2019-01-04 - TIMELINE 1: Konbini Confluence!

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Title: TIMELINE 1: Konbini Confluence!

Mikoto wants to drag Endo out to see a festival, but first he has to take care of work.


Endo Naoki, Mikoto Minagi


Shitamachi Low City - Convenience Store

OOC - IC Date:

2019-01-04 - 2014-08-10

.**************************** Shitamachi Low City *****************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Convenience Store +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
 Announced by a colorfully striped plastic sign that wraps around its upper
 edge, this 'konbini' is little different from its thousands of siblings
 around Tokyo. To a soft hum of pop music, visitors can browse the
 tightly-packed aisles for everyday necessities. In addition to the packaged
 foods and lazily rotating hot snacks, there are also shelves and
 refrigerated cases filled with (relatively) fresh pre-made meals, from
 sandwiches to sushi. By the door, the magazine shelves sport smiling
 celebrity faces and cheaply-printed manga collections the size of a phone
 book. The clerks speak a dialect of Japanese designed specifically for
 convenience stores, the unusual structure of which permits them to meet the
 conflicting demands of linguistic politeness and blazing-fast service
 expected in a store like this.
 Konbini are a lot more central to the community than a convenience store is
 in most countries. In a city with few supermarkets, konbini are often used
 for grocery shopping. Concert, train, and museum tickets can be purchased
 here, and some are exclusively available at a given company's konbini.
 Konbini are also often the only business that maintains a publically
 available trash can in a given area, which tends to sit next to their bank
 of elaborate vending machines. ATM access, alcohol, exclusive promotions,
 capsule machines, cheap shirts for salarymen who slept at work last night, a
 mini-cafe... what could you want that a konbini doesn't have?
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

It's the weekend! It is a blessed time for not being in school, and even the oppressive summer heat there are fun things to be done. There's swimming to do, summer snacks to eat, and fireworks to see-none of which Endo is doing this evening. He could be, as one of the many small summer festivals is happening in a nearby park, but he's instead doing what he usually is when he has free time: working.

Endo's convenience store is like many others, just another in one of the popular chains. It has all the on-the-go things anyone could want, all placed on neat shelves in well-lit isles. The small building is manned by Endo alone at this particular time, dressed in off-pink uniform and stationed behind the counter near the entrance.

He is presently occupying his time with cleaning, as there are no present customers. He has a fairly large broom to perform this task, brushing and sweeping down the narrow isles. His broom seems to be both dance partner and tool as he swooshes and pushes it around in accordance with the happy, inoffensive trill of background music piped through the building.

It's probably not them most efficient way to clean, but it might help keep him entertained.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

There are an astounding amount of things to do in the summer, not a one of which involves homework. Why would Mikoto torture herself with fractions when there are festivals out there?

And so she has found herself in one, wandering in like a stray cat off the street. She found snacks! There was a delicious fish on a stick. There are people playing drums, and fish to catch instead of eat, too. (Mikoto isn't sure why they're selling baby fish when they grow up into big tasty snacks, but it looks fun anyway.)

It's great fun, except...

There's no one here!!

Not literally. There are plenty of people at the festival. But there's no one Mikoto knows, and so despite all the strangers milling about it feels a little lonely. It's no good to have a festival going without anyone here to enjoy it.

This is about when Mikoto looks out across the street from the park and remembers she is right next to Endo's store.



From behind one of those narrow isles, a small figure in jolly cat-print shirt and bike shorts l e a n s out. How did Mikoto slip inside without activating the wooshy doors? It is a mystery.

(One of the windows is mysteriously open now.)

"Endooo," she whines. "Bored, right?" As if she doesn't very often act like her friends are the ones feeling things she's feeling. But perhaps she has a leg to stand on this time! Why else would he be dancing through the halls if he wasn't bored?

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Endo is, in fact, bored. He didn't expect a voice saying so to manifest out of the ether, however. There is no composure shown as he fumbles with the broom, the wooden shaft of it clattering to the floor and taking down a row of hanging snacks as it goes. It's a very small tragedy. He was not prepared.

"Mikoto-chan?" Because by this point she is Mikoto-chan, not Mikoto-san. She doesn't get the special customer language either, of course. "When did you get here?" And, possibly more importantly, "How long have you been here?" He's done a lot of dancing with brooms, she may have incriminating evidence.

"Are you looking for the festival?" His head cranes, scanning the shop for the non-existent people that Mikoto might be going to said festival with. A second of consideration and he asks: "You didn't come to buy something, did you?" His voice indicates this is probably the most unlikely of scenarios.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Endo has always just been Endo, yobisute, because honourifics are for other people, but Mikoto knows by now that -chan is a more affectionate title. Luckily, she's not nearly socialised enough to be offended by the lack of Standard Customer Politeness in Endo's tone. "Umm..." She trails off, looking up, tapping a finger to her chin.

"Not too long!" She settles on, chipper, because it's not like she was looking at the clock. "But it looked like Endo was having fun!" Oh no, it must have been long enough. There's no judgement in her voice, though.

(Luckily, while Mikoto has figured out how the photo function works on her phone, the only thing she seems interested in is taking pictures of cats. And sending them to everyone. Endo has gotten texts with pictures of cats from all over Tokyo by now. There was even a cat from as far out as Nishitama!)

She shakes her head, as he goes on to ask more questions. She's not looking for the festival - she already knows where it is. As for buying things, well... she's getting better at it, but she still struggles with counting out the right amount of yen for the job.

Besides, she comes by to bother him occasionally, and she's never here to buy anything. She's just here to get in the way in the most obnoxiously friendly way possible.

"No one's here," she says, instead, with infallible logic, as she steps up to tug at his sleeve. "And festival's out there. Let's go see festival, Endo!" She presents this as if it is a clear solution to all their problems, which, given boredom is the issue, may even be true. As always, she has failed to account for capitalism.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

"Aaah." Endo says this to Mikoto's assertion of how long she's been around. He can't really tell her he's not bored now, certainly. "Aaah, well, it's just stuff I have to do." Does he have to do the dancing part? Perhaps it will remain a mystery.

"No one?" He asks, though the meaning becomes clear soon enough. "Oh. Well." Endo's face scrunches up. "I have to do work. Maybe after? I'm almost done." His eyes creep down toward the fallen broom and the small stack of fallen potato chip bags that surround it. "I just need to clean that. And do some other stuff."

He kneels to begin placing bags back on shelves, taking a moment to contemplate before asking, "Do you want to help, Mikoto? If we finish early I can go when the next cashier shows up." It's a genuine offer too, not strictly an attempt to keep her busy. Endo wants to go the festival too!

To that end he moves to retrieve a small clipboard once all the bags are set, turning it to prevent Mikoto with what appears to be a daily checklist of activities. Sweeping, arranging displays, sorting mail, other small and menial tasks. "I'll buy you an ice cream, too." She should get paid for her work, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mikoto wrinkles up her nose. Why does everyone have things they have to do! It's summer! Mai does this too, she's always working. It's just a good thing they have someone like Mikoto to show up and remind them that having fun is very important.

She's helping!!

She hums discontent as Endo points out that he has to do work, only to brighten when he concedes that he could come out afterwards. "Okay!" She chirps, mollified just like that. She's used to ceding points like this with her working friends, because for some reason Mikoto showing up and telling them they should have more fun rarely actually absolves them of their duties.

And, once again, she's helping. So when Endo asks, of course she nods. "Yup!" She says, completely confident in her ability to work. Of course, she's never had to hold down a job, because she has a scholarship which takes care of everything...

Soon enough she finds herself presented with a checklist, and she grins, eyes shining. It probably has more to do with the ice cream. She nods, with an affirmative noise, and sets off to take care of...

Arranging displays!

Mikoto, of course, is still tragically short, so she soon finds herself having to reach up on tip-toes. But she is, at least, good at balancing things, because all she has to do is think of how she'd sit on it and pretend she's a box instead. She has to help the boxes get their little box footing about them. It's a completely sensible way to approach display arrangement.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Endo is relieved that Mikoto is open to negotiation in these important matters. He lets her pick from the list of tasks, and seems happy enough when she decides to go with arrangement. There's a brief moment spent to make sure that she gets the right idea, and then he leaves her to it.

His own work is mostly more cleaning. Now that he has proper motivation to do it he puts a little more effort into speeding the process along. Dancing with brooms is forgone in favor of efficient sweeping, scrubbing, and polishing.

There's a brief distraction now and then to assist customers that wanter in, but these are minor distractions Eventually the work is done, and just in time for the next employee to arrive and relieve Endo of duty.

(The older man who replaced Endo behind the counter asks if Mikoto is Endo's sister on the way out, which requires a brief digression to explain.)

By the time they get outside Endo has already made good on his promise, a small bag of ice cream sacks carried in one hang. He offers Mikoto her pick of the bars inside as they start on their journey, taking a watermelon shaped one for himself. "It's almost time, right? Let's hurry!"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

There is one heart-stopping moment when Mikoto almost overbalances and falls face-first into the tower of cup ramen she's trying to assemble, but thankfully she manages to course-correct just before tragedy strikes.

(Of course she's arranging the ramen at the front of the store, because, really, what ELSE would people be here to buy?)

When Endo's coworker asks if she's his sister, she gives Endo a long, assessing look as she considers it. But, no. It can't be Endo, because she doesn't recognise him. Luckily, Endo has a perfectly good explanation!

He also has ice cream. Mikoto looks inside and retrieves a strawberry bar, munching happily on it as they start walking through the night. "Mm-hmm!" She agrees, mouth too full of snack to reply and hurry on down the street at the same time.

In the distance of the park the sound of drums reaches them, and it's a good marching beat to get to the festival. The strangers have an excited air as they mill about, looking for the best position to watch the highlight of the evening: fireworks.

Mikoto, of course, is very good at finding good spots to laze about in, so she grabs Endo's wrist with her free hand and summarily starts dragging him to the best place in the park. Okay, the second best. The first best has a tree with excellent napping-branches, but that's not so good for watching the sky. The second is a grassy clearing which has been coopted by the event for that big festival drum.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Endo heads toward the sound of the drum at a steady trot, keeping pace with Mikoto. He not to eat on the run, which mostly means that he finishes his watermelon ice cream in two big chomps and an audible swallow.

This is obviously a novice mistake, and he spends part of the quick march toward the festival with his face scrunched up from the sudden brain-freeze.

But, they get there soon enough. Endo too looks for a place to park and watch the fireworks, but Mikoto is soon taking over to lead toward the clearing. "Nice! This is good." A somber nod as he fwumps onto the ground, the bag of remaining ice creams set between them

"Good job, Mikoto!" This praise comes along with the first pop of fireworks, a dazzling burst of color lightning up the distant sky.