((OOC... yup its open. She is officially fair game.))
Really, she knew where that book was, mostly, sort of. OK so she had a general idea but the problem was it was in that first bedroom, her unofficial storage room, in a box and probably buried under other boxes. Reign was sure it would be easier to just go to the library and find another copy. She only needed a few things out of it.
She hated lugging her laptop about and so had left it home carrying only a backpack that doubled as a purse and held a binder with paper and pens. She didn't intend to stay long.
Dodging the helpful staff she rambled up to the third floor and started poking about. Luck was with her and she seemed to be in the right section. Ha! There it was on that top shelf. Stretching she could just touch it and if she was very careful... it would fall and hit her on the head.
"God damned it!
Library or not that had hurt and Reign was louder than the environment warranted. Pressing her hand to her head trying to control the pain, but not bothering to straighten her glasses, she squinted at the floor trying to find the large heavy book that had just attacked her.
Tai raised his eyebrows and smiled, listening to Reign's assessment. Funny, how she immediately assumed he wasn't an architect. He knew enough to pass, and his story would hold up in Japan if she decided to check into it but he somehow doubted she was any sort of a plant, even by his ex-family.
"I do like the pictures," he admitted. "Particularly the very colorful ones."
He made a show of squinting at the book in front of him with a serious expression. He wasn't normally given to frivolity of any sort, but he had to admit she had been pretty tough about refusing to let him get under her skin.
Finally he shrugged at her. "I am an architect," he said. "On business here in Nachton, but I always try to take time out to see the sights." He indicated the book, the sights that really did interest him detailed within. "My name is Taiji Ichiro." He gave her his name in the American style, family name last. "Tai will do."
"And you," he ventured a guess of his own, "you're a student? Or is there some other ulterior motive for trashing some innocent critic's work?"
“So a roving architect. Renovation or new construction?”
Reign had no idea why she was suddenly curious but she felt like being a touch nosey. Maybe she’d do better the next time someone put her on the spot if she sorted him out now.
She was glad he clarified what to call him because she always got confused and never could tell when she’d been given a name last name first or first name first. The whole thing had wound up in her calling on of the gal’s on the tour by the wrong name for a while, at least she’d been nice about it. Although it was possible, she now hated Reign’s guts.
“Reign Sorensen, down on her luck graduate student. Nice to meet you Tai.”
Either he was a better guesser than she was or she really looked like a student. Reign would presume the latter today, she was hardly dressed to impress.
“Not that I couldn’t find a reason to pick this guy apart outside of that.”
Was that true? Tai hadn't really considered it before. He supposed it was. He could never envision a future for himself outside of that of a paid killer, and had never considered that he'd live long enough to retire from that profession. One didn't usually retire from assassination; one was generally removed.
He supposed, though, that given the choice, he could be... content... as a woodworker of some sort.
He now had a name to go with the face. Reign. Interesting, didn't sound like the typical American name to hm, but he wasn't exactly an expert anyway. Besides, Tai reflected, he didn't really care one way or the other. She didn't look like a good target for anything he could use, and she wasn't readily nettled by his half-arrogance, so his last option was to be entertained and amused by her. Which he was. After their little chat though, he wouldn't think about her. He had far better things to return back to his suite for.
Still, he kept the friendly appearance up, smile, twinkling tawny eyes, and all. "Remind me never to write a critique of my own. I'm not sure I could handle such a scathing appraisal. Perhaps it's lucky that I'm given to more mundane pursuits."
No point in holding back, and if there was it was too late. Reign didn’t like Frank Lloyd Wright, some of his glass but the rest was just nasty. She forgot why she’d developed an opinion of his work, probably one of the pointless pre-reqs she’d taken.
All things considered though she was slightly impressed. She wasn’t much in the creativity department. She fidgeted with photography a bit but that was all.
“Just be glad your work is outside of my field or I’d manage a scathing critique of my own. But that will have to wait for another degree.”
"I'm not exactly partial to Wright myself, but you have to respect him for the Imperial Hotel," Tai said. "His previous and post works aside, it is a spectacular work of art, particularly for his time period. Not to mention the history behind it. Even today, the residents of Tokyo talk about it."
Tai tilted his head at Reign. "Have you been to Meijimura to see the rebuilt hotel? Or do you simply have an amateur interest in famous architects?"
Now he was intrigued. He had few passions outside of work, but in this he was hard-pressed not to sit up, lean forward, and pin her with his eyes. Instead he remained kicked back, legs still crossed on the chair next to him, heedless of the cross look from an elderly librarian who wandered by.
She shook her head slightly in response to his question.
“No, I’ve never been to Japan myself.”
Watching the librarian pass by Reign resisted the urge to tell her off about how high the shelves are and how dangerous the falling books were. She should sue for that first book to the face, it wasn’t a half bad idea and Reign was still sore about it, literally.
“He was part of an Art History course I took and the Prof was a little enamored with him so we went over his furniture, his glass and his buildings. It wasn’t a bad way to look at art, as practical and real it was just a poor choice for an example.”
She’d written a paper on the topic and had, of course, taken the opposite opinion and done a little research into some other architects. That and the Chicago skyline and the old buildings were some of her favorite things to photograph, so if push came to shove she might be able to get one more name into the conversation, but it would be hard.
"You should go sometime, if the opportunity presents itself. There's a great deal of history there, and it's all just dying for someone to come along and give her - or his - opinion on it."
That said, he shifted the chair his feet rested on so it made an obnoxious grinding squealing noise as it moved over the varnished wooden floor. He could almost see the hair on the back of the librarian's neck stand up before she turned to him with an accusing glare and a finger pressed to her lips. Tai didn't bother to look sorry, didn't even bother to act remorseful for stooping to nettling a harmless old lady. Someone needed to be nettled tonight and Reign had already proven immune, although entertaining nonetheless.
Apparently he was a lost cause, as the librarian gave a long-suffering sigh and moved on with her cart of books. Tai watched her go and then shifted the chair back into place with a similar awful noise just before she turned a corner.
Turning his attention back to Reign he said, "Art comes in many different forms. Words, pictures... ironic, how whatever we choose to call 'art' becomes such. I, for example, will never understand the messages Van Gogh or Picasso were trying to send. I prefer my architecture. How better to see inside a person's soul than to study how they surrounded themselves and sheltered themselves?"
He shrugged philosophically. "To each his own."
Although right now she couldn’t afford it and there were not publicity opportunities over there or she’d make Jane get her in on them in a hot second. But, as Reign constantly reminded herself, she had this damned dissertation to finish and should not be going any where.
“But I’ve already been to Seattle.”
The noise he made when sliding the chair about made the hair on the back of Reign’s neck stand up. Oh, that was truly nasty. Still, she was hard pressed not to laugh at the reaction it got, as it was she did grin rather slyly.
“And that’s why there is so much crappy art out there and why the world needs me. To tell them how wrong they are.”
On thing Reign wasn’t worried about was her ability to be a critic, and to be right; at least in her own mind. She truly wasn’t as bad as she’d made herself sound, but it was a part she was willing to play.
Tai let the chair be, satisfied that the librarian was gone for the time being. He left his legs propped up however; rebellion had its place, and he wasn't going to argue if that place was sharing a condo with his comfort.
He lifted a shoulder at Reign. "At least you know what you're capable of."
The woman had a set, that was certain. His amusement was evident in the fact that he had yet to try and devise the best way to kill her. It was normally one of the first thoughts that ran through his head whenever he made a new acquaintance.
He wasn't about to read much into it, however. A knife across the throat would do this one as well as any other. Of course, there was no reason to kill her and nothing to be gained by either associating with her or leaving her be.
Maybe that was the entertainment value right there.
How she managed that with a straight face Reign would never know. The whole Mel Brooks thing now had her singing that damned song about the Spanish Inquisition. Terrible thing that, having silly musical number stuck in your head.
“Of course its also why you need at least two critics, we are much more entertaining when we disagree with each other.”
What was she capable of? It depended on who you asked or how you meant it. She was capable of random banter with a stranger who just chose to sit down with her.
“I would have thought you’d have opinions of your own. You don’t strike me as the sort to read the editorials page and just agree with who’s ever spouting off.”
It was a small challenge, miniscule, nearly non-existent; and she had been wrong about him once already this evening. Maybe he did go with the flow.
He nodded as Reign seemed to reach that same conclusion herself. "At least two critics it is, then," Tai said with an amused chuckle. "Of course, we all think we're the perfect critic. So the world is full of us."
Verbal banter with this woman wasn't bad at all. He'd been out tonight with the intent of doing some reading quietly and not particularly looking for much trouble; he had a feeling it would come to him soon enough, but he hadn't really expected to enjoy tossing words about with a student. He gave a mental shrug and grinned at her across the table.
"Editorials have their place," he said, and gestured at her book. "Perhaps on a smaller scale than your project there, but still fun to tear apart nonetheless."
My my my someone had a latent violent streak in them. This was twice in once conversation he’d mentioned tearing, or shredding. Actually, it didn’t seem all that strange, they were very common critiquing verbs. And so nothing out of the ordinarily.
“Its all fun and games until someone gets hurt… then its hysterical.”
Some critic somewhere must live by that motto.
Maybe she should just check the book out. Son of a… it was a reference book, stamped all over it was ‘Do Not Remove’. Reign was perfectly capable of being a smart ass and taking notes so she picked up her pen and began to make write down the few things she needed.
“Or is that too harsh for you?”
She tossed back at him only half looking back up at him. Somehow, she didn’t think he’d have a problem with that bit of wisdom.
She had begun to write now, and he picked up his book and propped it on his raised legs to begin skimming through it to see if it was, indeed, the one he wanted. "Although it does bring to mind a far more war-like state of mind than I previously had for any critic. You run the risk of coloring my comfortable miscomception that all critics sit around in easy chairs every day sipping wine and bitching about the latest book or movie."
As he talked he made mental notes of the buildings in Nachton he had yet to visit; Tai's presence in the library was purely recreational tonight.
“We’re a cut throat bunch. So much so that I can’t even apologize for upsetting your preconceptions.”
Still intently flipping through the pages, she made a few more notes. She hadn’t needed much from this particular book, which made taking it to the face even more irritating.
“But you can be proud, you’ve humanized architecture for me. I thought all you guys did was sit around drafting board or wander around construction sights with hard hats. I had no idea you tormented librarians or split hairs with budding critics.”
She’d almost said something slightly harsher about his inviting himself to join her but she held off. Maybe she’d use that if he got annoying.
He gave her his best grin. "We sit around drafting boards as much as possible," he said amiably enough. "We're not as critical as you seem to portray your own, but then again that's the definition of the word, isn't it?"
Satisfied that he'd finally at least gotten under her skin a bit, he stood and stretched. "Well, thanks for the enlightening little chat. I suppose I ought to leave you to your tearing-apart."
He hefted his book, preparing to take it with him. "Try not to let the next one hit you in the face."
With that sage advice he headed up to the front desk, planning to continue his reading at his own leisure from the Piazza.
((ooc: Tai out))
Reign ‘humphed’ at him as he left. That was two slightly unique folks in one night. Well actually, Alec hadn’t been all that bad. But maybe it would be wiser to do her studying at home and avoid the library all together.
That seemed the best answer really. Hoping to avoid any further odd encounters, Reign photocopied the article she needed and took that home. Maybe she’s walk Sirius before working on this though. He was the one sane man in her life and that deserved some sort of reward.
OOC… Reign out lock please, thank you.