2014-01-31 - A Portentous Meeting
|A Portentous Meeting|
Mai rushes to get her part-time work schedule approved, and needs to visit the Student Council to do so. The good news is, she doesn't have to deal with the lunatics she's already met. The bad news is, she has to deal with Sei Itazura.
Yamanote High City - Ohtori Academy, Chairman's Tower
| OOC - IC Date:|
01/31/2014 - 11/24/2013
Mai Tokiha is in a rush. The restaurant's manager was slow to get the next two weeks' schedules posted, and she only learned what her scheduled shifts would be today. Normally, this might not be a huge problem - but the first shift is Monday immediately after class, the teachers aren't in on Sundays, so the usual plan of handing the schedule to a teacher and hoping for the best won't work this time.
Thus, the high schooler is running through the campus for the Student Council room, praying that someone will be there even on a day off. In one hand, she's clutching a schedule to the point that it's already rather crumpled, while the other holds her phone displaying the campus map. Should be around this corner -
- and up a flight of stairs that looks nearly endless.
There really isn't anything to do but climb the staircase and hope for the best - and so Mai does so, running up the stairs as quickly as her stamina will allow. By the time she reaches the council's balcony, she's staggering and breathing heavily - looking past the helpful plaque to the table beyond, praying that someone will be there...
There is in fact someone here, although only one person, at the moment. Sei Itazura stands near the table, the wind ruffling her long, glossy black hair as her pale eyes gaze down upon the campus, and the various students scurrying about. She likes to look down from here - it makes them look like ants. That is rather the point, one supposes. Sei has no official title on the council, she isn't secretary or treasurer or anything like that, but she is certainly a member, for she is wearing the cream-colored variant on the school uniform that is available only to those who are members of that fairly exclusive club, so it seems as though Mai has indeed found someone she might be able to hand her form off to. Hearing the panting entrance of the younger girl, the elegant senior turns in place, her hair swirling around her lower back like an onyx curtain, her eyes moving to the new arrival.
For a moment, the gaze of her ice-blue eyes is cold and measuring. But only for a moment. A polite smile spreads across her almost unfairly beautiful features as she turns to walk back towards the table, her shoes clicking on the lacquered floor. "Hello. What can the Student Council do for you today?" She asks, her tone welcoming enough. The sunlight glints off of two bits of silver, the only jewelry she wears - a strange, angular metallic earring in one ear only, and a ring, silver with a red rose, on her right hand, as she moves to stand behind one of the chairs and rest her hands atop the back of it.
Mai takes in the older girl for just a moment before leaning on her arm against the nearest pillar. "Oh thank heavens someone's here." After a moment to catch her breath, she seems to remember that at least some decorum is warranted here, and straightens up in a hurry.
"Right! Um, I'm Mai Tokiha, and I have a part-time job at a local restaurant - " She takes another breath, and continues. " - and the latest schedule came out too late for me to give it to one of the teachers for approval. Is there any chance you could..."
The younger girl takes another moment to catch her breath, then steps forward, holding out the schedule - stumbling for just a moment. Absently, she finally pockets her phone.
Sei regards the fire-haired girl from across the table, one slender eyebrow arched inquisitively as she watches her trying to catch her breath. "I admire your fortitude, and perhaps you desire to keep in shape, but if you're in a hurry, I might suggest you take the elevator next time." She says in her smooth, cultured-sounding tones, gesturing with one hand to the iron-caged door in the hall just outside the entrance to the balcony.
But then Mai is explaining why she is here, holding out the schedule. Sei glances at it, then pushes herself back from the chair and makes her way around the table. "A part-time job? Oh my. I do know such things are allowed, with the proper permissions, but don't you find it hard to keep up with your schoolwork?" A slight smile that doesn't quite touch her eyes. "I would hate to be responsible for approving something that caused you trouble later on. President Touga would be quite cross with me. He really does care about the welfare of the students under his care, you know." Still, a slender hand reaches out to pluck the paper from Mai's, holding it up where she can give it a cursory glance.
Mai turns, slowly, disbelieving - but there it is. Plain as day. Strange-looking, and at a glance she doesn't see any buttons...but there's an elevator. She slumps for a moment, and brushes hair out of her eyes before looking again. Still there. Iron-caged, but clearly a much easier way to ascend than those stairs. A moment's pity for anyone who had to take them more than the once.
The council member starts talking again, and Mai turns her attention to the elegant girl with the strange ring. Her face flushes at what isn't said - that most students at Ohtori are far from needing part-time jobs to get spending money - but even embarassed, she advances into the room as the older girl takes the paper.
"It's a lot of effort, but I've managed to keep up so far. And it isn't taking too much time - a couple of hours after class some days, I've still got plenty of time for meals and schoolwork." A social life less so, but that can come after responsibilities are handled. The schedule does, technically, leave enough time for what needs to be done, but not a great deal else. "I just need to get this approved because the owner had a change of staff recently and needed to shuffle everyone's schedule around."
Mai's composure lessens a moment as she wipes her brow. "...though if I need to come here again, I'll certainly keep the elevator in mind."
Sei listens to the explanation without giving much away on her face, her eyes scanning the paper in front of her as if memorizing it, though what the work schedules of a bunch of people she likely doesn't know at all should mean to her is anyone's guess. After a moment she shrugs and hands the paper back. "Well, I suppose in the end the responsibility is yours." Despite what she just said about the President being cross with her, it seems. "I can grant you the permission, although I'll warn you not to make me look a fool by failing to keep up with your schoolwork later." Sei moves to the table, pulling out one of the ornate chairs and lowering herself into it, crossing one leg over the other.
"Miss.. Tokiha, was it? It's rare to see a student with such an industrious outlook." A slight tilt of her head to one side. "Don't your parents provide you with a stipend for living expenses?" Her pale eyes are straightforward, innocently curious.
Mai's eyes don't meet Sei's immediately - she instantly glances to the side. "They're not..." After a moment, she straightens her back and continues speaking - though her gaze is still off to the side. "My brother and I are here on Kazahana scholarships, and the trust fund handles accommodations." Barely. Even subsidized, Ohtori's dorms are pricey...part of why Mai cancelled her meal plan. She would have suggested Takumi do the same, but she doesn't want to deprive him.
Still, the councilwoman is being polite - and Mai's aversion of her eyes is rather rude, so she turns her full attention before continuing - uncertainty replaced by determination. "I'm working to save money for a larger expense that those sources won't cover. It's not optional."
If there's any apology to be had, either for the uncomfortable topic (intentional or not) or for asking prying questions which are none of her business, they aren't to be found in Sei's expression as she watches Mai struggle to answer her. The implication is clear, but even so, Sei makes a soft sighing sound and says, "Ah, scholarships." As if that explains everything. You goddamned peasant. She doesn't say that, of course, but the way she pronounces that single word is somewhat akin to the way a pitying medieval person might have spoken of a colony of lepers.
"Well, I suppose I have no recourse but to approve your work schedule, if its that important. I was going to do so anyway, of course, but I feel more justified about it now." She drags a small stamp over from where it had been sitting on the table and presses the insignia onto the corner of the schedule before holding it out to be reclaimed by Mai.
Mai's eyes turn hard at the pronunciation of that single word. She doesn't take the schedule back immediately - giving the polite girl an evaluating glance. Say what you like about her, but saying it that way maligns Takumi as well.
"It's a temporary solution. There are issues to be cleared up, and the expense is more urgent than the funds will permit." Takumi's doing all right, but Mai doesn't want him to have to wait any longer than he should. ...and in all honesty the entire trust still wouldn't bring them to this girl's level, but it would be something at least.
She takes the schedule, glancing at the stamp to make sure it's genuine, and she relaxes again - folding it up neatly despite the existing crumples. "If there's a change in the schedule, I might have to come here again - when are the council members generally available?"
Sei watches Mai carefully as she reclaims the paper. Is there a hint of a twinkle in her icey eyes at the subtle but noticable affront Mai takes to the tone of her statement on scholarships? She does so like baiting people, although it appears, likely to her benefit, that Mai is not the type to lose her cool over so small a thing. If Sei is disappointed by this, she doesn't know it, other than to shrug and wave one perfectly manicured hand in a dismissive gesture.
"I'm afraid most of the Council members have rather.. mercurial schedules. Most of us have many responsibilities that take us out of the council chambers. It was just by chance that you caught me here today. We have regular meetings, of course, but except in special cases those aren't open to the public. Really, if you need us for something you should make an appointment downstairs."
She pauses then, pursing her lips. "I understand, however, that such luxuries are not always available, especially to.. someone like yourself. So let me do you a favor." She reaches into a pocket and pulls out a small white card- a business card. On the front it has a rather flashy stylized logo which reads "Itazura Holdings, Inc." On the back, it has her name- Sei Itazura, and a telephone number and e-mail address. She offers the card to Mai. "If you need anything in a hurry, feel free to call me."
Mai pauses for a moment, then takes the card. A quick look over it, she'll enter the number and address into her phone later. "Itazura-sempai, was it?" The first revelation of the girl's name all conversation. Somehow, not all that surprising. "I'll try to avoid making this a regular occurrence, and I'll make an appointment the next time I need the Student Council's services."
Or better yet, go through the teachers and never come back here...but that's unlikely to happen, given the likelihood of Mikoto forgetting something important, or Takumi having a medical emergency, or some random monster attacking out of the blue... Mai taps her chin as she considers all the myriad ways something could come up, and slumps upon realizing how many there are.
Mai sighs. "...I don't suppose that at least Suzushiro-sempai is predictable?" Finding out how disorganized the council is is bad enough, but if nothing else a chance to avoid dealing with the crazed Discipline Chair would be nice...
Actually the Student Council isn't disorganized at all - it's just that dealing with the ordinary problems of ordinary students is the sort of thing that they only do when they don't have a choice. Well, for the most part anyway. "Suzushiro?" Sei asks, sounding amused. "She may be the least predictable of all." She smirks, and even though the expression is not directed at Mai but rather at the absent Suzushiro, the ease with which it slips onto her face speaks of oft-usage. "But as I said, don't hesitate to send me a message if you find yourself in dire need." She pauses, once more tilting her head slightly, before adding, "I never mind helping one of our students if they need it. And then maybe someday down the line, there will be some way you can help me when I need it, in return."
Mai sighs again. "You can say that again. I was hoping to avoid her rants...though if I avoid getting involved with the Student Council, that might do the trick." Maybe. If there aren't any Orphan attacks, or Mikoto doesn't eat a prized koi fish, or....who is she kidding, of course she's going to run into Haruka again.
Mai finally raises her head to meet Sei's look. The girl is still acting polite, and has much more decorum than anyone she's seen at this school this side of the Headmaster. She finally nods in return. "I'll keep that in mind, but I don't intend to impose." The folded schedule, she tucks into her skirt pocket...though a bit impressed with the council's authority in spite of everything. The teachers demanded two days' notice to get the paperwork dealt with. "Are there any issues, or shall I see myself out?"
Teachers? Ha! Those guys have to come in here and beg for permission to get anything done just like the students do. Well, with certain exceptions, anyway. When Mai says she doesn't intent to impose, Sei smiles again, just a little bit wider. "Oh, I'm sure you don't, Miss Tokiha. But life has a way of surprising us, intentions or no, and I just want you to feel assured that if it does.. I'll be there."
She then shrugs her shoulders as Mai asks if there are any further issues. "None on my end. Thank you for your visit, and good luck with your job. I hope everything works out for you. Do feel free to take the elevator on your way down." Another brief gesture towards the iron-caged door, as if Mai might have forgotten where it was during the brief conversation.
Mai shivers - like a spider or snake crawled up her back. She does her best to give a polite bow. "Thank you for the assistance." With the paperwork out of the way, she turns to leave. The elevator is plainly visible from this angle, and she's a bit angry about having missed it on the way up - but she has to remain polite.
As the iron-caged doors open, she grits her teeth. She needs a bath. Might have to drag Mikoto in too. But at least that's out of the way, the work schedule's set for at least the next couple of weeks, and she has a phone number she's going to do her best to never use.
It goes in her contact list as 'Elitist Councilwoman'.