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  “You know why she's doing this, right?” Lan asks, looking down at his date that was looped around his arm as the attendants opened the doors to them again.
  
She looks gorgeous, shoulders down in a blue and white sundress, her usually straight hair curled tight against her scalp – whereas he was head above her, his hair pulled tight back, no strand out of place.
  
And both of them faced a limousine. To her credit, Saya didn't allow herself to be surprised this time either, instead, curling her hand around the crook in Lan's arm. “I'd answer, but I thought we were taking the train. This.. does not look like a train.”
  
“Smart girl,” he grins down at her, which gets a glare up at him. “She wants to show off. She didn't get to the other night.” He starts forward, towards the open doors, and beyond, to the driver that holds open the rear end door to both of them. Lan slides his arm out from hers and takes her hand instead, nodding towards the open door.
  
Tucking her dress under her, she sits down in the spacious cabin, shifting over as Lan nods to the driver, sitting down beside her in the black leather seats. “And this is her showing off.”
  
His first instinct was to look at the minibar – empty, of course, no doubt by the family's insistence, but he still leans up and pours himself a water, and looks back at Saya, who shakes her head, looking out the window as the limo starts off.
  
“Am I that important to impress?” she asks, leaning back into the seat which dwarfs her, as he takes a drink of water? She can't be sure.
  
Water with Xanax, but he shakes his head, swallowing, as he places the glass down in the holder. “If I'm being honest, no.” And when she frowns, he smiles. “No, no as in 'this has never happened, what the hell do I do' kind of situation.” Lan tilts his head a bit and looks through the driver's view, “It's kind of interesting being on this side.”

--

  Minutes later, the limo pulls to a stop, Lan is surprised when both of their doors open, and they look at each other. He motions out towards her door as he starts out of his own, face to face with the driver, and Saya next to the restaurant's attendant.
  
Lan pulls on his jacket, hard, turning his head side to side as he feels and hears it crack, the limo starting along without them in it as he steps forward to join Saya, looking at Nakashima's slate gray exterior.
  
“The best sushi in Japan is made in a shitty train station by an old man who loves what he does,” Lan says, looking up at the apartments above the restaurant, then down to the corner entrance. “Guess they couldn't book that to impress you tonight.”
  
Saya listens, taking his arm again, but when he's done, she digs her fingers into his ribs, causing him to laugh and pull away, startling the attendant that pulled Saya's door open. “Too serious. You're not them.”
  
Lan was halfway to grabbing her free hand before he stops, standing back up at her side and regarding her for a moment. “'You're not them', huh.”
  
The attendant holds open the door as Lan escorts Saya in first, stepping into the restaurant behind her.

--

  Well, she got her way, Lan thinks, looking at the small restaurant's seating area, noting that it is.. very empty. Exceptionally empty. And the three occupants turn to look at the both of them.
  
Whether it was Reo's suggestion or his father's, Lan didn't question it, escorting Saya towards the end (of the middle) of the bar, pulling her seat out for her – with no one on her left, and Lan's family on his right as he sits between them, purposefully.
  
All of them looked up at the chef, who took stock of his recipients tonight, from right to left, he guesses.
  
American, Half, Father.. he pauses for a moment, second wife, second son. Though he smiles and bows to all of them, who return the bow slightly, he turns to his assistant and starts the first course.

--

  “What do I..” Saya starts, and Lan shakes his head, leaning back in his chair.
  
“Nothing, it's a presentation. Man places food in front of you, you eat it.”
  
Toshio catches enough of that to turn to Lan and hiss at him, “Hush, you know it's all a show,” before turning and resuming his position. Lan glances over at Saya, raising a brow, turning to her and murmuring. “Bet you can't tell the difference between the conveyor sushi, hm?”
  
Lan leans up and takes both his and her chopsticks, napkin, and any seasoning away, sliding it down to her empty left seat, leaving both of their areas bare. The clinking catches the attention of all three to the right, though only one seems upset about it.
  
Lan looks up at the chef and bows with his head almost touching the top of the chef's presentation bar, and he smiles in return, nodding at the acknowledgment of the taste of his works alone. Despite Lan's ulterior motive.
  
“Honest opinion, if you can tell a difference, I relent, yes?” Lan leans over so his family can't glower over his bet, his elbow on the bar, hand out to Saya.
  
“Don't look at them, look at me,” he insists when her gaze wanders over his shoulder, even to the chef, who apparently didn't speak English, but was smiling and nodding at her at the exuberance of her date.
  
She leans back and smooths out her dress, regarding Lan cooly. “And if I win?”

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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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