Takayuki frowned as he left the Hokage's office. He supposed he should be happy; he had, after all, been nagging the man for a team for quite some time, and he couldn't deny the pool of excitement currently bubbling in his chest. Still, the news of attacks to the north was... deeply worrying, especially given that they'd been able to track his own movements. The widely accepted theory was that his movements were planned, at random, by the Hokage's office. Frankly, that it was common knowledge suited him just fine; it was, after all, a load of bollocks. With a flash of hand signs, Taka flickered to his apartment, making quick work of the lock, and sauntering over to his desk. There, sealed into the wood, he kept his map book, and he spent a tense few minutes scratching through and redrawing many of the countless, multicoloured lines that he used for routing. This book, started when he was a simple chuunin, was his pride and joy: A journal and atlas, all in one, hand-drawn from scratch, featuring every shortcut, clear channel, nook, cranny and straight he'd ever run, and likely ever would.
Finally, with a deep sigh and a wistful smile, he scratched out the final route, dotting a new one in some 3 miles West, and snapped the book shut, resealing it before leaning back in his chair. Taka's accommodation was a blatant reflection of his lifestyle. Given that he was so often away from the village, he'd lived in his humble studio apartment for the better part of ten years. His bed lay, unmade, in the corner, and next to it was a potter's wheel and a high cabinet filled with clay and tools. On the opposite end was a rather spartan kitchen, still littered with the aftermath of yesterday's lunch. He eyed it, dubiously.
"Welp," he muttered, "That's going in as a D rank!" He spent another moment stretching, laughter on his breath, then turned his gaze to the folders he'd been given on his students. He spent longer than he'd perhaps meant to, just reading through the files, a broad smile slowly blossoming across his face. They were a ragtag band, certainly, and he'd have to keep a close eye on the boy from Mist (Lord knew he'd seen what they could be like), not to mention a bloody Jinchuuriki, (and hadn't that been a surprise, on his first team), but still...
His eyes shone, one arm twitching restlessly.
"My kids are going to be fun!"
Later, with a few raw eggs and a cup of milk down his gullet, and a wood carving of a duck for each of his students in his pockets (It was far trickier to work with than fruit, but equally more permanent), he began making his way through the village towards the academy, taking a much deserved walk, taking in his surroundings as he went. As a child, he'd wanted to get out, to see the world, and to prove himself wherever he went. Now, he wasn't sure there was anywhere he'd rather be than home. A voice caught his ear.
"Lots of shinobi at Ichiraku today!" That got his attention, and he kept half an ear on the civilian conversation, stopping to eye a shop window. It wasn't as though such a thing was rare, of course, Ichiraku Ramen had been a hub for Ninja for as long as he could remember, but there was always the chance one of his genin was there - that and he hadn't had a bowl of the stuff in quite some time. That settled, he changed course, and made for the rooftops. From there, he fixed his eye onto Ichiraku's and Flickered over, some twenty metres to the right. What he saw, needless to say, rather upset him.
It was, from a certain point of view, an amusing scene. One of his fellow Jounin observing a cloud nin (whatthehellwasacloudninthereforhe'dfuckingkillhim!), who seemed to be threatening one of his kids, another one, the Jinchuuriki, tugging at the boy's sleeve while another team watched from nearby. All told, he felt rather sorry for the proprietor. Especially given what he was about to do. In a single, swift movement, his brass knuckles were fixed firmly over his knuckles, and just the faintest hint of the Shroud was flickering over his hair. Shredded leaves exploded across the scene as he flashed between Rashiku and the Cloud Nin in a Surging Flicker. A tongue of flame rushed across the fingers of his left hand. He turned, viciously, to the one from cloud, a snarl tarnishing his lips.
"You,", he began, voice barely a whisper, "have twenty seconds to tell me who you are, what in god's name you're doing in my village, and why, precisely, you seem to be inciting a conflict with my student."
And then, suddenly, the tension was gone from his form, and he turned genially to the old man at the counter.
"Sorry for the ruckus, Teuchi-san. Just trying to diffuse the situation." He paused. "One bowl of Pork Ramen, if you don't mind." Order placed, he cast an eye over his shoulder at Rashiku, smiling kindly - although his body hadn't moved from where he'd arrived. He reached into a pocket and pulled out two of the carved ducks, handing both to the boy. "Sorry about this, kids, I won't be a second. There's one of those each. Carved them myself!" He laughed. "I'm Takayuki Mekakushi, your Jounin sensei!" He placed emphasis on the word Jounin, and looked back to the older boy, a wicked glint in his eye.
He needed to resolve this quickly.