Spork is having the time of their life for entirely all the wrong reasons. They’re reclined against a bar in the sort of joint that Mari hates and they love. The music is just a little too loud, the crowd a little too rowdy. The wood of the bar draws a line perpendicular to their spine and the cool metal embedded in skin and bone. They’re pretending not to notice the lack of sensation in the few inches that don’t have nerve endings.
They’re three drinks deep, carrying on two conversations and nursing a glass of something sugary and delightfully free, and they’ve half-convinced themself that Mari’s implants were for nefarious, love-hating reasons. An end to the trail of broken hearts they’ve left in their wake, unless they find a way to spin ‘Hey babe, you like cyborgs?’ into a proper line. As though their life isn’t hard enough.
That train of thought is derailed by the generic speaker-music cutting out. They frown and tilt their head just slightly, trying to figure out why everyone’s gone quiet in the moments before an unfamiliar voice blasts directly into their eardrums.
“HELLOOOOO~ PITTSBURGH! WE ARE-” They immediately tune whoever it is right out, intent on going back to their conversations. But then the band actually starts playing and-
“They’re shit!” Spork is delighted. It’s been five seconds and they can already tell. They don’t care enough to keep their voice down at all, instead listening as the guitarist tries desperately to keep up with the drummer and the singer does his own thing completely.
Now this they’ll stick around for. Spork loves a good heckle.
Technically open, but ask before joining! Characters must have an accepted CS and be 21+
Intended to be a lowkey talk-oriented thread
"Just a coke for me, thank you- got work tomorrow. And... now, I guess. This counts as work, right?"
It didn't matter whether the bartender believed him or not; Kosuke was technically telling the truth. This band was notoriously hard to get hold of, even for someone as well-connected as him, but they were a local band who sold CDs- the sort of shit his patrons absolutely ate up. He had to get his hands on some, no matter how... ah...
A voice to his left, shouting out whay they had all been thinking- or, more likely, what they would all be thinking after a few more songs. They seemed familiar, in some vague sense- a customer, perhaps? He took his drink from the bar and slid over to the heckler, with a smile trying its best not to show on his face.
"Hey, you don't know that!" He said; half defensive, half sarcastic, "Maybe they're, ah... adding in some polyrhythms to make it interesting?"
The smile broke free, and Kosuke stifled a laugh.
"That's usually my excuse, anyway. Sometimes it works- hey, sometimes it's true."
Spork tilts their head lazily towards the new voice, their grin showing off sharp canines and white teeth just barely tinged blue around the edges. They take another sip of their drink, which upon further inspection is a truly unholy concoction. It looks more like a 7/11 slushie than anything, and- were those gummy worms floating in it? Yeah, they totally are. The bar doesn’t even sell gummy worms.
They lean in towards the voice conspiratorially, the effect somewhat undercut by how loudly they have to speak to be heard over the music. Spork has no problem meeting this volume. “If they wanted to make it interesting they’d fall off the stage. They’re awful. Trust me, I’ve got an ear for this sort of thing.”
They snicker and stir the ice in their cup with the straw sticking out of it. The end of the plastic straw has been thoroughly gnawed. They gnaw it some more, contemplatively.
“You play?” He mentioned it offhandedly, and they comment with the same casualness. Their foot taps on the rung of their barstool, almost to the beat of the music if the music had a halfway decent rhythm.
Sam had had a fucking hell of a last forty-eight hours. It had started alright, with the incredibly fun afternoon she had spent with Todd. Too bad she’d never see him again. But then that day had ended with her having two cracked ribs and some of the nastiest bruises she’d ever had marring her stomach and side. That girl had really done a number on her. The night had brought that girl with the ears, and, well. She knew how that had gone.
So when Sam walked into the bar, she was looking for something relaxing, something calming. Just a drink to ease the pain in her side. If she hadn’t looked like she had been hit by a car, she might have even looked for someone to take home, to take a bit of the edge off. She thought about Todd for a moment, almost wishing she had gone ahead and invited him over when she had seen him, before deciding it had been better she hadn’t. That could have had the potential to ruin the fun they’d had, and she was glad for the normalcy the afternoon had given her. No sense in ruining it.
She approached the bar, sat down, and ordered an Irish car bomb. The bartender delivered her drink, and Irish whiskey, Irish cream, and stout beer mixture that Sam immediately slammed back part of. Then, she heard a familiar voice and turned to see Kosuke at the bar talking to a blonde individual. She immediately turned her attention back to her drink, wishing she had worn one of her many hoodies. At least then she could hide her hair and maybe not get noticed.
It wasn’t that their conversation before had been bad, but Sam wasn’t in the mood to see someone she had already met so soon. She had assumed Pittsburgh was big enough, and she had gone far enough outside her usual range, that she wouldn’t run into anyone she had met already. Still, if he noticed her, she would smile and engage, even if it was a little unwillingly.
Sam was nothing if not polite.
She picked up pieces of their conversation, and couldn’t help the loud snort as Kosuke tried to defend the band. You know what, fuck being worried about seeing him again, she turned to face them, waited long enough for him to reply to the individual, then said, “I’m with this one, Kosuke. They’re shit. Nice to see you again.”
Tonight was a fated night, it seemed. The gods had contrived to put so many of the people she knew into one place - that was the way that tales began. Vasia had not expected their presence, but she would spill a bit of wine for the Fates, and then the American bartender would give her a dirty look, because Americans knew nothing of libations. Or Fates.
The list of things that Vasia had decided the Americans knew very little about was a long one. She was considering adding to it: music, however there was already a strong contingent demarcating the ills of the band, so perhaps it was an issue of skill rather than knowledge.
The wine, at least, was not bad - even if it was Italian. The Romans were pricks, but she could give their countrymen credit on their skill with grapes, at least. She assessed the situation: Spork, she knew. Kosuke, she knew. There was a stranger with them, with fiery red hair. Vasia appreciated that for a moment, then decided to go sit down and introduce herself.
"Even your guitarist isn't this bad, and he was a bit behind for most of your last concert." Vasia rested an arm over Kosuke's shoulder in what the American's would call no respect for personal space because they didn't have any appreciation for the others. "Were you scouting for talent? This isn't it." A nod to the rest of them. "I'm Vasia. We've met." With a nod to Spork. "We haven't." With a nod and a smile for the redhead. "But I should like to. Miss...?"
It was too early for anything to go down. Happy hour was only crawling, the drinks were still free-flowing, but nobody was drunk enough to get rowdy. Bit of a shame, really - she was looking for a distraction right now. Nursing her martini - stirring a finger loosely around the rim of the glass - Siren idly watched tonight's performance, some band she'd never heard of. They didn't sound half-bad. Rough around the edges, sure, and a pretty experimental, but that was part of the fun, right?
You can't find new sounds if you don't take a few risks. Way of being, spice of life, yadda yadda yadda.
A film-like sheen spread from her finger around the top of her drink as she stirred, and she downed it, waving down the bartender for another. Then, ears perking, she swiveled in her stool, listening in to the gathering group down the bar from her. A faint smile quirked onto her lips. Bit of a disparate bunch. A rough and tumble type with an almost animalistic edge, a demure, gaunt looking guy who seemed simultaneously comfortable in this sorta element and woefully out of place, tall, dark and track star that seemed to be with the sadboy, and a fire-haired girl with the energy of an army brat and the mouth of a punk. Brushing a bright pink lock of her wig behind her ear and gathering a handful of her cyan popcorn skirt, Siren hopped off her stool and headed over to mingle.
Closer up - sadboy looked familiar. She'd met him a while back, and he'd turned her down. Seeing the catch on his shoulder, she could absolutely see why.
"I don't know, I think they're pretty cool," she said, inserting herself into the group as if she was an old friend. "Like, just 'cause something's weird doesn't mean it's bad, yeah?"
Man, it looked like nobody liked these guys. It made him wonder if he'd made the right choice coming here- if the band were this god-awful, then was it really worth the extra revenue trying to chase after their product?
He smiled at Samantha; that girl from outside Vulture, the one he'd oh-so-accidentally poured his heart out to after she mentioned the Mythomane incident. At first, she looked like she'd rather be dead than noticed. Fair enough- the way this show was going, Kosuke was starting to feel the same. He turned away from her, pretending not to have recognised her, but she approached regardless. He couldn't be that embarrassing, then.
Vasia, next; the one from the party, and from the... afterparty. She was a strange one. His posture shifted as she spoke, seeming slightly uncomfortable with the casual mention of his guitarist, of his band, of that show- although, he did agree; Axel had been dragging a lot during that performance.
Then... another familiar face, only hers was a bit more vague. No name attached, they had met at a bar a short while prior- when he was just starting to drag himself out of his apartment and into the real world again. She was friendly then, he remembered. 'Friendly'. It seemed not much had changed. At least he had a name to the face, now.
"Awh, you guys are so mean..."
He laughed, leaning back against the bar.
"Alright, okay, you got me. They're shit."
His voice became quiet, barely audible over the cacophony it was critiquing.
"Guitarist is too slow, it's throwing the rest of the band off. You can tell- listen at the start of the next song, he'll come in a moment too late, and the other guys will try to fall back to keep time."
There was a brief gap in his speech, possibly implying that this was all he had to say, but he interrupted that peace by raising his hand to point at the rest of the band members in turn.
"Bassist doesn't know the right tempo, either- starts off fine, but he can't count himself back in when there's any sort of rest. Drummer's alright. Guy singing is fine when he yells, but- my god, these 'clean' vocals are anything but. He's almost a full semitone too flat on those high notes, it's driving me up the fucking wall. Why put them in your song if you know you can't sing them? Why put this song in your live show if you know you can't sing it? Did his band set him up with this as some kind of sick joke?"
He shook his head. Another merciful pause- cut short once more.
"God, even if it was executed perfectly, it wouldn't be worth listening to. The sound is incredibly derivative- I can name twenty bands that sound exactly like how they wish they sounded, and I can book you a show with fifteen of them. Only reason I'm here is because they're stingy little bastards when it comes to physical releases- so much so that I can almost guarantee an army of idiot fans lining up outside Vulture the second they hear I've got some of their elusive records. But, hey."
"If I manage to get my hands on them, I can write off this whole night as a business expense. That's worth a little hearing damage, right?"
Spork is glad to hear that many of the other patrons of the bar are on their side. Which is the correct side, because they have an ear for this sort of thing. Did they make that joke already? They totally already made that joke, but the irony was wasted on Mr. Music.
An ear, because they can’t have an eye - eh, you get it. Spork doesn’t let it get to them, and instead they perk up considerably when they hear a familiar accent grace their ears. “Vasia my masia! It’s been forever.”
Now there’s a gal that knows her way around a critique. They give her a wave. Maybe this night won’t be awful after all.
More voices join the conversation and Spork takes a moment to sit back while Mr. Music goes on… well, a music nerd tangent. The urge to shove him in a tuba is real, and they dig a worm out of their drink to gnaw on rather than give in to it. There aren’t even any tubas here, they’d have to carry him all the way to a music store and that’s such a hassle. It’s just old jock instinct.
That being said, they don’t have any problem with talking over him with the way he’s muttering, so they do. Miranda’s question earns her a wink, visible from behind their shades in the way they move their head. “No strings here, sugar.”
“This drummer’s the best of the lot, but we usually are.” They dip back into the main conversation again, grinning with the sort of expression that speaks to the great regret felt by the first adult to suggest they take up percussion. What can they say, they like to hit things.
Sam couldn’t bring herself to actually listen to Kosuke’s rant about the band. She didn’t really care enough about them to listen to his breakdown. Instead, she turned her attention toward the two women who had just approached them. One of them introduced herself as Vasia, and Sam was suddenly very disappointed she wasn’t out to take anyone home with her that night. Sam sat up a little straighter and returned the smile, friendly and bright. “Walsh. Sam Walsh. Lovely to meet you, miss Vasia.”
She pronounced the name as the woman had said it herself. Sam has had her own middle name butchered enough to be conscientious of others' names. Before she could much more of a word into the beautiful Greek woman, another one walked up. This one didn’t have an accent, but she did have bright pink hair, which Sam could appreciate. She smiled at the woman and shook her head a bit, her red curls shifting in a tangled bounce. “Can’t say I’m with any of them… yet. Get me drunk enough and I might be.”
It was of course, not a serious statement, and so her tone remained playful. She hadn’t expected so much company that night, but she supposed it was better than being alone.
Ah, if there was one thing Kosuke could be relied on for, it was having opinions about music. Vasia didn't have quite as much of an ear for anything besides tempo, but she could measure that to perfection - which was, in this case, more of a detriment than a benefit.
She hadn't been the only one to join them, there was another woman as well, stirring her drink with a fingertip. She seemed willing to defend the band, which was very heroic of her, given the circumstances. Victory, at best, would be pyrrhic. Still, it was an interesting point of conversation.
"I do not think they are bad because they are strange. I think they are bad because they seem to be looking for the measure in a labyrinth."Measure was not quite the word, was it? They used the Latin - meter. That was correct. Vasia didn't bother to correct it, because they would know what she had meant, and the Romans were pricks.
The redhead - Sam, evidently - seemed amenable at least. And not drunk enough. That seemed like a challenge. Vasia raised an eyebrow and pulled up a chair. "Well. Let me be the first to attempt to correct this. What will you have?"
Sam chuckled as Vasia pulled a seat up next to her. She looked her over once, her free hand going to tenderly check her bruises. Ouch. Still there, and still bad. Still, she debated it for a moment, until Todd’s face as she had left Vik’s the other day made its way into her head like an intrusive thought. No, she wouldn’t take this woman home. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t flirt with her. She slammed back the rest of her Irish car bomb before answering. “Either Irish whiskey or a stout beer. Or whatever you’re drinking. I don’t mind trying something new.”
She turned her body toward the woman as she sat down, being careful not to twist her upper body so she didn’t pull on her ribs. She was more than happy to chat the woman up, at the very least. Even if she didn’t click into place in her head the way Todd god damn Fowler had.
Spork is more than happy to slip between the streams of conversation, and they tilt their head towards Vasia as she approaches the bar. The ice clicks in the bottom of their drink as they carefully set it back on the counter, almost in silent challenge.
“What, no pity for the poor, deprived blind girl?” Not that they’d be terribly offended either way. They just want to see if they can score another free drink.
“I’ll cut you in on some snackage,” they promise, digging in their pocket and pulling out a package of gummy worms. They are, to all appearances, perfectly normal gummy worms. Haribo brand, that good shit.
They could totally eat the whole package on their own, but in the spirit of generosity they hold it out towards Vasia and Sam. The bag crinkles. Appealingly. “Dunno how well they go with whiskey, but what’s the harm in ‘something new’, eh?”
They wink. They’re wearing shades in a dark room, so the gesture is largely lost. They don’t seem to care.
"Gummy worms are a horror beyond what the gods can even create," Vasia stated definitively. "I will take several. Order your drink." They were an atrocity, but an unfortunately appealing one, and once one had begun to eat them, they rarely stopped - perhaps in hopes that the next one would be better.
She gave Sam the nod to order whatever she liked as well, because it was interesting to see what choices people made about such things. She sipped at her wine and tried not to listen to the band, her finger tapping on the glass where the beat should be in measured annoyance.
Perhaps the band would even notice and correct themselves, but that might be too much to ask.
"And what is it that we are here for this evening? The music, or the drinks, or the inevitable choices which we will regret tomorrow? Or some of all of these things?"