"Uwaaa," Nodame breathed, staring at the strange objects that had lit up when she touched one. "Look at them glow, Chiaki-senpai!"
The stout American who was wearing the objects as cufflinks looked entirely uncomfortable. Not unexpected, Chiaki mused, when around Nodame. He edged out of her grip, nervously, and turned to Chiaki like he was the man's last hope. "I - uh, I don't suppose you know any English?" he asked nervously.
Chiaki smiled. "Plenty."
"Oh thank god," the American muttered under his breath. "Then can you ask her to tone it down? I don't need to draw attention to the fact that I took these off - well, that I'm wearing these at all, really." He flushed, rubbing the back of his neck. "I wasn't expecting - that is to say, it's very uncommon for someone - "
"Tone it down how?" That kind of babble was far too familiar; if Chiaki didn't shut him down fast, it'd be like Theo all over again - he'd find himself going along with crazy things without even knowing what he was getting into.
"Hm? Oh, just tell her to think 'off,' that usually works."
"Nodame?" The pianist in question, who had continued oohing and aahing at the glowing things (well-practiced as she was in ignoring Chiaki speak in foreign languages to people she didn't know), looked up at the sound of her name. "Can you think 'off,' please?"
She cocked her head to the side, in a way Chiaki suspected she thought was cute and endearing. (The sad thing was, that was kind of true.) "Hmm? Why would Nodame want to do that?"
But even as she asked the question, the lights flickered out. "Gyabo! Did Nodame do that?" She looked at the cufflinks with widening eyes as they flickered on and off again. The American abruptly folded his arms against his chest, hiding the light show from view. "But how did Nodame do that?" she wondered. Gasping, she clutched at Chiaki's arm. "Does Nodame have superpowers, Chiaki-senpai? Am I magic?"
"Okay, I may not know any Japanese," the man interrupted, "but I can recognize the word "superpowers" when I hear it. And they're not superpowers, not quite, and if you really want to know more I can tell you all about it, but not here." The last few words were whispered harshly, and the way the man looked around the open entryway made the back of Chiaki's neck prickle.
Glancing down at Nodame, whose eyes were practically sparkling at the thought of being a real-life magical girl, he made a decision. "Alright, we'll come with you," he said. "If you tell me your name."
The man blinked, relief relaxing his shoulders and straightening his back. "Oh, didn't I say?" He held out a hand. "Dr. Rodney McKay, PhD." They shook briefly, and then Dr. McKay was heading out of the theater. "Come to my hotel with me, we can talk in private there. And I have to say," he added over his shoulder as he walked, "your performance tonight? Was spectacular, I could hardly believe the absence of professional experience listed in either of your playbill biographies."
"...thank you?" It sounded like a compliment. Sort of. Dr. McKay continued on as if uninterrupted, hailing a taxi.
"Well, after I saw - ah, Nodame, was it? After I saw her premiere on YouTube, I couldn't resist the opportunity to see her live while I was back on - ahem. Never mind that. I was nearly a pianist myself, you know, placed very highly in some national competitions as a kid. But fate had other plans - which you should be grateful for, given what I'm about to reveal to you..."
"Chiaki-senpai?" Nodame asked blearily, leaning heavily against his side. "What's the funny wizard saying?"
"He's not a - " Catching himself, Chiaki sighed. If she wanted to think being able to turn on and off some lights with her mind was magic, who was he to tell her no? Especially when he didn't have a real explanation yet himself? Nudging her into the taxi, he said, "He's just saying how much he liked our performance."
"That's nice," she said around a yawn. "I wouldn't want to train my magic under a wizard who doesn't like the Golden Pair."
And that much, he thought, as Nodame began to snore and Dr. McKay continued to talk, he could agree with.