Hanabi arrived early, setting out a few things up for training. Seiji was making excellent progress in matters of chakra control, but he still needed to work on his hand to hand combat skills. Particularly grappling. He needed work on basic techniques before she could teach him how to apply Jyuuken to breaking free from holds. She pushed him for two reasons - the first because she worried about his safety and it was easier to teach someone to protect themselves than worry about always being there. The second was simply because he kept willingly coming to training and working hard.
Hanabi could be harsh, but she tried to balance between being harsh and being reasonable. To that end, she had a challenge in mind. She wanted to see if he'd push himself more if there was a reward ahead if he succeeded.
Seiji wasn't much farther behind Hanabi, humming softly despite the work that was ahead. He was looking forward to his time with Hanabi, as he always did, despite how ruogh it was. He was finally a bit more fit and... well, he was enjoying feeling confidant.
At least a little.
In his mind, Hanabi wasn't too harsh. She did what she needed to do to teach him to keep himself alive. And when he saw her waiting, he smiled to her, warmly. "Hanabi-sama."
"I have a proposal for you, Seiji," she said, returning the smile just a little. She'd long since dropped adding -san to his name as a sign of being more comfortable and less formal with him. "A challenge, if you will."
"... A challenge?" He asked, arching an eyebrow curiously. "What kind of challenge?"
"Fairly simple. If you can successfully beat me in a single grappling match today, I will treat you to a meal at your favorite restaurant after we go back to the compound to change, and we will take the rest of the day off from training."
The 'date' context did not occur to Hanabi, and she likely would have blushed just slightly if she'd realized what it sounded like she was offering. She did like Seiji that way, but she also did dine with friends a fair amount of the times she allowed herself to be social.
Seiji blinked slowly and glanced away, as if thinking, as his cheeks turned a bit pink. Hanabi didn't seem to realize what she was offering, which was a little sad, but.... a meal with just the two of them, not over papers. And a day off of training, that would be very very nice. The question was, could he beat her?
... well, it was worth a try. Glanding back to her with a smile, he nodded. "A... all right, you're on."
"Just remember what I've taught you about basic defense and body mechanics and you should be fine," said Hanabi, trying to be encouraging. Spending time having dinner just with Seiji would be quite pleasant...but she preferred having something to celebrate if they were going to go out.
"But if you do win, you can really pick anywhere you'd like to go."
She got into stance. She knew Seiji's memory was excellent, but physical things were different than academic things. It involved taking the knowledge one had acquired and applying it in a situation where the other person was fighting back. At the same time, if he remembered how to time the attacks just right and throw her off balance, she believed he could do it.
"I will not attack you, but I will defend against your attacks fairly seriously."
By fairly seriously, of course, she meant that she'd be fighting to win, but not to cause serious harm.
It wasn't that Seiji didn't try when Hanabi taught him phsyical attacks and defenses. It was that he just felt he couldn't be that good at them and didn't try his very hardest. Chakra control, academics, he excelled at those; comitting moves to memory, that as well. But executing the moves? That was always far harder.
There was an absent nod to Hanabi's words, not dismissive, but he was already thinking. Just because Hanabi was smaller then him didn't mean he had an edge against her. She was wiry and strong and he had learned the hard way several times. So he was ready this time. Taking in a deep breath, he moved to engage her
Hanabi watched Seiji's movements. She didn't intend on dodging unless he was overly obvious about his attacks. The point was to test how much his grappling skills had improved, after all. He needed to be able to get her into a close combat situation in order to test those skills.
Seiji he wasn't terribly subtle. But he did try to engage he before attempting to grapple and pin her.. He had gotten sttronger and more adept at moving and dodging especially. And he was dead set on winning this time.
The attack was determined, she'd give him that. But it was also too obvious for her to not dodge this time. After all, she wasn't going easy on Seiji. She never went all out with him because the point was to help him learn, but taking it too easy on someone was just insulting. When she was smaller, her father took care to pull his strikes and he'd attack less than he did now, but he had never simply given her an opening. Nor was she going to do that for Seiji. He'd have to find one, or trick her and make an opening for himself. Feints were fair game.
Seiji never expected her to go easy on him, and would have been embarrassed if she had felt that she needed to do that for him. Instead he worked hard to get into those tiny, miniscule holes in her defense, so tiny it was almost mpossible to see them sometimes. They went like that for awhile, in and out, attacking and dogding before he managed to get in a good enough feint thaht she didn't see right through his ruse. His own hand swatted hers away and then he shifted, pushing all his weight into her, intending on taking her to the ground.
If Seiji was paying attention to her facial expression, Hanabi's mouth curved up into a faint grin when he successfully took her down. She hadn't anticipated that one at all, and it was a sign of how much he was improving.
Of course, he still had to keep her pinned if he wanted this victory. She rolled with the attack, moving to throw him off of her. If he was timing this just right, though...he could counter her attempt.
On the ground, it was actually a little eaiser to keep a hold on her, here he had his weight and hieght. He felt her moving to throw him off, and shofted his weight, suddenly rolling with her.
When they finally stopped moving, Seiji was on topm and Hanabi was on the bottom, and he wasn't even thinking about that. He had his hands on her upper arms and with the way he was sitting, he had actually had her pinned. He had actually pinned her!
A grin stole across his features as he panted, realizing he had actually one, face close to hers
Hanabi could feel her heart pounding from the little burst of adrenaline. He had done it. He had actually done it.
"You...really fought with determination this time," she remarked, still pinned. It was only after she said that, that she became quite aware of how close their faces were to one another.
She was very close, and he shifted his arms a bit so he wouldn't hurt her. And he knew he should get off her, because he was heavy and he could hurt her. But... but they were close, and he couldn't quite get himself to get off her and he wanted so badly to just kiss her.
But this was Hanabi, heir to the entire clan, and he was Seiji, just the clan's paper pusher. And she might just kick his ass if he just kissed her...'
It was crazy. It was probably just the adrenaline rush that made her think it would be a good idea. She had been interested in Seiji for quite some time and she thought he *might* be interested in return but had never brought the question up. And yet...the opportunity was right there.
She mentally counted to ten, and decided to go for it. If her instincts were completely wrong and he wasn't the slightest bit interested, she could say that she was only trying to distract him so she could escape.
Leaning up just a bit, she brushed her lips against his.
... did... did she...?
... screw it, he was tired of being timid.
He shifted, pressing his lips more firmly against hers, turning the light brush into an actual kiss.
Hanabi pulled away from the kiss slowly about ten seconds later, taking a moment to look up in Seiji's eyes. Why yes, her cheeks were a little pink and for once, she wasn't trying to make herself hide that, either.
"So," she began. "Perhaps...perhaps dinner could be an actual date?"
If he was going to be bold, she could force herself to be a little more open about her feelings, too.
"Y-yeah," he said, words stuttering only a little. "That... that be nice."
... oh Fate, he was still on her!
Hurriedly, he rolled off her, face flaming. "So, sorry!"
Hanabi smiled. "You don't have to apologize. We were grappling. And got....ah.... distracted. You were not hurting me."
She had some grass in her hair. And quite possibly a bit of dirt.
"....we should definitely change before we go out if we're making this a date."
There was a pause and a slight, almost shy smile to Hanabi. "We... we should."
Slowly, he stood up, and then offered a hand to her, to help her up as well. She didn't need it, but he would be polite and a gentleman
Hanabi took the offered hand, even if she relied on mostly her own leg strength to spring up. She took a moment to dust her clothes off, then considered for a moment. Public displays of affection were a fairly big deal within a clan that could read people's body language, but word would get out soon enough that she and Seiji had started dating anyhow. Might as well make a clear non-verbal announcement.
She offered her hand to hold if he wanted while they walked back to the compound.
Seiji blinked for a few seconds as she held out her hand, not sure what she was offering. When he realized that she was offering to (silently) publically announce that they were going to be something together, it made his stomach tighten a little. She... was taking this serious, not that he didn't think she wouldn't, but.... but it still felt good.
Silently, he slid his hand in hers, smiling a bit.