Kurenai stared back for a moment before shrugging. She smiled, "Heh, I like you." Then again all the other men in the city we're creepy and all over. Kurenai snapped her fingers and pointed to a stage front spot.
"There!" She exclaimed.
Kurenai kneeled down, sitting on her knees and flatteing her skirt out like a Kimono. She patted the ground next to her. "It'll b awhile before the band comes out."
She sat in an awkward silence for a few minutes.
"You mind if I ask how you got to Britian?" Her voice was testy and nervous.
Kurenai looked down. "You and me both. Well Kinda...." She looked out over the forming crowd.
"My parents felt I was a disgrace...I didn't have a husband." She shrugged.
"I moved to the 'slums' of Tokyo and began to work there. So in my parents eyes I'm not even real."
She looked down for a moment, her long bangs covering her eyes.
She looked up and her slight smile came to her lips again. "That doesn't matter anymore." She stood up and cheered as the band came on stage.
Kurenai pulled Itachi up to his feet. "Loosen up!" She smiled as the band began to play.
Kurenai looked at Itachi and smiled before begining to dance again. Most guys wern't dancers, she figured Itachi was just one of those guys.
She paused for a moment, "Do you know who they are?" She asked pointing to the band.
Kurenai laughed, then came to an abrupt stop when she realized she wasn't laughing at anything. "You too? Well actually it was just a freind from collage who works at the bar with me, she met your 'friends' and set us up. She couldn't get time off to come." She smiled.
"Oh and it's Duran Duran...you ever heard the song 'A View To Kill?" She had stopped moving completly her gaze now completly on Itachi.
She looked at him...for awhile before figuring it was time to change the subject.
"So pink hair.....You know that happened to me once...but it was my whole head and it was caused by faulty hair dye and the lack of running water. The pipes broke outside my home" She laughed at herself.
"It was the most serious humiliation" She said picking up a few strands of her hair.
Kurenai looked at his hat, temptation to pull it off almost over took her, insted she placed her hands behind her back. "Dye it black again." She said with a strait face.
"Unless-" She was cut off by a hand abruptly wrapping itself around her waist and pulling her into a large mob off people.
She pulled at the hand tryinng to escape it's grasp.
"What the- Let go!" She hit the hand in a feeble attempt to escape it. Insted she was pulled to the side of a drunken man. She wrinkled her nose, disgusted at the smell the man gave off.
"Hey pal, I suggest you get off me." She hissed.
Itachi's eyes narrowed sharply, and impulse took over, shoving through to get to her. It may be a blind date, but he knew what it was like to have some slobbering drunk hanging on him. He grabbed the man's wrist, digging his fingers into the bones. "She said to let her go" he hissed through clenched teeth. "Unless you want to end up broken."
Kurenai looked a bit surprised at the sudden change of mood. She just stood there mouth slightly open. The man just pulled her closer. "Look little boy, she's in my arms now ain't she?" He spit. Kurenai gagged at the smell of the mans breath.
She yanked slightly, trying to wriggle her way from his arm. She'd rather not cause so much trouble.
He tightened his hold, nails biting into flesh and practically snarled at him. "Smelling like that, I'm surprised the people around you aren't dead already." Itachi moved closer, hoping the man would just back off. His mind raced, looking for an opening. The man was bigger than he was, so size was against him. Hopefully, being smaller would give him an advantage... "Let. Her. Go."
Kurenai wiggled more before slipping out from under his arm. She took a step, no, more like a leap forward, only to be grabbed back by her hair. She gritted her teeth and wenched away, losing plenty of her raven/red hair. She turned around and backed up. She didn't want to see a fight, especially since that guy was huge.
The man frowned and reached out his free arm. Kurenai took a few more steps back before falling. At least he couldn't get down fast enough to grab her from her current sitting postion.
She looked at Itachi, his hand engraved in the mans arm. "Maybe we should go." She yelled.
Itachi gave him a small smile before moving his hand to grab two fingers in one hand, two in the other, and pulling hard in opposite directions until he heard the rather satisfying crack of bones. As tempting as it was to slam his knee into the man's groin, he didn't relish the thought of his body having any contact with THAT. He let go of the hand, shrugging slightly. "If you want..." he trailed off, answering her.
Kurenai scrambled to her feet and rubbed the back of her head. "Ow, that's gonna take forever to grow back." She groaned. She faced Itachi.
"Thanks...and I think we should, after all I'm sure you'd rather be home then out...." She smiled. She mumbled something under her breath before turning to avoid the crowd.
Kurenai felt a bit stupid for not using the self defence she had developed in Tokyo. Then again this wasn't Tokyo, and that guy was huge.
"Ja ne." He turned his back on the man, giving him an offhanded wave, and moved to follow her. He felt kind of bad that things turned out like they had, but at the same time, he was relieved she had sense enough to know when to make an exit. Maybe she wasn't so bad... "People like him deserve to be drowned in whatever body of water is closest."
Kurenai was silent she just nodded and continued walking. She cursed her up-bring, she had never felt dishonored before, so why now? She hung her head slightly and wished she had her jeans on, that way she could hide her slightly shaking hands in her pockets. She and Itachi made their way out of the building and back into the cold street.By now it was darker then before and Britian's cold breath was blowing hard and harsh against it's inhabitants.She shivered slightly before listening for Itachi's footsteps.
Itachi shook his head, having to run a bit to catch up to her. "...sorry." Glancing at her, he sighed and pulled his hat off, putting it on her instead before putting an arm around her shoulder and pulling her against his side. "I don't have a coat or anything..." Had he stopped to think about it, he probaby wouldn't have done that, but it was cold out and she didn't have many more layers than he did to protect her from the wind.
Kurenai turned a light shade of pink before dropping her eyes once more. "You shouldn't be sorry, It's my fault, I know how to fight back it's just-." She stopped, there was no reason as to why she hadn't faught back. She looked at his hair before pointinb something out.
"Was that what you were hiding? You didn't have to hide your hair from me." She looked up and smiled.
"You know, everyone will make some kinda stupid mistake...some people...like me..make more mistakes then others."
She looked at her own hair. "You know, I could help you dye it black again. I'm no hairstylest but I can work hair dye." She turned a bit more pink as she realized she'd actually said more then a few words. Of course being so close to Itachi didn't slow the blood flowing to her cheeks.
He gave a one-shouldered shrug, tugging on the choppy strands. "Even if I dyed it back, I'd still look like I was attacked by a blind man with pinking shears. At least if it's pink, people think I did it on purpose. 's not all pink, but still, people are stupid and will believe what you let them." He shivered slightly and wished he'd had the foresight to take a coat or sweater with him when he'd left.
Kurenai looked at him. "Oh please, if you just trim it enough and give yourself a bit of a bangs you'd look fine. Then again, I kinda like the pink hair..." She trailed off and began twirling a few layered strands.
He scrunched up his nose at that. "I just don't like looking like I shoved my fingers in an electrical outlet. Well, getting called a girl doesn't help either." Itachi didn't know why he was beign so talkative. Maybe it was because she'd been through a similar situation... speaking of which... "um... I guess this is kind of stupid to ask now, but... how old are you anyway?"
Worry washed over Kurenai, his friends havn't givin him an age!? She fumbled slightly. She opened her mouth and inhaled before shooting a quick reply "25"
"Ah..." Well, that was definately better than what he'd been expecting, which was somewhere in her late thirties, but hta's because those were the only sort of people he seemed to attract. Either they were way too old and wanted to call him girly pet names or they were way too young and wanted to nag at him about his nationality. "Makes me feel I little better then."
Kurenai smiled and gave a sigh of relief. "Ok, you know, I was a bit worried that it may seem to old for you." She looked around the surroundings had changed dirastically. "Uh....did we pass your stop?" She asked. She had expected to walk home alone, after all she lived about a block down from Itachi's- well Itachi and his roomates home.
He blinked, looking around momentarily before swearing under his breath. More than likely, everyone was still there, and if he knew them, the chances of him having to sleep with the door locked and a pillow over his head were highly probable. "It's fine... I don't think I want to go home with them awake anyway. I'll probably end up bald."
Kurenai blinked before coming across an idea.
"You know...my friend is out of town...you could always use her room. I'd understand if you don't though."
"As long as I'm not waking up dead, drugged, bald, or with a hangover..." Itachi mentally kicked himself. She'd just invited him to her place, and because he hadn't been thinking about anything aside from getting away from his roommate and friends... had he just accepted? He didn't even KNOW her. Then again, if he did end up in any of those situations, it wasn't as if his parents would care.
Kurenai smiled slightly. "Alright, then I suppose we should head back towards your apartment after all I like a block away from there.
He gave a short nod, glancing back in the direction they'd came. Itachi'd definately catch hell from his friends later, but it was their fault he'd gone out in the first place. It wasn't as if she was propositioning him, so he really didn't see a problem with it. "...'kay."
Kurenai smiled and nodded before turning around. "Well come on." She smirked before walking back in the direction they came.
"I hope it doesn't make you feel weird staying at my place tonight."
"Why would it? It's not like it's anything other than what it is..." He shrugged it off and followed after her. "I can take care of myself, so I'm not really worried."
Kurenai smiled. "Good." Was her only reply. She looked ahead and scanned the buildings.
"That one there," She pointed at a tall building with many windows, "well actually it's more like that window there." She pointed to a window on the second story.
He raked his fingers through his hair and nodded again. Somethng about the situation nagged at him. Why was she inviting him into her apartment when she'd only just met him? It wasn't like he'd do anything to her, but still, it made him wonder how many times she'd done this in the past.
"Don't looked so freaked." She remarked.
"I'm not going to kill you in your sleep or anything. Don't forget, I may not be your everyday Japanese girl, but I did have a decent up bring."
Kurenai sighed slightly before cocking her head to the side and closing her eyes. "But...if you wanna go back to your roomates-" She paused and looked down the street.
Her comment about having had a decent upbringing made him relax somewhat. It still confused him as to why she had offered, but if she was anything like him, she probably liked having people around who weren't going to rip her apart for everything she said or did. "I said it's fine. Besides, if I go back there, then I'm waiting a while before I do. They're nice, but they ask unnecessary questions."
Kurenai yawned slightly and threw her arms up. "Holy Jesus i'm tired."
She unhooked her necklace and removed a key from it's golden chain. She opened the main door and waved to a man behind the front desk. The man waved back and Kurenai made her way over to the stair well. She motioned for Itachi to follow.
Shoving his hands into his pockets and lowering his gaze to the floor, he started after her. Bright lights usually meant people would stare at him like he was some sort of lunatic because of his hair. "How many people are usually around here at this time?" he asked quietly, feeling more than a little self-conscious.
Kurenai looked back at Itachi. "Don't worry, No ones up except for the people on the third floor. They never come down though." She shrugged and continued her way up the stairs.
The two came to an apartment numberd 'B123'. "This is the place." Said Kurenai jamming the key into the knoob and twisting it.
"It's not much, but it's home." She remarked swinging open the door ad turning on the light.
It was a nice sized apartment with a few Japanese touches, such as a table surrounded in mats. Obviously to make the occupants sit to eat. There was a vase with sakura branches stuck in it. "What can I say," She shrugged, "somethings follow you through life."
He wanted to laugh. His roommates had thought he was crazy for insisting they not set foot inside with their shoes on, for being unwilling to learn to eat with silverware 'like normal people', and for the overly-polite way he sometimes addressed people. This... this made him feel a little more at home in a country where everything seemed completely backwards despite having lived there for a few years. "...it's nice though."
Kurenai laughed slightly. "It's a good thing my roomate is big into Japan." She took her shoes off at the door and walked inside.
"The guest rooms down that way, now if you'd excuse me I'm off to shower. Feel free to poke around." She said over her shoulder. Kurenai opened a door and disappeared into a room.
He toed off his shoes and hesitantly stepped inside, dark eyes darting around the room. It was definately a woman's home, judging from the way things were arranged, and he was almost afraid to touch anything for fear of messing it up. His female relatives had always been obscenely protective of having anyone mess with their things, so he'd learned fast that if it's not yours, don't touch it. Instead, he settled for wandering around the room observing everything and trying to get a feel for what she was like.
Kurenai flipped on the hot water and stepped into the water. She opened her eyes and shouted something. "Careful with the breakables!" Even though she figured Itachi wasn't at all clutsy, even so, she was pretty sure he wouldn't knock over photos.
Her voice startled him, causing him to jump backward and nearly trip over the table in the middle of the room. "Real smart... that'll make a great impression. I just get here and I nearly break her table because she scared me half to death," he muttered, berating himself for spacing out like that. Women, he decided, needed to wear bells so you could tell when they moved and not end up having a heartattack when they spook you.
She turned of the shower and got out, after drying off she slipped on her pajamas. She walked into the front room then into the kitchen. "Are you hungry?" She asked opening the fridge.
"Or maybe you'd like something to drink?"
He blinked wide eyes at her, then immediately looked away. He didn't have sisters, and the few female friends he had were just that - friends. Some of them were a little too weird for him to consider as women, preferring to lump them into the category of 'one of the guys'. "Um... water's fine... thanks..." Girls were strange.
Kurenai pulled out a glass and filled it with water before grabbing herself a beer. She popped the top and headed into the front room. She handed Itachi the glass before sitting at the table. She took a sip of the beer then set it on the table. "Don't worry about that," She said obviously refering to the beer, "It doesn't faze me unless I drink more then two."
"Thanks..." he mumbled, eyeing the alcohol warily. None of his encounters with that stuff had been pleasant, and to be honest, he wasn't too certain what the legal drinking age was in Britain. He sank down at the table, sipping at the water. If he occupied himself with other things, then maybe he'd forget about his apprehensions with that stuff.
Kurenai took another sip f beer and wrinkled her nose, "Man I hate this brand." She commented setting the bottle on the table.
She looked at Itachi, who didn't seem to like the presence of the alcohol. She smiled slightly and stood up. "You know, I'm not in the mood to look like a drunken fool." With that she made her way back into the kitchen a poured the contents into the sink before grabbing herself a glass of water. She returned to the table and sat down.
"So....what would you like to talk about?" She asked trying to break the silence.
She fumbled around a bit nervous, she hated awkward silences. "Uh....where'd you learn to fight? I mean, that was a nice display of power back there at the concert."
"...that's kind of why I got shipped here. I don't get along with my father too well at times, and I was usually getting in fights at school which didn't help much." He set the glass down and trailed a finger along the tabletop. "I'm not very fond of people. Some, I don't mind, but most annoy me." He glanced up at her, watiing for her to throw him out or something along those lines.
Kurenai nodded and shut her eyes, all the while sipping her water. She smiled and set her glace down. Her eyes opened slightly with her reply.
"Well, I'm glad you could be so open about something like that." Her voice was in a low,
"Everyone has their family fueds, some worse then others....I didn't get along with anyone in my family." She replied sipping her water once more.
"Now alow me to ask this....why didn't you get along with your father?"
"I'm not open about it, really." He shrugged, cocking his head slightly. "I'm the oldest, so all the 'head of family' responsibilities were supposed to fall on me. I don't really care for that sort of thing. I'd rather live my own life without having it dictated by others. I guess I was kind of lazy about it, and he thought I should be more mindful of my supposed duty to the family. I don't see a problem with taking advantage of the fact that he's paying for college though." He really didn't know why his father felt the need to label him unruly and ship him off, but it happened, and he was going to milk that for as long as he could.
"So... what about you?"
Kurenai shrugged slightly. "My father was killed in a plane crash. My mother didn't like me. Plain and simple." She sighed slightly and looked out the window.
"There's really nothing I can do about it now...after all, I think my family would sentence my death if I returned."
Suddenly, he felt a little sorry for asking. It was obviously something painful for her, and it was his fault she had to talk about it. "...oh. Sorry... I didn't mean to pry..."
Kurenai's gaze darted back. "No it's nothing." She smiled slightly and sighed.
"It's good for me to reflect on these things," Her eyes we're hateful, "it makes me remember what I don't want to return to."
She came out of thought. "Oh I'm sorry," She said, "if you'd like to return home, feel free to." Her smile was sweet.
He bit his lip. "I can if you want me to..." He didn't want to leave her by herself, especially after he'd managed to make her dredge up memories she'd probably rather not have had to think about, but at the same time, if his being there made her uncomfortable, he wasn't going to argue the matter. If there was any one thing he excelled at, it was making people mad.
Kurenai shot out of thought. "No! Uh..I mean....You don't have to." She resisted the urge to hit her head against the table, insted she just turned her head and frowned as she began to blush.
"If going back to your...er......friends is something you'd rather do then please, don't stay because you feel bad." She looked down her eyes soft.
"After all....no one I've known has felt any sympathy for me...so you shouldn't feel obligated to."
She looked at her cup. "Oh it's empty." She said to herself quietly. She stood up and walked into the kitchen putting her cup into the sink she sighed and set her head against the fridge.
"Great Kurenai....make yourself look stupid"
"No, I'm just good at upsetting people is all..." He watched her get up, and winced inwardly. He hadn't meant to upset her. Pushing himself up from the table, he followed her to the kitchen and leaned against the wall. "I don't feel obligated to, and I say things I don't mean."
Kurenai stood up strait and listened to Itachi, a bit surpriesd. She opened the door and looked at Itachi. "I know, I just thought to much of it. I should be the one who's sorry. I mean my past should be none of your concern."
"It's not. Kind of like mine isn't a concern of yours. It's just something that happened." To him it made a world of sense. "There's nothing to be sorry for." He shrugged and stared at the floor as if suddenly his socks were the most interesting thing in the world. Itachi felt a little weird talking to her like that in her house. She had every right to ask him to leave - after all, he was the intruder, not her.
Kurenai sighed then her smile returned. "It's late, if you'd still like to stay the spare room is still open." Although she could kick him out, why would she want to. After all, he had to be the most interesting person she'd met in awhile.
"... do you want me to?" His tone was more curious than anything else. He didn't want her to think that he was just inviting himself in, and he was more cautious around people he didn't know than around those he knew well.
"I don't mind..." She was a bit nervous. Normal people usually would have left by now.
"After all, this place is huge and...kinda lonely...." She paused and searched the room, she wish she could just disappear, she was so humiliated by the other comments she had made.
"I can't guarantee that I'd be decent company. My roommate tells me I'm too quiet... unless his guitar's nearby, then its 'do you have to make so much noise'." He tipped his head back, resting it against the wall.
Kurenai frowned slightly before perking up again. "i don't mind."
"I doubt you can be any quieter then my roommate, or any louder then my friend when she has her cassette's handy." She finished her sentence with an arm stretched over her shoulder and her hand placed on her shoulder blade.
"Tired?" He had to stifle a yawn to get the question out. He hadn't been tired earlier, but it was starting to hit him. "You're certain you don't mind? I have no intention of just barging in and inviting myself around."
"Oh no, I don't mind at all," She smiled, "I'll show you the way to the room." She stepped infront of Itachi and began to walk down the hall.
Once again, he followed her, keeping his eyes focused on the back of her head. It felt strange staying with someone he'd only just met.. but she wasn't a total stranger... after all, they had a common thing in that they were both Japanese.
Kurenai opened the door and moved aside. The room was fairly large with a twin bed placed beneath the window. It housed grey curtains with a matching grey quilt. "Well as you can tell my roommates hardly here so....her room is pretty blank."
Itachi blinked. He wanted to ask if she was also rather morbid due to the lack of colour, but he bit his tongue. "'s fine. Um... thanks... for putting up with me."
Kurenai smiled, "There was nothing to put up with." Her smile was as reassuring as her eyes.
"I really wish she'd make it a bit more colorful, after all I'm getting tierd of the grey....then again....both our rooms are grey."
That earned a short laugh from him. "Mine... looks like a bomb went off inside. Though, it's because everyone raided my closet to find clothes for me. I'm going to have a mess to clean up when I get back."
Kurenai laughed slightly. "That is probably how it'd be here if my roommate was home."
"Anyway, I'm sure you'd like to get some sleep now"
"No more so than you..." Why he did it, he wasn't sure, but he reached out, pulled her close and gave her a slight hug. "Thanks again."
Kurenai's eyes widened slightly at the reaction. She hugged him back. "No, thank you."
"Eh? What'd I do?" He had no clue why she was thanking him. He didn't think he'd done anything to warrant that.
She pulled away and began her treck down the hall. "For showing up." She shrugged.
He cocked his head and raised an eyebrow quizzically. "...oyasuminasai*..."
Kurenai paused in her steps, a bit surprised to hear her own language. She fumbled slightly, questioning on how to reply. ".....okagesamade*" With that she disappeared down the hall.
Meanings For the words with *'s
oyasuminasai: Good night
okagesamade: Thanks to you