2019-02-07 - TIMELINE 2: History for the Future Girl

From Battle Fantasia MUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
Title: TIMELINE 2: History for the Future Girl

The President catches one of Ohtori's students mid-grades slide and intervenes.


Kasagami Araki and Homura Akemi


Ohtori Library

OOC - IC Date:

2-7-2019 - April 2014

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Akemi-san! Don't be so quick to leave, young lady..."

"E-ehh?" Homura freezes on the threshold of freedom with one brown loafer hovering over the hallway tile and the other still planted in her Japanese History classroom.

With her elbows hitched like that and her chin sunk down to her chest, well, it sure does look like she got caught in the act of escaping. A few more students file past her with sidelong looks and snickers: amusement barbed with gladness that it's her and not them. "Hai, sensei..." She rotates in place to face her fate, shoulders still hunched up.

She hardly needed to stop; the ensuing /pointed/ reminder carries well into the hall. This particular teacher is renowned for having a trumpet of a voice; the adjoining classrooms often get bonus history facts through the walls when he makes a particularly emphatic point.

"You transferred in with very good grades, especially considering your difficult circumstances." Homura winces down further and stares at her inward-turned toes, clearly not enjoying how public this reminder is. A handful of passing students delay on their way to after-school clubs, not bothering with polite pretexts for their rubbernecking. Ohtori's rumor mill demands its grist.

He continues at a low bellow, frowning at her from his desk. "Seeing them drop like this has been very disappointing! You are clearly capable of learning the material. Have you let social nonsense distract you? Hmh. Well, young lady, you have some studying to do for tomorrow's test on the Sengoku Period if you want a grade you can show your parents without shame."

They don't care, Homura thinks but doesn't say. After searching for the right thing to say instead, the acquiescence that will free her -- not to go study, but to go look for Madoka -- she twists a braid in both hands and says, "Yes, Hashimura-san. I-I'm sorry, I'll work harder." Then bows, twice because he's still frowning at her after the first one.

He harrumphs again and turns back to the papers on his desk, then, dissatisfied but dismissing her with a final reminder. "Chapters twelve and thirteen."

Homura huffs out a relieved sigh and nigh-scurries away from the open classroom door, aiming to escape the whole situation and the stares of students around her. If she hurries, maybe she can catch up to her best friend and they'll have time to go shopping, or walking, or... or anything, really. If it's Witch-hunting tonight then that's fine by her, even if the prospect of entering a Labyrinth feels like it'll never stop churning her guts. It will still be with Madoka.

Chapters twelve and thirteen look fit to languish unread tonight. Social nonsense, indeed.

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

The great door leading out into the hallway has a lovely bit of light pouring into the classroom! A beautifully crafted Ohtori gateway from the horrific confines of scholastic learning (or in Homura's case, not learning!). The symbol of freedom from that trumpet-voiced Hashimura-san and having to apply oneself to the onerous task of knowing the past!

Unfortunately Homura's skitter to safety finds a tall, dark-clad shadow devouring quite a bit of that beautiful Ohtori light seeping into the place where she was so righteously academically trounced. Hard steel toed boots pause as a pair of in-ear headphones are plucked out at the last second. A quick turn on the heels and the flutter of a longcoat.

The voice and her scarred features leave zero mystery in who she is. The riffs of Metallica vaguely clamor out as a large smile creeps its way up Kasagami Araki, President of the Student Council, is halted in her tracks as she spies the bespectacled form of Homura. She'd even caught the history teacher's voice over her music.

And then a gloved hand is coming down to try to capture any attempts of this poor young woman to squirrel away.

"Did the melodic tones of Poppa Hetfield deceive me, or did I hear a certain sensei of times long forgotten bark like he always does?"

She's laughing, there's humor in it, but from the looks of equal parts envy and pity, this may or may not be a good thing. This President is far different from Touga, after all.

"Homura-chan! Are you having problems with your studies? Surely an intelligent and motivated student such as yourself wouldn't slack off towards extracurriculars, would she?" That second question might not sound like a question at all.

"I'm something of a student of history, you see. Dad always had a book in his hands when he wasn't knife fighting Diet members with a pen. It rubbed off on yours truly. And of course!"

One finger in the air. "As your beautiful, peerlessly wise Student Council President, it is my duty to help wandering, wayward souls in this school to reach deep within them, and achieve the greatness that they can aspire to if they give it their all!"

Here, off goes that hand, and she's leaning down to eye Homura straight on. It is /way/ too close for comfort.

"Library. I'll even buy our drinks."

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire, thinks Homura as she skitters right into the purview of one Kasagami Araki. The flame-scarred Student Council President might not appreciate such a comparison, so it's good she doesn't say that aloud...

Instead the girl with the thick, floppy braids wilts under the falling hand and suffers its weight upon her hunched shoulder. Even through a thick glove and a thinner Ohtori uniform, Kasagami can feel how little cushioning there is between the skin and the bone, on Homura. What a knobby, skinny thing she is!

"P-poppa... who?" Homura has not been initiated into the mysteries of American heavy metal. The laughter has her wide-eyed and wondering if it's /at/ her or /with/ her, because Homura will never stop being a wallflower by nature. "President-san, um... I-I'm sure you don't need to bother to spend your time on me.." It was Araki-san before the election. Homura always goes for the formal option.

Oh no. Escape will not be that easy, it seems. She's ducked away from Kasagami's intense regard before, but usually she ducks /behind/ someone, and none of her friends are around right now. Surely she wouldn't slack, right? Right...?

"I've been busy, too..." A furtive glance around reveals students still rubbernecking. "With, with you know. /You know/..." Desperately, Homura tries to convey 'fighting Witches and saving the world and learning to be a magical girl' with her eyes, wordlessly, because that is definitely her excuse here but she can't exactly say it in front of everyone. She trails off, because that excuse doesn't seem likely to take.

Kasagami can feel that bony shoulder rise beneath her hand... and then fall in defeat. There'll be no catching up with Madoka today.

"Okay, President-san." With expressively-drooping braids Homura nods her acceptance of this new fate, all too conscious of the students still staring at them both. "Thank you for... for helping me."

She doesn't /sound/ very grateful, just... resigned. Homura doesn't think greatness has anything to do with grades; her model for greatness sprang forth with the arc of pink arrows, and had nothing to do with scholastic excellence. Violet eyes try to avoid searching grey-and-white, ducking down and to the side, and she's leaning back -- good thing Kasagami has a firm hold on the clumsy girl's shoulder or she might tip right over.


Once they're at the library and firmly ensconced with whatever comforts the President deems rightful for studying, Homura lets go, under her breath, "I guess I can just learn it for the test, and forget it tomorrow..."

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

"Don't be foolish! You are the exact kind of student I like to spend my time on. I believe that there's a certain hierarchy of talent. Family name, money, it's all very good, but it doesn't mean anything if the ones holding such things puts hard work into it!" Kassie asides, voice lowering to be Homura's alone.

All of that protesting only has Kasagami's vice-like grip superbly present and sharp, but just one more pinch below being actually painful or harmful. Sorry, you're going nowhere Homura.

"I am the last person to deny anyone their small athletics group gatherings!" This, a little higher. A subtle wink to the braided-haired one.

Down back goes the voice. "Be that as it may, don't forget your responsibilities in /this/ world, hmm?" A whisper just as they go into the library. There's none of her usual bravado, but instead iron-clad rulesbound tradition and pride on the line. To one who sees a Duel as religion, the honor of Ohtori is paramount.


There's a silver tray that goes by, depositing coffee for the two of them. It's a huge table now reserved for two, and the white-clad servants have the good graces to trolly right along after a sharp glance from Kassie. A deep breath. In, out, and Kasagami seems a little more relaxed outside of crowds of expectant students and servants.

That Ohtori grist often catches aflame after all.

WHUMP. The Sengoku period was superbly chaotic. Demonstrated by the fact that Kasagami barely glanced at the books she hauled out to be study guides for those chapters. True, she has some StuCo brand cheating involved, but this history-loving girl barely has to try here. She relishes in how she slams down first books, then her boots onto the table.

Pinky out. Siiiiip coffee.

"So, Homura." She's even dropped the '-chan'. Smirk.

"Do you really think the past is so unimportant that you can afford to ignore it? Do I /really/ need to bring up that overused cliche that remains damningly true?"

Down goes the little fine cup onto it's saucer. Plucking up one book, she holds it open with one hand and close to her good eye. As she concentrates, it's a slightly odd look, her bad eye half-lidded as she concentrates. It's part of why she rarely reads next to others...overly athletic reputation aside.

"Looks like you have the fun part too! Oda Nobunaga! One of the most brilliant leaders and warriors in Japanese history. Everyone knows that much. ...My family rode with the Oda, when we had just gained some notoriety!" Pride flares from the young woman.

She waves the book around. "Anyway, so. Tell me what you know about Oda Nobunaga. I'll identify where you're lacking, and maybe...mmm. The past, Homura-chan, is more than just what to avoid from your ancestors' mistakes." She draws up her legs off the table and sits up a bit.

"The past can be a great, black well of despair you retreat to your nightmares, and it can be a whetstone to sharpen your blade on when things seem hopeless. It all depends on what your current 'history' is facing." Her eyes go unfocused, white and grey. Lips briefly purse.

Then she blinks, and is covering up her face with delicious coffee as she awaits an answer.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"As... as long as it's okay for us to have it in here..." She's very unsure on that point, but this is the class president she's with, after all. Homura's habit of curling her always-cold fingers around a warm beverage comes into play immediately. Indeed, she takes only a few small sips. "Thank you for the coffee, President-san."

Primly-sitting Homura emits an "eep" as books and boots crash down on the tabletop, and looks around in a guilty hunch to see if anyone's staring at them. Coffee might be a question mark, but you're definitely supposed to be quiet in a library! Kasagami speaking her name brings Homura's head back around again. Not wanting to prolong the lecture, she answers, "No, President-san," while staring down into her cup of coffee. It's clearly an answer of obedience rather than belief.

She glances up when the older girl takes up the book, then her gaze flicks away again in uncomfortable avoidance to see the uneven lidding of her eyes. Homura doesn't want to stare. Instead she pulls her own glasses off to clean them in a nervous fidget that gives her a reason to be looking away. "The fun part," she repeats. "That's... wow, President-san. No wonder you know so much about history. Your family is very important to you."

Something Homura is entirely unable to relate to. She is impressed, though, by the wide (if unfocused) eyes she turns on the blurry pale-and-black blob that is Kasagami Araki. When they're not hiding behind her glasses, those violet irises seem even larger and darker in her porcelain face. After a squinty series of blinks at her unnecessarily-cleaned lenses she puts the red frames back on.

"I um... well, he lived about 500 years ago..." She inhales and gathers her thoughts, visibly. What /does/ she know about Oda Nobunaga? The problem is that Homura paid much better attention in this class a timeline ago, which means it has now been experiential years for her since learning this stuff.

A few things stuck, though. "I know he was called the Demon Daimyo, and he won a lot. And unified Japan." This is the sort of stuff almost every kid knows, though. "He... ah..." Homura flushes, though only lightly. That's it, it seems. The mention of black wells of despair has her staring down into her coffee again. It's the sort of thing she doesn't want to remember.

"Oh," comes the small syllable. When things seemed hopeless to Homura, history was not her savior; Madoka was. That memory is beyond precious to her, though. After a pause, she says, "But- he lived so long ago. And he was a big powerful warlord, and I'm just... I don't get how someone like that would have anything in common with me, that I could... you know. Relate to this stuff like you're saying." She curls up in her seat a bit, her self-conscious posture like a bodily apology.

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

Smirk! Nice and sharp. "...I can count on one hand the number of people who'd be stupid enough to /try/. Most of them I could either get kicked out or physically throw them out myself. And Midori-sensei wouldn't care about coffee if it meant you getting actual tutoring I'll bet."

Yeah, she's rubbing it in a bit there.

Kasagami /does/ notice that nervous fidget and stare. A look passes over her face, at first annoyed, and then...maybe just a hint of discomfort. Her hangups show more than she likes. One hand tugs a little on a glove just to make sure it's covered up and she tilts her face just enough to bask her right eye in shadow.

The StuCo Prez gives an almost-pleased nod. "Good, goooood, that's the start. Congratulations Homura-chan, you passed history at Juuban two grades below you." Ouch. Then again, she's heard worse.

She even nods a few more times as Homura basically gets everything right. Not having a blank slate to work with it a boon to the young woman.

"That's the thing, Homura. My family alongside the Oda was the beginning of our rise. We were a backwater bunch of provincial nobodies before. Sure, our sword school was a curiosity, but once we threw in on the right tides of history? We're not the Kiryuu family, but our traditions and what we bled and fought to gain are still ours."

A shrug. "And all because we had opportunity and took it. Anyone can become great. It takes a keen eye, ambition, hard work, and skill to become a wealthy family worthy of becoming history. Oda Nobunaga was called a fool as a child, and the Oda clan was frankly small and considered unimportant. But he used his ambition, skill, and a /lot/ of rifles to get the job done. Not to mention a crazy Araki or two willing to hitch themselves to the bandwagon~!" Her voice is near musical here.

"Don't you want to become someone great, Homura Akemi? Or would you rather die, forgotten?"


<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

With her glasses in hand, the near-sighted girl misses those signs of discomfort -- except the glove-tugging. Homura has gotten to know Kasagami Araki well enough, in this timeline and the last, to recognize that gesture. She takes her time getting those glasses back on, and her cheeks catch flame. This hardly makes things /less/ awkward.

The remark about her grasp on history strikes /right/ home on the already-embarrassed girl, sending her into defensive stammers. "J-Juuban's... a really nice school! And, and I just... I've been busy with other things..." She trails off and takes a big gulp of totally-permissible coffee, opting to listen instead of digging the hole any deeper.

Homura droops as Kasagami waxes prideful. She starts plucking at the hem of her uniform skirt, to the detriment of a frayed thread there. Clearly she's listening, and just as clearly, the President's words are having an effect on her... but it doesn't seem to be inspirational, exactly.

After all, it was Homura's family who taught her everything she knows about self-worth. It's just that her lesson was very different from Kasagami's.

But Homura doesn't talk about /that/.

Instead she offers a wan attempt at a smile. "They sound just like you, President-san. Like you fit right in. A real Araki, someone for your family to be proud of."

Those questions are first met with a continued fidgeting silence: a struggle between telling the truth and knowing her tutor won't like it much. Homura Akemi still believes in honesty and trust, though, and thus came by her reputation for being an awkward girl honestly too.

A shake of her head sets black braids dancing. "That sort of thing... isn't for everyone." Greatness, she means. She doesn't want to die forgotten, exactly; she doesn't want to die at all, but... Kasagami can see her brightening as Homura talks on. Her eyes take on a dreamy softness; the smile becomes real. "I'm just so happy as things are. I don't need anything else. Is that so bad?"

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

Kassie lets out a vague snort in a definitely dignified manner.

"Sure. If you're a normal person." It is said with pure, almost elemental disdain, that thought of the idea of 'normal'. Her left brow twitches hard. At least it's not at Homura!

In between their combined bouts of nervousness, history is imparted...and increasingly on the personal end. Kasagami might be a lover of history, but /this/ bit is very near and dear to her heart. Even if she wouldn't touch an arcquebus to save her life.

A little flattery does do /wonders/ however for Kasagami's mood. She has de-table-boot'd by now, and is crossing her legs. A long sip of coffee and then she laughs.

"Uncle Saito always says I'm the image of Mom when she was my age. I don't know about that, she was always much more beautiful. And stronger. And smarter. And none of...this." Her good cheer evaporates as she threatens to outright brood.

She quickly turns it around though, if only to stab that awkward silence right in the heart. Also Kasagami is suddenly turning like a whip snapped to fully peer at Homura again. The brief flutter of hair and a tiny whisper of coat might just show her ire at such a suggestion!

"Are you kidding me!? How can you /POSSIBLY/ be content with the way things are!? Do I need to start listing off the problems we humans are making? Or the kind of problems your athletics club is focused on solving? Being content leads to stagnation. Stagnation leads to weakness and then everything crumbles to dust when you least accept it! You can never, /ever/, let your guard down or the flames of conflict will light you up when you think you're safe. Snuggled into your bed without a care in the world."

She snaps her fingers.

"And then everything's gone."

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Oh..." Now, not measuring up to parental standards? That's something Homura understands readily. A sympathetic series of nods follows that litany of perceived shortcomings. She thinks the powerful and powerfully cool duelist is impressive enough to warrant plenty of pride, /way/ moreso than Homura, but... "It's hard," she ventures, shy of coming too close to admitting her own shame but wanting to say something.

Kasagami is already moving on though, whirling between topics like she might between enemies on a battlefield -- and Homura is suddenly on the spot. Turns out contentment is pretty bad, at least according to her history tutor.

"E-eeep...!" she squeaks in shrinking-violet startlement, the sound driven out of her by Kasagami's vehemence. Homura doesn't bother looking around the library this time. She just sinks low in her seat, steeped in /absolute certainty/ that everyone in the expansive vocal range of the President is staring as she gets dressed down. The fact of the dressing-down makes a clear impact on Homura, but the content...

Homura didn't join quote-Athletics Club-unquote to save the world; she joined it to save a girl. And self-improvement has always seemed like a joke to the discarded daughter, at least her own account. She has to get in shape for Walpurgisnacht, of course, but Homura isn't worried, just determined.

As for everything crumbling to dust... Her pink-haired everything went away, once, but Homura got her back. Never again.

That's why she made a wish. Homura curls up in that knowledge: it is warmer than a quilted blanket, and more comforting than a stuffed animal hugged until sleep. "It's not... quite like that," she says, and that smile creeps back in, because she can't hide her joy. "I'm not letting my guard down, President-san, I swear! It's just that I know I'll be ready for what's coming." What use does a girl from the future have for history?

But Kasagami is right across the table from her, and is honestly /pretty/ intimidating. Besides, she really does look up to the President, and Homura has always wanted her once-upon-a-time skiing sensei to think well of her. "B-but I'll try, senpai... To get better grades, I mean. To do better." Even if her heart clearly isn't in the task -- it has a prior commitment.