2020-04-15 - Expatriate Patrol

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Title: Expatriate Patrol

Mikoto and Setsuna make sure no monsters harass Tokyo under cover of moonlight... until they get hungry. Then, they sit down and talk about their friends. Even the complicated ones.


Mikoto Minagi, Setsuna Higashi


Tomoeda Theme Park

OOC - IC Date:

2020-04-15 - 2015-08-21

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> 2 Mello - Stardust Hybrid Night https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK2iKU87S1E

The air is quiet, here, and so is the rollercoaster. The Theme Park closed up its doors some hours ago, and now the moon in its first quarter spills scant light over the walkways. Even the employees have gone home, all the lost children found. The entrance to the Hall of Mirrors stands wyrd in the darkness, ready to speak old magics now it is silent enough to listen.

Mikoto, in her efforts to catch up with school and friends, has not forgotten her third concern: Tokyo. She remembers what Fate told her - she has not come alone, as she ventures out to make sure the city is safe from people acting the way she did.

Is it any surprise, really, that of all the people she could ask --

"Setsunaaa," Mikoto calls out to her - friend, yes, friend is the right word, isn't it? - as she slows to look up at a fairy floss stand. A hand reaches up to press against it, her pink shirt and yellow shorts reflected in the glossy metal. (Plus, naturally, the sword-case on her shoulder.) "Think they keep snacks in here at night..?"

LOOK, MIKOTO HAS BEEN PATROLLING FOR, LIKE, A WHOLE HOUR. Mikoto gets hungry! That's a normal thing for a Mikoto to be!

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Old magic, new magic; there is a certain special magic in walks with friends regardless of what waits in them, and Setsuna would definitely call Mikoto her friend. She is certain that the word applies to their situation and relationship.

She would say it had for a while now, whether Mikoto liked it or not.

And now--yes. Now... Setsuna is instead in black skirt and red shirt. And Mikoto has asked a Question.

"No," Setsuna answers Mikoto's question with a sigh. "Not in these anyway. I've checked before..." It would be nice to have snacks. Well, more snacks. Setsuna has a couple emergency snacks stashed in her bag just in case but it's not an emergency yet. Maybe it will be soon though. After all, it's been at least like an hour. "So any snacks in there would be trick snacks."

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

It took Mikoto a little longer to catch up on the friendship awareness train, but she's getting there..!

She is also, apparently, not the first one to think of theme park snacks. Mikoto sighs, overwrought, as her hand falls from the shiny stand. "No snacks..."

To hear Mikoto say it, it might just be the end of the world.

But wait!

Mikoto has a bag, too!

It's a cat-faced bag slung over her other shoulder, hanging from a long string-cord which sets it down about her hip. The bag is teal; the cat is white. There's a silver zipper. It's not a terribly large purse, but it's probably the biggest pocket she has, right now, and when her downcast gaze falls that far down her face brightens instantly. She holds it up in triumph. "That's okay!" Mikoto announces, chipper again. "'Cause I brought snacks!"

D..did she forget she did that.

"Setsuna," Mikoto declares, "let's go eat snacks!" This is the truest test of friendship: sharing her snacks.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

It took Setsuna a while to catch on at first, too. It wasn't exactly convenient, at first, having friends. A bit of a liability really. Also a liability: a snackless machine...

The taller girl nods sadly as she looks over the shiny stand. "Yes," she starts, and then "Hm?" she vocalizes, tilting her head at Mikoto as she looks down at her bag and then brightens. "Oh!"

Setsuna smiles back, likeweise immediately cheerful. Did she forget??

Who cares, snacks!

"Yes!" the red Cure answers easily and cheerfully. "The bench over here by the greenery looks nice." She starts over.

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

"'Kay!" Mikoto chirps, as she hurries over. This time she will sit beside Setsuna without a single complaint; it's a far cry from all those times she tried to glare her out of her comfort zone.

Or actively jumped away.

Once she's settled down - sword-case leaning beside the bench, sword-girl perched on it - Mikoto pulls her purse onto her lap. "Like my purse?" Mikoto asks, holding the cat-faced thing up for Setsuna to inspect. "It's mine!" She adds, entirely pleased with herself, because Setsuna is one of the few who might understand just why she's so happy.

She brings it down soon enough, though, so she can dig through it - there's her yellow phone! - to pull out two pre-wrapped konbini CASTELLA BARS, the sort of distressingly corporate snack which nonetheless is better than not having castella cake at all. They're honey-flavoured, and really pretty tasty.

"Here!" Mikoto says, handing one over. She came prepared to patrol. The second is torn into for her own dark purposes, of course. NOMPH.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Just as Setsuna didn't remark on sitting with Mikoto then, she doesn't remark on it now; she just does it, and lets it be a thing that is.

"Yes!" Setsuna answers, looking it over in more detail as it's held forward. She is sitting on the bench a little more conventionally but--yes. She understands exactly. "Your purse is very cute!" Setsuna announces her judgement after a moemnt, nodding firmly--and chooses her words with very specific intent. Mikoto's purse. That itself makes it important.

But bars...! There's the yellow phone, and here, the cake.

"Thank you!" Setsuna answers, unwraps it and, in a distinct but similar way--

Nom. Setsuna's is a little more delicate but no less cake-encompassing.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

It's a great confidence! Setsuna Approves of that, too.

Setsuna leaves no crumbs, she is perhaps even more thorough in that case, but only perhaps. It's fine either way. The thanks--Setsuna nods again, a softer one that's just normal 'yes'. "I'm happy to help," she answers, picking her words as carefully as ever. "And it makes me feel more like I'm helping, too."

Fate did... Setsuna looks thoughtful on the matter of Fate, almost as if she might say something--but then Mikoto says that, too. Setsuna blinks, and that subtle sign is much of the surprise she shows; quieting, blinking, and looking up at Mikoto's eyes more fully. "Did he?" she asks. "Have you been talking to him?"

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

Mikoto hums uncertainty through her lips, as she looks up to Setsuna in turn. "I didn't recognise Westar at first... he found me when I was on my own. He - he didn't attack me, or anything like that... just wanted to know why."

She frowns, fingers curling together on her lap as she looks down to them. She draws her conclusions: "Westar felt bad, 'cause I left too. I think he understood why I can't go back right now, but, I guess he's real lonely. Said I should talk to you, and Fate... that we should support each other. It's sad, 'cause I really did look up to Westar..."

Mikoto's been called a senpai a few times in her life, but there's only one instance where she's adopted Tokyo's language, after all.

"I don't think Westar was trying to hurt me," Mikoto speaks in his defence, quietly, though certainly she sounds a little shaken to remember it. "I think Westar was just hurt."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Ohh," Setsuna answers. She puts it together immediately; after all, she knows full well about 'Hayato', and can imagine very well how that went. But... not so well as it actually did. Setsuna blinks--not when Mikoto says he didn't attack. No, that doesn't register surprise in her at all.

It's not when he felt bad. It's not his understanding--it's when Mikoto relays that he said they should talk, that she and Fate should talk. ...Unlike the old Setsuna, this one doesn't even make a joke about looking up to Westar.

"He probably wasn't," Setsuna admits. "...He was always... sentimental," she says with a sigh, shoulders sinking a little; this is a complicated enough issue that Setsuna even has a little body language like that.

"He wanted to act like a team, but I wouldn't have any of it. I thought we had to do everything on our own--relying on one another was just a sign of weakness."

Setsuna shakes her head. "I... worry about him," she admits. "Don't tell him that. It would only make it harder."

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

Mikoto hums acknowledgement, as she listens to Setsuna speak. He was sentimental; he was a team player - and she...

The smaller girl puts a hand on the shoulder of the taller, pat-pat-pat.

"I won't. Even if I told him... I don't think Westar could listen," Mikoto says, quietly. "I don't remember everything from that month, but... I remember how much I pushed everyone's feelings away. Lots of people were worried about me, but... it just felt bad. Right?" Mikoto asks, looking over to someone who was in that precise position.

Mikoto shakes her head, puffing out a breath. "I think Westar's trying to do what Setsuna did... but Westar isn't so good at it. He always gave me advice... lots of times I wasn't sure how to work without hurting people, and Westar had better ideas. Some of them were really annoying..."


"... but at least they weren't too, violent." Well, by that standard, maybe it was the best of bad options. "Westar was really worried when I got taken in, 'cause I was violent, and he didn't want me killing people. But I didn't want to, neither, so... Westar helped lots."

With a frown, Mikoto's cheek tilts aside. "I don't really know how to feel now... 'cause Westar was my friend, but Westar's still devoted to all that. It'd be easier if I was just scared of everyone there... right?" The thing about connections, after all...

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Pat-pat-pat. Setsuna turns to look at Mikoto, but not her hand. She has that intent look that she sometimes gets when she's thinking too much to remember not to look so intense. It is studying, it is thoughtful. But her voice is kinder.

"Yes," Setsuna agrees. "You may be right, I don't... Know. It did feel that way, but I find... I didn't know him as well as I thought, maybe. It's hard to explain."

What she did, but... "Mm. He's gotten much better at this than anyone is likely to admit to him. At gathering misery, I mean--fighting. He's strong."

"But you think he feels like I did...?" Pause. "You--"

Setsuna closes her eyes briefly. Sigh. She remembers annoying.

"That's true. I used to justify it... That we couldn't get misery out of dead people. That that wasn't our mission, that Mobius-sama would make things the way they should be."

How to feel...?

"It would be easier," Setsuna admits. "But do you think that's possible? I don't know how just to turn off friendship. If I did, I wouldn't be here now, I think."

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

Expressions are hard! Mikoto doesn't begrudge Setsuna her piercing gaze, at least. She listens, as Setsuna shares what she thinks about Westar; and Mikoto does not always look at Setsuna as she does, but there are enough affirmative grunts coming from her that she's surely paying attention.

"I don't think so," she answers her question, finally. "I can't just say there's nothing connecting me back to Dark Fall. It's... more complicated than that." Mikoto sighs, her hand curling down back onto her lap. "I guess that's why Westar told me to reach out to Fate and Setsuna, right? 'Cause we all know it's, complicated."

The implications of that, of course --

"I don't know Westar too good," Mikoto concedes, easily. "But I always knew Westar was good at fighting. He calls me a scary warrior... but Westar figured out how to make me feel bad from the start." Mikoto fails to mention that all he really did was point out just how scary Mikoto was, because that is not important!! The important part is that Westar is good at things.

"I wish Westar would come talk to us, too... but I guess Westar's still devoted to that mission," and Setsuna can choose her words carefully and so can Mikoto, in the end. What he fights for - what he believes in...

'I'd like to tell you, Minagi, that Lord Mobius is a better ruler than that Lord Brother of yours.'

For all her faults, Mikoto is a pretty good listener.

"At least... Westar wasn't worried about bringing me back," she concludes, with a light sigh. "I've been worried. I know we were working with people, but I can't remember who..." She gave Westar a terrible reception at first, with that nervousness.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Setsuna is at least remembering to look at the person she's talking to! Sometimes that's difficult, sometimes it's easy, and right now it is easy; she wants the extra data. Mikoto's difference reminds her though, and so she is a little more careful after that, looking forward again.

Complicated... "Yes," Setsuna agrees again. "...It might be why. I know he worked with both of us. ...I know I was mad, when Fate-chan left..."

This surprises Setsuna a little--for all that she warns people not to underestimate Westar, she still does a little herself, especially from the early days. Some habits don't break too easily. But...

She doesn't get what isn't said here. "No, it would mean leaving his whole world, and everyone behind. It..." She doesn't mention Soular.

"Mmm... Maybe he learned," Setsuna says, but it doesn't sound satisfying. "It clouds your memory some, does it? I never showed much interest in others, so there are a lot of things I don't know..."

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

The frown Mikoto is wearing is thoughtful, and not a little troubled; Mikoto smiles much more easily, now, but it doesn't mean she's never unsettled. There are still bad things in the world, and worrying things, and sad things.

It just so happens that those things are not the whole world, any more.

She hums acknowledgement, looking up to Setsuna again, gold eyes gleaming in the darkness. In careful consideration it is clear that they're not quite right, the way eyes ought to be; there is a subtle length to her pupil, the indication that it slits vertically under stress. "It's hard to leave," she concedes, and they're talking about Westar but they're not just talking about Westar, not really.

"Yeah," Mikoto nods, hands curling together in her lap. "I guess I'd worn my pendant so long, destroying it," a light pause, as she thinks of the right word, "affected me... there's lots I don't remember, and some stuff which is all patchy. I don't know the way back down to my Lord Brother any more..."

Despite everything, she can't help but sound a little sad about that.

She grimaces, the corner of her lip scrunching. "But that's fine," she decides. "I'm not ready to talk to him yet. There's stuff I wanna say... but it's too scary right now." If she saw him now, he'd probably just convince her she was wrong, pendant or no pendant. Mikoto remembers how convincing he could be, even if so much else is foggier.

"Fate said I have time," Mikoto shares, in her fashion. "So it's okay."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Who wouldn't be thoughtful with this kind of talk? Setsuna is thoughtful. ...And who wouldn't be troubled? Setsuna is...

Also Setsuna is looking at Mikoto's eyes, and she sees that difference; it stands out more today for some reason, maybe because of the subect. The verticality... And the subject--

"Very," Setsuna admits. It was hard for her, too. Too hard. "Mmm..." Setsuna nods. "I had something from Mobius-sama, too. A card... it made me stronger, but it took me some time to get over how hard it was on me."

Doesn't know the way? That might be a good thing in some ways, but, Setsuna can still see--Oh... "Oh," Setsuna answers, her train of thought derailed as she sees a way Mikoto is different from her again, too. "Yes, that's very smart," she answers the older girl. "Fate-chan is right. You have a lot of time, now. Maybe more than you know what to do with sometimes."

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

Mikoto can still smile, when Setsuna praises her thinking, and that's the difference between her troubles, then and now. "Yup!" She nods, more cheer to that, at least. "Even catching up at school, there's lots of time to do nothing. I made a new friend! And joined a club!" For years, Mikoto pushed clubs aside as something for other people, because she had too much to do. Now...

"And I don't gotta fight unless I want to," Mikoto goes on, legs swinging back and forth a little on the bench as she looks over to Miroku's case. "It's still hard to think, sometimes, but I like it better now I don't gotta worry about going to the dark place. Miroku's still kinda mad I'm not really trying to hurt anyone, but Miroku's old and grumpy, so I bet it'll feel better eventually."

Mikoto cants her head, blinking at Setsuna. "It's weird, right? Fighting for ourselves. Not having to push too hard, or go too far. There's people who can help... so we don't gotta do it alone." Again Fate's advice comes to mind, as Mikoto's hand comes up to scratch at her cheek. "Isn't that kinda weird?"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

It's a big difference, an important difference. And Mikoto also understands it too. Though Setsuna didn't go to school before she defected. "Oh, that's great news!" Setsuna answers. New friend, and club, "They're really worthwhile, even if they seem very different at first."

...Clubs, or friends??? Probably clubs. Mikoto has had friends.

"That's very important," Setsuna agrees with a nod at the matter of not having to fight. She looks to Mikoto, too. Setsuna if anything finds it sometimes too easy to think. "...I'm glad," Setsuna says, though she tilts her head curiously at Miroku's wants. "Akarun doesn't seem to have..." Pause, tilts her head. "A mean skull in her body," she attempts the idiom. Did she get it?

"Mm. It took me... a lot of getting used to. At first I thought--I had to fight so hard just to make up for everything, that I still needed to push, but... I was still thinking the same way, thinking I had to do it alone. And you're right, we don't."

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

"It's a club for helping animals!" Mikoto enthuses, and adds, entirely earnest: "Some of them are tasty, but I'd never eat animals I said I'd help. That wouldn't be fair."

Mikoto might be a scourge of small tasty critters, but she has a keen sense of hospitality.

Of course, a club for helping animals might sound like...

"Akarun sounds nice!" Mikoto agrees, and if Setsuna got the idiom wrong, Mikoto is entirely the wrong person to call it out. Skulls are where brains go, and brains think thoughts which would be mean, so it makes perfect sense for a nice fairy's skull to not be mean. Obviously. "Miroku's not so bad," she goes on to defend her dark blade, "it's just used to being mean, I think." She can show it a better way! It seems willing enough to listen to her, so as long as Mikoto stays determined..!

"Yeah," she nods, when Setsuna shares her thought process. "Earlier, I went to get rid of a monster in Nishitama... but I went on my own, 'cause I felt like it was my responsibility." Why Mikoto would feel responsible for the parkland is an exercise left to the reader. "Fate said my friends were worried about me getting hurt just like I was worried about people getting hurt, though... I hadn't thought about that. That's why I asked for help now!" Mikoto concludes, smiling to Setsuna. "I'm still figuring all this stuff out... but it's good to have friends to help. Yup," she nods, again, with a sure grunt. "It's good to not be alone."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Oh!" Setsuna answers, and brightens. "Of course," she says of animals, and smiles to say, "I'm sure Buki will help you acclimate." Since of course she knows her friend's clubs too!!

"Mm!" Setsuna agrees, but Akarun is shy and does not come out to investigate. ...Particularly not with Miroku around for some reason. But, "Yes, that makes sense. I was used to being mean, too," she admits. ...She still is sometimes, but now it's mostly fun mean, right? Right.

"Yes," she says, understanding immediately Mikoto's logic. It's absolutely clear to her... as, now, is Fate's. "Yes! Friends are often glad to help with responsibilities," she finds, unless it's homework, and then it depends. "I'm glad you thought you could ask me to help. I like to patrol now and then, too, especially now."

"..Yes! It is. And when we break next, I have more snacks, too!"

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

"Yup!" Mikoto chirps. It's not so strange to her that 'Buki is her friend, because she did see them together at the theme park, that one time, before 'Buki ran away with the rest of the civilians.

That's obviously what happened.

"Yeah, me too," Mikoto says, nose wrinkling. "I guess I was mean for a long time... it was no good." Longer, she means, than that long dark month. Mikoto doesn't see the need to extrapolate; Setsuna was there, and at times very well bore the brunt of it. From that vague acknowledgement and apology, she moves right to the point: "I'm glad Setsuna kept trying anyway!"

Setsuna decided they were friends long before Mikoto accepted it, after all.

But Mikoto caught up with everyone else eventually, and now she can say without reservation: "Setsuna's my friend!" And unlike her impassioned plea to Westar, it's not a thing braced by conflict; Mikoto is happy she has so many friends, even where she once saw enemies. "So we can do it together!"

Of course...

Setsuna has said the magic word.

Mikoto springs up, tugging at Setsuna's hand. "Setsuna brought snacks? Come on! Come on! Let's keep going so we can eat more snacks!" A..and keep Tokyo safe, right..?


<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.


Setsuna nods. She knows that month; she was there. But she doesn't call Mikoto on it, demand anything about it. No apology or anything. She doesn't need to, and was never planning to. But her gladness?

Setsuna smiles and it's warm. "Me, too."

Setsuna is glad to be Mikoto's friend; she smiles, and they're on the same page here. "Right! We can both help each other!"

Mikoto springs up, tugging. Setsuna laughs a little, covering her mouth with a hand, before she stands and nods firmly. "Right! Patrol, and..."

"More snacks!"