Description: With Southtown going straight to hell, Terry thinks Rock should hang back and make him a damn sandwich. Obviously, the suggestion doesn't go over very well.
Even when the entire city is in a state of lockdown, and all the power is funnelled to keep essential services up and running, some things never change. Through the use of generators, Duck's quaint establishment continues to conduct daily business. There isn't much left for clientele and the hours are beyond halved, but still. When you need a drink, The Duck Pond provides a bottomless mug to drown each and every sorrow. Only available while supplies last.
Rock Howard, both underage and unable to imbibe alcohol legally, would never have set foot in the joint if it weren't for Duck's sudden visit to the hospital that is not Southtown General. Deciding that hovering for days at Brandon's bedside like a gaunt blonde spectre was not so healthy, he wheedled and bothered the teen enough that the broody kid consented to milk and sandwiches. It's probably his first real meal in weeks.
He's lost a bit of weight, enough that the bones of his shoulders protrude a bit more than normal and his face looks a little thin, but Rock isn't severely malnourished and nor is he famished. Quietly eating the ham and stale wheat bread combo, the young scion occupies a stool at the bar while the owner is absent. The man with the Mohawk is probably refilling the generators or something.
At best, two others hang about, separated by a room full of empty tables and chairs. They have developed a taste for whisky neat, although one drinks faster than the other. The drunker he gets, the more he appears ready to pass out on the lacquered surface in front of him. Rock takes a sip of room temperature milk and frowns deeply, creasing his attractive features. A lot is happening in his mind, like worrying about everything and wondering what the hell will come of it all.
Are tournaments jinxed or what?
If anything Duck isn't the best fighter, but he is a good friend. He has only met Rock a few times, but he knows the tough life the kid has being the son of Geese Howard. A man Duck King himself had to work for in his earlier years when trying to make the money to finally open The Duck Pond. He may have not gone through all the physical punishment as the rest of the team, but he has done his best to keep everyone up and running. There is only so much the club owner could do and making sure Rock gets some food during these tough times is the least he can do
Terry is really going to have to thank him.
After the battle with Geese the Lone Wolf wasn't seen for a bit. He figured Geese would be looking for him and staying away from his usual haunts might keep people like Billy, Mr. Big and Yamazaki away as they scour the back streets for Terry. Once again it is more Duck King's doing why Terry finally has shown his face. He has worried about Rock. He knows Rock was targeted because Geese wanted Terry's attention. He was worried showing back up might just attract more trouble for the teen. It looks like trouble found him anyways.
The club is closed for clientel at the moment, but Terry is let in by one of the few employee's lingering around figuring if shit goes down this place at least is somewhat safe compared to others given people like Terry frequent it and will put a stop, or at least try, to anyone that decides to target the place.
"Hey...." Terry says and manages a smile. He has been moving through town seeing everything going crazy. He has been gathering information and more importantly he is making sure he is strong enough in case things get worse. He pulls a seat over and drops down onto. "I'm sorry. I have been a bad team leader." Not all of it is his fault, but Terry was the one that dragged Rock into it then welcomed Brandon onto the team.
And at the start was okay. Taking on the wrestlers was the sort o fight Terry wanted, but then there was the fight with the vampire and catgirl. That really seemed to be the start of all the problems.
Now Brandon isn't in good shape and while Rock is up and moving there are more than just physical pain the young Howard is dealing with. "I hope Geese got the message I left him, but I don't know. I am worried for you even more now. For anyone that knows me. I think if not for the lockdown we would be dealing with his lackeys right now."
W..well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. It's not like the Legendary Wolf dragged Rock to the tournament kicking and screaming. The Howard scion was honoured, even excited to be invited!
He followed Terry willingly, fought hard, and they came a long way. Everything else? It's not...
"Look, it isn't your fault." Rock says, attempting to force an expression that just doesn't want to be shown. While the smile manages to curl at the edges of thin lips, it's a failure. Crimson eyes glance down at the plate that is surprisingly clean, aside from light brown crumbs. When did that happen? O'er the bar, time has passed and swept away the two lingering patrons along with it. They're alone, for whatever reason.
Could be that his mentor and guardian is right. Rock sends fingers through his disheveled blonde hair, scratching at the back of his head. "Depends if That Man supports Heihachi Mishima or not. Maybe his thugs are the ones enforcing the lockdown, beefing up the cordons, I don't know..." Exhaling a painful breath, because it's not like his favourite topic is Geese Howard, the American kid continues, "And I don't care."
"You don't have to apologize to me, Terry. You don't have to apologize to Brandon, either." Kinda hard to do that! "You had a bad feeling, remember? Even with that, there's no way we could've seen this coming." Reaching to his glass of milk, the final contents are drained in a gulp. It's not pleasant, but Rock refuses to reject Duck's good intentions. No doubt effort was involved in procuring anything edible in this city, or not water... At least through legal means. The wolf pup has gratitude of his own to express, but later.
Turning on his stool and nodding briefly in the other man's direction, Rock acknowledges the concern. His appreciation for it is silent, due to inability to express complicated emotions simply through words. "What are you going to do?" he wonders aloud. The ward's path was decided the moment he peeled out of Southtown General with a stolen car and an unconscious detective. Unless they can leave with their teammate, he's not going anywhere.
But Terry, an enigma. Curious why Bogard's been TOTALLY avoiding the public eye, guess it has something to do with what he mentioned earlier, about anyone who knows him. Hasn't the picture grown so much larger? Perhaps...
A few more moments of silence are shared. In a setting such as this Terry isn't really sure what to say. He just seems more lost in thought as his eyes flick about the Pond. To see such a lively place with no music and flashing lights is even a bit on the creepy side.
"I don't think Geese is in with Mishima. Call it a hunch." Perhaps a bit more than that. Terry spent years on the streets of Southtown. He probably knows this city better than anyone. All the nooks and crannies. All the places to hole up in the alleyways when you don't want to be found. "I think if anything he is just consolidating forces and waiting to see what happens. He isn't opposing what is going on, but he isn't helping from what I can tell."
Another few moments of that awkward silence. Terry almost wishes Rock was old enough to drink. Perhaps it would be easier if they both were just having a pint. Then again alcohol is for the most part one of the last thing on Terry's mind right now. "Rock, I want you to stay with Duck if you don't mind. Things are going to get bad. I just have a feeling about it. You can help defend the place in case some idiots decide to try burn the place down." He would love to tell Rock to stick with him, but he isn't sure what is going to happen. He isn't even sure if he can keep himself safe let alone someone else.
"I am going to keep waiting and watching. See things unfold, but I feel a bit fight is coming and I am going to make sure at least the good people here in Southtown aren't going to die because of all these power hungry fools.""
Geese Howard can go pound sand. Whether he's thrown in his lot with Mishima Zaibatsu or not, if Rock shrugged any harder, he'd dislocate something.
Silence reigns, yes, but that isn't such a bad thing, when considered a comfortable one. Throughout the years, a lot of the time the boy has spent with his guardian has typically involved silence... It's different now. It settles awkwardly between them, a rift that suddenly grows wider, opening up like a gaping chasm. Rock's back is ramrod straight at the suggestion he stay with Duck, because even while he has the opportunity to decline, he's astute enough to see through the ruse.
If... if only he wasn't still considered a child. Maybe he'd enjoy a whisky neat, too!
Gritting his teeth, because he's actually quite loathe to protest to Terry, the Howard scion steels his resolve to turn a hard gaze at someone he'd consider a friend, were it not for the older man's status as parent. "I /do/ mind. I--" Rock doesn't think twice about shouting profanity at his real father or attempting to run over Juri with a car, but this he balks at. How strange. "You're not giving Duck any credit, and what about Brandon?"
He scrambles for more, trying to assemble everything in clear order, but the words pour out of the teen's mouth instead a jumbled mess. "There's a big fight coming and you're trying to face it alone, Terry. What makes you think I'll let you do that? What if /you/ die sacrificing yourself for everyone else?" His admiration for the man shines through. The Legendary Wolf, a person he aspires to be like, knowing that every step of the way will be a fight against his nature. Rock feels terrible, but who else can argue with the man?
"I can help! I can fight with you! I can..." The prodigy's tenor burns itself out, and with a disgruntled slouch, he worries straight white teeth against a dry lower lip. His red eyes dart off to the side as if in shame, shadows cast over the pale face in the candlelight. Rock lost his mother at a young age...
The lonely son, inheritor of a horrible bloodline, doesn't want to lose Terry next.
"I know what's important to me, and it's not this building. The Duck Pond can be rebuilt. All of Southtown can." Rock Howard clenches his hands into trembling fists, knuckles blanching. "But there isn't any replacing anyone who's gone."
The retort is perhaps expected. Terry is fine with Rock wanting to prove himself. Terry was jumping head first pretty much into every fight when he was the young Howard's age so he can understand how the kid feels. That is why Terry is even grinning some when Rock gives Terry a piece of his mind. He isn't being rude. He isn't being petulant. He is just being honest and really could Terry ask for anything more?
"Yeah? So you are prepared? You are ready to make anyone who comes into town to cause trouble to regret it?" The grin widens as he puts his palms on the table and leans forward. "Ready for it to possibly be us against the world?" Sadly it could be close to that in a way. Southtown has several capable fighters and Terry knows a good chunk. What worries him is the lack of contact with some. Mai doesn't seem to be in town so he can't get her to help out. Andy? Well who knows where he is. Same with Joe for that matter. Right now with Brandon down and out it really feels like his list of allies is thin.
"I could argue with you all night, but it wouldn't do me any good now would it?" The awkwardness is fading at least as he straightens back up and reaches up to pull his cap off for a moment to run his other hand through his hair before setting the cap back in place. "But if we are going to do this I need you to be ready. Get rest and try your best to eat what you can get your hands on. Tired and hungry is no way for us to win a battle."
There is a pause, but then he holds out a fist across the table towards Rock. "Now you got me all pumped up. I guess you know I am no good being worried parental type. We'll just make sure Southtown may get battered and broken, but people like us will make sure it will always stand, okay?"
During all of his bristling and struggling to find a way to support Terry, Rock's presentation is frank and sincere. His candor is something lacking in many youth of today, even in the disowned heir himself, at times. But not currently.
Currently, he's a little confused by the grin, taken slightly aback. Was that funny? Wh--
"I'm not going to pretend that I can take on all comers, but..." Rock's fingers ease out of the clench. He sits a bit more properly in his seat and head tilting, considers. "But I'll never get any stronger unless I try." Ah, the teen's motivation for everything. The reason why the American youth rushes so eagerly into a fight.
It's not a bad reason.
Eyeing Terry, the broody kid's grim expression goes to show just how futile it would be to try and dissuade him. Rock's mind is made up. This has been set in stone. The Howard scion blinks, but visibly relaxes and nods. "Yeah, that's right... I haven't been taking care of myself very well." Which his thin shoulders and the hollow cheeks can certainly attest to. Goddamn, the handsome kid could really use a few burgers to get some meat on his bones.
N..no trash burgers for him, though. Rock's doctor advised him against dumpster diving. Never know what's lurking in those things, or the hobos he'd have to punch to get his hands on one, as per Terry's suggestion.
The offered fist is met with a knuckle-sealing pact as his pale face splits with a genuine smile. Crimson eyes seem to brighten, the candles reflecting in them and creating a red spectrum. Rock has a purpose, and he won't let the Legendary Wolf down. "You got it." United, and with those of like minds, they can achieve the impossible. Against the whole damn world, if they must!
Sitting around and being mopey isn't going to save anything. Terry knows this. He has to be focused.....he has to be the Legendary Wolf everyone knows. The fight to come isn't going to be easy, but he won't back down. He can't back down. He isn't going down without a fight and having someone like Rock at his side will make the fight that much easier.
He pulls his fist away and starts to get up. "I got to keep my ear to the ground. Need to keep track of what is going on and hope for the best. All I can ask is get yourself in better shape. That way when Brandon wakes up we can tell him the good guys won." He hehs a bit and reaches up to give a tip of the cap.
"OUKEI! Duck!" he calls out. He doesn't see the mohawked one right now, but he is in the building somewhere and given how empty and quiet the place is Terry's voice carry's well. "Get the kid more food before he wither's away! I got business to take care of." Andy or Joe might not be around, but Terry can at least figure out like minded individuals and make sure they are prepared for what is to come. He doesn't care who it is at this point. Whoever decides to mess with Southtown is going to regret it if he has any say in the matter.
With that Terry turns to leave after one last grin towards Rock. After all the shit the kid has been through it is good to see an actual smile. Maybe once this is all said and done he can take some time to help properly train Rock again without all the worries of there not even being a Southtown if things go bad.
Log created on 18:27:11 11/07/2017 by Rock, and last modified on 13:44:04 12/05/2017.