DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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DAY 28: Lil’ Tyke Toys
Bring It On, Grin, Destroy
sugarsweetblood wrote in damned
[from here]

She rounded the street corner onto another, but did not stay on this other street for long. The sign for "Lil’ Tyke Toys" was quickly visible just to her right. Coming upon the store, she looked in the display windows, finding the toys to be very similar to her own. Everything from her usual plush dolls that she tossed about to those precious porcelain ones that she smashed the faces of. Some of those would go really well in her room too.

When she entered the store, she caught the "antique toy" smell that always seemed to overpower whatever smell the newer toys were supposed to have. It was somewhat refreshing, even those she didn't actually go into stores like thi sback home. She bet stores like this were where the Earl sent his Akuma minions to fetch the gifts he presented her with.

There was a small display dedicated to the porcelain dolls that Rhode found herself drawn to. Dolls were the closest thing she had to being a "normal little girl", and though it sickened her to have any kind of attachment to human things, she could not help herself. She stared at a few, eyes analyzing the perfect faces, the pastel dresses rimmed with lace, and the messes of brightly colored curls. Rhode would never look as any of these dolls did, but their perfectness is what drew her to them. Dolls were about as fragile as humans, and broke just as easily as human hearts. How she longed to just take one and smash it on the floor to remind herself of that feeling - how she could, with ease, shatter something so completely.

The display was to high for her to reach though. The shop owner was smart in that decision. Even a relatively normal child would have run the risk for accidentally breaking a doll. He probably hadn't considered that any customer would enter wanting to break a doll, but it was just as well. Rhode hoped for a moment that some small bit of her power might trickle back momentarily. With that, she could have bade a doll to slide forward just enough to come toppling from the shelf. It would look the accident, but Rhode's smile would betray her. The delight would be in her eyes while she had them cast over the glass shards littering the floor. It was a shame that manufactured dolls couldn't bleed.

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When Heiji got off the bus, he didn't see much that he could consider out of the ordinary or particularly interesting. He strolled down the street, hands in his pockets, enjoying the fresh air. Of course, he couldn't help but notice that a nurse and orderly were following at a sizable distance. How annoying...

In a move to get away from the people tailing him (as a detective, it made him really nervous to have someone following him), he ducked into what could only be described as a toy store.

He cast a glance around the shop--there was a young girl talking with a man. The owner? And another girl talking with a teenaged girl around his age. He picked up a porcelain doll with a bright kimono and painted face.

Heiji frowned, a little homesick. He missed Kaz-- Kyoto. Yeah, Kyoto.

Having finished with the person of undetermined gender, Kathy walked over to a recognizably male customer and smiled at him. Everyone seemed interested in the dolls today. She wondered if it was a thing crazy people had.

"Hello there!" she called, mustering up her cheer since her boss was behind her at the counter. "Anything I can help you with?"

"Huh?" Heiji looked up at the girl from the doll. "Oh, nah, I'm just lookin' at stuff," He set the doll back down, but didn't stop looking at it. "Just... miss home. Weird, huh?"

The teen detective grinned at the girl, "I'm Hattori Heiji, but you can just call me Heiji if you like. What's your name?"

He'd used this technique before. Heiji, much like Shinichi, could flash a friendly smile and get people to talk rather easily. The more he knew about where he was, the better...

Kathy kept the smile going, thinking how sad it was that someone so friendly could be a crazy person. If he hadn't been stuck in an Institute, maybe they could have hit it off in some weird alternate reality. "Not so weird to miss home and my name is Kathy."

Hattori Heiji? Wasn't that Japanese? She wondered if that was his real name or the delusional name he'd made up. Whatever it was, the guy was kind of cute so it wouldn't hurt to humor him. "So where're you from?"

"Kathy," Heiji said, giving the girl a dazzling smile. "That's a nice name. You come here often?" He laughed at his own joke.

"But anyway, I'm from Osaka! It's the greatest place to visit in Japan! You should go--on vacation or something! I can give you a list of great places to eat, the best things to go see... pretty much anything! Everyone says it's about Tokyo, but they got it all wrong! Osaka's the place to go for everything!"

Heiji decided it was time he used the oldest trick in his book. His elbow found the shelf, casually of course, and the doll he'd just been looking at began to tilt. Heiji's hands shot out mechanically, catching the doll.

"Ah! God, sorry about that!" He said, putting the doll back on the shelf and acting flustered, "I'm such a spaz sometimes... I wasn't really paying attention." He gave Kathy a quick glance, then suddenly busied himself with 'making sure he wouldn't knock anything else over'.

[ooc: sorry for the massive posting fail. DX]

Kathy remained smiling through Heiji's corny joke because the boy was cute. He apparently was Japanese, but she couldn't figure out why his English was so good then. Maybe living in Osaka was part of his delusion. That was too bad. She would have liked to see it sometime - not that she'd probably ever leave this town, but it was nice to have a dream.

When he suddenly knocked the doll over, she jumped forward to catch it and sighed in relief when Heiji did instead. "Please be careful. Mr. Jones is nice and all, but if you break something he'll have to make you pay for it."

[THAR IS NO FAIL! :D]

"Heh heh... which would be really bad, considerin' I don't have any money on me, and I don't see many dishes around this place," He smiled. "And I don't suppose saying 'I was distracted!' would work. Or he'd just let me off because I'm a crazy." He snorted. At least the sarcasm part of his act was genuine.

Heiji looked back at the doll, a little wistful, "I've been locked up in that building for so long now," he sighed. "Hey, what's going on outside in the world?" The detective smiled eagerly, "I haven't gotten any letters from my parents or friends--they're too sad or scared to write to me. But you could tell me, right Kathy? You're not scared of me, right?"

He felt a small pang of guilt at lying so much to an innocent girl, but he had to figure out at least where he was and what was going on. The more he knew about the outside situation, the more he'd know about why he was kidnapped.

Kathy laughed and shook his head. Heiji acted too normal to be crazy, but maybe he was just normal now. She'd never really met crazy people before. "Probably not. He's a great boss, but he's still a businessman."

She watched as the old man moved to the couple who'd come in awhile ago. Heiji's sigh brought her back to the conversation and she blinked. The outside world? Didn't the doctors tell them anything? Kathy shrugged and started straightening the shelves so it didn't look like she was slacking on the job. "Not really - you seem pretty harmless and it's not like Landel's is a hospital for the criminally insane. It's a shame you're up there though - you're a nice guy."

As for what was going on the outside world? Well, she didn't really watch TV or read the newspaper, so she didn't know what she could tell him. "Doyleton's pretty boring. Not a whole lot goes on here other than gossip you might hear from the salon."

Heiji blinked at Kathy, as if shocked to hear her say such a thing, "Hey... you're embarrassin' me!" He rubbed the back of his head and laughed nervously. "But it really is a shame I'm up there. You're a nice girl," He flashed another charming smile.

Which became just a little more forced when confronted with the problem of Kathy not exactly getting what Heiji was asking.

"I see..." Heiji said, trying to sound interested. It wasn't really the kind of information he'd been hoping for, but beggars couldn't be choosers. He'd just have to wheedle a bit more...

"It does seem pretty boring around here. Quiet at least. Bet no one's been murdered out here or anythin', which is nice. Where I come from, I'm pretty much guaranteed to run into some kinda criminal activity whenever I walk down the street. Don't even get me started on Tokyo or my other friend Kudo. S'pose you don't hear about much bad stuff goin' on in the world all the way out here, naa?"

As soon as Elliot passed by, Kathy went back to paying her full attention to Heiji. It was nice to flirt with someone new since most of the guys she knew had been her friends since kindergarten. It was a little hard to flirt with a guy when you still remember him shoving peas up his nose. She laughed a little and twirled the end of her long hair as she thought about his question. "Nah, no murders or anything like that. We're small enough that the worst we get is the idiots at school doing stuff like graffiti. Everyone knows their handwriting though, so they get in trouble anyway."

Her eyes went wide at the thought of criminals running wild like that. Doyleton was safe as could be, but this Osaka place was starting to sound scary rather than exciting. "Is it really that bad? Man, I guess I should ask my mom to start getting newspapers or something. I'm usually busy here or at school so I don't hear a lot about what's going on in the world. Calculus, you know? Eats your soul."

She smiled apologetically, but was getting the feeling that Heiji was trying to pry information out of her for some reason. How was she supposed to know any of that stuff? Her biggest concern was earning enough from her part time job to blow the money on books at the store.

Heiji's eyes flicked briefly to the hair twirling and he smiled, "So no need for detectives around here, I guess. If all you have is stupid culprits, there's no need for deduction. That's too bad." He sighed.

"Osaka's not bad at all," He continued, "Just a city, y'know? The crime rate in cities is pretty bad, but nonexistent in small towns like this. My dad's the chief of police in Osaka, so we pretty much solve all the outstanding cases there. Dunno if you'd hear about them all the way out here though," Heiji flashed another grin. "Unless you've heard something about the famous high school detectives Hattori Heiji and Kudo Shinichi? Maybe a really famous thief called Kaitou Kid?"

Doubtful, but it'd be a place to start.

Kathy shook her head apologetically. None of these names rung a bell with her. It wasn't like she'd ever been to Osaka before! Besides, small town newspapers were one or two page affairs about the weather and the latest changes in gossip or complaining about the graffiti in Morris Park. It wasn't like anyone could do anything about that, though. Tree carvings were pretty permanent. "Sorry, I don't think I've ever heard of them... We don't really hear about Japan here in Doyleton."

"Hey, it's no problem!" Heiji grinned, "Jus' means you have a lot waiting for you to discover, yeah? Unless you're planning to just stay here. And what a waste that'd be," His expression relaxed into his best charming smile, "Pretty things shouldn't be kept hidden away in plain boxes."

If Kazuha ever found out he was doing this, he would be so dead.

The storekeep laughed and shook her head. Staying here was the last thing she was going to do. She had college in a few years, after all! It really was a shame about Heiji. He was pretty suave and good-looking to boot. "Nah, I'll be out of here for awhile when I go to college. After that, who knows, eh?" She blushed a little and looked down, the smile never leaving her face. Not many people around here ever called her pretty. "Maybe I can visit Osaka someday."

"Yeah, I haven't started applying anywhere yet," He said with a nervous laugh. "But I'm probably going to have a hard time, y'know? Being hospitalized never looks good, especially with the stupid delusion I had." Heiji looked embarrassed.

"I thought I was a guy from Canada. Stupid, huh? I've never even been to Canada. Glad the doctors got me all straightened out though," He smiled. "It's easier to talk to people now, y'know? And it'd be really hard to show you around Osaka if I was still insisting I was from Canada!" He laughed.

Canada? Kathy laughed before she realized how rude she was being, coughing to cover up her mistake. Really though, Canada? "Well, you never know, maybe it'll make you stand out in the application process."

That was some lame sort of cover up there. Kathy wanted to smack herself in the face, but she laughed along with Heiji and tried not to feel awkward. "So are you on the road to recovery then?"

Heiji's eyes widened slightly as Okita entered the store. Long purple-haired man... that had to be him! Wow... How awesome was that? The legend inside the very toy store he was in!

...why was he walking towards the candy counter? Okita was looking around the store--definitely marking the two employees, one of whom Heiji was conveniently distracting. Heiji knew that look. Okita wanted candy, and none of the patients were carrying any money. He must have been going the cheap and dirty route.

"Yeah!" Heiji said, shifting around to face the counter, so that Kathy would have her back to it. "The doctors say I should be out really soon--which is good news for me. I really miss home. Hey, what d'you do for fun around here anyway?"

Heiji didn't really condone shoplifting... but it was Okita frickin' Souji. Plus, if the swordsman got caught, there went their match. Down a needle and into Okita's bloodstream.

If anything could be said about Kathy, it was that she was a nice girl, but entirely too single-minded. While Elliot would have noticed the purple-haired man enter the store and begin filching candy, Kathy was focused on Heiji and the good news that he was getting out of the Institute soon. "Really? Awesome! I'm glad you're doing better."

As for what they did for fun...? "Doyleton's so boring and I guess I'm a bit of a nerd. I like to go to the book store or rent videos. Sometimes people go to the park and whatnot, but we don't do a whole lot."

It was kind of embarrassing, actually. City life compared to suburbia always sounded so boring.

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a young man - brown hair and blue eyes - move to give Okita cover. What a strange sort of person, but he wasn't going to let the opportunity slip him by. With the storekeeper distracted, Okita slipped his hand into three different jars, swiping a bit of each, and deposited his ill-gotten gains in his pockets. He'd check to see what he'd stolen when he was safely away from the scene of the crime. He was finally getting to try Western candies!

Standing up, he nonchalantly moved away from the candy rack and over toward the door. Brown hair and blue eyes - could this be the boy he'd talked to earlier? He was certainly a patient, but so many others could fit that description that it was difficult to tell. He gave the man a quick look as he passed by, a subtle smile of gratitude, and slipped out into the street.

[going back out]

The corner of Heiji's mouth flicked into a small smirk in return. He noted that Okita was leaving the store--probably not the best decision, entering a store briefly and then leaving immediately. Before someone suspected something Heiji had to act quickly.

"My date's jealous, gotta run," He gave her a quick peck on the cheek. "See ya later, yeah? And read a newspaper, 'kay?" With a quick wave, he turned and walked to the door.

Oh yeah. He was so dead when he got back to Osaka.

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