Description: Tiffany is doing research on NESTS in Pacific's library when she encounters Chisaki. They discuss fighting, but then Chisaki tries to sell her things... badly.
Tiffany has decided to take the last couple nights almost totally off from doing anything of consequence -- which is fine, of course, because it's New Years'. She /did/ hit the Pacific High New Years' party, because of /course/ she did, but was still a little too fatigued to really do anything fun with it; the second night of good, solid sleep seems to have significantly picked her spirits up, though.
She has some research to do; she's heard the name NESTS at this point, and wants -- no, /needs/ -- to know more. Accordingly, she's headed to the library and sat down at one of the computers; she really would prefer not to do this from her /own/ devices, given the circumstances.
Unfortunately, most of what occurs is just frantic, desperate Googling.
Chisaki Tohsaki has bad grades. This is not really news or something to panic about, but rather a status quo in her life. But after she moved in with her uncle, she discovered that he was not her father. He did not like it if she did badly in school. She was motivated to do something about it, and if she wants a book for her English paper, the place to visit is not Taiyo's library. It is Pacific High's.
She might be proud of Taiyo High, but she knows when one school has them beat.
She walks out of the library with a book tucked under her hand; it is the travel diary of an Englishman's trip to Nepal, over half a century ago. It happens to have a pentagram on the cover, though (because that Englishman is Aleister Crowley). She is on her way out, before she spots Tiffany at the computer. Googling, it would seem. She blinks, before she walks over, and peers at her.
"Hey, uh," she says, before she realizes she is talking without thinking. "Are you stuck doing research over the break too?"
Maybe Pacific's academics program really /is/ harder...
It's rare to find someone from Taiyo with the humility to admit that Pacific's library is just better -- and accordingly, Tiffany does a double-take when she looks up and sees a Taiyo student. She does a /triple/ take when she notices that the girl is in fact headed toward her, and blinks a few times.
"Huh?" Tiffany starts, trying to puzzle through the question; for an instant, she looks exactly the part of the dip everyone thinks she is. She bites her lower lip a little bit -- and then really processes what's being asked. "Oh!! Ha ha, yes. EXACTLY."
Her tone is not very convincing -- but she /also/ doesn't sound like she has a particularly strong grasp of Japanese, either. Her gaze tracks down to that pentagram, and almost immediately she gets the wrong idea; accordingly, she reaches over and 'covertly' closes her browser window. After all -- there's a chance that someone with weird books is going to be a weird person! "Did they not have what you were LOOKING for at Taiyo?" the Lords heiress asks, with a small cant of her head.
The quick close of the browser is noticed; it makes her look at the screen for a moment, and makes Chisaki wonder. She doesn't look too long, though, and instead looks back down at Tiffany. She catches the look she gives the book with the pentagram and moves the book against her side, to try to hide the cover. She is, as it happens, embarrassed; this feels like weird shit.
"No, uh, I found it--um. You ever hear of Aleister Crowley?" She mangles the pronounciation of the name, unfortunately. "He went to Nepal. I needed to do a paper about it--or, uh, you know, I chose it as a topic or some crap."
She shrugs her shoulders.
"And I figured I'd get the book where he wrote about it," she says. "Only Pacific had a copy. Hopefully I can read it, though," she says. Then she sighs, and looks back down at Tiffany. There is a moment's hesitation, as she remembers how to behave herself, and she extends a hand out awkwardly. "I'm Chisaki. Chisaki Tohsaki. It rhymes, because my life is bullshit. Don't laugh."
This 'I /definitely/ chose this as a paper topic, that makes total sense' from Chisaki prompts a small confused expression from Tiffany for a moment, but she assumes she's just not following her quite right because of the modest language barrier. "Nope! NEVER heard of him," Tiffany confirms, taking a second to get herself spun around in her chair a little more completely.
Pursing her lips slightly at the mention of Chisaki's rhyming name, Tiffany indeed tries very hard not to laugh -- and ultimately manages to keep it together. Accepting the hand, she shakes it vigorously, saying, "Well, uh -- GOOD to meet you, Tohsaki! I'm Tiffany Lords." She flashes one of her usual winning smiles.
"Never?" she repeats, to make sure she got that right. She frowns. Maybe her paper topic really is weird -- though of personal interest. She tilts her head, though, at the girl's name. She recognizes it instantly, and even if she had been inclined, she can't hide that recognition on her face. She gasps, her red-flecked eyes lighting up.
"You're Tiffany Lords!" she says, energetically, and then she grins down at her. "Yeah, I heard of you! You're mopping up on the fighting circuit! Showing people watcha got! Right?"
"Yeah!" Tiffany brightens visibly at being recognized; she's pretty excited by it, even -- she knows that she's been doing well, but to hear that she's started to draw /other/ people's attention on that front is even better. She resists the urge to preen too much, though; she knows it's a little gauche.
"I can't say I'm Pacific's /only/ active representative on the CIRCUIT anymore, but... I'm probably the best one!" She cracks a broad smile, asking, "Do you fight, or just WATCH?" The schools of Southtown do seem to attract a /lot/ of fighters, proportionally.
Standing up and stretching out a little, Tiffany adds, "And -- do you know any other fighters? What's TAIYO like on that front?" She knows they have a /lot/, but she has no idea if they hang out with everyone else or just hang out with each other...
"No way, I totally fight," Chisaki says. She grins broadly, though there isn't quite a lot of pride in that expression. She is still a little new to fighting, really; she doesn't have the record that the other girl does. "My old man was a fighter, too. He taught me some of it, and I learned more, uh--"
She contemplates how to explain some of it, and decides that would be hard.
"--abroad," she concludes, hastily. "I got back from a trip recently, so, uh--like, I don't know a ton of Taiyo's fighters? I did some matches in India and Nepal, when I was there." She brushes some strands of highlighted brown hair back, idly, and her grip on her book loosens. "I think the scene's a lot bigger in Japan, though. I gotta see how I stack up."
If there's any guile in Chisaki's answer, Tiffany doesn't pick up on it; she just sort of shrugs a little, saying, "I'm pretty new in town, too... I've only been here a few MONTHS myself." But then -- is it really hard to believe that Tiffany, with her awkward grasp of the language, is a relative novice in Southtown?
"It takes a little while to figure out how good you are! Like -- I always trained, but I didn't really have an idea of how I STACKED UP against anyone else... not until recently, anyway." She stretches out, starting to walk away from the computer a short distance.
"So, uhh... I'm not really feeling up to it today, but... wanna' SPAR some time?" she asks, cracking her knuckles. "I hear I'm pretty good, so, uh... DON'T GET MAD." She follows this up with a substantial -- indeed, exaggerated -- wink.
"Yeah," Chisaki agrees. "I'm from Southtown, actually, but I didn't fight much at all til I went on a trip, and..." She shrugs her shoulders once. "...things changed?"
She takes a step backward, to give Tiffany a little more room when she stands up. She looks up at the American girl -- slightly taller than her dimunitive stature -- and then cracks a smile. The offer sounds awesome, she thinks. Even if it means someone else gets to find out what 'things' changed, but... if she wants to make a name for herself as a fighter, and she does, that has to happen.
"I'm not a whiner," she says. "But the same goes for you, yeah? It'll be fun, anyways. Did you learn to fight back in the States?"
If there's anything to Chisaki's nerves, Tiffany continues to fail to see it at all; it's not that she lacks empathy -- it's just that she doesn't really have a baseline for the other girl. "Yeah! I thought it'd be fun, so Daddy got me a TRAINER, and then... well, it just kinda KEPT GOING from there!" She laughs good-naturedly, giving Chisaki a small smile.
Lips pursing a little, she notes, "Don't hold back! I'll know. I ALWAYS know." This may be a lie, but she delivers it with as much seriousness as she can muster in a language she's unsteady in.
"That makes sense... it started like a hobby, then became more?" She tilts her head, curious about that -- and a little jealous. Her family never had that sort of wealth. But, her father was able to train her well enough to start with. "My dad taught me," she says. "When I was little. Then I kept going, like you put it." She clinches a fist, holding it up in front of her to demonstrate... something.
She smiles, then; there's more pride in her expression, now. "I don't ever hold back. That's total crap, y'know. It disrespects... uh, the ring, or the fight, or something all meaningful and deep sounding, or something." She wrinkles her nose, looking sour. "Shit, I think that one kinda ran away from me."
"Yeah, EXACTLY. I found out I was really good at it, so..." Tiffany shrugs a little, listening to Chisaki's story as well; there's something more to it than she's hearing, she starts to think, but she can't think of what it'd be... so she ultimately just lets it slide, and accepts the idea that she's just imagining things and Chisaki's story is the same as countless other fighters'.
Then she lets everything get away from her, and Tiffany bursts out laughing for a second. It takes her a little while to get the giggles back under control, with a panted, English, "Sorry, sorry -- oh, hold on, ahahahaha..."
Once she /does/, however, she says, "Well -- good! It's a shame you didn't get back in time to enter the SCHOOL tournament... though Taiyo's already got so many people in it..."
"Yeah, yeah," Chisaki sighs. She looks up at Tiffany, though, raising an eyebrow. It is a shame that she didn't get to enter the tournament! She is, of course, rooting for the people from Taiyo. But, she would much rather root for herself. "I guess we kinda have an advantage there. We're all--I mean, people at Taiyo are so..."
She grimaces. "...enthusiastic?" It doesn't fit the image she likes to put on, of the cool and kinda grumpy girl. Even if it's a lot of fun, sometimes. "But you got a good shot at winning, yeah? You're already doing good."
With a shake of her head, Tiffany says, "Nah. Like -- a few of your guys have already LOST, I think..." She's been keeping decent track of the results, where they're available -- she wants to know what she's up against! "The enthusiasm is neat, but I don't think Taiyo can really MANAGE it like some of the other schools."
Her pick to win is actually Gedo, despite her confidence in herself, but she doesn't broadcast that part.
"I think I'll do okay -- I already have a $5,000 scholarship for making it past the first round." She doesn't know what to do with that; it seems like so little money, in the grand scheme of things. She's tempted to donate it to another Pacific student, because /she/ sure doesn't need it.
"I dunno, I think we got some surprises in store," Chisaki replies, partially out of habit. School pride permits no less, even if she isn't quite as gung-ho about it as some of her fellows. But, she has to admit the truth of it, too: "But some of those guys and girls are a little too on the excitement and spirit side. And not the, uh, kicking ass really well side. The Buddha says you gotta have balance or some shit."
Yes, that is exactly what the Buddha says.
But then the number that Tiffany cites catches up with her, and her mouth opens up; for her, five thousand dollars is roughly like saying someone found a pot of gold. She stares at Tiffany, slack-jawed, for awhile. "That's some serious bank," she says. "I could get--like--I could buy things. With five grand. Like a... I don't know. I could buy a car."
Tiffany absolutely believes that is what the Buddha says.
It is important for Pacific to rag on Taiyo; it is the way of things. "Yeah -- I mean, it's just a scholarship, not, like... /money/, you have to put it toward college and stuff. But my dad's on the board of trustees at UC Sunshine and its endowment is kinda enormous, so..." She is implying exactly what one would think she is implying, and is definitely not self-aware enough to realize the problem.
Putting that thought out of her head for a second, she instead says, "There's good money in ... mmmmost fighting. You should think about challenging SOMEONE on the Circuit of Champions! That's /huge/ money if you need it that bad..." Then again -- they're also the absolute cream of the crop in their respective brackets, so...
"Holy shit, you mean you get in for free? That's, like--that's crazy! Awesome, too." And Chisaki is super, super jealous; it shows a little, too, as she reddens in the face. This girl may have more money than she can even dream of! "I guess I didn't--I mean, uh."
No, she thinks, go with the change of subject. It's safer.
"I could, but I think I gotta make my bones, you know? I'd probably get my ass whooped right now, and that would just get me a hospital bill or something. But actually, I got a job, hold on--" She swings her backpack off her shoulder, unzips it with the other hand, and pulls out a string with a pale blue, pale yellow, and pale green flag hanging from it. Each is writing. "--Tohsaki Nepalese Imports, at your service. We got prayer flags, prayer wheels, prayer beads, yak hair, and T-shirts! Want one? They're totally authentic!"
"Ehhh... I /think/ they'll pay for it if you get hurt that bad," Tiffany points out, with a small wobble of her hand... then again, she's never done it, so she's not actually sure. Plus she has the mysterious ability to heal herself from most types of combat injuries /anyway/, so...
Fortunately, that whole line of thinking blows up immediately when she brings that backpack around, because /hell yes/ Tiffany would like some weird foreign objects. "I DEFINITELY would!" she says, eagerly reaching into her purse and rummaging around for a few moments. "Oh, shoot... I don't have my money with me," she says, with a frown. "Wrong purse. Maybe ANOTHER time?"
"All right!" Chisaki says with a great big grin -- which then dies, when she realizes that Tiffany does not, in fact, have any money on her. She does not literally deflate and blow away, but she comes close enough to it. At least she isn't contemplating what happens if she gets hurt? She nods, loosely. "Oh... yeah, sure. Actually, uh, we also got a storefront." She reaches into her bag, rummages about, and pulls out a business card, handing it over. The address is located in Southtown, in one of the middle class residential districts.
"There's a bunch of stuff there," she says. "My family traveled and shit, and we brought things back to sell. You can get a whole pot there, if you wanna store shit in a pot. It's what the kids are doing these days, if they know what's good for them."
At this complete failure of saleswomanship, Tiffany furrows her brow and turns away just slightly. "Are... are you KIDDING?" she asks, a little incredulously; she does accept the business card, and even put it in her purse, but her expression doesn't shift from total bafflement at her complete lack of actual sales skill.
Eventually, she says, "Rrr... right. Yyyyyeah," in English, backing away slightly. "Look -- anyway, like, uh, well... I should probably... GET GOING." She's doing her best not to seem put off but it's /really/ not working.
Bringing a hand up to her hair and rubbing at it awkwardly, she adds, "Iiiii... kind of have to go see someone, about... something. I'll stop by the storefront some TIME though!"
"Oh, sure, yeah," Chisaki says with the faltering stumble of realizing that she -- somehow -- blew the sale. This is something that happens often enough that she is entirely certain that no one appreciates how awesome her store's merchandise is. (This is not the problem in the slightest.)
She sighs. But then she remembers that they have another plan. She may be able to hawk something on Tiffany then! "We're gonna spar, yeah? I'll see you then! Nice to meet you."
"Yeah! Nice to meet you too!" Tiffany says, re-shouldering her purse and starting to walk a little briskly; it's not that she /entirely/ wants to extract herself from her discussion with Chisaki... but it's definitely /partially/ that. "See you LATER, Tohsaki!"
Her pace picks up a little more once she's out of conversation range; she really does have somewhere to be, soon... and New Years' Day is fast evaporating out from underneath her. /Ideally/, she can get her /next/ conversation done and then move on to the most important part of the stretch between Christmas and New Years':
Log created on 19:36:20 01/01/2015 by Chisaki, and last modified on 23:27:57 01/01/2015.