2014-06-23 - Puella HiME Tuxedo Magi Karaoke Showdown Night

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Title: Puella HiME Tuxedo Magi Karaoke Showdown Night

With dreams of a big gathering in mind, Mai's invited a couple of friends to try out a well-known karaoke parlour. There's always something unexpected, though - like Kyouko's insatiable appetite.

But hey, who doesn't love a chance to sing?


Mai Tokiha, Mamoru Chiba, Eri Shimanouchi, Kyouko Sakura


Pino Karaoke Lounge

OOC - IC Date:

2 February 2014 - 6/23/2014

<Soundtracker> https://www.dropbox.com/s/euk24qq6bucwwgg/Puella%20HiME%20Tuxedo%20Magi%20Karaoke%20Night%20Showdown.m4a
<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

After an hour or two of scouting, and careful reading of pamphlets at home, Mai has chosen a karaoke parlor to try out. Pino KARAOKE - one of Akihabara's most well-known locations, and somewhere Mai's always meant to try. As it happens, she has a break from homework, the morning Linden Baum crowd was small enough that she didn't need to put in any overtime, and she found herself with a free afternoon.

So, she sent texts to those closest to her. 'Found a karaoke place I want to try. If you're free, meet me at Pino Karaoke.'

The prices are a bit high, but the quality's said to be worth it - though Mai has a bottle of water in her bag, rather than pay the parlour's usual drink prices. She can't quite afford a full binge today, but she can do something with her friends!...unfortunately, only the smaller rooms were available when she arrived, and none of those with the cosplay feature included. Next time, for sure! But for today's outing, Mai could afford at least a couple of hours for one of the next-to-smallest rooms.

Which leads to this moment. A fairly cosy lounge, just big enough to seat four people at once, with a small stage set up for the current singer or singers. One might manage to accommodate two people at once for duets, but it would be rather cozy.

Thoughts of closeness, however, are not troubling Mai. She has a copy of the song list, and is flipping through it at a blazing pace, glee burning bright on her face. Finally, finally, finally! She looks up from the list to her friends, and one of their friends. "Right! So, what order do we want to go in?"

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"I," says Mamoru archly and trying not to let it turn into a grin, "am watching."

He's folded up in the chair by the door, so as to easily make escapes and/or acquire snacks and drinks, and he's popped open a can of coffee. 'Folded up' is exactly the right way to put it, too; the room is cosy and he's so very tall. He made the effort, at least, to not dress up more than usual: black skinny jeans and a dark green cotton/linen blend button-down with dark gold embroidery on it, those goddamned pointy black designer slip-ons stylish boys wear, et cetera.

Totally not dressed up.

"I don't even know if I *can* sing," he admits after a second of failing smugness.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

A karaoke lounge in the middle of nerd Mecca. Mai really knew how to pick them! She arrived in the district with stars in her eyes, which quickly turned into mournful yearning over the various things she didn't have the funding to purchase. The realization had come earlier that the last time she did karaoke, she was completely terrible, so terrible that she'd literally ran off the stage with cheeks burning in shame.

Still this was in front of friends, so maybe this time it'd be different. It was perhaps this that partially motivated her to invite Kyouko, as she was driven to overcome her limitations when the Scarlet Puella Magi was in the room in an attempt to impress her. The rest? Well it wasn't that she owed her, even though she did. It was mostly that she just thought she'd enjoy it given her love of music and dance games.

Once inside the cosy lounge, she puts down a bag, and undoes her overcoat, laying it aside. Unlike Mamoru, she had dressed up more than usual, as underneath it was a conservative blue dress that she rarely wore, and a pair of nice dark leather shoes. Turning around, she puts her hand over her mouth in visible shock at the whirlwind of energy Mai has become, before dropping that hand to her side. About to answer, she's interrupted by Mamoru, as a tight close-lipped smile slowly forms, placing a hand on her hip as she whirls to face him with finger outstretched. "Nope. That's not how it works, Mamoru-kun! Everyone has to sing! Otherwise what fun is it? Don't worry, we promise not to spoil your dark and mysterious front by telling anyone about your future as an idol singer~"

Canting her head to the side at Mai, her smile takes on an amused look, "As for you. You look like you're going to implode upon yourself if you don't go first, Mai-chan~"

<Pose Tracker> Kyouko Sakura [None] has posed.

Even with the free time of permanent truancy, Kyouko has never been to Pino, and has never sung karaoke. The novelty of it made her consider Eri's invitation. The promise of a limitless self-serving soda machine..that tipped the balance.

Sipping from an obscenely large cup ("American" size) of apple flavored Fanta, Kyouko finds the atmosphere fascinating in its neon glow. The subtle murmurings of suppressed sound give the place a strange sort of humming undercurrent.

So much of that changes in the room, like a little bunker, a space capsule. The sound falls away, the room feels self-contained. Kyouko finds it to be of an peculiar yet pleasing tone.

Giving the soda a slurp, Kyouko mentally debates between a hamburger or a pizza, her eyes scanning at the faces of her comrades in karaoke. The boy she'd met before, though mostly in passing. Kyouko does not think she's met the gleeful girl flipping through the options before. Eri she knows best.

Grinning wolfishly, Kyouko leans back into the snug booth and stretches her arms back. "Somebody else go first so I can learn how it works."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Mai Nakahara: Dear You -Cry- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELpphS1d8zc

Mamoru gets a look from Mai. It's a new one, perhaps - the amusement is familiar, but there's something almost predatory to it. "We'll see, Chiba-san~" She has the songbook open, her finger on one particular song, and she just smirks. "No better way to learn than trying it out here - this lounge is the great equalizer, where we all have fun just belting out whatever we feel like!"

Eri, in turn, gets a grin. And an impressed whistle. "Looking good, both of you - maybe I shouldn't have come here straight from work, but I just couldn't wait!" Mai's own clothes are plain and casual - a bright red t-shirt, revealed by the jacket she's already folded and tossed aside. A white cargo skirt goes with it - knee-length and sturdy, the practical choice for February.

Mai looks around the lounge, eyes locking onto Kyouko with unrestrained glee. "You've never been? Okay, flip through one of the songbooks and see if there's anything you know well enough to try - and if no one objects, I'll go first!"

She might have been planning to do so anyway, admittedly.

She might have gone first anyway - she's already dialed in her first pick, and is heading to the stage. The screen behind her lights up, showing a pastoral view of a small village, cicadas visible on tree branches. The same view is reflected on the smaller screen in front of Mai as she picks up the microphone - and lyrics are displayed as a relatively low-key tune starts playing. For all her enthusiasm, she's chosen a sedate song to start off with.

"The steady rising of the scent of summer~ I want to feel it next to you~"

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"You can't make me," grumbles Mamoru, slouching down further in his chair. (More fool he, to offer such a challenge!) "Anyway you don't want to go deaf. It has nothing to do with anything dark and mysterious, it has everything to do with enjoying people who enjoy singing enjoying singing." He stops grumbling when Mai takes the stage, outright grinning for a second, then covering it by sipping from his coffee can.

Every once in a while, he glances over Kyouko's shoulder at the songs she's glancing through, though his attention's mostly on Mai, in the spotlight.

He can behave. He can pay complete attention, instead of taking out his phone and typing on the screen to show Kyouko. He does! He totally does.

Until he doesn't. To his credit, however, he doesn't look while he's thumbing out the message, or while he's passing her his phone. The screen says:

'If you go twice instead of me having to go up there, I'll cover your snack bar tab for the whole night.'

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Mai's whistle causes an embarrassed flush to her expression, but she doesn't ward off the compliment, she rather enjoys it. It wasn't often that people told her she looked good. "Hey Mai-chan, don't worry about it. It's just a casual gathering between friends anyhow. I just thought that if I'm going to be on stage, I needed to do something to compensate for my vocals." Any facade of formal elegance is dispelled when she all but flops down beside Kyouko, leaning back like someone who isn't used to wearing such things, even if she had the desire to. "Anyhow, this is Kyouko Sakura, you two. Kyouko-chan, this is Mai Tokiha, and that.. is the incorrigible Mamoru Chiba." She doesn't bother pointing to each except with her eyes, before her attention becomes riveted on the songbook, as she considers the selections. As she looks through it, Eri idly replies to Mamoru, "I attract cats when I sing, we've already warned Mikoto-chan to have some earplugs on standby. I'm still going to sing tonight."

Given Mai's enthusiasm, Eri looks up from the songbook with stark puzzlement at the song selection. It's a beautiful piece, but she'd have guessed that she'd have chosen something more upbeat, energetic, and cheerful.... Oh wait this is Mai Tokiha that she's talking about. While the smile stays on her expression, it doesn't quite reach her eyes. Did Mai have another motivation for choosing this song? No, no, this is Karaoke. She's just trying out a new song. It's as she's watching, that she only notices Mamoru passing his phone over to Kyouko at the last second. Her expression has a hint of confusion on it, but then she shakes her head and looks away. Obviously he must be showing her some internet cat meme or something. Why? Because he's a dork that loves cats, that's why!

<Pose Tracker> Kyouko Sakura [None] has posed.

As Eri introduces her, she looks up, flashing a smile as she scratches the side of her neck. "Nice ta meetcha." Leaning over, she takes Mai's suggestion up and grabs a song book, peering with curiosity and interest.

Scratching her cheek, Kyouko thumbs through the gridded list. Song after song after song, dozens of them, maybe hundreds..rather than scanning through all of them, she sits back, closes her eyes, and thinks for a moment, considering candidates from her own mental juke-box. She settles on one, chuckling softly at her own choice.

She can tell that Mamoru is looking at her, but she pays him no mind until he pushes his phone at her. Eyebrows quirked, she glances down to read the message. Her eyes slowly lift up to Mamoru's. Her grin bristles with teeth, fang gleaming. Kyouko leans in close, murmuring in Mamoru's ear.

"Done. It'll cost you two songs of your own to get out of it, or at least hit the brakes." She winks, a slow Cheshire cat bat of her eye lashes. Standing up, she steps to the door, excusing herself. A half of a minute later, Kyouko returns, clearly amused and pleased with herself.

As she retakes her seat, a server appears, quietly entering with a tray of six beers. He places one in front of everybody except Kyouko, who gets three. He leaves as silently as he appeared..and is almost immediately followed by another server with another tray, this of six orders of french fries. Again, each of the four is served in the same proportion. The second server slips out..and the third enters with six pizzas. Four are pepperoni, and these are given to all. The last two are Kyouko's, one cheese and one sausage. The third man departs..the fourth carries four boxes each of three flavors of pocky. The fellowship of the fun is each bestowed one chocolate, one vanilla, and one strawberry. The fourth leaves.

Kyouko claps her hands together, rubbing them gleefully. "Good start. This'll gimme time to figure out what I want on my burger..." Cracking her knuckles, she takes a swing of Sapporo and a fistful of fries into her mouth.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
"Please, believe in me~ I want to say, 'You don't have to cry any more!'"

Mai sets down the microphone as the last strains of piano play out the remainder of the song, and grins in satisfaction. She'd only heard that one once or twice before, some sort of character-image song for an anime she never watched - but sung by one of her favourite singers. It took a couple of verses to really pick up the melody, but it made for a nice slow song to get warmed up.

If Mai has her way, there will be no escape for Mamoru tonight - one way or another, for some song, she will make him sing. With that challenge in mind, she steps down from the stage. "Right, all warmed up! Does anyone have a-" She stops, and flat out stares at the selection of food that appeared while she was caught up in singing. "...okay, you're getting into this quickly. By the way, good to meet you, Sakura-san - sorry I didn't say so before."

Still somewhat stunned, Mai retakes her seat next to Mamoru - but after just a moment, she starts flipping through the songbook. "Okay! So, you see how it works, the smaller screen gives you lyrics and the rhythm, getting the pitch is up to you and honestly optional. Any of you have a pick yet?" Because it won't take Mai long to pick out her next song...or three, if left unfettered. She pauses in her selection upon spotting one title, and looks slowly from it to Mamoru.

And grins.

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mamoru's jaw drops.

At Kyouko's order.

He just stares, unmoving, with an open mouth, in pure shocked amazement. His eyes get even wider at 'that's a good start'... and he remembers her with the train made out of candy. And he remembers how much all that hot chocolate cost, and he's suddenly sure Kyouko could have drunk it all instead of giving it to the rioting elementary schoolers.

At least he has a beer and a lot of food in front of him, too. And yes: even for him, what Kyouko ordered for each of them is an awful lot.

He finally tears his eyes away when Mai's clearly getting into the end of the song; by the time she's finished, though, he's already downed three quarters of the beer. After all, the only way he's getting out of this place and still being able to buy gas this week is if he sings, so. Beer? Yeah. The servers don't seem to care he's underage, so neither does he. "Hi, Sakura-san." And he can't stop himself; he blurts, "Is there a tesseract in your midsection?"

He claps. And then he eyes Mai as she galumphs into the chair next to him, his shock wavering into suspicion. "What. Did you just do."

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

When Kyouko speaks to Mamoru, places her order and leaves, she gives him a questioning look, with an arched eyebrow, that remains until Kyouko returns.

As the food is set down shortly after, Eri doesn't show any surprise at all. The one time she went out to eat with Kyouko, she ordered everything on the menu. Twice, and had Eri order half of the menu for herself to show she couldn't hold back. Inwardly she marvels though, that she never seems to slow down, no matter what she's doing. Without thinking, and perhaps assuming that it's root beer, she picks up the bottle, and takes a swig from it.

The smile fades from her expression slowly in inches, as the unfamiliar bitter yet faintly aromatic sensation hits her tastebuds. She lets the liquid settle in her mouth for a while, weighing the options of spitting it out, or swallowing it. Her mouth twists somewhat as she steals a glance at the bottle's label, eyes widening in a comical way. It takes a supreme effort, but she swallows it, immediately grasping a slice of pizza as she chews on it to smother the bitterness, picking off the pepperoni to put on the side of her plate for Kyouko to snatch, if she wants it.

That may have in fact been Eri's first alcoholic beverage ever, but she tries her best not to call attention to it.

Fortunately this is when Mai's song ends, and after putting down the pizza, she claps enthusiastically, allowing that to try and drown out whatever her thoughts may be on what just happened. As she looks Mamoru's way, a smile hits her expression, resting a hand upon a chin, and gives him an amused look, "Something wrong with a girl that can polish off a large meal, Mamoru-kun?"

A cat like grin forms on her mouth as she looks between Mai and Mamoru's exchange, "What makes you think she's done anything, huh? I've picked out my song. I'm just saving it for a bit."

<Pose Tracker> Kyouko Sakura [None] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDmzDCsP2O0

Tossing her hair back, Mai gets a grin. "Nice to meet you too Mai-san. Don't worry about it. Anyways, I got one I can give a go." Standing up and stretching her back wih a pleased grunt, she reaches for another slice of pizza, devouring the whole thing in three bites. She's finishing as Mamoru cracks off his joke. Winking in response, she walks out of the room again, again returning a few moments later. Her hands in her pockets, she jaunts over to the stage, whistling to herself.

The number she punches in brings up a song she heard years ago, when she was much younger. J-Pop isn't always her thing, and this was a boy band's song, but she liked the rhythm of it, and it seemed like it would be fun to sing.

Shunting her heel in the ground, she plants her feet into the stage, her shoulder's width apart. Grasping the microphone stand like a spear pommel, the background shows a bunch of cheesy animated aliens monsters just sort of milling around, but edited with the music to seem more exciting than it really is.

Humming to herself, she prepares her vocal chords before the lyrics come in. Squeaking and rasping and tweaking the tone, the one time choir girl is out of practice, but not without education in this art. Tapping her toes within her shoe, she slightly twists at her hips from side to side with the beat.

Before her, the servers have started to file in. There are fewer, with fuller trays, no two entrees the same. Hot dog and burger, chicken fingers and buffalo wings, french fries and pizzas and tacos to boot. Texas toasts and mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers and miniature churros, deep fried ice cream and a giant chocolate milkshake, onion rings and corns on cobs, pancakes and syrup and a waffle to boot. A plate of bacon. That isn't even on the menu! All these and more swallow up Kyouko's seated area, a tray set up to manage the overflow.

"The red sky burns the city
In place of the sighs,
from behind the people going by, leave shadows
I'm so impatient to hear what you have to say,
I can't walk straight
until everything in this world burns away~"

It's a fast song, and starts fast. Kyouko gets into it, really belting it out, twisting and dipping the mic stand by the throat.

Each audience member's beer is silently joined by a friend.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai snatches a fry from Mamoru's basket, in spite of having one of her own. She might have had a light, or admittedly non-existent, lunch. The drink she doesn't quite need yet, and it's free to be grabbed in turn - for all that she lives with Mikoto, Mai doesn't defend her food that much. "Nothing yet, but I found a song that might work well for you, Chiba-san~"

Snagging another fry from Mamoru's basket, Mai grins back to Eri. "Right! Well, I've got another one I want to try - how about I key you in after that?" She's got her pick, something a bit more upbeat - but Kyouko beats her to the punch! Still, it's all in the name of fun, so Mai just dials in the number for her pick, adding it to the queue. Task complete, Mai sits back to watch, taking a slice of pizza because she's hungrier than she thought.

The servers do catch Mai's attention, even in light of the music beginning. Professional pride, and respect for how they managed to get all the food in such a tight area. It's impressive, really.

Also, that is a lot of food, Mikoto would be proud.

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"NOTHING is wrong! With a girl who can polish off a large meal!" Mamoru says defensively. And then pedantically, "I mean something might be, but not that--"

He's saved from digging himself any deeper. With words, anyway. When Kyouko winks at him and wanders out of the room again, he pales and finishes off his beer. He doesn't even eat anything to cushion it. He'll eat when he's not quite so anxious, caught between the rock of his wallet and the hard place of Kyouko's bottomless stomach. Between, as it were, the horns of a dilemma.

Then she comes back in and starts singing, and more food starts piling into the room, and -- maybe another beer would help him get up there. And Kyouko demanded two songs. He goes from quite pale to rather red, and is now so far down in his seat that one leg's stretched out all the way under the table and out the other side a ways. "I'm not singing," he mutters at Mai, all dire.

And he eyes the mountain of food again.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Eri is startled by Mamoru's overreaction, a fry not quite reaching her mouth as she looks his way. She hadn't quite expected him to take it that way, her lips pressing together as she frets over what caused her to hit that nerve. Fortunately, Mai redirects her away from that, as she grins more cheerfully, "Alright yeah. Key me in."

Kyouko's performance.. it may be a bit raw and unrefined due to being out of practice, but she had a certain energetic flair and panache to how she sang, as if the stage were her battlefield, or DDR dance floor. She seized it and made it her own, no matter what she was doing. She found herself whistling, impressed by her stage presence.

The Green Puella Magi, currently dressed in blue was a vegetarian. She didn't try to call undue attention to it, and she definitely didn't act offended. She just picked and chose amongst the food stuff. Things which weren't all meat, she'd just pick the meat off and eat it . Some of this may have found it's way over to Kyouko's plate, so that she could later have a pepperoni feast. Fried mozzarella was eaten alongside french frieds churros and fried ice cream, onion rings, and corn on the cob. By the end of it her hands were likely as greasy as anyone else's, and she had to resist the urge to wipe them on anything but napkins.

And then.. she tries a second sip of beer, finding it easier to swallow and stomach that bitterness this time. Looking at Mamoru out of her periphery, her grin is catlike, "I think you're wearing him down, Mai-chan."

<Pose Tracker> Kyouko Sakura [None] has posed.

There's this...weird rap portion in the last third of the song. It's almost too fast and muffled to understand, let alone replicate. Kyouko had hoped that this part would be cut for the karaoke track..her tongue trips over itself, twisting up the muscle as she stumbles and falls off the beat. Her eyes are zeroed in on the scrolling lyrics. She gets back onto tempo, but is practically speaking in tongues, an inadequate blur of sounds.

After the segment closes out, she barks out a few hyena laughs, and finishes out the song soon after. Grinning wide, she plainly enjoyed it. It really did feel like an arcade game, it gave her singing an opponent to duel with. Spotting the pile of pepperonis, she spears it with a fork and eats them all in one bite, winking appreciatively at Eri as their greasy flavor explodes upon her senses.

Picking up a fried chicken drumstick, Kyouko bites and tears the meat away from the bone, appreciative noises harmonized with the sound of her chewing, grinning devilishly at Mamoru.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Tales of Phantasia - The Dream Will Not Die - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfpvoQfvpB0

A girl who can polish off a large meal?...surreptitiously, Mai elbows Mamoru in the side, and grins should he look over. Maybe he should be pushed on what he thinks of Tsukino-san, after all. But now's not the right time for that, now is the time for karaoke. The additional food, Mai picks at for a minute, but she's trying to keep her throat clear for singing. Maybe a sip to wash it down with-

...they brought actual beer? No, can't be. Probably non-alcoholic, but it has a strong taste. Still, it works to wash stolen fries down, while Kyouko finishes that song - Mai laughs, and applauds as she stands up. "That was great! Okay, I'm up, then Eri-chan, and then whoever has a good song. I found one for you if you're indecisive, Chiba-san~"

Grinning to everyone, Mai takes the stage again. The backdrop for this one has forests, and some knight riding a pegasus - synthetic bass chords start off the beat, soon segueing into a bouncy tune as Mai starts to sing.

"The moon's in the night sky~"
"Your gaze sweeps me off my feet~"
"I'll wait forever for this time~"

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The dark glower Mamoru gives all three girls isn't actually heated in any way, he's half through his second beer. He finally starts eating his fries, too, but only because they go bad if they get cold.

Well. Not bad, per se. Just kind of gross.

He can't actually slouch into his chair any further without falling off it, unfortunately, and that's not going to happen. He tries to look moody but just looks kind of distracted, instead, as Mai sings again. Halfway through the song, Mamoru eyes the songbook Mai left on the table-- they are wearing him down, through various means. And at least Usagi isn't here to hear him sing badly: he's sure he will.


"I'm afraid you'll have to take a year off, Chiba-san," the kindly middle-aged chorus director tells the thirteen-year-old in front of her desk with amused sympathy.


The dark-haired boy, already tall for his age, looked away expressionlessly. With his hands behind his back where his sensei won't be able to see him twisting them, he informs her, "I'll join the jazz band or something. I'm not willing to lose a year of a required subject."


Mamoru leans over to motion his hand over one of Kyouko's as-yet-untouched beers questioningly.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Wiggling and flexing her fingers at Kyouko's wink, it's as if she were signing 'Don't mention it.' she picks up some fried mozzarella, biting it in half and swallowing before she murmured at Kyouko "Is there anything you can't do Kyouko-chan?"

Mai calls attention to the fact she's next, and she feels queasiness in the pit of her stomach, something ice cold gnawing on it. It's not the cold beer either, even though she just put another sip of it there. Despite her inexperience with drinking, it still hasn't really dulled the inhibitions yet, as she wasn't even finished with half of one. The thought that it's really non-alcoholic occurs to her again, because the bar or the servers must have carded Kyouko, right?

When the music starts, she leans forward, propping her chin up on a hand. Seeing the knight riding on a pegasus, she imagines that knight as a certain pink haired someone, hair flowing in the breeze. The very picture of a Prince, coming to save their lady fair. It's an amusing thought at least, setting the tone for song as she considers Mai's performance.

Stealing a look at Mamoru mid-performance, she notices his slouch, just as he looks through the songbook, and smiles. It's genuine and warm, and she's glad that he's decided to participate with them.

<Pose Tracker> Kyouko Sakura [None] has posed.

Cackling quietly, Kyouko nods to Mamoru. After all, he's buying. For her part she mostly just plows through the food and drink on hand. She eats like a sumo, plowing through the flavors like a swimmer cutting through the water.

She flashes another wink to Eri. "Fake it 'till you make it, right?" A server comes in with a large chocolate cake, beautifully frosted and dripping with moist, succulent promise. Its decadent flavor is practically palpable. Clapping delightedly, Kyouko slices off a quarter of it in a clean cut, cutting that quarter into thirds and putting those thirds onto plates, and taking them all.

Her eyes roll up with the first bite, nodding to the server. "Mmmmph...thanks, hope you didn't have to look too far for a bakery."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
"Find your dream! Wherever it may be~"
"Listen to my thoughts, and - kiss kiss kiss~"

Mai's choice of song had some choice bits of English thrown in here and there, but she managed well enough. The instrumentals keep going for another half a minute, giving Mai plenty of time to get off the stage...though she jumps and punches the air first. She's on fire today!

She's also rather thirsty - she takes a swallow from one of her bottles, then digs in her back for the water she brought. Good to stay hydrated, right? "You know, this place has bigger rooms that include costumes to go with whatever song. They have a better musical selection than I was expecting, honestly." Mai flashes Mamoru a grin, in spite of his slouch. "So hey, if you skip singing today, there's always next time~"

At this point, Mai notices the cake, and double-takes. She must be imagining this, right? Though snacks are usually part of something like this, this is kind of extreme...

But hey, if people are eating, they're having fun, and it's more chance for her to sing her heart out! Speaking of which - "Eri-chan, I think the song you picked is about to come up. Good luck!" Her smile is bright and encouraging - this should be fun!

And then Mai just leans back and starts flipping through the songbook. Against the chair back, not Mamoru, but she's having too much fun to worry about the closeness right now. Which song to pick next round...

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"..." says Mamoru when the cake comes out. He repeats it when Kyouko cackles at him and starts eating cake at him. And Mai sits down next to him again as she teases some more, and his gaze finally breaks from the vision of this month's gas money going up in smoke, and he's left morbidly wondering if it's worth it just to see how much the girl can pack away, nevermind keep from singing.

Nnnooo, the bus hasn't been the same since the Devil's Six O'Clock ride that one time--

--and all of a sudden, the book he'd been surreptitiously glancing over while Eri saw is yoinked out of sight again, and he glowers and finally sits up as Mai leans back, so he can look over her shoulder.

This requires him leaning awfully close, given their close quarters and the angles of the seats and tables and where food doesn't want to be spilled.

Coffee and chocolate and aftershave, not even so much the fancy beer he's just picked up another bottle of, with Kyouko's blessing; an echo of the radiant warmth Mai's experienced before; roses.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Sora No Kiseki - Silver Will, Golden Wings - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYBsYkEeK4A

Eri's eyebrows look like they might rocket right off of her face as she listens to Kyouko mention the bakery. She knew Kyouko was skilled, but she had no idea the Tuners paid this well for her services! It had to be the only explanation for her being able to afford eating like this all the time. She may understand that something is going on between Mamoru and her, but certainly not the true extent of this Faustian bargain. Cutting herself a portion of the cake, she sets it aside for after her song is finished

When Mai clambers off the stage, Eri starts to scoot out of her seat, having to dip backwards to avoid rocking any of the food on the cramped table.

Climbing up on the stage, she picks up the microphone, looking at it as if it were some garden snake. Turning towards the display, she taps the button to bring her up on the queue, before turning around, her back to the audience. Wringing her hands around the microphone, she steadied herself as the English portion to the beginning of the energetic melody of a rock guitar accompanying the synthetic beats of a electronic piano piped throughout the room, the backdrop turning into a clear blue sky, with fluffy clouds and twin jetstreams tracing a line across the sky. Birds with alabaster wings that shone gold in the sun, flapped steadily across the back drop.

The initial English lines she eschews even trying, instead spinning into a quarter turn that caused her to face the audience, mic held upright, while another hand extended towards them. The lyrics make a strange contrast, they seem to be meant for a slower, more serious song, but are sang in a cheerful and upbeat way, dripping with hope.

It's clear that she has no talent whatsoever, even if she practiced every day of her life, she will never be considered more than 'mediocre'. As it stands now, she's just 'bad' but she is definitely trying, putting her whole heart into every single sung syllable.

"Following the trail sketched out when we were young~"
"We search for an answer while gazing at the same sky~"
"The feelings hidden in our hearts are overflowing~"
"As they soar into the sky and transform into silvery arrows~"
"Our shared pain of losing each other~"
"Is making the path of truth become hazy~"

<Pose Tracker> Kyouko Sakura [None] has posed.

Kyouko tilts her head at Mamoru, her eyebrows arched. "Wow, Mamoru-san, you must be /really/ loaded! I guess I really ought to start taking advantage of such a lucky break!" Practically on cue, four servers enter the room, each bringing in an immense bucket container of ice cream...no, not ice cream. Something...beyond..


Yes, gelato, that Italian import, so succulent and smooth. A different vat is placed in front of everybody in attendance, as well as a spoon. The servers each give Mamoru strange looks, like they think he's crazy, or maybe that he's so wealthy they have trouble wrapping their heads around it. Pino didn't offer gelato, certainly not in this quantity. It must have been secured from another restaurant at a premium price for such short notice and gluttonous volume.

A cake is one thing. This is a slice of an entirely different block of cheese.

Cheering wildly and raucously for Eri, she jams a spoon into her flavor, raspberry, and begins digging in with gusto.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Sure, Eri's singing isn't perfect...okay, it's kind of bad. But honestly? Mai cheers anyway, because honest to goodness, she's trying and that's what matters most. Courage and effort and just having fun singing. There's a variety of scents to go with this whole picture, and for a moment Mai just basks in all of it. Her favourite passtime, with several of her favourite people.

So while Eri sings, Mai holds the book so Mamoru can see too without even thinking about it, and doesn't get troubled by the closeness. It's karaoke, that's more important than any sense of propriety, and given where his attention is Mai just might be able to get Mamoru up on stage after all.

She points out a couple of song titles, leaning a fraction closer to the scents of coffee and chocolate and warmth and roses, like a moth drawn to flame-

And then the servers open the door, and Mai sits upright in shock. Ice cream? No, Gelato? Kyouko Sakura must be an Ohtori student herself to have that kind of taste, what is she-

Hang on. Mai glances to Mamoru - him volunteering to pay isn't that much of a surprise, but this is extreme even for someone living in a penthouse - and then back to Kyouko. "Start taking advantage? That - I'm not sure we have the room long enough to finish eating what we already have!"

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Unused to the cheering, she stumbles over the words on a few of the verses. Just here and there, her cheeks burning with such intensity that she might be able to cook Mai's soup as she has to constantly glance at the display to find her place again. She doesn't stop though, she never stops. It reminded her of her first battle with a witch in a way, even if this was far more sedate, with no dire consequences. Her audience certainly hadn't cheered her on, instead just staring at her performance with emotionless vermillion eyes. She'd stumbled, even fallen a few times, it was all embarassing really, and she'd come out from it worse for wear, but she did make it out alive. Had she stopped? She might not have.

The backdrop becomes the sky at dusk, the last rays of dusk painting the sky in hues of gold, violet, and red. The music reaches it's crescendo, with the bass thumping and pounding, as she puts her all into finishing it on a strong note at least.

"So even when we stumble, even if we hurt~"
"Let's take off, making the wind our wings~"
"The shining wings dyed golden by the sun~"
"Will sketch a trail of life into the sky~"

The song changes into English verses again at the outtro, and she doesn't even try that. Unlike Mai, there's no celebration after, just a sheepish look as she bows her head, before straightening. She clambers off the stage just before the melody ends decisively. Taking a seat, her cheeks are still burning and she tries to take everyone's mind off the performance by looking at the label on the tub and asking, "What's Gelato? It looks just like ice cream!" A small piece of the moist chocolate cake is cut, before it enters her mouth. "Mmm!"

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mai's not the only one who applauds. If he hadn't been so distracted by the growing pile of food when Kyouko got on- and offstage, he'd've applauded for her too. The song the girl picks isn't one he knows immediately, so he actually listens to the words, and he considers more beer, but remembers he's going to have to hang out a while before going anywhere anyway, and just...

...starts thinking about his favorite subject! He doesn't even grimace when Eri's off on some notes; he's three beers ready and done, and leaning over Mai's shoulder, and considering how much of his food he'll be able to eat and how much he'll end up taking home, or making Mai take home, and he's damned well thinking about Sailor Moon.

And then gelato happens, because Kyouko.

"Gelato's basically really pretentious ice cream that's also actually pretty tasty. She'll finish it," Mamoru says grimly, swiping the book out of Mai's hands and flipping through with purpose and determination. "And more, if I don't do something about it. Well played, Sakura-san, well played."

He takes his glasses case out of his pocket, sitting (thankfully) back properly in his seat, and takes his glasses out and--

--if anyone can succinctly put glasses on, Mamoru can--

--starts rapidly scanning through the pages. He picks precisely two songs, then hands the book back to Mai and slides out of his chair. When he stands, he points at Kyouko. "You can stop ordering right now; I give up!" he says crossly, then squares his shoulders and takes himself to the stage, punching numbers in and then picking up the microphone. He closes his eyes and bows his head, and when the music starts - very pretty guitar, and percussion - it's a really bad song for someone who hasn't sung since his voice changed, but.

Mamoru lifts his head, and the spotlight hits his glasses just so to make them shine, obscuring his eyes neatly. He's a tenor, as it happens. There's also defiance there that has nothing to do with stopping Kyouko.

~Who knows how long I've loved you? You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime? If you want me to I will~

He's not practiced; he almost stops at the first note he doesn't quite hit, and swallows, hard, at the 'for the things you do endear you to me' line, probably to avoid having to sing the note he is positive he'll crack at.

He definitely leaves off the last bit, nobody needs to try and go that high, in his admittedly biased opinion.

The next song that comes on is one that might be somewhat familiar to Mai-- it's what was playing so loud in Mamoru's headphones on that fateful snowy parkbench night on the Ohtori grounds. The one he was dancing to where he thought no one could see. It's lower and doesn't range nearly as much, so the tall teenaged boy has less trouble faking confidence with it.

~Feel my way through the darkness, guided by a beating heart
~I can't tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start
~They tell me I'm too young to understand, that I'm caught up in a dream
~That life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes, well that's fine by me~

All the way through to the bitter end, and then he sort of grumps off the stage and shoves the mic at Mai.

<Pose Tracker> Kyouko Sakura [None] has posed.

Grinning at Eri as she sits down, she jerks her head towards her own monolithic serving of the stuff. "Taste it and find out! The taste will tell you better than any words could. Singing is good for a warrior's heart!"

Guzzling a milkshake, gobbling a cheesecake, and of course gulping gelato, Kyouko is in Valhalla, or at least feasting like it. Grinning to Mamoru, she watches him stand and point. Bowing her head ever so slightly, her gaze gleams.

In heavily accented English, "Okie-dokie."

Cheering for the shy boy, Kyouko pats her stomach, surveying over the feast she'd summoned with the satisfaction of a baroness surveying her lands. Sticking a few slices of bacon into a s'more, Kyouko finds a taste so good that she could imagine her pupils dilating at that very moment.

Applauding as Mamoru's song draws down, she cracks her neck with a nudge to her chin, left and right. "Good one! Know which one you're doing next?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Bubblegum Crisis - Konya wa Hurricane - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tALYskPxKb4

Mai whistles and cheers as Eri's song concludes - but Kyouko's apparently endless appetite deserves some attention. The gelato does look good, whatever it is - Mai turns her head at Mamoru's explanation, just in time to yelp in surprise as he swipes the book right out of her hands. In an effort to recover her composure, she comments. "I'm guessing it's served at Ohtori, then?"

And then Mamoru is entering numbers, and going up, and wild dragons couldn't pry the grin off of Mai's face. She's all ready to start cheering wildly...and then he starts singing, and the lyrics distract her for the moment, and she just listens for a verse or two.

She does, however, applaud as he finishes the first song, and cheers loudly as he starts a second. It takes a minute or two for her to remember where she's heard it before, and she flushes a moment - but applauds all the same when it's done, interrupted only by the bestowing of the microphone upon her.

Mai pauses for a moment before taking action, looking over to Kyouko - but Eri's friend seems content to eat for now. Well, that's fine. The orange-haired girl grins wildly. "Oh, Chiba-san's free to go again...after I have my turn!" A quick number is entered, and Mai leaps to the stage.

The backdrop: a science fiction city straight out of the 1980s. A classic anime, but a popular opening theme all the same. The guitars start kicking in, as do the backup vocals, and Mai just starts singing with an unquenched grin - soon launching into the chorus with gusto!

"Tonight - hurricane! I want - hurricane! To tell you I love you~"