The solstice was one of his favorite times of year mostly because he could cover his face and drink as much as he wanted for several days in a row. Spirits, he had actually started drinking to get rid of the hangover from the day prior. Booze and anonymity, that was really all he needed for a good time. A great time? That could get a little more complicated....
Most of the band was drunk, so the music was a little off kilter, but that didn't matter. Most of the dancers were a little off kilter by now too, the sun had plunged into the ocean about a half an hour ago, and the streets were cleared of children and any spare layers of clothing had been stripped off. Most of the men were topless, and Rain figured it would be about one more drink before he joined them, scars and all.
Skirting the crowd, he looked around a little aimlessly for a dance partner. With his face covered, he didn't get the usual giggles and gropes that would usually accompany this sort of scene. It was actually a grand relief.
Without really thinking about it, he walked up behind one of the girls... one who was not surrounded by her giggling friends, and cleared his throat. It took a little effort to speak over the music. "Would the Lady like to dance?"
[In the immortal words of Captain Jack Sparrow..."Sorry, mate...couldn't resist..." especially considering this...
She turned at the sound of the barely audible voice, her eyes travelling down and up again before they settled on his face.
Good height. Nice, lean, not overly muscled body. Soft, dove grey eyes...hidden behind what looked like a cat-owl mask. Pretty, pretty hair.
Quite a nice package overall, one of the best she'd seen all night, in fact. Certainly the best that had approached her...or at least the area surrounding her. Why, oh, why, did she seem to be attracting the midget brigade? At least this guy was eye to eye with her and not eye to...
Maybe THAT was why she'd been attracting the midget brigade.
"Sure." She grinned wolfishly behind her own fanged and whiskered mask, grabbing his arm and dragging him towards the drunkenly swaying throng before someone else did.
That? That glance was not in the least bit subtle, the way that she looked him up and down. His build was more suited to a dancer than the muscle bound Firebenders that filled the square... he'd spent too much of his life malnourished or tied up to ever accumulate anything impressive like that.
Unconsciously, he reached up and reset the mask on his face, then gave her a an uncertain smile. For a second, he thought she was going to say no, which hadn't happened in quite a while to him. Perhaps she was taken, or tired, or preferred men from the Fire nation, or didn't like men at all? The list of potential reasons spanned on and on.
A long second later though, she agreed with a predatory smile, and grabbed his arm. Instead of leading her out onto the mosaiced tile of the plaza where people were dancing, he found himself pulled in her wake. It only took a second or two to find his stride next to her and fall into step as they weaved through the people, to wherever she deemed a good spot to dance.
"Are you enjoying the festival?" He asked, if it had been difficult to communicate before, it was near impossible now that they were even closer to the band. The musicians were still coasting on their sun drenched high, and were pounding on their instruments as though they were in the throes of passionate love with them. Heads were thrown back, hair tossed with the rhythm, mouths were slack as fingers plucked out melodies... Although it was all very sensual, it was difficult to communicate.
Since it was still early in the evening, the dancing still had some semblance of form to it. As drinks were quaffed and clothes cast aside, the flowing movements would doubtless disintegrate to their most carnal incarnation. Whatever the tempo or alignment, Rain was an excellent dancer, it had been part of his job in the past. The lady who led him would be pleasantly surprised once she turned into the embrace.
It would have been polite to ask her her name. Question her attentively but not violatingly about her family, her interests, her past. That was hardly the point of the Festival though. People bared everything but their faces, keeping their identity's hidden so that they weren't shackled by propriety, honor, or even unfortunate facial features. The woman across from him was anyone she wanted, and he was the same.
"Call me Li Gyan, or Li." He told her, when the pulsing of the beat had wound her close enough for him to speak directly into her ear. "It's not my name." He added with a playful flare. It was just one of the many false ones he sometimes went by. His meaning was clear though, no names. Not real ones. "What shall I call you?" Not: What's your name? Surely she had a false name she fancied?
Last Edit: May 10, 2011 13:26:47 GMT -5 by Rain Jin
"For the most part." She admitted...except perhaps for the unwelcome attention from the midgets...and the ever-displeased, ever-watchful eye of her older brother...though he wasn't currently in sight. Thank the Spirits for Cyan and her overwhelming powers of distraction. "The music's a little eclectic, but it's easy to dance to."
Then he introduced himself.
"Li Gyan?" She frowned. Where had she heard that name? She racked her brain, shifting through the accumulated memories of her not-so-long lifetime until she found it. It had been years ago...at a far more formal event...
"Li Gyan?" She repeated, her voice tainted with a little scepticism. "As in Lady Lione's brother-in-law's cousin's son, Li Gyan?" At least she thought that was the...relation...he'd cited at the time. Was this the same young man or was it just a commonly used nom de plume by those in the trade, as it were?
Was this guy 'on duty', or was he just enjoying the festivities like everyone else? Well...she certainly wasn't going to pay him!
Touda was going to have a field day if he found out about this...
"So I noticed..." Within a few dance steps it was clear that she was athletic, far more so than him, in fact. She also had form, probably a martial artist or dancer in 'real life', so she knew how to carry herself. Therefore he let the beat carry them both to something a bit more energetic. It wasn't long before his skin was lightly sheened with sweat.
When she spoke the name of his old mistress, he came to a sudden jarring halt so abruptly that the couple dancing beside then bumped into him. If any expression was communicated past the veil of the mask he wore, he would appear surprised and embarrassed. Hidden brows furrowed together and he stumbled back into the tempo. With her so close in the embrace she could probably feel the coiling of his muscles, perhaps even catch some of his blush under the mask.
He struggled to slip back into character, but the persona was slippery now. "I..." It had been masked by the music, but he had to admit that there was something familiar about her voice, and perhaps had she not been wearing the mask, he could have recognized her features.
He tried to search his mind for her anyway. He had met many many people as Li. She could have been a maid, or the daughter of a friend of the family, one of the townspeople he socialized with, a noblewoman, or perhaps just someone who recognized the name. It was really impossible to tell.
The tension in his muscles eased.
He grinned at her, a perfectly crooked smile.
"Does that make me a nobleman?" He asked her teasingly, pulling her in a little bit then stopping in a way that would force her to step over his leg as she moved. "If that makes me a nobleman, I'll expect you to address me appropriately."
He could almost smell the disgust though. The hesitation from her, and it gnawed harshly at the back of his stomach. Not even for one night. Not even this night. He didn't get to simply be a charming boy asking a pretty girl to dance. No, he was still his past profession. It was enough to make him want to duck out right then, but the only polite thing to do was to finish the dance and then bow out as quickly as possible.
"Even though I could be in the Caldera right now..." He told her as they danced, "I thought that I would come to the Harbor instead." He suddenly changed directions, though not so hastily that she wouldn't be able to follow. "I hear the parties here are far more fun." Actually, that last bit was true. Parties in the Harbor were more fun, probably because they weren't comprised mostly of stuffy aristocrats.
Ruon-Jian? Cover his face? Never. He refused to wear a mask; it simply didn't seem right. After all, he had fans that needed attending to. Fans that wanted to keep tabs on their adoring hero. Naturally, he owed it to them to give them what they wanted, and therefore, he couldn't just go around and wear something that would obscure the attractive visage that so many adoring individuals loved...well...
...at least he thought they loved anyways.
What did the truth matter though?
Perhaps the view that he was given of Rain Jin's and Qi Ming's dance would have given him a different idea in regards to how people saw him - obviously most people would see that not everyone revolves totally around themselves. Moreover, he didn't have the slightest idea whom either of these individuals was. That being said, Ruon-Jian was hardly a normal person.
He waited a few moments, half expecting the music to just stop for him. It was, indeed, off kilter and bothered him to some degree or another, owing to the fact that he expected the performance of only the 'most killer bands' at any of the engagements that he allowed himself at.
Smirking, however, he stood at the sidelines of the dance floor and struck a few poses. It might have been clear that he expected Qi Ming to notice his (believed) superiority and leave her other dance partner. Of course, that wasn't going to happen. Indeed, he didn't even pay attention to everything going on. So much so that he almost was bumped when Rain Jin ran into another couple - after all, they had to go somewhere, and onto his feet may very well have been a waiting platform.
Once he caught the tiny comment - intended to be a soft joke in regards to their apparently budding transient romance, Ruon-Jian smirked, deciding to make his move. Though he never would have thought of it that way, he was most likely going to get hit - and he totally and utterly deserved it.
"Hey, well, I'm certainly aristocratic. Why don't I show you what a real good time is? You don't have to worry your pretty little head any more around here about what these commoners are going to say or do. Certainly you 're above that, right?"
Ruon-Jian again grinned as he started to speak, "Well, you know how things are, right? I certainly do. It sucks and all, but I realize that you had to pick someone to dance with until I got here...you could have done better than this looserboy though, couldn't you? I mean, come on!"
It was probably for the best that Ruon-Jian hadn't heard Rain Jin's comment about the parties here being fun. His 'Ember Island Pride' might very well have gotten him into an entirely new fight than the one that was possibly about to start brewing.
Last Edit: May 11, 2011 15:04:11 GMT -5 by ruonjian
Post by Ginka Senkei on May 12, 2011 16:23:57 GMT -5
[[Tamaka fills in for Ginka until I find out how Ginka enters the festival area. Now here is two ladies to ask to dance! ...it's the different business if you can get Tamaka dancing xD]]
Tamaka had finally separated from Enka, after wasting too much time trying to convince the latter one about the fact that it was likely that Ginka had got lost somewhere in the festival area. Since Enka didn't seemed willing to co-operate logically, Tamaka took the reins and went to look for her sister by herself. In that large festival area, it was likely that Ginka was difficult to find...
First, she tried to look for places that might attract her youngest sister most. Music, that was it, and there was music at the dancing area. Though on the other hand, there was dancing, adult men that probably would ask Ginka to dance as well, so the area might also repel her sister... well, it didn't cost much to look at the area. Luckily Tamaka was a tall woman, and she could easily see far even in the crowd.
It was likely that Tamaka got some attention. She wore notably longer silk skirt than most women here, reaching far over her knees. It was modesty: particularly when she was pregnant, she felt more comfortable with covering clothes. Though her stomach wasn't that big yet, barely noticeable. Her slender, almost skeletal frame was whole - for now. To ease her feeling in that hot air, Tamaka had tied her long hair away from her back into a high bun that was pinned with several hair holders, with hair sticks and with a spark of magic, according to her servant. Her hair was long and heavy, but it was also a status symbol for her. She had enough time and money to keep that long hair groomed. Her face - which always gathered too much attention in noble meetings - was now covered with full mask representing a caricature woman face, though her traditional fringe was covering it partially, making her more recognizable. A cheap paper fan was like glued in her hand.
She could nothing but sigh behind her mask when she saw the bouncing dancers at the dance floor. Ginka was nowhere here. And why could she be here? Even the music was drunken now, she couldn't enjoy it. Maybe Enka was right, after all, the festival area was currently too scary for Ginka.
Actually, Tamaka didn't like the evening parts of the Solstice Festival. Day event were pleasing, she had attended them with her children. But evenings, no way. There was too much chaos, too much Fire Whiskey, and too much lack of control. Tamaka didn't like losing control, and people behaving in uncontrolled manner made her feel uneasy. It was far easier to interact with people that could mind the etiquette and followed the certain norm. This... was different. In fact, Tamaka felt lucky for the nobles partying here; most of them wore masks, covering their identities and allowing them to act like fools without ruining the facades of their families. It probably was luxury for them... but it wasn't Tamaka's business. A fine woman never fooled around in any occasion, even if she could hide it.
But well, it was likely that neither Ginka liked that mess, so Tamaka had a reason to retreat from the area as soon as she'd find her youngest sister. In fact, she felt that she and Ginka thought rather similarly about the festival...
After all, why so many people thought that she and Ginka were so different? They even looked like some similar, not counting the height and age. But no, Tamaka was the beautiful full-grown tree, and Ginka was the fragile seedling that could grow anything, unless it was carefully maintained and cut right. And Enka was an uncontrolled bush, growing wildly and in ugly way... Enough with plant science.
Tamaka browsed the crowd behind the mask. Here as a man in blue with a young woman in red... and then an unmasked man trying to lure that woman away the first man. Tamaka felt that he had seen that unmasked man somewhere, but she wasn't sure about that.
Even if this was an unlikely place to expect Ginka to be found, Tamaka decided to stay here a little longer and observe. Which other places Ginka could appear, besides the edges that were already supervised by Enka? At least here was music, something that didn't scare Ginka away.
Tamaka sighed tiredly when she felt some drunken eyes in her back. Well, neither was she going to stay here too long.