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Money Talks, Losers Walk; Closed:Soujiro
Topic Started: Feb 19 2018, 06:57 AM (170 Views)
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Announcer A: As Mizushima continues his assault, the rookie Aoki continues to take damage. How is he still on his feet Ken?

Announcer B: Maybe Aoki has more heart than we thought! Though it seems Tommy's hesitant. Maybe looking for that moment to unleash the big shot?

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Tommy cornered his opponent against the turnbuckle and delivered well placed shots between the rookie's guard. Aoki looked like he was just trying to hold on. Aoki stepped forward and clinched Tommy as he gasped for air. He threw ineffective soft punches into Tommy's stomach. Tommy moved his mouth to Aoki's ear as he pretended to struggle.

Tommy: Come on kid... I know you've got more in you than this... Throw the big shots!

Tommy gave him a few more seconds to breathe then threw him back before the ref could break them up.

Announcer B: Gees this fight is really dragging on! Tommy needs to end things here. Wait... What's this?

Tommy smashed his two gloves together and waved the rookie toward him.

Tommy: Bring it shrimp! You've got nothing!

Aoki looked on with nervous hesitant eyes, not moving.

Tommy: This kid is a joke!

Aoki face turned from panic to frustration. He stepped into the center of the ring. He was now pissed off enough to overcome his fear of Tommy. With all that he was, Aoki snapped off a hard right!

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Announcer A: Woah! What a right! It must have been powerful to stagger Mizushima like that!

Tommy staggered back to the ropes, shaking his head as if to wake himself back up.

Aoki's Coach: Now's your chance! don't let him recover!

Aoki realized the situation and rushed in. He began swinging wildly with both hands to Tommy's face.

Announcer A: Aoki flurries with a few hooks, Tommy can't keep his guard up! What a turn around! Can Tommy-

*Smash*... *smack*

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Announcer B: He's down! The ref begins the count! And!... that's it! In the 6th round, we have seen a complete shocker of a win for Aoki. What an impressive upset for Aoki and his team. This broadcast is brought to you .......


(Later that Night)

Nobu sits waiting outside for Tommy with his school uniform still on. The back door to the venue hall opens with a metal creak.

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Nobu: So... apparently that Aoki kid is a heavy hitting K.O. puncher. A real up and comer.

Tommy raised his head as he exited the building with his street clothes back on.

Tommy: I think maybe even you could have beaten 'em bro.

Tommy slumped his bag over his shoulder. His gloves swung from the strap they were tied to. He came up to Nobu and put his arm around him.

Nobu: Is that supposed to be an insult? He barely hit you in the end. Good thing we stay low venue. A camera would have caught the truth.

Tommy: I'm sure it made him feel truly rewarded either way. He was too desperate to wonder why I went down so fast.

Nobu: I will feel truly rewarded when we see... "You-know-who"...

Tommy and Nobu walked around the side and down the alleyway towards a familiar figure.
Edited by TheBigBeast, Feb 19 2018, 07:00 AM.
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"What'a fuckin' outrage," the man slammed his fists down hard on the foldout table that resided before him, "Mizushima had that guy dead to rights. I... I bet everything... you gotta cut me some slack, man."

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"Tough break," Soujiro Akiyama whistled with surprise seated on the other side of the table as he spoke in an eager friendly tone, "But that's how it goes. You're the last one and it's getting kind of late. Go get drunk with the other losers. so I can close up here." This was a lie, of course. There was one more patron, in particular, that Akiyama was waiting up for.

"I-I won't stand for this," he cried back in frustration lowering one hand to a pocket as if he meant to draw something forth, "Y-you can't-"

"Think real smart about that next move," Akiyama shot back as he stood up from the table letting the folding chair collapse behind him, "I'm not the one you got a problem with. You got an issue with the way things are run you take it up with Ichimoto and the rest of those Rengoku boys. I'm just the dog they sent down here to keep things running till they find a replacement."

Despite his initially cheery attitude, there was clearly an aura of strength about the man acting as bookie this night. There was a heat in the air that suggested if this disgruntled gambler made one wrong move, Akiyama might snap on the attack without a moment's notice. Who was this guy really? A lot of the regulars had heard that the last guy died during a small incident. It was the sort of thing that happened. Akiyama had been introduced as a temporary replacement, but he was in with the Rengoku Clan so it all seemed pretty normal.

"D-Dammit," the man spat with frustration as he turned keeping his head low and rushed out of the alleyway. It had been an aura that the gambler picked up on and in the end, he wasn't ready for a fight to try and make his point. Incidentally, he was so lost in his frustration that he failed to even look up and notice one Tommy Mizushima, the very source of his problem, rounding the corner into the alley.

With the matter resolved, Akiyama set back up the chair and then proceeded to start counting the money in the lockbox situated on the table. He didn't bother to look up as Tommy and Nobu approached though he began to speak as he continued the actual count in his head. "You look like you had a bad night, Mizushima," Akiyama teased while shaking his head, "But your friend there... on the other hand..."

With everything accounted for, Soujiro Akiyama shut the box and began making sure the lock was secured. Just beside the box was one remaining stack of bills. Looking up with an amused grin, Akiyama picked up the stack and tossed it to the far edge of the table facing Tommy and Nobu. He could only laugh about this outcome.
Edited by HiroTsukasa, Feb 19 2018, 12:24 PM.
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Tommy and Nobu saw and heard Soujiro and started down the ally. Nobu broke from Tommy's side and sped up to a soft run-walk.

Tommy: Eh I'm good. My official record took more of a hit than I did. Really the kid did me a favor. Now I don't have to make excuses about my face around town.

Nobu made it to Soujiro a few steps ahead of Tommy and Extended his fist to Soujiro.

Nobu: Sup bro!

Tommy joined them a few seconds later.

Tommy: You catch the fight?
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"You should worry a little more about that record," Akiyama replied with a seemingly uncaring laugh but the words themselves seemed more like he was scolding the boxer, "In the end, a man's reputation is all he has. Not that I'm in any position to complain about the outcome all things considered." With a sly grin, he met Nobu's fist with his own and then grabbed the stack of yen and held it up for the boy to take.

"Think this is yours, kid," Akiyama stated as he waved the sizable stack of bills, "Awfully smart of you betting against your guy like that." Content to have finished the last transaction for the night, Akiyama double checked the lock on the small metal box before drawing forth a pack of cigarettes and fishing one out.

"Only caught a little," Akiyama admitted apologetically as he drew forth a lighter sparking the cigarette to life, "You kept the bets rolling in right up to the end, so I couldn't step more than a few feet away once things got rolling." Taking the cigarette from his lips, Akiyama tilted his head up blowing smoke high into the air out of consideration for Nobu.

"Poor bastards," Akiyama laughed in a sinister sort of way, "They were riding so high on the Mizushima wave that they just kept piling up the bets more and more in your favor."
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Tommy: Do me a favor and keep that, would ya? And.... here is the rest.

Tommy flicked his hand at Nobu's bag nonchalantly as he said this. Nobu reached into his school bag and brought out a very large sum of money in stacks wrapped with rubber bands.

Nobu: It's all here bro. All the fight money saved.

Tommy: You got time to show us? We've both been pretty...Anxious about it. Right Nobu? .

Tommy smacked Nobu's shoulder with the back of his hand.

Nobu: Yea man! We've been saving forever it seems like. Pleeease Souji-bro?

He asked this as he handed the money stacks to Soujiro.
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"Tch," Akiyama scoffed in a sort of playful manner as he picked up one of the stacks and thumbed through the bills quickly, "Win or lose, I guess it doesn't matter. In the end, money makes the world go round." One by one, he began picking up the stacks and sliding them inside the large coat he was wearing. With the matter settled, he picked up the metal lock box and started walking to the end of the alleyway while motioning for the duo to follow. A thin trail of smoke filtered out above him in the air as he moved.

Reaching the street, Akiyama paused for a moment just as a rather lavish black sedan pulled up directly in front of him. The almost jet-black tinted window rolled down revealing a well-dressed man in a suit. Without a word, Akiyama handed in the lock box. Just as swiftly as they arrived, the sedan departed allowing Akiyama to begin guiding Tommy and Nobu down the street.

"It's like I told you," Akiyama began as he took the cigarette from his lips, "One of the first patrons to Sky Finance had a failing gym. Wanted a loan to try and stay above water. It was a fool's gamble, I didn't want to take him on. But that bastard Ichimoto happened to be in and held it over my head."

"Unsurprisingly, he defaulted on the loan," Akiyama took another drag upon the cigarette filling the air above with another cloud of smoke before continuing, "It's not the greatest part of town and the Rengoku family didn't have a use for it. I just need the money recouped from the whole affair." They had been walking for awhile, but Akiyama finally came to a stop before a decrepit ran down looking building. It was wedged between two newer looking constructions and the dingy sign that had been hanging above the main entrance was missing so many letters the only thing legible was the word GYM.

"This is the place," Akiyama proclaimed sarcastically as he threw the small remnant of his cigarette to the ground and stamped it out, "It's a piece of shit, but it can be your piece of shit. That still counts for something." Fumbling in one of his coat pockets, Akiyama produced a set of keys and then tossed them to Tommy.

"Go ahead, we can check it out right now," Akiyama urged the boxer forward with a reassuring nod, "We've got a good thing going, you and I, so I don't want to seem like I'm screwing you over. It might take awhile for something else to pop up under more legitimate means. So if you're not satisfied then I'll return the money."
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Nobu: Gees...You're right. A piece of shit. Look at the sign!

Nobu said this with a scowl and kicked a rock. Tommy snatched the keys out of the air, paused, then tossed them to Nobu. He clumsily caught them then looked up at Tommy.

Nobu: For real?

Tommy: Go ahead bro. I know how excited you've been. And don't talk shit about our new home. Boxing 101: Always keep in eye out for opportunities.

Tommy grinned as he said this. Nobu smiled back at him and without hesitation ran to the door, fiddling with the key. They had both been working hard for so long for a place they could call their own. The apartment was getting sketchy, and Tommy had seen some shady characters hanging around late at night. And who knew, maybe he could take on a few understudies, earn money legitimately for once. Besides, Nobu couldn't REALLY complain. For him, anything was better than living in the same building he grew up in.

Nobu unlocked the door, but had some trouble getting the door opened. He yanked at it and his feet slid around as he tugged. The old metal door seemed to be rusted a bit.

Tommy: Use your legs bro!

Tommy approached, reached for the door as Nobu let go and ripped it opened with a load rusty screech. This screech brought another sour look to Nobu's face. They both turned and regarded each other.

Tommy: Hey I mean... this'll let us know if some bad guys decide they wanna come visit in the evenings hours. Think positive my bro. hehe

Nobu: Whatever you say bro. Just be careful what you touch, I wouldn't want this place falling with me in it.

Tommy gave him a sarcastic grin then extended his hand into the door.

Nobu: Oohhh no. You first, Broo.

This last word was spoken with a deep sardonic tone of mockery. Tommy looked at him with a loving distaste then started in.

Tommy: Pff... Chicken shit. Hey Soujiro, where are the lights? I can't see a thing.
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Akiyama watched with some interest in the exchange between Nobu and Tommy as the duo got the door open to their own personal dump. It had been as he described, pretty much a junk heap. At one time it had likely been something quite impressive, but the previous owner had let the place fall deep into disrepair. Now, deeply indebted to the Rengoku family, the only recourse was to sign over the property. As Soujiro had explained, it was going to be too much money to spruce the place up with no purpose. So at this point the family just wanted the property handled. This deal with Tommy was looking to take care of everyone's problem all at once.

"Think I remember," Akiyama mused thoughtfully at Tommy's question as he pushed past the duo and began to fumble at the nearest wall, "Power's still on, you'll probably have a week or two before you have to pick up the payment yourself." He mumbled a curse to himself as his search seemed to be turning up nothing. Then, with a click, all the lights kicked on at once.

"Here ya go," Akiyama announced feigning a triumphant tone, "Your own slice of heaven. With... a little work anyway. I know some guys already in deep to Ichimoto that'd probably do some work for you to clear some of their debt. Don't like dealing with that guy, but it might help..." He let his words trail off thoughtfully as he paced about a bit taking in full stock of the gym. More to the point, he glanced towards Tommy with interest to see his initial reaction.

Likely it wasn't the type of place he had dreamed of owning. But dreams rarely came prepackaged. One needed a strong desire to chase their dreams and forge them into reality. Akiyama felt like Tommy had such a desire. If he had a choice, Akiyama would spend his time trying to stoke such desires. He was truly appreciative towards Goro Rengoku for all he had done for him. However, as it was now answering up to a scumbag like Ichimoto he couldn't help but feel a bit trapped in life.
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Tommy stepped into the place and took in a deep breath in, closing his eyes. Nobu pushed his way through and scanned the room. His face slowly morphed form a curious yet excited grin to a grown. What he saw was far passed underwhelming.

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A rundown, torn up, forgotten warehouse. Everything was covered in dust, cobwebs lined the walls, and it smelled like more than one thing had died in here. In Nobu's mind, Soujiro should have payed them to take it.

Nobu: Seriously?...

He turned an accusing gaze back at Soujiro. He began a tirade about the shitty deal they were getting and how a dog couldn't live in this hovel! Tommy didn't seem to notice any of this, still with his eyes closed. After a brief pause he spoke, opening his eyes again.

Tommy: Can ya smell it? Can you hear it?

Nobu turned from his ranting to regard Tommy.

Nobu: Uhh... Yea. That's the smell of a two year old dead donkey hiding under the ring and the sound of rats and spiders still chewing and eat-

Tommy: Stop... just...take it in. Listen. Smell

He made a smelling gesture with his hands. Nobu's expression turned to that of curiosity.

Tommy: You know what I smell? Sweat.... Oil... Coagulant. Blood... Tears. You know what I hear? Huh?

Nobu's questioning intrigue of ignorance shined brightly.

Nobu: What? What do you hear Tommy?

Tommy: I hear mitts thumping Nobu. I hear bag chains rattling. I hear a coach chewing out lazy rookies. I hear kids with something to prove growling as they press forward. Can't you feel that?

Tommy started walking around the room, holding his hands out, as if presenting a Da Vinci painting to a skeptical art collector. He walked by and interacted with things as he continued.

Tommy: This place has a history. A past, filled with guys who gave their all here. You can see it in everything about this place.

He stopped at last at a long and still well preserved heavy bag. It still rested on the chain it was originally hung on in the darkest corner of the gym. It had been duct taped in several places.

Tommy: This thing is still in good shape...

Tommy set himself up in a boxing stance, prepared to strike. He reared back with his fist. A shadow silhouette hide behind the bag, trembling. Wincing.......................... Tommy lowered his hands and waved it off. He turned away.

Tommy: Thing'd probably turn to dust.

Nobu: Heh... Too embarrassed to show us how weak you've gotten?


Tommy's foot screeched as he came to a stop. In a flash his fist came around for a huge hook that sent the bag Flying up at an angle. Nobu looked on in shock, but not because of the distance the bag swung, which was considerable. No, he now looked on in shock at the young girl who was thrown back against the wall and was now knelt on the floor.

Tommy: Get back!

He yelled this to the other two as he sprung into action. He rushed to this uninvited guest with his fist cocked, intending to beat this intruder or possible associate of Ichimoto's. It was hard to get a sense of who this was until he was around the bag.

Tommy: Who the fuck are y-....

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