2018-05-17 - A Totally Normal Introduction

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Title: A Totally Normal Introduction

Niramo sees Mikoto worrying about things falling out of her pockets, and goes to help out! They finally manage to exchange names, and completely fail to recognise who each other really are.


Mikoto Minagi, Niramo Umokeshi


Shitamachi Low City - Convenience Store

OOC - IC Date:

2018-05-17 - 2018-04-19

.**************************** Shitamachi Low City *****************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Convenience Store +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
 Announced by a colorfully striped plastic sign that wraps around its upper
 edge, this 'konbini' is little different from its thousands of siblings
 around Tokyo. To a soft hum of pop music, visitors can browse the
 tightly-packed aisles for everyday necessities. In addition to the packaged
 foods and lazily rotating hot snacks, there are also shelves and
 refrigerated cases filled with (relatively) fresh pre-made meals, from
 sandwiches to sushi. By the door, the magazine shelves sport smiling
 celebrity faces and cheaply-printed manga collections the size of a phone
 book. The clerks speak a dialect of Japanese designed specifically for
 convenience stores, the unusual structure of which permits them to meet the
 conflicting demands of linguistic politeness and blazing-fast service
 expected in a store like this.

 Konbini are a lot more central to the community than a convenience store is
 in most countries. In a city with few supermarkets, konbini are often used
 for grocery shopping. Concert, train, and museum tickets can be purchased
 here, and some are exclusively available at a given company's konbini.

 Konbini are also often the only business that maintains a publically
 available trash can in a given area, which tends to sit next to their bank
 of elaborate vending machines. ATM access, alcohol, exclusive promotions,
 capsule machines, cheap shirts for salarymen who slept at work last night, a
 mini-cafe... what could you want that a konbini doesn't have?
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto has a very poor track record, when it comes to visiting Tokyo Bay, recently.

But she'd like to find Steven. She'd like to thank him. And it seems reasonable to search for him near that strange art installation, where all the magical girls and boys had gathered.

Of course, first - first she has to buy snacks. Because that's how to thank someone for saving your life, over and over and over. Get them food. Mikoto's scholarship - suspicious as it is, sometimes - has little unallocated stipend, but Mikoto rarely bothers buying things, so she's pretty sure she has enough money.

And to do that...

She has to go into town, first.

She knows the way from Ohtori; it's the route she took to get to their old hunting grounds, after all. But Ueno isn't a place where she can hunt, any more. So she doesn't follow the route to its conclusion; she just goes as far as Shitamachi proper, and then branches off. There should be a convenience store... somewhere around...

... there. The konbini. That'll do.

Mikoto nervously checks the pockets on her shorts, every so often, as she approaches the storefront. She has this alarming tendency to lose things out of her pockets, though largely because she's too busy jumping from rooftop to rooftop to walk like a normal person. Now, regrettably, she is walking like a normal person - and not even a fast normal person.

She avoids brushing into people on one side. She avoids touching that side. She puffs out a breath of exertion, every now and then. They're little signs, but they add up.

And, well, normally she wouldn't care about losing the contents of her pockets, but right now she is on a mission, and Mai has been very explicit about the topic of stealing things. (Something about how she should never do it, because those things don't belong to her.)

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Mikoto isn't the only one that wants to find a way to thank Steven Universe.

Thanks to the timely intervention of her best friend's plan, Niramo isn't under lock and key when it comes to being grounded. Sure, she can't go visit any friends for a whole week, can't stay out past six and have to constantly text her parents that she's okay, but it could have been so much worse without the help she received.

After all, she could still be stuck in space.

Mentally shaking that depressing thought off like it was a rabid dog, Niramo was heading towards the local konbini with a shopping list in her hand. Sure, she could make something to thank Steven alone for everything he did, but when you are saved from space, you need to make something special.

And he wasn't the only one to came to her rescue, so getting more ingredients is very much needed.

As she nears the convenience store, the sight of a girl who's nervously checking her pockets, walking around people with much more space than needed and sighing occasionally. All signs that she's down on her luck, missing something important and trying her best to find what she lost, all without bothering others.

Walking closer and clearing her throat softly to draw Mikoto's attention, the slightly shorter girl smiles and waves her hand in greetings. "I'm sorry if i'm bothering you, but did you lose something? I can help you find it if you need help!"

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

Mikoto Minagi cannot cook. She can, however, break eggs open perfectly.

This one singular skill shockingly does not translate to making delicious baked goods.

Unlike so many of the girls lost in space, Mikoto didn't have parents to explain things to - and her legal guardian, Mashiro, was as hands-off as always, and didn't even seem to acknowledge her absence. She does, of course, have to explain herself to Mai, but Mikoto's explanation of having to thank the boy who saved her was surely sufficient.

After all, there are some things a girl just has to do, in life. And the fact that she has a life at all after that - well - that just means it's especially important.

Cats might seem kind of mean and standoffish sometimes, but they remember kindness.

Mikoto hears footsteps falling in line with hers, and she turns, at the cleared throat. She makes a questioning noise, in the back of her throat, tilting her head as Niramo asks -

- alarm crosses her face, written plainly there. Did she lose something?!

Quickly, Mikoto's hands go to her pockets, and she pulls out a clip purse. It's in the shape of a cat's head - the ears are the clips. Mikoto checks it for the yen inside, finds that there, too, and breathes a sigh of relief as she returns it to her pocket. "... nope. Still here."

And she might have kept walking, then - except that cats remember kindness. She peers at Niramo's face, measuring her, and realisation dawns after a moment. "... Kasagami's friend, right?"

If Kasagami is her friend, she must not be a bad person. That's cat logic.

So she presses a hand flat to her chest, introducing herself: "Mikoto."

It doesn't seem like Mikoto talks much, but she seems perfectly nice, if a little wary and uncertain over being spoken to by a stranger.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Unintentionally causing panic for someone is not an ability Niramo wants or intends to succeed at.

Unfortunately, she does seem to have some sort of natural talent with it, judging by Mikoto's distressed look as she searched for an adorable coin purse. Thankfully it and its' contents are still safe at hand, and a guilty look crosses her face for a moment.

She didn't meant to make the girl in front of her freak out like it, but at least the coin purse is still safe at hand. It really must mean something to warrant such care, maybe a memento from a childhood friend?

Observation aside, hearing the Ohtori student mention Kasagami has a large smile spreading across the Juuban students' features, and she nods. She didn't seem to have any of the disdain most of the student body has for Kasagami has these days, which means she must be something who actually cares for the former Student Council member. "That's right, Kasagami-san is a very good friend, and she's been a big help with some issues. I'm glad someone knows her that doesn't seem to hate her guts for whatever reason, Kasagami-san is a good person and doesn't deserve the grief she's getting!"

Rubbing the back of her neck in embarrasment at her little outburst, she notices how Mikoto doesn't seem to be much of a talker. She doesn't think that perhaps Mikoto is mentally slow when she notices that fact, as her father made sure early on that just because someone may have trouble speaking, it doesn't mean they're not smart.

Everyone thinks differently from one another, and the intelligent may not want to waste words that won't be understood.

Smiling, Niramo nods her head once Mikoto introduces herself. While the name sparks a glimmer of a memory, it doesn't catch light just yet.

"I'm Niramo, pleased to meet you Mikoto-san! Oh, I didn't mean to distract you, I just wanted to see if you need help. I came here to get ingredients for something i'm making for Steven-san, a friend."

Waving her hand again, Niramo starts walking towards the konbini. "Anyways, sorry for bothering you, Mikoto-san. I hope you have a good day and that you find what you're searching for!"

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

Mikoto nods, firmly, with an affirmative noise. "I love Kasagami," she says, and it is such a flagrantly open admission that perhaps it might seem untoward. But Mikoto says it so matter-of-factly, as if she was describing the colour of Kasagami's hair. "Kasagami's a good person."

(There are many ways in which Mikoto doesn't fit with civilised society, but it would, indeed, be a grave mistake to think she isn't smart.)

Niramo, she says, and unlike the other girl there is no glimmer in Mikoto at all. It's the name of a stranger - but a stranger who is Kasagami's good friend, and, it seems, Steven's too. Mikoto blinks, recognition crossing those wide eyes at the name. "Steven?"

She smiles, and her whole face lights up in a moment. "I'm getting stuff for Steven, too!"

But before she can remember that she can't say why, Niramo's breaking off, and Mikoto nods again, grunting assent. "Not bothered," she assures her. "Bye!"

She checks her pocket again, just in case, and begins heading off towards the konbiri, blissfully unaware of the puzzle pieces she has laid out for Niramo.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The flat-out declaration of love from Mikoto finally registers in Niramo's head, and she turns back around so fast that she almost whips an exhausted salaryman with her ponytail. "W-wait, love her?! But she's-" Whatever Kasagami was will never be heard as it finally dawns on the surprised ravenette just how emotionless Mikoto seems to be making that declaration. There was no love-sick sigh, no longing stare into the distance, no shifting of the background?!

'Wait, maybe that's because the last one only happens in anime, silly.'

Nevertheless, it sounds like Mikoto was just talking about the weather right then. And perhaps noticing her shock, Mikoto clarifies and it has Niramo nodding. "W-well, you're right about that, Mikoto-san. She has a flair for the dramatic, but she really does care for her friends. She's amazing, honestly."

Hearing Mikoto mention Steven has Niramo smiling. It seems the plucky boy seems to have friends wherever he goes! "Shorter than me, always happy and surprisingly resourceful? Yep, that's Steven-san alright. He, um, saved a really expensive dress I was wearing from a falling cake, so I wanted to make him something."

It's not a lie, technically. The boy with the Gem family really did save her from assault by pastry, but it was nowhere near close to what the young boy has done for her recently.

"Well, hopefully he'll like what he gets then. And don't worry, Mikoto-san, i'll keep it a surprise if you do, okay? I don't want him finding out until he gets it!" Mikoto may be a woman of few words, but she seems like she can keep a secret. After all, she seems to be friends with Kasagami, and Kasagami trusts her friends.

This time, she would wave goodbye once again, but the feeling that she was forgetting something is poking Niramo in the back of her head. Maybe she'll need to look up Mikoto's name and do a Google search later.

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

Mikoto seems a little baffled by Niramo's response, peering at her to try and ascertain why she's so agitated by her declaration of love. It's confusing, by the uncertain hum she makes between lips pressed together. Did she say something wrong?

But then Niramo nods, and Mikoto decides she can't have said anything too weird. Mikoto nods, too, because she's seen the truth of those words.

And nods, again, with an affirmative noise, as she describes Steven - evidently, that's who she's thinking of, too. He saved her dress...

... well, she guesses Steven could certainly save things which aren't lives, too.

After a moment, Mikoto decides it's safe to say why she's getting him things, so long as she's vague. "Steven saved me, again." And it might seem so nostalgic, those words, because someone's said them once before, in just that order -

- but surely this tiny girl, injured and carrying a long black case over a shoulder, couldn't possibly be that HiME. There's no way a girl named Mikoto has ever been linked to strange activities.

"Yeah," Mikoto agrees, "it's secret." She has no reason to spoil Niramo's surprise, no reason to suspect her gift is anything less than genuine. If she's Kasagami's friend, she must be a good person, and mean Steven no harm.

She doesn't stop her from leaving, though. Mikoto has no reason to stop this totally normal girl from her totally normal activities.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

As she's walking away, Niramo can't help by wonder why Mikoto looked like she being careful with how she walks. With that long black case of hers (maybe a package she's delivering?), maybe she's been fighting an evil underground crime syndicate?

...maybe Niramo should stop catching up on Sailor V right before bed.

A perspective Mikoto might notice a slight limp as Niramo walks away, bruises hidden under long sleeves and jeans. A strong front is put up, but she's still hurting from bruises of her own. But the warm smile she has isn't faked, however.