Despite my enjoying Episode 2 far more than Episode 1 (low expectations can be a good thing!), I found it less than inspiring, scribbling-wise.
Maybe I was just disappointed at the discovery that Hikaru isn't half as hardcore as he seemed in the first episode.
Come on, kid! What kind of gangster are you?! You were nearly disarmed by a girl -- a girl with the huge handicap of an asthmatic daughter. And really? Do you really think that men with god hands are waiting in the wings (err-- garage entrances?) to swoop down and save the day at all hours of the night?
Also. Wannabe-unable-to-stand-up-to-his-papa Hikaru makes me sad. ._.;;;
There were two lines that saved this episode.
Both of them Takki's.
"Next time I'd like to meet you alone." The line itself is unimpressive, but dear lord, the smirk that follows it.
The other line, and the accompanying squees, is what inspired the following fic-bit.
When Ryuzaki Shinji walked into that parking garage, he wasn’t sure what to expect. A stylish car, maybe even a motorcycle. Hasebe seemed the type to appear strong. Maybe a fawning young gentleman, ever-polite and respectful. As a young, attractive policewoman, he found it unthinkable for her to be one for frills and fancies. So while he didn't know exactly what he'd see, he had a good idea.
Disregarding the fact that he'd spent the last six years talking to an average of two people a week, he nevertheless believed that his understanding of people - and specifically women - was particularly acute.
A small secret: Ryuzaki Shinji has little to no interest in sex, gender, or anyone, really, beyond what they can give him. If he had to choose a gender he prefers, it is likely to be women - if only because they are easy to manipulate. But what he finds most attractive about a woman is her power.
Rusty social awareness skills aside, he was under the impression that Hasebe was a member of the ever-growing brand of overachieving, modern, independent women. But there, not twenty feet away, was the reality of Mini-Hasebe and ‘Mama’ staring him in the face - cute red hat and all.
His error did not faze him. In fact, it amused him to be wrong. Just as he thought, the world ‘outside’ really was an interesting, hilarious place. The man who would play God was pleased. Maggots would continue to surprise him; and regardless of the ease with which he could control them, he did not know everything. His lack of omniscience only made the game more interesting. The strength of his life-giving hands was only an advantage, not a guarantee, and he liked that.
A less obvious secret: Really, all he needs to do is touch a person. It doesn’t have to be his hands; there doesn’t need to be a pause; and there is absolutely no need for him apply his gift with a solemn expression or dramatic gestures.
He took a moment and a deep breath before stepping away from the cement pillar - focused, driven, prepared. He’d been watching the apartment. The time was suitable. The cameras were currently pointed elsewhere, and the security guard was out on a smoke break. Chances like this were rare. But before he could take another step, a fourth player joined the stage. A cop, a brat, a convict, and -- In an unexpected twist, the new player was a boy covered in garish tattoos. The first minute ticked by slowly and each breath was held for a moment before its release. But the instant the kid pulled out the knife, the scene descended into a complete dramedy.
Peering over at the increasingly awkward trio, Ryuzaki stifled a half-formed giggle at the absurdity. That punk kid with his newly minted tattoos, flashy jewelry and flashier prop – how could he expect to convince anyone of anything, let alone threaten to kill someone? Villain and heroine firmly entrenched in their roles; neither of them noticed his presence until the boy demanded that she cry out for her hero.
A logical secret: Ryuzaki loves the moment just after he heals someone. Their disbelieving faces. The expression of hope rewarded. How their eyes fucking worship him.
To his own surprise, he saved her. It did not suit his character. Reflexively, the words came out unbidden and harsh. “I went out of my way to come and see you, but I never thought I’d find you flirting with such a brat.” Unexpected, ungracious hero – he wondered if this image suited him better. It was clear that Hasebe did not think so. Her eyes did not thank him. He did not expect they would. They will. A stab, and he turned back, murmuring his thoughts aloud. As he did, he noted, with a detached fascination that the expression in her eyes was disbelief. Was it such a surprise? Didn’t she know what he was capable of? He almost stabbed the boy again, wondering how her eyes would change. Her brown eyes were steady and held his gaze even as she shielded her child.
There were no sounds from the boy, not even a whimper. The silence roared, but it was punctured soon enough by the harsh staccato of the girl’s coughing. “Asthma? Sounds like she’s suffering.” He walked towards the pair with confidence, hands out, cocky. Fall. Bend. Beg. Be like every other damn person I’ve ever met.
A twisted secret: More than the moment after, he savors the moment right before he lays his hands on a person. He really does get a kick out of watching people’s eyes widen and their pupils dilate in equal parts horror and hope.
She didn’t. A second silence broken – not by wheezing gasps, but by the alarm bell. In that moment, something brittle and old within him broke. He recovered quickly enough. “I saved you, and yet you're so cold-hearted.” he said. His voice came out a smooth, silky purr.
“The police will be here any moment.” Her voice didn’t tremble.
Ryuzaki stared into her eyes, and was surprised to find little else but fire. No regrets, no shame, no second-guesses about having cost her daughter a life of good health and clear lungs. Ironically, a tinge of regret touched down on his own black heart.
A vicious secret: More than the moment before, even more than the moment right after a healing, he revels in the moment he pulls back. He loves to watch the hope become horror, and the horror despair as he drifts away with their dreams.
Really, that’s all the wavy hand gestures are for. The rise before the desperate plunge of the fall. The seconds before the curtain parts, when only he knows if an angel or demon will be standing front and center.
She didn’t take the bait.
Somewhat disappointing, but a nice surprise.
The game would continue.
He wonders how many more times she can refuse.
He can wait.