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Who: Meguro Gau (tenpa_tantrum) and Asano Rin (revengeisalie)
Status: Closed, ongoing
Style: Prose, Present Tense
Where: Raisato
When: Week 5, Day 7, mid-morning
Warnings: none I'd hope?

This is something Gau has learned, in the past few years. A part of his growing-up, perhaps, this single truth.

No matter what is going on in his head, or what his emotional state is, there is always something that needs to be done. Even more importantly, he knows about himself, at this point, that he likes that.

So on this particular morning, his mind still a jumble from too many confusing dreams and the aftermath of those dreams, he is out and about, working hard.

His sweater vest and tie are nowhere to be seen, but he wears a neat short-sleeved button up and dress pants anyway. His katana swings from his belt, and his usual messenger bag is slung over his body, overstuffed as always.

He darts through town quickly, his short legs taking many small steps, collecting food items and gathering up last minute items and doing his best to be ready for whatever is coming that day.

Plus he has to make lunch at some point. And probably dinner. And...

There's a look of almost panic on his face, as he turns back in the direction he just came from, toward the Strahl, trying to sort everything out.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 15th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
Tomorrow, they are leaving. That is what Valeria told them. They will be heading to Tsuchisato next, and Rin can't wait. Finally, she'll be able to look for her weapons. She misses the familiar weight of the daggers on her body and the sword swinging at her hip, even if she's gotten used to her light step lately, to just her own body mass weighing her down. But what she misses most, strangely enough, is the hair rings in her braids; her head feels so light without them. That's why she's wearing her hair in a bun right now. The rings are less crucial to that style.

Since they are leaving tomorrow, today is pack-up day. Rin's own possessions aren't more than she carries on herself, so she's mostly tidying up the house she stayed at and helping out with general supplies. She's been doing trips to the storehouse and, right now, is carrying a heavy bag of rice in her arms. It's a pretty clunky walk: she has to lean back a little in order to keep her balance and put her neck and head at an awkward angle to still see what is on the road ahead of her. Already her arms and back are aching, and her legs, too, from upholding the unnatural position. She's really used to absolutely nothing (can't be, isn't that right, this body has existed for but a week, and yet so much longer, maybe, because these days are long). It'll be a while before the training with Raikou pays off, too. If it ever will. That is annoying; having to wait and endure until all that physical strain will actually show effects. Different than Kaga, where she was so preoccupied trying not to die in a ditch or something that she didn't even notice how her body changed. Didn't even notice her broken nail.

To that end, and every other end, she is glad that she's on this trip. If they move and pack up things a lot, she's just got to get better at it. And that is what she's telling herself as she walks down a street in Raisato -- and she's surprised at herself that she even has a vague idea of where she's going in this town, a leftover from the knowledge she collected when she first lived here. That's what she's telling herself to keep going even if the path seems to never end, her destination far-off and unreachable. Which is absurd, but that is how these things go.
May. 15th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
Other people aren't so much in Gau's mind at the moment, because he's focused more on tasks and information than anything. He doesn't notice the person coming toward him on the street, and even as he bumps into her, the lecture is forming in his mind.

What were you thinking, Gau? It's not about rudely knocking someone over, but what if there had been a threat? I can't follow you around all the time, you have to be aware of your surroundings and ready to react to them!

His hand is on Haiirogamon's hilt, at least, even as he stumbles back from the bag of rice? that he has unfortunately smacked right into. The boy's quick reflexes keep him on his feet, and he leaps back, eyes narrowing a little, to confront his 'attacker'. Or perhaps, victim.

"Can't you be a little more careful!?" He yells.
May. 15th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
It's a moderately hard impact, so Rin can just about keep herself from toppling over, though she does sway for a moment, struggling to balance the urges to stick out her arms and keep holding onto the rice bag (because if she let go of it, it might land on her feet in an undignified and painful manner) that are flooding her brain at the same time.

Once she is stable again, she cranes her neck to look at just who bumped into her, and yes, her defense, her wariness is flaring up, because who knows -- but she quickly recognizes that it's not someone who's a threat. Someone from their group. His name was... ?

But then he's already shouting at her, rather rudely, and she sticks out her bottom lip, then retorts: "Well, sorry. But you weren't watching where you went, either."
May. 15th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
"I was too!"

Gau's free hand is clenched in a fist at his side, the other one still holding onto a bag he'd managed to half-fill so far with useful herbs. Mostly for his and Yoite's use, honestly, but he has to look after his family first, quest or no quest.

"I was..." But it breaks down, and the anger slides away quickly into embarrassment. He offers her a low apologetic bow, the movements graceful now that he's being aware of himself.

It's not ingrained, yet, not like Raikou-san. But Raimei-san promised it would be, someday.

"No, I wasn't. I apologize, Rin-san."
May. 15th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
"Ah, well. No harm done," Rin answers, appeased by the bow. She'd bow back, but right now, it's a little inconvenient. Though, with her muscles aching and her legs almost giving way, she decides that this is a good moment to make a pause and put the bag down. With much care and little grace, she does so, in steps: bending her knees as far as they would, constrained by the position and her kimono besides, then leaning over while grabbing the bag harder, and finally letting it slide down slowly to the ground.

Once done with that, she gets back up, dusts herself off, and offers a belated bow in return. It is curt and small, barely more than a nod, not really polite. He looks rather small and young, so she doesn't think much politeness is needed, not as much as with older people.

She eyes his bag, trying to magically divinate what might be in it, with a raised eyebrow. "Gau, right?" And that question is more for conversation's sake than anything else. They did get a good deal more acquainted during the hunting fiasco. "So, what are you doing?"

Might as well talk a bit while she's arching this way and that, trying to work out some of the kinks in her body.

Edited at 2010-05-15 06:07 pm (UTC)
May. 15th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
Gau's own rudeness is appalling to him, as he realizes that he had not only run over a young woman carrying something rather heavy, but yelled at her for it as well. Obviously, he's simply too worked up in general lately, and needs some time to get his head on straight again.

Not to be running around like a crazy person trying to organize things or sort out the next step of the journey. He draws in a deep breath, shakes his head at Rin.

"Mostly the same thing you are, I'd guess. I already worked some on the food supplies, and I've been trying to sort out any clothing or other needs for at least my family, if not the whole group."


He isn't sure when he started to think that way, or to say that, and the word sounds strange coming out of his mouth. But he doesn't rescind it. He can't, now. They are all family, one way or another, at this point. Raikou-san and Yoite-kun and even Miharu-kun.

"And at the moment, I'm trying to be sure I have herbs, not just for cooking, but to dress wounds and hopefully help with the cough Yoite-kun gets." There's a certain softness, to his voice and his face, when he says the young man's name.
May. 16th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
"You've got family here." Rin says this very softly, almost a whisper, full of yearning. Because she can't help thinking that she hasn't got family anywhere. Even if it is pathetic. She thought she was over this. But such seems the effect of this world on her general mood.

Luckily, he provides a diversion by talking about herbs. "You know something about medicine?" It seems a little odd, such a delicate young boy, nonetheless armed, speaking about herbs and cooking and dressing wounds.

It reminds her, again, of the hair rings she's missing, and what was in them.

In the end, she might even be able to exchange knowledge about house remedies with him.
May. 16th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)

Gau blinks a little, the question and the statement on two separate topics giving him a little confusion. He isn't sure if Rin has changed the subject because she doesn't want to talk about family or not, and that wistfulness makes him pause for a moment.

He knows that he should probably play it safe and let it go, but he isn't going to do so.

"Well, I know a little medicine because I tend to like to learn about things in general, and on missions, I didn't always have a hospital nearby. Plus, well, in school just before I came here, I was taking some biology classes that included plant life, which led to an interest in identifying herbs, which led to learning about their uses..."

He blushes, smiles a little. "And Yoite-kun's health is important to me, so I am using what knowledge I have the best I can. Because he, Raikou, and Miharu are 'family', despite that fact that we're not related in any way."
May. 16th, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
A new insight into the person she was speaking to: an educated, intelligent individual with varied interests. Certainly more educated than herself, who learned how to read and write and do a little calculating with the abacus, and then tea ceremony, flower arrangement and other genteel, ladylike things that would make her a desirable bride.

A lot of what he says is interesting to her, so it's a little hard picking one. She decides to just go what he said last, and smiles. "That's a good thing. Any kind of family."

Though it does make her wonder. What about his blood family? Does he still have one, or is he, too, the last of his clan to survive?

That would most certainly be a rude thing to ask, however, which is why she doesn't.

Her finger starts playing with the strand of hair hanging down from her temple. "I know a little about using herbs, too, but just what my mother told me."
May. 16th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
Gau smiles at that, stretches a little, and shifts the bag with the herbs from one hand to the other.

"That's always the best kind of knowledge, though. There are a lot of things passed down through family traditions that works, but that science doesn't really know or recognize."

He shifts the bag again, wraps the top of it around the strap of his messenger bag, essentially freeing his hands. "Can I carry your bag for you a little, since I knocked you over and all?"
May. 17th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
Rin looks at Gau. Then she looks at the rice bag. Then she looks back at Gau. Then back to the rice bag. Well, he is a bit taller than her, but just as thin. Might be more muscular than he looks (like certain people she knows).

She shrugs. "You didn't really knock me over, but -- if you're offering..."

Far be it from her to decline such a nice offer.
May. 17th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
Gau smiles at her easily and waves a hand.

"It's the least I can do, really. Besides, I was off about my own business and not doing much useful for anyone else, so I feel a little as if I ought to help more."

He bends his knees, squats down and carefully puts his arms around the bag, minute shifts in his body adjusting the bag slung over his shoulder and his katana, getting them out of the way.

"I take it that we're headed to the ship with this?" he asks, exerting a bit of effort to straighten with his new load.

It's heavy, yes, but he doesn't have to peek around it the way she did, and his muscles have grown stronger in the past several months. "Man, this makes me glad Raimei pushed my training so hard."
May. 17th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
Stronger than he looks all right. Still, when Rin sees him hassling with all the other things he's carrying, a pang of guilt hits her, and she worries a little. "Are you going to be okay with that?" As she is speaking, she reaches out both hands in a gesture to let her take the load back.
May. 17th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
"I've got it now, just had to get comfortable."

Gau smiles at her, and there's a touch of an attempt at his partner's charm in it, for just a second. "You just make sure I don't space out and run over anyone else, how's that?"

He winks, though it's obvious that his muscles are working hard as he starts to walk toward the ship with the load.
May. 24th, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
"Well... okay," she answers, seeing the effort he has to put into it and continuing to feel guilty. She is clearly taking advantage of the situation, and he is clearly a very nice boy.

Looking toward the ship in the distance, then back at him, she starts walking alongside him. "I could carry your bag, if you want?" She asks, which is an odd offer, them just carrying each other's stuff, but the least she can do is take part of the load off him. Especially since it's a load that is likely to move around a lot.
May. 25th, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
Gau laughs, because yes, it is a little silly for him to carry her things and her to carry his. His bag is lighter than the bag of rice, however, and so he considers it for a moment and then nods.

"Sure, that would work."

He lifts a knee, puts his foot against his thigh, ignoring the way it dirties his dress pants, and balances the bag of rice with his knee and one hand as he works the messenger bag off, the sack with the herbs still tied onto its strap.

May. 25th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
Rin is quick to take the bag. She hassles with it for a moment before taking it off Gau completely. Briefly, she inspects the thing and then slings it over her shoulder, as he had. It wasn't all too heavy. Randomly, she wondered what he was carrying around in it, the kind of half-involuntary wondering you just do sometimes, even about things that are none of your business. It's not a question worth asking.

Turning to Gau, she smiles at him. "I hope that helps a little." Then she sets off toward the Strahl again, taking slow, measured steps. She doesn't want to leave Gau behind, after all.

Their last day in Raisato. Tomorrow, they'll be leaving. Now that summer has come to Kannagara, Rin finds herself quite liking the village and its slightly off architecture, but the prospect of moving sets her mind at ease. She's been restless for two days already, her gut telling her to move, move along, not stay in one place too long. Traveling just for the sake of traveling (ah, but that's untrue) is a new need to her, and maybe a little inconvenient, as it scarcely leaves her time to build up a standard of living anywhere -- but she's learned to live on a minimum by now.

Edited at 2010-06-01 09:09 pm (UTC)
Jun. 1st, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
Gau laughs and nods, not really concerned at all over the heavy bag. It's nothing worse than the training that he'd been put through by two samurai, after all.

"I appreciate it. Though, I have to admit, this packing thing is easier in this world than it was in mine. After all, Raikou-san only has a few clothes here... I swear his luggage used to be ten times as heavy as this."

Jun. 1st, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
"Seriously?" Rin laughs along easily. "Well, he does seem like he puts a lot of thought into his appearance."

Once upon a time, Rin herself might have had quite a bit of luggage to carry about, but ever since she started living with Manji, she travels light. Just living with him has taught her many things, in a way.

She looks toward the sky with a small sigh, wondering if he's looking up at the Japanese sky in much the same fashion still.
Jun. 1st, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC)
"Mm, way worse than any of the girls I know," Gau said with a bright grin.

"Then again, I get teased for dressing a little... carefully... for a boy my age in my world, too. So maybe I shouldn't make so much fun of my partner."

He hitched the bag of rice up a little more, made his best attempt at a 'macho' expression, and then... laughed some more.

"I look forward to getting moving again, actually. I don't think my friends and I do very well with sitting around doing nothing. We're all used to having missions to do. Except, well, Miharu-kun, but he's ... different."
Jun. 2nd, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
"Really?" She asks, while walking alongside Gau at a comfortable pace. "How so?" And she doesn't mean to pry, but she is curious about the people she's traveling with. As of yet, she knows few people around Kannagara, even accounting for the few number of people at all around -- or maybe that should be even more. Somehow, being a social recluse seems way stranger if there aren't so many people in total. After all, that way, there is less reason to not keep contact with those people.

In Edo, that was never really an issue. Rin's a big city girl, always has been, and she's always rather been floating between the rest of the world, depending upon a few precious relationships. Knowing quite a lot of people, and about them, oh yes, but not actually knowing them or letting them know her. There was rarely a need or incitive. Especially during the last two years.

(Oh, but is that so?)

(Weren't you lonely?)

(Aren't you lonely?)

Rin shakes her head. In a place like Kannagara, it won't do to be motivated by personal feelings.

(Yet that's what all she's doing comes back to, a personal feeling.

A feeling that might even, in some sense, be called loneliness.)
Jun. 2nd, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
This requires thought.

On one hand, it is impossible to make friends without giving up something, without being willing to talk and share things.

On the other hand, giving out personal information about your friends is a little more serious than giving out your own.

He thinks about it, weighs it, for a second, and then nods.

"Miharu-kun didn't know of his shinobi heritage until less than a year ago. And he has a special place within our world, sort of, so that... he never had to answer to anyone."

He bites his lip a little, tilts his head. "Raikou-san and Yoite-kun and I, on the other hand, are used to having missions to take. Mine and Raikou's work was to punish those who used ninja tools and methods to commit crimes in the 'front' world... a world where people weren't even aware that such things existed."
Jun. 29th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
Rin is listening attentively, grateful that Gau is willing to share this much with her. It's nice, having a chat that is not "shop talk" -- though, in a way, this is, in fact, shop talk; she'll just pretend for a moment that she knows no such considerations.

She nods and "hmm"s along, and starts on an answer, but then her eyes take in the surroundings, thereby informing her that they are, by now, in the outskirts of the village. Indeed, they have nearly reached the Strahl.

"Almost there!" she says, looking at his heavy load again and breathing a sigh of relif.
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Kannagara - The Way of the Gods

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