Without Obligation


Ami goes to visit Takashi on Valentine's Day.

Date: 2017-02-14
Pose Count: 18
Ami Mizuno 2017-02-15 00:00:12 70947
It's late afternoon, about two hours after Seishou has let its students out for the day. Dinner time is coming for most families, so why should Takashi be home? And yet, Ami Mizuno has forgotten that particular detail in all of her planning for this day. Give her some credit: she worked almost every other detail out without falling apart over anxiety and stress.

Nevertheless, the bleunette stands outside Takashi's home, dressed casually in bluejean capris and a white sweater hanging off one shoulder, revealing a black bra-strap beneath. A pair of white canvas sneakers complete the outfit. She's clutching a small bento box wrapped in a blue ribbon, with a card carefully placed in the ribboning to hold it in place.

The problem is, Takashi isn't answering his door.

Ami stands around uncertainly for several minutes, debating what to do. Then, in a sudden stroke of inspiration, she reaches into her back pocket and pulls out her phone. Leaning up against the doorframe, she thumbs out a quick text.

    FROM Ami Mizuno: Taka-kun, I'm outside you're house. Howcome you're not here?

That should do.
Takashi Agera 2017-02-15 00:13:08 70948
Takashi is, of course, not at home. He's actually somewhat missed that today is February 14th - he's known Valentine's Day was around this time, but he's been more focused on other things. The world, after all, is still a mess.

So of couse he's in the middle of something, and even his text is just a little delayed. FROM Takashi Agera: Because I'm not at my house? Give me a moment.

And true to his word, a few minutes pass and Ami can feel him arriving on the other side, and eventually striding forward to open his door - this time after hanging up his coat, wearing the somewhat plain school uniform of Infinity. At least he looks good in it.

Once the doors open, he looks her up and down before it hits him what she might be here for, and he eventually gets out of his mouth "You look good."
Ami Mizuno 2017-02-15 00:20:20 70949
Ami frowns at the response. "I should have thought of that," she notes to herself unhappily, then sighs and texts him back.

    FROM Ami Mizuno: Okay, well, I'm waiting just outside. See you soon.

By the time he arrives, she's chilly from the cold of waiting outside without a jacket, but she's still determined to wait anyways.

When the door opens, Ami turns and smiles at Takashi, a full bright smile, with only half of her nervousness actually present in it.

"Hi," she says, only a tiny squeak in her tone.

Then his words register, and she blushes and looks away. "Thanks," she says quietly. "I um." Pause. "Can I come in?"
Takashi Agera 2017-02-15 00:45:20 70950
Takashi smiles just as bright as Ami does - without the standard nervousness. And in fact, a little excitement. "Hi yourself. Of course you can come in." Takashi steps out of the door. "Mi casa es su casa." Unlike his German, his Mandarin, and his English, Takashi's spanish is terrible. Where did he even get that phrase?

"I would give you a key or something but that probably seems more of a thing than I mean it as?" he offers. "Not like I'm asking you to move in... just..." and now he's tongue tied himself. "Forget that whole line of discussion. It's good to see you." he says, waving one hand as if he can push the entire conversation away.
Ami Mizuno 2017-02-15 01:01:35 70951
He got it from Peru, of course. Although for all that Ami tried to teach him Spanish, apparently none of it stuck. She starts to step in through the door, then stops immediately at the mention of the key. And of course, from key he goes to moving in, thus digging the whole deeper.

By the time Takashi has managed to ask her to forget that line of discussion, Ami's eyes are wide as saucers, and she's staring up at him half-tremblingly.

"Ahehehehehhhh," she manages to laugh through her nervousness, then swallows hard and slides past him into the house. Must. Complete. Mission.

Toeing off her shoes, Ami reveals a pair of thin white toe-socks beneath. She steps in onto the plush carpets, then turns around to face him and holds out the box before her. "Um. Tadaaaa~" she suggests, singing the note just barely.

Then, almost immediately, Ami explains, "I've never done this before. Like. Not even Obligation Chocolates. Well okay that's a lie, I did it for my dad ... back before ... you know. But um. Not since I've been old enough to really understand, you know? So um. I made these for you. For Valentine's Day. And I hope they're okay. And I should probably shut up because I'm rambling but I'm really nervous. So you can just stop me any time ..."
Takashi Agera 2017-02-15 01:24:08 70952
Takashi finally starts to blush himself when Ami holds the box out to him, and a little bit more when she explains that she hasn't done these before. "You made me... chocolates?" he says, slowly. Like he wasn't expecting this at all. And for a moment he's still and quiet - Takashi Agera is both still and quiet and it doesn't even seem like the boy is thinking.

"And they're not then, obligation chocolates either? I mean. Maybe I should've expected this but I didn't." he admits, and then slowly reaches out to take the box. "I'm sure they'll be perfect." His eyes are on her and it's not entirely clear he's talking about the chcolates.

"I... thanks." he adds, taking the box and looking at it almost like he's afraid to open it.
Ami Mizuno 2017-02-15 01:25:51 70953
"Kinda," Ami says, stressing the word heavily. "They're actually brownies, because candies are a lot harder to make. Mako-chan helped me, because for some reason straight chemistry just doesn't work as well as actually understanding what makes them good. I don't know. But she helped, and I haven't tried them because I've been terrified, but the batter tasted good?"

She shrugs a little, then leans forward to tap on the little card beneath the ribbons. "I also wrote you a card. But you can just ... it's silly. So. You can just. Yanno. Ignore it. If you like."
Takashi Agera 2017-02-15 01:27:52 70954
"I know a thing or two about how chemistry doesn't seem to perfectly translate into confectionary. That's kinda why I... made adjustments when I made the chocolates."

Then a pause. "You went to the trouble. For me. On valentine's day. It could be a chocolate sandwich for all I care, the thought matters." He super-carefully looks at the ribbon, picking it at gently and then pulls it open, turning the card over to look at it.
Ami Mizuno 2017-02-15 01:41:14 70955
It's blue, of course: a powder blue card, with no sleeve beyond the ribbons themselves.

As he turns it over, the message becomes clear. In silver text, it's a mathetmatical formula written in Ami's own hand:

9x-7i>3(3x-7u)
9x-7i>9x-21u
-7i-21u
7i<21u
i<3u

Ami watches nervously as Takashi reads it. She blushes and looks away, worried that he'll find it too nerdy or too childish.
Takashi Agera 2017-02-15 01:52:15 70956
Takashi looks at it. For just a moment he cocks his head sideways, because it takes him a little bit of time to get it. And then as Ami blushes and looks away, suddenly while he keeps the box in one hand he's hugging her for just a moment very, very tightly with his free hand before letting her go just as fast. "You're amazing."
Ami Mizuno 2017-02-15 02:00:36 70957
Ami squeaks at the sudden hug, and certainly tenses when he touches her. But she doesn't try to escape. Instead, she takes a moment to accept it, then leans into it just a little. "Well, I'm not really amazing," she admits. "I couldn't have done it alone, and I sorta messed up on the card, and I still don't know if the brownies are good. But ...

"I know I haven't been the best girlfriend," Ami explains with a frown, still leaning against him even though he's let go. "I'm hesitant about everything, and I'm not very good at showing you how I feel, and I'm always nervous. But ... I really do like you, Taka-kun. A lot. And even if being with you isn't always better than not being with you," she says, "I think you're worth the investment."
Takashi Agera 2017-02-15 02:31:51 70959
"Hey, if I say you're amazing then at least you're amazing to me." Takashi says with a sort of firm clearness. "The card is great, and I'm sure the brownies are too, but I'm gonna test them in a sec." But what she's saying is more important.

"There's a really important thing I want you to understand, Ami." Takashi puts a hand on her shoulder and looks at her. "There are things that... I wish were different. I won't lie, either. I dunno if I'm wortth the investment, but I like to think I am. But even though I sometimes want stuff to be different, I still always think of that stuff with you. I've never wanted anyone different."
Ami Mizuno 2017-02-15 02:44:11 70960
Ami's eyes widen just a little when he grabs her shoulder. She stares at his face--into his eyes--not lovingly or longingly, but with just a little bit of timidness and uncertainty.

And she listens.

The words aren't eloquent or elegant or refined, but the way he speaks them certainly appeals to Ami. She blushes a little and ducks her head, then leans forward to put her forehead on his chest.

"You're worth it," Ami promises softly. "Things may not always work out for us, but I promise I'm never going to give up on you. Never going to stop trying. I believe you can change the world, Takashi. I believe you can help save it. And I hope I can be there to support you when you do."
Takashi Agera 2017-02-15 03:10:12 70962
Takashi just nods for a moment. And he's without words for longer, so he decides to break that silence by opening the box and eating a brownie. "...And you were worried these weren't good?!" he asks. "It's fantastic. Almost as much as you!" Takashi grins and then finds his words.

"I won't stop trying either. I mean. As smart as the two of us are.... one of us has to be right! And then whoever is right, with our combined intellects, I know we can do amazing, incredible things. And more than either of us could do alone."
Ami Mizuno 2017-02-15 03:26:08 70963
Ami steps away when he opens the brownies. She finds a wall to lean on, just in case he hates them and she needs to brace herself ...

... and it proves unnecessary when he takes a bite.

Ami lets out a sigh of relief when he grins at her. She smiles and looks away, pleased with herself. "Well," she admits, "I did have help. But I'm glad you like them. She didn't touch or test anything; just watched me and told me what to do."

Together, he says, and Ami smiles at him, liking the sound of it. But she can't quite let it go without an amusing retort of, "So that means you acknowledge I could be right about this?" She grins, next, then asks, "So what would you like to do for dinner? Mom's working, and I am free most of the evening."
Takashi Agera 2017-02-15 03:39:47 70965
Takashi opens the brownies again and takes a second one and pretty much inhales it. "No, really. These are amazing. Absolutely the best brownies I've ever had. Maybe the best chocolate - and I'm not just saying that because you made them. Although that probably helps."

"Of course I acknowledge you might be right - I'd have to, if I was not lying about the way I respect your intelligence. But don't get too excited. I still put the chances in my favor."

"Oh jeeze, I don't even know. Is there anywhere you'd like to go? I'm sure I can pull some strings even given the date."
Ami Mizuno 2017-02-15 04:16:21 70966
Ami blushes at all the praise, and turns to walk away from him. She wanders into the living room just to get a little space; distance from the unusual responses.

At his question, she turns back to face him, then adjusts her sweater so it isn't falling off one shoulder anymore. "Well, I'm not dressed for anything fancy. I was just figuring on pizza or takoyaki or something simple."
Takashi Agera 2017-02-15 04:19:05 70968
"Oh, yeah. I guess that's true, the dressed up thing." It's painfully obvious that was not anywhere near Takashi's concern list.

"Pizza's never bad, right? Do you want to stop by that place we usually meet at?"