(Setting) Limelight!!☆ Karaoke Bar

| >Somewhere in the Neon District lies a small, cozy bar. The door is open revealing a short flight of stairs to enter. In the corner of the room is a small stage lined with speakers, atop said stage is a droid with a large television screen for a body with two holsters containing microphones on either side, it has a bowtie hanging loosely from it's neck, and a plaque that reads: “BEAUREGARD”.

| >Near the front of the store is the bar itself, lined with a row of padded, rotating bar stools. Behind the bar the lone person working the establishment stands, polishing a glass; A tall woman with long blonde hair wearing a white racing jacket with red and trim and a dark low-cut t-shirt. She puts up the glass in a huff and crosses her arms before speaking.

"Mannn, this sucks! I'm so borrred."

| >The Droid on the stage begins speaking back in an exaggerated kitschy British accent.

"Madam Kuroda, regardless of if you are entertained or not, There is still the problem of your rent at the end of the month."

>She ruffles her hair and grunts loudly in frustration.

"Bo! We’ve been over this! Call me Nova! No~va-! I’m sure things’ll pick up soon enough. People’ll be lining up by the dozen for the chance at meeting a famous idol!"

| >There's an uncomfortable silence until the Droid, Bo replies.

"My apologies, *mistress*, but you do not appear to be as famous as you perceive yourself to be."

| >A tiny Oni walks into the Bar, her long cream colored hair proudly swaying as she does
>A GCPD patrol cloak is draped over her small frame, along with two gleaming oak leaf decorations, the symbol of a Major.
>Chanka struts in with her usual swagger, trying her best to appear bigger than she is by keeping her stance wide and open.
>It's not working.

| >>819761

>Nova perks up immediately upon the entrance of a customer.

"Good evening officer!☆ Welcome to Limelight! We're a karaoke bar, My good friend Bo over there handles the microphones!"

>Nova tosses her hair and poses expectantly.

"And I! The always fantabulous Nova Kuroda will be your host and bartender☆! Now, what can I do for you?"

| >>819630
>Into the bar wobbles somebody whose body from the waist up is obscured by flashy, dazzling shades of red, gold, and white. Their arms are laden with a number of large, colorful paper bags, all decorated with pattered ribbon and stapled shut. In one hand they grip a small, round takeaway container; the other clutches desperately at their haul to keep it from toppling over.


>... What?

| >>819793

>Nova is immediately distracted by the new patron walking in with their arms full and responds by walking around the bar and getting close, clutching her own chest.

"どうも--! Is all this for me? Aww, you shouldn't have!☆"

>She gives a wink that probably isn't visible through the hefty pile of colorful garbage.

"You can go ahead and set that stuff over there on the stage! Bo won't mind!"

| >>819773
>Chanka perks up once she is adressed
"Kha-raa-okay???? What's that!"
>She slides over to the counter, jumping unto a stool.
"Give me something sweet before you answer that though!"
>She takes off her cloak, draping it on her knees.

| >A man carrying a duffle bag walks up to the bar, he's wearing an off-white windbreaker with a light blue button-up shirt. The duffle bag seems light. He seems to have just finished up a job.

"..man, that guy was right, this sure looks like a nice place!"

| >>819801

>Nova situates herself back behind the bar and grabs a couple of long necked bottles with nozzle looking tips.

"Alright Bo~! It's showtime!"

>She tosses her cocktail shaker and catches it behind her head, She individually flips each bottle upside down into the shaker and shortly after begins shaking.

>She pours a Sugar Rush into a tall glass and lightly pushes it towards the Oni with a wink.

"A sweet drink for the lady with the sweet horns!"

| >>819805

>Nova leans forward resting her elbows on the bar and playfully waves to the new customer. When you get a better look at her, you notice that the irises of her blue eyes have a large black star tattooed around each of her pupils.

"Welcome to the Limelight! Feel free to leave your bag on the stage next to my friend Bo if you'd like!"

"What can I get for you, handsome?"

>She says in a very much rehearsed, corny fashion.

| >>819800
>The bearer of garish gifts snorts derisively within their paper prison.

".. Like 'em that much, cross'a street'n take 3 steps t'the left. SUPER's got 'em."

>There's a series of dull "thud"s as they place their purchases on the stage. They count them quickly, making sure all is accounted for before straightening their back, and turning towards the counter, takeaway container still in hand.

">>>'Ficially go on sale tomorrow-- picked'm up before the rush."

| >>820346

>Nova places a hand on her cheek and flashes a relatively mischievous smile.

"Oh my, my! I'd already gotten my fill of those *cute* little Santa shaped pizza balls."

"I hope you weren't on the lookout for cake!"

>Bo cuts in, rudely.

"The mistress had been planning a devious maneuver to keep all of the cakes for herself, she even closed the bar at midnight--"

>Nova pulls a plug from behind the bar and Bo goes silent.

"Apologies! What can I do for you?"

| >>819989

>He nods and puts his duffle bag next to the stage as suggested and walks back to grab a seat at one of the bar stools.

"I'll have a Bleeding Jane, thanks."

>Pulling out a pen and paper he takes a note of something.

| >>820370

>Nova prepares a glass and pours into the glass with 3 bottles by quickly flipping them upside down, she picks up a long carbon fiber spoon and spins it around her finger a few times before stirring the drink.

"Here you are, A Bleeding Jane!"

>She smiles and slides the glass over.

"Something tells me your works not done for the night but try to remember there's always time for fun, ok?"

>Bo's lights are on like he's attempting to interject but nothing comes out.

| >>820380

>He catches the glass, nods, takes a sip, and puts his notepad away. Noticing the strange droid he turns to look more closely.

"Huh, what's up with that guy over there?"

| >Another figure enters the bar; a young woman in a khaki trenchcoat. Her dark blonde hair done into a long french braid. She looks around, her facial expression suggesting thay she was reconsidering her options, but ended up pushing through with a shrug into the establishment. She takes a seat at the bar.

| >>820400

>Nova sighs and plugs Bo's audio cable back into the system.

"It is just *soo* hard to find good help these days. I think he runs off of some cracked software, which has it's benefits, our song library is huge! But despite being set to the 'butler setting'; Bo's got some real *shit* manners."


>Nova makes her way over to the new patron.

"Hello there~! Welcome to Limelight! I handle the drinks and Bo handles the karaoke, what can I do for you?"

| >>820410
"Thanks, I think I'll pass on the karaoke."

>The woman looks to the android and back to the 'tender.

"I'll take a Bad Touch."

| >>820412

>Nova grabs a glass and a pair of small metal tongs. She uses the tongs to toss a handful of ice into the air which she later catches with a swift sweeping swing of her glass. She pours the ingredients of the drink before stirring and hands the glass over.

"A Bad Touch, you know I normally charge extra for one of those, but for you...!"

>She winks.

| >>819881
>The smallest Oni GC has to offer takes her drink and sips on it with a content smile.
>She places the glass down and starts to look back at the stage.
"So what's that Cara-Okii thing then?"
>Her pronounciation somehow got worse, she doesn't seem to be joking, she REALLY doesn't know what Karaoke is.

| >>820356
>The new patron smirks at the bartender's coy little gesture; the droid's follow up earns the barking start of loud chuckle, cut short as the subject of all this amusement is abruptly silenced. They raise an eyebrow, showing Nova a pointed look before seating themself at the counter.


>They... no, she? She swivels back and forth on the barstool for a moment, before leaning towards Nova and murmuring:

"... He a talker?"

>She tosses her head in Bo's direction.

| >>820484
>A wry grin creeps across her face.

| >>820414
"Oh? What did I do to deserve such generosity?"

>The blonde replies with a smirk as she takes the drink.

| >>820484

>Nova throws back a beaming smile with a small chuckle

"Only when I want him to be, but sometimes he can be kinda funny!"


"I just think the trenchcoat is *quite the look*"

| >>820456

>Nova gives her answer some thought before she opens her mouth.

"Well, you just get up on stage and sing whatever you want for everyone to hear! Let your soul lay bare! Standing the limelight, there really is nothing like that feeling my dear oni!"

| >>820493
"Well, this is my favorite one so thanks for that."

>She replies, taking a drink from her glass.

| >>820493
>The woman huffs quietly, smile showing a narrow gleam of teeth.

"Good comp'ny, huh..."

>She sits back in her chair, peering around for some sort of signage that might serve as a drink menu.

"You, uh... y'got anything here't'll go with oden...?"

>She drums her fingers against the side of the plastic container she's brought along with her to the bar top. Whatever's inside is hot-- the clear cover is completely clouded with steam.

| >>820516

>Nova takes a deep breath as the unmistakable smell of conveniece store oden fills her nose.

"Glad to know Super's got me, even though I haven't been open long."

>Nova reaches back into a small fridge covered in printed newspaper clippings and slips the woman a small can.

"I can't really show off serving you this... but this kinda thing is the ticket sometimes."

| >>820410

"Well that explains it, I bet it's worth all those songs though right?"

>He says as he gets a slightly-too-big gulp of the Bleeding Jane then immediately regrets it.

| >>820509
>The Oni scratches her head, ruffling her hair.
"Singing? Laying bare? Hmmm..."
>She doesn't seem to be getting it, This Oni doesn't get how singing is related to anything to do with someone's "soul"
>Another sip is taken from her glass as she mulls the words over...
>What IS a soul anyway?
>Maybe she should ask, this lady with a crazy name's gotta have atleast an idea right?
>Alright Chanka, ask about soul.
"You guys got any food?"

| >Into the room waltzes a girl with amethyst hair and eyes like sapphires framed by soft features brimming with a transient sort of beauty, the flower of a girl blossoming into adulthood, if one was to picture beauty, surely they would envision her
>She wears a long dress of black, with a white area around her chest
>The beautiful girl approaches the counter and sits down, a mischievious smile on her small rose lips
"Such a quaint little place..."
>She looks around

| >>820560

>Nova giggles a little bit at the reaction the man had to his drink and shrugs.

"I guess, so? Bo doesn't really seem to be pulling his weight tonight at least."


>Nova recognizes her more embellished description of karaoke may have missed the mark and is somewhat startled by Chanka's question.

"Oh! I'm sorry. We don't have the space for a kitchen! If you're hungry GC Super is just down the street! Let them know Nova sent you!"

| >>820522
>That slim crescent of a grin quickly veers into "Cheshire Cat" territory as the woman examines what Nova's just handed over to her.

"Cake ain't your only secret?"

| >>820689

>Nova winks back and strikes an exaggeratedly glamorous pose

"A woman's got to keep some air of mystery, right?"

>She makes a brief glance at the newspaper clippings on her fridge and shakes her head with a chuckle before dropping her pose.

| >>820647

>As Nova recovers from her pose she turns to address the young girl.

"Hey there girly! Why don't you take a seat?"

| >>820688
>Chanka grumbles something about how convenience store chicken is a "lump of untasty fat dissapointement" and slowly slumps forward
>She puts a hand underneath her shirt and after a bit of rummaging pulls out a bag of peanuts from somewhere.
>She struggles a bit to open it...
"So that Kara-oak of yours, huh, what kind of songs can someone sing??"
>She says, lisping all the while.
>Is this pipsqueak really thinking about singing?

| >>820922

>Nova looks a little disappointed at first but perks up at the continued inquiry.

"Well, Bo's database runs pretty deep! I'd say you could probably find pretty close to anything."

| >>820692
>The woman flips the lid off the small can with a "pop", then gets to work yanking at the pulltab beneath.


>Her gaze follows Nova's as the bartender turns back towards the shreds of newsprint decorating the fridge. After a moment, she returns her focus to her drink-- taking a sip, she asks:

"... This mean y'want one'a mine?"

>Her eyes flick down towards the cup, then back up at Nova, as if to say, "You did /me/ a favor, so what do I owe /you/?"

| >>820936
>Chanka gives Bo a side-glance
>She pops a peanut into her mouth, crushing it mercilessly within her maw.
>She seems to be thinking, something the food seemed to facilitate.
>Chanka sighed.
"Give me the strongest thing you have! and you there on the stage! Get me Piano man on there to sing!"
>She seems to have made up her mind
>Chanka loosens her tie a tiny bit.
"That's an order!!"
>She smugly declares

| >>820957

>Nova waves her hand dismissively.

"Aww, you're so sweet! But no thank you, unless there's cake... then I may need to change my mind."

"Just spread the word and come back sometime! I need to build a following before..."

>Bo chimes in again, interrupting her.

"Before she squanders all of her earnings."

| >>820992
"... 'Build a following'...?"

>That's a weird way of saying "pick up some regulars"... the woman cocks her head to the side questioningly-- then finds herself looking over her shoulder as Bo interrupts... again.

"Hey-- do the books 'round here, omae?"

>Computers at their very basest are just counting machines after all, right?

| >>820989

>Nova begins spinning her bar spoon around her finger starting at her waist and coming up, she catches it once it reaches her forehead and she gives a salute for the officer.

"Yes ma'am! Bo! You heard her! Get it locked and loaded!"

>Nova's doing her same tricks tonight as she makes a big Fringe Weaver and passes it to the major.

| >>821019
>The major promptly gulps the drink down in what could barely pass for an isntant and would instead be better categorized as a "flash"
>She nods her head
"Another one!"

| >>821021

>Nova smiles and nods, opting to skip *most* of the theatrics this time, she still fits in a trick where she tosses her kamotrine bottle behind her back and catches it before putting the drink together and handing it over.

"Some extra courage for the oni!"


>Bo responds.

"Books? The only one doing 'books' here is the mistress but seemingly only if they feature men with comically large hands."

>Nova's face turns beet red.

| >>821023
>Hello?! Hello, 9-1-1? I've just witnessed a murder!!


>The woman with the oden keeps her face very carefully blank. Is she... shocked? Stunned? Rendered catatonic in disbelief? There's a beat, and then...

"... They got big feet, too?"

>She blinks slowly, raising her eyebrows.

"Know what they say 'bout guys with big feet..."

| >>821028

>Nova still embarrassed scrambles to keep up appearances, standing up straight and stiffening up.

"N-no! They don't! Their feet are very n-normally sized."

>She can't look anybody in the eye as she responds trying to not come across as stupid or naive.

"Y-yeah, they say they have... big shoes..."

>She isn't smiling that wasn't supposed to be a joke

| >>821041
>The woman in the trenchcoat snickers at the exchange from a distance, taking another sip of her Bad Touch to keep it down and failing.

| >>821023
>Chanka scowls
"Who's an Oni? Why do people keep calling me that!?"
>She grumbles, taking her freshly served drink and sipping it greedily
"I'm Chanka, Ch-Ann-Kah"
>She ennunciates her name, tapping her flat chest with an open palm, her face showing clear annoyance.

| >>821041
"Wait, 's >>>that what they say?"

>Oh, /there's/ the disbelief. You'd think it would've made an appearance at the beginning of this whole exchange. The woman's eyes are wide...


>... because, Nova has so kindly opened them for her. She (pretty convincingly) makes as if she's having an epiphany. The woman facepalms, and grumbles to herself.

">>>Course it's'at simple-- fuck!! Been tryna figure that one out for>>>how long...?"

>More frustrated muttering.

| >>821051

>That being said, the tension in Nova's demeanor fades instantly and she drops back into her previous mood.

"That certainly is what it means! Right?! Here I thought you were trying to tease me~! Shame on you!"


"So sorry Chanka! I just ran out of things to address you by! Pleasure to meet you!"

"I'm Nova! Nova Kuroda! Maybe you've heard of me?"

>She introduces herself to the two closest patrons and waits expectantly, likely in vain.

| >>821060
>Chanka's eyebrow shoots up a little as she looks at Nova, her eyes narrowing.
>Her gaze is wandering, it never settles on one spot, yet it seems oddly perceptive...
"Nope! No idea! That's a weird name though, Nova!"
>The major giggles

| >The woman in the trenchcoat finishes off her first drink and waves at the host.

"Hey, uh, can I have another Bad Touch?"

| >>821061

>Nova looks a little dejected but it isn't like she's not used to that kind of response. She blows a tuft of hair out of her eyes as she unplugs Bo for a moment preemptively

"I've always liked my name! My mom back home in Yokohama always told me that she named me after my dad, something about jazz."


>Nova gets back to her duties and winks back at the woman.

"Coming right up! While we're on the topic of introductions, what's your name, lovely?"

| >>821083
"Oh, I'm Elise."

>The blonde replies.

"Yokohama? You're from Japan?"

| >>821087

>Nova repeats the same bottle trick she did earlier but in lieu of catching the bottle, it lands on her upper arm and she balances it for a moment before she finishes the drink and pushes it in Elise's direction.

"Yeah, sure am! Hafu, my dad was American. I figured GC would be an interesting place to retire but I used to come here quite a bit back in the day."

>Nova talks about the recent past like it happened forever ago.

| >>821088
>Elise catches the drink while she listens to Nova's story.

"Retire? But you're here now, are you retired?"

| >>821096

>Another person that doesn't recognize her. Nova looks down at the bar to insure that Bo's audio jack is still hanging securely out of it's socket.

"Yeah, retired or 'graduated' as they call it."

"Framed it as moving onto bigger and better things."

| >>821103
>Elise's face lights up slightly with a knowing look. Maybe she got what Nova was hinting at? She sets her glass down, a look of recognition in her eyes.

"Oh, wow, congrats! This must be your dream job!"

>Perhaps she recognized Nova and congratulating her on pursuing her dream of being an idol?

"I've known a few people owning their own little business, their slice of paradise they can do whatever with. Being a bar owner must be a dream for you, mustn't it?"


| >>820909
>The "girly" sits down, her lips still curved in a teasing grin
"It's been a bit since anyone called me that, for sure."
>She giggles
"How do you do, barkeep? I'm quite eager to see what you can mix for me."

| >>821105

>Nova gets a little excited before backing down and starts looking a little puzzled.

"My dream job, huh?"

"To be honest, I don't want a job at all! I've already *had* my dream job, This is all just me, I dunno. Waking up from it?"

| >>820688

>He looks over to 'Bo'. A slight smile onhis face as he says

"Guess the fella's gonna be pulling his weight now that someone's up for karaoke."

>He then looks over to Chanka. Perplexed.

"Wait-- doesn't the little one ver there look a bit too young? and why didn't I notice that before??"

| >>821109

>Nova leans on the bar in front of the new patron.

"Better since you walked in. What kinda stuff do you like?"


>She shrugs.

"I dunno, She's in uniform, she's a cop! So she can *probably* drink."

| >>821112
>Chanka stomps her feet on the ground, pouting
"How rude are the people around here?? I just had my birthday a few days ago, I am the very image of an adult lady!"
>she drinks the rest of her glass while fuming, mumbling to herself.
>This seems to be a common theme with this tiny officer.
>Chanka moved up to the stage with a large stride.

| >>821115

>He thinks for a bit, takes a glance at the so-called officer -- then also shrugs.

"Fair enough I suppose."


>He then faces towards Chanka.

"It was an honest mistake I swear."

>And takes another sip of the drink trying not to laugh.

| >>821060
>Feeling a wave of secondhand relief as Nova regains her composure and slips back into her role as a host, the woman with the oden listens quietly as the tender chats with Elise and Chanka about her past. Finally, /something/ rings a bell. She snaps her fingers.

"... Oh. Oh!! You're the--"

>The woman touches the tips of her fingers together, forming the tip of an unfinished triangle, and awkwardly points it this way and that.

"One'a the... uh..."

>What is she doing?

| >>821145
"Well, I'm a reasonable adult, so I'll forgive you this time!"
>Chanka smugly declares, puffing her chest forward while resting her hands on her hips.
>She makes her way close to Bo, and begins to wave a hand in front of his face.
"Hey! You there? Hello?"
>She jumps in place, trying to get the robot's attention... She didn't notice nova unplugging him.

| >>821159

>Nova kind of pieces together what she's going for and looks extremely excited, getting down on one knee and making a triangle pointing up and to her left.

"Yess! Star☆Wish! Nova! *whew* I'm still out there somewhere it seems."


>She plugs Bo back in and he addresses Chanka.

"Hello! Please point me towards the song of your choosing."

>One of the microphones tilts forward and pops slightly out of its holster awaiting a voice command.

| >A new patron approaches! A small girl with long black messy hair, going down to her back.

>Her black sweater was a size or two too big, completely covering her hands.

>She had a mid length grey skirt, bottoming out with a pair of grey and white stripped stockings and black boots.

>On top of her head was a little grasshopper drone, and a pair of glasses.

"Batta-chan, you were right~ This place is pretty nice~! Hm? Tora-chan and Taka-chan? They have each other, just like us~"

| >>821110
"Oh, that's fine too I suppose. Sometimes you just aren't as enthusiastic as you think about your dream. What was your job before here?"

>Elise replies, taking another sip to recover from the slight awkwardness.

| >>821227

>Nova waves the new patron in.

"Hey! Welcome to Limelight! What can I do for you?"


"Here, Check this out."

>Nova walks over to the fridge and retrieves a printed article dated from seven years ago that's headline reads:


>Pictured is a group of idols striking a pose where the five of them form a star with their hands, Nova being pictured forming the bottom.

| >>821344
>Elise reads the article and looks at the picture, back at Nova, then to the picture again before it suddenly clicks.

"Oh! You were a performer, uh, idol?"

>Elise asks.

"Sorry, I don't really follow this stuff too much."

| >>821344
"Well, Batta-chan said she wanted to listen to some Karaoke, since she found this spot~"

>The girl hums softly to herself and tilts her head from side to side.

"Oh! Can you do strawberry daquiris? Or something similar is fine too~!"

>Giving a wide smile, the girl takes a seat at the bar, her little grasshopper friend jumping down onto the counter.

| >>821353

>Nova hangs the article back up, and returns to answer.

"Nah! You're OK. I used to be an idol, in a group. You see, when you're an idol you have a bit of an 'expiration date', when you reach it, they call it graduating."

>There's a hint of bitterness in Nova's words.


>Nova inspects the little grasshopper drone.

"Aww, so cute! Let me see what I can do for you!"

>She begins pensively looking over her liquor stock.

| >>821360
>The girl smiles wide and gives the grasshopper a small finger pet. It affectionally cries out "Batta!" and gives a small hop.

"It's okay if you don't, just anything sweet will be fine too~"

>Glancing at the stage, she nods to herself and looks back at her grasshopper.

"Looks like our timing was perfect, someone is about to perform soon, Batta-chan~"

| >>821360
"What's an Aidoll? That sounds silly!"
>Chanka chirps as she slowly ponders over the song she was going to sing.
>She did say Piano man, but now that she was actually here on stage, she was considering her actions.
>Something that would show off her soul...
>Something that she could remember.
>This made her options quite limited, seeing as she barely ever cared for music.
>The tiny oni taps her foot as she grumbles
"Oh! Do you have Katsyusha? The choir version!"

| >>821115
"I'm a fan of strong drinks, the kind that can let me forget my sorrows."
>The girl leans forward with a hand to her chin and the other on her crossed legs
>Her eyes are locked into the barkeep's
"The kind of drinks that let me *really* unwind."

| >>821383

>Nova laughs at Chanka's statement, covering her mouth with her hand.

"You're right! It is kind of silly!"

>Bo's display lights up to show at least under normal circumstances; a list of tracks selectable by touch screen but only *one* track appears labeled "Katsyusha -- Red Army Choir" at the top.

"A near ancient Soviet military march? or is it a folk song perhaps?"

>Nova's eyes widen, making the stars tattooed into them very visible.

"E-excuse me? How?!"

| >>821362

>Nova begins spinning a couple of cocktail shakers around in the palms of her hands, she quickly puts the two drinks together and stacks them on top of one another. A third shaker is flipped into the air and caught on top of the stack before being shaken. She tilts the tower of metal tumblers sideways over a pair of glasses and bends it, pouring two drinks at the same time.


"A Sparkle Star for you!"


"And a Pile Driver for you!"


| >>821575
>Chanka seems happy
"Oh you do have it! Good, Good!"
>She nods excitedly, this song was taught to her by her mother, she had commited it to heart a long time ago.
>Her russian was a little rusty, but she was confident no one would notice.
>Chanka flipped the mic and stood upon the stage, puffing her chest and taking a deep breath
>Easy does it little Oni.
"I'm ready!!"

| >>821589
"Thank you very much."
>The girl takes the glass and...
>Downs the drink in one motion, an elegant, classy motion, but a singular one nonetheless
>She smiles wide after savoring the taste
"Quite good, for the artificial stuff anyway."
>She puts down the empty glass and leans back, a look of contentment on her face

| >>821589
"Uwooo~! Neat~!"

>The girl gives a small bit of applause, smiling softly before taking a small sip of the drink.

"Thank you for the drink~!"

| >>821608

>Nova flips a few switches on the panel behind the bar and a few can lights hanging above the stage flick on with an audible pop.

"Mannn! that never gets old! Go for it, Chanka, Bo!"


>During the brief period before the performance begins, Nova gives a quick reply to her two new patrons.

"Thanks! I'd like to try real stuff eventually but it's much riskier to spill it..."


"And some people seem to appreciate the theatrics! Appreciate you, darling!"

| >>821641
"It's always good to tackle new things... variety is the spice of life in the end."
>The girl smiles at Nova, tracing a finger over the rim of her glass
>She turns to the stage
"In light of that, maybe I should go at it a few times. I always was atrocious at singing, but without practice you can't make perfection."

| >>821360
"Oh, well, atleast you made some good memories right?"

>Elise says, trying to make the best out of the situation.

| >>821968

>Nova collects the used glass from in front of Elise and makes another Bad Touch, skipping any of the theatrics this time to be able to focus on the upcoming performance.

"Yeah, it really was great! To be honest; it's kinda my reason for opening this place... Even if it's for a moment... I want people to feel like I used to."


>Nova makes a guts pose and her eyes widen, once again revealing the star shaped in them both.

"You really should! It feels great!"

| >>821641
>The girl finishes her drink and gives a thumbs up.

"Mmhmm! I feel like it makes it taste better, you know~? If someone puts the time in making a food or a drink, you can really tell, I think~!"

>She nods a couple times, murmuring "humu humu" with each nod

| >>821208
>Feeling slightly starstruck and perhaps now a little out of her element, the woman with the oden falls silent, again. It's getting lively in here. Lots of unfamiliar faces.


>She wants for a break in conversation before mumbling to the bartender:

"My, uh... my sis loved you guys. Used t'try to get me t'do the... >>>star thing, but... kinda hard t'pull off with just two people."

| >>821988

>Nova laughs and does a quick spin with her barspoon again just for fun.

"I've been practicing! It's a lot like rehearsing dance moves and I love showing what I can do!"

| >>822062

>Nova prepares a napkin and scribbles her name on it with a big star at the end. She leans in close against the bar and slides the napkin over.

"It's OK, you know? Lots of people here are ready to be vulnerable; that's what karaoke is for, right? Tell your sister I said hi!"

>She smiles and attempts to lighten the mood.

"I miss her as much as she misses us!"

| >>822193
>The woman stares at the bar napkin for a moment, before slowly folding it in half, and tucking it away into the breast pocket of her jacket. She hasn't spoken to her sister in a while...

"... ほんまおおきに."

>She slides the edge of a thumb beneath the clear plastic of the oden container, flipping it off the cup to release a cloud of heavily scented steam. She inhales, appetite whetted.

"I'm Aikawa."

| >>822195

>Nova cocks her head to the side.

"いえいえ... Don't worry about it! Kansai, huh? I always liked visiting Osaka, it was always on 'business' though."

"Nice to meet you, Nova!"

>She scratches her cheek.

"And seriously, thanks for offering me food earlier. Even though I didn't take you up on it. My mom always taught me working hungry reminds you of what you're working for!"

>Nova glances at Bo, who is luckily preoccupied at the moment.

| >>822205
>Aikawa stops mid-bite of konnyaku to answer, leaving half of the wobbly piece of gel hanging from her chopsticks precariously.

"Uh... >>>yyyeah-- haha..."

>Probably didn't pass through where she grew up, then.

"Where'd you, uh, visit? Get t'try the food, at all?"

>It'd be a shame if all that "business" got in the way of sampling all the culinary delights Osaka has to offer...

| >>822213

>Nova claps her hands and nods.

"We used to do our meet and greets outside of a broadcasting company in Chuo-ku!"

"But after it was done, I split from the group and went to Dotonbori to stuff my self silly!"

"One time I made myself sick before a performance and they practically had to *roll* me up on stage."

>She begins laughing, clutching her stomach with tears beginning to form.

"They tried to tell me I was being 'unprofessional' but when in Rome, I say!"

| >>821641
>Chanka starts tapping her feet along with the beat
>She brings the microphone to her lips and places a hand unto her chest, closing her eyes.
>A deep breath
"Rastsvetali yabloni i grushi,
Poplyli tumany nad rekoy;
Vykhodila na bereg Katyusha,
Na vysokiy bereg, na krutoy."
>Chanka's bell like voice resounds as she sings calmly, contrasting her usual excited dialogue.
>She sounds a bit... Amateurish, but what she lacks in training she makes up for with enthusiasm.

| >>822219
"Huh, no shit."

>It's a small world we live in...

"Only got t'go to Dotonb'ri few times but..."

>Aikawa picks at something else in the takeout container-- it looks like she's eating around whatever's in the center. Maybe she's not a fan?

"... Right way to spend a visit. '食い倒れ'--"

>She takes another long swig of her sake. Her eyes linger on the Major for a moment, before she turns back to Nova.

"Y'get a lotta people singin' here?"

| >>822222

>Nova is absolutely enjoying Chanka's performance, she seems like she's putting her all into it!


>Nova turns back to Aikawa for a moment, talking loudly.

"What is it that they say? You go to Kyoto for the fashion, you go to Osaka for the food?"

"We see plenty! Only the Major's gone up tonight though are you thinking about hopping in?"

>Nova looks toward Aikawa with a big excited smile on her face.

| >>822244
>Aikawa smirks, folds her arms across her chest and nods emphatically. Yep, this one's got right the idea! Proudly, she declares:

"S'right. Food, 'n the people. Wanna have a good laugh; go t'Osaka."

>She seems to deflate a little when Nova suggests that she follow Chanka's performance with one of her own.

"U-uh... I..."

>She grimaces.

"... usually back up whoever's singin'? Not tone deaf, but... don't really gotta voice t'show off."

| >>822246

>Nova tries to be reassuring again making a guts pose and pumping her fist into the air.

"It's not about showing off your singing voice, it's about showing off your spirit!"

>She looks lost in thought for a moment before snapping out of it with a sly smile.

"Or... you know, I could get on stage with you... How about it? Wanna make your sister jealous~?"

| >Chanka isn't paying attention to the audience, singing and remembering the lyrics to a song she had learned almost 20 years ago was more than enough to occupy her completely
>The Major's performance, coupled with her voice and appearance made her appear much like a child, singing at a recital.
>Not that anyone should mention that aloud...
"Vykhodila, pesnyu zavodila
Pro stepnogo, sizogo orla,
Pro togo, kotorogo lyubila,
Pro togo, ch'i pis'ma beregla."
>Chanka swayed as she sang.

| >>822191
"If you love doing something, why not show it off~? That's why I bring a friend along with me~"

>She grins and taps the little grasshopper on the head. It hops slightly in reply.

"Ah, I'm Evening by the way~ Is it a nickname? I'll let you decide that for yourself~"


>Evening listens closely and tilts her head from side to side before nodding to herself.


| >>822276

>Nova cups her hands around her mouth and cheers for Chanka.

"Let's Gooo Chanka!! Woo!"


>Nova chuckles, prepared for how dumb this sounds.

"Good Evening, Evening... You probably get that a lot, but I just couldn't resist!"

"And your little friend there sure is cute! You build him yourself?"

| >>822356
"Ehehe~ I do, but I like it a lot~ In fact, I go to places around evening time just to get that response!"

>Evening giggles softly, glancing at her grasshopper drone.

"Yep~! I built Batta-chan all by myself~! She's basically an oversized Kanmushi, but since she looks so different, you would think she's a toy, rather than a drone~"

>Tapping Batta-chan's head, Evening grins down at her drone.

"Actually, Believe it or not, I used to be an Intelligence Officer~"

| >>821983
"Really? That's noble of you."

>Elise replies, taking the glass of Bad Touch.

| >>822255
"My... 'spirit'?"

>Aikawa shows Nova a confused, almost uneasy pair of air quotes. She /tries/ to remind herself that she's talking to a former idol-- someone who takes this kind of thing very seriously...


>It... might not make Yayoi jealous, but it would certainly make her... /something/. There's only one way to figure out /what/, I suppose. At the very least, it'll make for a good story.

"Wwwhat would we, uh... sing?"

| >>822646

>Nova looks surprised

"You mean like, for the government?"


>She laughs and throws back a wink.

"That's so sweet of you to say~! But a girls gotta pay rent somehow!"


>Nova smiles and leans in close.

"Well, that's the thing... we can sing *whatever you want*, it's only fair that I have a handicap! After all, I want *you* to be the star of the show!"

| >Chanka is really into it now, her singing gets louder and clearer.
>She's really trying her best.
"Oy, ty pesnya, pesenka devich'ya,
Ty leti za yasnym solntsem vsled,
I boytsu na dal'nem pogranich'e
Ot Katyushi pereday privet."
>Chanka's russian isn't quite as good as she wanted it to be, she resolved herself to try and study a bit after this...
>If she had time.

| >>823363
>In her mind, Aikawa runs through a list-- one that grows exponentially smaller the more criteria she adds to it. Watching it shrink throws her into a state of inner turmoil. Half of the songs she knows well enough to perform are done solo, and that's not gonna fly...

"... Hmm."

| >>823363
"Yep! Military and all~ Got all the way to Major~ They wanted to make me a Lieutenant Colonel, but I got out~ Wanted to do my own thing~"

>Evening nods a few times, closing her eyes and leans back slightly.

"Sometimes I miss it, but then I wouldn't be here, creating drones like Bata-chan~"

| >>821983
>The shorter woman has silently been enjoying the Major's singing, her soft mane of lavender swaying as she hums the old russian song
"Hmmm... then after the Major's turn, I shall take the stage. I know of a few classics who beg to be heard. Fufufu!"
>She seems to be in a great mood as she taps her fingers rhythmically on the counter

| >Chanka continues singing, matching the choir as the song crescendos to its ending.
>She nails it, breathing in sharply after the last few words of the song.
>She opens her eyes and smiles smugly upon the whole bar.
>Sweat drips from her brow
>She turns to Bo and hands him the microphone, a kind light glows deep within her eyes.
>She steps off the stage, and closer to the bar.
"Well, how was that! Keep the applause coming!"
>She says, lisping and out of breath.

| >>824828

>Loud almost casino like noises pour out of Bo's sound system. A scoreboard flashes on screen informing Chanka she made a high score. The only score on Katshuya. He speaks.

"A 7.5, your Russian could use some work and your techni--"

>Bo goes silent again as Nova stands behind the bar swinging a loose audio cable around in her hands.

"That was amazing! Where did you learn Russian?! I could tell there was a lot of *feeling* in that!"

"Let's give it up for Chanka!"

| >>824832
>Chanka smiles wryly at Bo's remark, scratching the back of her neck
"Eheheh... I don't really speak it much nowadays! Mama was the one who taught me!"
>She turns to nova after having jumped unto the stool where she had sat beforehand
"My mama was Russian, and her father, my grandfather loved this song... So I hear anyway!"
>A shadow passes over Chanka's countenance, but it only lasts an instant
"I'll have another hard drink!"
>She exclaims

| >>824832 >>824856
>The girl with the lavender hair gives polite applause, a wry smile on her lips
>She then stands up and heads for the stage
"I suppose I should make true on my words. May the beautiful bartender propse a song for me to sing?"
>She winks to Nova with a cheeky smile

| >>824856

>Nova chuckles as she plugs Bo back in again.

"It really is a beautiful song! I didn't understand a word, but I 'felt' it you know? And I think that was thanks to your performance. Makes me wish I could meet your mom."

>She gets started on another Fringe Weaver for Chanka, starting by flinging a tumbler behind her back and catching it once she finishes, she pushes it over to the oni.

| >>824894

>Nova turns to the girl with a smile.

"Ohhh hoo~ you flatter me! Thank you, beautiful! I hate to say it but I'm no good at making recommendations, you gotta pick something from the heart!"

>Bo's audio cuts in.

"For once we agree on something."

| >>824912
>Chanka grins, showing off her sharp teeth.
"Eheheh! Isn't it! My mama taught me well!"
>It's obvious from her tone, this oni loves her mother.
>She takes the newly served drink and gulps it down
>A frown manifests unto her face
"Mama can't visit though... she's too sick, doctors say that, so they must be right!"
>The oni says




| >>823503
>Chanka's labeling of the language she sang in as "Russian" suddenly halts Aikawa's stewing over what she'll be hollering into Bo's mic. But, why?







"... Ah, jeez..."

>Maybe they don't have it. Maybe it's too old? It's gotta be too old. She hopes it is.

"Kuroda-han... how... far back's 's library go...?"

| >>824929

>Nova places her hand on her cheek and looks a little concerned.

"Sick, huh? I hope she's okay! I'd like to meet her someday!"

>Nova is really just thinking: Is Chanka's mom just like her? Same height? horns? Is being an oni hereditary?


>Nova still lost in thought about the potential of oni mom is startled by Aikawa's question.

"Oh! Well, further than I thought apparently! I'm not even sure if I know the answer anymore."

| >>825649
>Oh, god, she's actually going to have to /ask/, isn't she? This is humiliating...


>She mutters the second half of her question, knowing she's not going to get the answer she's hoping for.


>Does she like them? No. Does she know their songs reliably, though? Yes; thanks to her husband. She curses her luck, or lack thereof.

| >>825653

"Uhh, lemme check!"

>Nova turns and yells the same question towards the stage.

"Hey Bo! This Kansai cutie is asking if we've got any Beatles!"

>Lights around Bo's neck flash in a cycle for a moment before he answers.

"What do you take me for, mistress? Of *course* we have The Beatles."

| >>825655
>Nova is treated to the sight of Aikawa nearly choking on her own tongue as the words "Kansai cutie" leave the 'tender's mouth. God-- is this revenge for that tiny ribbing she'd given Nova earlier?!

"Ehh... g-great..."

>I took you for a brand new model with strong opinions on Starr's ability to hit a snare... guess I struck out on that one.

"Well, uh... 's'not... anything'n idol'd really sing, but..."

| >>825662

>Nova chuckles at the sound coming from Aikawa's throat.

"I think I made it clear I'd sing anything if you want me up there with you! Consider me a back up!"

| >>825666
>Aikawa heaves a heavy sigh. She finds herself wishing she'd had a little more to drink before embarking on this journey to (15-minute) stardom.

"... Gonna need y't'do the high parts."

>Those Beach Boy-esque "woo-ooo-ooo"s just aren't for her. Aikawa peers down into her takeout cup of oden, wondering if she should eat the egg that remains in it now, or treat herself with it after she's done suffering on stage.


>... Ah, fuck waiting. Eat it now.

| >>825671

>Nova poses doing a peace sign over the star in her eye and winking with the other.

"I can do that easy! I might miss a few because I don't know when they're coming so I'll need you to help me out, okay?"

| "I wonder if I should sing something..."

>Evening closes her eyes and sways from side to side, thinking of any songs she knew. Batta-chan jumps up and down a little bit.

"Heh...I guess I kinda know that one..."

| >>825688
"U-uh... s-sure."

>Looking stiff and all kinds of uncomfortable, Aikawa ambles awkwardly over to Bo, and kind of murmurs her song request to him. She's too embarrassed to shout it across the bar. She doubts that anyone would find it distasteful, but... even a few eyerolls or stifled groans would be enough to make her back down at this point. She's already half worked up the courage, so... no turning back, now.


| >>825708

>Nova gives a brief look towards evening as she makes her way up to the stage with Aikawa.

"You definitely should! It's super fun and it never gets old!"


>Nova gets on stage and tears off her jacket, tossing it towards the corner of the room. Bo speaks

"Cleanly as ever I see. What would you like mistress?"

>His microphone tilts forward.

"This one is Aikawa's, How about you let him know what we're singing?"


| >>826055
>Evening grins and giggles to herself.

"Well, just so you know, I've hit my climax awhile ago~"

>Nodding and patting Batta-chan, she watches Nova go up on stage.

"But for now, have fun up there for me~"

| >>825649
>Chanka simply smiles at the bartender.
>Unlike the Oni's usual expression, there is no brightness left upon her face as a shadow passes through her vivid vermillion irises.
>She drains the rest of her glass, and upon putting it down, a simple-minded smile returns to her features.
>The oni returns to eating her peanuts, humming to herself the song which she had just finished performing.
"Have fun singing! you were right: it did feel good!"
>She waves to Nova

| >>826055

>Aikawa's brain chugs as she tries in vain to change her song choice last minute, but nothing else comes to mind.

"It's, uh... 'Back--"

>She groans again, and curses under her breath.

"... 'Back in the USSR'."

| >>826437

>Bo's touchscreen narrows it down to one track and flashes it up on screen.

"Ah, right here? Inspired I see, or perhaps you just thought this was clever?"

>Nova has ceased paying attention to Bo and is already hamming it up on stage; waving to the rest of the bar and especially Chanka.


"For sure! You had so much fun that I'm dying to have some myself!"

| >>826446
>Aikawa feels her skin flare hot, from below her collar, up to her ears. She snatches one of the mics from Bo's holsters, jabs her finger into the touch screen, and snarls:

"Go... piss up a rope."

>She then hesitantly joins Nova downstage, planting herself half in the woman's shadow. Let's keep the the audience's eyes on the person used to catching them all...

| >>826455

>As the song begins; Nova realizing what's going on, tries to think of something that would make Aikawa feel at ease, She turns around and wraps an arm around her shoulder and yells an enthusiastic, but albeit forced phrase into Aikawa's mic.

"まいど... おおきに! Thank You, Everyone!!☆"

>Nova looks toward Aikawa with some sort of mix between a smile and a puzzled expression, that conveys a "was that right?" before breaking her hold and taking a few steps to the side.

| >>826457
>Aikawa grunts in surprise as she's pulled towards Nova, eyes wide, and darting all over the place. Her momentary state of fluster breaks as the 'tender cheerfully welcomes the bar's patrons to the show.


>Well... it wasn't /wrong/-- but, there isn't much time to iron out the technicalities at play, here-- the guitar is picking up, and there's only so many counts left before the vocals start...

| >>826462
>Aikawa flashes Nova a crooked grin; it's awkward, and maybe a little broken in places, but not so much that the appreciation behind it can't shine through.


>Well... let's do it. She starts, with a bit of a sputter:

"F-flew in from Miami beach B-O-A-C, didn't get to bed last night--"

>The sudden improvement in her diction makes her sound stiff. She tries to shake that a little.

"Ahh, uh, onnn the way the paper bag was on my knee, man I had a dreadful flight..."

| >Chanka shows both the women on stage a thumbs-up and a frealess smile
>She's probably thinking something like: "As the first singer I want them to give a good show!!!"
"The light is too bright I can barely see! But you're looking good up there!"
>... Assuming she was thinking about anything was a mistake.

| >>826464

>Nova positions herself in a way such that she has a good view of Bo's display, She's needing to read the screen or just make up words on the fly... they might not be the right words exactly but it sounds good. Wasn't there something she was supposed to be ready for?




Total number of posts: 147, last modified on: Wed Jan 1 00:00:00 1642956881