"HELL YEAH! THANK YOU, and PLEASE keep the change!"
Sometimes life will work in mysterious ways. Our lives is often short, and the world has around seven and a half billion people who live on it. The majority of the world will spend our entire lives and not interact with even one percent of the population. Who we do meet in our time on earth is just left up to fate. There are some people in this world who will miss someone they've been a hundred feet from their entire lives, then some days the stars will line up just right, and a series of coincidences can be interpreted as a 'miracle'.
As our hero, Jiro Kurotsu sat down with his order of Timbits, he began stuffing his face at a table with glazed goodness, occasionally stopping to wash it down with his iced coffee.
"One Boston Cream Doughnut and a water, please." a recognizable voice said at the register.
Jiro looked over to the counter to confirm his suspicions. Sure enough, standing at the counter was none other than The Amateur, a fact that he had realized a whole minute later than everyone else did. After all, it was hard not to recognize the person in the black mask who entered, but Jiro was never the most perceptive of people. Pounding on the table loudly until he got Ammy's attention, he motioned for The Amateur to sit over at his table. Grabbing his tray, Amateur limped his way to the table and stood near it.
"You're Jiro Kurotsu..." Amateur stated with a slight sigh, wondering how it is that in a city this big, he would just happen to run into Jiro - Or anyone in AES, for that matter - In this particular Tim Horton's.
"DAMN RIGHT I AM! And you're the Amateur. Oh man...You're so friggin' cool!"
The Amateur cocked an eyebrow - Though, with the mask, it was hard to tell. "Um, well, okay then. Not often someone calls me 'cool'." With a small shrug, Amateur placed his items on the table and sat across from Jiro.
"Hm? Really?" Jiro raised an brow, and crossed his arms, shocked by that fact. "Wait, I get it. WHY WOULD YOU BE COOL, WHEN YOU'RE SO DAMN HOT?"
Amateur spit out some of his water right in Jiro's face.
"THANK YOU! IT IS A HUMID DAY! ALTHOUGH I DON'T THINK THE EMPLOYEES LIKE YOU DOING THAT INSIDE! TRUST ME, I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE. One time, me and Erin, we were practicing new attacks inside of a Tim Horton's, this Tim Horton's in fact, we ended up getting banned for a year becau..."
"You think I'm... Hot now, too?"
"HELL YEAH, MAN! You're all over the place these days! Who the hell wouldn't want to recruit THE HERO OF CANADA?" Jiro's voice rang with the innocent conviction you only otherwise heard in episodes of Power Rangers.
Amateur blinked, but otherwise stayed still as a statue for a few second, before cracking up. He misinterpreted that situation.
"Anyways, just so we get a proper introduction..." Jiro said, as he began to hold out his hand. "Jiro Kurotsu. They call me 'The Mighty Black Fist', and I'm lookin' to be the MANLIEST fighter AES, and the world has to offer! My current sit up record is over five hundred!"
Amateur leaned back in his chair, taking a couple deep breaths to settle himself down from the laughing. "Well, you certainly have the 'manly' part down." He responded. "Maybe quiet down a tad. We're being stared at."
"HM? WHAT WAS THAT?"
"...On second thought, nevermind. Amateur met Jiro's hand with his glove, for a handshake. "The Amateur. I...beat two giants to qualify to second round after eBola last year?"
Jiro immediately tightened his grip, and shook his hand even harder, before letting go. Ammy needed to let his non-dominant hand be the doughnut eating hand for a while.
"To think I'd run into you on my trip to Vancouver! It's gotta be a sign. From the bottom of my heart, I gotta tell you something..."
Jiro took a deep breath. Amateur quick covered his ears, fully prepared for more yelling in his ear.
Jiro patted him on the back, before going back to gobbling up his Timbits. Amateur rested his gloves back at his side.
"Eh? ...Fangs, Bucky?" Jiro repeated himself, now mouth full of pastry.
Amateur blinked and cocked his head to the side, putting the uneaten half of his doughnut down. "Thanks for... What, exactly?" He asked, both dumbfounded and curious.
Jiro swallowed his food, before continuing.
"You wear the name Amateur as a badge of pride. For an Amateur...you gotta HELL of a lot of guts. It's an open deceleration in the world's face. CALL ME ANY NAME YOU WANT! I AIN'T GONNA BE AFRAID OF THEM! I'LL GET UP, AND STAND TALL ANYWAYS! Your worst insecurities, YOU'VE TURNED THEM INTO YOUR GREATEST ASSET!" Jiro gave a his pearly white wholehearted smile to the Amateur, to show he meant it sincerely. "I don't got the right to call myself the manliest individual on AES when guys like you are around. Thanks."
Amateur sat silently for a few seconds, processing what Jiro was saying. That wasn't even close to the whole story of this situation, but he could tell from his reaction, shattering those expectations for him was going to make Ammy feel even worse.
"...Yeah." Amateur said, faking a smile. "Jiro, listen... Uh... About me-"
"I'll let you talk, but first, you got me REALLY charged up! It's just a Tim Horton's in a place in Canada. I'm gonna start off small, and build up enough of a momentum of confidence to face my own fears and insecurities. For the longest time, I've been worried about how I can achieve my goals, when I'm afraid people will look down on me for a certain aspect...BUT DAMMIT, NO MORE!" The Mighty Black Fist interrupted him with an impassionate speech that would seem scripted coming out of any other human being on the planet.
Getting up from his chair, Jiro stood up on his chair, and put one foot on the counter.
"EVERYONE, LISTEN UP! MY NAME IS JIRO KUROTSU, THE MIGHTY BLACK FIST AND I...LIKE DUDES! BECAUSE I'M GAY! I'D LIKE TO HAVE SEX WITH A DUDE RIGHT NO--"
"No feet on the table!" The Cashier yelled to the Mighty Black Fist.
Sitting back down, Jiro sat back down in his chair.
"Anyways, you were sayin' somethin?"
Amateur blinked. It took him several moments before he managed to respond. It wasn't exactly a situation he was faced with every day, and especially not in such a...dramatic fashion. Still, it clearly meant a lot to his meal companion.
"Yeah, uh, congrats on coming out to me... And to an entire Tim Horton's." He stated with genuine approval and admiration for Jiro's bravery. He took a deep breath, letting his brain catch up with everything that had happened. Clearly, however, he needed to change the subject, before Jiro said something that might let out the truth.
"I'm... Uh... Just wondering... You're in TANW, right? You've been following what's been going on?"
"I've been catching up for my debut! There's a wolf cub who got turned into a human, and a guy named MANDERSON! Science really is amazing, eh?"
Amateur nodded. "Quite amazing, yes." He cleared his throat, then continued. "Well, I was wondering - What, if anything, do you know about Brand and Lakeem?" He drank some water and finished his doughnut while Jiro replied.
"That happened while I was in Japan, but you bet I caught it every damn week! It was aired weekly in Japan instead of monthly due to a copyright issue, by the way! The two were pro and rookie combo, and from the shows, you'd say they got along better than a lotta the other guys. However, when Brand got eliminated, he blamed Lakeem, and hit him with a chair before telling him about how much hated working with him, and wanted a better person to be his pro!" Jiro tightened his fist, feeling Lakeem's pain. "I dunno Lakeem too well, but you can bet he's got my support ONE HUNDRED PERCENT! I'm ready to see that pompous country boy get what's comin'! How about you?"
Amateur carefully placed the now-empty bottle of water back down on the table, processing everything Jiro had said. Since being attacked by Brand, all Ammy had been focusing on was getting his own revenge on the twerp. He hadn't considered the history between Lakeem and Brand, and how important getting his hands on Brand was for Lakeem.
"Same." Ammy's response was measured, his voice calm, not betraying the thoughts in his mind. "Lakeem... Also has my full support."
"HELL YEAH! I hope I was informative!"
With a look at the clock, Jiro stood up, grabbing what was left of his iced coffee and what was left of his box of confectioneries in one hand, before holding out for a fist bump in his other.
"Take it easy. I feel in another life, I'd be teaching you the ropes. Right now though, you don't need me!"
"That's a very specific and odd thing to say, but..."
Amateur met Jiro with that a fist bump.
"SEE YA, MY MASKED COMRADE!" The Vancouver Boy shouted, before running and roundhouse kicking the door open. "MAY WE MEET ONCE MORE IN THE HEART OF BATTLE!"
Amateur watched Jiro as he left, taking notes of certain attributes as he did so, then leaned back in his chair and stared up at the ceiling.
((This was an absolute blast to do. Back before Golden Triad Tournament was a thing, it was initially a two person tag team tournament composed entirely of couples. Erin Toyota and Jiro Kurotsu weren't a couple, but they were included on there because I think OD didn't realize or something. Anyways, whether or not he was gonna keep it or not, Matt and I responded back by writing this. Jiro Kurotsu and Erin Toyota trying desperately hard to get into the tournament, including going on a date. Matt and I took turns just killing each other in the chat, and we rolled with everything. In the end, Matt said it was one of his favorite promos to do, and I'm inclined to agree. Taken Tag Team Tournament obviously never happened, but SAFFRON did get into GTT that year along with Saikyo Dinosaur's character and the original third member of SAFFRON, Tommy Hayakawa))
Title: Erin Toyota and Jiro Kurotsu Eat Dinner Together, In An Attempt To Enter The Taken Tourney
Originally posted: Sep 24 2012, 07:24 AM
It is dinner time at Chang's Chinese Restaurant, a popular eatery known for its delicious food and its flagrant disregard for public safety. The main area is full of mostly-occupied tables covered in white tablecloths, silverware, and the occasional half-eaten crab. Waiters rush busily to-and-fro delivering egg rolls and fried rice to hungry customers, before scurrying back to the blazing inferno of the kitchen. Inside said kitchen, chefs are heard loudly barking orders in Chinese to the waiters, who in turn yell loudly in Chinese back.
At a table, seated very close to a wall, is Erin Toyota. She looks out on the scene with curiosity as she sips her glass of strawberry milk. She is wearing a red dress with shoes to match, her similarly-colored hair looking very neat and brushed. She would look quite pretty indeed, if not for the lurid rainbow socks that stretch to just above her knees.
After a moment of quiet milk-sipping, she looks around and scooches closer to the wall. Her eyes focus very hard on a salt-shaker in the center of the table. She bites her lip.
Erin looks up, calmly gazing at the inexplicably French waiter's receding hairline. He clears his throat, pointedly, before continuing.
"You have been here for an hour, miss," he says. "All you have ordered are seven glasses of strawberry milk. Are you sure you do not want something to eat?"
"I am waiting for someone," she says. "He will be here soon. I think. I showed up early so I did not miss him."
She looks at the waiter's left ear, frowning.
"What time is it?"
"The time, miss, is Six-Oh-One." the waiter replies. He flinches very slightly as Erin's eyes lock onto his and grow very wide.
"Oh, no!" she squeals. "My internal clock was set incorrectly and now it's six-oh-one and he said he'd be here at six and that means he's late and if they're late they aren't showing up and I even wore rainbow socks and-"
"Mademoiselle," exclaims the waiter, "if you do not calm down, I will have to ask you to leave this fine establishment!"
"-but what if he's been abducted by aliens or what if he's exploded and I thought I was going to explode but I didn't explode but he might have exploded and-"
Erin is trembling violently as her speech gets higher and higher in pitch and rapidity.
"-but he's probably never showing up and it's because I'm fat isn't it and maybe he doesn't like my hair but I like my hair but-"
Her babbling is interrupted with a loud crash as the entrance door flies open and smashes into the adjacent wall. The entire restaurant, Erin and the waiter included, turn to see who it is. Her mechanical heart skips a beat as she sees him - silhouetted in the doorframe is Jiro Kurotsu, attired in his red hoodie, his faded jeans, and his red sunglasses. A true picture of cool. He makes his way over to the table Erin is at, sitting with one arm resting on the top of a chair, and the other on the table itself.
"Sorry I'm late, Ms. Toyota. Once I found out the place didn't have glass doors, I had to spend a whole five extra minutes deciding on how I wanted to make my entrance"
Jiro smiles as he gives a thumbs up, using it to point to himself.
"So, ARE YOU READY FOR THE DATE OF A LIFETIME THAT WILL GUARANTEE US A SPOT IN THE UPCOMING COUPLES TOURNAMENT, MISS TOYOTA?"
The waiter stares at Jiro, speechless. Erin does as well, rather differently. She nods her head vigorously.
"Yes!" she exclaims. "Yes! A date! Tournaments! Tag teams! The best!"
She sips her strawberry milk noisily. Jiro smiles at the waiter and, without looking at it, hands the menu back to the waiter.
"YOU THERE, WAITER," he says, loudly. "HAVE YOU TAKEN THE LADY'S ORDER YET?"
The waiter rolls his eyes and sighs.
"No, Monsieur," he says. "She has not ordered anything but strawberry milk for an hour."
Jiro snaps his fingers at the waiter, before pointing at his tag team partner he's on a 'date' with. "THEN WHAT ARE YA WAITING FOR?" he exclaims. "LADIES FIRST. WHAT KIND OF AN ENGLISHMAN ARE YOU?"
The waiter sniffs loudly. "Excuse me, sir, but I am not an Englishman, I am-"
The two turn to Erin, who had until that moment been fairly silent. She sips her strawberry milk, which is nearly empty, and stares hard at the menu. She looks at the waiter's right shoulder.
"Noodles," she repeats. "Noodles, please. And some sweet and sour chicken. And another glass of strawberry milk. Please."
She turns to Jiro with inquiring eyes.
"Heh," Jiro laughs, "and I'll take meat. THE FRESHEST MEAT YOU HAVE FROM YOUR HOMETOWN IN GERMANY!"
He points dramatically at the waiter, who by now is looking quite displeased.
"Sir," the waiter begins, "I'll have you know I- Wait, what kind of meat? There are lots of meats! I must recommend the Mushu Pork. It is delectable. In fact, that is exactly what you are having. I will be out shortly."
He sniffs loudly again, and whirls around on his heel.
"Thank you!" calls Erin, causing the waiter to flinch. He says nothing and stomps off.
"Did you hear that, Erin?" Jiro says. "A mix of Dragon and Pig meat! SOUNDS LIKE THE DISH FOR A MAN!"
He punctuates the statement with a dramatic gesture and an impressive pause.
"So, how've you been today?"
It takes Erin a second to close her mouth and avert her gaze from his midriff. She looks over his shoulder, and then at the tablecloth. She tries to drink more strawberry milk, but her glass is empty.
"I've been, um," she starts. She bites a lip. "I've been okay. Um. I've been great! I'm wearing rainbow socks. I slept well. I'm here. Now. I've been good. How have you been?"
Jiro laughs slightly before taking off his sunglasses and laying them on the table.
"GLAD TO HEAR IT! As for myself, I've been busy all day training. It's finally good to just kick back and relax, SAFFRON STYLE! "
Erin nods vigorously, her hair whipping around slightly.
"Yes!" she says. "Relaxing! I'm very relaxed right now!"
A politely impolite cough interrupts the conversation. The waiter has returned and is bearing plates containing unidentifiable culinary dishes.
"Your meals, sir and madame," he says, sneering at Erin as he hands her her noodles and eighth glass of strawberry milk.
Erin beams. "Thank you!"
The waiter does not respond as he hands Jiro his dish.
"Gracias, mi amigo."
Jiro pulls out a five dollar bill, handing it to the waiter.
"Here's something for the little Diablo Jr."
The waiter sighs and holds up a hand, looking ready to say something, but stops. The two tag team members are tucking into their food with great gusto and are dead to the world. He contents himself with sighing loudly, shaking his head, tutting, sticking his nose in the air, and walking off.
When Erin gets to eating, very few things in the world matter. She almost attacks the chicken at first, awkwardly gripping the fork in her right hand. Every so often she steals a glance at her partner, who is similarly eating like a madman, only to look away just as quickly. As she chews the fifth bite, she slows down and stares at her hand. Taking care to make sure he isn't looking, she tries to adjust her grip on her fork to no avail. Shrugging, she slows down her eating, still casting quick glances at her partner. Jiro smiles, food in his mouth, as his tag team partner eyes him from across the table.
"Wahmp Shum?" he asks.
"Oh!" she jumps and goes bright-red. "Um. Um. Ummm. Oh. Um."
Erin looks around the restaurant before her gaze returns to the saltshaker on the table. She smiles.
Jiro moves his hands and gestures towards his plate. Erin's smile falters slightly.
She shrugs and smiles fully again, and starts to reach her fork towards her partner's plate.
Erin jumps again and drops her fork. She looks around wildly.
"Excuse me, mademoiselle and monsieur," says their waiter from directly behind Erin, who is still looking around, "but this restaurant has a strict 'No-Sharing Policy'."
Jiro draws himself up, looking enraged.
"Are you saying that my tag team partner and I are not allowed to share food?" he exclaims.
The waiter rolls his eyes.
"Well, monsieur, you could..." he says, "but then I would have to ask you to leave."
"Ooooooh. I getcha" Jiro says as he sits back down "IT'S OKAY, MS. TOYOTA. YOU CAN STILL HAVE SOME OF MY FOOD. HE'S JUST GOING TO ASK ONE OF HIS CUSTOMERS TO LEAVE. I GUESS YU IS OFFENDED BY PEOPLE SHARING OR SOMETHING."
Erin frowns. "Sharing is good! That's what Grandfather always told me. What's wrong with sharing?"
She stares hard at the waiter.
"Now, now. MS. TOYOTA, " speaks Jiro in a soft tone, before putting on his glasses again and raising his voice yet again "LET'S GIVE HIM THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. SOME PEOPLE JUST AREN'T NORMAL. THAT DOESN'T MEAN THEY'RE BAD PEOPLE."
"Yeah!" Erin chugs her strawberry milk and slams it on the table. The waiter pinches the bridge of his nose and closes his eyes.
"Would you like dessert or your bill?" he says through tightly gritted teeth.
At the mention of dessert, Erin's eyes light up. She smiles.
"Ice cream?" she asks. "I want some ice cream! Um, that is," she falters, looking at her tag team partner and rubbing the back of her neck, "if you, um, want any, because if you don't that's okay, um."
"Ice Cream, eh? " Jiro thinks about it, before slamming his hands down on the table "SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!"
"Yay!" Erin exclaims, pumping a fist in the air. She turns to the waiter. "Ice cream!"
"What sort-" he starts to say, his teeth nearly shattering with how hard he is gritting them.
The waiter stops talking and stomps loudly away, the other patrons staring at him. Moments later, he returns with two bowls of ice cream, the bill, and two fortune cookies. He slams everything down on the table, narrowly missing the eight empty milk glasses.
"Your check, madame and monsieur. Pay at the front. Good day."
He leaves in a huff. Erin devours the ice cream as Jiro looks on. After a moment, he pushes his own bowl towards her and takes a fortune cookie. He cracks it open and eats half of it, taking the little scrap of paper. It is odd in that the message on it is written in slightly shaky cursive.
"'You are not where you should be at the moment'," Jiro reads. He looks to Erin, who is still eating her ice cream. His eyes flash with anger.
"I shouldn't be on a date with a girl, eh?" he asks the room at large. He stands up from the table to face the waiter, who has just hurried by holding a plate of food and a pen tucked behind his ear. "HEY, VLADIMIR, IS THIS SAYIN' I LIKE DUDES?"
"Noooo!" Erin shrieks. She looks around at the people staring at her. "Um. I mean. Um. It's okay. If you do. But. Um. Um. Ummm."
She fumbles with her cookie, accidentally breaking it into little pieces. She grabs the little piece of paper and holds it close to her face. It, too, is written in smudged cursive.
"'Please get out of my restaurant.'" she reads. She turns to Jiro's right eyebrow. "It was a very polite cookie."
Jiro sighs. "Well, they did say please.". He stands up, marches over to the door, and kicks it open, paying no attention to the fact that the hinges do not swing that way.
"Come, Erin, I hope you don't mind that I had already ordered tickets to a ROMANTIC COMEDY!"
Erin follows him, beaming. "A romantic comedy! A movie! You're the best! What are we going to see?"
"WHY, MS. TOYOTA," he yells, "ONLY THE ULTIMATE ROMANCE BETWEEN MAN AND DANGER!"
He raises a fist in the air.
"THE EXPENDABLES 2!"
"That sounds incredible!"
"Dinner and a movie! Couple Things! We are sure to be entered into the Taken Tag Tournament now!"
"Yes! Couples! Movies! Tournaments! You're the best!"
And the two of them stroll out of the restaurant, everyone inside staring after them. After a moment, the waiter walks over to their table. He begins to clear up the empty glasses. Suddenly, he realizes something.
"Those hooligans!" he roars. "They forgot to pay!"
Grumbling to himself, he clears the table for the next customer.