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Chiyo Saito

"What IS legal anyway?"

0 · 1,213 views · located in The World At Large (Avatar)

a character in “Avatar: A Tale of Two Flowers”, as played by HeartfeltWords

Description

Name:Chiyo Saito

Age:20

Element: Earth / metal

Weapon(s) if any: She often carries an inch-long metal piece which she bends at will into useful tools

History: Chiyo is the eldest child in the Saito family out of four other children. Her mother passed when she was only seven or eight and the youngest was under a year, so Chiyo considers herself the woman of the house. Her father, Bunta, has owned and run a used tech shop, Scrappers, for as long as she can remember. It doesn't generally do very well--according to the books anyway. Sometimes, her father does well off the books. Not everything has to follow the rules, Bunta often told his daughter. More often than not, Chiyo has had to follow this thought to help their struggling family scrape together another meal. Her bending has often been helpful to call coins to her hand from people's careless pockets and purses. And if a stone rose up suddenly in front of them and tripped them--well it would be rude not to help them up, and they shouldn't mind being a few coins lighter after she helped!

Her father, also a skilled bender, can make (Chiyo is convinced) any sort of tech imaginable. Sometimes, the government just doesn't know what could be helpful! Sometimes they don't need to know, Bunta would say. Her father often buys things from customers as well--but he kindly never bothers them with questions about where items came from. He respects his customers and they respect his business, Bunta would tell her.

Chiyo wants nothing more than to one day help her father run Scrappers--even though she knows she's a little strange. Once when she was small, she lost her temper at her sister and--fire may have incidentally happened to eat up her favorite stuffed Owlcat--so what of it? She couldn't let those weirdos take her away from her family. Not when they needed her. They were her responsibility. And that was that. She never told anyone and she was careful to try to keep her temper in check from then on.

Now that she's 20, her father has promoted her to partner of Scrappers! Her long-awaited dream. She has big plans for this place--big plans! And they wouldn't need to scrounge if her ideas worked. Would need to worry about listening for the Police Airships overhead anymore either. They were all too stupid to catch them anyway--but Bunta still made sure all his children were on alert for the sound.

Appearance: Image

She wears her hair long, but don't let her pretty looks fool you--she's no pushover. She prefers to wear black, rather than the traditional green. Her father likes to keep to greens though. She often ties her long hair behind her head in a heavy ponytail, and at her hip she keeps an inch long metal rod--finding it useful in a pinch. Chiyo has an athletic build, from a lifetime of tough streets and tough work. She is approximately 5'5' and her weight is none of your business. Her eyes and hair are a light, almost amber, brown like her mother's--she's told. She's also told she looks young for her age--which she doesn't appreciate.

So begins...

Chiyo Saito's Story

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  1. possible wrong location

    by Raven Lyer
  2. http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Ba_Sing_Se

    by HeartfeltWords
  3. possible wrong location

    by HeartfeltWords
  4. possible wrong location

    by HeartfeltWords

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"Stop! Theif!"

This was not her best morning.

Chiyo's pockets clinked heavily with coin as she dashed between shops and carts through the middle ring. It was that rich lady's own fault for leaving her purse so unguarded beside her at the Fancy Lady's Day Spa. Her eyes covered with cabbage leaves, her face smeared with some concoction that Chiyo couldn't identify exactly, but smelled like Owlcat dung and avocado. Just sitting there. Open. Wide open! Not even on her lap! It was just begging to have Chiyo call it to her hand, softly, slowly--until it fell over with a noise loud enough to draw attention. It was just so full of coins!

That was all the way in the Upper Ring but the police had chased her into the middle ring, spying her as she called handholds out of the stone walls to climb to her escape. She would have hung up there unnoticed, if one of the coins hadn't fallen on an officer's head as she struggled to heft the heavy coin purse over the side of the wall. It was at that point that Chiyo ditched the purse all together, opting for her own (zipperable) pockets.

She knew the streets of Ba Sing Se better than anyone--she felt. Plus, not many others could open and use the old passages in the stone walls. Bending was mostly obsolete. Had she not been caught making handholds--she would have simply slipped into the walls and waited for the Police to lose her trail. But now they would probably be expecting that. At least, anyone old enough to remember or any stray benders that MIGHT be police. Very rare these days. Instead, she weaved her way through the maze of people in the Middle Ring. It was mid-afternoon, so the city was bustling with life. People shopping, carts being pushed by people or pulled by animals. Should be easy enough to lose a few coppers. They weren't exactly--smart.

Chiyo was small for her age, borderline scrawny. Not unsurprising, considering she grew up in the Lower Ring, the poorest section of the city. There was a time when the separation had been demolished after the hundred year war--but Chiyo had only heard stories of this time. For a time things had been better for the Lower Ring residents (much to the Upper and Middle Ring's chagrin) but then the Slave Labor started. Thankfully, this was again something that Chiyo had only heard about. For her whole life, any military government or monarchy had been abolished.

Instead, Ba Sing Se had been broken into "independent states" by President Wu. This system was comparatively young, but still had been the "working" government for Chiyo's whole life. The idea had been to eliminate the class separation in Ba Sing Se, but old traditions die hard. Old parts of the original destroyed ring walls were built back on by the votes of citizens to their elected officials. Representation for the "Lower Ring States" was still badly done, while the "Upper Ring States" greased the wheels of the young government. Nothing really ever changed. Though, that suited Chiyo just fine.

"Let the Government fight itself," her father Bunta had often said. "It will be too preoccupied to bother with our business."

The shouts of "Theif! Catch her!" were fading into the background as Chiyo artfully navigated the streets. She took the longest route possible, doubling back and covering her face with her hood as she went. She didn't return to the Lower Ring until she was sure they had completely lost her trail. Most of them never bothered going in to the Lower Ring state areas anyway. They protect their own here.

She had slowed to a leisurely pace, strolling the familiar streets. The smell of traditional food cooking on open fires, melting metals, trash, stale alcohol and infrequently washed bodies felt like home to her. It was said that only people from the Lower Ring States could stand the smell. That again, suited Chiyo just fine. It made escape from any easy targets in the other "States" much more likely. In fact, she had never failed to lose Police by the Lower Ring.

"Oi! Chi!" Came a raspy voice, punctuated by a phlegmy cough. Chiyo turned with a smirk, her hands dug into her pockets, enjoying the heft of her stolen coins. That voice was nearly as familiar as her own father's.

"Hullo, Gen." She replied to the man. He was working his usual open-air noodle stall. Gen's noodles were not only Chiyo's favorite thing to eat in all of Ba Sing Se, but Gen was a soft-hearted (Though terrifying-looking) man. Often when Chiyo and her siblings were low on funds, Gen managed to slip them some broth and noodles. He had probably saved the family from starvation more times than Chiyo could count--or would like to admit. She wandered over to Gen's steaming cart, looking smug. Gen was a broad-shouldered, stout man with a bald head and a long, dark beard. He was missing an eye, and wore a metal patch (her father's own tech invention) that helped him to "see" better than ever before.

"Got an awful lot o' coin there--eh?"

Chiyo grinned impishly. He could see metal items with his special patch.

"Yep! Freshly gained, courtesy of the Fancy Lady Day Spa!" Unhesitatingly, Chiyo hefted a handful at Gen, who grinned toothlessly back at her. It was a silent agreement that she paid him when she could for any help he could give her family is more lean times. Gen tucked the coin into his thick beard.

"Always a pleasure, Chi." Gen growled affectionately and hefted a bowl of steaming broth and noodles at her. Chiyo gratefully gobbled the food down at once, as if it might be taken from her if she didn't. With a small burp of pleasure, she thanked Gen and continued on her way.

Scrappers didn't look like any business most people would recognize. It was really only a "business" in the loosest sense of the word. But it was her father's pride and joy, and by extension, Chiyo's pride and joy too. The only sign on the building was a large metal "S" that her father had bended, thick and almost grotesque to look at. Her father had affixed bulbs to it--but none of them ever really worked. The place looked like, and in fact was for all intents and purposes, a garage. The door had to be moved by a bender, lifted up with metal bending for each day. So it only made sense for Bunta to pick his eldest, Chiyo to succeed him. They were partners now that she had turned 20. Chiyo was proud beyond words. One of her sisters and her youngest brother were also benders like her father--but Chiyo had the talent for it. "The gift" her father had always said. Metal bending and Earth bending had always come as naturally to Chiyo as breathing. The other two were still young though, and needed more practice before their father would even let them near Scrappers main floor.

Scrappers was attached to their small home. So Chiyo first stopped in the main house, and was immediately tackled by her youngest, smallest brother, Tu. Tu liked to greet his eldest sister this way, attaching himself to her legs like a pentapus and often summoning the earth floor to trap her up to her knees.

"Welcome home!" Tu intoned, his voice cracking in his excitement.
"Welcome home!" chimed in three other young voices. Her two sisters were busying themselves with the general house work like cleaning and this morning--cooking. The smell of meat cooking wafted to Chiyo's nose.

"Smells good in here." Chiyo moaned. Though she had just eaten.
"Papa caught a wild Rabbaroo--he said they've been breeding like crazy since some escaped from the Zoo last year." This was her younger sister, second eldest in the family, Tatti. She was turning the rabbaroo meat on a spit over the fire. Many homes in the Middle and Upper Levels had real "electric" run ovens to cook on. But Chiyo didn't know of anyone with such a luxury in the Lower areas.
"What did ya bring us?" Tu asked, curiously poking Chiyo's overstuffed pockets.
"Shopping money!" Chiyo chimed happily, turning out her pockets into Tu's hands and (after some dragging and cracking) onto the dusty, dilapidated kitchen table. Tu's eyes went wide.
"Wow. This could feed us forever!" Chiyo laughed weakly, knowing how quickly this coin would go. As it always did.
"Maybe." Chiyo said, ruffling her brother's hair.
"Or maybe your head is full of HogMonkey dung." pipped up the bitter voice of the middle boy, Jun from behind a large heavy book, propped open on the table.

Tu and Jun bickered loudly among themselves per usual, so Chiyo headed to the garage, knowing she would find her father in the Scrappers part of their home. She could hear Tatti scolding the boys for their fighting as she left.

"Papa! I'm home!" Chiyo called, swinging the garage door open with a heavy bang.

The setting changes from Secret Underground Base to Ba Sing Se

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chiyo Saito Character Portrait: Rukasu Ryugamine Character Portrait: Izaya Mizukami Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Chiyo found her Father preoccupied under a rather unfortunate-looking wreck of an automobile. It seemed that someone had brought it to her father for parts--because even Chiyo knew there was no fixing something THAT scorched.


"Papa?" Chiyo called again at the feet sticking out from under the mangled wreck. She could her father mumbling to himself, cursing under his breath as he furiously wrenched at a part he decided to salvage under there. Maybe the breaks were still good? Though hard to tell based on the state of it. "Oi, Old man?" Chiyo grunted at him, using a foot to wheel his mechanic's creeper and him back into view. He was not a small man by any stretch--in fact he looked very much like a humanoid Platypus Bear. He had shaggy hair that grew long and dark brown into his eyes and to his shoulders, shaggy eyebrows and a long braided beard. His shoulders and chest were thick and strong, and he nearly towered over Chiyo when he was standing. She had often thanked whatever spirits had gifted her with her mother's looks.

"Hey! What's the deal?! Why you--oh--hiya kiddo." Rasped Bunta with a cough, to cover up his embarrassment. "Didn't hear ya come in." He slid back under to keep working at the parts retrieval, shouting at her from under the wreck. "How'd it go?"

"Good." Chiyo said, with a small nod. They both knew he meant her raid on the Day Spa, but felt no need to get specific. "Should last a few days."

Bunta grunted appreciatively from under the wreck.

"So what's this? I thought you said we were done with fixing Autos?" Chiyo asked, kicking the wreck a little so rust crumbled off the side. She heard Bunta sputter as some probably got into his nose, he coughed and grunted.

"Yeah--but these parts can probably sell. Maybe use for some things I've got cookin' in the back room. Besides, it's always good if the coppers come sniffing around. Throw them off the scent of New Tech? Eh?" Bunta shouted back up at her through the mangled hood.

"Fair enough." Chiyo conceded. New Tech was her father's term for his weapons and other inventions. He was always coming up with something from "heat sense" tech that could see through walls, to weapons with such an accurate scope that you could shoot a fly on the wall of the palace from here. Not all of them were completely "legal"--but what IS legal anyway? "Should I open for business?" She asked, heading toward the closed garage door.

"Sure, open 'er up." Bunta grunted, punctuating the sentence with a sort of roar as he forced a piece off the warped metal. Chiyo dropped into stance, feet flat, knees bent. Her fists came to her sides, ready. There was a deep breath and on the exhale, out struck the fist and up went the heavy stone door with a satisfying thud. The dusty earth billowed up momentarily in front of the door as sunlight filtered through. Chiyo flipped the small "closed" sign beside the open door to "open" with a happy little cabbage on it.

Chiyo stretched in front of the open door leisurely before settling herself against the door frame, arms folded. That was when she heard the sound of an automobile making its way up the street. It wasn't common to see an actual, functioning automobile in the Lower Ring. Usually there was a lot more wrong with it than this one seemed to have. Like no wheels. Or doors. Though--with the noises this one was making--maybe they would start their day off with an actual customer. The hood was dented so far in that Chiyo wouldn't be surprised if it were interfering with the turning of the fan belt. Though, with a car like that anyone familiar with Ba Sing Se would probably avoid Scrappers. (Not that her father wasn't an excellent technician in his own right--he was. ) A car with parts THIS nice might be worth more to her family as parts--weather the owner wanted to sell or not. Chiyo chewed absently on a toothpick, a habit she'd picked up from her father, as she appraised the automobile making its slow way through the streets. Two men were driving--and as they got closer--they looked a little worse for wear. Chiyo narrowed her eyes suspiciously. They looked like they'd already been mugged. Or maybe, they actually were from the Lower Ring. But she had never seen them before. Maybe this would be a willing sale. Those sometimes happened. Papa never asked his customers where they...found...items they sold to him.

"Hey Papa--take a look at this." She called over her shoulder as the automobile got nearer. She heard her father creak his way out of from under the wreck, what little skin he had not covered by course hair, now painted with grease. He wiped his hands thoughtfully on a rag as he peered past her to the automobile.

"Hmmm." he grunted. "Don' know those boys. Do you?"

Chiyo shook her head, no. But was curious all the same. She cupped her hands to her mouth, shouting at the approaching automobile.

"Hey--you boys need a hand?" She called to them, with an arrogant smirk. "Looks like a bit of trouble there."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chiyo Saito Character Portrait: Rukasu Ryugamine Character Portrait: Izaya Mizukami Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Soki
Ru was all but spacing out, until Izaya tried his best to get his attention. He looked over at the male listening to the message he got from his grandfather. Ru pouted ever so slightly at the comment about him; then again it was true he did manage to get them into trouble sometimes but he always managed to get them out, and it was true Izaya was the only one that really ever got beat up speaking of which. He took a moment to actually look at Izaya, sighing a bit under his breath at the realization that there was going to be some uncomfortable moments in his near future. Though all that changed when he got to the part about bringing home a wife. That caused Ru to burst into laughter, which in turn woke up Momo who began chattering excitedly. "Easy, Momo, easy; just laughing at the fact that Gramps wants Izzy to bring home a woman." Ru pointed at the blushing male as he climbed into the seat beside him. Though as Izaya lit up the recharge station and detonated it Ru just blinked and shook his head, Momo having hid near his feet from the loud noise. "I don't think that was necessary Izzy.."

The drive had been smooth... Well, smooth-ish, considering that their new friends had taken some liberties with beating up on Izaya's car. Thankfully it managed to get them to Ba Sing Se. Ru spent a bit of time just looking around from his seat, while Momo had taken residence on his shoulder; chattering with his ears raising and falling quickly.
"I know Momo it's quite a sight, isn't it?" After they were finally allowed into the lower rings, he took this time to look over at his partner. "Your car isn't gonna make it much farther." He said, probably mirroring what Izzy had been thinking since Chang’an. "Also, we shoulda asked directions, cause neither of us knows anything about the city.." He pointed out another accident that Izzy made; "Then again the last time we took a moment, you got us captured.." He pointed out with a playful smirk. Izzy had been right; there was no way Ru was ever gonna let him live it down.

While their drive continued Ru was captivated by the amount of people so densely packed together. If he had been born here; he'd have made such a killing as a pickpocket. So many easy people walking around without so much as a care. It was almost unnerving. Then again, now that he was paying attention he could see a small food shop not too far from where they had paused to let more pedestrians pass. Momo, picking up on his owner wave of thoughts, chattered and flapped his wings a bit. "Easy buddy; we'll eat after we get the car fixed." He set to patting the Lemur on the head.
As if their prayers had been answered; There came a female voice over all the noise. Ru turned his attention, narrowing his eyes, to the girl in the distance, who was obviously shouting for their attention. "There we go! Park over there, maybe we can get this junker fixed so it's back to its former glory!"

Once Izaya had the car parked in front of the garage, Ru jumped out, and proceeded to stretch. A long car ride was not his favorite thing in the world. Once that was finished, he smiled and walked over waving a hand, as Momo glided over to grace his shoulder. "Hi there, can't help but notice you and your um.." He looked at the man nearby, "Father? Gonna assume. Are running a..." He peaked by them, taking a moment to look at everything a quick view. "Oh wait, you guys are scrappers, huh?" Ru had lived on the streets long enough to know the difference. He turned towards Izaya still in the car, which was probably a good idea; he hadn't got a chance to heal him, so he had to be aching. "Well, we actually need to keep the car, and if you can fix it; we can pay you for your time and effort." He said leaning forward a bit. "I'm a bit more generous than my friend there; so we'll keep that between us.." He whispered flashing his trademark smirk. "I know the car looks a little beat up now, trust me hard to explain; but it's a beauty when it's fixed. Name your price and we'll try to match it...hopefully." Ru realized almost too late his mouth was overloading his ass. You never offer the person you're bartering with a chance to quote a price especially when you're the one who's in need... but it was to little too late.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chiyo Saito Character Portrait: Rukasu Ryugamine Character Portrait: Izaya Mizukami Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Chiyo and Bunta approached the car as it gasped its way in front of the shop. It sounded a lot worse than it looked at a glance.

The young man that hopped from the car was soon followed by a small, furry creature which perched, chattering on his shoulder. Chiyo loved animals more than she loved most people. But this was business, so she tried to look impassive at the man in front of them. (Though her inside voice was squealing in girlish glee at the adorable creature and she wanted to cuddle it and pet it.) Bunta, knowing this, eyed his daughter with a brow raised as if asking--can you handle not petting our customer's animal for five minutes?

Chiyo looked away from her father and the customer, attempting to redirect her focus to the automobile as she listened to the young man talk. He was no rich rookie--that much was clear straight away. Knew they were mainly for parts in this place at a glance. Not even many coppers knew that. Begrudgingly, she accepted his words with a nod. Bunta grunted solidly behind her.

"We can fix it." her father, Bunta grunted in his growl of a voice. "Chiyo, what's the estimate?" he asked her past the man's shoulder. He was still wiping his greasy hands on an old rag as he spoke. Chiyo was already in front of the automobile, fighting to pull up the severely dented hood to get a grasp of the actual damage. She chewed on her toothpick thoughtfully, placing both hands on the dented metal hood. She inhaled deeply and on the exhale there was the sound of popping, unbending metal.

KAFWUNK

As if smoothed by a giant iron, the hood looked as good as new. She wiped her brow a little, the dent took more effort to smooth than she anticipated. But she could easily open and latch the hood now. She tugged on her long ponytail to tighten it, and bent into the open hood, examining the engine with an expression of intense concentration.

"Busted belt, right off the bat. Probably from whatever dented the hood--pretty heavy whatever it was. Lucky it didn't snap while you were driving, if you were coming from the plains you could have been stranded for days." Chiyo evaluated as she prodded at the engine. "Dent removal like that one is gonna cost ya. No one around here can fix em' like I can--other than Papa." She assured him with an arrogant smirk over her shoulder. Bunta nodded in silent agreement. "We're gonna need to make sure the oil pan and brake lines aren't damaged too. Can you get it up on the lift?" She asked Bunta, accidentally smearing some oil across her cheek as she brushed some hair behind her ear. Bunta nodded, and looked at the young man in front of him, extending a mainly grease-free meaty hand.

"Bunta Saito. Owner of Scrappers. We'll keep it in one piece. Could make it better--if ya' want." Her father growled at the boy with what Chiyo called his "charming smile" but was probably unnerving for most people. Bunta nodded toward Chiyo, "My eldest daughter and partner, Chiyo Saito."

"Papa..." Chiyo hissed through her teeth at her father. "You shouldn't be offering them anything extra...they're new..." Bunta had made a point to teach all of his children caution of strangers and newcomers--but had never followed this himself. It sometimes caused them more trouble than good and Chiyo glowered at him over her shoulder."We don't know their story.." she grumbled at her father. Bunta laughed uncomfortably.

"Oh--I dunno. The lemur likes him!" Chiyo looked momentarily flustered, muttering something incomprehensible under her breath and pretended to be intensely studying the engine again. Knowing he'd flustered his daughter into silence, Bunta grinned sheepishly and looked back to the young man. "So we have a deal--Mr---?" He extended his meaty hand again to the young man with the lemur on his shoulder--green eyes twinkling behind his shaggy bangs.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chiyo Saito Character Portrait: Rukasu Ryugamine Character Portrait: Izaya Mizukami Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Figures that the first place to call out to them would be the first place Ru wanted to go. Somehow, the… Shop? didn’t quite look like an auto garage, to him. Really, it looked a lot like the shady fronts criminals would put up in movies to hide the dark inner workings of their organization… Something he actually had firsthand experience with, now. Place was pretty beat up, and didn’t really have any official signage.. Just a steel beam bent into an odd “S” formation on top. Didn’t exactly grab the attention or tell anyone what they’d find inside… Well, besides metal benders; That much was pretty obvious. The whole place just screamed “shady”.

All the same, he still pulled in and parked in front of their… Well, he assumed it was a garage. It had the remains of an automobile inside, at least. With the sounds his engine was making; He doubted it would make it much farther. This place would probably be their only chance to see it repaired before it just broke down completely. It also didn’t hurt that it’d been a cute girl that’d called out to them…

As soon as he’d set down the parking brake and shut off the engine, Ru was out of the car and talking up the pair in front of the shop. How like him, really. Always so willing to take charge in every situation that didn’t involve a life or death struggle… Why couldn’t he have shown this kind of initiative inside that prison? Or that one time with the triad? Seemed like the only times Ru showed he had a pair, it was when Izaya was the only one who had anything to lose. At least, in the long run.

Such was the case, in this instance… There was a pretty large possibility that Ru would either lose his car, or all of his money, by the end of his deal with the mechanics. Should he interfere, though? Izaya didn’t really have the water bender’s raw charisma- or, at least, what seemed like charisma- and the mechanics might take offense… And staying in the car was far more comfortable, beat up as he was. Not to mention the issue with his clothing… His shirt had been cut up pretty badly during their stay in that cell, and its sleeves had been burnt away up to the elbow. His tie had even been taken away… Then he had to consider the wounds to his face... He was hardly presentable.

Izaya jumped in his seat as a loud noise broke him out of his thoughts. As if by magic, the hood had straightened itself out; The fist-shaped dents now completely nonexistent. He did notice a few scratches left over in the black paint, as the hood was raised, but that was probably just an inevitable side effect. It seemed Ru had made the right decision in going here… Least he could do was get out and see things through. Maybe even keep his partner from losing every yuon they had in the course of the repair.

Straightening himself up, as best he could, Izaya stepped out of the car… Just in time to hear the burly, older man introduce himself and make an extra offer to Ru. A rather interesting thing to take note of, he thought. Something the daughter- one Chiyo Saito, apparently- seemed to think ill of. He couldn’t really make out what the girl was saying, but it was hard not to note the quick reaction. Clearly this was something she thought he shouldn’t have done. Why? He wondered. What could he do to make his car “better” that would be, in the slightest way, upsetting or worth keeping secret? What kind of place had they rolled into?

“How would you go about making it better?” Izaya said, a bit loudly as he approached Ru and the burly gentleman, just as the latter offered the former a hand in introduction. Hopefully, he’d interrupt Ru before he gave out too much information. Izaya wasn’t quite sure how they’d react to the two of them being White Lotus. “I might be interested in these.. Improvements. Depending on the price, of course.” He probably should have asked if they accepted yuon, or if they wanted Earth Kingdom gold… He wasn’t, exactly, sure what currency Ba Sing Se used. Also wasn’t too sure how much of the latter they had. Oh well, -he thought- he'd burn that bridge when they got there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chiyo Saito Character Portrait: Rukasu Ryugamine Character Portrait: Izaya Mizukami Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Chiyo stiffened as the second man got out of the car. His face looked...mangled...had he started a fight with a meatgrinder and lost? She tried not to wince too openly at his injuries--even his clothes looked worse for wear. Maybe this car really was stolen. Better to finish fixing it and get them out quickly then. Chiyo closed the hood with a shove, tensing again when she heard the second man ask how her father would improve their car.

She was fast for an Earth bender. It took really only a blink for her to be at her father's side, glowering darkly. The Earth beneath her feet cracked a little in her haste. Bunta's eyes had lit up in that way that said he was excited. It had been a while since he had upgrade work. She knew he was itching to improve this automobile, make it faster, make it able to outrun Copper blimps and the like, install hidden weapons or tracking systems. But for all they knew these guys could be serious criminals. Members of the Red Lotus--even. That was where Chiyo and Bunta would draw the line. Their "wares" only went to "regular" customers. Patrons they knew, generally small time crooks and petty thieves from around the city, or sometimes their neighbors if they needed further "protections"--but never anything big. That was a sure way to get caught. These people didn't even seem to be from the city.

"What my father meant to say..." Chiyo said, overly brightly to the second, lemur-less man. "was that your automobile will be fixed so well that it will seem better." She turned to Bunta with a jerky motion, glowering a dark warning at him. "Right, Papa?"

They didn't know these men. This was a terrible idea. Bunta, unfortunately, pretended to not hear or notice his daughter. Instead he laughed heartily, and clapped the second man excitedly around the shoulders as if he were some old friend. Chiyo could not hide her expression of great horror and outrage as she watched him.

"Please, please--let's talk inside! Come in! Come in!" Bunta bellowed merrily, dragging the second man toward the garage with a huge grin on his face, a thick burly arm wrapped companionably around the man's shoulder. "Chiyo! Make our new friends tea!"

Chiyo's shoulders slumped in defeat and a small, frustrated sigh escaped her. He never listened. What was the point in being partner if he still..never...listens? She jammed her hands into her pockets and followed after Bunta as he lead the men into the garage. He was so stubborn! She could feel a familiar anger bubbling to the surface. Not looking at her father or his new "friends" she stomped unhappily to the back of the shop and passed through the moth-eaten dark green curtain that they hung up to separate the garage's tiny "kitchen" from the customer area. This was also where Bunta and Chiyo had hidden their real "back room" which could only be accessed by bending and only if one knew where and how to bend. Otherwise, it just looked like a closet-sized make-shift kitchen with a small tabletop burner, a small hand-pump sink and their "good" tea pot and their "best" cups for customers. True, the porcelain was very obviously older but it was the best they could afford, with faded green painted designs of the Great Badgermole "digging" around the lips of the cups.

Chiyo whispered angrily under her breath as she clattered around with the cups and teapot, pumping water into the empty teapot, "How could he? Ignoring my warnings like that! Would serve him right if they were Red Lotus--the guy's face and clothes--that car--was all a mess. Could be Police too. Undercover. Someone from outside the City to trick us. Gonna put us all in the Prison Rig." She lit the burner, gripping the sides of the teapot in both hands as she continued angrily, softly grumbling to herself. It was then that she realized the teapot was steaming. Startled by her own lack of control, she immediately let go of the teapot but was somewhat horrified to see she'd left scorch marks.. hand-shaped ones. She cursed softly, and dampening a rag began to scrub at the marks. It didn't help much--but smeared the shape into something less hand-like and not as dark. That would have to do. She put the burner out, tipped some loose tea leaves into the still very much steaming teapot to steep. She placed the teapot and three cups on a small chipped tray, a little dusty with earth, and brushing aside the curtain came back into the main garage to her father and the two men. Her father was at the long, metal work table to the right of the room. Chatting away about various "upgrades" and giving estimates (she assumed) based on what they looked like they could pay. He quoted them in Yuon--which Chiyo thought was overly nice, considering gold was better. And much lower than she would have quoted. This isn't a charity. Grumpily, she plopped the tea tray in the middle of the table with a clatter.

"Tea." She growled. Bunta nodded this thanks, not feeding into her displeasure. Though, he immediately noticed the scorch marks on the teapot. His furry brows shot up.
"Chi--how did you manage to do that?" The question was more of an accusation. It was their best teapot after all."What will customers say?" Bunta growled at her unhappily. Chiyo flushed, annoyed.
Chiyo made a "tch" sound, "I left it on the burner too long, that's all."
"Well, stop being so distracted! I told you not to put the burner up so high!" Bunta scolded her. "Now, get a start on that Automobile while I fill them in on the rest." Chiyo scowled but nodded.So much for putting it on the lift. She brushed past the men with a small, forced polite bow--they were still customers after all--and scooped the mechanic's creeper and a toolbox to use on the automobile out front.

"Sorry about her gruffness--" Bunta apologized to the two men on her behalf. "Raised her myself around here and 'fraid I don't have much of a..soft side..she's got my temper." He said with a gravelly laugh. As she headed to the Auto, Chiyo could hear her father asking them to draw close, describing the "police tracker" upgrade he thought the men might like. It was installed in the dashboard, could be tapped with a finger to be revealed and pinpoint any nearby Police vehicles. Thankfully, she thought, he was talking low enough to not be heard outside the garage.

She put the creeper in front of the car and settled herself on her back, scooting under the Auto for a peek underneath. Cracked oil pan, as suspected. Brakes looked ok though. Some of the metal under here was bent and twisted too--did they hit something? With some effort, she metal bent them back into rights, wiping the sweat from her brow as she went. This was her kingdom. No people to please here--only metal to fix. Tech to improve. She could feel her anger ebbing away as she worked, focused on her task.

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#, as written by Soki
He had expected to be interrupted by his partner, turning to look at him and jumping slightly having forgot he looked like… Well like he did, chuckling a little as Izzy took over most of the discussion and also all but got forced into the garage by the burly guy; Bunta. He looked towards Momo still contently perched on his shoulder. “Should we let him handle this and go get some food?” He asked his furry sidekick. Of course the only answer he got was a chattering and raising of ears at the sound of food. “Haha, yeah we could but it probably wouldn’t be too smart. You know Izzy can’t talk to people like we do!” He said using his right hand to scratch between the lemur’s ears.

Once inside Ru stared around in awe; there was quite a bit of junk here, but also nic-nacs and what looked like some things that had been tinkered with like a hobby of some sort. It was homey to say the least. Momo having taken off and found himself a perch higher up, not sure on what; but he doubt that the thing would collapse from the size of his lemur. He waved towards Momo a little. “Don’t go causing trouble here, remember we’re guests” His statement being answered by Momo looking down with his giant eyes before disappearing along his perch again.

He was content to let Izzy handle all the business side of things, half listening to what Bunta had to say about upgrades and this and that, but when the tea was brought he smiled a little at the girl but after the little scene about the teapot he didn’t get a chance to say anything to her. He turned back to the table and Bunta. He personally offered a smile and shook his head. “It’s no trouble it all we can tell she’s just trying to keep your business here in mind..” He turned to look for Chiyo noticing she had already decided to get to work. He turned towards the other two, Bunta was already describing another upgrade and Izzy wasn’t paying a bit of attention to him, or at least it didn’t look like it. So of course off he went back towards the car. Momo having been exploring the higher ups of the building having had his fill returned to the car as well, making a soft landing on one of the seats before he spotted Ru and scurried his way onto the hood jumping off to latch on to Ru’s arm. “Hey buddy all done exploring?” He said before crouching down near Chiyo. “Soo, how bad is it?” He asked loud enough for her to hear just in case she couldn’t. Momo adding his own question in his own way.

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Character Portrait: Chiyo Saito Character Portrait: Rukasu Ryugamine Character Portrait: Izaya Mizukami Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Apparently Izaya had made a mistake. He should have known, really. When you give an inventor the right material -A willing, pliable client, and the promise of compensation- you should probably expect the situation to immediately spiral out of control. He should have known this… And yet here he was. Being dragged inside a garage with a platypus-bear of a man gabbing in his ear about less-than-legal car parts.

Admittedly, he wasn’t quite listening to it all. He was pretty distracted by the contents of the shop… All the various parts lying around, the burnt out husk of a vehicle (not really what he wanted to see, right now) and plenty of odds-and-ends that spoke volumes of the place’s residents. He would have liked to have taken his time to examine each and every object of interest, but Bunta was a rather compelling cap- host. A very compelling host that had just led him over to what looked like a long work table. It was probably best that he start paying attention now.

Izaya switched back on just in time to hear Bunta talking about the prices of everything he’d mentioned during the walk over -or at least what Izaya thought he might have mentioned. Everything so far seemed to be priced in Yuon; Probably as a courtesy to the obviously foreign customers. It all seemed to fall well below what was expected… Seemed like most of the ‘improvements’ cost about as much as, or less than, a regular tune-up in Republic City. Either Bunta was far too generous for his own good, or he was simply using them as an excuse to test out some new toys. Neither really benefitted the man, and Izaya was a bit above taking advantage. He made the mental note, now, to adjust the end payment accordingly. They weren’t exactly poor after that run in with the men in dresses. They could afford it.

Izaya was just starting to tune out Bunta’s rambling again when the daughter appeared with the tea --which hadn’t noticed had been called for. She’d probably have entirely escaped his notice, if not for Bunta’s shouting about a tea pot… Lost, up to this point, he couldn’t quite process why the man would be so upset.. Earth Nation tea was terrible… But then he noticed the pot.

Well, maybe it wasn’t the pot that had grabbed his attention.. So much as the scorch marks along its sides. So completely out of place they were, that they grabbed Izaya’s attention entirely. Whatever Bunta was going on about.. Something about a Police Scanner? It wasn’t anywhere near as interesting. Just noise in the background, the pondering of the marks taking center stage, in Izaya’s mind.


The daughter had claimed they were made by the burner… Bunta had bought it and chastised her for it… But Bunta wasn’t a firebender. Izaya was, and he’d seen marks like that a thousand times. It was possible that every firebender had, during their early years. For they were obviously the marks of a flare-up, or accidental firebending. A bit smudged, perhaps; Obviously she’d tried her best to clean them up. Still, Izaya could just make out the blurred silhouette of a hand print, scorched into the clay exterior. He noticed, then, that he’d never actually seen Chiyo earthbend. He’d just assumed -for he hadn’t been paying attention- that she’d metalbent the car’s hood back to normal... But now thought better of it. Now he knew, for sure, that she was not an earthbender. Chiyo was a firebender.

It was a rather common thing, amongst young firebenders, to lose control of their firebending whenever their emotions hit a high point. Izaya, himself, had once set a television on fire in a fit of excitement. It was just something that came along with the ability. Nothing particularly unusual. A bit of training, and some emotional control typically sorted it out. Though it was unusual to find anyone as old as Chiyo that still retained the issue, the scorch marks were a pretty dead giveaway.

It did make sense, though… Izaya’s rational mind told him. It all did, really… It wouldn’t be too hard to find a firebender out here… Blood was mixing around all the time, now. Perhaps her mother was fire-nation, or maybe from The United Republic? It wasn’t the least bit unlikely. And out here, in the Earth Nations, firebending was something of a taboo. There’d be plenty of reason for Chiyo to keep the ability secret, and therefore she’d probably not have sought out training.

Case closed. Chiyo was an untrained firebender, living in a place that hated firebenders. It made perfect sense. Maybe, if the repairs took a decent amount of time, he’d talk to her about it. Maybe help her sort out the issue discreetly. It was the least he could do.

Tuning back in, Izaya caught the last bits of some talk of headlight guns, or something that sounded pretty at home in a spy movie. Whatever it was, Bunta was clearly still moving on with his ramblings; Pouring out ideas faster than an internet forum. It needed to stop… Izaya had to wonder if this was some sort of marketing tactic. He had to admit, it was pretty effective. He was just about ready to hand over the entire chest of goodies, just to shut the man up.

Putting up a hand, Izaya tried to interrupt Bunta and catch the large man’s attention. “ It all sounds awesome, really. How about you add what you think is best? Go nuts. We’ll…” Looking to his side, he just now noticed that Ru had run off. Figures. He corrected himself, accordingly. “I’ll pay for it all. Price isn’t really an issue.” All the talking had convinced him to abandon his earlier, frugal stance in favor of just getting it all over with.

“Now… Do you have anywhere I can change? Or anywhere my partner and I can wait, while you work?” It was past time for some new clothes, and a bit of healing. Hopefully Ru didn’t run off too far.

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Chiyo had just about managed to finish fighting that last (somewhat bent) screw to unhinge the broken oil pan when a male voice startled her,

“Soo, how bad is it?”

Chiyo jumped, whacking her head on the undercarriage with a very unladylike curse. She hated that she'd gotten so involved in her task that he was able to approach her unnoticed. Fixing her face into an impassive expression, rather than an aggravated scowl, she inched her way out from under the car, sitting up on the ground once she cleared the underside. It was the man with the lemur. Trying not to stare at the animal (because it was just so freaking cute!) Chiyo wiped her face with her arm, then made as if she were paying attention to wiping her greasy hands off on her already grease- blackened pants.

"Could be a lot worse." Chiyo admitted matter-of-factly. "Brakes are good. Oil pan is busted." She showed him the cracked remains of their oil pan before putting it on the ground beside the car. "Fan belt will need to be replaced. And the dents can be worked out too. Can repaint the scratches if you gentleman want too--though around here keeping the scratches might benefit you...if you catch my drift."

Chiyo stood, stretched, and walked around the side of the automobile. As she found dents, she placed a hand on them. Inhaled. Exhaled. Felt the Earth the metal used to be. Asked it to be Earth, then beautiful metal again. Small metallic pops followed her around the car as she undented the metal. After about the fifth dent (not even a quarter around the right side of the automobile) she stopped to wipe sweat from her brow. These dents were more stubborn than most. Or mostly that there were SO many of them. Some small, some deep--but it took a lot of her focus. She allowed herself to rest a moment, leaning against the auto.

"So--feel free to not answer, because Papa says we shouldn't bug the customers--" Chiyo said, chewing thoughtfully on her toothpick and watching the man with the lemur. "But what brings you to Ba Sing Se? We don't get many non-earth nation folks around here. You kinda stand out." She allowed herself to smile a little, bashful. "Especially with a pet like that."

Chiyo glanced back past the man with the lemur to her father talking with the meat-faced man. She couldn't hear what the meat-faced man had said to Bunta--but she could see the gleeful look in his eyes from here. They must be taking the upgrades he offered.

Inside the garage, Bunta was positively glowing.

"AHA! That's the spirit young man! I knew when I saw ya that you were a smart business man--knew a good thing when he heard it." Bunta growled affectionately. "I'll bring 'er into the garage, get her on the lift." he was mostly talking to himself, planning the work ahead. "Should take a few hours though--so of course, of course! You can change just past that curtain" here he gestured to the room Chiyo had made tea in. "--small but should do for a quick change--eh... CHIYO!" Bunta called out to his daughter.

Chiyo, dedicated to her father, excused herself from the lemur man to go see what her father needed, wishing she had time to hear his answer to her question."Yes, Papa?"

"These gentleman's order will take a few hours. I'm going to bring 'er into the garage to start right away." Bunta explained as Chiyo approached the work table. "Why not bring 'em to Gen's to fill their belly while they wait--show 'em around?"

"WHAT?!" Chiyo yelped, unable to hide her irritation. She felt the tips of her fingers warm and clenched them, pulling her feelings back in. She had lost her temper too often lately. Last week she burnt a hole in her quilt after a spat with Tatti. Burying her feelings deep, she cleared her throat and addressed her father again."But Papa, there are still so many dents and the fan belt needs replacing and--"

Bunta interrupted her with a wave of his meaty hands.

"Now, now, now--you know I can handle those m'self. Plus the rest." Bunta said, leaning closer so only Chiyo could hear him he said softly, "These gents are special customers now--and not familiar with the City. They're willing to pay us well... I know you can handle it. You have your pipe if you need it, and Gen will look after you to be sure. I got a good feelin' about these two. Just do this fer me. eh?"

Bunta knew that Chiyo would not refuse him when he put it that way. She made a sulky face, folded her arms and nodded. Bunta smiled, pleased, and patted her shoulder looking to the injured man with a grin.

"Chiyo will be more 'n happy to show ya the sights. Take ya to where'er yer need ta go.She knows this City better than any tour guide would. Don't cha' Chi?" Bunta said proudly. Chiyo could not deny that and nodded curtly. "Ri'ht then. To it then." Bunta said, rubbing his hands together excitedly and heading to the auto.

Chiyo looked to the meat-faced man, trying to arrange her face into one that didn't look as utterly unhappy as she felt.

"So, change back there if you need to." Chiyo said, nodding toward the green curtain. "I'll wait outside with your friend, and when you're ready we will go." And with a small polite bow, she went back outside, watching her father excitedly pull the auto into the garage. She stood with her arms folded beside the man with the lemur, still trying to look polite and not entirely miserable.

"Papa says I'm to take you and your friend to get something to eat while he works. Luckily, I know where to get the best noodles in all of Ba Sing Se." She said to the lemur man trying to sound pleasant and casual, and even tried a small smile but it felt watery to her. Still, the weight of the small metal pipe hidden in her waistband assured her. And if her father felt they were harmless enough to send her with them--then she had faith they were. Or at least--harmless enough for her to outsmart if it came down to it.

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Character Portrait: Chiyo Saito Character Portrait: Rukasu Ryugamine Character Portrait: Izaya Mizukami Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Izaya had to wonder what manner of demon he’d unleashed in allowing Bunta to go wild with the car. That gleam in his eye… Well, it reminded him of that look Mom always got whenever she’d come home talking about the latest business her company had absorbed. That sort of maniacal glee that came from indulging one’s obsessions. The easy comparison point had him convinced that it wasn’t healthy.

Either way, things were rolling, now. It might cost an entire chest’s worth of gold, but they’d finally be getting back up and running. Hopefully they’d be able to leave Ba Sing Se some time soon. Something about the city kind of gave Izaya the creeps.. He couldn’t quite put his finger on the why; But he definitely felt like they were being watched. With more interest than that of a mere passersby, too. It might just be a passing spell of paranoia, but he’d learned to trust his gut. Getting away from the walled city would be for the best.

Ah, Izaya had gotten lost in his thoughts again. By the time he’d come back into the remnants of his senses, the situation was already spiraling out of control again. Apparently Bunta wanted them to go out into the city with Chiyo, using her as a sort of tour guide. Somehow, that didn’t seem like the best plan, but who was he to argue? Still, he’d apparently have to move pretty quickly if he wanted to be at all presentable before they left.

After Bunta had moved the car into the Garage, Izaya quickly popped the trunk with his keychain remote, and picked out his duffel from the jumbled mess of supplies. He hastily grabbed a bottle of water out from the more organized section of the mess and closed the trunk before anyone could go about fully inspecting its contents. Flashing their weaponry for all the world to see, while he assumed they were being watched, seemed like a poor plan after all.

“I’m actually going to need my friend to help me, real quick.” Izaya said, in response to Chiyo’s bit about retaining Ru while he went to change. “Afraid I’m going to need a bit of help with this.” He casually pointed to his face with the tip of the water bottle before tossing the bottle over to Ru. Waving his partner inside, after him, he headed deeper into the shop with the hopes that he’d actually be able to feel his face again by the time they left. “Try not to make this worse than it has to be…” he would plead, before his partner set to work.

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#, as written by Soki
Ru didn’t have a chance to reply to her question as she ran back inside to talk to her father. Ru looked at Momo, who in turned looked at him. “You know Momo, I sometimes wonder what you’re thinking..” He said totally off-topic from anything that had been conversed about today. Once it had been settled that Chiyo was going to show them around the city Ru smiled a bit and nodded. This was a great idea, mostly because that means it was time to eat. Momo realized this too as his chattering got much louder as he began to fly circles around Ru’s head. Ru laughed a little waving a hand at the lemur. “Hey Momo get back down here it’s not time just yet!” he called out to the Lemur who just continued his little flight plan as he desired. Though what all but sealed the deal for him was when Chiyo said she knew where to find the best Noodle shop. That was enough to sell it for him! Ru was beyond excited and wasn’t really paying attention to Izaya until he brought up needing him for something. Then it dawned on him, he forgot Izaya still needed healing. While he had been distracted by his thoughts Momo had taken a perch on his head, sitting just right so it looked like a balancing act. He caught the water bottle, offered Chiyo a smile before taking Momo off his head and placing him on her shoulder. “Keep an eye on him for me will ya? He can be a handful if someone isn’t constantly watching him.” He said with a wink before catching up with Izaya.

He could only smirk heavily when the male all but begged for this to be a normal healing session, and normally Ru would make it as uncomfortable as possible as one of the few ways he could get back at his partner, but now was not the time for that! No food was waiting after this, so the healing would be done in a quick and efficient manner. Opening the water bottle he focused on it for a moment, trying to return to a calmer disposition. “Alright Izzy, just this once I’ll make it quick..” he said with a smirk bringing his water coated hands up to his face to hopefully return the ground-beef face, to his normal one. Once the face was done Ru returned the water to the bottle and smiled a bit. Twisting the cap back on and giving it back to him. “There you are, one face that’s completely normal; consider the sore muscles vengeance against you chuckling on what gramps put in that message..” He said flashing that smirk again, before disappearing outside of the green curtain. He only hopped that Momo had behaved while healing Izzy.

Momo of course hadn’t entirely behaved himself. He had taken a few moments to inspect his new perch leaning over to look Chiyo in the eyes before chattering at her, his ears hanging down due to him hanging upside down himself. It wasn’t long before off into the air he was again, this time circling Chiyo before darting inside the shop near the green curtain. Then came a mild clunk sound somewhere near the car. Then Momo much like normal, came gliding softly back towards where his owner had left him. This time opting for a shoulder instead of her head. Though somehow, and even Ru could never explain Momo had managed to find something that appealed to him. He held up the shiny trinket examining it some before holding it up to Chiyo for further acknowledgement.

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Chiyo had no idea why the meatfaced customer needed the lemur man to help him change, but it wasn't her place to ask. She trained her expression into an unreadable mask as they left..that is..until she was tasked with lemur sitting. She flushed slightly when she found the animal perched on her shoulder, cutely chattering. Pleased, she scratched his large ears and couldn't help but laugh softly at his antics.

When he returned from his little scouting mission with a particularly shiny lugnut, showing it to her like a treasure she could not contain her glee. It was too adorable. Chiyos laugh was light and somewhar childlike..and didn't match the tough demeanor she tried to maintain. So she really did her best not to get silly in front of nonfamily. She scruffed the lemur gently, bringing him diwn from her head and into a small cuddlehold. Affectionately, she scratched the lemur's long ears, hugging him to her chest like a favorite stuffed animal.

"Such a smart boy!" She crooned at him. "Yes, you are! You're so cute that I can hardly---" Chiyo suddenly realizing herself as the two men returned, she blushed a little feeling embarassed. She cleared her throat a little and held out the lemur to his owner. "H-he's really no trouble. Are you teo ready to go?"

She saw that the lemur man was followed by someone less meatfaced than she remembered. She looked back and forth between the lemur man and his companion, perplexed. "How'd you do that? You're some kind of healer?" She tilted her head and made a thoughtful sound. They should have left him looking more scrappy. Now, he just kind of looked like a rich kid in the wrong part of town. Both of them did..really...

"Well, just make sure you both stick with me. Not everyone around here is as friendly as my father.."

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Well… This was a first. Typically, Izaya had just cause to dread his healing sessions with Ru… The waterbender seeming to take extreme enjoyment in being rather invasive or overly humiliating with the act. Yet he somehow managed to put aside those impulses in order to fix Izaya’s face quickly and move on. What motivated that, Izaya wondered? Maybe Ru had taken a hit, after all, and it reconfigured his brain…. Or maybe the thought of getting on with the day and acquiring food was far too tempting for him to waste a moment disturbing Izaya.

“Oh well... “ Izaya thought aloud as he shrugged the entire situation off, turning back to his task of changing. He was sure Ru would turn back to his old ways, whenever he next got an opportunity. It was best not to take such a change in behavior as a sign of improvement. Sometimes it seemed that Ru would toss these curve balls as a means of putting Izaya off guard for the next time…

Izaya quickly changed out of his old clothes, discarding their destroyed remnants into a nearby trashcan, and put a new set of clothing that matched his previous ensemble; A pair of clean, black slacks, a white dress shirt, and a sleek, black tie. Feeling himself properly dressed and presentable now, Izaya stepped out from behind the green curtain to go join his new partner and their temporary companion.

Stepping up beside Ru, Izaya patted the waterbender on the shoulder in a silent show of appreciation, as they stood idly waiting for Chiyo. “We’ll take your word for it. Lead on.” He said in response to her word of warning. Izaya was pretty sure they could take whatever Ba Sing Se could throw at them… Being who they were. It was doubtful that the lowly street thugs of the city had ever dealt with their like, before.

Although.. He could admit that he was a bit worried about going off to explore the city, even with their ‘protector’ alongside them. Izaya still couldn’t shake the feeling that they were being watched. Now able to see clearly --His previous facial swelling having obstructed his vision considerably-- he could make out the clear contrast his, and Ru’s, appearances would have in this area… He also noted the lingering stares of the occasional passerby. He couldn’t help but feel that the day would probably end with yet another conflict, and even another healing session with his bothersome partner.

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Chiyo nodded solemnly and with a quick toss of her long auburn hair over her shoulder she began to lead the two men towards Gen's noodle stand. She nodded at people she knew as they passed, some waved--many stopped to stare at the two men that followed in her wake. They also, smartly, were wary of new faces. And these men weren't exactly...inconspicuous here in the Lower Rings.

As they walked, Chiyo tried her best to live up to her father's expectations of her as a "tour guide" for their rich new customers. She calmly pointed out historical monuments--mainly the Firelight Fountain, known for its cute turtleducks and renowned as a romantic date spot in the evening. She also pointed out the old Pao Family Tea House, of some historical note for any history buffs who enjoyed that sort of thing. Chiyo had never found it very interesting herself. There were small shops here and there as they passed selling usually the less-than-perfectly-legal type of goods, some food stalls, second-hand clothing stores, shops full of knock-off merchandise that could almost pass for the real deal and lots of homes. Chiyo calmly mentioned any of the bigger ones as they wandered, but showed no signs of wanting to let them browse. Instead, she plowed onwards until the stout, bald but bearded figure of Gen came into view.

It was lunch time for sure, and his stall already had a few handfuls of people bustling for a meal. Workers in their uniforms from kitchens, workshops, mechanics, train employees and the like fought for space to collect their noodles, eat quickly and leave. The smell of broth and fresh noodles caked the air temptingly. Chiyo's mouth watered even though she had only just eaten a few hours before.

"Oi! Chi!" Gen greeted her, spotting her over the heads of his current customers. He filled their bowls without even looking, years of practice at work. Gen gave her one of his toothless grins before noticing the two men behind her. "Customers?" Gen assumed quickly, visually appraising them with his good eye (No doubt searching their pockets with his tech eye). Chiyo nodded.
"Papa's new friends. Can you set them up with the best?"
"Of course! Any friend of Bunta's is a friend of Gen's!" He cackled, filling two wide bowls with his best broth and hot noodles. Chiyo smiled gratefully at Gen before carefully taking the filled bowls and offering them to the two men.
"You won't find better--not even in the Upper Ring." She promised almost proudly. She shifted them over to one of the small open, freestanding tables that Gen had set up around his stall for his customers and put their bowls in front of them. There were no seats, but standing while eating was pretty common in this area. Most people wanted fast and tasty and had little time for a leisurely meal.

"So--sorry to have to ask this--what should I call you gentlemen?" Chiyo asked, momentarily feeling awkward. She couldn't after all keep calling them lemur man and formerly meat-faced man...at least not aloud. They were customers after all. She handed them their utensils and folded her hands on the table in front of her, attempting to be a good guide. "And i didn't get a chance to learn what brought you to our fine city?" Chiyo asked demurely, looking at the man with the lemur to answer the question she'd asked earlier. "Like I said before you both kind of...stand out..." And as if sensing the attention they were getting, she carefully looked around them, scowling pointedly at anyone who was staring until they went about their business. She cleared her throat a little, looking back to the lemur man expectantly.

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#, as written by Soki
Ru was about to say something about being a healer, but it didn't seem to matter at the moment. A pat on the shoulder from Izzy and a nod and they were off into the city. It was interesting to hear about all the places and such; the historical importance of some places and this and that. Obviously Ru didn't much care about it. What he did care about were the constant stares they were getting, this was something he didn't like. Ru lived on the streets for many years with no one except his lemur Momo, and if eyes were ever upon him or his pet that meant trouble back then even more so now with them being on an "important" mission. Ru wanted to lash out in defense, if just to get them to stop staring, but he knew if he unleashed even a small little slap of water the stares would just grow more numerous.

Ru let out a soft sigh under his breath, all but deaf to Chiyo's words right now, well until Momo who had been gliding above them came in for a rather unexpected landing making him literally stumble back into reality. Momo chattered at him placing his paw on Ru's head and slapping it a couple of times. "I get it, I get it pay attention.." He said to the lemur, and as if Momo understood he resumed his flight. Ru came back into the tour just before they reached the noodle shop. His eyes tearing up just a bit, as his stomach let out a loud growl. Chiyo obviously familiar with the big man. He didn't like the look they got for a moment, but the smell of food; and the fact they were getting the best of it made it seem less relevant. Once Chiyo set their bowls down at the table, Ru was already basically digging in. Momo having also came in for a landing was waiting (not very patiently) for his share of the meal. Ru pushed the bowl over after a bit to let the Lemur have some as well. He had caught the tail end of the statement about these being the best and not finding any better anywhere in the city. He was inclined to agree; at least this was his first bowl ever from this city.

Then the questions, Ru now paying full attention, mostly because his lemur was devouring what was left of his noodles, and eyeing Izaya's hungrily. "My name's Rukasu, just Ru please." He said then pointed a thumb at Izaya. "That's Izzy, and as for why were here.." He turned his head to Izaya giving that smirk that Izaya hated, the one where to let Izaya know he was about to make his life miserable in a sense. "We were sent here on an important mission, ya see.." He turned back to look at Chiyo. "Izzy's grandpa is a very important man, and well Izzy here is the heir to his business, but on one condition.." He raised a finger, that smirk still on his face. "We have to find Izzy a wife, gramps wants to see his grandkids before he passes." There it was, this was his way of screwing with his partner since he didn't do it during the healing session. Ru was ignoring most of the stares, (most of them focusing on the ravenous lemur devouring a bowl of noodles) Ru looked over at Izaya for a moment before looking back to Chiyo. "So, since you've been such an awesome tour guide think you can set him up with a date?" He said leaning in for that last part as if to act like he didn't want Izaya to hear him.

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"D-Date?" Chiyo, stammered taken off guard by Ru's reply. She could feel her ears burning and was sure her cheeks had changed to an embarrassing shade of red. The lemur man--Ru--had gotten awfully close to throw in that last part. Finding someone a date was certainly not part of what her father had anticipated as part of her tour. Certainly not! Right? Right. She was just meant to feed them and keep them away from Scrappers while papa worked his tech into their auto. Certainly she didn't have to go so far as helping these two find women to entertain them? Right? Right?! Dear Gods, why did she ask them why they came?!

Chiyo suddenly realized she had been contemplating all of this in an awkward silence while staring at the table with her hands gripped together tightly. She was not completely sure how long she'd been standing there, silent, flustered and flushed. She pretended to clear her throat and attempted to train her face back into a blank, unreadable slate--but she could feel her sheer nervous awkwardness slipping through.

"T-That sounds like a pretty tough mission..." she managed softly, trying to be sympathetic. Nervously, she traced a water stain on the table with a finger over and over. Was it getting darker as she did that? Was she scorching it? She stopped, just in case and casually placed her palm over it.

Her dating experience was limited to about five years earlier when she shoved a boy she'd fancied into the Firelight Fountain and ran away laughing. He had been furious and never spoke to her again--but she had no idea how to tell him how she actually felt. With work and family having been her focus, she'd never thought much of actually dating...or worse..having to find someone to marry...this was possibly the worst thing to ask her to do for them. Chiyo really didn't even know any other girls her age anymore now that she'd become a full fledged partner with Bunta at Scrappers. The people she knew were mostly middle-aged men with rap sheets longer than her lifespan or flighty women who probably weren't really "marriage" material--and they liked it just fine that way. She was embarrassed to say as much to these two young men.

"Y-you could always go to the Firelight Fountain after dark--l..like I said earlier it's a popular date spot. Maybe you can meet someone there?" She suggested feebly. She could feel herself floundering, her expression twisting as she struggled hard to mask her sheepishness. "But--I-I don't really...know...about...or..anyone....erm..." Chiyo grasped for a change in topic. Something, anything. She laughed a little too loudly before trying to change the subject.

"D-Do you guys like Pro-bending? We have a great team here in Ba Sing Se! The Ba Sing Se Badgermoles! I think they picked the best team name. And by far the best animal mascot. Badgermoles are the cutest and they can Earth Bend." She rambled awkwardly, forcing a smile. "Anyway, what do you think of the food? Great right? Your lemur seems to really be enjoying them."
Chiyo could feel herself sweating nervously. Why did papa volunteer me for this?!

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Things seemed to be off to a pretty good start… At least, to Izaya.Well, really compared to what he was used to. Considering the last few weeks; Just having one venture where they didn’t immediately plunge into a life or death situation was an improvement. Their tour began without issue or complaint, and Chiyo did her best to act the part of a guide. He really couldn’t ask for more than that, and she did do him the favor of pointing out two of the few places he actually wanted to see.
The Firelight Fountain was considered a “must see” for Fire Nation travelers… Or so the travel brochures said. Its popularity among his people mostly due to a section of Fire Lord Zuko’s biography. Something about a date, or something like that. He’d mostly skimmed over that part. After all, Zuko’s love life and Fire Lord Izumi’s parentage were something of a mystery, even to the most recent generation of the royal family. Even the biography failed to give any detailed information, and what was the point of paying attention to that part of the story if it never had any conclusion?

The second sight he wanted to see was the Pao Family Tea House. He actually stopped a moment and stared in wonder at the old monument. For a moment, he felt he was looking back in history, really seeing the establishment exactly as it might have been when the first Lord Iroh had worked there as a common teamaker. Of course, a moment later he realized that it was only because the place was so run down… He wasn’t sure how the building had survived for so long, run down as it was. It was clear the current owners couldn’t be bothered to spend a single yuon on repairs.

Ignoring the stares and occasional leering from the more criminal looking onlookers, Izaya followed Chiyo in silence all the way to the noodle stall. There, she was greeted rather amicably by the stall’s owner, and procured the “best” noodles the city had to offer. Upon receiving his bowl, Izaya was a bit skeptical. They looked nothing like what he was used to in Republic City, or back in the capital. But, then, he had to remember his privileged upbringing and the change in cultures. Either way, starving as he was, he wasn’t going to turn them down.

Once at the table, he set about eating at a slow, steady pace. Really taking the time to enjoy the flavor, he told himself… Though, it was more due to the soreness of his face muscles. Every bite made him a little more annoyed with Ru and his antics. If he’d taken just a bit longer, he could have taken the pain out completely.

He allowed Chiyo and Ru to talk freely, even as the waterbender bent into his usual antics.. Introducing him by a nickname, giving him a false backstory, giving out a fake mission, and even going as far as to suggest that Chiyo find him a date to help them with said mission. Izaya took all this in stride, not bothering to step in while he ate. Instead, he took his time to give Chiyo a look over. She wasn’t too tall, had long hair of a rather appealing color, had pretty eyes, and didn’t look too bad when she blushed… Really, she was quite adorable when she was flustered. Maybe he should play along with Ru’s game?

Upon finishing off his noodles, having consumed the entirety of his bowl (Maybe they were the best, after all!) Izaya pushed the dish across the table to Momo, letting the furry creature have the leftover broth. Leaning up with one arm on the table --making sure to apply as little weight to the flimsy surface as he could manage-- Izaya spoke up, while turning the charm up to an eleven.
“Ru, why would you have her set me up with another woman? How could you, really, when she’s clearly the cutest turtleduck in the pond?” He cast a half hearted glare at his partner before continuing. “And if you’re going to introduce me, at least do it properly.”
Turning to Chiyo, he straightened himself up and offered her his hand, to shake. “My name is Izaya Mizukami. I apologize for my friend’s forwardness. He’s been taking something of twisted enjoyment in seeing this through with me.”

Looking her in the eyes, he continued to lay on the charm as best he could. It was all play, of course… Flirting to see how flustered he could make Chiyo before she either slapped him or ignited another flare up. She was just a bit young looking for him, after all.. While definitely his type, she looked to be around seventeen or eighteen. Maybe if she were a couple years older, he’d devote more real effort to the task. Well… As much effort as an amateur could really put in. He had to remind himself that he’d never even been on a date in his lifetime. Wooing, or fake wooing, was probably well beyond his skill level.

“How about, instead of doing as Ru asked, you go to the Firelight Fountain with me, instead? I’m sure that would be much easier. Finding a girl even half as lovely as you sounds far too difficult.”

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Chiyo could hear a faint whistling somewhere, like a tea kettle left to boil. At first, she took Izaya's hand when he offered it, shaking it politely..but feeling baffled. Did he just call her a cute turtleduck? He needed his eyes checked...but she could feel her face burn a deeper shade of red in her confusion. She wasn't used to bring complimented..no matter how weird...and it gave her an odd squirmy feeling in the pit if her stomach. But it got worse when Izaya looked her in the eyes with an oddly serious expression and asked her on a date.

She stared at him, trying desperately to reel her whirling thoughts back in. She was still shaking his hand, numbly.

"G-go...with...?"

The words seemed to hover in the air around her head as she desperately tried to make sense of what the man had just said to her. He..he hadn't really just asked her on a date and called her lovely, right? Boy, it was hot out today. She must be standing too close to Gen's stall again. Everything was hot and sweaty and nervous...and that was when she realized she still had a hold of Izaya's hand...for a moment she felt a strange flash of horror and embarrassment fill her body from head to toe, followed by a searing heat. Mostly in the held hand.... Realizing herself, she jerked the somewhat uncomfortably hot hand away from Izaya, clenching it with her other hand in front of her. She stared at him, red as a tomato and gaping, hoping he didn't notice the uncomfortable heat before she took back her hand.

What was she supposed to do in this situation?! She knew Papa would want her to be polite, but going on a date was definitely more than politeness required. She could feel Gen's eyes on the back of her neck, probably noticing how Chiyo had so quickly backed away from Izaya and jerked away her hand in horrified embarrassment.

"I-i'm sorry!" She gasped at last, bending at the waist into an apologetic bow. This was all she could think to do. " When I turned 20 on my last birthday, I agreed to be my father's partner for Scrappers. My duty is to him, and keeping our business running, so I cannot accompany you." She said formally, her hair cascading over shoulder rippled as she straightened out of the bow. "I-i wouldn't be very good company for that anyway. I've never really..." she fidgeted uncomfortably not completely wanting to admit her lack of dating experience. From behind her, she could hear Gen laughing throatily. He had appeared behind them, watching this exchange for...Chiyo was not sure how long. He had two more bowls of noodles in his hands and put them down in front of Ru and Izaya, chuckling.

"Good try, gents!" Gen leered at them, taking their empty bowls in his meaty hands. "This is the pinkest I've seen her in years! But yer outta luck with this one in tha' way. She's in love with her work!" Gen boomed laughing and heading back to tend to more customers. Chiyo looked a mixture between forlorn, proud and horribly embarassed, watching Gen go. Chiyo laughed uncomfortably.

"So...if you want to see the rest of the city, we still have time to do so..." Chiyo said, forcing her demeanor back into a professional one. It was only late afternoon and she was already exhausted..

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#, as written by Soki
Ru could only bite his lip to stifle the laughter that wanted to escape at Izaya's attempts at flirting, but obviously they were all novices at this and as such it worked in a way. Chiyo was beat red and trying her best not to explode internally, and was that possibly steam raising from their palms? He wasn't too sure as he shook his head. Ru swallowed his laughter and turned full body towards. "Izzy I thought you said our healing sessions were important to you..." He gave his best attempt at a cute pout, before looking off to the side. He raised a hand to his mouth as if to feign sadness, but it was all to cover up the smile. "I thought you were gonna tell gramps about us, no more lying!" He said that a bit loud; cause what was a good show without an audience?

Once the smile was under control he turned back to look at the male, continuing the pout from before. "Was it just a lie Izzy?" He really wanted to laugh, it was causing him endless amounts of pain trying to hold it all in. Thankfully Gen came along with two more bowls and mentioning that Chiyo was all but married to her work. Ah well, the joke had lasted long enough anyways. Ru grabbed a bowl quickly before Momo could get a hold of it, beginning to work on his second helping. Momo looking at the second bowl, before back to Izaya, then at the bowl as he inched ever closer to it. He would have this bowl, but he had to be stealthy, he didn't wanna anger his master's partner.

Ru turned to Chiyo flashing his smirk, and a wink as to show he had all but been teasing, though the best part was for sure to come. It was moments like these that ended up with some playful banter between the two benders, and regardless of where they were Izaya always ended up trying to light him on fire. Ru scratched at his chin, in thought of looking around the city more. He had forgot that she mentioned pro-bending, and that was always fun to watch. Though he could only imagine how fun it would be to participate. "I'd not mind walking around more, if we stay here much longer i'll probably burst from the food" He admitted pushing his second empty bowl away. Who knew noodles could be so addicting? Ru turned to look at Izaya, trying to read his face. He wanted to know if he was going to need burn off some of the extra calories he just took in, considering Izaya always got extremely flustered over this type of banter, specially when it was him doing it. Regardless, Izaya knew he was just teasing him, but if anything ever happened Ru would be the first one in his corner, regardless if it was Izzy's fault or nah.

Momo had continued his little trek for the bowl, everytime he moved closer he peeked at Izaya, before he was right there; it was just a paws reach from being his, he licked his lips in
anticipation. These liquid-y strings had been the best thing he had ever tasted, and now he wanted more! He chattered lightly his ears laying flat as if he was trying to be as stealthy as possible. He knew better than to piss off Izaya considering the last time he had almost gotten singed for it.

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Izaya flashed his own smirk at Chiyo as she essentially did exactly what he wanted.. Well, maybe not exactly. He wouldn’t have minded if she actually accepted… Pretty, smart, down to earth girls were hard to come by, back home. At least, as far as his experience. Someone in his position typically only met ambitious women that were after his family’s money, or after a seat amongst the royal family. Even in Republic city, he’d remained something of a celebrity, and that didn’t draw in a very attractive crowd. Somehow, he was sure Chiyo had no idea who he was, or the scope of what his ties had to offer. That made her a rather desirable target.

Still, she'd flared up like he wanted. She didn't produce any flames, but she did nearly heat up his hand to uncomfortable temperatures. If he hadn't immediately dissipated some of the heat, she might have even produced a bit more than a puff of steam. He now had his irrefutable proof that she was, in fact, a firebender. No more speculation was needed. He'd definitely have to talk to her about it, as soon as they were alone.

Izaya cocked an eye at Ru as he began making his little soap opera display, doing his usual thing of trying to humiliate him… But Izaya was going to have none of it, today. He’d played along, thus far.. Why not take it a bit farther, maybe have a little fun with it? Well, before he gave Ru the shocking of his life… But that’d have to come later. Best not to lightning bend in front of such a large crowd. Especially not when he was doing his best to hide his bending.

“I’m sorry Ru…” Izaya began, dropping into a tone of feigned anguish. “I just don’t think we could ever work out. You’re just… So far below my standards. You’re nowhere near pretty or witty enough for me. It’s not me, it’s you.”

Shifting back to his version of a teasing smirk, Izaya pushed the second bowl of noodles towards Momo --saving the lemur the extra effort-- and stepped away from the table.
“I wouldn’t mind getting to see the upper city, if we have time. I’ve heard a lot about the Jasmine Dragon and its boba tea… Wouldn’t mind getting to see it and taste a bit of history before we have to get back.”

Izaya was actually excited by the idea. The Jasmine Dragon was something of a legend in the Fire Nation, and especially amongst his family. It was the tea shop made by the original Iroh, after all, as well as the birthplace of boba tea. Supposedly it was the best, and only, place to get tea in the entirety of the Democratic Earth Nations.. Real tea, at least. A brew that was actually worthy of of being called such. Most Earth Nation “teas” were little more than hot leaf juice.

“I’m ready to head out whenever you are, Turtleduck.” He said with a wink to Chiyo.