Sanae Hanekoma stood behind the counter of the WildKat. Every few minutes he'd check his watch, as if waiting for something. It had been a slow day even by his standards, and he was tired of waiting. Closing the shop and drawing the blinds over all the windows, he checked his watch once more. As he looked up, he found the boyish young face of the Composer.
"Well, you certainly seem agitated. Not like you at all." The boy chided.
"Yeah, well, you sure seem young. That ain't much like you either." Hanekoma replied, his tone relaxed despite the anxiety starting to build in him. "So, before we get into the meat of things, I need some answers from you."
"Well then I'll need some questions from you." Joshua replied matter-of-factly, sidling into a booth. "One house blend, please." He placed his order.
"We're closed, Josh." Hanekoma replied, pouring him a cup anyway, and taking a seat across from him. "So, I've seen some reapers around..."
"How unusual. Someone who can see the game in play has spotted a reaper." Joshua told him, taking a sip.
"Cut the crap, Josh. You know I'm all for games, but this is serious. Those reapers were erased in the game. Now they're back." Joshua stared at him, slowly slurping up coffee in the most irritating manner possible. Finally, he set his cup on the table, giving a resigned sigh.
"It wasn't fair." He shrugged. "They were dragged into a game between me and Megumi with no idea what was going on. Anyone unfairly erased due to a breach in rules of the game has been reassembled. Also Rhyme, because...Well, let's face it, two friends wanted the same favor from me." He smirked, then added in a coy whisper. "I think one of them was you!"
"Right. So, on to the next question." Hanekoma removed his glasses, and rubbed the bridge of his nose between his forefinger and thumb. "Is he back?" Joshua merely shrugged.
"Not that I know of. I certainly didn't bring him back, at any rate. Hasn't stopped him from coming back at least once though." Another long, slurping sip.
"Y'know, there's cleanup that needs to be done after the mess that the game turned into." Hanekoma looked downcast for a moment. "Speaking of the mess... I'm sorry."
"Hey, no problem, Sanae. You made the game a lot more interesting. Now, as far as clean up, what did you have in mind?"
"You already know the answer, don't you?" Hanekoma asked, his face grim. Joshua gave a resigned sigh.
"Yeah...Yeah, I do. And I agree. But at this point, it's not really an imminent matter. Can we give them at least a little time off?"
"Hey, you're in closer control of this decision than I am. I mostly hafta just play advisor."
"...We'll wait as long as we can. At least long enough for me to do him a little favor." Joshua finished his coffee, and sighed. "I don't like this."
"Me neither." Hanekoma replied. "But something needs doing, and they've proven stronger than most of your reapers." They sat in silence for a moment, Sanae finally replacing his glasses on his face. "So, what's the favor?" He asked. "You wanna call him down here for it?" Joshua shook his head.
"Oh no. If I'm there, it'll make it much harder to do this for him." Joshua smirked, his eyes narrowing as he laughed to himself.
"Josh. Dude. Chills up and down my spine. Reel it in." Hanekoma told him wryly. "Anyway, I guess we both have a lot of work to do."
"Afraid so. Thanks for the coffee." Joshua exited the cafe, his eyes on the ground, and a certain heaviness to his posture.