2014-08-04 - Makeup Exam Study Session

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Title: Makeup Exam Study Session

Having missed the last of his midterms due to a youma battle, Mamoru has sent out the call for people to study for makeup exams. Things might not be all that productive, though...


Mamoru Chiba, Makoto Kino, Eri Shimanouchi, Ren Aizawa, Mai Tokiha


Mamoru's Apartment!

OOC - IC Date:

22 February 2014 - 8/4/2014

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

The general call to arms went out pretty much right after school: a round of texts to those members of the study cabal whose numbers Mamoru has, saying 'makeup exams emergency study session at my place, 5pm at the earliest, latecomers welcome, food even better'.

It's about six-thirty now. The current host of the study group was clearly exhausted but faking the ability to be upright with the first of the arrivals, and has more or less been delegating all duties that require motion beyond typing, trackpads, eating, and drinking.

He's folded into the corner of the couch with his head back, tablet in his lap and laptop on the seat beside him, glasses on and wearing clothes that are the Chiba equivalent of phoning it in: jeans, a t-shirt, and a cardigan that all cost too much. His socks match his cardigan.

He's been more or less silently engrossed for the past half hour, letting conversation flow around him, and at this point? His head dips and he startles awake. "Right, that's it, I'm bleeding sociology. What are you guys stuck on?"

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

Mai is, most definitely, a latecomer. Final midterm was this morning, she picked up an afternoon shift, and just left Linden Baum ten minutes ago. She has her winter uniform, a bright red scarf, and a small duffel containing her uniform and some of her books.

She also entered carrying a tray of takeout hot chocolate in her other hand. Getting the door open was a little tricky. Now, though, she's just finished setting down the drinks and getting her bearings - one of the takeout cups carefully slid near Mamoru. "Literature, and probably history, for me. Couldn't study as hard as I might have liked, there. I might put a pot of coffee on first, though."

Even with the looming academic doom, she can't help but glance out the window for a moment - and back to Mamoru after that. He's more exhausted than her, from the looks of things...

"There's also Mikoto's high school entrance exam on Monday - I'd have brought her here, but I wasn't sure I should subject you to the stray cat right now." Mai smirks at Mamoru, though her eyes dart to Eri for a moment. "So my plan for tomorrow is to make sure she's as ready as she can get."

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

Idle thoughts while elbow deep in her English homework. Why did so many of her friends have apartments of their own?

...Oh right.

She'd almost fallen into the familiarity of laying down upon the couch to study, until she realized it was also occupied, by a friend, who was also a boy. That thought kept her upright even as her eyelids started to grow heavy. She's in her school uniform still, because her parents had cut off from any sort of income that wasn't for 'necessities'. It gave her few casual options other than.. teal.

Looking up at Mamoru's question, she gives him a look, "English. Such a strange language. Why does it have all of these weird words and homonyms? Like there's no /egg/ in.." She looks down at her paper, before speaking the word >eggplant<. "...and then there's this sentence."

She reads it aloud, it sounds stilted, but she's able to work through it, >The medic wound the bandage around the wound.< Both times, she makes 'wound' sound exactly the same, "It's not the same word though!" She continues her complaining, "English is just such a horrible language!"

Mai gets a sidelong glance, "Well, at least you'll be able to mostly skirt over history and Japanese I bet. How do you plan on getting her ready for math and science though?" Suddenly the idea just hits her, as she leans closer to her, "Mai-chan, are you planning to motivate her with your cooking?"

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Ren had gotten the text before she'd even set a foot outside of her last class of the day. A quick inspection showed it was from Mamoru -- and it was an emergency! Apprently there are makeup exams that require some preparing for. Uh oh. Typing out an affirmative reply she snapped the phone shut and hurried off for home, intending to do a few chores and change into something more casual before heading over to the study groups designated meeting spot.

She was done in record time, the house practically glistening from her cleaning efforts. Satisfied with her work, Ren proceeded to slip off her school uniform and don a nice sweater and skirt complete with thick black leggings and snow boots to protect her from the cold. Over this she threw on a warm overcoat she'd gotten for Christmas, pausing to flip her hair back and free of the collar. From there all that was left to do was grab her messenger bag and head out the door.

And now here she is, perched on the sofa in Mamoru's living room, chewing on the edge of a pencil as she looks down at the math problems she's just solved. Normally she would have been scratching her head at the complex computations... but since the magic she wields on an almost daily basis is based on strings upon strings of equations, Ren sort of has an advantage there. One some may deem unfair.

Shh. Don't tell anyone.

The raven-haired teenager looks up upon hearing her studymates voice their individual subject-based woes. "Mnngh..." She starts to speak, words muffled by the aforementioned pencil. Blushing, she moves it away from her lips and tries again. "English /is/ pretty hard. I think I did alright though." Besides Math, she can pretty much say she did just "alright" really.

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Of course Makoto brought food. There are rice balls, some plain and other with various fillings, an assortment of cookies from a recent furious spree of late-night ragebaking, and a plate of apple slices that have been cut into bunnies, and if she'd spent all that prep time on her studies maybe she wouldn't be facing make-up exams now.

Not that she's managed to demonstrate much focus this evening. She's *tried* - she really has - but the more she sits and stares at the books and notes in front of her, the more Mako feels like she'd rather be doing anything else. Her mind keeps wandering, and the paths they take don't lead anywhere good.

"I don't understand any of this," she admits, looking up woefully from her notes. "I just can't make it stay in my head." Mai's arrival provides a welcome distraction; brightening a little, Makoto lifts a hand to offer a little wave, and when an opportunity presents itself she moves to claim a cup of hot chocolate and another cookie while she's at it.

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

Mamoru lets his tablet slide off his lap between his leg and the back cushion and reaches to get the hot chocolate slid his way. His long fingers wrap around the cup, seeking the heat, and when he sits back up he's curled a little more inward than before. "Bring her by tomorrow, then," he says to Mai, glancing over his steaming-up glasses at her. "Coffee sounds wonderful. Lit and history I can do. I also have last year's midterms on file."

Sip. He's silent for a moment of bliss, absently listening to the answers. "English it is. Right now it'll be vocabulary and-- I forget what level of grammar you're in... but specifics. We can have philosophical discussions on the nature of linguistics later, you need to focus on exactly the parts in which you did poorly." Then he tilts his chin at Ren and smiles slightly. "Since you did all right and you're two years ahead, you're in a good place to help Eri-chan."

Leaning his head sideways against the back cushion, then, the upperclassman's gaze lands solidly on Mako's onigiri and stays there for a moment while the senshi speaks; when she finishes her fret and grabs a distraction, he looks at her and lifts his eyebrows. "Okay, don't worry about actually learning it right now. Take the tests you failed and look up the pages the questions came from, then write the answers down in hiragana. Longhand. There's paper in the printer over there. We'll hit the next step when you're done with that."

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

Academic motivation through cooking? Mai gives Eri a grin. "Well, it worked for algebra, at least - I once told her I'd use ingredients based on her answers to the questions. I'm not sure that would work for science studying, though, so I think bribery will have to do."

The orange-haired girl snags a cookie of her own, nibbles it - and then stops to stare at it in wonder. "...if my baking were on this level, that plan might work better. These are great, Kino-san!" She takes another nibble of her cookie, and checks her notebooks.

"So practical arts went well, Math I think I at least passed, and English..." Mai looks up, and gives Ren a nod. "For my part - I probably didn't ace it, but I've picked up more vocabulary from work than I'd expected. Though the grammar's still absurd."

Coffee does sound more appealing than beating her head against her own failed tests - she'll have to do the Japanese one regardless, but she's heard rumours about Sugiura-sensei's makeup exams. She gets up, giving Mamoru a nod. "If you're sure you're up to dealing with her - anyway, I'll get drinks. Anyone want tea instead of coffee, as long as I'm up?" She gives the host a pat on the shoulder on her way to the kitchen.

She'd love to be making snacks instead of just drinks, but Makoto seems to have had that particular task on lockdown before she arrived. Next time! (If she isn't working.)

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

Most of the plain versions of onigiri have already been eaten, as she thoroughly appreciates Makoto's talents, just as she did Mai. She'd just started on a cookie herself, keeping it wrapped in a napkin so she doesn't get crumbs on Mamoru's couch. Having a study group with two people that could cook was kind of the best, really. However at Makoto's insistence she couldn't retain it, she calls out. "Don't give up, Makoto-san! We're rooting for you!" Not really the most helpful advice, but she was trying to be encouraging at least. She lets Mamoru, the smartest person in the room, give his advice instead of trying to offer some lame suggestion of her own.

She took the his other offered advice by sidling closer to Ren, and angling her notes to let her see. "Well, I'll take 'alright' for mid-terms, Ren-chan, after how I did on finals last semester."

Suddenly, she thinks on the subject of Mikoto a little more in depth, and the coming exams. "Maybe.. you and Makoto-san could team up there Mai-chan. You both could trade off cooking and studying with Mikoto. I mean she still has to study a lot of her second year material for the entrance exams, doesn't she? You could probably even get the sometimes invincible cute bunny in on it. She'd probably make for a great study partner!" Eri Shimanouchi, oblivious to the nature of cute bunnies.

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Ren smiles and nods at Mamoru. "Sure!" Then she turns that smile on Eri. "I can try my best Eri-chan! I should be able to help you make sense of some of this..." She sets her notebook down and scoots closer to the younger girl -- who has simultaneously done the same. Great minds think alike. Mai's own feelings on English earn a sound of agreeance from Ren as she voices them. Yes, English grammar is very odd! She doesn't like it very much. The literature side of it isn't so bad, though. Certainly entertaining enough at times.

Not one to pass up on delicious food, Ren plucks up one of Makoto's cookies and pops it into her mouth. Then, her eyes widen.

"Oh /wow/... these are great!" She whirls to look at the tall middle schooler. "Kino-san you could surely have your own bakery!" Though she doesn't know the other girl's aspirations since they've only just met, it doesn't stop Ren from voicing suggestions.

She then looks over at Eri's shared notes, concentrating hard on picking out any errors that need to be fixed.

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

"A cookie as long as you're up," Mamoru calls after Mai, hopefully. "And think about making a list of the parts you have to make up, too."

He works on drinking his hot chocolate for a little while, listening and not really watching.

That is, until Eri mentions an invincible cute bunny and audibly suspects Usagi of being a great study partner. And then suddenly, Mamoru's coughing laughing, holding his hand over his mouth and trying desperately not to get hot chocolate on anything as he carefully unfolds himself to put the cup down and then fish around for a napkin.

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

All the praise brings a pleased, if slightly embarrassed, smile to Makoto's face. "Ahh, thank you!" she says with a tiny hitch of laughter, bringing her hand up to rub at the back of her neck. "I'd like to, one day - open a bakery, or something like that. But that's a long way away, for now."

Her reaction isn't quite as noticeable as Mamoru's but Mako does have to quickly smother a giggle at Eri's suggestion of Usagi as a good study partner. "...well... Usagi-chan and I are usually in kind of the same boat when it comes to studying," she says, as diplomatically as she's able. The words end on a sigh, though, reminding her of why she's here, and with a distinct lack of enthusiasm Makoto dutifully gets up to collect some extra paper and begin following Mamoru's instructions.

Within five minutes she's doodling in the margin - a tiny rose shedding petals down along the edge of the page.

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

There's a hiss of water meeting a hot coil, and then a burble, and then a wonderfully caffeinated smell wafting from the kitchen. The coffee machine is hard at work! Mai is busying herself with things that aren't studying - snagging those jobs from Makoto for the moment. Set up a tray with mugs, sugar, cream, spoons...a practised skill if ever she had one.

"That sounds like a worthwhile plan - what say you, Kino-san? Trade off savoury and sweet snacks or something? Though from the one time I met Tsu-" Mai cuts herself off as Mamoru starts laughing, and she finds herself staring. There's a joke she's not getting here, isn't there? She waits for the laughter to die down before clearing her throat. "Anyway, I will warn you that Mikoto's kind of voracious. And easily distracted. Making her focus on studing is going to be kind of..."

Mai just trails off, and watches the coffee brew. It takes a couple of minutes, but it's a nice high-end coffee maker and brews rather quickly. It's not long before Mai is setting out mugs and serving coffees to everyone at the table, offering cream and sugar for those who want it.

Linden Baum habits are hard to break, and she might slip into a curtsey at one point.

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

Eri has to look up from her homework, as Ren does, Mamoru's coughing laughter has her give him a befuddled look, until Makoto clarifies, diplomatically. Looking between the two, her lips are shaped in an 'Oh'. Shrugging her shoulders sheepishly, she adds, "I just figured that since she's friends with Ami-san, that she'd be doing okay."

As Mai returns, Eri picks up a mug of coffee, and puts in several sugar cubes, but no cream. She then falls back to looking over her homework with Ren. "See right here? These words just sound like nonsense." She sighs, then whines aloud, "I wish I was as good at English as you are at mathhhhh!"

Seeing Makoto studying dutifully, she stands up, and walks over to her, looking over her shoulder, "Hey let me see what you're working on Makoto-san. Juuban probably has almost the same curriculum as Ohtori so..." She looks at the doodles, and just stares, before grinning, "I didn't know we were studying /art/ right now. Personally I prefer drawing my roses in full bloom!" She teases lightly.

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

When coffee is brought over, Ren is eager to snag a mug for herself. "Thanks a lot, Mai-san." And then she takes a sip, letting the liquid warm her to the bone. After a few more sips she sets it down, intent on focusing on helping Eri. But with so many yummy treats nearby it's going to be a bit tough. And then there's laughter, and like Mai she seems to have missed the joke. Ah well. Maybe Eri can explain it to her later.

"Ah. I think I see what your problem is." She shows her younger friend the mistake before correcting it. "There. Does that make more sense to you?"

Eri gets up to go over to Makoto, either way, and Ren takes the opportunity to scoop some cubes of sugar into her coffee before partaking in yet another round of polite sipping.

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

The napkins actually require getting up and dealing with the small spill and then washing his hands, which -- given the beating he took that kept him out of school for the last day of midterms -- takes a while, and pretty much takes the rest of Mamoru's energy up for the rest of the day.

He gamely goes to sit back in his corner of the couch anyway, catches sight of Mako doodling, and basically gives up on even pretending to have anything left. Off come the glasses, up come the knees, and the rumpled and grey-with-exhaustion upperclassman leans his head against the back of the couch again, closing his eyes.

Right in the middle of talking. Obviously the message is: 'yes, carry on with your discussion, class'.

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Makoto flashes Mai a quick, grateful smile when the coffee comes out. "Thanks," she says, and looks like she's about to say more, maybe about the idea of joining forces in snack-making--

--but then Eri mentions Ami, and Mako's whole expression just freezes, suddenly awkward and uncomfortable and entirely uncertain of how to respond. She hasn't more than begun to recover when Eri comes over to have a look at what she's working on, and so the gentle teasing that would normally have drawn sheepish laughter out of Makoto has her instead ducking her head in shame. "Sorry," she murmurs, wincing a little when she sees Mamoru check out. "I didn't mean to, I just - got distracted." Hastily, she scribbles through the doodle, as though blotting it out will somehow do away with all the things working against her efforts at study.

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

There's a name mentioned that Mai doesn't know, but it's presumably another friend to everyone involved. She gives Ren a smile in return for the thanks, slips Eri one of the sugar bowls, gives Makoto a grin and generally bustles around for a minute to make sure everyone has everything they might need.

She gets to Mamoru last, and pauses a moment to take in the sight of her upperclassman being utterly exhausted. It's a long, drawn-out few seconds before she just lets out a sigh, and goes to the linen closet for a blanket.

She's missed most of Makoto's derailed train of thought by the time she returns, draping something warm over Mamoru's gangly limbs before finally taking a seat. Her own coffee is pitch-black, and from the bottom half of the pot. "I'll probably need to go in a few minutes, anyway - whether or not we try for some joint plan tomorrow, I should make sure Mikoto studies tonight. And eats, for that matter. Kino-san, Aizawa-san, do you have my number?"

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Mamoru's tiredness doesn't go unseen. Ren almost wants to go find a blanket to drape over him. It would be a really nice thing to do! But... where would she find one? Rummaging around his apartment may come off a bit weird...

Mai's question earns a headshake from her, and in a flash she has her phone out and flipped open, ready to key in a new contact. "No! But I can add you now if you'd like?"

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

Eri is rather terrible at reading people, so she doesn't realize the massive faux pas she must made, and even if she did, she certainly wouldn't understand the context. However Makoto's shamed reaction to being caught doodling has her lay a hand gently over hers, trying to stop her from scratching out the impromptu flower art. "Hey. It's okay! We're not in a classroom, and I think all roses deserve to be appreciated. Don't you?"

She offers a gentle eyed smile her way, before coming to sit back beside Ren, as she looks over the corrections. A hand reaches for the nape of her neck, "Ara! How'd I guess that does make sense! Thanks Ren-chan!"

With her free hand, she takes a sip of her coffee, before glancing over to Mai and Mamoru, she murmurs, "Must be exhausted." She wiggles her fingers towards her, "Alright Mai-chan! Take care! I'll stop by later before curfew to check on you both!" Not that she actually had to abide by curfew because she totes had magic powers that let her sneak in rather easily.

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Mako's tiny drawing is saved by Eri's intervention, and Makoto herself seems to respond to the encouraging words, looking up once more with a small smile. "...Yeah," she says after a momentary hesitation. "You're right, Eri-chan." She puts down her pencil for now. Maybe she just needs a moment to collect her thoughts.

--and grab for her phone, when Mai asks if Mako has her number. "I don't have it either, Tokiha-san. Would you like mine, too, just in case?" In case of WHAT, who only knows, but if nothing else it'll make snack trades more convenient, right?

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

Mai flips her own phone open, to add a few new contacts. The study group will grow in time...especially on those rare evenings she isn't delayed by work. Ren Aizawa and Makoto Kino - study buddy, and fellow cook. Right.

She gives Eri a nod. "I'll figure out what to make based on how hard Mikoto's been studying, but you might be able to snag something when you stop by. Though frankly the snacks here are great - thanks for bringing them, Kino-san!" Mai snags one of the bunny-shaped apple pieces - when was the last time she made one of these?

In short order, though, she has phone numbers - in case of whatever - and is putting her things together to head out. Books, barely opened, packed up again; duffel bag held; coffee drained. She checks on her male friend one last time on her way out, gives the others a grin, and heads out. "Good luck with the rest of the studying tonight!"