The Park is Safe

Kyouko and Naru walk through the park and consider how safe it is these days. Then they meet Miho.

Date: 2018-04-20
Pose Count: 22
Kyouko Sakura 2018-04-20 00:40:20 90363
    It's the evening, with the sun hanging low on the horizon, near to dipping below the trees in the park. It's spring though, and warm, so there are still plenty of people in the park. Jogging, playing, strolling, all the sorts of things that people do in a park on a nice evening.

    Kyouko has been at work at the conbenie, and Naru has been at school. This is, miracle of miracles, one of the rare days when their schedules align closely enough that meeting up to walk home worked out, and so that is currently what they are doing. Kyouko walks down the paved path through the park, in her 'work uniform', which consists of jeans and a black t-shirt, the orange apron she wears at work mercifully left behind at the store. She has her hands stuffed in her pockets, and is casting her gaze about with absent interest.

    "Remember when you used to be scared of the park?" She says to Naru, with a lopsided grin.
Naru Osaka 2018-04-20 00:43:11 90364
It is a rarity indeed, and Naru is in her school uniform, her satchel slung over her shoulder as they stroll. At the comment from Kyouko, she laughs rather than take offense, reaching out to offer the other girl her hand. "Terrified. It feels like forever ago, and honestly? It wasn't actually all /that/ long ago." She lets the ambient noise of people chatting, children playing settle for a few moments. "Wow, it really does feel like forever ago."
Miho Kagami 2018-04-20 00:47:19 90365
At that moment, a source of darkness and light in equal measure lurks in the park!

... In other words, Miho Kagami is a little ways down the path ahead of Kyouko and Naru, in a relatively plain blue shirt and dark blue skirt, plus boy's sneakers with blue lightning bolts. She makes her way along, walking at about half the pace of the other two, just generally taking in the sights and sounds with the air of a complete newcomer; that said, a smile crosses her face every time her gaze settles on the eponymous penguin slide.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-04-20 00:52:51 90366
    Kyouko takes Naru's hand when it is offered, lacing fingers with the shorter girl in about the most-PDA they ever get (at least in public). "Well, it was a while ago." She says. "I mean.. all things considered. An' a lotta stuff has changed. I mean, you're not exactly helpless anymore. I also think the park is safer now than it used to be. I dun think we've had anybody get ambushed by monsters and energy-drained in the park in like.. weeks."

    They happen to be overtaking the girl in blue just as Kyouko is loudly talking about people getting ambushed by Youma in the very park they are currently walking through.
Naru Osaka 2018-04-20 00:55:35 90367
"It's been months for me." Naru concurs as she gives Kyouko's hand a squeeze, indulging in a rare PDA as they stroll. The scenic wander seems to rather beg for some level of adorable, even if it's low. "Come to think of it, I haven't had a lot of nightmares about the park either, which also really helps. I've had a lot more positive associations with it over the last year than I once did."

Naru glances ahead, spotting another person on the path, and diverting their steps such that they don't literally run Miho over or anything.
Miho Kagami 2018-04-20 01:02:15 90368
The remark about monsters certainly gets a reaction from Miho. She glances over at Naru and Kyouko, and ... immediately mentally goes 'Oh, they're a couple' for like two whole seconds before her previous reaction pushes itself back to the surface. She tries to come up with a mundane explanation for the redhead casually talking about monsters and the schoolgirl just having a complete non-reaction, but draws a blank. Unconsciously, Miho crosses her arms and grasps her left arm with her right (which is IN NO WAY a subconscious expression of the curse within her trying to break through any cracks in the form of negative emotions, and the corresponding blessing knocking it back down), and softly says, "What."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-04-20 01:06:40 90369
    They are a couple, despite looking like they shouldn't be, what with clean-cut Naru all in her school uniform and Kyouko looking like a naerdowell with her punky hair and piercings (Its a fair cop, though). Then again they do say opposites attract.

    One thing Kyouko does have though, is really good hearing, and so when Miho, who they happen to be meandering past, says 'what?', Kyouko's eyes dart over and focus on her. "What, what?" She asks, almost reflexively, even though it was fairly clear the girl was mostly talking to herself.

    Though, that reaction does tend to set off some alarm bells. Generally someone overhearing a conversation like this would dismiss it as fantasy and pay no mind.
Naru Osaka 2018-04-20 01:12:36 90370
Naru wasn't paying quite as much attention, and Kyouko's query is what draws Naru's attention over to Miho. She hmmms softly, curiously quirking her head. A warm smile follows that up in short order. "Good afternoon, beautiful day, isn't it?"

Because nothing makes odd conversations less odd than talking about the weather.
Miho Kagami 2018-04-20 01:17:33 90371
Miho doesn't have many thing's she's afraid of, but a possible confrontation with some kind of punk kid is definitely making itself out to be one of them.

"Uh. Sorry," she says awkwardly. And then her common sense informs her that there's probably some perfectly reasonable explanation which she has no hope of knowing just from one out-of-context sentence fragment, and her face reddens. "Um, don't mind me, ahaha, I guess I just misheard something ..."

She nods to Naru and bows stiffly, with badly-disguised relief that she's getting attention from someone more reasonable-looking. Someone with the high school uniform of Miho's school, no less. "Yes, um, it is, isn't it, senpai?" she says. "Someone at, at school recommended this place. Um, since I'm new to the city." At that points she seems to run out of steam, or possibly words.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-04-20 01:23:17 90372
    "Well," Kyouko says with a cheerfulness which suggests she has no clue that Miho was eyeing her with trepidation and a complete lack of social situational awareness, "I guess people would be recommending it more these days since it's so much safer, like I was saying. Almost nobody gets attacked here these days, it's a nice place to hang out when you want to pretend you aren't in the middle of the biggest city in the world."

    Then she elbows Naru with the elbow of their linked hands. "Hee hee. Senpai."
Naru Osaka 2018-04-20 01:28:41 90373
"Welcome to Tokyo!" Naru smiles brightly. "It's a great park, some.. challenges in its past notwithstanding. I've become rather fond of it, and it's a great place to get some fresh air." She rolls her eyes a little at Kyouko's teasing, playfully elbowing her back, as best as she can.

"The Crown's another spot where lots of students tends to hang out." Naru quirks her head. "Are you at Seishou? What grade?"
Miho Kagami 2018-04-20 01:34:08 90375
Miho smiles nervously, her face reddening even further at Kyouko's gentle ribbing ... towards Naru. "That's, um, good to know!" she says. Wow this situation is worse than the conversation at school ... She gives her left arm a slightly firmer squeeze. She can handle this, though!

"Ah, yes," she says to Naru. "Sora and Maria mentioned the Game Crown too, yeah ..." She is clearly oblivious to the significance of either of those names. "And, um, yes, I'm in ninth grade, I recognized your high school uniform." Miho is visibly more comfortable with Naru, but Kyouko's presence still has her on guard. "Um, my name is Miho Kagami. Pleased to meet you ..." There's a pause which is slightly too long. "... both."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-04-20 01:37:59 90376
    If it's any consolation, Kyouko is equally oblivious to the significance of either of those names, though that speaks more to her narrow attention span than to any actual lack of significance. As further consolation, Kyouko seems completely ignorant of the fact that Miho is nervous around her. Maybe she's just used to people being nervous around her- they did call her the Terror of Kazamino back in the day, you know.

    "The Crown is okay." She agrees easily, her manner relaxed, Naru's presence doing much to make her usual distrust of strangers less prevalent. "They have some good DDR machines there." Seeming not to notice the too-long pause, she adds, "Kyouko Sakura. I don't go to your school but it's still nice ta meet ya."
Naru Osaka 2018-04-20 01:43:10 90377
"Pleasure to meet you, Miho. I'm Naru Osaka and this.." She gestures to Kyouko, who introduces herself quite capably. The names bring a little ah of understanding and a nod. "You're friends with Sora and Maria? I'm in tenth grade.. almost done, thank goodness. So /close/." She leans just a little to nudge Kyouko, keeping things playful lest the awkward entirely win. "Are you enjoying Tokyo so far?"
Miho Kagami 2018-04-20 01:48:13 90378
Miho is actually fairly observant, which is why she starts to visibly relax immediately after Kyouko starts to visibly relax, her hands dropping to her sides. "I've, I've actually poked my head into the Crown," she says. "I ... the past few years, I can handle arcades in small doses, but, um, I didn't do much at the time besides glancing at the Sailor V cabinets."

She actually manages a smile in response to Naru. "And I'm on my last year of middle school, so, um, I guess I'll be wearing that uniform not too long from now." And then her smile fades in response to the question. "Um ... kind of overwhelming, to be honest. I'm from a small town, and, um, this ... is not my first visit to the park, ahaha ..."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-04-20 01:53:41 90379
    Kyouko is a city girl through and through, and has never spent significant time outside of the general sphere of 'Tokyo' (Kazamino, her hometown, being just one of the many smaller cities in the Tokyo orbit). "Well, it ain't a bad place." She says, meaning the city in general. "Pretty much anything you might want or need is just a few minutes walk away." She grins. "Speaking of which, I work at a convinience store in the area, so if you ever need anything of that sort make sure you stop by the AM/PM Minimart, huh?" Never hurts to plug the business.

    She eyes Naru as the other girl seems to recognize the names that Miho dropped, but she isn't surprised. Naru knows everybody.
Naru Osaka 2018-04-20 02:07:01 90380
"There's a lot of folks who prefer small doses of large and loud groups." Naru agrees with a nod. She's often one of those people, it's clear. "Finding ways to make the big city a little less overwhelming takes some skill." She glances to Kyouko at the mention of the features of the city, including the minimart. Her attention returns to Miho. "I've lived in Tokyo all of my life, so I suppose I'm wholly used to it by this point. I love visiting small places, but I would be lost living there."
Miho Kagami 2018-04-20 02:12:38 90381
Between the fact that Naru is already a secondhand acquaintence, and Kyouko's hamfisted advertising, Miho lowers her guard. She cracks a lopsided smile at Kyouko. "... Yeah, I just might have to check out that place, too," she says dryly. Naru will probably pick up on the faint sarcasm in her voice, at least.

She gives a simple shrug at Naru's other comment. "Well, skills can be learned," she says. "I'll probably get used to living hear, at least. Just, mm, need to find my own pace." She sounds fairly confident about this.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-04-20 02:15:20 90382
    Kyouko doesn't seem to pick up the sarcasm, just smiling. "You do that! I'll even give ya a free slurpee, or somethin'." The boss probably won't even notice. She eyes Naru after the other girl's comment about small doses of large and loud groups, and grins. "I don't think you're allowed to count yourself in that category, considering where we live now." She says. It is often both crowded and loud.
Naru Osaka 2018-04-20 02:21:12 90383
"I totally count myself amongst that number." Naru protests to Kyouko with a laugh. "My studio is solitary AND silent. It's a feature." She gives her best beloved another gentle nudge with her elbow, hands still entwined.

"Skills can be learned, it's true. And places get more comfortable in time." Naru's smile is rueful. "I have faith that you'll get used to it." She glances to Kyouko and then back to Miho. "Although we should be getting going, lest we're late for meeting friends for dinner. I'll see you around school perhaps?" The middle and high school share a building, after all. It's possible.
Miho Kagami 2018-04-20 02:23:47 90384
Miho finds herself raising her eyebrows at ... well, both of Kyouko's comments. "Of course!" she says to Naru.

... Yeah, that obviously-romantic handholding doesn't go unnoticed. Oh well, might as well just say it. "You've got one heck of a girlfriend, Miss Naru."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-04-20 02:25:29 90385
    "Damn straight she does." Kyouko says, with a complete lack of humility. But she does grin. And she nods to Naru at her comment. "Yeah, good point. If we don't hurry Usagi will probably eat everything before I get a chance to."

    She turns to start walking once again on the path towards their destination. "Nice to meet you, Miho-san. See ya around."