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 Space to Breathe (OPEN)

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Fulei Xingshi
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Join date : 2012-06-02

PostSubject: Space to Breathe (OPEN)   Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:08 pm


Fu



Today, Fu was able to finish work surprisingly early. Well, I say finish, it was more a case of today he was meant to assist the cook with various duties. Scrubbing pots and pans, checking the supplies were at a reasonable level, etc.etc. Of course, he and the army cook had a tenuous relationship. Mostly because the cook rarely wanted any of Fu’s help, as, Fu would admit himself, he usually ended up being a hindrance rather than a help. The last time, he had burnt his hand, broke several earthenware pots and had accidently split a bag of rice all over the floor. They were still finding bits of rice even to this day. Of course, each incident Fu would apologise profusely for and would set about cleaning and tidying what mess he caused, but it soon became clear, that perhaps he should start trying to avoid the cook whenever possible, for both their safety.

It had started out like any other day where he would be carrying supplies into the kitchens. Boxes of cabbages, various meats, bags upon bags of heavy rice. It has to be said that Fu is by no means the strongest boy of nineteen, more the most athletic, and when it came to lugging such large quantities of food stuffs about, he did tend to find himself struggling, especially with the more misshapen things such as sacks of rice and bags of potatoes. Still, he lugged each thing in, one by one and piled them up where the cook had requested. But, luck not being one of Fu’s companions, he ended up slipping on some oil left on the floor, which sent him flying into a large bag of flour, which exploded over the entire kitchen.

Fu had expressed his deepest apologies and had set about cleaning the mess up, but the cook insisted he leave or else. Deciding this perhaps was not an empty threat (the cook was not that sort of person), Fu nodded his head briskly, apologised once again and fled the scene entirely. He had hoped he chose wisely, and would not be scolded or have his pay cut for shirking duties. It was not a customary thing for him to do, as he would always try and stay and assist wherever possible. He hoped perhaps it being the cook’s suggestion that he take an early day off, would be as good enough a reason as any.

So, that was why he was sat upon the ground, with his back against a wall, amid one of the many large squares within Ba Sing Se. The weather had been hot as late, and as such, fishing did not seem like the best idea, as he suspected the water to be low, and the fish to be less-than-happy with being caught today. Instead, he sought shelter in the shade of a waist-high wall, where he sat patiently and aimlessly watching the world go by. He was, at this time, idly carving a small block of wood, as was customary on his days off or spare time when fishing wasn’t involved. He had become so accustomed to the task, that he barely had to watch his handiwork as he chipped away piece by piece at the little block of wood while it steadily took on a shape of its own.

It was a calming, idle task, something which he quietly enjoyed, as it gave him something to do, while he sat and did otherwise nothing. When you felt your life was going nowhere, doing nothing tended to make you all the more miserable – there was, after all, a definite reason for wanting to keep busy at work, and the same reason was with keeping busy while out of work as well. Wanting to go somewhere with nothing, never seemed like a possibility at all.

Fu sighed, his blank gaze over the square faltering for a moment as he turned his glance down to his hand. The block resembled a Puppten and he turned it over in his palm, only to blink to see a small patch of blood appearing on his hand. Had he cut himself without realising? Quickly he wiped it away on his clothes, spying the nick on the edge of his middle finger. Only now was it beginning to sting, and he raised his hand before his face, scowling at the wound he had accidently inflicted upon himself. It was not going to heal before cleaning day, which meant it was going to sting like a terrible thing with all that soapy water.

Placing the wounded finger to his mouth, he sucked on it a bit, hoping that it might make the stinging pain calm down slightly, or at least perhaps heal quicker – either one of those would have been wonderful, though he highly doubted either would actually happen. He set the little carved figure to his side and pulled his knees up, close to his chest, pulling out another small block of wood out from his satchel. Here, he sat the block in his hand, resting it upon his knees – this time, he was not going to cause injury to himself. Or at least that was the plan.

His expression was vague and absent, though there was the faintest hint of minor determination on his face. Fu may have failed at being successful like his brothers, but at the least he would be damned if he were to cut himself again! Of course, being determined over such a thing, while knowing how well his brothers were doing, lead his determination to sag, and his expression to fall faintly. His carving slowed and he sighed, leaning back against the wall with a melancholic gaze. How depressing, he thought to himself. For the most determination he could muster being for nothing more than making sure he didn’t cut his fingers on his wood carving. For shame.

Fu’s eyes slid along to the already carved figure sitting beside him, “I’ll need to make space on the windowsill for you.”

Mood: Melancholic
Condition: Absently frustrated
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Jianjun
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Character Description
Age: 18
Position: Sell-Sword/Bounty Hunter
Nation: Fire Nation

PostSubject: Re: Space to Breathe (OPEN)   Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:34 pm



"Two hunnerd and thirty nine.....Two hunnerd and forty, Two-Forty with an even sixty makes....three hunnered yuan. Jian, it's three hunnerd yuaaaaaaaaaaaaan!" Ahn-Mei chirped, her tiny arms waving the colorfuls bills to and fro. She was sprawled on the floor of their apartment complex in nothing but shorts and a loose tunic, looming over her "father's" earnings and counting them with unbreakable focus.

"Ji-Ji!" She piped and whipped her head up in excitement,"Come see come see!"

Jianjun puffed a breath of air into the crisp morning, briefly wishing for an inner fire to keep himself warm. He stood on the tiny poor-excuse-for-a-patio in his usual sleep attire, complete with untied hair whipping in the breeze. Had he been on duty he would've donned clothing more appropriate for the occasion. But this was his off day, and he wasn't going to do a darn thing but enjoy it.

"Jian, it's three hunnerd yuaaaaaaaaaaaaan! Come see! Come see!"

He groaned and kicked himself mentally. He'd forgotten about THAT.

"Ahn-Mei,"Jianjun replied when he sauntered off of the balcony,"What did I tell you about counting our funds?"

The 6 year old's feet stopped twiddling and she blinked at him,"You said not to count it?"

"That's right. And you remembered what happened the last time you disobeyed me right?" He quirked a brow at her and waited for her response. Ahn-Mei swallowed nervously, as she shrunk under Jianjun's gaze her cheeks slowly turned from olive to cherry red. She absently rubbed a random spot on her backside and Jianjun had the nerve to turn away. Though he didn't enjoy using that method to discipline her, she had to learn her lesson. If she didn't they'd have all of the Lower Ring kicking down his door trying to steal his money.

And Jianjun wasn't having that.

Again.

"But I'm proud of you for being able to count all the way up to 300. Smart girl." He said softly. He collected the bills and coins together and tucked them away in the secret compartment he kept hidden in the floor. When he was finished he turned to Ahn-Mei and gave her the slightest upward twitch of his lips,"Hungry? I was thinking we could go out into the city for breakfast today. What do you think Mei? Let's get cleaned up firs-OOF!" Ahn-Mei leaped from her spot on the floor and launched herself onto Jianjun's legs in a fit of giggles. The bounty hunter toppled onto the floor and hit his head against the wall.

"AHN-MEI!"
"Oopsie!"

----

Jianjun didn't care that much for Ba Sing Se. The city was too crowded for his taste and the people were either really weird, really shady or extremely snobby...depending on which ring he was in. 'Really, this whole city is screwed beyond repair.'The walls were tremendously thick and he couldn't help but feel eyes on him when he worked at night. Call it his itchy-shoulder intuition, but something was really funky about this "Impenetrable Fortress". Aside from the tight proximity, there were plenty of pluses: Endless supplies of tea-shops, nightclub districts, a melting pot populace and plenty of clients to keep his skills sharp and his business going. All he had to do was keep his reputation going and move this little girl out of harm's way. And that probably wouldn't be hard to figure out if she wasn't yapping in his ear all the time.

"Ooh Ki, let's play hide and seek!"

Like now.

Jianjun grumbled inwardly and purposefully ignored the little demon. He did not have time for this. They were currently in the midst of the bazaar after leaving the restaurant district earlier, with complimentary dangos included. He'd hoped that feeding the little pipsqueak and buying her a dango would shut her up long enough until they reached his destination, NOPE! Said demon kept stopping at every attraction that caught her eye and tried to drag Jianjun into every store she saw. When Jianjun flatly refused, she had the nerve to throw a fit! Onlookers would either shake their heads in pity or give him the death glare of doom.

Well either that or that funny thing those city girls did with their eye lashes....followed by weird girly giggles.

Jianjun frowned, "What's up with that?"

At this point, the hopeless sell-sword failed to notice Ahn-Mei slip from his grasp and disappear into the crowd. She slithered between the throngs of shoppers and continued her little escaped until she found herself near one of the walls. Ahn-Mei puffed her cheeks out and scanned the area with a twinge of excitement. [color=green]'Bet Jianjun won't find me here!'/color] She clambered down the little mound and skipped over by the wall. She was about to head for a random tree when she spotted a boy seated a few paces away from it.

'Now what was that Ji-Ji said about talking to strangers?'

USELESS FLASH BACK!
"Ahn-Mei,"Jianjun boomed, 'Never talk to strangers!"


Ahn-Mei shrugged, "Eh....I forget." She trudged on over to the random kid and plopped down next to him. Gathering herself into a lotus position, she peered over his shoulder as best as she could and gazed at the block of wood with wide eyes.

"COOL!"

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Fulei Xingshi
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PostSubject: Re: Space to Breathe (OPEN)   Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:06 pm


Fu



He had just spoken to his little figurine, when, it appeared out of nowhere, a young girl decided to sit herself beside him. She was staring at the new block in his hand, which he had begun to carve, though, upon finding himself suddenly under the wide, watchful gaze of a young girl, he suddenly felt awfully awkward over the fact, and blinked at her a few times, as if checking whether or not she was merely an apparition or a hallucination. She didn’t vanish, and apparently was able to speak as well. He blinked at her again, then Fu turned his attention quizzically about the square, quickly looking to see if a woman was desperately searching for her lost child – that tended to happen in busy squares like this so it was no surprise.

Still, children tended to run off and play with other children, and Fu was not the sort of person to seem interesting enough by a child’s standards to pay attention to, so to suddenly have such a young girl not only sit next to him, but observe his work and comment on it seemed all the more strange. There didn’t appear to be any mother’s looking for their children and he furrowed his brows briefly in thought. Was this a game? Something those kids would do to play pranks? Would she in a moment get up and kick him, then run off to a gaggle of like-minded small friends of hers before disappearing in the crowd? That seemed surprisingly likely due to his luck.

Fu turned his attention back to the girl, who was still looking at the carving in his hand. For someone who was about to kick him and run off, she was playing the part of ‘curious child’ very well. In fact, so much so that Fu’s natural nature took over, and instead of telling the girl to ‘go away’ he found himself giving her a tentative little smile, and a shaky laugh. “Ah, its not really that cool” he said gently, turning the newly chipped block over in his hand, deciding to ignore the cut on his middle finger. Quite why he was discussing things with the potentially kick-worthy girl was a little bit beyond him. However, he had to admit, there was a small part of him that was a little happy someone was taking an interest in his hobby. Even if she was only nine years old. Was that a little creepy, he suddenly wondered worriedly, his gaze flitting about quickly, no one was going to come and arrest him or tell him he was accused of kidnapping or something, were they?

Again, his natural countenance took over and he reached for the finished Puppten figure beside him and held it in his hand along with the knife, holding it up against the other block. “They come out looking a bit messy” he said pleasantly to the girl, before setting the figure back beside him. He began to start carving the little block again, turning it over in his hands and calmly and quietly chipping away. It was strange, the small conversation made him feel a little bit lighter, his mind had been distracted from thoughts of misery and failure for the briefest of moments, and even that was enough to lift his spirits, even the slightest bit.

Fu continued calmly chipping away at the block, deciding he was going to turn this figure into a Rainbow Koi, the faintest hint of a smile playing at his features as he chipped at it. Carving little figures like this always calmed his mind and faintly lifted his spirits. It was only after several long, extended moments that his eyes drifted to his side, and he blinked, realising the girl was still there, still had not kicked him, and was apparently still vaguely interested in what he was doing. Quite why he did not know, and he knew even less of the reason for her to want to stay sitting next to him. Slowly, he lowered his hand with the block and the knife, blinking at her a couple of times.

“Are you lost?” he asked eventually, not sure quite why he asked that of all things. The girl certainly didn’t seem lost. She was not crying, or confused, or wandering vaguely about wondering where she was. He thought it best to retract that statement, but that was pointless now since he had just said it. Stupid! Stupid! He gave a slightly awkward laugh and looked back to the girl, “That is-… to say, uh-… are you looking for something in particular?”

Mood: Melancholic
Condition: Hard at work
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