Description: While looking for some tranquility to enjoy some tea, Kiyomi stumbles upon a young lad with a secret. She attempts to convince him to see her shelter for gifted young like him.
Inari is always a popular option as the guardian kami of shinto shrines. And the one local shrine in Shouthtown isn't even the only one in the immediate area to that particular kami. It is large enough however to have a resident priest always on the grounds. Near the outskirts of the city, the shrine is general quiet of the usual noise that infests populated areas, surrounded by trees in the peak of spring bloom. All in all a peaceful and serene lake in the middle of what is a morass of human noise and habitation.
What else this shrine has is a particular teenager. Well, there's more than one living here, but the other is inconsequential to the moment. What matters is the young man who currently lays along the top of one of the innermost torii of the shrine. Seemingly asleep and trying to enjoy the mid afternoon light as the warmth of the day starts to give way, the sun beginning its downward slip towards the horizon. The teen isn't dressed like normal teens in the area either, in a traditional haori and hakama, a conical straw cap dropped over his face to further shade his eyes allowing him to nap. Indeed his chest rises and falls in the steady rhythm of someone who's completely dozed off.
Life is filled with mysteries and while Kiyomi had sworn to herself never to return to the land of the rising sun, her ideals and struggle have brought her back here -- and for some reasons she has been drawn to this secluded shrine for her own meditation. It was the perfect place to be on your own and enjoy some tea. Not her first pick, but due to recent events this was probably the best place.
Clad in a traditional kimono, the mature woman slowly makes her way toward the shrine, a veil of illusions covering her swaying tails to hide her true nature in case she'd met any humans near by. The presence of the youth resting atop the shrine causes her to smile. She reaches out for a small pebble on the ground and she attempts to throw it up at him to wake him from his slumber, "If you stay there you're going to get in trouble," She speaks out loud, turning on her heels to glance off the distance toward the lake, "I bet the priest would be quite upset to see someone sleeping up there,"
The pebble inpacts on his hat, knocking it free from his face and down to the ground. Its shape causing it to spin a bit before rolling to a stop at Kiyomi's feet. Shouog rolls his head to the side, one yellow eye open to peer down at the kimono clad woman. "I always nap up here." He runs his hand through his red hair as he rolls into a sitting position, legs dangling over the side of the torii. He supresses a yawn with his hand as he looks around for a moment, up at the sky, then back down at the woman. "Takashi-san usually doesn't mind if my chores are done." His mouth splits apart into a bright smile.
"Toss me my hat?" His hand rummages through his hair again, as if he actually is bothered by it's absence, but looks slightly nervous about going down and getting it himself. He grips the edge with his hands, leaning forwards slightly, getting dangerously close to actually falling over the side.
A smirk crosses Kiyomi's lip as her peddle did better than she expected, revealing the young man's hair and face. She conceals her surprise though as his red hair contrasts quite a lot with his obvious asian heritage but she says nothing of it for now. She kneels down slowly and reaches out for the hat, dusting it off some. He could have been the priest of this shrine, though Kiyomi would have been surprised to see such a young fellow taking care of this place on his own.
"Are you his apprentice?" She asks casually. Could be that -- or maybe he's related to this person. The woman seems to feel his nervousity and she can't help but smile, "What's the matter? Are you afraid of me?" She asks with a semi-playful tone, using his hat to fan herself idly, before she rests it atop of her head.
Shougo stand up, bare feet padding along the top of the arch over to the end. He grabs a rope that was hard to see where it rested against the pillar and repels down to the ground. Obviously he does hang out there more than mmight be considered normal, or altogether respectful in a shrine. "He took me in." The smile that follows is so genuinely honest its hard not to believe it for what it is. He rakes his hair down over his ears again. Definitely feeling awkward without his hat.
"Not his apprentice though, no. That'd be weird." No reason is given why it'd be weird, just that he seems to think so. His eyes dart towards the hat, making him bite his lower lip for a moment, but he doesn't seem overly eager to get closer than he is at the moment.
The woman was enjoying the uneasiness she seemed to have caused in the young man : she is unsure about the true reasons behind it, though it amused her. There was no malice behind it, though her lips were curled into a thin playful and teasing smile. When he moves down the shrine, Kiyomi reaches for the straw hat on her head and she moves it in front of her chest.
Her smile seems to fade away a moment though as something catches her attention. "I don't bite," The woman says, her lips curling into a smile as she puts the straw hat back atop her head. She takes a slow and long stride closer to him, stretching her arms out to the side, as if she was performing slow dance moves around of him, her eyes glancing at him as she spins on her heels by his side, observing and staring at him at his reaction. He might even feel something fluffy grazing his side. "Are you trying to hide something from me?" She asks.
There's a moment of eagerness on his face as it looks she's about to give him his hat back, at least until it ends up back on here head. Shougo still doesn't manage a frown though, just a slightly smaller smile. He lets his arms fall to his sides, the sleeves falling over his hands.
"Maybe I do." His lip twitches enough to show off his teeth between his smile, his slightly too sharp teeth on display. He doesn't show much of a reaction to her spin, but he does take a moment to snatch back his hat and plop it back down on top of his head, skittering back a few steps. "Everyone hides things from everyone."
The woman doesn't move or do anything to prevent Shougo from snatching his hat off from her head. The woman turns on her heels to face him, a soft chuckle escaping her throat as she folds her arms in front of her chest, her hands going into her sleeves as she does. Her playful smile remains on her lips. She tilts her head to one side and asks, "Is this the reason why you were so nervous without your hat?" There was no hint of malice in her voice.
The woman slowly turns her head away and she says, "You have nothing to fear from me... We are more similar than you might think..." She bites her lips and glances back at Shougo, "My name is Kiyomi," She unfolds her arms and says, "I travel around the world to find special people like you... And me,"
Shougo adjusts his hat atop his head, setting it just so before letting his hand drop back down to his side. "It keeps people from looking, yes." He tilts his head to the side with that slightly airy smile back on his face. He doesn't sound upset about the fact, just that it merely is a fact. He rubs his nose for a moment with the heel of his hand as his eyes remain fixed on the vixen in front of him.
"I'm not afraid." And it sounds honest enough to be believeable, with his hat back on his head. "I am curious as to why you want people like me." Up close his youth is even more obvious than when he was above the pillar. He couldn't be more that seventeen or eighteen. "I'm Shougo."
Kiyomi's expression softens slightly at Shougo's last question : his blissful ignorance of her reasons why she did such a thing was heart-warming in a way, "You're fortunate not to know why, then..." The woman simply replies, heaving a soft weary sigh. She gingerly strides foward, though she averts her gaze from Shougo, staring off at the lake.
She remains thoughtful for a moment, though she lets the veil of illusions that covers her tails slowly fade away, allowing Shougo to slowly see through this shroud. At first it appears blurry, like some sort of heat-wave behind Kiyomi until he can see the white tails moving back and forth on their on. Unnaturally long, fluffy and tails that made formed a huge swarm of tails behind her almost more imposing than Kiyomi herself.
"Many humans hunt down people like me because we're different and they do not understand us and thus fear us." She glances over her shoulder at Shougo and smiles, "I am glad if you didn't have to live through such persecution from them... Not all of us have the chance to conceal what they really are to them," She then lowers her gaze and says, "But to answer your question... I search for people like us to give them a hand, and offer them a place where they might feel they belong,"
"Maybe I was, dunno, can't remember past two years ago." Shougo walks over to one of the benches, crouching on it instead of sitting like a normal person. He rests his hands on his knees as he watches Kiyomi, or rather her tails, with extreme interest. He reaches behind him self and with a little effort works free his own tail from where he had it hidden. No illusion, it was merely shoved down his pants. The one fox tail he has swishing behind him softly. "Takashi-san keeps me hidden and safe." He looks over towards the shrine. "And I doubt Inari-sama would let anything bad happen to me by his shrine." HE sounds like he genuinely believes that.
He pushes back his sleeves, enough to free his hands to play with the square of rice paper he produced. Fiddling with it idly as his eyes stay fixed on the kitsune in front of him. He himself feels.. off. He may have that fox tail but he doesn't feel like a kitsune, he feels like something else. "It's good here, safe."
Kiyomi listens with interest to the bits of information he gives her about himself. She glances at his direction, noticing the tail he frees from his pants and she turns on her heels to face him. "I hope you will be able to continue living your live peacefully here," The woman says earnestly.
She approaches the bench he sat on and she sits down by his side, her tail more or less moving to her side not to get stucked. She rests her hands in her lap and observes the rice paper he has, "There is a secret shelter not too from here, for people like us... If you want to see it one day, or feel lonely, I could show you around," Kiyomi offers. At least, if something ever happens he might try to find them out or seek another refuge.
She reaches out for one of her tail and she caresses it idly, "I didn't always have so many tails, you know -- they grew as I got older," She grins at the thought and says, "Who knows... Maybe you'll grow others, maybe you won't... My mother had quite a few as well,"
"Doesn't matter. One is easier to hide." There's that almost too cheerful tone from Shougo again. He goes quiet for a moment, smiling almost absently at the piece of paper he's folding in his hands. His thoughts are gone elsewhere for a moment, that much is obvious from the spaced out expression on his face. "I guess I wouldn't mind seeing it sometime."
He fols the paper with a deft hand, operating mostly on muscle memory at this point, not even needing to know what he's folding, just that he is. Then with a slight tug, everything just falls into place, the little paper tiger sitting on his palm. He picks it up by the tail and twirls it in front of his eyes, as amused by it as a five year-old would be with a pretty shell he found on the beach.
He suddenly drops to a slight whisper. "I have to protect the people here like they did for me. I can't leave yet, I haven't repaid them."
The sight was heart-warming : Kiyomi doesn't have the chance to meet Darkstalkers who seems to be happy-go-lucky like Shougo. Most have a dark past and horrible experiences. Perhaps it was the case with him, locked in those two years he has forgotten... The woman can't help but chuckle softly at his behaviour.
She moves one hand and pats his thigh gently, "I'm not asking you to leave here," Kiyomi says with a shake of her head, "If this is your home, and if you feel like you belong here, than you should stay," Kiyomi says. "In all honesty, I was not on the lookout for someone like you : finding about your little secret was pure luck," She grins a bit and says, "Perhaps you could say it's fate that sent me here..."
She looks away and says, "In fact, I came here to enjoy some tea... And enjoy the scenery at the same time. You've just distracted me from my primary goal," Kiyomi hums softly and asks, "Tell me, Shougo... While I find it very noble of you to want to protect the people here... Why would they need protection?"
"Glad I could help." Whether Shougo means finding him or distracting her, he's not completely clear, but he offers it anyway. "And yeah, this is home, so not much will drag me away from here." He winks slightly as he tucks the paper tiger back up his sleeve where it vanishes. He lifts his hand and points over to one side of the shrine. "Just past that building are a few cherry trees still in blossom, nice place to think and have some tea."
As to the question, he just offers a small shrug. "Southtown isn't always safe. School gangs, roving fighters. I can fight better than either of them." He chuckles softly, and even if it is soft it's still a rich, full sound from him. "I'm not the best, but for this shring I'm enough."
The kitsune stares at Shougo's little tricks with curiousity. She hums softly and lifts her gaze up in the direction he pointed and she nods slowly, "Thank you, I think I'll take your advices," She says as she rises up and takes a few steps away. As she does, the veil of illusions slowly shrouds her tails and make them vanish from sight.
She lifts her hand up and taps a finger on her lips, glancing back at Shougo, "My offer still stand though... Look me up if you see me around, if you want a chance to meet others like you," She gives him a last smile before she turns on her heels and strides away.
Shougo watches the kitsune walk off with a tilt of his head. He scratches at his temple for a moment as if trying to puzzle something out. A voice calls out from deeper in the shrine, young and female, calling his name. With a small sigh he hops up off the bench, crouching to pick up the broom he discarded behind one of the lanterns. He shoulders it and wanders off in the direction of the voice, whistling softly under his breath. Though now he had a few things he needed to think about as he got to work on his evening chores.
Log created on 15:10:33 04/28/2015 by Kiyomi, and last modified on 14:01:45 04/30/2015.