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Persona :: New Arcana
Welcome to Persona :: New Arcana! A Persona RPG site!
Welcome to New Arcana!
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Subject: If I Ever Feel Better [Work Thread] Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:02 am
In the streets of Little Tokyo, in the red-light district, colloquially known as the Akasen, were a stretch of brothels, sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theaters. At its forefront, almost like a boundary between the Akasen and the rest of the area, were host clubs. While the majority did not offer sexual services, they happened to straddle that line between the district. One venue, Venus As A Boy, was a strictly male host club, and the one Shouhei Kagawa worked at part time.
He set foot into the elaborate club, ready to start an evening shift. Soft pink lighting glowed throughout the establishment, bathing people in a warm light. Its interior was modern and sleek, meant to catch the eye, with trimmings of gold, black, and purple to stand out. To play upon the name of the host club, the black decor had speckles of blue to mimic stars, as if half of the establishment was set in outer space. Shouhei walked past the framed posters of the various hosts working the club, himself included. Strong fragrances, mostly floral, lingered heavily in the air, accompanied by the sound of pop music blaring throughout the club.
“Good evening, Shou-chan,” Yuka Kobayakawa, the owner of Venus As A Boy, said at the front stand, her tone a pleasant and warm one. Her long and curled hair was down today, a vibrant shade of pink. Sky blue eyes soaked in the sight of Shouhei in his suit, as she gave a little catcall jokingly to him. To say she was stunning would be an understatement.
“...Evenin’, Yuka,” Shouhei bowed humbly to her. He was grateful that she let him speak a little more casually with her, and less professional. That was one of the better aspects of working here, as everyone spoke to another on a more equal level.
“You know what day it is, don’t you. Your big day. Are you nervous?” A coy grin lit Yuka’s features, as she twirled a stylus around her fingers.
“...As nervous as I usually am before a fuckin’ performance,” Shouhei answered honestly. He adjusted the black tie around his neck, as it was starting to feel a little tight.
“Don’t be. I’ve seen you sing and dance for our clientele dozens of times now. I know that you’ll gather a bigger range of customers with your ‘debut.’ I’ve had others for the past week hand out flyers for you,” Yuka said as she tapped the stylus about a stack of papers at the stand. They were designed with Shouhei as the main attraction, his debut performance at Venus As A Boy, seeking to gain a bigger client count. After all, he was the only host at the club that sang and danced for his customers.
The sight of them made Shouhei wince. He didn’t particularly enjoy having his face and talents for a host club to be distributed throughout the district. However, the thought of having more clientele with gracious tips easily shoved that negative thought he had away. Besides, if he were truly going to be an idol and performer, he would have to get used to that kind of thing.
“...Much appreciated, Yuka. So how’s the turnout? It can’t be all that much more’n the usual, yeah?” Shouhei tottered on the balls of his feet, straining himself to peer past Yuka’s stand and further into the club.
“Relax, Shou-chan. They’re not going to go anywhere. Besides, would it make you feel better or worse if you saw the attendance?” Giggled Yuka, as she set a hand on his shoulder to ease him back down.
“...I’d prob’ly flip my shit if this place was packed,” replied Shouhei, his excitement and anxiousness starting to settle in.
“As would anyone in your position,” Yuka said, leaving the stand. She hooked an arm around his and walked him towards the back of the establishment, for a more discreet route to the main stage. “Come, so as not to spoil you, your audience awaits.”
“Oi, Shouhei, you little shit. Who said you could put your arms around my lady,” Kon Nakajima gruffly stated, a cigarette between his lips. A shock of wild blue hair crowned the statuesque man, he stood taller than most Japanese people, Shouhei included. His sturdy frame, let alone eyepatch, belied a more unsavory past. Currently, however, he was the manager of Venus As A Boy, and now a retired host once he found love for Yuka.
“Easy, dear, I’m trying to calm him before his debut. Shou-chan is the last person I’d expect here to put the moves on me,” Yuka sniggered, as she ran a hand teasingly around Shouhei’s shoulder.
“Tch. Get your ass backstage. Haruhiko’ll announce your arrival, and that’ll be your cue. Now kindly fuck off away from Yuka and break a leg,” growled Kon, as smoke fumed from his nostrils like an angered beast. He opened the backstage door, and pulled Yuka to him.
“...Whoever made up that expression’s a fuckin’ dumbass,” Shouhei shook his head, and ignored the usual jealous bravado Kon had as he continued onward. How in the world was breaking a limb supposed to be a good thing?
He heard both of them laugh at his comment, however, until Yuka squealed out something along the lines of, “Dear, forgive me~” and the door slammed shut.
There was no time to dwell on the two lovebirds probably necking each other. Now, in the quietness of the backstage, Shouhei eagerly awaited his call. Bouncing on the balls of his feet, he wound his arms in slow circles, stretching out his limbs one final time. Admittedly Yuka helped little to none in easing him, and neither did Kon wishing him to break a leg, no matter how sincere they were.
“Now, our lovely guests of Venus As A Boy, we have a wonderful show for you today. Some of you may know him, some of you may not, but know this- he’s the host with the voice of an angel, but the mouth of a devil! He’ll dance his way into your heart, if he doesn’t win you over with his ruggedly handsome looks! Everyone, give a warm welcome to our idol host, ‘Shousuke Showstar’!”
An audible groan came from Shouhei after hearing Haruhiko’s introduction. While he knew it was all theatrics, he almost thought that Haruhiko was mocking him in a way. Not to mention that silly stage name the others had decided for him, he realized it was from a popular manga in Japan, but it always sounded goofy said aloud. He reminded himself to jab Haruhiko once the performance ended.
Once he set foot on stage, the blaring lights of the stage nearly blinded him. There Shouhei saw the clientele gathered, dozens of faces seated throughout the club. It was a shockingly huge showing, a size he didn’t expect. His heart raced wildly as he walked up to the microphone stand at the center of the stage.
Just like always, Shouhei would think of Mariko Matsuda, his childhood friend and former love, before a performance. She was his inspiration, the reason why he loved song and dance so much in the first place. Thinking of her always made him feel better. She made his insecurities and self-doubt fade away; she made the faces in the crowd nothing to worry about, the bright lights cast on him nothing but a sea of stars. Gripping the microphone with one hand, his other signaled the cue for the song to start.
His voice found purchase, he heard it flowing to the music, he let it carry him onwards. Once the main chords of the song kicked in, Shouhei ripped the microphone free from its stand, and moved about the stage, as if possessed by the music itself. Rhythmically he glided, his legs bouncing to the beat, his arms gesturing to the crowd. At the chorus, he leapt off the stage and began to interact with his audience. He sang to individual women, heard them howl and scream, as he danced effortlessly from one person to the next. Threading his way throughout the club, he shuffled around tables, on top of them, letting his body carry him wherever the music would take him.
At its end, he fell to his knees. Shouhei’s chest strongly rose and fell for a few moments of silence until the crowd raucously cheered, screaming, clapping. Numerous clientele surrounded him, each one asking for his time. Kon, Yuka, Haruhiko and other hosts arrived on time to disperse the crowd, and to properly arrange scheduled times for Shouhei.
While his adrenaline was still sending courses of electricity to flow through him, it was almost like he was in a dream. A dream he never wanted to end. Shouhei loved to sing, loved to dance, and this job let him live out that dream. The rest of the night wouldn’t compare to his initial performance, but he made damned sure he’d make sure others enjoyed his act.