2020-01-27 - It's Warm..! Everyone Missed You, Mikoto

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Title: It's Warm..! Everyone Missed You, Mikoto

Mikoto wakes up to breakfast, and maybe she and Mai don't get to talking about it all, but everything's okay.


Mai Tokiha, Mikoto Minagi


Ohtori Academy - Dormitories

OOC - IC Date:

2020-01-27 - 2015-08-02

.******************** Yamanote High City - Ohtori Academy *********************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Dormitories +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 There is some variation between the dormitories to provide a range suitable
 to different tastes, but they are typically old-fashioned and elegant, with
 low stone walls guiding the walkways and ivy creeping up their white walls
 and columns. Their exterior is classically European, like sedate manor
 houses, and for the most part this style is maintained inside, with
 dignified old paintings in thick goldleaf frames. However, the dormitories
 do not lack for daring Ohtori touches, with whimsical art deco floor
 panelling here, fantastical geometric lamps there, and odd little secret
 panels and dead ends throughout.

  Dorm rooms are generally shared between two same-gender students, but
 singles are almost as common; Ohtori students were not generally raised to
 share. There are some triples and quads available as well. Some dorms permit
 a great deal of leeway in decoration, others require students to stick to
 the default antique furniture. Many dorms have at least a small balcony,
 which provides an escape route for particularly rebellious students when
 curfews are instated.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

It's warm.

Maybe that's normal for this time of year. It's the height of summer, after all, with blazing heat and chirping crickets a near-constant companion. There's that lazy edge to the air as sunlight slips through windows to set motes of dust ablaze, the quiet warmth of the night giving way to the promise of a vibrant day.

Maybe it's the blanket. Fluffy, with just a hint of something artificial in the smell of it - freshly laundered, most lightly, and then air-dried on a line. The duvet might have been a bit much for the night that just passed, but it's the most comfortable blanket in the apartment - it always was.

Maybe there was something different in the palace.

It's not quiet. Not completely. The sounds of knifework are slow, cautious, subdued in an attempt to avoid disturbing anyone. The faintest sounds of simmering soup - miso, from the smell of it, with a little extra kombu to make up for the lack of fish sauce. Another quiet little hiss - butter, maybe, in a pan?

Clink, clink, clink goes a whisk in a bowl - and then it stops, abruptly, with a cut-off oath. The sound of the faucet, louder than any sound of cooking so far...

The smells of breakfast emanate from the kitchen, and it's warm.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

It's warm.

It was never just warm, in the Obsidian Palace. Her Lord Brother was warm, she was warm - but their environment was so cold. That difference is the first thing Mikoto notices, as she shifts from dreamless sleep to waking.

It's warm because she's in a bed. A real bed, not a long red throne or a cold stone dais. She mumbles, sleepily, as she curls into the pillow. Mmm-mm-mn, like the first mora of something.

It's warm, and she's noticed it's warm, because...

Sniff sniff sniff, Mikoto's nose twitches. There's something good out there - something good right here, too, just the way home smells.

Mikoto's eyes snap open; she rises from where she has slept for so long.

All at once it hits her - just where she is. Just why she feels warm, and happy, and safe --

It's their dorm, the first home she ever had which offered her shelter instead of suffering. This is their dorm, and this is their duvet, the one Mikoto always tended to steal in the middle of the night by curling and coiling.

This is what she shares with --

Something smells good, on the stove.

Water pours into the sink.

Mikoto grabs the duvet all in a ball so she can throw it back onto the bed - throw herself out of bed. Bare feet go pad-pad on the floor, and she scrambles out into the living-space of the dorm.

"MAI!" It's a word like so many she's said before - overjoyed to see her - if, perhaps, with an extra shade of relief to it now.

Without thinking she springs forward, to wrap herself around her roommate. "Mai - Mai - Mai!" And there is so much in a name, from someone who has not been home in too too long. There is the edge of regret for wrongdoing, and the happiness to see her, and the eagerness to be back. It is love, love, love.

It's only after a moment that Mikoto pauses, cheeks colouring as she looks up to the taller girl. "... is it okay?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Pad-pad-pad - it's been so long since that familiar sound was heard, unabashed and joyous. It's just surprising enough - just novel enough - that the cook in the kitchen is startled to hear the steps, to hear her name called in loving greeting.

There's a gasp of surprise as she's tackled once more, as old familiar embraces are renewed once more, and Mai takes a stumbling few steps before finally catching herself on the counter. It's warm and firm and almost like an iron vise - and then her companion looks up, and asks if it's all right.

"Mikoto, you're up - it's - " And without another word, Mai returns the hug, holding Mikoto to her because by all that's precious she had missed this. "...always."

Next to her, the faucet quietly hisses, spraying water onto egg-stained dishes, washing away mistakes. The handle is almost in reach - but Mai doesn't push herself to get to it. It can run a little while longer.

"...it's okay, now." Frankly nothing on the stove is on fire yet, she's in no rush to let go.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

And there's Mai - arms around her and this time it is not an exclusion zone. Mikoto's brow arcs up with her smile, vulnerable and open and it's okay, it's okay. She settles her head back against Mai, cheek to her shirt, and she isn't worried about the sound of water, for more than one reason.

"'m sorry," she murmurs, against her, muffled in the onset. "Thanks... for everything." For all her efforts, the assurance she gave - protecting everyone from her Shadow, though Mikoto doesn't remember it well --

Mai has done so /much./

And after months of keeping her far away Mikoto latches firm around her, nestling in against her side, and her heart feels so full that not even its edges can leak. "I'm happy," she says, because she /hasn't/ been, for so long. "I'm with Mai..."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

This moment could almost last forever. Sure, the butter in the pan might burn, the soup might boil down, the sink might overflow - but those are all small details in the grand scheme. The two of them are here again, and little could change that.

As Mikoto nestles in, there's just the slightest hint of a flinch. Not fear, not disgust - it's like Mikoto has somehow nuzzled into a sore spot, some kind of bruise. It doesn't last long - Mai returns to holding Mikoto close, in spite of the pain.

"...I didn't do much in the end. It was Eri, and...everyone missed you, Mikoto. Everyone wanted you home." Her grip stays firm, even as something begins to scorch. "I just wanted you home, and...you're back. You're back..."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

There's the flinch - and Mikoto's lips press together, for a moment, and she shifts her weight a little to avoid putting too much pressure on that spot.

She might only have flashes of what happened, but...

She knows enough to shake her head, as Mai insists she didn't do much. "Uh-uh," Mikoto pipes up, and most of the noise even manages to make it past the way she's pressed in. "I don't know what would've happened, if everyone wasn't trying so hard. My Lord Brother told me to do whatever it takes... if you all hadn't stopped me, it would've been really bad. So I'm really happy, Mai was there. It's a relief..."

The way she sighs and sinks in, bonelessly, she's still relieved.

Mai wanted her home. Mikoto wanted to be with Mai, too.

"I'm back," she affirms. "I remembered... I promised. And, I - I missed everyone, too," Mikoto says, clutching tightly. "I missed Mai lots. It was..."

And maybe she might have spoken about what life was like, then - if not for her nose twitching, even muffled as she is.

She looks up, suddenly, eyes wide. "Mai, it's burning!"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

There's a pensive quiet when Mikoto mentions what-ifs - what if Mai hadn't been where she was, what if Mikoto hadn't been stopped, what if her Lord Brother's will had remained -

From what Mai doesn't say, it would have been bad.

Maybe it hurts to keep Mikoto close like this - whatever Mai's injuries, her practice at hiding them goes up against Mikoto's combat experience. Maybe there are pains - but she's keeping Mikoto close. That's what matters.

The pan is burning. That kind of matters too.

"The omelets! Or what are supposed to be omelets - I've got to deal with this!" Reluctance must be put aside, because breakfast is imperiled. She bustles to the stove, moving the pan to let it cool, but the soup needs tending, and there's so much-

"-Mikoto! Could you crack some eggs into a bowl for me?"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

It's fine. Mai isn't the only one who winces, a little, at certain movements.

When something borrows a body, it isn't generally gentle with the contents.

Mikoto doesn't hide it, but she doesn't dwell on it, either; it was hard but it is done, there is no more leash about her neck and she never has to worry about what she might do in the dark place ever again.

She's safe, now. She's with Mai, now. Everything's okay. It's good.

Less good is the state the kitchen got in while they were ignoring it. (The state of the dorm... oh, Mai.)

Mikoto reluctantly releases her to let her move back to the stove, watches all her panic, shifting from foot to foot in uncertainty. But when Mai asks - when Mai asks for help - her face lights up again, and she nods, with a firm affirmative noise. "Right!"

She can help!

She knows the fridge, knows just where the carton lives - pulls it out, grabs a bowl. It's not until the first cra-CRACK, though, that the warmth of familiar joy washes over her face again, as she remembers just how much she enjoys the motions.

Crack, crack, crack... but she won't go through the whole carton, because Mai doesn't need an entire carton of eggs to make an omelette. Maybe it's still a lot of egg, but unlike last time, it's not too much egg.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Salvage isn't too hard - pouring the now-browned butter into a bowl for disposal, adding a fresh pat to the pan to cool and re-grease it, stirring the soup to make sure nothing in there is scorching, checking the rice-cooker timer-

-look, even if it has a dent from a certain episode involving certain obsidian spires, it's still an improvement over the ticking time-bomb that was the old cooker.

The kitchen is back on track to a breakfast. Mai rummages in the fridge for a moment, frowning at the contents - did she even properly shop in the last three days, probably not - and settles on drying the whisk from the sink. She hands it to Mikoto, nodding at the state of the eggs - no shells to be seen - and shakes the rectangular frying pan to spread the foam out in preparation.

"Just a quick whisk, and we should be good to go - I'm afraid I don't have any fish, but I promise tomorrow's breakfast will be better." It's an oath. Whatever her schedule, she's got plans to make and...an atrocious dorm to tidy up. Right. That's a thing in the near future.

But now?

"It's good to have you home, Mikoto."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

In Mikoto's defence, she didn't know a youma was going to crop up in the middle of shopping.

(Miroku must still be at Tokyo Tower... but it's fine, right?)

"'Kay!" She nods, firmly, at Mai's promise, and takes up the whisk to begin working through the eggs. It goes easier, with help. Mai will have help with the dorm, too. Mikoto remembers how hard it was to get it cleaned up, after SEARRS tore through.

Mikoto whisk-whisk-whisks, and a smile spreads over her face, as Mai welcomes her back again. "I'm home..!" After so long trying to make herself comfortable in her Lord Brother's space...

Mikoto is looking forward to breakfast - because for the first time in months, she knows it will be good.