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Nayoko

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Nayoko Nozara, the twenty-two year old member of the Hattori clan could not help but grin as he stepped through the gates of the Village Hidden in the Mists. All of the planning, all of the preparation, all of it was finally bearing fruit as the young man stepped through the theeashold and past the guards bearing forehead protectors depicting the symbol of Kirigakure no Sato. A blast of adrenaline filled his body. He glanced beside him to his travelling companion, Shimada Hattori, a young woman with whom he had become fast friends, and his smile only grew. She was looking a lot better than she had on the boat ride over to the Land of Water, her skin was now a normal hue of pale-ness and her ruby coloured eyes did not betray feelings of illness. It had been a long trip for both of them, but especially her; seeing her feeling better brought a great deal of happiness to Nayoko.

He stopped after stepping into the village proper and spread his arms out exaggeratedly. “We finally made it! We are now officially successful travellers.” He chuckled before continuing, “I must admit, not seeing Konoha forehead protectors everywhere is going to take some getting used to. But I’m just so happy we finally made it…” His voice trailed off as he glanced around at the foreign city. It’s buildings were much the same as his home in Konohagakure no Sato, but the entirety of the village, nay the country seemed to be slightly more….dull. There seemed to be a nearly constant cloud cover, and evem the people that they had spoken to on their initial approach to the city seemed to be less friendly than folks at home. Perhaps it was because he was not from around here, or perhaps it was all in his head, but regardless Nayoko was a little bit uncomfortable in this new setting. He hoped his nervousness would not show, especially since it was his idea for them to travel this far.

Nayoko had to come to the Village Hidden in the Mists, and more specifically the Swamp of Sorrow that was close to the village in order to confront a man that had been following him and influencing his actions for some time now. He had given him missions in the guise of a Special Jonin from the Village Hidden in the Leaves, and later, when Nayoko had discovered that his story did not check out, had sent three missing ninja after him in what was apparently a “test.” In the process, this mysterious man had put Nayoko’s friends in danger, one of which was the young woman that was with him now. She was there when he was attacked, along with his other friend Daiko, so the entire affair had become a lot more personal to the young Hattori man. But most mysterious of all, this man bore the family name of his late mother. She had died some years ago of an illness, asking that Nayoko someday return to the Land of Water where her family was from and discovering their origins. Now Nayoko was doing just that by seeking out this man that had changed so much in such a short time.

Continuing to make their way through the city, Nayoko spoke up again. “So I guess we should find a place to stay,” He gestured to the pack over his shoulder. “That way we can drop off this stuff and settle in with out new surroundings, whatever that may entail.” The walk to find a hotel was not a long one, especially since they were foreign shinobi and the Kiri-Konoha Exchange Program was in full swing. As they entered a smaller, but comfortable looking hotel, Nayoko waved at the young woman standing behind the receptionist’s desk. She was short and had long black hair, her smile was one that had been clearly practiced due to the nature of her job. “Welcome to Kirigakure no Sato! How many rooms will you be needing?”

Nayoko had to force himself to stifle a chuckle, given the repeated joking about this very question that had gone on between himself and Shimada in the days leading up to their travel. Despite his better judgement, he shrugged and made eye contact with Shimada, raising his eyebrows. “I don’t know, Hattori-chan, how many?” He smirked at her, waiting for a response, content with whatever she would choose.

WC:751


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"The world may crumble, but the Leaf will stand tall."



Profile | Plot | Jutsu | Stats | Locker | Theme | Battle Theme

~Ninjutsu {S} | Taijutsu {S} | Senjutsu {B} | Suiton {S} | Fuuton {S} | Doton {C}~

Shimada

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Chuunin
They had finally arrived. The mist shrouded village of Kirigakure lay spread out in all its mysterious glory, and they were there to catch a glimpse of its estranged foreign beauty; its secrets yet unknown to them. And Shimada could only utter blessings of relief in her head for having survived the tumultuous trip to the Land of Water. Having been stricken with seasickness when traveling across the sea - a condition she had not realized she was cursed with - the young woman merely contemplated curling up and dying before reaching shore. But she and Nayoko had stepped through the gates unburdened, feeling victorious in their personal conquests, and the prior misery all but vanished into the depths of her consciousness.

'Sky above, there is nothing better then being on solid ground...' The young woman mused, turning her ruby eyes up towards her traveling companion just as he halted in his progress. A beaming smile on his face, the man suddenly splayed out his arms in a grand form of excitement, and Shimada wanted to smirk lightly at the energy coursing through him. But whether it was from apprehension or anxiety, she was unsure; her head merely tipping to the side as his voice broke from beside her.

We finally made it! We are now officially successful travellers.” His laughter bounced charmingly. “I must admit, not seeing Konoha forehead protectors everywhere is going to take some getting used to. But I’m just so happy we finally made it…” The Hattori noticed his voice drop into oblivion as his gaze swept around the village scenery, and it did not take long for her to figure what his initial impressions were. Dreary; closed-off; lack of warmth. It was similar thoughts, at least what she figured, and Shimada threw a nod in his direction as she brought up a hand to wound its way into her hair and card through the crimson locks.

Her voice was quiet against the misty atmosphere hanging over Kirigakure. "I have to agree with you there. Thank everything above we made solid ground, or I wasn't going to last another hour." Shimada cast another sweep around the scenery. "Does not look like the friendliest of places, wouldn't you say? Or perhaps we're too used to the cheery sunlight of our homeland?" She left the question hanging in the air and started walking again, a torrent of thoughts flickering in and out of her mind consuming most of her attention.

They were there for a reason, and the weight of the trip was not yet lost to her. The young kunoichi knew most of the details, specifically ones involving the tangle of Nayoko's mother and the Land of Water that was her origin point, and that a strange man was the explosive catalyst. He had plunged her companion into a wild trip pointing back to his family's ancestry, and all because of what? The little detail not revealed irked her, but it wasn't out of curiosity that instilled Shimada's interest. Nayoko, the friendly young man who had showed her so much more kindness and warmth in a time then many had done in years, needed support; aid. Someone there who could watch his back when things got rough, because neither of them knew what was going to happen when it all came down to the final confrontation, and in a way, that scared Shimada more. But she was not about to admit it, and kept the conflicting emotions burrowed deep within her chest. There was a more pressing matter circulating through her thoughts, and it was not the primary goal of the trip.

It was rest. A well-needed sleep she could not shake after the long travel, and she gladly listened when the aspect of hotels was prompted. It was a fine idea to settle, drop off their belongings, and appreciate the new environment. Something she could not agree more with. "Lead the way, Nozara-kun. I fully comply to the motion... This pack feels like it's getting heavier with every minute." Shimada silenced herself as they started moving again, and the young woman truly could feel the exhaustion seeping back into her body; though she had been doing well for a while, it was not to last, and the Hattori forced herself to appear as lively as she could possibly muster. Mask of well-practiced apathy shaky, however, in its wake.

She wasn't going to be beaten down on the first day.

When the pair arrived at the hotel, Shimada took a moment to look around the cozy building; picking out the atmosphere, the modest furnishings, and the general interior that displayed simple but effective garnishing. Her eyes darted around, catching on the receptionist, and she trailed behind Nayoko's tall form as he made a move to engage in conversation. Bidding warm welcomes to the two foreigners in a new village. The young Hattori waited for the man beside her to speak, but she could see the gears working in his mind, the hidden joke between them emerging from the depths, and figured it was about the amount of rooms they once discussed over travel plans. But instead of answering, he simply shrugged as if in confusion and turned his warm, dark eyes onto her; his eyebrows arching high in inquiry, lips tugging into a wide smirk. “I don’t know, Hattori-chan, how many?”He was teasing the topic of their previous conversations, leaving the responses up to her, but he was simply too trusting, and Shimada knew how to spin it into something even better. For her, anyway.

Clearing her throat, the young woman stared at the one behind the desk and sidled up to Nayoko, throwing a hand upon his shoulder and fighting back the wide smirk threatening to break her expressionless mask. It was too good to let it go, and she knew as soon as the words slipped past her lips, panic would break. "Well, if you would be so kind, one would suffice. If you haven't figured," she teasingly wrapped an arm around Nayoko's, "it's our honeymoon."

[1030]


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"The world is cruel and bitter, and offers you no guarantee for a future.
If I had my way, I'd just want to sleep forever... but where's the fun in that?"

| Shimada | Hattori | Jutsu | Locker | Plot | Personal Theme | Battle Theme |

| D - 1 | C - 2 | B - 0 | A - 0 | S - 0 | SS - 0 |

Nayoko

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He was not sure what he expected, but Nayoko was surprised to see that Shimada did not chuckle at his joke, instead keeping a straight face and place a hand on his shoulder. His eyebrows raised in confusion, hoping he had not gone to far with his joke too far, but as she opened her mouth, and she began to speak, he knew he had been played. "Well, if you would be so kind, one would suffice. If you haven't figured," she teasingly wrapped an arm around Nayoko's, "it's our honeymoon." The twenty two year old could not stop the flush from growing out on his neck and reddening his face. He opened his mouth, but before he could even speak, the young woman behind the receptionist desk smiled and winked at him. “Ah well then, I guess you’ll be wanted the honeymoon suite.” She reached under her desk, and before Nayoko could protest, she handed him a set of keys, each attached to a heart shaped key ring. It was too late to protest now, else he would not only embarrass himself, but Shimada and the receptionist as well. And so, after missing the beat for the last few moment, Nayoko cleared his throat and squeezed Shimada’s arm in return. “Of course we will. Thank you so much.” He slid across the ryo for a deposit and took the keys, handing one of them to his companion as they strode off towards their room.

As they walked into the elevator, Nayoko attempted to wiggle his way out of her grasp while laughing nervously, a bit of his more childish nature that surfaced around most flirtation showing. Whether she let him out of the hold or kept him there, he chuckled at the prank she had managed to pull. “Well, I guess you got me there. But hey, we ended up getting a pretty nice suite for a discount price this way!” He winked at Shimada and smirked, “If both of us fail as shinobi then we’d make pretty good con artists.” His cheeks were still a little bit pink from the surprise he had received but moments ago, but his embarrassment was quickly being replaced by excitement to see the sweet room that they had scored from the deal. Eventually the elevator would open up into a hallway that only had two doors. One was all the way down the hall to their left and was clearly marked as a storage closet, the other was almost directly in front of them. Shrugging and stepping forward Nayoko pulled out his key and placed it into the door in front of them. With a satisfying click, the door unlocked and swung open, and inside was a sight to behold.

The room was bigger than anything Nayoko had ever stayed in before, and that fact could be seen clearly on his face. He kicked off his shoes as he stepped in, not wanting to get a speck of dirt on the immaculately clean carpet that covered most of the main room that they stepped into. It was complete with an assortment of couched and love seats, as well as a few end tables and coffee tables that were set with unlit candles and champagne bottles chilling in ice. The room was to their left, the room opened up and the floor changed to white tile in a small kitchenette complete with a stove, fridge, freezer, and counter with a granite table top. The entire back wall was a huge glass wall that was complete with drapes that could be pulled easily enough. They now stood open however, and Nayoko could see the entire village from here. “Holy crap…” Nayoko uttered, stepping forward into the living room, pack still thrown over his shoulder. “No wonder the deposit was so much.” His jaw that was hanging slightly agape snapped shut as a thought crossed his mind. Turning silently, he stepped over to a door that was slightly ajar, opening it to reveal and equally well furnished bedroom that was attached to a large bathroom. The bedroom was complete with candles and a heart shaped box of chocolates sitting on the single, amazingly comfortable looking bed. Nayoko frowned, tempted to fall into it, but only tempted, knowing that he should let Shimada have it.

He smiled again, making sure that Shimada had not seen the disappointment on his face and strode over to the back of the biggest couch in the room. Dropping his pack to the floor he placed a hand on the back of the couch and jumped over it, landing on his back and throwing his hands behind his head. “I’ll take the couch and you can have the bedroom all to your self, miss newlywed.” He winked at her once again, “Though I will have to go in there to get to the shower in the morning.” He smiled and sat up again. “Regardless of what comes from this trip, at least we’ll get to live like royalty for the next little while.”

WC:850+751=1601


____

"The world may crumble, but the Leaf will stand tall."



Profile | Plot | Jutsu | Stats | Locker | Theme | Battle Theme

~Ninjutsu {S} | Taijutsu {S} | Senjutsu {B} | Suiton {S} | Fuuton {S} | Doton {C}~

Shimada

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Chuunin
It was a perfect sight. The red blossoming up the back of his neck, and the receptionist's wide, knowing smile and wink at the implications. Shimada could not have guessed how he would react, but seeing the flushed look on his face out of embarrassment, she would assume she had easily ensnared him. And he fell straight into her trap, letting her decide the room. At least it was played off well, the young kunoichi thought, as Nayoko readily accepted the heart shaped keys with little protest; despite momentary hesitations, his return of show to her faked affections and no resistance to paying for the honeymoon suite. She barely could keep a sharp smirk from curling her lips upwards as the pair strolled off towards the elevator in search of their room, handling her key with grace and refusing to release him from her hold until they were out of view.

His nervous laughter caught her attention, bouncing inside the elevator, and Shimada complied with his wiggling by removing him from her brief hold. Ruby eyes tracking his movements as Nayoko started referencing to the witty stunt she had conjured. “Well, I guess you got me there. But hey, we ended up getting a pretty nice suite for a discount price this way!” He winked at Shimada, and she thoughtfully smirked back. “If both of us fail as shinobi then we’d make pretty good con artists.”

"You left me open with the invitation, so I simply had to take it; your expression was quite...amusing." The Hattori explained calmly, stifling the beginnings of her laughter with a noise that sounded like a quiet cough. "Con artists, eh? Well, I'll play the crippled wife and you the husband who can't afford medicine. Or even better yet, turn it around. There's often more sympathy to women in some regards." Shimada joked idly, glancing up at him to see his once apprehensive expression replaced by excitement. Dark eyes flickering with emotion. She supposed that she, too, wanted to see what the room looked like, and fell silent as the doors finally opened. Sliding apart to reveal the hall and the door to the suite before them. 'Simply begging us to waltz right in. Hm, let's just see what this suite is about, huh?' The young woman walked behind Nayoko, and waited for him to slid the key in and unlock the door.

The Hattori had never seen such a sight in her life, and her mild expression threatened to mimic her companion's.

It was tastefully furnished with lovely flooring; an atmosphere that screamed grandeur; and glass spanning the length of the wall that displayed the misty village of Kirigakure. Shimada barely caught the breath of his words, too enthralled by the window to focus on him moving over to peer into the bedroom. The woman paused by the glass, tired eyes sweeping across the expanse of buildings and the grey shrouded sky, before coming to rest on Nayoko's reflection in the background behind her. His tall, lanky form paused in the doorway before abruptly turning around to approach the largest couch set in the suite. She merely watched as he dropped his bag onto the floor and clambered over the back to land sprawled out; arms behind his head and appearing content enough. Shimada broke her attention from the glass to turn and face him as soon as he started speaking once again.

“I’ll take the couch and you can have the bedroom all to your self, miss newlywed.” The bloody haired woman permitted a faint, gentle smile to curl the corners of her lips upwards as she saw him wink. "Though I will have to go in there to get to the shower in the morning."

"Oh, how polite of you. A man after my own heart, letting me have the bed, but with words like those, I do not mind you coming and going in that room. Do as you will. After all," Shimada passed a brief smile onto her face, "the suite is for you to use as well, mister newlywed." She could not consider why she was acting playful in such a manner, but found it was not uncomfortable or forced, and allowed herself the small moment of teasing she would permit herself.

Nayoko's mouth bore a warm smile. "Regardless of what comes from this trip, at least we'll get to live like royalty for the next little while."

"Oh, but I'll agree with you there." Dropping her bag off next to a chair she spotted, Shimada seated herself in it with a stifled sigh of exhaustion; feeling the heavy press of a tiredness sleep would never fix weighing against her eyes. "It feels great to finally wind down after that tumultuous sail here. I thought I'd never touch dry land again, but here we are now. Settling in a room I lied our way into and relaxing in a chair I had not taken for as very comfortable." She paused for a moment, contemplating on the details of the sudden arrangement. "I do hope it was not too expensive, though. The money you put down came out of your pocket, so it was not too pricey, was it?"

The woman glanced at him, awaiting an answer that may or may not instill a sense of conflict.

[901 + 1030 = 1931]


____


"The world is cruel and bitter, and offers you no guarantee for a future.
If I had my way, I'd just want to sleep forever... but where's the fun in that?"

| Shimada | Hattori | Jutsu | Locker | Plot | Personal Theme | Battle Theme |

| D - 1 | C - 2 | B - 0 | A - 0 | S - 0 | SS - 0 |

Nayoko

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Nayoko could not help but smirk at Shimada’s response. "Oh, how polite of you. A man after my own heart, letting me have the bed, but with words like those, I do not mind you coming and going in that room. Do as you will. After all," Shimada passed a brief smile onto her face, "the suite is for you to use as well, mister newlywed." She was being playful, which was not all that odd between the two of them. But it seemed a little bit different today. Maybe it was actual flirting squeezing through the cracks in her ever present mask of apathy, or maybe she wanted him to see it. Or maybe Nayoko was just reading into things far too much; it would not be the first time that had happened, and it certainly would not be the last if that was the case. Regardless of her motivations, Nayoko was enjoying the spirited side of Shimada that he got to see so rarely. “Well, if you’re telling me that you don’t mind sharing, I won’t refuse such a generous gesture from my supposed wife.” He chuckled to himself, shaking his head with amusement.

"Oh, but I'll agree with you there." The young woman responded to his comment about living like royalty. She dropped her bag onto the floor next to his and fell back into a chair across from him. Nayoko followed her movements, watching as she seemed to stifle what appeared to be a yawn that threatened to escape her lips. He searched her eyes and found what he suspected already to be true. She was exhausted. He had seen her exhaustion before; it had been after they fought together against their assailants in the woods. It seemed that she was given to these bouts of fatigue, and the tired look that weighed on her expression concerned Nayoko. Nevertheless, he continued to listen as if nothing was wrong.  "It feels great to finally wind down after that tumultuous sail here. I thought I'd never touch dry land again, but here we are now. Settling in a room I lied our way into and relaxing in a chair I had not taken for as very comfortable." She paused for a moment, and Nayoko feared the next question that was bound to come up. "I do hope it was not too expensive, though. The money you put down came out of your pocket, so it was not too pricey, was it?" He closed his eyes tightly shut in mock pain. “Oh Hattori-chan, how I wish you wouldn’t ask such questions.” Laying back down onto the couch he closed his eyes before continuing. “It wasn’t cheap, but I figured that it wouldn’t be when I was preparing for the trip. I saved up a lot of ryo from missions before we finally left the Land of Fire, so we’re all set! Don’t worry about the expenses, I’ve got it covered.” He paused for a moment, hoping that he had not insulted her in some way. I still don’t really get how women work…Before she could speak he decided to add an addendum onto his statement. “If you really want to pay me back some, then just wait until we’re home, okay? I can cover for us while we’re in the Land of Water. Besides,” He said, allowing his lips to crawl into a smirk again. “One room was cheaper than two for sure.”

Having hopefully deterred the line of questioning regarding their accommodations, Nayoko began to feel restless just laying on the couch. He stretched, and then stood back up and walked over to the huge wall of glass, leaving Shimada siting behind him. He looked out over the mist shrouded village beneath him and placed his hands on his hips, staring out at the foreign land. He had heard many rumours about the Village Hidden in the Mists, but the most common one that he heard repeated over and over again amongst the young ninja of Konoha was that their shinobi were all bloodthirsty monsters that had no qualms about slaying even a family member if a mission demanded it; and that the worst of them all was the Mizukage herself, Solstice Ayakashi. Yes, the Land of the Bloody Mist certainly had a reputation, but Nayoko had chosen not to believe those rumours. This was mainly for two reasons. The first reason was that he could never believe that a woman who was said to lead her people so well, and who helped to bring Kirigakure no Sato back from the ashes that it fell into could possibly be such a monster. A kage was meant to protect her people, and yes, that could be done through raw strength, but killing innocents was not a way to get that done. The second reason was that he refused to believe that his home, the Village Hidden in the Leaves, would ally themselves with a country full of monsters like that. He trusted the Hokage too much, and knew that he would never allow that to be the case in a village with such close ties to Konoha.

With all of these thoughts going through his mind as he stared out the window, the young Hattori man could not help but shake his head in an attempt to clear it before speaking again while still looking out the window. His voice was not as bouncy and playful as it had been a moment ago, too distracted to joke for a moment. “It’s been a long trip, so let’s make the most of it eh?  We can take some missions to help out our allies and maybe even meet some new people before we get down to business.” He let out a quiet sigh and remained in place, not turning for a moment, allowing his mind to wander. “Do you have any specific plans while we’re here? I know you came because I asked you to, but if there is anything else you need to do please let me know and we can work on that as well.”

WC:1037+1601=2638


____

"The world may crumble, but the Leaf will stand tall."



Profile | Plot | Jutsu | Stats | Locker | Theme | Battle Theme

~Ninjutsu {S} | Taijutsu {S} | Senjutsu {B} | Suiton {S} | Fuuton {S} | Doton {C}~

Shimada

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Chuunin
Shimada had to fight back the laugh that threatened to crawl from her lips, and instead hide the smirk that shattered her mask behind a carefully placed hand. His banter was witty as it was clever, and the young woman had to admit somewhere that she enjoyed the exchanges between them. It never failed to be amusing, an appreciation the Hattori did not really convey in her gestures, but she allowed him a glimpse of her faint grin as a reward for his efforts. He deserved that much with the proclaimed title of 'supposed wife'.

"Clever of you, mister newlywed. Clever, but don't jump to conclusions just yet. We've to make a dashing husband out of you yet..." Shimada trailed off, wringing a piece of bloody red hair in between a forefinger and thumb as she crossed a leg over the other; watching in a tired contentedness reactions to her words. The mischievous intonations she rarely experienced having goaded her on to state such thoughts. Leaning back in her chair in the brief silence, however, she tracked his movements as the topic of payments were brought up, and wanted to smirk at the mock pain he donned on his face. His dark eyebrows arching together in a fake expression of distress.

Her thin lips were sealed tight as the older male's voice broke through the atmosphere of the room. “Oh Hattori-chan, how I wish you wouldn’t ask such questions.” He laid back onto the couch, and his eyes slipped shut in momentary pause. “It wasn’t cheap, but I figured that it wouldn’t be when I was preparing for the trip. I saved up a lot of ryo from missions before we finally left the Land of Fire, so we’re all set! Don’t worry about the expenses, I’ve got it covered.” The ruby eyed woman merely gazed back at him, mouth working to push out a reply to his statement that prematurely died on her breath in due to the quick repentance on his previous claim. “If you really want to pay me back some, then just wait until we’re home, okay? I can cover for us while we’re in the Land of Water. Besides,” The corners of his mouth slowly curled upwards into a smirk, and Shimada attempted to interrupt no more. “One room was cheaper than two for sure.”

The Hattori could not argue with his practicality, and she simply complied by tipping her head back to gaze at the ceiling. The spotless, pristine ceiling. Her eyebrows furrowed together thoughtfully, a slender index finger tapping quietly away on the arm. She would definitely have to pay him back for sure; any piece of ryo spent on their behalf, if she could attempt it. Whatever she owed to him, Shimada would see to it that it would eventually all get there, but it was no use concerning herself over it right now. There were larger events at stake, and money was not currently one of them. That much she knew for sure, watching as her companion finally stood and made his way towards the wall of glass; back turned to her, hands on his hips in contemplation. She wondered what he considered, glancing over the length of the village, or if it was something in the distance catching his eye, but not caring to intervene, she left him to his musings.

Drawing her head back, she stared silently at the glass as well; pinpointing the buildings that brushed against mist or were too low to be seen. It was green, much greener than in Konoha on the account of all the precipitation they had, and Shimada did not mind the change in scenery. Granted it was dreary, but at least it wasn't sun-soaked as she was used to. Her attention, however, was only broken by Nayoko voice, and by the way it was held calm, she could sense something was amiss. The playfulness dull; the tone lowered. In her mind she perceived that the conversation had taken a more serious turn.

“It’s been a long trip, so let’s make the most of it eh? We can take some missions to help out our allies and maybe even meet some new people before we get down to business.” He did not turn to face her, and she allowed him a moment of reprieve in his thoughts. 'Business', she understood, being a confrontation that may as well be a challenge to familial ties and a potential life or death crisis. And she really hoped the latter would not befall them, her expression growing slightly grim at the aspect as she pondered the troubling idea. His next statement barely being caught by her. Only hinted by the sigh penetrating the air. “Do you have any specific plans while we’re here? I know you came because I asked you to, but if there is anything else you need to do please let me know and we can work on that as well.”

In quick response, she shook her head and sat up straight. "No, I have nothing more than the business we originally planned for. That was my only intent besides any side occurrences we were to take on together, but, Nozara-kun," the young kunoichi stared at the space between his shoulder blades, pausing to recollect her thoughts and the qualms that came with them, "why do your words make me think you are uttering a closing remark? A final say before you step out into a phantom confrontation you doubt you may survive? Though I may be reading deeply into it, I can be as blunt as I may be observant, and it simply instills me a sense of...unease." It was an honest opinion in response, and she quietly continued to stare at that space of his back. Not at him, but past him to a far off corner within her mind.

She held her breath in wait for his reply; regarding she may have offended him or worse.

Provide an accurate summary.

[1019 + 1931 = 2950]


____


"The world is cruel and bitter, and offers you no guarantee for a future.
If I had my way, I'd just want to sleep forever... but where's the fun in that?"

| Shimada | Hattori | Jutsu | Locker | Plot | Personal Theme | Battle Theme |

| D - 1 | C - 2 | B - 0 | A - 0 | S - 0 | SS - 0 |

Nayoko

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Nayoko was surprised by Shimada’s quick response, expecting her to think about her answer for at least a moment or two. But instead Nayoko heard his friend sit up in her chair and responded confidently. "No, I have nothing more than the business we originally planned for. That was my only intent besides any side occurrences we were to take on together, but, Nozara-kun," Nayoko closed his eyes and listened to her voice as she spoke to his back. He felt like he was being a little but rude, but he needed a moment to just listen. Her voice was soothing to him. He was tired, not only from the trip from his home, but also from the stress that had been weighing on him for the past few weeks. The impending confrontation with this mysterious man that had butted his way into Nayoko’s life was sure to come soon, and Nayoko had no idea what to expect.  This man who carried his mother’s name with him had turned Nayoko’s life upside down and thrown him into an adventure that he was not sure he was ready for. But through those few weeks there had been one constant: to woman behind him, Hattori Shimada. They had laughed together and cried together and no journeyed to a far away land together, and only after knowing each other for such a short while. And so hearing her voice was soothing to him, because in that sound he found a quiet sense of peace for but a moment.

That peace did not last longer than the pause in Shimada’s thoughts though, as she began to speak again, the tone now changed to one of concern masked y her ever present apathy. "Why do your words make me think you are uttering a closing remark? A final say before you step out into a phantom confrontation you doubt you may survive? Though I may be reading deeply into it, I can be as blunt as I may be observant, and it simply instills me a sense of...unease." There was a long silence as Nayoko thought of how to respond. It was a good question, and it was one that the young man was unsure of how to answer. He was not trying to sound fatalistic or forlorn in anyway. In all honesty he was just tired, at least he thought so. Am I afraid of what’s to come? Is it like she says? Do I think I may not survive whatever is going to happen? He truly had not thought about it yes. He knew it could be dangerous, and he knew that Shimada would have his back. But did he truly feel safe? He was not sure.

He raised his right hand to his face and rubbed his eyes, trying to understand the torrent of emotions that was threatening to overcome him. “I um….I don’t know Hattori-chan.” He turned around to face her, removing his hand from his face and blinking slowly, his exhaustion finally catching up to him. He remained standing however, because he knew if he sat he may fall asleep right then and there. He looked down at her, sitting on the chair with her blood red hair in her hand, twisting slowly between her fingertips, and put on a weak smile. “I guess I’m just tired of facing the unknown. I know I shouldn’t be complaining to you because I know how much pain you’ve been through, and I know how alone you were for the past few years, and the unknown must seem like such a trivial thing to you after so long. But I...” He stopped himself, his voice threatening to crack with emotion. Taking a deep breath, he continued calmly. “I just don’t want to be there again. When my mother was sick and we had no idea if she would make it or not? It was terrifying to wonder if she would ever get up from that hospital bed. And I know you know what that is like, with you aunt in the hospital.”

He stepped forward slowly, not heading toward anywhere in particular, but closing the gap between them. When he spoke again, his voice was quieter still. “And after she died? Dad was just a mess. I had to raise my sister for a couple of years while he wasted away in depression before he could finally snap out o fit. Not knowing if he would ever help again was tiring too. But once he was back, everything got better! The academy, being a shinobi, meeting new friends. It’s been great. But now this guy shows up and plunges me back into the unknown. And to be honest, I don’t know if I’m afraid or not, but I really don’t think I am.” He walked closer, until he was standing next to her and placed a hand onto her shoulder gently. “I know you’re here with me, and together we’re basically unstoppable,” he said, chuckling quietly. “But honestly, I’m just tired of it all. I wish I could just be here with you on a trip for the Kiri-Konoha ninja exchange. Having fun and working hard and all of that stuff. But instead there is just this…event hanging over us like an ever watching ghost. It’s just exhausting is all.” He let out another sigh, “But thank you for your concern, and I’m sorry for making you uneasy, I did not mean to. Sometimes I just get lost in my thoughts.”

WC:944+2638=3582


____

"The world may crumble, but the Leaf will stand tall."



Profile | Plot | Jutsu | Stats | Locker | Theme | Battle Theme

~Ninjutsu {S} | Taijutsu {S} | Senjutsu {B} | Suiton {S} | Fuuton {S} | Doton {C}~

Shimada

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Chuunin
His silence, she realized, was unnerving. A quietness had descended that the Hattori did not know whether to think of as foreboding or peaceful, and marked it off as a moment of clarity. A moment of thought she undoubtedly had forced onto Nayoko. It was like the veil had been further torn from their eyes, stripped bare to expose the deeper meanings of their travels and why they even found themselves in Kirigakure; splayed out to instill a sense of conflict. Though the young woman was no dreamer, she had hoped they could have held onto the fake image of it being a simple trip a little longer, and not be forced to reckon with reality so soon. But that was not what she was, and she knew she would continue to ponder on it in the back of her mind for as long as it remained a problem. Nayoko as well given it all revolved around him. The mystery man; the origin of his mother's family; the Swamp of Sorrow they would both eventually waltz upon in what would most likely be a dance of potential death. The stress she had tried to ignore, coupled with permanent exhaustion, was eating away at the back of her skull, but the young kunoichi could only imagine what it would feel like to be in Nayoko's position.

She hoped he would not think of himself as responsible for anything that could befall them in the upcoming events.

Shimada's contemplating on the heavy matter was interrupted, however, when a flicker of movement caught her eye, and she peered at the source. Watching in silence as the young man's hand rubbed tiredly at his face. 'He must be feeling it too, but perhaps has never shown it until now... How long have you held that stress, Nozara-kun...?' The young woman waited for a sign of response, a breath of air that signaled the coming of his words; dwelling on the fact she may have insulted him. But his reply was airy, unsure, and she merely observed his movements as he finally turned to face her. And she couldn't help the frown cracking away at her blank face.

Like a mirror was all she could think, echoing some fatigue she knew very well, and the woman peered up into his eyes. The dark orbs of molten brown that reflected back her image and pierced within her chest a painful feeling. Nayoko had never looked so unsure - so lost - until the moment, but she could simply have been searching for something that was not there. Whatever it was, she held a breath in her throat as his mouth passed a weak smile and a few phrases not lost to her.

“I guess I’m just tired of facing the unknown. I know I shouldn’t be complaining to you because I know how much pain you’ve been through, and I know how alone you were for the past few years, and the unknown must seem like such a trivial thing to you after so long. But I...” He stopped himself, and she heard his voice grow thin; threatening to break with the storm of emotion no doubt thundering through him. “I just don’t want to be there again. When my mother was sick and we had no idea if she would make it or not? It was terrifying to wonder if she would ever get up from that hospital bed. And I know you know what that is like, with you aunt in the hospital.” At his words, Shimada's breath, the one she had been holding, died at her lips before a sound could even be formed. It was worse then she had originally considered, and though the unknown was perhaps not a very startling concept to her at the present, it was to Nayoko, and his hardships reminded her somewhat of her own. She should not be surprised of his response, thoughtful and honest as it was, but it sent her mind reeling in thought.

The sickness of his mother; the concern with the uncertainty of life; the familiar aspects that death taught. She could remember her aunt in the hospital, pale and motionless, and blocked the painful depiction from causing too much stress. Nayoko was more important in the moment; sulking over losses could wait. "Nozara-kun, I...can understand, but you're wrong. You say the unknown is like an insignificant thing to me after the time I've spent, but I disagree. It takes me a lot of will to admit it, and yet, I confess I still experience occasions where it is all I think about. 'What will become of me tomorrow', or 'will I finally end up like my uncle after today'? I may be used to it, Nozara-kun, but that does not mean I do not feel the unease of uncertainty. And do not think of it as complaining. Sometimes advice from someone who has been through trialing situations is all an individual requires..." As she spoke, she watched him step forwards, decreasing the proximity that lay spread out between them and broaching the topic in an even quieter manner.

His voice held great meaning and thought. “And after she died? Dad was just a mess. I had to raise my sister for a couple of years while he wasted away in depression before he could finally snap out o fit. Not knowing if he would ever help again was tiring too. But once he was back, everything got better! The academy, being a shinobi, meeting new friends. It’s been great. But now this guy shows up and plunges me back into the unknown. And to be honest, I don’t know if I’m afraid or not, but I really don’t think I am.” Her ruby eyes scanned his narrow face, and she saw within his expression no sense of dishonesty. No hostility as his hand came to rest on her shoulder with a gentle touch; creating a warmth despite the grimness of the topic. “I know you’re here with me, and together we’re basically unstoppable,” he said, chuckling quietly. “But honestly, I’m just tired of it all. I wish I could just be here with you on a trip for the Kiri-Konoha ninja exchange. Having fun and working hard and all of that stuff. But instead there is just this…event hanging over us like an ever watching ghost. It’s just exhausting is all.” He let out another sigh, “But thank you for your concern, and I’m sorry for making you uneasy, I did not mean to. Sometimes I just get lost in my thoughts.”

Shimada did not respond immediately, and gazed up at him from her seated position; dwarfed by his height, and unsure how to answer. Nayoko had shared something personal with her, the initial struggle of his younger years, yet, in a way, she was grateful. Appreciative, despite the painful reminders it brought her, that he held enough trust in her to confess such statements. And all she could show for it was a faint nod. Her voice threatening to catch in her throat as she started to speak once more, taking the moment of pause to devise a thoughtful, honest sentence. "That's, well, unfortunate, Nozara-kun, and it isn't something anyone should go through, but in the aftermath, I suppose it's good enough to hear things got better. I just don't know what else to say about the matter without beating around the already dead horse, however, so I will leave my comments elsewhere. In some point, I can say I truly do understand your exhaustion, Nozara-kun." Reaching up with a pale hand, she rubbed under an eye tiredly and produced a faint sigh of acknowledgement. "All that has happened, I wish sometimes it would all just...stop. But it never does. The world keeps turning and people get screwed over in the end at some point or another, but it won't happen to us. I'll be sure of it." A gentle smirk tipped her lips upwards. "Your appreciation in my concern does not go unrecognized, and I have no need for apologies. Getting lost in thought is something I do on a daily basis, Nozara-kun, so I highly do not condemn it. I simply ask you apologize, however, when you finally take me out to dinner to celebrate our successful trip and you find you cannot pay for it because all the ryo was spent here in Kirigakure." It was a dry joke on her part, and she hoped her attempts at lightening the stressful mood that had befallen them was not inappropriate. Though it was an uncertainty, she only knew one thing she had acquired from the conversation with her companion.

He was going to find out the truth about his family even if it killed her.

She owed him that much.

[1507 + 2950 = 4457]


____


"The world is cruel and bitter, and offers you no guarantee for a future.
If I had my way, I'd just want to sleep forever... but where's the fun in that?"

| Shimada | Hattori | Jutsu | Locker | Plot | Personal Theme | Battle Theme |

| D - 1 | C - 2 | B - 0 | A - 0 | S - 0 | SS - 0 |

Nayoko

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Nayoko could only nod along with her explanation as to how he was wrong about her. Even though she had lived through so much and by her own admission had become used to the feeling of being alone and not knowing what would happen to her at any given time, she still felt that sense of unease that permeated every part of Nayoko right now. In response, he could only breath a quiet, “I’m sorry for assuming…” before he continued with his pouring out of quiet emotion. When he finally concluded, she just stared up at him for a time. Nayoko was unsure if he had overstepped some kind of boundary, or if his assumptions from earlier had hurt her too much to be able to reply. Finally his fears were put at ease when she began to speak again, though he worried that he had vented too much when he heard her reply.

"That's, well, unfortunate, Nozara-kun, and it isn't something anyone should go through, but in the aftermath, I suppose it's good enough to hear things got better. I just don't know what else to say about the matter without beating around the already dead horse, however, so I will leave my comments elsewhere. In some point, I can say I truly do understand your exhaustion, Nozara-kun." Reaching up with a pale hand, she rubbed under an eye tiredly and produced a faint sigh of acknowledgement. "All that has happened, I wish sometimes it would all just...stop. But it never does. The world keeps turning and people get screwed over in the end at some point or another, but it won't happen to us. I'll be sure of it." A gentle smirk tipped her lips upwards. "Your appreciation in my concern does not go unrecognized, and I have no need for apologies. Getting lost in thought is something I do on a daily basis, Nozara-kun, so I highly do not condemn it. I simply ask you apologize, however, when you finally take me out to dinner to celebrate our successful trip and you find you cannot pay for it because all the ryo was spent here in Kirigakure."

The young man could not help but smile in kind at his friend who sat before him. “That I can promise you  for sure. I've always been quite adept at apologizing.” With that, he removed his hand and strode over to the couch that he had been laying on before and slowly lowered himself back onto it, exhaling and releasing the tension that had pent itself up inside of him over the last few minutes. He stretched once again, and then lay down on his back, hands behind his head once more before he turned to face Shimada. “I’m glad that you understand the exhaustion. It means that when I ask this next question you probably won’t refuse.” He paused and adjusted himself into a more comfortable sleeping position. “Would you mind if I take a nap? I think I’ll get to work tomorrow on some missions or something while I prepare for our little excursion and get the lay of the land, but for now, I think we could both use the rest.”

As he waited for her reply, he took a moment to take in her features once again, the light from outside dancing off of her ruby red eyes, and her blood red hair cascading over her shoulders. She still sat straight up, her serious posture adding to the effect of her mask of apathy. Nayoko knew that she cared, she had said as much, but one mystery about her still remained for the young man. How did she hide her emotion so effectively? How was she almost always the picture of indifference? He knew that  he could never do that. Still he looked at her, trying to gauge how she felt; and still all he could truly be sure of was that she was tired like him. They were both so tired from the emotional baggage they had to carry, despite dropping of their actual baggage onto the floor a few minutes ago. They had both been through more than most people of their ages, but they both pushed through, and that pushing was growing more tiring each day.

I completely agree with her, sometimes I wish it would all just stop too.

WC:742+3582=4324


____

"The world may crumble, but the Leaf will stand tall."



Profile | Plot | Jutsu | Stats | Locker | Theme | Battle Theme

~Ninjutsu {S} | Taijutsu {S} | Senjutsu {B} | Suiton {S} | Fuuton {S} | Doton {C}~

Shimada

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Chuunin
The smile he produced meant enough to her - to know she, perhaps, had not overstepped her own boundaries with informing him on her honest opinions - and watched carefully as her companion departed for the empty couch. Keeping quiet as she saw him make himself comfortable with a sigh and a stretch of his back before finally easing the strain from his form. Shimada felt some relief when he spoke, finding they had both come to a reasonable conclusion with their words.

I’m glad that you understand the exhaustion. It means that when I ask this next question you probably won’t refuse.” He paused and adjusted himself into a more comfortable sleeping position. “Would you mind if I take a nap? I think I’ll get to work tomorrow on some missions or something while I prepare for our little excursion and get the lay of the land, but for now, I think we could both use the rest.” His inquiry had almost made her laugh - almost - and she tipped the smile threatening to grow on her lips behind a pale hand to hide it; clearing the chuckle from her throat to make it sound more like a cough than an expression of amusement. He was right on one thing: how could she refuse? The exhaustion of the day bore down on her as well, fatigue from both sea sickness and a tiredness in her soul rest would never heal, and she gave her acceptance through a small nod. Studying his profile as she figured out the next words in her head towards his endearing question.

"No, by all means go ahead. In light of your response, however, I'd have to say I, too, am looking forward to a nap." The Hattori replied honestly, finally relinquishing her ownership over the chair she had been seated in for far too long, and standing to her full height. She cracked a couple vertebrae back into place as she turned her tired eyes onto him, mouth turning upwards into a light smirk. "If you suddenly need me, well, you know where I'll be as you so generously have offered me the bedroom, but I prefer not to be prematurely awoken if possible. Unless, however," she glanced at the wide plane of glass spread before her, "there's a fire I do not know about, or paid assassins come breaking through the glass over there and we're forced to fight our way out. You know, abrupt survival situations where life is more important than sleep." It was Shimada's poor attempts at trying to lighten the mood after the previous topics that had been conversed, and she merely gave a loose shrug of her shoulders in believing her prods at humor were dry and tasteless.

'I suppose it's simply not my forte...' It was more of a mental note that crossed her thoughts, and in her partial embarrassment concealed with a withstanding face of apathy, Shimada headed for the uninhabited bedroom. Spinning on a sandal clad heel to isolated sanctuary. Crimson locks fluttered by her face as she jerked her head back over her shoulder to take one last look at Nayoko who remained stretched on the couch; her eyes trailing over his own dark orbs as she took in the appearance of the man who had her support just as much as she had his. His slightly rumpled hair and narrow features.

A smirk converted her once passive expression into one of faint mirth, and she decided to throw in one last quick jab. "Have a good rest, and don't get any nightmares, mister newlywed." The young kunoichi chuckled airily to herself as she slipped into the bedroom for some well needed sleep, not taking the moment to focus on what his reply to her statement would even be because as soon as her head hit the pillow, she was asleep.

She welcomed the dark hold of slumber.

[Exit]

[661 + 4457 = 5118]


[Training]
Strength D-2 --> C [5118 - 975 = 4143]
Speed D-2 --> C [4143 - 975 = 3168]


____


"The world is cruel and bitter, and offers you no guarantee for a future.
If I had my way, I'd just want to sleep forever... but where's the fun in that?"

| Shimada | Hattori | Jutsu | Locker | Plot | Personal Theme | Battle Theme |

| D - 1 | C - 2 | B - 0 | A - 0 | S - 0 | SS - 0 |

Nayoko

avatar



Nayoko did not let on that he had noticed the smile that had begun to grow behind her now present hand. She let out a quiet cough before replying. "No, by all means go ahead. In light of your response, however, I'd have to say I, too, am looking forward to a nap." She then stood up, standing up straight to maintain her nearly ever present perfect posture. Cracking her back, the young woman glanced down at Nayoko and smirked slightly. "If you suddenly need me, well, you know where I'll be as you so generously have offered me the bedroom, but I prefer not to be prematurely awoken if possible. Unless, however," she glanced at the wide plane of glass spread before her, "there's a fire I do not know about, or paid assassins come breaking through the glass over there and we're forced to fight our way out. You know, abrupt survival situations where life is more important than sleep."

Nayoko could not help but raise an eyebrow at the woman’s dry attempt at humour. He then nodded slowly, understanding what she had tried to do. “Of course, I would not want you to miss out on such an experience after all.” He let out a slight chuckle, laughing more at the joke she had chosen to tell rather than the joke itself. She was a strange one, that much was certain. And yet, Nayoko could not imagine travelling with any other friend. Spinning on her heel, Nayoko watched her blood red locks of hair fluttered by her face as she jerked her head back over her shoulder to take one last look at Nayoko who remained stretched on the couch; their eyes meeting once more in the now lower light thanks to the sun drifting off behind the horizon.

He held her gaze, waiting for her to say something more; hoping that she would. As much as he needed the rest, he did love their conversations. Whether it was full of playful banter of emotional exposure, he always felt comfortable with her. And so he held on to hope that she would say just one more thing to close off their time together. Just one more quip.

His wish was granted.

A smirk converted her once passive expression into one of faint mirth, and the kunoichi let out one last jab of sarcasm at the older man. "Have a good rest, and don't get any nightmares, mister newlywed." Her airy chuckle filled he space for a moment before she stepped into the room and closed the door. Nayoko could swear that he heard her fall onto the bed nearly immediately, and then heard no sound after that. Shaking his head, he sat off and removed his shirt, throwing it onto his bag that was still sitting on the floor. Smiling, he let out a quiet sigh and responded in a voice that he knew only he would hear. “Yeah, you too missus newlywed; you too.” With that, he laid back and allowed sleep to take him.

[Exit Thread]

WC:515+4324=4839

Training
All Stats from B-Rank to B-1 (3500/3500)
Speed from B-1 to B-2 (800/800)

Unused WC: 539


____

"The world may crumble, but the Leaf will stand tall."



Profile | Plot | Jutsu | Stats | Locker | Theme | Battle Theme

~Ninjutsu {S} | Taijutsu {S} | Senjutsu {B} | Suiton {S} | Fuuton {S} | Doton {C}~

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