rather amused by his mumbled answer, her bare feet bouncing absently while they stare up at the clouds. "I mean, what sort of things would you like to do? Festivals and picnics and sleep overs and stuff might be my ideas, but I figured that you would have ideas too. Things that you would like to do. Maybe swimming?" she offers, shrugging her small shoulders again.
The sudden panic makes Yuriko turn her head and blink her bright eyes at Kiyoshi, her chewing pausing. The gas mask is quickly pulled over his face and he seems to relax again. That was a little weird.
Kiyoshi response is slow on account of the disturbing sword-like clouding retaining much of the Moto's attention. Even after the cloud has passed mostly out of view he still struggles for a moment more with a reply. "Dunno," He starts off quietly. "Most of the stuff I like to do aren't the type of stuff for a group." Kiyoshi let's his head roll to the side away from Yuriko on that note. To have chosen his hobbies and to reflect and realize just how pathetic they made dealt a heavy blow to the ego.
"…. Meh, Sorry Yuriko-san. I just got nuthin… Though—" He rolls his head back around, and opens his mouth to ask why, but closes it without uttering a word.
Yuriko hums to herself thoughtfully, her eyes returning to the sky above them as the free hand falls by her side. "I guess that's something you can think about then." Taking another bite, she chews for another moment or so before she smiles. "Have you ever tried cotton candy? Its soooo yummy. Last time I had it was at the New Years Festival. There was all sorts of treats and fun games where you can win little goldfish. And I got to dress up in a pretty kimono for the New Years." Yuriko giggles. "I like doing things like that."
"Suppose so," He murmurs wistfully. Tenatively, Kiyoshi returned his gaze skyward. This way he could avoid appearing all creepy for staring again. Not that Yuriko seemed to notice or mind. But still, best to avoid making things awkward. Kiyoshi wrinkles his nose at the cotton candy part and pantomimes a "blech". "Surumu-niisan brought some to the — *pauses* — home after the Festival was over. Stuff is just… Uuugh." Just thinking back was enough to get him shuddering. Never again will he listen to his elder brother when it comes to sweets. "Hmm… I don't get it though. Did you mean dress up general, or special events?" He asks, genuinely confused over the matter. What was so great about dressing up on a holiday? Aren't people supposed to enjoy those times without having to worry about breaking in itchy clothing?
Yuriko giggles at the sound he makes. Really, like cotton candy could ever be bad!
"I guess dress up special events." she answers, after finishing the last of her rice ball. "I wore one of my most prettiest winter kimonos for the festival, and ate dango and cotton candy, and tried to catch the goldfish with my bare hands." The little girl giggles again, smiling. "If a festival is always fun like that, it must be ten times fun with friends. I can't wait for the next one." Yuriko wiggles in place, all excited. "Hee. I also look forward to missions too. I can only imagine what sort of things you can learn on missions."
Kiyoshi ahs quietly in understanding, though a few questions still remained on the subject. For the time being however, those questions are set aside in favor of more pressing issues; such as trying to get the distracting image of Yuriko in a holiday kimono out of mind. Kiyoshi is a little less than successful, and this shows in the form of his being rather fidgety for awhile. "Like how easy it is to put a knife in someone's neck," Kiyoshi commented half-jokingly. "…. Neh, Yuriko-chan?" He pauses to give her enough time to answer. "Do you know when's the next festival supposed to be?"
The words aren't spoken aloud as Yuriko rolls over onto her tummy, folding her arms under her head as she turns her snowy head to face him and rest her head on the back of her forearms. "Hm? Next festival?" she wonders, pondering. "I suppose there's one for the Harvest, Christmas, and New Years after that." Her smile grows. "But my birthday would be next month if you want to go."
Kiyoshi frowns and cants his head to the side. He "hmms" for a moment or two there as well before lifting his head far enough to slide his hands behind it. Again he forgot about the stickiness of his fingers, but at this point he could careless. He would probably regret that later as a result though. "Wouldn't be a very good friend if I didn't go now would I?" He states more than asks, and yet pauses long enough for the lass to speak up if she wish. "Heh, I'll be there….. But uhm, Yuriko…" Because of the mask Kiyoshi is forced to turn a little in order to glance at her from the peripheral, so he had to rely on the visor to keep from preemptively giving away just how nervous he was becoming. "What… Mm… What other kind of things do you like?"
"'Other things'?" Yuriko repeats, pondering out loud before she falls quiet, thinking. "Hm. I guess lots of things. I like sweets. Like dango. And I like puzzles and games. Figuring out how to work through a tough puzzle so that I win is always fun." Her knees bend, bare feet bouncing slowly above her. "The Graduation Test was my toughest puzzle." she murmurs softer, quiet, but satisfied in the end.
"Yeah," Kiyoshi replies warily, and then clamped down on his bottom lip to keep from breaking Yuriko's concentration. During that moment of silence the young Moto also uses that as an opportunity to twist around fully to face her, then prop his head up with his arm at an angle. In this way he could hear her more clearly when she began to speak.
Sweets and Puzzles. The former would be easy enough to obtain so long as he could maintain a his henge long enough. The latter on the hand made Kiyoshi worry; especially considering that he had to somehow top the Graduation Test in order to really impress her. But what possible puzzle could he concoct that would suffice? "Maybe a puzzle with 'that' as a reward," Kiyoshi mused quietly yet loud enough to be overheard. "Yosh." Kiyoshi rolled over to his belly, slipped his hands beneath him, and pushed off the ground with enough force to that all it takes is a leg being kicked out forward and planted firmly to keep him standing. "I better get started now while Meruin-sensei is still in the village," He says edgily. Without another word or second to reconsider, Kiyoshi starts taking off for the Garden entrances at a brisk pace.