2017-10-20 - Crimson Rose Ball

From Battle Fantasia MUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
Title: Crimson Rose Ball

Still flush off of her victory, Kasagami Araki, Student Council Disciplinary Executive has thrown a lavish ball dedicated to the ambition and dreams of the many students of the Sister Schools. Invitations go out far and wide into Tokyo, and the eccentric Student Council Member seems only too happy to host a night to remember, even if you'd want to forget it.


Kasagami Araki, Anthy Himemiya, Usagi Tsukino, Ami Mizuno, Steven Universe, Sucy Manbavaran, Niramo Umokeshi, Yumi Ohzora, Mikoto Minagi, Mai Tokiha, Sayaka Miki, and Madoka Kaname


The Ohtori Academy Ballroom

OOC - IC Date:

Fri Oct 20, 2017 / Thurs Feb 26, 2015

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

The Crimson Rose Ball was announced rather suddenly, even for the glorious (and expensive) social events that Ohtori holds seemingly on a whim. Invites far and wide are spread with the usual belligerant flare of the host: Kasagami Araki.

The theme of tonight? A single word. 'Ambition'. Those going are encouraged to dress their absolute best. Indeed, rumors spread of a contest in the works, though few can say what exactly it's about.

With one of the largest ballrooms rented out, valets take parking and inside? Coats are similarly taken by white-clad servants that are nothing but polite and proper, but firm in rejecting anyone ill dressed. A lucky few that are close enough? Are dragged off to a side room to either be redressed, or get a quick makeover by the best and the brightest of clothiers and makeup artists.

There's a massive dance floor in the center, with multiple tables filled with fingerfoods, punch, wine, and all the other accompanyments of such a ball. Wherever food can't be seen, there's crimson roses of a familiar shade to certain partygoers. They crawl the walls with ivy over black iron gates reaching to the ceiling, festoon tables, and small petals occasionally flutter to the floor.

The two centerpieces of the Ball seem to be what looks like a combination full orchestra right before a stage. The curtains are closed, and the conductor is letting the musicians play a gentle tune as the guests filter in.

But once the crowd hits a critical mass? The curtains fling open, the room darkens, and spotlights beam down to highlight a tall, behatted figure on stage! Sparklers and a dusting of rose petals mark Kasagami Araki's arrival as she spins around a cane-microphone in her hand dramatically. Her coat flutters on her back, and she seems to be in a fashionable red suit that's marked with the golds and silvers of her Student Council Uniform. Her boots are shined to black perfection, and as she twirls about and dips into a bow and wave, some of the Ohtori students cheer aloud.

Her fanclub, new as it is, is here in full force. She tips a tophat to the group below.

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, foreign dignitaries and genius entrepreneurs, welllllllcome to the Crimson Rose Ball! I'm your host, Kasagami Araki, Student Council Disciplinary Executive! Tonight we are here to celebrate one thing, and one thing only!"

Her cane is tossed into the air, caught behind her back, and then swung sharply towards the crowd. The tip has a following spotlight, scanning the crowd, seemingly to light up each and every person in the room even as it all happens in seconds.

"Ambition! The will, power, and desire to seize what lies deep within your heart no matter what obstacles lay in your path! Each and every one of you that is here tonight has something you want. Some goal to aspire to. Family to love and care for. A skill you want to show you're the greatest in the world at! A artistic creation or piece of innovative genius that lays only within YOU!"

Snap. Down goes the cane, as she leans on it, peering down. She leans in to the audience, voice dropping as if to speak to each person individually even as she addresses the crowd.

"And we have all sacrificed, all given our blood, sweat, and tears for what we want in this life, what we want to help mold this world into. I ask you all, eat, drink, enjoy the company of those peerless individuals around you tonight. Dance, find friends, and perhaps...even love!" A grin, and a saucy little wink for the crowd.

"But as you do so, remind yourself what you have to do and commit yourself to your own goals. And look for new opportunities within this room to find that path towards your dream, be it alone or with others."

And, she leaps off stage, clearing one of the tuba players by mere millimeters. When she lands with a stamp-stamp of boots, the cane is tossed to the conductor.

"Now let's get started! Tonight's contest begins later tonight, for faaaabulous prizes!" It seems she didn't need that microphone after all. Kasagami soon has a glass of champagne, and is quickly moving to start greeting guests.

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Anthy Himemiya is there when the doors open, though she does not make any sort of greeter of herself, instead hovering near to the orchestra and the stage they play before with a cup of punch held in both hands. "Wear something in black or purple," came the instruction from her Engaged, and so the Rose Bride has. Her ballgown is all in a rich deep aubergine, the off-shoulder bodice wrought of heavy beading in delicate patterns which gives way to a full and floating skirt of chiffon.

The lights go down and Anthy cannot decide whether this is better, with the sea of faces hidden from sight. She knows they are still there. The grand profile of a tuba makes as good a thing as any to hide behind, in the dark.

Kasagami Araki makes her entrance in a sparkle and a rush of petals, and hardly seems to need the spotlight to claim the room's attention. She's always been possessed of a keen flair for the dramatic, but there's something about her, some new gleam... the flush of success, perhaps? Anthy Himemiya watches and listens with a face as still as the unsipped surface of her punch.

That leap lands Kasagami a few feet in front of her Bride, though she may not know it until Anthy Himemiya appears from seemingly nowhere to hover at her left elbow.

"What a nice speech, Araki-sama," she says with a simple smile, and attaches herself to Kasagami's side as she makes her way through the crowd. She stays very close, in fact, so that Kasagami might very well trip over the Rose Bride if she turns too quickly.

(Dress: https://i.imgur.com/1L4YLwz.jpg in a saturated eggplant purple)

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Meanwhile, cospicuously absent...

Shizuru Fujino, Vice President of the Student Council, is not one of the arrivals early on. The young woman who makes a point of supporting many promising projects and students isn't here. It could be nothing, of course...

But is it?

However, here and now:

Step, step, step, a very tall girl gets out of a car and steps onto the walkway on her way into the Ball. She has a small smile on her face as she looks at all the lovely dresses and suits and people, but it's only small. She doesn't do this sort of thing /that/ often.

Inside... The Ohzora heiress comes wearing a long, sleeveless dress of deep green, smooth and simple lines under a black wrap against the chill of the season--after all, Yumi gets cold pretty easily. The rich color gives her thin frame a little more presence; without sleeves, her arms and wrists shift past delicate right into outright bony, softened only by a dangly bracelet at her left wrist in silver. Her long, gray hair is worn mostly loose, styled to stay out of her face and out of her glasses, which perch on her nose. The black does little to alleviate her pallor; there's something just a little off about the girl, a little too thin in places, though her expert makeup does well to hide the signs in her face.

Her purse is only a little bigger than is strictly necessary for a dress like this, hung on her shoulder like a small shield. And...

Well, and as she steps in, the attendants don't stop her; her eyeshadow helps her tip the scales closer to mysterious than ill, in a lighter green that works with her deep pink eyes. But... She's sort of obviously relucant to hand over her coat, which had done a good job of hiding her up to this point.

Regardless, that's her entrance, stepping on low heels into the ballroom with her shoulders slunk together, a little nervous as she glances from here to there. She looks around for those she might know and murmurs...

"Maybe this wasn't a good idea..."

But as she finds a pillar to stand beside to avoid tripping on anyone, the spotlights come, and she throws up a hand to shield heself from the light in her eyes.

"...Ambition?" Yumi sighs audible, a really good sort of long sigh. It's definitely very... Kasagami.

Yumi reaches out to accept a glass from a passing server without bothering to look at what it is. "Wow it's cold..." She stops short though, as suddenly she sees a girl on Kasagami's arm she doesn't know.

Yumi tilts her head, and takes a sip before--"Pffbt." She smacks her lips in distaste. "...Is this alcohol...?" She looks for somewhere to put it and... sticks it on the pillar where it won't fall, slipping into the crowd to get away.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Half the trip over she'd been gleeful, "Ami-chan and me are going to the ball!" Even giggling some, but her mood would immediately switch to a low of being subdued, before a high of repeating it. As if her brain was switching between two thoughts constantly.

After her white coat was handed off, Usagi Tsukino was indeed dressed at her best.

Picture: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/dd/db/70/dddb703033d87ad8e1d4bcb5869bc12e.png

It may not be up to the standards of high society in evening wear, however the pink strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline fitted with a flared skirt and a bow at the small of her back seemed to fit her especially well. In white heels she was always extra clumsy, but tonight she'd nearly always be close enough to Ami to put a steadying hand upon her arm.

Amongst all this high society, as herself, Usagi Tsukino rather than as a foreign dignitary or Princess she looks somewhat nervous, feet shuffling every now and then in a way that scrapes the heels, fingers poking each other-

Until she notices the catering table.

So when the curtains raise, Usagi Tsukino has a small amount of caviar on a piece of bread which she's stuffing in her mouth. "Mmmm. This doesn't taste like blueberry." The salty, fishy taste as the eggs pop on her tongue and melt isn't what she expected. She puts a finger to her chin, "I wonder what it is..." "It's caviar." A caterer tells her. "Ooohoohoo- fancy!" "You don't have any fish allergies right?" "Eh? Fish?" "Well they're..." She whispers in Usagi's ear.

Usagi's smile hitches and suddenly she picks up her punch glass and gargles it quickly.

During the speech, she doesn't say anything. She just watches Kasagami with her cane microphone speaking on ambition, remembering the night when she rescued a girl having a hard life. Thinking on the idea of ambition brought to mind her friends. Ami, Rei, Mako, and Minako. All of their dreams.

Eventually she returns over to Ami, eating a simple dinner roll, a glass in hand. "Ami-chan I think I Know how rich people keep their figure. They spend way too much money eating small weird things."

She didn't really think fish eggs were gross. Just weird to spend all that money for them. After all she grew up on fish paste and cakes in this country.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.


"No? Why not?"

Steven was already dressed up perfectly. A subdued pink suit with high quality italian leather shoes, spring green bowtie, and the perfect rose plucked from his gardening and pinned to his suit pocket. Green stone cufflinks to accentuate the tie and outfit. His hair kept in its usually poofy manner, though maintained enough to support a small top hat.

The boy sits in his loft, stunned. Why the sudden barring? Soon as he showed Garnet the invitation, she completely changed her mind. Pearl was backing her too. It didn't mention anything bad! The boy looked over the invite multiple times for possible warranting to keep him home.

The boy begins to take off his outfit, when something tuges at his coat. It was Lion.

"What's up buddy?" he asks rhetorically. The cat looks at the door, then back to Steven. "Y... You know what? I think I 'will' go anyway, you are right!"

A little youthful rebellion never hurt anyone, right? Actually don't answer that. "Lion, I need a ride."

Man, Lion only wanted outside, he didn't want to get wrapped up in this household crime! Don't pin it on the cat!


Lion has gone about his business around the school, as Steven looks to the entrance. Did he overdo his outfit? Should he have gotten a cane? How angry will the Gems be?

Ah, forget that last one for now.

Entry is easy enough, and the inside is excellently appointed, garnering the feeling of royalty was present, especially with the mass use of that velvety red color. "Fancy! Wonder what the occasion is?" He actually isn't sure why he was invited. It wasn't a direct school function. Actually, it might be due to who he knows this time. Never look a gift shindig in the mouth though! It is always a good time to mingle.

The stout boy moves up in the crowd to get close to the stage. It is a surprise to see who comes out though. It was Kasagami! She really did organize the event. She seems super spiffy!

Say that ten times fast.

Her speech is quite passionate-- making it sound like this event is to celebrate some sort of wonderful goal, most likely a schoolwide achievement at a guess, though exactly what it is isn't mentioned. Makes for great inspiration however! He will be sure to remember that. The boy gives a hearty clap at the speech, and especially the jump. That was cool!

Now it was time to grab a refreshment, then begin to mingle! Perhaps he can find out jsut what this event is about? Was someoen famous in town? Did the school get highest honors in something? Highest average grades? Hmmm.

(Suit: http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/steven-universe/images/a/a8/Tuxedo_Crystal_Gems_-_gross-beanie.tumblr.com.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160728205637)

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

The sudden announcement of the Crimson Ball seemed to easily catch the attention of students. It was a rare event for them to be able to get dressed up in their very best and just have fun. It also seemed a fitting time as well with the school year winding down. Ami had reservations at first about attending but the enthusiasm surrounding the event and the fact that Usagi was coming along too was enough to make her quickly change her mind.

After going to the mall, Ami had finally decided on a dress. It was an elegant, but simple, off the shoulder blue ball gown. The length of the flowing skirt almost touched the floor. It made her feel beautiful to wear it. Her short hair is down but accented with a blue headband and a matching flower on the side. Her shoes are plain white high heels. In her hands, she carries a white cardigan and matching handbag. (OOC: The dress - https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/tlynn2002/28806753/116676/116676_900.jpg)

As they enter, Ami smiles at Usagi, "I love your dress Usagi-chan!!" She then glances around, taking in all the sights. It seems like Ohtori really went all out for this event and really, she wouldn't expect less. After handing her jacket to someone at the door, she looks at the decorations, eyeing closely some of the roses. "Wow, these are really something..." It's then that she notices that the whole hall is clad in the same roses, even the air smells like them.

Her eyes go over to the food and all the wonderful selections. "We should grab something and then sit. I think it's supposed to start soon right?" Ami smiles, filling a plate with various finger food, mostly tiny cakes and sweets and grabs a glass of punch, expertly balancing it, even in heels. Without checking to see if Usagi is ready, she makes her way to a table and sits just as the lights go out.

Before she can even take a bite, Kasagami comes out in an unsprisingly flashy way and Ami slightly smiles at her. Even though she knows she can't be seen in the dark. This is better than the last time they met after all. The speech is one that Ami finds herself entranced with. The words are elegant and she seems really into it, her eyes sparkling wide until Kasagami mentions love. Her eyes hood and her face reddens a little and she is then very grateful for the darkness in the room.

Afte the speech, when Usagi finally comes to the table Ami laughs. "Not all rich people have a good figure Usagi-chan." It's a simple fact after all. "I hope you found something you liked, these cakes are delicious!" Ami says this, just before taking another bite and then looking around the room. "I wonder what the contest is going to be..." It almost makes her a little nervous not knowing what it would entail.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Niramo could only shake her head in amazement as she held the invitation for the Crimson Rose Ball in her hands, the only piece of mail delivered to her home one night. The elegant and multi-layered envelope actually had gold lettering with her name on it, and the actual invitation inside was even more fancy, with miniture crimson rosebuds on the boarding, with golden vines. She couldn't help but feel that Kasagami was indeed going all out with this ball, and could only hope she finds out why Kasagami was holding this ball. There...had to be a reason, not just for the sake of a ball, right?

Thankfully for Niramo, she had her wonderful friend Yuhira Ena would help when it comes to fashion like this. Yuhira was amazing when it comes to coordinating an outfit, and Niramo was sure she needed her help for a ball such as this. Yuhira, understandably, was very jealous of her friend for actually getting an invite to a Ohtori ball, but once she got over her jealousy quickly came to her friend in need. As the theme of of the ball was 'Ambition', Yuhira felt the need to go all out on Niramo.

As she exited her mother's car while being dropped off, the young Juuban student couldn't help but feel that maybe Yuhira may have gone a little overboard. She was wearing an very elegant sleeveless ballgown dress in 4 different shades of blue. The top of the dress had delicate light blue lace covering the aqua blue silk, modestly showing her slight figure down to her waist. Once the dress neared her hips, it flared out dramatically in all directions in an one and a half foot radius around her, countless ruffles flowing down the dress, and a large light blue bow on the front. Thankfully, it was supported with several petticoats underneath. Thankfully Niramo had managed to talk Yuhira out of the trail on the dress, as she would need to dance tonight. For accessories, she was wearing a pair of light blue silk gloves, a silver elegant necklace, and a hairpiece on the right side of her head made out of several silver-wrought feathers. Her silken black hair was twisted into an beautiful braid with 3 seperate blue riboons woven through her hair.

As she made her way inside, Niramo found it hard not to stare at the splendar around her, or the important people that were also attending. Thankfully for her, no one could exactly crowd around her due to her dress, but her short height made it hard to see Kasagami as she made her speech. She was able to hear it completely, but it only left questions as to why the Student Council member was hosting this event. "There has to be a reason for why Araki-san is going all out with this...hopefully I can catch her soon." As for Ambition...Niramo was still searching for her reason for ambition in her life. She was a wonderful cook, and then there was her new life thanks to Takk, but...the young girl still wasn't sure what she desired most out of her life. As the crowd broke, Niramo made her way towards the refreshments, since Yuhira had been insistant that she was not to eat anything while she was fitting the dress on her for the closest fit possible.

Niramo certainly knew better than to try one of the alcholic drinks being served, and would carefully get herself a cup of punch and several small cakes on a small plate. As she was being served, she looked around herself in an attempt to find anyone her age that she might talk to. Her eyes passed briefly over two older girls, one a bluenette and the other with beautiful blonde hair, but seeing how they were already in conversation made her look elsewhere. For only a moment, she felt like she had seen the two girls elsewhere, but Niramo shook her head slightly. That is when her eyes spotted the pink tuxedo. That alone made her blink in surprise in a moment at the young man, before smiling to herself. With that decided, Niramo started to make her way towards Steven, being careful not to intrude upon other people as they made their way to and from the refreshments.

"Maybe you should try the finger sandwiches, or the eclairs? They both look excellent, but they only gave me eclairs when I asked for refreshments. Perhaps we could share?"

(OOC: Picture of the dress: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/3e/7d/ff/3e7dffa72b54df96f19b6823229e78b1--beautiful-anime-art-pretty-anime-girl.jpg )

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

Anthy, seemingly appearing at her side, has Kasagami briefly frowning. It's momentary, and she forces herself to smile politely. She leans in towards the girl.

"...Be sure to not give anyone the wrong idea, Anthy." She knows rumors are inevitable, but certain Outer Senshi weight heavily on her mind. Brushing it aside, she takes the girl's arm and escorts her towards the crowd.

A glance. "At least you clean up decently." It's almost a compliment, the antipathy plain. The Engaged is perhaps brutally honest with her Bride.

Then, the first part of her hosting is a small tour through a number of dignitaries, students, and faces. Cards are exchanged, jokes told, and a few choice compliments get giggles. But, her first real stop is the sight of Yumi retreating from a drink. "Is that you Yumi...chan?" Hmm. Frowning briefly, she doesn't give chase. Instead, her first target is the pair of Ami and Usagi. Her smile grows, as she notes what the two are wearing. Even Usagi gets a look that's actually welcoming.

"Now there's someone I didn't expect to actually come! Usagi Tsukino. I'll admit, you look beautiful tonight. The ribbon's a nice touch, well done." Pause. Her eye is then locked right on Ami.

"Oh my, my, my! Is /this/ your date tonight, Usagi-san? I don't know how you did it, but managing to get Ami Mizuno, the Genius of Juuban, at your arm? Maybe I have underestimated you. It's good to see you again Ami-chan. Thought any on joining Ohtori? You know it's an open offer."

Then a shrug, and she motions Anthy forward.

"But where are my manners!? Meet Anty Himemiya. A very important girl on campus. Unfortunately, she's stuck with me as escort tonight. Anthy, say hello!" Her words almost sound like an order. "I trust I'll be seeing you two dance tonight?"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.


Mikoto has been napping behind the rose-bushes, only to wake with a start, a well-dressed student leaning over her - and a flyer on her face. She picks it up, squinting against the afternoon sun as she reads.

"Kasagami's party...?"

"You should come," the boy smirks. "It would be funny to see you at a ball."

Mikoto cants her head, trying to puzzle out why he sounds so amused when she's /been/ to balls before, but he doesn't dawdle. Flyers in his arms, he strolls off, snickering.

She shakes her head, and leaves fall from her hair. "I'll tell Mai," she decides, to his retreating form. "We'll party!"


Dressed in her school uniform, Miroku's case slung over her shoulder as it always is, Mikoto approaches the ballroom. A woman in white gasps, grasping her by her arm and pulling her aside so that a well-dressed pair of girls can pass by.

"My /goodness,/ you can't go in there in your uniform!"

Mikoto frowns, glancing over to Mai for guidance. "Dress got ruined. Sea--" Natsuki's scowling face flashes through her mind. "- accident."

"Oh, you poor thing," the woman tut-tuts, putting an arm around Mikoto's shoulders and ushering her into a side room. "Come here, we'll make this right."


"No!" Mikoto snaps, when an attendant reaches for Miroku's bag.

"We'll just put it in the luggage-"


"But you can't carry this in-"


"Oh, would you just leave it?" A woman snaps, irritated, looking up from Mikoto's face with a makeup brush in hand. "You're making it /impossible/ for me to work."

"It's mine," Mikoto grumbles, keeping her head turned just enough to keep her things in her peripheral vision. "I'm allowed."

The makeup artist hisses out a sigh through grit teeth. "I'm sure you are, honey, but if you don't stay still I'm liable to nail you to this chair."

Mikoto grunts, but she stills herself for the woman's brush.


Mikoto steps out, cautiously, wobbling on black heels which seem so much more precarious than a tree-branch. Black is the name of the game, as well as her elegant slim gown; it goes well with most everyone, and Mikoto seems especially well-suited to it. Blue eyeshadow contrasts with golden eyes, and a hint of blush and lipstick hide the little lines worn by a face which has seen its share of adventures. Her hair has been unbraided and brushed, tricks with a hairdryer giving the long strands framing her face volume, while the short majority of her hair has been tamed.

She's also carrying a bag which is probably full of golf clubs, slung over her back. Its strap mirrors her other side, where a single strap meets her shoulder in the shape of a black rose.

"Maiii," Mikoto whines, looking back and forth to try and find her friend. When she spies the blaze of scarlet, she waves, tottering over with uncertain steps. "Mai!"

Step, step -- stumble! -- but she's close enough that she manages to catch herself around Mai's waist. "Tall shoes," she grumbles, straightening up.

She keeps a hand on Mai's arm, just in case her shoes betray her again. It's a relief when the lights dim and Kasagami appears.

(Mikoto waves, with her free hand, even though there are tonnes of people here and Mikoto looks remarkably different all made up. The spotlight passes over her, so surely she saw!)

"Goals..?" Mikoto muses, to herself, tilting her head. There are so many ways she could take Kasagami's speech - let alone the way she leaps off the stage - because she has an ultimate goal, even if her talents aren't suited to the ballroom. But when she hears her friend muttering, she decides that she has to help her feel better. And so, with a bright expression, she turns and says: "Mai! Let's have fun!"

That counts as a goal, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mai Tokiha didn't have work tonight. That, as much as anything, was the driving force behind accepting this sudden invitation.


"A formal ball?" Puzzled, Mai takes the flyer from Mikoto, skimming the details with a practiced eye. "Certainly short notice for this kind of thing - either they forgot to send out the invitations until the last minute, or they're doing everything at the last minute...it doesn't really fill me with confidence."

Is it suspicious? Not that much - this is Ohtori, and even a transfer student will learn its foibles sooner or later. She reads over it once more, and finally lets out a sigh. "Oh, why not. It could be fun, and I'm sure one of these days I'll get to leave a formal ball without something being on fire."

There's a pause, as Mai reaches to switch off the stove - no sense in wasting ingredients on a meal before a catered gala, after all. Hand still on the dial, she looks up with a barely stern glance. "Just be careful what you eat this time, okay Mikoto?"


They arrived, the two of them, like a flame and its shadow. Mai had tried, earnestly, to salvage what she could in the wake of...certain events, but replacing a fancy dress was of far lower a priority than replacing her school uniform. Her wardrobe wasn't able to meet standards on its own, but...it helped to have friends.

Calling Natsuki Kuga a friend still felt a little weird.

"I wonder what she'd say if I introduced her that way..." Mai mused aloud as she and Mikoto waited in line - but soon enough, it was their turn for judgment. Befitting the theme, Mai's attire was a dress of scarlet, accompanied by a yellow knitted shawl. The belt at the waist helpfully held a small Akamira purse (too good a deal to pass up), and she was able to squeak past inspection with only moderate judgment.

Mikoto, it seemed, was not so lucky. "Oh, is that...Mikoto! I'll save you some food, so don't fight anyone!....that'll work, right?" Those last words muttered to unhearing ears, she steps sadly into the room proper, taking in the decor.

It's ostentatious. It's grand. It's high society, and while subdued that old discomfort rises up again. Maybe once, she would have dreamed of such grand affairs, but now....now, what. "...still not sure how long they've been planning this..."

Mai gives Usagi a quick wave upon spotting the girl, but doesn't approach her and her friend just yet. There's a lost cat that will surely be emerging soon, so it's Mai's duty to be easily found. If that means staying near the snacks, then so be it - and she starts by serving herself a glass of punch.

Like Yumi, she frowns at the flavour - it's sharp, and easily identified. She lifts it up to the light for a moment, and murmurs aloud. "Seriously? I thought the hostess was supposed to be the Disciplinary Chair..."

In the midst of Mai's disapproval, Mikoto arrives - stumbling in the last few metres to be caught against her side. "Oof! Mikoto, are you...oh dear. High heels? That's not fair to you..." Before she can give further words of comfort, the hostess of the evening steps forward to give a speech. Grand words of ambition, to drive on the best of the best...and in spite of herself, there's a strange comfort. Sacrifice for a cause...

"But is treading water really an ambitious enough goal?" Mai frowns, dwelling on her own thoughts, muttering a handful aloud - but she nearly sputters at Kasagami's less innocuous statements. Quiet muttering turns to slightly louder muttering once the speech is done. "And telling use to find love, and adding a contest...this is going to be a show all right."

But...Mikoto is smiling, and bright, and Mai can't help but be lifted in return. She swigs the glass of punch in a single gulp, and sets the tumbler down. "That sounds like a plan to me - let's see what all this is about. I wonder why that girl is there, though - isn't she a friend of, what's her name, basketball ace..."

Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe it does. But this is supposed to be a party, right?

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Oh stop." Usagi giggles at Ami's compliment of her dress, "Yours suits you way better! It's so cute and it really fits your sense of style." To Usagi, Ami was one of the most stylish of the senshi. She was subdued in how she showed it, but everything always fit Ami /so well/. But then as she asks if she found something she likes. Usagi points at her dinner roll, and polishes it off in another two bites with a grin as she watches Ami with the cake, "I'll have to try them." She says with her mouth full. Which is when Ami asks what the contest is going to be. Usagi's chewing slows down as she considers it. Before she offers, "Probably something weird." She then waves Mai's way, even getting up on her tip toes to do that. She's about to head her way...

Which is when Kasagami strolls right up to them. For a moment her expression is rather blank. "Thank you." She swallows the rest of her roll. "You're looking good too."

But then Kasagami asks if Ami is her date and Usagi instantly crosses her arms in an X, "Bzzzt. Ami-chan is one of my very best friends. We're not here on a date. Thanks for playing though."

Uncrossing her hands, she idly waves a hand, "I don't need to be dating her though to admire everything about Ami-chan, because she's the gentlest, kindest, smartest girl I've ever known."

Which is when Anthy is put forth to be introduced, "Oh she doesn't need an introduction! We've good friends already. Anthy-chan~ It's so good to see you again!" She steps right up to her, "Wait where's-" But Kasagami had said she's Anthy's escort. Usagi's brain works, and then suddenly, "Oh I get it! Utena must be sick. And so you're at the party with Araki-san tonight." She nods as if deciding that must be it before giving her a bright smile, "You're having a good time right?"

There's something in her eyes which indicates this is more than just small talk.

<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

A pale figure stares blankly at Kasagami's spectacular commencement speech, not sure whether to chuckle or groan. When Sucy Manbavaran found the invitation at her dorm-room door, it was a surprise in and of itself. Her arcane presence among the student body led more often to situations where her roommates Lotte and Akko received mail and she didn't. When she saw that it was invitation to a ball, and from whom, she lied to herself and said she didn't know what to expect, but now that it's here she realizes deep down, she knew exactly what to expect.

Ultimately arriving at a reaction decision deadlock, Sucy turns back around and heads over to the table and the culinary delights it promises, trying her best to blend into the crowd. In a less colorful place, this might have been possible, but her choice in dress, while ideal color camoflague on a busy street, a cloudy day or a graveyard, is perhaps less so here.

The dress she's wearing is certainly fancy, as specified in the invitation, but also quite... vintage... An 18th century colonial ball gown in gray, rich in shades and embrodery, with an accompanying jacket, laced sleeves and veil. The sole acquiescence to color is the addition of several pink roses on the elbows and in a parallel along the skirt. (Picture: https://imgur.com/V1DubJE)

For all its granduer, it certainly has seen better days. It looks heavily ravaged by the passage of time, maybe abandoned to the elements for years, perhaps someone was buried in it at some point? Whatever the reason, it's positively ancient, and even the relatively fresh roses on it appear to be succumbing it to its influence, they had to have been picked very recently, and yet, there's an odd gray-ish purple tint to them along with the pink, and they've wilted noticably.

Sucy sees Kasagami begin to mingle with the others and stays back as not to attract notice right away. Kasagami will see her eventually, she's sure. "Better to be seen at the party than not seen and hear all about it later" was a major part of the decision between "Fancy Party!" and "A Second Nap right after this one! Why not?!" But she /was/ here. Furiously filling up a plate and watching the exits, yes, but given what she'd heard of previous Ohtori dances and the last fancy party she herself had attended, it's just a precautionary measure.

She finishes by grabbing a cup of punch and takes a sip, her visible eyelid raises just a little and she looks down at it stoically...

Is this by design? Or did someone already spike the punch...

She can do better she thinks, however, she and Kasagami are on good terms, and it would be irritating to disrupt that. But then she hears Kasagami's voice again, the disciplinarian herself speaking about "Ambition"... and how that's what the night is /all about/... and the ghostly girl remains by the punch bowl, paused in thought.

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

~Refreshment Table, Near Steve~

Two tall Ohtori students, seniors from the looks of things in well-pressed suits, both have glasses and peer at each other. Then back to Kasagami as she makes her way through the crowd, and back again.

"That's really her! If tonight's about Ambition, then I'm going to ask her!"

The other boy frowns harder. "She's here with a date. And besides, like someone that fabulous on the Council would date you!"

"Who asked you?"

The argument heats up, the pair filled with passionate words, and then a shove. One of them trips! There's a plate of food coming right for poor Steve's wonderful suit!

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"What wrong idea is that?" Green eyes are wide as she takes Kasagami's arm. As it isn't actually a compliment that was offered, Anthy gives no thanks in return. But she sticks close, for all of that, as they cut through the crowd.

They find Usagi and Ami soon enough, and Anthy chirps out a quick "Hello!" immediately upon the heels of Kasagami's command.

"Usagi-san! We are glad you could come." Anthy leans into Kasagami's arm just a touch. "Oh... No, we /are/ here together," she seems to both agree with Usagi /and/ correct her, with that subtle emphasis. To Usagi's final question she just keeps that smile, unmoving through the small talk.

"Your dress is so pretty, Usagi-san! And your friend's too," she nods to Ami.

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

As people begin to talk amongst each other louder and with more enthusiasm after the speech, Ami's focus is mostly on Usagi and her food. It isn't until Kasagami is almost to their table that she looks up at the girl. Her eyes sparkle a little, as she looks from Anthy to Kasagami, "Araki-san...that was a wonderful speech."

"Date?" Ami casts a sideglance to Usagi and blushes again, grateful that Usagi explains that no, they weren't here as a couple. The further compliments just make her redden even more. "Usagi-chan..." Even if she is embarassed, deep down she feels so much love for Usagi. "...you're such a wonderful friend." She wraps an arm around Usagi's shoulders.

Kasagami's question about schools makes Ami frown and sigh a little. "I am pretty sure you already know of my decision in that matter. I have no desire to leave Juban." Ami felt like she had made that pretty clear to Kasagami at their last meeting but it apparently needed reinforcement.

To Anthy, Ami offers a polite nod. "It's a pleasure to meet you Himimeya-san." A pause. "Oh... you guys know each other"?" She looks from Anthy to Usagi. "Well, if you guys are friends, I am sure you must be a wonderful person." There is a warm smile given to the girl at the compliment, "Thank you!"

Finally, Ami hrms to herself, thinking that Usagi dancing might end up in a disaster. She doesn't outwardly comment and instead shrugs at Kasagami. "Perhaps we will..." There is little conviction in her words and Ami really had no intention of dancing.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven is always at home during big events. He is a social butterfly, eager to make friends and solve problems between others. It is almost a hobby at this point! A comment here and a compliment there end him up near the refreshments. A delicious batch of drinks and snacks are at the ready! He begins to reach for one...

...But a voice gets his attention. "Oh yeah?" he asks, turning around to see... someone he does not know yet. "Huh! Well, there is an easy way to solve that problem!" he says, requesting and fetching a few finger sandwiches and returning. "Now we can trade!" he says, offering some of his snackfoods to barter with. "So! What brings you here to such an event?" A pause. "Oh, where are my manners! I'm Steven! Steven Universe. Fifth year at Juuban."

It was important for him to make a good impression. "So! Pretty cool speech, huh?" he comments as he peers through the crowd. "Any idea what this event is for? I don't think the invite mentioned! Not that a free party is a bad thing, mind you," he comments towards Niramo, laughing some.

The boy puts down his snacks and adjusts his rose to make sure it looks its best. Steven spies Kasagami through the crowds. Who is that with her? She looks very familiar! Almost hanging off her. Hum. Seems like she is talking with... vaguely familiar young ladies. Has he seen them at his school? Possibly.

The boy turns back to Niramo. "Need more punch? I was going to get--" The boy stops as he reaches for the punch bowl. A victorian dress worn by a familiar person gets his attention. Was that really her? He is unsure with that outfit! Didn't seem like something she might wear.

He just ends up staring, and it probably looks rather awkward being frozen mid-reach toward the bowl. This puts him in a dire situation when some arguing results in projectile food! "A-Ah!" he lets out, reaching to block with his hands! But he may not be able to block all of it!

Will a savior step from the mists?! Will Steven be doomed to be a victim of a party foul?!

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

For someone uncomfortable on heels, Yumi is doing a fairly good job navigating the crowd, getting around people. In the process she spots Kasagami seeming to say something in her direction...

But Yumi's busy fleeing and she's committed. So it is that she finds herself glancing around a moment later, ahving the advantage of height to see about the room with the lovely clothes.

...Which gets her circling back, where she sort of towers behind one Usagi Tsukino in her pretty ress, ducking her shoulders as she slips towards the group with a little awkward glance. "Uh, hi..." They seem to be talking, but this is the crew she knows. Though she thinks she heard--

"...Who's your friend, Kasa-chan?" she asks, smiling briefly at Anthy. "Oh sorry, am I looming? I think I'm looming. Wow it's cold in here."

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Usagi had no doubt whatsoever in Ami's answer so she saw no need to even /consider/ trying to say anything to Kasagami on Ami leaving Juuban. Besides if Ami really wanted it, she'd be extremely sad about it, but it's Ami's life.

She'd only step in if Kasagami thought to pressure sweet gentle Ami. Usagi in turn wraps an arm around Ami protectively, "Ami-chan..." She says softly, in quiet awe.

But then Anthy says that she /is/ with Kasagami here. Together.

Usagi Tsukino's expression seems to blue screen a little. Question marks popping into existence above her head and then disappearing as she processes this.

"Ehehehe- so you are!" She holds up a finger, "I see. Well then."

She leans sideways to the partner whose arm she's nestled in, "Araki-san." Usagi eventually says quietly, before leaning forward to whisper with a cupped hand- not wanting to create a spectacle and embarrass anyone present, "Hey didn't Sailor Pluto just break up with you? Aren't you moving a little fast? Anthy Himemiya deserves better than to be your rebound girl..."

Yumi however towers over her, her shadow falling over her and- "Yumi-chan? You're here? Oh hey!" She points a hand at her, "Ami-chan this is Yumi Ohzora. She helped me study some for entrance exams. Yumi-chan this is Ami Mizuno. She put in more time than anyone helping me pass entrance exams! I couldn't have done it without her."

A beat, "Are you here alone? You could always hang out with us!"

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

Ami's eyes widen at Usagi's statement, looking from her and then back at the other two girls. "You what..." Her voice is soft and barely above a whisper. Wow. She can't even formulate a thought to that, especially since she had no idea what was going on. Seems like Usagi was more into gossip than she was.

Luckily for Ami, another distraction arrives in the form of Yumi. "Oooh another friend of Usagi-chan's huh?" She offers a polite greeting to her. "It's nice to meet you and I can appreciate anyone who offers to help Usagi-chan study. You must be a wonderful and patient person." She winks at Yumi, smiling with some unspoken thought behind her eyes.

Ami echos Usagi's comment. "Oh yeah, there is plenty of room at our table for you if you want to join us!" She gestures towards the seat nearby. "Have you tried any of the food yet Yumi-san? It's delicious. Although I don't think Usagi-chan understands the appeal of caviar and tiny finger foods." Ami laughs at the thought.

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

Kasagami gives a quick grin. "I'm glad you liked it, Ami-chan. Remember your dreams. They're important." Senpai Talk voice.

And then Usagi shuts down the whole idea, and Kasagami makes a show of giving a long, deep sigh. One hand over her eyes, and she even leans against Anthy with all the drama of someone fainting.

"Such a tragedy then! Careful, Usagi! Some handsome person might come and sweet your dear friend off their feet! ...I can see you really do care, though. Hmm. Good luck in the competition tonight. If you approach it with that much conviction, you might manage."

And then Ami's once more defending her choice. "Oh, no need to be so serious tonight Ami-chan! I was joking, joking!"

And then, she watches Anthy and Usagi's exchange. There's a flinch of an eyebrow, and something like anger flashes darkly over her face. Smile. "...Anthy, remember what I said earlier?" Her tone is choked.

But then, she's first beset by Yumi. She almost jumps. "Yumi-chan, you came, good! Meet Anthy Himemiya. She's someone very important at Ohtori." Smile. Smile. Then Usagi leans in.

Kasagami's eye goes wide, and her mouth opens like she's about to yell at the much smaller girl. There's an open look of fury on her face, before her eye squeezes shut. The look Usagi gets? Barely contained wrath melting into glacial fury. Anthy could see her trembling, this close.

"...Usagi. Whatever rumors might be swirling, you have my word on my parents' graves that it's nothing like what you're thinking. Not that you'll believe me. Think what you want." Is her whispered, suddenly solemn response.

Back to Yumi, and Anthy. "Yumi-chan, how about some punch? You're adorable when you loom, by the way. Anthy, shall we?" Another order. It couldn't be anything but. Odd. With or without a grey haired witch and a Bride, it's a b-line over to a certain Witchling the Second.

"Sucy-chan! What an...interesting dress. I'm not sure if that's decay, or if this is some new fashion line I haven't heard about. Did my little speech spark any dreams? Someone with your unique talents could, of course, make quite a spectacle." A wink, just for Sucy. Is that mischief in her eye?

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Niramo would smile in response to Steven's kindness as he was kind enough to go out of his way and get finger sandwiches just for the two to share. "I'm Niramo Umokeshi, and i'm an eighth year, or second year in middle school at Juuban! It's a pleasure meeting you, Universe-san!" Niramo would happily trade several of the eclairs with Steven, glad to see more than just sweets on her plate. There was just something about Steven that made it even easier for Niramo to smile. Maybe because he was so open unlike most others here.

"To be honest, i'm not quite sure about the speech myself, or why Araki-san is hosting the ball. I'm a friend, and I came mostly out of curiousity. I never been to a ball before!" Niramo wasn't at all bothered by the fact Steven kept on looking around. She herself was glancing around, trying to see if there was anyone she recognized, but with little luck.

Niramo was about to refuse Steven's offer for more punch, as she had yet to touch hers, when she noticed Steven's stare and looked at the person he was looking at. It took her by surprise just how different that grayscale dress was compared to everyone else in the room, yet that oddness was also somehow charming, by meeting what was requested and defying it at the same time. "Is she a friend of yours, Univers-" That is when she spotted the two grown seniors arguing, and then the shove that sent one man flying towards the table. Seeing where he was about to land, and the fact that Steven was paused in getting a cup of punch, Niramo knew she had to act quickly. She quickly tossed her cup and plate to the side, 'accidently' sending it towards the two men who had been arguing. With her hands free, she grabbed Steven and just barely managed to pull him to the side in time, the shrimp scampi flying just millimeters away from Steven's tuxedo and Niramo's dress, and saving the both of them with a messy start to a wonderful evening.

"Universe-san, are you okay? Nothing splashed on you, right?!" Niramo would hurriedly check herself for any red splaters on her elegant blue dress before double-checking Steven for any food stains. "Those two...what were they thinking, having a fight at a party of all places?" Niramo would silently call the two 'seniors' idiots in her head, not wanting to say such an insult in public.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Whispers reach Yumi's ears and she blinks, looking surprised between Usai and Kasagami at the question about Sailor Pluto. And Anthy. Not that she knows Anthy. But before she can say much about it at first...

"Oh! Yeah, hi Usai-chan, I ah..." Introductions come quickly and Yumi smiles at the others, still a little awkward. "Oh I'm not--I mean maybe patient, but I'm not really /wonderful/... It's just, they're hard for anybody."

A look to Kasagami, "Very... important? Okay. Well, important is nice." But only then does she get a chance to see the reaction there, see the /fury/ in Kasagami's expression that surprises her andputs her off. "Uh?"

"H-hey," as she's called adorable, "I'm--fine..." She looks after Kasagami with an uncomfortable expression. "...What just happened?" She is, incidentally, still here with Ami and Usagi. She says after a beat, "Oh yeah, I haven't tried their food yet. I dunno if I'm in the mood for caviar, y'know? It's gotta be at the right time."

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Hey if someone wants to dance with Ami-chan that's totally fine!" She holds up a finger, "I'm just here to make certain gentlemen act like gentlemen"

Usagi meets Kasagami's look of wrath and fury with an expression that seems quite daunted by it. After all, Kasagami had height on her, and she'd been willing to push her around before- and hurt her friends.

For a moment it's her that's trembling instead, but then Kasagami's words cause her to steady, as she sucks in a breath, and replies quietly. "If it's the same grave you wouldn't swear over not to kidnap innocent girls again then I'll believe you this once. I'm just trying to look out for Anthy-chan."

And then she breaks off from it as Kasagami storms off, sounding pleasant and cheerful again, "Anthy-chan, if you ever want to come over and spend some time with us tonight then don't be a stranger!"

She then returns to Yumi and Ami, having totally missed the quiet look of understanding and solidarity between them, "Eh? Well it's just it seems too expensive. You get so little and it costs so much, and it's not even filling?"

As Yumi asks what just happened though. Usagi sort of sighs, obviously uncomfortable and not wanting to tell it- "It's sort of a long story."

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

~Near Mikoto and Mai~

There's a shadow sneaking up Mikoto and Mai! It's a tall thing, seeming to ooze out of the shadows! It's...a tall green haired girl in a very expensive looking golden dress. She /ooozes/ 'princess type'.

And she has a camera. She's suddenly in front of the pair, snapping pictures!

"Oh oh oh! How marvelous! What dashing figures, what feminine beauty! I'm Sakura Ito, with Ohtori's Photography club! Araki-san was kind enough to ask me to take pictures of the most interesting students to commemorate the event! It will go into a commemorative scrap book. You don't mind, do you?" Smiiiile! This woman is bouncing a bit, like an overexcited royal puppy. Her eyes widen, does Ito-san's! Beeeeg!

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Kasagami asks if she remembers, and Anthy keeps her smile. She'd been told not to give anyone the wrong idea. Surely correcting Usagi's erroneous assumption that the Rose Bride and her Engaged were not together was the best path to obedience.

A lanky girl with soft grey hair, well, looms -- it must be admitted -- into frame and Anthy gives her an owlish look that is still polite and friendly for that. She waits to see if Kasagami will make introductions for her, and after dips into a little nodding curtsey toward Yumi. "It is very nice to meet you."

She slides those big eyes sidelong at the swordswoman as Usagi whispers to her, then sees and feels the tremble that runs through Kasagami after, with light fingers on that escorting arm. Her eyes lid slightly. Anthy follows along as requested, heels tapping a quick patter on the ballroom floor as she keeps up with Kasagami's stomping retreat.

Over her dress-bared shoulder she gives Usagi a quick look, then gets swallowed up by the well-heeled crowd as she trips along after her date.

She arrives in front of Sucy still linked to Kasagami's arm. The roses on that singular gown draw Anthy's eyes, and she stares at them perhaps overly intently. It's only after Kasagami finishes speaking that she looks up to the witchling's face, her own head tilted, quizzical.

"Where did you find your roses?" It seems a simple question.

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

"What /is/ the competition?" Ami asks Kasagami, whether she receives an answer or not. "Joking huh?" Ami seems to not believe that and shakes her head. "I guess it's just your position though right Araki-san? Need more students at this wonderful school." There is a smile but her attention turns elsewhere for a moment.

With Usagi's comments, Ami looks around the room focusing on the people. "But Usagi-chan, I don't even know that many people here. Would you really let me dance with a stranger?" Her eyes look with concern before she smiles softly. "Besides, I don't really like dancing that much." Not that she ever really tried or had the chance to that often but Ami is pretty sure she would be awful at it.

Ami hears Usagi's words to Kasagami even though they are spoken softly and she nudges Usagi. "..." She wants to say something but decides against it for now. Not wanting to add to the moment or make things worse.

"Yumi-chan, you don't have to eat the caviar. Why don't you try some of the cakes or there are tons of other things, fruits and other pastries." Ami points at the tables full of food. "I mean, just make sure you don't accidentally eat a rose petal." There is a laugh as she considers the fact that the roses loom awfully close to the food.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

As Kasagami starts making her rounds, Mai and Mikoto are circling in another direction entirely. The goal of the party is to have fun, after all, and that's what they'll do. Aware of the slight burn from that punch and Mikoto's wobbling, however, Mai internally decides to veto dancing for now. "All right, Mikoto. So here we are - you need a bit more practice with those shoes, right? Let's see what kind of food's here, I know I'm getting a little hungry."

Over by one snack table, Mai can see Usagi having a conversation with Kasagami...and upon seeing the body language in play, realizes how much she wants to join in. "Nope. All of the nope. Come on, let's try the table over here..." It's a bit further, but Mai's offering Mikoto a supporting hand along the way.

As they approach, there seems to be some kind of commotion going on - a couple of teenage boys arguing. Mai doesn't pay those two much heed, just rolling her eyes - but as things escalate, she's surprised to find shrimp flying through the air towards her. There's a sudden squawk of surprise - and then as abruptly as it appeared, the seafood is gone.

She looks to her side, at a chewing Mikoto.

"...nicely done. But let's see if we can't find you a plate..."

They're just getting close enough to see the food when Niramo's grumbling question fills the nearby air. In spite of not being the one asked, Mai can't help but come up with an answer. "Well, I couldn't say for certain - but if I had to guess? Teenage hormones. As dire a curse as one could ever encounter..." She gives the kids a wave - 'kid' being defined broadly by this girl - and spies the clean plates...

But there's another voice.

Of course there is.

Mai turns to face the photographer, and only long experience in restaurant work allows her to be smiling when she does. "Thank you...Ito-san, was it? I'm sure there's plenty of interesting people for you to find - I wouldn't expect too much of a show from the two of us. We're just here to have a good time."

This might work better if Mai and Mikoto didn't already both have -some- kinds of reputations around campus...and the glimmer in the photographer's eyes dims Mai's tiny hopes. The Demon Cat and the Mysterious Waitress aren't going to get off that easily.

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

~Near Nira and Steve~

That cup and plate go flying! CRASH! Caviar and punch all over them both. They fall into a writhing, wrestling pile of arguments. Two strong-armed servants are quickly over to physically pick them up like a pair of logs.

Right out the back door, the duo roll down a grassy hill. Landing in a pile, they share looks of mutual @.@ as they contemplate their ill decision to contemplate anything involving Kasagami Araki.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Yeah!" Mikoto chirps, instantly perking up at the idea of food. She follows Mai's gaze to the snack table, and, seeing Kasagami and Usagi and Anthy and Yumi and some people she doesn't know, waves to them with broad motions -- only for Mai to shoot it down. "Oh," she lowers her hand, acceptant, "okay." It seems strange not to greet the person who made the party happen (there's got to be a word for that), but Mai doesn't seem to think it's a good idea, and Mikoto accepts that logic easily. She must have a good reason, after all. Maybe Kasagami and Usagi were having a serious discussion...? It looked kind of serious.

Yeah, she decides, nodding to herself as she takes cautious, Mai-assisted steps. She finds it's not so bad, once she realises just /how/ balancing works in them - it's like standing on her tip-toes, on a narrow beam. Just like balancing across fallen trees across rushing rivers! Totter, totter, step. It's strange, having a surface beneath her heels yet still walking on her toes. It just doesn't feel right. But it's easier, when she connects it to something she knows how to do.

She's still practicing stepping rather than wobbling when the argument reaches her ears. She frowns, pausing, looking up to Mai. If it's a fight, she can defend her, but... Mai will be mad if she fights here. And -- hey, look! "Steven! Hi, Steven!" Mikoto waves to the pink-tuxed boy, /just/ in time for the fight to send that platter flying.

If she were in her normal clothes, she probably could have helped, but... she's still learning how to walk.

Her manual dexterity hasn't been hampered by her shoes, though, so when shrimp scampi goes flying past, Mikoto snatches one up in her free hand. It goes straight into her mouth, with satisfied munching, and that's how the camera catches her. "Mm?" Mikoto makes a questioning noise, mouth too full to talk, at least until she swallows her catch. She looks up to Mai, and back to Sakura, uncertain.

She could tell Sakura that they're not interesting, but considering their last ball ended with them going into space to fight androids and killer satellites, that would be a /lie./ She could point out that she's not actually that feminine, but she's pretty sure that makeup artist did some sort of weird magic and now she looks all... pretty. So instead, she settles on the question which is really burning in her mind: "What's scrap book?"

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The halted reaction to Sucy's outfit place him in perfect line of fire from a pair of guys and their flying food. The boy blocks a bit of the first incoming with his hands, but the rest would be impossible to avoid!

At least without outside help. "Eep!" Steven lets out as he is yanked out of the way, fancy handmade edibles careening by, seeking to ruin someone or something else, and at the very least, the floor. "Oh wow, thanks!" Steven says. "Yeah, dunno what is up with 'em." It actually sounded like they were talking about Kasagami. He didn't know guys fought over her! "Well then! Guess we both need new snacks, huh?" he comments. Hers are good as gone, and his are long eaten.

"I do know her, I think," he comments to Niramo. "I have seen her around at places, but I didn't expect her to wear something like that. Not that it is a bad thing! I just had her fashion choices pegged wrong. I think its really nice!" Boy, he sounds liek a regular gossip. But it feels like that this might be the party for doing just that!

"It is!" He also adds, reaching for more snacks for the both of them. "The lady with Kasagami, she taught the gardening class I went to to learn hwo to care for roses. Totally got to show her the fresh rose. It came fro mthe bushes I help tend now thanks to her." A pause. "The rose bushes have gotten /massive/ with care."

Cue a sidescreen of several tree-sized rose bushes around some Gem Ruins.

Rose Quartz had some magical roses.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Anthy's formality gets a little nodding back out of instinct from Yumi. "Very nice to meet you. My name is Yumi Ohzora." She's... almost formal with it; she's a little surprised byt he whole thing. Regardless...

She misses what Usai says about kidnapping. She does not miss Usagi's questions about expensive food and she laughs a little in return. "Yeah, but it's not meant to be a full meal, right?" The laugh is weak though. She studies Usagi's sigh and then nods. "...Don't worry about telling me, then. It's okay."

Ami though... Hmm. Dancing..

"Dancing's nice, but..." She trails off, and smiles at Ami. "Good idea! I could probably use some sugar in my system anyway." She grins. "Gosh, I bet they have candied rose petals or somethin, that's just like them, right?" She hesitates after a moment before she steps a little closer to Usagi and asks, "So, um... How's Mako-chan?"

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Usagi again holds up a finger as Ami says that, "Of course not Ami-chan! I'd only let them dance with you if you really wanted to and they were being a perfect gentleman!" She has a feeling for example that people would try to pressure Ami into it, and she'd definitely stop that sort of scenario of someone bullying Ami into dancing.

"Otherwise nope. No way."

Ami's nudge causes her to offer this long, sad sigh. Obviously the past was really bothering her.

It's even more obvious as she follows Anthy's gaze as it disappears in the crowd. For a moment she takes a step, like maybe that was some sign to her- but...

After a moment she sits down and just nods at Yumi. Fortunatley Yumi mentions Mako-chan. One of her favorite subjects.

"Mako-chan? Oh she's doing great! She passed her entrance exams too!" There's more going on there that she wants to say, but she feels like Makoto is the one who should tell the Senshi rather than her. So instead she just giggles a little at Yumi, "Are you a little nervous about White Day? Well don't worry~don't worry~ I'm sure everything is going to work out!"

She then pats her hands together in a little clap like she's praying, "And now since you've told me that they're not supposed to be a full meal, I'm going to take my very dainty appetite over to the table to try one of those little cakes Ami-chan recommended."

She promptly gets up to do this, and almost trips over her heels after a few steps.

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

~Near Mikoto and Mai~

Ito-san lets out a perfect ohjou laugh as Mai mentions there being far more interesting people. It's not Nanami quality laugh, but it's pretty up there. One hand on her hip, that camera flashes /directly into Mai's eyes/.

"Oh no no no, darlings! You both are beautiful and /perfect/! Ah!" Incoming food! Sakura dodges like an expert Ohtori ballgoer. But then...Mikoto catches it!? From mid-air? Suddenly, stars are in the photographer's eyes!

Snap fingers. "MINIONS! Food for our darling gastronomical acrobat!"

Two members of the Photography club bring over plates of cake, shrimp, little ham sandwiches. Toss! Gently to Mikoto! And then, sliding to the floor on her knees, Ito-san snaps a picture! Toss snap snap! She's going for the action food poses!

Sorry Miko, you'll have to ask Mai about the little scrapbook thing.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Niramo sighs in relief as it seems both of them escaped the worse of wear from the flying food. "Yes, please. I haven't eaten anything since breakfest, and anything here looks wonderful!" Sighing in thanks as she took another plate from Steven, she started to eat the finger sandwiches, feeling more at ease now that she broke the ice with Steven. Saving someone from flying food wasn't what she expected to do tonight, but it was totally worth it.

Niramo tilted her head as she considered Steven's words for a moment, then glanced around wildly for Kasagami, spotting her after a few moments. Wait, was that Anthy walking with her? "Oh, her? If I remember correctly, I think her family runs Ohtori, as in they own the buildings and everything here. Maybe her and Araki-san made...some sort of business deal?" Niramo just shook her head, not having much of a head when it comes to politics and economics. Why do such things have to be so boring, yet so important to adults?

"Sadly, i'm the opposite of a green thumb when it comes to gardening. I tried different flowers and...they just don't get to live too long under my care?" Niramo fail to mention she was terrible about remembering to water said plants. "Well, Araki-san is socializing. Perhaps we should go talk to them?" Having finished her last sandwich, she would put the plate back on the table and offer a hand to Steven, offering him to lead the way.

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

Ami is still not on board with the idea of dancing with anyone she didn't know, gentleman or not. For now though, she lets that conversation go as she contemplates possibly getting another plate or refilling her drink, both of which were now empty.

The conversation of Mako, brings a smile to her face. "Oh right... White Day..." Seems like everytime there are together Usagi brings it up, even if she was actually talking to Yumi and not Ami. She had her own thoughts about that which go unspoken for the moment. She didn't really want to think about it anyway.

As Usagi gets up, Ami watches her nearly trip into a few tables and she lets out a small giggle. "I better go with her and make sure she doesn't fall onto someones table... or worse." She looks back to Yumi, "Do you want to come with me? I can show you the cakes I had." Whether or not Yumi agrees, Ami gets up and quickly catches up to Usagi at the catering tables, eyeing the foods, trying to make a decision on what to try next before she finally decides on finger sandwiches, even though having the cake first already kind of filled her up.

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

Eventually, Kasagami departs from her favorite mushroom-based partner in crime, and actually gets some punch. Three full cups of it, after that little disaster with Usagi. She takes a second to mutter to Anthy.

"Really, what /is/ that overly blonde-haired girl trying to do? I'm a complete gentlewoman and King. What am I, some sort of rakish dog?" Mutter grumble. Glug glug glug.

She starts heading over to a pair of familiar figures, but pauses a second as she spies...is that Mikoto!?

Grin. "Mikooooto-chan! I almost didn't recognize you! Looking ravishing tonight with you and your date there! Introduce me soon after your photo op! Hey, Ito-san! Put 'em both on the front cover! I want this on every dorm in Ohtori and the Sister Schools!"

Ito-san's eyes are devilish in their gleaming.

Instead, she's marching right over to Niramo and Steve for now. "Ahhh, I was a little worried you wouldn't make it, Steve-kun. But I'm glad! Look at you! A dashing young gentleman! You're going to break hearts out there, I can feel it! How's your dad doing? Really need to meet him."

Grin. "Niramo-chan! Welcome, welcome my dear friend! That dress is adorable. You really went all out for this. I appreciate it! It makes me proud as a host! Is this your first ball by chance? You know we /have/ to dance at least once, these are orders from your senpai!" She's all cheer to the young pair. Seems Kass' soft spot for the truly innocent is showing again.

"Meet Anthy Himemiya, the poor soul having to endure my horrible company as her escort for the evening! I don't know how she hasn't drowned me in the punch bowl yet, right, Anthy?" Once again, she's pushing Anthy head first into social interaction.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Yumi doesn't mind being in the general presence of a friendship like Ami and Usagi's; it's nice just to /be/ there for. But when Usagi sits down, she worries... Until her subject takes off and Usagi answers.

"Oh good!" Yumi answers about entrance exams. The giggle gets a small blush from the tall girl though as she glances to the side. "K-Kinda nervous, yeah. But okay! If you say so, then... great!"

The meal? Ah. "Oh, uh--" Pause. "Oh be careful!"

Yumi may have... cheated, about her shoes, to try to make sure they wouldn't slip under her. It's possible.

"Yeah I think she could use the help--Um, sure, I'll come. I could always go for cake." Yumi... has a pretty discerning palate, actually, and picks up something expensive as kind of a matter of course when they get there.

She glances over at where she thinks Kasagami went... and then follows. She somehow manages not to trip s she surries along.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The girls at Ohtori have a peculiar way of laughing. Mikoto's tried to do it, once or twice, but it's /downright impossible./ You have to go oh-ho-ho, but with a rising pitch, like you're asking a question, except it goes louder than that. And there's that thing with the hand, which has to be held in this really weird position. Kind of like whispering, except you're not whispering, you're actually being really loud...

But there's no time to think about that! There's food! And Kasagami seems pleased, so she /has/ to catch it all! Snatch, snatch, Mikoto deftly grabs the morsels from the air. When Mai snatches up the nearest snack, a little cracker, Mikoto jumps to grasp a shrimp which has been tossed further away --

Time slows, entirely metaphorically, as she realises what she's done. There's a slow, dawning look of shock on her face. Instinct takes over, and she plants her feet in what would have been a perfect landing -- if not for the three-inch heels.

There's a crack, and a cry, and Mikoto crumples to the ground. Her dress, mercifully, is figure-tight enough not to billow, but her eyes are wide with shock and there's a surprised yelp on her lips. The shrimp is crushed under palm as she puts her hands out to catch herself.


Mikoto sniffles, pulling up her legs. The heel of the shoe she'd put her inital weight on has broken off, dangling from the bottom of her shoe by a shred of artful cloth. Her ankle looks reddened and angry. It's a mishap well-known to anyone who's worn heels -- a group Mikoto has never really been a part of. She's twisted her ankle. Look at what you've done, Sakura. /Look at what you've done./

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The girl on Kasagami's arm has shrunken a bit, like a shadow growing shorter under the harsh glare of the noon sun, as the ball continues on. The stiff beaded bodice of her gown feels less like adornment and more like armor to its wearer, and Anthy leans into that some with sloped shoulders. The more people Kasagami pulls her past, the more they all start to look the same to her...

Anthy Himemiya realizes that her Engaged is making more introductions and pulls up her usual smile after an eyeblink. "Oh -- hello, it is nice to meet you both." There's an awkwardness to how she doesn't directly address how Kasagami made that introduction, an undercurrent of tension between them.

"And nice to see you again. Was it Steven-san? It looks like your roses are doing well." She nods to the full bloom on his coat. To Niramo, Anthy says, "Araki-sama is right about your dress." Araki-/sama/?

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Here all along but hardly worth the attention of Ohtori's elite, Sayaka Miki and Madoka Kaname are here dressed to the nines, ready to steal hearts. Okay, maybe dressed to the sevens, here to steal a dance. With each other.

Kasagami Araki's party wouldn't be Sayaka's first choice of venue to hang out with her best friend tonight, but her boyfriend(???) Miki Kaoru is here tonight too. Council business, for him. Documenting the inaugural dance of a new Engaged maybe? Sayaka doesn't know, but she can't miss a chance at a Cinderella moment with him. To that end, she's girded herself once more in Junko Kaname makeup and her blue bardot dress. She just wore this, and a lot of people who are here were there too, but what can she do? She doesn't have a lot of dresses.

Today, she also has some half-length evening gloves and a blue flower in her hair. Her posture, demeanor, and movements are all at odds with her outfit, but if you took a picture of her at the right moment, she'd seem quite dainty tonight.

It's not quite the right moment now. Sayaka is holding palms with Madoka on the dance floor. Sayaka can ballroom a /little/ better than this posture suggests (not much), but she and Madoka have been practicing this way since elementary school, and it's their default. Fingers threaded, sidestepping energetically, pulling close and pushing far. Laughing happily, Sayaka releases one hand briefly to twirl Madoka.

"You want to do the footy thing?" Sayaka asks. It's her name for some sort of doo-woppy open position dance they do side-by-side. It was pretty darn cool in 4th grade but only Sayaka would suggest it here in a fancy ballroom.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven stands there, listening to Niramo as he munches on those sandwiches. He needs to learn how to make them! Maybe he will ask next Cooking Club.

He is glad Niramo accepted more of the snackfoods. "Really?!" he says suddenly to Niramo. "I didn't know that!" Good thing he was polite to Anthy then. "Oh. Wait! Maybe that is what the ball is for! A business deal celebration!" The boy rubs his chin with a hand. "Like, maybe they bought another school? Wait, no. If Kasagami is involved, maybe it involves the Council? OH! What if the Council is having a much more influential effect on decisions for the school now?!"

It would explain the ambition focused speech, and why someone that helps run the school is tagging along with Kasagami everywhere tonight, and...

Wow he is actually getting a little loud there. Maybe it isn't very nice to talk about someone so closeby. "Anyway," he adds, clearing his throat, and bringing his voice down to a more appropriate volume. Just in time, too! Here comes Kasagami! The boy makes sure his hat and rose are just right! "Hey, Kasagami! Why that you, madam! You look great yourself!"

The boy's mind shfits to his father, Greg. They haven't hung out much lately, unfortunately. A shame. "He is good! Got the van fixed up. FInding nice gigs playing music and other odd jobs." A pause. "A meeting could be arranged, for sure!"

Steven looks over to Niramo, and then to Anthy. "Hello! You are the lady that taught the rose gardening class, right?" He is almost certain, but it never hurts to check. "I have put your teachings to good use!" he says proudly!

The honorific does catch Steven a little by surprise. He squints at the two for a moment, but says nothing, opting instead to take a gulp of punch. Huh. Tastes funny. A glance toward Sucy. Hm.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

There it is. That laugh. One that has echoed, in one form or another, through the halls of Ohtori time and time again. While Ito-san's laugh isn't quite up to the gold standard that has been set by others, it's still effective enough to send a chill down Mai's spine. The girl in red is about to retort, when the camera answers first to dazzle and blind.

Escaping on dragonback isn't on the table quite yet, but it's getting there.

"Gastro- hey! You don't need to go that far - and watch it!" One overzealous minion tosses a delightful little crostini, but the exotically herbed rose-shaped cracker is snatched mercilessly from the air by a suddenly stern Mai. Why this one, topped with paper-thin slices of rare Kobe beef and a delightful swirl of innocent-looking cream?

Because Mai can spot horseradish.

She also spots someone approaching she can complain to, and gives Ito-san a stern glare. "And that's enough of that. If you'll excuse me, I need to tell your boss just how close-"

Mai's vehement admonition is cut short by the loud crack, followed by the yowl of pain, and suddenly there's something far more important than an obnoxious photographer to deal with. "Mikoto!"

It's not until after inspecting the ankle, using cursory first aid training as best she can, that Mai even acknowledges the party's host. Priorities are just that, after all. "Don't try to stand, Mikoto, that will just make it worse - we'll get you some ice at home, okay?" She turns, at last, to Kasagami - but sadly, the host does not get a friendly smile. "Sorry, Araki-san, but we're going to have to leave your gala before the contest."

She might not sound too sorry. But that's that, isn't it?

Mai hoists Mikoto into a piggyback position, standing carefully herself to avoid the same fate, but her eyes are squarely locked on the hostess. Ito-san might as well be a bug, right now. "Thank you for having us - but if you wouldn't mind a bit of criticism?"

Her voice is lower, colder, bitter, and for Kasagami alone. "Keep your paparazzi under control next time."

And so, having had neither a bite of food nor a single dance, Mai Tokiha leaves the Crimson Rose Ball with Mikoto Minagi in tow. Looks like she'll be cooking at home after all...

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Niramo greeted the taller students with a cheerful smile as Kasagami and Anthy walked towards the two. She politely waved towards Anthy before turning to answer Kasagami, showing that she did indeed remember her from the Falconry Club meeting. "Well, when the theme was Ambition for the ball, my friend, Yuhira-san, certainly showed hers and she went full out on this outfit. I actually had to talk her down a few things! She helped designed it, and her mother was kind enough to do a rush order to get it ready for the ball tonight. Her mom is a professional seamstress, so she handled most of this herself." And that was how Niramo was wearing such a fantastic dress this evening. She was acting like a billboard to advertise the weaver's skills, though Niramo herself seemed to not have notice that fact.

"It's indeed my first ball, Araki-san. I never attended any of these balls myself before. I never had a reason to, but since I knew who was hosting the ball personally, I knew it would be rude of me not to come!" She smiled up at Kasagami before looking over at Steven. "I'll be happy to dance with you, of course, but I think I owe Universe-san a dance, if he doesn't mind one with me. We been getting along great tonight!"

It was the slightly stilted way Anthy greeted both Steven and herself that caught Niramo's attention, and the younger girl quickly returned her full attention towards Anthy. "Why, thank you, Himemiya-san! And may I say both of you are amazing hostesses tonight?" Hearing Kasagami being called 'Araki-sama' certainly caught her attention, and a light frown crossed her lips for only a moment before her smile returned. That wasn't the sort of honorific you would give to a business partner...just /what/ was this ball for, then?

Niramo would wait until Steven was finished speaking about his father before she looked at him in surprise. "Your father is a musician? And he fixes his own car?" Niramo glanced off to the side for a moment, thoughts racing about her own father. It had been almost 2 weeks since they actually had more than 5 minutes together in the same room, let alone having a family meal. What must it be like, with a dad who was at home more often? "Universe-san, maybe...maybe we could be friends after the ball? That is, if you don't mind? You're a lot of fun to be around, after all!"

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Who Put The Bomp https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXmsLe8t_gg&t=10s

Madoka laughs too as she's twirled, a bright and merry sound unmuted by her usual timidity, sheer delight drawing back the veils of her self-consciousness. She's in her standard ribbons (of course) but has added a flower as well, a simple pink carnation at the nape of her neck, holding a white ribbon shut. Her twintails flutter with the movement, and so does the hem of her tunic, thigh-length, which is a layer of sheer and marginally rhinestone-studded white lace over a sheath of pink velvet. Beneath, more white lace but less sheer in her stockings. Her slippers are more balletic than sophisticated, whatever heels they have far too low to interfere with dancing.

Which is a good thing.

Coming around from the spin, she slips back into her best friend's hand to twirl her straight back. Minus one hundred ballroom dancing points, and she has to stand on her tip-toes to get enough height above Sayaka's head for it to really work, but she's determined and the job isn't just done, but done well, done wonderfully.

It's only after there's been some equal opportunity twirling (eg, about three seconds later) that she lets go of Sayaka entirely -- which is the beginning of the footy thing. "Sei~no!" she counts off -- so that they'll start at the same time, and her own timing is definitely only sort of incidentally related to the beat of the dance music, in a clock-right-twice-a-day sort of way.

But then they do.

Palms come out and wax the air. Feet perform an intricate (well, not terribly) sequence of little steps, forward and back, that might have once been practiced to Turkey In The Straw but are, in any event, doo-woppy to the extreme. They have a little coordinated thing with their hips (Madoka's not very good at it, though her general lack of hips of any kind contributes to the struggle) where first one does it and then the other, and then they come back in for a little bump.

Madoka has giggled at the bump every time since they were nine.

Tonight is no exception.

Her eyes shine as she glances over at Sayaka -- minus ten footy thing points, they're supposed to be looking forward -- and confesses, "I'm really glad we came."

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Once at the catering table, Usagi is eating at a rapid clip. By the manner in which she's doing it, you'd swear she's stressed. One tiny cake after another. So many finger foods that she's polishing off and doesn't even know what they are. "You were definitely right Ami-chan these little... uh... cakes are the best!"

Now it's her turn to turn as Mikoto cries out, seeing a heel incident in the making. She's about to walk over to there but- Mai has it well under control. She thinks?

The way she's glaring at Kasagami gives her pause, makes her think she wants to join in too. Then slowly she waves her arms back and forth in the way they're crossing together, "Nope. She's got it handled."

She was here to have a good time tonight, and she wasn't going to let Kasagami affect that.

Instead her eyes turn out to the dance floor. To even seeing Sayaka dancing with Madoka. Her eyes brighten all at once upon seeing them dancing, happily, a dance that's in no way a ballroom dance. Yet they both look so happy.

She thinks of herself dancing with a Prince not so long ago. She thinks of Anthy who is here today with Kasagami on a date, with Utena nowhere in sight.

For a moment her eyes seem to twinkle with- something, before she wipes her hand across the back of her eyes.

She's still smiling as she watches Madoka and Sayaka, before glancing sidelong at Ami, "I know you were worried about what it'd be like to dance with a stranger but..."

She trails off for a moment, her smile torn somewhere between happiness and sadness.

"...I guess I just think it'd be wonderful if someone out there asked me to dance."

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Steven asks about the gardening class and gets a sweet smile in return. "You are welcome any time. Both of you," she adds, including Niramo with a nod in the girl's direction.

Beneath the smile Anthy is thinking of the greying roses wilting upon Sucy Manbavaran's cryptic finery, and how she feels like they looked. The rapid death edging their blooms won't leave her mind's eye.

Giggles intrude upon the Rose Bride's reverie, the mellifluous sound of enjoyment bright and pure and innocent. Anthy looks around to see Sayaka and Madoka dancing their hearts out, and... it helps, somehow. She tells herself it is because faceless hydra of the crowd's attention is focused firmly away from herself and Kasagami.

A soft sigh escapes Anthy.

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

An eye spies Sayaka and Madoka. Kaasagami sucks in a breath to herself. One point of eternal trouble, and one an enemy of her dear new Family. But she has to admit, they're the picture of innocence right now. A flash of guilt through her heart.

The tension of course, is practically burning in Kasagami's veins. She looks to Anthy, so loyal, so close. And she wants to toss the smaller girl out of a window. She visibly flinches at being called 'Araki-sama'.

Suddenly, though, Niramo distracts her. Cue cheshire grin of the very, very happy. "Beautiful. Good, good! Have fun, Steve-kun, Niramo-chan!"

Before she can interject more, she has an emergency to peer at. Mai is brought up, and she could hear the snap. "...Oh, don't worry. I'll be sure to take care of the situation. Forgive my underling's incompetence."

Smiiiiile. Smile. "Ohhhh Ito-saaaaaan~!"

Minions drag the girl over. She's visibly shaking, and down on her knees she goes prostrate before Kasagami. "A...Araki-san I..."

"Shhhh. Shhhh, Ito-san. No excuses. Tarnishing my ball by getting one of my /friends/ injured...heh."

Ito-san is crying already. "I hear Juuban has a wonderful photography club."

And then off is dragged the now ex-photography club member.

Then, a smile to Anthy. "Time to get this started!"

Kasagami's voice rolls over the ball once again as she clears her throat. Something massive is rolled into sight on a giant silver cart. It reaches up, whatever this covered thing is!

Off goes Kasagami's coat with a Ball Server's help. On her right arm? What look like little chimes attached to her sleeve, rose shaped and made of ruby. Off goes the covering to reveal a gigantic cake. A wedding cake!? It's at least twelve feet tall. Angelfood rather than mere vanilla. At the top? Rather than bridal figures, another rose charm writ large. Utensils and massive numbers of plates are set out!

Smaller charms festoon the cake in a similar fashion, from about half the cake's height on up.

"Tonight's challenge will be the Rose Charm Cutting Contest! As you can see, there are charms on this delicious cake of pure destiny! Should any one of you collect at least eight of them? You win an all-expenses-paid meal at the most exclusive restaurant in Tokyo for you and three people of your choice! And if you snatch one from my wrist? A weekend trip to the best spa in Japan!"

There are large cutting knives ready for anyone who wants to cut! As well as other things: pogo sticks, poles, and rather unstable looking stepladders.

"Use your skill, cunning, ambition, and your loyal subjects to obtain your prize ladies and gentlemen! Step right up!"

A minion soon brings out...a diamond encrusted cake cutting sword? Slash slash! There's a slice of cake for herself, and then Anthy.

"Now who wants cake!?"

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

A glance back as well! "Yuuuumi-chan! Hey, help me cut cake!" Yup, open invitation to ridiculousness, oh glorious Ivy Witch!

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The conversation with Kasagami and Anthy is interesting for sure. Still unable to find out why the ball is happening though. More importantly, why does he care? Seems odd for him to care about such a minor detail. Was it because of the Gem's disapproval of him going to this event? To take back something to show it was just innocent fun?

It just seemed, well, odd.

"Huh?" Steven replies with for a moment towards Niramo. "Oh! Yeah, sure! Dancing sounds great!" Her comment about his dad and fixing his own vehicle makes him think of the events with Lapis. That van got devastated, yet with all the hard work between him and the gems, it looked brand new.

"So, shall we--" Before Steven can finish his statement, an event starts, that seems to be directed at collecting roses! "That dance may have to wait! Looks like its a fight for some roses! Come on!" he says, beckoning Niramo to follow. Just how will he get up to the high ones?! Perhaps there are some more near his level!

Then again, that pogo stick looks like it could be useful...

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

At the tables, Ami watches Usagi downing the cakes and just about everything else she could get her hands on and Ami finally places a hand on Usagi's to stop her. "I know they're good but you should slow down or you're going to get sick." Her eyes look concerned. "I know they're good but pace yourself." Ami smiles a little.

The commotion gets their attention and Ami's eyes widen at the disaster. For a brief moment, she was glad it wasn't Usagi that fell, especially not in front of the paparazzi. "Ugh, I hope she's okay." A pause. "You know, they should teach a class for girls on wearing heels." There is a laugh at the thought. For herself though, Ami didn't seem to have any trouble walking in them. Maybe her mother's position had led her to attending fancy events before or maybe it was luck that she mastered the skill already.

Ami turns to watch the dancers on the ballroom floor. The music and everything seemed perfect in that moment. Madoka and Sayaka specifically catch her gaze as she watches them dance together. It was adorable and seemed right to her. A feeling comes over her that she cannot explain and then she looks over at Usagi.

Her eyes fill with concern at her friend and she sets her plate down, placing a tentative hand on Usagi's shoulder. "Hey, it's okay Usagi-chan. One day, you'll have the perfect dance partner and they will be wonderful." Her eyes sparkle. "It will be just like in the story books..."

There is a long pause as Ami considers something but her thoughts are distracted by the sudden change in events and she refocuses on the cake and the roses. "Wow, that cake is amazing!" If she hadn't already indulged quite a bit, it would make her mouth water. She doesn't seem overly interested in the competition but still watches from the sidelines with interest. "I bet you could get all the charms Usagi-chan!" She is definitely encouraging Usagi to go for it.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

They /are/ good cakes. Yumi... Well, Yumi pauses eating to wince openly at the matter of Mikoto and her heels, quietly glad that her spell is holding up and her shoes are staying right where they should. ...She shifts her weight a little as she imagines it.

But watching those having so much /fun/... That's nice. Yumi smiles too, and glances to Usagi. "..Yeah, it'd be nice, huh? THough... I'm kinda glad not to be in the spotlight like that, you know...?


Well after the party, one Sakura Ito, despondent over her explusion from the club--probably the school--receives a phone call from a familiar, calm voice. Shizuru Fujino explains that loyalty should be rewarded...

No notice of Sakura Ito's explusion reaches the school tomorrow. It's as if it never happened, despite the big scene it made.


"Huh?" Yumi blinks, at the cake, and at Kasaami asks for her help. "Nnnooo, no no no no no," Yumi answers, putting both of her hands in front of her and shaking them. "That sounds way too much like exercise, and I don't want to get my dress all messy..." She glances at Ami and laughs briefly, "Yeah uh..."

She starts walking over, and then stops. "...Nnnah you have fun. I uh... Oh, suddenly I think I... need to get a drink..."

Yumi beelines right for the punch and out of the spotlight. She will take cake only when she's sure it's not a trap.

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

Armcross. Kasagami points a thankfully non-cake-cutting-sword hand at Yumi. "You're no fun, Yumi-chan! Come on, a /little/ won't entirely kill you!" Her voice is belligerant. Ami is getting a thousand-yard-challenging-stare too!

Kasagami huffs, then eats some cake off of her sword.

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Sayaka separates out for the footy thing. Her shoes were meant to be womanly, but they have friendly round tips that, when making the loopy little kicks for the footy thing, lend a certain bulbous cuteness to the motion. Both girls are modestly out of time to the music but completely in time with each other, though it takes Sayaka some glancing over.

Sometimes she's just glancing to beam at Madoka as they go. Nobody makes her smile so much.

With a little more hip than poor Madoka, Sayaka wiggles her way pertly through her half of the wind-up, then joins the blue-pink hipcheck with a jaunty toss.

"You love that part," Sayaka delights aloud. Rejoining palm-to-palm, Sayaka continues bobbing along to their dance. They get into one of their twirling fits where they just take turns twirling back and forth too many times for any dignity. The height difference between the two has only gotten greater as Madoka fails to grow, but Sayaka has practice here.

When they break from that, Sayaka starts to do what they call toe-kisses, which is where they touch the tips of their opposite shoes, alternating back and forth, while doing a bit of a twist with their torsos and arms up above. Sayaka is humming along to that happily when Kasagami interrupts with her announcement.

Pausing where she is, Sayaka feels her happy face darkening, her brows tightening. "Nudge me when the guards start locking the doors," she requests wryly. She's been envisioning some grand betrayal, a bloody purge of all Kasagami's foes right on the ballroom floor. The fact that she wanted to go anyway says something about her romantic desperation.

"You should go try to win the prize," Sayaka urges Madoka with wide eyes and a suspiciously mirthful mouth. She turns Madoka by the shoulders. "Yeah! With those spa tickets you could go on a romantic getaway with some boy who fell in love with you tonight..." Sayaka's head is down by Madoka's, following her eyeline while she swipes a hand expressively across the horizon before them, indicating endless possibilities. "And then they'd ask to marry you..."

Sayaka's arms suddenly clamp around Madoka's waist. "Yeah right!" she crows. She buries her face in Madoka's neck, her cheeks puffing out like Dizzy Gillespie as she blows a sonorous raspberry into Madoka's skin. "Like I'd let anybody steal you!" she scoffs aloud, only to bodily haul Madoka off her feet and sputter a much longer and more flatulent zerbert into her neck.

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Kasagami metes out cold punishment, then turns to her Rose Bride with a smile. Anthy can only smile back.

The final setpiece is revealed, a wedding cake even more excessive than everything that has gone before. All eyes go to the cake, to Kasagami, to them, and Anthy hears a roaring in her ears that is less like the sea and more like angry voices. The Engaged offers blades to the crowd.

The only shelter available to Anthy is the imposing figure of Kasagami Araki herself. Any port in a storm. If nothing stops her, she shrinks into the visual shadow of the swordswoman -- which then raises sword.

Offered cake, she says, "I am so full of punch already."

And after a moment, "If I'm in the way of your contest, I can wait outside."

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Niramo would follow Steven over to the cake, mentally boggled over the size of the cake. It must have taken several hours and plenty of free ovens to make all of the layers for this cake, for it to tower over 12 feet alone. As she glances around her and sees how the other attendants are reacting, she sighs softly. This wasn't food meant to be enjoyed by everyone. It was a showpiece, simply there to be used as a setpiece for a game and to soon be forgotten afterwards. That thought made the young chef think of the waste for a moment, before mentally shaking herself free of those thoughts. Everyone is going to enjoy eating the cake, and the memories it brings will be for everyone to enjoy!

As Steven eyed the pogo sticks, Niramo glanced between the poles and the cutting knifes, wondering if she could...yes, it should work. Reaching one gloved hand behind her carefully, Niramo started to pull the middle ribbon free from her braid. With the other two ribbons still in place, her hair should stay in place as long as she was careful. A few tense moments passed before she managed to pull the ribbon free from her hair, then reached for one of the poles and a knife. She would carefully twist the ribbon around the handle of the knife and the end of the pole, having some issues due to how her grip wasn't the best due to her gloves, but she was persistant.

Finally, her makeshift spear was ready, and she smiled at Steven cheerfully. "If we work together, we should be able to get enough roses, Steven-san!" With that, Niramo would carefully make her way around to the other side of the cake from Steven, using the width of her skirt to her advantage so she would have a little elbow room. Then she would reach up with her spear and simply go to retrieve just the rose charms themselves, not trying to cut the cake itself.

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

Kasagami looms over Anthy, though highly unintentionally. The question posed has the young woman laughing. Reach. SLICE! Smooth as butter.

"Please, Anthy. This is as much your celebration as mine. You belong here." A grin. It seems Anthy is stuck for now.

Niramo's cake-cutting technique easily earns her some charms! But an over-reaching extension leads to...a piece of cake falling! Can she dodge the cakealanche?

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

"No, no... too dangerious." Pogo sticks were a good idea, but he can just see himself planting right into the cake. Which may have been the intent! Ah, if only there was a way he could reach high! Most implements and devices are gone now, so maybe he can get some chairs and--

--Well, never mind! Niramo has the high ground covered! "Okay! Good idea! I will go low!" Might be slim pickings down here though. Everyone is probably clamoring for the sacred few in arm's reach. Perhaps if he sneaks around a little he can snap some up before anyone else! But something terrible happens!

A piece of cake is dislodged and begins falling at Niramo!

There comes a point in a man's like when he realizes that some articles of clothing just cant go unstained. Or at least a piece of an ensemble.

The boy takes his delightful top hat, and throws it frisbee style at the cake piece threatening Niramo!

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.


Madoka is no one's fool (false) and she suspects what's coming (true) and tenses up in anticipation as Sayaka first 'tries' to push her off into the contest, and then--


Forget the footy thing and toe-kisses, the biggest spectacle of the night that these two have made is the remarkable sight of tiny Madoka fitfully kicking (from the ankle, nothing aggressive) as she wraps her arms back around Sayaka for balance's sake and hangs on for dear life while her poor neck is molested by the world's loudest vampire.


Her eyes are screwed shut and cheeks are /bright/ red -- a few seconds into this treatment and it's occurred to her that they aren't actually alone in this chaotic room.

"Say," she starts to protest, she tries to, weakly, her ribs aching, "Sayaka-chan... pleahihihihi..." *bloooort* "...hihihi.."

BGM: Some Enchanted Evening (piano) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1CY-g4vGxw

A shadow falls across them, but Madoka's eyelids are in the way of her eyes, and her cloud of pink hair, half of which has fallen out of its ribbon (a red snake at their feet), is in the way of Sayaka's.

She certainly doesn't see the slender, dashing young man waiting a few feet away on the dance floor. He may be in his school uniform but at least that blue and white is as classically princely as can be, especially with the cording. His jewel-like blue eyes are properly averted from Sayaka's public display of affection, but there's a faint flush across his cheeks. Far too polite and/or demure to interrupt, Miki Kaoru patiently waits his turn.

The timer he's holding in one hand is unironically unrelated to this delay.

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Yes, Araki-sama." Anthy gives a nod, dull like a butter knife in comparison to all the keen-edged things nearby. She interlaces fluttering fingers around the base of her glass. It is as full of punch as it was at the beginning of the ball.

Sweat dots her brow. She stands very still, adorning the arm of her Engaged that has no charms upon it, for the rest of the event, saying nothing unless directed to do so.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Uh-uh," Yumi answers Kasagami, putting her foot down, so to speak. "Besides, it totally might! My doctors advise against me running around with knives!" Glug glug, she is totally drinking punch at this point and... blushing thoroughly at all the attention she's sure she's getting in this situation.

It is at least thankful that it's easy to focus on Sayaka and Madoka instead in all of this. "G-good luck," she says to Usgi and Ami, and slips around a pillar to hide a little.

...It has been fun, though.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Kasagami's treatment of the photographer goes missed, though she certainly had noticed what had gone on with them before...

Instead she just smiles at Ami Mizuno as she says that, her voice full of emotion, "Ami-chan!" Then more shyly, "You really think so?" As if she were insecure that such an outcome could happen for just a moment.

And then the contest is revealed. And Usagi is stunned, mouth a little agape as Kasagami tells them to use all their skill, cunning, ambition, and loyal subjects.

Part of her sees that as a personal challenge. Normally she'd be very much into this whole thing.

But tonight she's not here for Kasagami.

She's here for someone else entirely, "Ehehe... well that definitely does sound tempting Ami-chan."

She catches one last glimpse of Sayaka raspberrying her friend and with a giggle.

She taps a finger to her chin, "Buttttt- you know what sounds even better?"

Usagi holds up a finger. And she does in fact head for the competition, grabbing two plates off the catering table on the way.

She moves over to the cake, and taking up a knife, messily slices off two gooey pieces and having to dodge some flying frosting and cascading cake. She does get some caught atop the tip of a singular odango as she extricates herself with her prizes. One slice is overly big. The other seems about just right.

She then heads back over to Ami, on the way back grabbing a pair of forks.

"You wanted to come to the party tonight right? And I came to have a good time with you."

She hands one over, then quietly offers, "So even better than winning a contest is just eating cake with one of my best friends."

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

"Of course I think so Usagi-chan. You deserve that kind of happy ending." Ami smiles as the competition begins. Kasagami's far-way challenging glare makes Ami avoid turn her eyes just to avoid her uncomfortable gaze. This was definitely not her thing and besides that, it seemed like there were plenty of other contestants. The prizes did seem appealing but still, Ami seems reluctant to join in.

As the contest goes on, Ami cheers and encourages the players, especially Usagi who quickly returns to her with a couple slices of cake. There is a smile and she nods. "I am really glad we came here tonight Usagi-chan. Thank you for coming with me."

Ami takes a piece of the cake offered and manages a couple of bites before growing very quiet. Her heart starts racing as she looks back over the dance floor. "H-hey Usagi-chan, I know I said I didn't want to dance but..." The taller girl turns and faces her friend, taking the plate from her hand. "I know I am not the prince charming you imagined you would dance with but..." Her hand slowly reaches out for Usagi's. "...will you dance with me?" She offers a smile, eyes sparkling.

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Worrying Madoka back and forth with big twists of her upper body that lash Madoka's little feet around, Sayaka mercilessly spurtles more and more laughter out of her best friend. Madoka's unique laugh is one of the few remarkable things about her. Yes, if only all those cool kids are missing out on a really weird laugh.

"Say it!" Sayaka forces out through her own breathless chortles. "Say you'll be my bride! Zbbbbtthhbbt!"

Miki Kaoru is already here, by the way. Worth mentioning.

"We'll elope right now! I can't let any man have you!" Sayaka takes a deep breath and bears down to make her longest and most resonant song against Madoka's neck. It sounds like a wet old rainboot being played like a slide trombone by an elephant with opposable thumbs and no sense of pitch. It sounds like a stretchy frog got inflated to the size of a beach ball and is now sputtering its way in wild loops around the room as the air rushes from amphibian lips.

There's something obviously huglike in the way that Sayaka shakes Madoka around, and that gets more obvious as she runs out of air and starts cuddling her tight in midair. But just as her finishing blow is nearly complete, Sayaka catches sight of someone behind Madoka's twintail. Pushing her forehead into the side of Madoka's to shift hair out of the way, she locks eyes with Miki.

Freezing with her chipmunk-cheeked mouth still plastered to Madoka's neck, Sayaka locks up solid for a few seconds, her motion halting abruptly such that Madoka's dangling feet sway back and forth for a few more seconds. She had spent hours obsessing over looking her most ladylike and elegant. Now here she is, bearhugging Madoka up in the air while composing childish profanities into her neck.

As Sayaka wilts visibly, her relaxing chest pushes out the last bit of air in a cartoonishly plaintive 'brrrbpt'.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Niramo is making quick work with her makeshift spear, with several rose charms already back down and in her grasp. As she reached for her sixth charm, however, she become overeager and ended up thrusting the spear with haste, with the knife sliding under the charm and dislodging the cake. The Juuban student froze in fear as the section of cake tumbled off and directly for her dress, mirroring the same situation with food that she and Steven had encountered earlier this night. With others on either side of her, and with her dress slowing her down, there is simply no way for her to escape in time.

That fear turned into surprise as a blur of pink fabric intercepted the falling piece of dessert and tumbled to the floor behind her. Looking to the side, she saw Steven, now hatless, and then towards the top hat that was sacrificed so that she could survive unscathed. Quickly untying her ribbon and putting away the spear, she would retrieve the top hat for Steven and quickly look it over. One side of it was covered in frosting, and the sixth charm is resting on the brim. If they were careful while cleaning off the frosting, there wouldn't be any stain left behind.

Walking back over to Steven, she offers the top hat to him, and the six charms she managed to collect. "Steven-san, here is your top hat, and the charms I managed to get!" A light blush colored her cheeks, though it could have simply been her makeup. "You sacrificed your top hat for my sake, and...well, not many people would do that, especially for someone you just met tonight. You're a true gentleman!"

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Usagi not so neatly carves off a hunk of cake and scoops it into her mouth, "You don't have to thank me Ami-chan. I absolutely wasn't going to have you go through tonight a..." Usagi Tsukino blinks her eyes in the totality of her incomprehension. The last thing she expected was shy Ami who was so uncomfortable about the idea of a stranger dancing with her asking if she'd dance with her. "...lone."

Like finishing that syllable is the only thing she can think of doing.

Her fork drops with a clatter onto the plate. It's set aside, and her eyes can only just look at that hand, before following them up to Ami Mizuno's eyes.

She remembers the day Luna dropped on Ami Mizuno's shoulder, declared that she must be an angel fallen.

For a moment her throat feels tight under the memory.

She slowly sets down her Usagi-sized piece of cake on the table, "Who cares what I imagined Ami-chan?" She says quietly.

Her fingers slide under Ami's hand to curl on the opposite side. The warmth of Usagi's fingers radiating into the other girl's hand, "Every prince charming out there could be asking me to dance with them right now."

She says with certainty and warmth, "And I'd turn them all down... just because you asked."

And then the two of them walk out onto the dance floor together...