Fandom: Viewfinder (Finder no Hyouteki/Finder series) by Yamane Ayano
Warnings: Trigger warning for panic attack(s).
N.B. Please see the Chapter Index for additional information about this story, including disclaimers, cover art, and the original prompt.
Summary: Corporate lawyer Asami Ryuichi is the latest “star” of reality TV show, Japan’s No.1 Handsome Confirmed Bachelor. Flight attendant Takaba Akihito is tricked into signing on as one of the twenty-five contestants. But can he survive five gruelling weeks of competitive dating in order to win Asami’s heart?
A/N: Ugh, I’m really sorry about how long this chapter took. If moving country wasn’t time-consuming enough, shortly after I arrived in Taiwan I got sick with the ‘flu and spent a lovely week couch-ridden and dripping on anything and anyone who came near me. (Health really is one of those things you don’t miss until your head feels like it’s stuffed full of mareep). Anyway, thanks for your patience and, for those who celebrate it, have a merry Christmas! *crawls back under duvet*
Looking back, Takaba would be annoyed at how long he’d taken to react — long enough that the man who had him pinned to the wall could get a length of cloth knotted over his eyes. And that was another thing that he was ashamed to remember panicking over, because what kind of crazy murderer would bother to blindfold someone before mutilating them in a pitch black room?
But sue him, Takaba wasn’t thinking clearly at the time. All he could do was struggle and curse and try to jab his elbow into the kidnapper’s ribs. Which he finally succeeded in doing, judging by the guy’s surprisingly whiny “Ow!” a second later.
Takaba braced himself against the wall and shoved backwards, swinging out the arm that wasn’t trapped in the restraint the kidnapper had been forcing him into. He missed, but the body check had the guy retreating. Takaba yanked off the blindfold and searched the darkness in vain. Beneath his own panicked breaths, he could hear the other man’s quiet panting. Takaba lunged in its direction.
“Argh, shit,” the kidnapper shouted as Takaba’s fist connected with skin. “Stop it! Help! Make him — ”
Light exploded in his eyes.
When Takaba came back to himself, he was huddled against the wall with his legs tucked under him and his kneecaps gripped tightly in both hands. The sound of his own rapid breathing seemed to deafen everything around him.
“Takaba, come on.” He realised that Mitarai was crouched in front of him. The producer flicked his cheek with a finger. “Stop freaking out.”
Slowly, and with a lot of effort, Takaba began to take in the scene around him. The bare room he’d been dragged into was now flooded with fluorescent light. One of the on-call medics was tending to a junior producer — the kidnapper — who was leaning against the opposite wall and nursing a rapidly bruising cheek. His night vision goggles were hanging loosely around his neck. A cameraman was recording everything.
“What…” Takaba broke off to moderate his breathing. His lungs ached.
Mitarai seemed to catch his drift. “You went apeshit and started attacking the assistant. When we tried to abort the scene you kept laying into him, so we had to drag you away. Then you shrieked like a little girl and collapsed. The end.”
Takaba stared incredulously. “He, he grabbed me — ”
“Yeah, that was the point. We were going to film a fun little prank in the dark while we got you ready for the date,” he hiked a thumb in the direction of the ceiling, where Takaba noticed a little camera was screwed into the wall, “but we had no clue you’d react like that. I don’t even know if you going psycho like that is going to be the highlight of the episode or something that can never see the light of day. So to speak.”
Takaba just kept staring. He had a lot to say about all this, actually. Things like What the heck were you thinking!? And What kind of psychopaths decide that a simulated kidnapping will be fun for anyone!? But he couldn’t find the energy right then. He felt tapped out, and every last shred of his self-respect was being put into maintaining his composure. You’re on camera. Your mother will be watching this.
“So…” Mitarai began, apparently giving up on a cogent response from Takaba. “Can you guess what you’ll be doing today? We didn’t get it all on you, but.”
Takaba followed the producer’s careless gesture, and looked down. His right arm, the arm he’d felt being restrained by the ‘kidnapper’, was encased in the sleeve of a jacket. A motorcycle jacket, to be exact.
“Oh, come on, you useless lump,” Mitarai groaned, wincing as he stood from his crouch and yanked Takaba up with him. Takaba, his legs currently possessed of the staying power of melting jelly, wobbled in place. “Let’s get a move on while we still have light.”
And it was that statement, Takaba thought later, that should have tipped him off to the fact that today was going to be a Long Day.
The time it took to get cleaned up and dressed appropriately passed by Takaba in a blur. He felt too wrung out to do more than grumble in annoyance as he was manhandled into biker boots and marched from the hotel and into a side street. Asami was waiting for them, perched almost indolently on a sleek black motorcycle.
Takaba walked up to him and accepted the helmet extended his way, too resigned to do more than clamber up behind Asami when he was told to get on.
“You look terrible,” the lawyer remarked, shifting in the seat as he prepared to follow the production crew’s van out to the day’s first filming location. Wherever the heck that was.
“Thanks. That’s exactly what someone wants to hear from their date.”
“What happened?” Asami asked, slipping on his own helmet but cocking his head slightly — waiting for Takaba’s answer.
He sighed, placing his hands on the lawyer’s hips gingerly. “After this is all over, can I hire you to sue the show’s writers? And Mitarai. For pain and suffering and mental anguish.”
“I’m a corporate lawyer,” Asami reminded him, nudging up the motorbike’s kickstand with his boot. “Regardless, you signed a contract before you became a contestant.”
Stupid law. Stupid lawyers. “You should make an exception.”
“Should I,” Asami said, and Takaba could practically hear the smirk in his voice. “I might consider it, if we manage to get to the seaside without you throwing up on my back.”
Takaba groaned. Then clamped his mouth shut.
At high noon, the sun’s rays were beating down on their backs like an enraged toddler’s fists. And it was supposed to be winter.
“Hold on tighter,” Asami commanded.
“I am,” Takaba snapped back, but the lawyer had already flicked his visor back down and was revving the engine for the next take. Which left Takaba with no choice but to slip his arms around Asami’s waist and squeeze him hard enough to register his annoyance with this whole exercise. Actually, all he was doing was probably making Asami get off on everything even more. Takaba let his helmeted forehead thunk down on the back of Asami’s motorcycle jacket, no longer caring if the cameras caught how tiresome he was finding their ‘Romantic Motorcycle Ride to the Seaside’. If they ever got to the seaside.
“Okay, one more time,” called Mitarai’s amplified voice, speaking through a megaphone on a grassy hill overlooking the little-used road they’d been using to film the opening scene of his and Asami’s date. Takaba suspected the production company either couldn’t afford or hadn’t bothered to get permission to close a main road for the shoot, so instead they were using an uneven side road in the hopes the police didn’t notice and/or they didn’t collide with any innocent motorists. The cameras that weren’t set up along the unpaved roadside were stationed on top of a pedestrian overpass a few hundred metres ahead, ready to capture Asami roaring below them.
It mustn’t have looked as romantic or dashing as they’d been expecting, because this was the eleventh take.
“Is there any way you can crash this thing and make it look like an accident?” Takaba asked Asami, as soon as they’d powered under the overpass and turned around to go back to the starting point for the next take.
“With or without permanent injury?” Asami replied, re-adjusting his gloves and looking perfectly relaxed despite everything. (And Takaba, grudgingly, mind you, had to admit that all the motorcycle gear looked pretty good on him).
“I’m starting to think some not-too-debilitating brain damage would feel better than doing any more of this,” Takaba muttered, stretching out his shoulders. All the hunching over to clutch at Asami for balance whenever they were forced to do a u-turn was starting make the muscles in his back burn. To think some people travelled this way by choice. “At the end of this there better be the best damn beach in Taiwan.”
There was no beach.
Instead there was a town filled with an odd blend of dilapidated shopfronts, modern high-rises and the drowsy air of a tourist hotspot where nothing much ever happened. A painted cartoon mural that read Welcome to Tamsui and looked as though it had been painted by local elementary schoolers stood facing a wide grey river dotted with passenger ferries. In place of the golden sand Takaba had been dreaming about all that torturous morning was an expanse of thinning turf and gravel. Opposite the metro station, naturally enough, was a five-storey Starbucks.
“Where’s the ‘seaside’ part of the ‘seaside date’?” Takaba grumbled.
Mitarai shrugged as two of the cameramen got ready to tail them through the crowds of families and elderly day trippers. “Technically, the water here does let out into the ocean.” Takaba frowned at the river, whose opposite shore (complete with a small mountain) was clearly visible through the mist.
“Okay, you two, get chummy,” Mitarai ordered, pointing in the direction of the bustling shopping boulevard that curved along the riverside as far as they could see. Takaba nodded when Asami caught his eye, apparently waiting for him to start walking. They quickly fell into a casual rhythm, strolling side by side within touching distance as one of the cameramen trailed behind while the one up ahead did his very best not to walk backwards into an oncoming scooter.
Silently, Takaba let out a deep breath and focused on letting go of the useless resentment that had been festering inside him since the day before. Luckily, between the surprisingly balmy weather and the palpable cheer of the other tourists and pedestrians enjoying a pleasant day by the almost-seaside, Takaba didn’t take long to unwind and begin to enjoy himself. If anything, Tamsui reminded him of Yokohama on the weekends, with portrait artists and buskers providing a mismatched festival backdrop for the strolling groups of wannabe stylish teenagers and parents with small children holding balloons and ice cream.
And dear god, the ice cream.
“No,” Asami said curtly, before Takaba could do so much as point to one of the dessert vendors, where machines pumped out gravity-defying swirls of multi-coloured ice cream as long as Takaba’s arm.
“But, but,” Takaba protested, hurriedly digging in the pocket of his jeans for his wallet.
“No food unless it’s weird,” Mitarai commanded, dogging them just out of range of the two cameras. “We’re trying to show ‘local colour’, yeah? So you can have some of that deep-fried squid on a stick, but nobody wants to watch you guys chowing down on something as vanilla as ice cream. Ha. Now please do something more exciting than walking in a straight line and pretending not to look at each other! This is television.”
Trying not to sulk, Takaba put his wallet away and only glanced back at the swirly ice creams three times as they passed into a stretch of shops selling toys and arcade games. “Stop, there!” Mitarai called out when Asami looked like he was going to stride right past. “Mini games, how fun. Go buy some tokens so you can make fools of yourselves. We’ll set up.”
The shop Mitarai had directed them to was a shabby establishment. Small balloons filled with water were pinned to a far wall made of corkboard. BB guns and paper cups filled with pellets were set up at the front, and container bins full of inflatable toys littered the concrete floor. The shop attendant eyed them dubiously. Asami stared stonily back.
“Don’t worry, Asami-san,” Takaba smirked. “I’ll win something for you, a token of our magical romantic date. In which I kick your arse.” He lifted up one of the BB guns in challenge.
Asami glanced at him sideways, one corner of his mouth lifting very slightly. Ha, Takaba crowed to himself, he thinks I’m kidding. Little did he know that Takaba had spent most of his school years in local arcades, finessing his talent for everything from Dance Dance Revolution to Time Crisis. If this starched suit of a corporate lawyer knew the difference between a controller and an AV cable, Takaba would die of shock. Or he’d eat ten ice creams in shock. Mm. Ice cream.
“Okay, kiddies,” Mitarai barked, snapping Takaba out of his daydream. The interpreter they’d hired must have doled out the right amount of money, because the mini game’s supervisor had finally stepped back to the wall and was gesturing wordlessly for them to start. “We’re ready.” Mitarai patted Takaba on the head, before stepping well out of range. “Permission to shoot the balloons and each other? Granted.”
“Have some crab,” Asami suggested, holding out one of the mini-crustaceans Mitarai had bribed a local fisherman into offering them straight out of a bucket on his dinghy. “They’re fresh.”
“I’m fine,” Takaba muttered, turning away and shaking his head when the fisherman himself thrust one of the little mud crabs into his face and croaked, “Chi a, xiao peng you, chi a!” repeatedly.
“Don’t be such a sore loser, Takaba,” Mitarai said around his own mouthful, watching as one of their cameras zoomed in on Asami’s face as he ate. Which was just more evidence for Takaba’s theory that the cameramen who worked on this show used to be in the food porn industry. “You’re supposed to be acting all starry-eyed because Asami-san won you that thing.”
That thing was an inflatable Pikachu hammer. It was obviously meant for a child, but was large enough to be wielded by an adult, as far as Takaba was concerned. “I haven’t ruled out bonking you on the head with this until you have a seizure,” Takaba told Mitarai, then Asami, solemnly. Asami just licked the tip of his index finger as he finished his crab. Takaba’s belly squirmed at the sight. “And besides,” he huffed, “is no one here going to mention how incredibly suspicious it is that a lawyer is such a good shot? He hit every damn balloon! I bet you have an illegal gun collection at home, and whenever someone refuses to settle with you outside of court, bam!”
Asami smirked. “I reserve the right not to incriminate myself at this time.” The wriggly feeling in Takaba’s tummy intensified.
“Oh, go jump in the river,” he muttered.
Shortly thereafter Mitarai and the interpreter shepherded them away from the waterside boulevard and into Tamsui’s backstreets, leading them up a steep hill and into a well-kept garden filled with hedges and flowers. Two heritage mansions were perched at the peak of the hill, overlooking a glittering grey bay that stretched endlessly towards the horizon.
“Told ya,” Mitarai puffed, stopping beside Takaba and Asami to catch his breath. “Gentlemen, I give you: the ocean.”
“We’re facing North,” Asami remarked.
“So?” Takaba said, watching as a container ship peeked through a fog bank in the distance.
“We’re also facing the East China Sea, so if you turn a little to the East and go straight” — Takaba startled as Asami lightly clasped his shoulders, turning his body north-east — “you would eventually reach Japan.”
Despite himself, Takaba was hit by a wave of homesickness at the thought. Homesickness? He asked himself incredulously. He’d only been in Taiwan for three days!
“Your geography skills are amazing, Asami-san,” Takaba said, wresting himself out of the bastard’s grip. “Maybe you should swim back to Japan. I’m sure the viewers at home would appreciate watching that.” The lawyer’s usual stoic expression didn’t flicker, but Takaba caught the knowing look in his eyes.
It was a relief when Mitarai called them away from the bluff and over to the smaller and more ornate of the two mansions, their interpreter informing them that it had been the residence of British consular officials in the 19th Century. On the tiled terrace overlooking a pristine square of lawn was a cloth-draped table and two chairs. Takaba felt his stomach rumble and couldn’t help but walk faster, looking forward to finally sitting down and eating something that wasn’t thrust at him by sadists.
But when he stepped onto the terrace and got a closer look at their lunch, he was rudely reminded that this show never made things that easy. “Oh hell no.”
Asami grunted in acknowledgement, which probably meant he hadn’t been part of this plan to make them starve and die with food in sight, yet just out of reach. Takaba stomach grumbled again. To his despairing ears, it sounded like a death rattle.
“Okay,” Mitarai had the cameras set up quickly. “Sakazaki is down with what he’s pretending is the ‘flu but what’s probably the early symptoms of chlamydia after last night, so we’ve re-written his script into a role-play kind of deal.” He handed Asami and Takaba a short stack of cue cards with near-illegible scrawl on them. “There you go. You first, Asami-san.”
Asami reluctantly brought the first card closer to his face, clearly having some trouble deciphering its contents. “I begin to remember why I re-hired Kirishima, if this is an acceptable standard of penmanship.”
“Just read it,” Mitarai barked, only to wilt under the look Asami shot him. “Er. If you would.”
“‘Oh my, what have we here?’” Asami recited in a voice devoid of inflection. “‘Just when I thought we could enjoy a delicious repast provided by our friends at Qian Hui Catering, it seems our plans for a romantic meal have been foiled, Takaba-kun. Oh no.’”
“Now say it into the camera,” directed Mitarai, “and try to sound less like a robot whose dog died.”
“Do robots generally own dogs?” Asami asked.
“Just do it!”
While Asami droned his lines, Takaba shuffled over to the table to get a closer look. Like the dinner at Aoyama Cemetery, their food was hidden under a silver dome with some kind of locking mechanism. But instead of the keyholes he’d been expecting, there were two little ashtray-sized discs connected to the dome by a pair of levers.
“Your turn, Takaba.”
“Does Asami have to butt out a bunch of cigarettes into those things before it’ll open?”
Their producer glared. “Read your damn card and find out for yourself.”
Takaba squinted at the scrawl. “‘Don’t worry, Asami-san, I’m sure we can work out the secret to getting it open if we work together.’ Ugh, really?”
“Read,” growled Mitarai, while Asami quirked his lips and looked up at the sky.
Takaba sighed. “‘It looks like the tray is controlled by these weighted pads and some levers.’ Oh, the ashtrays are scales.”
“It’s called a script for a reason, Takaba. Read it and stop editorialising. Otherwise you’ll never get to eat and I may have to accidentally and tragically push you off the nearest cliff.”
“Fine,” Takaba grumbled, wishing that the crew hadn’t somehow realised that food was one of his greatest personal motivators. “‘Do you think if we find two objects of the correct weight to place on these scales that the lid will open for us?’”
“Now, repeat that into the camera.”
By the time Asami and Takaba had managed to trade their lines in a poor approximation of natural conversation, Mitarai was ready to compromise the ‘game’ for the sake of getting back to the hotel faster. “It’s eggs,” he told them. “Two of them, hidden in the old Spanish fort over there.” He pointed to the tall red building overlooking the bay. “Bring ‘em both back here and the stupid thing will open. Hop to it!”
They hopped to it, a lone cameraman trailing in their wake while the other went on a smoking break. “This will be faster if we split up,” Takaba decided. “Asami, you go inside and search the building. It looks like there’s a basement level I can reach via those stairs outside.”
And before either Asami or the cameraman could react, he was pounding down the flight of stone steps that led into a narrow brick-paved trench hugging the side of the building. As soon as he was out of sight of both eyes and lenses, he breathed a sigh of relief and slowed down. It felt like he’d taken for granted all those group dates back in Japan, when the camera never stayed pinned to any one person for very long — unless they were embarrassing themselves in an entertaining way, of course.
Following the trench around a corner of the building, Takaba was confronted by a little walled-in courtyard with a stature of a Western man standing with his arms folded behind his back. No doubt he had something to do with the history of the building, but his vague expression gave Takaba the heebie-jeebies. He turned away from the statue and the nearby stone arch leading to what looked like an adjoining courtyard. The only other point of interest was an open door with bars across it, which led into —
Takaba’s stomach dropped. An old jail cell.
“Stupid writers,” Takaba muttered, edging closer to the murky room and peering inside. He suspicion that Confirmed Bachelor would plant one of the eggs in the creepiest place possible proved correct when he caught sight of a pink box in the cell’s dingy corner, a golden tulip embossed on its lid.
Trying to ignore his strong feeling of unease, Takaba crept into the empty cell and over to the box. It was the only object inside, the floor well-swept and the stone walls bare of the rusty, clanking chains he’d half been expecting to still be there. He crouched down and gently lifted the lid off the box, relieved to find a speckled chicken’s egg lying inside a nest of purple and orange tissue paper.
“Gotcha,” Takaba murmured, plucking the egg up and transferring it to the palm of his left hand. It barely weighed a thing, but Takaba wouldn’t put it past whoever had set up the food-withholding dome thing to have calibrated the scales exactly to the combined weight of the two eggs. “Here we go,” Takaba told the egg as he rose from his crouch, suddenly wondering if Mitarai would force him to re-shoot all this when he found out Takaba had successfully escaped Asami and the cameraman.
Something slammed loudly behind him and Takaba startled. He dropped the egg.
It cracked open against the floor, spewing bits of shell and runny yolk all over Takaba’s left sneaker. “Shit shit shit.”
A snicker drew his attention away from mess. There was a man dressed in black — black boots, jeans, leather jacket and black balaclava — standing on the other side of the door. Which was now closed against him. He was trapped in the cell.
“Not again,” Takaba groaned, stumbling forward. The stranger stepped away as he approached the bars and tested the door. It rattled in its frame but held, and a second later Takaba noticed a plastic cable tie around the deadbolt and a metal bracket in the outer wall.
“Hey!” Takaba shouted. “This isn’t funny! Let me out right now.”
But the man didn’t answer. He took off without another word, dashing through the courtyard’s archway and out of sight. Takaba swore and stuck his fingers through the bars, trying to tug the cable tie loose. But after a couple of minutes of fruitless yanking and twisting all he achieved was cutting off his own circulation.
“All right, don’t panic,” he told himself, glancing around as if another exit would miraculously appear. The only other thing in the cell was the box and the egg, cracked open as lasting, sticky evidence of his failure. “Haven’t you humiliated me enough today!” he shouted, imagining the hidden cameras outside picking up his voice. Any moment now, he was sure, Asami would come out of hiding and smirk at him through the bars, before clipping the cable tie with faux gallantry and freeing him. If Takaba happened to respond by punching the man’s lights out and kicking him in the groin, he could just chalk it up to the stress of the situation.
But Asami didn’t come. No one came.
“Still just a joke,” he muttered to himself, considering then quickly discarding the idea of shouting until they let him out. He was already short of breath. “You can see still outside, so it’s fine.” He had only himself to convince, but the walls already felt like they were closing in around him, and his changeless view through the bars was starting to look less like the promise of a quick release and more like yet another wall trapping him inside.
He was just beginning to consider letting his shaky legs buckle under him when something blocked out the rest of the light. He cried out, too frightened to censor himself.
“Takaba,” said someone in a gravelly voice.
Takaba snapped his head up. “Su…Suoh?”
The blond giant peered through the bars at him suspiciously and shifted his suited bulk until chinks of light darted into the cell, exposing him against the wall. Takaba didn’t give a crap what he looked like, or that he’d never had a civil conversation with the guy in his life. “Please,” he croaked. “I’m locked in.”
Suoh glanced down at the deadbolt and the cable tie, but remained motionless.
“Please,” Takaba repeated, caught between exasperation and a fresh wave of fear that Suoh would just leave him here without a word to anyone.
Suoh reached for the tie and held it between two blunt sausage-fingers. With a single quick motion, he snapped it in half.
Takaba groaned in relief and stumbled for the door faster than Suoh could get it open, almost crashing to the courtyard’s stones in his haste to get out. He ended up holding himself up with an arm around the creepy statue’s neck. It was several minutes before he could summon the wherewithal to thank his unlikely rescuer, but when he looked up Suoh was busy texting someone on his phone.
“Where is everyone?” Takaba wondered, looking around. He was still expecting a contingent of cameras and to pop out from behind the archway or the garden hedge now that the prank was over.
Suoh just grunted.
“For the last time, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Mitarai snapped. “We didn’t send anyone to lock you up, not when we already did that this morning! We’re not that predictable.”
“If it wasn’t you, then who the heck disguised themselves and trapped me in that cell?” Takaba pressed. “It was definitely planned. No one just walks around carrying cable ties and a balaclava.”
“You’d be surprised,” Asami remarked, taking a fresh drag of his cigarette. It was his second one since Suoh had hauled Takaba back to Mitarai and the food dome, Asami and the cameraman having arrived before them. The other, undamaged egg now rested expectantly on its weight.
“It was just a random attack,” Mitarai pronounced with finality. “Get over it, Takaba. Now hand over your egg so we can watch you and Asami-san stuff your faces. The sooner we get to the hotel, the sooner I can sink into some hot springs and forget about wasting my youth and virility babysitting brats like you.”
“Do you see an egg?” Takaba muttered. He couldn’t bring himself to say anything involving the words “fallen”, “cracked” or “split into a billion yolky pieces, never to be whole again.”
But it turned out he didn’t have to. Not when he had Suoh here to rat him out. “Takaba dropped the egg.”
There was a moment of stunned silence. Then —
“He what!?” Mitarai yelled.
Takaba wheeled on Suoh. “Traitor! Not that we were ever allied, but — ”
Sighing over the incipient bloodbath, Asami moved from the wall and approached the dome. Carefully, he placed his index finger on the empty weight pad and slowly exerted pressure on it until the lid popped open with a ding. A large bowl of dumplings were under it, along with two smaller ceramic bowls streaked with condensation.
Takaba and Mitarai watched in shock as Asami pulled up a chair and sat down, tucking a cloth napkin into his shirt. The lawyer raised an eyebrow when he noticed the others looking on speechlessly.
“S-sit down, Takaba,” Mitarai said, shoving Takaba into the other chair and pushing down on his shoulders until he collapsed into it. “Did you get that?” he asked the cameraman. “We can probably spin this as ‘Asami-san’s lateral thinking ingenuity blah-blah’, or something. If Shinotake-sensei gets suspicious, we’ll just say we were losing light and couldn’t re-shoot anything. Yeah?”
The cameraman nodded uncertainly.
Takaba took a tentative nibble of a dumpling when Asami handed him his bowl. “Is there crab in this?” he demanded.
“Good news, there’s also deep fried squid for afters,” Mitarai said cheerfully.
Takaba couldn’t help the wordless exclamation of fury that burst out of his mouth. “As soon as we eat this I’m walking down that hill and getting my swirly ice cream. Two cones. No more excuses! I have an inflatable hammer.”
Across the table, Asami rolled his eyes.