rouga's rooftop thoughts
- One of the tallest buildings in E-Dubbz supported a popular patio, rented out by smug and vain faces of celebrities who often came to E-Dubbz for pleasure. At their leisure, they could be both meticulous with their funds or wasteful, as the city was tribulation only for those who knew no one. Connections were the state of mind, making anyone wealthy, even without the value of the economic dollar. Americanized for its economy, all forms of money were used here. What could be bought with euros, could be with yen, and yen, the simple dollar. Rouga stood there with these socialites, holding an empty drink, gazing off into the crowd. While fashionable on a typical day, this night, he was buttoned up in a suit one would use for a seminar or meeting. It was darker than crimson, streaks of the UV lights and blue signs mirrored purple tints around the available parts of his skin. His beard was growing in patches under his chin and nose, around his mouth, and sideburns. It didn't connect, genetically, being that his DNA simple never allowed him a western ability such as that.
- All it hinted was that despite his classy throat-pincher, he was languid and likely depressed. The city below him refused to stop, the sea of lights swam up and down the roads while bustles of people around him drowned out the chaos of honking and mingling pedestrians. It was the night Jiao returned to his lobby, covered in blood, trembling with the arms to bear the burden of personalized war. He'd met so many people in his short time opening the lobby. Not even a month had passed and his plate had reached portions that he'd became too stuffed to eat. It was rapidly mirroring when he was the original head of the Yakuza clan who made first claims of the turfs in E-Dubbz. Nauseating, to remember it being so far away, but close, all the same. The oxygen above the industry below, the never-ending machine, truly was better. "Rouga, right?" a female voice asked him, pulling him from his lean on the nearest glass fence.
- He only straightened up to appear polite. The woman who asked had bouncing red curls, not quite a perm, but curlier than most. The color was divine, but he knew it to be unnatural, despite the hypnotic green hues of her doe-like eyes. The dress color she chose contrasted her skin, mirroring her eye color, and from the looks of the material is was not cheap, by any means. In hung to her skinny figure, the entire visage her petite frame both non-threatening and malnourished. "My name is Eire, I'm like, a model for the magazine Vogue. N-Not like, front cover, or anything.." she laughed nervously. "I just turned nineteen." hands turned to pull at the ends of her locks that reached past her small breasts, a tick, he was certain that she did when she felt nervous. He said nothing in return but gave her his attention. "I was wondering if.. you'd like to have a drink with me? Maybe dance?" his eyes wandered past her to Timpleton, who dragged him here in the first place.
- He raised his champagne glass, allowing Rouga to hear his annoying voice inside his head. 'Rouga, my boy, you gotta' get out and mingle! Wasting your youth over here, look at Maz! He's as ugly as the day is long and even he has some ladies over!' to which, at the time, Maz could hear and knocked over a drink in retaliation. That was a year ago, most likely. She waited for his answer, and somberly, he obliged. Nearby was a seat and an empty table, where he set his glass down and held out his elbow for her to take. When interlinked, he'd guide her to the floor where the music had become slow, only couples swayed together, and he took the lead. She was elegant, poised properly with proportionate advances for ever step he took. Slightly, he twirled her, to the sounds of what was ambiance and piano playing in the background. His silence forced her to trip up on the occasion their eyes met, and from a distance, he could hear Timpleton.
- "A woman and his arms and he can't even smile, the nerve of this guy, am I right?" around him were other Italian mafiosos, doing business with other men, clearly Irish, from their accent. The woman on his arm held the same draw as those Irishmen, but she did her best to mask it. "Domo Arigato... Uhm, do you speak English?" because he hadn't answered at all. "I do. You don't have to be so polite with your wording. I'm your elder, but here, we are just friends. Dancing." he spun her around again. "Oh, its jsut.. well sorry, I'm barely learning Japanese on top of Italian." he rolled a shoulder, "It's fine." they danced more for a moment, the song closes out. She parted from his grip and he made no means to stop her. She was nervous, her small nose scrunching alongside wrinkling eyes. "You didn't have to dance with me, I could tell you didn't like it." his white oculars glazed back over the drop between the glass edge and the city, then back to her.
- "You're young. It's not that you aren't something I'd enjoy spending time with, I just have a lot on my mind." perhaps it was the way he worded it, or the fact that she was immature, but she clearly took personal offense to him. "I just thought that maybe, since you were all alone, that'd we spend time together. This is my first time here--and--and--he made me." he pointed at Timpleton, who only laughed. Rouga was still silent, relieved that she hadn't approached him for something as face-valued as appearances. "As I said, Eine. Young, beautiful. There are plenty of men here eyeing us as we danced. Jealousy runs rampant on this rooftop, look." he gestured around them, but she didn't look back to any one person he tried to point out. "I'm supposed to dance with you." he shook his head, "Does doing what your told move your career?" he knew better than to outwardly call her a brat, when they were mingling for business.
- She huffed, "No, your boss just feels sorry for you. I don't!" she moved to leave, whipping her back to him, so he also moved away. He went for his glass, which was refilled while he danced, and took it in his hand. Leaning on the bar again, he gazed at the skyline now. An airplane went, as another dropped in, likely bringing more tourists and snobby women not worth the time they claim they should be paid for. He reached into his wallet, fishing out a picture that had been bent, burnt at the edges, and faded. Dark hair pooled out on the sides, the frame nothing but tresses of hair and a forced smile. He was younger in the photo, face nearby the woman in the frame,
- a goofy grin spread over his cheeks. The backdrop contained the backside of Ringo's head, the frontal-face of her counterpart Dart, Wai, Wang, and Leo chatting as well. The selfie captured a plethora of emotion both then, and now, as he stared at it. It was a secret possession of his, oftentimes never sought out unless he felt lost. This was the closest thing to a family he'd ever had; the yakuza, being raised in it was harsh. Bloody. Cruel. Women were raped by animals for speaking out of turn under his father's rules, men severed by hands and legs for stealing or falling asleep when they were supposed to be on guard. He'd never met anyone as ruthless as his father and yet now that he was older, every day, he could see him in his reflection. This photo reminded him that when he was younger, he wanted the
- power, but to never be as vile as the man who brought him here by seed alone. He failed. Every face in the photo was a level of failure that he'd never forgot, or forgiven himself for. The woman squeezed beside him, although forcibly smiling, shone a sense of comfort in her eyes next to Rouga. He wondered---God, did he wonder, where she went. If she was alright, wherever she decided to go. If that letter she left him, the words etched inside his mind at their final goodbye, if any of it was the reality meant for them. Was it true love, or was she another spy in the system that was never meant to stay in one place for long after helping push him out of his seat? Even his father loved his mother, and was Rouga any different? When he told her to pull the trigger to prove the loyalty deep within, and she
- did, was that not enough? His grip hardened. Heat twinged at his fingertip, threatening to burn the only copy of his photo he had. Silent, he took a sip of his rum. Instead, he silently tucked it back into his hiding place, within his jacket. There were new things to look forward to, and "You can't move forward if you always look into the past," came to mind, the voice of reason, Jiao had become for him. Her lips touched his so fearfully, yet winded, like it'd been on her mind for so long. Even he felt moved by it, albeit not kissing her back. Perhaps he'd never move on from his first love and Jiao was merely a trial sent down to test his ability to persevere through time without someone he thought was the one. Maybe Dart had returned, Ringo, and other familiar faces from seasons passing, as a test.
- The last thing on his mind right now were his tasks these test brought; get Mutt to tell him where Elohim was, deliver him, protect Jiao from her kidnappers and teach her to protect herself. Get information off brokers, pay off debts, collect debts, provide Kenshin with a proper partnership and clean out the remain trash of their blackmailers, find Emi somewhere to maintain her stabilization and not become another woman on the streets like Jiao; there was surely more to come. No, in this cloudy air, surrounded by nameless faces, Rouga would dream. Dream about the days where everything was simple. Easy. Dream about her. [e]
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