Time: Lunch hour
Date: June 10th
Location: The Decorative Blossom (a restaurant in Konoha)
Open to: Jiraiya, and possibly others later
Ordinarily, Kaida preferred her own cooking to eating in restaurants. Not only was it more economic, but it also often tasted better. However, she was on vacation, and wanted to try dishes from the Fire country. It never hurt to broaden her repetoire, after all. Presently, she'd just sat down and ordered some green tea. Her gaze looked over the menu options that The Decorative Blossom had to offer, and she tried to guess what would be the most flavourful. The waiter, while friendly, had not been much help. According to him, "everything" was good.
Jiraiya had returned from his mission to spy on Akatsuki, and although he was tired, he was also hungry, and for him, fulfilling his hunger was more important than getting sleep. Walking into the The Decorative Blossom, not his favorite, but definitely the closest one to him, he squinted as he saw a familiar face. "Kaida-chan?" he asked, and then grinned as he got closer. "Kaida-chan! Good to see you again!"
Kaida looked up, a small smile setting itself upon her face. "Jiraiya-sama," she said in greeting. Motioning to the chair across from her, she inquired, "Join me? I just arrived here less than ten minutes ago and I haven't ordered my meal yet."
"I'm starving," Jiraiya responded, and sat down at the table, the signs of exhaustion running over his face. "A little tired, too, but that's my own fault, so nothing to worry about." He grinned, and leaned back in the chair.
"Behaving badly, Jiraiya-sama?" asked Kaida with a teasing wink. "I haven't seen you around lately."
"The Hokage had me doing some stuff," he replied casually. "A mission or two... just busy stuff, mainly." Even though he somewhat trusted Kaida, his mission was a little too sensitive to be talking about in public. Maybe later. "Couple rogue shinobi up to mischief."
"It doesn't seem like you got much opportunity to rest," Kaida remarked, observing that while Jiraiya still had some of his friendly enthusiasm, it was considerably more laid back than the day she'd met him. "I suppose that's what you'll be wanting to do after a good meal. Speaking of which...I really can't decide what I want to order. Have you eaten here before?"
She offered the menu, pointing to some of the choices she'd been considering over others.
"They moved quickly...it was hard to keep up with them," he replied, sipping from some water that had been brought to him. "They're little more than a nuisance, but they're damn hard to track," he continued, but then sighed. "I've only been here once before, and I was really drunk, so don't ask me what I had, because I don't remember."
Kaida laughed at that. Jiraiya was a prime example of how different a shinobi's personal and professional life could be. On one hand, he was a powerful enough shinobi to be on the same level as a Hokage. On the other hand, he was a pervert that enjoyed sake nearly as much as he enjoyed the sight of women. But then, Kaida was quite a contrast herself. People's various layers were always interesting to see.
She had a rough idea as to who might have been difficult enough for someone like Jiraiya to track, but she reserved commentary.
Shutting her eyes, she moved her finger over the menu. "In that case...I'll take a chance. Whenever you say stop, whatever my finger is on is what I'll order."
Jiraiya waited for a few moments, looking at his own menu. Unable to find anything that really called out to him, he sighed. "Stop," he said. "Whatever it is, I'm going to get it too - I can't think of anything I want." He peered over the menu at her. "So what did we land on?
Kaida blinked, looking over the menu item. "Diced and sauteed squid, with penut sauce, glass noodles, shrimp and tofu."
It was at this point that the waiter came over. He looked surprised to see Jiraiya in the seat that had been empty only minutes before, but quickly recovered.
"Will you be needing a menu, sir?" he asked.
"No, we've already decided," said Kaida cheerfully. "Two orders of the diced and sauteed squid with peanut sauce." That said, she handed the waiter the menu so that Jiraiya didn't have the chance to back out of the dietary experiment.
Jiraiya looked a little shocked, but he handed his menu over to the waiter along with Kaida. "Squid, hmm?" he asked. "I've...never had that before." He grimaced, but then laughed. "Should be interesting." He drank more of his water; hopefully the squid wouldn't be so bad that he would need a lot of water to wash it down with.
Kaida chuckled. "With the books you've written, Jiraiya-sama, I'd be very disappointed if you balked at a little thing like trying squid." She smiled. "I've read up to the first three in the series, now."
Jiraiya's eyebrow perked. "Oh, you have, have you?" he asked. "How did you like them?" He was intrigued, his voice almost excited to hear what she had to say about his work.
"You've managed to show that plot and erotica can go hand in hand, for one," she said. That was true enough. Though there was quite a lot of smut in the novels, they did have a plot throughout them. "Your appreciation for the aesthetic beauty of the female form also comes through...especially in the third one."
Jiraiya was positively beaming. "Why, thank you!" he said, almost blushing. "I work hard on those novels, since they're my only real distraction from my other job. I'm glad that you enjoy them!" His eyes traveled over her; she was right about his 'appreciation for the aesthetic beauty of the female form'. "Which one did you like the best?"
"Icha Icha Violence," answered Kaida. "Particularly for the characters Takeda and Kyoko. They remind me of two old friends of mine that got married, so it was funny envisioning all of those embarrassing things happening to them throughout their relationship." Sipping her tea, she smirked and added, "Although they're not as exhibitionistic as Takeda and Kyoko."
Jiraiya smirked. "Well, I DO tend to...exaggerate the promiscuity of the people in my books. It's not as believable, but it sells more." He laughed, and then grimaced again as their squid was brought to them. "Well...isn't this....interesting-smelling..." he said, peering at their dish.
Taking out her chopsticks, Kaida tidily plucked a piece of the squid from the dish. "Give it a try, Jiraiya-sama. Dare to experiment," she said with a wink, before blowing on the small piece of squid to cool it down.
"........" He stared down the dish in front of him, the smell getting to him as he slowly picked up his chopsticks. Picking up a small piece, he brought it up to his mouth, opening slowly, and just as he was about to put it in, he gagged and dropped it back to his plate. "Oh damn, it smells awful!"
Kaida ate her piece without difficulty. "It tastes better than it smells," she remarked, chuckling at his open disgust towards the squid.
"If you say so," he said, and cautiously picked up the piece with his chopsticks. Using his other hand to hold his nose shut, he put it into his mouth...and immediately spit it back out onto the plate. "Oh my god. That's horrible."
Kaida winced. His disgust had been funny at first, but she did feel a little bad for him. He was clearly tired from his mission, and the last thing a person needed after a rough mission was a meal they could barely eat. "Try some of the rice with it, perhaps?"
Jiraiya eyed the rice. He picked up some of it with his chopsticks, and tentatively put it in his mouth. Since it was smaller, he swallowed it quickly, and chugged what was left of his water, his face indicating his obvious displeasure. "This has got to be the worst meal I've ever had."
"I'm very sorry, Jiraiya-sama," apologized Kaida. "I won't try to convince you to eat any more of it." She looked over his features. "After coming back from your tiring mission, this is the last thing you needed. Perhaps I can help make it up to you somehow."
"Just something edible," he replied, frowning at his plate. As soon as the waiter was even close to the table, Jiraiya had him take the squid, and bring back a menu, and he began to peruse it until he found a nice udon soup for himself. He ordered it, and once the waiter left, he looked up at Kaida. "I hope YOU'RE enjoying it, at least," he said with a weak smile.
"Very few people in the Tsukasa clan can cook to save their lives," remarked Kaida. "So it may be just that I've tasted so much worse growing up. It was the reason I first took up cooking as a hobby."
Jiraiya smiled as his udon was brought out, and he began to eat it, his face lighting up and seeming to lose some of its exhaustion as he began to eat. "Well, YOUR food was excellent, as I remember," he replied between mouthfuls of soup. "I wouldn't mind having you cook for me again....and again...." He grinned.
"I think you'd have to move out of the Hokage-sama's tower before that could happen again," Kaida pointed out, recalling the trouble Jiraiya had gotten into for bringing a stranger into his quarters there. "But if you did, I'd be happy to come and cook for you again sometime."
"Oh, yeah. Tsunade had a bug up her ass that day, though," he said, frowning. "But you're right; I'd have to find somewhere else.....actually," he said casually, "I know of this nice inn in Konoha, and each room has a full kitchen. I could rent one of those for a night."
"You could," said Kaida, sipping her green tea again. "I'd need to shop for some supplies if you wanted me to cook, though. When were you thinking of renting one, if you happened to decide on that?"
"Maybe tonight, if you've got nothing else to do," he replied. "I'm certainly not busy - I was gonna take a nap this afternoon, but I'll probably wake up tonight when I get hungry again." He sipped some water that he had brought, as he finished the last of his udon. "As long as you don't make squid, it'll be nice."
"You could always nap in my room at the inn I'm staying at," Kaida offered. "I'll shop while you sleep, and then you can walk with me to the other place...I don't know where it is, after all, so I could hardly come and meet you there."
"That's awfully nice of you," he replied. "A nap would be nice, though - I haven't slept in 5 days." The simple statement of that fact probably revealed more than Jiraiya should have revealed; after all, it would certainly pique her curiosity that he mentioned that he was merely tracking troublemakers, and yet had to forgo sleep for 5 days to do so. He hoped she didn't read too much into it.
"Well, that's not good for you at all," said Kaida, laying down more than enough money to cover her meal and Jiraiya's, minus the squid he'd sent back after two bites. She rose to her feet. "Come on. You need to rest sooner rather than later, Jiraiya-sama."