2014-03-15 - No Silence in the Library
|Title: No Silence in the Library|
Usagi goes to Ohtori's library looking for a specific book to study where most people she knows won't see what she's studying, or something along those lines. Anyway, a book. She can't find it. Asagao shows up and can totally help! Except. Then. They run into Usagi's archnemesis, Mamoru Chiba.
Ohtori Academy library!
| OOC - IC Date:|
Afternoon in the Ohtori Library: golden sunlight streams in and dust motes dance in the beams. Looking up, it seems like it should be a still and contemplative place--
--but the murmur of low conversation at many tables, and still more scribbling or typing sounds, fills the large room with life. Still no one's loud, because some study alone.
Groups have claimed tables, and there are still a few left-- and there are a few with only a satchel on them, or a satchel and a uniform jacket over the back of a chair.
Usagi Tsukino does not want to be here.
It's not the books. With Ami's help, Usagi has begun to make her peace with academic tomes. It's not the Ohtori elegance, either. She's made friends here: Madoka, Sayaka, Nori, Utena. Familiarity doesn't kill the awe for her, but it does diminish the anxiousness.
Usagi's even a little special at this school. While it's not advertised, it's not exactly well hidden that she has somehow caught the eye of student councilwoman Juri Arisugawa, though it appears to be purely in the field of arcade games. Never mind the rumors of a magical dance at a birthday party.
Usagi shouldn't be here because this is the last place she saw Anthy Himemiya, dutiful gardener, possible moon princess, and piercing conversationalist. Yes. It's all very surprising.
Having all these people around is a comfort. It's less likely that she'll turn the corner and see Anthy constructing another book fort. Still, Usagi creeps along the stacks, all her stealth undone by her jarringly out-of-place Juuban uniform. Every few aisles, she pauses to read from a scrap of paper, but it only seems to further confuse her.
Asagao has been in and out of the library all day - mostly for meals or snacks, then there was the two hours she spent in the gym because TOO MUCH SITTING STILL. But the time has come to get back to the books. The endless, endless books.
Setting her things down at a table that previously had only a satchel on it, because surely whoever is sitting there won't mind company, right? Asagao takes a deep breath and heads once more into the breach of knowledge in search of specifics. She will ACE the science final, dammit!
While Asagao has heard little about Usagi, a wandering student from another school who is CLEARLY looking for a book is opportunity writ large!
Somehow magically materializing right in front of Usagi as she turns from her latest peek at the scrap of paper, Asagao - all bright smile and chipper countenance, "Can I help? What are you looking for?"
Usagi glowers at the note in her fingers. How dare you make a fool of her, paper. What gives you the right?
Oh, if you spelled that out, it would be like 'what gives you the write.' Usagi purses her lips and nods with great satisfaction. Another joke to save for her gag comic she'll get around to drawing one day. Yes.
"Just after I learn to--AAAAA!"
In a half second, the Juuban girl has looked up, shrieked, and fled directly from Asagao. She has chosen to escape to the floor beneath her, where she sprawls awkwardly and misses all the glares being sent her way for the noise.
"Ah, um, hi! I, um--" she lowers her voice as she continues to speak, because the quiet is oppressive, "--I'm looking for a book? It's, well."
Usagi holds up her troublesome scrap of paper. It has an aisle and row number scribbled on it, judging from the order of the numbers.
Of course she's looking for a book, she's practically crawling through the library! But Asagao doesn't tease, she just holds the smile with only the barest hint of a nervous laugh.
Taking the scrap of paper and studying the note... Asagao turns it upside-down and then sideways. Nothing seems to help. "Uhmm... You don't happen to know the title, do you? Your friend doesn't have very good handwriting, no wonder you're having such a hard time!"
Usagi stares, uncomprehending. Her cheeks redden, and then: "Yes, my friend's handwriting! HA HA HA HA" --'shhhhhh' from fifty people at once-- "ha ha ha ha. ha."
The Juuban girl finds her footing and stands up, brushing her skirt out. Not that the Ohtori library floor is dirty. Or anything in Ohtori, really. Usagi doesn't know about politics.
She edges closer, so that she can indicate numbers on the slip. "That's a nine... and there's a three... is there an English section? It should be in the English section."
"English? I know that section back and forth!" Asagao actually knows most of the place back and forth, but, well. "What book is it? You know what you're looking for, I can take you right to it!" She won't be deterred! "Come on," she adds a bit quieter, since she doesn't want to get hassled by the other students for being too loud.
Taking Usagi's hand, she doesn't take 'no' for an answer, either. "I'm Asagao Uekawa, by the way! Did you really come here just for a book? You must be working on someting really special for English class if you came here just for that! How exciting!"
"I don't remember the title," Usagi pleads, even as she's dragged off. She makes a valiant effort to keep up. Most of her tripping is due to her inability to get her feet to work, really. Eventually, she falls into a workable pace, proving that even Juuban students can learn things.
"Usagi Tsukino," the blonde girl replies, her tone notably more bright. It doesn't last, because what she says next is going to sound conspiratorial no matter what: "Yeah... something special. Eh heh. Very special. I'm the only one in the class doing something like this!"
"Do you, um, work here?"
It's actually Infinity students that take faculty positions if they're well suited to the task, but it's finals and everything's starting to blur together in her head.
"Heavens no! But I'm in here a lot! It IS one of the best libraries in the region, if not THE best, after all?" Asagao is at least, patient enough to not make Usagi FALL until she catches her own footing. "Very nice to meet you, Usagi Tsukino-san!"
Of course, Usagi was NOWHERE NEAR the English section when she came in, but it doesn't take long to get there. Soon they're turning the corner into the first of the rows of English books.
"There! Now, there's so many subjects, you're going to have to be a *little* more specific..."
When they round that corner, there's a tall boy in Ohtori's high school uniform, complete with terrible mustardish-and-white jacket, and he's facing the other way. He looks to be in the general vicinity of the section they're aiming for, and he's thumbing through a book.
As they make their way up the aisle, his shoulders shake a little with silent laughter, and he leans against the shelves, relaxing and thoroughly enjoying himself, by all evidence; in the motion, there's a brief bright reflection off the side of one of the lenses of a pair of glasses. From the back, he doesn't look half bad! But he's probably disappointing from the front.
Problem is, he turns out to be leaning exactly on the shelf they're looking for. And, in fact, exactly in front of where the book Usagi needs ought to be located-- or at least where it's probably located; it's the young adult fiction section. The kind that fifth graders are really proud of being able to slam through.
Usagi pauses at the entrance of the English section, looking down the long aisle with her lower lip jutting out. She confers with the note again, and then crosses her arms.
"If I had to guess, it would be in..." silence, and then awkward silence, and then embarrassed admission: "...I don't know. English is really, um--" don't say difficult "--unique. Unique wording. Very unique wording. Maybe we can just check by the numbers?"
She forges ahead, trying to make a decision through bravado. Counting the filing numbers as she goes, the Juuban student eventually makes her way past all the 'special genius project' type of books. Maybe she missed it. What's more important is that she's frozen, glaring daggers (enchanted by the fairy queen to have an increased chance of dealing critical damage during flanking attacks, because she's been playing that sort of game recently) at the back of the man in the aisle.
"Watch out!" Usagi hisses, holding a hand out to protect Asagao. "This guy is a jerk."
Asagao's eyes go QUITE wide, "Really?" And then she sort of gives Usagi a weird look, but turns her head to the side and eeeennhs, "Mmmaybe it's just by comparison to all the *other* jerks who go here, but Chiba-senpai is one of the *nicest* people in the whole school. Even the jerks like him!" She's really only passed him in the halls a few times, but he's popular, so.
"Good afternoon, Chiba-senpai!" Asago calls over, hand raised in a wave. Politeness rules the day, after all!
Turning around at the sound of his name, the upperclassman blinks behind his reading glasses. His gaze takes in Asagao, cheerful, and Usagi, in DANGER WILL ROBINSON mode, and he laughs -- quietly. Turning around the rest of the way, yeah, he's actually unfairly handsome, because he's Mamoru Chiba, goddammit.
The book he's holding is 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'. It is, in fact, the book Usagi's looking for.
"Uekawa-san, Odango! Don't bother trying to help her, she's a lost cause. Hell, I thought she was allergic to libraries."
Usagi looks over her shoulder, eyes wide. "Chiba-senpai?!"
She forgot that she's in enemy territory.
With gritted teeth, she turns back to face Inveterate Foe Lord Chiba. She retracts the hand unnecessarily warning Asagao not to proceed further, instead clenching it before her to display the sheer power she is waiting to unleash.
"I'm here for the book! If you won't hand it over, I'll be forced to use my ultimate technique!"
Eyes still quite wide, Asagao... falls silent while the two verbally tussle. When Usagi 'charges up, the other girl covers her mouth.
What on Earth is going on here? Either he's not what he's always seemed, or she's insane?
Tensely, Asagao checks around her to see if anyone else is closeby in case she Needs an Adult.
Mamoru's blue eyes are wide, eyebrows way up, and he looks down at Usagi threatening him. He holds the book up out of her reach, still staring incredulously. "Your ultimate technique? What's that, crying?" His voice is quiet, still -- library! -- but his tone and manner are getting more and more delightedly entertained. "They'll kick you out if you throw a tantrum."
There are like-- no adults in here except for way over by the desk; there are a lot of brown-nosing student helpers, though, and any number of high schoolers.
He looks like he's about to say something even meaner, grin getting bigger, but then--
--Mamoru lowers the book and closes it, offering it to Usagi with a wry look. "But I do keep telling you to study more. Who am I to turn around and stop you?" A beat. "Having to study at such a low English comprehension level is still pretty bad, though."
Usagi is loud, but not hideously so. The guards have little exclamation marks over their heads but are not coming to investigate just yet.
She stands there, feet spread apart, shoulders drawn up, almost electric with anticipation--and his answer only makes her deflate a little bit. There is still a slight against her. One that she comprehends. Usagi closes her eyes and lowers her head, lips pressed into a thin line.
"Making light of a cute girl's time of sorrow and need..."
Her eyes snap open, chin raising as she lifts a finger to jab accusingly at her foe. "I have no choice! Prepare for--"
--with her free hand, she balls up the scrap of paper--
"--Saaaailorrrr V PLASMA SHOOTAAAAA!"
Usagi pirouettes, and then throws. The crumpled paper flies in a graceful arc toward Mamoru's forehead. She plants her feet again, flashing the trademarked (most likely) V-sign.
She was definitely loud enough this time.
"AAAAAAAAAANNOOOOOOOOO!!!" Asagao would be yelling but they're IN A LIBRARY so it's like a hissed whine instead. Giant sweat drop! Forehead hash-mark!
"ThankyouforthebookChiba-Senpai,COMEONTSUKINO-SANlet'sgositdownrightnow!" Book! Grab! Usagi's hand! GRAB! FORCED MARCH! "Sorrysorrysorrysorrysorry!" to everyone she passes on her way.
She's going to get dirty looks for WEEKS for this.
The incredulity briefly resurfaces, only to be replaced by the most long-suffering look in the history of ever. Somehow, though, there is still an inexplicably high level of eyes-dancing amusement going on. He stands up straighter, bracing for the attack, and then
she's getting louder
His eyes go really wide and he holds up his hands in a staying gesture, then starts waving them wildly and looking around, behind him and behind them and through the shelves, grimacing. One of his hands goes up and he puts his finger to his lips, and he starts frantically whispering, "--no no no quiet quiet quiet--!!"
And he looks back around to Usagi just in time to get the paper ball right smack in the middle of the forehead, right where it was aimed.
Half a second later, Asagao's dragging Usagi away and making panicky apologies and Mamoru's not even listening to them, he's got the paper in his hand and he's edging away rapidly, the other way, because like seven different levels of mixed authority are headed to the scene of the crime and who wants to be caught there?
At least-- they seem to have ditched him. And if they get away fast enough they might actually make it to that table.
Usagi is dragged away, heels digging into the carpet. This means she can stare at Mamoru as she's carted off. She points at her eyes, and then at Mamoru, and then slams one fist into the other.
Also she sticks out her tongue because you gotta stick with the classics.
Don't ask how Asagao does it, but she just plows straight ahead, showering everyone with apologies until she gets far enough away that there are people who just wondered what the hell happened. Those people she doesn't even LOOK at, because the fact that she's dragging this girl around pretty much explains it.
Back at the table Asagao had claimed with her things (even though someone else's satchel was there first, whatever, THEY still aren't there), she sits down with VISIBLE exhalation. Then presents the book to Usagi. "Your prize, My Lady." GOD SHE'S EXHAUSTED. "What did he *do* that made you act like that? And what did *you* do that made *him* act like *that*? He's usually super-nice, I'm so confused!"
"She acts like that all the time," comes oh god that voice AGAIN?? from behind the girls, and Mamoru Chiba looks down at them both, archly. He swipes the satchel off the table-- the one that'd been there, not either of theirs-- and takes his glasses off, pocketing them. "Normally she has terrible aim, too, but she can always hit me. If she went to school here, I'd say she was faking it."
Is that a diss on Usagi or Ohtori? Or both?
Then he reaches over to doink one of Usagi's dumpling-buns. "Good luck, Odango. Good night, Uekawa-san."
Then the jerk saunters off toward the exit, swinging his satchel like he's leaving a job well done.
Usagi crosses her arms and resigns herself to the dragging.
At the table, she flicks one of her tails of hair over her shoulder and places her hands on her hips. "He's always giving me a hard time! And following me around. He's a creep. A creepy creep. A creeping creepy creep. So creepy that--"
The Juuban girl is stricken by the voice, teeth clenching together. She begins to slowly turn to glare at Mamoru, but her theatrics are mistimed. She gets odango-harassed for her trouble, and then he's off on those stupid long legs of his oh my god what a smug walk how do you even walk smug you are inventing new ways to be terrible Mamoru Chiba.
Usagi sucks in a huge breath, rears back onto her heels, and then screams:
It is a very, very quiet scream.