“I need fifty thousand yen.”
  Lan types on his computer the next day as Reo doesn't respond. They didn't bother greeting each other when they talked, but.. “Hello?” He asks.
“Are you drunk already? Why the hell would I authorize that?” he responds. Reo walks from the entrance of the Satake building towards the production facility.
“Father wants me back for Mountain Day, right? So, I need airfare.” Lan replies. Reo stops, looking up as he does some mental math, train is 30, airfare is only 20..
“No, I'll buy you your plane tic.. wait, you're going to fly here?” In the time he had known his brother, Reo knew Lan hated to fly, even if it meant tacking on hours to his itinerary. So why is he okay with it now?
Reo turns away from his assistant and leans down, hissing into the phone. “The last time we flew anywhere you were so fucked up on Valium it could have killed a horse, what are you trying?” He wasn't stupid to Lan's attempts to get cash, cash meant alcohol.
“I.. thought I'd bring a friend with me this time. You know how awkward..” but Reo was only half listening, the word friend came out of his brother's mouth as little as the w ord love did. Friend. Friend? Someone from the hospital? Therapy? Lan doesn't have friends. Who..
“You are not bringing her here, Lan,” knowing exactly who he is talking about. “They will eat her alive.”
“I've already asked her. I told her I would get us there.” Lan replies.
Reo holds the phone away from himself at arm's length, gritting his teeth and tensing up, as if he wants to explode. His assistant stops, looking as Reo walks to a chain-link fence and stomps against the aluminum pole. The shoes themselves were worth more than the fence.
He thumbs the unmute button as he straightens himself out, “Then go next door, and tell her you were.. mistaken. That it's a family holiday.”
“She hasn't decided yet. I just need to make sure that we can get there. I don't have a credit card, so I need you to--”
No, Lan! What about the word no do you not understand? You have a rail pass, you can get here, but I'm not going to pay for some stranger you just met to co--”
“Do it, or I'll call Father.” Lan says.
That stops Reo mid-speech, mid-stride. He looks at his assistant, then up towards the tall blue building he was leaving – and the office up top. He'll break like a twig if Lan calls, he thinks.
He finally relents, almost hissing into the phone. “Alright, give me.. give me twenty-four hours.” Reo didn't even wait for a response as he thumbs the red end button and looks over at the fence. Maybe it needs a few more kicks..

  Lan pulls the phone from between his shoulder and ear, looking at it as it fades back to the home-screen after Reo hangs up. He sets it aside and continues typing:
ANA, JAL to HIJ. He scrolls down the page as it lists three digit numbers. For such short notice, a direct flight for a couple hundred, but she doesn't have to know that. Japan Airlines was the cheapest, All Nippon was the same. Lan hovers his cursor over the next entry: Japan Railways. It was more expensive, and it was over double the travel time. But it wasn't flying.
He pushes back from the desk and turns, looking out the window for a moment. Lan hated flying, and could never explain it. Once the plane was in the air, he was fine, but the takeoff and landing..
He glances at his medication drawer, thinking back on what Reo said a bit ago. “I have the meds. I can..” Do they allow sleeping people on planes? He thinks, take the pills, go to sleep, wake up in Hiroshima?
And leave Saya to deal with us like that? Fuck you. He grumbles. That wasn't an option, but he could take enough and still be awake, at least for check-in and seating.
Lan looks over at his phone. Reo always needed “twenty-four hours” to get anything done, family or business.
He would give his brother two.

  Saya rests her chin in her hand, zoning out to the variety show in the background. She processes a few words, but it's more slapstick humor than she likes. A war of decisions hides behind her eyes, though, as she considers Lan's proposal.
You don't know him.
But you know his brother is.. formal? Business-like? Rich?
And you've never been further south than Osaka.
She grumbles to herself at the two sides that all seem to blend together in her own voice. Portraying conscious decisions as angels and demons on someone's shoulder never resonated with Saya, it wasn't ever that simple.
She looks over towards the bathroom as a stark black cat with cool yellow and green eyes pads out into the living room. She had hidden when Lan visited the other day, and finally felt the courage to exit her safe place.
“Mm?” Saya replies. Most of their human to cat to human conversations were the cat being vocal, and her humming in return. Boo catches sight of her and starts over towards the living room table, pausing to stretch one front leg, then the other before hopping up in front of Saya, blocking her view of the TV.
Saya reaches up and runs her hand along her cat's back, even along the tail with a few fingers, smiling as it stands up straight. She tilts her chin in her hand to look at Boo's face, who responds by bunting her head against Saya's, purring loudly.
“Didn't like the scary dude, did you?” she asks. She didn't even like Gregg. Is it a male thing? she wonders.
Boo flops unceremoniously on the table in front of Saya, the cat's back to the TV, her tail lashing and thumping on the table. No, pet me and make up for it, Saya imagines her thinking.
She does, paying special attention to her cat's ears, smiling wider as her back leg curls up as if to scratch but not wanting Saya to stop. When she finally does, Boo shakes her head back and forth in a 'erblerblerb' noise, which makes Saya wiggle her own cheeks to imitate the sound back at her.
She sighs and looks at Boo's corner, she had an automatic feeder, and plenty of water. And you've never been to Hiroshima.. she thinks.
Boo closes her eyes slowly up at Saya, purring like a motor.


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About the author


Bio: apologies for everything about me, it might get better.

updates will be once a day for the next seventy days since i am migrating from another platform and have those chapters - and more - ready to go. (from 8/9)

feel free to come hang out in the discord, if you like.

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