2014-07-08 - I Sound So Lammmmeeeee

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Title: I Sound So Lammmmeeeee

A rooftop chat, with a quest for relationship advice. One of those involved is brave enough to ask. And really, sometimes the advice is secondary to just an understanding ear...


Eri Shimanouchi, Mai Tokiha

Guest appearance: Mamoru Chiba


Ohtori Dormitory - Rooftop

OOC - IC Date:

8 February 2014 - 7/8/2014

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

"Okaasan I really don't thi.." Cut off suddenly, all she can do is listen. "He's not likely to.." Interrupted yet again, there's a certain amount of resignment on her expression as she stands on the rooftop of the dorms, with the phone pressed to her ear.

She stares straight forward, it wasn't that she didn't care, she was just so frustrated by the situation. There were so many things she just couldn't say, all she could do is impress upon the other person on the line that.. "You know I can't tell you that. I assure you what I'm doing is impo.." An acerbic retort on the other side of the line caused all of that resigned calm to fade, "W-what!? Okaasan! I'm not.."

She started to pace back and forth anxiously as the chatter continued occurred, "...it's not like that. I promise you." Her annoyance level continued rising, in sharp spikes until it looked like it was about to reach critical mass. She rubbed her forehead with a single mittened hand, before stiffening, and closing off the conversation with a definitive, "Good night, Okaasan."

A beep as she hangs up. There's a muffled sound from her, like she just screamed, through clenched teeth. Then all of the irritation and resentment faded away in the chill night breeze, as she walked over to the side of the rooftop, leaning up against intricately carved marble railings, quietly intoning "I wish you could believe me too." Putting the phone away in her pocket, she waited for Mai to arrive in response to her idle text message, but given her current state, she isn't likely to have noticed her arrival.

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

Mercifully, Mai wasn't able to make haste in coming to the roof. The day had been a long one, filled largely by a very early to rather late Linden Baum shift. Usually busy, today a perfect storm on account of the horde of grade-schoolers enjoying themselves far too much.

If Mai never has to deal with pine-flavour syrup again, it will be too soon.

So, work. Plus a quick exchange with Takumi about the next medical appointment and her accompanying him, plus homework, plus making supper for Mikoto. At least that last was easily satisfied - but when the door to the roof opens, it is to admit a tired-looking Mai.

In spite of her exhaustion, Mai does manage a smile when she spots Eri - having arrived just in time to see her stow the phone away. "Good evening, Eri-chan! Sorry I'm late, it's been kind of a crazy day."

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

Fun with pine syrup certainly sounds like a thing. A very messy thing that probably contributed a great deal to Mai's stress. If she were aware, she probably would have delayed for another day, but without that context..

The door opens, and she doesn't look up at first, until she hears the greetings.

She remembers to inhale at that moment, then exhale, slowly looking up with a bright smile. She tells herself it isn't a lie, she's happy to see Mai after all. "Hey Mai-chan. Don't worry about it, I know you're crazy busy all the time. Besides, I can wait, if it means spending time with you."

Leaning back against the carved marble railing, she offers for her to take a seat or lean against something nearby, "No Mocha ice cream for us to steal this time sadly, but yeah..." She has a little trouble maintaining eye contact. "So, we never did get to talk about that thing. You know, about.. boys."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
If a friend has to wait, they'll wait. You're worth it, after all. Just so long as they know you haven't forgotten... a friend understands.

As she makes her way over, Mai's smile is warm and bright. Maybe Runealy had a point back then. It's...honestly good, knowing that she's at least got one or two friends who are willing to accommodate a tumultuous schedule. She reaches the railing, starts to lean against it - and then Eri brings up tonight's topic of conversation.

She stumbles. It's only by grabbing the railing fully that she keeps from toppling over, and the surprise is plain on her face - at least Eri isn't looking there, right? "Right. Thanks for waiting, all the same - it honestly does mean a lot."

Mai takes in a deep breath of her own, then exhales - and hops up to sit on the railing. One of the few perks of being a magical girl is that you do get nice perches. "Right. So...boys. What did you need to know? Bear in mind my knowledge only goes so far, I haven't done much in the way of dating."

...or, to be honest, anything in the way of dating.

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

Eri hadn't been looking at her face at least, she saw the stumble, but she completely misinterprets it, a hand snaking out to try to grasp Mai's arm in a steadying gesture. She doesn't fall however, and Eri lets the hand drop to her side, with a look of chagrin. "Careful!"

On it meaning a lot though, Eri just grins and waves it off, "You don't need to make it a big thing. Mikoto-chan is perpetually waiting for your cooking like it's some nectar of life." A beat, "She may not be too far off the mark."

She finally hops up to actually sit up on the railing beside Mai. This was a tough question. She'd of course played a lot of dating sims, and read a lot of Shoujo manga, but boys in those.. fit into several stereotypes. As far as she could decipher, the typical romance in Shoujo wasn't even acknowledged for years to draw the story out. Not exactly like real life. Not exactly like real life at all, they were entertaining stories, but they gave her no useful advice, "Alright. I met this guy. He's... very sweet, like..." A flush enters into her cheeks, it's definitely not from the cold, "..he'll offer these amazing compliments to me that don't sound like empty flattery. He's interested in me and the things I care about, but..."

A glance towards Mai, "...I'm terrible at reading people. I don't have any experience dealing with this, and I'm afraid that I might mess it up." Taking her hands off the railing, she folds them in her lap, fidgeting. "So even if you don't have much dating experience, you told me that you get a lot of people who.. act like jerks to you all the time, because they want just 'one thing'. I wanted to know if you could maybe offer me some advice, so I can at least figure out if he's one of those."

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

Nectar of life? Mai flushes slightly at Eri giving her food that kind of praise...but she's used to hearing words to that effect from Mikoto. "That girl, I swear I don't know how she fed herself before we met." She grumbles a bit, but she's smiling when she does. "I'll try not to make a big deal of it. It's just good to know I've got friends who actually understand about not having much time for socializing, sometimes."

Thoughts of Mikoto fade away as Eri gets into the main topic of the evening - and she can't help but be excited for her friend. Eri might have found someone! That's worth celebrating - but Eri's concerned, and that bright cheer dims quickly. Finally, she has to just let out a breath.

This is going to be a tough one.

"In a lot of cases, I've shut people down regardless of intention, because I was too busy to even think about dating. But if you want my experience...eyes." Mai turns her gaze to meet Eri's dead on. "To be blunt, if they're looking at a part of you that isn't your face when talking to you, that's an obvious clue to what they're thinking."

She sighs. "But that isn't a surefire trick on its own - jerks can still know to look at your face, or at something else entirely. It's just a way to weed out the obvious. It's...from what they say and what they don't say, you kind of have to guess where their passions lie. It's the difference between him being really interested in what you do, and him just asking questions to try to get in close to you."

Mai pause a moment, and rubs at the side of her head. She doesn't want to start rambling, and does she ever wish she had coffee right now...

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

Crossing her arms, she leans back, her mood brightening just a little bit at Mai's response, "Well I wouldn't /mind/ if you made some more time for socializing Mai-chan, but I definitely understand why not. I swear, when we finally do get Kagutsuchi trained, we need to put him.." She thinks on the matter, before looking at Mai in confusion, "...or her? In a frilly pink outfit, and teach them to fill in for you at the Linden Baum." Eri, never having seen Kagutsuchi, imagines a chibi style Eastern dragon a little larger than Kyubey with ribbons and frills in her mind's eye and it's very hard for her not to crack up.

When Mai gives her advice, she's completely somber, her expression becoming confused mid-conversation, as she looks down reflexively, suddenly tightening her crossed arms over her chest. The blush deepens even more for a time, as she allows herself to process that further. Once she's finished, she leans back, with a slight smile, "Well. Tough to say, I've only met him once, but he did seem.. genuinely interested in what I do, like it was actually a subject that he cared about. I actually uhm..." She gives Mai a sheepish look, the blush not quite fading, "...okay I invited him to the study group, so I'd have an excuse to spend more time figuring him out. Don't tell anyone though!" She huffs out an almost indignant breath, but it's really more chagrined, "It's kind of embarrassing! I figure if he turns out to be a jerk we can kick out or something, but.. so far he seems.." She's actually smiling cheerfully, "...really great!" A beat before her demeanor changes, as she puts a hand up to her face, "I sound so lammmmeeeee!"

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

Kagutsuchi. In the Linden Baum uniform. Serving customers. After the day full of customer's she's had, Mai is just tempted enough by the idea that she doubles over laughing for a minute instead of being horrified. No one around to offend or impress, just the two of them, so she just laughs without explaining why. Eventually, she manages to recover enough to answer with a red-faced, "Him. I think."

In some solidarity - and suddenly feeling the urge to hide as well - Mai folds her arms over her chest. She's back from a somber expression to an encouraging smile, though. "Which subject - gardening? Because even if you've just found another friend to share that interest, I'm happy for you. And that's honestly a good plan with the study group - there's enough of us who know you that we can give an outside opinion."

A bright grin, with just a hint of... "Don't worry, I'll try not to tease you. Much. Unless you start acting like some lovebirds we've seen around campus, then all bets are off!"

She's probably heard worse. Though Eri is approaching 'Mamoru geeking out over Sailor Moon' levels at a good clip...

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

"Makes sense." Eri is still grinning, glad that Mai liked the joke, "Kagutsuchi was male in the old legends anyhow."

Mai's question suddenly gives her button eyes as she suddenly answers, "Uhm, well horticulture and botany in general, though he's more interested in arboriculture. It's also just my views on nature in general."

When Mai offers the consequences of the two of them acting like lovebirds, she actually starts stammering, with blushing cheeks, "M-Mai-chan! There's no guarantee he's even actually interested!"

Now she's just hastily grasping for something to change the subject, looking away, finally something clicks, it's a slightly more serious subject, "So uhm, Mai-chan. Mamoru-kun, he seemed rather depressed not long ago. I don't know if he'd want me talking about it, but would you mind trying to cheer him up if you see him? He could probably use someone who can help him take his mind off things."

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

The old legends have a few things to say about Kagutsuchi...and there are just enough parallels that Mai worries about the name, sometimes. What might it say about her, that this is her Child? Best to focus on the most relevant topic.

Horticulture, arboriculture, views on nature...all those things that Mai can't ever truly understand about Eri, appreciating that her friend has her own views. If the guy's a pickup artist, so much the worst, but if he's genuine...

Eri's flustered face brightens Mai's grin even further. "Of course, of course~" After that teasing jab, though, she settles down. "In all seriousness, Eri-chan... I hope he really is a good guy. There's always a chance that he's not interested, that he just compliments people - I can think of a few people like that - but at the very least, you might have a friend who under stands those things better than I do."

A moment's smirk. "And if it turns out he's a jerk, you have my full cooperation in getting payback."

Mai quiets down, her expression dimming as Mamoru comes up. Rather depressed not long ago? She's about to speak up, add her own observations on the subject...but he texted her during work, outright asking her not to tell Eri. Whatever's going on, he's troubled... Mai looks up to the stars above, and lets innocuous thoughts flow into the air. "...you know, we traded texts the other day, and I mentioned I had some tricks for making instant ramen taste better. Maybe I should drop by his place and give him a lesson."

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

Hunching in her shoulders, she definitely looks more defensive, though not so far that she's actually 'upset' with Mai, just.. definitely embarrassed. When her tone brightens, she definitely warms up a little too, despite blushing fiercely, "Friendship isn't settling, but.." There's a lingering yearning in those words, "....I hope so too."

With the conversation on Mamoru, that embarrassment drains away, she could definitely tease Mai back here. She'd left herself wide open for such a shot but.. she doesn't take it. Instead she leans over as Mai looks up, putting a hand on her arm. "I think that'd be wonderful. I mean, who wouldn't like your cooking? It'd cheer anyone up." She sounds completely serious, despite the fact that her mind is relentlessly shipping the two together. She tries to tell herself she's not being manipulative. She's not. She's being supportive, it's not like she's really trying to force the issue, right?


It's a disquieting thought, that has her looking up herself, at the twinkling dots high above, "Lovely night tonight."

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

Is she teasing too much? Maybe a bit, but Mai was beginning to relent anyway. So, hold off commenting on the fact that Eri's face is red enough to nearly glow, and simply try to support her with warm smiles. "I'll be cheering for you." And making sure this guy isn't going to turn out to be a horrible jerk, but that doesn't need to be brought up now.

The next study group is going to be very interesting, though.

Mai looks back down from the skies to Eri when the hand touches her arm. In spite of Eri's serious expression, though, Mai can't help but giggle. "I try! I'm not expecting him to be a second Mikoto or anything - just trying to make sure he isn't miserable while his bank account recovers from Hurricane Kyouko. But hey, he's spoken well of my food before, so who knows?"

Ulterior motives go unnoticed or ignored tonight. The skies are clear, and Mai's reminded of Chiba's last text message... "Good for stargazing, I hear."

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

Eri's phone buzzes. It's a text from the devi--

From Mamoru!

MAMORU to ERI: sorry for bailing
MAMORU to ERI: i was a little overwhelmed
MAMORU to ERI: can you do me a favor? please don't tell mai about her

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

While her cheeks still feel like they're hot enough to cook a raw egg, even in this cold, there's a smile on her expression at her comment, "Thanks Mai-chan. That means a lot to me."

There's a wince on her features as Mai brings up Hurricane Kyouko, though she's giggling again in short order, "Hey he asked for it! One does not simply challenge Kyouko-chan at /anything/ and expect to come out unscathed." The phone buzzes and she holds up a finger, "Hold on a moment!" Looking down at the texts, she eyes them for a bit, before typing a reply.

Txt to Mamoru: Hey, don't worry. I don't spread around my friends' secrets.

She then looks sidelong at Mai, "He sure has. And I saw your eyes light up when he allowed you to take over his kitchen~" Okay maybe just a little bit of teasing. She looks upright again, "Yeah, Otousan used to take me camping a lot." There's a look of vague pain in her eyes, but she suppresses it, "He didn't know much about the stars though. Just a few sad legends about some of the constellations."

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

It means a lot, having friends to talk to about these sorts of serious topics.

It means a lot, being able to have fun at karaoke with those friends - even if there are repercussions.

And it means a lot, knowing you aren't the only one who's suffered.

It's not easy to slide along an ornate Ohtori railing being used as a seat. Nonetheless, Mai manages. Once she's made her way that much closer to Eri, she wraps one arm around the younger girl's shoulders in a hug. "Well, maybe once winter's over, we can try something. As few or many of us as seems like fun. Trade legends and facts as we know them...I'd be learning more than sharing, mind..."

Peace and comfort for a moment, before Mai does let off a spark of good-natured exasperation. "It was a very nice kitchen. And just for that, I'm just going to cook on a rooftop, so there."

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

Eri's phone buzzes again, the message appearing on the screen even while the phone's locked.

MAMORU to ERI: ty. you are way too good to me.


MAMORU to ERI: you even protect my friends' secrets without knowing what they are.


MAMORU to ERI: ~my hero~

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

As the arms slide over her shoulders, she doesn't stiffen, but she doesn't react for a moment. It's only a brief second, where her mind is on an uncomfortable subject, before Mai's embrace can shift away her thoughts from it almost entirely. Wrapping her arms around Mai, she leans in close. Her embrace is soft, but grows more firm. Mai may even hear sniffling for just a short while, but it's.. just cold up here. Right?

It takes her a while to reply, "Sure. I'd love that." She even lets the comment about cooking on the rooftop slide, without anything more than giggling. Drawing away, she looks at her phone again, shaking her head, "Ara! Mamoru-kun really is such a stupendous dork."

She actually starts laughing, "He always knows just what to say! Kind of like that boy I just met." She puts away the phone, so that Mai can't see the screen.