2020-06-16 - Cookies And Company Makes Algebra Easier To Swallow

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Title: Cookies And Company Makes Algebra Easier To Swallow

Niramo invites several friends to her house to offer moral support as she takes on the last of her summer homework. Things surprisingly doesn't go too far off tangent.


Ai Yamamoto, Niramo Umokeshi, Fumiko Inoue


Shitamachi Low City - Umokeshi Household

OOC - IC Date:

6/16/2020 - 9/6/2015

.**************************** Shitamachi Low City *****************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Shitamachi Low City +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 The traditions that the Shitamachi cultural region keeps alive were ancient   
 long before the Shogun turned the fishing town of Edo into Tokyo, "Eastern    
 Capital." The area has evolved greatly since then, but though Shitamachi is   
 a highly modernized metropolis, its traditions somehow coexist with bullet    
 trains, research universities, and electronics markets. The occasional        
 person in kimono and sandals will wait at the crossing alongside salarymen    
 in business suits. Compared to Yamanote, there are more bicycles, family      
 businesses, and food carts, and fewer scooters, corporations, and             
 convenience stores. Certain wards in Shitamachi can be just as dense and      
 urbanized as anything in Yamanote, but there's a tendency toward low-rise     
 apartment complexes in the residential areas, and office buildings rather     
 than office towers in the commercial.                                         
 The distinction between Shitamachi and Yamanote is messy, both                
 geographically and demographically, but significant enough that it remains    
 the most significant cultural divide in Tokyo. Shitamachi people, as a        
 whole, take themselves less seriously, and have a stronger sense of           
 community that feeds upon their active street culture of markets, shops, and  
 festivals. They may not be fashionable, but they are /fun/. The Juuban        
 public schools, undistinguished but in some ways better off for it,           
 exemplify this plebeian joie de vivre quite well. The Shitamachi dialect is   
 less distinct than it used to be, but it is still a force to be reckoned      
 with, with a broader, less refined, and more energetic sound to it than       
 standard Japanese.                                                            
<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

To some, a Sunday is the best day of the week. Not only is it generally the one day school students have completely off to enjoy to themselves, stores often have limited time sales set on Sundays to take advantage of the increase of daily customers. But for those that have left part of their summer homework untouched and with the official start of the fall semester less than 24 hours away, it's another thing entirely.

It's do or die time.

In an attempt to make the on final struggle against procastionated math drills bearable, Niramo has sent invitations to her house to two of her friends via word or text conversation. There wasn't any requirements to give any aid with the homework in Niramo's time of need, just emotional support. There was even a bribe of free refreshments if that was needed to tip the scales.

The Umokeshi household is a modest house in the Shitamachi region once the guests arrive thanks to the given directions. A gray stone wall and iron gate surrounds the two story house and the small yard surrounding it, giving the illusion of privacy in Tokyo. The exterior walls gleamed with a fresh coat of cream paint that coordinated well with the dark red roof, and the simple stone sign just outside the gate with the words 'Umokeshi Residence' helps to seperate this house from the others in this quiet neighborhood.

Inside, past the entry hallway is the living room, a low table in front of a modest couch and large television set, with a worn recliner stuffed in a corner. A low wall seperates the living room from the large kitchen, and the scent of freshly baked cookies fills the air.

Niramo herself was sitting on the floor, several papers spread out in front of her and scratching away at her homework with a sharpened pencil. A plate of homemade frosted cookies sat near her, the baked goods in the shapes of cupcakes, with frosted icing and 'wrappers' as well. Glancing up at the clock on the wall, Niramo glances towards Takk and makes a motion with her hand towards the plate. "If you want to grab a cookie now, you better do it quick, Takk-san. Fumiko-chan and Ai-chan are supposed to be here pretty soon!"

The mouse Kwami blinks up at Niramo and shakes his head. "I'm sure there's plenty of time before they get here. Besides, the episode is only half over." Takk focuses his full attention on the television screen, showing a shonen anime that Niramo hasn't bothered to keep track of. "I never should have showed you anime." It might sound disapproving, but there's no hiding the fond smile on Niramo's lips.

<Pose Tracker> Fumiko Inoue [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

It is time. Fumiko has fought many dangerous monsters. She has protected herself and others from incredible threats. But this is it. The moment of her greatest fear and anxiety.

Entering a friend's house to help her review math homework.

Math is one of her greatest foes. Numbers taunt her. And don't get her started on adding letters! But that isn't the main thing that has her shaking as she hesitantly pressed the doorbell of her friend Niramo's house. This is a big friendship step! Being invited to a friend's house is like being invited into a part of them! Nevertheless, she steels herself and...

The first hurdle is over. Fumiko is in Niramo's house. She looks around and takes in the sights- before a different sense takes over. "Niramo... did you make cookies~?" Some of the anxiety vanishes. She waves over to her friend. "I hope those are for me!" She then spies the homework and frowns exaggeratedly. "And I hope THAT is NOT for me. You didn't get me extra homework, did you?"

Fumiko sits down and looks closer. "I'm here like I promised. Thank you for... inviting me..." The next two hurdles: homework and friendship. "That means a lot to me that you entrust me with your secret lair."

<Pose Tracker> Ai Yamamoto [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

With the weekend in swing, Ai had been staying at her Aunt and Uncle's place in the Shitamachi district. With Mio being grounded due to Mio related activities, Ai jumped at the chance offered by Niramo. Surprisingly, her cousin also encouraged her to go over instead of sulking and demanding she not go.

Dressed in a grey t-shirt with a picture of three kitten shaped scoops of icecream on an icecream cone, as well as a tennis skirt and a pair of running shoes, she made her way to the Umokehsi household.

Thankfully she's been able to follow the directions and hasn't ended up lost or somewhere she wasn't meant to be. She stops out front of the house, and double checks to see if she's at the right residence. Everything has gone too smoothly for her, so she's being cautious as usually she ends up getting lost when going most places around Tokyo, with her barely able to travel from School to her Aunt's house or vice versa. She steps through the gate, and then takes several steps back again, just to double check the name plate on the house. She takes a deep breath and makes her way up to the front door and then pauses and stares at it.

"What do people in the cities do?" the rural girl asks herself. Not being aware of the door bell, she knocks and is soon brought through to where Niramo is studying.

"Niramo-chan!" Ai greets cheerfully, though she pauses when she spots Fumiko. "Fumiko-chan, too!" Both brows raise when she spots what's being worked on, and she slowly makes her way closer to the two other girls. "Oh, mathematics? What are you studying?"

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The sound of the doorbell playing a short musical tune and the front door opening has the ravenette deliver a warning look towards where her smaller friend was sitting on the table. Key word is was, as there doesn't seem to be any trace of him at all on the table, and a hint of movement from the hallway leading towards the stairs is the only thing giving Niramo an idea on where the Kwami had fled to. His hubris has left him without a chance to have a snack while the cookies were still warm from the oven. Truly a punishment greater than the crime.

Turning back towards the front door, Niramo waves her left hand in greetings upon seeing her first guest. "Fumiko-chan! Glad you could make it. I was starting to worry that I would have to eat all these cookies myself." Niramo was dressed today in a bright pink tee-shirt with a silhouette of Mount Fuji in pale blue and knee-length black shorts, and with her waist-length black hair held in a ponytail with a red blue scrunchie.

She smiles as Fumiko takes a seat close to her and shakes her head. "Of course not. Math is Fumiko's bane, as trying to learn about other countries is for me. I wouldn't endanger you with such peril." She motions to the plate again in a gesture for Fumiko to help herself if she wanted. "And it means a lot to me that you would come here as well...anything for a friend."

Instead of the doorbell going off, a series of knocks can be heard as Ai walks in and Niramo waves her right hand this time. "Hey, Ai-chan! I know you have trouble finding out where to go, so I was half-expecting having to talk you through on how to get here. I hope it wasn't too far to travel." Niramo gives a surprised look between Fumiko and Ai as the giant country girl calls her classmate by name, but looks pleased with herself. 'I knew you could make more friends, Fumiko!'

The mention has the short ravenette groaning as she's reminded of the task at hand. "Not studying by my own will, that's for certain. I...may have forgotten part of my summer homework, and I just remembered after hanging out with Fumiko-chan at the arcade yesterday." A huff of air sends spent eraser bits flying away from her paper. "I think I only have one more page to go, but I thought it would be nice if we could talk about our summers while I catch up. I was also going to try to have a new friend for Fumiko-chan, but you two already seem to know each other too."

A quick glance at Ai and a motion towards the frosted cupcake cookies is given before Niramo stares at the final boss of the summer. "That, and...well, I get really lonely just being at home by myself too."

<Pose Tracker> Fumiko Inoue [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

As soon as the cookies are offered, Fumiko strikes like a snake! A cookie vanishes from the plate and into her hand! "Thank you," she says, grinning. "This should help fortify my defenses against the dreaded...what was it? Boredom Empire? And the evils of math!" She giggles, taking a bite of the cookie... then taking a larger bite and chewing it slowly. "mm...Mm! This is good! Thank you!"

It means a lot...? Anything for a friend? Fumiko looks awkwardly happy at these statements. "Well... you are my best friend, and one of my only friends. It is only natural I'd do anything in my power to make sure we are both happy with that dark contract we must have signed to make that happen. I don't even know how-"

And then Ai walks in. Fumiko's eyes widen as she looks around. Nope, just Ai, no sister this time. She sighs... then blushes at being greeted by Ai then praised by Niramo. "H-hi, Ai. Good to see you again. Funny running into you here! Thankfully less literally this time. Although if that is what it takes to become friends, I think I need to crash into people and fall with others more often."

The task at hand makes fun times quickly become more somber. Fumiko glares at the homework; any harder and laser beams would come out of her eyes and obliterate it. "Summer homework. The bane of freedom. At least we can tackle it together."

<Pose Tracker> Ai Yamamoto [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"I was surprised myself as I didn't get overly lost!" Ai says in agreement. "I was over at Mio's place, and she told me the easy way to get here. So I was still in the same district, just closer to the water." She moves to take a seat near the other two girls, and peers curiously at the homework.

"Your forgot your homework," she comments softly with a soft laugh as she looks towards the ravenette. "Well that's a dumb thing to do. I'm not too bad with it, so I might be of some help. Lucky it isn't science. Or cooking!"

She reaches out to take one of the cookies with a bright smile. "They smell really nice!" she comments as she takes a small bite.

"Seems Niramo-chan is really popular!" she says in agreement to Fumiko. "Thankfully running into you a second time is a lot less painful than the first. Though I'd suggest talking with people instead of running into them. Though if you borrow Mio, she'd happily help you meet new people that way."

She leans in, considering the homework and then looks between the two other girls, and then points at one of the symbols with her free ahdn. "What's that one meant to mean?" she asks softly. "I-I've forgot."

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Niramo whistles softly in apprication of Fumiko's lightning fast grab and she gives a thumbs up as the brown-haired girl appricates her early morning efforts. "Beats store bought cookies any day, though it took a little preperations to make sure they were done this morning."

Fumiko gives a wonderful distraction away from the math drills by making her feel embarrased from just having a friend over. "Oooh, a dark contract now, is it? Crafted from forbidden forges in the fires of Despair Mountain, all the better to stand strong against the test of time."

"N-not intentionally! I did everything else early, even the essay on the French Revolution I had to do. This just kinda fell through the cracks..." Niramo stares down at the last page of the dreaded math, knowing how bad the excuse sounded to her, and she was the one telling it. "...though I wish I had a pet dog so I have an good way not to do it."

Niramo winces slightly as she imagines a head on collision between Ai and Fumiko, and with Mio in the mix... "Try to wear a helmet next time you do so, Fumiko-chan? I'm just glad I didn't bump into Ai-chan when we first met. No offense, but...you might just run me over and think it was a speed bump."

Sighing softly as she manages to work out a passable answer, she moves onto the next problem, one of those about halfway down and looked much more complicated than anything in the book. Niramo squints slightly just to make sure she was seeing it right. "It's not a Pi symbol...I think it's Cosine? No, it's Tangent!...uh...wait, no..." The more she secondguesses herself, the more Niramo confuses herself on what it means. Surely she could say that she overlooked it?

Niramo glances around for a chance to distract herself from the confusing mess of symbols and numbers and recalls something Ai mentioned earlier. "You have trouble with cooking, Ai-san? I know I mentioned it before, but I really wouldn't mind coaching you through how to make simple meals after school. As long as you know not to add chili powder to pancake batter, i'm sure you'll be fine!"

Niramo laughs softly at the mention of these bizarre cooking ingredients, but her eyes start to glaze over as if she's remembering some tragic accident she was witness to. Surely no one actually mixed the two...right?

<Pose Tracker> Fumiko Inoue [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"These sure do beat store bought! Though maybe they shouldn't." Fumiko smiles but looks thoughtful. "Have you... ever considered becoming a professional baker? Your shop would have a ten kilometer line!"

Fumiko chuckles darkly about the friendship pact of doom. "Of course, an ironclad contract of friendship that is protected by mysterious and monstrous forces, so that not even homework can destroy it! AAAHAHAHAHA!" Her evil cackles were accompanied by exaggerated evil gestures (but not by ominous thunder, surprisingly).

Fumiko shakes her head at Niramo's teasing. "Tell that to Mio. She would've found a way to make my helmet vanish or turn into cookies, somehow. I'm not entirely sure she's human." And then a short joke. "A speed bump? You aren't THAT short. You aren't a complete small fry that makes ants look like giants and could live in a mouse hole. Why would you say that?"

"Ugh... that guy." Fumiko seems to have a grudge specifically against that math symbol. "I don't like him. He steals from orphanages or something. He always attempts to eat my soul."

<Pose Tracker> Ai Yamamoto [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

With talk of dark contracts, Despair Mountain and other things, Ai just looks between Niramo and Fumiko with a confused look. However she doesn't comment on it, waiting until Niramo's idea of a dog eating her homework comes up. "You could get a dog, or you could join the Juuban swim team, get really good and then you have a reason for your entire bag to get wet after it accidentally fell into the shower," Ai comments with a laugh. "Though everything inside also has to get wet for it to work. Just... Uh, take your uniform out first when you do it." She laughs softly. "N-Not that I would do anything like that."

Ai pokes her tongue out at the comment about Niramo being a speed bump. She shakes her head and laughs. "No I wouldn't have done!" She trails off as Fumiko delivers the short joke, and starts to laugh. "And here I was going to make a joke about first year school students being taller than Niramouse."

Her attention shifts back towards the maths homework again. "Oh, Mio would find a way. If only she could put her abilities to good instead of evil." She takes a deep breath and then sighs. "Is that symbol the square root one?" She finally glances towards Niramo again and gives a little shrug. "I do. I can boil crab and prepare fish, but that's about it. Oh, and, uh, thanks, but I'll be busy once club starts again. I'm trying for swim team captain this year, so I won't have much time."

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Niramo ponders over the suggestion for several seconds before she shakes her head. "Uh, not really? I started teaching myself how to cook sort of a way to get closer to my mom, and I don't think i'm - that- good. She has a small resturant she runs but her catering service is what she's known for." Niramo reaches over for one of her cookies and takes a bite out of the faux cupcake. "I have a lot to learn, but baking is what i'm best at."

Niramo's giggles clash with Fumiko's diabolical laughter, unable to put any dark thoughts to twist it despite trying. The offer to join the swim team has the ravenette give a coy smile towards Ai. "I'm sure i'm not that good at swimming just to try joining the team like that, Ai-chan. But you do have several good points...though I hope not from experience, right?"

Fumiko takes the short joke she made and makes a mountain out of it! "Exactly! I'm nowhere near that short! And I thought I was the one who had a wild imagination." Niramo poses with her hands on her hips in playful indignation before she looks away from the duo with a mild blush. "...but I have been mistaken for an elementry school student a few times."

Not even Ai seems to be able to handle Mio? That's a thought more terrifying than any monster. "Any incident that has Mio-san involved is known as an act of Mio, and should be avoided as much as possible." And Ai thinks it looks like another symbol?!

With a sigh, Niramo scribbles down an answer that she thinks might be what the problem is asking for. Just accept it as a lost cause and move on! "And that's fine, but if we ever have any free time, my offer still stands. For you too, Fumiko-chan, if you ever want to try opening a bakery of your own."

Next to the guessed answer, Niramo quickly scribbles a jail with that mysterious symbol behind a set of bars. Maybe she might get partial credit?

<Pose Tracker> Fumiko Inoue [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"You may have a lot to learn," Fumiko says between bites, "but you are already really good. Imagine what you will be like once you DO learn all that baking knowledge and practice all those advanced baking skills!" She looks at the plate of cookies, and smiles. "You know, those don't just taste good, they're really cute." She takes another 'cupcake'. "They're adorable!"

At first, Fumiko is happy with Niramo's reaction, until she sees actual embarrassment? "I... find that hard to believe that you were mistaken for an elementary student. At least not by anyone with more than half a brain. Sure you're a little short, but... um..." She fumbles around looking for the right words, but then surrenders to her failure. "Uh... you know. Whatever. Anyways..."

Anyways... math. And despair. And distraction from those in the form of an offer. "I'd love to learn how to bake from you Niramo... and with you, Ai. That sounds like a lot of fun! And... gives me an excuse to hang out with you, and some structure for me to 'do the friendship thing' without getting too lost."

"And I didn't know you were an amazing crimefighter, Niramo! Are you a superhero?" A pause. "You caught the worst criminal ever, I mean," Fumiko adds, pointing to Niramo's doodle.

<Pose Tracker> Ai Yamamoto [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Ai just kind of stares blankly at the question asked about self experience and shakes her head. "N -no, of-Of course not! Well, okay, that's what I first did when I first joined the swim team. I was close to being a delinquent after my first school shut down." She glances away when she admits that.

She then giggles at Niramo's blush, and grins. "Awww. You're adorable, Niramo-chan. I agree with Fumiko-chan. I don't know how they'd mistake you for an elementry school student. Unless you've worn your old uniform."

"And Mio isn't that bad. Usually," she admits as she finally gets around to her cookie. "And sure, let's do that sometime when we have time! It'd be fun! I promise not to mistake the curry powder for flour, too!"