2020-01-30 - Reconciliation

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Title: Reconciliation

Mikoto apologises to Endo, and the two enter a new era of friendship.


Mikoto Minagi, Endo Naoki


Yamanote High City - Linden Baum

OOC - IC Date:

2020-01-30 - 2015-08-03

.***************************** 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> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The night is late, and schoolbooks are piled higher than the head of the girl sitting at a desk still a little cluttered. "Nooooooooooo," Mikoto whines, as her head falls on a maths textbook. How did she miss so much school?

Reluctantly, she picks up her pen again, only to look out the window. "Everyone..." Her voice gains a gentler shade as she thinks of all the girls and boys out there, the many many people who helped her, and idly her artful hand traces the character of 'forgiveness' onto the page.

She has a lot to apologise for, and she's never been very good with her words.

But she wants to.


Sure enough, Endo's number is in Mikoto's phone. Perhaps it was one of the ones the Chevaliers gave her, back then..? In any case, tap tap tap like a hen pecking through the soil, a message comes through the next day.

> Is it okay if we met up
> Its nothing bad
> I just wanted to talk with uou
> I mean tou
> Um
> You

Text messaging is hard, and Mikoto doesn't have to proof them to make sure she doesn't need to send clarifications any more.

The one place Mikoto was sure never to go while she was so grim - was Linden Baum. She didn't want to risk attacking a place where Mai had finally gotten her job back, so she just never visited, at all. Most of the waitresses still recognise her anyway! In a short and sporty green dress, bike shorts beneath, she looks so much more approachable than she once did.

There's no sword-case at her shoulder, right now. She's still... figuring out what to do, there.

It means she fits comfortably into one of the booths Linden Baum offers, window overlooking the street. She folds her hands on the table, and she waits.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo's fingers pick at his phone's keyboard for a few minutes, trying to decide on what to send in response. Eventually, after nearly ten minutes of deliberation, he settles on: OK

He's already on his way by the time that the reply gets sent off, and a short trip carries him to the familiar shape of Linden Baum. He's spent more than one afterschool evening at the diner, and the territory is at least somewhat familiar. His head leans into the window briefly before he enters, scanning from outside before the boy makes his way in.

It doesn't take long for him to spot Mikoto after. Her missing case is cause for some surprise, but he doesn't stop to consider it for too long. Instead he shuffles over toward the seat opposite, cautiously sinking down into a seat.

"Hey, Mikoto." His greeting comes after a second more, hands folding together on the table. After an additional moment, he asks: "Are you okay?"

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

Mikoto has just enough time to wonder if Endo will come, before he gets here. She wonders, briefly, if he can teleport too. "Um... hi!" Her smile might be a little nervous - but she is smiling.

"Yeah," she affirms, with a nod. "Mai's making me lots of good food! I... I got lots of school to catch up on," it turns out skipping class to go torment Tokyo has consequences, "but it's good! It's," she taps a finger against the table for a moment as she tries to figure out how to say it, "normal."

She looks down at her hands, rubbing her fingers together in uncertainty for a moment, before she looks back up to Endo. "There's... something I oughta say," she says, "if that's okay."

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

The fact that Mikoto is smiling eases Endo's concerns. Enough that he too makes a relieved smile at her answer.

Her situation report earns a nod. That seems like good news too, for the most part. "Ahschool is hard." He affirms in consolidation. "Are you hungry now? I can order food." He finds a menu, folding it out.

"Okay." He replies, eyes turning up after his brief distraction. "That's fine, go ahead." A more encouraging smile comes with the request, signifying it is, in fact, very ok.

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

"Okay!" Mikoto chirps, to food, because food feels better now.

She quiets to more serious sincerity when he tells her to go ahead, though. "Endo," she says, one hand curling over the other and giving it a little squeeze, "I'm sorry. I must've been really scary... someone wanting to kill you, someone like I was. I put Endo in a really bad situation... it was no good." It's a simple way to express her regret, but she means it.

She smiles, again. "But even though I was really mean, Endo figured out a better way! And - and it really did help, Endo." Mikoto's hands open, to gesture outwards, palms up. "I didn't know why anyone would try to help me when I'd only hurt them... so I had to think about it. Thinking... helped me lots. I guess it's why my Lord Brother never wanted me to ask questions..." There's a brief frown, at that memory, and Mikoto shakes her head.

"It's okay," she assures them, "I'm safe now. And, I wanna do better by Endo. Even after everything, Endo helped save me... I'm really happy," Mikoto says, smile returning to her face. She looks up, with those big gold eyes, and they might always be a little bestial but they can be full of kindnesses just like any other girl. "Can..."

For a moment she pauses, before she pushes forward: "can we be friends?"

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo seems happy to have the offer of food accepted-that means Mikoto really must be feeling better.

"Ah" He says, as Mikoto continues. He nods his head slowly, taking in her apology with quiet consideration. There's a moment to think after, and he replies, "Well, you were kind of scary, it's true." There's a smile that comes with the statement, an effort to help make it less accusatory. "But I must have been scary too, right?"

There's laugh after, something warm and relieved. "I probably could have done better, but there were a lot of people there to help, so it turned out okay. But, really, asking something like that..."

"Well, of course we can be friends." A nods once, affirmatively. "We must have been friends before, so we can be friends again."

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

Mikoto nods, as Endo asks whether he was scary, too.

(Fear, it turns out, is an excellent motivator to violence.)

Still, he laughs, and relief replaces Mikoto's nervousness. "Really?!" Really her eyes can get quite wide, but it's with a big big smile, too. It's her turn for an affirming nod, with a bit of a bounce from those braids in the motion. "Yup!"

It's not 'yes,' stilted and cold and distant; that's never been Mikoto's style, not when she's happy. "... so it's okay now!" She decides it, now, rather than asking.

She rocks back in the booth, to raise a hand, waving for one of the waitresses. And explains, helpfully: "Let's get snacks!"

The waitress, when she comes up, at least seems familiar with her, shaking her head with a smile. "Hi there," she greets them, "what can I get for you today?"

"Peret... prrret... pepet..." Mikoto stumbles over her German for a few mora, before she puffs her cheeks out and gives up. "... twisty bread!" And she looks over to Endo, and explains, helpfully: "Twisty bread is good here."

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

"Uh-huh." Endo agrees to the sentiment of things being okay. Mikoto is so enthusiastic about it that it must be so. It's a very simple sentiment, so there's no need to complicate things.

Snacks sound like an even better idea, and Endo consults the menu briefly. "Twist bread" The boy muses, unable to help smiling at Mikoto's attempt to order. He doesn't bother trying: "I'll have that too, it sounds good." The menu is folded shut, placed aside for the moment before he returns his gaze to Mikoto.

"Have you talked to anyone else? I know everyone's been worried about you." His hands fold together on the table. His posture is more relaxed now, any lingering tension having seeped slowly out. "It sounds like Mai-san has been taking good care of you, though." He's not extremely familiar with the girl, but he knows enough to understand how happy Mikoto must be to be back in her care.

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

"Alrighty, two pretzels!" The waitress is apparently familiar enough with Mikoto's antics to know what a 'twisty bread' is supposed to be. "Coming right up!" And off she goes, carrying with her the hopes and dreams of snack time.

Mikoto is enthusiastic; it's nice to be able to be enthusiastic, again, after so long. She does settle back down in her seat once the promise of food is sorted, at least. "I've been resting a lot," she answers, "so I haven't seen many people yet. I was... really tired. By the end, I was going to the dark place a lot... it was hard for me," she says, lips tugging down. She doesn't really have words for the physical and mental toll of possession, but it's plain enough on her face, for a moment. That moment passes, though, because her expression brightens again as she comes to one particular girl. "But Mai's helped lots! I'm getting lots of good food, now!" It can't be the only way Mai is helping, but Mikoto knows what she likes.

"But soon, I wanna talk to everyone. I wanna tell them I'm okay! And I want to say sorry, 'cause I hurt a lot of people. But I've been hurting Endo longer than most of that, so... I wanted to see if it was okay." 'Shyness' might not seem like part of Mikoto's profile, from the end of a blade, but apparently it's completely possible, as she looks down and rubs one finger with another. It doesn't last long, though, smiling as she looks back up. "I'm really looking forward to being friends!" With Endo, specifically; broadly, with all the people she's been haranguing for so long.

Maybe the world doesn't actually have to be her enemy!!

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

"It must have been hard, to be alone that long." Endo has a vague understanding, but he doesn't doubt Mikoto's gone through much worse. "I'm just glad you're okay. I had a hard time too, when I thought I couldn't share my problems with anyone."

"And I think everyone'll understand. A lot of my friends have gone through stuff too, so I know they will." The boy smiles brightly, confident of that fact. "Actually, the Fukugawa festival is coming up pretty soon. I know a few of us are probably going to go, you should come with us. It'd help with--" He has to consider, before deciding the best way to phrase it: "Doing normal stuff again." Which is probably not the most elegant way to phrase it, but closest to the truth.

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

Mikoto nods, with an affirmative hum, as Endo notices how hard it was - and looks over to him, when he shares that he had a time he couldn't talk to anyone, either.

Maybe they're really not that different, she thinks.

She nods, smiling with Endo's smile, and it only brightens further as he mentions a festival. "Really?!" She chirps, eagerly, all sunshine on her face, gratitude and happiness. "Festivals are the best! Let's all go to a festival, Endo!"

Now she doesn't have to live - wherever that was, she really can stop and go to festivals, and she doesn't even have to ruin them. It's a joyous thought, and she wouldn't hide it even if she could.

She can also eat pretzels, because the waitress swings back with their order - two big warm twists of bread, complete with butter. "Here you go!" She smiles, bright in her own way, too.

"Twisty bread!" Mikoto declares, grabbing one and holding it aloft. "It's not crab," she says, to Endo, "but it's still good."