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 Listening to Lust

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Wei
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PostSubject: Listening to Lust    Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:59 pm

The pathway out was a lot less intricate and trippy than the pathway in. It was meant to get a person to where they needed to go as fast as possible. An addition added because of the many complaints the assassin crowd had, Ace’s hands were tied.

Wei was dropped back in the alleyway he’d used to enter the club, with no portal back to the inside swirling behind him. The location of the entrance had changed. Wei didn't plan on going back inside, any time soon.

He was closer to the street than he had been when entering the club, easier to sneak back into general population without drawing much attention to himself. He didn’t do so just yet, taking a look down at the outfit that he had chosen in the spur of the moment back in Valparaiso. He had been thinking about practicality, somewhat, when he fashioned it, but he was in the Entertainment District of the Dusk now and it was time to begin blending in a little better.

Wei stroked his chin, lulling over the prospects of a wardrobe change. Keeping it simple was probably the best. A suit, nothing too flashy, but nothing too bland and corporate looking either. He still needed to blend in and look like he belonged, while still adhering to his own aesthetic sense. He smirked.

“I got it.” He whispered with a snap of his fingers before he waved his hand downwards. The motion engulfed his clothing in a dim white light before the cloths and fabrics of the kimono and pants he had on transmogrified themselves into something a little less inconspicuous. The jacket might be a bit excessive. It certainly was kitsch, but that was his style. Not to mention that in this neighborhood of neon, this sector of sin, EVERYTHING was  ostentatious.


Wei exited the alleyway, slipping into the hustle and bustle of the main street with his hands resting casually in his pockets as he walked and perused the storefronts and the wares; inanimate and otherwise. The Euphoria trip had yielded much more information that Wei had initially anticipated and put him largely ahead of his internal schedule. He figured that he could have a little bit of fun, but his tastes had outgrown the underground hip hop, experimentally atmospheric tones, and punk rock aesthetic of the music Euphoria was known for. It was a place for unsavories to do business, but it catered to a younger crowd.

Wei needed a cabaret club. A quaint little bar with a pianist and a lounge singer would be ideal, but big band club would be just as good. A place where corrupted corporate giants and mafioso (not that the Dusk had those types right?) liked to go for a nice drink of brandy, and elegant ladies stopped for glasses of wine. If he were lucky, out of the older and more sophisticated matrons that frequented places like that, he might just find someone to put him up for the night. If he were really lucky, she’d put him up for the rest of week.

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PostSubject: Re: Listening to Lust    Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:42 am

Wei’s casual stroll through the streets of the Entertainment District continued, but not unhindered.

He was accosted on occasion by peddlers, touting their wares, but schmoozing was a vile talent he’d picked up from his silver-tongued “better half” and perfected. Wei was interested in having fun, and wasn’t above paying for it, but he wasn’t looking for that kind of entertainment. As it stood, he didn’t have any money to finance such indulgences either.

There was the usual pickpocket or delinquent that confronted him when he entered, or exited, alleyways to cross to different streets. Money was always a commodity that people wanted, needed. If it wasn’t that, it was just to appear larger and more dangerous in front of their group of friends. Ultimately, Wei handled them with quick strikes to the neck or intimidating glares.

He was older, in appearance mostly, than his other half, but he still knew how to play these games. For a long time, hustlin’ and bangin’ were the only things Koudo did before getting his life together and out growing the activities. All the tricks were still the same, be more bite than bark and the rest would fall in place. Wei was just an old boy now, rather than a babyface.

All of it was worth it though. All of it served a purpose.

Wei chose the streets and alleyways to venture through. He chose the blocks where the working girls peddled and corners where the pickpockets and delinquents harassed for a reason. To see if everything had changed, Wei needed to experience what the city had to offer.

Meticulously, subconsciously, he examined the situations that he encountered, remembering them as they were and as they had been in another world. He determined that no matter how superficially this universe had changed, some core things remained the same while others were drastically different. The mechanica were a new addition, but Wei found himself agreeing with Whiz the more he watched them.

They were excessive in their need to please, and many people grew docile. So domesticated in their activities, so regimented and rigid, so used to being waited on that everything seemed to be on a strict cycle. Even the entertainment district lacked the… impact Wei remembered. The pockpockets, human working girls and delinquents, who rebelled against everything, were the only tethers to normalcy that helped Wei further make sense of his understanding of this universe. No matter how tenuous that understanding.  

Maybe it was only the Dusk that had changed so much. The Dusk was always in a constant state of flux and more ready to accept technological advancements if it meant increased productivity. Was it really that different? Even on Vescrutia, the Dusk military force had gotten so comfortable with the all encompassing presence of their overseer that they were the first to grow docile and lazy, in comparison to the other nations. It was why the survivors were so ready to accept Maze and his band of false prophets as their saviors and flood into the empty halls of his school of lies.

Valparaiso sprung to mind, and the ball of emotion that he held, concealed, in his chest. Just the thought made him doubt the possibility that only the Dusk was so drastically altered.

Wei couldn’t hold on to those feelings. They weren’t his own. He cared little for the Dusk as it used to be on Vescrutia. He wasn’t the man that stood up and took charge because he’d lost the first love of his life. He wasn’t the man that fought to near death in order to protect the lady the Dusk stood on while everyone else looked on, uncaring, and criticized him for abandoning a post that he couldn’t hold.

He looked forward to what the Dusk was now. What The Veritas was now. Now that he was his own being, free from Koudo, again and could make his own decisions.

He didn’t speak. He knew where to go now. The layout of the Entertainment District was one of the things that remained the same. All the same shops, bars, and arcades were in the exact same place they had been before the Veritas disappeared from Vescrutia. It only made sense. the Dusk was his own creation, after all, so there was no way he would get it wrong during the recreation process.  

Wei stopped walking, tilting his head up towards the building that loomed over him. The shadow it cast shrouded him from the perpetual Dusk of the Dusk and the blinding glare of its sign showered him in neon that caused the diamond scales, just below the surface of his skin, to glitter. He was here.

Dreamland

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PostSubject: Re: Listening to Lust    Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:43 am

From the outside it was enchanting. Intimate and peaceful. Softwood and intricate stone carvings made up most of the building’s outer structure. The windows, near impossible to see through due to the darkened glass, but the entertainment from within could be felt outside just as if he’d entered.

As he passed through the small, soft wooden door, Wei was welcomed by amazing, but unknown scents and an overwhelming sensation of comfort. The bartenders, there were maybe three from what Wei could tell, were all a little preoccupied, but one still managed to welcome him with a short wave. Not standard, but Wei could tell that she thought he was easy on the eyes.

The charm didn’t stop outside. The lounge was smaller, fitting it’s comfortable atmosphere, with booths and tables aligned to a wall adjacent to the bar that took up the entire wall opposite of the front door. To the immediate left of the front door, another number of booths and tables, and to the far left, parallel to the first set of booths and tables, intersected by an open floor littered with tables and chairs, was a performing area; A stage sparingly adorned with a solo pianist deep into a light classical movement.

The tavern was relatively light, in terms of the number of occupants. Wei figured the night might be a little past happy hour for the majority that frequented a place like this. The primary clientele was ritzy dressers, who definitely dealt with large amounts of money on a regular basis. They came out late, drank for a while and chatted with old friends about business before going home. Wei was glad that he looked the part, if nothing else. It stopped a waitress from addressing him without being called upon first. He just looked like a gentleman searching the hall for the person he was suppose to meet.

A lot of the booths were occupied by separate groups chattering away about the mundane nature of their everyday lives. Some of the smaller booths, closer to the stage, were occupied by people that were close to the owner, or the performer, and were happily listening to the piece the pianist played as they sipped their wine. As Wei passed, opting for the bar as his seating arrangement of choice, he saw that even a few of the tables in the middle of the establishment were occupied, though nobody seemed to mind more company.

He seated himself, at the edge of the bar closest to the stage and the female bartender, who had disappeared in the room behind the bar, that Wei could only assume was the kitchen, just as he took his seat. He turned slightly to his side, sliding his jacket off his shoulders as he watched the pianist.

“Can I help you sir?” A male voice asked, from behind the bar.

“This.” Wei replied, holding his jacket out towards the direction the voice had come from, only retracting his hand once he felt the weight of the outerwear leave it, and heard footsteps leading away from him.

He took no pleasure in treating serving staff with disregard, but he was playing a role. The clientele probably weren’t needlessly cruel, but few were unnecessarily kind either. It would take him a while to find the right rhythm, but once he had then he could treat them in a way that seemed normal for the usual clientele, as well as himself. Fair is fair, though, if he treated them just a tiny bit sourly then they would be less likely to wait on him often, which gave him ample time to consider how, or who, would pick up his tab and take him home.

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PostSubject: Re: Listening to Lust    Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:49 am

The crowd swelled around Wei’s 3rd specialty cocktail, and thinned around his 8th. The full bottle of bourbon Ace gifted to him was a good start, but Wei was cursed with the blessing of a dragon’s internal organs and the regenerative capabilities of an unkillable bio-weapon. Thanks in part to that, he could drink any business into bankruptcy before feeling any signs of inebriation. Unless the alcohol was laced with magic, enchanted by shamanistic rituals, or enhanced by druidic practices.

The pianist had changed after a couple hours, from a young man keen to the light classical pieces to an older gentlemen with a penchant for jazz. The switch was enough to shift the atmosphere of Dreamland and the attitude of the patrons that remained. What was once a lull of tranquility transitioned to a calm of camaraderie. The smooth jazz, and the buzz of alcohol, open solitary guests up to conversing with one another, if for nothing else but to not feel alone. The larger groups disappeared as the night went on.

Wei was left, largely, up to his own devices. The male bartenders chose not to bother him, if there wasn’t any need to, and the female bartender backed off after he showed little interest in her aside from her ability to mix a passable Manhattan or Old Fashioned.

Wei kept his eyes glued to the performer, tranced by their mastery over music. He had never been musically inclined and felt a tinge of jealousy for this piano virtuoso. The only talents he had, before becoming a part of the walking cliche that was Koudo, were getting drunk and getting into unwinnable fights. After Koudo, he couldn’t enjoy intoxication as he had, and fighting became mundane because no fight was ever unwinnable.

“Need another?” A female voice whispered above the melody of the piano, snapping Wei out of his daze. He knew she didn’t mean to interrupt him, but his glass was empty and it had been for the past ten minutes.

Wei squeezed his eyes closed, blinking for the first time in what felt like forever, stretching his arms as he straightened his posture on the stool he was almost slipping off of. “Huh?”

“No. I was just asking if you wanted another-” The bartender asked, motioning towards his empty glass with one of his fingers.

“Oh!” Wei interjected, “yeah.” He replied, taking the glass in his hands and passing it to her with a small smile, “An Old Fashioned would be great.”

“Of course.” She smiled, taking his glass and dropping it in the sink right in front of her, underneath the bar top, before turning around and reaching for another glass.

“That’s the first time I’ve seen you smile all night.” A new voice said, coming from the right of Wei. It was feminine, melodic, almost in key with the piece the pianist was playing.

Wei dropped his head, resting his arms against the bar as he did so. “Oh, I had no idea anyone was paying attention.”

He heard a shifting of position to his right. The sound of someone moving down from the stool they were on, closer to where he was seated. The footsteps were light, and the clicking of heels against the hardwood floor gave more proof that it was a woman who had her attention captured by him.

She slid onto the stool beside him, moving her dress in a way so that it wouldn’t get caught on anything and she could seat comfortably while talking to this him and turn to look at the pianist of conversation went south. She set her wine glass down on the bartop, weighted down by the liquid that was still within.

“I hadn’t meant to,” she admitted. “You’ve just been sitting in the same spot since I came in, unmoving. I thought you might by an artistic piece.”

Wei turned and blinked, smiling at her joke. He hoped she was joking, or the smile would come off terribly insincere.

He drank her in. She was an exceptionally attractive woman. A tall glass of water, shorter than him, ultimately, but most people were. Her crop of dark brown hair styled up, revealing the elegant angles of her face and the slenderness of her neck. Her ruby red lips matched the shade of her strapless cocktail dress. Wei stopped himself from staring at her any longer, and risk it getting weird.

She didn’t seem to mind.

“Was I that still?” He asked, offering a small laugh.

She joined him, even if the laugh was brief. “You were! You were!” She breathed a sigh, taking her wine glass in the long fingers of her precise little hands, “I would have continued to think so, if the waitress hadn’t been switching out your drinks every couple of minutes.” She brought her glass to her lips and took a sip of the red wine.

Wei had been so entranced by the music, both, pianist were playing that he hadn’t notice who was coming and going. He wasn’t waiting on anyone, and he could choose anyone to pick up his tab, so he waited for the bulk to leave so he could prey on the single women that were left. It was scummy, incredibly scummy, but Wei would only ask for her to pay the tab and nothing more. The thought was never to take advantage of them in that way.

The bartender placed Wei’s new drink down in front of him, taking his attention away from the woman that spoke to him, and he scooped it up to enjoy a drink with her. It was only a quick swallow before he placed the cocktail down.

“You’re a music fan.” The woman asked, placing her glass down gently.

Wei did the same, “How’d you guess?”

“Your eyes.” She replied, looking off towards the old maestro commanding the atmosphere with only the tips of his fingers. “You followed the movements of the pianist with your eyes.” She looked back to him, “Are you-?”

“No. No.” Wei interjected with a laugh before he turned to look at the pianist briefly, “I could never. I haven’t the talent for it.”

She smiled, warmly, placing a hand on his shoulder, squeezing, unknowingly, and feeling the muscle he hid under the dress shirt that he wore. The gesture was friendly and nonthreatening. “You never know. Have you ever tried?”

“I’ve tried.” Wei replied, taking his drink in his hand and taking a sip, “Not with Piano.”

“Guitar?”

“How’d you guess?”

“You look the type.” Of course, she only guessed so by the way he looked to her now. He was a desperately handsome man. He dressed well and the subconscious squeeze of her hand showed her he took great care of himself. Men like him were usually the front men for rock bands or pop groups.

She rose her hands defensively, “Not that I’m trying to imply anything.”

Wei smiled, diffusing her defensiveness and taking another sip of his drink. “You’re right. I tried with guitar.” He huffed, “It was terrible.” He laughed.

She laughed along with him, “Was it?” She asked, taking a sip of her wine.

“I couldn’t learn the scales. I always lost my picks.” He took a sip of his drink, “And I broke the thing in frustration.”

She laughed more, laying a hand on his shoulder as she placed her glass down on the bar. “You broke it? It probably cost a whole lot of money!”

“Yeah. A whole lot. That’s what I get for buying a famous guy’s old guitar.”

“It was a famous keepsake, and you broke it?!” She couldn’t contain herself. She wiped a tear from her eyes, making sure not to smear her makeup. “Stop, stop. You’re killing me.”

Wei smiled, relaxed, and finished the rest of his drink. He had tried to play guitar before, and the not being able to learn scales and losing his picks was true. The fact of the guitar being an heirloom of a famous musician was an exaggeration. It was a replica, but wasn’t worth much of anything.

She stopped laughing, breathing quick breaths of relief before she regained her composure. She did it quick enough to realize her hand was still on his shoulder, and she quickly retracted it. “I’m-”

“I’m Wei.” He quickly interjected before she could apology, taking her hand between both of his. He didn’t mind. In fact, he welcomed it. She seemed bright and cheerful. It helped take his mind off the inadequacy he felt from subconsciously comparing himself to Koudo. “You are?”

“Chiyoko.” She answered, feeling the warmth of his big, rough hands on both sides of her hand that seemed so small in comparison. She smiled, taking her hand away from his and taking up her glass. “Chiyoko Kobayashi.”

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PostSubject: Re: Listening to Lust    Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:54 am

They talked. They talked until time blurred together. They talked until time blurred together, the lounge emptied, and the pianist began his last piece.

The only reason Wei knew that was because the older gentlemen whispered it into the microphone setup on top of his piano, along with a special dedication to the man and woman sitting in the middle booth along the wall that ran parallel to the stage. The only man and woman that were still here and weren’t part of the working staff.

Wei heard about Chiyoko. She told him about who she was, when she wasn’t in a cocktail dress drinking wine alone. She revealed her dreams and aspirations. She laughed with him about mistakes and accidents she caused because of her, admittedly adorable, clumsiness. She asserted that she never did this. She came clean about her husband and her two, college age, children. She confessed to the humdrum nature of her everyday life as a housewife.

Chiyoko heard about Wei. He told her about who he wanted her to think he was, when he wasn’t entranced by the music of a talented pianist. He revealed that he was new to town. He laughed with her about similar mistakes and accidents he’d caused due to misunderstandings. He insisted that she had to do this more than she cared to admit. He hinted that there was no way she could be that old. He acknowledged that without that, they wouldn’t have met.

“So you’re an artist?” Chiyoko asked, taking the last sip of wine she would have for the night. She had drunk way more than she ever usually did, but Wei was a smooth talker and she found herself lost in him the more she could get him to articulate.

Wei nodded his head, rubbing his thumb across the surface of his cold glass. “A type of artist, yes. Not a musician.”

Chiyoko tried not to giggle, remembering the story of him and the guitar. He admitted later that it was an exaggeration he used to break the ice, but she could still see him doing such a ridiculous thing. It was the only thing she could hold on to that made him seem less like a dream.

“I travel a lot.” Wei said, “So I don’t ever really have much.”

“Well, not everyone can appreciate good art. You look good though.” Chiyoko, personally, didn’t have an eye for art, but her husband like to fill their home with usual junk he thought she would care about. Of course, none of it ever made her happy, and never brought him home either.

Wei frowned, “Yeah.”

“I can…” Chiyoko paused, thinking, before she pulled out her pocket book. “I want to pick up the check. Money isn’t a concern to me.” It was the least she could do. Just to thank him for bringing some form of excitement to her life, even if it was only for a night.

Wei looked up from his glass, “No, I couldn’t-”

“Please. Let me,” Chiyoko pleaded. “Money is the only thing that I get from my husband.”

Wei offered a soft smile. He was grateful that she offered. He had intended for her to pay anyway, but it was easier if she offered rather than him implying it. “They say, financial security is an important part of marriage.”

Chiyoko rose her hand, to signal to a bartender for a check. “I’d love to know who they are and know if they’ve ever been married.” She remarked sardonically.

Wei, slowly, slid his hands across the table and placed them upon the hand she had resting on the table. “It isn’t the only thing though.”

Chiyoko’s heart skipped a beat. She became visually flustered with a tinge of red touching her cheeks and causing them to glow the same red as her dress. It took until the bartender came with the check and walked away for her to compose herself.

“I… I couldn’t Wei.”

“You couldn’t what?”

“You know.”

“I don’t know.” Wei replied, squeezing her hand just a tiny bit.

Chiyoko breathed hard, paying the check in full with cash. She never paid for her nights out on the various cards her husband gave her to use. Those were reserved for shopping. These small nights out to Dreamland were closely guarded secrets; her escape. It was a place where she could be whoever she wanted.

“Be whoever you want.” Wei said, like he was reading her mind. The palms of his hands were dimly lit with the light of the Infestation Release. He coursed his chakra through her body and connected himself to her subconscious. He could read her thoughts, but that’s all he used it for.

“I…” Chiyoko hesitated. “I don’t know who I want to be.”

Wei smiled, turning off the Infestation in his hands. He grasped hers, “What do you want?” He asked, slowly leaning in.

Chiyoko hesitated again. She trembled at the idea. It made her quake and quiver with all sorts of emotions. She felt her head whipped into a whirlwind, the closer Wei came to her. Her lips shuddered in anticipation, while her heart fluttered in exhilaration.

Wei stopped moving. “What do you want?” He whispered, his heated breath touching her lips. It had the sweet smell of bourbon with a hint of mint.

Chiyoko squeaked, upset by his teasing, but too caught in the moment to do anything about it. She swallowed hard, lowering her pocket book. “I want... “ She leaned in a little, “To kiss you.” She admitted.

Wei smiled, gently touching his lips to hers.

They kissed. It was brief, sweet and exciting.

Wei pulled back first, only a small amount.

“Kiss me.” Chiyoko protested.

Wei placed his hands gently to her cheeks, running his rough fingers against her smooth, heated skin. “Welcome to Dreamland,” he whispered delicately as he leaned back in.

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PostSubject: Re: Listening to Lust    Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:56 am

-The End

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PostSubject: Re: Listening to Lust    Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:02 am

-Results-

Because:

Spoiler:
 

Then:

Spoiler:
 

Therefore:

Spoiler:
 

Thus:

Spoiler:
 
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