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  Lan breathes out a sigh of resignation before nodding and starting towards where they came from – towards the commotion. The two stick to one side again, as staff rush by from room to room, at one point cornering the two of them at a junction until the foot traffic had subsided.
  
“Have you ever had a.. hm..” he pauses, tapping his fingers together before he shrugs and relents. “It's called kaiseki? No?”
  
Saya shakes her head, never having heard the word. Lan scratches the back of his head as he tries to think of an English equivalent.
  
“It's.. it's the Japanese version of the 'full fancy course' bullshit from earlier,” he explains, “Now.. I haven't been here for a meal in a while, but the last time I was, they went.. bonkers.”
  
“At its most base, it's four courses, or dishes. Like any other meal, right?” She nods, traditional.
  
“And at its fucking..” he pauses, rubbing his mouth and shaking his head, “Sorry. At its most.. extravagant, it can be up to.. fourteen.”
  
Saya blinks and shakes her head, looking past him down the hall, it would make sense, that everyone would be this busy if that were actually the case.
  
“I only say this in case it happens. I wouldn't put it past them, but I will say something to either father or Reo to.. keep it down, you know?” He glances behind him, wondering where they would be in the house at this point. Aiko would be in the kitchen, of course, Reo would probably be in the room they had tea in beforehand, since he doesn't live here anymore, either, Lan thinks.
  
“I didn't even think that there were fourteen,” she glances up, thinking, “paletes to entertain.” She wasn't sure that was the right word, but all of this seemed ostentatious as it were.
  
“It won't be,” Lan assures her as he starts moving again, moving past the front entrance of the house and towards the kitchen and reception room. “Aiko will want to go all out, father will.. acquiesce, and Reo..”
  
He stops in front of the half-open reception room and glances in, turning to look back at Saya. “Give me a minute, will you? I promise it'll be quick.”
  
Without much to go on, she nods and presses her back against the wall so as to not be in anyone's way as Lan ducks into the room across the hall.

--

  “I need a favor.”
  
“And I need a break, what now, Lan?” Reo answers, tapping his gloved fingers next to the tea on the table, having been interrupted in probably starting to drink it.
  
“Aiko is going to go crazy with tonight's meal if left to herself. Don't look at me like that, you know exactly what I'm talking about,” Lan says, to which Reo shrugs and nods.
  
“Go tell her to.. make it basic. Traditional. Not..” He pauses in his rattling off in Japanese to Reo, not coming up with yet another word for it all. He frowns and Reo leans back against the chair, crossing his arms with a tired, losing-patience look on his face.
  
“Haute. Right? Haute?” He shakes his head and motions out the door, towards the kitchen. “The pretentious multi-course bullshit.”
  
Reo raises a brow at that, he knew the word, understanding it perfectly, but, “How is that my problem?” he asks.
  
“She's your mother. And you know father won't dissuade her.” Reo remains immobile, thoroughly unconvinced. “And you don't want to be here any longer than I do, right?” Lan continues.
  R
eo rolls his eyes and picks up his tea, blowing steam off of it. “I don't know what you're talking about, I like being here now and then.”
  
Shit, Lan thinks, this is his home more than it ever was mine, he admits to himself, that he would be more comfortable here than Lan.
  
Business, bargain, what do you have to trad--
  
“I'll call Nissan to pick up the car tonight. From the hotel, and I-- we'll take trains around Hiroshima instead. Okay?”
  
Reo's eyes flick up at Lan, who holds out his hands, offering the invisible trade. Despite being annoyed at being swayed like this, Reo sighs and pushes back from the table, setting his tea down before he even took a sip.
  
“Call them, right now, while I talk with her.” Reo shakes his head and stands up, pulling down on his vest to straighten it out.
  
Lan deflates in relief as he pulls his phone out of his pocket. “Got it, got it. Just.. simple, okay?” He tilts his head out towards the kitchen as he starts to search for the rental company's number.
  
“I got it. Call them.” Reo points at Lan's phone, walking out into the hallway.
  
Reo almost starts to sneer at the fact that Lan knows anything to save the group money would work, but straightens up as Saya stands right outside the room he left. He bows slightly to her, changing his expression to a professional smile.
  
“Miss Travis, a pleasure having you here. If you'll give me a moment, I have to have a word with my mother. Feel free to have a seat in there,” he motions behind him to where he just exited, before stepping his way down the hall towards the kitchen.

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About the author

drac

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.

[email protected]

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