Description: An Irishman, a schoolgirl, an influencer, a farmer and a movie star walk into a bar. It goes about as well as could be expected. Youthful ideals are shattered, rivalries formed and legendary pick-up lines tested in the fires of drinks and socialising.
The hotel receptionist is too polite to comment on the startling sight that walks past her, heading in the direction of the Hotel Southtown's cafe and bar. The dark haired man is naked from the waist up, glistening with sweat and appears to be smeared in blood. It's unclear if it's his own or someone else's, but his swollen nose and bruised jaw suggest someone has given him a beating.
"I need a drink" he calls out without looking at her, as way of explanation as to his actions.
Pushing open the heavy wooden door to the bar area, he squints his brown eyes to adjust to the low lighting and starts making his way directly to the far side of the room to place an order.
"Get me a pint of Guinness or a Jamesons. Actually, make it both."
Ichika has been sat at the bar for some time when Hawksley makes his dramatic entrance. The girl was trying to do what she 'should' do and meet her fellow fighters, even if it meant hanging out at a place like this. Her efforts thus far have been somewhat undermined by the fact that she has no idea what she's doing and she could not look less comfortable. In her Justice High uniform, it's only the katana at her hip which has grudgingly allowed her to remain at the bar by herself. Even so, her father lurks in the background...
... or he had been lurking. The weedy salaryman can't handle his liquor it seems, and his attempt to 'blend in' so as not to embarrass his daughter has seen him pass out over a distant table. Ichika notes this. Sighs. And then tries to ensure that the evening is not wasted - she would like more than the glass of orange juice she has half-drunk in her hand.
"Ah, you are Moore-san, I believe?" She says, forcing a smile at the sight of the obviously bloodied man. "I... hope that your first fight was, fruitful?" That's diplomatic, isn't it? Gosh she hopes so. What are you even supposed to say in situations like this?
Standing alone next to the bar as she waits for an order to be mixed, Constance Louise Coalbridge seems to be in a world of her own. Shower-fresh and dressed in a glittering, backless baby blue bodycon halter minidress and matching heels, she has her purple hair down around her neck, a glossy nude lipstick, and an extra coat of mascara to usual - in short, made up to party and dressed to dance (and pass for the legal drinking age), which she's currently doing - grooving to music that only she can hear, thanks to a pair of wireless earbuds silently pumping a playlist from her smartphone to her ears.
At the same time, she seems to be serenading a bearcat in a yellow hat that's sitting on the bar in front of her and staring back at her in confusion as she points.
"I got you, moonlight, you're my, starlight o/~"
Deaf to the world apart from Dua Lipa and DaBaby, Coco doesn't notice the approach of the appalling vision of post-violence that is Hawksley. She has a bruise or two from her own fight visible on her arms, but luckily her opponent agreed to avoid smashing her face in. Not that that had stopped her from taking a few shots at Ayala's own face, but the blonde had seemed less concerned with that.
The binturong, for his part, does look up at the sight of Hawksley, making a high-pitched sound before bounding over along the bar toward where Ichika is sitting and snuffling enviously around her orange juice. Coco's eyes are shut at this point as she's absorbed in the music, which might excuse her failure to intervene at the moment.
Looking in Ichika's direction when she speaks to him, Hawksley takes in the combination of school uniform and katana. To think, people thought he went to a tough school.
"Yeah, I'm Moore. Call me Hawksley though. You're Ichika aren't you? The one who fought the blind stripper lass?"
His drinks are placed in front of him by the stylishly dressed young bartender. "Cheers, mate" he responds, lifting his whiskey glass to toast him and then downing the spirit in one. He follows this with a sip from his pint glass, leaving a trace of creamy white foam on his upper lip.
"I'm sorry you lost your fight. I beat the actor fella, but he fought feckin' hard. Almost like his life depended on it."
He takes another drink, this one more of a swig and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. It's then that he spots the vision of party girl perfection that is Coco, grooving to her own personal playlist.
Is she an hallucination? The fact that there's a bearcat in a hat running around adds weight to this possibility.
It feels as though the whole room is closing in on him. Surely it can't be her? The swishy purple hair, the way the dress clings to her curves. Has she flown out to see him and beg his forgiveness for dropping him like a hot potato?
Placing a hand gently on her arm, so as not to startle her, he utters the word "Tiff."
Ichika flinches at the encouragement to use this stranger's first name - and then again, when he does the same to her. It isn't Hawksley's fault, not really. She knows that she ought to be prepared for such things. But it feels so deeply uncomfortable. She takes a deep breath, steadies herself, and tries to keep her voice steady as she looks the man over.
"Yes. That is me. The loss was ... disappointing. But I have nobody to blame but myself. I am, pleased, that you were able to win. It would probably have been customary for me to pay for your drinks in celebration, no?"
She smiles, feeling very proud of herself, and reaches for her drink. Only to find it furry.
The girl's entire body tenses and she turns her head sloooooowly to look at the binturong. There is a heartbeat where she looks at it. It looks at her. And then Ichika transforms into a boiled kettle.
The girl leaps into the air so high she almost hits the ceiling. The orange juice is knocked over, giving the animal access to the delicious treasure it had so wanted. When she does land again, the 'ice queen' is anything *but* her composed self. Pointing, open-mouthed, wide-eyed, she seems to have lost the power of speech entirely. The other patrons are staring at *her* like she's the weird one, the bartender included.
Her father blows a snot bubble and snores, drooling onto his table.
Chevy Beaumont offers a brief nod to the hotel receptionist as she walks past, only peripherally aware of where she's walking due to the glowing rectangle she's holding in her hand. It's not until she gets close to the bar that she looks up, even once.
Some may be dressed for dancing. Some may be fresh from a fight. Chevy looks like she could walk right into Southtown Village Mall -- or possibly just stepped out from it, clothes practically fresh off the rack.
The auburn-haired Carolinian ambles up to the bar, murmurs out an order, and looks around. Her eyes pass over Coco first, then Hawksley -- who earns a slight intake of breath for his appearance.
And then promptly claps her hands over her ears, inadvertently screwing up whatever page she was reading on the cellphone that's now sandwiched against her face. "... Well darn, a lil' warnin' next time?" she answers, glancing around to find the cause of the ruckus. After a moment she cracks a smile to Ichika -- and quietly clips her phone to her belt.
"I mean, uh, howdy! This ain't an official event or anythin', is it?" she asks -- to no one in particular.
The fact that Coco is accustomed to club culture means that she's not altogether shocked by the sudden sensation of a hand on her arm - in fact, instinct kicks in with martial precision as she turns around to face Hawksley, her rebuttal already on her glossy lips: "I already showed my card at the bar, love -"
The sight of Hawksley's swollen nose and bruised jaw cause her to recoil abruptly, her blue-grey eyes widening.
She reflexively pushes a hand into Hawksley's face to keep his surely-hungering mouth away from her own eminently-edible visage and breaks away as her panic is upstaged by Ichika's outburst at the sight of Captain Morgan, the binturong who has now claimed her glass of orange juice with all four paws and is slurping the sweet liquid up happily.
Of course, Ichika's scream just confirms Coco's suspicion that she is, in fact, being subjected to a zombie attack, so she makes a swift lunge for the bearcat, scooping it up in her arms and backing away from Hawksley.
"Is somebody going to call the police? The zombie's got my phone," she claims, eyes flitting to the smartphone that is sitting safely on the bar next to where Hawksley has been left standing.
"I mean, what the fuck? The dude lit my boy on fire. Fucking Christ."
"I'll say Fuck if I want to. Fuck fuck fuck."
"Befoul yourself freely. But we must respect people's faith. Christianity is a peaceful, gentle religion based around acceptance and community."
"Fuck fuck fuck fuck fucck."
Strolling along in the wake of a slightly crisped young man in tattered casual ware, Matt Dangerfield continues to barrage his surroundings with a gleeful stream of expletives. Gold chains and earrings glinting, he leans over to put his spray-tanned face nearly nose to nose with a thin, sharp-featured woman with curly red hair.
Face wrinkling in disgust, the redhead tilts her chin up and shakes her hair back from her shoulders, thin hands tugging her white and purple shawl tighter around her chest. Large violet eyes staring down her nose at the man, Miranda Pratchet gives him her best 'over it' glare and turns with a swish of white silk skirts, hurrying after their escaping charge as he shuffles his way toward the hotel bar.
"Be careful Danger-Failed," comes the high, slightly effected rasp of Titania from behind him, the pixiesh cage fighter smirking at him as she saunters past toward the receptionist. "She's got like 4 inches and 20 pounds on the last girl who kicked your ass."
Brave enough to grunt, but not to fire back, Matt hurries after the other two, pushing into the club just in time to hear the piercing shriek and witness a super fine honey screaming about a zombie.
Hustling forward to join Miranda and JD as they approach the bar, Matt throws up his hands and waves them to try and get Coco's attention.
"Yo baby, this isn't a zombie. That's just John Doe. He only plays them in the movies and shit, not for real."
Completely missing the fact that Hawksley exists, Matt offers a huge, oily smile and pats the air with his hands, adding in a wink for good measure.
"You know, John Doe. Love Me Eat Me, The Taste Of Blood, Till Death Due Us Part...Fucking hell."
"TSSSST! Don't say hell."
Completely ignoring Miranda, who now lurks behind JD like a pale, elegant shadow, Matt waves both hands toward the actor, who up till now has been doing a pretty good job of keeping attention off of himself. Glossy black hair hanging loose across his face, he still sports the odd blotch of purpling and band aid behind the obscuring curtain, but surprisingly no swelling. Loose hoodie charred around the arms, shoulders, and hem, sneakers and jeans a touch blackened, the beautiful man reaches out a pale hand to try and pat Hawksley companionably on the shoulder, before shuffling past him to put 3 fingers upon Coco's phone. A shift of his hand and the little rectangle is sliding down the bar toward where she huddles near Ichika, the actor's shoulders lifting in a helpless little shrug.
"Ah nah, you're grand, lass" Hawksley responds with a smile back to Ichika, that he immediately regrets, given the current state of his jaw. "I can buy my own booze. I appreciate the offer though."
He's about to calmly indulge in some more of his own choice of medicine, when it all kicks off. Apparently the cat in the hat is real and the schoolgirl isn't a fan.
"Jesus!" he calls out, jumping back from the sound she makes. "You sound like someone stuck a poker up your arse."
Chevy gets a nod of empathy for their shared suffering. "Definitely not official. It's feckin' chaos in here."
Then 'Tiff' reacts to him, but not quite in the way he expected.
First of all, the voice is all wrong. Instead of the chirpy cockney accent reminiscent of Eliza Doolittle pre elocution lessons, this girl speaks like she's walked off the set of Made in Chelsea. Secondly, her hand is in his messed up face, a feeling he's not too fond of. Thirdly, she seems to be under the absurd impression that he's some kind of zombie. Perhaps she's on drugs?
"Sorry, lass. I thought you were my ex. I've taken a few blows to the head, so I'm not quite seeing straight. Besides, you've got the same hair. It's not that common of a colour. As for your phone, I've never touched it. It's right there."
He gestures to it on the bar and goes back to drinking his pint of boozy black liquid. He remains happily absorbed in this task in the blissful brief seconds until Matt makes his appearance. He raises his thick dark brows, wondering who this prize eejit is.
As he feels the pat on his shoulder, he turns to look who's touched him, his handsome face lighting up at the sight of John Doe. "My man, Johnny! Good to see you standing, fella. Let me get you one of those beers I promised."
He gestures to the bartender to fetch the movie star a drink.
"I, I, I, I--"
To say that Ichika is having a tough time with all of this would be an understatement. It isn't often that the girl feels overwhelmed. Even in the heat of battle, she'd thought she had a firm grasp on what was happening around her. The sudden arrival of Captain Morgan into her life is a curveball that she simply isn't equipped to deal with. She casts a look towards her father, where he remains blissfully unaware of the chaos and horror unfolding around them, and her heart breaks.
There are three paths before her. She could flee. She could get angry. Or she could try to repair the damage she has done. Ichika's poker face has completely failed her; the expression she wears is one of utter and complete confusion. The bilturong, its beligerent owner, the entourage of very *loud* people who just entered... all of the schooling in the world could not have prepared her to find an elegant path through this. In the end, she goes with her instinct, and bows low to Chevy.
To flee would be unthinkable. They would all think she is some terrified child - which is exactly what she is. Better, then, to show that Justice High decorum.
"A-ah, I am deeply sorry, Beaumont-san. I did not mean to startle you. I was, shocked, by the ... beast. I did not realise that such, rodents, are common in establishments such as this. It is a part of the charm which had escaped me."
She remains bowed. In this position she can keep her eyes closed and try to calm herself down. Surely, everyone else is taking the critter in such easy stride that this *must* be a normal part of being in adult bars. Even though every instinct she has says that her reaction was justified, she must surely be the one in the wrong here!
Chevy blinks a half-dozen times at the way in which Ichika pivots from teakettle screaming to full apologetic bowing. Chevy holds up her hands in an apology of her own: "It's... it's fine, nothin' series, just a bit of mommickin'..."
She glances over at the binturong, laughing faintly: "An' besides, I don't -think- varmints that big're common for bars. Unless they're outside, holding their paw up, an' made o' ceramic or something." Japan may be new to her, but she knows a lucky cat when she sees it.
But... while she's -aware- of Coco, she's used to bars with lots of shouting, and it doesn't seem to bother her as much. She grins back at Hawksley, the relatively 'normal' part of conversation allowing her to swallow her apprehension. "Oh, this? It's just a typical Friday back home, haha."
She slides back to the bar, where the barkeep's got a fuzzy navel mocktail waiting for her. She starts to take a sip, and then notes to Ichika: "Oh, hey, I'm honored you know my name already. I kinda suck at remembering those, usually."
With a slight grin, she nods towards each person in turn. "It's Ichika, right? I... I don't remember last names so well, forgive me."
A turn to her side: "And Hawksley, yeah?"
Another turn: "John... Doe, right? And I didn't catch the names of your, uh... friends."
And finally, down the bar: "... I wanna say 'Cocoa.' But that doesn't go so well with my drink."
Babying the binturong bundled against her bust, Coco reaches for the cup that it's clutching.
"Morgie! You shouldn't be drinking like that! Here, let mummy hold it for you."
She turns her eyes toward Matt as he corrects her on the subject of the undead status of John Doe, brow crinkling a little as she shifts the silvery orbs to John Doe, then to Hawksley, then back to Matt.
"I wasn't talking about him," she retorts, before peering at Hawksley, taking maybe a little longer than strictly necessary to confirm that the shirtless Irish brawler is not, in fact, a zombie after all.
"Thought I was your girlfriend? As if I haven't heard that one before. Wait - you're one of the competitors, aren't you? Did all that happen in your match?" she asks, indicating Hawksley's injuries with an optical gesture and nod as she sidles to where her phone is sitting and picks it up, letting the binturong down to the bartop as she does. It's about this time that a freshly poured pina colada is placed in front of her by a barman who gives her binturong a side-eye, somehow managing to frown with his eyes while smiling with his mouth.
"Thanks, babe," Coco says, paying with a tap of a card provided by NFG from her purse, which is sat in her spot at the bar.
Turning to Ichika as she overhears a comment made to Beaumont-san behind her back, Coco approaches with an apologetic smile. "Sorry if my mate gave you a scare, babe. Morgie's not a rodent, though, he's more of a bearcat. Here, I'll buy you a new drink - what were you having? Screwdriver?" She brandishes her card in one hand while easily balancing the pineapple cocktail in the other, taking a swig of it through the straw.
Chevy brings the topic of her name up, causing Coco to turn mid-sip and swallow before clarifying.
"Constance Coalbridge, but everyone calls me Coco. Never Connie, it sounds rude." She tosses her hair and smiles. "And this is Captain..."
She turns her head to indicate the binturong, which has disappeared somewhere in its exuberance.
"Morgie? Where are you?"
"Matt Dangerfield." the spray-tanned gym rat offers to Chevy, pecks flexing very unsubtly beneath his tight tanktop even as his knobbly knees tremble within his baggy basketball shorts. "JD's life coach."
"Miranda Pratchet," the redhead cuts in, stepping carefully around her male counterpart to offer a fine-boned hand for Chevy to shake. The odd European slant to her accent seems to have vanished, if it ever existed, in the face of two actual British people, fine features cool and collected in the face of the chaos. "Johnathon's spiritual adviser."
Whatever JD says for himself is buried beneath other people's chatter, the bruised movie star pausing just long enough to point to something on the beer menu as the Bar Tender glances his way. A slight twist of bruised lips is offered to Hawksley, hand waving vaguely, before he shuffles down the bar, stepping carefully around Chevy and Coco on his way toward Ichika's bowing form.
"Grrmphg." he grumbles in quiet encouragement, right side leaning against the polished surface even as his left hand reaches out to try and pat the girl atop her messy head, battered features breaking into a grin that is more companionable than pitying. Shaking hair from his face he plants his free hand atop the bar to prevent himself from swaying about, likely due to the multiple head shots he has clearly taken.
Meanwhile, Matt has taken a moment to size the room up and sidled up beside Coco, broad smile plastered across his face as he drops his voice to what he clearly thinks is an intimate murmur.
"Yo babe. Since your not here with Lucky Charms, you and I should hang. I can tell you're a chick with good taste if you like you're cats, Bear, if you know what I'm sayin'."
"It's pretty much like this back home for me too" the Irishman replies to Chevy with a laugh. "Minus the furry thing, although come to think of it, one of the pubs we drink in has a resident ginger cat called Seamus."
Holding out his hand to Chevy to shake he confirms "Yeah, I'm Hawksley. Pleased to make your aquaintance. What can I call you?"
If she chooses to accept the handshake, she will find his skin to feel rough to the touch with several cuts and scrapes on his knuckles.
He can almost feel Coco's grey eyes on him, as she inspects his flesh for signs of death and injury. "I am indeed one of you lot. Part of the gang, so to speak. Good old Johnny Doe here left a few marks on me for good measure in our brawl. It was a fun old fight, so it was. Got my blood pumping and my thirst up."
As if to prove this, he downs the last of his drink, signalling for the bartender to fetch him another and one for JD too.
"So you're Coco then. We're gonna be getting down and dirty in the next round. I hope that won't give you nightmares."
If that isn't a worrying enough prospect for the British babe, the leering life coach comes to hit on her. "Lucky Charms? I've never heard that one before, fella. You must be a true genius for coming up with an original slur like that."
There's a hint of threat in his tone, a gaze held too long and hard on the blonde buffoon, but he doesn't push things further for now. Perhaps the purple haired princess is in to this kind of guy.
Ichika only understands perhaps half of what Chevy says, but she gets the general idea that her apology has been accepted. Which is something of a double-edged sword. Because it means her excuse for remaining bowed no longer exists. Slowly she straightens, and she is more successful at hiding her discomfort with being 'Ichika' to this woman. "Yes. I have tried to remember all the people I may be fighting. I thought your interview was very candid as well. I, related to it, in many ways."
Before she can continue to explain her name, she is interrupted by Coco. The girl's expression stiffens. "Just, orange juice." She says, softly, and-- oh dear. Another incredibly rude person has decided to interject himself into the conversation. Coco certainly attracts a lot of attention. The younger girl gives her a truly apologetic look.
"We should, probably, try and bring things back under control." She says to Hawksley, addressing him as - as far as she can tell - the oldest responsible individual present other than possibly John, who was far too shy to get involved. "We don't want our hosts to regret our presence in the competition. It would be unfortunate if the fighting wasn't restrained to the arena, wouldn't it?"
Constance straightens up from bending down to search under the bar for her bearcat, turning smoothly on her heels to look up as Matt addresses her.
"Sorry, I didn't quite catch that, babe," she says with a smile as she reaches up to pop her earpieces from her ears and tucks them away in their case, stashing them in her purse. "Did you want to say it again, a bit louder, maybe?"
Apparently, she did catch what Hawksley said, though, as she casts a careful, appraising look at the battered bar brawler. "Do most girls you get down and dirty with come away with nightmares? Remind me not to ask you to dance."
She gives a sympathetic look to Ichika as the girl asks for orange juice. "Having a dry out, eh? Orange juice for her, please," she calls out to the bartender.
Turning back to Hawksley and Matt, she glances between them, then says, "You don't like Lucky Charms, hmm? Ooh, I'll have to keep that in mind for our match. Might give me a bit of a mental edge. Ooh, maybe there's an idea..."
A few presses of her touchscreen with her thumb, and the sound system shifts songs to start playing Daft Punk's Get Lucky as an entry is made on the virtual jukebox.
Meanwhile, Matt's basketball shorts leave his shins unfortunately underprotected against the playful predations of a certain binturong, who decides to suddenly latch onto a bare leg with his forepaws with startling enthusiasm.
"Chevy." She bows her head -- not fully keying into the fact that one should bow with shoulders -also- if you're going the full Japanese route -- in response to each name offered.
Truth be said, she's a little distracted as she shakes Hawksley's hand. She knows he's not much older than she is, but the texture of his hand causes a brief hitch in her breath. Skin rough to the touch -- just like her dad's. Matching with the bruises, spatters of blood, et cetera... A flood of memories washes over her.
Gratefully, John Doe's grunt is enough to startle her back into conversation -- if not making eye contact with him. Did she miss her shot? With a mild laugh -- partly to Matt and Miranda, and partly at the receding JD -- she continues: "A life coach -and- a spiritual advisor, you got your own lil' crew here!" One hand reaches to the nape of her neck, as she nurses her drink with the other.
At which point Ichika speaks up. Chevy wonders if she'd made a faux pas in speaking so forthright earlier -- but then again, she kind of always -expects- to. "... I'm all for stayin' peaceable an' whatnot, but with the critter checked in, how much more chaos you think is gonna happen?"
The oily 10,000 mega wat smile plastered across Matt's face dims a few degrees as his line bounces right off of Constance without effect, great shoulders shifting uncomfortably as he is faced with the prospect of starting over with absolutely no momentum. On the sidelines, JD slumps onto a barstool and watches with an amused gleam in his grey eyes, holding the foaming Black and Tan Hawksley bought him in both hands.
Having retreated to a small table nearby, Miranda watches Matt squirm with an incredibly self satisfied look on her face, hands clasped in her lap and back ramrod straight.
"You, you know. I was just sayin' how fine you are, and how much better you'd looOOOAAAAH!"
Having just about worked up enough confidence to roll into another classic Matt line, the failed fighter's pitch morphs into a high, startled whoop as he jerks forward with a flail of his foot, nearly tumbling to the ground with the force of his improvised kicking jig.
"Shit it's got me, shit shit shit!"
The idea of bringing things back under control is somewhat of an alien concept to Hawksley. He's usually working to create chaos and excitement, not dampen things down.
"It all seems grand to me, lass and besides, I'm nobody's da. It's not my job to supervise" he shoots back at Ichika verbally.
"I'm sure our hosts would expect some element of rowdiness anyway, given our age and the fact we're all fighters. As for keeping things in the arena, I can't make any promises. The night is yet young."
He can't help but notice the far away look Chevy has, when the flesh of his hand presses against hers. He gives her a questioning look, but then the drinks for him and John Doe are delivered and Hawksley tries to catch the other man's attention to raise his glass to him, before taking a noisy slurp from it.
"It's alright, we can save our dancing for the match" he suggests to Coco with a slight smirk. "It's interesting you're already planning your tactics for it. I usually just show up and fight."
As his phone starts to ring, he steps away, but he can't resist taking a look back at the ruckus the mischevious Morgie is causing.
"Remind me to buy your pet some treats" he murmurs to the posh party girl on his way towards the exit.
"Alright, mammy?" he says into the mobile device. "It's good to hear your voice. Yeah, I smashed it. It was pretty brutal so it was."
The rest of his conversation won't be audible as he steps into the reception, with his pint of Guinness still in hand.
Ichika looks just a little bit shell-shocked. The horrible individual is being assaulted by the *critter* and Coco didn't seem particularly bothered. Hawksley shut her down hard and then went off to take a phonecall from his mother. To say that none of these people had matched up to the image of them she had in her head. Though, to be fair, if she could sic some kind of ferocious beast on the influencer ... she might well have chosen to take the same path, so perhaps she couldn't judge her too harshly on those grounds.
Nevertheless, she still looks terribly pale when she turns to face Chevy again. She hadn't actually managed to say anything to Hawksley in his exit; just an open-mouthed stare that he, an adult, was willing to walk away and wash his hands of this situation completely. "I, think that some of us have very different expectations of what we are here to do." She says, her eyes a little distant, "I suppose that I ought to ... to get my father home. Please excuse me Beaufort-san. It was good to meet you."
The last seems to have been a total reflex action because, really, what could possibly have been nice about this? Her hand moves to her pocket and she absently pulls out her comb, running it through her hair as she walks towards her comatose father and begins to lever him across her shoulders; something which clearly takes a lot of effort for the tiny girl.
"Karmic justice," Miranda sniffs primly from where she sits, watching Matt flail about with an excited Binturong clinging to his leg. It is only once the spray-tanned oaf has toppled to the floor with a CRASH that the critter darts free of the pile of chains and bad life decisions, leaving the failed influencer lying face-up and dazed.
Lifting his Black and Tan to Hawksley, Morgan, and the room as a whole, JD leaves his spiritual adviser gloating over his life coach's misfortune and slips from his stool, depositing the drink on an empty table as he staggers over to try and get a fist full of Mr. Kasumoto's suit jacket. Unless his daughter protests, the battered celebrity will hold up his side of the trashed salaryman with effortless ease, motioning Ichika to lead the way with an incomprehensible grumble of bashful good intentions. Head dipped forward and face mostly hidden behind his hair, the star won't miss this opportunity to give his retinue the slip, even if he has to help some rando drunk guy up to bed first. Still, a final slow glance around the room takes it all in, and a brief flash of a smile dazzles in Chevy's direction, a last little indication that he saw her.
And just as she thinks the chaos is over, Chevy winces as another scream shatters the silence. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, either... Chevelle covers her mouth, standing back so she can watch as Matt swerves, swings, and eventually topples to the floor. "Oh man... eatin' my words now, ahaha..."
She sips a drink to mask her slight discomfort, nodding to both Hawksley and Ichika. There's more that -could- be said, but with a phone conversation in there, she just settles for a meek wave. And when she turns to Ichika... well, the Justice student is making for the exit as well. "... Huh?" She wrinkles her nose in frustration -- not really sure how to answer that without also falling short of expectations. Stirred out of her thoughts by the motions, she starts to respond...
But then she hears her name of Beaumont mispronounced.
"Heh. It's 'Beaumont.' Beaufort's where mah Paw-Paw's from. You see? Foreign names are -tough-."
She taps her head, then wags a finger. "Alright, I'm gonna try. Sorry if I butcher it." Bowing her shoulders forward stiffly, she says, "Kah-soo-moh-toh-san -- doh-zo yorosh-koo." She offers something of a goofy smile. "It was nice meetin' you too.
Lifting back up, she happens to catch JD's eye -- and flashes a brief wave in his direction. "Hey, I'll be around! We'll catch up later, okay?"
And then ... she sips her drink down to the halfway mark, turning her eyes to the floor. And Coco, if she happens to be looking.
Ichika looks surprised when John lifts her embarrassing father up with her. "Ah, thank you... Doe-san?! You, really don't need..." She trails off, a little starstruck by the fact that the movie star is the one helping her get out of here. The hangers-on might be awful people, but the man himself really is just as kind, sensitive and handsome as all the magazine articles said. And she might have to fight him. Would probably need to. Could she do that? Cut a face so pretty with her blade? It seemed... wrong.
The girl looks even more horrified when Chevy mildly corrects her. It does, at least, drag her out of her concerns for the future. "Ah!Beaumont-san. I'm, sorry. I didn't mean..." She begins, and then Chevy massacres her name right back - and that, gets a bright smile from the girl. She drops her father, forgetting about him for a second to give the foreigner her full attention.
"I really do appreciate it, I... understand that these things can be difficult for everyone. The effort means a lot..." And she clasps her hands in front of her, bowing low. "... Chevy."
And *then* it's time to grab her Dad again and usher him out onto the street before she dies of embarrassment. Hopefully the paparazzi don't cause them any hassle as she pours him into a taxi!
Log created on 10:31:12 04/12/2023 by Ichika, and last modified on 06:39:38 04/13/2023.