have you been well? tokyo falls a bit flat without your overbearing presence. many people say you're cold, but for some reason, when i think of you — i think of summer. things were a lot simplier when we were college kids, don't you think? stop by the restaurant sometime. the next dinner's on me.
"h-help out?" her first instinct was to refuse, but her lips moved on their own. as if confessing her true desires. they needed help, of course. but secondly, a more selfish reason — she wanted him to see. to witness her struggle, to provide some form of comfort with just his mere presence. was she supposed to continue hiding behind a mirage of smiles and hollow laughter? no. take a leap of faith. believe in people. "actually, nyura-san, i would love that."
" — aaack! it's too hot." his gaze was intense (perhaps unintentionally so) and curious but she had practiced the art of elusion. clumsily setting the mug down, nari blew cool air against the ceramic rim. the latte art ripples. "oh, well .. you know. still helping the old man out at the restaurant."
it's not that she didn't trust him, but the less he knew, the better. for his own safety. there were facets of her life that she just couldn't share with anyone. or so she thought. "for someone who lives in a crappy apartment, you sure know to dress sharp!" her arm extends, idly reaching across the table to flatten the collar of his white button-up.
"i guuuuess so. since i'm in a good mood and all." playfully rubbing her chin as if she were contemplating whether to retract her offer. " ... are you hitting on me? it's a little early, don't you think?" two palms on his shoulder blades as she rushed him out of the streets and into the café.
warm air, cappuccinos, and the sound of distant chatter.
nari was hoping he didn't ask her anything school-related. she didn't have the heart to tell him that she dropped out momentarily 'cause the old man fell sick. among other things. focus on the positive. "do you still live around here?"
"not really ━ you must have gotten shorter." she teases, finding solace in familiarity. when they were young, they were nearly inseparable. not by choice, the classmate duo would say. things just happened that way.
... why did they lose touch again? nari couldn't quite remember. "anyway, are you in a hurry? i was just about to grab some coffee."
Sure, Shinra often got on his nerves. Sure, Ryuji was maybe too much of a hardass at times. They were constantly on one another's ass for the most menial sh*t-- But that was only when they didn't have a problem on their hands. When it came to dealing with sh*theads like this, though, they were able to stop going for each other's throats and go for someone else's. Raw strength mixed with an elusive flair.
The raw strength was put on display once more, as Ryuji struck the man repeatedly in his solar plexus, giving him just enough time to catch his breath before it was knocked right out of him again. "I'm sorry 'bout yer arm, I really am." Ryuji mocked, shaking off his fist some. "But hey, ya seem to be the forgivin' type, am I right? Ya gonna accept my apology?" Taking the boss by his shoulder, Ryuji rocketed a knee into the man's gut, leaving him gasping for air. "Huh? I didn't hear ya. Ya gotta speak up, man." The delinquent leaned in, cupping his ear with his hand and hearing nothing but the man struggling to draw another breath.
"Pluh. . . Please. . . I'll give ya the hundred k. . . My arm's feelin' better, I swear!" Ryuji stood up straight, arms crossed over one another. "Ya hear that, boss? I think his arm's fixed."
If Ryuji wasn't aiming to beat the sh*t out of someone right now, he might stop to try and rebuke that comment of his. While Shinra took on the body-builder and the boss, Ryuji was locked with the sumo guy. True to his form, he fought low to the ground, trying to use his weight to overwhelm and overpower Ryuji. If this wasn't already such a common occurrence, it might've worked on Ryuji.
When the two collided, Ryuji wrapped his arms around the sumo, before pulling him down and breaking the tackle. Raising his elbow up, the delinquent repeatedly struck the back of his head, until the sumo finally gave up his grip-- But Ryuji didn't relent. Over and over, he kept striking the back of the sumo's head, before he was weak and kneeling. There were probably more elegant solutions to a problem, but Ryuji was about ramming a square peg in a round hole until it fit. Turning slightly, Ryuji jumped forward, feet first. A pair of fine, white shoes connected with the sumo's face, sending him flying backwards and leaving Ryuji on the ground.
All things considered, maybe a drop kick was the only solution. Ryuji picked himself up, just in time for the bodybuilder to get finished picking the pieces of glass out of his face. Rather than focus on the delinquent, he was going for Shinra-- Payback for tossing that bottle at him. With his back to him, Ryuji wrapped his arms around the bodybuilder's waist, planting his feet to the earth, and hurling backwards with all his strength. The bodybuilder landed on his back, keeping Ryuji from nearly hitting his head on the pavement in the act. The ultimate show of muscle: The German Suplex.
"How's that arm, hahn!?" Ryuji stood and turned, rolling his shoulders. Shinra was handling himself-- And the boss well. "Ya want me to handle him for ya, or do ya think he learned his lesson?"
Deep sanguine optics shifted onto the presence of an intrusive hand, flicking at the accessory donning his ear. A hand of his own reinforced the action with a brush of the knuckle; contrary to belief, Jin-Ho disliked earrings, but he had to market the family selection.
"Yeh, this is the Almandine Garnet; a prized selection from the Byeol line. A stone of truthfulness. Romantics say to exchange garnets with a parting loved one or friend is to ensure their affection and ensure they'd meet again."