Hometown Lowe's


asi_icon.gif ff_silas_icon.gif

Scene Title Hometown Lowe's
Synopsis Goodbye again. But maybe not for forever.
Date February 8, 2019

Red Hook Market

The Red Hook Market resides within the gutted shell of Textile Factory 17, a turn-of-the-century mill building that once served as the headquarters of New York's FRONTLINE civil defense organization. Miraculously, the building survived the civil war largely unscathed except for the total collateral loss of its electronics to the EMP that ravaged Manhattan. When the building was reclaimed by Gilbert Tucker in late 2015, it was remodeled with the intention of turning it into a central community hub for the entirety of the Safe Zone. Today, the multiple above-ground buildings serve as meeting halls, council chambers, offices, and storage rooms for the Safe Zone Cooperative. The basement levels, a labyrinthine maze of brick corridors, vaulted storage spaces, and small nooks, have become the sprawling home of the Red Hook Market, an open-air bazaar with free admittance to every Safe Zone resident. The market features pop-up vendor stalls, a single bar called the Red Hook Tavern, and food vendor stalls. Be sure to visit Eleanor, who has the best coffee in the safe zone at the corner in the main square.

In all her time in the New York City Safe Zone, Tetsuyama Asi has never once been here.

She's taking her time as she wanders the softly-lit basement-level bazaar, hands in the pockets of her studded-lapel leather jacket. Blue eyes shift along handmade and scavenged goods, ignoring stalls with any fresh offerings in favor of something that might be suitable to carry off as a souvenir. The booksellers in particular draw her interest, if for more personal reasons. She's been on track until coming across them, but now one hand slides free of her pocket, the light fabric of her scarf trailing down as she tilts her torso over a table of newer and used books.

Fingers trail over a paperback title with interest before hooking around its spine, twisting it around to read the synopsis on the back cove while the tip of one boot taps idly against the ground. Asi can't remember if she's seen this one translated in Japanese before. The used copy of Wolves of Valhalla: The Rise and Fall of Kazimir Volken's Vanguard stays in hand with a quiet hmph, being tucked under her arm as a possible purchase.

The more things change, the more things stay the same. Silas — John Silas Dantes, sorry — is, once again, wandering through a bazaar in search of… stuff. Kitchen fixtures, pots and pans, and flatware for the moment; restaurant grade would be nice, but he's willing to take what he can get, for now. The good news is, he's got a decent budget at the moment.

The bad news is that his budget won't do him any good if he can't actually find anything he's trying to buy; this place is nearly as bad as Lowe's had been in terms of actually finding your way from one end to the other. He wonders, idly, if this world's version of Queen Lowe runs this place, too, before swatting that thought aside. Get it through your head. This is a new world, he thinks to himself grumpily.

Given time he can probably get the layout of this place figured out, but right now? No luck. He comes to a halt, letting out a low grunt of irritation; his hand steals into one of his pockets and closes around the charm he keeps there. He's taken to using it like a worrystone of late.

He's not alone in being lost, or finding the place difficult to navigate, at least. Once Asi exchanges tender for the book using some cash left over from her last excursion into the Safe Zone, she slides the scrap of receipt paper into the book as proof of its purchase, declining a bag. And from there, she's back to square one, only now she's lost track of where she was previously.

An abject look passes over her — resolve shaken by the lack of finding anything to fulfill her needs. Her jaw rolls as she breathes a steadying sigh out her nose, looking down at the wolf on the cover of the purchased book. It wasn't all for nothing, she supposes, if she decides to give up now.

Her toe taps once more against the ground, considering that option. With a click of her tongue, she turns to venture deeper into the maze again. Once more unto the breach, one last go of finding something for not herself.

Her steps are without hurry regardless, eyes wandering stall and pausing to peek inside rooms converted to more proper stores. But it's by a stand of men's ties that she pauses, laughing out loud without bothering to quiet it any. After hardly a moment's passed from that short burst, she snorts and starts laughing again at length.

She can't help it. She's imagining Genki having to wear the awful, gaudy one standing out from the rest on the table.

Onward, onward, onward, onward Silas goes. Secondhand toys? Not interested. Books? Those require free time, ha ha what's that. Clothes? Hmm… alright, yeah. Nonskid shoes would be nice. Also maybe a new coat; SESA had destroyed his old one by attempting to dry clean it, not realizing that the coat was more stain than cloth due to years of Adventures™ on the High Seas… and the replacement they'd provided had been decidedly lackluster.

He pauses as he hears what sounds like someone really laughing it up. He frowns; for a moment it seems like there's something oddly familiar about it… or maybe it's just deja vu. This whole place is basically a lower elevation and less post-apocalyptic version of Lowe's, after all. Surely that's all it is.

He wanders up a narrow aisle of shoes, none of them what he's looking for; coincidentally, it seems he's also heading towards where the laughter is coming from. I wonder what's so funny?

Imagining a too-good-for-this know-it-all wearing a hilariously ridiculous tie presented as a 'well-meaning' gift would be what does it today, Silas.

As Asi's laughter tapers down, still fixed attention on the ugly tie, her chortles lose their humor as she reflects on what she's doing.

Tormenting someone by attacking them with bad fashion was her idea of fun now? Really? Was that the worst she could dish out?

Her eyes narrow at that and she retreats into her thoughts. Not forever. she reminds herself, her countenance more demure than it had been even moments before. Still, there was merit in the harmless gesture, perhaps one that even backs up her long-term goal.

Stooping to embarrassing ties was rather domestic of her, as previously noted.

"かおりのため買いにきたのに," she chides herself as a reminder as she picks up the tie from the table, holding it high. Her amusement has receded to just creases at the corners of her eyes, a firming of her mouth.

Silas steps out from his aisle of shoes as the woman's laughter is dying down; there's definitely something familiar about that laugh, and as he lays eyes on the woman, his sense of deja vu intensifies. He can't help but look at the tie she's holding aloft, though. Jesus. The thing is garish; it looks like Jackson Pollock threw up on it. Repeatedly, and in horrifying technicolor. Either this woman has no fashion sense whatsoever (doubtful; that jacket she's wearing looks pretty nice, even from the back) or she's got an evil sense of humor.

"Getting someone a present?" he asks lightly, from a few feet behind her and slightly to the right.

The voice from behind her has her half-turning, a brow arching at the inquiry. A snorted breath of amusement escapes her and she asks, "Is it that obvious?" as she lets her arm fall. An eyebrow is arched in interest as Asi turns back to Silas, devoid of any recognition for him. She speaks to him in tones warmer than he ever knew her to have for a stranger, in an accent devoid of the American lilt his mind likely tells him it should have. No, this stranger wearing his friend's face speaks smoothly enough but with a vaguely British note to the pronunciation of her vowels.

"Just a… gag gift, for an asshole friend of mine." she explains mildly, shoulders parting in a overly innocent shrug. 'What can you do?' The small smile Asi wears, while it seems polite enough, can be easily recognized by him for the deep amusement it bears. The same goes for the sharpness in her gaze, the way she studies him at a glance.

For an instant, as he sees her face, Silas's expression changes; he's not one to show what he's thinking easily, but seeing Aces' face, here, is enough to shake him. To shock him, in fact; his eyes widen a bit, and while his jaw doesn't quite drop, the corners of his mouth do slacken a bit, his grin fading.

Then she speaks, and the spell is broken.

The voice is similar, but the accent is just ever-so-slightly different. It's not her. Of course it's not; it never was. Disappointment, grief, and something like honest-to-god homesickness try to claw their way up his throat, but he shoves them back down; he'll deal with them later. For the moment, he works on working up a suitable expression of amusement. What are the odds? That you'd meet Hometown Aces in Hometown Lowe's? he thinks. That's the ticket.

"Well, I'd hope you weren't getting it for yourself. It's… rather distinct," Silas says drily, raising a hand to his mouth and rubbing at his cheek - the better to hide his mouth while he works up a smile. At her explanation, his grin widens a bit. "Aha. Well, for that purpose… I'd say it's just about perfect," he says, eyes twinkling.

In comparison, the change in Asi is smooth as she takes interest in his reaction. Her smile remains, polite, as she turns to face him properly. There was definitely recognition, but there wasn't an aha to his expression he was trying to cover up. Not someone who had been looking for her purposefully, then.

But neither a face she knew.

Her smile deepens at his comment, one that no longer reaches her eyes in any way. "The vote of confidence will seal it, then. Thank you for the help." The tie is folded over itself in her palm. "Though, this was not what I was planning to buy when I came searching for souvenirs, I must admit." An eyebrow ticks in interest at him as Asi probes with, "And you? Have you found what you were looking for?"

At her question, Silas's expression grows serious. He considers for a moment, meeting Asi's gaze, then nods. "I," he says solemnly, his expression serious. "…am hopelessly lost."

Then he snickers abruptly, shaking his head. "So, no. I've definitely not found what I'm looking for. I'm trying to find…" he raises a hand and starts ticking off points. "Fixtures, pots, pans, flatware, for a start; restaurant grade preferably, but I'll take what I can get. That's why I came here, anyway… but since I wound up in apparel anyway, I thought I'd at least look around a bit."

He pauses. "You wouldn't happen to know which way the kitchen stuff would be, would you?"

Her expression wilts apologetic as she gently supplies, "Just a tourist. This is my first time here as well." Asi pulls the book out from under her arm, holding it and the tie in one hand while she produces her wallet again to pay for the tie. "Though…" she interjects in the midst of handing the tie and a bill for it off to the minder for this cluster of tables who's wandered over their way. The pause continues until the man fishes out two singles to exchange back along with the tie, her eyes narrowing slightly at how expensive the gag gift's just become. This time, she does take the offered plastic bag to store it in.

"Things do seem to be organized in sections." she finally says, shaking the bag out and considering Silas from the corner of her eye. "Clothes here, jewelry there, books…" A nod indicates that block in particular, marking it as ground that doesn't need tread for what he's looking for.

She's more interested in his reaction now more than before though. Asi tries to not make a habit of openly reading people, but…

"Restaurant grade? You are new and trying to start a business here." The noting of that is done in a light voice. "Very bold. Was there more or less red tape than you would have expected?"

Silas nods ruefully at her explanation; the book does get a second glance and a raised eyebrow as he sees the title, but he files that one away for later. He knows that the Vanguard was stopped here, but not the details; assuming he ever ends up with some of that mythical 'free time' stuff, that might be something to look into. Maybe he'll grab a copy of that along with a new coat before he leaves.

He nods as she points out some of the sections; at her question, he raises an eyebrow. "Yes," he says soberly, and waits about a second and a half — just long enough that Aces probably wouldn't get too cross with him — before grinning and elaborating. "More red tape in some places, less in others; it's never where you expect it, you know? Luckily I've got a good consultant who's able to point out the pitfalls before I step into them," he chuckles. "Me? I'm just a guy who's good at cooking. I do good karaage, and great barbecue. Not bad with fish, either."

Asi nods in apparent sympathy for his explanation regarding the restaurant he means to open, book and tie slid into the bag she holds. She's looking down the rows to see if any stacks of plates or other kitchenware visible from here, but her sweep stutters and pauses at the mention of kara-age. "マジ?" she asks without looking at him, skeptical and surprised both.

It's a familiar phrase, spoken with familiar inflection. As she glances back at him out of the corner of her eye, even that too is a deceptively similar reaction she might have to that news, hearing it for the first time.

Silas is held by that look for a long moment before Asi shifts her weight. "Sorry," she apologizes without sounding the least bit sincere. "Have you been to Japan before?" The question is spoken seeking some kind of common ground, rather than an accusation about the authenticity of his dishes. "You seemed…"

"Karaage's one of about six words I know," Silas says, grinning at her surprise. "Sudoku's another, but I'm pretty sure the other four aren't suited for polite company. Sailor's fluency, I guess you'd say," Silas says, eyes twinkling with amusement. He gives a one-shouldered shrug. "Maybe a few more than six, but not many."

At her next question, the good humor in his eyes dulls, like a cloud passing before the sun. "No. I've never visited Japan," he says, a bit more quietly, glancing away. "I had a friend from there, though."

There's small touches in his reply that lead her to believe the answers are more likely honest than not. Suspicion about him tilts back in the direction of curiosity, wondering what's behind that reaction. "Something happened to them?" Asi asks outright, with the same probing tone as before. Like everything is just one step away from making sense and clicking together, if she could just figure out what she's missing.

"I don't know." Those three words are delivered like lead ingots falling on a mausoleum floor. "She went one way, and I another, and I never saw her again." Save for reflections in a stranger's face, he thinks bitterly, which he knows is entirely unfair.

Then, his eyes return to the here and now. His gaze shifts back to her, and though his eyes are still dull, a small smile touches his lips. "Sorry. You're just trying to do your shopping, and here I am unloading my problems on you; haven't even introduced myself yet!" he chuckles. "I can fix that, at least. Silas Dantes, pleased to meetcha," he says, offering a deep nod and extending a hand.

She, he'd said. A female Japanese sailor aboard a mixed-nationality ship? Eyes narrow just slightly as she ponders his reaction, her expression smoothing as he comes back to the moment. "It's no trouble," Asi assures politely. "I had thought for a moment you might be…" Her smile is practically non-existent before she finishes with, of all things, "a paparazzi or something." She chuckles after saying as much. It was the politest suspicion she could voice and it still ring true.

"So you may know this already and are a very clever liar…" Asi lifts a shoulder in a shrug, not accepting the hand, and not acknowledging it was offered. "But you can call me Tetsuyama Asi." Her head tips forward in a stiff bow, eyes glancing down before she resumes eye contact. "A pleasure indeed. よろしく." she says almost automatically.

Less so, after a hesitant pause that reflects in how it visibly takes her a moment to ask it, "Would you mind company while you look?"

Silas withdraws his hand after a moment. He tilts his head at the mention of paparazzi, considering her. He is skeptical. He is, in fact, at least 95% certain that her fear of 'paparazzi' is bullshit… but he's got a suspicion that pushing wouldn't pay off. Something seems a little shady here, but whatever it is probably isn't any of his business, and he's not super keen on getting dragged into anyone's shady business if he can help it.

He raises an eyebrow at her crack about him being a 'very clever liar', but doesn't dispute the charge one way or the other. After all, she's right on both counts, but he's not going to admit that, and protesting too much is a sure way to look suspicious. "Well met then, Tetsuyama Asi," he says instead, doing his best to imitate her bow.

Her last question makes him blink, though; she's caught him offguard yet again. He chuckles. "Not at all," he says after a moment. "Two heads are better than one, they say."

"Just Asi is all right." she conveys after he bows his head, the corners of her eyes pulling back showing sincerity in the ghost of a smile that follows. If she notes his pause, she doesn't acknowledge it, turning away to nod in the direction of another hall. "Perhaps one of the rooms down there has what you are looking for."

Her feet turn to start leading her in that direction, careful to keep Silas close. She's still very much minding his movements, trying to be aware of what catches his eye, what he does with his hands.

"It's appreciated. Perhaps we'll stand out less if we look clueless together instead of alone." Asi suggests with a hint of mirth. "I've grown more accustomed to company over these last few months. It'll be just another 'reverse culture shock' to get over when I go back."

Silas follows along. His eyes flicker from this to that as he walks; there doesn't seem to be a discernable pattern to what catches his eye, though his gaze does linger a bit when he spots a rack of long coats. His hands, for the moment at least, stay in the open, one occasionally coming up to rub at his chin.

He nods at her comment about looking less clueless together, a hint of a smile touching his lips, though it's her comment about 'reverse culture shock' that really gets his attention. "Reverse culture shock… huh. Hadn't heard of that one. Makes sense, though."

Then something else occurs to him. "Headin' back soon?" he asks, glancing her way. "Assumin' you don't mind me askin', anyway."

"You hadn't?" Asi asks, turning to observe him a bit more openly now that the conversation allows for it. "I've never had to deal with it before. This is my first time travelling internationally," she admits, finding no harm in that. "But it's the feeling of being out of place once you return home. Things once familiar no longer being second-nature. Realizing that home does not have something the previous stop did."

Her teeth click off the inside of her cheek at that, becoming preoccupied with the thought. So much so that it takes her a moment to answer his question.

"Soon, yes." There's pause after, both physical and in the conversation, her eyes latching onto a bookshelf of knick-knacks before she resumes pace. "Later than anticipated, and I still did not find the time to really enjoy the time while it lasted."

Silas nods at her explanation, not without a bit of melancholy. The more you know.

Her comment about not getting a chance to enjoy her time has Silas raising an eyebrow. "Mmm. Well… if you're back in town when the restaurant opens, drop on by. It's gonna be what they used to call a dinner theatre; I'm handling the dinner part, and I've got a partner with some acting chops to handle the theatre end of it," he grins, waxing enthusiastic. "There were still a few around when I was a kid; you'd go in to eat dinner, and you'd get to watch a play while you ate; it was an old idea even back then, which I figure means it's about due for a comeback."

His enthusiasm is met with a bittersweet smile, one that's brief. "I don't know if coming back is an option." Asi admits in a quieter voice, like tempering expectations was required before she got around to looking forward to something like that. Once that's done, she's glancing at him out of the corner of her eye, listening to his story. "Dinner theatre," she parrots back with some interest, a twinge of amusement as she acknowledges, "That's an old, old idea. Kabuki has always been a dinner and a show sort of theatre, but there's still a following for that, even today. Hopefully your plan is successful."

Looking away, she pauses by the doorway of a room to peek inside. Stacks of something catch her eye in the back corner, and she nods Silas in its direction. "Perhaps the comeback happens."

The bit about not knowing if coming back is an option is… worrisome. On the other hand, he is also pretty sure that pressing isn't going to yield anything except further polite suspicion, so… he doesn't.

He glances in the direction she's indicating, then back to her. "I hope so," he says, meaning it as an answer to both comebacks. "Fortune favors the bold, they say," he chuckles, giving her a brief smile before moving over to take a closer look at what she's indicating.

"Aha!" he exclaims. "Pots and pans. Plates and flatware should be nearby… lessee here," Silas trails off, reaching into a pocket and pulling out a small notebook; his eyes move from item to item, and every now and then he pauses to jot something down in it.

The twinge of a smile returns, more sincere. Fortune favors the bold was a bet Asi was riding on, and had to be patient enough to see through. She leans her shoulder into the wall, waiting near the doorway while he makes his notes. She seems to be taking a moment to absorb in the atmosphere, listening to the sounds of the marketplace and the people within. Her eyes close briefly as she lets herself relax, considering the way the air feels.

Different, but lively, she decides.

Asi turns back to Silas, her hands in the pockets of her leather jacket again, wrist hooked through the handle of the small plastic bag to keep it attached to her. "If you don't mind me asking, where are you moving from? Were you sailing before this?"

Silas looks up at her, surprised. "I was, as it happens," he acknowledges, grinning at her for a moment before turning his attention back to his notebook. He scribbles down a couple more things, his gaze settled back on the pots and pans, before elaborating. "Spent awhile out there. There were some good times, some good people. You learn a lot about people when you're stuck on a boat with them," he chuckles.

He shifts a bit further down; sure enough, there's some flatware here, too, and a decent selection of can openers and other doodads. He eyes the flatware critically for a moment, seeming to weigh one style against another, before jotting down a few more things. "Bad times too, of course," he adds, sounding distracted. "It's the nature of the beast. Trust your ship and keep her in good repair, trust your crew and treat them well… but never, ever trust the sea."

He pauses for a moment, glancing to Asi… and he actually looks a bit embarrassed. "Heh. Sorry. I tend to run at the mouth now and again," he says, grinning sheepishly before turning his attention to the doodads. "You do much sailing?"

Her head tilts slightly in a nonverbal reply, eyes narrowing inquisitively. There's a pause before Asi elaborates, "No, not at all." while her thoughtful look intensifies. It stops short of a spoken follow-up question, her attention drifting to the materials he's cataloguing. "I don't think a few half-day trips on a yacht count when compared to…" She nods indicatively toward him, meaning the intense life at sea he's described. A nod, polite, instead of a broad gesture with an open hand.

"There's no need for an apology," is added shortly after, an afterthought to the other answer. "The conversation has been pleasant."

Asi breathes a chuckle shortly after that, eyes on the wares still. "No," she segues, having found something amusing about the new thought she shares. "My work with the Mugai-Ryu is certainly land-locked. Grounding, one might say."

Silas grins; good to know that she's enjoying the conversation. Her mention of Mugai-Ryu is… tricky, though; Silas has no idea what that is, and, much more importantly, has no idea if he's supposed to know what that is. Probably not, but…

Perils of being a secret quadruple reverse double agent from another dimension, he thinks, not without some sardonic humor. I could totally picture Aces saying something that to me, too. Maybe not the 'another dimension' part, but something snarky like that, at least. There's a little melancholy with that, but not enough to eclipse the good humor that fond memories bring.

"Yeah? Well… less worry about drowning there, probably," is what Silas winds up saying, donning a look of slightly perplexed amusement as he shoves his notebook back in a pocket. "Well. That's got me prices for most of the small stuff I need, at least." He pauses for a moment, considering. "Honestly… I'm not sure they'll even have restaurant grade fixtures in this place… but hey, can't hurt to give it a shot. Wanna help me look for the big game?" he asks, grinning.

The mention of the Mugai-Ryu causing him to draw a blank increases Asi's wondering just what caused his initial reaction to seeing her. It had been intense, however brief. Perhaps it was as simple as merely looking similar to the friend he'd mentioned. It didn't seem to have anything to do with her, as far as she could tell.

At his question, she slides her phone from her pocket, checking the time. "I have a few minutes," she admits, skimming notifications visible on the handheld's screen before tucking it away again. "Though I doubt you will find anything like that here. You'll have more luck calling around or ordering something online." The advice is well-meaning, but she leans away from the wall regardless to head back out with Silas as he continues his search.

"So," Asi intones. Continued smalltalk seemed to be in order. "What did you do before the war? Is this a homecoming, or your first time in New York?"

"Hm, yeah…" is Silas's less than enthusiastic reaction to online shopping. He lets out a breath, rubbing at his forehead; he probably will have to dive into the internets and smartphones and such sooner or later, but he can't say he's particularly looking forward to it; the last cellphone he'd had had been one of those little Nintendo things that could very nearly withstand direct meteor impacts and still function.

The questions that come after are… a bit more complicated. He glances over to her, one eyebrow arching, but he's got a very amused grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye. "Curious, aren'tcha?" he asks. "Well. You've been a big help to me, so I guess answering a few questions is the least I can do. Not that I'm really all that interesting, ha!" he chuckles.

His expression gradually changes to a thoughtful frown as he thinks, though. "This isn't a homecoming, but it's not my first time in New York. I've been in town before, but…. it's been awhile. The place looks… very different from what I remember." He shrugs. "As to what else I did… it's kind of a long list. Home repairs. Short order fry cook. Package courier. Amateur magician," he says, shrugging. "Odd jobs, reasonable rates. Not cleaning, though." He makes a face. "I kinda hate cleaning. It's one thing if it's a kitchen — gotta keep the kitchen spotless. Other than that? No thank you."

Asi lifts her shoulders in a shrug at the accusation of being curious, and off her frame slides off the veil of politeness and distance she'd been shrouded in. "Well, two strangers walking closely together, saying nothing… one of us would look like a stalker, and I am the one following you, after all." The grin she gives him is accompanied by a hum of amusement.

"Wait," she says, her hands sliding from their pockets to beg the action requested. One of the odd jobs in particular caught her attention. "Magician? You mean, like card tricks?" Curiosity is again gleaming in the depths of her expression. One might get the impression she's about to insist on a demonstration.

One would be correct.

Silas grins at her stalker comment, eyes twinkling with amusement, but as she flags him to a halt, he looks puzzled. "Card tricks? Yeah. Also coin tricks, flash paper now and again, the odd prop…"

Then he catches the look on Asi's face. A gleam of amusement flickers in his eye, but he dons a thoughtful expression. "Mmm. Don't have any cards on me, but I could maybe try a coin trick or two. More sleight of hand than anything else, but let's see if I've still got it…"

He rummages about in one of his coat pockets for a bit; there's a flicker of something silver and white for a moment before he draws out a few coins. Most of the coins are dropped back into his pocket, leaving only a fairly new quarter. He places the coin on the back of his hand, eyes it intently… and then slowly starts to walk it across the back of his left hand, an expression of intense concentration on his face.

It's not the sleight of hand alone that captivates; you can do the most amazing tricks in the world, but you still have to be able to sell it if you want anyone to give a damn, whether you're doing tricks for some kid's birthday party or fleecing some schmuck at Find the Lady. What Silas is doing right now isn't really that hard, but if the audience thinks it is… well, that's what matters. He keeps the coin moving, right to left across the top of his left hand, down under and back around to the right side. Slowly at first, speeding up with every circuit, just long enough for his audience of one to start to get used to it… and then, when the coin passes around the underside of his hand, he instead slips it up his sleeve. He keeps his hand movements going, grinning up at Asi, then looking back to the coin… and only then does he seem to notice that the coin is gone.

He stares at his hand for a moment, still moving his fingers even as his face takes on an expression of puzzlement. "Hrm…" he says; he turns his hands up, looking at the palms… then, abruptly, he raises his left index finger. "Aha!" he exclaims, clapping his hands together… and slipping the coin back down his sleeve and into his left palm the moment before his hands meet. In the moment that his hands are clasped together, he uses the muscles in the palm of his right hand to grip the coin, holding it in place even as he pulls his hands apart and lowers his right hand to his side, making sure to keep his hand turned so that Asi can't get a good look at the palm of his right hand while still trying to make the movement look natural. This is the part of the trick he's most worried about: he's not done this sort of hold for awhile, especially not with a quarter; whenever he was practicing he tended to use a bigger, more obvious coin. But the coin stays in place for the moment; so far, so good.

Silas snaps the fingers on his left hand, holding his hand out palm up with an excited flourish and a proud grin… and, again, noticing that there's no coin in his hand. He frowns, snaps his fingers once more, and… still no coin. His face takes on a dejected expression for a moment. He snaps the fingers on his right hand, looking fiercely disappointed… and suddenly, there's the coin, sitting in the palm of his right hand, plain as day. His eyes go wide with exaggerated shock; he mock furtively glances from side to side to see if anyone's seen… then, moving his right hand under his left, he gives his right hand the tiniest flick upwards… only for the coin to shoot up, moving far more quickly than it seems like it should. He catches it with the palm of his left hand, and, with a flourish, flips the coin straight up and catches it between two fingers. "Ta-da!" he exclaims, grinning broadly.

Then his smile fades a bit, looking a bit sheepish. "Been awhile. I've forgotten a lot, but… how was that?"

He says he's trying to see if he's still got it, and the intense look of concentration is treated as such until the coin no longer is rotating around his knuckles. Asi's look of impressed interest is swiveled from the trick to Silas directly, brow lifting to question why he hasn't noticed the coin's absence. She follows the movements, eyes flicking to follow Silas' right arm as it falls back by his side, but she's looking back up again when he snaps the fingers on his left hand.

She starts to smile regardless at his 'trouble', her arms coming to a comfortable fold before her as she waits for the trick to finish. Once he jovially proclaims the stunt complete, she inclines her head to acknowledge his efforts, the small but affectionate grin still very much present. "Real magic," she notes in a low tone. "All elbow grease instead of bloody noses." There's no note of disapproval or favor for either kind of trick — both have their merits and challenges, after all.

"I'd have to see it again to know what you did." A thumbs up is flashed near her elbow. He passes.

Silas blinks in surprise at her comment about bloody noses, then chuckles. "Heh, yeah. I took an interest in stage magic when I was a kid. Never really a pro, but…" he trails off shrugging. There's not really a whole lot to talk about there that's interesting or even particularly pleasant.

He falls silent for a moment, seeming to debate something as he studies Asi. "I can do a little of the other sort, too. Not enough for it to be the main attraction, but enough to add a little something now and again," he admits quietly, offering a small shrug. "But! If you want to see more…" he pauses, then grins. "Well. Drop by the theatre if you happen to be in town again," he says with a grin. He shrugs. "Something to look forward to, maybe."

Asi's palm curls back around her elbow, arms refolding properly as she watches his demeanor change when he makes that second admission. "Can you?" she interjects almost brightly, even while he's speaking. He seemed hesitant about talking about his ability.

He should be anything but, and she wants to ensure he knows where she stands.

"That is remarkable," she is sure to enunciate clearly, her gaze warm. "You should be proud of what you can do. An ability is a gift, one that should be cherished." Asi no longer smiles when he brings up that next time, her look more solemn as something else flickers in her eyes. She voices with as much sincerity as before, "Something to look forward to." with a crinkling at the corner of her eyes.

"Should I make it back," Not a 'when' or 'if' exactly. "I will look for you, Silas Dantes."

Her weight shifts, indicating it's perhaps time for her to move on even if she hasn't turned away just yet.

Silas blinks; he had… not been expecting that. He hesitates a moment, then chuckles; there's a hint of something like embarrassment in his body language though, as if it's something he's not particularly used to getting praise for. "Well… it's handy, now and again," he says with a grin.

He catches the way she shifts on her feet, though; she'd said something about not having a great deal of time, as he recalls… which means it's probably about time for him to make his exit. On the whole this has been a pleasant interlude, but he's fairly certain she's got things to be doing… and so does he, come to that. "Well, hey. It's been nice meeting ya, Tetsuyama Asi… but I probly better get goin'," he says, a bit ruefully. "I've still got to see if they've got those bigger fixtures and see if I can get anyone to handle deliveries for some of these orders, and I think this place closes at some point," he chuckles. "But I'll keep an eye out for ya!" he says, grinning brightly.

"It's yours to share or conceal as you will, but it's yours." Asi reaffirms with a faint smile, and a deep nod.

"It's been a pleasure, Mr. Dantes." She lifts a hand off her folded arms again, this time to wave as she starts to step back. "Good luck with your venture." is her parting comment, said with some weight to convey her sincerity before she turns away. Asi makes her way back down the rows of stalls and tables, hands sliding into the pockets of her leather jacket as she goes.

"Same to you. Take care," Silas says, offering a wave of his own as Asi departs. He watches her walk away for a moment… but only for a moment. Then he, too, turns and starts to walk. "Bye… Asi," he says under his breath as he walks away… then, on impulse, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a familiar charm, a cage of curling silver wire wrapped meticulously around a single pearl. And goodbye to you too, Aces, he thinks, a whisper of melancholy joining his good humor. Goodbye, Tetsuyama Asami.

It's a bit silly of him, he knows; they already said that goodbye. Two months ago, in fact. And, come to that, it was actually a pretty good parting, as partings go… he just hadn't really realized at the time how permanent it would wind up being. He rubs at the pearl for a moment, then, chuckling at his own absurdity, he tucks the omamori away again. He embraces that whisper of melancholy floating around the back of his mind, lets himself really feel it for a moment… then lets it go. It'll be back, of course — he wouldn't want to be rid of it forever even if he could, because it and the omamori are the only things he has left of his old partner in crime — but it's more a thing suited for a nice bottle of scotch on a quiet evening, rather than the middle of the day when he's trying to get things done.

There's shopping to do; promises to keep, and miles to go before he sleeps. He still needs to go haggle with some shopkeeps about bulk prices for dishes and flatware, and maybe get an actual decent coat. He also plans to pick up a copy of that Wolves of Valhalla book, too; reading about the Vanguard dying in a fire sounds like a good time. He shakes his head and chuckles once again, then turns his attention back to his shopping.

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