2019-03-15 - TIMELINE 3: AoAka Christmas Gala

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TIMELINE 3: AoAka Christmas Gala

The (fashion) event of the (holiday) season.


Tsuru, Setsuna Higashi, Honoka Yukishiro, Steven Universe, Rei Hino, Shun Minami, Nori Ankou, Nagisa Misumi


4-4-4 Shibuya

OOC - IC Date:

3/15/2019 - 2014-12-23

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Momoiro Clover - Santa-san - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTz4-6peF30

The location: Shibuya Hikarie, a panelled sapphire building resplendent with alternating red and green windows, plastic snowmen in Aohime and Akamira accessories mixed among the photographers outside the velvet rope. A tall, glossy building in the shopping district, Hikarie still has a roof encrusted with snow, giving it the appearance of a frosted cake. As the guests file in the front door, few even take note of the dusty basement-level shop labelled 4-4-4 Shibuya that rests underneath the retail complex. Some are under the misapprehenshion that the 43-story Shibuya Hikarie itself is AoAka's headquarters, but the only portion of it that founder Tsuru actually owns is that tiny shop. One paparazzo unwittingly discards a crumpled Starbooks cup down in the little pit in front of Tsuru's workplace.

The cameras flash steadily, overtaxed photographers tasked with discerning which guests are famous fashion celebrities and which are Sister Schools students, a task complicated considerably by slick cool of many Infinity Students, not to mention the numerous rich and stylish heiresses of Ohtori. At least the public school innocents of Juuban gawking their way in wearing Uniqlo are easy to sort.

Stella Amanogawa will be all over the internet tomorrow in a candycane gown, leaning towards the camera to blow a trademark kiss, her elegant daughter Kirara in the background winking. Right now, however, Stella is quietly fuming as photographers cluster around Nanami Kiryuu, who has committed to the same candycane theme, but with a kamikaze's self-destructive devotion. The heiress's winter kimono desecrates tradition with its loud peppermint aesthetic, a wide green Christmas bow tied about her waist in place of an obi. But where Nanami truly vanquishes good taste once and for all is with her hair, which has been elaborately heaped up like a Versailles wig, then smoothly turns downward at the top to create the distinctive candycane hook. It is wrapped in a spiral with red ribbon, of course.

Keiko, Aiko, and Yuko trail behind her, cringing in their Christmas elf outfits. Their careful objections and redirections had done no good; Nanami is convinced that the students of Ohtori need her to bring them joy, and has disregarded her own fine (if eccentric) sense of fashion in pursuit of this lofty goal. She's been overly intense about her role as Ohtori icon ever since the incident...

Ponytailed Bauanne Baurollo* may disappoint fans by his total loyalty to his usual black-suit, black-shades aesthetic, but his beloved white cat Chopenfield seems more ready to embrace the holiday, enduring with grace not only a Santa cap, but also a Santa beard.

Violet-haired Momoka Kurumi has chosen an ice fairy theme, balletic skirts blossoming on famous long legs as she waves graciously.

Once the visitors brave the flashbulb gauntlet, they are guided by strung ribbons (and, if need be, Infinity Fashion Club volunteers). The halls along the way are decorated with the occasional poster, including one advertising a new winter line. School uniform-inspired fashion has long been a mainstay among young Japanese women, and ever since the Ohtori Incident, AoAka has doubled down on efforts to celebrate youth, perhaps in solidarity. Infinity Institute's students suffered as well during those dark days, after all. This particular poster features Honoka Yukishiro and Setsuna Higashi in contrasting outfits, the first in pastels with an approachable, yet stylish impression emphasizing a sweater vest, the second presenting a more casual-professional look with black blazer and a trendier uniform.


The ballroom itself is spacious. Half is lit a warm red and green: a traditional Christmas with tastefully abstracted decorations hinting at stacks of presents or coniferous trees. The other half glows with ethereal blue, its decorations emphasizing snow and ice. Each side of the room has a special table for AoAka members, with handpicked treats and drinks in either red or blue. The twist, as the young volunteers serving there explain readily, is that one must be accompanied by a member of the opposite brand to partake. There are, however, trays of less restricted beverages and snacks being circulated, generally by well-dressed Infinity girls, in one case by a wolfish looking man who seems both amused and embarrassed to be in a conservative black suit. Its white collar is high enough to hide neck tattoos most of the time.

In a nearby dressing room, the two paper dolls whose fashion lines are being celebrated tonight have been left to their final preparations. The mirrors and makeup brighten and scent a quiet room, as the noise of the party begins to distantly penetrate. A knock comes at the door; "Five minutes!" a fashion club member calls.

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

Mirrors, everywhere--so much reflective glass still has a certain glamour for the girl in red. She looks in the main opposite her, turning her head slightly to see this cheek, that cheek, just enough to ensure she has her angles. Her hair, dark and purple, outright shines under the lights, its deep colors displayed layer by layer, down past her shoulders, framing her face all the better after the brush strokes fix just so. Dangling earrings of shape-down-shape makea faint noise in the quiet of the dressing room.

"...It's almost time," Setsuna says. Her voice is soft--it's usually soft or sharp, one or the other, but often softer with Honoka of all people, Honoka who understands better than others. Even so, she doesn't hedge it with a question; the knock at the door confirmed it well enough. Why did she say it at all...?

It's something like nerves, but different; it's not that she wants to back out, wants to leave, but she has a certain energy nevertheless, almost restless though she remains quite still other than her intentional movements.

Five minutes--and Setsuna is sitting down on a stool for the moment, one heel slightly up, pointed-toe show directed down, a decidedly feminine set of lines.

But trailing, starting to talk and then deciding what to say--it's not her usual method. "Everything's together, right?"

It's more than natural for her to defer a bit to her senpai. Indeed, she's even still sitting for the moment, though not for very long now; she waits for the last stroke of the brush. Her hands are lightly folded, fingers flat, long painted nails with black patterning over the base coat, the wide sleeves of her dress deep, dynamic red that make her pale hands something like flowers extending from them. The sleeves are only wide below the elbow, naturally, until hitting her shoulders and stopping, even with the straight neckline of her dress, which has a dramatic flow down to end above her knee, emphasizing her waist in where it gathers.

"...I think I'm going to get a skewed view of your holidays," she comments with a dry tone. The truth is that she's already swept up in a lot of this; modelling, of all things, now? She wouldn't say it feels unreal, though--no, as she's confessed to Honoka, it feels more real, somehow, than any of her life before.

"Are you ready?"

...Her old deck, meanwhile, is close by, an old good luck charm for someone who never really should've believed much in luck. "...You look it. I find I'ma little jealous of your hair."

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

There is no onomatopoeia for the sound the comb makes as it passes through Setsuna's hair. Swish, swish is a start, but it fails to capture both the weight of the medium and the smoothness of the motion. Her hair is a lake and the comb is the rain and the one glides into the other seamlessly. It is more still, more reflective, after the cloudburst, than it was before.

Honoka holds it very gently, very precisely, the way she would hold any workbench tool. Very tenderly, the way she writes in her notebook. She could be in the clubroom. What is life, after all, but one big experiment?

And, as she always is when doing something she cares about, she is the opposite of clinical. As Setsuna's hair asymptotically approaches perfection, Honoka's eyes achieve a warm lustre. She glows quietly with pride in her friend.

They make a stunning pair, together in the mirror. One is distinctly older than the other; it may only be a year, but a year can be a long time in puberty. It could also be said that there's something faintly maternal about the intimate experience of doing hair, which lends further separation to their reflections.

That illusion is banished by the grin that roars across Honoka's face at Setsuna's dryness, made louder than it would have natively been by the makeup that accentuates her slightest expressions. An eyebrow arches gloriously towards her hairline, and it, alone, would be answer enough.

But it settles down, and so does she, at what comes after.

"I don't think I'll ever be ready for any of this," she pipes softly, silver-voiced. "But doing it together..."

She nods, as sharp a slash by her chin through the air as a calligraphy brush across the page. Finality.

"I'm glad we said yes."

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Holidaaaays~! THe best time of year! Presents, good food, seeing family and friends... who couldn't want it? Hanging out at the Beach House Bachelor Pad Gem Temple was Steven's primary way of celebrating, watching Christmas specials and hanging ornaments was tonights goal. Though a magazine article mentioned a fun event in Shibuya-- a debut of a great new line of clothes! For kids his age!

"Fashiiiooooonnnnn..." he says in awe, re-examining the article. "I gotta look good to make new friends! And I am sure people seeing me in the pink shirt all the time becomes questionable..."

A look to the side, where Pearl is folding what looks like about thirty copies of the same shirt. She waves back. Steven winces.


"Oooooh, big event!" Little Universe cheers outside the building as he waits his turn to get in. It seems like students have a premium pass to enter!

Of course, he isn't a student anymore. "I-I'm not allowed to go to school any more. Is there a ticket I can buy?" he asks nicely. It would cut into what he could afford here, if any of it is even sized for his little rotund self. Though he did see a gorgeous red scarf in the magazine. Ohhh would he be the talk of everywhere wearing that thing, waving in the wind...!

The boy counts his cash after entering, just to make sure he got the numbers right, before putting it away. The flashing lights are disorienting, but ultimately fade as he heads deeper in. The boy marvels at a thin tuxedo type affair, thinking of someone who might look good in it. He eventually makes his way in to the ballroom, where new lines may be introduced it seems! Like one of those fashion runway type deals!

"Ohhhh man... being a model would be cool! I bet they get to choose the clothing that gets made! Or at least what they wear..." the last part is said thoughtfully.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

It's only natural that Rei Hino would be here. This is a charity event for her beleaguered school, after all - and besides, a festival planner must always take a keen interest in the events surrounding her. Of course, it would be callous to call them 'competition'...

So let's keep doing it.

But even if she had no professional interest at all, Rei would still have personal considerations to take into account. As a popular and fashionable girl, she has naturally taken an interest in Tsuru's fashion lines; of course, she would never stoop to favouritism amongst their models. She simply prefers the Akamira line for its elegant style. That it is headed up by the girl she so begrudgingly gave a second chance after what could only be called an unfair contract is beside the point.

But now, finally, the secretism is coming to a close, and Rei has in her green designer handbag the original line announcement pamphlet, with a very special purpose... not that she'd ever admit she'd like to get Tsuru's autograph. That's the sort of classless fangirling she'd expect from Minako. No, she just wants Tsuru to see that she has been following her work from the beginning, before their world descended into mayhem. It's entirely different.

Yes it is, shut up.

Perhaps that's also why the stately clothing she wears draws from a wide range of the Akamira line, creating something more unique than the common combinations which have proved so popular. Rei would never say that she has extensive knowledge of Setsuna's line, of course. To hear her say it, this was an effortless little thing she threw together from her wardrobe. She'd never spend so much effort getting ready for this party - ready to meet the girl who made it happen. She certainly didn't agonise for hours over striking the right balance to express herself in the style. She's not bothered because Setsuna specifically invited her, and she's definitely not putting in more effort to make her line look good because of it. She's above that sort of panic, obviously.

These immutable facts established, we come to her outfit: a red bow cheerfully wrapped about her raven hair like a present, which does little to contain it, and doesn't even manage to keep her bangs from her eyes. Below, a thin-strapped red dress, with a broad leather belt buckled at a hip. It hugs just above her knees, matched by dark red fashionable boots with three-inch heels. Her arms are covered by an open jacket, green breast folded over red. She's slipped in festive little Christmas-tree earrings. (Phobos stole a pair of jingling bells before she could put them in. That's what she gets for leaving the window open.)

Flash-flash go the cameras, and Rei is long since used to them. She smiles brightly to them, graciously excusing her way in past the throng to the ballroom. "Oh," she remarks, in utter pleasantry when a volunteer describes the restrictions on the snacks, "how delightful!" She claps her hands together in celebration of the gesture, and proceeds to...

... not find an Aohime partner whatsoever, but when has Rei ever said something she doesn't mean?

Instead her purple eyes trace the room as she waits for the guests of honour, because she knows just what she's come here for, and it's hardly to socialise with snacks.

<Pose Tracker> Shun Minami [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Fashion is not a concern of Shun Minami's. Lord Möbius has analyzed modern Japanese culture and determined the best outfits for him to wear to blend in while operating undercover in Earth society. That includes trendy galas such as these. After analyzing it, Möbius chose his outfit: a black suit with chrome grey button-up shirt and a splash of color in the form of a green silk tie. It's a classic sort of look, and suits his charcoal black hair and mint green eyes while in human form. A solid pick. A safe pick. The sort of fashion that you can't go wrong with.

It might seem a bit demure compared to the more colorful looks among the AkaAo fashionistas.

Even so, with his cool, confident demeanor, the paparazzi might have difficulty sorting him. Once inside the ballroom, Shun waits patiently as the gala begins, helping himself to a a flute of sparkling cider off a passing server's tray and sipping at it. He's here for Setsuna--Setsuna the model, of all things--though not in... *as* negative a way as that usually implies. For today, he's simply observing. He wants to see firsthand this bizarre frivolity for which Setsuna betrayed Labyrinth.

He's also here as an Aohime member, since Infinity members were awfully pushy at him one day and it was easier to pick a side than to say no. Blue is close enough to green, and he's certainly not supporting Akamira when it's mascotted by a traitor to his world.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Kojo no Tsuki - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgQEKpnYmCg

There is a clear mix of moods tonight, with some having gone in hard on the seasonal theme and others having ignored it completely for the sake of tastefulness. There is a vague wintery theme to the music tonight, but it is not Christmas-festive, at least not yet.

The lights soon dim, and the audience falls expectantly quiet. The room is partially lit by the soft LEDs in the floor, but mostly from the glow of the city through the windows. A spotlight trails to one wing of the stage and lingers there, broken in half by the adjoining wall, bent across the roof-like tops of the ema behind. Pointedly the light lingers. Where are the models?

A white foot in a straw sandal intrudes deliberately on the black stage, and Tsuru herself steps into the moon-like circle of light, her skin absorbing it all, no less pale than her plain white yukata. Hime-cut, demurely placid, large and dark of eye, she walks the stage with care and precision, but no outward flair, no pretension. It is as though she intends to teach tea ceremony.

The enigmatic AoAka designer could not be more different than Baurollo, but they have one thing in common; both either understand the power of a single, iconic style in establishing a brand, or simply lack interest in constantly re-adorning themselves the way they do their models and customers. Tsuru too has made no allowance for the holiday. The only color on her body is the rich lacquered comb in her hair, and the vivid, finger-thick stripe of red in the center of her lower lip.

"I hope that I might be forgiven, for my disloyalty to the season of cheer," she said, this narrow fading brushstroke of a girl, alone in the center of a stage. "It is a season of indulgence as well, and perhaps I too might be indulged." There's a soft murmur of friendly laughter at that. Tsuru speaks of Christmas in such a respectful but unfamiliar way. It's easy to picture her as having just learned of it, recently arrived from whatever stately old-fashioned town one imagines she hails from.

"You see," Tsuru says, "I want to speak of towers." Tsuru was someone who wanted very little, but wanted what she wanted very much. Thus something in her voice made what she wanted seem well worth the listening.

"Once upon a time, a great flood came upon the land. Those that survived felt themselves one people, their unity both consolation and memorial to an innocence lost. As one they chose to raise up a tower to heaven." Tsuru does not speak with her hands, or even her face, but her voice holds a soft gravity, as though she is imparting dangerous tidings.

"You know this story, and you know of the divine cruelty that struck down the tower. You know that the people who spoke one language were shattered, and now speak many. What sort of god is it who destroys that which rises too high? These must be our thoughts." The audience was largely quiet--foreigners because they could not understand what Tsuru was saying, Japanese because they understood it too well. Ohtori had been a matter of citywide attention.

Tsuru's eyes close, pale, black-rimmed. "But be wary of those who would raise up their tower upon your unity, for the purpose of a tower is to have a peak, and only a few may dwell there. If you wish to be among them, then build a tower to last forever, to seek the eternal. But I choose to seek the beautiful instead, and live in a unity that speaks many tongues. If a tower there must be, let it speak a confusion of tongues, not one. Let it stand in..."

Tsuru lays out one palm flat, upwards, and then the other, to either side of her body, in perfect symmetry. On one side, red, the other, blue.

"A harmony of contrasts." Tsuru's eyes open, dispassionate, softly sparkling beneath long lashes. "Tonight's theme is Babel. Tonight's models are, as always, Honoka Yukishiro and Setsuna Higashi."

Runner lights light up softly, row-by-row, leading towards the models, who are already here. As they descend glamorously into the party, there's a polite rush to that side of the room, save by those too elegant or resentful to be seen scurrying. Tsuru herself is easily forgotten in her simple white, and she proceeds into the party directly, giving little nods to those who acknowledge her. She stops by Rei Hino, glancing her up and down.

"Oh," she comments. "That is just how I meant that to be worn." Then she proceeds onwards, unless otherwise disrupted.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

After the battle...

After the battle in Ohtori, Nori Ankou didn't go out much. Whatever disease makes her skip class got worse for a while, although it seems to be abating, perhaps from the cooling weather. She has come to the Hikarie, wearing a new outfit, and walking in a self-conscious way.

She went with AkaMira. A black peacoat feels a little like armor. Comfortable, soft leggings of deep red silk sit underneath an asymmetrical drape of a dress, though the upper reaches are hidden by the coat, which she has retained. She has let her hair grow out and it has been put up with the accent of a small lacquered abstract piece of flair, approximately like a spider lily.

She had come in fashionably late, but this meant, of course, that she was just in time to hear what Tsuru said. As she finishes, Nori finds her eyes tracking over the designer.

Nori makes herself breathe in and breathe out several times to chase away the lingering feeling in her gut. It doesn't go away, but it does quiet down. Enough for her to start sidling towards the snacks, heedless of the secret price

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

For someone used to such things, the motion might seem more like something else, might bring memory to mind--and for Setsuna, it does. ...But the memory is Honoka herself; she may not have a mother, but she does have this friend, and even if it's true that Setsuna sees that difference of a year, feels it too--

It's not so insurmountable a distance, seeing that grin that prompts Setsuna to smile, herself. Sometimes it takes a little work for her to remember the right ways to respond, the right expressions to make...

But it never feels like work with Honoka.

"Mm," the younger girl replies, inclining her head. "I feel the same way. I'm glad we did." She pauses, looks in the mirror up for Honoka's eyes, "I'm glad I'm here."

She rises, then, smoothly, and any difference in their height is assuredly the doing of her perilously tall heels, which don't seem to slow her much. Her own makeup is darker in places, accentuates by shades, all the clearer for her pale skin. She has a sort of glow of her own, a life that once would have seemed entirely out of place for the red-eyed girl.

Darker, maybe, but it's the contrast that makes it notable. What else did sshe say, before it was time? ...She reserves that for Honoka herself.


The lights come up, soft and methodical, and Setsuna may as well have only appeared in that moment, so silent she was--so silent she is, at first, her expression that of someone looking far away--no, not a distance, a time. ...The Red Future has her mysteries.

In the noise of the room Setsuna's heels are silent, as she looks once--it is too deliberate to be a glance--at Tsuru, and then towards those approaching. The smile she gives them is faint, brief, a greeting as much as anything. Her steps are measured, deliberate....

Elegant, maybe. Where Shun would recall the furious steps of someone who resented the very Earth to which she was sent, now she is altogether different, transformed from the frenetic rage Labyrinth once had.

...Setsuna herself did not know that story, before Tsuru told it to her.

The side of red marks flow and sharpness, black in accenting, the shine of purple--but never blue. Gloss, though--gloss, and and soft, so-smooth fabric.

Nori may notice that Setsuna's eyes find hers, in an instant, just one, as she moves. ...If she's looking for someone she invited, she has the grace not to make it obvious; she reminds herself, in each moment, to focus on each person, to mind her expressions...

One side.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Why Would This Happen?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Laia9ROngIE

They enter separately. Just before they part, in one of the back hallways, Honoka grasps both of Setsuna's hands, fiercely and gently all at once.

"Let's find each other again," she promises.

And then it's time.

Honoka is not in earshot of Tsuru's speech until the very end. She hardly ever is. It is widely believed that the reason for this is that she is too embarrassed by any praise from her creator, such that she would be unable to perform.


Tonight Honoka is modelling a simple dark blue cocktail dress, but one made extravagant by its gauzy wrap. A second, translucent layer over the cocktail dress, it floats weightlessly around her waist, flaring out wide at her knees, the material stiffened by silver lines of some metallic material that shapes it without fully stealing its softness, creating a delicate hint of pleats in the front.

The lines turn to pinpoints at Honoka's waist, suggesting snowflakes or stars against a night sky, as the gossamer material snugs itself to her narrow waist, then swirls around her bust to terminate in a goblet-like open top. This broad neckline slants fashionably, its wrap uneven, such that a right angle of material lends a sharp edge to an otherwise flowing impression, stark against her collarbone. Her shoes are silver, gleaming softly to match the metallics of her dress.

The outfit does not complete the look on its own, of course. The distinctive blue ombre lipstick of Aohime has been applied masterfully as usual, the dark, cool hues sinking deeper and deeper as it travels towards the center, tiny pale motes glistening throughout to give an illusion of translucence and depth. A subtle, elfin spray of glitter illuminates the eyeshadow between Honoka's blue eyes and strong eyebrows.


It isn't the press.

Well, it is the press, but at their vanguard are a pair whose clothing is too nice for a journalist's salary. One is virtually Tsuru re-rendered as a modern professional; everything about her is almost comically traditional, at least to the fledging tradition of femininity in the workplace. The blazer and pencil skirt, fashionably cut, creamy as egg nog. The hair, dark brown but so wonderfully glossy as for it to be no barrier to greatness, piled high above her neck and secured with a chopstick. The heels.

The man in a gray three-piece suit shouting with her and snapping photographs with an expensive-looking camera has Honoka's hair, and her eyebrows for that matter; she has the look of her father. But they might as well be aliens from another planet -- theirs is the beauty of wealth and the style of the successful, and what Tsuru has done to their daughter renders her even more ethereal than she is nascently. Perhaps she is not Aohime, but Kaguyahime.

Perhaps it's for the best that that princess one day left her mortal parents behind, and went to the Moon.

A Honoka untransformed by Tsuru's magic might have blushed hotly and muttered, embarrassed, but this one just gives them a tiny smile and a wave -- her reaction to the moment betrayed only by the helpless, horrified quirk of one eyebrow, which appears but briefly to land squarely in the lap of her best friend.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

For the time, Steven mills about the ballroon, enjoying the event. Partaking of snacks allowed to him. The fancier ones seem pretty neat that you need an opposite member to do! Like some kind of cool balance act. No color here over-represented.

THe lights flare, and the lady that looks like she runs the show comes on stage! He of course waves to her with a little palm and a smile, even if he doesn't know her. She seems nice enough! She also tells a story. It was clear it was about recent events, though perhaps in telling it it may help people, somehow. And it sounds like this event is to help with the situation, which was nice!

...He wondered how everyone was doing. Hopefully everyone is recovering. He lost contact with so many...

But now isn't the time to be sad! That can be later at home, again. Now is the time for fashion!

The models come out and they look stunning! The boy of course claps for them both! They seem so serene up there, perhaps because they have to be. And yet, seeing them makes him look down at his own outfit again. Hum.

Someone yelling seems to be trying to get the attention of one of the models! "Ah, th-that might not be a good idea," he ponders. "It could break her concentration. If she is concentrating? I don't know how fashion works sometimes."

<Pose Tracker> Shun Minami [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

The Tower of Babel... Aside from the allusions to recent events, it's a rather incomprehensible story to Shun. He listens politely all the same, sipping from his glass until it's empty, then passing it off on a nearby waiter without looking at them. It's somewhat beyond him how one might theme clothes after such a story, and it remains beyond him even after he observes Setsuna and Honoka in their glossy, gauzy glory. Probably it's one of those human cultural things.

Meanwhile,Tsuru compliments Rei on her look. This concerns Shun not at all, Rei. For now, as the lightes go out, he has gone to the Aohime side. Setsuna and Honoka modle fo the crowd; Setsuna in paritcular gazes out at the crowd, her red eyes sweeping the people.

When it reasons Shun, he gives her an unpleasant smile and nods.

he doesn't do anything. This is one of those situations where doing nothing will drive your target far than everyine as that.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Down go the lights, and there is no more room for consideration of the crowd, though Rei thinks she saw Nori just before they dimmed.

Rei does not know the story of the Tower of Babel, though certainly there are many towers in the world - like a Chairman's, beset by some devilish titan. And of the tongues they spoke? Some of them smiled stubbornly through it. Some of them cried. Some of them were angry, even angry enough to earn detention from sympathetic teachers. Some of them did not seem hurt at all, and rushed to help the girls around them instead. Just in Ohtori - there were a hundred different reactions. Rei is not so blind to have missed them.

She, of course, did not need help and did not offer it.

It's not like any of her friends would understand the clouded morass of the flames, what will be choked and veiled by the intrusion on personal sanctity. This much is her own failing, and she will overcome it herself. ... perhaps it is no wonder she looks to a red future.

In contrast Honoka and Setsuna are unveiled, and at first Rei looks towards her, certainly -- but there is a pale figure approaching in the crowd, and her attention comes down to Tsuru as she approaches. Her cheeks colour, and her expression could light the room. "Oh -- it is? I'm so happy to hear that! You know, Tsuru-san, I've always admired your work - ah, but I suppose you must be very busy..." Because she's floating off, a picture of grace, and Rei puffs out a small sigh.

Well, it's fine. She's above worrying about things like autographs. After all, the expression of her style meshes perfectly with Tsuru's vision. She turns back to the runway, and grudgingly admits that Setsuna is, in fact, the picture of grace. (Honoka, of course, she's much less invested in huffing about, and so she openly admits to herself that she looks incredibly gracious. But Honoka already has a fanclub, she notes, with a sympathetic little wince as she realises it's her parents who are hollering.)

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"But I DO go to Juuban!" Nagisa objects noisily.

"That's what those Otagaku girls said." The doorman/bouncer folds his arms. "Like I said, I need an ID. You get to get into a party filled with celebs paying a fortune and all you had to do was bring your school lunch card. How did you mess this up?"

"How am I supposed to bring an ID," Nagisa demands, "if I don't have any pockets?" She slaps her hips demonstratively. Her pink dress is indeed bereft. "Am I supposed to just put it in here where it could fall out?" She indicates the plastic grocery bag by her feet, with a rolled up poster and a few essentials inside, such as her subway card.

"That's why you carry a purse."

Nagisa has her mouth open to retort, but she freezes up instead, as this somewhat shady-looking thirtysomething yankee man successfully educates her where her own, exasperated mother had failed so many times. Why would Nagisa carry a purse? Normally she's got some combination of a school bag, a gym bag, pockets, and her bicycle's basket.

"That makes sense," Nagisa agrees, slumping.

"You know what? Go ahead." The yankee sticks his thumb behind him. Nagisa's face lights up, and she bends down to scoop up her plastic bag. Jogging, she hurries past with a called "Sank you!"

"Hey," the other doorman barks at him. "She was tricking you. Don't let her through, dumbass!"

"I'm letting her through because I'm a dumbass," he says philosophically. "I know another dumbass when I see one."


On the way into the ballroom, Nagisa seems to have gotten rid of most of her supplies somehow, perhaps foisting her bus pass, train card, and pocket change on a better-prepared friend. It's not that she's uncomfortable with wearing a nice dress; she's quite happy. It's just that she almost never gets to go to events that would call for one.

And nice is in the eye of the beholder. Nagisa's dress is Aohime, but it's not from one of the better imprints. A jersey dress with a rumpled, carefree front wrap and some hip panels in floral kimono cloth. The panels illustrate and accentuate her figure there by the shape they take, which is helpful due to Nagisa not having much of an hourglass normally. Nagisa's skin retains a pale golden tan even here in the depths of winter, which complements the pink well in a rose-gold sort of way. Less subtly, her shapely, sleekly muscled arms are completely bare, which must also be deemed a complement.

Nagisa is waiting excitedly, practically wagging her tail, as Honoka is introduced. Hefting her rolled-up poster, she takes a deep breath, and readies herself for a few seconds.

A few hours wouldn't have been enough.

It feels like the room darkens away, and leaves just that path of sparkling light. Nagisa had encouraged Honoka to accept the unexpected offer to become a model because she thought it would be glamorous, but her mental image of glamor had a lot to do with fun. This is something else, something almost mystical. It makes Nagisa's heart well up in her throat. It transfixes her, figuratively by way of her utter enchantment, somewhat less figuratively by way of a sensation of being pinned like a butterfly where she stands. She takes this to be a power Honoka has risen into, universal, irresistable, and she is not all wrong, for there are some jaded, worldly hearts here today that are not immune to her beauty. But Nagisa does not realize that all of what she feels cannot be attributed to the aesthetic perfection of cloth and cosmetic, of snowy skin and inky hair. She does not realize that much of the room can't take their eyes off Setsuna, whereas Nagisa, no offense to the Red Future, considers her little more than another light reflecting off of Honoka right now. In her defense, Honoka makes it hard to understand. She is so admirable, and so beautiful, that it's hard to realize when you admire her disproportionately.

Nagisa catches the glance, and it's fortunate that it's brief, since a heart can only stop so long before it becomes a medical rather than an emotional matter. When she catches her breath, she lifts the poster and grasps its edge, ready to unroll it. But suddenly Honoka's parents are near her, and Nagisa feels small amidst the celebrities and influencers around her. She hadn't understood the... scale of all this, and for all her purity of heart, Nagisa is Honoka's age too, and has gained a lot of maturity in a year. Enough to realize how unwelcome a paper poster suitable for cheering on a classmate feels in a world of diamonds and pearls, of gold statuettes and magazine covers. What if someone took a picture of it? It would only embarrass Honoka.

Honoka has had better posters made for her already, anyway.

olling the poster with her hands, Nagisa snugs it back up. Eyeing Honoka for a moment, she gives up on the idea of approaching for now, instead glancing around for something to drown her late-adolescent feelings in.

You know. Some chocolate.

COIN FLIP: Nori Ankou flips a coin. It lands on heads!
<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

They appear.

First comes a red future. Nori stares at it. She feels a subtle fear, just at the very consideration of a future. She thinks of the future very little. It frightens her now. It scares her. It makes her eyes water. But the smooth slide of red and purple - deep, soothing colors - and then Setsuna meets her eyes for a moment.

Nori breathes in once, very sharply.

And then her eyes turn towards Honoka. She is shining, like a cloud of sky inside of a background of snow. She sparkles and she shimmers and she shines and Nori feels herself pull a bit back. She feels cold looking at her, but it's the cold of a dreamy night looking out the window over the snow-covered fields towards the sea and -

- and people are calling to her -

And that makes her too bright for Nori to look much longer, even as she wants to. She almost flinches, but a flinch stretched over six or seven seconds is more of a turn away. And it means too that she sees someone else. She does not recognize Nagisa, perhaps, in any detail; but she sees her trajectory.

Nori steps to intercept.

Her words are quiet and diffident. "They... don't let you have the snacks unless you're in a set. Do you want to... go together?"

"You can pick which side," Nori stops, which is similar to concluding but is really more that she said something and kind of didn't complete the sentence, biting it off in discrete components.

Her eyes are on the poster, though she doesn't speak of it.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Tsuru's lips lilt placidly, the lone red stripe of lipstick largely unaffected, there in the center of her bottom lip. She bows her head a little at Rei, humbly. But she does seem to be on her way somewhere.

Approaching Shun, Tsuru bows her head a second time, her kimono hem wafting to a halt a few seconds after she stops. "It is a pleasure to see you here," she greets. Her presence next to his powerfully built frame seems even more delicate than usual. "I am certain your sister is grateful for your support." Her large dark eyes take in his attire. Aohime--he did not follow Setsuna in this.

"As am I, in my way," she adds.

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

Oh, the pale girl in the red dress spots Shun, all right. He's easy to see--he stands out, his features, his attire... his height. In a couple of these things they resemble one another--but not the height. And she would know those eyes, anywhere--those of her 'brother', after all. There is the unavoidable instant of knowing that Labyrinth, even now, even hear, has eyes on her. But here--

Red Future is not merely the castoff of a gray world, in this place, in Tsuru's clothes. She looks at him, in that instant, and she is expressionless--as natural, for a denizen of Labyrinth. The spot of fear she feels is not something that showss, and is old besides.

But Honoka said that they should find one another later, and this is a time Tsuru has woven.

There are a lot of people to speak with, though--a job to do, and work is something to be taken seriously. Or, well...

Mostly seriously. Because of what most would assume is poise, but also because of a certain naturally low affect, Setsuna does not immediately react openly to the two figures calling Honoka. The press, yes--But...

Her parents, Setsuna connects quickly enough, and this alien from another dimension finds herself thoughtful for a moment, wondering what that might be like. ...But then she sees that quirk of the eyebrow, and as if she had merely finished her circuit of the room, Setsuna's eyes settle on someone close to her position.

She doesn't take any offense from her senpai having eyes for only one; under Tsuru's transformation, Setsuna, once a face in the crowd, has the eyes of many, and... She might be able to understand better than a certain other girl does herself.

"Ah, you think? Thank you," Setsuna says to one, her voice quiet but conversationally quiet at first. "...But I have heard that particular rumor, yes." She does not openly prompt the question she expects from the woman who has greeted her, or the man beside her.

But to another she says, "I feel the same; I found, living here, many things I wouldn't have expected before. Tokyo is... a unique place, I think."

She has not said where she is from--to anyone publically.

"...Ah, and--" To another, "In that case, you should also meet my friend." She turns, looks--catches Rei's eyes. "Rei-chan," she says, and if ther is a little relish in how she says it it is not obvious except to Rei herself. "I'm glad you could make it."

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

It's impossible to get to Nagisa.

She won't be eating anything at this party, in this outfit, but even if she could, how could Honoka ever get there? She may be from the Moon but the room treats her like the Sun -- revolving. Or perhaps she is the heart of a vast flower. There are so many beautiful petals. Layers and layers of them. No matter where she moves, Aohime is no less surrounded.

But she keeps trying, one careful step, one gracious nudge, one lovely disengagement at a time, which creates a certain tidal force within the party. She may be the people's Sun but Nagisa is hers, and so the flower opens itself in that direction, endlessly, endlessly.

She can't hardly even see her, through the crowd.

But she doesn't have to. The look in Nagisa's eyes is etched on the back of her own eyelids. That's what happens when you look too long at the Sun.

She winds up next to Steven, and her icy-kissed lips warm into a smile. She may have been in high school and him in elementary, but she remembers him from Juuban; the Queen of Knowledge would never forget someone who needed so many 411s.

"Universe-san," she greets, and one shouldn't mistake her formality for coolness. "It is lovely to see you again. How is your homeschooling?"

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Tsuru is on her way to a boy, but there's plenty of time for Rei to find a suitably-impressive boy here, so she hardly needs to focus on that. (Not that she's not looking. She obviously is.) Instead she focuses on Setsuna, the Red Future, as she drifts in from on high, face perfectly-designed. Well, she focuses on her until she gets close enough, anyway -- and then she starts to take a keen interest in the fashion choices of the girls around her. She cannot help but raise a brow at some of them. Really, Nanami? Really?

Rei asked Setsuna, once, how she does that thing she does, just stops expressing herself even when she's mad. It's completely incomprehensible to someone with a hundred little tells, even when she's trying to be graceful.

As in now. Rei hears the subtle little barb and it twitches at the corner of her lip, stretched just a shade too wide and made thinner for it. "Setsuna-chan!" She responds, with impeccable enthusiasm, as she turns to meet her and her entourage. "With such a personal invitation, how could I say no?" It is a very pleasant conversation, midst very pleasant people.

"It's lovely to meet you," she adds, to the others, in the process betraying the way she had definitely been listening in on Setsuna's conversation while she was pretending not to notice her.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

At first, Nagisa blinks at Nori as if she doesn't even know what kind of creature she is. She has been through a lot in the past sixty seconds or so. Then she breaks out into a ready smile.

"Is that how it works? Maybe they want us to make friends..." Nagisa doesn't sound averse. "Mmm..." she considers aloud, in the tone of someone who knows very well what decision she's made already. "That one," she 'decides,' pointing at the Aohime side. With a doeish glance at Honoka, she accompanies Nori over to that table.

"Uwah, it's all blue," she marvels. "What kind of drink is that?"

"Punch," the fashion club attendent answers.

"And what's that?"

"Blue cupcake."

"And those are blueberries and cream... and that?"

"Blueberry sorbet."

"Uwah," Nagisa says again, amazed. "Do you have any blue chocolate?"

"I'm afraid not."

"That's okay," Nagisa decides easily. "This all works for me. What about you, uh..." Nagisa blinks at Nori, then turns abruptly to face her. "I'm Nagisa Misumi," she introduces herself. "I go to Juuban, eheh, not that you can't tell." The bleached hair, the untutored attitude, the gawking approach to the party, the stylish but somewhat too casual Aohime dress.

<Pose Tracker> Shun Minami [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Shun would be content to invert that illustrious 'Red Future' with a green Data Diamond, but--well, for one, he's always been picky about his plots and plans, insisting on thinking things through to the utmost inch rather than acting on inspiration and/or in-the-moment spite like... other people one could mention. Setsuna reacts to his presence with a total lack of emotion. That's the way it should be. He could almost approve.

He threads through the crowd, discarding his glass on a server's table, before eventually approaching his 'little sister.' (Hayato still ended up his 'close friend' in the cover story for some reason, though.) Once he reaches her, he says in a pleasantly smooth voice, "Setsuna. How lovely it was to see you on stage. It suits you better than I expected--though it comes as no surprise. You always did love attention, didn't you?"

A beat. He turns that unfeeling smile to Setsuna's companions, in particular Rei, since Setsuna just named her as friend, to the benefit of no one. "And whom might your friends be?" he adds lightly.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The little Gem Child continues watching with amazement as the show continues! More models come out to showcase the night's attire, and they all look so lovely. He imagines some of the Gems up there, showing off cool outfits! The best part is they don't even have to use an outfit, they can just do the magic thingy and wear it!

Pearl would look great in that earlier suit.

As he watches others, he misses the moment Honoka finds herself by him. "Oh!" he says, turning around and seeing her, having shown up out of his field of vision. "H-Hey! How are you?!" he asks kindly. And excited glint is in his eyes. That starry look. "Its um, a little hard to get used to! But it is going okay! I got an A on a quiz the other day! How's everything at Juuban?"

"H... How do you do it?!" he asks Honoka. "I would be thrown off the stage from waving or not holding still or something!" he attests. "I don't wanna waste your time with so many quesitons," he says, having a little cheeky smile upon him. "But I need to find something to look good! D... Do you think there's something here for me?" he asks.

"You'd probably pull off anything in the show really well, so I need professional advice! I-- ahh, I am doing it anyway, aren't I?" he admits solemnly. She probably gets so much of this kind of stuff from fans mobbing her for her side of the fashion lines.

<Pose Tracker> Shun Minami [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Shun would be content to invert that illustrious 'Red Future' with a green Data Diamond, but--well, for one, he's always been picky about his plots and plans, insisting on thinking things through to the utmost inch rather than acting on inspiration and/or in-the-moment spite like... other people one could mention. Setsuna reacts to his presence with a total lack of emotion. That's the way it should be. He could almost approve.

He threads through the crowd, discarding his glass on a server's table, before eventually approaching his 'little sister.' (Hayato still ended up his 'close friend' in the cover story for some reason, though.) Once he reaches her, he says in a pleasantly smooth voice, "Setsuna. How lovely it was to see you on stage. It suits you better than I expected--though it comes as no surprise. You always did love attention, didn't you?"

A beat. He turns that unfeeling smile to Rei, since Setsuna just named her as friend, to the benefit of no one. "And whom might your friend be?" he adds lightly.

Tsuru addresses him then. Shun half-turns to regard her. She, of course, he knows; it would be impossible to attend the gala without knowing *her*. "Likewise," he says politely in return, inclining his head in greeting to her. His smile tends ever-so-slightly more towards a smirk for a second when she speaks of his support for Setsuna before returning to its blandly pleasant neutrality. "You know her so well, Tsuru-san," he says blithely. "It must be because you're taking such good care of her."

Her follow-up comment, though, gets slightly raised eyebrows. As is she, hm. "Oh?" he prompts.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Nori sees the look on Nagisa's face and she strives not to crumple. She breathes out quietly; she didn't. "I think so... eheh... maybe they want to be sure, that we do not become... rival families," Nori answers her, before Nagisa makes a call and Nori makes a little 'un' of agreement.

She walks after her.

"Oh... I thought punch was red," Nori says but the continuing introduction of blue cupcake, blueberry sorbet...

"do you like chocolate a lot?" she asks Nagisa, but it's quiet so it might get overlooked. Then, when Nagisa moves abruptly, Nori stiffens like a cat, though it's tentative. She laughs a little, then, putting a hand to her collarbone and saying, "I'm Nori Ankou - ah - I go to Ohtori... You picked out a very lovely dress for this. I love how every piece here seems handmade, even if I suppose that's impossible... but they do vary them a lot..."

"Ah," Nori then says presently, eyes returning to that poster. Of course, it might not be a poster. It's a rolled up piece of paper. It could be a prize... papers being served... a diploma... oh no, Nori thinks, I'm dreaming again. Her eyes come back up.

"You'd be a splendid model, I think," she tells Nagisa. Her cheeks flush immediately after saying it, so the next thing Nori says is, "I'd like some of the blueberries, please." That way she has something to fiddle with in her hands AND something to stuff in her mouth. double bonus

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"I'm glad you're keeping up with your studies. Juuban is... less than it could be, for your absence," Honoka replies firmly. She pauses to consider his question.

Whether she's wearing blizzards of snowflakes or galaxies of stars, they ripple in gauzy waves as she bends at the waist to whisper in Steven's ear. Her painted lips vanish behind a cupped hand.

"I'm really not very good at it," she whispers to him. "I only manage at all because of the help and support of everyone else."

As she rises, she adjusts a ribbon at the small of her back.

It unfurls like a lotus, like a spiderweb, like a silvery bit of her voice.

All the way open, it's broad enough to be a scarf, if a scarf spun of stardust.

It looks very dashing draped loosely around his shoulders, secured a little more snugly at his neck.

"I do believe there is something here for you," Honoka agrees. (Cameras flash; Steven, too, will be in the fashion papers tomorrow.) "After all, there's something for everyone's story, ne?"

She glances across the intervening space and -- with eyes, more brilliant and blue than the gown could hope to be, with eyes alone -- smiles at Tsuru.

And then the crowd closes around her again, separating her and Steven. "HONOKA! LOOK THIS WAY, HONOKA-CHAN!"

Invisible within the knot of suits and gowns, Honoka finally gives in to temptation.

"O-TOU-san," she whines, exasperated.

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

Once, when Rei asked Setsuna Higashi about how she does that thing--that utterly expressionless thing--Setsuna first turned toward her, and looked, and then in the way that she does, the red-eyed girl took a quiet few moments deciding what she was going to say. After that?


'Setsuna-chan', Rei says, and Setsuna inclines her head in acknowledgement. A personal invitation--will people assume someething of why? ...Probably. But Setsuna says, "You flatter me," she answers, and it's got just enough amiguity that it's obvious that Setsuna's happy she's here.

"Rei Hino," Setsuna introduces, and maybe her name speaks for itself, because she stays engaged. ...She doesn't comment on certain eavesdropping girls though, not for that part of them anyway.

"That's just it," she says to another. "It's the many voices that make it that way."

She does not openly emote--as it should be, yes--when Shun is here. "...Rei Hino," she introduces for him, too. She knows, of course, his approach--that it differs greatly from what hers was--but she can appreciate Rei's presence, among others. "Well," she says to Shun, "It's thanks to your example too that I was able to do as I have, brother."

"...And I do appreciate the chance to help people to be part of this," she comments, not just to him.

...Her brother's appearance will certainly make the coverage.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"For supporting my art," Tsuru prompts gently. She nods at Shun's outfit. "The menswear does not get as much attention, but I spend almost as much time on it. 'Almost,' because..." Tsuru regards Setsuna, perhaps fondly, though her face reveals little. "Both Red Future and Blue Princess take womenswear."

Dark eyes lift to Shun again. "Without forgetting Setsuna's many wonderful talents, I am grateful for your compliment. Setsuna is precious to me." Tsuru, so immaculately polite and formal at all times, has ever had the odd habit of using no honorific at all for her models. "I only wish to assure that she remains safe and free to tell her own story."

She's still looking at Shun when she says that, but her voice is so soft and nonconfrontational, nor do her eyes hold any particularly obvious meaning.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Setsuna's brother... so here he is, looking perfectly harmless. Now she's actually looking at him, Rei can see it.

... sigh. Why are the good-looking ones always bad news? At least Makoto isn't here, Rei thinks. "It's a pleasure to meet you," Rei says, and perhaps this is the first time they have met with these faces, at least. She does not say: 'I've heard so much about you,' because just as Setsuna is glad she's here, Rei did arrive to support someone in particular here.

Not naming any names.

Instead, she offers him a thin-lipped smile. "Of course, an older brother would be proud of his little sister for earning so much attention, right?" She claps her hands together, folding them to a side. "It's so nice to see their families coming out to support them!" As if Shun isn't so different to the adults vying for Honoka's attention.

<Pose Tracker> Shun Minami [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.
       The look Shun gives Tsuru when she clarifies her meaning is a blank one. Then he resumes smiling. "Of course," he replies. "I expect the womenswear *would* be highlighted more often, since that's what you have models for. It's a logical conclusion."
       Setsuna says Shun's example is to thank for where she is now. "How kind of you to say so, but when it comes to this sort of thing, you've always been in a league of your own," he replies pleasantly. "Have you heard from Father what he thinks of it?" 'Father,' of course, being their Supreme Leader.
       "Hmmm... Hino-san. Likewise," Shun says, turning his gaze towards Rei. His smile remains polite; it also remains distant at best. He laughs just as politely at her effusiveness. This may be their first time meeting with these faces, but... "What I feel for Setsuna can't be described with a word so pithy as 'pride,'" he replies. "Families and friends perform similar roles, don't they? As her friend, have you been taking good care of my little sister, too?" He looks over at Tsuru. "Just as Tsuru-san has." He listens to her, then nods at the end. "I can see you've been quite the influence on her," he says. "I'm simply glad that you have no ulterior motives."  He looks directly at Setsuna. "It would be heartbreaking if it were otherwise, wouldn't it?"

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Nagisa's Theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d0Mai_68qk

"I LOVE chocolate," Nagisa confirms, clenching a decisive fist. "If I could just eat chocolate for every meal, I'd be so powerful!" This is not Precure talk, Nagisa would have said this before she got her commune, too. "But it doesn't work like that..." she sighs at the flaws of the real world.

"I'm Nagisa Misumi, Juuban. Do you like it?" Nagisa ought to do a little twirl here to show it off, but her version of that seems to be to just look back over her shoulder and down her own back to see that everything's in order back there. She does after that cant her hips so the hem swishes. It's short enough to be casual, but long enough to be wholesome. This Nagisa Misumi seems to have great legs, sleek but so firm it makes them a little shinier than normal, when combined with her suntan.

"Mpf?" Nagisa asks, perplexed. Somehow she is already eating sorbet. She pops the spoon out of her mouth--it's a real metal spoon even though this is a party, which seems less than pragmatic to Nagisa. "It would be really cool..." she considers dreamily. "You get to go to beaches and Europe." There's something a little off there, like she categorizes 'beaches' and 'Europe' together in a way that disregards the actual classifications of those two words. She feeds herself some more sorbet distractedly as she daydreams on it.

"I don't think I'd be good for it though, you need to be way prettier than I am. Plus this." Casually, Nagisa lifts her spoon arm and flexes. It's not some big burly bicep that pops up, but the muscles there separate and bulge a lot more than you'd expect just looking at her, and she doesn't look like she's trying very hard.

"You know though, YOU'D be a super good model," she realizes. "You're super pretty, and your skin is really pale. And your hair is all dark and smooth and long." Nagisa seems able to rattle this all off quite innocently, there's no blush. "Plus you have super blue eyes, and you're more feminine, you know? Like how you look, that's important. But also how you act."

Ever play the game Guess Who?

"You seem smart too, I feel like when you're smart you look prettier somehow. Plus since you get good grades you'd be able to model and not fail school." Nagisa spoons the last of her sorbet into her mouth.

"So it's weird that you say /I'd/ be a good model," she concludes, as though genuinely finding it a bit humorous. She points to Nori with the spoon, speaking with authority. "Because you've got all the number one prettiest things a girl can have."

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Yes," Nori tells Nagisa with quiet authenticity.

"I don't like sweets too much," Nori says. She smiles though, as if vaguely reminded of something. "Ahh... Europe..." Then she shakes her head and is about to say something when Nagisa just goes ahead and flexes on Nori, who seems startled, but in a positive way: eyes popping, spoon in her mouth.

"Hah," she says to Nagisa's praise, her cheeks coloring further. Her eyes close for a moment. "Thank you," she says, "But... I don't think I ever could. I'd be too... afraid, that everyone would see me." She scoops up another blueberry.

"I'm afraid some of them might be upset. But, I might just be feeling awkward..." She does look up then, though, as Nagisa continues, and this actually provokes a little laugh from her, one that's less anxious, though the blush continues.

"... I feel better in this clothing, though. I lost some of the nicer things I had during... Well; it doesn't matter, now." She turns a little, to look down the back of the coat she's still wearing.

Nori is quiet for a second. Then two.

I feel braver now, she thinks. Even if it's embarrassed.

"We should go say thank you," Nori says, looking up. "Tsuru, that classic looking lady - she's the one who designed all of these, right?"

("... and I know this is a little bit of a change of topic, but do you ever go wind-surfing...?")

Nori doesn't look at the poster again, now. Something about it feels like it is a small mystery, and those can be precious. Perhaps in the future, if they should ever meet again.

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

For the reserved, perhaps even laconic Red Future--her fondness for Tsuru in turn is by her standards obvious, when she looks to her. Looks--never 'glances', never anything so half-hearted, uncommitted as that.

'Shy' would not be in her milieu--but there is a quiet appreciation, taken in like a warm night, that Setsuna may seem to somehow show under her compliments, even if no one could quite point to the expression, to the look, to the words that display it. ...Though it may surprise Rei when Setsuna looks to her with peace, not just blankness, at what she says. "I'm satisfied," she says to her simply. "That my brother could be here, on a day like today." She doesn't show any of the earlier fear she felt at all--Maybe, differently...

"Though sometimes what he says is a bit beyond me--I don't quite know what you mean, brother. Maybe you can explain it to me sometime. ...But Rei-chan has helped--you know I had a difficult time, at first, adjusting here."

Humility--not exactly Setsuna's strong suit, in general... And yet, it seems right now to suit her, to be entirely a part of how she should be. "But forgive me," she says, looking again to the woman she'd spoken with a moment ago, "For being wrapped up in this unexpected visit. You had asked me, for what I'd seen..."

"What you'd wondered," she says, and does not refer to something that was actually /told/ to her, "You will know, before he comes back. Only a few days; if you gather yourself up, you'll be ready."

She inclines her head, a little formally--and gets back to conversation. That dark-haired girl... Maybe Setsuna will have time to reach her. But first, "Please, enjoy the party--Rei-chan, we can meet again shortly?"

..She has a bit of mingling to do.