Description: Ken Masters calls up Velvet Blue to ask him for some advice on a new pet project of his...
The drive had been brief, and the text message had been even moreso. Just a few quick lines from that guy known as Ken Masters. Gone these last few months, no sayonara, no farewell. Just a quick seeya and he was off to do what he wanted, which was his usual fare. Only for him to resurface today with a text tossed across Velvet Blue's phone.
// Heya man. C'mere. I got something to show you. //
Followed up quickly with an address, a point to meet and then at the appointed time the red muscle car _roared_ into view carrying that karate champ. Tight white t-shirt, blue jeans, mirrored shades, and white sneakers all seemed to fit him perfectly well. And if Velvet had any doubt he was him, that first greeting with the double fingerguns might have dissuaded them from suspicion.
"Hey hey, VB." Glasses doffed and tucked into the pocket of his shirt. The karateka grinned and stepped forward offering his hand in greeting and if it's accepted there'll be a /slap/ on the shoulder to solidly the hype hello.
Straightening up he gives a nod. "How's it been?"
Velvet had been crashed out back at a small apartment he kept when he wasn't at the lounge--in a small studio apartment with a kitchenette, tiny bathroom, and a living/bedroom area. With an air conditioner buzzing away, he'd been mostly eating and sleeping since the battle with the werewolves and snake men at the powerplant that nearly cost him and Lyraelle their lives. Only one thing to do after that. Unfortunately in his case it hadn't been 'a fucking rager' like most people might do after spending a weekend in celebration.
So when the text made his phone buzz it's ringtone he rolled disorientedly out of bed, wearing just an undershirt and pair of basketball shorts. Just because he was a performer didn't mean he dressed exquisitely /all/ the time, y'know. Once Velvet had pulled himself up after rolling out of bed in a half-asleep daze, staring blankely at his phone's screen until gears started to slowly creak again in his head.
"Wait... Ken is back??" he murmured, not having realized who the hell this was! Damn!
Velvet through on a pair of cut-off denim shorts and a loose fitting shirt--somehow getting to the meeting point during the time he was supposed to meet him there.
"Oh hi Ken--ow!" he winced and seemed to crumple under the friendly slap he got to the shoulder when he went to shake Ken's hands.
"Sorry uh... rough weekend, aheh..." he grinned a little, through a grimace.
That wince got Ken to tilt his head back eyebrows furrowing as he gave Velvet a quick once over, wary as if trying to gauge what might have given the other that moment of pain since /assuredly/ couldn't be his thump on the shoulder. "You alright, man?"
Another quick look down then back up as he finally releases the handshake and then nods as the smile returns with the explanation, "Oh hah, tell me about it." He gives a nod again as his eyes roll to the side as if he had his own wild times to commiserate about.
A glance away then back as he lifts his chin is given, "C'mon. I wanted to get your eyes on something and give me your feedback. I figure you don't exactly have a horse in the race so you'll give it to me straight." He stuffs his hands into the pockets of his jeans and starts to stroll along the street, moving on that sidewalk with an easy gait that might be deceptive to most who didn't know him.
As they walk he glances sidelong towards Velvet and murmurs, "So. Sorry about ditching on you a ways back. Sorta got wrapped up in my own thing. Went to the states, all sorts of hullabaloo, you mighta read about it." Tournaments, perhaps. Maybe some controversy.
"Sidenote, that advisor position or assistant thing is still open if you still have a level enough head for it and didn't lose that over the weekend." His eyebrows lift as he suggests that possibility.
"But for right now, just wanted to get your point of view. Cool?"
Point of view for what, however? That's yet to be seen.
A lot of the injuries Velvet had incurred had started to heal quite a bit ago, though a lot of the more egregious examples--like the claw marks to his chest, were hidden by the shirt he was wearing.
"I got in a bad couple of scrapes last week, is all, me and someone else--a lot of monsters, darkstalkers y'know--" he gestured in the air as if to wave it off, brushing a bang of dark hair out of his eyes. He'd run into Ken a long time ago after he'd heard the martial arts master had been savaged by Geki and left in intensive care. Velvet had snuck in to use his healing powers on him. While Velvet was grateful to be accepted as an assistant of sorts by the blonde martial artist/movie star, he hadn't heard from him for a bit. Not that he'd forgotten.
"Give it to me straight...?" Velvet had to grin at that, sheepishly. Was perhaps a poor choice of words, given the kind of career Velvet had.
"Yeah? the pictures they took of you with that lady?" Velvet opined, curiously. It was perhaps a bad time to bring it up--but partying after tournament matches could get a little crazy, he knew.
"I was more glad I could help you out that time--but sure, if you need me to look at something, I can do that," he did have na eye for fashion and aesthetic, after all--that was all part of being a performer.
"Ah man," Ken continues to walk along nodding as the words come from Velvet. His eyebrows incline as he heads what befell Velvet and he murmurs, "Tough scene," since he knows full well how difficult it can be when pressed by the occasional monstrosity. The world is wide out there and he's only seen a part of it, but what he's seen has opened his eyes in a myriad of ways.
"You sure you're alright, this is..." He stops walking and turns to face the dark-haired man with the curious eyes. He looks on down the way of the street they'd been walking and then gestures with the brush of one hand. "This ain't that big a deal and it can wait. Damn, I shoulda checked with you before going all, 'come out and meet me.'" Which might be a curious look to see in the man's brown eyes, consideration and all.
He lifts his chin to nod along the way, "It's just around the corner." And when Velvet reiterates that he's good he inquires again. "You sure?"
But eventually they end up walking again and Ken smiles a little. "Yeah, crazy pictures. But what can you do? She said she was a friend of a friend and one thing led to another..." He spreads his hands out as if he were merely a helpless pollyanna lost in the wider world. But that knowing grin twists his features enough to perhaps give the lie to that statement.
"I don't exactly broadcast what my activities are, not the real ones, anyway--I like to keep my social media footprint to mundane things--so you couldn't have known, either way," Velvet took a few of the bayer he'd been keeping loose in his pocket and popped him into his mouth to wash down with a bottle of water. The kind you buy in cases and keep handy--coincidentally it was the same brand they kept en masse at the club's storage.
"They didn't get my legs so I can still get around okay, sure," Velvet shakes his head, actually chewing the high strength bayer tablets and washing them down with the water, grimacing a bit. Moreso at the taste than any discomfort, the insides of those things weren't exactly sweetened like some other medicines might be.
"So show me the place, but I recommend you spend less time in the champagne room of casinos in the future," he winked.
"Bah," Is Ken's answer at first, succinct and not needing elaboration. But he gives it some anyways. "You sound like my mom." Yet that's not exactly a condemnation. Instead they reach that corner, weaving through the crowd with that careless ease and taking a turn down a sidestreet. Past some older commercial businesses with their storefronts. Nothing fancy nor frilly, more old laundromats, or cleaning services, or utility repair. It's a section of the neighborhood that has the look from some forty years ago with the architecture in evidence.
It's only a few storefronts past when they reached an older building with a sign on the front of a soaped over window that proclaims proudly, 'For Sale!' Even though the building it's placed on does not deserve an exclamation point at all.
Two stories in height, pale walls of old concrete or cement. There's old signage out front but any information is long faded. The front door is closed, locked, and there are several health notices on the front.
"Here, what do you think?"
A beat, then he adds. "Wait until you see the inside."
He fishes into a pocket and produces an key on a red plastic ring that he takes to the lock and twists... a few times. Then shoulders open the door. Revealing the first floor of a building that likely served as some sort of low scale manufacturing or textiles perhaps? The walls seem sturdy, it has good bones, but inside... it looks like it hasn't been treated well in the last decade.
"Well, maybe she had a point," Velvet mutters, his tone non-committal as he was still sort of waking up after having heading down here. "Hey I know this place... lotta tricks get turned here," Vel made a 'eesh' sort of noise as he walked along, glad he was wearing a more rugged pair of boots than usual--who knew what was all over this alley. Not that Japan was big on being /that/ dirty, but it depended where you went.
"What's this... asbestos?" Velvet looked over up at Ken, raising a brow, with a little grin. "Doesn't bother me none, I'm not even sure I /can/ get sick," he shrugs a little, acting like this is no big deal. "Definitely looks like a fixer upper, you okay with starting a business down in Southtown while the place is still having trouble with darkstalkers...? and the Syndicate, and uh, Jedah's big-ass phallic totally-not-over-comprensating tower?" the Spire, as it was called, was likely not viewable from the part of the city they were in, but it had become a notable part of the city's skyline.
"Looks like it's not been used in a long time... hmm, not unused to such places, what kinda clientele are you looking to attract?" the performer had some experience with this concept, it seemed.
There had been a gleam of pride in Ken's eyes, a hint to him as if he had found something secret and work treasuring in this property that he likely bought almost instantly as soon as the seller named their price. It was a glow in his brown eyes as he lifted his head up and nodded along with what Velvet's saying.
"Yeah man, probably." About the turning tricks but then his brow furrows as he likely realizes what's being said. "Wait a second, what?" Those big eyebrows come together and he crinkles his nose then shifts his weight to the other foot. "Seriously? Aww man I'm going to have to have people down here and... like steam clean the whole place." If that's even a thing. His expressive brows lift as he ponders if that's a thing. He nods, assuredly a thing.
But then he's walking further into the place and does kick a bit of the errant insulation, causing it to skitter across the floor and slither into a spot in the corner of the room. He turns and spins around, arms held out wide as he gestures to the place for VB to take a full gander. "Aww man it's not about the money, right?"
He turns back and starts to stride along, moving to one of the soaped over windows and starts fiddling with the latches, "I mean, if I wanted to just make more money I'd go in with my dad on another hotel, right?"
A few more pulls at the latches and then with a slight crackle and a cascade of old dust he pulls one of the windows open. "I don't know, thing Gouken used to point out. Difference between me and Ryu. He travels within, is all inside himself. Me..."
He rounds and leans against the sill of the window, "I'm not." His smile is a little wry, "And I figured this might... I dunno. Be a way to keep touch with people, real people. Without champagne being involved."
"I think that would be a good idea," Velvet replied at the steam cleaning comment. Really, what place didn't you want to steam clean after people had been going at it all over it? "I know it's not about money, at this point it's about whether you want to spend a lot of time here--like I said, it's not the safest of places lately--my cabaret nearly burned down when it was attacked by fucking werewolves--thanks partly to Kira Volkov," Velvet thinks for a moment--shit, what /did/ we do with those werewolves? He suddenly has the urge to make a phonecall, but suppresses it.
"But... it would be nice if we had some more folks like yourself around in the area, to be fair..." one of Velvet's leather biker boots skids across some of the debris and insulation covering the floor, he looks down at it, paying it not much mind.
"So you want it as a hangout spot? Huh...you mind if I advertise it among my people, then? If you're not opposed to any 'dark' types like me being around," he grins a little, cheekily.
Crinkling his nose a bit more at the window as he tries to close it back up, perhaps realizing he sort of broke it, he thumps it closed and just places the small broken piece he 'liberated' from the superstructure on the sill. Dusting his hands off he turns back to Velvet and takes a deep breath. "I dunno about a hang out. But..." He looks the place over, hands on his hips as he tosses his head, trying to get his bangs out of his eyes.
"Some place people can go and train without quite the same..." His eyes slip to the side and distance, though on what memory might be hard to pin down. "Vibe as other places."
Then he lifts a hand and waves it to the side, "Though yeah sure, tell whomever if you think they're good people." Or not necessarily exactly people considering Darkstalkers can be... lots of various sentients. "But, to be fair, going to be a good chunk of time before the place is presentable."
He turns his head and looks the place over once again, making a face, frowning. "Ugh."
"Ryu, you mean /that/ Ryu, yeah?" Vel thought about it a minute, tilting his head. There was only /one/ Ryu, in this context--and it wasn't like he even had a last name. He really didn't need one.
"I guess you could say he's introverted, you're extroverted, I kinda like that--but I'm no stranger to wanting to show off, either," he waggles a brow. "I'm just more used to the stage, and jazz clubs--you're more in movies, I hear it's a lot more strenuous than just TV," he seemed to have gained back some of his exuberance, maybe it was Ken's personality--which was vibrant.
"This is true, it's gonna need a professional cleanup crew to come in, then maybe someone to redo the insulation, windows--gotta check about wiring, heating..." Velvet has had to deal with these things before, likely, managing the Gold Lounge.
The blond karateka looks around the place and nods, perhaps in answer to the 'That Ryu' thing since he likely often hears that a fair amount. Hands still on his hips he takes one last look around for now and can't help but smiling for some reason or another.
"Alright then," Ken starts to walk back to him and toward the door, and perhaps having forgotten the earlier wince /again/ thumps Velvet on the shoulder, though to be fair... lighter this time.
"What's the verdict?" He asks as he steps on by, grabbing hold of the door and yanking it open again with a faint wooden creak and a scraping on the frame. He turns and holds it open, letting the other fighter precede him should he feel so inclined even as he leans halfway out that door.
"Gigantic mistake, big mistake, or just mild mistake?" His lips twitch with amusement at the idea but to be fair, he doesn't seem to mind whichever way is declared. And it probably wouldn't change his plans either.
Velvet was perhaps ready for the friendly pay on the shoulder this time--as he's able to hide his reaction to being sore there pretty well. At least he wasn't giving him a friendly nudge in the side with his elbow--he still had healing lacerations on his chest area in places. Damn Catgirls.
"It's up to you boss, if you aren't keen on doing something with it, I will, if you're gonna put the money into renovations--I can direct you to some local places that will handle some of the cleanup and repair, if you want," he folded his arms, standing at the door area.
"Maybe just a mild one," he winked, the darkstalker performer's spaded tail flicking about as he headed out the door.
"Well alright then, that's a thing." Ken gives Velvet a single fingergun as he steps on out that door and waits for his friend to step on through as well. Once they're clear he locks the place back up and gives it a double thump on the door before he starts to mosey back towards the car.
"And sure. Let's get some stuff rolling!" He pumps one fist as he reaches the driver's side of the vehicle and hops on in, giving a nod towards Velvet.
"C'mon, let's go grab something to eat. My treat."
Velvet pauses and his eyes light up at that. Food? His tail flicks and points upward as well, almost like a cat or dog.
"For real? I eat light--like maybe only a special's worth..." he starts up again, hurrying to keep up with Ken as he strides away.
Log created on 17:39:39 06/24/2020 by Velvet Blue, and last modified on 17:03:11 06/26/2020.