The glasses sound with a gentle 'clink' when the bartender sets them down. Neither of us say a word when ice is scooped into each glass or when the liquer is poured. Strangley, Sendo seems rather displeased with something, and is simply staring into the space in front of him. The drinks are set in front of us - a vivid shade of transparent gold that seems to spark and flicker when I hold the glass up to the light. What exactly the liquid is composed of, however, I'm not entirely sure.
Silently, Sendo raises his glass towards me. My own glass meets it halfway, and we share a wordless toast. I take a slow sip; the drink is sweet. 'Almost like... chocolate?' I pause to look over at Sendo, who is preoccupied with draining his glass empty. He sets it down with far more force then necessary, and I wince when the glass meets the counter. His face is twisted in disgust, at which I can't help but ask, "You don't drink, do you?"
"Hell no." He answers, "Hate the taste. An' hangovers."
Silence again settles between us. I stare down at my glass, old memories stirred up by a familiar situation. It had been nearly two years since I last had to deal with a hangover. It was the morning after I returned from America, where I had gone for the amateur world championships.
For maybe the first time in my life, I was truly proud. Perhaps overly so, as it caused me to forget Mother's complete disapproval of my boxing. She had always praised my skills in everything but what Coach Ramsus claimed I was a godsend in -boxing. I tilt my glass back to take another drink, only to find it empty. '...Strange.' I didn't remember finishing the entire thing.
"What 'bout you?"
I can only reply with a rather stupid sounding "Eh?"
"Well..." I stall, considering how to answer, "You could say that."
I'm about to ask the bartender for another drink when I realize he's American. I inquire of him in my less than perfect Japanese if he speaks English, to which he replies yes. Switching to a more familiar language, I ask, "Do you know how to make an Arctic Mudslide?"
I get a nod in reply. "Two?" the man asks in broken English, gesturing to Sendo. I glance in his direction, and he's staring at me like I've just grown a second head. I can't help but feel a pang of guilt after catching sight of his still badly swollen right eye, and I grimace as I turn back to the bartender. "Two." I confirm.
"The hell was that about?" Comes Sendo's inevitable question.
"Ordering another round of drinks." I start chewing the ice from my first drink, something I tend to do when stressed, tired, or simply in a not overly pleasant mood. I'm surprised when he all he says is, "I bought the first round."
I had been expecting him so say something like 'active boxers shouldn't drink.' As the drinks are again set in front of us, he adds, "These are on you."
I chuckle bitterly at his comment. This time I'm the first one to finish off the glass, setting it down neither hard nor gentle on the bar. Sendo raises an eyebrow, "You weren't kiddin' around, huh?"
"Vodka is originally from Russia." I shrug.
Sendo snorts and rolls his eyes. "Yeah, an' I bet Russia ain't got a drinking age either."
"It doesn't." My reply is instantaneous, nearly cutting him off.
The Japanese boxer goes quiet for a moment before- "Bwahahaha! Right, sure it don't!" He laughs loudly.
I release a small sigh, choosing to remain silent. When the bartender walks by again, I slide my glass across the counter, and the man picks it up without so much as slowing down. My mood at the moment is far from sociable, hence my short replies and antisocial demeanor. I find another frozen mudslide set in front of me.
"...Were you serious?" Sendo finally speaks again.
"Yes." I don't even bother to look at him, choosing to focus on emptying my glass.
"You're not real friendly, are ya?"
"I'm not..." I have to pause the find the right words, "Not myself right now."
"An' lemme guess, it's my fault?"
I decide to be blunt.
"My gym here in Japan will be sending me back to Russia."
Sendo chokes. "What the hell?" The few people at the bar turn when he raises his voice. He drops the volume before he continues, "What's that supposed t' mean?"
"5 matches, 3 wins, 2 losses, 3 K.O. That will be my career as a pro boxer." I finish the last of my drink.
"You ain't just leavin Japan, but retiring?"
"Wha- you- why?"
"No gym wants a boxer like me." I start chewing ice again. Sendo finally stops asking questions, and part of me gives a sigh of relief. Said part of me is about to ask for yet another cocktail when something collides with the top of my head. Very hard.
A few Russian profanities fly from my mouth at the throbbing pain that sets in. Automatically, my hand presses to what I think is a small bump forming on my head. Before I can even turn to glare at my attacker, however, I find myself in a headlock. With a knuckle grinding into the side of my skull rather painfully.
"Ow! S-stop it!" I whisper harshly, and even though I can't tell at the moment, I'm sure that the few people still in the tavern are staring again.
"What the hell's your problem?" Sendo's voice is strangely calm, but definitely angry.
I resist the temptation to give him a thumbs up.
"What problem?" I don't bother to hide my irritation in the slightest, letting the venom practically drip from my voice.
"Actin' like it's the friggin' end of the world just 'cause you happened to lose."
"You don't-!" I begin.
"-Shut up an' let me finish, dammit." He interrupts. I again fight back the growing urge to give him a thumbs up. I settle for tapping a finger against my forehead and gritting my teeth.
"I lost to Makanochi, too, y'know." He -finally- releases me, sliding back onto his barstool as if nothing happened.
"...And?" I scratch the back of my neck with my right hand. Sendo doesn't take the hint. Wasn't there a gesture of the same meaning in Japan?
"So rather than sittin' here sulkin', get yer ass back to Ottowa and tell 'em you ain't done yet!"
I tap a finger to my forehead. Again. "...Are you an idiot?"
"Are you tryin' to pick a fight?" He shoots back.
"No." I deadpan. Sendo opens his mouth to say something, but I cut in, "I can't do something like that."
"Wha- wait a minute. Talk to your gym or pick a fight?"
I turn to look him in the eye. "Both."
"And why the hell not?" He returns the gaze.
That catches me completely off-guard. "I... am not in a position to ask that of them."
He manages to catch me off-gaurd yet again. "...What?"
"If ya can come to a friggin' foreign country just to box and beat the shit outta Japan's best infighters, then you can sure as hell ask for a damn favor."
"I'm sure the Ottowa gym would love to hear those reasons."
"I'm serious dammit!"
I choose to ignore him, looking away.
"Fine, damnit. Once I'm the featherweight world champion, I'll call you up fer my first title defence."
"Featherweight world champion, ne..." The title I thought was within my abilities. That might still be. But I don't have a choice. ...Right?
"So the next time we fight I'm gunna win by KO." Sendo carries on.
KO. Really. He throws such wide swings and has such a low guard, all I'd have to do to KO him is hang back and wait for a chance to counter and lay on some combos-
"What's that look for?" Sendo interrupts my imaginary KO.
Oh, right. I'd been told by a gym mate once that when I'm running a match scenario through my head I tend to get an intense stare.
"You're thinking about the rematch, ain't ya?"
He doesn't say anything back, but stares at me with an expression that says 'Uh-huh.' ...And very sarcastically at that. I avert my eyes to a corner of the room. Which doesn't really help.
"Fine; I was, damn you." I finally say, exasperated.
Sendo turns back to the bar with a satisfied smirk.
"...You're an ass." I turn to the bar as well.
"An' you're in denial."
Part of my self-restraint snaps. "In the small chance that Ottawa Gym actually allows me to stay in Japan, what makes you think they'll let me continue boxing?"
"So you're gunna ask them?"
I choke. And try to form a coherent sentence.
"That's not- I was-!"
Sendo is wearing a sly grin, an amused glint in his eye like he's watching a fish flop on dry land.
"Gh..." Cue facepalm. I turn back to the bar, sliding my glass across the counter for a refill. I can practically feel Sendo's gaze go from me to the glass and back to me again.
"...Are you seriously having another one?"
"Yes. And you're buying."
"Eh? Why the hell would I-"
"-Because it's your fault that I'm not leaving Japan quietly." I interrupt.
"Ya make that sound like a bad thing!" He retorts.
"I need an excuse to not go back to Ottowa for another day or so. Then I have time to find another gym or even just somewhere to stay."
The infighter stares at me incredulously, "You're going t' get piss drunk so that ya have a hangover tomorrow."
"You're friggin' crazy."
"That's your fault too."
A/N: I think Vorg is a patient person, but certain people -coughSendocough- have the ability to make him snap. And then he shows a not-so-nice side, which we don't really get to see in the series. Also, why is Vorg the only one we don't get a full backstory on? Sendo even has a one-shot to himself! Ah, and if you're curious about Vorg's gestures, they're Russian. I noticed when I watched the series over again that Vorg does a lot of talking with his hands in Round 47.
Tapping your index finger to your forehead: I/he/she/this person is an idiot
Scratching the side of your head (or ear) with the opposite hand, from behind your head: Stop beating around the bush/spit it out already
Thumbs up: screw you/up yours (this is basically flipping someone off)
I'm sooooo sorry for the lateness! I had no access to a computer for almost a month... But now I'm BACK! For the moment.
Read, Review, Enjoy, and look forward to some Miyata in the next chapter!