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simplicity

hyuuga_hinaji in narukorp

[Rp Thread] Meeting with Asuka [Hinaji, Asuka]

Hinaji had dragged his feet long enough. Training with Sachiko was all well and good, but until he started working towards mastering his elemental jutsu he wasn't going to advance at all. He'd promised to see Asuka a long time ago; it was time he acted on that promise.

As close as she was to his sensei, he still didn't really know the other jounin, and just randomly appearing at her place or a place she frequented would be weird. The only way he could think to find her was to ask Kureno, and so he made his way to his sensei's house and ran through all the ways he could ask about Asuka without giving himself away. He didn't really want too many people knowing about his special training, even Kureno. Not until he could produce results, anyway.

Maybe he could casually mention her in conversation? How was your date with Asuka-sensei, or something? ...No. His face felt red at the thought of asking his teacher something that up front. Maybe Have you seen Asuka-sensei lately? That would work, probably.

He sighed as he reached Kureno's door. He knocked politely and waited, hands at his sides and body straight. Casual.

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Ah, there it was. Somehow it was easier to deal with that when the other person was blushing, though.

"Yeah, well," she said with a half-laugh, rubbing the back of her neck a little nervously, "he's just running late from work." Yeah, like that was a good excuse for her presence. Kiba would have been all over that reply.

Although why would Hinaji be looking for her? Asuka couldn't think of any real reason for him to seek her out. From what she could remember she'd shared less words with him over the years than with Hoshino - and that was saying something. "I guess we could talk now?"
Running late from work? But then why was she...? No, Hinaji wasn't sure he needed to know the exact details.

He nodded his head at her invitation, but hesitated. Exactly how did he explain this? And what would he do if Asuka outright refused him? Sachiko could only teach him so much.

"I... Yes, we could. M-May I come in?"
On the one hand, she probably shouldn't be inviting people into Kureno's house like she owned it. On the other hand, it was Kureno's student, so he was hardly not welcome, right? On the third hand, she didn't know what Hinaji wanted to talk about, so it might be better to see Kureno coming up the drive rather than have him walk into a potentially embarrassing conversation. Finally, the urge to smoke was itching at her fingertips. Maybe it would be better to just sit outside.

"Um," she said, which was the lamest reply ever. They were doing well for two ridiculously nervous people, weren't they? Next thing she knew, she'd be stuttering, she bet. "Actually, let's sit here on the porch. Do you might if I smoke?"
...Ah right. Not her house. "Yes, the porch is fine." No one should come along, and they should both notice before such a person might get close enough to listen in. "And smoking is fine, too."

He found himself a seat and sat, watching Asuka. Really, this was quite strange. When was the last time he'd spoken to her again?

"So um." He folded his hands together and rested them on his knees. Might as well just dive in, right? He didn't want to take up too much of her time, and taking longer just heightened the uncomfortable factor. "I actually wanted to ask you about elemental jutsu. I heard you were good at it..."
He busied himself with sitting, and she busied herself with lighting a cigarette, tapping one out and lighting it before seating herself on the edge of Kureno's porch a polite distance away - not too close, but not too far away to make it seem like she was deliberately keeping a distance either. And hopefully downwind, too.

The jounin's brows raised at that introduction to the conversation, though. He wanted to discuss elemental jutsu? That was... not what she expected.

"Having two masteries is required to be eligible for the jounin exam," she replied neutrally enough, not certain exactly what he meant by 'good at it' but also not going to deny it. "Are you working on your masteries now?"
He nodded. "Sort of." He fidgeted a bit. "But I was hoping you could help me with an element I have difficulty with instead of my affinity."
Well, that sort of made sense. Although most people wanted to master their strengths before mastering their weaknesses, but hey, to each their own. And anyway, who was to say he didn't already have his masteries? She wouldn't know.

Asuka nodded, taking a drag off the cigarette and respectfully exhaling to the side away from him. "Well, I can help you where I can. I'm not excellent at everything, but I'm good at a few outside my own masteries. Which element are you working on?"
Hinaji nearly sighed in relief. This was a very, very good start. "Um, I was working on wind, actually." He paused, trying to think of an explanation that didn't give away Sachiko or family secrets. "I-I thought if I could get better at an element I wasn't good at, then mastering my affinity would be easier."

He glanced down at his hands. "...I'm not really sure what my mastery is, though." He could almost feel Sachiko's eyes on him as he talked, urging the conversation on.
He was... wait, that was backwards. That he wanted help on the wind element was good - one of her masteries - but the way he was going at it was all wrong. How much elemental theory were they teaching in the academy these days? Or had Kureno just skimmed over that part? Hard to imagine, but look at Kakami.

The thought probably showed on Asuka's face. "You know," she replied, "before you worry about things you're not good at, you should find out what you actually have an affinity for. After all, affinity doesn't necessarily mean it's easier to learn. Wind isn't an easy element to master even for those talented in that element. It's my main affinity, but the third I mastered." Not the least because it was difficult to find people outside the Hyuuga clan with that mastery, but he didn't need to know the details. "Why don't I requisition some testing strips for you? Or Kureno could, if you prefer, since he's your sensei and all."
He nearly flinched at her words. Even if she didn't see through his (thin) lie, he'd be hard pressed to convince her to teach him the wind element. Although she did give him something to go on.

"W-well... I've never actually been tested." His voice sounded very soft to his ears. "So if you could do it that would be fine. I, um, don't want to bother sensei with this."

...That didn't sound suspicious at all.

"How long does it take to test, anyway?"
Wow, Kureno seriously hadn't tested them? That was just wow. Or maybe Hinaji had been home sick that day or something - yeah, that made more sense. She wasn't going to be the person to tell anyone how to teach their students (her own methods were hardly conventional), but knowing they were pushing their twenties and still hadn't been tested was just... wow.

Damn, that meant team ten was almost twenty now too. Jeez, now she was feeling old.

Asuka cleared her throat and focused on the subject. "I don't mind. It isn't long or terribly difficult. You just hold the testing strip - " and here she held up her cigarette between her first two fingers " - and channel chakra through it, like charging an explosive tag or a weapon. The strip will react, and how it reacts displays your affinity. We can try it between your dominant and less dominant hands to see if you have a secondary affinity as well, but since many ninja end up ambidextrous, that can be a little more difficult to determine."
He nodded along, his cheeks a little pink. "Alright. ...And if it comes up with an affinity you're not good with, what do I do then? Will I have to find a different teacher?" He really hoped not. Sachiko said Asuka was the person to talk to, after all.

And he was more than sure it wouldn't be with wind. How could he convince her to teach him without explaining why? Asuka wasn't thick; she'd know in a second if he gave a flimsy reason (she'd already proven that). His fingers started tapping against his knee as he sat there.
"Yeah. The best I can do with lightning jutsu is scuff my socks on the carpet and hope I can shock someone, you know?" Asuka gave him a little grin around her cigarette. "But if it's one of the other four, I can at least give you basics. My primary affinity is wind, with my secondary in fire, but I've also mastered earth if by chance you've got an affinity in that. Water's more iffy, but I can at least get you started."
Well, that was good news. He was confident he didn't have an affinity for lightning--or, well, not a main one, so she could at least teach him something. He gave a little grin and nodded.

"Alright. So then, if it's alright, could we meet up again for testing? I know you're a bit busy now..." Kureno could be returning at any time, and he didn't want to take up any of their alone time. He paused and then stood and scratched the back of his head. "I could stop by again some other day, maybe?"

They managed to decide on the next afternoon, and Hinaji bowed to her again as he thanked her. He left feeling a lot better than when he arrived.