Description: The Mishimas have a fun Christmas potluck, with an exchange of gifts all around.
It's not normal for there to be a Mishima christmas party within the massive estate of Heihachi; that is what makes this year strange and unusual. Even when Kazuya and Lee had been children, christmas was a dangerous affair where presents were earned through blood, pain, and crushed expectations. They were never pampered or lived the life of privalege that their money and station might hint, something Lee only acquired in adulthood. But such is mandatory, from the sound of the invitation handed out:
COME OR I WILL BREAK YOU. BRING GIFTS AND FOOD. THIS IS A POTLUCK. IF YOU DON'T BRING FOOD I WILL BREAK YOU.
Beside was a pawprint from Kuma, making it clear he's considered part of the family in this instance also. Although Lee and Jin already live here, a doorman is prepared for the others to arrive; even Asuka got an invitation! Kazuya in particular has been almost entirely unseen by the household for nearly five years, quietly dominating in the global circuits but not reaching for the stars like Heihachi always wanted... it's been far too long since everyone's had a chance to meet him.
Within the massive main area of the estate, Heihachi is dressed as santa clause. An oversized tree looms three stories, which is troublesome as the ball room is only two and a half, so the top bends wildly and has a large golden Heihachi on the top, posing with the Legendary Champion belt in hand. Beneath are enough presents for everyone, one of them gigantic. Presents? Since when does Heihachi offer presents? A huge table and number of chairs are in the main hall also, where an entire boar is in the middle. A number of raw fish with bear-teeth marks are in a platter as well, Kuma's contribution to the potluck.
Within a titanic chair, the falsely white bearded Heihachi sits, with Kuma in his lap. He's crushing the scion, who's cursing loudly. "Damnit... you're... EATING TOO MUCH!!" Heihachi hurls him off to crash on the ground in a heap, Kuma letting out a whine. "You're supposed to be in training! Your domination of Neo League is just starting, damnit! To hell with your wish of endless salmon! You want that, WIN!!"
Heihachi then sits back down, brushing off his red velvet lap. The hat settled on his head is balanced between the proud white prongs of his hair. "Now. Who's sitting in my lap next?"
A long, black limousine pulls into the circular carport at the end of the long, tree-lined driveway of the opulent Mishima Family Estate. An expensive black SUV with gold trim follows behind, wheels coming to a stop just behind the leading vehicle. The suited driver opens the passenger door, making way for the occupant to step out onto the concrete porch of the extravagant mansion.
The estranged son has returned home at last.
His nearly six feet tall presence seems even taller with his black hair combed up into his signature hair spike at the crown of his head. His face is hard, bearing the scars of a conqueror, yet he returns bearing no world titles, no awards of prestige. His record in the circuits is monstrous, yet he has never reached his hand out to claim the belts and titles that could be his.
The powerfully built son of the infamous Heihachi Mishima has arrived with the trappings of wealth that seems impossible to explain. An exquisite, irresponsibly purple suit covers his body, with a pristine white dress shirt and red cravat at his neck. On his feet beside the parked limo, he takes one moment to turn a slow circle, eyes gazing across the grounds of the estate, before coming to rest to look up toward the large front doors themselves.
A soft grunt escapes his lips as he lifts his right hand toward the crew of the SUV and beckons them to get to work unloading the offerings brought as demanded.
Several dishes of food are unloaded and catered into the side entrance of the estate, to be turned over to staff in the kitchen and be properly trimmed and prepared for the banquet table. And five individually wrapped gifts are carried in behind the son of the Iron Fist himself. Each is labeled for one of the other supposed guests of honor.
- Kuma has a flat box, roughly the dimensions of a large text book.
- Lee has a moderately sized box with some heft to it.
- Jin has a very small box, approximately the size of a thick paperback book.
- Heihachi's box is huge, easily large enough to hold multiple people in it, yet the two man carrying it in behind Kazuya don't seem to be struggling with the weight any...
And finally, a box for Asuka Kazama, large but not nearly as large as whatever incredible token of gratitude Kazuya has brought for Heihachi must be.
The train of gifts follows the man in as he steps in through the main entrance of the estate. While his expression bears no joy, no glimmer of happiness, there is also no sign of malevolence or hatred. Merely intense calm, as if whatever triggers might have existed to provoke emotion on these grounds had simply ceased to exist.
Oh dear. It was that time of year again.
Naturally, Lee Chaolan had gotten the invitation. Naturally, he was also forbidden to buy his food. No, if Lee was a member of the household, and more importantly, Heihachi's son, he was expected to cook. Lee Chaolan had many talents. The silver-haired executive could fight as well as he could love, and he was an incredible lover.
Lee Chaolan was not an incredible cook.
Fortunately, he WAS allowed to buy gifts, so while he was slaving in the massive, impressively well-stocked kitchens of the mansion, he had sent his people to retrieve important and meaningful gifts for each of the his family members. That would, at least, be the one thing they would appreciate him for tonight. He had reattempted this recipe three times now. And three times, he had failed. He had failed every other attempt at food. But for this, he refused to give up. He would decide that no matter what, he would bring a food dish worthy of his family to them.
No matter what, he was doomed to fail.
As Kazuya arrives, he would see that a heap of presents have already been set up. A massive box for each member of the Mishimas were in place, wrapped in shimmering paper. Each was big enough for three man to fit inside, a rival to Kazuya's own gift to Heihachi... but still not quite reaching that level. Lee Chaolan himself was not out yet to greet his brother, still slaving away in the kitchen, putting the final touches on his dinner-like surprise.
Hopefully, Heihachi might enjoy it, at least.
To say that Asuka Kazama does not consider herself part of the Mishima family would be... a highly accurate understatement. She really doesn't. Heihachi's ironclad grip over his business empire is the intimidating equal to his legendary fighting prowess; the man is humbling, and his exuberant arrogance does nothing to convince the Osakan prodigy that he's a good guy. Kazuya is a fearsome, enigmatic spectre with a darkness she knows little of - but can infer enough about. Lee Chaolan... she honestly tries her best not to have an opinion. Let's just avoid him altogether.
Nonetheless, she's obeyed the invitation. Somehow, those words feel right. Who else but Heihachi Mishima sends an invitation that must be 'obeyed'? Asuka has dressed for the occasion despite her rampant misgivings, turning up rather unfortunately decked as Mrs. Claus - or perhaps Miss Claus, from her streetwise flapper days. Rather than a dress or skirt, she's sporting a hot-pants one-piece combo similar to her fighting attire, but fringed with white fur and decorated with seasonal ribbons.
The hat perched on her head somehow manages to be both festive and flirty.
Her expression as she arrives at the gathering is anything but. Not quite scowling, Asuka's mouth at least hints at a downturn, and her brow is drawn with quiet thought. Focused, might be the word. She pauses at the outer edge, hazel eyes scanning over the merriment until they finally settle on the ludicrous form of Heihachi.
The Fight Breaker steels herself, drawing and releasing a breath, before she sashays forth. She doesn't try to; in her mind, she's striding. It just kind of happens.
Let's compromise and call it a 'bold sashay'.
Her feelings toward the guests notwithstanding, Asuka comes bearing gifts of her own - at least insomuch as a girl who relies on competitive dojo fees in a bustling Japanese metropolis can afford - in the form of a small stack of envelopes. Currently tucked into the wide black belt separating ample bosom and hip, they're nicely done in gold-ish edging and bear the neatly written kanji of the important guest's names.
She's considering who to approach first when she finds her reckless, aggressively-feminine swagger has carried her to the party's central point. It's the funny thing about being Asuka; she thinks she's totally normal, but then the crowds just part around her and the craziest shit happens. Take for instance, how she's now face to face with Heihachi Mishima, Mr. 'Who's sitting on my lap next?'
"A-Ah," Asuka deftly interjects before he can seize the initiative, "Hi! Great..." She wants to hesitate further but has no time. She has to think fast. "Great grandfather-in-law, I haven't seen you since... Yokohama?" She's really not as stupid as she sounds, she thinks, rapidly thrusting out a hand - bearing a fingerless fur-fringed Christmas glove - to one of the universe's most crushing grips. To her credit, she does so unflinchingly. And definitely doesn't look at his lap. "Merry Christmas!"
Jins sole concession to the holiday spirit: is that he hasn't made any concessions as such. Expensive black silk shirt with the collar folded up against the nape of his neck and similarly coloured dress pants he stands out only because he -isn't- wearing any flash or themely colour. There is a cotton bandage taped to his cheek that reeks of medicinal herbs, despite the woody aromatic cologne he is sporting it is still noticeable. Gifts under the tree from Jin not that he is paying them any further mind; They're small gifts though and not particularly ostentatious or well presented.
The largest isn't even wrapped, it's a large clay pot that has the Mishima family name engraved onto it and a label sticker saying it is for Heihachi.
For Asuka there is only a small box.
For Kazuya a larger if soft looking parcel.
And for Lee cthat could only be a sunglasses case.
No present for Kuma is evident or has been brought out yet.
The table however bears a spiced pumpkin loaf, some decorated Christmas cookies of various shapes on one platter and pillar of mixed sandwiches on another. A daring plan to make do with preparing only some simple things but this was an arena where he was more confidant in his abilities to challenge the other heirs.
Now Leaning against a wall in the main hall Jin simply tries embrace the calm before the storm inevitably hit. Arms folded across his chest and just trying to blend into the woodwork; he had just one objective for this particular year. He isn't doing or saying much at all, perhaps the least interesting of the assembled Mishima, but no longer the only Kazama in attendance. He does however open his eyes and twist his head to watch at his Father's entrance.
The atmosphere is already starting to feel more charged; As if could turn stormy the moment he had returned to the estate. If anything he wishes the man had been late. The other guests would have been more pleasant and welcome company.
Still staring at his father Jin completely misses Asuka's entrance and his chance to pull her aside. Now she was face to face with Heihachi Mishima and she was ... wearing ... Shit!
This was not a good start to operation 'Get Asuka out alive.'
Kazuya severed himself from many things, including the fortune of the Zaibatsu; the fact he can come within a large limousine itself sends an interesting message to Heihachi, one that isn't lost when he gazes out the massive, ornate windows of the banquet ballroom into the estate's front. Whatever smells that are coming out of the kitchen behind is atrocious, but that pleases Santashima just fine -- he'll eat it, and say it tastes like Lee fights. Hah! He can't wait. Even if he gets deathly sick... it's an acceptable pyrric victory. As long as he wins in public, that's all that matters. Some eternal battles do not have a day off.
"Well, well. You don't seem to be suffering, Kazuya... has Lee been sneaking you part of his allowance?" Heihachi states from his large chair, patting his lap towards his son in a mocking manner. "Do you want to take a seat and tell me what you wish for? Hahaha!" Kuma perks, and then bounds on all fours over to Kazuya. He's not seen the boy since he was very young, and they were never on bad terms. "Roar! Snarl! << Kazuya! You never visit, or send me fish! What's up with that?! >>" Huge paws move to patpatpat either side of the Mishima heir's shoulders, hard enough to heavily jostle.
A nose lifts at the assembled food. "You better have made this yourself, whelp. I'll know." Of course, the massive gift from Kazuya is somewhat intimidating. Just what sort of thing is in there? A bomb? Hahaha. He wishes. He'd be proud if his son blew up the mansion and everyone in it.
The moment that Asuka arrives, Heihachi immediately perks. His hands clap so loud that the windowpane nearby cracks, echoing like Zeus' thunderbolt in the voluminous room. "MY GIRL!" he roars out, before smacking his leg. "C'MERE!! Tell Uncle Hachi what you want!!" Honestly, for all the terror of the man, he's done nothing but dote on and treat Asuka well. That's suspicious in and of itself, and as she aged, it is easy to tell that:
A) He's actually nowhere near nice.
B) He's only doing it to piss off his children.
However, B has many perks to it over the years. She's only ever invited if it involves at least Lee being harassed, and the utter lack of private gestures of love and adoration only lend proof to his machinations. But hey, free stuff, right? Either way, he'd move to grasp Asuka and make her the sacrifice for lap-sitting, smacking her in the middle back with a pleased laugh. "My favorite!"
Oh, right. Jin lives here, doesn't he? Well, like someone he's been training for three years is going to recieve a lot of open affection. "Now, enough of this. Let's get these gifts going!!"
Plopping Asuka down and ruffling her hair, Heihachi bellows. "LEE, YOU RAT BASTARD, GET OUT HERE OR YOUR PRESENTS GO IN THE FIREPLACE!!" Then, he begins to look around in the tree, finding and hurling each box to the named person, saying who it came from. This includes the massive gifts from Kazuya, so hopefully they are neither fragile, or only the godlike strength of Heihachi can muster the force to heft them. Anything breakable that isn't caught by the recepient is a lost cause.
"To you, Asuka..." Heihachi gives her a small box. Within it is car keys. "Outside is a Nissan 370Z! Hahaha! Full tank of gas, girl! Treat it well!!" That's... wow, excessively expensive. Jin comes next. "Here. I bought you a new fighting gi." The box is hurled in his general direction. Next comes Kuma. "I bought you a one week vacation into northern Canada, Kuma!! For all your hard work, you need to destress!! Hahahaha!! You'll be doted on by the best sexy females the country has to offer. Keep up the great work!!" Note that Jin has spent months and months in hell, while Kuma puts up with whatever halfhearted training Heihachi's bothered with in the last few weeks. Life's so far. Kuma immediately jutts out his rump, places paws on hips, and begins dancing in joy, causing the huge table and tree to jump and sway.
"Lee... I always treated you poorly..." he begins, hefting up a small present. "Because you are a complete let-down piece of garbage. Here, I got you socks." He hurls this at Lee's head hard enough to legitimately cause harm and knock him over, likely in an explosion of... is that Walmart-brand all wool socks? And they are bright pink, too.
Suddenly, Heihachi grows serious. He strokes his chin, looking Kazuya over head to toe. A reasonable sized present is taken in either hand, before he approaches his son. "And you... it's been too long. I think... we should have a fresh start." This one isn't properly wrapped; it's a closed box, with a ribbon. It can be unwound and then opened while still in Heihachi's mitts. "Open it... within, is my true feelings for you..."
Kuma as well gives his gifts. A salmon. A big, fat, slimy salmon. He will not stop trying to give it to each person until they do. Even Heihachi had to take it and fling it into his massive santa's chair.
Inside the large room of the palatial estate, the Son of the Iron Fist lifts his hands to his suit jacket and adjusts it slightly, a tug at each sleeve, a calm shrug of his shoulders. That he would rather not be here is putting it mildly. But it wasn't the threat of the invitation that got him to appear. Heihachi Mishima had been breaking him his entire life. But instincts suggested there was something to this gathering. And, as demonstrated by his own arrival, he had his own message to deliver.
The head of the household is given his direct attention when the greeting is offered. A curl of his lip hints at a self-satisfied smirk that doesn't quite manifest as he folds his powerful arms over his chest. Lee's allowance. Of course. His very existence was to spite the proper heir of the family name. Naturally Heihachi wouldn't pass up an opportunity to remind him of that within his first sentence to the grown man in over half a decade.
"You will know the nature of my wish soon enough, old man." comes the deeply voiced reply not entirely devoid of humor or emotion. Of the food, he chuckles though there is no mirth to the sound. It does seem to be an incredible number of dishes for one man to prepare. "Compared to the pressures of fighting arts, the culinary discipline is hardly a challenge, now is it?" The path of the warrior was one thrust on him as a child. Looking at the imposing man now, mindful of his undefeated record, it would be easy to forget the boy that wanted nothing to do with fighting so many years ago.
The moment is disrupted by the slamming paws of the powerful Kuma. That Kazuya is only slightly jostled by the magnitude of the mighty bear's weight is evidence enough of the power his physique posses. "Kuma..." There is a softening of his tone compared to that used to great the Mishima Tyrant. "I am sorry, my... work has kept me away." Arms reach up to rest atop the shoulders of the tallest member of the household. "I have not forgotten you."
Asuka's arrival merits an arcing of the eyebrow. In physical appearance, there are hints of beauty the Kazama bloodline was gifted with, but in personality and demeanor, he can already tell the girl is nothing like That Woman.
Jin is noticed third, Kazuya's expression hardening into an unreadable mask. No word is spoken, and even the gaze he gives the young man passes in moments.
The Old Slave Driver wants to move right on to gifts, however, with boxes being hurled about with reckless abandon. The salmon from Kuma is accepted with two open palms raised to receive it, the man glancing down at the fish then back up at the bear, leaning his head to the side slightly followed by a nod of his head in acknowledgement.
When it comes time to explore what the son of Heihachi brought each individual:
- For Kuma, a small golden statue of a bear standing atop a wooden stand, the words 'Future Champion' are engraved in the base. Beneath the statue is a year long pass to an exclusive Southtown City Fishing pond where the bear would be allowed to hobnob with the elite of the elite.
- For Asuka, the large box would be opened to reveal a very expensive bicycle crafted with the finest in light weight carbon fiber, supple leather at all points of contact, and boasting the most efficient power to torque assembly available in modern bicycles. Included is a card to the relative he has never met in person which reads 'I have only your impressive reputation to go by. I believe you will know better what to do with this than I.'
- For Lee, the moderate sized box is open to reveal a vintage 1980's toy robot, the Vombot. Vombot's box boasts that it will respond to voice commands to go forward, backward, and even smile. One glance at the antiquated device would be all one would need in order to assume that it probably doesn't even do any of those things very well. Included is a card: 'Sorry, Lee. It looks like Tomy Inc. already beat you to it. Better luck on your next project.'
- Kazuya's eyes are locked on Jin when the young man goes to open the small box provided by him. Inside is a pocketwatch encased in a golden frame. Inside the lid is a small photograph of a beautiful woman... she would look younger than Jin would remember her, the image of the angelic Jun Kazama. No card or inscription is provided.
Finally, Heihachi's large box proves to be full of mostly empty air but for two items of interest. #1: A small, plain white coffee mug with generic black letters that read 'World's Greatest Dad.' #2: A simple clay urn with a lid. The sort used to store ashes in following cremation. Included is a card: 'Now you do not need to worry about making funeral arrangements.'
Finally, the suit clad son of Heihachi Mishima is approached with the large gift box. A soft grunt and lifting of his chin to look slightly down his nose at the man of equal height who has the audacity to speak of a 'fresh start.' Now that he is close to the son he hurled from a cliff, he might notice the curious heterochromatic difference in his eyes. While his right eye is still the distinctive brown common to members of the family, the iris of his left eye has a hint of red tint behind it.
He looks like he would rather take the box and open it himself, but at Heihachi's insistence, Kazuya complies, reaching forward to unwrap the proffered gift and supposed token of smoothing things over from their tumultuous past...
Asuka has to wonder what she's done to receive this reception. Has she had it before? Sometimes, the craziness of the world around her drives the memories from her skull. It happens quickly, but there's a definite instant where she wanders into madness and pulls herself back in a logical spiral - the end result of which isn't always positive. She's already on Heihachi's lap, her curvaceous form perching provocatively despite her every keen inner judgement. It just... happens, okay? Shut up.
She cringes like a troublesome boy as her hair is tousled, but then looks up with a smile that's pleasant enough for all it's bemused and rough-edged. Like everything about Asuka from the neck-up, it's positively testosterone-laced by any reasonable standard of feminity. Mankind should be glad for the southern regions.
Like Heihachi, though, she oft projects something more callous than she is. There's an inner but ultimately dominant part of her that beckons a flush from her cheeks at the proclamation of favour - he probably doesn't entirely mean it, but...
Hey, he's a great warrior. She can be flattered.
It lasts until she's set down - with the frightfully casual air of a small child, NOT something she's experienced often since puberty - whereupon Asuka crinkles her nose again, smile becoming a twisted smirk as Heihachi's hand retreats and she reaches up to ruffle her own hair in turn; but in a way that's *artful*. Oh, teenagers.
Eye-rolling at the antics of the Mishimas, and idly cleaning out her left ear after it's subjected to the elder clansman's mighty bellow, Asuka momentarily loses herself in scanning the crowd - looking for... someone... someone who remains nameless as she's distracted, she insists uncharacteristically, at the sudden presence of shinies.
"For... for me?!" In brash Osakan style, her question is over-stated, the hang of her jaw practically belligerent as she looks up at Heihachi. The man bestowing a goddamn car on her. Quite a nice car, probably. She doesn't know. She will later. "But I--" What? She doesn't drive? "It's not really eco-friendly..." Is it? Maybe she should research this first, look at how much lessons cost, it *would* make running the dojo so much easier. And think how many more tournaments she could reach...
Her arguments trailing off heedless of any answer, Asuka rebels against her pride and dignity, and closes her festively-gloved hand around this gift from the lightning-wreathed heavens.
"I'll treat it like I treat everything I own!"
The declaration is bold, and sudden, and she looks at Heihachi with such fire in her eyes that it leaves no doubt to her intention-- what she has, she protects fiercely. What she has, she safeguards. When she fails... well, mostly she beats people up until success just kind of occurs because violence is the answer to everything. But the last part really isn't her fault. The point is; bitch means what she says.
It all crumbles away as her eyes widen in girlish alarm.
"Oh!" She reaches for her belt, bending at the waist just enough to give half a party a copious double-eyeful of delightful Kazama flesh. When she comes up, it's with the envelopes in her grasp. Though they seem ordinary enough, more than a cursory examination reveals they all bulge slightly differently. Maybe she made her own cards.
They all get to find out as she makes a jogging, hopping circuit of the room, jiggling about - one would think, rather unnecessarily - in her Little Red Riding Claus suit until she's met up with everyone on her list. Heihachi gets his envelope first, with a little bow that's actually full of gratitude AND respect, suck it, followed by Lee who gets a roughshod little grin and a sidelong fistpump, then Kazuya who... is greeted by a sort of shrug and a half-smile that says, 'I guess you're a person too'.
Seriously, who is that guy? The sentiment is probably why his own, handmade Christmas card - seriously, she drew them herself, they're genuinely pretty good and obviously made with actual care (suck it) - is accompanied by a gift certificate. It's made out from Fight Breaker PLC and is redeemable for one (1) meaningful gift. Asuka's scribbled in a blank space on the faux-tificate: 'I.O.U. when I know you'.
Lee's certificate is genuine. It entitles him to one month's free tuition at the Kazama Dojo, when presented with a consenting parent or guardian.
Heihachi just has a card. How odd
This leaves two: firstly Kuma, who gets a presentation akin to Heihachi, the girl executing a very proper bow as she lays the envelope out for the World's Strongest Bear. She smiles as she looks up, by far the most relaxed and friendly expression anybody else on the estate has received from her tonight. It comes naturally. When he offers her the salmon, she takes it entirely without thinking, even laughing and flourishing it a bit like 'wow, you shouldn't have, you big darling'.
All of which is why, when she finally reaches Jin Kazama, she's a bit flustered and messy-looking, slightly out of breath (seriously, they just keep missing each other, don't they?) and smelling of freshly-dead fish. It's wedged against her left hip, consequently slapped against the edge of one boob. The head kind of hovers near her jaw, not at all off-puttingly. She smiles anyway, but it's... a bit manic.
"Hey," she offers, in a way that's clearly supposed to be casual but comes out too hard and fast. "So I got you a little thing, it's really not a big deal. I didn't know what kind of thing you were into or... you know. Look, if you ever want to hit each other again sometime or..." She tails off, drawing and releasing a breath strongly enough to puff her cheeks out. Unthinkingly, she fans herself with the salmon head, then there's this bizarre moment where she seems to self-examine.
Asuka looks away, and looks back with a shrug that manages to finally convey something approaching 'cool, calm, and confident'. "So, yeah." She finally hands the darned envelope over, managing not to snatch her fingers away too quickly or do that awkward bumping-nudging-caressing thing. I mean, why would she? "Merry Christmas."
What she fails at, is not hovering as he opens it up.
Along with the hand-painted card everyone else has got, Kazuya is the only one to receive something that's not literally a piece of paper. Instead, there's a leather-braided bracelet, like the kind found in inner-city markets. Some people call them friendship bangles. This one's made from knotted, red and blue dyed strips, and there's a tag attached with string that proclaims the maker: Asuka Kazama.
She only sticks around long enough to see him open it, then lifts her chin as if to say 'that's right, I did it', then spins on her heels and stride-shays away.
Where more gifts and surely further horrifying embarassment awaits.
This could be a long night.
Lee Chaolan was out of time.
The unfavorite son quickly puts the lid on the platter of what foodstuffs he managed to muster. Heihachi was calling for him. The problem wasn't that Heihachi was going to burn his presents. The -problem- is that there is one present that would not be tossed in the fire. That would be Heihachi's real present.
The real present is spanking.
The adopted Mishima comes hustling out of the kitchen, carrying the massive platter in both hands, and a fur-lined santa cap on top of his head. Despite the rush, and despite the size of the plate, the Silver-Haired Demon moves with delicate grace and careful elegance. "Oh~ Father! I am so sorry to keep you waiting~" The man begins, until he spies the rest of the family that has arrived.
"Kazuya." He begins, bowing his head respectfully to his brother as he passes him. While he had a... history with his brother, he had far more to respect from Kazuya than loath. Unlike his own father, their own father. As he meets eyes with his brother, his expression does even change as he takes the socks to the skull. Flipping through the air, he falls to the ground. The platter, of course, does not fall to the ground; Lee keeps it balanced upright in spite of his tumble, the socks flying around in a scatter. Bright pink, of course. The only letdown, naturally.
Lee wanted them in purple~
"Why, thank you father!" Lee Chaolan says aloud, slowly rising back up. As he comes to a stand, he bows, and gives a glance to Kazuya one more time. All Mishima knew all too well about the cruelity that Heihachi was capable of. He quickly hurries over to the table, stacked with food, and he places the covered platter upon it, its contents still a mystery. Lee Chaolan turns around, bringing his hands together to a clap.
Now, it was time for presents.
For Kazuya, Lee Chaolan provides a gift set. A rock climbing kit, with an accompanying handbook with it, for the enterprising climber of both rocks and cliffs, as well as a gift certificate for a personal trainer for 3 months of lessons.
For Asuka, a small letter, stating that outside, there was a Nissan 370Z waiting for her outside, with a tank full of gas! This was seperate from the Heihachi one; both would be parked right next to each other. It was up to her to choose either the Heihachi one, or the Lee one. If she could tell them apart.
For Jin, seven bottles of the finest gin. Get it?
And for Kuma, a giant dakimakura, big enough for a bear, with a picture of a Panda on it, teasing invitingly for whomever to embrace her tight.
And finally, for Heihachi.
There was a statue of gold, life sized, of Heihachi himself. But not of the current Heihachi, no. The young Heihachi, with a head full of hair. The young, vital-looking Heihachi, was in stunning golden form, standing in the typical stance of inimidation that he was well known for.
Lee Chaolan himself makes a heap of the presents he has been given. Of course, he reacts with elation with every gift, and a smirk was on his face as he plays with the small robot. Looking at Asuka, he winks at her, before giving her a thumbs up. "Thank you for the gifts, all of you. I think they are simply..."
Heihachis gift was not unexpected; nor the favouritism afforded Kuma. The boy hardly bats an eye at the gift but still makes the required pleasantries afterward. He was no slouch when it came to adapting to and survival in this place, just the youngest that does live here. The gi itself would probably be useful in the long run and torturous.
"Thank you for the gift Grandfather."
He makes no move to distribute gifts himself and so leaves it to servants to handle the distribution. He holds his position near the doors and dubiously accepts the fish from Kuma while attempting to appear gracious about it, He did rather like the bear. but, The same gift every year. Next year he promises he'll get Lee something nicer, next year, a recurring thought of the season.
The clay pot of Awamori (notably hanazake) contains 120 proof (60%) flammable alcohol.; A distilled rice alcohol aged in traditional clay pots to improve its flavour and the mellowness. It was a potent gift, and one he had been saving to give Heihachi since he was fifteen and after he had suffered though his first Mishima Christmas.
For Kazuya: A cream coloured sweater decorated with the widely grinning face of Heihachi Claus patterned alongside frolicking Kuma in place of reindeer. Ivy and berries threading their way around the sweater in appropriate red's and greens.
For Asuka: A cell phone with a generic hot pink backing, that's what girls liked wasn't it? The phone is one of the newest models around; the flashiest and the most memory, but it's also just the bait and the bribe as the parcel also contains first class tickets back home.
And for Lee, a pair of exorbitantly priced sunglasses, gold trim and designer label Jin adding to lee's collection every year. He was never quite sure what to get for his uncle and usually stopped at thoughtful plus money. The other gifts bore messages; this one said "we're good."
For Kuma: The blue fin tuna has to be wheeled in on its own table, there was simply no room to leave the whole fish lying around in the main hall. The thing probably weighs about 950 lbs and the men pushing it into the hall were straining to move the table along with the trays of shaved and crushed ice in layers the fish is supported and chilled by.
His focus is still on Asuka but his attention is completely drawn to Heihachi and Kazuya's exchange. If things between the Mishima were settled with gifts and exchanges of forgiveness c that would be the true Christmas miracle.
Asuka making an appearance in front of him is enough to distract him from watching the potentially dangerous meeting of the patriarch of the clan and his eldest-How was she still so loud and boisterous even in a situation like this? Accepting the envelope Jin leans closer and whispers something to her. What could have been a private thank you is instead a warning.
"You should hurry and leave, this place is a battlefield."
Only after she leaves does he open the gift a thumb brushing along the friendship bracelet and tipping the enevelope up wondering if there were instructions. Made by Asuka Kazama.. but what was it? A bookmark?
When a servant hands him the small box he stares hard at the label before opening it, mentally preparing himself for whatever kind of gift the man had in store for him. A watch, just a watch.
On opening the watch however remaining frozen for minutes just following it, staring at the contents of the watch hanging suspended to dangle in front of his face to the exclusion of everyone and everything else.
There were no pictures of Jun Kazama here in this place. There was no property he had owned not destroyed by fire. He snaps the watch closed and drops it into his breast pocket. The sullen look he shoots Kazuya is interrupted by a grudging half-nod. The emotions are mixed when it comes to the man his Father is and the greatness of the gift. It's enough he almost regretted having that sweater made.
The bottles of Gin are something of another matter, he didn't even drink. Perhaps his uncle was having a bit of fun with Christmas this yearc the focus of the whole room seems to be on the Golden statue and Lee's performance; perhaps the best showing of all this year.
The look within Kazuya's eye isn't lost on Heihachi. What might that be...? There's no sunglasses or anything else attempting to draw attention away from it. Were it a true secret, he'd have expected colored contacts to be worn, or something else. Perhaps he's intending to mystify his father with something so mundane. If so, from the smirk on the man's face it appears to be working. Kuma mostly loiters around Kazuya at the moment, thumping down into a sit and batting at him playfully in a manner that might be painfully nostalgic. When Jinpachi died, the only real respite Kazuya ever had was playing with the bear, who had been only a cub. If Heihachi knew about it, he did nothing to stop it... which makes it almost certain it was one of precious few secrets.
"The car's yours. Do what you want with it. Sell it, run Lee over, trade it in, I don't care. A gift's a gift!" All of those are reasonable and acceptable end results. Taking the envelope, muttering something about Kazuya barely being a person, he then... finds a card. Does it at least have something witty and nice in it? Shaking both it and the envelope upside-down and finding it lacking, Heihachi immediately sours at her interaction with Jin. Jealousy? Without a word he gets to his feet, marches over to Asuka with a stern expression, snatches the car keys from her, and then throws them into the fireplace. Afterwards he goes to take a seat in his chair beside his salmon. "Nevermind!!"
And then Lee comes out, being struck by the socks in a manner most befitting. The laughter rings heavy and true. It's the most genuine amusement heard, and had it not come from inflicting horrible pain on his son, it might cause some Christmas cheer. But then...
Shit. Lee wins. Twice.
Did he know that the car would be confiscated?! It's too late to give it back now! He isn't going to root around in a fireplace. But the bright beet red on his face, the puff of his cheeks, as he stares directly at the hair of the statue once ripping it open... what's he supposed to say?! Checkmate. Absolute checkmate. But the night is still young.
Kuma is happy with all his gifts, of course, clapping his paws together and even doing another earth-shattering dance as Lee gives him the daimakura. He stares at the panda, seeming not sure how to react. His... his love is being made light of!! With a roar, he swings out a paw to smack Lee in the back of the head and send him flying. ...Although he takes the pillow in his mouth and deposits it carefully out of sight for later. That should be a good result. Of course, the youngest Mishima wins the day, and Kuma has leapt upon the fish and begun eating it almost before it's fully wheeled out, in a glorious frenzy of teeth.
Jin's gift makes Heihachi actually happy; he's the only one to try to get him something he'd like. He immediately drinks it in a few heavy swallows. "YOU can have Asuka's car!" he offers the boy with a laugh, hiccuping and adjusting his beard before setting it aside. Sometimes the whims of the madman flow in favor. But then, there's the exchange of his own present with Kazuya, proposed after everyone has had their items exchanged.
When Kazuya pulls off the lid, there's nothing in it.
Then, there's Heihachi's fist.
A brutal uppercut is swung, penetrating the bottom of the box in a crackle of amplified lightning to send his son hurtling through the air, likely to land on his back amidst the gathered food for the potluck. "THERE'S YOUR DAMN GIFT!" he declares, in a scathing tone. "You squander every damn thing I give you... all I ever wanted was to make you strong. Make you worthy of taking my legacy!! And now... now, when you finally have power I might acknowledge... you dare to mock me by doing nothing with it?! YOU ARE PATHETIC. Even the strength you have now is only born out of the pain and hate within you, is it not...?! Hrmph. I am done with you. Jin is my new disciple. He is already beyond what you could hope to be at his age. At this rate, HE will be the one taking the reigns!!"
Heihachi then hurls the broken box aside. For long moments he stands there, then claps his hands firmly.
Jun's reaction isn't exactly what Asuka expected. Shouldn't they be at either 'awkward shuffling' or 'angry grunting' by now? His lean-and-whisper draws a numb blink, the ordinarily brash Osakan leaning back slightly in alarm. Hazel eyes slip to meet his as she withdraws at the end, narrowing a touch. Her chin dips, subtle and fleeting. 'Understood', she silently conveys, before following through with the prideful head-raise and bold exit. To an onlooker, it looks like he insulted or annoyed her.
Asuka takes this time to start examining her gifts, a helpful servant relieving her - at last - of the dripping trout, another conveying each item. She opens Jin's first, making a point of singling it out and somewhat hastily fumbling the paper off. It's scattered carelessly and she examines the gift with a sudden grin that swiftly becomes a frown. Pink? PINK?! She peers at the back, then shoots a fiery glance at her cousin.
Somewhere along the path of the laser beam, she thinks better of herself, resolves that she can replace the back, and simmers the deathglare down to a minor scalding. Around the remaining stern displeasure she mouths a 'thank you' and then closes her fist around the phone, sincerely meaning to replace the back and use it and be very grateful... at another time, when she's not in the lion's den.
Next comes Kazuya's, which requires the intercession of a second servant and unveiled for her pleasure - nobody wants to see Asuka attacking something that size. This is civilized company. She jawdrops huge when the bike is revealed. It's... well, it's not so impressive as a *goddamn* car but it's closer to the emotional mark and shows something that can only be thought or blind luck. Wait, how much does he know about her? It's an awesome gift. Can nothing be simple? The paranoia creeps in, though. She glances at Kazuya coolly, if not with the dying heat of passion directed to Jin.
She does, then, manage a real smile. She's going to enjoy that gift.
She's sure she'll enjoy the car, too, when it--
Wait, Heihachi looks really pissed. That's not usually a good thing.
Asuka braces for impact, actually halfway into a stance that can only be described as martial when Heihachi has divested her of the keys. Setting aside the indescribable sleight of hand required given their location, and any other nuance of the implication therein, it's the speed and force he uses that's shocking. She sort of wants to throw a punch on principle, or dive for the retreating arm and *break it off*.
So what happens is, she sort of *snarls*.
"I *got* you a present, you--"
There's too much happening for the girl to wedge herself into a confrontation, but she dearly wants to; it's not that she deserves a car or feels offended by the perceived slight against her person, it's that she's entirely convinced the reasons here are unjust and-- and... and then it hits her. She remembers why she didn't want to be here.
The crystal ball shatters, the vision crumbles to dust. Asuka Kazama stands in the midst of madness and feels herself drawn to it's beckoning eye. 'Come with us', it says, 'be like us'. The same thing it said to Jun Kazama, when yin and yang were inexorably drawn to one another as they will always, unrelentingly be...
Shuddering, she looks down at her hand. The tickets she's yet to inspect.
Heihachi's roaring challenge to his most wayward of sons - and it must be said, there's another of the man's achievements right there - covers the rapid footfalls as the tomboy relocates the one person in the crowd she suspects might have a *speck* of sanity worth clinging on to in this perfect storm. She pulls up beside Jin, biting down on her lip as she watches Kazuya presumably soar rather spectacularly.
Hazel eyes cant up and to the right, trying to find Jin's gaze, capture his attention from the spectacle of madness. She doesn't look frightened or uncertain, just aware that she's trying to accomplish a grand task; and certain, on some level that's possibly a derivation of her own nutso mentality, that she's the equal of it.
"You're coming with me, right? Osaka is," what's that word? She doesn't use it often, she's sure it's here-- oh yeah, "Pretty this time of year."
The gifts offered Kazuya were all accepted with the same neutral aloofness, demonstrating neither warmth nor hostility. He wasn't here for tokens of false affection. Maybe if his father was less of a horrible monster, the cancer destroying the Mishima family from within, he could find room in his existence to get close to another again after so many years devoted only to his ambition...
Asuka's card is accepted, the man's eyes having lingered on her face for maybe a moment too long, looking for something there before she darted off to dote on another. Lee's rock climbing kit actually produces a faint smirk and soft grunt. Jin's sweater was held up for inspection and once again the man's face becomes a mask devoid of emotion, reflecting neither amusement nor anger at the ridiculous image of Heihachi Claus. Still, the gift, sincere nor not, was draped over the back of the nearest chair rather than tossed aside as garbage.
Which brings the estranged heir to his gift from the despot of the house, hands gripping the lid of the box held out for him and hefting it up to look beneath. "Hrn?" is as far as he gets, grunting an acknowledgement that he is baffled that the old man would go through all this trouble to present him with an empty box. He already expected nothing from the Mishima fortune, there was no point worth all this effort to bringing it up again!
With his hands gripping the lid of the gift box, there is nothing he can do to defend against the rocketing uppercut that surges through, rending paper and cardboard asunder and sending the powerful fighter crashing against the nearest table of food. The riotous noise of plate, dish, and glass flying, shattering, or crashing is answered with seething silence from the well dressed man as he starts to push himself up, garish looking soup dripping from one sleeve - did Lee concoct that?
Teeth are visible, lips drawn back in a snarl, a hint of blood seeping at one corner, right hand slamming down into what was a delicious looking pie until it just got smushed, and then he freezes as Heihachi bellowing rant against his oldest disappointment echoes throughout the room.
Slowly, his left hand lifts to rub at his chin absently where he was socked by one of the strongest uppercuts in the known world. Gradually, careful not to plant his hand in anymore food, he rises to standing, paying no heed to whatever falls to the floor at his feet in the process. Silently, the suit jacket is shrugged off and, with a fling of his arm, tossed aside with no further regard. Without a word in reply, he turns to the side to slide the gift from his thoroughly abandoned son off the chair where it was placed moments before and with deliberate pacing, pulls it on over his head.
His clean hand lifts to run fingers through his hair, restoring the signature hair spike at the crown, before lowering his arms to his side. Only then, now bearing the joyous visage of Heihachi Claus across his chest does the man speak, his voice controlled but betraying a storm of emotion barely contained beneath the surface.
"Spare us your pompous lectures, old man. The children here have no need to hear of such brazen lies and twisted, demented half-truths." He adjusts the sleeves of the merry sweater quietly for a moment, looking down and away from Heihachi, mouth torn into a deep scowl. "It has always been about you from the beginning. Every atrocity to the same end. You may be done with me," he looks up again, the scowl fading, face lifted to gaze down his nose toward the old bastard. "But I. Am not. Done with you."
Does he turn and storm out? Of course not. If there is one commonality shared amongst the Mishima clan, it is a voracious appetite and an instinctual sense of competition when it comes to meal times. Mishima Mealtimes have ever been the most perfect demonstration of Survival of the Fittest. That the banquet, what of it hasn't gotten ruined already, hasn't already been consumed is something of a Christmas miracle of its own.
What, in fact, DID Lee make?
As Heihachi gives Kazuya his present, the adopted brother's eye goes wide with joy. And playfully, he applauds for his brother's gift. "Oh!~ How generous!~" He states, a smirk on his lips. "But yes, it is time to eat!" Lee Chaolan knew that Mishima dining was a battlefield. Fortunately, he had a scheme. A plan. "Of course, I decided to make my dinner to bring, rather than just paying people to make it for me! And thus..." He begins, heading over to the platter. "I whole-heartly present my own dish, inspired by my dearest neice!" He gives a look at the nervous Asuka, before bowing. And finally, he draws away the lid, a skull-shaped cloud of steam rising from it.
A proper takoyaki was in fact a wonderful thing. Battered balls filled with onion and pieces of octopus, it wasn't exactly difficult. Hell, Kuma could even make a proper octopus ball. But what Lee Chaolan did was... not... right. It was not right. Its foundational elements was sheer wrongness.
For starters, it had a sauce.
Sauce was not a correct term, in fact. It was being treated like a sauce. But whatever the thing that was covering those balls, it was far too lumpy to be sauce. The sauce-like lump which oozed over the balls had the substance and texture somewhere between cornbread and grits, forming semi-solid piles on top of the balls. The taste, if you can declare it a taste instead of a complete sensory assault directly upon the tongues and eyes, was akin to the of a wet sock. Indeed, the sauce-like lumps a wretched covering to the whole of the balls.
But it would soon be obvious that they were concealing an even more wretched thing.
The balls, as it turns out, are also not technically balls. The ball-like octopus lumps under the sauce-like lumps were not even round. They were as dropping of half-cooked batter, vaguely taking the shape of what becomes disturbingly obvious as attempts to form tako-like shapes. Lee Chaolan was trying to make it cute, trying to make it look like little octopi. Lee did not succeed in this. The ball-like lumps looked wretched, like waxen sculptures of the gods of old, melted in the heat of an intense, celestial solar flame.
And then you tasted them.
The flavor, if you can call it flavor, was assault. Pure assault. It was akin to Heihachi punching you in the face. Everything that could go wrong with octopus chunks and chopped up veggies, had gone wrong with these ball-like lumps. It was a miracle to even swallow the lumps; the immediate reaction of most mortal creatures was to seal up your throat, and immediately, and violently, vomit. It was a cruel reaction, but like everything Mishima, utterly necessary to survive. If one was brave enough to force it down, force it down with the hate and bile that one's body naturally reacted with, then it would sear inside the stomach. Actual rot, the descriptive term of foul decay, would be the sensation in one's stomach as the burning would spread, until finally, everything would want to exacivate in a single, desperate swoop. Only the sauce-like lumps could drown the sensation, drown the horrible, dieased reaction forced upon one's body.
Even just by touching the substance, the taste would leak through the skin.
Lee Chaolan smirks slightly, as he plucks ones of the ball-like lumps, covered in the sauce-like lumps, and pops it in his mouth.
"Go on, try one!~"
Asuka shooting him a fiery glance only managed to catch sight of Jin exchanging some kind of weird acknowledging head nod toward Kazuya. When he does feel her eyes on him she seems to be glaring even as she mouths the 'thank you' She obviously likes the phone, maybe she was upset he was asking her to leave so abruptly.
The operation was already in full swing, His grandfather had down a huge measure of strong alcohol and apparently he'd won some favour with the gift. Good! He was probably drawing much less aggression than normal and even Kuma was distracted with the massive tuna.
The bellow from Heihachi and so singular a target for his anger being there was unusual, it was usually ladled out according to success and heaped upon failures. He didn't know much about Kazuya but the animosity between -that- Father and Son is far greater than the absence of a relationship between him and his Father. Jin hurriedly stands when the first blows are exchanged and Kazura is sent flying the buffet table left in ruins with his landing. Tense and ready for the entire party to descend into a free for all.
"It has already begun..."
Pretty huh? Uncharacteristically sorrowful and letting it show Jin just returns Asuka's gaze, saying nothing that she could probably wrinkle out of him as a lie. There was no home in Osaka to return to, only pain; and here at least he was getting stronger. He hadn't given up his quest for revenge nor giving his cousin a chance to lecture him over it, he changes subject to more pressing matters.
Raising a hand to her shoulder, sincere and serious he speaks secretively to her trying to tell her everything will be alright. There was still hope and one last backup plan to help her survive this inevitable ordeal.
"I kept some sandwiches in reserve. Just survive this."
Walking towards the Lee with purposeful strides and make to select one of the horrendous octopus balls himself. Even as Kazuya and Heihachi are squaring off, the invitation to dinner has been rung and a challenge put forth. It squishes in his fingers when he picks it up, oily and gelatinous at the same time he pops it into his own mouth; he almost gags despite his best efforts; the fringe and doing much to hide the bulging of his eyes and sudden appearance of sweat on his brow. He will- finish. It.
Survival of the Fittest indeed.
Kuma immediately rushed over to Kazuya once he got uppercutted, making a roar of surprised horror before snarling in Heihachi's direction. He's still growling, trying to paw off any bit of food -- and eat it -- that is stuck on the hapless heir. But all Heihachi Clause does is look back to his son, staring him down. Lee's onslaught of terrible food does little to really dissuade what's happening, but it's a valiant effort. Kuma is distracted once he smells it, doubling over. A bear known to eat garbage when the mood struck him is utterly revolted by something that, in theory, is cooked. That weapon is potent...
But it will have to wait.
"What did you call me? An old man?! How dare you. HOW DARE YOU!!" The room echoes with his voice, and then a crackle of electric chi. His crimson attire shimmers, gaudy beard fluttering up across his face in a manner that detracts from the deathly presence before he yanks it off and tosses it aside. It's a miracle that the santa hat clings to his well-polished dome.
Step by step, he begins to advance upon his son, fist curling slowly until they clench tight, crackling slightly. "This is new, Kazuya-kun... to speak to me in such a pompous manner. You had a fire in you when we started training, but that was snuffed out. You were a brat, but you crumbled under pressure. Even Lee couldn't reignite it within you. But all it means is one thing..."
"You've forgotten your FEAR of me, Kazuya... and there's only one way to rectify that. The greatest sin within the Mishima household..."
Suddenly he flows forward, kicking off the ground. Expensive flooring cracks, sending splinters in all directions. A Mist Step, only one so powerful that it's hard to tell the graceful perfection behind it as he flows forward in a manner that makes him seem to stand still, before abruptly appearing in front of his son...
Aiming to grasp him by the front of his sweater in a sudden, rapid motion--
COMBATSYS: Heihachi has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Kazuya has joined the fight here.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Kazuya 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Heihachi
COMBATSYS: Heihachi successfully hits Kazuya with Weakened Broken Toy.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////////// ]
Kazuya 0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0 Heihachi
--Kicks a chair behind himself, settling into it with a mighty thump. Kazuya is handled like a weightless doll, yanked down to thump across santa's lap belly first. A hand crackles with lightning, before beginning to spank him vigorously. Each one CRACKS with lightning, impacting the exact same spot. When finished, Kazuya's pants are burned through, leaving only his bared ass glowing red. Scruffing him, /four/ of Lee's takoyaki are stuffed into his mouth amidst the horrific manhandling, before there's a roar...
And he hurls Kazuya over the table, windmilling him once before he lands with a THUMP into the chair, wobbling it heavily...
And ending upright, opposite Heihachi.
"Remember that. I'm never too old to SPANK YOUR COCKY ASS. You WILL treat me with respect, Kazuya..." Plucking up a takoyaki, he slowly plops it into his mouth.
"Even your mother knew that much."
After a few moments he turns light green and tears fill up his eyes. Chew. Chew. Chew.
At Heihachi's initial challenge, Kazuya stands defiant. He had held back charging the old Tyrant head on. He had even held back most of what he would have said were other company not present. And he damn well wasn't going to show fear for what he had said, refusing to exhibit any kind of respect for the balding monster.
His time would come.
His eyes narrow as Heihachi delineates his horrible offense. Will the man go to battle here? Certainly Heihachi wouldn't hold back for the sake of the others gathered. They would be expected to survive the collateral damage if they were to be even remotely regarded as members of this hellish, dysfunctional family. The property damage would also not register as a deterrent for a man like Heihachi...
And then he makes his move. Kazuya raises his arms. He had not come to settle the score here and now, but if that was how it was to be, then he would not hold back. "You bast-"
The old man storms upon him faster than he could have possibly imagined. Sweater snagged, the nealy six foot tall forty-year old is pulled forward faster than he can respond with a defense.
Seconds later, the defeaning roar of ass destroying smacks echo throughout the household while the man flails atop the Not So Merry Santachi's knees. Mouth stuffed full of the most abominable biohazard ever created, Kazuya is hefted up, hurled, and slamed down hard in a chair opposite Heihachi. That the furnishing holds up at all from the impact is proof that it was made to a higher standard than standard furniture.
The man's face is livid, cheeks puffed out with the horrific death balls created by Chaolan. But when Heihachi grabs one and plucks one into his mouth, Kazuya slams his hand down, knocking a pair of chopsticks up into the air off the table. Snatching them out of their ascent without hesitation, he force-gag-swallows the cursed contents of his mouth and reaches for another takoyaki before Heihachi can go for a second.
"I won't be outdone by you!!" he roars, stuffing it into his mouth, eyes watering, complexion growing sicker by the moment, chopsticks already going for a third...
The heir apparent to the Kazama style is catastrophically misplaced in this mess. On the streets of Osaka she's a force to be reckoned with, in her dojo she's the respected master's daughter, one day to be a master herself. In her own, humble way she's a successful businesswoman. She turns a profit training young students, funds her own education, and though she can't afford to buy a home... she has one, already. In every way that usually matters she's very grown-up and responsible for her age.
She's in control.
Here, in this gathering of super-powered charismatic menaces, she's both helpless and lost. Her spirit's just the same, manifesting in the respondent clenching of a fist and the crackling of stone beneath her feet. Asuka is no slouch, capable of harnessing more force at a young age than most aspiring martial artists could EVER dream of. Before Heihachi's domineering flamboyance, Kazuya's stony venom, and even Lee's takoyaki...
Hazel eyes roll to the display that pours forth following his announcement. It takes a few moments for the Osakan to process this new and hideous information, during which the acknowledgment of his dedication is postponed. When it strikes, it's like a thunderbolt as she's in mid-reach toward one of the proferred 'delicacies'. The brain has sent a warning: DANGER. It's a trap. Trust nothing this man says.
Her brow furrows deeply, and she shoots her disapproving stare to Lee Chaolan.
"If you like me enough to do something in my name, at least consult me about how to do it *right*!" Her tone is hard fire, her ire now apparently sizzling away after this particular gesture. The unfolding fight nearby doesn't help in the least, though arguably it offers assistance in drowning out Asuka's sudden breakdown. "You're totally impossible." It falls like a slab on a gravestone, her gaze doing distant as she does a quick panoramic spin on the entire scene. Jin's hand pulls her out of the accompanying revery, just as she's grasping for words. "You're..."
What are they? Generous, that's for sure. One of their gifts alone-- which is when she remembers, she didn't actually look at Lee's yet. It was a letter, or something? A glance goes over her shoulder to Jin, and the girl settles somewhat visibly, her shoulders relaxing and expression softening to just shy of borderline psychotic rage.
"Even you feel powerless."
There's a mixture of emotions in the words she pours out to her cousin as she opens the letter and looks toward it. There's always going to be a mote of jealousy, some martial respect, along with a strange swell of pride and approval. Deepened by awe and struck with futility at the situation she finds herself, it's probably just as well that Asuka loses this cocktail of emotion in further disbelief as she reads.
Looking up with the bang that accompanies Kazuya's spine shattering a table, or perhaps vice versa, she drops her letter-holding hands and exudes a chest-juddering sigh of absolute exasperation.
"I have a bike, a car and a plane. I can leave *right now*."
Once more, she eyeballs the gruesome takoyaki experiment.
"Won't survive if I stay here ANYWAY."
An internal struggle rages for all of a few seconds, after which she hisses another breath and spins to face firmly away from Jin, Kazuya, Lee, Heihachi and anyone who's still preoccupied with them. This done, she walks the hell away.
Pausing, notably, beside Kuma.
"Enjoy your gift, fuzzball," she emits in a stagewhisper, tweaking back the tattered remnants of a non-insane smile that still remain before the inevitable Mishima onslaught. Inside his own envelope, Kuma will find the most pricey gift she could afford-- a $20 gift voucher for 'The Bear Necessities', the online store of choice for all discerning gentlebears. "Think I'll cook that salmon up for my old man."
Oh, you can bet she's taking her gifts with her. Leaving behind the sole remaining of her own; for Heihachi, waiting for him back in his private suite, delivered by a helpful chambermaid. She's not averse to playing a game or two of her own. The gift: a framed piece of calligraphy, bearing the Kazama manifesto in Asuka's flowing script. It's another one that didn't cost her much more than time and a little resources - but she's poured a great deal into it. He doesn't ever need to know how many tries it took to get it just so, or how much of a pain in the butt the framing was...
'To hone body, mind, and will that I might be better in all pursuits.
To value strength of body, mind, and will as one and the same.
To maintain a goal-oriented progression throughout my life.
To learn from my mistakes and press on to greater achievements.
To respect authority and heed the words of my elders.
To remain loyal to my country, my family and my friends.
To look for the good in others, and help them find it through my actions.
To strive to conquer human misery and find spiritual freedom.'
A small notecard is enclosed. It says 'You don't need to be a Kazama to better yourself. Thank you for making me part of your family.'
Maybe he'll think about that, later. Probably not. Asuka's already making plans to get the hell out of here, pulling out the phone with one last smile before the hard work begins: how do you move a bike, a car and still make use of your handy plane tickets? You make a phonecall you're going to horribly regret in a few days.
"Hey, it's Asuka Kazama. No, I know. I know she doesn't take calls from fans, okay? Just tell her who I am." She's walking away from the fire now, but - as ever - she's stumbling right into the frying pan. "Tell her I'm calling it in. Tell her she OWES ME, okay? ...yep. Yep. Asuka. TELL HER! *TELL HER*!!"
Grrrrr! If she didn't like the new phone, she'd smash it.
It's going to be a long, long night.
Lee Chaolan stops chewing the ball-like lump.
The silver-haired executive shuts his eyes tight. And with a pained groan, he swallows hard. He is unreactive to his father and brother in the midsts of male bonding. He was only pleased that everyone in his family was enjoying his balls. Kazuya. Heihachi. Even Jin. All were loving it... except one person. One very important person.
Asuka did not appreciate her uncles balls. In fact, she was offended. Lee opens his tear-filled eyes, turning towards his neice. Plucking out three more of the balls, he tosses them in his mouth, swallowing hard, before he responds. "Asuka, my dear niece..."
"I am sorry."
These were not teasing tones. These were not smirking tones. The smirk was even gone for a moment, as Lee leans over to speak hushed tones to Asuka. "I wanted to do this on my own, to prove that I could be independent. But looking at these things now... I really ought to have asked you for help." The older man sighs, leaning back slightly. "I forget that not everyone in our family is like our father, or my brother. Some of them would adore to help, to work together. To be constructive. Some people like you, Asuka."
"And sometimes, that makes you a better person than all of us."
Lee gives a playful nudge on Asuka's shoulder, smiling again. "You are a good kid, Asuka. I'm sorry us men are ruining this dinner for you. How about this. Next time, I'll ask you for help. And you can show me the right way to make-"
"Excuse me a moment Asuka."
Lee Chaolan turns his heads towards his fellow Mishima males.
And immediately begins to projectile vomit.
Jin almost choking on the Takoyaki with the sheer nastiness of the foodstuff, or the fact he is witnessing a full grown forty year old master laid out across his Grandfathers knee. Maybe he is hallucinating, or may very well be dying having consumed these death cakes.
'I won't be outdone by you!!' chopsticks already going for a third...
Jin tries to warn him off with a negative gesture but cannot speak. Sweating profusely Jin manages to swallow part of the 'delicacy' only barely avoiding the gag reflex that comes along with the action. He would have warned them, not even a Mishima with a constitution of iron should eat this, and having chewed and tasted this may have been his mistake. As Lee turns toward him the teenager lifts an eyebrow at the expression on lee's face.
Oh no! He throws himself back and slips away, with the takoyukki still in his mouth and the fast movement it's too much for his stomach and he crashes down to his knees; hand covering his mouth, constitution weakened to dire levels.
How potent were these? W-was Asuka safe? A glance in her direction-- Looked like she was making good on her escape.
He doesn't himself throw up but it takes effort to not do so. The smell isn't helping either.
Log created on 18:23:43 12/22/2014 by Heihachi, and last modified on 04:22:46 12/23/2014.