Broken Things

Takashi Agera Visits the PM Minimart, and talks to Kyouko Sakura about broken toys, broken soulgems, and broken dreams.

Date: 2015-09-30
Pose Count: 18
Takashi Agera 2015-09-30 13:40:20 10633
It's a normal afternoon at PM Minimart. Quiet - in fact, as far as Kyouko could tell from the front desk, there wasn't a single customer at the conbenie. So that's just another heap of strangeness as Takashi Agera walks up to the counter from somewhere in the back. He's got a toy in his hand - one of the simple kitchy overpriced toys sold at convienence stores in the hopes that parents will buy them to pacify crying children.

The teenager with the silver-white hair, one of Sayaka's classmates, holds up the item as he comes closer to Kyouko at the front. "Hey, do you have another one of these? I was going to get it, but when I looked closer at the package..." there's a pause. He looks up at Kyouko. "well, it's broken inside. I don't think it works."
Kyouko Sakura 2015-09-30 13:47:29 10634
    The PM Mart is located off of the main drag of downtown, on a little side-street. It may not have pride of place among the bustling, big-chain conbenies that dominate the space between the business towers, but it still usually does pretty steady business. Still, there's nothing wrong with a bit of a quiet patch, despite how unusual it is at this time of the afternoon, and Kyouko is taking the opportunity to file some receipts from earlier in the day.

    She glances up as the white-haired guy comes up to the counter, a slight frown on her face, since she doesn't remember seeing him enter, and she's usually good about keeping track of customers. She vaugely recognizes him- they've been in the same room several times, actually, though she's never spoken to him and she has no idea he's one of Sayaka's classmates.

    She glances at the toy. "Sorry," She says, with a shrug. "Those kinds of things, whatever's on the shelf is what we got. There's lots of other little things around though, if that one's broken.. it's hardly unique."
Takashi Agera 2015-09-30 13:56:05 10635
Takashi doesn't go back in the aisles. "Do you think it's fixable?" he asks, still looking at the cheap plastic toy, likely from China. "It would almost be a shame to think that it's come so far only to have no value at all." he adds. "I wonder what'll happen to it. Will you send it back to the manufacturer, or simply throw it away and write it off?"

"I suppose that's what happens when things get broken, though. If they can't be repaired, they don't have any value - any purpose - any reason to exist."
Kyouko Sakura 2015-09-30 14:07:36 10636
    It's actually really hard to tell if Kyouko is picking up any of the subtext of this conversation. She's a very literal-minded person- she'd call herself dumb, although this isn't really true. She has a very sharp mind, she just isn't good at the theoretical, operating generally on what she can see right in front of her eyes. That said, whether or not she registers that this kid is attempting to get under her skin by comparing the toy to her own damaged state, it's clear that the words are having a bit of an effect on her as the comparison occurs to her even if she doesn't realize it was intentional.

    A faintly downtrodden cast passes across her face, and she shrugs her shoulders slightly as she glances down at the broken toy again, lips twisted to the side contemplatively. "We'll probably.. just throw it away. You can write off defects and get reimbursed for them.. although I dunno if it's even worth it."

    She pauses a moment, then adds, "I don't know if they are totally without purpose though. After all, if they figure out why this one broke.. maybe they can do better next time."
Takashi Agera 2015-09-30 14:17:00 10637
Takashi turns away. "I guess it's the same way with people, too. You're only as good as what you can actually do. People don't see whatever it is you might've done, what you might be good at, or used to do. Even if they remember originally, it fades from memory after a while. Like the memory of a broken toy, I guess; it really is all the same."

He turns to her. "Oh! I know where I recognize you from now." he says, like this whole little talk was off the cuff. "You were at the concert hall- the performance for Kyosuke Kamijo - when it burnt down. Faulty electrical wiring, right..."
Kyouko Sakura 2015-09-30 14:20:12 10638
    Kyouko stares at the toy, a pensive frown on her face for a long moment. Then she says something that Takashi might not expect, or perhaps isn't really capable of understanding, "That's okay. Sometimes the things we've done are better off forgotten." She hasn't always been a nice person- in fact, she's been a very not-nice person, and only in the past few weeks has she really started to regret that. Maybe she wishes it could all be wiped away- maybe that's why, at first, she seemed so happy in this 'new life'. A fresh start. But, no matter what Takashi says, the truth is, you can never escape the past.

    She blinks then, as if coming out of a reverie, when he mentions the concert hall. "Huh? Oh.. y-yeah, I was there." She says, her eyes narrowing just a bit as she looks at the guy, not having remembered seeing him. "It was scary. Whole place almost burned down."
Takashi Agera 2015-09-30 14:29:04 10639
"I got out before the fire hit, so I just saw it all from outside." Not a complete lie, anyways. "I heard there were some people trapped inside. Including the preformer. I hear something bad happened to his hand. Poor kid. He had real talent; listening to him play was amazing."

"But without his hand, I'm not sure how he's going to keep doing what he was doing." He looks at the toy again. "I guess he's broken now, too. People will seem really sorry for him. He'll get some charity, maybe. But in time, even all this music he made will be forgotten, I guess. Everything people do for him will be because of what he was, and what he is - that'll just be a shadow. Talent like he had... well, I don't think he's going to find another thing that suits him quite so well as playing the violin. He might try to find some joy in a normal life, but that will be fleeting. There will always be that nagging feeling at the back of his head, wishing he had the ability he used to have."

"It's a real shame, that. To lose such ability."
Kyouko Sakura 2015-09-30 14:37:03 10640
    Kyouko knew that Kyosuke had been hurt- she had seen it happen, after all, but since she hadn't spoken to Sayaka since then, at least more than a few texts, she didn't know that his injury had been that bad- or at least, that crippling to his musical career. Her frown deepens a little bit. Not an angry frown, but a concerned one.

    "That's awful." She says after a moment, shifting behind the counter, leaning one of her elbows on it. "He was really good, too." Despite whatever feelings she might have about Sayaka's crush on the kid, she was completely genuine in this compliment. He /had/ been really good, and she enjoyed listening to the music he had performed very much. To think that he might not be able to play again, or at least not to the same level. That was pretty depressing.

    "Sometimes people have bad luck, I guess. That's all there is to it." She says, with a soft sigh. "The world is a harsh place. People talk about human goodness and charity, but believe me, I know exactly how far that stuff extends. Life'll knock you down. It's what you do after that that really matters." She glances up, her mouth a thin, determined line. "You either pick yourself back up and keep walkin', or you lie there and die. Hopefully, he ain't ready to die yet." She certainly isn't.
Takashi Agera 2015-09-30 14:51:06 10641
"I think there's more to it than luck. You have to rise above the harshness of the world. If you have the strength to do so." he says. "I mean... if it /was/ an electrical fire, then that would come down to someone's lack of ability - in the wiring, that caused it. Not luck. Luck just determined when it would break down."

"Of course, you and I both know it wasn't an electrical fire. You and I both know what it really was."

"...and if you were as strong as you once were, you could've protected him. As it was, you nearly died. Was that luck?" he asks. There's a sudden burst, a bitter cold wind that suddenly flows through the store - knocking a few things off the top of the shelf before subsiding. "And maybe it was luck that I was there to save you - to save your friends. Maybe if I'd been a little faster, I could've saved the violinist's hand too. But that's what happens when you rely on luck instead of ensuring you have the strength - luck can fall short. If you were the same person you were two months ago, my presence would've been unnecessary."

"You don't have to lie down and die when you're broken - you're already dying by degrees. After all, you're such a non-threat one of your rivals, a woman whom you clashed with and fought, is ready to simply let you be. In her eyes, you are already dead, as a threat."

"I can't believe that, in your heart of hearts, you would rather work here than have the strength you once had - the strength to chart your own destiny, the strength to fight 'bad luck' and come out on top."
Kyouko Sakura 2015-09-30 15:01:53 10643
    A cold hand seems to grip Kyouko's chest as she hears these sudden words from the boy's mouth, her eyes flashing up to his face, narrowing... although her face also grows pale, the blood draining out of it as he speaks. "Who are you? How do you know about me?"

    "You didn't save shit, Sayaka called 911 and the fire department came in, and that thing, whatever it was, ran away. I didn't even see you there." She doesn't mention how that /had/ seemed odd, though- why would it attack a crowded concert hall in the first place if it was just going to run when more people arrived?

    The dig about Miss White is true, but it doesn't really hit the mark. Kyouko's feelings on that subject are complicated. "Oh yeah?" There's color in her cheeks again now, rising up, and her red eyes are hard, flashing. She's getting angry. "And what did I do with that power the first time, huh? I squandered it. I effing wasted it making myself the queen of a shitty little town in Japan and living in a goddamned condemned building. Charting my own destiny? Look, you don't know me. I'm weak, and I'm an idiot. There's no reason to think if I had power again I'd do any better the second time."

    She deflates a little bit, turning her face away. "It's better this way. I can't hurt anyone else." Although she also can't protect anyone else, and that knowledge stings, because it's the mistakes she made the first time that are causing the danger to the people she cares about this time.
Takashi Agera 2015-09-30 15:10:52 10644
Takashi stands, quietly, through her entire outburst. He puts the toy on the counter. "I was there. I made it retreat - the fire department was handy, because it let me stay hidden. But they didn't drive it off." he says, matter-of-factly. "If you really think it's better this way, I guess I won't keep trying to change your mind. If you want to rely on other people's strength now, on their charity, that's your decision." he adds.

Then, he reaches into his pocket and produces a card. It's a business card; but it's also blank, except for just a phone number and the name Takashi. "But I'm worried about you, and about Sayaka Miki. So in case it was actually after one of you - since you don't have any powers anymore, and don't seem to want to give them back - don't call 911. Call me. I'd hate to have seen what might have happened to them if I wasn't there. I don't like relying on luck."

He tries for an angle given who she walked into the hall with, and who she was with when the fight erupted. "Since you can't protect Sayaka, at least call me so I can."
Kyouko Sakura 2015-09-30 15:17:02 10645
    Kyouko doesn't trust this at all. She knows how the world works, how people prey on the weakness of others, because for a long time /she/ was the one doing the preying. She looks at the business card, her brows drawn together.. although when he mentions Sayaka, and her inability to protect her from the dangers she herself has brought into the girl's life (this is not true, but it's how Kyouko thinks of it), her eyes flash.

    She reaches across the counter and grabs Takashi's collar, pulling him up against the counter, her fist bunching in the fabric, heedless of the danger- after all, he admitted to having /some/ sort of power, and she has none. That doesn't stop her though, not when her trigger has been pulled. "You leave Saya-chan out of this." She snarls, her red eyes firey as she glares into his face from about an inch away. "You want to play games with me, fine. But if you start using her as a bargaining chip, you will /seriously/ regret it."

    Nevermind that she doesn't have any sort of way to back up such threats. That doesn't even seem to occur to her. She releases him, pushing him back away from the counter. "Get the hell out of my store." Shes ays, looking away again and refusing to meet his gaze.
Takashi Agera 2015-09-30 15:25:23 10646
Takashi smiles. Even as Kyouko grabs him and he's pulled somewhat halfway across the counter, that smile doesn't leave. "It's not your store. I mean, you're not the owner. In fact, I'm a customer, and I'm pretty sure your boss would be somewhat upset if she saw you acting this way towards a customer."

"Also, you should really consider looking into some anger management classes. For instance, if I was here to threaten you - and I'm not - or try to hurt you, it'd be really easy to figure out that you care about Sayaka Miki and that'd be an easy way to get to you." he adds, calmly. "But, luckily for you, all I'm offering is to try to help. I see that she means a lot to you. I'll make sure she's safe."
Kyouko Sakura 2015-09-30 15:31:51 10648
    Kyouko shoots her glare back across the counter. "Bullshit." She says, turning and smacking both hands down on the counter. "I can smell a threat from a mile away. I used to make an awful lot of them." She doesn't respond to the jibe about it being 'not her store'- as far as she's concerned, the old lady who runs the place isn't here, so it's Kyouko's store at the moment.

    "Nobody who wants to help comes in here, makes all sorts of bizarro comments about broken toys, tells me how helpless I am, and /then/ offers to protect my friend. I have people looking out for her already, and you'd be smart to stay the hell away because even if I'm powerless, they aren't." She doesn't go into details about who or why.

    Takashi can clearly see she's still angry, her face flushed and her reddish-pink eyes flashing. "I don't know what your game is, or what you want from me, but leave her out of it, alright? She's got nothing to do with it." This whole thing just seems fishy to her- she doesn't know this kid, why would he come and offer to help out of the blue, especially in such a roundabout manner? In Kyouko's world, nobody does anything without a reason, without wanting something.

    "So why don't you tell me what you really want, and cut the crap?"
Takashi Agera 2015-09-30 15:46:58 10649
Takashi just shrugs a bit. "I wanted to help you out. See if I couldn't fix that Soul Gem of yours. Not everyone is out to get you, Kyouko Sakura. But I think, like a lot of the magic out there, anything I could possibly try to help you would only work if you wanted to be helped. And you clearly don't want my help, I see."

"I tried to get you to see it in a lot of ways. But I guess you are satisfied with this life. No matter what the cost it comes at. Maybe you never wanted the powers you had, or maybe you regret whatever you did with them."

"I only offered to protect Sayaka after you showed you had no desire to regain the ability to do it yourself. I'm sorry you somehow viewed that as a threat." he adds, his tone almost - but not quite - conciliatory. "But if you have all of those people - the ones who aren't powerless, in your words - protecting her... where were they when I fought off the monster? Because I might have been out of sight, but it's almost like they weren't there at all." he adds. Then, for emphasis, he slams the same crystal that the creature came out of on the counter - though it has no power pumping through it. "I am reasonably sure none of them helped me chase it off!"
Kyouko Sakura 2015-09-30 15:52:04 10650
    Not everyone is out to get her? Ha! If she believed that, she'd sleep a lot easier at night. "Forgive me for not trusting random strangers who seem to know an awful lot about my life, stuff I don't tell just anybody, waltzing up to me with no warning and offering to interfere with my friends." She snaps, scowling.

    As he slaps that crystal down on the counter, her eyes dart to it, then back up to him, hard as chips of ruby. "You see? It's things like that," She gestures to the crystal, "That seem an awful lot like threats to me." She leans forward again, expression severe. "Where they were, or where they are now, is not your business. Even if I really thought you wanted to help me, I wouldn't tell you, because I'm not /that/ much of an idiot."

    She leans back again. "Maybe you did help us the other night." She says, her tone suddenly more reasonable. "If you did, thank you. I mean it, cause it was a tight spot. But I don't believe for one second that you came here to lay all this out in front of me out of the goodness of your heart. You don't strike me as the type. So, from one asshole to another, let me ask you again- what do you want from me? You were just going to give me my powers back for free? You were going to look out for Sayaka for free, for someone you don't even know? I don't buy it."
Takashi Agera 2015-09-30 16:59:05 10651
Takashi turns. "Well, if this is the attitude you have, maybe everyone truly is out to get you, or will be soon, if offers of help are turned into reasons to attack people."

"You want to know what I get out of it? You think there's some grand, master plan here. Like I've got some sort of angle? Here's my angle. If I can help you, maybe I can help other people. Plus, having you able to fight again makes Tokyo safer. There are people I care about in Tokyo." Takashi would've gotten stuffed a long time ago moving up in Eclipse if he wasn't capable of a great lie. "There's my big, dangerous, scary, hostile angle." he adds.

"So maybe you don't like the way I came in here - maybe I should've come in here with a smile on my face and a skip in my step, and sugar-coated everything for you. I didn't think you were that kind of person, though - not from what I'd heard. Maybe you don't like the things I've said. Fair enough. But they're all true, especially where they concern you. And here's something to think about, when it comes to me threatening you, or Sayaka, or Hitomi, or Kyosuke..." he begins, getting up (and pocketing the crystal again, lest it be left as evidence).

As he walks towards the door, he turns back to look her dead in the eyes. "If I wanted to see you or any of the others hurt, or worse, all I would've had to do during the fight with that monster is the same thing you did."

"Absolutly NOTHING." he adds, then walks out of the automatic doors.
Kyouko Sakura 2015-09-30 17:07:58 10652
    Kyouko looks blank for just a moment. Who's Hitomi? But that's hardly important now, as Takashi makes his exit.

    She doesn't say anything, merely staring at him as he delivers his farewell monologue, though once he's finally out of sight, she sags a little bit.. her heart racing, even if she didn't let her nervousness show during the actual encounter.

    She doesn't buy his 'I just want to help' act- she's good at reading people, she wouldn't have lived as long as she had on the streets without being good at that, and everything about this Takashi guy just strikes her as 'off'. The problem is, she has no idea what his angle /is/, and she has no idea what he's capable of, or what he might do, or what he actually wants.

    This all makes her very anxious. It feels like everything she was worried about, that both Sayaka and Mamoru had tried to tell her was just her being paranoid, is actually coming true. She stares at the business card left on the counter for a long moment.. then grabs it, stuffing it in her pocket.

    And all the while, in the back of her mind, a niggling doubt won't shut up, either: what if he's right? What if he /could/ help her, and it's just her stupid paranoia making her think he's up to something? What if Sayaka, or Mamoru, or any of her friends gets hurt and she can't help because she gave up her chance out of baseless suspicion?

    After a moment she pulls her phone out of her pocket, flips it open, and starts texting.