2019-05-28 - We Always Meet Around Festivals

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Title: We Always Meet Around Festivals

Yumi brings Rei some things to help with Sanno Festival, and they talk.


Rei Hino, Yumi Ohzora


Hikawa Shrine

OOC - IC Date:

2019-05-28 - 2015-06-04

.***************************** Yamanote High City *****************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Hikawa Shrine +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
 At the entrance to this shrine, a red torii gate signifies passage from the
 mundane realm of Tokyo to sacred ground. Ascending a long stone staircase
 with moss in its crevices, one reaches an open, stone-paved veranda
 surrounded by a copse of old trees, many of which wear plaited ropes
 dangling long strips of paper, signifying the presence of a tree kami.
 Ferocious carved lions and heavy, stylized stone lanterns accent the
 traditional Japanese architecture, with its oversized gabled roofs,
 rough-hewn wooden pillars, and thin walls. This is the Hikawa jinja, a
 Shinto shrine almost 300 years old, and a cherished cultural touchstone for
 a city too often starved for quiet and serenity.

 The square veranda has a building on each of three sides, with a second,
 unpainted torii on the fourth that guards the top of the stairs. The left
 structure is a small open-air theatre for the performance of rites and
 ritual dance. The right structure contains the living quarters for the
 priests and miko that live here, as well as their offices and the iconic
 donation box. The central structure is also the largest, as it is the
 haiden, or hall of worship, where people can kneel and quietly pay tribute
 to the kami, or attend religious ceremonies. The most important building on
 the grounds, however, is behind the haiden, and not open to the public.
 Called the honden, it is protected by a strong fence, for it is the home of
 the spirits that reside in this place.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

With four days to the Sanno Festival, Shintoists across Tokyo are hard at work preparing; it's one of their most famous festivals, so their attention is vital. Even in its modern form, more subdued to avoid disturbing modern life, it is an ancient tradition, a celebration of their city. It began before the first building rose; its kami have always seen to their happiness.

So, too, is the miko of Hikawa Shrine working hard -- after class, of course, because she is blessed now with somewhat better grades, even if they're still lagging a little from the storm still looming over her head. With all the activity around the shrine, there's even more dust being kicked up around the place, so right now she's sweeping it away with a stiff-bristled wooden broom. It's important to keep things orderly, especially right now..!

Above, perched on a tree near the torii gate, two crows croak sociably as they watch visitors pass by. A young gentleman is seeing to them, right now; the head priest is, of course, occupied elsewhere with preparations. Everyone's got something to do.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Four days! ...Frankly, Yumi Ohzora would rather be thinking of four days before the festival starts rather than the days before the rain is going to start hitting. Besides; maybe now especially, Yumi thinks a festival for Tokyo matters...

And, well, she has a little of a businesslike approach to this kind of thing. Not in the sense that it's unimportant or that she doesn't appreciate the sacred nature of these things--but because as a young witch, she has her own understanding of certain spiritual matters, and as a result... has on more than one occasion been quietly obligated to help out on such occasions. Often in indirect or sort of adjacent ways, sure, she's no shrine maiden and can't do the ceremonies or anything, but--

"Huff," Yumi says, as she stops halfway up the stairs, leaning lightly as Tama pauses to look her way. "Stupid... afternoons... full of people," she mutters, "Could've flown over if it were night time..."

Tama shakes her head, starts padding up further. "And what good would that do? You could camp out all night waiting for the shrine to open if you wanted a cold," the cat suggests, hopping upward and smoothly making it up to the top of the stairs, looking up to the crows as they croak with a simple look of acknowledgement; she does not stare, merely notice, and then wait. ...Besides; there are more people up here, so she can't talk...

A few moments later, a girl in an Infinity Institute uniform makes it the rest of the way up. Her tie sort of flops around as she straightens her shoulders, towering over more than a few of the others ahead. Her nice AoHime bag has a little cyan shine in its fabric, and her glasses are... crooked, before she adjusts them. "...Whew," Yumi says. "Would it offend the kami too badly if they installed an elevator??" she wonders, looking up, before she starts towards Rei and smiles up at the crows.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

'Caw,' Phobos says personably to Tama, as Deimos bobs her head. The vocalisation is louder than the others, and Rei looks up, and subsequently over -- the birds have their own job, after all, and they're greeting all the right people. She meets Yuuichiro's eyes and smiles, a hand gesturing flat in front of her to excuse her for taking his own task before she waves her friend over.

(He gets the idea, and turns back to a group of girls who are looking for just the right charm to help them find some cute boyfriends. Why wouldn't they come to Hikawa to light a flame under their relationships? Fire is right there in the characters of the name.)

"Yumi-chan," Rei greets her, smiling, as she pauses in her sweeping. "It's good to see you. Are you doing okay?" She does not, to her credit, directly cite the stairs which have dishevelled her. It's more of an indirect offer to get her somewhere she can have something to drink and sit down, if she needs it.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

In a way, fire is one of the opposites to the power of the Staff of Lost Ivy--but then, in another, it's not at all, but the precursor. How else does new growth come? ...But then, the old growth doesn't much appreciate being burned away...

The point really is that Yumi is aware that Rei Hino is hot, -tempered and many descriptors otherwise, but Yumi has learned to adapt to the other girl's sometimes furious ways. "Rei-chan," she greets back, as Tama looks up at Rei in approval of her polite ways. Her tail is slow, at the moment, her fur down, her muscles relaxed.

"I'm fine," Yumi laughs, still a little out of breath. "Complaining's good for your muscles! A grandpa told me that once, I think." Was it Rei's???? ........Maybe. Tama, however--now that the group of girls are distracted--comments, "But if you wanted to take a break," she says to the young woman, "I'm sure my charge wouldn't object to taking a seat."

Yumi can't rrreaaaally argue that. So instead she jokes, "I dunno, maybe we should go back to the boyfriend charms." This is delivered wryly, "How about you? I bet you're busy with preparing--I've got a few things for the shrine, once I catch my breath."

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Fire has a way of being dramatic like that. Perhaps that's why it's so easy to imagine Rei's Grandpa giving that sort of advice -- "He would," Rei comments, suggesting it may well have been him -- and so easy to imagine Rei being quick to burn, too. But Rei has seen what happens when she raises her voice too snappishly around Yumi, and it's something which makes her gentler around her, now. She likes Yumi; she doesn't want to actually hurt her.

She laughs, as Yumi suggests going back to boyfriend charms, and looks down at the broom in her hands. "It's getting busy," she admits, "but a short break wouldn't hurt. I'm pretty much done here, anyway." At least until things get messy again. Keeping things orderly, right now, is a bit like pushing a rock up a mountain, but someone has to do it. "Come on," she says, as she puts her broom away, "come back around and I'll get you something to drink."

See? She can be nice and make sure Yumi doesn't keel over after taking the stairs.

(Kami don't tend to be very talkative, so it's hard to quiz them on accessibility.)

"Besides," she says, as they make their way around to the shrine office, "we don't need boyfriend charms. Boys need charms for us." And as soon as one of them goes to all that effort, maybe he'll be worth consideration. Until then, Rei really doesn't need to worry. ... to be fair, Yuuichiro goes to that effort, but Yuuichiro is really more of a scruffy brother than boyfriend material, no matter what he says. Trying to date him would just be weird, with how he's become part of the family.

So her initial thesis totally holds, and she doesn't need to worry about boys who aren't worth her time. Which isn't to say she wouldn't worry about a boy if he actually fell on her radar. She could if she wanted to. Obviously.

Rei slides open the door to her room, gesturing Yumi in. "Feel free to just sit on the bed," instead of having to lower all the way down to one of those cushions, "I'll be back in a sec." She disappears into the hall, and reappears soon afterwards with a couple of cups of juice, one of which she hands over to the gangly girl, before sitting down herself -- the other end of the bed, if Yumi took her offer, or on one of the cushions if she didn't.

Deimos alights on the windowsill, peering inside and bobbing her head at Tama. Phobos, presumably, is still watching the entryway. That's the power of twins!

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Yumi grins--she's not quite up to laughing much yet, but she can appreciate the humor. ...The lack of yelling is nice, too, but it's a different kind of appreciation, and Yumi doesn't think about that one. Instead--

"Okay," she agrees--short is fine. And hey, if no one tried to keep it orderly, then it would be messy instead of just kind of busy. Besides, "Thank you," Yumi answers, and gladly follows. She walks a little slow, but her long legs mean her strides keep up with Rei's well enough anyway. And sometimes it's important to acknowledge nice things.

The charm though--she sort of 'hmms' a little, openly musing before she answers, "That's pretty true," she says, and if Rei weren't totally in denial then she might pick up on the heavy irony here of her statement. "Or at least better lines than 'oh, let me carry that easel for you!'" Yumi says. ...Maaaybe it's a little performative to imply a better line would help.

....Maybe the macho approach really god on her nerves when she tried dating boys. Could be either!

Either way she doesn't suggest the nice helper out front.

Yumi steps inside once they get there, and has the grace not to flop onto the bed, though as soon as her butt touches seat she sort of melts like a cat into slouching with a sigh of relief. Tama, meanwile, greets Deimos with a look in return, and pads across the room to hop onto the windowsill herself. Rather than actually moving to interact with Deimos, however, the old cat just makes herself comfortable nearby, calm.

"Double thanks," Yumi answers about the juice, and actually has a pill case out when Rei's back; she pops one, chases it with the juice, and then smiles over. Her bag is behind her, careful, and she looks Rei's way. "So I mean, most of why I came is the errand and all, obviously, but..."

Hmm. How to put it...? "I mean, it's..." She shakes her head. "Well, I wanted to see you, and... it's nice here."

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Deimos fluffs up and settles down on the windowsill, watching the girls inside with bright black eyes.

"No problem," Rei says, because if nothing else, trying to swallow medicine without liquids is miserable. Sure, she only really needs to worry about cold meds when she gets sick, but she can extrapolate how annoying it is with things Yumi needs all the time. She takes a long drink from her cup, too, which is the best suggestion that she's been running around taking care of things since she got back from Ohtori.

She figures she has to work extra hard since she took time off, yesterday, because that's just logic. After all, everyone else is working hard, too. Including the nice helper out front!

Rei listens as Yumi talks around why she came, and finally she smiles, exclaiming brightly: "Oh!" She puts her empty cup aside, so she can clasp her hands together. "You're always welcome, even if the climb's a little rough. Of course, we appreciate your assistance," of the errand she's taking care of, that is, "but I'm happy to see you too, Yumi-chan." It can be professional and personal, after all.

"You know," she laughs, gesturing with a hand, "we always seem to meet around festivals. I really should come see you sometime, like, in a place with less stairs." She pauses, thoughtfulness crossing over her face as she realises just how much walking around is involved in Tokyo. "... well, less than the shrine, anyway."

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Yumi is pretty cool with birds. She likes them, has an appreciation--particularly Phobos and Deimos. ...But then, they're some of the first she's gotten to hang out with...

Yumi downs a little more of the juice before she brings it down, hanging onto the cup and sliding the pill case back into her purse smoothly. Yumi not only has a lot of medicine and supplements and varying things to take, but a lot of them are basically horse pills, so she tends to carry water... though juice is better, after that walk. She notices, though--

Yumi smiles even; she can tell Rei's doing a lot... but the younger girl probably likes it that way, too.

"Thanks," Yumi says--she means it, even if it's sort of expected to say in this kind of situation--but she smiles a little warmer at the personal aspect. Once she would've had a harder time sticking around...

"Haha, well--you're busy a lot, right? It's sort of a thing we both do." A beat, as she watches Rei get thoughtful--and shakes her head amiably. "I mean, I'm all for it--you'd be welcome, totally--but don't worry about the stairs or anything. I'm used to that kind of thing. You sorta have to be to live in Tokyo. But there's a lot of places to sit down, too."

Yumi sees no need to comment on the fact that there are multiple periods when she's been stuck with a wheelchair for exactly that kind of reason at the moment, though it's hardly secret precisely...

"It just... Well, it feels like... a lot's been going on, is all. And..." She thinks. "I probably should've tried to put the feeling into words before I came over, huh?" she admits. "I wanted to hang out with somebody who gets it, if only for a little while. And who wouldn't be... awkward," she finds the word.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

To be fair, Phobos and Deimos are very special crows. It's almost like they know just what's going on!

(This is because they do. Keeping track of Rei to make sure she doesn't get in trouble is kind of their entire deal. Tama gets it.)

Of course, making sure Rei doesn't get in trouble is a full-time job, with how hard Rei tends to go in everything she does, but Yumi isn't wrong to think she prefers it that way. "Yeah," she agrees, with a smile, as she puts her finger on the pulse of that issue. She nods, as Yumi says she's used to the walking. Having places to sit must help.

If she thinks of the wheelchair, she at least has the decorum not to bring it up.

As she supposes at all the things going on, Rei's gaze lifts to the ceiling in consideration, hair tumbling over the shoulders of her robes. "Mm," she hums, thoughtfully, with a little smile. A lot certainly has happened, even though it's feeling more and more like this is just how life's always been. "Yeah, I get it. It's all..." She gestures, a hand circling, as she looks back to Yumi. "It's a lot, right? I mean, this is a new day. How weird is that?"

She laughs, lightly, shaking her head. "I think it's fine not to have words for this stuff. There are some things which just... happen. Now it's up to us to do what we can, right? We gotta take advantage of the nice weather." While it lasts, she doesn't add.

(It's literal, but it's not just literal.)

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Al... most...

Yumi finishes the juice in the meantime, and waits--as Rei seems to get it, quickly enough. Yumi finds the same thing, though--the stings of what was are different in the face of what is. There's just... some awkward things she hasn't quite been ready to figure out, yet. And some others that--

"Right?" Yumi answers. "It is. A whole new day. It's so... bright." A laugh, "Yeah, good point about the weather, huh?" Literal, yes--but not just literal. Yumi gets that. "I don't mind that much anyway. I'm used to not having enough words for everything. I've got some paintings I'm working on now about it--they might get it out clearer. ...Hopefully, anyway."

"Do what we can... You know," Yumi says, "I feel like somebody reminded me, recently, that even when it doesn't seem like we can do much, it matters--it matters more than we think. But I can't put my finger on who it was."

"I probably dreamed it," she admits. "Most of the girls in my class wouldn't be caught saying something as uncool as that," she jokes.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Bright's one way to put it, definitely. Rei still remembers the storm, rain pelting on white gloves. She doesn't say as much, of course, because as far as the girl beside her is concerned, she was in the shelters with Yumi and all the other civilians. She just didn't see Yumi because she was in... a different shelter? A different shelter. Let's go with that.

But the sun is shining, now, which is sure to help paint dry on a canvas. Rei nods, smiling, as she hopes, and goes on with ideas of what they can do. It does feel like the sort of advice she's heard before... she just can't quite place where she would have heard it.

(Maybe she read it somewhere..? It's the sort of nice sentiment she'd expect in a coming-of-age manga.)

"Oh, geez," she laughs, shaking her head, as Yumi jokes. "Yeah, the girls in my school would rip it apart. 'Oh, you can't do much?'" She affects a haughty tone, and let's be kind and not point out how easy it is for her. "'How awful for you! Do take care not to give up!' As if they've never been on the outside of anything," she rolls her eyes, speaking normally again. "But, like, between you and me..."

Rei grins, tucking her hair behind an ear. "It's good advice. Let's do our best, Yumi-chan. And, hey," she's still smiling as she looks to her, "I'd love to see those paintings when you're done."

When there are no words, there's always art.