Description: Bulleta tracks down the woman who she thinks has the best shot at getting her noticed at the King of Fighters tournament: the sweet, dynamic ninja Mai Shiranui.
With King of Fighters swiftly approaching, Mai is pretty sure she's going to submit her team, but she's got to make sure everything is just right first.
And that means...
She's shopping. In Southtown, she's searching through speciality stores looking for just the right colors to put together something like a team uniform. She also needs an 'official' outfit, something that she can wear while she's going to deliver her final packet.
This is perhaps premature of her, since she still hasn't totally made a call on the roster, but she does have her priorities in check.
Right now, she's going from door to door in the shops. She's wearing a little red sundress that has a generously loose cut similar to her usual fighting garments, but an A-line skirt, and strappy sandals with ties up her ankles. It's a lovely and clear evening.
Mai Shiranui is famous, but not /too/ famous. She's strong, she's fast; people /want/ to watch and cheer for her. A woman looking to secure not only a strong place in the King of Fighters tournament, but a more prominent position in the pro fighting world could do /much/ worse for teammates.
Thus: Bulleta's shopping too.
Does Mai have public social media accounts? A contact email? An agent?
Bulleta doesn't know, because she wanted to challenge herself-- and to show off, just a bit. Mai is /worth/ trying to impress: their last meeting ended with the kunoichi unconscious and clutching an adorable band-aid. There may or may not have been a lie, a deception or two mixed in along the way. Mai could probably find more readily trustworthy teammates-- /stronger/ ones, even-- in her contacts; if she's going to snag herself a spot next to a pretty, popular face, she has to /earn/ it.
She's been busy, since last fight. Pretty, popular faces tend to want pretty, well-stocked wardrobes, so shortly after setting her sights on Team Mai, she commenced placing calls - and gifts - with boutiques around Southtown until she managed to find a few frequented by the ninja.
Finding one that'd text her the next time Mai showed up was more of a pain, but it was worth it: one message and a high-speed scooter ride later, Bulleta's-- going window to window at the shops, doing her best to balance closing the distance with making a good show of browsing. It's only when she spots Mai through one of those windows that she actually enters and makes a go at creeping towards the other woman's back. She's good at being quiet, even in red pumps; whether Mai can feel blue eyes boring a hole through her back, though...
If she can get close enough without being detected, she'll try to slip a business card into one of Mai's hands.
Bulleta's in a dark red blazer with a crisp white dress shirt underneath, matching red slacks, gold cuff-links, a thin black tie printed with a spray of dark red flowers, and the aforementioned heels. Whether her contact method works or not, at least she's dressed to try and impress the kunoichi.
Mai, fortunately, does have public social media accounts, and, she's not very worried about security. She posts her location pretty frequently, taking cute selfies (location tagged naturally), and she has an agent with her modeling agency too. Overall, she's not really a hard woman to find, even though she is a ninja. She's basically not really the... stealthy kind of ninja.
But she's pretty perceptive.
As she's looking through a rack of skirts, she senses someone is looking back at her. She moves her hand...
And a card is slipped into it. Huh.
She feels it with her fingers before she looks at it, just to make sure it's not some kind of... paper bomb. People have those! She's fought a guy that can summon rocks.
But, when nothing explodes, she, amused, looks at the card. But she also turns around to see who put it there.
The face ought to be familiar: blue eyes, round cheeks, flaxen hair pulled into a sleek ponytail, a bright smile...
... there's a razor glint to that smile that wasn't there in Metro City, but otherwise, it's:
'B.B. Hood', the off-white card proclaims in ornate red font. 'Bounty Hunter,' follows a line below in smaller, less aggressively fancy cursive. A few lines below that lies a phone number.
"Funny running into /you/ again," she brightly teases. Her voice is different from before, too-- at least, the parts of 'before' Mai was definitely conscious for: it's a good octave lower and much more certain.
"How ya been? I thought about shooting you a DM or something, but /then/," one of her hands pops up, index finger raised as pride widens her smile, "I thought: 'checking in in /person'd/ be so much more-- /personal/; why not do /that/?'"
"Oh, hello! B.B.! It's so nice to run into you again!" Mai, as always, seems totally guileless about this, even though B.B. tried to stab her with a switchblade.
...The other woman's voice does sound pretty different though. That's really odd, huh? It's a little more... serious, isn't it?
Mai looks at the card again. "Are you looking for work? I don't think I need anyone bounty hunted right now, but..."
Mai puts a finger under her chin, and briefly considers-
Imagine, hiring a bounty hunter to drag in Andy.... Bulleta, in this daydream, is dragging him by his hair, and he is somewhat stubbornly going along with it, before depositing him in front of Mai who is already wearing a wedding dress-
Oh well never mind that's probably not how it should go.
"At least you're /sure/."
Now that she's actually in a store, Bulleta tugs a skirt hem towards herself for a brief inspection, then pulls it from the rack for a closer look. Hunters need pretty expansive wardrobes too-- at least, /this/ one does; getting a moment to browse in earnest is a nice bonus.
"You're entering the King of Fighters this year, right?"
Mai almost seems too nice for fighting, but that makes things a little easier, given the stabbing. And the lying, and the stalking...
So /many/ reasons to impress.
"Absolutely!" Mai smiles. "I was getting ready to turn in my application soon. We're getting close to the start of the tournament, and I can't wait."
She looks at the skirt too, and then she looks at Bulleta's outfit. It looks pretty cute to her. "Of course, I was thinking about uniforms, but... it's probably better if people dress the way they like, maybe just a common flair. King is going to help out and she has her own personal style that's so different from mine. But anyway, how about you?"
Mai looks at the card again. "Wait. Do you have a team?"
"Nah; I thought I'd roll the dice."
... and take out an ad and probably be out a ton of money if she loses. Or look for someone playing carelessly with /their/ invite...
Bulleta's nose wrinkles after a few seconds of inspection and the skirt goes back into its place. Too big, but nice. She scans the rack...
A groan is swallowed as she looks to Mai.
"Ever since our match, I just..." Her head shakes, gradually picking up in speed until her smile flashes wider with a soft chuckle. "I haven't fought /anyone/ quite like you before. You're /good/, and you're even better at making sure people /know/ it. This is the first KOF I can actually /enter/, and... if I'm gonna /do/ it, I wanna do it /right/."
Her posture straightens a bit as she extends her hands towards Mai.
"With /you/, the talented, famous girl who /every/ camera's gonna be looking for."
Her smile takes on a sheepish tone after a brief pause.
"If you'll /have/ me, anyway. If there's /room/. I'm-- you've seen me fight; I'm /strong/. I'm clever; I'm resourceful... I can get mean, if I /have/ to..." Self-conscious or not, the smile gets a little wider after that.
"It's late, I /know/... but I'm /worth/ it. I've got a card and /everything/."
She winks, then pulls her arms in and folds them.
"Maybe a team color," she offers after a moment, backtracking helpfully.
Mai clasps her hands together. "You know, you're one of the only pretty girl fighters out there to really put me down for the count, so I'm impressed by your talents. I think if we work together, maybe we could... be friends?" There's something a little sketchy about B.B., somehow. But Mai seems convinced that if she's encouraging enough it's going to all work out. And hey, the girl is really good with a switchblade. "My favorite color is red, is that yours too?"
"Hey, by the way, I do have another team member who... um, do you like animals?"
There's no more room bashfulness in Bulleta's smile after that compliment.
"Yeah," she says while shifting left and snatching another skirt to study, "it is... ... what?" She peers up at Mai, then back to the hem she's drawing out. Back to Mai...
"I told you I've got a dog, right...?" She thinks about it for a second-- right. Right! She did, of course; good.
"Yeah! So. I like animals fine; do they have a pet, or something? Are they dog-friendly? I don't think I wanna leave my guy at home for this thing.."
"Oh, no, I mean, I promised Makoto she could be on the team, and she's part squirrel." Mai blinks. "I thought it was weird too, but apparently her tail is real so I just wanted to warn you! In case something surprises you. But she's really cheerful and cute, so I'm sure you'll get along."
She looks at the card again, which is still in her hand, and then, of course, just folds it into the side of her bra. It's a handy dandy pocket like that.
"... oh." Bulleta's eyes narrow a little. Half-squirrel Makoto, which means--
-- ex-NOL, but no bounty (yet?). The tail could be valuable; there are markets for the rest, but all told... not worth the risk as long as the possibility for an official bounty lingers.
"I like cheerful and cute," she says, grinning towards Mai and rehanging the skirt. "It'll be great! Thanks for giving me a shot. I won't let you down."
Stepping closer, she reaches for one of Mai's, hoping to capture and squeeze it tight in both of hers. "We'll probably wanna get together-- god, /soon/, right?" The grin widens 'til teeth show.
"How do you feel about karaoke?"
Mai's hand is squeezed... which is fine.
"I love it!"
She ends up giving a little handshake. "Do you want to go tonight? Well, if you're busy, let's make it a... tournament date!"
Log created on 20:49:14 05/31/2019 by Bulleta, and last modified on 23:25:05 05/31/2019.