2014-03-17 - Forgetting Rashomon, or, Mio Meets Mamoru

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Title: Forgetting Rashomon, or, Mio Meets Mamoru

Mamoru is having some desperately-needed downtime, reading for pleasure instead of finals in the lovely park, and Mio finds an enticing target.


Mamoru Chiba, Mio Kuroki


The edge of the seaside park, at nightfall.

OOC - IC Date:

Studying-for-finals week!

The outer edge of the park, facing the sea: evening's on its way, and groups of young people tend to loiter in the area once family types and children have gone home. This is finals season, so primarily the youths who can be found here aren't the ones who give anything resembling a shit about grades.


There's one guy that's not true of, but seeing as he's in a pretty sharp business suit and fairly stylish glasses, and he's not been taking notes out of the book he's been reading, he's prrrobably not a student! Right?

The sun *is* at last light, though, so regretfully, the tall young man folds his book shut and stands, stretching, looking up at the stars starting to come out.

At the moon.

He takes his glasses off and absently pockets them, thinking thoughts that have nothing to do with finals.

Mio Kuroki was initially concerned about the concept of 'finals,' and it seemed likely to completely destroy her desired image projected; after all, if she was a poor student, wouldn't that make her seem... strange? Of course, she realized in short order that there was a way around such matters:

But that's not a solution for today.

Either way, having established an effective baseline for her English and mathematics exams, Mio Kuroki went for a walk. She has gone for a lot of them lately; something about the urban landscape and the cool winds is pleasant for her. She has enjoyed looking at things in shops, and ignoring what she is here to do, because, she reasons, it is likely that 'they' will not be moving in this season, not aggressively. After all, if one of them is a school-girl, then it stands to reason -

They all likely are.

Either way, Mio Kuroki does not look like a schoolgirl, wearing a thin pencil skirt and a thicker jacket of darkly distressed denim. The wind tugs at her hair as she strolls along the seaside; occasionally, she flicks a cigarette in her hand, a motion she learned quickly. She is raising it to her lips when someone stands up, not so far away.

He stands out. He isn't dressed like the others. Mio exhales slowly, watching him; stepping closer, though not too directly. When he removes his glasses and tucks them away, she calls out, "Your eyes - you look like you're waiting for someone."

Those eyes flicker toward Mio, as the young man's face -- almost colorless in the easterly gathering dusk -- turns abruptly toward her. Blue, blue eyes, sharp for a second, then amiably wry. It's a quick shift in expression, quick enough that it's entirely likely

it's a mask.

"Just thinking." He holds up the book, points to it, as Mio wanders generally closer. It's in English; it's by Douglas R. Hofstatder. "No one's done a decent conceptually-driven translation of 'Jabberwocky' into Japanese yet. In some ways it'd be easier, but in all of the ways that matter, itd be exponentially more difficult."

Mio has nothing to say immediately. Fortunately, this is where smoking helps out. Remember, kids: having something to do scenically with your hand and lips can buy you time to think of a witty rejoinder. Ask your parents first - or just practice with a cherry stem until you're out of high school. Mio Kuroki Says!

"I've heard the name... but I'm not familiar with the work," she says, tilting her head. As she steps a pace or two closer, she asks, "What would make it so challenging...?" The moonlight gleams on her hair, but what else would it do? Fortunately, the wind is still, keeping the well-conditioned shower of wavy tresses under control, for now.

In the time that Mio's standing there smoking, Mamoru's putting his book back in his ca-- is that a school satchel. Yes it is. It is. Apparently he figures he's stymied her, and can bail when he's done packing his stuff to go, because he's got, you know, stuff going on.

Like being chased by Outer Senshi.

And studying for finals.

And trying to figure out what the hell the major involved parties' intents are regarding the Star Shards. Also, laundry.

He is, of course, thinking about all these things in a row, mind skipping over his to-do list, and so he's fairly surprised to see Mio's still there when he straightens up again, coat buttoned and satchel clasped shut. He's even more surprised when she comes a couple of steps closer and starts talking again.

Eyebrows up, Mamoru stands there for a second, looking blankly at Mio, and then he shakes his head and focuses. "It's made-up words, but they're constructed from a number of stems of wildly varying linguistic origins, and they manage to convey meaning in the context of each other. The languages it's been translated into already are all Indo-European-- which is where the stems came from in the first place. The way our words are constructed is, needless to say--"

Is she still coming closer? The upperclassman looks mildly confused. "--too different to use the same method of, of. Of generation."

Mio stopped when she was perhaps two arms' length away. Near enough to speak without being quite 'in the face'. She doesn't seem to have moved much other than that. As Mamoru speaks, she exhales into the breeze, evidently listening.

"Oh," she says, "I see. So the difficulty is that the message itself is mysterious - it's a message that comes from the shape, of the lack of the message itself. From the sounds of the words, not from their meaning?"

She smiles then; it's faintly sad, somehow. "I apologize, if I'm interrupting. Is it a project of yours? Perhaps you could just transliterate. You'd save the euphony, but perhaps you'd lose that... That sense of something right, but in the wrong perspective."

Mio chuckles again, faintly, eyes going down to the ground. "It's a very distinct feeling, isn't it? Do you know what I mean?"

His problem is that he does listen. Mamoru does, he listens. And he can tell when someone else is listening to him, and--

And there is something else going on here.

The older teenager's blue eyes narrow faintly; he's comprehending every word, and his expression goes preoccupied again. This time, though, he's staring at Mio's face, at the glint of city- and moon-light on her purple hair, at the way she's carrying herself.

"I know the feeling," he says, so quietly that he might not even realize he's spoken aloud. He's looking right through her. Right past her. It's as if--

--he were looking at her, but seeing someone else.

Mio reaches up to shake her hair loose; the salt air is getting in it, just a bit. "Mm," she says, looking out towards the moon for a moment, and stepping past Mamoru for a moment, to slip the butt of her cigarette into one of those handy little public ashtrays. (It is Japan, after all.)

The feeling, she thinks. It's pleasurable, almost. Is she becoming a masochist?

She then says, her head half-turning to look towards Mamoru from this new angle, "Then, perhaps the best translation... would really simply to write a new tale. With the same events, perhaps. But in the language of the new land."

Then she laughs. It's a pellucid laugh, and brief. "Oh, I'm sorry; the walks like this make me speak in such a way. And finals do strange things to your mind, don't they? I hope you'll forgive me --?" She trails off, perhaps hoping for a name.

When Mio moves around him, Mamoru's eyes go back to the water, the moon's reflection on it; the salty breeze only makes his hair look more amazing. So it's not at all Mio he's looking at when she starts looking at him: he's in profile, his shoulders not relaxed, but not especially tense, either.

"How is it ever a new tale," he asks contemplatively, the hand not holding his satchel lifting up to stay Mio's change of subject, just for a moment, "if the events are the same?"

He drops his hand and tilts his head back a little, looking from the horizon to the glittering stars as they come out. "Change the names and the place names, change the language, and you still have the same story, the same characters. Maybe some of the minor parts are different, maybe some of the details are different, but... it's the events you have to change, for a new story."

Then Mamoru glances aside at Mio, and he gives her a little smile, eyes briefly focused actually on her, instead of a million miles away. "But I'm no writer. It's not a project, anyway, just taking a break from studying. There were too many people in the library, and I didn't want to stay at home for an afternoon as nice as this was. It's just late now--"

He starts patting his coat down, then looks annoyed all of a sudden. "And I've left my watch somewhere."

"It's a good question, isn't it? When does the story really become new?" Mio says, rather wistfully - looking out towards the sea herself. Though her attention is more towards the horizon.

Then her attention shifts back to Mamoru. "Why not just use your phone, if you need to know what time it is?" she suggests. It may be slightly farcial, but she seems, at least, to mean it. (Discovering this was possible - and so precise, yet - was a matter that greatly pleased Mio.)

"Regardless," she says. "I still don't have your name..." At this, she smiles again, if a bit more enigmatically. "But I should be moving on, myself. The only moonlight rendezvous I have, I fear," and here she actually sighs, "is with a literature test I am /woefully/ unprepared for..."

HIS PHONE. That earns Mio a snappoint. "/Clever/," he says, taking his phone out of his pocket and briefly illuminating his face with the glow of its display. There's some kind of spaceship or something as his lock screen wallpaper. "--and late as hell. Oh, ah? Chiba," he says, pocketing the phone again and giving the girl a very very cursory bow, "Mamoru. But I have to go, too. Good luck with your studies, ...?"

Mio looks momentarily consternated as she is snap-pointed at. However, it becomes clear this was not some sort of dire sign of insult, and so by the time Mamoru looks back up, there is at most the slight ghost of an offended snarl. Might've just been the wind in her eyes.

"Kuroki Mio," she says. "It's a pleasure to meet you - I hope we'll meet again." And she smiles again, with a curious sort of suggested /knowledge/.

Even as she turns to walk down the beach once more. In the other direction entirely.