2021-09-19 - Secret Party

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Title: Secret Party

Georgia and Mikoto host a very musical Secret Santa party, and good things happen to a cat. (This is not a metaphor.)


Mikoto Minagi, Georgia Jenks, Ye-jin Song, Niramo Umokeshi, Fumiko Inoue, Shizuru Fujino, Fuu Hououji, Chitose Shiratori, Eri Shimanouchi


Ohtori Academy - Classrooms

OOC - IC Date:

2021-09-19 - 2015-12-06

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

It's now December, and that means...

'Let's make a big party, Georgia! ... how'd you make a big party, anyway?'

That's right. Georgia and Mikoto have been working on an evil scheme this whole time. (It's not really an evil scheme if you're not evil any more, Mikoto...) Luckily, Mikoto has plenty of friends in the Student Council -- there's the Disciplinary Yukino Kikukawa, Kasagami Araki as the Secretary, and, of course, the Vice-President herself, Ye-jin Song, who Mikoto thinks is a great friend. With contacts like that, it's no wonder Mikoto and Georgia managed to score a location for their party -- one of the Ohtori classrooms, unused at this hour of the afternoon.

Considering all the musical talent -- and technological talent, courtesy one Fuu Hououji -- it's only natural that this party's entertainment would hit a high note. That is, of course, the point of the TV that's been set up with a gaming system running Band Together, a video game all about pretending to be part of a band. There are even instrument peripherals! Facsimiles of drumkit and guitar and microphone... even a triangle, with various button regions to hit with the stick.

This is, of course, a Secret Santa party, and everyone who was invited -- and you were (mostly) all invited, whether by friendship with Georgia or Mikoto, or the people who helped them set this all up -- was delivered a secret name to retrieve a secret gift for. What does this mean for any gatecrashers..? Well, there is a well-stocked snack table on the opposite side of the videogame set up; maybe the real gift is the gift of snacks.

(There are a lot of other gifts, though.)

And sometimes the gifts are people. Everything's just getting started, so Mikoto doesn't expect everyone to be here yet -- some of the people she's invited have things to do before they can get here! -- but she is filled with boundless excitement regardless. "Georgia, Georgia!" Mikoto bounces up beside her, holding up a delicious cooked chestnut. She's dressed in festive green and white, having apparently forgone wearing too much red or black -- the reasons why might be more obvious to people who know what's in the black case leaning on the wall. Her braids are particularly colourful, thanks to the beads clipped onto them -- Nori's gift, from a party prior. "We got good snacks, Georgia!"

She proceeds to eat the chestnut, only to blink, and add: "Oh, we gotta wait for everyone..." The 'oops' is silent. That's fine, though. There are also cupcakes and crepes and all manner of other party snacky foods.

And everyone got directions texted to them, so they won't get lost in Ohtori! Hopefully.

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Yep! It's finally here! Party time! Georgia is quite pleased with how well they managed to pull everything off. She's not much of a party planner, but thanks to Mikoto's connections they had ample help in setting everything up. Stood there with her hands on her hips, she takes a deep breath, puffing her chest out.

"This... is pretty awesome!" She exclaims, letting her breath go at that moment, grinning ear to ear as usual. She's certainly in a festive mood! Especially since she has on a Christmas sweater!

...A very ugly Christmas sweater. It's gaudy and loud, the central motif of it being an actual blinking red lightbulb that is supposed to be the nose of none other than Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer himself, who is stitched into the front part of the garment. She'd told Mikoto that wearing ugly Christmas sweaters was an American tradition, and left it at that.

When Mikoto came bounding up to her and mentioned the quality of their snacks while showing off a very tasty looking roasted chestnut, which made her laugh and nod in agreement. "Yeah! Everyone should leave with full bellies, huh?" And then she laughs again when Mikoto eats the chestnut and realizes that maybe waiting for everyone else first would be best. "Hey, one little chestnut won't hurt anything. Just don't eat the whole batch!" She winked and patted her friend on the shoulder heartily.

"Alright! Everyone should be showing up soon! I hope everyone likes their gift!" She thought about the gift she'd bought for the person she'd been designated to be the Secret Santa of, clenching her fist and pumping it with glee. Oh yeah. This was gonna be epic.

<Pose Tracker> Ye-jin Song [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Ye-jin has decided to show up to the party, being that she allowed it in the first place. Maybe her presence was one of her conditions, to make sure things were appropriately festive. Accordingly she's dressed for the occasion, though it's not unusual to see her in red on most any day. Today she's chosen a loose crimson dress with poofy white frills that invoke clouds of snow, along with a big white scarf and festive green leggings. It's supposed to be a Christmas party, so she has to get the colors right.

She bears with her a small, thin and envelope shaped box with a big gold ribbon attached to it. Ohtori's Vice-President leaves it at one of the tables near the entrance for later retrieval, turning to those already assembled and giving a jazz-hands greeting of: "Hiii~"

She doesn't spend too long waiting before she fetches a crepe soon after, something to nibble on as she comments: "Is this it?" She asks, adding: "Next time you should ask for a bigger budge. We could have gotten you at least another TV." It doesn't feel right if an Ohtori party isn't excessively wasteful.

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

A plate of frosted sugar cookies, each shaped and colored to look like a decorated evergreen tree, is gently placed on an already overloaded snack table. There was even sprinkles on the cookies to look like lights! Sighing softly in relief, Niramo takes a step back to take it all in...well, after taking one of her own made cookies away for herself.

Niramo made sure to dress properly for the Christmas party! A sweater with wrapped presents going all around, a crimson knee-length skirt with black tights and a beige scarf around the neck. There's even a green and red glittery ribbon keeping Niramo's ponytail in place, to finish the look off.

The ravenette checks inside her bookbag to make sure her Secret Santa gift is still there, being the fifth time she's checked in the short time she arrived. It took a bit of research into her Secret Santa but Niramo has a good feeling that she picked out the right gift for tonight.

"I brought some extra snacks just in case. I hope that's okay, Mikoto-san!" Maybe she should have texted the hosts if bringing extra food was okay first, but...better safe than sorry. "Thank you again for inviting me here, you two."

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

Ohtori. Once again, Fumiko finds herself in those hallowed halls... but this time they are decked. The Christmas spirit was here, rather than the spirit of balls, or dodge-balls.

Fumiko is also in the Christmas spirit, with a fluffy santa hat, and a soft red dress with white fake fur trim hiding black flat-heeled shoes. She also carries a large red box wrapped with shiny green ribbon. The way she carries the box makes it hard for her to navigate, but she eventually bumps into the right door, opening the door with her present. "Am I on time, everyone? I would hate to be late after such a wonderful invitation."

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

Shizuru Fujino is here, and she is in white.

She doesn't particularly have to get the colors right, since she wasn't actually invited. But she brings with her a small box, which she sets down on the table as she steps inside. "I think it's rather cozy," she ddeclares of the small party, the former Vice President clapping her hands together and tilting her head to the side with a closed-eyed smile.

"Merry Christmas, everyone!"

She rights herself and steps over to the snack table, where she acquires a crepe. She does not even slightly acknowledge that her presence might be weird.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Good day, everyone, and Merry Christmas!" Fuu proclaims as she enters the classroom; she is notably lacking in the Santa-hat department, but she *is* at least wearing an appropriately festive sweater - mostly dark green, with red-and-white patterns picked out along the torso and sleeves. Christmasy enough, one should hope. She's also wearing a green skirt, a little lighter than the sweater, and white socks which go at least up to her knees (since that's where the skirt hides them). She's also carrying a very Christmasy shopping bag, with artwork of Santa and a sleigh full of books, some of which appear to be falling off the back; an attentive eye will notice the logo for one of the major bookstore chains.

For now, the bag is deposited at the presents table - somewhere Fuu can retrieve it quickly when the time comes - and the blonde archer from Infinity takes time to seek out the hostesses. "Mikoto-san, Georgia-san, Merry Christmas to you both! I see you've gone all-out; I'm glad my advice was useful," she adds with a wide smile, inclining her head briefly towards the gaming set-up.

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose Shiratori has a concern. Oh, no, she remembered the date of the party, and she had her secret santa recipient selected. Chitose knew exactly what to get them, and she has brought it and has not forgotten. It's a small box slightly larger than her hands, wrapped in decent paper. It's just, well, Ohtori...

And so Chitose lingered a few moments at Ohtori's entrance, remembering her high school years here... and also that time she got kidnapped. That was an experience.

Chitose stands, enveloped by oppressive teenaged memories, before she finally takes a deep breath and goes inside. The air she breathed in immediately went to use. "I hate this school, I hate my boss's daughters... Why did they decide to go to this place anyway, they're not even using their education..." Chitose's voice fades as she enters the building.

When she finally gets to where the party is, Chitose's thoughts have slightly moved on. "...and that forest was the best part of this school, why did it have to burn down?" She opens the door and her demeanor immediately brightens up. "Merry Christmas, everyone!" She smiles and waves gently as she enters. "I hope I'm not too late." Before moving from the door, she finally takes a breath, and forces herself to relax. It's a party! She might as well have fun.

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

Mikoto, notably, does NOT think Georgia's sweater is ugly. Mikoto, in fact, thinks Georgia's sweater is the coolest piece of clothing technology she has ever seen.


"Mm!" Mikoto hums affirmation, braids a-bounce as she nods. "It won't hurt!" Especially since everyone is arriving! Mikoto waves a hand over her head at Ye-jin as she jazz-hands her way inside. "Ye-jin! Ye-jin!" She calls, yobisute, but she means no harm by it. "Yup!" She replies, cheerfully, no wind taken from her sails by Ye-jin's question in the slightest. "It'll be fun!"

(Mikoto might not understand how adding more screens to something adds more entertainment value. She's the little sister, after all.)

Distracted by Ye-jin's entrance, Mikoto almost misses something her nose does not: new snacks. Sniff, sniff, she looks over to find -- "Niramo!" Mikoto chirps, her eyes growing dinnerplate-large as she beholds homemade cookies. Niramo asks if bringing snacks is okay, and the response she receives, immediately, is Mikoto barrelling over to latch about her in a big hug. "It's good!!" She says, with feeling. The feeling is affection. (It is also hunger, but this is not about that.)

She just happens to look around Niramo, to find -- "Shizuru..?" Mikoto grasps at Niramo's sleeve for a moment of support, before she remembers that this is a party and Shizuru doesn't ruin parties with fights, Shizuru has been at lots of parties and hasn't chopped up anything. There's that little uncertain hum, before she steps away from Niramo to wave to Shizuru, too. "... hi! It's Christmas party!" Mikoto's smiling by the end of that statement, with a glance to Ye-jin, because surely Ye-jin is a helpful force in this situation.

And in a santa hat, there's -- "Fumiko!" Mikoto waves to her, too, her cheer steadier this time around. She's excited to see her! "Yup! It's party time!" She agrees, happily, not quite realising that it's not entirely an answer to Fumiko's question. Mikoto has always been casual about things like being on time, as someone who tends to time things by the position of the sun more than the numbers in the corner of her phone. (That's the time, Mikoto.)

A compatriot in green emerges -- "Christmas! Christmas! Fuu!" Mikoto echoes Fuu, cheerfully. There is absolutely a presents table. And there is a present being delivered to the presents table: Mikoto grabs a cupcake and bounces over to offer it to Fuu forthwith. "Yup! All cords are right, too!" One might get the impression that Mikoto got tangled up in cords trying to figure out which ones to plug in where. This is entirely the correct impression. Technology is hard.

Also hard: coming back to Ohtori, sometimes. Not that Mikoto thought about that -- when she and Georgia were planning, she got a great idea, and didn't interrogate it in the slightest. She's glad to see Chitose entering in, and maybe one day will even make the connection between old conversations and this situation, but today it's just: "Chitose! Chitose!" Mikoto bounces on her heels, waving to her, too. "It's not late! It's afternoon still! It's party time!"

(Mikoto apparently missed the memo on teenage parties happening at night, but it's fine, they have a location this way.)

Since Fuu reminded her of her technological achievements, Mikoto proceeds to bound over to the television, and all the gadgets wired up to it. "There's party games!" She proclaims, with Great Pride, as if this is what makes a Proper Party. (Well, didn't the talent scouts of Juuban just demonstrate party games to Mikoto..? Perhaps it's no wonder she's learned the correct action.)

"It's music, but it's game," she explains, helpfully, holding up a guitar with buttons where the fret board ought to be. "Umm, there's instructions --" She proceeds to fiddle with a controller for a while, only to hand it over to Georgia so she can get them to the tutorial level, instead, because technology is hard.

Maybe Georgia has a better explanation for why they'd want to make a game out of music, anyway..!

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto thinking Georgia's sweater is in fact cool is why the two of them are such good friends! She opens her mouth to say something, but is interrupted by the sudden arrival of the first party guest -- Ye-jin Song! Georgia whirls around, mouth still open, her grin fading just a bit. Ye-jin maybe not be her favorite person -- she finds her to be a bit bossy, given her position -- but she did help them secure this space. Even if she did just make a comment about needing a bigger budget to splurge for another TV. Georgia pauses for a moment, letting Mikoto bounce around and greet everyone else, before responding to the Vice Pres directly.

"Ah! Well... we only need one TV I think. I'm glad we have more than enough snacks, yeah?" There. That was a perfectly nice response to give to that in particular. Nodding, she turns away from Ye-jin to go over and commence in greeting all the newcomers.

"Hey hey everyone!" She mimics Ye-jin's jazz hands unconsciously, then, as if realizing this, drops her hands suddenly, settling for a wide smile instead. "Merry Christmas! Glad you could all make it!"

She then takes Fuu's hands and squeezes them lightly. "Yeah! Thanks again for your help!" Her eyes did not miss the fact that Niramo brought more snacks in the form of cookies!!! She shoots the girl an appreciative wink, and after letting go of Fuu's hands turns to give Fumiko a big thumps up in response to her query. "Yep! You're right on-"

And that's when she spots Shizuru, the former Vice President!!! Georgia blinks. "...time!" She finishes her sentence, shocked to see someone like Shizuru present. She holds a hand up and gives her an awkward wave and a smile. "W-Welcome! Glad you could make it!" And from the looks of things Shizuru is not the only non-high schooler to show up, Chitose seemingly rounding out the guests for now. Georgia gives her a wave, even if she may not be as familiar with her as Mikoto is. "Yeah! Welcome!"

Mikoto starts to mess around with the guitar controller for the game, which brings Georgia over. Of course, she gets the controller passed to her, and nods cheerfully as she starts to cycle through the options. "Alright... I think I have it ready to go!" She chimes, turning to wave at everyone. "Whoever wants to play step up!"

On the screen behind her is the name of the song in question: Oasis -- Wonderwall.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

Shizuru :)s at Mikoto. It's nice. She doesn't chop anything. Instead she smiles at Georgia's surprise, not at all awkward. "Of course," she says, "I would hardly miss it."

On the other hand there's not a chance of getting Shizuru to go play the pretend instruments. No, she has a much btter, much different jobfor herself for the moment, and that's this:

Good luck, players. Shizuru Fujino is watching. Pleasantly. Almost placidly.

"This should be fun," she indicates. But it's not like it could be an order. That wouldn't make any sense.

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

Fumiko makes a slight groan as her legs begin to wobble. "Hey um... where... where do the gifts go?" She immediately wobbles off to where she is told, placing the box down and sighing. "Phew... been carrying that for a looong time."

She then looks through the room for the first time. "Wow," she says cheerfully. "Quite a turnout! So many of my friends are here! I'm glad I didn't miss it. And... Rock Band? Hm.... I don't know, a little tired from lugging that thing through the entire school. Maybe next round?"

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

Leave it to Ye-jin to question if this was the whole party setup or not. Then again, this party is taking place at Ohtori. If you don't overdo it, it's not worth doing should be a motto of the school. "Hey Ye-jin-san!"

Niramo waves a hand towards Fumiko as she arrives, carrying an almost comically oversized present, though it likely won't be seen. "Hey Fumiko-chan! You're looking good there!"

The Archer from Infinity arrives and apparently had a hand in the gaming setup? At least from what she could guess, anyways. But before Niramo could call out in greetings, she's suddendly the target of a full force hug from Mikoto, causing the ravenette to laugh before returning the hug. "Gaaaah, glad to hear it then! Setting this up must have taken you a while, Georgia-san, Mikoto-san?" Niramo flashes her own smile at Georgia in response

Freeing herself from Mikoto's grasp, Niramo makes her way over to the present table to place her own present down, a slim white package wrapped in red ribbon. Snacks were being enjoyed and Georgia and Mikoto seems to have the game getting ready to go. Slipping over to Fumiko, she waves again now that she can be properly seen. "If I had known you had such a big present, I could of come with you to help!"

But the mention of the game being ready is quick to distract Niramo, and she hurriedly walks on over to grab an instrument controller. Her expertise lies in older 'retro' games but she's played enough at the arcade to know how to play a fake guitar. She nods and places her fingers on the buttons...but something seems to be off. What Niramo had thought to be a guitar was instead a colorful saxophone.

The ravenette stares blankly at the controller for a few seconds as she processes this before the song starts to play, and she quickly scrambles to play as the notes come flying. Results are...varied, to say the least. "Totally picking up the triangle next song. That's so much simplier!"

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Eri arrives late, she's not wearing an ugly Christmas sweater per se, but she is wearing a green cashmere sweater to get in the mood for the season as well as a patterned red skirt and leggings. Her woven bag slung over her shoulder.

And in her hands a wrapped box. Obviously her Secret Santa gift??? Maybe.

If one looks closely it has holes. What? Though if one peaks they'll just see wrapping paper on the inside.

To those that witness her coming in, a wave, and a finger to her lips is all the greeting she gets, as if trying to be discreet about her late entry.

She does not drop off her gift, keeping it safely in her care, as she gives the rock band setup a curious glance... pausing as she examines it.

"Has the Dog Drug Reinforcement spread?"

She asks with a sense of mystified wonder.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Fuu is very, very careful not to let the sudden sinking feeling in her stomach get anywhere *near* showing up on her face, but the realization that she's probably obligated to play the game - which she implicitly helped select, if not in actuality - is about as inescapable as some of the more vicious monsters the Wind Knight has helped do battle against ... and far less susceptible to a well-placed arrow or carefully-focused spell, to boot.

Well, there's no help for it, is there? And the song Mikoto's managed to select, to judge by the preview loop, does sound relatively manageable, even for the less musically-inclined. Fuu does, indeed, step up, and selects the keytar; at least those don't require strumming as well as chording, right?

"You're quite right, Shizuru-senpai," Fuu says with a smile. "A game that isn't fun to play isn't any good." A moment later, the song starts for real, and Fuu turns her full attention to the precarious task of Not Failing Out. She *does* get into the song itself pretty well, although nodding her head and swaying in time with the beat may just be a tool to help keep the rhythm; her "playing" isn't perfect, but she hits considerably more notes than she whiffs.

<Pose Tracker> Ye-jin Song [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Niramo-chan." Ye-jin greets the smaller girl in return, smiling pleasantly, doing the same for the rest of the guests that arrive. "Shizuru-san, it's nice to see you." Ye-jin smiles even more brightly at her predecessor, waving her hand cheerfully toward the older girl. Despite Mikoto's nervousness Ye-jin seems happy enough with Shizuru's presence, and perhaps this is a good sign.

She continues to nibble at her crepe as Georgia demonstrates the wonders of video games, though Ye-jin herself seems fairly uninterested in the game, at least until she spies one of her favorite devices lying around with the controllers: A small plastic microphone.

The Vice-President lays her crepe carefully aside, wrapping it in a napkin and dusting her hands before reaching down to pick up the microphone and tap it several times.

Then, after that short warning, she launches into song. Which is, though amateur, not bad. She's on-key, she gets the words right, and Georgia will note her English is pretty good-not that the videogame cares very much. She gets points, according to the game, but she's singing more by her own rules than the algorithm-approved ones.

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

Maybe Mikoto just has older friends! She did mention Chitose, so maybe she just failed to mention Shizuru. Even though Mikoto seemed surprised to see Shizuru, too...

She helpfully shows Fumiko to the Present Table, of course. And soon, her attention's on Georgia!

The game helpfully flashes up with a tutorial on how to play it, which essentially boils down to: hit the correctly-coloured button when the prompt comes up on screen. The twist comes in where those buttons are, because they change based on what instrument is being wielded. The guitar has buttons on the fret board... the drums have coloured patches to hit with sticks... the triangle has coloured patches to hit with a stick, but it's an entirely different feel to the drums... the saxophone (there is a SAXOPHONE) has buttons on the little finger-pedals, which assuredly have a name, and which Mikoto assuredly does not know the name of.

Band Together apparently has some really wild peripherals.

Mikoto assures herself that she should not feel nervous about Shizuru as the young woman sits back to watch them. She has a sudden brainwave: can Shizuru be disarmed with snacks? Surely even Shizuru would not deny the power of homecooked snacks, and so Mikoto bustles over to snatch up a sugar cookie and goes to offer it to her. "Here!" She says, and it's definitely not nervousness which has her hurrying off to one of the Pretend Guitars forthwith.

"Ah!" Mikoto exclaims, when the extremely sneaky Eri reveals herself. "Yup! But this one's instruments, not dancing! It's still music!" Mikoto sounds enthusiastic about the idea of music games, without realising that she's rather put some of her friends on the spot about it. "It'll be fun!" She echoes Fuu, cheerfully, and --

Well, Mikoto is in no way a Pro Gamer, and also isn't much of a musician. But she's having fun hitting the buttons as the screen asks her to, and once she figures out the tune of the song, she hums along. Unlike Ye-jin, she doesn't sing, because Mikoto's understanding of English is much poorer. Of course, because she doesn't understand English very well, she doesn't understand the significance of those lyrics...

"Passed!" Mikoto reads out the successful level completion message, triumphantly. "We did it!" But she's noticed the people sitting back and not playing too -- Mikoto is doing her best to be Aware of Persons -- so she puts the guitar down, for the moment.

"Hey," she says, instead, "wanna give gifts?"

Mikoto bustles over to the Present Table, and pulls out... a very long and flat-wrapped thing, all floppy-floppy in her hands but for a weight at the end. Here she hops to Fumiko, and offers it to her -- and she will find, on the unwrapping, that it is a long, fancy rainbow ribbon on a stick. "I don't really get gymnastics," Mikoto explains, scratching at an ear with a shade of self-consciousness. "But I looked it up, and they had ribbons and stuff... so I thought Fumiko might like that!" It seems that she remembered the clubs Fumiko claimed membership of, back during that Juuban party.

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

Fumiko is content to just watch everyone else play fake instruments, while she nibbles on some snacks. Towards the end, however, she nods along with everyone else, a big smile on her face. When the song was over, she gives a loud applause and cheer. "Good job everyone! You did amazing! I should've joined in, but watching and listening was fun!"

The time came to open presents. Fumiko tears into hers, to reveal the ribbon on a stick that Mikoto got her. "Wow, thank you very much Mikoto!" She gives a polite bow, before twirling the ribbon around. "It is very pretty! I love it! Now, your turn."

Fumiko picks up the heavy box she got for Mikoto and hands it to her. When opened, it reveals a very large crock pot. "I know you really like food, so I thought... maybe... you'd like this? To be honest, you were quite the mystery to shop for, and... um... I hope you like it. If not... I... can return it..." Suddenly Fumiko looks very shy and self-conscious. "...I'm... not amazing at the 'secret Santa' thing..."

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

Niramo's certain that if she had a guitar in her hands, she could have easily played well enough to the beat of the music. The different layout and shape of the saxophone controller is playing havoc with her muscle memory, and Niramo's having to teach herself how to play a new insturment while everyone is watching AND two players joining her in the song! Be it luck, skill or a mixture of the two, Niramo manages to pass the song as well. Sighing in relief, she flashes a thumbs up towards Ye-jin and Mikoto. "Good work, everyone!"

And presents are to be handed out now! Setting the controller aside and heading towards the table, Niramo slips over to where she placed the slim present and walks to her Secret Santa receivee, Georgia. "I wasn't quite sure what to get you, but after asking around and finding out you played the drums...well, here."

Inside the box is a pair of polished rosewood drumsticks, light bouncing off the reflective finish. Along with that is a cushioned black drumstick bag to store them in. "I thought maybe something besides some regular drumsticks would work, so I hope you enjoy them, Georgia-san!"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"You're quite good, Ye-jin-san," Fuu says in a tone both approving and appreciative. "And your English is more skilled than most of our classmates ..." There's a sheepish note to her voice as she acknowledges Ye-jin's fluency. But the time for exchanging presents has been declared, which is as good an excuse as any to set the keytar down and retrieve the bag she brought in.

A bag which, very shortly thereafter, is being offered to Ye-jin. "I wasn't sure what to get you that would be 'fun,'" Fuu admits, "so I went with 'useful.' You might not actually need it that much, but I hope it helps in your ongoing studies all the same." The bag holds a relatively stout paperback book, and unfolding the colorful paper from around it reveals the book's nature - a college-level English-Japanese dictionary.

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Georgia stands back and watches those who decide to join in play the game. It's pretty entertaining! And she has to admit that Ye-jin's English and singing is impressive. She bites her lip, as if she's fighting back the urge to say something. When the song ends and points are accumulated, she slowly moves to to Ye-jin and places a hand on the girl's shoulder. Her face has turned into one of seriousness. What could she be about to say?!

"Ye-jin-san... Have you considered joining the Music Club? We need singers..."

OH. Well! Georgia nods slowly, then lets go of Ye-jin's shoulder, turning away to head for the presents table since it seems as though it's time for the Secret Santa Gift Exchange. She plucks her gift up off the table and whirls around to face Niramo, who also has a gift of her own for Georgia!

"Oh! Alright! You first then!" She sets her gift back down and receives the one from Niramo, opening it up to find some very nice and polished drumsticks!

"Oh wow! Niramo-san this is excellent! I was just thinking to myself the other day that I needed a new set!" She wastes no time sweeping the girl up into a hug, before letting her go and setting her new sticks aside. Grabbing her gift, wrapped in some very yellow and polka-dot-filled paper. "Ta da! A birdie told me you'd like this!"

Niramo, upon unwrapping her gift, would find it to be a figurine! But not just any figurine -- it's Space Cadet Koko, the brave space-faring magical girl herself!

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

"And likewise," Shizuru answers Ye-jin warmly(?). She regards Fuu pleasantly as well, when she answers her statement. Her gift, of course, is already on the table. Who gets Shizuru's gift? Well, that's a mystery. Maybe no one. Maybe someone???

"Why, thank you," she says to Mikoto, and promptly dips the cookie in tea that she found somewhere. That's what you do with cookies, right? Of course it is.

She pleasantly watches the present-doing but makes no move to join in at the moment.

She is probably having a good time.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"So it is to... instruments, what DDR is to dancing..."

Eri considers this for a moment, then gives a slow nod at Mikoto. She would never, ever in a million years imply that DDR is not dancing.

Yet she knows in her heart of hearts, that she can't dance, despite dozens of hours on that pad.

Still she watches the musicians have fun at the rhythm game, and finds herself tapping her foot at the rhythm.

"Huh, the VP can really sing..."

Eri puts a finger to her chin, one handing her box as she considers how well Mai would stack up to her in a challenge.

Her bet is on Mai, though Ye-Jin's English skills might put them over the edge.

As gifts start being handed out, Eri hangs back for a while...

... though careful observers might note her bending down and saying something quiet to the giftbox that's meant for a certain someone.

What a weirdo!

<Pose Tracker> Ye-jin Song [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Once Ye-jin has finished her singing she sets her microphone down. She seems satisfied with her work, and the amount of points and stars on screen. She claps her hands together politely for the rest of the band, noting: "How fun."

"Thank you, Jenks-san, Hououji-san. Maybe I'll visit music club later." Ye-jin does enjoy being complemented. But she's not having too much fun to not return to her crepe. She nibbles a moment more before a buzz from the small bag she brought with her draws her attention. A moment later, after she's fished out her phone, she frowns.

Ye-jin picks up the gold-ribboned package from the table she left it at, stepping over to present it to Fuu. "Here you go, Hououji-san." She says, passing off the present with a toothy smile. "I hope you find something you like." She'll find inside the small package, past the big gold ribbon and decorative black case, is a sedate looking plastic card. Further inspection will reveal it to be a gift card for Yodobashi Camera, the gigantic electronic outlet and Akihabara landmark.

There's no written indication of its value, but Fuu will find, if she uses it, there's a credit of 22,000 yen on it. Because nobody told Ye-jin about things like spending limits.

"Oh?" Ye-jin takes a look inside her own bag, examining the contents. "Ah." She doesn't seem especially enthused, but manages a quick smile soon enough. "Thank you, I'm sure it'll be useful. I'm glad you noticed, I've been working hard!"

And with that, it comes time to depart. "Have fun with your party, Mikoto-chan, Jenks-san. I'm sorry I have to leave early." Ye-jin makes her exit after, pausing at the door to turn and wave like the celebrity that she imagines she is. "Byeeee~" She croons, one final farewell before she vanishes out of the classroom.

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

Niramo smiles softly to herself as Georgia approves of the new set of drumsticks, happy that her gift is exactly what was needed. The hug was unexpected but Niramo returns it with gusto. "I'm just happy I found a good set. I don't know the first thing about playing music, so-...oh, right!"

Packaging paper goes flying as it's precious present was revealed to the light, revealing Space Cadet Koko, winking with a large smile and her laser pistol raised victoriously in one hand. Squealing slightly, Georgia gets a surprise hug of her own, with Koko held carefully in a free hand. "Yes, I been looking everywhere for her! She came out recently and has been so hard to find. Thank you, Georgia-san!"

And it seems Ye-jin is having to make her way out just as presents were being passed out. Niramo lets go of Georgia after a second and waves to the Dance Captain. "Take care, Ye-jin-san!"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Thank you very much," Fuu responds politely, even before she's seen that it's a gift card. She was hoping to avoid giving a gift card to anyone .... although it seems like her choice of present fell a little flat. If she'd known (or remembered) that Ye-jin is already pretty good with English ...

Well, it's done. And she'll be appropriately flattered (if not flattened) when she finds out how much is on that gift card Ye-jin gave her. For now, the gift card is tucked away, and Fuu turns her attention to the food table - tacitly letting somebody else take a turn on the game's keytar, in the meantime.

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

Mikoto hefts the heavy box...! Luckily, Mikoto is used to carrying heavy things. She is also used to unveiling heavy things, so a few moments of frenzied wrapping attacking later, the present is revealed to be: A MYSTICAL BASIN OF FOOD PREPARATION.

"It's slow cooking pot!" Mikoto exclaims, with glee, despite her inability to remember what it's called. (The fact that she does not stop to read the text on the box and just looks at the picture may well say a thousand words.) "Me and Mai needed this! It's pot for making rice all day! If I put things in, I can make good food, too... maybe, I can make food when Mai gets home!!" This is apparently such a magical concept that Mikoto's eyes have gone big as saucerbowls again, considering the miracle of the crock pot.

There's a beat of this marvelling, before Mikoto remembers to say out loud: "I like it lots!"

She's just as enthused to see everyone else's gifts, with all the quick thinking they've done. The truth is, they put everyone's names in a hat, and drew them out at random. That's the true spirit of a 'Secret Santa', right..? Everyone seems to be enjoying it!

Even Shizuru...? Maybe Mikoto will find her gift at the end of all this. An odd number of gifts is bound to stand out. But it's probably fine, because there's no red cord on any of these.

Eri has a gift which makes Mikoto's ears twitch, but she doesn't call attention to it. She has faith in Eri..!

(Mikoto still remembers Ye-jin coming to karaoke with her and Mai, so she knows very well how fine Ye-jin's singing skills are, and how they shape up to Mai's. Mikoto, of course, is a biased reporter on these facts, so perhaps it's just as well she sees no reason to bring them up.)

"Ah -- Ye-jin's leaving..?" She sounds a little disappointed, given the fact that Ye-jin is Mikoto's friend who is definitely nice and not mean. "It's okay!" She assures her, in the next breath, waving cheerfully. "See you!"

Shizuru, who was unexpected, doesn't seem to have a gift to be given. It would be easy to just let this slide, given how Shizuru just kind of showed up, but... after wrestling with the particulars in her mind for a few moments too long, Mikoto wheels back over to the snack table and retrieves one of those little bags of roasted chestnuts, and ferries it over to Shizuru and her tea. (Where did she get tea? Did they make tea? Maybe the tea just coalesced from nowhere. It's Ohtori, after all.) "There's lots of snacks," she tells her, "so eat up!" A beat, and she adds: "Okay?"

Well, Mikoto is trying her best.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

The miracle of the crock-pot...

As Ye-jin leaves, Shizuru waves cheerfully(?) as if she had been invited in the first place. As if all this were totally normal. She observes the giving of gifts, the presents of cheer... and there is no red ribbon at all.

But when Mikoto returns to Shizuru, Shizuru accepts the package of chestnuts with both hands, setting down her tea (having finished her cookie) to take it. "How kind," she answers. "I'm sure these will be delicious. But I brought something for you, too."

Shizuru takes the nuts, and walks over to the present table, where she lifts with one hand the nice wrapped box that she brought. "This is for you," she tells Mikoto. "I hope you like it."

And she waits.

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose smiles at Mikoto "That's great, thank you Mikoto." When the younger girl heads away, Chitose continues her warm smiles for a moment before she... moves in closer to the party. Chitose's not the best in large groups, but she still wants to be at least experiencing the party.

Which is why she's not moving to really do anything with the band stuff. She's never enjoyed singing, and she wasn't really much of a game player anymore, so any attempts for her to enjoy it may not be the best. Plus, there are other people having more fun using it than she would be, so everything works out.

That doesn't really stop her from watching it, though. She's pretty interested in how everything works. The instruments are stylized, of course, but how is the game rating Song's singing? Chitose's English is pretty good, but she's not sure she's understanding the lyrics. Or maybe the music itself.

She's watching this even when people start giving gifts. It's not until she sees Eri talk to her box that Chitose remembers that she too has a box. The older girl turns and walks over to Eri. "Oh, Eri-san, I think this is yours." And she hands Eri her gift.

If Eri opens it, she'll see that she now has a new pair of winter gloves. Not mittens, but they're some balance of warmth, comfort, and style.

They're also more expensive than not. Fancy gloves, but not high-society gloves.

"I think I promised to buy you a new pair of gloves a while back, so here you go~" She smiles at Eri.

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

Fumiko quickly goes from unsure to excited as she notes Mikoto's positive reaction to her gift. "I'm so glad you like it! My mom wanted me to get you something like a necklace or a hat, but I don't know your style very well and wasn't sure you'd like such a gift, so... happy it all worked out!" She then looks over to the band game, and ponders playing a round. "Anyone else still interested in rocking out?"

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The pair of gloves is accepted with a smile.

"Ah. That's right." Quieter, "That feels like a lifetime ago."

There's a softness in that voice, like she feels touched that she remembers.

And then, after a moment, Eri holds out the box.

"Well... I doubt I can outdo that... but this is yours."

Eri keeps a hold on the box, but allows Chitose to open it in mid-air. Assuming she undoes the ribbon and lifts the lid.

There's a sound like a soft yawn. Then a motion, as two...

... paws...

Crest the side of the box. And the head of an orange tabby cat, with the fuzziest ears peeks out. Around her neck is a ribbon with a fake but well made blossom of a red Azalea, with Green to compliment it - hanging slightly crooked and loose.

Looks at Chitose and...


Makes a call her way.

"Fuku would like to wish you, a very Merry Christmas... and to offer you this humble gift."

Reaching out, she unties it. And hands the hair ribbon over to her.

"I felt this might complement your braid nicely."

The kitten watches the motion, turning at the neck to follow the hand offering the ribbon, reaching out to bat at the dangling strands.

"You need not accept the messenger as your gift... unless..."

A twinkling in her eyes.

"... you felt inclined to adopt?"

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Georgia beams when Niramo sees her present and sweeps her up into a hug. "Haha! Yeah! It was kinda tough to find but I managed to snag one of the last ones in this one shop!" Thankfully she didn't have to fight anyone for the last Koko figurine. That would've been really bad.

"Oh, see you Ye-jin- san!" Georgia says with her own wave thrown to the departing Vice President. "And yeah! Come check out the club anytime!" Maybe... just maybe... Ye-jin isn't so bad after all? Georgia lets out a happy sigh, taking her drumsticks and drumming the air with them enthusiastically. She's very happy needless to say!

"Ooh Mikoto-chan! That pot is cool!" She says upon seeing Mikoto's present from Fumiko. And then, Shizuru comes over with... another gift for Mikoto!

"Oh wow! Two gifts Mikoto-chan! Lucky, lucky!"

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

Mikoto stops to think for a moment, before she tells Fumiko: "I like this way better than a necklace." Hers was a pendant, but... it's quite similar, isn't it? Similar enough to unnerve her, at least, though it's a subtle touch amidst her cheer. "So Fumiko was definitely right!" She hums affirmation to Fumiko's question, but first... she has someone else to check on.

She is no stranger to gifts! Behold her astounding crock-pot, which she has placed carefully on a chair so it won't get in anyone's way! Check out those beads on her braids, and if she were to pull her phone out, it would be in a very comfy case. But when she comes to offer kindness to Shizuru, what Mikoto doesn't expect is her having brought a gift for... "Me?" Mikoto asks, pointing to herself with a baffled expression.

She trails after Shizuru, too curious to be suspicious. How did Shizuru know to bring her a gift if she didn't know there was a party?! And when she receives the box, she opens it up...

One corner folds from the other corner, and there's a little thonk as the box itself falls to the ground. What was inside is held delicately in those slender imperial fingers, and the surprise on Mikoto's face is a distaff cousin to delight, in that both involve her eyes widening. "Ah..."

In her hands is an adorable little stuffed oni, a big spiked club in hands which would be massive if it weren't so small. The spikes are, of course, just firmer material. It is a cute little stuffed animal, all black and red where she is dressed in green and white, as if the plan all along was to unite the two of them together.

It's not an exact match, but it doesn't need to be.

This cute little stuffed animal is a message about Miroku, and not the sword hiding in a case all leant on the side of the wall over there.

Mikoto swallows.

She gives it a little squeeze, and smiles to Shizuru. "It's... it's really cute," she tells her, a little more quietly. She echoes Georgia, gratefully: "I'm lucky. Um..."

Her ears twitch again. Mikoto has heard a familiar little mii, and her good friend Fuku frees Mikoto from having to ask Shizuru why she thought to give her a gift like this in public. She was about to, you know. Mikoto doesn't think these things through.

Luckily, that means she gets to turn and grin, calling out: "Fuku! It's Fuku! Chitose, you gonna give Fuku an all-the-time home? He's really nice! He loves sleeping on people!" She's all eagerness again, and in the process even hugs the little oni to her chest, as if it were a very mean and spiky cat.

(Maybe all things are just degrees of separation from being a cat.)

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Meanwhile Eri out of the corner of her eyes gives Shizuru this surreptitious look which roughly translates to...


She doesn't look upset per se, it just might be the equivalent of a mildly exasperated sigh.

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose opens the box and opens it, not at all expecting what laid within...

She smiles as the tiny cat pops out of the box, and as Eri offers her the initial ribbon, Chitose's eyes look bright as she accepts the ribbon and tries to tie it on her hair, right at the base of her braid. There's a moment of Chitose taking her eyes off of the kitten, as if looking behind her to try and keep it on.

Then, she focuses directly on the cat, leaning in close and smiling at him. "Thank you, Fuku."

With that, Chitose gently picks up the box with Fuku inside, and raises him up with her as she rights back up. "Oh, Eri-san, he's wonderful."

She looks over at Mikoto, and smiles at her as she explains. Seems like she knows him. "Oh, yes. We'll take good care of him, don't worry about that. Thank you." And with that, she holds a finger up near Fuku's head, to let him get used to her before she took him home. Her family will love him, she's certain.

Chitose does feel a sense of relief. For a brief moment, she thought she had gone overboard with her purchase for a party like this, but now she feels it's almost too little.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

Shizuru beams. "I'm glad you like it." And then she looks to kitten who is suddenly making miis, and lifts an eyebrow. Hello little kitten. Stealing the moment...

She looks innocent at Eri, as if she has no idea what she means, and comes over to observe Kitten. Fuku!

"Well, what an adorable messenger." She has tea again. For some reason.

She does not even start to answer Mikoto's question, or even acknowledge that there was anything other than pleasure at a gift.

And Fuku has a home. Isn't that nice? Heartwarming.

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Georgia's eyes widen upon seeing what Shizuru gifts Mikoto. "Oh wow that is really heckin' cute!" Georgia exclaims, reaching down to poke the little Oni doll in the side. "Did you make this yourself?" She asks, looking up at Shizuru with a look of pure admiration. Handmade gifts were always a way to get Georgia to like you, fyi.

Then Chitose is gifted a kitten And actual kitten! Georgia blinks, and then hearing Mikoto shout the animal's name, quickly puts two and two together and laughs. "Oh yeah!"

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

The little kitten has certainly stolen the moment, and all the questions therein. This doesn't make the questions go away! There's just a cat now, which is more important. This is Mikoto's wisdom.

The oni doll is eminently pokeable. It's soft and cuddly!

Mikoto beams, when Chitose declares she has accepted Fuku. Of course, this means Fuku won't be hanging around Ohtori any more, but Mikoto can surely still see him if she visits Chitose. And now he'll be safe, because: "Forever home! Forever home! Fuku's got a forever home!" Where did Mikoto learn phrasing like that? Well, she is part of the Animal Care Club these days.

Luckily, with cats on their side, Mikoto will surely be very powerful at musical games. That's how this works.