2018-04-22 - Good Things In Ohtori

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Title: Good Things In Ohtori

Kimiko trips over Mikoto's walking stick, and the two end up having a conversation about what happened to her - and their experiences in school. Mikoto has a lot of good to say about Ohtori. Kimiko... finds it a little bit harder.


Kimiko Akane, Mikoto Minagi


Ohtori Academy

OOC - IC Date:

2018-04-22 - 2015-04-13

******************** Yamanote High City - Ohtori Academy *********************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Ohtori Academy +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 The ivory crown on the brow of Southern Cross Island, Ohtori Academy is
 separated from the world by more than just water. Outside, education can be
 a luxury. Within this white-walled compound, education is luxurious.
 Marble colonnades spring up like fountain spouts, scarlet flowers drench
 every free surface. The architecture is at once daringly art deco and
 austerely Classical, white marble lending an angelic weightlessness to
 pillars and fences that can seem more woven than carved.

 At the center of campus is the Chairman's Tower, a dizzyingly tall spire in
 the center of a manicured grassy field. Radiating around this field are the
 lecture halls, dormitories, art buildings, and other facilities by which the
 chosen few receive education, with small class sizes in large buildings.
 It's common for students to refer to a building's location as if the hour
 hand of a great clock extended from the central tower. At twelve o'clock,
 for instance, the Duel Arena looms like a jade stormcloud, a great forest
 forming a living pagoda of leaves that reminds even longtime students that
 their school keeps many secrets.

 The rose is the emblem of Ohtori, and campus is decorated with a profusion
 of them, both living and frozen in frieze. Poppies are favored as well, and
 thick carpets of either flower can be found wherever the loosest excuse is
 available. Only the most bitter of winters seems able to fully erase the
 faint fragrance from the air, and students who leave the island via quick,
 convenient bridge or ferry can often find a memory of it on their clothing.

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

Mikoto has gotten up early, today - pain makes it difficult to sleep, after all. With her oldest friend's blessing, she's off to class. Mikoto doesn't normally care for class at all - but, frankly, after so long lying down doing nothing, she'll take any form of engagement, even if it's those numbers she can never seem to properly understand no matter how much she tries.

Rumours have been flying. The Demon Cat of Ohtori, that Mysterious Golfer-Chan, was in a terrible bike crash! No, a car crash! No, it was a giant truck! No, no, it's even worse - she was caught up in that bomb which went off in Shinjuku! There are so many stories, for those who care to listen, and it makes those long-limbed girls whisper and titter and stare as they pass her bandaged form.

And they do pass her, because Mikoto, for once, is such a slow creature. She'd rather just push herself to class - she's feeling better today, so she knows she can do it! - but that guilt snaps down over her heart like a steel trap, and Mikoto sags against her walking stick with the weight of it. "Ugh..."

Mai would be upset, if she pushed herself. Mai would cry, again. Mai would get mad, again. Mai would... Mai would...

Mikoto makes her way to one of the many benches in one of the many decorative gardens of Ohtori, and sits, heavily, on the edge so that Miroku's case still has room. She can't make Mai cry again. Not so soon. Mikoto isn't that cruel... right? she knows the answer to that question already

<Pose Tracker> Kimiko Akane [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

As the cherry blossoms fade away a new school year beckons. Ohtori is a busy place and it's easy for someone to get lost in the sea of faces. In a lot of ways, it's ironic that someone like Kimiko feels like she actually has to work harder to not be seen but perhaps it's all in her head that she sometimes feels like she has a giant mark on her that makes her a target for rumours and the horrible whispers that seem to happen behind her back.

As she makes her way through the halls, her posture is hunched over as she carries her books. Although she looks directly ahead of her, her mind seems to be elsewhere. Sometimes she feels like everything Kasagami had told her would never be achievable. That kind of strength or aspiration that other people believe is inside her feels like nothing but an unobtainable goal.

With her mind elsewhere, Kimiko nears the gardens, not even glancing towards them as usual looking for a connection. Instead, she walks past the bench where Mikoto sits but it's her feet that she should be watching and after she nearly trips over the girls walking stick, Kimiko's face reddens as it snaps her out of her thoughts. The books she carried in her arms scatter across the floor, landing loudly.

The younger girl cringes and before she reaches for the books, she is apologizing profusely. "I am so sorry! Are you okay? I-I wasn't watching where I was going and uh..." In that moment, she feels tiny but manages to bend over and pick up the books. As she looks back to the older girl though, Kimiko pauses, trying to place a name with the face.

Kimiko seems to remember something suddenly and she offers a slight bow. "I am Kimiko Akane. Have we met before? I don't want to bother you. It's just that... you seem familiar?" She wondered if that sounded too childish but grows quiet.

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

Mikoto isn't paying much attention, to the world around her. Oh, there's the usual background awareness - she can never turn that off - but that scans for threats, not students.

It means that she doesn't notice Kimiko walking too close, and she doesn't pull her walking stick back in time. It means that Kimiko topples to the ground. Mikoto blinks, staring at the girl with catlike yellow eyes.

There are a lot of questions. Mikoto nods to them, with an affirmative grunt. She's fine. She's even managed to keep a grip on her walking stick - it's not as strong a grip as she'd like, but it's difficult to wrest something from Mikoto's grasp, even now.

She tilts her head, as she considers Kimiko. "No," she answers, finally. She means that Kimiko isn't bothering her - and she means that she doesn't know Kimiko, either. If she's ever met her, she doesn't remember.

"Mikoto," she offers, after a pause. It must be her name. She frowns, looking Kimiko and her books over. "... you okay?"

<Pose Tracker> Kimiko Akane [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The short answers that Mikoto gives Kimiko don't seem to bother her too much. She even offers a gentle smile at the girl. "I am fine... I think." She looks down to her foot and rolls her ankle in a circle slowly. I don't think anything is broken." Even though it seems hard for her, she continues. "You're in high school here right? I just started 9th grade." Kimiko doesn't add how she has no idea how she passed 8th grade given the last report from her teachers.

"Would you mind if I sat down? These books are heavy and I think I should rest my ankle for a minute." She looks over the older girl, not too long but long enough to take note of the bandages that are visible and the bruises on her. "Um... if it's not too rude to ask... what happened? Were you in an accident?"

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

Mikoto's frown deepens. Is Kimiko like Yumi, so easily broken? The thought clearly concerns her, worry plain on her face. So she nods, when Kimiko asks if she can sit down.

"... I started in ninth," she volunteers. Mikoto completely fails to explain what she means by starting in ninth grade. In truth, it's a miracle that she's managed to advance through her grades, too - so many of her scores are so terrible. But maybe there's someone looking out for her. A teacher who believes in her, because she's actually good at her class...

Then Kimiko asks the question - the question everyone's been asking - and Mikoto looks away. She huffs a breath through her nose, lips pressed together. She needs to get her story straight, doesn't she?

But then, maybe she can put it off a little longer, because Kimiko happened to phrase it as whether she was in an accident. "Yeah," she answers, finally, still not quite able to look at Kimiko. "... an accident."

She completely fails to elaborate on what that accident was.

<Pose Tracker> Kimiko Akane [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Started in ninth grade?" Kimiko questions the response given but she makes her own assumptions. "Well... I have been here since well... I started school." A pause. "Do you like Ohtori?" The question is somewhat vague and she could easily be asking about the students, teachers or any aspect of the school really.

Seeing the response to her question about the accident, Kimiko immediately wishes she hadn't asked. It's not like she can take it back now though and she is almost relieved when Mikoto answers her, even if only vaguely. "I'm sorry to hear that. Are you going to be okay though?" She cannot hide the caring side of her personality, even if sometimes she wanted to.

As she glances towards a few students moving past them, Kimiko sees one of the girls look to her and Mikoto and then whisper to the other. She averts her eyes quickly to avoid catching their gaze while sighing in frustration. It's true that they could be talking about anything in the world but her automatic assumption seems to be they're talking about her or Mikoto.

Once the girls are out of sight, Kimiko turns back to Mikoto. "Do you live in the dorms here?" She kind of wondered if the dorms for older students were nicer than theirs. Not that she could really complain about much, although it would be nice, she thinks, if they didn't have to have roommates.

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

Mikoto smiles, openly, when Kimiko asks whether she likes Ohtori, and the shift to cheer is obvious. "Yup!" Mikoto chirps. "So many of my favourite people are here!" Not all of them, but a not insignificant amount. "And Mai makes the best bento, and some classes are fun, too! And, lots of gardens! And there's cats!"

But all that happiness falls away when Kimiko asks if she's going to be okay.

Mikoto's gaze darkens as she glances away, staring stubbornly at a rose. It's a deeper question than Kimiko could have ever expected, and the naked concern lances through old wounds as if they were just as white-hot. "I gotta be," she answers, and in that moment she seems such a desperate creature.

If she's not okay, Mai will feel the need to...

But she's learned a few things, in her time here. One is to ignore the students with their tittering voices and their sidelong glances - which Kimiko might notice her doing, in an expert fashion. Another, is to focus on other topics, and Kimiko so kindly offers up a new one.

"Yup," Mikoto nods, a little less enthused but clearly trying to focus on the good things, pointing to her and Mai's dormitory. They're scholarship students, of course. "I live with Mai! Mai makes the best ramen! And Mai's really good at everything, too!" Mai is, in fact, a good person. unlike her

<Pose Tracker> Kimiko Akane [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Kimiko smiles when Mikoto's demeanor shifts with her answers. However, she doesn't share the same enthusiasm for Ohtori that Mikoto does... not that she could exactly say that, especially not now. "When you look at it that way, I guess you're right." Somehow her voice doesn't seem very convincing. In the back of her mind, she is trying to make a mental list of pros and cons of being here. The only thing she can come up with was that she didn't have to live with her father and be constantly reminded of painful memories.

As the conversation shifts, Kimiko sighs at Mikoto's answer. "I know what you mean." Does she really though? "Keep pressing on right? I feel like that's what people always say but..." She pauses. "...it's easier to tell someone that when you haven't been through what they have." Kimiko is doing her best to be understanding, even though she just met the older girl.

"I live in the dorms too." She stops just short of inviting Mikoto to come by sometime, feeling like that would be too much, too soon. What she does focus on, and to be honest it's hard not to, is the mention of Mai and ramen. "Ooooh ramen? I love ramen. My mom used to make the best ramen." A sudden look of sadness passes behind the younger girl's eyes. Attempting to sound more cheerful she adds, "It sounds like you and Mai are close?" Kimiko tries to remember what it felt like to have a close friend like that but it feels like it's been too long.

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

Keep pressing on, Kimiko says, and Mikoto frowns. She can't possibly tell this girl - this girl who is, as far as she knows, totally normal - that she's more right than she knows. Right enough that she can't possibly know what Mikoto means, not really.

... it feels so hard to connect with normal school life, with normal students, with normalcy. And every inch of frustration feels like a betrayal of what Mai wants. She's trying!

So she shakes her head, and focuses on the rest of it, instead. It's her turn for a piercing question, though she asks it with no malice at all: "... does Kimiko not like Ohtori?" It sounds as if she's struggling to find good things about it, and it makes Mikoto sad to think she'd be unhappy.

She smiles. It's impossible for her not to, when she's talking about Mai. She manages to completely miss the past tense in Kimiko's sentence. "Yeah! Mai and I are..." Mikoto pauses. Mai and her are... roommates? Friends? Or...

or maybe she's just mai's burden

"... been through lots together," Mikoto settles on, after a moment. "I love Mai!" And she offers it so plainly, as if it weren't a strange thing to say to a stranger at all. "Who's Kimiko's roommate?"

<Pose Tracker> Kimiko Akane [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The question about Ohtori catches Kimiko off guard somehow. She looks over at Mikoto like she wants to explain her thoughts about Ohtori but in a way it makes her feel more vulnerable than she would like. "I am not sure how to answer that honestly Mikoto-san." She glances around trying to figure out a way to explain herself. "I have nothing against the school itself but there are certain aspects I could do without." Suddenly, Kimiko feels guilty for not being able to be more transparent in her answers but she doesn't elaborate more on her response.

"It must be nice to have someone you're that close to." There may be a little hint of jealousy behind her words but it's easily overlooked. "Maybe I could meet her sometime?" As for her own roommate, "Honestly.. and this probably sounds weird but... I don't know much about Ran. We don't talk a lot and our schedules are so different." She shrugs a little.

"So, um, I don't want to keep you busy for too long but I hope you feel better soon." Kimiko stretches out her sore ankle. "I think my ankle is okay now. I am really sorry again for running into your walking stick like that." Kimiko turns and busies herself fixing her books and glances at the time on her phone.

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

Mikoto considers the other girl. "Ignore Ohtori stuff Kimiko doesn't like," she suggests, after a moment. "That's what I do."

After all, she hears the girls whispering and glancing over to her. Her ears are too sharp not to hear what they say. And she notices the way some of them talk to her, the things they say... but she ignores it, and she ignores them. And it's fine, because there are people looking out for her! Mai would never let anyone talk about her, and Chie and Aoi are always looking out for her, and...

Besides, they don't matter. They're just bystanders, not enemies. Mikoto doesn't need to expend any energy fighting people who couldn't possibly match her. It's better to just ignore them. They'll never know how much danger they might have been in, and that's how it's supposed to be, right?

That's the blessing of being a normal school student.

"Yeah!" Mikoto nods, to Kimiko, completely missing the jealous note. She's all smiles, thinking about Mai. "... talk to Ran, Kimiko! I'm sure Kimiko could make friends with Ran!" It's such open encouragement, because unlike Kimiko, Mikoto struggles with not answering things honestly.

She glances down to Kimiko's ankle, examining it for a moment before she nods again. "It's okay," she assures her. After all, she wasn't paying enough attention, either.

"... but I should get moving," she realises, after a moment, prompted by Kimiko's own business. She pushes herself up, with a little huff. At least her limbs don't hurt so much, now. She's looking forward to getting rid of this walking stick, but Mai had been so worried...

That brief concern flickers over her face, before Mikoto smiles to Kimiko again. "Kimiko's a nice person," she decides. "I'm sure Kimiko can find good things in Ohtori, too."

<Pose Tracker> Kimiko Akane [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Kimiko does take Mikoto's words to heart and immediately she can think of at least one person who she wants to be able to trust. It's not her roommate but being vulnerable in that way to anyone is a scary idea. "It's not as easy to do that as it is to say it Mikoto-san but I understand what you mean. Maybe...eventually that will happen for me."

Offering another small smile, Kimiko stands up and picks up her books. Before she leaves though, she turns towards the older girl and offers a respectful bow. "Thank you. Please take care!" With that, Kimiko heads towards her next activity, disappearing quickly into the crowds of students near the gardens.