View Full Version : Dark Matters

11-06-2014, 09:22 PM
With a twitch and a fling she tossed what small quantity of stringy hair she had left and struck her most intimidating pose. “Lovers, of course. What kind of ass-donkey asks a lady about such personal questions?”

This answer gave the various merchants reason enough for laughter. This tomato had been running up and down through Iron's busiest ports hunting a ghost. She claimed to be from Kusagakure, on an super secret intelligence gathering mission, but anyone with an ear to the ground knew that until recently she was just on leave. Shinobi didn't do business without uniforms on, and unless the greasy track suit the girl wore was the latest in Grass technology then it wasn't likely her inquiries were anything but personal.

Though nobody actually cared how personal since she couldn't pay a damn cent and had the personality of a swarm of fire ants. Some enjoyed getting a rise out of her. A few had tried to egg her into conflict knowing how shinobi were dealt with inside the walls of Iron. Currently she was being harassed (and counter-harassing) a group of shadier merchants who made their home beneath Iron's more dilapidated arches.

“He's taken, isn't he?”

“Oh, most certainly. Saw him with this other tart. Or was it two, one in each hand?”

“Isn't he married with several kids in the Midori district?”

Gemmei's face was turning as red as her hair. “Golly. Here I thought I'd get some useful information from you folks. Don't you make it your business to personally suck the cock of every soldier so they don't toss your sorry asses outside?”

“That's no way for a lady to talk!”


The mood was shifting from 'jovial ribbing' to 'flustered butthurt' rather quickly, so one of the more insightful members of the group offered the girl a bit of bait to get her to leave. “Miss, the fella your looking for, I know a guy who knows a guy who knew a gal.” Gemmei hardly seemed to be calming down, but her face seemed to suggest a passing interest.

“Yeah, and? Like I haven't been on a thousand goose chases already.”

“If I remember right, the fellow he worked with went by the moniker 'White'.”

The chuunin sat on that information for a bit, fuming. Her hands clenched and unclenched over and over within the pockets of her ratty jacket. “Alright, I'm done with you butt clowns.” Her eyes shot daggers at the man trying to disarm the situation. “Don't bullshit me, gramps. Just give me an address and a name.” She turned up her crooked nose. “Ugh, and find some decent clothes, you look awful.”

11-07-2014, 01:46 AM
Paranoia is typically characterized by an exaggerated fear that something bad will happen, specifically by another person, and it will cause some physical or emotional harm, possibly even slaughter the victim. It can be mild or severe, and strong enough to prevent the victim from living their lives normally.

Miyuki was a bit paranoid.

The grand City of Kings did not frighten her, neither did a single entity in it, but there was a small, hushed voice inside her head that told her someone was looking for her. And the woman always trusted her instincts. She was not frightened that this presence would kill her, in fact she would probably kill the first thing that even dared to raise their plucky fingers at her, but something was off. Iron Country's air smelled different. Something terribly annoying was going to happen soon.

The address that the obnoxious, vulgar carrot top received was Miyuki's old residence. In fact she moved a few days prior to Gemmei's arrival and found a small alcove in one of the less busy streets. Working as a tea waitress by day and moonlighting as mercenary by night earned her enough money for the abrupt move.

"Ma'am, could I please get some sugar? This tea is too bitter."

Hair tied up, shop uniform on, Miyuki's lips twitched into a pretty smile.

"I'm sorry our shop doesn't carry sugar." A blatant lie. The sugar was located in the back, behind an assortment of spices, where Miyuki hid it. Adding sugar to tea was utter blasphemy.

"Really? Just the other day, you definitely did..."

The young lady continued complaining, most of it was a blur to the white-haired waitress, but she smiled and nodded as the customer continued speaking nonsense. For a moment, Miyuki envisioned pouring the hot kettle over her face and skin melting like warm candle wax.

11-08-2014, 04:31 AM
Landlords, it turned out, were very hard to shout down. Working in a city where your customers might be world-class professional murder machines certainly toughened up your personality! Still, Gemmei held her own, right up until she had to be escorted out of the old apartment complex by some of the more well muscled tenants.

But master detective Gemmei would not be deterred by such things! No, in fact, already the gears were turning, plots unraveling, schemes falling in place like a haphazardly arranged line of dominoes. No, see, she didn't need an address, or a name, or even any evidence that this random girl had anything to do with her at all. She had something better. She had that divine Shinshi intuition!

When that predictably failed she went with the next best thing: bullying people until she got what she wanted.

Thus it was only a short time after being tossed on her ass outside the apartment that a triumphant Gemmei strolled into a fine looking authentic tea-ceremony-slash-serving-slash-drinking establishment tucked away on some classy corner of Iron's streets. Turned out you didn't need more than 'she has white hair' as a description and some upstanding citizen/distant admirer/discontent pervert knew who you were talking about. Now that was shinobi work to be proud of.

Almost immediately upon entering the chuunin was accosted by the serving staff. “Miss, excuse us, there's a dress code here...”

“It's fine, it's fine! I'm not going to buy any of your crappy swill. Don't touch me!” Gemmei tried to peek past the wall of food-service workers and see into the tables set up in the garden but her natural height-challenged body couldn't see over the bodies. She changed tactics. “This is family business. Family! Grandma died! Look, look at these tears. Are you not going to let a distraught girl talk to her sister about the passing of their beloved Mammy? Anyone? No takers? Jeez. What a callous bunch you Iron people are.”

Five minutes after getting kicked out she was back in a suspiciously too-large kimono clearly thrown on over her less appealing clothes. She waved a wad of bills around in an extravagant display of mysteriously found wealth. “Yeah, what now, losers? No excuse to throw me out, eh, eh?!”

They seated her in the far, far, far corner while someone went out to contact an authority.

The red-head idly drummed her fingers on the table as she squirmed on her cushion. “Can I get the girl with the white hair to serve me? I'm not asking, I'm telling. You don't have a bunch of those in back do you?”

11-09-2014, 02:43 PM
The best way of handling annoying customers was minimizing the amount of energy you waste on them. It was hard to say why this woman had such an insatiable desire to claim she put sugar in her tea yesterday for the past ten minutes, but she was practically frothing at the mouth. Miyuki choked down the instinct to strangle her and grit her teeth and forcibly smiled instead. This was a decent establishment and waiters were to serve by the skin of their teeth if they were forced.

As the woman's babbling progressed, annoying customer number two stepped in.

Miyuki watched distantly, assaulted by the screeches from the midget redhead and harrowing whines of the sugarless bitch from both sides. However Miyuki was no amateur and this was plenty of room to think.

"Yes ma'am, I understand your concerts and will immediately report to my manager." A glaring lie to anyone who actually knew Miyuki. But in this town, no one did. "And I do apologize, but I must attend to my other customers. Enjoy your tea."

Her paranoia presented some accuracy when a voice howled for the girl with the white hair to serve me. Miyuki's head swiveled so quickly that it almost broke off. She made quick eye contact with another waiter, telepathically pleading that she did not have to serve the abomination, and while he was not entirely pleased with her presence either, a good amount of money was being presented for the offer. Miyuki narrowed her eyes threateningly at him, then advanced to their newest customer.

Was this the terribly annoying thing her paranoia warned her about? Miyuki tilted her head and displayed a generous smile. Something felt strange. This girl...

"Hello ma'am, my name is Koko and I will be your waitress today. How may I help you? May I start you off with some green tea?"

Why was she asking for Miyuki?

11-10-2014, 01:15 PM
At once the girl's nose scrunched up in disgust. “Whoa, I got some bad info. I was told I'd be served by a woman, not an old grey-haired skeleton.” Gemmei did a quick double-take. “Oh, wait. Okay, I guess that's white. You guys gotta get better lighting.”

For an awkward moment she just stared. There was a glimmer of something malicious in the chuunin's eyes but perhaps better judgment won out in the end. “I'm a big fan. You know, of that stuff you do.” Social nuances were not Gemmei's strong point and she didn't dwell on trying to play the game any longer than she had to. “So I got work for you. Special work, dangerous work, the kind you used to do. You ready for this?”

She leaned back and held her arms outstretched. The long rows of gray rings tattooed across her forearm really detracted from her otherwise flawless complexion and amazing beauty. “Get me caffeine, woman!”

Okay she'd fucked up pretty bad. This girl's name wasn't even Miyuki! That pervert had told vicious, hurtful lies and Gemmei at once regretted having not kicked him harder. How many god damn white haired girls could there be in one city? This could be salvaged, though! Maybe this waitress was part of a white-hair support group. Yeah, those existed, right? Sometimes being a Shinshi felt like a living-with-red-hair support group. Hell, I bet she gets confused with this Miyuki chick all the time. She'll probably know exactly who I'm talking about and can point me in the right direction. Or I can blow the rest of the cash I scored trying to bribe her. She looks like a slut, I bet she'd put out that information for a low price.

When her beverage came Gemmei chirped out some insincere apologies. “Hey, Kokokokorin, sorry about that 'skeleton' bit. Been a rough day, boyfriend's causing trouble, just all around a pain in the ass. You know what it's like, eh?” The chuunin feigned innocence as she flicked through a couple bills. “So! I'm looking for this good friend of mine. We go way back. I was told she lived in this city until recently. Name was Miyuki, maybe you know her? I was invited to her dad's mumble mumble but she didn't tell me she moved so I can't get back in contact with her. How rude, am I right?” Again subtext wasn't the Shinshi's strong point. She leaned forward and nearly dunked her cash into the drink. “You look like an intelligent person. I bet you've heard something about where she ended up.”

Knowing Shinshi luck, Miyuki was either in a body bag or halfway across the world. What a rotten lead this was turning out to be.

11-10-2014, 06:47 PM
Difficult customers come in several varieties including angry, impatient, intimidating, demanding, indecisive, and unnervingly talkative. Somehow this girl managed to be all of that.

Miyuki glimpsed at their lighting situation, candles for the nighttime and windows for the day. The architectural space of the tea shop was for intellectual and aesthetic fulfillment, not thoroughly illuminating the details of someone’s face. But the woman knew better than to argue against any word that escaped red-head’s foul lips. She was not about to allow this diminutive bitch to control her, furthermore the situation.

Then she spoke something that made Miyuki’s composure falter for a fraction of a second. The special, dangerous work she used to do.

She held her breathe, eyes peeking at the tattooed rings on her flesh.


Miyuki exhaled.

“Ah, yes.” The words slipped from her lips as relief washed over her. “Caffeine. Right away, ma’am.”

Miyuki did not like this one bit. This stranger knew something. She bowed her head and moved away, into the kitchen, to prepare the cunt’s order. There was no actual coffee so the waitress poured the black tea with the highest concentrated amount of caffeine in it. If her co-worker had not been around, perhaps Miyuki would have spat in the mug. Instead, she would serve it scalding hot. Perhaps that would get her to shut it.

“I apologize for the dim light, would you prefer an additional candle for your table?” Miyuki returned and placed the cup down. Maintaining a concerned, sincere, and interested expression she attended to the red-head’s dialogue; however she mostly anticipated for the tea to scorch her vile tongue. Miyuki did not believe this stunt at all—not even as her eyes glossed with innocence and she flashed money between words.

Before she could understand where the conversation was heading, her name was repulsive on the red-head's mouth, and Miyuki wanted to tear her tongue out. A lump instantly ascended into her throat and she was speechless. Who sent her?

It was apparent that the girl did not actually know Miyuki. Her father wasn’t having a thing because he was dead. Whoever sent her was a fucking idiot and picked the wrong person. The Shinshi luck had been fortunate today though. It brought Gemmei to the right place, in fact the person she was searching for was standing right in front of her.

“Miyuki? Almost never visits, but she does love our cook’s dim sum so she is around once in a while. I don't know much more about her beyond that.”

A malicious glow hid behind her polite smile.

“If she comes by, I will let her know you’re in town. What’s your name?”

Perhaps silence was the best option, but Miyuki couldn’t help herself.

11-10-2014, 09:24 PM
The hell is a dim sum? Is that fancy city talk for dick? Am I being mocked?

“Crap then, why am I wasting time with you?” Gemmei picked up her tea and sniffed it. The odor was repulsive. “Nah, don't you worry about me. Go get the cook. I'll buy some of his dumb son or whatever and I'll ask him. Put it in a bigger cup though.” She raised the delicate container with a calculated amount of revulsion. “This thing is for babies. Is that your normal clientele?” She conveniently avoided mentioning her name. The fewer witnesses, the better!

Of course there was the possibility that Gemmei was being lied too. Why this girl would tell lies when Gemmei had been nothing but 100% honest was a mystery, but this White guy she was trying to hunt down had been in hiding so it was possible she risked stirring up some kind of hive. Fuck that, though! I want my money! If he's this damned hard to track down I bet he's got a big bounty on his head, too. Totally worth the effort. At this point she'd settle just for a name, but in her dreams, oh, in her dreams! Yes, there were golden images of Gemmei sitting on a fat stack of cash with his bloated, dead, not-alive corpse (that was killed dead until it died) floating around that greasy head of hers. But more than that it was about justice. About freedom. About love.

About redeeming herself from that embarrassment of a mission he had humiliated her on. Just thinking about it started to piss her off more.

It was right about then that an armed peace-keeping samurai came into view. Even in the candlelight the chuunin recognized him (partially because she'd been preparing for this very moment). Alongside him was the nice old couple Gemmei had...borrowed the money from prior to her second grand re-entry. Everything had been 100% legit, of course, of course! It wasn't illegal to beg, after all. Maybe she'd laid that 'I need to talk to my mom but they won't let me in' story on a bit thick, but was it her fault if they were gullible? No! Nonsense! What a miscarriage of justice that would be!

Despite her complete and utter innocence she slipped off to the kitchen. They probably wouldn't let her in a third time, so it'd be best to get the milk straight from the tit this time. Man tit, I guess. Teahouses are so gross, I swear.

11-12-2014, 12:59 AM
This was the least informative discourse Miyuki ever encountered. The kettle hung tightly between her hands as the carrot continued speaking, her voice carrying such entitlement for someone like her. While the girl's appearances were cruel, the world could have been a bit kinder on her personality. Such was not the case, though.

While the tea waitress acted like a simple-minded fool, Miyuki noted the name omission. Perhaps this idiot had carried more intelligence than was initially perceived. The white-haired woman did not allow her frustration translate into her expression, but it certainly took a lot of discipline to endure the situation.

"Dim sum is a type of food, ma'am," she replied, "It comes in a bowl."

Her voice had been only slightly harsher at the last syllable while her lips remained fastened in such a tight grin that they almost began shaking. "No, our normal clientele are not babies. These are mugs crafted by an indigenous tribe in the Rice Country, they were a gift to our owner, and he made the decision to share his gift. Please be a bit gentler with them. I will return with the dim sum soon."

Miyuki entered the kitchen and placed the order. At least for the next few minutes she wouldn't listen to that squeaky toy struggling to be a human being. She closed her eyes and searched through her memories for this one's face. The thing possessed a distinct mug that Miyuki would surely remember, but nothing came to mind. However it had come into sight again. In the kitchen. Right next to her.

No. Miyuki was not going to let this happen. She fought viciously to tame her temper as she turned the ugly customer at her side.

"I'm sorry, this is definitely not allowed. You're going to have to go back to your seat right now, ma'am."

How much it infuriated her to continuously call the redhead ma'am. As if she even deserved such an honorific. But that was not the least of her problems. A bell rung, indicating someone's arrival. The peace-keeping samurai passed into the tea shop, grandma and grandpa on either side of him.

11-14-2014, 12:17 PM
What a world it was where such rude, ill-mannered children were allowed to serve customers. Bet she make a lot of friends with that attitude! She needs to work on her people skills. Still, now was not the time for this girl’s petty personality problems to take up Gemmei’s focus. She was Iron trash, yes, but that need not concern her noble cause. She needed to find the cook, who would help her find Miyuki, who would help her find this blasted Snow-nin. The chain of people she needed to hunt was growing by the moment. If this kept up, she’d need to bail.

Not from the chase, god no. Just from the teahouse. The place reeked of that smug sense of superiority only Gemmei was allowed to have. The chuunin felt much more at ease in the slums. At least there she could assert her dominance without being challenged by food-service workers under some delusion of having dignity.

“Nah, it’s cool, it’s cool!” Gemmei tried to fob the white-haired bitch away with a handful of bills. “I’ve always wanted to be a prep chef. This is my dream, all this steel and sweat and body odor. Would you really crush a little girl’s dream?” Some noise out the back suggested her disappearance had just been noticed. If this Koko woman went out she’d blow the lid right off Gemmei’s location. How was she supposed to prevent this nasty broad from ruining everything?

Ah, by playing the soldier card! Everyone respected those with a career in violence, right? “Hey, Kocko, just between you and me, I’m actually a big deal. Prestigious and well respected and bodyguard of one of the most important families in Kusa no Kuchi.” She brandished her tattooed arm as though it proved anything. “See, each of these grey bands? Those are dangerous assassins I’ve killed. I’m a pro.” If this wasn’t enough the chuunin came out swinging with her last card.

“This Miyuki girl could be just as deadly and I need to find her fast. Get the picture? I’m trying to keep your streets safe!” Aw yeah, that harsh exterior of this waitress was sure to crumble under such a brutal revelation, revealing her true (cowardly) colors. Gemmei was the hero! Who didn’t want to help heroes?

11-15-2014, 01:45 AM
Miyuki took a few moments to collect her thoughts and synthesize the situation. At the rate which the redhead escaped into the kitchen, it was quite apparent that the samurai and the elderly couple were looking for her and she was running from them. That was a degree of leverage that would work to her advantage. Instead of focusing on the ceaseless yapping from the carrot, she peeked from the hallway as the other waiters confronted the guard, all of them pointing their fingers toward the kitchen.

Her lips slightly curled upward.

The type of anger Miyuki experienced had not been burning through her entire soul, it was a cold rage seeping into every statement she made and every action she had taken. It was calculating, manipulative, and entirely malicious.

"If you want to keep the streets safe, perhaps you should stop causing trouble on them." She took a step forward, for the first time experiencing the tremendous difference in height between the two females. She extended her arm to an abandoned kettle on the counter, gripping the cold clay handle in one hand as the other rested against the wall, effectively blocking the path to the cook.

"I don't care where you come from and whose ass you've kissed to be so prestigious. You lack prestige. You lack import. Nobody cares." she spoke firmly, relinquishing her former well-behaved speech. "Turn around and accept punishment for your reckless behavior, freckle-face. You will not be bringing any more trouble into my shop. Do you understand?"

A series of footsteps neared the women and the kitchen shrunk the more Miyuki spoke. She leaned closer to the ginger, pursuing her lips for a pause.

"Or, you can tell me your name, I will lead you out of one of our back exits, and I will never see your repulsive mug again. Unless you feel like dealing with that on your perfect bodyguard record."

11-15-2014, 04:21 AM
Why couldn't this wage slave have a conversation like a normal person? She'd gotten all high and mighty even though Gemmei had basically mentioned twice now she had no intention of wanting to talk to her further. What the hell did I do to her? Must be that time of the month. Or maybe she's into the cook's dim sum as well, heh. Gemmei nodded sagely while the girl invaded her personal space in an extremely tempting way, almost as to suggest she wanted Gemmei to bite her lip off. What on earth is she going on about? Ugh, there's no fixing stupid. Poor girl. Shoot, you know what! The chuunin resisted her darker impulses and sighed, just giving the angry girl the most dismissive look she could muster.

I bet there is no Miyuki, and I bet she doesn't know shit. She sounds like the type to lie through her teeth just to act superior. And! And! I bet there's one girl with white hair in this city and that damned merchant knew it. Everyone must know she's got such a big metal rod up her ass. They oughta call her an Iron maiden. What a crock of shit! Did I get played or what?

“Wow, gee, you sure got me cornered.” A pinkie went straight up her left nostril. Footsteps from outside grew louder. “Hey, guess what, you win! I'll go turn myself in for these invisible crimes you seem to think I've committed. Not that I would expect someone working a dead-end job like this to understand the law at all.”

She flicked the booger in a random direction and turned around to go face the music.

“Yo gramps and granny!” The still unspent roll of cash spun between her fingers like a knife. “Turns out Mom isn't here. Man, what a mix-up, am I right?”

Any confusing diversionary tactic didn't seem to work on the samurai. “We've gotten reports of someone disturbing the peace-”

“Whoa, yeah, I know! Let me tell you about this girl back there-”

A firm hand found itself clasped around her shoulder. “Don't interrupt me.”

In a true display of maturity and wit Gemmei proceeded to make obnoxious faces for the entirety of the generic 'you're coming with me' lecture people in charge liked to give when they didn't have a better excuse. Eventually even the steeled patience of the warrior began to crumble. “You will not disrespect the authority of the City of Kings-”

“LET ME” The girl's volume jumped up enough to rattle more than one teacup. “INTRODUCE MYSELF.” She craned her neck back to the kitchen. “MY NAME IS SHINSHI, SHINSHI GEMMEI. I AM A PROUD SHINOBI OF KUSAGAKURE.” Her eyes swiveled back as her voice continued to shriek. “THERE IS A SNOW SHINOBI I INTEND TO FIND AND BRING TO JUSTICE, SO APOLOGIES IF YOU WERE INCONVENIENCED BY MY EFFORTS.” In a single swift gesture she pulled the kimono off her person and tossed it over the head of the older woman she'd begged if off of in the first place. “Satisfied? Now do your worst, you gussied-up overcompensating manlet.”

Turns out that for all their talk of honor, samurai were not above hitting women.

11-20-2014, 11:37 PM
It had been easy for Miyuki to regain control of her emotions. Miyuki desperately wanted to know the brat's name however at every opportunity, the flat-chested carrot-top chose the other option. But it hadn't mattered much anymore. Within moments, the samurai emerged from the hallway, an angered glow radiated off his body, and the white-haired woman eagerly chuckled.

Miyuki took a quick step back, a victorious grin illustrated across her face. She placed the tea pot down on the counter. Her initial thought toward the utensil was a makeshift weapon. If Shinshi Gemmei were to raise an arm—

That was her name.

Shinshi Gemmei.

A proud shinobi of Kusagakure. Why had there been a Kusagakure ninja looking for Miyuki?

The samurai backhanded the rotten shit whose voice pierced the entire tea house and left many guests speechless and confused, but Miyuki had a very abrupt thought. She wished Gemmei's vile tongue spoke just a few more statements about the reason she had to bring justice to Miyuki. She had never seen the female in her life. She wished there had been at least a small inkling in her mind that would give her some explanation. As Miyuki watched them drag the idiot away, she wondered what would have happened if she confessed her identity.

“I can close the shop tonight, don't worry.”

“Eh, you're alright with that, Koko-san?”

Miyuki nodded sweetly, “Of course. It's your girlfriend's birthday today. You should spend the rest of the evening with her.”

The waiter's lips stretched into a smile. His cheeks aglow from a bright, red blush, he threw a towel into the kitchen and waved to the last employee in the shop. A bell rung as he exited. A cold breeze swept the floor for a pause. Miyki stared at the restaurant, still clinging to the incident a few days ago, unable to separate it from her mind. She loathed the redhead, but her curiosity could not be quenched. She wanted to know why.

11-23-2014, 03:24 AM
Extenuating circumstance. Gemmei had an intimate familiarity with law and order, especially when it came to skirting it. She wore that experience proudly on her tattooed forearm.

Part of this job is rolling with the punches. Can't let little set-backs distract you from the big picture!

A night in the drunk tank, some harshly worded threats, an emergency visit from a Kusagakure representative- a pittance, a pittance! The Shinshi had a record that made 'disrupting behavior' a charge that looked like a compliment. Those stuck-up samurai didn't see it like that but they were just as bound by their laws as everyone else. You couldn't toss someone out of your city for shouting in a private business. Warnings were what cowards gave. Iron had nothing.

Extenuation. Gemmei didn't do black and white. Gray was her color.

The knocks came fast and hard, like a bunch of firecrackers.

“Oy, oy, oy!” A familiar, upsetting voice croaked out from the other side of the teahouse door. “Don't tell me they're closed? You told me they wouldn't be closed, you piece of shit!” The girl seemed to be addressing someone else. A multitude of hushed voices could be heard beneath the shinobi's wailing.

“Don't give me that! You all wanted something to drink, so we're getting' something to drink! Feh! Everyone in this city is just a buncha whipped dogs. Can't do nothing without someone tellin' you what to do! Slim-boy, take sideburns there and walk a perimeter. Per-rim-it-er. It means go around the back, moron!” Despite her apparent anger the person shouting the orders seemed to be enjoying her frustration. “What are you whining about now? Is walking around buildings illegal? No? Then get marching, scumbag!”

The knocking did not relent. Though some might find the fierce blows being rained down upon the door to be preferable to hearing the girls continued insult of her cohort.

11-24-2014, 03:46 AM
The young women folded her apron and went through the protocol of closing the shop and preparing it for the next morning. The wind was far more vicious than Miyuki imagined. It had been howling outside. There had been blunt knocks at the door—was there a thunderstorm out there as well? As she continued arranging teas for tomorrow's early morning brew, she realized it the erratic knocks and the howling wind was not weather related at all.

Behind the door, her voice was muffled but Miyuki recognized it all the same. She took a step out of the kitchen and listened. The back door began to shake; someone was going to break in. The woman grabbed a sharp knife. The City of Kings did not advocate for violence, in fact all violence, whether it was civilian or shinobi, was illegal but isolated in a dark tea shop, Miyuki figure no one would know if she slit a throat or two.

Especially if had been Shinshi Gemmei's throat.

Her lips gnarled into a sadistic, amused smirk.

"Shinshi-sama, I missed your presence," she said quietly, looping through the tables and chairs placed on the floor.

But the ginger bitch did not come alone. Unless she could be in two places at once, screaming at the front and struggling to break through the back door. It was made of metal and locked with chains. No one would be able to get through. Miyuki pulled the curtain from the front door, standing behind the damage-tolerant glass, and waved to her new friend and her posse.

With a bit more vigor, Miyuki spoke, "Please leave, Shinshi-sama. I will only ask you once. If you continue to harass me, I will call for a peace-keeping samurai and this time you'll spend more than a couple days."

She clutched the knife in her hand.

11-29-2014, 05:23 AM
Gone was that ugly old track suit. It its place was a new but not really improved Gemmei. Scratched sunglasses, ratty and way to big leather jacket, and hair so greasy and red it seemed as though it could spark up into flames at any moment. She looked like an elementary schooler’s idea of what a ‘badass’ might be and looked exactly like everyone else's idea of a 'sleaze'. The hair might have been unintentional though.

“Eh? Eh?!” The chuunin did a double take as a white-headed waif appeared behind a conspicuously defended barrier. “Do I know you? Did someone make reservations for me? Is this how this place works, guys? Is this the take-out window?” She turned to her entourage, who were a likewise poorly dressed and extremely sketchy looking group of much larger males. They seemed hesitant to answer and a few had visible backed away at the mention of samurai. Gemmei bunched her nose and spat. “Gee, thanks. Regular bunch of socialites here.”

“Woman!” The red-head twisted her head around fast enough to snap it off. “Do you threaten all your customers? Oh, no, I get it. That’s your gimmick, isn’t it? You serve tea and abuse, and behind closed doors-“ Gemmei lightly tapped the door just to jingle the chains on the other side. “Chains and leather? Fancy. Very fancy. Also disgusting. I didn't know Iron was so full of degenerates. Ugh.”

A weak looking man with large sideburns came into view and gestured at the chuunin. She shot him a glare that said ‘go away’ in an expert display of the subtle craft of nonverbal communication.

Then she shouted ‘GO THE FUCK AWAY!’, grabbed a bottle of clear liquid from her person, and hurled it at him. He barely caught it and scampered back into the alley.

Clearly frustrated the girl turned back to the lady behind the glass. “Men, am I right? So you gonna get us drinks or what?”

11-30-2014, 03:10 AM
Miyuki stood amused and watched the drunk urchin slobber and spit at the glass pane that separated them. Tiny flecks of her spittle adorned the exterior of the tea shop which meant only more work for the employee opening shop in the morning. Miyuki chuckled with apparent annoyance and waved her hand. She set the knife away and crossed her arms, tilting her head in the most patronizing manner, as if she was watching an animal perform a pathetic act for some change.

“No, snot-face. Behind closed doors, I leave and go home and escape the slimy clutches of revolting reverse harem crew leaders like yourself.” Perhaps far too descriptive than Miyuki usually preferred to speak, but this girl sparked an animosity in her that wouldn't be settled with Miyuki's typical brevity. Perhaps she was trying to fight fire with fire.

She moved a strand of white hair behind her ear and realized something. This was the perfect moment. Gemmei would not be able to break through the glass, even if her entire boy band kicked it at the same time. Miyuki was safe to disclose who she was.

Even if the idiot girl had all these witnesses to testify in her favor, they were all criminals. Not that criminals' testimonies were often neglected for the mere fact they were once guilty for something, but Gemmei's commotion in the tea shop earlier would not allot her statements any honesty. Especially not with the ugliness she spoke or the gruesome way her lips gnarled with every hideous statement.

“Okay, Piggy, stop speaking for a moment and listen. No drinks for you. No whips and chains and leather or whatever your exotic fantasies beg for either.” Miyuki was smiling now. It was small but noticeable and retained a sort of evilness to it.

She laughed.

“I'm not Koko.”

She was really doing this.

“I am Miyuki. I don't know who sent you, but I'm curious why. Explain, Piggy—” She liked that nickname for her—“why were you looking for me?”

12-02-2014, 02:20 AM
“Holy crap, really? Cyclops, here, hold this for me.” Gemmei pulled a wad of papers from her person and shoved it into the open hands of a man with a lazy eye. She waved at him briskly and he ran off to join the other men in the alley. “Damn, how is that for a lucky break? Here I spent all this time and effort trying to find you and you just deliver yourself to me. What I tell you guys?” She jabbed a thumb into her chest. “Charisma.”

A greasy ball of flesh pressed up against the glass as Gemmei put her forehead against it. “I can see why you're buddies with that guy. You both got attitude problems and no idea how to treat a lady.” Even with her face pressed up against the glass Gemmei's expressions still contorted into a deep scowl. The white-haired girl's prior insult seemed unimportant compared to the bigger fish she wanted to fry.

“I'm told you know a Snow shinobi. Don't know his name, but he's got stupid black hair and this dumb fucking look on his face like he's retarded. The kind of face you might be tricked into trusting.” One of her palms slapped up against the glass in an aggressive but ultimately futile display. “Tall as shit. Used to travel with a white-haired bitch. Maybe you know her?”

The crowd behind her began to thin. Something very interesting appeared to be happening back in the alley.

“I'll go ahead and answer your next predicable question. I want his name. I want to know where he is.” Her ragged, bitten nails dug into the glass. “He did things to me. Horrible things. Unforgivable things. If you're his friend, you're just as guilty. But since I'm nice I'll let it slide.”

Unlike most of the time when the chuunin talked, now her voice carried a sharp edge of brutal punctuality. There was no disguising her rage at this Snow man who had done something terrible and unspeakable to her.

“If I don't seem to give a shit about your insults, Miss Miyuki, it's because I've already been violated so hard by disgusting Snow fucks that I can't even make myself care. You can't do anything with a knife that he didn't already do to me. So I'd appreciate it if you cut the infantile bullshit and just told me what you know so I can get out of your rats-nest of a city and hunt myself a bastard.”

12-06-2014, 12:17 AM
Miyuki's stance did not falter at the mention of him. With the black hair. The face you could trust. Shiro. White to her Black. She was unsure of whether she could trust Gemmei's voice. The girl spoke with such such assurance and confidence, but she was also wholly manipulative. Shiro had been honorable in most cases, primarily in his alliances, and if he did horrible things to her it was because he had to. And the white-haired bitch he used to travel with was Miyuki.

“I am her,” she stated.

She continued staring down the ugly forehead pressing against the tea shop's glass as her peripheral lingered on what seemed to be a fight starting further down the alley.

“I am not his friend, though,” she continued. She abandoned Shiro. She left him because she loved him. Her mouth suddenly tasted vile, as if poison was shoved down her throat; Miyuki was suffocating. If this girl was right, then she did not know who Shiro turned into. She never knew him as the description being provided right now. She never imagined him being morally capable of doing such things. Perhaps she never knew him at all.

“You'd like revenge?”

The disturbance in the background was growing louder, pulling strangers to watch the quarrel. He was someone she trusted and Miyuki never imagined betraying him. They were partners once. They disbanded because she left. Technically, she already betrayed the man. She drew a deep breath and shut her eyes for a moment.

But there was no clarity in her mind. There was no right choice.

After tonight she would never be able to return to her job as the tea shop's nice, polite waitress. She'd have to run again. She reopened her eyes and suddenly her vision was spotted with fighting. Apparently the thugs Gemmei carried along started some kind of brawl outside.

“I don't know where he is. He goes by White and that's all I know.” She pointed to the commotion behind the redhead, “Your idiots are going to ruin this city. Peace-keeping samurai are probably on their way. You better start running.”

12-06-2014, 02:18 AM
If the red-head could roll her eyes any farther up her head they might have just fallen out. “What the hell, girl. Why are you so obsessed with running away? I ain't done nuffin. You just think all gingers are criminals or something?” Gemmei popped herself free from the glass and ground her teeth. “I should have known you didn't know jack. Glad you sucked the cock of a man you didn't know. Real great role model for the us kids. Whatever. DICKWEEDS!” A bark ripped from the chuunin's throat. “We're leaving!”

One of the scumbags (with the sideburns) looked wildly towards her for guidance. “Boss, what the hell was in that-”

The girl stepped into the fight and planted a heel into the toes of the thin man who had started the fight. He screamed, cigarette falling out of his mouth. “Didn't I tell you shitwizards to stay in the alley? Does 'protocol' mean nothing to you bums?”

“Did you hear that, did you hear what he said about my mom-” The girl caught his cheeks in her grip, smooshing them in a goofy but quite clearly painful way.

“Yeah, I think I'm the one who told him that. Good one, wasn't it?” Her glance shifted towards the alley she'd been sending her posse into during the conversation. Her 'gang' sure was a predictable lot- she'd gone out and bought them all cigarettes, and they'd wasted no time decorating the alley with discarded butts. Looked convincing enough.

Slim wasn't getting any calmer with the midget strangling him and began to try to squirm from her grasp. Not like I need these losers anymore. I got a train to catch. She released her heel from his foot and her grip all at once. “Nothing to see here folks!” The chuunin turned back around and began to wave the crowd away. “Shops closed! Can't you read the sign? Get your stanky, brown water somewhere else!”

This continued for several minutes, with the normally hostile Shinshi trying to placate the masses until one of her bums caught scent of something foul. “Is that smoke?”

“Slow down there Sherlock! You tellin' me you cocksuckers just spent the last twenty minutes puffing on cancer sticks and you're just now smelling-” The chuunin glanced backwards towards the alley, where a growing plume of black smoke was flowing freely from a trash can. Oh, and it was right by the back door of the teahouse too, what a terrible twist of fate!

Like a responsible citizen the chuunin took her time strolling to the barred door and let loose another barrage of rapid taps while those surrounding the area began to panic. “Hey, granny! If you haven't run away already, there's a little issue in the smoking section out back. Maybe get your Snow butt-buddy to put it out, eh? If you're too busy playing pretend I'll handle it, since you know, I'm not a fukkin' worthless sack of shit like some people.”

Then, like any good citizen, Gemmei slowly and completely not suspiciously sauntered away to go get water. After all, it'd be a shame for anybody to get hurt.

03-01-2015, 01:08 AM
Fighting words from that ugly, bitter Gemmei. Miyuki was dizzy from the conversation, from the girl stalking her, from the reminder that Shiro was still out there. She always knew, but consciously being reminded was a sharp pain to her chest. Heartache? She felt as if her chest suddenly grew black and blues across the flesh.

Gemmei's musketeers began punching each other and it drew her attention again.

“What the fuck.”

Little red abruptly stopped one guy from punching the shit out of the other one. If it wasn't for the circumstance of how they met, one might say Miyuki was impressed with Gemmei. Unfortunately, due to the circumstance of how they met, she was only irritated. This was stirring too much trouble. She wanted to be nowhere near it. There was a door in the back to exit, she hoped no thug would be back there to meet her.

As the crowd began to flood in front of the shop and Miyuki put her apron away for its last time, she did not even glance back at Gemmei's unfortunate gang. As she opened the backdoor, a giant torrent of gray fumes ambushed her. She slammed the door shut and coughed, waving the fumes from her face. It reeked of fire. Was there a fire in the back?

Did that little brat plan it?

A bucket of water was in her hands when she opened the door a second time. The white-haired woman flung it at the trash can, keeping her eyes squinted as she peered through the ashes. She wondered if any of the thugs were around, if this was a distra—


A man a few inches taller than her, a half-lit cigarette hanging limp from his lips, brought his arm around his waist and caught her.

“Boss, I got 'er!”

The bucket was swiftly brought around her side and right to his head. It was aluminum and probably did not do enough damage to knock him unconscious, but she was able to slide out of his grip. Violence was not tolerated in Iron. Miyuki sucked on her lower lip; she had to run.

03-02-2015, 04:17 PM
Across the street the chuunin was pointing and screaming at the a poor flower shop lady. The exact point being contended was already lost to the ether as her gang pulled up.

“Boss, boss you gotta come quick-”

“Weeds! I'm from Grass, alright?! We know our god damn greenry, and this trash you're peddling as quality goods is an insult.”

“Boss, Inaho nabbed that girl-”

Gemmei ceased yelling mid sentence and shot her lackey a killer stare. “Eh? Eh? Didn't that midget hear me say that we were leaving? That waitress was an empty-headed bimbo. Not wasting any more of my time there.”

“But boss you told-”

“Do you not think I know what I told you, chucklefuck?”

The flower lady took the chance and disappeared while girl's rage was pointed elsewhere.

“Told. Past tense. I said we were going. You motherfuckers stay in school long enough to learn about present tense?” The situation had (as it often did around Gemmei) escalated rapidly and getting some water from the dinky floral store was not longer a priority. If the trash can fire hadn't drawn the attention of those incorrigible samurai, open face assault was sure to send them coming. Spending another night in this greasy city's jail (followed by what was sure to be a quick deportation) would be quite the vacation buzz-kill.

God damn though, I gotta cut these losers loose. They're worthless Gemmei just stared across the street, slack-jawed, while pondering her options. Hey, fuck it. I don't wanna see this city again anyway.

Her tiny legs pounded the pavement and carried her halfway across the road before her lackey could even register what was happening. Ah, there she was, that white-headed pimple of a girl, running like the coward she was. Time was short so the chuunin couldn't enjoy this great comeuppance. With all that shinobi might Gemmei drew back her fist. A gleaming, malicious grin split across her face. Justice at last!

Miyuki ran right passed. Gemmei didn't even look back. Instead she sunk her fist deep into the ribs of the man who was hot on her trail, sending him sprawling into the street. “When I say follow, you follow!” The man groaned and earned a kick to the stomach for the trouble. “You gotta learn to listen! Women hate guys who can't do that! Hey, stop moaning and pay attention. This is impor-”

A mighty, but familiar blow landed across Gemmei's skull. She'd been too busy shouting to hear her pals screaming 'samurai'. They, of course, had all fled the scene already, meaning all well-intentioned guard could see was a mangy girl beating up a helpless adult.

She reeled, staggered, then turned around looking extra pissed. “Shit! OW! The hell was that for!”

It'd be four more blows to finally subdue her, but only because the always conscientious Gemmei wanted these peacekeepers to work for their paycheck.

03-17-2015, 05:52 PM
Well, it wasn't as if all hope was lost. Miyuki worked the nights as a mercenary and still retained the ability to slit throats if it ever came to it. As she ran down the concrete path and trampled the elegant white heels beneath her toes, she realized her life would never be quiet. She would never be able to fully rehabilitate herself into becoming conventional, normal. At least cracking skulls and snapping necks paid more money than shitty tips from the wealthy bourgeois.

The bucket was long gone, Miyuki could not smell the burning scent of the trash can's fire, but a small red head glistened in her peripheral.

A hallucination?!

She was wrong.

The little bitch was about to swing at her. The Snow nin caught her breath and added pressure to her sprint.

“Fucking idiot,” she muttered audibly before she realized Gemmei knocked into one her own. A slightly impressed smirk grasped her lips before she pulled it back. And then the samurai arrived, but Miyuki had not been present to notice that ambush. How she would have enjoyed it, though. But by the time Gemmei would be thrown into a holding cell until they finished processing her deportation papers, Miyuki would be waiting for her next assignment.

There was a barkeeper, his name was “G,” and he was often the man Miyuki contacted when she needed to move, to find a room in a house or a small apartment. He gave her the paperwork she needed to not be Miyuki, to be a tea shop waitress, or a butcher with this new license.

Politely nodding back at G, Miyuki wandered into the bar's bathroom. She glanced into the foggy, cracked mirror and wondered if she would ever see that pig-faced bitch again.