Pardon Me, But Are You Magic

Ikiko encounters a post-brawl Alexis. There may not actually be any other kind of Alexis. She takes pity on him anyhow, and he winds up learning some things about werewolves.

Date: 2017-06-28
Pose Count: 41
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 00:08:56 79747
The park isn't particularly busy endeavour deeper into the evening on a weekday. Well. THe center of large park has it's share of activity still, and so do the side paths of people on their walks and runs and whatever other business or pleasure they might conduct in.

But when the sun's starting to go down, occasionally some darker things lurk within.

Sometimes literally, at that. Today, it's a bit more figurative, at least.

Off the beaten path on the further edges of the more foresty areas of the park, the sounds of a heavy scuffle can be heard for a while-- various heavy groans and yells, and blows exchanged. Until it all stops, eventually, save for more pained, quiet groans scattered about.

And over there at the source of the sound, various bodies of color-gangers are found laid along the ground amongst the trees in various states of distress and consciousness. And in the middle of it all, one stands out; not a person wearing gang colors, not even one of an opposing one to this particular collection of thugs here. A tall caucasian teenager coated instead by the brown of a leather jacket, sat down on the grass with an arm lazily draped over one knee, taking to catching his for-now panting breath while a faint trail of blood trickles down from his temple.

Eventually, that ends too. The boy pushes himself up to his feet with a quiet groan and makes an effort of wiping at his dirtied-up face as he starts slowly making way out of the post-brawl scene. Before anyone comes asking very akward questions.

"Geez..." Alexis mumbles out, thus, slightly exasperated while the following words come in german, of all things. "These guys are just gonna be even more pissed at me from here on, aren't they..."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 00:25:39 79748
Some days one's normal routine is interrupted by other demands upon one's time.

For Ikiko, today was a day when she was going to be feeding the strays that frequent the wilder parts of the park. Her plan had been to do so after school, but between a short-notice club meeting and some 'this needs done now' chores around the house, it had taken her until after dinner to have the free time needed.

And then, to complicate things, the strays she was feeding had heard a fight not too far away -- close enough that they could hear the sounds, but not within visual range. Best to stick with the friendly dogs than to risk getting caught in a melee if it starts to wander.

Once the sounds of the fighting no longer reached the strays, Ikiko decided to head home. While the dogs aren't directly following her, they're staying within earshot in case she needs help. Even though Ikiko can take care of herself -- especially as Cute Wolf Tsukiko -- she'd rather have the four-footed backup than having to deal with the consequences of henshining to fight off a stronger mundane person.

As she alertly walks along, she spots someone who's looking a bit worse for the wear. Well, there's a decent amount of distance between the two of them, and this is a well lit section of path...

"Hey," she calls. "Are you okay?"
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 00:39:18 79749
It's not that Alex doesn't pay attention to the random people around. But usually, unless people directly approach him, he tries not to bother them either beyond his usual measures of carefulness.

But then that girl over there is calling out to him. And that's when he stops. It's not just because of the fact that she's showing casual concern for his state of being. He's immediately squinting towards her. It's not as if though people around here never ask that question of him, so why does he feel like something's a little off?

"...Yes," he answers after a moment in japanese, a bit apprehensive. Subconsciously, he directs a hand to dabbing a finger along the blood dripping along the side of his face, as if only just then realizing it's (still) there. "...It's worse than it looks."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 01:27:50 79750
Wary, but not aggressive. Ikiko has seen it often enough among strays new to the area that she recognizes the posture when shown in human form.

Well, if the movement is the same, perhaps a similar response will work here?

"Do you have a place you'd prefer to go to get patched up?" she asks. Not a direct offer to take him to a clinic; perhaps he'd rather tend to his injuries through unofficial channels. "I can keep you company as we head there, if you'd like." Support their autonomy, while still being present to help if needed.
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 01:42:43 79751
"....Huh?" The reaction that comes from Alex is one of surprise, as it turns out. Wary as he might be, most of the traces of that fade away from his face in favor of a more bemused expression, head drawn tilting to the side while he blinks his eyes towards the girl.

"...Do I really look bad enough to warrant a clinic or somethin'?" He asks then, with the bemusement carrying over to his tone of voice, all while his hand goes to wiping at his bloodied temple again. It... doesn't really help. "I'll just slap a bandaid or somethin' on it later, you know?"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 01:55:23 79752
Ikiko Hisakata shrugs. "You look like you need a place to relax while somebody else scrubs off the blood and applies the bandage," she remarks with a straightforwardness that isn't quite blunt. "Doesn't matter if it's a friend's house or an actual clinic."

She does smile slightly as the wariness leaves his face. "By the way, I'm Ikiko Hisakata, first-year middleschooler at Seishou. Pleased to meet you!"
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 02:06:26 79754
"...I do?" Alex asks quietly first, before his arms go wrapping together over his front as he glances off ot the side-- not *quite* pouting, but the look is a bit indignant regardless.

He doesn't look away from her for long, though. His eyes track back towards her when she takes to introducing herself, and-- what follows is a quiet sigh let out and a slightly apprehensive returned introduction of "...Alexis Raskoph," muttered out in the western order of naming, mind you. "Second year high-schooler, I guess, at Verone."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 02:14:57 79756
"Well, I wouldn't exactly call dealing with your own injuries to be relaxing," Ikiko points out with a smile. "And if you were in that scuffle I heard earlier... well, you could probably use the post-fight relaxation."

She sizes up the visible injuries, then adds "If that's the only notable injury you got from that fight, you must've done a good job!"
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 02:19:57 79758
"...It's something I'm used to," admits Alex, with the briefest hint of sheepishness in hsi voice-- the armcross is even unfolded in favor of guiding a hand to rubbing at the side of his neck briefly. But he's turning his gaze away from her again briefly at the mention of the 'scuffle' and promptly murmurs, "...I'm sure I have no idea what you are talking about." Sure he doesn't.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 02:34:41 79759
Ikiko Hisakata manages to stifle a giggle. "Still, having someone to walk with isn't a bad thing, especially at this point in the evening," she remarks. "Been saying hello to some of the local stray dogs; chatting with another human should help remind me not to bark at my parents once I get home."

The corners or her mouth are quirked upward, but otherwise her expression is pretty deadpan -- is she being serious about that?
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 02:44:23 79761
"...I guess, alright," Alexis finally allows, though the groan that comes after still speaks a bit of his own apprehension. His hands go sticking down into the pockets of his jacket, and he pads his way towards the smaller, younger girl.

It's at the mention of the dogs that his eyes go sweeping through the trees around them-- like he's trying to catch the sight of any shapes moving there. But just for a few seconds before his eyes turn to consider the girl again, instead, brow arching. "...That's..." He stars saying, but then shuts himself up. Maybe he's considering the fact that after everything he's seen in Tokyo so far, maybe a girl barking at her parents isn't really *that* weird in comparison.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 02:58:27 79763
Ikiko Hisakata doesn't say anything as she starts walking with Alexis, but she does make a mental note about how relatively unfazed he is. Well, it's good to know about people who might be able to handle the weirdness that tends to encompass the life of a magical girl and those around her -- even if there's no current reason to let him know that she is a magical girl!

As for the strays, they're mostly staying out of sight a distance off. With his mind primed to spot them, Alexis might notice one or two sitting by a bush a few dozen meters away, but none appear closer than that.
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 03:07:43 79766
Alex remains unspeaking for a while too. He doesn't seem all that bothered by Ikiko's presence in general (besides the initial confusion that she's even walking there with him)-- it's not as if he has reason to suspect she's a magical girl yet.

Even if he might think there's something a little off. His eyes continue with the same alert scan through the surroundings he's used to in places like this to begin with-- trying to take note of anything and everything going on around him. Including those two dogs there. And his brow arches.

"Do you feed stray dogs here often enough they've made friends with you?" HE asks out of the blue, after a moment. "Or do you happen to have bacon in your back pocket right now?"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 03:16:12 79770
"I feed the ones in this part of the park every couple of weeks or so," Ikiko admits. Opening her bag, there's a number of dogfood bowls, plus a mostly-empty bag of dogfood. "Mostly just a snack, in case they haven't had much luck otherwise. And somewhat more frequently during the winter, when it's harder for them to get food."

She does a quick sniff of the air. "And unless someone snuck in a sealed pack, I don't have any bacon," she adds.
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 03:33:38 79771
Now *that* is taken note of too. Alex's expression turns noticably more curious over the sniff she makes and he repeats after her, "Sealed pack...?" in uncertain confusion. The information's being processed, too. Ever since he learned about the supernatural aspects of the world, smaller details have ended up being that much more important for his perceptions. He catches himself staring at the girl in bemusement, though, and quickly shakes his head to pry his eyes back to the path ahead, murmuring on out, "THat was more of a joke, I wasn't really expecting you to transport bacon strips in a pocket."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 03:38:49 79772
Ikiko Hisakata nods. "Yeah, it's what I suspected, which is why I mentioned the silly possibility of a vacuum-sealed bag of bacon being hidden by someone else," she agrees, not seeming to notice the odd looks she's getting from Alex. "Wouldn't be able to smell the bacon if it was vacuum-sealed, after all."
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 03:50:44 79773
"Hmmm..." It's a thoughtful sound that comes with Alex considering the girl a moment longer, with his finger subconsciously scratching at the side of his nose before lowering down to stick it into his pocket again. "Good nose on you then," is all he says about that. Again, you never really know, but there's probably been a lot weirder things.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 04:03:13 79774
"Thanks," Ikiko smiles at the compliment.

The walk is fairly uneventful until they come to a more urban edge of the park. A stray dog walking by along a nearby street spots the two of them, then trots over to Ikiko, tail wagging. The dog doesn't say anything, but the sniffing towards the feeding bag is unmistakable.

Well, no way around it. "Sorry, this side of the park doesn't get fed until next week," Ikiko gently woofs in caninespeak as she pets the dog.
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 04:20:14 79775
Well that's kind of hard to take any way other than 'weird'. Alex comes to a stop alongside her, and just... watches. Brows raised, studying the interaction between girl and dog. Not *quite* certain how to take that.

"...Is that you talking to to him?" He asks then, blunt as can be. "I wasn't sure if you were joking or not when you were talking about barking before..."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 04:26:11 79776
The dog pouts slightly, but woofs an acknowledgement and leans into the pettings. "Well, I was joking... at least, regarding accidentally barking at my parents, anyway," Ikiko admits sheepishly as she continues to pet the stray. "But yeah, I'm fluent in canine -- I can understand what they say, and I can speak with them in kind."
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 04:33:02 79777
"Fluent canine," says Alex, head tipping slightly sidewards and hands drawing out from his pockets to fold up together over his chest. "This is going to sound really stupid I'm sure," he says then, with a rueful sigh. "BUt... Are you magic?"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 04:41:43 79778
"Given how unsurprised you are, I suspect you already know the answer to that," Ikiko replies with a wry grin as the stray wanders off. "And I get the impression I'm not the first magical person you've met, either."
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 04:51:39 79779
"That's... one way of putting it," admits Alex, sheepishly glancing off to the side again. "I'm... not, though, for the record," he confesses then. "Magic, I mean. I know enough people who are that I'm kind of keeping track of everything, but still. I don't sling magic laser beams or anything. You, though..." His head tilts slightly to the side when his eyes return down to Ikiko. "Your magics' related to dogs somehow, I'm guessing? I don't know a lot of people that can speak to all dogs wholesale. You've at least a few canine mannerisms so... Something along the lines of a werewolf?"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 04:58:28 79780
"Very good insight!" Ikiko nods, impressed by the accuracy. "Diluted werewolf, to be precise -- I have about 5-10% extra 'wolf' in my soul, which is only really noticeable when I henshin. The rest of the time... well, I tend to heal a bit faster than an ordinary person, and my hair grows slightly faster during a full moon, but overall I'm just a person involved with magic." Can't exactly say that she's a 'normal' person, can she?
Stahlritter 2017-06-29 05:05:49 79781
"...Diluted...?" Alex repeats after her, confusion clearly starting to overtake him again. And then he looks a little sheepish. "Well... You call it insight, but it's just guesswork on my part. It's not like I'm an expert on magic affairs or anything, so..." A faint, rueful smile. "...So you don't transform or anything like that?"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-06-29 05:16:48 79782
"Guesswork with good reasoning backing it up," Ikiko shrugs. "And I do transform; it's just technically not because I'm a diluted werewolf -- instead of having a full human-soul and a full wolf-soul stuck inside me, I have a full human-soul and what amounts to a fragment of a wolf-soul. When I henshin, my entire soul gets amplified, so the wolf-soul fragment becomes large enough to notice... but it's still outnumbered by my human-soul, so I still look mostly human."
Stahlritter 2017-07-01 21:55:15 79818
"..." The explanation from Ikuko leaves Alex just... kinda quiet. And staring down at the girl with a blank expression. SLooooow blink.

"...You're gonna have to excuse me if you kinda lost me there," he admits. "Like I said, I'm not... *that* up to bar with magic knowledge, so all that only *sort of* made sense to me. But so basically when you call on that wolf soul..." He brings his hands up over to both sides of his head, with two fingers on each rising up in a curl. "You turn into a wolfgirl? With the ears and all?"

Alex has priorities.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-01 22:09:13 79819
"Ears, tail, and little fanglies," Ikiko nods. "As well as paw-motif gloves and footgear, but my hands and feet are still human underneath. The ears, though... well, I get wolf ears instead of human ears, not in addition to."

She rubs her chin as she thinks about any other relevant details. "My hair gets shorter and changes color," she notes. "My eyes also change color, and I also become slightly -- very slightly -- fuzzy."
Stahlritter 2017-07-01 22:20:48 79820
"...Even werewolves get to have clothing as part of the transformation package?" Mumbles Alex with a vaguely disheartened look. Having said that, he turns back to move along the beaten path proper, with his hand gesturing from the side to her to signal for her to walk with him again. "When I was a vampire *I* didn't get to change my clothes."

Well. That was an awfully casual way to mention *that* detail.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-01 22:28:14 79821
Ikiko Hisakata shrugs as she walks along. "I think it comes from the magic of the locket," she muses. "Sort of like an idealized version of the self, or something like that." Great-grandpa Yuuki never mentioned it in his stories, and asking about something that specific might bring suspicion.

Her eyebrows furrow as she considers what Alex just said. "When you were a vampire," Ikiko finally states. "As in, you're not one now, but you used to be?"
Stahlritter 2017-07-01 22:40:42 79822
"...Yes, pretty much," ALex admits after a few seconds worth of hesitation, and the admission comes with him peering off to the side to the opposite direction from Ikiko, finger scratching at his cheek. "It was... kinda complicated. Something in me my friends called a Linker Core was corrupted by the Dusk Zone after... um. A friend saved me from dying." That's really sugarcoating quite a lot. "It got yanked out to let a fresh one regrow there though, so... I'm not. That. Anymore."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-01 22:50:36 79823
"...huh." Ikiko thinks about this for a moment, then shrugs again. "As far as reasons to become a vampire go, 'not dying' is a pretty good one, especially in case of emergency. Although it sounds like fixing it hurt, if the Linker Core had to be yanked out." While she's not familiar with that branch of terminology, the word choice Alex used made it sound like ripping out something that's embedded in some way or another.
Stahlritter 2017-07-01 23:00:45 79824
"I wouldn't know for sure, since I was put under for it, but *probably*," Alex offers as a sheepish comment to that. He turns an equally sheepish smile sideward and down to the girl with that, too, while a hand subconsciously goes to squeeze at his shirt along his chest. "Got a scar for all the trouble too, afterall. Though I got the picture that had more to do with fixing the wounds that all the Dark Energy was filling prior to removing the Core than the removing itself. So..."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-01 23:11:08 79825
"Still, it's good to know," Ikiko points out. "Especially the fact that there's people who can fix it -- trying to purify people through normal means only really works if the person being purified is still intact enough without the dark energy to, y'know, still live."
Stahlritter 2017-07-01 23:31:25 79826
"I got the impression it wouldn't work on most vampires," Alex points out then, with a wince. "...Like with my friend. Who... well. Doesn't so much even have a physical body anymore as just... Dark Energy. I didn't quite end up that far with how I was, so... Yeah." He lets out a heavy sigh with that particular thought -- and the thought of Norie, for that matter.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-01 23:46:11 79827
Ikiko Hisakata nods. "Yeah, once they've gotten to that point, it kinda limits the available options," she agrees. "It can also make it challenging when you're fighting alongside them and the most effective method to deal with the main foe involves purification with a certain amount of, uh, splash damage. At least they're familiar enough with me to know when to brace for that, though."
Stahlritter 2017-07-01 23:59:11 79828
"You're a purifier, then?" Alex asks bluntly with a slow arch of a brow sent towards her. "Hm. Not the first thing that came to mind with 'werewolf', I have to admit. How's that figure into it all, exactly?"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-02 00:13:58 79829
"I'm more of a brawler, but one of my big attacks is a howl that carries positive emotions," Ikiko explains. "Very effective against youma that attack using moods, especially when I can identify the feelings behind it: by focusing on the counters to the negative emotions, the howl hits even harder. Mind you, even those not directly targeted by the howl are somewhat affected by it, although not as strongly -- sound carries, after all."

She grins sheepishly. "Not a bad thing to have when among other magical folk of light, but somewhat uncomfortable to dark allies."
Stahlritter 2017-07-02 00:38:49 79830
"Claws and fangs, then?" Alex speculates audibly, with a brief burrowing of his brow. It's entirely possible he's imagining several different scenarios of Ikiko in action now, just based on her words alone.

With the edge of the park approaching now, however, he stops momentarily. "Look, I know you're worried about all this for wahtever reason--" he gestures up over to his bloodied temple. "But I'm gonna be okay from here out. Alright? I appreciate the thought, but your parents are probably waiting for you."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-02 00:44:34 79831
"Mostly kicks, really," Ikiko shrugs. "Sometimes bites, if it's close-range no-room-to-kick situations, but mostly dashes, jumps, and kicks."

She listens to Alex, then nods. "Take care, then," she smiles. "It was nice meeting you, and if our paths cross again... well, I look forward to seeing you again!"

And with that, she waves, then starts heading towards home.
Stahlritter 2017-07-02 00:57:56 79832
"...Lot more eager about meeting someone like me than I thought you would be," Alex notes, his tone a bit akward for those words. HIs head bows downwards though, in what amounts to a polite nod, and he offers to her, "Take care," before turning the opposite way-- probably going on to go get his bike.

He's probably not heading home, though.