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Subject Post 1Subject: Tea Parlors and Policies[Shio/Aiko] Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:47 pm
"I'm sorry Sir, I really am. But you have to leave your weapon outside, or in our care."
Shio's expression, as ever, was calm and soothing, giving off little more than the faintest hint of confusion, and yet as he stared at the woman in her flowery, outlandish dress, he could see her sweating and twitching. Was it something about his outfit? Shio liked to believe he was pretty good at blending in, and while his outfit was a bit...colorful for an everyday human, it wasn't that incredibly hard to swallow. Or perhaps it was because he was just so patient and calm. Wasn't that how most serial killers came across, according to the news reports he'd read? Quite amicable and kind, until it was too late. All the same, his zanpakuto was...a bit more than a personal weapon. Leaving it out of his care would be foolish, and probably cause to get reprimanded.
Shio very much did not want to get reprimanded.
"Can you explain that to me, dear? Do you often have people entering your establishment with less than a foot worth of metal ending in a point? Is this a...regular occurrence? Or are you profiling, perhaps?"
"No! No, no, we wouldn't let -anyone- in here with a weapon! We just don't want to see anyone getting hurt, you know."
"What I do know is that unless you search everyone from top to bottom, or have metal detectors, you can't keep -everything- dangerous out. This seems more like a...token gesture, to me. An attempt to cover your asses, and reduce liability. If you claim you don't let people in with weapons, then when someone sneaks in with a weapon, it's not on you. Something to that effect?"
The woman's smile was frozen in place, brows furrowing; clearly she hadn't been trained to deal with a case of a customer asking questions of this sort. She began to back away, gesturing towards a passing individual. This one was a man, dressed in a rather convincing butler outfit, who moved forward with remarkable grace and speed, before bowing to Shio deeply. Shio bowed back, a slight smirk coming across his face. He couldn't help it; something about this chat was starting to entertain him.
"What seems to be the problem, Sir?"
"Oh, no problem. We were just discussing your policy regarding weapons."
"We don't allow them, Sir. It's that simple."
"And I applaud you for the sentiment! But how are you going to keep everyone with any dangerous object out? You'd go bankrupt, don't you think?"
"I daresay a knife is quite a bit more dangerous than a spoon."
Shio bit back his immediate response on that front; certainly, a spoon could be more than deadly enough in his hands. But he couldn't let them know that, or he'd be out on his ass in record time. Instead he just bowed his head, and then smiled.
"Sir. I am perfectly trained in self defense. I have absolutely no desire to use this weapon. No matter what the liberals say, having a weapon doesn't suddenly lead a person to feel tempted to use it. I'm not so unstable that one crying kid will make me go on a stabbing spree. It's more ornamental than anything, and if we're being completely honest my hands probably count as deadly weapons. For the sake of this...conversation, we'll assume I'll be putting my item in your care. To satisfy your policies. But to be honest, I really don't see how you think making it harder for the good guys to protect themselves will make it harder for the bad guys to hurt others."
Yet again, some oddity of thought that was lost on Shio. Perhaps it was strictly a human thing. He unsheathed his zanpakuto carefully, folding it into a piece of cloth and placing it on the table at the doorway, then taking a seat immediately next to it. He could already see eyes darting towards him, gazes of remarkable concern and paranoia. Already, Shio could feel himself on edge...but perhaps the tea would help take that edge off. You never knew, after all.
Subject Post 2Subject: Re: Tea Parlors and Policies[Shio/Aiko] Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:23 pm
Taking her time strolling through the busy streets that morning, Aiko had forgotten just how great the world of the living was. They had so many cool things; so many amenities! And while her duties kept her either at the Soul Palace, Seireitei, or somewhere else entirely, having the freedom to go where she pleased as part of her duties had its perks. On that day, she had chosen not to wear her typical Royal Guard attire. Why would she waste the chance to try on one of the many outfits she bought on her last shopping spree. She would’ve worn what she liked, and what she wanted that day. It helped that the vast majority of individuals at this day and age could see spirits well, so it eliminated the need to look for a gigai, though should it be required, she had her means and methods of acquiring one right away.
As she passed by countless stores in what looked like a busy downtown area, the girl spotted what appeared to be a Tea Store. Frankly, tea had never been one of Aiko’s favorite drinks. If she had her way, it would be sake, rum, and other hard liquors any day of the week. She did know that green tea was good for her however. But even with all her skills she had never been able to make one that didn’t taste like death. So perhaps giving a place that specializes in tea, could allow her to finally have good green tea, and change her mind about it.
Walking in, she hoped she wouldn’t draw too much attention. She was tall compared to the average girl, but not overly tall either. Her clothes were cute and fit well enough to raise a brow, but not too much as to question her decency. What really would’ve stood out was the extremely long locks of purple hair she had on display. Despite being able to control the length of her hair to make it longer or shorter if she wished, Aiko had no plans on changing her hairdo anytime soon.
”Good day! May I please have a large green tea and four piece box of assorted doughnuts. One chocolate, one cinnamon coated, one cream filled, and one sugar powdered. Thank you!”
With a smile she would rush off to find the nearest empty table. It wasn’t far off from the doorway, but more importantly it also lent itself to an amazing view out the window. And the doughnuts? Well, she knew green tea was good for her, but doughnuts were also good. No, they were great. With as much spiritual pressure as the girl possessed, she was constantly hungry, and thanks to her metabolism and her activity level, she could eat the most fattening foods nonstop without gaining a pound. It was truly a lovely thing. And then, out the corner of her she spied what certainly looked to be a Shinigami. It stood to reason that others would’ve understood by now that the world of the living was not just a place of work, but also a place of fun. His zanpakuto appeared to be under wraps, and she questioned how the locale allowed it in. At the same time, she was aware that a Shinigami should really not separate from their zanpakuto. Aiko? While she usually always had hers with her, in the instances where she didn’t, summoning it would be rather easy and simply a kido away; or perhaps a different method entirely.
”Pst, pssst, pssssssssst.”
Making odd noises with her lips, the girl tried to get the boys attention. As soon as he looked her way, she would dangle the sugar powdered doughnut in her hand to see if he wanted. That was awfully nice of her, though the powdered doughnut was certainly not her favorite one.
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Subject Post 3Subject: Re: Tea Parlors and Policies[Shio/Aiko] Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:01 pm
Shio had only barely gotten settled into his seat, and started looking at his menu, when he heard a voice nearby, rather more exuberant than him, overflowing with good will and happiness, as she placed her order. Shio let out a faint sigh, once more wondering if he'd ever truly been that ecstatic over something mundane. It was tea after all. Shio enjoyed tea, and he found it brought him great comfort, but to get that excited was just...silly.
Not true. You had your silly pleasures as well, didn't you? Like the pleasure of getting into the Shino'o Academy. Or graduating. Looking back, were they any less meaningless than having a cup of tea brought to you by a smiling face? In the end, one of those things has brought you great comfort, and the others have only made your life more difficult. Would you really say you wouldn't have preferred to spend your time huddling in your Rukongai cot, sipping a hot cup of tea, over being here arguing with someone over a blade not half a foot long?
True enough, save one thing; tea was simply something that didn't exist in the Rukongai. At least in his district. In a place where food itself wasn't truly a commodity, something that very few really consumed, it was clothing and space that really served as the meaningful resources. Who would trade for tea, in that dingy little hovel of him? Who would've allowed him to hold onto a bowl full of dried-up leaves, when there were perfectly good bottles of alcohol to be drank instead? No, if there was one thing about the shinigami he had to confess to enjoying, it was being able to drink tea any time he wanted, and any way he wanted.
Shio could hear someone else breaking the ruminative silence, suddenly bringing him back and reminding him where he was. The woman was holding out a doughnut, and waving it towards him. He rose from his chair, never even bothering to look behind himself, or to tell whether or not she was speaking to someone else; if she was, then that person would no doubt make it known in due time. It was better for everyone if he dealt with this quickly, like ripping off a band-aid.
He sat down across from her, setting his hands on the table, and staring at the doughnut, before shaking his head solemnly, and examining his nails.
"I'll pass on the pastry, thanks. I came here to see if they offer any worthwhile drinks, or if the cost goes entirely into the outfits and the ambiance. I never particularly enjoyed sweets like that, in any case."
A half-truth; Shio loved sweets, but had seen them snatched from his own hands too many times to make that known. He hadn't enjoyed them for the simple reason someone else always claimed to have a greater need or desire than he did. To think someone else would willingly surrender something of theirs like that? It made him want to jump out of his seat and scramble out of here. But after the scene he'd made about his blade, they would almost certainly call someone to arrest him, and hold him for questioning. And if he'd thought the Gotei would be mad about him losing his zanpakuto...
Subject Post 4Subject: Re: Tea Parlors and Policies[Shio/Aiko] Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:50 pm
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The woman had to raise a brow at his comment. There was nothing wrong with it or rude, she was simply surprised at almost every turn. He had turned down a pastry. Was it because she offered him the powdered sugar one? It was true that out of the bunch it was the least popular one but she didn’t wanna give up her chocolate or cinnamon one. Oh well. And so, setting the powdered sugar donut closer to him, she ate her chocolate one in under three bites. It was amazing.
”So, did you find what you were looking for here? Shinigami.”
There was a simple yet amicable smile at the end of her words. Perhaps it wasn’t clear or obvious to most that he was a Shinigami, but Aiko had been part of them enough and knew enough to tell the difference with ease. Still, she still thought about his earlier comments. Sure, the food and the drinks were one of the biggest reasons she frequented the shops in the area. But the outfits and the ambience had as much to do with the reason so many tourists visited as anything else. Even if it shouldn’t be the focal or selling point of a place marketed for a completely different angle, it helped nonetheless. Of course, she was likely biased since there were few things she liked as much as clothes, food, and a nice scenery. He had to admit however, that even if the place didn’t have the food or drinks he anticipated, the outfits and the ambience were very well eons better than anything that could be found at Seireitei.
”Lighten up, I think you may need some sugar after all. You can have the powdered donut, last chance.”
She meant it. If he refused it that time again she certainly wouldn’t ask again, and would have it herself as soon as she finished with her cinnamon one. For the meantime however she sipped on the green tea. Surprised once more, the tea wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t bad. It was definitely better than any she had elsewhere or made herself. And with as many health benefits as it had, she could put up with a less than stellar or sugary taste. As for her newest acquaintance, she hoped his conversation and personality were a bit more lively and not a reflection of the dark and ebby feeling he projected when speaking of his surroundings. She figured she was about to find out.
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Subject Post 5Subject: Re: Tea Parlors and Policies[Shio/Aiko] Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:21 pm
"You know, when someone says 'last chance', it makes me want to call their bluff. It's the third time that's supposed to be the charm, right? You've got to ask at least once more. But if you don't want to be that predictable...fine."
He reached over without much ceremony, taking a large bite of the donut and sitting there quietly, chewing. He'd managed to have a few in his time, and he could safely say this one lay right on the bell curve. It certainly had the right texture, and the powdered sugar was delightful, but it lacked any real complexity or depth. Mostly, it just left him feeling like he had to eat another, while the heavy dough sat in his stomach, leaving him suddenly feeling exceptionally guilty. He shrugged, meeting her gaze without hesitation, and then gesturing.
"I won't know until my order arrives, I suppose. I doubt this place will somehow captivate me in the next 30 minutes, but I might be wrong."
He inhaled, looking back down at his hands. Suddenly, the air around him began to shimmer and waft slightly, almost imperceptibly; there was no way to put it into words, but suddenly the air itself held a different quality, leaving Aiko feeling as if something unexpected had changed...and then after a few more moments, as the smell of lavender mingled with the tea and the countless perfumes and colognes of others in the room, it became clear. His reaitsu was exuding outwards, like heat radiating off of a flame, and leaving the air around him feeling fresh, almost as if he had created a bubble around them.
"I'm off duty. Can we not discuss things like shinigami or human or demon or whatever else? I just wanted to have a nice heated beverage, and see if I could find a new pair of clothes that fit me. My uniform has been getting a little old, and I should be blending in if I'm going to be coming back around often."
His smile was pleasant, warm, and ever so faint, but it never quite touched his eyes. He still stared at her as if he were waiting for something, gauging her reaction, waiting for some manner of reaction. His eyes never outright -moved-, but one could see the focus shifting from her eyes to lips to cheeks, drinking in every detail as if waiting for the first sign of animosity, or as if he were hoping to see her crack a smile.
Subject Post 6Subject: Re: Tea Parlors and Policies[Shio/Aiko] Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:07 am
The Master of Realms
If she was honest, there was something clearly off putting about him. He wasn’t bad looking. And he wasn’t distinctively ill mannered or behaved. But talking to him, or rather listening to him talk was a bit..off putting. In the same way that listening to a professor lecture for hours about your least favorite subject was off putting. And about the same way that going into work on the busiest day and when you’re feeling your worst was off putting. He just simply came off as negative and downright dreadful.
”I’m sure whatever you’re waiting for will suck with that attitude.”
It was true. Sometimes things were bad because they truly were. And sometimes despite how bad certain things were a good and positive mindset usually made them up to be a bit better than they ought. The same was true in the contrary however. From the very start all he had done was nag. From arguing over petty things with the staff of the place, to taking his time and arguing over someone that was offering free food, to downplay his likeness of the place as he came to judge it. It was moments like this and people like him that reassured her that perhaps all the cool things in the world of the living were meant to stay there. The long lived people at Soul Society had grown sour and distant from what made humans human. It was also likely one of the reasons she felt more at home on Earth.
”So you came for food and shopping? Good luck with that.”
She wasn’t going to offer any advice on shopping choices, even if she knew more brands and stores than likely anyone at that store. But she didn’t need him complaining later on about how said brand didn’t have nice fashion choices, or how some fabric wasn’t up to standard. If he was that picky with his food, who knew how he’d be with clothes. No. He was on his own for that. For the most part the woman was pretty nice to most, but she didn’t have any quarrels about speaking how she felt and saying what she meant.
The question was asked possibly after the tea had arrived and after the man had a chance to taste it. Granted a positive or negative review wasn’t going to change the mindset she already had created from the first impressions. Once she had finished eating her donuts and drinking her tea, the girl would simply place a fair amount of folded bills under her plate. They were certainly enough to cover the items she bought, and then some as a form of tip to the staff. Getting up, the girl would tap his shoulder and point to an aquamarine bicycle parked on the outside.
”I’m going to ride through downtown and close to the beach. Feel free to meet me there if you like.”
In the end, she was still nice to him; maybe nicer than she should’ve. Despite his behavior she still was kind enough to offer info of her whereabouts and present the choice to join her. Perhaps the breeze and the beach would wash away all the crusty melancholic dread that seemed to reek from him and spread to his surroundings.
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Subject Post 7Subject: Re: Tea Parlors and Policies[Shio/Aiko] Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:32 pm
"Attitude? I wasn't aware I had an attitude. I'm just trying to understand the appeal of a place like this. Perhaps it's because I've been so focused on my time in the academy and afterwards, but the notion of being waited on by a woman never especially appeal to me. I was hoping seeing it firsthand would help, but..."
Shio's sheepish shrug said it all, as he watched the cup of green tea arrive, taking one tentative sip, and then closing his remaining eye. He looked deeply lost in thought, but his hands moved confidently to the sugar pot nearby, gently adding sugar as if by rote ritual, as if it were something he had done a hundred thousand times. This time when he opened his eye and examined the contents, he took a long sip, and then nodded appreciatively.
"It's good. I can't say that I agree with the temperature they're serving it at, but I'm quite picky when it comes to my teas. I'll give them an 8 out of 10."
He rose slowly, bowing towards everyone in the building, and then withdrawing a small pouch of coins. He plucked out a handful, placing them just atop Aiko's, and then walking outside with her. He inhaled, walking just beside her, with his hands resting in his sleeves. Though no one had been able to see it happen, Shio had expertly palmed his blade in the time it took him to count his coins, and he was now simply following after this woman, clearly looking off wistfully.
"I honestly can't remember ever going to the beach. That's the damndest part of reincarnation, in my opinion. All these great things I don't get to remember. I only barely know how to swim, at that. Would you like to go for a swim with me?"
A second later, Shio realized what he was saying, and asking; to swim would be to disrobe, and that would mean this woman would be able to see each and every scar he had. He almost immediately went white in the face, looking off in the other direction, and beginning to mumble to himself.
"In retrospect...I don't have a bathing suit...wouldn't want to get this robe all sandy."
Subject Post 8Subject: Re: Tea Parlors and Policies[Shio/Aiko] Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:20 pm
The Master of Realms
”Yea, I think that’s one of the many reasons why Humans get to live on the world of the living while Shinigami get to live in Soul Society. Of course aside from the whole being alive part.”
It made some sense to her. Most Shinigami were simply too far gone in their own ways and concepts to truly enjoy the the good and the bad of the world of the living. It was exactly that good and bad that made it unique and a great experience. She certainly didn’t like a party pooper or a dread filled individual downplaying every single thing about the human’s world. She enjoyed it, but then again, she was far different from other individuals of her kind. She’d simply nod despite with a disapproving taste. She obviously didn’t enjoy his rating or the fact he gave it one to begin with.
Safe to say, he wasn’t off to a great start. Aiko had the privilege and the fortune to have been raised initially in Soul Society, then live most of her years in the world of the living before going back. Most were not so fortunate as they visited mainly on assignments or for missions. It made sense she would have a different frame of mind when it came to the uniqueness of the things that simply aren't available in Seireitei. But that didn’t mean she had to like the pompous, conceited or sour attitude of those that were ignorant to its appeal.
With a nod of approval, the she rode off to the beach with Shio trailing behind her. In her handbag she kept all sorts of things that were needed, and even some that likely weren't. Among them were more than a couple of rather nice looking bikinis of different kinds. Aiko would make sure to ride not to the busiest and most popular area of the beach, but to a rather secluded and less known spot. As she expected, the area had no people other than themselves, meaning she could enjoy herself to the fullest.
”I mean, you don’t need a swimsuit, but the robes would dry in the sun anyways.”
She understood not many were as comfortable being in the nude as Yoruichi and she were, but it was an option nonetheless. It helped that there wasn’t anyone nearby to glance or stare at them. Regardless, reaching into her bag, the woman would retrieve a set of blue and white bikini and undressed before putting it on right before him. She had qualms about doing so, and didn’t really think much of it. Regardless of whether he had chosen to derobe or not, once she was put the bikini on, she’d toss him a large colorful beach ball before running into the water. The only piece of attire that seemed slightly out of place were the red gloves on her hands, as she didn’t trust the water and had changed her zanpakuto to its typical sealed state look.