(2017-01-08) Movie Night in Metis
Movie Night in Metis
Summary: A reasonably quiet night in the Metis hub with the boys.
Date: 2017-01-08
Related: None
Scene Runner: NA

Metis Dorm Hub

     Taka wanders in from the kitchen with a large bowl of the latest Terran delicacy he's been introduced to: popcorn.  Movie theater butter style.  Judging from the size of the bowl, probably two microwavable packs went into it.  How he stays that small… well, alien metabolism.  As usual, he's got a book with him, but he's not bothered opening it.  Yet.
     He sets the bowl down on a coffee table, drops the book on an end table, and sprawls out on a couch, immediately availing himself of a handful of hot buttery kernels.  "Mmf."

     Ryuunosuke is very easy to ignore here.  He isn't making much noise.  He's seated on one of the couches, sitting tailor-style, with a blanket wrapped around him.  He's probably cold, which might be why he's so quiet.  Or it might have something to do with the new line of tattoos that can be glimpsed underneath one ear.  And come to think of it, he does seem rather listless.  He's just sitting there staring at the floor.

     Somehow the hub is above water level and there's no Sealab 2021 view out the windows.  For that reason, Seth is sitting in a shadowed area, studying, taking advantage of the time to catch up.  But he's about to explode from boredom.  He decides to peer out all the shadows to see who else is here.  All of them at once.
     Oh, hello, roomie has just appeared with Pops-corns (as opposed to pop-scorns, which would be a different food) and Seth sneaks a hand out of a shadow to steal a few kernels, before shifting to the kitchen to make his own.

     "Hey everybody, what's up?"  Keith enters the room, a number of books under his right arm.  It's time to play catch-up after having procrastinated through Friday and Saturday.  "Heeeey, do I smell… popcorn?"
     It's the Bird's popcorn.  The cat decides to claim his stake.  He deposits the books on the coffee table and basically ends up sprawled on the couch, pretty much on top of Taka as if to keep him from grabbing more popcorn.  "Mine!  All mine!  I will fight you all for honor and glory… and butter!"  He reaches over and grabs a handful of popcorn, grinning.  "…. alright, with my territory claimed… how is everybody?"
     He will not actually attack anyone trying to grab a handful.

     Taka has one fairly succinct comment to sum up the situation: "Ack!"  However, Keith has left himself open to one avenue of attack, and the birdman gives the cat's tail a firm, but not actually hard, tug.  "Hey!" he protests.  "I am not a feather mattress!  However," he continues, draping an arm affectionately over Keith, "I will not ask you to move."
     Affectionately… until Taka reaches over, grabs the bowl and quickly hides it between himself and the back of the couch, making a sort of self-contained wing fort and cackling merrily.

     Seth starts a bag of the microwave stuff.  It's unhealthy as sin and he'll have to use magic on it to make it safer to eat, but meanwhile… Taka has made a wing-fort, which is basically a shadow area with popcorn in it.  Seth takes another handful.  Then he notices a misery-beset Ryuu lurking on a couch.  He starts a mug of hot cocoa, because clearly whatever that noise-and-fuss was (Seth was off doing family stuff and only heard about it) the outcome is that Ryuu is returned, miserable.
     "Hmte-tum-te-microwaves are so dang slow," he sings.  Because they are.
     "Ryuu," he whispers from nearby the other snake-shadower, "what do you like in your hot cocoa?"

     Keith lets out a yelp when his tail is tugged.  Taka manages to outmaneuver him through distraction, and he seems about to protest until Taka puts an arm around him.  Hm.  Fine.  He is mollified, for the moment.  "… fine, I will have to take revenge upon you for this.  Later."  He smirks and bumps his nose against Taka's, before turning his attention to Ryuu after settling comfortably to snuggle against the bird-man.
     "Hey Ry… are you feeling cold?  I've got a snuggie in my room I could go fetch if it'll help?"  Yes.  He owns a snuggie.  It may be a crime.

     Ryuunosuke looks up at the sound of Seth's voice from the shadows.  He's moving noticeably slower than normal.  "…Nani?"  Pause.  "What?"  Blink.  "Oh.  Plain is fine.  Katajikenai."  Another pause.  "Thank you."  Then he pauses again as Keith speaks, turning to look in his direction.  "That's… all right.  But thank you."  He definitely seems different somehow.  A lot of his menace has left him, and he seems to be almost confused.  But he's paying attention now, and looking over in the general location of the group.

     Taka's laugh fades off into a trill, and he unwraps himself from being wing-forted.  "Okay, I will share.  Especially since if I do not, Seth will shadow it all away from me."
     Then Taka sits up a little, peering past Keith, absently rubbing the cat's shoulder.  "Ryuu?  You do not sound well."

     The popping corn reduces its speed, and Seth is running the hot water heating thing, and he shakes the bag of popcorn before discovering that Taka has removed his bowl from convenient shadow.  OK, so he'll dump it in a second bowl — after starting another bag.
     One of the things that gets stocked, "grandmother cocoa," is a popular mexican-style drinking chocolate.  Seth uses one of the larger mugs, and three-quarters of a disk of the stuff, and hot water just under boiling, to make the cocoa drinkable.
     "So what happened to you?" he says, appearing from the shadow behind Ryuu, with the hot cocoa.  "You got scolded?"

     Ryuunosuke doesn't immediately answer Taka's concern.  He opens his mouth as if to… and then pauses.  He closes his mouth again, slowly exhaling the breath he'd drawn in to speak, not quite a sigh.  Finally he decides on, "…It's nothing.  Probably just… getting sick, that's all."  Seth's question, however, is more to the point.  And as the other student appears from the shadow with the cocoa, Ryuunosuke winces.  Well, he can't hide it now.  The word 'scolded' seems to be what made him wince.  He reaches up to rub gingerly at the back of his neck.  When he moves the hair aside, the new tattoos can be seen a little better.  They're like the ones he has on his arms and legs (currently covered up because of the school uniform and the blanket he's got wrapped around himself.  "…In a manner of speaking…" he admits quietly, as he accepts the cocoa.  For the moment he just keeps his hands around the cup.  Snakes like their warms about as much as cats do, after all!

     Taka doesn't look convinced, but he isn't going to accuse Ryuu of lying to him.  He hasn't seen him since their encounter after the holiday, and has been concerned.  He settles back down onto the couch with Keith, although stretched out so he can see Seth and Ryuu.  "If you ever want to talk, Ryuu," he offers, "you know where my room is.  I do not like seeing you like this."

     Seth looks at Ryuu, and his eyes go completely dark for a moment.  He holds very still, then shakes his head sadly, very briefly, and vanishes back to the kitchen again, making two more cups of cocoa, and one cup of herbal mint tea because his roomie reacts oddly to the chocolate.  The second bag of popcorn is almost done, so he waits long enough to pull it out, and then shadow-slides into the lounging area, placing cocoa and tea where they should be, and adding half the popcorn from the second bag to the bowl that Taka has, and the rest into the bowl he was planning to share with Ryuu.
     "I'm sorry that had to happen, Ryuunosuke, Orochi."  How much does second sight reveal?  Usually just a hair too much.

     Keith looks at Ryuu and looks completely unconvinced.  His arm around Taka tightens a bit, because he's making a mental effort NOT to prod — the question he wants to ask is just at the tip of his tongue, it wants to worm its way out.  Curiosity not only killed the cat, but it killed friendships, too.  Quickly, he needs something to do with his mouth…
     He looks at Taka for a second, and then… popcorn.  He greaches for a handful and shoves it into his mouth.
     "ifff gooff pehpkern…."
     Catastrophe averted.

     Ryuunosuke winces again at Taka's concern.  He mumbles soething under his breath in Japanese, something that sounds more than a little grumpy, and takes a sip of his cocoa.  Seth's words get a quiet grunt of surprise from Ryuunosuke, and he looks up with wide eyes.  Then he looks away, frowning.  "…It was my own fault."  But he doesn't seem inclined to talk any more about it than that.  However, when Keith doesn't seem inclined to ask about it, he sighs a bit, in relief.  He looks up briefly, sending a grateful look at Keith, before sipping at his cocoa again.

     Taka blinks once at Keith, and looks at him, as though something were said aloud, and nods as in agreement.  He glances up as Seth places a mug of tea for him, with a smiles and a soft, "Thank you," followed by another worried look to Ryuu.  And another handful of popcorn.  Because popcorn.

     Seth grabs a remote control, and coils down next to Ryuu, wrapping an arm around him.  Seth isn't cold-blooded at the moment, so he's providing heat.  He points the control at the television and turns on Netflix.
     "Who wants to binge-watch terrible television for a while?"
     He takes a handful of popcorn and tastes a few pieces.  OK, it's… tolerable.  There are better ways to cook this foodstuff.

     "Have you instructed Taka on the purpose of that?" Keith asks, "I mean… I have enjoyed warping Tweetie's concept of our society immensely, but we should really explain that we enjoy watching bad things occassionally for the sheer ridiculous humor of it."  He looks at Taka.
     "What I just said."
     He reaches over and boops his nose.  "We could also watch awful pretentious art-cinema.  There's some truly awful stinkers out on the 'Flix.'

     Ryuunosuke can almost feel Taka's worried look.  He sighs.  "…Gomenasai."  The dip of his head should give the context needed for that word.  He shifts, about to stand up and leave, so he won't bring the mood down any further, when Seth 'sits' next to him and rather traps him!  He tenses a bit at the arm around him, but doesn't move away.  He settles again, without complaint.  Because it's actually kind of nice that someone's actually seeking his presence rather than running from it.  Not that he's going to admit that!  He'll stay quiet at the suggestion, though, and look between Seth and Keith at the following explanation.

     Taka giggles.  "My world has had moving image technology of one sort or another for hundreds, maybe more than a thousand years.  I can promise you that not all productions have been masterpieces.  And for the last few hundred years, mindport technology has meant a basic telepathic interface with the production."  He shakes his head, still laughing.  "I have heard the phrase 'that which has been seen can not be unseen'.  I might add that which has been thought can not be unthought."
     He nestles in closer with Keith.  "Of course, if I were to show simple documentary footage of this school on my own world, they would never believe that it is true."

     Seth sips cocoa while setting the 'Flix to play; he's exploring various options.  He stops and stares… "The hell."
     There is a "Tarzan and Jane" re-imagined with Tarzan and Jane re-imagined as highschool kids.
     "OK you guys get to each flip to something and we vote on what it is we end up watching?  Unless you all just want to watch Zootopia."

     "We are NOT watching Zootopia.  The last thing I need is people making comments about me wearing one of those glittery shorts.  No.  I veto it right away!"  Keith smirks, leaning in to nuzzle Taka's neck.  "Any suggestions, Ryu?  Anything that cheers you up?  If not, we could always watch Weekend at Bernie's.  That always cheers me up…"
     He pauses.  He makes a mental note never to mention that movie around their zombie friend…

     Ryuunosuke emits a soft snort of laughter at Taka's words.  But he does suggest, "…That could be a useful talent to perfect here.  Horror movies with a telepathic interface might be uniquely terrifying."  Of course he'd think of something like that.  And then he huffs a laugh again at Seth's reaction.  "By now you should know that Hollywood will remake anything with a 'trendy' newness."  Keith's question gets a tilt of his head.  "Eeto… what's the name of that movie.  'Yojinbo'?  Aa… there is a western adaptation, I like it." Pause.  "Literal western.  Guns and cowboys." Well, Orochi's an old demon, it makes sense he'd like old movies, right?

     "For a Fistfull of Dollars, then?" Seth says, and searches for it.  Probably not active in the 'Flix at the moment, but there are other places.
     A handful of popcorn disappears.  Seth considers what he will need to eat to offset this seed-matter so it won't stick in his gut.  Probably some raw hamburger.  He summons a Kitchen Beast to go check the kitchen.  He might have to send it off to the Actual Kitchens.

     "Wait… how about the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra?"  Keith pauses, and hms.  "No, we should probably show the bird some more unintentionally bad movies before he can appreciate an intentionally bad one."
     He grins and yawns, resting his head on Taka's shoulder so he can watch the television comfortably.  "Take it away, Seth, I will trust your bad taste…"
     Wait.  Is that a compliment?

     "He has a point," Ryuunosuke acknowledges.  "Though be careful.  The worst can warp you."  Seth's question gets a nod.  "I think that's what it's called."  There's a pause there, and he reaches over almost shyly and nicks a few pieces of the popcorn from the same bowl as Seth.  He does quiet as the search for a movie occurs.

     "Warp me."  Taka rolls his eyes.  "I think it is far too late for that, your planet has probably done that to me already.  Although…"  He trails off, thinking.  "Are there any programs about people like me?  With wings?  I admit that I am curious if they got anything right."

     "Oh, sure, this one has people sort of like you in it," Seth says.  He knows this one because one of his tutors was into bad movies.  And good movies.  And this movie, for some reason.  The movie starts off with music.
     "FLASH!  OooOOH Saviour of the UNIVERSE!"

     Keith's tail frizzes.  "Oh god… this one.  With the eye-popping thing.  I can't watch the eye popping scene."  He shudders and shakes his head.  "That part was just gross.  Ew.  Seth, you're gonna owe me bad for this."

     Ryuunosuke actually chuckles at Taka's words.  "Until a god tries to cut your head off, you aren't too far gone," he says.  That is a remarkably specific benchmark.  The music, though, that gets a smile.  "I have seen this one before."  The tone seems to indicate a positive opinion of it.  He blinks at Keith's words, and at the tail-frizzing reaction, tilts his head.  He seems confused.

     Taka's eyes widen.  "Eye popping?  I don't think I want to see that."  Still, he peeks past Keith at the screen, ready to bury his face in cat shoulder at the slightest provocation.  He glances at Seth.  "There is really no eye popping in this movie, is there?"

     "Yes, there is a lot of very colorful, paint-like gore.  It's quite theoretically distressing.  There's also a lot of very good other special effects.  We can skip the gross parts if you must," Seth says grinning.  "But realize that it's all quite exaggerated."

     Keith sighs, "Alright, alright, we'll watch it, but you can't make me look through that scene."  He looks at Ryu.  "You know, where the…"  He pauses.  He can't explain what he means without ruining the plot for Taka.  "I just get squicked out by it.  I guess that when it comes to it, I'm a giant wuss."

     Ryuunosuke smirks.  To Taka, he notes, "The effects are all very obviously fake.  As Seth said, theoretically distressing, if it didn't look like half-melted plastic in the vague shape of eyes."  Keith gets a nod.  "I believe I remember the part you mean.  I thought it was funny.  Mainly due to those special effects.  The actors are amusing.  Not wishing to spoil, I will say… 'hammy'?  Is that the word?"  He looks around for consensus.

     "Well…" Taka says uncertainly, "I will wait and see.  I suppose I can watch until then.  And I can pick up from Keith's mind when the scene is coming up, as long as we are in contact with each other."
     He blinks confusedly at Ryuu.  "I thought ham was meat.  One of the ones I can have."

     "It is, but it's also slang for a kind of bad acting.  It's very sincere and entirely unconvincing, at the same time."
     Seth offers Ryuu the popcorn bowl, when his Kitchen Beast returns with a small bowl of something wet and coppery smelling.  OK, it… might… be raw hamburger.  Or it might be chicken gizzards.  The Kitchen Beast doesn't always get those two correct.

     Ryuunosuke nods to Taka's mention of picking up when the scene is coming from Keith.  "You might just pick the scene itself up from his mind rather than just the cue, though."  And to Seth's words, he agrees.  "Un."  It sounds more like 'nnn' actually.  "Over-acting?  'Hamming it up'?"

     "You know..  we should look up the origin of the expression.  That way not onlyd oes Taka learn about our idiomatic idiosyncracies… we do, as well!"  He reaches for his phone, but then he realizes he'd have to stop being cuddled up to Taka to search.  "Somebody google it.  Yeah."
     Cat labor delegation..

     "Ah, I understand, I think," Taka says, and it sounds like he actually does.  "If it is silly, I think I can handle it.  And if it is insufficiently silly, I can always look away or hide behind Keith or both."

     Seth continues to watch, while sneaking a few round shapes of meat of some sort into his mouth.  This movie is better, i.e.  more stupid in a fun way, than he remembered… 'HOT HAIL' and 'FIRE RAIN' labeled on switches like something out of an old Batman episode.
     "Fine, I'll google it."
     Phone poking proceeds apace, and Seth looks slightly pained.
     "It probably comes from 'The Hamfat Man' which was a song sung by black minstrels in the late 1800s, and subsequent use of 'Hamfatter man' by people derogatory of minstrel shows.  Evolved into a term for an untalented actor prone to overacting."

     Ryuunosuke tilts his head at Keith's suggestion.  "That's not a terrible idea," he acknowledges.  He's got cocoa in one hand and popcorn in the other though.  Even if it's not really stopping him from eating the popcorn slowly.  Besides that he doesn't have his phone.  And he nods to Taka's words.  "It is, if I remember it correctly.  Though looking away should keep the trauma to a minimum if it gets too much."  Seth's discovery gets a thoughtful sound from Ryuunosuke.  "It does make sense, at least."

     Keith frowns for a second as he hears Seth's explanation.  "Language is such a strange thing.  Isn't it bizarre how we use the expression but usually don't know where it came from?  It's a litttle sad, really.  I wonder how many orphaned little phrases there are peppered throughout our vernacular, sad and forgotten."  He reaches for some popcorn, "Man, I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse!"

     "I do not know where many of the words in my own language come from," Taka says, reaching over Keith for more popcorn.  "I can not even guess about yours.  I mean, I know my own name means 'soaring spirit'.  But I could not tell you why the 'ta' part means what it does, or the 'ka' part.  I suppose really they are just sounds that got used thousands of years ago and stuck."
     He watches the TV for a few minutes, intently.  "This is very odd."
     And then Brian Blessed appears.
     Taka stares for a moment.
     And then he starts to laugh.  Almost hysterically.

     Meanwhile, Seth is singing along with the soundtrack.  He grins widely when Brian Blessed begins birding around.  This WAS a good choice.
     "Wait til you see Ming."

     Ryuunosuke adds to Keith's statement, "English especially.  It steals from other languages."  Pause, headtilt.  "Then again so does mine."  He watches the movie, mostly quietly, nibbling on that popcorn.  Until suddenly Taka starts to laugh.  He blinks.  "Do you find the scenery feast that funny?" he asks, seeming a little confused.  Seth's mention of Ming gets a quiet snicker, and he gives that affirmative grunt again.  "He's quite unbelievably evil, 'just for the hell of it'."

     Keith grins.  Ah, Brian Blessed.  "You guys know that he once punched a Polar Bear?"  He points at the screen.  "This man made his career out of being a fine purveyor of ham.  He should've been called Brian Antipasto."
     "After this, we totally should watch Red Sonja.  Because…"

     Taka is laughing so hard he can hardly breathe.  The only thing he can do is close his eyes and bury is face in Keith's shoulder until he can get the giggles under control.  "Oh, oh c'Rhys'yw," he gasps.  "That could never fly!  He is shaped like a — like a — I do not know!  Keith, it looks like this, if it looks like anything you know, tell them!"  He places his hand on Keith's cheek, concentrating to show him a mental image.

     "He's thinking of a dildo, isn't he?" Seth says, as a ship moves across the screen.  "Unless he's thinking of Brian Blessed as a bear with wings."
     Seth's quite happy to get the chance to make his roomie fall into a giggling mess.  And, he needs to get a screen that size for their dorm room.  It's not quite big enough, but it's better than it could be.

     Ryuunosuke grins, the expression lopsided, at Keith's suggestion of a new name for Brian Blessed.  Though the mention of the new movie gets a tilt of his head.  That one he hasn't seen, apparently.  Taka's continued giggling draws his attention.  "I imagine that looks odd," he observes.  "Like a person with tiny feet?"  A snort of laughter at Seth's words then.  "Saa… I assume he's referring to Mr.  Blessed being rather… round?"
     Unfortunately, Ryuunosuke will end up having to wait on 'Red Sonja'.  At least for himself.  Close to the end of the movie he yawns, his jaw unhinging a little.  And not too much longer after that, unless Seth moves (or shoves Ryuunosuke off the couch or something), he might find himself with a sleeping snake-demon possessed teen sleeping against his shoulder.  He's had a hell of a weekend, after all.

     "A..  potato with feathers," Keith answers, and settles down to enjoy the rest of the movie.  "Just wait till you get to the squicky part.  This movie has so much cheese.  Cheese and ham.  This movie is a veritable panini!"
     He puts his arms around Taka and grins, trying not to yawn.  The warmth does have a certain effect on felines.

     Eventually the movie is over, and as predicted, Seth needs to take Ryuu to his room, because he's very asleep.  Seth's still giggling at Ming being impaled by Rocket Ajax, along with still snickering at how… responsive… Flash was to the Ring with its odd little compulsions.
     "I'll be in shortly," he says to Taka.  The Kitchen Beast cleans up the bowls and mugs, and Seth slips off into the shadows with his sleeping cargo.

     Taka collapses in giggles again.  That wasn't exactly what he had in mind, but it's a perfectly apt description.  "Potato," he splutters, and collapses into helpless laughter again, cackling joyously, if muffledly, into Keith's shoulder.

     "There, there," Keith says, patting Taka, "Poor child is traumatized…."
     When the movie is over and Seth takes his momentary leave, Keith takes advantage of the moment to give Taka a quick peck on the cheek.
     Then he adds, "There's something going on with Ryu, there, and he's not telling…"

     Taka trills softly at the kiss and returns it, and takes a few deep breaths.  He seems to have control of himself at last, though he doesn't dare look at the TV in case of further improbably-feathered Blessed.
     "I think you are right," Taka agrees.  "I do not know what happened to him, but he does not seem like himself.  I hope it is not my fault.  I went into his mind, the day after your big holiday.  It was… strange.  He ran from me, and I begin to think I may have hurt him.  By accident."

In Ryuunosuke's room:
     Seth may notice something odd upon bringing Ryuunosuke to his usual room.  The room that Ryuunosuke occupied before the odd disappearance is still missing any of the items that were there before.  There isn't even a suitcase there.  But the bed's made, so there's that…

     No luggage or whatever.  Smell of recently imposed holiness.  Yeah, his stuff's been 'jacked.  Seth puts Ryuu onto his bed, and summons a Finding Beast.
     "First," he says in serpentine, "bring the heavy comforter from my room at home here.  Then find this person's luggage and personal effects, which may be in Japan, and bring them here."
     He waits the five minutes it takes for the comforter — of a weight that would get it called a "futon" in Japan, though it's not anywhere NEAR as massive as the things that get that name in the US.  He spreads it out so Ryuu can sleep properly.  The other stuff, well, it may or may not be here in the morning.

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