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charming; suave

anbu_moon in narukorp

[log] His First Suit [Kotetsu, Yuugao]

With the card from Nejiko safely set on his desk, Yuugao had the itching urge to move. So, at first he cleaned up his apartment. But since it wasn't all that large and he was generally a clean person, that task was over sooner than his surge of energy. He sat down on his dilapidated couch and twiddled his thumbs for a few moments before his eyes settled on the bolt of cloth that was leaned against the far wall. The cloth that he had been intending on using on a project. ...one that might make him a little money. He had offered to make some things for the Paper Dolls to sell in their boutique after all...

And so it was, forty-eight hours later (the work being done in twelve hours stints over two days), that he finished the jacket and pant suit set. And still had the urge to be up, out, and about.

Stupid nervous energy.

He paced the apartment, taking slow breathes, and failing at keeping all of his mantras straight. So, he gave in and did what he should have done a while before. He went downtown.

"Izume-chan? Kotetsu-chan?" He asked after opening the Paper Dolls' shop door. Yuugao glanced around the room and stepped in, the suit carefully folded and settled in the paper bag at his side.

Izume had gone out on a date with Aki - Kotetsu had all but shoved her out the door, to be honest, because Izume'd been drooping about not leaving her Ko-chan alone in the shoppe. But Kotetsu could take care of the shop for a measly two hours! Three even! Four was going to start pushing it, and she'd pout at Izume a lot if Izume came in any time past that.

Anyway. It was a slow day - thank goodness for that - and Izume would be so happy to have been out with Aki, so Kotetsu could count up her good deeds for the day. Making two good friends happy in one fall sweep - wasn't she just fabulous?

It was kind of boring alone in the shoppe though.

But then her very own Yuu-chan walked into the door!

"Yuu-chan!" She bounced up, overjoyed to get company. "Are you here to buy something? Or just to chat?" She could totally chat. It was only another two hours to closing, after all!

"Kotetsu-chan," Yuugao smiled and headed towards her, holding up the bag for a moment. "I wanted to show you something, actually. Remember that deal we made earlier?" He sure hoped she remembered... because he really didn't want to remind her of the circumstances.

"Y'know? About me making things and you possibly selling them?"

"Making things?" Kotetsu was terribly tempted to pretend she didn't remember, and force Yuugao to go through it aaaall over again. And blush.

He was utterly adorable when he was blushing, because he was so fun to tease.

She decided not to. See? Another good deed for the day. "Yeah, so..." She leaned over to poke at the paperbag. "Open up and let's see it!"

"R-right!" He bounced up and down on the balls of his feet once and then held one of the bag's handles, pulling out the pants first. The would still need to be hemmed and the waist was a lot larger than he anticipated them needing to be -- but this way they could fit a larger audience of people. And besides, this was just his first example, right?

"I made pants and a jacket, but here are the pants..." With most of the dark blue pinstripe visible, he set down the bag and laid out the material across his arms, smiling nervously. There were a few darts int eh waist, just to show what it would look like when fully fitted and tailored. Perhaps that would make it more attractive to customers. "What do you think?"

Kotetsu ran her hand over the fabric, noting how it folded - even where it should be, a bit more material at the waist - and tugged at the waistband to examine the stitching. "Wow, this is good." She could barely keep it straight with a machine, and this stitching looked tinier than most machines did. "You did it with clones, didn't you?" she teased, stroking the fabric with her fingertips.

She eyed the jacket. "Did you line it?" For mens' suits, it wouldn't be so much on the extravagant design that'd sell, but the quality. Custom-tailored, one of a kind suits, for added snob appeal, and the subtle addition might go well with their wares. Hmm.

Yuugao nodded, pleased by her expression as she looked it over. "I haven't owned too many suits in my life, but I certainly wouldn't forget the lining. Though I...certainly ruined enough of it when I made this one. And..." he paused and glanced down at his feet.

"It was only one clone, when my dishwasher threatened to explode on me and I was halfway through the seam on the waistband..."

He glanced up and barely stopped himself from biting his lip, instead glancing at the suit and then holding it out to her. "Here, let me pull out the jacket so you can see it. I wasn't sure if it would be better with a single or double breast..." It was the work of a moment to pull out the jacket and Yuugao gave it a gentle shake to get the worst of the fold lines out.

The double breasted jacket was of the same material, with a silky black material lining it and a small white cartoon cat face embroidered at the collar where a designer's tag would have been. It had been more of a joke than anything, but if it worked as a code name... then hey, why not?

"Oooh." The line of the jacket looked like it might take good strong padding in the shoulders - shinobi had muscles, true, but not all of them were terribly broad shouldered, and a sharp dapper padding there would certainly add a cut of class.

"It looks so rich," she fingered the overlap, "Might as well go the whole hog - with it, right? I think for the first one a double-breasted would certainly add snob appeal." She grinned at her friend. "But the best part is the label~ It's so cute!"

"Really?" Yuugao knew the blush was there - when wasn't it around the Paper Dolls? - and ran a finger over the embrodiered cat. "Should I put it on a proper piece of fabric though? Or do you think it has a little something extra just going straight into the lining?"

"Black on black, it'd have this extra touch of class." She leaned her elbows on some spare counter, grinning up at him. "Awww, my Yuu-chan is all grown up and creating his own label~"

Yuugao smirked and shook his head. He was starting to lose that nervous edge already. Why hadn't he visited here earlier?

"I'll keep that in mind for the next one I try. So uh," he shook his head again. "You think it's worth displaying as something that can be made by order? I have half a bolt of the cloth left and and can pick up a lot more easily enough. I made sure this one was a bit bigger than expected, just so lots of different people could try it on, I guess... Or, hey, we can ask Izume-chan, right? Where's she at?"

"We'll definitely have to ask Izu-kun about it before I can give you a definite answer, but I'd think we can..." She pouted. "She and Aki are out on a date."

Just because it's been a year doesn't mean she didn't feel a slight pang at being alone sometimes. It's not that she wanted a boyfriend, she just liked having Izume all to herself.

But that was selfish! She was being good today! She perked a smile up at Yuugao. "Oooor, we can go out ourselves? I have a place I'm dying to try, and you can be my date for today! Though that'd have to wait till I can close the shop."

A date with Kotetsu? It...sounded fine. They were old friends, he'd crashed on her couch, she'd crashed at his place. Sure, she'd managed to see him naked once and he'd stripped once for the Paper Dolls to measure him for clothing, but...

"Sure," he let loose one of his perky and smug grins. "I've got money to burn, right? When does the shop close?" Or, would that not matter? As far as he knew it was just the two of them that ran the shop, so...he wouldn't want to make her leave early. Not that she wasn't suggesting the leavign early...

"I wouldn't want to get you in trouble or have you lose any business." He glanced at his watch. "The restaurant should be open for a few more hours, so we should be fine if the shop needs to stay open. I could...I could even do some sewing? It'd be good to keep me in practice, right?"

And it would keep his hands busy.

Kotetsu grinned warmly at him. "Yeah, we can sit and talk for a bit - the shop has to stay open two more hours - an hour if I reeeeally want to, but you never know who might come in and need a last minute function dress." Like a certain someone who came in with barely any time for Izume to custom sew them that dress. "Izu-kun would skin me if I did miss out on that." she curled her fingers under her chin, looking at Yuugao. "Aaaand with us all alone, this means I get to interrogate you~"

"That should be fine. I'll be good and hungry by the time we can go then." No, he could eat any time he really needed to. Ah, the joy of growing up in hard times and so many years in ANBU. It would be good to just sit and talk with Kotetsu - even with her trying to pry information out of him. At least he had given both girls a good reason to drop the topic of his secret crush. They weren't so heartless as to dig into a wound that was barely on the mend.

Though there was something in Kotetsu's tone that made him wonder if they'd had just that very instance come upon them. ...then again, the shop was really pretty classy and it could attract the kind of clientel that might not respect how long really nice clothing took to make. He could definitely see some daughter of a high lord or rich merchant coming in and demanding something in a big hurry.

"So," he leaned against the counter and grinned. "How's Hokage-sama doing? Still working you two down to the bone?"

Kotetsu held out her hands, showing him her fingers and pouted. "See? All worn down flat." She grinned and folded them back under her chin. "It's okay. Mountains of work, but we've got the shinobi whipped; they see us coming and suddenly the reports get a whole lot more detailed. Aaaaall the fields correctly filled in and all! It's a miracle!"

She leaned over, narrowly avoiding the needle yuugao had apparently pulled out from nowhere, and prodded him in the ribs. "You are eating, right? if you aren't, I'm going to go over to your place and forcefeed you spinach."

"It's good to know that you've-hey!" He leaned back to avoid another prod and laughed. "Of course I'm eating. I even cook and clean my own apartment, too." Yuugao raised an eyebrow.

Joking like this with her was...good. Refreshing, almost. He should definitely make it more of a habit to stop by and visit.

"Just like how you keep your dishwasher in good repair." She flashed him a dimpled smile, and all but sprawled across the counter to prod him in the hip. "I can feel your hipbones! Bony Yuu-chan, you need fattening up!"

He squirmed just out of reach and frowned. "They've always been that way. I'm just...fine boned?" Yuugao frowned and glance at the ceiling as if it had the answer. "Is that even the right term?"

"Besides, ANBU would definitely be mad at me if I started putting on too much weight. And they certainly keep me busy enough."

...especially since they were starting to get the data that would find them the rest of the Akatsuki. Who knew how ragged he would get run then?

"You need the fat reserves," Kotetsu sniffed - she'd had this argument with Izume often enough. "Besides, it's not like you're a ballet dancer. It's not like they'll have to take you off center stage if you can't fit the tutu."

But under the joking was just a hint of concern. The paperwork was coming in fast and furious, reports getting bloodier and vicious - one day Yuugao might be sent out and come back as a ragged hitai-ate.

It wouldn't do to get too deeply into this conversation. It just...wouldn't. He'd seen and heard more than he let on and while it was true that it wouldn't hurt him to have just a bit more meat on his bones, well...he couldn't think about it. He couldn't.

"I'll be sure to stock up on the ice cream, then." He nodded and flashed his teeth at her. "How's Neko-kun, doing? I hope he's full grown by now, otherwise he really was the runt of the litter. Which obviously isn't the case with that boy. I'm pretty sure I've got some scars from his nibbling..."

Yuugao pretended to examine his finger tips for the aforementioned scars.

"Good. Then Izu-kun and I will have something to eat when we go over." She scrunched her nose at him. "Neko-chan's grown into a lap-cushion, but he doesn't like staying in. Still shy of human strangers though, I was thinking of calling him Yuu-kun." She grinned at Yuugao.

She wanted to...Yuugao blinked. "Really? I mean...that's certainly not a bad name..." It shouldn't have meant so much, really. But it suddenly struck him. She wanted to name that adorable little feisty thing after him. Well, he certainly wouldn't try to stop them from doing that.

It was a good name, after all.

He laughed and ran his hand through his hair. "You do have good taste, Ko-chan. I can't help but admit that."

Sneaky ANBU called her bluff. Kotetsu snorted at him. "Of course I do. I always have good taste." But... yeah, she'll probably rename the cat that. Might as well, right? Neko was like naming a dog 'Inu'. Very uncreative.

The Paper Dolls were the very personification of creativity, after all! "I'm going out on a date with you, aren't I?" she batted her lashes at him, hoping that he'd blush.

A faint pink tinge, did, of course, come onto his cheeks. "Y-yes." It was odd, this wasn't even their first date and yet he...still blushed. Yes, Yuugao was doomed to always get twisted around their fingers. It was just how things worked with him and the Paper Dolls. Who would've thought? One little prank of theirs that he interfered with and hate turned to respect to friendship.

How else did he get friends? For a moment, he thought of Kakami and his teammates, past and present, in ANBU. Well, there was that method. Death, or a random prank stopped. Go figure.

"So, am I dressed appropriately for this snazzy place we're going to?" Yuugao quirked an eyebrow and managed to keep most of his composure.

"Oh, it's fine... or you could wear the suit you just made. A bit loose but we can always talk loudly about how your pet goldfish is sick and you're terribly worried about it and therefore lost weight." She ran a hand along the counter, smiling. So cute.

This conversation was just so...comfortable. And that was definitely good. Appreciated and happily continued.

"Nah," he shook his head. "It'd have to be my pet hampster. I just don't see people believing that I'm a goldfish guy. What do you think?" He cocked his head and propped his chin up on his chand. "Goldfish or hampster?"

"I could add potted plant," Kotetsu said brightly. "but that's going a bit too far. Hamster. Poor little thing is just wasting away, and you're following suit in a misguided attempt at emotional solidarity."

He nodded thoughtfully and then couldn't stop the snort from coming out, followed by soft laughter. "Though if I spoil the surprise and wear my suit in public? Everyone would know who the designer was. Can't be doing that, not when I'd need to tailor it a bit more."

Which was what he honestly thought, too. Being seen in a classy shop display - nicely tailored and posed well - would do it a lot more good than him going out to dinner with Kotetsu. Besides, it really would spoil the surprise. And besides, he hadn't agreed on a good cover story (and random facts about the mysterious designer) with the Paper Dolls yet. That would have to be the first order of business after they agreed on if they wanted his suit or not.

Kotetsu pouted. "Mou." But of course Yuugao was right - as much as she would love to see Yuugao in a suit it would completely ruin the effect if they tried to sell it later. "You're such a spoilsport, Yuu-chan."

But she lapsed into soft silence, just watching Yuugao's deft hands, and thought about ninja, about missions, and about blood.

Sometimes, she wished they'd never been brought back into the fold.

It was a testament of how much control he could have over his emotions and state of mind that Yuugao managed to continue fixing little things here and there with the sewing. The souring mood around Kotetsu was strong, enough so that it was still a challenge to keep himself softly smiling.

"Well, spoilsport or not, I can still make another one of these later. Or model it for you two once Izume-chan gets back, ne?"

Playing dress up and nearly getting naked around the Paper Dolls seemed like an odd way to be a friend (at least to his sensibilities) but if it cheered her up then it would be completely worthwhile. Sure, he had a sense of modesty to him that still surprised some of the other ANBU, but when the situation called for it...he had learned to set certain things aside. If he needed to strip down to his boxers to cheer up a friend? Well, he'd do it. Just like if a mission required that he be ruthless and slaughter a family in the middle of the night...

He had done it before.

He quickly pushed aside the thought and paused in his work, reaching out and setting a hand on Kotetsu's shoulder. "Hey, I'm not buying any dessert if you keep making sour expressions like that. Besides, doesn't frowning too much give you wrinkles?"

Kotetsu scrunched her face at him, pensive thoughts forgotten. "You're saying that like I care." But she wanted dessert, which clever, tricky Yuugao knew, so she smiled at him. "So if I don't frown, you'll get me dessert? You know you'll have to match me one-for-one?"

Ah, there were the food bets again... first Nejiko, now Kotetsu. Yuugao let his smile turn savage and raised an eyebrow. "I do believe I can accept that bet. Are you up for it?"

It was good to have her mind back where it belonged -- joking and fun. Morbid thoughts had another time and place. And it wasn't now.

"You scaaare me when you smile like that." She poked his cheek. "You know you can't outeat me!" Her grin was equally toothy.

Yuugao stretched his grin until it was just silly. "Well then, we'll just have to see who can eat more tonight."

He might let her win in the end...but only after he was sure he'd be sick eating anything more. ...maybe.