Their aunt chuckled at Akaya's teasing as Maia stuck out her tongue at her sister. Mariko closed the box and picked it back up, biting her lip in an indication that she was thinking for a moment. "I think they're mostly ready. I'm sure everyone would be happy to see you! Dinner's starting in about an hour, and that's really when everyone is showing up." Mariko moved toward the door, sliding it open with her leg. She turned back to the girls and gave them a wink. "I'll see you down there." With that she sashayed through the door and was gone out to the courtyard area where the party was going to be held. Maia turned to her sister and smiled, sucking in a deep breath. "Well, let's get this party started. Or get it over with, whichever you prefer," she said, sticking out her tongue again in a playful manner.
With that Maia would follow their aunt out into the courtyard. Already several cousins, aunts, uncles, and other relatives had gathered, beginning to put the final touches on the great dinner that would be served. The younger family members and other children of the neighborhood who just happened to wander in were already off to the side, playing tag or showing off who has the best chakra control. Most of the tables were already set up and already several different groups had formed for talking. Many of the elder family members or community volunteers or family friends were still setting out food in a banquet style.
As soon as the twins entered, they were flooded quickly with a gaggle of greeters and well wishers. People both very familiar and complete strangers rushed to greet the girls and wish them happy birthday and congratulate them on their graduation from the academy. Some just wanted to shake hands, others had more prying questions about their parents or future plans. Maia tried her best to field the questions for both she and Akaya, though inevitably her sister got swept away by one relative or another. Eventually, though, their entrance fizzled away and the party became just another party.
Maia took a deep breath when people had stopped gathering around them, finding Akaya and giving her a crooked smile. "Well, that was even exhausting for me. I didn't even realize we had so many cousins!" Maia turned back to the crowd, smiling still and searching, craning her neck. Her smile began to fade into a slight pout as she realized that her parents weren't there. She didn't know what she had expected. Well, she did. She had expected them to show up for at least *this*.
Letting out a heavy sigh, she turned back to Akaya. "Well, at least I hope we get a bunch of gifts from this." Her voice was heavy with irritability, though perhaps her sister would be able to tell that the irritability wasn't directed at her.