Hidden 13 days ago 10 days ago Post by Vox
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Fuyuko Wakana
Japanese Bobtail



What had promised to be a relatively quiet trip quickly turned into a right riotous headache as the lobby of the Alpenhorn Inn became flooded with people who were trying to escape the sudden snowstorm that had entrapped the town, a place a small hybrid had found herself roiling and lost in.

The inn in question was locally owned by a couple that had recently inherited the place from their parents who were trying to establish more of an online presence for themselves which was when they had found Fuyuko. Liking her work enough, they had hired her to come by and have some professional shots of their place, with an extra perk of free room and board during her stay in the town (where she had also snagged a neat contract with the local tourism board). It wasn't the best location wise, being somewhat out of the way and a bit of a drive into the heart of the town itself, but it had that quaint lost-in-the-woods type charm that attracted her in the first place. The couple was also fairly nice and treated Fuyuko like an actual professional, which didn't hurt matters in the slightest.

Of course all of that wouldn't matter if she was unable to even get to the reception desk in order to get her room in the first place. Fuyuko had already been waiting patiently since before the sun rose, but it seemed as if she had barely moved an inch in line. She knew why of course, that being all the regular humans continually shoving their way past hybrids like Fuyuko and loudly demanding for lodgings, which in turn quickly overwhelmed the one, then two receptionists that manned the front desk, just like how she knew if she said anything at all about the situation, or about all the people pawing her feline ears and grubbing at her short bobtail, she'd have been labled a feral and then everything she had ever worked hard for in her life would have been for naught.

By the time Fuyuko had reached the front desk, the only people still milling about were hybrids and a few courteous humans who had queued up properly. The receptionist that greeted Fuyuko was a wolf of some sort, and her mood was clear as day if her drooping ears and sagging tail were of any indication. A braid that had once been carefully put together now seemed to be frayed and pulling itself apart.

"Welcome to the Alpenhorn Inn, how may I help you."

"Ah, I have a reservation under Fuyuko Wakana." A small amount of relief and thanks colored the receptionist's eyes as she dutifully nodded and went through her records, picking out Fuyuko's key. The receptionist had also given her polite directions to her room and Fuyuko thanked her in kind. They both nodded at each, and then Fuyuko left with a "by the way, your hair looks very cute today," which seemed to have at least perked up her fellow hybrid somewhat.

Hefting her bags and walking down the hallway, Fuyuko stretched out her muscles and walked with a bit more pep in her step in anticipation of finally having a place where she could just sit down and relax and not be touched for a moment. To her, the time in the lobby had felt like an eternity and as was usual for her whenever she ventured out anywhere that was too crowded, she had never felt as dirty as she was as of that moment, subconsciously straightening out the her hair and hiding her tailbone as best she could. The single room she was promised held for her the dual prospect of privacy and a warm shower, both being welcome luxuries.

Which then made it all the more disappointing for her when she opened her room, only to find a second bed (with amenities) haphazardly shoved inside. Unwelcome petting was one matter, a broken promise was another, and Fuyuko quickly found herself dropping everything and immediately rushing to the phone in the room and dialing the reception number listed next to it. A short while later a male voice crackled through with a "Hello?"

"Hi, yes, hello, this is Fuyuko Wakana from room 2B. I had a reservation and was told it would be a single occupant, so I'm wondering what a second bed is doing inside my room?

"Oh! Ms. Wakana. Uh. Oh, shit, um, I'm so sorry about that, it was just the morning rush happened and we were quickly running out of space and I told the boys to get the extra beds and move them into all the singles. I can have them move it right out if you'd like!" The voice sounded genuinely apologetic, and Fuyuko could practically feel the anxiety and stress that he seemed to be radiating through his words.

Fuyuko sighed, and said "No, no, it's fine I understand. Just... if you could just manage to somehow not have anyone weird room with me that'd be great. Thanks."

"Of course, I'll tell Percy and Gracie to be on the lookout, and again I'm sorry about the situation. I hope we can still count on you for those pictures?"

"Ah, um, yeah. Yeah, of course. I mean, we already have a contract and everything so it'll be fine. I'll do my best, um, Greg?."

Somehow Fuyuko knew Greg was nodding on the other side of the phone, probably by the way he had scrambled to say "Yes! Yep! That's me! And let us know if we can do anything else for you."

Fuyuko nodded to the air in return, which prompted another round of awkward farewells before she finally managed to hang up the phone. She sighed and went back to all her gear that she had unceremoniously dumped inside the doorway, the key still halfway stuck inside the lock before she pulled it out and added it onto her keychain. She had taken a moment to apologize to both her camera and guitar separately before storing away the rest of her belongings. She also took the time to also shed her thick anorak and scarf, leaving both inside the inside closet rack and her wearing only her jeans and wool sweater, toes wriggling free in the cold.

Now left with nothing else to do, she plopped down onto the bed furthest from the door, her acoustic guitar already in hand being absentmindedly strummed. She had nothing else planned today besides possibly exploring the surrounding area a bit, but seeing as how she was supposed to have a surprise roommate and how many people there probably still was in the lobby, she could afford to wait to see who she would possibly be spending the next few days sleeping next to.
Hidden 11 days ago 11 days ago Post by OliveYou
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Ji Chan


"'Scuse me, coming through--no, that's fine, yep, just push right past me like I ain't even here…"

The words, while sharp and scathing enough to make any person flinch a little, go unheard in the general hubbub of the Alpenhorn Inn's lobby--although a pretty and old-fashioned building from the outside, it's a downright mess on the inside, a mess that Ji Chan is currently trapped in as crowds of people press against him from every side, all vying for a place in line at the Inn's main desk. The lobby is completely filled to the brim with travelers, all seeking a place to stay when the winter weather suddenly turned serious and a snowstorm forced cars off the road and people off the streets.

Ji is one of those people--his original plan was to ride the overnight bus into the middle of town, but the icy conditions stopped the vehicle from going any further and everyone crowded into the Alpenhorn Inn instead. Thus, the mad dash of panicked humans and hybrids alike… and Ji, currently smushed between a large, heavyset man in front of him and a cranky old lady pressing forward from behind. And it's not even because of the obvious--rude humans, disregarding their manners when it comes to hybrids--no, it's just because Ji is, well.

Short.

Just the word is enough to make him shudder. Just his luck to get the short end of the stick and end up permanently stuck at 5 feet and 4 inches. Being born a hybrid just wasn't enough for the cruel world--they had to stick him with the most humiliating height as well, a measly 163 centimeters! And yeah, of course there are plenty of people in this world who reside at the same eyelevel as Ji Chan, but they're girls. It's cute to be short when you're a girl, but it just looks stupid when you're a guy.

By the time Ji claws his way (not literally, of course) to the front desk, his muscles are aching and his legs feel about ready to collapse, completely spent with the effort it took to get those humans to notice he was right there, thank you very much. Ugh.

"One… one room, please," he pants, to which the receptionist nods.

"Of course. We are currently over-booked, but if you are alright with it, room 2B has one open bed. Will that work?"

"At this point, I'd be happy to sleep on one of your sofas," Ji tells her wryly, taking the key when it is offered to him. "Wild today, huh? Can't imagine how tired you must feel."

"It has been quite the day," the receptionist sighs, her ears and tail betraying her mood. Ji nods, feeling his own fluffy feline ears screaming at him after a whole day of being flattened under his faithful paperboy cap. Must be worse for her, since she's got 'em all out and on display.

"Well, keep your chin up. We really appreciate it," he says, throwing a wink her way as he weaves around the crowds towards the hallway. A double room, huh? Ji thinks he can handle it, as long as they're not some overtly racist human who thinks it's funny to pull his tail when he's sleeping… talking from past experience, here. But for the most part, he's a pretty okay roommate, since he mostly minds his own business and doesn't care what you do, as long as it doesn't impact him.

But still, he is quietly thankful when he opens the door with the (spare?) key to room 2B and sees not a human, but another hybrid, guitar in hand as she strummed thoughtlessly, eyes somewhere faraway.

"Ah, another one of us, huh?" Ji said, a bit of a grin in his voice as he pulls off his cap with flourish, letting his ears perk up and stretch out, his tail unfurling itself from where it had been stuffed up the back of his oversized hoodie. "Sorry to intrude. I won't get in your way, don't worry."

It's true--Ji has no bags, no suitcases, just his room key, a change of clothes and a few dollars to his name that haven't been spent on hotel expenses. Depending on how long this snowstorm lasts, he really might have to sleep on the couch... or the floor. Well, not like he hasn't done it before. He can make do. He was technically in town for a construction job, the kind that you just gotta show up and start working to get hired, but this snowstorm kind of ruined those plans. He hopes the breakfast is free, at least. He has an energy bar in here somewhere... no, he ate that on the bus.

"Hm, any other ways to make money..." he wonders out loud, looking at his almost empty wallet with an expression of resignation and slight disgust. Figures. No food, no money, no way out.
Hidden 10 days ago 9 days ago Post by Vox
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And it turned out that Fuyuko didn't have to wait long as another hybrid soon walked in, her practiced eye nonchalently examining the new oddity before her. Curly hair, Asian face, short, thin, cute, potentially a good model if she could sort out the hat hair her new roommate fashioned himself with. Wanting to hide his hybrid features maybe? It wasn't too uncommon.

The oddest thing about him, however, was his complete and utter lack of luggage of any kind. At first Fuyuko thought he was a local, but that was almost immediately dispelled when he started talking about ways to make money. And what person would just walk into a room and start talking about money to a complete stranger. Was he... was he threatning her? Maybe this person wasn't her new roommate, but a burglar. It would almost certainly explain his raggedy appearance. Oh no.

Upon that realization, Fuyuko immediately stopped playing and clutched her guitar tight. Her eyes grew wider, her ears started twitching nervously about as she sat up in the bed and brought her legs in, slowly curling herself around her guitar like it was an anchor that would hold her steady in this suddenly terrifying situation.

But what if she was overreacting? She had asked Greg to not let anyone weird room with her right? He owed her something for suddenly changing her single room into a double so that must mean he must have called the front desk and told them not to let anyone weird like a burglar into her room right? Then again, he was the one who forgot about her reservation in the first place, and the front desk did look awfully tired and overworked and oh no.

This is fine. Everything was fine. All Fuyuko had to do was call Greg or the front desk or anybody and everything would be fine. She just needed a way to contact them without the stranger knowing. She could get herself out of this. "Ah," she squeaked out, which only made her let out another squeal in surprise at her voice and at how tight her throat had become.

'No,' a voice rang in side her head, loud and clear. 'I've got this. I've definitely come out of worse situations than this... right? Right?' The voice rang again, the last part suddenly much less louder and clearer than it had been. Nevertheless, she had to maintain her most absolutely stoic composure which she definitely was doing and was definitely not still curled around her guitar. "Ah," she began again, taking a moment to clear her throat before continuing on, "I'm not, uh, sure about ways to make money out here, but, um, well... eeh - I'mgonnagotakeareallyquickshowernowbye," she blurted out as she threw her guitar onto the bed, grabbed her phone, and rushed into the bathroom with all the speed and grace of all the cat powers she was endowed with and totally not like the panicked mess she was.

Once inside, she took a moment to breathe and prayed to all the gods listening that none of her stuff would be stolen when she came back out. Unfortunately it was also then that she realized that she didn't remember any of the numbers listed for Greg or the front desk. Unless, wait, there was wi-fi right? Fuyuko knew she connected to it earlier, and if she did, that meant she could go online and look for their number and ohmygosh there it was she was a goshdarn genius.

Not wanting to be overheard, she turned on the shower before calling the number for the front desk. Several agonizingly long rings later, a female voice came through, the same one that gave Fuyuko directions earlier to her room, saying "Hello, you've reached the front desk of the Alpenhorn Inn, my name is Gracie, how may I help you today?"


Fuyuko gave out a heavy sigh.

Ok. So. Maybe she overreacted a tiny bit. Still, she was in a new situation in an unfamiliar room with a complete stranger and he just had to be a cute boy of all people and she has had a very stressful morning. Maybe a shower would do her good, since she had really wanted to take one anyway ever since the first person started petting her. Not to mention it would probably look weird if she said she was going to take a shower and turned on the faucet and everything and came out just completely dry. Yeah. A shower would do her good.

As Fuyuko stripped off all her clothes and stepped into the blisfully warm shower, she began thinking of what she would actually do with the stranger in her room. Gracie said his name was Ji Chan, so he was definitely an Asian of some sort. His name sounded Chinese, but he looked Korean. Maybe he was mixed? And really, he could still be a burglar, and she had stupidly left all of her equipment in the room with him. Most of it was tucked away out of sight, but the most important piece was her camera that was out on her bedside table since even if she wasn't going to do anything serious, she still wanted to explore the inn a bit and take a few practice shots, scout out her location before she got to work tomorrow.

Unfortunately for her higher brain functions, once Fuyuko had stepped into the shower she became too tired to care anymore and instead wanted to only bask in the warm sensation of the shower running comforting rivulets down her body. Maybe this could be a test of some sort, since if the stranger - if Ji - really was a burglar, he could just take most of her stuff and run right now.

Fuyuko gave out another heavy sigh as she allowed herself a few more moments of bliss before stepping out of the shower and drying herself off with one of the towels already laid out in the bathroom. A few more moments after that, she realized she hadn't brought in a change of clothes with her.

aaaaaAAAAAAHHH *%*(#*&@($(*#@&^()!*#(*$@#

...

Fuyuko wrapped one towel around herself and took out another to drape over her head before she opened the bathroom door slighty, peaking her head out just far enough so that her voice would be barely audible in the room, her eyes closed shut to deny any sort of reality that may have happened during her shower. "Ah, I'm sorry but, um, I forgot to bring any clothes with me so um, do you think can, do you think you can uh, turn around and not look this way for a bit pleaseandthankyou."
Hidden 8 days ago 6 days ago Post by OliveYou
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As Fuyuko gives him the once-over, Ji stares right back, taking note of his new roommate with the same casual-yet-inquisitive air that rarely ever leaves him. He personally doesn't mind being stared at, as long as it's out of simple curiosity and not, say, disgust. But Ji highly doubts that she's doing this out of hatred. To be curious is a cat's nature, after all.

"She's a delicate one," he thinks, noting appreciatively her slanted, cat-like eyes and, from what he can tell, short stature. That's a lucky break; would be embarrassing if she towered over him. Her hair seems to be dyed, or at least dyed in the past; Ji clicks his tongue at that, remember how fried his old buddy's hair would become after every bleaching session they undertook in his old dingy bathroom.

To Ji's surprise, though, Fuyuko sits up, spine completely straight, like she's been—what's the expression?—struck by lightning. Or, Ji, thinks, like somebody stepped on her tail. But the more he looks at her, ears perked up in an expression of interest, it seems like she's been frightened by something, or someone. But there's nobody else in the room. And Ji hardly thinks he's scary enough to scare a cat stiff like that. He frowns, intended to put forth a delicate question or two, but before he can open his mouth Fuyuko beats him to it, letting out a small squeak or two of fear.

Ji's eyes narrow. What's the deal? She isn't suffering from a panic attack or something, is she? And what if she is—Ji's seen a thing or two, but he certainly isn't prepared to deal with one on his own. Thankfully, before Ji can call room service or 911, Fuyuko makes her mad dash to safety, flinging her guitar onto the bed and turning tail (literally, he notes, finding her bobbed tail kind of cute) into the bathroom before slamming the door and locking it with a click.

Huh. Not really sure what happened there, but you do you I guess. Did he scare her? It's not like he was going to hurt her, and there was nothing he said that would make her think so... Unless she finds his brokeness cause for alarm.

Ji gives a quick snort of laughter. You and me both. But it seems like Fuyuko has gotten over... whatever it was, because he can hear the showerhead turn on. She's probably just stressed. With the lobby like that, he doesn't blame her. Probably got more than a few remarks, maybe even some unwanted petting to make everything feel grosser.

As he waits for Fuyuko to finish her shower so that he can take a quickie before bed, Ji stretches out on the remaining empty bed, going over possible solutions to his money problem before he shakes his hand and simply lies there. There's not really anything he can do, so he's not going to worry about it. Things have been worse. At least he has a bed, and a working heating system. Maybe he'll take a nap...

Yeah, that seems like a good idea. Curling up into a tight ball, Ji draws his tail in, cat ears drooping forward as he closes his eyes and tries to snuggle even more into his hoodie. Used to sleeping on benches, the bus, the ground, or really any place that he can lie down on, Ji often finds things like pillows and sheets distracting when trying to get comfortable. But the soft, comfy material of the mattress is a plus... definitely...

Unfortunately, before Ji can fully drift off, his sharp hearing alerts him of the shower's end, and soon after Fuyuko's voice—kind of soft, but maybe that's just the sleep talking—filters out of the bathroom's cracked door to Ji's attentive ears.

"Ah, I'm sorry but, um, I forgot to bring any clothes with me so um, do you think can, do you think you can uh, turn around and not look this way for a bit pleaseandthankyou."

Ah.

Much to his chagrin, Ji does not respond to this news calmly, as he hoped he would. Instead, his face flushes a bright red, the blush reaching even the back of his neck, which is hopefully the only bit that Fuyuko can see; he's thankful that his hoodie covers most everything except a small sliver of skin. What is he, a highschooler? He should be able to deal with a simple awkward situation such as this! He's fine. Totally unbothered!

Despite this attempt at reassurance, Ji's posture has completely seized up; hastily sitting up with his back opposite to the bathroom door, his tail and ears straighten up considerably, assuming an at-the-ready position. The atmosphere of the room has adopted a very awkward vibe, and Ji has to will his body to relax, still feeling hyper-aware of the, um, not properly clothed girl in the room.

Curse you, teenage hormones and lack of dating experience! His old roommate's words ring in his ears: Ji, to get around in this world you actually have to talk to girls, you know? Take it from me, they aren't easy to please. (To which his girlfriend would whack him on the shoulder and mutter something disapproving... Wait, that's irrelevant.)

Ji shakes his head. No matter. He just has to keep his cool.

"No, it's not a problem," he says, trying very hard to stop his voice from cracking. "Just, uh, tell me when you're done." Nailed it.
Hidden 6 days ago 6 days ago Post by Vox
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Fuyuko continued to keep her eyes shut at Ji's response as-

Wait, did his voice just crack?

... Pfft- Ah, oops.

Without meaning to, a laugh started to escape her lips before Fuyuko quickly brought a hand to her mouth and clamped it shut. She dared to peak open her eyes to look into the room and saw Ji, back straight as a rod, dutifully sitting on his bed and turned completely away from the opposite door. 'That's kind of cute,' she thought as she also looked over on her side of the room and saw that nothing had been shifted. A pang of guilt shot through her body, but she swallowed it as she took a few steps outside.

And then guilt turned into pain as she slipped on the wooden floor and landed with a yelp.

Fuyuko immediately scrambled to stand again, rushing out a hurried "I'm fine!" Red and heat began to paint her cheeks as she hurried over to the single closet in the room, quickly taking out her white plaid flannel, blue jeans, and woolen kitten socks before rushing back into the bathroom in a hurried panic for the second time today. She tried to ignore the embarrassment that was flooding her face as she began not only thinking about her fall, but also how she had practically flew into the bathroom earlier, struggling to put on her clothes properly.

Once she finally got herself dressed, she left the bathroom, closing it with a click. She then deposited all her used clothes in a laundry basket she placed near the closet before crawling onto her bed facing Ji and picking up her guitar. Embarrased, anxious, and with a towel still draped over her head, she placed the body of the guitar in her lap, the neck standing straight up and caught in a death grip as she tried to turn invisible behind it. "I'm done now," she meekly let out, wishing desperately that she could have been born part chameleon rather than part cat.
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Cringing at his own voice crack and Fuyuko's totally-laughing-at-him giggles, Ji's face continues to be on fire, waiting for her to just finish getting dressed already. This is going to be a horrible couple of days, isn't it? Not because Fuyuko is rude in any way, but because they're both too polite and awkward to do anything but dance around each other infinitely. Ji definitely underestimated his own social skills--because the truth is, he's kind of atrociously bad at communicating with other beings, human or hybrid.

This is fine, Ji thinks, although he doesn't believe a word of it and is just trying to prolong the "pretend you don't care" period. This is fine. I'm fine. Everything is fine--

Aaaaand she slipped. Why is this situation still getting worse. Please somebody kill me now.

"Um, are you okay--" Ears easily picking up every move Fuyuko makes whether he likes it or not, Ji tracks her movement from the bathroom doorway, to the closet, to the bathroom again, where she closes the door firmly behind her. Then he deflates, splaying himself out on the bed again and wishing all of this never happened. Maybe he should just take a cold shower; he needs to cool down big time after... everything...

"I'm done now."

"O-oh!" Ji startles, rolling over to look Fuyuko in the face. Well, at least she's embarrassed too. This night has been a real comedy of errors, hasn't it? Except he can't really see the humor in it yet, not when Fuyuko is hiding behind her guitar like it might shield her from the reality of... this. Seeing this, Ji changes his mind a bit. Instead of bolting to the shower like Fuyuko did, he sits up, dangling his feet over the edge of the bed (Do they touch the floor? No?) with a pensive look on his face. He's thinking of something to say to her; he wants to make a good impression, after all. After a moment, he just decides to introduce himself the old-fashioned way.

"Um... anyway," he starts, clearing his throat beforehand. "I don't think I ever told you my name, or anything about me. And since this snowstorm doesn't show any signs of stopping..." The weather outside is frightening, Ji's mind supplies, but he refuses to accept that song as the template for their stay here. The fire inside is not delightful. "...we should probably get acquainted. I'm Ji Chan. I don't really have one job, I just drift..." Ji trails off, thinking about the places he's visited, the sorts of people he's met, and decides Fuyuko probably wouldn't like any of them. "So. Yeah. That's about it, how about you?"
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Fuyuko continued to hide behind her guitar, but her ears were still keeping track of every movement and word that Ji made. When she heard him say that he was a drifter, guilt and relief flooded her veins, physically deflating as she breathed out an "Oh my goood so that's why you don't have any luggage. I was so worried I-"

"Ah!" She suddenly realized, shooting back up again in her seat. "T-That is, I, um..." her voice getting smaller with every word, "I, well, just thought that you were a burglar or something." She sank behind her guitar once more, eyes shut and trembling. Unable to bear the shame any longer, however, she quickly slid off her bed and bowed low to Ji, instrument across her chest, words rushing out of her mouth as she said, "I'm sorry that was wrong with me but that was why I was acting so weird because I didn't know why anyone would come here without carrying anything and I thought that you needed to know and I didn't want you to think that I was some scaredy cat who jumps at strangers and, and, and..."

Fuyuko quickly found herself running out of breath, still bowing but at least feeling a little bit better about herself. She also managed to straighten herself out once more and look at Ji in the eyes before having to climb up back into her bed. She crossed her legs and laid the guitar in her lap again, but this time allowing it to rest in a much more comfortable position with it in its proper playing position, her hands holding it for comfort. Once she sat down, however, she found her eyes only able to occasionally meet Ji's gaze before they flitted off to another corner of the room. "And yeah. I'd, um, I'd be grateful if we could just kinda forget what happened, ah, Ji."

"I'm Fuyuko Wakana," she continued, voice soft but at least trying to hold a conversational tone. "I'm a photographer. I'm actually here on a job because the owners asked me to do a photoshoot of their place." She wanted to make it up to Ji somehow for putting him through everything that happened since the moment he walked in, but there really wasn't much that she could offer him (or really, felt comfortable offering him), except...

"If... if you're looking for a job I sometimes have people model in my photos, but, uh, with the weather it'd be kinda hard to find anybody right now and I was hoping to start tomorrow. Oh and, I do pay my models. If you're interested."
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"Wait. You what now?"

When the words "I thought that you were a burglar" come out of Fuyuko's mouth, the tone of the room instantly changes, going from slightly awkward to almost relaxed in just a few seconds. Ji is, at first, unable to believe it, but quickly a large, delighted grin shows on his face. Wait, no kidding? This is a real thing? She thought he was--him? He's 5'4! He can't reach most people's chins, let alone beat them up and steal their money. He doesn't even have a knife... well, not unless his pinky-sized pocketknife counts. He can't help but laugh, just a tiny bit, before nodding and turning solemn again. Fuyuko's bowing at his feet, after all, and we can't have that. She probably feels downright guilty; she seems like the type.

"Don't worry about it," Ji tells her, a smile yet again on his face. "I, um, don't take offense to being called a... burglar." Heheh. He quickly swallows a laugh and coughs instead. "Ahem. I'm not gonna steal your stuff, not like I could sell it anywhere, we're pretty much trapped here." Wait! That sort of comment could be misinterpreted to seem like Ji knows how to sell stolen stuff! "N-not like I'm a thief! I may be broke, but I'm not a criminal! And please, don't feel like you have to bow to some drifter like me..." She's uptight, then. And definitely a scaredy-cat, no matter what she says. He almost feels bad for laughing. Almost. A burglar? Seriously!

"And sure. Consider it forgotten," Ji says, feeling himself relax a little as the tense atmosphere fades. All things considered... they might get along well. "And it's nice to meet you. Fuyuko." He tries to pronounce the name as softly as possible, not sure if she'll jump again, and rush to answer him. It's a pretty name; next to Ji's self-styled nickname/given name/name-he-gave-himself-because-certain-things-happened, it feels particularly fancy. And Japanese. Photography is nice profession, too, if not one that pays super well; since she's just looking out for herself, it's probably just enough. He's not extremely sold on the idea of becoming a model, mostly because he thinks he doesn't look the part. Short and messy are not adjectives usually used to describe models.

At the mention of money, though, Ji's ears perk up; he grins. Finally, something he knows about!

"Money, huh? You're talking my language now," he says, leaning forward to show he's interested. She probably did that on purpose, out of some sort of guilt, but Ji is frankly too broke to care. "If it's a model you want, it's a model you've got. But, uh." His grin drops, revealing a more shy, guilty face in its place. Never mind, how could he take advantage of such a cute girl like that? That would stain his conscience forever. "Don't feel obliged to pay me too much, you know? I can... I have survived on a few bucks before."
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At the mention of obligations and of the sudden admittance of his hardships, Fuyuko suddenly found herself looking at Ji, eyebrows scrunched and raised in a mixture of worry and annoyance. "I always pay all my models fairly. Always," she stated seriously, all previous hesitation gone from her voice.

Still, she found herself looking away from him again. Most of her anxiety with the new situation had simmered down only to be replaced with the ones that continually plagued her, ears twitching in irritation as she laid a cheek down on one hand resting on the guitar, the other fidgeting and plucking away at the strings muted by her palm. "I make good enough money to afford it," she mumbled, words to more reassure herself than Ji.

But he had nothing to do with any of that and she knew it and knew that he probably only said what he did to be considerate. After all, he was trying his best to relax the atmosphere for her, and it was working. 'Don't think I don't notice what you're doing you... you... you-person-who-I-didn't-think-you-were-you,' she thought to herself.

"Sorry," she eventually sighed, "sorry," adjusting her face so that her chin now rested on her hand and so that she could look up at Ji, which didn't take much effort considering (and she had just noticed) how he was maybe only a few centimeters taller than her. "I've just - I've just worked really hard for a really long time to be where I am so I get a bit snippy when anybody suggests I'm not good at what I do."

"Besides," she said with a small smile, "I bet you don't know the first thing about modeling so you wouldn't know if I under or overpaying you anyway," eyes moving back down onto her instrument in a most conspiratory fashion.
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