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 dirty dealings, RYUDO & JOUTAROU
"Next time, you might want to duck and cover. Most bad guys won't stop killing you if you're trying to kiss their ouchies."
65
POSTS
TWENTY
GRANDIA II
HUMAN
HIRED HAND
BO (she/her)
he/him
The shadows cast by Tethya’s waters looming overhead stretched across the streets of the race track’s vicinity.

As the later hours of the evening were drawing in, the area was emptying; those that were left were either punters, staggering out of the bar after blowing their winnings, or staff clearing away for the night. Ryudo’s work had taken him to said bar - but not because of the races… Not as far as he knew, anyway. He’d slyly offered a pretty, well-dressed barmaid with a garnet necklace an unmarked, off-yellow envelope. In return, she’d dropped a small briefcase by his table… And whatever was inside belonged to his client. He guessed it was money, but he wasn’t entirely sure. It didn’t weigh an awful lot, and he didn’t plan on asking, either. As long as he got paid for his delivery service, he didn’t give a damn.

His client was a haggard old man, awaiting the briefcase in the back streets behind the race track. Both of them were hooded as they met in the shadows, away from the prying eyes of the general public. The man had been an exceptionally shady character from the beginning - under no circumstances was Ryudo to open the envelope or the briefcase. He’d stressed this heavily. No money if he did either, and he’d be able to tell. Well, if it was such a sensitive thing, Ryudo did have to wonder why the old man couldn’t just go give the envelope to the waitress in the garnet necklace by himself. If it was to avoid detection, he could have at least given the task to someone he trusted more than a random hired hand. But once again, he didn’t care about those kinds of details. He only cared about his pay.

“Very good. Very good.” The client muttered, thin, crinkling lips spreading into a grin as his long, gnarly fingers gripped onto the handle of the briefcase. He squinted as he brought the locks up towards his shrouded face; he seemed to be making sure Ryudo hadn’t tampered with them in any way.

“I didn’t touch it. I didn’t open the envelope, either. Like you said, no pay if I did.” Despite his words, the man continued examining the locks intently. Folding his arms, Ryudo began to tap his foot. “I’m not interested in whatever it is you’re up to, or what’s in the case. I did what you wanted, didn’t I?”

“Yes, yes.” The man croaked. He peered over the briefcase at Ryudo, his grin melting into a less impressed expression. “You’ll get your money. Come back to Pyocs, two weeks from now. I’ll give you another envelope for the waitress…” He began to mumble whilst turning away from Ryudo. “Mm, then, your money.”

What…!? So, he was planning to drag his job out - and not even pay him for that session? “Uh, that’s not how I work, gramps. See, I don’t work on a contract basis. You pay me now for this job, I’ll come back and do your next one for the same price.”

The man coughed, but it sounded remarkably like he was snickering at the response. “Shame. You’ll just have to wait then - I don’t have your money right now.”

Unfolding his arms, Ryudo rose to his full height with a heavy frown upon his features. “You wanna try running that by me again...?” His words were laced with a threatening tone - with good reason. Who did this geezer think he was, trying to double-cross him? “The hell do you mean you don’t have my money right now!?”

“You heard damn well what I said. Two weeks. And if you question me again, you impertinent brat, I’ll be shaving a portion off--” The man grunted, but the next moment he yelped as Ryudo’s already paper-thin patience blew up; he grabbed him by the front of his cloak and shoved him into the wall nearby.

Not caring if the slimy old geezer hurt his back or dropped his precious case, Ryudo twisted his hand and hissed, “Then you’d better tell me where I can find some.” He was not in the mood for being screwed around with. Glaring coldly at the man, he added, “Because I sure as hell don’t plan on leaving Tethya without it.”

"Good grief."
170
POSTS
Eighteen
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Human
Student
Splendi (She/Her)
He/Him
@RYUDO

The submarine races were good for something. Personally, Joutarou wasn't interested in betting on or even watching the races. Submarines may be interesting vehicles, but he got to ride in plenty just by going from bubble to bubble in the dimension that had become his home. But the submarines here needed maintenance, what with how often they were pushed to their limits during the races, and sometimes the mechanics didn't have the parts that they needed on hand to complete their repairs. That's when shit needed to be delivered, and it just so happened that tonight had been one of those nights.

It was a last minute request that had been put in, from what his boss had to tell him; something went wrong in one of the later races, and the submarine needed to be fixed the following morning if it was to be able to race as planned. The race track didn't have the necessary parts, but they did down at the docks...only trouble was that it was a pretty huge shipment, and when he spoke to his boss, he learned that none of the other workers were available to help him carry the damn thing to where it needed to go.

So here he was, helping his boss to carry the damn things to the race track when he really should be studying. Hmph. Oh well, he still had a couple of days until the test, even if tonight had kinda been specifically set aside for just that. So long as he squeezed in time to study for it later, he'd be fine.
...and if worse came to worse, he could always use Star Platinum for some quick cramming. Yeah, yeah, it'd be kinda cheating to do something like that, but it wasn't something that he did all that often. He'd just have to make sure that Kakyoin didn't see him doing that, or he'd get a lecture on top of everything else.

Good grief.

He slowly helped to set the last of the boxes down, letting go of it only once his boss gave the all clear. He straightened afterwards, and turned to fetch his hat and coat that he'd left hung up nearby while his boss finalized the paperwork with the head technician. Along the way, Joutarou worked out the few cramps he had in his biceps, and dabbed the sweat from his face with a cloth. He was still a little bit too hot to put his coat back on, but his hat? As soon as he grasped it, he settled it back onto his head.

...and turned when he heard the amused snort behind him.

His boss met his gaze easily enough, and shook his head with an exasperated smile. "I'll never understand how that hat of yours works, Joutarou. But thanks for your help tonight, you really saved my ass back there."

Joutarou shrugged. "No problem. Need anything else?" The topic of the hat was, of course, skipped. There wasn't any point in continuing it, as it seemed to have just been an offhanded remark made on his boss' part. And even if it wasn't, it wasn't that important of a conversation to continue anyway.

The older male shook his head. "No, we're all set here. I'll take care of your time stamps, so don't worry about that. Go home and finish studying." He smiled, and nodded. "Night, Joutarou."

Joutarou returned the nod, and without another word turned, and left the area, with his coat slung over his shoulder. Well, that had been a lot less painful than he thought it'd be. The way his boss had been carrying on, it was like it was the end of the goddamn world. Though to be fair to the guy, there was no way that a single person would've been able to move THAT much stuff...all the same, it hadn't taken that much time to move the shit, all things considered.
Mm, maybe he'd be able to get a little studying in before he had to sleep after all. He'd have to take a shower when he got back to the apartment, but if he stayed up a little later tonight, he could get a good hour or two of studying in. Kakyoin might pout at him a bit for it...but fuck it, it was only an hour or two of less sleep than usual. Wasn't that big of a deal.

He turned down a street, heading back the way he and his boss had come. There hadn't been that many people before, and now? The streets were practically empty. Of course, that probably had to do with the fact that this wasn't exactly the main pathway around the quarter, but he'd been down here enough times to know where he was goin--

...

The teenager drew to a halt as he heard a soft thump, his eyebrows lifting every so slightly as he looked towards the source of the sound. The hell? Had someone just fallen over or something? Oh, wait, no, it couldn't be that fucking simple, could it? It could never be that simple.
Joutarou's eyes slide shut shortly after spying the source of the noise, and he released a heavy sigh. Why? Why did this bastard have to pick tonight of all nights, this back street of all streets to shake down an old man? Or, at least that's what it looked like at first glance. Upon opening his eyes and looking over the pair again, things didn't exactly...match up.

For one, why the fuck were they both dressed like they were doing some illegal drug deal in a goddamn detective show? Why was there a briefcase there? Was this ACTUALLY a drug deal going very, very wrong? Either way, he didn't know who was at fault, and until he did, he'd assume that the younger male was the one being an asshole here. "Good grief. What the hell are you doing?" He turned to more fully address the two, keeping his gaze fixed on Ryudo for the most part. If the guy got any more violent towards the old man, he'd intervene straight away. But for now, he was giving the asshole the chance to release the old man on his own.
Or to give him an explanation. Or maybe even both. But if things were already going wrong, he didn't doubt for a second that they'd continue to go wrong.

So much for studying tonight. He'd be dealing with some asshole instead.
"Next time, you might want to duck and cover. Most bad guys won't stop killing you if you're trying to kiss their ouchies."
65
POSTS
TWENTY
GRANDIA II
HUMAN
HIRED HAND
BO (she/her)
he/him
Ugly, shrivelled lips splitting into a taut grimace, the old man made a gurgling groaning noise as he attempted to wrench Ryudo’s grip on him away.

“Get off me, brat!” His old joints had a surprising amount of force in them, but it wasn’t enough to make Ryudo unhand him. Instead, he gave him another shove against the wall as a warning. He knew this kind of slippery client well - if he didn’t get his pay tonight, the geezer would drop off the grid and he’d never see so much as a penny. The thought alone was enough to make Ryudo want to ball his free hand into a fist and give the wrinkled asshole more than a simple roughing up. But he refrained - for the time being. Instead he opened his mouth to give him a second chance of coughing up where he could get his money.

But before the words could leave him, another voice cut across the scene - deep, and as equally exasperated-sounding as Ryudo was. Both he and the old man became still, suddenly, for a second. They then turned their heads towards the end of the street.

Great. Well, that guy didn’t look much like Tethya’s guard, but he did look like a problem. A big problem. Because he’d probably wandered in on the scene at the wrong moment… Not that there would’ve been a right moment to walk in. Neither Ryudo nor the old man were the most innocent looking people to bump into, regardless of the situation. Ryudo’s brow knitted and his mouth spread into a hard, unimpressed line. Quick. Think. Maybe just straight up shooing him away was a better idea than trying to make excuses, or explaining the situation upfront…

But unfortunately, the old man had already taken the opportunity of them being caught off-guard to writhe his way out of Ryudo’s grasp. He dropped to the floor and clawed for his briefcase dramatically, feigning panic as he began grapple on his knees towards the big guy. “H-Help me! Please!!” He whimpered. “This brat’s trying to steal from me!”

“What…!?” That slimy low-life! To turn around and play the victim like that… “Son of a bitch--” Ryudo hissed through gritted teeth, muscles tensing as he instinctively made a grab for his sword… Argh, well, he couldn’t really draw that out right now, could he? Or he was definitely going to look like the aggressor, as much as he definitely wanted to shove the tip of it at the old geezer’s throat for trying to twist the situation in his favour, let alone lie to and cheat him.

"Good grief."
170
POSTS
Eighteen
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Human
Student
Splendi (She/Her)
He/Him
@RYUDO

Joutarou sighed as the two turned their attention towards him. Good grief...the way they were looking, it was like he’d wandered up on a pair of kids swiping cookies out of a cookie jar. He wasn’t too sure how things were gonna go from here on out, or if either of these fuckers would draw any weapons on them. The younger guy...he had a sword? Hmph. Did the old guy have any weapons? Either way, he’d need to be ready for whatever this pair of chucklefucks would throw at him. With that in mind, he slid his coat back on while they stared, and slid his hands into his pockets when the old guy started to move.

...damn, the guy sure knew how to wiggle his way out of shitty situations. It was just a question of if that was really panic that was involved, or if the old timer was used to this sorta thing. Wordlessly, Joutarou glanced between the pair as he stepped forward to meet the old guy halfway. Christ...why the hell would an old guy be wandering around the darkened submarine racing bubble with a briefcase that was valuable enough for a punk to try to swipe? He supposed it was possible...if the old timer had been betting on the races earlier, and had won a substantial amount of money, he could’ve just been heading back home with all the money he’d won. But why a goddamn briefcase? Surely the racetracks would have a LITTLE more tact than that, or make it a little less obvious as to who their lucky winners were. Hmph.
This was definitely something that would be better sorted by the guard. They’d probably know all the lowlifes on sight, and honestly? If either of them reacted negatively to the suggestion that the guard be brought in, he’d know which one of these fuckers he had to watch.

“That so? You okay, old man?” Joutarou paused in front of the older man, and reached down to help him back up to his feet. Once he’d done that, however, he had no intention of letting the guy go until he’d gotten a better idea as to what’s going on.
...and if either of them reacted to what was gonna happen next, he’d know that at least one of ‘em was dangerous. As his eyes shifted to settle onto Ryudo, Star Platinum manifested to keep a watch over the old man. Joutarou’s irritation was reflected within his Stand, as Star Platinum’s gaze was slightly narrowed, and his lips curled into a small frown. Joutarou himself maintained his typical semi scowl, though when he spoke to address Ryudo, his tone deepened. “I think it’s time we called the guard. Wouldn’t you say so, old man?” If the fucker over there decided to fight this shit, he’d be pretty pissed. But honestly, he was expecting him to fight.
Whatever. If it came to it, he’d knock both the assholes out and drag them off to the guard. Once they were dumped off to the proper authorities, they wouldn’t be his problem any longer.
"Next time, you might want to duck and cover. Most bad guys won't stop killing you if you're trying to kiss their ouchies."
65
POSTS
TWENTY
GRANDIA II
HUMAN
HIRED HAND
BO (she/her)
he/him
“Oh! Yes, I’m quite alright - thank you!!” The old man grovelled as he was pulled to his feet.

Seemed like the big guy had already made up his mind. Who in their right mind was going to ignore the plight of a defenceless old man, after all? Someone who had walked in on the situation and seen it as the exact opposite of its actuality, that was who. Dammit, what a farce.

Ryudo felt the hand that wasn’t clasped around the hilt of his sword tighten into a fist. “Just what the hell are you trying to pull, old man!?” He spat. “Trying to make yourself look like the innocent one here - don’t you have a single shred of integrity?” Obviously not. Would Ryudo even have found himself involved in Tethya’s backstreet dealings to begin with, if he did?

And then the big guy suggested calling the guard, as if Ryudo’s patience wasn’t already at the end of its tether. “Th-The guard...?” The old man stammered, looking mildly shaken for a moment before he put his guiltless façade back up. “Indeed! He assaulted me - I want him arrested for it!”

After rolling his eyes and shaking his head and sighing just abruptly enough to convey his irritation, Ryudo addressed the onlooker, “Save yourself the trouble and don’t bother.” The guard didn’t bother him - there wasn’t a damned guard in existence that could get their hands on him. It was the fact that if he let the old geezer out of his sights he’d never get that money. “Just let go of him, turn around and be on your way. Pretend you didn’t see anything.” His tone was so matter-of-fact that it was bordering on mocking the guy, and he was well aware of that.

"Good grief."
170
POSTS
Eighteen
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Human
Student
Splendi (She/Her)
He/Him
@RYUDO

Though Joutarou didn’t make any visible reaction, he was sure to take what the jackass was saying into consideration. Yeah, that could just be the little asshole trying to deflect blame onto the old guy, but things still weren’t adding up towards proving said old guy’s innocence. He’d really stepped into one big fucking mess tonight, and he still wasn’t happy about it. Fucking jackasses needed to sort their shit so that he didn’t have to put up with that shit.
Little late for that now, but he sure as hell didn’t wanna see anything like this in the future. Better that they fuck up in front of an actual guard than him from now on; he wanted nothing to do with their illegal drama.

...yeah. The old guy was shifty as fuck. He may have only reacted negatively to the comment on the guard for a handful of moments before agreeing to it, but those moments were more than enough for Joutarou to feel as though he really would have to keep watching the asshole for any shitty moves. Still, if the old guy thought that he’d managed to fool Joutarou, there was no reason to clue him into the fact that he knew he was full of shit just yet. So, he nodded in response to what the guy had to say. “Can’t let a dangerous guy like him just leave after something like this.”

And now came the pickle; though he figured that the threat from the old guy was a bit less than the threat from the jackass, Joutarou still wanted to keep an eye on him. However, he’d have to keep his physical eyes on the jackass himself, seeing as how he was the one drawing the sword, and talking shit. Pft. He’d probably need Star Platinum to deal with the sword, so he’d have to divert the Stand’s attention at some point...but if he took his eyes off the old guy, he felt like he’d be gone in the time it took him to blink.
Well. Better to make sure that he couldn’t run. Wasn’t like he’d be able to pin Joutarou for what he was about to do; he hadn’t reacted to Star Platinum, so he wouldn’t know who to blame for this.

‘This,’ turned out to be the Stand lashing out at the old guy, moving to knock him out altogether. It wouldn’t cause much more damage than a splitting headache by the time the old guy woke up, but so long as he was unconscious and unable to either run away or start more shit, Joutarou didn’t give a fuck. He was getting both of these assholes down to the guard, even if they were gonna pitch a bitch fit about it. He snorted at the jackass’s matter-of-fact tone, one hand slipping into his pocket while the other lifted to pinch the brim of his hat. “Good grief…” His own tone wasn’t...all that different from the tone he’d been using since the start, which was boredom with a tinge of mild irritation. “If you don’t put that sword down, you’re the one who isn’t gonna be seeing anything for a while.” He wasn’t buying into this other guy’s bullshit, not even for a second. If he made this difficult, he’d just beat the shit out of him, and carry him and the old fucker to the nearest guard.

Sure, it might be a pain in the ass to explain why he was carrying two unconscious fucks around, but he wasn’t too worried about getting into any trouble with the law. Wasn’t like he had a record of criminal activities. These two, however?
...they probably did.
"Next time, you might want to duck and cover. Most bad guys won't stop killing you if you're trying to kiss their ouchies."
65
POSTS
TWENTY
GRANDIA II
HUMAN
HIRED HAND
BO (she/her)
he/him
At least the guy had acknowledged Ryudo was dangerous.

Hell, even without his sword he would be, but that was an extra five steel feet of danger and as big as the guy was he’d be plain stupid if he attempted to drag him off to the guard without being armed himself. So unless he happened to be hiding a blade or a firearm, Ryudo was pretty damned sure he had the upper hand. ‘Try me’, his expression read: he cocked an eyebrow with the frown he gave him.

But then - out of nowhere - the old man dropped unconscious. “...What?” What the hell had the guy just done…!? He hadn’t even touched the old man, apart from when he’d picked him off the ground, and then he’d just collapsed all of a sudden? Was that… Magic? Everything he’d previously thought about being at an advantage with his sword alone had just gone straight out of the metaphorical window; more aptly, it had decided to throw itself out of the Tethyan bubble and drown itself in the Goddamn ocean.

No, no. Don’t lose your head over this, dammit. The initial shock subsided and turned back to annoyance. Now that the old man was out cold he definitely wasn’t getting his money any time soon and he pretty much decided on the spot to shift the blame to the big guy for not taking his word for it and walking away. The threat he gave him didn’t do much but make this worse, either.

“Let me think about that.” He said, coldly and sarcastically, as he pulled his sword all the way from its sheath to prove a point. “Yeah - no thanks, buddy. Now shut up and move along before I make you. And leave that guy where he is; in case you couldn’t tell, he owes me money.”

"Good grief."
170
POSTS
Eighteen
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Human
Student
Splendi (She/Her)
He/Him
@RYUDO

Pft. He figured that would be the asshole’s response.

Suffice to say, Joutarou wasn’t impressed in the slightest by the other male’s own returned bravado; not only was it annoying, but a bit concerning as well. Either this dumbass was tougher than he looked, or he was dumber than he looked. Personally, Joutarou would prefer if the latter were true, as it meant that he’d be just like every other thug that he’d had to put down before. God knows that all of DIO’s assassins had been that way. Many of them had been strong, sure, but they were arrogant dumbasses, too. Maybe that was the case with this guy? Strong, but arrogant.
Mmph. Either way, he was going to be watching him for anything shitty, and if he needed to, he’d use a time stop. He’d have to get a bit closer for the time stop to do anything, though, and besides…
Star Platinum was much more dangerous when he was able to punch things. Otherwise, he’d have to pick up something off the ground and use that as a projectile. What a joke…

“I don’t give a shit, and I’m done talking to you.” Joutarou drew his fingers along the brim of his hat after speaking, and dropped his hand back to his side. Out of habit, he wound up slipping his hand back into his pocket, and kept his eyes trained on the guy’s sword as he moved ever closer. Star Platinum kept a watch on the guy himself, and from what he could feel from the Stand, he was more than ready to punch the guy’s lights out.
Just as Ryudo had been sending off a silent taunt of, ‘try me,’ so too did Joutarou seem to be retaliating with a, ‘try it,’ of his own. Given that this was the multiverse and all, it was possible that this guy may have magic up his sleeve in addition to knowing how to swing a sword around. If he did, hopefully it wasn’t anything that’d be too destructive, or...it was something that was so destructive that he wouldn’t be willing to use at close range, for fear of getting himself caught in the attack as well. Either way, if he saw something fishy, he’d be sure to go for a time stop. Fucker couldn’t do anything magical if he was knocked the fuck out.
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