|Scene Title||Meeting Pets|
|Synopsis||3 Pets have a fateful meeting in Chinatown ….oh yeah and their owners were there, too|
// Distinctly different from the city that surrounds it, Chinatown is a tourist haven. Stores and restaurants are overly-abundant. The smells of sour pork and fresh fish float through the streets. Dead chickens hang in front of market windows. All cravings for dim sum or won ton soup can easily be fulfilled here. The streets are small and crowded, the sidewalks muddled with pedestrians. Signs and banners written in Chinese mark the dozens of small shops selling various souvenirs and genuine Chinese artifacts. Street vendors offer t-shirts, small Buddha's, and other trinkets to passer-bys in the hopes for one more sale.//
Summer steps out of the entrance to the Buddhist Temple, moving with a sense of carefree ease likely to be found quite odd for a denizen of a large city. She has a smile that is warm and open set off by serenity matching many of the younger monks who are caretakers there. Despite her carefree outward appearance, the observant might realize she is anything but; each movement is done without a waste of motion, her senses wide open as though she were in a warzone, and yet this is played off behind that simpleton's smile.
Hikaru is following Summer, it seems, about a step behind her, his hands in his pockets, leaned forward at a slight angle as he observes the cracks in the sidewalk. Today he lacks the serenity or the patience of the Buddha, it seems. Today he seems a little antsy, on edge. He keeps turning his head at odd angles and sniffing curiously, eyes darting this way and that. "Mou, Natsuchan. Do you think it's going to rain today? They said there are a bunch of typhoons in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic. Or, wait. It's hurricane here, isn't it?"
New York City is a great place to have a long walk on a beautiful day such as this, and Maia's one of those people out and about taking in the sights and sounds of the city. Casually dressed in a simple grey Columbia t-shirt and a pair of snug fitting jeans with a white pair of sneakers, she's walking alongside a rambunctious shiba inu puppy who is shuffling about sniffing at anything and everything. Drake has yet to see much outside of the apartment in Manhattan, and thus he is being walked by 'mommy'.
"Ame… ka?" responds summer softly, slipping into Japanese as she thinks aloud as though it were breathing. Yet her Enlish when she speaks again is equally as accentless, as though the obviously Western girl with golden hair belongs equally to both worlds. "I cannot smell the moisture on the air with the exhaust and city scents. It is not like it was terribly rural where I grew up, but I cannot say I ever got the feel for cities. Do you feel it will rain, Hi-chan?" She giggles, "Daijoubu, daijoubu desuka! I doubt there will be any Hurricanes."
Ash has been around for a while but he has yet to see everything in New York. It has more sights he would have thought so he thought of visiting everything bit by bit. Todays 'chore' was Chinatown. He expected a town full of asian people and strange shops. And he was right. They say every towns Chinatown is different, but Ash has yet to confirm that. While walking through Chinatown he is dressed in his usual grey threepiece and wears his delicatly build glasses. His eyes stop moving at a shop with strange contents. Lucky charms are the most normal thing inside this shop. He can see that without entering and stops before the window to look at what the shop has to offer. "Strangly enough…I find these to be irritating…" he says to himself while standing there.
Barkbarkyelpbark! Drake is excited at all the new sights and sounds as he starts running, tugging the petite Japanese young woman along. Maia follows as he starts shuffling into Ash,sniffling before moving on to the curiosities at the store, and her cheeks flush. "Drake! Don't do that!" she grumbles a little while idly running her fingers through her hair before giving an apologetic smile towards Ash. Considering the sheer mass of the people around the area,she has yet to notice Hikaru.
"Don't know," replies Hikaru, slowing his pace and glancing up toward the sky, which is clear today, it would seem. "Big storms make me nervous. A storm in one place often incites a storm in another. Sometimes it just takes a while for the wind to be felt far away," he decides. Unfortunately, Hikaru's moment of introspection is interrupted by PUPPY. Like flipping a switch, he goes from zen master to mania in 0.6 seconds. A new record. "Hey!" he calls, his smile becoming something akin to a crescent moon. "Are you taking her for a walk?" — wait a minute, Drake's not a girl dog.
A bit surpriesed by the 'attack' of the dog. When he turns around, his face is strangely twisted in anger as he seems about to shout, but when he notices the beautiful young lady it turns back into a emotionless smile. His rat flees from the bark of the dog, even though it was under Ash's clothes from the beginning. But one can see movements under Ash's three piece without big problems. The eyes of the young Scion wander around the young lady and to the dog as he say :" …its the dog of the japanese nation, if I remember correctly …no ?" he says, tempted to pet the dog. His common sense stops him, though.
Turning her head to follow Hikaru's movement, Summer puts a splay-fingered palm to her lips to cover a giggle that escapes. "Hi-chan… mind your manners now." Summer's eyes flit suddenly to Ash, almost as though reacting to his anger, but while she remains motionless and her smile never changes it almost seems she relaxes a moment later. That is about the time a tiny pig snout snuffles her albow from inside her handbag before disappearing again.
There's an affirmative bark from Drake, the fluffy little puppy wagging his tail as he looks up towards Hikaru before letting out an aroo at the other man. He goes back and starts circling Ash slowly, now curious about the man as he begs for attention. If anything Drake is an attention whore.
"Draake.. leave that poor man alone.." Maia chastizes puppy a bit before she bows with an aoplogetic smile. "Sorry about him, he's an attention whore,and yeah, he's a shiba inu puppy, about four months old.." she explains while idly running her fingers through her hair. "You can pet him if you like.." She then looks towards the slightly familiar voice and bows her head towards Hikaru. "Nice seeing you again!" she chirps, not recognizing Summer in the least.
Hikaru responds in kind, bowing at the waist slightly. "A pleasure to meet you and Drake again as well. Natsu-chan! I'd like to introduce someone very important to you: this is Tsuchimikado Maia. Tsuchimikado-san, and Drake, please meet Hino Natsuki-chan, also called Summer. She's one of my close associates, like Ozakun and Sushimura."
Wesley has arrived.
"Suddenly getting livlier…" Ash says and bows down to the dog to pet it. "Shiba-inu huh ?" he asks, more himself, than Maia. When Ash notices the friendly intentions of the dog, Dorian becomes calm again and crawls out of Ashs arm piece. As long as Drake - a strange name indeed for something this cute - stays friendly, Dorian - Ash's small, grey sewer rat - will start to sniff the dog. Ash himself notices the other people, but since there is no need yet, he won't introduce himself. Not like he is going stay long.
Her smile gently curving deeper Summer bows from the waist. She bows deeply and with utmost respect despite previously seeming to have a sligthly haughty counteneance. Her shoulders are relaxed lower, showing a humbleness that seems as fitting as her confidence. "It is an honor and a pleasure to meet you, Tsuchimikado-dono," she says with a resonant conralto gently colored by a furry burr. "I have been told many things about you, I am very happy to finally meet you in person." About that point the little piglet sticks its head out of Summer's purse, prompting the blond to push the little white melon-shaped pig's head back down inside, if gently. "Iiei, Meron-chan," she murmurs aside to it.
Living in the United States and not getting much respect from her own band has changed the daughter of amaterasu. Maia flails her arms as her cheeks flush a bright tinge of red and she chuckles softly and shakes her head. "No need for honorifics! Just Maia will be fine.." she says, feeling a little self conscious as she smiles brightly and bows her head towards the both of them before looking back towards Ash.
"Yep! A gift from mom.. technically my boyfriend's but he's doing stuff, so I'm walking him instead.." she explains while the little pup starts to crawl onto his back, savoring the petting before sniffing back at the rat, not making any movements. When in cute mode, he's all happy. As long as he isnt his eight foot ball rampaging puppy of doom, then it is assumed all is well in Drake's world.
Hikaru clutches Summer's arm as if for restraint (his own) as he sees the rat. His pants are rather tight-legged, and one can see his muscles tense as if he were fighting back an urge to chase the vermin around for a little bit. Maybe Drake feels the same way about chasing rats. Who can say? He is finally distracted by the piglet appearing in Summer's purse, and with a deep breath, focuses! Hands to his forehead So much sensory input! It's almost overwhelming! "It's very nice to see you again, though, Tsuchimikado-san. Er… sorry. Is Tsuchimikado-san fine? Or do prefer something else? And I have to give you a nickname. Everyone needs a nickname."
Ash starts suspecting some strange coincidence after having yet another strange animal in this group. And yet… Ash looks up, without stopping petting the dog. "A gift…hm ? A gift in a way, that I shouldn't make it angry, I presume ?" he asks. A Scion is probably able to read the undertone in Ashs voice to understand his words the way they were meant. A normal girl would just tilt her head and give a stupid answer. "Maybe the same kind of gift, my small friend has been…" he adds quietly
In a sense, Summer is as mercurial as Hikaru if in different and often subtler ways. As soon as the lack of honorific is requested she straightens from her bow and nods once in response, giggling at the other woman's reactions. "Very well then," Summer intones in that rich contralto once again, this time with a higher and more carefree lilt, "Maia. When in the West, after all… " She extends one slim hand to Maia then, head tilting to one side, "Just call me Summer then. Shall we be friends?" She is not blind to Hikaru's plight, snaking one hand up his back to lay a palm there in comfort and standing as firm as a stone pillar for him to lean against and clutch while trying to save face for him by hiding his weakness with the positioning of her body.
"Like I said earlier, Maia will be fine. " she tells Hikaru with a wry grin curling onto her lips as she peers curiously at the little piggy appearing from the purse. She's about to say morewhen she's caught off guard by the question. If she gives an affirmative answer, that would not only reveal her status but Haldor's as well. Oh she is torn and just shrugs her shoulders. "No animal should ever be made angry.." she quips, going for a neutral response. "But yeah, it was more of a gift to us as a couple tosee if we could take care of something so small and fragile.."she says with a happy little giggle.
She later looks back towards Summer and nods,smiling as she nods in the affirmative. "Um, that sounds all right!"
"You -definitely- shouldn't make Drake angry," Hikaru points out, quite insistently. Quite seriously, whilst observing the wiggling, innocent puppy. "He will eat your face off. Then he will go back to his bed and curl up with your femur for a nap!" — of course, he talks like he's being funny. His Cheshire Cat smile remains for a few seconds, and he crouches next to Drake (and, therefore, next to Ash). "Hear that?" he asks the puppy, his tone somewhat bemused: "They're taking care of you. You're small and fragile."
Was that hesitation ? Ash is not sure if that was an affirmation or not. But he decides not to give in so easily. "Probably I should stop petting it. If I do more, than I want, I spoil it too much." he says, smiling and stands up to look at the three present persons. After seeing so many asian people surrounding him, he feels a bit like a minority. He doesn't know why, but its a nice feeling. A feeling to stand out. "Is that so…?" he asks Hikaru - again, more to himself - and smiles in a way that looks normal to the outside, but has a creepy feeling to it. "Thought so…" he adds without losing his smile.
Of course, Summer barely looks Asian herself. The sum and total of her Japanese features are mostly visible on a close look; the hint of epicanthic lids that lend an almond shape to her eyes, the high cheekbones and rounded visage, the fact that her light smattering of freckles is tawny and her skin has an ivory hue with the tnge of saffron little more than a hint. Golden haired, full-figured, and light skinned she is certainly not most people's idea of an Asian girl outside of her rather old-fashioned mannerisms. She smiles at Ash, a smile that is creepy in its own way. He has garnered her attention and her eyes glitter with the light of someone who has seen not only battle but war. They are hard as amber chips and as alert as a preadatory animal. She says nothing more for the time being, simply watching him as Hkaru plays with the dog in front of the Buddhist Temple near some of the shops along the row.
Hikaru seems to have a certain presence that is difficult to ignore. One gets the impression that he tries to suppress it, but at times, it bleeds through, and he seems to be someone completely other than who he appears to be. Unlike Summer, he's fully Japanese, though "trendy-Japanese", with hair that's unnaturally dyed blacker than normal, with scarlet tips and fashion couture clothes. Actually, those pronouns are a bit ambigious: he's could actually be a woman with short hair, and in his sort of attire, no one would ever know until it were too late. The voice proves nothing, it's medium-range enough to be either. Anyway, Hikaru finishes playing with Drake and rises up again, hooking his fingers into the belt loops of his pants and leaning against Summer gently. "Maia," he mentions. "Natsu-chan is going to help me look into that issue that we were talking about, the one with the schools. We have a good, fun idea."
"Oh! And Ozaki is going to help right? I wouldnt recommend just going two of you.." so it means that she's one of them as well. That's a good thing to know, especially as the local guide to the Amatsukami in the area before her attention goes back to Ash with a bright smile. "And Drake just gets pouty if he's ignored. He's not ferocious at all. He still cowers under our bed during thunderstorms.." she explains, gigglingonce more while she wrinkles her nose.
Even though Summer doesn't look entirely Asian, Ash still has two other Japanese people in front of him. He notice small signs in Summers appearance, but these are so watered down, they could be native american as well…but still…his feelings tell him to stay, and watch these people. The way those two talked to the little japanese girl was more than just polite. If they are, what Ash persumes, he likes to make some more acquaintances. Hikaru - who looks like he's fallen straight out of the 'men's knuckle' magazine. And since Ash doesn't care what people think he just stands there, still smiling waiting for something that might expose them. But after Hikaru told her about some school-thing Ash gets an interesting idea. "Have you ever been to that strange building on Ellis Island ? You know…the one people tend to ignore…literally ?" he Asks.
"Oh, absolutely," Hikaru agrees, keeping himself bowed up straight. "Not just three of us now, all -four- of us. My friends and I almost never work alone if we can help it. I don't think you've met Sushimura-san yet. His real name is Tsuchikura Jyunsei, but I think Sushimura is a good name for him," grins the young man. "I'd like to introduce you to him when he is around and you are free. He is a very nice fellow who walks the ascetic's path. But I think he still has a phone with an MP3 player…" — and then he turns to Ash, grinning smartly at him. "You mean the Statue of Liberty? I think everyone in Manhattan ignores that. I felt very self conscious about climbing into a giant woman's robes and peering out of her skull. But once I did, I rather liked it!"
That is interesting. Her little vacationwith Sojobo seems to have made her miss a bit here in the city as Maia curiously peers towards Ash, chewing on her bottom lip."A building on Ellis island that people ignore?" Her brows furrow as she just looks towards Ash, hoping fora bit of an explanation.
"Mou! Hi-chan," intones Summer as her cheeks color faintly, "You have such a way of putting things, and in front of… " She trails off as she pulls out a BlackBerry Storm which is playing the Victory theme from Final Fantasy. She runs her fingers over the screen pressing it a couple of times before it stops. "Ah… sorry everyone. I need to be running for now. Hi-chan, Maia, I will catch up wirh you both later." She says Maia's name informally enough but when she bows, she bows much more deeply to Maia. Cheeks fully flushed she giggles, saying "Sayonara!"
"The joke would be a good one, if the Statue of Liberty would actually be on Ellis Island. You shouldn't confuse it with Liberty Island. " Ash says with a pleasing smile on his face. His attention shifts to Maia again. "Yeah…ignoring it. Like people go to Ellis Island to look at where all the immigrants came to america. But they ignore this building. They don't look at the pictures or anything. They just pass /through/ and ignore anything inside…" he eplains. His smile gets bigger "Occasionally even walls…" he adds with a small voice.
"See you again, Natsu-chan," Hikaru says warmly, waving to her. He puts his arms behind his back, observing Ash. "Ohhh. You know very much about Manhattan. I didn't know that; I am from Japan, but thank you for telling me! Sorry for the mistake," he says, bowing slightly in apology. Then he realises something: "Since you mentioned, I haven't been to Ellis Island. But I saw an interesting building in Times Square. You should have a look. I wouldn't go in it, though," he cautions. "Not without a large group of friends. It is… um… nanto ka. Maybe like," — he taps the side of his head, considering, as if tapping his head might force the thoughts out. "Nakusu… Naxxramas! Or so I hear from my -nerd- friends that play such games," he says. Crescent moon smile again, as he covers his own geek: "Like Natsu-chan and her Final Fantasy song."
Ash nods. "I think I remember Scrivner telling me something about another building like this in Times Square. Or maybe another one….but I don't actually remember who did." Ash says while looking at these two. "The name is Ash Burrows. I'm in town because my mother told me to come…" he says. A second later the small, grey rat sticks its nose out of Ashs collar. "This is Dorian Gray" he says, smiling. "Greet them properly, Dorian…" Ash commands. The rat squeeks a second later and vanishes again inside his collar.
Her brows furrow a little. If he can see it, then he's obviously a Scion, but she's still not going to out herself, though he may recognize her from a brief video that appeared on youtube where she was growing back people's limbs after the attack at Rockefeller center. "That's rather odd.. what else do you know about it?" she asks him curiously before wrinkling her nose as she extends a hand out towards Ash, since he's the only one here she doesnt know. "Tsuchimikado Maia, though people just call me Maia.."
Hikaru seems to have traded his mania for calm, now, as the degree of sensory input has reached a manageable level for him. "Oh, and I'm Nakamura Hikaru," he says, introducing himself to Ash. "You can call me Hikaru. Or Hichan, if you like," he mentions. The rat gets an odd look, and the young man twists his head at a funny angle. He seems to be considering something intensely, before finally speaking up: "That's a very well behaved rat. But I hear they're smart."
"Oh they are. And they are pretty clean animals as well…if you keep them out of the sewers, that is" he says, smiling. "What do I know about this building…well …I heard its pretty dangerous for people who are seeing it. A friend of mine told me to keep out of it, without propper help…so it sounds a lot like the description Hikaru just gave me. " he tells them. The fact, that they didn't even tried to make him a freak with their glances is a good sign to Ash. They are most certainly Scions of some sort. "A friend of my friend got hospitalized because of some strange…Lizard-bear…or so I heard"
"Lizard bear? What exactly is going on there?" she's concerned, but considering there are gods missing, which is what she and her band are primarily concerned about, she's sure she can trust the situation to the other Scions in the area, right?
Hikaru is a good actor; he masks his emotional responses to things fairly well. But one can't help but noticing his eyebrow creeping upward. "Lizard bear? I don't think that is a boss in that dungeon," he mentions, lifting his head and tapping his chin thoughtfully. His red scarf, resembling some kind of bib, flutters once as a taxi roars by. "But they do have that big dog monster that eats all the zombies, don't they?" he continues, again feigning some ignorance of the whole discussion. "Or maybe you're talking about something different. Did you see it?" he asks, seeming strangely insistent. "Where was it?"
"Scrivner told me there were people passing through. I don't know exactly what kind of people but it sounded a lot like spirits of some sort. They were attacked by a crazy thing. I thought it might be a chimera of some sort and it seemed to be controlled by someone. So there might be someone behind it. It tried to attack the spirits, but Scrivner and his band protected them. Considering Ellis Islands history, it maybe is some sort of doorway to the underworld. But I'm not sure. " he tries to explain. He ignores Hikarus talk of dungeon bosses and his red scarf, reminding him of some sort of arcade-game he once saw. "Ellis Island…was it" he answeres Hikaru.
And her phone suddenly rings as she pouts a little, wanting to know a bit more. She pulls out her card from her pocket as it just has her phone number on it. "I.. gotta get going, but please call me with more information.." she says, bowing apologetically tothe two. "I gotta get going, bye.."
Hikaru smiles warmly to Maia — and to Drake, as well! "It was a pleasure, Maia. I'll let you know how our own investigating goes. Your advice is most welcome, as is your guidance. Thank you so much. Drake!" he says, addressing the puppy. "Take care of Maia! Makasero na!"
"Seems like I need to learn japanese…it would suit you three more, wouldn't it… ?" he asks with a smile as he puts Maia's card into his pocket. He hopes he could call her and give her good news. But someone once said - there are no good news. "Well…I think I'll resume my tour…" Ash says to Hikaru. The group dispersed as fast as it came to be. And Ash still lacks a band. He is wandering when he'll meet Asterisk again. That girl was a lovely subject to observe…
"Well, okay," Hikaru says warmly, beginning to move on his way. He pauses, then glances back. "Ano na. Do you like theater? I am an actor. If you'd like to see a play, I perform on stage. It is all in Japanese, but it's a good way to learn about Japanese culture and mythology! Here," he says, reaching into his blazer and producing two tickets. "Kabuki is the historical and mythological drama of Japan. This month, we are performing 'Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees'. It is a good myth of a samurai, his wife, and a fox. We have a program and a small portable music player that is timed to the scenes and explains in English what is happening. It is a very good way of introducing people in America to kabuki."
"Kabuki…so you're the samurai or the wife ?" Ash asks. He read somewhere that Kabuki was played solemly by men. But he doesn't know if thats still usual. "I'll take them. Though I don't know if I find another person to come with me. I'd like to treat you to some atzlanti or mayan ritual…but they are hard to get by here in New York. " he says and nods a bit.
Hikaru's grin is even wider: "I'm the fox. Foxes are magical in Japan, you see. But, you see, I am spoiling some of the story. At first, the story appears to be about samurai, but later you learn that something supernatural is happening," he explains to you. "If you can't find anyone to come with… bring your rat!" he says, beginning to head off. "And don't forget me! Nakamura Hikaru! I'll be watching for you from the stage!"
Ash nods. "…normal at start and becomes supernatural ….sounds strangely familiar…" he says, without smiling. But his, mostly emotionless, smile returns fast. "I always bring Dorian with me. Since he hides under my clothes its not problem. Maybe I'll just get some nice girl from a bar or something. Better than wasting the ticket…I'll be coming…nothing better to do anyway" he says while nodding once again
"Yes!" Hikaru agrees cheerfully, vanishing down the street. "It is like 'The Matrix!'" he promises. "But with swords instead of guns. And foxes. See you soon!"
The scene was GMed by Pikachu