2019-01-10 - TIMELINE 1: Strawberries?! Setsuna's Acclimation

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Title: TIMELINE 1: Strawberries?! Setsuna's Acclimation

Mikoto drags Setsuna out to Linden Baum to experience cake without having to skulk around for once, and they get to talking about Setsuna's situation.


Mikoto Minagi, Setsuna Higashi


Yamanote High City - Linden Baum

OOC - IC Date:

2019-01-10 - 2014-08-11

.***************************** Yamanote High City *****************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Linden Baum Diner +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
 Bright and airy, this establishment serves delicious Western food at
 reasonable prices, and for that entertains an enormous student contingent
 alongside families with young children and the occasional informal business
 lunch. This combination makes for a frenetic waitstaff under enormous
 pressure, but their plum, pink and white uniforms (vests, bow ties and black
 slacks for the boys, puffy white sleeves and vaguely french maid yet not
 unclassy ruffled aprons for the girls) are an unspoken draw to customers as
 well. They can be seen at all hours, frantically ferrying parfait, pancakes,
 salads and steaks across the squeaky clean (and slipper when wet) hardwood
 floors, from the invisible-but-for-occasional-plumes-of-steam kitchen to the
 bouncy magenta leather booths.

 A single-story building made of brick but mostly windows, Linden Baum
 proudly proclaims its name in English above the door, alongside its
 signature linden tree. Inside, tiny cream crowns are etched into the beige
 wallpaper, with more abstract but vaguely gothic etchings done in the glass
 that separates dining areas. Large portraits of various delectable items
 (with Japanese translation and price) adorn the walls, while each
 ivory-painted wooden table sports tableware rolled in bright white napkins
 and fold-out menus done in the restaurant's signature magenta.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

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

A few days after the events of Tokyo Tower, Mikoto shows up, apropos of nothing, at Infinity Institute. It's an important place, after all! So many of her friends live here! Lera (whom she is no doubt also friendly with) also lives here, and Mikoto has heard there's someone else with her right now, too.

Perhaps it's strange to have someone showing up asking for Setsuna, after everything which happened -- or perhaps it's not surprising in the slightest. Mikoto whines at the door until someone lets her in, and proceeds to drag Setsuna out with declarations that she had no excuse not to come and eat snacks now.

No, Setsuna probably didn't have much room to argue about it. Mikoto can be very persuasive.

"- Linden Baum!" She announces, chipper, as she opens the door and ushers Setsuna inside. (A girl with short brown hair in a side-tail smiles and waves to her, before making a strangled sort of noise as she almost drops the plate she was balancing on her other hand.) "It's good," Mikoto assures Setsuna, looking back to the taller girl again, and heading over to a booth. "Mai works here! Not here now, though." Even the ironclad force of waitress style power cannot work every hour of every day.

"There's cake," she explains. There are a lot of other things, of course, but cake is the important part. "Kinda hard to pronounce, though... oh!" Mikoto brightens as she remembers to add: "Sundaes too! And pastries with fruit in! And these weird twisty bread things." (Pretzels. She's talking about pretzels. Mikoto did just say some of the things on the menu were hard to pronounce.) "They're good!"

Mikoto looks to Setsuna expectantly and asks: "What's Setsuna want?"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

A few days later and the most obvious excitement has died down; the ordinary people who were there have largely forgotten the details, and Setsuna Higashi herself--that's the name she'll be using now--has been in Talks with some adults. ...But she has been hiding out in the dorms a little, because there really is a whole lot to deal with at once.

...Hearing Mikoto's voice at the door is a little surprising, and after a few minutes Setsuna does let her in, blinking--and having just enough time to drop a text to Lera before she finds herself going out.

It's not so bad. A little weird to actually take the trains and not go building hopping, maybe.

She is a little hungry... but she's also not exactly flush with cash. Nevertheless, here she is--

And she doesn't entirely have the heart at the moment to mention that she's been here before. Instead, she nods, listens to the new information. "I see." Mai....

"That's a lot of dessert," Setsuna answers, and tilts her head as she looks off towards the rest of the restaurant. Then back to Mikoto, thoughtful.

"...Whatever you'd get is fine. Though I could go for some coffee..."

She, if anything, seems a little shyer than before.

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

At least Mikoto gave Setsuna a few days before she came to bother her!

This was almost certainly because cooler heads prevailed and advised her to give Setsuna some time to adjust, because Mikoto has never been terribly good at restraint. Luckily, this trait also means that Mikoto has plenty of yen on hand in her cute little cat purse!

(Mysterious scholarships are very handy for this sort of thing.)

The dessert ball lands in her court, and Mikoto hums through closed lips as she thinks. It only takes as long as the waitress takes to get to their table. "Hi!" She chirps. "Two strawberry cakes and two coffee!" THIS IS A FANTASTIC IDEA.

The brown-haired girl gives Mikoto a concerned look. "Are you sure, Mikoto-chan? Mai-chan always said..."

"It's okay!" Mikoto insists, cheerfully.

"Okay, coming up!" And she rushes off to take another order, as if she's having trouble keeping up with the customers.

With that, Mikoto turns back to Setsuna, still smiling. She completely fails to explain that exchange. "It's not quite donuts," she says, instead, "but it's still good." This might be obvious, but Mikoto doesn't know if maybe Setsuna has never had strawberry shortcake before.

It's only once food has been arranged that Mikoto considers anything which is not food. "Infinity okay, Setsuna?" She asks, canting her head a little to the left. "It's pretty big..."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Mysterious scholarships... Setsuna may get one of those herself! Maybe. At least she has her phone.

Setsuna does not speak to the waitress. She doesn't actually even look her way beyond a glance, considering the matter of... Mikoto and coffee.

It's probably fine.

"Strawberry cakes..." Setsuna nods after a moment. "All right. That sounds fine."

She is, as Mikoto may have come to know, a master of understatement. They make something of an odd pair, considering.

"Is it?" Setsuna asks about Infinity, blinking curiously. Then she has to think. Is it okay? "Yes," she answers simply at first, looking a little distant. "But... it feels different now, than it used to. Maybe it does feel larger."

"But it reminds me more of Labyrinth than the other schools do. It's organized, with a logical layout."

"I've been to visit Lera before, and sometimes others for class projects or studying, so the dorms aren't strange to me. They make more sense than other ways people live, anyway." Pause. "...But it did take some getting used to. Everyone seems to talk a lot."

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

A little coffee never hurt anyone! Right? Right.

Setsuna says the cake is fine, and naturally this means it has her full approval, because Mikoto knows Setsuna doesn't throw her weight behind her statements. She tends to have a lighter touch with the things she says.

Such as with her assessment of Infinity. Mikoto nods as she listens. "Logical..." She echoes, when she finishes. "Makes sense." The exact reason why Mikoto gets turned around and lost easily on the many floors of Infinity is the reason Setsuna feels at home there.

(Don't ask her how long it took her to find Lera's dorm.)

"People talk lots here," she agrees. "Setsuna'll get used to it, though. When I got here I didn't say anything I didn't need to, but I figured out eventually that the stuff people put in-between is important to them. 'Cause they say other stuff with that, too. It's complicated," Mikoto shakes her head.

"But there's time to figure it out," she goes on to assure her, after a moment.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

It's not Mikoto it's going to hurt. This will not end well for everyone...

But Mikoto has the idea; Setsuna does take a light touch in conversation as a rule, however blunt she turns out to be when she shares her opinions.

"Yes--it's arranged neatly. It's not entirely organized, but it's... nice."

(She does not ask.)

"I see." Setsuna looks past Mikoto, as if she's forgetting to do things like make eye contact or 'have expressions', because that's basically what's happening. Her voice is mild, thoughtful at the moment.

"I've been dealing with them for almost a year now... But it's different, now. Before I had... a certain kind of distance. I didn't need to worry about any of it. But now..."

She remembers to look back at Mikoto. "Now it's not like I have any more power than the humans do. It's..." She bites her lip. "It's a little frightening," Setsuna admits, somewhat uneasy with saying so.

"I wonder why they mix everything in like that, though? It would be so much easier to understand them if they'd communicate more clearly." Pause, and nod. Setsuna smiles briefly, even; sure, it's something she has to think about, but she did it.

"...There is, I suppose. I have... nothing but time now, don't I?"

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

In another universe, this would have ended incredibly poorly.

SMASH CUT: Behind the front desk.

"Ehh..." The waitress frowns to herself as she looks between the various types of coffee. "... it's fine if it's for her sake, right? I've heard the stories..."

"Excuse me!" Calls an impatient customer, a few tables away. "We're ready to order now, thank you!"

"It's fine," she decides, quickly, filling up a mug with decaf, and calls out: "Coming!"

BACK TO OUR REGULARLY-SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING: Setsuna talking about her problems.

Mikoto doesn't mind Setsuna not making eye contact; she's not terribly fastidious about it, either, gaze falling somewhere around her shoulder instead. Setsuna is very much like a cat, so it's friendly not to stare at her.

(Many things are very much like cats to Mikoto, but the comparison is particularly apt here.)

She looks back to Setsuna, as she admits it's frightening, and nods. "Yeah," she agrees, more subdued than her agreements sometimes are. She doesn't dwell on it, though, because it doesn't seem like the sort of thing she'd want to examine too closely.

And Setsuna smiles, and Mikoto smiles, too. "Yup. Now Setsuna can do things like eat strawberry cake! And figure out how tower works!" There are so many stories and it's not even something she can easily climb. "And talking, too. I think it's 'cause they're, showing they're friendly? By talking more. Guess getting to the point sounds like we don't wanna talk to them. Which doesn't make sense, 'cause if I'm talking to someone of course I wanna talk to them, but I guess it's different here."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Sometimes things do work out okay!

Treating Setsuna like a cat does tend to work out well. it certainly does now; she wouldn't react quite the same... but people can make her nervous.

Especially now.

Setsuna doesn't seem to dwell on saying it much more either; truth be told, it's more uncomfortable for her than she entirely realizes, a little heavier than she's prepared to focus on right now.

"...That's true," Setsuna says, closing her eyes briefly and nodding with a little bounce of her chin. it's a little too cute for a general.

She frowns in thought, glancing back to another table again, not really watching the people there for more than a couple of minutes.

"But how do they think of so many things to say?" Setsuna sounds genuinely uncertain on that front. "I can't do that. ...Everything moves so quickly. They all have things they want to say or ask about. I don't mind listening, but..."

Setsuna shakes her head, glances down, still thinking. "But what do you mean how the tower works?" She looks up.

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

Sometimes Mikoto can be sensitive! At least when they relate to things which she's worried about herself.

"I dunno how they do it so fast," she says, wrinkling up her nose. "Like they don't gotta think about how words work. How do they know they're not saying wrong ones?" Setsuna has to think about her facial expressions - and Mikoto has to think about her speech. "Guess it's practice," she supposes, after a moment. "I only got here year ago, but everyone else's been here all the time."

Because obviously everyone thinks like Mikoto does, and words are an extra operative step.

She blinks as Setsuna asks about the tower, glancing over to her. "It's weird to me," she explains, and realises a moment later the obvious truth in front of her. "Same reason why it's easy for Setsuna. 'Cause it's all... city. Everything looks the same. Smells the same, too. So it's hard to figure out where I am." The sprawling gardens of Ohtori are easy to navigate - but a clean and clinical building is so much more difficult.

Here the waitress bustles up to their table, managing to balance the plates without any mishaps. "Here you go!" She smiles, dishing out two plates with cream-filled cake on them, and two cups of coffee, one of which specifically goes to Mikoto. There's cream in it, too! "Ah - enjoy!" Perhaps she would have stuck around, but someone else is calling for her, and so she hurries off.

Mikoto smiles, because her master plan of making sure Setsuna didn't feel singled-out by being the only one to drink coffee is going perfectly. (She's not thinking terribly much of what happened last time she tried it.) When she sips hers it tastes kind of weird, but coffee has always had a bitter sort of taste, so she puts it down to it being a strange drink.

(And so the world is saved the wrath of a wired Mikoto, and the waitress goes down in history as one of Tokyo's greatest unsung heroes.)

"Is it good?" She asks Setsuna, because Setsuna seems like she'd know more about whether coffee is good or not.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Setsuna, too, can be--but expressing it is more difficult. Like here--Mikoto describes something that Setsuna has seen, but usually just dismissed as unimportant. There are a lot of things like that that have to change now. "Hmm..."

Setsuna nods. "That might be. Or maybe..." The girl from Labyrinth considers. "Maybe because they never learned to focus on their tasks as well they're used to filling extra time?"

At least she doesn't sound angry about it this time. or even particularly derisive!

But Mikoto explains the tower and Setsuna listens carefully. ...Naturally this doesn't show very well, but the truth for her is that her complete silence is a sign that she is taking the words to heart and processing them. She begins to think of replying, but--

"Ah," Setsuna says, unsure of what she should say--but Akane is off in moments, before Setsuna thinks of it. So she takes her coffee and brings it closer, inhaling the scent. There's a richness to it that's never gotten old for her.

Their heroic waitress has brought in her bounty, however, and Setsuna lifts the cup to take a sip, and then closes her eyes.

"Mm," she answers, and then sets it down, nodding brightly. "Yes!" She answers. She doesn't really know enough flavor words to describe it, and Mikoto didn't ask, so she doesn't elaborate.

She reaches out to take a utensil as well as she looks at the cake. "This looks very nice."

But after that she looks up again and, without preamble continues, "That makes sense. It would be very different for you. For me... Even the city is disorganized, chaotic," she admits, and smiles faintly. It's not a very happy expression, more thoughtful--wistful maybe.

Her coffee, incidentally, is black. She keeps it that way.

"So it's easy to tell places apart; the spaces between them aren't... even, and people put different decorations, or even building styles. But out with the plants, I can't tell the difference very well. ...Even if Lera tries to teach me," she admits.

"I don't use smell very much, but the sounds are different, too. People are always talking... It's so different. There's never any real silence."

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

"Could be," Mikoto agrees, in a wondering sort of tone which suggests she's never really thought of talking like that. People in Tokyo are a lot different, after all!

Mikoto takes another sip, when Setsuna declares the coffee is acceptable. "Good!" She chirps, reassured that no matter how bitter it tastes (even with sugar and cream), this is how coffee is supposed to work. It's a weird sort of taste, to her, but it's not painful.

(She is very good at talking about what food is like, because Mai cooks a lot of food with amazing flavour profiles, but she will absolutely accept the simple answer.)

"It's good," she goes on to reassure Setsuna on the topic of the shortcake, because Mikoto is in turn a cake expert. (Which is to say, she's eaten a lot of cake.)

She doesn't mind Setsuna picking up abruptly from where she left off -- it's perfectly reasonable for her to need some time to think about it. "Yeah," she nods, because she can see how the neatly-organised city wouldn't live up to the stories Setsuna told her as Eas about the Wonders of Labyrinth.

"It's okay," Mikoto says, "most people don't." Use their sense of scent, that is. "Probably why no one else figured out it was weird when Setsuna started smelling of strawberries more often." Without pausing to explain that, she says, "different buildings aren't so hard for me. But when it's the same, it's hard. But plants are easy for me, 'cause I've always been around plants."

La Sirene did say she came from the mountains, after all. It took many months for her to be comfortable enough to share that much; but she has grown quite close to her, and to other girls besides. She is still at times a mystery -- but perhaps a little less of one, now.

"No silence," Mikoto echoes her next point, nodding. "I'm used to noises, but it's weird to me how it's never dark. Even when it's cloudy at night, there's so much light. Signs, and lamps, and windows... I couldn't sleep good when I first came here. Better now," she adds. Besides, now she can just gravitate to Mai's bed, and that's nice. (Mercifully, she does not add that point.)

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

A mystery for now. Setsuna may shelve it for later.

Pleased by their agreement on the coffee, though, Setsuna takes another sip and then moves to let it cool, pausing for a moment when Mikoto reassures her to cut a bit off with her fork and take a bite.

"Mm," she declares. "It is!"

Well that part is slightly muffled and she has the grace to be embarrassed and finished chewing. However...

"Strawberries...?" Pause. Setsuna thinks about that, and how she could have started to smell like strawberries. She does this in silence, puzzled. The talk of buildings and plants doesn't help. However, about the time Mikoto gets to the light, it clicks in Setsuna's mind why that would have changed.

In the next second her face abrubtly turns deeply, deeply red and her eyes widen in surprise. "Ah--t-that's--"

her shoulders slump and she seems to shrink a little before she leans, "Ah--it's--it's not... W-when did you..."

"I-it's not weird to smell like strawberries!" she says in what is more than half a whine. Her fork goes down and--

She is definitely hiding her face with her hands.

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

For some reason, it being light all the time is embarrassing to Setsuna. Mikoto fixes her with a concerned expression as she tries to figure it out. "Setsuna..?" She asks, uncertainly.

And then she mentions the strawberries, and it clicks. "Oh," Mikoto puffs out a sigh. "Right. Mai said I'm not supposed to talk about how people smell. Sorry," she remembers to add, because she's learned a few things about conversation in her year in Tokyo.

She begins to reach out to pat Setsuna on the shoulder, only to realise midway through the gesture that Setsuna might still be prickly about contact, and her hand drops down awkwardly instead. "Um... before Hokkaido," she answers the 'when', because Setsuna did ask. "But even after I noticed, it took a while to figure out how to... talk to Setsuna right." Shockingly, Mikoto is not always very good at talking.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Ah," Setsuna answers at first, "I'm sorry!" It is... very, very unusual for Setsuna to be this demonstrative, and even so she is quiet after, the blush not fading very much but her hands lowering. "Did... she?" Setsuna asks, and--

Ah. She was reaching for something. "...Is there something on my arm?" Setsuna asks, in some confusion, glancing at herself before she looks back and then--left, right--leans closer.

"You don't have to apologize. I was... surprised." She bites her lip, "...That would make sense. I wasn't easy to talk to. ...I'm still not. But back then, I started..."

"It's embarrassing, but I still do it. I hide behind Lera, when there are too many people; she's so much better at talking to them than I am, and if I'm with her they don't ask me as many questions..."

"...She likes strawberry scents, you see. So spending a lot of time with her..." Setsuna gestures. "Back then I was trying to pretend I knew everything about how Earth works."

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

"Yeah," Mikoto says. "I guess it's weird, 'cause city people think smells are bad. But I forget sometimes." She sounds apologetic enough, at least. She forgot Setsuna might think it was weird, too.

Setsuna asks, and Mikoto shakes her head. "No," she explains, simply; she doesn't find it particularly strange that Setsuna would ask the obvious question. "I was --" but she's not really sure how to describe it, so after a moment's pause she just reaches over and pats her on the shoulder to demonstrate.

Then she picks up her cup of coffee, if only to have something to do with her hands. She listens to Setsuna, nodding quietly. "I get it," she says, when she comes to a pause. "I mean... I never pretended I knew, but I was hard to talk to too. But, Mai was nice to me. So I hid behind Mai a lot... but, then I met more nice people. So I got better at talking."

She doesn't say 'so you'll get better, too', because maybe it's different for Setsuna. She just puts her own experiences out there.

"I didn't figure out why," Mikoto says. "I just thought Setsuna liked strawberries." Her eyes flick to the shortcake; maybe it makes sense, now. "But I thought if Setsuna found something to like about Earth, maybe we could understand each other..." She hums uncertainty as she cants her head. "People like la Sirene and Sailor Moon and Madoka are really good at talking to enemies. At first I thought I could do it like they did, but it didn't work too good." Bears, after all. "Trying to do that was frustrating, so I guess I wasn't too nice either."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"I don't think smells are bad," Setsuna corrects without any particular note of apology or offense. "But..." She starts to answer, and then she thinks of one of the smells she knows very best of all, and decides not to focus on it. "Or that it's weird. Some can be... nice."

Setsuna picks back up her coffee--she's still a little red, quite flummoxed over a vulnerability that she has no real expertise in covering over. But...

"Hmm," she answers, thinking. "I see. I've met a lot of nice people," she says. "But I'm still not very good at talking."

Liked strawberries... That does make more sense now. "That's very thoughtful," she indicates--and then pauses, and bites her lip, looking down. That thought... It's very sweet, isn't it?

"...I did," she says softly first, fondly. "I found a lot of things I liked, but it was complicated. ...But one thing..." She glances up, "Was being with Lera. So... in a way, I think you were right."

She pauses. "Also after she explained what the smell was I tried strawberries myself and I like them, too."

"...But back then, I didn't want to understand. You did all right. I'm..." She stops, and looks down into her coffee.

"I'm sorry. That I treated you that way, when you were only trying to talk."

"...It's... more frightening, knowing that... The people of this world have so many reasons to be angry with me. But I... I don't have anywhere else to go."

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

"It's not quick," Mikoto explains, on the topic of getting better at talking. "Took me a long time. I'm still figuring it out." She has mostly figured out all the inconvenient places people expect articles, at least, even though articles are the most useless thing in speech.

She smiles, as Setsuna mentions the thoughtfulness of the gesture. Again her gaze drifts more to her shoulder than her face; she can tell it's hard, for her. Even not quite looking at her directly, Mikoto looks relieved when Setsuna mentions she likes the taste of strawberries. She guessed right!

"It's hard, right?" She asks, glancing down at the cup of coffee in her hands. "When I first came here I got in a big fight with Natsuki. I didn't wanna listen, neither. And then Mai said Natsuki wasn't a threat, and... it was hard, 'cause I was worried if I let my guard down Natsuki wouldn't, and I'd get hurt. But I trusted Mai... and Natsuki turned out to be nice too." Even if she'd deny it if she heard Mikoto saying that.

She hums, frowning thoughtfully down at the bitter drink. "Not knowing is really scary. Guess it's even worse, not being able to fight. But... I'm not mad. I think if Mai hadn't taken me home I might've made lots of people angry too." Mikoto shakes her head. "So I can sorta understand... where Setsuna's coming from."

A light pause, and she looks back up to her. "It might take some people a while, but I think they'll understand, too."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Hmm... all right," Setsuna answers. Maybe it does just take time. Though conveniently, many of the people she knows are more than happy to do a lot of the talking.

Setsuna takes another couple of bites of the cake, quickly--pieces of it just start disappearing. If it weren't Mikoto present, this might seem strange.

"Yes," she answers gratefully to the explanation. "It is. There's this girl that I met early, fighting, too. Really overly friendly, I thought."

She nods quietly though--not being able to fight. "It's a strange feeling, for me. Earth is so much more dangerous than Labyrinth, but in Labyrinth I had learned fighting..."

"It's nice that you think so. I hope you're right. But... I don't mind staying close to friends in the meantime."

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

Setsuna starts eating, and Mikoto starts eating, too. The cakes just start mysteriously vanishing. No one can possibly figure it out.

"Yeah," she agrees, thoughtfully. "Not everywhere's this dangerous, though. When I learned... there weren't any girls around. Or many monsters. I only really started fighting when I got to Tokyo." She's never quite been able to figure out why Tokyo is a hotbed of horrors, but she does worry about it, now and then.

Chew, chew, swallow, and she glances over to her again. "If anything happens, I'll protect Setsuna! 'Cause Setsuna's my friend, too." Mikoto has already decided it.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Mikoto may discover--perhaps to Mai's dismay--that Setsuna has an ability to consume food objects on a level with her small dear friend. It is a terrible mystery.

"Hmm," Setsuna answers, considering. Of course, there are many dangers even besides monsters and girls, dangers that do not exist in a perfectly ordered world, but that is interesting in and of itself. "It's true that Hokkaido was fairly safe," Setsuna ventures, and then pauses. "Except for the snow, and the cold, and the mountain." Pause. "And the skiing."

"...All right, most of it."

She smiles, though, when Mikoto offers--no, when she calls her friend. "...Thank you," the younger girl says, inclining her head. "I think... I really am. It's nice."