Full Contact Sport
Posted 29 December 2013 - 12:09 PM
AUTHOR: MikeJaffa aka Michael J. Gallagher
SYNOPSIS: Some guys who tease Kyohei get their just deserts
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I was watching “Slinging Oil” one night, back when it was streaming on Netflix, and having a laugh over how Kyohei did playing volleyball against Meg and Jo when this follow-up for that episode popped into my head….
DISCLAIMER: Burst Angel is owned by Gonzo and Funimation.
WARNING: Yep, food and beverage warning, people.
“Hey, there he is -- Japan’s Richard Simmons!”
‘Yeah, like you would know who Richard Simmons was,’ Kyohei thought, but he just sighed and kept his back turned to the basketball court down the street from his house, where Hiro and his buddies were shooting hoops. The gang of muscular teens had always teased him mercilessly about his dream of being a pastry chef. Normally, Kyohei could ignore them -- if he didn’t leave his neighborhood by a different route, he would at least have his helmet on as he rode by, so he couldn‘t hear them. But Jo had trashed his latest scooter (again) and Sei had complained it would take a little longer than normal to replace it (like people just replaced scooters that had been trashed by teenage killing machines every day), so he was left to wait for a lift from Jo and Meg.
He’d originally resisted the idea. ‘You don’t have to do that, Sei,’ he’d said on the phone. ‘I can take public transportation. Just tell me where you are.’
‘No, it’s my fault your scooter was trashed,’ she said, ‘and I intend to make amends. And you’ll need the car for buying groceries anyway. Where do we pick you up?’
And unfortunately, he’d directed to the intersection by the basketball court. ‘What were you thinking?’ he admonished himself. ‘Being around the girls isn’t bad enough, you have to subject yourself to this? Are you a masochist or what?’
“Want to cook something for me, Kyo?” Hiro went on. “Will you wear that frilly apron I like?”
The roar of Sei’s sports car sounded to his left. Meg and Jo were coming down the street with the top down, Meg at the wheel and Jo in the front passenger seat. Kyo waved to them. Meg pulled into a parking spot in front of Kyo.
Kyo leaned on the car door. “I never thought I’d say this, but boy, am I glad to see you guys.”
Meg looked at him, puzzled. “I’m sorry, Kyo,” the American teen said in her Brooklyn twang, “but you’re *what* to see us?”
“Glad. I know, I don’t believe that either.”
“No, it’s not that,” Meg explained. “Every so often, even after all this time, I miss a word of Japanese, especially if it’s noisy or someone talks too fast. I don’t tell anyone that because then they want to speak slower and I hate that.”
“Huh. Well, if it makes you feel better, your Japanese is so good that if not for your accent, I’d never know--”
“Hey, is that your girlfriend?” Hiro called from behind him. “Does she do the heavy lifting while you cook and clean?”
Kyo sighed and started to climb into the back seat. “Let’s just go. There’s a lot of stuff I have to--” He broke off, staring at Jo. “Meg. How soon do we have to be back at the trailer?”
“There’s no rush. Why?”
Kyo got out of the car. “Jo. Could I borrow you for a second?” He called over his shoulder: “Hey, Hiro! Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Kyo walked Jo over to the court; Hiro was all muscle and almost twice Jo’s size. Kyo almost felt sorry for Hiro … almost.
“Hiro, this is my friend, Jo,” Kyohei explained. “She had an…unusual childhood, and as such, is only just now learning about regular sports. But I think it would be great if, as a personal favor to me, you would introduce her to the fundamentals of basketball.”
“You want me to show her how to play?” Hiro asked.
“Yes, Hiro, show her the ropes. And Jo, don’t worry about it. It’s a lot like volleyball.”
“Volleyball?” Jo asked.
“Yes,” Kyo said, barely containing his wicked glee, “volleyball, that you and Meg played against me and Leo at the beach last week. Just treat it the same--”
Meg came up behind Kyohei and snagged his arm. “Will you excuse us?” She pulled Kyohei aside. “What are you doing?” she whispered.
“What do you mean, what am I doing?”
“Don’t give me that, Kyo! I know you well enough to know something’s going on.”
“Look, Meg, these guys have been giving me a hard time forever. I just want a little revenge.”
“And you know Sei’s rules--”
“Excuse me,” Hiro called, “but is she an American girl? Is she an ‘actress’?”
“Yeah,” one of the other boys mocked, “she looks like an ‘actress.’ Kyo must star in her movies.”
“Uh-huh,” Hiro said, “so that’s where you get all that cash. Kyo, my man, I never knew you had it in you.”
“Uh, Kyo?” Meg said. “I’m not sure I caught what he said. What did he say about Americans?”
Kyohei spoke as carefully as he could without being condescending: “American girls have a … reputation. He’s saying that he thinks you and I make pornography together.”
“Really.” Then Meg smiled. “You know, on second thought, that would be a great idea.” She went over to the Japanese teens, making sure Hiro got a good look at her. “Hiro, is it? I’m Meg. You know, basketball is my favorite sport, and I just love watching big, strong men like you in action. And you would have my eternal gratitude if you taught my friend how to play.” She walked behind Jo and tugged her red coat off. “Go on, Jo, try it. We‘ll watch from the car.”
Jo looked impassively at her two friends. “All right.” The she turned to Hiro.
Posted 29 December 2013 - 12:10 PM
Amy shook her head as she focused on her laptop. “The cops haven’t released any more information publicly. The texts I’ve intercepted indicate they think it was gang related, but they don’t have any leads, and the victims aren’t saying much. And I still can‘t find the names of the victims; that must be off the grid right now.”
“But Kyohei lives in such a nice neighborhood. For something like that to happen there…” She was barely containing her feelings. “I told him to wait there. If--”
The door slid open. “We’re back!” Meg called as she lead Kyohei in, both carrying several grocery bags.
“Thank God,” Sei said. It was all she could do not to run to Kyohei and put her arms around him. “I was getting worried. Where’s Jo?”
Meg said, “Putting the car in the back of the trailer.”
“So she’s all right?” Sei said. “That’s good. What took you so long?”
“Sorry,” Kyohei said as he and Meg entered the kitchen, “but we had to make a couple of more stops to get all the ingredients we needed.”
“Ingredients?” Sei asked.
Meg nodded. “I’m helping Kyohei in the kitchen tonight. I’m going to treat us to an American Classic: Meg Gillespie’s Famous LaSagna. The secret is in the sauce. Jo will tell you -- it melts in your mouth.” Kyohei and Meg began to empty the bag and organize things on the counter.
“I’m glad that’s all it was,” Sei said. “Amy and I were listening to the police scanners. Some teens were assaulted in Kyo’s neighborhood, not far from his house. Did you guys see anything?”
The way Kyo and Meg suddenly stiffened spoke volumes.
Meg said, “See anything? No, we didn’t see anything. Did we see anything, Kyo?”
“No, we didn’t see anything,” Kyo said. “No, Sei, no, nothing unusual.”
Meg shook her head.
Sei turned at a door opening behind her. Jo entered through the door that lead to the living quarters and the hangar for Django and their other vehicles, her expression as impassive as always. She reached up to a cabinet between Meg and Kyo and pulled out the first aid kit.
Sei saw the blood on Jo’s knuckles. “Jo! What happened?”
“Basketball.” Jo headed back to the living quarters.
Sei’s phone rang. She checked the caller ID: her grandfather’s private line.
Sei sank onto the couch and rubbed her temples.
“Well,” Amy said, “you wanted him to be happy here.”
“And you wanted him to get along with the rest of us.”
Another nod. “But you know, Amy, I think I now understand one of Meg’s American proverbs.”
“Which one is that?”
“‘Be careful what you wish for -- you may get it.’”
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