Description: Meifeng is out on the town in Southtown and finds it's not as friendly as she might have thought, but then runs into Velvet Blue.
The figure waiting in line might, at one glance, not stand out too much. She wears a cropped gray jacket over a form-fitting beige top, with snug denim jeans, with a slightly unusual pair of shoes. But it wouldn't be hard to spot the slow undulation of her long, fluffy tiger-striped tail. Nor would it be particularly difficult to realize that the similarly-colored hairstyle is providing only marginal cover for a pair of tiger ears.
It'd probably be more -obvious-, though, that the 5'10" woman is in the midst of a somewhat heated discussion with the bouncer of a nightclub on the outskirts of Southtown's Chinatown district. He's human; she's not. And for the club in question, it shouldn't come as any surprise to the locals that she's not being permitted entrance to the exclusive club -- long a favorite of the middle-to-upper class of Southtown.
The bald bouncer attempts to look past the tigress, insisting, "Ma'am, I'm just gonna have to ask you to step aside--"
The young woman leans in the same direction, interposing her face in the way. "Look, I get it, okay? You do not want to let me in. But let me ask you, have you seen my brother?" She pulls a photo out of her pocket, waving it in front of the bouncer's face. "I think I saw him enter your club!"
The bouncer takes one glance at the face on the photo, and brushes the young woman's arm aside with his forearm. "Yer fuckin' crazy, girl. Wouldn't let him in as far as I could kick him down the alley. Now git!"
Frustrated, the young tigress tucks the photo back in her jacket, and takes a step aside. "That is fine! Your night club smells like piss and nachos anyway." She stomps, removing herself from the line -- and looks off the -rest- of the nightclub district, holding her sleeve up so that she can sneak a peek at her wristwatch. Luckily... the night is still young...
It's about this time that Velvet was a street or two away, taking care of some rowdy chimpira punks--after they had gotten a bit too aggressive with a young couple out on the town. Normally their bigger brothers were of a much more reserved nature, and these ones would be in even more trouble if they found out--but Velvet is not the kind to kiss and tell.
"Whew, that was a nice warm up session, boys," Velvet Blue gestured around to them as they lay on the alley floor, their targets having long since departed. The performer's high heeled boots made an unmistakable clacking noise as they moved, stepping over to push one of them in the shoulder, to make sure they were still breathing, getting an 'uuunnghhh' in response.
Velvet leaned back and fixed their hair, their long ribbed ears perking up as they might have sensed another darkstalker in the area, or something similar, anyway, getting their attention. Either way, it didn't take supernatural senses to hear someone was coming...
The young tigress' retreat slows as she exits line-of-sight of the bouncer. Her tail stiffens somewhat as she pulls a slender phone out of her pocket; a pale finger drags one slash across the screen.
But then her right ear twitches at the sound of a light groan. She looks up from her phone, her feline features lit momentarily as her slitted eyes scan the environs. And yes -- she -did- hear something, from the alley.
Her first instinct is to grow wary. To prowl. And yet, that would contract with her mission. To -find- information, not to get caught up in an inextricable mess. For the signs of a scuffle could be the clues she -needs-.
So she pretends she saw nothing and looks back at her phone. Another tap here, another tap there -- and she tucks her phone away, resuming her seemingly oblivious walk toward the alleyway, as if she'd heard nothing at all.
Which would probably be something to ignore.
But she's -humming-.
And it's Sandstorm. Yes, -that- Sandstorm.
"Here kitty kitty," Meifeng could hear a voice, coming out of the gloom against one side of the alleyway, where the light failed to uncover. At first they'd just see a pair of eyes in the darkness, floating there, disembodied. Reflective, yellow cat-like ones, which retracted into slits in the light--before the rest of the figure bled into view, becoming visible.
"Well, who am I to talk, got a bit of feline in me too, as you can see," Velvet grinned a little, showing off fangs, their bat-like ribbed ears twitching. "I don't often see one of our kind walking around in plain view, unguarded--no disguise, or anything--or were you hoping they'd just think you were wearing a costume?" he smiles, tilting his head.
Yes, Velvet is dressed rather... flamboyantly, though given the areas it's not too much out of reason. Still, who the hell fights in boots like /that/? Apparently he does.
The humming trails off within about a second of her hearing the second 'kitty.' The tigress's slitted eyes scan the alleyway -- though it's a full three seconds before her gaze falls upon those two disembodied eyes. Her tail lifts, forming something of a question mark shape as she stares back at the figure coming into view.
At which point, Meifeng blinks, clearly surprised -- and not -scared- so much as intrigued.
She... laughs, almost musically so. "Haha, I was not aware I would need to hide myself. Are we supposed to hide in the shadows, like you?" She has a bit of a Chinese accent; she speaks the words clearly enough, but a big emphasis is made on proper enunciation.
She rests one hand on her hip, another in a half-hearted shrug gesture to the side. Her tail adopts complementary motions, swishing side to side. "I kid, of course! I am just visiting. So where is all the night life for those like us?"
"Generally, not all humans care for our kind, especially after Metro," Velvet the bright yellow eyes rove over Meifeng, fancying her, before moving back to her eyes.
"You're looking for... a drink? Party? Dancing? ...Well, not these places, clearly," Vel turned their head to look back as another groan was heard behind him. He gestured to Meifeng as he began to casually saunter out of the alley, at least keeping to the sidewalk for now.
"Ignore that--I'm Velvet, the locals here are... generally familiar with me--you said you wanted to go somewhere?" Velvet put a hand on their hip also, their blue spaded tail swaying about behind them. It seemed about as animated as Mei's. Indeed, a lot more seemed cat-like than not, with the strange darkstalker--with the casual saunter and gait, one might even think they were part cat, aside from the eyes.
Meifeng's arm hangs out to the side, unafraid of Velvet's roaming eyes. Even though only her tawny midriff is bared, the snug fabric leaves few of her curves a mystery.
The question gives her a moment of pause, as she scratches her chin thoughtfully. "Dancing," she decides, adding, "And perhaps a little drink." She smiles, casting her hands behind her as she ambles closer to Velvet
Her head tilts towards the alley before they leave it; she asks, "Friends of yours?" But then she's told to ignore it, and she moves along, regardless.
The spade-tipped tail occupies her gaze for a moment, before she glances back up to Velvet's eyes. "Meifeng," she states, "A pleasure to meet you, Velvet. I am looking for my brother. I heard he was around here. And if there are no clubs for those like us, then that narrows the number of places for me to look." She smiles briefly, tail flicking side to side with interest.
"The 'locals' here, are they friendly?"
"Friends of mine tend to be much more gentle company," Velvet grinned a little, shaking his head and closing his eyes. He's not bothered apparently he just had to rough a few people up, after getting out of line. "Your brother... is he... like us? Some sort of features you can recall? I might have seen him," he raised a brow, smile fading for a moment as he thought that over.
"Well, it's the red light district, largely--so most folks ignore you, around here, but I tend to keep myself unseen around a lot of the bulk of them, like I said, some can be unfriendly," he looked back at her.
"Which is why I was surprised you were just walking around like that. Not even a hoodie," he teased.
"I... see," she notes. She matches Velvet's pace, blinking slightly at the casual manner in which he passes off the rough treatment of the fellows in the alleyway. She knows better, but she also knows to leave well enough alone. For now.
"Mm," she hums, reaching into the inner lining of her jacket, producing a small photo. A candid shot, from the looks of it -- a somewhat short and pudgy humanoid with small eyes and bat ears. And he -- unlike Meifeng -- -is- wearing a hoodie.
"He is not -really- my brother," explains the tigress, as if that weren't perfectly obvious. "But we know each other well."
She takes a few mental notes as Velvet speaks. The red light district? That could explain a few things by itself. But when Velvet mentions a hoodie, a lightbulb goes off in her head. "Ah! That might be a good idea in the future."
She smiles with the look of an easily-impressed tourist. "How do you stay unseen? You seem like you might be pretty difficult to miss."
"Ah, brother by bond," Velvet seems to understand this, peering down at the picture, brow raised a little, but scrutinizing the photo and figure gently. "Cute one--what happened to them?" he asks, leading her in the direction of theater district, for the moment.
"I go dim--it's hard to explain--it's something I learned how to do, it just takes concentration," he smiled a little. "Well, I do like to be easy to spot when I want to be, you know what I mean?" he smiled, tail flicking mischievously. He'd begin leading her down the way to the back alley where the Gold Lounge's entrance sat, though whether she'd notice the red naugahyde door and brass handle at first is up to her. It might seem hard to miss, then again most folks seemed to see what they wanted to.
"He is..." Meifeng looks away for a moment, glancing around at the environs as she searches for the correct wording. "... He is in a little trouble with the law," she notes with a small, inward-directed smile. Turning to Velvet, she continues: "But he also loves fighting. And betting on fights. So I thought he would come here."
Meifeng slowly begins to take note of where she is -- another casual glance around as she walks. The back alley -- the curious naugahyde door. "Ah, so it is a special thing for just you." She smiles pleasantly, nodding her head. "It would be hard to miss you in a crowd."
But no, she won't let the curious door go without mention. "Where does that door go? It looks a little out of place."
"Possible, if he was into that scene, there is a big market for it," Velvet nods, listening to her, but also pausing near the entrance, perhaps waiting to see if Meifeng notices it. "It goes to my club, m'dear, you said you wanted a drink, right?" Velvet turns the brass handle and it'd open into... The Gold Lounge. It's bustling this time of night, and Velvet is quick to invite Meifeng in and over to his VIP area--a sitting area made up of a few low tables amidst red velvet and blue leather sofas, pushed against eachother in an L-shape.
"Cinnamon, we'll be needing some drinks, if you please," Velvet calls to the very tall and lithe mocha-skinned bunny-eared lady, as he saunters inside.
Meifeng's eyes go wide as Velvet mentions the market. "Oh, is that so? Maybe if I were to place some bets I might run into him." She smiles hopefully, at that.
But the club entrance -- oh, she noticed it, alright. "Oh. Sure!" Her tail bobs about jovially as she sees the door swing open. And when Velvet steps onto the worn concrete, leading her way over to the VIP area, she... stops to question.
She seems momentarily taken by the variety of colors. The number of people of all shapes and sizes. "Wait, did you say this is -your- club? Oh wow." She turns to the bunny-eared lady, bowing her head in greeting. "Cinnamon! That is a cute name." She smiles -- and then, feeling a little self-conscious, she speaks up: "My name is Meifeng! Just a little something small for me. Thank you!"
"That's right, dear--we are a darkstalker friendly establishment," Velvet leans back on the red sofa, already crossing their legs. "Twisted tea? Champagne, maybe? Or something stronger--vodka and coke? Orange juice? I'll have the usual," he asks, before nodding to the very tall bunny-eared woman who is quick to return with drinks. In Velvet's case, it's an OJ and vodka screwdriver. He takes a moment to slightly unzip the backs of his boots, they are rather long and tight, after all, relaxing a little.
"So, that is what brings you to Southtown, and you seemed to not know where to go... well, you're here now," he grinned.
Meifeng listens to the recommendations, and is quick to answer: "Twisted tea sounds great, yes!" She's familiar enough with the drink, and it's only a little buzz to take the edge off. She smiles, remaining at the bar until Cinnamon presents her with a drink. Again, she bows her head in appreciation.
Her tail curls around her as she looks back to Velvet. "Ah! Yes, this is a quite enjoyable place! I like the atmosphere, it is very, mm... old-time like? I am not sure of the word, but it makes me feel comfortable." She looks at the sofas, finding an appropriate place to sit so that she can comfortably continue the conversation.
"Ah, yes! It is very cozy. Are there many places like this in the city? Safe for, er... 'darkstalkers?'" Her ears droop slightly as she repeats the word, unsure of the sound of it. Perhaps something lost in translation.
"I like to think of it as a bit of a retro-fusion, like electro swing," Velvet refers perhaps nuancedly to the genre of music. "I like to provide a place for those like us, also allows me to keep an eye on the old theater district--well, now sort of what you might call the red light district, like I said--there's night clubs, massage parlors, various places like that," he shrugs.
"Dark ones, darkstalkers, not sure what sort of things the normals get up to calling us around here--'bakemono', probably," he sits back, sitting with his drink like a cat who caught the canary. "Maybe a more monstrous look could be good for me?" he raised a brow, watching her face.
"Oooh, I love electro swing! It is such fun to listen to. I have never been to a concert though." She thinks for a moment, then lightly drums her fist into her thigh. "I imagine if I did, then it must look something like this!" She smiles, her tail swishing about airily from side to side.
"So you would say that this is a good place to keep an eye on the district, hm? Perhaps a good spot to watch for my brother?" She seems... pleased with her logic there, at any rate.
Sipping at her twisted tea, she nods with interest to Velvet's alternative terms. And her eyes widen slightly at the consideration of a more monstrous look. "Ooh, well, if you -want- to scare people, I suppose?"
She laughs, curling both hands around her drink as her ears swivel towards Velvet. "Well, why use -their- name for us? Is there not a better word in Japanese? It seems rude to start from an insult. I do not like 'dark;' I have no problems walking around in daytime, after all!"
"Definitely shall have to change that, at some point," Velvet responds idly to Meifeng speaking about never going to a concert before. The exotically dressed performer is kicking back with that OJ and vodka and apparently not giving a care in the world, at least for right now.
"Well, it had humble beginnings, anyway..." he thinks about it for a moment, before seeming amused there. "I could do that if I wanted to strike fear into the hearts of my enemies, or the like, but I don't believe in ruling through fear--unlike our counterparts in the Makai," he leaned back again.
"It IS kind of an epithet, I admit--dark one, darkstalker, I suppose we could be called the fae, or magical--but I don't like to lead people into a false sense of security, either--we /are/ dangerous, at the end of the day..." he peers off into space.
"I think I might like that!" Meifeng sips a bit more of her tea.
"Ruling?" The tigress smiles, leaning closer as she adopts a lower, more conspiratorial tone. "Tell me the truth, then, are these your servants or your employees?" It's clear from her smile and the slight wiggle to her tail that the feline is, indeed, slightly teasing Velvet. So maybe the twisted tea is working?
"I had heard the news reports speak of 'darkstalker' attacks in Southtown. Some sort of pandemonium, of chaos in streets. The Librarium even got involved. Did anyone give you problems during that time?"
"I don't keep Cinnamon here against her will, though she does owe me--so I suppose it's a bit of both?" Velvet replies honestly. "I figure she does get tired of my antics at times, the rest though? employees, definitely," he tips back the glass of mixed drink, nodding.
"Yes, that was Volkov's doing, she managed to acquire a small army of them to attack the city, the library was also involved," he tilted her head a little, as if suspicious of the white tigress, if only slightly.
"A lot of things attacked me during that time, including mercenaries, though I know not exactly on whos orders," he gazed back. Perhaps Velvet thinks she knows more than she is letting on...? Almost a little paranoid, perhaps?
Meifeng smiles, taking Velvet's dodgy answer to her 'teasing' at face value. If it was a matter she had hoped to pursue, she doesn't show it, preferring to bob her head -- and tail -- to the music. "Cinnamon seems like she is fun to hang around, yes!"
At the mention of Volkov though, her ears fold down slightly. And a bit moreso at the note that -mercenaries- were involved. "Hmm... that sounds dangerous! I'm glad that..." She looks around, as if she's verifying her own words before speaking further. "I mean, I -hope- no one was hurt?" Meifeng offers an apologetic smile. "And it seems to be less of an issue now. It would be terrible to have mercenaries and armed soldiers in the streets." She sips her drink. "Hard to relax with -those- around, hmm?"
She closes her eyes for a moment, breathing in deeply. "I really am glad to bump into you! Would you believe I had tried to get into -six- different nightclubs before finding you?"
"Volkov is definitely not polite conversation, and either way, I think I've kept you out pretty late," Velvet rises from the sofa, setting their drink down. "Eh, that was a dark period in Southtown's history, I wish I could say no one got hurt, but, wasn't the case," he tilted his head down at her, wondering what she was playing at, perhaps.
"Well, you found the right one, thankfully--and it's always here, if you wish it," he held out a dark-nailed hand, apparently to help her up from her seat.
"I don't mean to cut the meeting short, but I desperately must get out of these boots and get a shower, my dear tiger, if you'll excuse me..." he smiles, with a wink.
Log created on 19:27:44 05/07/2021 by Velvet Blue, and last modified on 08:45:27 05/08/2021.