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 Post subject: Within the Current; Sutera Sasaki
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:56 pm 
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There was a moment in my life at one time that I was thrilled to become what I thought I was meant to be, to go where everyone thought the stream of life would take me, and to follow the dreams and hopes that all parents have of their children. I certainly wasn't born to the life of a samurai. I had the things that every little girl had, preoccupied with dolls and diaries, secrets and dresses, tea parties and ribbons. To all that would look upon my life at that time, all they would see was a happy child, an only child surrounded by friends and a family who could show only love to her. There was nothing missing that could have been brought on by anything else added, no missing link or little speck that lacked.

I was like a spoken of monk from tall tales long ago, guarded by the walls of a female society and upbringing, kept from the troubles and trails of everyday life while my own was hand fed to my lips, nothing given that I would not accept. We were not a poor family, nor even middle class; we were the rich, the proud, the ones who were invited to the most luxurious parties and shown the next morning on the front page of gossip. Of course there were others above us, my parents were far from being announced the richest of the land. No one of us three would come to be a genius or cure some horrible disease, not even save a land. Perhaps a person, but I get ahead of myself.

In our land, our time and place, I shouldn't have ever seen outside the precious, protective walls of our home until I reached an appropriate age. But it was my friends who took me out without my parents' knowledge, they who showed me the path that I would eventually embrace instead of what was meant to be. I would find my destiny that day, how cliche it sounds, but how true it remains. That pivotal point in my childhood were I decided right there that I would no longer become a wife, never a woman who would be protected by the males of the blood line. I trusted more what I could make for myself than what anyone else could give me. It was that one moment where I truly found the current that would carry me away to what I was supposed to be. And the current, started like this.

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Last edited by Nighttime Waters on Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:01 pm 
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The morning chatter of birds was louder than normal, waking the inhabitant of that room earlier than had been expected of this day. Light sheets of the summer season shifted upon the bed, a fine fabric of silk dyed to suit the color scheme that?d been picked long ago. Rose and mahogany, strips of color here and there amid the rugs and flowing curtains of the open window, the bed spread and the painted furniture matched it all as well. Even the pair of birds singing in the wire cage matched the decor, a pair of uncommon animals of the richest brown, their front a stunning red as it bled in with the other feathers. The only little speck of inconsistency was the golden haired girl who shifted out of the bed and over to the singing birds. The lengthy curtains billowed nearby, catching her attention with the snap before she wandered over on bare feet across the wooden floor beneath her.

Outside, the newly risen sun shone on her, illuminating her locks to a mix of silvers and yellows as the child's eyes moved over the far away scene of gray, neutrals mixing together into a somber transition of city to mountains, morning clouds floating lower than normal. Cutouts of shapes distorted the otherwise perfect triangles of distant land, the city below quiet before the morning hours as her elbow found the railing and her chin was planted in her curved palm. The warmth on her face of the early summer wind gave her the scents of what was to come; she?d almost forgotten otherwise. The festival would start during the afternoon hours, while she was planned to be learning about the foods she would cook one day in a life outside of this house. It wasn't something she was really looking forward to, Akumaru having mentioned a sword fight and miniature tournaments being held all throughout the day in the city. As she thought on it, she hoped he would show; he'd promised to take her out in disguise as a boy to let her see it all before she grew too old to be able to have fun. Hearing bustling at the door, she turned and left that thought unfinished, moving to dress for the day.

Much of the day passed in a similar fashion for the girl, dodging under arms that carried things around the kitchens and making her way past the skirts and dresses of the other women. Nothing seemed to stay long in the room, however, something coming in to be cooked and then whisked off to the tables out in the main part of the house, a part of the house she'd seen few times at all. It was like this wall separated her from the rest of the people in this place, and the occasions she had found other children her age were all purely accidents. Standing there at the table and watching a cook's hand covered in flour roll dough out and over, out and over again and again, her thoughts moved away from the things she was suppose to be paying attention to towards the things she hoped to be doing soon.

It wasn't too late into the afternoon before she was standing there, bored out of her mind near a table no one seemed to care about. Everyone else was eating and ignoring her at the present time, a soft sigh as she brought one hand up and played with the adorned locks tied with ribbons she wasn't supposed to be messing with. Wooden sandals made a noise on the floor behind her before that light colored brow furrowed and she bent down to peer underneath the table. Hazel hues inches away from a pair of bright green ones, she gasped.

'AK-' Her scream of joy was cut off as the teenager took his hand over her mouth and pulled her under the table, chuckling softly as he got her quiet and peaked out, making sure no one had took notice of her small noise. As usual, no one had and he pulled her hand gently, taking her along the row of tables with the cloths over them that hid their retreating forms from view. By now both knew to be quiet until they were out in the city with her hidden in the clothes he'd brought, but he couldn't help but smile as she gave an excited squeeze to his hand.

The silver haired teen had that same large smile on his lips as he always did, moving out into the sunlight as he took her through the doorway of the kitchen that led to the gate all of the men used. Standing to look behind them once before he unlatched it and ushered her out to the rest of the kids, grinning mischievously as he shut the door and ran forward as the group hurried away, covering those golden locks with the hat they all brought for her and started to help her into the neutral colored clothes that all of the boys wore for the festival to keep her blended in.

Her outside friends ranged from all ages, even the littlest one of seven jumping up and down in the excitement that came as they all took the girl out, a forbidden thing at this age. Since her parents were so easy on her punishments however, they did it again and again, Akumaru being the leader of the group at a nice age of fourteen, the oldest as he quieted them down some and waved his hand, running forward.

The alleyway was colored in strips of fabric hanging up above, the sun coming through and offering a mock rainbow coming down upon the streets of the city. Her head tilted back, eyes taking in all of the differences around them all as they fitted her with a belt, tying it for her since her attention to boy clothing was limited. Surprised to see everything so bright and loud, her ears picking up the sounds of drums and bells not far off, she gave a soft yelp as they tugged on her hands, making her run in the sea of hats and grays.

'Come on, Stella! Let's go!' And the mixed sound of rubber shoes and wooden sandals echoed in the alley way as the group ran after him, all screams of joy and threats of winning the race now that their friend blended in.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:26 pm 
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Few people paid the cluster much attention at all for it wasn't too odd for a group of boys to be excited over the festivities. With the disguise, mainly the hat, the girl wasn't naturally picked out to be someone who wasn't supposed to be be there. No one's eyes ever fall upon her for long anyways, the rest of the children pulling her away before she even had much of a chance to get a really good look around.

Joints aching at the exercise and yanks she endured, it wasn't long at all before they approached the circular coliseum which held the fights of brute strength and the skill of handling a sword and shield. Here they were called samurai, the hakama pants making the men look as if they were donning skirts instead. The long blades were shining in the sunlight, gleaming and newly polished, some with grease, some with blood. Those magical few who managed to win some battles and come out with just an opponent's juices on their clothing, these were called samurai. No shield used, no real tricks of the mind, just the dance of moving along and quickly to get a hit.

Standing on the edge of the huge ring where spectators were allowed to be, the whole group was silent and watching, some making quiet bets as to the winner of battle A or perhaps battle B. Stella's attention wasn't on any of it though. Turned, she took a couple unnoticed steps away from them to get a better look at just what she was seeing behind the ring along a different hallway. A woman stood, huddled in her long drapes of clothing to show her own poverty. Even what little she did have was taken by these fighters who stood nearby, threatening with their fists. The female was defenseless and forgiving, letting them take everything in her pockets. If she didn't do it fast enough, she was roughly handled, blood showing from her lip, face colored green and purple from the strike.

No one batted an eye; none stood up for the woman or anything, and as the girl watched, horrified, something hardened in her. So this was why she wasn't allowed outside by herself then. She was being protected by the boys with her because if they wouldn't have been around, she had no doubts that the same treatment would've been given to her. Little had she noticed her lips parting in horror and surprise, eyes wide and frightened before they shifted in tone. The loose hands at her sides quickly becoming fists and a growl came from her throat. Once expressive eyes were cold, revengeful and even planning.

Akumaru blinked away from the fight to see her expression at seeing the nearest show of blood shed, having expected to see a pale face of fear for he hadn't felt her face hide into his sleeve. Instead he found a rather offended teenager. Emerald hues bouncing over to follow her sight, he pushed his lips together and nudged the other boys. Reaching over, he quickly grabbed her upper arm and as he made sure no one had really noticed her behavior, they all scattered out and left. She was easy to take, the surprise still gripping her he figured. All of this time he'd purposely kept her away from seeing what the older men did as a past time to females, but it was bound to happen. He couldn't keep her from seeing it all of the time.

Once they were all a safe distance away, they moved in a circle around her, petting her arms and shaking their heads as they all tried to explain at the same time that she was safe and no one would hurt her. Their noise fell upon deaf ears though, her hazel hues locked onto Akumaru's. Here they all thought she was scared for her own life, and with the next words she uttered, they all fell into a sobering silence themselves.

'You will teach me how to fight. I I will not be handled like that, ever, Akumaru.'

Her eyes were still seeing that scene, the blood dripping down the tanned skin of the woman's and she couldn't take it. This girl would not be beaten like that, ever. It was this day that Stella, the little girl who was their friend, became Sutera Sasaki, a girl who asked them questions and requested they all teach her how to fight. It was Aku who accepted her, to teach and instruct her in secret, away from everyone else. It was forbidden to teach a girl how to handle a sword, in case she ever went on a rampage through the town upon unsuspecting men, but there was no way to get away from those eyes. They bore down into his soul, telling him that if he didn't do this, she would find a way without him.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 3:09 am 
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A creak of a gate broke the silence of the night, the scream of metal raking against metal ringing and vibrating; the hinges not greased well enough to be quiet, and hurried footsteps dashed past. The metal and wood shut back the way it'd been before the intrusion with an angry clack, the area going quiet again with the tension hanging there, noticeable like a lit fire pit in the forest. Yards away another noise broke the quiet air, the cooled atmosphere with water mixed in from the wetness of grass; an artificial way to make it grow as the past couple of weeks had been without the blessed rain from clouds. Perhaps the town's people had done something wrong, the believed beings of above not giving them the sustenance that was so necessary for life to continue. Covered feet pressed into the moisture, dragging it away in droplets, flinging it into the air as the quick run across the yard ended onto pavement.

Across the town, footsteps appeared on top of a wall, stone bricks taking the weight easily as it fell from above. Knees bending to take the momentum up and spring off at a run, the darkness of clothing hiding the runner before the balls of the feet abused the tool, the defensive obstruction keeping the inner part of the city safe. It was breached and used as they jumped off of it and landed on the ground. From a bird's eye view, the lights of the structures fell upon the ground, the alleyways disrupted by the spots of darkness only here or there. Even as the sun disappeared, the light continued to shine. The dark figures were barely noticed, finding just the right moments of pause where nothing would find them, no one would miss them as they went on their way. Their winding paths would soon come upon each other in this manner, the routes of two rays of darkness, meeting together.

Even upon their courses combining into the same one, neither stopped nor slowed, depending upon the other to keep up in this makeshift race of sorts. Soon both leaped and found a bench, two pairs of hands finding the back as their feet kept moving, soon to press against the place their hands had been before, and they were off. For a moment it'd been a picture of legs and feet, one of sandals pressing to the wood, the other a pair of rubber boots to satisfy the need for a better grip. It was a scenic run out of the city, finding the wilderness that always kept their secrets. Never would it give whispers as to what happened or what failed, always staying a silent watcher in their game.

The sky above was clear, the moon a laughing mouth of whiteness, shining down upon the naked land below. At this moment there were no trees about, leaving a nice space of dry grass, the kind that crunched underneath their feet and remained crisp enough to spring back up into action. Though their footsteps were untraceable in the dryness of the ground, the trip had been taken quickly though the shadowed streets and gates.

Akumaru had never believed that a couple years later after what he called the turning point of his friend that he'd be standing in the darkness of the night, a metal sword in his hand and his sandals pushed hard into the ground. Emeralds gazing across the small expanse of land, they'd gone through so much trouble this time just to practice the new things he'd learned. The night was warm, damp with the humidity of the summer solstice. Weeks before it'd been cool and the exertion of their fighting did nothing more than produce a clear sheen of droplets on their brows. Now it was damp and he wanted to do something else, anything than fight in this troublesome heat. But he couldn't, it was something they'd both been waiting for all week; neither had missed a meeting once they developed a schedule. They saw each other so little anyways, not one wanted to miss seeing the other.

His thoughts were stolen away by a soft noise across from him, his eyes shifting in focus as he lifted his brows at the expression given to him. Time together had brought them to each easily know what the other was thinking, and at times like these, it was found grateful to be pulled out of such foolish dreams and back to reality. Time was not to be wasted out here; for years they'd been playing a game against the gods, and neither wanted to find out the day they lost.

'Are you ready, or not?' Her impatience stung the air like a hornet, not wishing to wait any longer.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:50 pm 
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Time went on, seasons changed and the town grew prosperous. Years passed and soon fall gave way into winter, and soon spring pushed through the hardened ground beneath us. It happened with a small party, after Akumaru had sifted his fingers through the dirt, taking up a handful to show the little sprouts that'd been coming up. The individual pieces of ground he held in his hand fell through his fingers like the sands of an hour glass, somehow coming to mean something between us as my eyes watched until the last of it was gone and his wrist tilted up, spilling the faint speckles back to where they'd come from. Time had passed, for the both of us, but neither one of us could've foreseen the next couple years of our lives.

Akumaru stood, a grin on his lips from the whoops and hollers of the group of guys he considered his friends. The thaw of winter would be highly welcomed with festivities and fun, for their city was just one that did such things. This next year would mean all of them, Akumaru, Sebastion, even the baby faced Jean, would all become of age, no longer considered boys, but all men. It was a good cause that they celebrated this little moment as they did. Running a hand up through his white locks, their little group had dwindled in size since when they'd first started teaching Sutera how to fight, the deep but always bright emeralds skipping over them all as they play jousted with their swords and wrestled others to the ground. One form lacked of the small group, and his form turned to see just what was happening.

She'd been taught well over the previous seasons, her movements nearly silent but the gentle rustle of the clothes she wore, castoffs from the younger boys for they were the only things that fit her besides the numerous dresses and such her own parents refused to stop buying, filling closets upon closets. Left arm above her head, the outside edge rested against the tree her weight had been cast onto. The dark forms out in the distance framed her, the small peaks and dips of low mountains yet to catch the light of the coming sunrise. Wisps and curls of a fog lie between them, snaking and slithering paths that seemed so much smaller than they really were. As one's eye ventured out, the coral complexion of the reclining clouds made the uppermost of the line of palisades disappear. If one looked the other way, closer to their little scrape of rock they had long since claimed their own, it was a range of forests and trees that kept them from the distant sun, the speck of brightness just making its way over the edge of sierra. It was a colorful scene, and the vast area around them threw the soft pinks and roses onto her form, making the golden locks glisten and her peached skin retain that steady glow.

It was difficult for him to tell what exactly she was thinking of, but her eyes were closed and her mind must've been on other things than celebrating. His eyes wandered down the curve of her form before the wind was knocked out of him by a well placed jab to his side, putting him in a sputtering fit to regain his composure and breath as he received a sly grin from Sebastion. They were all guys, and their thoughts were more than often unpure, more so at this age. Akumaru gave a grin and changed his mind on that part. It was more like never pure, especially when Sutera was around and they could give him sly grins for it. Akumaru was the one almost always with her, and he couldn't recall how many times he'd been asked about their 'training', as the guys liked to call it. So far none had dared to ask Sutera to show off her skills, for they didn't really know how good or bad she was. Who wanted to be bested by a girl, anyways?

He gave a roll of his eyes, shoving the man away before he wandered forward to her as Sebastion with the dark eyes and night colored hair watched after for a moment more, then turning back to jump into the fray of arms and legs. His footsteps were quiet, wooden sandals leaving behind two lines of his passage before he stopped a couple inches away from behind her. Through instinct and the art of teaching her what he knew, he kept himself silent, looking over her shoulder to the view that she'd missed by keeping her eyes closed. His inner thoughts and feelings stood to be correct, and he didn't have to wait very long.

'No one really takes the rumors of my learning seriously.' Her voice was clipped, letting him know she wasn't so oblivious of the words and actions of Sebastion as he'd originally thought. His thin lips parted to respond, but he was given naught a chance. 'It makes it dangerous... '

It was a quick movement he gave to no one, a rise of his white brows as his thoughts carried him along the path she spoke of. It was dangerous alone that the rumor existed, but it hadn't been out for very long at all. For though women's rights had been more lenient as the years had gone by, there was not a one that dared to pick up a sword. They all remained content to live in the lives they had now, without the choices of swords and blood; all but one that is. Jealousy was a dangerous feeling, and in his head he wondered just who would ever start to go on the rumors, and decide to show her just where her place remained.

Of course there were some around that felt that of the law, it was their's to deliver. If someone got out of hand, the next morning it was these who put them into the river, the bloody mess of a cut throat hidden as the body floated face down. Though she knew how to defend herself and fight for the honor she'd started to receive from some of the boys, without the public knowledge, he knew of the group that would quickly cut her down to size. A soft sigh escaped him, blowing through her hair before she quickly turned. It caught him by surprise, his chin bent down just a bit to look her in the eyes, the swirls of amber that stared at him from her shorter stature. Sutera hadn't bothered to take any steps back, one of her locks blown by the wind to touch his shoulder before she looked away and stepped around him.

'I'm going..'

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:51 pm 
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Exactly what Akumaru had come to think he'd protect her from in the end Sutera didn't know, but she knew he was trying to save her from something. The truth rang in the same manner the wind did in the invisible cracks of the buildings around her, the title Windy Point given to this part of the land because of that haunting sound; it was in the way in which he followed her places, never opting to let her venture out alone if he could help it. He was living a lie, and whether or not he knew she realized this, Stella didn't speak of it. T'was better to let the lies bring themselves up to the surface on their own accord than to dig them up, dirty her hands with this of his life, his secrets, his worries. It became an ebb and flow of thought as her amber hues scanned the city she walked through, a plague in her mind to keep something quiet that wasn't her own life. After all, it wasn't her responsibility to keep it in such a way.

Footsteps fell like a drum beat upon the ground and she felt nothing as far as emotions went for the town she walked through. There was nothing out here that she truly feared, not yet anyways, and there was no reason to love it, either. She should've feared something just like everyone else, but in her heart where fear should've been, there was a void of it, filled in by something else. Akumaru had taught her well, perhaps too well.

Fabric against fabric her hips shifted, a lengthy strip of black cloth drifted back and forth across her thigh. Wrapped around her waist remained a long piece of black cloth that trailed downwards, effectively hiding what her teacher had given and crafted for her months before. It was with his hand he'd taken hours in etching the flower vines and blossoms into the hilt, making his mark upon her weapon that he hoped she would come to love just as he did his own. Fingertips shifted over the top of the tip of the hilt, feeling the cool metal against her flesh as she lifted her eyes from the ground she'd been paying attention to as her thoughts wandered through her head, letting her feet do the walking. The blade was long and specifically designed to her own measurements, though make no mistake in the assumption, it was just as heavy as a regular katana. She would've felt the difference and come to despise it, a constant reminder of her gender being considered weaker. Aku was fairly intelligent; fairly enough to make her something she constantly wore to her side at least.

Home. The place she'd grown up in for the majority of her life, the same place her parents had flourished and prospered over the years through their intelligent devices and parties that led them to fortune. They held a place within her heart, slowly accepting what their daughter had become but never mentioning it around the towns people; it was a choice they'd made the year before. It was either to do this or cast her away; to do the latter would bring shame upon them, which they could never truly hold with the love they had for her. Never encouraging her towards the goals she never spoke of, it was a mutual understanding of secrecy. How she was thankful for it.

Standing in front of the white colored building that held her room, her things and her life within its walls, she furrowed her brow lightly at the atmosphere. The silence of the dusk was only broken by the sound of her footsteps carrying her further forward. None were around at this hour, but with the cooler temperatures of the evening, it was only a minor detail really. The flagstones led her way to the door, her head canted to the side as she moved in and let her arm drift forward to slide open the door upon its well used hinges. Everything seemed normal enough, a soft breath escaping her in a thankful manner as she watched a patch of darkness drift under the bottom of the door that led to her father's library. Movement and someone was there, the light on either side shifting as the person moved away from it.

The door was closed behind her and she ran a hand up through her hair, moving the stray locks away from her face as she casually stepped forward towards it. With the new season, it meant a different sort of smell, one of new blossoms to come and life. It should've been there, but the timing was off, and the true evidence of spring had yet to make its way there. Instead it was a different smell that rose to her nostrils, drove her forward. It tickled and stung, creating such a sweet and sour effect as her face turned off to the side, wondering what would cause such a scent. At the door it had failed to peak her interest for it nearly didn't exist across the room; here it was strong and as the door to the library was shifted open it invaded her senses all the more with a brutal force. It was a sight that remained disturbing even after her eyes had gotten used to the dim light and those blonde lids blinked slowly, disbelieving as she stepped through the threshold and past the first cases of books lining the walls.

Torn, cut flesh done so smoothly it seemed one could push them back together and finish the puzzle pieces. Jaw slack and eyes staring lifelessly ahead, her mother's prone form lay upon the floor like a thrown doll, no longer needed nor wanted in this cruel life it was turning to be. Still she moved closer, numb from the crude amount of crimson scattered petals, blood pooled onto the floor like a bath beneath the woman. The heart must've had enough desire inside to still pump; the last dregs of a mother pouring out and making the ever expansive borders of its land grow outwards. Face down and pierced to the floor with a katana, Stella reached out and let the colored ribbons of a family stuck to the hilt drift across her fingers like smooth silk, untouched by the death. Trembling hand giving a rough pull on the bold point of the murder, giving away his family name with such a custom color, it gave and hung in her hand. It'd been death she'd been so offended by the smell of, eyes coming upwards from the ribbons as she heard a male voice, so softly speaking her name from behind the desk.

"Stella..."

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:30 pm 
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A pitying smile, weakly held was given to her from across the length of the desk, long lines of age mapped out into his features and paled skin of their genetic code. Ankle turning upon the wood of floor laid down decades before, the black clothed body came to follow the turn soon after, cautious, slow. There should've been more to say, but it was merely a thick silence between them, hovering in the air like a battlefield of silent words and questions. How could he merely sit there, so tall and strong in front of this disaster? The black hair she'd never inherited fell in his eyes, making his blinking rapid as he struggled to find something to say past the large lump in his throat that inhibited such movement. It was apparent he wished to say something at least, thin lips parting with merely air to whisk past the gates. The ribbons gave a rustle as her fingernails dug into her palms, squeezing them into her slightly moistened hands.

Doubt and something kin to horror filled that place fear should've been, body weighing a ton but still somehow footsteps brought her closer to him and away from the conquered land of blood that was, had been her mother. The image wouldn't take its leave, capturing in a picture perfect view of those cloudy, glassy brown eyes that stared off to something Stella hadn't seen. It became difficult to even say anything herself, to question what was going on here as they stared at one another. It was a long couple of seconds, a lifetime done over twice before his gaze shifted away from her own and to the right of her instead. He sat so straight and calm looking, one hand beneath the desk and the other resting above, a bridge as it touched his chest and the desk centimeters away.

Her brow furrowed immediately, disbelieving the fact that he was actually looking away! At the moment he should've been saying anything, something, all she watched was a bubble form at the corner of his lips, growing as air was extended into it and made it expand. Who had done it? What was he doing just sitting there? What had happened? Everything exploded out all at once, her right fist balled up and slammed down onto the desk top.

"Say something!"

A tired, weary gaze traveled back to her, a salty stained tear sliding from the rim of his eyes and started its way down the side, down his upper cheek just as the bubble of air at his lips exploded in a tiny show of red that dribbled down towards his chin. Blood. Surprised, she took a step back from the desk, eyes moving downwards as his fingers parted, giving her a glimpse of shiny, blood covered metal protruding from his shirt. Stuck to the chair he sat in, the hilt must've been on the other side of the backing. He couldn't have done anything if he'd wanted to. One parent down and the other going, she found the strength to swallow finally before she lifted her brows now. His look away hadn't been shame.. the light moved under the door before she'd even entered.. a miraculously played out trap and she'd fallen head first into it.

Now, she knew fear. Stella heard nothing but felt the heat, someone was close to her and it made her right hand slide under the black cloth for the hilt of her katana. If only she could get it out and get out of here, she could return to the guys, return to Akumaru, after killing the people in her house. The thought had barely crossed her mind before she turned, pulled on her sword and instantly got the vision of the source of heat right as a large hand clasped over her throat and lifted her upwards. Sapphire orbs and a sneer were all she got for her efforts to recognize him before she found her air pipe squeezed with all the strength he could muster. It worked, hands rising upwards in panic as her half drawn katana slid right back into its home, toes not even touching the ground anymore. Akumaru hadn't mentioned this part of being choked to death, her fingers attempting to pry the hand off as her eyes drifted to movement, watching as his other hand rose the hilt of a dagger and aimed it right at her temple. A simple flick of the wrist and it was done, knocking her out most of the way as she descended into darkness, the scent of burning wood filling her nostrils just as she felt her cheek meet the floor.

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Stretched canvases of individual buildings reached out, their perspective all as one, the last windows the final grabbing hands towards the darkened sky. What they wanted, none could have, crowding around the space surrounding a bleak but full moon. Time had its fun, making buildings shift this way or that; perhaps closer to its wishes but it was more than once foundations crumbled and gave in to the pulls of a relentless yank down, down to failure. Every night the glowing orb of reflected light came out into the sky in one way or another, teasing and continuous in its constant motion and shift. So bright, but tainted and no longer that glorious white of innocence and glory, it paused in its movement for just a second. Darkened spots on the man on the moon's face lent themselves to craters or valleys, still so dark in hue and tone as a mist filled it all in like a child with coloring crayons. Deliberate. Stubborn in coating it all, but of course, never staying within the lines. What started out as a infectious slide of color grew outwards, much like the disease of death that floated in the air. One life, then another, and another. A beautiful vision of regularity was coated in something else, darkness sliding over it all for a mere moment before it all returned. Peaks and mountainous regions stood out bright against the dark spots, plateaus taking up much of the space. After taking over the moon above, the velvety wine distorted the edges of reality as it enveloped buildings, too.

Croonings like under the sea shifted in the air, noises and waves of sounds floating in a current as if whales had come to sing a song. Deep and melodious, no pauses given for a break, no waves of water to join in. It was certainly a sea, but of what, was the question to be answered. There was nothing to show itself for the noise, no beast, no demon, no god. It remained neutral in its utter simplicity of continuous ups and downs of the musical scale. Some notes, never hit. Others were abused over and over again, the hits upon them so harsh to make them louder and more distinct. That black, fuzzed vision came again, taking away the only light of the night for a brief second before it returned. Its presence was enough to cause joyous sounds, the song interrupted with a high enough note that it was definitely considered good, positive, something to smile for. Soon the bass returned to the song and it went on like the other noise had never happened.

Something burned, succumbing to the death of such a tragic end that the immense heat offered. The ash of once human creations floated up into the cool air of a spring touched winter, that crisp time right between. Wispy and design filled, two long tendrils were pulled in one direction, then blown away a moment later. Decay and destruction; they had a scent, and this had to be it. Putrid, causing death with each gasping breath took in, laboring and noiseless. Someone had taken all the air, and it was that thought which brought back semi-consciousness. Head turning to the side in darkness, another breath brought a fit of coughing to expel the large range of dust and small specks of debris that'd made their way into the lungs. It was such a task to do this even, this motion that her body did without thought so hard for there was so little to take back in but the same things that were dispelled.

Gaining a sense of herself, thoughts came like a game, back and forth and only little glimpses of them even at that. Memory was first, the cropped picture of a white house, her white house, the front room and the person under the door. It was like a broken reel of video, skipping through the torn images to make something of a photo essay, leaving one to guess where the sound had gone; where was the life and movement that had once been there? Pain bubbled to the surface, the black haze flitting over the minimum light there was as it was then realized that movement was going to be a problem. Pinned wasn't the right word for it. Fingers curling inwards and stretching to check and line herself back up into her body from this fuzzy, unrealistic feeling she had, it was instantly afterwards she felt the weight. Large and over bearing, it was just another spark of reality that lit itself up. Bringing the hand upwards to touch upon cool, smooth darkness, it was one sense after another that just seemed magnified. Nothing like herself though, the soft fleshy part of her index finger pushed and blocked over the scene of the moon that was her vision. Back and forth she felt over it, a crack that was her light. What she wanted to know was where she was; floor beneath her broken and sticking into her back, she could only shift her hand back to her side and look out to the redness, wondrous and lost, not even truly aware of anything but the sky above singing its melancholy tune, just for her.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:02 pm 
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"STELLAAAAA.. "

His booming voice rumbled through the debris, ash lifting into the air in dancing wisps as the vibrations merely caused a fallen rafter to tilt off at an impossible angle, gravity giving it a pull downwards to bring a cloud of dirt in its previous place up. It was no mystery to the cause of the glowing wood, the ruined pages of a burned library scattered with the wind and the utter stillness of everything that had once before been a luxurious piece of architecture. It wouldn't have been as heart wrenching had he not watched from afar that blonde head enter. Somewhere in this mess of fire's wrath, his pupil, his friend, was stuck under the cooling wreck, or perhaps she wasn't feeling anything at all. His breath came out in stomach wrenching pants, alien fingers wrapping above his elbow to steady him, keeping him on his own two feet. Emerald hues jumping from one piled up mess to the next as his brain tried in vain to pick a logical place to start, he noticed so faintly out of his peripheral vision the other men from their group start to close in on the perimeter of the house.

"Aku.. "

"Yeah...?"

"We'll find her.. everybody start lifting stuff."

As a collective group they swarmed forward, keeping their thoughts to themselves rather than risk the anger that they could feel surrounding the silver haired leader. The younger ones stepped over piles, stumbling with soft grunts as they got busy moving to the center of it. Lifting and tossing pieces out to one another, Akumaru did not watch as they started to uncover parts of the second floor that was now mixed in with the ground level. Swallowing past the large lump caught in his throat, his pupils stared outwards, losing track of the present and the time as a wolf in the near hills gave a howl. As children they'd chased after those wolves, running over the forest floor and leaping over logs, occasionally belatedly and forced to catch up after the fall. Was this one of those falls they'd get up from, or was she down for good? For all the help offered, it wasn't long for a couple of men to shove off a sheet of wood and find that desk there in what would've once been the office of the house. The dark haired father was found, bloodied and barely recognizable. A chime echoed into the night against the nearby houses, the sword pinning the old man to the chair removed and the body carried away.

Seeing the charred pieces of flesh fall away and slip to the ground as one grabbed the wrists and the other the calves, his fingers curled in, nails brushing against his own palm before digging in with a sharp bite. As the corpse left his vision, he walked forward slowly, the front door frame still standing as he pulled his shoulders in to miss the leaning and cooked beams. Treachery.. Whomever did this would pay, and do so dearly. Roughly pushing away the lingering thoughts of revenge, he opened eyes he had not realized he'd gone and closed. Bending down, the hem of his long white coat dragged and picked up the blackness covering everything. His strong fingers curled beneath a part of the upper floor and lifted as he started to make his own clear path, praying with silently moving lips that he wouldn't have to dig three graves this night.


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 Post subject: Re: Within the Current; Sutera Sasaki
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:07 pm 
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Feet covered in soft boots, he rest them up on another chair as his lanky form sprawled out on another adjacent to the first. Sitting there in this makeshift home was no fun, those bright emeralds closing in rest; it was his turn to do so in the shifting watch that they, the boys, had over Stella. The doctor had long since departed, reassurances given about the worries that had come into thick creases over his young brow. It was simply that after finding the woman in such a state, their breaths had been held about the idea of a future.

Ceramic had slipped beneath his footing, causing him to fall downwards, knees hitting hard the bottom edge of a flooring in the wreck. It had already been cracked; a small half of an inch of space ran along the middle, but it was not this that caught his eye, nor his ears. The scratching upon the glazed surface made the hairs on the back of his head rise high, sending a shiver running down his back. What caught everyone else's ears in the vicinity was the mewled gasping for air coming beneath him as bloodied fingers started squeezing forcefully past the gap, reaching for the oxygen that was clean and free of ash. What they quickly uncovered did not bode well with more than one's stomach. It was indeed Sutera, face covered in thick rivers of blood that had already swam into her eyes, making them a crimson, wide eyed look that was demonic as ever. Some whispers of superstition were mumbled. The clean air helped her as Akumaru bent down and started to carefully lift her upwards, those eyes starting to close as hands checked the pulse, searched for broken limbs.

The sight engrained upon his mind still made Akumaru glance off towards the bedroom where four boys were stationed. Doctor's words and examination had given the diagnosis that those eyes had been infected and sight would be taken from her until they healed, if they healed at all. From poking at pried open lids, it was said she would see nothing but maybe darkness. Even her hearing was gone, something of the crash giving her a slight disadvantage-this however, the doctor had promised would return, and soon. So blind and deaf she'd slept for days now, golden hair washed and soft as always; they'd taken care of her, trying to make her as comfortable as possible until she woke up. Even now, his brow furrowed as that gasping sound and a clatter rose from the room. Chairs pushed out of, he heard another crash as he flung open the door.

Where am I?

Waking up in a darkness so vast nothing seemed to penetrate it, immediately the visions of that man grasping her throat had her sitting up, bolting into a position that made her posture sway. Silence was thick about her, but the lack of senses didn't seem to last long as vibrations shook the bed she had been laid out on and fingers grasped too roughly at her arm to be considered friendly. Free arm lashing out at an approximation, a throat was hit and whoever it had been fell to the ground with surely a problem to breathe. Sliding free of the bed and standing, another arm grabbed her shoulder, spinning her around with a soft shake before they were dropped in the same manner as the one before. All of it was incredibly sloppily done, but she had no choice.

Four? All four?

Every watchman lay on the ground, coughing as the pale woman swayed, still standing and clinging to the bedside. Though it was an odd predicament, Aku couldn't help the pleased smile that flew onto his lips.

I did tell you not to touch her.


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 Post subject: Re: Within the Current; Sutera Sasaki
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:08 pm 
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Days flew by, eventually changing into weeks, which turned into months. Though I couldn't see, my hearing returned soon after those first couple dark filled days, Akumaru explaining how they'd found me, the doctor's diagnosis and my house's fateful end. To this day, nothing remains of what was my first and only home; I would never call something such again. Perhaps it was a feeling that always felt to be missing; maybe I was afraid that calling something home, meant that eventually, it was something you were going to lose. I'd lost my parents, and my sorrow was my silence. My pain became my reason to fight, and even that soon became a challenge none of us could ignore. Revenge was had, however. I never knew who it was who dealt the killing blow to their murderer, but I was the one to chop off the head, and bury it beneath my parents' feet. It was a matter to be taken care of; later would I learn that our enemies called us barbarians. I called it victory.

Without my sight, my training with Akumaru was brought to a halt, and my introduction to the brotherhood came. I can't say the specifics, for I can't remember many things of what Aku started calling my 'Dark Days'. There was the man who helped train me in the circles that my life would start to revolve around, the face of time becoming my battle ground. It was a long and enduring process, but my skill for learning things by doing them came in handy. I was a quick paced student, taught in their ways, but never truly entering their extensive training that would've required ten more years of dedication. It would've become my life, and already so old, for they started their training at an age of ten, I decided it wasn't my path to walk.

Those were the days I heard Akumaru laugh the most. My hearing became something far better than the rest of my companions'; my sight was gone, and my body naturally picked up something else. They delighted in teasing me, I think, trying to see who could sneak up the closest. I always heard them though, but I learned patience then, and I grew with it. It made me more tolerable.

It couldn't have all lasted so long before reality would be forced to push us back into the stream of chaos and fate. Blurs came first. I could see the movement of large shapes, light from dark and only in the most extreme senses. Past a certain point, there was nothing more I could learn from my teacher, and I remember hearing the heavy drops of rain hit the pond as he left. It marked not only another change in my life, but another season as well. Sometime autumn had come and swept away the heat, bringing along its cool air and crisp death of everything that was living. How death could have so many different scents became something of a poetic inquiry, and with no answer, I made my way back into our makeshift house.

There was nothing else for a while that would mark any sort of importance. Winter came and past, blurs moved into shapes, and with no set date that I could ever pinpoint, my vision returned to something of what it used to be. With my life threatened, and an over-protective friend, that house became my only place of existence. I lived there, knowing its rooms and grounds, close enough to the city that we heard its news, but far enough away that a false sense of security fell over us all. Guests came and went, our number never neither dwindling nor increasing. Sometime in the snowy expanses of the last month of the year, Akumaru was formally invited into the King's Guard. He took it, the position one of pride and importance to him. Finally it seemed, one of us was getting somewhere, doing something that made all of the hardships worth while.

To this day, I do not know whether I believe in Fate or coincidence. It was something meant to be, that he was accepted into the Guard, and that he felt the need to keep me somewhere safe. I was outside when I saw it, and then heard it. Loud blasts shook the city, and fire started making large winding paths into the sky above it. Even from our staring, still forms, we could hear the screams. My home doesn't stand anymore, and neither does my city.


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 Post subject: Re: Within the Current; Sutera Sasaki
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:10 pm 
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Two packs pressed against her back with their combined weight, the more rectangular objects pressing with a gouging emphasis into her from their confinement. Having no other way of retreating from the house, they remained painfully on foot, running through the tree filled hills; spots of half shadowed green played upon the ground, interrupted as they bound past before returning to the silence that'd been before. The sun only made it through a few spots past the heavy canopy, wide leaves blocking all means of direct spots of the gold; it left them in a never-ending place of green illumination and thick trunks that their path would about in a looping drive onwards. One form remained upright, swift and calculating the important placement of her booted feet as they went along so as to not land in a hole that conveniently matched her foot size. However, the other running through the forest was heavier, hunch backed and half hidden in draping, opaque blankets.

None so surprisingly, those blankets had the rest of her attention when she wasn't watching their footing along the path that had seen better, more used days in its great past. There were many reasons her honeyed hues flickered that way: more than once, they'd given a giggle. A girlish, high pitched string of laughter accompanied by the deep, muttering tones of Akumaru's speech. Stella had long since realized past the first couple times it'd happened that whatever they were doing, it was secret, and also most likely commonly known as stealing.. kidnapping.. choose your poison, it wasn't like it mattered. It was just the fact they were doing it that bothered her, for she had no idea who the female was. Through well tuned perception she'd calculated the size into a somewhat shorter female, thin and longer hair, noted only because every now and then a stray lock of it wandered free from the blankets and bounded in the free air with Aku's bouncing run.

It was only after hours that she realized the temperature of the forest had been on the constant and steady rise, and unfortunately it had nothing to do with the sun, though it seemed to be finding more places to stretch through above, more and more spots of bright yellow flowing over them. With her knowledge of the area beyond their city, Sutera remembered that if you went so far past it, there was a wide stretch of desert; she'd seen it once with her family, but they'd never gone into the hills of sand before. It was such an uncharted vastness that for their immediate safety, they'd chosen to keep to the trees.

Century old trees grew thinner the closer they came to the edge, where Akumaru stopped and decided to make camp for the rest of the evening. Finding her chance to rest in this moment, she took the time to wander to the edge of the clearing and lean back against a tree, the bags tossed off to the middle near his feet. Finally it would seem she would get what she'd been waiting for, her friend bending down and setting the bundle down on covered feet. Limbs pushed at the blankets, shifting them backwards until they were more like cloaks instead, giving her a full view of what was going on. The girl's hair was a dark, saturated blackness that flowed down to her hips, lively hazel hues flickering right to Stella, who seemed frozen in a stare.

It wasn't that the girl was dressed in clothes that she knew as the expensive type, or that there was an emblem on the sash tied to her waist. Sandals scratched at the ground as the girl shifted, the hem of roughly constructed hakami dragging in the dirt as the stranger glanced to Akumaru. It wasn't that there was a bow strapped to her back, or a quiver full of arrows at her side, either. Stella was staring at the side of her face, where those ears were elongated past what was deemed normal, the ends pinched into a softened point at the end. Her own were normal ones, and there was only one line in the region that had those types of features. It left her with no type of greeting the girl was expecting, lips parting for once as she didn't even hesitate to yell at her childhood friend.

'You stole the Princess?!'


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 Post subject: Re: Within the Current; Sutera Sasaki
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:11 pm 
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Kemori's soft, girlish laughter broke Akumaru's thoughts from the current subject at hand: trying to find clothing that was appropriate for this new place they'd wandered to. The clothes they'd all individually brought from their home wasn't enough for this new culture, and screamed that to everyone who saw them. For blending in, they were doing a horrid job. This small outburst urged his eyes to lift from an odd suit he'd been brushing his fingers over, turning them to her, and then following her gaze. The grin that'd pleasantly appeared from her contagious giggle evaporated far faster than it'd come, and he stepped away from the clothing rack and closer to the shop's window she was looking from.

"Oh.. oh no.. "

What he saw, he did not like, a line forming between his brow as they knitted together. Sutera sat outside and across the street, a vision in white, for once. It seemed a color that fit her, not that he would ever tell her that, however...

... never again, would she volunteer to wear a dress, in any circumstance. Though the light color kept her considerably cooler, it was such a hassel to do so. Sleeveless and tight from her chest down to her waist, she'd at least gotten something that flowed around her legs, and let her still wear that blade strapped to her thigh. It rest invisibly there, unless one took the time to stare at her legs to see that the fabric didn't sit perfectly. A minor detail, really, and with one leg crossed over the other and the cascade of fabric falling to sandaled feet, it seemed a perfect blending in from swordswoman to patron. That is what she kept telling herself, anyways, that, and this was only temporary.

Tea cup steaming in the spring air, the wide brimmed summer hat she wore hid most of her face when she bowed it and continued idly reading the book she held, leaving only a line of cheek and chin for any passerby to gleam of her face; it left it so that anyone walking by left her alone, and every once and again, she was still able to glance up and see Akumaru and Kemori across the street at the shop. The warm rays of the sun above peaked through the clouds and fell on her lengthening golden hair as it tickled its way back and forth past her shoulder, eyes scanning the text when the sound from someone close by hit her.

"Why, hello there, beautiful."

There was a ruffling sound of cloth, and the seat at the same table was taken up. Slowly she rose her head up, getting a slight look at the male across from her while still keeping her hardening gaze on her book, forearms planted on the table before her.

His grin flashed wide, and leaning across, his slim finger caught the middle space of her text, between the pages to interrupt her and pull it downwards, which brought the pair of cool hazels right up to his bright green ones. Sutera looked back down to his hand, watching as a gleaming trickle of veined icicles spanned outwards from that single finger, covering the pages enough that she could no longer read them. Magic... It spooked her a bit inside to see power done for such a small thing as gaining the attention of a female, and those lips tightened into a thin line.

"I said, hello."

Curling her lips into a forced smile too quickly for it to be considered sincere, she slammed the book shut on his finger. It earned a wince and retreat of his hand as she set it down in her lap and gave a blink, as if she really hadn't done that on purpose at all.

"Hello." Such another forced action from her, he quickly found out, but at least she spoke to him, which just gave him further reason to continue. It also gave her a chance to truly take in what he was, and that there seemed to be two bodyguards standing behind the seat he'd stolen. She looked up to the two, then, one enormously tall from her vantage point, wearing a patch over one eye, and not giving her the friendliest smile there. The other was female, and gave her a nod, and she was forced to look back to the one in charge. This stranger couldn't have been older than twenty, and looked at her with too much intelligence caught there, a steady gaze that was older than they seemed. This, too, made her curl more into her silent self more than usual, if such a thing was possible, and staring at one another, his grin seemed to let her know he was enjoying it, every bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Within the Current; Sutera Sasaki
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:12 pm 
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A line of lashes swept in a soft curve from her eyes, an artist's brush using nude tones to highlight the most feminine features that made up her face of gentle lines. One could easily skip away from the ice cold look that came from behind that detail of golden hair, off towards the line of her jaw that easily swept up into her mouth. Upper lip shadowed slightly, the bottom caught the most highlight from the sun shining down, also painting in that golden illumination a piece of her cheek and neck, the scooping neckline of a dress and toned arms. Skip past the thoughts of reds or violets. This painter kept to soft pinks, golds and that bright white that made every color slightly darker in contrast, giving a wide range of tones that made the gaudy, eye-squinting colors that small girls favored unnecessary. There was beauty in simplicity, if you knew where to look.

His watchful, lingering gaze had her looking down to the closed book in her lap, fingertip half ruining the cover's corner as she caught herself absentmindedly bending it back and forth. Sutera stopped, and shifting the book off to be held in one hand, she pushed upwards with the other off of the table. The intention of turning and walking away was stopped by a hand enclosing around her wrist, keeping the palm of her hand stuck down onto the table. Her body jerked slightly, already one step taken to take her away from it, and now forced to step back to the seat she'd rather leave. That full bottom lip was pulled up, making a once relaxed mouth into a thin line as she swung her head back towards him.

The stranger had stood up as well, and there was less than a foot between their faces. This did nothing but make those fingers tense around the spine of her book. Across the street, Kemori was slack jawed and staring, slapping a hand over her giggles to muffle them. The idea of finding clothes was completely forgotten by them both, for even Akumaru was still watching. They'd both given her strict instructions to be a patron, a customer. He was watching a soldier being interrogated, and hoped none of the three across the street picked up on her behavior.

"Shall I continue calling you beautiful or shall you spare me the embarrassment and tell me your name?"

It looked as if she faintly considered answering the question, but though he did wait and give her time to do so, this woman did not give in. He found himself unable to gauge what it was she was feeling, but gave a guess, letting his thoughts tumble out to her as he spoke them.

"I offended you.. somehow. Come now.. not even your name? Shall I instead start guessing? Surely your.. joyous countenance would be paired with a fitting name. Let's see." His thumb drew back and forth across the top of her hand in thought, up and down the curve of her wrist. There were, of course, names that no respectable female would enjoy, and in the sense of jest, he gave these to her, watching her expression.

"Agatha?"

"Mildred?"

"Bertha?"

"Gretchen, perhaps? If none of those, most certainly Gretchen shall work. Your smile and laughter says to me such a name."
There was but a faint glimmer in her eyes at the names he had chosen. Purposely picking on her, there was but a moment's reprieve of her mask before it was back, worse than before.

"Well then, Gretchen. I shall take my leave from you." He stood up straight and lifted her hand in his own. Holding it tightly, he gave a low bow over it, forcing her to bend forward from the waist. It was then he rose his head, and not his hand. Such a stance kept her bowed down to his level, and their faces close enough a whisper would travel between them nicely. From the clothing shop, all Aku and Kemori could guess was a kiss, for Sutera and the stranger stayed that way a moment before the woman straightened up in a hurry, took a couple steps back and watched him go.

Sutera knew what had happened, and as he turned his head, it was not to her cheek, which was almost touching his own. Eyes looking over his shoulder at the bodyguards behind him, his voice lightly tickled her ear.

"Nice sword."

Her face turned slowly towards his own. That katana was hidden beneath her long dress which even now swept the floor, and though her expression carried a light bit of surprise to it, all he did was give her an even stare back. All along, he had known she was no patron. Perhaps he knew about the two across the street, too. All that mattered, though, was that he knew she had a weapon, and had been playing with her in the same way a cat does a mouse. Sutera took her hand back and straightened then, steps taken away from him in case he decided that she was to be in danger today. And with a flourish of a bow to her, he turned, and with the two people he'd come with, they walked down the street. She watched him go, until she could no longer see him, and then once again, let herself fall down gracefully into her seat, a bit more thoughtful than before.


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 Post subject: Re: Within the Current; Sutera Sasaki
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:13 pm 
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Quote:
On Kasuga plain
between those patches of snow
just beginning to sprout,
glimpsed, the blades of grass,
like those glimpses of you.


I saw such a poem written upon a scroll during my walk through the town's shops, hoisted up in the early morning to catch the early birds such as myself who lingered in the dawn. There is little else so soothing, I think; if there is, I have not come to find it.

Though the vendor commented on the piece that had caught my eye, I walked away without a purchase to be had. It wouldn't have been well spent; without a home, such a thing has no place. So with full intentions of penning it down here instead, I let it linger in my head the rest of the day.

Instead I came back to find a package at my door. Tilting the long container to the side, my veins ran like ice to see it curled, wrapped in a white ribbon, left for me. I am being watched, and the snowflake drawn upon the small slip of blue paper left few guesses as to by whom. I watched it without thought as it finished its flutter down to the floor at my feet.

He is still here, somewhere.


Last edited by Nighttime Waters on Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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