Description: After Taiyo got a badger in its halls, Ashley shows some interest in it and tries to find a way to befriend it / tame it during her schooltime.
With her newly acquired freedom, Eve, or as she has been called by everyone around, Ashley Rouge, has learned the true life of a teenage girl. Nothing could have prepared to all of this...
It was full of wonder and awe, but also cruelty and hypocrisis. A whole lot different than a simple chain of command where the order is already pre-established and there's no power-play.
Every day came with its lot of surprise and Ashley tried her best not to stand out of the lot too much or appear too awkward. She noticed teenage girls tend to be excessively cruel, manipulative and mean to others who don't seem to fit and follow certain set of rules she's still not quite sure what they are.
Though this is the last of her concern right now. Something strange happened in Taiyo. A new event. It appears there's an animal locked in a cage. One that remains on display for everyone to see.
Ashley had never seen animals this close before, even less something as exotic as a badger. During most of her spare time, Ashley came back her to stare and watch the badger silently.
The next day, she returns but this time she brought with her a backpack full of various vegetables. Of course, the badger had drawn everyone's attention but after a while, Ashley seemed to be the only one who had some fixation over it. She opens up her backpack and takes a carrot out, trying to poke and nudge the badger with in.
The badger doesn't seem all that trusting at first. It was in that state somewhere between one part domesticated two parts feral from being in captivity for too long that the unfamiliar environs was enough to put it on edge. Eventually however, Fury the badger creeps forward, sniffs the end of the raw carrot, and takes a tentative bite. Then another.
His meal was in full swing when Ashley heard a cheerful voice behind her. "He likes fruit too." Just behind her was a smiling girl in the Taiyo uniform, her top knot somewhat anachronistic to modern styles. "You're the new transfer student, aren't you?" She grins, "Glad you decided on Taiyo. Most who come from out of the country just default to Pacific. Not that that's a bad thing."
Raising her arm to scratch at the nape of her neck, there's a faint wince, as if something pained her. Looking somewhat chagrined, she lowered her arm, hurriedly trying to cover up the implications of such by just talking, "The name's Ibuki. Are you an animal lover too?"
When the badger sniffs the carrot and gives it some attention, Ashley leans in a bit closer, eyes widening. Every steps he does make her lean closer, mouth opening wide. It felt so exciting, yet she couldn't explain why. Totally new experience? Perhaps that was the case... Her life used to be much more predictable before. Now? Every day was different! Frightening and exciting at the same time.
A soft gleeful chuckle escape her throat as the animal nibble on the carrot. Ibuki's voice behind her startles Ashley who was focused solemnly on the badger. She bucks a bit, which might scare the animal some and she glances over her shoulder at Ibuki. "Oh, hum... Thanks! I'll keep it in mind!" The girl offers with a shy, almost meek intonation.
She glances back at the badger and nods her head. Ashley seems totally obvious to whatever implications Ibuki must have meant, "Yeah.. Got transfered a few weeks ago, still getting the hang of it.." She smiles and glances back at Ibuki, "My name is Ashley, I... Huh, I guess. We didn't really have much wild animals like that where I came from so... Well, it doesn't seem too wild but, I guess you could say so... are you the one taking care of him?"
Ibuki keeps the casual attitude, all smiles and amicable cheer. It's all genuine, when she's in school, she isn't going to even think about 'ninja' things except when it comes to the sort of shenanigans she could get away with. Like with this badger here, Fury. "Nice to meet you, Ashley-chan." She says with no small amount of familiarity, despite the fact that they just met.
Ibuki walks up to the cage to stand beside, and Fury doesn't shy away, quite the contrary. Instead he sniffs the air, then huffs in recognition, before returning to feeding from Ashley, Ibuki gives Eve another easy grin, "I'm glad you're actually feeding him things from his actual diet. Caught a few students trying to feed him konpeito and had to chase them off."
Remembering that she asked a question on whether she's caring for him, it finally dons on her to answer. "Oh yeah." She answers, "My classmates volunteered me, and I was happy to help out. My family is sort of eccentric and likes to train small wild animals as a hobby, so I guess they thought I'd be perfect with it." She shrugs, "Way to show my school pride I guess, until the faculty hands him back over to Gedo."
Whipping out her cell phone, she loads up pictures of a Tanuki standing on it's hind legs, waving a single paw, "This here is Don-chan, my pet Tanuki. Isn't he the /cutest/?"
Ashley's lips curl into a gentle smile and she bows her head respectfully, "Pleased to meet you to, Ibuki-chan," She says. She glances back at the badger and hums softly, "Well... I thought animals liked vegetables, so I brought some lettuce too and broccoli,"
Ashley smiles and seems pleased when the animal comes back to eat and gets so close to her. She dares not touch it through the cage though, who knows if he'd react well to that. "Really? Cool... You're really lucky! It must be fun... I'd love to teach him to do tricks and all. Like war dog and all, trained to attack and track, well, hum... Maybe he could have some other use too," She says, considering the little critter. It didn't seem to be really fast on its leg, but who knows.
"Yeah, I heard nobody knows why it was here... Is it really the badger of Gedo High?" AShley asks, arching a brow. She leans over and checks Ibuki's cellphone. Her eyes glisten a bit at the sight of the animal and her lips curl into a wide grin, "Wow! You really have something like that for yourself!? It's so cute! I bet it's all fluffy and soft too!"
Ibuki puts up a finger, grinning at her, "Mostly root vegetables. So you had the right idea with carrots especially. The rest should be safe for him to eat though." She falls out of lecturing almost immediately, as she's not really the type to be pedantic.
Crossing her arms, she laughs, though there's an awkward note to it that indicates that maybe she doesn't think she's that lucky. "Oh it can be fun on occasion. It's our uhm..." A notable pause, "...most fun hobby actually, but..." Ibuki shakes her head, "...Fury here isn't ready for tricks yet. Badgers are sort of a long term project if you want to train them, not sure I'd have time for that." Stopping the motion, the smile forms upon her face though. "It's a fun thought though. Wonder what Gedo would think if their mascot came back knowing how to sit on command?"
Ibuki giggles lightly at Ashley's delight. "The fluffiest. I let him sleep in my bed actually, he's that well trained. A bit lazy and easily distracted though, like me. The two of us kind of mesh well together, personality wise."
Ashley listens carefully to Ibuki, obviously interested in everything she says, "Oh, hum, I see..." She replies, glancing down at her backpack with the other vegetables, "I'll keep that in mind for next time,"
Ashley hums softly at the thought, glancing back at the animal, "Maybe I could try to take care of him for you instead? I... Huh, I mean, I think I'd like that! If you give me a few tips and all," Ashley says, hopeful. Her lips curl into a wide grin and she beams a bit, "I could try to teach him a few tricks!" She does wince a bit at the critter's name, "Fury...? Eeeh, is he violent or something?" Ashley asks, glancing back at the animal. It didn't look like a fury for some reason... Maybe it was the cage? Who knows.
Ashley heaves a soft sigh and says, "You're lucky... I wish I had something like that in my bed too," All she had was a single teddy bear which, of course, was definately a lesser version of a pet.
Ibuki seems to be considering the idea of handing him off. On the one hand, she was extremely busy. She had a part time job, ninja training, and school to juggle after all, however part the whole point of this was showing her School Pride, which someone had insisted she didn't have much of. To Ibuki, who very much wanted to prove she was just an ordinary girl, to have such a reputation was unacceptable. "How about we share the duty?" She says hesitantly at first, thinking it through as she speaks, "Some days I've got to get home early. I wouldn't mind having help, and in exchange I might be able to give you some training tips."
She looks at Fury, and shakes her head again, "I know, right? He doesn't really seem like a Fury. All badgers can be violent though in the wild, especially if protecting their territory. So you do have to be pretty careful, but I think he's been gentled somewhat by his time in captivity."
Ibuki turns and grins at her, sliding a finger across the cell phone screen to a picture of Don-chan taking a bath, with Ibuki in the background, holding up her fingers in a V for victory selfie, "Well, a Tanuki is kind of an unusual pet, but like I said, my family is kind of eccentric. Don't suppose your parents would let you have a cat or a dog? It might be easier to sell that to them."
As Ibuki ponders, Ashley gives her a soft pouting face, as if begging her to consider her help. The thought of sharing the duty of the animal's care seems to fill Ashley with happiness and she bounces up, "Yes! That sounds great! I'll give you a hand and I'll watch and learn, really! I'm really good at taking orders and all, you'll see, I won't be troublesome, I promise!" Ashley says with a big grin.
Ashley glances back at the badger, nudging him with the carrot he's gnawing on, moving her other hand as if to rub his head with the fingers she can get into the cage, "Right, right?" Ashley hums softly and says, "Well.... While he's in Taiyo we should give him another name... How about Fluffy, hum? He seems kinda soft and harmless so..." Ashley shrugs at the thought, not thinking in the least about the school rivalry and all of that.
The girl shakes her head and heaves a sigh, "Not really... We're... Not allowed pets or anything where I live, it's kinda complicated," Ashley admits with a nod. She glances at the animal and says, "Taking care of him here is the closest I'll get to have a pet I think.."
Ibuki perhaps even lingered a little extra long when she saw the pouting face. It was endearing after all, seeing that in Ashley, especially her enthusiasm when she acquiesces. "Great! How about you start in earnest tomorrow after class? Let's exchange cell numbers. That way you can text me if you have any questions or want tips."
The name Fluffy causes a short sharp bark of laughter to leave her lips, before it devolves into giggling, "He really does seem like a Fluffy, doesn't he? How about it?" The Badger doesn't even cease gnawing upon the carrot. "Well, it seems like he has no objections! We should make a sign, to mark the name change."
Her smile fades away into a frown, "Strict parents? I know all about that." Strictly speaking, Ibuki didn't have parents. She was an orphan, but her family was her clan. And she knew all about having to live by a long list of rules. She could definitely sympathize with her.
A soft sigh may be heard, before she offers, "Well, just enjoy it while you can. The faculty will probably eventually cave and return him to Gedo." The thought of Gedo coming to get him back did cross her mind, but it was a distant concern. "Maybe we can figure out a way for you to keep a secret pet if that happens."
With a soft giggle, Ashley continues to toy with the animal and tease it a bit with her finger, "I think it's cute.." Not like the animal had anything to say about it! Or it didn't seem to care.
Ashley nods her head to Ibuki, "Sort of.. We don't have much money either, so I don't have many belongings either, I don't think they'd like me having a pet... But I can keep on secret in school," Ashley says with a wide smile. Of course, much like Ibuki she lied on that part. Agents like her had no possession aside from what they were given... But the more time she spent with this kind of freedom, the more she was starting to wish more than the little she had.
Ashley seems to consider, "Well... It's in a cage now, but we could do a little... Rescue mission? I bet everyone would think Gedo stole it back... Right? And maybe keep it somewhere else, and take care of him during classes or something..." Ashley hums softly and she lifts one hand up, petting her chin idly, as if thinking of a good place to keep it.
Ibuki gives her a sympathetic look, brow creasing as she thinks over the matter. She certainly doesn't suspect her as being anything other than an ordinary, enthusiastic transfer student, hoping to get acclimated to high school life. "Gotcha. They don't have to know then. I'm certainly not going to tell them." She laughs, like the very idea of tattling on a fellow student to their parents on some strict and stupid rules was the last thing on her mind.
However it's the next offer, that gives her some pause. "Huh. I'll have to think about that. Whoever stole him from Gedo wanted to put him on display here. Maybe to start some new tradition or something." Obviously she was just speculating, because it couldn't have been here, right? "I say we figure out how they're going to react first. Once we know it may be easier to pull off something like that, if you wanted to try."
It's certainly not the plan she had in mind, but it could work right? It'd give this new transfer student a small measure of comfort and joy. There was just this niggling feeling that crawled in the back of her head that it might be taking this a step too far to hide Gedo's mascot away and blame them for taking him back. "Besides, the faculty keeps the key to his temporary cage and it's bolted down. They let me borrow it for his care, but... they'd kind of know who had access. How would you even pull something like that off without them noticing?" Ibuki's mind processed at least a half dozen ways to do it easily, but she doesn't voice any of them. They're how a ninja thinks, not how an ordinary high school girl thinks.
Alas, Eve's mind was not processing this rapidly. She bites her lips and tilts her head to one side as she stares at the animal, "Maybe..." She says casually, almost in a dreamie tone. She hums softly and leans over to stare more closely at the animal, poking it with a finger.
"Think we could take him out sometime? Maybe put a leash on him and take him out for a walk? I'm sure it would do him a world of good! I'd love to take him out for a walk," Ashley says, her lips curling into a wide grin at the thought.
She glances over to Ibuki, with that glee in her eyes that says 'please, please, pretty please' almost in a childish way. It's all in her gaze though, no word said.
Ibuki finds it rather cute, the childishness, and doesn't mind at all the flagrant disregard for any sort of authority. Such teenage rebelliousness was imbued in her all the way from the tip of her top knot all the way down to her toes. However... there was one thing she needs to correct, "Well... you see, leash training is rougher than you think, especially on animals that aren't usually meant to be domesticated. I'm not sure he would take to it well."
As if anticipating her disappointed reaction though, she holds up a finger, "But, we could possibly convince them he needs some time outside the cage for recreation in a controlled environment. Badgers sure do like to dig and tunnel after all..." Ibuki offers with a smile, seeing if Eve gets where she's going with this.
Rebelliousness? Nah! Ashley wasn't anything but a rebel! No one would mind if they took the badger out for a walk, right? They'll bring him back here! Beside they're the ones taking care of him, it's for his health! They have good reasons to do that.
Indeed, Ashley seems a bit disappointed but she manages to conceal her disappointment well enough. As if she has been used to have things denied to her and got used to it. However, her smile returns to her when Ibuki says but, and Ashley grins widely. She bites her lips, having trouble containing her excitment, "Awesome, this is great!" She says, bouncing up a bit. She glances over to the badger and moves a finger, waggling it at him, "I think we're going to be good friend you and I!" Ashley says.
She glances back to Ibuki and beams, "Thank you... So much Ibuki, you're really nice.. I hope we can do this, really!" She looks at her watch and then takes her backpack and leaves the carrot in the cage, "Here's a little gift.." She says to the badger and gives in an infantile like wave of her hand.
"I should get going... Cheerleading practice very soon! But we'll see again for Operation Fluffy!" Ashley says with a knowing wink.
You know, perhaps the only thing suspicious about Ashley at all is the fact that she's a Cheerleader that wasn't originally from Southtown. Her experience with Cheerleaders at Pacific led Ibuki into getting into a fierce fight with one after interrupting their practice. But it's only a momentary flicker of unfounded suspicion, before she gives a rueful smile towards her. "You're a cheerleader?" Ibuki looks distant momentarily, before returning to her cheerful self. "I wish I could do that, I just don't have the time. I'm glad you're into it though, maybe I'll drop by to watch your practice one day!" The thought that some cute boys might be hanging out is perhaps a secondary reason for attending.
"See you Ashley-chan! I really hope so!" She waves towards her, before looking back to Fluffy as Ashley departs, "Well Fluffy." She slips him a piece of dried fruit. "Seems I made a friend too!"
Log created on 16:38:02 11/25/2014 by Eve, and last modified on 15:32:50 11/26/2014.