yinyangwizard: (Default)
[personal profile] yinyangwizard
Seimei is waiting at the end of the Bar, as he told Mac he would be when they fixed the date for their, well, date. He's dressed in his usual black suit-and-sneakers ensemble: it's to be a casual-dress outing.

Date: 2008-03-13 03:39 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (in profile: hair up)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
Mac's not so keen on the dressing up thing, so this kind of outing? Is something she's all in favor of.

Most of her hair's tied up, the purple streaks framing her face, and her own sneakers squeak a little as she approaches Seimei.

"Hey."

Date: 2008-03-13 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
Seimei grins and bows - a flourishing European-style bow, rather than a Japanese one. "Ah, the esteemed Wisteria Lady! After a great deal of thought, I have devised an outing that I think you will very much enjoy. You'll probably find it easier if you have this..."

His little dramatic act hits a pothole when he reaches into a pocket, discovers it's the wrong one, and then has to try another pocket to find what he was looking for.

"Here!" The object turns out to be a small bracelet of spherical black beads, each about the size of a thumbnail. "This will grant you the same facility with Japanese that you have with English, and it will let me find you if you get lost. It also has some protective spells, but I don't think we'll be seeing any demons today." Seimei holds the bracelet out to Mac.

Date: 2008-03-13 04:04 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (grin)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
Mac holds back a snicker at the pocket mishap. It's only polite.

When he produces the bracelet, though, and begins to describe it, her eyes widen, and a grin steals across her face.

"Oh, cool," she breathes, accepting the bracelet and turning it over between her fingers. Half-joking, "Wish I'd had this before I finished my foreign language requirement."

She slips it on, continuing to toy with the beads a little as she continues, curious, "Demons are a big thing for you, too?"

(Seriously, her best Milliways friend helps teach people how to slay vampires and her...other, um, friend hunts them for a living. She's starting to think, a little amused, that it's turning into a prerequisite for knowing her.)

Date: 2008-03-13 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"Yes, actually. I'm an onmyoji, or master of Yin-Yang magic. It's sort of a cross between a wizard and a priest, although there was really no distinction between the two back then. I dispelled curses, got rid of demons and kept them from making trouble in the first place. I still do, although there are less of them now than there used to be. And, well, I don't work for the Emperor anymore. I freelance."

That's not technically true, but Seimei isn't totally comfortable with calling himself a protector deity.

"Anyway, there shouldn't be any demons in Akihabara, or at least no particularly troublesome ones...do you know Akihabara?"

Date: 2008-03-13 04:15 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (intrigued; looking up)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
Yep. Totally turning into a prerequisite.

She shakes her head. "What's that?"

Date: 2008-03-13 04:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"Ah. You're in for a surprise then! Akihabara is Tokyo's Electric Town. Computer parts, electronics, anime and manga shops...it's an otaku's paradise." Seimei grins and spreads his hands. "We can't get directly there from here, unfortunately, but we just have to make a quick stop at my house and we can get there through the torii gate."

Date: 2008-03-14 02:32 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (have powerbook will travel)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
So on the one hand: holy crap tech geek Mecca. Mac is so there, and she's got the starry-eyed look on her face to prove it.

On the other...they have to stop at his place?

Uh.

Without thinking, Mac stops fiddling with the beads in favor of circling her whole hand around the bracelet. Stop it, she snaps at herself, mentally, and tries to gather up as much of her earlier enthusiasm as she can.

"Okay," she says. "I'm...cool with that."

Sort of. But: electronics, computer parts, and geeks galore. That is one hell of a metaphorical carrot.

Date: 2008-03-14 02:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
Belatedly, Seimei detects the potential-for-sketchiness in what he just said.

"Er. Sorry, I know that's a bit awkward. But that's where the Front Door goes. It'll be a bit like a railway line transfer, except it will take even less time."

Date: 2008-03-14 02:43 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (see the rainbow come (purple))
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
"No, it's -- "

She waves her hands around, her small smile firming a bit. "It's fine," she repeats. "Seriously. I didn't mean to -- "

Date: 2008-03-14 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"It's all right. If we go on being embarrassed about it, we will stand her stuttering all day. So let us not do that," he says with finality. "Here, follow me."

Seimei goes to the Front Door. When he opens it, the other side contains a spring garden with parts of a house visible through breaks in the foliage - a house with sloping, scalloped roofs on the main hall and wings, raised walkways, paper screens and wooden shutters. Seimei gestures at the door, indicating that Mac should go first.

Date: 2008-03-14 02:57 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (snicker)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
But she's so good at embarrassed stuttering in these kind of situations! Er.

Mac snickers anyway, in wry understanding, and follows to the front door. The house gets a small noise of interested appreciation -- and only a small second's worth of hesitation -- before she clasps the bracelet again and steps through.

Date: 2008-03-14 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
Seimei follows and closes the door behind him. Once he steps through, the door disappears, leaving only the space under a torii gate of the type common to Shinto shrines. Through the gate one can see a street in modern Kyoto, but it looks a little washed-out, as if seen through dirty glass, and there is no sound to be heard at all.

Seimei waves a hand and suddenly the scene on the other side of the gate is different, a packed chaos of signs, tiles, concrete, and above all people. "Akihabara subway station," Seimei says. "Best point of entry if you don't want to be noticed coming out of thin air."

Date: 2008-03-14 03:17 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (:D!!!)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
Whoa, hey, talk about your sensory overload. (Pending sensory overload. Whatever.)

Mac's eyes have gone wide again, in a mix of shock and delight at the scene.

She hadn't even been east of the Mississippi until this January. And she's been to Sam's world, and Andrew's, and that kind of diluted the impact of visiting an entirely different country when Seimei first mentioned where they were going --

But seeing this drives it home. She's not just going to Akihabara; she's going to Japan.

How freakin' awesome is that?

She's beaming, sudden and bright, as she spins around to look up at him. "And just -- " A quick gesture to the gate. "Step through and we're there, right?"

Date: 2008-03-14 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
Seimei nods. "Exactly. We can step through together, but might get separated in the crowd. Although it's not much of a problem - just let them carry you to the exit and I can find you, if that happens. Ready?"

Date: 2008-03-14 03:21 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (grin)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
"Yeah I'm ready."

Taking a quick, but deep breath, like she's about to jump into a pool -- which isn't a bad analogy, considering the density of the crowds -- Mac steps through and into the subway station.

Date: 2008-03-14 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
The two of them are suddenly part of a densely packed crowd disembarking from a subway train, and are swept toward the station's exit like leaves being carried down a river. They do lose track of each other about halfway there, but as Seimei promised, he manages to find Mac again outside the subway station. He gently directs her out of the path of foot traffic, so if she should feel the need to take a good look at Akihabara - which she probably will - she won't be in anyone's way, or risk getting knocked into.

Just about every available non-window surface on the buildings here is either painted or covered in bright billboards. And many of the people are just as bright and colorful: this is, after all, a popular destination for geeks.

"The real fun is in the little shops in the alleyways. You can find all sorts of things there, including old software and systems they don't make any more.

Date: 2008-03-14 03:40 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (:D!!!)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
See that enormous grin?

Yeah, it's not going anywhere any time soon.

"Dude. Best outcome of getting myself auctioned off ever," she declares, turning in a slow circle to take in the --

Oooh, hey, look at that one!

"How about there?" she asks, pointing to a store with a dozen different computers in its window, and before Seimei can respond, she's already making a beeline for it.

Mac doesn't normally have the attention span of a gadfly. Really. But there is so much shiny.

Date: 2008-03-14 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
Seimei shrugs and follows her - he'd only have stopped her if she'd picked a brand-name store, which this one isn't.

He's a bit worried, though, that if she makes a habit of doing this, the finder spell in the bracelet he gave her is going to be working overtime.

Date: 2008-03-14 03:47 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (my OS can beat up your OS)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
When Mac comes down from the initial giddiness of being around more computer stores than she's ever visited in her life, she'll realize what she's doing and give the poor finder spell a break. For now, there are laptop parts to be had. There's a --

"Oh my God they actually have a Newton."

She's laughing in disbelief as she peers at it.

Date: 2008-03-14 03:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"They've got everything here. Even parts for HAM radios, although that would be deeper in. If you want Macintosh parts, I know a place..."

Date: 2008-03-14 04:04 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (have powerbook will travel)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
Mac instantly perks up.

Okay, perks up more.

"Where?"

Date: 2008-03-14 04:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"Here, come on." Seimei leads her out of the store, back into the street, and down a narrow alley. Here there are little stalls selling cheap PC parts and media: Seimei slips into a store displaying a rainbow-colored apple-with-a-bite-out on it.

Inside there are shelves and boxes full of monitors, keyboards, RAM sticks...all sorts of Apple hardware for various models of computers. "Laptop or desktop? They have both kinds."

Date: 2008-03-14 04:16 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (my OS can beat up your OS)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
"Yes, please." Cheerfully joking, before she adds, "Let's start with laptop and go to desktop?"

She's still got a little bit of extra space in her PowerBook for another RAM expansion. And, hey, she had some extra cash left over after she finally paid off her tab.

...come to think of it, she might have enough cash to score an upgrade to a whole new laptop.

Hmmmm.

Date: 2008-03-14 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"They'll give you a discount if you swap out your old parts to get new ones - they rely on recycled parts for their supplies."

Yes, Seimei, encourage the starry-eyed geek, why don't you?

Date: 2008-03-14 04:21 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (have powerbook will travel)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
Mac groans.

"And you caught me with the one time I don't have my laptop with me." Teasing, "They don't do IOUs, do they?"

Date: 2008-03-14 04:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
Seimei scratches his head. "I'm a regular customer here. They might take my word on it - if you could give me the parts later to bring to them."

Date: 2008-03-14 04:27 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (see the rainbow come (purple))
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
...Wow, she wasn't actually expecting that to work. Awesome.

"I think this could be arranged." Serene. And then, with full sincerity, "Seriously, thank you so much for this."

Date: 2008-03-14 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
Seimei smiles warmly. "I'm very glad to see you enjoying yourself. And I will be glad to help you in your quest to upgrade your computer." He concludes with a chuckle.

Date: 2008-03-14 04:41 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (snicker)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
"And what a noble quest it will be," she intones, before almost immediately breaking into a snicker and diving back into the array of laptop parts.

The plan, as she explains to him, is both simple and elegant: get parts to suitably upgrade a MacBook Pro, actually buy said MacBook Pro, then trade in her PowerBook here.

"I've had it for five years," she finishes up, matter-of-factly. "I'm loyal, but sometimes? It's a tenuous and conditional loyalty."

Especially in the face of all this, because, seriously.

Date: 2008-03-14 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"Ah, good idea. Although I don't know if you'll void the warranty that way." Seimei shrugs. "Although if something happens, I can bring your computer here and they will fix it." He leans over and whispers, "Do not tell Steve Jobs."

Date: 2008-03-14 04:46 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (grin)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
That gets an amused snort. "If I ever wind up on a first name basis with Steve Jobs, I just might be able to die happy." Waving a dismissive hand, "Anyway, I've done worse to get my warranty voided."

Beat.

"Pretend I didn't say that."

Date: 2008-03-14 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"Say what?" Seimei asks with a great big helping of feigned innocence.

Date: 2008-03-15 03:20 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (sly smile)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
"Exactly."

Mac shoots him a mischievous smirk, then catches sight of a promising-looking display and says, "Hey, I think that might have stuff -- "

Twenty minutes later, she has an armful of equally promising-looking items, ranging from hardware to accessories to a few choice bits of software, and is trying extremely hard not to add anything else to her collection. She's kind of failing.

Date: 2008-03-15 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"You'll use up all your hard-earned bar credit if you're not careful," Seimei warns her over his shoulder from where he's talking to the shopkeeper at the counter. "You are also making Nibu-san nervous."

Date: 2008-03-15 03:26 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (my OS can beat up your OS)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
"Yeah, I know," she says with a resigned sigh, reluctantly fishing out a package to return to its proper place. It's followed by an apologetic (and nervous) smile toward the shopkeeper. "Um. Sorry? I'm not -- seriously, I'm not going to steal anything or -- "

It's just the shiny.

Date: 2008-03-15 03:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
Judging by the shopkeeper's reaction, he thinks this is very funny.

"Nothing like that!" Seimei says. "He thought you were going to buy the whole store.

"I'm going to put down a deposit with him, which I will get back when I bring in your old components," Seimei says.

Date: 2008-03-15 03:40 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (snicker)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
"Not until I win the lottery, dude," she tells the shopkeeper, flustered but laughing. "But I think, um -- " She looks down at her haul. "This'll keep my addiction soothed for the next six months, so it's a good start. And, cool -- " that's to Seimei, " -- as soon as I get it cleaned up and transfer all my files, it's all yours."

Date: 2008-03-15 03:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"Very good," he says. "Once you and I have settled up with Nibu-san, there's a decals shop not far from here. And there's also one with lovely casings for people who build their own computers - for PCs, but it's a nice place to browse even if you aren't into that sort of thing."

Date: 2008-03-15 03:50 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (my OS can beat up your OS)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
"Hey, I respect casing artistry in all forms." Plunking her purchases on the counter, "Even among the heathens."

It's just solemn enough to be clear that she's joking.

Within a few minutes and a few exchanged pleasantries (in Japanese, she thinks, with the same giddy disbelief as before; I'm actually speaking Japanese), they're exiting the store, Mac swinging a pair of bags and looking for all the world like the cat who got the canary.

Date: 2008-03-15 03:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
Seimei wisely stops back home with Mac's numerous bags before they continue on their adventure. After visiting the shops he mentioned (and a few more), they go to a gaming cafe and join in a few rounds of multiplayer games. They end with dinner at a small sushi restaurant that's been in Akihabara since before the Pacific War: the old woman who runs it remembers when the Electric Town was just a black market for electronics, vacuum tubes and radio components.

At long last, tired from their excursion and filled with good food, they return to Seimei's house, this time through an alleyway, and then Milliways.

Date: 2008-03-15 04:09 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (shyly pleased)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
This is probably one of the best night's Mac's had in...

Well. A while. And it's kind of hard to put into words what a relief that is: that not only was it an awesome night, but an awesome night with somebody she barely knew.

That's even rarer.

She fidgets with her bags a little, and her smile is shy but grateful. "Thanks for all this. Uh, again," she says. "I had a really great time."

Date: 2008-03-15 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"Ah, good. That was after all the point of the whole exercise." Seimei lifts her hand and kisses it. "I hope that we might do something like this again some time. If I can find something to top Akihabara. And if you're willing, of course."

Date: 2008-03-16 12:44 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (brushing hair from eyes)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
"Oh, um -- "

All Mac does for a second is blink at her hand, awash in an unexpected and pretty freakin' strong wave of guilt. When she looks up to meet Seimei's eyes, there's another second where, just for an instant, Sam's standing there instead.

Her smile's suddenly gotten a lot more hesitant.

"Sure. Um. As -- " Why should this matter? Nevertheless, it comes tumbling out: "It's cool if it's a friend thing though, right?"

(A friend thing. God, what is she, thirteen? And it's not like she and Sam are even --

(God.)

Date: 2008-03-16 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
Seimei sighs melodramatically. "I suppose it means I will have to pine away for you," he says, obviously not serious. "I'll have to decide whether to exile myself in a faraway province and compose sad music and poetry, or shave my head and become a Buddhist monk."

Realizing that Mac might not actually find this funny, Seimei takes himself to more sincere ground. "It's all right. Your friendship would be much valued. Although, of course, if you should ever decide to change your mind..."

Date: 2008-03-16 01:30 am (UTC)
q_in_training: (small smile)
From: [personal profile] q_in_training
Despite her nerves, Mac rolls her eyes good-naturedly at his melodrama; at the next, though, the uncertainty fades into something very much like relief.

"We'll see what happens," she finishes, smile firming up as she shrugs. As she readjusts her hold on her bags: "And I'll see you soon."

Date: 2008-03-16 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yinyangwizard.livejournal.com
"I hope so. Remember to bring me your old laptop for Nibu-san, and I will be sure to get it back to him."

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