God was she nervous.
She really shouldn't be this nervous, she was over thinking this, it was just a simple date. People went on dates all the time.
But this was her first one!
It was a bit sad, closer to 20 then 15, but having never been on a date before. Maybe he was only doing her a kindness, he was a really nice guy. No wait was that the low confidence talking? Maybe he was really interested in her and she shouldn't mess this up!
Moriko could only groan a bit as she shook her head. She was totally over-thinking this. She looked at the mirror and took a deep breath, "Calm down, it's just a date..." she muttered to herself. Shaking her head again she brushed her hair and threw it back in a clip, letting her bangs frame her face. She slipped on a simple skirt and shirt before leaving her room, cute but casual, it was odd not being in training clothes. Hell it was odd not having her equipment on her, but it wouldn't exactly be appropriate for a date would it?
She walked downstairs, still nervous but managing to regain her composure.
"And where are you going so dolled up my little Mori-uke?" came Wakana's voice.
Moriko's face paled, well if there was someone that could make the Hayashi lose her composure, it was Wakana.
"Sneaking around too? My my aren't we up to something?" Wakana smirked closing her book and looking at her friend. "You're so going on a date, and you don't want me to know. It's Narashi isn't it? Come on you know you can't lie to me."
"No it's not him. For your information his name is Gankona," Moriko said falling for the trap.
"Ha! I knew it!" Wakana exclaimed pointing at her friend. "That stupid deaf guy right??"
"Yes he's deaf but he certainly isn't stupid."
"Hm? What is with all that interest in him?" Wakana smirked.
"I've been spending time with him at the library... he's... the one... I well wanted to practice the sign language over..." Moriko admitted.
Yes Moriko's date was deaf, but she found he was a really sweet guy, after an initially... rough first meeting. She hadn't met him too long ago. She was at the library and wanted help finding a book, seeing everyone was busy except for a dark haired man whose attention was outside the window, eyes obviously in his own world. She had gone to him and tried to speak with him, imagine her surprise that instead of speaking, the man started moving his hands at her before slouching back in the seat, obviously not very happy with being bothered. It took her a moment, but since he didn't simply tell her to go away, she looked at his hands before meeting his eyes again. She found herself asking if he could hear her, to which he took out a white board and confirmed her suspicions with a very gruff 'what do you think?'. She had then apologized, to which he seemed to accept before writing to ask her what she wanted. He took her to the books and even made a few recommendations for her, taking some books off a taller shelf and handing them to her. He wanted to exchange names, to which she agreed, and after that they began talking... well more of writing to each other.
Moriko figured Gankona was gruff because he basically had to tell everyone he communicated with what his weakness was, that he can't hear them. He seemed like a proud guy, it's probably as annoying as it was unpleasant to him to have to say the same things over and over again. That and the fact he was a Fujihara filled in a few blanks. She offered to learn sign language from him if they were to see each other often in the library, she reasoned it'd be useful to her anyways, while on missions, or if a deaf child came to the orphanage. He agreed so they began meeting up so he could teach her, she even practiced at home with Wakana, who was also learning sign language at a faster rate the her friend was, though, when Wakana expressed interest in learning Moriko's curiosity of the language, Moriko fibbed telling her friend that there was a deaf child at the orphanage.
"So my suspects were right" Wakana laughed a bit, because she won. "And here you thought you can fool me."
"W-Well imagine how frustrating it is having to tell everyone you can't hear! So I wanted to help him a bit... we studied in the library until the other day he basically said 'I don't think your boyfriend would appreciate you visiting here so often', so I told him I didn't have one and well... then he asked me on a date..." Moriko smiled a bit thinking of it, she really did find Gankona sweet, he had even given her a pocket sized sign language book. It was obviously old and well read, he told her it was given to him when he lost his hearing, and since he didn't need it anymore he wanted her to have it. He didn't make much of it, but the fact he kept it with him even after not needing it... she could tell it had some value to him.
"Do you realize that even if you can't fool me I go to the library pretty often right? I saw you" Wakana laughed a bit more, finding her friend's innocence funny, "well, he sounds a lot nicer with you than me. Anyway, I'm happy for you. Don't screw it though, with your clumsy personality when socializing" she nodded.
"I'm really nervous about it, he told me I didn't have to do anything dates were basically what we were doing already just spending time with each other... I told him I'd probably annoy him with a lot of stupid questions and he said he didn't care... so..."
Wakana sighed, here we go, "Don't overthink it. He's being nicer than he is. That means something" she looked at her "So don't think stupid stuff and enjoy the moment. Being how he is, if you annoy him he will tell you" she shrugged.
"He is blunt," Moriko laughed softly, "I do like how straightforward he can be... I just really don't want to screw it up, I don't know him very well yet but I really do like him... and that's what dating is for right? getting to know someone better?"
"You sure like blunt guys..." she smirked, clearly meaning Narashi. "but yeah, I guess" she shrugged, "just hang out with him and get to know him better. Call it date or meeting or whatever, it's no more than a label" she looked to the side, obviously meaning what mattered were feelings.
Moriko blushed, "Well it's less confusing when they are straight to the point," but she would nod, "He is really nice, and I do like spending time with him, he's pretty honest..."
"Mhmm" she nodded in agreement. "Well, then, it's decided, GankoRiko is canon!" her eyes glowed with excitement. Obviously giving Moriko her blessing to date the guy.
"Th-Thank you Wakana..."
"No problem. Mori-Uke needs help" she placed a hand on Moriko's shoulder and then look at her seriously. "But you will be my uke no matter what, I won't let that idiot surpass me"
Moriko just shook her head, "He's not an idiot... but thank you..."
"He is if he acts that way towards me" Wakana snorted
Moriko just sighed, deciding it's better to not ask how Gankona and Wakana were with each other. At least that was out of the way, now she just needed to not screw up the date. No matter what she told herself, she was nervously combating her self esteem, picking at her clothing choices, how much she was over thinking this, how it was possible she was underthinking this. She sighed, but then finally a knock came at the door. She could feel Wakana's smug look burn into her back, but Moriko ignored it as she opened the door with a nervous smile.
He was older, she knew that much, they hadn't thought to exchange ages yet. His expression was mostly static, only giving her smirks, or the occasional smile. His dark eyes were hard to read, but for some reason it only made her curious. She never heard his voice yet it didn't really bother her, he spoke enough through his motions and the words on his board. He greeted her with a soft smile as he signed 'Hey, are you ready?'.
Moriko nodded and signed 'Yes I am,' back at him as Akihiro trotted over to sniff their visitor.
Gankona looked from the dog, back to Moriko, he thought for a moment the took out his board, knowing Moriko was still a bit of a novice at signing. 'This is the dog you mentioned I take it?'
She smiled and nodded in confirmation at she took the offered board and wrote back, 'Yes, this is Akihiro.'
Akihiro wagged his tail and offered his paw to the man, who only rose his brow and took it, shaking it slightly before letting it go. His dark eyes then glanced at the green haired girl who had slipped behind her friend. 'She's your roommate?' he wrote to Moriko. Again she replied with a nod, not bothering to write Wakana's name since they seemed to know each other.
Wakana said nothing to the man as she slipped her arm over Moriko's shoulders and gave Gankona a stern look. The other kunoichi started pointing two fingers at her eyes then at Gankona multiple times in an obvious 'I got my eyes on you buddy,' gesture.
A smirk only graced his lips at he looked from Wakana to Moriko. He took a step closer to the white haired girl, slipped his thumb and index finger over her chin, making her head incline towards him. With a defiant look at Wakana he placed a gentle peck on Moriko's lips, making the girl's face explode in a deep red. Seeing Wakana's eye twitch, knowing he had done his job to get on the green haired girl's nerves, he slipped an arm around Moriko's waist and lead her away from the door.
"Hold on you're not winning this!"
Moriko felt herself being pulled away from her date as Wakana yanked her roommate back by her arm. Of course The white haired girl had no idea how to react when Wakana kissed her too.
"He started it by challenging me in front of my Uke!"
Moriko's face went red as she pulled away from her friend, she couldn't even think of what to say. She just sighed shaking her head, really she shouldn't be surprised. She glanced back at Gankona blushing, hoping he wasn't put off by the girls'... odd relationship. Thankfully Gankona didn't seem phased by Wakana's reaction. He just stared at the green haired girl blankly before writing down on his board, showing it to Moriko. 'Mind telling me where the bathroom is?'.
She nodded pointing up the stairs, explaining on his board which door it was. He nodded and went upstairs, taking long enough for Moriko to settle back down. He came back, only giving Wakana another slight glance before taking Moriko's hand and leading her out. Wakana and Akihiro peeked out the door to watch the two leave.
The walk was quiet. Well obviously it was a bit quiet, since one of them couldn't hear, talking was quiet pointless. He would glance as her and she would look back at him. He lead her to one of his more favored bars. Once they arrived Gankona unfolded his arms, and used the board to order Moriko and himself a small glass of liquor. From his observations, she seemed fairly comfortable with alcohol, so he assumed that she would be alright being brought to a bar rather than some over-priced restaurant.
'You look nervous,' he bluntly wrote down and slowly slid the glass of sake her way. 'Try to relax'
Moriko glanced at Gankona her face still a bit flushed as she accepted the drink with a nod, she leaned over a bit, writing on the board, 'I'm sorry. I'm trying,' she was always nervous when trying new things, she didn't want to be, she had a slight fear that if she didn't relax he'd reconsider the date. She looked at him, giving a slight smile.
He glanced down at the board with slight amusement, 'You don't need to apologize to me,' he wrote, not really minding her nervous composure. If anything he found it a bit entertaining, however it was difficult to tell what he was thinking half the time. He decided to take the lead in the conversation in order to make Moriko feel more comfortable, 'You mentioned having a brother; What did he leave the village for?' he wrote down, recalling the conversations they had in the library.
The Hayashi blinked at the question and seemed to debate how to answer, Jun left for a few reasons, some she's not happy with but others she could understand. She didn't like he felt he needed to put distance between them so he could let her grow without interfering, but Jun had told her he had questions that he knew the village didn't have answers to. As much as she didn't want him to go, she understood his need to. 'Jun', she started to write, but then paused for a moment before erasing his name and writing again, 'Our parents came from a village far north of here, Dad tells us how it snowed all the time and most ninjas were fire natured like them, Jun wanted to go and find the village. He said he wanted to travel and find answers to questions he had. We keep in touch by letters.' she explained with a small smile.
A curious glance was shown towards the board, and slowly nodded his head in acknowledgement. He never realized that there were as many villagers (most of them adults and seniors) that weren't native to Omoichikagure than what he had originally thought. 'What about you and your brother?' He wrote, taking a sip from his drink, 'Were either one of you from that village?'
From across the bar, two men would occasionally glance up from their drinks at Moriko, smirk at each other, and quietly make small talk. Gankona discreetly kept an eye on them.
Moriko smiled softly and shook her head, 'Mom and Dad came here when they were teenagers, they worked their way to being a couple of the top fire users in the village. Then they had us,' she smiled. She paused for a moment the looked up at him before writing, 'what about your family?' She asked. Even though she was a ninja she still paid no mind to the men as she took another drink. Moriko was unfortunately still quite unaware, or didn't want to be aware of, having a woman's body that would attract unwanted attention.
Her date shrugged when it came to his own family, 'My mother is a traditional housewife, while my father is usually out on missions. I moved out when I was seventeen, but I still visit from time to time.' He didn't bother to elaborate on that, and kept it simple. It wasn't because he didn't like his parents, but rather he didn't want to be dependent on them. Finishing the last of his drink, his eyes fell upon one of the men from earlier, it seems he was about to make a move on the Fujihara's date.
Moriko had nodded at Gankona and was about to write more before the man smoothly slid into the seat next to her, rested his head on his hand and smiled charmingly at her, "Hey doll face, do you want me to take you out of this dump and go back to my place?"
The Hayashi's brow furrowed a bit at what he called her before she looked at him, "well that would be rude since I am here with someone, and secondly why would I go to your place when I don't even know you?" She genuinely seemed confused at the comment, if not a little put off at how blatantly rude the man was. Of course she hadn't the slightest clue that the man was using a pick up line.
The man's head leaned to the side a bit as he caught a small glance at Gankona, and then brought his attention back toward Moriko as if Gankona wasn't even there. He smiled his most alluring smile, trying not to look defeated, "I don't mean any harm, doll face. I'll leave you alone." Admittedly, the man's ego was brought down a bit by her reply, but he wasn't going to allow her to know that. He leaned in closer, causing alot of discomfort for Moriko as she leaned away, but he took no notice of it and began to whisper in her ear that his offer was still valid. Moriko parted her lips to interrupt him, to repeat she had no interest in whatever intentions he had, the strangest thing cut off the man's sentence.
She felt herself be pulled back by the waist, finding herself in Gankona's lap, as his eyes focused on the man causing her discomfort. Her date then gave the man an irritable stare and flipped him off- the universe sign for "fuck off."
The man had jerked back slightly by Gankona's sudden action, and appeared to be a bit offended that Moriko didn't seem interested in his offer. He briefly shuffled around before retreating back to his friend; he seemed to have thought he had a good chance.
Now being grabbed was the last thing Moriko had expected. She glanced at Gankona actually a bit thankful he couldn't hear since her words seemed to fail her at the moment. She couldn't even process how to react to his motion. Because of her embarrassment and the initial shock of being protected, she seemed to be a bit frozen.
Seeing that the man had walked away, the Fujihara gently let go of Moriko, almost apologetically for her rough relocation. She took a deep breath and looked back at Gankona as she slide back into her chair. He then causally scoffed like his action was no big dear and signed the word for 'asshole.' Causing his date to blush more. Gankona had not wasted time teaching her what she refers to as 'less then desirable vocabulary.' She understood his hand sign and simply nodded a little before taking a deep breath, leaning over and writing on the board, 'thank you,' was all she managed to write down on the board with a shaky hand.
Gankona propped his elbow on the table, and used his hand to rest his chin. He took notice of her seemingly uneasy disposition, 'Are you okay?' After putting the marker back down, he glanced down at her shaky hand and gently placed his hand on top of hers, as if to tell her to relax.
Her face went red again as she tried steadying her heart beat. She took a deep breath and nodded a little, she took the marker in hand and wrote down 'yes I'm okay, I was just caught off guard.'
She didn't really want to admit that a civilian caught a Jounin by surprise. But she didn't expect him to scoop her up like that. She thought she had it at least somewhat handled, but she wasn't the type to upright tell someone to F off. Gankona had no reservations about sternly sending the guy packing, so it was a good thing she supposed. She looked at him and offered a soft smile telling him she was still thankful for his intervention.
The Fujihara tilted his chin down slightly, and glanced at her red cheeks with a vaguely amused expression. Obviously he knew she tended to shy away from physical contact, but he never realized to what extent until now. Not that he minded, of course. He smirked slightly seeing the man and his friend exited the bar; bitter expressions imprinted on their faces as they left without one-night stands. He scoffed a bit, musing to himself that they should have gone after someone such as Minako if they wanted to get lucky. His eyes were then brought back toward Moriko's glass and he began writing once more, 'Do you want another drink?'
Moriko blinked at the message then glanced down at her drink before looking back at him and nodding. 'Yes another one would be nice.' she replied before looking at him. She tried to relax, she did like the touch of his hand on hers, it was, in fact, comforting. It was a little silly, she was a kunoichi and he was a civilian, if trouble arouse she'd be protecting him. But somehow the action of pulling her away from the man made her feel a bit safe with him. She didn't want to trust so easily, and it may be a while before she was comfortable with close physical contact, but a part of her told her it was a good chance with this man if they were to continue going on dates.
They continued to sit at the bar and drink. Neither were really good with small talk so Gankona decided to have her practice her sign language, to which Moriko had no objections. After a couple of hours it seemed to be a decent time to end the date. He paid for them both then took her home.
She smiled a bit as they walked back to her house, all and all the date was very pleasant, and she would not mind having another if he was interested. He seemed to enjoy himself from what she could tell. She glanced off to see the sun was setting, she smiled a bit watching the sky. Somehow it seemed warmer to her then it had been before. She blinked and looked back at him feeling his fingers touch hers, he showed her his board asking her, 'So, would you like to do this again?'
Her cheeks colored slightly as she used some of the sign language she knew, only hesitating to make sure she was using the right signs, 'Yes, I'd enjoy that very much.'
She saw his face soften as he put the board away. The girl offered a smile before she saw her house coming up, Gankona put his hands in his pockets as they approached, only taking out one to open the door for her.
"Well there you crazy kids are!" chimed Wakana from the couch. The green haired girl grinned at her roommate as she jumped up from the couch and came over followed by Akihiro who only whined at his owner, upset for being left behind. Moriko only smiled and pet the spoiled dog's head. "So how did it go what did you guys do?"
It was then that Gankona approached Wakana and took her hand, putting a bundle in it before stepping back, a very self satisfied smirk on his face. Wakana blinked and looked at what the deaf man had given her. She opened the bundle to see, what was quite obvious to her, a pair of Moriko's panties. "WHAT?!"
Moriko oblivious to the exchange looked up at Wakana, "What is it Wakana?" she asked looking concerned over the outburst.
"Don't you act innocent missy, get over here!" Wakana grumbled some other things under her breath before unceremoniously lifting her roommate's skirt only to see that Moriko was in fact wearing underwear.
Wakana only narrowed her eyes as Moriko pulled her skirt back down. She now caught on that the deaf man had only messed with her and Moriko was actually untouched. She glared at Gankona who only crossed his arms still sporting a board smirk. "Oh it's like that huh? Well game on buddy, this is the closest you're ever getting to one of these if I have any say!" Wakana shouted pointing at the man.
"One of what Wakana?" Moriko sighed. Wakana only gave Moriko her undies back. Moriko had a very confused look on her face as she looked between the two.
"Your new boyfriend is a panty raider," her roommate growled.
"I-I don't understand," Moriko cast the confused look to Gankona who only signaled her to come closer so he could write his explanation.
'I probably should have asked, but I wanted to mess with her. I won't do it again,' he assured her.
'I would ask when, but I assume it was when you asked for the bathroom... but how did you know those were mine?'
He rose a brow then wrote back, 'It was safe to assume the neater room with the unused dog bed, music stand, lots of books, jounin vest and cluttered desk was yours.'
'Well excellent deduction skills but please do not do that again, it was a bit unnerving to be honest.'
'Don't worry, I won't'
Moriko only sighed, 'Alright, just I do not like the thought of my private things being touched and shifted through without my knowledge or permission.'
'It won't happen again. Doubt she'd fall for it twice.'
'As long as you don't do it again.'
He only nodded to confirm he understood. She sighed and wrote down, 'Good.' God if he was like this around Wakana would it even be a good idea for him to be around Niro? Or even Jun when he got back?
Gankona looked at her for a minute, he realized that yes he had upset Moriko a bit by being a dick. Going through your girlfriend's dresser on the first date just to punk her roommate did not seem as good of an idea in hindsight. But she was a forgiving person... she'd overlook this... right? He then looked at the board and wrote to her again, 'Are we still on for another date?'
She looked at the board, then glanced back at him. If she didn't know any better he almost seemed nervous she'd say no, the way his brow furrowed as his dark eyes watched her closely. After a minute her face finally softened and she simply signed, 'Yes.'