The Fear of Falling Apart

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Amy
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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Amy » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:18 pm

Everyone in the crowd was equally unaware of everyone else around them. No one seemed very bothered by the shoulder bumping and the hurried pardons. It was an accepted aspect of any large event but also one that Tsubaki could never quite come to terms with. It had been mildly more tolerable when Aya was by her side but that hadn’t lasted for very long. The poor thing had just...run off shortly after the show had started. To her own shame Tsubaki hadn’t chased after her, the thick crowd of people too big of an obstacle. Without someone by her side Tsubaki had no interest in sticking around and instead starting making her way back to the women’s camp. There was the thought that she might stay the night and see if things were better in the morning but she already knew that that wasn’t going to happen. She was going to get the rest of her things and disappear into the nothingness. And Aya would be a nice, small memory in the void of nothingness that existed in her head.

Or at least, that was the plan until a crying Aya sped by her. Heading towards where both of their stuff was. Furthering her self shame Tsubaki stopped and briefly considered how much she needed the stuff that wasn’t on her. It wasn’t a good look, knowing that she could care so little about someone who so clearly needed help. Her pace slowed the thinner the crowd got until she was practically standing still. Was this what she had always been like, she wondered quietly to herself. Was she always this cold? So uncaring. With her chest heavy, Tsubaki turned and started walking off into the woods.
She had no reason to stay if she was being brutally honest. Her and Aya barely knew each other and she doubted Aya expected her to follow and comfort her. But she couldn’t fight the thought in the back of her head that even if this is who she had been was it who she wanted to be? Did she want to continue as the person who built no bonds, who gained no friends, who barely skated by with a heart full of anxiety?

Groaning heavily to herself, Tsubaki didn’t give herself another thought before making a sharp turn and heading quickly now towards the camp. It didn’t matter what she was or who she was before. It didn’t matter that she was scared and she was confused and she wanted to sit and cry. What mattered, the only thing that mattered, was what she did and who she proved herself to be.

Finding Aya crouched against the base of a tree, head buried in her knees, sobs still falling from her, Tsubaki took a deep breath. If she did this, if she committed to being a friend, a shoulder to cry on, there was no going back. She would have to stop running away and she would have to stop acting like no one else existed in the world aside from herself.
It was something that she couldn’t take back.

Plopping down on her bottom next to Aya, Tsubaki laid her hand on the girls shaking shoulder.

"Aya….Aya, what happened?"

Feeling like she was sealing her fate, for better or for worse, Tsubaki squeezed Aya’s shoulder encouragingly.

"You can tell me. I promise, nothing you say will be as bad as you think it is. "
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Jounin • Konohagakure no Sato • Inuzuka Shinrai and Kuro & Toraeru
Chuunin • Iwagakure no Sato • Tanaka Aimi
B-Rank MNKatō, Tsubaki
Sp. Jounin • Kirigakure no Sato • Araki Kiyo
Genin • Iwagakure no Sato • Notome, Minori

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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Yura » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:18 pm

Aya was so irrationally upset that she didn't even register the faces of the people she passed or the ones belonging to the people that she quite literally pushed out of her way as she attempted to escape to somewhere no one could find her. She had considered returning to the camp and diving into her sleeping bag for comfort, but the possiblity of running into other people who would see her cry made her divert her path. It wasn't long before she had broken free from the crowd and entered into the woods, not really sure of where she was going. It was atypical for her to be in such a state, a blabbering mess of tears that she had unsuccessfully tried to hold back, while running aimlessly with no intended destination. Subconsciously it reminded her of the night that she had escaped from her Master's captivity, the night that she had run for miles on end, never really knowing how far she had gotten until she woke up safe in the brothel in Miracle country. et the seeing that girl, the one that she was conviced was her younger sister, elicited a similar emotional response in her as that night had. Right now she just wanted to keep running and never stop.

Only, she did. She didn't know how long or how far she had run, but the tears and emotion had made it hard for her to breathe and when she had finally run out of breath she slumped again a tree and slid down to its base, curling up in a little ball. There she sat for what felt like hours, but was likely only minutes, until she heard the sound of leaves and snow crunching under a pair of approaching feet. She didn't even lift her head, hoping that the person would simply walk on by her, until she felt the person kneel beside her and put their hand on her arm.

Recognizing the voice, Aya lifted her head to find a concerned Tsubaki staring back at her tear covered face. She had only met this girl that day, sharing some small talk and mild introductory information with each other. Part of her, the part of her that was scared and upset, wanted to seek comfort in this girl and tell her everything, but the part of her that always had her guard up, even in times like this, wouldn't allow her to.

"That girl, t-the one that was dancing and singing....I...I think she's...my sister." She managed to say between soft sobs as she tried to control herself. The statement was likely to confuse the other girl, but it was all that Aya could bring herself to say.
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Nara, ShikariBanninKonohagakureMamorinuku#fb8a00
Enkouten, MitsuoJouninIwagakureTeam 18|Jousai#ff2200
Inji, AyakoC-RankWaterfall#8080ff

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Amy
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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Amy » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:01 pm

Well, that was...entirely unhelpful in learning why Aya was so upset. Obviously seeing a sister where you didn’t expect to would be.emotional? Tsubaki guessed, anyways. But this seemed. Odd? Over the top? Shouldn’t Aya have been happy? Shouldn’t she have stayed to watch the show and meet up with her sister after? A happy reunion? In her imagination that was the only option that made any sense but luckily for everyone involved life often didn’t make any sense. And that lovely realization left Tsubaki with a crying girl in her arms and no idea how to fix what was wrong.

Tsubaki was not equipped to handle this. That much was all she knew. The sounds of the forest should have been comforting, luring them into a world that didn’t exist outside of their own hearts but instead it just seemed overbearing in the moment. The croaking of the frogs and the high pitched whine of the cicadas drowned out any sense of self and any sense of calm that might have existed. It was impersonal and it was empty. What could she share with this girl to make her more comfortable? How was she supposed to share the immeasurable fear that lived inside of her soul, the fear that drowned out all sense of reason? How would that even help this girl who was going through a crisis that she herself didn’t seem to understand?

Her fingertips dug into the soft soil of the ground, piling against her nail beds, small pain signals beginning to fire as the stress built. Physical wounds. That was what she dealt with. Blood and pain and death. Not this. Not whatever this was. Tsubaki didn’t even face her own emotional turmoil. But the fact of the matter was that Aya needed help. Whatever she was going through was too great for her to deal with on her own. If she was left to her own devices she would probably be okay. She would learn to block off whatever it was that she was feeling that was so traumatizing and she would move on. But she wouldn’t be the same.

Tsubaki knew that.

"You know, whatever is going on it can’t be that bad. It’s OK to be upset. Be mad, or sad, or whatever it is that you’re feeling. But in the end your only options are to do something about it or to not do anything about it. I highly recommend choosing to do something about it. "

Tsubaki had been running away from her problems for months. She didn’t even know what she was running from and it surely didn’t matter. A ghost, a story, an imaginary enemy. They were all one and the same. They were the fear that fueled her heart.

"When you’re ready you can tell me why seeing your sister upset you so much. Until then, we’ll just sit. "

True to her word, Tsubaki just kept her hand on Aya’s arm. Making sure she knew that there was someone there for her. For now, it was all Tsubaki could do.
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Jounin • Konohagakure no Sato • Inuzuka Shinrai and Kuro & Toraeru
Chuunin • Iwagakure no Sato • Tanaka Aimi
B-Rank MNKatō, Tsubaki
Sp. Jounin • Kirigakure no Sato • Araki Kiyo
Genin • Iwagakure no Sato • Notome, Minori

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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Yura » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:55 am

Tsubaki’s permission was enough to bring the tears back as Aya once again began to sob, putting her own hand on top of the other girl’s and clenching it softly for support. She hated herself in that moment for letting herself lose control like this and for doing so in front of someone that she had just met. It was frustrating. Embarrassing even. She had spent the last few years making sure that no one ever saw the pain or the scars from her time in captivity and the events prior, yet here she was, an emotional mess on full display for a complete stranger.

The anger towards herself helped her muster the strength to control her tears. Within a few moments she managed to calm herself down enough to speak. “I’m sorry you had to see me like this.” she muttered as she wiped tears from her cheeks. “Thank you, for being so kind. I’m not normally like this, but...you deserve to know why.” And so Aya began telling Tsubaki her story of the last 5 years of her life. She told her about the night that her family’s caravan was attacked, how all of the adults, her aunts and uncles, her parents, were slaughtered trying to protect them. How she, her brother and several of her cousins were taken and thrown in the back of a carrage only to be separated and sold into slavery, never to see each other again. She told her about the abuse and suffering at the hands of a man whose name she didn’t even know, one she perpetually had to call Master. A man that forced her to perform for he and his friends regardless of the toll it took on her, a story that temporarily brought the tears back to her face and despite those tears she told the girl of the night that she attacked the guard in her room and escaped into the woods only to pass out and awaken days later in the brothel above Lady Setsuko’s tea shop.

I’ve spent the last few years of my life trying to suppress the ones that preceded them. To dwell on them was to live every day in the pain of knowing what I had lost. I've tried to be strong in the face of it all. But when I saw that girl...I’m sure that she is my younger sister Hanako. It’s been 5 years, and she was so much smaller back then, but that song that she sang...my father wrote it. He used to sing it to us every night before we went to sleep. And hearing that and seeing her, it brought everything that I’ve been trying to suppress back all at once. So I ran.” Aya shifted a bit as she waited for the other girl’s reaction. She felt a little bad in a way; she basically blindsided this poor girl with her baggage.
NameRankVillageTeamColor
Nara, ShikariBanninKonohagakureMamorinuku#fb8a00
Enkouten, MitsuoJouninIwagakureTeam 18|Jousai#ff2200
Inji, AyakoC-RankWaterfall#8080ff

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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Amy » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:12 pm

Tsubaki offered nothing but a small smile at Aya’s thanks. Despite her internal melodrama listening to her story was no real hardship. It was one of the blessings of letting yourself feel detached from the world around you. Even the worst horrors could only prick at the edges of your heart. Tilting her head back, Tsubaki let the girl’s broken voice float around her like a cold breeze. Her eyes traced the cutouts of the trees against the moonlit sky, figures taking shape and fading as soon as they appeared. Making sure to stay in the story, Tsubaki couldn’t help but wonder if this is what she would sound like if she remembered her trauma. Would she be broken over it? Would it haunt her every day? Would she even be brave enough to face it…

Her free hand drifted to her chest, pressing hard against her breast, forcing the pain to stay in place. What kind of person could listen to a small girl, barely a woman, talk about such trauma and think that she was lucky. Lucky to know how she got to be where she was, to have a starting step to maybe fixing the worst parts of her life. Aya was probably sitting next to her desperately wishing that she could forget those years of her life. That she could wake up one day with a fresh slate that wasn’t gouged and cracked beyond recognition. But it wasn’t like she could just tell the girl she was lucky to have every terrible second of her life burned into her brain.

That wouldn’t be helpful.

Dropping her hand back to the soil, Tsubaki gave Aya’s arm a soft squeeze.

"I’m sorry that you had to go through those things. You’re very strong for pushing through. But Aya, something good is right in front of you. I won’t pretend to know how scary it is to be faced with what you thought was your past but...if that’s her, you have to do something about it. "

A hint of a spark traveled through Tsubaki’s voice. She didn’t want to feel angry but she did. Her chest was getting tighter and she was fighting the urge to stand up and pace. What could she say? How could she make Aya realize that she had to do something without making her feel bad about it. She didn’t even understand the problem.

"Aya. What do you think is going to happen if you go talk to her? Can it really be worse than if you leave and are left wondering for the rest of your life? "

Shaking her head in disgust at herself, Tsubaki ground her teeth. This was when she should share a personal story. Something to give her confidence. Tsubaki had lots of feelings and emotions and struggles she could share. But the truth was - she was a coward. And some things couldn’t be changed.
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Jounin • Konohagakure no Sato • Inuzuka Shinrai and Kuro & Toraeru
Chuunin • Iwagakure no Sato • Tanaka Aimi
B-Rank MNKatō, Tsubaki
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Genin • Iwagakure no Sato • Notome, Minori

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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Yura » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:11 am

Aya bowed her head in front of her, her eyes dropping to the ground. Tsubaki was right, of course. The opportunity to possibly reconnect with her sister, whom she once thought was dead, was presenting itself to her and she was hesitating for reasons that she could only attribute to the immense shame that she felt towards herself. Shame for the things that she had done in the last 5 years. Shame for assuming that Hanako had died the night of the massacre and for never attempting to verify that assumption in the 2 years that she had been free from captivity.

"How am I supposed to face her?" Aya muttered aloud as she absentmindedly reached down and plucked a tall piece of glass, "She was 7 when I last saw her. I've been gone for nearly half of her life! She might not even remember me. And it looks like she has a good life now! She's part of an incredible troupe of performers, she's traveling the world, she probably has a lot of friends and most importantly she's safe. What could I possibly offer her that she doesn't already have?" She crumpled the piece of grass and tossed it aside as she wrapped her arms around her legs.

"What if she has spent the last 5 years coming to terms with that night and putting it behind her, and my presence brings it all back? What if by coming back into her life, I only cause her pain?" The question represented the true feeling that prevented Aya from confronting her sister. As much as she wanted to march into that troupe's camp and reveal herself to Hanako, what right did she have to force her way back into her sister's life?

"Maybe it's enough just knowing that she's alive." She muttered, sighing heavily as she put her forehead down on her knees. Now that the crying had subsided, she started to notice the cool breeze against her skin, sending waves of chills across her body. The crying and the emotion had made her tired and her mind was too active to let her rest, but to numb to actually think. She didn't mind though; she didn't really want to think right now anyway.
NameRankVillageTeamColor
Nara, ShikariBanninKonohagakureMamorinuku#fb8a00
Enkouten, MitsuoJouninIwagakureTeam 18|Jousai#ff2200
Inji, AyakoC-RankWaterfall#8080ff

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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Amy » Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:22 pm

It was lucky that Aya had laid her head down and couldn’t see the anger that was building behind Tsubaki’s eyes. She wanted to scream at the girl. What could she offer her sister? Her sister who was alone in the world, who thought her whole family was dead. Yes, what could she possibly offer to someone who spent every day trying to forget the same horrors she herself was trying to forget. Certainly there was no similarities there, no comfort to be found in the mutual suffering of someone you loved. Tsubaki didn’t know how to convince this Aya, this Aya who was scared and depressed and broken. Tsubaki didn’t know how to deal with these emotions and how to make her see reason. So with every ounce of control she could muster, she slowly stood.

Aya would feel the warm, soft fabric of Tsubaki’s coat falling over her hunched shoulders. Tsubaki knelt in front of the girl, pulling the hood on top of her head to prevent her from looking up into her face. Prevent her from seeing how cold her eyes had suddenly become.

"Wait here, I’m going to go get us some tea and maybe something warm to eat. You obviously need time to think about this so it’s going to be a long night. I can remember how to get back here but it’s too dark to find you if you move. So just stay put and I’ll be back soon."

Tugging the coat tighter around Aya’s shoulders Tsubaki stalked off back towards the festival, letting her anger get a little looser, warming her bare skin against the cold night air. Her fists clenched as she walked faster, trying desperately to understand where this anger was coming from. She didn’t know Aya’s life or what she had gone through the past two or three or five years of her life. What right did she had to this furious at her inaction? If Aya didn’t want to see her sister than that should be her choice. Even if it was the wrong choice.

"Fuck," she growled to herself, the base of her fists slamming hard enough into a nearby tree to make the branches dance and her hands burn. No matter how angry she was, this wasn’t the way to get anything done. The control had to be there, just like every other day. There was too much unknown about herself to let her emotions take control. After a few deep breaths, holding the cold air in her lungs for as long as she could, Tsubaki continued on her path with just as much meaning in her step but a little less ferociousness.

Luckily, she remembered exactly where that stage was and it didn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out the tent of the performers would be close by. Rubbing her forehead gently, wondering why she was getting involved, Tsubaki went to enter the tent only to be stopped by a large hand pressing into her abdomen.

The girls aren’t taking visitors right now.

Taking a step back at the same time her hand wrapped around his wrist and twisted it away from her, Tsubaki told him very clearly, "Don’t touch me."

Sure thing sweetheart, now move along.

Contemplating for a half a second, Tsubaki walked away. She could easily fight her way past the goon but who would listen to her after that? Plus, that was way too much attention. It would be a better use of her time to figure out a better way to get inside. Luckily, it didn’t take long for Tsubaki to notice another woman at a food stall who was wearing the same outfit as one of the women who had been on stage with Hana. Smiling softly to herself, Tsubaki walked around a corner and re-appeared looking like the woman at the bar. Nodding with a pleasant smile to the guard when he greeted her.

A few steps into the first room of the tent Tsubaki dropped the act and moved into the shadows of the tent. It seemed even bigger on the inside than it had on the outside. A soft, child-like voice floated through the air and since that was her only lead, Tsubaki followed that. It wasn’t long before she pulled back a curtain to reveal the young girl who had been on stage when Aya freaked out. The child’s back was to Tsubaki who took in one good deep breath before calling out to the unsuspecting girl.

"Hana?"
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Jounin • Konohagakure no Sato • Inuzuka Shinrai and Kuro & Toraeru
Chuunin • Iwagakure no Sato • Tanaka Aimi
B-Rank MNKatō, Tsubaki
Sp. Jounin • Kirigakure no Sato • Araki Kiyo
Genin • Iwagakure no Sato • Notome, Minori

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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Yura » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:47 pm

Aya accepted the other girl’s jacket with a silent thanks and pulled the fabric tighter around herself, allowing it’s warmth to chase away some of the cold. She felt pathetic. Here she was, a bumbling mess crouched against a tree in the middle of the woods while a girl that she barely knew was literally giving her the clothes off her back and offering to walk through the cold to fetch her some tea. She knew she should object, allowing someone to dote on her in such a way went against the very identity that she had been trying to piece together since regaining her freedom. But, she didn’t. She just watched as Tsubaki retraced her steps back down the path towards the campground, laying her forehead back down on her arms once the other girl was out of sight.

----------------------------

Hanako Inji entered the private tents of the performance troupe, wiping the sweat from her brow as she made her way towards her room in the rear of the tent. As she headed in that direction, she caught sight of two women walking towards the entrance to the tent, one older and blond, the other younger and brunette, both fit and beautiful.

You did great out there Hana!” The older woman called out as the pair passed her.

Yeah you were amazing as always!” Called out her young companion.

Aww thanks you guys!” She replied with a warm smile.

Do you want to join us for dinner? We’re going to one of the stalls down the street.” The older woman asked.

No, that’s okay. I’m a bit tired from all the dancing and singing tonight.” She answered with a slight giggle before flashing that smile again, “Thank you for offering though!”

Ugh! How are you always so cute!” The younger girl exclaimed, making little cheek pinching motions with her hands, “If you change your mind, come find us!”

Hana waved at the pair as they left the tent and as soon as they were gone the smile disappeared from her face. She wasn’t feeling particularly cheerful tonight, though she had gotten good at faking it over the years. Just barely over the age of 13, Hana had already experienced her fair share of misery in her life as one of the few survivors of her family’s massacre 5 years ago, and the only child in the group to not be kidnapped or killed by the bandits that had raided their convoy. Normally she was able to push through with positivity and joy in the face of the ugliness of that day, but tonight…that girl, the one in the crowd that had locked eyes with her. She reminded Hana so much of her big sister and it made her realize just how much she missed her.

Hana had just reached her area of the tent and was beginning to remove her jewelry when she heard the flaps at the entrance open behind her.

Hm?” She hummed in response as she turned towards the voice calling her name, all while trying to remove a little pendant earring from her ear. As she caught sight of Tsubaki, her hands fell from her ear as she realized that she didn’t recognize the girl. “Oh...hello!” She said, bringing back the smile. This wouldn’t be the first crazy fan to sneak their way into the tent to see her. With as much as those mercenaries got paid, you’d think they would do a better job at securing the place. “It’s so great to meet a fan, are you here for an autograph?” She asked, hoping to get the girl out of the tent without incident.
NameRankVillageTeamColor
Nara, ShikariBanninKonohagakureMamorinuku#fb8a00
Enkouten, MitsuoJouninIwagakureTeam 18|Jousai#ff2200
Inji, AyakoC-RankWaterfall#8080ff

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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Amy » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:58 pm

"No,"Tsubaki said quickly, a vehement shake of her head accompanying it. "I’m not a fan."

That didn’t sound nice.

"Sorry, I mean, I saw you earlier and your very...talented, and, weirdly adorable, but no, that’s not why I’m here. Sorry.

Maybe she should have planned this on her way back to the festival. Tsubaki looked around the tent, trying to find something that would calm her. There were many beautiful things in the room. Clothing, jewelry, but nothing...personal. Nothing that told her who Hana was. The sounds of the festival somehow seemed so much louder all of a sudden as she realized she was just going to have to blurt it out.

"1There’s not a nice, or easy way to say this so I’m just going to tell you. I know your sister, Aya. She’s here at the festival. She saw you on stage earlier and basically lost her mind and is currently sitting in the woods crying hysterically and probably freezing because I’m supposed to be bringing her tea but well, I was hoping to bring you instead.

Tsubaki just kind of half grinned and shrugged her shoulders, quickly realizing that this was not going to be as easy as she thought. Hana looked like was experiencing something between what Aya was feeling and absolute terror. Tsubaki had no idea why she thought that she could do this. She didn’t know Aya well at all and she didn’t know Hana at all. She had sneaked into the tent and had now basically told this young girl that she wanted to kidnap her to take her to her sister who she probably thought was dead.

Going back to the fury she felt before would have been much preferred over the level of discomfort she was suddenly feeling. This was more familiar but uncomfortable all the same.

"I know this all sounds very strange and you probably don’t believe me but if you come with me I can take you to Aya and you’ll understand everything. Please? "

Tsubaki reached her hand out towards Hana, silently hoping that this would be enough. She didn’t know what else to say.
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Jounin • Konohagakure no Sato • Inuzuka Shinrai and Kuro & Toraeru
Chuunin • Iwagakure no Sato • Tanaka Aimi
B-Rank MNKatō, Tsubaki
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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Yura » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:52 pm

Hana stood there with her mouth agape as the girl in front of her blurted out a story about knowing Ayako, Hana’s older sister, and how she wanted to bring Hana to see her. Hana could feel her body start to tremble from a mixture of anger, fear and sadness as the girl’s words brought about a wave of powerful emotions. Her right hand clenched into a fist, her brow began to furrow, and her mouth slowly shut until her lips pressed tightly together as anger began to win the emotional war. Deep down she wanted to believe the girl’s story was true. A year ago she had joined this very troupe, against the wishes of her clan, in the hopes that their travel around the various countries would help her find her siblings, even if only to confirm that they were dead and finally get some closure. Unfortunately, her sudden fame made people start to look into her background and one way or another her siblings’ names got into the hands of her fans. This girl knowing Aya’s name wasn’t enough to convince her that what she said was true.

I don’t know what kind of sick game you are trying to play, but I don’t want any part of it.” Hana said lowly, a subtly uncharacteristic growl present in her voice. At 4’9” and very petite, Hana’s typical appearance was far from intimidating. “Did you really think that you could waltz in here, invoke my dead sister’s name, and get me to just take off with you, alone, into the middle of the woods?!” Her voice, at first soft, began to rise in volume as she started to lose control of her anger towards this woman. “It’s disrespectful, really, not only that you tried to manipulate me by using my sister, but that you think that I would be dumb enough to just go with you! I might look like a child, but I have been through far too much in my life to be so careless!” Hana was full on yelling now, the sound of her voice carrying through the entire tent.

Lady Hana?” Came a voice from outside her room accompanied by the sound of multiple footfalls. The flap to Hana’s tent quickly parted as the head of one of the mercenaries poked through. “Are you o-” He stopped his questions mid sentence as he caught sight of Tsubaki, “Hey! You’re the one that tried to get in the tent earlier!” He exclaimed as he stepped fully into the tent, followed by two other men. “I told you the girls weren’t seeing visitors!”

Please, just get her out of here.” Hana asked as she turned her back towards Tsubaki, trying to hide the formation of frustrated tears at the corner of her eyes.

You heard her! Let’s go!” The mercenary ordered as he reached out and grabbed Tsubaki by the arm, pulling her towards the tent door followed by the other two men.
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Nara, ShikariBanninKonohagakureMamorinuku#fb8a00
Enkouten, MitsuoJouninIwagakureTeam 18|Jousai#ff2200
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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Amy » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:37 pm

Tsubaki hadn’t gone into this meeting with an original plan and she definitely didn’t have a back up plan. It wasn’t like her to be so unprepared but she had just been so bothered by Aya being so complacent about a once in a lifetime chance passing her by that she hadn’t stopped to think. Hadn’t stopped to consider that hearing someone you thought was dead was actually alive was hard news to hear. That hearing it from a stranger was even worse. Tsubaki gripped the back of neck tightly, trying to ground herself in reality as a panic of her own kind set in. Hana was furious.

"Listen, I-" She tried to interject but the small girl wasn’t having any of it, her righteous anger filling the room and bearing down on Tsubaki. Asking her how dare she uproot someone’s life like this. How dare she pop that perfect little happy bubble they were living in. Pretending that it was OK to pretend like you had hope when in reality you didn’t believe in anything anymore. Her head felt hot, a thin sheet of sweat forming on her back. The lights and the colors swirled around her as Hana’s angry words continued to beat her down.

And then the guard was there. All Tsubaki knew was that she couldn’t fail. She made another desperate lunge for Hana, reaching for her hand but she came up just short as the guard grabbed onto her arm just above her elbow. Tsubaki’s feel temporarily slid out from underneath her. She didn’t even bother trying to pull out of the guard’s grasp - there wasn’t time for that. He would just keep pulling her further and further away. Twisting so that she could still see Hana, her feet stumbling over each other, Tsubaki said everything that she could think to say. Anything that would make Hana believe her.

"Why are you both like this!? Do you want me to go back and have to tell her that you were faced with a once in a fucking lifetime opportunity and you’re too scared to even consider it!? Gee, she probably won’t even be surprised since she’s sitting in the woods thinking the exact same thing. If she had just come here I wouldn-Oh fuck, let go of me!"

Tsubaki threw a quick jab with her elbow, loosening the guards grip enough that she could get loose and start back towards Hana who now had her back to her. She grabbed the girl by the shoulder and threw her around, staring into her eyes. Hana might have thought that she was mad but Tsubaki was furious, her green eyes catching every bit of light in the tent, the shadows accentuating the frown on her face.

"If you think living not knowing is bad wait until you have to go to bed every night knowing your sister is out there and neither of you cared enough about each other to prove it."

This time the guard wrapped both of his arms around Tsubaki’s chest, pinning her arms down. He lifted her feet clear off the ground and started walking her backwards out of the tent. She didn’t fight him this time. She didn’t have much else to say.

"Hopefully the person you find to wish their little songbird goodnight is a better replacement for your dad than your own sister would be," Tsubaki sneered as shook her head at the touch of childlike hatred that had slipped into her voice.

What a mess.
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Jounin • Konohagakure no Sato • Inuzuka Shinrai and Kuro & Toraeru
Chuunin • Iwagakure no Sato • Tanaka Aimi
B-Rank MNKatō, Tsubaki
Sp. Jounin • Kirigakure no Sato • Araki Kiyo
Genin • Iwagakure no Sato • Notome, Minori

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Yura
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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Yura » Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:08 am

Hana tried to block out the girl's words, keeping her back turned towards her while she waited for the guards to remove her from the tent. This girl was bringing up so many bad memories and despite everything that she was saying, Hana couldn't bring herself to believe a word of it. Doing her best to ignore the girl, Hana suddenly felt a tight grip on her should and gasped as she was swung around, forced to be face to face with the intruder. Honestly, what did the troupe pay these mercenaries for if they couldn't keep one girl from getting her hands on a performer? Hana's natural instinct in such a situation was pushing her to headbutt the girl, but something inside of her told her that doing do would be...unwise. Panic began to serge through her body while she was caught in the girl's clutches, unsure of what to do.

Hana just kept shaking her head as the girl spoke, Tsubaki's tone and word choices getting more aggressive and insulting as time went on. Hana closed her eyes and turned her head away, not giving Tsubaki the satisfaction of having her attention. It wasn't until Tsubaki's final sentence that Hana's head snapped back towards the girl her eyes stretched wide.

"Wait!" Hana called out, hastily moving towards the guards carrying Tsubaki away. The guards looked at each other and then back towards Hana, unsure of what to do. Ignoring them Hana marched right up to Tsubaki as she was held by the largest of the three guards, and examined her for a moment, this time feeling like she was the one in control. "That last sentence, the word choice that you used...how did you know about the songbird and my dad?" Hana asked the girl. Back when she was little, Hana's father would sing his songs to her and her siblings every night, using them as lullabys and afterwards would call each of them his little songbirds. She never talked about that, never mentioned it to anyone before even though she sang her father's favorite lullaby all of the time. For a complete stranger to know something like that...no. It couldn't be, could it? Was it possible that this girl was telling the truth? Hana could feel her pulse quickening even more at the thought. Could my sister really be alive?
NameRankVillageTeamColor
Nara, ShikariBanninKonohagakureMamorinuku#fb8a00
Enkouten, MitsuoJouninIwagakureTeam 18|Jousai#ff2200
Inji, AyakoC-RankWaterfall#8080ff

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Amy
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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Amy » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:47 am

It wasn’t until the guards had almost dragged her out of the tent that Hana seemed to shake the spell that had captured her. She ran to Tsubaki this time, questioning why she had said what she said. How she knew what she knew. Tsubaki couldn’t help herself, her eyes rolling and a clearly annoyed sigh falling from her lips. She was about to request that the large man holding her would take her out of the tent. What was wrong with these girls. Where was the sense of urgency to get something in their hands that had been evading them for years.

"How the fuck do you think I know? The same way I know your name is Hana. What kind of ins- you know what, no. I’m done. You can come with me or not. I’ll tell Aya she’ll have to pull herself together and come here herself if you won’t. Though really will you even believe her when she’s standing right in front of you or are you just going to close your eyes to that too?"

Pulling out of the guard’s grip again, Tsubaki stalked out of the tent, shooting one last disgusted look behind her at Hana before the flap of the tent fell between them. What a fucking disaster. Who knew reuniting long lost family could be this difficult. It wasn’t even that Tsubaki didn’t understand the reluctance to accept such great news but neither of them even wanted to see if it was true. They were both just so happy to be unhappy about their situation and pretend like there was nothing they could do. It was infuriating. She spent every day wondering if anyone in the world knew her, was missing her, looking for her. And here were these two, throwing it all away.

At least she hadn’t told Aya that she was going to see her sister. She would just have to try to convince Aya again, but she didn’t know if she had it in her. The festival was winding down for the night, couples with their arms interlocked wandering around and lost to the world. The moon outshone the lanterns, causing odd shadows to dance around. So much pain in such a beautiful setting.

Leaning heavily against the frame of a food stall, Tsubaki ordered two teas and some of the hot food they had left in stock. At the very least, she could keep Aya warm and full. Plus, with her anger turning into depression the cold was finally affecting her, a shiver working its way up her spine.
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Jounin • Konohagakure no Sato • Inuzuka Shinrai and Kuro & Toraeru
Chuunin • Iwagakure no Sato • Tanaka Aimi
B-Rank MNKatō, Tsubaki
Sp. Jounin • Kirigakure no Sato • Araki Kiyo
Genin • Iwagakure no Sato • Notome, Minori

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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Yura » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:26 am

Hana stood there trembling with a mix of fear, anger and shame as Tsubaki said her piece and stormed out. The girl’s outrage and subsequent exit left Hana questioning whether or not she was making the right choice. Realistically she had no reason to trust this girl. Sure, she had uttered a few choice buzzwords which had elicited emotions from Hana she thought she had long since buried, and the girl seemed to know more of Hana’s backstory than a typical fan would, but this girl could just as easily be the kind of fangirl that would knock her out, tie her up, and lock her in a closet. She had made the logical choice.

So why then did she feel like she was making a mistake. Like for some reason this was a potential turning point in her life and that if she missed the turn she might not get another one for a long time, if at all. Was it guilt that she wasn’t taking the opportunity to find answers about her sister? Or was it subdued hope that Aya might actually be alive and that she was actually waiting for her wherever this girl was going to lead her? Maybe it was some weird mix of both.

Without saying a word, Hana exited the tent and began looking around at the crowd passing by, looking for that girl. Hana knew that she couldn’t have gotten far and sure enough she caught a glimpse of the girl standing at a convenience stand not far from the tent. “Take me to her.” She said flatly as she approached the girl. She knew this was a risk, knew that there was a chance that she could end up exactly like her sister and the rest of her family, but she couldn’t just let a credible possibility go unchecked. “They are coming too, just in case.” Two of the mercs from the tent had followed her but kept their distance when she held up her hand. Seeing as how the girl had easily gotten around them and escaped their grasp when she was in the tent, Hana had a feeling that the guards wouldn’t be much protection against this girl, but it was better than nothing.
NameRankVillageTeamColor
Nara, ShikariBanninKonohagakureMamorinuku#fb8a00
Enkouten, MitsuoJouninIwagakureTeam 18|Jousai#ff2200
Inji, AyakoC-RankWaterfall#8080ff

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The Fear of Falling Apart

Post by Amy » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:43 pm

Tsubaki looked at the young girl briefly before sliding another coin on the counter of the stall.

"One more cup of tea, please." She passed one of the cups she already had into Hana’s hands. It was cold out and they had a bit of a walk back to where Aya was. She was glad that the girl had changed her mind. It meant that soon, this wouldn’t concern her anymore. Once she delivered Hana to her sister they would have to decide where to go from there. If they believed they each were who they said they were, if they were able to reconnect. Tsubaki hoped that they would be able to. It wasn’t right for them to be apart.

"I’m going to go a little bit ahead. I should warn her that you’re here. She’s not handling the hypothetical thought very well so I’m not sure she’ll react well if you just...appear. So I’ll warn her and you can come in a few moments later. " Tsubaki wasn’t exactly asking so she didn’t wait for an answer before speeding up just enough to get a few meters ahead of Hana.

Walking slowly into the clearing, Tsubaki was glad to see that Aya hadn’t moved and was still sitting hunched over, Tsubaki’s coat keeping her warm. Hopefully, she hadn’t made the wrong choice here.

"Hey, Aya, I’m back. Stand up and help me with this would ya? "

Passing off one of the teas and some of the hot cakes, Tsubaki threw her coat back on, glad for the warmth.

"So, listen. You seemed to be having a rough time of it and I couldn’t stand to see you so torn. So I went and did the hard work for you. Just...try to stay calm okay? I brought Hana here to see you. "
My CharactersShow
Jounin • Konohagakure no Sato • Inuzuka Shinrai and Kuro & Toraeru
Chuunin • Iwagakure no Sato • Tanaka Aimi
B-Rank MNKatō, Tsubaki
Sp. Jounin • Kirigakure no Sato • Araki Kiyo
Genin • Iwagakure no Sato • Notome, Minori

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