2013-09-23 - Sweet Pea Transforms! My Big Sis is a Superhero?
|Sweet Pea Transforms! My Big Sis is a Superhero?|
In Episode One of the Perfume Splash! anime we are introduced to some new characters and Sweet Pea discovers her first henshin!
Shitamachi Low City - Juuban Public School / Shitimachi Low City - Game Center Crown
| OOC - IC Date:|
9/23/2013 - 9/25/2013 / 9/23/2013 - 9/24/2013
(Battle Fantasia - Monday, September 23, 2013) Shitamachi Low City - Juuban Public School
A short, friendly red brick wall with a cast iron gate surrounds this tidy public school. There's little in the way of architectural whimsy to the rectangular white buildings within. The stairwells, which create tower-like square bulges, and the plate windows, which run almost unbroken along each the length of each floor, are the only real distinguishing features to the simple design. A well-loved old school built in the sixties, Juuban has undergone several renovations over the decades, and is probably a little overdue for another. The vinyl flooring has been mopped by generations of students, and no longer squeaks readily. The cork bulletin boards that publically display class assignments and grades are pockmarked as if by tiny machine guns. The concrete walls have been repainted the same shade of white so many times that their blocks have taken on a thick, soft appearance, like wedding cake. Some of the older ceiling panels have taken on the amiable sag of middle age. There is never a sense of decrepitude, however. Juuban Public is always neat, functional, and lively. Any actual damage or dirt is attended to with an anthill-like swarm of dutiful students. This is their school, and it is as comfortable as an old shoe.
The sun is shining low over Juuban high as students rush out after a long day of classes. Some are happy and eager for their day off, while others are immediately running to cram school or to help with family dinner. And some students are leaving more slowly, such as Sakura Akagi, who is walking out of the front of the school with her book strap over her shoulder. She looks a bit worn out, but she has a break before she's going to go home and study.
She's the kind of girl that looks at the ground a lot. People rush past her.
Not unattractive, but also not a ravishing beauty, Sakura Akagi doesn't stand out much from the crowd at Juuban Public School. She is wearing the standard middle school uniform, with a blue pleated skirt that comes down to the knee, and a white top with a thick blue collar and a red bow in front. Like most female students at Juuban, she has white socks and little black shoes. She has dark eyes, and black hair. She typically wears her hair pinned up on the top of her head in a loose bun. A few flowing dark locks fall out of it and messily frame her face.
One student doesn't rush past Sakura. This student is also the kind of student that looks at the ground a lot. She is a class lower and is actually not approaching from behind but rather from her own class that just left out. This student is very glad that school is over and has considered that maybe she should have just skipped today.
But she needed some Sakura-validation today.
Madobe Kuroi doesn't wave. She just kind of lurches close to Sakura and stammer out a, "H-hey Sakura-Chan..." She smiles vaguely. "Are you heading home straightaway...?"
Its the end of school already. Despite how her class franticly tries to escape before more homework can be assigned, Makoto isn't in any kind of rush today. Truth be told, she was killing a little time before she went shopping....possibly with the others if they wanted to come. She smiles to herself, packing up her brief case and throwing it over her shoulder with a solitary hand holding the handle.
Within moments, Makoto begins to exit the front of the school, waiting for signs of Usagi or Ami. "Wonder if they want to come with me tonight." She looks at her watch, admiring the cute design on it for the moment. She was sure that Usagi wouldn't miss her...she sort of stood out.
She looks over to Sakura and Madobe, watching them from a distance.
School is out for the day. But then that's when some after school extracircular activites happen! Such as Juuban's Aftershool Computer Club.
Kinzo is out of class, as he's using a series of tacks to hang flyers up in the appropiate, approved places for a recruitment event happening in a couple days. The flyer is pretty standard. A short description of the club, what it does, and some stock clip-art of a computer. Kinzo didn't make it, he'd had done something flashier.
He can idly hear some of the background conversation as he moves from board, to pole, to board along the hallway leading outside.
Usagi Tsukino is walking out of school, on the way home. She isn't leaving school /nearly/ as fast as she came this morning, having woken up late. At least running to school was good excersize, right?
Along the way out, she notices a girl looking a bit down. Picking up on what might be sadness, Usagi picks up speed in order to catch up to Sakura Akagi, managing to reach her shortly after Madobe, walking beside the two and saying, "Hey! Why so gloomy? Is something wrong?"
Usagi sees Makoto in the distance, and waves to her cheerfully. "Mako-chaaan! How is?"
Sakura glances over. She flushes a little. "Oh, hello, Madobe-chan. I was just going to--" She's thinking about the amount of studying she has to do, but knows she doesn't have to rush either. Usagi blasting up to her surprises her.
Sure, she knows Usagi from... around... but they haven't really chatted too much. Still, she must be talking to Madobe, so she keeps quiet, looking a little embarrassed and forgetting she had a sentence chambered.
Makoto's eyes drift over to Kinzo, spotting him as he is hanging flyers. An older boy? Makoto's cheeks start to glow as she gets distant look in her eyes. Fortunately for Kinzo, Usagi's sudden appearance snaps Makoto out of it by just plain scaring her. Makoto jumps slightly, taking a deep breath before giving Usagi a look. "Oh, hey Usagi....You free tonight?" She smiles a little. "I was thinking about doing some shopping when the supermarket started having their sales."
She looks over to Sakura again, smiling a little. "You alright? She's just being friendly....You get used to it."
Madobe Kuroi flinches at Usagi's shouting. The flinch turns into a cringe as Usagi literally starts asking Akagi what's wrong. Her eyes widen with shock and no small amount of horror, but she is actually a little glad that it's not her. A few concepts clash with one another, the first instinct is to be relieved that Usagi hasn't pounced on her. The second instinct is that she should help her friend out! The third instinct is complaining a lot mentally about Usagi. Why is she being so friendly anyway? What's her /game/ here? Her ulterior motive?! Or is she just showing pity on the wallflowers??
She swallows. "H..hello."
Yes, she's so awesome. She's /engaging in conversation/. She raises a hand in hello.
And then she turns her head away because of mortal terror.
Which only intensifies when Makoto comes by.
Usagi isn't sure how to react to Sakura's silence. She whispers to Madobe and says, "Was it something I said?"
To Makoto, Usagi smiles and nods cheerfully. "Yeah! Yeah! Let's go shopping!" Did Usagi need to study? Probably. Is she going to? Hahahahaha.
Usagi runs up beside Makoto, and looks back at Sakura and Madobe, responding with Madobe with a very naive, "Hi!" Usagi apparently doesn't have a concept of 'people who aren't cool enough to talk to me' or anything like that, nor does she seem to realize that her attention is making people awkward.
"You just looked a little down, that's all! Hahaha." Her laughter is a bit awkward, but well meaning.
Sakura gives Makoto a shallow bow of greeting, which lowers her eyes further. "Oh, hello, I know! Yes, it's fine. We're all right. Just heading..."
Well, Madobe looks even more worried. Sakura tries to take the lead just a little bit. "I'm ... Sakura, we're in the same class, actually..."
Wait, who is Makoto looking at? That guy--
Sakura looks over her shoulder. It's funny, but Kinzo looks familiar. Or something. Maybe she's seen him around. But he's older--
Oops, she's looking. She stops looking. "It's okay, Madobe-chan."
Kinzo Hiroyuki is unaware of any glances at him one way, or the other. he's entirely absorbed in his work, and has made it to the outside area proper where he can hear things. He's hearing a conversation and is one of a few meetings going outside here, you can probably imagine there's groups of other NPCs all talking amongst themselves here just after school.
He puts a few more fliers up on a board in front of the school and walks on over.
He waits until the there's an appropiate pause, or someone allows him to speak, not trying to cut in. "Hi! I'm recruiting for the Afterschool Computer Club, are any of you intrested?" he asks with a bright a smile as he can muster, holding out the flyer to anyone that would be intrested in taking it. It looks exactly like the ones he was hanging around earlier.
"My name is Kinzo, I can answer any questions, too!" he says with a short bow. His tone is polite, but he is trying to sell people he doesn't know on the club.
Madobe calms down a bit. Maybe Sakura has something of a linus-blanket effect on her. She isn't paying much attention to Kinzo--Usagi and Makoto are more than she can handle as is. With Usagi saying it again, though, she wonders--is Sakura 'down' or is she just being Sakura? She looks over to her friend for a moment before back to Usagi whom she is having difficulty parsing in her world view.
"Ah...well..." She says.
She blinks twice at Kinzo. Computer club? She likes computers. But does she want to join a club? She mimics the gestures she gave Usagi and Makoto and says, "H-hello."
With some thought she adds, "Do you like computers?" She immediately calls herself stupid for asking a member of the computer club whether they like computers.
Usagi blinks at Sakura and Modobe, not willing to give up so easily, but at the same time she doesn't want to be mean. Scratching the back of her head, brightly smiling in an awkward way, she says, "Well... um.. okay! If you say so!"
Turning over to Kinzo and hearing what he has to say, she blinks a few moments and says, "Haha, Computers? I'm great with computers! I have so many toolbars that they take up half the screen!" She says this boastfully, not fully realizing just how /bad/ that is.
She nods to Sakura, looking up as if to recall something. "Oh! Thats right. I think we are aren't we? Well nice to meet you, I'm Makoto Kino." She smiles as her bow, giving a slight one of her own. She then notices Madobe's reaction and feels her expression sort of grow slightly nervous. "Is she ok?" She looks back to Sakura, gesturing to Madobe.
And then Kinzo approaches them and Makoto's cheeks grow red again. "...." She says nothing as if she's looking at some unmistakable beauty. He reminded Makoto of her "Sempai".....Usagi was probably used to this by now.
"Oh, Madobe-chan is great with computers..." Oops, Sakura just... volunteered Madobe for something! That was stupid. Obviously she didn't want to blurt that out, right? But maybe it would be good for lil-sis to make some friends and not be in her room ALL the time. "Ah, yeah, she'll be okay, thank you very much for your concern though," says Sakura to Makoto quite politely.
"...Maybe you should join, Madobe-chan."
Kinzo Hiroyuki is very polite! Because making fun of prospective members isn't the way to get more people in. "Yes! I do like computers!" he politely asks. "And the afterschool club let's my hone my skills with others there!" he looks over to Usagi...he opens his mouth...
He closes it a moment.. "Are..you sure you don't have some sort of virus?" he asks in a concerned tone. "No one should have that many toolbars!" he asks. He nods to Makato. "Yup, Computers!" he says.
"I mean... it's alright if you're not intrested, I can go to another group and continue asking around!" he says, holding up the fliers again.
"Oh, well she might like it then!" he says offering a flyer to Madobe. "We still have two weeks until the next meeting!" he nods.
He has a side thought, it's very much like Sakura's original thought---doesn't he know two of these girls from somewhere? He just shakes his head, nah, probably just saw them around school before.
"UWWWAAAH?" exclaims Usagi. "A Virus?!" She looks like she's almost in tears, "But... but... but..." An evil virus is eating her computer! She'll have to punish it in the name of the moon! Or maybe get Ami to punish it for her. Yeah, she'd be much better at that.
Turning to Sakura and Modobe, she says, "Usagi Tsukino! It's a pleasure to meet you!"
It's about then that Usagi notices Makoto's reactions. "Eh?!" She makes a weird face at her taller friend, knowing just about exactly where this is going. She reaches up to wave her hand in front of Makoto's face, saying, "Mako-chan? Mako-chan snap out of it! Earth to Mako-chan!"
Speaking of Earth, Mamoru Chiba arrives. The young man honestly doesn't seem to have any goal or location in mind, and he may in fact just be wandering.
Perhaps something, or someone summoned him here.
His path takes him close to Usagi and those around her. With a quirked brow, he interjects his own opinion over the girl's anguish. "You should be more careful what you do with that thing, Meatball Head." He doesn't even aim to stay around. This may just be a cameo unless he's stopped for some reason.
Makoto repeats in a dreamy voice. "Computers...."
Someone really likes computers.
As Usagi shakes her, Makoto's eye continue to focus on Kinzo. "He's so cool....Don't you think?" Makoto says dreamily, as Usagi continues to shake her.
Finally, as Usagi continues to shake her and Kinzo appears to be leaving, Makoto is able to think somewhat. "Oh...Sorry. He just reminded me of someone." Her cheeks are still bright red as she looks back to Sakura, Madobe, and Usagi. "I think we might've missed Ami now that I think about it...Did you want to come with us shopping, Sakura, Madobe?" She says, her eyes occasionally going back to Kinzo in the distance. It would probably pass on to the next older guy she ran into.
Madobe's face turns bright red as Sakura blurts out that she's great with computers. She tries to play it cool. "Haha...yeah...with that many toolbars... I bet someone in China has all your personal info now." Talk about how screwed up Usagi's computer is seems to get Madobe talking. She naturally doesn't say whether or not she's okay (she thinks: Of course I'm not okay all of a sudden everybody is talking to us what's going on??).
She's not sure she likes that idea, but Sakura volunteered her--so...
"Ah--I will...take a flier." She holds out a hand--taking the flyer. She'll have to think about this for a while to be sure. Though once she takes it--something seems ... weirdly familiar about this guy?
She shakes her head a bit. "Thank you." Two weeks? Whew, she might be able to psych herself up by then.
Sakura doesn't know this other new. Maybe this is a good distraction to allow her and Madobe to escape. She's about to slip away. But when Makoto mentions Kinzo reminded her of someone... she says, "Oh, you too...?" but then realizes she's engaging again. "Oh, you're friends with Ami-san?" Ami is like, the best student in the class. It doesn't really seem like she'd hang out with these girls but then again, "You should take a flyer for her too. But if not, um, I'm sure Madobe-chan could fix your computer?"
She blushes a little.
"I don't know if I have time to go shopping, but we can walk with you a bit... if that's... okay."
This is the part of the show when a massive anger mark appears on the back of Usagi's head. Why that jerk, sticking his nose into her business! Usagi turns away from Makoto's boy-crushing to give Mamoru a piece of her mind! "I... you...!" yeah, words fail her. Eventually she falls back on shouting, "They're not meatballs! And I'll have whatever viruses I want! Ha!"
Yeah she is pretty hopeless.
Turning back to Makoto, and then to Sakura and Modobe, she says, "Yeah! You can come with us! It'll be fun!"
At Sakura suggestion, Usagi says, "Yeah! We'll take one to Ami-chan! I bet she'll love it!" Usagi eagerly nods at Sakrua, "Sure, that's okay!"
Kinzo Hiroyuki sort of blinks a Makato.... uh? He kind of shifts attention to Sakura and Madobe as they talk, he makes sure everyone who wants a flyer, gets one! It's a standard flyer, details the class in a blurb and the next meeting gate with a big 'Everyone Welcome!' slapped onto the screen of a clip-art computer.
He begins to politely move away from the group onto the next one.
Also, he needs to turn around because he may have totally 'snerked' at that Meatball Head line, but is trying to do it entirely without being obvious about it.
Makoto smiles and nods. "Yeah, Ami is a close friend of me and Usagi. She's really nice if you haven't talked to her yet." She stops when Sakura mentions Kinzo reminds her of someone. She stares thoughtfully at her, not sure what to make of it. "Oh...This is someone from my old school. I'm not sure if we're thinking of the same guy." She looks over to Kinzo again and blushes.
And then Usagi says something really stupid. Makoto's eyes widen as he neck cranes to look at her friend in disbelief. "Um, Usagi...I don't think you should say something like that out loud."
She sees some other students looking at Usagi in horror, sighing to herself.
"Yeah. Thanks, we'll take one to Ami. She is pretty good with computers.....maybe she can teach me."
Aimi Saionji Aimi Saionji has been described, at times, as a rather cute girl. She is roughly 5' 2 tall, with a slight, small build over all. Her blond hair extends down to the middle of her back, a white ribbon used to help keep it in check and together, tied in her hair around the neckline in a bow. Aimi is currently wearing a white top with a flowing golden skirt.
Madobe isn't going to stop Mamoru either. She is staring at Usagi again. Unfortunately, Sakura is too polite to escape this situation and Madobe doesn't want to leave without Sakura (she'd be forced to do /nothing/ all day), so this is getting to be a mess. She somehow doubts Ami will enjoy the long and arduous task of fixing Usagi's computer for her.
"Ah...sure." She says, because they're trapped. She wanted to go to the arcade today too :(.
"Huh?!" Usagi looks around. Why is everyone looking at her funny? is there something on her face? Then Makoto's statement gives her a clue. "Oh! Did I say something strange again? Hahahaha..." Her laughter is awkward, but she doesn't really seem too embarassed.
Now that she has Madobe and Sakura trapped in her NEFARIOUS PLOT to make friends, Usagi starts walking a bit, turning around to say, "Come on! Come on! It'll be fun!" Usagi actually wouldn't mind dropping by the arcade, buuuut she isn't going to mention that yet. Turning to Makoto she asks, "Do you think maybe we'll catch Ami on the way?"
For the most part, Aimi Saionji doesn't have trouble getting around. She's been going to Juuban long enough to know where to go, how to get to places, and generally doesn't tend to have issues.
There was, however, this one kitty that was in a bit of trouble, stuck in a tree. Aimi couldn't just let it be, with its cute, pitiful mewling. And after she managed to get it down from the tree, she spent a bit of time helping the kitty find its family again, and seeing them off. It might not be the only good deed she does today, but like all otehrs, it makes her feel good and warm inside.
Thusly, when she starts for the gates out of school, she has kinda, maybe, just a little... forgotten what she had been originally planning on doing. She continues on her way to the exit, smiling happily to herself as she comes upon the group that had been assembled.
"But why would you want virises? Wouldn't they make you sick?" She comments a bit, confused by what Usagi had said. "I mean, being sick would just be horrible and then you'd be stuck in bed all day, unable to do anything other than be miserable."
Makoto adjusts the bag over her shoulder, looking over at Usagi. "We might. I'm just surprised we missed her." She says, looking back to Sakura and Madobe. In a way, she knows how it is to be pulled along by Usagi Tsukino.....Still it was good for some people. Usagi really knew how to talk to anyone.
Makoto cringes as a sweatdrop rolls down her head when Aimi speaks up.
Yeah, Usagi knew how to talk to anyone....Just sometimes she said things that didn't really work out of context.
Sheakura starts walking toward the gate. She IS just a little bit too polite to really extract herself, so now she's being pulled along in the whirlwind of -- "Oh, hello, Aimi--" she says with a little bow and nod.
In the background, Rei Fushigiyo, the resident weirdo with the best bubblegum pink twintails SHUT UP USAGI THOSE AREN'T EVEN REAL TWINTAILS, wanders out of the school gate, her phone held up in front of her face and her attention fixed firmly on her phone...
... and then she abruptly lets out a wail and collapses, rolling onto her back and throwing her hands up into the air from her supine position.
What a God damn weirdo. Does she even care that she's getting her school uniform dirty? (Spoilers: no.)
Kinzo Hiroyuki is now, mostly in the background, walking to other groups, he occasionally hands out a flyer here or here. Eventually, he runs out of places he can post a flyer he's allowed to on school grounds, or has run out of people to ask. So he sticks the rest into his bag he's carrying with as he takes a deep breath.
"Ugh." he says, that little anime 'tired puff' coming off of him somewhere. Well, that was tiring. He begins out but notices the group is still gathered, but working thier way out. He taps his chin..he decides to follow at a distance. For a bit.
Then there's some wail behind him...he turns and briskly jogs over. "Are...Are you okay!?" he asks to Rei, who seems...in distress? is this distress!? Speaking Ami's name is a great way to cause her to appear, like some sort of horrifying movie monster. Except not actually very horrifying at all. Actually, kind of adorable!
She /does/ appear, though, heading out of school just slightly faster than the other senshi, catching up before they get /too/ far away.
The good news (?) is that she seems blissfully ignorant of the conversation up to that point, simply offering a characteristically reserved, "Hello, everyone," glancing at the flyer. "Are you thinking of...?" Her gazeline pretty /clearly/ indicates the flyer --
-- or at least it did, until Fushigiyo-san absolutely /crushes/ the art of 'walking in a direction.' Then her gazeline is just stuck there.
Suzu Hamasaki goes to this school too! Actually, Suzu is in the same class as quite a few people here - one of the new kids who hadn't been in the school last term. She tends to at least partially keep to herself, probably a side effect of being newer.
Or, you know, having a secret. Whichever.
In any case, she's heading out of the school, perhaps a little later than some of the other students but soon enough. She gets about halfway out before Rei falls over, which is good for her to look over, stumble herself, and barely avoid falling on her face. This is not unusual.
While someone might think it's shameful that these folks seem to know approximately donkeyall about computers, Madobe just thinks happily about how this means she has 'something up' on these extroverts. She also thinks rapidly about a bunch of other things that usually go around in a mental loop creating a tight gordion knot of thought processes that even Alexander wouldn't be able to cut through. It doesn't really bear mentioning.
It must be nice, Madobe thinks, going through life like that. She entertains herself in a Wobbly-Headed Bob manner for a while, barely paying attention to the conversation.
Madobe waves a hand towards Aimi as well, surprisingly unbidden, but she doesn't say hello like that.
She glances over her towards Rei Fushigiyo. What's a sexy <funimation edit> Dummyhead yo what up girls </funimation edit> like her got to wail about. She glowers at her for a while, as if blaming her for expecting too much out of life.
Madobe may be a /pessimist/. "Oh! Ami!" Makoto waves to the girl as she exits school and joins the group. She smiles and is about to ask about shopping when Rei collapses to the ground and thrashes about.
Makoto begins walking toward Rei, looking down at her. "Are you alrigh-----" And then she notices Kinzo, blushing slightly again. She coughs into her hand, trying to focus on the weird girl. "Um, are you ok?"
The tall girl offers a hand to possibly help Rei to her feet again. "You should be more careful."
"Oh! Hi Sakura-chan. What's going on? You're looking good today," Aimi says. She would continue on, but the sudden wail of someone falling does what such things tend to do. Draws attention to the person who just fell over. Aimi is included in such attention drawing, blinking some at the sight. Its not too unusual t osee in Juuban as far as she can remember, given the population and general odds. Still, she is a bit concerned for the one who had fallen.
She would go help, but it seems someone not only has beat her too it, but multiple someones have. She decides that this is a case where too much help can be as harmful as none or too little. She instead does what she does best.
Aimi goes and pulls both Sakura and Madobe into a big, warm, friendly hug. "So how are you all doing? Its a nice day out, isn't it? Oh, you wouldn't believe how cute this kitten I saved was. I would have taken it home with me if I could. Say, who are your new friends? They aren't hurting you now, are they? But wait, why would they do that in the first place?"
Sakura would rather avoid an embarassing outburst. Of course, if someone were actually in trouble, she'd -- have to -- do something about it. Right? But with the other people helping her out she doesn't want to crowd anyway. "Ah, I am?" she asks Aimi. Ack, hugs!! "Thanks. Um, that's... Usagi-san, and Makoto-san; they're also in our class. I don't know who the falling girl is... so sorry!"
In contrast to the first wail, Rei's followup squeal directly at Kinzo is practically ecstatic: "CENA'S COMING BACK EARLY!!"
It is about then that she realizes that she is in fact addressing a person, and an 11th-grader, at that; she turns bright red and sits straight up in one swift motion, glancing back and forth as if for some way to escape Kinzo. "Uh," she offers, uncertainly.
She gets it in the form of Makoto. "A-ah, Kino-san," she stammers. "I was just-- reading the news, and-- uh--" She doesn't accept Makoto's hand, though... at least ~*~NOT YET~*~
Kinzo Hiroyuki is japaneese, so when Rei explodes with 'Cena's coming back early!'. he has no idea what that means.
"Oh...! So..you're /not/ hurt or anything?" he asks as he also offers a hand down, he smiles and nods to Makato, regarding her a moment.
"I think she's okay then?" he asks to Makato. "And not dying afterall." he insists.
"Huh? Oh! I'm sorry Usagi-san, Makoto-san!" Aimi exclaims, bowing repeatedly. "I didn't mean anything bad! I guess my head was just elsewhere."
The secondary squee of elation at someone coming back early just causes Aimi to stop her bowing and look at Rei for a bit in confusion. Her mind works magic as she finally puts two and two together in this case.
"Oh! Your boyfriend is coming back early? Congratulations! You should go freshen up so you can greet him!"
Makoto blinks, entirely unsure of what Rei is screaming about. "Oh....ok." She sighs for a moment, continuing to offer her hand while the girl gets a hold of herself.
She blushes when Kinzo regards her a moment, giving a firm nod in agreement. "I think she was just overly excited about something." She considers saying something else but she can't find the words.
She lifts her bag over her shoulder, appearing to be acting tough rather than shy. It didn't help that she was likely taller than anyone here.
"Hmm? Oh thats her boyfriend?" Makoto says thoughtfully. "That is exciting..."
Suzu Hamasaki doesn't get it.
This is at least partially because she only hears it as a high-pitched squeal at the edge of hearing, but Suzu kind of looks blankly in that direction for a few moments before shouldering her bag a little higher. Well, okay then, she thinks to herself.
She stops a moment later, again, to investigate one of the posted club signs.
Usagi turns to Aimi, "H-huh? Computer Viruses do /that/ to you?" Now she's starting to get really worried. "But... but... if I get sick... I'll..." What? Not fight Youma? She can't exactly say that here. Even silly Usagi knows that! "I don't want that!" she whines.
And suddenly a flurry of activity happens and sweet little airhead Usagi struggles to keep up with it all! Ami-chan is here, and Usagi says, "Hi, Ami! We found a guy advertising for the Computer Club and thought you might like a flier!" And then there's a girl wailing, and then people rushing to rescue, and then Aimi talking to her.
Aimi gets a polite bow and a, "Hello! Hello! Pleasure to meet you! I'm Usagi!" What? She already knew that? Oh well!
Ami very carefully does not respond to Rei's comment at all. Her expression is neutral to an extent best described as purposeful, and indeed averts her gaze for a second. Her attention then returns to Makoto, as Makoto suggests the possibility that it's her boyfriend.
"I don't think it's her boyfriend, Mako-chan," she says. "He... that's an actor, isn't it?" Fortunately, she is saved from needing to deal with the particulars by Usagi, offering a, "Thank you! I'll be sure to take a look at it..." She accepts the flyer, nodding once.
Sakura leans over and tries to snag Madobe in the little bit of chaos. She leans over to mutter to her.
You whisper, "If-- if you do want to sneak off to the arcade, I understand!" to Madobe Kuroi.
"I-I'm fine," Rei insists, flapping a hand dismissively. "It was a Flair flop, is all, a Flair flop! See, I can still..." She sets her phone to the side, lays down flat again, and then rocks forwards and then backwards, pushing herself up onto her hands--
-- and then totally failing to stop, toppling over onto her front with a heavy *thud* and a puff of dust. Rei rolls over onto her side, clutching at her chest and crying huge anime waterfall tears. "I... did it fine... before," she insists raspily. Technically, she isn't wrong. Any concerns about John Cena being her boyfriend are pushed to the wayside until she catches her breath, apparently.
Kinzo Hiroyuki withdraws his hand as Rei isnsits she's fine.....then immediatly collapses into herself again as he facepalms a little.
"Are you sure I don't need to go get the nurse before she leaves for the day?" he asks as he squats down a little bit to Rei's level and pokes her back a bit.
He ignores the bit about John Cena being Rei's boyfriend, or an actor, for now. He looks back up at Makoto and gives a sort of 'This girl is a drama queen' eye roll at her. Eh? Madobe thinks. What? She thinks again.
She is thinking these things because at some point she had ended up in a hug. This is still Juuban, right? Is this something her senpais do all the time? She'd have thought she would have noticed by now.
Aimi doling out hugs, Madobe in the background, eyes glued to her Nintendo 3DS (this one is pink colored! Send a code after today's episode to get a 500 yen discount!).
Madobe eventually escapes the hug though she clearly has no idea how to deal with this new information. Aimi may have in fact fried her neurosis. She says, "New...friends? Ah...Usagi and Makoto..?" She sounds uncertain that she means them.
She pauses a moment, and draws her cellphone quietly to look up Cena on her cellphone--but her arm gets grabbed before she can figure that out and pretend to know what Rei is talking about.
She listens to the whisper and thinks she must seem very pathetic to Sakura right now.
She whispers back, "I'll.stay with you, Sakura-Chan."
"Is he?" Makoto looks up in thought. "I've never heard of him. Is he like Channing Tatum?" Her eyes dart back to Ami for confirmation. Western movies were nice to watch every now and then but they weren't something Makoto actively sought.
She turns her head just in time to see Rei attempt to do something awesome....and produce something less than such. The girl just stares with a sweet drop, trying her best not to judge. Should she stop her from hurting herself?
She catches Kinzo exchanging a look toward her. She blushes again and scratches her cheek, averting her eyes from Kinzo somewhat. "Umm...Should we stop her?"
"Pleasure to meet you too, Usagi-san! I'm Aimi Saionji!" Aimi replies, distracted from the eternal plight of Rei Fushigiyo's inability to get herself off the ground.
Madobe's plight is one of those that escapes Aimi's attention. That is to say, Aimi never has, nor would, notice that Madobe might not enjoy being hugged. Its just a way of life.
"So... where are we going to be going today then?" Aimi finally says, smiling and glad to be with her friends. "I mean, we do have the rest of the day to spend now, don't we? Oh! Why don't we go to the arcade? Or maybe the movies? The park actually is quite nice right now. What about shopping? I don't mind what we decide to do now. I should have plenty of snacks..." Aimi blinks a bit checking her bag. Well, she did have enough snacks, at least before having to count for an increased number of people.
After a few beats of Makoto and Kinzo exchanging Looks about Rei's Reiness, she's back on her feet in a flash, a gleam in her eye and her hand balled into a fist. "He's not an actor! He's--" She pauses for a beat, tilts his head to the side, and then corrects, "Okay, he is an actor! But he's an athlete, too!"
She hesitates, unsure if she should actually explain too much with Kinzo right there, and then realizes while she was hesitating her mouth was still talking. "He's an American professional wrestler! He's super rich and famous and really funny and handsome and NOT OVERRATED DID YOU SEE HIS SUMMERSLAM MATCH OH MY GOD!!"
By the end of her explanation, she's basically totally marking out, shouting in defensive delight at Makoto and Kinzo. When she realizes it, she stops, takes a deep breath, and then beams awkwardly, scratching at the back of her neck with one hand. "I think," she amends sheepishly.
"Okay," says Sakura, who doesn't really think Madobe is being pathetic.
She is really confused about a summerslam match. They sure don't have those in sumo.
She checks suddenly to see what time it is. "I... think I could walk a bit, but, then I have to go home for family dinner tonight. I hope that that's okay," she says to Aimi, bowing nervously.
"We could... go to the arcade tomorrow?"
Kinzo Hiroyuki listens to Rei. "All that excitment over an actor. You think she was actually going out with him." he says with a short snicker.
He is listening to her speil. "Oh...so... a wrestler. So he fights other people on TV?" he asks. He has no idea what a 'Summer Slam' is, but, kinda imagines it in his head. A Giant sun slamming into people, 'SUMMMER!' it yells. The visual makes him chuckle some more. Suzu Hamasaki was just innocently looking at the poster and then /bam/. Screaming Rei behind her. Suzu tenses when she starts to yell and then turns around near the end of it; her expression is somewhere between amused and perplexed. She has absolutely no idea what Rei is talking (okay, shouting) about but is trying to look as if she did in case this is just one of the things she has not yet internalized, but should have if she was normal. An actor athlete sounds pretty complicated to her; aren't those both full-time activities?
"You think he's an actor athlete?" she responds. Her voice is a lot less... loud.
Makoto stares at Rei, nodding her head slowly. "Oh...okay." She hasn't heard of this handsome, wrestling actor man nor this 'Summer Slam'. It sounded rather intense though. She looks to her watch and her eyes widen.
"Oh man! I gotta run. If I don't hurry, I'm going to miss the sale at the market. Usagi! Ami! I'll meet up with you guys later!"
She takes one last look over her shoulder at Kinzo, nodding before she hurries toward the gate. She gives a wave to Sakura and Madobe as she passes.
Usagi's confusion is increasing, in both breath and depth. She just kinda rolls with it as much as she can. "Shopping! Right, we were going to go shopping! Hahaha!" says Usagi. "W-well, the arcade wouldn't be bad either. Or ice cream. Or anything, really!"
Then, suddenly, she looks at her watch, and her eyes open wide. "Ah! Actually, I have to go. Sorry!"
She waves quickly to Makoto and Ami, and also to Sakura, Madobe, and Aimi. After that, she starts to run off. Apparently she forgot something! Oops!
"Really? Well that's okay Sakura-chan. I understand how that can be really. Family can be annoying at times, but they're still awesome and wonderful," Aimi replies, smiling. "Besides, its not like the world is going to end if we don't hang out every day now. That would be kind of annoying if that was true actually. I mean, I enjoy hanging out with you all, but being forced to do it? I dunno... it just feels like it would take the fun out of it."
"Oh! Take care then Usagi-san!" Aimi said, waving back at her as she runs off. "Now lets see here..." She says, starting to plot out a path, her eyes falling onto Madobe for the time being. "She... /is/ right," Ami offers, raising a single finger in hopes that it will get people to listen to her clarifier. Unfortunately, this is somewhat overridden by yet another Rei pratfall, which means she just sort of lets it go, briefly gnawing at the inside of her lower lip.
Usagi and Makoto both bolt -- and whatever it is they were bolting over, she isn't in on, so she just sort of... stands there, stock-still.
"Yes, exactly!" Rei confirms for Kinzo, with a series of vigorous nods that make her twintails swirl around her like she's a wacky inflatable arm flailing tube man. She repeats the motion at SUzu a second later. "He's injured right now, though! His elbow got all messed up, and he was supposed to be gone until January, but he might be back sooner! And I was... glad..."
The longer her explanation goes, the more steam she loses. "'cuz... I like him... and stuff," she finishes lamely, poking her fingertips together in front of her.
Sakura gives another little bow as her new... friends? rush off. "Well I think I'll be heading toward home then. It was very nice to meet you. Let's... do something fun tomorrow, maybe," she says to those she knows.
Madobe's lack of self esteem doesn't believe Sakura's player!! Madobe is more confused than upset at the hug at the very least.
She tries not to sound too dejected when she says, "Alright." to Sakura. Sure, she went to school to begin with with the hopes of going to the arcade with her but it's hardly Sakura's fault and in the end, Madobe highly values her friendship with Sakura. "It's fine." She adds, giving Sakura a smile to reassure her. She makes it a good one.
Besides, maybe they're right, maybe they actually do want to be friends, maybe they're actually really nice people. Maybe this is a grand new start for Madobe and Sakura where they make tons of friends, become popular, and are happy!
And then Usagi and Makoto say 'oop sorry have to go lol' and run off.
".........Eheh....heh..." Madobe manages, left eyebrow twitching. She might have something of a tear in her eye. "Ah--allergies." She says. Kinzo Hiroyuki shrugs. "Well... that's a good way to worry a lot of people!" he insists. "But...good I guess?" he asks as he taps his chin. "Oh!"
he opens his bag as he produces a flyer for the computer club. "Would be intrested in joining the afterschool computer club? Our next meeting, where new people intrested are welcome, is in about two weeks!" he asks.
Before anything else can be said or done... there is Aimi, hugging Madobe. "Hey now! WE can go to the arcade together! It will be all kinds of fun!"
She nods at Sakura. "Having fun tomorrow sounds great! I'll have to remember to try and bring more snacks. Do you think we'll have enough riceballs for everyone?"
And as is the running thought train that Aimi seems to be having right now, she finally registers Ami's presence as well. "Oh! Hello there. I'm sorry I didn't notice you sooner. It has just been one of those crazy afternoons now actually. It just seems like its one thing after another after another after another with no stopping or end in sight. Kind of like an anime."
Suzu Hamasaki listens to this with apparent interest. She is trying to remember it in case she needs to know it again later because she isn't sure that this isn't something she's /supposed/ to already know. She tilts her head slightly, brow furrowed under all that hair.
"Well, it's good that he wasn't that badly hurt, isn't it?" she says. She is apparently not aware that she is talking to the weird kid - well then again, she is also the weird quiet kid so maybe this isn't entirely unexpected. Either way, Suzu reshoulders her bag. "I really should get going though," she says, a little wistfully. Maybe she'll run into them again soon. Well, besides at school. That doesn't count; half the people here are in her class.
"O-oh, well, I don't know a lot about computers, or anything," Rei explains, although she accepts the flyer none the less. "So I don't know if it'd be a good fit... oh, but, I made a club this year! PUROReSU CLUB!" she shouts, thrusting one hand out and giving a huge thumbs up, complete with weird swirl on the thumb,and stupid XD anime face.
"Uh, I don't have any flyers or anything, though," she admits, scratching at her neck again. Oh God, everyone is leaving. Did she drive everyone away again? God damn you, John Cena!! "O-oh, bye," she says lamely to the departing Suzu, giving her a little wave. That-- wait--
OH MY GOD IS SHE GOING TO BE ALONE WITH A BOY???
"I'll bring some too," says Sakura to Aimi.
She re-adjusts her book strap, then waves. "See you tomorrow!"
This is good, she thinks, as she quietly retreats; still time to study after dinner.
Madobe Kuroi crashes into bed. She does not move for half an hour.
Madobe plays video games on her 3DS.
Madobe stops playing video games on her 3DS to get dinner. She stares at her brother as she eats. Eventually she asks, "Do you think trees can hold grudges?"
He gives her a look like she's crazy, which she misses entirely.
Madobe goes back upstairs to mess around on the computer and check webcomics.
Madobe stares at her phone for 10 minutes.
Madobe watches anime streams on websites.
She decides to just watch one more episode
Okay one more episode
Okay one more episode.
WHO KNEW A REVERSE HAREM SHOW COULD BE SO ENTERTAINING?
Madobe flops onto her bed and passes out.
(Battle Fantasia - Tuesday, September 24, 2013)
Shitamachi Low City - Game Center Crown
A blue sign with bright yellow and pink lettering announces the name of this arcade, which is nestled in the bottom story of a tall white building, emitting cheerful chiptunes and the chirps of digital battle onto the street. The spacious room, painted in friendly pastels, is host to rows of arcade games, all under the watchful eye of an attendant at a semicircular counter in the back. Most of the games are aging, albeit gracefully, but there are a few newer cabinets, including the very popular Sailor V game. Most are controlled with buttons and joysticks, but there are a few equipped with plastic guns, steering wheels with seating, or mini motorcycles, and of course the ubiquitous Dance Dance Revolution station. Near the window, there are a few crane games heaped with cheap stuffed toys, sometimes including reproductions of whatever magical girl is making the rounds in the media currently. The Furuhata family runs this arcade, and their son, Motoki, works here often. They also own the cafe right upstairs, called Fruits Parlor Crown, where Motoki's younger sister Unazuki works as a waitress. Fruits Parlor does a brisk business off arcade customers, and the arcade itself has a perpetually sticky carpet due to the desserts and drinks brought from upstairs.
+phone: Madobe Kuroi says, to Sakura Akagi, "There was some kind of production by some kids from Infinity. And nobody was watching but me o_o."
+phone: Sakura Akagi says, to Madobe Kuroi, "Oh. Maybe they were rehearsing."
+phone: Madobe Kuroi says, to Sakura Akagi, "It was some sort of magical girl thing. I didn't really follow the story too well but there was a new magical girl and a couple older magical girls. The special effects were super fake but the acting was really good."
+phone: Sakura Akagi says, to Madobe Kuroi, "Oh"
+phone: Madobe Kuroi says, to Sakura Akagi, "I wanted to record it for you but my phone wasn't working ;o;" +phone: Madobe Kuroi says, to Sakura Akagi, "but it really happened" +phone: Madobe Kuroi says, to Sakura Akagi, "They have some pretty crazy stuff at infinity."
+phone: Sakura Akagi says, to Madobe Kuroi, "Yes they do! What kind of Magical Girl do you mean anyway?"
+phone: Madobe Kuroi says, to Sakura Akagi, "um.. well one had these pink special effects and a ferret, the other was called Soldier Angel."
+phone: Madobe Kuroi says, to Sakura Akagi, "Didn't think they did a very good job explaining the story >_<."
+phone: Sakura Akagi says, to Madobe Kuroi, "Come and hang out? We could talk about it!"
Sakura has not much homework to do tonight, so she's accompanied her friends to the arcade after school. The arcade isn't her favorite place to be - it's a bit noisy - but she knows that Madobe likes it because she is really into the games, and it's often hard to get Madobe to go out anywhere. And she wanted to ask her about something she said in text messages earlier after school...
Right now, she's standing with Aimi at the arcade entrance, considering how many tokens she can afford to buy.
Aimi doesn't mind the arcade. It can be fun, espcially with her friends. Plus, she promised Sakura and Madobe she'd come out here with them. She's not thinking about tokens though. Actually, she isn't paying much attention to her surroundings at the moment. She had pulled out a sketch book and was doing sketches in it. She's actually polishing off a picture she had been working on since last night.
She had been thinking quite a bit since she started this picture, putting a bit more effort into than she usually did her pictures, though she was always decent at it. It was just something she was good at. The picture she was drawing was of a person, familiar to Sakura, though off just enough that it might not be recongizable just yet.
+phone: Madobe Kuroi says, to Sakura Akagi, "Okay, sure!^^"
Madobe didn't go to school today anyway. She stayed home until her mother kicked her out for staying home too much. Then she saw a weird show and then Sakura invited her to the arcade. So--all things told--Madobe is in a cautiously optimistic mood. She is even smiling by the time she's made it to the arcade. She's sure her mother is worrying about her even at this moment but she's not in any rush to get back.
Madobe's mother watches some japanese soap operas. She dabs at her eye with a kerchief.
"H-hey Sakura-Chan..." She approaches, but--pauses--as her head slowly turns as she sees Aimi.
Aimi who asked her if trees held grudges. And then she got weird looks from her brother about it.
Ah--h..hey..." She waves to Aimi too. Sakura will protect her from any weird comments like that right?
Yeah she hasn't realized it was a joke yet.
"Hi Madobe-chan!" Sakura gives Madobe a nod-bow. She notices on the way up that Aimi is drawing something... she wants to see, but doesn't want to be rude, so she doesn't stare. Maybe Aimi will show it off when she's done. "Who are you drawing today?"
Aimi doesn't respond just yet. She does a few more lines on the picture before she nods, content with it for now. She closes the sketch book, looking around a bit now before noticing Sakura and Madobe.
"Sakura-chan! Madobe-chan! Hey! Ready to have fun?" She says, going up to the two and hugging them. "Who? I'm just drawing some friends is all now. Its just been in my mind for a while now, and had to just get it down on paper."
Aimi wasn't going to wait for responses just yet, instead just taking Sakura and Madobe's hands, tugging them towards the Arcade. "What should we play first? Do they have any co-op games that the three of us can play together? I'll be fine just watching you two play at first though if they don't. It'll be fine."
Syaoran Li wanders through the streets of the low city, looking around absently. He is wearing a pink button-up shirt, brown pants, and a >:| face. He was raised in Hong Kong, homeschooled, and spent most of his life within the walls of his family's compound. This is his first time abroad and Wei, his butler, suggested that he take a walk around while he, meaning the butler, finished registering him as a student at the local school. At first it sounded like a thrilling idea to allow him to accustom himself to his new freedom and experience the sights and sounds of Tokyo.
In the half-hour since, he has come to the conclusion that Tokyo is sort of boring. Sure, it's a new city and everyone is speaking in Japanese (a language in which he thought he was fluent until he heard teenagers speaking it). But mostly, people are just...people. There is probably a life lesson in there somewhere, and the young magus makes a note to himself to meditate upon that thought in a more appropriate setting. Even more saddening is that a lot of the aforementioned people are teenage girls, whom he as discovered are quite similar to his sisters back home, which is another way of saying kind of dumb.
On the plus side, though, they sell Pocky /everywhere/. So that is one thing.
Munching absently on one of the aforementioned chocolatey cookie treats, the blood heir of the greatest magician of all time stops as his wandering takes him past a video arcade. The lights and sounds promise an at least temporary respite from hordes of idiot girls giggling about AKB48 (note to self: decipher this cunning code once the Internet is hooked up), and so he wanders in, looking for entertainment.
Oof! Another forced hug! Well, it's okay. Sakura straightens up her shirt when Aimi lets go.
She starts looking for games they can play together. There's Karaoke Superstar, but... no, not for Madobe for sure. Maybe the beat-matching games, or... if they have one of those big four-player super-hero fighters that could be good. She walks deeper in to the dazzling arcade until she reaches the fighting games. Some rough-looking kids are occupying the one-on-one consoles, but the co-op games are freer.
Amidst all of this, Sakura does not really notice the small kid that might be the heir to the greatest magician in the world. Instead, she turns to her other friend. "So... eh... Madobe-chan, what was that... play, that you saw?"
A..another hug!? What is this girl's deal? At least this one wasn't as uncomfortably long as the other one. She still doesn't return it, but she does seem less freaked out. Honestly there's something weirdly familiar about this girl, she gets that feeling again, but she sets aside the thought before she dwells on it too long. Today has been weird enough. If she can end the day with a fun arcade visit then this may be the best day of the year yet.
She is, as before, not especially talky. She also is ignorant to Syaoran's presence. She wonders if she should tell Sakura more about the weird 'magical girl' show she saw. Like the animatronic ferret? She's pretty sure it wasn't like real or whatever, anyway. As she's considering this, Sakura actually flat out asks her.
She still sounds surprised to hear the question. "Eh?" Pause. "Um--I was just on the street when it happened, I thought maybe it was one of those--avante...garde?...type plays? There was some kind of snake monster ... I'm not sure how they did that ... and there were a few girls. I could actually see how the 'Soldier Angel' was being held up in the air."
"A play?" Aimi asks, curious herself. She looks over at her friends, seeing Syaoran herself, but not knowing him, nor what he is. She just sees him as just another young boy looking to have some fun with the games.
"A snake monster? And Solider Angel? Sounds like you got to see something fun to me. I'm jealous." Aimi said, frowning a bit. She looks around at the various games again then, finding the open co-op games.
"Ah, here we go! This should be fun now, right?" Aimi said, unsure as she walked up to the big super hero co-op game. "Come on now you two. Don't dwadle too much!"
"Solider... Angel?" Sakura asks.
"It was... Infinity? Did you know any of them?" Sakura immediately blushes. She doesn't have any friends in Infinity, so why would Madobe -- of all people -- no offense -- sorry Madobe-chan I don't want to be mean in my own head!
She's kind of bright red. "I don't think that kind of thing happens in real life." Then she feels dumb more. Ugh, what a stupid thing to say, why would it!?
Maybe the game will prove the right kind of distraction. Because she feels extra-cautious now, for unknown reasons, she picks the biggest and buffest looking guy in the blue and red suit.
The interior of the arcade more than makes up for the preceding half-hour, in Syaoran's opinion. He has little experience with video games - most of his free time has been taken up with private lessons, or training in magic. The sight of so many people just sitting around and spending money on games just seems sort of...wasteful, he thinks with a sigh. After a second's thought, however, his face brightens. He's supposed to be here learning his way around Tokyo, after all - if there are so many people here, he clearly needs to understand why. It's his duty to do so.
Honour firmly intact, Syaoran passes by several machines, sounding out the names of the titles in his head. Some few are in English, which is helpful - he's better at that than Japanese. "Sailor...V?" he mutters to himself, peering at it. He pokes a button, experimentally, and 'INSERT CREDIT' blinks at him. Syaoran frowns at the machine and lets out a breath, looking around for some sort of explanatory guide or...ugh. He's probably going to have to /talk/ to someone. Spotting three such someones nearby, he adopts a pleasant (read: neutral) expression and begins walking toward them.
Erythrite walks over from Shitamachi Low City.
Erythrite At a glance this young man could turn a few heads - both for his slender, smooth prettiness and for the air of sullenness that seems to hang about him. Standing at about five foot nine, he's a little on the tall side, with a trim and long-legged build, though the slight sag of his shoulders makes him seem a little less tall than he actually is. Perhaps more noteworthy is his hair, cut in a deep, dramatic fringe of rich, dark mahogany, almost black but with a distinct sheen. His bangs swoop fiercely across his right eye and part just shy of the left, revealing his eyes' subtle angularity - and the striking violet of his irises, coloured with just a trace of red. His nose is straight and sharp, his lips just full enough though often downturned, framed by modestly high cheekbones which shake a narrowing jaw and a handsomely pointed chin. Those dark, glossy locks curve back from his bangs to trace around his head, curling a little at the tips as they reach the middle of his neck. All told he could be a classic slightly brooding prettyboy, though it's offset slightly by a visible Adam's apple interrupting an otherwise long, sleek neck. Today he's clad in the typical uniform of a Juuban high school student. He wears a classy, well-fitted black dress shirt with a subtle pale trim around the edges, the buttons small and discreet. The uppermost button is undone to let the shirt's lapels lie neatly across his collar. Crisp sleeves drape across long arms and end at neat wrists, flowing to fine-boned hands with long, delicate artist's fingers. The shirt traces across a trim, fit upper body and down to his slightly narrowing waist, untucked across the waistband of a pair of crisp, professional black slacks. They're quite long - he's the leggy sort, and the pants highlight that as they continue on towards simple school-issue shoes.
Madobe is tempted to lie about it and say yes she knows them I KNOW PEOPLE FROM AN ELITE SCHOOL HA HA HA HA I AM COOL. But it's Sakura, so she doesn't really want to be a fibber with her. Especially since it seems like the sort of fib that could easily spiral out of control! She is completely unaware of Sakura's thoughts, of course.
"One was actually an elementary school student...and the other wasn't much older than me... I really wish I could've shown you..."
She is about to comment on the games when she hears--Sailor V!? IS SOMEONE ELSE PLAYING THE DATING SIM SHE IS PLAYI--
Oh no it's Sailor V.
OH NO he is heading towards them. Well, it's just a kid, so she's not going to be too nervous about a kid. Though man, something about that look in his eyes is weird. Maybe someone stole his snacks or something. or he ran out of money for the arcade?
Oh that must be it, Madobe thinks.
"--What doesn't happen in real life?" She sounds confused. "You don't...ah..."
Aimi's actually focused on the screen, looking at the different character choices. "This one looks nice, but this one also seems good. Ooo, that one looks powerful Sakura-chan!"
She eventually picks the one that looks like its fast and quick, a yellow and blue coloring on them, nodding in contentment with her choice. "Okay, I'm ready now!" She exlcaims, looking over to Madobe. She once again notices the kid, blinking a bit. There's something about him, though its not the same kind of feeling that she got from Sakura and Madobe. Its nothing bad, but... well its just neutral to her.
She watches him for a bit, silent and almost waiting for something. Maybe he's just hungry? She's got a few riceballs in her bag, and some pocky, but Aimi isn't sure what the arcade's policy is on food.
"Oh, nothing. I guess I was just letting my mind wander. It... sounds really interesting!" says Sakura, to Madobe. She thinks maybe she accidentally picked the leader character or something. He shows up a lot in the opening story scene. But then it's off, and they're punching evil robots!
She looks at the kid. "You can play with us too, if you want. There's one spot."
At some level he knows this is the kind of place kids come. It is probably the kind of place he came before he understood things better. It is probably the /exact/ place he came, in fact. No reason why he shouldn't go again. The door swinging shut behind him, Takumi Chiji stops up short as he catches sight of the gathering around the fighting game. His brows knit a little, and he begins to pick his way over to a nearby machine, a simple crane game with a bunch of plush toys stuck in it. He figures he should at least like Sailor V, but he's not willing to fight a crowd to get to it. He shifts the sketchpad under his arm absently.
Syaoran doesn't seem terribly concerned by the attention he's tracking, as he is busy watching the girls work the machine. Ah, he thinks. So it needs coins to play. He leans forward, ducking down past Madobe's skirt to peer at the coin slot. 100 yen, he muses. He does have some change left over from the bill he broke on the Pocky, so he supposes he could always---
The young man nearly jumps out of his skin, when Sakura speaks to him, back going ramrod straight as he rises upward. He stares at her, then looks at the screen. A bunch of...oddly-dressed people are punching the heck out of robots. Their technique is awful, he notes absently, and the muscles are a little ridiculous. But the girls seem to be enjoying it well enough. He looks back at Sakura, then at the empty spot. Hm.
"All right," the young magus acquiesces, and moves over toward the last gamepad. Coins jingle as he slides one into the slot, then straightens up onto his toes. A quick glance to his left allows him the chance to observe their techniques - the stick seems to control movement, and the buttons...okay. Syaoran grabs the controls and pushes buttons until his character - clad in green, which is a pelasant surprise - blinks onto the screen. He presses a punch button, and the little guy punches.
Aimi's character isn't punching. Its more kicking. And some slicing. She... is passable. Its not what she does. Her thing is being friendly, hugging people, art work, judo, hugging people, confusing Madobe with what she says, hugging people, and being friendly. She does smile as Syaoran joins in, punching away as a kid just might. She finds it cute.
"Having fun now? Sakura-chan, I think you picked the leader. He's got that quality about him. I mean, he just seems big and full, and so very protective of people."
Ah, it's cute when kids don't know how to do things! Sakura figures he'll get the hang of it. Hopefully.
She looks over at Sayoran with a little bit of a worried expression on her face, not noticing the other person who is checking them out right now.
She tilts her head at the game when Aimi makes that comment. "Huh, yes, I guess so huh? I have a shield button too." She presses it, getting in front of Syaoran's character and protecting him temporarily. "You can... use the stick to move forward, okay?"
Madobe makes confused faces for a few more moments before she ultimately decides 'well, whatever' which is something of a catchphrase for her. She is--she's pretty sure--happy right now. She's with her friend and...her friend's friend? Who seems to want to be her friend too. Did she imagine the tree thing? She thinks maybe she imagined the tree thing. Aimi hasn't been especially weird today. Aside from the hugs. Which is pretty weird, but pretty blondes probably hug people all the time.
She imagines anyway.
She pushes buttons. She actually plays this game way too much. She uses super moves, kicks, punches, jumps--oh man does she jump. She also stands next to Li's character a few times and just waits a couple times (she's trying to get Li to do a secret combo technique with her) but after the combo doesn't happen she gives up on it.
"Eheh...it has something of a learning curve..." She admits.
A few coins slide into the machine as Takumi briefly sets his sketchpad to one side. He keeps half an eye on the crowd around the game, watching through the deep fringe of his bangs. So that game seems to be the popular one - Sailor... V, is it? Leave it to humans to be attracted to the one involving the pretty girl in the skirt. And the fighting, I guess. The crane game beeps at him, and he frowns a bit as he turns his eye to it and begins fussing with the controls. With a few small movements he adjusts the crane to the left, then forward, before letting it descend into the giant heap of collectable plush toys filling the vendor. It emerges holding, predictably, a plush Sailor V doll. Takumi's eyelids lower slightly. "...Adorable."
Syaoran looks over at Sakura, taking his eyes off the screen. This does not stop him from punching, because when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like it needs to be punched. "Ah," he says in response to her prompting, then looks down at the stick. He moves it to the left, experimentally.
The green character turns left, and continues punching.
He moves the stick down.
The character begins a slow crawl down toward the bottom of the screen, interrupting each frame of movement with a punch.
He looks over at Madobe, who seems to know what she's doing. He watches her hands, watches the screen and...finally stops punching. He tries another button.
The green man jumps.
"Ah," Syaoran says, his eyes widening slightly before his face returns to its mask of serious concentration. This game is clearly more layered than he initially believed - he must apply himself to the discovery of its secrets by MASHING EVERY BUTTON EVER AS QUICKLY AS HE CAN.
At some point, the green character whips out a sword and slashes. Syaoran spends the next twelve seconds unsuccessfully trying to duplicate this feat.
The door abruptly shoots open, allowing the entrance of what appears to be some sort of malevolent, all-consuming whirling dirv--oh, no.
It's some elementary school redhead, nevermind. Easy mistake! But not just any elementary school; /Ohtori/ Elementary School, with its short plaid red skirt for the girls! She goes SHOOOOM over to some corner of the arcade, where she promptly gets engrossed by Candy Cruncher IV, and stops being relevant as anything more than the flimsy excuse for someone else to show up:
After /that/ appears another girl, taller by a ways, with long black hair tied up in a high ponytail. She is wearing the otherwise-typical Ohtori Elementary uniform, except for her special customization of fashionable knee-high boots, laced at the front. She glances over at where her friend went, waves once and is promptly ignored, and rather than bother Yaya further, Nadeshiko Fujisaki steps over to the machine with a rapidly-growing crowd around it of mostly but not /all/ older kids. Middle school, she guesses? She leans very slightly at the hip, craning; for a girl her age, she's relatively tall.
Also, hovering just over her shoulder, there is a small fairy approximately the size of two softballs on top of each other, her mouth permanently disguised by a demure sleeve of her elegant pink kimono. She is making the exact same curious face as Nadeshiko.
But they're both very polite about gawking, at least.
Sakura hopes playing with a noob isn't frustrating Madobe too much. She can get a little... picky, at times.
Sakura plays her best to help the kid out, just so that he doesn't die right away. Even if that might be EASIER, she can't just let him fail without doing something good.
She feels a shadow as another girl approaches. She looks over her shoulder... and sees that the girl has a fairy. Is that really a fairy? Maybe only Sakura can see the fairy, which would be worse. But looking at it makes her skip a step in the game.
Aimi can't help but giggle a bit at Syaoran and his actions, and progress. She can't help it. He's being cute. She thinks that at some point in his life, he's going to make a lot of girls very jealous and fight over him like they were in some kind of harem anime. What? She's seen bits of such here and there...
"Wow Madobe-chan! You're really good at this. Do you have any tips that you can pass on as well?" She asks, doing her best to help her friends, slicing, kicking, and just all jumping around. "Oh! Watch out!" she says, kicking an evil robot away from Syaoran's character.
She... mostly ignores the entrance of the Ohtori Elementary group. Aimi wasn't going to fault kids younger than she was for being rude and obnoxious in the long run. Its all the fault of their senpai. They should know better and actually teach their kouhai how to be humble and likeable. Takumi does not generally pay very much attention to the short red miniskirts of elementary-school girls. He glances to one side, briefly, and fishes the plush doll from the crane game to give it a slightly dry look. Some reward /you/ are for a man, Sailor girl. He is somewhat more attentive to the fact that the one with the long black hair has a fairy on her shoulder. With a blink he tilts his head to one side to peer at the fairy for a second, then takes his sketchpad in hand and turns away from the crane game, forgetting that he's now holding a big plush Sailor V under one arm. "That's different," he says half to himself before beginning to move towards the crowd around the fighting game, peering over a few shorter heads to catch a look at the action on the screen. "...Hit forward-back-forward-punch and you throw the fireball."
Syaoran spams every button like they are going out of style. It is pretty obvious he has no damn idea what he is doing - understandable, given he has never played a video game before - but his expression is a mask of pure, unadulterated concentration as he devotes 100% effort to the game. It must be fun if so many people are doing it. It--
(tea flowers--- their blooming delays the dusk)
A jolt runs up and down his spine as something flares across his senses, and his head snaps around to regard Nadeshiko...or, rather, the thing floating above her head. A tiny...creature, he thinks, his brown eyes dropping to the Ohtori student's face, then back to the creature. A superficial resemblance, in a cartoonish sense, Syaoran thinks, his mind racing through possible causes. His mother has drilled him on the names and characteristics supernatural creatures, from the common youma to the more exotic denizens of the realms of darkness. This doesn't resemble any of them. But the Magic Association knows of countless artifacts, and this - a young girl, accompanied by a floating creature that resembles her, she seems unconcerned, invisible to passersby - sounds like one of them.
"A Guard--" he starts to say, and then realizes he probably shouldn't say that in public. So he stares at Nadeshiko for several more seconds until..
"Right!" he says, looking back at the screen. "Ah...forward, back, forward..." Syaoran blinks as the green guy throws a small fireball. He frowns at the controls as though wondering - is that it? He was throwing better fireballs at seven. He shakes his head and resumes throwing fireballs and generally being a drag on the team.
He occasionally stops playing to stare at Nadeshiko again, however.
>:| Madobe does not glance over to the others coming in (it's an arcade, she doesn't even hear them). She /also/ doesn't notice the fairies, though she wouldn't notice the fairies even if she wasn't at an arcade machine so, perhaps, maybe not worth noting much.
Madobe is a a gamer who also is like oil on water when it comes to social behavior--so she largely just blows shit up. Though she does notice, after a while, that Sakura seems to be trying to help Li.
Ahh, so impressive, just like... the way... a leader should be! Of course, SAkura isn't Madobe's leader or anything, so obviously she's thinking about the character she's playing?
"W..well, you can press both kick and punch at the same time to use a special move, but it costs some of your health." She explains. "And if you do that at the same time next to another teammate as /they/ do it..ah..w-well...then you do a combo."
Sheg glances towards Takumi briefly--her character getting PANCHED as she is distracted. Woah.
She cranes her head a bit. W-woah. "D..do you want to try?"
"Of course!" Aimi said, her character quickly making its way over towards Madobe's. She positions herself to try and pull the move off, not spamming it like Syaoran is, as she is aware that she shouldn't waste all of her life doing the move.
She does admit that Sakura is taking well to protecting and being the leader of the group here. Maybe someday she'll stop being so shy. But that makes her cute too... Aimi stops playing for a bit now as her mind focuses on the debate on if it would be best for Sakura to break out of her shyness or not. Her character gets punched a few times over before she realizes that she's spacing out a bit and goes back to playing the game.
"Right! Lets do the move and... um... where do we go from here in the game, Sakura-chan?" She asks.
Sakura looks the elementary kid in the eye for a moment, as if to ask, did you know there is a thing on your shoulder? She looks a little alarmed.
"Ah, thank you, Madobe-chan. I'm not that much of a leader though. You--" she says to the older boy -- "Want a turn too? Oh, you got a Sailor V!"
Oops, she needs to focus a little more on the game. Her character is knocked back with a punch, and she tries to right him. She socks out the last robot. "... Through this door," she says, pulling up toward the top of the screen. A door opens to an elevator.
Temari sees a couple people look over in her direction; Nadeshiko in particular notes Syaoran, particularly as he starts to actually say the words. She gets a coy little smile, then looks over to lock eyes with Temari for a moment. Temari winks innocently then scuttles off under Nadeshiko's skirt, hiding in her egg inside the skirt pocket, right when Li gets his attention back under his feet.
Then she jumps a little, surprised by the arrival of Takumi and his advice. She settles down easily enough, though, hands behind her back with bookbag in hand. Back to the games! He seems quite good.
She holds up a finger, miming a 'shhhh' with a playful smile the next time Syaroan looks over. He saw her Character, she thinks, silent, managing a smile. Mage, or...Medium, or...something else? Hmmm.
The older girl /also/ seems to have figured her out, but she's less sure what that's about, and by the time /Sakura/ looks back, Temari has just quietly vanished. Nadeshiko looks back as though confused.
Actors are great at confusion. Just, the best.
Five foot nine seems taller when you're 17 and most people are not. The fact that he's distracting people from the game does occur to Takumi, but he's mostly there to watch. "Nah, go ahead and keep playing," he says with a short nod, stepping back. And then the girl with the bun hairstyle points out his cargo of winnings, and he blinks, cheeks reddening just a bit at the brief shaking of his brooding mystique. "Yeah," he covers quietly. "There was one in the machine." In his peripheral vision he is keeping track of Nadeshiko. Beyond the embarrassment at being caught with a plush toy he does not give any sign that /he/ saw the faerie, nor that he's really paying much attention or noticing anything amiss. He has, though. (Now I'm going to have to write a report. Blah.)
Syaoran nods slowly, then regards the screen for a moment. "Actually, sir," he says politely, looking over at Takumi, "Would you mind continuing for me? I think I've had enough," he explains as he steps away from the controls. He turns and actually bows slightly at the three girls. "Thank you very much for showing me how to play," he says, his expression and diction formal. "It was quite..."
"...novel," he adds as he takes three steps back away from the machine. Coincidentally placing him right next to Nadeshiko. Syaoran focuses on looking 100% confident and casual and not at all conspiratorial as he does so, because he is totally up to nothing, no sir. Just a normal, everyday kid standing here next to another normal, everyday kid. Yup. Normal.
Acting skills are apparently not inherited with magic.
"Sapiens loquor?" Syaoran mutters out of the corner of his mouth to Nadeshiko, his Latin pronunciation soft and perfect.
Madobe doesn't comment on the fairy. Perhaps humans just shrug off fairies. Or she can't see it. It's very mysterious.
Madobe, now aware that there are people watching, plays a fair bit less well. She's never been great with attention which is one of the reasons that she doesn't get it. Of course she still wants attention in spite of not dealing with it well and that's how we get neurosis.
She misses Sakura giving Li a weird look. He /is/ a pretty weird kid, though. Maybe she just didn't react properly to kids before herself? Like--maybe she is just nostalgic for that age?
She moves her character to follow after Sakura's.
"Well um--thanks for playing. You can play again any time you want." She tells Syaoran.
Aimi is quick to follow after Sakura. She's not paying attention to much of anything outside of the game right now because she's playing it with friends and some random kid who could be a friend too. Syaoran wants to make friends, right? Of course he does! Why else would he be here?
And then he steps away from the game. And speaks in a way that Aimi is fairly sure no kid his age normally speaks unless they've been trained to speak that way. Which means that Syaoran's parents must normally keep him home all day long and he doesn't get to go out much.
"Poor kid..." Aimi says softly, not speaking of what was going on in her head.
"Oh! Madobe-chan! I'm sorry if I upset you the other day. I mean, I didn't mean to. I was just trying to be friendly and joking and all. It just got out of hand a bit I suppose. I mean, trees don't really have feelings, at least not any that anyone has been able to detect. Though some people do say that the plants they grow do seem to be livelier if they sing to them."
Aimi blushed and stopped herself from talking then, realizing that she was rambling now. "Um... friends?" She finally asks.
What? Oh, there wasn't a fairy after all.
Sakura blinks a few times. She wonders if she's not feeling well or something.
She looks up at the wall for a clock. It keeps her from playing her character quite as well; she's off any game she had, now. "Well, we can do one more level at least, but I probably should go home and do homework... I think I might be feeling a little tired now." She just assumes she's hallucinating anything the other kid says as well.
Nadeshiko decides to stick around. Now she's curious, who is this guy? Who is so aggressive on that game, and she's...really kind of tempted to...ssss no, no, keep it together...
She can't help but titter at his excuse, clearing out a little ways. Just enough that they prrroobably won't be overheard. She doesn't worry about this too much, as long as they're casu---al.
"I'm afraid," she says, with an apologetic smile, "I don't know what that was." And then Takumi gets the game foisted off on him. His brows knit a little, but he inclines his head nevertheless and steps forward to rest a hand on the controls. "Yeah... yeah, why not." His eyes track after the short kid, though. That isn't the sort of formality he expects from a short tyke who just two seconds ago was hammering away at the game like his life depended on it. (And then there's that fairy,) thinks a quiet corner of his mind. (That little girl is being pretty coy about it but I definitely saw one. The kid must have. He's definitely not being subtle about it, either. Hm... maybe this shop is worth investigating.) Outwardly he gives his head a toss as he ends up back on the character select, tapping his way across the screen and picking a character. It may or may not be one of the Sailor V villains. As for his plush swag, he sets it down on top of the machine. God, it's so /pretty/ and /fluffy./
Syaoran sighs. Honestly, it's like no one knows how to speak a proper language any more, he thinks with a world-weariness that would be slightly more effective and less hilarious if he wasn't ten years old. "It was...nothing important," he says, looking around. In a place this noisy, they probably don't have to worry too much about being overheard. A wind ward would...his hand twitches toward his left pocket, but he suppresses the motion. Too public, he reasons. And without a charm to enhance the local inhibitive field...
The young man shakes his head, remembering his manners. "I'm sorry, I should introduce myself. Syaoran Li," he says, offering a short bow and watching Nadeshiko's face for a reaction. "I happened to catch notice of your...friend," Syaoran says with a frown. How to address this obliquely? "I've heard of them before, but only by...Association."
That's subtle, right? Totally subtle.
"I'm newly arrived here; perhaps we could speak another time, with you and...any other friends of yours." Syaoran glances at the girl's uniform. "I don't recognize...is that Juuban, by chance?"
The plush swag distracts Aimi with it being pretty and fluffy. "Oh! Its so cute!" She says, though she doesn't reach for it. She's not going to take the guy's cute plush away from him. He obviously likes it if he's carrying it around, and being so open about it.
Aimi is quick to help Sakura, giving her character support and making sure she doesn't get taken out too soon right now. "Alright then Sakura-chan! We'll wrap up the next level. Lets see now..."
The thing is, Aimi's got quite a bit of homework to do herself. Its not that she doesn't want to do it, but more that she wanted to spend time with her friends, both old and newly made. Homework will always be there, she reasons, but friends...
Its at this point that Aimi stops playing once more, and hugs Sakura and Madobe. "Don't you two ever go anywhere now, okay?"
Now Madobe is being hugged again. And being told to /not ever go anywhere/. It sounds like something a character in a manga would say or, perhaps, an online roleplaying server where everybody plays magical girls--but Madobe has never heard about that one--and she's pretty startled by the sentiment to say the least. It doesn't matter that it's a nice one. It kind of weirds her out.
"Like...in general? Or ... now? You want us to stay?"
Her character dies like 50 times in the space of the hug.
Wait, she thinks, if she's saying stuff like that--maybe something happened to her? Maybe she broke up with one of her boyfriends? Madobe assumes she had boyfriends.
"Don't...you worry." She tells Aimi. "Just do your best. I'll do my best too. You won't be alone forever." She promises.
And then she says, "Yeah..it's pretty late."
Sakura plays until her character dies once more, because just giving up, seems... wrong.
But when the level is over, she takes a step back and bows to her classmates. "I'll see you in school tomorrow. I think I need to get some rest, okay?" She really hopes she's not coming down with the fairy hallucination disease.
She gives the older boy a weird look before she leaves. Why would he pick a villain character anyway... hm. Probably just being a guy.
She heads out, with another little good-bye wave.
That was pretty subtle, really. "Oh, yes," Nadeshiko supplies, tipping down herself. Exactly correct angles. Very proper upbringing. "Yes, Yaya can be pretty attention-getting," she adds, and then motions back to the far row, where Yaya Yuiki is hammering away at a game. This will seem pretty unrelated to the topic, until Syaoran notices Yaya /also/ has a Guardian Character, which appears to be a...baby? Or something? What? Anyway the Chara is sitting on Yaya's shoulder sternly directing her action.
Carefully picking the order she answers questions in... "Actually, it's the Ohtori Elementary uniform," Nadeshiko says, bringing her bookbag around to the fore to stand at a little more formal attention. "It's lovely to meet you, Li-san. I'm Nadeshiko Fujisaki, Queen's Chair of the Ohtori Guardians. It's not uncommon to hear about us." Not even a big wink-wink pause! She really is trained. "You could think of us as a special Elementary-level student council, with certain special powers. And yes, I'd be happy to meet with you again! It's my responsibility to look after the Ohtori Elementary students, but I'd be happy to help a newcomer around town, as well. Especially one who's only heard of us...via Association."
OK that wasn't so smooth. She tried though.
Oh, the game's over. She looks over to watch people leave, eyes trailing Sakura. "She noticed, too," she murmurs; like thinking out loud, but meant for Li.
The short kid, Takumi's inner monologue decides, is about as subtle as a jackhammer to the dome. It still puts him a couple steps above Jadeite. Nevertheless the older boy's brows knit subtly as the word 'Association' is emphasized. Yeah, he's definitely going to have to keep an eye on this place. Outwardly he busies himself with the game. It seems to be taking him a bit to get used to the controls, his movements a bit tentative for a few seconds but slowly growing more pronounced. Aimi's words draw a blink from him and a sidelong glance before he looks back to the screen, cheeks glowing with a hint of pink again. "You can win one from the crane machine." A pause follows. He looks up at the Venus doll. So kids like those things, he realizes. They like them a lot. A small lightbulb goes on in the back of his mind, and he files Sailor V mentally with donuts and THAT KID IS MAGIC OMG. Meanwhile, Madobe's character dies of hugging. Takumi's proceeds to ninja her XP while spamming cheap stompy moves on every NPC in sight, because only the most trolly gamers play as Quan Chi. Eventually, though, the level wraps up and he steps back from the machine. He pauses a moment, then picks up his plush swag. Embarrassing. But worth keeping. For a moment, his eyes track towards Sakura. If he caught her look it's hard to tell because his glance was very brief.
Aimi hasn't had any boyfriends. At least not yet.
"In general! I mean, if you have to go, then that's one thing. Just don't... die or anything like that."
Aimi smiles at Sakura, giving her a wave goodbye. "Bye Sakura-chan! See you in class tomorrow!" she says. She continues to smile, nodding some before looking at Madobe. "That's good. I mean, it sucks to be alone honestly. Its better if you have friends and family and people you love and care for, even if it is in just a friendly, platonic way. You can make lots of good, warm memories and have lots of fun that way."
Aimi then gives Madobe a hug. "So don't you worry. I'll always be your friend!"
"Now, lets go win one of those cute plushies!" She says, heading over to the crane machine. This may or may not take her awhile to accomplish.
Madobe Kuroi had a rough day a couple days ago. She's still not too keen on going back to school after her mother was all 'oh? when'd you get back?' at her last night!! So she has hasn't gone outside of her room except to eat today. She hasn't even checked her texts very much, though she has checked her forums a lot and has started a few arguments on those. Gotta get that teenage rebellion out somewhere after all.
Right now, however, she's working on Sailor V-Valentine again. She lost a lot of progress when her game mysteriously acted wonky during that weird drama show yesterday and she's trying to pick her old choices. She has flopped onto her bed, having not slept much at all last night, and--
--well, she actually totally forgot about the perfume she ordered a while back. It was a silly idea anyway, her putting on perfume. OR WAS IT?
Late afternoon, while Madobe is playing her game, there's a ring at the doorbell.
It's probably that stuff she ordered.
Madobe presses a button, staring at the screen before her. It takes her a moment to realize that there's someone at the door, and another after that to realize that it's something she absolutely doesn't want her mother to know about. She runs down the hall, downstairs, and to the front door, swinging the door open. By the time she gets there, she's panting for breath.
By the time Madobe gets there, there is no package after all!
...Oh, wait. There it is. It's... crawling away? It's crawling away! Down the street, in a slow, wormlike manner, with little starts and stops!
Madobe watches this for a moment.
She reaches up, rubs at her eyes, and then looks back at the package. It's...moving.
Very slowly. "A...um...." Wait, she thinks, why is she stammering at a box??? She grabs at it, intending to lift it into the air! "Ha!"
She jumps and liberates the cardboard box. The box is lifted into the air, revealing...
Three little black snakes, who were somehow coordinating to carry it away. They have red markings on their backs. They all look up at her, and hiss.
Then she realizes, there is still one clinging, to the bottom of the box!
Madobe Kuroi screams. "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!" is actually underselling it.
She immediately tries to smash the snakes with the box, repeatedly. She breathes long enough to scream, "AHHHH!!!!!!!"
The snakes all scatter, getting away... but they're going somewhere... into the bushes across the street. The snake clinging to the box, meanwhile, drops right onto Madobe's neck, and tries to bite her!
The AHHHH becomes more of an eeeek and she bashes at it with her fists, dropping the box. Oh god is it a poisonous snake, is hse going to die, is this what happens...because she DARED to put on a perfume when obviously the life of a NEET was her destiny?!
The box drops to the ground, and Madobe smashes the snake. It CRUSHES -- disappearing under her fist. There's a smell let off from it - not a pleasant one, kind of inky and rotten.
It looks like the tape on the box is a little peeled off. Were...snakes trying to open it?
The snake might have been poisonous. She may feel a little dizzy. But not... horrible, not yet. She can still fight it off.
The streets are empty enough this afternoon, but there's a small white cat across the street. One of the scattered snakes goes to bite it. The other two dive into the bushes.
Madobe wonders, she should--call the japanese equivalent of 911 because her player doesn't remember the actual number? But what if it /isn't/ poisonous? A lot of snakes aren't poisonous--she'd be so embarrassed.
She brings the box inside to the kitchen and then realizes--she can bug Sakura. She searches around for some antiseptic but when she gets a moment she sends a message to Sakura.
Madobe Kuroi: Sakura Madobe Kuroi: are you there Madobe Kuroi: a snake bit me. Madobe Kuroi: It was a black snake with these weird red markings on their back. Madobe Kuroi: are they poisonous?
There's a small pause.
No immediate response to the text.
There's the perfume inside the box. Were the snakes trying to take it somehow? That seems strange.
The text message replies.
Sakura Akagi: Did that just happen?
As Madobe goes indoors, a sleek, amber blade pierces through the air, aiming to stab itself through one of the snakes heading for the cat---it's not aiming to kill it straight off, rather, it then pulls it back up to it's source.
That source happens to be standing upon a lightpost just as it clicks on for the evening, as he hides in the shade of some tree upon it. He let's the snake writhe and worm on the blade as he examines it.
"I thought so...." he mumurs to himself as he flicks the snake up into the air with the left blade and slings out the right blade, slicing it into foul smelling smoke away from him.
Both blades retract with a mechanical clinking sound.
He wonders what exactly these foul smelling snakes are after----certaintly not just for cat over there? You gotta be kitten him!
Madobe Kuroi: Yeah. There were a bunch.
Madobe doesn't tell her the snakes were trying to steal perfume because she's pretty sure sakura wouldn't believe something like that. She still doesn't believe it. It sounds crazy! She is, admittedly, not worrying too much about the safety of a cat right now though as she's calming down, she starts to worry.
She takes the perfume out of the box and looks at it. It's really fancy. Why did she get such an expensive looking perfume? She could have gotten a cheaper bottle. And it's not like perfume would help her--uggh and she got bit over it too.
She sets it down, dabbing at her neck with the antiseptic. She is oblivious to Kinzo at the moment.
Definitely not just that. The cat appears to be collateral damage. The snake is about to bite into it-- when the blade stabs the snake. It disappears in another foul-smelling mist. The cat screeches, and runs away down the street. Safe!
But what are the remaining two doing? They're regrouping... wait, there's more of them, maybe half a dozen, in the bushes. They're forming into a larger shadow of some kind... It's trying to sneak toward that house.
Madobe's front door is slightly ajar. A wind hits it.
Sakura replies to the text.
Sakura Akagi: Stay where you are, okay? Sakura Akagi: You'll be safe.
Madobe Kuroi: It's not poisonous? OK.
It's not like she was planning on NOT staying where she was today. She stares at the perfume for a bit, not noticing the door immediately, but she sets down her phone, taking the perfume with her as she approaches the door.
Was that...the cat screeching? She approaches to the door, intending on taking a quick look outside and then close it.
Kinzo Hiroyuki is content to merely watch the snakes dissapear into the bushes and attack the cat-- Amber isn't about to go save a cat right now. For now he's watching where the snakes go.
But then they suddenly seem to multiply in number, and form into some sort of...shadow? He frowns a little more heavier, but he merely crosses his arms to see where this is going.
He doesn't seem concerned they're going towards a house. Not /yet/ anyways.
Besides, standing on a lamppost in the evening shade of a tree is kinda cool and badass looking. Let's not break that vibe yet.
The shadowy snakes...
They're coming right for the door! Madobe could slam it quickly and probably avoid... but they seem to be growing into something larger at the same time. Is this ... all real? Snakes can't possibly do something like that....
Sakura Akagi: Change of plans. RUN
Madobe sent down her phone so she doesn't actually see Sakura Akagi's message just yet. She's all alone in the house here. Father's at work, and mother's shopping. Brother is at school. She slams the door. Wh wh what the hell!! It's like the snakes are AFTER her. Snakes don't do that!! She runs towards her phone, snatching it up, and then starts jogging upstairs. She has a window there, maybe she can sneak out that way. Or maybe the snakes can't go upstairs. They're...snakes after all, right? Can snakes go up stairs? Well it's obvious these are not normal snakes!
She notices her cellphone has a message. Oh, Sakura's telling her to run? She doesn't respond just yet, at least not in a text. She's going to slam the door to her room and then type out.
Madobe Kuroi: I ran :(
Even now: Emoticons. It doesn't occur to her to ask how Sakura knows what's going on. She looks out her window to see if it's clear.
The snake shadow slams into the door. It pounds against it, splattering like a wave, then righting itself...
Into something the size of a person. The snake shape forms arms, a torso that looks like a human upper body, but it retains a long neck, a snake head and tail. The red diamonds on its back begin to glow. Little shadow tendrils build around it. It's looking for a way inside.
Its head peers toward a window, and then snakes upward... stretching up toward Madobe's window on the second floor!
It leans back...
And suddenly there is a blast of pink light, and a powerful wind that whips against the window like a tiny hurricane.
The snake head turns around suddenly to see what happened! It finally seems to look up toward the rooftop above.
Kinzo Hiroyuki is watching this thing gain a humanoid form.
and he sees the flash of pink light, his eyes scanning towards the direction the snake-head creature is looking. He's still not doing anything proactive.
Now he's wondering what that flash was.
Kinzo Hiroyuki is watching this thing gain a humanoid form.
and he sees the flash of pink light, his eyes scanning towards the direction the snake-head creature is looking. He's still not doing anything proactive.
Now he's wondering what that flash was.
Madobe looks at that perfume bottle again. Why does she feel like it's trying to convey something to her? But of course this is no time for perfume.
She turns and opens the window, intent on sneaking out.
She looks into the face of a large glowy sneak tendril that is peering at the window, and then further odown at the humanoid body.
She thinks, at this point, the thoughts that were foreshadowed yesterday.
Also she fails her COMPOSURE check and just freezes in place, staring in terror at the monster of that that should not be. She is only jarred out of it when there's a flash of pink light. She looks up and around to try and find the source.
On the rooftop - next to the rooftop of Madobe's home - there is a girl.
She can't be much older than a middle school girl, in one sense, but in another, it's weirdly hard to tell. She's wearing a strange and somewhat elaborate outfit - a short dress that otherwise looks like a formal kimono, socks up to her knees. She has pink hair, and when the wind blows by her again... there's the smell of spring flowers.
She looks at the snake. The snake looks back at her.
"Creature of dark memories! I won't let you harm the innocent anymore!" shouts the strange girl.
The monster is suddenly distracted from Madobe's window, and dives upward, floating like a waving banner as it leaps into the sky. It reforms on the rooftops, and dives toward the oddly-dressed girl!
Kinzo Hiroyuki watches as... he looks up, to the right, Ah---
It's one of them. He knew it was only a matter of time he followed these familar scents! He looks back down at the monster with a curious expression. The monster now seems throughly distracted thanks to the apperance of---
Who is that? The name is escaping him at the moment---up until that fresh, spring flower scent hits his nose...! Oh--that's right... 'Japanese Cherry Blossom'.
He moves deeper into the shade--no need to make him look like an accomplice in this.
Madobe is still shaking, but there's this smoothing smell hitting her. It's a familiar one too. Looking across, with eyes wide open, she stares at the mysterious cosplay girl. And the monster.
"A..another show?" No way, she thinks, this can't possibly be a show. She just got bitten. She feels her wound and still feels the blood. No way, she thinks, that this is a show. But it has to be, because it's too crazy to /not/ be a show.
Kinzo successfully hides himself from her. She can't smell him from here! And besides, she's distracted.
"...What is this nostalgic feeling...?" Madobe wonders, admist the fear.
It seems like some kind of perfume. What if Madobe were to...
That bottle she bought is strangely beckoning. It seems like there's something she should do.
There's a clash, as the shadow serpent strikes the young woman on the rooftops. The cosplay girl doesn't seem to notice Kinzo. But he's right, about the scent.
"Cherry Blossom --"
A wind of light, full of blossoms, strikes out at the serpent and slashes it--
It seems like the sharp petals have cut it entirely in half, and it splits down the middle. The cherry blossom girl leaps backward, and prepares as if to finish it off...
When suddenly both halves of the creature, form two creatures, of equal size! They strike at her from two angles, and one of them wraps its tail all the way around her, squeezing her in dark coils. The other is also preparing to strike, forming shadowy hands with claws.
Kinzo Hiroyuki frowns now....alright, now the thing wasn't playing fair. He debates helping....
But that's it for a moment... he looks around right and left. Isn't there....some....guy?
He remembers that. But not quite who.
He begins to raise his right arm to fling a chained blade out at the the shadow aiming to form shadowy hands.....WHEN.... (That guy probably comes before he can act.)
Madobe slides her feet out of the window and turns, pulling herself up to the roof. She pauses. Should she just...get away? It doesn't seem interested anymore. Actually, she might be able to just go back to her room and hide under the bed. This has nothing to do with her.
She looks back and sees--she's in trouble. That familiar person is in trouble. She rgggghhs and looks back down at the bottle. Is it...telling her she could help if she just--puts it on?
She takes in a sharp intake of breath. This isn't like embarrassing herself. Someone's really in danger. Aimi told her to not die but--but--someone's right in front of her who needs help. She glances at her phone. Sakura hasn't responded at all...That's it--that's it, if she helps out, she'll have to be a friend, right? And all she has to...
The Perfume Splash themesong starts on. Who knows what it actually is, but chances are PERFUME SPLASH is shouted a lot. Raising the Sweet Pea perfume bottle into the air, Madobe shouts, "HENSHIN! SWEET PEA! SPLASH!" The words just come to her.
As if by magic (because it is magic), the perfume bottle sprays automatically, creating a lovely scent as it spins around her. Modesty sparkles flash around Madobe as she spins around in the air. Strangely, it's as if she has done this a million times before which is certainly because of unlocked memories being familiar to her and NOT because of stock footage being more convenient this way.
A frilly pink blouse ripples around her along with some pink shorts, pink really--is the flavor of the day here. A skirt ripples into place around her waist, along with bright pink holsters. A vest sparkles into place around her blouse. The perfume spins around her hair and pulls it up into a ponytail--the color shifting from red, to pink. Her eyes snap open, now a bright, clear blue, the sleepy bags under her eyes seem to vanish as she touches the ground. The last touches are a sweet pea (of course) flower in her hair and strangely enough turnip earrings in her ears.
When she touches down, breathing in the scent of perfume. Memories hit her. She knows herself. She is... Sweet Pea and--
--Her eyes widen faintly. She was brave, pretty, and more importantly kind. She thinks to her forum where she had just--
She shakes her head quickly. Not now! Japanese Cherry Blossom needs her help!
"Blossom! Hold on!" She shouts, drawing her SWEET PEA SHOOTERS which she fires at the tendril holding Japanese Cherry Blossom. Where the bright pink blasts hit, sweet pea flowers spontaneously bud into existence.
Once Sweet Pea begins shooting at the snake wrapped around Japanese Cherry Blossom, that leaves the other snake still ready for attack. Everything might seem to be going in slow motion... well, maybe just to the person moving insanely fast.
Once Kinzo begins to raise his arm, there's a black blur that ducks under Sweet Pea's fire and stops on the other side of the roof. Then a figure stands there, holding two swords, with a cloak seemingly made of pure shadow obscuring his entire form. There's a shadowy hood over his head, and all people can see right now is the bottom half of his face.
He doesn't speak, and he seems as if he trusts Sweet Pea to save Japanese Cherry Blossom from the wrapped snake. One might wonder why he didn't attack the snake on the ground... except about a second later, the snake suddenly splits clear in half.
Japanese Cherry Blossom is still struggling against the snake tail wrapped around her. She looks over as one is about to strike...
And then, suddenly, the other one splits in half. This time, it vanishes, with a hiss of darkness. There's a rotten scent about it, but that's all that's left.
Cherry Blossom tries to look, to see what happened. She struggles against the bindings of the tail around her. She sees... a shape, a young man, but she's pretty sure she's never seen him before. It's really hard to tell, though; he's as shadowy as the dark creature is! "Who--"
Kinzo Hiroyuki hrmmms as the new figure, pops in, he sees the blur. So his blade retracts back into it's bracer.
He resumes watching---did they kill it? Is it dead? He wonders if that's just one part of a few of it. Afterall, it was many little things before. Could there be more?
He looks back down to the bushes it came from.
No more serpents in the bush. There is, however, the white cat. It is a non-magical cat. It looks up at Kinzo, mews, and then scampers off into a shadow... the sun getting lower now, behind the houses.
Sweet Pea's blossom shots... strike the coiled tails of the large remaining serpent, and it hisses loudly. It retracts its tail, loosening its grip on the other girl. Cherry Blossom slips an arm free, and pulls a long golden stick out of her hair. She jabs it into the tail of the snake and the rest of it retracts. The shadow creature regroups... looking around now at several possible foes. But it's not finished yet.
Woah... did that actually work? Sweet Pea looks at her pistols in disbelief for a few moments before she swings both weapons together. "This is...for trying to steal other people's packages...and for trying to hurt my friend!" She shouts with very uncharacteristic confidence.
"SWEET PEA! SHOTGON SOJOURN!" She shouts, two powerful blasts emitting from the Pea Shooters, the pink rays combining into one larger one as it crashes for the mysterious shadowy snake creature.
The blast, as it passes over, leaves a thick trail of sweet pea flowers along the rooftop. Tommorow, the owners of that house will think that's the darndest thing! Must be the changing of the seasons.
The cat meows up at Dark Amber.
"I suppose you're right." he says to the cat as it goes back into hiding. Okay he wasn't really talking to the cat, but, you get the idea.
In a similar unseen speed, Dark Amber appears at the very tippy/top front of Madobe's house. He flashes something a little shiny in his right hand, it looks like a smooth orb of Amber, perfectly clear and flawless.
He slings it at the ground near the beast, if it hits, it'll encase and bind the bottom of the creature to the ground as parts of it are encased in a sudden, sharp amber growth from the shattering orb.
He doesn't say anything to any of the other parties yet.
Noir's shadowy cloak suddenly shifts away like some sort of intelligent smoke, merging directly in front of him to form his cologne bottle. It loosens, but for the moment, he continues to wait. At least now they can see his fancy gothic trench coat and his actual face. Coming to a store near you.
Meanwhile, somewhere not that far from the area, but far enough that she does hear or see what's going on, Aimi is in her room, coloring her picture. She contemplates texting Madobe, but she is not sure if Madobe is busy right now or not. She decides otherwise, going back to work for now, off in her own little world where such things as monsters and magical girls don't exist.
Flowers blossom, surrounding the snake-like creature. It suddenly can't lunge, as the rays crash toward it! It lets out a hiss that almost sounds like a scream!
Japanese Cherry Blossom leaps back. She gets a view of the situation. There's Sweet Pea, here to help - she knows right away! And there's that other young man-- she sees his face now, and she does have an inkling she knows him, too.
Then there's another attack, and an amber orb. The amber surrounds the tail of the snake. It's wounded, surrounded with blossoming pink flowers, and now pinned down with amber shards. Its body seems unable to reform.
Japanese Cherry Blossom sees something else in its dark coils. A small glow of red and light. She looks the creature in the eyes. She then looks at Sweet Pea, and nods. "Let's finish it."
She begins charging up some kind of attack. She raises her hands into the air, her sleeves billowing. A small red vial of perfume appears in her hands. It takes on a pink and red light, an aura surrounding it that becomes a swirl of pink petals.
Sweet Pea looks towards Noir, she doesn't get a good look at him, due to positioning, but she can actually see his face. But she still has no idea who it is, aside from a faintly 'familiar' feeling about him. She blinks a few times She gets told to 'finish it' but really her head is ringing and she's amazed she actually managed to do something like that. Of course, a dude flips down in front of her and throws amber at the monster.
She steps back a bit, about to question when--
"Ohmigosh!!" She realizes suddenly. Sakura-Chan! She draws out her cellphone and rapidly starts...tapping at it and sending a text.
Okay, so she's still pretty Madobe all things considered. Tap tappity tap tap tap.
A little bell like noise pings from where Japanese Cherry Blossom keeps her phone.
Madobe Kuroi: U won't believe me but I to'lly aced a monster heh heh heh :P Madobe Kuroi: I'm ok now^^
Of course right now she's just sort of staring agape with a hilarious look on her face as she stares at Japanese Cherry Blossom's phone. Twitch. twitch.
Noir's serious facial expression and demeanor remains completely unchanged, except for a sudden large sweatdrop for the audience. "Scent of Sealing Darkness!" his voice echos out, followed by an explosion of shadows from his slightly unscrewed cologne bottle.
Shadowy hands start diving into the snake, then they all suddenly pull up as if a fishing line has hooked something.
A moment later, they yank out a smokey clone of the snake, leaving the original completely grey. Then drag the shadow back into the cologne bottle before it's completely sealed tight.
The bottle vanishes into the shadows, and Noir swings his swords around until they're pointed behind him, and takes a deep breath. The snake is still alive, but now it's completely grey. "It's unintelligent, its power was probably the core essence of its entire being. So it'll likely burst away into nothingness in a few minutes."
Japanese Cherry Blossom won't need to wait for that to happen. She has one more attack that she's building into.
She lowers her vial, and then she shouts: "Cherry Blossom Elimination!"
The waves of petals swirling around her all form into a single wave. The wave rises up, and crashes... in a wave of pink light and fresh cherry blossom perfume.
The rest of the gray creature then blows away... turning into ash, carried on the wind, then vanishing. The smell left behind now is sweet and fresh.
It feels pretty good. But then there is a sound behind her back, from the bow on her sash.
She looks a little embarrassed at Sweet Pea.
Kinzo Hiroyuki looks back....there's...the guy.... Cherry Blossom....and Sweet Pea. Everyone seems...okay.
He turns back down the ash being swept away in the wind. "You should all be more vigiliant." he says as he zips in a blur across to a nearby lamppost, doing that thing again--- though he stands and walks as if he was on solid ground, because being speedy and dexterous means you can do these things, though this one doesn't have a shade try protecting him, Amber blades shimmer in the oncoming dusk.
"They're coming back up full force it seems.... And they will be after you." he insists. He doesn't elaborate on who 'they' are, he's positive they know! Though, they may not. Memories are tricky things.
Sweet Pea says, "Ah..that's....good?" at Noir, but she gets distracted by Kinzo. "Vigilant... what are you talking about? And who are you anyway??"
Normally Madobe would just see this guy and stammer for like an entire night? But she seems able to be demanding in this situation.
Still, the bulk of her attention is on Cherry Blossom because, well--
"Ah...Sakura...Chan..." She manages and then she looks down at her very girly pretty sparkly bangley outfit and then up and over towards Sakura's--
"...A...ahm..." She turns around, makes a strange choking noise, and then says, "th...th...thanks...Japanese Cherry Blossom! ..EHeh...heheh...eheh...."
And then covering her face she leaps off her house and runs off.
Kinzo Hiroyuki thinks a little....he replies..."Ah...none of you---remember......." he seems to linger on that a moment..."---I suppose....that's for the best. Right now." he says turning away from the group. He seems kinda sad about something.
"Goodbye." is all he says. He attempts to zip away---he doesn't reappear anywhere nearby this time. Probably just out of sight!
Noir stares directly at the guy, then looks up into the sky. "The Scents of the Dark are looming over the horizon. They get stronger and stronger in this city every day. It'll be up to you and your friends to purify people." he states to Japanese Cherry Blossom, starting to walk to the edge of the roof. "There are certain things that I can't do. So I hope you're aware of your responsibilities."
"...They?" The creature seems to be gone now. It was some kind of dark scent, Sakura realizes. "...But who would summon such a creature..."
There's still a few things she needs to learn. Or, remember.
She sees Sweet Pea run off. But she offers a bow to the two gentlemen who helped.
When she looks up from the bow, Kinzo is already gone. Very strange.
She looks at Noir. She wants to say: of course. But she only remembers... a little. "I -- will remember."
Did that name just appear to her? She looks down at the perfume in her hand. Time also for her to go home. To ordinary life.
She'll talk to Madobe later.