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 Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]

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Yaksha
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Subject Post 11PostSubject: Re: Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]   Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:27 pm

The hollow began to tut, ever so softly. And his smile hadn't changed in the slightest. Even now he oozed that same sense of easy, insouciant arrogance, as if to say that he had already run over this entire conversation in his head. It took him less than a second to launch into his reply this time, mirth and delight bubbling over from the edges of each word, as if he were taking a perverse, sadistic glee in outing Rukia's faulty logic.

"Rukia, that is literal projection. The actual psychological definition of the unhealthy coping mechanism. I made an unwelcome accusation, one which you never rebutted, and your response was to make the same accusation of me. You may as well respond to me calling you bald by calling me bald. It's unbecoming of one so proper. Please? Choose your words more carefully? Or at least stop pulling your punches. You're lobbing them slow and easy right down home plate, and I'm barely even breaking a sweat here, tearing your arguments to shreds."

He once more rose his hands, folding them beneath his chin as his grin widened, ever so much more. It in fact grew so wide that it spread around to the very back of his neck, giving an impression very much like it was about to fall back on a hinge, and reveal something hideous underneath. But instead he just spoke in the same soft, amused, pleasant tone, as if he were speaking with an old friend, or trying to engage her in tomfoolery, rather than tearing her entire worldview to shreds.

"I believe my phrasing was that, in your arrogance, you refuse to accept peace as an option. Once again, you throw my own words back in my face, in the vain hopes I will simply let it happen. I refuse to accept peace as an option because I have seen how the shinigami operate. Any peace you offered would be found at the point of a blade. It would be a peace of daggers hidden behind smiles, and the Onmitsukido tracking my movements at all times, working out the ideal opportunity in which to strike me down. It would be a cold war, with our battles being fought on other battlefields, while we sat across a table, much as we are doing right now, trading snide comments back and forth, and trying to prove our superiority to the other. Peace, Rukia, would be this same conversation, played out on the scope of centuries. Because you would never yield, and neither would I."

He rose one hand slowly, carefully, and then tilted his head to the side.

"At least, not too long ago, I wouldn't yield. Now, I find that there's no shame in eating a slice of humble pie. If anything, it goes rather well with the taste of fois gras and Kobe beef. I can afford to admit my faults. I've...met a scant few shinigami in my lifetime, and those I have met were all rather uniform in their personalities and behavior. You are...something else, Rukia. Dare I say it, you are a real person. You don't walk through life with your mind turned off, hoping things will work out in the end if you just do the same old thing. And that is why I will do you the respect of an apology, without any subterfuge, or backhanded insults attached."

He rose from his chair, bowing slowly, deeply, his head touching the floor, and one leg kicking out, to slide behind his other, as he spoke.

"I've allowed my prejudices to get the better of me. I had thought this would be a...battle of words, to preface the battle of steel and flesh. I entered into this conversation prepared to win at all costs, and I've committed grave errors as a host. I would implore you to forget the last few minutes of conversation, and simply enjoy the meal. Allow me to make amends, and shore up the bridge I so very nearly burned before we even reached the true topic of conversation."
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Subject Post 12PostSubject: Re: Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]   Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:59 pm


❄❆❄

Rukia raised her empty hand, flattening her palm, virtually mirroring the man's movement in herself, before she spoke again.

"No, Yaksha; it's I who should be apologizing. I've erroneously made assumptions based upon information I acquired from a certain, biased entity — in your own home, might I add." She concurred, her prior animosity squelched before it had ignited into something more sinister, regaining her polite conviction as she resumed her consumption of the delicious soup that laid before her upon the table, dancing across her palate.

"What kind of soup is this?" She asked, her dazzling amethyst irises now reflecting the light of the room with curiosity and amusement, her lips pursing as to grant Yaksha a glimpse of what her seldomly shown smile held; her thin, mauve lips curling up at the corners faintly — her eyelashes dusting her cheekbones for a split second as she directed her gaze to the nearly emptied soup bowl in front of her. Had she really eaten that much in such a short time, during the heat of their discussion? The Shinigami's smile faded as quickly as it appeared, for Rukia was spooning the last bit of pungent, earthy silkiness into her mouth.

❄❆❄
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Subject Post 13PostSubject: Re: Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]   Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:40 pm

"That, Rukia, is shark's fin soup! Priced at approximately fifty thousand yen a bowl. The particular variation I've cooked for you is even more decadent, and can trump that price by an order of magnitude. It's been rumored so delicious it can tempt disciplined Buddhists into forsaking their vows of abstinence. Personally...I think I could do it with a bowl of miso if I really felt so inclined."

Again that triumphant, smug smirk as he folded his hands over his chest, chuckling deep back in his throat. He simply seemed to be sizing up Rukia for a few moments, as if drinking in the many vibrant colors, and the soft, pleasant curves of her face. Until finally, with a faint raising of his hand, he seemed to conjure a deck of cards from nowhere at all; he nimbly and slowly shuffled them, eyes still locked on her. His hands weren't quite as sure as they should've been, and there were a few times he nearly fumbled the deck, but he still never broke eye contact, as he spoke.

"Now, let us get down to the meat and potatoes. You wouldn't be here unless you had a burning need, or unless you were delivering a particularly important message. I'm guessing it's a little of both, in your case. And that's just fine by me, because things in this world are never simple, never as they seem. Tell me Rukia, are you fond of games of chance? Or perhaps you prefer things over which you have more control? I'm certain there exists some shinigami in this world with the power of unfathomable luck, but I think they're also lucky enough to go unnoticed. No, no. We'll stick with a hefty dose of divine providence, thank you very much. So what's your game of choice? Texas Hold 'em? Go fish? Blackjack? Perhaps a nice rousing game of Strip Poker?" The way Yaksha rolled the 'r' on the last one, and the sudden twinkle in his eyes, made it quite hard to deny the possibility that he had already determined her reaction to such a suggestion, and was simply waiting for the inevitable reaction.
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Subject Post 14PostSubject: Re: Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]   Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:23 pm


❄❆❄

Rukia Kuchiki had tried to keep her composure, but it was no match for her incinerating rage. She dropped her spoon with a "clank," as it clattered against the table top, losing momentum. She rose to her feet, her chair being pushed back as she now stood. Upon her face was an insidious glare, her thin, raven eyebrows knitted together in a scowl; her mauve lips now pressed into a hard, tight line. And then she spoke, her voice gaining volume, but not pitch. "Strip Poker? How dare you insinuate such a thing! I am not that type of woman, and even if I were, I would not strip for you," She cooed icily, adding emphasis where it was due.

Her once beautiful amethyst eyes reflected the light as a dark violet, occluded with rage. What deluded Yaksha to think that she would play such a game with the likes of him? Surely, it wasn't the aphrodisiac, molten liquid he had fed her — initially it had been delectable, but now, it was as bitter, and odious as stomach bile, rising in one's throat.

She was disgusted.

❄❆❄
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Subject Post 15PostSubject: Re: Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]   Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:51 pm

"Don't flatter yourself, Rukia; I'd be the one to come out worse from such a game."

Once more, there was that enormous, insouciant smirk there. He held the deck out to her, gently pushing card after card forward, even flipping them over with his fingers. He could already see himself getting under her skin, leaving the shinigami's true thoughts and feelings exposed. He was almost starting to feel guilty at this point; she'd come here expecting something else entirely, and now she was being dragged along in a giant flight of fancy, from a man who was supposedly about as humorous as a monk.

"You'll have to pardon my improprieties; I'm riding a bit of a high. This body leaves me subject to whims and appetites I thought long gone. And while wearing it I can't stop myself from wanting certain things. That, coupled with my natural 'predispositions'...makes it very hard for me to behave."

Once more that toothy, triumphant smirk as he folded the cards on the table in front of her. He continued with his patter, in that same carnival tone heard across the world; a combination of boisterous and jeering, encouraging one to try their luck or to prove the speaker wrong, or simply to pass time with a bit of enjoyment.

"So what's your poison, Rukia? Could it be you need your dirty business done, and you don't want even the Onmitsukido to know? Perhaps you were hoping I might know where to find a particular someone? Were you simply here to put the fear of god into this miserable little pissant? Or was there some...service you felt I may be able to provide, in time? I must confess I have longed for the opportunity to strike out into the world of big business for a few centuries now. But my word, there are a lot of fees to be paid, and paperwork to be done to become an honest businessman."
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Subject Post 16PostSubject: Re: Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]   Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:01 am


❄❆❄

"You mean, you're wanton? I find that hard to believe." Rukia quipped, her tone still hardened as she extended her hand to take the damned cards, seethingly. She had no intention to stay all evening playing silly card games with a Hollow, of all beiings. She was here because she had acquired some intelligence about Yaksha's plans to build a casino — and she wanted to know the reason as to why a Hollow would want to build something so inherently human.

"The service you can provide me with is information." She muttered, staring at her cards idly, for she didn't quite know what they were for. The Kuchiki woman then splayed them across the table, face up, assuming that they were supposed to go that way. Her cold stare penetrated Yaksha's face now, as she gazed at him both expectantly, and curiously; her rage still boiling beneath the surface — though she reckoned she'd best keep her temper in check — for now.

"My poison though, as you refer to it, is another glass of wine, if you so please."

❄❆❄
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Subject Post 17PostSubject: Re: Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]   Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:36 pm

"Then let information be the currency of the night! You're familiar with the typical business transaction, naturally...but this is Vegas. And in Vegas, we do things a little differently. It isn't commerce which drives us, but...hope. You see Rukia, we're about to engage in a game which may well end in you being one of the most well-informed shinigami in the Gotei. Or you may go back weeping, with nothing but ill tidings to your masters. And that is the joy of this game, Rukia. This is a battlefield which leaves all equal among it."

The hollow scooped up the cards negligently, shuffling them back and forth; a smooth, dizzying array of colors and motion that left one feeling sick just from watching for too long. As he did, his expression seemed to smooth out and drain away, losing much of the bluster and smugness. Now there was nothing but a cool attentiveness, an almost dreadful sense of suction as he sat in absolute silence, staring only at the deck. When he did speak it was in precise, clipped tones, devoid of actual emotion.

"Poker is the simplest of the games to perform casually. The game is simple; we each draw five cards, and take turns discarding as we see fit. The goal is to find patterns in the randomness. To nab up four of the same symbol, the same number, to find a sequence of numbers. As a general rule of thumb, the less likely that such an occurrence would happen randomly, the more valuable it is. You can find two, three, four of the same kind, or two of two different kinds, or even find a sequence of numbers, all the same symbol. At the start of each new round of betting, we each lay our wager. For instance, I might promise to tell you about the known hollows operating within a hundred mile radius, and the ideal methods to capture and purify them. And in exchange, you might offer me the name of your zanpakuto, and the nature of its powers. Should one feel the others' wager is of insufficient weight, they may raise, and demand a greater compensation for the risk taken."

He then flicked five cards at Rukia rapidly, expertly, and drew five off of the top, himself.

"I'll start us off. I will tell you the nature of my business in Las Vegas, should you win. And in exchange, you will offer...?"

He rose his gaze from his cards, towards her, and for the first time the sheer cold weight of Yaksha's focus struck her like a sledgehammer, and drew her forward with a force and insistence that was like the tides, simultaneously. He gave nothing away as he stared at her, simply waiting patiently for a response. Any, whatsoever.

"If you're hurting for ideas, I could certainly supply some."
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Subject Post 18PostSubject: Re: Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]   Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:04 am


❄❆❄

"If your suggestions are within reason, I'll consider them."

Rukia's dark gaze held its own beneath Yaksha's, unwavering. Her icy fingers moved to slide the cards across the table top, drawing them into her cold grip. Her lips parted, and she spoke once more, "Before you get any licentious ideas, I suppose that I should inform you of two things — the first of which being that I have not the slightest inclination as to how to play poker, and the second, being that I quite fancy someone already. I'm inherently loyal, so any attempts of yours to break that loyalty will be thwarted henceforth."

Her expression was still guarded, a frown set deeply into her youthful face, drawn, as if she were under stress trying to hold her temper back — most impolite thoughts swirling around within the recesses of her mind.

❄❆❄
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Subject Post 19PostSubject: Re: Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]   Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:38 pm

"Your beau, then. Should I win, you will tell me of your beloved."

This time he didn't even bother to respond to her allegations about his intentions; he seemed almost to have shut off, or shifted gears so dramatically that he hardly resembled the same creature anymore. His eyes remained peeled to the deck as he set down three cards, drew three more, and then nodded just once, ever so slightly. He rose his gaze to Rukia, once more seeming to peel away her flesh and muscle, leaving her pure soul exposed. He looked at her with an intensity that was unsettling, and his face gave away nothing. The hollow in front of Rukia seemed as cold and as dark as the sea, as he splayed out his cards, face-up.

"Normally we'd reveal only when we're both satisfied with the stakes. But this is a practice round. Discard as many cards as you like, or none. Replace them with the cards on the top of the deck. And then see if you can squeeze out something of value from something random."

He reached down, tapping his finger at the cards in sequence; a two, a nine, a seven, a jack, and a king. All diamonds.

"Your chances, should you be curious, are approximately 10%. There are four different hands which can beat mine. Use your talents, and sift through the noise and confusion to find the value."
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Subject Post 20PostSubject: Re: Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]   Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:51 pm


❄❆❄

Rukia nodded curtly, coming to an understanding of the stakes she was up against. Languidly, her violet irises scanned the cards that rested against the palm of her hand, the black and red of the deck contrasting against her porcelain skin. Swiftly, she deposited three of her own cards, mimicking the behavior she had just seen Yaksha exibit, drawing three cards from the top of the deck, before depositing two more cards.

"I understand," she murmured, her voice soft with contemplation as she eyed the five cards she had placed on the table: a queen of spades, a queen of hearts, a queen of clubs, a queen of diamonds, and a four of hearts — four of a kind. "Given the odds against me, and my percentage of winning, I found that this hand may be well suited for the one that you played. There's not much confusion aside from why one would discard their cards, I, for one, shall discard none."

The noble woman's eyes rose to meet Yaksha's, piercing them with a cold, calculating seriousness. While Rukia may not completely understand the game, she does understand deductive, mathematical reasoning — one of her many facets — but she gambled that the Hollow man sitting across the table from her already had observed that himself.

"My beau is of equal value to you?" She questioned, her lips still drawn tightly together.

❄❆❄
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Hope You've Guessed My Name. [Yaksha/Rukia]
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