2021-05-22 - ...And Into the Fire: Take 1

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Title: ...And Into the Fire: Take 1

Fumiko's nerves have been getting the better of her as she gathers her courage to ask the Question, and Niramo invites her friend over to help her relax. In the end, miscommunication changes the course of what would have been a very exciting day.


Fumiko Inoue, Niramo Umokeshi


Shitmachi Low City - Umokeshi Residence

OOC - IC Date:

2021-5-22 - 2015-11-26

.**************************** 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.

The pale sunlight streaking over the horizon gives the Tokyo skyline a ruby tint to the buildings directly in line to receive the last rays of the day. Many businesses that happen to be in the deep shade has their exterior neon lights turning on, and several retails stores were clearly promoting Christmas bargains now that the season of giving was upon the consumers. The late autumn rays seem to be bringing a feeling of peace and calm, and there isn't a single cloud in the sky to keep this light at bay.

Despite all of this, Niramo is feeling a little nervous. Not that she really had any reason to be nervous! Fumiko had asked earlier that day if she could hang out for a few hours and watch some shows with her after school, which is normal enough. What was a little odd about it was that the brunette seemed hesitant, stuttering a few times while trying to play it all off while asking. Maybe it's just her overthinking things, but something has to be bothering her friend and, by proxy, was bothering Niramo.

So Niramo had put that nervous energy into making some quick snacks once the two of them had come inside the Umokeshi home. Hot chocolate with actual hot milk instead of water, double chocolate chip cookies, thick fudge brownies and the last of Niramo's holloween candy stash are the results of this effort! Good food always helps to relax people and...well, it was an excuse to have plenty of sugar.

The ending credits for Magical Detective Loveline is currently playing on the large television screen on the wall in the living room, and Niramo reaches over across the small coffee table for another cookie to snack on. "I know Detective Loveline isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea, but it's always been one of my favorite. Hopefully you liked it, Fumiko-chan!"

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

Today was the day. Fumiko would finally... would... could she really confront her best friend? Could she really ask such a stupid question?

/Hey, bestie, we've been having lots of fun but are you secretly a magical girl? Because I am! We can be double best friends with our secret identities!/

Yeah, no, she'd definitely have to work on how to ask it. But first, she needed to visit.

Ever since arriving at Niramo's house, Fumiko had been nervous. Face tinted red, hard to keep eye contact, shuffling her feet... something was weighing on her mind. But the delicious food - a chocolate feast! - helped her stay distracted from what was bothering her. She greedily chowed down, practically inhaling the food. This was a lot messier than normal, possibly even staining her school uniform that she wore over.

At first, the show did not help much in distracting Fumiko. Of course, it was a show about a magical girl. And it was very childish. But... it raises a question, one that Fumiko would rather ask than the one she's been waiting for the right moment to.

"Do you think she's real?"

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

Niramo may not be the best at reading people, but she doesn't have to be to see Fumiko only seems to be more nervous now and not less! Maybe all the sweet snacks weren't good for the nerves? Being red in the face can easily be due to the cold tempatures outside, but not looking her in the eye and shuffling her feet? Having a detective for a father does have its' benefits like knowing some social signs. What Fumiko was showing was that she was either very guilty about something...or she's scared.

But...scared of Niramo? That doesn't make any sense.

A few napkins were pushed across the table absently when Niramo turns to look at her friend and seeing how messy she's been. Blinking at the odd question, Niramo seems to think about it for a moment before shaking her head. "As much as I would love it, I don't think so. Lovelace is a really smart girl, but I don't think she's...real, you know? She manages to solves the mysteries really quickly and bring evildoers to justice, but real life can be really convoluted!"

Niramo reaches over to grab another cookie and slides it out of sight under the table instead of nibbling on it, which might be a little odd. "Besides, Detective Lovelace might have a lot of trouble fighting compared to a lot of the real life magical girls out there. Watson can only help her out so much, after all!"

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

Until the napkins are offered, Fumiko didn't even seem to realize there was any messiness going on, let alone caused by her. She glances at the napkins, then realizes with obvious embarrassment. "Thank you..." she mutters, cleaning herself up a bit. She hits the breaks lightly on her snacking, eating much more slowly... and deliberately. She's really focusing on the food.

Detective Lovelace is a bit far-fetched, but it is a good, /distracting/ conversation. "I don't know..." Fumiko says slowly. "There was the Sailor V game, and those knockoff toys... maybe this is similar? And maybe there's more than one type of magical girl out there? Like some are superheroes, others are detectives, some just want to make others happy... that last thought is nice... just, making others happy." She shakes her head and snaps out of whatever it was she started to go into. "Anyways... your thoughts? Please?" The last please seemed like it contained hidden desperation.

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

Niramo giggles softly as Fumiko starts to clean up the spots on her and is glad she didn't bring too much attention to it. Having anyone enjoying her snacks is always enough to bring a smile to her face, and it does ease the uneasy feeling Niramo has in her gut from this visit over. Hopefully it is helping indirectly with whatever problems Fumiko has going on.

Fumiko actually brings up some good points, and ones that Niramo never really thought about before. Tokyo has quite its' share of magical defenders, but there has to be more than just fighters filled with courage to win the day. "Oh! Yeah, like that, i'm sure of it! Not everyone is talented at everything and they specialize in all sorts of fields. Makes you wonder if there's magical girls that put out massive fires or those that make it their mission to bring as much joy as possible to the world via parties."

A somewhat distant memory of a battle trying to feed an oni with magical cooking comes to mind. "I think it's because their fights are so public that the magical girls who do fight get the most attention. You don't exactly hear the news talking about someone using magic to paint a masterpiece in a minute, right?"

Even as Niramo says this, she can't help but notice that Fumiko seems to be searching for something with her questions. "I...don't want to pry, but is everything okay, Fumiko-chan? You been acting strange all day. What's eating at you like you eating at my brownies?" Trying to skirt the issue doesn't seem like the best idea, so hopefully a small joke can help set the brunette at ease.

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

Fumiko considers and takes in all of what Niramo is saying. Magical firefighters? Magical party makers? Magical painters? "I think... I think that's all amazing-sounding. I really really hope those are all real. All the flashy explosive fights get everyone's attention, but there's got to be more to magic than turning love and friendship into weapons or shooting lasers made of dreams. More to magic than fighting. I-" She then clams up, looking away again, then slowly turns back. "Sorry... rambling about things I have no idea about."

Why does Niramo have to be so observant? Why does she have to ask about what's going on? Why does she have to... be a good friend? Not her fault, is it? Fumiko swallows her panic and steels herself to ask the most difficult question she has ever asked.

She has trouble getting it out, though.

"Um... thank you for caring... and noticing when I'm not doing well... it means a lot to me and-" She clears her throat, blushing even deeper, looking through Niramo's head somewhere below her eyes. "You are my best friend, you know that? And... I'm going to ask you a... a difficult... question. Whatever you answer, we'll still be friends... even if you say 'no' to the question. I... you... do you... are you...?"

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

Fumiko has been giving the world of magical girls a lot of serious thought, it seems! Things that she have been taking for granted, but very good points. "It would be contradictory if that all it was. Um...i'm not really an expert on this kind of thing, but there has to be people who support, aid and assist the fighters to they can do what they do, right? Plus, a lot of those magical girls do seem like they're really good friends as well. You can't have beams of friendship if it's not there, right?"

This conversation is starting to give Niramo wierd deja vu vibes, similar to another conversation to she had when she was wearing an eyemask.

But those vibes quickly disappear as Fumiko's face turns a deeper red. "I'm just worried about you and want to make sure you're okay, friends do that sort of thing!" Niramo gains a light blush of her own upon being called Fumiko's best friend, but a part of her is noticing how Fumiko is acting. She's been blushing a lot today, stuttering over her word and she's trying to work up her courage...wait a minute. Niramo seen all these signs before in anime and novels!

Blushing heavily at the implications that her mind is bringing up, Niramo watches Fumiko's eyes carefully. The way she's trailing off and how 'no' is a fine answer to give...it has to be!

"Are...are you asking me out?!"

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

"Magical girls do seem to have a thing about friendship!" Fumiko gives a half-genuine smile. "So... doing things other than violence, like helping others, seems logical. And I don't think the friendship thing is fake. Just look a-...at the sailors..." She finishes lamely.

Fumiko builds up towards asking the question. She's getting there. She's almost there. Just a little more...

Niramo seems to get the hint. /Thank goodness!/ Fumiko says internally. /She's going to figure out the question before I ask it!/ And she did... or at least figured out A question... definitely not the one Fumiko was even in the same universe of thinking. "Ye-" she responds, before the words Niramo asked caught up to her. A DATE!? Red alert! Abort, about!" Y...n...wha... ahaha..."

Fumiko becomes a chameleon, going between pale and bright red. At first, she is as still as a statue, unable to move, then twitch after twitch builds up until she is shaking, walking backwards. "I mean, we are good friends and I think yo- I mean I was just trying to see if- um... right the realquestionis...is...um.... ARE YOU GOING TO LET ME HAVE THAT LAST BROWNIE!?" That clearly wasn't the question she was going to ask, but with her hiding behind a chair, it might be the closest she's going to get.

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

The trail of clues that Niramo's mind had followed had led her to an interesting question, one that just blurted out on it's own before she could really process it herself. Loving another girl like...like...like that was not the norm! 'But then again, Kasagami and Setsuna seem to be really, really clo-aaaaah! Bad thoughts, bad thoughts!'

The Question that was spoken aloud seems to be the same that Fumiko was hoping...for a few seconds. Then Fumiko's stutters become wildly worse, with the poor girl somehow pulling off an impression of a vampire and an open watermelon at the same time. Niramo is too shocked to even think that this sort of thing is even happening to her that she's frozen in place, wide eyes just watching Fumiko as she backs up and hides behind a love seat like it's a shield. And...was she not denying it?!

Thankfully for her own nerves, Fumiko blurts out her own question that dispells the shock that was feezing Niramo solid, and she falls backwards onto the ground. Still lying on the ground, the stunned ravenette speaks up in a higher voice than normal. "I-uh...y-yeah! Of course! Go right on ahead, t-there's more where that came from! In fact, i'll make more real quick!"

Scrambling to her feet and with a face feeling hot enough to cook eggs on in seconds, Niramo actually runs into the kitchen to get started on the second batch of brownies. "I-i'll make these with white chocolate in them too!" With her body moving on autopilot, Niramo could only scream the same question repeatedly in her head:


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

The magic of brownies saves everything! While Fumiko is still peeking out nervously from behind a love seat, and was still a deeply red, she wasn't pale any more, and was shaking about half as much. "T-thanks! That means a lot to me, you mean a lot to me and are special - as a friend! As a friend! Your brownie sacrifice will be remembered forever by your dear close normal friend, hahaha...." She slinks out shyly back to the table and gingerly grabs the last brownie. "White chocolate ones too? Y-you don't have to! You have done more than enough and... yeah... I'm glad I asked the exact question I wanted to that there can be no doubt about!" She then plants her head on the table, groaning with self-annoyance.