The fascinated buzz within his chest flickered and slowly suffocated in the vacuum of Hana's mood, her shift out of the fight telling of her insistence on perpetually being a stick in the mud. "Boooo," Tsuuki jeered with a smirk, face lowering to his working hands though his ears politely remained on yet another individual infuriated by his and Supaiku's unorthodox camaraderie. He rolled his hidden eyes as the lecture began, but as she went on he actually began to feel shame. Not for upsetting Hana nor for the portrait she painted of his honor, but for the reality that made her assumptions ironic. He of course knew Supaiku's story, and that his proud friend would not hesitate to fill her in on it, but Tsuuki had not as firm of a grasp on the complications of his own emotions, or the courage to openly share them.
For a subtle moment his right hand stopped sewing, reaching around his neck and over his shoulder as if to scratch an itch. His fingers softly stroke the face of the young blood-haired woman on his back, smoothing away tears that were not there. What had the village given to him? Nothing as precious as what it had taken away. The villagers feared the monsters outside their walls, never realizing that the largest and most ravenous beast of all of these ancient mountains was inside with them all along.
And he did want to help them, but just how to do it was a question tricky enough to send him pondering for years, each day less certain there was an answer and each night more convinced that it's easier to watch than resist. How do you make the change without becoming an instrument? As his fingers returned to working with the needle, he contemplated its situation and how it reflected this dilemma. Some meager amount of metal which had once been shapeless and indistinguishable within a larger mass, now given form, individuality, purpose, but what for? The needle was not shiny, sleek, or sharp for its own benefit, it was designed to serve a purpose given to it. And what is the matter with that? It's only metal, it does not have sentience to realize its own restricted existence--and even if it did, would the seamstress listen? As Hana made clear, people needed clothes, and it is the needle's purpose to clothe them. And if this special needle did somehow see its predicament and could rebel against the intentions of its user, it would then learn of the illusion of its individuality, for from the mass it had been born could come thousands of more needles, willing and untroubled to serve. Meanwhile the aware needle would continue to exist, losing its shimmer and sharpness over time, its purpose already long gone.
Tsuuki had stopped sewing, studying the needle closely as the world continued without him. Slowly he pressed the pad of one finger onto its point until it drew a drop of blood, and wondered if this made the needle feel any better.
Supaiku made a move that snapped the pensive Koumori's attention back to his own affairs, the needle's plight forgotten almost instantly. The Hantaa was not making an aggressive lunge as Tsuuki had briefly believed, instead closing the distance with Hana to offer his hand. Tsuuki's smirk returned, and he rose to his feet to clad himself in his own shoddy craftsmanship before taking the steps out of the shade and into the small shining circle.
"I admit I was hasty to underestimate you, Hana-kun, before I could even see what you were capable of. Perhaps that made me hasty to underestimate the potential of this team too, before any of us have even witnessed what we're capable of together," he said with reserved cheerfulness. He extended his hand to Hana as well.
"I didn't even properly introduce myself. I'm Tsuuki of the Koumori People. Let's see what this team can do."
Needles sew clothes, but they also stitch wounds.
Tsuuki cocked his head and pointed his nose at Hana's scroll. "What's with the scroll?"
"What's the point in joining if...
...we have Mr. Half-Baked & Mr. Happy-Hour teaming up too?"