Sakura Sushi House

Decorated in dark reds and blacks, the Sakura Sushi House wraps patrons up in a warm, glamorous Asian atmosphere. Along both walls are black bench-tables, sparsely decorated with small red flowers in black vases, and tea light candles. In the center are smaller tables designed for two, to create a romantic setting.
The food that is offered at the Sakura is quite different from any other Asian restaurant. It offers a fusion of Japanese foods such as sushi and teriyaki and Szechuan dishes such as twice-cooked pork.

It's a dreadful night to be out and about, rain pouring down from the skies with lightning crackling overhead and thunder roaring through the skies. But inside the restaurant, all is calm, peaceful, elegant. A safe haven against the storm. Perhaps that is why despite the somewhat late hour, it is still filled with people lingering over sake cups and dessert, waiting for the storm to blow over before heading back home. Gentle koto music floats ethereally through the air as patrons quietly talk, waitresses dressed in traditional robes and obi gliding across the floor with grace and charm. As Josephine enters into the restaurant, the hostess bobs her head and smiles, greeting her with the traditional, "Irasshai." Her dark eyes flicker past the woman before she looks back and asks inquiringly, "Just one?"

It's raining alright and Josephine is living proof of it. She tried to keep dry with the help of this morning's paper, but since cab money ran out a week ago, she had to walk all the way to the restaurant. Hair is plastered to her face and there's water actually dripping from her jacket onto the floor. "Kon ban wa," she nods her head to the woman, then to the sushi bar itself. "I'll just take a seat over there if it's okay. I'm supposed to meet someone here." It's still the familiar alto, with a thick, Dutch accent speaking English. A quick check with the woman and she walks over to the counter by the rotating belt displaying sushi of all kind and orders herself a coffee, shrugging out of the jacket. She draws the eyes of quite a few present, probably because she's looking ghastly pale and not entirely well. Apart from the being apparently drunk - cheap whiskey for who sits close enough by to smell. Being in this poor state of mind, she doesn't actively scan the room, with her mind at least.

Rather messy dark brown waves fall a little down her back and frame a ghastly white face marked by classical features. The expressionable curve of her brows is as dark as the lashes above green eyes, a mostly straight nose and a mouth with full lips, currently a dark red going on purple, sans lipstick. The sharp line of her jaw accentuates the angled hollowing of her cheeks while a little mascara and lip balm are all that is used by way of embellishment - by far not enough to take the eye away from bags underneath her eyes or the tired set of her mouth.
This tall, lean thirty-something holds herself with confidence, bordering on aloof. She's straight of back with curves she is neither showing off nor hiding. She's dressed simply, starting with a black tanktop underneath a moss green zippered vest, which follows the line of her frame closely at first, then falls down to her hips, ending about two inches over brand new jeans. Here the faded denim fits snugly around the thighs, widening a little past the knees. By way of footwear there's a brand new pair of pitch black cowboy boots. A thin silver chain sits quite visibly around her neck with a tiny anchor dangling from it. When outside, a short woolen jacket, also quite new, protects her from the spring cold.

The reactions in the restaurant vary, words, emotions, and thoughts buzzing around inside Josephine's head whether she likes it or not. Sympathy, concern, shock, disgust, annoyance, surprise, confusion. But only one pair of eyes lingers on her after she finally settles herself down at the bar, ocean blue eyes sober and thoughtful. This was definitely not the surprise he had been expecting, considering that /he/ was supposed to be the surprise here … not the other way around. Hugo watches as a waitress kindly brings Josephine a few towels with a small bow and a softly murmured, "Dozo." They're small, but better than nothing. He waits for a few moments before rising up from his seat, carrying the sake cup he was drinking from as he crosses over to come up behind his sister. Sitting down next to her with a wry smile on his lips and a sardonic gleam in his eye, Hugo tsktsks and sighs, "Je bent zo nat als een vis en bent net zo dronken…" Translation? 'You're as wet as a fish and you're drunk as one too…' Despite his lightly mocking words, Josephine's younger brother is practically radiating concern. Unlike his sister, Hugo looks good. Better than good. His brown hair is longer than it used to be, falling about his face in a rakish style. He's lost all that baby fat, but none of his boyish charm it seems. The photos and newspaper clippings Vincent sent simply don't do him justice. Laying a hand lightly on Jo's arm, Hugo leans in, his bangs drifting over his brow as he studies her closely and adds in almost unaccented English, "You're looking like Hell swallowed you down and spit you back up, zus." Waving to the waitress, he orders some warm sake before glancing back at Jo, concern glinting in those blue depths despite his attempts at nonchalance.

Blue-grey eyes study the world around them with a slightly sardonic edge, reflecting intelligence along with a self-important sort of air … or perhaps it's just the look of a man who has no reason not to feel completely confident in himself. Brown hair is unexpected with those blue eyes, the contrast unusual and a head nod toward his Dutch heritage. His hair is short without being /short/, cut in a casual and cavalier manner, the bangs long and with a tendency to fall over his brow, obscuring those eyes with a rakish sort of charm. As often as not Hugo sports a days worth of growth on his cheeks and chin, as if he just couldn't be bothered to keep himself clean shaven on a daily basis, but has no intention of actually sporting a beard. His attire is as random as his shaving habits - sometimes high class silks and refined tailored outfits, other times un-tucked shirts, bare feet, and faded jeans with holes in them. High cheekbones and a sharp cut jaw gives his face a defined angular quality and more often than not a lazy sensual smile curls his full lips. Whatever it is that this man does for a living, it's either an active lifestyle or he takes the time to stay in shape. Though not muscle bound, his lean frame is finely muscled and he moves with both grace and assurance. At the moment? He’s wearing a black silk shirt tucked into a pair of faded, but not overly religious, blue jeans.

"Arigato," Josephine thanks the woman and gratefully, she starts to dry her hands, squeezes the strands of hair to get them moist, not dripping wet. Well, before Hugo decides to sit down next to her. At first there's a rather annoyed frown at the person who thinks he can become so amicable with her out of the blue, but a second glance leaves her simply staring. Speechless. Completely flabbergasted and doubting her sanity. She never was one to keep the emotions from her face.

The expression on her face is priceless. Looks like his surprise was a good one at least. The plan didn't entirely backfire then. "And now you look like one, mouth gaping open like that." Affection. It's still there, despite all these years, despite the hurt and anger. Seems blood truly is thicker than water. Frowning slightly, Hugo asks, "Are you okay? This was definitely not the plan, and I don't want you to get sick sitting in a restaurant, soaking wet." The sake arrives and pouring her a cup, he hands it over with a firm command of, "Here. Drink." In retrospect, considering the scent of whiskey lingering about her person, he should have ordered some hot tea, which he does abruptly, now that the thought has occurred to him.

It takes her until after he orders the tea to find a resemblance of her tongue back. Good thing there was no blood in her face to begin with or he might've seen what effect he has on her. "H-Hugo?" The tea arrives and irritated, she pushes it away, instead downing half her coffee. The shock of the heat of it brings her senses back even more. "You… Wha?" She blinks, refocusing, still not trusting her eyes.

Frowning harder now, Hugo reaches out and takes Josephine's hands in his own, slightly alarmed at how cold they are in his warm, firm grip. "Hey, Jo, snap out of it, alright? Just messing with your head a little … didn't mean to knock it right off your shoulders." It takes him less than a minute to realize that this isn't where he wants to have this reunion. Too public … and Jo is quite simply too much of a wreck. Cursing softly under his breath, Hugo reaches into the back pocket of his jeans for his wallet, pulling out a $50 bill and tossing it onto the bar like it was an old receipt before standing up, tugging on Jo's hand. "Come on, let's get out of here. Go to my place. Get some take out, get you out of those wet clothes and into a hot shower, start from scratch, ja?"

"Mno…" his sister protests, squinting at him now to try and keep the image of him, not the blur. Reverting to her native tongue she mumbles, "I think I just need to get me some rest. Clearly, -obviously-, I'm either having an immensely bad trip or am hallucinating or am losing my mind, so I think I'm going home now and have a bit of sleep, right." She'll try to get her hands back and shrug back into the soaked jacket, murmuring angrily, "I'm gonna kill that bastard…"

His hands let go of her abruptly, a flash of what, hurt? crossing his features before it's gone, replaced with a sardonic curl to his mouth and a coolness to those ocean eyes. "Well, I've been told that I'm a dream come true, but I've never been someone's bad trip before." Picking up the $50 lying on the counter, Hugo takes Jo's wrist with one hand and places the bill across her palm with the other, forcibly curling her fingers over it if he has to. Since she seems to prefer it, he slips readily into Dutch, even if he’s barely spoken it in ten years time. "Here, take a cab home then. Wouldn't want you catching pneumonia, now would we?" He doesn't know what bastard Jo might want to kill, but it's none of his business apparently. Lesson learned. Oudere zus doesn't like surprises. Check.

Josephine is by then staring at the money in her hands, unfolding the bill, frowning as a drop of water, then another falls on the paper. She turns it, then back and feels it. "Are you real?" she demands to know, the green gaze lifting back at him. Part of her wants to believe, the longing large in her eyes, as well as the fear that he's just a figment of her or someone else's twisted imagination.

Blinking in surprise and confusion, Hugo just stares at Josephine for awhile, utterly bemused. But by this point there are more than a few eyes on them and this is definitely /not/ a conversation that Hugo wants to have with an audience watching. His hold on her wrist tightens as he moves, dragging Josephine behind him if he must, till they've reached an alcove by the restrooms, a tiny space of privacy. Here he lifts his hands to her face and tilts her head back, looking at her eyes seriously, gauging the dilation of her pupils, checking to see if they match as he asks, "What are you on? Yes, Jo, I'm real. You're not having a hallucination … how much did you drop?"

They're glossy and yes, dilated some, but nothing as strong as the whiskey breath now inches from his face. Jo swats his hands away, tries to at least, "I'm not 'on' anything you asswipe." A shaking hand wipes the wet hair from her face, which she then brings to his chin, gripping it so she can turn his face this way and that. Finally she shrugs, "If he put you in my head, he's damn good at it. But know what, see if I give a damn." And unless he's quick enough to prevent a dripping wet bear hug, she'll give him just that. "Broertje?"

He releases her as she bats at his hands and indeed, if she is hallucinating him it's a very good one. She can feel the stubble on his chin as she turns his head this way and that. Patiently Hugo puts up with the inspection, not sure if he really believes her denial of being on anything, but playing along for the moment. "Put me in your head?" is his skeptical response, eyes rolling a little. "Unless 'he' knows how to speak Dutch, I don't think that's bloody likely, do you?" But then she's got her arms around him and Hugo lets out a soft 'ooof' of surprise before his arms wrap about her gently, warm against her wet, cold frame. "Yes, zus, it's me. I'm here. It's okay. You're okay." He doesn't know what to make of it all yet, but he knows how to be comforting, how to talk someone down from a bad trip. He gently rubs his hands over her back and suggests, "How about we go someplace? Get you cleaned up, warm, dry clothes, hmmmm? Your place or mine, whatever works. Okay? Then we can talk and you can tell me all about this bastard who magically puts stuff in your head," thanks to some tabs of acid no doubt, "and give me his address so I can kick his ass for messing with you, hmmmm?" Her wet soaks into his black shirt, her hair cold and clammy against his cheek, but that doesn't keep Hugo from holding his big sister close.

All good and well, but that's hardly what she deems important right now as slowly she allows the fact of him really being there become reality. "You're here!" She leans back and now takes his face between both her hands, smiling brightly, but equally puzzled, "How can that be. Fu-uck, what are you doing here?!" And yes, she's ruining the silk of his shirt. And probably the rest of his outfit as well. "Look at you…" Even though she's only still staring at his face.

"How does the saying go? If you can't bring Mohammed to the mountain, then bring the mountain to Mohammed? You said you couldn't make it to NY, so I figured I'd come to Dallas. Oh, well, and I decided to go ahead and accept an invitation to do a special gallery showing of all new work here. Convenient, that." One brow quirks up at her exclamation, a slightly less wry and more genuine smile curling his lips as he counters, "Yes, look at me. Look how fabulously handsome I am. Which is more than I can say for you at the moment. Say, you haven't gone vampire on me have you, zus?" One hand lifts to her cheek as he notes, "Pallid complexion, check. Ice cold skin, check. Open your mouth, let me check for fangs…"

Disbelief, but of the good kind, still rules her elated expression, well, right before he has to mention vampires. She takes a small step back then, trying to evade his hand. "Don't be absurd." But her gaze drops to his shoulder, away from his eyes. "Why would I do a /stupid/ thing like that. Now can we get out of here? I've some whiskey back at the hotel, it's enough to share."

His head cocks to one side thoughtfully at her reaction, the way her eyes shift away from him. Shrugging, Hugo counters, "Not everyone thinks it's such a stupid idea. Essential immortality, eternal beauty. Perfect solution for the night owl, Goth anorexic who wasn't all that into sunshine or eating in the first place. You look like you might be applying for that position. Like death just barely warmed over you are." But he nods and turns, heading toward the exit as he notes, "Right, come on, lets get out of here." Finally. Something they can agree upon. "No offense, but I think you've had enough whiskey for one night. If you absolutely insist on drinking, at least let me pick up something good. That cheap stuff will turn your liver inside out…" Reaching for his coat, Hugo slips on the buttery soft black leather like a second skin, adjusting the collar slightly before picking up his umbrella. "Car's right outside … I'm driving."

"Now I know you're real," his big sister mutters behind him, even if the sentiment is devoid of venom of any kind, "Always with the compliments. Charming…" Blink. At the jacket, the news. "You have a car? Sweet. Trumps walking in this weather. I'll promise not to throw up, if you promise to stop lecturing. Deal?" Still, she follows, remembering at the last instant to put the 50 dollar bill on the counter before they head out.

"I call 'em like I see 'em," Hugo calls back over his shoulder without apology. The rain has lessened somewhat, but he was right … his car is just outside, the lights of the sleek black Porsche flashing as he unlocks the doors, getting Josephine settled in before crossing over to the opposite side and sliding behind the wheel. "I'm leasing it," he offers in explanation. "No point in having a car in NY, least not the city anyways. Turning the key in the ignition, the car comes to life, purring like a contented cat beneath the slight stroking of his hands. Eyes flash with mischief as Hugo glances to his right and notes, "No promises … and if you throw up, you are /so/ paying the cleaning bill." Backing out smoothly, Hugo flicks on the GPS and asks, "Where are we going?" even as he's pulling out into traffic.

Josephine gives him the address, the Belmont Hotel, somewhere in West Dallas. And if he's as new to the city as he claims, he won't know it's the lesser part of town, yet. Right after making a face. No apology for dripping all over the fancy leather either, though she murmurs, "You still have a thing for cars? Why not a Ferrari. Or Lamborghini. Or what else is fancy and Italian."

The address is plugged in and an efficient yet sexy voice tells Hugo when to turn and where, his hands confident upon the wheel of the sports vehicle. His head tilts slightly toward Josephine but his eyes remain upon the road as he notes, "I was in a rush. This is what they had on hand. Besides, it's just a rental. I'll be more particular when I'm actually buying one. This gets me where I need to go, and in style. More than sufficient for my needs." Pulling up in front of the hotel, Hugo eyes the area and sighs. Ahhh, well, this is what insurance is for, right? Slipping out, he lets Jo lead the way up to her room, the car chirping in their wake as he locks it.

Belmont Hotel - Suite 103B

The third suite on the first floor is divided in two rooms, separated by a door with flaky paint. Right by the main entrance is a small rack on the wall to hang coats and hats, after which the living room extends. There's a couch in a corner barely wide enough to host two people, a single leather chair, a low side table and against the opposite wall a tiny desk with a single hard backed chair. One square table with another two chairs forms all there is by way of dining area, right beside the open plan kitchen with a couple of cupboards, a sink, stove, microwave and fridge. Through the door, the bedroom is just wide enough to hold a double bed, a double closet and a shower unit shielded by a thin plastic wall and ditto curtain. Everything about the suite has seen better days, but is clean.

The room is nothing to write home about, but Hugo's seen worse. Lived in worse. Shrugging off his jacket he tosses it over a chair rather than hang it up properly, wandering about the place before turning about, hands on his hips, to face Josephine. "Right, so you care to explain what you were going on about if you're not actually high as a kite?"

"Whiskey?" Josephine invites instead, flashing a smile that hold no humor. At least she was able to keep her admiration for the car from him, grimacing at the idea that the leather of one of those seats is probably more expensive than anything in her suite. "When did you land? Why didn't you call me. I gave you my number, right?" Gluck-gluck. And before too long she's sipping some amazingly bad Irish while extending a second glass to him. "To… Old times."

He shakes his head, but she misses his silent decline as she pours them both a glass. She also misses the wince that crosses his features when he espies the label of the bottle. Ye gods. Blue eyes cast about for a convenient potted plant somewhere discreet, yet accessible. Hmmmmm. "I got in just a few days ago … and I wanted to surprise you. Just wasn't expecting to be … quite as surprised in turn." He takes the glass almost warily, as if by holding it he could be infected by its poor quality and worse taste. He clinks his glass against hers, steels himself, and replies, "To better times to come," and takes a sip. It's testament to his social skills that he manages not to wince or make a sour face. Or puke. "Why aren't you answering my question? " he presses. He's an expert at evasion … he knows when someone else is too.

Pursing her lips, she can relate to that and *clink* nods to him, "Better times." Sip. And gladly too. "Mmh? Surprised? Oh, it's ehm…" She /shrugs/, "Too many long nights and not enough sleep, probably. The ehm, doctor wants me on iron pills. No thank you /very/ much." She even shivers. "Sit down Huug, this isn't some formal standing shaking hands thing. Sit. And tell me where you're staying. And your number and whatnot, you're not going awol on me so soon again I can promise you that."

He studies her dubiously, but takes a seat noting, "If you don't want to tell me the truth, just say so." Wouldn't be the first time, is the immediate and nasty thought that crawls up along the back of his neck and insinuates itself in the foreground of his mine. "You go on about how someone is fucking with you, making you imagine me. That's a tad more than just lack of sleep talking. Oh, and take the fucking pills. If the doctor says you need iron, then you need iron." But Hugo's eyes have drifted away from hers and seem to be inordinately interested in other parts of her anatomy. Her throat. Her wrists. Basically anything that isn't covered up that he can look at for bite marks. "I've got my own place, well, a friend's place. He's staying in my apartment in NY, I'm staying in his here. A comfortable arrangement. I'll email you the details. And no, no I'm not going awol or anything like that. I've signed a contract. I've got work to do here … be at least a few months." His eyes lift to hers, direct and to the point as he asks bluntly, "So, this vampire you're seeing. Is it personal, or work?"

"Ugh, stuff it, painter boy," Josephine mutters, crawling up on the couch, "Don't get me started on telling lies, neh." So she still has that massively annoying quirk. An angry hand pulls down the neckline of her shirt down to the silver chain, showing perfectly smooth /white/ skin. "Do you really think so low of me," she demands. "Fuck Hugo, what's this, mmh. Don't think I can hold my own? So maybe I don't drive a fuckin' Porsche, but I'm doing fine. End of discussion."

"Honestly, I don't care if you're a fangbanger, in a serious committed relationship with a vampire, or just willing to donate the occasional pint for a scoop. Your life, your choices. End of story. But I don't know what to think, to be honest, if you don't tell me what's going on. You look like road kill, you need iron supplements, and someone is apparently able to mess with your mind? Only people I know who can do that are politicians and vampires, and politicians can't generally make you hallucinate, unless you're figuring to just stay high till their term of office is over and done with, which isn't such a bad idea, really, seeing who the current president of the United States is." His eyes glance about the room before he counters, "Never said you couldn't hold your own, but I think it's clear you're slightly south of fine." He lifts his glass to his lips, almost takes a swallow before remembering and putting it back down on the table, the whiskey sloshing over the brim. He stares at the glass for a moment and takes a deep breath. When his eyes lift to hers, it's as if nothing happened. The anger, the frustration, the worry. Gone. Smiling he rumbles, "Look, this is no way to have a reunion. Fighting already?" Shifting on the couch till he's facing her, he leans his cheek against one palm, his elbow resting against the back of the couch as he asks, "So tell me about the story you're working on. Big one?"

Josephine opened her mouth several times to interrupt him, but in the end she just sits still and listens, moodily staring in her glass until she kills it's contents. And when he sets his glass down, she'll take that too. "It's nothing, really. You know me, just have to wait out the storm from time to time without making too stupid decisions?" She sucks in her bottom lip to chew on, something she did even as a kid when deciding how to skirt around the bush. "I made a deal with someone who didn't keep his end of the bargain, but that's nothing to do with this, okay. Can you blame me for not trusting my eyes? It's been eleven years Huug. Eleven." And so it's probably her mood, the whiskey and the late late hour that have her eyes go all blurry again, but when she blinks, she finds that she needs the heel of her hand as well to get rid of tears.

It's an answer that answers nothing, but he lets it go. For now. No promises about later. "Yeah," he murmurs, shifting closer and wrapping an arm over her shoulder. "But it's not that crazy that I'm here. I mean, we're on the same continent for a change, right?" His lips buss her cheek in an affectionate brotherly kiss. "Tell you what," he murmurs. "How about you take a nice hot shower, eat a real hot meal, and make it an early night? Get some sleep. I'm not going anywhere. I'll call you, we'll make plans. Proper plans. Whatever you want, ja?"

This time, she hears him out without even once trying to interrupt. Leans against her little runaway brother as he tries to comfort and murmurs around the last of /his/ whiskey, "Promise?" She blinks at the ceiling, fighting hard not to go crying like a little girl. "Cause I really need you not to be so far away again…"

"Promise. I'm not going anywhere," he assures her, his hand lightly brushing down her damp hair, his expression sober and earnest. And for awhile they just sit like that, in a light embrace and for possibly the first time ever a comfortable silence. But after a few moments Hugo stirs, rumbling, "Come on, go shower. Get warm and dry." He shoos her gently with his hands, urging her up and herding her toward the bathroom. He waits till the door is shut, the water running, before he reaches into his jacket and pulls out his iPhone. He gets the number of a recommended Chinese restaurant within delivery distance in two minutes, is dialing their number by the third. It's been 11 years … God knows what she likes now, so he orders an assortment of things - something from every part of the menu. Noodles, chicken, beef, shrimp, a few appetizers. Nice thing about Chinese? It re-heats well. The extravagant order, along with a generous tip, is charged to his card. He rustles about till he finds paper and pen, jotting down a note and leaving it on the table for her to find. It says, simply, ~Hey. Food is on the way. Already paid for. Eat it. I'll call you tomorrow. Promise. -Hugo~ He almost, almost, pours the rest of that bottle of whiskey down the drain. If his sister is going to drink herself to sleep, she deserves a better brand than this one. But he resists the urge, slipping on his coat before slipping out the door, making sure that it locks firmly behind him before he heads off.

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