Description: This is the second scene that Natsu and Tiffany have been in together. And the second scene where Tiffany has availed herself of free food somehow. Perhaps this will become a trend.
Natsu Ayuhara has plenty of reason to be angry, with her high school getting defaced by a Gedo student... but she's currently in the mood to get some of that anger burned off. As such, she's here in the downtown district... taking a light jog. The dark-haired volleyballer looks perfectly comfortable in a maroon running jacket and matching pants, her lips pressed in a tight line as she casually jogs her way down the city streets. It being late afternoon, the sidewalks are thinly populated, with most people in the area preferring the relative isolation of car travel. Natsu, not one of those people -- she might not have much to -say- to other people, but she's more than happy to be -among- them.
A lightly bruised and battered Tiffany Lords strides through the streets of Southtown, content despite her myriad injuries, for one simple reason:
She has a /lot/ of free food.
A big bag of freebies from Genhanten is slung over one of the cheerleader's shoulder, and she occasionally takes a dumpling from it and nibbles contentedly. Truly, if there was something good to be said about Japan, it was that there are plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to handle herself in a fight to get free stuff.
It's hard to miss Natsu, but somehow -- mostly due to rummaging in her bag for some more delicious dumplings -- Tiffany manages it... at least until she walks squarely into her. Her gaze travels slowly up the volleyball player's body, her eyes a little wide. She doesn't quite manage to get together a coherent enough thought to say something, though.
Chalk it up to the couple who was walking just ahead of the ravenous cheerleader -- Natsu had walked to her right, as the couple walked to theirs, but by the time the volleyballer had noticed, it was too late for her skidding sneakers to stop before collision.
It -was- enough time to allow Natsu to recognize what was happening, and reach forward and catch Tiffany by the shoulders. "Whoa there, s-sorry about that!" she stammers, as the American's eyes pan up her form.
Their eyes lock.
... For a moment, anyway. Then Natsu's eyes track down and notice a scrap of dumpling that seems to have missed Tiffany's mouth, forcing her to pull back and cover her mouth, lest she break out into a giggling fit. "Y-you, er... " She taps her cheek, to suggest what made her laugh.
"... Oh!" she concludes, her awkwardness fading somewhat. Breaking into a broader grin now that the giggling seems to be put at bay, she notes, "I remember you. From the Gorin festival, right?"
Catching the finer nuances of gestures in conversation is not always Tiffany's forte; the tapping on Natsu's chin goes totally unparsed for the moment, and Tiffany just sort of laughs along because it's the polite thing to do. Surely she's just laughing off the bump.
Natsu's comment jogs Tiffany's memory though, and she says, "Hey -- yeah! I remember you!" It's a little hard to forget Natsu, of course; she stands out more than a little in a place like Japan.
"You're from Gorin High, RIGHT?" She gives Natsu a little smile, adding, "Your festival was pretty okay... but Pacific's is going to be WAY BETTER." It's not that she means to put Natsu down, though it sort of happens all on its own; she's just... well, she's a part of the cheer squad! She /has/ to talk the talk.
Even after she finishes talking, she still hasn't /quite/ parsed that there's something on her cheek. It's still there.
"... Right." Even though Natsu had heard Tiffany talking during the festival, her irregular cadence still takes some getting used to. She smiles warmly, accepting the give-and-take trash talk as exactly what it is -- friendly competition. Leaning back, she crosses her arms comfortably, the hint of a smug smile creeping across her features. "Oh, -really?- Well, I trust your cupcake supply will last longer than ours did. -And- they'll taste better too. We -did- set the bar awfully high, after all!"
"... You, uh..." Natsu can't help but notice -- and she taps her face a bit more insistently. "... have something on you. Is that... dumpling?"
Natsu can smell the aroma from the bag Tiffany's carrying. And this being her afternoon jog... she hasn't eaten yet. Ulp.
"I think we can figure something out!" Pacific has some uniquely Pacific advantages on that front -- not the least of which is 'a lot of money.' Taking a step back from Natsu to make the conversation feel a /little/ less unnatural once she's said her first piece, she takes a moment to fish in her bag of food again, opening it wide and letting the aroma waft.
Once Natsu more directly calls Tiffany's attention to the food on her face, Tiffany brings a carefully-manicured finger up, catches the errant food with her nail, and puts it squarely in her mouth. "It is! Genhanten has a promotion where you get a bunch of free food if you beat up one of the servers."
With a small frown as she retrieves a meat bun, she adds, "His name is Yun Lee and he hits really, really hard... And he's kinda a weirdo, too."
Natsu crosses her eyes at that for a moment. "... So hold on. You beat them up... and you get free food for it?" She scratches her cheek, then... nods slowly. "Yun Lee... I see. This seems like a losing proposition for him, but I suppose it might be a... well, fun way to practice, I guess?"
Natsu's nose wrinkles at the aroma. She can't help it, that smells -really- good, but she was raised in a proper Japanese household, and decorum prevents her from actually -vocalizing- the thought that should be pretty obvious from her occasional glances towards that bag.
But, no. "... I don't have any problems beating up weirdoes for free food. Especially if it smells that good." Okay maybe she vocalized some of her thoughts after all. But not as clearly as her stomach rumbling right on cue.
"A-anyway, I... was... noting you were a bit upset at the festival... did you find the information you were looking for from Taiyo?" Natsu -should- be jogging in place, but considering she stopped for so long, and she's talking now, it seems like it might be rude. And Natsu doesn't want that!
"Yeah -- I managed to take him down so I got a PRETTY OKAY spread," Tiffany explains. She does not mention that she then went flying into a table, because really, that just seems like a boring part of the story. It's certainly not an embarrassing part that she'd /hide/.
"You want some? I think I have another meat bun in here," Tiffany says, practically beaming. She fumbles around in the bag briefly, withdrawing one and tossing it in Natsu's general direction. She assumes that the other girl, being a volleyball star and one hell of an athlete, can probably catch a tossed object.
At the mention of the festival, Tiffany explains, "Nope! NOT YET." After a second, she adds, "Stuff seems like it's getting really weird there, though... the whole VACCINE thing is kind of goofy." She's only marginally up on the deal there -- but it still seems strange! It /is/ flu season, but...
"Oh... that sounds great!" answers Natsu, surprised that such a large amount of food came from a simple victory. Natsu isn't terribly confident about her -own- odds, but knows plenty of her friends would gladly take the Genhanten up on that special offer.
Was Natsu that transparent? It's clear that she means to say 'yes' from her expression alone, but she doesn't get a chance to before a meat bun is being sent her way. Catching it with both hands, she seems more than delighted -- "I'll definitely have to repay you the favor, then!" Unwrapping the meatbun from its wrapper, Natsu tears into it like she hadn't eaten for a week. ... Well. As quickly as politeness allows, anyway. (Never mind that she'd eaten cake just an hour or so ago...)
Her eyes go back to Tiffany as the vaccine is mentioned. "... Is it? I... had figured it was just part of the territory... I mean, it is odd for a school to take matters into their own hands like that, but =shouldn't= everyone be getting a flu shot?"
Waiting for Natsu to finish frantically shoving meat buns in her mouth, Tiffany thinks about the possibility of /repeating/ the Genhanten challenge. She has the feeling that this is one attempt per customer, but Yun was a pretty good challenge, all told -- and if she wants to get good at this, shouldn't she be challenging strong opponents?
She's snapped out of her train of thought by the question about the vaccinations. "Well -- yeah, OBVIOUSLY. But this kinda stuff... usually back home it's hard for public schools to GET FUNDING, let alone do stuff on their own like this. I guess it's just weird to me!" Japan, man. It's wild.
"Keep an eye out for weird stuff, though, okay? I still kinda feel like Taiyo's up to SOMETHING..." She wobbles a hand, saying, "I heard something about their FOOTBALL team?" That's all she really knows, at this point.
Natsu's -trying- to take her time on the one meatbun. Shouldn't eat too much if she's going to be jogging again soon, after all. "Maybe, but our healthcare is paid-for here, so..." Natsu shrugs weakly, clearly out of her element when it comes to funding these sorts of public initiatives. "Eh... I heard all flu shots tend to make you sick, anyway. I guess I lucked out, so I don't have to miss practice." That thought might haunt her later, but right now... other things are on her mind.
"I... I'll keep an eye on them, but Hina-chan goes there, she'd notice if something was too far awry. She's into -everything- there, hahaha." Taking the second-to-last bite of her meatbun, she considers -- then raises her finger. "Gedo might be up to something, though. They said something about 'owning' us at Gorin, right after spraypainting really dumb things all over our central monument. Did they do anything to your school?"
"That's a good point," Tiffany allows, shrugging off the comment from there. It's a cultural thing, she rapidly realizes -- and with that in mind, all is once again well. Except with football. And journalism. And... everything else. Baby steps.
Nibbling at her own remaining meat bun, the cheerleader offers, "Well -- if she hears anything and tells you, let me know too, okay?" She doesn't have as much pride hung up on solving this herself as certain /other/ Pacific students tend to, but for her, being involved in... whatever weirdness this is is important.
The topic shifts to Gedo -- and is met with a shake of the head. "Not yet! If they do, I think they're gonna have a HARD TIME gettin' off campus, though. We're the best!" That prompts a satisfied bite of food.
Natsu nods slowly, finishing off the last of her meatbun. "I will! Though if you..." She starts to say it might be tough to get in touch, but this is JAPAN. Ayuhara pulls her cellphone out, navigating to the add-new-contact screen like a boss. "I'll be sure to let you know, though... I hope to not have to run into you -quite- so literally to do so," she says, chuckling softly to herself.
It's hard for Natsu to think -anyone- could be a threat. Even that vandal who defaced the school sounded like she'd had her reasons, after all... oops. The vandal that Natsu had let go. "... Yeah. I... well, we -could- have stopped her. But it didn't even sound like it was something she -wanted- to do. Like maybe someone put her up to it. Didn't see anything to be gained by holding on to her. I mean, what could we do, waterboard her?" She laughs... albeit a bit awkwardly.
"Eh. Anyway, I should probably get back to my jog before I start drooling at whatever's left in your bag, haha! It was certainly nice talking with you... oh." She scratches the back of her neck. "Hina-chan said your name... was Tiffany, right? You're so friendly I forgot to actually introduce myself! My name's Natsu." She holds up her phone, smiling, "What's your number? I'll be sure to keep you in the loop..."
Tiffany leads with a slightly-embarrassed, "Yeah... sorry about that! I'm still kinda DAZED from fighting for all this food." She smiles up at Natsu; sure enough, on closer inspection, she does look a little dizzy. Maybe /that's/ why she didn't pick up on the food on her cheek.
"And -- yeah, that's me! NICE to meet you, Natsu-san!" Giving her phone number with reckless abandon to someone she hasn't actually gotten the name of yet, Tiffany says, "I should get this back to the dorms... I bet Boman'll want to try some of it." On the one hand, this is food she earned in blood and sweat and tears... but on the /other/, there /is/ a certain charge the young Ms. Lords gets out of sharing with people.
And so, she moves just slightly to the side, letting Natsu through to continue her jog, and letting /herself/ continue walking back toward Pacific. She makes a note of the situation at Gedo... clearly something else to poke her nose into.
Natsu punches Tiffany's number in, and of course trades her -own- number -- fair's fair! Of course, Natsu's not considered the possibility of Tiffany dialing her up in a similarly dazed state. Who -knows- what madness would unfold... "Oh, that's sweet of you. Have a nice evening!" And don't run into anyone else, seems to be the silent suggestion there, as Natsu makes her way past Tiffany, continuing on with her jog.
Like Tiffany, Natsu's got plans to poke her nose into something, but her objective is considerably more tasty: a little Chinatown shop called Genhanten.
Log created on 21:14:02 11/20/2014 by Natsu, and last modified on 00:36:04 11/21/2014.