2014-05-28 - Hugs Aren't Miracles, But They're Nice

From Battle Fantasia MUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
Title: Hugs Aren't Miracles, But They're Nice

Early morning in the hospital waiting room - those just arriving surprised to see those who have been there all night. At least there's coffee.


Eri Shimanouchi, Mai Tokiha


Mitakihara General Hospital

OOC - IC Date:

19 January 2014 - 5/28/2014 (backdated)

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

Welcome back to the Hospital waiting room Eri!

In order to endure, one had to have the patience of a Samurai. Well not the typical samurai, but one that was a true adherent to bushido! As very unladylike snores erupted from the back of her throat and through her nose, it was rather clear that she did not in fact have the patience of a samurai. Though it was more likely that her physical energy reserves were even lower than her magical ones.

Her snoring was enough to try even the patience of the grumpy security guard who gave her an occasional dour look.

Not everyone's apparently as she had a blanket draped over her when she slept. She never did when she first went to sleep, but apparently someone was watching out for her. She never really intended to sleep, she didn't want to sleep, but the flesh was just weak after fretting and tearing herself apart with worry. Right now her head was lolling to the side, against the chair back, in a very awkward position that was sure to give her a stiff neck.

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

Dawn has broken, and Mai's off to an even earlier start than usual. Due to responsibilities, and Takumi's urging, she did go home for the night. Did last-minute errands, like feeding the starving Mikoto, making onigiri for her for the day, and laying out her uniform for the next morning's Linden Baum shift. Busy, busy.

...and so she woke up a couple of hours earlier than usual, put her uniform into a bag, and went to the hospital in the hopes of getting some reassuring answers before her shift. She didn't get any texts overnight, and she'd left instructions that she be contacted if there were any problems, but just in case...she has to be sure. She has to be absolutely sure he's fine.

The doors, thus, slide open to admit Mai Tokiha. Her orange winter jacket, scarf, a bag containing her uniform over one shoulder, a travel mug of coffee held in the other. She glances at the posted hours, then her watch, and bites her tongue - she's ten minutes too early to get in to see Takumi, from the looks of things. At least the waiting room is relatively empty, aside from whoever that is snoring.

And then Mai has to stare, because she recognizes the snorer. "Eri-chan?" Despite herself, despite the haste she needs to be making, she can't help but wonder what her friend is doing here. And she does have to wait a few minutes before she can see Takumi, anyway... She takes the seat next to Eri, and nudges her gently. "You're going to get a stiff neck, you know..."

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

As Mai nudges her, her sleep is interrupted just enough for dawn's early light to be registered past her eyelids. There's one last snort, before her eyes open wide, and she sits straight upright. Her expression had the perplexed look of someone who hadn't quite registered their surroundings yet, even her voice sounds foggy. "That's okay Mai. If it's stiff I can always roll it like onig.." Her eyelids blink multiple times, "...wait."

She looks around the lobby, for a few moments, recognition still not dawning. And then it does, so suddenly that the adrenaline rush of the realization causes her to nearly jump right out of her seat. "Oyamaa!" She whips out her phone, looking at the time, and breathes a sigh of relief. "Okay.. whew."

Eri then turns to Mai, suddenly not knowing what to make of this, did Mai find out, did Mamoru direct her here!? What did she know!? She laughs a little awkwardly, "Well that's embarrassing. I didn't know you were.. dropping by. Good morning, Mai-chan. It's good to see you! How are you!?"

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

Mai giggles at Eri's awkward awakening. "Oh dear, Eri-chan. Have you been listening to Mikoto again?" Mai pauses to rub sleep out of her own eyes - an earlier start than usual, and nowhere near enough caffeine for the hour. Eri's frantic checking of her phone brings a frown to darken Mai's face for a moment, and the older girl takes a moment to check her own phone. ...no messages.

What Mai knows about Eri's situation is best described as 'nothing'. "Pure chance, I assure you. I'm checking up on Takumi - we had a bit of a scare yesterday, and the doctors wanted to keep an eye on him overnight." She glances to the clock. "...I seem to have gotten here a bit early, though. What about you - what has you spending the night here?"

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

Eri glowers at Mai for a while, before she lifts up a finger, and pokes her in the shoulder, the timber of her voice taking on an amused tone, "And what if I have? Mikoto-chan is pretty fun to talk to on occasion. She goes on and on about how Mai is a good person that would 'never' wake her up from a nap without a good reason. Maybe that's exclusive to her" It's clear that Eri isn't really irritated, she's just amused.

However all the remainder of t those cobwebs fly from her features as she mentions a scare with Takumi, she's literally leaning forward, dropping her hands to grip Mai's, "Is Takumi-san alright?"

Ah, such an awkward question, and Eri feels a little chagrined, "Oh umm. Madoka-chan.. she got targetted by this fabulous looking.. I don't know what he was, but he was powerful. And well, she kind of.. stood in the way of one of his blasts when he was aiming at me." She looks up at Mai, her teeth working at her bottom lip for a moment her voice stricken, "I just feel so ashamed, like I failed her. And now I don't even know her status."

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

...that is pretty much what Mikoto says, it's true. Mai pokes Eri in the shoulder right back, though. "Yes, but that's because Mikoto-chan is smart enough to find something soft to sleep on so she won't get a crick in her neck. And I still wake her up all the time." Largely because that 'something soft' is often 'Mai's chest'. Mai's own smile is as bright as can be expected - though it doesn't reach her tired-looking eyes.

Mai blinks as Eri grips her hands, but shakes free quickly. "It's fine. Should be fine. It's just that there was a bit of a cold snap over Ohtori at the same time, and he got caught in it while unconscious. I figured we were better safe than sorry."

Mai's chagrin, it seems, is matched by Eri's own - and she elaborates. "I...you know, I could see Takumi collapsing. The storm just kept me from getting to him right away..." Mai leans in, wraps an arm around Eri's shoulders. "...sometimes, for all your efforts, you just can't help right away, right?"

The half-embrace tightens for a moment - but Mai's full energy isn't in it, and with her leaning into Eri it's clear how tired she is. "...sorry there isn't much I can do to help. Even if I tried asking around, I probably couldn't get any more of an answer than you could..." Mai leans back into the chair, so as to not put as much weight on Eri. "...Is this 'Madoka-chan' a friend of yours? And are you all right, after all that?"

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

Before they moved on to /SUFFERING/ Eri starts to giggle so hard that she sputters. She actually turns away, and continues, putting up a hand as if to ward off Mai-chan saying anything else. "Okay, okay Mai-chan. You.. win.. this round..." It's one nice moment at least before..

..they're moving onto a more serious subject, and Eri lets her hands fall as Mai shakes free "Oh, the change in the weather must be so hard on him. I'm sorry to hear about it. My Dad used to talk a lot about old soldiers with medical conditions flaring up in the winter, or during a storm."

...and then deeper into the maelstrom of sorrow Mai goes. Even a half effort is more than appreciated by the girl whose in a state of emotional desolation beneath skin deep. "Yeah, she's from my class. She's kind of um.."

She looks down at her lap, "...you know I've made quite a few friends, this school year, after I made that contract. But she's.. she's just special. She's normal, she didn't even know what I was and she wanted to be my friend. She reached out to me when I was just sort of this awkward, isolated girl who spent way too much time in a garden and let me know I didn't have to feel that way. I guess I'm still that.."

She laughs darkly, there's no mirth in it, "..but at least I let more people in now I guess, thanks to her influence. She knows so many of us and she just.. she cares for all of us. And I didn't know until the other day how much it must tear her apart to watch us fight on her behalf and how helpless she must feel. And now I feel it too, just.. so helpless. I know she wouldn't blame me..." Her voice drops in volume to an almost inaudible whisper, "...but I do."

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

The cold weather was hard on Takumi, perhaps, but not for any reason Mai's going to admit. She simply nods in agreement - because extreme weather, either way, is strain on Takumi's heart - but just lets Eri keep talking. While she might be leaning her weight on the chair back, her arm is still around Eri. With a bit more strength, Mai pulls her friend into a tighter embrace.

"...it's good to have friends. Normal ones, to keep us grounded. I haven't...really had much luck there - it seems like everyone I get to know has something or other going on." Mai's hand grips Eri's shoulder. There are things to be said to Eri, perhaps, to spark hope and forgiveness...but Mai can't be the one to say them.

"...remember how we met, Eri? Just a waitress and customer, joined in griping about the horrible Ohtori Student Council. If she's been helping you that long, I can only imagine how much she matters to you." Mai looks away - maintains her hold, but looks away. "And you know for a fact that I understand how you feel."

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

As Eri is pulled into a tighter embrace, she leans her head on Mai's shoulder. The tears do come, and she's not ashamed, making no effort to even wipe them away. She can sense it in Mai's voice, the awkwardness. The reluctance to say certain things. They may not be very comforting..

But you know what?

They're earnest. They're honest. And for some reason it does make her feel a little better anyhow. She eventually turns her head just a little to look in the same direction Mai is looking. She's in a very dire situation right now, and even if she can't say certain things either, there's something she can say. Even if her tone is a little broken by sorrow, "I know Mai. We haven't known each other for too long... but you mean a lot to me. No matter what happens, you always will. I just want you to know that."

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

Mai pulls Eri just a bit closer, makes the embrace just that much warmer. After a few seconds of this, she turns her head back to at least look down at the floor beneath their feet. "Same here. You're like another sibling, you know that? You matter to me too. So even with everything else - I'll try to be there for you."

Finally, she releases her grip on Eri - and with her other hand, pokes her in the side. Not hard, not even Mamoru-bothering level, just enough to provoke a ticklish spot. "Even if you do make assumptions about my romantic life...oh, wait, that would be covered under 'sibling', wouldn't it?" Mai flashes a brief grin, before settling down to a slight smile.

"...you know, someone I met recently gave me some advice. 'Believe in miracles.' So, if you can - and I know it's hard - just hold out hope that your friend will be okay. It's better than worrying about the worst, at any rate."

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

Eri starts wiping her eyes away, just a little bit until Mai pokes her in the side, and Eri starts giggling. She can't help it, she's a little ticklish, after she dies down, "Oh yeah? Well you definitely feel like the big sister I wish I had. I never was interested in Oneesan's love life. Says a lot, doesn't it?" She attempts to reciprocate with a poke to her side which is slightly harder, also not quite on a Mamoru bothering level, but she does allow her other fingers to flick outward as if to provoke an even bigger reaction than the one Mai got, "Is it a problem if I want to see you happy?"

The believe in miracles thing puts Eri in an almost eerily silent state though for a while, as if she just got all of the wind knocked out of her. She remembers Kyouko's story of how her father killed her entire family, save her, before killing himself after losing his faith due to a miracle. She remembers how her own Father rejected her after a literal miracle brought him back.

She still smiles awkwardly at Mai, trying to keep her tone even "Oh don't worry Mai-chan. I do believe in miracles..." She's quiet for a while after that, as if letting the words, '..I just know they have a tendency to go wrong.' lingering in the air. "Anyhow.. I um. I'm pretty sure she'll be okay. I think my phone would be lighting up with text messages if something had happened to her. She has a lot of friends." Even if Eri is one among many, it doesn't make her feel less special, not with Madoka at least.

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

"Gah!" Mai can't help but let out a giggle from Eri's retaliation, and gives a mock glare in return. "Well, it's not something Takumi and I talk about much either. With that said, as your sort of big sister...watch it, I don't need to annoy the security guard by falling out of my chair laughing!" She grins, and holds off escalating the tickle war for now. "Don't forget about yourself - I said before, you deserve to find happiness."

Mai does take a minute to regain her composure - the security guard is glaring a bit - and to have a few precious sips of coffee. Her eyelids feel a bit heavy, though. Even with as little time as she has, she's still tired...but Eri breaks her silence, and Mai focuses her attention once more. "I know what you mean. At least I can check in with Takumi - soon, at any rate - to make sure he's doing well, but...waiting really is the worst part, isn't it?"

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

Eri continues giggling, uncaring about the glarrinnnggg security guard, "And as your surrogate little sister, I say it's my 'duty' to interfere in your love life and embarrass you from time to time." She doesn't know Takumi all that well, so she doesn't really comment on why they don't.. well yeah. He could be one of those boys who just checks out whenever their sister talks about dating. As it dies down though, and she looks over her shoulder at the security guard, giving him a look that's like 'Come on, I've been here for almost two days without a peep, and you're taking issue?'

She then looks back towards Mai, suddenly she envies her the cup of coffee and resolves to go find herself one. "Yeah when my Dad was in the hospital.. being there didn't really.. make much of a difference. It was just waiting, and waiting.. and knowing.." She looks up at the ceiling now, "...that he wasn't going to get any better. I was wrong there too though."

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

Mai flushes, face burning bright. "Even though you know I'm trying to hold off like Chiba-san- okay, bad example." Mai digs into a pocket for a handkerchief - there's a packet of paper tissues, at least, and she offers one to Eri to finish drying her eyes. "...but that's what makes you great to have around. For better or worse, you don't really hold back." Another brief shining grin. "Of course, I reserve the right to bring up any of your crushes at the worst possible time~"

Mai's coffee is as black as pitch. It's how she takes it - hot, strong, bitter enough to wake her up without even considering the caffeine. She has to set it down again, though, because she needs to give Eri another hug. "It was kind the same way when Mom..." She shakes her head. "...it's hard. But this won't be like that, okay? We don't know that it's the worst, so we'll hope for the best." She hugs Eri tightly, not sure what more she can say...

And then there's a chime over the intercom, and an announcement that visiting hours are now open.

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

"The worst example." Eri takes a tissue, and finishes drying her eyes, "And 'Chiba-san'? Oooo, so formal, what happened to 'Mamoru-kun'?" Eri just grins at her a little, even though her eyes are still shimmering with tears. That grin fades immediately as she flushes from her nose to her cheeks, "H-Hey! How would you even know who I'm crushing on!? I don't tell anyone that!"

All of that silliness fades as Mai gives her another hug, dissipating and floating away like sakura blossoms on the wind. She just hugs her for a while, squeezing with a grip as firm as ivy before it's overgrown and unwelcome. Mai is speaking about her mother, and Eri just wants to hold her and comfort her until all of the bad things in Mai's life go away. Until she can allow herself some self-esteem, until guilt doesn't keep her in a vice grip. Until she can allow herself to be happy. Until she forgives herself. Unfortunately, Eri's hugs aren't miraculous. "Oh Mai.."

Her eyes start welling up again. There's so much she wants to say. She wants to tell Mai she can't blame herself for something that happened when she was a kid. But she doesn't. It's not the same situation as hers was. She didn't put a bullet in her father's brain on accident. She can't even /comprehend/ the guilt that Mai feels, unless Madoka were to.. but no. She isn't going to. So Eri doesn't say something trite about forgiving herself. She just holds onto her until the intercom buzzes, and she finally finishes the statement. Unfortunately it doesn't possess the wisdom she wishes she had this very moment, "Y-Yeah. It won't be like that. Look. You should go see Takumi-san and I'm holding you up. I'm going to head back to the dorms and.. wash up. Maybe drop on by the Linden Baum for breakfast, then come back."

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

"That-" Mai's face is burning again~ "That was a special situation. Or...something." Bright red, like a blazing fire. "...okay, fine. Between you and me I'm still using Chiba-san to annoy him for fun." She looks decidedly away for one moment, two - and then when Eri exclaims, she turns back with a grin. Even if her blush matches. "Sisterly wiles, Eri-chan~ That or I'll just guess at inopportune moments."

But today's conversation is a blend of silliness and hugs, and one long hug is warranted. Mai's own power isn't all that miraculous either - and there aren't any words to fix either of their situations. Just comfort and sympathy - that's all that can be offered. An orphan, and a girl kicked out of her home.

"Eri-chan, you know that you matter-" But all the same, Mai does finally release the younger girl. "...that's probably best. You'll feel better after that - if it makes a difference, you can use the bath in my dorm. Mikoto should still be there."

The travel mug of coffee is retrieved one last time - and placed in Eri's hands. "And you can finish this - I'll get another in a bit." Mai's ensuing smile isn't quite as cheerful - it's a bit more sheepish and dim. "I'll see you at Linden Baum if you do go - I've got the opening shift today."

With some regret, Mai stands up, grabbing her uniform bag, and going to check in with the receptionist. One last wave to someone who really needs more comfort - and then Mai is off to the elevators. Because, in the end, there are duties that must be honoured.