2019-06-21 - Rainy Day! Let's Share Fashion Secrets... And Something Else, Too?

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Title: Rainy Day! Let's Share Fashion Secrets... And Something Else, Too?

Rei and Nori get to talking after school in Linden Baum.


Rei Hino, Nori Ankou


Linden Baum Diner

OOC - IC Date:

2019-06-21 - 2015-06-10

.***************************** Yamanote High City *****************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Linden Baum Diner +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
 Bright and airy, this establishment serves delicious Western food at
 reasonable prices, and for that entertains an enormous student contingent
 alongside families with young children and the occasional informal business
 lunch. This combination makes for a frenetic waitstaff under enormous
 pressure, but their plum, pink and white uniforms (vests, bow ties and black
 slacks for the boys, puffy white sleeves and vaguely french maid yet not
 unclassy ruffled aprons for the girls) are an unspoken draw to customers as
 well. They can be seen at all hours, frantically ferrying parfait, pancakes,
 salads and steaks across the squeaky clean (and slipper when wet) hardwood
 floors, from the invisible-but-for-occasional-plumes-of-steam kitchen to the
 bouncy magenta leather booths.

 A single-story building made of brick but mostly windows, Linden Baum
 proudly proclaims its name in English above the door, alongside its
 signature linden tree. Inside, tiny cream crowns are etched into the beige
 wallpaper, with more abstract but vaguely gothic etchings done in the glass
 that separates dining areas. Large portraits of various delectable items
 (with Japanese translation and price) adorn the walls, while each
 ivory-painted wooden table sports tableware rolled in bright white napkins
 and fold-out menus done in the restaurant's signature magenta.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

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

Sanno Festival was -- by all accounts -- a great success. In its wake leaves a girl who worked very hard to get it there, now left with the relief that all that work paid off. It's with bright spirits that Rei invites a classmate to have a snack after school. No wonder the girl she invites is Nori Ankou, someone else she thinks would understand the pressure of deadlines -- and, more importantly, is one of the better girls in her grade to just talk to.

There are a lot of little social games, in Ohtori. Rei likes to find people she doesn't have to play quite so many around.

Linden Baum is a popular student's location, after school; somehow, Rei has secured a booth despite the hustle and additional bustle. The rain drums outside, running down the lit windows in rivulets and pattering against the black bitumen, caught now and then by a tire rushing through. (There are a great many very cute umbrellas in the stand by the door.) Inside, everything is welcoming and dry -- except for baked goods like the Spritz rings, of course. Those are delicious and buttery.

Rei taps off a message on her phone -- 'I got us a seat!' -- to let Nori know she's here, and settles down in the booth. It's nice to be able to just sit down and not rush around for once, she reflects, as she looks out to the rain. There's something to be said for relaxing, once everything's handled.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Nori Ankou has had her strange place in the constellation of Ohtori. At first she was in tight with the system but she seems to have found her own way, now. She is still in the fencing club, albeit not particularly renowned, but she is famous for...

Well... It certainly isn't a minor frozen food empire from the Sapporo area. That's just where she got her *money.*

Nori arrives, untying a loose head wrap which she had worn babushka-style to keep the rain off her head. She is coming directly from school and so she is still in uniform rather than in being one of her bespoke glamorous outfits, although she did take the moment to put in a pair of silver earrings with tiny peridots glittering in them. The metal and stone seem fused, as if to make up for each other's weaknesses.

They twinkle as Nori Ankou tacks towards Rei.

"Thank you," she says, and also "I'm sorry I didn't reply, but I didn't want to get it wet."

Nori slides into her seat.

Her fingers lace together.

She breathes in deeply.


"I'm glad I haven't eaten today," Nori then says.


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

"Nori-chan!" There was a time back in middle school when Rei was more aloof than -chan would allow, but her friendship with A CERTAIN GIRL has long since softened her. "Don't worry, don't worry," she waves off the lack of reply, smiling. "I'm just glad you didn't drown out there. It's really coming down!" The rain, that is; perhaps it's to be expected, at the start of the rainy season.

(She's in her school uniform too, of course; her own earrings are ruby-studs, almost as emblematic to her look as a shrine maiden's robes. It looks like she's come straight from school. Well, for girls who live in the city, this is on the way home, right?)

With that aside there's an interlude of peace, a settling, like a leaf meandering its way to the ground or -- perhaps more pertinently -- a raindrop sliding down glass to collect at the brickwork below. And then:

Rei blinks and looks to Nori, alarm crossing her face. "You haven't eaten anything all day?!" She asks, in clear concern. No wonder she was faint today. "Nori-chan, a girl needs to eat to face the challenges of the world!" Lifting a hand, she waves to one of the serving staff, summoning the waitress over. "Excuse me," she says, "I'd like to order," like, ALL your food? That example might be too much, so instead she says: "A Berliner doughnut and a plate of apple pancakes? And a milkshake!" And then she looks to Nori, suggesting it's her turn.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"It really is," Nori says wistfully.

"It reminds me of home."

Of course, Rei would know what THAT means, given everything. As Nori settles in, she looks towards the window, along with Rei; when Rei speaks, she looks back. She seems mild, and she says, "Does she? Well, then, now that we have the opportunity..."

Nori smiles at the waitress, who is, perhaps blessedly or perhaps unfortunately, a person of no particular renown, rather than a certain other waitress. "I would like..."

"A cinnamon marzipan..."
"A chocolate croissant..."
"A diamond custard..."
"Two cheese snails..."
"And a spritzring."

"Oh," Nori adds, "and black coffee. Plenty of it." She smiles then, chin on her hands.

Nori's attention returns to Rei, then. Her lips purse in feigned innocence. "I can keep going for quite a while on my inner reserves, you know. Sometimes it's fun to test yourself like that, don't you think? Though I suppose I should have at least had a little more for breakfast." So did she eat breakfast or what. Is the otter on the job.

"It's beautiful like this, though, isn't it? It makes you really appreciate being indoors... and it cuts the heat a little. Though it's awful for makeup," Nori muses.

"You remind me, right now, of a triumphant pelican who has secured the greatest fish for its eighth share," Nori then says. "Do you feel that way?"

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

Of course, Rei thinks -- her rainy home. No wonder Nori sounds wistful to speak of it.

And her example is followed up with a glorious collection from the menu; Rei grins, as the waitress nods and scribbles down the order. "I'll get it to you in just a moment!" She assures them, chipper.

"Thanks," Rei is sure to add as she hurries off to the next table. It's busy in here, no doubt because it's so rainy out there. Everyone wants to come inside in this weather. Summer's just started, but only the bravest souls will be going to the beach right now. The waves are sure to be rough in the rain.

Sometimes a soul's bravery is expressed through other means, of course. Rei listens as Nori describes testing herself, head tilting a little askance as she makes her comment about breakfast. "Skipping breakfast never works," she points out, as if she's speaking from experience. She has to laugh, though, at how Nori sums it up, a hand rising to cover her mouth. "A pelican!" She declares, in delight and disbelief. "One of those big birds with the giant beaks?! That's one bird I can say I've never been compared to." Most people don't get past the crows. Just because she happens to be friends with some!

She shakes her head, smiling. "But I guess I do. I mean, I can tell you to eat and all, but..." She glances aside, as if to make sure there's no acquaintances listening in. "... I mean, I get wanting to test yourself, too." Which is not, quite, admitting all the effort she puts into things. She's just empathising with what Nori's said. It's entirely different. (It is not that different.) "But I made sure Hikawa's part in the festival went off without a hitch! I can't think of a better description than triumphant!"


"You're right, though," she adds, "about this weather and makeup. It's funny, someone actually thought I was upset because my mascara was running -- couldn't be further from the truth, but the rain just opened up on top of me. And the humidity is a nightmare for my hair. You get it, right?" She holds up a thick black strand, as if in demonstration. "I feel like my hairbrush is going to sue me for trying to get this under control."

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Nori smiles.

Then she looks to Rei, leaning forwards slightly. One thing that has no doubt impinged on Rei's consciousness is that Nori seems inclined to grow tall. Of course, maybe that's what they feed you in model courses.

"It's just what came to mind," Nori says. "They can count, you know; they'll work with you to fish, but they will know when they've had their work, and demand their share... it's really something to see. Though I think it's only done in China, now..."

Then she contemplates the nature of triumph. And of makeup.

"That was kind of them to think of you... but yes, it is a bit of a thing, isn't it? I try to go light on it when I'd be out and about..."

Then the question comes up of frizz.

Nori considers. She cups her chin, in fact, as if to demonstrate depth of thought. She considers the proffered lock, and twirls out a lock of her own hair. There is, truth be told, a certain flatness to it, not just from rain exposure.

She glances to it. To Rei's. Up to Rei's eyes.

"What do you use for your shampoo?"

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

Rei nods, attentive, as Nori espouses the virtues of the mighty counting pelican. She has a certain affection for birds; she can absolutely believe in their fishing feats. She blinks, a little embarrassed, as the other girl points out the kindness. "Oh, thinking about it like that, I guess so."

(She might have taken it another way entirely.)

Purple meets blue, dark and dark again, as Nori meets Rei's eyes. She looks to her, and then to her hair. "I like Kumanoyushi -- the horse oil shampoo," she adds. "It's good for repairing damage, and, well..." She waves her other hand in an 'and so on' gesture, because they both know the unlikely situations they can find themselves in.

"But I'm surprised you don't have the best shampoo already," Rei says, and the surprise is on her face, too. "Isn't that part of -- you know, the modelling?" The hand at her hair curls a strand around a finger. "I mean, I guess I never asked, I just figured..." Nori having fashion support just seemed like one of those obvious things she could take for granted. Like Bastiste always wanting another cocktail shrimp, or the sun rising in the east.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOllF3TgAsM

"That is a very good one," Nori muses, "Though I have a bit of an oily tendency myself, and so I don't use such things often..." She takes a deep breath then, and smiles, and says, "It is not simply a matter of 'best,' though. It depends on the situation, and in this moment, our problem is one of a superfluity of atmospheric humidity!"

"I think superfluity is the word," Nori says, in a smaller panel in the manga.

"I use glycerin," Nori explains. "A lot of it."

As Nori speaks it is as if there is a photographic montage within her alterna-chic apartment, where, perhaps, what were once opaque panels have been replaced with decorative salvaged shutters of natural wood.

"I don't remember the exact words for it... but it draws moisture in, and keeps your hair well hydrated. Since hair isn't quite alive, exactly, even when it's lively."

Nori spraying her hair with some kind of a spritzer. It sparkles, as if with floating black diamonds.

"So, whenever I am getting ready in the morning I brush some in, with a little bit of cassia and lavender oil mixed in with the spray..."

Nori in her salvaged-stone shower, hair being vigorously frothed up. Batiste stands on a shelf holding the portable shower wand.

"And I try to condition with it at least twice a week!"

"Of course," Nori concludes, back in the normal sort of visual space, "you don't want to do that in the winter. But this time of year it's perfect."

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

In that small panel, Rei asides: "I'm going to have to use that word on Ami-chan."

Surely that will make her look like a genius, even though she keeps falling asleep during their study groups.

Of course, if Rei is looking for genius, there's plenty of expert advice pouring in from one STAR MODEL, NORI ANKOU (which is precisely the glowing title she would be issued in Rei's thoughts when her occupation comes to mind). She nods and nods again as she listens, giving the perfect impression of someone who would be taking notes if only there were a notebook close to hand.

"I see!" She nods, again, as Nori concludes her educational segment, which really feels like it should have been artfully illustrated with wood shutters. She claps her hands together -- disentangling her finger from her hair first, of course, that would be a disaster. "So the spray in the morning helps with brushing! You really are an expert, Nori-chan!"

And, you know, there's a moment where she files all that information away for use on her own hair, to keep its hair crimes in check.

And wait for it...

Wait for it...

"But," Rei blinks as she realises suddenly, "even so, your hair..." Give her an ounce of credit: she has enough tact not to point out its flatness directly. "Is the weather just that difficult right now?"

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Nori smiles, pleased to pass on a vocabulary word OR A SECRET HIDDEN TRAP.

"It's simple, and not very expensive. But I suppose that's why it's a secret. There are some things you can't buy with money... and too often, we confuse cost with -"

Nori falters for a moment.

Then she lowers her eyes to the table.

Her hair clings behind her. It's a wet look... right?

"I don't feel like I should fight against things like this," Nori says, twirling a long, soft, heavy, limp strand on her fingertip. "They have de-humidifiers when we have a shoot, anyway, so I can fluff it up there in peace."


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

There's something here, Rei thinks, in what must be damp hair, in a battler ceding ground. "Ah..." She begins, the wordless noise nonetheless showing perfectly the concern which reflects in the arc of her brow and the little tug of her lips.

"Sorry for the wait!" Chimes the cheerful voice of their waitress, as she comes to their table and starts sliding over plates. For Nori's side, marzipan and a crossaint and custard and a spritzring and two cheese snails; for Rei's, a filled doughnut and a big plate of pancakes. And drinks! "Please let us know if you'd like anything else," she assures them, before she hurries off to see to the next table.

The moment is, of course, completely shattered, and after a moment's faltering Rei focuses on the food. "This looks fantastic!" She enthuses, to Nori, which is one parts presentation and one parts encouraging her to eat. (The second part, of course, is picking up her doughnut and taking a big bite. Nomph, nomph. Everything is ladylike when you're a proper lady, and she'll whack anyone who says otherwise with the plate this thing came on.)

She takes a moment to sip from her milkshake, too -- there's a big dollop of ice cream in there -- and looks over to Nori again. "How are the cheese snails?" She asks. "I've never actually ordered them."

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Well, for one thing, there is now only one cheese snail. Nori is caught midway towards raising the second one to her mouth - at which point she smiles enough to show a little gleam of teeth and says, as if caught, "They're delectable. I needed something savory to go with this. And your pancakes...?"

She takes a wholesome sip from her coffee, which was in her other hand already.

"It's funny," Nori says. "I can never quite finish pancakes..."

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

Rei, naturally, tries the pancakes. Her conclusion: "These are amazing. There's apple in the pancake." Is this German ingenuity?!

But pancakes are more than just something to review. Nori can't finish them, and Rei looks to her, again, lips pressing thin for a moment in thought. "Is there just too much of them?" She asks, gesturing down with the western-style fork. They are, to be fair, on a big plate. "I mean, if it's too much of one thing, there's nothing wrong with eating lots of little things."

Mentally, she makes a note to invite Nori out to snacks more often for a while.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"It's just that I get started," Nori says; "I put the butter on, and then the syrup, and then I start to eat round the edges. The inner bits are always the best, the richest, but I always just... It feels... mm..."

She trails off, picking up one of the other items - items indeed for she doesn't quite look.

"They never stop tasting good," Nori says; "there's just too... much. And it's not possible, I think, to save a pancake for later."

Perhaps she's eating the wrong pancakes. Or is she?

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

It's not possible to save for later, and Nori has to eat the edges first.

"Hey," Rei says, "how about this."

And here is what she does: she takes her knife and fork, practiced enough to use them without embarrassment, and cuts her pancakes in half, and in half again. From these four corners, she cuts the middle from one part, and pops it on her fork, and pops it in her mouth.

A moment later, she says: "Okay, yeah, you're right, this is definitely the best part."

Beat. "My point is, if you can't eat all of something, you can absolutely eat the bits you like most! No one's the pancake police. No one's going to stop you and say, Nori-chan, you're eating your pancakes wrong, I'm going to have to write you up for that." Rei pauses, again, a reflective expression passing over her face for a moment. "... okay, someone in school might, but thank God the rest of the world isn't Ohtori. But it's okay to take what you can of a good thing, you know?"

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.


'These pancakes... are corrupt!' Nanami Kiryuu kicks a plate of pancakes so hard it explodes.


Nori laughs, a little, her lips quirking up into a shyer sort of smile. Perhaps it's the more authentic kind. "I just... worry, you know? Wasting food... my mother told me you should always eat your dessert first. It's a little funny, though, I don't have a ton of a taste for sweets."

Despite all the ones she got? Well, the exception proves the rule. It may occur to Rei that this *is* the most sweets Nori has ever gotten at once, and she had always tended more towards the savories at festivals...

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

Food waste is, to be fair, an important ecological and sociological topic.

It's also not one Rei Hino has ever really needed to worry about. Respect for food, in the way she should respect all beings and objects, but... there's a difference between philosophical lesson and abject reality.

So she shakes her head. "Isn't it more of a waste when you don't try and eat at all? If you hesitate too much because you don't think you'll finish, you'll miss out on eating it entirely." Well, it applies to pancakes, but it doesn't just apply to pancakes.

"But come to think of it," Rei comes around to pointing out the sweet things on Nori's plate, "you did order a lot of them today. Trying something new?" That's the most reasonable explanation, she thinks; even she's tried asparagus dishes now and then. (They're horrible. It might be better if they were fresh. As it is, they're just miserable sorrow factories masquerading as meals.)

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Mm," Nori says.

She laughs a little, then, again, at the pointing out. "I was... I suppose I was following your lead... I felt a little light headed. Do you suppose it's because I skipped breakfast?"

She folds her hands together, loosely interleaving her fingers. "I suppose I should make sure to eat something for breakfast every morning, just so you won't have to worry... hm, hm~. I'd hate to be something weighing you down when you're so energetic. After all, a pelican has to be able to fly through air and water alike."

is this pelican thing permanent

"It does go very well with coffee, though," Nori says. "You should come to Shibuya some time; I have learned how to make some fancier coffee..."