2019-09-12 - Maybe A Koi


Babs seeks out Ken, not the Silver Samurai, and organises lessons.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Sep 12 05:55:58 2019
Location: Dojo

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Theme Song



Kenichio Harada is sweeping.

The Dojo is a very simple place. It only has a few rooms, most of them quite large. There are mats that go on the floor which are stacked up at the moment. There are racks of both practice and real martial arts weapons. And at the moment other than those weapons, there is just him.

He looks different here, clad in a simple white garment that's sort of like a robe, with socks but no shoes using a simple straw broom to sweep the dust out onto the street. It's the early afternoon and there's no sign of students. Which is probably because Ken doesn't teach them every day and in the scheme of things there aren't TOO many of them.

A shadow falls in the doorway of the Dojo accompanied by the slight *tack* *tack* of a cane. The stop sounds just inside the doorway and Kenichio will see the shadow fall still as well.

In the doorway a redhead stands, leaning heavily on a cane, the long skirt of the dress she wears falling to her ankles. After glancing around, she removes her shoes and places neatly to the side before proceeding inwards.

"Uh hello." She says just loud enough to be heard over the broom. "I was wondering about getting some training…"

Yes. Her with the cane.

Ken looks up from his sweeping and this is the first time that Babs has seen his entire face. Well, his entire face without a demon mask on it. He quirks a single brow but gestures for Babs to come in. She clearly has trouble getting around or at least that's how it looks. That tends to make the martial arts difficult.

"Welcome to my Dojo. Whom do I have the honor of speaking with and what kind of training were you seeking?"

It probably says something that he asks that BEFORE saying he probably can't help someone in her physical condition though it's clear that he's thinking he's going to have to.

It's an interesting face and Babs spends a moment examining it. Of course, it's committed to memory by the time she's done. She smiles pleasantly, reserved but not standoffish, as she holds her hand out. "Barbara Gordon." He might know that name, the last name at least.

"I need to strengthen my core and my help my back heal. I also want to learn to defend myself now that I'm standing. I have … some … skill that I developed when I was in my chair."

Is he going to turn her away. She's slim. Clearly looks after herself. But that … cane.

"Pleased to meet you." Ken says. "Kenuichio Harada. Or Sensei to my students. Gordon. As in, the renowned police officer? Or no relation?"

Barbara Gordon is not a name he knows. But Gordon, well he's been here long enough to have learned that name. If she IS a police officer's daughter her interest in self defense makes sense.

"Are you able to stand without the cane. I can teach you things. I can teach you to fight. But I am not a therapist. If your body needs healing I am much less qualified to guide you in that, though what I do teach has its benefits."

"Pleased to meet you too, Harada-san." Barbara answers. She'll use Sensei if he takes her - not that she's expecting he will. "My father. James Gordon. Yes." She's related. "Does it make a difference?" there's some light teasing there and her voice is so different to Batgirls modulated one.

"I can for a short period and I'm not after therapy, Harada-san, I have a therapist. It's fitness and training that I want. I won't ever be as I was, I know that, but I can be better than I am now."

Those green eyes hold his, almost daring him to refuse her.

"Hmmmm." Ken turns away from her and lays the broom against the wall. He walks to a rack with a number of bokken on it and selects two. After testing the balance on both he tosses one to Babs, partly to see if she will catch it, and partly to see if she will pick it up if she does not catch it.

"Let us see where you are starting." He pulls himself into a classic 'ready' stance. One foot forward, the other extended back. Waster held upright at waist level. He waits to see how she will respond.

Babs is in a long skirt and leaning heavily on that cane when Ken tosses the bokken at her. It's a good thing she's practiced missing the catch because her reflexes are good. Her free hand comes up nearly catching the weapon but at the last minute she fumbles, the wooden sword clattering to the ground.

With a sigh, the redhead drops her shoulder bag and lets the cane fall as she painfully bends to retrieve the weapon.

"I'm not dressed for training you know …" she mutters as spends a moment knotting the skirt at her calves. The skirt is full enough that won't restrict movements much. Then she takes up position in an answering stance.

Ken will notice that she wasting lying she'd pick up some skills. He'll also notice that her stance is off - adjusted for a seated position not a standing one.

"We are not going to train just yet." Kenuichio responds. "I simply want to see what you are able to do."

He advances on her, slowly and then telegraphs a slow strike directly at her with no force behind it, but one that would require her to raise her arms to block. Then he follows that with an equally slow and telegraphed reverse downward sweep that requires her to shift her guard below her knees to block.

"I could say I'm not dressed to fight, either but … that rather defeats the purpose of what I'm asking for help with, doesn't it?" Barbara answers, there's lines of pain etched across her face as she stands there. Some of that is a act but not all - the Bat Suit she wears helps support her back, without it, standing is difficult.

The strike is deflected nearly expertly, the woman shifting her weight and wincing as muscles pull. She flows into the next move, shifting the position of the sword to knock his away, a sharp intake of breath indicating the discomfit.

"Enough." Ken lowers his weapon and bends down to pick up Bab's cane and hand it to her.

"I can teach you. You have the range of movement necessary for at least the starting lessons. I can see that you had fighting experience prior to this. May I ask what kind?"

He motions for her to follow as he moves to put the bokken back on the racks and then into the next room where there is an iron teapot sitting on a small burner heating. There's some powdered matcha sitting nearby. He'd clearly been preparing to make tea for himself.

"I can go longer." Babs grits out but lowers the bokken and accepts the cane. As Ken puts the bokken back, she unknots the skirt and grabs her bag. There's a light sheen of sweat across her forehead. Is she that good of an actor or does it really hurt?

"I'm very teachable…" she responds as she follows the man. "Seated mostly. I trained a bit when I was injured, I didn't want to be vulnerable again. Mostly escrima though."

Seeing the teapot and the matcha, Babs pauses at the door "I'm interrupting your tea time. I can come back, Harada-san." He might not notice the way her eyes scan the area, taking everything in, noting things.

"Stay." Ken says, countering her offer to leave. There isn't much to this room. There's not much to any of them. Open spaces. Paper screens. Cushions instead of chairs. The low table with the burner in the center to heat food or drink. It's all very Japanese, really.

Ken sits down and pours a cup of hot water, and then a second. Then he carefully spoons matcha into both and whisks them. It's not a tea ceremony. Those are far more formal. No this is just making tea.

"My dojo is fairly obscure. I do not advertise much other than by the words of my students and the price of my teaching is higher than most. How did you find me, Gordon-San? And why did you decide to ask me to teach you?"

Austere would be the word that Babs applies to the place. She hesitates for a moment before moving into his space. "I would like that. I adore Matcha, it's just hard finding a good one around here." She admits quietly, eyeing the cushions as she does.

It takes a moment for her to lower herself, not sitting crosslegged as one might expect but curling legs to the side and spreading her skirt over them.

"I asked around some people. Haunted some online forums to see what was being said. You're not the only enigmatic Sensei in the New York area, or even Staten Island." beat "You might be the most expensive one, though, if that makes you feel better."

"Well. I have to be the best at SOMETHING other than swordsmanship." Ken seems to be confident that he IS the best swordsman among the people mentioned. Babs' tea is set in front of her and it IS indeed quite good. Ken brews up a good cup as it turns out not that this should be much of a surprise.

"Congratulations then. It worked. I shall take you on. We will discuss fees later. At the moment let us simply enjoy the tea."

Which he does, taking a sip. "What, if I may ask, happened to your back?"

Babs notes the cups that Ken uses, everything recorded with that perfect memory of hers. "Well, you are." Her green eyes glitter in amusement as takes the cup. "And thank you, Sensei." She inclines her head in acknowledgement before taking a sip of the tea.

And sighing in pleasure.

"You may ask. It's not a very exciting story, really." Babs answers, eyes floating to the middle distance as she thinks on it. "I was shot in the stomach by a home invader. The bullet nicked spine and destroyed the nerves. I was never supposed to walk again." Which might indicate it was several agos that it occured.

A home invader she said. The daughter of Staten Islands police commissioner.

"Quite an unfortunate story. But you did indeed walk again." She walks with a cane but that is quite the improvement for someone who was supposed to be chairbound for the rest of their life. He doesn't ask for any detail on the invader. It was likely a terrifying and traumatic experience and he's more interested in what led her to be here.

"It was that which caused you to learn fighting to begin with yes?" That's not strictly speaking true but he doesn't know that and has no reason to suspect otherwise. "And what does the daughter of the Police Commissioner do in her spare time, if I may ask?"

"Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, yes." Babs answers, holding the mans eyes as she sips her tea again. "It is that which caused me to learn to fight from my chair, yes." That is not a lie, not at all. Just because Babs knew how to fight before that is immaterial with that statement.

"Apart from being known for her own woman?" That's lightly teasing. Babs isn't a teen or even in her early twenties. "I'm a private investigator. Gordon Investigations. It kept me sane while I was recovering from my injury and gave me something to focus on when I had."

She's giving him enough information to get a picture of her. The picture she wants him to have.

"And what brings a celebrated Sensei like yourself to our shores, Harada-san?" If she knew the man better she might tease with a too much competition at home? But she doesn't.%r

"My family has investments here and we are recently recovering from paying off a number of debts." To the Yakuza. Ken does not add that part. There is an image he wishes to project as well and there's no need for details like that. It's true anyway.

"I was asked to come and oversee them, which I am doing but it is neither my true talent nor my passion. So I check in on the companies and then come here to teach." Those are not the only things he does but they ARE things that he does.

"Hrm. I do not think I have ever taught a private investigator before. This should be quite interesting. Will you require any special accommodations I should be aware of?"

It might not take long for Oracle to find out that information, if she doesn't know it already. Babs smiles and nods pleasantly. "Looking after ones family is important. It is good you can balance both then - your family responsibility and your passion. I imagine at times the two conflict though." She's a policemans daughter, she should understand.

"Oh I assure you, Harada-san, we're the same as your standard garden variety investigators." Babs lips twitch but she manages to keep a straight face. "And I have lodgings, thank you."

She lets the silence draw on that, waits for what she said to land on him before she smiles "No, I don't require anything of special note. But if you'd like, I can write up a care and feeding guide for Private Investigators."

Oh. She's a wit.

The Japanese man gives Babs a mild look over another sip of tea. "I do not think that will be necessary. You will be a student. Not a goldfish." Well, Koi perhaps. She's got the swishy bits to be a koi if she really wanted that.
#781odgings indeed.

"Why do I have the feeling that you tend to be a somewhat difficult student? The intelligent ones always are, for some reason." Nevermind that she's at least his age. He's the sensei here.

"I'm a very good student, Sensai." Barbara answers, lips quirking just a little. "And I assure you, I don't have the memory of a goldfish." Oh, he's probably well aware of that. Ah, he is. "But I might be challenging for you after a while. At least I hope so."

The intelligent ones are always are.

Finishing her tea, Babs inclines her head and sets the cup down on the table. "Domo arigato, Harada-san. I fear I have intruded on your time enough. Do you wish to discuss fees now and a schedule? I can be somewhat flexible in my times." She really does want the lessons, not to mention that it will let her learn more of the masked stranger.

"We may do that yes." He inclines. Samurai of old never spoke of money. It was considered dirty and beneath them. Ken finds that this is not really possible these days. Everyone after all has to earn a living and if one is going to run a dojo making enough to keep the lights on is nice even if he doesn't strictly speaking need it.

He pours them both another cup. They may need the tea while they discuss this.

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