2018-09-13 - Into The Fold

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Title: Into The Fold

Mikoto brings Georgia up to speed on HiME Happenings, and resolves to hunt monsters with her. Sure, partnerships between Tuners can go sour, but they're both HiME, so surely this will be okay..?


Mikoto Minagi, Georgia Jenks


Ohtori Academy - Gardens

OOC - IC Date:

2018-09-13 - 2015-05-10

.******************** Yamanote High City - Ohtori Academy *********************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Garden +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 Ohtori's grounds rarely miss a chance to include flowers, particularly roses
 and poppies, whether they be in planters, decorating terraces, or engraved
 into the stone walls. Nowhere is this theme more evident than in the
 courtyard garden, an open-air enclosure surrounded by the pillars of nearby
 walkways, permitting those traversing the facility to enjoy a bit of natural
 beauty on their way to class.

 The courtyard features a French formal garden, with nature kept in strict
 manicured order, man's dominion over nature turning shrubs and blooms into
 paint for the gardener's brush. A great glass jewel of a greenhouse
 dominates the courtyard, with the same lacelike white-painted cast iron that
 decorates the walkways supporting its cloudy antique glass panels.

 In contrast to without, the garden within the greenhouse is rampant and
 lush. Order is maintained with a subtler hand, and everywhere the flowers
 and trees are permitted to spill a bit, nature's cornucopia lovely in its
 excess. Exotic, oddly-shaped blooms that would wither outside the glass cage
 flourish within the winterless warmth, and small quantities of tropical
 citrus fruits are produced, most destined to be gifts for valued visitors.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

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

Before anything else, there is the search. Even so occupied by dark tasks, Mikoto Minagi makes time each morning to scour Ohtori. She must do this much. It is the most important thing.

She finds nothing. For two years she has found nothing.

She cannot give up.

And so this morning she finds herself in Ohtori's many gardens, made quiet by the hour and the day. She does not think the former factor would dissuade him; he ever ensured she was up at the proper hour. Nor is she worried for the day - though it is Sunday, and most students are out on the town if they're already up, this is still surely the nexus of her search. It is the most likely place, the first place to look.

She would search the city whole - but...

Promises on promises on promises.

It is perhaps unfortunate, then, that the garden seems near-empty. But Ohtori is a large place, and there's always someone around. Sometimes, that someone is a cat. There is a rustling from within the rosebushes, a yearling kitten emerging with tail held high. He is orange and striped, his face rounding more with each month which passes.

"Fuku!" Mikoto chirps, blinking to him. "Wanna help?"

Fuku meows in reply, because he is a normal cat with no concept of what Mikoto is saying, but for the friendliness a favoured human is displaying.

Mikoto leans down, and Fuku leaps onto her shoulders. As she straightens, he places front paws on her head, to better take advantage of his high perch. She is very good at moving with balance, to avoid alarming her stray friend.

And there are no clusters of girls nearby to titter about her strange behaviour, right now. No one to point out her cat-print shirt and boyish shorts as entirely unfashionable.

Well - no clusters, anyway...

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Despite having been a student here at Ohtori for some time, Georgia doesn't really visit the gardens all that much. Flowers were never really her forte to be honest. Not because she found them girly or anything like that. They just weren't. She'd learned this long ago when one of her teachers back in America set her the task of taking care of a plant. And... well, it died. She hadn't been trying to kill it, mind you. It just didn't stay alive like it should've! Siiigh.

Either way, today she ended up in the very gardens she had mostly avoided during her tenure as an Ohtorite. If anything Georgia has to admit they are very well taken care of. Not a single section looks out of place or neglected. It's... nice.

Arms folded behind her head she walks about like a lazy teenager on a Sunday with nothing to do. Not even homework. Ok, well, maybe homework. But she'll get to it eventually. Probably. Barely able to suppress a yawn she begins to wonder if napping in the gardens is an appropriate thing to do when the sound of a cat's meow draws her attention.

"Hmm?" She turns sharply, noticing for the first time some ways away is Mikoto. She blinks, then grins at the sight of her classmate (and fellow HiME!) with a kitten perched on top of her head.

"Can we start calling you the Cat Whisperer?" Georgia calls out good-naturedly with a big over the head wave in the other girl's direction. "Whassup?" She's heading on over in the next breath, closing the distance between them in just a few long strides.

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

Gardening is - well.

... it's something Mikoto is familiar with by now.

Let's just say she's fond of gardeners.

Besides, the gardens of Ohtori are nice and peaceful. There always manages to be a solitary corner to them, as if they can sense when students need privacy. Of course, it's just that Ohtori is a big place, and it's been designed with lots of nooks and crannies.

(Don't ask about her homework. If she ignores it, maybe it will go away.)

Mikoto turns as she hears another voice, blinking big golden eyes. Her face lights up as she confirms it is in fact Georgia, and she waves in return, taking care not to unseat her passenger. Atop her head, Fuku's ears prick forward as he examines this new challenger, tail coiling relaxed around Mikoto's shoulders.

"Cat whisperer..?" She asks, when Georgia closes the distance. "Don't gotta whisper. Just don't yell or talk too sharp!" Mikoto smiles as she explains this, as if it were clearly what Georgia meant.

... she doesn't watch much foreign television.

... actually, she doesn't watch much television at all.

Fuku meows, helpfully, as if to punctuate the point instead of it just being a friendly greeting.

"I'm looking for my Lord Brother," she goes on to answer, the same answer she gives anyone who finds her wandering campus, with the same unusual dip into formal and archaic phrasing. She tilts her head as she considers, the cat atop it resettling across her shoulder with the motion. "... guess I found Georgia instead!"

At least she found someone, right..?

Mikoto glances this way, glances that, as Fuku looks up at her as if to ask why she's moving around so much. But there's no one else nearby, because Ohtori's gardens are clever with their little corners. "Georgia!" She chirps, enthused. "Never knew Georgia was HiME too!"

That black case slung across her shoulder - that's where she keeps her Element, apparently.

How strange.

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Georgia is grinning and chuckling at Mikoto's response to her "Cat Whisperer" comment. "Ahh. Yeah. Good point I guess. I've never really been good at keeping my voice down or being subtle or whatever." She rubs the back of her neck, still grinning from ear to ear. It's endearing! Or so she hopes, anyway. People don't tend to get too annoyed with her so it must not be so bad.

"Lord Brother? Who's that?" Georgia blinks, then has a "duh!" moment. "Oh! Is he your brother?" She's not sure what's up with her paling him "Lord" but hey, who is she to judge? Might be a weird family thing. Wouldn't be all that weird. "You think he's out here somewhere?" She looks around and notes that, yep, they're the only ones out here. She doesn't think Mikoto has been very successful thus far as a result.

Talk then obviously turns to the HiME reveal that took place just yesterday with the giant monster cake. "Yep! I've been one ever since that attack on the school. You know the one..." She's positive Mikoto does, and leaves it at that. "I guess I never really thought to look around and see if there were any others like me, ya know? Anyway, I'm glad you're one! Do you hunt monsters, too? I'm pretty good at it, ya know..."

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

"Yup! My Lord Brother," Mikoto says as if to explain, before she pauses, realising Georgia might not know the word. 'Ani-ue' might be too obscure for someone from America. She switches to the modern 'onii-sama,' briefly, to illustrate: "My... brother." She sounds a little uncomfortable, switching titles on him like that, glancing away with a hum. "Gotta be here somewhere."

She leaves the details of 'here' entirely unexplained, because she herself is not sure where the furthest reaches of her search ought to end.

As for her success rate - well...

... much like Georgia isn't very good at keeping her voice down, it seems Mikoto isn't good at certain things, either.

It doesn't take much for Mikoto to place the attack on the school. She tilts her head as she considers, a braid brushing up against Fuku. He bats at it, and Mikoto takes the tugging in stride. "That why Georgia was hiding?" 'That', of course, being SEARRS search for the HiME. "Don't worry," Mikoto assures her, "Alyssa's dead, so we're okay now!"

Well, she thinks it's assuring, anyway.

"Georgia didn't know..? Lots like Georgia," Mikoto takes it on herself to explain. "HiME just don't... always work together. So it's hard to tell." She frowns, briefly, and shakes her head. "We don't change like some girls do. But summoning Element from nothing, or Child, that's sure sign." She'd mention Nagi, but then she'd have to talk about Nagi, and Mikoto has so many better things to do with her life than that.

As for hunting monsters - well...

Set a thief to catch a thief, as they say.

Mikoto smiles as she nods, affirmatively, having explained. "Yup! I hunt lots of monsters!" She hunts with Eri and Kimiko, after all. She pauses, scrunching up the corner of her lip briefly. "... normally better than that," she says, and she must be referring to the cake monster. "But Georgia was really cool!" She grins, broadly. "I was really surprised! Always thought Georgia was normal!"

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Ahh! Well, I know you'll find them! You seem like the type to never give up!" Georgia points out, pumping a fist into the air. She's learned it's good to motivate others to do the things they want to do no matter how impossible those things may seem. Not that she thinks Mikoto's chances of fiding her brother are slim to none or anything. Oh no.

"Hiding? Well, uh, I guess I sorta was, huh?" The whole mess with SEARRS and Alyssa was something she hadn't been directly involved in. Memories of hiding out in the woods with only her Element and Child to protect her causes her to frown momentarily, though she's grinning again after deciding to focus on the present instead of the past. Cause the past kinda sucks. "Yeah. Everything's ok." She doesn't comment on the very-much-dead state of Alyssa Searrs.

Mikoto's explanation of there being many HiME that just don't work together has Georgia nodding and stroking her chin. "I've been in my fair share of scraps with monsters and yeah, never fought alongside any other HiME. I've seen plenty of other girls, though. Sometimes there's boys too. More girls, though." Maybe magic or whatever didn't like boys too much. Georgia couldn't fault it. The blonde American grins even wider if at all possible at this point, placing her hands on her hips and puffing out her chest a bit. "Ahhh really it was nothing. Like you said, there are monsters out there much worthier than that stupid cake. They all get beaten up in the end, though." She's definitely boasting quite a bit, though obviously it's not just all talk. "Hey, we should hunt something better together next time. I think we could totally have each other's backs!"

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

Mikoto brightens visibly at the motivation, and nods, with an affirmative noise. Georgia's right! She can do it! Fuku meows, too, but it's more of an investigative chirrup as he bites at her dangly braid.

She, at least, doesn't suggest Georgia was hiding with any sort of judgement behind the words; like Georgia, she is much more plain and direct than that. Luckily, the direct approach seems to work just fine in reassuring her, too.

After all, Georgia said everything was okay, so everything must be okay.

So, too, does Georgia say she is confident in her skills, though perhaps not in so many words. And Mikoto believes it, because she handled herself well against the youma. "Cake's for eating," she puffs out her cheeks with the indignity of it, "cake's not supposed to eat me! It's not right!" That cake monster was upsetting the natural order of Mikoto eating cake by trying to eat her instead.

Fuku catches the aggravated shift in her tone, tail twitching, and she reaches up to scritch him behind the ears apologetically.

"And... yeah," Mikoto nods, thoughtfully. "More girls. But girls are better at fighting, so it makes sense." Girls are stronger; boys are smarter. She doesn't state the corollary. It's obvious.

She brightens again, with a broad smile. "Bet we'd be good at fighting together! There's lots of stuff to fight!" Even discounting the girls. "Always monsters around somewhere. Tokyo's got lots of problems..."

Her eyes fall on a rose, and she grows quiet, for a moment.

... yeah.

Tokyo's got... lots of problems.

And Mikoto is...

She shakes her head, looking back up (up, up) to Georgia. "Lots of monsters in America, too?" She asks, instead.

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"I agree." Georgia says with a reassuring nod. "Cake is definitely for eating. It shouldn't try to eat the eater. Though... I'm pretty sure Ye-jin didn't intend for anyone to actually eat the cake. Much less for it to come alive and try to eat everything and everyone..." Still, the thought did cross Georgia's mind. Was Ye-jin some kind of mastermind witch? It really wasn't all that implausible. There was something about her...

...Or maybe she's just being paranoid. Yeah. That's probably it.

The cat's antics causes Georgia to lean in and scritch him under his chin briefly as she listens to Mikoto. She won't deny that girls are better at fighting, obviously. It didn't take much to see that! She lets out a "mmm" in agreeance with everything that is being said, especially the part about Tokyo and it's problems. Georgia's been out and about the city at times she should be in bed so... yeah.

"Hah... Funnily enough I haven't fought any monsters in America. I didn't run into any until I came here. Though I'm sure America probably has it's fair share of them."

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

"Ye-jin would've let us eat cake!" Mikoto insists. "It'd be mean to show cake and not eat it."

Even though Ye-jin was being kind of mean back there.

She was... probably just having a bad day... right? After all, most of the people on Student Council are really nice! There's Yukino, and Takeo, and Ye-jin. They're all good people!

There must be some reasonable explanation for why Ye-jin would be so mean to her other friends.


Mikoto doesn't seem to mind having her space invaded at all, and Fuku purrs at this new attention from a new friend, being astoundingly friendly for a stray cat. It helps that Mikoto got to him early. He's been hanging around on people's shoulders since he was a baby!

Honestly, Mikoto Minagi has singlehandedly increased the friendliness quota of Ohtori's stray population by at least two hundred percent. The school body is right to fear her mastery.

She tilts her head as she considers this new information. "Oh," she concludes, after a moment. "Guess that makes sense. 'Cause Georgia didn't accept power until Ohtori, right?" Mikoto hums consideration through closed lips. "Hard to notice, normal. It's all secret." A secret which Mikoto is not terribly good at keeping, but she tries. Sort of.

"Lots of girls in Tokyo, so there's lots of monsters, too." That she's talking about magical girls is something Mikoto considers blindingly obvious. "That's what I think." It used to be that there was a clear line between them - girls and monsters.

Well, there used to be a lot of clear things which aren't so clear any more.

But Georgia is confident and brash in her ability to fight monsters, and... Eri wasn't wrong, after all. "Let's defeat monsters, Georgia!" Mikoto says, hope glittering in her eyes.

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Hmm. Yeah, I guess you're right." But Ye-jin seems pretty meant to her. Georgia doesn't press the issue, though, deciding to move on from it. Forget that stupid jerk cake.

"And yeah. Didn't become a HiME until I came here. Sometimes I think it's some kind of weird dream still. But... it's not. And that's kind of cool." She doesn't say how sometimes it can be scary, too. Maybe that goes without saying, really.

"I'm glad we have a lot of allies, though." She says in response to what Mikoto says about there being lots and lots of magical girls in Tokyo. And likely magical boys, too. She beams even brighter when the other HiME seems enthusiastic about beating up monsters together. "Alright! It's good to have some back up, you know?"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

For some reason, it's difficult for Mikoto to accept that her friends actually mean her harm.

It began by degrees, this unquestioning devotion. She wasn't always so stringent. But little by little, she has stopped challenging them. Went from arguing to their faces - to behind their backs - to...

Well, she has always has trouble with shades of grey.

Her magic is black and white, after all.

Mikoto's head cants, a braid looping over Fuku's ears, as Georgia describes the HiME experience as - "Dream..?" She echoes, blinking. Certainly there are times which can feel dreamlike, in the way time slips by so much faster than it ought. It is a wonder which she cannot quite find the words to phrase, and so she falls silent, with a considering hum.

The corner of her lip scrunches, before she nods with an affirmative grunt. "Yeah," she says, to the topic of allies. It feels a little like a lie, when there are so many girls who cannot abide what she has done, but Georgia deserves better than the trouble she has found herself in. It's not a lie for her - is it? Georgia is uninvolved, and will find many friends, and so it's fine to say it.

But Mikoto, who has so many enemies, cannot help but be overjoyed by the thought of something simpler.

"Yup!" She nods, again, more enthusiastic this time. "It's tough alone. Together's better!" Teamwork can destroy so many of an enemy's tricks, even leaving aside the comradery. "'Cause... it's not a dream, Georgia. Even really weird stuff," and she has seen some exceedingly strange things in her years at Ohtori, "it's really happening. So -" - here concern edges in on her cheer, "- don't be alone, okay? Georgia don't gotta hide. Handling this stuff alone can really hurt. Georgia's got friends who can help. Like me!" She insists, smiling brightly.

Fuku meows, perhaps in protest of the braid tickling his nose.

"-- and Fuku, too," Mikoto laughs as she thinks to include him, brushing her braid away and scritching him behind an ear.


... Mikoto's stomach growls, and the cat on her shoulder looks down, ears pricking up.

She puffs out a sigh, remembering too late that she left before Mai woke up. "Hey, Georgia... wanna get breakfast?" She asks, as if it's not her who wants food.

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

It's totally accurate and true to say that Georgia knows nothing of the darkness that Mikoto has experienced. Nor does she know anything about the girl's enemies. All she does know is that she has a new friend to fight battles with. If she were to be entirely honest, Georgia has begun to wonder if her position with the Tuners is even notable. Sure they congratulate and reward her for her triumphs but... she yearns for something more. And if she can get that something more from hanging with Mikoto... well...

"I'm glad we're on the same page!" She lets out a sheepish laugh, cracking her knuckles as she rocks bacn and forth on the balls of her feet. The way Mikoto says -- no, tells her -- not to be alone is kind of odd. Yet it makes perfect sense... even though she has been technically going it alone for most of her time as a HiME. But now she doesn't have to. And it's like breathing in a breath of fresh air after holding her breath for so long.

Yeah. This is really nice.

The sound of Mikoto's stomach growling breaks Georgia out of her thoughts, and elicits a slight giggle from the blonde American. "Oh! Well, yeah, we can. I'm starting to feel a little hungry myself now that you mention it..."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

It's a strange thing to tell someone, isn't it? Certainly the wish is not uncommon - there are few magical girls who would deny the power of friendship, made manifest in their every battle - but to say it so plainly, as if Mikoto has experience...

Well, it's not something she stops to dwell on, because she's realised she's hungry, and the more things change the more they stay the same.

Don't think too hard about what page they're on. Don't look at how many chapters are left. Now, right now, Mikoto is there for her, Mikoto cares about her, Mikoto is excited for a new ally in battle and a simpler thing to fight.

And so instead of dwelling on that incongruity, Mikoto grins. She knew she could rely on Georgia to be interested in food, too! "Let's go right now!" She insists, lurching forward to grab her hand - Fuku nyaows impertinently and leaps from her shoulder at the horrible insult of his perch moving that quickly - and drag her off. "Let's get pancakes! Pancakes!"

She is not above starting a chant to that effect, no matter the morning hour.

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Georgia laughs as she's pulled along. "Pancakes!" She joins in, unable to control herself. Mikoto's enthusiasm for breakfast foods is apparently pretty darn infectious. "And eggs. I hope there's eggs, too." Because Georgia really likes scrambled eggs.

Honestly, she doesn't know where things with Mikoto will go. She's seen girls "team up" in the past; other Tuners who decided to go at it together. And in her experience it didn't always end well..

But this is different. There's nothing Tuner-related about her and Mikoto hanging out and fighting things together. Hence, there was little chance of their partnership going sour like all those other girls... right?

Right. There was nothing to worry about at all.