Look Who's Coming To Dinner



Scene Title Look Who's Coming to Dinner
Synopsis It's Adam.
Date March 20, 2009

Tokyo, Japan

Kaito Nakamura didn't show. This did not come as a particular surprise to his daughter, who left the dinner only about forty minutes in, leaving his aide to handle the proceedings of the charity event with all of the tact and aplomb that Mr. Ryu Haruno had been hired for ten years ago.

Mr. Haruno would be the gentleman in the black tux excusing himself from the table now. The disjunct between Japanese and American business cultures is rarely so disjunct as when Clarity Enterprises sends its emissaries here to Tokyo to discuss business with Yamagato Industries. The gaijin sit down, hand over the wine, smile and expect to actually discuss business. Mr. Nakamura leaves their education and enlightenment in his old associates capable hands.

Which Mr. Haruno would privately much rather wash of all this, the fat white rabble and their sweating uncertainty, hamfisted attachment to crude numbers, statistics, and contracts to be signed, the awkward pretzeling of their tubby legs under the low tables and persistent unwillingness to admit to ignorance. The Japanese man tucks his feet back into his shoes and moves toward the restroom, some shadow of fatigued disgust finally escaping out of his carefully cultivated facade.

There is a polite word to be exchanged with the sushi chef behind the bar. He glances over the tuna head propped up behind the glass case, studies the double-layer of live softshell crabs burbling and walking across each other in the circular confines of their fishbowl. He sighs; thinks about his wife; brushes past the drape of the hemp noren.

While gone, Adam had moved in, convincing the large fat men that the meeting was over. For some, all they needed was a word, for others, it took a look of seriousness of a driven man. But in the end, all that needs to be said is that the table has been emptied. He pauses and asks a waitress for a glass of merlot and some clean utensils. Adam gets in a comfortable sitting position, kneeling back a bit while he searches the table for a fork and begins to quietly clean it with a napkin.

The Americans weren't difficult to convince, though the shape and accent of the messenger had surprised them. They had taken affront, in the end, taking the aide's wordless departure and Adam's flippant tone as a summary slap in the face, and consistent with the fact that the Nakamuras themselves had not bothered to attend or stay.

Clicking back across the varnished floor, Ryu Haruno notices that their shoes are missing. He lifts a brow, taking no small measure of affront himself; his shadow blurs over the translucent rice paper of the screen door before his head emerges from around the wooden frame to confirm the retreat of the pale pigs, his expression serenely expectant. The instant he sees Adam, that changes. Consternation etches into his forehead.

Just like a gaijin, to use a fork at the finest sushi restaurant in all of Nihon. "Gomennesai," he says. His voice is a low register, the rich polish of a cancer's worth of cigar smoking. "«This room is reserved.»"

Adam does not appear to react to being confronted, just quietly cleaning the fork of one of the former business men. He says in a conversational tone, "Mr. Blakely insists that the Nakamura's are the rudest business people he has ever met." he shakes his head, tsking a bit as he considers the now cleanly fork. He reaches out and pierces a piece of fish and brings it to his mouth. With his mouth full, he says, "Please Mr. Saruna, we have business to discuss." through his entire two statements, Adam has switched in and out of Japanese and English. His face is polite, his tone conversational, but there's something about his posture that seems…tense.

"«You are not from Clarity Enterprises,»" Haruno observes, somewhat more stiffly than he had been before. Dark eyes sweep the rest of the room, marking the signs of quick departure. The delicate half-eggs of sake cups only half-drained, their dregs filtering the scent of alcoholic sweetness into the air, napkins cast down with the flurried strength of a departing huff, a cushion skewed out of its original, geometrically perfect coordination with the rest of the room by some lugubrious posterior.

Ryu does not move into the room, but he doesn't simply storm out yelling for security, either. His lips thin with disapproval. Young upstart, he thinks. Probably somebody whose proposal was discarded out of the pile by an intern. "You will have to schedule an appointment."

Adam lets out a deep sigh after he has swallowed his piece of fish. He gently puts his fork down on the table and stands slowly. He begins to speak solely in Japanese, "I can see that I have been rude." he looks almost remorseful, but there is a light drag on his lip which appears almost sarcastic, like this is all a game. He bows deeply at the waste and says, "I am Richard Sanders." upon straightening, he adds, "And you are Ryu Saruna. You see? Introductions are paramount to a useful meeting." he motions with his left hand towards the table again, "Won't you please sit so that we can talk?" he implores politely.

"No," Ryu answers coolly, his face frosting over in a mask of distaste— that is likely too sincere to qualify as a mask, frankly. He hasn't bothered switching back to Japanese. "I am Ryu Haruno."

Nevertheless, he begins to doff his shoes, neatly pulling heels then toes up out of the coiffed leather. He straightens the lapel of his suit jacket with an arrogant flick of a hand, crosses the smooth floor and seats himself at the table opposite the standing gaijin. He lifts up the ebony chopsticks he had been eating with before, pinches up a slice of white fish, and dabs it into wasabi. "Sit," he says, gesturing. "I am going to finish my dinner regardless of the company."

The entire time Ryu moves through the room, Adam's gaze never wavers. He watches the man with a quiet intensity that almost bubbles over into his features. But instead, he kneels at the table quietly and for a few moments, he simply eats freely off the table as if this were a polite, but quiet dinner date. The entire time, he has a look of mournful respect, but can never seem to entirely rid of himself of the sarcastic lip drag. He comments casually, "This is very nice. Can't get anything quite as authentic as this in New York." while his tone remains polite, the words are starting to appear scripted, as if he is playing a role. Finally, he looks up, "You're old school, aren't you?" he questions, "All loyalty and honor and 'we should have kept the borders closed', yeah?" he shakes his head, "That's going to make this more difficult than it otherwise would have to be." in a wistful tone.

The two eat in a macabre parody of companionable silence. Varnished wood and glazed clay go clink-clink, and there's a bubbly slurp of tea intake here or there, a stirring of the miso soup with the point of Haruno's eating utensils. He doesn't touch the sake, of course. That would be foolish at this point, though kami-sama knows—

He might regret that soon. Having nothing to dull the pain.

Adam's words give him pause in the midst of separating two slices of fatty tuna from one another. "Americans have their way. We have ours. I am sure England does too." The strength of his accent wavers in before washing out, clearing with all but the simplest elements of suspicion from his voice when he asks, in the simplest words: "What do you want from me?" Never let it be said that he is entirely incapable of bringing business to the dining table.

Adam nods a bit in defeated acceptance, "Your way." he shakes his head, "I was like you once." he says as he makes a show of stabbing another piece of fish with his fork, "I believed I could follow rules that really made no sense, that I could bring honor to a name." he shakes his head and looks up, "But it never works, Ryu. It never works because people will betray you in the end." he looks sad now, as if remembering something, "And that brings me to why I am here. I need Kaito Nakamura's rolodex, because he knows how to find some people that I, myself, wish to find." he smiles amiably, "You might imagine I had plans. I could offer you money or power…but you won't go for that, will you Ryu? For no other reason than I am a gaijin and you are Kaito Nakamura's man." he shakes his head, taking another bite of his fish, "Of course, if you had a price, now would be the time to say." as he cleans off his fork into his mouth.

"A price?" The source of Ryu's annoyance is as obvious and simple in their grace as the words with which the bushido were written. He scowls, and his scowl isn't a thing of wrinkles and squared lips, but lines folding into his forehead nearly as orderly as the opening of a chrysanthemum flower and a certain tension in the faintly liverspotted hand that remains poised above the fatty tuna. "My price is benevolence, honor, and respect," he says. It isn't immediately obvious whether he knows Kaito Nakamura extremely well… or not at all. "In these areas you seem to be bankrupt. If you wish for Nakamura-san's Rolodex, perhaps you should ask him for it."

Adam is still for a few moments. "You know, it wasn't supposed to be you." he says in a gentle voice, "It was supposed to be Kimiko…but she got bored and here we are." he shakes his head and his eyes narrow for a moment, "Do you think this is a game, Ryu?" he asks as his voice begins to rise, "Do you think I do this because it amuses me? Do you think I like the things I have to do?" he shakes his head in disgust, "Do you imagine you are being heroic here? *You* are not the hero here, *I* am. I will save the world from itself and I despair that to do so, I must be here with you." he leans over the table, "You are *nothing*." then, he smiles, but now his smile is filled with malevolence, "The Samurai are dead." and suddenly, in a perfect and quick arc, his hand comes down on Ryu's with the business end of the fork.

There's no florid roostertail of blood, no slash of crimson on the wall or hackling screech to bring all of the building's security running to Haruno's aid. No, the fork's stainless teeth keep the wound plugged in where it bit down, and though the nerves and veins stand out like pulped-down mountain range reliefs against the backs of his hand, fingers splayed, rigid, contorted in the agony of an insect tacked down for science, Ryu Haruno does not scream.

He groans, stoops down slightly, bringing him nose-to-nose with the beady-eyed regard of a sweet shrimp, his other hand clenching on the table's edge, ignoring the chopsticks sandwiched against the wood by his grasp. Sweat pops out of his forehead. "The samurai were peasants," he wheezes. "W-with swords and simple greed.

"You— «with your delusions,»" his language breaks, inevitably, ripped apart by the wrecking ball of searing stress. "«Can't even use a fork—»"

Adam chuckles at this response, "You're pretty tough for a young pup." he says pleasantly, leaning back from across the table and standing. He's all smiles now, the malevolence having faded away to something almost jovial, "Ryu." he says as he walks around the table, "I like you, I really do. Now give me your phone.." he leans down slowly, his lips moving towards the man's ear as he quietly asks, "You have a phone, yeah? This is Japan…all keyboards and blinky blinks and girls that look like cats?" he leans in, sniffing about the man's neck as if smelling his frustration and pain, "Give me your phone and I will walk away and we will forget this horrible incident ever occured." his head tilts slowly as his eyes focus upon the man's temple, "But make me look for the phone on your dead body, frustrate my quest and I will kill you." and then, he takes hold of the man's shoulder, leaning in, "And I will kill your wife. Your cousins, your siblings, I will even kill you fucking favorite sushi chef. I will make you disappear from this world as if you never existed. And I will do it /because I can/."

A young pup. There's no way for Ryu Haruno to take that other than to simply believe that the man is mocking his old age and withered reflexes. He's quiet for a moment, which is not to say silent. There are small noises crawling out from the back of his throat like diminutive insects, tickling off his tongue and scattering in beady-bodied panic out of his nose. Whimper. Squeak. His wife, cousins, siblings, and sushi chef slop through his mind's eye, a blur of faces. The Yakuza make similar threats, now and then, but he knows already that Kaito Nakamura does not quibble with enemies like those.

"Rolodex," he gasps, his English crippled to listed nouns. "Phone. Fork. One of these things is not like the others.

"«Nakamura Kaito will kill you.»" Though not before Haruno gives it a worthy effort, himself. Chopsticks gripped through thumb and forefinger twist into the air, his free arm and lean shoulder pinwheeling underneath the constriction of his suit jacket, driving the tapering points of varnished wood at the white of Adam's neck.

Adam is stabbed in the neck. He really was taken by surprise, there was more fight in the old man than he thought. He lets out a cry of pain and stands straight. "FUCK." he lets out before he reaches up and grabs the chopsticks and pulls them out and tosses the bloodied wood onto the table, "Fuck." he says quieter this time, but with as much force, "That fucking hurt." he says in an annoyed voice. "You could have put my eye out!" he exclaims, admonishing the old man. He holds his hand to his neck, already healing the deep, but small puncture wound. He shakes his head, "Do you realize how long killing your entire family is going to keep me in Japan?" he reaches down suddenly, his arm going about Ryu's neck and squeezing, "Over a fucking *phone*." he says in exasperation, "I'm going to have to kill your children because you wouldn't reach into your fucking jacket. Do you realize how stupid that is?" he continues to squeeze with his arm, putting more and more pressure on his neck, "Just know that you'll be seeing your family soon, in Hell. You can have a picnic."

Astonishment managed to cut through the clouded pain of Haruno's expression for only a splinter of an instant before he's slammed closer to the table in the noose of Adam's arm and there is too much pressure on his neck for him to do anything else with his face except bulge. His eyes stretch huge, unblinking, veins contusing into view around the whites, his pupils finding twitching, saccadic focus on the slice of Adam's face visible over his own shoulder.

His teeth bare, a macabre parody of a smile in gasping rictus. It's impossible to tell whether he's trying to say something or merely screaming for insensate agony. There's a spittle-flecked hacking, folded legs thrashing and skewing bonelessly against the fronts of Adam's feet, like a live abalone cooked across the teppanyaki griddle.

Adam doesn't let him speak, if he would have last words. He allows the threat to be it. But now that he's almost dead, his anger seems to fade. While he keeps the pressure on the neck, he leans in and shhs gently into Ryu's ear, "It's almost done…don't fight it, it's not that bad, I've died many times." he pushes a bit more, "Your part is over now, yeah? Nothing else matters anymore. It didn't have to be this way, but you wanted to go out like an action star…well…go into the light…" he whispers softly, but almost lovingly, "Go into the light."

It's darkness that takes Haruno, but there's no way for Adam to know that. Other than personal experience, of course.

The last clicking whimper of life escapes the old man. He goes slack under the pressure of Adam's grip, one hand torn bloody and fingerprints smeared all over the table-top amid overturned dishes and pooling ginger juice, the other relaxed, limp around his chopsticks. When released, he sloughs down, the impaled fork twanging free of its staple-hold with another dragging rip through his metacarpals. He falls to the ground in a tumbled heap of expensive suit, lapel tossing open around the shape of his Palm Pilot, an embroidered handkerchief, and a gilded pen.

Adam sighs once the deed is done, but any remorse felt is quickly lost when he finds what he wanted in the first place. He reaches down and takes the contents of the pocket, even the handkerchief and pen. "This is a really nice pen." he states in admiration. He begins to put these away in the pockets of his own jacket. He reaches down and takes a napkin, wiping his neck off and then tosses it down onto the body of one formerly known as Ryu Haruna.

He tsks and takes a measured step to the door. While he puts his shoes on, he contemplates the mess of activity Ryu has left him with. There might be some who would cry out against it, to call it unjust, to call those he had threatened innocent. However, there are two things that Adam knows which keep him stalwart. The first is that there are no innocents. The second is that Adam Monroe or Takeo Kensai or Richard Sanders or whomever, has always been a man of his word. He turns off the light before opening the door and gives a deep bow to the now empty (of life anyway) room, before closing the door again.

March 18th: Now A Gentle Beast
March 18th: Felix Ivanov is in St. Luke's again
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