Description: Ashley (Eve) is spending her day at the mall with her cheerleader friends when she stumbles upon a demonstration stand set up by Benimaru. What she sees there leaves her literally spellbound.
An afternoon in Southtown mall... The perfect hanging place for highschool girls. This was all new experiences for Eve -- though she was not known as Eve by any of her new friends. To them, she was Ashley Rouge, the new girl that just recently arrived in Southtown.
A former cheerldear, who joined the cheerleading club in Taiyo, and has now gotten some mandatory friends who teaches her all about the life of a true cheerleader. Ashley didn't quite feel in her element, not used to have so much freedom, roaming freely with them, following a bit from behind as the girl all laughs in some idle and swallow conversations that Ashley is following with faked enthusiasm.
Her gaze wanders off, trying to see something of interest in this big mall, an opportunity to leave those empty conversations.
Aoi says, "Oh my god are you serious did she really!" Ai replies, "She totally did!" Ria exclaims, "Oh my GAWD!!" And then Mizuki says to Midori, "Did you see that hot guy in biology? His ass is so fine!"
Meanwhile, Ashley has that face : the one that says 'god please just kill me now'. She had been taught to endure the worst of torture but this was just beyond the limits of human's psychological torments.
Something's happening! A floor area has been cleared of the usual displays of bargains and advertisements for stores in the mall. Instead of any of that, there is a display tent here. There's a table under it with a banner strung across it that reads:
- NIKAIDO BENIMARU -
THE SHOOTING STAR
On either side of the tent, there's a TV showing clips of some of Benimaru Nikaido's more more impressive 'combos' from some of his matches! Now, Benimaru doesn't bust out his most powerful techniques in a simple shootboxing match though. Mostly because they're probably considered illegal. Or at the very least questionable. Amongst the disjointed seconds of footage are a few gems, though.
In one, Benimaru plants his hand on the ground and spins quickly around the axis produced by his hand, kicking the opponent in the legs repeatedly until his opponent flies back. In another, a punch at an opponent lunging at him... but instead of just a punch, a large field of electricity erupts around that fist, knocking the airborne opponent down and aborting the planned strike. And finally, a production shot. From the shoulders up, Benimaru draws back a fist, and blue electricity erupts around the drawn-back fist. A flash, and the camera goes dark.
Sitting at the table is a blond-haired man who seems to be signing autographs. He's recognizable as the man in the video, right down to his clothing-- white pants, black boots, and a cropped leopard-print shirt with a high neckline. And the long pierced earrings, can't forget those~! A discrepancy, though... in the videos his hair stood straight up. But here, sitting down, his hair falls around his shoulders.
The little crowd of highschool girls all dressed casually the same way notices the crowd and the weird event that is going on. It seems to perk Ashley's attention : something new, exciting! Anything better than listening to those conversations and faking interest.
Ai says, "Did you see that? I wonder what it is, god, it's taking a whole level or so!" The other girls seem to be complaining a bit about the noise and the crowd that has been gathered around but, as curious as they are, they decide to check it out... With Ashley being the first to actually get closer to have a look.
The noises catch her attention, all of the footages and everything. Ashley's eyes widen, as if she was enthralled by what she saw on the screen. She approaches slowly, almost hypnotized by all of this... It was the first time she actually saw someone else do something like that.
Noticing Ashley's weird behaviours, the other girls start whispering in her back and point at her. Despite this being her new circle of friends, Ashley was still 'the new girl' and she obviously had some awkward and weird behaviour, as if she had trouble fitting in despite her best efforts.
Her eyes finally drift off toward Benimaru, her mouth still agap. The girl seems spellbound and their friend just have even more fun out of her reaction. Ashley stares at Benimaru for a moment, still in her reverie...
Until Mizuki decides to snap her out of them, giving her a rather good shove and push toward Benimaru. Caught by surprise, Eve stumbles foward and tries to regain her balance, dropping the back she was holding filled with new clothes she had bought with the girls.
It was mean, but the girls just wanted to have a good time and 'help' Ashley get in the hands of her prince charming! By shoving her right into him.
Alas Ashley doesn't manage to stop herself, she's skipping the line and sent right off into the table and Benimaru with arms flailing about in a vain hope to regain her balance. Looks more like she's about to headbutt him.
Fortunately, Benimaru had been looking Ashley's way when he noticed that she'd stopped walking and the crowds of mallgoers were passing her by. It was an odd sort of thing for someone to do in a mall, particularly an apparently school-age student with her friends. Schoolgirls weren't interested in fights, were they? Maybe the girl recognized him from one of her magazines and was shocked to find out he was a fighter?
Well, either way, once he noticed 'Ashley' looking his way, he paused. As he handed back one of the autographs, he looked out past the line, to where she stood, apparently gawping at something. Him? The footage? Hard to tell. Benimaru chose to believe it was him she was gawping at. He looks in her direction...
...And winks at her! Then he smiles, complete with the same 'bedroom eyes' expression he makes for the camera during a photo shoot. The girls in the line near the table see it too, and giggle.
Though as Ashley comes sailing into frame, there's a yelp from the autograph-seeker at the end of the line, and she quickly gets out of the way of the flailing highschooler. Actually, that's kind of odd for a fighter, most of the autograph-seekers around the tent are female. Anyway.
Benimaru thinks quickly and as the girl comes sailing in, plants his feet on either side of the chair and raises his hands to about the level of her shoulders to try to catch her and stop her forward movement. Oh, it'd be a perfect opportunity to cop a feel. But this is in public, and she's clearly high school age. Benimaru rather doesn't want to go to jail today. He does, however, offer in a teasing tone, "Aggressive one, aren't you, 'hani'~?"
Hey, he had to say SOMETHING!
No matter the kind of training you've had, the element of surprise is all someone need to destabilize you. This is exactly what happened to Ashley. Her friend obviously didn't go easy on her, their attention was to toss her into Benimaru, for more hilarity.
Ashley closes her eyes, expecting to crash into Benimaru but he manages to catch her before she falls and bumps into him to hard. In the him, she's still leaned up against her as he holds her and prevented her from falling. Ashley squirms a bit and she lifts her gaze up at Benimaru. Her cheeks turn a deep shade of crimson, mostly as she hears her friends laughing behind, as well as everyone's gaze on them.
"I, huh, I'm so sorry! I must have tripped somewhere, I, huh, it's just that, the footage, I looked and, huh, it's..." The girl stammers, trying to explain her clumsy behaviour but obviously failing to.
There was something more to it than just that, after all. There was something special that appealed Ashley to Benimaru, though something secret. To everyone it just seems like this girl has a big crush on him for some reason. She tries to straighten herself up, but her hands seem wet from sweat and her legs and arms don't seem to react all too well, "I'm really, really sorry!"
this could have been so very embarrassing, for both of them. Catching a flying girl at only two points on her shoulders is difficult. Thankfully his feet were planted very well, and as the force went through his arms, his legs pushed him forward an equal amount as her weight pushed him back. As the two of them DON'T go ass over teakettle on the ground, there's smattered applause.
Surprisingly, for the self-centered reputation he often gets, his first concern is not his hair or his possibly overturned table. Nope. Instead he stands up as she stammers an apology, one of his hands returning to his side. The other he rests on her upper arm, as if to comfort her. "It's okay, really." He was fine, after all. The question is, though, "Are you okay?"
Ashley tries to get her breath back, her cheeks still burning. She glances around as she hears the applause and it only seems to make her even more shy. She didn't like all that attention, especially for the wrong kind of reasons.
The girl keeps her gaze low, knowing she had done wrong here even if it wasn't totally her fault. She nods her head and finally manages to lift her gaze up, "I, huh... Yes, I'm okay..." She says as she seems to calm down a little. A shame most of the clothes she bought have been scattered all over the place now.
"It's just... The footage" She says, pointing back at the screen absent-mindly, "You can manifest electricity?" Ashley asks, tilting her head to one side a bit dubbious.
Scattered clothes? That's why Benimaru has minions! Well, they're not really minions. They're more for helping set up the display and keep things running. But HEY, they're useful for stuff like this. He leans over to one of the guys setting things back in order and says quietly, "Help her with this, will you? I get the feeling that 'maiden flight' wasn't exactly scheduled." The guy nods, and Benimaru claps him on the shoulder in thanks.
He returns his attention to Ashley as she starts mentioning the video clips. "Hm? Oh. I sure do~." He takes a step back from Ashley so as not to catch her in it, and then raises his hands up to his neck, under his hair. There's a sudden charge in the air, and as his hands sweep up, they brush the shoulder-length hair up as well... and it stays! His hair is soon in the tall flat-top style that's seen in the videos. "Saves me on hair styling products~!"
Benimaru pulls his hands away from his hair then and turns them so that the palm faces back. It's almost a backwards jazzhands pose. Yes he is totally striking a pose here. Faaabulous~.
Ashley stares at Benimaru -- the way she stands now that Benimaru is not supporting her anymore makes her look meek and docile. She keeps her gaze low, as if she didn't want to meet Benimaru's gaze. Her cheeks still flushed from before, her friends still laughing in the background at her reaction. However, the girls were getting also a bit jealous as it seems Ashley was getting a lore more attention from the man than it was expected...
The girl's eyes lift up and her eyes widen a bit when she sees the electricity in his hand. Her mouth opens and the look on her face is indescriptible : it was almost a look of pure bliss and joy, of surprise, almost like a kid that sees Santa Clauss for the first time.
"You... You too, you can..." Ashley whispers in awe as she looks at Benimaru's hair. "I... Huh, I mean..." Ashley seems to snap out of it, as if she just realized what she said, "How.. How do you do this?" She asks, trying to cover up.
'You too'? Ah-ha. So THAT explains it.
Once Benimaru started traveling, he soon realized that there was a level of fighters above the typical fighters in the shootboxing league he'd had many of his matches in. He got a really quick lesson on that in fighting Kyo Kusanagi! But he's... not really sure how the rest of the world sees it. So he's not going to draw attention to what she's said.
Instead, he turns his attention to her second question of how. He blinks, looking at his hand. As he does, he lets the charge fade from him, and his hair settles around him again. "...You know, I don't know how. I just do." Suddenly a smirk-- uh-oh. "I must have taken 'attractive' to a whole new level~."
It seems hard for Ashley to focus -- the glee in her eyes, she seems literally spellbound by him. It was a weird reaction, something inexplicable as if she had been thunderstruck.
Her answers seem a bit confused, much like how she was talking and Ashley seems to stare at Benimaru awkwardly, her eyes still fixing his hair and his hands, as if expecting something to come out or hoping to see more. A part of her just wanted to show him but... This wasn't Ashley. No, Ashley was the cheerleader, who knew nothing about this like that, whose attraction toward Benimaru has to be explained somehow, maybe a crush? Tantalizing by his manly charms and charismatic behaviour?
Fortunately, Aoi and Mizuki had enough fun from Eve and they decide to give her a hand since she doesn't seem like she'll be able to break free from his enchantment.
"Excuse our friend! She's a little weird! Foreigner and all that!" Aoi says as both her and Mizuki gets a hold of Ashley's shoulders to pull her away.
The girl seems to snap out of it rather violently though, bucking as the two girl pulls her away, "What are you doing!?" She shouts, "No wait...!" She gasps, glancing over at Benimaru one last time, "I...! Can I see you again, please?" Ashley begs while her friends try to take her away. Though upon hearing that, the two girls look at each other with shock.
The other schoolgirls in the background all gasp in shock. No, she didn't dare? Did she just ask that? Not Ashley! No!
This is what Benimaru chooses to believe, that the girl is spellbound by his good looks and charismatic presence. He is, after all, a self-centered narcissistic jerk. But he's not completely oblivious. He knows part of it is the realization that there's someone else that seems to manifest an ability that... well, she's probably not had it for very long and doesn't know much about it. She might need someone to teach her about it.
The girls seem determined to cover for her. Do they know about her abilities? Probably not, but he wouldn't rule it out. Still, it's a situation best approached carefully. He looks to Aoi and waves a hand. "No trouble at all, little lady. I tend to 'charge' any situation with energy." Those electricity jokes again.
Oooh, dead silence at Ashley's bravery! It's a dilemma. Even though Benimaru is a self-centered narcissistic jerk, he's not a CRUEL self-centered narcissistic jerk. She's clearly still in high school, and WAY too young. There's a very good reason why they call girls her age 'jailbait'. But... she did out and confess to having similar abilities to him. Which sort of trumps macking! Still, if he agrees, won't it look like a case of stranger danger?
Gaaah, how did one handle this sort of situation?!
Outwardly he betrays none of this however, just tilts his head as if in thought. "Well... I'll be here for a few days if you want to come back," he replies. "Maybe I can treat you to lunch in the food court next time?" He keeps the flirtiness out of his tone here-- honest interest, and he does have some integrity. It's a public location, and all he offers is lunch. He should be able to ask her more about it then.
An harmless answer, more or less, one that didn't mean much from a celebrity. The girls are pretty sure he's just avoiding a hot situation that way. Still, they'll be sure to tease Ashley quite a lot about that in the incoming days, that's for sure.
"Sorry about our friend, really.." Aoi says as she bows her head. They didn't know much about Benimaru but considering the setup, they figured he was a celebrity of some kind and Ashley had a big crush on him.
"I, huh... Okay.." Ashley replies softly, glancing around. This was hardly the best kind of setup for her, after all, but still, she still had the opportunity to see him again in some way.
Her friends drag her away and, if Ashley thought being with them was hellish, she had no idea how things were when your friends had a way to tease you. Now the girls just kept talking about that accident, which involved her. Ashley cowers a bit on herself, face and ears red with shame.
Additionally, one of the setup people had assisted in picking up the dropped clothing, so at least Ashley was leaving with all her things. Slightly rumpled, but they were all intact! So maybe she was getting picked on pretty hard... but she didn't lose anything.
He assures Aoi again, "No trouble at all. Take care of her, that was quite a trip~." Liiiiittle bit of a tease there! Just a tiny bit. And to Ashley? A wink. "See you soon, ne~?"
Once the girls drag her away, one of the crew looks at Benimaru. "Mr. Nikaido, are you sure that's a good idea? She's like... what, fifteen?"
Raising a finger, Benimaru points out, "Ah, but that's why I didn't make it an official date. No serious date between grown people can EVER happen at a mall food court." It's hard to tell if he's teasing or not. But he does smirk.
The day passes relatively uneventfully, with only a few questions about what happened with the girls. Benimaru fields them easily. Once they're done and the autograph-seekers have either left or been sent away (hence there being more than one session of this) he stands, stretches, and then sighs. "I'm heading to my room now. I need my beauty sleep, after all~." He's teasing, yes. But he IS heading to the hotel.
As soon as this nightmare was over, Ashley left her friends. She had been teased long enough by them, but they eventually left the mall. Meaning that Ashley was finally free to do whatever she pleases...
And that Eve was no longer bound to her Ashley persona.
She had plenty of time left, and knew Benimaru would leave eventually. It was a simple task for someone with NESTS training. Stalk him up, find his place, and then go in. A very simple stealth mission, and now that she no longer needed to put up a front...
Eve changed her clothing -- going for something more formal, almost like a business suit with the fitting tie except it had a skirt. Little does Benimaru knows, but someone is lurking in the shadow from afar, following him, stalking him... Not Ashley, but Eve...
A fighter's instincts are pretty sharp. And Benimaru is no exception. No, he didn't know who was following him. No he didn't know exactly where she was. He didn't even know she was female. But yes, he did feel that very uncomfortable sensation of being watched. In fact, the presence of static might be noticed, if only in how his hair was beginning to prickle up just slightly.
Still, it wasn't like he was going to his personal house. In fact, continuing to the hotel is probably wise. Public place and all. It would be foolish to attack him in a public place where everyone could see. He doesn't want to let on anything yet. It could cause whoever was following him to attack before he got to the hotel...
That was something that didn't go unoticed by Eve -- if only because her hair acted up the same way when she was getting excited or ready for battle. Had he heard something? Or did he know she was there?
Nonethless, unlike her previous mission, she was not out to kill... She just wanted to be with him, alone. It did not come to her that stalking him like this was downright creepy though.
Eve follows for now, from a distance, glancing around, trying to find the good moment to talk to him.
There always seems to be a convenient alley to pass by in these situations. And this one is no different. The hotel is A few streets down, and just before the last street Benimaru will have to cross is an alley. Once he passes the alley, he can cross the street and the hotel is on the other side. If Eve wants to talk to him, maybe she can sprint around to the other side of the alley and get there before he does. He's walking at a leisurely pace, after all.
This is her chance apparently. The girl
This is her chance apparently. The girl that was slowly stalking him vanish from sight when he goes into the alley. Where had she gone? Hard to tell, though using her special techniques, she uses a few unorthodoz shortcuts up the buildings and she manages to get ahead of him. Benimaru might hear a few noises that might warn him of someone's sudden movement around of him...
Though fortunately, Eve wanted him no harm. Before he can leave the alley and get to the other end, Eve actually steps out from the shadow to block Benimaru's way. She is panting a bit though, trying to hold her breath but Benimaru might notice she's just forced herself through a quick sprint.
She stares at him for a moment... And now that she's with him, alone, her cheeks flush. She hadn't thought about her plan this far yet it seems. "I, huh... I'm the girl... From earlier today..." She finally manages to say.
Benimaru stops, probably just as Eve intended, when she steps into his path. Suddenly the feeling of being followed makes sense. Though why this girl isn't quite clear. Probably has something to do with her abilities. Though that doesn't mean he's not going to tease her a little-- the blushing is just too cute.
"I recognize you. Couldn't wait until tomorrow to see me, ne?" Yes, with THAT tone. That flirty tone. After all, she's the one that's pursued him, not the other way around. It won't stand up in court, he knows, but it's true nonetheless.
Unfortunately, Eve is quite obvious to that flirty tone. She blushes not because of Benimaru's manner but because of her lack of preparation, ashamed of how she reacts to all of this. It wasn't like her, to feel so unprepared, to feel out of control and excited like this.
"No, it couldn't wait," Eve replies sternly, "I... Had to see you again," She says, almost out of breath, "Free of restrains..." She lets her words trail of a bit though, not wanting to say more.
Enough said though, he will know why she is here simply enough with a small display. Eve's hair slowly rises up from a bit of static electricity that gathers up around her, the girl's lips curling into a happy, honest smile as she lifts her hand up, backwardd jazzhand, letting small arcs of electricity jolt from a finger to the other.
Benimaru crosses his arms over his midriff, and shifts his weight onto one leg. "Free of restraints, huh?" More teasing! Though the smirk disappears from his face when she displays the electricity around her hand. He expected it, but he wasn't sure just how in-control of it she is. "Ah-ha."
In response, Benimaru raises a hand, pointing his index finger upwards towards the sky. And a blue field of small sparks surrounds the tip of his finger. "So it WAS my 'electric' personality." Little bit of a tease, but he's at least partially serious. Letting the field fade, he crosses his arms again. "What can I do for you, sweetheart?"
The display of electricity seems to amuse Eve, almost like a child in a candy shop. She lets a gleeful giggle escape her throat as she lowers her hand and trots in Benimaru's direction, "I never would have thought I'd see someone who could do this too!"
The girl approaches with that smile on her face, "Yes, I... Just couldn't believe it..." She says, studying his hand and hair. The next question seems to trouble her though, "What you can do for me...? I..." The girl blinks a few times, her hair still all risen up over her head.
"I wanted to know what /else/ you could, if... You managed to stay pure, unlike me..." Eve asks, lowering her gaze a bit.
"Is it really so surprising?" Benimaru inquires, tilting his head. His hair's down again, so it brushes his shoulder with the movement. "I met someone who could make fire the same way." He shrugs, but there's a smile on his face. "I consider it a gift. Even if I do short out an appliance or two every once in a while."
The question of staying 'pure' gets a frown though. "'Pure'? What do you mean?" he asks. "That ability doesn't define me as a person. I won't LET it. You shouldn't either. And just because you have an ability, that doesn't make you any LESS of a person." There's something here, something that's got his attention. So much that he's pushing the narcissism to the side, even if only a little.
The girl seems confused for a moment at Benimaru's reply. Unlike him though, Eve's life had been defined by her talent and it had guide most of her life. "I, huh...But... You mean you can't..." She lowers her gaze a bit at her head and frowns. The girl lifts her hand up, palm open and seems to focus for a moment.
It seems more demanding, less fluid than before with the electricity, but gusts of winds swirl into a mini-vortex. When she dismisses the air, Eve turns her hand upside down and she wiggles her fingers a bit, dropplets of water slowly forming and condensing into a sphere of boiling water. She lets it go though, the ball falling down and splashing her feet.
She lifts her gaze up, as if hoping those little bits will ring a bell, or to see a reaction in Benimaru. She risks herself, though her voice is soft, as if she was slowly figuring she made a mistake, "Pure... Being able to manifest all sort of elements..."
Benimaru watches the different elements manifesting from her hands, with increasingly wide eyes. He is visibly surprised when she manifests WATER. That's like the complete opposite of electricity. Should that even be POSSIBLE? But no, he doesn't have any sort of tricks like that.
He shakes his head. "Nope. Just the electricity for me." Maybe he just hasn't gotten to that level yet? "I can move pretty fast, but nothing like that."
A nervous chuckle escape Eve's throat and she moves her hand to rub her arm, "Oh, I... See," Eve says. She keeps her gaze low, not wanting to meet Benimaru's own as she contemplates her mistake.
"It's still the first time I see someone able to do electricity," Eve admits, her lips curling into a shy, apologetic smile at Benimaru, "Your moves were quite impressive, at least the ones I saw.."
Benimaru senses that he's been crossed off a list. He's not sure if that's a good thing or not. But at least she's not attacking him. Yet. Whether she will or not remains to be seen. He's not dropping his guard now.
Now, the talk of his moves? That he can get behind. "I know~," he agrees, of the impressive nature of his moves. He has an easy, confident smile on his face here now. "I can't often do them in a normal fight, though. I'm not looking to hurt anybody seriously."
"Perhaps you could teach me..? Show me some of it...?" Eve asks. She was always striving to control her powers better, and since she has been gotten so affined with electricity, perhaps Benimaru could give her a hand with all of this.
"I'm sorry to have followed you like this," She admits, "I, huh, should have probably waited another day but I was so... Excited and all, I just couldn't stay in place.." Eve bites her lips and she beams, "My name's Eve.." She says.
"I could try," Benimaru replies. "I've never had a student before." He hopes she doesn't turn out like that little kid who follows Kyo around, though. That would be embarassing! Still, if she needs someone to help her learn about her abilities, he can do what he can. It's not like he's completely unqualified. He may not know what he's doing, but he's sure not gonna tell anybody else that.
The mention of following him gets a chuckle. "Don't worry about it. I can understand why." He lets a moment pass before he adds, "I'm used to being chased by girls, you know. It's not easy." Geez. Hard to know if he's kidding or not. But he does offer, "It's good to meet you, Eve."
"I... Huh, will see you again... More normally," Eve replies with a slow nod. Obviously by how her cheeks were flushed she's still embarassed by how she has assumed so many things. This could have gotten her in trouble.
Eve staggers back a bit and she lifts her gaze up at Benimaru, "Sorry again, really! But... Thank you so much, I really appreciate it," Eve says with that glee in her eyes. If she was able to control better her electricity affinity, perhaps she could hope to fix her little problems? Who knows! The girl then dashes off and flees into the darkness, clumsily stumbling against a garbage can at first but she soon steadies herself and goes off.
Benimaru nods. "I'll look forward to it," he notes. "Since you know where I'm staying, you can ask the concierge for me. I'll be sure to let him know." Suddenly she dashes away, and Benimaru takes a step towards her. "Oops! Careful, 'hani'." Yes, he calls most women that.
He sighs when she's out of sight. What was that all about? What did she think he could do? Did she think he was someone else? He could almost believe she'd followed him just to see if he'd teach her how to control her abilities... but she has a lot of abilities he can't match. That couldn't be all it was to it. There was something he wasn't seeing here....
Log created on 16:49:54 11/15/2014 by Eve, and last modified on 09:44:40 11/16/2014.