2020-02-04 - A Better Way! Miroku, Let's Do It Together!

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Title: A Better Way! Miroku, Let's Do It Together!

Mikoto has an important decision to make, but she doesn't have to do it alone. With Yumi's help, she reconvenes with Miroku - and promises to help show it a better way to fight.


Mikoto Minagi, Yumi Ohzora


Yamanote High City - Tokyo Tower

OOC - IC Date:

2020-02-04 - 2015-08-04

.***************************** Yamanote High City *****************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Tokyo Tower +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 This television broadcast tower is also perhaps the most iconic building in
 Japan. A lattice giant inspired by the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower looks much
 like the French building, but has a more rounded, modern style, and is
 painted in a red-orange tone. Bright white bands punctuate its height,
 including one for the cylindrical observatory nestled near its peak. At
 night, it lights up brilliantly: a cool white during the summer, a warm
 orange for the cooler months, and various colors for special occasions. Once
 the tallest building in the world, it remains, at 315 meters, the second
 tallest in Japan, and is a popular tourist attraction.

 Tokyo Tower straddles a four-story building aptly named FootTown, containing
 museums, art galleries, and restaurants. Around its middle is the Main
 Observatory, which contains a restaurant, a Shinto shrine, and a club for
 live music. Near its peak is the Special Observatory, accessible for an
 extra fee, which provides a spectacular 360 degree view of the urban

 Whether it be attributed to its iconic nature, its ability to transmit
 long-range signals, or its sheer height, be warned: Tokyo Tower is a
 frequent target for supernatural events.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

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

> Can we meet up
> I want to see you
> And um
> If you could help me
> I think I need s witch and magic spell
> A witch I mean

Mikoto closes down Yumi's message bank - hers was the first number on this yellow phone, considering Yumi gave it to her - and heads out to their meeting place in the city, but not before hugging Mai.

Mai's support has been foundational - with all the apologies Mikoto wants to make.


FootTown is a bustling place in the evening, too. Plenty of tourist attractions - even at this hour. One of those, of course, is food; there are more than enough venues offering snacks, out here. Mikoto goes to a takoyaki stand, set up in the square, and orders enough for... well, one and a half people, because she knows Yumi isn't usually as hungry as she is. Even if she can't completely appreciate Yumi's circumstances, she can be understanding of her quirks.

She has to count and double-count the coins in her little cat purse, now, without the clout of her Lord Brother's resources behind her. But that's okay. It's refreshingly normal - to have to think about money again. ... at least she didn't lose her scholarship while she was busy.

Normal, too, are her clothes - a shirt with vertical green stripes down the sides, white linen shorts with those ever-important pockets. Against the nip of night-time, she wears a loose pink cardigan, knit with big breathable gaps. She never thought too much about clothes, before, but now she's relishing the ability to wear whatever she wants.

Of all the places Mikoto could have specified to meet up, though, this is one of the ones she relishes least. It's hard, to come back, to see the place she almost annihilated. It's hard - but there's something here she needs to do.

And she doesn't have to do it alone.

After all - Yumi promised.

As she waits, sat down on an out-of-the-way bench, she nibbles on a takoyaki ball... visibly pleased at how tasty it is.

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

>Sure sounds fun!
>Oh magic? Sure I'll bring some supplies too.

Yumi closes down her phone, and looks about the apartment, empty but for a cat at the moment. "Back to the tower... I'll be OK."


Bustling! Bustling is pretty good; Yumi likes the crowds in their way, all the people rushing about to wherever they need to get, almost none of them especially focused on her. Except one! Just the one. ...Well, a few others, she does stand out, but the one she's looking for...

Mikoto can spot the tall Yumi easily as she steps out of the crowd, and she can spot Yumi smiling at watching her actually enjoy food. For her part, she's dressed pretty casually; long pants, walking shoes, and a light sweater given the chill, touched by the fine cloth panels in zig-zags along it notable of AoHime attire. Teals and pink, mostly, for her today. She has a big purse, and actually a little backpack to go with it.

And she walks over. "Hey, Mikoto-chan," the gray-haired girl greets. "Nice to see you."

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

"Yumi!" Mikoto is glad to see her, too. It's in her smile, and the exclamation of her voice. She quiets down after that, though - she knows Yumi prefers calmer tones - and offers out the smaller takoyaki plate. "I got snacks... Yumi can eat this much, right?" She really hopes she got it right. It's been a long time - since Mikoto paid any attention to the dietary preferences of her friends.

"There's something I gotta do here," the smaller girl explains, legs swinging under the bench, "but... snacks first!" Omph nomph, she devours what's on her own paper plate, and now it's clear she really is enjoying the experience.

"It's good!" She says, and it's a little redundant with her expression, but after so long insisting food was good when it wasn't...

Well, maybe Mikoto can't be faulted for that.

It's only once the plates have been cleaned off, squirreled away somewhere to be disposed, that Mikoto turns to Yumi to talk of anything besides food. "Yumi..."

Here she hesitates, looking up. "... Miroku's still out there," Mikoto explains, quietly, unlike her chipper food commentary. "It's part of me... so Miroku's tied to Dark Fall, too. If someone else managed to use it... it'd be really bad. Miroku isn't very nice. I don't think it'd mind, doing bad things again."

Mikoto shakes her head. "But even though Miroku's mean, I was mean when I was doing my job, too! That's what my Lord Brother wanted from us! If I get a second chance... I want to help Miroku, too! We - we always worked together, Yumi," Mikoto insists, because she cannot remember a time it wasn't so. "I just never realised how hard it was not being in control, before." The thought can't help but haunt her eyes, for a moment - but she's determined, as she looks back to Yumi.

"Now I know," she says, hand curling to a fist on her lap, "and I never want to be controlled again. Miroku's feelings feel like mine... so I wanna be sure it's me." She releases that tension, with a small, hopeful smile. "I thought maybe - Yumi's spell could help? I don't want to force Miroku to feel anything... but I don't wanna be forced, neither. I think I can show Miroku a better way, too... but I gotta be able to choose."

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

Snacks first! Yumi can go for that. So first, "--Yeah! That's a good amount," Yumi answers Mikoto with a smile. "Thanks. It's nice of you to remember!" The taller girl can only take so much fried deliciousness at once, as a rule, but takoyaki is worth the effort!! She is... less effusive than Mikoto, by virtue of just having a whole different presentation--

But Yumi is not above a nomph or two. Not at all.

She sure doesn't fault Mikoto for being redundant. She eats with her cheerfully, and eventually it's all cleaned off, the trash thrown awaye, and...

The quiet explanations start. Yumi likewise quiets, listening intently, eyes on Mikoto's as she reads in not just what she says, but how she says it. After all, Mikoto says a lot more than some people might realize just with her eyes, with her expression...

Yumi suspects Mikoto's right about Miroku not minding. The phone charm hanging in her purse is quiety peaceful.

"Not being in control... Yeah." Yumi reaches out and puts a hand over Mikoto's, nodding firmly. "Okay. I did bring some supplies." She curls her fingers around Mikoto's and squeezes before letting go, looking over to the Tower--she remembers, too, the fight that was there, not all that long ago. How terrible it was...

How terrible it isn't!

"It's not a bond I can tamper with at all. But I don't think I have to, in order to help. With the Staff, I think I can do it. But we'll need to go to Miroku, huh?"

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

"Good!" Mikoto chirps, when Yumi confirms she has gotten her a good amount of takoyaki. She still remembers how Yumi's snacks work!!


Because there are important things and then there are important things, the little spaces where friends eat takoyaki together, and the toothpick-stick flicks up and hits Mikoto's noise and she makes a little noise halfway between a squeak and a squark, and no one can really tell what animal she stole that one from.

But once the very important food is done with, there's still something important to talk about, and Yumi listens, and Mikoto smiles as the other girl's hand finds hers. There's a little twitch to it, a little tremble...

It's scary, coming back to this.

It's scary, but there are things Mikoto wants to protect, and she owes it to Tokyo to keep the city safe, after everything she did.

She owes it to Tokyo - so she can't leave Miroku unguarded.

And maybe she owes it to Miroku, too, to give it the same chance magical Tokyo gave her.

"It'd be hard," Mikoto says, of tampering. "Miroku and I share a heart. We're, um..." She pauses, tries to think of how to explain it. "I'm HiME, Miroku's my Child... my Element, too. We need each other to fight. Miroku makes me strong, but Miroku uses my energy. It's, it's..." She scrunches up her face, because she does not know the word 'symbiotic': "we both give and we both take."

Mikoto isn't sure how that arrangement would work - if someone else managed to steal Miroku and subvert it to dark purposes.

It probably wouldn't be very good for her.

She turns her hand up - gives Yumi's a squeeze. "Let's go," she decides.

And up, up, up - there's a certain amount which can be ascended via the inside of FootTown, conveniently with elevators. Up to the viewing platforms, and it's just a matter of getting into a nice, shady area when no one's paying attention, at this time of night...

Luckily, there's room on that broom for two, going up the tower. If Mikoto's latched on a little more tightly than she needs to, going up those painted struts...

Well, that's why she asked for help, after all. She doesn't have to do this alone.

Their target is a low rung, though still higher than the tourists ascend to - fights on Tokyo Tower don't tend to be close to the ground. The beams are broad, at this juncture, and by one of the support struts...

It's easy to overlook from a distance, from below - the sword dug into the steel, tilted at an angle.

The charm on Yumi's phone might emanate a peaceful aura, but the only word for how that sword looks, all askance in the open air, is 'cross'.

Mikoto gulps as she steps off the broom, and she keeps close to Yumi and the magic she holds.

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

Super vital. Some of these little things can be the most important. But here...

"Yeah, that makes sense. I knew there was some kind of strong bond that I couldn't mess with, but it sounds like it's sort of unique, too." They both give, they both take. If someone else took it...

Well, better not to dwell on that. Yumi nods. "But we won't have to tamper with anything."

Up, up, up--getting out to the viewing platforms where fewer people are is easier, and Yumi has had plenty of practice at finding out of the way spots to transform or just to bring out her broom. Sometimes she skips the conventional ways of getting around entirely for just that. THere's something about flying. Still... Maybe Mikoto does latch on extra hard, but she can see Yumi sitting almost gracefully, calmly, like there's a secure spot instead of just a vibrant stick with still-living ivy on the end.

...Mikoto also saw Yumi mutter the incantation to help 'stick' things to the broom though, so there is that. In fact, she sees Yumi use it right now; she hovers further as Mikoto steps off, and then steps off herself. "Okay..."

Yumi pulls a small object that she 'sticks' to the stick end of the broom, and sets a little fragrant stick in it, which she lights. She breathes in, and while it's smoke, it's not acrid.

"...If you feel like you need a boost, just wave your hand through the air over that. But this is up to you and Miroku, okay?"

Miroku was always grumpy. ...But Yumi Ohzora is the last person to dismiss someone or something out of hand just because it's a little dark or dour.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Paramore - My Heart (Live) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P6K7SMZDUA

"Yeah," Mikoto agrees. "It's, unique to us HiME... but we're kinda different to the other HiME, too. Miroku doesn't go away, like other Elements do." Mai can dismiss her magatama, and Natsuki's pistols disappear when she doesn't need them, but Miroku has always been a much more physical object.

Mikoto thinks she can guess why that is, now, even if she can't quite figure out what purpose it serves.

They were the only ones in her Lord Brother's service, after all.

It's at least relieving to her - that thread of logic. She can't think of any other HiME whose Elements are persistent. It means she might not have had any partners, in her work. She can't really... remember, who was helping her. It's a little worrying to her, because that means she can't remember who she should be wary of...

Well, no, that's not quite right.

She remembers Westar, though there are some blurry aspects at the edges. And there was a girl on a dais...

... but most of it's gone.

She remembers Miroku, though: how content it was, wherever they lived down there, and how little it was bothered by the orders they were given. Miroku is not a newly-forged blade; Mikoto cannot guess how long it has been fighting. What it's seen, before they became partners.

Mikoto blinks, and reaches out to the smoke, lets it trail through her fingertips as she curls a hand over the incense. After only two months, Mikoto was beaten down enough to do things like assault a festival - openly attack civilians at a beach party - colonise Tokyo Tower with their dark magic...

How much worse would she have gotten - if she kept fighting?

Mikoto is scared of being controlled again, but she is compassionate, too. She knows what it was like - being a tool for her Lord Brother's use. And she thinks: doesn't Miroku know what that's like, too?

So she takes a breath, and she steps forward, towards her angry blade.

"Miroku... it's okay. It's me!" Mikoto assures her blade just as she would a cat, gentle and sure. "I've decided I'm gonna fight, of my own free will. I want Miroku to come with me! We're the same..!" Cut from the same cloth, right down to the heart, and perhaps they were designed as tools for destruction but it is not the only end they may choose. She breathes in the smoke - she reaches out.

"We can find a better way, Miroku!" Mikoto claims, in certainty, and so many people have shown her the alternative but in this moment she thinks of Endo Naoki, that same boy partnered with an old and warlike blade. "I'll help Miroku, so let's do it together!"

She reaches out, and --

Surely the blade was seated firmly: it has stood here for days, left aside by its partner. There's no real reason it would shift now - except that, perhaps, there is sometimes life to a weapon. Ker-CHUNK, it tips on its tilt, into Mikoto's hand.

She receives no reply, but through its ire it still joins with her, and perhaps that is reply enough.

"Miroku!" Mikoto smiles, relief flooding her eyes.

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

Yumi's noticed that--she's seen a few HiME fight by now, after all, seen how that... works, in at least the broadest sense. Mikoto and Miroku are unusual in their way. ....Not particularly alien to Yumi, bonded to the implement of an ancient witch, but unusual. Even being able to 'store' the Staff at all is an act of magic, taught to her by the Staff's keeper all that time ago now.

But there is a different kind of magic in being present for something like this; present, really. So Mikoto reaches through, and Yumi inclines her head. Two months, is all that took; the smoke calms, energizes, but ultimately only is what it is. Various things all mixed together, only burned instead of drunk, classic potion work...

But Yumi pays little attention to that instead of to Mikoto, as she breathes, as she thinks.. and as she speaks. Like a cat, she speaks to it, and for all that Miroku can be destructive, to Yumi they have been together as long as she's known Mikoto.

The sound of a blade freed rings out. And finally--no, not 'final', not really--

The witch nods again, and passes her hand ovver the incense to put it back out. "...Welcome back," she says, and it is for both of them really, as is the smile that goes with it.

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

It's not difficult - for Mikoto to free Miroku from steel. What would be almost impossible for someone else is almost effortless, for her. A little heft, and it's in her hands.

"I didn't forget Miroku," Mikoto assures it, quietly. "I just... needed some time to think."

... and maybe that mollifies its pique just slightly.

She made the decision to come back, after all, even if it was alone for a little while.

Mikoto turns, with her claymore, and smiles to Yumi, broad in its relief. "Yumi! It's okay! This really is how I feel!" It's easy to tell the difference right now - considering the contrast between them.

"I just hope... I can keep thinking, when I'm fighting," she says, looking down at Miroku. "So long as I can do that, I think I'll be okay."

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

Yumi watches, and maybe she can 'feel' a little of the difference too, just from how loud Miroku and Mikoto both seem to feel. Maybe. Maybe it's just infectious, Mikoto's broad smile.

"Great," the witch answers, inclining her head again, her whole awkward form turning into something happier and less self-conscious for the moment. "It's very you."

But can she keep thinking...? So long as--

"I think you can," Yumi says. "I know how much you want to. And, well... I trust you. And I think you can do a lot!" Yumi is still smiling, as she steps back to sit on her broom with a little 'puff' exhalation, and sort of lounges cheerfully for the moment. "As long as you keep that feeling in mind, you know?"

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

"Keep it in mind..."

Mikoto echoes the words like a jeweller examining a diamond, and she smiles anew. "Yup," she agrees, sunnily despite the dark blade in her hands. "It's what I want, so it'll be okay!"

Because it's okay to want things.

She looks over to the broom - and down...

"Oh!" Mikoto realises, all at once. "... I'd better go find Miroku's case so I don't scare anyone!" She is done with scaring Tokyo.

Even if Tokyo is very good at deciding her exposed blade is anything else.

Once someone tried to pass it off as a surfboard.

Tokyo's citizens are inventive..!