Give Life Back to Music

Mountainside Planetarium 
open to anyone

Lavender Heights had been kind to Indra before, and frankly, the man just didn't have it in him to drive all the way to Cordova for the night. His truck's registration was coming up, and he was running low on money and needed to desperately make a few quick bucks. Generally, he could get that busking and so, Lavender Heights it was.

The man decided to try something new and play some songs dealing with stars and planets outside the planetarium. He made sure that he was right off the property line, as he knew he could be thrown off the property by security, and he wasn't looking for any trouble. It was interesting though as he set up his acoustic guitar- the smell of death was particularly strong in the area, and he wondered if the vampires congregated around the planetarium. Still, it wasn't his business. He wasn't there to cause them any problems- he just wanted a little money for his music.


Summer was one for adventure, and if adventure meant going down to Lavender Heights because someone mentioned that they had an absolutely fantastic Indian food place, you sort of went without hesitation, right? So, on the thought that maybe she'd go out and enjoy some night life in town later, too, she'd taken public transport out here and was currently wandering down the street with leftover coconut rice and lamb vindaloo slung over her elbow in a plastic bag. She didn't normally have leftovers after a meal, but it had been gooooood... and this may have been her third entree that she had only gotten halfway through.

Don't judge, siddown.

So she was feeling warm and fully and quite happy when she realized there was some dude setting up to do a bit of street performing. Well.. not just some dude. There was a glimmer of vibrant green to her eyes as she studied him. Now, what was that? Muddled by the creep of death as well, she wasn't the sort to be concerned about that, but she was very curious as to what she was looking at.

Not disguising her interest, she approached on the pretext of waiting for him to start doing whatever it was he did with that guitar.

little Beau bird is skippable

Beauregard had been out to enjoy the sunset, a man of much thought as of late. Soaring home on the wing, he was surprised to see some collection of shifters apparently ready to put on a show for him. How delightful.

The little mockingbird found sanctuary at a tree near the edge of the property, settling in on an autumn-balded outstretched branch.

They smelled some variety of unpleasant that he could not accurately pinpoint. He hoped somewhat impatiently for music sooner than later.

Indra strummed quietly, tuning up his guitar as he waited to attract a small crowd. The scent of death seemed to get closer, which was unsurprising given that he was sure this was their territory, but it was difficult to say which person was vampire or just another person unless they got up closer to him. Another scent seemed to come out of nowhere, but this one was somewhat familiar in that animal sense kind of way. He couldn't quite place what animal it was, but his eyes landed on a woman watching him intently.

Indra grinned at her and gave her a wink as he finally started playing the opening riff of Tracy Byrd's The Keeper of the Stars. Sometimes he sang the lyrics too, and while people told him he had a good singing voice, he was more into the playing of the instrument and instead just hummed the tune.

Whoops, he was actually pretty cute. Which was a thought she had before the wink, thank you very much.

As soon as he started playing, he gathered a couple of other listeners. It was pretty evident from the first moment that he had a bit of talent in this regard. Heaven knew Summer certainly didn't. She was more an appreciator of artsy things rather than any sort of creator. Give her a tune and maybe she could carry it, but it wasn't like she was about to bust into song with this guy and become part of the act.

Instead, she stood by, watching with actual interest while trying to put her finger on his scent. Rather musky, but in a way she liked. Maybe he was like... a lynx or something.

Deciding the whole thing was a bit too nice to not take record of, she casually pulled out her phone to take nice streetlight lit pictures of him. For instagram, obviously. #LHstars Maybe even a little clip of the actual music... yup!

A few other people gathered around, and Indra smiled at them as he continued humming along parts of the song. Naturally, his eyes flitted back to the pretty were girl, who now had her phone out. Indra grinned as he looked right at the phone. If she was going to be recording him, then he might as well give her a show. As he came to the chorus of the song once more, he finally started singing and adding in a little more bluesy flourishes to the song.

And right when everything seemed right and fine in the world and in the song, suddenly, the little E string snapped from the bridge, of all places, sending the sharp string right into Indra's face. He'd been snapped by strings plenty in his day, including during actual shows, but it was rare that one would hit him. The music and him stopped instantly as he brought a hand up to his face, wincing as he felt the small cut on his cheek. It didn't help that now he was embarrassed too, since a pretty girl had been recording him, so on top of his face hurting, it was also red.

"No worry," he said to no one in particular. "I always have back up strings!" And he quickly went to work unwinding the littlest string from the nut at the top of the guitar.

Summer wasn't any good at sitting idle. So while she had been entertained by his music, taking video and certain she could get a real nice clip out out of this for her account--and use that as an excuse to get his name and see if he had an insta... She couldn't help but move forward when he found himself hurt. She smelled the blood, however little of it there actually was, though face wounds were a BITCH, and grimaced to herself.

"Yo, you okay?" she asked, stepping past the natural circle the onlookers had created. Reaching into her bag she'd been carrying, she rifled for a napkin to hand to him, though he was already working on fixing the snapped string. Man, professional no doubt. That had to hurt though.

Naturally, the other were stepped forward to make sure he was fine. He gave her a smile and nodded. "Oh yeah, nothing that hasn't ever happened before," he said easily enough. He looked back up at her, took in how pretty she was, and gave a mischievous grin before tacking on, "Err... I mean.... Ooooh.. Owwww. It hurts soooo much. Definitely need someone to take care of meeee."

Still, he continued rifling through his bag, looking for another little E string. He frowned as he pulled out a pack of strings, which was sans the one he needed. "Well, this is interesting..." he mumbled as he searched for more packs.

Summer chuckled roughly at his obvious ploy for sympathy, perhaps a little too pleased by his tactic. And though she knew it was fake as hell, that didn't stop her from reaching in with the napkin she'd procured from her doggy bag and pressing it shamelessly to the angry mark on his face while he worked. He'd be fine before long--by morning she was willing to bet the cut would be a negligible mark. But he was bleeding anyway, and the least she could do for a handsome face was give him a little pat to blot away the red.

Didn't stop her from being brilliant green-eyed, the hyena lurking closer to the surface curious about both the blood and the... fuck, what was he? She was absolutely going to ask, but maybe without an audience.

His mumble was clear enough for her acute hearing, and she asked, "What's interesting?"

What a show.

The music was listenable enough, Beauregard happy for the sound of something live and spontaneous. But it ended quickly enough with an unceremonious snapping of strings. The display that followed would have left him rolling his eyes, but alas, birds had a rather fixed gaze and swiveling his head about lacked the same flair.

The display that followed was unpleasant, one beast coddling another. Bored by it all, he fluttered down to a space nearer the crowd, mindful not to be stepped on. Surely they'd be bored by now?

He would help them along, fostering a low sense of anger in the group with his lovely ability, wondering if he could inspire them to boo.

Indra flinched only slightly as the napkin was pressed gently to the cut on his face. He smiled all the same though and maybe leaned in a little in her hand. There was more to be done though, and he returned to his bag, searching various packets for a string that wasn't there.

He sighed. "I think I'm all out of E strings," he said quietly to the lady were. It was the most snappable string, sure, but Indra was sure he'd purchased a new pack of strings not that long ago, and surely it'd have the string he needed. But as he continued rooting through the bag, the less sure he became. "Damn," he muttered as he finally closed the bag. It was a waste of the night, even if he'd met a pretty girl who went along with his terrible flirting.

He'd stop bleeding fairly quickly, what with his amazing little super power they shared, but that didn't stop Summer from making sure he was a bit cleaned up. Ruining a pretty face was always a bummer, anyway. Then he explained his problem and she sighed in exasperation on his behalf, about to suggest maybe they could go and find someplace nearby that might have some--but she honestly didn't know how that worked.

And besides, even as she went to do so, she heard a rumble of annoyance from the crowd, a really, man? from one individual sparking her own irritation as her head came up around to that particular stranger.

Dude entertaining them literally for free and people felt like they were owed something? Yeah, right?

"Wanna get outta here?" she asked the guitarist, though she kept her eyes on the restless gathering. If the guy couldn't replace his string, no point in staying around a bunch of ungratefuls.

It had been a while since an audience turned on Indra, and while some people were annoyed with his busking, he never had people get annoyed that he couldn't play before. The muttering from the handful of people caused him to look up at them, confused. "Hey man, sorry about that," he said gently, though as his eyes roamed the crowd, he saw more annoyed faces. "I appreciate that you all wanna hear me. I have some CDs for sale if you'd like and-" He was stopped as someone in the crowd scoffed loudly and made a remark about him being some sort of scam artist.

Indra frowned and looked at the woman in front of him for a second before looking back to the crowd, which had start dispersing. "I have free downloads available online." But by that point, no one was interested in sticking around. Frowning again, Indra removed his guitar and looked back to the woman. "Well, guess it couldn't hurt, if you're still up for it. No guitar and no audience means I'm free."

It was a pity that it all had to end like this. Beauregard flapped his little wings, backing off with a few hops rendered clumsier by the effort of sweeping empathy.

He'd only wanted music, not to watch two beasts court one another on his property. With a few wasted beats, he eventually found enough air beneath his wings to settle back up into the tree.

The crowd would no longer be held to irritation in his absence, but he hoped a general misery of humanity would keep them from cheering instantly. The pair could find somewhere else to coo and fail to play any music.

"Well, I mean, unless you can play a guitar with three strings,"--she had no real idea how many strings were actually on a guitar, so her math was probably off--"Not much point. And I'd like to hear some more about those CDs of yours." Quite frankly, she felt that stupid kinship with the forest-animal-man, and she was offended on his behalf. Even if the crowd had chilled out rather quickly, Summer wasn't the sort of person you burned and then won her over again in the next breath.

"Got a name, bud?" she asked as she only waited for him to gather his things before she started off on the sidewalk.

The girl got the number of strings wrong and even though Indra smiled about it, he didn't say anything to correct her. Rather, he stuck his guitar back in its case and closed it up. When she mentioned the CDs, he reached into his bag, pulled out one of his CDs in a case, and held it out to her. "Here's my newest one, on the house, since you're so cute." He gave her a wink and stood, slinging his bag across his shoulder and grabbing the guitar with his free hand. "Indra," he said simply. "And you are?" He smiled as he headed towards his truck to put his things away and motioned for her to follow him.

Heyo, free shit for being cute was basically her favorite thing and she grinned at him as she claimed the disc from him. This was going in her car as her on the way to work music, period. Partially because it'd be fun, mostly because that was the only CD player she currently owned. Modern age was funny.

She went with him, still beaming for the compliment, not caring one bit if he said that to every girl he came across or not. "M'names Summer. How'd two cute folks like us end up out here at the same time?" Then, a little lower as she lingered close to his side as if to share this secret. "I'm not even sure what you are, honestly."

Her curiosity burned.

Indra appreciated being called cute, and he was about to answer the girl when she asked another question that required a bit more seriousness. He glanced at her, somewhat surprised, but smiled at her all the same. Curiosity usually got the best of him from time to time too, and he would be lying if he said he wasn't interested in learning what she was too.

"Bear," he said simply, grinning at her with bright, shiny teeth. "And you," he said pausing at he got next to his truck, "are something newer to me. Not dog. Not cat. Those are the ones I smell all the time." While he waited for her to answer, he unlocked the driver's side door and gently placed his guitar behind the seat, on top of the bench seat in the back that was apparently made for elves. The little ones. With the stubby legs.

Bear, fuck, that was impressive. How she had never encountered bears in all her time in the pacific northwest, she wasn't sure. She imagined his sort would have loved some of the forests she used to roam. She lit up visibly for his answer. Explained the whole foresty vibe she'd gotten, at least. Definitely not a lynx.

She leaned in a bit as he was putting his things away, equally quiet about herself.

"Felines and canines are overrated," she said, with the confidence now that she was speaking to someone who was neither--no offense meant to their more common associates. "If you want to have a good dinner party conversation opener, you get yourself chomped by a hyena."

After gently setting his guitar in the backseat, Indra merely chucked his bag in haphazardly. He turned as the girl told him what she was, and gave an impressed nod. Truly, the only information he had about hyenas were from the Lion King, which wasn't a very positive portrayal. He felt bad, knowing that there were things like Winnie the Pooh and Brother Bear and Brave out there in the world that didn't paint all bears as stupid or as fierce, killing machines.

"You don't hang around with any lions do you?" he asked, unable to help the chance to make such a lame joke.

In spite of what a terrible, terrible joke it was, she laughed, leaning back against the side of his truck with her shoulder blades flat to the paint. "You know what? I've never even met one. I actually used to run with wolverines back where I'm from, but the The Wolverine King doesn't really have the same vibe."

Besides that, she wasn't even a spotted hyena, but that wasn't really the most pertinent of details at the moment. Just worth noting for her own mind. "Honestly for a hot second I thought maybe you were a lynx or something. Just smelled... foresty. But bear makes sense. Surprised you're not fat and hibernating."

They could both take popular stereotype stances for the sake of jokes, don't worry.

Indra grinned, happy to see that the girl was able to take everything in stride. "Well, if you ever come across a lion, be careful if they start describing Hamlet scenarios." He gave a chuckle and listened as the hyena continued on about who she used to run with. His eyebrows shot up when she admitted she thought he was a lynx, of all things, and then laughed when she made her own joke about bears. His own bear grumbled grumpily, but Indra ignored it. If he was gonna dish it, he was gonna take it too.

"Well, hibernating doesn't pay the bills, and as far as fat goes- you haven't seen my bear." He gave her a wink and leaned against his truck next to her. "I am hungry though. You wanna go grab something to eat? As humans?"

"Mmm, you hiding a booty from me, Mr. Indra?" she teased, the smile flippant and growing wider still as he extended the offer. "I could eat," she agreed, ignoring completely the fact that she had come from food not forty minutes ago and had leftovers she was taking home. It wasn't a stretch of the truth--she could eat. She was a tall gal, and on top of that she simply had that were-metabolism that was the envy of no one only because they didn't know about it if they weren't already benefiting from it.

"Wouldn't mind learning a little more about bears," she drawled shortly, her voice emphasizing the final word in such a way as if she was making fun--but truth be told, she was genuinely curious. All weres were basically the same, but each species seemed to have its quirks. She wondered how much being a bear had changed him.

"My bear is, yeah," Indra answered with a grin. He wasn't crazy about the Mister part- it sounded way too formal for someone like him, but he wasn't going to risk looking like a jerk by telling the girl not to use it- especially when she was calling him cute and accepting his invitations to get food.

He didn't have a whole lot of money though, which was a little concerning because he didn't want to come across as a cheapskate. "There's a McDonald's close by. Sound good? I'm a bit of a starving artist at the moment, so Le Chet Paris will have to wait." Besides, most fancy restaurants had smaller portions and while that may be fine for most people, it wasn't for someone with the appetite of a massive bear.

"Oh good, I can tell you all sorts of things about bears. Disgusting creatures." He gave a short snort and looked back at his truck, "And you can tell me anything about hyenas because I literally know nothing. Anyway, you wanna ride over together?"

"I will literally never say no to McDonald's."

Eating trash was one of her favorite things about being a were. Not that she'd been much of one to fuss over her figure in the past when she's just been some magic chick who talked to animals, but... Well, she worried even less now! He was starving, she was not--but she'd probably still keep pace on a meal with him. "I took the bus out this way, so I have zero problem with you giving me a lift."

If that was that, she'd join him in the vehicle.

"One thing I'll tell you about my sort right now--we love a laugh."

Or well, at least she did. And so did Pete! And those were literally the two werehyenas she knew, because she was fated to have a hard time tracking down her own kind.


Indra stared at the girl fondly as she proclaimed that she would never say no to McDonald's. "I think you just became my new best friend," he said with a chuckle as he went around to the passenger side of his truck to open it for her. "Just in case you don't like chivalry, this door is kinda tricky to open. But if you do like chivalry-" Indra paused as he yanked open the door and did a little bow, "Here you are."

He laughed at her joke and facepalmed at the same time. "Oh, you definitely are hilarious." He trotted back over to the driver's side, yanked the door open and hopped in. "To McDonald's!"

Hell yeah, new best friend! Who was opening the car door for her! Which was cute and absolutely transparent because if he thought she couldn't figure out a tricky door, he was silly. Though he might have been silly either way, what with all the showmanship. "I'll take your chivalry if that's what you're offering. I'm trying to figure out what kinda man you are, Indra."

So far, a pretty good one. Talented and cute--and a bear! Why was that so weirdly appealing, she had no idea.

"To McDonald's!" she agreed triumphantly as she buckled herself in. Safety first!

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