Description: If your meal isn't there in five minutes, well, you'll have to take it up with the rival ninja clans.
Everybody was kung-fu fighting... well, okay. Not -everybody- was fighting, just three scrappy Gedo kids, who haven't even bothered changing out of their school uniforms. The fourth Gedo student stands a bit apart from the others, wearing the Gedo girls' uniform with black skirt and matching leggings, while also wearing an overcoat from the boys' uniform selection, unbuttoned and worn loose. Her hair had been pulled back into a bun earlier in the day, but right now, it's an unkempt, wavy mess, kept from falling into her face by a violet sunglasses, serving as a makeshift hairband.
She seems to be watching the three with great interest, as they practice a myriad of fighting techniques. The tallest, a young man, seems to be practicing a form of tai chi. The middle, another young man, is more taken with pugilism, throwing punches at the other. While the shortest, a young woman with short hair, seems to be alternating between laughing her ass off and trying to and break their concentration by stabbing in their directions with a brightly-colored foam knife.
The figure seems to be a bit... less than amused by the laughing, at any rate. Grimacing, she reaches into her overcoat in a fearsome gesture. And within an instant, she withdraws a firearm, takes aim, and squeezes off one, two shots in rapid sequence.
A suction-cup dart sticks right to the forehead of the tallest. Another suction-cup dart sticks to the forehead of the shorter boy.
As the two boys stop their sparring, the observer stares back with a raised eyebrow. Re-holstering her nerf gun, she notes, "You two would be dead with that piss-poor reaction time. And Saya, you're not even trying. Act like they just insulted your mom or something, seriously."
Saya shakes her head. "This's just /stupid/, Miko! You wannit to look real, let me use my real knife! And when that food gettin' here, I'm hungry!!"
Miko sighs, closing her eyes and rubbing her forehead with a free hand. Touji, the shorter boy, without any real provocation, just gives Saya an irritable shove, knocking her over. "Keh! Quit goofin' off!"
Saya's about to leap to her feet, but the tallest -- seeming enraged over what just happened, lashes out with a circular kick to try and knock the violent boy . It's... starting to look more and more like a real fight now, as Saya slams into Touji's midsection at around the same time -- both hits connecting and resulting in Touji getting buffeted backwards.
The four story building looks like it's seen better days. It's the tallest building around, though there are some three-stories for rent in the sleepy neighborhood. It's doubtful that anyone really cares about the kids throwing down -- it's late afternoon and most of the salaried workers are still putting in hours at the offices.
Miko shakes her head irritably, pulling out her cellphone to check the time.
Checking through the order from the Dim Sum food stand a second time, she finally snaps together the carrying case, and hoists it onto her back like an oversized backpack. Putting a single ear bud into her ear, she started playing her favorite jpop tune, which thrummed in her ear.
Waving to the cook, she climbed aboard a bike, and started peddling around the corner. The chef idly wondered why she didn't just put it in the delivery bike's basket. The reason was not for them to know.
After turning the corner, the bike was hidden in an alleyway, and there was a puff of smoke. What left the alleyway looked like a tan blur, rather than a person, as she skipped over to a lamppost, ran right up it, and pushed off it to vault towards the nearest building's roof. She didn't stop. Part of how she sold her working an ordinary job to her Elders was to sell it as training.
She could measure the time it took her to go a block now in milliseconds, the acrobatic feats she took to do so, becoming more and more automatic as she compensated for the added weight on her back.
Despite moving so quickly, the world didn't slow down for her, she simply had to think and react more swiftly. Touching down upon a telephone pole, she pushed off of it to leap up to the rooftop of her destination building. As she crested the edge of the roof in mid-flip, she realized her error of not thinking there would be people atop the apartment building. Evaluating the situation, and seeing a brawl, she makes an impulsive decision on how to correct the possibility of being seen and the fight all at once.
What happens is over in less than a second. She lands atop Saya's head on a single foot, pressing down just briefly before making a light hop, both of her feet landing on Touji and the other boy's head, using them as a spring board to then back flip into the nearby alleyway.
Bouncing off one brick wall, she catches ahold of a windowsill and wipes her sweaty brow. "Tch. Careless of me." Letting go, there's a quick puff of smoke while she's in mid-flight. Vanishing only briefly she's back in her Taiyo uniform, before she hits the ground of the alleyway running and jogs towards the front of the apartment complex. Checking her watch she grins, "Three minutes forty seven seconds!" Upon the realization that she'd broken her own personal record for going this far, this fast, she pumps her fist in the air, "Yes! They're going to have to give me a good tip for this!" Opening the door, she takes... the elevator. An entirely ordinary girl thing to do.
While Miko is looking at her phone, three very crucial things happen: Saya falls over. Touji falls over. Kazuhito, the tallest, falls over.
None of them have proven to be very good at dealing with distractions in the middle of their fights -- as can be seen from the suction cup darts STILL stuck to their foreheads. And none of them really took it as a sign of anything weird or awkward -- Miko has been specifically training them with increasing randomness, so whatever just hit them, they're already conditioned to take in stride. So... they just fall over. And look up, trying to figure out what hit them.
Miko looks up. She'd heard some sort of movement. -Felt- some sort of movement, but figuring out the time was more crucial. She'd only looked away for an instant, and now her three stooges are on the floor. Exhaling an irritable sigh, she asks, "... What the heck did you guys =do= to each other?" The three shrug back at her, cluelessly.
But... then Miko hears the elevator, and cracks open the door to the fourth floor. That -is- where she'd had the food delivered to, after all. "Look. You three learn how to fight without knocking yourselves over in the process, or there'll be hell to pay." Amateur hour, she mutters to herself, opening the door.
Miko props the door open with her foot, peering down the hallway to the room she'd booked on the fourth floor. False name, false everything, but what's a Chinese deliveryperson going to do with that information?
It's midafternoon, and the hall lights haven't cut on yet. She sees someone with a backpack about to ring the door of her flat. She props the door open, leaning against the door to keep it pinned open. Light floods into the hallway, Miko's harshly lit form in near-silhouette as she addresses the delivery girl. "Hey, that's for 404, right? We're up here. Decided it was too nice a day to be moping around inside."
A moment's pause, then she realizes the deliveryperson might not want to deliver to a different address. "Er, sorry. Not tryin' to screw you up or anything, ma'am. Order was eight xiao long bao, one phoenix claw, two tofu, two large peking duck, right?"
Checking the jotted down address for the apartment number, she adjusts one of the straps over her shoulder before strutting out of the elevator, looking entirely too pleased with herself. Moving down the hallway, she puts up a finger, and it zips forward, about to press the bell when. 'Hey that's for 404 right?'
Turning, she said, "That's right!" Hearing that they were upstairs, there was a momentary pause as her brain processed a quick 'Oh shit', before she walked quickly that way, up the stairs and up to the last step before the propped open door, squinting at the Miko silhouette. "Got any I-..." About to ask for ID, she stops when Miko repeats the order to her in full. She then grins at her, all smiles and cheer, pointing with a finger as she declares in heavily accented English, "Bingo!"
The pointed finger is joined by another, as it's upraised into a V for Victory, "Got it here as quickly as I could! If you want we could go over it though. I checked it but I wouldn't want to screw /you/ all over either if it turned out I missed something." She undoes a single strap, before moving the carrying case for the to go boxes to her front. It's at that moment a thought occurs to her, "You all practicing for something?" The sounds of grunting in the background, as the other three started fighting again didn't leave much to the imagination.
It might be careless to leave herself open like this, but it would be good to confirm that noone could connect what happened with... the delivery girl. She started opening the case, and fishing around, as she waited to see where the small talk with her went.
As Miko dodges the 'ID' bullet yet again, she steps forward. Without taking her eyes from the delivery girl, she stuffs her hand into her jacket, retrieving a wallet and thumbing out a few 1,000 yen notes. Chinese delivery isn't cheap, but... the student wearing a uniform from the low-class Gedo seems to have it covered. Somehow.
In the process, she'd also managed to kick the doorstop wedge that had been lying about on the floor, and wedge it into the door, without really paying it any mind whatsoever.
She'd also done this while answering, smoothly, "Sure, sure. We're.... heh. Just trying to keep up at school. Gedo's a rough crowd, you gotta stand your own ground."
She steps forward, tilting her head to the side. "... You know, that was like... -four minutes-. I literally hung up four minutes ago. Five, tops." She laughs in an expression of disbelief, staring back at the young woman who's delivering her food. "You're pretty quick."
The delivery girl doesn't even take the yen notes at first, instead opening each box so that Miko can check it for accuracy, she closes it after. It's only at that point she takes the yen and hands her the stack. She's somewhat impressed by the multi-tasking skills of the girl in front of her, what with her coordinated door stop jam while counting out the yen, but she doesn't think anything of it. After all, the girl said she went to Gedo.
After making the initial count, she replies. "Ah, gotcha." Letting the empty case and money hang from one hand, her other hand rubs the nape of her neck as she offers her an awkward smile, "No hard feelings just because I go to Taiyo I hope?" Dressed in the Taiyo uniform, she doesn't look anywhere near as tough as the typical Gedo girl, though she's certainly athletic enough in build.
Which is when her time is commented on, the hand drops down, as she gives her a wide grin. She tries not to let any nervousness creep into it, "Yep! Born and raised in Southtown, so I know all the local shortcuts. Peddled here as fast as I could! I like to be sure our customers are satisfied!"
A beat as she changes the subject, "So wow, at Gedo, you're all fighters? We've got a few great ones at Taiyo, but I hear your best are pretty fearsome!" And even their worst, could be dangerous in numbers. She'd fought four which individually wouldn't make it past the first round of a local tournament, but together, she'd still had a rough time.
Miko nods appraisingly over the contents of each of the boxes. It's... what she expects. The hungry kids upstairs are going to be the ones digging into most of them, after all -- the tofu's all hers.
The young woman in Gedo garb could only -wish- the three fighters upstairs were as coordinated as she. Even half would be nice! But she doesn't expect her lowly delivery girl to know anything like that -- not until she mentions Taiyo.
Which gets the gears turning. Miko looks up into Ibuki's eyes for a moment. The face... the dim afternoon lighting. Nothing particularly stands out from a visual aspect, but if there's one thing that -should- stand out to the psychic...
"... Why should I have hard feelings? Are you admitting to something?" Despite focusing on something else entirely, the young woman didn't miss a beat. But she does -pause- for a beat, before tossing a casual smirk back at the young woman.
Miko had made a deal with Daigo: she explicitly -wouldn't- let herself get dragged into school politics. But that's not to say she hasn't heard... rumors about the kidnapping of the school mascot. Rumors that point in many different directions. Did she just catch the delivery girl in an admission? ... No. She's obviously reading too much into that, isn't she?
Then why is the girl so -nervous- about her speed, when she should obviously be -proud- of it? And =why=, Miko ponders, does her presence feel so familiar?
"Oh, definitely satisfied. Haven't gotten around to getting a microwave yet, so... should probably feed the wolves." Miko keeps her eyes locked on Ibuki's, even as she reaches out to pick up the take-out boxes.
As for Gedo... "... I wouldn't say -everyone- is a fighter. Some are weak, bullied. They learn from this, learn ways to avoid fighting -- stronger in that sense. Others flinch, learn how to fight back... and the cycle continues. It's a tough existence. But it hardens a person to life out in the real world, instead of pampering them with artificial stresses about test scores and learning skills you never need if..."
Miko draws in her breath, pointedly avoiding completion of the thought. Revising her thought, she completes, "... If you plan on stopping schooling at graduation, let's say."
Perhaps the fangs came out a bit too strong, there. But despite her playing it off as accidental slip of the tongue, nothing Miko does is -entirely- unplanned. She's always testing. Always gauging. Miko is keen to -everything- the delivery girl mentions now, as she takes a step back. "I hear Taiyo has some strong fighters as well. The football team, especially."
It doesn't take her long to answer, as she rens in her expression, "Oh you know. The mascot theft thing. The badger. Was hoping you all wouldn't be sore at the whole student body for what a few knuckleheads did! Though I was told you all got him back." She leans in, murmuring conspiratorially with a cupped hand, "I think it was the football team myself." So she lied, but she figures that Taiyo's football team would be at odds with Gedo students /anyhow/.
And then she listens. Really listens, and it isn't so much that she feels awkward, anxious, or even ashamed now in light of the conversation where Miko's 'fangs' came out. Instead she crosses one harm across her chest, the other she wobbles her other hand around for a moment.
"I guess. I'm hoping to go off to the University myself if I can afford to, but that's just because it feels right for me. If it's not right for someone else, then there's no point in wasting all that time and money right? Might as well just be /you/, do what /you/ want to."
"I wouldn't know." She chuckles, good-naturedly, "I know that everyone thinks Batsu, Sakura, Hinata, and Kyosuke are pretty good, but I couldn't evaluate how they match up to Gedo's if my life depended on it."
She shrugs, sounding a little sheepish on her final comment. "My family doesn't allow me much free time to be an enthusiast. They're..." She sighs, in a long-suffering sort of way, indicating where her earlier comment might have come from, "...kind of strict, so I guess maybe I should take my own advice there when it comes to being /me/"
Miko watches. Listens. And considers -- every delivery person she's -ever- had in a conversation of longer than a minute has always had a very precise plan of where there life was headed, despite the circumstances which led them to be talking with Miko in the first place. Going off to University because she feels like it's the right thing to do? ... At least this delivery girl seems to understand that the rat race is just that.
As for how they would match up to Gedo... "Perhaps we shall see, in the upcoming tournament. I regret that I won't be in it, though. Too much to do. It's sad, though... you certainly seem fit enough for the role."
This is driving her mad. She's felt this presence before -- but Miko is still learning what all these bizarre senses -mean-.
It must be nice, Honoka had claimed, every time that someone spoke of their family with such obvious disdain. As if having a mother, a father, brothers and sisters... as if they were -painful- things to be skipped out on, avoided at all costs.
"You should be you, yes. And... I'm sure you have more deliveries to attend to. Thanks for the prompt service." Her tone had grown cold, a far cry from the conversational tone she'd adopted. Perhaps a nerve was struck. Perhaps the food is simply getting cold.
"We have much training to do. And... don't think unkindly of your parents. They're only looking out for you." A faint smile is offered, as the young Gedo-garbed woman steps back, kicks the doorstop out from the door, and bows her head in thanks.
"Hey, you're welcome." Ibuki notices that abstract look from the person she delivered to, when she's speaking on family, that coldness in her tone, the kicking of the doorstop. It's enough that she wonders if she's overstepped in the small talk, and takes a step backwards. Ready to turn and leave. But as Miko bows her head to her though, and tells her not to think unkindly of her parents... She stops.
Smiling sheepishly at Miko, she reveals why she stopped after a moment. "I'm an orphan." It's said matter of factly, without any hint of triumph in her tone, or even holding Miko's ignorance against her.
"I never knew my parents, I've been fostered most of my life by the state." She holds up the wad of yen bills handed to her as a prop, "That's why I've gotta make my own way. Why hitting the books for another four years feels right." She dips her head then in an informal bow, bending just slightly at the waist. "Take care of yourselves, alright? Enjoy the food!"
Miko isn't used to... other people having tragic lives. Least of all Taiyo students with a perpetually chipper attitude. One supposes that the delivery girl could be lying through her teeth as well, but... no. The brief mention of family is all it took to break down her defense, for just that one bitter remark. A bitter remark that, in the end, missed its mark anyway. Made Miko look like a terrible human being.
Isn't she, after all?
"A-ah. I'm... sorry. I didn't mean to imply." It's a typical Japanese apology -- shy, nervous, and spending a lot of time looking at the delivery girl's feet. It's a trope, and one Miko is leaning on heavily to cover her slip. She probably shouldn't have said... much anything, really.
Fostered... by the state. She wouldn't wish that on anyone else. And she'd gladly -say- as much... would gladly commisserate with the delivery girl on that point, if only her raison d'etre for getting out of Gedo every day weren't to take care of her ailing parents.
But seriously. Why should she be sharing so much with a delivery girl anyway?
"We will. Thanks again." The delivery girl's bow is met with one of her own.
She would love to stick around and chat. But the food will grow cold, she reminds herself, as she steps back out onto the rooftop.
It is a stereotypical apology, but Ibuki just smiled at her even as she's looking down at her feet, waving it off with a hand "Hey no need to apologize. Most of us have damage don't we? If we spend our days saying sorry for tripping over someone else's then we'd do little else with our lives."
Even so, she knows she's overstayed the welcome amount of small talk that's acceptable for a delivery person, even if she's only been here for a few minutes. Turning around, she gives one last wave, "Later!" And then she just walks for the elevator. Fortunately, it didn't seem like they suspected a thing. Right?
Her cell phone buzzes to let her know she has another delivery. She's probably going to regret taking those few minutes of her time later, fortunately... she was the fastest delivery girl that Jam had.
Log created on 22:05:34 12/19/2014 by Honoka, and last modified on 02:45:50 12/20/2014.