Echo - Southtown Confidential[Toggle Names]
Description: Tairyu visits Echo at her shop in Southtown to give her some grave news. Get it? Grave News? Necromancy? Ahhh, forget it, you're a good kid. Don't worry about it.
The bat woman's shop was open, even this late at night. Really, Echo set her own hours, seeing as it was privately owned by her--but it was just one of her diversions when she was off doing her real work, like Shadaloo assignments, or jobs for rich weirdos that wanted to talk to their dead aunt Beatrice, or something. She'd gotten a few requests to see long departed spirits of pets, like dogs--most people never have the wonderful experience of trying to teach the ghost of an old homeless person how to bark like a dog on command, but somehow she pulled that one off.
"Ffffuuu--" she hissed and sighed, looking at the bill the contractors wanted. She needed the storefront redone--old carpeting tore up, wallpaper, new upholstery for around the apartment upstairs, and also some walls put up to make new rooms. All that needed new electrical work, wiring--and Japan had strict safety codes for buildings, as the country existed in both earthquake /and/ tidal wave central. That's what one got for living on a freaking island over a tectonic plate. But considering the state of mainland and China, well... eh.
She was stationed behind the counter, kicking back on a new reclining easy chair she had shipped in--which of course looked out of place in the old shop, being as it was likely a few thousand bucks more expensive than most of the other furniture down there.
The front door opening and closing will likely alert Echo to someone stepping inside while she's going through the bill. "Heyo, Echo-san," a familiar voice calls out shortly afterwards, and when she looks, she'll find Tairyu there, with one hand in his pocket ducking in through the door, and immediately making his way towards the counter.
"What's got you down there?" He asks while he comes closer, likely nothing her expression while she's going through the costs in the bill. Rather than, you know, making any kind of note of the reclining chair she's seated on.
"Oh hey, look who it is," Echo got up from the easy chair behind the counter, rising to her full height. She was wearing one of her black dresses, which she tended to be when lounging around, or just doing some casual chicanery. "Hmm? Oh! You mean /that/," Echo was already leaning over the counter and reaching up with a white-furred, red-nailed index finger to tickle along underneath Tai's chin, smirking at him--before he turned her attention to the bill.
"Getting some work done on the place and upstairs--which reminds me, need to tell you, I got a cop rooming upstairs," she seemed to understand the significance of this.
"He's not there now, but I'm having some more space set aside in case I get anymore... 'guests', I am trying to see if he'll help us with our uh, little problem," she leaned back. "He's from the states though, out of town--but I am hoping he might be a bit useful with regards to getting information."
Tairyu's eyes lid ever-so-slightly while the bat-woman's finger trails over the underside of his chin, though his expression doesn't change too much from it otherwise. He's very good at keeping up his stoic face like that.
The revelation she gives does make him lift his brows with a measure of amusement, still. "Oh? That's kind of extra scandalous, isn't it?" He points out with... an uncharacteristic measure of teasing in his voice directed at her.
His head cants to one side, then, and those upraised brows burrow down again. "The little problem," he repeats after her, and then... his shoulders slump downwards, while he leans himself against the countertop. "...I know where she is," he says finally, after a few seconds of silence on his part. "I might be about to be some very deep trouble, too."
"Oh? who is it, maybe our new friend can help," Echo tilts her head, raising a brow of herself in curiosity. "I am a little ashamed, though I have been trying my best to help--what kind of trouble is it," Echo leans back down and sits herself down in the chair, apparently wanting to hear the man out. And this was probably going to take a bit.
"Do you need a drink, by the way?" she leaned back in her chair, trying to make the man comfortable--as much as she could, anyway.
"...Sure, I could do with a drink," Tairyu agrees easily enough to the offer, and he adjusts his stance along the counter just so that his side is leaning against it.
"You know I still can't tell you too many of the details, right?" He points out to her with a slight pursing of his lips. "But... I'm going to be going after someone who is *technically* one of my bosses. If all goes well, I'll be able to get Miku back while I'm at it there, but... Well. Even if I do, there's a very good likelihood I'm going to end up having to go into hiding with he."
He worries at his lower lip, briefly, but his gaze never gets to actually leaving her. "I figured you'd want to know. So you won't wonder too much if I suddenly disappear from Southtown."
"Hmm... I see, so that means my little friend there might not be able to help you /too/ much, well... we can see, I suppose," Echo gets up from the chair and moves to the upstairs area, motioning for Tai to follow. Once there, she'd get out a bottle of whiskey along with two shot glasses, setting them down on the large wooden table, where she'd done the reading for him before.
"If you disappeared, then I'd just have to find you--if you're still alive, or not--oh, how do you like these shoes? They're new, Italian," she stood back and stood with her feet close together, the red stiletto heels shining in the light as she turned one of her feet a bit to the side, to show them off.
"I know what you're thinking--red, like most of the others," she shrugged, pouring him a drink.
"What's about to unfold isn't exactly something that will be held by attention from cops, be they local or american or whatever else," Tairyu murmurs in agreement to Echo's first guess, while he rounds the counter to get to following her upstairs.
The table's familiar enough to him after last time, and he comes up to it to take the other glass, swirling the whiskey within it rather than taking a sip right away. "If I do happen to be dead," he says. "I can only hope I will have at least gotten Miku to safety to some extent. Maybe my ghost will even ask you to go get her out of the city.... huh?" The more solemn words from him drift off when she draws his attention down to the shoes, and he blinks his eyes, once, twice.
"Uh... They're nice, yeah..." No, Tairyu doesn't really know anything about clothing fashion either. It's not like his clothes are of any specific designer brand either so much as something he quite literally just picked out at random at a store once upon a time.
Another blink then, but that one is directed up at her. "I... don't follow? I mean, they *are* red, right? But what's that...?"
"If you die, I'll be sure to find you--might take a little bit of doing to try and resurrect you, of course by then you'll definitely owe me," Echo nods, sighing a little. "I guess it was a bad time to try and lighten the mood--I am trying to help, it's just I've never had someone I actually cared about kidnapped before," she reached up to run her fingers through her long black hair, smoothing some of it back before she took a seat at the round wooden table, nearby him.
"Well... what I meant was do you think I'd look better in some other color, for a change," Echo leveled her orangey-yellow eyes at the man with a little wry grin. "I see you're not keen on the mind games women play sometimes."
"Ah-..." Tairyu actually recoils a bit from that realization, and he has to briefly avert his eyes away form hers, with the briefest hint of red gathering at his cheeks. "I am... a very straightforward man, you must have realized this already," he murmurs, sheepishly, before focusing fully on her again.
"...But you could try switching the colors around," he suggests then. "The dress and shoes, I mean... I think you'd look good in red." The sentiment might be sincere, but his tone is still a bit hesitant and wry in saying it. Wow, he sure isn't good at this.
"I would definitely owe you if it came down to that," he agrees, with a subtle upward tug to one corner of his mouth. "Though even in the best of circumstances, I doubt I could repay that debt in full right away. But... truth be told, it's not really me I'm concerned about at that point."
His head tips slightly downwards, then. "It's not just that Miku's been kidnapped for ransom or anything either. It was... just because of me. To keep me in line. You were right when you made a guess about my... profession, way back when. I am Gokudo. And the man who adopted me was a patriarch of a family here in Southtown. And he's... mh. He's dead now. Killed by the same people who took Miku."
"A red dress, huh? I guess I'll have to look into something like that--I did see something red and gauzy in a catalogue I had somewhere..." Echo tapped a finger at her cheek, wondering about that. "You must forgive me, I don't have anything lighter than that whiskey on had--I don't know wine--at least not the kind humans are fond of," she poured herself half of a shotglass and threw it back, grimacing as what felt like hot liquid burning her mouth.
"Oh god--ugh, that was a bad idea," she looked around, she had nothing for a chaser, that was definitely a bad idea.
"Oof... sorry, go on," she tried to quiet herself as he explained what he'd uncovered.
"Well, duh honey--no one else in this country looks or talks like that, you folks have very distinct looks and sounds to you," she looked like her eyes might have watered there, to boot.
"I'm fine with whiskey," Tairyu assures Echo, and goes on to take a slow sip of the liqour in question... and cock a single brow up curiously when he sees Echo just knock hers right down there. "...Though it ain't the kinda drink you're supposed to just toss down in one go." He tries not to look amused by this.
He sighs. "Yeah, well... It's not like our Family really ever made too big of an effort in hiding it. Aizawa-san always said this was how it was done in the old days. Keeping good relations with both the police and the civilians on our collections both. ...'Course, all the cops around here in Southtown are corrupt enough I don't think they would care too much either way."
He steps around the table, then, and uses his free hand to dig out a small, dark-red napkin from within his pocket. "Here, come on..." He murmurs as he holds out his hand in offering it to her. "And, mm... Bottom line is, I don't know for sure what's going to happen once I go out there. Maybe I'll get Miku out of there and I'll have my family back to their original measure of independency... or for all I know the family will have completely fallen apart by then regardless of if I free my sister or not. Or maybe I'll just be dead. Or any other number of things. But I can't... I can't back off. Between Miku's and my Father's honor, there's too much on the line for me to worry about what becomes of me."
"You're not..? I thought that was the point," Echo looks wearily down at the now empty shotglass, already feeling the drink race to her bloodstream and make her a little tipsy. "My family? my family was a long line of assassins--we murder people, except where I'm from that's a respectable trade--just like how sorcerers used to be here," she shrugged. "We literally come from different worlds, hon," she takes the napkin from him, looking puzzled as to what she's supposed to do with it.
"What, did I get something on me?" she looked self-consciously at him and then back to the napkin. "Oh right, Southtown families--uhhh, I haven't had that much experience with them, to be frank, I work with a lot of freaks with too much money from Hollywood, generally," Echo called them 'freaks', but in their eyes she was probably the 'freaky' one, while they were more 'normal'. "You know the type, insincere, altruistic on the outside, very fake... gives a lot of money to charity," she shivered a little at the thought.
"Come on, I'm younger than you and even I know that," Tairyu remarks on the matter of whiskey with a low chuckle. "It's something you're supposed to savor every drop of. A glass of good whiskey's meant to last you for half an hour."
His eyes close briefly, with some more solem nthought brought on by what Echo says. "...Yeah. Not that kind of family. Though, with folks like me? Family doesn't end in blood. It's not like I knew my real father, you know. Or even had enough time with my mother to remember much more of her than my face. Miku doesn't even remember that much." He shakes his head, then. "... But either way. Yakuza like Aizawa-san are really more of a thing of he past around here, aren't they? Us... we're probably the last holdouts of the older ways in this city. But with Aizawa-san gone, I think... It probably won't be even us anymore, soon."
Echo's relation on the particular brand of 'freaks' she's dealt with draws another amused chuckle from Tairyu, in the middle of a sip of whiskey. "Mmm... The type who give money to charity just to write the amount two-fold off their taxes? Yeah. I know the type. They make for prime income opportunities for folks like us though, you know that? With the amount of secrets they have."
"Strange... then why do people drink in those tiny glasses where they drink it all at once?" Echo does not understand this part, so far. "I've never been one for draining a bit at a time, babe, it's normal to take everything all at once where I'm from," she winks. She could be making any number of double entendres there, but she likely moreso means blood.
"I wouldn't know, I never had to exploit them that way, usually they're pretty eager to pay to talk to dead relatives," she mused. "I mean more the types that wear such /horrible/ clothing, in all those bright colors, urgh--" she looks somehow revolted again, sliding the shotglass away from herself. It still had a little smear of her lipstick on the rim of it.
"So if you don't want to tell me much more, then I'll be looking after you should something happen--best to give me a general idea where you think you might end up after.... you know, if things don't go well," she looks back at him, more concern than business.
"That's for drinking liqour you just really want to get you drunk," Tairyu points out, the chuckle graduating to a proper snort of laughter this time around. "I mean, you can drink whiskey like that but... Eh." His eyes narrow at her over the words that preceded the wink, then. "... I'm... just not going to ask."
He lets out a heavy sigh at her more concerned words, and reaches his hand down over to try to take one of hers, and give it a squeeze. "I can't reallyy know for certain, that's the thng," he points out. "I'm going to be moving in quite a hurry no matter what happens. And unfortunately all my usual... getaways are already on the map of these people." He considers this for a moment, and then asks, "... I don't suppose you're able to track someone with some item that belongs to them? A bundle of hair or the like?"
"Well uh," the bat lady made an audible 'urrrp' sort of belch noise as she sat back in her chair, covering her mouth a little as if embarrassed. She probably was. "You can ask if you want, I'm not as easily upset as human worlders," she smiled lightly, even through the queasiness.
"Well then you'll come here, simple--I'm already building a boarding house for strapping young men in the upstairs apartment area," she jerks a thumb back towards the inner hallway which leads to such off the room they're in.
"Look on the bright side, if you come back in pieces I got a couple spare fridges I keep back there for uhh--things," she grins a little as she stands up, keeping her hand on his and leans over to place a smooching kiss against his neck--leaving a lipstick print of crimson there.
"You mean divination through a personal object of theirs? Hmm... I can try, let me get the scissors..." she enigmatically begins to lead him into the bathroom.
Log created on 14:37:49 06/24/2020 by Echo, and last modified on 00:53:31 06/29/2020.