|❝||in the latest midnight hours when the world has gone to sleep, you've gotta get up. when doubts begin to rise and the world is at your feet, you've gotta get up. reach, it's not as bad as it seems. i cleanse in the river for somebody else, for anyone but myself. i'm not a selfless man, i'm not a man of wealth.||❞|
With the prompting of an extra bit of money in his pockets, the redhead makes a choice to return to Motor City in bated breath. Saving his graces the past few weeks came a little harsher than wanted, but the redhead managed still, somewhat, though he'd been pulled thin from his nights outside his workshop, neither machine nor trinket being made underneath his calloused palm. There were very few things that genuinely provided the happiness that his spirit craved every once in a while, and the most concrete of these instances are the times he'd dive head-long into a project long overdue up until he'd work tirelessly at perfecting the little trinket at the crack of early dawn.
This was within reason, he thinks, good reason that'd do him some much desired satisfaction if anything else.
"Oh...look who decided to stop by." chuckled a voice from behind the adjacent store, his voice course with age, "I haven't seen you in a long while Jing, what've you been up to?"
The slayer returns the gesture of familiarity in joyful spirits, further complimenting it with a wave far too energetic as he bobbed on up to the small but reliable auto-parts dealer. Business like this littered the very background of Motor City, but old man Morris sold other things out of personal interest, attracting the strange and weird tastes of the likes of Xiao Jing.
"The usual, hehe." he grinned, "So what's the lineup for the week?"
Morris looked to be more than just slightly enthusiastic as the young man asked, his wrinkled old face holding up a smile that was as close to his youth as he could get. "Ahh...good, good, my son will be here soon with the new deliveries, actually, would you care to wait?"
Patience? He had all the patience to give in this situation, most especially. "A little waiting game isn't gonna bother me." he'd say, a smidgen of his questionable pride resurfacing before ebbing back away. "So...has Elliot proposed to her yet?"
Behind his old, wooden counter, old man Morris takes to the question with a loud, dejected sigh. His boney shoulders looked to have sunken slightly as he moved to fetch his pipe in the drawer closest to him. He lights it, the smoke rising with his next words, "...Not yet. But I hope he'll do it soon. That son of mine is stalling too long, I don't know what's up with him."
Morris sucks a lungful into his mouth upon pausing, letting a bunch of willowy gray laces to bunch up across his store. Xiao Jing is the least person to mind the man's smoking habits, only because another sinewy old fellow in his life (an important one, at that) practiced the same habit, though that pipe in his memories was finely crafted solely for that peculiar inventor - gold linings taking the appearance of lightning across a dark, cloudy sky.
The old man grins with a shaking head, perhaps resigning to the idea that his son may take a bit longer to bring home a wife, much less children. "As his father, all I can do is support him, and hope he makes a move sooner or later...I wanna see my grandchildren, after all!"
It didn't take much to realize the joking tone of the last statement...for him, anyway. The slayer picked up on implications at a descent pace, a skill that served him well in his dealings with traders of varying ideals. "Heh, that I'd like to see." he said, in spite of himself.
"What I'd like to really see," Morris took a huff, "-is you actually getting involved with someone."
The smoke that curled up in Jing's face nearly had him reeling, but not as much as what the old man took to thought. For the longest time, the redhead lost the gravity that pulled humans to love someone else. The interest died with his sister, he thinks, gravely, pocketing his balled fists in an attempt to bury the memory with it.
"Me? Get involved? Ahahaha, very funny~" he bickered, waving both his hands in front of him in a likelihood that it'd show his hesitance at the idea, "You know I don't have the time, plus I don't think anyone would want to look at this ugly mug for the rest of their lives."
"Hooo, in my eyes I see a fine young man with a little bit more than muscle to him." Morris spoke back, waving his pipe suggestively across the redhead's figure, "I don't doubt your ability to woo someone if you wanted to."
'Oh please no.'
Before he could crack a bit more rejecting tenses for this damning conversation, the sound of frustrated flapping filled his ear canal with a complimentary scream of his name, where the curled tail of his exceed shook in contempt.
"JING!" Meilin screeched, her trills too high for comfort, "Where have you been?! I found the lady we were gonna do the job with and you just disappeared on me!" she said.
The exceed looked to be fuming, her cheeks round from air and her eyes a dangerously condemning shade of gold - a minute shiver tore through him as he raked up an apology.
"Crap...um...I'm sorry Meimei...~" he cooed, his grin twitching.
"Ugh! Just come with me you silly bastard, move your bum!" the exceed spat, darting off in another direction down the street.
As if expecting the intrusion, old man Morris passes the slayer with a knowing smile before sending him off, "Cats are scary when they're mad. Better get going boy."
Somehow, regardless if he'd been given only a bit of time, Jing managed to return the smile as he bowed in apology, immediately choosing to chase after his little witch friend down a sketchy row of houses. This...was a very interesting area. What at sort of person was this alleged 'partner'? The thought piqued his curiousness tenfold.