|Cast Character Histories - Part Two
||[Jun. 18th, 2006|06:01 pm]
mod journal 2 - electric boogaloo.
The following is an index of the cast character information. Part Two.
Name: Madarame Ikkaku
History: Ikkakau had everything a kid could want. Loving, albeit not too wealthy, parents, good grades, and the promise of a great career in the police force following his father were just the start. But with great promise came jealous from his classmates and it wasn’t long before Ikkakau was the target of bullies.
In retrospect, his father blames himself for what happened to his son later in life. Unwilling to have a boy who didn’t know how to fight back, he brought him to a local boxing gym to toughen him up. Ikkakau turned out to be not just a natural, he could take down boys three times his size. He was fast and lethal and he knew it. Needless to say, the next time someone tried to pick on him, they ended up in the hospital.
Once the demon was released, Ikkakau didn’t just love fighting, he craved it. In five years, he was thrown out of seven primary schools. It wasn’t that he wanted to disobey his parents, he just felt like he had to fight.
When he entered high school, he still fought any chance he got. Until one day, someone beat him to an inch within his life. He asked the stranger why he didn’t finish the job and the stranger replied “If I kill you now, then we won’t be able to fight again.”
Over the months of physical therapy, the statement was etched into his mind. No longer satisfied with fighting against school yard bullies, Ikkakau returned to the gym his father had sent him to long ago to pursue professional boxing. It cost money to train though, so he had to promise his parents that he would graduate high school in return for them funding his aspiring boxing career.
Ikkakau graduated high school with honors but skipped out on college. He knew that he wasn’t seeking the sort of profession they would teach him. He didn’t want to ask his parents for more money, so he moved out and found the cheapest housing he could. He trains at a local gym and makes money participating in underground street fights, though he could probably go pro anytime he wants.
He’s still prone to violence but it’s more contained now. He doesn’t bother with people weaker then him. Sometimes, if he’s in a good mood, he might help someone out who needs it, but only if he respects them.
Name: Matsumoto Rangiku
History: Matsumoto Rangiku has two parents. They are both alive.
They are, however, quite old, comparatively. The couple were in their late thirties by the time they conceived their only daughter - devout Catholics, they saw this as a reward for many years of patience and prayer. The Matsumotos are the kind of people who would have been ridiculously strict if it had been possible for them to imagine their daughter as anything less than angelic in her virtue.
Blind eyes turned, the young Rangiku was free to find whatever trouble could be had and fully immerse herself in it. By the age of 14 she was already in with every bad crowd going, spending her nights in the local park drinking until she was sick and experimenting with whatever else the older members of the gang might bring. Puberty having kicked in with a vengeance a couple of years before, it was easier for her to associate with them than to fit in with those her own age. Things were gradually getting more and more out of control.
One New Years Eve (perhaps morning on New Years Day) found her passed out in the snow, left behind by her equally drunk 'friends' with the distinct possibility that she might never regain consciousness. Rangiku still remembers thinking that maybe her parents were right about angels. Waking up to silver hair and a wide smile.
Ichimaru Gin got her off all her vices and hooked on him, instead. For the next three years she was devoted to him, despite his secretive, distant manner and the fact that he only ever called her a 'friend' (despite the things they did together being far more than friendly). She was 17 when his family moved away. He promised to write, but never did. She still hasn't forgotten him.
"I would call him my childhood sweetheart, only he wasn't very sweet and he never had much of a heart."
Having begun to do well at school under Gin's influence, Rangiku got into a good community college, forming a close bond there with one of the language tutors, one Hitsugaya Kaoru, just about the only person capable of getting Rangiku to knuckle down to work. Even after she finished her studies (moving into a rundown apartment on Lysgar Street as she discovered that no jobs posted a humanities qualification on their most wanted attributes list) she remained close with the woman and her family, but it was still a surprise - at the grand old age of 25 - to be landed with a child to look after, the aftermath of a robbery turned homicide at the Hitsugaya family store.
A firm believer in the theory that when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade (it mixes great with vodka), Rangiku has thrown herself into family life with Toushirou, though it is often debatable just which of them plays the parent. While working part time in the a local bar, Ran has also held down a secretarial position at just about every office in the city and been fired from these jobs with similar regularity. She is now with a new temp agency and experimenting with being a PA.
Name: Mitarashi Anko
History: Anko grew up in a decent, upper-middle class home, with decent, upper-middle class parents. And as most upper-middle class teens tend to do, she took it for granted. She resented her parents and her "stifling" living environment and rebelled in tiny ways--wearing leather, listening to loud music, and acquiring strange hairstyles. It wasn't until she was twenty that she truly acted out.
Orochimaru was a charismatic, persuasive college senior who was the embodiment of everything she wanted to be. Smart, charming, wise, and independent, he swept her off her feet after their first meeting in a library. His ideas became hers and she soon dropped out of community college and moved out of her parents' home, anxious to start a new life with her new lover. It didn't matter that she was supporting them (with money stolen from her parents' ATM account)--she was happy.
When the money left, so did he. Or, more accurately, she left, kicked out onto the street by Orochimaru who had apparently "fallen out of love" with her. She was twenty-two. It didn't take long for her to find housing at 311 Lysgar and a job at Venus Envy, an adult film and novelty shop around the corner. She still works there now, half-wondering what to do with the future and half-hoping that there isn't one.
Name: Nara Shikamaru
History: Nara Shikamaru is a certified genius; has been since a teacher in middle school tested him and realized his IQ easily topped 200. One would think that being a child genius would change Shikamaru---make him self-important or cocky, bad-tempered or arrogant---but this skinny boy was given an unnatural amount of laziness at birth. In fact, his worried mother tried putting him on all kinds of medications during his childhood, trying to keep up his attention and fight off his almost narcoleptic-worthy napping schedule (Yoshino had gone to the doctor demanding if it was normal for a little boy to fall asleep in cupboards/on top of tables/under beds). Nothing was intrinsically wrong with Shikamaru, of course. He was just very toned down, saving his energy for a rainy day.
There were two large landmarks in his childhood, and they came in the shape of people. One was a girl with long blonde hair and a certain gleam to her eyes that hallmarked pain, and the other was a boy of a certain unmentionable girth and hugely large heart. Both were worth waking up for, and they---Ino and Chouji, who ushered him into his first meaningful relationship---became InoShikaChou, a tiny trio of loser musketeers. They were all aware of this and were totally fine.
Shikamaru slept through high school, just barely graduating. He slept through his graduation party, slept through the breakup with his high school girlfriend, slept through his first year of college, slept through the parties and the boozing and the slow decay of his lifestyle. He woke up when Chouji poked him to eat something (“man, Shika, you’re just bones!”) or when Ino jumped on him with a demand for attention (“Shikaaaaaa, wakie-wakie! It’s your turn to take out the garbaaaaage~), because they were friends and therefore worth waking up for.
And then came the ultimate wake-up call, the paradigm shift. His parents booted him out of the house with the assurance that they’d pay for his classes---only when he decided on his major, and only if he kept up his grades. Otherwise: poof. All their support would be gone. So, with a yawn and a stretch, Shikamaru roused his lazy ass, moving in with his lifetime best friend, Chouji. The apartment is shabby and his mother nearly fainted at the sight of his bedroom, but he just shrugged and shuffled off in his favored bunny slippers. Not a lot phases him.
Shikamaru decided to follow something he was actually interested in, career-wise: climatology, with a focus in the physics of clouds. He’s actually doing well, surprisingly enough, when Chouji reminds him to do his homework and Ino keeps him awake during finals week.
Name: Sarugaki Hiyori
History: She was born in South America (any country, just take your pick. She doesn’t pledge allegiance to anywhere), borne by a girl too young to be called a woman and sired by a European too drunk to tell the difference. Surprisingly, her grandparents accepted this fact, and didn’t push their daughter away like trash. They agreed to treat the small baby like their own. Hiyori.
Not that they were around long. They left behind debts miles long, and Hiyori’s mother sold everything in a pathetic attempt at paying them back. Luckily (unluckily) her sister had allowed herself to be taken to America as a drug mule and was living there, married to an abusive American husband. She’d sent for Hiyori’s mother seven years before. It took another three long, tired, bittersweet years for the request to go through and for Hiyori and her mother to come into the country legally.
They lived with this sister until Hiyori’s mother got herself a stable job at supermarket nearby and they bought a small apartment in the same city. And there Hiyori lived until she was fifteen, never feeling at home. It was as if the other children knew just by looking at her that she wasn’t like them. Her skin was too pale for her to be spanish, right? But, man, those foreign words rolled right off her tongue. They never knew what to make of her, so they ignored her.
Her mother thought that perhaps it would be better to move to a nicer place, away from the city and its scrutiny. A little town nearby with less shootings and graffiti and more doors left unlocked. Except it wasn’t much different there; the judgments were just different. If she’d kept her mouth shut they might have just assumed Hiyori was white, like them. But then she spoke and her accent...she was just as much an outsider as before. She graduated there, grateful only that at least in this town going to school hadn’t been completely fruitless. She’d found the fine art of woodworking. Nah, she probably liked it best because it was anything but fine.
And not just the lame little shelves them told her to make in class. No. Carving, chiseling, forming. It was like clay, but so much firmer. Unfortunately, the only carpenters that made any money were the ones making those stupid shelves. So once she graduated, she and her mother said goodbye to the town they’d reluctantly called home. Her mother went to live with her newly divorced sister and Hiyori headed to Lysgar Street.
Name: Shiba Kuukaku
History: When Kuukaku was twenty, sixteen-year-old Kaien found himself caught up in drugs. Even though she worked her ass off to get the money to send him to a clinic, he took the money and ran. Wherever he went, trouble followed, and this time was no different-- he ended up getting shot.
Kuukaku and her brother Ganjyu moved out of their old house and into a series of smaller apartments for the next few years until the present. It would have been just too painful, Kuukaku realized, to stay in a house so full of memories.
Kuukaku's most distinguishing feature is the fact that her right arm is missing from the bicep down. While she sometimes wears a prosthesis, she often goes au natural and keeps the remainder of her arm covered in bandages. Either way, it's fun way to scare the neighborhood kids. She also can out drink, out curse, and out smoke (usually pipes) the best sailors around.
Kuukaku is considered one of the greatest and craziest pyrotechnics of her time. She rarely follows any safety protocols regarding herself, the people around her, or the environment. Even though gun powder has long since been replaced by air compression to set off fireworks, Kuukaku prefers tradition or any new "fancy" inventions. Because fireworks are illegal to sell the public, Kuukaku makes her living by selling her designs to places like Disney Land and race tracks. However, because she's never been one to follow the rules, she supplements her income by selling fireworks on Ebay.
If getting kicked out of residential locations were an art form, Kuukaku could be considered the Michelangelo of relocation. Kuukaku tends to ignore silly little things like "fire codes" and "safety regulations" and enjoys shooting fireworks off of the roof, out of the window, or even inside. Also, with her strength and fiery temper, she tends to destroy apartments rather easily. More often than not, however, her garish decorations are usually the last straw for the poor, suffering landlords. Lysgar Street is infamous for its crappy apartments and even crappier hands-off management, so it's the perfect place for the Shibas. Low rent and freedom -- what more can a girl ask for?
Name: Shihouin Yoruichi
History: Shihouin Yoruichi had lived a life of prestige and luxury since the day she was born, and hated what was expected of her because of it. As the only heir of the Shihouin family, the pressure to think of the family above herself was limitless. All of the efforts of Shihouin Daisuke and Shihouin Yukiko, as well as every other member of the Shihouin clan were doomed to failure. Yoruichi was too clever, too independent, and far too strong-willed to ever be happy with a life where all that lay in her future was becoming a classy rich bitch, marrying some rich bastard to further his own agenda in life, and having his babies. Growing up, her affinity for art helped keep her sane, and her parents indulged in what they foolishly believed to be a passing fancy. They allowed her art and her surprising love of running in the hopes of keeping her under control.
Yoruichi proved them wrong by moving out and cutting off all contact with her family the minute she turned 18,and has been living at 311 Lysgar Street ever since. Her family stopped trying to get her to come back when she turned 21.Yoruichi’s residence at the apartment came from her long-time friendship with Urahara Kisuke, the only good thing to ever come from her politically active family. She says he was the only person she ever met through her family who wasn’t mind numbingly boring, a total syphocant, corrupt, or a combination of all three. What Urahara says…is a total mystery. Yoruichi is also the only resident who knows what he looks like.
Yoruichi has no problem with her with what her family would call a fall to an unworthy state of being, because it has given her the freedom to pursue her art and live her life to the fullest. It was the one thing she couldn’t buy with all the money and connections her family had, and it has given her a real appreciation for what others take for granted. For the moment she makes a living with her art, and when she gets her trust fund at 30,she’ll never have to worry about anything but her art again. She doesn’t really care about the money, but who is she to turn down an opportunity to snub her disapproving family.
While most of the apartment’s residents’ personalities clash with at least one other person, Yoruichi’s easygoing personality and sharp observational skills make her the only person who gets along with every single person living there. Her one remaining childhood habit of never completely opening up makes Urahara the only one who truly knows her. If the cats she has an affinity for could speak, they might be able to claim the same, but they can’t. Even if they could, being cats they probably would say anything anyway.
History: All Shizune has ever known is her desire to help people. Her first real memory is taking the girl scout oath ("On my honor, I will try: to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law."), and vowing that she would always keep it, so help her God. She has on her resume stints at soup kitchens, nursing homes and day care centers. It was her summer working as a candy striper at the local hospital, however, that set her on the path that would take her where she is today.
Even though she nearly worshipped her uncle's girlfriend Tsunade (a successful doctor), Shizune believed that doctors were too detached from what was really important – the patient. She couldn't become a professional candy striper, however, so she decided to load up her college courses with biology and chemistry and become a physician's assistant. She would often go to her mentor for advice and reassurance, which Tsunade happily provided – that is, until her uncle was killed.
Tsuande pulled away, Dan was gone and Shizune's grades began to suffer. The PA program at her local medical school was extremely competitive and the pressure began to mount. When one of her classmates offered her a way to increase her performance, stay awake for exams and have nearly unlimited stamina, Shizune was in no position to say no. It was almost, in the end, an accidental addiction, one that she kept a secret for nearly five years. She graduated, took an illustrious position at a well-known hospital and lived, quite happily, for some time.
Shizune's world came crashing down upon her after a random drug screen at work came up positive for amphetamines. Her license to practice medicine was suspended indefinitely and she was ordered to report to a rehab clinic for the minimum of thirty days. It was an altogether embarrassing and unbelievable situation for Shizune – had her life spiraled so out of control so quickly? Having no choice, Shizune completed what she considers the most painful month of her life at the clinic, returned home, looked Tsunade up in the phone book...
... and arrived at 311 Lysgar street to start again.
Name: Soi Fong
History: Back in China, Soi Fong had been lucky enough to grow up with a family in an urban area, surrounded by those that allowed her to her full potential as an intelligent female, not just as a wife and mother. Despite being very clever it would have been impossible for her to have become a lawyer without her parents struggling beside her to give her all they could.
She did get into a good school after doing well in middle school (high school) and left home for Peking. Unfortunately, both her parents passed away during her third year at Peking University Law School, which left her alone and aching for something, maybe someone. Still, she spent most of her time studying and didn't have time for anything more than barely-friends.
Stories trickled to her over the years, of opportunities and wonders and equality across the ocean, and only a year after finally receiving her law degree she managed to get enough money for a one-way ticket to America. There was nothing tying her to old-fashioned China any longer.
Unfortunately the America she arrived in differed drastically from the pictures that had been painted for her. The degree she'd worked so hard for, that her parents had drained themselves paying for, it meant nothing here, she meant nothing here, and they looked down on her and her accent.
With money she'd brought with her she managed to get herself an apartment, and a degrading job selling used clothing. This is her life, and with a stony expression she forces herself to accept that, and hope for things to get better.
Name: Takayama Ukon
History: Hindsight was always twenty-twenty or so the wise claimed. But even if that weren’t the case, Ukon knew exactly where he fell from grace, where the one moment frozen in history when the entire world turned upside down was, where everything went to hell in a hand basket. The veritable seal of both his fleshly and spiritual damnation - and there wasn’t a thing that he would have done to change it.
And all of it, all of the suffering and torments that followed that one, singular event; he would live through again and again, never desiring to change it even if he could.
The road to hell was paved with good intentions and his started with a kiss.
Not from just anyone; anyone else and it could have been forgiven, of that he was nearly certain, anyone, that is, but his brother.
His twin brother. Born mere minutes after he and three ounces lighter with his foot clutched in the younger twin’s hand. His younger, loud-mouthed, trash-talking, hard-hitting, impulsive little brother…
It should have been disgusting, and in a sense it was; it violated every law, every teaching, everything they had been taught in the white picket-fence suburban ‘heaven’. Violated the lifestyle in which the two boys lived, the sanctity of their home and the religion by which so many of the people of their hometown dictated their lives. It went against everything, but yet…
Ukon never had favored religion, finding its high-minded blathering of no interest to him – to be certain he made damn sure that he could lip sing every hymn and regurgitate every verse and proverb, but never did he find himself at peace with it. Something, something had always niggled at the back of his mind at the haplessness of it all and endless preaching of God and his angels, and it wasn’t until his parents had cast both boys from their home did he figure out just what it was: hypocrisy.
Where was God’s infinite love? The infinite patience that He supposedly showered upon His children? And why did those so called ‘Christians’ not follow in their own doctrine and try to become more Christ like – patient, forgiving, loving..
And there was so much of it, so much hypocrisy and spite, enough to make the oft impatient and brutal boy ill at the thought of it all.
Perhaps that was why he didn’t protest when his bunk suddenly depressed with the additional weight of his twin, the gravity of news that the younger of the two had to express making the box-spring mattress sink a little further, only turning his attention away from where he had been almost asleep to face his living mirror. And perhaps because the hesitant almost fearful brush of lips across his own was the only honest thing that had ever come of his life was the reason why he didn’t recoil. Why he didn’t pull away, wipe his mouth and spit. Why he returned the intimate gesture as though he had been expecting it all along and didn’t freeze when their mother suddenly burst in asking what they wanted for dinner before screaming in horror and utter revulsion.
Was it all really so evil?
They weren’t committing adultery or slandering their God’s name in vain as their parents’ were oft to do– so why? Why? Why any of it?
He didn’t offer protest to the unfair punishment dictated by the boys’ parents, accepting it without even batting an eye – he didn’t know what he was getting into, nor did he care, there was only one person that matter beside himself, and he was getting the same treatment. It worried him, however, how quiet Sakon was during the whole ordeal – perhaps he regretted his actions, or at least the timing of his ill-conceived declaration of love or at least affection. Ukon didn’t care, just so long as they could both make themselves scarce within the minutes they were given to get the hell out.
Ukon made it a point of not regretting his actions, it only ended in more pain otherwise.He didn’t speak to Sakon as they packed, only reaffirmed his unconditional support by dropping a hand on the younger teen’s shoulder and squeezing it in gentleness that belied his often wicked temper. It didn’t matter what would happen, no matter what path that Sakon would decide to path, the elder twin would follow along in silent support, taking the reigns only when absolutely necessary.
And so they left – running away from home and their crimes, fleeing to the homes of various friends in hopes of being able to find a permanent residence. But their town was small and gossip of the reasons behind their sudden departure fueled the rumor mills, and the people that might have let the wayward boys stay for a night or two turned them away. Friends from school and church abandoned them, leaving them shiftless, jobless, and homeless.
The decision to leave their hometown wasn’t so much as mutually reached as absolutely necessary, taking enough time to drop by their elderly grandmother and bum enough money for bus fair out of the city – Ukon claiming it to be necessary for a school field trip and they hadn’t the time to ask it of their parents. He nearly felt bad duping the nigh senile old woman, but it wasn’t enough to make him stop, nor to persuade him to keep from swiping as many of her various prescription drugs as possible.
He wasn’t wholly ignorant of the prices people would pay for the pills that were handed out like candy to the Baby Boomers… and this minimal knowledge often lent itself to frequent break-ins in neighborhoods that housed the elderly, and anything that could be grabbed within a five minute period that could be pawned was his for the taking.
The elder twin, however, was ignorant of just how expensive living really was and how few job opportunities were open to those of his age. And even as they sold away any possessions that weren’t utterly necessary, the boys suffered, bouncing from bad to worse without even the slightest turnaround – many times Ukon was almost certain that they would starve or freeze upon the streets. Homeless shelters were always overcrowded, if there even were any; not to mention soup kitchens couldn’t be counted upon as many where shut down under the growing economical pressure. Life was, in short, hell, but at least the boys had one another.
And with a little luck, maybe a semi-permanent residence at the lodging Sakon had discovered..
History: When Tenten was a young girl in China, her mother passed away leaving her father, a construction worker, to take care of their only child. As a result, she spent most of her youth growing up on different work sites. Her father was predominately a metal worker and he taught her from a young age how to use his tools to forge different items. At first, she used this to help him with his work and then progressed to making small weapons.
Her father wasn’t a rich man and he knew that getting her into a good school would be difficult. Even though she was a master of math and physics, her grades weren’t good enough to qualify for academic scholarship. At age 14, he asked his friend, a master of Kung Fu, to take her in as a student. She excelled at this sport, winning several Chinese tournaments and attracting the attention of a school in Beijing. She left her father in their small village and began studying there, splitting her time between martial arts and school.
To make some spare cash, she had numerous side jobs, including working as a coffee waitress. One day, a local architect saw her doodling some ideas on how to better design a coffee shop and after a couple of hours talking, offered her an internship at his firm.
When she graduated school, he pulled a few strings and got her a spot at a prestigious Japan university where she could finish out her studies in architecture. She continues to work odd jobs in order to support herself and recently found a dojo that might give her a place to practice in Japan.
History: Even though Tsunade now spends most every night serving booze to people who enjoy forgetting their days (and most days trying to forget about her nights), that isn't the lot she's always had.
In her younger years, Tsunade was always a bright and cheerful girl. At least, that's what she'd tell you. She came from a well-to-do family, lacking nothing as she grew up. Her grandfather, who had been a wealthy businessman, left a hefty inheritance for her family when he passed away.
She loved to play with the other kids at the park, especially the mischievous boy with the bright blond hair who always seemed to get her into some kind of trouble. The same kids managed to get her in trouble all the way up through high school, though they lost touch after graduation.
With college came a new set of friends and a potential future with a career in medicine. In her third year of med school, she began dating a boy named Dan, who was a political science major at a nearby university. After years of study and internships, Tsunade finally graduated with her doctorate and plans to open her own clinic. When Dan proposed to her, she thought her happy future was secured.
After the death of her parents, she came into her family's inheritance, and she and Dan moved in together into her childhood home. Their careers were both promising; Dan with his politics and Tsunade with her practice. All their plans came to an abrupt end, though, when Dan was shot by a mugger on his way home after leaving a rally.
Tsunade's inability to keep him alive until the paramedics arrived caused her to doubt her own abilities as a doctor, and after one of her patients filed a malpractice suit against her, she resigned from her clinic, allowing her business partners to take over.
In a bout of depression, she turned to alcohol and gambling to lessen her pain. Years of expensive booze and lost wagers saw the end of her savings, and Tsunade finally had to take up the occupation of bar tender to the club she owed the most to. Now she continues to work there, even though she doesn't owe them anymore. It's enough to pay her bills, and that's all she can ask for.
Name: Uchiha Sasuke
History: It wasn’t all that long ago that Sasuke had his whole life mapped out before him: He was to follow in his brother’s footsteps. Which was exactly the same as the ones their father had taken. And their grandfather. Taking up all that name Uchiha meant, and the next thing on his list to be conquered was college. And not just any college, but one of the best, renowned for its International Business program [and not to mention Military History Classes, for there wasn’t an Uchiha alive who couldn’t fight his way through – or rather pick out each and every mistake because naturally, it always could have been done better - the pages upon pages of battles past].
When he was sixteen, none of this bothered Sasuke. In fact, he happily set about the task of showing his father [though he always had been something of a momma’s boy] that he was just as good as, if not better than, his older brother. But no matter the athletic awards or the number of times he came out top in his class, he never earned more than a curt nod from the man. Could only watch as his father went to talk with Itachi because there was always something more his brother could learn, and faster. Besides, as far as his father was concerned, everything Sasuke did had already been done, and better in some way, by his brother.
But slowly, all that determination, years and years of telling himself one day I’ll be good enough, began to corode. No, not corode, corrupt. It was corrupted, twisting into something dark and miserable and just perfect for rebellion. By the time he was a senior in high school, it became that proverbial ticking time-bomb. It was time to do things his way and not even his mother could persuade him otherwise. And by his way, Sasuke meant handing a big Fuck you to his father and a Just you wait to his brother. He’d show them both just what he was capable of.
College was forgotten, the acceptance letters sitting as a pile of grey ash on the family deck. Right next to his father’s favorite chair, the one that overlooked the koi pond and provided the most stunning view of a sunset he had ever seen. Oddly made all that water look like diluted blood, oil-slick on the surface with its blame-laden reds.
He left, saying nothing about where he was going – wasn’t even sure himself – and what it was that was going to make him so big – didn’t quite know that either. Just a duffle bag of clothes, a few of his favorite books, and a train schedule.
Shortly after [it never did take much time for an up-scale world-at-his-feet boy to go broke without daddy to back him] Sasuke found himself scrounging around for a job. Ended up working odd details, everything from lifting crates of goods before dawn to waiting tables at a run-down café.
Eventually he found himself working at a sad-excuse for a video store. A beat-down hole in the wall, where the strange liked to rent and the even stranger liked to haunt. He’d seen worse though, and for the most part they were intelligent. Or at least well-versed in foreign films [and occasionally the tragic history of whatever country they happened to get off to].
Not the most exciting place to work, but it was money. However, the shop owner had taken a liking to the runaway, and when the place was empty [which was the case more often than not], he let Sasuke watch whatever he wanted in the back room [which also doubled for a bedroom on most nights]. And that’s when genius struck: He’d make a film. Something to rival these samples he found himself enjoying more and more.
Before long, he’d seen just about every movie in the place, and with each film scrutinized, the idea of making his own name in the industry engraved itself a little deeper into his mind. What better way to upstart his brother than carving out his own path, without his name to back him, without his parent’s money to support him. On his own terms, he would defeat that relentless image of Itachi, and prove once and for all, he had always been worthy.
But first, he really needed a place of his own.
Name: Ukitake Jyuushiro
History: Jyuushirou was born in December 21 to a low-class artistocratic family, some hundred miles west from Lysgar. Out of five brothers and two sisters (all younger), Jyuushirou is the only one to be born with latent tuberculosis (LTB). He suffers from frequent attacks of violent coughing, and usually seems to take effect whenever he's under any sort of stress. It's also due to his illness that his hair's turned white, about three days after his first attack as a child.
Most of his childhood memories are of attacks and visits to the hospital, but because of their low-class status, his parents could not afford all the tests for a proper diagnosis, so most of his childhood and adolescence was spent not knowing what he had. He was 15 when a doctor finally suggested he has LTB, yet even then his parents could not afford the proper medications. So because of this, instead of being cured in six to nine months (which is the standard treatment time for LTB), Jyuushirou contines to suffer from the disease.
When he was 17, Jyuushirou made the biggest decision of his life. Gathering every penny he had, he moved out of his parents' home. He was tired of being a burden to them, and left so they could focus on caring for their other children. He still keeps in contact with them from time to time, and their relationship is strained at the most.
For most of his childhood and adolescence, Jyuushirou was convinced that every attack would be the end of his life. Even with a proper diagnosis and some of the right medication, Jyuushirou still acts as if every attack could be his last, and so he's a firm believer of living to each day. For two years after he'd moved out, Jyuushirou had backpacked across Europe, seen, eaten, and experienced as much of life as he could-- but the care free life took its toll on Jyuushirou, and likely made his illness worse. Abroad, he met many people who suffered from the diseases like him, though without the proper treatment available, and it tore at him. He went back to America, took classes (mostly psychology), and eventually worked his way on getting a degree.
Now at age 29, Jyuushirou is a free counselor at the local clinic (living only on what the clinic gives him-- if they give him anything, though a portion always goes home to his parents), helping victims such as himself to deal and live through their illness. He's recently just moved into 311 Lsygar St., to be closer to his work.
Because of his illness, Jyuushirou maintains a positive outlook on life. He believes things always happen for a reason, and it's a person's job make the best with what they're given. Not to say that Jyuushirou is really happy. He'd wish for nothing more than to be able to live a normal life, meet a nice girl, have a son or two (family-- that's all he really wants). But because of his disease, Jyuushirou, while remaining friendly and warm, tends to distance himself personally from everyone else. He's quite sure he'll always be alone, til the day he dies (he also believes that day isn't that far away), and, on good days, he's okay with that.
Name: Umino Iruka
History: Ever the long-teacher, Iruka's lifestyle has never been a glamorous one. Orphaned young by a car accident (one of the reasons he never drives anywhere by choice, not when his own two legs can carry him or public transport is earlier) he spent his childhood years with a pair of loving, if nor particularly inspirational or aspiring foster parents. Their gift to him was solid good-nature - they'd raised him to be a respectable, reliable man (they were probably a tad outdated) and they succeeded in that Iruka doesn't chew with his mouth open, always eats his vegetables and normally ends up helping little old ladies across the world.
He's probably taking it a bit far, but hey, it's how he was raised. It wasn't always that way - at school, he was a terrible prankster and his foster parents only succeeded in knocking sense through his skull when he was in his later years - perseverance pays off, never forget that.
Upon leaving home, Iruka went to university to obtain his teaching degree - his aspiration was to originally teach children at his local school, but the employability rate of newly trained teachers is fairly low and, instead, he was put to work in a community college for adults. They mostly don't leave apples on his desk or look at him with wide-eyed awe, but he gains satisfaction from it nonetheless. Teaching was something Iruka was born to do.
Iruka's job keeps him up at odd hours - his evenings are spent teaching and his free time in the day is usually filled with marking, so he ends up getting rather irregular amounts of sleep (just how much he gets is a mystery.) His job is terribly paid, but he scrapes by - he really has no option, but to live in the affordable housing offered by the...uh...charmingly quaint apartment block. Still, if you ever needed a neighbour to lend you anything, Iruka's your man - he's generous to a fault, particularly when his often oddly placed sympathy gets in the way.
Name: Yadomaru Risa
History: When Risa was 16, her parents caught her reading porn. Being the devout Catholics that they were, they scolded her terribly and burned all of the explicit material even though she tried to explain to them that the porn was merely a result of her curiosity. They assumed that her school chums had been a bad influence and placed her in a Catholic, all-girls school forcing her to break contact with the few good friends she had. Little did they know that Catholic school girls were able to feed her sexual curiosity more than her public school friends ever could...
At age 17, Risa was kicked out of her parents' house after being caught with a guy in their bedroom. They haven't spoken since. She transferred to public school again for her senior year and barely passed because she worked full time at the porn shop she so frequently visited.
However, education was important to Risa and so she decided to pursue a film major at the nearby college. However, she would need to move to a place where rent was cheap in order to save up enough money for this endeavor. 311 Lysgar seemed like the best solution.
Risa still works at the shop, which is only a few blocks down from the apartment complex, and figures she's had enough experience in kicking horny guy's asses to survive living in such a gritty place.
WARNING: Although pornography is her undying obsession, Risa refuses to be called a pervert. She simply... enjoys educating herself.
Name: Yamanaka Ino
History: How did your character wind up here?: Ino was the all American girl growing up. Popular, pretty, and energetic, she was the prom queen, cheerleader, and drama queen all rolled into one. She had a pretty normal childhood with a very devoted and protective (protective to the point of setting booby traps on the lawn for boys who would try to sneak in) father that was the ex-lead singer of an eighties hair band and her mother one of his groupies. She grew up with Sakura, protecting her from bullies and helping her find her true potential as a person.
As much as Ino loved flowers, she knew that she could not picture herself working in the family flower shop for the rest of her life. After graduating from college with a degree in interior design, Ino used her skill for design and color and her charm to start on the road of interior design. It was a competitive field, but Ino was stubborn and hardworking, unable to stop until she reached her goal… even if it meant doing a few things on the sly to make sure she got the job. It was like her father said: It's not what you know, it's who you know.
Cutting the credit cards that her father gave her (it wasn't easy and many stores wept with the loss of their best customer), Ino ventured into the world, determined to make it on her own. Before winding up on Lysgar street, Ino lived in a series of run down, rat infested, health hazard apartments. Luckily Sakura told her there was an opening in her apartment building before Ino went completely insane.
Internships don't make enough to live on, so Ino landed a job at a music store (those silly people seemed to think because she was the daughter of a rock star she knew anything about music—plus she wouldn't leave until they hired her) even though she still thinks Marilyn Manson is a woman with an awful dye job.
Name: Yuuhi Kurenai
History: A beautiful, intelligent, and active girl growing up, Yuuhi Kurenai was both Homecoming Queen and valedictorian in her high school. Accomplished and ambitious, she had a scholarship and attended a fine university for nearly two years before dropping out to run away with her new boyfriend. Believing love was more important than anything else, she passed up a better future as he pursued an art career.
Without a degree she couldn't get any outstanding job, and by the time she really wanted to, she lacked the funds to go back to school. As she struggled to make a living for the two of them, he continued to make life harder by getting involved in drugs. While she refused to touch them, alcohol became her crutch, and upon realizing they both had problems, she pleaded with him for them to turn their lives around. He agreed.
He didn't believe in marriage, but as a part of their new start, she got him to agree to an official ceremony when she was 24. As they worked to kick their habits, Kurenai succeeded first under the motivation of giving birth, however after a miscarriage her depression set her back. On their fifth anniversary, their marriage ended messily in an affair with another woman. Ironically, the other woman had a hire education in law, and managed to turn the courts in favor of the ex-husband.
The divorce left Kurenai with all of the debts her husband had accumulated over the years, no home, no money, no family, and no faith in men. Using the little savings had, some of her skills, and sheer guts, she moved across the country to start a new life. Her finances being what they were, she eventually ended up at 311 Lysgar.
Reclaiming her maiden name and swearing off men, Yuuhi Kurenai is a talented but bitter woman suffering with an accounting job she hates, and trying to kick the drinking habits she loves.
Name: Zaku Abumi
History: Zaku was adopted, not when he was a baby, but when he was nearly 6 years old. Though still a child, people don’t often give kids enough credit in terms of being perceptive. He knew well enough he was being plucked from the group-home he’d lived in since as far back as he could remember, and being dropped into a new and foreign environment.
The couple that had adopted him were relatively young, and had been trying to conceive a child of their own. When that seemed to be a failure, and when tension between them was escalating from issues present before attempting to have a baby, for some reason adoption seemed to be the solution in the mind of his adoptive mother. For her, having a child was supposed to be what would keep her marriage in tact. She felt her husband would love the dark haired little boy and love her as well by default for bringing him into the household. Zaku’s job, unbeknownst to him, was to keep a marriage together between two people who had issues with each other, but remained too stubborn to cut free from the union.
This plan didn’t start out going too smoothly. Though Zaku, at 6, didn’t need constant supervision a small baby would, he also already had habits and mannerisms established from his life BEFORE coming to them. There were a lot more downs than ups, Zaku didn’t quite fit into their routine as quickly as they might’ve liked, and old habits died hard in the sense that Zaku was a bit of a thief and ended up getting into trouble due to stealing. It took some time, but eventually he did sink into finally not being paranoid of his adoptive parents, and trusting them enough to not give them a hard time 24/7. He’d been a brat at them, mostly because he fully expected being kicked out and shoved back into that group home. It was like he was pushing their buttons and just waiting for the ‘inevitable’. When that never came, he finally relaxed. Besides, with his adopted parents he actually got more attention and got material things all to himself, and didn’t have to share, that ruled. However, the established household atmosphere of 2 parents and an only child didn’t last. His parents, whom apparently had not been able to conceive children, miraculously did so about 6 months after.
Needless to say it was not a fun atmosphere then, his parents ended up shifting 100 percent of their attention to their own biological child before it was even born. Zaku did not like this, not one bit, because everything suddenly turned into ‘baby baby baby’. For a while, Zaku, ignored them both, and kept to himself, but sadly, being paid attention too was addicting in a way and he wanted that back. He wanted to be acknowledged, he wanted his parents to focus on him. He was dreading the new arrival, and rightfully so, after the birth he was paid even less attention too. As he got older, he resented that ‘sibling‘ and wanted nothing to do with the one who‘d taken ‘his‘ family. Even though he started to feel he had no claim in the family at all, since he wasn‘t related. This made him even angrier. At around 15 he took to sneaking out at all hours of the night and disappearing for days at a time before stumbling back home in some sort of inebriated state. Or at least the parents thought it was just alcohol, in truth he’d started dabbling in a few drugs here and there.
Those vices of alcohol and drugs were expensive, and in that mindset of just wanting a fix, he had absolutely no qualms about nicking a few bills here and there from family members. So whenever things went missing in the house, or someone was suddenly really light on cash, all signs pointed to the most obvious suspect. Any accusations of said thievery were met with lots of shouting and cursing and door slamming on Zaku’s part, even though they were true.
It finally got to the point when he was around 17 that his ‘family’ got sick of the disruption that was Zaku. One night, when he came back after an absence of days, he found the locks on the house were all changed. A clearer sign was not needed. The next day, when the family was out of the house at work and school, he broke in, grabbed his shit, and left. The ‘family’ he’d had was no more, and yet Zaku was pretty much too drugged out of his mind to really take in the full impact.
He bummed around a lot after that, most literally at times, sleeping wherever he happened to land. As with some, it got to where it actually bothered him to wake up and have that overwhelming disorientation of not knowing where he was or what he’d done the night before or what toxins were in his system. That and waking up in your own vomit was something that was never ‘not gross’ in the morning. It bothered him, but that wasn’t what made him try to stop. Nearly overdosing and dying, waking up in a hospital sort of made it crystal clear that yes, he’d almost died. And Zaku didn’t want to die.
He’d been clean for a total of 3 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days when he felt able to go out and try to obtain work. [He still drinks though, he’s not giving up that indulgence anytime soon.] He landed a job at a convenience store, but is not a model employee by any stretch of the imagination. Zaku works minimal hours, calls in sick a lot, comes in hung over, and has a tendency to leave the ‘back in five minutes’ sign up during the day and wander off, leaving the place unattended. Why he’s yet to be fired is unclear.
Now that he has a job, he’s done bumming with friends, mostly because they still happen to be users and he doesn’t want to be beat by temptation. And he’s tempted, strongly, whenever he’s having a very bad day or just feels like shit. Every day is a temptation to just start up again, because it’d be just so easy, and he knows how good it’d make him feel, at least temporarily. It’s a daily struggle sometimes, and it amplifies his usually sour demeanor, argumentative nature, and semi-violent tendencies quite a bit. Despite being drugged a lot of the time when he left home, he wrote. A lot. Strings of thought that he recorded in various notebooks, that he’s started to privately compile into songs as a hobby.
Zaku lacks ambition, but he finds that it’s ok, he’s content with his place in life at the moment and isn’t pursuing anything long term. One day at a time, just like his staying off drugs, is how he‘s taking life. Seeing as he works very little, liking his free time, he needed cheap housing! Therefore, Lysgar seemed a perfect choice. Besides, it wasn’t like he hadn’t spent time in worse places, by some standards of comparison he had, this place was quite fit.