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Katsu nodded solemnly. "Yeah, that's right," he said, a tone of vague awareness in his voice. He was elsewhere mentally, trying to make his way back to the present. After a moment of staring blankly at his drink, he took a sip, his face twisting a small bit at it's slightly bitter strength. After a small breath, he turned to Natsuo and opened his mouth to speak, but instead, a sigh came out of his mouth as he turned back to his drink for another swig.
"So...tomorrow night..." he said, looking around. It was starting to catch up to him that things were different, very different now with the reality that they were heading to different places. But, as for now, he was feeling weary. So, he stood and stretched. "I think I'm going to head back. Got a lot going on tomorrow." He let out a little yawn and looked around briefly. "Are you going to stay here for a bit? There's not really much reason for me to stay around for very long."
Natsuo gave a small chuckle. "This is special because two people who...shouldn't be working together, who shouldn't have the same views, are helping each other to protect what they love." he told him, and a smile spread on his face. "They're also doing something together that neither of them have done in a while. So, I guess you could say that this is special because it's unexpected, but it's good." Taking a sip of his drink, Natsuo's hearing caught cheers of approval and grunts of displeasure from the corner of men drinking and watching the sports game on the flat screen above the bar. When he thought about it, Natsuo and Katsu were kind of like those men. Both cheering for different teams and not exactly happy when the other takes the lead, but still sitting together to watch the game.
When he turned his attention back to Katsu, he gave another soft smile before taking another drink from the glass that held his coke and rum mixture. "I hope this all works out." he muttered, staring into the dark liquid in his glass. "And I hope that there isn't any more suffering than needed."
Katsu listened, the words processing in his mind but the meanings really lost on him. He shrugged the feeling of ill-placed nostalgia on his mind and tried to focus on the present, not matter how much it seemed to elude his focus. He didn't like to dwell and was usually not a person to do so."Special?"
Katsu asked, the word taking him by surprise a bit. In the haze of his mind, he couldn't exactly say what was special about the evening. The thoughts in his head were distracting, much to the level where he couldn't begin to think about what was special about anything at the moment. If anything, it would seem to him that very little was.
Rather than assume or wait for Natsuo to provide an answer, Katsu asked almost hesitantly. "What would be special now?"
As he said it, he thought about their current...situation
regarding the circumstances Katsu's own side had put them in. Perhaps their desire to work together could be something special?
haha it's okay. i've been having a bit of writer's block here and there so i might be the same
[Sorry it's so short D:]
Natsuo watched Katsu carefully as they waited for their drinks. His eyes had gone glossy, and he looked lost in memories again. He had begun to get the feeling that maybe they shouldn't have gone there, that the bar was bringing back too memories for the other male. But he didn't look pained by the memories. So, maybe it wasn't all that bad to be there. Hopefully not, anyway.
Natsuo gave a slight shrug to Katsu's question. "Yeah, I used to. But since I was brought into the training program for this mission, I didn't really have much time for friends." He glanced sidelong at Katsu, watching him again. "So I guess it makes two of us who haven't been to one in a while." he smiled, and turned his attention back to the bartender as he returned with his and Katsu's drinks. He nodded his thanks, and was given one in return before he turned around and walked away. "So, tonight's kinda special, I guess you could say." he smiled, taking a sip of his drink.
"Rum runner," Katsu said, his throat suddenly dry. The bartender wasn't the one he used to see years ago, but he didn't expect them to be. If anything, he thought it would have been a relief if it was the same person, but that wasn't so. He didn't come to the bar anymore in fear of cementing in his head that Lyn was indeed gone. It wasn't as if it was hitting him in the face right now, but it felt too real.
"It hasn't changed at all," Katsu said absentmindedly, looking around. Truth be told, the only thing that Katsu could notice to have changed was staff, and it wasn't like he made friends with the staff he used to see, so it wasn't much of a change to begin with. The only change that he could find significant was that there was someone else by his side this time. There was, however, consolation in the fact that it wasn't exactly unwelcome company.
"Do you go to places like this often? Bars, I mean," Katsu said, breaking through the awkward silence that hung between them. Any conversation was better than being aloft in unpleasant thoughts.
It almost made Natsuo laugh when Katsu mentioned a library. He even seemed a bit disappointed that it would be closed at the hour they were out. It was quite comical that someone like Katsu would be into things like that. But, how else did one really gain research? The internet, obviously, but even he himself enjoyed sitting down with a good book every once in a while. Did Katsu only research things in books, or did he like to truly read stories? Mm, probably not. he thought to himself. If he doesn't like the prospect of watching other peoples lives in movies, why would he want to read about it?
The mention of an actual bar brought him out of his thoughts though, and Natsuo found himself following behind Katsu like he had before. When they reached the bar, Natsuo stepped inside. The smell of alcohol hit him like a bucket of water, and it took a minute for his senses to adjust to the raw smells, sounds, and the dimmed lights of the bar's interior. He could hear the hoots and howls of men at the other end of the bar, staring up at a TV screen as they watched a sports game while chugging their beer. "I wouldn't necessarily call it bad." he said to Katsu, and wound his way over to an empty section of bar stools. He pulled himself onto one, watching the other male as he did the same. "I've been in worse." he smiled, shrugging his shoulders a bit.
He turned his attention to the bartender as he came over, greeting them. "Rum and coke, please." he said. The bartender returned his smile, then turned his attention to Katsu. After he'd gone, Natsuo looked back to the man sitting next to him. He looked like he was stuck in his memory again. Did it have something to do with the man he'd spoken of before, the man called Lyn? Although Natsuo was curious, he knew better than to pry. Especially when it looked like the wound was still healing.
Katsu shrugged at the notion. He himself was looking away, looking at the people around the town. It was weird how he was seeing them in a different light now that he knew they were so similar to those on the other side. As much as it surprised him, it didn't bother him to know that. He could see that being true, that there was the illusion of the sides being polar opposites to make it easier to hate the other.
"Well," Katsu began absentmindedly. "There are a few bars around, although I haven't gone to them in a while. I usually spend free time at home or going to the library..." He looked at his watch briefly, "which is closed now. I guess we can try a bar. There should be one around the corner."
Katsu picked up his pace slightly from his standstill, walking leisurely. He wasn't in much of a hurry in the evening, as he was enjoying Natsuo's company. After all, some company was better than none.
The sign soon came into view, a plain neon light display that simply read "The Wild West". "Trust me," Katsu said as they approached. "It's not nearly as wild as it implies." He held the door open for Natsuo and stepped inside himself. It was a darker kind of bar, dimly lit and sparsely occupied, having more of a Roarin' 20s motif. There weren't that many people, but Katsu knew for a fact that there would be in later hours. It didn't look any different than when he'd last been there...with Lyn.
Natsuo turned back to look at Katsu, now a few paces behind him. But when he spoke, he sounded lost. Whether he was lost in though, lost in memories, or somewhere else entirely, he wasn't sure. But he looked almost painfully happy, as if talking of the man he had once loved had brought up happy memories that he didn't want to remember. Well, of coarse. Why wouldn't they? Katsu had lost someone so precious, and there was Natsuo, prying like a child interested in why their friend was upset, but more curious than empathetic.
He turned to face the direction they were walking in. His eyes caught the brightening lights of shops opening, of "open" signs on bars and the flashing lights of hotels hoping to draw in a certain clientele. And all he could think of was how much it resembled his home, the streets he'd walked at night to clear his head, and also the places he'd gone for gatherings with his friends. Friends he hadn't seen since he'd been signed up for the program that trained those chosen for the mission he was currently on. Almost a year, and he hadn't seen anybody but his parents. Even if little sister hadn't been able to come see him very often. He'd been isolated in hopes that deaths to family members wouldn't affect him. But they would always affect him.
"What's your favourite place to go on days off?" Natsuo asked, trying to change the subject. "Like, a bar, or something. Do you have one? We can go if you like?" he offered a smile to Katsu as he turned back to face him. "I'm really open to anything."
Katsu shrugged. It was a nice sentiment to hold onto, to know that a person who cared for you wouldn't forget you, that they'd remember. He liked some of the idea that, if he was still alive, Lyn was at the very least thinking of him in some part of his mind, even in the deepest recesses. Even if it wasn't an active thought, there could be association in memory. At the very least, it was some amount of comfort in that sentiment, however little it extended beyond the words themselves.
"Thank you, Natsuo," Katsu said, his pace slowed so much that he was, for the most part, standing still. He looked up, catching the light of a late-night phone service store, displaying radiant neon hues that would blind if stared at for too long. He looked away, finding that the only other place to look at was pretty much Natsuo. The streets weren't very empty, but they weren't exactly bustling. There were people about, and they all walked with purpose, even at this late hour. "I really hope so..." Katsu said absentmindedly, tacking on a smile to hope to make it true in his own mind.
Natsuo felt awful. Even if Katsu told him one thousand times that it didn't matter, that he'd forgotten, that it didn't mean anything to him...Natsuo could only think of it was a lie. How could you forget about someone so special to you, so quickly? Of coarse, that never happened in movies, but he also knew that it happened in real life. With his parents, with a pair of his friends. Even he himself remembered the best relationship he'd ever been in. He could remember the type of perfume she wore, her favourite colour, her favourite restaurant, and the look on her face when he broke up with her.
With a sigh, Natsuo shook his head. "You'll always miss them." he muttered, then looked up to search Katsu's face. "It doesn't matter how it started, how it ended, how long ago it ended, or even how long it lasted. When you are close to someone, you never forget them. You never stop missing them. So, because of that, I'm sorry." And with that, Natsuo felt the topic should end. He knew Katsu was a hard person, could already see his stubbornness, and it was obvious that he didn't like sharing particularly personal facts about himself.
With a light smile, Natsuo gave another shrug. "You'll find someone to make you happy, I'm sure." he told him, one last thought on the subject. "You seem like a good person to me."
Katsu let out a held breath. He wasn't exactly sure how to take Natsuo's reaction. "It's okay, I guess. If anything, I'm up-front and don't have much to hide at this point." He thought it over for a moment. "And I actually haven't seen him for a few years, not since he got blacklisted." And for that matter, Katsu thought, I don't even know if he's still alive. Truth be told, Katsu didn't know what happened to Lyn, his former superior and significant other. There wasn't anything to go by in that realm, considering that all records were nonexistent. To be blacklisted in the East Side meant you quite literally became nothing more than a nobody, someone who didn't exist on paper and had no legal identity, nor could file for one. Birth records, ID, Social...all of it was gone, microscopic shreds in some dump somewhere.
In an afterthought, Katsu shrugged the thought process off, both mentally and physically in a symbolic gesture. "There's never been any use to dwell. I've had that grieving period and, for all I know, he's off somewhere with a potentially better life now. Maybe he got out of the country." Katsu chuckled at the thought. It was an unlikely hope, considering civilians couldn't even leave, let alone nobodies.
Natsuo was a bit surprised that Katsu had been in a relationship before. Because of his standing and all that he'd done to get there, he'd never pictured this man to have been in a relationship before. Ever. But one word caught his interest a little. "He?" Natsuo asked, but found that his question was a more than just a little bit rude. "Sorry, I didn't mean it that way. I was just a bit surprised. I never pegged you to be..." he trailed off, then shook his head. "I'll just stop talking about it. I didn't mean to come off as rude, though." he told Katsu, and hoped he forgave him for his moment of bluntness. But it was true. He hadn't expected Katsu to be gay. But, wait. What if he wasn't gay, but just bisexual? Or that pansexual thing that people talked about, but that he didn't really understand what it was?
"Nonetheless, I'm sorry. Something like that...shouldn't have happened." he paused, thinking. Things like that didn't happen on the West Side. Not often, anyway. Only if the relationship began to interfere with work, but other than that... But he knew he couldn't say it, couldn't mention that to Katsu. He still looked like he was bothered by it, even if it was only a sliver of memory of the pain to lose the person he'd had close. "Have you seen him since?" he asked before he could stop himself. But in truth, he really wanted to know. "Sorry if that's too intrusive, though." he said quickly, trying to make up for it. "I couldn't even imagine something like that. Not even in movies."
Katsu nodded in hearing Natsuo's answer, although he wasn't sure if he was ready to answer the question posed to him. But, in hindsight, he should have been open to answering any question he posed himself, so he might as well be forthcoming.
"I have been in one relationship before," Katsu said as his pace began to slow slightly. "It was a few years back, when I was pretty much a newbie to the whole......job. He was someone who was my superior." Katsu thought about it for a moment, and now that he had it more or less coming out into the open, he wasn't that bitter about it. "It was a nice relationship, a very good one. I thought it would last me a long while, but in the end, it became a conflict of interest and he got....terminated." He looked at Natsuo briefly before backtracking. "When I say terminated, I mean he was blacklisted. The head didn't want anyone under his supervision to be involved with one another, so he made an example that even those in positions of power weren't exempt. I was lucky enough, I guess, to not have been blacklisted."
"I guess it would be." he said. "You've had the mentality this whole time that movies are useless and just waists of time. To suddenly change your mind now would be a little be suspicious, if anything." he smiled up at the other male, then shrugged again. "It's all your perspective of things. I just really put a lot of thought into movies, I guess." he smiled. But Katsu's question made it drop. What kind of question was that? Were they back to personal questions now? But, it wasn't really much of a bother. He'd never had any serious relationships before, so there wasn't really much to tell.
"I've been in a few relationships in the past. Nothing really serious, though. The girls would usually end up telling me I don't spend enough time with them and break it off, or just tell me I'm boring?" he said. But even the words didn't bother him much. He'd never been "in love" or said the "most important" three words to anyone except for his little sister. Not even to his parents did he say those words. "I don't suppose you've ever really been in a relationship before?" he asked, the corners of his lips twitching up in a smirk. "You seem more like the person who'd be too busy with work for anything like that."
Katsu nodded. He was surprised that the reaction to dismiss Natsuo's words wasn't present as he listened. Normally, he would have indeed found such things to be a bit childish, even immature, but it was...well, more meaningful hearing it from someone like Natsuo. He didn't have much reason to dismiss what Natsuo said. After all, with the minor differences, if any existed at all, between the two sides, Natso could have very well been someone he worked with and still have a similar life.
"You do make a good point," Katsu said. "It's difficult to wrap my head around the notion that movies can be seen as such, but you make it seem so...productive. My inclination away from movies is often in regards to length versus content. But the way you put it, it seems useful." Katsu chuckled a bit, wondering if he was making any sense. "I guess what I'm saying is that...well, I guess movies actually have a point."
He thought to himself how they got on the topic of movies, and wondered what would happen if he threw Natsuo a bit off-guard with a topic change, a rather blunt one. "So, did you ever date anyone? I mean, back on the other side?"
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