2018-06-26 - LOTUS INCEPTION: Kimiko Akane

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Kasagami and Kimiko meet in her dream and a difficult decision is made


Kimiko Akane Kasagami Araki


Tokyo Park

OOC - IC Date:

6-26-18 - 4-24-15

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

The fresh air in the park makes Kimiko sigh heavily with a contentment she cannot remember ever feeling before. As she sits on the blanket on the grass where her family have laid out a picnic, Kimiko watches her dad playing with her sister just a few feet from them. Watching him spinning Maiyumi in circles and hearing their laughter, she soaks in the memory and then turns to her mom.

"Mayumi-chan really loves him doesn't she?" Her mother nods and after a pause adds, "He loves you too Kimi-chan. Don't forget that okay?" Kimiko feels a warm hand on her shoulder and she tilts her head, resting it on her mother's hand before she reaches up a hand to place over hers. "I won't mom."

This day. This feeling. She wants it to last forever. "This whole day has been amazing mom. We should do this more often." She doesn't add that this is what she always felt was missing from her life because that would mean that she was admitting that this couldn't possibly be real and it feels to real for it to only be a dream.

As her father and sister return to the blanket, Mayumi plops down next to Kimiko. "What are you guys talking about?" Her big eyes peer up at Kimiko and it makes the older girl laugh. "You, of course! We were talking about how you're the cutest little sister in the world." Her parents both smile at the interaction between their daughters. Mayumi grins and hugs Kimiko before looking back to the food and loudly declaring, "I am hungryyyy!"

The four of them begin to eat from the selection of sushi and other homemade items that they had brought with them. It doesn't take long for the meal to be devoured but then Ayuka brings out a small package. "Don't forget dessert!" She hands them to Kimiko and inside are chocolate chip cookies. Kimiko's favorite thing in the world. Taking one, Kimiko passes the others around to the rest of her family. "Thank you mom! They are so yummy as always!"

The sun begins to set in the park and the crowds start to disperse until the Akane family is one of the only ones left there. It's as if none of them want this day to end. Finally, Seiji stands up, "We should start packing up before it gets too late." The girls nod and begin helping with the packing and pretty soon everything is tied up in a neat bundle for the journey home.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Wandering the dream Tokyo of others is...odd to say the least. Everything's similar, yet odd all the same. Most of them blurr together, such that it makes Kasagami's head hurt just a bit. Nevermind she's still reeling from being torn from her own dream.

Distractions help though, and soon enough she finds herself amidst the park. Upon noticing the blanket and occupants, she stops, leaning against a tree in a subtle motion. She smooths her coat and school uniform, smiling at the antics of the little one. Whose idlyllic dream could this be?

And then she spies Kimiko. Seeing her ally and friend in the midst of such a sweet dream with her family? It's almost too much to interrupt. She, after all, understands exactly how it feels to have your family in a dream like this. She isn't sure if Kimiko has lost them or not, but it's a good guess that they're idealized at the very least. Tragedy seems common among those she knows.

"Kimiko-chan! Care if I join you all?" She puts on her biggest, cockiest and most outgoing grin, boots thudding as she walks over to greet the family even as they start to pack up.

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

As the family begins to pack up, a familiar? voice makes Kimiko turn quickly. It takes a second for Kimiko to respond, "Araki-san, I didn't expect to see you here." With the question about joining, Kimiko glances away nervously, "Ah, we were actually getting ready to leave but you're welcome to walk with us. We have one more quick stop to make nearby before we go home."

Mayumi bounds over to Kasagami, "Oooh, you looks so cool! Are you one of Onee-chan's friends from school?" The smaller girl seems to study Kasagami as if formulating an idea or an opinion of the older girl.

Kimiko laughs, "Hey Mayumi-chan, give her some breathing room!" She steps forward wrapping her arms around the neck of the younger girl before she looks back at her parents, "Mom and dad, this is Kasagami Araki. She's a student at Ohtori." Something about all of this feels strange again but she shakes it off, trying to enjoy the moment.

"We are heading by Rainbow Bridge. Mom said she wanted to show me something special there." Kimiko cannot imagine what it was, although everyone else in the family seems to know. "Will you come with us?" She asks Kasagami.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kasagami can't help but lean down, grinning at Mayumi for a second. "That's right! I am the Captain of the Kendo Club! And the most beautiful, strongest, and most talented person at Ohtori! Worshipped and adored by all!" Crows the young woman, striking a confident pose. This is, of course, false right about now. But a show of bravado might well shake some of the 'oddness' of the dream.

She's quick to join in with the group though, offering a bow to Kimiko's parents before outright wrapping a companionly arm around Kimiko's shoulder.

"That's a good idea. Actually, I've been meaning to talk to you. Come on, let's go."

She's, for the most part, ignoring the parents now. Aside from the occasional glance back with saddened eyes. She leans in to Kimiko.

"Doesn't any of this feel...strange to you, Kimi-chan? Like something's missing?" Her laugh is a bit bitter.

"Not that I blame you."

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

Mayumi's eye grow wide at Kasagami. "The /Captain/ of the Kendo club?! That's awesome! Can you teach me sometime pleeeeease?" It's hard to resist that adorable face and those pleading eyes for the even the hardest hearted person. Mayumi is quickly pulled away by Kimiko and her parents and takes her place near her father again, grabbing his hand tightly as they walk in front of Kimiko and Kasagami.

As the family walks behind them, the two girls walk ahead and Kimiko doesn't look back, instead focusing on her schoolmate. The question catches her off-guard. "Y-you feel it too? I can't explain it..." She lowers her voice. "...but this feels like it's not right? It's so confusing but I thought maybe it was..." Kimiko shrugs, unwilling to speak the words out loud.

How can she admit what she felt when it means she could once again lose people who are the most important to her? Regardless of the truth, she wants to be here with her family. She doesn't want anything to change. Admitting what she somehow knew would mean that she would have to confront reality and she is not ready for that.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

That cute face, just how innocent she is. Kasagami's smile falters, and her heart feels like it's breaking. This sweet little girl is Kimiko's sister?

She reaches down, and ruffles the girl's hair. "...I'd love to, kiddo. Make me a promise we'll meet up again, okay?" Her smile is uncharacteristically gentle. She's glad the parents tear her away, as it's the only thing keeping her composure right now.

"Come on, Kimi-chan. You have pretty good senses. This is a really nice place, it is. Hah, it makes me seem pretty garish and overdone." The young woman shakes her head, one fist clenching before she relaxes. That smile evaporates as she turns to really look at Kimiko.

"I think, Kimiko, you of all people know that as pretty as daydreams can be, you can't live inside of them. No matter if they have everything you've ever fought for. Even if...even if you can see the faces of those lost to you. It's not an easy thing, facing reality. Reality is painful, random and cruel."

A chuckle, low. "But what's a world worth if you don't earn the pleasant parts? Who wants to have everything handed to them? It just doesn't work that way. But it makes the friends who love you all the more worth fighting for, in a world like that."

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

Kasagami's words make Kimiko's heart race as she looks around and finally, for a moment, she looks back to her family. The family that shouldn't be. When she turns forward again, her eyes glisten in the setting sun and she cannot bring herself to look her friend in the eyes. "It's... a dream but... it feels so real. Maybe...it's because it's what I always wanted. How things really should be..." Suddenly she feels angry, "It's not fair Kasa-san to ask me to give this up."

She frowns, unable to stop the flood of emotions that spill out from her eyes, "I love them...so much. To go back to the life I had and have to fight again to the point of exhaustion. Knowing that in a second my life would be over... how can you say that I have to go back to that?"

They walk and Kimiko sighs in defeat. "But, you're right. It's not fair to those who fight everyday on the other side." She looks back at her parents again, they seem to know what the girls are talking about and her mother is the first to close the distance. She places a hand on Kimiko's shoulder. "Kimi-chan, you know that I love you with all of my heart. Mayumi and I would love for you to be here with us forever but... you have people that care about you on the other side. You have to fight for them! You have to take care of your father." There are tears in her eyes as she leans over to embrace Kimiko, who melts into the hug, tears still flowing freely.

When she can speak again, Kimiko's voice still shakes, "I am sorry Mom..." Her dad and sister come closer. "Dad, Mayumi-chan... I can't... stay here..." Her dad nods and Mayumi runs up to her and hugs her, sobbing quietly. "I want you to stay but... I know you can't."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kasagami's gaze doesn't move an inch. She takes in Kimiko's sadness, that pain in her eyes. The firm gaze is only cracked by a look of sympathy on her face. The anger is all too familiar, and she lets Kimiko let it out. Briefly, a hand comes to squeeze her shoulder. Silence for a moment.

"I don't doubt it. It's /never/ fair, Kimiko. No one should have to fight the way you and Eri-chan do." But Kimiko comes around, and she nods. A small, proud little smile.

"Yup. You and I are warriors, Kimiko. And our battles are not done yet. Maybe we won't have these beautiful dreams, but we can make ones just as bright if we follow our ambitions and fight for the sake of those we love!"

Kassie falls silent. She looks away, not wanting to intrude on such a moment. She bites her lip, trying to ignore the tears running down her cheeks. Anger swells in her own heart. Why must they meet again, only to depart?

Kasagami decides, upon hearing Kimiko sob, that this is the worst and sweetest form of torture. Gloves creak in frustration.

All she can do, for now, is to pray for her friend and let her have her goodbyes as she had.

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

The mention of Eri, makes Kimiko pause. "Eri... Mikoto...I can't leave them alone." As hard as she tried to fight back against letting people get close to her, she cannot deny that the common bond they shared was a reason to fight with them and for them...even if it meant leaving this ideal world.

"I hope you're right Kasa-san... I really do." She pauses as her family surrounds her.

"Mayumi-chan, please take care of mom for me okay?" The younger girl nods and embraces Kimiko. "I am sorry I have to go but I love you and I always will... no matter what!" Her parents take the younger girl in their hands and step back, looking to Kasagami, "Please take care of our daughter. She needs someone to be there for her."

Kimiko's sobs finally slow as she offers one last embrace and then she steps back and turns back to the bridge. In a second, they are no longer on the bridge but the world tree comes into view, light piercing the dream and ripping it apart at the seams.

Kimiko reaches out to hold Kasagami's hand as the dream completely fades and they find themselves back at the World Tree having to once again confront the dying world in front of them..."This is going to be terrible isn't it?" She sighs heavily.