At Flower Jumbo's by: Kounellii
Kou's comments: I know nothing of how translator agencies work but hopefully the process looks believable. Whew, it's 80 degrees out here! Hope you're all staying cool this summer and thanks for reading=)
Disclaimer: I do not own Jumbo, Yanda, nor Koiwai. But those three are hilarious! I own the plot too.
-+The Bike, the Hummer, and the Motorcycle+-
The shadow of Koiwai's coffee mug grew longer. Its shadow crept closer and closer to his bag. Koiwai checked it during the last few hours of work. It was his own personal sundial.
He picked up the new translation assignments that were just dropped off into his inbox.
Lessee here... translate Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling... what the-! 317* pages? … well, at least I can threaten Jumbo with spoilers, heh heh remarked Koiwai to himself.
He shuffled the Harry Potter project to the back of his stack. Then he paused. He took back the assignment and laid it in front of him. His dark eyes passed over the conditions of the contract.
Koiwai remembered that Jumbo tried to get him into Harry Potter. He waved it off. But what stuck with him the most about the conversation was what his best friend said.
That maybe I'm not interested in anything because I haven't experienced anything that I'm passionate about... thought Koiwai. He didn't have any particular hobbies nor was he ever a fan of anything. He held the sheet in his hands and leaned back in his chair.
Hmm... maybe I should travel overseas. Haha, maybe even meet a girl there too! But I'd have to save up money. I'd have to pay at least 25% of the travel fare... Yeah, I'll do that! Although I can't get that Suzuki from Jumbo. Oh well.
Usagi Pen*, his travel agency, offered opportunities for them to translate abroad. They would pay 75% of the way for select places.
"NANI? Why me?"
Koiwai jumped in his seat and almost tore the contract in his hands. Annoyed, he swiveled in his chair to face the source of the noise.
Yanda was clutching his head and rubbing his hair roughly. "AH! I don't want to translate HP!"
Koiwai froze. He practically resembled an ice sculpture. He looked at the attached sheet he skipped. He sucked in his breath and zoomed in on the horrifying details.
eep all details, manuscript text, and the fact that you are the
anslator of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to yourse-
until the official publication date in which your name
rs in credit.
ssigned partner: Yasuda Yanda
Koiwai's hands covered his face. Of course his partner would be none other than the idiot next door. That's luck for you.
Now it was Yanda's turn to facepalm himself. He had just found out who he's translating with. He let his elbows slump off the edge of the desk and onto his knees, still clutching his face.
Koiwai smiled a little at the familiar gesture.
Fortunately, the coffee mug's shadow reached Koiwai's bag. Finally, it was time to meet up with Jumbo!
He shut down his macintosh and turned off the speakers. After a short stretch, he slipped his messenger bag over his shoulder. Perhaps he still felt happy about planning to travel abroad but Koiwai decided to reassure the new intern.
"Oi!" he called, seeing Yanda's bored face.
"Listen, this isn't so bad. We'll talk more next week about the HP project. I've had experience with translating books that are over 500 pages long. I'm not gonna torture you. I know how we'll split up the work, so don't worry kid," said Koiwai with a grin.
Yanda was listening intently. He looked at Koiwai and studied his expression for a while. Then he broke into a grin too.
"Alright, sempai. Sorry I yelled at you. I guess I got into it a little too much, ha!"
Koiwai laughed. "It's okay. I act like a kid sometimes too."
"Haha, it's nice to see you two get along again. So, did you like my partner arrangement?" asked their manager cheerfully.
At 6 o' clock everyone punched out their time card. A few of their coworkers stayed behind and hung out by the time clock to talk. Yanda and Koiwai took the elevator down once again.
The younger one bowed before he left to get his bike. Koiwai saw Jumbo pull up.
Jumbo flipped up his visor and put down the kickstand. "Yo! Can you get me a soda before we leave? Make it a Nestea."
Koiwai dropped his bag into the sidecar. "Yeah, sure! Anything else? We've got a new snack vending machine too."
"Nah, just that. I'll wait here."
Koiwai waved off the money Jumbo offered him. He felt like a free loader, even though he did pay a quarter of their mortgage as rent. But the rides were free so buying the drinks was the least he could do.
Besides, it prevented Jumbo from getting one on him.
He pulled the door open and walked off into the lobby's snack room where all the vending machines were. He popped the yen in and grabbed the can.
As he walked back into the lobby he heard Yanda's voice.
"Huh?" Koiwai walked over toward Yanda, who was asking the custodian something.
"Maybe you have an air pump somewhere?"
The custodian shook his head. "Sorry, Yasuda-kun, but that I don't have. I do have some duct tape for the hole though. If you wrap it around thick enough, you might still be able to ride it."
"Flat tire huh?"
Yanda whipped his head around. "Yeah, I guess I'll have to take the bus."
"This just isn't your day kid. The bus should be coming soon anyway. Ja!" said Koiwai. He began to walk away. Then he stopped as a thought occurred to him. "Well, my friend has a sidecar. I haven't asked him yet, but would you like a ride?"
"How surprisingly generous of you Koiwai-kun," remarked the custodian with a chuckle.
Koiwai pretended to frown at him. "I am generally generous."
The other two laughed. After much reassuring that it wasn't a problem, sempai and kohai headed back out.
Koiwai saw that Jumbo's helmet was off and resting on the handlebar. What was surprising was seeing that giant resting in the sidecar. His legs were so long that they were draped over the front, his foot could probably touch the sidewalk if he tried.
Yanda's eyes widened. "Who is that? Some kind of giant starfish?"
"That is Jumbo," answered Koiwai with a sheepish grin at his best friend. That was what he liked about Jumbo, he always kept it simple and never cared about what anyone thought.
Or maybe he just wasn't aware that what people do at home like lounging around isn't supposed to be done in public.
Yanda blinked in surprise. He watched as his coworker prodded the large man awake. The black and yellow Suzuki motorcycle was revved up to go.
Koiwai sat all the way by one side of the sidecar. He wondered why Yanda was just standing there. Then he remembered and called out over the hum of the engine, "My friend says he'll give you a ride. So c'mon!"
"... Koiwai-san is kinda cool," Yanda mused out loud. He hurriedly folded up his bike and shoved it down into the foot space.
As Jumbo drove onto the main road he greeted the new comer.
"Hey kid! Koiwai tells me your the newbie at his working place. It's nice to meet you, I'm Takashi Takeda by the way."
"Huh? I thought your name was Jumbo?" asked Yanda in confusion.
Jumbo gave Koiwai the evil eye, who ignored it.
"That's my secret name. Only my friends can call me that!" roared Jumbo, as he waved his gloved fist in the air.
"Okay, okay Jum- I mean, what was your name again?" asked Yanda nervously. Jumbo was twice his size after all. He didn't want to anger a giant.
Koiwai roared with laughter. Since Koiwai was seated on the side by the motorcycle, he was able to reach out and pound on Jumbo's back.
"AHAHAHA! Oh, that's funny! See, I told you it's better to just use 'Jumbo'. Nobody ever remembers your real name," said Koiwai, in between gasps of air.
Jumbo glowered and pouted. Koiwai was referring to their inside joke that since Takeshi Takeda was such a common name, it was better to use a name that described him perfectly so that people would remember what to call him. Like Jumbo since he's a jumbo-sized human.
Never mind, they're both weird! thought a disgruntled Yanda to himself.
Jumbo sighed. "Alright Yanda-kun, you can call me Jumbo. But when I'm with the ladies, call me Takeshi-sama."
"I don't think so," retorted Yanda before he caught himself. He grew scared at the glare Jumbo gave him. "I m-mean, yeah, sure, Takeshi-sama!"
"Haha, don't let him worry you, Yanda-kun. Jumbo acts like this all the time, but deep down he's nothing but a kitty cat."
As Yanda pointed out the directions back to his apartment, they all talked about where they were from. The usual introductory topics.
"Well kid, here's your stop."
Yanda took off his seatbelt. "Yeah, thanks Jumbo-san." The blond looked up at the apartment. "I just moved in here a couple months ago. And almost everyone on my floor's an old person. Oh well, have a nice weekend!"
Koiwai sat upright. "Hey wait! Jumbo, you think it'll be okay if he comes with us to check out that minivan you wanted?"
Jumbo left a voice message for Koiwai earlier about a used car dealer store that had a discount for the summer.
Jumbo smiled. "Hey, great idea! No problem, the car dealer store doesn't close until 8 anyway. So whaddya think Yanda-kun."
Yanda was barely following their exchange. "Wow, so it's okay if I come?"
"Thanks again! So why a minivan? You don't look that old to own one."
The Suzuki was revved up again. Jumbo turned his bike around as he answered, "My dad owns a flower shop and sometimes I deliver the flowers. The problem is that this bike of mine goes too fast so the petals fly off."
"I also live with him and his dad at their house. I don't have the problem you have Yanda-kun, but I wouldn't mind renting an apartment if I could afford it," added Koiwai as he watched a mother and her daughter cross the street.
Yanda looked forward, with the breeze rushing into his face. He felt relieved a little. The stress of moving into a new place and then landing a job took so many tries and a lot of time saving up. But now he was here in a cool motorcycle, with these guys who might see him as a new friend.
He felt like someone threw a bucket of cold water on him. Not as a practical joke, but as a way to help stay cool in the summer's heat.
"You know what, Jumbo-san?"
"I think a hummer matches you."
Jumbo turned the handlebars abruptly left to right, causing them to swerve.
"HEY! DON'T SCARE US LIKE THAT!"
*I'm using the UK version since that's the original of Harry Potter
*Usagi Pen=Rabbit Pen, based on the Luna Pen in Sailor Moon. And the fact that Yotsuba wears a rabbit t-shirt when she goes out
EXTRA: There's a lot of references to the manga hereXD The hint about Koiwai going overseas and meeting a girl, that's where my story will end. Right before he leaves. So probably I'll write 2 more chaps. Please review!