Chapter 2: Cloud Watching and Headlocks


Next Morning

"Are you sure she'll listen to us?"

Juchirou glanced at the twitchy pigtails girl walking beside him. He smirked before looking forward.

"No, I'm sure she won't, Which is why we're going to talk to Suzu-san first."

"Wha? But you said-"

"I find your scared face amusing."

He ducked an elbow aimed at his face, still smirking.

"I will kill you in your sleep with a butter knife!"

"Good luck with that. Ah, isn't that Suzu-san over there? Now go talk to her."


He had discreetly shoved Asuka towards Suzu, resulting in the loss of her balance as she fell on top of the poor redhead.

"I'm so so sorry Suzu-San." Pigtails apologized as she helped her victim up. Turning she glared at her teammate who was staring straight-faced at them, but she could sense his hidden amusement.

"Ruka isn't here right now-"

"That's fine, we wanted to talk to you actually."

Suzu fixed him with a glare through her red bangs.

"Don't you mean you want to bribe me into getting her to like you?"

He shrugged.

"Well that works too. But seriously we just wanted to ask you something."

She continued glaring before she turned to face him and crossed her arms.

"Well? Get on with it."

Asuka sighed as her suspicions were confirmed, this girl despised them almost as much as the other one did.

"You grew up during the Wars of the North right?"

"Yeees, what about it?"

She had adopted a dubious look, not bothering to hide her lack of trust in the boy.

"Would you wish that on the children that would grow up like you did if we went into civil war?"

She glared at him.

"I'd never wish that on anyone, neither would Ruka. Even if you left her alone she wouldn't help in a war. She grew up in the Northern Territories, not here exactly, but she did experience the Wars as a kid. She may still hate your leaders, but she'd never help bring that kind of childhood on anybody."

Juchirou frowned.

"You don't know that-"

"I know her better than you do, and she wouldn't. Is that clear?"


"Good. Now shove off."

With that kind salutation she stalked off.

"Asuka go find the Lotus girl."

"Huh? What are you gonna do?"

"I'll tell you later, just find her will you?"

The cold was nipping at nose and ears, but she figured cloud watching was well worth it. White fluffy blobs, rolling and floating, never staying the same. That's why she liked clouds, they were free.


She grimaced at being yanked back to reality by a familiar voice.


Sighing, she pulled herself up off the ground before walking to the edge of the roof. She could see the little red girl from yesterday looking around. Grinning she dropped down behind the girl as she walked past.


"Oi dumbass-"


The Chibi shrieked quite loudly, causing the girl behind her to wince.

"Fuck! You've got some serious lungs there." Ruka scowled and rubbed her ears. "Now please explain why my name was being shouted in the middle of a perfectly nice morning Miss..."

"Asuka, Tsubota Asuka."

"Cool. Now, what can I do for you?"

Asuka scratched the back of her neck laughing nervously.

"I know you hate us but I-I mean We need your help."

Ruka raised an eyebrow at the girl.

"I don't hate you, I just don't like people who still trust Hi-URK!"

"Thank you thank you thank you!"

The small girl had hugged the greenete with a bit more strength than was being expected.

'Shit...I can't...breathe'

Juchirou sighed as he leaned against an alley wall. He ran a hand through his hair before looking up at the sky, as for once it wasn't hidden by the seemingly constant snow clouds.

'I still don't see how anyone can like living here. Too cold and not enough plants.'

Pushing himself upright, he began walking back to the inn he and Asuka were staying at. As he walked he thought about the message he sent Sato-sama. He had written that they found the Lotus, but left out that he wasn't sure if she was to be treated as a prisoner or not. Asuka figured that they would have to bring her back peacefully, but Juchirou had a bad feeling about why they weren't told more about how to bring her back.

"Oi! Grey boy!"

He looked up from his thoughts at the shout from down the street. Speak of the devil and she shall appear. The Lotus girl was standing next to Asuka, the latter grinning and waving wildly while the former simply smirked and gave him a two-finger salute. He raised an eyebrow at the her presence and his new nickname, but made his way over to them anyways.

"To what do I owe the pleasure Lotus-san-"

"Kobayashi, not lotus."

"Well then, Kobayashi-san, to wha-"

"Can I call you Ruka-kun?"

The girl turned slightly to stare at the red chibi.

"...Absolutely not."




"Shut up Tsubota-chibi."

Ruka ran a hand over her face before turning back to Juchirou.

"You were saying Grey Boy?"

"To what do I owe the pleasure of you not biting my head off?"

She tilted her head to the side while grinning at him.

"Don't worry, I still dislike you, but Chibi here offered to owe me a favor if I helped her. So I'll tolerate you...for now."

He raised an eyebrow at her odd reasoning.


Still grinning she pulled the younger girl into a headlock and ground her knuckles into her skull.

"Yup, This is my future minion slash punchbag."

"Ow that hurts that hurts that hurts!"

"That's the point."

Juchirou sweatdropped as Asuka whined and clawed at the arm around her neck. He glanced at Kobayashi and thought back to her face yesterday when she read the scroll. She had seemed so against working together at all, and now she was joking around with them, a grin on her face. He shook his head, deciding to explain it as just her hatred for the content of the scroll. It had been safe to give it to Suzu-san because she didn't know who any of the people mentioned were. Kobayashi? Whole other story. She knew every single name on the paper and didn't seem to care for any of them. Sato, the leader who ordered her exile from the village. Kurokawa, Kondo, Mitsushi, and Yukimura, the village elders who helped. Juchirou shuddered at the thought of the last one mentioned. Taichi, the one who wanted a civil war, and one of the most brutal ninjas to come from the Flame nation.

"You're such a weakling." Ruka's amusement was obvious as her voice cut through his thoughts. He looked up to see her grinning at Asuka who was rubbing her head.



"No, Kobayashi. Ko-ba-ya-shi. No -sans, -kuns, or Rukas. I don't know you too well, but I hate formalities. Capiche?"

"Yes ma'am."

Ruka's frown softened as she patted the pouting girls head.

"Good. Now, how 'bout I take you guys to get some lunch."

As expected the Chibi perked up a bit at the thought of food.


"Yup. My friend owns the place, so I get a discount, but seriously its the best food in town. C'mon."

Ruka began walking off with Asuka following like a loyal puppy, and Juchirou trailing behind, smirking at their antics.

A/N: Finally, finished this chappy. I had to rewrite a bunch of this so characters could be consistent, which led to it being better I think.
Yes, I have borrowed a few ideas from Naruto as far as place names and such but I will try not to use anymore than that.
I still feel like I managed to make my own characters ooc, especially Suzu, despite my best efforts.
Anyways, thank you RSE13, for being the only one to review and favorite. Infinite virtual cake or cookies of your choice. Please, if you read it and you liked it, at least do something telling me, whether reviewing, favoriting, or following, it encourages me to update quicker (Read WRITE THIS INSTEAD OF DO HOMEWORK.)
I'll post pics of the characters as soon as I finish them all on my deviantart, and I'll give links when I do, so expect them in the next couple chappys.
Thanks peoples!