2020-07-28 - I Want To Share! A Promise Upheld And A Burden Lessened

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Title: I Want To Share! A Promise Upheld And A Burden Lessened

Mikoto calls on Yumi to watch the stars with her, and shares her thoughts with someone who promised to listen. There are still questions, but Mikoto finds answers, looking back, too.


Mikoto Minagi, Yumi Ohzora


Rainbow Bridge

OOC - IC Date:

2020-07-28 - 2015-09-16

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> She Wants Revenge - Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPN_wcYVOiU

It's a calm night in September.

She hasn't forgotten - could never forget. Gold light pierced the sky, and something much more important. It's the day, in the end, that everything went wrong.

Well. That's the conclusion if you ask Mikoto Minagi, in any case.

She's asking. She's thinking.

History is made of a hundred facets; every shining shard which managed to prevail. That's what Midori always said. (Midori might even have said it that fancifully; Ohtori's history teacher has always had a flair for the dramatic, as far as Mikoto can tell.)

They were the winners.

It just took a year of pain and death, despair and suffering, to get Mikoto to a point where she felt like she'd won - and not just won precious time. She was so afraid of losing Mai again. (She was so afraid.) But when she came to the world without snarling deadly warning, she found - the world could be such a kind place.

And the people who were strong enough to offer her that kindness even as she threatened them...

A year is a long time.

It's enough time to get embroiled in the fate of Tokyo - with a viciousness and brutality unknown to most of those girls. It's undeniable that her life before SEARSS invaded involved helping anyone far, far less... unless their name was Mai Tokiha.

Then Mai - went away, and Mikoto discovered she had so many friends. And maybe the way Mikoto acted is the only way someone like her could have expressed her concern and affection. Actions Mai mollified, before Mikoto tried to keep her out of it... actions no one knew the depths of, least of all her.

For Mikoto, it all came down to that one day. It all came down to that one sacrifice.

Maybe it took this second miracle - for her to really capture the first.

They WON. Mai is ALIVE.

They won, and Mai is alive, and that's why Mikoto doesn't want to be melancholy as September leans into its second half.

But it's still on her mind. Maybe that's okay.


It's a hot night in September.

By the middle of the month, the humidity really should have broken - but tonight, summer simply refuses to let go. Mikoto, still in her school uniform, doesn't find herself chilly in the night air.

Most of Tokyo can't find her, either, even though she's right out in the open. She lies back against the steel lattice atop a great bridge, and the only hint to those below that someone is up there is a single leg dangling from the girder. Miroku's case is her pillow, the two of them lodged in the struts.

"They were right, weren't they?" Mikoto asks, chin tilting up and eyes glancing back, even though she's alone. (Mikoto is never alone.) "The stars are so pretty."

She reaches up and gestures - a little aside of the moon. She feels it is marvellous, but in the quiet of the night she knows those aren't just her feelings.

"From down here..."

Mikoto hasn't always had the best opinion of space - but maybe there's something in the passion of Juuban's down to earth science club. There are terrible things in space - and terrible things can happen in space - but perhaps it's not all bad. A jet soars by overhead, and thanks to Honoka's lectures she realises it's not a star, even though those lights are coloured, too. She waves, and wonders if anyone can see her, from all the way up there. Everything looks so different... all the way up there.

Her purse is resting on her chest, in her current configuration; it's a long way down if she drops something. All a sudden Mikoto shifts to reach for it, digging out a phone in a sturdy yellow case. The dents and scratches suggest it has survived its share of falls, if perhaps not from this height. Whoever gave this to Mikoto clearly thought ahead about Mikoto's technological hazards.

That would also be the first number entered into her address book: Yumi Ohzora.

> Hey!!!!

(Mikoto discovered where the punctuation was hiding on her phone's keypad. All her messages look like that now.)

> I want to ride a bromm!!
> Beoom!
> Broom!!!!!
> Can we ????

... an interest in the sky is just one reason why Mikoto might bother Yumi on a Wednesday night, of course.

She's thinking a lot up here, but she knows that when people think a lot about serious things on their own, they get sad.

And Mikoto has always known the cure for that, even if she shunned it for a while.

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

It's a hot night in September, and Yumi can appreciate it.

Yumi Ohzora pulls her phone, looking down into it amiably as she brings up her messages, and--ah! There. Mikoto has found the punctuation again.

Yumi definitely thought about Mikoto's technological hazards.

> Sure. You can ride with me. Where do you want to meet up?

Yumi's phone typing is the deft work of an artist! ........Or maybe just someone who spends a lot of time on her phone and generally on sedentary type activities, one or the other. Whichever.

Bt Yumi could ask a lot of questions. She might, later. No--she will.

Without thinking in the same way of her own year, Yumi Ohzora happens to arrive in short order here; way up atop the bridge she floats, floats, floats up into view, casually riding her broom in ordinary enough clothes, jeans and a green tanktop and a pink longer-sleeved shirt for the wind, walking shoes. And she smiles up at her friend.

Her broom, familiar, is almost a living thing, green ivy wnding about the bristles and shot through, more like it's a little moving tree than just a stick taken from one. And she floats up to where Mikoto is and hovers over the steel.

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

> Im up high!!!!

Well, that's the first response Mikoto cheerfully gives, anyway. She'll eventually narrow that down to the bridge she's conquered.


Mikoto sits cross-legged atop the highest apex of the bridge by the time Yumi appears, sword-case beside her. There are lights down there and there's light up here, spreading from her eyes to her cheeks as they make way for her smile. That's a smile which opens her whole face. Up she hops, utterly precariously, spinning on a heel as she slings her sword-case onto her shoulder. Here her name is delight: "Yumiii!"

Thankfully she doesn't wobble, as she plants her heel after her three-sixty rotation. (Mikoto is very good at spinning.) And then - she springs up to the broom--!!

Well, that might not be as precarious as it sounds. Yumi's known Mikoto for a while, and there's a particular look in Mikoto's eyes when she cants her head just so and zeroes in on something she's about to jump on.

And so she settles in behind Yumi, chipper. "Yumi! Yumi, stars are pretty!" Is that really as stunning a revelation as Mikoto makes it sound..? "Let's watch them, Yumi!"


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


When Yumi arrives she spots Mikoto's smile and returns it. "Mikoto-chan," Yumi greets back. She even waves, one hand off her broom. Her glasses somehow stay on in the night air and wind of flying. But Mikoto springs...!

Yep, Yumi's known Mikoto for a while, and she happens to touch the spot on the broom where tere's space for Mikoto and mutter a few words--

The sticking incantation, naturally. Of course she has one.

"They are!" Yumi laughs. "So I start to see your plan..."

Yumi, once Mikoto is securely on the broom, starts to take off from the bridge directly, a little further out and up. "That works for me. Do you have a particular spot in mind, or should I find us one?"

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

Luckily, Yumi is prepared for Mikoto, whether that's by getting her a sturdy case for her phone or being ready with a sticking incantation so Mikoto doesn't accidentally slide right off the broom into the traffic below.

(No one looks up, obviously. Everyone wants to get home after a long day of work, and there's nothing interesting happening in the sky. This is deeply convenient for girls who make interesting things happen in the sky.)

"Yup!" Mikoto chirps, beaming, as Yumi recognises the Grand Strategy of Mikoto Minagi. She still latches on around the taller girl's waist, even if the broom won't let her fall off, because - well, she's friends with people like Natsuki and Takeo, Mikoto is at least passingly aware of vehicle passenger safety.

... not aware enough to have brought a helmet, though. It's fine! She's naturally thick-headed!

"I didn't do this much," Mikoto says and says more in her tense, looking up. "So I don't know good spots. But I bet Yumi knows! You fly everywhere!" Is that how that works? Flying at night involves knowing the stars..?

Oh, there's actual logic to that statement - but Mikoto doesn't know the first thing about star navigation, so it's entirely on accident.

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

Mikoto could probably stay on fine, but Yumi sees no reason to chance it. Chancing it is a good way to lose your hat, for one thing. It's important to remember the hat.

But she's also used to people not looking up, and ths far who'd believe their eyes anyway? Nah. Yumi waits until Mikoto's settled--about her waist is fine, and it's not like that's a difficult order given how thin and lanky she is--and there... "Yes," Yumi says, "I think there's some spots over that way that have less light pollution, so we can see a little better." Not that the Rainbow Bridge is the worst of places to check out stars. But it can get pretty bright....

"Let's go!" Yumi brings her broom about and zooms across the upper reaches of the bridge.

She goes a little higher than she has to, just for fun, on the way to a particular building-top.

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

Any plan which involves losing Yumi's hat is a bad plan. It's a nice hat.

"Light, pollution..?" Mikoto hesitates a moment on the word, as she looks down at the lights of the Rainbow Bridge, and then up to the sky. "... oh!" Right, that's the stuff that makes the stars harder to see because there's so much light in Tokyo. Mikoto always just figured she was looking at a different bit of sky than she was in the mountains, but apparently it's just the light making it harder to see.

Mikoto is always learning new things like that!

"Yeah..!" It's a laughing skite, as Mikoto and Yumi kite over the bridge and away from its glittering lights. Zoom!!

To that building, and Mikoto explains, after the prerequisite time spent Enjoying Zooming Through The Air: "I didn't like space for a long time," which might explain why it was a revelation, "but, maybe it's not all bad. They're pretty stars!"

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

Yumi is fond of that hat. And it's a good hat.

She's ready to explain, but Mikoto gets it--and Yumi doesn't think she'd go 'oh!' if she didn't, doesn't tend to find Mikoto to do that kind of ego-coverage over something like that. "Yeah," she says, like she's happy to be understood.

Zooom! Yumi does not do any spins, but she goes up, and down, and then atop a big business type building she brings them down to a rooftop unlit, a concrete structure nearby containing a door into the building proper, and otherwise just big air conditioning machines (Maybe?) and empty space. There is a little garden at the other edge. "...Yeah?" Yumi asks. "What's up with space?" Yumi wonders. "I mean, you and space. I kind of spent a lot of time getting acquainted with the stars..."

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

Mikoto doesn't tend to be ashamed of not knowing things, unless someone else decides to make a whole procession of it. Sure, she can get resentful and embarrassed of not being the same as her peers, but it's not because she's caught out unawares; it's because of how the people around her react to that.

Yumi doesn't make fun of Mikoto for not knowing things, so Mikoto doesn't have to feel bad about not knowing things. It's very simple!

Also simple: the fact that flying is fun and exciting. Up and down and all around and finally down to a rooftop, and Mikoto, who is not a cat but who has a holiday home in that area, likes these high places most of all. Off the broom she hops, once the sticking incantation allows for a safe escape.

"Bad things happened in space," Mikoto says, and maybe that seems like a self-evident statement, given their shared experiences...

But she's looking up at the sky, and there's a difference, too, between a Mikoto who has nothing to say and a Mikoto who is trying to figure out how to say it.

"There was... um..." A moment's longer pause as she fumbles over the word and finds herself explaining around it, "a Child can be lots of things. Kagutsuchi's dragon, Cassandra was a swan... Artemis was a, a satellite." She gestures a little, as she hitches on the word, but she gets there. "It was very big and it lived in space, so no one could get to it. Um... we got to it eventually. 'Cause Kagutsuchi's very strong! But... but we had to get down again, and..."

She sighs, shaking her head. "Mai made sure we did, but Mai didn't."

It's a delicate subject - the way Mai wasn't there when they landed in that crop circle. It's still hard to confront the fact that Mai must have died. Sometimes she does. This time she doesn't.

"Mai came back, but ever since then I didn't like space. It was scary how Artemis could attack and we couldn't do anything. And it was scary how I had to rely on everyone not to turn me in, 'cause I wasn't too good at trusting people back then. I guess I wouldn't have trusted Yumi, neither, 'cause I didn't know you back then..." Mikoto admits this with a shade of bashfulness, scratching at her cheek.

"But I got so stuck thinking, it was bad, and bad stuff could happen, I couldn't just... be happy Mai came back. I tried to make sure bad things wouldn't happen again... that was no good." Her shoulders heft and fall in a sigh, as she looks from the sky to Yumi, and she smiles. "But, there's good stuff out there, too. The stars were always pretty. People can look for UFOs and not worry about whether bad stuff will happen... and figure out when the colours mean there's planes instead. Right..?"

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

Of course Yumi doesn't do that. That's a terrible way to treat a friend. ...Or even a stranger, for that matter. Even if they weren't friends!

It's just as easy to hop off the broom as it was to hop on, the magic not serving to keep someone there who isn't planning to be there. Yumi doesn't hop off until she lowers the broom enough that she can basically just stand up from her seated position, and when she does she brings up the broom to her hand and looks up, up.

She notices Mikoto's thinking, but doesn't press her. She waits.

So... There's the description. "The satellite... The bridge, and everything." Yumi remembers it, after all. She was an Infinity student back then, too. "But..."

Mai made sure they did, but she didn't make it.

"That's okay. It was a while ago," she says as regards herself. But...

Yumi looks back to Mikoto, too, steps forward, and gives her a hug. "I'm sorry," Yumi says. "That must've been really hard..."

All of it, really.

"..Bad things come from places good things come from, too, a lot of the time. That's just how it is, I guess. But you're right!" She pulls back, and smiles at Mikoto. "There's good things, too, like that. And flying! There's all kinds of amazing things up there..."

"That's a good reason not to, but I'm glad you're giving it a chance now. I really like it, myself. There's something nice about seeing everyone from up there, seeing the city... being up there. It's hard to explain."

"...But..." She nods, after a moment. "I mean it--that must've been especially hard, with Tokiha-san. Even if she came back... Losing someone you care about..."

Well, she knows.

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

Hugs are nice, and Mikoto's weight thonks into Yumi as she sinks in against her. Gently! Sure, she's known to spring on Eri or Mai's backs in the middle of Ohtori's halls, but she's a little more mindful of bowling Yumi over. "Yeah," she agrees, the mora a little muffled by a pink overshirt.

But when she straightens back up, she smiles, too. Her braids bounce with her nod, an affirmative hum as Yumi talks about all those amazing things.

"... it was very hard," says Mikoto, with Mikoto's typical verbal understatement. "I didn't really get it back then... but I didn't, um, deal with it too good. I was very sad. I didn't want to feel that way again..."

She waves a hand, shakes her head, leaves the year implied. "But we won," she says, instead. "The scariest girl is gone now. And Alyssa is dead." And? "I guess SEARRS still exist, 'cause Natsuki still disappears to go looking, but they can't do nothing worse than that. There's a lot I don't know..." She looks up, to the sky. "... but it's not space's fault. Being worried about bad things happening all the time... it just meant I couldn't look up." Not unlike the salarymen, rushing home at the end of their overtime.

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

They are! And Yumi appreciates that mindfulness; she remains thin and easily bruised, after all. Nevertheless her bony arms have enough pressure to demonstrate her softer feelings for her friend.

Typical understatement is right, of course. It's how Mikoto talks--truthfully Yumi kinda likes understatement anyway, somehow. Maybe it's charming. But she doesn't think much on that, because instead--

"I wouldn't have, either," she says sympathetically. "It's hard to 'get' anything when you feel like that."

Everything gone by--they won. The scariest girl is gone, Alyssa is dead... SEARRS. "yeah, I guess they must, huh?" She thinks... and looks up to the sky, too.

"...Yeah," she says, and thinks of all the time Mikoto spent not being able to look up. "...When you can't look up... everything feels a lot tighter, a lot smaller, too. I think, anyway. The sky is sort of what reminds us that we have space to go."

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

"Yeah," Mikoto agrees, with a puff of air. "... at least I got to be sad. Eri and Takeo and Natsuki were all sad with me... especially Eri. She helped me lots back then... even though she was very sad too." She couldn't appreciate just how meaningful that was, when she didn't have the context. The way Eri let her mourn, instead of having to keep moving, keep fighting... it meant that even when she retreated to the familiarity of fighting through it, she didn't have to run away from her feelings at the end of the day, the full moon rising.

She could cry. She could tell someone she was sad. She could hear their sadness, too.

Maybe that's why she remembered that wound when it came time to be afraid of Eri dying, Mikoto realises.

"But I was still scared for a long time. I felt threatened by lots of things... I guess that sounds weird, 'cause I can be scary too, but there's stuff I can't fight. Like a beam of light which burns all the trees down... I guess I started reacting to everything like it was a threat. I expected bad things to happen... I think I made a lot of bad things happen 'cause of that."

She actually laughs, there, more a barking thing than anything, air expelling with force. "I wish I hadn't been so scared. If I'd just relaxed, and been happy Mai was back, I could've looked up and seen all the stars. It took me a whole year... it was not a very good year." Her nose wrinkles, lips thinning for a moment, before the scrunched expression falls back to a smile. "But I guess I shouldn't be hard on myself. It was all pretty complicated... me, too. The stars don't go away, right? They're really old, and really far away, so... it's okay if it took a while. They're still there!"

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

"...Yeah," Yumi says. "it's important to be able to be sad." Yumi believes that, too--she can see the difference it made, in just the way mIkoto can and does talk about it, even if she doesn't know all of it. There's no way she could know all of it, after all.

But she knows some.

"It's not weird to me," Yumi says. "I'm used to the idea that scary things can be scared, too." For... a lot of reasons. Animals among them--Yumi didn't always have the best history with them, after all. But it's just part of knowing about the hidden things of the world, too.

"...It's kind of like that, I think, a lot of the time--you sort of find what you're looking for, you know? It's hard for me to remember that sometimes."

A laugh from Mikoto--and a smile from Yumi. "Yeah, that would've ben nice, huh? Made things easier... But that's right! You shouldn't be too hard on yourself." Yumi reaches out to Mikoto. "You're complicated, too!"

"...And... yeah. Not for a really, really, really long time. And even if one does, the others are still there too. The sky's right up there, waiting until you can look at it."

"Patient..." The sky is something special for Yumi, maybe.

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

Being able to talk about what's bothering her --

Well, it's not exactly a celebrated family tradition in the Minagi clan, but maybe it should be, because the difference for Mikoto between being able to share her feelings and having to bottle them up is the difference between night and day.

"What you're looking for..." Mikoto echoes, looking up at the sky. "Yeah," she affirms, after a moment. Someone looking for trouble will find trouble; someone looking for friends will find friends. Back then, Mikoto managed to find trouble even amongst people who were trying to be her friends!

Yumi doesn't have to hear about all those misadventures, though, because Yumi knows firsthand just how easily Mikoto can bite a reaching hand. (She still feels bad about that, the way she feels bad about everything she did under her Lord Brother's will; but it's a distant sort of regret, because she knows just how much pressure she was under to be cruel.)

Instead, she'll try being kinder to herself, too.

And so Yumi reaches out, and Mikoto reaches back, and their hands meet and their hands can meet and it's not just their hands, not really. "It's not just me!" Mikoto chirps, with more cheer. "Everyone is!" Complicated, that is.

Even Miyu - aforementioned scariest girl - had someone she rushed out of space to try and save.

Mikoto can't quite bring herself to feel sad about Alyssa; there is not enough room in her vast heart for someone who killed Mai, once and once again. But there was someone who loved Alyssa, even so. She can at least acknowledge that much.

"Patient," Mikoto repeats, as she squeezes Yumi's hand and looks up to the sky.

"... I wonder what it's waiting for..?"