The Espoir Bangle

 /=====================( - Inaba - Junes Dept. Store - )======================\ 
|                                                                              |
|  Every day is great at your Junes! o/~ This jingle is one reason why Junes   |
| is so prominent within Inaba. Just one store in a major department store     |
| chain, Junes offers many different products at unbeatable prices, from       |
| simple groceries to comfortable furniture and even an expansive electronics  |
| department, the latter of which has been proven very popular by some of the  |
| teenage crowd lately.                                                        |
|  The department store is so massive that the elevator is the preferred       |
| method in which to go anywhere around the place, with different floors for   |
| different departments within it. Although the goods are varied enough that   |
| each may as well be their own store, at least several things are constant:   |
| the bright and cheery colors, the frequent announcement of some special deal |
| or another going on, and most importantly, the endless looping elevator      |
| music of the theme song that can even rival Satomi Tadashi's for sheer       |
| catchiness.                                                                  |
|  Customer Appreciation Day is said to be every day at Junes, but this sure   |
| doesn't seem to show with the majority of its employees... especially the    |
| part-timers. Lazy, rude, and prone to complaining about their salary, they   |
| are not pleasant people. Even so, that hasn't been enough to drive the       |
| customers away.                                                              |
|===============================( - Players - )================================|
| Dona Kimura [DS] <Wicked Queen>                                              |
|===============================( - Objects - )================================|

|================================( - Exits - )=================================|
| Elevator <E>:            Junes - Food Court                                  |
| TV <TV>:                 TV World - The Stage                                |
| Out <O>:                 Inaba                                               |

It has been a long couple of weeks for Fumiya Watanabe. For the normally active teen to be forced to hobble around on crutches, and keep his foot rested, it hasn't been an easy task. You'd think 'resting' would be an easy task to accomplish. But it's not. Not for Fumiya.

But now his foot is finally healed and he's out around Inaba strutting his stuff. Specifically: Junes. Every day is great there. Their slogan says so.

The crutchless Fumiya stalks the store, his neon clothing (subdued though it may be) making him stand out like a sore thumb. He hunts for gossip, students he might know, awesome deals on 80s paraphenalia (you never know), and most importantly: babes. He sees the same ol' students every day at Yasogami, and hangs out with the same ol' crowd of mindghostbusters, so he wants to meet some new people.

Granted this is Inaba, there aren't a whole lot of 'new people' in a small town like this.

Boredom! The number one enemy of any witch. The year has been slow to start for Daiya Kagami, Seven Sisters High's second sexiest girl (according to an official poll that may not reflect reality in any way, for clearly she should be /first/)! Yesterday, she got rid of it by nearly killing some crazy little girl (in self-defense!), but now she's back to not having any idea what to do. What does the highly-whimsical girl do, then?

Buy a train ticket to someplace random and just /go there/.

It's far from the first time someone with an unusual destiny winds up somewhere in Inaba. Who knows whatever mysterious forces may be guiding them there? Daiya isn't in the mood to ponder such philosophical questions, though. Her reflex, as soon as she stepped foot off the train, was to head for the town's most obvious bastion of civilization and commercialism! (Not the castle, she's avoiding that place for some reason.)

And this is how the stylishly-dressed girl, sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the crowd of local country bumpkins, wound up in the jewelry section(?!) of the local Junes, asking to a confused salesman about an "Espoir Bangle", whatever that thing might be. Even after a thorough application of puppy eyes, she has had no further information, though! Useless!

And she turns around, just a wee bit annoyed, taking a second to eye a set of golden chains. It probably won't take long before her attention turns to something-- or someone else, though! She's the wrong alt to get really interested in this, anyway.

Sadly, this evening Fumiya is not finding much of any of his objectives. He's woefully behind on his gossip, so much so that what he /is/ hearing isn't making as much sense without a few weeks of context. Any deals on 80s junk are nowhere to be found. And there isn't a sign of any new babes in sight. Fumiya's about ready to give up as he passes by the jewelery department, his one final bastion of hope on the babe front. And then it hits him: His babe-dar.



"Hey there, never seen you around here before." Fumiya says, intiating the conversation in the most 'totally not creepy at all, honest' way possible. "Do you live in Inaba? Because I think I'd remember someone as gorgeous as you. Maybe my memory went on the fritz as soon as I saw you, babe."

Behold Fumiya's 'Moves'. They are legendary, for all the wrong reasons.

Daiya squints a bit at the sight of the sudden arrival. Oh my god, is he some kind of crazy cultist? You'd have to be to be dressed like that! ...Then again, some of her best friends are crazy cultists. It's important not to judge!

She puts a hand to her mouth to stifle a terrible, Callisto-esque gigglefit. Pfffft! He's like an 11 on the dork-o-meter! why would anyone not blind dress like that? He's so cheesy! He's so funny, and not in a laugh-with-him way! He's so...

"...hahaha. You're so cute!" She hunches over forward and wagging a finger around with a quick wink, baaaaarely holding back the urge to pinch the posturing boy's cheek. She sets herself back upright, beaming, having apparently forgotten all about her previous frustration. "To answer your question, I'm not from here, no! I am..."

Spin. Pose. V-sign! "Daiya! Daiya Kagami!" You can practically see the sparkles radiating out of her. "...and who might /you/ be?" She headttilts.

He's a cultist alright. Member of the church of the King of Pop, founded just now in the back of his mind (filed away for later).

Fortunately for Daiya, Fumiya doesn't pick up on the traces of insincerity in her voice, he's far too engrossed in her stunning good looks. And the fact that she called him 'cute', that's a plus too.

And she's from out of town, which means she /probably/ isn't involved in all the crazy shadow-hunting or conspiracies! Score! It's been too long since Fumiya's met a babe that he didn't already know, or wasn't involved in Persona shenanigans. Perhaps part of him has been wanting a normal relationship with a normal person, despite how dangerous that has proved to be.

Fumiya barks out a chuckle at the spinning V-sign. That was just adorable. "Daiya-babe, you can call me whatever you want. But the given handle's Fumiya. Fumiya Watanabe." He grins, and places a hand on the nearest wall to casually lean on it. "So what brings you down to Inaba?"

Yes, Daiya is a very normal girl! Even her resonance says so! She's certainly not, say, some sort of horrible construct of a completely different girl's darker thoughts and desires or anything like that. That would be /absolutely insane/.

"B-babe? Oh, I like that!" Daiya claps her hands together at the made-up honorific, obviously liking the sound of it. "But okay, then, Fumiya-babe!" She grins, not... quite seeming to get the implications. Is she teasing him, or just dumb?!

Whatever reaction he'll have to that will probably be entertaining, but once it's done with, she actually answers his question, twirling that magic pointer finger of hers in the air. "Oh, I don't know, maybe... it's destiny!" She makes spooky hand motions to accompany this. Hey, if /he/ can give extremely cheesy lines, why shouldn't she?

"But seriously, though..." She gently takes a bit of her ponytail that's been dislodged in all that movement, running her fingers through it idly. "I'm looking for something called the Espoir Bangle. I'm not sure what it is, though, any idea? be honest, it sounds like something out of a video game more than anything else!"

Fumiya blinks. "Oh really? Wow." She likes it? He doesn't get that reaction very often. Most just express general bewilderment, while a few others go into 'RGGH KILL DIE' mode. But hey, Fumiya won't complain when a babe digs it. Makes things go more smoothly.

At least until she uses his trademark made-up honoriffic on him. He's only ever encountered one other person that did that, and now he can't help but wonder if Daiya is some kind of robot. But she doesn't seem like one. She's too energetic, too cutesy. She's about as far from Aigis as Fumiya is from fashion sense. So he drops that odd line of thinking and goes back to posturing mode, showing no more reaction to being called 'babe' himself than an odd facial expression and a shrug.

"Destiny, huh?" He says, picking up on her dramatic raising of the topic. "I like the sound of that. Destiny has a nice ring to it, like it was meant to be or something." Meant to be, you know, like /destiny/. Ha ha, so witty!

The 'Espoir Bangle' angle prompts a bit of a blank star for a moment, though. Was that some sort of new fashion accessory that's all the rage? An Inaba town treasure he's never bothered to learn about? Some poorly-written series of novels for tween girls to fantasize over fictional characters that get into destructive relationships so they can soak up all the angst? Shoot! He has no idea! But he can't say /that/.

"Hmmm..." He says, buying himself precious seconds by making it look like he's on to something. "Maybe I might have. I think I overheard some other girls talking about something like that while reading one of their magazines." Ok, so he's fibbing, but it's /entirely possible/ something like that exists and it was featured in a magazine and some girls somewhere chatted about it. "Wanna hit the magazine stands and take a look?"

If Daiya is a robot, she's a lot less obvious about it, that's for sure! ...though there /is/ a bit of an... uncanny valley quality about her, but every other aspect of the girl is pretty much screaming not to worry about it!

Fumiya's subdued reaction to being given a taste of his own medicine prompts a smile from Daiya (get used to this, by the way). So cute! "Then yes, it must be destiny. Alignment of the stars, if you want." She likes the sound of that too! ...and she /does/ meet the most interesting of people in malls. Once again, this is no exception. What a strange little boy. And funny, too.

"Oh!!" Her eyes widen, and there's another clap of her hands as she /finally/ seems to find a lead on... whatever that thing might be. Seriously, her guess is as good as his, though it's not like either of them will really say it. "You're my /hero/! That sounds like a plan!"

She puts a hand on the neon boy's shoulder, using her free one to enthusiastically point to... wherever the way out of this particular area of the store may be. And possibly nowhere near the actual destination. "Lead the way, Fumiya-kun!"

Well if her guess is as good as his then it's probably a good thing. Fumiya IS just leading her where ever in an effort to find out more about her. When it turns out there is no Espoir Bangle, well.. he'll cross that bridge when he comes to it. And probably do a leap of faith off of it as well.

"That's me, babe. A hero. I'll rescue babes from their troubles!" Or, in this case, he'll rescue Daiya from 'not knowing what or where something is'. Not terribly heroic, but it'll do for now.

Fumiya does exactly that, when Daiya motions for him to lead the way. He may not necessarily be heading towards the magazine stands, but who cares if they take the scenic route, right? "So where do you come from, Daiya-babe? Some angelic paradise or something, right?" He says, implying in a roundabout way that she's an angel or somesuch 'pick-up line' nonsense.

Or maybe Daiya will push him off the bridge herself! :D

"I'm so lucky I ran into you, then!" Daiya thrusts a fist in the air as they make their way towards... wherever, really. A real hero! In other words, a naive doofus. This is basically perfect. She loves these types!

She just smiles widely at the compliment that comes with the cheesy pick-up line. The natural anime female urge for this would be to just smack him, but oh, not her! If anything, she loves the attention. "Not quite, but close! I'm from Sumaru City, and I go to Seven Sisters High. I like to just... pop up in places, though." Like she did just now. "I get sooooo little free time, so sometimes it feels like I just don't exist. So when I do, I make the most of it!" She shrugs, still cheerful.

"What about you? Did you ride into this town on some valiant steed, or were you born a peasant before you became a cool, stylish hero?" She puts a lot of loving emphasis on those last words, not really explaining the weird shift to fairy tale imagery.

It seems Daiya's powers of perception are spot-on, for the most part. Fumiya doesn't really suspect a thing, and he can certainly be kind of a doofus around the girls. It's not HIS fault he's hardwired that way, blame it on puberty, being a teenager, or other stuff that sounds related!

"Sumaru huh? I never spent much time out there." Come to think of it, Fumiya isn't sure he's /ever/ been out there. Well that explains why he's never seen her before. "Free time troubles huh? I hear ya. Being a student is rough, it's like we're expected not to have lives most of the time. Bogus." Fumiya smirks as she shrugs, and offers "Well you're making the most of it when you hang out with a dude like me."

Ha ha ha ha... oh, Fumiya's lines. Will they ever not be terrible?

He blinks in surprise, not that she'd see it behind his glasses, at the sudden interest in him. This is going better than he thought. "Me huh? You could say I rode into this town on a railbound steel steed. I'm actually from Port Island, but I was transferred here last year. Since then I've been teaching this quiet little town a thing or two about being radical." He can't help but grin about being called a stylish hero.

Daiya's been improving at reading people! ...though it's not like it's extremely hard to see through Fumiya's posturing either. Flattery seems to be doing the trick, so far! See? Not hard. ...His "being a teenage male" in general might really help, too.

She nods enthusiastically as he agrees with her on student life, though! ...never mind that she's technically almost never set foot into a classroom herself to begin with.

...but still, that terrible line earns a giggle from her. She's definitely NOT HUMAN!! "I'm glad, then! I keep meeting interesting people in stores like these, though I think today might take the cake." ...and he certainly is... "interesting".

"Oh! So cool! So you've got a motorcycle, then? I've always wanted to ride one." She looks on at him with genuine admiration, imagining him on an /awesome bike/, and... completely missing the "railbound" bit. Still, that line right there earned him a three-music-notes reaction, either way! "So you're going to make that town less boring, then? It's a great goal! I think it needs a bit of livening up, honestly."

Newtype flash. Something seems to occur to her.

"...Want some help with this? I can't be around much, but I'm trying to..." What was that line Naomi said, again? ...Ah, yes. It's also cheesy in its own right, so it should work! "...reach out to world. Make it a better place and stuff. More 'radical'!" She chirps that last word, putting her hands to her cheeks excitedly.

"A motorcycle? Uh..." He coughs, rubbing the back of his neck. If this were an anime there'd be a GIANT SWEATDROP back there right now. He doesn't really have a motorcycle, but he does know someone with one! Maybe he could borrow it someday. That would surely work out great. "..not quite, but something like that." That'll do.

"And, well, I guess I am! I'm making it less boring just by being here!" He proclaims, and it's technically true, in a weird way. He's certainly made things interesting with his mere presence on some occasions. "It's such a quiet town, too set in its ways, you know?" Says the 80s kid who won't leave his favorite decade. "I always get a lot of looks whenever I'm out on the town. I think it's working too. You know that awesome mural out on the KNOWS complex?" He asks, then does a few quick glances around and says in a low voice (as if everyone didn't already know) "That was me."

STARTLING REVELATION! And he couldn't look prouder of it.

The offer to 'help' is almost too good to be true. He's making most excellent progress on this bodacious babe. (Air guitar) "Help eh? Sure, it sounds great. I'd love to have some extra help making this town more.... radical!"

Shenanigans are afoot.

...Oh, a scooter, then? That's disappointing, though Daiya tries her best to hide it. Oh well, she'll have to wait another time for a ride, then.

She continues nodding with enthusiasm as Fumiya talks about the way the town is set in its ways. So true! Boring little hicksville, seriously. Clearly, he's the outgoing eccentric who will change everyone's lives and forever liven up the entire boring town! Daiya was lucky to meet him, of all people.


"What?! No way!" Daiya's jaw drops. ...She actually /hasn't/ seen the mural in question, though she will make it a point to go check once she heads to the train back home. She can only imagine what it's like... and it's pretty much certain that it's absolutely nothing like what she has in mind.

And yes, that offer sure sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Daiya smiles, attempting to be /extra-distracting/ for a moment, juuuust in case Fumiya parses that thought too far. "Radical!" She thrusts a fist into the air. "All right, then. Hmmmm, give me a second."

She looks around, and by some sheer coincidence, they seem to be going through the office supplies section! One /extremely minor/ bit of casual shoplifting later, and Fumiya has a slip of paper with a cell phone number on it. He's also offered the pen that was just used and a similar slip, for obvious reasons! "Like I said, I'm super busy so chances are I won't be able to answer, but maybe you'll get lucky! Call me~!"

A train. He rode in on a train! Sheesh.

But there's more important things in mind right now than the method of Fumiya's arrival to Inaba. That being: she's interested in his mural! Awesome! Fumiya always knew that little thing would wind up doing more for him than just get his sorry ass thrown into a TV. It's a good thing Kandori decided to leave it up, who knew the evil corporate devil was a closet MJ fan? "Well then, be sure and take a look next time you're out that way. It'll /blow your mind/." He states, proudly.

This is working out better than he could have hoped. He even feels like a normal teenager again, not having to worry about shadows or personas or the people involved with them. Her enthusiasm and her quick adoption of his particular blend of slang (because it's so great, of course) is sweetening the deal. As far as Fumiya is concerned, this is going /swimmingly/.

Hey, is that the Jaws theme off in the distance?

Fumiya accepts the paper with her number on it as cool as he can. (Ladies and gentlemen, we have DIGITS) "I'll be sure and do just that, Daiya-babe. I know fate or destiny or whatever will get us together again!"

And he's totally unaware of the shoplifting too. Poor Fumiya.