2014-07-18 - Obligation Chocolate Dance

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Title: Obligation Chocolate Dance

In the wake of the interrupted Poetry Slam, Mai and Eri take a little while to unwind. Of course, there's always the looming threat of Valentine's Day to talk about...


Eri Shimanouchi, Mai Tokiha


Ohtori Dorms

OOC - IC Date:

12 February 2014 - 7/18/2014 (Backdated)

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

Deprived of the same transportation used to head out to the Poetry Slam in the first place, it took Mai a little longer to get home again. In the wake of the monster battle, she'd decided that the event was probably over regardless, and it was best to beat the rush - that, and get to dealing with any residual injuries. With Tuxedo Mask otherwise occupied, it fell to her to accompany Eri, after all.

Mikoto wasn't home; given supper and left to her own devices, the best guess is that the room's other inhabitant was out looking for her brother again. After changing out of the formal dress and into pyjamas, she prepared a pot of green tea with just a hint of ginger, and two cups are even now steaming on the coffee table.

The smell is nice on its own, but Mai takes a sip all the same, then looks across to her friend. "Do you think you'll be okay, or do you want me to see if there's anything in the medicine cabinet?"

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

Being forced to speak only as E.E. Cummings had given her one heck of a headache. And really who could blame her for that, all things considered. Mamoru was escorting Sailor Moon to.. well who knows where? He'd assured them that she'd be alright, at least.

After accompanying Mai back to the dorms, she had a brief side trip, before returning to her dorm to change into her own pajamas and grab a change of clothes for the morning. Apparently that side trip had caused her headache to intensify, but the smell of ginger tea was already causing it to ease somewhat. Pinching the bridge of her nose to relieve some of the pressure, she then drops the hand, and takes a seat, picking up a steaming cup.

Savoring the aroma, she takes a small sip, before setting it back down with a sigh of contentment, "I should be fine. It would have been much better had I been hit by a Haiku attack, I think." She offers Mai a chagrined smile, "I still have no idea what that last one was. Felt like I had aphasia or something." There's a lengthy pause, as she partakes again from the teacup. After the fact, Mai might note her expression slowly changing until it's a sly grin, "So. That gown was gorgeous. Maybe that creep you told me about wasn't too far off about calling you Mai-Hime."

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

"I'll admit, you got kind of...incomprehensible near the end. If you're sure you're okay now..." Mai looks over Eri, concern plain in her face - but if she's able to start smiling again, then hopefully she's recovering. "Haiku might have been better than that...I think I lucked out. Got hit with the urge to speak in dismal rhyme, and apparently I annoyed the monster's creator enough to just have it try to kill me instead."

She takes another sip of her tea, and strangely doesn't seem to concerned about the battle - it's always dicey, right? Eri's comment on the gown brings blazing red to her face, but instead of protesting, she looks over to the closet. It's still open, and the fancy mustard-yellow dress is still proudly hung. Mai will put it away later, but for now... "...I seriously have to wonder what kind of favor he called in for that, and if it's a loan or a keeper. Honestly...is it weird to say that I actually felt like the nickname fit, for once?"

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

Catching the blush, she also reflexively looks towards the closet way. She puts a hand up to rub one of her temples. "We're at Ohtori Academy, school for the fabulously rich and the pretentious alike, there's no telling. It might have been a trifle for him. It might not have been. That's not important though, the important thing is, it wasn't trivial for you."

The hand lowers and she takes another sip of the tea, leaning forward with clasped hands as she put it down, "Are you asking if it's weird to let yourself feel like a princess?" Her grin eases off a bit, as she shakes her head, "Why would it be? Every girl should be allowed to feel good about the way they look. And you were /stunning/, Mai-chan."

The sly grin then returns as she needles her, "But you really were protesting too much at the time. You should have used the oppurtunity instead to flaunt it a little, as you soared through the auditorium. I mean what Princess from the fairy tales gets to fly around and char their enemies?" The giggling starts, and it doesn't seem like it's going to stop any time soon.

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

Mai looks down reflexively, and takes a sip of her tea. After a moment, she looks back up - almost to assure herself that it's just the two of them here, and that she can confide in her friend. "...it really wasn't trivial, no. I...flaunting isn't something I tend to do. But maybe once in a while." She looks to one side, and manages to smile.

"It's weird, but...I feel like I've missed out on something, getting an outfit for monster-fighting. Not that that dress is exactly what I'd call appropriate for battle, but..." She shakes her head, still smiling - and flushes just a little brighter at the needling, and Eri's giggles. After a half minute without the giggles stopping, she finally speaks up again, grinning. "Well, not a normal one - but what kind of princess has a pet dragon, for that matter?"

Even Mai can't help but giggle a bit at this, even as she nurses the hot drink. "For all that praise, though, you're forgetting yourself - that really was a nice dress you had. Very elegant." She raises her cup in a brief salute, and smiles.

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

The giggling subsides as Mai starts confiding in her, it turns instead into an affectionate smile. It takes her a while to figure out a way to comment on the first statement. Praising Mai personally and telling her she deserves good things is the best way to get all of those positive feelings turned on their head, given all the guilt she had knotted up inside of her. She finally allows, gently, "Once in a while is alright."

She leans back finally, looking at the ceiling, "Tell me about it. Sometimes I feel like I missed out on not having a transformation phrase, or just for being terrible at dramatic poses and justice speeches I wish I was any good at that, it seems like a tradition worth celebrating." Turning her head to the side, she arches an eyebrow at Mai. She fakes a scoff right there, before giving her her answer. "The best Princesses obviously."

On the final comment she holds up a finger, waggling, yes /waggling/ it at Mai, "Oh no! Last night was your debut in high society. I'm not letting you deflect to me." She grins, but then her expression softens again, "It always feels good for me too, to look my best every now and then. To have it noticed. Here at Ohtori I often feel like I'm in everyone's shadow."

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

Once in a while, right? "Right. Though I note that this doesn't disprove the pattern of something or other happening when I go out for something recreational..." Mai manages to grin, all the same. Even if she does have some kind of curse on her free time...this was manageable. This was an enemy before her, but one everyone was able to face.

Mai takes a minute to lean back herself. "No transformation phrase, no dramatic poses, no instruction in justice speeches - ours is a boring lot. Though I suppose we can try practicing the speeches and poses, I'm sure Chiba-san would be happy to judge." She looks Eri in the eyes. "You know he tried speeching at a giant turtle monster, once?"

And then there's the 'best princess' and the finger-waggling, and Mai's face starts burning all over again. "It's not like I asked for a debut! I swear, if this is some idea you and he came up with ahead of time-" She huffs mock-indignantly, but manages a warm smile through the embarrassed red. "Well, next time it can be your turn to take your place in the sun."

The grin shows that the plant joke was fully intended.

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

"It doesn't." Eri admits, "However, it /does/ allow us to test a new theory. You didn't have a scratch on that dress. Perhaps evening gowns are your /armor/ Mai-Hime."

The giggling doesn't stop after she speaks the last statement and Mai goes on about Chiba. "What really!? And what did he even say to it!?" She puts her hand to her chest, "Turtles are magnificent, gentle creatures which bathe in the light of the moon. I cannot forgive any turtle that.. Oh I can't even finish!" She's broken down entirely by this point, slumping in her seat as it devolves into an extended fit of giggles. At least it seems like her headache has definitely subsided.

She's wheezing with laughter by the time Mai speaks of a conspiracy, "Oh no! Don't you dare try to pin this on me! It was all him! I had /nothing/ to do with it! Really! It was..." Grinning like a fool, ".../all/ Mamoru-kun."

The final comment causes her to stop short with surprise, straightening up. It takes her some time to recompose herself to some measure of dignity, or at least as dignified as someone can look while blushing beet red. "Maybe. I don't really.. tend to stand out."

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

Grinning, Mai finishes her tea. One cup should be enough for tonight, but hopefully the company can remain a little while longer. She stands up to take empty cups to the kitchen, giggling along with Eri's laughter. Eventually, that settles, and Mai takes a moment to ruffle Eri's hair. "Well, I'm not much of an expert there - I can't claim to be any experience at all, schemed debut or not. In all seriousness, though - if you want to be noticed, I'll do what I can to help."

She makes her way over to one of the beds, and considers as she sits down - glancing again to the closet. "I think I'll save the evening gown for special occasions, sadly - it'd be kind of awkward to don on short notice, armour or not. Too nice to wear often, and I need to find something to do as thanks." She picks up a pillow, holding it as she glances to the kitchen. "...well, Valentine's Day is in two days, and he does like chocolate..."

Mai's giggles resume all over again as she suddenly remembers how the speech went - it's easier thinking about that, knowing that he didn't blame her for how it turned out. "As for his speech, I think yours might actually be less embarrassing - he actually accused a giant monster of 'slovenly and oversized misconduct'. Not that we would expect any less of...the guy who started rapping at the poetry monster." She grins, then muffles her laughter in the pillow she holds.

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

The ruffling of her hair causes a squeal, followed by a look of affectionate indignance. She takes a moment to try to try to blow an errant strand of hair out of her eyes. She's quiet for a short time, but finally admits, "I do and I don't. I want to look my best, but I want to be noticed by.. people who will like me for who I am." And she had that, didn't she? Someone as glamorous as Michiru Kaioh wouldn't stop by the conservatory every now and then to speak to her if she didn't like her as she was, would she? And yet there's always this desire to look pretty, and beautiful.

She doesn't elaborate further on that, following Mai over to the beds. Mikoto's bed is all but unused, so she sits upon that one. She listens to Mai for a while, grinning as she mentions the evening gown, but it looks like her grin was growing too large for her face on her final comment. "So, you're going to give chocolate to Mamoru-kun, on Valentine's Day."

She lets that comment sink in, before continuing, "Maybe that's a special enough occasion to wear the gown again. Then you could have a magical evening out with Tuxedo-sama~" It's obvious she's not super serious, teasing just enough to make this not a /real/ suggestion. Or is it!?

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

That eternal pressure to look one's best - even if one tries not to be the star, that atmosphere can't be escaped. Mai leans back, and looks up at the ceiling as she considers those words. "Well, I guess the best ways to go about that are to make the effort when you find someone - or to dress to signal who you are. Kind of hard to figure out how to do the latter..."

The second bed creaks. Both of them were remade this morning; wherever Mikoto winds up come dawn, the two at least start in separate beds and blankets do get tossed. The comment is heard, and is slowly sinking in - and then the gown is mentioned, and the implications click.

Mai's face goes from cheerful to a panicked blaze of crimson in moments. "W-w-w-what?! No! I meant as friends, obligation chocolate, Takumi and Akira getting some too-" Coherent sentences are not on the menu right now - after a moment, the blushing girl decides the best reply she can give is a hurled pillow. Not thrown with lethal intent, but certainly getting winged at Eri.

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

There's no coherency for her either, just giggling, followed by another squeal as a pillow is thrown her way, even if it barely wings her. "It doesn't sound like obligation to meeeeeee~" Grasping Mikoto's pillow, she has it held up as a shield, she supposes she coulldddd retaliate, but the words are more than enough for now. This isn't an all out pillow war after all, she /knows/ that the pillow was much deserved.

"You didn't mention any of your them until after the fact or any of your coworkers after all~" Which was a common enough tradition with obligation chocolate that she could needle Mai with it.

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

It's not war. Not yet. But at this rate, Mai might have to declare negotiations breaking down... Sadly, Mai's bed only has the one pillow. She's short on projectiles, and the embarrassed expression on her face betrays that knowledge. "I have coworkers, but I don't talk with the guys much - and half of them already have girlfriends who have that sort of thing covered! I just - it's family and close friends!"

That excuse sounds hollow, but it is something - plus, there's the budget, right? She casts her gaze around, notices the closet's treasure again, and finally turns back to Eri with a folding of arms. "If he can give me something like that as a friend, I can certainly give him a few chocolates as a friend."


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

"Mai-chan." The pillow flops in her lap. "You know I'm teasing, and you're being defensive anyhow." She could press further, she could imply that Mai is really trying to convince herself, not Eri. She could try to tell her that if she has such feelings for him, then she should just express them honestly, but...

Given Mamoru's state of mind, having just.. well, been rejected by Sailor Moon, and Mai's own guilt which prevented her from believing she could be happy, should she? Was it really worth meddling in either of their lives like that? Friendship between a guy and a girl wasn't settling after all, wasn't inferior. It's a quick moment of debate, in which she discards it. Besides if the two were seeing each other, would they have as much time for..

She doesn't finish that thought. She just grins again instead, playing it like it was just an affirmation of the fact that she's not being serious, "Watching you sashay across the dance floor into his arms would be a sight to behold~" Mai might need more ammunition anyhow.

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

Defensive? Maybe. But whatever else Mai might think about possibilities, about all the teasing Eri might give Mai over what is admittedly certainly more than her and Mamoru being casual acquaintances...

I have to bow out of whatever contest is going to erupt over you.
...I can't and won't ignore it if she actually needs me.

...nothing's going to happen there. And frankly it's nice having a friend who can give harsh advice in a pinch - like just yesterday, for that matter. Her face dims, the panicked fire dwindling rapidly. The flush returns at the dancing suggestion, but this time Mai just grins. "Oh, I know full well about that - and it's fine, you get to poke fun at me for getting so casual around the guy. And it would be a sight - because I would trip over my own feet, trying to dance in that skirt. Bear in mind that I was cheating a bit~" She shakes a bangle-free wrist.

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

"What's wrong with cheating?" The grin fades, but only a little. She instead leans forward, with Mikoto's pillow in her lap.

"Not many people can dance in the clouds, if they wanted to. I used to use my magic to make special flowers for people." 'Used to'. There's some story there, but whatever it is, she's not talking about that right now. "I'm not a big fan of dancing though under normal circumstances. It's one of those things where it's like.. what's the point?"

She shrugs, "Anyhow, there's nothing wrong with being casual around a guy. The two of you are good friends, after all, and nothing anyone else says is going to change that."

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

Mai has no pillow to hold - it's lying on the other side of the room, thanks to a certain flustered throw. She instead lies back, landing on her blanket with force enough to make the bed creak. "It's kind of fun to just plain be active sometimes - you've seen how I get at karaoke - and I can see the charm of a slow dance with someone. I just miss out on a lot of chances to practice." Someone had to handle cleanup at the school dances, after all...

Mai's quiet for a moment as she considers that mental image. Dancing among the clouds...eventually, though, she shakes her head emphatically. "I think I'd need a lot more practice before I tried being elegant in mid-air. Jumping from place to place is one thing, but I wind up head over heels a lot..."

Finally, she sits up, and smiles. "Right. And you're just as good a friend - to both of us, if I'm any judge. So that's the list of guys getting chocolate this Valentine's - Mamoru for being a good friend, Takumi for being my brother, and Akira for helping take care of said brother."

Completely justified, right?

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

As Mai lays back, Eri looks her over as she speaks, with a sort of wistful smile, "It /could/ be pretty charming, I guess, if it helped express one's true feelings for each other. Feet don't tend to keep up with feelings though."

Suddenly she topples sideways, and backwards onto Mikoto's bed. The pillow is placed under her head, "You're at your best when it comes to dancing when you're head over heels, I think, Mai-chan~" She doesn't explain what she's teasing about there. The hidden meaning being that she's great at dancing /around/ the issue of being head over heels.

Putting her hands behind her head, "I think Mamoru-kun and Kinzo-kun are on my list. Then there's.. well.." Her cheeks flush a bit, "...is it obligation chocolate if you're hoping it isn't?"

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

Feet and words are both bad at keeping up with feelings, yes. Mai's own smile shares that wistfulness - but she doesn't have time to date right now. Eventually. Maybe her feet will keep up then. Or maybe she should just draw on waitress training for footwork, that works well in the kitchen...

The comment of dancing earns a smile - and then the double meaning sinks in, and Mai lets out a snort. "Right, one moment while I find my pillow!" She pushes off the bed, darting over to the other side of the room to reclaim her projectile. At this rate, she might need it after all!

The words that follow, however, slow Mai's race for down-filled revenge; while she has the pillow, she walks more sedately back to her bed, thinking that question over. "I think....that you can say whatever you want to say about what the chocolate means. So, if it gets answered like it's love-chocolate, then it's love-chocolate. If the other person doesn't feel that way, then it was obligation-chocolate all along. That's what I think on the matter."

Mai sits back on her bed. "I don't really know Hiroyuki-san well enough. If I knew Akamizu-san better, though, I'd be tempted to send him something..." She grins. "Apparently, somewhere, chocolate-covered bacon is a thing. Can you imagine his face?"

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

When Mai goes to retrieve her pillow, the one she has under her head is quickly shifted to become a shield above her face. That's perhaps not the best position for a pillow, on second thought, so she instead shifts it angularly to try and ward off anything coming. It doesn't come however, as Mai answers the question. Eri has to give that some time and thought, "So, it's whatever they want it to be? The onus isn't on the person giving them?" She sounds confused, it's obvious that she's, never done this before. "It sounds so dishonest though, like I should be confessing my intentions up front."

When Mai brings up Takeo however, Eri has to do some quick introspection on why he hadn't been included on her li.. Oh right. Playing it off non-chalantly, she giggles, "Well, I have been meaning to check in on Takeo-kun. Chocolate-covered bacon isn't something I'm going to give him, he still thinks being a vegetarian is some sort of illness... butttt if Mai-chan wants to hedge her bets on eligible, not-completely-terrible Ohtori singles, who am I to let such things stand in the way of love?"

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

"You're already confessing in a way, at least that they mean enough to you to get chocolate at all. And you can be more honest about it if you want to be - going for the straight-up confession." Mai tries to give a sympathetic smile. "But if you're not sure if you want to be that forward...then it's a bit dishonest, yeah, but I can keep quiet about any hedging of bets. It's up to you - and frankly it's stressful enough, figuring out who to give things at all!"

And then Eri makes a suggestion that bowls Mai over again - she falls back against the bed. "He's a classmate who I've spoken with all of twice - and one of those had him calling me delicious-smelling!" She sits up again, and hurls the pillow - but this time she's grinning, crossing her arms in an X. "No love chocolate there! Seriously, I barely know him - I just figured if we needed someone to eat something bacon-related but terrible-sounding...."

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

It makes her queasy in the stomach, to consider doing some love confession like straight out of Shoujo manga. It's not something she's entirely certain she has the courage to do, especially for someone she just met. And it does seem more than a little dishonest, "It is pretty stressful, yeah."

When the pillow is hurled however, Eri rolls over in bed, as if she were flipped over entirely by the force of the pillow projectile, onto her stomach, grinning like a fool, "Are you sure? I was going to be root for you Mai-chan~ Even if it doesn't get much more terrible than that." A thought springs into her head, "Maybe I should introduce him to Kyouko-chan. The two might get together based on their mutual love of food alone."

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

"Best of luck, and let me know if you want a hand making anything - I've got the supplies, after all." Mai smiles - and then starts laughing herself, even as Eri rolls over. She lies down, because she has no pillow and she needs to muffle her laughter in an entire mattress at this rate.

"Give me fair warning if those two get together. I'll find out the next time Linden Baum's doing a bacon special, let them know, and then take that week off to avoid the carnage." And after that it's just helpless giggling for a long time.