2019-02-07 - TIMELINE 2: Toast and Talk

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Title: TIMELINE 2: Toast and Talk

Ye-jin's plans fall through after a joint Dance Club meeting, and she takes Niramo out for dessert to fill up unused time. There's hidden depths found alongside sweet treats.


Ye-jin Song, Niramo Umokeshi


Harajuku Trendy District - European Restaurant

OOC - IC Date:

2/6/2019 - 4/26/2014

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Harajuku Trendy District +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
 A street like Takeshita likes to warn its visitors what they're getting       
 into. Mounted on chromed gates, LED displays draw rainbows and flowers over   
 and over, cheerfully welcoming one and all, and beneath them the road has     
 just enough downward incline to appreciate just how many people have          
 accepted the invitation. This street is the heart of Harajuku, street         
 fashion capital of Japan and a world-famous mecca for youth culture.          
 Daring, experimental styles compete and combine here in a free-form paradise  
 of sartorial Darwinism. There's a place for frilly gothic lolita, glam-rock   
 visual kei, and even interpretations of Western styles like punk rock, and    
 only the boring is forbidden. Particularly on Sundays, young people treat     
 Harajuku like a catwalk, inspiring and inspired by the hip local designers    
 who run small shops here, all looking to create the next big thing. The       
 corporations moved in long ago, and so plenty of big international chains     
 have thrown their hat into this lively arena.                                 
 Harajuku is rare among the elite fashion districts of the world, however, in  
 that it is still genuinely youth-driven. Where Paris's Trocadero would have   
 an expensive cafe, Harajuku has a famous McDonald's. Cutesy candy shops,      
 crepe stands, and kitschy tee-shirt stalls combine with a whimsical           
 aesthetic to make Harajuku's target audience clear. This district is good     
 for wasting money fast, but it's mostly allowances and part-time paychecks    
 it's gobbling, and so the prices it demands are surprisingly -- dangerously   
 -- reasonable.                                                                
<Pose Tracker> Ye-jin Song [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Dance practice is done and Ye-jin needs a distraction. A phone call after the joint dance club meetup had left her in a bad mood--until Niramo threw herself into the line of fire. Which seems to have had more a more beneficial result than not, as the older girl seems to have decided that Niramo will now be her entertainment for the evening now that her original plans are cancelled. This means free dinner!

The place is Harajuku, the time early in the evening. The streets, like most Tokyo streets, are packed. Here the primary occupants are the younger generation, trendy students and young adults who pack the streets to indulge in the latest fashion crazes, the most trendy accessories, and very many crepes. It's one of Ye-jin's favorite places in Tokyo, and despite being a foreigner she navigates it with the ease and assurance of a life-long Tokyoite.

Her restaurant of choice is several stories above the busy streets, up long flights of stairs and past a well-dressed doorman that bows deeply as both Ye-jin and her guest pass. The interior is fabulously baroque, like stepping off the streets of Tokyo and into an European mansion. Chandeliers grace the ceiling, gold curtains line the windows, and plush booths line the walls for potential clientele. The waitstaff are uniformed butlers (because that, in fact, is what kind of cafe this is) and one of whom guides their two guests to a table near a window.

"How are you liking your club, Niramo-chan?" Ye-jin asks this as she flips open a menu. As might be expected, most of the things on it are extravagantly expensive. More than half of it is dedicated to sweets. "Is it keeping you out of trouble?"

And, more importantly, "Did you know they have honey toast here? I can't eat it by myself, but we could split it." She says it very matter of factly. It's probably not an option.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Where most people would have done their best to quietly slip out the nearest door or window whenever Ye-jin Song is in a bad mood, Niramo had done her best to defuse the situation head on. That, and Ye- jin was having her argument over the phone out in public, and no one needed to hear every little detail. Helping a friend in need was the only thing on Niramo's mind, but if helping the Dance Captain of Ohtori relax gets her a free dinner, then perhaps all the better!

Harajuku isn't where Niramo had expected the limousine to take them to (neither was she expecting a ride in a limo!), and is certain to stay near Ye-jin as she leads here through the streets of the fashion mecca. Fashion has never interested the ravenette from Juuban all that much, and spending her small allowance on a new skirt that was going to be 'out' by the end of the season never sounded like a wise investment. Not when there's figurines of anime heroines and retro games to be bargained over!

As the doorman let Ye-jin and herself walk by and into the fancy restaurant, Niramo does her best to ignore the butterflies starting to flap in her stomach as she readjusts her cardigan to be as smooth as possible. Frequent trips to Ohtori to visit Ye-jin and Kasagami has aacclimated Niramo to marble pillars and snooty looks, but there's always that feeling that she doesn't belong when she is around the upper crust of society.

Not that she's going to bother Ye-jin about this. Friends shouldn't complain about where a friend hangs out!

Thankfully Ye-jin is able to distract the short Juuban student from her disbelief over these prices. Even some of the cheaper snacks are more than her monthly allowance! "Oh, well...it's taking some adjusting to being so active after school now, but i'm fitting in rather well with the rest of the club. Your recruitment drive was a big hit with the Juuban club, and there's around a dozen more members at my school alone." Not being the only new person makes it easier to relax when she messes up an exercise or misstep in practice.

The menu is lowered, and Niramo sticks her pink tounge out at the older girl playfully from across the table. "Yes, Ye-jin-san. I been making sure to stay away from artisan sodas and tuxedos, so there hasn't been any more mishaps!" The fact that she can start to joke about the Ball means she's feeling more relaxed about that painful memory.

Even with this being her first time in the restaurant, the stories about the honey toast is almost legendary with Juuban sweet tooths. Artisan pastry chefs carefully craft these delicacies from scratch, and after today's joint workout, some sugar is certainly welcome.

Closing her menu shut, Niramo bobs her head once in agreement, shoulder-length straight hair rustling from the movement. "I certainly do not mind sharing, and what kind of a friend would I be if I let you take it on alone anyways?"

<Pose Tracker> Ye-jin Song [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Ye-jin seems pleased to hear confirmations of her success with the dance club efforts, and nods her head accordingly. "That's nice." She says, adding, "I'm sure we'll do more joint activities in the future, so we can make sure you all get up to speed."

Her smile remains at Niramo's response to her teasing. "I'm glad to hear that. I heard about what you did, you know?" She seems amused more than anything, continuing, "At least you had the tact not to start a fistfight in the middle of the ball, right?"

The waiter arrives in the meantime to take orders. Ye-jin orders the lavish looking box of bread and fruits, making motion to Niramo to decide on her drink and anything extra. When the waiter asks for her order he refers to Niramo too as 'oujo-sama', and applies the same amount of deep reverence to her whims.

When orders are finished and the server leaves, Ye-jin focuses on her guest once again. "You're from Juuban." She says, considering this for several moments. "What's it like there? Do they have any events like Ohtori's?" She says this with idle curiosity, as if she'd never actually spoke to someone from that particular sister school before. "Do you actually like it there?"

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

More joint activities? If it's anything like their first session, it was going to be grueling exercises and dances that will put even seasoned dancers through the wringer. Not that it's not unfair towards the dance clubs. Say what you will about Ye-jin, she's a strick taskmistress but a fair one and if someone seems to be struggling, they are given just a little more attention. "That would be a big help, and I thank you for that. I'm not the most physically active, but i'm catching up quickly."

Not for the first time, Niramo bemoans the fact magical endurance and enhancements are not around when transformed. It would make life so much easier...

Her smile only grows once Ye-jin mentions the teen who through the punch at the bully she sprayed down with soda. While the memory of his name has dimmed, it would be hard to forget how he helped joined in against the harrassers. "That's true, but he did quite well with his punishment. And I just couldn't let the upperclassment keep on tormenting the elementry student. I...just wished I handled it in a way that didn't grab so much attention." There's pride, but embarrasment there as well.

It's not often '-sama' is heard, but especially not when applied to Niramo, and it takes her a moment to realize she was also being addressed. Quickly glancing through the menu for a drink selection, Niramo requests a cup of raspberry tea, as well as banana, strawberry and chocolate to be served with her portion. The honey toast is already going to be plenty sweet, but more can be merrier here!

Ye-jin's questions are considered carefully, and the Juuban dancer taps a fingertip to her lips as she gathers her thoughts. "Well, there's plenty of events I enjoy at Juuban, like the Girl's Day display or the various events hosted by the clubs, but it's nowhere as extravagant as Ohtori's or even Infinity's events." Not that it's a bad thing in itself. Creativity can win the day where money fails.

"I do enjoy being at Juuban. Ohtori is very grand and one of the most influential schools in all of Japan, but...it's some of the people there, you know?" Niramo waves her hand, certain that Ye-jin has an idea of what she means. "If you're not of wealth or of importance, they tend to look down on you, much as I hate to say it. I try to be nice to everyone but I always feel more relaxed at Juuban."

<Pose Tracker> Ye-jin Song [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"There's nothing wrong with getting attention." Ye-jin notes, accepting her own drink when it's delivered. It appears to be a very creamy coffee, a stylized heart floating in the center. "Only the way you get it." She lifts her cup between her fingers, sipping daintily at the rim. "When you act with authority, people will respect you." Ye-jin might even respect the smaller girl a little more for her efforts, despite the mess she made.

"Oh?" She asks, of Juuban's events. "I'm sure they do their best." The words may come off as a bit patronizing, but the tone behind them is more conversational than antagonistic. "Girls day is the one with the dolls, isn't it? I wish I had a set of those." Ye-jin doesn't have an analog for that particular festival, it seems.

"Mmm." She says, musing on Niramo's assessment of Ohtori. She does not immediately voice her agreement, instead asking: "Do you think they look down on you, Niramo?" She follows that up with a second question shortly after, "Are you not important?"

It's around this time that the food is delivered. True to her word, Ye-jin has only ordered the bread. And what a magnificent bread it is, a heavenly brick french toast slathered in whip cream, chunks of fruit and ice cream adorning its top. Other ice cream ordered arrives as well, delivered with deep bows before their butler scurries away.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Wise words from a wise heir, with several examples come to mind. Kasagami Araki, now Student President at Ohtori, and Setsuna Meioh as well, the patient and kind tutor from Infinity. Both them and Ye-jin walk and talk with respect, even if their 'authority' is quite different from one another. If there was a way to balance authority and kindness...taking a sip of her pale raspberry tea, Niramo lets out a 'hmmm' of delight. She wasn't much of a tea person, but this blend might change her mind. "So it's not attention itself that is bad, just what you do with it, Ye-jin-san?"

Ye-jin mentions desiring a set of dolls used during Girl's Day, and Niramo is suprised until she reminds herself that the Dance Captain isn't a native to Japan. "It's bad luck to bring the dolls out for display before the holiday, but I do have pictures of the set I have at home. There's one I made myself when I was younger, a loyal samurai. If I find any pictures, i'll let you know!" It's clear the holiday is enjoyed by Niramo, even if she's getting a bit too old for it. Fond memories, perhaps?

The questions fired back in response are undexpectedly heavy, and Niramo looks down at her tea cup and the pale liquid within. Not exactly the questions she expected, but maybe Ye-jin is looking for an outside perspective? "Well, i'm almost certain they do. During the Dream Faire, three students from Ohtori tried to atoganize Fuu-san just because of her dream and her school. As for me...maybe not right now? I like that to change, even if I don't believe i'm quite ready for responsibility..."

There's a finger running along the rim of Niramo's tea cup now as she tries to not let the mood get too awkward. Some insecurities being shown tonight as well, it seems...

Thankfully, dessert saves the day yet again! The arrival of the honey toast, fruit, ice cream and whip cream is one the Juuban student is quite grateful for, and she's quick to bring a portion of the toast to a smaller plate just for her. After a moment's hesitation, Niramo simply decide to give herself smaller scoops of all the different flavors of ice cream as well as a fair assortment of the fruits.

Before she digs it, however, there is one question lingering on Niramo's mind. "Ye-jin-san, if you don't mind me asking, why all the questions about Juuban? Are you curious about the other schools?"

<Pose Tracker> Ye-jin Song [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Ye-jin dips her head shortly, replying, "How you get attention is what's important. If people recognize you deserve it, than it's fine." He takes another sip of her drink, adding, "I expect people to show me respect, and they do."

"You can show me a picture of it sometime," She adds of the doll. "I could buy a set, but it's only for little girls, right?" She taps her finger to the table, considering.

She's distracted from those thoughts by Niramo's next assertion. "Did they?" She asks, making no comment of the validity of whatever accusations the girl made. Instead, it's Niramo's hesitation that she focuses on. The wine haired girl reaches to pluck up nearby knife and fork, beginning to carve into the block of toast. "If you don't think you're important, why should anyone else?" It's a pointed question, meant to provoke further thought from her guest.

Ye-jin, once she's removed a chunk of toast to plop on her tiny plate, wastes no time in spearing a strawberry to take a bite out of. She chews, dabbing napkin at her mouth before offering a bright, toothy smile to the girl across from her. "Oh, not really." She says of her sister schools. Which might come off a bit dismissive, but at least it's tempered by: "I just wanted to learn about you, Niramo-chan."

"Let's talk about something else. Golden Week is coming up, do you have any plans?"

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

It's only the fancy atmosphere of the restaurant and the fact it would be rude to Ye-jin that prevents Niramo from pulling out a notepad. She'll just need to make a mental note to put it on her smartphone in the future. There's some good advice there! "You do know what you're talking about, and others respect you for it."

A nod of her head is all the confirmation Ye-jin needs when it comes to Girl's Day. "Of course! I know I took photos on my phone last time, so i'll send them to you later! And not exactly, it's more like a holiday to celebrate the childhood in a girl's life."

Yet another pointed question, one that Niramo needs to think over and examine first before responding. "So...it's a matter of self-confidence, then? That i'm only as important as I make myself out to be?" Fumiko does carry herself well around others, enough that you tend to take notice of her. Maybe there's a chance for 'importance' training?

Frozen dairy, chilled fruit and golden toast blends perfectly well together, and it's a mirror for how sweet Ye-jin is right now. She may not actually care about the other two Sister Schools, but those that catch her attention and consider a friend? Just like Fumiko, the Dance Captain is likely loyal to those that let her in. "None at the moment, Ye-jin-san! I think I might spend a day shopping by myself, but if you want to do anything, say the word."

Yes, Ye-jin Song is a good friend.