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Concert in Bellmuse! Time to turn up the beat! [w/ Spring, Malachite, and Artemis]

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The Remnant sun fell soon enough, and the darkened skies soon began to take over. The night was still quite young when the fox boy stumbled across the area where the performance was set. It certainly was quite extravagant. A wide area was cleared out to make the stage and stage crew were busy running around finishing any last minute set-ups.

A smile formed on the face of the former singer as memories resurfaced of old performances to the forefront. Starting from the very beginning, as a novice artist, his first time was nerve-wracking. Only used to singing in front of family, a large crowd terrified the poor boy. His only solace was the fact that with his face covered, no one could see the embarrassed and scared look that cemented himself as he shakily stood on stage.

"-mes."

Huh?

"-ames."

Is someone talking to him?

"James!"

The boy was drawn from his thoughts when the words were finally registered and he focused on the woman in front of him - Ms. Belle. It seemed she had been trying to get his attention for a while now, if indicated by the annoyed look crossing her face. At least the faunus had the decency to be blush and scratch his neck sheepishly.

"Y-yes?"

"C'mon! We have to get you into costume!"

Before he could even respond, the boy was being dragged by the hand and pulled towards one of the many dressing booths lining the back for the other performances in the concert.  It seemed that a lot more people than he expected were pulled in for this charity event. How his surrogate mother managed that, he wouldn't know, but he won't question her methods.

He preferred to keep a modicum of normalcy.

Like a blur, the boy was tossed into the booth and subsequently tossed out in his garb - black wig and fox mask included. Standing from his position on the floor, he fingered his now black locks as he toyed with a loose bang. His next target was the fox mask planted firmly on his face. He traced the grooves and indents and made himself familiar with his old appearance. Taking in a deep breathe of fresh air, he decided to wander around the area before the concert officially started. In fact, he had a destination in mind: a booth with the familiar symbol of a music note in-between the ear pieces of headphones.

He had an old acquaintance to catch up with.

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Malachite sat in a chair watching in the mirror as a woman with a headset on did his makeup all while talking with someone else about logistics of the show. It had only been about three seconds after he stepped of the airship when Mal’s scroll went off. A contact he hadn’t bothered to delete and yet hadn’t heard from in about four years. Shooting Star Inc. At first he contemplated just letting it go to voicemail. But something tugged at the back of his mind. On a whim he answered it.

One long conversation, well more like begging for him to show up and play a charity concert, later he agreed to show up. It was less than four hours away giving him little time to put together a proper mix for the show, meaning that he would have to do it live. In any case he wasn’t going their just for the concert, no he knew he could get one of those practically whenever he wanted. No the reason he agreed was twofold, the first to get the company to reconsider his previous deal with the album featuring Kitsune, and the second was to get a chance to talk with the aforementioned artist. Their last encounter had ended abruptly so it would be good to have the chance to actually talk to him.

“Alright, you’re all done, dear,” the woman doing his makeup said knocking him out of his own thoughts. Right. Mal had already spent the last four hours picking the songs for his performance so he wasn’t completely BSing the show. Most the songs he had chosen were some of his classics with a few newer ones and some remixes thrown in to keep things different.

Standing from his chair as the woman left his dressing room Mal went over and grabbed his headphones. He reached back and pulled a chord from Beat6 and plugged it into them. Pulling out his laptop and linking it to Beat6 he started to run through the songs and double check that all the selections he had for the night were ready. His ears focused on the electronic notes while his eyes monitored the levels on his laptop screen. So far it looked like everything was in order.

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As the disguised huntsman-in-training continued his stride towards the dressing room of his one-time partner, Malachite Glitch. His thoughts on the DJ were nothing but positive. The girl certainly had her passions in music and a mind wired for creative ingenuity. Hell, due to her tours, she had a wider and more diverse fanbase than himself!

So yeah, he was a tad jealous. So what?

Of course, he couldn't blame her. The music she made, the raw emotion and feeling pouring out was enough to get anyone hooked. He was a little miffed at his mother when the album did not go through, as indicated by the week-long silent treatment he had given to her at the time. The experience of working with Malachite was great, and he truly felt that the album had great potential; hopefully something could be worked out and it would finally have its long-awaited debut.

From what he saw, too, from his occasional check-ups on Malachite and others of the like, it seemed the former also found a talent in pyrotechnics. Honestly, the sheer mass and quantity used was overwhelming - but it was obviously working. Nothing pumps up an audience more than fireworks and flames, as it were.

Waving to the stage crew walking by, the faunus collided with the make-up artist leaving the booth of his destination. With a turn, the huntsman caught the woman with a single arm, and her makeup kit landed neatly on the raised tail. Syne Academy worked wonders on his reflexes and he was proud to show it off. Blinking at the sudden action, the woman could do nothing more but push herself onto her own feet, take back her kit, and nod to the fox before leaving in the direction she was heading before the incident.

Shaking his head amusedly at the woman, he bowed in a flourish to the few spectators of his action before finally moving into the dressing room. Taking a gander at the room, he noted it to be quaint. Not too fancy, yet not too dull. While just a dressing room, it was somewhat homey. Finally his eyes landed on the person he wanted to see. Behind the mask, he couldn't help but smile a bit as this scene, too, was familiar to him.

He, the quiet observer, and her, the diligent worker.

This was the exact same scenario they had when recording the album. Her on her laptop with headphones on, possibly running through the song list a couple of hundred times, while he just sat back and let his thoughts wander - this being a resultant of not wanting to interrupt Malachite. However, he felt that this time, some traditions could be broken.

It had been four long years, and he was curious how she was doing.

Going up the girl, he waved a hand between her line of sight and the laptop, hoping to catch her attention. At the same time, he spoke. "Hey, Mal. Longtime no see. I'm surprised Ms. Belle managed to get you to come, all things considering. How have you been?"

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Usually Malachite would have spent days beforehand working on a mix for the concert, and right about now he would be doing his final checks on the transitions between songs, as when those weren’t smooth it was painfully obvious. But he didn’t have that luxury this time. Right now he was less prepping for the concert and more trying to keep his nerves under control. He had done life mixes before, but that was usually as an encore for a few songs after the main event, this time he would be doing the whole thing live.

He finished double checking his list with a long sigh. At least he had enough time to do that, if he didn’t then this night might have gone down as the worst performance he had ever done. Based on what he had heard on his way here this concert was supposed to be pretty big, though he wondered if they had even put his name on the event since he only just showed up. More than likely they had done it as a concert for Kitusne and he would be a surprise guest, which in all honesty was good. Kitsune had a wide range of fans and not all of them would line up with Mal’s style, which is why he tried to choose his most diverse selection for this one.

When Malachite got focused on something his complete attention was on that task, though even as this task was more of a stress relief than actually being productive it still helped him tune out creeping worries, but on the down side it also made him blatantly unaware of his surroundings. It took a few seconds for him to register the hand waving in front of him. Startled he jumped back in his chair with a girlish “eep!” quickly pulling his headphones off. Looking over at the source of this interruption he saw not a face but a mask and a familiar one at that.

“Kitsune! Don’t sneak up on me like that~♫” Mal said, even in his state of surprise his voice still sounded feminine and almost as though he were speaking in tune. This certainly was unexpected, but also very welcomed. After all the whole reason he had said yes to this entire event was to get a chance to talk with the masked singer.

Mal gave a somewhat awkward smile. He had been caught in the zone and it was a little jarring to suddenly snap away from it. It took him a good few seconds of awkwardly laughing at himself and scratching the back of his head before he fully registered what Kitsune had just said. “Oh, yeah~♪ She literally begged me to come to this event~♫ I to wait like thirty minutes just to say yes~♫” Mal said before his face fell into a slight frown. “I’ve been… not that great to be honest… My mentor died recently...” Mal said with the melody gone in his voice. He left out the other thing that was weighing him down recently as it would have probably sparked a whole conversation he would rather not have.

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He knew that when Malachite was 'in the zone', her spatial awareness was practically zero. However, it was getting pretty ridiculous just... HOW oblivious she became. He had been waving his hand for a few seconds before the girl reacted. The masked fox had to stifle a chuckle when Malachite, startled by his presence, jumped back and released an arguably adorable sound from her lips. This was the first time he had startled the DJ and it was, admittedly, quite fun and amusing.

Perhaps a new tradition for the next time?

For the first time in four years, the fox heard the voice of his collaborator and he couldn't help but roll his eyes at the words spoken, noting the melody in which she spoke. That was always a point of interest regarding the musician. The soft, almost song-like style of speech was not something encountered often - as such, setting her apart from others.

James could not help the embarrassed sigh that escaped his lips upon Malachite's response. Honestly, his mother could be so embarrassing at times. Did she really have to grovel? And for half an hour, too! A simple request to perform would have been enough, but Ms. Belle's eccentricity would not allow her to do simple. The light, if slightly awkward, atmosphere then grew somber at the following words of the DJ - the melody in her voice now absent.

His heart went out to the girl, he too knowing the loss of people close to him. Walking closer to the DJ, he gently placed a hand on her shoulder and smiled, though the mask kept it hidden. "I'm sorry for your loss, Malachite. It's always hard to lose someone so close. But, I'm sure your mentor is in a better place now and is watching you from wherever they are." The fox's voice was soft, sympathy and care underlaying his words. Squeezing lightly, he continued his speech.

"All you can do now is live. Live your life for not only yourself, but for your mentor. Carry their thoughts, their wishes, with you, as they still live through you. You are your mentor's mark on the world, and you should be proud of that."

Taking his hand of his fellow's shoulder, he strode back towards an empty chair and sat down. He would wait for the sullen musician to process his words. There was still a reasonable amount of time before the start of the concert anyways, so that's not a concern. The masked singer idly wondered how recent was the loss, but decided to stay his tongue as to not further bring back unwanted memories for his acquaintance.

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Malachite’s head turned downward slightly before he felt Kitsune’s hand on his shoulder. His words were kind and reassuring. Sure he had felt something like that before but hearing someone else say it made it feel more real. As the fox went to take a seat at the couch Mal took in a long deep breath and a smile came over his face. “I’m sure you’re right. I mean he is the reason why I’m here in Bellmuse in the first place~♫” Mal said with his usual cheer returning to his feminine voice, “I got accepted to Syne academy~♫"

Standing from his chair Mal clasped his hands over his head and stretched backwards, not fully realizing what this was doing to his noticeable chest. He held this pose for maybe a few seconds too long before realizing that he had completely dropped his headphones. With a look of realization coming across his face he looked around the floor to see where they had fallen. Sure enough they were laying on the ground next to the chair he had been in. It was a good thing that they were made out of the same stuff that Beat6 was, if they were normal headphones they would probably had broken by now.

Mal turned and walked over to his headphones his back now facing the dark fox singer. Bending at the hips he leaned over to pick up the headphones. This action of course pulled up the back of his skirt just enough to show maybe an inch of the stripped panties underneath. The thought that Kitsune might have seen him as a girl never entered his mind. Well it did but it wasn’t until his hand had grabbed his headphones. At this point he realized exactly what he was doing and his face flushed.

In one swift yet jerky motion he stood back up strait again. Memories of what had only happened less than a week ago flooded into his mind. His embarrassment soon became overshadowed by doubt and confusion. Was he really a guy? In almost every way he was a girl, the way he looked, talked, acted. He was a girl in every way except for the one that counted. Tightly he gripped the headphones in one hand while his eyes began to water. With another deep breath he wiped away the tear and put on a smile. Right now wasn’t the time for those thoughts. Right now he had a concert to make sure he was ready to do.

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Talk? No.
Sing? Heck yes.

The white haired, blue eyed Android sat in her booth, shifting around uncomfortably as she was prepared for this concert. She was very excited, yet she showed no hint of this feeling, surprisingly enough.
Artemis liked showing emotion.

She, once being all prepped, stood up. A white and pink sleeveless top covered the Android, with arm length, frilly, and fingerless, see through gloves.
A thin, blue-green tinted, see through material covered the parts of her upper chest that the top failed to; Which, in all honestly, was a fair amount of that area. The fanbase found it cute, she supposed.
There was a small gap between her top and her skirt, revealing a bit of the girl's midriff.
Speaking of her skirt, it was a rather short blue and pink one, with the top of it being white, and a small, pink triangle in the center of it, resembling a "play" button. Glossy looking white leggings rose up to a height above her knees, with her blue, pink, and white, quite high boots falling a bit below them.
She had a good form; attractive whilst keeping the cute factor. The fans loved it, just like they loved her music. That's what she cared about most. Making the people happy.

She instinctively bowed to the person who had prepared her things, exiting the booth soon after.
A tiny smile carved its way onto the girl's face as she knocked on many dressing booth doors, shaking the others hands assuming they opened the door.
One door, however, she forgot to knock, twisting the doorknob and opening it without even thinking. A blank expression appeared on her face, not because one of the two occupants, a girl, was bent over to pick something up and did in fact reveal a bit of something. No, it was that she'd just registered the fact that she had just been extremely rude. At least in her mind, she had.

She swiftly backed out, closing the door. A small break followed, before a quiet knock echoed through the booth. It had no meaning now, she had already forgotten her manners, what purpose did it serve now? None. She just did it anyways.
Her face lit up a shade of red as she blushed, half closing her eyes indefeat as they flickered to a deep shade of saddening purple.
The hair of this Android flushed a bright, vibrant pink as she clasped her hands together, extending her arms downwards and placing them around her lower stomach in a polite and formal manner.

'That was bad, that was bad, that was really really bad!!!! I'm such a bad person! Why do I have to be so rude!?
Over reacting? Yes. But what can I say?
Artemis liked showing emotion.

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When she first got there it had been… interesting. The concert was open air and so her original plan of using rafters as a main hub didn’t exactly pan out. And with where this was situated it would have been difficult for her to get a good signal from any of the surrounding buildings. Instead it looked like she would have to get creative. Using her semblance she had snuck back stage and placed hidden cameras just about everywhere, plus some microphones in the dressing rooms. When that was done she went to the broadcasting room where all the camera feeds would go too and quickly piggybacked off their signal. With everything in place she found a spot to hide. Directly under the stage was a series of supply rooms and what looked to be machinery. In any case it didn’t seem like anyone would be coming down here for nay reason.

Setting up her laptop she focused her attention on the camera feed of the dressing room for the artist Kitsune. The wait wasn’t as long as she had expected. James was dragged into the room and with almost inhuman speed he was changed into his costume. Spring didn’t exactly know what this was, but she had heard it described as butterflies in the past. Something about watching him gave her an odd sense of satisfaction. As James left the dressing room she followed him on her series of cameras until he came to another dressing room. When he entered she switched to that room’s camera and microphone.

Now who was his? Some green haired girl who looks way too into whatever she is doing. Of course Spring didn’t catch the irony in her thought as she looked almost the same way. Well it seemed like whoever this what that she knew James. As they began to speak Spring felt a strange heaviness come over her. Without thinking she brought a hand up and began to nervously chew on her thumbnail. The way they acted it seemed like they were friends… at least as best as Spring could tell. After all she didn’t exactly know what kind of actions constituted friendship.

And wait… was this girl… bending over? There was no way, absolutely no way. Was she trying to tease James? Were they like THAT? Violently Spring shook her head trying to get the thought out of her head. Unfortunately the only thing that came to her mind was an overly dramatized scene of James and this other girl in a stereotypically romantic kiss. That was until the door to the room opened and her attention was brought to someone new. Another girl! She opened the door and then almost immediately closed it. Switching her view to dual screen so she could see both the new girl and inside the room Spring watched as this girl’s hair changed color almost instantly. Wow, that was impressive. Wait… one girl… and another… does that mean that James was? A new image filled Spring’s mind. This time she saw James sitting on a throne surrounded by hundreds of scantily clad females while his face split into a wide maniacal grin.

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The dampened atmosphere surrounding the two musicians lightened up considerably when the DJ smiled and her tone of voice resumed that song-like pattern. A smile really did suit her best. He nodded to her words, before an eyebrow was quirked upon the knowledge of Malachite getting accepted into Syne Academy, the very same school he himself was attending - not that the girl knew that.

The masked singer started to debate the pros and cons of revealing his own attendance to the huntsman academy, knowing that having a friendly face around school would help shoulder the weight of being relatively isolated but there was a risk of people getting tipped off on who he was. Photographers and journalists are slippery like that, almost having been caught multiple times back when he was active.

A silent chuckle escaped his lips as the fox watched in amusement as his companion looked for the headphones she was wearing earlier. He had noticed it on the ground next to her seat, but refrained from saying anything to prolong his amusement. Of course, he regretted his decision as a blush crept up on his face.

Did..did she really just?

Yes, yes she did. She honestly bent over, her back to him, to pick up her headphones. The skirt rode up a bit and he caught the slightest sight of stripes and he averted his eyes, thankful for the full coverage his mask provided him. It would not do him well to be caught looking. Once the girl had straightened back up, his eyes were moved forward once more, a sigh of relief softly escaping the confines of the mask.

The sound of the door being opened drew his attention towards the only entrance to the booth. His head tilted in surprise as someone he only knew the bare minimum of, open the door before closing it. There was brief silence before the faunus rolled his eyes when a knock rang through the room. Honestly, the girl had already opened the door, so knocking wasn't really required at that point; he did appreciate the mannerism of it all, though. Nodding to Malachite, he stood from his seat and walked over to the door and opened it.

Wasn't her hair a different color?

He shook the thought from his head before looking right at the seemingly embarrassed lady. His fox mask bore into the girl's face before his voice was heard. "Artemis Daemonystri. I wasn't told that you would be participating in this, as well." During his tenure as Kitsune, James had kept a relatively decent track on any and all performers within Bellmuse. Malachite and now, Artemis, being such two examples. His information train came to a halt, however, and he lost track of much of the others.

Under his breath, he cursed Ms. Belle for not telling him about who was in attendance for the performance. This was the second time he had been caught off-guard about the appearance of a performer.

Stepping to the side, he waved his hand in an arc, motioning for the girl to enter. "Since you're here, come on inside. We can talk there." A small smile played on his lips as he lightly laughed. "You seemed eager enough, as it were."

He couldn't help but tease the poor girl. Of course, he noticed the flush face and half-lidded eyes and decided to ease her worries. "It's nothing to be embarrassed about. It happens to the best of us." His piece said, he walked back to retake his position on the chair.

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Back to his normal upbeat self Malachite turned back around to face Kitsune. Though she was slightly curious of he had seen anything or not it was impossible to tell his facial expressions due to that mask. Even now four years after their first meeting Mal wondered even just a little bit who was under the mask. Four years ago while they had worked together their interactions had been mostly business. They did have a few friendly chats, but because of the deadline imposed on them most of the time Mal was too focused on work to chat.

Due to his lack of attention towards the door and it’s surprisingly quiet operation, to human ears at least, Malachite hadn’t noticed when it had been opened and only when the knock came did he realize that someone was even there. It seemed though that Kitsune was already well aware that someone was there, giving him a nod and moving towards the door. Intrigued Mal followed the fox with his head and watched as he greeted whoever it was outside. When Kitsune greeted the person by name it came as a slight surprise. Then again you tend to make lots of acquaintances in this industry.

Unfortunately Mal didn’t know a lot of the smaller more local artists as he himself tended to be approached more by larger more well known performers. Honestly he liked collaborating with others, and it seemed like there were a lot of small artists who didn’t try to contact him because they simply saw him as too “out of their league” or something. It was kind of sad, but he would never say no to anyone simply because they weren’t well know. Heck, in some cases he might have even been able to help others expand their audience.

Seeing Kitsune welcome the other performer in a rather dramatic way Mal got his first glimpse at she who had knocked. And she was cute, even for being taller than he was Malachite could admit that much. He figured it might be good to set things off of the right foot.

“Hey~♫ How’s it hangin?” Mal said in his usual musical way giving the girl a smile and a wave. Of course he didn't even know about her earlier “intrusion” not that he would care really. The only time he cared was when he was changing… nope nope, not going there right now. More pressing matters at hand.

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