Honoka - What's Eating Katashi Tairyu

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Description: Something has gone awry at the Scarlet Dahlia's new favorite club, and she will go to extraordinary lengths to find out what.

Its not really accurate to say that the hospitals in Southtown aren't busy most of the time. In a city as filled with both would-be-martial-artists and the criminal sort, there never seems to be any shortage of people who need some kind of medical attention.

But some things are a bit different in this particular hospital, today. There's more security -- both obvious and the less obvious kind. To start with, the complement of security guards is more thorough, and most of them may well not even be in the usual rotation of the hospital. And among the crowds, a subtler presence there, hiding in plain sight.

Not that it's hard for many of the locals to guess who they are. Yakuza. But it only makes sense too, perhaps, for the people who were paying attention to the outcome of the Neo League Season 7 Championship Fight.

The family head of Aizawa-gumi is here.

And for that reason alone, the general population moving through teh hospital is kept an eye on, and both staff and visitors allowed into a certain room are vetted. It helps that a certain doctor and a couple nurses are on the family payroll.

And inside the room set aside for the layers of security brought in, Katashi Tairyu is sat - or laid upright depending on how you prefer to look at it - on the comfort of a patient bed. The most of the damage incurred on him was focused on his shoulder - evidenced by the bandaging and cast set around his right shoulder and the arm pulled onto a sling - but the top of his head does appear to have had some stitchwork done to it. And more-over, the effects of the 'Ladykiller's' essence are not entirely certain, so he's partly here for monitoring on that account, too.

He seems more annoyed by it than anything. Though the contents of a message shown in the tablet held in his uninjured hand don't do much to help with the scowl.

"They want me to be the face for the next season?"

"It's been tradition for the previous champions to be so, from what I understand."

The response is given by another man occupying the room. This one's no doctor or nurse, though-- a man in a crisp, pinstriped-suit, with an extremely professional look on his feature, helped only further by the thin-framed glasses he wears and the short-cropped hair. Apparently, this is the kind of thing the Aizawa-gumi Captain wanted to bring to Tairyu, himself.

"... It's not like I went into the league by my own choice in first place. But not like they would know that, I suppose."

"Not at all. If you don't me saying, though, it might be good for some of the projects we have underway. Neo League already draws a lot of advertisement and sponsorship money. Could be used to bring more resources to the restoration of the city."

"...And spread some more contacts and hooks out. Hmm. You really think it can make enough of an impact."

"Well, judging from how many people are already trying to sneak into the hospital to get a look at the Sun Dragon of Southtown..."

Tairyu's eyes blink slowly, and his head lifts up to draw his green, bemused gaze at his Captain. "I'm sorry. What."

The Captain can't help but let his professionalism crack slightly under the weight of Tairyu's reaction.

"You didn't hear? I'm guessing some spectator had heard one of our boys saying that, and it just spread."

"Heard our... I hadn't even heard about *that*. When did *that* start?"

"If I had to guess? Roughly after that exhibition fight with King."

Tairyu's eyes squint shut, and after setting the tablet down onto his lap, he brings two fingers to pinch along the bridge of his nose, in frustrated rubbing.

"You don't like it?"

"... I don't know. It sounds... so pompous."

Once upon a time, Scarlet Dahlia would have employed some sort of subterfuge to worm her way into the hospital room of a treasured associate. But sometimes, disguises are just needless bothers, inviting unnecessary questions and wasting time.

Really, in a lot of ways, Dahlia's dark and pinstriped attire lines up with that of Tairyu's captain. Even her meticulously-styled red hair goes along with his unwritten design doctrines, to the point she could, in some manner, pass as a lieutenant of his -- at least, one who isn't afraid to dress well above her station with a custom styled overcoat. The stylistic similarities allow the well-dressed woman to get close to the secured wing of the hospital without attracting suspicion. Especially since she'd already made a point of studying and mimicing Aizawa-gumi habits and customs.

Getting past the more vigilant guards inside, though, takes a bit more of Dahlia's effort: a few psychic suggestions and well-placed words. Still less trouble than inventing a cover persona, or trying to even -seem- threatening while wearing one of those hideously bland nurse uniforms.

Two thumps precede the opening of a door. It's standard practice for nurses to gain entry -- Dahlia's fine copying -that- much, as it's bound to escape notice.

"'Sun Dragon,' I like it. Equal parts menacing and magnanimous. The killer with a heart of gold."

The distinctive scarred face of Scarlet Dahlia appears in the doorway, framed with her now-distinctive red hair. She comes armed with a broad smile and a large bouquet of white, purple, and orange flowers.

Her amber gaze had fallen first onto the yakuza leader in the bed. But as she senses, her arrival is not immediately welcomed -- and her gaze snaps to the most threatening figure in the room, the Aizawa-gumi Captain.

"Oh, am I interrupting something?" asks Dahlia with a coquettish grin.

While Dahlia's approach was, at first, largely unforeseen and unexpected, to the point that the door to the patient room is even opened for her by one of the men standing guard outside.

And when the door opens, Tairyu's gaze turns there, a bit tiredly at that with the full expectation that the person on the other side is one of the paid nurses coming to do some more mandatory tests--

But then his green eyes turn much sharper on that scarred face.

And between the realization that this unexpected visitor was most definitely *not* called up to cleared, and the recognition of those distinctive features, Tairyu's companion indeed does not consider her arrival welcome.

And thus the Scarlet Dahlia finds herself, upon the snap of her head, staring at the barrel of a semi-automatic handgun levelled upon her by the Captain of Aizawa-gumi. Behind the subtle shade of the eyeglasses, the Captain's brown eyes are sharply focused on her, the firearm held in a meticulously trained, steady grip and the very tip of an index finger prepared to squeeze the trigger.

"I don't know how you got in here, but--"

"Nakamura. Stand down."

While the Captain seems visibly surprised by this order, he doesn't actually let himself make the mistake of drawing his attention away from the intruder.

"But she's--"

"I know," Tairyu insists, firmly. "Lower it."

It takes a few seconds of contemplation, of visible hesitation, before Nakamura does, indeed, lower the barrel down away from being aligned with Dahlia's face. Though notably, he does *not* flick the safety back on.

"...That being said," Tairyu groans out after, shifting slowly on the bed so that he can bring his legs over off the edge of the bed, the covers ending up sliding down to the floor with that motion. His scowl persists. Truth be told, he wasn't exactly *eager* to see this particular person, under recent developments.

"Would it have been too much to ask to make an appointment?"

Scarlet Dahlia can be, at times, a very patient woman. Such as now, when she finds herself staring past the barrel of a gun, directly into a certain Nakamura's eyes. Guns don't kill people, people kill people -- and she seems innately fascinated, perhaps even a little amused -- if her cheerful smile and the small tilt of her head are any indication -- at the man's hesitation to stand down. A tense situation -- and Dahlia hardly seems even the least bit inconvenienced.

Her stare-off with Nakamura continues, even as he lowers the gun. He already expects the worst from her -- and maintaining the casual pressure shows that she still considers the Captain a threat, despite outward appearances. But when Tairyu sits in bed, her smile melts into concern. "... Should you be up and about like that, Tairyu-san?" she asks, momentarily brushing off the question in favor of a more immediate concern.

"I mean," she continues, flashing a wounded look to Tairyu. "I apologize, but it's never been a habit of mine to make appointments to visit a dear friend in the hospital. I've been worried -sick- about you, Tairyu-san."

The scarred woman passes a brief glance over to the Captain. "Oh, where shall I put these?" she asks, lifting the flowers by way of indication.

"I won't be long, " she continues. "I'd just like to catch up with Tairyu-san for a moment, if you would."

She'd rather not bore the Captain with -specific- request for privacy, preferring to test him. As she does with so many people.

"Please. I'm hardly crippled." Tairyu insists while he settles himself to seting along the edge of the bed -- even if the wires attached to monitor his vitals might strain briefly in complaint at the movement, and an unintended shift of his right arm draws a low hiss of pain past his teeth, a cruel reminder given by his shoulder of the spiderwebbing of fractured formed in his bones.

As for Nakamura, he maintains his ground there. The pistol may have been lowered away from being an immediate threat, but he hasn't stowed it away yet, either -- kept as a reminder of its presence there.

And apparently not entirely keen on the idea of leaving Tairyu alone with this woman, either.

"...It'll be fine, Nakamura," Tairyu himself offers with a sigh in an effort to disassuade the man's most immediate worries.

"I don't think--" the Captain is quick to continue his protests, regardless, not intent on budging.

"Go. Wait right outside the door. Don't insult me by thinking I've lost use of both my arms."

And finally, the man relents. The handgun is slid underneath his jacket in a steadier motion than it was drawn out with, and the pinstripe-suited man turns for the door. Though not without a frown sent at Dahlia past the slightly-shaded spectacles.

"Habit or not," Tairyu growls once Nakamura has left the room. "You've put me in a pretty annoying position with my men now."

Dahlia's smile levels out as he brushes off her concern. And that turns to a -frown- as she notices the arm shifting in an unintended fashion. But she lets that pass -- because pleasing the Captain takes priority. And the look she gives him as he passes by is... respect. Far from the casual condescension she'd been providing up till then.

Speaking to the frowning Captain would have just ignited the coals into a full-on conflagration, after all.

But when Tairyu turns his accusing ire onto her, Dahlia wraps her arms more snugly about the small vase she's carrying. No longer worried about an audience, she lowers her eyebrows, letting the frustration drip into her tone. "Then what have you been telling them about me? No VIP list? With your own -captain?-" Her disappointment is clear, as the delicate flowers show every bristle in her suddenly tense posture. "I would've hoped we'd have cleared past this -friction- by now, Tairyu-san."

Irritation still showing in her features, she finds a place for her bouquet among the others that have been brought for him. And as she sifts through the cards, one in particular seems to banish the low-key irritation into a less... tense smile.

"... Ah, anyway -- Congratulations are in order. Daniel Lit-- no, Daniel -Jack- is a difficult opponent. And he's changed... -quite- a bit in past months." She lets out a sigh, still tending to flowers -- arranging them into a more delightful array. "And I am glad you are doing well enough to -fake- being hearty and hale afterwards, but your -senseless- male bravado will make it harder for the bones to heal."

She pivots on a heel, crossing her arms once more as she turns to face Tairyu. Her eyes remain narrowed and expectant, despite her not-as-glaring mood. Dahlia has... more on her mind, but the particulars are contingent on how the Aizawa-gumi leader chooses to respond.

"Oh, please, don't assume I have spoken ill of you," Tairyu rumbles with a wave of his hand. "But you skipping past the measures my men put up without even so much as a call doesn't look *good*, no matter who you are or what our working relationship might be. And I *know* you know there's always friction in our particular line of business."

With a quiet cough that betrays his efforts at keeping himself seeming in good enough state to not have to worry about his healing process, he cocks his head to keep tracking her movement through the room on the way to setting the flowers aside. "For that matter, I was under the impression you weren't keen on having our arrangement advertised. Not that I don't appreciate the visit."

Nevermind that he has his doubts on Dahlia coming here just for a social call. Or that her presence being noticed by certain powers at play may backfire severely. Not that he's going to tell her that, either. He'll just have to count on her having her own measures in place.

Her eyeing over the cards gathered with the other flowers is initially not minded -- but when his sharp eye notices the change in her expression, he visibly winces. "Oh, no," he grunts. "You've found a particularly embarrassing note, haven't you."

The mention of the fight - or rather, his opponent - does bring his dark brows pinching closer together. "So he was. Though I take it you have quite a bit more familiarity with him than I did."

Dahlia arches an eyebrow as her business associate continues to spell out in exacting detail all of the ways in which her indiscretions may have... complicated their working arrangements. "Mm... I suppose that's true." She's not deaf to the concerns -- even though she may have intentionally broken eye contact to sift through cards, instead. Sometimes it's easier for people to voice their concerns into the air rather than direct eye contact, after all.

"I'll keep that in mind, Tairyu-san." Eyes shift over to him -- for apologies should -never- be delivered without that all-important eye contact, lest they be seen as insincere. "Please forgive my indiscretions in that regard," she states, her tone lowering to a solemn note.

But, as for the lightened mood that follows, she simply waves that off with a cheerful smile. "It's not embarassing, it's adorable. Rin even put a little heart and a fluorish on hers. She's a treasure, Tairyu-san, truly."

As for Daniel Jack? She rolls her eyes, spreading her palms to either side. "He name-dropped me before the fight." Amber gaze fixates once more upon Tairyu's emerald greens. "It was hard to -not- notice. He's more than a little obsessed with me, you should know." With a light chuckle, she folds her arms behind her back, standing just in front of the flower table. "I'm just glad it didn't disturb the ebb and flow of your fight. Or your edge-of-the-seat victory."

And, behind her back, there comes the small sound of her fingernails clack-clacking against... plastic? Which, itself, might be a little concerning -- especially as Dahlia's smile dampens into a tense line. For her light-hearted distraction was just that -- a diversion from her true line of questioning.

"How's business been? Anything..." She offers a shallow smile. "... out of the ordinary?"

Clack, clack, clack. More properly, the sound of a pen being spun around in place by her fingernails.

Tairyu's sharp, green eyes meet the amber orbs of Dahlia's when the apology comes. And some tension leaves his (good) shoulder, at least.

"... All I ask is that you keep it in mind, Dahlia-san," he says then, in a softer tone and a brief wave of his hand. Apology accepted, apparently. Still, it may not be entirely surprising to her that someone like Tairyu, with so many influences from an old-school Yakuza, would hold such importance to etiquette, too -- for just as many practical reasons as traditional.

"And I would ask that you don't take Nakamura's... focus, personally, but I have a feeling you would be more disappointed had he not been on top of his game."

The fact that Dahlia would call the cards and their contents adorable just makes the matter even more embarrassing for Tairyu, and he lets out a faint huff while turning a glance off towards the window. "I am almost positive embarrassing me was part of her plan. She's one of my best employees in the club--" Because that's an important distinction to make. "But she is infuriating at times. Though I am... glad, that you have been able to get along with her."

But as for Daniel? Her particular response and the body language that accompanies it doesn't go unnoticed, and just briefly, Tairyu's eyes narrow on her. "I'm sure it was bait. Maybe not for me specifically, but still bait. ... While he struck me as... misguided and lost in his own self-pity, I'm sure the obsession doesn't come without a reason. I'm not going to insult you by presuming you would have any inclination to share that particular story, however." Still, Tairyu surely has no illusions about who Dahlia is, herself -- or the reputation that she carries, for that matter. Some things you just have to come to accept about people you work with in this line of work, though not necessarily completely ignore.

Plastic on fingers. The man's ear picks up the sound, and his expression shifts subtly to one of curiousity while he watches her. Sussing out what exactly that sound is, first, before running a few synapses through his brain in an effort to make a judgement on what the purpose of it is.

Somehow he doesn't expect her to actually want to use a ballpoint pen to assassinate him out of spite, even if the thought *does* cross his mind.

But then comes that question. And the weight behind it becomes clear, too. For a moment, Tairyu remains silent with that realization, even if he maintains eye contact with her.

But then, the eye contact he usually makes a point of maintaining is broken, as that emerald gaze is averted away from the redhead.

"...Just some family problems," he murmurs, a bit quieter than usual. "And uppity customers at the club. ...Nothing of the sort I should speak of, though."

"Growing pains, Tairyu-san -- nothing more." She offers a tight smile -- which should be the assurance that she'll make that appointment next time.

Dahlia is used to formalities, and she -normally- obeys such conventions -- however, she has learned that Tairyu is particularly adept in the yakuza art of deflection. And the -polite- ways of doing business can sometimes make the truth more difficult to ascertain. Which is why she's applying mild pressure here, now -- without giving Tairyu the space he needs to fully think out his responses.

"I'd be upset if Nakamura -wasn't- pushing back. It's his -job- to look out for you -- and you're taking our deal seriously. Which means much, much more to me."

She seems much happier when talking about Rin, though. "She speaks candidly, and often. Rin is often the cure I need after long days of... tense negotiations."

Dahlia does have to offer a chuckle at the way that Tairyu gets out of asking for more details. "It's nothing so sordid as you might think. He's ex-Interpol, and got a little too nosy for his own good -- and now he's broken, insisting that -I'm- the root of all the evils in his life, rather than his own poor decisions." She offers an almost musical laugh. "It's really more sad than anything else."

But then... Dahlia notices that Tairyu has broken eye contact. Instantly feeling some sort of -shame-, despite his earlier candor. It's an unmistakeable tell -- and one that prompts three seconds of silence -- even earning a respite from the noisy pen spinning -- before the Ainu-Japanese woman can offer a response.

"I'm not going to insult you by presuming you would have any inclination to share that particular story."

She stares back at Tairyu coldly. Knowing full well about the damage to the club -- the cratered walls and floor, the chair shattered into little more than splinters.

More silence. And the pen is carefully stowed back in her sleeve, her hands presented once more to view, steepling before her stomach.

Tairyu insisted upon formalities -- and she offers respect to that notion by keeping her tone flat and level.

"I do expect you to let me know if there's anything I can help with in either regard."

The matter of Daniel Tairyu seems perfectly alright with moving on from, even if she did speak on it more than he'd expected.

Still, the silence is uncomfortably allowed to linger while Dahlia processes Tairyu's mannerisms and words. It may be telling, too, that he doesn't even say anything after she make the point of echoing the line he'd just used moments earlier, though she may notice the subtle twitch in his brow when she does.

It is not a position of comfort that he is in, for certain. That much she can tell, at least, from the tension returning to his body, the subtle grip of his left hand's fingers against the fabric covering his thigh.

"I know you do," he finally speaks out, once she's made that statement of expectation. Fingers subtly tightening further along his own thigh. "But I do not think I could." Of course he would say that. It may be a matter of propriety, afterall. Personal matters, perhaps.

But right after he's said that, he turns his head -- just enough that he can lock his green eyes onto hers, after that uncharacteristic longer moment of avoiding eye contact.

Scarlet Dahlia keeps her eyes locked on Tairyu for an uncomfortably long time. For with Tairyu keeping his eyes averted... Dahlia probes in a different direction, her own eyes turning pale and distant. For the tusukur has to meet a man like Tairyu in person in order to access cues she could not find in any other way. To look beyond the tension, to the emotional clues hidden beyond normal human sight.

It is not deception she finds. The words would be different. The physical responses would be different. -Everything- would be different -- and few people are so good at concealing such things from someone such as Dahlia.

He might see her eyes in the moment she is peering through him. Bereft of vitality, of emotion -- not wanting to upset the delicate tides of emotion emanating from her business partner, merely to observe.

He might be able to see the warmth flood back in, the amber flecks as they begin to twinkle again in their pools of light brown.

If not, then he'd probably interpret her patient smile in a bit of a different light. Her steepled fingers press against one another -- and then spring apart from one another. Dahlia then rests one hand comfortably upon her hip.

"It can be difficult, keeping work apart from family. Especially when both are so tightly intertwined."

She takes a step at a diagonal, keeping her distance from Tairyu roughly the same. "But enough about work, I suppose. Once you're feeling up to it, I'd like to invite you to a restaurant I own up in Aomori that's simply -divine-. It'd be my treat, of course -- to make up for the abundance of hospitality you've shown me."

The redheaded Ainu then offers a warmer smile entirely. "Do take care of yourself until then, hm?"

Even after re-establishing that eye contact, Tairyu doesn't seem to be in any hurry to add anything to what he said. Instead studying the Ainu in turn, observing how she takes those words. Perhaps trying to suss out what she, herself, is thinking.

Though the look in the emerald orbs of his eyes does turn briefly towards curiousity while she's... effectively peering through him. It makes him briefly concerned even, perhaps.

Even when the warmth returns in the amber pools of Dahlia's eyes, the wariness still remains in him, to an extent. Uncertainty.

"...Yes," he breathes out in agreement to her words. "It's... a very dangerous balance, that." And one that he knows all too well, for his own good.

His gaze tracks her, steadily, while she circles along his perimeter as if there was some kind of invisible arm maintaining the distance to the two of them. ANd then comes the offer. "...Aomori, huh... I may like that." Though the words themselves may be truthful, he can't quite bring himself to sound particularly eager about that, still.

His eyes fall away from her, then, with those final passing words from her. "...I will do my best."

The yakuza life is only one of many paths Dahlia has walked in her short time upon Earth. In her earlier career, being able to read the subtle, non-verbal cues had paid off immensely. It's not really that different here -- though a payday may be much, much further away than she would like.

And the cues she receives from Tairyu's agreement are... telling. A 'dangerous' balance -- and not one he would want to chance. The definition of 'family,' then, is one she would want to pursue. But not here, and not in the form of double-talking riddles. There are... other ways for Dahlia to obtain information.

She purses her lips, narrows her eyelids, and nods in stoic understanding. "Mm."

Though, she can also tell that her offer of dinner was not met with -much- enthusiasm. She offers an alternative, with a faint and upbeat look: "If it's too far, then perhaps Yokohama would be good for a day trip. We can celebrate on the corpse of Duke's shipping business."

She turns, nearly at the door. "Well then. I should make an ass of myself now, hmm?" She mimes an overindulgence in high-class drinks. "You know... to justify Nakamura's distrust in me, and your /magnanimous/ goodwill." Her eyes glimmer with amusement. "We'll meet again. On better terms."

"...I did not mean to make Aomori sound unappealing," Tairyu offers quickly in correction, though it's followed by a slightly dismissive wave of his hand. "Not that toasting over that metaphorical grave isn't tempting in it's own right."

Apparently the shift in conversational topic lets him ease up a bit, even if the shadow of whatever was on his mind may still linger there, in the corner of his brain.

And thus, the words preceding Dahlia's parting words draw both of his brows up, before he shakes his head with some measure of his own amusement. "Don't be making *too* much of an ass of yourself now," he urges. "That won't be any more productive. Besides, Rin deserves some classy company too, no?"

"Oh, I know," is Dahlia's cheerful reply. "But I also know you're a man who likes -options-."

Options. Another sore point that's stuck in Dahlia's craw. For, in crafting a no-lose scenario for a man not long ago, she had unintentionally left him without any other recourse except fighting. And that... was dangerous.

Options. For the man she just spoke to was a man left with -no- good alternatives than concealing the whole truth from a somewhat-trusted ally.

Dahlia grinds her molars at the very thoughts running through her head. But that's... a time for her to slip the pen out of her sleeve.

Toggling the pen back and forth between two fingers, Dahlia comments with a confident swagger, "She's off today, boss," she replies. "How'd you think I found out about your uppity customer problem?" And with a grin, she eases towards the exit, aiming to slide out as effortlessly and quietly as possible.

But not without a passing comment to her buddy Katashi, of course. Her eyebrows lower, and she flashes Tairyu a toothy grin. "Won't be too much. Just... light needling."

The door opens, just long enough for her to hear Tairyu's response before she slips into the hall.

The final passing comment brings Tairyu's brow cocking up, before a bit of understanding flashes within his eyes.

"...I see."

That is all that Tairyu seems to deem necessary to be said on the matter before she's out through the door.

On the other side, the usual two guards instinctively move out of the way enough to clear ample walking space -- and just a pace away, where he doesn't need to move, stands Nakamura. The instant the door opens, his glare settled that way, and it continues to burn at Dahlie herself through his glasses. He doesn't say anything, nor does he interrupt her -- but he does make a point of keeping his eye on her, and letting it be noticed.

Dahlia lets the door shut with a latch. It doesn't take her long to notice Nakamura, pretty much the only one glaring daggers at her instead of scattering for the proverbial hills. The Akatsuki leader looks to his hip, first -- checking to make sure his sidearm is nowhere present -- and then casually meets his gaze. She nods towards him with a false smile, before breaking eye contact and starting to make her way down the hall. There's plenty of room for her to walk, after all. No reason to make a fuss.

And yet, as soon as she gets within arm's length, her body uncoils like a viper. Her face suddenly lunges towards him -- stopping just a half-meter shy of making contact.

Her scarred face is just -alight- with amusement at the expectation of his hair-trigger reaction.

As it happens, while Nakamura was ready to not make much (more) of a fuss either--

He is just as ready to react to the sudden lunge from the redhead.

The pinstripe-suited man's body jolts, and in an instant, his palm is thrust out into Dahlia's shoulder, gripping on and shoving her along by it to leverage her back against the nearest wall with a resounding *thud*.

The two sentries are slower to react, but seeing the Captain respond in such a manner to the visitor does immediately put the two of them on guard, and moving to flanking positions on either side.

"Just what," growls Nakamura, brown eyes glaring at Dahlia through the shaded glasses with such intensity that one might think he was trying to channel it all into burning a hole into Dahlia herself. "kind of game are you playing, woman?"

One might have expected Scarlet Dahlia to show -fear- when the situation suddenly turned from passive to violent, from the way she'd been suddenly shoved hard against the wall with a thud. And yet, Dahlia's just flashing him a smug grin, a faint reflection of Nakamura growling back at him from the lenses of her bottom-rimmed glasses.

"Ooh, he -can- bite after all." Nakamura grips her shoulder through the light kevlar shoulderpads concealed within her overcoat -- and yet, that grip is still tight enough that he can feel the bone and muscle underneath.

"Really," she starts, as a more realistic answer to his question, "it's so -lonely- walking out alone." Her eyes look lazily up towards Nakamura's eyes -- her response times suggesting nothing more than casual inebriation, liquid courage.

Or perhaps just raw libido as minimal strength. "Won't you walk me out, handsome?"

The response is... perhaps unexpected, but Nakamura wouldn't let that show beyond the kind of signs that, really, Dahlia would be the only person in the room to pick up on, anyway.

Not that it does much to make that glare fade away in any way or form, or the grip on her shoulder to loosen. At least he's not reaching for the concealed firearm, so there's that.

"I will be perfectly happy to see that you leave," the Aizawa-gumi Captain growls, with just enough of a tug given to the kevlar-padded shoulder to draw the redhead away from the wall and turned to down the hall. From there, nudged to be guided into motion. His boss may have been immensely patient with her earlier, but Nakamura isn't terribly intent on providing her with the same kind of luxury. Precisely as she may well have intended, too.

Dahlia allows herself to get led around by the arm, to get nudged down the hall, to get escorted out to the street if need be. She's perfectly compliant, after that one little exchange.

But that's only one play in a much larger strategy. Dahlia will be in the club on Rin's next work day. She might see Nakamura then -- and if so, she'll apologize for getting a bit rowdy. And maybe, some day way down the line, she and Nakamura will be friends.

But until then? She's expecting that Nakamura and Tairyu will have a nice long chat about how unstable the Scarlet Dahlia is when she's had a drink or two.

And, for now, all is working exactly as intended.

Log created on 06:42:49 04/20/2021 by Honoka, and last modified on 21:29:24 04/20/2021.