2014-06-26 - Good Advice And Cake

From Battle Fantasia MUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
Title: Good Advice And Cake

It's been a few weeks since they last caught up, and there's coffee cake at Linden Baum again. Time for Mai and Shiori to have another chat!


Mai Tokiha, Shiori Takatsuki


Outside Linden Baum

OOC - IC Date:

3 February 2014 - 6/26/2014

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

The sun is just starting to set as Linden Baum's doors open with a jingle. Mai, bundled in an orange jacket that matches her hair, holds the door with one elbow until her companion has left - hands filled with a takeout box and a cup of coffee. "Good luck with the close, Akane-chan - have a good night!"

The shift wasn't a bad one, all things considered. A bit short, but that leaves her time to make a proper supper when she gets home, and customers were absent enough at times that she'd been able to take a few short breaks. On top of that, the cooks decided to make the coffee cake again! Mai's lingering good mood was running hot enough that she'd texted Shiori to let her know, and offered to pick some up for her after work.

As it happened, though... Mai turns to her companion. "Thanks for stopping by for the end of my shift. Sorry we didn't get to talk much, though - you saw how busy things got there." She grins - her voice still a little hoarse - and holds up her drink. "I've got a bit of time before I need to get home and make supper, though. Want to get caught up?"

Mai's smile is bright, and the dwindling sunlight means that things aren't too cold. Today's been a good day, though not really holding a candle to the night before...

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Shiori, of course, doesn't have an after-school job of any variety. (Not really.) She hasn't really spent a lot of time with anyone who does, until now; she hardly counts Michiru's art as a /job/. There's a sort of novelty to it that might instead be something less pleasant if she didn't like Mai so much so far.

Shiori got the text, and her own good mood was obvious to the people she passed in the dorms. The sunset lingers onward, and Shiori is now stepping away from the doors with Mai.

"Anytime," she responds, and smiles back, dippin her head a little. "And it's fine. It's kind of fun to watch you work, you know? You just get so busy with everything. I don't know if I could do it." Hmm... Horase voice...

Catching up?

"I'd love to! ...But, maybe we should make for the quieter path." Since Mai seems to be having voice problems, a little.

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

"Well, it's not always busy - sometimes it's just quiet and boring. Good times to have a friend stop by - not that there's ever really a bad time." She smiles, then takes a sip from her coffee. The suggestion's a good one - the park bench is a nice quiet place, and a rather relaxing spot besides.

The park is, in fact, nearly empty; while the sun hasn't fully set yet, it's late enough that children have given up on playing and gone home. Lamps are beginning to come on as Mai makes her way to her preferred bench - not far from the drink machine, though she does have her coffee. She takes a seat, setting down the takeout box with its delicious contents.

Before speaking, Mai takes another sip. "Anyway, I finally got a chance to do some karaoke last night - I had a blast, but I overdid things a bit." She gives a sheepish grin - her voice is recovering, at least compared to this morning. "I can invite you next time, if you like - there's bigger rooms than the one I managed to get. Though when 'next time' will be, who knows..."

Mai's expression dims at the thought of how long it might take for the stars to align again with her work and hospital schedule - but she brightens again before long. "How have you been? I know it's been a couple of weeks since we spoke, sorry about that..."

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Shiori also happens to have a coffee, and she sips it on her way, holding it in both hands mostly to give her hands somewhere to be. She walks close enough tat Mai shouldn't have to raise her voice much despite the moving, though it might end up moot since the park is so empty now. The drink machine hums pleasantly, and Shiori sits down in turn, taking a deep breath of the cool air.

"Ohh, so that's why!" Her excitement on Mai's behalf is obvious from her bright tone, though she blinks at being invited herself. "O-oh, well--I--you know, I'm--not very /good/," she says, laughing nervously.

...She stops, though, since Mai seems a little more serious for a moment. Silent in turn, Shiori only speaks up after the question her way.

"It's okay," she insists, before actually answering. "You get so busy, and you were nice enough to invite me out even though it's been a while. I'd been thinking about you anyway." Pause, as she suddenly looks forward, "Oh! That friend I told you about, who I thoght might be with Tenoh-san? I talked to her after all."

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

The cool air, contrasted with the hot drink, help considerably. After taking another sip of the coffee, Mai lets out a contented sigh. Shiori's excitement brings a smile to Mai's face, one that soon flares into a grin. She looks left, right, then leans in to whisper - partly to go easy on her voice, partly for fun. "The fun part of karaoke is that you don't have to be good - just enthusiastic, and willing to try."

She leans back, and warms her own hands against her cup. She'd left in such a hurry this morning she forgot her borrowed gloves - but it's February, it could honestly be colder. Her eyes are earnest when she speaks again. "Thanks for understanding. I had trouble keeping friends at Juuban, because sometimes things do just get busy...but it's great you could meet on short notice."

And then Mai's expression brightens - right, that whole business from their last chat! "Right - Kaimo-san, or something like that?" Mai shakes her head. "Anyway, how did it go?" She can't hide that spark of curiosity...

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Aaah? Shiori definitely seems apprehensive about the idea, but... She giggles softly after a moment. "You really think? Well, maybe it'd be fun to try. Just don't laugh, okay?"

Shiori glances up skyward for a moment, the buzz of an igniting lamp catching her attention for just long enough that she has to turn back Mai's way again when her friend is speaking. "Oh... Well, they're missing out, right? Besides, it's really nothing big for me. I'm happy to come out here. Just call me anytime!"

That she doesn't have anything else to do tonight, really, is beside the point. She might've moved things if she did.

"Kaioh! Michiru Kaioh," she adds brightly, though when she says it there's still a sort od reamy quality. "I was right," she adds, almost ruefully, "They're just big on mystery kind of." The purple-haired girl sits back against the bench, and watches Mai as she keeps going, relaxed and smiling. "But, it's okay We got to talk a lot about it, and it's not like I can't keep looking, right?"

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

Laugh? At someone doing Karaoke? Mai's response is to cross her heart - she's smiling, but serious. This is one of her passions, after all! The ensuing statements...Shiori really is a good person to say those sords of things. Still, Mai doesn't respond until after Shiori has finished mentioning Kaioh-san.

"For one - Karaoke's meant to be fun, but I promise I'll never laugh at you, Shiori-chan. Though I have a habit of teasing, sorry in advance. And for two - thanks. It might not be anything big, but it means a lot." It wasn't until recently that Mai had friends that understanding - and she has few enough that one more will always be appreciated. Taking another sip of coffee for her throat's sake, Mai turns with one arm over the back of the bench.

"Right, so - Kaioh-san. Sorry to hear about that - it's some kind of secret relationship, then?" Shiori doesn't seem broken-hearted, which is a good sign. "I'm glad to hear things turned out well. And sure - do you have your eyes on someone else, now?"

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Shiori for now almost really believes that Mai means it. Her smile widens a little, and she nods once, quickly and brightly.

"Okay. Then let's do it, whenever you're free." She can gloss over the details of teasing because come on there's so many good feelings now! "...I guess you're welcome. I.." It's odd for her to take thanks. She's not really sure what to /do/ with them, frankly, so instead for the moment she sips her coffee, giving her a little time to think an figure out how she should look about all ofit.

"Oh! Nah, it's more... It's not secret? It's just that she really likes keeping people guessing. She's just like that. I was pretty sure, but... You were right, I needed to know anyway, right? And the way she... Well, I guess I could babble on forever but you probably don't want to hear, right?"

A little wave of her hand. "I..." She glances down, as if embarrassed, and inhales the warm air from her coffee. "I might have my eye on somebody."

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

Of course Mai means it! Karaoke is sacred - and Shiori's happiness fuels more cheer on Mai's part. It takes effort to keep from yelling in glee - because that's all her voice needs, really. So, she keeps her voice low - but happiness is ablaze in her tone all the same.

"Sure! I can't make any promises for when, but some time, definitely!" Mai takes a sip of her coffee as Shiori does - frankly, she's just as bad at accepting thanks. The awkwardness lingers a moment before the conversation moves on to more...interesting topics.

"Another one? Some of my classmates love playing those sorts of games. And I don't mind hearing you out - I kind of feel a bit guilty for getting your hopes up there." Mai glances down - and then Shiori's last statement registers, and she looks up again. A bright smile for Mai's friend, a gleam of curiosity visible in her eyes. "Well, that's good - stay positive, right?"

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

It would be Shiori's luck to throw out Mai's voice entirely while talking about doing karaoke sometime, of course.

"Great!" Shiori replies, and yes, does linger in that awkwardness for just a few moments. She's excited for the idea, but if she just keeps saying so, then--

"Hahaha, do I seem terrible that way? I don't think I'm fickle or anything. It's just... Well, talking with her got me thinking, you know? About how maybe sometimes you should... maybe give someone another look." Beat, "But it's not like you did something bad. I'm... glad I brought it up with her. She was great about it."

A look back Mai's way, "I... well, I said I wouldn't talk too much more about her. Anyway, I'm stil happy you brought me out. ...Ah, did you want to try the cake, maybe?"

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

It would be Mai's luck to throw her voice out just talking about karaoke.

"Fickle isn't the word - I mean, it's been a couple of weeks, right?" Mai's face turns pensive for a moment. "Well, if they do have some secret relationship going on, she'd know more about romance than I would - and can probably give better advice, at that." She leans against the back of the bench, thinking. "Give someone another look, huh?..."

...looked at in a new light, is she getting closer to a certain someone? Probably her imagination running rampant - it can't be intentional on his part, he's completely clueless. So...what to do about it?

Flushing abruptly, Mai raises her coffee for a sip. She's cooled down a bit by the time the cup is lowered, and glances to the box as it's mentioned. "Good idea - I remembered to get two forks, this time." She unfolds the box, revealing a couple of small slices of cake, next to a pair of plastic forks. "But don't worry - I'm happy to talk about just about anything, usually."

Except taking care of Takumi. That issue, she can get testy about.

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Oh, no, no," Shiori insists. "I think you give really good advice, Mai-chan." Shiori hesitates before speaking up again, and then pauses, as she sees Mai go all thoughtful in return. What could she be thinking about...?

Shiori, thus, definitely notices the flush, and smiles slightly, perhaps imperceptibly, while her orange-haired friend is drinking her coffee. "Ah! I guess that helps, huh?" she laughs, and looks down to the cake. Mmm, cake. It really does look good.

"Okay, then, I won't worry. ...I'm glad to hear it, though. I... like talking with you."

But why does she feel strange about this? She thought, after she'd spoken to Michiru, that...

Shiori sips her coffee, too. It's better not to think about unpleasant things when out with someone.

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

Good advice? That remains to be seen, but... "Well, I just try to say what I feel is right. Just, sometimes there's no clear answer..." Eri and Mamoru have problems that Mai can't solve, after all - let alone whatever might get Shiori down. All she can do is try, right?

The cake does look good - Mai moves one of the pieces to the underside of the box lid, turned her way; Shiori can have the piece somewhat artfully resting on a cheap paper doily. "There we go - enjoy!" The crusty topping, the dense cake itself - good on its own, very good paired with coffee.

And over the treat, Mai smiles. "Same here. It's...helped, remembering to have hope like you reminded me. Kind of pushed me into having fun last night, actually - so it's great talking to you too." Her voice is still a bit rough, so she doesn't say anything else - just sampling a piece of the coffee cake.

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"It doesn't matter if the answer isn't clear. All you have to do is keep believing. Then, you'll find it!" There's no problem that can't be solved by enough hope. Right? If you just believe...

Shiori is definitely still inined to doubletake when she gets the 'nicer'-looking one, but she accepts it after a moment. Daintily, she sets her fork to the end, cutting off just a small piece and lifting it to her mouth quickly. "Mmm."

She lifts her coffee cup, suddenly, taking a sip self-consciously. "Ah--that sitll is really good, isn't it?"

She pushed her into...? "Did I really? ...I'm sure you're just saying that. It's sweet anyway, though."

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

Mai thinks over the last couple of weeks, the things she's been dealing with. What she's hoping for - what Mamoru or Eri or Takumi or Mikoto are hoping for - and she nods. "You have to work to make some things work out...but keeping hope alive is definitely important. My roommate's out searching for her brother daily, and I worry about her sometimes...but we can hope that she'll find him eventually."

Mai hadn't even thought about it - she just automatically presented the nicer of the options to the person she's with. What she's always done, what she'll always do. She takes a larger bite of the cake, and has a sip of coffee to go with it. "The cooks do good work - I have to remind myself not to spend all my wages at my workplace." She smirks, and digs into her cake again - a solid breakfast was followed by not very much else.

After another mouthful, Mai speaks up again. "Well, just remember that if you ever do want to talk - you know where I can be found a lot of the time." She nods in Linden Baum's direction with a grin.

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Her brother? Is he missing, or something?" Shiori frowns a little at that. ...But, for some reason, she's reluctant to talk abou the part where you also work at what you believe in. Working is for people who can do things more than she can, isn't it? People like Mai, or like...

"Aah, I guess that'd be a problem, wouldn't it? I dunno, I might end up just sitting down all day sneaking cake," she laughs. "Maybe I should visit more often, anyway. I just don't usually think about going to places like this, you know?"

Shiori takes quick, surreptitious bites, but bit by sudden bit, the cake is disappearing.

"I'll remember that," Shiori answers, still smiling. "Though... I don't want to bother you at work all the time, either, you know? Maybe we should meet somewhere else sometime."

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

"Something like that - her story to tell, not mine." Mai's a bit vague on what the story with Mikoto's brother is - she has nothing but sympathy for that quest, but there isn't a whole lot she can do to help with it.

The topic of Linden Baum's addictive cakes brings a brief giggle fit on Mai's part. "Oh, that would be a shame. It's much easier to sneak ice cream - at least, so I've heard." She grins. "Working there...it can be stressful, but most of the time I can at least believe I'm making someone's day better. And when I don't think that, at least I have my paycheck to look at." And the grin turns into a brief smirk, as Mai attacks her slice a bit more.

"As for meeting up - I don't mind having friends stop by, I'm tied to the place often enough that I don't have much other choice." She rubs at the back of her head for a moment, thinking. There isn't much else she can do for Takumi right now, is there? "I do get days off, sometimes, and not all of them are spent at the hospital...so maybe we could try somewhere else, one of these days. Anything you had in mind - though I'll probably veto trips that are just shopping, I don't have that flexible a budget."

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Oh. That sucks," Shiori sympathizes, though it may be just as well that she doesn't have any more details for now. She does at least show said sympathy in her eyes while she's at it, quiet a moment in honor of the story... and because, well, it's not like she can say a lot there.

"--I didn't even think about that!" Ice cream. What other things could they manage? ...Ah, well, as Mai mentions her work... Well, Shiori just sort of smiles back. It's not something she gets. It seems so... strange.

"Well..." It's a little awkward, of course, to do it that way. But, "Oh, that sounds nice--ah... haha, that's okay, I can do shopping other times, right?" ..For some reason, she's a little reluctant to clothes shop with Mai /anyway/. But..

"Um, well there's lots of other places around town, some fun things to do. And... Well, I could show you the Infinity dorms sometime."

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

Mai sees that sympathy, and nods. But the subject can be put aside - it's not like Mai can do anything but hope for Mikoto's success, right?

It is a bit awkward always meeting friends at work, but what other choice does Mai have? "Well, I don't mind going sometimes, just - not as a regular thing. But Tokyo's a big city, there's plenty to do - like karaoke, for one." She grins, thinking of cheaper options than that. "Or just taking in sights and the like. And - sure! I can return the favor, too, if you ever want to see Ohtori's dorms again."

Sudden inspiration strikes. "Actually, speaking of school - a couple of friends of mine have put together a kind of sprawling study group. Just meet up, work on homework together, enjoy some snacks, have a good time. If you wanted to come along, I'm sure one more would be no problem."

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Of course!

"Oh--okay, I guess I get you. I can't really go all the time either. ...There's totally karaoke! I'll count on you to pick us a spot for that, okay?" Hmm, beat. "--Oh, great! I... haven't really been in a while, you know? I..." She considers, for a few moments, and then looks distant. She'd avoided thinking too much about a certain someone, but--

"...Maybe we should wait on Ohtori for... another time. What if..."

She waves it of as soon as Mai seems to have a different idea, and tilts her head a little. "Study? Aah, as long as it's okay that I'm not much help! I just don't have the head for most of the work we're doing anymore. ...But if it's still okay... It sounds nice."

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

"Well, there's always the place I was at last night - Pino Karaoke." Mai smiles, thinking back to the fun - in spite of the stunt that Kyouko pulled. They really did have a good selection! "Not right away, though, my voice needs a bit of time..."

...Shiori's lost in thought for a moment, and Mai actually cringes. Right. The whole -thing- with Arisugawa-san, possibly bullying her, or...

The study group's as good an idea as any for now. "Well, we have a couple of people who are sharp, and the rest of us are basically trying to get help. I'm sure it'd be fine - I'll add you to the contact list, and let you know when we're planning to meet up."

The sun is finally vanishing below the horizon, those last few rays of light dim in comparison to the burgeoning night's lamps. Mai finishes the last bite of her piece of cake, and swirls her coffee cup - not much left. This is nice - just hanging out with a friend. And it's easy to just let the quiet last a bit, her throat needs rest.

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Aah, yeah. I hope you feel better soon, Mai-chan." It will, coincidentally, give Shiori time to think about hat she might even try for karaoke.

Shiori is too busy thinking to notice Mai's cringe, and still, she doesn't elaborate on exactly what's happened between her and Juri. She'd done so well so far in putting it out of her mind, but now it's hard to think otherwise.

"Okay! I'll look forward to it! You've got my number and everything, so...."

As evening start to stretch onward, Shiori, too, is out of cake, just looking out towards the sky as she holds the remnants of her coffee. ....She doesn't have to think about all those things right now. She's out with a friend, and maybe...

Shiori still doesn't really like the quiet. She smiles anyway.

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

Even the quiet can't last forever - and there are duties that must still be fulfilled. Finishing her coffee, Mai stretches her arms out in front of her. "Right - I'd better start heading back. I still have to cook supper tonight, the last of the leftovers went into Mikoto's lunch this morning."

The lamps are the main illumination - there's not much moonlight, and the stars aren't any help even though night has fallen. Mai glances up for a moment, catching a glimpse of red...then looks to Shiori. "...and I realize you've probably got further to go. Sorry you had to come all the way out here - do you want an escort to the bus station, or..."

<Pose Tracker> Shiori Takatsuki [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Shiori, too, looks up, and she's still looking that way when Mai mentions that she has further to go. "It is getting dark," she concedes first, and finally looks back down to the ground below, and ater that, finally back to Mai.

"I don't mind. It was fun. I'm just happy to get to see you." Pause, then, "...I don't want to put you out, or anything. You've gotta go cook, right? The bus station isn't all that far off, anyway. ...Have a nice night, Mai-chan."