2014-09-17 - I Don't Hate You

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Title: I Don't Hate You

It's been a long week of hunting for missing brothers, duels against cats for domination of the neighbourhood, and generally doing anything but exams - but Mikoto has discovered that she does have an important thing to do. Mai's not home. Mai didn't make supper. Where is she?


Mai Tokiha, Mikoto Minagi


Mitakihara General Hospital

OOC - IC Date:

15 March 2014 - 09/17/2014

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

The hospital room is, as ever, a quiet solitude. Mai is rapidly growing tired of it - the isolation rankles, and there's nothing for her to do. She'd cook if she had ingredients, she'd wipe down tables if there were any for her...all she has is 'recovering' and studying, and the pile of books has been pored through completely if not exhaustively.

The hour is late, and the stars shine in the night sky. While the room door is closed, the window is open - winter's cold has faded enough that the breeze is a nice one, and fresh air appreciated. Still, for more than one reason, she shouldn't leave it open while she's asleep. Glancing to the window to make sure no nurses are inbound - because she's not supposed to leave the bed 'unless necessary' - she swings her legs to the floor, quietly padding up.

It's better than when she arrived - she's not staggering and clinging to furniture, now. It doesn't take long for her to approach the window, and just...look at the night sky. The constant stars, the brilliant moon, and a certain crimson glint of light...

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The Black Omen is looking nice tonight, isn't it?
Oh, sorry -- uh -- the HiME Star. The /HiME Star/ is looking nice tonight.

Surely, under this clear sky, Mai isn't the only HiME looking up at her birthright. It's strange, you know. Mikoto has been scarce as she usually is, but you'd think that someone as close as Mai's own /charge/ would have checked in by now... at least when she realised that the food wasn't coming in as much as it was. But, then -- Mai's been a little preoccupied. She might not have heard Mikoto's teachers complain of her skipping class.

Cats sometimes wander, after all. Or they get lost down stormdrains, and it takes a while for them to get back. Or they hear rumours about a man which tug at their memories and-- the important thing is that Mikoto came /back/, as cats do, only to find their living-space empty. No food in the fridge. None on the stove.

And Mikoto flopped on the floor, and cried, because that usually brings Mai back. Right?

But it didn't bring her back. Surely, eventually, as she tried to figure it out, one of the students would have informed her in some way...

Seeing Mikoto's face fall at that must have been priceless.

So here we are, lovely clear night, a hint of crimson glinting now and then in the sky, all the other stars twinkling cheerfully. And a strange form, darkened by shadows, leaping from windowsill to windowsill and peering in through the glass. It crouches where it finds its perch, seeming to have two heads, or perhaps a set of wings folded against its back...

And it's rapidly clambering closer to Mai's ward.

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

How neglectful must Mai have been of her caretaker duties, to fail to even notice Mikoto's absence? There was no food in the fridge, none on the stove. Only empty drink cans, hollow convenience-store food packages, debris and untidiness and no sign of Mai's presence. Cooking? Going home on time? These were concerns for someone who wasn't looking forward to singing all day every day! Alas, no one to care for the cat.

With the possession having run its course, she has time to regret and worry once more - and Mikoto's status is certainly something to worry about. Perhaps not every waking moment, as she's one of a long list of Mai's concerns, but certainly something to think about. Was Mikoto able to fend for herself when Mai cruelly abandoned her? Has she given up on Mai entirely?

At this instant, staring out into the night, she isn't thinking about Mikoto in particular. She's trying not to think of anything specific, just...wondering what comes next. How she can make amends for things. That mulling is interrupted, however - for a shadow looms. A winged shade, barely visible in the night - even as tired as she should be, she can't help but notice something ominous.

A step back, then a second - what's coming?!

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

It leaps to another window, pressing forward against the window... only to reject that room, and leap to another. This one, she leaps away from in an instant -- perhaps someone was there? A few moments later, it takes a precarious perch above that window, peering in cautiously...

Only to reject that one, too.

Up it goes, up and up -- and then, it finds an /open/ window, and that must have been precisely what the demon was searching for. It pauses at the window-ledge for just a moment, eclipsed by the night sky, and then it leaps towards Mai, claws outstretched, fully intending to tackle the poor girl to the ground--


"Mai!", the demon cries as it latches to her midsection, arms wrapped around her tightly, and the demon has Mikoto's voice. In fact, this close up, it's clear that there's no demon at all -- it /is/ Mikoto. Mikoto, a little dirtier then she perhaps ought to be, Miroku on her back as always, latched to her caretaker and crying into her shirt. "Mai! /Mai!/"

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

A shadow, flitting from ledge to ledge. There's a tiny part of Mai that wonders if she should do something about this - but her usual hesitation is backed up by a dozen admonitions that this is her time to rest. It's not her fight, right?

It's on her ledge. This is her problem after all - but still in a mental recovery state, she's slow to react. Before she can even think to bring out her Element, the phantom monster has tackled her full on - treacherous feet fail her, and Mai is fully bowled over to land back on her bed, embedded in a mound of blanket.

And then the words register.

"Mikoto?!" Startled - and in her pyjamas, given the hour - Mai isn't sure what to say or do. Mikoto's here?! And - latched on, and there's dampness in her shirt, and-

"Mikoto!" Arms come around to hold onto the smaller, messier girl, and Mai doesn't care how this looks. Not that there's anyone here to watch, but her companion's all right after everything. A dozen apologies go unsaid, as Mai just holds on.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Mai," Mikoto sobs, shoulders shaking a little. "Mai!"

There's a span of time, here, where that's all she says; she's scared, and worried, and relieved, and she's never had the best grasp of modern Japanese even when she's /not/ all those things. Miraculously, despite her shift from silent stalking demon to sobbing middle-schooler, five nurses don't immediately burst in and demand to know what's going on and why someone is here out of visiting hours. Auspicious, isn't it?

Eventually, Mikoto manages to lift her face just enough to look up at the girl she's pinned onto the bed. "Mai... Mai's okay? Mai's not too hurt, right? Because I wasn't here, Mai isn't going to... die, right?!"

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

Words are escaping Mai as well. After everything that happened, she expected some of her friends to hate her for what she'd done. Thought that they /should/ hate her. And yet, one of those she abandoned the most is here, desperately holding on, worried for her sake...

Mai just holds on tight for a time, because this is what she's been missing all week. There's a strange comfort to having Mikoto clinging like this...

Eventually, Mikoto lifts her head to speak, and Mai has to answer at least as honestly as she dares. "I'm all right, Mikoto. It's...not something you could have stopped anyway, so don't worry, okay?" Never mind how close things might have gotten to that... "What about you, Mikoto? Are you all right? I'm sorry - I'm so sorry I wasn't there to help take care of you..."

She can't clearly see what state Mikoto is in - tears are blurring her vision too much.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Mikoto shakes her head violently, her lips pressed together to try and stop any more of her feelings from leaking out through her face. "Mai was hurt! Mai was hurt, I wasn't there! Mai must hate me," Mikoto hiccups, as that foolproof plan to stop crying falls through entirely.

Why does this child have to be so painfully honest all of the time...?

As the tears come again, she buries her face against Mai's shirt, clutched to her as she sobs. She likes Mai, but she has to find Lord Brother, and why is there such conflict between those things? Should she like Mai less? Is liking Mai getting in the way? But-- but thinking about that makes her heart ache, and she just clutches tighter.

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

"I don't!" The words come out without Mai stopping to think about the truth of them - but here and now, in this moment, she stands by them. "I don't hate you, Mikoto - what happened was my fault. I was careless, and got controlled by something, and - I'm glad you weren't there, you might have gotten hurt."

If some of her screamed ranting toward the end had been heard by Mikoto... Whether or not those were her true feelings, she couldn't let her hear those words.

"I haven't been able to watch over you - between what happened, and recovering from it. Where have you been? Are you hurt, were you able to find something to eat...I think I've got some chocolate around here..." Even pinned to the bed, she can't help but worry.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The fact that Mai does not hate Mikoto is both taken on faith as truth just because Mai says it, and incredibly, incredibly relieving. Simple as her relief is, she doesn't quite put two and two together - that Mai was being controlled, and people got hurt, which means Mai was hurting people. Perhaps that's a good thing.

"Mai's okay now?" Mikoto asks instead, daring to peek up at the older girl again though the ugly sheen of her tear-stained face. "I'm okay, but Mai's okay, right...?"

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

She's pinned, but - there's a box of tissues just barely in reach. Mai grabs one, and dabs inexpertly at Mikoto's face - it's a bit of an awkward position. "I'm all right, Mikoto. I'll be able to leave here soon, and things can go back to normal."

Normal. That state of working and working for Takumi's sake, of cooking meals for a roommate less civilized than many cats, of dancing around awkward questions with friends, of monster attacks and sinister essay assignments... That normal.

Mai blinks away her tears as best she can - she spent that hard-earned tissue on Mikoto's face. "I'm glad you came to see me. Where have you been - were you able to get to your exams?"

Concern, tempered with that hint of exasperation - but really, Mai won't be surprised if she has Mikoto by her side come makeup exams.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Things can go back to normal! Mai will be here, and Mikoto will find Lord Brother, and nothing will get in their way, or else. And no one will get hurt when Mikoto comes back from searching, and Mai won't die, not ever.

That sounds good. That sounds good to her. So she nods, even though she can't quite muster up the courage to smile. At least her face is a little less wet--

Which means that it's so much easier to see Mikoto frown when Mai mentions that last thing. "Exam?"

Oh. Oh, dear.

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

In all honesty, Mai could have expected that. She lets out a sigh - exasperation visible on her face. Instead of getting stern, though, she gives Mikoto a small smile. "I'm to blame this time...ah well. I guess we'll just have to take the makeup exams togethe-"

She cuts herself off, ears perked. There's foodsteps coming down the hall - the night shift nurse, checking on patients, opening doors. And Mai is out of her bed and has an out-of-hours visitor latched on and-

Things swiftly get very, very frantic.