1963-08-15 - Samurai Pizza Cats
Summary: A fortuitous meeting at a Pizzeria
Related: None
Theme Song: None
vorpal nova eito 

Sam eventually found his way out of Macy's, with expensive shoes in hand. Or rather, on feet, because that's the whole point. That was then, this is now. And now, surprise surprise, food. It seemed like a good time to take care of one of the next things on his 'list', considering he was hungry and had some time to kill in transit, so Mario's Pizza in Brooklyn became his eventual destination after leaving the labyrinthine department store. His mother had a friend once, who came to New York and wouldn't shut up about the pizza, from this one place in particular, and so naturally, Sam ended up with "Mario's Pizza" on the list of things he /has/ to do. It's even got stars beside it, along with a note to call his mother afterward to tell her how it was. She doesn't get out of Carefree much.

And so he walks in, feeling rather confident and self-assured (more than usual), due to the fancy new shoes, and steps right up to the counter to order himself a slice. Two, actually. Because why order one, when one knows that one simply won't be enough. Sam pays the man behind the counter, who steps away to get his slices, and waits patiently. His stomach growls.

Despite expectations to the contrary, Eito doesn't eat much Japanese food these days. Well actually he hasn't been for awhile now, but that's beside the point. So here we find Eito, casually getting ready to dig into a somewhat improbable amount of sausage and pepperoni with onion. He catches sight of Sam soon enough, well more accurately he hears him first but whatever. "Not eating in the gardens today, my friend?"He doesn't leave his booth, but well he's clearly looking towards Sam. Even as he pops out those cufflinks in his sleeves and drops them into a shirt pocket. "If you fancy it, I'd have no objections to the company of course."

And then up come those sleeves, neatly rolling them up his arms to keep the cloth safe. Eito's got ink apparently, and no small amount of the stuff starting just above the wrist and vanishing beneath the shirt below. Brilliantly colored ink no less, through the visuals seem more abstract than anything. There is some sort of koi motif going up his left arm at least, and something with gold coins along his right. Distinctive sure, though not nearly as much as it might be back home.


Mario's is one of Keith's comfort food places. The reputation of the place makes it an obligatory stop for anyne who is int he neighborhood… and Keith traveled a lot in the area. You do that, when you don't have stable place to sleep.

Being cooped up in the infirmary was starting to have its effect on the Cheshire cat, and ultimately he decides to sneak out for a bite and some fresh air during one of those moments when the infirmary is vacant. WIth the Rabbit Hole, it's just a jump to the left, really…

Perhaps it's the fact that he's not thinking clearly due to the pain medication, but the last thing that goes through his mind is to disguise his appearance as he enters the pizzeria. He enters in all of his purple glory, leaning heavily on a pair of crutches and sporting a black T-shirt and, thanks to the bandages, black shorts. It's only when he's partway inside that he realizes that there are looks coming in his direction and he stops for a second.

A few days ago, looks wouldn't have bothered him much. But a few days ago, he hadn't been *shot* at. The world definitely feels a lot safer than it used to feel.

He hesitates for another moment, and then begins to make his way to the counter to place an order…


Hey, it's that guy! Sam's got a pretty good head for faces, and while it takes him a moment, he recognizes Eito from the other day, despite the very brief interaction. "Oh hey," he says to the man, just before taking the slices of pizza as they are presented to him from behind the counter. "Thanks," he tells the man working, and turns more fully toward Eito, moving to meet him at the table. "You were the only helpful one there that day," he says, remembering how the man had helped him out, while the other two just shrugged him off. Not that his situation was dire, but mustard-y hands are no laughing matter when it's happening to you. "I'm Sam," he offers as an introduction, sliding into the seat opposite.

Just then Keith arrives, and Sam almost chokes on his first bite. Mutants definitely weren't common where he's from, and the appearance of a giant purple cat-thing takes him very much by surprise. Once he catches his breath again, he can't help but let out a quiet chuckle at the sight of him. Gotta be a costume. He gives the creature a smile, and then looks around at the other customers to see their reaction. It seems to not be going over /particularly/ well, which Sam finds a little strange, considering it's just a costume (right?). Moments afterward, the older Italian man behind the counter bursts out, pizza-knife in hand, shouting what Sam can only assume to be obscenities at the newcomer. The words 'mutant scum' are among the only ones spoken in English, and thus the only ones Sam understands.


"A pleasure Sam, I'm Eito."Cheshire cats, well no Eito's never met anything quite like Keith before. That isn't to say he rates as -that- strange, but then well things start to go sideways. Which is ugly but whatever, and then comes the bastard with the knife. "Excuse me, Sam I know how rude I'm being but I can't just sit on the sidelines."And so Eito rises, snagging one of his pizza slices and making his way across the joint. Only to mutely offer a plate, and an enormous slice towards Keith. "Like Sausage, Pepperoni and Onion?"

Eito chances a glance back towards the man with the knife, before stepping directly between the two before offering Keith a smile. "Oh silly me, your crutches. Come now I'll carry it for you, why don't you join me and my friend Sam?"and well now he has cause to -stay- between the two if necessary. "Took a tumble did we?"

Keith can't deny that there was, for a brief moment, a thought crossing his mind. The thought to open a Rabbit Hole under the knife-wielding man and send him on a one-way trip to Calabria. This was motivated by sheer pride- where he came from (or, that is, part of him came from) no-one dared treat him like this. The Quen herseld could sputter like a teapot, but she wouldn't have dared to touch one hair of his head (no matter how much she wanted to separate it from the rest of his body.)

Fortunately Eito appears as the angel of mercy that reminds Keith that there is more to his nature than pure, spiteful felinity. He looks at the dish offered to him with a puzzled expression, and the wounded dignity leaves his face in favor of a smile of gratitude. "Why… thank you. I rather do enjoy that, yes,"

He wastes no time in taking up their offer, he feels like he needs the company right now or else his temper could flare again, should the cook be provoked. Relinquishing the crutches, he nods "I'm afraid so. I'm sort of playing hookie from recovering right now to have a bite to eat. Clearly I should've come disguised."

He doesn't spare a look back at the knife-wielding man as he slides towards their seats. In his mind, he would turn around, deliver a perfect bon mot and completely devastate the man as he saunters…er…. hobbles towarsd the table.

Unfortunately, he isn't Dorothy Parker, and what wit he has often melts in the face of his own anger. It is for the best, really. He would have only made a spiteful fool of himself.

"Hello… Sam, was it?" Keith says, settling in and giving the two men a grin- a trademark Cheshire grin- "I'm Keith… thank you for. Y'know. Saving me back there…"


"Uh, yeah, Sam," the young man says, looking a little bit uncertain at the whole situation. On the one hand, it's the right of the owner to refuse service, or entry, to anyone they see fit. On the other, dude, he hasn't /done/ anything. Seems a perfectly nice fellow. Cat? The exact terminology to use seems to escape his thoughts just now. Surely, if the owner knew that Sam wasn't entirely human himself, he might have a similar reaction, which is just one of the many reasons he keeps that aspect of himself rather close to his chest. Also part of the reason, besides just a very tolerant upbringing, that Sam doesn't harbour any kind of discrimination for differences among humans, racial or otherwise. "Good to meet you," he says to the newcomer, and glances back at the knife-wielding owner. "He's with us, man. No problem here," he says.

"I don't want any trouble with freaks. One hair out of place, and I swear to the God above.." Something seems to have calmed him down a little bit, or maybe he just realized that if he got any more violent, it might not end so well for him or his business. Some of the other customers had gotten up and left shortly after Keith arrived, but they'd paid already, and it's settling into a lull in business, so it's not like Mario was losing any real profit. With any luck, the trio will eat their pizza and leave quickly. That's the hope, at any rate.

"I think he'll leave us alone? No-one's planning a raucous tap-dancing routine, right? That might put him over the edge," Sam quips. "No offence, but how do you wear a disguise over that? I mean.. you've got a tail?" Not the kind of thing easily tucked into an outfit. Sam at least has the benefit of a face-obscuring mask, when needed.


"I didn't save you, my friend I saved him."Eito offers as he escorts Keith back to the table, where he remains standing for a moment before finally sitting down and returning to his pizza. "If he does not leave us alone, I believe I would be forced to hurt his feelings in a most decidedly terminal manner." Easing back and letting those shoulders slump oncemore, before finally retaking pizza and coke in equal measure. "Goodness I've been terribly rude, My name is Eito. I'd introduce Sam here, but well I only met the man a few moments before you came in. This has all been rather spur of the moment, but I suppose fate has had it's hand in this meeting. I almost went for burgers instead you know."


Keith responds with an insolent grin when he hears the man huffing, and he looks at Sam and Eito in the eye. "Forgive him, he does not know what he does. Most people won't know what their reaction will be when they come eye to eye with perfection." The smile is a joking one, but the eyes are still shaken, a certain vulnerability hiding behind the gleaming smile.

"Disguising myself is really very easy when you have magic on your side, you know," Keith says to Sam. But it isn't Keith who says it- it's Sam, or rather the spitting image of the teen, who is now sitting right next to himself.

"I shoul've thought about it, but I guess I just wasn't really in the mood to think." The voice is Sam's, down to the inflection. And then the disguise melts away as if it had never been at all, leaving the Cheshire behind.

Keith looks at Eito with a sly look. "Fate has its way of doing things. I was about to disabuse the fellow of his impression that I was a mutant… not that I'd be insulted to be called one. I know some damned fine upstanding mutants." He hasn't taken any of the pizza, seemingly content to speak instead, "It's simply that I… swim in a different pond, although to the untrained eye…"


Sam is confused. Well, that's putting it /very/ mildly. He stares blankly at.. himself? Were it not for the complete shock preventing him from forming comprehensible thoughts, he'd probably come up with some crack about being a handsome fellow to sit beside, but as it is, he's silent, mouth agape. It takes him some seconds to recover, even after the illusion fades. "I.. uh.. magic. Okay." Every instinct he has tells him to remain skeptical, but having learned of his own true heritage relatively recently, another part of him tells him not to outright dismiss such things, especially considering the undeniable evidence he's been presented with. To save some face, he takes a bite of pizza. Yummy pizza. Wait a second. "So if you're magic," he says between chews, like a savage, "How'd you get hurt? Couldn't you just.. I don't know.. magic?" The confusion, oh the confusion.


"I am familar with your court in passing, never worked that circuit I'm afraid."Offers Eito, not at all cryptically. "Magic does not solve every problem Sam, it's just another tool in the tool box. Knowing how to use it does not make you invincible, it just means you have some tricks up your sleeve available to you if needed."Eito eats, albeit at a far more leisurely pace. Guy has manners yo, or so it would seem. "You've been around magic your entire life Sam, don't let it wierd you out. Most of it is very subtle, not the sort of thing you can see or hear. It takes a trained mind to detect it amongst mortal men, however some fellows are dramatically more colorful in it's application. Case in point, yes?"


Keith raises an eyebrow and looks at Eito with a degree of respect. "Well, now here's a man who knows about the world, I dare say…" he directs his attention to Sam, to try and straighten his mental tangle a bit, perhaps.

"As our fine friend here said, there are all kinds of magic. For example, you've got your garden-variety wiz, and then you've got me. I'm not a mage, I'm just a…"

He ponders the terminology, and then shrugs, "I guess you could call me a magical creature. To be precise, you probably read about me when you were a wee kid, depending on what books your momma got you," this seems to amuse Keith to some measure, and his smile broadens.

"But I also have to admit I'm not who I used to be. I'm part human now, and mortality has…" a slight look of discomfort crosses his face "Diminished me. Back in Wonderland, I could pull my arm off and use it to play croquet, and put it back on. Now? I can't patch myself from a bulle-" he pauses, and then slowly corrects himself "bad fall."

Sensing he's moving into a bad place, he changes horses mid-stream, "And what about you two? You seem to know quite a bit…" he says to Eito, "And you like to stare a lot." This was to Sam, but it was said in a teasing, lighthearted manner. "Maybe you should tell me about yourselves instead of having me talk your ears off. And eat, eat." He gestures to the pizza.


Sam has the good sense to just sit and listen, nodding along as if he understands. The words, yes, they go in one ear, and find purchase in his brain, clinging frantically to whatever neurons they might graze on their way by. So some of the ideas stick to something in there. But to say he understands fully would be a gross overstatement. "Oh, uh.." he pauses a moment. "The Cheshire Cat!" Eureka! Granted, not from the books, but from the Disney movie. Sam was six years old when it came out, and he saw it with his mother a few years later when it came to the local theatre. "I'm sorry for staring," he says, just a little bit sheepishly. "I've never seen anyone so.. purple?" Or furry, or with a tail. On crutches. "We don't even have mutants back home, much less.. you know, Alice in Wonderland." He means no disrespect, of course, but being sensitive in his choice of phrasing has never really been his strong suit.


"I am the 87nth Kitsune, divine messenger of the Honored High Goddess Inari and humble servant to The Divine Court of the East."Eito lets that just hang out there for a moment, noshing after his pizza casually before glancing after Sam. "So to put that plainly, I'm a magical mail fox. The gods often talk to each other, and well Mom likes to hear news of the mortal world. Mainly baseball scores lately, I think she's kind of getting into it but she tends to love anything with charts and numbers and complicated math. So it's always like, I need to find out which pitcher throws balls most often on a 2-2 count on the fourth inning when playing in a stadium that faces an easterly direction. Crazy stuff like that, but hey thats the job right?"

And a pause for Eito to sip after his Soda, before peering after Keith for a moment. "I'd imagine the Cheshire Cat has heard of Kitsune, yes? We're hardly rare after all, well I don't know maybe we are. Eighty eight of us feels like an awful lot, but what do I know right? Back when she used Usagi, there were what like four or five hundred in Japan alone. Pity I never got to meet one, supposedly they were mighty good fighters."


"Well, I'll be darned…" Keith looks at Eito, and then laughs a little. "I have to admit it is an honor. We don't have gods where I come from, just mad Queens- though don't call her that to her face…" he sits back on his chair and seems to take it all in. " Now, of all things, I never expected that baseball would attract the fancy of the celestials. I personally find it a bit tedious…" He rests his chin on his other hand, "All those men sliding under each other and at the end of the day all they do is throw a little ball around. What's the point of that? It's not like they even play with it -that- much… in any case, my regards to mother, in the odd chance she has heard of me. I'm afraid I don't quite live up to my reputation anymore. Technically speaking I'm not *myself* anymore… I'm myself and someone else, at the same time. It's complicated."

When Sam calls out his name, Keith grins and reaches over to 'boop' his nose. "Bingo! I don't mind the staring. If they have no mutants where you're from, then I can only imagine what it must be like to be sitting with a divine fox and a fairy-tale character at your table… here," he puts his arm on the table, right next to Sam. "Feel free to touch- the fur is real. We'll consider it part of your education."

"Alice in Wonderland, heh… you know, I wonder if the girl is still alive? I was trapped for so long… I ought to look her up one of these days, for old time's sake." He is bound to be disappointed… "So where are you from, Sam? My human side was born in Akron."


Sam is totally out of his depth. Two magical creatures and a kid from Arizona. Never mind that kid from Arizona isn't entirely human himself, but he at least doesn't have magical powers and talk to gods. He's got a fancy helmet that lets him fly. Suddenly wishes he could put it on, at least then he'd fit in a /little/ bit more than he feels like he does. It's just in his backpack, after all. Would be easy enough. Except for the public exposure. That's a thing to avoid, especially if he wants to continue having a relatively normal life, though that's becoming less and less likely now, as the evening wears on. Man, New York is /not/ what he expected. The giant Russian he met earlier has officially fallen off the chart of strange people he's met today.

"I'm from Arizona. My mom's a waitress, my dad was a janitor.. got a sister, and a dog.. and hey, baseball's a great game? Not sure what effect the direction of the stadium has, but cool that your mom wants to keep up with it?" He says, turning to face Eito for a time. "She have a favourite team..?" Because that's a thing that Sam can latch onto for some hint of normalcy; sports. "My mom doesn't care about baseball, but she can't get enough soccer." Babble babble. Hey, pizza not getting eaten. Let's solve that right now. He takes a couple of large bites, looking between the two beings a little bit awkwardly. And then, even more awkwardly, he reaches out to pet the cat. Soft kitty. Warm kitty. There's a song in there somewhere.


"I'm just a messenger, I'm honored all the same Cheshire Cat. If it makes you feel any better, my biggest battle saw me misidentified as a kind of chinese Fox Demon. Those idiots got all the credit for my fighting, and they're lazy idiots to be kind about it."Theres a little shrug there as he leans back to slide his empty plate away and sample his soda. "I'd put on my fox paws for you to see, but well I am making at least a token effort to keep my identity a secret. You have any idea how hard it is to find an apartment as it is, much less one with a giant divine fox clause?"And a proper little grin.

"Inari likes the St.Louis Cardinals the best, red and white is our color anyway. Theres some sort've divine stuff I won't get into, but being centrally located and having a giant river run alongside are good omens. She had me send her a Stan Musial jersey back when I first got to America, so there is that too."And a little wave, as Eito produces a cigarette case from his vest and gets one lit up. "Arizona is beautiful country, I took a year or so and just sort've bummed around America before I took up my assignment. Arizona and I think North Dakota were my favorites, same sort've austere beauty. Plus I saw a lot of foxes in both places, and well if my relatives approve who am I to disagree right?"


The cat chuckles and lets Sam pet him without seeming put off by it. He even offers a purr here and there, if it helps. "I'm more of a martial arts follower, I guess. I blame that on my human soul, he…I trained in it. You know, be glad you don't have a divided aspect," he confides in Eito, "It makes it very difficult to speak about yourself when you've got divergent narratives."

"I haven't been to Arizona yet. After my father kicked me out of the house I made a line for North Car'lina. Little town called Asheville. That's where the two of us became one, and a third. I made a straight line for 'York after that."

A stray thought seems to come to him and he turns to look at his wristwatch.

"…. Crap. They're going to worry if I don't come back."

He pauses, and clarifies, "The people who are taking care of me. I hate to cut this -very- interesting meeting short, but I'd be rude to my hosts otherwise…"

He begins to stand, reaching for his crutches. "If either of you are sticking around… well," He shrugs "I'm actually homeless, so I don't exactly stay around in a fixed spot for long," he admits.

"But if you want to meet me, simply drop me a note at this PO box with the place and time, or a number to call. I usually check it every other day or so." He takes a scrap of paper and hastily scribbles the PO Box, including that fancy Zone Improvement Plan code that the post office just debuted this year. He tears the sheet in half and hands one to each, "Don't be strangers, alright?"

He doesn't wait for the answer, though, as a Rabbit Hole appears in the middle of the air and the Cheshire simply steps through it… it's hard to see what's beyond. It looks like a lake, maybe somewhere in Westchester, but it could be anywhere.

"And thank you. I mean it." He grins at them and then…. he vanishes. Except, of course, for the grin, which stays floating in the air. "Here's looking at you, kids."

And the hole closes, leaving nothing behind.


"Plenty of foxes in the desert near my hometown," Sam says. "Quick little things. Pain in the ass if you're trying to keep chickens in your back yard, though." Again with the obvious. He listens and nods as the Cheshire Cat tells his bit of story, and makes his exit. "Best of luck, Keith," he says, taking the paper from him before the being pops out. Sam glances around, and spies the owner watching them closely, seemingly very relieved that one of the three has gone on his merry way. Now for the other two. Sam finishes off the last bite of his pizza, and lets out a very soft burp. "Excuse me," he says, because at least that bit of proper manners stuck. "I should be going myself.. pretty sure they'll lock me out of the dorms if I leave it too late getting back," he says with resignation. In truth, he'd love to stay and talk more; it's not every day you get to have a conversation with mythical beings. Or maybe it is? New York is a wonderful mystery, apparently. "Great to meet you, Eito. I'm at John Hay Hall, Columbia dorms. If you're in the neighbourhood, drop by sometime? I'm in the directory." At least he ought to be, he hasn't actually checked. With that, Sam picks his backpack up again, slings it over his shoulder, and makes for the exit. Given the lateness of the hour, maybe he should try flying back to Manhattan..

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