Description: Reality decides to intrude on Zach's leave in the form of one of the last family members he wants to see.
Zach Glenn has had some time to wrestle with the concept of carrying around a family heirloom. He was still trying to figure out what to do about it while enjoying the last week of his time off. This fine morning, he's getting some exercise in while enjoying the warm, sunny weather. He's doing slow push-ups, and has declined to wear a shirt for the workout. Perhaps he's showing off for someone just a little bit, a generous amount of hard lean muscle rippling with the up and down movements. The rhythym of the exercise is steady, even after five minutes of exercise.
The sounds and activities of the circus around Zach are background information, the Marine focused on what he is doing and what he is thinking about.
Feats of physical prowess are kind of what the circus does -- there are acrobats that can twist and flip through rings perched dozens of feet over the floor, there are talented individuals who can lift several times their body weight. Suffice to say, there's every reason for the sort of physical endurance test that Zach undergoes to be completely and absolutely commonplace.
But even still, Honoka finds time to appreciate the sight she's presented with. Dressed down with a t-shirt and yoga pants, she -had- been on the way to the circus' food truck for a snack, but she pauses her journey to watch with a curious eye, not wanting to interrupt. But as her heartbeat rises, it'd be difficult for the psion to ignore the circus star's presence as she stands by, twirling a yo-yo in an idle fashion to keep her hands from fidgeting overly much.
Zach would be the first to admit that his show was a show for one. The Marine notes the spectator with a faint grin as he continues his exercise. Zach gets his feet under his chest and stands up, reaching for a towel to wipe off some sweat. He turns to face Honoka with a warm smile and a somewhat... hungry look. He'd been the gentleman during his stay with the circus, but Honoka might get the impression that being so might be at least as difficult for him as it is for her.
"Hey," he says in a low, but happy voice.
Honoka's hungry too! That's why she was headed for a snack. But she can tell that they don't share the same -kind- of hunger at the moment; she's seen how much food Zach can put away in a single setting.
"Hey, yourself," she responds in a similar tone, though the hunger in Zach's expression actually causes her to look down with shyness, cheeks flushing with redness. Hesitation, increased heartrate -- all the sorts of things that Honoka is typically fully capable of keeping below the surface.
But then her mocha eyes look back up to Zach, the hesitation rapidly replaced by a coquettish grin. "Don't tell me you were just waiting for me to walk by and find you...?"
Her yo-yo has not faltered. Not yet.
"A happy coincidence," Zach admits, once again somewhat smitten by the lovely woman in front of him. "Was about to grab something to drink, wanted to finish the set first." He takes a deep breath, enjoying pretty much everything about life. Things are... things are good, Zach feels like he's in a good place right now.
There is a smile on Zach's face as he is about to speak when he stops short, his posture suddenly showing alarm at something as he tilts his head to one side. A second later, Zach scowls. "I need you to do me a favor," he says in a little bit of a hurry. "Call Sudo," he says without giving Honoka a moment to ask question. "Phone or radio. Someone's coming, and we need to stall long enough for me to grab Drynwyn and meet them at the gate." Something in Zach's voice denotes a certain amount of almost aggressive displeasure.
Honoka's lips part. She's about to say something, when she senses the palpable shift in Zach's demeanor. This sudden shift is irritating -- but rather than letting her displeasure show upon her face, as clearly as Zach's letting it be heard in his voice, she keeps an all-business attitude. "Okay." If Zach's mad, there's no point in getting him -madder-. In civil society, anger doesn't solve problems, it just exacerbates them.
She nods back to Zach, summoning back her yo-yo, and withdrawing the phone clipped to her waistband. A few quick keypresses later, she nods. "He'll be on his way. Mizuho's gonna wonder what the heck, but she can deal with it."
This way, she can remain by Zach's side as he fetches his sword. Each minute reaction will be noted, catalogued for later. Honoka has some idea of what could happen here -- and she's actively preparing her own mental barriers for what she thinks it -could- be.
The walk to the trailer is quiet, Zach apparently mentally chewing on something. "Of everyone they could have sent, they sent /Seamus/," he almost growls as he emerges from the trailer, duffle over one shoulder. "Because nothing asks for a fight like sending the guy who tried to bring a building down around you." Zach takes a deep breath, bringing his emotions back to heel.
"One more thing," Zach says in an all-business tone, "Unless he starts something with anyone else here, I'd take it as favor if you let me do the talking. Seamus pretty much hates my guts, and I wouldn't put it past him to give you and yours trouble to get at me."
A few more strides, and a large Scotsman can be seen at the front entrance. "I'm really, really sorry about this," Zach says in a truely apologetic tone, "If I had known things would play out like this, I wouldn't have stayed with you."
It sounds like Zach has already decided where his loyalties lie -- and it would seem he's decided to flip Edinburgh the bird, in favor of... her? It's hard to tell... exactly. But Honoka isn't exactly the sort of person to leave things to chance, especially not if they come marching up to the front gate.
Speaking of marching up to the front gate, Zach and Honoka aren't the only ones. Sudo is there -- as are a half-dozen of the guards who could feasibly manage to throw a punch. There are plenty of people who -could- deal out some pain, but there's no point in bringing a 50-kiloton nuke to a knife fight.
"Okay," is the juggler's atonal, emotionally distant reply.
Or perhaps in favor of himself. One might resemble the other in this specific case. He nods once. "Thank you," he says honestly as the two approach the group. "Seamus," Zach calls out to the Scotsman. "What brings you halfway across the world? I'm pretty sure it's not the cuisine."
Seamus is a large man, built along similar lines as Zach, but about half a foot taller than the Marine. Red hair, freckles, and a smirk that promises more than a hint of trouble. "Glenn," he responds diffidently. "The Scap," Seamus all but spits the slur out, as Zach scowls at the reference to Takehiro, "Sent word to Edinburgh that you had something that doesn't belong to you. I was sent to bring it, and you, back to answer some questions."
Zach takes up a stance that leaves plenty of room between the two men, and gives Honoka a nod to ask her to ask her people to give the two some room. "Okay," Zach says after a moment, "But that doesn't explain why they sent /you/ to deliver this message. Last I heard, you were doing scutwork in Central Europe. Where they could keep an eye on you." Zach grins faintly as Seamus grits his teeth at this.
"Cut the crap, Glenn," he snarls. "Just come home like a good lad, then maybe, if they don't lock you away, you can come running back to your little who-" Seamus stops speaking suddenly as he glances downward in surprise. Some time during the Scot's attempted taunt, Zach had closed enough distance to aim a sword at Seamus' throat. The whole weapon is made of purely golden energy, and looks /exactly/ like the sword Zach is carrying in the dufflebag.
"I'm sorry," Zach says in a flat, but not at all distant tone, and all Honoka can feel off of Zach is pure willpower with barely a flicker of tense emotion behind it. "But I could not, in good conscience, allow you to level such a baseless insult at my hostess." Seamus swallows once, not moving.
Honoka does not know all that much about Zach's family. She knows his departed "Grampig" taught Zach a great deal about his psychic abilities, and bequeathed the heirloom weapon to his -grandson- rather than to his own son. There is bound to be a heap of issues surrounding the transfer of property -- and she'll need to watch Seamus a bit longer to figure out if it's worth destroying him utterly.
But right now, she's been quietly asked to give the two Irishmen more space. And as Seamus gives him reason to demonstrate -why- he needs more space, Honoka's foot grinds a crater into the ground beneath her.
Asshole, she mumbles to herself, quietly withdrawing the yo-yo. And just as quietly walking it through its paces.
It was awfully sweet of Zach to defend her honor, she's forced to admit.
"Try it," Seamus growls. "It'll go exactly like it should have eight years ago. Except this time, I'll make it so you come with me whether you want to or not." Zach does not move. The psychic blade does not so much as twitch.
"Seamus," Zach says, almost sympathetically. Almost. "It'd actually go worse for you this time around. You tried to bring that whole gym down around our ears, which is /why/ you got stuck in Europe. Just far enough away that you wouldn't be under foot, but close enough that they could keep an eye on you." Seamus' eyes alight with an almost confident fire.
"Lad," he says with a sneer, "I've gotten stronger since then, better with the power. This little trick is cute, but it's still new to you." Zach laughs once, scorn and derision clear in the laughter.
"Seamus," Zach responds with a matching sneer, "I was holding back eight years ago, and I've been doing almost nothing but training and fighting with this power since then. If I wanted to, there wouldn't be much of you left to drag back to Edinburgh."
"You wouldn't-" Seamus starts to counter.
"But I won't," Zach agrees. "As much as we can't stand each other, we're still family. But I'm not going back with you."
"If you don't," Seamus responds, his intent and tone clearly indicating that he could and would do as he's about to suggest, "Then I'll make it impossible for you to stay. I will tear this little show down to the-" Seamus stops short again as the tip of Zach's weapon inches closer to Seamus' throat.
"That's not how it's going to go," Glenn declares. "I can't just leave like that," he states firmly. "I have obligations that I have to answer to." Seamus smoulders, this clearly is not good enough for the Scotsman. "So here is how it /will/ go," Zach says in a tone of pure bedrock and steel, "You go running home, and tell them that as soon as I clear it with my chain of command, I will pay a visit to Edinburgh and we'll see where things go from there."
The deck is stacked against Seamus. The next show's a few hours away, and the cast and crew have literally nothing better to do than crowd around the two fightin' Irish. Strong people. Fast people. People who would think nothing of delivering a glorious beatdown to the fool who dares to even -suggest- tearing down the show that has been their home for weeks, months, and in most cases, years.
But when one's position is sound -- and one's entire extended family is glaring down the sole and single person threatening their livelihood -- there's no need to advertise it further. If Seamus is sensitive to the wills of others, he'd know they're united against him. And if he's not, well... it's easy to read body language. Knuckles are cracked. Jawlines are set. And in the unlikely event of Zach falling, dozens of people will be more than willing to ensure that Seamus' threat does not come to pass.
Swoosh. Swoosh. Swoosh. The yo-yo carves long, scything paths through the air. Honoka is done with the neutral look of concern, she's more than willing to show her bitch face -- since Seamus has more than proved himself incapable of keeping his mouth shut.
Seamus is not even a little sensitive to the will of others; a lack of anything approaching empathy never helps. He /can/ however, understand the postures and expressions of those around him. He swallows once, makes no move to wipe the sweat forming on his brow.
"/Fine/," he finally snarls. "But if you don't come, lad?" Seamus' expression is an ugly, hateful thing, "I will hunt you down. I will ruin everything you ever tried to build for yourself." He leers at Honoka. "I'll start with the wee lass over there."
Zach doesn't move, just keeps the blade pointed at Seamus. "Just go," Zach says in a low tone. Seamus obliges, backing away slowly without taking his eyes off of anyone.
Glenn maintains his posture, keeping the point of the sword aimed at Seamus, his breathing slow and almost intentional.
Honoka is of mixed emotions about this Seamus person. Zach told her to stand down, and she's been respectful of that.
But he's made two threats to her, and one to the circus. Honoka moistens her lips, glances away for a moment as the yo-yo snaps dutifully back into her palm. The notion of holding back her rage isn't exactly one that appeals to her right now -- subtlety being something entirely lost on the man standing there before Zach.
Sudo glances over towards Honoka, who approaches him as Seamus backs away. Her mood seems to lighten, but her voice still bears tingest of bitterness. "... Nah," she says in a bitter tone but a quietly conversational volume. "Don't worry about him, Sudo. Tiny dogs bark the loudest. -Really- easy to talk a big game when he knows he's standing in front of someone -way- too nice to just up and gut him like a fish."
If a fight will be taking place, she wants it /now/.
Zach stays alert for another long moment before letting the raised arm drop. As the hand falls, the sword scatters into thousands of motes of gold and purple light that spatter against the ground harmlessly. The Marine heaves a sigh as he turns to look at Honoka, looking tired and apologetic.
"If we had fought," Zach says quietly after another long moment, "There would have been injuries. Property damage. It would have been a mess. I'd have beaten him senseless, but I doubt I would have won." He rolls his shoulder, working tired muscles, relaxing a bit. He looks in the direction Seamus fled, a sorrow on his face before turning to head back to the trailer.
Honoka stares blankly back at Zach, as if she wasn't even recognizing his utterances as 'words' at first. Injuries? Property damage? A mess? It's only after she realizes that Zach was talking about what would happen if -he- fought Seamus that she even graces the Marine with a faint smile.
Taka's booming voice can be heard over the din of the crowd, noisily trying to talk their way through what just happened there. "Okay, folks, -this- show's over, and we got one to put on in just a couple hours! Let's get moving, people, tons of work to do!" There he goes, clapping merrily to the beat of his own drum.
Honoka, meanwhile, is right up next to Zach. Her yo-yo stashed back onto its wristband, she wraps her arm about his waist, pressing herself against him. "You're sweet to rush to our defense, but... I just wanted to point out, he -did- threaten us. And some of us are good with knives." Beat. "-Really- good with them."
She delays just a moment, drawing her hand to Zach's heart, and tracing a valentine heart over it. "A joke," she clarifies. "Your heart was in the right place, and so was ours. No sense in making anyone's life harder than it has to be, hmmm?"
"Seemed only right that I did," Zach says in a dull tone, the joy of the earlier conversation fairly flattened. "He wouldn't have even known about you guys if he wasn't after me." He pulls Honoka in a little tighter, to let her know that her presence is wanted, appreciated. He nods once to Taka, as if to thank the man for breaking up the crowd.
The Marine throws a glance over his shoulder in the direction Seamus left. "I should be heading back to Camp Fuji anyway," Zach says quietly. "I'll need to make arrangements for the trip and all of that."
Honoka flashes Zach back a wry smile. "So let's say I wasn't involved, then, and you were safe at the base. You're telling me he would have marched onto a military base and dressed you down -there?- I don't think pissing off the entire Corps is something he'd want to have on his resume."
Again, Honoka is being glib -- but from the way Zach's mood has taken a turn south, she feels it's warranted. Not to mention -- her finger's still on Zach's bared torso. Though it's gravitated down towards his six-pack instead. "Sometimes you just have to live for yourself, Zach. Staying in the shadow of your family just doesn't seem like the life you're meant to live."
Zach smirks. "Seamus... has a very high opinion of himself. Even if he doesn't deserve it," Zach says after thinking about it. "I think he might... /might/ have thought about it for a moment. But I think he'd have done something a lot like it. And then there would have been trouble. Probably would have played out a lot like it just did." Zach frowns a bit. "Though I wouldn't have felt so bad about that. It's..." Zach thinks for a moment. "I'm not a guest when I am on a military base. I /am/ a guest here."
Zach does not resist the movement of Honoka's hand, his own drifting a little closer to Honoka's hip. "It's entirely possible that I'll be able to get clear of all of this mess if I do go," he says after a moment.
Honoka is patient. She is a good listener. But her adrenaline is pumping heavily after that confrontation, her blood burning hot from the threats and posturing from the belligerent Irishman. She ached so hard to just put the man in her place -- and yet, the need to be a good hostess to her guest had forced her hand to remain still.
Except when it doesn't remain still, and it won't, tracing a trail up the center of Zach's sternum, and then up along his jawline. "What say..." starts Honoka, her heartbeat practically audible from how close she is, "... you save thinking about that till later, hmm?"
Meanwhile, the circus starlet Mizuho stands a good distance away, hands on her hips, staring back at the couple making lovey-dovey eyes at one another. She opens her mouth, about to raise her voice in interruption, but with nary a sound, Taka is right there at her side, shaking his head in the negative. "Fine," she admits quietly, her sulking quite obvious. "But at least I know /I'm/ not the only one who has to put up with this crap."
Zach leans into the hand a little, bringing Honoka in a little closer. His own heartbeat racing just as much as Honoka's, both from the adrenaline and the presence of this amazing woman at his side. He pulls Honoka around a bit, bringing her in front of him. "One might notice that I didn't say /when/ I would go to Edinburgh," Zach says with a pleased tone of voice. "I can always leave tomorrow."
Honoka can tell that Mizuho's watching as she fawns over her gaijin boyfriend. She doesn't particularly care, either, looping her arms around Zach's waist as she looks up at him. "Just make sure you settle up your bill before then. I hear the hostess doesn't really like leaving unfinished business."
It may not be entirely clear what she's talking about. But she doesn't particularly care about -that-, either.
Log created on 21:05:48 06/06/2015 by Zach Glenn, and last modified on 18:24:04 06/07/2015.