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29 September 2007 @ 10:05 am
[thread][A Study in Observation][open]  
While he was not quite "on duty" as a member of ANBU, Sai had been informed that a heavy ANBU presence would be preferred after what had happened the last time the Daimyo made an appearance. At the moment though, he was off shift, and left to his own devices. There was a new way to how the villagers moved, more energetic, almost enthusiastic, that hadn't quite been present since the first invasion. It seemed that people were finally beginning to "move on" in a sense? Sai wasn't sure.

Temari was now in the village, he knew, which meant Suna would be making at least some display at the festival. Miss Ino was already loosening up and 'having a good time', if that drunken shouting match she'd had with Shikamaru had been any indication. Sai frowned, he still wasn't sure how he felt about Ino anymore. It was confusing in the first place, and her behavior patterns did not make sense to him. Maybe Sakura could explain, since Naruto was now indisposed. There was another problem there however, as Sakura had not been acting normally since her return from Suna. If anything else, she seemed cagier, but at least with the help of Chouji her weight was slowly returning to normal. Which pleased Sai in a way that almost surprised him. It seemed that he had been worried about Sakura as soon as he noticed her weight dropping significantly, and the new improvements to her health were reassuring.

But now there was a festival to deal with, and Sai watched as people scurried to and fro with various articles that were intended for the celebration. It seemed like this would be an excellent chance to observe human behavior. Arms folded across his chest, he leaned against a gate, which afforded an excellent view of the entire square, while still protecting his back.
 
 
 
Kugutsushi no Kankurou: oh shi---short_strings on October 6th, 2007 05:01 am (UTC)
He didn't take rejection lightly. It wasn't in his nature to allow that huge fragile ego to be dropkicked, so he caught up with Ino in several long strides. He managed to curb his desire to grab her wrist and pull her back---it wouldn't look good, especially with the way Ino would yell and how many people were already staring at him for the way he talked and the obvious spat they were having (a crowd could smell a lovers' spat a mile away and zero in instantly; this was fact).

"What happened t'not givin' up on me, Ino?" Kankurou hissed between his teeth, mentally kicking himself and castrating the entirety of the council. This was the exact reason why he hadn't wanted to come to Konoha. "I was willin' t'fight those wrinkled ol' bastards. I've followed 'em my whole damn life, an' I jus' don't care anymore."
Yamanaka Ino: dot dot dotlittle__flower on October 6th, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
"Maybe YOU don't care but what about your brother? The council members aren't just there to take up space, you idiot. And what if they decided to full funds to give to Konoha because you're fighting them? Ninja don't exactly play fair to get what they want." Ino could be too selfless when she wanted and she really hated it. Why couldn't she just be happy ruining everything and living only for herself?

Damn conscience. She thought she had stuffed it into the closet as soon as she became a chuunin but there it was again, rearing its ugly head.

"You should care," Ino brought one sleeve against her mouth so he wouldn't see her lips trembling, "you should worry about yourself and your siblings. Don't get hurt because of something stupid."

Sakura was always berating her for taking on more than she could handle and worrying about others too much. It was going to be the end of her one day, probably, but she couldn't turn it on and off like a lightswitch.
Kugutsushi no Kankurou: wtvrshort_strings on October 6th, 2007 05:22 am (UTC)
They lied to the world so fluidly. They were actors, both of them---Ino played the beautiful and untamed temptress, snagging anyone she damn well felt like, and Kankurou played the devil-may-care bastard, doing whatever he damn well felt like. In all reality, their lives had been hedged in by their villages since day one, and there was no way either of them could disobey or disagree. They would end up miserable because of it, but that was the way of things. Why else had Jiraiya written the Icha Icha series, if not to put a man and a woman together and have them be uncomplicated and happy in their world of sexual highs and purple prose? It was only popular with nin because it was exactly what they all wanted but never got.

Kankurou swallowed visibly. "It en't fair. Am I gonna hafta watch out for Gaara forever? Is that it? I don't get t'even try t'be happy? I wanted you. That's all."

He ran his hands over his face, hard. "I'll leave. Shouldn't have fuckin' come in th' first place."
Yamanaka Ino: hesitationlittle__flower on October 6th, 2007 05:28 am (UTC)
She laughed, though it was awkward and slightly strained. "It seems that people sacrifice their happiness to make sure the person they love is happy. Certain people, that is, that really love someone. And even if they can't say it or show it, they're probably hoping their feelings will get through to the other person no matter what. Or something."

The laughter died down and Ino bit down on her lip to keep her words from breaking. "The truth is I'm not as strong as people think I am. If you told me right now that you'd leave everything for me I'd believe you and do anything to make that come true. So I wrote that letter because I'm a weak woman and it was easier to lie to a piece of paper."

He probably didn't understand a word of what she was saying but it felt good to finally get it off her chest.
Kugutsushi no Kankurou: PAINSshort_strings on October 6th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC)
"If I said that, I'd be lyin'. I can't do that. I wanna, but Gaara---" It went unsaid that Kankurou would do almost anything to keep his brother safely in his seat of power, no matter how it tore at him.

He and Gaara had talked about the what-ifs, once. What if he---for some reason, any reason, Ino---decided to pledge his allegiance to one of their allied hidden villages? Gaara probably hadn't understood where Kankurou's conviction had come from, but he'd understood the desperation. He hadn't given him a full answer, but he'd made vague comments about how that kind of reassignment could be possible---though unlikely. In short, he would have to give up everything---siblings, village, allegiance---if he wanted to make things really work with Ino.

That took more commitment and guts than any man had, really.

"I'd do it for my brother, nobody else. But I---if he gave me permission---" Kankurou's voice was suspiciously thick, and he swore. "It's been a weird thing between us. 'Member when we were kids? That mission where you were my wife? We were so stupid, an' I haven't gotten any better. I'm weak, too. I'm slow. I fuck everythin' up. Why can't you jus' marry Fatty so I c'n move on t'bein' middle-aged an' bitter? I need a good reason t'walk off a high cliff."
Yamanaka Ino: fearlesslittle__flower on October 6th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
"You don't have to worry about me marrying anyone or even caring too much about someone. I don't think I'm capable to do either, anymore. I couldn't make anyone happy. Not you, not Chouji, not anyone," she was smiling again, though it didn't reach her eyes. "But I have my friends and my team and my village. It doesn't seem like much but it's everything to me now. If you're worried about me... don't. I'm fine. And I know you're fine too and as stupid as you are, you're a good person inside."

Ino sat on the counter of the empty stall, looking up at the night sky. It was cloudy and the moon was hidden but it was home and it was comforting. "Become a better man. Show everyone you're not really a fuck up. Be a good husband, too, because there's a chance you'll really find happiness."
Kugutsushi no Kankurou: huh?short_strings on October 6th, 2007 05:58 am (UTC)
Kankurou leaned against the counter, not looking at her. What could be seen of the sky between the trees was thick with clouds and mist; it was alien to him, as used to the bitterly clear desert nights as he was. He was accustomed to nights flooded with stars and cold hands. He'd thought about taking Ino out to see Suna's night sky, once, maybe tell her the stories behind some of the constellations, but that'd seemed like a lame, sappyass thing to do. Kankurou was that kind of guy only very rarely. Ino didn't even know how rarely---she saw the best of him, for the most part.

He snorted derisively at her "good person" comment. "I'm a son of a bitch," he said firmly. "I've liked you. I jus' fuck every other woman I've been with. You don't even know th' half of it. It en't a big deal, but it don't wire me t'be a great husband, either. I'm gonna let that woman down, y'know? I'm not gonna be happy an' neither will she. Come t'your senses, Ino. This whole 'oh, you go live happily Kankurou' thing is bullshit an' you know it. We're gonna fight for our village 'til we break. We're too useful, I guess."

He fell silent after that, trying to pick out stars in the overcast sky. This was more honesty than he'd given anyone, and it left a bad taste in his mouth.
Yamanaka Ino: omgyay!!!!!!!!little__flower on October 6th, 2007 06:14 am (UTC)
"You're the older one here, you're supposed to be giving me words of wisdom, Senpai," she said jokingly. "You don't have to live happily ever after but just try to live, okay? It'll be boring if you're not around to bully. Ahhh, it's no good at all. When I think about it, I'm a little bit jealous," now Ino was grinning for real, all teeth and mouth, "I'm prettier than your wife-to-be, right?"

She was teasing him and that felt good. She wasn't good at being serious, not even in these sorts of situations.

Suddenly, Ino held out her hand to him. "Come here."
Kugutsushi no Kankurou: we pretty much think you suckshort_strings on October 6th, 2007 06:39 am (UTC)
"Pfft. My wife's from the Wind Country. She en't a heartstopper an' she en't bad, but she en't you. But you already knew that," he muttered tiredly, scooting closer. "An' I don't intend t'marry her, whether th' council likes it 'r not. I'll go missin'. Hide in a cave somewhere. I dunno."

When he was close to her---close enough to smell whatever softly sweet perfume she was wearing---he was almost tempted to go through with the cave idea and take her with him. They could live in a nice little cave. Have cave babies. Write crummy romance novels. It'd be great.
Yamanaka Ino: bluuuushlittle__flower on October 11th, 2007 10:54 pm (UTC)
Leaning over, she gave him a kiss on the cheek, stopping to mess up his hair. It was probably the last time for a while she was going to get to see his face up close like this. Ino ingrained it into her memory, as fuzzy as it was at the moment from sheer exhaustion.

"I have to go. My team is probably getting into heaps of trouble without me," there was a flash of an apologetic smile. "Responsibilities and all that. I'll be around later if you're still here. Though I promised dinner to Chouji... if he's sober enough after this to get there."
Kugutsushi no Kankurou: cleanshort_strings on October 13th, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
What an anticlimactic end. Kankurou had half been hoping that she'd tell him to follow her and they'd have one night together, just one, where their positions meant fuck all and they didn't have the weight of their obligations to contend with. It was a stupid hope, though, because it would never be that easy for them---not when Ino was wavering on her feet with exhaustion because her village worked her too damn hard.

"Fuck that," he said flatly, resting a hand on her shoulder to balance her. "You're gonna keel over, stupid. Go...fuck th' festival an' take th' night off 'fore you land yourself in th' hospital. If you're not gonna be happy, be healthy. Jesus."

It was probably one of the most selflessly worried things he'd ever said, so he muttered it in an undertone, looking away.