stop that, you dork. /hits with newspaper.
HOW DARE YOU HIT THE VANNI WITH A NEWSPAPER
"Oh hey. Look who decided to show up."
John’s smile flickered, faded. Oh he was on razor thin ice indeed. This was a bad idea. Even more so because this man wasn’t caged up and edging on mad. Clawing advice from him would be a feat. Was it worth the effort? Would it be worth it? Surely it would, after all Giovanni had cracked the code and capitalized on it. He’d practically owned Kanto once.
John tapped his pen against the binding of his notepad, pursing his lips in thought. ”I hardly think anyone else would be suited to answer my questions. Or at the very least you’re the best at what you do. Though I suppose now it’s all in a tangle. I’m sorry.” His smile came back, bright and earnest.
"I was really hopeful about this but I fear I might be dancing about glass. Dreadful sort of thing, wishing casual conversation about business in these horrid times. If you’re not entirely amiable to the idea I’d hate to pry. Attempting to sate such curiosities always ends up bad for the cat.” His smile flickered again at that. Now was hardly the time to think about felines.
Giovanni raised an eyebrow at the other man’s renewed smile.
Now he certanly knew why this interviewer had decided to speak to him of all people.
But there were still many, many questions, and Giovanni had the habit of giving into his paranoia and make far too many assumptions without knowing all the answers.
Who would dare buy in this situation? Only someone who knew what they’re doing, that’s who. Someone who knew about everything going on—
» And with all this shit that’s happening…
There’s only one way to know things.
Well, either that, or the man was simply extremely stupid.
“In times like these… even the idea of business alone sounds ridiculous.” He shook his head sadly, like a man who felt like there was no more hope in the world. “Who can buy? Who can rebuild, as long as this goes on? Everyone’s scared. No one is doing anything.”
Giovanni spoke somewhat sincerely, even if through the filter of Aurelio de Santis. The boss truly did believe that doing anything in this situation was impossible—
without the right people to help, that is.
—but Rocket certanly wasn’t going to help anyone in this situation.
No, not this time.
Giovanni had to think about himself first- about his organization.
He had to start weaving his web again—
and this young man might turn out to be a problem.
“Look around. There’s nothing but rubble. What are you planning on doing?”
The boss raised a hand, showing the condition of the city to the man in front of him. He would’ve loved an answer to this last question of his- it showed interest in regards to what the boy had to say, so why not?
Knowing what the young man was planning sounded like a good starting point to figure out who he was talking to.
Mozart, Don Giovanni - Il commendatore.
John took in a breath, pushing his reading glasses back in place. Joe Young was…a horrible excuse for a human being, making money off pain and panic. A smile wasn’t out of place. What a relief to be able to keep that tacked on, even amidst the crowds like this.
"Merely want an interview Mr. De Santis! Surely you’d have something of interest to say about the current state of Kanto?” He produced a notepad, grin widening. ”Oh but here’s no good to talk! Surely someplace else would be a fairer choice for a chat? Oh I could ask anyone else surely Mr. De Santis but I have my heart set on y o u.” He twirled a pen about his fingers, stopping it so he could use it as a pointer.
"I find a lunch setting private enough even with the populace of refugees. My treat, Mr. De Santis, worst case scenario I’m out coin and time and you’ve a free meal."
Once thing was certain—
Giovanni’s furrowed eyebrows perfectly disguised his true feelings.
The young man in front of him wasn’t even trying, honestly. The alarms in the back of the boss’ head had started sounding straight away, thanks to that grin and to the pep in his talk. It all just looked so… rehearsed.
Was this "interviewer" aware that liars smile more than sincere people?
”I really don’t… know why you chose to talk to me but I… I think it’s best if you look for someone else?”
Giovanni’s voice was one of a tired, nervous man- he did need to see if this boy knew who he was dealing with, after all…
And if he did… he’d probably insist.
The boss really wanted to get to the bottom of this, now.
“Don’t want to sound unpolite or anything, but I’d rather… refuse…?”
tell me what you want.
Was this the most ill conceived, dangerous thing to do? Yes, yes it was. This was stepping willingly within snapping distance of a dragon’s teeth. A dragon who was undoubtedly peeved at the state Anarchy had left Kanto in. Ah, but John had slipped neatly into the role of Jo Young. Nothing like the excuse of a gossip rag to talk to someone.
How does one find a singular man of particular note amongst throngs of people? Therein was the foremost problem, never mind that shrieking alarms in his head that red flagged asking for business advice from a mob boss. John had never been one for typical, what with the Interpol Agent locked away in one of his hideaways, his insistence on taking care of a woman who thought he was sick.
The entire affair was awkwardly on par with the rest of his life’s over reactions. Trying to jumpstart a goodwill business? Why not get your darling foxes to comb the city for the man whose own establishment broke your mother? Palkia divine, that sounded dreadfully sordid in his head. It was perfectly scandalous when he thought about the fact he’s invested an abhorrent amount of time to finding the man and catching him out was a matter of teleporting. John could laugh but what sort of first impression would that be?
Crowds were detestable and suffocating, but oh so safe. Why cause a scene in a crowd?
"Excuse me! Sir? Mr. De Santis? May I have a word?” Oh to sound so excited. It was such fun to be Joe.
Now, who in the world, after so long, would remember this name? He couldn’t say he had that many friends who could’ve known that surname, and he had asked for it to not be made public back when the restaurant was burned down…
Well. That only meant that the man calling out to him had to be someone interesting…
…and probably not in the good way.
Who could be looking for him, now of all times?
Fixing the collar of his shirt, Giovanni turned to properly spot the man calling out to him. The Rocket boss looked nothing like himself, wardrobe wise- not with the first two buttond undone and the sleeves rolled up like that, but he wasn’t bothered by it.
Technically, he wasn’t supposed to be the Rocket boss in the eyes of this man.
“A word? I-“
Slightly taken aback, Giovanni run a nervous hand through his hair.
Obviously, it was all part of the act.
What… can I help you with?”