2019-01-21 - TIMELINE 2: Breathtaking Ambition?! The President Demands Passion!

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Title: TIMELINE 2: Breathtaking Ambition?! The President Demands Passion!

Mai and Mikoto go and find Kasagami to try and secure the School President's support for their school festival activity. Kasagami insists they care about it, and finds they can both get fired up.


Kasagami Araki, Mikoto Minagi, Mai Tokiha


Ohtori Academy (Dojo)

OOC - IC Date:

2019-01-21 - 2014-04-18

.******************** Yamanote High City - Ohtori Academy *********************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Ohtori Academy +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 The ivory crown on the brow of Southern Cross Island, Ohtori Academy is
 separated from the world by more than just water. Outside, education can be
 a luxury. Within this white-walled compound, education is luxurious.
 Marble colonnades spring up like fountain spouts, scarlet flowers drench
 every free surface. The architecture is at once daringly art deco and
 austerely Classical, white marble lending an angelic weightlessness to
 pillars and fences that can seem more woven than carved.

 At the center of campus is the Chairman's Tower, a dizzyingly tall spire in
 the center of a manicured grassy field. Radiating around this field are the
 lecture halls, dormitories, art buildings, and other facilities by which the
 chosen few receive education, with small class sizes in large buildings.
 It's common for students to refer to a building's location as if the hour
 hand of a great clock extended from the central tower. At twelve o'clock,
 for instance, the Duel Arena looms like a jade stormcloud, a great forest
 forming a living pagoda of leaves that reminds even longtime students that
 their school keeps many secrets.

 The rose is the emblem of Ohtori, and campus is decorated with a profusion
 of them, both living and frozen in frieze. Poppies are favored as well, and
 thick carpets of either flower can be found wherever the loosest excuse is
 available. Only the most bitter of winters seems able to fully erase the
 faint fragrance from the air, and students who leave the island via quick,
 convenient bridge or ferry can often find a memory of it on their clothing.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The Student Council President has been busy. Between encouraging competition in the student body, a few changes to schoolastic standards, and trying to keep up with her studies, training, and clubs?

Well, let's just say the Duelist hasn't had much time to herself. Thus she's left much of the busy work with a small horde of flunkies she's recruited to hammer at typewriters, and has claimed Ohtori's dojo for herself.

Her coat and uniform have been put on a rack. She's wearing the traditional uniform, neck opened up a bit as sweat drips down her brows. Bare feet stomp onto the wood as she swings the large bokken she wields for what feels like yet another in an eternity of them. Toes clench as she tries not to slip from her own persperation. Judging by the flush to the good side of her face, she's been pushing herself hard.

Bare hands sting, even her bad one. There's a focused look to her, yet still with a smile. Step. Swing! Return. Again and again.

The door's open, enough to let the moonlight filter in.

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


"Hff... hff... hff..." Please consider the amount of stairs it takes for Mikoto Minagi to start getting tired. It's a large number. It's a large number of stairs.

It helps, of course, that she's spent a long day running around, doing whatever Mikoto does during the day. Probably, that involved going to class. It might have involved sleeping through one of the classes, but that was because she found a really comfortable tree, okay. And then there were all the things to do after class! Who else would be proud of Moriko for learning to hunt?

Moriko is, of course, a cat.

The stray cat population around Ohtori has gotten much friendlier now they have an official ambassador.

(There was also helping Homura, of course, but there are plenty of people who are proud of Homura.)

Unfortunately, when they get up there, Kasagami is not burning the midnight oil. Oh, there are people there, certainly, and none of them have the Student President's clout. Mikoto pouts, and whines, before she realises with a start:

"Oh! I know where Kasagami is!"


Going down the stairs is just as miserable as climbing up them, actually.


The doors are open, unfortunately, which means neither Mai nor Mikoto can throw them open dramatically. That's fine; it's too late for dramatics, anyway. Instead Mikoto steps inside - slipping off her flats, naturally - and gestures Mai in, too. She's familiar with the dojo, of course: she comes here often enough for club activities.

Mikoto isn't wearing their traditional uniform, of course; she's still in Ohtori's uniform. She watches as her fellow club-member stomps forward in a firm stance, and even in the moonlight it's obvious to her she's been here a while.

She is, at least, nice enough to wait for Kasagami to finish her latest repetition before she calls out to break her concentration, waving a hand above her head. "Kasagami! Kasagami!" Mikoto chirps, brightly.

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

It's been something of a long day for Mai Tokiha. Classes dragged on as classes do, most of it mundane and mentally tiring. Her new Business Administration courses are at least potentially useful and a little interesting - but the assignments that come with that material are something else altogether. A half-complete assignment lies in her bag, waiting for a lamp-lit desk tonight.

Once the school day was concluded, the work day began with a relatively short shift at Linden Baum. Just long enough that she couldn't justify turning down the pay, just short enough to feel awkwardly placed in the middle of the day. From that endeavour, her shoulders and feet are both sore, and she has acquired a distinct hatred of pineapple. A keen nose like Mikoto's might pick up on the faintest whiff from her hair.

The story of that odor is fated never to see the light of day, under penalty of Nagi's unfortunate demise. He knows what he did.

After all that, though, there was a little bit of day left. Technically, at least. While turning in for the night held a certain appeal, her project with Mikoto is something that she actually wants to accomplish - so a bit of extra effort in pursuit of that goal is worth it. To that end, she went in search of the Student Council's President.

Going to the stair-accessible office was a mistake. When she finally got there, out of breath from the climb, her stare at the distinct lack of a council president could have frozen an inferno. Mai took a deep breath, ready to unleash the voice of the abyss on flunkies who really didn't deserve it...but Mikoto had a suggestion, and so instead she just turned to go.


With Mikoto in the lead, Mai approaches the dojo. She pauses, if only for a moment, at the threshold. With hands alone, she brushes down her skirt, tucks a stray bit of hair behind her ear, and takes a deep breath. "...all right. This...this will probably be interesting."

In the wake of her work shift, Mai changed back into her Ohtori uniform - the mustard jacket being about as close to formal wear as she's prepared to go through with here. Under one arm, she carries a rather scant-looking file folder whose papers are of myriad cuts and colours - the contents being more assembly than organization. Put together, she's here to argue some kind of case.

With moonlight at her back, she clears her throat - trying to stifle a giggle at how eagerly Mikoto greets the woman. Instead, she tries to answer at least somewhat formally. "President Araki. I, er, hope we're not intruding?"

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

'Kasagami! Kasagami!'

Dramatics and volume might be Kassie's calling card, but if there's one thing that puts a genuine smile on the overworked President's face, it's the child-like innocence of one Mikoto Minagi. With one more swipe of the air, a swift turn that sets her hair fluttering to be framed by the moonlight, there's an absolutely warm look to the Duelist. Slinging her wooden blade across her shoulders, it takes about four steps of her long legs to walk straight over to the catte that arrives!

The sword is laid against a convenient wall and then she's sweeping up the smaller girl into a squeeze, along with a grating noogie right to her short hair! "Mikoto-chan! Now what are you doing up this late? Could you feel my MARTIAL SPIRIT flaring from the dorms!? Have you come to challenge me? To push your sublime skills to the next level? Or to learn the fabled Araki Family Shinai Splitter!?*"

*This particular technique Kasagami has made up on the spot.

She finally lets go, and is already reaching for a wooden sword that looks, well...more zweihander than katana or nodachi. One guess who it gets tossed to.

This is exactly when Kasagami deigns to notice Mai. "Can you really call it intruding when a door is open and it's a friend rushing in? Mai Tokiha, right? Miko's friend?"

She knows the rumors about the girl. She's just testing.

"What brings you two here?" Her tone might be pointed, specifically towards Mai. More curious than actually annoyed, but that assembled file folder has clearly caught her attention. Hmmmm.

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

"Don't worry!" Mikoto chirps, to Mai, as they approach the dojo. "Kasagami's a good person!" The Ohtori School Presidency is known for attracting only the most upstanding candidates. Probably. Mikoto's not good at politics.

In they go, and Mikoto squeaks with glee as she is wrapped up and Kasagami makes a valiant effort to muss her hair. Unfortunately for Kasagami, it's already short and spiky, and messiness does nothing to impede it. She laughs, shaking her head in a way which can't really dislodge Kasagami's efforts.

Meanwhile, Mai tries the polite approach. Mikoto has never quite managed to master that one. Such as when she insists, on the topic of Kasagami's sword styles: "Kasagami's never mentioned that one before!" How can a technique be fabled if it's unknown?!

Mikoto catches the zweihander in a hand, and rests it on her shoulder, opposite to Miroku's case. This is, of course, a wooden sword, and not a real weapon, so there's no need to worry too much. "Yup!" Mikoto chirps, as Kasagami asks whether Mai is her friend.

And to Kasagami's questions - several of them, really - Mikoto just answers, entirely succinct: "Cats!"

Hopefully Mai can fill her in on the details.

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

Mikoto and Kasagami's interactions are something Mai hasn't seen personally all that often. She's seen a great deal of the two individually, and has heard Mikoto talking about Kasagami, but...in all honesty, she wasn't sure what to expect of the bombastic student council member.

What she gets is the most over-the-top 'big sister' vibe she's seen, and she can't help but smile to see the two get along. She steps aside as Mikoto gets what looks all the world like a wooden Miroku, and then looks back to the inquisitive Kasagami.

Formality's still an option, sure...but in the end, Mai is Mai. "Not if it were just Mikoto, but I figure I'm enough trouble to darken a doorstep or two. And that's right - Mikoto's friend, roommate, personal chef..."

There's curiosity, naked in its bluntness, and Mai can't help but hold the folder a little tighter under her arm. Actually having a goal is novel enough that she hesitates to share it lightly, but...she trusts Mikoto with her back on this.

Without Mikoto, this dream wouldn't be anything.

So Mai takes a breath, and nods. "It's...a bit of a story, and it boils down to Mikoto and I having a slightly ridiculous idea for the next school festival. Mostly ridiculous for us, well, not having a club and not doing this as part of our class...I'm rambling."

She folds her arms behind herself, electing to be as blunt as Mikoto about this. "Basically we want to open a cat cafe. All of this - " She indicates the folder, without moving to share it. " - is basically notes on menu ideas, something approaching market research homework, that kind of thing. If you want to see the research, you're welcome to - but I mostly just want to know what you think of the idea."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kassie outright laughs as Mikoto doesn't even question the obvious ridiculousness she's feeding the shorter girl. This, among many reasons, is why she likes her. Mikoto Minagi only eggs on the Duelist's desire to be larger than life. The little sister that believes in her!

Or so she thinks, anyway.

"Well, you'll see it after we finish. Up here, double time!" Snap snap! Then she's back to well practiced motions, leading into a kata. This one is slightly different from most though. It's meant to be done with a partner and Kasagami is trying to take lead. Her gaze is on Mai still, but attention on Mikoto.

Vertical slice downwards, step, spin, horizontal. Not a fast thing, in fact acheingly slow to make it that much more difficult. It doesn't help that Kassie is sadistic enough to make these heavier than most non-wood swords. Even a workout fiend like Kasagami has to push herself for this.

"....Cats." She repeats. A brow rises, only for her good eye to blink away sweat.

Mai might not get the reaction that she's hoping for. She doesn't halt the kata but more and more of her attention is sliding to Mai. It starts off well enough.

"Well, if you're taking good care of my dear friend, then consider yourself welcome. Just don't make Mikoto-chan cry. I am, of course, a fair and impartial Student Council President who loves all of her fellow students at Ohtori! ....You could just say I'm passionate when it comes to my friends being harmed or upset." A wink. There's no amusement in it this time.

Then she goes silent. She keeps up her movements. Then she lets out a simply depressed sigh.

"Research? Market data? Menu ideas?" A shake of her head. "Mai-san, I could put on cat ears and a waiter's tux, step into the Linden Baum and we'd have a cat cafe. Are you trying to get your idea past me with soul-less numbers?" Her voice is lightly accusing.

"Come on! Mikoto-chan is, ah, pure. You're the details girl! Some of our students come to me with ambitious new research their club wants to perform or one of our artists with a new sculpture! Don't explain it to me. Make me feel it! I refuse to dishonor Ohtori by funding projects that aren't breathtaking or you don't put heart and soul into it!"

Finally, she breaks that martial dance to eye both girls.

"Well!? Impress me! Half done approaches are for Juuban students!" A grin. Her voice is nakedly goading and aggressive as she prods at her friend and friend-of-a-friend!

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

"Mai's the best at cooking!" Mikoto insists, as Mai adds in that last qualifier to their relationship. Going forward with absolute confidence is kind of her thing.

Out onto the floor she goes, as Kasagami insists. She has long since learned that kendo club has more to do with dancing than fighting: it's a cooperative movement which just happens to involve sword-props. Both of them are tired, perhaps, but neither of them would ever back down just because of that.

Meanwhile, Mikoto is used to Miroku's weight, so as far as she's concerned these wooden swords are still lighter and simpler to handle.

She might be a little biased.

Kasagami's attention starts sliding off, but Mikoto's still focused on the kata. Overhead, to the side, stepping in and stepping back. And at first she just grunts as wood meets wood, sliding a little from socks against a polished floor. But then--!!

Mikoto brings her zweihander-bokken down, broad side exposed, to bonk lightly against Kasagami's head as the other girl breaks her concentration to eye the others. "Kasagami's gonna make me cry if Kasagami says Mai hasn't put heart into this again!" Mikoto insists, fiercely. "Mai's worked really hard, so don't dare say it's not good enough!"

She lifts her sword to slide it down, wooden tip against wooden floor. "Besides, Kasagami's talking about a catgirl cafe! That's different!" Who taught Mikoto about catgirls. Who did this. "Cats make people relaxed and happy! And Mai's food makes people happy, too!" Who knew the secret to getting Mikoto fired up was implying Mai wasn't doing her best already.

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

Sword skills to behold. Mastery of an art, paired with a blade weighted beyond the norms of practice. A warrior stands here, showcasing her skills - and testing them against an equal opponent.

If Mai weren't closely acquainted with Mikoto's mastery of the warrior arts, it might be a bit more awe-inspiring.

An immediate reaction was a bit too much to hope for, but at least she isn't being ushered out the door on sight. Given how the last half year has gone, that's...admittedly better than she was expecting. Mai does straighten up, if only a little, at Mikoto's chipper praise.

When the idea is...not quite shot down, but challenged vehemently, Mai can't help but flush. First in surprise and embarrassment, then in irritation, then in slowly building fervor. She glances to Mikoto before exploding, though, and is treated to the sight of Mikoto snapping right back in their idea's defence.

And if Mikoto's willing to talk to Kasagami like this...well, that frees Mai up to cut loose a bit.

"Some members of the Student Council might actually care about the 'soulless numbers' - though admittedly it's as much convincing myself that I'm not doomed to living under a bridge as anything." She sets down the folder, the better to fold her arms with. "And like Mikoto said, you've got the wrong idea - though admittedly, I would love to see you trying to bus tables. Don't underestimate what that kind of work entails, President."

Mai's found her confidence, and a challenging glare seems to have come to join the party.

"So the slightly longer story is that Mikoto and I went to a cat cafe - the kind where people go to have coffee, food, and time around friendly cats." Mai's confident expression visibly sours in recollection. "Bluntly put, that place was terrible to the cats and deserves its impending bankruptcy."

She gestures to Mikoto, sword and all. "Mikoto knows more about how to keep the cats happy than anyone you or I could name, and I know at least something about cooking and running tables. We got to talking, and had the idea to do it right - make a home for cats that people can enjoy." She trails off for a moment, thinking about what she and Mikoto had discussed - the idea that could possibly be.

...but that's in the future, and in the here and now Mai shakes her head. "That's for after graduation - but in the meantime, we want to do a trial run. Join the onslaught of classroom cafes and festival attractions, and put our dream to the test - to see if felines and food can pull people away from all the other wonders that'll be going on. As our newly elected student council head, does this sound like something you'd allow?"

The last, delivered with a direct stare.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

WHAP! Right on the noggin! The tall StuCo Prez looks a little squashed for a second, both pride and her beautiful skull panging with suffering. One eye scrunches while she turns to peer at Mikoto! She looks, well...a bit like a dog that's been whapped by a newspaper less than actually mad.

She wipes off the almost-pout, and finally just smirks.

"That would be a horrible thing for me to do, wouldn't it? I don't know what I was thinking, Miko-chan." Both hands go up, sword included, placatingly. Then that fierce defence of the idea.

No, really, who told Mikoto about catgirls!?

She also gets a front row seat of the rising fire in Mai. Between Mikoto's reaction, and now the spirited confidence that Mai launches into? The aura of satisfaction only grows on the Student Council member! And Mai also helpfully actually explains the whole thing in detail that's well, useful.

Her sword once more is replaced as she actually ponders. Fingers snap!

"Is that a challenge, Mai-chan!? It's a shame most of the people who go to Ohtori look down on hard work. It would ruin the reputation of the Student Council to be seen working on tables like some servant! ...I happen to look good in a tuxedo, cat ears, and I'll outlast you at anything, Mai Tokiha, tables included."

Her boasting and utter confidence in her superiority is palpable.

"So you not only want to beat the other cafes at their own game with your unique take and combined skills that you've honed over hours of deep practice and meditation on the art of cats and table busing...but you desire to wage war upon your enemy, that which mistreats the soul and beloved fluffiness of all cats!?" Kassie spins in place, hops back, and POINTS right at the two girls. She's swiped her coat just so it can flutter for extra unnecessary drama. It's almost as if a wind snuck in from outside.

"Done! On two conditions!"

One finger. "First, that your gross profit ends up higher than at least half of the competition. No excuses, I expect results from your ambition! Shine brightly, your spirited, burning young students!"

"Second...you have to serve me a meal and impress me when I visit with my favorite type of fluffy companion. No hints, either. Time for you two to get crafty and learn about your beloved President more, hmm?" Wink!

Then she leans against the wall. "But let me sweeten the pot. If you manage to be in top third most profitable of cafes, or higher...well, poorly ran cafes in Tokyo are shut down all the time. Particularly when they mistreat majestic animals." There's a bit of a snarl there.

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

It would be a lie to say Mikoto isn't showing off a bit as she goes through the kata with Kasagami.

After all, Mai is right there.

So too does Mai's involvement inspire Mikoto to take a stand - which, in turn, paves the way for Mai to make her own comments, more like a dagger than a greatsword. If Kasagami doesn't think that's impressive, she must be the one living under a bridge.

Luckily, Kasagami recognises the error of her ways, and so she is saved the indignity of being whapped with a newspaper again. (Kendo club has really intense newspapers.) Mikoto is immediately confused as to whether Kasagami is challenging Mai to waitressing or telling her she can't challenge her, but Mai probably knows how to handle it, so it's fine.

... when did Kasagami pick up her coat again? Mikoto blinks, baffled, as she beholds her performance.

Still, Kasagami is offering to give them her support, and Mikoto doesn't seem bothered by the conditions at all. "That's easy!" Mikoto insists. "Mai's food will definitely impress everyone more than other stalls! And there's gonna be cats!" Everyone loves cats.

As for the terrible fate Kasagami implies for that cafe, well, Mikoto's already said it's going to be easy.

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

The ravenous fire of spite and fury is sated by Kasagami actually considering the proposal. Mai unfolds her arms, planting one hand on her hip as the President boasts about her purported table-bussing skills - among other things.

"Rest assured, you looking good in a tuxedo was never in question." ...what? It wasn't. "Maybe one day you can have some ridiculous 'Council Cafe' event to use as an excuse, then we can find out."

Spite fuels many things, including apparently volunteering to have a table-bussing contest sometime.

In the end, it looks like the idea - and some of the reasons for proposing it - meet with Kasagami's approval. Were this a normal discussion, Mai might sigh in relief. This, however, is Kasagami Araki - and Mai can only stare at the spin, the pose, and the dramatic wind.

"How in the world are you real." Mai actually goes so far as to say this out loud - for a moment, she's surprised by herself before seemingly accepting that it's said. "Those both sound fair enough - we'll see how the profit turns out, but I'm sure we can save you a seat whenever you visit. As for that 'bonus'..."

Mai considers for a moment, looking to Mikoto. "Honestly, I figure there's a good chance they'll already be gone by the time we can settle things. We'll see how it all plays out, I suppose - you have a deal."

She's got Mikoto backing her up, after all. Together, they can totally do this.