danger/u/
(Setting) Jim's Gym and Dance Studio

| >in a nice little side street in uptown, not that all too far from cauldwell shopping street lies a quaint little gym simply named Jim's gym as made clear by a basic sign painted in red letters right above the door

>the building itself is in good condition, befitting of the location and its projected patrons. Perfect for practice for various cardiovascular exercises

>just outside is a boy with brown hair wearing a blue jacket and a interesting headset
>he seems to be waiting.


| "God, that guy!" > A young man, coupled with a lady, is heard holding a few laughter. Tears rolls down his face, while small chuckles is heard in a feminine voice.

"How did he… how did he get his head in—" > Despite being exasperated, it was the man who first saw the gym's entrance — and the boy standing close to it. He ended his fit of hammered laughter, then coughed out some breaths.

"I think this is the place?" > The lady looked above, spelling the place's name in a question.


| "J-I-M? Of Jim? Oh! Jim's… okay." > The young man gave himself a pat on the back for the interpretation of the gestures the lady made. He nodded twice, then points to the place in question.

"That's what the board is saying," > He pulls out a phone, turning the screen then showing the contents to the lady. She made two checks with what was shown, then agreed on their destination.


| >>633894
"Bonjour! es-tu ici pour les leçons?"
>calls out the boy, his voice is smooth and quiet satisfying to listen too! Akin to having melted chocolate dripped directly into ones ears..
"Gah err.. sorry force of habit.."
>he chuckles
"Would you perhaps be here for the dance lessons?"
>he says while getting off from the wall he was leaning on

>the streets around aren't all that crowded
>although there are a few others having a conversation in the middle should bother none


| >>633896
> The young man swiped his brunette hair to make way for his eyes to see better. The untied hair is almost at shoulder-length, ending where the jacket covers most of his torso, same for the cargo trousers running down.

"I am. And she—" > As he points to his left, the lady has stepped behind the man though it's unknown when she did such an action.

"Vee, come now! I'm not going to have you laze around like that," > He turns behind, trying to pull the clinging girl.


| >Not too far behind follows a lithe, young woman-- her gait sure and practiced. Her posture is pristine, her movements fluid; her steps weave in and out of one another as she sways gently with the motion of her feet. Stopping behind the group that's begun chatting with the boy out front, she takes out her phone and checks her current location against the one she was sent on the thread earlier. Yes-- this must be the place. She waits for a break in conversation, not wanting to interrupt.


| > Fox remembers the location the post said. It's not like he had other vital deliveries today anyway. He quickly launches himself off the roof he was on, landing softly with a puff of air near the gym. He dusts himself off a bit and walks over, trying to get a handle on what's going on


| >>633898
>the boy looks in acknowledgement and mouths out a hello!
>the tilts his head to the left slightly in a motion to say get over here

>>633897
>he kneels down to eye level with the shy girl
"Come now. I wont bite!"
>he smiles
"Probably~"
>wa-! Was that a tease just now!?

>>633899
"Oh my.. so much so quickly!
Fox get over here!"
>Cassius waves hello!


| >>633898 >>633899 >>633900
> 'Eek!' would be the perfect onomatopoeia that Vee, the lady, gave with her trepidation. She hurries to pull the young man, telling him to go inside the gym immediately with her flailing.

"Steady now, steady. That's just three people you don't know," > He says to Vee, now scanning the three newcomers.

"Ray, by the w—" > He didn't get to finish his sentence before Vee manages to make him trip and fall, voicing a 'CAREFUL!' in broken tone as he does so.


| >>633900
>The woman nods politely, and sidesteps towards the fellow in the blue jacket, smiling. She tucks a stray lock of hair behind her ear-- the breeze must have set it free from the bun she's got it pinned up in.


| >>633899
>The lilim's sudden leap from the roof above does not go unnoticed-- the woman gasps and claps a hand over her mouth, clearly startled by (what looks like, to her) Fox appearing out of thin air. She murmurs something to herself in surprise.

"Goodness..."


| >>633904
"Bonjour! Dear stars i knew we would all congregate quickly but all at once!
What perfect timing!"
>he extends his hand
"Shall we get started with introductions?
mon nom est Cassius!
Qu'est-ce qui est à toi?"
>he says with a smile

>>633903
>with all the newcomers he was to distracted to help them!
"Whoa! Crap you two ok?"
>at the very least he extends a hand to help get them back up


| >>633908
"I'm fine. I'm fine," > Ray there took the hand out of politeness. He dusted off his trousers, while Vee glances and tries to hide her presence from the problem she caused. The slenderness of her body was to be easily ignored, if it Ray hadn't caught her.

"Now, we're going inside and get you sweating or I swear to god," he pulls Vee closer to him, one can easily judge them being too close, but Vee could only seek this much distance.


| >>633908
>She blinks, confused. After a few seconds, she seems to be able to gather what Cassius is asking her from context, and offers her own hand. Her fingers are slender, much like the rest of her.

"I'm Lillian. It's a pleasure to meet you, Cassius. Are you the host of this class?"


| >>633908
>She blinks, confused. After a few seconds, she seems to be able to gather what Cassius is asking her from context, and offers her own hand. Her fingers are slender, much like the rest of her.

"I'm Lillian. It's a pleasure to meet you, Cassius. Are you the host of this class?"


| >>633914
"tu aurais raison demòi...errr yes, yes i am.
God sorry i just came back here from France recently..."
>he chuckles awkwardly
"Suppose i will be rid of this habit in time..."
>the man shakes his head
"What was your tag on the board?
Hmmm...was it you who offered to be the assistant teacher?"


| >>633913
"Hmmm i mean we can take it slow if you want mon petit...it is the first class after all"
>he says in a soothing manor
"There is no rush for these things.
The goal is to enjoy ourselves...no fun in doing something you dislike after all~"
>he says while kneeling down, attempting to be as comforting and welcoming as possible


| >>633908

>Fox follows in, not having noticed him shocking any body with his entrance. Sometimes being socially unaware has perks, it seems. He waves to Cass still, given that the lilim considers him a friend.

"Hi Cass! Wow, i didn't expect this many people to show up! It's exciting, isnt it?!!"

> He looks around at everyone, marveling at their sight


| >>633918
> Vee nods. Trying to at least accept her presence here. It gave Ray a much needed comfort, with her having let go of her hasty distancing with the world, even if momentarily.

>>633919
> After a sigh, Ray caught the sight of Fox, seeing his stare. He makes a wave, a short one.

"Hey, lilimguy, do I know you?"


| >>633918
>Lill blushes and laughs quietly, shaking her head.

"Please, don't apologize. It's just not something I'm used to hearing anymore--it took me a moment to understand. It's certainly not unpleasant."

>She gives Cassie's hand a final squeeze before letting it slip from her own, bringing it to rest at her side.

"I go by 'Lill'; you're correct, that was me. I have some professional experience in both choreography and performance."


| >>633919
"I as well, honestly i didn't expect a single person to accept the offer.
But it seems i was wrong!"
>he chuckles
"Glad to be wrong in this case.
..still it would be better if gem was here no...?
I rather miss her it seems.."
>his voice leaves in a cold trail for a moment before he returns his sights to the task at hand
"Oh she says hello by the by"

>>633925
"Mind if i give you a nickname then?
Errr i can't think of one yet but nick names are always fun~"
>he smiles


| >>633922
"Hmmm... feeling nervous?
Perhaps you would like me to show you a magic trick?"
>he smiles and inhales deeply

>he then exhales a light blue gas
>slowly the gas drifts away from his face and begins to take form of a man and a woman, in a suit and a dress respectively

>they take their hands and begin to dance together around zee
>a basic ball dance, but its elegance in heightened by the mystifying form of the gas
>quite the marvel to behold!


| >>633922

> Fox gives a wave and smile. He quickly bounds over to him to get a better look

"Oh! Hi!! I'm Fox! I think maybe you've seen me around doing deliveries? I tend to work for a lot of the shops and private matters. Don't you work.... somewhere?"

> He trails off, unable to really remember exactly where they've met.


| >>633927
>Lill cocks her head to the side, and turns her gaze skyward for a moment. She laces her fingers together, and twiddles her thumbs as she tries to drum up something he can call her.

"Well... there are some people I've known who took to calling me 'Nan'... I suppose you could use that."


| >>633928
"Caramel Anne. Sometime ago you ordered something there, with my pal. Can't say we were any good when junkie's involved though," > Ray made a chipper laughter, trying to get Vee to release his hand.

>>633927
> This caught the attention of Vee too easily. The sparkles made her cling less towards Ray, but not enough for him to not growl as he pinches Vee's cheeks.

"Yer too close, really." > He says.


| >>633929
>he brings his hand to his chin and ponders
"Hmmmm...nonono.. *you*-"
>he leans in close! Close enough that lillian can smell the scent of blueberries and cinnamon emanating from him
"-are cute! And a cute girl needs a cute nickname!"
>then pulls back away
"Hmmmmm...yep but im still pulling blanks...
I mean i could say lily but that would be to easy..hmmm"


| >>633930
>another figure emerges from the mist in the form of a cute blue fox cub!
>it trots and circles around vee! If it could think it would most Definitely seem to want to play! ..or maybe comfort her?
>something along those lines!

>one after another animals and figures come to life from the mist, turning vees surroundings into that reminiscent of something ripped straight from the page of a story book
>foxes and unicorns play and gallop around in a mesmerizing sight


| >>633932
> Vee tries to reach for a single figure, with her hand outstretched but still holding to Ray. Her smile forms to an awed expression, her childish senses coming back to her.

> Then, quickly, Ray flicked her back to reality. Snapping her from the dream world in that same time.

"Sorry, she isn't that good with holos," > He turns to Cassie, doing his part to make sure Vee isn't immersed too deep into that world again.


| >>633931
>Warmth floods Lill's face as Cass closes in to get a good eyeful of her features. She's not used to being looked over so carefully-- or well, not by someone mere inches away from her, anyway...

"Just because it's easy doesn't mean it's >>>bad-- i-it certainly doesn't need to be anything special..."

>What a nice scent... wonder where he gets his cologne?


| >>633933
>with a curt nod the mist Character's all line up in an organized row and take a closing bow, as if actors bidding thank you and goodbye after finishing a play
>then they fade away and the fog dissipates
>one would Probably be left star struck after a show like that
"So did you enjoy it mon petit?"


| >>633956
"Mmm?"
>his face lights up upon hearing those words
"Really? Are you sure about that?"
>he smiles
"Well then lilly it is!
It feels right! At least to me, has that cute little ring to it no?"
>he leans in close again, once again filling the air around her with the intoxicating scent of blueberries and cinnamon mmmmm pastries..
>and kisses her on the cheek!?
>w-w-wait wha?!?
"Cassius! Cassius Robuchon Vanderbilt!
Tiss a pleasure to meet you"

>his lips were rather soft...


| >>633968
> Vee's bangs and hair sways gently as she gave Cassius a nod. She would have made the word 'M-O-R-E', it seems, but Ray was more so than ready to fling her inside if she does ask for something like that.

"You've got VR at home but that still got you?" > Puzzled and confused, Ray's question silenced most of Vee's thoughts.

> "THIS", "NEW," she gestured. Ray could understand them, for once.

"You aren't wrong," > He says.


| >>634002 >>633968

> Fox looks around, puzzled. He has some audio-visual interference, but doesn’t seem to notice any of the things anyone else has gotten to see. He decides to instead look around to see who else he might know.

> He notices Vee sign at Ray and his eyes sparkle like emeralds with excitement.

“Hi! Do you know sign language too? That’s cool!”

> As Fox speaks, he also does the accompanying signs with his hands like a fluent “speaker”


| >>634002
"Ohhh sign language!"
>he starts "talking" in asl
>i c-a-n s-h-o-w y-o-u m-o-r-e
>i-f y-o-u f-i-n-i-s-h t-h-e l-e-s-s-o-n!
"Stars i hope i did that correctly.."
>he chuckles

"Might i at least have your names?"
>he asks, a paitent smile on his face as to not spook the poor girl


| >>633970
>The newly dubbed "Lilly" standing in front of Cassius shyly brings a hand to the cheek he's kissed, moments after he pulls away. She rubs the spot gingerly, as if trying to prolong the sensation for just a little longer.

"... You as well, Mr. Vanderbilt."

>She decides against disclosing her full name at this time, instead choosing to survey the little crowd gathered about the gym's entrance. So, these are their students, huh...?


| >>634086 >>634093
> Vee's eyes lit up to this warm reaction. She responds to the two with a simple smile. Her hands then move, pointing to herself then "NAME" — 'V', formed by a peace sign.

> Ray sighed in relief. He waits for the others to enter, but didn't specifically push Vee to hurry. Her own pace, that is, he does everything to follow it closely.


| >>634186
>he sighs and chuckles
>then leans in and giver her another kiss on the cheek!?!
>this time for a full second!?
"Don't wipe away a greeting~
It's~ bad~ luck~"
>he teases and plants a little *boop* on lilly's nose, a little grin on his face

>...
>taking a breath would reveal her cheek now smells like blueberries and cinnamon..!
>o-oh my!



| >>634195
"Mmm.."
>he smiles warmly
>"its a pleasure you meet you vee"
>he signs out
"mon nom est Cassius"
>he gets back up on his feet
"Now them shall we get too it?"

>he opens the door and holds it for the rest of the group to go in first


| > When Vee moved about, Ray lightly pushed her ahead. Surprised by this, she turned with a confused expression.

"Yeah, you go ahead. Boss… err, Alice, said she needed a backup."

> Even more in disbelief, she awkwardly stumbles trying to sign 'YOU' and 'LIE'.

"Mmmh… maybe. My intuition is telling me that someone will take my spot."

> She, who couldn't enter the gym, froze in place. With Ray already walking away, he waves towards her.

"Mr. Vanderbilt, I'll leave her to you!"


| >>634197
>Lill attempts to stammer out some kind of answer, but only manages a nervous, girlish giggle in response. She shifts her gaze elsewhere, and shuffles her flats against the pavement before stepping through the door and into the gym proper, casting a quick glance over her shoulder at Cass. She reaches up to touch her cheek again-- then catches herself, and jerks her hand away.


| >>634199
"Of Course! Ill protect her with my life!"
>he runs his thumb across his heart to accentuate the promise, a foolhardy smile on his face as he does so

>>634204
>he holds the door open, Completely distracted by his current action of holding a door open while making a promise


| >as you enter you find the gym to be devoid of reception staff
>patrons seem to be simply trusted here
>sterile white tiles mark the floor of the reception area only livened by the bright golden sunlight coming in from the glass window behind, partially blocked by a handful of posters stuck on the window and a single solitary plant tucked away in a corner


| >looking back at it now its a nice day today isnt it?
>the sun paints the city after the storm to bid fourth the coming of spring!
>perfect for a walk in the park, or perhaps a date even!
>in your cases However its for dance lessons!

>the echo of various activities can be heard, from the splashes of swimmers training in a pool to the lively courtyard where its presumed that people are exercising


| > Slowly dragging herself into the gym, Vee finds her by her own standing. The social aura pressuring her is slowly turning a switch inside her. Her lowered arms were tucked to each other when she sees the inside of the gym, not having Ray have defeated half of her, if not more.


| >>634214
>Lill looks around as they head on in, and sighs quietly to herself. She seems... more relaxed? It's as if the place-- or the feel of it-- is familiar.


| >>634216
"You can cling onto me if you want."
>he leans in close to vee
"To tell you a secret"
>then even close to wisper in her ear making absolutely sure that only she can hear
>also inadvertently lets her smell the blueberries and cinnamon
"I am actually quite scared of going out in public too...it took me a lot of bravery to come here..to feel free to rely on me a bit eh?"
>then leans away and pats her on the head



| "Now then it should be over here"
>he leads the group past the pool and rhe yard. Curiously for a gym there is a stark lack of muscle training equipment and machinery

>just stuff for acrobatics and cardiovascular activities

>eventually you make your way too a dance studio
>by all accounts its a bog standard dance studio
>smooth and clean laminated wood flooring and a mirror covering the entire wall with hand rails sticking out


| >>634220
>Lill's eyes light up as she sets foot on the polished floor of the studio. Without thinking, she slips out of her flats, and shrugs out of her coat-- revealing a rather simple outfit mostly made up of active wear: stirrupped leggings, a sweatshirt several sizes too large for her layered over a more tight-fitting tank... she eagerly sets her belongings against a nearby wall.


| >>634220

> Fox scans around, his eyes glittering some more. Although, there is one giant issue that he slowly feels is going to be an issue. He does a quick self-scan to try and resolve the issue himself, only to blush visibly when realizing that he now has an issue to deal with

"Anno... Cass-san, is this floor going to be able to support me? I'm scared I might accidentally damage something"


| >>634221
"Oh right yeah im still wearing my jacket"
>he takes it off and hangs it by the side revealing a very basic get up for the occasion
>basic black pants, flexible and comfy and and a likewise black shirt and socks
>fairly unremarkable...although that jacket must have been keeping it suppressed or something for the moment it was shead the intoxicating fragrance of blueberries and cinnamon spread around the toom

>also you can see his abs through that shirt
>...oh my


| >>634224
"Fox we are on ground level, nothing is going to collapse.
Pretty sure industry standards dictates the ability to handle heavier loads anyway."
>he chuckles
"Oh my that all rhymed."
>he jumps for good measure
"Yeah it should be Alright!"


| >>634219
> The patting performed admirably on her. Vee's downcast was repainted with a different light, making it a favourable smile. She pink of her lips show better when she is not quivering.

> Admittedly, the fragrant she met made her hungry, but nevertheless, she has made it this far. Removing her cardigan, taking a single hair tie from the pocket of her jeans, and dons her short blonde hair into an even shorten bun.


| > She takes her cardigan to rest by the nearest wall. Despite her unfitting appearance for the activity, with her plain shirt being the least form-fitting, she still takes a stage inside the gym.

> Seeing the others have begun, she taps her way into the group. Unwilling to interrupt, she checks on the rest to make sure everything is within her grasp -- even if jumping and moving her body isn't her best ability.


| >>634227

“Ahh yokata! I’ll still try and not to make too much noise or break the floorboards. Hopefully I won’t... “

>He’s still a little nervous, so he distracts himself somewhat by stretching out a bit. As he does, someone with a sharp ear would be able to here pistons and springs tensioning and loosening in harmony


| >There’s some music already playing and Cassius is standing in the middle of the room. He looks ready to start the lesson
"Now then before anything, before we get into flamenco or ball dancing we need to warm up to the basics!"


| >he grins
“Thus, we’ll be doing general dance technique for the moment,” Cassius informs you, tapping his head. “Half of becoming a good dancer is dealing with what’s up here. There’s anxieties and stresses that build up when you try to dance. There’s an inner critic in your head, just like a little child trying to distract you from doing worthwhile things. Telling you you’re being judged and you’re lacking. Hit the ignore button on them!”


| “So instead of thinking, feel. Don’t focus on the actual steps, but think about how it feels. The more you allow your body to do the dance thinking, the more you’ll develop muscle memory, and stop worrying in your head.”

After going over the theory, the lesson turns to practice. Just as he suggested, you try to dance on instinct, going with your feelings rather than your thoughts. It’s incredibly liberating, and you find your whole body relaxes, making it easier to dance in turn.


| (Oops i forgot the >.
Lemme just..)
>After going over the theory, the lesson turns to practice. Just as he suggested, you try to dance on instinct, going with your feelings rather than your thoughts. It’s incredibly liberating, and you find your whole body relaxes, making it easier to dance in turn.
[Spoiler](Alright thats better..)[/spoiler]


|


|


| >>634348

> Fox seems to get the hang of it. Fluid motions really weren't the forte of his particular line, even with his whole suite of upgrades and mods that were meant to help him do his job. Cass was right, in that he didn't have to do much thinking about how to move once he figured out how to get the motions right.

> With certain motion, however, there was the odd sound of a piston hissing or a spring compressing. A common side effect of a mechanical body trying to dance


| >>634348
> However, despite having heard the theories and putting into practice everything she has acknowledged, Vee was stuck in between attempting to focus and relax. Her motions were stiff, while some are oddly smooth and glamorous even.

> It's unknown whether she didn't understand or whether there is a conflicting idea in her mind. All she can do is a half-and-half on her efforts.


| >>634348
>Lill limbers up very quickly after just a bit of stretching-- the warm-up that follows is quite a sight to behold. It's like she's somewhere else. She doesn't move very far-- even in the midst of being completely wrapped up in her own movements, she's mindful of other people's personal space-- but in her little circle she manages to accomplish a lot.

>A hurried knocking on the door and panicked jiggling of it's handle breaks the sound of carefree steps.


| >>635045 >>635155
"Honestly you two are doing really well given that its literally the first lesson."
>cassius smiles
"Oh and Vee dont worry about not getting it first try, just keep doing it, you will get there eventually i can assure you"
>he attemps to comfort her
"Oh but make no mistake, thats a lot of progress for the first time. You're doing well"

>>635175
"Now that warm ups are out of the way what should we focus on...?-
Oh i got it"
>he opens the door
"Hello"


| >>635178
> Vee wipes the beads of sweat that has started to form even with her light exercuse. She nods, but didn't manage to sign a reply for Cassius before he walks off. Silently, she stares at him before attempting the unfamiliar movements again.

> Despite the minute changes, Vee is still inconsistent with the performance. Only in movements where she can grasp well does she outperform her sleazy, untrained self.


| >>635178
>Behind the door stands (or more accurately, hunches-- he's nearly doubled over, and pretty out of breath) a very tall, slim gentleman with a slightly messy mop of brown hair (perhaps more unkempt than usual as a byproduct of his rush to get here).

"S... s-sorry... I'm late--"

>He pants hoarsely. There's a clicking as he shakily pulls his hands from his knees to straighten up-- when he does, all nearby can see he's wearing an exoskeleton from the waist down.


| >>635187
"Ah Bonjour , we just finished warm ups, you arent too late"
>he smiles
"Do come in."
>he stands clear and holds the door open, welcoming the nee arrival in
"Now as i was saying, what should we focus on?
Hey lilly any ideas?
Im running along the lines of tango!
Oh dear..wait that might be a bit...intimate...uhh what do you think?"


| >>635187
> Pausing her (awful) attempt at retrying, Vee checks on the newcomer from afar. The exoskeleton has her attention momentarily, then her vision goes up to spot the man himself. Realising this, she threw her gaze elsewhere — hoping the man has yet to notice her staring, which continues even to now, despite being a small peek.


| >>635188
"T-thanks..."

>The man dusts himself off, and steps past Cassius into the room, already working on shaking his arms out of the sleeves of his peacoat so he can throw it in with the rest of the group's personal effects. As he does so, he takes a look around-- his face brightens when he sees Fox,

"Ah, Mr. Ayanami--!"

>But, all of his features freeze when his eyes land on Lill. They widen in... shock? Disbelief?

"... A... A-Anna...?"


| >>635201
"Ah. Interesting"
>he does absolutely nothing
>accept head to his belongings and somehow manifests a bag (box?) Of popcorn
>butter of course
>and sits down to watch


| >>635201

> Fox gets pulled out of the almost trance state that he's in as he hears "Alexander"s voice. He stops himself to get his bearings and quickly bounds over to him, avoiding everyone like he would traffic, skidding to a start in front of him.

"Alex!! Hi!! Are you getting lessons too? It should be good exercise I think!"

> He doesn't seem to notice what's wrong with his friend, too caught up in the excitement


| >>635209
> Vee stops to finally enter the conversation. The group has split off from dancing and into introducing each other, not minding the obvious binding issue in the room.

> She taps Fox's shoulder, hoping it would get his attention shortly.


| >>635188 >>635209
>Lill is about to answer Cassius' question when she hears the newcomer speak-- at the same time, Fox calls out to him and skips over to join the man. A wry smile plays at her lips, and she steps towards the slowly growing group.

"'Alexander'...? Have you started going by your middle name, too, Roy?"

>Though a full head taller than Lill, the man seems to squirm under the smaller dancer's gaze.

"Ah... n-no, that's... that's not..."


| >>635216
>he still continues to eat popcorn and watch
"Oh man its like a drama"
>then just as the pop corn he pulls out a pair of 3D glasses one would find at the theater
"Linsey would love this"
>he says ti himself quietly


| >>635216
>Roy (?) sputters and falters a few more times before he quits stammering completely, heaving a deep, drawn-out sigh.

"It's... complicated..."

>He rubs the back of his neck nervously, and glances quickly over his shoulder towards the door. Anna (?) nods.

"I... ah, didn't expect to see you here. Are... you...?"

>The woman answers before he can finish his question-- perhaps as an act of mercy?

"I'm here for work. And you, Roy?"

"I, um... live here, now."

"... I see."


| >>635229
>once again h-
>ok someone has to start questioning this! He pulls out a fekking soda! Not just any soda, a soda in one of those cardboard cups they use in theaters!
>at this point he has popcorn, soda and 3D glasses.
>just, watching as if it was entertainment


| >>635229
>Roy tries to find something else in the room to look at-- not hard when you jut out like a periscope emerging from a sea of smaller folk. He picks an arbitrary place on the wall to focus his anxious stare on. Let's hope he doesn't bore a hole in it by accident.

"So... you're still, um..."

>He makes a few vague and pointless looking gestures in her direction.

"Doing the, ah... dancing thing? That's... good."

>He speaks haltingly-- it's clear he's having some trouble.


| >>635258
"Yes."

>Anna eyes Roy's legs, scrutinizing the frame encasing each of them.

"... I see you're still using an exoskeleton to get around."

>Roy bites his lip and inhales deeply through his nose, shifting his weight from foot to foot as if demonstrating his exo's ability to assist.

"... I am, yes."

>Anna simply smiles, and shakes her head.

"Some things don't change, do they, Roy?"

>Roy's expression clouds, becoming guarded. The corner of his mouth twitches.

"No."


| >>635261

> Fox, actually following social etiquette for once, decides to wait until this moment to say something, as he’d just been hovering, not wanting to interrupt

“Anno... hi! I’m Fox. Yoroshukune! Are you good friends with Alex? He’s a really nice guy!”


| >>635263
>Anna turns to face the lilim, recognizing him as the guy who'd catapulted himself off the gym's rooftop in order to get here on time. She politely extends a hand.

"It's a pleasure. I'm Anna, but you can call me 'Lill'."

>She seems amused when Fox continues to call her acquaintance (?)'Alex'.

"Roy is--"

>The man hurriedly interjects before she can introduce him.

"Anna ... Anna is... is my..."

>How should he refer to her? In conversation, it's easy, but in person...


| >>635264
>... He just can't say it; not like that. Calling a spade a spade, in a situation like this one?

"..."

>It would invite far too many questions. Roy clears his throat, and desperately tries again to talk through this stutter of his that only ever seems to crop up at the wrong time.

"--my--miiinnne--A-Anna is a former patient of mine--"

>Anna's brow furrows momentarily, and she brings a hand to her temple, rubbing gently.

"... Roy is my >>>ex-husband."


| >>635266

> Fox looks at both of them, now feeling as if he’d maybe overstepped a little bit. But given how little he really knew how to deal with these situations, he did his best to try not and say anything else wrong

“A-ah. Naruhodo. I um.... hmm.... at least we can all dance and not think about things for a while! If you need, you can borrow my spare legs even!”

> He gives a big grin to try and dispel the awkwardness and to show he’s not really joking about the legs thing


| >>635266
"Oh its getting spicy.
Damn lin is going to have a field day"
>he munches on the popcorn more
>its starting to become rather audible


| >>635213

> Fox quickly spins around, realising that he had been accidentally ignoring Vee. This gives him the convenience of exiting a potentially hazardous social situation, at least

“Gomensai! Are you well?”

> As he speaks, he does his signs... yet they don’t look anything like what Fox’s lips move like. Almost as if he’s not signing in ASL


| >>635455
> Vee's lips form an 'Oh!', then signs with a "YES!". When Fox signed earlier, she desperately tried to understand him, failing to the largest degree for the most part.

> It was then she realises that it's not the same language. She offers an "NOT" and "THIS" with a puzzled expression, then an "A-S-L" afterwards.


| >>635288
>Little does Fox know that Roy /also/ has no idea how the fuck he should be navigating this kind of thing... He tugs at his collar and wheezes, though no matter how much he loosens it, he feels like his throat's threatening to close. His reply is fittingly choked up:

"A-ah, y--... y-yes, that's--that's right..."

"That's kind of you, Fox."

>Anna nods, and though her expression is blank, there's something hidden in her tone that makes Roy start to go red in the face.


| >>635455 >>635517
>Turning his gaze towards his shoes to conceal his burning cheeks means catching a glimpse of the conversation going on nearby in the process-- Roy sees Vee sign something in response to Fox's inquiry, and decides to put his descent into self-loathing on hold to see if he can help clear things up for this young lady. He waves to her weakly, then gestures to Fox before murmuring and motioning simultaneously:

>"[YOU BOTH SIGN?]"


| >>635597
> Vee's single "YES!" was repeated twice. Her lips form a wide smile seeing her means of communication being used more and more. It's as though a barrier she made has been fell by both Roy and Fox.

> Her petite body was ready to burst from excitement, but a spring held her off from doing so -- if her expression is anything to go by.


| >>635602
>Her enthusiasm catches Roy by surprise, and helps him further shake off the bad feeling that's trying to crawl it's way out of the pit of his stomach. Anna looks on. Some things don't change, no... Roy points to Vee, and signs:

>"[DEAF?]"

>Though he'd assumed she was, the professional in him pushes him to confirm this.


| >>635612
"Rude!"
>Cassius calls out from the side akin to one commenting in a action a movie Character did
>still very much into his role of entertained movie goer


| >>635615
>Both Roy and Anna look towards Cassius for a moment, and assume that since he's snacking and sitting by his belongings, he must be taking a break. Perhaps he's talking on the phone with somebody? Glasses with mics in the frame were all the rage for a little while back-- maybe those odd looking lenses allow for video, too. Best not to eavesdrop. Their attention returns to the two opposite them.


| >>635612
> "NO" she replies, alongside a head shake. She brushes her blonde hair, straightening it, before signing a reply — "I AM", and "SILENT".

> 'Ah,' her lips form another quiet shape. She continues with Roy, giving another reply to continue her previous one, a negation and "DEAF" — "NOT DEAF".


| >>635647
>he just silently sips on his movie soda


| >>635652
>Roy nods, beginning to look slightly more at ease the more Vee engages with him. Pouring his focus into making sure he's interpreting her signs right is distracting him from his emotional discomfort.

>"[NAME?]"

>There's some hesitation as he tries to spell out his own, tapping his sternum to indicate himself before getting to work.

>"[I'M... R-... O-Y.]"


| >>635661
> Vee repeats Roy's name, pointing to him then giving a bow — she mimics Roy's introduction to make her own, spelling the full of her name, "P-H-O-E-B-E", all in one swift movement. Maybe it was her excitement, but her hand movements were one too fast for most to catch.

> Despite this, she mouths the word 'Vee' when she signs her name, perhaps hoping Roy would catch either of the two.


| >>635663
>Roy squints as Vee signs her name, having difficulty processing what he's seeing at the speed at which she signs. He checks his spelling out loud:

"Q...? H-O-E... B... E...?"

>... That doesn't seem right, but... he sounds it out in his head, regardless. The best he can come up with is:

"K-Kiwi?"

>Maybe she pronounces "B" the way his roommate does-- somewhere between a "V" and a "W"? That must have been why she mouthed "V"... Behind him, Anna shakes her head and sighs.


| >>635667
> Vee was given a moment to think. She spells out 'K-I-W-I' again, trying to get Roy to reconfirm his interpretation of her signs. She tilts her head, moving the blonde hairs along, confused as to where she had mistakenly signed her name — yet, even she didn't repeat what she had sign to give Roy a better clarity.


| >>635668
>Roy watches carefully... wait-- now she's signing something completely different?! Is it... her last name? W-I...?

"'Why'...?"


| >>635676
> Vee made a clear "NO!" this time, upon hearing what Roy said. Her face reddens as she realises she may have mistakenly signed something else, and before she could utter anything more, she held her face with her hands and shook it in embarrassment.


| >>635688
>Anna gently places a hand on Roy's back, and for half a second it looks like he's about to jump out of his skin-- you can see everything tense up at her touch.

"Her name is 'Phoebe', Roy. Isn't it?"

>Anna directs this question towards poor Vee, hoping to show her that this screw up isn't a result of something she did.

"... Ah... y-yes, that... would make sense."

>Roy thinks back to when the girl had first spelled her name... and immediately realizes his blunder.


| >>635691
> Vee's eyes peek from her between fingers like a hermit crab. Hearing her name properly pronounced made her nod twice. She didn't sign nor say anything, merely enclosing herself and her reddened face behind her hands again.


| >>635698
>Roy groans, bringing a hand to his face as his eyebrows knit together. Not a great way to make a first impression. He shakes his head at himself, quite humiliated.

"Ah... >>>Phoebe, I'm>>>so sorry--"
>"[I'M SORRY.]"

>He utters his apology quietly, but the sign he uses in comparison is quite "loud": the circle he makes over his chest with his fist is closer to the left side of it, rather than it's center-- over his heart. Roy hangs his head, frowning deeply.


| >>635706
> With the rise of this apology, Vee couldn't hold much of her face anymore. Having someone put a heavy gesture like that has made her step closer to Roy. She taps at his shoulder, then gestures for him to rise his head -- not with a sign, but with a gesture.

> "MY FAULT", she slowly puts it with her hands. She emphasises the word 'fault', freezing her hand in its position.


| >>635706
"I... don't interpret as well as I sign... I should really do something about that."
>"NO-- I READ BADLY. I NEED PRACTICE."

>Roy signs "practice" repeatedly, and grimaces-- /lots/ of practice. He pauses as he searches for the right way to phrase his next statement.

"Thank you for trying so hard with me."
>"[I APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE A LOT. THANK YOU, THANK YOU.]"

>The beginnings of a rueful grin. Anna finds herself smiling as well. No, some things don't change.


| "Awwwww"
>once again commenting from his movie chair...wait hold on
>when the hell did he get a chair?!


| >>635716
> Vee once again takes her smile and shows it to the world. Her red cheeks makes the smile different, an abashed joy — a new emotion she would have never showed otherwise.

> "THANK YOU" she signs, while her mouth slowly repeats, with a pause between the words. She returned much of Roy's kindness to him in equal, or greater amount, it seems.


| >>635725
>Roy exhales sharply through his nose in amusement, smile widening a tad. He rubs the back of his head, face flushing to match Vee's-- and signs:

>"[YOU, ME, DANCE?]

>He's so busy trying to brush off the rest of his embarrassment that he forgets to ask her out loud.


| >>635731
> The sign Roy made caused Vee to shifts her gaze slightly from Roy. Her lips quiver, and her hands have seen more use than before to make the same gesture—

> "YES!" she signs, as her eyes meet Roy again.


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| >>635739
>Roy chuckles quietly-- that's right-- that's what he came for, isn't it? He showed up to learn a few new moves; might as well get to it! He nods, enthused.

>Anna, on the other hand, doesn't seem anywhere near as thrilled. She keeps stealing glances at Roy's exo-- and though she doesn't shake her head to herself, her desire to do so is almost palpable. She directs her attention elsewhere:

>>635719
"You were saying, Cassius? Something about the tango?"


| >>637784
> Vee offers her hand. She didn't mind the reversed role, same for the chipper smile as her first indication of joy. Despite her earlier pessimism, she is far from her comfort zone — but this seems to be a quantum leap of improvement for her social skill.


| >>637784
"Mmmphhfsh!?!"
>suprised, he panic swallows a mouthful of popcorn
"Gaherrruuhhheemmm!!!"
>then jumps up and throws all of the movie stuff on the chair he was sitting on
>pulling of the glasses, placing down the soda and popcorn
>then throws it all a window!
>waitwat
"Errr..*ahem*>clearing his throat he reorganizes himself
"as i was saying, its about time we move onto something else.
What do you think? I was on the lones of tango myself"

Total number of posts: 117, last modified on: Thu Jan 1 00:00:00 1585112607

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