"YOU. DIDN'T. FREAKING. TALK TO HER?!"A cigarette hung from from her lips as Kotone stormed through streets with Maru in tow. She crammed a lighter into her coat pocket before pulling out a somewhat crumpled pack to check the contents. Three left. No big deal, finish the pack, experiment over, mom doesn't need to know. Shoving the box back with the lighter, the blonde girl shot a look back at the fox she was currently violently dragging along by his collar. Besides, this fiasco was a good enough excuse for some underage smoking.
"So I'm going to ask one more time. You meet back up with Ayana, have some intense character building moment, and decide 'No, I'm totally not going to bring up the creepy shadow infested hell-town' during the entire freaking interaction?" Kotone tightened her grip on the fox, feeling her shoulder ache from her particularly dangerous escapades in the previous weeks. The girl knew she should have been the one talk to Ayana, herding foxes wasn't shaping up to be a particularly pleasant task. Even so, her failed venture into the raikage's tower, late night training session, and subsequent pivot by her academy sensei into a recommendation for an upcoming graduation exam had left Kotone with little time or energy to deal with the matter.
"And on top of that, you didn't think to-" The blonde paused to shove her way through a particularly congested side-street as she glanced around at addresses and street signs. "OUT OF THE WAY PEOPLE, LITTLE GIRL WALKING HER FOX, MAKE WAY!" Emerging from the crowd, Kotone took a quick drag on her cigarette before she sent another icy glare to Maru. "And I didn't freaking find this out until weeks later, and only because I caught you doing... Whatever the hell you do." The girl took a sharp turn, doing her best to remember the address on file for Ayana during her somewhat ill-conceived investigation.
A chill evening wind cut through the street, forcing Kotone to toss her hood up and sending her mind back to the streets of Cronopolis. "You think, maybe, I might have been like, really freaking busy?" The blonde sighed, exhaling a cloud of smoke as she double-checked another sign before yanking Maru around one more corner. She really should have been at home cramming, her exam was tomorrow after all, but the matter of the shadow attack needed to be dealt with, and Kotone couldn't help but feel a twinge of desire to see Ayana again. She still wasn't sure exactly why.
Glancing up at an address plate, the blonde girl ran it through her somewhat foggy memory, eventually settling on it seeming accurate. After taking one more puff, Kotone raised a hand and wasted no time in pounding on the door. Despite intending to be more diplomatic, the noise boomed through the neighborhood as she barely held back frustration at the rapidly setting sun and her need to be back home. "SPACE CASE, OPEN UP. WE'VE GOT, LIKE, TRAUMATIC CHARACTER BUILDING BACKSTORY TO DROP ON YOU."