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captainkonohako in narukorp

[Thread] Operation: Team Bonding? [Konohako, Moegi, Sachiko]

It was a reasonably cool day, leaning more towards the slightly harsher chill of winter, but still warm enough to do without being bundled up. Konohako toed a loose pebble in the street as she stood, hands in pockets. Reluctant would perhaps be an over statement for her demeanor but she was not as enthusiastic as she normally was.

Sachiko had requested her and Moegi's help with cleaning her family's compound kitchen.

Not exactly the exciting, oh-so-cool ninja stuff Konohako really would rather be doing, to say the least. But Sachiko had asked and she had offered to pay them so it'd basically be a regular genin mission although sometimes Konohako was convinced those were only called 'missions' to fool the naive and unsuspecting green cadets into doing whatever clean up was wanted around the village and after a year or so with this kind of thing made her a little restless to do something kinda important. After all, she was almost older than when Naruko had gone and faced that Mist ninja; Konohako had to keep up!

Sachiko had also mentioned something about a graveyard and while Konohako was not looking forward to this cleaning up business, an old graveyard seemed kinda cool. Plus the being paid thing; winter holidays were coming up and that meant she needed money for gifts and stuff anyway. Konohako sighed to herself, straightened, pushed her cap back a tad and then tugged on her scarf. Any minute Moegi would be along and they'd go in together.

...Okay, so another advantage to the day. She'd be with Moegi almost the whole time! Yay!


Despite the fact she'd been working with Konohako and Moegi for a little over a year now, in some respects the former had not changed much at all. Sachiko hadn't honestly expected needing to argue with the younger Sarutobi about getting a little help for cleaning out the clan kitchens. She was going to pay them, regardless, because she knew what they would be walking into would be one hell of a mess. Probably she could've made this an actual sanctioned mission, but considering it was a D-rank plus a specifically requested team instead of whichever was available PLUS she wanted to ensure it was done with as soon as possible, what with it being December already and who knew how long it would take for it to be not only cleaned but sterilized enough for food preparation.

Ten years is a long time for a kitchen to stand closed, after all. She expected the place to be...bad.

Finally, after her frustration was threatening to show openly as being significantly more than 'mild irritation' (is it too much to ask for paid help?), she casted out the lure of the fact that they'd get a chance to see an old graveyard. And depending on how long the cleaning took for the day, they could be here well after nightfall. (Not hard, considering how short the days were getting.)

Happily, Moegi showed more maturity. He, she hoped at least, understood this was as much about team bonding as it was about cleaning. Unlike with her last team, Sachiko was giving her teammates a real, honest look into the background she came from, and what she had lived with day after day for so long. Though unlike Naruko and Sakurai, Konohako and Moegi didn't know about the curse seal. Sachiko took pains to keep covered at all times. As far as she was concerned, the kids didn't need to know about it, period.

Point was, the two agreed. Sachiko had already cleared it with Asuka, who was fine with it and only recommended she make them treat it like a mission. Considering Sachiko was paying them, it was technically a mission. Also this way, Asuka got some free time (probably to spend with Kureno) while her team did something constructive.

She'd told them to meet up a block outside the Uchiha compound entrance. Like hell she was going to give them free reign on coming in. Nevermind the fact it was her compound, she had genjutsu traps all along the walls and at certain places inside that only specific people could break. Those people being the likes of Sakurai and Kakami and Kureno, as well as other of jounin or ANBU level. Naruko was safe simply because since the mindwalking, Sachiko could mostly configure the genjutsu to recognize Naruko and thus release her with little harm done. Konohako and Moegi had no such protections, and Sachiko really didn't want to end up in front of the Hokage in case of a genjutsu gone bad.

The cold wasn't too bad, and in any event Sachiko expected the labor to keep her warm. Her only realy concessions to the cold were a heavier jacket over her long-sleeved hoodie, a pair of sweatpants over her long pants, and a knitted hat (gift of Tentsuke in lieu of the green things).

"Heya," she said to Konohako as she approached. "Moegi coming along soon?"
Moegi took a while to gather various cleaning materials. From what Sachiko told him, it would be a huge task. It was technically a mission and he needed to be prepared. He couldn’t guarantee that Sachiko would have adequate supplies. He wasn’t even sure if what he had would suffice. At least he would most likely find something interesting in the large, neglected kitchen. Konohako might even find a cool pet (wildlife certainly could have inhabited the place).

This was an opportunity to get to know Sachiko. It showed that she was making the effort to get along with them. She was even paying them (well, it was going to be a huge job). It was slightly less life-threatening and definitely more legal than going through the Forest of Death.

“Hiya,” Moegi called out as he saw Konohako and Sachiko. He moved closer to them. He would have hugged Konohako if his hands weren’t so full.

Sachiko turned at the salutation and was amused at the cleaning supplies their third teammate carried. Not because he was wrong to bring them but because the kid was intelligent enough to bring something. She had already put supplies inside the kitchens as the mission tools, but she made a note to let Asuka-taichou know Moegi came prepared. Good.

"Let me get some of that," she said, grabbing a broom and a mop from what leaned against his shoulder.

[ooc: Jaid, I'm going to wait for a reply from Konohako before I have Sachiko explain things. Eli, feel free to have Moegi reply to Sachiko if you'd like.]
"Thank you," Moegi said, as Sachiko relieved him of some of his burden. He wasn't going to refuse the help of someone much stronger than him. He had learned early on that macho pride had no place in a functioning ninja cell.
When Sachiko asked Konohako where Moegi was, the girl opened her mouth to answer but was interrupted by the boy actually arriving. Konohako's face visibly brightened as her friend appeared and she stepped forward to grab a bucket that had some bottles of cleaning solutions from one of Moegi's hands, taking time to happily get out a "Hi, Moe-kun!"

Of course he would be prepared - Moegi was almost always prepared, especially for things that Konohako hadn't stopped her mad plans to even consider. Belatedly, Konohako supposed she could have brought something...although in all honesty, the apartment had what was needed to be clean and that wasn't really much in retrospect. Ah well. Konohako shrugged it off easily and turned to Sachiko.

She kept smiling but it was a slightly cooler smile - not that Konohako really, truly disliked Sachiko persay (after all, the older girl had proved game for adventures now and again) but there was just something that Konohako couldn't quite get over when it came to the Uchiha.

"So, we gonna get to it now?" Despite some reluctance to spend most of the day cleaning a kitchen, the whole graveyard thing had Konohako majorly intrigued and she wanted to get to that bit as soon as possible.
Sachiko matched Konohako's cool smile with a momentary smirk and unreadable eyes.. "It's good you have lots of energy, kid. I'll think you'll need it. Follow me," she said to both of them.

They reached the closed gates and Sachiko didn't let herself look like she was ignoring the faded painted fans on the walls flanking the gates. She pushed the right-side gate open, leaving the left closed. Ahead lay the flat expanse of the main thorougfare flanked by obviously long-abandoned buildings. "This is the Uchiha compound." Or what's left of it. "I will impress upon you the importance of not going anywhere without me. This place is booby-trapped with genjutsu that's way above your level to detect, combat, or break, and the last thing I need is for one of you to end up with a fried brain because you wanted to go 'exploring'. Am I clear?"

Once she had their confirmations, she ushered them inside and closed the gate behind them.

The compound wasn't too changed from when Hinaji came by back in September. The oppressive emptiness was perhaps a bit sharper in feel, as the buildings made small canyons for wind to funnel down and the gray, overcast sky didn't inspire cheerful feelings. The scraggly weeds had dried to plant skeletons that rattled softly, and some of the rust stains she thought had grown. She saw no cats lounging around, but they were probably smart and finding the warmest places to curl up in.

She made a note to have the kitchens inspected for openings that felines could slip into. The last thing she needed was for when she finally got around to her cooking project was for who knows how many cats to show up, drawn by the warmth and smells of food. That could be something Hinaji could help with, if he wanted. It wasn't the archives, but she'd be no worse off if he refused.

While it hadn't snowed yet, the cold had successfully killed off all but the hardiest of insects so the compound was silent except for the quiet crunch of their shoes on the semi-gravel road. They probably had questions, her teammates, so she kept the pace slow so they could get a good look and have time to formulate anything they might want to ask.

And hey, if the didn't ask anything, well, that wasn't her problem.
...Forget the graveyard; the whole place seemed like it had the potential to be haunted. Just the slightest bit of chill made the hair on the back of her neck stand on end a little as she reflected that it was a shame it was daylight. The whole place would defiantly be cooler at night. Maybe.

Never one to suffer in silence long (she really hated it when it was this quiet unless she was following someone or hiding - then you just had to deal with it), Konohako fixed her dark eyes on Sachiko and blurted out, "How did you live here?"

It probably wasn't the most diplomatic statement, but seriously...it seemed so empty. Cool for exploring and searching for ghosts maybe but living here? If she'd been standing still, Konohako might have squirmed uncomfortably at the thought of existing in a place so dreary and silent.
"I didn't have anywhere else to go," Sachiko replied, working to keep the sardonic smirk at bay. "So I stayed here."
Moegi looked around, noting how dead the place looked. Dead was the only way to describe it. He couldn’t conceive of how Sachiko managed to live in the compound for so long. No wonder she moved out.

Konohako had asked the exact question Moegi was thinking of, though he didn't plan on asking right away. Sachiko answered bluntly, but she did give an answer. Moegi decided to ask something unrelated.

"So, what do you plan on cooking?", he asked. Well, they were about to clean a kitchen.
Konohako wrinkled her nose at Sachiko's reply, as if it was unsatisfactory. But the thing was, Konohako couldn't really argue with the older girl - if you didn't have anywhere else to go, you stayed put no matter how much you might dislike it. Konohako had a bit of experience in that area.

So she kept quiet for a bit and let Moegi talk to Sachiko for a moment as they walked. Surely they would come upon the kitchens soon...although looking at the place, Konohako was actually starting to worry just a bit about what kind of job this was going to turn out to be.
"My plan is to cook enough food to feed the Inuzuka clan, both the human and the canine members, one meal. I've been told to expect approximately ninety individuals with hearty appetites." Sachiko smirked. Not at her teammates, but at the prospect of cooking so much food. The challenge to come up with enough tasty dishes for a kind of buffet-style meal was kinda fun. "That's why I need help in cleaning the clan kitchen, here. It was built for the preparation of enough food for massive gatherings of people. Necessary for when we had a full gathering, as there were about three hundred of us."

For once (actually, perhaps for the first time, not that she realized it), there wasn't the painful bitterness in her voice when she talked about her clan, just a kind of wistful longing. She hadn't honestly, truly expected that telling Kiba and then Kakami-sensei about what had happened to help. Now that some time had passed she could see that telling them had in fact released some of the pressure. Kind of like lancing a blister. The feeling of loss would never leave, but the pain wasn't so crushing. She continued talking: "Problem with the clan kitchen is that it's huge. It also has not been used for the past ten years. I've actually never been inside it in a useful capacity as my parents didn't allow me in -- I was too young -- and after, there was no point. Thusly the reason I'm asking for help in cleaning it out."
Moegi figured it would be something huge, and he was wondering who the kitchen was going to be used for. He wasn't well acquainted with the Inuzuka clan, beyond knowing that Kiba and Akako were friends with Naruko and Sachiko.

"So, plenty of meat dishes?" he asked. "Planning any specialties? Is anyone going to help with the cooking?"

He didn't take into account the possibility of failing this 'mission'.
He tended to be optimistic, especially when Konohako was with him.

Sachiko shook her head. "No, this is solely my own endeavour. As for dishes, there'll be plenty of everything, not just meat. Inuzuka eat a well-rounded diet.

"And I don't really have any specialties. It's more of me flipping through cookbooks and seeing what looks good. I've got recipes earmarked and I've been trying them on a normal-sized scale. So far, they've come out okay."
"Moekun is a really good cook." Konohako chimed in. Not for any specific reason - mainly she just wanted to say something. Be part of the conversation, after a fashion. Konohako hated feeling left out.

Still...she wasn't really one for the whole 'cooking' thing. She could make herself food if she wished but it was mostly some kind of chore, not a hobby or interest. In all honesty, she was hoping they'd get to the kitchens soon so they could start. The look of the place was not encouraging and Konohako was sort of expecting the worst of the worst.

"He makes stuff all the time." she tacked on, a bit idly.
"Oh? That's good," Sachiko replied. "And here we are."

The clan kitchen was housed in its own separate building set at a deliberate distance from other buildings, in case of fire. The outside walls were thick to keep as much heat in the building as possible so that less fuel would be needed. Three large rectangular brick chimneys lined the south-side wall. Sachiko led them to entrance on the west side, pulling out her master key to unlock the door. It took her a bit of effort to pull the heavy door open because of rusty hinges (despite oiling them the other day), but it wasn't terribly difficult for her. Konohako or Moegi, lacking her strength, would probably have to work together to get it to budge.

Hence the reason she left it open.

The cleaning supplies she had brought over sat now in the light of the open door. Buckets, brooms of various sizes, dust pans, garbage bags, scrubbing brushes, cleaners and cleansers, heavy-duty gloves, and face masks, all stacked neatly and ready to be used. The air itself smelled stale, dusty, old, and a bit like animal feces and/or decay. Something either lived there, or had lived there. Hopefully whatever it was had vacated; she hadn't really checked last time she'd been there.

"I haven't had the power turned on yet - this place needs cleaning before I can get an electrician in here to start playing with any wiring. What I do have in abundance, however, are oil lamps. Mind you don't knock any over after I've lit them.

"The first thing we'll start on is cleaning the stoves and the ovens. Once those are done, we'll check the chimney flues and see if they need clearing, which they probably do. After that's done, it'll probably be after dark and thus getting colder, so I can fire up some of the ovens to give us heat while we tackle the cabinets and pantries."
Moegi expected the kitchen to be huge, and it was. He also imagined that it would be more of a biohazard. Unsurprisingly, Sachiko's assessment of the job was realistic.

He placed his cleaning supplies with the others, maintaining the order. He gathered what would be most useful for cleaning ovens. It isn't as if he was clueless about housework. This was just taking it to a new level.

"Sure, we'll be careful. No blowing up the kitchen, unless it's being used," he said with a grin and a thumbs-up sign, before putting on the gloves.Sachiko probably wouldn't kill him over the joke, he hoped. At least he resisted the temptation to playfully squirt Konohako with some water.

"We can handle this," he said almost casually, "right, Konohako-chan?". His usual attempts at being suave never worked with Konohako or Sachiko. Konohako knew him too well(and had too many embarassing pictures of him), and Sachiko intimidated him a bit.

Once the lamps were lit, he started to work on an oven.

"Uh....yeah." Konohako stated, rather un-enthusiastically. Wow. This was...just kinda scary. Not in the fun, 'maybe-there's-a-ghost' kinda way, but just in the 'oh-dear-god' sort of way.

...Although a bright point could be that there were some sort of new molds or other weird stuff to be found! Okay, so that's what she'd focus on. Not the smell which thankfully wasn't as choking as it could have been. With a somewhat stifled sigh, Konohako grabbed some gloves and pulled them on, before cleaner, a bucket and something that looked like it would make a sturdy scrubber, before heading towards an oven that was near Moegi's.

"If you see anything cool, tell me before you destroy it." she mock-ordered the boy and then sent him a sightly weak grin.
"Sure thing," Moegi replied enthusiastically before replacing the face mask. He knew exactly what Konohako considered to be cool. It wasn't going to be something a simple scrub could destroy.