Closed RP Oversight

This RP is currently closed.


Staff member
His return to work had been... rocky. It was clear to the regulars that something was off about Kosuke, that something had been on his mind recently- and it was clear to anyone what that something had been. Still, as he'd say, the show must go on. He'd taken his little mental health break, reintegrated into society, and should be on the path to recovery now, right? He certainly thought so. At least people knew better than to bring it up around him.

Most of the time.

It was Thursday, now- a week after he had started work again. As bad as he said it made him feel, he had to give himself some time to adjust before bringing on a new employee, despite having promised her a job- how long ago, now? At least he had offered her paid leave until he was ready to train her. It felt like the least he could do.

Kosuke was sat down at the counter, his usual cold brew sitting dangerously close to the edge. He was staring at it, watching the condensation run down the side, hoping that the force of his stare would be enough to glue it in place so it wouldn't catapult itself all over his turtleneck- or, more importantly, over the records he had promised to keep aside for that... ah, was it right to call her a potential customer at this point? Aside from his slightly worse focus, it seemed to be a usual day at VULTURE. Cass was busily working the coffee bar, Kosuke was doing fuck all behind the vinyl counter, and the song playing was his choice. All he had to do now was wait for Eli to show up.

Or Samantha, but... well, as he said- he wasn't sure about that one.
How early were you supposed to show up for your first day? She hadn’t looked it up before she left her apartment and now she was really feeling like she should have. She wouldn’t be late (she had timed the walk from her place to the shop just to be sure) but was a few minutes early an appropriate amount of early? Did you have to be earlier than early?

Uncertain about the answer, Eli instead walked faster. She arrived at the store a handful of minutes early, which she had still not reached a conclusion to if she had made a grave mistake by not in not leaving even earlier. Was she worrying too much? She had to be worrying too much. How do you stop worrying about things?

Eli pulled open the door and the cut of air conditioned air and the smell of coffee helped a little. She slipped inside and made her way over to the counter where Kosuke was sitting. He was like a cat, sitting lazily — but paying a little too much attention wasn’t he — with his coffee threatening to hop off the edge.

Hello, uh, sorry for being—” Wait. Stop. She wasn’t actually late, “Are, uh, are you feeling better?” Okay that wasn’t actually better was it?
Oh, she was early- the mark of a good employee. Unfortunately, as with her interview, Kosuke didn't quite seem as well-prepared. Her arrival appeared to startle him again, and he flinched back in the seat, against the desk, causing his coffee to fall off the edge- into his waiting hand, thankfully still intact. Thank god it was there- thank god he had the foresight to know it would fall at that moment. Any clumsiness at that point would've led to disaster. He smiled and waved, unperturbed by this close call.

"Hey, no need to apologise for being." He joked, "And I'm... fine. I'm doing fine. Y'know, I've been better, but haven't we all?"

His voice dropped suddenly and he leaned forwards, looking up at Eli with a face full of concern.

"You were there as well, weren't you?" He said quietly, "I- shit, I'm sorry. Are you feeling alright?"

Not waiting for an answer, Kosuke assumed the worst.

"We'll take it slow today, yeah? I mean, it is your first day on the job- I'm not expecting miracles from you, especially not..."

He cleared his throat and stood up.

"Anyway, let me show you the back. You've alredy seen some of it, but there's more back there than that one meeting room."

Coffee in hand, Kosuke walked around the desk to meet Eli in front of it, then started to walk towards a door at the back. He gestured over his shoulder towards Cass, who nodded in response. It seemed that there were a lot of non-verbal cues his staff were expected to pick up.
Oh, I’m uh…” For a moment Eli could feel feverish skin against the tips of her fingers. Springy and damp and — Eli blinked and shook her head. She brushed her fingers against her pants in an attempt to wipe the feeling away. She fell in behind Kosuke as he led the way into the back rooms, a small nod between the two catching her eye though she didn’t think much of it. “I’m fine, yeah. Just uh, it was good more people weren’t uh…” Eli trailed off with a small twitch in her shoulders.

Anyway, so uhm, is there a locker room for my stuff?” She said, quickly, trying to turn the conversation away, and the mental image of a body dropping out of her head.
"Good. That's- good."

He had triggered something in her, he could tell. Fidgeting, averting her gaze, trailing off and refusing to finish her sentence- it had affected her, too. Not just him. In fact, aside from the perpetrator (and one rather bizarre case), he'd say it had affected everyone. Kosuke started to turn his head, about to give her something of a look of reassurance, but he stopped halfway and turned back. If she wanted to change the subject, he would too.

"Right- locker room's just through here."

He gestured to a small room off to the side, with a small stack of lockers shoved hastily in a corner. They were old and battered; rusted hinges, dented doors, peeling labels with the names of people who had moved town, or were fired, or just weren't in that day. There was a row of coat-hooks on the back wall, adorned with bags and jackets- most of which, of course, were black.

"Yeah, most people just hang their shit on those hooks- y'know, we're not going to steal each others' stuff." Kosuke shrugged, "Though, if you've got anything you really wanna keep safe, I think locker seven still has a key in it. Lock's a bit stiff, though- might have to use your foot as leverage if it won't turn. Or ask me."

He turned around, pointing through the doorway down the hall.

"Directly across is the meeting room, we've been there before. Far end is the break room, there's a fridge in there that works... most days. Adjacent to that- ah, I'll show you there next. That's the cash office- I'll need to unlock it for you."
Oh, that’s okay then, I was just wondering if there was a good place for my school books, if I ended up bringing them.” Eli said. Well, it wasn’t like she was super expecting to have time to study anyway, work would probably be too busy wouldn’t it? And it wasn’t like she thought anyone wanted to steal her school books, but it would be awkward if someone tripped on them. Maybe she could just put them in a corner when she brought them? With that little plan in mind Eli followed Kosuke back out into the hallway.

She nodded as he pointed out the different rooms, there weren’t too many so it didn’t seem like it would be hard to keep them all straight. She also made a mental note of putting an ice pace in with her food, just in case the fridge decided not to work. “The conference room was the one that doubled as a recording studio, right?

Did demons from hell show up during recording sessions too? Eli winced internally at that thought.
"Sure is." He nodded, "Good sound system in there, for both recording and playback. I used it to record some stuff for my solo projects when I couldn't be bothered to walk to the studio after work."

In truth, every room in VULTURE had a good sound system- it was one of the first things that Kosuke had installed when he first acquired the building, expanding it from the existing one in the main room. Surprisingly, almost all of them saw use at one point or another. Each room was almost completely soundproof, with the doors closed, so playing different songs across each set of speakers was possible without creating a hideous sludge of noise. The one in the break room was used most often, but the one in the cash office was also fairly popular. Sometimes, you just need a little background noise when doing a boring task- and, if you worked in a place like VULTURE, then you'd likely be the type to care about the fidelity of said background noise.

Kosuke unlocked the door to the cash office and pushed it open, keeping his hand on its side on the off-chance that his new employee made a dash for it.

"Cash office." He said, "You won't have to worry about this place for the first few weeks, but I'll teach you how to cash up at some point in case I ever need you to run a shift in the future. It's uh... boring."

He sighed heavily, his posture starting to sag.

"Ah, and you have to do it perfectly, as well, or there's all this paperwork- it's not like you can make a mistake when reporting the earnings, or people start thinking it was deliberate. That's the worst type of task, isn't it? Something that's boring, but you have to pay attention the whole time- you can't just fall asleep, like you can behind th- like you definitely should not behind the counter."

He laughed, then closed the door.

"Right, right- the counter. Let's get you set up and serving, yeah? I'll walk you through your first few transactions, don't worry- you'll get the hang of it in no time, anyway."

With that, he locked the door, and walked back down the hallway, gesturing for Eli to follow behind him.
Oh, that sounds, uh, very important.” Eli said, peeking past Kosuke to look into the room as best she could. It was definitely a room with a desk, which looked similar to other such rooms she had peaked in but… Eli took a step back as Kosuke closed the door. She cracked a quick smile when Kosuke almost let slip a line about sleeping, accompanied by a quick chuckle as she followed him back out onto the floor.

Right, uh, I’ll do my best!” Eli said quickly. Okay! Serving! That wasn’t too hard right? Wait, did she have to run the coffee maker? She had never run one of those before. Did you have to memorize amounts to make the drinks? A nervous sinking feeling wormed its way into the pit of her stomach.

Sam Walsh opened the front door of the Vulture, a polite smile on her face as she held it open for another customer to leave. She was there to see Kosuke. It had become a weekly ritual to go and get a new album from the man. She didn’t necessarily trust him– something about him set off her vibe checker hard. But she was doing her best to try and accept the friendship he was clearly trying to give her.

After all, Sam didn’t have many friends.

He also, she had discovered, had really good taste in music. Apparently owning a record shop actually meant something. Who would have figured that? He had found her Crosses album, and then he had recommended the Crane Wives to her when she mentioned she liked Of Monsters and Men, and then she had gotten the new Bad Omens album when the vinyl became available. She was curious about what recommendations he would have for her that day.

Sam moved further into the shop and paused. Something felt weird. Were they blasting their AC? It must have been high for the small, involuntary shiver to break through. For just a moment, she felt strangely cold. She ignored it and kept moving. She didn’t immediately see Kosuke, so she moved to the coffee shop section of Vulture, The cold shiver pierced through again and she paused, looking around the building. No one else seemed like they were getting cold at all, and Sam knew that even snow wasn’t enough to make her cold.

Something weird was going on. Still, she kept moving and got in line at the drink counter. There were two people ahead of her, and almost no one else in the entire store.​
Eli was nervous. She always seemed to be, but that wasn't uncommon; this was a new job, things had gone catastrophically wrong in recent weeks, and she didn't have much retail experience before applying for VULTURE. It was natural to be a little worried. Kosuke did what he could to reassure her, but the best reassurance for a job like this almost always came from experience, and not from your manager making jokes about how much he liked to nap at work.

He led her back into the store, holding open the staff door to allow her to pass through, and looked over the crowd. Not a lot of people buying records at this time. Not a lot of people in general, actually, but what few were here seemed to be heading towards the cafe. The tills ran on the same system between the two sides, so teaching Eli on one should help with the other. She could learn to make the coffee at a later date- Cass was already there, so he could take things one step at a time. He didn't want to overwhelm her.

Oh, and there was a familiar face in the line- Samantha, that acquaintance-turned-regular, the one he had got off on such a weird foot with. Though she seemed to have warmed up a bit since she started coming to VULTURE, that conversation had clearly left a mark on her; she always seemed a little guarded, a little on-edge. It was barely perceptible, barely even there, but it was the kind of thing Kosuke was known to pick up on. He hadn't commented, of course. He just did his job, and made sure every conversation they had after avoided those areas of sensitivity.

Kosuke stepped up to the counter, asking Cass to step back so he could show Eli how to ring things up. He handed his new employee a small piece of paper with two four-digit numbers on it, written surprisingly neatly for someone as habitually careless as him.

"Alright- this is your ID, this is your temporary passcode- it'll prompt you to change that as soon as you log in-" He looked up, "-Next, please-" Then back down, "Once you're all set up you can take the order. Most items have a quick-select button, but there are some you have to manually type in- there's a list of them under the desk, I can get it out for you..."
Okay. Okay. Push the buttons for the requested items, that wasn’t too hard. It was entirely doable even! It was just a cash register so it wasn’t like it would bite her, right? Well, what if she got her fingers caught when she closed it? Or her sleeve and when she moved she pulled the whole thing down onto her foot? That thought made Eli uncomfortably switch which foot she was resting her weight on while she watched Kosuke ring up an order.

His handwriting was very neat, wasn’t it? Ah, that was a dumb thought wasn’t it?

Right! Uh…” Eli’s eyes dropped down to her slip of paper as she typed in her provided numbers, which was soon followed by her typing in four different numbers to be her new numbers which — wait should she have made that longer — meant she was set to take someone’s order. Right! Customer! “Uh, hello, welcome! How can I help you?” Wait should that have been ‘what can I get you? Shoot — Eli’s smile twitched on the edges. That woman looked… ill? Pale and clammy and sort of sweaty?

Are you feeling okay, miss?” Eli asked, before she could stop herself.

Sam stepped forward to the counter. She was, in fact, not okay. She didn’t know what was going on, but she felt a way she had only ever heard of other people saying they felt. Sick. Her body was starting to shake, she was sweating, and she was feeling dizzy. She waited for the other two customers to leave before she stepped all the way to the counter. She smiled weakly at the girl, and then at Kosuke.

“Hi. Uhm, could I get a large mocha, and… and…” Sam leaned forward onto the counter, her hands trying to keep her steady. She gasped in a breath as the chills began to wrack her body. What was happening? What was going on? This wasn’t normal at all. She never got sick, she had never been sick in her entire life, and there was no chance she had gotten sick between the time she opened the door and now.

“I’m so sorry, I don’t know… what’s wrong with me. I feel so awful. Just the… Just the…” She closed her eyes as the room started spinning, as the lights began to turn and whirl. She could feel the blood rushing past her ears, and she grabbed the counter tighter. Her body felt weak, and she was finding it hard to concentrate on talking.

She couldn’t go to a hospital. Her biology was so vastly different from a normal human that they wouldn’t be able to treat her properly. Not to mention, she had spent the entirety of her life staying away from doctors and anyone else who could possibly figure out what she was. Her parents had gone out of their way to protect her and her brother from anyone ever finding them out. Sure, Lockbourne knew, but the town loved her and had never once told anyone.

A hospital would be disastrous.​
"Sam!" He smiled, "What- ah, are... are you alright?"

God- she did not look well. She did not look well at all. She was shaking and sweating, clutching the counter for stability- vertigo, most likely. Did she have a fever? No- fevers don't come on this rapidly, and she was perfectly fine when she walked in earlier. Kosuke would have noticed if she was sick before. Everyone would. So what the hell was going on?

"Okay- um-"

He stepped out from behind the counter, gesturing towards Cass.

"Can you continue her training? I- look, I really should take care of this..."

He carefully approached Sam, holding his arm out for her to take- hopefully leaning against him would be enough to keep her stable until she could sit down in the break room.

"Come with me, ok?" He said, already walking her towards the staff door, "You can sit down out back- it's less bright there. Is this a migraine? I- look, I get them real bad sometimes, I can dim the lights for you back there, if that would help. There might be a cold pack in the fridge, as well- I think it's running today."

The break room wasn't far. Sure, it was at the very end of the corridor, but it was a straight shot all the way down, and the door was already wedged open. There was a couch in there, as well as a few chairs; padding peeling from all of them, but they were comfortable enough. He'd make sure she sat down when they reached there, helping her if necessary, showing more concern than most would think possible for him. Kosuke wasn't usually the type to worry. He was the type to care, sure, but never worry. But as he looked at Sam, as he helped her through the room, his expression couldn't be read as anything but.

"I'll get you some water." He said, "You... you sit back here as long as you want. Want me to call an ambulance for you? Or- ah, maybe an Uber?"

Sam let herself be ushered to the back by Kosuke. She could barely walk straight, but he held her upright and helped her to move down the corridor. She tried to talk the entire time, to apologize, to explain she never got sick, to say anything, but she couldn’t get more than a few mumbled words out.

Sweat was dripping through her hair by the time they reached the back room, and pressing her hand to her forehead revealed how hot she actually was– except she never felt anything other than “normal” temperature. Everything about this was wrong. And then Kosuke said the dreaded words and her ability to speak came back to her all at once.

“No ambulances!! I can’t go to a hospital. Not ever.” She immediately collapsed back onto the couch Kosuke had sat her on. Then, the strangest thing happened.

The dizziness faded, as did the weakness in her body. All at once, her body readjusted and in that readjustment, she lost control of her fire. Heat burst out of her and away from her, turning her skin burning hot. She caught the lapse as quickly as she could, and the heat dispersed around them. She realized then that Kosuke had never taken his hand off of her arm. Sam’s eyes darted up to Kosuke’s face in wide fear as she realized that she had likely just burnt him– bad.

“Kosuke!” She quickly jumped back to her feet, her body swaying but staying upright. Her muscles all ached like she had just done the most intense workout of her life. But, she was almost feeling completely better. She had no idea what had caused whatever had made her so ill, but whatever it was seemed to have passed. Had someone tried to poison her with something natural? She had been poisoned once as a child by accident, and the poison had passed through her system in minutes, metabolizing so quickly that it hadn’t even hurt her.

That was all she could think of. Nothing else made sense. But that was out of sight, out of mind for right now. She raised her hands toward Kosuke, as though looking to help.​
Oh! Uh—” Eli hopped a little in place at the suddenness and force of voice which tumbled down the hallway as the woman emphatically defined ever going to the hospital. Eli was very much out of sorts as she didn’t know what she should be doing at the moment and Cass looked distressingly as completely lost as she felt about the whole thing.

There was another yelp down the hallways, or, maybe there hadn’t been while Cass was trying to explain the buttons again, it could have just been her own nerves going ’pling plong plang’ inside her skull and she had never been particularly great at knowing when something was just her own nerves. Her eyes and her head were constantly looking at the wrong thing as Cass explained entering something when you didn’t have the buttons and had made some joke about how you would learn it in time. She thought that was a joke, because at the moment learning the price of a cookie seemed like the last possible thing in the world she could remember.

Sorry I—” Eli hopped to the side as she took a step back and away from Cass. Her eyes were a little wide and a little wandering almost like she expected Cass to reach for her arm as she moved away. “I’ve a first aid kit in my things so…” Eli smiled sheepishly, apologetically as she turned heel and darted into the back hallway and slid into the breakroom where she had left her bags not in the locker with the lock that would stick. She had zipped open her bag and had pulled out a package to tuck under her armpit when she realized the the store probably had its own kit she should have asked about, but she already had her kit and she knew her kit had a collected of little chemical heating and cooling pads because Wren had drilled that into her in the same way he had the multiplication tables.

Eli darted back into the hallway, poked her head through a door or two until she saw the woman and Kosuke, which was something like a relief. A sort of relief that left her feeling like she was about to puke.

Sorry I- I uh I didn’t ask about the store’s medical kit but I knew I had one with my stuff so I grabbed that one. It might have something that could help? It’s got some of those cooling pads and some ibuprofen and stuff.” She spoke very quickly, with that sort of nervous energy that helped worlds tumble out of your lips and bump into one another like it was a packed day on the metro and you weren’t tall enough to actually reach the overhead bars and no one offered you their seat instead. She offered up the kit. “Sorry.” She offered up again breathlessly, just to sort of fill in behind her own words with something.
No hospital? That was suspicious, though it could point to a number of things. Maybe she didn't have insurance- he had heard that could get pretty expensive over here, though he'd never signed up himself. Or, maybe it was a legal thing- again, something he could relate to, give his lack of official identification (witness protection, he claimed, though he preferred to avoid the topic entirely). Or- well, maybe she had more physical reasons to be wary of medical settings. That would explain the urgency, certainly, but then again-


His mouth moved before he even felt what happened, the exclamation a lot quieter than it probably should've been- more of a hiss than a scream, all breath and no voice, more angry than shocked, more cold than anything else.

A split-second later, the pain caught up.

It was familiar. Kosuke knew what it was immediately; a contact burn, like the ones he'd get from the coffee machine, or the sandwich toaster, or his bike if he was being careless. And he knew, therefore, how hot something would have to be in order to cause a wound like this- because, yes, it was a wound. Not something that would require much treatment besides cold water and a band-aid, but a wound nonetheless. You didn't get something like this from touching someone with a fucking fever, so- fuck. Oh, fuck- this must be the reason why she was so against the idea of going to a hospital. Samantha Walsh was a fucking metahuman.

He watched as she stood up, accidentally catching her eye with his sharpened stare, and hoping the sunglasses would be enough to prevent her from looking too far into it. Anger was a normal reaction to a shock like this, but not in the way he showed it- as though it had been there the whole time, just waiting for an excuse.

It was probably best to turn away.

"Shit, I- I'm fine, 's just skin-deep. Don't worry."

Kosuke walked over to the sink, running the faucet over his wounded hand. There was no anger in his voice, just mild concern- too mild, perhaps, for someone who was just burned by one of those meta---humans he had only heard about in the media.

"No hospital. Yeah."

He sighed lightly, turning around to face her with his hand still under the water. His expression had softened- though, given the state it was in before, that was hardly a difficult feat. As before--as with most problems people came to him with--Kosuke seemed concerned, yet understanding, and about as calm as a person could be in a situation like this. He offered a smile.

"Y'know, I- I get why you didn't tell me about this earlier, given what I said to you that first time. God, that feels awful- I had no fucking idea you were-"

Kosuke shook his head, forcing himself back into composure.

"It's alright, yeah? I get it- look, I get it. Even when you think you've got these things under control, they can just slip out from under you when you're not expecting it. I mean, fuck, I've had vocal training for years, and still-"

Eli showed up, sticking her head around the door with a first-aid kit--an unfamiliar first-aid kit--in hand. Shit, he hadn't told her where they keep the store one, had he? That really should've been the first thing he covered- what if there was an emergency in the store? One that didn't involve superhuman super-heated super serious fevers? How unprofessional! How unsafe! Fuck, and the kid went and brought her own as well- he was expecting Cass to be the one to bring something, but this seemed a bit more sensible. Dealing with a supernatural illness on your first day seemed a lot easier than struggling through a line of caffeine-deprived hipsters without knowing how to work the coffee machines.

He took the kit from her, and gestured for her to slow down. The last thing they needed was for her to start panicking; then there would be two sick people he'd have to deal with, and he was already struggling with one.

"No, no, it's fine- that's my bad, really. I should've told you where things were- should've been the first thing I did, actually. I guess this just proves why that is, yeah?"

Kosuke offered her a smile, as reassuring as he could make it, though he seemed a little strained. He stepped away from the sink, turning the faucet off and opening the kit to get to the cooling pads- those would probably be his best bet here.

"Thank you, Eli- you're handling this pretty well, I've gotta say. Even if it wasn't your first day, I'm impressed by how quickly you got this sorted- sorry I've been a bit scattered myself. Right-"

He walked back to Sam, cooling pad in hand.

"You, uh- do you think ibuprofen would help as well, or do you just want this?"

Kosuke’s response was incredibly subdued for someone who she had just burned with that uncontrolled blast of her power. She watched him move and run his hand under the water for a moment, her hands still raised. They fell as he spoke, and she looked down at the ground. Well, she guessed this was the last time she’d ever be able to come to the Vult– her thoughts stopped abruptly as Kosuke started to say something else. Something that sounded an awful lot like–

Before he could finish, and before she could fully process it, the wave of “illness” started to return, and she stumbled, falling back onto the couch as her head started to burn, as her whole body began to burn. She gasped softly at the suddenness with which it came over her again. It was so disorienting that when the girl returned, and Kosuke approached her with the cooling pads, she was surprised.

She blinked up at him for a moment and then she accepted the cold pads, staring at them for a moment. “I-I don’t know. This has never happened before. Water, maybe?”

Her whole body started to shiver, and she suddenly felt violently cold. Her skin felt damp, and she realized with a start that it was a fine layer of cold sweat. Was this what breaking a fever was like? Sam had no point of reference for these things. She looked up at the girl, her head spinning. She had never met this particular girl before. She must have been a new employee.

God, what a situation for the poor kid to be in. Having to deal with a customer absolutely falling apart on her. She gave the girl an apologetic smile. Then she turned back to Kosuke and started working on applying the cold pads while she waited for water.​
Right, uhm, thanks,” Eli said, first with the uncertain of someone who didn’t quite know what to do with the compliment, and second with an uneasy sort of shuffling of someone who didn’t know what she was meant to be doing and was suddenly finding herself way too aware of her body and that she wasn’t really doing anything at all while the adults were. At mention of a glass of water the girl perked up, latching onto a thing she could be doing.

I’ll go get a cup from Cass.” Eli said quickly, vanishing out the doorway. Her footsteps echoed a few paces before suddenly turning back. She poked her head into the room. “There should be some pills in a tube, the label fell off but it should be ibuprofen.” She had always found ibuprofen worked better than Tyneol. Then with that message given she vanished back through the door and down the hallway.