In 'N Out

After asking Rashmi if she happened to have a way to get in contact with Virtue, Miho finds herself crammed into a booth at the Game Crown, given a new special phone, pep talks, fries, cake, and friends. Two of whom she is now out to. And somehow, this helps her feel better about mahouing in general!

Date: 2018-07-10
Pose Count: 65
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-10 19:49:12 92514
Now that she has a proper position with Virtue, informal as it may be, Rashmi has been hard at work. Information on the forum has been crosslinked, radability has been and is being tweaked, and Naru's hard work at filing has been paired with a Device's ability to sort and collate to produce what will likely shape up to be a fairly lean and eminently useful information tool. This makes Rashmis happy.

And when she got a text from Miho asking how to join Virtue, the redhead almost broke out in giggles on the spot.

Instead, however, she sent off two quick text messages; One to Miho, suggesting a meetup at the Game Center Crown, and one to Kukai and whoever happened to be active and logged in, noting that a potential new member wants to talk to Virtue, and perhaps we should make a meetup at the Game Center out of it!

This is what happens when Rashmi is allowed to make plans.

And now, she opens the door to the always-noisy arcade, raising her voice just a bit to clear the sounds of videogame anarchy. "There's a cafe on the second floor, it's quieter up there! My treat, they do pretty good desserts and milkshakes!" Cheerfully, she leads the poor new mahou on past the Sailor V games, and up the stairs.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-10 19:53:10 92515
And in comes Miho, right behind Rashmi! She's looking ... fairly nervous, and her arms are crossed with her left hand grasping her right, but there's a smile on her face. "I've been here, like, once before," she says, her raised voice sounding even more scratchy and androgynous than when it's at her usual volume. "Didn't stay very long, though, I just stuck with the arcade and didn't talk to anyone." She stays close to Rashmi, following as closely as she can.
Hoshi Kogane 2018-07-10 19:54:54 92516
A big, expensive car arrives near the Crown right on time. It parks, and the driver steps out and opens the passenger door on the opposite side, then puts down a little staircase. Dressed in her rainbow dress today, Hoshi steps down the little staircase, smiles to the driver. "I'm not sure how long this will take, I'll text you when I'm about ready to leave."

Not bothering to wait for a response, Hoshi heads for Rashmi and Miho, waves to the both of them; but refrains from introducing herself to anyone for the time being. Let them initiate conversation, and then see again.
Kukai Souma 2018-07-10 19:56:59 92517
Kukai, for his part in the updating of Virtue, has been pulling together every last report of anything he'd gotten in the past few months, putting it in boxes, and carrying it to Naru and Rashmi to let them work it over. For what it's worth, he was glad to have someone to give this to. The idea of more homework broke his head, and not having to do it felt great.

That meant, though, when he got a text from Rashmi about someone wanting to join Virtue, that was when he felt like his job was actually enabled. He picked out one of the specially formatted and designed cell phones hidden under his bed, stuck it in a pocket, and headed off towards the Game Center after giving his brothers the message that he was going out.

A few minutes after the others arrive, and a few minutes after he was supposed to arrive, Kukai makes his way through the door of the Game Center, heading up towards the cafe since he expects Rashmi and whomever to be up there. And whomever turns out to be Hoshi and.. someone he doesn't recognize. Daichi rides on his shoulder, looking around at the arcade and curious about what's new on the cafe menu, invisible to everyone non-magical and cute to everyone who is...
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-10 20:05:56 92518
By the time the others have shown up, Rashmi has snagged a booth by the railing, leaving her bookbag with Miho while she makes an order for the two of them; milkshakes for both, and the ever-coveted slice of strawberry cake for Miho.

Returning triumphant with her prize, she glances over the railing.... just in time to see Hoshi, then Kukai and Daichi stroll in. Grinning widely, she waves to the two of them, beckoning them on up. "Hoshi-chan, Souma-kun, Daichi-kun, hello!" Yes, even Daichi gets a hello, because *politeness.* "Everyone, this is Kagami Miho, she's the new prospect I was talking about."
Miho Kagami 2018-07-10 20:09:24 92519
Miho gives a slightly nervous and stiff wave back to Hoshi; she figured this was inevitably going to involve meeting strangers, but the prospect still gives her pause. The sight of Daichi is a bit of a surprise, however; the entire time it takes for Kukai to approach, she's alternating between staring, and trying not to stare.

She's brought back to reality by Rashmi's group introduction. "Ah, um, hello!" she says, smiling weakly. She gives a bit of a stiff bow, and her arms go right back to the left-arm-grasped gesture. "Um. Nice to meet you ... all!" Her gaze keeps flitting over to Daichi.
Hoshi Kogane 2018-07-10 20:14:52 92520
One of Hoshi's stars pops up next to Daichi, wearing a baseball cap and holding a baseball bat. Another one pops out near Miho, that one wears a jester's hat and clown shoes and begins juggling even tinier stars. "I am Hoshi Kogane, future prime minister of Japan." She introduces herself to Miho with a bow and unabashed confidence in this claim. "And hey, Terios-san, Souma-san. I hope you're doing well?"
Kukai Souma 2018-07-10 20:25:16 92521
Kukai waves up at Rashmi and follows Hoshi inside up to the table, seeing that strawberry cake and getting Ideas. Daichi hovers up, giving Rashmi a hug on the cheek before zipping over to examine the cake as well.

Kukai looks up at Rashmi's words, then smiles and gives Miho a cheerful wave, sitting down across from her. "Hello! It's nice to meet you, Miho!" He looks up, following her eyes, a common trick he's used several times to identify magical people, and then grins. "That's Daichi, my Guardian Chara. He's friendly!"

Daichi grins and waves, then blinks, examining Hoshi's baseball star. He grins and gives it a thumbs up. "A baseball star!" Kukai laughs and nods, then looks over at Hoshi. "Still working on that, huh?" He smiles at Miho. "She's friendly, I promise." Kukai shrugs and sits back. "I'm doing ok! A lot less stressed as all those papers and things are in Naru and Rashmi's possession. They've been helping me with Virtue."
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-10 20:31:52 92522
".....I'll get a cake and share it with you, Daichi," Rashmi says at the little guy's Idea-Getting. "Doing a lot better, Hoshi-chan! Miho healed me up after that mess on the roof, by the by. She's super, super new to this whole nonsense, but she's really good people. I'll be right back."

And with that, the redhead dashes off to get another slice of cake, returning and carving off the front quarter, making sure there's strawberry as well as whipped cream, and laying it on the edge of the plate. Daichi's share, clearly marked out. "So," she says, sliding in next to Miho, "what they're not saying, Miho-chan, is that Hoshi-chan is Prism Princess Yellow, who kept me from actually being turned into paste in that fight, and Souma-kun is Sky Jack, and the guy in charge of Virtue now. He's the one you'll want to ask questions."
Miho Kagami 2018-07-10 20:39:24 92523
Miho manages not to giggle at Hoshi's declaration, and then ... giggles at the 'she's friendly, I promise'. She just nods along at the explanation of Daichi, since she's learned at this point to just roll with the magical weirdness. "Yeah, sounds about right," she murmurs in response to Rashmi's 'new to this whole nonsense.'

When Rashmi gives the lowdown, she sits up and nods to Kukai, giving him a slightly nervous smile. "So!" she says. "My whole business is ... I have a Death Curse, which means that there's a bunch of youma after me specifically, and also I have a Life Blessing, which means I have healing powers and I can probably transform." She sounds less than enthusiastic about the transforming part. "After I healed Rashmi-chan, I decided I really want to keep healing people, and Osaka-san pointed me at Virtue. So ... yeah." She seems to slightly run out of steam there.
Hoshi Kogane 2018-07-10 20:45:04 92524
Hoshi shoots a glare towards Kukai's 'she's friendly, I promise' it's the kind of withering glare normally used by mothers and grandmothers incredibly displeased by their offspring. Then, she smiles again towards Miho. "I'm responsible for protecting colour in general, and the colour yellow in particular. There's monsters out there that seek to eat colours, leaving an area grey unless we can fix it up." She explains briefly what her deal is, "Among the Prism Keepers, I'm more of a support person. I heal and distract, but I can hit pretty hard if needed. We can always use more healers in Virtue."

Hoshi also makes hungry eyes towards the cake, and a star pops up in the sky holding fork and knife and also eyeing the cake. Hoshi doesn't ask, though.
Kukai Souma 2018-07-10 20:54:11 92525
Daichi ooohs and splats against the side of Rashmi's neck in a hug. "Thank yooou!"

Kukai arches an eyebrow as Rashmi mentions a mess on a roof. "...I take it something actually broke your shields, Rashmi? That's disturbing..." He turns back to Miho as Rashmi heads off. "Yeah. Some of it is kinda crazy for someone new to take in. Don't feel like you have to understand it all at once - there's usually someone around to help you. That's partly why we're here."

Rashmi returns and spills the beans about himself and Hoshi, and Kukai grins, giving a little shrug. "Well. Yeah. That's what we're here for, too." He's rolling around the idea of Rashmi giving out his identity to someone he'd never met before, but decides to sit on it for the moment. "Right. You can ask us questions, and we'll probably have some for you too."

Miho talks about her Death Curse, and Kukai nods. "Well so far we've not seen a youma yet we haven't dispelled, so Virtue as a whole can help cover those. And healing?" He perks up. "I know a few healers, but they're still rare and really awesome." He sighs. "It seems like there's always someone who needs healing around all the time, and we recently had a couple of our more prolific magical healers either have their powers go haywire, or got distracted with other things, and so.. yeah."

Kukai griiiins back at Hoshi's glare, then nods. "I'm responsible for protecting the hopes and dreams of the Seiyou Public School students, and all the people they care about." He chuckles. "Which means I'm responsible for at least everyone in Tokyo, if country-wide, or even worldwide. But I tend to stay in town for the most part, because this is where the monsters show up."

Kukai rubs his chin, then leans back, looking at Miho. "So, I'll let you start the questions if you want and I'll ask mine in a bit. What do you wanna ask?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-10 21:00:35 92526
Fork raised, Rashmi is just about to dig in, when the star pops up. With a knife and fork. Rashmi freezes, looking from star to Hoshi to cake to star to cake... And quietly carves off the *next* fourth of her slice, nudging it in Hoshi's direction. "It was more of a tactical error," she admits to Kukai. "I'd tuned my shields too far on the 'kickback' side, and they just weren't strong enough to bear up. So.... knocked through a roof. Which, by the way, ow."

And with that, she settles into listening, taking mental notes on Kukai's speech and curious about what questions Miho may have.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-10 21:05:35 92527
Miho smiles and nods to Hoshi and Kukai when they give their respective descriptions, taking the opportunity to dig into some of her cake. "I know Chiba-san has been one of the healers in trouble," she says when she gets the chance. "Of course, I only met him once, right before ... Hisakata-san's party, I think it was, but ..." She frowns. "Wow, that was almost three months ago." She glances at Rashmi. "I'm glad you're feeling better, by the way," she adds. "Is Nico-san fully repaired? You didn't mention how long that was gonna take, I think."

When Kukai gives her the floor, she sits back and hmms. "I'm bad at asking questions," she says. "Um ... I feel like I already have a pretty good overview of how stuff works, from Chiba-san and Osaka-san and others, plus my own stuff, so ..." She blinks. "Oh yeah! What's the best way to keep in touch with, with the group in general? Besides individually contacting Rashmi-chan, I guess."
Hoshi Kogane 2018-07-10 21:10:13 92528
Hoshi immediately digs in while the hungry star makes a grateful bow before poofing out of existence in a puff of yellow smoke. "She was increasing my offensive power since the target was clearly not responding well to purification and there were three of us, so she must've assumed the target would be paying attention to punchy knight guy and me." Hoshi explains the situation a little more.

To answer Miho's question, Hoshi defers to the expert, though she does take out her second cellphone. It's yellow and has a little star motiv to it. In a way it's an answer, especially when another star pops into existence holding what looks to be a phone and tapping on the screen.
Kukai Souma 2018-07-10 21:22:34 92529
Kukai ahs and then nods to Rashmi. "Gotcha. And yeah, going through a roof always sucks." He turns to look at Miho, listening to her talk. "Yeah. Really, three months? I'm surprised I haven't met you before then. I wander around the ECFH from time to time." After a moment Kukai nods. "Well, everyone in Virtue is given a smartphone with a special connection to HeartNET, the private, secure forum, chat system, and voice communication system we use to talk to one another. It's a tough and sturdy phone, but you have to be careful with them. The last thing we want is for some bad guy to get ahold of one and listen in on our conversations. You can set up an account or whatever to talk to people on there, and it has contact information for a large amount of the local magical population."

Kukai rubs his chin, then nods to her. "So, here's a question for you. Everyone in Virtue works together. We've all been through horrible events, we've all dealt with terrible things, and we all tend to like one another and take care of one another. Do you think you can work with everyone, helping keep them healed and fighting alongside them when the situation asks it?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-10 21:49:56 92530
Kukai is given a briefly suspicious glance, as though he might ask for some of her cake too... And the redhead decides speed is the better part of dessert, and just sets to her cake. "Nico's mostly better, Miho-chan," she says after a moment. "He's well enough to help me help Souma-kun reorganize HeartNET, so, we're definitely not bored."
Miho Kagami 2018-07-10 21:55:55 92531
Miho nods to Hoshi. "And then you ... dropped a giant star on 'em?" she says. "I know Rashmi-chan mentioned something about that when I healed her. I learned what Belka and Eclipse are, too." She nods to Rashmi. "Glad to hear it!"

She eyes Hoshi's cell phone with interest, perking up ever so slightly, and nods along with Kukai's explanation. "I assume it has its own separate phone number, too?" she says. "... I mean ..." She grins sheepishly. "... I ask because my phone's screen got cracked when a youma blew me up."

She seriously considers Kukai's question, but it's basically a no-brainer as far as she's concerned. "Yes," she says. "Of course I can. I ... find it hard to talk to new people," she adds, "but I still remember exactly how I felt when I saw Rashmi looking like she was ... well ... knocked through a building. And, like I said at the time, I know that kind of thing can't be completely prevented, but ... I want to make it so everyone can worry just a little less about their friends."
Hoshi Kogane 2018-07-10 22:03:48 92532
"I mean, all things concerned it was a pretty tiny star. If I dropped a giant star on her we wouldn't be here." Hoshi goes a bit geeky here, "But it was a lot bigger than my usual stars if that's what you mean." A pair of stars pop up, arms spread wide and moving away from eachother, until they get a good distance across and then they hop in the air as though to signify 'this big'
Kukai Souma 2018-07-10 22:15:25 92533
Kukai grins at Rashmi. He'll get some cake of his own once the meeting's done. He can wait. A little. Kukai motions to Miho as she talks. "Right. While Precia isn't around anymore, we still don't want Eclipse or any other possible group to have any of these phones if we can help it."

Kukai nods. "Yeah, it does. It's a separate device from your own personal thing, so you don't have to worry so much about it." He laughs. "It's a good phone, too - you can watch stuff online without having to worry about data caps, and it's really tough. You'll like it."

Kukai reaches over towards Miho and pats her hand. "It's ok. Everyone in Virtue is friendly. You can take your time if you need to. And that'd be nice." He smiles ruefully. "I wish we'd had someone like you at hand for the time when a diner blew up on me. I spent a month in the hospital, and a week in a coma. So yeah."

Kukai looks over at Hoshi and her stars, then laughs. "Really big?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-10 22:21:39 92534
"Miho-chan," Rashmi says after a moment, "one thing I've learned since this whole mahou mess started for me? You're guaranteed to make all kinds of new friends. Most of us know we're all fighting on the same side, and it's just silly to alienate people whose help you might need. So yeah, I understand how hard it might be to meet new people... but most of the people you'll meet will want to be your friend anyway."
Miho Kagami 2018-07-10 22:24:32 92535
Miho chuckles at Hoshi. "I meant by the standards of the stars you're showing me right now," she says. "But yeah, got it."

She nods along. "All righty, I dunno who Precia is, but I'll keep that in mind," she says. "Cracked phone for mundane stuff, cool phone for magic stuff." She winces at his description of his hospital stay. "Yeowtch," she says. "That is, like, a textbook example of the kind of thing that I want to prevent."

She smiles between Rashmi and Kukai. "I know, I know," she says. "Heck, I've made way more friends in Tokyo that I ever had in my hometown. It's just, I mean, one of my own hangups, y'know?" She grins. "'It's not you, it's me.'"
Hoshi Kogane 2018-07-10 22:26:57 92536
Mild awkward giggle. "I'm kind of into astronomy." Like that wasn't blatantly obvious, but still there's a tiny star popping up near Miho's head who's got a telescope that it tries to set up on top of Miho's head. Nevermind that it's daytime or they're inside. It's not like it actually needs to see anything. Then she adds to Kukai, "You've seen me do it before. About as big as that."
Kukai Souma 2018-07-10 22:31:17 92537
Kukai nods, and then pulls the Virtue phone out of his pocket, setting it on the table and pushing it over to Miho. "Virtue isn't a group that demands a leader, or has a director. I'm the leader in the sort of way that the person on the head of the wedge is the leader - I just try to guide the whole group as a unit. I won't demand your time, but you also have to understand that everyone in the group has their own problems as much as we do, so we do what we can to work together to solve. But we can solve them, together. So when you need someone, please ask, and when someone needs you and asks, please come, ok?" He nods to her, the only real speech part of the meeting done at that point, and then grins. "And I hope we can all be friends."

Kukai nods to Rashmi for Miho. "She's into cooking, Hoshi's into astronomy, and I'm into sports. What're you into?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-10 22:35:05 92538
"Well," Rashmi temporizes, "I'm into fantasy books, actually... Cooking I just sort of picked up from parents who own a restaurant, y'know?" But with that necessary correction given, Rashmi settles in to hear.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-10 22:45:00 92539
Miho nods. "Well, I -- ack!" She flinches downward, and looks up at the star with the telescope, then giggles and sits back up, doing her best to obligingly keep her head still. "Okay!" she says, taking the phone. She actually looks happy, and somewhat excited. "I'll do the best I can, whenever I can!"

She nods, looking between the others. "Well ... mostly I like video games," she says. "I ... would've come to this place more often, it's just, I can't handle crowds? I'm not exactly a shut-in, I just ... it's the noise, basically. And my problems with meeting people, like I said," she adds wanly. "I can't even do multiplayer games." And then she grins. "I can probably beat your best times at Sonic the Hedgehog, though!"
Hoshi Kogane 2018-07-10 22:52:23 92540
"So you're a shut-in." Hoshi concludes after the list of reasons Miho gives for not coming over. It's not judgmental, it's just phrased as a simple statement of fact. Hoshi can be a bit tactless when and if she thinks that's a good idea. "Anyway. Welcome to virtue."
Kukai Souma 2018-07-10 22:55:04 92541
Kukai oohs. "I don't read a lot. I think sometimes about writing some, though!" He grins at Rashmi.

Kukai grins back to Miho and nods to her. "Awesome. That's all we can ask. And.. video games?" He smiles. "I'm really kinda... not practiced at video games." That's the 'can't admit to being bad at things' way of admitting he's bad at video games. "I play a few sports games when I visit the ECFH, though. Those are cool. I..." He coughs. "I haven't played Sonic the Hedgehog." Off to one side, Daichi seems to have lost interest in his strawberry cake, listening to the conversation intently between Kukai and Miho....

Kukai blinks at Hoshi, then grins, nudging her under the table lightly (and due to size and strength differences practically sliding her half out of her seat.) "I'm sure she just hasn't had many chances to make friends! But yes, welcome to Virtue."
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-10 23:04:51 92542
Rashmi also nudges Hoshi under the table, wrinkling her nose a bit. "There's a difference between not being great with crowds and being a shut-in," she says. "Like, I don't think anyone would dare call Koko-chan a shut-in, y'know?"

That said, she turns to Miho, grinning widely. "And now that you have the Secret Decoder Ring, you're in the club!"
Miho Kagami 2018-07-10 23:07:02 92543
Miho giggles nervously. "I go outside all the time!" she says. "Like, I first learned about magic because I was going for a walk in the park! Jeez ..." She gets a knowing smile at Kukai's 'not practiced' part. She gets exactly what he means by that. "Well, lately I've been playing Sonic Forces in particular, but, yeah."

She accepts the phone with a wide smile. "Okay!" she says. "Thank you!" She stands up, and bows to each of them in turn. Yes, even Daichi. "I'll ... yeah! This is great!" She sits back down and takes a big bite out of her cake.
Hoshi Kogane 2018-07-10 23:35:23 92544
Hoshi's other phone rings, and she picks it up with an annoyed look and answers. "Hello?" Then there's a visible change in her appearance as she goes from annoyed to being incredibly ecstatically happy. In a way that none of the others here have seen here before. A full twelve stars appear around her head throwing a party in celebration "Is Hirayama-san on h--ok! I'm coming! See you soon!" She's still beaming with joy and happiness as she bows, "I need to go! It was good meeting you Kagami-san."

And then she runs off with uncharacteristic haste.
Kukai Souma 2018-07-10 23:47:45 92545
Kukai laughs and nods. "Yup! And if you just want to talk or anything, feel free to call me. Or Rashmi, I suppose." He grins and stands. "And now that the.." He stops for a moment, watching Hoshi stand and flee with great happiness. "Bye Hoshi! OK. Like I said, now that the meeting's adjourned, I'm gonna go find some cake and maybe something else. I'll be back in a minute if you just wanna chat." He turns, making his way towards the cafe counter...
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-10 23:57:17 92546
Hoshi's precipitous exit leaves Rashmi blinking, in the happily puzzled way that people do when they're pretty sure something great happened elsewhere. Shaking her head, she beams at Kukai as he gets up to cake up, and turns to Miho, grinning. "I'm so glad to see you're happy, Miho-chan."
Miho Kagami 2018-07-11 00:00:23 92548
Miho blinks in surprise at Hoshi, and smiles. "Good to meet you, too, Kogane-san!" she calls after her. Once again, her voice sounds a bit more scratchy and androgynous when she raises it to a higher volume.

She takes the opportunity of Kukai leaving to fiddle with her new Virtue phone a bit. She shoots Rashmi a smile, and says, "I'm just excited, y'know?" She pokes around in the settings, fiddles with the customization options, and then ... blinks as the body of the phone suddenly turns green! "Whoa! Okay ..." A bit more poking, and then the emblem on the front becomes heart-shaped. "There we go."
Kukai Souma 2018-07-11 00:18:58 92549
Kukai returns after a few minutes with a sandwich, a piece of cake, a bottle of tea, and a liberally large scatter of french fries, enough to share with the two girls. Kukai sets the plate down. "Have whatever you want, you two." Daichi is sitting on the table, munching away at the french fries at this point.

Kukai peers over at Miho's phone and grins. "Having fun?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-11 00:25:35 92550
The sudden bounty has Rashmi chuckling, picking at the fries to transfer some to her plate. Watching Miho play with her phone provides the redhead with some amusement as well, then a thought strikes. "Oh hey that's right... Souma-kun? D'you think Nico could have access? .....Like just clone a Virtue phone for himself, so he can make calls for help if the rooftop thing ever happens again? He had to wait for Kogane-san to heal me enough that I could dictate a text message and whatnot, and honestly I wonder if it wouldn't just be simpler for him to have his own line."
Miho Kagami 2018-07-11 00:31:03 92551
Miho smiles up at Kukai. "Oh yeah," she says, grabbing a handful of fries. She blinks at Rashmi. "Not a bad plan, I think, if it'd work," she murmurs. Munching on a couple of fries, she gets out her old phone with the cracked screen, and starts copying numbers over to the new one.

She pauses as she gets to Haruna's entry. "Oh right," she says flatly. "There was one more 'serious' thing, and that is ... 'Miss White', I think is her moniker, at some point she's gonna come after me with 'something horrible' as part of a really stupid plan she has with Cure Gull."
Kukai Souma 2018-07-11 00:37:04 92552
Kukai works on his sandwich, then looks over at Rashmi. "Oh. Your device? I.... hmm. I don't know. I wouldn't see why not, but I don't know how you'd want to connect things. We'll need to talk to Mercury about it. Or maybe it already has a connection? It's a good idea anyway, though."

Kukai blinks, looking up at Miho for a moment. "...Miss White is coming after you? What... you know, it doesn't matter. We know who she is and if she wants you for whatever reason like that it isn't good, and I don't care what Haruna says. Don't worry. If she tries anything, send out an alert, we'll come help you. What sort of 'really stupid' plan could she have, though..."
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-11 00:42:42 92553
"Probably a good idea, yeah," Rashmi says, nodding in agreement with Kukai... But whatever she has to say is pre-empted by Miho, which causes the redhead to drop her face in her hands, sighing deeply. "...No no... She said it's a plan with Cure Gull. Which means... Okay, so Miho-chan... Sharpe-san is.... how to put this...."

Rashmi picks up a fry, chewing thoughtfully for a minute. "....She means well, and that matters," she says, finally. "But she doesn't have..... hm. Boundaries, I guess you could say. I don't know whether that's an American thing, or just her, and it's probably just her but.... It's like... She's trying to be good, but at best she's a mad scientist, y'know? Like, take Lacchan. She works for Eclipse too, but she also really really values her friends, and anything that could hurt her friends upsets her. Sharpe-san..... She gets focused on the results, and kind of forgets little things like 'collateral damage' or 'massive ethics violations' or 'possible war crimes.'" Haruna-chan's a good influence on her, but even still... She means well," Rashmi finishes lamely.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-11 00:47:28 92554
Miho takes note of the that both of Kukai and Rashmi seem to know Haruna and Hannah's names. She smiles weakly and shrugs. "Well, Kurosawa wants to ..." She says the name without an honorific, hesitates, then plunges on. "... to hook me up with her sister of all things." She shakes her head. "She invited me over for a chat last night and Sharpe was there, and Kurosawa said 'I still say Aki-san needs to rescue Miho-san from something horrible' and Sharpe immediately said 'great idea, I'll get right on that!' and rushed out."

She nods to Rashmi. "Yeah, I mean ... I figure someone who's engaged to a Pretty Cure can't be completely bad, from what little I know about Pretty Cures, but ... yeah, she and Kurosawa are just so much even without ethical considerations." She shakes her head. "I feel like this is another reason, besides the shard-youma that're after me, why I should probably henshin just to defend myself ..." She still doesn't actually sound remotely enthusiastic about that particular prospect, either.
Kukai Souma 2018-07-11 00:55:29 92555
Kukai grumbles. "She means well for herself and the people around her. Everyone else has to deal with her chaos. I think it's just her, though. But that doesn't change her being nutty." He nods. "Lacrima, at least, I can trust not to do anything awful on her own. White? Every day is a new and horrible day." He sighs. "And I can't convince Haruna anything different, because she loves White." He rubs his head.

Kukai blinks, listening to Miho, then groans. "OH. That explains things. If she attacks you with something awful Aki can deal with, then she can rescue you and be all heroic, and damn the torpedoes for everything and everyone else. I can't even... I can't even understand her, sometimes!" He gets a little louder, gripping the table, and finally letting out a breath. "Maybe she'll get distracted. It'll be ok... If anything does happen, you can call Virtue, now."
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-11 00:59:17 92556
Rashmi Terios gestures at Kukai. "So yeah. If Virtue's a family, then every family really does have that one crazy aunt people wish would calm down," she says, sighing. "Anyway.... Leaning how to henshin probably isn't a bad idea... But um, d'you mind if I ask why it looks like you'd rather be studying for calculus while running track?"
Miho Kagami 2018-07-11 01:07:44 92557
Miho nods to Kukai. "Egg-zactly," she says. "Couldn't've put it better myself. And, like ... I don't think there was a single minute that Corvus-san and I weren't having basically same reaction, to all their baloney."

She pauses at Rahsmi's question. There's a noticeable moment of hesitation, and then she frankly says, "I'm scared of henshining." She smiles weakly. "I know logically that I'll be able to defend myself, and that I probably need to in general ... and I already pretty much know how, I think ... but ..." She stares at the plate in front of her. "... it still feels like I'd be doing something dangerous, just by implication."
Kukai Souma 2018-07-12 18:21:42 92558
Kukai laughs. "We've got a few crazy aunts, I think." He sighs and leans back, nodding. "Can you not henshin on your own?" He listens to the conversation, then nods. "Well... no, honestly. It's not dangerous to henshin, by itself. What's dangerous is the fact that with these powers monsters and beasties will be coming after you whether you're henshin'd or not, because you have the ability to. Heck, there's things that are after us just because we exist. It's not that you're putting yourself out as a weapon or a target. It's that you're giving yourself a weapon to defend yourself against the things that are already here and want to hurt you."

Kukai reaches over and pats Miho's hand again. "I've thought about it some. If I thought I could trade my dreams, my powers, my magic, for the ability to make all the youma and monsters and bad guys and magic not hurt anyone in Tokyo? I might do it. But that's not an option. So the other side is that I use what I've got to stop the things that aren't going to stop, no matter what." He leans back, picking up a french fry and waving it. "Besides, we've got plenty of friends, and the benefits of all of this are really, really cool." He grins.
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-12 18:25:16 92559
"Besides," Rashmi chimes in. "People don't join the kendo club because they want to hit people with sticks. ...Well okay, most don't. Anyway point is there's a lot of side benefits that comes from practicing with your powers that don't have to even touch fighting. Biggest one? For most people, henshin means power boost. And with your healing, that could be really helpful, y'know?"
Miho Kagami 2018-07-12 18:37:13 92560
Miho shrugs. "I actually can henshin on my own, I ..." She glances around. "... well, I'm not gonna try to demonstrate anything in the middle of a crowded restaurant, but it's a sort of invocation of my blessing, I think."

She nods slowly as she takes it all in. "I mean," she murmurs, "part of the problem is the 'need to', I think." She shakes her head. "I'm not really sure how to really ... fit it into myself."

She blinks at Rashmi, however. "Hmm ... You know, I actually hadn't thought of that ... That, uh, that definitely does make it a little better." She starts to show the faintest hint of a smile again ... but only a faint one.
Kukai Souma 2018-07-12 18:41:33 92561
Kukai laughs. "I think I know one or two people who enjoy hitting people with sticks, but they have other issues. And yeah. Lots of side benefits, and we could use a strong healer."

Kukai nods. "Yeah. I could henshin right here. It's a merging with Daichi." He nods over at the Chara, who's still sitting on the table, munching fries. "But like you said, you should try to do it where people can't see it, as much as you can."

Kukai rubs his chin, listening to her. "Well, I dunno. It's part of you. You should maybe think of it as part of your being now." He grins as Miho and Rashmi smile, then leans back, picking up another fry of his own.
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-12 18:48:49 92562
"That's fine," Rashmi says, nodding in agreement with Kukai. "If you want, let me know and I can set up a practice space for us. Someplace you'll never have to worry about others even seeing you, let alone anything bad happening if anything goes out of control."

Sipping from her shake, she smiles back at Miho, encouraging. "Which is the other good reason why you should probably practice. So you know what you're doing and where your limits are, when things get super bad and you need to henshin in an emergency."
Miho Kagami 2018-07-12 18:57:04 92563
Miho nods, and shrugs. "Well, by 'demonstration' I mostly just meant that this green light I can do, but, yeah." She considers this a moment, munching on some more fries. "Mmm ... yeah, 'part of me'," she murmurs. "That's kind of another rough patch, but ... well ..." She hesitates as she seriously considers coming out to them, but then hits a wall of anxiety. "... I dunno," she says lamely.

She nods to Rashmi. "Is this 'practice space' gonna be inside one of Nico-san's time-space barriers?" she says, cracking another smile. "... I still can't get over how Cute Witch Kazeko-san just started throwing a tornado around as soon as it was up."
Kukai Souma 2018-07-12 19:06:49 92564
Kukai nods to Rashmi, letting her make the offer. The best he can manage is 'on top of the buildings in view of the satellites'. "Yup. The more you sweat in practice, the less you suck during the game. That's what my first coach told me." He nods, seriously.

Kukai shrugs. "A lot - a loooot - of people involved with magic have gone through rough patches like that. So don't feel bad about it." He chuckles and then nods. "Yeah. The barrier things are weird, aren't they? Everything's real, but it's not. I still don't understand it."
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-12 19:21:15 92566
"I've also heard it said that training ought to be harder than the real world," Rashmi says, nodding to Kukai. "Both ways it makes a lot of sense; the more prepared you are, the less you have to be afraid of."

Munching on another couple fries, she tilts her head at Miho, as though wondering whether or not it'd be rude to ask. "Well... I wish I could help much with that, Miho-chan... but, I can tell you that it's a good way to get confidence, being able to just tell yourself 'I can handle this. I have proof I've got this.'"

Looking back at Kukai, the redhead grins. "You watch movies, right? Think of it like that Mirror World from the Strange movie, I think it was?"
Miho Kagami 2018-07-12 19:37:51 92568
Miho smiles to Kukai. "Well, it's honestly kind of reassuring to know that someone besides Kurosawa thinks it's all weird," she says dryly. "But knowing that lots of other people have gone through this exact thing basically ..." (Well, that's kind of a half-truth, but.) "... it's another reassuring thing, I think."

Miho ... notices Rashmi's look, and tenses up quite a bit, but she gets herself under control enough to just continue the conversation for now. "That's another good point," she says. "Just ... having the knowledge of what I'm in for in front of me ... I dunno, I just might have to take you up on that offer."

She looks between the two of them, and murmurs, "I, uh, basically don't really watch movies at all." She's smiling as she says it, though.
Kukai Souma 2018-07-12 19:44:03 92569
Kukai laughs. "I dunno how we can make it harder than the real world, but we can make it as hard as possible. But that sounds right." He eyes his plate, which is bereft of sandwich, cake, and most of the fries now, then nods to Rashmi. "Uh, yeah, I think I watched that. So yeah. I guess so. The spirally, mixed up place? Yeesh."

Kukai nods to Miho. "Sure. Nobody wakes up and goes 'Oh hey, I've got magic now, that's awesome, I know just how to use it and it won't interfere with the other things I'm actually doing with my day to day life at all!', ever. So it's ok to be confused at first. You just gotta get out and stretch those muscles!"

Kukai laughs. "I watch TV and sometimes I go to a movie but yeah. Most of the time I'm either practicing sports or patrolling or doing things like this."
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-12 19:50:07 92570
The tenseness is noted, but Rashmi simply shakes her head faintly, a quiet signal that, no, whatever it is, Miho's not going to be asked to drag it out unless she wants to. "Just let me know when you want to try," she says, smiling, "and we'll set something up. Souma-kun'd probably be a better coach than I am, and if I can ask Koji-kun to join us we could probably make a fun obstacle course out of it too."
Miho Kagami 2018-07-12 20:00:00 92571
Miho giggles and nods to Kukai. "Okay, got it!" she says, nodding to each of them in turn. "I'll keep that in mind! Guess now I just need to psyche myself up for actually going ahead and doing it." She sounds like she's a lot more comfortable with the idea now. "I, uh ... If you need to identify me to someone else, you can use the name 'Life Mahou.' That's the name of ... I mean, the magical girl who gave my great grandmother the Life Blessing was called Life Mahou Wonder, but 'Wonder' doesn't quite feel like it fits with me for some reason."

She glances over at Rashmi, and then ... sighs softly. "Well, uh ..." She becomes more and more tense as she starts talking, and her voice has a noticeable downward shift in pitch. "I guess I ... might as well just come and say it, since you're sort of my bosses now, from a certain point of view, and ... but ... I ..." She stops herself and shakes her head, and brings her voice back up to almost its previous pitch. "... well, anyway, I'm transgender," she says in a quiet voice, even more surreptitiously than all the talk about magic.
Kukai Souma 2018-07-12 20:06:16 92572
Kukai nods. "I'll put you through my special Hardcore Master Class! You'll never train that hard again, because you'll be in pieces!" He gives Miho a thumbs up, fully commited to the idea!"

Kukai nods. "Life Mahou. Cool. You can make something like that your Virtue name, too, if you want. But we can change it anytime you want." He blinks, cocking his head as her voice pitches down. "...Huh." He looks at Rashmi. "One... two.. three.. four... Does she make five or six now? I can never keep track." He nods to Miho, grinning. "That's fine. You are absolutely not alone." For a moment he considers mentioning Nadeshiko, but for now he retracts it. It's not his place, and at the moment he doesn't know what he can say about her at all. "But we're not your bosses, in any case. I'm not going to demand or request anything from you. Virtue isn't a job. We're just a group of friends who band together to fight things we can't deal with alone." He motions with his hand. "But thank you for trusting us with it. It's all good." Kukai had sort of suspected, what with the voice scratching, but hey, not his place, again.
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-12 20:12:35 92574
The change in voice has Rashmi tilting her head as well, and with a glance at Kukai, the redhead shrugs. "Honestly I don't even know, but definitely thank you for trusting us, Miho-chan. ...Which I assume that's how you'd rather be called? Just I'd rather be wrong for a little bit and learn better than be wrong forever, y'know? Anyway... Yeah. Souma-kun may be in charge of Virtue, but that's more like saying he's the one who orders the pizza for the get-together than anything else; Naru-chan and I are just the ones who keep spreadsheets of everyone's favorites."
Miho Kagami 2018-07-12 20:23:10 92575
Miho smiles, and this time she keeps smiling the whole time. "Yeah," she says. "I mean, I've met one other trans girl here already. And yes, 'Miho' is the preferred name, also known as the 'correct' name." She shakes her head. "Yeah, I get that it's more honorary than anything else, that's why I said 'from a certain point of view', like, in the same sense that Darth Vader 'murdered' Anakin Skywalker." She shrugs. "It's just, the two of you plus Osaka-san are probably ... the closest thing to someone whose actual business it is to know that kind of thing short of an actual doctor, and, like, I just wanted to get it out just so it's not a surprise, or gets accidentally revealed outside of my control or whatever." She lets out a long exhale of relief. "Whew! So ... yeah." She runs out of steam again, but for once she doesn't actually seem to mind.
Kukai Souma 2018-07-12 20:38:53 92576
Kukai grins at Rashmi and reaches over, patting her back. "Yeah, they just recently convinced me to do that, too. But it's been a big help."

Kukai nods to Miho. "Gotcha. Miho, then. And I get it. Well, we'll keep it private and try to not make it a big deal, if we can help it." Kukai scratches his head. "I mean, I know there's a couple rituals and power setups that require girls or guys and don't care a whit about anything we might say, but for the most part it's not a problem at all and I -have- seen at least one of those change its setup. So don't worry. We won't tell anyone, we'll keep things focused, and yeah." He grins at her. "Feel better?"
Miho Kagami 2018-07-12 20:55:25 92577
Miho nods. "Okay, thank you," she says. "As for the subject of gendered rituals or whatever ..." She looks like she's smiling uncontrollably now. "I inherited this curse and blessing from my great grandmother, and near as I can figure out, it's only been passed down from mother to daughter. Meaning, I'm girl enough for my stuff." She grins. "Oh yeah, way better."
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-12 20:56:38 92578
"And that's all you'll ever need to worry about," Rashmi says, bobbing her head. "Glad you feel better, though... Now we've cleaned out Souma-kun's fries, is there anything else we needed to go over at this totally formal and official meeting?"
Kukai Souma 2018-07-12 21:04:48 92579
Kukai laughs! "All right then! Well, then, if that's the way it goes, then I suppose you don't have anything to worry about!" He looks over at Rashmi and then chuckles. "Oh, I knew it, you only like me for my Virtue access and my fries." He nudges her shoulder, grinning. "But yeah. Miho. Anything else?"
Miho Kagami 2018-07-12 21:06:23 92580
Miho giggles and sits back. "Nah, I'm good," she says. "I ... wow, I really do feel better about, uh, pretty much every part of all this now."
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-12 21:09:40 92581
Rashmi Terios wrinkles her nose and grins at Kukai. "Well I mean they are good fries... But yeah. I'm glad we could help out, Miho-chan, and seriously; if you ever need to talk, just let me know, and if you have any questions about magical stuff, now you have a 24/7 connection."
Miho Kagami 2018-07-12 21:43:14 92582
Miho nods. "Okay, got it!" she says, and hesitates. "I mean. I will say that my difficulty with talking to people ... extends to phone and text as well. But ... I've definitely been getting better at that since I started making friends in Tokyo." She shrugs, hesitantly looks between Rashmi and Kukai, and softly says, "Either way ... thank you both."