Valentimes Is Serious Times
/=======================( - Okina City - Fountains - )=======================\
| For those who just want a place to sit down to pass the time or perhaps |
| enjoy concessions, there are numerous rest areas strewn along the path. |
| There are many nice fountains surrounded by benches or the odd landscaped |
| plantlife, and this is one of them. |
| A relaxing mist pours fourth from the nearby fountain, making the air a |
| little chilly on colder months. In warmer times, it is very refreshing - if |
| not a little loud. The benches are of a very sturdy design even though their |
| construction isn't uniform across Okina City. Some are wooden, some are made |
| of metal, and some are some kind of plastic. They are all comfy places to |
| sit, be it by yourself, with a friend, or a whole group of them. |
| This is not a good place to hide from people. There is something about |
| these parts that seem to drag people you don't want to see towards you, as |
| though a fountain were some sort of spiritual lost and found. Conversely, a |
| gathering of friends will somehow always come to the right spot without any |
| additional instruction. |
|===============================( - Players - )================================|
| Yoh Yamagatani [U] <Magni> Takaya Sakaki [S] <Hypnos> |
| Dona Kimura [DS] <Wicked Queen> Rise Kujikawa [U] <None> |
| Souji Seta [KDA] <Izanagi> Maya Amano [DS] <Maia> |
| Michiru Fukase [KDA] <Xipe Totec> |
|===============================( - Objects - )================================|
|================================( - Exits - )=================================|
| <O> Out: Okina City |
Evening is falling over the fountains at Okina, and a small public stage has been set up off to one side. It's not too terribly cold, but hot chocolate is being provided at a stand nearby during the public event for anyone who just wants to share chocolate and warmth.
The event was actually sponsored by glico chocolates, and signs for cheap and expensive chocolate products are set up totally not-tastefully all around the park in varying places, encouraging people to buy more, spend more, and generally feel guilty for not getting enough fattening treats for all of their best friends.
The park is actually starting to get packed. Though no one knows for sure what the stage show will be, the little stage has a big sign on it that says SMILE FOR YOUR HEART in English letters. Also there is some mixing equipment that seems suitable for a DJ set up, and a couple microphones. The rumors are that Risette is here.
Rise Kujikawa IS here, but hiding off in a small white tent off to the side. The whole place smells of chocolate. She peeks out just around the curtain to see if it's really packing a crowd, and looks pretty nervous when it seems to be busy outside.
The smell of chocolate is everywhere, and it is one of Yoh's favorite holidays today! Valentine's Day! Well, the boy didn't usually get chocolate today from any girl besides his mother, but he didn't mind! Seeing everyone happy on this occasion makes him chipper and perky as ever. The boy walks along with a bounce in his step, enjoy the sights and... smells? OH GOD, CHOCOLATE. Yoh was dieting at the time, trying to get the best muscular build possible, to try and not look so scrawny. Of coruse even his strong will is no match for the sweet brown treat.
He was wary of being around the fountain because of a BAD incident the night before, but in the open with so many people? It will not repeat. He was also afraid to be here with chocolate around to an extent, remembering the paradox accident all too well! Still, cannot resist... The boy almost hovers toward the area, following the aroma. The stomach was clearly at the wheel right now.
His resonance is very potent right now, and like it is always, as he had no idea it even existed. As he hurries to the area, he appears to be talking on the phone to someone casually, though it was by no means distracting him from his new goal. He had completely forgotten why he was going through the area, as per usual when food gets involved. He heads towards the tent near the fountain.
Souji has decided to head out to Okina. He had heard Rise was going to be here so it would be his only chance to see her perform. Plus it might help her to have someone who was her friend in the audience. Souji flips her note in his hand, looking up at the stage as he passes the white tent. "Hmm. I guess this is it." He adjusts his school uniform's collar, keeping it loose since school was out for the day.
In a way, he was lucky, he left when he did. He has yet to hear about the Earthquake. Otherwise, he'd be trying to get back to Inaba and checking to see if everyone was ok. For now, Souji looks calm, getting some hot chocolate and enjoying the atmosphere for free consumerism.
Takaya Sakaki spent the day spectating the aftermath of the Inaba earthquake, masquerading as a relief worker. Watching the death and horror wreaked by the freak earthquake filled him with a deep sense of inner peace. He has released more of them from their horrible, illusory lives. He has made the world better.
Now Takaya is here in the park, his concession to blending in an unfastened jacket he stole from the Red Cross. He has purchased some chocolate with the blood money Jin keeps supplying him with, and is presently enjoying a very Irish coffee in the midst of the crowd. He's just another wiry looking guy in an area full of disturbed, depraved looking Rise fans. For once, he's not the strangest thing in the vicinity.
Michiru had cut class to go and do other things. She had planned to come here in the evening after a detour into Port Island, thanks to the efficency of the Japanese mass transit system. She was however worried by news that there was an earthquake back home...
... and at the same time people are saying the damage isn't as bad as it could be. She is really not sure she wants to be here, given both that she lacks a /boyfriend/ (baww) and that, despite finding Rise to be a cool person to hang out with, she is not all that into pop music. Even so. Even so.
Currently she is loitering near the fountain, sipping hot chocolate and holding a cigarette she did not actually bother to light. She has at least achieved the goal of looking mature, even as she looks around, frowning. There is some kind of potent, impinging sensation on the borders of her awareness, constantly pushing in in a subtle manner, like a background buzzing tone. She has no idea what, exactly, it is.
So why did Seven Sisters High's absurdly attractive senior, Daiya Kagami, feel like attending a show given by a teenage idol for Valentine's Day? It's quite simple, really: Because she felt like it and this is the way she rolls.
She didn't even come with a boy, either! Stupid idiot desisted at the last second, leaving her alone. Or, well, had an accident and broke a limb, but it's really not clear exactly how the cause to effect relationship works out here.
Either way, she has instead come with her classmates-slash-groupies, Keiko, Aiko and Yuuko! They're differentiated by different haircuts for your convenience, but are all wearing the Seven Sisters High uniform still, over their disturbingly identical winter coats. Only Daiya gets to stand out in her much more stylish one! And none of them brought a boy either. All is well with the world. Daiya seems a little distracted...
"What's wrong, Daiya-sama?"
"Oh! Nothing, still just a little upset about that guy is all..."
"W-well, at least you get to spend the evening with us..."
"...Hmmm? Oh, yeah, you're right! Who wants hot chocolate? My treat!"
"Kyyyaaaa, Daiya-sama is the best!"
The three girls run off ahead while the taller, ponytailed girl heads to the stand more nonchalantly, looking around. Maybe she'll spot someone she knows?
Chisaki Tohsaki walks up to the fountain, tilting her head as she sniffs the air. She has a pair of goggles, of all things, hanging in one hand. A price sticker is still afixed to them, and a little bit of ink is clinging to her left thumb from the receipt. The brown-haired girl peers at the fountain and the tables and, especially, the sign. She finally smiles.
"Mm," she murmurs, not particularly thoughtfully. "Chocolate."
She goes walking forward, with the intent to get some of that chocolate. She looks around -- hearing some murmurs, something about Risette. Chisaki's eyes narrow; she reaches a hand down to her satchel (not a purse, people, she's too badassed to wear that!) and pulls out a notepad. It has a piece of masking tape over the front, but the characters can be read by squinting: "AUTOGRAPHS."
She has a mission.
Risette? Super hot babe idol that goes to the same school? And she's here in Okina?
Yeah, the rumor of Rise making an appearance in Okina might have had some influence on Fumiya's decision to spend the day there. Of course he likes hanging out in Okina most weekends anyway, so the point is kind of moot. But the gnarly neon kid is away from his usual haunts of the arcade and theatre to hang around the chocolate event.
Trying his best to blend into the crowd, and failing as he usually does, Fumiya keeps a sharp eye out for Rise and anyone else he might know. Souji is easy enough to spot, much like Fumiya's incredibly loud color there's something about Souji's ever-present greyness that makes him easy to identify, as odd as that might be. Maybe it's becaue Fumiya spends so much time exposed to his own brights that someone as subdued as Souji really sticks out to him. For now he refrains from waving him over, he might miss Rise's appearance, after all.
Something else catches his eye, though, as he happens to glance to his right and spot Daiya. Oh wow, what's she up to? Rise is, miraculously, momentarily forgotten as Fumiya edges through the crowd to approach the mysterious Seven Sisters student. "Yoooo, Daiya-babe, long time no see."
"Is that seriously an autograph book?" Michiru says to Chisaki as she gets up to stretch her legs, drifting near the chocolate tables again.
Rise slips back behind the curtain for a second, goes pale, and then takes a breath, composing herself.
When she steps out of the tent, toward the stage, she looks confident and cute as a button. She's in a red dress, with a heart-shaped upper bodice, cute matching high heels, and a ballerina skirt. Her tights have hearts all over them, and her hair is in her usual half double-tails style. It looks like she may even have some glittery eye shadow on, and there are a lot of cheers when she first walks out to the mike.
A young man in loose jeans, sunglasses, and a Pocky-branded T-shirt comes out to behind the DJ equipment, and does a quick test of everything, including a mike check. Rise walks up to the mike. There's lots of clapping. Her eyes get a little small for a second. "Hello, everyone, and welcome!"
There are cheers and applause. "Happy Valentine's Day! Today's a day we celebrate love, and friendship! Are you all enjoying it? "
As Yoh finishes his approach, he hangs up the phone and comes closer into the crowd, trying to sift through to get close to up front, as per usual. He is wearing his usual outfit, and is easily spottable by those that know him due to the bright as all hell orange polo shirt. It is near luminescent orange, like the reflective color used with road work. His goofy hairstyle doesn't help him blend in either.
The girl on stage... he swore he has seen her before, but can't put his finger on it. He glanced around the crowd. He felt a bit out of place, not having any chocolate given to him like the others, but everyone looked happy as ever, so he was happy in general thankfully. Usually guys are bummed. Not this one though. he boy tilts his head sideways as he waits for... whatever is supposed to happen here. It should be entertaining either way. He ruffles his hair and takes a more relaxed standing position.
Souji finds something to lean on, mysteriously close to the Red Cross guy drinking his coffee. He has no idea that this man is THAT MAN: Takaya Sakaki. No, Takaya is completely unnoticed by the grey haired leader of the KDA as he sips his hot chocolate and watches Rise begin her show.
Souji scans the crowd, spotting Michiru in the distance. He waves at her, starting to move through the crowd toward her. This will take some time as the nerds begin to buckle down, hoping that Rise will look their direction and make their fanfiction fantasies come true.
Finally, Souji makes it to Michiru, breathing a little unevenly thanks to having to cut through the great wall of fanboys. "Hey. I didn't know you were into this kind of stuff."
It takes a moment, but Daiya spots someone she knows in the crowd! Oh my god, it is /Takaya-kun/! She waves in his direction with enthusiasm, not calling him out, at least not immediately, before someone /else/ gets the jump on her. Egads!
She turns to face the intruder adressing her. Oh god. For better or worse, this boy is more or less unforgettable. So naturally, she smiles brightly at his approach. "Oh my gosh! Fumiya-kun! What a small world! I would have never expected to see you here tonight!"
She approaches as well, momentarily forgetting the fact that her henchwomen are presumably waiting on her to pay for their drinks. Well, they can wait! "Did you get my chocolate?"
And now Rise appears on stage! Finally, the moment they've all been waiting for! "YEEEEEEEAH!" She pumps a fist into the air, energetically leaping to compliment the shout and gesture, responding to the idol's question! Well, at least this has the /potential/ to get enjoyable now!
Michiru's head swivels around for a moment. She easily sees Fumiya, who is visible from space, and ends up looking with momentary and subliminal botheration at the loitering man with the ruffled hair and the similarly bright shirt. She frowns slightly. But --
She looks forwards again to see Rise! She doesn't have the capacity to clap with all the stuff in her hands, so she just calls out, "Yaaah!" with several others. Wow, she thinks: she's wearing eyeshadow. /and Michiru can tell from this range/
Oh hey, Souji. "I just came since I know her," she says, making an airy gesture with one hand.
Chisaki knows what to do when an idol asks what they think. However, she projects a little too much -- while she likes Risette's music, she likes rock 'n roll a little more. She shoves a hand into the air, and lets out a loud yell.
"YEAAAAAH!" she yells. "WE'RE READY TO ROCK!"
She keeps walking forward. As she does, she brushes one shoulder against Fumiya -- but doesn't stop as she brushes by him, on her way to the stage. Her hand clutches the autograph book tightly. She has a mission, damn it!
As Risette appears on stage Fumiya's attention is briefly directed towards the stage. Finally, he gets to see the idol in person as the idol! And she's just as hot as her crack team of PR people make her out to be. But then, Daiya is suddenly in front of Fumiya, and somehow the neon kid ignores the mega idol on stage! What is this witchcraft?!
"Oh you know me, Daiya-babe, I get around." Fumiya grins. Of course Daiya doesn't know Fumiya all that well, but no one ever questions the point of simple flirting. "How about you, are you here with anyone?" He asks, the most tactful way he can think of to see if she's with some other dude or not.
"Oh yeah! I did. Thanks for those, I'll have to make it up to you someday." Some day being White day, of course. "So, are you a fan of Risette? I, uh, figured I'd drop by since this was supposed to draw a big crowd."
Certainly not because he was secretly a fan of Risette.
Rise seems glad that everyone has cheered, but then she swallows.
It's good to raise a little extra money for gramma and this endorsement was worth it in that sense. But... she really is starting to feel butterflies for having come out here when she's supposed to be retired. She doesn't want to disappoint anyone. A mixture of emotions is running through her head - she loves being on the stage - she hates being on the stage - her stomach is butterflies and her heart is tight knots.
It doesn't really show on her face, as she smile-smiles in a way that her heart tells her is so totally fake.
"I'm so glad everyone could be here! Tonight we have DJ-Pocky-tan to entertain you and take your most heartfelt and romantic requests!"
"Aren't you here to sing?" shouts someone in the audience, sort of rudely interrupting Rise's comment.
There's scattered applause and cheers.
She taps the mike. It squeals. "Um, well... I was supposed to be retired! And--"
"RISETTE WE LOVE YOU!" shouts a high-pitched girl off in the corner. Somehow she has a stuffed bunny wearing an outfit that looks like Rise's. Rise has a sudden deer in the headlights moment staring at the audience. Lights are in her eyes. Somewhere, a camera flash or two goes off, and she worries that she just got caught on film with a strange expression.
There is only a faint glimmer of the emptiness within Takaya's soul. He does not wish to draw attention to himself -- not quite yet. There is a time and a place for such things. Right now, wearing a bulky jacket and standing in the midst of the crowd, he is innocuous, hardly even worth mentioning.
There are other predators in the crowd. Daiya ... he can smell her resonance, feel her moving in the area. Takaya watches her discreetly for a while with her submissive pack of supporters. Jackals. Tomomi's people. She waves to him, and Takaya smiles at her with that gentle, almost fatherly manner of his. He can feel Souji pass by, but the drama between Daiya and Fumiya is intereting. Takaya begins to move closer to it even as Rise arrives on stage. The shift in attention gives him a few seconds of relative invisibility.
But there's something in the air... Takaya slows down, glancing back toward Rise.
Yoh merely watches the stage quietly, plotting and planning his next move. Which was actually decided already. Attack a candy store after this. Okay, not really attack, more like go inside and buy a SUPERMASSIVE amount of sweets and go nuts on them. The smell of chocolate in the air was almsot too much to bear! He would have to get some confections soon.
The boy felt rather bad for the girl, as she seems to be crowded out of talking by her fans. If only he could help somehow. Though, he remembered the last two times he got up on stage. They ended BADLY. He better just say up front for this one if he can help it. "Go on. Don't mind them." He says audibly, more by accident than anything. Though the odds of the apparent idol hearing him are near impossible, unless she had super hearing or something. Yoh remains quiet and composed, unlike his usual self. He didn't want to add to her stress.
There are some days when one just wants to leave well enough alone. Then again, Maya Amano can understand why she's here today, here in Okina City doing work for her magazine. While her boss sent her to try and secure an interview with the idol Rise Kujikawa, Maya Amano looks on the bright side and decides that at the very least she should attend the event and report back on how it was. Besides, she's supposed to have retired right? Maya knows better than to harras the poor girl. So she'll just have fun today.
And so Maya's in the back of the crowd, just simply watching for now. Maya isn't a huge obsessive fan of Rise's, but she's here for good music and fun, and it looks like she'll get a lot of that today.
It just won't do when people direct their attention to anyone besides Daiya, when it could be directed towards /her/ instead! But luckily, this terribleness is corrected very soon, meaning the ponytailed girl can keep on smiling.
"Oh, yeah! I do too, you know?" She nods vigorously as Fumiya explains his presence here. And then he asks a question. "Nope, actually..." She pouts a bit, only taking a split-second to flash a lightning-quick glance towards the hot chocolate stand. The girls have seen her, and have been issued new orders via /stealth-texting/. 'No interference'. They know better than to question Daiya's orders when she wants alone time with a guy!
"I hope you do!" she chirps at Fumiya's talk of "making it up to her". Of course he should! Threefold, even! That's the way it works. And then he asks if she's a fan. "Nope, actually." Huh? "Don't tell /anyone/," she leans in with a conspiratory smile, as if she was telling him some sort of horribly embarassing secret, "but I want to become an idol someday. So here I am, studying the competition!" She flashes a V-sign. It's quite idol-like, no?
Takaya-kun approaches, and she catches him from the corner of her eye, not really acknowledging him further for now. He can listen in on their conversation if he wants, maybe he'll find it amusing! And there's something a little strange about Risette's behavior. Daiya, not having any particular worries about giving Fumiya her full attention, looks to the idol onstage. Oh my god, there's something so awkward about the proceedings! She can't hold back a bit of a giggle at the idol's expense... The Seven Sisters senior has a feeling something good will happen.
Souji blinks for a moment and nods. "Oh you know Rise too?" He almost thought there was a softer side to the angry flower arranger. He sips his chocolate again, watching the stage with curiousity. "You think she's going to be ok? She hasn't done this in awhile from what I know."
And then the annoucement comes and Souji can already see where this is going. His eyes dart in the direction of the rude fan and then back to Rise. Damnit. This doesn't look good...He frowns, trying to think of something he can do to help her even in the slightest.
"Fukase-san, do you think she's going to be okay up there?" Souji asks in a tone that kinda implies what he thinks the answer is. He wants to help her because this can't be good for her.
Chisaki bumps past Fumiya and keeps walking for a second, but Daiya makes her pause. She feels awkward, catching a piece of their conversation, so she smiles and shrugs her shoulders. "Excuse me," she says. She keeps walking towards the stage; the girl steps past Daiya without so much a glance, and keeps moving.
Then she sees Takaya. She doesn't recognize him, not really -- she just sees a man in a jacket, someone that looks familiar, but whom she cannot place. Her lips tighten into a line, and it makes her wonder. She feels certain that she has seen him before.
She raises a hand up. "Hey," she says, neutrally. "You a fan of Risette's, too?"
Pocky-tan makes Michiru snort like a hipster. She sips more of the hot cocoa, which is largely gone at this point even as she sees that girl stalk forwards with an autograph book. But then -
She frowns. "God, some people are just dicks," she says to Souji, before squinting. She stands on the balls of her feet for a moment.
Then she looks at Souji, says, "I don't know," before starting to push forwards around and through people to get nearer the stage, if only on a vague hunch after that /mysterious resonating presence/ kept sitting on her head. Of course, other people may have similar ideas, and be less concerned about who they step past or over...
She's not here with anyone, eh? Well well, Advantage: Fumiya. Not knowing a whole lot about subtlty or restraint, the neon-clad teen dives right in. "Well you found me. Maybe we could make the best of the day, what do you think Daiya-babe?" He straightens the collar of his coat with a quick flick, it wouldn't do to have it sag down a bit. Yes, even Fumiya's winter jacket has a collar he keeps straightened upright at all times.
He merely grins at having to make the chocolates up to her. Granted he has NO idea what he'd do, but there's a whole month before White Day, plenty of time to figure it out. Before Fumiya can open his mouth and say something characteristically stupid to ruin the moment Daiya keeps going and volunteers some interesting information.
"An idol, really?" He blinks. "Oh absolutely! I totally think you have what it takes, Daiya-babe. And Risette is pretty hot stuff, you made the right decision to try and learn from her." Anyone with any sort of social catastrophe radar would probably pick up on the two very dumb mistakes Fumiya just made there. A), he complimented another girl a little too much and suggested the girl he's talking to could 'learn from her', and B) he's really not even paying attention to the idol in question since he doesn't even pick up on Rise's little 'deer in headlights' moment.
But faux pas with the babes is kind of Fumiya's forte anyway.
Rise is watching the crowd go nuts, cheer, look incredulous, stare, get bored, and all other sorts of things that are making her a little anxious.
Backstage, a few chocolate execs wring their hands. They really are going to get a youth concert with a hard-to-get star, and considering Rise almost didn't agree to it, it's going to be a steal for them if she really goes through with it.
Rise's eyes dart around, and she grabs on to the mike. She knows of one way to diffuse this tension that's in her stomach, but it seems to be happening without her express permission, her hands and voice moving while her spirit watche from somewhere outside. She pulls the mike to her mouth, and her lips practically wrap around it.
A capella. "o/~ We are the crowd--"
The eruption of cheers from the audience gives her a moment's pause. It's enough for the DJ to catch on to what she's doing, and start searching around for the right backbeat, which he gets ready to cue.
The cheers die down at the next line. It's still soft, almost stuttered, though that suits the lyric as it slowly utters forth. "o/~ We're c-coming out..."
"Got that flash on it's true
Need that picture of you ...
It's so magical.
We'd be so fantastical."
"Leather and jeans
Not sure what it means
But this photo of us
It don't have a price--"
"--READY for those flashing lights--"
And at some point, right around there, the beat does start to kick in, and Rise just starts doing what she does - smiling, singing, and loving every second of it.
Yoh watches from his spot as the dancing and cheering queues up. It was beginning to get rather lively! Of course, Yoh is too cool to headbob and dance to music. Okay, not really. More like he has no idea how to dance, and just prefers to listen to the beat. Still, it was a rather nice song to listen to. And for some reason, something begins to bother him in the back of his head. He isn't sure what it is, but no need to worry right now anyway.
All in all, this Valentine's Day was turning out alright! A bit quiet, but alright nonetheless. Though watching the idol on stage, in the bach of his mind, he couldn't help but wonder if Masako was okay. Last time he was at an event, the stage caught on fire. The poor thing was shook up pretty bad too. Hopefully nothing bad will befall this one.
Souji follows Michiru, forcing his way through the crowd like a real pro. If anyone looks at him, he gives them a stern look. Finally at the front, Souji crushes his cup and waits for a sign of Rise needing some help....but it never comes. She just goes with it, sending a feeling of relief through his body. He places a hand in his pocket, looking over at Michiru. "Looks like I was wrong...She seemed in trouble for a second there."
Finally Souji catches that resonance near by, prompting him to quirk a brow as he scans around him. It felt fimilar somehow but not in a good way. Souji suddenly reaches for his phone, checking a text message. He stares for a moment as the news from Inaba finally reaches him. Damnit.
Takaya notices Chisaki approach. It interrupts him from eavesdropping on Daiya. He pauses to take a drink of his Irish coffee as Rise starts singing, feeling her coming up to speed like a oar slave being whipped by a taskmaster. She despises this on some level, he thinks, and it makes him happy.
"Oh, I just enjoy live music of any kind," he murmurs to her, looking her over. Does he recognize her? He may or may not. He reaches down to his hip and idly checks his own phone, text messages scrolling by. Excellent. "You?"
"Maybe she was just kind of out of practice," Michiru answers Souji, raising her voice a little. Then he checks his phone and goes ashen (well more ashen than before).
She squeezes Souji's shoulder because there isn't much else she can do, and then turns her attention back to the stage.
"Me too," Chisaki says. "I mean, I like Risette, but I kinda like rock a little more." She nods her head and looks up, listening to the girl sing -- and she doesn't see the hesitation in her or even feel it. She can't tell the conflict eating at her, and can't make sense of it. She seems like she must be having fun, from where she stands.
She looks sideways at the cult leader, and flashes him another smile. "I'm Chisaki Tohsaki, by the way," she says. Maybe they have met; maybe her name will prompt something. She still can't place him to the man who shot at Shinjiro, in the SEES dorm. He just looks familiar in a way she cannot, yet, place. "You?"
Chisaki gets a glance from Daiya as she bumps past Fumiya and apologizes, but not much more. You'll have to forgive her, she's a little stuck on the neon boy tonight! Next time, perhaps...
The ponytailed girl, possibly because she is a being of unfathomable, alien psychology, doesn't seem to mind at all Fumiya's complete lack of anything resembling subtlety! "Great!" She pumps a fist in the air with a giggle. "It's a date, then!"
"Awww, thanks..." She actually blushes a little, putting a hand to her cheek at the compliment about her having it in her to be an idol. Fumiya compliments Risette, and... There's a slight twitch at the corner of Daiya's mouth, but her smile doesn't falter. No, it becomes wider, more insistent... "Haha, you're right... She really is the best..."
And Rise... falls back onto her feet after her super-awkward moment. Oh well. That was too simple! Though the night is still young, who knows what might happen? She takes a few moments to cheer and even sing a few bars along!
Takaya is a monster. He specializes in feeling the misery and anguish of others. It gives him a thrill, an intoxicating rush of strength. That is the truth of the universe -- that everything is terrible and always will be, until Mother Nyx destroys all illusions.
"Chisaki Tohsaski," he says, rolling the words in his mouth like smoke. He takes note of her appearance, her smell, her presence. "I am Kuroi Jukai." Which is a strange name for a man, but perhaps he is an artist. He takes another drink of his alcoholic chocolate.
Fumiya's so unaware of his surroundings he simply doesn't notice anyone else, even the people in the crowd that bump into him! You see, when he has a girl actually agree to go on a date with him (on the spot, and their idea even!) he has to take a moment while his teenage brain that's so used to hilarious rejection momentarily BSODs.
"Radical!" He finally states, falling back on his most 80's-est of pointless catch phrases while his mind catches up with his actions. He turns to face the stage for a bit, as Rise's sudden singing snapped him out of the moment.
"Yeah, she really is pretty good." He states, as if realizing it for the first time ever. Being on the 'dude' side of idol fandom, her signing and performance talents take step back to her more obvious attraction, though only a small one. "So..." He turns to Daiya abruptly. "What do you think your awesome idol nickname would be? It has to be something catchy, most teenagers have a really short attention span." Says one such teenager.
"Promise I'll be kind, but I won't stop until that boy is mine... o/~"
Dude, she's totally talking to you. No, you. Half the guys in the crowd are certain Rise is looking at them when she points at them during her dance number. She just has that way on the stage of holding the attention of the crowd.
Rise makes it through the first verse, then the whole number. She bows, then jumps up and down with the energy of the crowd as they cheer her.
She goes right in to a full set from there, "Love Love Love" and a few other cheery Japanese pop numbers from her old album.
Yoh claps a few times to applaud the girl, but otherwise remains quiet. Looks like she was finally having fun! The boy himself stood out pretty big out of the front crowd, not only due to the aforementioned reasons, but not going apecrazy over the girl or dancing was strange. Despite hiding it, he was having a great time. A few steps away appears to be a few boxes and stereo equipment. Of course wanting a better view, he scales the boxes and takes a seat on top, to the left of where he previously was.
He figured he would give more energetic fans a chance to get close, while retaining a good seat. Hopefully he wouldn't get in trouble for this, but oh well if he did, he would move if confronted.
Michiru can't blame Souji for ducking off to tend to the earthquake and its effects. Her own situation is already established; the house was not badly damaged and she will not be seeing much of her father until after the triage and crisis settles down.
Her arms fold in front of her as she looks at the stage, letting the crowd press her gently towards the edge. Her cheeks puff out slightly; despite all this, it /does/ bother her (however faintly).
Chisaki nods her head, mouthing the name to herself. It doesn't ring a bell, which sits strangely with her -- she thinks she would remember an odd name like that one. She nods her head and looks back at Risette, listening to her sing. It isn't quite like she sings to her -- but she still feels a little of the effect and the woman's talent.
"Nice to meet you," she says. She looks sideways at her. "Have we met? Feels like I met you once, but I can't place you." She shakes her head and looks back at the stage. "Maybe I'm just crazy."
Fumiya's little BSOD has Daiya staring at him for a few seconds. What? Did she say anything weird? She hold a finger up, intending to poke the 80s kid in the forehead to snap him out of it, until... Oh! Radical! All right, he's back online. She was almost worried for a second.
And Rise continues singing. Hey, it wasn't really what she came here for (not that she came for anything in particular to begin with), but it's enjoyable anyway. Daiya is particularly fond of "Love Love Love". Everybody loves Love Love Love! It's about love. I mean come on.
"Hmmmmm!" She ponders her potential-- and very important! --idol nickname. "What do you think of Dai-chan?" Smile-smile. Wow, it's almost disturbingly like Rise's. It fades out a bit, though, as "Dai-chan" slaps her forehead. "...Waaait, no. It makes me sound all... /big/." Maybe if it was spelled Die-chan? She tries to think of something else. "Wait! What about just 'Daiya'? It's already a great name, don't you think?" And it even sounds a little made-up to begin with, what a coincidence!
"Oh, probably," Takaya chuckles. "But I think that is no offense in the modern world. Everyone is mad."
The music plays. Takaya feels it move through him. Bubblegum pop does not touch his soul unless it is slowed down 800%. She's repressing her feelings now, but like any pressure cooked meal, it will take time for it to develop --
"Where would we have met?" he asks.
"Maybe a little," Chisaki says with a laugh. She assumes it must be a joke or an exaggeration. "My dad used to say that the world feels like it goes by a lot faster than it did when he was young," she says. "I dunno, maybe he was right!"
She looks sideways at Takaya. He didn't answer the question, but she still considers what he asked. Maybe she needs to jog his memory. "Maybe on Port Island," she says, idly. She leaves SEES out; it seems like a bad idea to mention casually. "I go to Gekkoukan High."
Rise manages to make it all the way through an entire set without totally realising what she's doing. It just sort of all flows out at once.
As she finally finishes up the last reprise chorus of "I'm Your Venus," she bows to the crowd again, jumps once more, and throws a peace sign as she walks off the stage.
About halfway off the stage she starts to lose her nerve again, and runs the rest of the way with a cute little jog, to avoid getting trampled by autograph seekers.
"...Everyone, give a big round of applause for Risette!" shouts the DJ, and there are more cheers as Rise goes back to hiding.
Normally she would take a short break, run back out in a different costume or three, and do another set, but as she sits down in the little tent she worries that might be all she has in her. The DJ fills in with a little idle beat for now, and the crowd seems to be content enough to mill about and make purchases, making chocolate execs happy. Security does have to push a few people away from Risette's tent.
Try not to worry about Fumiya's teenage BSOD's, they'll still be pretty common for awhile as you agree with his pretty ridiculous statements.
As they turn to the topic of Daiya's nickname, Fumiya scratches the back of his head in that oh so telling manner that says 'I can't think of anything yet and I'm stalling for time'. "Oh, you know... er, just 'Daiya' is a little too... on the nose. I think it's important for idols to have an identity seperate from themselves... probably?" HE doesn't sound too sure of himself, because he honestly has not given it much thought before now. But there has to be a reason Rise uses 'Risette' while on the job, right?
He shrugs. "What about 'Daisuki'?" He says without even thinking about it, and almost immediately regrets it due to how utterly cheesy it is. It's the kind of pun they'd use on a kid's show.
Maya, not making much of a peep since the singing and dancing started, is still in the crowd, but she blends in a little due to her outlandish manner of dress and any swaying to the music. And she does seem to be getting a little too into it, if only because she doesn't seem to notice, but now she's futher up into the crowd than she was before. Not that it matters, Maya's still just interested in the music.
But then it ends just as quickly. Maya settles down, but there's a big smile on her face. She enjoyed that little number, she did. But she keeps her comments to herself. For now, anyway. She might have some words to say to Rise later on down the road.
Yoh politely claps from his position on the stage boxes nearby. It was a wonderful set. With a wonderful seat as well. And it didn't cost a thing! If he saw that idol one day, he would have to thank her politely. Though something more disturbing; Why wasn't Yoh so wound up and energetic as he usually is? I suppose that answer will have to wait for those that are curious.
He hops down from his spot, and weeds his way through the crowd until he is on the outskirts of it. He turns around and just stares at the stage for a time. He begins trying to remember what he came to Okina for. How many times has this happened now? At least twenty.
Michiru sees where Rise goes, and she thinks: Hey, I should go say hi. Of course, as a good several dozen people get a similar idea, she does not get very far; she does though get far enough to end up bumping against someone as the crowd jostles her slightly. She does not spill her cup, and turns her head to apologize to --
Someone in a truly fabulous outfit. She looks at the unfamiliar form of the smiling woman. What she's really seeing though is --
"oh my /god/ where did you get that jacket?" Michiru by contrast is in a black leather jacket with a 'fur' collar and, beneath it, a... winter school uniform.
"Mmm," Takaya says, pausing to politely watch Rise leave the stage. He takes another drink. "I also live on Port Island. Away from Gekkoukan, though. More toward Shirakawa."
Daiya may be a little distracted right now, but that doesn't stop her from applauding Risette as she leaves the stage! She peers in the pop idol's direction as she heads to her tent, mildly curious about the girl. Oooooh, the Sevens senior wishes she could be a fly on the wall of that tent... Or, well. You know what I mean.
"Hmmmm, you're right!" She nods. The name "Daiya" is too direct, obviously. "I mean, if I suddenly starting acting different from usual, it'd make sense to use a different name." It's just basic logic.
And then... Daisuki. "Pfffft..." She actually breaks into uncontrollable laughter at this one. Oh no, it seems Fumiya has screwed up! She regains her composture... "Haha... I like it!" ...or not? "It's cute," she clarifies. Plus, she's a little used to horrible, horrible puns.
"But enough about that," she gets bored of that line of conversation at this point! "What about you?" Oh, that should be a conversation subject he likes! "I told you my dream, what about yours?" She smiles mischievously.
Inside the tent, Rise sits back. Her cute makeup is running down her face because of sweat now, and she needs someone to dab it off, but refuses visitors. She feels nervous and starts to feel suffocated.
She takes a few breaths. Well, she had no contractual obligations here. And there are people outside screaming for more. It's... it's time to sneak out and go home. She wishes she had some kind of magical powers of disappearing right about now, but no dice, so she calls in for assistance to hold off the crowd while she slips out.
Maya turns and beholds this new woman. "Oh, hello." Though she doesn't get too much else off before she's asked about her sweet, sweet fashion. "This? I made it myself. There was a sale a long time ago, one yen per clothing item. It was /great/." Uh oh, the lady's touched off Maya. Everybody run. "Then I just mixed and matched until I came up with this!' She nods, before regarding Michiru's outfit. "Where did you get yours?" It's great to meet someone who also has great clothing.
Fumiya manages to turn his attention to Rise's final performance long enough to catch her walking off stage. Aw man, he's going to miss his big chance to get an autograph! He'll never get this chance again.... oh wait, they go to the same school. He shakes his head. Man, he got so lost in the Risette identity for a moment that he had a brainfart and totally thought they were two different people! See Daiya? Alternate identities are a powerful thing!
Not that she'd know anything about that.
When she starts to crack up over his suggestion, though, he feels an impending doom. He blew it. He got so close and he had to screw it up with a terrible suggestion! Luckily, before he can go off and sulk, Daiya comes through and she really likes it (honest)! It's enough to calm Fumiya down. "Well, the name can be worked on later." He relents. Daisuke would be a wonderfully cheesy name, but the obviousness of the pun might cause it to backfire too.
Fumiya gets no time to relax, though, Daiya suddenly hits him with a question he's not ready for. "Huh? My dream?" That's a heck of a thing to ask, Fumiya's not even SURE what his dream is right now. A few months ago it would've been to be the next Michael Jackson, just without all the controversy. But now he's caught between trying to grow up, and still resisting it, so his dreams are all muddled. So he settles for something that's still kind of true and something that Daiya would probably dig. "To be rich and famous." He says with a smirk. How he plans to do that is anyone's guess, but he wasn't asked for details.
Yoh watches the crowd slowly go about their business. A good night, all things considered. Better get going then! The boy begins to trot off towards the general store, remembering just what was needed. As he walked, he weaved around peopel as to not run into them. Didn't want to cause a scene!
As Yoh walks, he walks by the white tent where Rise resides. he figured the idol was inside, but best not to bug her. After all, she probably needed rest after her long concert show. The boy fiddled with his phone as he walked, not watching where he was going at this point, since no one was in front of him at this point.
"That could do it," Chisaki says to him. She seems uncertain of accepting it, though, like it doesn't quite match what she knows. She frowns; she might need to think on it, or see something to remind her. It stays away, not quite coming to her. She looks ahead at Rise's tent and wonders. Maybe she /could/ get in to get an autograph. She could ask.
She taps a finger against her book. "I'm gonna go see if I can get, uh..." She stops. The book says autographs, visible through tape that hides it poorly, but she feels embarassed. "Uh, see Risette! You wanna come? Never know if you'll get another chance."
Michiru is having her clothes praised. "Oh!" she says. "Well I got this jacket at a place up near," a momentary pause as she realizes 'my mom's house' is not a very stylish answer, "where I summer, right?" She runs a hand over the collar, even as she finds herself momentarily looking towards the boy walking with a cell phone, and taking a half-step out of the way so as not to get run over.
"I lengthened the skirt myself, though. Was that thing seriously that cheap?" Another pause. She was doing something - right. "Oh, are you like with the press or something? I came here since I know Risette, but I didn't get a pass or anything. Do you have like a card for going backstage or anything?"
(Fun Fact: Michiru has never been to a concert like this before now. She is hoping she can have the brown M&Ms.)
Rise has now changed in to a regular little skirt and t-shirt (with a chocolate bar on it, that's all that's laying around right now) in order to slip out. She's still got sparkly makeup sort of dripping down her face. The security is doing a pretty good job of keeping people away from the front of her tent while she slides out the back and in to the back of the park.
She sees Yoh sort of wandering in that direction. She wonders how he got around that way, but dodges behind a tree.
Daiya claps her hands as, after some thinking, Fumiya admits his dream, as vague as it may be. "That's wonderful! And another thing we have in common, then." It seems he's confused about that still! Well, that's okay. It's not like she, either, has "a dream" so much as "many objectives, some much more plausible than others". "I'll be rooting for you," she adds with a tiny smile.
And... Ooooh, it seems the idol just... "Hm, she's not coming back, huh? ...How about we get away from the crowd a bit? Grab some hot chocolate?" She tilts her head. "My treat." Her three groupies are pretty much officially left in the dust at this point! It's okay, they know the way back home.
Takaya is momentarily distracted by something he thought he saw, glancing back at Chisaki almost as an afterhought. "Oh, that sounds interesting," he says. "Certainly. I will go with you."
Takaya takes another drink and proceeds to follow after the SEES operative. He's just another guy in a coat. Pay him no mind.
As the boy trudges along, he begins to look almost... sad. BUt he looked so happy at the concert. What could be bugging him? Regardless, he waves politely to the one or two people he passes as he puts away his phone, and pulls out... a chocolate? Wasn't it mentioned that he wasn't given any by anyone he knew? True. And it was still true. Apparently he had found a massive box of honmei-choco in his locker from... someone he hadn't even met. Strange, but MAN were they good!
The chocolate seems to cheer him up a bit, though he swivels his head to look behind him when he swore he heard someone following him. No one was of ocurse in sight, so he just shrugged, and went about his business, enjoying the sights and sounds of the popular fountain area as he walks. For some reason he that that feeling that someone was nearby though. Hopefully it wasn't that creepy girl again.
Maya nods. "That's good, that's good." Maya's eyes flicker to the boy with the phone for a few moments, before turning back to the oher girl. "It's a pretty nice dress." Of course, that's what /she/ thinks, anyway. Her praise is genuine.
Unfortunately for Michiru, though, Maya shakes her head. "I'm afraid not. I suppose the editor wants me to go find her outside of the event to talk to her. But I don't want to harrass that poor girl if she doesn't want to talk about her career." Her smile doesn't really fade much, if only because she and her boss agree on one thing: Anything to do with Rise in Coolest would make a /lot/ of sales. "I have /a/ backstage ticket, but it's not for this." Alas!
"Sure." Chisaki nods her head and leads the way through the crowd. As she comes up towards the tent, she sees the security people there -- and that makes her wonder. She heard Risette usually put on a few sets, but it's been a little time. Maybe she is tired, or maybe it was just supposed to be one. She frowns at that, and then waves a hand out.
"Hey!" she calls out to a security guard. "Uh, can I see Risette?" she asks. "I always wanted a chance to meet her! She's--you know, I'm a fan. Him too."
She grins hopefully and jacks a thumb backward, indicating Takaya.
Daiya's rooting for him? That's awesome! "Well when you say that, Daiya-babe, I feel like I can handle anything with you behind me!" He really seems fired up now! It's like he could take on the world! Now if only he had any idea at all on how to go about it. But the important thing is that he has a goal. The steps just fall into place later on, right?
Hot Chocolate? Awesome. Her treat? His first impulse is to immediately agree, but hang on just one second! If this really is their first date, even if it is still Valentine's Day, he's not about to set a bad example and let her think he's not a gentleman. "Oh no. I'll treat, I insist." He says, then adds "But don't worry, this doesn't count as payback for the chocolates. It's just how I roll."
And then hot chocolate happened. It was delicious.
"Oh, hey, Risette was only on for one set, she was feeling a little under the weather tonight anyway," says the security guard to the inquiries.
"She lives in Inaba now; it's easy enough to run in to her-- OOF" one guard elbows the other having said that.
"No autographs," says the guard, waving off Chisaki and Takaya for now.
Michiru looks around again, but -- she can't see Rise. This is probably for the best. She does get yet another of those pings of Strange Pressure, with no discernible source, which makes her rub her forehead for a moment.
"Oh - how did you do that?!" she asks Maya, half-shouting over the DJ's set and also the inevitable noise of the crowd.
Takaya is attentive to his surroundings, but does a good show of looking like any other oblivious mundane person. Inaba. Interesting. Does she know that her home may have been sucked into the black earth? Oh, to watch.
"I suppose that is that," Takaya says, seeming ambivalent about the whole enterprise.
"Inaba...?" Chisaki repeats. She grins and nods her head. "Thanks! Uh, tell her we said we hope she feels better!"
She nods and looks sideways at Takaya. "Yeah. It was worth a shot, though," she says. She starts walking towards where the hot chocolate is. She wants to get some before this is over. "Hope, uh, everyone over in Inaba's okay. I saw something about an earthquake there, on the news, while I was walking here."
"Yes, it was severe, they say," Takaya murmurs, following Chisaki. "Something about the mines?"
Maya might also be shouting, too. Those DJs and their music. "I don't know, I think I just spoke to a girl who was a dancer, and she gave me a backstage pass."
Maya rubs her temples. "It's been a while since I've been at one of thes concerts!" Maya shouts to herself, though it's likely loud enough for Michiru to hear.
"Yeah," Chisaki says. "I didn't know there were mines under there. Kinda scary, that part of a city could just come down like that. I mean, hopefully it wasn't...you know, hopefully no one was really hurt or anything."
"Inaba doesn't have that many people," Takaya says, perhaps in an effort to be encouraging. "Perhaps it only knocked over some farm buildings?"
"Yes, you can do it, Fumiya-kun!" Daiya is full of energy, Fumiya is too, everyone is happy, this is great!
And the 80s Kid finally avoids a potential faux pas, and pays for Daiya! It's not like she doesn't have the money, but she beams at the offer, clasping her hands together. "Oh, thanks, Fumiya-kun, that's so cool~!"
And yes, hot chocolate happened. It's true what they say, isn't it? The best things in life are free.