"Don't like the brew, boss?"
There was something absolutely unnerving about the way Joshua Kiryu chose to continuously twirl his coffee mug around the table without laying a single finger on it that fine winter morning. Perhaps what was even more unnerving was the glimmer in the Composer's gaze when he entered Wildkat a few hours prior, bundled up in a heavy scarf despite the common misconception that the dead were cold and unfeeling. It was quite the opposite, really, and his fingers suffered from bothersome frostbite due to his aversion of wearing anything confining on his hands - especially gloves.
"There are grinds in it."
Sanae Hanekoma quirks a brow, not because of the absolutely bored tone of the remark, but rather the absurdity of the statement. There are, in fact, no grinds in the coffee.
Joshua answers with a hum as he finally pries his eyes off the cup and over to the Producer. "Do you have a mirror, Sanae?"
That causes the already lifted brow to fly up to the heavens. "….A mirror, J? You need to check your hair or somethin'?"
Instead of smirking - which Sanae finds odd that he doesn't - Joshua opts to shrug indifferently. "So that's a yes?" he wonders, voice treading on scathing for no particular reason whatsoever. At least, not one that Sanae can readily discern.
"Yeah. Gimme a sec."
The Producer disappears into the depths of Wildkat, and really, that's saying a lot considering how small the coffeeshop is. While he's away, Joshua continues sipping the unsatisfactory coffee, his free hand tracing a treble clef on the counter. His phone is buzzing in his pocket and he's pointedly ignoring it. It's not a Game-week, and it hasn't been for a month now. Or was it two months? It's likely not a Reaper calling him, which meant it was someone of more prickly nature. Angels, likely.
When Sanae returns with a hand-mirror, he's sporting a frown. Before offering it up, he walks over to the counter and holds it just out of reach of his shorter friend. "Joshua," he says in all seriousness, even though it barely causes a look up from the Composer, "they said if you don't start a Game by next week, they're gonna have to step in."
"Step in?" Joshua snorts and he reaches for the mirror, mildly annoyed when Sanae holds it up even higher. He retracts his hand and folds his arms. "However will they do that? Send an attack dog down to play Conductor and force my hand?"
"They're talkin' about revamping Shibuya's Game entirely, Joshua."
Joshua looks unimpressed. "Hm? Please. Shibuya has the highest turnover of ascended Souls. It's a surprise they don't force other districts to abide by our policies."
"Puffery aside," Sanae continues, the mirror still annoyingly above Joshua's head, "the point is, J, that you need to stop moping about your punishment and just get the Game goin'."
"I'm not moping," Joshua says flatly. "Any sane Composer would refuse to host a Game with his powers tapped into by apathetic archangels."
Sanae doesn't seem impressed by Joshua's attitude but finally sets the mirror down on the bar. "Don't come cryin' to me when it all blows up in your face."
"Heehee… like I'd really let this face be ruined," Joshua says and takes the mirror. He holds it up, just enough so he can see the rest of Wildkat behind him. There's a long pause before Joshua says, "Did you know, Sanae, that every good magician needs at least one Ace?"
"Come again, boss…? I didn't know you pulled rabbits out of your hat for fun."
Joshua rolls his eyes. "Thank you for your time - and coffee - as always." He tosses him a quick look that speaks volumes and is more than any yen could ever provide. "I'll be in touch sometime soon about orchestrating the Game for Monday."
"Finally…" Sanae heaves a loud sigh of relief. "Why the sudden change of heart? That Ace really that good?"
Joshua smirks as he rises from the stool. "Mmm, I'd say so."
Joshua wiggles his wrist in a tiny wave before he leaves Wildkat, hands nestling back into his pockets. Sanae watches him go with a fond chuckle. He's glad that his only friend has come around and has enough sense not to let Shibuya be wrecked by power-thirsty Angels. He's glad that he's agreed to finally have a Game after so long, even with his Powers still capped. But he wonders. He has to wonder why the change of heart so suddenly?
Sanae regards the mirror he had lent Joshua with a frown. As he picks it up, an epiphany strikes him and he drops it at once, muttering a slew of curses under his breath that would make any prudent religious man or woman blush at the outrageousness of it all.
"You've got to be kidding me," are Sanae Hanekoma's last words.
Somewhere in Shibuya, a young boy screams and drops his toothbrush into the sink, nearly losing it to the drain forever as a giggle transcends the planes, eyes meeting in a plate of glass.