Description: Tairyu stops by Echo's Southtown occult shop with a request and finds... Dennis rooming in the upstairs apartment? After some discussion, they decide to set off on a war against the ones who are holding Tairyu's sister hostage.
Echo was not used to this den mother thing, not at all. Though she had started to adapt. The one refrigerator she kept in the upstairs apartment of her shop (which she had newly renovated as a safehouse of sorts for hew two new mundane 'guests') didn't exactly have any food in it. In fact it had very little except a box of baking soda, which was dealing with any stray odor from the severed head she'd been keeping in there. Don't ask--which is what she would have told either of the boys that had seen it. Instead, she'd just started to order shit on her cellphone--largely from the various online food ordering services. If she did know how to cook, likely neither would have wanted her to try and cook for them. Makai cuisine was something quite alien and ran opposite of most human sensibilities and conventions.
Right now the bat lady sorceress was just coming down the stairs of the second floor apartment, clad in what looked like a lacy red and black nightgown (that thankfully hung to about mid-thigh on her, she didn't own a lot of pajamas or bathrobes, the latter didn't fit due to her wings) and a pair of bedroom slippers. Both looked like they were designer and not particularly comfortable, but with her wardrobe that was usually the case.
Tairyu doesn't *stay* over at Echo's shop, but... he comes around there every now and then. Often enough to be considered a 'regular' to some extent, anyhow.
Right now, the japanese man has come pushing his way into the shop too, the bell at the door ringing to announce the entry of a customer. Not that Tairyu actually... buys anything usually.
"Echo!" He calls out immediately after coming inside -- right on time to spot her coming down the stairs. "Oh--." Well, he didn't expect to catch her like *that*.
"... I need a favor." The statement is said with all due solemnity-- and the man himself already has a strangely serious air about him.
The truth was Dennis really didn't eat anything /but/ donuts. It was a bit absurd, how cliche it was. He didn't drink them with coffee -- he drank them with milk, or orange juice, or other health drinks, but his solid food intake was solely donuts -- how he maintained his absurd physique was anyone's guess, but he somehow did. He did seem to be otherwise constantly on the move, running throughout the city rather than taking a car. He was a large personality, Dennis Browning.
Incidentally, Dennis is on his way out the door as well, and finds himself at the top of the staircase, catching Echo in her nightgown that makes him immediately avert his eyes -- right towards Tairyu, who he blinks at. Glancing between the two, he clears his throat and backs slowly away towards the door. "Tairyu! I had no idea you knew Echo! And ah -- Echo, you're sort of..." He doesn't know what to say, so he just twiddles his thumbs, standing there at the top.
"What's this... oh right," Echo was just getting done with one of the food delivery boys, who was likely standing there staring at her as she went over what he had delivered with a combination of horror and arousal on his features. They were likely seeing her as a human, but she was still wearing the nightgown and heeled slippers she had put on to settle down in. "You're overpaid, beat it," she took the packages of takeout and slammed the door in his face, turning around again just as Tairyu burst into the shop--likely passing by the mollified Uber eats boy, who was now walking away rather awkwardly, for various reasons.
"Oh, hello Tairyu!" she quickly tossed the brown paper bag wrapped takeout containers onto the nearby store countertop, before looking up at him with a bright expression. She always did like that dumb-founded and concerned 'deer in headlights' look on his face, after all.
"Oh right, got your Krispy Kreme here, Den," she turned to face the man on the stairs, gesturing towards the packages she'd just gotten to her shop. "What? is it my hair??" she reached up to straighten it, letting it loose around her shoulders.
"What's the matter, by the way--Tai? you said you needed some help...?"
Tairyu ends up looking back over his shoulder-- and seeing Dennis there. Oh. Brows shoot up. He doesn't say anything about his own surprise of seeing Dennis (the other man has pretty much covered that too), and instead he tells the american in complete deadpan, "This is how she usually is."
His attention turns back to Echo, thus (apparently not all that faze by Echo's current appearance beyond the initial surprise), and folds his arms. His lips purse at her urging. Another look back to Dennis, with visible hesitation in his features for a good moment...
"...Ah, hell, you don't have jurisdiction here anyway," he mutters under his breath before he turns to Echo once more over.
"I'm going to go get my sister, soon."
The declaration comes with all the weight of a skyscraper sent falling over. "And I... want her to have a place to stay in if... something happens."
If he isn't able to make it back himself, he means.
"Wait a minute -- your sister is missing too?!" Dennis says towards Tairyu, brows shooting up while he goes down the rest of the steps and moves towards the counter-top, taking out the box of Krispy Kremes and smelling it, letting out a low exhale afterwards. "Sugar-free," he says to Tairyu, as if that was important information. He quickly sombers up, however, rolling the donuts into a paper bag and stashing them into his jacket.
"I don't have jurisdiction here," he then agees to Tairyu, while looking towards Echo to include her as well. "But she told me someone needed help -- and that sounds like it's you. Also she's sort of magic and stuff..." He looks around suspiciously. "So maybe this is something like destiny, huh?"
It's obvious Dennis isn't very bright.
"I'm setting up a boarding house for hot studs, clearly," Echo gestures in a dismissive manner to Dennis, while speaking to Tairyu--not really wanting to explain her reasons for suddenly having all these guys living with her. "Something happens? ohhh, I see... hmm," Echo looks down at the floor, resting her chin against her closed fist, thinking about it.
"If it comes to it I will educate her in the eldritch arts to the best of my ability," she nods, being totally serious, at that--as if she's already accepted the fact that Tairyu is probably not coming back. Very casual about it, even. Death is not exactly an uncommon occurrence, where she is from.
"Dennis lives on donuts, he's low-maintenance, like that," Echo grins, leaning back against the counter as Dennis feasts on a donut or two over there. She reaches over to give him a comforting pat on the shoulder. Likely, Dennis didn't even know what Echo /really/ looked like. Yet.
"... Miku isn't strictly 'missing'," Tairyu tells Dennis, with... a terribly serious look sent back over to the american. The kind of look that implies something much worse.
His Tairyu quickly snaps back to Echo, though. "Please don't do *that*!" He urges. "Just... keep her safe until you can figure out somewhere to send her. ... If I make it back, this is the first place I'll be coming to anyway, most likely. Just for a night or so."
At Dennis' words, he slowly, sloooowly turns his headb ack over to direct his green gaze at the man. Slow blink. "... I... don't think destiny has anything to do wit hit. We forge our own paths, you know. I guess she did mention something about a 'detective' though... But..."
He rubs a hand over his face, fingers kneading at one temple along his forehead. "I'm not looking anymore. I'm going to war."
Dennis does nod seriously to Echo when she says 'hot stud'. When she brings up the eldritch arts, he also nods seriously, as if this might have been some pre-arranged agreement between the two already. It isn't until Taiyru quickly rebukes the offer that Dennis looks taken aback. "We forge our own paths out of the rock that is destiny, Tairyu," he says, mostly jokingly, while doing a few stretches as if he's about to run or work-out intensely.
"And now those rocks of destiny have fallen into both our paths, so don't worry!" He gives Tairyu an exuberant thumbs up, grinning at him with teeth so white that they sparkle no matter how odd the lightning might be in this place.
"If your sister is in trouble and bad guys are between her and you, I'll try to help as much as I can to lighten the load." His attitude is too chipper for a declaration of war.
"Whaaat? It's tradition, if someone leaves you with a child in foster care you give them your trade! I thought that was custom in your--err, in your country too," Echo seemed a little annoyed at Tairyu telling her not to teach Miku... whatever it is she had meant. "Oh, well then--I'll have to get another bed arranged. Do you mind if she sleeps on an air mattress?" Echo wonders aloud, apparently concerned over that now since there weren't anymore spare 'proper' beds.
"Sure, I'd help too, but I think I've already been down that road with Tairyu here," Echo reaches over and gives Tai a little swat on the shoulder, as if to chide him for not wanting her to help out with such a thing.
"How about we all go after these assholes and get your sis back?"
"L-look, I just don't think it'd be good for Miku to deal with dark magics and necromancy," Tairyu insists, momentarily a bit more sheepish. Nothing else jostled his composure quite like that did.
He elects to not engage in the metaphysical debate around the concept of 'destiny' with Dennis, but he does give both him and Echo a bemused look. Staring at the two of them in silence for a few seconds before...
"You're joking, right?"
He shakes his head, and crosses up his arms over his chest. "While I appreciate the sentiment, this isn't some gutter punk gang I'm going to be dealing with here. Copper--" A glance to Dennis. "I'm sure 'Southside Syndicate' means something to you. There are much bigger moving parts in the background, but even in those the best case scenario is a large contingent of theirs in the city marking the people involved for death. Neither of you are tied to me enough to justify taking on that."
His eyes close, briefly.
"This is my problem, alone."
"About the rocks of destiny? A little -- but the sentiment remains. About helping your sister?" Dennis shakes his head. "This sounds like it's your sister's problem as well. I'm a cop because I want to protect people -- that's what cops should be. This might not be my jurisdiction but if someone's being held against their will..."
He couldn't even possibly imagine the helplessness of that. "It sounds like she needs all the help she can get, right?" He then raises his chin to Tairyu. "Besides, if we make it out alive, you can help me find my sister."
With that offer on the table, Dennis shoots his hand out towards Tairyu, as if for a handshake, while looking towards Echo. "Besides -- we have an eldritch artist on our side! I bet the people holding her don't!"
It probably wouldn't be surprising to anyone but Dennis if they did.
"Yeesh--everyone thinks necromancy is such a male-dominated profession--what woman wouldn't want a man that only speaks when when you want them to... because y'know, they're usually kinda dead," Echo grins, giving a Tairyu a little nudge with her elbow, then sighing when he probably didn't 'get' her 'joke'. "Ahhh, you Japanese," she reached over and picked up ome of the donut crumbs left behind in the Krispy Kreme box, giving it an experimental nibble. She made a face and leaned over the counter to spit it into the wastebin behind it, clearing her throat. Of course, the men in the room likely avert their eyes. Or don't.
"See? He's into the idea, and he's a cop--all that optimism... mmph," she walked around Dennis to gesture to him, showing the man off. Was she also... trying to make Tai a little jealous, just enough to make him go along with her suggestion, even? Maybe!
"C'mon Tai, we'll help in any way we can... even if you don't want us coming with you," she nods, with a smile.
" ... I didn't think you were into *that*..." Tairyu murmurs in complete deadpan after Echo's elbow-nudge. He did not, in fact, get that joke.
He lets out a heavy sigh then, and his shoulders slump slightly. "... There's a *lot* of things I should be saying to disassuade you both," he rumbles out, head tipping downwards for a moment. "But I'd be one mighty hypocrite."
Though he does afford another deadpan look at Dennis in spite of having said all that. "They very well might. YOu know that, right?"
"Just how many eldritch artists in the world can there be?" Dennis says dismissively, lifting a hand and giving Tairyu a dismissive wave of his hand, though he eventually settles his gaze on Echo after an awkward pause, prompting her -- and politely ignoring her utilizing him as whatever it is she's utilizing him as: "Right? There can't be /too/ many?"
The thought hadn't occured to him, but part of him secretly hoped there might be. After all, maybe he can show off his own power. The thought's banished quickly, though, and he grins up at Tairyu. "Either way, cheer up! I bet Echo and I will have improved your chances of rescuing her!"
"Ahhh.. you're a nice kid, Tairyu--just forget it," Echo winced a little with a smile, waving that bit off. At Tairyu's response to Dennis about magic-users, she raises a brow, her shoulders stuck out a little bit. "If there are any of those you be damned sure I'd know about them, and their ability, if any!" she hmphed at that. "Not many," replying to Dennis, there. "Just a lost of stage 'magicians' and TV psychics, or people that claim they can move things with their mind," Echo shrugs with a little sigh.
"Any of you boys want a drink? Since we've already settled the matter," she moves up the stairs, the backless bedroom sandals slapping at the heels of her feet, apparently going to where she keeps her alcohol.
"What? ... What?" Tairyu mumbles after Echo, eyes briefly widened in utter confusion on his own part.
"I've seen plenty enough people throwing some weird shit out to figure they'd have somethng like that under their payroll, too," Tairyu notes more seriously, then for both their benefit. "I don't know exactly what we're going to be running into, though, even if it isn't a primary asset, but... Prepare for the worst."
His eyes drift after Echo while she... makes for the booze, considering the woman in her nightgown from behind for a moment. "...No... I need to be sober for what's coming."
"...But thank you. Both of you."
"Sorry, Echo -- I'm eight years sober!" Dennis tells Echo -- considering his youth, this might be a somewhat alarming number, but he doesn't seem to mind, flashing her a bright smile. "But that's alright!"
From his jacket he busts out a Gatorade, thumbing the cap open and squirting some into his mouth like he's a Gatorade poster boy.
"I'll be ready," Dennis then promises Tairyu, watching him with another serious nod. "I've got some donuts left." That matters, somehow? Whether it does or not, Dennis says it so damn earnestly. "But before we go and do that, I should go and do another sprint -- so I'm loosened up when the fighting happens."
"Prepare for the worst? Don't I always? The 'worst' is my specialty," Echo grinned, looking down at herself. "Now, I'm going to need something to wear... much as as these slippers are cute, might require something a little tougher... and less expensive, of course," she comes back with a wineglass in hand, looking almost like the stereotypical wine aunt.
"I keep him supplied in donuts and he watches the store, well--also let him sleep here, your room is right down the hall from his up there, y'know," Echo grins, leaning over to pinch Tairyu.
"Anyhoo, let me get dressed, and we can make things work... oh yes~"
Log created on 18:55:46 07/23/2020 by Echo, and last modified on 23:54:43 07/23/2020.