2018-11-18 - TIMELINE 1: The Broom Relay! Is It Competitive Tidying Up?!

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Title: TIMELINE 1: The Broom Relay! Is It Competitive Tidying Up?!

Endo and Mikoto arrive late to the Broom Relay race, and have to make the best of it, even though they're such mismatched partners! Wait, despite their differences, they came first?!


Endo Naoki, Mikoto Minagi


Juuban Public School - Gymnasium and Fields

OOC - IC Date:

2018-11-18 - 2013-09-21

.***************** Shitamachi Low City - Juuban Public School *****************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Gymnasium and Fields +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
 Accessed through a covered, open-air walkway linked to the school, the
 Juuban gymnasium is a warehouse-like structure with an impressively high
 ceiling (a fact impressed on many a child during their first rope-climb).
 Its golden-brown laminated hardwood floor is decades old by now, with arcane
 scrawls of shoe-rubber burnt into it beyond the influence of any mop, but
 it's held up well, though a few boards near the walls creak a complaint if
 stepped on. A spacious equipment room contains the volleyball nets, balls of
 various sizes, and other miscellanea the gym teachers use to keep Juuban in

 When weather permits, the students are often taken to the athletic fields
 instead. A ruddy brown, rubber-coated track rings the main field with
 concentric spray-painted rings, and is used for track and field activities,
 as well as forming the center ring of a three ring circus of athletics
 during the sports festival. The other two rings are the soccer field and the
 baseball field, the former of which is often put to use for other sports as
 well. While not as expansive as a country school might enjoy, the fields are
 a considerable privilege in high-rent Tokyo, one much-appreciated by
 Juuban's numerous afterschool sports clubs.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

The Athletic Festival is still in full swing this afternoon, with events going on throughout the day. There's been a short break has taken place to allow students to hydrate, catch their breath, and take care of other business, but the festivities are now starting again with a new set of challenges spread out across Juuban's field.

The next activity: BROOM RELAY. There's a very big and bright sign to mark both the starting and finish lines, though the description isn't immediately helpful as to what this may be. The banner is probably not lying about involving brooms, as there are a bunch of them laid out nearby. It also requires two people, as instructors are clearly separating groups of students into duos, two for each broom.

Usually, one might come with a partner. Or find one. Or get some sort of choice. Endo, however, is late. The boy, dressed in the standard Juuban athletic uniform, seems to have spend a bit too long loitering at the water cooler. By the time he makes it to the starting line there's only one lonely broom left, and nobody to share it with.

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

Mikoto managed to stick fairly close to Mai earlier on - but now her name has started coming up. She's terribly reluctant to leave her roommate (and her bento) (mostly the bento), but a combination of encouragement and bribery has seen her drifting vaguely towards the event she has been assigned to.

She has not yet shown the world how to pole vault - or how to jump over tires. Juuban's sports fields are as yet unaware of the acrobatic ace card Ohtori Academy has up its sleeve. (Or of the fire-breathing demon cat they're haunted by now. Thanks, Ohtori.) She's just this strange, quiet transfer student, who thus far has not said more than three words to anyone.

And this is a strange school which she doesn't really care about, so she doesn't really know how to navigate the field to the place she's supposed to be. It takes a beleagured teacher directing her to the proper place to finally show up where she's supposed to be: the BROOM RELAY.

Mikoto instantly understands nothing at all.

Well, she can understand that everyone seems to be ready already. They've got these brooms, and they seem to be paired up. Competitive tidying up..? City people are weird.

Nevertheless, she wanders in towards the bright sign marking START, the corner of her lip scrunching up in thought. She looks at the teams, looks at the brooms... looks at the one broom without a team. With a questioning sort of grunt, she heads in towards it, and the hapless boy without a partner. Without so much as a 'hello', she asks, uncertain: "Cleaning?" As if she can't quite believe it's counted as an athletic event. ... well, she is in Ohtori colours. Maybe she has people to clean for her.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Endo seems equally confused about the purpose of the broom, and has yet to figure out exactly what to do with it by the time Mikoto arrives. He's tried sweeping with it, hefting it, considered throwing it to test it's airbourne velocity. He's sure one of those things will be the right one.

When Mikoto does arrive he pauses, considering, before rolling his shoulders. "I don't know." Either way, they seem to be on the same team now, so he offers a welcoming smile. "It can't be that hard, whatever it is."

And then they explain what it is: "--For the first part of the relay, one team member will sit on the broom, and the other will drag them to the finish line. And then, reverse on the way back. First to the line--" The instructor's voice continues on as students line up, and everyone begins preperation.

Endo, of course, immediately notices there may be a problem with this. He peers down at Mikoto, and then and the broom, and back to Mikoto again. "Ah...maybe you should ride first?" Which is not really a plan, more just kicking the can down the road.

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

... unfortunately, Mikoto is too sheltered to suggest that perhaps they're supposed to ride the brooms into the sunset like classical witches.

Equally unfortunately, the boy she comes across has no earthly idea what they're supposed to do, either. Mikoto makes a skeptical noise as she leans down to consider the broom. Maybe this is part of the sport, figuring out its purpose.

Luckily, before she can get any bright ideas on what that purpose is, the instructor pipes up with the truth. Mikoto cants her head, but straightens and starts heading to the starting line anyway. Maybe it will be fun! "'Kay," she replies, cheerfully, not sounding at all bothered by the problem Endo has noticed. Perhaps she's just not very observant..?

At least she's also not very heavy. She's a few good inches short of five feet, and slight to match, even discounting the black case on her shoulder which seems like the most ostentatious way to transport golf clubs possible. But when the time comes to perch upon the broom, she curls around it with a tight grip, and she'll be difficult to shake off. Perhaps this will be a useful skill in the race to come-!!

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Endo decides to put his worries out of mind for the moment. After all, Mikoto seems like she doesn't think it'll be a big deal, so obviously everything will be okay. So instead he moves to grab the end of the broom, getting in line with the rest of the crowd as they wait for the starting signal.

While they do, Endo pauses to add: "Ah--I'm Endo! Endo Naoki." A pause. "Can you set that thing down or--" That question, however, is interrupted. by the pop of the starting gun and the little shower of confetti that comes with it. Instead, he calls, "Hang on!" Which doesn't really seem to be a problem for Mikoto anyway.

It's not really a long race, but it's probably a bumpy one. Endo's both decent at running and decent at carrying, so they'll at least make good time on the first trip. In fact, the Endo and Mikoto power team-up is one of the first past the line at the opposite end of the field.

Unfortunately, this is where it becomes Mikoto's turn to drag.

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

"Mikoto," the strange transfer student answers in the pause, because that's what she's supposed to do when people tell her their name. She scrunches up her face when Endo asks if she can set 'that thing' down, trying to figure out what he means, but -- there's no time to think about it!

Hang on, says Endo, and no matter the bumpiness, he doesn't have to worry. Mikoto has an iron grip! There's a wordless yipe of surprise as they manage a particularly bumpy turn, but there's no subsequent loss of passenger, unlike a hapless Infinity-Ohtori teamup a few paces back who were racing just a little too hard for each other to handle.

And then they're past the line, and Mikoto springs up without much care for her uncomfortable seat at all. She takes the handle-grip from Endo without so much as asking for it, but she does look back behind her. "Ready?"

It's a strange thing for her to ask, perhaps. Endo is not quite a foot taller than her, but he's getting there, and he's a year older and a boy besides. But she seems to be holding the broom-handle up fairly well in a static position, and perhaps they have enough of a lead that they won't do too badly..?

These are illusions which are dispelled as soon as she's sure Endo has a sure grip. Because Mikoto is good at carrying heavy things, too! She darts off from the starting line, dragging Endo behind her, and the biggest problem he might have is her not being tall enough to give his legs much clearance from the ground. Off she goes, dragging the broom and Endo to the finishing line, and attracting stares from onlookers.

This is a bumpy ride, too, because Mikoto is given to understand that the point of races is to get there before anyone else, so she's hurrying up. But surely Endo will be okay?! She asked if he was ready..!

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

It's Endo's turn to be carried now, and he does seems a bit surprised that Mikoto doesn't have as much trouble as he thought she might. In fact, he almost does fall off, having not expected her to shoot off quite as quickly as she did. Thankfully it's something he can quickly correct before he gets left behind, though.

The second part of the race goes as well as the first, the pair pulling ahead thanks to Mikoto's efforts. Endo does his best to hold on-at least until they cross the finish line. After that he flops off and into the dirt, rolling off once they cross the line and make the final corner.

Rather than complain though, he instead marvels: "Mikoto-san. How did you get so strong!?"

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

Thanks to their combined efforts, they're first past the finishing line..! Despite the inherent drawbacks to their team, it seems Endo Naoki and Mikoto Minagi have triumphed over adversity to defeat the BROOM RELAY handily. Was it due to Endo's strong showing in the first half, or Mikoto's surprising followup?! The answer is, of course, teamwork.

The instructor is sufficiently baffled, and the onlookers are sufficiently impressed, but Mikoto doesn't really care about the noises they're making. Instead, she pulls up to a stop past the finishing line when she feels the weight behind her roll off. "Endo, okay?" She asks, concern written on a face which is a little red from the exertion. She's pretty sure rolling isn't part of the race, which must mean he's tired instead.

But he sounds okay! And so Mikoto figures that perhaps this is what you're supposed to do after the race, and summarily flops down on the ground beside him, legs criss-crossing in the grass, black bag dropping down beside her. There's a little huff of air as she flumps, because racing is pretty tiring, after all.

"Trained real hard!" She chirps, evidently pleased to have her efforts recognised. She must be one of those kids who's been doing sports for a long time! Of course, there are other reasons why she's strong in particular, but she's not supposed to talk about those. Instead, she remarks, eagerly: "Endo's strong, too!" His name is yobisute, but Mikoto doesn't... sound like she's trying to be rude.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Endo's happy enough to take a break, and he doesn't mind if Mikoto wants to do the same. She did work pretty hard, after all. The boy pulls himself up into a seated position, crossing his own legs and offering a bright smile to Mikoto in return.

"Thanks," He replies, "I trained hard too." Not for carrying Mikoto, but he did spend a lot of time exercising back when he had time for clubs. He doesn't seem to take offense at Mikoto's more familiar speech--she seems earnest, at least. "What club are you part of?" Clearly she's doing some sort of athletic activity.

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

Mikoto smiles, brightly. That makes sense! They've both trained hard! His next question, though, has her more thoughtful, with a considering noise as she raises a finger to tap against her chin. Clubs..?

(Surely she's a member of the Golf Club. Or perhaps Track and Field?)

"Oh! Animal Care!" Mikoto chirps, after a moment, as if she'd just recalled. Well, technically she never said she was a member, but she helped Inori feed the cats, so that means she's part of it, right..? Another hum, as she tilts her head. "... I think. New to clubs."

Perhaps she means she's just transferred in. There are always a few new transfers to deal with.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Do they make you train to take care of animals?" Ohtori might be stranger than Endo thought. Ohtori can probably afford some weird, expensive animals though. A speculative look is given at the girl, but he smiles soon enough. "Animals are cool, though."

There seems to be a small lull in activity now that the race is finished. There's other events to set up, but this appears to be a small break in the action. Endo, once he's caught his breath, asks: "Do you want some water, Mikoto-san?" He gestures toward one of the coolers nearby, adding, "I think there might be snacks, too." Food is the great energizer, after all.

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

"Nope," Mikoto chirps, in reply to Endo's first question, which surely only confuses the matter further. Ohtori is full of mysteries, and she's not exactly giving the sort of detailed answers which would illuminate the siutation. She smiles and nods, as he affirms that animals are, in fact, cool. "... I like cats!"

This statement will one day go down in history as the platonic ideal of the understatement. Historians will marvel at the way the world led to this perfect conflux of coincidences to lead to the perfect definition of the understatement. Linguists everywhere will be floored by the brazenness of it.

Well, except for the fact that it happened between two schoolchildren flopped down on the grass, and there's no record of it whatsoever.

There are other things Mikoto likes too, though. And it's self-evident in the way Mikoto's face lights up as Endo says that one particular word. "Snacks?!" She springs up, hand planting against the ground to kip herself in a way which really seems like she ought to be part of a martial arts club instead of a cat club. Her bag goes over her shoulder again, grasped in her other hand as she rises, and she looks down at Endo expectantly. It's the sort of look which doesn't need explanation at all. There are snacks come on let's go right now.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Endo was not prepared for Mikoto's raw enthusiasm for snacking. Not that the prospect isn't exciting to him, but it's not enough to make him jump up immediately. Thankfully, he gets the hint. It's hard not to.

A moment a Endo is pushing to his feet, shaking himself out before he turns his eyes toward the refreshment station. "Okay!" He points. "Over there!" And off he goes, not concerned at all about Mikoto following. It is a universal certainty, he can tell. There's plenty of time for talking about cats and clubs between drinking and eating, and he's happy to do both.

No doubt they will get pulled away to participate further in the festival eventually, but for now the two can enjoy a well-deserved break!