2014-05-08 - The Return of the Study Cabal

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Title: The Return of the Study Cabal

Study Group Time, that is all.


Eri Shimanouchi, Mamoru Chiba, Asagao Uekawa, Mai Tokiha


Ohtori Academy library

OOC - IC Date:

10 January 2014 - 05/08/14

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The first Friday after winter break. A three-day week is a nice thing to start students off on, but the courseload hasn't lightened in the slightest. While a great percentage of students look at Fridays as time to start slacking as soon as school's out for the day, there are actually some who prefer to get their weekend homework done first.

You never know if there's going to be a youma attack on Sunday night, after all.

There's an upperclassman in a black and red uniform and a pair of glasses who's sitting at one of the half-visible study tables near the main entrance of the library. With him are three girls, one in the high school uniform, two in the middle school, and it's homework before study--

--but Mamoru Chiba's brought stuff that's not his own homework: an iPad which he's slid over to Mai. It has PDFs of his tenth grade notes in it. Eri's already got his stack of eighth-grade Social Studies notebooks. Asagao's got some photocopies of notes of whatever branch of science eighth graders at Ohtori are studying.

"--ugh I'm done with math for now. I'll leave the last until after the fun stuff." If by fun stuff he means he's taking out his physics textbook. "By the way, any of you have a better location for this for next week? I kind of wanted to do this at Fruits Parlor again but my coffee's safer here."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai Tokiha. Ohtori high school student. Somehow not at work for once, but it's not like she works there every evening. Just every evening that could have been something more fun than work. The school year is...certainly off to a start, and what time she has had for homework she spent making sure Mikoto would work on hers.

That's all well and good, but there's a history essay due. Not a long one, but the subject matter sabotages enthusiasm. A blank worksheet next to an open history book, which Mai has used as a target for an extended facedesk.

She mumbles something incoherent but the gist of it seems to be a lot of grumbling. It's not until Mamoru asks a direct question that she begins to move - if 'turning head to one side' counts as moving. "...at least math gets used every day. When is the last time the Tokugawa Shogunate came up in everyday life? Seriously?"

Finally, Mai sighs and pushes herself upright again. She glances at the iPad as if it's rigged to give her a shock if she touches it, then to the other books at the table. "...I'd suggest Linden Baum, but things can get a bit noisy at times. Especially if the 'pine pair' are having another breakup and/or reunion." Once again, she looks to the waiting blank essay. Ugh.

<Pose Tracker> Asagao Uekawa [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Asa is taking a break from active studying. The notes have helped, but for now, she's trying to study through osmosis: her face planted firmly in the open book as it lies on teh table.

"Mmashllmm msdmahh mmmfhmm mmm," she responds to the question - without, uhm... looking up first. Ahem. Picking her face up out of the book and closing it in disgust, Asa looks over her shoulder at Mamo - "I live in a big giant house with parents who would be all too pleasantly surprised to see me bringing friends from Ohtori home. If they're home at the time to see there."

Offer made.

"Not that it's as fun as Fruits Parlor or Linden Baum. I don't really know anywhere else. Game Center Crown's no good for studying."

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Eri is looking over the Social Studies notes with an irritated look as she tries to keep the facts straight for each seperate era of Japanese history.

Her textbook is out, alongside her own highlighted class notes in a binder alongside Mamoru's spiral notebooks. Then she has a fourth set of paper for which she seems to be an attempt to synthesize a new set of notes from all of the above. A pencil twirls between her fingers and a highlighter is on table beside her.

Peering over her glasses at Mamoru, she idly comments. "Your coffee does seen to attract random encounters with hockey pucks. So let's stay away from the Snow Rain ice rink too hmm?"

The pencil taps her chin, "Though maybe it was the syrup, was there anything carrot flavored about it?"

Glancing sidelong at Mai, she shakes her head, "Tell me about it, I'm having enough trouble with all these useless details from the Meiji restoration."

Asagao gets a final look before she states, "Well there's always the Midori-ya too. Sanctuary for coffee and chocolate cornets alike."

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Second day of break, for me, actually," Mamoru tells Mai matter-of-factly, cold winter light reflecting off his glasses, obscuring his eyes but doing nothing to hide his half-smirk. "But," he adds, tone gradually getting more animated and body language more engaged as he goes, "that's not really the right way to look at studying history. I mean aside from the whole thing with 'those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it'--"

It's unlike Mamoru to get a quote wrong.

"--it really actually is fun. Not just because of knowing where your current society springs from, but because it's a long, incredibly involved story with a cast of-- well, everyone! It's interesting to see what's available historically on various people, and spot their notable behaviors in everyday people, too. Also it's fun if you assign characteristics to historical MacGuffins and figure out which magical girl snaked them from whom." He nudges his iPad closer to Mai.

On to the topic of locations, then, and the junior taps his pencil eraser-side-down on his physics text. "I never figured on the arcade, nah. Linden Baum's worth a shot. The Parlor Crown worked out great until Usagi-san. Your house works, Asa-chan; I don't know the place you mean, Eri-chan... there's also my apartment, it's pretty big. We can try different places."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai looks up from her blank essay to meet the light shining from Mamoru's dork-glasses. She listens. She really does. Right through the mangled quote, to the passionate defense of history as the best book series ever, to the tie-in to all the myriad magical girls.

Deliberately, Mai moves her textbook to one side, her writing tools and the iPad to the other, clearing a spot on the table.

And then she lets herself just fall forward for a proper headdesk. Thump.

"You, legendary dork, are as bad as Midori." She sits up again, and sighs. "I'm tempted to just get Mikoto to help me. She actually knows her stuff on this subject, it's just that she regards homework as an enemy to be chopped up." But that would be imposing...muttering, she pulls the iPad into range, and pokes half-heartedly at the icons to bring up the history notes.

As for location...suddenly history's a lot less interesting by comparison. "Hockey puck? Did Usagi do something to your coffee, Chiba-san?" Asagao, she gives a nod. "I could volunteer my dorm room too - it'd be a bit cramped, but I have a working kitchen...as for the Midori-ya, I've been there once, and-"

Mai pauses, and frowns as she recalls something. What else happened on the way back from there....yeah. "-great desserts and coffee, but it's small. I don't think they have tables big enough for four people and their books."

<Pose Tracker> Asagao Uekawa [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"It's all in the camaraderie, right?" Ever hopeful. "We could just use it for subject-blitzes? Pick one topic and go for it, that way we're not using all the books ever in a teeny tiny space."

Asa, rather than returning to the desk, leans well back in her seat - arms up over her head, fingers interlaced. "Maybe a rotation?"

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"No, we're just doomed to be incredibly bored instead." Eri teases, "Alright, alright. You got me there. I'm at least 'thinking' about which of Japan's national treasures might be magical."

Eri giggles at Mai, "But that's a low blow Mai-chan. No one is as big a dork as Midori-sensei, seventeen year old history professor prodigy." Eri rolls her eyes affectionately at the thought of Midori's animation in the classroom. "Well yeah, but not on purpose. Unless you think she's a geometry genius. She hit an air hockey puck from a table one floor below us, which just managed to bounce at every angle to hit Mamoru-kun's coffee. Quite a feat really!"

Returning her attention to Mamoru, she explains, "It's a nice little place in Tama. The Takamachi family are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.". Well for a family of badass samurai and one little elementary schooler who is an aerial Mage that fights with giant lasers.

Pointing a pencil at Asagao she nods, "A rotation sounds great, that way we'll be able to evade more hockey incidents by never staying in one spot."

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mamoru just shakes his head at Mai, expression faintly annoyed for a moment at the comparison, then adjusts his glasses and starts doing his physics homework--

--while continuing to participate in the conversation. "Excellent. A rotation of locales. We can get takeaway or one of us can cook if we're going to someone's place. I mean, this place is great for studying alone, but there's the whole keeping-your-voice-down thing and I might get loudly attacked at random again..."

A quick glance up. "And I am completely down for the Midori-ya. You did say chocolate, right? Or was I making that up. Wishful thinking."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai picks up on the annoyance. And she just smirks in response...before her expression falls again. Dangit, history, why do you have so much stuff? Stupid historians, actually keeping track of all the centuries. Still...Mamoru's notes are good. Very good. She might even be able to start this essay now.

But hey, conversation. "Doing it as a round works - though some days you guys might have to just meet without me. Manager's schedules are getting more and more erratic as of late. Still, I'm happy to cook any night I'm hosting." She stares at Eri, and lets out a low whistle. "Okay, that's either impossible skill or just cruel fate. Have you been doing anything to anger the wild bunny, Chiba-san?"

...okay, he's kind of adorable when craving chocolate. Kind of like a puppy. "Yes, Mamoru, Midori-ya has chocolate desserts. You can go fuel that sweet tooth. You can even do that when you're not studying with all of us, there's no rule saying you couldn't just sit there for an afternoon and subsist on chocolate and coffee." She then turns to Eri. "It's just roommates and siblings that I get to insist having proper nutrition."

<Pose Tracker> Asagao Uekawa [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"I don't know why we keep talking about *hockey*," Asa says with faint crankiness - and goes back to trying to study the science notes. Maybe turning them upside-down will help them make more sense. "Figure skating is way more interesting and WAY less violent!"

Sudenly, she's looking at Mai sideways. Studying. Looking between her and Chiba... Asagao purses her lips in thought. Is he being teased? Wild bunny? WHAT DID SHE MISS WITH HER FACE IN A TEXTBOOK?

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Anger her? Eh I do that all the time. Not THAT time though," Mamoru retorts, finally looking up from his homework and closing the textbook with a clap. "Okay, look, I'm getting the impression you guys are done for the day. My fault for introducing a topic other than 'what we came here for'. I can do my own homework at home. Is there anything specific any of you need specific help with on the homework you've got this weekend?"

It's not snappish, his voice. His manner's not angry. He's just more controlled and less patient, and there's a touch of what would be sarcasm if he weren't actually asking if they needed help. "Otherwise, I vote Asa's house first, and I'm going to go get this done by myself."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai looks down at the essay-in-progress. ...well, it's a few sentences, at least. It's a shame that the trick of writing in hiragana instead of kanji to make things look longer never works. "Less 'done' and more 'break'. This kind of thing happens, in study groups." A pause. "At least I think it did the last time I was in one." It might have been a while.

She eyes the PDF of history notes - they really are good - but in a pinch she can try asking for an explanation from Mikoto again. It might be a bit heavy on the battle side of things but that's Japanese history in a nutshell. "Anyway, if you didn't do anything then maybe it was an accident. Or a preemptive strike, but she didn't seem like that kind of person at dinner..." A pause, as she pokes at the iPad. "Um. I wanted to shut this off to hand back to you if you're leaving, but which icon..." She seems lost for the moment.

<Pose Tracker> Asagao Uekawa [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"My house first it is," Asa says, actually quite pleased about this development. She starts gathering her things up because she, too, is blowing this popsicle stand. "I think I'm going to see if I can't find some of other other gymnastics team members, try and wrangle up some sort of practice. Physical activity to clear the mind! Lousy biology."

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Oh, all right," says Mamoru, slouching back in his chair and pulling his glasses off, then rubbing at the sides of his nose. "Breaks are fine." He glances up at Asagao, one eyebrow up. "You don't have regular practice? I mean-- kendo does, but I'm not regularly there..." he trails off. "All right. Ja ne Asa-chan."

Suddenly his brow's furrowed and his face is set in something like a cross between annoyance and affection; he eyes Mai sidelong. "She's wily. It probably was an accident, except her aim's as good as mine. So I can't even tell. She could have been acting surprised to see me, after all. But it sure acted as a preemptive strike, because I beaned her with the napkins I'd just used to clean up the coffee."

Now he's grinning.

<Pose Tracker> Asagao Uekawa [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Regular, sure, but I'm hoping some of the others will be up for something less... structured. You never know!" Either that or Asa will inflict herself on the crafting group somehow. Mental cobwebs must be cleared!

Once all her things are gather up, and the photocopied notes deftly tucked away inside the science book, Asagao waves a hand to the others and trots off, "See you all at my place at the next go, if not before!"

Probably before. But hey. Even Asagao doesn't shout about secret identities in the LIBRARY.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai gives up jabbing at the iPad for the moment, and gives Asa a nod. "Your place? Sure, just give me a date and location and I'll...hope I'm not working that day." She waves as the younger girl sets off.

Mai then looks at the detested essay, and actually considers just filling up the page with 'henceforths' and 'subsequentlies' to fill up space. Or maybe just set it aflame. That's tempting too. "...I don't think this essay's happening without bribing Mikoto to explain things. I'll try tackling science after this break, I can at least dream of having hope there."

Lacing her fingers together, Mai stretches her arms out - and stares at Mamoru's grin. "...you realize that if it was an accident on her part, your retaliation means she's completely allowed to do a preemptive strike next time, right?" Her hand comes to her face, and she mutters something else under her breath - though if Mamoru hears, so be it. "(I swear, I'm not sure whether you're a romantic pair or just acting like gradeschoolers...)"

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

No one is sure, least of all Mamoru Chiba, who waves at the departing Asagao.

"Sure, if rules had anything to do with it," he says to Mai cheerfully, laughing as he picks up his snobby Ohtori espresso. "If there's actually any kind of rhyme or reason to how we get along, I haven't found it yet."

He downs it in one go since it's cold and fierce now, then lifts his eyebrows at Mai. "I can help you with it if you want, I do love history. But I need to see what the question is."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai doesn't even have coffee to deal with this. She took one look at the Ohtori cafe prices and decided going without was a better plan. ...still not worth the price, in spite of this assignment, which says something about her budget. "Well, that's distinctly unhelpful. I was wondering if I should keep an eye on you two, I just wasn't sure if it was to be a chaperone or if I'd be keeping you two from killing each other." She raises an eyebrow and grins. "...might it be both, Chiba-san?"

After prompting - and a long bit of indecision - Mai looks at the essay, and unfolds it with a sigh. "I suppose it's a bit better for my ego if it's an older ace student advising me rather than a younger stray cat...basically, sum up the historical significance of the Taika tax reforms. Which...I can't exactly get away with an essay reading 'made people angry', can I?" A frustrated growl as she covers her face.

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Neither," the upperclassman answers to the 'both' question, waving a long-fingered hand to clear the air. "It's complicated. But we are friends, and friends don't kill each other." Brief, wry grin, and then the topic's back on to serious matters.

"No, you can't. Fortunately, you can re-cite citations, even if it's kind of cheap. Basically, this stuff is formulaic: use other people's points to prove the points you're making which you got out of the textbook. It's joyless, but it'll do for grades. So here-- take these paragraphs here," he leans over to point in Mai's textbook, "and use them as an outline. Then go on wikipedia and read the article on it and borrow the citations to back up your claims. You won't retain any of it by next year, but you'll get the paper done."

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Eri looks up from being engrossed in her history notes to arch an eyebrow at Mai and starts to tease. This may have the ulterior notice to turn the attention away from Mamoru and Usagi, which she gets the sense Mamoru is still uncomfortable talking about, "Oh. Is it /still/ the gossip hour Mai-chan? I mean I guess that is school in a nutshell for me since Saotome-sensei sees fit to teach us everything about..." She puts a hand to her forehead dramatically, "How it's important that a guy should never use cooking to determine a woman's charm. It's like a public service for her to tell us that we shouldn't date guys who won't eat our runny eggs."

Eri grins at Mai, "I wonder if I'd freak her out if I told her I can't cook. She'd probably shoo me to some practical arts seminar."

Looking between the two, her expression turns a little lopsided, "Now that we're alone, sorry about the other night by the way. Don't think I ever got to apologize to you Mai-chan."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Friends don't kill each other. Words to live by. Mind, Mamoru's grinning face is a reminder that 'maim' is still on the table sometimes. Before she can start teasing anew, though - Eri enters the fray! With a mention of another teacher, and eggs-

...okay, Mai blushes, though whether in embarrassment or anger might be hard to say. "Oh, how wonderful. I don't suppose she gave any tips as to what the men of Ohtori should be looking for?" She shakes her head, and then Eri throws out that apology. She looks to Mamoru, looks down at the table again, turns a brighter red. "I- that- you weren't interrupting anything, Eri-chan! It was just supper. And a little talking, but that's it, honest."

...essay tricks, eh? Suddenly history is appealing again! "...I have to be careful I don't run afoul of the plagiarism rules. You're sure that kind of thing is allowed? I know you have the notes from last year's class, but it is a new teacher this year..."

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Runny eggs...?" Mamoru asks blankly, trailing off and looking at Eri in a total lack of comprehension. "Saotome-sensei sounds scary."

Then Eri's bringing up the other night again and Mamoru really wishes he had some coffee to hide his face in again-- instead, he just looks composed. After all, he already talked to Eri about it. So his face is zero help at all to the poor blushing Mai.


He just smiles beatifically when Mai changes the subject again. "You're not copying anything. You're citing references. The actual writing'll be your own, but you're only filling in the blanks. And yeah, my notes are actually more useful if you're interested in the subject. They might still help-- and you can borrow the iPad-- but a dumb question like that doesn't deserve agonizing over it. It's answered right in the textbook. A wikipedia understanding's just to add padding."

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Only if you're a guy who tries to act cool by not calling back for a few days, Mamoru-kun."

Eri just grins a little, "So you're off the hook since you don't date. She's just.. a little unprofessional, but she's really sweet. We all root for her and.."

Eri arches an eyebrow at Mai's embarrassment, "Nope, she doesn't have any wisdom to offer in that area as... she doesn't have much success."

Eri is oblivious to the 'revenge' going on here as she continues, "I'm pretty sure you'll be okay in that particular endeavor anyhow Mai-chan, if you ever 'allow' yourself to try."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai...might have read too much into the 'egg' statement, in all honesty. And now she realizes she was getting worked up over nothing. "I...okay. A bit inappropriate for middle schoolers maybe but that's fair." Though she's still blushing a bit as she looks up from the table - sees Mamoru still calm and collected - starts to furrow her brows-

"Gah!" Mai's chair nearly topples as she staggers to one side, grabbing the table for support. "That - I'm not interested in - I just want to figure out what the 'charm points' are so I can avoid them! And, as a bonus, not have people like Akamizu-san telling me I smell 'delicious'." Grumble, grumble.

...at least the essay advice is good. Mai does have a small notepad, and she jots down 'check wikipedia for inspiration'. "Right. Now I just have to get it written before the weekend diner shifts. It's just getting things started that's the biggest pain."