2016-10-25 Picking (up) Blueberries

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Picking (up) Blueberries
Date 2016/10/25
Location Visages
Participants Gearshift, Octane
Summary Octane decides to test his pick-up skills on an innocent Gearshift sitting at the bar, and is shocked when they actually work.

A grand staircase serves as the entrance to the lounge. Upon descending, the first thing that draws the optics is the neon sign that hangs on the wall to the right. It announces "Visages," with quotation marks, in elegant, blue script. The lighting is dim, accentuated by soft lanterns placed on the tables, in order to foster an intimate setting.

The lounge itself is small, only large enough to hold several dozen patrons at any one time. The counter in the far, right corner does play host to a handful of stools; however, the majority of sitting space has been given over to chairs placed around low-slung coffee tables. They are placed at irregular intervals. This allows mecha to choose whether they would prefer to sit near others to socialize or in a more private alcove. Most mecha speak in hushed tones, leaning towards each other in order to be better heard and understood.

The centerpiece of the room is a stage along the left wall. A mic always stands at the ready for both scheduled and impromptu performances, along with a line of instruments displayed on stands. Paintings, rather than pictures, of past performances line the wall behind the stage. For days the lounge has been rented out for private gatherings, everything can be cleared away so that the stage can also serve the double purpose of a dance floor. A monitor by the foot of the stairs announces the bar's constantly fluctuating business hours, along with upcoming activity days and private parties.

A lone ficus tree stands stands to the left of the grand staircase. A brass plaque on the pot announces the plant's name as "Fantasia" (also in quotation marks for mysterious reasons).

Gearshift has entered Visages for a chance to sit at the bar (closet to where the bar meets the wall) and enjoy a nice quiet drink and her latest in cross-factional romantic fiction (what can she say? She's predictable). She's spent the day on Verander, enjoying the sights and sounds of the colony, but has come back to the ship to spend her night relaxing and unwinding. Occasionally someone will walk in and Gearshift will look up, but sure enough her story has her optics pulled back to her datapad.

She sips a martini-type drink (she IS at visage's, after all) and relishes the classy feeling that has her sitting up straighter.

<FS3> Octane rolls Good Looks: Success. (4 1 6 1 7 3 5 5 1)

Octane sidles into the bar and looks around the place with an appraising optic. It's fancier than he expected: he prefers the kind of watering hole where the booze is cheap and plentiful. Still, as a cute little femme at the bar captures his attention, he feels there's no reason to leave just yet. He whips a buffing cloth out of his subspace and gives himself a quick touch-up, just to sparkle a little more around the edges, and then he slides into the seat next to her with a charming smile.

"Hey there, I don't believe we've met."

Gearshift is startled out of her reading trance at the sound of an unfamiliar voice. Rushing to stuff the datapad into her subspace, her vents cycle and she regains herself. She looks slowly up at the mech that has sat himself next to her, and quite frankly towers over her. Her optics flicker at the smile. It's just beguiling enough that she starts to blush a little.

"No, I don't believe we have" the robin's egg blue femme replies "Gearshift of Kaon, a pleasure" She extends a servo to shake, a smile spreading across her faceplates.

Octane almost cycles his optics in surprise. It isn't usual that his introductions are so successful. Maybe he was right not to call her 'sweetie' in the first sentence. His smile regains its brilliance as he takes her hand and gives it a slightly softer shake than his usual business grip. "The pleasure's all mine. Octane's the name, but my friends call me Tall Tankor. You can call me whatever you like." His optics flick down to the empty spot where the datapad once was, and then back up to her with a conspiratorial wink. "Something secret? The datapad, I mean."

"Tall Tankor?" Despite this curious question, the blush on Gearshift's faceplates spreads over the bridge of her nose, a soft rosy grey-pink. Of course it's when Octane asks about the datapad that she grows shy. Her voice grows small "A little secret." A secret she'd at least try to keep better. She 'bats' her optics at Octane with a quick flicker and turns the tables, "but I doubt you're here just to talk to me." It's a reassurance to herself as well. Surely he's got friends he's waiting for, Right? After she asks, she looks away, bashful.

Octane taps his finger to his lips in a 'shh' motion. "I'll be sure not to tell anyone then," he says with a wink. But as she suddenly grows shy he shuffles out of her personal space, not only giving her a little more room, but giving himself time to come up with a new approach. His optics flicker to her martini glass. "Of course not," he says with a gentle, flirtatious tone, "I'm also here to buy you a drink, if you're interested."

Oh Primus. Is this really happening? Gearshift gulps, biting her lower lip to try and regain herself, though the heat spreads from her faceplates to the tips of her audials, and her biolights flicker. "I-" She pauses and traces the rim of the glass, having a hard time meeting Octane's gaze, and it's not because of their height difference. "You- You could. I mean. Primus!" She laughs at herself, and gives Octane an apologetic look "I wouldn't be against that." Sure. That sounded totally put together.

<FS3> Octane rolls Deception: Good Success. (5 2 1 7 5 4 8 3 4 5 6 6)

She's cute, Octane thinks as he slides a menu toward her, and a little awkward. This won't be so hard. But none of his less-than-noble thoughts show on his face as he offers her another pretty smile. "Anything you'd like," he promises. "My treat."

Gearshift pretends to consider the menu, but orders the least expensive drink. She's not one to order something expensive on someone else's dime. That isn't how she conducts herself. "Back in Kaon, I worked at a place that didn't have nearly so many fancy drinks." She muses, placing the menu back down.

Gearshift places the order, though she's reserved about it. Even if it's the least expensive drink, it's still a bit pricier than most of the drinks at Swerve's.

"Kaon hm? I visited a few watering holes there back in the day." He dearly hopes he hasn't flirted with her before, but at least neither of them remembers it. Still, it would be embarrassing to accidentally try for the same femme twice. He covers his sudden reservations with a glance over the menu. "Fancy hmm? I've been in a few high class establishments in my time, so I'll be the judge of--" he nearly chokes on his words as his optics land on the prices. "Well, n-nothing I haven't seen before," he brags, but inside he's curling into a ball. "I'll get the same," he adds to the bartender. He sure as the pit can't afford anything else.

Gearshift isn't so twiterpated that she doesn't pick up on Octane's faltering. "Don't worry, I spared your wallet." Her voice is gently and sweet, and she herself is polite. "So are you from Kaon? I lived near the shuttle station, made it easier to get to work and go to the gladiator arena." Not that Gearshift liked to go to the arenas much, but there was one reason at least.

<FS3> Octane rolls Deception: Good Success. (4 2 6 2 8 2 8 1 3 4 4 8)

"Hah, don't you worry about that, my wallet will be just fine." It won't. "I've been all over, actually. I used to travel a lot. I was a--" Oh no, he can't say energon transport. It's the same as admitting to being a trucker. "--businessman. Used to go all over the planet and sometimes off-world, making the right investments. But you know, that was back then. What I'm interested in is now." It's becoming habit to smile whenever he feels his words slipping, and this time is no different. "I'm in logistics myself. Still balancing budgets, but it's what I do." He's grateful as the drinks arrive and he can buy a bit of time by taking a sip. Courage restored he turns to her and rests his chin on his knuckles. "So what do you do around here? Besides reading secret datapads at the bar, I mean," he teases.

If Octane had trusted Gearshift with the truth, he'd find himself far from being judged. "I'm sure pre-war you had many sordid affairs," She teases "Business or otherwise." She's gotten a chance to relax now, which means that she's no longer as ruffled. Gearshift licks her lips in thought and smiles back at Octane "I'm a scout, so most of what I do is done off-ship." She muses "though I used to be a waitress, essentially. Nothing fancy."

He stalls. Is it a good thing or a bad thing to be seen as having 'sordid affairs'? He takes another drink as he considers, then he follows it with his finger to his lips again. "If you get to have some secrets, so do I," he teases, then he sets his empty glass down on the bar counter--the cheapest drink sure is small for a frame of his type, but that's why it costs less--and prepares for his next move. "So since you're here, I'm guessing you have some free time from scouting tonight? I'm sure I'm not as interesting as your datapad, but would you like to spend it with me?" He looked at her with hopeful optics.

Gearshift seems surprised at this. Was he asking her on a date? Something date-adjacent? "Of course you're not as interesting" She says softly "You're more interesting." She's being sincere. Others have always held her attention better than a book, unless of course the person is rude, among other things. She can't say for sure how things are about to go, and in the back of her mind she thinks of Roughshod, and how she wants to see him again.

"I take it you'd like to get out of here?" Gearshift asks, standing up from her barstool "Lead the way." She says, pleasantly.

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