Sping Ball


The Spring Ball! Dancing is had! A broadway musical show somehow happens!? and drama and misunderstanding! In other words your typical MahouMUSH Dance Scene. (tm).

Date: 2018-05-12
Pose Count: 81
Lacrima 2018-05-12 18:08:22 91210
Maria Hanazawa , mysterious exchange student that isn't so mysterious for a change because she's someone most of you already know, has arranged for a Spring Ball to happen in the Hotel Augusta's ballroom.

Thusly, the ballroom has been done up in pastel light colored streamers- pinks and greens and whites and other associated spring colors.

Various paper sunflower decorations have been setup.

There is a live band, but also a sound system setup if the band needs to leave or something happens- as a back up. The band seems to be 'light rock'-- the kind of music you'd expect at a prom in the 60's-- rather than a ballroom orchestra.

It's a big public event- but Maria is doing her best to greet who she can, but that's going to be tiring eventually!

"Hello! Yes, welcome. Hello! Yes. How are you? Hello. Yes." her voice starts out chipper but eventually gets more and more demure.

Because regardless of some of her returned emotional capacity, this is still tedious.

Charity donations are being taken at a table at the front with a strong box and a person and a guard. It's entirely optional and not required to attend, and the table is out of the way as such to encourage that.

Maria is secretly thinking: 'Please don't let this event be attacked by a youma.'
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-12 18:14:13 91211
Grand Balls. They're a thing that nearly every girl longs to be a part of, but few really expect to have happen to them. Beautiful dress and beautiful rooms and beautiful music and and and...

While the music might not sync up to Rashmi's hugh-fantasy-steeped imaginings, that isn't what bothers her. What bothers her is that the closest thing she has to a ballgown is a summery, swishy, simple red dress with an empire waist. Not precisely the yards of taffeta and trimmings one would expect...

Thus, she looks a trifle nervous as she steps into the unbelievably posh ballroom, adjusting her glasses as she approches Maria. "Thank you for inviting me, Maria-chan," she murmurs, glancing around with red spots on her cheeks.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-12 18:26:35 91213
    There's probably a second or two where people are absolutely baffled by a particular new arrival to the ballroom. Tall, wearing a handsome dark grey tux and bowtie, nice shoes, brown hair brushed back behind an ear - the newcomer cuts a striking figure for the few seconds it takes to actually realize that a great deal of attention in the room has suddenly swung towards the door.

    Naturally, what little confidence there was to be had, goes right out the window under the sudden scrutiny.

    --- 3 days ago ---

    "C'mon, Kokoro, it'll look good. We can work with your height." "I ain't wearing-" "Language." "...I'm not wearing a dress." "*sigh* Fine. But you're at least getting a nice suit, then. There are limits to wearing jeans and a denim jacket everywhere." "Alright, alright, fine, whatever." "Oh, don't be so grouchy. If I don't get to make you pretty, you can at least look handsome." "...huh?"

     ------------------

    So there's Kokoro. With her hair brushed out of her face. In a tuxedo. Looking like she's about ready to sink into the ground. But at the same time, the look works surprisingly well for her.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-05-12 18:34:08 91214
It's not at all as startling or attention-grabbing as the glorious apparent bifauxnen that just walked in, buuuut... it might be something of a surprise to see Chiba Mamoru arriving, as he hasn't been particularly visible for some months, and there are rumors amongst the magical set that he's powerless and rumors among everyone else that he's involved in filming some kind of niche nerd movie about magical girls that's eating all his time.

It's absolutely no surprise whatsoever to anyone that the absurdly tall young man in the white-tie-and-tails, sporting white gloves and a top hat and cane in addition to a neck badge and a black velvet sash, is here with an even more absurdly tall man with shockingly bone-white long hair. He makes the requisite stop at the money table to discreetly hand over a plain white business envelope, then comes up to Maria and Rashmi with Kazuo in tow. "Thank you for running this event, Hanazawa-san," he says formally, removing his hat and giving Lacrima a genteel bow.

It is carefully neutrally that he follows this up with a much more perfunctory bow toward Rashmi, and a simple, "Terios-san."
Kunzite 2018-05-12 18:42:24 91215
Mamoru's escort is, of course, one step down in formality from him. Because trying to get Kazuo into a top hat is ... well. Not /impossible/, but something that anyone trying is Very Likely To Regret. No neck badge, either. and he might have considered the possibility of adding a cane for the sake of bonus weaponry or on-site assistance for any twisted ankles, but no, no, one in the assemblage is enough. He matches Mamoru's bows with his typical gravity: deeper to Maria, slighter to Rashmi. And then following the looks from a few of the people around them, right back to Kokoro. Even at this distance, she gets a nod. He may not actually recognize her. It may solely be appreciation for her style.
Yuzuki Amemori 2018-05-12 18:46:52 91216
Yuzuki Amemori isn't dressed in... well a dress. She's shown up as crew. She's instead taken to wearing a black button up blouse albeit a nice one, a nice pair of black slacks and staff badge pinned to her belt. She's out on the floor, making a few adjustments on a few systems. The curse of a perfectionist, she's trying to tweak something that probably went, by and large, unnoticed by the crowd of people. There's a brief flash, a look of surprise and a shaking of fingers. Then she tilts her head, listens for a moment. Shakes her hand again a few more times. Then slowly stands and looks around. Grabbing her bag, she zips it closed and looks around at the gathering crowd.

Making her way towards a few familiar faces and, well, unfamiliar. She raises a hand and says, "Yo!." Seems simple enough. There's a moment of pause. Suddenly feeling a touch awkward, it's been a while. With a cough, she steps to the side. There may be some fidgeting.
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-12 18:50:23 91217
"Koko-chan!" Rashmi gasps, stepping aside to let the taller student to enter. ".....Oh my god you look good, Koko-chan. Like... You could totally be a prince in some fairy tale..." Trailing off, she taps her fingertips together, glancing to one side and the other.

And then Awkward Happens. Starting as Mamoru enters, she echoes the slight bow. ".....Chiba-san. Takeba-san." Tap tap tap...

"..........I'll be right back I need to check on the transparent excuse I left in the oven." And Terios Vanish! toward the snack table.
Lacrima 2018-05-12 18:53:17 91218
To be fair, Lacrima would totally watch a magical girl movie starring Mamoru. But that's besides the point. She gives a nod back to Kazuo, and says. "You're welcome." she says. "I figured. An event like this helps ingratiate myself better." she says. That is. For 'Maria's' sake there.

She smiles and bows to Rashmi. "Welcome Rashmi-chan. Enjoy yourself. I like your dress." she says genuinely. Her eyes focus over to Kokoro and she blinks. Huh. That.. that works surprisingly well on her. She gently moves over and bows. "Welcome Kokoro-chan." she says. "That's a very nice suit!" she says.

She does stare between Rashmi. Then to Kokoro, then back to Rashmi. There's a bemused look here for a second.

She gently eyes Yuzuki as she works to fix.. something. Did something happen? She swears again. No youma, in the back of her head.

She can't exactly sense things easily though this disguise anyways.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-12 19:13:32 91219
    Oh hey, there's Mamoru and Kazuo. Look, see? They're both dressed up even fancier than she is. Nothing to be all embarrassed abou-

    'You could totally be a prince in some fairy tale...'

    Wow. Kokoro's face is as red as her hair gets when she transforms. "Wh-?!" There's a flustered stammer that quickly degenerates into an utterly embarrassed mumble. She misses Yuzuki's awkward greeting entirely, poor Kazuo probably isn't getting that respectful nod back any time soon, and Maria... well, Maria is noticed, but the complement only barely manages to tug a mortified, "...th-thanks."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-05-12 19:28:46 91220
And Rashmi's gone to the snack table, which means Mamoru's going to have to wait to indulge in some eating of little cakes. They REALLY REALLY need to go stomp Earth so that this business can be dispensed with. He gives Yuzu a quick flicker of a smile and a wave, preoccupied, and finally sees Kokoro all dressed up in a tuxedo, and abruptly beams and forgets all his acting skills at once, because he utterly ruins his class and decorum by giving her double finger guns and a wink. "Nice," he calls.

Where did his top hat go? Isn't he not supposed to be magical right now? Trade secret. "Hey," he says to Kazuo, then, taking his cane from under his arm and linking his other arm through the taller man's, "was the collapse in 1177 BCE or 1186?"
Kunzite 2018-05-12 19:38:19 91221
Kazuo inclines his head toward Yuzuki as well. "Yo," he answers, deadpan as ever. Possibly slightly more so than usual, no less, as he firmly represses his reaction to Rashmi's 'transparent excuse' line. "Ingratiate, integrate -- both are accurate," he adds to Maria, but only in passing as she's making her way to Kokoro. "And both useful."

And ... that's not a reaction he was expecting out of Kokoro, no. But Kazuo's distracted from that, possibly a good thing for Kokoro's sake, but Mamoru's taking his arm and then distracting him further with a question. "Describing it as occurring in a single year is overdramatic, unless you're referring to a single city or occasional single reason. One of those two is as good as the other; the damage mostly occurred over a half-century or so."
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-12 19:42:30 91222
Covering up one's anxieties at the food table is a time-honored tradition among the less-adept at handling social awkward. Already unable to help a sort of low-grade anxiety over her not nearly fitting in at such a fancy party, trying to put up the front for Mamoru and Kazuo *and* deal with the sudden appearance of Prince Kokoro has her fishing for kitten videos on her smartphone, after picking up a plate full of light snacks and finding a wall to support.

Multitasking!
Lacrima 2018-05-12 19:43:03 91223
Maria gives a soft bemused look to Kokoro's reply. "I mean it. I don't think I could pull off a tuxedo. I barely pull off the business suit for work." she says, to Kokoro's reaction. She eye Mamoru and walks over to him and Kazuo and gives another bow.

She leans in to whisper in Mamoru's ear though. (This may look scandalous to the world at large. She doesn't care.) "Rashmi made me aware of your falling out." she says, in a way that suggests 'I know part of the 'actual' story, but I'm saying it in a way to be understood many of ways in case anyone else heard. She was told via telepathy during Sora's birthday.

"Do you need me to get you anything?" she asks. "Or you, too, Kazuo for that matter?" she asks.

Her eyes go peek back to Kokoro. "I should re-check on her soon." she says.
Kukai Souma 2018-05-12 20:02:10 91224
Spring Balls! Perhaps not exactly Kukai Souma's arena of choice, but one of the things about dating one of Japan's best dancers is that you learn a thing or two about footwork, and there's plenty of good reasons to come to a ball like this that all involve other people. So on the evening of the ball, in comes Kukai in a light burgundy colored suit and jacket, dress shirt opened up at the neck in that casually uncaring sort of look that screams 'rascally uncouth sportsman', tie neatly folded up and stuck into a back pocket, and dark shoes.

The only reason he gets past the doorman is because he's on the list.

Once inside, Kukai scans the crowd, eyes practically rolling out of his head as he spots the dressed-to-the-ninth-percentage-of-the-nines Mamoru, head going past Kokoro at least twice before something twigs in his skull that he knows who that is, even vaguely, and a familiar, comfortable grin as he sees Rashmi poking at her phone with one hand, balancing a tray of snacks with the other, and throwing rapid glances at Kokoro from time to time. But, propriety musts that he speak to the hostess first, and so he makes his way over towards Maria, grinning at her and bowing his head. "Konnichiwa, Maria-chan! How're you this evening? How's the party going?"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-05-12 20:13:39 91225
Mamoru glances heavenwards, happily oblivious to Kukai objecting to his most comfortable clothes being worn in a situation that actually warrants them, and he pushes into Kazuo's side a little bit like a fraction of a playful shove. "I just mean the actual date translation of the inscription. It keeps getting interpreted differently, and I know it only refers to the attacks of the Pelasgians--" he starts, when Maria leans up and whispers. His eyebrows go up, and he flushes faintly. "I'd really like to end both the charade and the problem, he murmurs back, only loud enough for Maria and Kazuo to hear, "but if I can't get at the one, I don't want to keep her cut off due to the other; it's miserable. Do you think she might want to try and resolve it here or would that be too embarrassing?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-12 20:14:55 91226
    And now Mamoru is giving Kokoro an even greater desire to discover heretofore unknown tunneling skills. Fortunately, Kazuo is there to distract him before things get too much. That just leaves Maria. "I- I never-" The reply fumbles. "...I didn't know I could pull it off either." Mumblemumble. Meanwhile, Rashmi has a very good idea that Kokoro decides it's worth acting on. "I'm gonna get some food," the tall girl says to the Totally Not A Vampire, before turning and wandering over to the food table near Rashmi. "...So, uh. What's... what's with you and Mamoru?" she asks. She did notice, at least. She hasn't heard anything about it until now! So it's a source of curiosity.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-05-12 20:17:01 91227
    Kyouko has been here all along, of course. But she's not actually here to enjoy the ball. She's security detail. Technically, so iz Kazuo, but Kazuo is at least supposed to be trying to have a good time, or at the very least help Mamoru have a good time. Kyouko is purely here on duty. Mostly because Naru was too busy with homework to come, so she doesn't have a date.

    As such, she is dressed for the duty. She's wearing a suit, a black thing that fits well and must be the result of some combinatoin of brothers and Naru dragging her into a tailor at some time in the past. She has a white shirt on under the jacket and a red tie, and she's leaning back against the wall by the door to the ballroom, where she's been since she entered shortly behind Mamoru and Kazuo. Doing her best to remain unobtrusive. But she keeps eyeing the snacks.

    Eventually, she figures her vigilance will probably be better on a full stomach anyway so she pushes off the wall and saunters casually, one hand in a pocket, towards the snacks. While remaining extra vigilant, just to prove she's not neglecting her duty.
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-12 20:19:26 91228
"Long story," Rashmi murmurs to Kokoro, still occasionally sneaking glances at the taller girl's tux. "Short version... Mamoru-kun and I decided I could get some information out of this impostor that's stealing his powers... but the best way to get on her good side was to have a really nasty public argument with him, and fake a friendship-breakup. It worked... but now I have to act all awkward around him and all his friends. It's kind of a pain, but..." Shrugging, she picks a frosting-laden bit of cupcake off and nibbles.

"He needs help, and he was okay with it. So, I did."
Stahlritter 2018-05-12 20:21:56 91229
A ball dance and what have you wasn't exactly on the top of Alex's ideas of places he should be going to while effectively on the run from the immense supernatural corporate empire of his parents. But he can't just say 'no', either, when his surrogate sister asks him to come along.

Deep inside, he justifies this as 'he can act as security for the event' and 'his just-healed body could use getting used to the whole moving thing again in ways that doesn't involve hitting jerks'.

Besides. Even if illusions aren't part of his magical skillset? There is still a way for him to make himself less immediately recognizable in a crowd.

Thus enter a certain foreign, tall teenaged boy stepping into the ballroom fashionably late. This is not the usual roughed up Alexis in a leather jacket or hoodie. No. This is a boy who could easily pass as an adult at this point, with the way he has cleaned up. Black slacks, a white dress shirt and an unbuttoned suit jacket with a black tie and fashionable dark sunglasses interposed over his eyes. Even his short hair has been combed somewhat more neatly. Swaggering his way inside like he was straight out of Reservoir Dogs.
Kunzite 2018-05-12 20:26:06 91230
"Thank you," Kazuo answers Maria solemnly, "but technically I'm on duty." Apparently the definition of 'on duty' is flexible. Then again, Kyouko may be functionally immune to anything that one can put in food, at this point.

Then Mamoru's speaking more quietly, and Kazuo shrugs a little. As much as he can manage without disturbing his outfit. "This is your plan and hers," he says quietly. "You do make a point of trying to keep lines of communication open. We could tag her for her opinion --" Someone else is approaching, and Kazuo glances that way. "Hello, Souma-san." Kukai is wearing a suit. Therefore Kukai gets addressed like a full-on adult.

Also, gets saved by ongoing conversation from any current chatter about the Bronze Age. Kukai has no idea how grateful he should probably be.
Lacrima 2018-05-12 20:31:12 91231
She listens to Mamoru and frowns. Yeah, she figures a charade like that- might be high stress if kept for too long. "If it's too high stress. It's better to finish it sooner." she says. "Equally. I met your... 'Earth'." she says. "In passing at the party. I couldn't do anything like trying to sense things in her. It'd been too obvious. And I didn't want to cause problems." she says.

Her eyes turn to Alexis as she blinks rapidly. "Is..is that Alexis-niisan?" she asks. She shakes her head a bit and looks to Mamoru and Kazuo. "If you need me to go talk to her about it I will right now." she says quieter.

She'll wait for an answer, regardless, as she looks back to Rashmi and Kokoro. Kokoro seems to be relaxing somewhat at least. Whew.

She eyes Kukai. And blinks. "Ah, hey Kukai-kun." she says. "Thanks for coming. You look...."

"Okay." she says as politely as she can.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-12 20:34:43 91232
    "...huh." Kokoro mulls this over, glancing once or twice Mamoru's way. "...I guess I oughta be a little rougher towards him," she murmurs. "'s what I'd do if someone chewed you out for real." She stops in the middle of gathering herself some food, however, because that's... that's Alex. That's Alex in a suit. The sheer unexpectedness of the sight is enough that for the moment, she forgets her own faux-ikemen status and just kind of stares. Staaaaaare.

    "...what the heck's he wearing?" asks the tuxedo-clad young lady. The irony is lost on her.
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-12 20:39:44 91233
"Well," Rashmi says quietly, handing Kokoro a plate and just picking snacks at random to put on it, "technically I was the one to hurt him. I'm supposed to be doubting that he really is Tuxedo Kamen, and he didn't take it well, so..."

With a shrug, she leans back, eyes flickering to Kokoro's shoulders for half a second before landing on Alexis.... and she simply stares for a bit. Then, back down at her own incredibly simple, what for most girls would be an everyday park-strolling dress, and starts to blush. ".....Kinda feeling like I showed up to a dinner party wearing a sack..."
Kukai Souma 2018-05-12 20:41:08 91234
Kukai laughs and bows his head to Maria. "That's good! I think I look pretty hot, actually, but I've never been someone who wears tuxedos. So, shoot me if I break up the scene with some color." He winks to her and then nods. "This is actually my first time seeing you - you look good. Happy. I'm glad."

Kukai turns to look to Kazuo and bows his head, smiling. "Oh god, no. Souma-san is my brother Kaido or Shusui or my dad. Just call me Kukai, please." He nods to Mamoru, grinning and greeting him with the head movement, then turns to follow Maria's sightline at the front door as she comments, seeing Alexis at the door. "Huh. I thought he was still hurt or something, again."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-05-12 20:44:15 91236
A side-glance to Kazuo-- without letting go-- and then he nods firmly to Maria. "I would appreciate that," he says very quietly. "I think we both have enough of a reputation for being reasonable that we can agree to disagree publically and no longer have to maintain the rift-- but it'll take the finessing of an uninvolved third party..." He smiles faintly, "with diplomatic skills like your own, to avoid making it look like the conspiracy it is."

Louder, because wow would it be rude to ignore Kukai, Mamoru says cheerfully, "You look as comfortable as I feel."
Stahlritter 2018-05-12 20:52:33 91237
Alex seems to be entirely unaware of the looks he is gathering from various people. EIther that or he's ignoring all of them in favor of keeping his attention on other things-- though it's not entirely clear what, since the sunglasses are concealing his eyes.

REMEMBER: SHOULD BE TAKING THINGS EASY. NO ROUGH MOVEMENTS A certain usually-loud voice telepathically informs Alex directly.

'Relax,' he indignantly responds in turn, internally. 'What is the worst I could be doing here? A little dancing? ... Actually, probably not even that. I don't expect to be tangoing with anyone tonight. I'm just here to observe for Norie's sake.'

Spotting Rashmi and Kokoro over there, he lifts a hand to give a quick swipe of his hand near his head with two fingers held up, in some manner of a wave-salute-- but he continues in his path towards the host of the party. Because of course he is obligated to meet the Lady of the House, no?

And so, as he approaches Maria and the various boys surrounding her, he dips his head slightly and rumbles out, "Hanazawa-san," in the most polite tone of voice he can possibly manage, and... actually stretches himself over into a bow before her.
Madoka Kaname 2018-05-12 20:55:41 91238
    The ballroom seems to be hopping and two more arrive. For once it's Homura on Madoka's arm as the two of them enter, dropping off a generous contribution with reception. Her fluffy pink hair is free from her usual characteristic twintails and is instead brushed back in a neat, almost handsome look that perfectly matches her outfit.

    Rather than a fancy dress or ballgown, as a pair of those make for awkward dancing, Madoka is wearing a stark white tuxedo complete with white bowtie. She has made it her own, of course, with a pastel yellow cummerbund wrapped about her waist that gives her a splash of color and matching the pale gold of her cufflinks and buttons. Likewise whenever she moves quickly enough pastel pink socks that match her hair can be seen peeking out from her snappy, highly polished white dance shoes.

    The energy of the room is simply exhilarating and Madoka's smile is beaming and bright almost as soon as she steps inside. So many faces both new and old, but an atmosphere like that of memories she could hardly forget. As she enters a white gloved hand is raised and waved energetically towards Mamoru and Kazuo, and an only slightly smaller one given to Kyouko when the redhead is spotted. Anyone spending more than moment looking her way will also get a friendly little wave.

    But right now is not the for socializing, because as the band moves into a new song she draws Homura along to the dance floor, moving right to the center with a fluid grace and wrapping one arm about her beloved's waist and taking her hand gently with the other, not even stopping before beginning leading her in dance. She cares not a whit for her moves being too ostentatious for the musical accompaniment, sweeping Homura around the dancefloor in wide circles that encourage others to give them space, for while they may not be professionals like Nagihiko they've honed their craft with love and passion for both dance and each other.

Shehe spins and twirls with Homura on the dancefloor without ever missing a beat or a step, spinning her beautiful date away from her and then drawing her near, wrapping both arms about her while dancing with Homura's back to herself before dipping her low. Time seeming to slow to a crawl as she gazes deep into Homura's beautiful purple eyes, the soft pink of her own shining with adoration and affection.

    The spell lasts only a moment, and once more they're twirling across the dance floor, the white tails of Madoka's tuxedo flaring out behind her.
Homura Akemi 2018-05-12 20:56:18 91239
    Looking at Homura now, hanging off of Madoka's arm, it would be hard to tell that smiles were once a rare thing for her. Yet here she is, happy and content, a lovely young lady with her date. She's wearing a long black bell dress, lined with lace at the hems, with black earrings and dark lipstick to match. Her elbow-length gloves are white for contrast, and her hair is tied up into a formal bun. The ice in her purple eyes still says 'huntress', but the rest of her says 'lady'. The hem of her dress never seems to leave the ground, maintaining an air of grace no matter how quickly her plus one moves.

    She spots Mamoru and Kunzite, and a couple of unfamiliar people around them, and gives the group a polite wave. Kyouko... goes unnoticed. Or maybe Homura is just ignoring her for the moment. (That's not a maybe.)

    A dance scene like this does bring back memories, most of them very pleasant. When Madoka pulls her onto the floor, Homura is eager to make a few memories more. Considering just how much time Homura has spent dancing with Madoka, and especially considering that Homura has a dance floor in their house, it's little surprise that the veteran Puella takes naturally to dancing with her sweetheart.

    She sweeps across the floor with her beloved as easily as wind sweeping over a plain, showing no care or concern no matter how outlandish Madoka's lead gets. When she twirls, her dress poofs out, showing simple black high heels. She spins away and back again, happily ending up in Madoka's arms.They both know exactly how far they can push each other, and exactly how to respond to the other's unspoken requests. In moments like these, Homura truly feels that Madoka and she are one. Her adoring eyes gaze into her darling's, admiring her handsome date.

    The next twirl comes, and Homura happily spins while holding Madoka's hand. The smile on her lips has never been more genuine.
Kunzite 2018-05-12 20:56:46 91240
Kazuo follows Maria's glance at the question. And then his eyebrows go up. Markedly so, for him. Slowly, almost marvelling: "He actually put the thing on."

Presumably the thing in question is the tie. Or maybe the jacket. Or maybe both.

A brief shake of his head (his hair is confined in a tail with a black ribbon, meaning that the gesture doesn't tousle him beyond repair), and he answers Kukai, "It's easy to lose track of these things. Schroedinger's broken nose." At least he gets that out while Alexis is in transit. When Alexis arrives... well. Kazuo crosses one hand over his body, laying it over the other for a moment. He may possibly be hiding giving himself a test pinch. Nope: still awake, not actually ensnared in a weird dream...

Ah. There are Madoka and Homura. No, definitely real.
Lacrima 2018-05-12 21:02:09 91241
Lacrima nods at Mamoru. "Alright. I'll go do that now. I'll be all formal about it. She'll pick up the undertones. I'm sure." she says quietly.

She nods to Kazuo and stops being all whispering, before looking towards Kukai. "You look comfortable at least, yes." she says.

Suddenly Alexis. "Hello, Alexis-niisan~" she says softly. "That's an interesting look for you~" she says coyly.

"I need to go visit Rashmi-chan over there quick. Come with?~" she asks. "This won't be long." she says.

Maria Hanazawa suddenly leaves the gathering of boys. She'll probably hear rumors in school about it. She won't care. Because they will be normal rumors. About normal things. And teasing about normal things.

...and not how she punched someone in the face with the force of a freight train because dark powers we're out of control.

She'll walk over, regardless and bows to Rashmi-chan.

"Rashmi-chan? Mamoru-kun wishes to end this fight you two have, by at least agreeing to be civil with one another." she says. Hopefully, Rashmi can read between the lines. "Will you go over to them? I can accompany. If I must." she says, she does look over to Kokoro though. Before she leans in and whispers, like she was with Mamoru and Kazuo earlier. "The 'act' is sort of making him feel bad. And I think it's making you feel bad. So making it 'civil'." she says quietly. "So you don't need to avoid one another like this outright." she whispers.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-05-12 21:02:27 91242
    Kyouko doesn't mind being ignored. After all, she's like, a badass bodyguard. She's supposed to just blend ingo the background. Totally innocuous.

    Totally grabbing a fistful of finger-sandwiches and stuffing them into her mouth. But her eyes keep darting around. Looking for danger. So far the sandwiches seem safe.

    She grabs a drink, too, and then backs off a bit. She watches Madoka and Homura enter, and smiles a bit, less for them in paticular and more because this sort of feels like old times.

    Then she notices Alex, looking like a gangster, only the high-class kind. Since she is also looking rather dapper today (or at least, she thinks so), she makes a finger-gun in his direction all like 'ayyyyy, lookin' good' although she doesn't actually say anything because she's still working on those sandwiches.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-12 21:04:34 91243
    "Ah... well, uh." Kokoro fidgets briefly. "...if you said it, I'd probably believe it, so I'm still takin' your side on this one." She watches Alex the whole time Rashmi's serving her, and finds herself surprisingly relieved when he doesn't give her more than a cursory greeting. Oh god, she's not gonna have to deal with his teasing too. "You look fine," she adds towards Rashmi. "...think I'd rather be wearing that, in fact. I'm used to people staring at me for being huge, not..." Pause. "...not this."

    Then a pair of Puella Magi arrive, and there's someone else dressed as handsomely as Kokoro. A white tux to her black. Oh please let that divert some attention. Maybe now she can find herself a quiet corner to hide in.

    When Lacrima approaches, the tall girl listens - and then puts on a deep scowl. "Tch, he's got some nerve." She looks between Rashmi and Maria, though, as if to say to Rashmi, 'well it's your call'. "I'm staying over here."
Kukai Souma 2018-05-12 21:12:27 91244
Kukai grins and then nods to Mamoru. "You were born in a tuxedo, though. I'm just trying to get through tonight. I thought about coming in my school uniform but then went 'naah, I can at least get a spring colored suit.'" He eyes Alexis as he approaches and bows to Maria. "...I haven't seen that before."

Kukai looks back to Kazuo, thinking about the comment for a second before he parses it, then grins. "Ah. Yeah." Madoka and Homura arrive and are rapidly tearing up the dance floor, and Kukai watches them dance for a minute, smiling. Feels like old times, in a way. After watching them sweep across the floor for a few moments, he nods back to Kazuo and Mamoru. "Food calls. It's good to see you up and about, Alex." He nods to the three and makes his way over to the catering, not wanting very much to look at the dancing all of a sudden.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-05-12 21:14:45 91245
Mamoru waves to Homura and Madoka as they glide past, and he's grinning again, if briefly-- and Kukai gets a nod. "I could very well have been," he says seriously, then gives Maria a grateful look. "Thank you."

And-- yes, Alexis is in a tie. "What--" Squint. "What? I'd've figured mayyybe tie with leather jacket..."
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-12 21:19:23 91246
One thing Rashmi is good at, is choosing words with multiple levels of meaning. "...I'd like that a lot," she says, in answer to Maria. Looking back at Kokoro, she smiles a bit, patting the girl on the arm. "You sure you'll be okay, Koko-chan? I'll be right back, this won't take a moment, I don't think." Drawing in a deep breath, she arranges her plate, brushes her skirts, and nods to Maria, as if to say 'Okay, let's go then.'
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-12 21:25:20 91247
    "I'll be fine," Kokoro replies to Rashmi. "I'd probably screw it up over there." Double meanings ahoy! She'd bungle peace talks, and she'd also fail at acting. Especially with even Maria looking her over openly. "...w-what is it," she mumbles, embarrassed all over again. Oh hey look what time it is it's time to shove food in her face.

    And finally give Kukai a proper greeting, now that she's only 'very embarrassed' rather than 'embarrassed enough to want to evaporate'. "Y-yo."
Madoka Kaname 2018-05-12 21:26:39 91248
    One song ends and another begins and Madoka hasn't nearly had her fill of dancing just yet. In the brief interlude Madoka leans in and whispers something to Homura and then takes her hand and presses up against her, holding it out while keeping her other arm around her back. Standing cheek to cheek she all but marches in lock step with her only to turn around and switch directions in a single beat.

    She repeats this once more before suddenly twirling with Homura once more, only to let go of her and spin away, twirling the opposite direction as they dance a circle opposite each other, only to come together with perfect timing and start the march once more, only at a right angle to their previous movements.

    "Come on!" she encourages to the other dances and non dancers alike. It's not as difficult as it looks, and if she can get at least a few other couples to join her and Homura it'll look spectacular.

    Another set of this takes the couple closer to the food table, hands extended towards Kyouko. Madoka makes a little finger gun at the veteran Puella and winks; she seems to be staying observant, despite her dancing. Another little diversion and she offers the same finger gun and wink to Kokoro, because how could she have possibly missed another lady dressed up all dashing in a tux?
Homura Akemi 2018-05-12 21:27:33 91249
    Homura is all too happy to dance with Madoka, song after song after song. When Madoka whispers into her ear, Homura tilts her head, then nods. It's a fairly simple routine, and anticipating Madoka's intentions is still fairly natural at this point. Homura moves with far more grace than any woman who fights evil with assault rifles has any right to, being a soft and gentle mirror to her more energetic and cheerful significant other.

    Homura turns a little sheepish as Madoka encourages others to join in, though she has to admit it'd look neat. She wonders just how many would jump in. There's a part of Homura that is still not used to being the center of attention.

    As they get closer to the food table, Homura reaches out to pluck a tiny morsel from a tray, mid spin, and ends the step with the food in her mouth as if nothing ever happened. One might think she stopped time to pull off such a trick, but really she's just quick with her hands. Upon seeing Kokoro she politely waves with her free hand, not nearly at all surprised as she should be to see women in nice suits.

    Then again, considering what Homura often wears, it actually isn't surprising at all.
Stahlritter 2018-05-12 21:28:31 91250
The sunglasses slide down Alexis' nose briefly just enough that his green eyes can peer over them at Mamoru and Kukai both. "I'm trying to blend in," is all he provides in explanation to both of their teasing and wondering, with a faint scoff before he turns to step towards Rashmi and Kokoro right at Maria's side. Like a bodyguard. He really looks the part with the suit and sunglasses.

On the way, he murmurs, sidelong, to Maria, "You look good," before they're in hearing range of the two girls over there.

Once there, he resettles his sunglasses to properly covering his eyes again, and... very much doesn't say anything about the whole matter with Mamoru. He just waits for that particular conversation to pass by before he nods his head at Kokoro. No teasing words or anything. Just a nod. Though that already speaks virtues between folk like that, doesn't it?
Lacrima 2018-05-12 21:37:40 91251
Maria small smiles at Kokoro and says nothing. Walking with Rashmi-chan back to Mamoru and she goes 'grave face'. Serious! Alexis is hopingly following. She maybe likes feeling like she has a bodyguard. It makes her feel /important/. Yeah, you better watch out, I'm important enough to have men in black suits following me around and ready to punch you.

She snaps her thoughts back to the matter at hand. "Rashmi-chan is here to speak to you. Regarding your issues." she says.

She looks back to Kazuo, but then turns around to face Madoka and Homura. Mmmph.

Just a moment, maybe. She looks around for Ariel. She isn't here yet. Maybe later. Maybe something important came up. Regardless, she's understanding enough as she eyes Alexis. Yes, this'll do in a pinch, she says, as she regards potential dance partners.

She does finally reply. "In a moment~" she says loudly enough, but not yelling.
Kunzite 2018-05-12 21:40:26 91252
Alexis' departure with Maria, and Kukai's spring-colored departure for food, leave Kazuo alone with Mamoru for a moment. "What?" he says to Mamoru, solemn as ever. "You convinced me to dress up. Is it so unthinkable he might, too?"

There's a momentary pause. "And if you're thinking of the Medinet Habu inscription -- about 1175, give or take." There is, after all, no need not to fill the gap between Kukai's departure and the ladies' return.

Upon which he bows again, gravely, to their approach. One must be polite to their host. Only for their host's sake. Surely.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-05-12 21:43:54 91253
    Kyouko is heading back to her spot by the door when she catches Madoka's finger-gun back towards her. She is content being ignored by Homura, but she's never had much of a beef with Madoka, so she gives a bit of a roguish wink back to the pink-haired girl..

    Even if she is secretly a little glad that Naru couldn't come, because she knows that if she could, she would be dragged out there to be part of this whole ballroom dancing thing, and she is not mentally prepared for that.

    She resumes her place by the door, finger-sandwiches consumed, and sips her drink while keeping an eye on the room in general, content to hold up the wall as she has been taught by her nii-chan.
Kukai Souma 2018-05-12 21:47:35 91254
Kukai nods to Kokoro as he arrives at the food tables. "Yo. What's good? Anything I should avoid?" He nods at the table, not wanting to push her too far while she's still flickering pink in the cheeks. He looks back and forth around the ballroom, then grins. "This isn't really my sort of thing either, but everybody looks nice and they seem to be having fun. I'm not sure if I wanna dance tonight or not, though."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-05-12 21:50:33 91255
"Then why do they keep arguing between 1186 and 1177 for it?" the prince asks, bewildered. Then Rashmi and Maria are on the approach with Alexis bodyguarding, and Mamoru finally lets his arm drop from Kazuo's, bringing both hands to rest at the top of his cane, and he stands tall and dashing. His stance may be imposing, but there's something apologetically desperate making the corners of his sea-blue eyes tight.

"Ah sou," he says mildly to Maria, primarily, but then turns his full attention to Rashmi. "Have you satisfied your doubts?" A beat. "...if not, I guess that's okay. You insisted you're still my friend, and I'm not accustomed to having friends doubt my identity, but..."

His rigid stance deflates a little. "I miss you," he admits.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-12 21:57:26 91256
    Madoka and Homura make a great team. The pink-haired girl manages to get poor Kokoro fidgeting - all these people in fancy clothes with far more confidence about it than her, giving her complements on a look she'd never in a million years wear on her own gumption. Then comes the little extra wave from Homura, and for just a moment, she really isn't anything more than a tall, awkward teenager at a dance, giving a halfhearted wave of reply because she's entirely unsure how to handle this kind of positive attention.

    Kukai. Kukai thank you so much for the distraction. "A-ah, uh. I ain't real-" Cough. "I'm not real picky what I eat, but all of this stuff tastes good." She pauses, then adds, "...I don't mind group stuff like this so much, it's just..." She glances down at herself. "...I didn't pick this out. Lady I'm staying with did."

    She gives Alex a nod in return - and somehow feels just a little better about herself. At least she's not the only one out of her depth in such fanciness.
Madoka Kaname 2018-05-12 22:01:19 91257
    One day Madoka will get Kyouko to ballroom dance, and if that's by way of Naru then that's just fine with her. The pink haired girl gives a little, "Yay!" as she hears at least one person call out that they may be joining the festivities, keeping up a nice steady pace while dancing with Homura. That should make it easy for others to pick up and has a side benefit of looking good if anyone does.

    It seems one couple has decided to join them, but they seem to be a bit timid about it, following their lead but looking like they might flake out as eyes turn towards them. As Kokoro waves back she calls out to her, "Grab someone and come dance!"

    Though her own eyes are mostly on Homura, Madoka does take a moment to glance out of the side of her eye at Mamoru as he stands tall, and then at Rashmi, who he seems to be addressing. What is this now? Madoka is very much out of the loop, but something seems to be making Mamoru unhappy and it seems to have something to do with the redhead in the red empire waist dress.

    Madoka is now watching her rather closely.
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-12 22:04:30 91258
"I still don't know exactly what's going on," Rashmi says -- again, layers of meaning, there -- "...But I miss my friend. I'm sorry I hurt you, Mamoru-kun. I really, really am." The awkward, nervous smile isn't terribly hard to summon up; it's not common that Rashmi feels like a cuckoo among sparrows, but this is definitely a good time for it, and the 'falling out' has indeed been wearing on the redhead. Thus, she bows her apology, then sticks a hand out. "...Friends? 2.0?"

Why is the side of her head burning all of the sudden?
Lacrima 2018-05-12 22:09:46 91259
Maria Hanazawa nods curtly between the two. "I think you two can take it from here." she says softly, as she turns around to Alexis, and before he can get a chance to object, she takes his hand and drags him out to the dance floor, somewhere in Madoka's and Homura's vicinity.

Yes this is happening Alexis-niisan. It's okay, you'll live. It's not like Riventon is punching you again~

"Come on. Follow my lead~ I think I know the dance they're aiming at." she says as she eyes Madoka's and Homura's movements, before joining in with the dance, trying to get in sync. If there's one thing she knows. it's /dancing/.

"Just follow along, niisan~" she says teasingly.

"It'll be fun~" she urges quietly.
Homura Akemi 2018-05-12 22:11:55 91260
    Homura would marvel at the idea of Kyouko dancing in such a fancy way, though as much as the redhead has changed over the years Homura's surprise wouldn't last long. She doesn't mind keeping a steady pace with Madoka, since that's more time for her to enjoy her company. If someone joins them, well, more the merrier. This is a dance, after all.

    When she isn't focused on her date, her eyes do occasionally glance around the room. She's not particularly looking for anything, but she does glance in Mamoru's direction more than once, if only because one of Homura's closest friends seems worried by something. Homura would be even more worried if Mamoru didn't have multiple shitennou nearby. It's normal to think of Kyouko as shitennou at this point, right?

    It doesn't take her long to notice that Madoka is watching someone, and Homura's pretty sure she has some idea what that expression means. Her head tilts to the side, and as they spin around Homura starts to notice Rashmi. What's even going on over there? Homura doesn't want to stare, but it's hard not to notice it when everyone else seems to be.

    Maria and Alexis get a brief smile from her, because at least Madoka's coaxing brought someone else onto the field.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-05-12 22:16:39 91261
Mamoru starts to reach for Rashmi's hand, then looks, startled, directly at Kyouko for a half second. And then he just gives in and bends to scoop Rashmi up off her feet in a hug. "I will tease you forever when it's proven I'm right, but we can be friends again--!" he says, loud enough for random people near them to hear, and then he sheepishly sets her down and gives the departing Maria a grateful look. "Friendship will always be more important than disagreements."

And if that doesn't sound like Tuxedo Kamen, nothing ever will.

Finally he glances toward the dancefloor, then brightens. "Oh, they're doing a group dance! Let's all join in-- please?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-12 22:21:01 91262
    'Grab someone and dance.'

    "Huh?" Kokoro blinks. Processing... processing...

    "No! Nonono, I, uh, I'm gonna have to pass on that, I got, uh... r-rental shoes. They're rental shoes." If the thunder lass was embarrassed before, now she's just short of panic. Dancing is just about the only way to make this worse! "R-really, it's fine, I'd just get in the way anyway, uh..." A quick glance at Kukai. "...I-I gotta go, uh. This way, now."

    She is trying to find herself an unobtrusive corner to lean against. Preferably one with a potted plant nearby.
Kukai Souma 2018-05-12 22:23:18 91263
Kukai looks over the table, then nods. "That sounds excellent. I'll just eat everything, then!" He looks at Kokoro's suit, examining it for a second, then nods. "It looks pretty good. She has good taste. You fit right in." He looks over at Madoka and Homura, gathering people on the dance floor, and then shakes his head. Dancing just.. doesn't fit right now.

Kokoro seems to be denying a dance, and then shifts, obtusely blocking her path. "Whoop, hey, trying to get here. Why don't you go the other direction? It won't be a big deal. You might even meet somebody who wants to dance with you there." He motions with his head at the well-hugged Rashmi, trying to herd Kokoro onto the dance floor.
Stahlritter 2018-05-12 22:23:42 91264
Maybe Alexis was about to say something. But, then! He's getting tugged along to the dancefloor by Maria.

"Wh--?!" is all he manages to sound out in protest. He might even try to say something more direct about it, but IT'S TOO LATE. THEY ARE ALREADY THERE.

So, the bodyguard/mobster Alex lets out a heavy sigh, relenting enough to maneuver his hands to meeting Maria. "You know," he murmurs then, smile turning sheepish for a moment. "My parents did force me to take up ballroom dancing way long ago, so they could drag me to like... stupid rich people events," he points out in a low mutter.

"Let's see if I still remember how it goes."
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-12 22:25:06 91265
"Oh good, a dance," Rashmi says, with the kind of grin that says 'Oh no, a dance,' but it would be ridiculously impolite to refuse now... Glancing around really quick, she does what comes naturally -- rope Kokoro into the 'fun' as a security blanket! Dancing is like math, right? Two negatives make a positive? "Koko-chan please come dance badly with me?"
Madoka Kaname 2018-05-12 22:30:35 91266
    Hm, hm. Hmmmm. The redhead is bowing to Mamoru and then extending her hand out to him. Aha! That must be for a handshake! Having lived in America means Madoka is not entirely clueless to such a thing, especially when her mother was a very important business woman. She'll have to figure out what that was all about later, but for now she's fairly certain that things are going to be okay.

    Really, that there might be some difficulties that are actually getting worked out by talking and nothing could possibly make Madoka happier than that.

    And then Mamoru is literally lifting Rashmi up off her feet and Madoka can't help but flash a smile to the both of them.

    Suddenly her dancing has even a bit more zest in it, though at this particular moment it's not actually the best thing. She'll tries to contain herself and simply add little flourishes to her movements than her dance steps but she can't help but give Homura a quick spin as they change directions, holding her a little closer and looking into her eyes as they come together once more.

    And now Maria and Alexis are coming to dance and Mamoru is being wonderful and aiding the cause of ballroom dancing! Everything is turning out to be as sweet as roses for the pink haired Puella.

    With more and more people getting into it Madoka refocuses once more. She dances several steps in one direction pressed close to Homura, holding her hand with their arms extended out in front of them only to turn around and go back the way they came, repeating one more time before the two twirl away from each other and make opposite circles, only to meet back up in perfect sync and make right angle turn to change directions and start from the top.
Kunzite 2018-05-12 22:38:38 91267
"We'd need an even number," Kazuo begins, about to try to back out to leave Mamoru and Rashmi to join the dance. Then Rashmi invokes Kokoro in an attempt to fix the problem, and he concedes, "Four is even."
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-12 22:41:31 91268
    Kokoro stops in surprise when Kukai steps in front of her. "Whoa- look, uh, seriously, I really should just- don't worry about it, I'd just be in the way and besides I'm feeling kinda-"

    Rashmi. Rashmi pls. Rashmi you are now getting the 'oh god why' look from Kokoro. "I- I dunno if that's-" There's a split-second pause; the one person here who can break down her resolve is Rashmi Terios, and the first sign of that is when she comes out with an honest and miserable, "...I don't even know how." The tone and her body language both, however, make it pretty obvious that she's along for the ride now, even before she takes a hesitant step or two in that general direction.
Lacrima 2018-05-12 22:47:08 91270
Maria blinks at that fact. "Oh!" she says. "I didn't know! I mean. It makes sense..." she says quietly. "Then this should be easier than I though~" she says softly. Maria dances easily. It's something she knows well. Something she /loves/. If Alexis can't remember, she's a good leader at least, and seems to know how to move her feet so they're not stepped on.

She does eye Mamoru's call for dancing and purses her lips with a short smile again. She does raise her head at Mamoru. She gives another small smile, as she looks over to Madoka and Homura.

Trying to keep in step, but Madoka seems to be improvising. So she keeps her current steps, as not to screw Alexis up and trip him or anything.

"Learning to dance, I think, is fun." she says. "Even if it's for dumb reasons. You don't need to do the dances for dumb reasons." she says cheekily.

Oh, Rashmi got Kokoro out to the dance floor it seems? or seeming to at least. Good, she thinks.

She hated being a wallflower herself when.... well it's not important. Not right now.
Homura Akemi 2018-05-12 22:48:22 91271
    Homura still does not completely know what is going on but Mamoru seems happy and Madoka seems happy so she assumes that it's a good thing. She's feeling maybe a bit too self-absorbed to really know what's going on, but since people are starting to dance along with Madoka and Homura the floor has gotten a bit more lively. Madoka, especially.

    The extra zest in Madoka's movements translate to a lot of motion in Homura's dress, swooshing around in time with their movements, almost as if it were doing a dance of its own. The quick spin leads to Homura's dress once more swinging out around her and sparkling slightly, and the veteran Puella can't help but giggle at her partner's cheerfulness.

    It's nice to hear Mamoru wanting to dance again. Homura thinks its actually been a while since that happened. From the perspective of others, maybe not, but from her own it has been. "Looks like you're getting your wish, Madoka-chan," she states with a slight lilt in her voice.

    Madoka's lead is as energetic as usual, and the pink-haired girl's liveliness is a large part of what attracted Homura her to begin with. Step by step, motion by motion, twirl by twirl, Homura follows Madoka's lead, mirroring every movement, almost as if the two of them were made to dance with each other.
Stahlritter 2018-05-12 23:06:34 91272
"I didn't say I *liked* it," Alex points out sheepishly down to Maria. "But, you know... there it is."

As it turns out, though, Alex is all about muscle memory. The motions come along smoothy with Maria's lead, bringing back old memories of motions practiced and long since left behind.

Until, eventually, he is not only letting her speed things up, but likely ending up taking lead from her altogether. Martial arts practice and dancing practice synergize strangely well, don'tcha know?

"At least now you can brag at school you got a big foreigner in a suit to dance with you, right?"
Madoka Kaname 2018-05-12 23:08:51 91273
    Now that people are dancing and having fun, or so she hopes, Madoka focuses much more on the dance itself, enjoying being nestled all cozy up to Homura-chan while moving around in the steady rhythm of the dance. When dancing cheek to cheek she gives Homura's a little nuzzle, and squeezes her sweetheart extra close to her when their spins bring them back together.

    Her dance steps are once again simple and easy to register for even the uninitiated, but her enjoyment of the dancing is no less than it was when she was bouncing with excitement only moments before. It's very easy, the simplest of things, to for her to get lost in the moment dancing with Homura, enjoying the beauty of her beloved as her black dress swirls around her.

    Getting completely lost in dancing with Homura would unfortunately be a mistake, however, as she's now needing to lead an entire group ballroom dance, and the best part is just to come. She spots those that seem to recognize the dance a little nod, and just when it's time to to make another right angle turn she cuts the opposite way from normal.

    She releases Homura and goes spinning away from her in a way that sends them intertwining with the motions of the other dancers, briefly meeting Maria face to face and giving her a bright smile as they pass one another while twirling in their wide circles, passing close without ever being at risk of colliding due to the timing of it.

    And then she's once more caught Homura up in her embrace, marching along with her and giggling happily to her words, "I did! I hope you're having as much fun as I am, Homura-chan."
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-12 23:11:53 91274
"Koko-chan I have *no idea what I'm doing either,* I just don't want to do it alone," Rashmi wheedles. For the first few steps, she's incredibly uneasy and off-tempo, trying to watch everyone Madoka and copy her steps and guide Kokoro all at the same time... But even though she's got maybe a sliver of her attention on having fun, it does seem to be enough; the grin she gives Kokoro once the routine has gotten settled into is real, even if she isn't quite noticing that she's got a dance partner at an actual ball and we all know how those stories go.
Lacrima 2018-05-12 23:30:34 91275
Maria is more than happy to give up the lead when Alexis gets his groove back. Which isn't the name of a blockbuster movie, go away.

Also she blinks when Madoka spins by, but gives a short small smile-- she never lets herself loose her stride. She's danced too long to be thrown off by anything sort of dying. (Also that morbidly also happened, but vampire.).

She gently smiles a bit. "You're good at this, you know." she says. "I started dancing because I remember this cartoon... about a princess that danced. So I begged dad until I got lessons." she says. "Well more like. Whine and cry. But also I was like six." she insists. "I think." she adds.

She eyes Madoka and Homura again. "Those two are good dancers." she says. Her eyes look back to Rashmi. "At least Rashmi-chan is enjoying herself. I hope Kokoro is." she says. "She looked like... fish in strange waters. Earlier." she says.
Homura Akemi 2018-05-12 23:31:39 91276
    Dancing cheek to cheek with Madoka-chan is certainly an arrangement that Homura has no problem with, closing her eyes for a moment to enjoy the closeness. She never once loses the simple rhythm, or if she does her elegant dress manages to gracefully hide her misstep. Clings to Madoka ever so briefly, until the next step of their dance pulls them away. Such a tease, this dance is, though the anticipation of closeness will make it all the sweeter.

    She playfully gazes at Madoka with a coyly longing look, matching her step for step, especially in this relatively easy pattern. Unlike Madoka, Homura is free to get lost in the romantic movements, because that's one of the benefits of being led.

    The sudden changes of direction are something that Homura anticipates by now, as that is what Madoka seemed to have been going for the whole night. The moment when they part and their paths move between those of the other dancers has Homura suddenly watching out for everyone else, and the more experienced Homura manages to dance around Rashmi with relative ease. As they pass, Homura whispers to Rashmi, "You're doing fine."

    When Homura meets back up with Madoka, her arms go around their darling. Such a close embrace isn't quite what Homura would consider part of a traditional dance, but at this point it's a tradition for Homudoka at least.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-12 23:32:08 91277
    Well, at least Kokoro isn't alone in her completely helpless awkwardness. Her steps are cautious and hesitant, and then perhaps a bit too forceful when she makes them; even after Rashmi finds the beat, her dance partner seems to be having trouble with it. The bifauxnen keeps glancing down, doing her level best not to mess up the steps, only to realize her steps are getting a little off, and look up to to try to match the music again. It's a faltering shift in attention that culminates around the moment Rashmi levels that beaming smile at her.

    That's the moment when Koko's foot comes down atop Rashmi's.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-05-12 23:44:03 91278
Having pulled one of those terrible moves wherein one says 'yes let's all do x' and then stepping back once people start stepping forward, Mamoru just watches for a little while, not-quite leaning against Kunzite. He wouldn't look tired to anyone but Kazuo and Kyouko, but that doesn't mean there isn't a moment of it. Then he finally agrees, "Four is even," and smiles halfway. "So is two."

It's a gloved hand that pulls at Kazuo's, toward the others, and Mamoru's far hand spins the cane briefly in the air before lifting it sharply and twisting his hand -- so -- and the cane collapses like the hat must have, and he vanishes it like he must have done with the hat. He calls out to Homura and Madoka, "Maria made a book of group dances for me last year, I should show you--!"

--but the song's changing already, changing to one slightly less lively, but not as much of a lights-are-down-low Suzanna Hoffs sort of thing as will probably play later, and Mamoru completely unconcernedly starts dancing with Kazuo anyway.
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-12 23:45:54 91279
*STOMP*

Rashmi's eyebrow twitches, eyes widening for a moment... but no. This is a Fancy Ball and she's surrounded by Fancy Dresses and she's dancing with a partner rocking an AWESOME TUX and a little thing like a bruised foot will not stop her. If she can't walk it off, she'll dance it off, by Maria-sama, and no one will ever know about her plans to use a discreet Healing LIght on herself before taking off for home.
Stahlritter 2018-05-12 23:52:12 91280
"If I am going to do something," Alex tells Maria with a wide, wiiide flash of a grin just as he sends her into a dramatic spin with his arms, pulling her back to himself again right afterwards with a looooow bend of her down low. "...Then I might as well put all of myself into it, yeah?"

Alexis Gets His Groove Back would totally make for a good movie title.

"Don't worry," he assures Maria then over the matter of Kokoro. "If anyone's going to help her blend in, it's Ras--" Aaaand just as he's saying that, Kokoro's stomping on the redhead's feet.

Yikes. Even with the sunglasses hiding his eyes, the sympathetic sensation of pain felt by Alexis is visible. "...Well. Should we give them a hand, what do you think?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-12 23:54:52 91281
    "S-sorry," Kokoro mumbles, cheeks turning bright red. She knows she just stepped on her partner's foot; even if Rashmi's playing it off as not that painful, the totally-not-a-prince girl feels bad for the simple fact of it. She's at least continuing to try, certainly. But unfortunately for her shorter partner, it turns out that the taller one is not making mistakes out of simple nerves. The longer they are there, the more obvious it becomes that she's just... bad at dancing. There are almost certainly more accidental foot-stomps coming in the next few seconds. Like now, for instance. "...s-sorry..."
Lacrima 2018-05-12 23:59:21 91282
Maria Hanazawa grimly watches this. She's seen this a lot in her time dancing. Feet squishing on feet. She looks back to Alexis, and gently starts moving in that direction, spin. Spin. Step. Spin.

She's good at this, as she gives Madoka and Homura and apologetic look on leaving the nearly choreographed dance, as she comes near Kokoro and Rashmi. She clears her throat.

"Here, you two." she says. "Hands on the hips. Then careful count. One." step. "Two." step. "Three." swing. She says. "One..." step.....

She'll repeat this a few times. "Count in your head. At that pace. And move your feet both at the same time." she urges. "It's fun, I swear, and you'll forget you're counting after a bit!" she says, with wide eyes.

"I mean look....."

Then her eyes narrow.

"Alexis dances so much better." she says.

This is ENTIRELY on purpose.
Madoka Kaname 2018-05-13 00:04:33 91284
    Homura's arms are wrapping around her in a closer embrace and a moment later the music starts to change into something a little slower. Well isn't that timely and perfect? Madoka shifts to hold Homura with both arms, releasing her hand in favor of dancing oh so near. Now she's dancing cheek to cheek with Homura while facing her and simply must give her cheek another nuzzle, because it's so sweet and soft.

    Her own heartbeat is quickened from the thrill of the previous dance, which went much better than she could have possibly imagined. Did anyone get a picture or video? She certainly hopes so! But even if not, she'll always have her memory.

    She lets out a long happy sigh and melts into Homura's arms, getting all snuggled up to her on the dancefloor like was absolutely inevitable once they stood upon it. Her eyes remain open however, enjoying the feeling of Homura in her arms and being held by her in a loving embrace while they dance even while her gaze sweeps across other dance partners, some friends, some romantic partners, and some perfect strangers enjoying (again, hopefully!) the ball.

    She giggles to herself and pokes Homura's shoulder, leading her around so her date sees what she just did, Mamoru and Kunzite dancing together away from the crowd. It reminds her so very much of themselves at some of the dances they've been too, lost in their own little world.

    And then she sees Maria so helpfully giving pointers to Mamoru's redhaired friend and her dashingly tuxedoed partner. She starts to lift a hand from Homura's hand to wave again, about to thank her for hosting the dance when-- What was that? Is she taunting them?!

    For once Madoka's footsteps falter.
Jiaying Maki 2018-05-13 00:08:39 91285
The doors slamming open get a somewhat surprised look from Jiaying, who hadn't thought she was serious about making that big an entrance. She does improvise on the spot, mist rolling in behind them for a moment before fading away as the doors close. She hurries alongside the witch wearing a black silk cheongsam, trimmed in green. The hem fading from an emerald green in color, to jade, to a white jade in a pattern reminescent of a storm.

What they don't ever say about these kind of dresses is just how hard they are to move in though, so it takes most of her focus after to keep up with Sora.

Jia's reaction to all of the familiar faces is a cheerful wave. Out of Sora's line of sight just in case she wants to maintain that air about her. The kind of wave you see in cutesy pictures. Catching up with her partner, she leans in to murmur something to her.
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-13 00:10:06 91286
".....It's okay," Rashmi says as the second stomp comes in. "I mean ow, sure, but... Look try to act like you're sneaking instead of running, maybe? And besides. *I* suck at dancing too, the only reason you can't tell so much is because you'll never ever ever get me into a pair of high heels no way and I've been stepping on your feet occasionally too and you've barely noticed."

"But it's okay, Koko-chan," she says, pressing her abused foot against her calf for a moment as the dance allows. "I'm still having a great time, y'know? Thanks for doing this."

Which point Maria steps in, and the dance changes. ....Oh. Oh now it's a slow dance.

Well. Blush.

And somehow Rashmi still looks half-mortified as Maria tries to engage Kokoro's Competition Switch.
Homura Akemi 2018-05-13 00:15:26 91287
    The nice slow music is just fine for Homura-chan, especially when she gets to hold her little angel so closely. Nuzzling against her dance partner's cheek is such a happy feeling, and for Homura this is most certainly a perfect moment.

    Homura will certainly remember this night, if only for Madoka's exuberance, though she certainly hopes everyone else had fun with their impromptu dancing adventure.

    Of course, Homura and Madoka attract each other like a couple of rare earth magnets, so clinging to one another and being inseparable is only natural. Her eyes are looking at the rest of the dancers, though she's not really focusing on any one of them, caught up in her own little world as she is.

    At the shoulder poke, Homura looks around to find what Madoka is trying to point out, and she sees Kazuo and Mamoru dancing alone together. Well, that's certainly sweet. Homura was always happy that Mamoru managed to find the people he was looking for, and it will always be a point of pride that she was a part of that.

    Homura doesn't notice the taunting. Well, she hears it, but it doesn't register as important until Madoka's steps mess up. After giving Madoka a moment to recover, Homura simply shrugs. "Different people connect in different ways, I suppose."

    At least, Homura is assuming that this counts as connecting.
Madoka Kaname 2018-05-13 00:24:35 91288
    Madoka makes a skeptical, half worried little sound as Homura speaks, only for the sound to get cut off. Her soft pink eyes widen slightly and she lets out a soft little, "Oh," followed by a longer, understanding, "Ohhhh!"

    That's when her gaze darts away from Maria to Kyouko, still standing guard and keeping an eye out while leaning against her chosen wall. They then flick back to Maria and Madoka gets absolutely wiggly in Homura's arms, clinging to her beloved very close as if something adorable and exciting is happening, as if she'd just seen a cuddle pile of week old kittens climbing over each other and purring.

    "They must be such good friends! Ehehehehe!" She bounces a little more in Homura's arms before settling down, rocking from side to side and pressing so nice and cozy close to her dance partner.

    When their slow rotation has her facing Maria once more her eyes are locked on the girl, bright and sparkling. There might even be bubbles forming in the background behind Homura and herself.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-05-13 00:27:56 91289
    "...I suck at sneaking," Kokoro replies, ducking her head a little. After a second or two, though, something else Rashmi just said sinks in. "...you've been stepping on my-?" She really didn't notice, as it so happens. Then there's Maria trying to help them, and... well, bless her heart, she's really trying. There's the vague, brief hint of improvement, a step or two that actually manages to be close to on-rhythm...

    Then Maria taunts her. "Y-" Words rise to Kokoro's lips, but she bites them back; she looks between Rashmi, and Maria, and Alex, and then Rashmi again, and-

    "...yeah, I just bet he does." It comes out as a muttered, wounded hiss, and then Kokoro is just... gone. Not quite running, but absolutely stiff-legging it towards the door as fast as she can manage without running.
Lacrima 2018-05-13 00:32:16 91290
Maria blinks as she watches Kokoro storm out. That is not the response she expected. She expected 'WELL IF HE CAN DO IT SO CAN I, I AM A STORM PRINCESS AND ALL THAT!'. She did not expect Kokoro to jog out like she actually hit a nerve.

"Erm..." she mutters. She'll gently excuse Alexis and go to Rashmi. "Erm..." she goes again. "S--sorry." she says. "Kokoro-chan don't...." dammit.

"Usually. When she hears something like that..."

"Her response is to try to out do not..."

Oh she feels bad now.

"I'll... apologize to her but if you see her before me can you let her know?" she says apologetically. She huffs a lot. "Dammit." she says. "Sorry." she says.

"but um. Maybe your feet. Need the break anyways?" she asks, trying to find a light side in this ANYWAY she knows how right now. Which isn't much.
Rashmi Terios 2018-05-13 00:39:43 91291
"...You tried," Rashmi sighs, absently lifting a foot behind her to give it a massage. "Just.... well...."

She pitches her voice a little quieter, so as not to be overheard by anyone. "It's just... like the only thing that really gets to her is the idea that her friends are rejecting her. I saw what you were trying to do, though, and I'll try to explain, but... Yeah. This one's on you, Maria-chan. But it's okay."

Reaching out, she briefly hugs Maria. "We make mistakes so we can learn how to fix them, right? ...I should go after her, though. But I really, really did have a wonderful time, this was the best dance I've ever been to ever."
Homura Akemi 2018-05-13 00:48:40 91293
    Well, Homura thought it was a way of connecting. She wonders if this is what you call a 'missed connection?'

    She cringes somewhat apologetically at Madoka, feeling somewhat like she had led her on, and also feeling maybe a bit guilty because that whole situation seems super awkward now.

    "I guess... not everyone responds positively to that. It's a little hard to know what's going on when we don't know most of these people," she says to Madoka.

    Well, at least holding Madoka in her arms is nice. Cute, fluffy comfy Madoka-chan, especially when she wiggles! Though Homura wonders just how wiggly Madoka would be after a scene like that. Homura keeps dancing with her, if only because she isn't sure what else to do in a situation like this. It's technically none of her business but... she still feels sorry for Maria, Rashmi and Kokoro.
Lacrima 2018-05-13 00:53:28 91294
Maria Hanazawa scoffs at Rashmi lowly. "Sometimes I forget how real humans act and talk, too." she mutters into the brief hug. "I'll apologize to her." she says. "Don't worry." she says quietly.

She rubs her face. "I'm going to go comfort eat now. I can't promise the buffet won't survive." she says curtly as she begins walking her way over there.

Time to make the world's biggest plate of food ever and shove into unending inhuman darkness and hopes it helps.
Madoka Kaname 2018-05-13 01:20:54 91295
    Madoka's previous excited giggle is now followed by a nervous one as she watches Kokoro jog out, "Eheheheh"

    She stays dancing nice and close to Homura-chan but the wiggliness of her movements has taken a certain precipitous drop, it's true. That said she's still dancing just fine and staying nice and close to her guardian angel. "I think it was," she comments about the 'missed connection', "but I think it's one that will be okay in time. They still seem to be getting along and it's not like they're yelling at each other or fighting."

    Naturally she means the two that are still in the ballroom. But in the short amount of time she's been aware of Rashmi she's seen that she's clearly capable of talking through issues and that she's friends with Mamoru, which comes with a fair amount of trust. Clearly if there was actually a serious issue they wouldn't appear to be on such friendly if apologetic terms.

    "I don't think we need to worry about it too much. I'm sure they'll be better friends once it's all over." After all, people like Hannah Sharpe manage to have good friends even despite directly antagonizing them. Repeatedly. And Maria's actions today seem to be rather short of what that particular woman has pulled.

    Thinking of Hannah and her idea of friendship causes her to briefly cling a little closer to Homura-chan for a moment, which soon turns into clinging to Homura simply because it feels so nice. And really even if there's an awkward moment between some friends it doesn't mean Madoka can't enjoy dancing close to Homura. There might possibly be nothing that can keep Madoka from enjoying dancing so close to Homura. Even if she was crying and miserable, she'd still enjoy the dancing part.