Description: What draws me here, inwardly asks a young woman by the name of Aya Hazuki. She is not certain as to the hows and whys of her arrival at what should be an otherwise nondescript hot dog vendor... or this strange man that is not from anywhere near here. He encourages her to take her interests a step further. Taken out of her zone of comfort with so many questions she can't pinpoint the origins of... should she take him up on his encouragement? Who is this man, anyway, and why does he seem so familiar...? Perhaps an astute reader can help her find answers within.
Southtown! A veritable melting pot of cultures nestled within Japan. To call it an 'Americatown' is not that far off from the mark. So many Western businesses have set up successful shop in these parts, bringing a mostly accurate taste of the consumerist culture overseas. Sure, there's plenty more under the surface... intrigue. Power. Betrayal. So many things of interest lurk from behind the curtains put up to keep the greater public unaware of what exactly is at play.
That's neither here nor there.
Now, on a somewhat chilly mid-day, at some local food stand... 'some local food stand' is probably the best way to leave it. There is almost nothing special about it, other than the aging owner's struggles to keep up with the bigger chain restaurants that have slowly started to seep into the rural parts of town and threaten to push him out of business. The cost to keep his permit renewed runs almost too high for what business he takes in... but he soldiers on, all the same.
"BEEF TERIYAKI HOT DOG!" He cries out, casting glances to either side with shiftiness at the end of his smile. He knows just the way to lead on people to instill a sense of urgency. "LAST ONE! HURRY BEFORE IT IS SOL--"
There is the heavy sound of a body hitting the sidewalk nearby.
This comes from some heavy-set caucasian man in beige shorts and sandals - kind of inappropriate for the weather - with the top half of a mechanic's jumpsuit over a white undershirt, a very old and heavy toolbelt loaded to the brim with who knows how many tools, and jet black (...with purple highlights?) hair woven into a bob that seems completely inappropriate for his age, gender, and culture. At least, by normal standards.
"Sir, are you," the man behind the food stand seems a little afraid to ask as to what's going on, and probably rightly so.
Something is drawn from the toolbelt with lightning speed, a blur of polished metal - a length of pipe - that taps very lightly on the counter in a strange contrast to the speed of its draw.
"I'll buy that!" The guy on the ground says. "Uh. Once I get up. I kinda fell on some pliers. Give me a minute."
For the next minute or so, there are sounds of gasping and hissing, but you know, that's just from him, over there. What if someone just happened to get into a proper line for this coveted bit of sidewalk food stand foodstuffs...?!
Meanwhile, nearby: a voice mutters, in a throaty alto, "What... am I doing here?"
It's not that unreasonable a question given the person who asked it. It's a woman, and boy, is she unusual by the standards of Southtown's cosmopolitan (and suburban-feeling) Southtown Village. It's as if someone took the concept of the 'Yamato Nadeshiko,' the perfect Japanese beauty, and then said "WHAT IF SHE WAS A NINJA?!" Average height, clearly in good shape, well-favored, but... a kimono with furisode-style sleeves that ends at mini-skirt length? Carrying a clearly well-made katana at her side? She's like Shinobi Barbie, Japanese Edition.
But if this were her hometown of Kyoto, Aya Hazuki would be known, recognized, appreciated; the scion of a wealthy family with industrial concerns all over Japan, she's a society dilettante who is wealthy enough to have 'weird' downgraded to 'enjoyably eccentric' in the eyes of her neighbors. But this isn't Kyoto. It's Southtown, near the schools and the artists. They are unlikely to recognize the poor woman who is treated like a dowager countess before she ever had a chance to *marry*.
Why is she here? Because, well...
The dreams brought her here.
The commotion at the hot dog stand catches her attention, but from there it's all downhill. Something about the age-lined face, the dingy and old-fashioned cart, even the voice suddenly takes her back. Memories of an energetic girl in a local school's uniform, vague impressions of friendship, and also of battle. A vague hint that even though a beef teriyaki hot dog sounds AWFUL it would be delicious.
Aya Hazuki is still mouthing the words 'hot... dog?' silently as she approaches the cart, and nearly trips over a recovering Mr. Rust before stopping herself short and looking down at the man.
"Are you al--"
Thoughts bombard her, warm feelings of friendship, that are gone in an instant, the fins of fish diving into a deep, black sea.
"...alright?", the woman finishes, extending a hand.
The heavy-set man, whoever he is, whatever he was doing that saw him hit the ground with such a painful-sounding thud, may well be just as curious a sight in these parts as anyone else. Southtown seems to attract all kinds, for better or for worse.
"Eh? Whoops!" The man on the ground exclaims as he nearly rolls himself into the young woman's shins in an attempt to relieve whatever aches he has suffered from what one presumes is a drop from a high place. Kind of odd he'd just... fall in out of nowhere, isn't it? Did anyone even see or hear him before then?
"I nearly tripped you up! Sorry. Ahh, thank you," he extends his free hand - his right - to take hers to pull himself up with a start, another hiss escaping between his teeth. (Looking down, it's not hard to see why - there is a piece of branch lodged into his butt.)
"The streets here have a lot of people walking," and probably also gawking with the appearance of these two people, "so I thought I'd take the trees, avoid traffic, that sort of thing... branch gives out right when I see a snack!"
He doesn't look like anyone from around these parts, nor sound like anyone around these parts. Clearly somewhere North American, if Aya has an eye or an ear for that sort of thing, as he straightens up and leans back to work out whatever soreness he appears to have inflicted out of sheer clumsiness. "Not the tallest tree I've ever fallen off of!"
This... is a lot to take in.
The American uses words like a gatling gun, firing them off at Aya in a friendly-enough way, but even if she weren't dealing with some... strange feelings of her own that she can't reconcile just this second, the man she's talking to seems to be approaching this entire conversation like speed chess. It's overwhelming at first, until some tiny voice in the back of her head impels her to tilt her head up and away from Rust.
Her gaze slowly but surely follows the tree line of the (decorative, short, and now somewhat... manhandled) trees lining this particular street. In point of fact, she's STILL looking at them when she responds, simply enough, "It's alright. I'm more nimble on my feet than I look."
Her gaze comes back down, likely to find Rust on his feet, or at the very least not sprawled on the ground. "Considering that you're almost certainly not from around here, this will probably sound crazy, but have we..."
She pauses, then puts a finger in the air. "Hold that thought."
With a step to the left, there's a moment of economic congress with the old man behind the hot dog cart, and then Aya returns to the tree-dislodged American, holding out a hot dog in a little white, rectangular paper food service container.
"I don't think I can just interrogate a stranger on the street without some sort of compensation."
It probably should be disconcerting, indeed, how this man seems to speak as though he's already on friendly terms with just about anybody he meets, if... this single sample size of 'one person' is indicative of everything from that point on. Didn't they just meet?
Could there be more to this than that, if dreams may be to be believed? Either way, the aging man rubs his free hand at his lower back. He somehow appears to continue to miss the piece of branch jutting out of him, but he doesn't let the discomfort of his situation seem to stifle his mood any.
He doesn't seem to call her on the half-formed question, or maybe he just hasn't quite put two and two together as to what she might be asking - but he seems to pick up on the offering.
"Eh? For me? Well, don't mind if I have one!" Or, from the look of his figure, three.
He accepts it gracefully enough as he takes it in his free hand, the drawn pipe now pointed at the ground to scrape at the sidewalk as he raises the held paper container. "Rather nice of you, ma'am! You know, everyone in these parts is awful friendly! Even this one hoodlum with a knife was polite, asked me how I was enjoying my stay after we dropped the gloves for a bit--"
Mercifully, he seems to segue into what she might have been speaking about just as he starts to take a bite, thinking better of it.
"Aw, sorry, here I was about to go on and on, something about an interrogation with?" He looks a little more worried, all of a sudden, gaze looking off to the side as if expecting someone or something else to be here.
Rust SHOULD be terrifying. Certainly, Aya had a very traditional Japanese lady's upbringing and a too-friendly, too-casual American in Dad Shorts and a coverall is probably a little scary when most of the men that were strangers you dealt with before the age of 14 were sitting seiza while you conducted the tea ceremony. Yet despite herself -- and to her own internal surprise -- the young woman does not feel, for example, the need to bolt down the street, screaming like she's Daffy in 'Duck Amok'.
Part of it may simply be that the woman is a pragmatist. Rust seems, for the most part, harmlessly energetic, unlikely to hurt anyone but himself. Of course, he casually mentions fighting a man with a knife after arriving in Southtown, and that certainly gets a raised eyebrow. At first glance this... let's be real, mess... doesn't seem like a fighter in her eyes. But even without a certain nagging voice in her head, Aya Hazuki has been training in combat all her life, and looking past the surface, she sees... well.
"I was going to ask if we've met before," she says carefully, crossing her arms over her chest. "Are you a professional fighter? Maybe that's where I noticed you before...?"
"Met? Err," he seems to give this idea some legitimate thought, rather than immediately dismiss the surface notion of any sort of familiarity, "I've sure met a lot of folks around the world, sure, but," he starts to wave a finger from the hand that holds the thing that in turn holds the beef teriyaki hot dog thing. Finger pointing is particularly rude in these parts of the world, which may undercut his claims of having met a bunch of people, but... it's also, on some highly primal level, a very, very familiar gesture.
"Oh! You saw me in the ring?" Whatever sort of worry was on his face before - what about an interrogation could spoil his mood, anyway, was he up to something strange? Stranger than being in the trees? - gives way to a beaming pride as he puffs his chest out. "Yep! You must've seen me in! Uhh," he deflates slightly, "granted that was mostly... ten years ago, thereabouts, sorta had it all wind down when I got married over in the States, but I've still got it if I stepped back in today."
Today, he looks like he could use some cardio - he clearly does not appear to be in the proper physical shape most fighters out there are, with a few very notable exceptions. Could he really be one of them?
"You mighta heard about a Howard Rust, that's me!" His name is not particularly famous individually. Maybe it showed up every so often ten years ago, but it doesn't sound like he was one of the great superstars of yesteryear. "Did you want an, uh, an autograph?" He vaguely points with a finger from the hand holding the pipe. "I mean you did just buy me a snack, least I could do for you, just... need a pen, some paper to write with, wait, maybe if you got a pen we could sign it on some of this here duct tape, ahh-- I've only got two hands..."
Ten years ago? That does make Aya blink a few times. Ten years ago, she was only 16. Her parents were alive and she was... content. Perhaps not happy, but content. Certainly, the professional fighting world was not on her radar back then, a thing she has no ambiguity about, and that actually makes this all the more strange. There's no reason she should have a familiar feeling about this man...
Or more to the point, that the feeling should be so utterly off-base. Some part of her knows Rust shouldn't have hair, LET ALONE hair with a dark purple straeak in it. It's as if that information is swimming though her reptilian hindbrain, poking its head out just when she feels like she's got a handle on things. The rest is reasonable? She can almost feel herself ticking items off on an invisible list. Goofy age-inappropriate outfit? Sure. Lead pipe for a weapon? Good so far. Emo kid haircut on body of middle-aged pudgy American? NOPE ABORT.
As with every other time lately that this feeling assaults her, Aya does the best she can: which is to say, she starts ignoring it.
Both hands come up, palm out, in protest (maybe... warding against the pointing finger, too?). "No! No, that's alright. I wouldn't want to get between a man and his 'hot dog'," she finishes, clearing her throat. Those air quotes around 'hot dog' are audible as hell, at least to Rust; Mr. Frank hopefully hears them not, or Aya is never going to be able to get quality sausage products in this town ever again..
It never seems to come to his mind to question her age versus how long ago he might have been a blip on the radar - at least, the world fighting radar. He's probably on a lot of radars for his, uh, very interesting choice of hairstyling. Horrifying as it is to behold as a matter of taste, the hair at least appears real - even with the slightly odd hue. Something... probably doesn't quite match any sort of acceptable aesthetic standard of past or present no matter how one prescribes it.
"No, no! It's all fine, see," at this point he could probably walk maybe eight steps over towards a poorly-maintained seating arrangement and put something down, but no, he seems intent to push the point as he leans forward, kicking a sandal off to try and reach his leg up and behind him, it's... fascinating to watch, perhaps, if also horrifying and possibly a recipe for tragedy.
"Wait, I know, I got something sharp enough I could just carve it in," his tongue pokes out of his mouth and settles on his upper lip as he tilts further and further forward. Gravity seems to defy him, tools and baubles shifting with gravity down and away from his reaching foot. "Ahhh... hold on, almost got it..."
He manages to get his toes around the handle of something, and starts to tug. This may actually be visually impressive to an outsider, as a trick--
Then there's a bit of a snag. In that, it refuses to loosen itself. He frowns.
"Aww, come now, don't be stubborn," he talks to the tools as though they were capable of caring. He pulls, he tugs, he grunts with every absolute exertion in stretching and flexing himself to his utmost limit...
And in one, great, violent tug, his whole toolbelt comes off... as does a not-small number of tools with sharp enough wedges and edges suddenly all fly out, pinning themselves against the trunk in a display that would really be tragic if anyone were standing right there.
The so-called Howard Rust who probably doesn't quite ping to the dreams and thoughts of the young lady over there hisses as he dares to look over his shoulder, straightening himself up as he gets his foot back into that sandal.
"Whoops," is all he comments upon as he stretches that leg forward, "well, that coulda gone a whole lot worse with."
So, that happened.
There is a brief period where Aya looks at the disaster that she hath unintentionally wrought, or at the very least if not 'wrought' then 'inadvertently summoned into being by buying this man a hot dog'. and really does not know how to react. It is as if there was an undiscovered tenth Muse, Slapstickyphus, had descended to Earth in the form of this man to bring joy to all. It's not clear if his emblem is the hot dog, or the tool belt.
Despite herself, the absurdity of the situation -- plus the brief and mystifying image of Rust in a pure white toga, crowned with laurels, or possibly crowned with Laurels and Hardy-s -- causes Aya to start laughing helplessly. The timing of this outburst is incredibly poor; to an outside observer, this poor American is staring at his tools stuck in a tree, seeming... well. More like a victim than anything else. Meanwhile, a wealthy Japanese woman is standing there laughing at him.
This fact seems to hit Aya on time-delay, even as Rust is staring down his uncooperative tools, and she suddenly stops, shaking her head and clearing her throat. "I'm... truly sorry. I don't know what came over me just now." She walks over to the tree and places her hand on the handle of a claw hammer which... has actually been embedded in the tree *by the blunt end*, which is a feat in and of itself. "I hope..." *yank* "You won't..." *pull* "Take offen... excuse me a moment."
The rest happens in almost the blink of an eye. The woman's hand goes to the hilt of the katana attached to her kimono's obi, and there's a... momentary pause, like the silence before a lightning strike hits, the blade cracking free of the saya for just a second. Then, she blurs into motion, the blade and her arm barely visible, making a series of silver arcs before it is sliding back into her scabbard noisily.
Four tools from the belt, embedded in narrow wedges of the tree, slide out of the trunk and onto the ground with a loud clatter. The tree, against all logic, remains standing.
"I hope I didn't cause offense," finishes Aya Hazuki, turning back to Rust as if the last 15 seconds had not happened.
One could only imagine how the mood would have changed - immediately - were someone caught in the middle of all that. It's a great thing that life tends to find a way to instill such moments of lightheartedness in-between the difficulties and the tragedies... and the inexplicable that does not appear to have easy answers.
Things like 'does this man acknowledge he still has something stabbed in his behind?'
"What? Sorry? No, that's, ahh... that's pretty funny!" He does seem to take it in genuine cheer. "I mean at least this time I didn't hit my wife's favorite china, oooh." He rubs the side of his head with the back of his left hand, the one holding the pipe as he nods along slowly as he ambles along towards the poor victimized tree. He thinks, at last - something maybe he should have thought of maybe ten seconds ago! - to try and hold the drawn pipe under his armpit to reach out and start yanking out embedded tools. "Don't worry about it, I could--"
The blink of an eye passes. He draws his hand back a moment after the fact - it's more a wonder he doesn't get his fingers caught in on that as he watches them dislodge, one by one, into the ground. One drops on his foot.
His eyes widen a little, mouth turned into a round circle with a hissing 'oooo.'
"Now that's really something, right there!" It's almost like praise from a tourist that might have come here to be entertained on a long week off. "Now I've seen some good swordsmen. Crossed pipe with them, I sure did with! That, though, that's... well! Ah, excuse me, ma'am, that's just really great! I mean it!"
The matter of getting things all back in their proper places, well, that seems like it can wait another minute or two. That, plus there's the matter of the rapidly cooling hot dog of, uh, supposedly amazing quality.
Well. It WAS just really great, wasn't it? Not that Aya would ever agree, because she has that quintessentially irritating Japanese trait -- indeed, one common in China as well -- of immediately demurring when complimented. Clearing her throat, she pats a hand against her chest for a moment, then looks away. "It was, ah... mostly the result of training, that's all," the swordswoman responds calmly. When in doubt, try the truth. You'd be surprised how many flavors of the truth there are which are usefully directed yet also still entirely true and not prevarications.
She can't bring herself to bring up the branch, though. This situation is unusual but there are LIMITS.
"Let me start this over, assuming that we *haven't* met, and maybe I've merely confused you for someone else. My name is Aya Hazuki; it's a pleasure to meet you." Here, she decides to throw caution to the wind and extend her hand. Right now, she's hoping that something as simple as a greeting handshake -- a bit of an olive branch, considering that this is more of an American thing than a Japanese one -- is not going to end in catastrophe. And if it DOES go wrong somehow, well... she's armed.
"You must've got yourself a heck of a teacher!" The embarrassing, maybe overly familiar demeanor persists to this man. His face, positively oozing praise as much as what may well be just blind overt friendliness, speaks of perhaps interest in meeting who this teacher is... blissfully unaware as to the underlying confusion that seems to surround the young woman's life nowadays.
He looks prepared to do a proper bow when she extends her hand, looking a bit taken off-guard. This also has to do with the fact that the hand she's extending is one best taken in the /right/ hand, which is... holding a hotdog. He needs a free hand. He kinda-sorta has one by putting the pipe under his armpit, but, with nowhere else to put it...
He sticks the food in his mouth, revealing a jaw that is perfectly capable of opening rather wide. It is a gentle balance to not immediately bite down on the edible thing and chew it into two lopsided halves, where the greater might fall onto the ground and be void of any merit of ever being consumed.
He manages this much, as he moves the food container it came in to his left hand (why didn't he just put the whole thing there, again?), and now moves to extend his free hand to meet hers in a handshake.
"Hmmhd Hm--" He stops, peering down at the thing now stuffed in his mouth. "Hm. Hhh. Hhhd hm hh hhmf. Hmmf! Hm hmmhmmhh hhh." Probably attempting to introduce his name and then the realization after the fact he can't speak, based on the lighthearted shrug and the smile at the corner of his mouth. Nonetheless, the handshake is good and firm, coming from the right hand.
This probably doesn't ping as... correct.
'You must have had a good teacher!
For a moment, Aya's memories are again conflicted; not because of their inexactitude, but rather because two sets of separate and contradictory thoughts are occupying the same space. She remembers her own mother, a warm-hearted but practical woman (traits she passed on to her daughter, as well as her sword skills). On the other hand, she also remembers... a severe, black-haired beauty who has far more in common with Aya than she might like. wearing her traditional kimono and carrying a blade. Which one of these is real? The moment of instability goes as swiftly as it came, but like the passing of a speedboat, a heavy wake laps at the shore of Aya's thoughts.
She draws her hand back from the handshake (and, let's be real, shakes it out a bit behind her back, as surreptitiously as she can) before slipping back into a casual posture, looking around once more. It's difficult to say how the early evening crowd is reacting to these two weirdoes -- one a gaijin, one an anachronism -- but at the very least, Aya's katana going back in the saya and Rust no longer accidentally flinging sharp objects around has put people at ease, comparatively speaking. After all, this part of town is on Taiyo and Gorin High Schools' doorstep. If you can't get an appreciation for weird with that sort of nearby student body, then maybe Southtown isn't for you.
"I... sorry?" She's not even going to pretend that she understood a word of that, frankly, though she does get the strong impression he was at least TRYING to introduce himself; even if the actual tones were indecipherable, the rhythm of the syllables suggests a pair of names.
It's even harder to say how self-aware this outsider is to just how... outside, he is, from the norm. Almost like some sort of well-meaning but ultimately ignorant tourist, who seems to be all smiles as there is the strange, indescribable inner turmoil about the identity crisis of a teacher. Of someone who helped see her to where she is in her mastery of the blade.
"Hmm? Hm. Hm." He points at his mouth which is a pointless gesture because it's clear his mouth is full of beef teriyaki hot dog that is probably of dubious actual quality as he takes his now freed hand to burden it with two-thirds of a late day snack as he quickly chews up and swallows the lump of food.
"I'm sorry, I forgot I put something in my mouth," after /five seconds of putting it in there/, and in some odd way it seems like he should be... coughing? Sputtering? Choking? There's none of that. His speech is largely clear, mostly free of pauses and mistakes which may well go at odds with what he says next.
"I'm Howard Rust," which he did previously identify himself as, "well, you can add a 'Jr.' to that, I mean, but it's kind of a mouthful to say," he waves the hotdog-handling hand about in an odd gesture that does not seem to have any apparent meaning on the outset. "So... it's Ms. Hazuki, right?" Flattering her subtly?
"Nice to meet you!" The smiles with all the overbearing sincerity of a man who does not seem to quite get that maybe he is acting far too familiar. "So, are you in the pro leagues with that sword of yours? It'd be a real sight to watch in!"
Green eyes widen at the name, now that it's an actual sensible word and not a collection of random mumblings. 'Howard Rust'... definitely a Western name, almost certainly American as far as Aya's limited exposure outside of Japan goes. Where does she know it from? DID she hear of some famous fighter named 'Howard Rust' when she was a teenager? After all, just because she and her parents weren't into it doesn't mean they lived on the MOON. Certainly, they interacted daily with people who did watch pro fighting. Maybe the name filtered back to her?
Then why does the 'Jr.' indeed seem to bring her out of the moment of shock with how 'out of place' it is...?
"I..." It's a good question. Aya has the skills to be a pro fighter, of that there's no doubt. That little trick with the tree is the sort of flashy silliness that someone with far less skill in actual combat than she could have done. If she decided to ply her arts in the field, she would almost certainly be a reasonable contender. Yet for all her daily training, all her dedication, she never had the interest, or even the drive.
Sitting in her billfold, which is stored in the folds of her kimono, sits a form of registration for Saturday Night Fights. The ink on it is only barely dry. She *still* doesn't know why she did it, but Rust appears to have intuited its existence with surprising ease.
"To be honest, up until now I hadn't considered it. But perhaps the time has come to try it?" The sentence ends on a raised tone, the sound of a question rather than a definite statement. Let anyone who hears her think this was the moment that sparked her decision. Lord knows she'll be convincing HERSELF of that for weeks to come. That's easier to believe than some... other nameless thing driving her.
"How about you? It sounds like you used to be a fighter but gave it up? To raise a family? That's quite admirable."
"Yeah! Go for it!" It's almost like he's egging her on, now. Maybe the thought of him being some sort of divine incarnation of humorous mishaps and bad ideas may or may not be too far off the mark, considering how... strange... just about everything about him is, in this environment. For all anyone knows, saying he just dropped out of a tree is the same thing as dropping straight from the heavens to have a round of good wholesome fun at sanity's and sense's expenses. Thereabouts.
He plants a thumb more firmly against the hot dog he's been holding, as if now maybe thinking it's a good idea to secure the grip before that thing goes and flies off to possibly kill a bird or something with but an errant twitch of his hand, if that mishap with the toolbelt were any indication as he nods along vigorously and rather enthusiastically about the idea.
"Give up? Ahh, that's not the words I'd use," he peers off sheepishly. He does seem like he's let himself go in the years that have gone by, "more like, I got a lot going on now. I mean, I do some contractor stuff," he points out a finger from the hand that holds the hot dog, "invent when inspiration bites me in the butt," like that branch stuck there that he hasn't seemed to acknowledge, "but that's life, you know? I mean I wouldn't trade it for much of anything else!"
"Wouldn't turn down another go at some adventure around the globe, though," which... is probably why he's here.
A part of Aya is actually quite jealous of this man, who seems to rather fully have a grasp on himself, what he wants to do, and where he's been. It's the sort of thing people who have it take for granted, and that people who desire it tend to see when others might not. The truth is, before 4-5 months ago, Aya's life was set. It wasn't exciting, but it was *consistent*. In her eyes, people undervalue the attraction of security. Knowing what is going to happen day in and day out gives you a sense of mastery, of control, over your own life... illusory though it may be, it helps you get through the days in a chaotic world.
But then you have an encounter with a man who seems familiar, but who you can't quite place. A man who is cheerful, if erratic. A man who actually went out and DID THINGS and came back to tell the tale and doesn't seem, on the whole, all the worse for it in the long run.
If that's what 'adventure' means, perhaps it's worth trying.
"Perhaps you'll get your chance. I'm afraid I must be going, Mister Rust..." And here she hits the word 'Mister' rather too hard, in the way that Japanese speakers often can when using English, even if they're fluent. "But it was... interesting to meet you. Perhaps we'll cross paths again someday."
If this man is so worldly, the fact he might be so impressed of Aya's skills as displayed may well speak volumes to her own ability to cut a path forward to what she wants in life... should she so choose. Assuming one might put any real stock to his observations and mental acuteness, which is in itself something worthy of at least two question marks at the end of a sentence containing such concepts.
"Oh hey, of course! Likewise!" He waves his hotdog-bearing hand as though he were standing much further away from her, which is probably an odd choice.
It also proves a humorous one, as the inherent greasiness of the hotdog that even goes to drench the bun does its magic as grease tends to. Which is to say, make everything slippery, as it flies clean of his hand - something he takes more than five seconds to notice as it flies high, high up into the air...
To be intercepted by a very large bird that casts a tremendous shadow upon the schoolchild-infested streets of the early evening.
"Oh, nice," the smile turns upside down as he hastily scoops up the loose tools in his right arm, "then I'll be seeing you YOU GET BACK HERE WITH THAT! RIGHT NOW!"
He chases after the curiously large bird, waving about the pipe like a madman as he takes off. With a single leap, he surmounts a raised stone wall for a boost, leaps up after the thing...
From the sound of the splash that follows and the shriek of surprised people, it sounds as though he's gone through someone's pool (...is it really open in this weather? Really? Well, Southtown folks are tough stock).
"Sorry! Passing by! Snack thief!"
This repeats itself with an interesting variety of collisions and noises of things going topsy-turvy, increasingly distant as the chase continues off into the eventual sunset.
If only Mr. Frank were more forthcoming about the quantity of his stock...!
Log created on 14:33:08 11/05/2014 by Rust, and last modified on 20:26:15 11/05/2014.