2018-04-19 - Save Who You Can... Who's The Real Enemy?

From Battle Fantasia MUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
Title: Save Who You Can... Who's The Real Enemy?

Fuu visits Mikoto, listens to her tale, and tries to remind her who their real enemies are.


Fuu Hououji, Mikoto Minagi


Ohtori - Dormitories

OOC - IC Date:

2018-04-19 - 2015-04-12

.******************** Yamanote High City - Ohtori Academy *********************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Dormitories +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 There is some variation between the dormitories to provide a range suitable
 to different tastes, but they are typically old-fashioned and elegant, with
 low stone walls guiding the walkways and ivy creeping up their white walls
 and columns. Their exterior is classically European, like sedate manor
 houses, and for the most part this style is maintained inside, with
 dignified old paintings in thick goldleaf frames. However, the dormitories
 do not lack for daring Ohtori touches, with whimsical art deco floor
 panelling here, fantastical geometric lamps there, and odd little secret
 panels and dead ends throughout.

 Dorm rooms are generally shared between two same-gender students, but
 singles are almost as common; Ohtori students were not generally raised to
 share. There are some triples and quads available as well. Some dorms permit
 a great deal of leeway in decoration, others require students to stick to
 the default antique furniture. Many dorms have at least a small balcony,
 which provides an escape route for particularly rebellious students when
 curfews are instated.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

'Let's talk tomorrow,' Mikoto had said to Fuu. She'd asked so simply, gratitude in her eyes, and... she had been such a pained and desperate girl, even in the snippets of words she had said to Kasagami and Utena's duel. It's so obvious she needs friends, right now.

And now the next day has come, and, well... the problem with Mikoto is, Mikoto doesn't have a cell phone. Mikoto doesn't really have any way to contact Fuu, or to be contacted by her. Besides that, Mai had been frightfully worried when she'd finally returned to the dorm. She was quite, quite firm about Mikoto staying home, after that.

... so Mikoto is in her dorm. But the nice thing about the place all her most important people sleep - one perhaps less often than the others, but it will always be an open home to her as far as Mikoto is concerned - is that where Mikoto is staying is a matter of public knowledge. It's not difficult to find out where Mikoto lives, with a call to the dormitories.

Mikoto is dozing - not asleep, not quite, not after Mai had gotten up to go to work and Eri had visited earlier. But she's sprawled out on the bed she and Mai share, Miroku leant beside it in its case. Every so often she shifts, trying to find the one magical position which won't remind her of her dull aches. It's a miracle which is beyond her.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Even if Mikoto did have a cell phone, Fuu doesn't know a number to reach her at ... and while she considered calling Mai to ask, Fuu discovered (to her dismay) that she'd somehow never actually gotten Mai's own cell phone number.

Still, the dorms are easy enough to find on the Ohtori campus, and a little research narrowed down the right building, then the right room. And since she needed to pick up some snacks anyway (it's kind of rude to show up empty-handed when visiting somebody, after all!) she made sure to buy some extra, the better to prove her good intentions (andor simply bribe her way past the guard).

If Mikoto were actually fast asleep, the light knock on the door might go unnoticed - and that's kind of why Fuu knocks as quietly as she does: she doesn't want to disturb the girl, who surely needs her rest.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The guards of Ohtori prove eminently bribable, especially for savoury snacks.

There's someone at the door, knocking ever-so-softly, and a normal girl might have dismissed the noise in favour of warm blankets and daydreams. But Mikoto isn't a normal girl - can never be a normal girl - and she tenses, immediately. Right... Mai's at work. Eri's not here any more either, evidently, because the door goes unanswered. After a moment's grogginess, Mikoto realises those two things, and calls out: "Coming!"

She grasps for the walking stick beside the bed, and slips out from under the covers, wincing a little as she straightens. She grabs Miroku's strap, shrugging it onto her good shoulder with a hiss through grit teeth, before she takes her stick in hand and goes to the door.

Mikoto is slow to get there. Yesterday's fall has left her more sore than anyone has any right to be. The doctors assured her that her limbs should heal relatively quickly - the wounds were wide, befitting Fallen Stern's broad blade, but not as deep as their size made them seem - so long as she could let herself recover. Her side... would take longer, but by some small magical miracle the Sovereign's lance hadn't pierced anything vital. They'd remarked on how well she was healing up, while she was there, so they were confident she'd make a full recovery eventually. Eventually. But she had to make sure she didn't push herself, especially while her stitches were still mending the edges of her skin together again.

... did that count as pushing herself, yesterday? It's so frustrating. She feels like she can't do anything. can't even move properly

She does make it, eventually, and when she sees Fuu there instead of an enemy she smiles, warm. "Fuu?" Mikoto greets her, sounding surprised to see her here at home. Still, her body language is open, chin tilted up and muscles relaxed. She's happy to see her, though the walking stick which has taken her to the door is an unpleasant reminder that there's something under that happiness, too. And then she sees the snacks, and her smile grows wider, because Mikoto Minagi loves food. Right?

She steps aside. "Mai and Eri aren't here, but... wanna come in?"

There are chairs around a table, but Mikoto goes to sit on the couch instead, shrugging Miroku off and leaning it alongside. (Is she expecting an attack, to carry her weapon with her even at home..?) They had to replace a lot of their furniture after SEARRS invaded and trashed the place; a lot of things look relatively new. 'Relatively,' because this is Ohtori, and frankly it seems like a requirement for everything to look a little antique.

Mikoto leans back against the elegant back of a couch which looks far too refined for a feral cat, a couch which is only simple by Ohtori standards, and sighs.

She looks like she could use a snack.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Fuu smiles, bowing politely to Mikoto when she sees the other girl. "If they won't mind missing a visitor, then by all means. And I did promise to stop by and see you, so here I am."

She makes her way into the apartment, setting down her burden: a shopping bag containing several boxes of dorayaki, from one of the upscale shops on the way to (or from) Southern Cross Island. "I hope I brought enough for all three of you to enjoy some," she says as she takes a seat across from Mikoto. "In the meantime, please help yourself. How are you feeling?"

While her tone and demeanor are as friendly and polite as ever, Fuu's gaze does sweep over Mikoto's form, gauging how she's carrying herself, any visible bandages, details like that. She's not expecting to bust out the healing magic this trip - and she's never tried to heal injuries this long after they were inflicted, so she doesn't really want to try too hard on that front. No point in messing up the body's own work at healing itself ...

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Won't mind," Mikoto assures Fuu, because she can't imagine a world where Mai is displeased someone came to see her. A world where Mikoto went outside, on the other hand...

They sit down, and Fuu sets down her bag. "Fuu!" Mikoto smiles, and her name is gratitude and plain happiness, because Fuu understands that food is the most essential way to Mikoto's heart. And yet, there's a heaviness about her, even as she smiles, as if there's a great weight on Mikoto's shoulders.

Still, offered that dorayaki, she naturally tears into one and then a second, consuming them quickly and just coincidentally also giving herself time to think. The consumption almost seems as desperate as the rest of her, but - surely it's just Mikoto's voracious appetite.

There's so much she could tell her... ... there's so much she's not sure she should tell her.

Fuu is a good person, so unlike Mikoto's dark necessity, and she doesn't want to make an enemy of her again. She still remembers what Fuu said, about agreeing with the Chevalier's aims. And she remembers what Mai said... about being surprised she could stay out of it.

As she finishes eating, that conflict and uncertainty are writ on her face, plain as day alongside the dull ache which is so quickly becoming baseline. Like she wants to start talking, but she's not sure how. Eventually, she decides to start with Fuu's question.

"Feels... bad," Mikoto confesses, after a long moment, looking away. It can't hide the shame on her face, or her guilt, her sorrow or her pain. Her eyes say so much more than her words. "... really bad." And it's clear, so clear, that she's not just talking about her wounds.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Fuu nibbles on a dorayaki herself while Mikoto is scarfing two down, giving the catlike girl time to enjoy the delicacy, time to compose herself and think. Although the fact that Mikoto *does* have to think about her answer is, in its own right, fairly diagnostic. Not so much of the physical injuries, but of the other weights under which Mikoto is struggling - because no matter how strong she is physically, no matter how terrifying and deadly she is with that giant sword currently leaning against the sofa in its golf-club bag, Mikoto is still just a girl, much like Fuu in a number of essential respects.

So when Mikoto says it's 'really bad,' Fuu nods slowly, taking a deep breath, smoothing her skirt over her lap with the hand not holding a partially-eaten dorayaki. "I ... there's a lot I don't know about what's happened recently in your life," she admits. "I haven't taken the time to reach out, and there's nobody to blame for that but myself. But I'm guessing -"

She pauses, grimacing, and inclines her head apologetically to the other girl. "Please forgive me for prying; if you'd rather not answer me honestly, I understand. But the 'crash' you were hurt in ... wasn't a simple traffic accident, was it?"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Fuu blames herself, and it's a shard of cold, black glass through Mikoto's aching heart. Pain doubles over pain as her eyes narrow, staring at the claw of the couch. Everyone in her life is blaming themselves for Mikoto's failures. she could have stopped this but she's just not smart enough not clever enough to find a solution to this

Mikoto is just a girl. Just a girl, wounded, bandaged, laid on the altar of her devotion and torn apart. Just a girl, and she has no answers as she struggles over something deep and dark.

She shakes her head, and in that moment she looks so hopeless. "... no," she says, after a moment, and her voice is small. Another time - another place - she might have lied, might have tried to spare Fuu with lies of omission. But pretending has only brought her so much pain. So Mikoto states, plainly, quietly: "It's war."

And those two words, so resigned, so despondent, say so much about how the fighting between magical girls has progressed, since Fuu decided to follow her conscience and leave. How brutal it has become, the lengths they've gone to...

Mikoto can't look at Fuu. Can't possibly bear it.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.


For a fraction of a second, Fuu wonders if she mis-heard somehow - or if Mikoto is exaggerating - but for all that the blizzard battle was months ago, she remembers the terror of that fight. Not just the personal fear that came from facing Mikoto across Miroku's blade, but the fact that Chevaliers and enemies alike were willing to *ignore* a blizzard which threatened the entire city and fight *each other* instead -

Even without looking, Mikoto can certainly hear the sounds of movement. The soft noise of pressure being eased where Fuu was sitting, the sound of footsteps ... except those footsteps don't depart; Fuu takes a few steps away, yes, but then she approaches closer, and sits down *next* to Mikoto, her free left hand offered, palm up, arm relaxed. As though to simply hold hands.

"I haven't spoken to the Chevaliers about that since ... the blizzard, really," Fuu admits quietly. She won't force Mikoto to take her hand, and if the other girl pulls away from her entirely, Fuu will back off again. "Not even to apologize for abandoning them, though I know I should - I wish I had done so before now. It hasn't even come up in talking with Hikaru-san ... has it gotten that bad between the two groups?"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto closes her eyes, as she hears Fuu getting up. Of course she's leaving. There was never any doubt in her mind, was there? she is just too dark

But then the footsteps come closer, and Mikoto feels rather than sees it as Fuu sits down beside her. She swallows at a lump in her throat as she dares to open her eyes and glance sidelong at her, to see Fuu's hand so freely offered.

Mikoto takes it, and - perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not - leans against Fuu's side, pressing in against her as heavily as her chest will allow. She is so, so simple. So, so vulnerable.

Her grip is tight, but not as tight as it ought to be. Fuu has seen her iron grasp of Miroku; this is not that, cannot be that. Her strength is so sapped...

"... talk to Hikaru," Mikoto says, and her voice is small and pleading. "I... I didn't talk, to Mai, to protect Mai. I was... just like Mai... and it hurt Mai, Fuu. Not knowing, hurt Mai so much." So much regret, in those words which all tumble out.

Perhaps she doesn't realise that sometimes, talking is just too hard.

She shakes her head, against Fuu's shoulder, suddenly tense. "... yeah. I can... tell Fuu what happened, but..." Mikoto's voice is heavy with regret, and she holds on tightly, desperately. "... I don't think Fuu will like me after." why would she like a monster

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Fuu squeezes Mikoto's hand back, gently enough not to hurt, firmly enough to confirm that she's here, she's listening, and she's not going anywhere quite yet. "Mikoto-san ..." she says gently, then trails off. Just for a moment.

"Do you know why I backed out of the war? Not just because you're a terrifying opponent," she admits with a trace of humor, "and not just because I knew that hurting you would also hurt Mai-san," she adds, her voice serious once more. "Those were factors, but ... the reason why I've stayed out of the Chevaliers' campaign goes further than that, deeper. And even if what you tell me makes me hate you, it's the reason why you'll - why I want to think you'll still be a valued ally to me, even if not a friend."

She could just keep talking, but ... she did ask a question, and she gives Mikoto a chance to try answering it.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto shakes her head, again. "Fuu..." Her name hangs there, uncertain, fearful. "I... I don't want Fuu to, hate me..." Even though she's done such detestable things. "I like Fuu..."

She swallows, again, against that lump which has so stubbornly formed in her throat. "... Fuu said Fuu made older promise," Mikoto says, finally, recalling their conversation back then. "So, though Fuu agreed with Chevaliers, Fuu wouldn't fight."

Old promises. Hers, to destroy her enemies... but now, Mai doesn't want her to fight.

"... I know," she says, finally, offering understanding of the weight of old promises. "It's... it's hard... that's why I don't wanna, make Fuu make hard choices... but doing that only hurt Mai... so it'd hurt Fuu too, right?" And as much as Mikoto fears Fuu's scorn, she wants to hurt her even less. Mikoto presses her lips together, to try and stop them trembling. "... so I'll tell Fuu..."

But it takes her a moment, even so, because it is such a hard, broad subject.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"It's related to that promise, yes," Fuu says, nodding. "But it's more than that, in a way, too. We have so many enemies as magical girls - Labyrinth, Orphans, Noise, Witches, more monsters than I could hope to count ... and for some of those monsters, there are active forces behind them, beings or organizations who want to conquer or destroy the world we fight to protect. Even if I hadn't made that promise, we have so many enemies already - shared in some cases, uniquely personal in others - that the last thing we need to do is to make additional enemies of each other. At least, that's what I think."

She smiles a little ruefully, and gives Mikoto's hand another gentle squeeze. "Anyway. I won't force you to tell me, even though I'm curious enough to ask ... even though," she admits, "I'm not sure how much I want to know the truth."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

There's a certain innocence, behind Fuu's words, and it makes Mikoto's eyes lid in sadness. "... would be nice... if Fuu's world were right," she concedes, after a moment. The way she says it, it would be nice, but it's just not true. "... but I swore Eri's enemies were my enemies. I can't go back." That desperation, to her voice again. "I can't let Eri down. I must fight. Once Eri's enemies are defeated... everything can be normal again. Can focus on monsters again. I can do it. I must do it!" Even if she has to kill every one of them herself, so that Eri doesn't have to feel sad any more.

Fuu doesn't know if Fuu wants to know. That, more than anything, is what wars with Mikoto, brings her her silence. But, ultimately... there is a part of Mikoto, not insignificant, which yearns for forgiveness. And she couldn't possibly seek it of the enemies she must destroy - but this girl, who believed in them...

Mikoto bites at her lip, looking away.

"Was... peace. For a while. After Charlotte. Didn't last. World's... gonna end, 'cause of that girl..." Mikoto trails off, frowning, deeply. She hadn't been involved in the peace treaty. She is a tool of destruction, after all. But she'd heard enough. "... they'd let it happen, to save her life. I wouldn't. We wouldn't. So we fought again. And, worse this time. More pressure, more danger. Tried to get rid of Mami early, end it quick, failed."

"We had to... do really bad things." Mikoto can't look at Fuu, but she grips at her hand, as if it's once again her lifeline. "... and I just, let happen... let them die... even though they'd never brought blade against me..."

Her voice is so, so small. "... I'll fight anyone who gets in my way, but... people who haven't decided to fight... what's the point, Fuu..? They never, made choice... they're not warriors... but we didn't have choice, they needed magic, needed so much, Chevaliers never stopped coming, never ever stopped, we had to defend ourselves... they'd kill us, Fuu... it's kill or be killed..."

"... so they came to Eri's territory. Again, and again. And - he was too strong," and there is bitterness in her voice, and hatred, for a boy who might be obvious to Fuu amongst the many girls of the Chevaliers. "I couldn't stop it, Fuu. I tried! I pushed, and pushed, so hard - not enough!" She shakes her head, fiercely. "... so we lost Ueno. And they came for Shinjuku."

"... they took it. They paid." Mikoto's voice is so hateful, so cold. "Mami is dead. We paid, too. I got hurt." Her voice is flat, and hard. As if she doesn't have any sympathy for her enemy's destruction, or for herself. No - as if she can't have sympathy. shouldn't have been hit in the first place She carefully elides who killed Mami. Her voice softens as she adds: "Yumi too, still in hospital. ... and then, everyone else..." They were not, to her knowledge, trapped in the horrible torture device known as 'hospital', but then again she remembers nothing of that night after she blacked out. She knows they were hurt, though.

Of the two, the Shepherds clearly got the better end of the deal: Mikoto and Yumi and the others will heal, eventually. Mami never will. But those few sentences, so simple, so matter-of-fact, communicate so much about just how brutal the magical girl war has gotten since Fuu's departure. She doesn't intend to say the Chevaliers were badly hurt as well, but it may be implied, the way she says 'everyone', as if no one escaped getting hurt.

"Eri offered to heal, but... they took everything," Mikoto goes on to say, and her voice wavers slightly this time, as she talks about Eri's territory being lost. "... that's... big deal for Puella Magi. Fuu knows, right?" Without territory, she can't hunt easily. And if she can't hunt easily, she can't eat. And if she can't eat... she'll run out of magic so quickly.

Mikoto shuts her eyes, shakes her head. Concern, regret, pain, all obvious on her face. "... so, couldn't accept. Even though, I'm useless like this..." Eri said she'd fix her, eventually, when she had the magic to spare again, but Mikoto is wary of sharing her plans to acquire territory with anyone. "... though, they could come, at any time..." Of course. The blade, by the couch.

That Mikoto apparently views herself as useless when she's wounded goes entirely uncommented. it's so obvious

She shakes her head. "... but, I could protect back then. I... got everyone out safe." There's a note of shame as she adds: "Fled. I... I know I'm supposed to destroy my enemies, but... but everyone was so hurt, Fuu! If I'd destroyed the enemy... they might've had time to... to..!" To kill Eri. To get retribution for Mami's death. And so, she went against the will of her obsidian heart. She disobeyed every directive she had ever received. She fell short of a lifetime's training. She betrayed her purpose, because the terrible, terrible alternative stretching out in front of her was shaped so exquisitely like the corpse of the third most important person in all the world.

Fuu has seen Mikoto in the midst of berserkergang, how difficult even talking is in the depths of it. How much more difficult was it, to flee the battle...?

... how Mikoto, tiny Mikoto, possibly got even one person out of the battlefield with her injuries is singularly unclear.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Mami is dead.

In the midst of Mikoto's torrent of speech, those words are the clearest that Fuu hears. Mami Tomoe, the blonde musketeer of the Puella Magi, is dead. Not wounded, not crippled, but gone forever - without Fuu ever having one last chance to speak to her, to apologize, to explain.

Fuu closes her eyes, bowing her head as she hears the rest of Mikoto's story out. The *other* reason why she bowed out of the war was her awareness that even if she agreed with the Chevaliers, their opponents believe otherwise - and with good reason: Puella Magi who *can't* hunt Witches are doomed, even if that's because there *are* no Witches to hunt.

"You saved the lives that you could, Mikoto-san," Fuu finally says, her voice quiet, gentle, deeply distraught, but not remotely hateful. "That's all any of us can ever do. That's ... what so many of us seem to be at risk of forgetting, if this war stretches on any further. And while magical girls fight other magical girls, our enemies - all of the monsters out there, all of the driving forces behind the monsters - keep attacking innocents ..."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

She saved the lives she could, says Fuu, and that is what makes Mikoto's eyes well with the tears which have been lurking behind her halting voice for so long. Fuu doesn't sound angry. Fuu just sounds, so sad... it aligns Mikoto with her own sorrow.

"Someone like me's..." Mikoto trails off, breath hitching. "... not a shield, but a blade."

And she sounds like she's repeating someone's words, but who would be so terrible, to say that to Mikoto?

"All I can do is fight..." Tears leak down her face, as she stares into the distance. "... but now I can't even fight."

Her breath shallows, past parted lips, as she admits it, her grip on Fuu's hand so very, very tight. It would be painful, at her full strength. As it is, it's just - sad. As sad as the grief so openly displayed on her face, the tears which she can't seem to get under control, no matter how she tries to take in hungry breath.

"Saving everyone... Fuu... I'm not good, or, smart enough to do that at all! All I can do, is fight my enemies as they appear... that's all, I can do..."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Fuu leans forward briefly, setting down the dorayaki she hadn't finished eating, then moves to try and extricate her hand from Mikoto's grasp ...

But only because she's offering her right hand to hold, now. Her left arm is needed for something else: namely, a hug that she hopes will offer some comfort to the now-crying girl. (Or are both of them crying? Fuu can feel a stinging in her eyes but she's not sure if tears are trickling down *her* cheeks ...)

She doesn't know what else to say, though. Logic doesn't even apply here - arguably, it never *did* apply to the war between the Puella Magi, into which so many others have been drawn ... more than Fuu is aware of, she's sure of that much.

So when words and reason fail her, Fuu falls back on emotion and action - in this case, not merely holding Mikoto's hand to support and comfort her, but outright hugging her. Because that *is* all she can think to do right now.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto releases Fuu's hand, as she realises she's trying to escape. She won't keep her here. She might be a monster, but she's not that cruel... and neither is Fuu. She pulls her in, offers her her other hand - of course, Mikoto takes it. She turns in against Fuu's side, and her chest shudders with painful, painful breath as she cries.

"... Fuu... Fuu... Fuu..." Mikoto's voice is desperate, hopeless, shattered, and it's just her name, over and over, as if Mikoto has bled out all the words she has and is left only with the shape of a friend.

Mikoto is such a wretched, awful person... but Fuu is still here, hugging her... it's such a relief, but it's so sad...