Color Commentary

Followup to Milkshake Madness. Kazuo checks up on Koji; Tyrfing has suggestions. And Opinions. Because cat.

Date: 2017-11-08
Pose Count: 45
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 18:23:16 86332
Monday night at the Crown, as the brief gathering around Hannah fragments in its usual chaos. Koji headed down the stairs --

Kazuo Takeba is not remotely as immaculate as usual, and drying milkshake does not in the slightest serve as a less attention-getting addition to his wardrobe. Or his hair. He heads down the stairs all the same, a little in Koji's wake. Far enough behind to give him some breathing space. Close enough to at least make a try at keeping track of whether Koji turns promptly into the arcade, or even more promptly for the exit.
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 18:28:24 86334
You didn't have to leave you know. I didn't even get a chance to say hello to the Osaka girl. Hell, I still owe her girlfriend a round or two on the mat. Just need to figure out how to get this whole autonomous thing to work right.. Tyrfing grumbles inside of Koji's head as the two depart the arcade.

The young man stops at the front entrance to the arcade, and just leans there, watching some kids playing games, and there's something almost wistful about it before he mumbles under his breath in reply to his Device and partner, "What, so I can sit there and feel so awkward that I'll spout off more stupid advice like I know what I'm doing? No thanks. Besides... those girls are crazy."

Yeah, well at least they're MY kind of crazy. You could really do with more of an outlet for things like that, kid.

Rolling his eyes, Koji digs his phone out and pretends to start talking on his phone just to hide the fact that he sounds like he's talking to himself... which he is, in a manner, "I don't NEED any outlet, Tyr-san. I'm FINE."

Kid... in case you forgot... I AM INSIDE YOUR DAMN SKULL!

Kazuo gets to witness all of this as the winter-dressed young man is almost pacing now, muttering, "Can we not do this in the middle of the street, Tyr-san?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 18:34:21 86335
The disadvantage to doing this in the middle of the street, indeed, is that people like Kazuo can come up beside one and say quietly, "There are alternatives."

At least he didn't point out that the one complaining is the one with the feet at present.

"Besides," he adds. "It was reasonable advice. The audience was more the problem."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 18:43:27 86336

"Shut up." Koji replies, and then turns around to Kazuo, affecting his best nervous laugh-smile and rubs at the back of his neck.

But that all only lasts a few seconds, as he takes a breath, and then settles back, phone and hands shoved into the pockets his hooded winter coat, "Is there something I can help you with, Takeba-san?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 18:47:52 86337
Kazuo answers the question with a tilt of his head. It lacks something of the usual, since his sugar-matted hair doesn't fall properly, just clumps up and drags a sketchy little trail of drying mess along his shoulder. "Do you need somewhere private to have your argument, or are you still planning on trying to use a crowd to keep from having to think for a while?"
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 19:04:52 86338
After a long minute of consideration on this, Koji, just seems to hang his head a bit, causing his glasses to slip most of the way down his nose, "You need to get cleaned up, Takeba-san. You're a mess. Even if you're a good looking mess. Better than some of us."

Straightening back up, he pushes his thin specs back in place, and then tilts his head slightly to one side, putting on his best half-smile for the older young man, "I could think back at him, but I've never gotten into the habit. I think if I did, I'd never talk to anyone..."

And then the dead air returns as he looks around and away.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 19:11:31 86339
"Cleaning up is second priority at the moment. That said." Kazuo gives a little gesture, left-handed. The chocolateless side. "I was going somewhere quiet. If you could use somewhere quiet, to talk with him or to talk with someone else or to do no talking at all, you'd be welcome. If you'd rather stay -- sometimes noise and strangers are more useful."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 19:14:52 86340
There's a look of genuine surprise on Koji's face as the offer is made, and if he was actually a cat, or in his catself... he'd probably have his ears tilted back. He seems to consider this for a long moment, looking away once more and off into the arcade. But sooner than not, he just seems to straighten up and gets that face back on... that physical armor he puts up against most of the world, just a smile and a helpful personality, "Quiet would be good."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 19:44:40 86342
Kazuo questions none of this. He just turns and walks, ignoring glances.

'Somewhere quiet' turns out to be an apartment. Not the high-level high-end conglomeration of places where Mamoru and Kazuo and company actually live. Just an apartment. Small and clean and anonymous, kitchen overhauled somewhere within the last few years but not ostentatiously, nothing suggesting any expense other than the gentle bliss of walls that don't, in fact, wind up with you knowing what your neighbors are watching on television.


"I think there's tea somewhere if you want some," Kazuo says as he lets Koji in. "Not much else, though."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 19:52:59 86344
Politeness Mode engages before he can stop himself, and Koji says, "I can go down to the conbini on the corner and get some snacks and things while you clean up, Takeba-san." Though the entire time he's been walking, he's been quiet and somewhat nervous about all of this.

But as he looks around the small place, and given the privacy of the whole apartment, it's not a few seconds after he says that that three mechanical pencils, and three pens float up out of his pocket, and in a small shimmer of light re-shape into Bits. And those Bits assume positions to create an image. An image of Tyrfing.

The tall and muscular feline being, looking almost like a ghost in it's blue-haloed holographic self swipes his tail through the table and a chair without actually hitting anything, and then just grumbles out where the other man can hear him, < Okay, now this is just pathetic. If you two are gonna sit here and be all stoic about whatever the hell is going on, I'm not gonna put up with it. >

Koji looks ready to protect, and his Device just gives him A Look, < Kid. Go make the tea. >

Turning back to Kazuo he adds, < You go clean up. Then maybe you can explain. >
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 20:05:40 86347
Snacks and things. When they've both just been exposed to enough sugar through a week by sheer osmosis, any actual consumption aside. Kazuo gives Koji a mildly amused glance, not necessarily a discouraging one --

Ah. There. That's better.

Kazuo inclines his head to Tyrfing. "Personally," he says, "I was planning to give you a clear field with him while I got changed to begin with. So I'm pleased we agree." And he vanishes into what's probably a bedroom.After a moment, a shower runs.

Koji has a six-minute or so window to escape the impromptu conspiracy against him, if he so desires, before Kazuo emerges again. Or to make tea. Sometimes making tea helps. The cupboards are not entirely empty, though their choices are somewhat dubious. Some stored rice, two boxes of protein bars, a stash of chocolate, a scattering of Rescue Foods meals because in a power outage freeze-dried curry rice is obviously going to save the world. But there's tea.
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 20:22:06 86351
The freshly showered individual re-emerges to find Koji is missing, which means the boy has run down to the conbini anyways for some air, but the ghostly form of Tyrfing is still there, pacing the room and occasionally having his tail ruin the image of the beastman wandering the place. He looks up as you come out, and then looks towards where the pencil case he uses as his convenient disguise form as if to acknowledge what's happening.

However, since tea was mentioned, the kettle is on and slowly heating.

< Before we get into the kid and whatever his issues are this week... how's the old man doing? He won't ask, not his business... just he got worried because you're all so damn casual with your powers. Between that and what happened a couple nights ago, he's kinda shook up of late. No offense. >
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 20:35:20 86353
Apparently, the place has at least one Xerox copy of Kazuo's usual outfit. New white shirt replacing the old one. Long hair still damp, tied back in a tail to keep it mostly out of the way and mostly keeping the front of his shirt dry. He inclines his head toward Tyrfing's image, then toward the pencil case, both options for where Tyrfing might consider himself to be accounted for.

The question, though, gets a slight frown for a moment before Kazuo sorts out who Tyrfing might mean. "My father?" he says. "Exasperating as usual. It took a few days before Mamoru let him go back to work, but he hasn't shown any signs of mutating back into a monstrosity. Apparently Lacrima gave him something to be irate and offended about, which seems to have gotten him back on his feet. That, or he merely enjoys lecturing me about how magical heroes shouldn't be on the street without various emergency-safety certifications."

(Whether or not Kazuo privately agrees with him is left unsaid.)

He tilts his head with the reappearance of that frown. "What happened a couple of nights ago?"
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 20:49:43 86355
Tyrfing's muzzle flicks to the door and back, as if considering time and options before he returns his unearthly gaze to the other young man, and then moves over to sit on the couch. Which would almost be perfect if his tail didn't clip through the back of it as the projection system seems to continually forget it's there.

< Kid had this guy he wanted to be friends with. Guy named Jin. Only... turns out this guy ain't a guy at all, he's a toy soldier. Literally. >

The Device punctuates this by holding out a hand to create the image of a little worn out tin soldier toy that no modern child would ever own.

< He was the accidental manifestor of a Jewel Seed. Freaky if you ask me... but my database doesn't have enough information to really extrapolate how that happened. Magic. >

And the Device that manipulates said energy rolls his eyes before going on, < He's scared, so he's pulling back for a while now. Relying on his parents' need to have him around to take care of them to hide from the fact that he doesn't think his life makes sense. He's half-expecting some day soon that once his parents are better, someone'll come along and tell them we can be popped apart and I can go to someone who can really make use of me. Hell with that. >
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 21:02:15 86356
Toy soldier. Kazuo eyes the image Tyrfing makes for a moment, then lifts a hand to rub at his forehead. "Makes a sort of sense," he says. "Pool enough dark energy in one object, sometimes it spontaneously forms a youma. Distill enough brighter emotion into one thing for long enough ... dark energy's more active, but something parallel apparently happened. Eventually." With a Jewel Seed involved. Kazuo's frown becomes slightly more marked.

But he draws a breath, and concentrates on the situation as Tyrfing continues, not on the metaphysics. "If the two of you wanted to be separated, maybe. I don't have the impression that's the case. Unless he's that frightened, but -- I don't think so. The times I've seen him engaged lately have been times he's working with you, or talking to people about parallels with you. Which means that there would be, ah. General strenuous objection.

"Which doesn't, of course, help with his life not making sense."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 21:07:20 86358
Almost as if knowing, he looks to the doorway and then back, the image of the ghost feline warrior adding, < Do me a solid, would you? I need someone... ANYONE... to just call him to do something NOT related to the fight. Because Rashmi takes him out after school training, and the last time your boss called up, it was because of your dad. Work buddies doesn't fly so well with a kid who's never really had friends before. >

The apartment door opens, and Koji says, "Sorry I borrowed your spare keys here, but I didn't want to end up being locked out."

With the kind of timing that's almost frightening, the tea pot begins to steam and whistle. Not even missing a beat, Koji is into the kitchen and getting the tea set up, and cutting up a lemon he bought at the conbini to add to it to steep. Something is unwrapped on the other side of the kitchen, and soon he's coming around with two mugs and a place with a half-dozen medium-sized Onigiri. Once it's all set in the table that's always in apartments like these, he looks back and forth between you both, and asks...

"Did... I miss something, Takeba-san?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 21:22:45 86360
There's a little twitch of eyebrows at the 'after school training' part, but whatever makes sense to Kazuo in that, there's still a key in the door. Kazuo inclines his head to Koji's entry, and says, "No need to apologize. It was a sensible precaution." He starts to rise to lend a hand --

-- and realizes that lending a hand would effectively be getting into Koji's way, and holds back, instead.

The question wins another mildly amused glance. "Tyrfing was just explaining to me how it is that I keep missing you at the coffee place," he says. "Apparently my timing has been notably poor. I apologize."

It's not even untrue.
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 21:27:50 86362
Almost immediately Tyrfing throws up his hands, and rolls his eyes because his partner just goes for a bow, and Koji says softly, "Sumimasen. Rashmi has had me going out for extra training sessions to help her improve her use of Nicomachea."

< And here you go again. That training is just as good for us as it is for her. It's okay to be important once in a while, kid. I keep telling you.>

Koji stays a little silent on the topic, but then picks up his tea to sniff and check at it to see if it's ready, before saying to Kazuo, "I should have asked how everyone else is doing. I'm sorry if I've been quiet, but things are going well at home. I still can't think Chiba-san enough for helping us find the new apartment."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 21:42:45 86365
"Please. Your having other things to do is absolutely reasonable. I should have called; I apologize that I did not." Kazuo gives a half-bow in Koji's direction as well. Possibly he's merely countering. Possibly he's curious how long they can keep this going before Tyrfing starts miming strangling motions at both of them.

"It's good to hear that everything's going well, all the same. How are your parents doing?" Possibly a question more likely to get an answer than asking about Koji himself. "As for us --" Kazuo waves a hand and grimaces slightly. "Homework. Mamoru's spending most nights buried in organic chemistry. Naru just finished some challenge or other for a month of pen-and-ink drawings; we'll see if getting back to paint improves her mood. My father is ... adjusting, after his own inimitable fashion. My apologies in advance should he ever corner you with a petition or a health-and-safety manual."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 21:51:55 86366
Tyrfing is grinning much like the cat that caught the canary, his ethereal arms over the back of the couch, and Koji's arrival and even his focus is helping with some things. That huge tail of his is behaving as if there's a couch in the way now, and it's curled into his lap, though the tip curls and swips back and forth in places.

The question does brighten Koji up, though for a moment his eyes register some form of sad understanding at the 'not calling'. As if it's something he's used to, "Well... Mom is back to work from home, doing interpretations of computer modelling for some friends someplace in the world. The dining room table is her office now. Dad is being a slacker and has decided that he's going to use the rest of his leave to recover, since he never vacations in the first place. But he's got a limp now for some reason, maybe something that happened a while ago that never healed right. He's cane shopping."

All the talk causes him to sip at his tea, and then set it aside so he can pick up an onigiri and chew just some of the rice from it, "To be honest, when you approached me... I thought there was going to be something that Chiba-san wanted Rashmi or I to assist on."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 22:04:20 86368
When trying to reach someone, sometimes a telephone is more useful than repeatedly showing up at a place they regularly spend time in the hope of 'accidentally' running into them. Certainly it's more efficient. Oops.

"Slacker," Kazuo muses, "and never vacations. That's an interesting combination." He finally folds himself into a seat, taking up the second mug between both his hands. "I'm sorry to hear about his leg. Are the therapists working with him on it? I presume they're still seeing physical therapists? But I'm pleased to hear that your mother is back to work -- I trust she's not pushing herself too hard, but otherwise, having something to do is often a great help."

Then Koji adds that last, and Kazuo sets the mug back down, watching him directly. "No," he says. "I approached you because I know that when I start behaving the way you were acting in the Crown, it's because something's wrong, and I'm trying to keep people from noticing." A pause. "When I kept looking for you at Gullwing, granted, there was something I wanted. But that was to ask if you would be interested in a chess game. Considerably lower priority than asking if you are hurting, and if there's anything that can be done to help."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 22:14:02 86369
Tyrfing is given a bit of an annoyed look from Koji, and the ghostly beastman puts his arms wide as he says in a rumbliny huff, < I gotta live in there too, kid. It means I get to hear all of it rattling around in your skull all day. >

There's almost a slump of defeat in his shoulders as Koji pushes an errant lock of hair back, and then takes off his glasses to set them down on the tabletop, taking a moment to sit back with a pained look now, "I lost a friend."

The admission is enough to make him tremble a little, "I thought he was my friend, but he went to help someone else. He went to help someone we're supposed to fight, but doesn't really want to fight us. Ever since..."

Tyrfing suddenly sits up from his spot, and then shakes his head, < Hey, hey... it's okay, Koji... just breathe... c'mon... you're not alone. >

But he seems somewhat determined, "Ever since the Nightmare Prince put me in the world alone, I've felt more like I really am, Takeba-san. People only call when they want something. I used to be okay with that. It got worse without Tyr-san, but my parents were recovering, and so I put myself there so I wouldn't FEEL alone anymore."

It's the big catman's turn to look embarrassed and a little ashamed as his partner sniffles and goes on, "I think a chess game would be nice. It'll be nice to have someone else to talk to. The only other person who I feel like I could do that with is someone... I... sorta met. Online I mean."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 22:29:11 86372
Tyrfing isn't the only one who sits straighter when Koji begins to trail off. He's the only one who talks, though. Kazuo reaches across, hand settling on the table -- there's no actual contact made, not with Koji having sat back, but the gesture's clear enough.

"I'm sorry about your friend," Kazuo says quietly. It's not clear, not from what Koji says, whether that lost is a euphemism or whether the friend only changed sides. But that doesn't matter to his answer. "Do you want to talk about him?"

Or about this person Koji met online; that hesitation is suggestive. Or both. There's a great deal more there to look at.

But that question comes first. Always.
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 22:40:13 86375
Koji sniffles once more, and fishes into a pocket to take out an honest to goodness handkerchief instead of some kleenex, wiping at his nose, "It turns out he wasn't even a real person. He was a toy's wish to help people. Isn't that just the... biggest irony ever? The first people I felt like I had a connection to that wasn't just... all this... ends up not being a person."

Tyrfing would normally look insulted by something like that, but instead he looks a little relieved. He also has on that kind of expression that most adults have just before saying they're going for a smoke to get out of the room.

Looking back up towards Kazuo, Koji affects a hurt little smile, "There's not much to say. We met and talked some, we kinda... bonded. And then he disappeared... then he turned back up and suddenly he was turning into a metal monster, and we found out his Device was actually a Jewel Seed in disguise and he wasn't a human, but a little toy soldier who'd just wanted to protect people."

The beastman nods, and then gets up to walk around, stretching out and letting his virtual muscles work a little, an expression of pure nervous energy, a reflection of the emotions of his Knight.

With a gulp, and then another nip of food, Koji sighs deeply and wipes at his eyes again, "I feel stupid, and I feel hurt, and I miss him... because I wanted to be his friend, but I never got the chance, it feels like."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 23:01:36 86377
Kazuo doesn't try to make contact, but his hand is still out on the table, and he turns it over, palm-up. It's like reaching out, except without the pressure attached. "I don't think you were stupid," he says quietly. "But then, I'm not so sure where the boundaries of 'person' lie. If you saw him as a friend, or someone who might have been a friend -- that seems to me reason enough to mourn him, and mourn the friendship you might have had. And more than reason enough to hurt. And it must not be easy ... not having many others to mourn with."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 23:11:11 86379
It's almost like an alley cat who was abandoned. The want to trust humans, but also the memories of being kicked at and things being thrown at makes one shy. Though in Koji's case, he says with another sniff, "I suppose... you could relate. Since you're also... I mean... that is..." Not wanting to bring it up, but then his eyes lower in a bit of shame, "I meant about the jewel, and your body. Not that I would ever tell your father of such if I met him. I wouldn't want to make him feel even worse about his situation."

He chews little bites off the onigiri with his other hand, the tea temporarily forgotten as his free hand creeps out and touches on Kazuo's.

The peanut gallery blurts out, < Well FINALLY! >
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-08 23:38:38 86383
Since he's also. "Nonstandard?" Kazuo suggests during the longest of those pauses. Almost joking. Not quite, but the hint of self-deprecating humor and his clear lack of offense are there.

His fingers shift, clasping Koji's -- but not so tightly that it would take any effort for Koji to pull back if he chose to. Just enough for contact, for a little warmth. And he only lets himself give Tyrfing a narrow-eyed look if Koji glares too. Whether that's because it might amuse the peanut gallery to get it in stereo... well.

"You don't need to worry about telling my father," he says quietly. "He knows. That was the first thing he saw clearly. But ... yes. It makes it easier to remember that people don't always have to come with warm blood, or DNA, or with a shape we recognize. That what matters is having a metaphorical heart, not a literal one. If the connections are real. Then the person must be."

That clasp tightens just a little, with those last few words. Because more often than not, it feels like Koji could use the reminder that he's a person, too.

Or maybe because, once again, Kazuo might be projecting.
Koji Silvia 2017-11-08 23:51:34 86385
When you live in the same space long enough with someone, you gain a tolerance for their behavior, which means Koji does not glare at Tyrfing for his exclamation in this matter, but the big feline man does rub the back of his neck just like Koji did earlier, and affects the same expression. But being a projection like he is, leaning against the wall for the little kitchen area is spoiled slightly as he sinks INTO it.

The young man lets his hand stay there a moment, and then he lets go, but the shakes are gone as he goes for his tea and sips some of the now-cooled beverage. Looking back up, he meets Kazuo's eyes, and then says, "Thanks."

Followed after another sip by, "I used to be able to talk to my father... but now I'm scared to. I don't want him to get in danger because of me. Not after what's already happened. And Rashmi just seems to be into all of this so much she sort of pulls everyone else along like it's gravity, and there's Nanoha who's always so fragile about things, especially when it comes to her friend Fate. I mean... I see everyone trying to do their best, and I can't see myself not doing anything less than the same. But it makes them harder to talk to BECAUSE they're already in their own worlds."

The image of the Shutran rolls his eyes and then motions with a 'get on with it' gesture, which this time DOES get a snipey look from the young man, who smiles back at Kazuo, "So something like playing chess would be nice. Really nice. Normal. I-in the summer we could even play in the park and I can watch you get gawked at by all the girls."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-09 00:02:50 86388
Kazuo doesn't interrupt; Koji's talking more steadily now, and so he just listens. Reaches for his own tea, drinking occasionally in half-echo of Koji himself. Waiting till the end...

... when he sighs, and glances ceilingward, and drags a hand down one side of his face. "I suppose," he says deadpan, "that suffering the gawking is a due and meet punishment. And certainly a price I can endure paying."

He pauses for a moment, glancing back at Koji from the point midair that he'd been addressing. "I think you understand already, though, that I'm not particularly good at normal. It's something I'm supposed to be practicing. But that's because I'm not good at it. Is that all right?"
Koji Silvia 2017-11-09 00:10:49 86390
Both can hear/feel Tyrfing's muzzle open for a fresh snipe, only to have his Knight just LOOK at him... and those ears fold and the tail curls in. There's a nod from Koji as he turns his head back to addressing Kazuo, and then seems to almost... brighten a little.

"Takeba-san?" He starts off with carefully, "Normal is subjective. I mean to say..."

Pausing for thought as he looks at his tea again, "Everything is different, so everything is normal. If everything is normal because it's different... then you're already normal as it is. I think what they want you to do is act like everyone else. But that's no good either. If you want to make people more comfortable around you, that's fine... but I like you the way you are, as it is."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-09 00:19:17 86391
Kazuo lets his head swing over casually to catch Tyrfing for a moment. "If that one was at me, I want to hear it later," he informs the holographic feline. Then lets the return swing bring himself back to focus on Koji, steady enough.

And he listens. And he considers that. Because he's right -- but there's another element.

"A broken leg is also normal," he says after a moment. "There was the bone, there was the pressure on it, of course it broke. These things happen. But we still try to bring it to heal straight, so that we can regain its function. As in this case. There are parts of me that don't work the way they should. Some of them function well enough despite that. Some don't. I'm glad you like me as I am. I hope that won't change if those things heal. But in the mean time, there are still things I'm -- not good at. I'm glad that's all right with you."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-09 00:28:12 86393
Koji looks up at Tyrfing directly, "You can't teach a cat to be a dog. Because at the end of the day it's still a cat. Sure, it might learn how to fetch, take to a leash, and even come when you call... but that doesn't change it's still a cat."

The Shutran huffs, < I am a semi-autonomous Belkan Unity Knight. >

"Who acts like a big rangy housecat."

< I'm gonna remember that during drone flight practice, kid. >

But as Koji turns back to address Kazuo once more, the image is smiling now... well, smirking at least, with a 'hmph' at the end, but it's still a positive thing. The tea is finished off, and Koji goes on, "There's plenty of things I'm not good at, so you're in welcome company..." He stops, "Is it okay if I call you Kazuo-san, then?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-09 00:50:49 86397
"Not to mention," Kazuo adds, typically straight-faced, "that if someone tried to put a leash on Tyrfing, that someone would be braver than I. I need my hands. I don't think I'd have nearly as much fine control if I tried to direct my magic with stumps."

The mask softens yet again when Kazuo inclines his head to the question. There are other people that has happened that many times with in one conversation. Maybe seven of them. Maybe eight. And most of them had an extra lifetime's head start. "I'd like that," he says. "May I have the matching privilege?" ... and that may be the first time he's ever asked.
Koji Silvia 2017-11-09 01:04:48 86400
"Oh.. o-of course, Tak-..." He stops himself, "Of course, Kazuo-san, of course. But please... remember I'm still technically kohai?"

As the boy bows deeply while still sitting, Tyrfing raises a brow, and then chuckles a little as his tail swipes back and forth, not passing through the kitchen wall this time, < I can be the board. Just to keep you both honest. I'll even look up this chess thing and run some permutations. Might be fun. >

With the interest from the Shutran brought back into the conversation, the Device-User gives a faint smile to Kazuo and then says, "I think once he learns how to play he'll want to play YOU. As much as we're still learning how to interact, we still can't get his construct solid. And we can't just let him take over from me anymore like we used to. So no more DDR... and he can't exactly go out like this."

To which Tyrfing says with a smirk, < I've got the internet, and that weird thing called Netflix. You humans and your dramas. Especially from Korea. What is WITH those people anyways? How do they get anything done with all these relationship entanglements bungling everything up? At least the Japanese have it right. Two of you have a problem, you fight it out until it's solved. >

The deadpan moment comes and he laughs, < Kidding! Except about the Koreans. >
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-09 01:17:15 86401
Kazuo's answer is inclining his head to the bow ... then glancing sidewise at Tyrfing again. "Might be," he allows. Then notes to Koji, "For all you know, you might be better than I am, and the more interesting opponent. You've specialized more, I think. But if that's the case, well. First, I'll learn something. Second, there are always variants to make uneven odds interesting again." Third, Tyrfing can still learn things about how Kazuo thinks from it. Something he doesn't need with Koji, whose head he's inside. But that's left aside. Normal. They're trying to be normal.

And after Tyrfing says the rest... well. There's a long pause.

"You've told him people don't actually act like that, haven't you?" Kazuo asks Koji, with the mostly-resigned faintly-worried tone of someone who's met Unmei and her brightly blind fixation on the world running on anime tropes. "Did he believe you?"

... is Kazuo letting Tyrfing troll him on purpose? Maybe.
Koji Silvia 2017-11-09 01:24:17 86404
Both go to speak at first, but Koji gives the projection a significant look and it causes him to make a sour face as the flesh and blood individual addresses it, "I think he does most of the time, he just has been watching a LOT of the K-dramas since it's what my dad's been into lately. He stealths a drone in to watch over his shoulder. Except when I'm at school."

< The school's outside of my range. For now. >

The young man just rolls his eyes, which shows Kazuo where he got it from, and then Koji stands up and takes up the cups if allowed, leaving the onigiri still there to nibble on if the older young man wants, "Listen... uhhh..."

The sink is turned on as he rinses the cups, "Thank you. For reaching out. I'm really bad at it, and like you said you need to learn, so do I. That I can be the one to send messages. You know. Anyways..." A little flush showing, "Thank you again, Kazuo-san."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-09 01:42:40 86409
Kazuo rests his chin against a hand for just a moment, regarding Tyrfing solemnly at the image of the stealthed drone peeking at the screen. Then straightens a little at the eyeroll. "Working on that, are you?" he asks Tyrfing more directly. "Or just planning for the future?"

Kazuo's cup is empty; it may have been accomplished by magic. Okay, probably not, Tyrfing would've noticed. But he yields it up all the same, and does in fact nibble on the onigiri. Now that the significantly more important parts are done, attention can be spared for the necessary.

"There are things all of us need practice at," Kazuo says quietly. "Thank you for trying tonight, yourself. For coming out for a while, and for being open to talking."

And then, in a more normal tone, "We should set a time to meet for a game. If we do it on our own now, Tyrfing won't be tempted to try throwing calendars at us."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-09 01:50:12 86411
The cups are finished off and put back up from where they came from, and Koji comes around the corner to stand next to Tyrfing. The taller construct looks down at his young Knight, and then back at Kazuo, < Okay, so why do you have this place if you can live at crazy central? >


< WHAT. >

Scrubbing at his face, Koji just sighs and says, "I'm sorry... But he's always been as blunt as I've been polite."

The projected Device's image flutters and then vanishes, becoming just the six Bits which begin to change back into pencils and pens, returning to their home in the custom metal case.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-09 02:06:22 86413
Kazuo doesn't seem put off by the question. Then again, he almost never does. "Because," he says to Tyrfing, even as the image starts to flutter, "at one point Mamoru was being stalked by a madman working for a sorceress most of the way to turning herself into a demon. Once people figured out I had his real name, they realized that I could target him where he lived. So he and a couple of friends of his arranged somewhere he could hide. After that entire mess was settled, we held on to the place. Mostly to have somewhere relatively safe on hand if people needed it." He tips his head toward Koji, and adds toward him as he rises to his feet, "Mamoru would probably appreciate it if you didn't spread word about the place unless it's really necessary. But you needed the quiet. And we trust your judgment."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-09 02:16:22 86415
Those last words are the ones that surprise the young man the most, causing him to almost stumble as he reaches for Tyrfing's case. But he does end up getting it fumbled into his pocket before he balances himself with the chair. Tilting his head to consider your words he then takes a breath, "Then I suppose telling him thank you for it would be saying too much wouldn't it."

The smile returns for a little bit, and he strahghtens up slightly, "So you said we should set a date for a match. How about... next Sunday? Give us both time to get some learning under our belts before we fumble our way through the first match with color commentary."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-09 02:26:08 86416
"Only in that you thank us far too often, when we're in your debt." Kazuo bows gravely to Koji -- not as low as Koji's very deep one earlier, but definitely not a nod. And then he straightens in turn. "Would the afternoon work for you? I'm sentenced to a weekly breakfast with my father in the morning. And we'll need a place. Though the weather's not supposed to be bad, if you do want to try the park."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-09 02:34:19 86418
Considering the question, and the words, Koji is left there in tableau for a few seconds. It breaks and he looks up with a faint smile, "Perhaps... well, there's a sheltered little spot in the courtyard of our apartment building we could use... I... almost said maybe I could just come by to your father's home and we could play there."

Leaving the thought out there, he plucks up another onigiri, and chews on it until he hits some pickled plum inside with a faint smile, "We'll need a board anyways. I know my parents don't have one."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-09 02:38:24 86419
"You could, if you like." Kazuo studies Koji for a moment, considering the order of the next sentences. "There's still a set there, or there should be. Don't be alarmed if he doesn't recognize you, though. He forgets things, from day to day." Another pause. "But he's been keeping notes."
Koji Silvia 2017-11-09 02:42:26 86421
Shaking his head, Koji says, "No, that's fine. There's a place mom and dad stay in in the north that's run by this older couple... the father never remembers who we are, and she has to remind him. So I'm used to it happening." He then takes a few more moments to finish off the second onigiri, and then rubs at his belly a moment, "And the only time I met your father? I was in my Tyrfing persona, he was unconscious or dazed from a youma, AND we'd all just gone after the thing holding him. So if he doesn't know me, it will just be a chance to know him again."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-09 02:53:40 86422
Somehow, Kazuo manages not to say that Hiroshi probably had more personality while unconscious. Somehow. Father-son relations, almost invisibly improving.

"If you like, then, you can meet us there. And see the place when it's intact, this time. Or I can come see our courtyard. Either, as you'd prefer."