2017-10-04 - Empathy and World Views

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Empathy and World Views

Ami helps Kasagami and in exchange they have an interesting discussion


Kasagami Araki, Ami Mizuno


Game Center Crown

OOC - IC Date:

10/4/2017 - 2/22/2015<IC Date>

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Game Center Crown +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
  A blue sign with bright yellow and pink lettering announces the name of this
  arcade, which is nestled in the bottom story of a tall white building,
  emitting cheerful chiptunes and the chirps of digital battle onto the
  street. The spacious room, painted in friendly pastels, is host to rows of
  arcade games, all under the watchful eye of an attendant at a semicircular
  counter in the back. Most of the games are aging, albeit gracefully, but
  there are a few newer cabinets, including the very popular Sailor V game.

  Most are controlled with buttons and joysticks, but there are a few equipped
  with plastic guns, steering wheels with seating, or mini motorcycles, and of
  course the ubiquitous Dance Dance Revolution station. Near the window, there
  are a few crane games heaped with cheap stuffed toys, sometimes including
  reproductions of whatever magical girl is making the rounds in the media

  The Furuhata family runs this arcade, and their son, Motoki, works here
  often. They also own the cafe right upstairs, called Fruits Parlor Crown,
  where Motoki's younger sister Unazuki works as a waitress. Fruits Parlor
  does a brisk business off arcade customers, and the arcade itself has a
  perpetually sticky carpet due to the desserts and drinks brought from
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

School's out, and it's prime Crown time! Sister Schools students swarm the Game Center Crown for post-class milkshakes, studying, or in some cases, avoidance of much homework.

Kasagami, occasionally, tries to set a good example for other students. It's befitting her position on the Student Council. And so the reds and blacks of her coat and uniform are on prominent display, as is a small mount of textbooks, notebooks, pens and of course the requisite milkshake.

Kassie as it turns out, is a root beer float kind of girl. Three scoops of fancy french vanilla bean icecream in a very fancy glass. A silver spoon occasionally dabs in. Kasagami, despite her looks, doesn't slurp. That would be rude.

Today's topic? Seemingly the Sengoku Jidai. Kasagami has been utterly absorbed in her studies, other than offering a few bright smiles or vague flirts that send more than one girl away blushing.

Kasagami's good mood and aura of confidence, however, comes crashing down along with the rest of her, however. Just as she's stood up to get another drink, her good eye widens and she goes stock still. Then she drops to her knees with a choked cry, grabbing her right arm, a look of gobsmacked suffering shattered the atmosphere of the Crown.

A few students stare and gape. No one immediately moves to help, at least not yet.

<Pose Tracker> Ami Mizuno [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Even though school is out today and most students would be taking the opportunity to avoid their studies, spend time with friends and just enjoy a brief reprieve, when you're the top student in the school, there isn't time for that kind of relaxation. Not that Ami wanted to be top for the prestige or anything, although it did make her feel good inside, it's more about her future and being able to do what she wanted when she was older.

Today, she is dressed in a light blue dress with a white jacket and tights. It's still cool outside but this outfit made her feel good and it was comfortable so that was a winning combination.

Ami is studying near a window, the sunshine is beaming down onto the open books and warming her space so it's not weird at all that she also has chosen to forgo her usual tea and instead is eating a bowl of what appears to be ice-cream which has been slowly melting as she gets lost in her studies from time to time.

As she picks up another book from her pile, Ami begins to read, taking notes with colorful pens and highlighting things as she goes. However, just when she begins to turn a page, the commotion nearby catches her attention. She sees the girl pause and immediately her heart races and Ami runs to the gathering crowd.

Since no one else is taking the initiative to help, her instincts kick in and she is immediately bending down to help the student. With a sinking feeling, there is a moment of realization that she recognizes this girl but that seems to be pushed to the back of her mind for the moment. "Araki-san, are you okay? What is wrong?" There is nothing but compassion in her eyes.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Ahhh...ah..." Kasagami doesn't seem to notice Ami at first. Her entire right side feels pinched, burning and tense. Her right hand is clenched, hard enough that her knuckles whiten beneath the glove.

But Ami's voice breaks the spell, and some of the samurai girl's discipline comes to mind. A forced, low breath and a pained growl, and her good eye peers to the bluenette.

"My bag...ahh...right...right pocket." She mutters out lowly. A spasm shoots through her, and she bites her lip. Muffled curses run through her. Sweat drips down her brow, and should Ami be close enough? She might be able to notice just how feverish Kasagami seems.

The only thing in the pocket is a pill bottle. Luckily there's dosage right on there: two orally on onset. If Ami's studied her medicines, it seems to be for severe pain, and rather strong at that. By now, Motoki's run down, and is clearing the gaping crowd as Ami handles Kasagami.

<Pose Tracker> Ami Mizuno [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

As Ami tends to Kasagami, she is looking for the source of her issue and it isn't hard to see the clenched fist. Even though her mother is a doctor and she volunteers at the hospital, she isn't that skilled but from appearances there is a basic assumption that it is a muscle spasm of some kind.

She continues to try and get through to the girl, "Can you-" The question is interrupted by Kasagami's words. "Ah right." Looking up, Ami directs someone to get the bag, not wanting to leave her spot.

Once the bag is retrieved, Ami quickly finds the bottle. Reading the label, the medicine is familiar to her somewhat and she takes out the proper dosage, asking another person nearby to grab the water in case she needs it to take the pills.

Rather than allowing Kasagami to take the pills herself, Ami will expertly help if allowed to. While Motoki clears things out, Ami keeps a close eye on the other girl, making sure she recovers.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Thankfully Ami's directions goad one of the older students to do as told, and with a gulp of water with Ami's help and a swallow, the danger passes. Kasagami leans a bit on the smaller girl as the medicine takes effect. The telltale glassing of the eye leads to her hand unclenching. Her breathing slows, more controlled, and her eyes closes.

For a good five minutes she leans on the bluenette and her breathing becomes almost meditative. Her pained expression leads to exhaustion, then steel melting over her features as she tries to drag some dignity back. The corner of her lip is curled into a snarl, however.

Eyes peer at her. A few students whisper. One particularly cruel girl even points.

Kasagami's eye opens in a slit, and she favors that girl with an utterly withering gaze. Bitterness sits there, and the fires of something else. Seconds later, the girl dashes to the bathroom.

"Hah. Just my luck. Step out into public, and old faithful decides to stab me in the liver again. I must look pathetic." Mutters Kasagami, forcing a smile. Her confidence is shaken, her brow hot and throat dry from the medicine.

"Oh well. At least I have a gallant rescuer this evening. Help me up, would you?" She's already getting up, just a bit shakey from the medicine. It might be a slight struggle back to the seat. Kasagami is tall for her age, and there's some weight to her heavily athletic form. Luckily Kasagami is used to using smaller students as crutches when need be.

"This probably isn't the best introduction, but it looks like my reputation precedes me. Hmm. You look familiar. I know I've seen you somewhere. What's your name? Join me. I...think I need a few minutes." Finally, a grin. She stretches out her right arm, flexing, rotating her wrist. Just to make sure it's all still in mostly working order.

"Sorry about the fright. Nerve damage. Always creeps up when you least expect it."

<Pose Tracker> Ami Mizuno [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Although Ami looks calm and in control, inside her heart is still racing with adrenaline. It's hard to see anyone in that kind of state and when the girl begins to recover, it's only then that her heartrate slows a bit. "How are you feeling?"

For the moments that it takes her to recover, Ami doesn't seem to pay attention to anyone else. People always seems to be interested when bad things happen to others but the fact that they were not willing to step in and help her immediately makes her sad. Of course, she could be thinking about it a little harshly but her instincts were different.

There is a shrug at Kasagami's words, "Eh, don't worry about. I am glad the medicine helped." She is aware of side effects of powerful drugs so Kasagami may notice her paying extra special attention to her eyes as she helps her up. "Don't take it too fast." She warns.

Ami is pretty petite but they manage to get back to the table. Once Kasagami is seated, Ami glances at the books, a slight hint of interest in her eyes. "Reputation huh?" She runs a hand along her neck, glancing away briefly. "I guess so." A pause. "Ami Mizuno."

At the invitation, Ami hesitates for a momemnt before finally agreeing. She takes a seat across from her and leans back a little in the seat, waving her hand at the apology. "No, it's fine. I am glad it's okay now. Right? It must be an awful thing to have to deal with."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Awful. But I'll get over it." Smirk. Slowly, Kasagami's confidence is coming back to her. An easy smile slowly creeps back onto her face, and she crosses her legs. Her good eye is drooping just a touch though. Her words are spoken carefully, but this close Ami might catch the slight slurr to them.

"...You're a very kind soul, you know that? Every time this happens, people gawk and stare and point. Most people can be utterly worthless. But you? You didn't hesitate." Her eye narrows again, and she's sizing up Ami openly. Her gaze grows intense. She leans in, just a bit, to get a better look at the bluenette.

And then she leans back in her chair and laughs. "This medicine always makes me sound like a bitter old woman. Ami Miz...well well! If it isn't the genius of Juuban! No wonder you were so decisive. It takes dedication to act when others let the world go by. It's a pleasure to meet you. Kasagami Araki, Ohtori's Disciplinary Executive! This would go for any Sister Schools student, but now I owe you a favor. For the pride of Ohtori's Student Council, I won't forget your kindness or your courage! If there's anything I can do to help you, just let me know. To excell, reach for perfection and surpass the mundane! That is why Ohtori is here to show our Sisters the true path to greatness! To let those with true talent shine brightly as a beacon of progress in Japan!" With slightly shakey hands, she writes down a number and slides it to Ami. High class connection, get!

"And I think I see a very interesting spark in your eyes, Ami Mizuno. Can I call you Ami-chan? And please. It's only 'Araki-san' when someone's in my office for being a delinquent. Call me Kasagami." Her smile is a little lopsided. She winks.

A bitter chuckle, and she snaps her fingers. A look to Motoki. There's more milkshakes incoming. And one, apparently, for Ami!

Teeth nip at her glove, and she pulls it off. Scarred fingers flex. "Here's the thing about injuries like this. No matter how bad off you have it, there's always someone suffering worse than you. You seem like you have some sort of medical knowledge, judging by how you acted. Take a stroll down the ICU of the children's hospital some time. Genetics, accidents...those poor kids lost the universe's roll of the dice in luck. Many of them didn't have people willing to sacrifice for my sake to get off so lightly."

Her slightly rambling speech ends in a smile, as she raises her milkshake in a toast.

"It's given me the clarity to realize that suffering in this rotten, cold, unfair world is everywhere. And only by perfecting our natural talents and seizing the reigns of it can we end that suffering that plagues the low and the high alike." Her voice is for Ami alone, but it's passionate. Almost obsessed.

Clink. "To a better world, Ami-chan."

<Pose Tracker> Ami Mizuno [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Really, I just think it's common decency to help someone when they are in need." Ami explains. "I mean, I imagine that if I was in need that is what I would want someone to do for me." It didn't seem like that big of a deal to help when she could. Her mother did the same thing after all, ever single day. Just another reason that Ami hopes to one day follow in her footsteps and why she works so hard.

Then Kasagami recognizes her and Ami's face begins to redden a bit. It feels awkward to be praised so openly like that but she doesn't interrupt the speech, only shaking her head at the favor remark. "Um, I don't really expect anything in return but I appreciate the offer." The younger student smiles a little and then the paper is pushed towards her.

Looking at the information, Ami nods. "Oh, thanks." In return, she provides her own information, albeit more hesitantly than Kasagami did but it did seem like it wouldn't really hurt to offer it.

"Ami-chan is fine...Kasagami." She nods and looks up to see Motoki bringing milkshakes. This makes her look back to her own table where her ice-cream now sits in a pool of creamy, melted deliciousness. It's definitely better when frozen. "Thank you." She offers to Motoki, her gaze lingering a little longer at him than it probably should before he disappears back to work.

Ami watches as the glove is removed and notices the scars but quickly averts her attention elsewhere. "Well, actually..." Ami's expression drops. "... I have seen it first-hand Kasagami but I know what you mean." It's actually a surprisingly insightful thing to say, she thinks.

Raising her glass towards Kasagami's, Ami smiles again. "That is right. It's good to have the kind of view of the world that makes you realize that you are not the only one in it and that you are meant to be doing positive things." She pauses in thought. nodding to the declaration with the toast.

"So what do you do Kasagami?" A beat. "I mean what do you think are your talents?" If Ami knows more than she is saying about the girl, it isn't apparent right now. "For me, well... beyond the grades I guess it's having compassion. I think that is even more important than grades." Not that they weren't important though!

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Ami earns herself a laugh from Kasagami. She looks at Ami, almost disbelieving. Almost. Then she laughs twice. Surely it's the medicine. It is, in fact, partly the medicine, but Ami has tickled Kasagami by this point.

"If decency were common, you and I wouldn't be sitting here, Ami-chan. Swords and guns wouldn't exist, and politicians would be homeless for the most part." Smirk.

She sips her drink, and finger waggles. She then flips open her book, but her attention is on Ami, if not her eye. Almost casually, she scribbles down notes.

"No, no. I insist. I'd be tarnishing the Student Council's reputation if the offer wasn't clear. If it's within my power, I'll do it. Money for a school project? Ohtori's facilities for your own use? Lawyers, politicians, businessmen...I have some connections." A glance. Right to Ami, then Motoki.

Suddenly, Kasagami leans in and whispers with the look of a devil about her.

"Oh-hoh! Now there's an interesting look in your eye again. Aren't you just full of them, Ami-chan!" No, that lingering look didn't escape her. The high schooler manages to loom even sitting down.

"Maybe I can book a nice little restaurant. Exclusive. A car, a nice dress...would you like that? I'd drive you and anyone else myself if you just were to ask." She lets the implications hang, her voice again low but yet growling.

And then her gaze softens. Her eye closes, and she opens it. Respect rings for a moment. "You're too nice for your own good. Look all you want, it's fine. There's a difference between pity and empathy. I can tell which side you fall on. Most people run away from tragedy. You though...mmm. Maybe this is fate, us meeting each other. Ami-chan, I'd like to be friends, if you'd offer me such an honor." She actually bows. Half way. But still.

Then she's up, and with a big nomf of milkshake, she's all confidence. The glove is put back on. Another long breath, and there's a little more clarity to her eye.

A wave of a hand. "Now you're just being vulgar, praising me so much! Keep going, I like it! Seriously, though, don't put it that way. I might be more talented than most, but I'm still human. My experiences shaped me. Reality and truth cracking you on the skull has a way of...tempering people. I'm not 'meant' to do anything. I choose to follow the path to my dreams of a world that isn't an insult to the people I love and respect." Her hand clenches again, but this time, voluntarily. Her visage burns with ambition for a moment.

Hmm! What a question! Kasagami makes a show of rubbing her chin and openly pondering. "Strength." She answers.

A pause. "That probably doesn't make sense. I value talent, skill, dedication, ambition, and the will to change the world around you with effort. I won't ever match the intelligence of someone like you, but I was blessed with physical ability and a talent for the blade. My mother helped me hone that in her boundless strength, and my peerless father helped me learn the ways of politics and people. Strength, of any kind, is the talent I desire to obtain, let's put it that way."

Then, a shrug. "Hey. Ami-chan. Why don't you transfer to Ohtori? Mickey could use some competition I think! If it's a money problem, I can make sure that's solved. You'd be a natural addition. Honestly, I'm a little confused why you go to a school that's so...ordinary. It seems like it's beneath you, really." Kasagami's gaze is rather openly confused. Something isn't jiving with her world view.

<Pose Tracker> Ami Mizuno [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"I guess you're right about that." Ami shakes her head. "But still... maybe it's a blind hope to wish for that kind of decency from others." Even if Kasagami took her statement a little too literally, she can appreciate the comments and there was definitely a truth to her response.

The pressing of the offer for help is still completely unecessary in her mind. "Well, if I think of anything I will let you know." However unlikely, it wasn't a bad thing to know people that could help in times of need.

The look happens and before Ami knows what's coming, Kasagami is leaning into her closely and the startled and embarassed girl seems to attempt to shrink back into the seat, trying to make herself smaller as she avoids the older girls gaze.

Her voice comes out in almost a squeak when she finally talks, the heat rising in her face. "N-no... that's okay. It's...uh...." She twists her hangs together nervously. "...not what you think." She laughs uneasily before concentrating very hard on the milkshake. Sipping and still avoiding eye contact with Kasagami.

It takes awhile for her to speak again, only listening to her view of things for awhile. Ami still is uncomfortable but she nods. "I think it's important to have empathy that's true." At the remark of being friends, Ami's gaze hardens just a little but her words don't match the look. Still, it couldn't hurt at least. "I...would like that."

The further insight to the person sitting in front of her is enough to make her very interested in Kasagami. "I think that is a great view to have. Standing up for your friends and loved ones, wanting things to be more peaceful and happier... it's all very admirable and I can definitely respect that."

Her question is met with an answer that Ami wasn't expecting. She closes her eyes briefly, listening to the words. " Strength means a lot of things but I can understand what you are saying. In the same way, I could never be that great with a blade or anything similar. I guess we just all use our talents differently." Ami smiles.

Kasagami's offer for her to transfer though, that causes her to shake her head. "I am sure it is a great school and I can appreciate the enthusiasm you have for it but I am happy where I am." She pauses, wondering if there was another reason for the offer but instead Ami explains more. "Some things are more important than going to a prestigious school. Every opportunity could be placed in front of you but without friends there, what kind of life is that? My friends mean more to me than anything, even my grades." It's a bold statement from the girl known for her high marks and intelligence. "Usagi-chan...everyone. I couldn't leave them."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami shrugs, almost helplessly. "Maybe not blind. Mmm. You might simply be a hopeless idealist like me, Ami-chan. Good luck. It pleases me greatly to see someone else with equal amounts experience and at least half of a goal for those around her."

Her eye narrows. "As your kohai, let me give you a piece of advice. Cling to your ideals and your talents. They're the only things that will save you when circumstances push you into a corner. People can be wild animals, Ami-chan. Don't be afraid to tap into that kind of strength."

Kassie is very cat-like for a moment as Ami looks away and shrinks. That blush! It is utterly adorable, and Kasagami's heart both melts and delights in the innocent embarrassment of Ami. Reeeach.

A single finger then dares to boop Ami on the nose.

"You're almost unbearably cute when you blush, Ami. Has anyone ever told you that?" Smile. Smiiiile! By now, Kasagami is openly teasing.

And then she's threatening the bluenette with a ruffle on the top of the head that's more or less affectionate.

"Keep it in mind, anyway. You're young. Beautiful, intelligent, and caring. Don't skip romance. Finding someone that warms your heart, that you can wrap your arms around and offer your brightest dreams and darkest nightmares to...when the weight of the world makes you tremble, to open your heart and explore the depths of each other..." Kasagami trails off, eyes closed. A sigh, and a smile. Then it's her turn to blush.

"Ahem. Anyway. What I'm saying is, have some confidence! You could nail anyone you wanted, Ami! If you just strived hard for it!" Her grin might as well be a curse, and her hand clenches.

Reeeach, poke on the forehead! "Friends it is. Hmmmm." The hardened look, the pause. Kasagami's eye doesn't miss them. It narrows. Then opens. The silence that lingers is telling.

"Completely agreed. Only when peerless talents come together can a world like this truly become a paradise, free from the needless suffering it's soaked in. It simply needs someone at the top." Kasagami stands and finishes off her milkshake. She's packing up her books, as her phone goes off on an alarm. A sigh. And a smile to Ami.

"Some might say, this world needs a King to bring it to heel."

A wave from behind. "Let's do lunch soon, Ami-chan! If you want, I'll teach you the blade, if you'll help me with calculus! Fair trade, right? Bring your lovely friends that chain you to Juuban. Shame, really."

Usagi. Just before she's out the door, Kasagami pauses. Her entire body grows tense, and she turns back to Ami. "Be careful around that girl. I can respect your love for your friends. Admirable, even. But that girl is an unfortunate magnet for trouble." And then she's gone. The screech of tires and roar of an engine is Kassie's exunt.

<Pose Tracker> Ami Mizuno [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Idealist perhaps but..." Ami pauses. It's a little strange to think of Kasagami as her senpai but the advice is sound and she seems to take it in stride. "I get it but at the same time, you cannot just look over your shoulder expecting something bad to happen. I guess we just move along as best as we can."

Then the embarassment is overwhelming and Kasagami's further teasing doesn't help her in the least. While she doesn't completely get up an leave, Ami seems to shrink further and further into her seat, as if she could find a way to avoid it.

Everyone keeps telling her not to avoid romance but Ami doesn't seem to feel that she was exactly avoiding it. There would be plenty of time once she was successful right? The internal thoughts continue and then Kasagami blushes and Ami laughs a little to herself. Of course, the redness in her face doesn't leave for awhile.

Back to the more serious, or least less embarassing conversation, Ami nods and then watches as the girl in front of her starts to pack her things up. With the beep of the phone, she looks back to her table which, although it has been empty, still has her books strewn about and she feels a little guilty she was so distracted and took up the space.

The offer of a trade gets a handwave from Ami, "That sounds like a good trade...and hey, be careful with that arm okay? You probably shouldn't strain it too much."

"They are good friends." Her eyes sparkle a little with the thought. Before she met Usagi, no one would have ever spoken to her the warm and welcoming way they do now. She wouldn't trade anything for that.

As she gets up and straightens her skirt out, the warning is met with a brief, inquisitive stare. However, no further words are needed for the moment as Kasagami heads out of the cafe and she returns to gather her things having gotten very little studying done but at the same time, it was an interesting exchange to say the least.