2019-01-07 - TIMELINE 1: Real Women Keep Rice! Mai's The Worst House Guest?!

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Title: TIMELINE 1: Real Women Keep Rice! Mai's The Worst House Guest?!

Mikoto sneaks a stray cat into their dorm one too many times, and Mai and Mikoto have to evacuate their dorm so it can be cleaned. The target of their exodus: Natsuki, who has a paucity of pantry goods.


Natsuki Kuga, Mai Tokiha, Mikoto Minagi


Ohtori - Dormitories

OOC - IC Date:

2019-01-07 - 2014-08-10

.******************** Yamanote High City - Ohtori Academy *********************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Dormitories +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 There is some variation between the dormitories to provide a range suitable
 to different tastes, but they are typically old-fashioned and elegant, with
 low stone walls guiding the walkways and ivy creeping up their white walls
 and columns. Their exterior is classically European, like sedate manor
 houses, and for the most part this style is maintained inside, with
 dignified old paintings in thick goldleaf frames. However, the dormitories
 do not lack for daring Ohtori touches, with whimsical art deco floor
 panelling here, fantastical geometric lamps there, and odd little secret
 panels and dead ends throughout.

 Dorm rooms are generally shared between two same-gender students, but
 singles are almost as common; Ohtori students were not generally raised to
 share. There are some triples and quads available as well. Some dorms permit
 a great deal of leeway in decoration, others require students to stick to
 the default antique furniture. Many dorms have at least a small balcony,
 which provides an escape route for particularly rebellious students when
 curfews are instated.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

<Pose Tracker> Natsuki Kuga [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Natsuki checked over her place one more time for inspection. She didn't keep a messy room, although she had a feeling Mai would have a different opinion if she spied her stray socks being left on the carpet. She rarely had guests over to visit an hour, and she couldn't remember the last time someone came over to spend the night, let alone a couple of days.

She fetch the spare blankets and pillows out from the closet as a small part of her brain yelled at her again for doing this in the first place. However, what was she suppose to do? Mai so regularly called for help and she sounded so desperate on the phone. Mai didn't have the spare money to stay at a hotel, and Natsuki had a gut feeling if she offered to pay for Mai's stay there the girl would instantly refuse or worse yet insist she pay her back and not take it as a favor from one friend to another.

The best compromise was to just let Mai and Mikoto stay with her...although Natsuki felt a bit anxious about that. Not even Suizuru had stayed at her place overnight yet. Natsuki sighed as she looked into her nearly empty fridge. "I hope Mai is bringing food with her because I got nothing good to serve," she mumbles as she shut the door.

Natsuki then said as she sat on the couch and stared at the ceiling. "Thought they be here by now, wondering what's taking them so long?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mumuring can be heard from outside, getting louder as the impending guests approach. From the sounds of things, there's a vibrant discussion going on, footsteps approaching as the timbre changes.

Through the door, words can be heard. "It's honestly generous enough that she's putting the two of us up, Mikoto, and Katsu-chan is kind of the cause of the problem in the first place. It'll be fine, he needs the checkup and he'll still be there in a day or two." And that seems to be it from Mai, as there's a knock on the door.

When it's opened - surely, benevolent hostess Natsuki will open the door for her guests, right? - Mai is standing there beside Mikoto, a duffel bag slung over one shoulder while the other arm holds two bags of assorted groceries. "Kuga! Thanks again, and sorry ahead of time for all the trouble."

She's smiling, if a little sheepishly, and she lifts the bags in unspoken query. "I didn't want to just toss out everything, and I do have to make something for lunch tomorrow...though that'll have to be after my shift tonight." There's a sudden worried glance at her duffel, and the smile gets a little shaky. "May we come in?"

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

How was Mikoto supposed to know her actions would have consequences?! Sure, she's been letting Katsu stay in their dorm far more than she ought to, but she didn't think something like this would happen-!!

And so she ventures out with Mai in their exodus, a rucksack pack slung over one shoulder and Miroku's case over the other. "-- hospital's scary!" Come her protests, only for Mai to tell her that he'll be fine, really. She hums, frowning thoughtfully. "Okay..."

She knocks on the door, naturally, because Mai's hands are a little bit full. When the door opens, she smiles, brightly. "Natsuki!" Unlike Mai, she's never bothered with the distance of a last name, or even with honourifics. Once Mai got them to cooperate after their admittedly-rocky start, Mikoto's been nothing but warm to Natsuki.

She's cheerful, despite the fact that she has brought the horrors of a sleepover to Natsuki's door.

<Pose Tracker> Natsuki Kuga [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Natsuki heard footsteps approach her door. "Come on in, it's unlock," Natsuki said. Sure enough, Mai enter with duffle bags and items she assumed what she could rescue. Natsuki shrugged as she offered to take the duffle bag. "It's fine, I haven't been able to do a grocery shop today, so it's just as well you brought that over," she held up her cellphone. "With that said, I can call for a late night delivery if needed."

She lead Mai into the spare room. "I just have the one spare futon, but if you don't want to share a bed with Mikoto the couch is pretty comfortable," she scratched her cheek trying to think of what else a hostess was suppose to say. "Um, I dug out the blankets and pillows yeah." She then pointed to the chart on the wall. "Also that's my conspiracy board, I would have just cleared it out of here but assumed you wouldn't mind if I kept it here." She then frowned and looked to Mikoto. "And I'm to understand that your 'little friend' didn't join you guys tonight?"

Natsuki liked animals but last thing she wanted was for her place to get infested too.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

For a fleeting moment, there's a warm smile to Mikoto - because Katsu will be fine, or else Mai will have words with the vet's manager. It's an honest smile, too, because Mikoto's staying upbeat in spite of everything.

Getting even a few changes of clothes clean enough was something of a challenge.

There's a moment's hesitation before Mai hands over the duffel, but she follows as soon as her shoes are off. Her first stop is the kitchen, admittedly - what she's carrying is at least in part perishable, and she opens the refrigerator's door. "Hope this doesn't take too much room. Anyway, we shouldn't need delivery, I can whip something together from the basics-"

There's a chilling moment of silence, as Mai beholds the contents of Natsuki's refrigerator.

"...I guess there's room for our food after all. How did you even get..." She sets the bag on an empty shelf, shutting both fridge and her eyes for a minute. "...I don't want to know. Just...don't let Mikoto have any of your stash, okay?"

She follows to the spare room, finally, eyes flicking between futon and couch at Natsuki's words. Again, she pauses before saying anything, glancing at Mikoto for a long moment. "...thanks, but I think we can make do with one for a few days. Honestly, you've been more than generous - I didn't want to impose on Takumi, so you're a life saver. And the board's fine, I'll try not to make too many cracks about it."

While Natsuki asks after the cat's health, Mai goes to check out that very board. She traces one threat, then another, eyebrow almost permanently raised. Still, it's a cursory glance...up until her finger freezes in place.

"Kuga, what the hell is Linden Baum's manager doing in your grand conspiracy theory?!"

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

Mikoto trails after Mai as she walks to the kitchen, peering around her as she opens the fridge. "Huh?" She blinks, as she looks from it to Mai, because she cannot imagine why they're bad. But she shrugs and accepts it easily enough, and they're shown to the spare room. She scrunches up her nose at the thought of sleeping alone, and luckily, Mai seems to have the same thought. Pillows and blankets are perfectly sensible things to have at a sleepover -- she is pretty good at sleepovers by now, thanks to the efforts of Madoka and company -- but there's one element to this which is entirely new, if not one she should have expected from Natsuki Kuga.

"Con..spiracy..?" She echoes, peering quizzically at it. There are an awful lot of names there! And that's a unique way to use string. Certainly different from the cat toys Mikoto makes for her friends, which is a thought which dovetails nicely with Natsuki's next question. "Katsu's at vet," she explains. "Mai says he'll be okay..." Still, she can't help but be a little worried.

And then Mai sees something which surprises her, and Mikoto cants her head. "That's obvious," she says. "Mai's manager secretly goes out to feed cats at exactly six." Which is the most important part of those excursions. Obviously.

<Pose Tracker> Natsuki Kuga [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"It's fine, I know finding out you need to clear out of your place for a few days isn't ideal," Natsuki says as she pats Mikoto's head. 'Don't worry, kid, I'm sure you're friend will be fine. He has a warm place to sleep and food to eat there, right?" Then Mai brings up the board. Natsuki steps over and sees the photo she took of Mai's manager.

"Oh yeah, that was when I found out he did actually use to work at the cafeteria of the Sears foundation,' she non-chantly says as she crosses her arms, "I didn't think it was a strong lead but considering it's where you also happen to work I figure it was best to keep track on that."

Then Mikoto makes her comment which caused Natsuki to frown. "Does it? I thought he didn't like animals," she takes a slip of paper, writes the note and then a spare pin to add to the board. "There, thanks kiddo that's good to know."

She went to sit back in a chair. "Also Mai, if you're annoyed about that then I guess I better tell you look in that upper corner of the board." The photo was a new addition, it was a photo of Mai's favorite karaoke bar. Natsuki reached behind the couch, brought out an unopened box of pocky and opened it. "Anyone want one?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"A Searrs cafeteria? That's your connection? Kuga, I waitressed for a Searrs event for crying out loud! I mean, yeah, that was part of trying to figure out what they were up to, but still-" Mai throws up her hands in frustration, turning to storm away from the web of madness. This gives her an excellent view of Mikoto helping with extra details. "Mikoto, don't encourage - "

Mai shuts her mouth, teeth clicking, and there's a sound of pure frustration. "You know what, sure. Old jobs and giving scraps to stray cats. Totally reason for suspicion there, as opposed to the number of shifts I keep getting when major things start going down."

It seems like a bad habit, in a way, and it's been a bit hard on Mai's finances - half the extra shifts she could have picked up wind up going up against some crisis or another. It never seems like a youma attack happens on a day off or anything like that.

"You know what, never mind. I'm just going to get a spare pillow or three to scream into." She glances at the photo in question, and sighs audibly. "And you know full well I liked that place. Just give me the snacks and a minute to break out a microphone here, if you're intent on ruining my favourite parlor." She grabs four sticks from the outstretched box, and heads toward the kitchen to hunt for a rice bin.

...if Natsuki even has one.

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

Mikoto brightens again as Natsuki makes excellent points about her cat's security, and she smiles under the head-petting, with an affirmative noise.

They come to the board and Mai gets fired up about it, as she does. Mikoto nods, to Natsuki, as she asks for confirmation - only to see Mai whirling around. Mikoto blinks up at her, tilting her head.

Don't encourage her, she says, before encouraging her. Mikoto briefly considers pointing it out, but decides Mai is fired up enough already.

Instead she hums concern as she watches Mai head to the kitchen. "It's okay!" She insists. "This is normal for Natsuki." All the sneaking around and investigating people. Mikoto has found her in the most unlikely high-up places. Don't ask why Mikoto was up there, or why she was so happy to help her get that sunlight open.

Well, the second part is pretty obvious, really. Natsuki is her friend! Friends help friends break and enter.

And because she's her friend she certainly won't mind Mikoto grabbing a stick of pocky from the mystery box which just happened to be there. (Privately she marvels at the idea that food can be hidden anywhere in the house, and surely that revelation will not cause any future problems.) She munches on it happily, deciding: "It's good!"

<Pose Tracker> Natsuki Kuga [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Rice, rice," Natsuki mutters. "Um...I think I have some left over from a bento box I got?" She turned her head to yell. "Also, I'm guessing you didn't notice you were on the board in the lower right! I put myself dab smack in the middle!" Natsuki shrugs and nods in Mikoto's direction. "If friends can't help you to sneak into places that what's the point of them, right Kiddo?"

SHe had a feeling Mai would strongly disagree but Natsuki was willing to bet once she sat the state of her cupboard it be the least of her worries.

Speaking of food "Hey, Mikoto," she points to the right corner, "see the cupboard there? Should have an unopened bag of chips if you want some."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mai is now thoroughly trying to ignore the tangled conspiracy web of utter madness, and is just far enough from the discussion of surreptitious breaking-and-entering to avoid yet more frustration at delinquency.

All she wanted was a fun school year of enjoying her teenage years, was that so much to ask?

"I know it's normal for Kuga, Mikoto - that's kind of the problem. The fact that this just never - sorry, I said I'd be good." Unfortunately, hospitality is hitting its limit as Mai's opening and closing of cupboards hits a feverish pace. Searching the cupboards doesn't take long, admittedly, given how bare most of them are.

"Ah, here we go- wait, no, this is a stack of empty takeout boxes big enough to look like..." Slam, slam, slam, open just in time to see the bag of chips. At last, Mai whirls on her hostess, a somewhat dangerous look in her eye. "Natsuki Kuga. Do you mean to tell me that you, a Japanese woman, don't have a single grain of rice in your entire home?!"

She flings up her arms. "How are you alive?!"

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

Mikoto wonders if the rice was from one of Mai's bento boxes, and then immediately dismisses the idea, because obviously Mai's bentos are too delicious for leftovers.

Natsuki has interesting ideas about what friendship is for, but Mikoto can accept well enough that it's how she expresses herself. "Mm-hmm!" She nods, cheerfully. Meanwhile, Mai remembers briefly that they're supposed to be guests, and for once Mikoto isn't the one messing up all the social conventions.

Except perhaps for the one about 'don't root through people's cupboards', but Natsuki totally invited her, so that doesn't count. She bounds over just in time for Mai to find that cupboard entirely on accident, and Mikoto pulls up in a fashion which, in a just world, would involve a brake screeching sound effect and a dust cloud.

(Unfortunately, even the strangeness of Ohtori has limits.)

Mikoto looks from Mai... to Natsuki... to Mai...

... and leans around her, pulling out the bag of chips and holding it up. "It's like rice, right?" She says, with the infallible logic of someone who has never once cooked something correctly in her life.

<Pose Tracker> Natsuki Kuga [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"I eat rice," Natsuki shoots back as she leaved the room and re-enters the kitchen. "It's why I often go to the convivence store around the corner for bento boxes, and why I have my favorite take out place on speed dial." She points over her shoulder. "With that said I do have some protein bars and some energy drinks. Honestly, You're as bad as my grandfather."

He always did call a few times a month and try to confirm Natsuki was eating right. Something about worrying she had her mother's bad eating habits but wasn't quite sure what that meant.

Natsuki then went to flop on the couch. "Look, how about I either order take out or you give me a list and I go out to get the said food items you think we need?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mai Tokiha is kind of being the worst houseguest, in some respects.

She stares at the chips, stares at Mikoto's innocent comment of helpfulness, stares at Natsuki's description of her diet.

Without saying a word, Mai walks over to the nearest chair, picks up a pillow, sits, and buries her face into that pillow. Muffled screaming sounds can be heard from within.

At last, Mai lifts her head, and she sits defeated at last. "...chips and takeout will do for tonight, I guess. I've got to go into work in an hour or so, so it's not like I have time to cook things properly. I - or I guess we - can always shop tomorrow."

She hugs the pillow to her chest, and sighs. "...you know what else, Kuga? I'll take the comparison to your grandfather as a compliment. But your house, your rules. Maybe I'll just live off of instant ramen for a week, I've done worse."

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

Here Mikoto asks the most terrifying and devastating question of all, because even a year into her life in Tokyo she is still discovering new and exciting things:

"What's protein bars?"

Surely it is no factor at all in Mai proceeding to sit down and scream into a pillow. Mikoto walks up and pats her shoulder, comfortingly. It's hard knowing how to cook, she supposes. It's hard, and no one understands.

She lifts her head and concedes that chips will do, and Mikoto brightens, handing her the packet of crisps. Food will make her feel better! Speaking of food, Mai talks about ramen, and this of course makes Mikoto feel better. "Mai can make it better!" She insists, eagerly, conscripting her to improving cup ramen.

If anyone can do it...

But right now takeout is the order of the day, and so Mikoto gravitates back to Natsuki's couch, hopping up next to her and leaning over to stare at her phone.

<Pose Tracker> Natsuki Kuga [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Take out it is," Natsuki said as she brought out her phone. "If it helps I'll order extra so we have leftovers to reheat, okay?" She quickly makes the order and it isn't long before she's sitting on the couch with a remote in hand. "Might as well watch something while we wait for phone. Won't be long before it's here." She sits back, glances over to the Mai with the screaming into pillow in hand and just wonder how much Mai was going to need it over the next couple of days.