The competitive tension arose swiftly amidst the cool night air, slinging off into the darkness a wisp of warm air upon which rode down a solitary bat, until it fluttered like a stubborn fallen leaf not far from Supaiku's glowing hand. This obscure gesture was telling enough for the Hantaa teen about whom else was drifting along up to no-good in the shadows, higher than any Koumori at any time, even when he's on the ground.
In many ways, which the pair never bothered to count, Tsuuki posed an intriguing polarity to Supaiku. The black-eyed Koumori was born into a massive family--literally; his aunts and uncles, cousins and distant grandparents all gathered around to witness the birth, just as had been done for each of them, and they celebrated as intoxicatedly as they always did. Fact was the Koumori people had reasons to celebrate just about anything, a simple-pleasure, low-stress, substance-influenced clan with an astounding closeness to nature and bewildering guerrilla tactics.
Tsuuki's journey as a warrior seems almost as easy-going as his personality. An insatiable fascination with his clan's wind-based ninjutsu made studying it richly rewarding; bats from every roost of Koumori recognized his effortless precision with sound and seemed fonder of him for it; and to the chagrin of his own father's more conservative sensibilities, his heroic intake of mind-altering substances inexplicably improved his skills with the Koumori's trademark airborne-based taijutsu. He was not a stranger to tragedy or a hard day's work, yet remarkably it never seemed to weigh him down.
If anything, these differences strengthened their bond: Supaiku taught Tsuuki to give a shit, Tsuuki taught Supaiku how not to. There is as much comfort to be had in finding a purpose as there is in accepting that purpose might not even exist at all. While the township of Kumogakure pushed away their fellow-citizen Supaiku from his back, the same populace tried to deflect at head-on the well-meaning visits from the forest-raised Tsuuki, and there in the middle the two easy-going youths met--considered a small-scale natural disaster by most locals, for it was the similarities between these two reckless prodigies that made their friendship infamous.
"Yo-yo-yo-yo," ground the smoke-seared vocal chords of the little bat's companion, Tsuuki in view now at the edge of the park light's reach and briefly alarming the uppity genin trio. His baggy, raven feather-lined coat draped as a loose frame of his naked torso, though the sprawling tattoos might mislead otherwise; faithfully clinging to his lean frame below was the kilt-like traditional lower garb of the Koumori, and past that, the unsettlingly clawed feet, also of the Koumori. Despite this, the only thing unusual to Supaiku's observations would be the X-shaped bandaging over Tsuuki's eyes, allowing his trademark bat ears freedom of movement, and casting his overgrown, unwashed hair into disarray.
With his head cocked to one side and light glancing off the pointed teeth of his grin he sauntered closer to the standoff, stepping to unheard music that must've been jazz. "Here I'm chilling, out on an old bat's tip to sharpen the fuzz-dishes with blindfolds," he changed the direction of his face and pointed to his concealed eyes with both hands, "when I catch whiff of that shit-filthy 'bacco that only one broke-ass sucker I know burns for pleasure instead of as an insecticide."
He chuckled deep and grittily, only a few feet away now from the other genin but facing completely the opposite way. He thrust one finger into the air, continuing to sway closer. "Then I start hearing that pre-'cademy whine of those bitch-genin you-me-and-'Na whipped that other day. A-haha, and I'm like--am I tripping?"
Tsuuki's body rotated about-face, as stiff and steady as a door, his cherished pipe now perched handily near his smirk. "Then I start remembering scarfing down these next-level herbs and fungi the elders won't even touch without gloves, and suddenly it's like me telling me, 'yeah, young-moon, you're massively tripping bats right now!" His own laugh was cut short so that he could draw hard from his pipe, the burning aroma as lively to the nostrils as horseradish.
The three genin, who had been caught off guard by Tsuuki's stealthy appearance earlier, had time enough since to recompose themselves, only to find themselves now almost stunned with bewilderment. "Psst! Am I tripping bats right now, too?" asked the female genin, nearest to Tsuuki, of their self-approinted leader with genuine self-concern.
"Don't GIRL out on me again, that Koumori is all doped up on his forest flowers! Just knock his stoned ass over!" Barked the leader back, easy for him to say when he wasn't the same one to be trounced by Tsuuki at their last pair-off. Still, the genin perhaps did have something to prove to her callous teammate, and lunged at Tsuuki with kunai drawn. The lanky batboy leaned back to evade and kept leaning further and further, the foolhardy genin following until she toppled over herself right onto her own back, while Tsuuki caught himself horizontally with a quick burst of Wind from his palm, also parallel with the ground.
The red-faced genin recovered enough to twist her lower-half into a sweeping kick, which Tsuuki rolled over from foot seamlessly to hand, and spiraling to greet face-on the enraged genin as she returned to her feet and swung for the kunai to go right into Tsuuki's neck. The batboy bobbed and weaved fluidly out of the blade's arch with what appeared to be a spontaneous dance move, ending in a crouched open-palm pound into the overstepped genin's solar plexus. It wasn't disabling though her eyes bulged and her stature bent, and just as her diaphragm yanked for that first stunned gasp of air, Tsuuki floated up on his feet while exhaling at last the milky smoke from his lungs, leading straight into hers.
The young kunoichi immediately went into coughing fits while Tsuuki strolled towards Supaiku, reaching out to his bat with his face angled strangely. "Good ivy, right? Give a minute for your breath to catch, then you'll be flying, star-girl." And, in her seconds-away altered brain process, that is precisely and vividly what she would be experiencing.
"A-haha, I tell you, HH, if this solid beatdown we're about to give is all some hallucination, I hope I never sober up," he greeted his friend with a nod and casual salute, taking his side now and a thousand more times still yet to come.
"What's the point in joining if...
...we have Mr. Half-Baked & Mr. Happy-Hour teaming up too?"