[Interview]B.A.P Brings Party Baby Tour Stateside, Talks 'Wake Me Up': 'We Are Part of the Current Generation'
From the first moment of “Hurricane” to the final note of their encore performance of “Bang X2,” Korean boy band B.A.P hyped up the crowd at New York City’s Terminal 5 on Saturday (April 8) night. The second stop during the US leg of their 2017 Party Baby world tour, the set list was built around the group’s most danceable songs to create a club-like environment where the band and their fans, known collectively as BABY, could party it up and revel in the group’s artistry.
Water guns, a costume contest, and a handful of solo sets – beginning with the two youngest, Jongup and Zelo, each of whom showed immense growth as singers since their last visit to New York – helped set a festive, intimate tone for the night, which saw B.A.P radiate with joy throughout as fans cheered and danced along with their high-energy performances. There was certainly a lot to celebrate on this latest tour, which was the group’s fourth throughout their time together: Five years into their career, B.A.P has seen multiple No. 1 albums on the World Albums Chart, including last year’s Noir. More recently, the group returned with their Rose EP and the profound single “Wake Me Up” in March, their first new music since rapper-songwriter Bang Yongguk returned after taking a break last year from B.A.P’s promotions due to mental health-related issues.
Billboard sat down with the K-pop act (Zelo, Bang Yong Guk, Him Chan, Dae Hyun, Young Jae and Jong Up) ahead of their New York show to discuss their latest releases and what makes the Party Baby tour a new experience for B.A.P and their fans.
Welcome back to New York! How does it feel to be performing here once again?
Him Chan: It was hard getting over from Atlanta to New York as there were some [weather-related] difficulties. But the fact that we’re here in New York right now fills us with positive energy. We’re looking forward to putting on another amazing performance for our fans tonight.
You toured the United States multiple times in the past, but is there anything that you’re looking forward to particularly on this tour?
Young Jae: I’m looking forward to going to Washington D.C., just because I’ve always wanted to visit. Him Chan: On our first US tour we went to Washington, but because a lot of things have changed since then we’ve wanted to visit again.
This is the Party Baby tour even though in the past you’ve always brought your Live on Earth tours to the US. How are the two different?
Jong Up: Compared to previous concerts that we’ve put on in the past, we tried to orientate Party Baby more towards interaction between ourselves and fans so that we can have more of a party or a club atmosphere and just be able to have have a good time. I think that, compared to our previous performances, we want to focus on the whole collaborative effort of just all our fans and us working together to create one performance.
To get more involved you provided fans with a dress code, with a different style corresponding to each specific member. How did you come up with that idea?
Young Jae: This dress code idea for the tour was something that us as the artists – along with the tour directors – thought up since we thought it would be a good way to interact with our fans.
The tour’s set list seems to focus a lot on your newer songs and doesn’t really have a lot of your older music on it. What does that choice say about B.A.P’s musical growth as performers?
Him Chan: We’re really not holding back on this tour. We’re just unlocking all of our abilities and our skills, putting them together for this show. This time, we wanted to be able to show our fans everything that we have. There’s no significance of us not performing many older songs. We just want to be able to put on a good performance with all of our recent songs.
B.A.P has had multiple No. 1 albums on the World Albums Chart. How has that made you feel as a group?
Young Jae: We think it’s amazing, and we’re really fascinated that we can continue to find love from across the world from all of our fans. We’re always grateful and we’re always thankful towards our fans, and we want to continue to show them love for their support for us.
There are only three songs on your new EP Rose, but they each are distinct stylistically. How did that come about?
Young Jae: We’ve released happy songs and we’ve released songs with strong, positive messages, but it’s been a while since we released an album so we wanted to show a third side to B.A.P, one that we knew we were capable of doing and really wanted to show to our fans this time.
Him Chan: “Dystopia” was one of those songs where we just wanted to show B.A.P in all our attributes with rock, heavy metal, and just pay homage to that. For “Wake Me Up,” it was one of those songs for our generation, because we are part of the current generation, where we just wanted to show that we’re present and that we are with the fans and how they feel about current events. As for “Diamond 4 Ya,” we wanted to be melodic, we wanted to play with pitches and instrumentals, and that was something we were looking forward to showing as well.
How was approaching your return with the single “Wake Me Up” different from your past releases?
Him Chan: When we were approaching this album in comparison to previous albums we just wanted to have something that’s more lively, more one on one with our fans. We wanted something that would resonate with our fans, through the message that we’re trying to spread.
Dae Hyun: We feel that we’ve grown a lot individually and together as a group and we wanted to show that in our work this time.
The music video for “Wake Me Up” featured one of the most diverse casts that K-pop’s ever seen. How did that come about?
Dae Hyun: Every time we shoot a music video we have meetings with the producers who help us create them and we put together all of our ideas. Everything from the individual shots of the video to the casting of everyone who will appear. We just come together and put together our ideas, and then we put it all into a final product. But the most important thing is that our ideas have changed, and that helped shape how we felt towards this music video and how we wanted it directed. Initially the plan was to use a Korean cast but after the members got together and we put together our thoughts, we wanted to go with a more diverse cast to show that we have an accurate representation of our society today. Not just of in Korea or America, but all over the world. We wanted to express that through our music video, which is why we decided to go with such a diverse cast.
Him Chan: It was never really something for us that we wanted to do, just stick to a Korean cast because we are Korean. We wanted to represent every part of the world and pay homage to the fans who’ve come out to support us.
The music video’s storyline, which features messages about self-care and mental health, was incredibly progressive, but while making it did you expect that it would resonate with so many fans from around the world?
Him Chan: When we were putting together the music video, we didn’t think that extensively into it, but we did intend to insert multiple meanings into certain aspects of it. We just wanted it to be interpreted by the fans.
B.A.P has been together for five years now, so how do you keep motivated during the rough times?
Dae Hyun: What’s kept us together as a group so strongly was our fans. We really feel that because of the support from our fans we’ve been able to continue stronger and better than ever each time we release a new album as a group. It’s really all thanks to the fans, and we want to pay respect to them.
Young Jae: Before I got on the stage in Atlanta, I really wasn’t feeling well. But as soon as I got on stage and saw the faces of all our fans I felt so much better and became energized and ready to perform.
You guys have shown a lot of different artistic sides over the years. Are there any other sounds or concepts you’d like to try, or musicians you’d like to work with?
Dae Hyun: What I’ve always admired, and what I’ve wanted to do a lot recently, is a duet. That’s something that I’m going to look forward to doing in the future.
Zelo: I don’t really have anything I want to focus on but I want to connect with the fans and show a more amazing, more awesome performance each time and that’ll be reflected in my music.
What’s next for B.A.P? Are you working on anything new?
Dae Hyun: The [Party Baby] concept of this tour is completely new for us and we think that the most important thing for us right now is to finish the rest of this tour successfully, then return to all our fans across the world and back home in Korea. So that’s our priority currently.
Do you have any final words for your American fans?
Zelo: [In English] I love you.
Him Chan: We want to tell our fans in the United States that we’ll continue to work tirelessly and continue to show them a new, better improved performance and better side to B.A.P every time we can visit and perform for them.
All answers have been translated from the original Korean.
malec Valentine's fluff? something with them in high school mayb?? <3
i’m a sucker for high school fluff, I hope you like this!! (and I hope it’s still worth reading even though it’s a day late)
To say Alec was surprised when his coach announced their teams Valentine’s Day party was an understatement. Shocked or confused might have worked. Concerned might have been better.
Throughout the rest of that school day Alec dodged professing couples and bouquets of lollipops and tried to figure out what exactly a Valentine’s Day party held by his football coach might be like. His coach had made attending mandatory, so there was no figuring out how to get out of it; Alec was simply trying to figure out how to survive it.
He went straight to the party after school. There was no point detouring home when Isabelle was out on a date and Max was out on a play date. Alec played his favorite cd on the way there - and pulse to pulse, now shush - and swung his car into a parking spot opposite his coaches’ well lit lawn. He slid out of the car, shrugged his letterman’s jacket on, and trudged his way up to the front door.
Inside songs from the 70’s and 80’s played, only recognizable to Alec by their jazzy and carefree style. It looked like the entire football team plus some were there; they stood cramped in corners and on couches and crowded around tables, all sporting their team jacket or jersey and holding a sugary cookie or soda halfway to their talking mouth.
Alec squeezed through the hallway until he reached his coach. The man was talking to another adult, so Alec simply shook his hand and enjoyed his attention for a half second before drifting to the kitchen. He picked a cookie from the stack of store-bought desserts and scanned the room, looking for Raphael or Magnus.
Alec hadn’t joined the football team to make friends, and he hadn’t, really. He knew everyone’s names and spent more time with them than any of his other peers, but he didn’t know them well enough that he’d spend time with them outside of mandatory practice time.
His relationships with Raphael and Magnus were a little different.
He’d started off with just Raphael. It was banquet night and Alec had been nervous and too-sweaty in his father’s suit; sitting at the end of a table playing on his phone, with an empty seat on either side of him, Raphael had seemed approachable.
Raphael hadn’t reacted to Alec sitting down next to him except for a raised eyebrow.
“Are you playing a game?” Alec had asked.
“No,” Raphael had replied, although he clearly was.
And that had been the start of their friendship.
Later that same night after most of the adults had left and just as Alec was grabbing his car keys to leave, Magnus had thrown himself into the empty seat on the other side of Raphael, caught sight of Alec, and exclaimed, “Raphael, you made a friend?”
Your suit hcs just killed everyone, so I was thinking.... what if you made formal wear hcs for the girls? Would that be possible? My gay ass is thirsty. Completely okay if you don't want to, though, or if you just can't imagine it. Just an idea. :)
Ladies clothing is a whoooole new can of worms. May you quench your thirst. ;D
Original Suit Headcanons here, part 2 and 3 respectively.
Kiyoko. [Elie Saab]
Long, plum velvet that falls to slightly below her ankles. The dress is a long, thigh high split dress with a staggering deep-v neckline that resembles two pieces of fabric falling forwards and being belted around her slim waist with an elegant twist of the cloth. Splits both below and above, this dress is reminiscent of a toga-style, bare backed and embellished with large crystal brooches the shape of bird feathers and other sequins and diamonds clustered around her left shoulder and her right hip. A pair of bare, strappy metallic sandals of around four inches complete her look.
This look is all Kiyoko. Her style, her choice and her favourite colour, this dress, although baring a lot, covers without fear any part that isn’t commonly seen. It glides around her like waves due to the reflectiveness of dark velvet, and the cutting wraps around her making her as slim and mysterious as willow.
By far, this isn’t the only thing she thought of wearing. Because of her milky skin and slim figure, she can almost wear anything at all and bring it to its potential.
However, for an evening affair and among such close friends, she chose fashion and elegance over making a statement or being too eye-catching. Perfect for her personality.
Her black hair is left in waves behind her back. Slightly curled and not too long, they cascade past her shoulders and swirl around the base of her neck, adding to her striking profile.
Truth be told, she rather dislikes having her hair up. With her jet black hair and stern expression, people usually assume that she’d wear something austere, but she much prefers to let loose.
There is minimal product in her hair, except for the heat curling and a setting spray. It looks far too shiny for anything else to tamper with the smoothness of her hair tonight.
She doesn’t touch the dance floor at all, despite being asked multiple times by multiple men, she declines them all politely. Preferring to spend time with her team and catch up with other managers that she’s become friends with, she nurses a single martini for the whole evening and enjoys the relatively relaxing mood of the jazz band.
I see so many folks trying to figure out which holidays to celebrate, how to celebrate them, and specific details for those celebrations…so–I’ve taken the time to write down which festivals I celebrate (or haven’t previously, but plan on celebrating in the upcoming year). This is just my personal festival calendar, and certainly not the only way to do it, but I hope it helps some people get ideas :)
Companions react to finding out that today is Sole’s
“Hey, that stupid thing on your arm just said today’s your
birthday. Is that true?”
“I completely forgot about that,” Sole
shrugged. "It asks you to type in
your personal information the first time you connect it, but I’ve been so busy
lately.“ She laughed meekly. "Well, at least one of us
remembered. Aw, well. Let’s get back to work.”
“That’s it? I
think not!” Cait bellowed, throwing her arm over Sole. A wide grin stretched across her face. "We’re gonna get ya smashed, but the
right way. Then, I’m gonna make a
proper woman outta ya!“
"What?!” Sole screamed in a frenzied blush. "Y-you don’t mean–? I am not having sex with you. Or anyone, for that matter!“
Cait rolled her eyes, almost annoyed at the
miscommunication. "I didn’t say
nothin’ about sex. We’re gonna
pick a fight, in a bar. You’re only a
real woman when you’ve beaten the piss outta some pigheaded man. So let’s go!”
Sole dug her feet into the ground, barely able to stop
Cait’s advancements. "I-I don’t
know about this,“ she stuttered.
"Your idea of fun is … quite different from mine.”
“Don’t worry. I
won’t let nothin’ happen to ya! Cross
Sole wasn’t quite prepared for her night out with Cait, but
somehow she managed to enjoy herself.
Or rather, she enjoyed what she could remember. They were able to piece together most of
what happened, except for one thing– when the hell did they get matching
“Oh, merveilleux! Today is your
birthday? I remember my fellow
scientists celebrating their birthdays with such fondness! What shall we do on this most momentous
Sole waved at the suggestion. "You don’t have to do anything, Curie. It’s nice of you to offer, but I know you
have things to do.“
"That can wait!
Of course we must celebrate!
That is what people do, no?”
Sole nodded impetuously.
“Oh, this is another one of those experiments, right? Observational and interactive science? To see what it’s like to celebrate someone’s
Curie shook her head, vigorously. "No, no, you misunderstand!
I didn’t mean it like that! I
genuinely want to have fun with you!“
She took a moment to compose herself.
"If I have learned anything from observing the tradition, it’s that
a birthday is something you celebrate with friends. To show how important and cherished they are.” She joined her fingers, nervously. "We are friends, are we
Sole smiled supportively.
"Of course we’re friends.”
Then, tell me what you’d like to do and I will make it happen.”
Sole laughed, bending her shoulder as she considered Curie’s
offer. "Honestly, I don’t really
know. I can’t think of anything
specific I’d like to do.“
"Is there something wrong with your arm?” Curie
Sole quickly ceased her actions. "No, no, nothing’s wrong.
I mean, I twisted it a bit on our last mission, but it’s no big
Curie frowned, then filled with excitement. "I have an idea!”
With Curie’s help, Sole managed to have a very relaxing
birthday. For once, she was able to sit
back and unwind. Knowledgeable in
various medical fields, Curie knew all of the pressure points in the human
body, and how to manipulate them.
Before the end of the day, she gave Sole one of the best massages of her
life. She also baked her a delicious
croissant and taught her various French expressions.
“Merci mon ami!” Sole laughed, enjoying the
thoughtful snack. "Je vous
"Oh, crap! Today’s your birthday?”
Sole scratched the back of her head, embarrassed. "I totally forgot about it.“
"We gotta do something!” Piper yelled,
clutching her shoulders. "Come on,
Blue. Let’s go have some fun!“
“Whatever you want!” Piper enforced. "You wanna have drinks? I’m paying.
You wanna go dancing? I’m
dancing. You wanna shoot the shit? We’ll shoot the–“
"Thank you, Piper.
That sounds nice, but I know you’re busy.”
“I’m never too busy for you, Blue. We’re friends!” She cupped her chin inquisitively. "I know! How ‘bout we go to the Dugout Inn? Vadim will be ecstatic.
He loves birthdays, and after everything you’ve done for him,
he’ll serve you free drinks all night!“
"I don’t think Yefim will be very happy about
that,” Sole laughed. "Poor
man. I really do feel sorry for him
Piper snickered, picturing Yefim’s disapproving scowl in her
mind. "Yeah, I guess you’ve got a
point. Well, then what do you
want to do?“
Sole shrugged, cocking half a smile. "Is it bad that I kind of want to take
“That’s my girl!” Piper wailed, laughing
proudly. "Let’s get this party
Together, they spent the night drinking and playing darts;
shooting the shit. Vadim was happy to
take part, making sure Sole’s glass was never empty. As expected, Yefim exuded his dissatisfaction all night, but as
Piper was quick to point out: a birthday only comes once a year. To everyone’s surprise, Yefim offered them a
room when the party began to dwindle.
Whether it was out of the goodness of his heart, or to stop Vadim from
serving more drinks, was anybody’s guess.
"Is this correct, ma'am?
Today is the anniversary of your birth?”
“Yes, but don’t worry about it. You don’t exactly strike me as the
celebratory type, X6.”
“On the contrary, ma'am. A birthday is the perfect time for someone to look back on all
their accomplishments and failures.”
“Thanks … I guess.”
X6 nodded, then walked over to his closet and removed a
newly upgraded courser jacket. Without
hesitating, he folded it over his arm and held it out to Sole. She stood in place, staring with a confused
expression, to which X6 huffed and forcefully pushed it into her chest.
“Take it,” he insisted. "It’ll keep you safe.“
"But … I thought you were getting this made for you.”
He pushed up his glasses and headed for the door. "A birthday is also a time for friends
to shower you with gifts and admiration.
While I may not always show it, I do consider you to be someone of great
importance. To the Institute, and to
Sole smiled, hugging the coat. "Thank you, X6. That
means a lot to me.”
He flinched, then cleared his throat impulsively. "Come along, ma'am. We have duties to attend to.“
"What a birthday?” Strong asked, annoyed by the blaring sound
of the Pip-boy’s reminder.
“Oh, it’s something that humans celebrate once a
“Why?” he asked, perplexed.
“Well, because it commemorates the day they were
“Sounds dumb,” Strong spat. "Who cares when leader was born? Only thing that matters is today. Not day of birth.“
Sole giggled nervously.
"I guess that’s true. But
it’s more to celebrate the fact that you’re alive than to celebrate the
past. It’s a time for friends and
family to show they’re happy you’re alive.”
“Strong already happy you’re alive,” he
huffed. "Don’t need reminder or to
Sole laughed softly.
"Thanks, Strong. I guess
it’s the thought that counts.”
Dogmeat didn’t know why the Pip-boy was wailing, but it excited
him. He saw Sole smile as she cancelled
the sound, then quickly lower her head, a deep sadness sweeping over her. He didn’t know why she was suddenly so down,
but he was determined to fix it. He
grabbed her original Silver Shroud hat and ran around, wagging his tail. She chased him, trying to get it back, but
he refused to stop until she filled the air with her lyrical laughter.
When she finally got a grasp on the hat, he let go, causing
her to fall back. The moment she was
grounded he leaped onto her chest, whining and licking her face. Sole smiled and scratched behind his ears as
he soaked her face in wet kisses.
"Thanks, buddy,” she whispered. She hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time.
Codsworth didn’t need the Pip-boy to remind him. He remembered on his own, and he surprised
Sole with a perfectly baked birthday cake.
you, Codsworth! How did you do all of
“It wasn’t easy,” he admitted, his voice
strained. "I had to go through
several traders and pay them handsomely to find and bring me the proper
ingredients. It was chaos for
the longest time. Then, when they
finally gathered what I needed, I had to cook it with my thruster because there
aren’t any working ovens here. Took me six
hours. Do you know how hard it is
to decorate a cake without disposable thumbs?
And don’t even get me started on mixing the dye, what with these thick,
tentacle-like arms of mine. And you
know what else? MacCready and Cait
tried to eatit! They
completely messed up the first layer of icing, but I caught them just in
time. Of course, I had to do all of
this behind your back, which was even more nerve-wracking because you could
have easily discovered the surprise at any given moment, and–”
Sole giggled, cutting him off prematurely. "Thank you, Codsworth. I’m sorry for all the trouble.“
Codsworth sighed, regretting the rant. "I’m sorry, mum. I’m just so happy you’re here. I missed you, and to be able to celebrate your
birthday again is … well, it’s a feeling I can’t quite describe.” He paused, hearing his circuits whirr. "Oh, my. I wanted this to be perfect, and now I’m rambling.“
"Not at all,” Sole beamed, taking a moment to
appreciate all his hard work and hardships.
“I’m glad you’re here too, Codsworth. I couldn’t imagine this day without you.”
“Mum?” he said with a festive tone as he handed
her a knife. "Would you care to do
She sliced into the cake, stunned by the perfect, spongy
consistency. "Oh, my god,“
she chuckled. "I’m gonna get so
“Not so long as I’m around to make you healthy meals,” he
pressed. "And I plan on sticking
around for a long, long time.“
"Good,” she said, giving him a friendly tap. "I wouldn’t have it any other
"Is it really your birthday, General? We should celebrate.”
“Thanks, Preston, but it’s not a big deal.”
“I beg to differ,” he challenged, with no real
force behind his words. "If anyone
deserves a good time, it’s you. People
like you– good people– are hard to come by nowadays. It only seems fair.“
Sole scratched her nose, humbled by his praises. "Thanks, Preston. But I’m really not that
“You really don’t think so?” he asked, his tone
“A-anyway, I can’t think of anything I’d like to do,
“Hmm. I think I
might have an idea. Come with me.”
The walk wasn’t long, and in no time at all they reached the
Abernathy Farm. Sole hadn’t visited
them in almost a month, but she spent a week with them prior, making sure they
were well supplied and well defended.
She helped them plant a new garden, bought them a guard dog, and even
built them a robot for security and manual labour. She was happy to see them flourishing, independent and happy.
“Hello!” Blake yelled, welcoming them with open
arms. "Connie, Lucy, come
Everyone ran out to meet them, greeting them with a hug.
"What brings you to the farm?” Connie asked,
excited that Sole had returned.
“Today’s her birthday,” Preston answered,
“P-Preston!” Sole yelled, embarrassed. "I’m sorry, I didn’t know he was going
"Birthday?!” Lucy shouted, grabbing Sole’s
hands. "That’s great! You have to stay for dinner! Everything’s made from the garden you helped
"Oh, I don’t want to impose.”
“I insist,” Blake chimed. "Please. It’s the least we can do.
And there’s plenty to share, thanks to you.“
Sole blushed as they led her into the house. She wasn’t sure why Preston told them it was
her birthday, but her discomfort faded as the family told jokes and stories. They even included Dozer, the robot who they
now saw as a member of the family. The
atmosphere was homey, delightful, something Sole had come to miss. Dinner was fabulous, nearly bringing tears
to her eyes, but they refused to stop there.
Blake brought out an old deck of cards, and together they played various
old world games that Sole had nearly forgotten.
"Well,” Preston said, noting the time. "I guess we’d better get going. It’ll be dark soon, and we have to get back
"That’s too bad,” Connie sighed. "You’re certainly welcome to
"Thank you, but I’m afraid we have somewhere to be
“Well then, thank you for visiting. It was nice seeing you again.”
“You too,” Sole beamed, hugging everyone goodbye.
“Don’t be a stranger.
Come back whenever you like!”
Sole thanked them again and followed Preston into the
field. He almost looked proud, but she
wasn’t sure if it was self-pride or if she had done something to impress
“Thank you, Preston.
I’m not sure why you brought me here, but I’m glad you did. I had a lot of fun.”
“This is a special day,” he remarked, meeting her
gaze with a smile. "So I wanted to
show you how special you are. These
people aren’t only alive because of you, they’re thriving. You risked everything to help them, then
went out of your way to give them more.
You didn’t do it for money or because the Minutemen needed a spacious
farm. You did it because it was the
right thing. That’s admirable, and a
sentiment not many people share today.“
Sole felt her face light up like a candle. "Th-thank you,” she stammered,
gripping her shirt. "R-really,
thank you so much.“
"You’re welcome,” he soothed, looking out to the
horizon. "Can’t wait to see what
you’re gonna do next. In another year, I
bet we’ll have even more people to celebrate with.“
went pale as Sole switched off the reminder.
Looking over, she could see his discomfort. He had never looked so lost.
She could tell he felt compelled to do something; say something,
but it was clear he had no idea how to proceed. She smiled, turning towards him with reassuring intentions, but
before she could speak he cut her off.
"Happy birthday, soldier.”
“Oh, thank you,” Sole inflected, taken aback but
His brows bent, still clearly dazed. "I have to admit, I don’t really know
what to do in this situation.“
"Members of the Brotherhood don’t celebrate their
“They do,” he answered quickly. "Just, not with me. I’m a commanding officer. It would be … inappropriate.“
"No it wouldn’t,” Sole laughed. "Kells celebrates with his subordinates
all the time.“
Captain Kells has more–”
“Personality?” she mocked with a crooked smile.
Danse blushed, but covertly as he turned away. "I was going to say more
experience. He knows his men well
enough to have a few drinks with them, and he’s entitled to some down
"Well, we’re friends. Aren’t we?”
“I … I can’t be your commanding officer and your
“Sure you can,” she chuckled, grabbing his
arm. "Come on, let’s go have a
drink. If anyone here needs to unwind,
Danse remained silent as she dragged him to the ship’s rec
centre. He wasn’t one for alcohol, but
to Sole’s surprise he was perfectly contented eating several Fancy Lad’s Snack
Cakes. She was actually impressed. They were so rich she could only eat two,
but Danse downed at least seven or eight.
The sugar rush opened his mind, and they had a lovely time bonding over
their love of gun mods and power armour.
"Thanks for this,” Danse whispered as he began to
crash. "I know it’s your
birthday, but I really enjoyed myself.“
"So did I,” she soothed, taking another sip of her
She watched as Danse lowered his head onto the table, inevitably
passing out from his childish high. At
that moment, Haylen and Ingram walked over, curious about the odd setting. When Sole explained, the women burst out
“Come on,” Haylen said, offering Sole her
hand. "Lets keep this partying
"What about Danse?” Sole asked, still snickering.
“Leave him,” Ingram quipped. "It’ll be funny to see what he does in
the morning, when he realizes he fell asleep at the bar, surrounded by cake
"That’s cruel,” Haylen lectured. "He’ll be … humiliated.“
"I know, right?
Kind of a birthday gift in itself.”
Sole shook her head.
“Come on. Help me get him
“Oh, fine!” Ingram sighed. "But after that, we’re tearin’ this
ship a new hull!“
"Sounds like a plan,” Sole laughed. "Sounds like a plan.“
Deacon grinned the moment he heard the alert, which made Sole a little
nervous. He grabbed her shoulders and
shook her violently, like a chid shaking a gift before Christmas.
"Why didn’t ya tell me it was your birthday?!” he
shouted, teeming with excitement.
Deacon backed away, rubbing his chin. "Well, obviously we gotta do
somethin’. I’m sure Glory’d be down for
celebratin’. Des, too. Oh, and Tinker Tom, for sure. And–“
"I appreciate it, Deacon. I really do. But
everyone’s busy. Let’s not make a big
deal out of this, okay?”
“Hey. It’s no
secret that I’m a bit of a loner, but I’ll be damned if I don’t take the time
to celebrate my friend’s birthday.”
Sole smiled, nudging his arm. "Thanks, Deacon. But
honestly, I really don’t know what to do.
Desdemona and the others really are busy, and I don’t want them
to drop everything for me.“
"Then how about we celebrate? Just you and me.”
do you have in mind?”
Deacon paused, taking a moment to consider, then grinned and
pulled her into the HQ. Between all of
his outfits, he managed to perform a one-man comedy show, specially for
her. Sole was dumbfounded, finding
herself ruined by every bad joke and pun he threw her way. She couldn’t help it. He had so much personality.
“Why can’t Powder Gangers and Boomers ever be
together? Because their relationship is
explosive!” Sole laughed
loudly. "Hey, did I tell you I
went to Diamond City the other day? I
saw a really hot girl, but when I brought up my V.A.T.S. it said I had a 0%
chance of hittin’ that.“
Sole covered her mouth, tears forming in her eyes. "I never knew you were so funny,”
she wheezed. "I mean, I did. Just … not in this way.“
Deacon shrugged and took a seat on his makeshift stage. "In another life, I might’ve been a
Sole grinned, crossing her arms. "Liar.“
"Okay, but I may have played the role of
“Now that’s believable.”
Deacon chuckled, feeling a sense of accomplishment. "Happy birthday, partner. Glad I could put a smile on your face.“
I really appreciate it.”
“Anytime,” he winked. "Anytime.“
MacCready didn’t say a word. The
moment Sole silenced the reminder, he grabbed her hand and led her into the
forest just outside of Sanctuary. When
she asked where he was taking her, he asked only that she trust him. When they reached a decent clearing,
MacCready handed her one of his rifles and pointed to a collection of glass
bottles and targets.
"What is this?” she asked, gripping the chamber.
“I come here to keep my skills sharp and do some
thinking. It’s my own special space, I
guess you could say. But I don’t mind
sharing it with you, especially since you could use the practice.”
Sole smiled, raising an eyebrow. "Is that so?“
I’ve seen you shoot.”
“You sure about that?
Because I think I might be better than you.”
“Whoa!” MacCready breezed, throwing his hands in
the air. "Let’s put those
delusions on hold for a minute.“
"Well, I’m at least on the same level as you.”
to prove that?” he challenged, his eyes narrow.
Sole grinned, cocking the barrel. "With pleasure.“
The forest filled with gunfire as they engaged in the
friendly competition. They even expanded
their game, shooting moving targets; old leaves blowing in the wind, branches,
and the occasional roach and bloatfly.
There was something restful about the whole experience. Something soothing. They counted their hits, informing the other
of their progress until they both ran out of ammo.
"Forty-one!” MacCready announced, confidently.
“Thirty-seven,” Sole sighed. "Looks like you’re my better.“
"Aw, don’t feel bad.
You were really close. I’d say
we’re on the same level after all. Just
like you said.”
“No problem,” he said, taking back his gun. "Let’s head back. It’s getting dark.“
have a few drinks to celebrate your victory.”
“You mean your birthday,” he corrected,
slapping her back.
Sole nodded and took the lead. Before he followed, MacCready popped the clip, seeing five
bullets spill out onto the ground. His
face paled as he sauntered towards her.
“Hey, you didn’t let me win, did you?” Sole quickened her pace, laughing as she ran
past the trees. "Hey! You didn’t let me win, right?!“
"It’s your birthday? Why
didn’t you say something?”
“To be honest,” she whispered, tapping the
screen. "I completely
Nick frowned, then stood from his desk. He knew, under the circumstances, that Sole
was undoubtedly sad. She’d lost her
son, her husband, her home, her entire life.
He knew those thoughts were likely pervading her mind. How could she enjoy her birthday without her
friends and family? He knew that pain
all too well, being stuck with the old Nick’s memories.
"Hey, don’t look so down,” Sole mewed, knowing
exactly what he was thinking.
“It’s no big deal. I’m
Nick had gotten to know her quite well since becoming her
partner. Working cases with her, helping
others, conversing on a more personal level; he picked up a few things. He knew what she missed, what she loved most
about the old world. Determined to make
the night festive, he removed his trench coat and grabbed his old radio, tuning
it to some light jazz. He placed it on
his desk with a smile and took Sole by the hand.
“W-what are you doing?” she blushed as he closed
the gap between them.
“Dance with me,” he said, though as more of a
question than a demand.
When she didn’t fight him, he grabbed her waist and spun her
sideways. She was embarrassed at first;
feeling his cold metal hand trace her back, but as the music blared and he lead
the steps, she fell into the rhythm nostalgically. She didn’t notice, but Nick was nervous, too. He was willing to risk a little humiliation,
though, if it meant giving her one piece of her old life back. She smiled as he twirled her in time with
the beat, giggling until he too was enjoying himself.
They danced well into the night, until Sole was completely
“I didn’t know you could do that,” she wheezed,
collapsing onto the couch.
“I’ve actually never tried,” he confessed. "The real Nick danced all the time, but
I wasn’t sure I could pull it off.“
"You definitely pulled it off.”
Nick smiled, taking a seat beside her. "Happy birthday,“ he wisped. "I know you … miss dancing.”
“Thank you,” she beamed, patting his hand. "That was a lot of fun.“
"It was,” he concurred. "I guess I kind of missed it, too. In a manner of speaking.Sole giggled and stood.
“Round two?” she asked, posing perfectly.
Nick chuckled and took her hand. "As many as you want.
Remember, I don’t get tired.“
Hancock was speechless. The
first thing that came to mind was chems, but he knew Sole wouldn’t take them. He paced back and forth like a lost child,
desperate for an idea. He knew she’d
been through a lot, and he wanted to create something fun and distracting. Something that would take her mind off of
all the shit and anguish she’d suffered since leaving the vault.
"Hancock,” Sole chipped, nearly laughing at his
troubled expression. "Calm
down. We don’t have to do
"You’re damn right we do,” he rasped. "I never miss the opportunity to
"Don’t worry about it,” Sole waved. "Really. It’s not important.“
"Of course it is!” he yelled, almost
affronted. "It’s you! It’s– damn, I’m not good with this stuff at
all.“ He cringed, rubbing the back
of his neck. "Listen, I wanna do
somethin’ for ya. Just … let me,
Sole nodded gratefully.
“If it means that much to you.
“It does,” he stammered, a reddish line spreading
over his cheeks. "Just give me a
minute to think of somethin’.“ He
continued to pace, deep in thought.
Just as Sole was about to speak, he snapped his fingers sharply. "I got it! Come with me!”
Excitedly, he grabbed Sole’s hand and rushed her out of the
estate, taking her to the Third Rail.
With a chivalrous grin, he seated her at the bar and addressed old
“Tonight, my friend here drinks free,” he said,
slapping her back.
“Sure thing, boss man.” Charlie swiped her a glass of gin, without delay.
“Oh, uh … thank you,” she stuttered, holding the
cup still. She wasn’t a big drinker,
but she didn’t want to insult Hancock after such a kind gesture.
“Don’t look so concerned,” he said, nudging her
shoulder. "That’s not the real
reason we’re here.“
Sole tilted her head, confused. "Then, why–?”
Hancock grinned and headed for the stage. He waved at Magnolia, then gestured for her
to step down. She did as asked without
question, and although the room immediately missed her singing, no one
complained. He whispered something in
her ear, and with a smile she handed him the mic. Sole watched in awe as Hancock strolled onto the stage and
signalled Charlie to start the music.
She cringed, worried that it would be terrible, but the moment his lips
parted, a profound hush fell over the crowd.
He was amazing.
Sole sat in utter disbelief as Magnolia joined her at the
“Good, isn’t he?”
“My god. I …
I had no idea.”
“You must’ve done something to impress him,” she
hummed. "He doesn’t sing for just
anybody. And to get him up on stage
like that? Sure, the man has no shame,
but performing isn’t exactly his style.
He must really care about you.“
Sole blushed, tapping her foot as Hancock dedicated song
after song to her and her alone. A
smile filled her face as she slipped into an almost euphoric state. The raspy tint of his voice seemed to
completely disappear with each note. It
was gentle and endearing; like an angel, but strong and exciting. When he completed the track, the crowd
cheered, blown away by their mayor’s talent.
He removed his tricorn and gave a prideful bow, then joined Sole once
"Judging by the look on your face, I’d say you
“I … I can’t believe how good you are,”
she stressed, still in shock.
“Hancock, you’re incredible!”
“And that’s not the end of it,” he winked.
“What? What do
“I still have one more song.” He sat forward, smiling seductively. "Happy birthday, to you~“
"Stop it,” Sole laughed, pulling away.
“Happy birthday, to you~” He inched closer, taking a hint from her
body language and grabbing a bottle of vodka.
Finishing the song, he left Sole completely
breathless. Maybe she wasn’t ready to
be with him; not in the way he wanted, but he’d completed his goal. He made her forget all of her worries, and
the rest of the night was eventful and fun.
For now, that was enough.