Paulownia Mall - Club Escapade
Open only at night in Paulownia Mall, Club Escapade is a favored place for adults to gather and meet after a hard day's work. One part dance floor, one part bar, this is just as good a place to unwind as it is to drop off sleazy pickup lines.
Blue velvet is everywhere, the most predominant color aside from splotches of red among some seats and the small bar. The dance floor is indicated by a ring of blue lights surrounding the 'Escapade' logo in red. A stage, rarely used, is set up for performers. Red and blue wires can be seen all around the stage, and it is advised one stays back from them. A staircase leads up to a small lounge on the second floor. A few tables and two red sofas, one long, the other a mere two seater are set up. This is usually reserved for parties, although loners and surly sorts like to go up there for the seclusion from the noise down below.
For being a 'grown-up' place, the establishment seems to be okay with underaged people being present as long as they don't cause trouble. This is commonplace enough that there is some consideration over whether or not they'll even be serving alcohol in the near future. As of now, the bartender is quite good at mixing drinks... but his help is not very good at getting the right drinks to the people who ordered them.
Is a pretty hoppin' place. It's a 'grown up' place but it is pretty bright and colorful. Aigis, who has not observed many adults during her life, has come to Club Escapade intending to do that. But it isn't very busy, since it's a weekday, and the middle of the week which is even worse, and she isn't getting to do much observation. She has been asked to dance a couple times but has declined every offer so far because she's a cold fish--or more accurately, she isn't confident in her dancing 'skizzles'. She has done some Dance Dance Revolution but, somehow, it doesn't feel quite the same as dancing. It's not as...fluid?
Dance Dance Revolution is a lot easier, she thinks, sipping her glass of water.
Club Escapade is the most hoppin' place in Port Island, that lets underage people wander in freely. There are more lively places, but they're stuck up enough to actually enforce an age limit. Pff.
So because of that lax enforcement of age, Fumiya has come to consider the club a prime place to hang out. For at least the next couple of years, anyway. If only there was a place like this in Inaba, but he has a feeling that it wouldn't fly as well out there.
Tonight he tearing up the dance floor. And by tearing up I mean making a big show of himself. His attempts at dancing look more like they belong on the set of an 80s music video, so naturally they don't mesh with the beats being dropped here. But Fumiya knows all about sticking out awkwardly, this doesn't bother him. He just wants to have as much fun as possible before he's face with going back to Yasogami tomorrow. There's a lot of things he doesn't want to face there. Books, homework, paying attention. A large scandinavian girl.
Finally, during one of his dance breaks, he spins around and sees Aigis. "Oh wow!" He exclaims, heading in her direction. "I guess I didn't notice you when I came in. You come here often, Aigis-babe?"
It's the night before the second half of the school year restarts, and Hideo isn't in the mood to get a good night's sleep. A lot of stuff happened over the summer that gave the boy from Sumaru just as much to think about, especially here in Port Island. He thought about asking Itsuka out again but ended up deciding against it, instead just milling about Paulownia Mall until it's time for the last trains of the night to head back to Okina.
His wandering and pondering has led him to Club Escapade, which has far too much noise to think properly in and as a result is probably a good place for the Seven Sisters student to hang out for a while. Not only that, that '80s fool is showing his moves in the middle of the dance floor, and if THAT doesn't leave a guy dumbfounded then nothing will.
He moves off to the side of the club to sit down, coincidentally close to where Aigis is politely telling men to find other females to engage in courting rituals with. He doesn't speak to her just yet, though, as he only spoke with her once or twice and doesn't quite recognize her face. Maybe her conversation with Fumiya will remind him.
Aigis is very impressed with Fumiya's moves. They don't fit at all but Aigis doesn't know that. All she knows is that they're very flashy and look very impressive despite being totally out of place. Though Aigis is keen on things being 'out of place', she doesn't really know that Fumiya is being, in particular, out of place here. She thought he was a robot once but he's clearly merely an unusual human being with weird hair. Aigis never saw the 80s either. Not even Saved by the Bell.
"I do not," Aigis promises, smiling at Fumiya, "We seem to run into each other fairly frequently. It is good to see you again." As usual, the babe just sort of sloughs off her. In theory, this is probably closer than any other guy that tried has gotten but this is probably only because Fumiya hasn't actually asked her onto the floor yet.
She glances towards Hideo and bobs her her head to him, as if she recognizes her, but otherwise does not interfere in his actions--like an /anthropologist/.
Fumiya doesn't notice Hideo at first. His field of vision for dudes just narrows considerably when there's a babe present. As always, don't take it personal Hideo.
"We do." Fumiya nods, agreeing with her statement. "I guess I have fate to thank." Inviting himself to take a seat next to Aigis, Fumiya is all smiles. He was waiting for a chance to speak with her privately, he never got the chance at the beach party. And here, well, someone would have to be damn close to overhear their conversation with the noise.
Fumiya takes a moment to gather his thoughts, approaching this will be tricky. If he knew she was a robot he might think it impossible. "Listen Aigis-babe, I have to come clean. I remember what happened two months ago, how you helped Thora-babe fight off that crazy snake-chick, most of it anyway. I wanna thank you for saving my skin." Fumiya takes in a slow deep breath, using the time to measure his words some more. "I don't know how much you know about all this stuff, but I've heard about the Midnight Channel and all that's gone on, and how you helped save Sekigawa the other day. I've been trying to find out more about it, so I can protect myself, y'know?" Yeah, that works.
Hideo blinks in confusion as Aigis nods at him. Does she recognize him? Should he recognize her? He thinks about it for a moment, trying to place the face... and utterly failing. But those odd headsets she's wearing ARE familiar, especially because he remembers talking with Itsuka about them relatively recently.
"...oh!" the boy from Sumaru says loudly, quite possibly interrupting Fumiya's and Aigis' conversation. "I know you! You're that girl from the mall!" Nevermind that they're still /in/ the mall. "Uhhhh... Aggy?" So much for privacy, huh?
Fate..? To /thank/? Aigis blinks twice, and then after some consideration agrees that fate is a good thing. It's DOOM that's bad. That's how people use those two terms anyway. She just realizes this now as her mind for the first time contemplates the subject. She thinks today might be a good day, and then Fumiya decides to ask her about the crazy snake-chick which unleashes a feeling of cold, terrible dread across her entire being. No, she thinks, don't remember. It's better that you don't remember. She is thanked for helping--she didn't do much compared to Thora-Chan, of course, but even though it's nice to get thanked--but she can't help him, she thinks. If she tells him ... If she doesn't tell him...
She lowers her head, eyes half closing as she thinks about Fumiya's declaration. The Midnight Channel. Sekigawa too. Nnh... How did he find out about that? This is bad, this is very bad, but on the other hand...
He seems reasonable and intelligent and capable of discretion if he has held it in this long. He was even nice enough to wait until they were basically alo--
"Ah--!" She says, eyes widening briefly, "Ah, no. Aigis. You could call me Aggy if you prefer, but that is not my name." She looks a Fumiya apologetically and smiles at him. "You're welcome."
Reasonable and /capable of discretion/. Maybe seeing Tom's swimwear at the beach did more than short out her eyes. Of course, Fumiya wouldn't deny this, he thinks he's perfectly capable of being discrete. As for how he knew about Sekigawa, he was told by the dude himself. Though Shirou neglected to fill Fumiya in on the information he really /wanted/ to know, which led him back to square one. If he can't find out more from Aigis, then the only other person he's sure he can get some info out of is Seta, but Fumiya has met that guy all of once. But Aigis he can approach, and in fact it seems to be working out well. Fumiya keeps himself from grinning too much and giving away that he has other motives as she seems amiable to telling him more.
And then Hideo happens.
It takes all of Fumiya's willpower for him not to reach over and grab the guy. Luckily his sunglasses hide his eyes almost entirely, so the flash of pure frustration that was visible is masked. Biting his lower lip, he throws a forced smile in Hideo's direction. "Aratami, right? Yeah, now I remember." He takes a breath, which calms himself. So close, dammit. And he's leaving Port Island tonight.
Fumiya falls silent for a moment to think of his next move. Hideo's appearance pretty much derailed his train of thought.
"Aigis-san, right," Hideo says. "And you're..." he draws a blank on Fumiya. He DEFINITELY recognizes this one, but he can't bring the name to the forefront of his mind. Fumiya's incredibly loud fashion sense is drowning out the one or two times he's heard his named mentioned. "You're... that guy!" Nice save, Hideo, really.
"I guess you two are out for one last night on the town before school starts up again, huh?" he says, assuming that's the only reason high school students would be hanging out in a place like this on a night like tonight. That's what he's doing here, after all, so it's only natural to assume as much. Luckily for the two conspirators, Hideo didn't overhear their clandestine conversation over the rhythmic bassline of the club music, so he won't be prying into that little snippet.
"We can talk later, Fumiya-San." Aigis says, "But until that time, I request that you try not to get too involved in rumors." If he's bound to find out anyway, the best she can do is make sure he's /properly informed/. Otherwise Tom and Shiori will fill his head with all sorts of half accurate nonsense that will get himself killed. In theory, anyway. She doesn't want to think about it or risk it.
That guy, she thinks. This doesn't say anything. Fumiya is not hard to spot or recognize. Hideo might not even know him. She is present to observe, somethign that is increasingly difficult, but she doesn't mind. A thought occurs to her, "If you provide me with your address in Inaba, I could come by." She adds, "In the evening or late afternoon."
She considers Hideo's words and nods to him. "That is correct." She says. Even if only by the most technical specifications. The best kind of specifications.
'That guy'? If Fumiya didn't already have something on his mind he'd take offense to that. Hideo is let off the hook, though, thanks to Fumiya's mind being elsewhere.
Lucky for him, Aigis does all the thinking and comes up with the most obvious solution to this conundrum. Fumiya taps his lips with his finger, thinking it over. "I don't spend much time at home, I tend to go all over town until late." His grandparents don't give him too much flack over it, most of the time. While he loves the idea of Aigis-babe asking for his address, he needs something a bit more reliable.
Fumiya makes cautionary glances over his shoulders, as if he were worried about someone overhearing this and /ruining his reputation/. "Maybe if I gave you my cell phone number? If you went to Inaba I could meet up with you anywhere then." Yes. The 80s Kid, the one who still uses a cassette walkman for no other reason than to keep up his image, has a modern cell phone. Some things just necessitate modernity.
Blink. Blinkblink. Aigis asking for Fumiya's address? Fumiya offering his phone number? "Oh, am I interrupting something?" Hideo says, completely misunderstanding the situation. "I can, uh, I can give you two some privacy if you'd like? I wouldn't wanna be a third wheel in your, uh, your thing." He makes vague gestures with his hands, a little unsure what the socially appropriate move in this situation is.
Regardless, he may or may not be making things very awkward for at least one party involved. Of course, seeing as the people involved are a robot girl and a man with no shame, that party may very well be himself.
Aigis isn't a dumb robot! 'artificial intelligence', in her case, isn't a synonym for dumb! It works! Seriously! Unfortunately an unknown variable, namely that Fumiya is a vagrant, has not occured to her until Fumiya pointed it out. Luckily this is the information age and she bobs her head. "I do have a cellphone." She agrees--if you don't have a cellphone in japan, particularly a super cool one, you're not cool. Not even the most delusioned member of society can escape this truth.
"Ah, no--" She tells Hideo, waving a hand at him, "Please, you are not bothering me." He may be bothering Fumiya, of course, but. "This meeting was unexpected." She adds for Hideo's benefit.
Fumiya just throws Hideo a knowing little smirk. Let him think there's something between them, that's fine by him. Fumiya can't help but take a little stubborn pride out of leading someone to believe he had a hot babe friend.
'Vagrant' is exactly the sort of term Fumiya would probably embrace, either not knowing or not caring about its true meaning. It just sounds edgey and cool. Plus it could be used to describe Shinjiro, and he's one of the most badass people around.
Fumiya takes out his /super cool/ cellphone, which is of course pink, to swap numbers with Aigis. "There." Flipping it back into his pocket, he takes a glance up at one of the few visible clocks in the club and frowns. He could stick around, but he'd miss his train. While he wouldn't care about missing class, he needs to keep up appearances that everything is normal, so Thora won't go thinking he's continuing to stick his nose into this.
"I think I'd best be going. The train won't wait for me, even as bodacious as I am. Aigis-babe, keep in touch. Lemme know when you're in the neighborhood." He turns to leave, but pauses and glances back at Hideo. "Later Aratami." It's as polite a farewell as he can offer him, considering he just interupted his best chance yet to learn more about the Midnight Channel. But hopefully it won't matter soon.