Description: Raiza is taking lessons in the kunoichi ninja arts from Mistress Hiroko-sama! Her first target: Rafferty Lawrence Stewart?! With the boy in Hiroko-sama's sights, it's game, set, and... matchmaking?!
Rafferty is out for a stroll. The temperature in Southtown this Sunday is mild and the light rain that was present earlier has now stopped, leaving a clear blue sky behind. He's dressed for the weather in some black linen bermuda shorts, an electric blue Maison Kitsune t-shirt with a fox logo and a pair of Bottega Veneta black woven leather slides, that leave his perfectly pedicured feet exposed. There's plenty of other people on the boardwalk. Groups of friends browse the shops and families stop for a fix of fast food. There's none of the air of menace present, that often haunts this place after dark.
As he moves gracefully along, he spots several familiar faces, stopping to exchange a smile or a wave with them, before carrying on his way. He's not got a particular destination in mind. It's just good to get out of his dorm room. Especially when Ryan is listening to his latest grime playlist on Spotify. As he approaches the Southern end of the area, his Pacific blue cell phone starts to play Vogue by Madonna, signalling that the boy has an incoming call.
"Oh hey, Masako. How are you today?"
"Tomorrow evening? Yeah, I can do that."
"What should I wear?"
"Alright, that sounds great. Well, I'll see you there around seven then."
As he hangs up the phone, there's a broad, beaming smile on his face. Whatever his new plans are, he seems pretty pleased with them.
Meanwhile, a little further along the boardwalk, a teenage girl of Japanese ancestry is leaning against a wall, eating sushi from a Pokemon kyaraben. The girl has her medium-length hair up in a high ponytail, and she's dressed in a white sports bra that shows off her cleavage and midriff, along with a pair of slightly baggy black track bottoms and matching black trainers with white laces. There's a smartphone clipped to the side of her trousers with a cord running up to a pair of white earbud headphones mounted in her ears. Overall, she looks like she's getting ready for a workout; she doesn't look to have worked up a sweat yet.
The teen's brown eyes blink a couple of times as she looks up, mouth half-full of rice ball, to see an old lady in a dress standing in front of her on the boardwalk with a large handbasket under one arm. The woman is short and broad, leaning on a cane that she uses presently to tap at Raiza's pant leg.
"What's that you've got on? Didn't Masayoshi-sama tell you that you were going to be training with me today?"
Raiza quickly swallows the food that she was eating and flashes a smile.
"Of course, Hiroko-sama! But, what do you mean? This is my training outfit!"
Her brow furrows, and she leans down conspiratorially next to the elder woman's white hairbun, raising a hand to one side of her mouth to conceal her words from prying ears.
"I wasn't supposed to wear my ninja outfit, was I? I mean, it's so public...!"
"Oh, no, child," Hiroko says with a beaming breadth and chortle. "You're thinking like a shinobi! Today we are training in the /kunoichi/ arts!"
"Kunoichi... arts?" Raiza looks confounded, lips twisting in quizzical uncertainty. "What's the difference?"
In moments, Raiza finds herself yanked by the arm into the neighbouring alley between buildings.
"Any old ninja could teach you about backflips, shuriken, stealth, and most importantly, inverted spinning piledrivers! But amongst the Edo clan, Hiroko-sama is the mistress of the kunoichi arts!" Hiroko says, already holding a palette of powders and oils from her handbasket and armed with an arsenal of brushes. "Now, let's see what we can do about that makeup of yours!"
Less than a minute later, Raiza blinks at her reflection in the mirror, her lips now a bright candy red against her powdered skin.
"There you go! Shame you don't have something more traditional to wear..." Hiroko says as she eyes the teenager up and down, before pointing at Raiza's chest with her cane. "...but at least you've got something to work with! We shouldn't be needing these, after all!"
The old woman takes a pair of melons out of her handbasket and tosses one over her shoulder before eyeing the second thoughtfully. She pulls a tanto knife from a hidden sheath under her dress and slices the melon neatly in half. She offers one of the halves to Raiza.
"Here, fancy a treat?"
"N-no thanks, I'm allergic," Raiza says with a nervous laugh as she scratches at the back of her neck. "What exactly are we doing?"
Hiroko peers up at Raiza, already chewing a bite of melon. She swallows it, then says: "Haven't you been listening, child? I'm going to teach you how to be a proper kunoichi! With my help, you will learn the arts of espionage..." THiroko points at her ears, "...distraction..." Hiroko leans forward and cups her hands under chest demonstratively, "and... seduction!" Hiroko finishes her revelation by turning around, her hair falling effortlessly loose of her bun as she raises one shoulder, causing her dress to slide partway down the other. She wiggles her backside, one eye crinkling as she winks it suggestively.
Raiza recoils in horror from the sight, what was left of her bento falling to the alley floor as she staggers back against the wall.
"No, I prefer Hiroko-sama," Hiroko says with a croaking laugh as she ties her bun back into place. "That was an English joke. I thought you might appreciate it. Now, come here. I want to see your current form."
Reluctantly, Raiza steps toward Hiroko-sama, who taps her lips thoughtfully, then peeks around the corner and scans the crowd milling down the boardwalk. One blond American youth in particular stands out.
"There's your target! He's American, so he should be easy for you. Now, get him to ask you for your phone number!"
"But I don't want to - hey!" Raiza protests as she realizes that sleight of hand on the wizened kunoichi's part has placed her smartphone in Hiroko's hand, the earbud headphones now dangling uselessly. And then, the phone is sent sliding across the planks of the boardwalk into Rafferty's path, now playing J-Rock for all to hear.
'SAY you'll be my own, my Everglow that shines for meeee in my... wooo-ooo-ooo-ooomb! o/~'
Raiza's makeup hides the flushing of her face as she hurries after the phone, bent heedlessly forward to try and retrieve the device.
It's fortunate for Raiza, that the music is sounding out from the phone's speakers. Otherwise, the American boy in question, would have stepped straight on to it, destroying the device. He stops in his tracks and sees the dark haired girl heading his way. It seems likely that she's the owner.
"You lost something, babe?" he grins at her, revealing his briliant white Hollywood worthy smile.
"I can't say I've heard that song before. Interesting lyrics."
He doesn't make an effort to bend down and retrieve the cell, leaving it to Raiza to do the work herself. It wasn't his mistake after all and besides, she's wearing a pretty revealing top and there's no harm in looking.
'And whisper broken symphonies, as I feel my heart explode so gently... in meeeee... o/~'
Though Raiza doesn't seem to be aware of it, Rafferty is indeed getting an eyeful as she's stooped down to retrieve her cell phone from the boardwalk's surface. Her wide, dark eyes turn upward to the blond's face as she gives him a slightly vacant look.
Meanwhile, off in the shadows of the alley, Hiroko-sama folds her arms across her chest and nods approvingly, lips pursed.
"Oh! It's FAKE?!" Raiza informs Rafferty - calmly revealing the name of the band (FAKE?) rather than shouting disbelief at something's inauthenticity. Having swept up her smartphone, she quickly plugs the headphones back in and stops the music, straightening up to her full height as she laughs awkwardly.
"Next time, hold the pose a little longer," a voice whispers from the alley.
Raiza turns around, placing a hand on the wall next to the alley as she leans into it, only to find it seemingly empty - all that remains is something shiny gleaming on the ground.
"Hiroko-sama, you dropped..."
Her expression curious, Raiza bends over and picks it up - a shiny gold earring.
"Good posture. Keep him interested," Hiroko-sama's voice comes from an inverted trash barrel next to the stooping schoolgirl.
Raiza's expression goes bemused once again before her face flushes and she quickly stands tall.
"Hiroko-sama!! Stop trying to make me flirt with the cute boy!!" Raiza shouts in despair, before pushing the barrel over - only to reveal that there's nothing underneath it.
Raiza's eyes widen as her mind stretches to the verge of snapping.
"Those are fake?" Rafferty asks, seeming surprised. "I wouldn't have guessed it. They seem really natural looking. A lot less obvious than others I've seen." His eyes remain on her cleavage, pondering the information he's mistakingly picked up.
"Oh, you've dropped your earring now too? It's not your day is it?" he laughs, as he watches Raiza bending over again. "Unless..."
He laughs again, shaking his blond head from side to side. "Is this all a plan to get me to notice you, because you think I'm cute? You don't have to be shy about it, you know. I'd be more than happy to take the time to stop and chat with a pretty girl like you."
He pauses for a beat, before asking "Who is Hiroko-sama?"
Raiza is completely flustered by the time that she seems to notice that Rafferty is speaking to her, and as she turns around to face him, it's probably more clear that she looks strikingly dolled-up for someone who's dressed for a jog.
"Wha- n-no! They're not fake! I meant that the band I was listening to is called FAKE?!" she rambles out rapid-fire, self-consciously and subconsciously covering her chest by folding her arms across it. "And I didn't drop the earring, it's... it's Hiroko-sama's! She's my... tennis coach! I think that she just left... to go to the bathroom..."
The girl scratches awkwardly at her right arm with the fingernails of her left as she scans the alleyway with her eyes. Her cheeks manage to turn pink in spite of her makeup when the blond's previous words settle into her mind.
"I wasn't trying to do anything like that! My phone just came loose from the clip, see?" Raiza says as she turns her hip with the phone clip toward Rafferty. She looks slightly askance, shyly running her fingers up into her hair.
"Did... you say I'm pretty...?"
"Ahh, that's better! Sorry, Raiza-chan! When you get to my age, you go when you got to go!" Hiroko-sama says as she walks up from behind Rafferty, now wearing a green tracksuit and resting a tennis racquet against her shoulder with one hand. "Oh, who's this handsome lad, Raiza-chan? Is it your boooyfriend?~"
Raiza gawks in disbelief for a moment as Hiroko-sama sidles up next to Rafferty with a big smile, leaning up to look at his face. "I hope you aren't trying to get my student's number! I know she's a sweetheart, but she hardly has enough time to practice as it is!"
Raiza lets out a yelp and holds the seat of her pants as Hiroko uses her tennis racquet to chastise the girl teasingly.
"I, on the other hand, have plenty of time on my hands. I'm retired, you know..." Hiroko-sama says with a sly look toward the blond boy, "...but I like to stay active."
Well, now Rafferty knows who Hiroko-sama is.
The fact that Raiza has a full face of makeup, only strengthens the blond boy's belief, that she is here on a seduction mission, with him as her pretty prize! The continued discussion of the realness, or indeed fakeness of her breasts, means his eyes wander down that way again. Her flustered state hasn't gone unnoticed by him, but it's nothing he hasn't dealt with before. The poor girl is obviously in awe of his model good looks. He will be kind to her and hope he can calm her nerves.
"I did say that, yeah. It's true. You're a very pretty girl. I'm not sure about your makeup choices, I'd have probably gone for a more natural look, to compliment that outfit, but you're obviously attractive. You should own it."
There's that dazzling smile again and it remains firmly on his face, until Raiza's "tennis coach" decides to join them.
He seems taken aback by her considerable age, but he swiftly switches his surprised expression, for a calm and cool demeanor, designed to charm and disarm.
"Ah, you're right, she truly is a sweetheart" he schmoozes, sidling a little closer to the older woman. "I was just telling her as much. Perhaps in another lifetime I would have requested her number, but in this one, my heart has already been stolen by another. So it seems you are fortunate. I won't be taking any of your student's precious time from her, by whisking her off for lunch. My attached status also means I can't have the pleasure of your company in that way, ma'am. I'm sure you have lots of distinguished gentlemen who'd like to take you out dancing though."
"Oh, you're such a charmer!" Hiroko-sama coos as she reaches up to pat Rafferty on the cheek. "You remind me of a boy or two that I knew when I was Raiza's age! And loyal, too. What a nice boy!"
Raiza, meanwhile, is scowling daggers at the back of Hiroko-sama's head, arms still folded across her chest and face turned slightly away in self-consciousness at the remark on her makeup. She'd been wearing natural makeup just a couple of minutes ago...!!
"Now, Raiza! You can't go frowning like that, or you'll be all wrinkles by the time you're my age! The secret to skin like mine is a smile!"
She leans a bit closer to Raiza, holding a hand up to cover a more discreet murmur to the girl.
"That, and sesame oil!"
Raiza, upon getting a whiff of sesame, crinkles her nose.
"Do you play tennis, boy?" Hiroko-sama asks, turning to Rafferty and placing her hands on her hips. "Oh, I'm sorry - I should have let Raiza introduce us. What is his name, Raiza-chan?"
"He hasn't told me yet, Hiroko-sama..." Raiza says with a look of consternation.
"What?!" Hiroko-sama whips around to face Rafferty with an indignant expression. "You've been ogling this innocent young lady and you haven't even told her your name, yet? You owe her an apology!" Hiroko's face twists into a smile. "And you can apologize to her by joining us for tennis practice!"
Rafferty likes being called charming and loyal. He's warming to this weird old lady.
"Oh I bet you had all the boys chasing you, when you were Raiza's age" he flatters. "I bet you still get plenty now! The question is though, how many are fast enough to catch up?"
He gives her a wink and then nods his head towards the younger female. "Your coach is right. Frowning is sooo bad for the skin. Smiling is much better, combined with moisturing twice, a day, always wearing sunblock and sleeping on silk pillows" he advises. He's obviously someone who takes his skin care regime very seriously.
"I have been known to play tennis, but only in school and purely for fun. I was never on the team or anything. I'm more of a swimming man really. Give me a refreshing dip, over slogging it out on the court any day. Besides, I'm not wearing appropriate footwear right now. I'd probably get shockingly bad blisters."
"I'm Rafferty, by the way. Rafferty Lawrence Stewart." The way he says his name suggests he may be expecting it to be recognised.
Hiroko-sama seems just as prone to flattery as Rafferty is, running her fingers through her hair and primping as she's complimented. To Rafferty's question, though, her answer is coquettish:
"A lady never tells...!"
Raiza, for her part, looks increasingly distraught with the directions that the discussion has diverted to.
"We don't - we don't even have a tennis court to play at, Hiroko-sama! A-and you heard him - he doesn't have the right shoes!"
"Well, if he'd like a nice refreshing dip, I know of some hot springs not far from here," Hiroko-sama remarks casually as she waggles the racquet on her shoulder.
"We don't have swimsuits, though," Raiza points out, scratching her head.
"I never said anything about swimsuits, Raiza-chan," Hiroko-sama reminds Raiza, gesturing with her racquet. "You're American, Raiza-chan; you've heard of skinny-dipping, haven't you?"
The teen looks ready to crawl out of her skin and under a rock by this point.
"Ah yes, sadly no swimsuit" the schoolboy agrees, backing up Raiza's protest.
"As for skinny dipping, well, I'd be lying if I said I'd never partaken, but these days I only take my clothes off in private, or for a great deal of money." The latter is not strictly true, as the young model has never posed naked. The nearest he's got is some underwear shots.
"If you really do both desire my company though, perhaps I could buy us all a refreshing drink. I could go for a fruit juice or smoothie. I'll even throw in some snacks, if you ladies have an appetite."
"Well, it's not a -public- hot spring that I'm talking about," Hiroko-sama says with a wink at Rafferty as she flips her racquet over to use as a substitute cane for a moment.
"Hiroko-sama! I'm not going to go skinny-dipping in a hot spring with a boy we just met, no matter how cute he is!" Raiza asserts, stomping one foot on the alley floor.
"Hmmhmm. You young ones these days have no sense of adventure!" Hiroko-sama declares, turning her nose up with a miffed snort. She turns to Rafferty with a serious expression. "Very well, Rafferty Lawrence Stewart. I'll allow you to treat us to a fruit juice! I'll have prune!"
"I-I... well, you don't have to get me a drink! I can pay for my own!" Raiza says as she fishes in her pocket to produce some cash, counting it out.
Hiroko-sama rolls her eyes, then subtly smacks Raiza in the shin with her racket.
"/Never/ pay for a drink that you can get for free, Raiza-chan!"
"I'm impressed. Access to a private hot spring. You must be a woman of influence."
He can't help but smile, when Raiza refers to his cuteness.
"I've got plenty of adventure in me, but at the right time and place. So a prune juice you say? I'm gonna go with a pineapple and for you, Raiza? I really must insist on paying. You save your money for something else."
He looks between the two women, as the younger one is struck for the second time and then mutters under his breath.
"Like paying for a less violent tennis coach."
"Oh, I'm old friends with the owners," Hiroko-sama says with a wistful expression, leaving the matter of the hot springs at that. "I like to think that my influence is most felt in the younger generations, though. Like my young apprentice here!"
Raiza, still distracted by trying to count her money again, is on the receiving end of another backhand to her back end, eliciting another yelp. "Hey!" She finally puts her coins back in her purse and rubs her bottom as she returns her attention to Rafferty.
"Okay, okay! I'll have... umm...
"What was that you were saying, young man?" the tennis coach asks, holding a hand up to her left ear and pointing it toward Rafferty.
"...an avocado bubble tea?" Raiza says with an awkwardly apologetic hopefulness.
"Avocado bubble tea?" Hiroko-sama gives Raiza a dubious side-eye. "The boy offered juice!"
"But there's a bubble tea shop right there, and he did offer a smoothie," Raiza remarks, before regarding Rafferty. "It's okay, I can get my own, like I said before. It's really nice of you to offer in the first place."
"Avocado bubble tea is totally fine" Rafferty assures Raiza, his tone sounding sympathetic. "Any snacks for either of you?" He decides it's wise not to repeat the words he uttered about the old woman, fearful his backside will get a beating too.
"By the way, I couldn't help but hear you're American. Plus, the accent was a bit of a giveaway. Which part, if you don't mind me asking? I'm from San Gabriel in California myself."
"I'll have a dango stick," Hiroko-sama declares with certainty. "What do you want, Raiza?"
"Just the bubble tea. I had half a bentou earlier..." Raiza says with a lift of her shoulders and an awkward smile.
"Only half? You shouldn't waste food, Raiza-chan!" Hiroko-sama says with a disappointed frown.
"Well, I was kind of caught off-guard and dropped the rest," Raiza says, rubbing the side of her head and glancing askance as she mutters, "...kinda lost my appetite anyway, when you started talking about seduction..."
"What's that, Raiza-chan?" Hiroko-sama asks, holding a hand up to her ear and pointing it toward her student.
"Nothing!" Raiza says, turning to Rafferty immediately and smiling. "Oh, cool! I'm from Sunshine City - or just outside it, anyway. Sounds like we were practically neighbours! What brings you to Southtown? I'm here on an exchange program, but I have family in the area, too."
Hiroko-sama looks slightly displeased at Raiza's words, and the girl notices the expression.
"Well, I mean, not /that/ close or anything."
"Dango stick, sure! I can't say I've ever tried one of those."
He wanders off to fetch the order, returning within a few minutes and distributing the items out. Staring to suck his juice through a bright green straw, he nods at Raiza.
"Yeah, that's super close to where I'm from. Maybe we passed in the street without realising. How long have you been in Southtown? I got here in January and go to Pacific High. I work for a modelling agency and they are funding my school fees. It's a pretty sweet deal. How are you liking the exchange family? Do they treat you well?"
While Rafferty is away, Raiza leans down to murmur with hushed, but agitated tones to Hiroko-sama.
"What are we doing here? How is this part of my training? Why do you keep smacking me? When are we going to start really training? And where did you get that tennis coaching outfit?"
"To answer your first four questions, I was giving you a nice, easy practice session so we can review later. I joined in because you were floundering like a landed dolphin."
"And as for the outfit, Masayoshi-sama and I always play doubles on a Friday afternoon. I'll be meeting him later! We always work up such a sweat together~ <3"
Raiza looks a bit green around the gills when Rafferty walks back up, accepting her drink dazedly. She plops down onto a seat at a table along the boardwalk, though whether she's fully conscious of doing so is questionable.
"...Ah? Oh! Yeah, I mean... I think I might've noticed you if we passed each other. Especially if you always dress like that!"
Raiza takes a steadying swig from her bubble tea and makes an 'mmm' sound. Meanwhile, Hiroko-sama sits down on another one of the chairs at the table before starting to eat her dango.
"Mmm... delicious! Thank you, young man!"
"Yeah, thanks!" Raiza adds. "As for your questions, I've been here for a few weeks - I kinda got here a bit late for the start of the school year, so I've been doing catchup nonstop. The Suzukis are nice, though! I don't get to see them as much as I'd like, with school and all the -"
"- tennis practice," Hiroko-sama interjects between bites of the sweet balls-on-a-stick.
"- tennis practice," Raiza echoes with a glance off to the side before looking back at Rafferty. "So, your modelling agency pays for your school and stuff? At Pacific? Wow! A lot of people at Taiyo seem kinda jealous or something of the Pacific kids."
Following Raiza's lead, Rafferty takes a seat at the table, choosing one opposite the girl.
"This isn't a very flashy outfit" he says, seeming confused. "I mean, I suppose it shows my legs off a fair bit." He looks down at his lower limbs, which are exposed from the knees downwards and then back up at Hiroko-sama's wrinkled face.
"You're very welcome. I'm glad it's to your satisfaction. My juice is delicious too."
His blue eyes follow a pair of teenage girls, as they pass by, deep in animated conversation.
"Oh yeah? Well wait till I tell you who Tommy went on a date with last night. I could not believe it, when I saw them together!" She flips her long blonde hair back and adjusts her shades.
"I dunno, but you better tell me right now!" her green haired friend demands. Before Rafferty can hear the blonde's response, the gossiping girls have moved on.
His attention switches back to the Taiyo schoolgirl.
"They're really that jealous of us? Well, I suppose there is some rivalry between the schools and we do have an amazing cafeteria. I guess I'm pretty fortunate to be going there for free. So you're pretty into tennis, huh? Are you hoping to be a pro player or something?"
"Oh, I meant because - well, I like foxes," Raiza clarifies her comment regarding Rafferty's outfit.
"So do I," Hiroko-sama interjects with a knowing nod.
"As for being jealous, well, yeah, I think it's mostly the cafeteria," Raiza says with a firm nod of her own. "I'm... pretty into tennis, I guess? Ow!"
Raiza has been bonked yet again by Hiroko-sama, this time on the head.
"Raiza-chan is going to be a mistress of tennis! Sure, she might not seem all that talented, but I will make her learn every nuance of the art of tennis-jutsu! Not to mention, she has that spark!" Hiroko-sama boasts.
"I thought we weren't supposed to talk about my spark," Raiza says with a confused expression.
"The spark of tenacity! To keep going despite her many, many failures and disappointments!" Hiroko persists, smacking her frail fist into her opposite palm.
"H-hey, I haven't failed anything yet! ...Have I?" Raiza says with bewilderment.
"She will bring honour to her teacher and her family! I will not settle for anything less!!" Hiroko-sama practically shouts.
"B-but I just started playing tennis..." Raiza says, slumping forward against the table.
The young model watches the exchange between his companions with a bemused expression, his gaze looking from one to the other, as if viewing the very sport they are discussing. He has the sense that he's missing some underlying issues between them, but he has no intention of making it his business. He listens in silence, before eventually chiming in with "Yeah, foxes are awesome."
His right hand moves up to push back a stray strand of platinum hair, then he casually says.
"You know, if you ever need someone to hang with, I'd be happy to do so. I could give you my number or you can give me yours, or whatever and we can do something. I actually know another kid from Taiyo called Daisuke. I don't know whether you've run into him."
When Rafferty offers to exchange numbers with Raiza, her face suddenly lights up.
"Oh, here! Let me write it down for you!" she says, leaning forward and taking out a pen from her trouser pocket to write the number down on a napkin that's accompanied her bubble tea, before sliding it across the table. She turns a private smile toward Hiroko-sama while wiggling triumphantly in her chair.
"Oh! Daisuke? I know a Daisuke, yeah! He's one of my only - I mean, one of my friends there. Is it a redheaded guy who gets beat up a lot? If it is, that's probably the same one," Raiza muses, before sipping on her bubble tea.
"Well, I suppose we should be going now! Thank you again for the lovely treat - and the dango and juice besides," Hiroko-sama says with a saucy wink to Rafferty as she stands up from the table.
"Already?" Raiza asks, looking bemused once more. "I still haven't finished my bubble tea!"
"We have your training to discuss further, Raiza-chan, and I need the toilet again. Should I see you back at the court?"
Raiza looks uncertainly between Hiroko and Rafferty. "I mean, it's up to you, I guess...!"
"Oh wow, you wrote it down. That's kinda cute" the schoolboy grins. Taking the piece of paper, his long fingers tap away at his phone's screen, as he inputs Raiza's number into his contacts.
"That sounds like the same Daisuke. He's a redhead for sure and the first time I met him, he was getting beaten up. We had to help him out."
That's not quite the accurate story, since Rafferty himself cowardly cowered, whilst the three girls he was with rescued the Taiyo student.
"You're very welcome for your drinks and such. It was no trouble at all. It's been...nice" he finally settles on. "If you wanna stay and finish your tea and catch up with your tennis coach later, I don't mind keeping you company" he tells Raiza.
"Oh, in that case..." Raiza starts to say, looking up to Hiroko-sama for guidance - only to realize that the tennis coach (?) is already sauntering off into the distance down the boardwalk. Hiroko looks back over her shoulder, waving to Raiza - "See you soon, Raiza-chan~" - before fluttering her fingers at Rafferty and winking. "And you, handsome~"
"...looks like you're keeping me company a little longer," Raiza finishes, subtly breathing a sigh of relief. She takes a slurp of her bubble tea before speaking again. "Sorry if I came across like a weirdo so far. I haven't done a lot of training with Hiroko-sama, and she's really, uhh... what's the word? Unorthodox, I guess? I do want to learn, though, and apparently she's supposed to be really good... at tennis, I mean."
Rafferty chuckles at Hiroko's farewell, mimicking her gesture of the fluttering fingers and calling out "I'll look forward to it."
"She's a very...interesting woman" he remarks to Raiza, watching her face for any clues as to her real opinion. "I'm glad you feel like you're learning from her, she's a bit brutal though, isn't she? I don't think I could cope with being hit that way."
He finishes what's left of his pineapple juice and then continues "As for you being a weirdo, you aren't even in the top ten list of weird people I've met since moving here, so don't worry about it."
He leans foward, resting his elbows on the table. "So now that the grown up is gone, tell me more about you..."
Log created on 18:02:46 07/04/2021 by Raiza, and last modified on 00:14:55 07/06/2021.