Difference between revisions of "3743/You're Not Yourself When You're Hungry"

From MahouMUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
(Created page with "{{Log Header |Date of Scene=2019/05/20 |Location=Mitakihara - Downtown |Synopsis=A Snickers Bar youma comes after Kotomi! It has the misfortune of doing so right next to the K...")
 
(No difference)

Latest revision as of 22:14, 11 June 2019

You're Not Yourself When You're Hungry
Date of Scene: 20 May 2019
Location: Mitakihara - Downtown
Synopsis: A Snickers Bar youma comes after Kotomi! It has the misfortune of doing so right next to the Kyouko's conbenie -- but old friend Mami shows up to help with the battle! Afterward, Mami and Kotomi have a nice long chat about the current state of affairs (as far as Kotomi knows it).
Cast of Characters: Kotomi Kobana, Mami Tomoe, Kyouko Sakura


Kotomi Kobana has posed:
It's a nice and sunny day about an hour after school got out, and over a month into the new school year, Kotomi is only now getting used to the fact that she's in ninth grade. She walks down the street with a spring in her step, dressed in the Verone middle school uniform, with a rectangular pin on the lapel of the uniform's jacket with horizontal stripes in the pattern of skyblue-pink-white-pink-skyblue.

She's not just wandering, though; she only has a shaky idea of the protocol for giving gifts to your girlfriend, but she is fairly certain that it's perfectly okay to grab a box of chocolates at random. And so she's making her way towards a candy shop that just opened recently in Mitakihara.

She pauses by a nearby convenience store. Come to think of it, there's no reason she can't just grab a quick snack. ... Right? Right!? She comes to a complete stop as she starts overthinking the question.

At the same time, a sensation of ... darkness, of wrongness, starts descending upon the area, its source emanating from a nearby alleyway, and only clearly detectable to those who are already touched my magic to a stronger degree than Kotomi (who mistakes the sensation for her anxiety-indecisiveness).
Mami Tomoe has posed:
A little ways away from the nearest intersection, a girl regards the area with a slight pang of familiarity. Some time ago, she'd been around here buying snacks and ingredients, preparing sumptuous meals or just wandering the streets in search of something to do. It seems there's still quite a bit of darkness out there, however, no matter how cheerful or peaceful things seemed.

Following, tracking that sense of wrongness is a blonde young woman, eyes alight with purpose. As gracefully as she can manage, she surveys the area around the alleyway, hoping she can at least find a way to cut off things before anything worse happened. Surely, anyone wandering around at this time of day should stay out of the alleys and side-streets, that's only common sense. It's then that she notices Kotomi as well as she descends to street level, pondering whether to stay or move on. She, too, is in the same predicament. Whether to wait it out until the enemy moves or to show herself and risk its ire.

She can't quite leave the poor thing alone, can she? It's with that in mind that the blonde chooses to an honest defender rather than a subtler one.

"...If you're hungry, there's a store down the road that sells much the same fare for /much/ less." replies a voice from down the direction in which Kotomi arrived. Someone had been walking the same way, it seems. "I've heard this place is home to a few unsavoury characters in the evening, too. It'd be best not to stand around..."

She looks to the mysterious alleyway for a moment longer and offers a pleasant smile to the girl, a well-dressed young lady with her hair in well-curled drills, seeming utterly calm in the face of the strange feelings coming from over there...

"Mm...I'm sorry if I've intruded a little, was just concerned you were lost."
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi's head jerks around as the young woman speaks up. "I'm not lost! I-I was just trying to decide!" she says, a weird note of defensiveness in her voice. (Which isn't the girliest voice, while still being obviously feminine.) "Or, w-well, I mean, um, thanks?" She seems to be someone who's very shy, and has retreated into defensiveness as a ... defense mechanism.

She sighs softly. "Um, sorry," she say awkwardly. "I'm, I'm Kotomi Kobana. I was just ... passing through here on my way to getting some stuff for my girlf-- I mean, uh. S-someone who. I'm." She gives up, her face going red in the process. "... dating." A nervous, humorless giggle escapes her.

She follows the woman's gaze towards the alleyway, and furrows her brow. For a moment, she tries to focus on the feeling of wrongness, before she finally says, "Um ... please tell me there isn't ..." Her voice trails off. Oh crud, what if she's misinterpreting things and this woman isn't in-the-know about magic!? This is the worst-case scenario! Her anxiety then remembers the time she blurted out about a crush she hadn't known she had. This is the second-worst-case scenario!
Mami Tomoe has posed:
And the blonde only responds with a small and quite feminine chuckle at the girl's antics... "My my. No need to feel so nervous, Kobana-san. It's quite fine that you've found someone to care about, after all. She should be happy that you thought so much of her, really. I wonder if I'll be as lucky, hm~? But...you seem a little too worried for your own good, dear. That's no good at all. A calm mind can do much more than an agitated one."

She shoots a glance towards the alley once more, tracing a golden eye over the direction she was looking, intently, then turning back to Kotomi. "I haven't been here in some time, but I'm glad to see some things really haven't changed..." But her expression shows no sign of changing from that sweet and disarming smile, betraying no anxiety whatsoever...yet at the same time feeling almost coiled like a spring. She's still clearly keeping an eye on the dark, brooding presence out there in the back-alleys. "...Pardon me. I'm Mami Tomoe, pleased to meet you."

She bows, then. Odd, considering she asked her to loosen up, after all. She adds, half talking to herself... "I suppose that name doesn't mean much to the younger ones, here. In the flower of my youth, and I feel like I've fallen behind."

And in a moment, she adds, almost staring past Kotomi... "You may want to move out of the way, at least, Kobana-san. I'm sure something else is more than willing to invade our little heart-to-heart, and it won't be as polite as I am to a girl like you." She takes a step forward, facing the alleway of malice and stands with her feet planted firmly to the pavement, unwilling to budge. Even if she probably felt this girl knew something of magic, it wasn't in Mami's blood to stand by while someone gets hurt. If anything, she'll stand firm and protect what she can.

"I may be a little out of practice, but I won't be fooled by such a cheap display. If anyone, menace someone worthy of a proper challenge..."
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Wow. Mami just saw right through her. Kotomi just grins nervously, and bows in return. "Pleased to meet you ... Tomoe-san," she says. "Um, y-yeah, don't mind me, I'm just ..." She shakes her head. "I have my own problems basically. Um. Ahah. Yeah."

Still, she is sensible enough to take heed of Mami's warning. "Yeah, um." She shrugs, taking a step back away from the alley. "Like, I totally get that. I ... don't ... have a power of my own. Or at least not in this world." She frowns. "But you ... should probably be aware that, um ... it's probably ..."

The darkness is much, much deeper than you should expect, even for this time of day. And soon, there's a loud thud, thud of massive footsteps. A pair of glowing caramel-colored eyes become visible as a twelve-foot-tall figure emerges from the shadows, looming over Mami.

It's made out of gigantic six-foot-long two-foot-wide candy bars. The joints of its elbows and knees actually crack open, revealing caramel and breaded filling and what appear to be basketball-sized peanuts. It peers down at Mami for a moment, then grabs the side of the building and pokes its "head" out, turning its gaze onto Kotomi. People start screaming and cars screech to a halt, as people hurriedly start running away!

"... gonna come after me!!" Kotomi takes a step back, as it raises a "hand" and starts emitting a very slow-moving caramel-colored draining-beam, aimed directly at her!
Mami Tomoe has posed:
"I'd be glad to talk to you for as long as you'd like...once I've made this troublemaker clear off! You'll be in good hands..."

Mami looks up, anticipating the trajectory of the beam for the moment before extending her hand, a ring wreathing the older girl in a golden light. Gradually, her modest-looking outfit swiftly ends up shifting into her proper attire of brown, black and gold, adjusting her cap and waving her hand in the direction of the beast's arm. A steady stream of ribbons fire out of her sleeve, attempting to draw the monster's arm out of the way and trying to force the slow-moving beam towards an empty patch of sidewalk. In her other hand, she aims an archaic single-shot rifle, firing a shot towards her foe's face...or whatever passes for it, to draw its attention before releasing the ribbons, hoping the confectionary-beast would be off balance enough for Kotomi to get out of the way. Extending her arms in defiance and defence of her new aquaintance, many rifles form behind her in a line, firing one after the other, their shots ringing out into the night.

"...You heard me, didn't you? Picking on the helpless and afraid is something I cannot forgive!" It probably didn't listen or care to her protests, most likely. That only meant Mami would have to take on this one the hard way. Launching a ribbon out to fling her onto a lamp-post, she stood on the thin metal post and kept firing and discarding her rifles as quickly as they came to her hands, hoping to wear it down with a death of a thousand cuts...

She calls from on high, still shooting and never taking her eyes off the enemy... "Kobana-san, I'll try and stop it from following you! Don't worry about me - just get out of danger, I'll be right behind you!"
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
"R-right!" Kotomi doesn't need to be told twice! She hurriedly dashes over to the next alleyway over, but she doesn't move very far into it. In fact, she's leaning half out of it so she can get a view of the fight. In spite of the fact that she's been part of this world basically all year -- in spite of the fact that she's actually dating one -- she can't help but feel a kind of amazed wonder at being in the same room, so to speak, as a real magical girl!

The monster jerks back slightly in surprise at the tug of the ribbon, which successfully the beam so that it lands on the sidewalk, which doesn't contain as much energy as a human.

It becomes even more surprised when it takes a magical rifle-shot to the face.

The youma starts lunging back and forth, trying to evade Mami's sustained fire -- but many of the shots hit, sending fragments of chocolate and caramel flying. Eventually, though, it manages to get just the briefest of gaps in its defensive maneuvers, which it uses to fire a series of basketball-sized peanuts right at Mami!

... A series of exploding basketball-sized peanuts, in point of fact. They seem to detonate just when they get close enough to Mami, whether or not they're on a course to actually hit her.
Kyouko Sakura has posed:
    At about this time, the door to the AM/PM Mini Market slides open, and a scowling Kyouko steps through. She is dressed for work, which is to say in her usual black t-shirt and jeans and sneakers, but with an orange bandana tied over her red hair, and with the orange apron of the market tied around her front, the shop's logo on the front in white. As soon as she exits the store, she starts shouting at everyone in range, and bear in mind, Kyouko can be loud when she wants to be.

    "Alright, what the hell is going on out here? Don't you people realize we're tryin' to run a business in here, and ya'll are causing a ruckus like, literally right outside the front door? I mean c'mon, there's plenty of dank alleyways you could do this sort of crap in without scaring away my customers.."

    She pauses, squinting as she takes in both the giant candy-golem and the blonde-haired, familiar-looking young woman fighting it. "Huh. I hope that's not my fault." She both sells candy bars at the store and has been known to enjoy eating them. Then she blinks towards the blonde girl again. "...Mami?"
Mami Tomoe has posed:
Mami's too busy trying to avoid getting rained on by explosive peanuts to really respond to Kyouko's incredulity, right now. She swings one of her spent rifles at one of the peanuts as it launches towards her, aiming to deflect it to the side, rigging a ribbon to the side of the post and sliding down to the ground, touching down in the middle of the road, between the rampaging youma and the convenience store. She lets another line-firing blast of rifle fire go, practically doing a combat roll out of the way to avoid another explosive barrage.

She frowed a little at the destruction to the area - after all, she's a little less used to fighting enemies that aren't out to cause real-world collateral. That said, she's not letting this store or street get trashed as much as she can manage either, her untiring arms still launching volley after volley of shots to try and wear away the sugary monstrosity's armour.

But that familiar voice snaps her out of things for a moment, shooting a gaze to the angry convenience worker with that oh-so-similar voice and face. She backpedals to avoid another blast and extends some ribbons between a few buildings, layering them as sturdy as shields, but it doesn't really last for long. This thing seems to be quite vexed with Mami outsmarting it for this long.

Pulling back down the road, she doesn't seem to recognize Kyouko too easily, either. Not until she says her name. She tilts her head towards the red-head as the moment of recognition finally clicks and she replies, without missing a beat.

"This isn't really an ideal situation...but I wouldn't want this girl to lose her life or have you out of a job. Do watch your step!"
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi's eyes widen at Kyouko's sudden arrival! Uh-oh, a civilian! ... Or ... not a civilian apparently? Someone who knows Mami? Another magical girl, maybe? That would be cool! "Uh, sorry, that was sort of ..." she stammers. "I mean. Apparently I smell delicious to, uh, to creatures of darkness ..." She then clams up, not wanting to distract either Mami or the newcomer from the battle.

Her voice does, however, attract the attention of the monster. It fires one last exploding peanut at the remains of Mami's ribbons -- evidently, it's not bright enough to distinguish them from its actual foe -- it turns and starts charging straight at Kotomi, ignoring Kyouko.

Well ... ignoring her apart from attempting to smack her aside with its elbow, that is.
Kyouko Sakura has posed:
    "Nobody's gettin' killed outside my conbenie." Kyouko scowls in reply to Mami, "and nobody's messing up the storefront either, I work damn hard to-" She is cut off as the candy-youma turns and rushes straight towards Kotomi.. taking it right past her, and trying to elbow her in the face in the process.

    Uh uh, monster. Not while Kyouko is on the job.

    Just before the elbow hits her, there's a crack and a flash of what looks like scarlet lightning. When the brief flash clears, it's no longer Kyouko Sakura, mild-mannered (lol) conbenie clerk standing there. It's Apatite, Knight of the Sincerity and Respect, and man she doesn't look terribly happy. Also, her spear is wrapped around the youma's forearm, it's wooden haft segmented into a jointed chain, connected by links of glowing red. She twists her lip in an expression of scorn, and small spearheads burst out of the spear-haft along all its segments, turning the entire thing into a lengthy chainsaw blade. With a flick of her wrist, it snaps shut.. hopefully severing the chocolate arm with a 'snap' that ends it crashing to the sidewalk.

    "I said," She goes on, regardless of the outcome, "Nobody's gettin' killed outside my shop!"
Mami Tomoe has posed:
As Mami provides fire support on the damaged youma, she swings her arms forward as a circle of rifles emerge from around her, spinning and firing a rapid-fire barrage towards the sweets' golem. Her now-free hands launch some ribbons out to catch the fallen arm, twisting it up in a web-like enclosure, tightening hard and using the remainder of the force to toss it straight back at the youma, the improvised attack designed to knock it away a little.

After all, once she heard Kyouko's passionate defense of her workplace, she can't quite ignore it, can she?

"I see you're in good form." She's changed quite a lot, Mami thinks, and that isn't quite the abilities she remembers the red-head having. Maybe she's been training harder since she left. But nevermind that, this makes two fighters on her side and only one of the candy-monster, a perfect advantage. Mami turns back to see if Kotomi got out of the way, moving back to Kyouko's position and batting away more exploding peanuts with the butt of her rifle, now almost back-to-back with the vicious Apatite.

"You're much more of a noble warrior than a Rosso Fantasma these days. But...would you do me a favour? Give me an opening so we can both send this lout packing. Are you ready?"

A large foe needs a large strike to take it down, after all.
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi boggles at Kyouko's sudden transformation into Apatite, and retreats slightly further into the alleyway. Even from her new angle, she can plainly see the monster get knocked backwards by its own arm. She pokes her head back out again, probably only just enough that Mami can see her wide eyes as she hides behind the wall of the building.

The monster clearly can't feel pain; it's slowed down, but only by the actual structural damage it's taken. As Kyouko and Mami talk about their strategy, it picks up its arm and tries to shove it back into place, but this doesn't seem to work, and after a few false starts, it throws the arm onto the ground, where it starts glowing with eerie purple flame, and disintegrates into black smoke.

Not to be deterred, however, the monster raises its arms, and then charges forward, lumbering towards Mami and Kyouko as it starts emitting another caramel-colored draining-beam. Halfway there, however, it starts sifting its course, starting to move towards Kotomi's direction!
Kyouko Sakura has posed:
    Apatite's spear snaps back into it's solid-haft form once the arm is severed, and she drops back a few paces as she watches Mami smack the thing with the severed arm, whcih is pretty satisfying. She smirks a bit as her old friend drops down next to her and comments on her perceived nobility. "If wantin' to protect my livlihood by not letting a monster smash my place of employment counts as noble, then I guess I am." Nevermind the girl cowering in the alleyway, though of course Apatite is keeping a side-glance on her as well.

    When Mami asks her to give an opening, she heaves a sigh. "Always need to be the center of attention, don't you?" She asks, wryly, but this isn't really the time to nitpick about things like that. She sees the youma head towards them.. but then again divert towards Kotomi, and she growls. "Oh c'mon you delicious-looking piece of garbage, gimme a break."

    Then she's off, leaping nimbly, cape fluttering behind her. Her spear spins in a flashing crimson arc overhead as she interposes herself between the monster and Kotomi's hiding place. "Hey, jerk," She sneers, "How about you stop ignoring the people who are actually trying to fight you? It's goddamn rude." She leaps up then, and her spear splits into two halves, connected by a long length of chain. Each end sprouts a spearhead, so she basically has two spears linked at their butts by said long chain. Twisting in the air, she throws both at the monster in a pair of crimson flashes, the weapons flashing through the air with the intent of penetrating the monster's midsection and slamming into the concrete behind it, pinning it in place with the chain connecting them.

    "Now'd be a good time if you're gonna do something flashy, Mami!" She calls as she lands lightly back on her feet, still between the monster and Kotomi.
Mami Tomoe has posed:
Mami's already on it, threading a ribbon upwards as she pulls herself above the conbenie and creates a makeshift bridge between the buildings to get her directly above the monster. Some of the ribbons hang down and thread the monster down even more, strengthening Kyouko's existing restraints. With that, she leaps from the bridge, tossing a slew of rifles summoned from her skirt as they pin it down with yet more bullets.

And for that 'something flashy' that her old friend's been talking about, she has just the thing, an old favourite...

"...Tiro..."

Apatite and Kotomi might just be able to see Mami smile confidently as she withdraws the ribbon from her collar as it extends and forms into the barrel of a massive matchlock the size of truck, its massive barrel aimed squarely at the smashed midsection of the creature...

"...FINALE!"

The huge gun disgorges an equally large blast alongside an equally powerful bullet, intending to crush the enemy in one strike!
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
And that's that. The candy-monster is caught completely flat-footed by Apatite's maneuver, rendering it completely helpless. The Tiro Finale, of course, blasts it to smithereens. These smithereens, of course, disintegrate much as the arm had, fizzling away in purple flames and disintegrating into black smoke.

"Th ..." Kotomi hesitantly steps forward. "That was so cool!" she blurts out. And then she realizes that she's putting the cart before the horse, sort of. "I mean, uh." She smiles weakly, and bows to each of them in turn. "Thank you! Thank you so much! Ah ..." She looks up at Apatite. "I'm, I'm Kotomi Kobana ..." She looks between the two of them. "Y-you know each other ...?" She almost sounds like she isn't sure it's appropriate to ask that.
Kyouko Sakura has posed:
    Apatite had a pretty good idea of what was coming- Mami has a lot of flexibility, but tends to return to old favorites. Not that she has any issue with that, as it gets the job done admirably. Even if it does leave a rather unattractive crater in the pavement. Ah well, nothing a few cones and some 'under construction' signs won't help. She reaches up to try and grab a fragment of the disintegrated candy.. but it vanishes into black smoke before she can, and she scowls. "All that and I don't even get to eat any of the candy? Lame." She mutters.

    Then she glances to Kotomi as she steps forward again and introduces herself. A quirked brow. "Apatite," She returns the favor, "Of the Shitennou." But then, with another crimson flash, she dismisses her henshin and is left standing there in her previosu outfit, apron and all. "But you can call me Kyouko. And," She glances at Mami, "Yeah, we go way back. Though I thought this one had skipped town a ways back." A pause, then to Kotomi. "No need to thank me. Bastard had the gall to cause trouble right outside my shop. Ain't no way I'm letting that kinda crap fly."
Mami Tomoe has posed:
"I feel the same way, though I wouldn't exactly use those words. You being safe and sound is reward enough, Kobana-san." Mami lets out a little smile and a shake of her head shortly after she descends, de-transforming as she hits the ground in a flurry of gold sparks. She can't help but find it humourous that Kyouko seems to be a little disgruntled at the whole chain of events. But overall, it seems that the whole encounter worked out well. And why not? Even after such a long time apart, it seems they're both on point...

"Well, that is true But I suppose that's a story for another time, isn't it? I don't suppose you're free after work?" She turns back to Kotomi and smiles warmly, reaching out to pat the girl on the head. And yes, her other hand very hesitantly reaches out to try and do so to Kyouko, curious if she'll avoid or protest.

"Ah, yes, I nearly forgot. Monsters or no, I'm sure your shop's still open, isn't it, Kyouko? Would it be fine if I bought a little something for Kobana-san for the way back home?" She looked towards her new younger friend and her much older one, once again bearing a warm, disarming smile despite all of the chaos that just took place... "...I'm still quite a bleeding heart when it comes to this sort of thing, but consider it payment for my services. As for you, Kobana-san...well, can you get to where you're going by yourself, or would you rather I come along?"
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi looks increasingly nervous as Kyouko speaks. "I, uh ... I dunno who the 'Shitennou' are," she says nervously, and she looks uncertainly towards Mami. It's not just that Kyouko's intimidating, she's just ... highly nervous.

She blushes deeply as Mami pats her head. "Ah. Um. I. Y-you don't have to g-get me ..." She sounds like she's saying this automatically out of some misplaced sense of politeness and/or propriety, she's not actually rejecting it out of hand.

She sighs softly. "That's, like, the third youma that's come after me," she says weakly. "I, uh ..." She hesitates. "I don't know if you know about the world of dreams ... or, um, Ariel-san ... but this Nightmare catgirl named ... Ya ... something." She shrugs. "Um, she apparently shoved me full of darkness, or something, and now I smell 'delicious' to creatures of darkness." She smiles hesitantly. "I've, I've always been rescued, though! It's ... it's great that we have so many magical girls in this city ..."
Kyouko Sakura has posed:
    Kyouko snaps her hand up as Mami tries to pat her head, catching the other girl's wrist just before she can manage it. She gives her old acquaintance and warning look, then releases it again before shrugging her shoulders. "I'm expected home for dinner. But I could probably find time to talk. A lot's happened." She pauses, then adds, almost grudgingly, "It's good to see you're not dead, though." A legitimate compliment in the realm of Puella! "And yes, of course we're open, and I would never turn away a customer no matter who they are."

    She then glances at Kotomi. "Doesn't really matter. 'Good guys' is about as functional a definition as any." She quirks a brow at the revelation that this girl is somehow full of delicious darkness. "Yeah, I know Ariel. Not well, but we've met. She's a friend of my boss." As is everyone, or so it seems, but that's beside the point. "That's.. interesting to know."
Mami Tomoe has posed:
"You too, Kyouko. I'm more resilent than you'd think."

Mami ends up looking to Kyouko as she catches her hand and quietly withdraws it, though she continues patting Kotomi until she eventually pulls back from her as well. She knows the other girl's boundaries well, at least.

"I see. Well then, consider me a customer as well as a friend, tonight. I look forward to hearing all about what you've been up to, these days but I don't plan on keeping you too long. I have my own business to deal with, here, and...well, much changes in three years." Yes, it's been a long time that she hasn't seen Kyouko or anyone else, making the blonde wonder if the others anywhere near this different.

Either way, hearing that poor Kotomi is somehow an attractor to those things is equally concerning, Mami's brow furrowing in a mix of thought and worry. "In that case, I think it might be best if I bring you straight home, after I've bought you something nice, Kobana-san. I wouldn't want you to run into something else on the way back. And besides, wouldn't you like to get there in time to deliver that gift of yours?"
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi grins nervously, and gives Kyouko a hesitant nod. "Right," she murmurs. "I ... uh ... yeah." And that's more-or-less that, she thinks. Kyouko seems like a very no-nonsense person, and Kotomi doesn't want to spend too much time as part of this conversation if she can avoid it.

She blinks at Mami's comment. "Well, uh." She looks slightly nonplussed. "I ... g-guess so ... um, thank you!" she says weakly. "But ... um ... I ... haven't actually bought the gift yet. It's, you know that place that just opened --" She blinks. "Or, wait, you're new -- or, uh, haven't been here in a while." She shakes her haed. "W-well, um, basically, we, just, have another place to go first, ahahaha ..." Oh dear.
Kyouko Sakura has posed:
    "You said it." Kyouko says to Mami, with a mild shrug, in response to 'a lot changes in three years.' Then she glances back to the door of her conbenie, luckily undamaged in the fighting despite the hole in the pavement outside of it now. "Anyway. Come in when you're ready. I've got to get back behind the counter. I'll ring you up when you figure out exactly what you're buying."
    With that, she flicks her fingers in a casual salute to both, and saunters back through the doors into the shop, returning to her place behind the counter and leaning one elbow upon it as she waits for customers, known or unknown, to demand her attention.
Mami Tomoe has posed:
Mami must not have realized the poor thing hadn't finished her errands - and while that technically wasn't her problem, she still felt indebted to helping out this girl a little longer. After offering a wave to Kyouko as Mami watched the red-head heading back indoors, the blonde Puella lays a hand on Kotomi's shoulder and offers her yet another smile, her body language urging her to come along. "Oh dear...I suppose I'll stay around a little longer, then. In exchange, I'm sure you can show me around sometime, can't you? Having a guide sounds like quite a lot of fun. I might be able to help you pick something lovely, if you'll allow it."

Even so, she shoots a look in the direction of the conbenie as her smile fades, if only a little. "...Don't be too worried about Kyouko, either, Kobana-san. That's just the way she is, sometimes."

Quietly, she leads the timid girl into the store, trying to maintain her facade of calm all the while. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. There was so much more for the elder Puella to figure out, and it started with finding out what happened to Kyouko...

But for now, keeping the younger girl calm was always the higher priority. "I'll give you my phone number, as well, if you'd like. I know this sounds odd, but...if you ever want to talk to me about anything that's on your mind, I'll lend an ear."

Old habits die hard, it seems. Mami idly wonders if she's bothering the girl by quizzing her so much like this. But it's worth a shot to get her off the streets where there could be danger...
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi tenses up for about half a second when Mami puts her hand on her shoulder, but she quickly relaxes. "Ah, well, um, okay!" she says. "Um, thank you, then!" Mami, in her mind, is approximately the opposite of Kyouko. She's actually starting to relax now.

She perks up slightly at the offer of a phone number. "Oh, um, sure!" she says. "I, well ..." She shrugs. "I dunno if ... you'd ... necessarily be close enough to help me out if another attack happens, and, I mean, I've always been rescued by at least two magical girls before." She shrugs, and smiles up at Mami. "But, um, it can't hurt, I guess!"

She hesitates. "I ... was a fan of magical girls before I ... had a weird dream and then found out magic was real when I actually ran into someone from the dream," she says. "I mean, well, I still am, since I've always been rescued before. But, uh. Yeah! It's kind of amazing that it's all real. Y'know?"
Mami Tomoe has posed:
Mami takes this in stride, trying to comfort the girl's worries as she leads her over to the store with her. She replies, briefly, though her tone of voice is a little darker than before as the girl seems worried she might not get there in time... "It is real, but it's all very dangerous if you're not on guard. I suppose you could say I'm more used to fighting enemies that hide in their own little hiding-places. That way, I have to come to them if they want to cause trouble. But...you have a point. There's even times where I'm not so lucky to find someone right after they're endangered..."

Mami shifts her tone back to the positive, even if her eyes still look a little saddened by the memories stirred up by hearing such a grim thought. She passes her phone to Kotomi, showing her phone number. "I'm sure you'll be safe, if you have two people looking out for you, so a third isn't out of the question. Even if you can't fight outside of your dreams, though, that shouldn't drag you down either. Instead, you ought to see if there's any way of making that power manifest outside of your dreams. Or, at the very least, don't travel alone, if you can help it. As long as you have people keeping an eye out for you, even if they can't always come find you, you'll be better for it." Leading her through the doors in search of something to lift both their spirits at the convenience store, Mami added, a little wistfully... "You remind me a little of myself, when I was younger. I felt I could hardly do anything in the face of danger, believe it or not. But I learned and I found others who would shoulder what I could not."

"That said, I shouldn't get caught up reminiscing like this..." she added, helpfully. "Do you have any favourite snacks? I'm more for a well-baked pastry, myself, but all this place has are generic brands..." Not that this is a bad thing, of course, but Mami's tastes are usually a little more refined than most, whereas Kyouko's at home in a place like this.
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi tenses up as Mami has a brief diversion into the negative. But she does her best to settle down long enough to copy Mami's phone number into her own phone, before showing her own number to Mami. "I've actually ... been wanting to get in touch with Ariel-san about all this," she says. "If she knows any thing about Ya ..." She screws up her face in concentration. "... su ... mi? Yeah I think her name is 'Yasumi' something." She shakes her head. "But I mean yeah, definitely wanna figure out if I can't transform here, too."

She looks a bit surprised when Mami says she used to feel helpless. From her own perspective, all the magical girls she's seen are impossibly confident. ... Except for Lacrima, who has vampire troubles. And Unmei, come to think of it, though that's due to having very similar issues to Kotomi herself. "Yeah," she says softly. "Like ... I definitely understand about getting help and friends. Friendship and working together is always important in the magical girl shows! And people who reject friendship in the shows always lose in the end!"

In response to the question, she looks around. "Um, I dunno," she says. "I ... always just grab the, the first snack I can see, I guess ..." She shrugs. "My mom always likes well-baked pastries, too, though, but, like, I just go for ... convenience, too ..." And for not having to worry too much about indecisiveness, although 'should I even enter the store' has sometimes been a problem, i.e. today.
Mami Tomoe has posed:
Hearing Kotomi's preferences, Mami quickly looks about and finds a large chocolate bar - the kind you can break into pieces and share easily with others - and looks at it quizzically. "If you're not too hungry, you might be able to bring something like this to you special someone, as well. Just a thought." Regaining her composure was a bit easier than she figured, as she scoured the shelves for something else befitting Kotomi's kindness and sweetness, too. Chocolate seems a good fit for her, Mami thinks, but she could be wrong. "Counting on friends is one thing, Kobana-san, but assuming that the world is fair and friendly as it is on television isn't always a good outlook. I think that way, myself, but there are many people who believe there's only so much that friendship and fair play can do. But even if you don't agree with how people think or how people treat eachother, you ought to always try and be kind to others. I suppose that one goes without saying..."

Mami's pretty sure that Kyouko is hard at work out here, too. She must've overheard some of their conversation on the way in, at least, but that was the least of her concerns, right now. She'll have to catch up with her, sooner or later... "Oh...and Kobana-san? If there's anything you'd like to ask me, I'd be willing to answer. Rather, anything that's proper for a night out like this." That means, nothing too secret or too personal, probably.
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi blinks at the chocolate bar. "Oh! No, the place I was talking about has more expensive chocolates," she says, smiling cheerfully. "I'm not gonna give Unmei-chan convenience-store chocolate. Coming here was just for, y'know, a quick snack." She nods, as if this was all clear and self-evident.

She blinks in surprise as the subject turns to the more ... realistic aspects of being a magical girl. "W-well, I mean ... I get that," she says, slightly backpedaling. "I guess it's sorta ..." She shrugs. "... I dunno. I'm just bad at talking to people in general. Like, I know that there's bad guys, and that they're ... still around, I guess? But, um, yeah, that's definitely my, uh, philosophy, I guess. Like I'd never judge anyone basically ..." Her hand subconsciously goes to the striped pin on the lapel of her uniform jacket.

She considers the offer to ask questions. Normally, she'd run into a wall of anxiety, but ... well, with magical girls, it's kind of different. And anyway, there's a fairly obvious question for her to ask. "Well, um ... what kind of magical girl are you?" she says. "A-and, um, how did you become one, if that's okay for me to ask?"
Mami Tomoe has posed:
"I wasn't suggesting you should get that for her right now. of course. But you should at least have something on hand to share with her, some other time. A little thinking ahead isn't so bad."

Mami smiles back and nods to Kotomi's previous statement, seeming to agree on what little she does understand. So this girl is at least a little naive and idealistic, but that isn't really such a bad thing. Mami's too idealistic for her own good, so it isn't as if she can really critique that very much.

"As for how and why I'm a magical girl...that's a little complicated. But I don't quite thing this is really the place to talk about it in much depth. We can talk a little while we're on the way to your Unmei-san's place. I wouldn't want Kyouko overhearing us and getting annoyed..."

She does, however, offer a little hint, gently brushing her hair with a hand and carefully moving across her hairpin, which sparkled with an unusual light and a faint, faint hint of darkness... "All I'll say now is that I've lost many people who are dear to me, even before I gained my abilities. But I work much harder, so that I can stop that from happening." She looks around the treats aisle, nabbing up a small bag of gummy candies and some of those smaller bite-sized chocolates, too. "Do you like these kinds of things, too? It's a little subconscious for me - I used to fill my home chock-full of snacks for my friends, when they visited me."

Mami, of course, is being awfully evasive in terms of what she is, and despite looking a little concerned from having to admit even that...she seems to want to do so on her own terms.
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi blinks. "Oh. Uh. Right." She just looks bashful, and laughs weakly. "S-sorry, uh, I'm just ... very new to having a girlfriend, ahahah ..." She shrugs. "A-and I'm not actually going ... directly to Unmei-chan's place, I'm gonna head back home first and send it off later." Seems like there's a mixture of over-planning, and winging it at the worst possible times.

When Mami runs her hand over the hairpin ... she tilts her head as she notices the faint darkness therein, but she doesn't show any sign of actually understanding what it means. But Mami wants to leave talking about it for later, which means that there is absolutely no way Kotomi is going to be able to work up the nerve to press her about it.

And then Mami talks about losing friends.

Kotomi looks shocked. "... oh," she says in a quiet voice. In spite of her naivete, she clearly knows that Mami doesn't mean they just had a falling out. Now, she understands that death is an actual danger -- something that has happened, and something that might actually happen.

She almost looks surprised when Mami picks up a couple of candies. "Um. I ... guess so ..."
Mami Tomoe has posed:
Mami frowns a little at the other girl's confusion as she tries to re-assure her a little... "...I'm sorry, I hadn't meant to make things so dour. The worst is behind me, in my case. I prefer to look forwards, rather than backward. After all, I'm so glad to meet someone like you, with such high spirits. I'd be happy to meet the both of you, sometime, if you'd like. I'm sure we'll get along very well." With her frown turning into a gentle smile, she carefully pats Kotomi on the head again, as if to say that everything will be alright.

"...Mmh. I suppose I'll leave the important part of the delivering business to you, then, but I can certainly offer some help in picking out some excellent chocolates."

That said, it sounds like she wants to steer as far away from anything troubling as much as possible, right now. She doesn't want to spook the poor girl any more than she already has... "Could you tell me a little about Unmei-san? What kind of person is she, to you? Other than the obvious..." Mami giggles a bit, amused and curious as to how she'd react - and whether she'd accept such a deflection so soon.
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi blushes a bit at the headpat. She takes a deep breath, trying to calm herself down; her anxiety tries to inform her that there is now a perfectly brilliant worst-case-scenario, and she visualizes transforming into Dream Defender Kotomi and blasting her anxiety with Twinkling Night, jeez. "Ah .... um ... okay," she says quietly.

Unmei is, in fact, a much happier subject. "Basically, it's ..." She manages a smile. "She's way cooler than me! She's a little older than me ... and ..." She giggles nervously; she doesn't want to out her to a stranger as Magical Girl Clotho. "Well, um, we're both pretty much kind of disasters? In a lot of the same ways, too. We really have a bunch of things in common!" Nor does she want to talk about the advantages Unmei has in the transitioning department ... "I ... met her while we were in line to get the special edition of Vampire Warrior Aurora, and she was in cosplay. As Vampire Warrior Aurora, I mean." The name of one of the fictional magical girl shows that have cropped up in Tokyo. "I ..." She shrugs, and looks away uncertainly. "I wish I had that kind of confidence, really. But. Um. Yeah."

She smiles. Talking about Unmei clearly seems to have lifted her spirits.
Mami Tomoe has posed:
"Don't worry. I'm sure you'll become as confident, someday. Confidence takes quite a lot of effort and hard work to build, but it starts with affirming that you can do it. That isn't to say you can't be afraid or uncertain, that's just part of being human. But really, if you like her as much as you say you do, I'm sure you'll support eachother enough to get through even the worst that life has to offer you. That and...well, you've already lived through so much to meet her. I suppose it's fair to tell you that I've always believed ou shouldn't ever be ashamed of doing what makes you happy."

That said, she knew little about the girl than what she saw on the surface, but knew at least that she's kindly, if lacking in that very self-confidence Mami seems to be talking about... "I lived a fairly solitary life before meeting with Kyouko and the others, but it was our bonds that kept us strong in the face of danger. Many people call me a little overly-idealist for relying on others and letting them rely on me, but it only proves to me that confidence comes from within and without."

She's already putting her own finds into a bag and seems ready to check out, unless Kotomi really wants anything else. "I guess the easiest way to put this would be that by accepting and loving yourself, it can make the love you share with others much stronger, and vice-versa. Kobana-san, you seem like someone who certainly has more than enough to spare - even if you don't think so, yourself - so don't sell yourself short by saying you two are 'disasters'."

As much as Mami was taking her time to reassure Kotomi, she felt it'd only be prudent to help her feel less uncertain with herself. Kotomi's a good girl, she thinks, and deserves some recognition of that.
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi nods slowly. She doesn't seem to be interested in any further snacks, so she's just following Mami's lead at the moment.

It takes another moment before she speaks up. "I guess it's more a mental health sort of thing, really," she says. "I have anxiety. And it's like ... It just keeps going like 'oh, this is gonna be the worst-case scenario!' Or like 'That girl I just met was slightly bothered by things, this is the worst-case scenario!'" She goes slightly red-faced as she remembers actually blurting out about her crush on Unmei before she even knew she had it, which somewhat raised her anxiety's standards. "But ..."

She shrugs. "I like to think I'm improving, I guess. Things have ... things have gotten better since the beginning of middle school. In more ways than one." She fiddles with the flag pin again thoughtfully; notwithstanding her earlier shock, Mami's talk has been a great deal of food for thought, on both the magic and the mundane side of things.
Mami Tomoe has posed:
"...I tend to have a similar issue as well, to be honest. I dislike being alone, if I can help it and...in some ways, I enjoy being pro-active in keeping others out of harm's way. Though...I suppose, for the most part, I've been dealing with much of it on my own." Mami replies with a nod. "I might have a different perspective than you, but I'm glad things are improving for you, little by little."

She heads for the checkout, having bagged everything up neatly, carrying the treats so that Kotomi wouldn't have to deal with it. Might as well, she's even paying for her, too. "So long as you can keep up that mindset and be true to yourself, I'm sure things will work out. For me...it isn't so easy, anymore. There's much I have to catch up on, especially since my friends may have...moved on while I've been away from home."

While she still has that cheerful expression, just a little, there's a sneaking bit of worry in her voice, as if she feels unwelcome or perhaps...afraid. She hasn't been in contact with anyone and just met Kyouko today for the first time in a while, after all. Those two already had plenty to talk about.
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi considers this a moment as they start heading out of the store. "I'd probably be worried about that kinda thing, too," she says. "But, like ..." She has to take a moment to put her thoughts in order, and to stop herself from anxietying on Mami's behalf. "I mean it's not like they'd forget you ... I think. They probably miss you and stuff? Or they'll be like ... 'hey, it's been a while!' or whatever."

... And then she realizes that Mami paid for both of them. "Oh! Y-you don't have to pay for my ... I mean, uh ..." Once again, she's stumbling through a certain level of her own issues versus the required decorum.
Mami Tomoe has posed:
"I should hope so. I'll have to track down Kyouko after work and see what she has to say about it. As for the others I know, I don't really know where to start. Sooner or later, however, I'm sure they'll end up finding me. I'm sure they'll remember and miss me, but it won't exactly be the same as before. People can change quite a lot in three years."

Mami, of course, is the picture of decorum all the way through. "Don't worry so much about it. I've more than enough to spare, and besides, I'm...how did Kyouko put it that one time...'too nice not to?'" Mami laughs a little as she reminisces for a moment, slowly filing her way out of the store and passing Kotomi the bag to take what she pleased out of it. "Ah, well. I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it, won't I?"
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi nods slowly. "Yeah, I guess that makes sense," she says as she transfers some of the snacks to her own bag. She wonders what she'll be like in three years. Apart from being midway through high school, and hopefully more feminine, that is. Maybe by then she'll even be able to transform into a magical girl in the waking world ...

She looks up at Mami and smiles faintly. "Well, I mean, I can afford it, too," she says. "My family has ... plenty of money." There's a bit of awkwardness in her tone. "I, um, I go to Verone Academy by the way. What about you?"
Mami Tomoe has posed:
Mami takes the bag back once Kotomi's done with it, bearing a gentle smile. "...Well, I think I'm a little too old for school these days. And...even I hesitate to say that. It's embarrassing. But...I used to go to Infinity, both when it was still Mitakihara Middle-High School and afterward. I suppose I might be somewhat well known by staff there, since I kept up with fairly well with academics. I don't think any of the newer students would remember someone like me."

She blushes a bit, mostly out of confusion and embarrassment, her calm facade cracking just a little. "I tried to get into higher education in Kazamino as well, but I wasn't as successful as I'd hoped. Not because I was any worse, of course. More...that I felt something was off."
Mami Tomoe has posed:
"Besides..." Mami adds, with a shake of her head. "I found a new circle of friends in Kazamino and found it harder to balance my mundane life with my magical one..."
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi blinks. "Oh," she says, mildly surprised. "I see ..." She doesn't, really, but ... well, it's clear that real-life magical girls have it much harder balancing things than they do on the shows. Which is ... another thing to look forward to once she's able to transform, jeez ...

It isn't long before they reach the chocolate shop, which looks fairly upscale. Kotomi look up at Mami. "So, uh, I think it's important if I buy the stuff myself, okay?" she says, smiling faintly.
Mami Tomoe has posed:
Mami just steps back with an equally pleased little smile and lets her go first... "Of course, Kobana-san! I'm sure you'll find something lovely for her." She looks fairly impressed at this particular location. Mami'd thought of going here while she was still living here beforehand, but the chance had never came, nor the opportunity. As she follows her about, she decides to slow down for a second and let Kotomi take the lead a little more. "Would you rather I keep following you or should I meet up with you in a little, after you've picked something out?"

Of course, she isn't going to be as uncouth to pay for that gift and she understands very well that's a joke. And that's at least one step in the right direction - a joke or two bandied around by friends is often the start of something better. Her thoughts went to what Kotomi really thought of her kindness. It was clear from looking at her that hearing the sobering reality of Mami's life was putting a dent in Kotomi's image of magical girls a bit, but Mami had tried her best to stay hopeful as she could and keep things towards the positive. And it seemed they got along fine, so far. Perhaps if Kotomi had been around when she was three years ago, she might have even helped her along with things. Even so, Mami felt a responsibility she hadn't felt since Kazamino or her first foray into Mitakihara. What was important...was not to smother the girl too much with support. Even if it's a small gesture, she ought to do this on her own.
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi is, in fact, socially oblivious enough that it was at least partially sincere, but she considers Mami's question. "Um ... how about I just ... go in and go out," she says. "We can talk some more afterward!"

It takes her a few minutes, possibly of anxiety-ridden indecision again, but once she leaves, it's with a heart-shaped red box sticking out of her bag. And she's also blushing. "... The lady at the counter asked who my boyfriend was," she says dryly. "I ... played it off as being too shy to answer." A brief hesitation. "Which I was. But. Yeah."
Mami Tomoe has posed:
Mami's been waiting outside for Kotomi to return, content to keep an eye out until she gets back. When her companion returns with the heart-shaped box and a terribly red face, replies in an amused tone, crossing her arms a little... "Don't worry so much about that. What matters is that you've got what you came for." Her golden eyes narrow a little as she teasingly adds in... "But are you sure that's enough, Kobana-san?" If she was younger and more impulsive, she'd probably have bought a couple boxes, just to show her devotion. But one was more than enough for her, it seemed.
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi giggles, and shrugs a bit. "I'm taking it as a compliment, anyway," she murmurs. "It's ..." She hesitates, but she feels like she can probably trust Mami. "I'm trans, and it's nice that people just only see me as a girl."

At the question of whether it's enough, she giggles nervously, and shrugs. "I'm just ... trying ... not to go overboard, I guess," she says lamely.
Mami Tomoe has posed:
Mami seems fine enough with how things have gone, so far, turning a little and offering her a helpful pat on the shoulder as she answers her, a tone of confidence still in her voice, the elder magical girl looking into Kotomi's eyes. "Well, you are a girl, after all. There's no doubt in that in my mind." She's certain that the whole 'magical girl' phenomena often dealt with feminine aspects in some ways, anyway, and who better than a composite lady to give Kotomi her support? "Like I said earlier, you should carry on pursuing whatever makes you happiest. I only hope that Unmei-san will enjoy your gift as much as you enjoyed picking it out." Mami seemed pleased enough with the outcome. It seems she's made a new friend in her old stomping grounds and learned quite a bit about her, already. "You're a kind young lady and I hope that we'll be excellent friends, Kobana-san. And...well, I'm only a call away if you want to talk about whatever's on your mind."

Mami pulled away from her a little and gave her a little more space as she declared... "We girls ought to stick together, don't you think?"
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Mami's words of support are super-effective! Kotomi is actually blushing by the time Mami finishes, smiling a bigger smile than usual! "Ah ..." Her mental health issues straight-up can't do anything about this. This is the best-case scenario! Her anxiety tries to suggest against all available evidence that Mami might be mocking her. Shut up, anxiety!

She just smiles weakly up at Mami. "... heh ... yeah ..." she says in a quiet voice. She runs a hand through her hair. "Uh, yeah! A-and, um, I will!"
Mami Tomoe has posed:
"That's excellent to hear, then. I'll be looking forward to it." Mami's still as warm and welcoming to the overly-anxious Kotomi. "Ah, yes. I suppose if you need help with fashion-tips as well, I'd be more than happy to give you a bit of advice. I'm sure you'd want to look your best for Unmei-san, after all. I've got plenty of clothes that I...honestly don't even seem to get around to wearing. They might be a little bigger on you than most...but I'm willing to part with some of them."

Mami seems to understand Kotomi's situation well enough to at least offer a few avenues of getting her closer to her goals. "I suppose I'm being a little selfish, even with my altruism. Truth be told, I miss having someone to fuss about, Kobana-san. You're a bit of a worrier, just like Kaname-san was." She lets out an amused little chuckle - not at all mocking. If anything, she was glad to have found someone so sweet and kind in the city, after all this time.

"Now then, one last question..."

And for once, wasn't going to lose this one anytime soon. Kotomi was a trouble-magnet, but if anything, was much easier to manage.

"...How do you like your tea, Kobana-san?"
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi is still looking rather overwhelmed, but she's at least starting to pull herself back together. It's as if she's all but forgotten the fact that Mami actually rescued her from a monster. "Umm ... hmm ... I, um, that's very kind of you!" she says, shooting Mami another smile. "But, um. I'm ... doing perfectly fine, as far as clothes go! My mother is very helpful, a-and she wouldn't hear of me getting something secondhand!"

She smiles faintly and shrugs; as warm as Mami is around her, she still can't quite bring herself to cut through the anxiety and ask about "Kaname-san." (Nor does she have any idea what kind of delightful news that's going to be.)

She blinks, and considers the question. "Ummm ... hmm ..." She's actually unsure of how to answer; she isn't entirely clear on the idea that there's more than one way to take it. "I, uh ... however I'm given ... I guess ...?"
Mami Tomoe has posed:
Mami's happy enough with that answer. "I'll see what I can find when I settle in a little more, then. But I'm glad you have so many who can help and support you. To be honest, I wish I could have someone who'd take care of me for once..."

Of course, she also seems fairly relaxed as ever, her warm golden eyes looking rather full of a quiet joy. "I prefer black teas, but I'm asking in case you ever have some time to come over to my place for a visit. You can bring Unmei-san along, if you'd like." Her smile grows a little fainter, though she seems to be at least keeping up her good mood for now. She shrugs back a little, not exactly sure what else she'll say without confusing the poor girl. "I suppose it's what I'm used to - friends meeting up with me and sharing all the little details of their lives. It's been quite a while since I've seen my old friends together in one place, but I think a few new ones might lighten the load a little, don't you agree?"

Quietly, Mami continues looking down the road a little, then back to Kotomi, taking in the sights. "I'll accompany you as far as part of the way to your Unmei-san's house, just to make sure you'll find your way there, safely. But there's something I need to do after we part ways. I hope you don't mind, but...so far, it's been such a great pleasure to talk to you. Unmei-san is lucky to have you."
Kotomi Kobana has posed:
Kotomi looks curious at Mami's comment about wanting someone to take care of her. In Kotomi's mind, Mami is untouchably cool! But again, she's not going to press her about it. She simply nods slowly. "Yeah, um," she says. "New friends is ... is definitely good!" Her tone of voice suggests that she doesn't actually have a whole lot of experience with this.

She nods slowly, deciding not to correct Mami about her immediate destination. "That won't be, um, a problem!" she says. "I'm, I usually am fine. A-and, um, like I said, even when something does happen, there's always been someone to help me." She shrugs. "So, um, I guess I'll see you later then ... or I mean, after we part ways ... y-you know what I mean!" She's going slightly red-faced again ...

On the other hand, she isn't going completely into panic-mode again. Which probably counts for something.