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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: cleanshort_strings on September 30th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC)
Temari could be a bitch sometimes. Maybe not even just sometimes; she could be a bitch straight-up. He loved his sister in that twisted, almost pack-like way of the former Kazekage's bastards, so he would grudgingly let her have her way once in a while. Maybe it was because of their desperate blood-bond, maybe it was because of the fact that she could still kick his ass despite the fact that he had her by at least eight inches and eighty pounds. Kankurou would always be her little brother, so he had to listen when she told him he WOULD be going to the festival in Konoha if he knew what was good for him.

So Kankurou was standing next to the gate, looking sketchy and shifty and generally bitterly unpleasant. Hoping not to be recognized/noticed, he'd forgone his facepaint and figured out how those yukata things worked; keeping to the shadows, he was there as per Temari's demand, but he wasn't prettied up or playing nice for the Suna council. Anyone who got in his way was steamrolled and snarled at---though the crowd of small children that had pushed past him, giggling wildly, had elicited a twitchily compulsive grin from him. Stupid, innocent little brats. They had one year, maybe two before they were pushed into the Academy and the rest of their lives. The grin turned into a snarl and he crossed his arms over his chest.

He didn't like festivals. Stupid, frivolous shit. Why did they like pretending that they were normal? That they didn't have to go back to work the next day, didn't have to kill? This kind of shit didn't happen in Suna.

Kankurou scanned over the crowd---he wasn't looking for a long blonde ponytail; no, no he wasn't, of course he wasn't, he didn't want to see HER---but he wasn't finding whoever it was that he wasn't looking for. Dammit.

Stupid, frivolous, BORING shit.
Sai: Dissatisfiedkonoha_penis on September 30th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC)
"I think I'm actually shocked that you look almost normal without the paint, Kankurou. If not slightly ill. Was it something you ate, or rather the politics?" Sai didn't move from where he stood, he didn't have to. He watched Kankurou long enough for their gazes to meet, then he was scanning the crowds again with a hooded stare, his arms still crossed.

It actually took him a moment to realize their poses were almost identical, then his hands dropped to his sides. "So who arm-twisted you into coming this time?"
Kugutsushi no Kankurou: WE ARE IN A FIGHTshort_strings on September 30th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC)
Kankurou's frown deepened, furrowing into his clean face as if chiseled into tanned and stubbly rock.

"Sister," he muttered flatly, still half-consciously scanning for that ponytail. She had to be there somewhere, right? It wasn't like he wanted to talk to her. He didn't. He didn't want to see her or talk to her or---or anything. She was basically dead to him. "I might as well buy a fuckin' summer cottage'r somethin' here, s'much as I come anymore. Shit, man."

He glared over at Sai, but he was weirdly relieved to see him. He didn't love the foul cock-lover much, but he at least knew him. It was better than not knowing anyone and being stuck drinking alone.

...drinking. That had promise. "Oi. Gigglefuck. Where could I get a drink 'round here?"
Sai: Non-plussedkonoha_penis on September 30th, 2007 05:59 am (UTC)
"Practically everywhere at the moment. Apparently whoever's running the local bars is making a small fortune with all the foreigners and the Daimyo's entourage." He flagged down one of the kunoichi attendants, and with a small gesture towards Kankurou and a hushed inquiry, she nodded and disappeared.

When she returned, she bowed and offered him a earthernware jug before disappearing again. Sai held it out to Kankurou, an eyebrow raised. "Kinoko says this is one of the better local brands."
Kugutsushi no Kankurou: nyaaaahshort_strings on September 30th, 2007 06:10 am (UTC)
"Drink with me," Kankurou said, less of an invitation and more of a command. Drinking by himself in a foreign land didn't set well with him, and though he didn't like Sai too much, he sort of trusted him. He couldn't say why---he was about as emotional as a brick, they traded curses more often than they did pleasantries, and there was that uneasy subject of Ino hanging between them---but he wasn't quite as faceless as the rest of the Konoha nin. Kankurou took the jug, uncorking it and sniffing the contents. It wasn't the kind of alcohol he was used to, but it didn't smell too bad, either.
(no subject) - little__flower on September 30th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - little__flower on September 30th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - little__flower on September 30th, 2007 07:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sunakazekage on September 30th, 2007 08:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - short_strings on September 30th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sunakazekage on September 30th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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Sabaku no Gaara: Nightsunakazekage on October 5th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC)
This time Sai did manage to catch Gaara off guard. He swallowed in surprise and had to cough. The sake was pleasant and by the looks of the jug, there was plenty to left to drink, so Gaara continued to sip and set down his dish before answering. "Oh?" he asked curiously. "Why is that?"
Sai: Non-plussedkonoha_penis on October 5th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
"I'm not sure. But from what I have seen, she becomes rather flustered at the mention of your name ever since her return from Suna." Sai drank quietly, looking up at Gaara when he'd set his dish down.

"I am not the greatest judge of emotions, but I am well versed enough in the emotional range of my teammates to know she's quite taken with you."
Sabaku no Gaara: standsunakazekage on October 5th, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
Gaara picked up the sake bottle and offered to refill Sai's dish before filling his own. It was funny how this type of thing seemed to happen with the presence of alcohol. He was in tricky territory here. He was completely unsure of what Sai knew, what Sakura wanted everyone else to know, and how he felt about the whole thing. He wasn't even sure how close Sai was to Sakura. Well, they were somewhat close. They had been on the same team once. He wondered what Sai thought of the rumors. Taken with him? An interesting way to put it.

"Ahh," began Gaara rather ineloquently. But he couldn't stop himself from asking, "Do you really think so?"
Sai: Prepare for smackdownkonoha_penis on October 5th, 2007 06:53 am (UTC)
Sai shrugged and nursed his cup. "It isn't often she falls over herself in both speech and actions. She picks up a heavy stutter and either trips or almost drops what she's holding. She gets very flustered and refuses to make eye-contact. I've seen her with this behaviour pattern twice before."

He set down his cup, his brow furrowed. "The unfortunate thing is that neither sources of her feelings were very apt to return them. Kazekage-sama, for Sakura's sake I hope you will be the exception. She has a very bad habit of finding interest in the wrong people. But you currently are more favored by her friends than either of her previous interests, which says more in your favor. I am not one to listen to rumors, I merely ask for your honesty in regards to Sakura. Like you say, she is very important, and I nor any one else here wish to see her upset again like she was over the loss of the Uchiha traitor. I fear she has yet to recover from that blow, even now."
Sabaku no Gaara: protectsunakazekage on October 5th, 2007 07:15 am (UTC)
Gaara took another drink after listening to Sai. He was now feeling a little daunted and very insecure. But he wasn't going to let Sai know that. He also had his own feelings to sort out. At first, he was indignant that Sakura had the same "behavior pattern" before meeting him twice. But once he realized that he was feeling indignant, he really didn't want to explore why. So he set it aside only to hear Sai suddenly delve into this entirely personal matter.

He took the sake bottle to pour Sai another drink and break away from Sai's stare. They both seemed to like doing that--they were observers, which surprised Gaara--and it usually had others saying more than they would. Gaara wanted to take a moment before replying. He wasn't sure that he was that much of a better choice for Sakura's feelings but he wasn't going to let that in the way right now.

Gaara wanted to address one thing. "The only true fault lies in Uchiha and the other wrong person. Sakura is worthy of more." He looked up. "While I respect the opinion of her friends, I would like to think we can find our own way. I don't know what is and isn't between us but we'll face it when the time comes, even if it is the illusion of Uchiha."
sunaotome: just die [and go to hell plskthx]sunaotome on October 8th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
The one person that Suna had sent to the festival officially was late. Rather, Temari just didn't want to be seen with a full-on kimono, looking like some geisha from the whorehouses in Waterfall. The pattern on the silk embroidery was of sakura blossoms and phoenixes, which to Temari's opinion had no symbolism at all. The only comfort she had was that the kimono had nothing to do with pink, instead matching her own uniform of black and red, with some gold thread lining here and there. But the forced up-do with the hair and the make-up was horrible. The ones who were sent by Suna to make sure that Temari had presented herself in the best way possible had insisted on it, releasing her hair from her normal four ponytails, and instead, bundled it up into a loose bun, with hair trailing every which way.

Horrible in her opinion, but it apparently achieved its purpose as the Suna kunoichi was gazed upon in admiration and some, rather heated looks, as she passed by the stands. With her shoulders bared and the nape of her neck exposed, Temari couldn't help but shudder everytime there was a gust of wind, or a hint of breeze. It was a lot colder here than Suna anyways, and her gaudy clothing did nothing to prevent it.

Worse, she had caught sight of her brothers in the crowd, the unmistakable flaming red-head of Gaara's and the sour scowl of Kankurou's. No doubt upon seeing their presence did a sharp string of curses rain down from the kunoichi's mouth, fouling any sense of beauty within her appearance.

Temari immediately started to search for a stand with alcohol, with her temper reaching its boiling point, the only thing she needed right now was a companion that didn't nag her for hours to go see the Daimyo nor one that kept looking at her like a piece of meat.

A bar fight might make her feel better as well.
Akimichi Chouji: ...autumnal_road on October 9th, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
Chouji was sort of wandering through the festival, having finished helping with booth setup and cooking with his clansmen an hour or so before. The evening was crisp and cool, a welcome relief from laughing and laboring a hot grill for hours, and he paused by a takoyaki stall in order to catch his breath and cool down a little. His younger cousins had rushed him around the festival to show him everything and share treats, so he was feeling a little tired and worn around the edges already, despite the evening still being young. He'd found that his body, though recovering and putting on weight again like a real champ, got tired more easily than it should have. A few weeks with only light missions with his genin was doing him wonders, though.

His eye caught on Temari as she passed, mostly because he saw blond hair and instantly thought it might be Ino, and stayed on her out of sheer amazement. She could look really pretty when she wanted to, though she looked very irate as well, like a feral cat that had been brushed and forced to wear a bow. She probably needed someone to cheer her up---and that was pure Akimichi logic, as in all reality she probably needed to be left the hell alone to stew---but a nagging voice in the back of Chouji's head worried that she might bite him if she tried. The look on her face promised a swift snap at the jugular of anyone who tried to get in her way.

Chouji swallowed hard, trying to decide how far his duties as a hospitable Konoha native had to be taken. There was a difference between acting as a guide and acting as a sacrificial lamb to the anger of a pissed off foreigner. He sighed, finally, shaking his head. No, letting Temari stomp everywhere by herself was not The Akimichi Way. Besides, what if she got into a fight with a bunch of drunk shinobi? She might get hurt, and then he'd feel guilty.

With more courage than even he knew he had, Chouji waved at her. "Hey! Temari-san! Are you enjoying the festival?"
sunaotome: furious [that you've done it]sunaotome on October 9th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
So damn close.

Green eyes looked longly at the red curtains covering the entrance to a bar that was only a couple of feet from her, the sight of sake bottles littering the tables were apparent and the sickly sweet smell of alcohol drifted towards her, beckoning her closer. All was halted when she heard her name boomed over the din of the crowd, the owner of it, unknown. But out of curiosity at who might have the guts to distract her from her distination, Temari swerved around, head cocking to the side to look at the person, a scowl etched deep into her face.

Surprise flashed across her face as she realized who the owner was, the Akimichi man that always hung out with Ino and Shikamaru. His appearance did not seem to have changed, his large frame still prominant against the others in the crowd. But even if he was very kind and thoughtful from what Ino and Shikamaru had told her, there was no one that would come between her and her one way ticket out of this mental and physical torture.

"I'm having loads of fun, can't you tell?" she answered bluntly as her feet reluctantly moved towards the man and away from the bar. As she moved, her green eyes narrowed as she caught the stares of several men to her right, one having the nerve to whistle at her. Blowing a loose strand of hair out of her face, Temari's face returned to tonight's default state of a scowl that could have rivaled with that of Kankurou's earlier.

"Your village wouldn't mind if a couple of shinobi were never to be found again after this Festival, would they?" A audible crack of bones ripped through the air as Temari viciously cracked her knuckles, causing some of the men to pale and scamper away.
Akimichi Chouji: sigh~ // art by Ziri color + icon by Kitautumnal_road on October 10th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC)
Chouji swallowed again, only just managing not to be one of the aforementioned men scampering away. It was sort of difficult for a man his size to scamper, anyway, he decided as he bit the edge of the metaphorical blade and kept on a cheerful face. Temari had been a jounin for years---and not a 'specialized' jounin like him; a true-blue beat-the-teeth-out of you jounin---and it would probably take a strength like his to pull her out of a fight if she were to start mauling someone (pretty kimono or no).

"Please don't kill anyone, Temari-san," Chouji half-pleaded, sighing. "Mysterious deaths mean a lot of paperwork, and everyone's already way too tired. You shouldn't kill people at festivals, anyways---there has to be something here you enjoy."

If she was going to go around threatening people with bodily harm, he had no choice but to escort her until he found someone else who was better at babysitting. Chouji had spent years keeping Ino from doing too many rash things, but she was easily distracted. He got the feeling that Temari would tell him to shove his distractions where even Suna's sun couldn't shine on them.
sunaotomesunaotome on October 10th, 2007 04:53 am (UTC)
There was absolutely nothing that she would enjoy in this festival, Temari stubbornly decided, fists swinging dejectedly by her sides as she watched her prey scamper away before she could move. Apparently they were faster than her when feeling, those cowards. Although at the moment she was finding it hard to glare at Chouji who was a good head taller than she was and then bigger than her. Kind of defeated the entire purpose of the "intimidating" glare.

Instead, Temari just sighed, the material of her kimono falling even further down around her shoulders as they slumped in a very unlady-like manner, which she just didn't bother to fix anymore. In the first place, she never was cut out for these outfits.

"I enjoy alcohol, Akimichi-san, that has to count, right? Right. Either that or do you think there's something else of Konoha's that might suit me better?" Temari challenged Chouji, but having already turned around and retrace her steps to the bar again, without waiting for an answer.
(no subject) - autumnal_road on October 10th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sunaotome on October 10th, 2007 05:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - autumnal_road on October 10th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sunaotome on October 10th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - autumnal_road on October 10th, 2007 09:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sunaotome on October 10th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - autumnal_road on October 11th, 2007 02:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sunaotome on October 11th, 2007 04:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - autumnal_road on October 11th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sunaotome on October 11th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - autumnal_road on October 11th, 2007 04:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sunaotome on October 11th, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - autumnal_road on October 11th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sunaotome on October 11th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - autumnal_road on October 11th, 2007 07:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sunaotome on October 11th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)