2018-11-15 - TIMELINE 1: Sports Festival Day! Tug-of-war Over Hearts!

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Sports Festival Day! Tug-of-war Over Hearts!

It's the 2013 Sister Schools Sports Festival at Juuban. Shenanigans ensue.


Madoka Kaname, Usagi Tsukino, Steven Universe, Mikoto Minagi, Nori Ankou, Homura Akemi, Kasagami Araki, Niramo Umokeshi, Shizuru Fujino, Sayaka Miki, Mai Tokiha


Juuban Public School - Fields

OOC - IC Date:

11/15/2018 - 09-21-2013

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Azumanga Daioh Sports Festival http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EodwfP5OCfs

Sports Day!

Juuban's fields are packed. To help accommodate the triple student population, gray aluminium bleachers (a little flimsy, but sound enough to be safe) have been unearthed from somewhere and arranged in a ring around the main area, centered around the track. There are three of them, and at the start of the day, at least, they are segregated by school (not from any particularly official injunction, but rather the natural tendency of people to sort themselves into group). When students aren't participants in a given event, it is where they tend to go.

Ohtori gym clothes are trimmed in sunny yellow; Infinity's blue; Juuban's red. In the end everyone will be in shorts and shirts but there are also full tracksuits for warmups, at least if you're from a private or charter school, and they are very trim.

It is loud, in a mostly friendly way; after the opening speech by Vice Principal Kometsuki that everyone mostly regretted for its length and pompasity, . Rising over the noise are the amplified announcements of two Juuban students, one an elementary schooler, one a middle school upperclassman. With their long, dark hair, serene attitudes, and silvery voices, they could be sisters, though they're not.

"TUG-OF-WAR BOUT A IS STARTING IN ZONE FIVE," Tomoyo Daidoji declaims.

"GOOD LUCK TO ALL PARTICIPANTS!" Honoka Yukishiro says brightly.

There is no volunteering for teams; they've been assigned.

And so it is that two groups find themselves down in the sand pit.

The team with the side of the rope painted green contains:

Madoka, Homura, Mai, Kuniko, Sayaka

The team with the side of the rope painted purple contains:

Nori, Usagi, Kasagami, Utena, Steven

Beneath an overcast but not low-hanging sky, Sakurada-sensei (8th grade Juuban homeroom, a brutal taskmistress in mathematics) fires a blank into the air. "FIGHT!!"

"Um, Sakurada-san, I don't think that's what you're supposed to say," murmurs Takenouchi-sensei (9th grade Juuban homeroom, universally beloved, teaches Japanese literature).

But the game is on.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

A terrible crisis is occurring...

"Naru-chan." Usagi presses her palms to that of her friend Naru Osaka. "It's time." Sounding like a girl who was off to her execution.

Naru Osaka's reply is grave. "Oh Usagi-chan. If only you'd awakened the first time your alarm had gone off..." Usagi sounds almost mournful, "You know that's impossible Naru-chan."

Naru plays along, though her lip is starting to twitch, "I'm going to miss you."

Tears spring from Usagi's eyes as her head slumps, "When they bury me. Be sure to tell everyone... I died hungry."

Usagi Tsukino missed breakfast. And the tiny little energy bars they offered her were just not enough.

"I'll be sure to mention it in your eulogy."

Usagi whimpers as she passes by Steven, "So cruel that you have to see your middle school senpai in this state..." - before taking her place, and delicately putting her hands on. Which is then that she notices Nori.


And Utena.

It's a one-two-three punch to her aesthetic senses, pepping her up with a Shoujo sparkle injection to the eyes. It feels like it must be Spring right now. "Oh my... are you all from Ohtori?" Usagi rubs her cheeks in fascination as they redden. "Ohtori girls are so pretty... um..." She does this little dance in place, her shoulders in this back and forth rhythm of sudden delight, "... it's so nice to meet you. I'm Usagi Tsukino - second year Juu-"

The starting gun goes off - and Usagi's hands are not even on the rope.


The sudden frantic lurch for it causes her to trip - and fall flat on her face.

Sending their team off to such a wonderful start.



A girl in the bloomers she'd made a substitution to wear and yellow gym shirt steps out of the locker room into the sun, to see a boy in a military uniform wielding a clipboard and a stop watch at the sidelines, he appears to be one of many volunteers from Ohtori helping out with the Sister School event, even if it was primarily Juuban's day.

Right now he seems to be just coordinating the resupply of some of the stations. After a moment she greets him. "Enjoying Sports Day - Miki?"

Clicking the stop on his watch as if he'd finished timing a lap, he glances out of his periphery, "I'm busy Kozue."

Kozue adjusts the towel over her neck, smiling almost feline like. "Too busy to come cheer me on?" The boy pauses for a moment, before pausing to eye her bloomers, then finally stating. "I can't just take off and do what I please. I have responsibilities."

"Is that really it?" Kozue walks up nearly shoulder to shoulder, eyes lidded, her lips in a smirk, "I think... you just don't like the kind of looks I get during these events..."

Miki tries not to stare too hard at her in this moment, and fails utterly.

"... bullseye." Kozue declares before she starts walking off towards her event, "Even if you're my 'big brother' you are still such a child."

Grimly, the middle schooler taps the reset button of his stop watch.

As she passes by the sidelines of the Tug of War event, she wiggles her fingers Sayaka's way, "Ganbatte Miki-chan." The girl says mischievously, "Though you hardly need it, big strong girl like you..."

The starting gun goes off.

"... it's almost like they gave your team a boy as a handicap."

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

"My first day of school! Sorta!"

A bobbing little youngster in a pink shirt and gold star skips around in the festival field, carrying a package of neat and new school uniforms. A few books stick out of an adorable hamburger backpack. THe boy looks like he hasn't had a day this great in... well actually recently he had one about that good, but he cant talk about that aloud!

Can he? Mmm. Best to be safe and secret!

Indeed, little Steven Universe begins school at the start of the next week. The teachers and staff were nice enough to enable him to sign up for festival activities as well! "I should make friends! And sign up for events! And make a distinguished yet diverse clique that I well hang out with and never change from!"

THe boy has begun to sign up for all sorts of events, and chat with people who looking they may be from Juuban, the school elected he would go to, and conveniently closest to home!

And then suddenly, his name is called for an event! "B-But I'm not ready I just got my uniforms a few minutes ago! I just-- aw man! Okay!" Didn't even get to change properly! Steven tears in to his packaged uniforms like some kind of animal, quickly dons what appears to be a gym shirt of some kind, and picks up a... "Is this a tie?! Do I wear this too?" he says to himself. 'I don't know how to do ties!' the boy thinks. "This'll have to do!" he says, taking the ascot-type article and jsut tying it around his head, headband style, stumbling a bit and feeling a little itchy from the combination of two shirts, one of which being brand new.

He makes it over to the rope, and looks to his color, and peopel gathering on his side. "Hiii fellow students! I'm a student now too!" he says to... people he hasn't really met before. "Tug-of-war is cool! Let's do it!" he says, rubbing his hands. Oh boy, his first event! A chance to make a good impression!

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

Mikoto doesn't know why she should care about this 'sports festival'. Yes, Mai said if she didn't go to school she wouldn't get bento. And yes, the only class in 'school' which she seems to be any good at is the one about sports. And yes, this is a school event. But for what purpose? There are a lot of people, a lot of strangers, and it's noisy and crowded and she doesn't like it.

She's been Mai's shadow since they got here, and she's barely said a word. Tugging at the shirt of the girl she has come to live with when she wants attention, or shrinking in behind her and glaring when a schoolgirl gets particularly friendly. She resents any attempt to call her 'cute', though it's only reflected in a sullen expression.

So, of course, Mai gets called out to participate in an event and she's left behind.

"Maiii!" Mikoto wails, when the announcement is made, tugging at her insistently. Her protests are all for naught in the face of the cruel realities of drawn lots, and so she is left abandoned in the bleachers as the one girl she has come to trust goes down to tug on a rope. What even is the point of tugging on a rope? The rope isn't attached to anything. But even if there's no point to it, Mai is involved, and she wants Mai to succeed - at least so she can come back.

She perches on the bleachers, uncomfortably packed in with the other students. She doesn't even recognise most of the girls on the field, aside from one particular girl who keeps showing up in class; but that's fine, because she's focused on one girl in particular, anyway. Though she's been a silent presence throughout the festival's set-up, as the fight begins, Mikoto proves she has lungs as deep as anyone around her as she howls: "MAIIIII!" And in contrast to the plaintive tone of Mai's name earlier on, this time, it is resolute and fierce. She's cheering her on!

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

KUNIKO SAITO, who is in a vocational program at Infinity and had, in fact, just gotten out of the hospital over the summer in the aftermath of an awful car accident, has nonetheless resolved to forge her way through the world of cuisine.

At the moment this mostly means she has a rice ball, but it is vanishing quickly. It had some grated cheese on it. She paps one fist into the opposing palm and tells her new comrades, "Let's get it done! We'll show them what for, yeah!?" And she grins. It is energetic, even as a glance over reveals...

hm, Kuniko thinks. She rubs her chin even as she moves to get in the front, moving to get the rope on her left side...

NORI ANKOU tosses her hair just as Usagi asks that question, and it is as if a tiny sparkle flies through the air, diamonds in the sky, at the motion. "Oh... it's a pleasure to meet you, Tsuki" BAM

"no," Nori breathes, before there is a lurch and they are PULLING and they are already being dragged forwards. Digging in her heel, she lets out a sudden, surprised "ah!" that approaches a squeal.

As for the other side...

"Their anchor's down!! Pull, girls!!" Kuniko shouts, throwing herself backwards and looking dead ahead from where she'd stolen a glance!

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Every trembling line of Homura Akemi's scrawny body screams fear! With her fists clutched up in front of her chest and her mouth an anxious squiggle, it's like she's eyeing a bright green pit viper at her feet instead of the end of a rope. She's a bit of a sickly black-eyed susan in her cheery gym clothes and thick black braids; instead of brightening her skin the yellow washes her out.

"Um... eh, d-do I... just...?"

Homura darts a look across the rope for a confirmation cue. She has never done this before in her life.

The cute blonde girl with the long twintails, the one who drew their version of her straw -- she's picking up the end. Homura then looks up to the girl who brought her here, the girl with the warm smile and soft pink hair, for guidance before finally stooping to pick it up.

She clutches it two-handed and holds it away from her body, elbows locked. The end of the rope sticks up in the air and then flops over. It's a bit like Homura is strangling it, except she's nowhere near strong enough to do so. After a moment she corrects her grip and turns a shade of raspberry.

Homura nods a few times, like it might convey some sort of readiness the entire rest of her completely undermines. How hard can this be? There are other people on the team... They can handle most of the pulling, right...? She vascillates between staring at Madoka and staring at the rope and tries to calm the rapidfire beating of her heart, to absolutely no avail.

Then the starting shot fires and Homura twitches like the bullet was aimed at her, and all she can focus on is hanging on for dear life! She makes an eeping gasp and tries to dig her heels in, but just sort of bounces a bit.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The newly minted Disciplinary Executive of Ohtori is here, though not many will know her by that moniker yet. Kassie has only new taken to wearing her most precious of coveted rings. Given the event, she's ditched her uniform for the more standard gym uniform. She's kept the track pants on though, and where the yellow shirt is, she's bandaged up her arm and worn an eyepatch.

Three school's worth of strangers, and her a transfer to Ohtori. It breeds stares and curiousity she doesn't want to spoil the fun for.

Besides, they don't know her yet. The trust just hasn't blossomed amongst the many beautiful hearts in the Sister Schools for Kassie.

She's all grins and outward shows of confidence though, a competitive fire in her eye as she looks over her team mates! The beautiful Nori, the athletic Utena, the stout young Steven, and even the cheerful Usagi get a positive, appraising long before Kassie stretches, punches the air several times, and grips her section of the rope. Leather gloves creek, and she digs her bootheels in. One leg in front of the other, and muscles clench.

The teacher is already setting things off, and Kassie is entirely oka with it! "I like her spirit! That's right, FIGHT-O my fellow purple team! Let us tug-warriors haul on this rope of destiny GLORIOUSLY and with style!" Roars out Kassie in encouragement and perhaps a vague taunt at the green team!

Usagi is met with a wink, and a slight flick of her shoulders that sends her long coat swaying rogueishly. The scent of roses fills the air around her. She's warm and confident and full of life, no matter her insecurities below. "The pleasure's all mine, Usagi-chan! Put your heart and your back into it! We'll definitely put them in the mud!" ....Down goes the twintails.

A brow twitches. "...This is going to work out fine."

Steven is beamed at. "Hey, you look pretty solid, little guy. I'm feeling a bit more confident with you at our backs!" Grin!

Not having an anchor is....a problem! And so Kassie puts both back as well as not-insignificant amount of muscle mass for a middle schooler into it. She leans back, tugging, trying to remain with some form of balance amidst the struggling of so many teenagers. Harraaagh!

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

The day of the sports festival may be taking place on an overcast day, but it's nowhere near enough to dampen the school spirit! Three schools, tied together by a deceleration of unity and sisterhood, have gathered their best and brightest to compete today in the field of athletics. It's a day for all those that attend to mingle, make new friends from outside of their cliques and build bonds that will last a lifetime.

That's precisely why Niramo is waiting for her turn to participate with most of the other students from Juuban. The aluminum bleachers that must be seeing the light of day for the first time in ages plays the vital role of keeping others comfortable for the near future, or at least as comfortable as one can be on seats with no cushions. "This isn't going to be fun...I much rather deal with tangled cords again."

Sweating for the enjoyment of cruel PE teachers is certainly one thing when everyone around you is sweating and suffering as well. It's another thing entirely when you're having to do it in front of not one, but all three of the Sister Schools.

And Niramo was not a fan of doing exercises to begin with.

Nevertheless, Niramo watches the tug of wars with a sense of awe and dread at what just everyone at the school can do, but one set of tug of war draws her attention as their contestants come forth. There's quite a few faces she doesn't recognize, but two stick out quite well.

One being the energetic American transfer student Steven (with a tie for a headband?!) and the shrinking violet that is Homura being on the opposite team. One came to the rescue when she was being overwhelmed by knotted audio cords, and while she only met Homura and her pink-haired (best?) friend for just a moment, it's clear that she needs some encouragement of her own if she's going to be in the public eye. Cupping her hands around her mouth, she gives out a fierce yell that she hopes can be heard over the roar of her fellow students. "Steven-kun, Homura-san, you can do this!"

Was it wrong to root for both teams here?

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The bleachers are well and good, of course. There's plenty of space on them for watchers, and one Mami Tomoe has scoped out a nice spot to watch. ...Nobody's surprised that she shows up for something mandatory, of course--Mami may not be the most sociable in her class, but it's not as if she skips this sort of thing. ...And actually, her classmates have noticed an extra cheer about her lately... In a good way.

Somehow, her track suit is immaculate, and she doesn't have so much as a hint of worry showing about the fact that Madoka Kaname has been set as the anchor of her team--no, her obvious serenity is amplified by the fact that she is holding a little plastic handled cup, one that goes with a thermos, and sipping from it as if it were the finest china instead of... admittedly sturdy yellow plastic. The container is lovely, decorated with painted flowers, functional but hardly common. ...And she's not even entirely sitting alone.

"Ah, yes," Mami points out to the girl next to her, "...Cheering for Tenjou-san is quite natural, but my hopes are on Team Green." There's a quiet pride in her voice--but as the gun goes off, Mami freezes in place for an instant, breath held to--

...Well, she's not going to call attention to Usagi falling, but she does set a hand curled by her mouth to amplify her voice and calls, "Madoka-chan! You can do it!"

Of course she looks to her precious partner first--but she smiles watching Madoka's dear friend, too, gaze sliding from Madoka over the others all the way to blue-haired Sayaka and back.

...Then she goes back to her tea, because she can cheer with dignity, after all.


So, the bleachers are all well and good... But somewhere, someone found a table to set next to them. Oh, it's only a little plastic folding table, to be sure, but it's set up right beside the Ohtori bleachers. Along one side are a number of bottles of water; along its other side is a single person, watching the competition as it begins. The Vice President's red eyes are on the competitors with the lightness of amusement. As a member of the Ohtori Academy Student Council, she has of course theoretically been involved in planning and preparing for the event. ...Theoretically, because anyone would be hard-pressed to explain what it is she actually did for this other than sit here with the water.

And make tea, of course. Just this instant she happens to be dipping a wafer into steaming tea, leaning just forward enough to take a little bite. She does look towards the other Student Council member, of course... and to Mai Tokiha, who has proven quite interesting already--

But the truth is that most of her attention goes towards the darling efforts of the least strong and prepared on the rope. Akemi gets a little smile; Usagi a "My."

"They're all working very hard, aren't they?" Shizuru Fujino asks a blonde girl standing beside her after she finishes the cookie, raising her cup near to, but not quite at her mouth. She's got a small, mysterious smile on.

...Mid-stride to go do some actual work, however, Haruka Suzushiro visibly twitches, turning to the girl who addressed her. "What would you know about hard work!?"

"Ah, youth..."

...It's like Shizuru didn't even hear her.

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Fresh-faced in her middle school gym uniform, Sayaka is rotating her torso back and forth, elbows extended. She's standing next to Madoka, of course, who is called for Green Team. It takes a while, as Sayaka is the last one called on her team, but when she's Green too, she lets out a whoop, and repurposes her stretching motion to snatch up Madoka and swing her back and forth twice.

She hadn't been paying attention to the teams before that, but now she takes a glance over their new foes. Utena Tenjou, that's not good. Some student council girl who is probably the heaviest person on either side. But then she sees Usagi, and some boy who is even shorter, and a Grinch-like grin spreads across her face. She slaps a bicep into her hand, fist raised, as she turns her face back at Madoka.

"I don't want to get too cocky, but I think we got..."

Sayaka sees the new girl standing on the Green side. Her arms look like string cheese.

"...this." She turns sharply back to the front and places her fists on her hips. "But that's no excuse to slack off, ah-ha-ha! We better try our hardest!"

Planting her feet, Sayaka grips the rope tightly. "Don't let go no matter what until it's done, okay?" Sayaka urges Madoka enthusiastically. Her positivity hides a very old but unfortunate memory, of when a mean boy back in elementary school shouted such an instruction during this event. "And make sure you pull with your legs."

Kozue swings by like an unusually sarcastic breeze, and Sayaka gets alert, not sure if she's about to be encouraged or insulted. She's so easy to mislead, though, that she lifts a hand off the rope to scratch the back of her head diffidently at Kozue's praise. Then the gun goes off, and she yelps as she grapples on in a hurry. She's forced to double-take back and forth a few times at Kozue's final comment, and hunches her shoulders selfconsciously.

She knows what Kozue is talking about. Sayaka is just starting to come into her frame, this year, but it is a sturdier one than most of her peers, adolescence mistreating her with a lanky unshapeliness. Leaning back in grunting labor, Sayaka's thighs strain, rippling like a deer's flanks when she shifts her ankles below. Her wide shoulders stretch like a bow held taut.

"Taking a break over there, TENJOU?" Sayaka cries out gamely, as they start to make progress. She can't see that Usagi's down. The gifted Utena crushes Sayaka athletically, but Sayaka is not a particularly sore loser, so she doesn't mind inviting a rivalry she may not be able to back up. "Only play well..." she groans, a sneaker grinding forward before she resets it back further, "when it's not your team?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Sports Day is here at last.

It feels to Mai like it was too early coming. All the turmoil of starting at both a new school and a new part-time job is catching up with her, and this was a morning that she sorely wanted to sleep in. Sadly, wants and responsibilities do not align, and the alarm clock set by her own hand betrayed those hopes.

On the bright side, she did manage to get a few bentos put together. Rolled omelettes, poached fish, pickled vegetables, and enough rice to sate hopefully even her newly assigned roommate.

Still, it was with tired eyes that she took in the sights of the sports festival, a shadow at her back. It's kind of awkward, having someone sticking this close to her - but it's an awkwardness fated not to last, as the announcements of events begin. "Tug-of-war?! Whose bright idea..." She glances behind her, to a distressed Mikoto, and sighs. "It's just an event, it'll...just watch the bentos, okay Mikoto?"

Assigned to the green side of the rope, Mai looks around at her newfound teammates. "I guess we'll just have to do our best, right? Win or lose, and all that..." She can't help but grin at Kuniko's enthusiasm, though, stepping in behind the energetic girl to grip the rope on her right side.

This will probably be fine, right? She's not...that sore from having moved those boxes at Linden Baum yesterday, right?

"...go for broke or not at all. Rea-" BANG! And another bang, and a clatter. "Augh! Pull pull pull..." The sudden start and associated noises caught Mai off guard, and it takes a few moments for her to get her grip right. Once she has her footing, though, the distant familiar cheers of her name have her ready to start hauling.

Meanwhile, in the distance, Takumi frowns. He'd wanted to watch Mai's event, but the first aid tent kind of takes priority...especially with a casualty already. "Ah...if you don't mind me asking, how did you not notice a pennant and all these boxes?" Sadly, Marinette only grumbles, muttering under her breath about ruined first impressions.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Gauken no Scarlet (Utena's Theme) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykMzAhogJ7E

There's a second scream from the Ohtori bleachers as Utena Tenjou takes the field, shucking off her track jacket (she never bothered with the pants) as she goes. Her torso gleams beneath; she has foregone the T-shirt for her gray sports bra.

(All the screamers are girls. There are quite a few of them. They do not in the slightest begrudge Mikoto her differing fandom, however; indeed, the girl is getting friendly looks for her similar attitude.)


The transfer student gives her cheering section (this is a pretty new phenomenon as she's pretty new to the school, but it sure didn't take long to catch on) a cheerful wave (looking, simultaneously, embarrassed in a well-bred way and a little bit pumped up by the attention -- in other words, she's glowing for more than one reason).

She crosses to the rope in a few lengthy strides, taking her assigned place towards the center with a lissome shrug that makes her hair swirl behind her like a fabulous silken samurai flag, if those flags were rose pink.

"Yo!" she calls to her teammates, turning her wave into a V-sign, while her smile loses its hint of proper humility and widens into a friendlier one, an easy sort of grin edged with a bit of competitive hunger. "Let's give it our all, ne?"

Both sides get to see this expression, since she's in front. She winks at Kuniko, her opposite number. "Good luck!"

And then, as the gun goes off, she demonstrates why the other team might need it. Even with Usagi worse than useless, the bout isn't instantly over. Utena's sleek muscles show their contours as she digs in deep, almost a horse stance, and heaves.

Her eyes narrow as she's called out, but the glint hasn't lost its amiability. Her grin takes on a further attitude of 'game'.

"Hnngh! MIKI! I play hardest... when it's for an... other team!"

(She is referring here, of course, to her habitual subbing in for other peoples' club events. Her casual refusal to permanently join the girls' softball team may explain the birth of their rivalry.)


After giggling wildly at being swung to and fro by her best friend, Madoka follows in Sayaka's wake, making sure to stick close to Homura as well. They wind up making a little line that corresponds to their order before they even get to the sand pit.

Madoka has the enigmatically cheerful expression of someone with a wonderful secret, as she crosses the field with her classmates to take her place at the rope. It's a lovely, tiny smile.

"Yeah, just like that, Homura-chan!" she affirms, when the new transfer student takes her place. Madoka settles right in front of her, giving Homura a fine view of the zig-zag part running down her head, as her hair has been pulled extra-taut into today's pigtails, in the hopes that they'll stay tied all day.

After giving everyone on her team a quick, two-kneed bob: "Please take care of us!" they're off to the races.

It's surprisingly easy going for Sayaka, who might have expected terrible things with Madoka and Homura behind her. They're not GREAT, but they might not be as terrible as they could have been.

"Rhythm, we need a rhythm!" she shrieks, excitedly. "HEAVE-HO!" Sayaka can feel her tug, and Homura can see it. "HEAVE-HO!!"

TUGOWAR! With Usagi having lost her feet, the green team has the advantage! Can they press it to end the bout quickly?

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

"O-Oh no!" Steven says looking up toward the young lady with the twintails. "You go to my school? Don't worry! I won't tell anyone! It's okay!" he adds, trying to show encouragement to this poor distressed student in need! Even moreso since they are on the same team!

Looking across the divide, he recognizes some of the folks pulling the rope! The shy girl with the glasses, and the girl with the lovely pink hair! He gives them a wave as folks prepare. "Oh, thanks! I got that from my parents!" the boy says with his infectious little smile he has. "I'm a bit dense at times, but I know how to throw my weight around! Heh. Okay those were bad puns, sorry."

THe tug of war starts, and their back person, the blonde young lady, eats it near-immediately. "Oh no!" the boy says, trying to pick up the slack in the rear! "Can you get up?!" he asks. "Here, take my hand!" he says, holding one out toward Usagi and leaning backward to put his weight into the line. Probably not the best idea to do.

He hears a familiar voice cheer his name, and looks up for it, though can't locate them in the moment. He will have to tell her thanks after the tug-of-war! The audio equipment girl!

The boy can feel the jerk forward of the rope from the other team taking advantage of a downed team member on team purple. At least the girl up front (that also has lovely pink hair, I guess it is important to balance them!) seems to be doing a whole lot to help! "You're doing really good, miss!" he shouts politely!

A comment to Nori, in front of him: "They sound like they are pulling at the same time? Should we try that?" he asks. He doesn't really know the meta of tog-of-war very well. Does it work good?

The rope snatches again forward.

Huh, question seems to be answered.

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

Mikoto's cries are met with friendly encouragement in the faces of the girls around her, and it's a strange sort of comradery. It's relieving to know that she's stumbled on the right way to act, here, even if it was entirely an accident. "Mai! Maiii!" She calls, without a single care for honourifics. Perhaps that's why it seems like she's clearly on Team Mai?

(Somewhere along the line, a big smile has spread over her face.)

As Mai struggles with the rope, she comes to notice the girls she's working with. One who knows what she's doing - another who very, very clearly doesn't. Mikoto thinks she's probably been picked up wrong one too many times, or not handled enough as a child, because she's shaking like a leaf just being part of something. There's a strong-looking girl who seems easily distracted, and a girl with candy-pink hair dedicated to fixing those distractions. There are girls on the other side, too, but they're not helping Mai, so they're not nearly as interesting. (Also, a boy.)

And it is certainly true that Mai has tasked Mikoto to watch the bentos. And it's true - Mikoto holds them jealously in her lap. She's watching them very closely! Except, you know... they smell really good. And they're right there. And Mai's busy, so she can't ask if it's time to eat yet... which means it's probably time to eat, right?

She was told to watch them, so her bright golden eyes driiift down to the bento in her lap, again and again...

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Usagi's response to her own request for introductions has been lost to her disastrous tumble. Perhaps someday she might be a Moonlight Legend, but for now the only legend that might be told of her is a Legend of the Fall. Doesn't move to get up immediately, despite the threat of being trampled by her own team.

Tears sting in her eyes from pain, humiliation, and dust in her face and hair.

"Gosh - I'm so surprised to have more evidence that my stupid sister is just as hopeless at sports as she is at classwork. But hey - maybe the mud bath will help you look presentable"

Comes a voice that's just too familiar. Usagi's head turns. To see Shingo Tsukino wearing a headband and holding a huge, fish shaped pastry that's half the size of his head. Usagi looks shocked beyond comprehension but she still manages to blurt out, "Shuh-Shingo!?"

Shingo, knowing full well the kind of carrot to offer after his usual stick(And knowing just how late she woke up), puts the pastry up to his face, takes a small bite, and swallows. "Mmmm. After seeing how late you arrived. I was thinking of sharing what's left of this with you... but now? It'd be a huge waste to let my grubby sister get mud all over it..."

Jolted out of her humiliation and sadness by sheer indignation, Usagi puts one hand on the rope. Then another, pulling herself up into a nock-kneed position, as her toes drag against the force of the rope. Her arms may be like soggy noodles but now she's mad enough to cling on just for sheer petty spite. "IF YOU DON'T SAVE ENOUGH OF IT TO BE WORTH THIS I'LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU!"

Pulling for all she's worth, sweat beading across her blonde bangs instantly, she tries to regain the green team's lost ground. She pulls, and pulls like the rope itself is taffy, "We have to win now! The honor of every big sister that's ever been teased by a little brother is at stake!"

Shingo simply eats his Taiyaki happily as if he hadn't heard her.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

There's a voice cheering Mai on from the stands, which is heartening. It's...admittedly kind of hard to catch amid the screams of Utena's name, and Mai can't help but look up from the rope to see just which of the opposing tuggers might warrant that kind of response.

There's a mighty heave from the purple side, just as Mai hears Utena's off-handed comment, and for a moment she has a bit of a double-meaning mental bluescreen. Not a big one - but Mai stumbles forward a step before getting her head back in the game.

The excited shriek from behind catches her attention, and she grins back at Madoka for a moment. "Just give the word, captain!" Mai's admittedly still trying to find her footing, find her rhythm. Focusing on those calls might help, and hopefully she can pull her own weight - though against the newfound taffy-pulling of the other side, it might be difficult.

Mai digs in her heels, jaw set against Usagi's declaration of war. "Yours isn't...the only side...with big sisters...you know!" Maybe not the most scathing of taunts, but...it's either going to be teamwork or distractions that wins the day.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Unfortunate for the Green Team that they drew a dainty black feather for their anchor instead of someone more leaden-solid...

The yanking at her palms is stronger, more violent, than anything the freshly hospital-freed Homura has experienced in a very long time, and she is in no way ready for it. It's all she can do to hang on with her soft small hands -- her braids dance midair behind her, like noodly extensions of the girl herself.

Someone in the stands had shouted her name -- her name?! -- and Homura didn't look around in the moment to see who it was because she couldn't imagine they... really... meant it? About her? Maybe there's another Homura attending... But now, if they did -- oh the embarrassment, she's just flopping around with arms that already feel wobbly-leaden from all this exertion and her face is so red she can feel it, but at least Madoka's in front of her and can't see...

Her friend, the blue-haired girl... picked her up, just like that. They must be very good friends. And then gave Homura that look that made her feel, well, even more the way she feels all the time...

Homura Akemi's squigglemouth goes even more squiggly and she screws her eyes shut. "Eee-eeeegh!" There isn't any muscle to her but she hangs on for dear life -- no, that's not quite right. She holds on for dear ohgodwhatifsheletsMadokadownafterwassokindtoHomuraandbroughtherhereIcantletherdowwwwwwn...!

She even tries to haul, just a little, in time to Madoka's chant, by leaning way back and letting the rope take all of her weight. For what that's worth.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Right off the bang of the shot, the tug of war was interesting, but in quite an unexpected way. The twin-tailed blonde girl who didn't looked to be fully prepared for the sudden start of the match, and she falls down with a sudden lurch, leaving that team in an awful pinch at the start. But then the duo of black and pink hair that is Utena and Kasagami appear to pick up the slack of their fallen comrade.

That's not to say the opposing team can't take advantage of this if they push for it. Despite being smaller than the two young titans, the pink-haired pillar of support for Homura appears to take up the lead, calling out for her side to pull in unison. Nori barely manages to hold her ground as Kuniko calls for their team to pull for all their might. Can unparalleled might triumph against a focused but smaller pull?

Steven and Homura appear to be giving it their all! Steven is giving out support to his team, and being so stout for his age is certain to give his team the advantage. Homura...well, it did appear that the rope was pulling her more than she was pulling the rope, but she was certainly trying, and that's what matters!

Niramo may only be watching on the sidelines, but this is a struggle that will be well-known for the ages. "Ooh, hey, she got back up! Steven-kun, keep those shoulders low! Homura-san...um...just do your best!" Yep, she's pitting the little audio savior against the girl who clings to her friend like she would float away if she didn't. But here's hoping that adversity can bring out the best in people!

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Miki Kaoru walks up to Haruka and Shizuru. Not saying anything for a few moments before he clears his throat. "Vice President. Suzushiro-senpai." His eyes linger upon the latter for a moment, "I was wondering if you wouldn't mind volunteering for clean up crew after the event. With everything going on... the Student Council needs as many representatives to assist Juuban afterwards as we can muster."

Suzushiro looks at Miki like he's touched a sore spot, "I'm not on the council anymore, as you well know."

Miki isn't looking at her, he's just flipping through the front of his clipboard. "Yes I filed the paperwork myself. I simply thought..." He looks up from his paperwork, "...that as our former Disciplinary Executive you would naturally be inclined towards lending your assistance."

Haruka suddenly thrusts a hand at Shizuru, gesticulating accusingly, "Why not ask her then!? She's the Vice President!"

Miki looks at Haruka as if it hadn't occurred to him, actually taken aback by the thought, "I-I'm sure there's no reason to trouble our Vice President with that. Surely she has more important duties to attend to."

Haruka's jaw sets and her arms suddenly drop to her sides balled into fists, as she stomps a foot down hard and yells, "FINE!" Before flouncing off...

Now left alone with Shizuru... Miki simply clears his throat. Before looking back and forth between Shizuru and his clipboard.

Eventually he asks. "Did she seem a little stressed to you? I thought this time away from the council would be relaxing for her..."

Without a thought, he notices Sayaka pulling on the field, and raises a hand. Not quite cheering for her. It is simply more an acknowledgement... that someone he knows has entered his field of vision.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

NORI ANKOU considers the suggestion of Steven Universe and says, a little diffidently, "It sounds good to me..." She is a little diffident even while pulling, which no doubt can't help anything. But she has reasons, by gum. One of those reasons is that she's looking back to worry about the fallen girl behind them, and another is that just looking back -

Utena Tenjou just said -

Did she -

Nori Ankouori feels blood draining out of her head as her eyes roll back in her head. On autopilot she keeps pulling, so there is that at least. The continued presentation of blind work...

KUNIKO grins at Utena. Some of what Utena is saying, the vibe she's putting down, flies over Kuniko's oblivious head, like a knife that struck the shell of a juicy and powerful clam! She digs in her feet, harder, deeper... unfortunately for her, Utena is the stronger if you put them up two on two.

One on one, rather. (Yet somehow Utena seems like she'd be even better in a team, Kuniko thinks.)

But they're making progress! "Sorry, home girl," Kuniko mutters to herself, meaning Usagi, and pulls backwards. "Yeah, yeah - Heave HO! Heave HO!" Relax and JERK! Relax and JERK!

And as for Nori, she has been keeping steady - but the recovery of Usagi... And the words *of* Usagi - make her gasp. For a moment she seems to slacken in her strength as she glances over her shoulder, right at -- someone else's blouse. Kasagami's, maybe. Coughing she leans a little out of the way to tell her, with a slight quaver in her voice,

"I know how you feel, Tsukino-san."



Nori pulls with the strength of 1.2 people in her age bracket! ... It's more dramatic if you count it as 'the strength of twelve deci-noris.'

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Ahhh, two fellow competitive spirits! Kassie can't quite admire Utena's handiwork with her eyes, but she can admire the way the pink haired girl both works the crowd of her adoring onlookers as well as is just so darn friendly! And when their blue haired opponent on the green side taunts, Kassie spikes in with a rejoinder on the heels of Utena's own.

"What, jealous Bluehair-chan!? I think this is a wonderful team to play for! Maybe you can...nngh...switch next time!" Taunts the StuCo member, vaguely aware of the VP off in the distance. Even as they lose ground, she redoubles the effort! Need to impress her senpai Shizuru! And the beautiful girls on her team for that matter!

"Don't give up!" Comes Kassie's words through gritted teeth, twisting the rope in her gloved hands to get a slightly better grip. Admittedly, she's no tug of war expert. A glance back to Steven. Hmmm, he has an idea. Kassie tries to find some rhythm in their tugging!

And bodily HAULS backwards in a moment of frustration. Can't lose!

Not losing is made harder by Usagi, and her sibling using delicious food to give her motivation! Also little brother-ness. Kassie is trying to not laugh, and failing in that regard. Sorry Usa-chan, this sibling chaos brings warmth to the young woman's heart. And maybe, just a twinge of jealousy.

Somewhere amidst the pace that Nori and Steven are setting, Kassie chuckles when Nori is suddenly yanking with all of her might! "There you go, beautiful Ojou-chan! Flowing locks and powerful will can overcome any physical challenge!" Encourages Kassie with a sparkle in her eye. Yaaaaank!

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

But with Utena's apparent fanclub in full attendance, how can Shizuru neglect to notice a certain pink-haired athlete? As the Vice President speaks to Haruka, she doesn't look at her anymore; now she's watching the girl who plays the hardest for another team. ...For a few moments, anyway; obviously it's nothing important, and anyone spotting her eyes narrowing at the girl with the rose crest ring was clearly just imagining things.

It's gone a moment later anyway as Miki approaches, announces himself.

"Hello, Kaoru-kun." She sips her tea. ...And doesn't answer any of the questions. She certainly doesn't volunteer--in fact, when Haruka gestures at her, Shizuru simply smiles, placid. "You do such good work," she replies. ...She doesn't bother clarifying which one she means, though her attention is on Haruka.

...As Haruka begins to stride away, Shizuru turns to look back to the tug of war. Miki's address, eventually, is met at first with silence. 'Relaxing', to Haruka Suzushiro, really?

"...I wouldn't worry," the she replies smoothly. "She's a very passionate person. The feelings of young women are difficult for boys to understand." A smile his way, cryptic, but pleasant... even encouraging.

"Don't be afraid to cheer for someone you know," she offers. "It's our place to set examples for the other students."

She looks to tug of war again, this time more amused than before.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Miki Kaoru seems quite awkward as Shizuru encourages him to - cheer. He isn't quite certain what he should even say.

Instead he seems to check his stop watch for some time. As if he were looking to it for inspiration. A good five seconds pass. No 5.1 precisely, before he clicks stop.

The moment he does, he looks up. And starts, "You-"

Stops to clear his throat, before calling out, "You can do it-"

Then stops to clarify what 'it' is, "-This - handily - Sayaka-san!"

Hitting reset on his watch, he takes a few moments to assess before saying conversationally to Shizuru, "That almost feels like it was too much."

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Yes sir, captain!" Sayaka calls back to Madoka. It's been a while since they played boats, but it all comes back to her easily. Deep heaves focus Sayaka's strength at Madoka's rhythm, her feet planting themselves back solidly to claim the new ground they win.

"Heave, ho, heave, ho... Tenjou, I'm going easy on you over here! You think... Madoka has time--to go to all the clubs that start inviting her--" Sayaka twists her heel out and drives her leg out straight, her knee-high athletic socks getting tanned with dust. "When she beats you?"

Sayaka blows air up sharply from her lower lip, 'ffhtp!', briefly tossing her sweat-darkened bangs off of her eyebrows. As she strains her upper arm spreads, the muscles going their separate ways and then locking at extension, the apex of their tension marked by a glisten. Madoka's feet, behind her, are pushing up dust that gets stuck in the damp of her gym shirt, and Sayaka is offering the same dubious service to Kuniko, in front of her. The rope feels like it's narrowed in her hands since they started, from the two sides pulling on its ends, but it may just feel sharper because of how her hands burn from dragging at it. Winning is more tiring than losing, in a tug-of-war, though neither is as bad as stalemate.


his is Nagisa Misumi's day. You know how when a mighty empire attacks a little village, they can even the odds by having their champion battle in lieu of war? You know how everybody roots for Rocky, who got tough by punching meat and dragging logs, instead of the Russian whose scientific training regime has optimized his talents? That's Juuban Public High School trying to contend with Ohtori Academy and Infinity Institute. Respectively in that order, as it happens.

"All girls again, huh?" Nagisa observes sheepishly. There's a chest-high chain link fence separating her from her Juuban fans, who cheer only when Nagisa isn't looking at them, like a bunch of adorable ghosts. When their golden-tanned heroine is right before them, they just meekly wait to be spoken to.

"I'll do my best! Th-thanks. N-no, it's the same shirt--eh-heh..."

"Nagisa! Don't get distracted!" Rina chides. "We need a strategy!"

"Yeah yeah yeah!" Shiho agrees. "Which events are you best at?"

"Ah..." Nagisa's eyes are unfocused.

"We should have her run."

"Nagisa, if we put you with someone really bad in the three legged race, would you win anyway? That would be reallyreallyreally efficient..."

"Nagisa-chan, are you listening?"

"Yeah, just..." Nagisa smiles whimsically, pointing directly up at the sky. "The announcer has a really nice voice, right?"

"Don't you know?" Rina boggles. "That's our classmate! Yukishiro-san."

"Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh. They call her the Queen of Knowledge, because she knows everything there is to know!"

"Yukishiro?" Nagisa asks, surprised. "That's really her? I just thought she was..."

Her two friends look at Nagisa quizically.

"...different than that." She seems to get lost in thought at that, enough that Shiho and Rina wonder what must be going on in her head, and what special insight she's gleaned about the Queen of Knowledge from hearing her tell people where the bathroom is. After a few seconds, Nagisa gasps aloud.

"I forgot my headband!" she wails.

"Is THAT what you were thinking about?" Rina yells at her, somehow indignant at the disappointment. "Just go without it!"

"There's... fighting spirit..." Nagisa argues wanly.

Shiho pulls the much taller Rina down by her collar, eyes blazing. "Get her a headband," she intones fervidly. "Unless you know someone else we can race against that." She points with her other hand at Utena Tenjou's gloriously laboring form.


"Jealous?!" Sayaka calls back gaily. Being called Bluehair-chan made her mildly annoyed, so she cranes her head around to see what visual traits her insulter may have that she can call out in return. "Yeah I'm jealous, jealous of your--!"

Sayaka spies Kasagami and her burn scars and realizes that the diss she was looking for is going to go off more like a shotgun than a spitball.

"...shoes..." Sayaka croaks out, metaphorically flipping her car to avoid driving into jerkery.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Maa! Despite the purple team's initial setback, they seem to be rallying! The rope back to the middle!" squeals Tomoyo Daidouji over the intercom.

"But the green team has started a chant, and that's a significant competitive advantage," Honoka Yukishiro observes with utmost solemnity. She's oblivious to someone across the yard admiring her voice, but they get rewarded anyway, with a whole lot more of it. It's sounds rather like a silver flute. "Both from a psychological standpoint because of morale, as well as through the lens of physics, where their more-focused application of force is more likely to render their opponents unable to keep their grip on the rope."


Kasagami can see plenty of Utena, since the latter is pulling directly in front of the former. It may be her back, so that means mostly that spectacular hair, but sometimes it parts like the Pink Sea and she can see the lines of the eighth-grader's back muscles clench and release, from her shoulders above the bra down to the rippling lines below it.

She pulls and pulls at that rope and then she pulls some more, with the least leverage of anyone on her team but the strongest unwillingness to let that stop her. Her empyrean blue eyes grow strangely distant.


'...I wonder if I can borrow a scrunchie before my next event...or maybe a headband...?'



Madoka is starting to get worried about Homura. Her breathing doesn't sound good, and the rope behind her has less and less pressure on it. She herself is starting to sink into the sand... there isn't a whole lot of Madoka to lose to this broken ground, either, and she shifts her weight unsteadily, wobbling. At least she's still shouting, steadily, on the beat.


Madoka's rhythm is disrupted by Mai's assertion that she's the "Cuh-captain?!" It was one thing to get that from Sayaka -- that doesn't count, it's a joke -- but from an unfamiliar upperclassman?

Uh oh.

Homura can see how Madoka's ears have turned as red as her ribbons, and Sayaka can feel it -- both instinctively, because she knows her so perfectly well, and literally, because she's suddenly pouring off heat.

She tries to pick up where she left off with the rhythmic tugging, but the suddenly slack line behind Sayaka didn't help at all.


Utena's eyes snap into focus.


She heaves extra ho so that her whole body twists to the side and she can get a glimpse of:

"Whoaaa, those are really nice boots!"

TUGOWAR! Homura is unable to keep hold of the rope, and Madoka loses her balance as well as the rhythm! Through no fault of their own, Sayaka, Mai and Kuniko are pulled all the way through to the other side!

TUGOWAR! The PURPLE TEAM is victorious!

"Congratulations, purple team of tug-of-war bout A!" says Honoka warmly.

"Group three of the three-legged race, please assemble at the beginning of the track," calls Tomoyo.