(Setting) Limelight!!☆ Karaoke Bar: Open Mic Night!

| >A small bar located in the Neon District; just across the street from GC Super convenience store sits with it's door wide open, revealing a short flight of stairs down into the bar.

>The joint is rather haphazardly decorated for a 'special event', The stage at the end of the bar has a banner crookedly hung above that reads

"Limelight Open Mic Night!"

>Under it a small droid sits with a party hat attached crookedly to it's round, metal head.

| >The bar is still completely empty, The evening has just begun so the usual riff raff has yet to make their way to Nova’s place. She sits behind the bar wearing a bright blue bodycon dress, for the occasion of course. During the current lull in business she’s relaxing on the stool, flipping through the pages of a book and humming a melody to herself. She stops to address the droid on stage.

| “I put a ton of effort into tonight so I hope we get to see some fun stuff!”

>The droid replies in a deadpan British accent.

“Mistress, if this is seriously the best you can do…”

>He goes silent immediately, Nova cutting him off – speaking loudly into a microphone placed behind the counter. The audio peaks into a high pitched whine.

“If tonight goes as planned, *you* won’t even have to do anything! Just appreciate a night off will you?”

| >A thin, blonde figure approached the open place, he's wearing black jeans and a stained black blazer with a white t-shirt branding the phrase "Life is short, #consume" on black letters.

>He adjusts his outfit, checking the pockets on his blazer as he walks down the stairs

| >>865699

>Nova notices she has a guest and makes a noise that could be mistaken for a small dog barking, the microphone picks it up causing it to reverberate around the entire room. She rushes to stash her book under the counter and clears her throat.

"Why hello there! Welcome to Limelight!! There anything I can get for you?"

| >The man flinched at the feedback yet still shot a smile at her enthusiasm

"Most definitely, I want a seat, a wake-me-up kinda drink and the first spot on that microphone for once this place's packed cutie, I came to stun~"

| >>866015

>Nova giggles, while she grabs a bottle with a long spout and juggles it around a little bit.

"Another kindred spirit! Guided by the light of the stage, I see."

>She tosses a bottle lightly into the air and balances it on her elbow for a moment, then, tips it over and allows it to roll into her hand. She repeats this alternating with three separate bottles before adding ice to a glass. Nova spins a long spoon like a baton above the glass before stirring.

| >>866015

>She slides the glass over to the patron.

"A Bad Touch for you, handsome. I used to always like something sour before I went up on stage; felt like it kept me on my toes."

| >Outside, someone's leisurely stroll slows to an aimless shuffle as a pair of feet make themselves visible at the top of the bar's steps. They remain glued there for a moment, still, while their owner mumbles quietly to themselves. Whatever hesitation seems to have caught hold of them dispels after a few seconds, and they (rather carefully) make their way in.

>... Woah. Those are some /long/ legs.

| >>866401

>Nova finishes giving the current patron his drink, and preens herself to prepare to greet the new patron.

"Hello, hello! Aren't you a tall drink of water?~ Welcome to Limelight! Sit wherever you like."

| >>866404
>Said "tall drink of water" nearly clips the side of his head against the doorframe as he ducks inside the bar proper, slight crouch only barely masking his flushed face.


>He straightens himself with a little wobble, revealing a slim, smiling, well-dressed man with messy brown mop of a haircut.

"... Thank you."

>The man moseys his way on over to the bartender. Soft clicking is heard as he gets himself situated on a barstool nearby.

| >>866420

>Nova leans in close after the man is seated.

"So... how about something to drink? Hey, if you're performing tonight, shedding some inhibitions might be exactly what you need!"

>She says while shimmying her body in a small dance.

| >>866423
"Ah, well..."

>Nova's newest guest looks around for some sort of signage that might bear the bar's drink menu.

"... Sure, I'll have something. Do you have any drinks that are... on the lighter side?"

>He grins at the 'tender sheepishly, and lowers his voice.

"I'm, ah... not all that great at 'holding my liquor'. I've got the tolerance of an ant."

>He chuckles, and shakes his head at himself.

| >>866428

>Nova places a finger on her chin and cocks her head from side to side.

"Well... I have canned drinks but aside from that I only serve BTC cocktails... I could try to keep something light for you, special."

"I bet you an ant could drink more than you think, I mean they're super strong!"

| >>866433
"A-ah, well, if it wouldn't cause you any trouble..."

>He trails off, his embarrassment deepening. It's been ages since he's been out at a bar. His go-to "safe" order from years past has long since left his memory.


>Take it easy, fella. Relax. Keep working yourself up like this, and you're going to start holding your breath.

"... then, I'd like a Piano Woman, please-- just, a little weak."

| >>866434
>He continues,

"Maybe she's not... playing a >>>grand-- something more like....messing around on a toy piano."

>The man nods.

"A 'Pianissimo Woman', if you will."

| >>866435

>Nova jokes back, except properly.

"Pianossimo? I'm gonna let you know that like me; my drinks are pretty loud!"

>She begins mixing the drink, pouring multiple bottles in simultaneously, and again doing the same twirling motion with her mixing spoon as before.

>She slides the drink over,

"One, maybe Mezzo Piano Woman?"

>Nova winks, drawing attention to the star shaped design of her iris.

"Tell me hotshot, you ever meet anyone famous?"

| >>866438
>Nova's reply earns her a more relaxed grin. The man's posture eases, a bit.

"... 'Mezzo Piano Woman'; yes-- I'll take that."

>He gratefully takes the glass from the bartop, pausing to mull Nova's question over before sipping his drink.

"... I supposed that would depend on your definition of famous, miss...?"

| >>866439

>Nova laughs, but it's a little hard to tell if it was genuine.

"You know, I've been looking for the answer to that question for years."

>The lights on the Droid in the corner are going crazy but no sound comes out.

>She strikes a flashy pose to introduce herself.

"Nova! Nova Kuroda!

>She waits expectantly for a reaction.

| >>866441
>The man's face brightens-- but, is it at the taste of his drink, or at Nova's demeanor?

"Ah-- so, you >>>are her...! It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, then, miss Kuroda."

>A starry-eyed starlet. That was something along the lines of how she'd been described to him-- though, there was something else, too; wasn't there? He muses aloud.

"It's funny, my wife had another name she called you by. I wasn't sure which you'd be using."

| >A couple makes their way into the establishment, at the front by a young woman, with flowing black hair and a light blue sweater top. She was leading another figure by the hand; a man with slicked back black hair, wearing a gray hooded jacket and a pair of green trousers.
>They seemed to have arrived after a trip to the super convenience store, judging from the plastic bags in their hands.
>The girl's blue eyes seem eager as they enter, while her partner gave her a hesitant look.

| "Ally? Is this a good idea?"

>The man says, which prompts his companion to double around, shooting him a reassuring glance.

"Yes! Come on, think of this as a celebration! We haven't been out in a bar like this for a while."

"Yeah but, the groceries."

>The man says, raising the bags. But then the girl frowns and starts giving him almost a pleading look. The man sighs.

"Okay, just a quick look couldn't hurt..."

| >>866529

>Nova overreacts a little strongly to this information, She hops around a little and begins to squeal.

"Aww~ so cute! Would you be Aika-chan's hubby then? Talk about a power couple!"


>She turns to wave in the newcomers.

"Hey, hey! Speaking of power couples! Hi there lovelies, welcome to Limelight! Go ahead and take a seat wherever you're comfortable, lemme know if I can get you something to drink!"

| >>866552
"Thank you! This all looks very nice!"

>The girl waves back cheerfully before dragging her partner by the hand to take the seats beside one of the men in the room.

"Come on, relax, let's have a drink."

>She says, taking the grocery bags from her companion and ploping it down at their feet.

"Alright, fine, we'll see where this leads."

>The man says, and the girl's face lights up.

"That's the spirit! Bartender! A fluffy dream please, and a marsbast for my fiance here!"

| >>866561

>Nova looks down at the grocery bags, before beginning preparations on any drinks.

"You have anything perishable? I can try to squeeze it into my fridge if it'd help you relax!"

>She mixes both of the drinks in tumblers, stacking the two on top of each other. Nova pours both drinks simultaneously by tipping the stack over then bending it.

| >>866561

"One Fluffy Dream, One Marsblast for the bride and groom to be!"

>Nova squees again.

"Congrats you two~!!"

| >>866389 />>866570
>He took his drink with an agreeing nod and got to it right away, though at this point the thin patron was almost done with his bad touch having kept a low profile so far with the arrival of others, now paying attention to her mixing technique as she made the couple's drinks

"I'd say the entertainment here begins as soon as this one picks the ingredients"
>He said to no one in particular

| >>866552
>The man's mouth drops open slightly-- he slams it shut and blinks hard before answering. His cheeks color.

"A-ah-- yes, I'm her h-- I'm her husband."

>It's been, what... /two/ years, and you're /still/ getting faint over someone pointing out that you two are hitched? Jeez.

"A 'power couple', huh...?"

>He murmurs to himself, and takes another sip of his drink-- though, it doesn't clear his head like he'd hoped-- if anything, it makes him a little more woozy.

| >>866574
"... You have some fascinating irises, miss Kuroda."

| >>866574

>Nova reaches across the bar and playfully smacks the tall guy on the shoulder.

"Yesss!! Aika-chan's a real catch! And I trust her judgment too! I think... I barely know the girl!"


"Aww these little numbers?"

>She says batting her eyelashes.

"Weird little body mod. Everyone in my idol group had to get the surgery... I was 16, I think? Kind of a marketing bust if you ask me!"

>Next she mumbles

"And *now* it's JUN's thing..."

| >>866582
>Nova's shown a bashful grin as the man's gaze drifts off to the side, sight settling on the soft gleam of gold wrapped around his ring finger.

"... I'm more than inclined to agree with you on that first part."

>The fluttering of the former idol's lashes draws his attention back to her face. For something that isn't "hers", she sure makes the look work.

"... You... >>>had to get them altered?"

| >>866572

>Nova says nothing in return but does make her way over to a machine at the end of the bar and turns it on, a pillar of lights topped with a spinning neon sign that reads "TIP ☆ JAR"


>Nova returns from her detour to a answer the question.

"You know showbiz nowadays, it's a way *out* for people. Makes future stars to be so easy to bargain with... Do what the label says or you get replaced."

>She says, almost too casually.

| >>866660
>This... this hardly seems legal. Offered some nebulous promise of escape from your present life at an impressionable age-- in exchange for your bodily autonomy, and who knows what else.

"The, ah... the entertainment industry is really something..."

>Rich, powerful, attractive devils you don't know, masquerading as angels in the faces of the ones you do. The man fidgets uncomfortably.

"... You kept them, though."

| >>866676

>Nova shakes her head and giggles.

"It's an easy way to look in the mirror and remember what it was like... That and you wouldn't believe the bill for the reversal... YEESH."

"For real though, poor Miyu. We spent our entire career wondering what became of her after her refusal."

| >>866687
>The man steeples his fingers, and cocks his head to the side slightly.

"Well, if you ever decided you were... tired of seeing Orion's belt every time you wanted to check your reflection, miss Kuroda..."

>He opens his hands with a small shrug.

"... I'd be more than happy to point you in the direction of a surgeon who could help you with that issue."

>He smiles gently.

"... I do feel they suit you, though."

>A beat.

"Who is-- er, who are Miyu, and JUN...?"

| >>866690

>Nova clutches her chest.

"Well aren't you a sweetheart, I can see why Aika-chan got her mitts on you when she had the chance."

>She sighs and relaxes her shoulders.

"You don't know who JUN is, so that instantly makes us friends... if we weren't already."

"It's pretty simple. JUN was the leader of Star☆Wish; Got her own big stupid solo career and left the rest of us behind."

| >>866690

>She starts scratching her cheek

"But, it wasn't always supposed to be that way. Plans change; as they say. That was Miyu's spot before they found a replacement that was a lot less... 'opinionated', I guess."

"Voice of an angel that girl; but very headstrong... Stubborn, but in a good way."

| >>866693
"... If I'm understanding you correctly, your producers didn't seem to think it was 'in a good way'."

>The man runs a hand through his hair, further ruffling his bangs.

"... What was it she 'refused', exactly?"

| > What looked like a girl in her teens wanders in to the bar. Her heels and dress seem like the expensive kind, but maybe not suited to a place like this. She walks in and looks around, thinking it a good place to get a drink

> She walks over to the bar and takes a seat next to the tallest guy she can see there out of habit

> She takes the seat and stretches out, "accidentally" bumping him before reseting her position, doing her best to look aloof and as if she did nothing

| >>866694

>Nova nods, now drawing circles on the bar with her finger, seeming a little unfocused.

"Exactly. Creative differences, not liking the eyes, you name it. She was great to work with, but not to *command*..."


>She's immediately snapped out of it by the girl who sits down next to her newfound friend.

"Oh! Sorry! Welcome to Limelight! It's uh... Open Mic Night Tonight! Can I get you something to drink?"

| >>866698

> The girl clears her throat and sets a clutch bag on the bar. It doesn't look like it matches her outfit too well.

"Oh, hi~ Could I get a cobalt velvet please? Thanks~"

> Her voice feels rough around its edges. She eyes the bartender, curious as to what she might be like

| >>866700

"Sure thing, cutie!"

>Nova takes a deep breath and prepares a glass, she takes a small chunk of ice in some tongs, and flings the ice behind her back, just barely catching it in the glass in front of her. She exhales relieved that it went in before finishing up icing up the glass.

>The rest of the ingredients go in and she finishes mixing the drink with her spoon.

"One Cobalt Velvet, Love the dress, girlie!~ You here to watch or are you gonna perform?"

| >>866698
"... Do you regret it, miss Kuroda? Being part of the group?"

>The man drains a good portion of his glass, then sets it on the counter.

"... If you were given the chance-- if you were able to go back to the time you decided you'd join, would y--"

>Interrupted by this unexpected jab in his side, the man startles and seems to scoot himself in the direction opposite the offending patron before regaining his composure.

"... would you make the same choice?"

| >>866702

>Nova finishes passing the drink off to her newest patron, and stands still staring into space for a moment and blows some air.

"There's never a day where I've regretted my time. I loved every second of it and we were all friends, I'd like to think so, anyway."

"The lights, the fans, the *energy* of leaving your soul up on stage, never got old."

| >>866702

>She chuckles to herself a little bit, and turns back to the man asking the questions.

"Y'know, it's funny. When I decided I'd like to run a bar, I thought I'd be the one listening to other people's problems. Now I'm the one getting the therapy sesh."

| >>866701

“Hmmm…. I’m thinking about it but my old partner isn’t going to be arriving so I might have to find a new song to sing. Maybe after one more I’ll make up my mind~”

> She notices the person she bumped up against fumble thanks to her. She cheers herself on internally and decides to follow through


“Oh, I’m sorry if I broke your concentration. My bad”

> She gives a sly smile and a wave of her hand

| >>866567
"Oh, that would help a lot, thank you miss... I'm sorry I didn't catch your name."

>The man says, picking out a gallon of milk and a batch of eggs.

"It would really help us, that's very nice of you, thank you so much!"

>The woman adds.

| >>866570
"Thank you!"

>The girl says, turning to her fiancee.

"Only took him, what? Eight years to finally propose?"

>The man smiles.

"Don't be like that, you knew the circumstances. Besides, better late than never, right?"

>The girl sighs and nods in agreement, before giving him a light peck on the cheek.

| >>866706

>Nova takes the milk and eggs and packs them tightly into a small fridge visible behind the bar.

"Really, it isn't a problem! I'm Nova!☆ What about you two?~"


>She laughs, then nods in agreement

"That's the spirit! lemme know if you need me to wake Bo up."

>The droid in the corner's lights are going nuts again.

"It's open mic night, but I can't very well let people roam into karaoke bar and not give them the option of karaoke can I?"

| >>866708
"Really nice to meet you, Nova! I'm Alix, and that's Red."

>The girl says, introducing herself and her partner.

"Thanks for the help regardless, Miss Nova. You might have saved her baking project."

>Red adds with a chuckle as he finally take a sip from his drink.

| >>866713

>Nova smiles big, somewhat proud of herself.

"Hey, no problem! If I can help bring another cake into the world, I'd gladly accept that responsibility!"

"What brings you two into my lovely little place?"

| >>866718
"Well, we just so happen to walk by, I guess. You see, Ally over here decided she want to try baking a cake. Being a good, supportive husband-to-be that I very much am, I tag along to help her carry the groceries."

>He says while Alix takes a drink from her glass, she almost spit out the drink at the last part, but manages to keep it in.

"Why, I totally didn't force you here as a punishment for drawing on my beautiful face while I was asleep!"

| >>866703 >>866704
"Might we... perhaps have the fortune of watching you take the stage tonight, miss Kuroda? If you're so eager to make performers out of us all, why not show us how it's done?"

| >>866720

>Nova covers her mouth, trying to hold in some laughter.

"Well, Everyone here is free to perform whatever they want on stage! If not, I'm sure tonight'll still be a treat!"


>She shoots him a glance, "Everyone here", I'm someone, she thinks.

"Certainly sounds tempting... Our conversation has put me in a certain kinda mood... like I've got to get something off my chest."

"And You can call me Nova. We're friends right? Err... What's your name?"

| >>866994
"I'm sure it will be."

>Red says off-handedly as he shoots Alix a smile.

"I almost wish you could have seen the panda face I drew on her. It was definitely my masterpiece."

>He says teasingly, and Alix's face heats up, although more so from embarassment than anger as she sips her drink.

"Miss Nova! I'm sure it would be so good to see you perform!"

>She suddenly cuts in, glad for something else to talk about.

| >>867027

"Ohh My~! Well, given the demand it seems I may not have a choice!"

>Nova was easily distracted by Alix's new line of conversation.

"Since you're so willing to see me on stage, does that mean you've seen me before?"

| >>867050
"Unfortunately not, but I'm sure that you'll put on a very magnificent show!"

>Alix urges on, anything to get off the topic. Red seems amused, but also plays along with her.

"Yes, I'm sure you're an excellent performer, Miss Nova."

| "I want to see that, c'mon let's see the host show us how it's done!"
>this came from the first arriving patron, after some time of silent e̶a̶v̶e̶s̶d̶r̶o̶p̶p̶i̶n̶g̶ drinking, raising his now empty glass

| >>867117
"Is that who I think it is?"

>Red says, as he turns to the source of the voice. He nudges his companion's shoulder and gestures toward the man.

"Honey, look, is that Neil?"

| >>867122
"HoNeY LoOk iS Tha--Why of course It's me, took enough for someone to recognize God walking amongst thee mortals"
>Neil turned with a smile at the couple, looking a little more healthy than usual as his face didn't show its iconic signs of sleep deprivation

| >>866708

"I'll be sure to let you know! In the mean time, I think it's best if i just absorb in this ambiance a little longer. Plus Im gonna need a little something to help me... loosen up. I bet this handsome man knows what i mean."

> Dusty nudges the man sitting next to her once more, this time noticeably more softly than before. Seems she wants to play nice

| >>867102

>Nova clicks her tongue and lets out a groan, looks into space for a moment and takes a deep breath.

"Thank you very much for saying so, I'd love to give you all a show! but I'd have to make sure everyone else is fine here before I go up, nobody works here but me and my friend Bo over there."

>She points her thumb to the droid wearing the party hat in the corner as he lights up again.

| >>867170
"Right, right, of course, Neil's gotta be Neil. How's the others at the studio?"

>Red asks, while Alix turns to look as well, suddenly remarking.

"Fenrir's gonna be pissed that he missed you. I knew we should've brought him along! He's the biggest fan of you in our household, you know. Personally, I don't know why, you're kind of an asshole. He loves licking your face though."

| >>867373
"Oh, that's a shame. But, I suppose you would have to take care of the others first."

>Alix says, looking genuinely sullen.

| >A tiny figure makes her way into the bar, her steps steady and precise.
>Two horns atop her large forhead, a childish scowl adorning a pair of cherry-pink lips, all crowned by long locks of cream colored hair.
>Her police uniform is greatly oversized for her small frame.
>She trots over to a seat at the counter and jumps atop of it
"Hey!! I came back!"
>Chanka proclaims, smiling smugly

| >>867383

"Don't worry, Alix! You'll get your chance but if someone walks in I need to be ready to get them a drink!"


>Nova claps her hands a couple times and makes her way over to Chanka.

"Annnd speak of the devil! I'm so happy to have you back Chanka~!"

"Now what can I do for you?"

| >>867381
>He took the last comment with a hearty laugh
"He probably loves all the chemicals I sweat, yeah-very poisonous and shit, maybe keep him from licking me next time for his own safety, yanno? And the guys are alright, doing bunch of stuff without me the assholes, who would want to purposely not be within my vicinity? You guys got it figured out, you suck up to me and my fame!"

| >>867373
>His gaze turned to his empty glass before turning back to Nova
"Now that I need a refill I kinda see what you mean, could I get one before any of us takes the stage?"

| >>866994
>Ah. He'd gotten so absorbed in their conversation-- so captivated by Nova's vivacious personality-- that he'd completely forgotten to give her his name. The man wonders to himself if that's the effect /all/ idols have on their audience-- or, perhaps it's just her?

"... I'm Roy. I'm... very happy to hear that you still have such a zest for your art, Nova."

>>866705 >>867369
>Break his concentration? On what, exactly? He's not the one doing tricks behind the counter.

| >>867719
>Roy brushes this off until he receives that third jab in his side-- at which point, he turns to the pipsqueak next to him and asks, bewildered (and bordering on peeved):

"I'm... I'm sorry-- do I... know you...?"

>Perhaps she's the daughter of a former patient of his? He can't think of anywhere else they would have met before.

| >>867713

>Nova prepares to another drink in the same flashy fashion as before, and slides it over to Neil.

"Here you are, Another bad touch for you, handsome! Like I said, really kinda puts you in the mood doesn't it?"


>She returns over to Roy.

"Alright, Roy."

>She winks.

"Now we're square. Zesty like a lime, and much harder to peel-- I'd figure, anyway. It's kinda like a hobby now... less pressure and I don't answer to anyone."

"It's kinda nice, actually."

| >>867712
>Alix shoots Neil a hostile look, but stays silent as Red puts an arm around her to hold her back.

"Good for them, good for them, any moment without you is probably better for their mental health. Alix is the living proof of that."

>Red says as he gently runs his hand through Alix's hair, and taking a sip before continuing.

"I didn't even recognize you at first to be honest, thought you were some poor wageslave looking to sing away the pain."

| >>867400
>Chanka smiles widely, glad to be remembered
"You're the star lady! I came here to hang out again, Dunno if i'll sing tonight though!"
>She laughs in a boisterous manner, pushing out her modest chest forward, and resting her hands upon her hips.
"To start I'll have a sugar rush, with plenty of karmotrine! Don't hold back on me now!"
>She declares

| >>867721

"Oh! Well I d–"

> She's stopped dead in her tracks as she looks at the man she's been bothering since she got there. He looked familiar for some reason, but she was positive they'd never met either. Why does he look familiar"

"I um.... I don't think we've ever met before until now. Someone's luck must have brought us together for an encounter now."

> The nagging feeling could at least be pushed down. Far down.

"My name is Cassandra. Nice to meet you~"

| >>867735

>Nova prepares her shaker again, spinning it around in one hand.

"Coming right up!"

>She grabs a bottle and quickly swings it around her head and begins filling the tumbler while holding the bottle over her shoulder, she repeats this with multiple bottles on opposite ends. Each pass appears to be more and more fluid. She mixes the drink together and passes it to Chanka.

"Here you go! It's bound to be quite the night, Chanka! Make yourself comfortable!"

| >>867799
"Oh, it's always quite the night if the major's around."

>Red says, draining the last of his drink.

"Oh, uh, Miss Nova, a refill, if you'd please."

| >>867726
"Like handing me make-up and a microphone, keep serving me these and I'll start singing in my seat doll~"
>He kept a charming smile that didn't match the dirty blazer nor the amount of tips he was giving: 0
>Speaking of, Alix and Red's responses were met with the same smirk, unchanged and unhinged
"Not the first time I've heard that one! But doesn't it feel great? to sink down to my level? THIS is the Radio Wire experience!"

| >>867927

>Alix said, her voice cold like ice.

"Neil, just sing, before my fiancee try to stab you."


| >>867799
"Yeah, you don't have to tell me twice!"
>The tiny major takes off her coat, before grasping her glass with both hands and drinking a large gulp
>She exclaims with a broad smile, her cheeks reddening

| >>867884

"Yeah, you got it!"

>Nova mixes another Marsblast for Red, with all of the theatrics and slides it over.


"Sure thing handsome, I'd love to see it."


>Nova starts fidgeting her fingers around on top of the bar.

"Say, Chanka, You're not here to remind me about my entertainment license are you?"

| >>870595

>Red says as he accepts the glass, tipping the glass in thanks as he does.

"Easy, major, we have a long night yet, no need to hurry."

>Red said.

"I'm sure there's plenty to go around."

| >>868052
"Alright since you guys are just so eager to see your favorite artist up in stage let's give you the pleasure"
>Neil stood with some stagger leaving his glass still half full on the counter
"No more waiting missy nova, point me where amongst these funny shiny lights is the mic', the-uhm, the stage yes"
> ?

| >>870595
>Chanka keeps smiling, but her eyes express surprise
"Do I look like an inspection officer?? I'm a patrol officer you know! I don't deal with those license things, it's boring!"
>She shrugs exaggeratedly, shaking her head as if she had said the most natural thing in the world

| >>870595

> 'Cassandra' sips some of her drink and seems to perk up some. Looks like she needed some help to feel like herself. She gives a wave over to Nova, hoping that she would be seen

"Hey miss Barkeep, Do you have anything to help out in the karaoke? Like those umm... the little shaker things that have the little cymbals on them? I think i'll need one if ~I'm~ gonna sing something"

| >>870830

"Itching to go for it? Alright then! Open Mic Night is a GO!~"

>Nova reaches for a panel sitting behind the bar and presses a button with such gusto that even the sound of her finger hitting the switch is audible.

>Following that, a loud snap is heard and a row of can lights surrounding the stage all flick on at once. A mic on a stand stands alone in the middle of the stage, next to the silent droid.

"Whenever you're ready she's all yours!"

>She winks

| >>870838

>Nova laughs awkwardly, remembering the coffee stained renewal notice collecting dust in her apartment.

"Haha, of course not! I agree though, this licensing stuff is a total drag!"


>Nova bites her lip, appearing unsure.

"Mmmm... lemme check."

>She makes her way to the far corner of the bar and slides a cardboard box out of a small shelf and digs out its contents.

"Been awhile since I restocked any, so all I have is this shaker and this inflatable guitar."

| >>867726
>Roy finds himself tugging at the collar of his shirt a little. Is it warm in here? He feels like he's broiling from the neck up; maybe loosening his tie will let a little of that steam escape...

"Zesty, sure-- harder to peel, though? Well... I've got enough experience through my chosen profession to tell you-- but, I'm... not too sure I should."

>A beat, before he realizes what just came of of his mouth could... very well make him out to be some deranged serial killer.

| >>870979
>Roy splutters and clears his throat, rushing to dispel any doubts about his moral compass he may have just created.

"I-- I'm-- I'm a >>>trauma >>>surgeon, I--"

>He bows his head a little and raises his hands from the bartop, waving them slightly as if to signal he means no harm.


>You idiot! Just where do you think you are right now?! This isn't the staff lounge at work! Roy exhales sharply through his nose, and pulls a hand down his face.

| >>870982
"... My neurologist tells me I shouldn't drink because of how it might affect my legs, but... maybe I should worry more about what it does to my >>>mouth..."

>He mumbles to himself.

>Now wallowing in a hastily dug pit of despair and humiliation, Roy barely manages to catch Cassandra's name. He hums some sort of acknowledgement that he hopes will suffice in place of a "you, too".

| >>870982

>Nova laughs loudly causing her to snort, she turns red for a moment but pulls it together.

"Oh a surgeon, huh?... I suppose that makes a lot of sense..."

"Gonna have to say when ranking 'things people regret saying while drunk', 'I'm a surgeon' is pretty low down the list."

"Unless of course they're on the clock, but... seeing as you're not."

>She grips a bottle and shakes it around.

"How about a refill?"

| >>871062
"It... 'makes sense'? 'Makes sense'... >>>how, exactly?"

>Is there some kind of vibe he's giving off that he's not aware of? Something in his body language suggestive of surgical expertise? Roy narrowly resists the urge to rest his head on the bartop, instead choosing to hide half his face in one of his hands.

"A-ah, sure... tender's choice? I'll let you pick my poison for me, this time around."

>What is it his wife calls this sort of thing? O... oma...?

| >>871090

>She begins preparing things for the next drink.

"Well, you don't come across to me as a butcher or a ripper let's say."

>Nova prepares a drink for Roy and does some weird thing where she spins a napkin in the air and places it on the bar with the back of her hand using it as a landing pad for the beverage.

"Sparkle Star, for you! You're not the only one who plays to type."

"Don't worry, I kept things light."

| >>871099
"Oh. Well, then... that's a relief, I suppose-- to both myself, and to my patients."

>Roy finally manages a chuckle over (what to him, is) this near-misunderstanding-- though, beneath his laughter, he's admonishing himself: "You need to be more careful, Roy-- you wouldn't want to accidentally attract the attention of those /unsavory/ kinds of scalpel jockeys she mentioned..." His internal self-berating ceases abruptly when he hears Nova say something about "types".

| >>871126
"I, um-- I beg your pardon?"

>Roy's eyebrows are momentarily lost in his bangs as they jump high-- "playing to type"? /Whose/ type?

| >>871126

"You know, uhh doing what's expected of you! Stars are kinda my aesthetic you know?"

"And I like to think I sparkle, maybe not quite like I used to though. That drink's kinda like me! Happy, sweet, and chemically imbalanced."

>Nova playfully sticks out her tongue and laughs at her own joke.

| >>871133
>Oh. Nobody's type. Roy takes a very, /very/ long swig of his Sparkle Star-- immediately wincing as it's cloying sweetness seizes his tongue. He smacks his lips a few times and squints, a quiet grunt escaping him before he utters (with both feeling, and a grimace):


>Bit off more than you could chew there; eh, tiger?

"I... you-- earlier, you compared yourself to a >>>lime--"

| >>871136
>The karmo hits mere seconds after the sugar does. Even if it's light, the speed at which the synthetic booze punches it's way through the blood brain barrier has Roy reeling, a little.

"-- limes are >>>bitter, in addition to being zesty-- I-I think I could use a little bitterness, here..."

| >>870952

"Can i get the shaker then? It's better than nothing. Thanks hun~"

> She finishes her drink quickly, not even pretending like she was trying to enjoy the taste or craft that went into making it.

"If it's not too much trouble, can I get another one? It was too good to just stop at a single one tonight"

| >>871126

"Whoa, are you one of those Ripper docs I've heard about? You're name's Roy right? Sorry, I didn't mean to eavesdrop. It's an old habit that's hard to shake"

> She stares intensely at Roy, trying to see if she could take another approach to get under his skin like he would to someone else. At least, that's what she understood. Not like she was fully paying attention to their convo anyway

| >>871142

>Nova is a little shocked at the response to the drink and immediately takes the drink away.

"Like, a lime... huh?"

>She grabs a blue pour spout bottle from her line up and adds a little to the drink before giving her spoon a little twirl and mixing it into the drink.

"There's nothing bitter about me, sweetheart. Nothing at all."

>She says, failing to make eye contact.

"But sour, I can do sour."

| >>871142

>She hands the drink back to Roy expectantly.


>Nova mixes another Blue Velvet for the woman named "Cassandra", doing the same tricks as last time and slides the drink over, placing the shaker right next to it.

"Glad you enjoyed it! I'll have to wake Bo up here in a bit so you can get up there!"

| >>871147
"Ah-- n-no, no; that's not-- I didn't mean t--"

>Before he can string together an apology or an explanation, Roy is presented with his "new and improved" Sparkle Star. His eyes shift from the drink to Nova's face, and back, before he takes the glass from her hand.

"... Sorry... leave it to me to request something of an artist without giving them a proper brief-- that's a mistake on my part."

>A cautious sip finds the drink's flavor has improved. Roy nods approvingly.

| >>871143

>Having swiftly swept this topic of discussion from his mind only moments ago, Roy returns Cassandra's fixed gaze with one much more addled, and colored by bewilderment.

"Y-yes-- w-wait, >>>no--"

>He shakes his head emphatically.

">>>Nnnno, I'm not a 'ripper'-->>>yyyes, my name is Roy-- c-can I... help you with something, Cassandra?"

>Good lord.

| >>871153
"Hmm... maybe you could help? I'm not even sure. You just seem very... funny. And a little shy. I like that. I think you're funny"

> Her eyes now look more like a predator sizing up its prey. She *is* having fun with this man, even if he's not the type she'd want anything to do with on any other night

"What's wrong with trying to just make some light, friendly conversation. I'm not from these parts, you know"

| >>871151

"Don't apologize, I'm here to serve my lovely audience here!"

>Nova fidgets around a bit, she's looking back at a flyer for a BTC flair bartending competition magnetized on her fridge, she clinches a fist and says something under her breath.

"がんばって... Nova!"

>She turns back to Roy, still clinching her fists, but clearly happy, if a bit forceful.

"My soul is in that glass, you know. That's how I want it to be! I wanna let people know who I am!"

| >>871155
"Well, I'm... glad I could give you a giggle or two-- lord knows I seem to be... full of them, tonight..."

>Roy replies haltingly. Send in the clowns... he'll be needing them to carry him off later, he thinks.

"I, ah... can't say I'm from around here, either. Just another member of Glitch City's large collection of expatriates, I suppose..."

>Honestly... who in their right mind would /want/ to be from around /these/ particular parts?

| >>871156
>Oh! He knows that phrase. It has to be one of the few that stuck, from when he was living in Niihama. Hearing her speak so passionately about her aspirations moves Roy to parrot Nova's murmur of self-encouragement:

"... がんばって, ノバ!"

>He raises his glass with a small smile.

| >>871155

"An... Ex-patriot? That's a weird word there. You really are a funny guy!"

> She sips her new drink a bit, trying to think of her next line of questioning to peel off more of what she thinks is armor

"So then what part of the city are you in? Or like, came from, y'know? I feel like I've seen you around before"

| >>871164
>Boy, if he's /this/ much of a laugh riot, maybe he he should change the act he's got planned to a stand-up routine...


>Hello? Is this thing on? Hello?

"I'm... from the US. I... moved here with my wife a few years ago."

>He's hesitant to disclose just what part of Glitch he's living in, now. They only just got settled, and this is the first time he's felt safe enough where they are to venture out of the apartment...

| >>871163

>Nova dances around a little bit, clearly satisfied but once she's done she leans against the bar, drawing circles with her finger.

"Hey, uhhh... Roy. Say, do you happen to have any uhh.... doctor friends?"

| >>871167
"I have... doctor >>>acquaintances, and colleagues-- but, I can't necessarily say I've been at my place of work long enough to say I've made>>>friends with any of the clinicians there."

>Roy purposely neglects to add to this answer that he, unfortunately, has plenty of doctor /enemies/. Some have simply declared themselves as such (without his input), and others have drawn his ire.

"Is there a reason you ask, Nova?"

| >>871171


>She shuffles around a bit.

"I was wondering if anyone was looking for a date... I uhh"

>And again.

"Haven't been having much luck lately..."

| >>871166

"Oh! You're an American too? I guess you do have sort of that... continental look. Like you've def seen your fair share of what's there to see."

> She pretends to concentrate, she even furrows her brow and nods sagely. She's pretty sure that sounded like a compliment.


> She overhears that comment and decides to pounce on it as well

"Girl, same. It's been a very hard time to find someone dependable it seems"

> She takes another drink and looks satisfied

| >>871181
"... Yes, I'm from Minnesota."

>A pause, as he listens to both Nova and Cassandra vent about their love lives. Roy sighs, trying to figure out how he should give them some news that arguably neither of them want to hear.

>>871177 >>871181
"Ladies... both of you deserve much better than whatever a doctor or PA or NP could give you-- we're all >>>terrible partners."

| >>871181

"MANNNN, you haven't seen what I have out *there* Roy!"

>Nova shoots the crocodile tears, pure drama.

"Some guy asked me out with absolutely no introduction-- I found it so brazen that I almost had to respect it. What the heck I thought."

"The guy brought me to a fast food joint, brought a friend with him and he..he.."

>Her tears reach fever pitch.

"He made me use coupons!!"

| >>871192
"Oh, Nova..."

>Roy's brow furrows, and he gives her a look of sympathy. He shakes his head softly.

"... Half of my 'doctor friends' would probably ask you to cover their meal. They're all in debt."

>Living on pudding cups snatched from unserved lunch trays, and cans of cling peaches...

| >>871192 >>871198

> "Cassandra's" face breaks the facade it had going on. She can really hardly believe her ears. All the money she paid went to what, then? In all her years seeing doctors and paying direct

"You're fuckin' kiddin? That slimey x-ray shootin'... I- uhh..."

> She realizes what she's done and shakes her head empty. Her role isn't her today. "Come back to who we're meant to be tonight"

"Well, there goes that retirement plan then! Guess I'll have to keep looking"

| >>871198

>Nova's eyes widen.

"Is that so? I thought doctors were successful! I met a few doctors at some meet and greets-- they all seemed a little arrogant to me, like they have a big head."

>She puts her hands up.

"No offense! Your head is very normal sized!"


>Nova sighs and shakes her head.

"Tell me about it Cassie. When I lost my record deal, I thought 'trophy wife' was my retirement plan."

| >>871198

>Nova's eyes widen.

"Is that so? I thought doctors were successful! I met a few doctors at some meet and greets-- they all seemed a little arrogant to me, like they have a big head."

>She puts her hands up.

"No offense! Your head is very normal sized!"


>Nova sighs and shakes her head.

"Tell me about it Cassie. When I got dropped by the record label, I thought 'trophy wife' was my retirement plan."

| >>871212
"Should see his >>>feet--"

>Crows an amused voice from the bar entrance.

| >>871213

>Nova squees and runs out from behind the bar, attacking the new entrant with a hug.

"Aika-chan!!~ So great to see you! Come in and sit dooowwwnn!"

>She starts nudging her in that direction.

| >>871212

"I haven't even had time to think of a retirement plan because I'm just too busy with working as it is. I came out to take a break tonight for the first time in toooooo long"

> As she whines, she also puts on an air of dramatics. Not to the extent of Nova, but more like a spoiled kid who's still too young to know better.

| >>871198

> As "Cass" complains, she makes sure to toss herself in her chair around, bumping slightly into Roy. Just enough to make it clear she's just playing around. Teasing him was fun, if anything else. A guy like this felt like Pete, in a way. Maybe with some more prodding, she'll be able to put a finger on why

| >>871166
"So, an American, eh? Well, fancy seeing a continent-mate here. Me and Alix over here came from Canada ourselves."

>Red says, before taking a sip from his glass.

"Hey! We could be friends!"

>Alix says enthusiastically.

| >>870982 >>871198
>For the better part of the last few minutes, The small Oni sitting at the bar has been staring a hole through Roy, her eyes scrutanizing his face in great details... or so it would seem, her face being unusually serious, and confused.
>Slowly her gaze lowers, she kicks her chair back a bit and peeks under the counter as stealthily as she can, which is not very.
>Suddenly she shoots up
"You're the tall guy! Doctor Walker!"
>She exclaims suddenly, giddy as can be.

| >All the seriousness in her expression seemingly melts away, as she giggles like a child would
"It's always great seeing a familiar face!"
>She says, tapping her long, clawed, fingers on top of the counter, her smile is genuine and passionate, she sure >>Looks glad
"Eheh, Star-lady, give me a good stiff drink! Make it sweet too!"
>She jumps around on her seat, making a ruckus



>Nova returns to her position behind the bar, fixing Chanka the same exact drink she had just made for Roy... just blasting it with Karmotrine.

"You'll have to tell me what you think, Chanka!"


"Tell me about it, Sister! We all need a break every now and again! What type of work keeps you so busy anyway, Cassie?"

>Nova speaks as she begins cleaning up used glasses.

| >>870931

>As the stage shined so did Neil's face at the sight of it, the overconfident & overthin "star" made his way up the stage and straight to the mic, giving it a complementary tapping as he now noticed how many people had made their way to the bar tonight.

"Man that's a lot of heads"
>He said with the happy astonishment of a kid in a chocolate factory

| >A teenage girl walks into the bar behind the woman getting absolutely attacked by Nova. Wearing a baggy sweatshirt and large glasses with a backpack slung around one shoulder.


>She sees a man taking the stage and a smile stretches across her face, It seems she's found the place.

>The girl takes a seat at the bar and sits silently, twiddling her thumbs.

| >>871215
>Nova manages to squeeze a choked-sounding whine out of Aikawa; as the air's forced out of her lungs, so is the blood up to her head-- she looks like a tomato. The woman struggles to free her arms from the 'tender's grasp, and when she finds she can't, she decides to awkwardly pat Nova's waist rather than hug her back.

"H-hey, Kuroda-han--!"

>She grins widely over Nova's shoulder. Rarely does she get such an enthusiastic welcome.

| >>871213
>Roy doesn't leave his seat-- rather, he swivels his bar stool so he can squint at his wife. His lips are pulled back tightly in a frown, but it's apparent he's trying his damndest to keep from grinning.

"... Hi, Ei."

>>871322 >>871326
>He hears the little oni call out to him, and greets her as well.

"Ah-- hello, Major Chanka! Fancy meeting you here, this evening."

>Wonder if she's planning on taking the stage?

| >>871543

"What do i do for my living?? I'm... I'm a photographer! I'm a great shot!"

> She puffs out what chest she has out with pride. To be fair also, she *is* a great shot. Maybe just with a different kind of tool than a camera

"Mostly I just do low-level stuff. The kinds of things that never make any of the big papers, but bloggers eat it up"

> Once again, technically she wasn't lying. And the best kind of lie there was were the ones that were built from the truth

| >>871282
>Not entirely sure how to respond to this statement, Roy cycles through his dialogue options-- he gets the feeling that his knee-jerk reaction of a canned "How do you do, fellow North Americans?" wouldn't really suffice in this situation.

"Ah... is it... uncommon to see people from that area here in Glitch City?"

| >>871217 >>871803
>He finds himself turning to Cassandra.

"Didn't you say you were... >>>also from...?"

>Roy gestures into the air as if prompting the young woman to answer.

| >>871799

"Sooo, Aika-chan~! What can I get you to drink? And are you gonna perform with Roy here?! I'm so excited!"

>Nova claps her hands quietly but very quickly.

| >>871801

"Oooh~? I'd love to see some of your work! I've heard people call photography, 'painting with light', and I think that's really beautiful."

>Nova thinks for a moment, then nods to herself in affirmation.

"If you're looking for a place to sell, I wouldn't mind hanging some up! Limelight is a venue for self-expression after-all!"

| >>871799

>The teenager perks up, Kuroda-han...? did she hear that correctly?

>Her eyes dart around the establishment, focusing back and forth between Nova's face and the newspaper clippings on her fridge, gears failing to turn for a moment until she gasps loudly and covers her mouth, beginning to shout into her hand.

"Phuu're Kuroda, fro Sta Wiph!"

>Nova's attention is grabbed.

"You okay there, darling? Aren't you a little young to be at a bar this late at night?"

| >>871804

"I'm also from the States. Over in the Cascadians, in the north. Lotta mountains and lotta fog. Beautiful in the fall. I miss it just thinking about it"

> She gives a pause, actually feeling nostalgic for the sights on the road she'd take with Pete when they were younger


"No, no. My personal work isn't very good. Maybe if I ever find something that's worth framing, I'll definitely come by with it ready to hang"

> Choose better words, girl

| >>871808

>Nova clasps her hands together and wiggles around a bit.

"I'm sure it isn't that bad~! and Yeah, I'd definitely be down to hang sometime and have a look at your stuff!"

>Nova definitely misunderstood.

| >>871807

>The teenager pulls her hand away from her mouth and pounds her fists on the bar in front of her.

"Yes, I'm fine! And plenty old enough to be here, Kuroda-san!"

"The law says I can be anywhere I want so long as I'm here to perform!"

>She says adjusting her glasses.


>Her eyes scan the room and notices Chanka in uniform. She immediately gets a lot less confident, immediately cooling off and getting quiet.

"At least, I think so... unless I read wrong."

| >>871800
>Chanka smiles widely, exposing her sharp fangs
"Eheheh! Fancy indeed!"
>She giggles, picking up her drink with both hands, and gulping it down greedily
>This Oni sure is thirsty, it's quite the sight
>After enjoying her alcoholic beverage, Chanka feels the gaze laid upon her, turning her head to match it, her brow furrows
>Where had she heard that voice before.
>The cogs spun, and crashed to a halt after a mere few seconds...
"Star-Lady, this is good!"

| >>871803
"People from the continents? No, not exactly rare. Canadians are a little harder to come by, but still, it is night to see more people from our neighbor in the south, eh?"

>Red says with a chuckle.

"It is always nice to see new friends!"

>Alix adds.

| >>871814

>Nova gets close to the new teenager to inspect her, just before handing her a can of random soft drink from the fridge.

"Kuroda, huh? We haven't met, have we?"

>The girl sits back up, fresh after trying to hide from Chanka's gaze.

"Y-you, used to work with JUN, right?!"

>Nova sighs.

"JUN used to work with *me* yes."

>The teenager gets up, kicking her barstool over accidentally, in the process.

"Let me perform with you!"

| >>871808
>Chanka reacts to the words "Cascadians" more than she does her own utterances, her already short attention span being taxed quite heavily tonight.
"Ooh! I've been there up in the north!! I'm from Boulder City in Nevada, but Mama lives in washington now!"
>She finishes off her drink

| >>871816

>This seems to have struck a nerve with Nova, as she gets close to the girl's face, shooting a quick glance at Chanka.

"I'd appreciate if you wouldn't disturb my guests, missy!"

>She reels back and blows a lock of hair out of her face.

"There's another guest on stage; give some respect to them and the other people here. If you're able to be a good little girl and stay quiet for a bit-- I'll give you a chance to go up."

"But leave me out of it."

| >>871821

>The teenage girl, picks the barstool up off of the ground, and stands up straight before taking a deep, rather aggressive bow.


>Nova glares at her, but huffs air out of her nose, giggling a little bit.

>Maki just repeats a quiet "Sorry", In Chanka's direction and sits down.

| >>871824
>Chanka looked over at Nova, tilting her head, seemingly confused
"Star-Lady, I'll have another!!"
>She doesn't get why the Bartender's tone got so prickly, being blissfully unaware of her surroundings.

| >>871828
>Chanka jumps off her chair in surprise, letting out a yelp
"Y-You! Don't scream like that!! you nearly scared me to death!!!"
>She puts a hand to her chest, calming her breathing.
"I'm already off duty for tonight! just don't cause any trouble!!"
>She says with a slight glare, her childish scowl having returned to her face
>She mumbles something about "young people" and how she "almost dropped the rest of drink"

| >>871831

>Nova puffs out her cheeks for a moment, lost in thought for a moment before turning back to Chanka.

"Yeah, sure thing-- Chanka!"

>She mixes the drink with all of the theatrics she has, and pushes it in front of Chanka.


>Maki slouches in her chair placing her entire upper body on the bar in front of he, sipping from the random can of soda without lifting her head off of the counter.

"...Sorry, sorry... sorry... just ignore me okay? I'm just a little pumped."

| >>871813

"Maybe next time!"

> She giggles and empties her drink finally. That's two down and she hasn't shown a sign of slowing yet. She gives two taps on barter as if to signal for another


"Oh, Boulder City? I did some work out there once. Me and my old flame did, anyway. Nice enough city."

> She looked around some. Chanka wouldn't notice, she was sure of it. Roy looked like he had someone. Maybe she'd be fun to annoy too. Maybe the next drink will decide for her

| >>871864
>Chanka grabs her next drink, once again draining it within a few seconds
"That's tasty! Thanks!"
"It got a bit too hot in the summer though!"
>Chanka exclaims, chuckling
"I don't do good when it's too hot you know!"
>Chanka says, smiling smugly, as if her proclamation was something to be praised...


| >>871865

>Nova fixes both "Cassandra" and Chanka another drink; using the same method used earlier of mixing both drinks side by side and pouring them at the same time.

"I can take a hint~! Here you two are!"

>She couldn't remember who had ordered another.

| >>872671

> Cassandra takes her glass and clinks it against that of the Oni-girl. A sly smile and she's already started drinking the third.

"The heat is def never fun. We'd have to go out dressed in as little clothes as possible and while *I* certainly like the attention, others don't."

> She gives a suggestive shrug, or as suggestive as one could be. Whatever goblin part of her brain that led her out was also seemingly controlling her actions

| >The echo of one more tapping on the microphone soared as the man on the stage held it firmly and spoke into it before starting

"Hello this is 'Big' Neil Michael's and here's an oldie that never gets old, sing along if you know it and raise your drinks if you like it"

>He cleared his throat and spent the next 6 minutes singing 'piano man' down to the letter, his voice raspy in some verses but a good display overall

| >>872684
>Chanka takes her own glass and once again makes a show out of drinking it as fast as her small size will allow, she lets out a satisfied sigh as the glass is emptied out, her cheeks slightly reddening.
"The attention?"
>The Oni seems uncertain, not understanding how dressing for the weather would elicit any "attention"
>Her childish mind worked its hardest yet could not produce an answer to her query, spinning around in circles.
"Sounds nice?"
>She says, tired of thinking

| >>872686

>Nova spends the entirety of Neil's performance humming and swaying along to the music.

>Maki's eyes are glued to Neil on the stage, but she still has her head firmly laid down on the counter.


>She lets out a sigh of relief noticing that Chanka took down the last drink-- She thought she might have made an extra for nothing! She pumps a fist triumphantly at her waist.

"Nice? Sometimes the attention very much is!"

| >>871805
>Aikawa grins, slowly making her way over to her husband's side.

"Beer's fine."

>She stops in her path to pat Chanka roughly on the back, after which she gives the oni a gentle shake by her shoulder.

"Evenin', Major minor--"

>She snickers quietly to herself as she passes by. Finally arriving at her seat, she greets Nova "formally".


| >>871800

>Aikawa plops herself down next to her husband, scooting her barstool over a tad to bring them closer to one another. Roy, now rid of that minor twinge of irritation he may have felt when his wife nearly broadcasted his shoe size to the entire bar, turns himself to face her-- and find himself raising an eyebrow at her dress.


| >>872962
>To be clear, it's nothing out of the ordinary-- she didn't waltz into Limelight looking like the next Björk-- but, it's not her usual get up. To Roy, that's... /unusual/. Today, tight fitting black slacks and a crisp, well fitting collared shirt replace her normal beat-up jeans and windbreaker.

"... You look great."


"Did Ezekiel help you pick that out?"

>Aikawa nods.

"Yeah. Tie's my idea, though."

>Roy raises his eyebrows in approval.

"... Good choice."

| >>871807
>Before the pair can answer Nova's question about whether or not they intend to put on a little act for the bar's growing audience, their attention is quickly turned to the teen who slunk in behind Aikawa.

"... What's >>>her deal? Is she... a fan of Nova's?"

"Beats'a hell outta me."

>When the clamor has died down, and Maki has started becoming one with the bar counter, Aikawa places something she brought with her on the bartop. She slides it towards Nova.

| >>872966

>Nova prepares a beer for Aikawa rather than just getting one out of the fridge, just so she has a chance to show off. She slides the beer over in exchange for the mystery object.

"ば!わ! Aika-chan!"

>The phrase is almost a novelty to her, it doesn't sound the least bit natural.

"Well, well what do you have for me here?"

| >>873027
>Aikawa watches Nova juggle barware in quiet, open-mouthed awe. By the time she's run through her routine, the woman's wearing a delighted, near-foolish grin.

"Shit! 'D'ya learn t'do >>>that?"

>When Nova turns her attention to what sits between the two of them, Aikawa lowers her voice, and her eyes.

"... Present. For last time."

>Roy watches with interest-- apparently this was a plan he wasn't privy to.

| >>873031

>Nova laughs, clutching her stomach and reeling forward, before settling her elbows on the bar.

"You should ask that question to the floor of my apartment, I've got hours of practice etched into them!"

>Nova opens the present on the spot, patience is not her forte.

"Hey~! How sweet~! You really shouldn't have!"


>Maki peels her eyes off the stage to watch Nova interact with this stranger, are they friends?

| >>873034
>"How sweet", indeed-- in her hands, Nova now finds a cutely packaged slice of cake. She can see it's colorful, delectable looking layers through the plastic film of the box: bright slices of fresh fruit nestled between light cream and rich sponge cake, all topped with a dusting of confectioners sugar...

| >>873036

"Ohh man~! I'm looking forward to this! Thank you so much Aika-chan!"

>Nova let's out a squee and uses all of her willpower to not just attack the cake with her bare hands, save that for home! She stashes it in the fridge.

>Nova suddenly remembered she needs to get Bo turned up for Cassandra.

"Just a sec Aika-chan!"

>She holds up a finger and ducks below the bar to start fiddling with audio controls under the bar.

| >>873036

>Maki half yells/whispers in Aikawa's direction, tapping her hand on the bar.

"Yo, Bawa-san...! Bawa-san...! How do you know her?"

>She's still keeping a low profile.

| >>872731

"Aye, attention is always nice. That being said..."

> Her attention shifts to the new person who walked in to sit next to Roy. She knew the aura, had felt it enough times to know. Well, *that* particular game was over now, so it was best not to start off on the wrong note

"Hey, miss, don't worry a thing about your Mans. I made sure he kept his cool and aim level. Scout's honor"

> She gives a friendly grin and thumbs up.

| >>873045

>Aikawa breathes a quiet sigh of relief. It didn't feel right to stop at Super on her way in, given it's right across the street-- she'd figured it'd be more special if she'd picked the cake up somewhere local, instead. Still, everyone's got a unique palate: some people prefer purees or jams to fruit slices, and others would rather omit the stuff entirely-- she's glad that Nova doesn't seem the picky type when it comes to sweets.

| >>873047
>Maki's attempts to get her attention initially are lost on Aikawa, though Roy is quick to pick up on them. He glances back and forth.

"... I think that fan of Nova's is trying to talk to you, Ei."

>Aikawa gives Roy a questioning look, then leans forward so as to see further down the counter. Maki's tapping catches her eye. She strains and ear to hear her.

"Talkin' t'me?"

| >>873070
>Aikawa blinks.

"... >>>What?"

>None of that was at all intelligible to her. Roy looks equally confused.

| >>873186
"Y-yknow, I just like... figured you were a..."

> Cassandra starts fumbling. She's sure she's not drunk at all, so what was the deal

"You just like.. look like a pair so like... I was just messing with Roy? And so...:

> It's too late. You're stuck deep in that mud and need to start pushing before it gets even worse

"Sorry, Hi, I'm d–Cassandra. Yes, Cass for short. It's nice to meet you. Sorry if I sound like a dumb courier"

> That's a normal comparison, right? right?

| >>872779
"...I don't get it"
>She really doesn't, her frown is a mix of confusion and some other emotion, it's hard to tell which one in particular.
>The oni is brought back from the horrid reality of having to think by Aikawa's pats on her back. She yelps in surprise, obviously brought out of whatever reverie she was stuck into
"Hey! Warn me before you touch me lady! I'm sensitive!!"
>She scowls, looking at Aikawa
"Also, It's not Major minor! It's Major Chanka!!!"

| >The Tiny Oni grumbles something about how she actually really likes her name and proceeds to drain her glass once more before looking at Aikawa's face with a childish smile
>Turn around from annoyance to tipsy fun: 2.45 seconds, this Oni sure is busy tonight with all these emotions going through her.
>She might have her head start smoking soon.
"Eheheh, but I forgive you!! I have a big heart!"
>She pushes her chest out, her heart must be the only big thing about her.

| >>873185

>Maki sits up, and speaks to Aikawa more directly

"Y-yes I'm talking to you...! and I don't mean to interrupt but I *need* to know."

>She goes silent for a brief moment, tugging on the sleeve of her sweatshirt.

"Even though I-i-i'm the worst! Objectively, definitively,impartially, and justly! I NEED to know, how do I make Kuroda-san like me?"


| >>873229
>... /Because/ he looked like he was taken, this chick was giving Roy a hard time? To Aikawa, that doesn't make a ton of sense-- but, different strokes for different folks... She pauses for a moment, then reaches for the back of her neck, withdrawing one of her QRS cables from it's housing and offering it to her husband. There's a slight jerk or a nod of her head as she encourages him to take it. He accepts. Both of them flinch as he jacks in.

| >>873642
"Y'know this kid?"

"... I... don't think so, no-- but, you know I don't have the sharpest memory, Ei."

"Never forget a face. Knew'er, y'd know."

"What if she... knows me? This wouldn't be the first time that's happened-- that... certain individuals have 'known' us before they've met us."

"... What's your ghost tellin' ya?"

"That she's an overly friendly drunk, and a bit of a klutz."

"Hope you're right."

| >>873649
>The whole exchange takes place in a fraction of a second-- Roy tucks his chin towards his chest as he stretches his neck to loosen the cable from the port it's situated in. He hands it back to his wife, and says to her calmly:

"Cassandra is a photographer. She was telling us about her work, before the two of them--"

>He gestures to Nova, and the subject of their conversation.

"-- asked me for a curbside."

"... On >>>what?"

| >>873651
"... Romance. Being one kind of doctor qualifies me to play another, apparently."

>He gives the 'tender and her patron a playful side-eye.

"Lucky you."

>Aikawa reluctantly tunes back into Maki's pleading-- what a try-hard... She gives the girl a non-committal shrug.

"'Get'er to >>>like ya'? Omae, think she's like this t'everybody. Ain't nothin'>>>I did."

>She's trying to "build a following". Of /course/ she's busy charming the socks off of everybody.

| >>873657

>Maki ruffles her hair and lets out a groan.

"Here I thought Kuroda-san and I were fated no, destined! To take the stage together. She's one of the only people to ever have what I want most on this planet, in this world!"

>She crosses her arms, slouched in her seat and mumbles to herself.

"And now she's here just... slinging liquor, can't believe she gave it all up for this."

| >Maki's salt is broken up by Nova's voice underneath the bar.

"Tuuuurn Annnnd clicky~! That ought to do it!"

>She shoots up from under the bar, hair tossing everywhere. She fixes it for the invisible camera and speaks.

"What'd I miss?"

| >>873711
>Roy can see Aikawa bristle-- he'd sensed her unease at Maki's question about winning Nova over-- now that discomfort is edging towards anger, and it's making him a little nervous. He keeps his mouth shut for the time being, merely listening in as he sips on his drink.

"... Hell makes you think she gotta share that with >>>you?"

>You, some rando who just threw a temper tantrum in the entrance to >>>her bar?

"Got her reasons."

| >>873712
>Roy decides to engage with Nova in favor of distracting the 'tender from the heated exchange that might ensue any moment, now.

"Ah, not much-- I was just... introducing Cassandra to Ei. What were you, um... doing just now, exactly?"

>Roy pantomimes twisting or turning a dial.

| >>873651
>Chanka, whose long ears aren't simply for show perks up and raises her short hand over her head
"Hey, hey, what's a curbside??"
>She seems rather eager to know, curiosity flickers within her crimson irises... Which seems to be swimming in her orbits.
>The Oni seems like she's had a bit more than she ought to have had, her face is completely red, quite unlike her usual pale self
"Star lady! Another one!!"
>The Oni giggles, despite her state, she's raring to go...

| >>873736
>Roy decides to apologize to Chanka on Aikawa's behalf for her earlier ridiculing-- he knows she meant no ill will, but a joke isn't a joke if one of the parties doesn't find it funny.

"Ah, sorry for Ei's... earlier comment Major Chanka."

>He pauses.

"A curbside is... usually an informal consult between doctors of two different specialties. You don't place an order for it, and there's no real report written by whom you're speaking with-- it's all off the cuff."

| >>873729

>Maki grits her teeth and looks like she's fit to slam the counter but stops herself before her hands make contact, her mood takes an instant 90 degree turn, now appearing more somber.

"I'm sorry... this is my one chance since running away from home. A chance to *be* someone and I'm letting it slip..."

>She sniffles, wiping away her crocodile tears.

"but JUN says to never compromise so I'm not gonna, I'll crawl if I have to! so *please* help meee!"

| >>873736

>Nova fixes Chanka another drink, but with a concerned look on her face but makes zero attempt to soften the drink.

"Try to save some fun for the rest of us okay, Chanka?"


>Nova looks at Bo, shooting him a glance befit for a mother about to ground one of her children.

"I turned Bo up so he could speak, but used some..."

>She does some spirit fingers.

"Audio Magic~! To make sure he's not interrupting anyone on stage, He's... kind of a jerk sometimes."

| >>873651

> She nervously waved, her shyness and worries plain as day despite the bar atmosphere. Her ears burned hot enough to maybe even damage the hair on her head

“Hi…. I’m… yeah. Sorry, you just seemed like a good person to tease is all. I dunno what compelled me to, it just felt right to do. I uhhh…. I’ll get your next drink as an apology, deal?”

> She gave Roy and this new person a sincere look. Actions with money speak loudest, don’t they?

| >>873741
>Chanka smiles
"Eh? Why is it between two different doctors? Are they huh... Exchanging information about cases and all??"
>Chanka's brow furrows, she's trying her best to understand the concept presented to her, she seems to be trying to reason through her own experience as an investigator.
"I-is it like when you huh, meet a forensics guy and start asking questions???"
>She isn't quite there yet.
"You can share my fun too Star-lady?? Am I Hogging it?"
>She pales

| >>873791
>The curl in Aikawa's lip tightens as Maki wallows deeper and laments the tragic fall of this future she's pinned solely on the past successes of a total stranger. It takes all the patience she can muster to let the girl finish her kvetching.


>She claps a hand over her eyes, shaking her head.

">>>God... fuckin', do us all a fuckin'>>>favor and just... finish melting into the fuckin'>>>woodgrain already. Miss when y'had your face'n the counter; christ..."

| >>873791
>She makes an awful noise in the back of her throat to match her disgust.

"'Never compromise'...?"

>What an aggressive pair of air quotes!

"Only chummers'll say >>>that don't>>>gotta. Too busy keepin' their heels>>>up t'dig'm>>>in. Must be nice."

>Aikawa scoffs loudly.

"Lady sounds like a piece'a work. A real >>>glitch."

>She shoots Nova a half-apologetic glance. So does Roy, but for... different reasons.

"No 'fense."

| >>873792
>Several times Roy opens his mouth to speak, but is at a loss for words as he listens to his wife give Maki a thorough lambasting. He tries again, but is met with failure when he finds he's completely lost his train of thought.

"... I'm... I'm-- I'm sorry; what were we... talking about, again, Nova...?"

| >>873794
>Aikawa turns to Cassandra and says flatly (or is it matter-of-factly-- it's hard to tell with that edge to her voice):

"He is."

>Wordlessly, she accepts this offer of a free drink-- turning to Nova, she orders another.

"べっぴん-- ah, 美人-- ugh, >>>Kuroda-han; Sugar Rush, please?>>>Lotsa karmo."

>Roy decides to interject, albeit quietly.

"Ei... you haven't even touched your beer, yet..."

| >>873829
"Ah, um--"

>Roy's head spins a little as he tries to keep track of the conversations weaving in and out of each other around him. He's thankful to find that despite her inebriated state, Chanka seems to have understood his explanation with little issue.

"Yes-- more or less, Major. Some doctors have knowledge of subjects that others aren't so well-versed in. A curbside is all about exchange of information."

| >>873888

>Maki stands silent, mouth agape and has absolutely nothing to say back, her eyes track to the floor.

>Nova smirks, reaching for Aikawa's beer, cracking it open with one hand and downing it in seconds.

"None taken, now *you* little miss."

| >Nova walks over to Maki and slams the counter for real, an "eep!", leaks from Maki's mouth.

>She grabs Maki by the chin and tilts her head up to force eye contact.

"I tried to be nice so I'll leave you with some advice this world is a sack of shit! People turn to entertainment to escape negativity. And so long as you're acting like *her*, you're never gonna make it."

"Difference between you and JUN, is she had friends to take advantage of, you're just some dumb brat!"

| >>873899

"The sooner you realize that it doesn't matter how much you *want* it if nobody gives a damn-- The sooner you'll start to enjoy the ride."

"Oh! And one more thing. Jun's a total bitch."

>She releases a now despondent Maki, immediately bouncing back to her bubbly self.

"A sugar rush Aika-chan? Aren't you feeling sweet!~"

>She begins making the drink, spinning a cocktail shaker around in her hand.

| >>873888

"Can you make that two sugar rushes? same prep? I think I'm going to need a pick-me-up after my little thing there."

> "Cass" stretches her neck and downs her drink in one go without so much as flinching

"I didn't catch your name, chica, but you and I were close in a past life. I can just tell we were"

> A weary exhale, very unbecoming of someone looking like her can be heard. Her hands twitch, as if needing a lighter to fiddle with

| >>873893
>Chanka nods, smiling widely, She seems glad to have got it right
>This calls for more drinking, which she does with gusto
"Ohh!! So you guys do that too! It's always good to learn new things!"
>She nods to herself, smiling smugly as she once more takes a long sip of her drink
"I'm glad you got to go back to doctor stuff!! Last time we met you seemed kinda down Tall guy!"
>Chanka says, tapping the counter with an open palm
"Star Lady!! Another one, I'm feeling good!!"

| >>873902
>Aikawa is about to snipe back in response to Roy's gentle prodding about her second drink order when Nova swoops in and snatches up her beer. Guess that's... no longer an issue... She's too shocked at the ex-idol's sudden change in mood to protest-- or to snark at her husband over him getting his wish. By the time the 'tender's short fuse has finished burning out and the sparks have ceased their showering, Aikawa's staring at her, dumbfounded.

"I-- uh, y-yeah..."

| >>873964

>Nova prepares three sugar rushes side by side, one of which containing more karmotrine. She spends some time balancing a bottle on her elbow and letting it roll down her arm, she pours the three of them separately.

"Here you all are! Sweet drinks for the sweetest girls in GC~!"

"And don't worry Aika-chan, I won't charge you for my beer!"

>Maki's head rests once again on the bar, her eyes fixated on the clippings magnetized on Nova's fridge.

| >>873903

>Nova claps her hands, with everyone properly liquored up and the preparations set:

"Alright everybody! The stage is ready again for whoever so chooses to bask under limelight!"

>Maki speaks quietly, lifting her head up from the bar.

"Kuroda-san, could I have a drink please? Your choice."

>Nova nods and fixes Maki one of the Sparkle Stars from earlier, karmotrine free, of course.

"Keep your chin up and try to enjoy yourself, okay? Good vibes only~!"

| >>873966
>Chanka takes hold of her newest cocktail, cupping the glass with her two small hands
"Am I sweet? Last time you said I was cute too! What's with you star lady, make up your mind!!"
>She says, slurring slightly, before taking a few sips of her drink
"I'm an adult you know! I'm not sweet! I'm uh... uh..."
>She stops and thinks, her mouth opening and closing as the words within her brain swirl around the karmotrine induced haziness
"Cool! I'm COOL!"
>She finally blurts out

| >>873966
"Uh... t-thanks..."

>Aikawa slides her drink towards herself, taking a long swig. She licks her lips as she lifts them from the glass' rim, and draws a slow breath. Has the dust finally settled...?

>"Chika"? What's with everyone in this place screwing her name up? Maki's "Bawa-san", Nova's "Aika-chan" (she'll let that one slide for a little longer, though, she thinks)-- are everybody's ears on right?

"... Name's Aikawa."

| >>873910
>Roy manages to shake off whatever fog he's landed in-- whether that's a product of the karmotrine, or of the atmosphere around him is hard to say.

"Ah--... I did?"

>When was the last time she saw him...? It would have to have been...


>Yes, yes-- it would have to have been /that/ time-- at that fried chicken joint. Hard to stay chipper when you're worried about getting shot... Roy decides to shuffle the conversation along. He shifts his focus back to Nova.

| >>873975
"Ah, Nova-- what I meant to ask..."

>Roy folds one hand over the other, laying them gently on the bartop.

"Can, um... w-what was it you said...?"


>Aikawa supplies helpfully.

"Y-yes-- can... >>>'Bo'--"

>He places unusual emphasis on the droid's name, as if he finds it odd.

"-- make up for any instruments that might be missing from a performance? Ei is very talented-- but, she can't play more than one at a time."

>He gestures to the bass case at her feet.

| >>874106

"Hey, Bo! You heard 'em, that something you can do?"

>The lights on the droid in the corner of the room flash and a deadpan British voice answers back.

"Apologies, It's been so long since the mistress has left someone speechless that she felt the need to stifle my voice. One moment."

>The lights cycle around his frame again.

"It appears that I can break a track into it's stems, it may not be perfect, however. What do you have in mind?"

| >>874108
"Oh! Wonderful."

>Both members of the pair look pleased.

"Can y'manage some drums'n'a guitar line?"

>Roy chimes in.

"And, ah-- perhaps a crowd of screaming girls...?"

>Aikawa rolls her eyes, but seems amused.

| >>874110

"Seems simple enough. Drums and guitar I can do, the screaming girls, however. I abstain."

>Nova laughs and looks straight at the karaoke droid.

"How predictable."

>Bo responds.

"I am but a machine, I was built to be predictable but at least I have standards."

| >>874106

>Nova drags her eyes across all of the patrons and shouts.

"I feel like we've got enough girls in here to do it ourselves~! How about it ladies?"

>She holds a pose for an uncomfortable length of time and after dropping it shoots a glance over at Maki.

| >>874103

"Ai-ca-wa... sounds like Kitty's last name. or like, it's got the same flow. I'm guessing you're like him then. Ai-a-na-mi."


> Cass cheers playfully at being cast as a "screaming girl." She also glances around to see if anyone else would join in too.

"Well, y'all better keep the stage set for my performance afterwards~"

| >>874112
>Roy snorts rather loudly, and Aikawa chokes back a laugh as Bo very /firmly/ establishes that playing the part of "adoring crowd" is beneath him. They'll just have to deal...

"... 'Kitty'?"

>Aikawa looks all kinds of confused... until Cassandra butchers a surname she finds familiar. Then, the gears start turning.

| >>874112
>While Aikawa's busy trying to deduce what she and 'Kitty' have in common, Roy leaves his seat with a wobble; traipsing on over to the stage, only to sort of kneel down next to Bo.

"Ah-- the song we're looking to do, is..."

>He whispers to the droid something purposely out of earshot of the other patrons, hoping to surprise.

"... Is that in your library?"

| >>874126

"Yeah, he's probably out running around like always. He works too much. But that means I get to have fun without guilt."

> She has some of the drink that she'd asked "two" of. Where'd the oth– oh, right. Aikawa had it. Well, at least she wasn't drinking alone

"Wait!! Does your name also mean something too? He once said his name had something to do about surfing. Or boats. Something ocean-like"

| >>874130

>Bo replies to Roy's question.

"I believe that can be arranged."

>Nova cheers, pumping a fist.

"So it's settled then? Let's go!!~"

| >>874104
>Chanka nods several times
"Yeah! Well, it's good you huh...."
>She starts trailing off, her voice grows weaker as she simply can't bother to finish her sentence, picking the "drink" option instead.
>Chanka simply mumbles as she leans more and more into her drink, seemingly not responding to being called a lady
>The name "Aikawa" being ennunciated in front of her seemingly brings Chanka back to reality
>She gets up on her stool, and points at Aikawa

>She proclaims with a surprised expression, shaking on top of her stool
>That's a broad question now isn't it.

| >>874147
>Okay... now everyone's getting her name /right/ all of a sudden-- and for whatever reason, it's /more/ overwhelming than when they were screwing it up! Aikawa's gaze flicks between the two women, and lingers on Chanka.

"... Literally >>>met before. Babysat th' kid't your place."

>You know-- Grant's kid. The one you roped into watching old luchador videos with you?

"... Yeah. 'S'what it means."

>Is that really so weird?

| >>874135
>Roy grins widely, almost... mischievously, gleefully-- and claps his hands together: it's settled! Time to get on with the show-- he's been antsy and anxious for this since Aikawa arrived. The erratic jitter of pre-show nerves might unsettle some, but to Roy, it's just part of the game. A little chaser of adrenaline; a sidecar to that Sparkle Star.

"Ei-- come up here-- we should set up."

| >>874150
>Aikawa looks back at Chanka and Cassandra, and gives them both and open handed shrug-- as if to say, "Sorry, I didn't think he'd be raring to go like this." She takes a final sip of her Sugar Rush, before slinging the bass case over her shoulder, and stepping up onto the stage.


>She's been up here once before... it wasn't so bad, then-- though, at that time, she wasn't trying to emulate some famous performance at Nippon Budokan from the distant past.

| >>874151
>The two take a moment to absorb the modest layout of the stage. Roy beckons to Nova, while Aikawa's busy making sure she won't be playing out of tune.

"Ah, Nova... could we... borrow a chair, please?"

>The man looks like he's fixing to burst with excitement. He's trying hard to keep his enthusiasm under wraps, but unfortunately, he's failing miserably.

| >>874148 >>874147

"Whoa!!! that's SO cute! I wouldn't have guessed that. I guess it's true that hot girls can't have names that suit them"

> She gives another shrug back to match Aikawa's except holding a look that felt a little more smug than it really was. The compliment was real, at least.

"I'm excited to see what you two will sing! I'll be cheering on~~"

| >>874148
>Chanka slumps back into her stool, her face a mix of confusion and... something else, it's hard to tell with the way she looks right now.
>She looks to Roy with questionning eyes
"She was! But..."
>Chanka points to Aikawa, making a wide motion with her arm, going up and down
"Where's your jacket?? How am I suposed to tell anyone apart??"
>She once again loses much of her force as she finished her sentence, taking a shallow breath, she resumes her childish mumblings...

| >The tiny oni takes a deep breath and steadies herself once more after a short burst of mumbling, she shows a deadpan face to Nova
>She ennunciates carefully, trying her best not to look too drunk
>It's not working, her eyes are swimming and her pale face is like a tomato

| >While everything else went on in the background, the Canadian couple was simply hanging out, taking in their surroundings and unwinding.

>That was, until Alix's eyes started wandering and noticed Chanka.

"Oh my god it's the cute major!"

>She blurted out, way too loudly.

"Oh, it *is* Major Chanka."

>Red agrees, after turning to look.

| >>874152

"Yeah! Sure thing!"

>Nova looks around for an empty chair among the small smathering of tables around the bar.

"The oni's asking for a drink, so I'll get it Kuroda-san!"

>Maki stands up and brings a chair up to the stage, looking at Roy.

"Break a--"

>Her eyes track down to Roy's exo and back up to his eyes but darts them away.

"Err... Knock 'em dead!"

>She scampers off and sits at a table not far from the stage.

| >>874145

>Nova now free to make Chanka her drink prepares another sugar rush.

"Here you are Chanka... I just hope you're not getting too sloshed..."

>She says making next to no attempt at slowing the amount of alcohol she's serving to the small oni.

| >>874162
"S'fine... I'm fine"
>Chanka says waving her hand to and fro in front of her face
"M'off duty anyway, and I got told I needed a break... Why do I need a break?? It's not like anything happens at home!! IT'S BORING!!!"
>Chanka slams her open palms into the counter, like a child throwing a tantrum
>She does look the part, being so tiny
"I hate being bored!! It's annoying!! It's cold home!! I just sleep all day!!!"
>She takes hold of her drink, and slams it back rapidly

| >>874165
>An idea suddenly blinks into Alix's mind.

"Major! Major!"

>She calls out enthusiastically, and still way too loudly.

"If you are free and have nothing better to do, do you want to come with us? I will bake us something nice to eat!"

>Red seems unsure about this.

>"Are you sure? Honey?"

>He whispers to her.

"It will be fine! Right? Major? I can finally make you that bean bun I keep telling you about!"

>She says, looking expectantly at the little oni.

| >>874166
>Chanka turns her red face to bear, facing Alix and Red
>She has complicated expression on her face
"... Did you just say beans"
>She grabs the counter with her sharp claws, shaking, her face grows paler
"... Y-You're one of them aren't you!!! YOU'LL THROW THE BEANS AT ME, I WONT FALL FOR IT!!!!"
>She shakes widely, her stool creaking ominously as she pulls of a textbook tantrum
"I-I won't have it!!"
>She says, vibrating with terror

| >>874167
"No! Major! It'll be wonderful, I promise. Or we can try a cake or a pie instead if you don't want the buns. We've already bought the stuff for cakes anyway."

>Alix says hurriedly.

"It's alright, major, we won't throw anything at you. We don't want to make a mess out of anything."

| >>874167

>Nova reels back with an expression of absolute confusion. Beans? What do beans have to do with anything?

"Beans? Who's throwing beans? I hope nobody's planning on throwing anything around in here... I really don't wanna be cleaning up here til' 4am!"

| >>874160
"Ah-- thank you!"

>Roy gratefully takes the chair from Maki, a wry grin twisting at his lips as he watches the young woman scramble to change her wording-- it wouldn't have been the first time someone had tried to wish him well that way.

"Will do."

>He plants the chair in the center of the stage. The seat stays empty, and neither of the two roommates seem intent on filling it.

"That about does it. Are you ready, Ei...?"

| >>874172
>Chanka huffs
"People keep throwing beans at me!! I don't get it but they do!! They throw them, and they're like: Well, you're an Oni!!! WHAT'S AN ONI???"
>Chanka seems riled up, angrily gnashing her teeth

| >>874172
"No, no. There will be none of that here I don't think. There's probably a bit of a bad memories from Setsubun."

>Alix answers with a smile.

"You don't have to worry about that here."

| >>874172 >>874167

> Cass looks on, visibly confused. Her eyes are practically straining trying to figure out how any of this situation made sense. She sipped her drink calmly, somehow sobered by such an odd sight

"Is... is this a normal thing that just like... happens?"

| >>874175
"Well, what do you say, major? We can go back to our place and then we can make something nice and sweet for you to eat!"

>Alix asks once again.

"She is pretty good at cooking, Major. That I can tell you."

| >>874173 >>874156
>Aikawa is too busy boring holes in Cassandra with a wide-eyed, tight-lipped stare to hear her husband, at first. Has anyone ever been... /this/ bold when trying to hit on her? /This/ forward-- out of nowhere? Talk about stepping on the gas...

"... Ei, come on."

>Aikawa feels a hand on her upper back-- she startles slightly at Roy's touch, shaking her head like she's trying to rattle all her thoughts back into place. Right. Let's do this.

| >>874179
>Roy grabs a mic off one of the holsters attached to Bo's chassis, and the two soon-to-be performers situate themselves a foot or two in front of the chair, not too far from the edge of the stage.


>... And freeze as they witness Chanka start pitching a fit.

| >>874178
>The Major only eyes you with suspicion
"I'm not following anyone anywhere! Mama said I shouldn't do that too!! And I know wha... what..."
>She trails off into another fit of mumbling, something about how she should call her mom.
>Chanka once again resumes drinking, fully cut off from the world outside for an instant

| >>874181
"Aw, well."

>Alix says disappointedly, then her face lights up again. She immediately digs into her little sling bag and pulls out what looks to be a little square bar of tri-layered sweet neatly wrapped in plastic.

"Oh, here, major! Some nanaimo bars, I think you might like these!"

>She says, lightly nudging the major and handing it to her with a warm smile.

| >>874180
>Roy and his wife exchange fleeting, nervous glances. Should they just... go for it? Roy taps the mic.

"Ah... good evening, everyone. I'd like to thank miss Nova for giving Ei and I the opportunity to get up here and... entertain you all. I... hope you enjoy what we've thrown together for you."

>A beat. Roy throws a quick glance over his shoulder back at Bo. He lets the silence linger, building (what he hopes is) tension, and anticipation.

| >>874183
>Then, slowly and deliberately-- couched in a coy grin and a flirtatious toss of his head:

"I want >>>YOU... to want,>>>ME--!!"

| >>874182
>The major seems stuck in her own little reverie, her eyes closed as she sways back and forth, her face so red it almost glows
>She doesn't respond past a slurring mumble, grasping the bar and stuffing it into her mouth like a hamster would...
>She lets out a satisfied sigh, slumping into the counter slightly
>The call to attention of the microphone snaps her out of her daze, and she turns her head slightly
>she mumbles weakly, doing her best to get up

| >>874184 >>874183

> Cassandra begins to cheer loudly. The song is familiar to her, nostalgic even. She couldn't specifically remember where this song came from, but it was in her memories regardless

| >>874183

>Nova starts screaming the second the music drops, one would think her age just suddenly halved. Maki joins in a moment after sounding nearly identical.

| >>874185
"I am glad you liked it, major."

>Alix says, still smiling at Chanka's reaction, despite Chanka not saying anything.

>Red meanwhile, turns his attention to the song and nods along.

| >Into the bar walks a young woman, seemingly no older than a high school senior, a mop of messy pinkish hair on her head framing cold blue eyes
>She's wearing an oversized hoodie adorned with the words "Smile! Tomorrow will be worse!"
>She walks to the bar and sits down, her eyes examining the bartender for a second, and then the guests
>She smiles a little
"Tender... a cobalt velvet."
>Her voice is low and icy

Total number of posts: 250, last modified on: Fri Jan 1 00:00:00 1655873745

This thread is closed.