2014-03-10 - Moses Supposes Erroneously
|Title: Moses Supposes Erroneously|
Today's apparently 'Mamoru trolls middle-schoolers day', but whatever, he totally makes it up to Eri and Ami with finals-study help. Warning: involves roses. There should totally be a drinking game for when roses show up around here.
The Ohtori Academy library
| OOC - IC Date:|
OOC 3/10/14 - IC 3/9/14
Welcome to Ohtori library, home of infinite first editions! This repository of books is certain to make any seeker of knowledge go gaga, which makes it an ideal place to study for one Ami Mizuno and Eri Shimanouchi.
Despite Eri being a fantastic and enthusiastic student, she was unquestionably not as intelligent as Ami. And since she'd taken a week off from studies for 'angst' she's been playing catch up, in between hunting for territory of her own, and the occasional witch. But thanks to her study partner she was making headway.
The library was sprawling enough that even with the large number of small study groups, it never felt cramped. Eri arrived early after classes, finding a table tucked away where they surely wouldn't be bothered. Present with her was a steaming mug, and an almond croissant supplied by the open cappucino bar, compliments of the student council.
Her books and repast were spread out, as she occasionally texted Ami to offer directions to this wonderful little study corner. Currently she was wearing her Ohtori uniform, but she had the faintest scent of plum, with vanilla bean underlying it which drifted about the immediate area.
The opportunity to try out the Ohtori library appeals to Ami just as much -- and indeed maybe more than -- the opportunity to hang out with Eri. Not that she's /not/ desirous of the chance to spend time with other people, of course, but she still doesn't quite know how to navigate 'friends...' ...even if she's very acutely aware that Eri really needs one right now.
Navigating her way to the Ohtori library, Ami starts to feel a little weird about the whole thing; despite being from as much money and class as most of the Ohtori students, she feels sort of self-conscious here. She takes a little while to find her way to Eri; when she does, she carefully, evenly sets her books down, and gives a small, quiet wave. Even in this cavernous knowledge-repository, she has a hard time feeling comfortable breaching the classic quiet etiquette of the library.
It's just as Ami's setting her books down on Eri's table that a bespectacled upperclassman wanders over, jacket gone, presumably, the way of another table somewhere else. He's got a leather school satchel in one hand, and an onigiri in one hand, and an onigiri in his mouth--
--which is why he drops his satchel on what's now Eri /and/ Ami's table. This is a cause-and-effect situation because as soon as the satchel's put down, he deals with the 'food halfway in mouth' issue as one does. Chomp, take, chew-chew-chew. He looks down at the two girls expectantly, with this sort of 'I'm in ur study space demanding ur attention, what are you going to do about it' air to the gaze.
Parsing the idea of having friends was still rough for Eri too, up until two months ago, she was mostly content with the idea of being left alone. But facing psychic horror and near-death tends to take the edge off of one's painful shyness and offers the realization that life is just too short.
When Ami walks up, she offers a short wave to her in greetings. She then turns around her binder, pointing to her notes on English. While Eri does nibble on her croissant on occasion, and takes a sip from the cappucino, it's mostly a surreptitious action, as if she had to be careful doing so in a library even when it was sanctioned.
As she settled into studying, the first thing she notices is the satchel drop, causing her to look up, startled. Then she notices its an upperclassman, causing her to silently cringe. Her family had no money, she was here on scholarship, and she was a contender for the least popular girl in her class. Most of the time if an upperclassman decided to sit beside her it was to 'troll' the unpopular girl.
Staring at him, she watches the Chomp-Chomp-Chew-Chew-Chew. Her first thought after that was to think on whether Kyouko had died after the recent battle and been reincarnated as /this guy/.
But after a moment she clears her throat and whispers softly, "Um, good afternoon, senpai. I'm Shimanouchi Eri, middle school second year. Can I help you with something?" She hopes she can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. She's not in a really good place right now emotionally for upperclassman teasing.
People she's actually fairly acquainted with is one thing -- relative strangers are something else entirely, and as a good-looking upperclassman drops down on their middle school table and seems to outright demand their attention. She opens her mouth, dimly considering objecting -- only to find herself tongue-tied. She opens her mouth, blinking a few times.
Then she starts arranging her books, quietly adding, "Mizuno Ami -- also middle school second year... Juuban." She arranges her notes carefully, gnawing on her lip for a moment as she tries to figure out how to engage with this. Getting ready to study buys her a little time.
When she finally manages it, she says, "Can we help you with something, senpai...?"
This isn't at all going as planned. Mamoru eyes the two girls for a second, and then puts both onigiri in one hand so he can take a folded cloth from his pocket. As he puts it on the table, and the onigiri on top of it, he glances up and looks at them over his glasses. "Sorry to bother you. I'd actually like to propose a trade: I'll help you study in return for information."
He hasn't got his trollface on anymore; he slides into the seat in front of his satchel and dinner and adjusts his glasses. "Chiba Mamoru, second-year high school. Mizuno-san, I believe we've met, if briefly; I'm friends with Furu, ah-- Furuhata Motoki, at the arcade? And your friend with the odango is always getting on my case. Shimanouchi-san, I must apologize again for my rudeness."
He flips open the satchel, and pulls out his tablet; it's on in a half second, and there's an image on the screen of very specific kind of rose that most likely only grows in that little glass dome in the middle of the library, or else is very rare indeed. "All I want to know is what kind of rose this is. If you can even tell me where to start looking or who to talk to, that would be enough for a trade. If you're interested in help studying, that is."
Once he had the onigiri out of his mouth, Eri noticed one important fact.
He was a total /hunk/.
This short circuits her adolescent brain briefly. Mamoru would probably swear he sees test patterns on Eri's face. Her cheeks take on a flushed quality once she returns to her regularly scheduled awkwardness. With her gaze downcast, she's murmuring and occasionally stammering over the words, "It's a p-pleasure to meet you Chiba-senpai. And.. a-apology accepted.. and.. information of what sort?"
Odango, odango... well she knew a girl who was exhorting everyone to try the odango style at Madoka's slumber party, but that would be one assumption too many! Surely it isn't her! Usagi Tsukino seemed like too sweet a girl to be on this upperclassman's case!
But then he's asking a botany question! And her eyes grow wide, as she looks up, suddenly interested. Looking at the screen on his tablet. "I.. may be able to help you. I'm a member of Ohtori's gardening club after all, and botany is my area of expertise... and if I don't know the answer, then Himemiya-san likely would. May I take a closer look?"
The presence of the onigiri momentarily short-circuited Ami's facial recognition -- or maybe that was just the frantic need to study. Now that she's not dealing with a stranger and merely a faint acquaintance, she seems a /little/ more relaxed. Breathing a small sigh of relief, she says, "Ah -- Chiba-san," with a small smile. "That's right. It's good to see you again -- I'm sorry, I've been very worried about finals." What /she/ has to worry about on that front, no one knows.
After a few moments, she adds, "Ah... I'm sorry, but I'm not very familiar with roses... Shimanouchi-san here is more likely to be able to help you. There may be a few other people on campus who can as well... the gardening club here, I understand, is very strong."
She does lean a little closer in toward the rose, though, as it's offered. "If no one in the gardening club here can help you, the science club at Juuban might..." She smiles a little, saying, "Yukishiro-senpai might be able to help, in particular."
All noticings of Mamoru's hunkness seemingly go completely unnoticed by the guy: it's like, he knows he's hot, what, this is his day. Instead, he just smiles brightly at Eri and pushes the tablet across the table at her. "Of course! But I would," he lowers his voice a little, and sounds slightly embarrassed, "appreciate it if you didn't ask Himemiya-san."
WHAT COULD THIS BE ABOUT?
As an overcompensation, potentially, for what could very well have been some kind of intrigue, he breezily wrenches the conversation back to the topics he'd started with. "I'll tag Juuban next if Shimanouchi-san can't identify it, yes! Thank you! And what finals are you worried about?"
For the record, the rose depicted is visibly cut; it has traits similar to the oldest of the extant heritage roses, but there's an almost shimmering quality to the petals.
Eri was mostly used to hot guys ignoring her or giving her baleful looks, not hot guys giving her the time of day even if it wasn't like he was interested in her, so this is still a novel concept! But her brow furrows slightly as he mentions not to tell Himemiya. And in those few moments she makes a little leap of faith when it comes to assumptions, "If it's about her reputation.. it's undeserved, really! But.. alright.."
Adjusting her glasses, she leans forward, "English and history for myself..."
Peering at the Rose closely, she mutters softly, "It's like staring at a beautiful corpse." What a strange thing to say! However, after her initial reaction is over, she head tilts just slightly. "How strange.. it definitely isn't a modern garden rose. It has qualities of both a damask and a gallica rose with both the pigmentation and the petal arrangements. But it's not quite a semi-double flower..." She leans forward even closer, "And that strange coruscation to it. It's very peculiar..."
She appears to be committing every single detail to memory, but unfortunately looks stumped. "I hate to guess, but it looks like it was cultivated in the west, before the middle ages, but I can't narrow down the exact breed of cultivar it is for you."
Ami is only dimly aware of Himemiya and any reputation she may or may not have on campus for some reason; she assumes the most charitable thing about Mamoru's worries regarding the potential of contacting her, and lets /that/ side of the conversation drop. She decides, instead, to take a better look at the rose, as Eri talks about it a little more; she studies it carefully, tilting her head a little. "... Something about this rose," she admits, quietly, "seems very familiar, somehow... I can't place it -- not /quite/, but..."
Pursing her lips, Ami asks, "Do you mind if I see that? And, ah -- I'm a little worried about history as well..." She takes a slow, deep breath in through her nose, saying, "Hmm... oh, I wish I knew more about botany..."
It's not a conventional field of knowledge that makes Ami think she knows this rose, though -- oh, no. She still hasn't managed to nail it down yet, but something about that rose has started to twig a more ephemeral, magical sector of knowledge trapped in that little brain...
"Reputation..?" echoes Mamoru blankly. He stares at Eri as his paradigm shifts; the reflection of the light off his glasses mitigates the visibility of the wheels turning in his mind as he sorts through overheard side conversations and memories of seeing other people's body language toward Anthy, putting together a context for the assumption. Finally he shakes his head, looking oddly, faintly sad. "No, it's unrelated. I don't keep track of who takes issue with whom. English I can help with, and some history, anyway. I don't remember what we studied that year, but it'll probably come back to me."
As Eri studies the rose, the corner of Mamo's mouth twitches up slightly. Each observation she makes, he gets a little more obviously invested. When she looks defeated, he shakes his head. "Now you're on the lookout for it," he says cheerfully. "And I'm not even going to ask about it being a beautiful corpse." Because NOPE.
When Ami asks to see it, he slides his tablet back from Eri and then over to Ami, obligingly. He looks encouraging, certainly, but more tellingly, when Ami's really studying it, he's really intently studying her. Looking for something, himself, maybe. Cataloguing reactions to store for later, just in case.
The upperclassman's voice, in contrast to the weight of his gaze, is easy and light. "Well, let's start with the history, then. What units have you been studying this year, and what parts are you least clear on?"
There was an internal sigh of relief when Mamoru insists he doesn't keep track of gossip. Eri tried not to either until it struck her right smack in the face, like a piece of slimy konnyaku slung from some other girl's mouth. But she was also happy because she didn't have to explain what she meant by Himemiya's reputation. Ohtori's middle school could be rather cruel when it came to the number of her classmates increasing Anthy's hand to the face ratio.
But Eri wasn't so easily defeated, "Yes, I'm not daunted by such a trivial detail as ignorance in the immediate sense." There's a faint glint off her glasses, there was no botanical challenge she couldn't overcome! It was as if Mamoru had literally thrown down the gauntlet to her. She does however seem ready to explain why she called it a beautiful corpse anyhow, before she realizes /library/. Making impassioned speeches in a library was almost certain to be a cause for embarrassment, so she jams down the filter on her mouth hard.
Her gaze lingers on it overlong, even after Ami takes over the tablet, so long that she almost forgets about the far more important topic at hand.. studying! This causes her to flush a little, before she answers, "In Western history we were on classical civilizations, namely Greece and Rome.. in Japanese history we're on the Meiji restoration."
"We're also on classical civilizations -- we're hovering around a slightly different era, but for the most part, Shimanouchi-san and I are within a few weeks of each other," Ami says, almost offhandedly. There's recognition in those eyes, the longer she studies it; she /knows/ this rose, that much is apparent. Eventually handing everything back to Mamoru, she says, "Ah -- I need to do a little research, but I think I know where to start on this one, at least," she says, with a small nod of her head. "I still think you may want to ask Yukishiro-san, too, but... I'll try to do some research on it, just the same. I think I've seen these around town lately, /somewhere/... I may remember where if I look up a little more about them!"
She closes off that line of thought there, though... though she's made it very clear how serious she's taking this rose, all of a sudden. Shifting back to a pleasantly neutral little smile, she lets Eri take point on their sudden bout of study help; she's a little too shy to really direct that side of the conversation with a fairly casual acquaintance like Mamoru, /especially/ first.