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[RP] A Jelly Filled Filler (Complete)
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Posted 3/21/13
Mr. Donut, the #1 place to buy donuts in Edo.
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Posted 3/21/13 , edited 8/19/13
A Jelly Filled Filler


This thread emerges out of the set-up in Sabu-chan's first appearance here.


Picture by nekoze_taro

*sigh*

Fifteen minutes have already passed since they arrived at this rendez-vous, and no Takasugi.

And Sasaki doesn't need to take his eyes from the phone screen to know that the girl opposite him has just finished her fourth box of donuts.

"Nobume, when you buy the next box of donuts, please leave some of the jelly-filled ones for our friend."

"I don't think that man is coming, Isaburou. Should I get you a couple donuts too?"

Sasaki shakes his head. Donuts mean sugary fingers, and only a very common person smears his phone with sugary gunk.

While Nobume is getting more donuts, Sasaki shoots off another email to Kawakami Bansai's address.

Can't help asking orz, but when will Shin-chan join us?

Awww, tell your boss we're lost without our favourite email buddy (^_^;)
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Posted 3/21/13
What the hell kind of meeting place is this? These elites have got to be kidding me... Takasugi thought as he approached the donut shop. It seemed Sasaki had taken his sarcastic reply to the text very seriously, sending insistent messages about a meet-up through Bansai within minutes.

He glanced back and forth again, tilting his hat down further to disguise his face. He could easily take care of any citizen who recognized him, but that was no reason to stop being careful.

A bell chimed as he opened the door, alerting everyone in the building to his presence. However, no one even seemed to look up. No one except for the uniformed man sitting beside the window, that is.

"Yo, Isaburou. What important thing do you have to discuss?"

He spoke softly, to avoid drawing too much attention. There was more than just a twinge of annoyance in his voice, but he was also genuinely interested. He would see what his greatest source of inside information had to say.
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Posted 3/21/13
Sasaki puts down his phone: a rare enough action on his part. He is not entirely insensitive to his ally's mood.

He nods to Nobume, who departs to stand guard, but only after grabbing the last Pon de Ring from the box.

"Takasugi-san, I was beginning to fear you'd been detained by business. But we've saved the jelly-filled donuts for you, as per your request. Please join me. Would you like a cup of coffee as well?"
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Posted 3/21/13
"Coffee wouldn't hurt, so long as you're paying."

Takasugi sat down in the empty seat left by Nobume, leaning back comfortably. He grabbed one of the donuts and took a bite out of it, paying no mind to the sugar that smeared on his fingers and around his mouth.

"Don't tell me I came all this way for you to give me a new phone."


He finished off the donut and started to reach for a second, but stopped, his hand hovering just over the box. He looked up at his ally, his eye focusing suddenly with a dark intensity. When he spoke again, it was in a serious tone.

"Or have you finally found that information we needed?"
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Posted 3/21/13
Sasaki picks up his cellphone again.

"Your new cell phone will be waiting for you when you return to your ship, Takasugi-san. I took special care this time to pick out one that will suit you. I hope you will treat it as a token of my esteem."

He brings up an image to show Takasugi.

"But as it happens, I do indeed have some information to share with you. I imagine you could make good use of the floorplans of this structure?"
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Posted 3/21/13
A smirk formed on Takasugi's jelly-stained lips.

"So my faith in you was a wise choice, after all."


He paused to stare at the image, not saying any more than he had to out loud, in case some of the other customers were not as oblivious as they looked. It was exactly what he had hoped: the full layout of the Terminal.

"Isaburou, you've really outdone yourself."

As untrustworthy as Sasaki was, and as irritating as his texting habits could be, all the trouble in dealing with him had finally paid off.

"I presume you've already sent a copy of this to me to review later. With this, we can certainly accomplish much more, and hopefully with less trouble."


The smirk widened as he pictured where this information could lead him, but he forced the idea out of his mind for now, chewing on another donut. He forced a casual expression back onto his face.

"Anything else I should know about?"
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Posted 3/21/13


"I'm so glad that I could be of service. I've already emailed the information to your new cell phone, Takasugi-san."

Game. Set. Match.

"There is one small thing that might interest you. An old acquaintance of yours has infiltrated our elite organization. Zuuraki Katsuo he calls himself. Tell me, do you have a plan to hook this fish?
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Posted 3/22/13
"Zura...?"

This was very interesting indeed, but he dismissed it with a small wave of his hand.

"It doesn't take much fishing at all to hook that one. In fact, he seems to have a tendency to run right into a trap. As he has once again, I see. At this point, I think I'll just sit back and watch."
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Posted 3/22/13 , edited 3/22/13
Sasaki raises an eyebrow.

"My observations tell me that you're right. My angler's instincts say he's quite a slippery fish indeed. Does it surprise you, Takasugi-san, that my good friends the Shinsengumi have never landed him?"

He leans forward.

"I have heard rumours that this oh-so-easy-to-trap samurai faked his own death, snuck onto your ship without detection, and destroyed your weapons. Do you see why I wonder how seriously I should take this man?"
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Posted 3/22/13
The donut box fell to the floor as Takasugi jumped to his feet, his whole body tensing. His hand moved to the hilt of his sword, but he managed to stop himself.

"You..."

He took a deep breath to calm down, pulling his arms out of their sleeves and up against his chest.

"... You have not been misinformed. Zura is not to be under-estimated. If you want to know more about him, I suppose you've asked the right person."

Of course, Sasaki would be asking for information in return. Takasugi sighed softly. The last thing he wanted was to be sitting here chatting about his former comrade, but he forced himself to return to his seat, the barely-suppressed rage apparent in the curl of his lip, a burning light in his eye when he looked up.

"So, what is it you'd like me to tell you?"
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Posted 3/23/13 , edited 3/23/13
Sasaki stays completely motionless while Takasugi leaps up from his seat. Other patrons look up in alarm at the noise, then settle back into their own conversations when Takasugi sits down again.

Sasaki can sense the aura of disappointment emanating from the corner of the donut shop where Nobume is standing guard. For a moment there, she had tensed herself to spring into a fight.

That girl, he thinks fondly. She's getting restless, our Nobume. I should find her a fight soon where she can cut down as many men as she likes.

Sasaki listens impassively to Takasugi's words. He's well aware that he's just goaded Takasugi almost to his breaking point and that the Kiheitai leader is  not one to easily forgive a slight. But Takasugi is at last co-operating, showing that he understands that Sasaki is owed some information in return for what Sasaki has given him.

"I beg your pardon, Takasugi-san, if my request inconveniences you. I certainly would not bother you for information I could easily obtain elsewhere. I know all the details of Katsura-san's biography. I have a fair idea of the strength of his organization.

"But the man himself? I confess that I am puzzled, and an elite such as myself is rarely puzzled, Takasugi-san. He would appear to be a common buffoon and yet he is - as you say - not to be underestimated. I would be gratified if you could cast some light on his character, knowing him so well as you do.

Is his foolishness only a pretense to set enemies at ease?"


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Posted 3/23/13
"A pretense? I wish I could say that was true. But it would seem that Zura is simply... nonsensical like that."

As much as he tried to erase the bonds of the past, there was nothing about this conversation that felt right. It was not only the fact that he was selling out his ex-comrade; the entire subject was hitting far too close to home. But now was not the time to back down.

"It would seem as though the... events of the past caused him to break somehow. He's much more intelligent that he looks, your suspicions are correct, but his foolishness is not an act either. Not everything he does makes sense, but he views it all as perfectly logical."

Takasugi looked down.

"One could almost say that he operates on a different set of rules than the rest of the world."
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Posted 3/23/13 , edited 3/23/13
Sasaki carefully considers this answer. It is obvious from Takasugi's manner how reluctant he was to give it. And that fact makes Takasugi's opinion all the more valuable. Sasaki is certain that Takasugi has given him an honest answer, and an insightful one at that.

A lesser man might wonder if Katsura was the only one broken by that past, might ask Takasugi further questions about that past. Sasaki is not a lesser man. He is - as he likes to remind people - an elite. Besides, he already knows the answers to these questions. There is very little about Takasugi and his companions that Sasaki hasn't made it his business to find out. Instead, he thanks Takasugi for the information quite simply then turns to a more important issue.

"There is another aspect of this situation which I find worrisome. Perhaps you might shed some light on it. What is Katsura's connection with this Kaientai space fleet, do you know? I have reliable information that the powerful Amanto mercenary who serves as his second-in-command was sent to him by the Kaientai commander: Sakamoto Tatsuma. Another old acquaintance of yours, I believe?"
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Posted 3/23/13
"I think you're forgetting something: I haven't exactly been trying to keep in touch with these old acquaintances lately. I try to keep my distance from the Kaientai when possible... But Tatsuma's an odd one. Even after abandoning us back in the war, he still sends letters."

What to tell, what to keep a secret...? Takasugi got the impression that Sasaki understood far more from what he didn't say than what he did. Talking about Sakamoto was much easier, as he was never as close to him.

An Amanto mercenary? Takasugi remembered seeing Katsura's strange companion, but he had never considered it to be a threat like Sasaki was implying. Although, it made perfect sense that Sakamoto of all people would have been the one to send a strange thing like that...

"As for their connection, as far as I can tell, they still get along. In fact, they got together not too long ago, although I'm not sure what this meeting was about. They probably just got Gintoki to go drinking with them. Or, maybe..."

His eye flashed as he saw the perfect opportunity to get some more information of his own.

"... just maybe, it had something to do with that Amanto he sent to Zura. Perhaps we can cooperate to piece this puzzle together."
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