Ryuko - Totally Not a Lunch Date

[Toggle Names]

Description: Having recovered, mostly, from her first professional fight, Ryuko invites Daisuke to lunch only to find that he's suffering from his own martial related woes.

Japan is home to many weird and exotic ideas. Despite the lingering traces of xenophobic distrust of foreigners, that sentiment does not seem to extend to the cultural elements that those foreign lands have to offer. Things like French maids and platemail clad knights feature prominently in Japanese entertainment these days, appearing in everything from blockbuster action movies all the way down to children's comics.

However, as with all things filtered through a foreign lens, the Japanese take on these rather mundane concepts usually ends up drastically different than what they started out as. Quite often they get obsessed over to the point of fetishization leading to the rise of things like cosplay conventions and themed cafes. In certain parts of Japan, it can be harder to find someone who looks and dresses normal than it is to encounter someone that looks like they were pulled right off the page of someone's favorite manga.

But, it's all in good fun. In a land that puts so much emphasis on working hard and contributing to society, sometimes people just need a place that's completely over the top to blow off some steam. Those still young enough to be in school are no different. The pressures of maintaining good grades in order to get into yet another school that might one day land them a halfway decent job can be just as overwhelming as any adult's nine-to-five.

Ryuko is rarely someone who finds herself in need of a pressure value. Though the unfortunate accident had put her in a rough spot for a while, the loving care of her doting parents had been enough to see her past the tragedy. Since then things have largely been positive in her life. School work has never proven a challenge for her. If anything, she rather enjoys having something to distract her mind from time to time. She doesn't have many personal friends but the in the age of the Internet the need for direct contact is all but gone.

Nestled into one of the corner booths of her favorite Internet cafe, Ryuko sits in front of a large fancy-looking laptop. Her strange techno antennae are joined by a pair of large headphones that combine to give her an even more futuristic look than usual, as if she belongs on the bridge of a spaceship cruising through the stars. Her mouth is turned up into a wide grin as she stares intently at the screen, a sleek mouse darting back and forth in quick precise motions beneath her fingers.

"Really? A fire attack? Don't you know the winds change constantly during this season?"

The voice of her opponent, some kid from Britain by the sound of his accent, warbles in her ears with a crisp retort. The girl snorts and shakes her head, shrugging at the hubris on display as the enemy forces start to move into position despite her warning. Ah well, she tried. Never let it be said that Ryuko is a poor sport when it comes to games.

As predicted, the initial bombardment of her fortress looks promising for the attacker. Flames start to spread along the outer walls, even managing to creep into one of the storehouses due to a stroke of unfortunate luck. But a quick response from her garrison quickly puts out the interior flames as the boy hangs back cautiously, unwilling to risk his own men to the fire. An understandable mistake but one that proves his inexperience. Had she been in his shoes, she would have pushed in with archers and harassed anyone trying to quench the blaze while they were too distracted to fight back.

But, as she warned, it doesn't take long for the tables to turn. A powerful southern wind rises up as the evening chill sets in and suddenly all of that fire is rushing through the dry grass in the opposite direction - directly towards the entrenched attackers. In a panic, her opponent attempts to scatter away from the wildfire, splitting his forces right down the middle to the west and east.

"Sorry, but you're about to learn why I remain undefeated, kid!"

At few quick clicks unleashes the trap she had been waiting to spring. Two units of heavy cavalry burst out of the nearby forests and charge straight into the disorganized flanks of the retreating army. Now cut off from assisting each other, it doesn't take long for the armored warriors to dispatch enough of her opponent's forces to send them into a full retreat. After a few moments a disgruntled offer of congratulations is given before the user disconnects leaving her to admire the spoils of her victory.

"Ah, anozer excellent victory, my girl!"

Ryuko glances up, pulling the headset off her ears. A tall man stands at her side, peering at the screen over her shoulder. A dark formal suit of gothic design clings neatly to his lean frame, complete with an oversized cravat of white silk and bits of lace that hang from the ends of his sleeves. A face almost as pale as his shirt peers down at her, bright red eyes highlighted by thick lines of dark liner wrinkled at the corners by his smile.

"Oh, hey, Drake. Yeah, just some noob who managed to avoid most of the winter conflict and thought he was hot shit. No big deal."

She stretches, earning a few pops that make her wince.

"Ah, does your injury still trouble you, my dear? I believe we have some cold compresses in ze kitchen."

Ryuko waves him off with a shake of her head.

"Nah, just... a little sore that's all."

A quick glance at the clock on her laptop makes her sit up a little straighter and glance around. The interior of Cafe Romania is done up all in dark wood and red velvet, mimicking the eerie furnishings of what the Japanese consider to be 'vampiric atmosphere'. Just as with Drake, the other servers are all wearing crisp black suits and enough make-up to qualify for a KISS album cover. While the place is always fairly busy, she doesn't see the person she's looking for among the dreary dim lighting.

"Hey, have you seen a kid about my age? Bit taller than me, red hair, goofy lookin face?"

Drake turns to sweep his own beady red eyes across the room, flipping his long hair bangs aside momentarily as he does so.

"Ah, right, your date. I'm afraid he has not yet made his arrival."

Ryuko rolls her eyes, leaning back into the soft cushions with a sigh. The tip of one foot swings out to kick the vampire butler in the side of his leg playfully.

"He's not my date, Drake. We're just having lunch."

Drake's face twists into a grimace and he takes a quick step away but his dour expression is quickly replaced with a coy smile.

"As you say, my girl. I vill keep an eye out for your young... friend. If you need anything, please, let us know."

With an overly elaborate bow, the vampire turns and wanders off into the gloom to seek less prickly company. Ryuko snorts at his retreating form, sipping the remnants of an energy drink down. It shouldn't be long before her lunch da- damnit, now she's thinking it too!

Not long, indeed.

The boy Ryuko had invited over here might have been a bit dubious over hearing the name 'Cafe Romania', but not enough to not follow up on it, regardless. But after actually coming up on this 'vampire themed' internet cafe... well, the red-haired boy stepping inside is still taken off-guard by what he actually sees inside.

Unusually bright green eyes drawing over the dimly-lit interior, blinking rapidly at the wait staff dressed and made up like vampiric butlers. He wasn't really expecting Ryuko to be into *this* kind of thing. Not that he would say that right at her face.

And he actually jumps a bit when one of the butlers in question just appears suddenly into his view... at least as far as he is concerned, thanks to him letting his mind wander with the taking in of everything else inside.

"O-oh, I'm actually..." He mumbles to the 'vampire' with a wave of his left hand, even while the butler is giving him... a vaguely concerned look. One that he doesn't quite follow up on verbally purely out of politeness and a distinct sense of 'not my problem'. "...Looking for someone. Uh, girl roughly my age? Black hair, usually... wears black too, now that I think about it..." Huh, maybe her liking this place makes sense afterall. "Has fancy accessories on either side of her head?"

Sure, he knows that they are high-tech antennae, but it's much easier to call them accessories than it is to explain the whole spiel to any random people he runs into.

Either way, after getting pointed the right way, Ryuko's not-date moves to cross the internet cafe, more than likely attracting some funny looks his way. SOmething she may end up noticing before she sees him.

"Good afternoon, Tenjin!"

The reason for which would become immediately clear when she does actually look upon Daisuke. For the redhead has his right arm wrapped up in bandages, with the forearm and hand both covered up in a firmer cast while the limb is held up towards his chest, forcing him to wear his usual white-and-black jacket with only his left arm slipped through a sleeve and the right half just kind of akwardly hanging over his shoulder. And as if that alone wasn't enough, white gauze has been wrapped diagonally along his skull, too!

"Sorry if I'm a little late, I kinda... had a little trouble finding this place."

And he's just... there acting all casual-like, as if *nothing at all was wrong*.

Ryuko's response upon seeing her totally-not-a-date is to quirk an eyebrow and give him a questioning stare. Her gaze drifts down from Daisuke's face to the bandaged arm then back up to the gauze wrapped around his head. After a moment, she grins at him and barks out a laugh.

"Maybe I should have found a mummy themed cafe, you'd fit right in."

Her own injuries, while not quite healed, are no longer dire enough that she shows any signs of them. A small brace wrapped around her rib cage for support is all the evidence that remains of her unfortunate encounter with a telephone pole. It isn't the most comfortable thing in the world but it isn't like she's never worn a corset before while cosplaying. Better than having her ribs trying to stab her in the lungs, in any case.

As usual, Ryuko is wearing her fancy school uniform, sans the blazer which is folded up and draped over the back of the fancy booth. Her blue and black checkered tie remains loosely wrapped about her neck but an extra button or two of her white blouse has been unfastened putting more of the teen's pale skin on display than usual. With the padded jacket out of the way, it's easier to get a good look too. It's not that she's trying to draw attention to her bust, this just happens to be more comfortable. Honest.

"Well, don't just stand there, dork, everyone's staring at you."

She motions for him to take a seat on the opposite side of the booth sitting across from her. Her attention returns to the laptop for a few moments as she goes through the process of handling the remaining chores necessary to keep her kingdom from collapsing while she waits for Drake to notice that her company has arrived. She doesn't bother to wave him down, he'll drift this way soon enough.

"You trying to one-up me in garnering sympathy or something?"

Ryuko's eyes flicks up to Daisuke's face briefly to indicate she's paying attention to him despite her distraction. She gives him an amused smirk, tapping one of her implants.

"Hate to burst your bubble but I kind of have a monopoly on that one. Brain damage trumps broken arm every time. You'll have to find another way to get my affections. Might work on some cheerleaders though, I hear they fall for the manly scars thing."

While Daisuke may not have really thought too much about how people might react to seeing him like this, getting *laughed* at certainly was not something he'd given even an iota of consideration. And seeing Ryuko do *exactly that*, he's left to giving her a good, long, deadpan look.

"...Nice to see you too, Tenjin."

At least he has the good sense to follow her instructions quickly enough, and move to rounding the table she has her laptop settled on to slide into the cushioned seating opposite from her.

"Come on now..." He complains with a low huff of a sound. "Do I really look like I'm like this because I *want* to be? ...I mean, the cast might be kind of unnecessary now, but when I asked the doc about it because it doesn't really hurt to move anymore he was like 'noooo keep it on for two more days, you don't wanna have any long-term damage do you'."

Daisuke's green eyes give an incredulous roll her way, right after. "First of all, I'm not trying to compete. And second of all!" Letting himself slump a bit further back against the backrest of the booth's seating, he lets out a low, indignant grunt. "Cheerleader types aren't really *my* type."

He definitely did not think at all about the implications of that statement before he said it.

"...Anyway, this place is... uh..." Turning his head along the cushioning, the redhead sends one more dubious look over the pseudo-gothic decor, and the waitstaff wrapped in dark clothes and laden with skin-paling makeup.

"...Unique. Do you, uh... come here often?"

Daisuke also buhhhhh my body is trying to fight me to sleep x.x


Ryuko's eye sparkles with mischief in response to the nonplussed stare she gets at her teasing. Whatever horrible accident he managed to get himself into, Daisuke clearly survived and is doing well enough to come have lunch with her. There's nothing to be gained by indulging in any pity parties.

The girl snorts dismissively at his complaints about wearing the cast. She'd spent months in an ICU unit after her own accident, not to mention the tight brace currently wrapped around her own midsection.

"Whiner," she retorts, focusing on the laptop again.

The comment about cheerleaders and his type does not go unnoticed. Ryuko's brow quirks up again and she gives him a questioning look as if to compel him to elaborate further. Fortunately, he dodges that bullet by being oblivious to its presence and the topic shifts to their chosen locale.

"Hmm? Oh, yeah. It's one of my favorites. A nice dark atmosphere, excellent food, plenty of hunky guys wearing silly make-up. What more could a girl ask for?"

She smirks and winks at Daisuke playfully. Her real reason for coming here was that it offered the best rates while still being close to her home. The whole vampire theme is a bit silly but it grew on her after a few months and people willing to put up with silly costumes tended to be more fun to hang out with. Drake is a prime example. A fellow gamer and anime enthusiast, she's spent more than a few long evenings whittling away her free time exchanging gossip about the latest nerd culture with him.

Finishing up with her game, Ryuko closes the computer and slides it aside. Leaning back on the bench, she crosses her arms and shrugs at him nonchalantly.

"I also kinda... work here."

That one is probably the more surprising bomb to drop. Students are technically forbidden from having jobs while attending classes but it doesn't stop the occasional bit of moonlighting for someone determined enough to make a bit of extra cash. Ryuko doesn't really look like someone who is hurting for cash considering her fancy uniform. That laptop she's hovering over certainly doesn't look cheap either. There's no way the money she'd make at a place like this would cover such expenses.

"Oh, shush, I'm allowed at least one complaint after I got my ass handed to me."

Right after saying that, however, the readhead's expression does turn a bit repentant over his own words, and his emerald gaze averts itself from his definitely-not-a-date for a moment.

"Not that, like... I'm anywhere near as bad off as you were with the accident and all, but..."

He shakes his head rapidly to ward the rest of that particular line away from his mind. Best not to linger on it.

And indeed, he seems completely oblivious of hte reaction he'd even drawn from her, vis-a-vis the line on cheerleaders and types. For all the quick thinking he's displayed at times, Ryuko might get the impression that Daisuke is kind of... dense, with some things. The fact that his empathic sense - not that she would know about it - is something he has absolutely zero control over when it comes to when it picks things up and when it doesn't, certainly seems to work against him more often than it doesn't.

But the initial reason she gives for coming here - joking as it may have been - doesn't escape his notice.


His eyes go wandering off away from her again, this time for the purpose of eyeballing some of the servers again, with a sheepish scratch given to his left cheek by his un-bound hand.

"So that's your type, is it...?"

But then the much more surprising answer comes.


Daisuke's eyes promptly snap right back to her with a rapid serious of blinks, and he gives the girl a once-over after a few seconds. It may or may not come across as ogling at first, but really, he's taking note of her clothes and how *expensive* they look, along with the laptop, the headphones... everything. It was something he'd taken notice of the first time the two of them met, but he's re-affirming it all now, too.

"...Don't take this the wrong way, but, like..." His eyes turn back up with those words, to meet her own gaze. "...Why? I mean, do your parents make you, or do you do it for fun, or... Like, I work part-time because I live alone and I just wanna make sure I'm not going to run out of money, but, um..."

He's really trying to dance around actually outright saying 'you kind of look loaded already'.

The idea of her parents making her work at a place like this almost makes Ryuko choke. Her mother would almost certainly have an aneurysm at the thought of her being around so many young attractive men. The cafe would probably have earned itself a few holes in the wall by now. Her dad is a bit less overprotective but even he would have given her a disappointed frown if he saw the outfit that serves as her uniform.

"Yeah, no. My parents have nothing to do with this. And, uh, unless you want to be at ground zero for my mom's reaction, you won't say anything about it to them either."

Ryuko gives him a meaningful stare for several seconds letting the implications of that sink in. Not only is she playing fast and loose with the school rules but even her parents don't know about this little side job. This is her little secret and she'd let him in on it.

"As for why..."

She rolls her shoulder into a casual shrug, grinning broadly.

"I like it! Dressing up in costumes and playing make believe has always interested me, even before my noodle got scrambled. Had all sorts of cosplay outfits in my closet when I got home after waking up and my folks said I'd been into that sort of thing for a long time. So I started trying them on and it felt pretty natural."

Her hobbies go a great deal deeper than that, however. Though she may not look it, Ryuko is a full on fantasy nerd. Dungeons and Dragons, live-action role playing, cosplay conventions, the whole works. Her room is nothing short of an otaku's paradise, crammed to the brim with model kits, video games, replica weapons, and all manner of collectibles that only an obsessive fan would place any value on.

"As for why this place? Well, I started coming here because it was closer to home than Akihabara. Made a few friends, eventually they badgered me into joining the crew. Speaking of which..."

Ryuko stands up suddenly, slamming her hands flat on the table with a noisy thud. She leans forward, inadvertently giving Daisuke an excellent view of her cleavage as she yells at someone in the distance.

"Drake! Stop slinking around over there and get over here, you goon!"

Several pairs of eyes turn towards the boisterous girl then shift back over to the handsome vampire she'd called out. The man frowns at her outburst, eyeing the people staring at them pointedly until everyone goes back to minding their own business, then stalks his way over to the booth.

"Ah. Pardon me, madam. I did not with to intrude upon your da-"

Ryuko's hand shoots out so fast that it almost blurs, her fingers digging into the fluffy cravat. She drags the surprised looking man closer, glaring at him with her cyclopean eye.

"Utter that word and I will make you eat those fake teeth."

Drake swallows, smiling broadly. A pair of obviously plastic vampire fangs show through as he pulls his lips back. His hands lift in the universal gesture of surrender and Ryuko lets him go.

"Just a jest, girl. Goodness you're easy to rile up."

Ryuko snorts and takes her seat again, crossing her arms. She gestures at Daisuke with one hand and then at the dressed up waiter.

"Daisuke, this is my boss, Drake. Drake, this is my /friend/, Daisuke."

She puts heavy emphasis on the word, narrowing her eye slightly as he grins at her again.

"Of course. A pleasure to make your acquaintance, young man. Please, call me Drake. I vill be your humble host as long as you chose to enjoy our services."


After having met Ryuko's mother once already, the threat slash warning tied to him tattling on the girl's employment to either of her parents is taken very much seriously. Daisuke's face even pales subtly for just a moment while he nods his head firmly in understanding. "Duly noted."

But, when she explains herself fully to him, the smile on her face ends up being infectous, to an extent. Listening to her talk about that, and being able to tell how she genuinely enjoys it draws his lips to a small smile that is very much happy for her sake.

"I'm glad," he tells her, even. "That it's for a reason like that, I mean. And that you're able to enjoy something so fully. ... I could never even so much as look into anything like that, because... money and all."

His adoptive father might have been able to save up enough investments to leave him with the kind of money that would let him move to the Kubo family home in Southtown and not worry much about income, but most of his life - the part that he can remember, that is - was spent without much glamor or disposable income.

But now? Now his mind ends up wandering off to considering just what kind of outfit Ryuko herself would be wearing while she's on shift in this particular establishment. And then off further to what other kind of cosplay she may or may not have worn outside the cafe, crossreferencing with his own knowledge of various anime characters...

It's a path that leads quickly to his face suddenly flushing with red color so deeply that his skin nearly matches his hair for a brief moment. And the sight he inadvertantly gets for two seconds or so when she leans over to call out for Drake does *not* help keep it away at all (though he really didn't *mean* to look down her shirt, honestly!).

THe color doesn't even entirely wash away even when she grabs hold of her boss to cut off that dreaded d-word, though he does give the two a wide-eyed stare over that exchange.

"U-uh... Kubo Daisuke, yeah, it's... nice to meet you," he offers afterwards, in spite of Ryuko already more or less having taken care of the introductions. "I guess she has worked here for a pretty long time then, seeing how well you two seem to get along."

That's certainly one way to put it.


After having met Ryuko's mother once already, the threat slash warning tied to him tattling on the girl's employment to either of her parents is taken very much seriously. Daisuke's face even pales subtly for just a moment while he nods his head firmly in understanding. "Duly noted."

But, when she explains herself fully to him, the smile on her face ends up being infectous, to an extent. Listening to her talk about that, and being able to tell how she genuinely enjoys it draws his lips to a small smile that is very much happy for her sake.

"I'm glad," he tells her, even. "That it's for a reason like that, I mean. And that you're able to enjoy something so fully. ... I could never even so much as look into anything like that, because... money and all."

His adoptive father might have been able to save up enough investments to leave him with the kind of money that would let him move to the Kubo family home in Southtown and not worry much about income, but most of his life - the part that he can remember, that is - was spent without much glamor or disposable income.

But now? Now his mind ends up wandering off to considering just what kind of outfit Ryuko herself would be wearing while she's on shift in this particular establishment. And then off further to what other kind of cosplay she may or may not have worn outside the cafe, crossreferencing with his own knowledge of various anime characters...

It's a path that leads quickly to his face suddenly flushing with red color so deeply that his skin nearly matches his hair for a brief moment. And the sight he inadvertantly gets for two seconds or so when she leans over to call out for Drake does *not* help keep it away at all (though he really didn't *mean* to look down her shirt, honestly!).

THe color doesn't even entirely wash away even when she grabs hold of her boss to cut off that dreaded d-word, though he does give the two a wide-eyed stare over that exchange.

"U-uh... Kubo Daisuke, yeah, it's... nice to meet you," he offers afterwards, in spite of Ryuko already more or less having taken care of the introductions. "I guess she has worked here for a pretty long time then, seeing how well you two seem to get along."

That's certainly one way to put it.

Drake and Ryuko share a look and both of them let out a quick bark of laughter.

"I suppose we do seem like old friends," the vampire says, rubbing his chin. "But dear Ryuko only came into our lives here at Castle Romania a little less than a year ago. She has been quick to make an impact. Many of our customers were quite pleased to learn that she had joined the crew."

"Buncha pervs," she says, snorting in an undignified fashion. "But they tip well."

Daisuke's mind wandering in that direction too is all but impossible to miss. Thankfully, Ryuko does not chose to tease him about it, though it's less to preserve his dignity and more to avoid provoking further teasing from Drake. She's already certain that everyone on her shift is going to be making unsubtle jokes about her new male friend, no reason to give them extra ammunition.

"But nah," she says, drawing the topic back to her job. "Only been an employee for about a month now. I usually work the afternoon shift, right after class. My parents are pretty chill with me staying out late as long as I check in from time to time."

Ryuko's palms slap down on the surface of the table again though with less force this time.

"Anyways! Now that you two nerds have been introduced, let's get something to eat! I'm starving. We still got any of that nigiri from the big party yesterday?"

Drake's nose scrunches up, his face thoughtful.

"I believe so, yes."

"Yes! Let's start with that. And some tea. And bring a menu for Daisuke while you're at it."

"Would m'lady like that on a silver platter?"

Ryuko grins up at the vampire, flexing one arm up at him.

"Sure. I'll show you where you can stick it," she says cheerfully.

Drake returns the grin and turns to fade away into the gloom once again. Ryuko rolls her eyes and relaxes. A hand goes to her side to rub idly at her ribs, readjusting the brace through her shirt.

"Don't mind him. He's a bigger dork than you."

Daisuke makes a very strict point in his mind to *not* comment on Ryuko's luck with tips. That way seems to be the path to getting bonked and he really doesn't want to get more stitches worked on his head.

"I mean, a year is longer than I've known her for sure," he is quick to point out, however, while his good hand goes rubbing at the back of his head, just below where the bandage has been lined up. "I've only been in the city for a month, for that matter."

Tea and nigiri are very clearly not objected to, but the boy from Taiyo can't help but lift one crimson brow upwards at one particular point of the exchange between Drake and Ryuko, sending a look after the former while he's withdrawing to fetch the requested servings.

"He did *not* just use the word 'm'lady'..."

His eyes narrow pretty quickly back over to Ryuko, however, with the faintest accusing note in the green orbs.

"Hold on, now. What did *I* do to earn the 'dork' moniker? Which one of us two is working in a vampire cosplay cafe again?"

Even if he did feel the need to shoot that particular retort back, the path of her hand along her side did not go unnoticed. For that matter, his (uncontrolled) psychic senses may well have even decided to perk up just then to convey the sense of discomfort that she may have gone through there.

"You're healing alright, though?" He asks, with just the faintest hint of concern in his voice. "I mean, *obviously* you're way better than when I ran into you at Gedo, but..."

Daisuke's protests only earn him a broad smirk from the girl.

"Keep talking like that and you won't get to see my uniform."

Despite having no clue what exactly her gothic vampiress outfit might look like, the way she says that hints at something particularly juicy. There aren't any female waiters around at present for him to get a comparison. It could be that she's just teasing him again. Then again, cosplayers aren't exactly known for their modesty.

At the mention of her injury, Ryuko shrugs again and lowers her hand.

"Yeah, it's fine. My mom went into full alert mode for a few days after that incident. Pretty sure she gave the principal an earful, the poor guy. Even Bull hasn't had the balls to come after me again since that day. Been pretty quiet. Kinda boring, really, but I suppose boring is good sometimes."

She doesn't sound particularly convinced of that. Being laid out completely has all but driven her nuts. Despite being a geek, she's a pretty active person. Any day she can't at least get out and jog or do a few laps at the pool leaves her feeling pent up and antsy. Several weeks of recuperation has all but left her skin crawling with anticipation of being able to get back into a fight. Maybe that makes her a little bit crazy but it wouldn't be the first sign.

"Oh, and don't tell Drake about that. He tends to... overreact when it comes to my safety. Some guy tried to mug me on the way home a couple months after I started coming here and he almost cracked the loser's skull. Went after him with a baseball bat."

Ryuko grins and rolls her eyes.

"Coulda handled it myself but you boys, always trying to impress."

Daisuke's mouth opens to further his protest after the 'threat' of not getting to see her dressed up.

Daisuke's mouth closes, and his eyes quickly sweep up and down Ryuko.

"...Noted," he grunts out, relenting to his defeat with a subtle slump back against his seat. Completely different tone of a reaction than with the notion of the cheerleaders, huh?

He does give a sympathetic sort of smile to her, however. He can understand the feeling of going stir-crazy because of injury. And for that matter, he can *definitely* tell that she is the type to not like just sitting still even more than him.

"I won't tell, no, but..." The redhead's eyes flicker over off to the side briefly, as if trying to catch sight of Drake for a moment again. "He's definitely putting on a show in here and all, but... I dunno. Somehow he doesn't strike me as the kind of guy that would do something like that just to impress someone else. Maybe I just like to think it's like that, but... sometimes people do get the instinct to do something like that just because it's the right thing to do."

His brows burrow down, briefly. Memories of his run-ins with bullies and gangers of various colors both in Southtown and where he lived before run through his head. Of him interfering with someone getting bullied, mugged or worse, and getting himself beaten to hell and back if he didn't manage to run away after diverting attention away from the original victims. Never even thinking of getting a reward for it, and certainly never having so much as a chance of being thanked, not with how quickly people tended to run away the instant their assailants had received a new target. And yet, he would always charge off into doing it over and over again.

"...Or just because they care, you know?"

The latter, slightly-delayed statement comes with a shrug of his shoulders before he focuses on Ryuko again instead, his face lighting up a bit -- though that might be a conscious action on his own part.

"Tell you what, though? After my arm's better too, we should go hit the batting cages or the arcade or something. Would do good for me, too, to do something active after spending all that time just kinda sitting around and waiting to heal up. Or, well..."

There is one thing he knows for sure she enjoys a lot and is probably anxious to get back to, just judging from what he saw of her in that alleyway nearly a month ago and her fight in the tournament, and the little telltale signs his senses have picked up. And part of him does want to at least *try* to appeal to that too.

"...If you want to, you could spar me?" This particular suggestion does come a bit more sheepishly, out of the realization that his martial skills - outside of the powers he is very much hesitant to use in public - are on a much lower level compared to her. And with this realization - and the understanding that she *must* know that much too - he quickly adds in, "I mean, going up against someone strong like you might condition me to deal with things better if I have to go up against someone like Bull again."

Ryuko's smirk grows wider upon his concession. She's not exactly lacking in self-confidence but it never hurts to get a little ego boost by confirming that the appeal of getting to see her in a uniform that /might/ be skimpy is enough to shut down his complaints. Especially after he expressed an obvious disdain for what many consider to be the alpha females when it comes to teenage social pecking order.

Her grin fades as Daisuke goes on to try and psychoanalyze the actions of her co-worker despite having known him for all of one minute. By the time he's finished speaking her expression has become utterly deadpan. Her response comes in a flat voice devoid of all emotion except withering sarcasm.

"Gosh, my friend cares about me. I would never have guessed. And here I was thinking he just wanted advice on how to do his make-up."

The knucklehead's awful lucky there's a table between them or she'd probably have given him a solid punch in the shoulder, bandages be damned. As it is, she just gives the boy a 'no shit, Sherlock' look, wielding body language to wound him instead of her fist.

The conversation swings quickly away to another topic, no doubt by pure coincidence. Ryuko quirks an eyebrow at him at the mention of arcades and the second one climbs up to join its sister when he suggests sparring.

Ryuko opens her mouth to respond but before she can offer a witty retort Drake appears out of the gloom his arms laden with food. A large tray of neatly crafted nigiri topped with salmon and eel is set down before them. A fancy looking Victorian tea pot puffing steam from its spout joins the tray, along with a pair of equally elaborate cups. Ryuko looks like she might start actually drooling at the sight, her hands questing forward towards the nearest tidbit even before the tray has been set down.

"You do not want to challenge this girl to anything involving video games," he says, giving Daisuke a look of warning. "Especially not with a freshly mended arm. Your ego is not ready for that kind of devastation."

Ryuko gives the vampire a knowing smile and turns to wiggle her eyebrows at Daisuke, her eye going wide in mock intimidation.

"Drake's still recovering from the last ass kicking I gave him in Road Brawler 4," she says around a mouthful of delicious eel and rice.

The vampire's pale face becomes mournful, a hand clutching fiercely at his heart as he throws his head back in a grimace.

"Please, Ryuko, have some decency! My heart has yet to recover from that terrible tragedy."

Snorting with amusement, Ryuko picks up another of the small appetizers and munches it down. While she gorges herself on the hors d'oeuvres, Drake turns back to Daisuke with a flourish and presents him with what appears to be an old-fashioned letter, rolled up and sealed with fresh wax.

"Your menu, sir."

The cuisine on offers proves to be as ridiculous and exotic as the rest of the cafe with items like Blood Wine and Freshly Cut Finger Sandwiches. Once you get past the silly names, most of it proves to be relatively mundane fare that's been dressed up a bit.

"I shall return shortly to take your orders," he says, bowing deeply before wandering off to see to other customers.

Ryuko waits for Drake to leave before fixing her gaze across the table once more, her head tilting to the side. The prospect of having a sparring partner is somewhat interesting. But every single day at Gedo tends to turn into some form of survival training with people who aren't concerned about holding back all that much. She doubts she'll get as much out of a controlled friendly practice session than she would a typical day at class. Daisuke, however, might benefit from keeping himself out of trouble judging by his current state.

"Sparring, huh. Just as long as you understand that I don't hold back. You fight how you train. No point in practicing how to pull your punches at Gedo."

"...L-look," Daisuke replies akwardly in the face of Ryuko's deadpan stare and words, holding up both of his hands in a defensive sort of gesture. Or, well, one hand and one cast-encased limb. It kind of looks like a stump like that.

"I didn't mean to imply anything. My mind just kinda runs off on it's own... sorry."

The change in topic and Drake's timely arrival both provide a very much welcome distraction from that little blunder, thankfully. Though the latter... well. It does leave Daisuke looking somewhat dubiously at the fancy teapot and cups. He's open-minded, sure, but he can't help but find these things at least vaguely ridicilous. Props for committing all the way to the theme, though!

But for that matter, Ryuko's reaction to the arrival of the nigiri is very obviously taken note of, too. That little information is going to be filed in the storage unit of his brain for later use.

He can't quite keep his amusement hidden away over Ryuko's wounding retort back to Drake's warning, either.

"I mean, I appreciate the warning, but... Isn't going to be right to just back out of something like that just because it turns out to not be easy, right?"

And lo, the menu does not fail to disappoint in being... of a silly and dubious nature, much like everything else he's been faced with in this cafe so far. It brings Daisuke's crimson brows knitting together while he studies the... uniquely named items on it. He's going to need a minute to think on this.

"...I did throw that out there mostly because I thought you might at least half-enjoy it." The admission is made iwth a brief peek up from the menu at the girl sitting opposite from him, green orbs peeking from the cover of red eyebrows.

"Though I do also realize I'm probably not even halfway worth the same kind of fight you likely go through most days. I'm not... exactly what you'd call 'strong'."

Well, apparently he's not too proud to both recognize and admit that kind of shortcoming.

"If you did want to go through with that anyway, though? I wouldn't be expecting you to be holding back, either That wouldn't be good for either of us, and..."

The redhead sets the menu down onto the table for the time being, frowning for a few seconds in silence while he contemplates on how exactly to word what is on his mind. In the end, what he ends up deciding on is the most simple, straightforward option:

"I do want to be better."

Ryuko quietly munches on little slices of ambrosia while Daisuke indulges in self-deprecation. She's pretty sure her choice is the more enjoyable one. Pushing the tray towards his side of the table, the girl leans back in her seat while licking stray bits of rice and sauce from her fingers.

"Nobody starts out strong, Daisuke. I sure didn't. Not even sure I'd call myself strong, to be honest. I've practiced for a good long while but there's people way more dangerous than little old me out there."

Ryuko pours herself a measure of tea from the kettle, inhaling deeply of the thickly scented steam that rises up from her cup. It doesn't compare to the homebrew blends that her mom makes but that's an unfair standard to hold anything to. She blows on the surface of the liquid a few times then takes a tentative sip, wincing slightly as the heat still proves a bit much.

"Damnit, Drake, you always make it too hot," she whines in the general vicinity of the cafe's interior, pushing the cup aside with a sigh.

"Anyways. Yeah, if you want to get a little practice in, I'm happy to give you a few pointers. Though most of my experience is with swords, not fists, so it'll mostly be general advice. You'll have to figure out what works for you. Although..."

She looks thought for a moment, a slow grins spreading mischievously across her face.

"My mom might be able to help you out with your technique."

She picks up the teacup again and sips at the scalding liquid, doing her best not to flinch.

"If you're brave enough, that is."

THe sliding over of the tray is enough indication to Daisuke that it's his turn to shut the hell up and eat for a change. One of the nigiri bites is thus, slipped up with his free hand, and idly nibbled upon while he listens to his friend.

"Hmmm..." He hums out throughtfully, while she's pouring tea for herself. The rest of the salmon-and-rice is shoved into his mouth, and once the teapot is freed up, he takes the chance to pour some of the steaming hot drink for himself... though seeing her reaction from trying to drink it, he understandably grows hesitant to dive in for a sip right away.

"I don't know, you were pretty impressive with those Yellow Bands back when we first met," he points out. "And all you did was use your legs. Either way, it's... probably fine. It's probably good for me that I'm going up against someone stronger than me who isn't trying to actually completely wreck me, either way. ... Uh, as long as... you don't use the *actual* sword. I don't think my body can take that as well as that foreigner you fought."

Somehow, he still doesn't seem *particularly* nervous about the prospect of Ryuko wielding actual steel against him.

But when she presents the suggestion of facing her mom? He damn near sputters into the tea he had just lifted up to finally brave a sip of, likely inadvertantly giving a light burn to his lower lip as a result.

"Y-you're joking, right?" He mumbles after. There may or may not be a bead of nervous sweat gathering at his brow now, at that. "I'm almost positive that would mean *actual death* for me. Probably even worse than that if she had some weird ideas about how I'm spending time with you again!"

Ryuko's grin widens even further behind the teacup as she takes another quick sip.

"Chicken... bawk bawk bawk..."

She'd go as far as flapping her arms at him but she'd rather not bathe in steaming hot tea. It's mostly teasing - mostly. She knows full well the terrifying strength at her mother's disposal and what it means to be on the receiving end of it when she gets upset. But on the other hand she's certain that her mom would never actually hurt anyone for real without a good reason. Her terrifying displays are largely for show to weed out the weak and the cowardly. There's no place for either in their family!

"I've been training with her since I was five. Gonna let a girl show you up, tough guy?"

Ryuko claims another piece of nigiri and munches on it while continuing to smirk at him.

"Won't even let me use my sword... ya big baby."

Drake returns shortly, his gaze going to the now mostly empty plate and then over to Ryuko. The girl smiles up at him with a pleased grin on her face. If she had a tail to go with her cat-ear antennae it'd probably be wagging smugly at him right now. The vampire just shakes his head and pulls a small silver pad out of his pocket along with an elaborate looking feather pen.

"Have you two decided on your meal?"

Ryuko taps her chin for a moment in thought.

"Mm, I'm feeling like a hotdog today, I think."

Drake gives her a sidelong look and she rolls her eye at him.

"Sorry. A /blood sausage/."

She says the ridiculous name with overwhelming melodrama and a cheesy Transylvanian accent, covering her face with the back of one arm. Drake smiles cheerful at her and nods, marking it down before turning to Daisuke.

"And you, sir?"

Normally, Daisuke isn't really the type to let taunts like that get to him too much. He wouldn't admit to it, but there is a very inherent fault in his mind and spirit both that don't let him hold on to much pride or do things for his own sake.

...So why the hell does he feel like Ryuko's teasing is getting him ticked off, now? Could it be because it's coming from her, specifically?

The redhead doesn't really manage to work up much analysation on that particular matter, in the face of his own brow twitching at the girl.


He's cut off by Drake's sudden arrival, though, and he at least lets himself calm down enough to not make a scene *right* in front of the 'butler'. Even if he does look vaguely annoyed still.

At least hearing the ridicilous name of the dish Ryuko has decided on does let it get washed away a bit further by some amusement on his part.

But not enoguh amusement, at that, that he can't respond to Drake with, "Uh... The same, I think."

He's not feeling particularly creative with his food choices right now, apparently. It just feels weird not being the one doing the cooking, you know?

Once Drake has left the two teens alone for a moment again, Daisuke straightens up his posture, and levels a firm look to Ryuko.


He'd cross his arms, but considering the other one is very much bound up...

"If that's how you got so strong, then I will make that effort with her too. No matter how monstrously strong she might be. Hell, I'll go challenge her right after I have my arm back again!"

Ryuko beams across the table as her challenge proves successful. While they may not have gotten off to a great start, she's pretty sure her mom will warm up to Daisuke quickly. And what better way to make sure that happens than to make them get better acquainted? It should at the very least reduce the threats of bodily harm down to those inflicting during their training. He'll be fine. Probably.

"That's the spirit!"

Another pair of nigiri vanish into the girl's apparently bottomless stomach and she washes it down with a big gulp of tea, the brew finally cool enough not to singe her taste buds off. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, Ryuko gives a contented sigh.


The girl glances at him, tapping her fingers on the table nonchalantly.

"Iiiiii... don't suppose you happen to have a will drawn up?"

She glances at him from the corner of her eye, her expression an immaculate poker mask.

"You know... for entirely unrelated reasons."

Daisuke lets out an amused snort at Ryuko's words of encouragement, and decides to occupy his mouth for a moment by snatching another of the nigiri bites before she has the chance to steal all of them for herself.

It's not as if he isn't *at all* concerned abotu the actual prospects of facing Ryuko's mother if it ever actually came to that, but he's at least resolving himself to see it through now.

With only a few regrets, maybe.

When that perfectly innocent is presented by her, however, he quirks one crimson brow upwards, sloooowly.

"I'm *somewhat* concerned about your timing of that question," he notes, with an entirely deadpan tone before he properly lifts both his green eyes to meeting Ryuko's single eye.

"Don't worry. Everything I own will go to charity in the event of my death."

"Curses, my master plan is foiled!"

Ryuko throws her arms up in the air and dramatically shakes them while glaring at the heavens.

"I was hoping to--err, I mean, charity! Yeah, charity is cool too."

She casually lifts her teacup and sips daintily with an angelic expression on her face. Only after a few moments of maintaining this charade does she let a smirk crack her face as she eyes Daisuke sideways.

"Ah, just messin with you. Mom would never hurt anyone who didn't deserve it. But, uh, I suggest you get some practice gear, all the same."

The teen uses this chance to swipe another slice of nigiri but generously leaves the last few pieces for him. As the self-appointed big sister of the group, is not only her duty to be kind, charming, and attractive, but magnanimous as well. A heavy burden but she one will shoulder with grace and dignity. And there's plenty more where that came from back at her house.

"So, you gonna tell me what happened to your arm?"

Ryuko's gaze shifts pointedly down towards the cast as she munches away. As far as she is aware, Daisuke didn't foolishly hurl himself into a professional fighting ring with a half naked bear wrestler. And if he did, she damn well wants video footage of that.


Daisuke's eyelids droop down slightly while he watches Ryuko, in the middle of her dual-layered facade. Just staying silent for a good moment, while reaching for one of the nigiri bits.

"Guess it figures," he murmurs eventually, before she's made the clarification of the joking nature of her statememts. "Dad always did say to be careful with the pretty girls."

Either way, the fact that Ryuko is more or less just pulling his leg doesn't seem to come as much of a surprise (even if he does consider to be *some* truth to the dangers of Momma Tenjin).

But of course she has to be ask *that* question. He'd been kind of hoping to avoid that, if only because he knows his usual fake reason probably wouldn't go over very well with her. Quick, think of a new one!

"Uhm... I, uh... I got into a fight.... With some guy..."

It's... technically not a lie, strictly speaking. But Daisuke himself is still such an atrocious liar that it's not entirely difficult to figure out he is very intentionally leaving something unsaid.

Namely that the fight in question was a match set up in the very same professional fighting ring she took part in and he attended under a fake name. And that he more or less exploded his own arm through volatile energy he couldn't control properly.

"It, uh..." The redhead rubs at the nape of his neck with his good hand, and pointedly looks *elsewhere*. That's a very interesting spot on the wall there, isn't it? "...Didn't go well."

It's Ryuko's turn to look casually dubious as she is presented with perhaps the most blatant attempt at covering up something she's ever encountered. If she were a more cynical sort and suspected Daisuke of being a little bit smarter, she might well believe he's doing it on purpose to try and make her think it's a joke with reverse psychology. But her big sister senses are all a-tingle after that pitiful attempt at an evasive answer.

Rising from her seat, the teen circles to the other side of the booth. She swings her hips at Daisuke, shoving him aside with a forceful nudge before scooting in next to him. Her hands come to rest in her lap and she smoothes out her skirt, seeming to fuss over it for an inordinate amount of time considering she's never seemed particularly worried about the state of her clothes before.

"You think I'm... pretty?"

She looks at up him, her expression completely different than before. Her eye is wide and full of delicate hope, a deep pool of amber that reflects the dim lighting in a wistful glimmer. Her mouth presses together into a thin line as she nibbles at her lower lip, obvious trepidation in her body language. She bashfully lifts a hand to run a finger through her bangs, dragging her hair behind her ear like girls do in every one of those cheesy teen romance movies.

Snuggling up close to Daisuke's side, Ryuko flutters her eyelashes at him which, he may note in such close proximity, are actually quite well kept and highlighted with dark liner, accentuating her feminine charm. It might also be the first clue that she's yanking his chain. Reaching out, purposefully and gently, she places a hand on his cheek which slowly snakes its way over his shoulder.

And then she closes the noose, squeezing her arm tightly around his neck. Ryuko isn't amazingly strong but she knows how to use her strength and leverage. Her lips peel back into a wicked grin as she tugs his head towards her, her other hand lifting up in a clenched fist which she hangs in the air menacingly above him.

"I'm about to show you what 'not going well' looks like if you don't start talking," she says, her voice full of saccharine cheer.


Even if Daisuke happens to be looking purposefully away from Ryuko, he can hear her shifting off of her seat, and out of pure curiousity he turns back to looking at her with a tilt of his head.

Curiousity that grows rapidly towards confusion when she closes in on him and... more or less shoves him aside to clear space on the cushioned bench.


Slowly, the boy's eyes blink while she's fussing with her skirt. This is certainly unusual. Usually she acts like...?


The question -- both the actual contents and the *tone* of it are so unexpected from her that it visibly makes Daisuke recoil, eyes blinking while bright green orbs peer right back down to her and his cheeks flush a *deep* crimson color.

"U-uh, w-w-what are you...?"

No actual proper word comes out, between his rapidly running feelings of confusion and... well. He can at least recognize that this is very, *very* unusual for the black-haired girl, but actually following up on that suspicion is pushed aside by all the other instinctual reactions her act brings up. He can even feel his heart skip a beat and breath hitching while she's leaning in closer and bringing an arm around him...

Something Daisuke would realize later on is that his psychic senses get completely and *utterly* scrambled when his mind runs so haywire with confusion, like this. Otherwise he might have picked up on her actual intention earlier.

But it's much too late for that now.


The slender arm tightens around the redhead's neck and he's jostled over with a faint sound of panic, and his only good hand instinctively reaching up to grab futilely at the offending arm while his eyes flick up to the threat of the fist above.

"W-wait! It's what happened though! I was in a fight! I just..."

Part of his mind tells him he should be staying firm and not saying any more than that. It's partly out of fear that he's kept these things secret. Even if there are plenty enough people even in his school who are able to exhibit some supernatural measures of power, he's felt too uncertain about himself and the complete inability to find anything similiar recorded elsewhere when attempting to crossreference, uh, the 'symptoms' of his change a few months earlier.

...But then, he does actually consider Ryuko to be a good friend, in spite of the relentless teasing she subjects him to. And it just doesn't feel good lying to her.

"...Alright," he breathes out, in a suddenly-lower, much calmer voice, and his grip on her arm loosens, too, after just a few taps given to it, as if to signal surrender in a wrestling match.

"Let me get my phone, okay?" He mutters, eyes sweeping down over towards the floor, nervously. "I'll show you."

"What, just like that? Tch."

Ryuko lets out a huff of disappointment from the corner of her mouth, blowing the air up into her bangs and setting them aflutter. Her grip on Daisuke's neck loosens and she allows him to sit up. She does not move back to the other side of the table, however, content to remain seated at his side. Besides, it'll be easier to look at whatever he wants to show her without having to pass his phone back and forth.

"And here I was hoping to give you a few good noogies before you cracked."

She snags one of the remaining pieces of nigiri as a prize for her resounding victory. He'll just have to learn how to toughen up if he wants a fair share of the spoils!

"What's with the moping, anyways? I'm not gonna make fun of you for getting beat up. Much."

"Ugh, the fact that you wanted me to resist more just so you could get to do that is a *little* concerning, you realize."

Rolling his eyes, Daisuke rubs at his neck for a few seconds after getting released from the threat of noogies, before slipping his hand into his jacket to dig out a smartphone with a red casing.

"I'm not *moping*," the boy protests with a low huff while he maneuvers through the phone's UI to open up FightTube. "It's just... kind of hard for me to talk about. Just... watch."

The phone's held out after the desired video is pulled up, with the volume set down low enough it won't bother the other people in the cafe. The title of the clip easily identifies it as the recording for one of the third-round matches in the Rising Star tournament, pitting a fighter Ryuko may or may not recognize as Yun Lee against a young man in a black leather jacket with a long, red scarf coiled around his neck and a half-face-mask concealing his features but not the... suspiciously red mess of hair.

For whatever reason, Ryuko may find putting two and two together *much* harder than it should be. But under these circumstances and context, even the psychic influence Daisuke has been subconsciously exerting to help keep his identity concealed even in spite of the giveaway of the distinctive hair, won't hold up for very long.

Either way, the fighter she would eventually realize to be Daisuke does put up a decent fight against Yun, in spite of very lackluster fistfighting technique on his part. The first thing that stands out to her about the fight itself, perhaps, is that halfway through the bout, he channeled out a blazing mass of cyan-colored energy shaped into a sword to strike out at Yun with. Not too special, though, considering fighters channeling chi into their strikes isn't really that uncommon. Ryuko included!

In the end, Yun does still end up easily overwhelming the red-haired boy. After several exchanged blows, Daisuke is tossed down onto the ground head-first, and an immensely powerful punch is struck down into his face while he's still down, with enough force to crater the ground and bounce the boy's body before landing into a pool of blood spreading from his own head.

The fight doesn't quite end there, however. Though Daisuke is left laying limply on the floor for a good moment, energy gathers around him, crackling in electricity-like arcs that lick along the floor and walls of the arena, even causing the feed from the camera recording the fight to grow a bit static-y, alongside occasional image artifacting.

And the boy rises up from the floor. Not quite normally, though. His upper body lifts up, independent from the rest, with his arms hanging limply at his sides, eyes glowing bright enough to conceal the pupils and the whites entirely. It's very reminiscent of someone in a horror movie getting possessed or the like. And the whole time, more and more energy gathers along him, amassing in an enormous blaze around his right arm, before the boy suddenly speeds across the arena towards Yun, and--

A flash of light precedes the feed turning entirely to static for a few seconds.

When the picture returns, it shows the arena scorched and cracked all over, with a wounded Yun slumped down onto the ground. And Daisuke? On his knees, with the right sleeve of his jacket completely incinerated to expose the truly sorry state his arm has been left in -- blackened with bruising, and mangled from being visibly broken in several places, hand twisted in a way it is *clearly* not meant to turn, blood dripping along the length of the limb from cuts created by shattered bone in various places.

"So, yeah--" Says the Daisuke sitting next to her as he swipes his finger across the phone screen to sweep away the recording of him from a week or so earlier.

"I went into the tournament to see if getting in serious fights would help me get a handle on... all that. But. Well."

Ryuko rolls her eye right back at Daisuke when he whines some more but she doesn't say anything as he digs out the phone. Despite her teasing, she's actually more than willing to listen to his woes. That's what big sisters do after all, even if she isn't his really. She's a big sister in spirit! It's not weird, shut up.

Turning her attention to the phone, Ryuko watches the scene play out. Her eyebrows immediately climb upwards as she notices the source of the footage. She turns to regard Daisuke with a disapproving scowl.

Someone that has repeatedly indicated they aren't even confident enough to fight her in a one-on-one sparring match has no business throwing themselves into the professional fighting circuit. Hell, she's been doing this for years and she's only just now at the point where she thinks she /might/ be ready. That crushing defeat she suffered on her first outing is a pretty good indicator that she might want to re-evaluate that idea.

But, she holds her verbal rebukes for later. It doesn't take too much effort for her to realize that the Lone Ranger in this scenario is Daisuke, mental barriers or not. For one thing, he's showing this to her as it's related to him getting injured. So unless he's going to come running out into the middle of an ongoing match between some other red-haired dork and this Chinese kid, which would get him an even bigger noogie than she already plans to give him, the guy with the scarf on must be him.

The fight is observed in silence. Ryuko's head tilts back and forth throughout the video, her face going through various expressions as she mentally critiques the battle and they aren't ones filled with wonder and awe. His technique is... atrocious. Seriously, if her mother ever caught her throwing a punch like that she'd get disowned. No, first she'd get beat silly for embarrassing the family name, then disowned.

The introduction of the energy sword does seem to catch her off guard though. While such things aren't uncommon, they generally are the result of intense training. You don't see random ten-year olds throwing around hadoukens for a reason; it takes a lot focus and discipline to master the energies of the world well enough to call upon them in any meaningful way, much less to do so in the heat of battle. Her own talents, while definitely prodigious for her age, are no different.

She winces visibly when he's forced to kiss the pavement. Taking hits in the head is never pleasant and people have suffered serious injuries by getting curb stomped. The fact that his head didn't crack like an egg is proof that he's got a rock for a skull!

Ryuko opens her mouth, preparing to chide him for his stupidity now that the fight is over. Obviously he isn't getting back up from that. And then he does, in a manner that evokes thoughts of The Ring and The Exorcist. She blinks at that, mouth hanging open, one finger lifted to wag at him in a nagging fashion. The explosion makes her eye go wide and when the feed finally reaches its end she just sits back, staring.


Leaning back on the sofa, Ryuko crosses her arms over her chest and closes her eye, her expression troubled. Her fingers start to drum on the surface of her biceps as she thinks filling the brief silence with the soft patter of their impacts.

"First of all, wow, you're fucking terrible. It's a good thing you came to me for help because you are in dire need of an intervention when it comes to your...", she grimaces, not even sure what to call that ugly display.

"...technique," she allows, after a few moments. "Second..."

One of her arms untangles from the other in a swift upwards sweep that positions her fist directly above his head. A vein visibly bulges on the side of her temple as she grits her teeth, bringing the flat of her palm down in a powerful smack across the back of his head, injury be damned.

"That's for being an idiot! Street fights aren't where you go to work out your damn personal issues!"

She folds her arms closed again and lets out a long sigh. Her eye finally opens and when she turns to look at Daisuke again the expression is mostly one of concern, not anger, though there is some of that too.

"Third... I don't really know what to tell you about this. I'm not really an expert in chi manipulation. I've never even heard of someone doing... whatever that was."

Daisuke's quick to wince at Ryuko's first... very blunt observation.

"Straight for the heart with you, huh? I mean, you're not wrong, but..."

And then comes the second point of her review. Punctuated by a punishing fist from above, straight for his still-healing skull.


The boy recoils down from the pummeling, and immediately clasps his hand to the top of his head from the brief jolt before straightening up to peer back up to her with a faintly pained expression.

Part of him wants to point out that it *technically* wasn't a street fight, but somehow he gets the feeling that she would just get even more pissed off if he were to do that.

"...Yeah, I'm getting that..." he concedes, instead.

Somehow it's the look of concern from her that ends up making it much harder to maintain eye contact, as it turns out, for he's immediately turning his emerald eyes down to the tray on the table and the nigiri left on it instead of keeping his gaze on her.

"Not like I can say I know any better, either," he mutters, idly reaching over for one of the three remaining servings, but not quite popping it into his mouth yet.

"No one trained me or anything. A few days after 'Dad' died... I'm not really sure how to explain it. Felt like my nerves were all burning up. Bad enough I could barely even move. Kept going for almost three days before it stopped,"

He rolls his left shoulder around, slowly, in a half-shrug before popping the nigiri piece into his mouth, slowly chewing through it in thoughtful silence.

"All that nonsense came after that. I thought I could try to work it into something useful, but... You saw the result. Even when it's not that bad, it still feels like I'm getting burnt up when I try to channel that energy."

Ryuko suppresses the urge to give him another smack. Honestly, is it a genetic trait that boys have to be so damn stubborn about asking people for help? Instead, she just lets out a frustrated growl and rolls her eye again.

"So -don't-, you baboon! Not until you find someone who knows more about what's going on with you. Seriously, what kind of knucklehead experiences pain when they try to do something and thinks 'Huh, that's weird! Guess I should go do that some more in an even more dangerous situation!'.

The girl lifts a fist and shakes it right it in his face with fake menace while giving him the stink eye.

"Next time you do something this dumb... Pow! Right in the kisser."

She leaves her fist and her threat hovering in his face for another couple of seconds, just for good measure. Then she sighs and leans back, rubbing her hand over her face. This is definitely above her level of expertise and not something she came prepared to deal with today.

"Okay, well... I might not know enough about this to do anything for you. But, my mom probably does."

Ryuko turns to give him an encouraging smile.

"Or she'll know someone else who does. She deals with all kinds of crazy nonsense as a personal trainer so she probably has some ideas or connections we can pursue to help you out."

"Wh-- Baboon?!"

Daisuke's eyes blink rapidly, first, and then he recoils back at the threat of her fist, no matter how non-serious it might be.

"L-look, I was just... That's the thing though, I didn't think anyone would be able to, and... you know, tempered by fire and all, you know?"

He probably realizes how utterly *stupid* that sounded right after he'd said it, since he's peering off away from her right after.

"...And so maybe I'm not good about asking for help, alright?"

At least he can admit to that much, huh.

Catching one of the remaining two nigiri bites form the tray now, he listens to her in the meantime -- and for once, doesn't flinch just from the mention of Ryuko's mom. If anything, he actually seems to consider that suggestion.

"...I guess it could be worth a shot," he allows, idly nibbling on the nigiri for a few seconds longer than necessary before slurping it up.

For some reason, he feels much more akward now than any other time with Ryuko, before. Even more so than when she briefly messed with his emotions just to open up the way to catch him into the prime position for getting noogied.

"Look, uh..." It's only after several extended seconds when he brings himself to looking at her again, though it is in a sidelong sort of peek on account of her still sitting right next to him instead of opposite of him.

"...Thank you, though," he breathes out. "For listening, I mean. I know I don't make it seem like it a lot of the time, but... you are a good friend, you know?"

"No," she says, lifting her nose in the air and sniffing haughtily. "I'm a -great- friend. And my awesomeness does not go fully appreciated."

Her elbow pokes into his ribs playfully as she shuffles out of the bench and back to her own side. Now that she's properly disciplined him for being a dolt, it's best she not be caught sitting so close when Drake returns. God, she'd never hear the end of it.

As if she is some kind of fortune teller, the pale vampire returns only a few moments later. A pair of shiny metallic trays are carefully laid out before them, each one covered with a domed lid. With a flourish, Drake reveals the contents of each as if he were presenting a five-star meal instead of a pair of hotdogs and french fries. Some dark red sauce has been slathered liberally over each, clearly colored to resemble fresh arterial blood. Appetizing to be sure.

"Your meals, dear guests," he says, offering a faint bow.

Ryuko eyes him silently, looking for any signs of that telltale smirk he gets when he thinks he's discovered some weak point of hers to prod. Fortunately, it seems that their little tussle when unnoticed. The dim lighting in here served her well this time.

"Will there be anything else that you need?"

Ryuko shakes her head and shoos him away with one hand.

"Nah, we're good, Drake. Why don't you go visit your two biggest fans. It's about them for them to show up."

The man grimaces and lets out a long sigh. As might be expected from a restaurant filled with attractive young men, many of the clientele were women in their middle years who came to fawn over the sexy bad boys. Drake had earned himself two particularly persistent fans a few months ago who had come to eat lunch at the cafe every single day without fail whenever he was working. How exactly they learned his schedule no one really knows.

"Being beautiful has its burdens," he says, smoothing out the front of his uniform with one hand. "I suppose I will face this fate with dignity. See you this evening, Ryuko."

With that he turns and marches off into the gloom to face his nemesis. Ryuko flutters her fingers at him in a teasing farewell, not that he can see it. As soon as he's out of sight, she falls upon her hotdog like a wild animal, taking a huge bite out of the end. She actually makes an audible 'nom!' sound.


She chews vigorously for a few seconds then glances up at Daisuke, juice dribbling down her chin in a thin red rivulet.

"Try it! This teriyaki sauce is fantastic!"

"And so *humble*, too." The response comes with a long-suffering roll of Daisuke's eyes, though the smile that ends up tugging at his lips is a good-natured one, still. He does know she's mostly messing around when she says that, but... he does end up adding in a bit more quietly while she's slipping away from the seat, "More than you know."

It might be a bit fortunate for both of them that the food arrives just then, so they can use it to distract themselves from it. The look Ryuko exchanges with Drake does get entirely missed on the redhead's part, however, while he just... kind of peers incredulously at the 'bloodied' hot dog presented before him. It doesn't help that it was brought over in such an overly pompous manner, at that.

The vampiric butler's woes do earn a quick sympathetic look from Daisuke, at least -- and he does find himself leaning over to try and peek after the ensuing suffering the dressed-up man gets subjected to.

"I thought about asking..." He mumbles, peering after Drake for a few more seconds before turning his attention back to Ryuko. "But apparently don't need to, anymore."

But ignoring Drake's woes for now, he looks... a bit hesitant, perhaps, about the hot dog itself. Hesitation that does fade away when Ryuko takes the first bite and... reacts in such a way.

Daisuke may blink in some measure of surprise at seeing such a genuine, unhesitant reaction from the girl, but just watching her like that... well. He would *never* say it to her face, but he can't help but find her a bit... *cute* like that. The faintest of smiles tugs at his lips while he watches her, but... somehow, that seems much more genuine than any of the others the boy has expressed before.

"You, uh..." He murmurs, voice rumbling faintly with barely-held-back amusement, as one finger taps at his own chin. "Got a little...?"

Wether she catches on to the meaning of his not-so-subtle indication, he does decide to follow the recommendation, and guide the teriyaki-slathered treat up for a bite. A much smaller one than Ryuko's though, probably, partly on account of not being certain of what his senses are going to be assaulted yet, and partly because eating food like this with just one hand is a *little* akward.

Though he *does* still curiously look after Ryuko to see if she actually catches on to the little mess she's made on her chin.

Ryuko blinks at the attempt to indicate that her poor table manners have resulted in some collateral damage. She gets it quick enough, it's not like that's something she didn't notice. Instead of wiping her face, however, she just grins at him revealing teeth stained red with the delicious sauce.

"I like my food like I like my men... fresh and juicy."

She affects a low suggestive tone as she speaks, using her silly Transylvanian accent again. Another large bite is taken out of the messy hotdog and she chews with deliberate slowness, adding to the sticky coating of juices running down her chin. Her eye half closes into a pleased expression as she makes overly dramatic noises of enjoyment.

After a few moments, she grins and picks up a napkin, wiping her face clean. That image is probably going to stick with him for a while. It doesn't take much to get the imagination of a teenage boy rolling into the gutter, she finds, and teasing them never stops being entertaining.

A sudden beep from her wrist interrupts her fun. Ryuko glances at her watch with a frown and sighs loudly.

"Damn, I forgot I promised to help dad clean out the attic today."

She snatches up the remains of her hotdog and wolfs it down in record time, slurping down a fresh cup of tea to wash it down. A few of the french fries, also topped with the teriyaki sauce, get nommed on as she starts to gather up her stuff in a frenzy of activity. Not only does she have two functional hands to work with but the girl is also apparently quite skilled at multitasking. By the time she's finished preparing to leave most of her lunch has disappeared.

"Sorry to dine and dash but I gotta jet. Dad's pretty unforgiving about keeping to schedule."

A handful of neatly folded up yen is placed on the table, easily enough to cover both their tabs and then some.

"Here you go, my treat. Try some of the desserts! Their cheesecake is to die for."

She offers him a final grin and ruffles the mess of russet hair atop his head into an even more wild disaster.

"Later, nerd! Don't go exploding while I'm gone!"

And, leaving him to endure that particular farewell which most certainly won't be taken out of context by everyone who heard it, she darts off into the dim lighting of the cafe.

Unfortunately for Daisuke, he still hasn't *quite* been conditioned to this particular brand of shenanigans. He may frown at the 'bloody' grin she flashes at him first, but between her exact wording and the...

Uh... display?

Yeah. Between those things, the red-haired boy's face is quickly turning to that familiar shade of red all over again, and without even realizing it properly, he even finds his body pressing back against his seating.

After a comically audible swallow, he does at least manage to gather enough composure (barely so) to mutter, "...You are absolutely *ridicilous*; you know that?"

The beep of her watch breaks things apart, and Daisuke is instead treated to the sight of the teenaged girl going ham on her food. Somehow that ends up being even more impressive, to the point the boy cna do little more than watch, slack-jawed, as the tea and the hot dog and a good deal of the fries just... *disappear*.

"Uh... Sure, I guess...? Thanks....?"

His head inclines slightly when she first brings herself standing, and his voice murmurs, "I'll see you aro-"

Only to be suddenly subjected to the big sister-ly ruffling of his distinctively red hair, squinting his eyes as she goes through with it. As if he doesn't have enough trouble keeping that mess under control in the first place!

"D-don't say it like that!" He manages to call out after her in protest, while she's still in close enough range that he won't need to *outright* yell, though people in the nearby seats would certainly still hear it.

"... And who're you calling a nerd, nerd?!"

Log created on 12:06:58 05/03/2021 by Ryuko, and last modified on 19:24:53 05/06/2021.