Back to school (and other spooky subjects)

Miho, Maria, and Jiaying chat over lunch.

Date: 2018-09-04
Pose Count: 25
Miho Kagami 2018-09-05 00:08:40 96985
It's one of the hot and sunny days, just like any other. It's lunchtime on the second day of the new school term, and Miho is sitting under a tree away from the bustle of the other students, sticking to the shade as she eats her lunch at an even pace.

Ever since she became a magical girl (and in particular, ever since she got in way over her head a few times), she's not intimidated by new people anymore, but crowds are still a problem, so she still tries to keep to herself, aside from her small handful of direct friends. Right now, though, she's alone.
Jiaying Maki 2018-09-05 00:16:17 96989
Jiaying Maki is lounged out at a nearby tree. She's actually wearing the correct uniform this year, which has annoyed her as she quite enjoyed the old one, but she also just liked being silly about it. She's got her music up quite loud, but she's far enough away she doesn't think too much of it. She's got her phone out, a sandwich in her other hand and alternates between sending out messages, browsing something and taking a bite of food.
Lacrima 2018-09-05 00:24:26 96993
School. School was normal. Ryo did not go to Seishou, he went to Verone. She would be safe here during school hours she assumed. So thusly, Maria Hanazawa is here. She has what is her usual lunch. Rice, lightly seasoned, and tiny hog dogs, packed into a bento box. She's gotten a slightly bigger bento this year.

She's looking for a place to sit and oh!

She walks over. "Hi, Miho-chan!" she says as she blinks and reaches for her phone in her backpack. She looks at the text and rolls her eyes and tells Jia where she is. She puts the phone back.

"I'm looking forward to school again this year." Maria says lightly as she fixes her glasses. "It's really dumb. But you don't realize you miss school until you can't go to it for a year." she says.
Miho Kagami 2018-09-05 00:39:07 96998
Miho gave Jiaying a wide berth because that music, to her ears, was just noise. She smiles up at Maria. "Oh, hey, Maria-chan!" she says, giving her a little wave. She nods and grimaces. "Yeah ... and that was before all that business with 'himself' escalated the way it has." She pauses, looking curiously at the phone, but doesn't pry.

She leans back and lets out a sigh. "... You know, some of my classmates noticed that my attitude is sort of different from the way it was back in July," she says softly. "I can't tell anyone, 'oh, it's because I became a full-fledged magical girl, and then my ability to be intimidated by meeting new people got burned away by getting into a bunch of fights where I was in way over my head.'" She grins. "... I keep wanting to say, this has really been my worst and longest summer vacation yet, but I can't say I'd want to change anything substantial I've done as Joy."
Jiaying Maki 2018-09-05 00:43:17 97000
Jiaying Maki looks at the message on her phone for a few moments. Then she blindly searches for her bag, grabs it and sits up. Plugging headphones in, she wanders her way over to the other two, a somewhat staggered walk back and forth. One gets the feeling she's not feeling the school spirit yet.

Setting her stuff down next to Norie, she sits on her bag, books and hopefully nothing fragile and finishes her sandwich off. "Was it really that bad? You only almost got eaten what, once? That's a good track record." She looks over to Norie and asks with a grin, "I havent replaced my stash yet. Do you have yours again?"
Lacrima 2018-09-05 01:00:45 97006
Maria grimaces a little. "Meeting new people becomes less of an issue when your bigger issue is 'someone tried to kill me via magic sword last week' or 'my friend was brain wiped into queen whosit's loyal minion and I need to figure out how to get them back.'" she says quietly.

She looks at Jiaying and grimaces again. "It's the second day of school. I haven't even gotten to my locker setup like I want, yet." she says. She digs into her backpack and pulls out her bento box, before she pulls out a box of six donuts. "But you and Miho-chan can share these." she says. Emergency donuts, always on hand.

"You'll... be okay Miho-chan. I..." she says. "Each of our stories are different. But. I think you'll be okay in the end." she says softly.

"I uh. Have nothing to back that up with except gut feeling." she says nervously. "S-sorry." she says as she opens her bento and begins to eat.
Miho Kagami 2018-09-05 01:14:46 97012
Miho shrugs. "Hi, Maki-san," she says. "Well, you didn't see all the crap that happened afterward. Sailor Earth, Noroiko, Alex-kun's mom ..." The pitch of her voice takes a downward shift as she speaks, but she hurriedly brings it back up. "I mean on the plus side, I know personally that Sailor Earth isn't gonna be causing any trouble anymore, and I won't need a Pretty Cure's help to explode shard-youma, but." Aaaand the shift went down again.

She nods to Maria and smiles. "Or 'my best friend's adopted brother's biological mom tried to murder him'," she says dryly. Donut acquired! She pauses at the vote of confidence, and smiles faintly. "Thanks, Maria-chan," she says softly, bringing the pitch of her voice back up. "I mean, you're more experienced at all this than I am, I trust your gut."
Jiaying Maki 2018-09-05 01:19:59 97014
Jiaying Maki picks one of the donuts up and says, "Thanks" With a grin. Then she adds, "I had emergency dumplings, but I kind of ate those already. I thought my apetite would stop being in overdrive when the fox lady said I'd stop trailing magic everywhere, but I'm still starving." She mutters, "At least I don't put any of it on."

A glance back to Miho and she says, "My girlfriend lit me on fire and lied to me, my best friend covered it up. A girl was almost eaten by acid mist, I apparently had a lot of my magic eaten by a spider and I had to be lectured on the dark and slippery slope I was taking with my actions. You get used to it." She pauses, then says, "You get friends and you get help and you get used to it. That's probably the better way to take it." This is all said conversationally. Around food. She pauses, then says, "Though I guess if you're used to weird human antics and not yaoguai and magical fun, you probably wouldn't have had a worse summer."
Lacrima 2018-09-05 01:33:08 97017
Maria softens her look at at Miho and sighs. "Alexis-niisan has managed to calm down. It seems his mom has chosen to back off for now. He's gone back to school, too." she says softly. "...also he adopted the most adorable dog." she says with wide eyes.

Then she looks back to Jiaying. She frowns at Jiaying. "Sora made me promise back then, Jia-chan..." she says quietly. "..and she was one of a VERY few handful of friends I had at the time...." she shifts. That was long ago enough yeah. "Besides. I was still a dark energy mess." she mutters.
5RShe does look back to Miho and nods. "W--well." she says as she stuffs food into her mouth to pause and think.

"I've been at this for a while. But others have been at it longer. But I try to take a reasonable approach to things. As reasonable as one can be in this kind of thing anyways." she says with a huff.

Then she eyes Jia. "Get more food that keeps longer then." she says with a huff. "And more of it."
Miho Kagami 2018-09-05 01:44:57 97020
Miho chortles. "That's ... um ... yeah." She shrugs. "I mean, I dunno if I told either of you this, but a little after I got attacked by that eel-youma, Cure Gull said that it never stops being weird, you just get desensitized." She grins. "I'm starting to get used to it. And Hokuto-chan is gonna help me learn to use my Blessing. It's just ..." She gives a grandiose shrug. "This summer vacation has just been long and, is all. I can't believe it was all just one month."

She nods to Maria. "Good to know he's back to school, too," she says wryly. Then she perks up. "Ooh, you met Hope-chan too?" she says brightly. "... yeah. I wanna give that puppy a big amount of credit for me being here and functional, instead of the emotional disaster I was after that woman attacked." She's not dignifying Hulda Raskoph with a name, it seems, and her voice did the downward-shift-in-pitch thing again. "... I still haven't come up with a name for that, uh, flying bowling ball attack I fired off." She shrugs, bringing her pitch back up. "Eh, I'll think of something."
Jiaying Maki 2018-09-05 01:48:43 97022
Jiaying Maki shrugs as well and reaches over to poke Norie, "I've forgiven both of you, or I would have used different words." She pauses and scowls, "I did say best friend and not former right? Japanese is weird. How do you guys work wihtout tones?"

She points to Miho, that kind of 'You've got it' sort of point and says, "See, that's the right mindset. I don't think desensitized is the right word for it." Then she stops, chews her lip and continues, "Though I guess I'm desensitized ot the weirdness out here. Did you know we're not allowed on the roof of the school? It would be such a pretty view up there. And the anime!"

"I haven't seen him in a while. Did his mom really throw bowling balls at you? She didn't throw a rolling pin too did she?"
Lacrima 2018-09-05 01:58:00 97024
Maria's eyes trace Miho up and down. "I would not say desensitized, but something starts normalizing at some point. Weird... maybe." she says. "I mean. I was a wreck. Early on as a vampire." she says. "My emotions we're out of control--- anything positive was just blotted out and all I could feel we're things like hate and anger and sad and depressed and jealous and possessive and just...." she shakes her head. "It isn't important." she says.

"Just. There's people to talk to. You don't have to do like I had to do, and just deal with it alone." she shifts. "Just... just let anyone know. Okay? Even if it's just. 'I'm not okay.'." she says.

She eyes Jiaying. "I know. I just feel bad about it is all." she says quietly, as she looks back at Miho. "I dunno. But something involving the word 'Strike'?" she asks. "Or Pins, or 'Ten Pin'.." she thinks as she eats.
Miho Kagami 2018-09-05 02:10:10 97026
Miho shakes her head. "No, she was trying to stab him, and I fired a ball of energy at her that was about the size of a bowling ball." She shrugs. "My attacks are kind of weak, outside of being purifying, but she had this sort of ... auto-dodge that avoided it anyway."

She puts a comforting hand on LacriMaria's shoulder as she describes her earlier emotional state. "Got it," she says. "And ... I guess that's pretty much what I've been doing, really." She smiles. "Even if it hasn't been who I expected to be talking to. I came to the ECFH to try to find Mamoru-kun, and I found Alex-kun and Hope-chan, which worked even better!" She finishes off the donut thoughtfully. "Hmm ... 'Joy Strike' ... I dunno if that'd be an obvious enough reference, but ..." She shrugs. "Eh, I'll figure it out. Anyway, like I was saying ... the biggest downside of back to school is I can't just chill out at the ECFH in henshin whenever I want."
Jiaying Maki 2018-09-05 02:14:31 97029
Jiaying Maki glances over, scoots over after. She leans over, gives Norie a quick hug then scoots away. "Since you don't like them, but that seemed appropriate." She then grins, a toothy one. "The shrine is looking pretty. I've gotten all of the webbing away and it's raining a lot here. I've got it covered though." She pauses, "It smells really nice. Fresh rain and a forest. It's isolated so it's quiet too." She stops, shakes her head, focuses, really takes a moment to focus and looks back to Miho. "If it's the size of a bowling ball I'd have guessed it would hurt. Is it just purifying? I can't... really do that without magic. I have to use peachwood. That stuff /itches/. It smells really strong and funny too."

"Queenpin? That's the movie with the... the hook right?" She holds her fingers up in a hook. "Bowl the man down?"
Lacrima 2018-09-05 02:22:33 97032
Maria scowls. "And it makes me itch for sure." she says at Jiaying. "That's also why it's important the basement is kept clear." she says softly. "I know you deal with some things that might affect me. Important I have a room to retreat to." she says.

She looks to Miho and smiles. "Hope-chan is so cute. I have a furry little niece now." she says with wide eyes. "I need to keep a bag of dog food in the house now. And get some bowls later today." she asides. "Just in case I need to dog sit or something for a bit or if he stays over sometimes." she asides.

She head tilts. "Why would you want to just henshin like t----" she manages to pause as her brain catches up with her. "Oh--ah. Right." she nods, seeming to understand without being specific. She has no idea what Jiaying knows and if Miho wants her to know after all.

"There's always the manor, too, if you want to drop by and do that somewhere else and the ECFH is unavailable. Lamya and Jia here live there. Sora and Alexis drop by often enough." she says softly.
Miho Kagami 2018-09-05 02:29:03 97034
Miho considers this. "You know, now that I can defend myself, I might consider joining up with one of your tours," she says. "On the other hand, Kagekumo might show up to try to kidnap me again, and I owe him a right hook to the kisser, so it'd be win-win!" She shrugs. "Yeah, all of my abilities are purifying. Which means I can't heal L--Maria-chan. I mean. They work on stuff that isn't pure-Darkness, but ... I'm still learning how to use 'em at all, basically."

She grins at Maria. "Yeah, if Hope-chan is gonna be around, I'm gonna need to show up at your place from time to time," she says. "I ... don't have an Intelligent Device, so I can't have a video-feed of kittens running nonstop like Rashmi-chan, but Hope-chan is definitely ... a gift."

She just ... doesn't respond to Maria's reaction to the henshin bit.
Jiaying Maki 2018-09-05 02:30:44 97035
Jiaying Maki glares at Norie and shakes her head. "No. No dogs. No no no. No." She pulls away from both of them. "It'll get everywhere and spend all night barking at me. If it's a big one it's going to chase me around. No dogs!"

Jiaying does have an inkling of what's implied there, at least after Norie's statement, but she hadn't really thought to bring it up. "I think I lucked out. If I put on my people friendly look, it's annoying, it's weird feeling and I tolerate it. If I don't, people think I'm just trying to be cute. Or I'm a weird otaku."

"Healing's nice. Probably smells better than the stuff auntie used to use when I'd annoy a clawed... thing. Repeatedly."
Lacrima 2018-09-05 02:35:46 97037
Lacrima huffs. "Hope-chan is an exception. An adorable Corgi dog isn't gonna chase you or bark at you." she huffs. "She's well behaved and just wants to lick your face." she says placing her hands to her hips. "Besides, it's my brother's dog. That's my fuzzy little niece! What kind of fur aunt would I be if I didn't take care of my fuzzy niece!?" she says with wide eyes still.

She looks to Miho and nods. "It turns out I 'die' every time I walk into the Night Harbor. I dunno why. Probably the fact I'm Earthbound undead." she says softly. "Hurts like hell. But. I can deal." she nods. "Just a warning. If I enter and then immediate collapse." she says. "Also. I just kind of shift to Norie without prompting. It's like. Reverse there. I can be Norie there without expending energy and it actually costs me energy to be Lacrima there." she says. "Really odd."
Miho Kagami 2018-09-05 02:43:13 97040
Miho gives Jiaying a sidelong look. "Oh, right, I remember a folktale about a guy and his foxwife, and how their dog reacted," she says teasingly. "Uh, seriously, though, is this an ... existing problem you've had?"

She blinks and nods to Maria. "You mean, even that shadowy thingy takes energy?" she says. "Huh. I kinda wonder if my own ... wait, no, I was there, and I transformed there, and there doesn't seem to be any difference."

She hesitates, then just turns to Jiaying and says in a quiet voice, "I'm transgender, and my body is the correct physical form when I'm in henshin."
Jiaying Maki 2018-09-05 02:47:55 97041
Jiaying Maki rubs her chin and says, "Wonder if you've got a passport written up somewhere in some bureaucrat's desk over there and your spirit reacts to it." Chewing her lip, she tilts her head and looks to Norie, "You know that means there really is a you somewhere in the inky goo that you're made of though." She pauses, "Think we could drag your idiot over to the other side without him trying to go on a rampage? I don't need some yokai with a stick up-... I don't need the headache, but if it's you and you're you..."

She then shakes her head firmly and goes back to the dog thing. "No, it'll try to eat me. All dogs do. Even when I'm all human-y. Ariel's dog-not-dog is the only one that doesn't try to eat me and I'm still terrified of it. It's a big dog."

To Miho, she says, "We never had a dog. We had a cat once. He liked to tell me stories from mythology. Like, from our side."

At Miho's revelation, she says, "I've got two really big ears and a good nose Miho, I never thought it needed to be said?" she shrugs and says simply, "I didn't know about that. I can't always smell over the perfume, but really, I never thought anything of it." She then holds her hands above her head, "I swear they've gotten bigger. They're fuzzier inside too. You didn't miss those right?"
Lacrima 2018-09-05 02:55:55 97045
Maria shakes her head. "Here. In the real world. To be Norie. Or even Maria here, it costs me energy. Going back to school, in a disguise like this means I'm needing to feed more often. About once every other day." she asides. "If I want to keep at optimal levels so I have enough energy to also handle issues. Being... the vampire. Lacrima. Or anything below that... like the shadowy dark thing... costs me no extra energy unless I expend it purposefully."

"But in the Night Harbor. It's the reverse. I can just... be Norie without spending energy. But to be the vampire, or the shadowy dark thing uses energy like if I was trying to be Norie or Maria in the real world." she says.

"It's... it's why I kinda deal with the whole dying thing..." she mutters. "Because I can be myself there and not need to worry about. Needing to feed." she says quietly. "As a sacrfice to do so."

"Huh. They have passports? Maybe they have those for undead? I mean it makes sense. We're kinda. Dead but also not. Kind of like dual citizenship?" she asks.

"....I can't even let my brother SEE me anymore Jia, let alone get close enough to do that." she says quietly.
Miho Kagami 2018-09-05 03:06:34 97048
By this time, Miho has finished her meal. "I sure noticed your ears twitching the first time I visited your place, when I was having trouble with my voice," she says to Jiaying. She hesitates, then adds, "It's ... it's just kind of a touchy subject." She shrugs. "I will say this: everyone magical has just been accepting, and my parents support me, and the only time I actually got burned was from an empath who was new to the scene who just didn't know the right words. But in general, it's one of those things where you just don't assume or guess about, even if it seems 'obvious' or whatever."

She considers Norie's words. "Definitely sounds like the Night Harbor is a net positive for you," she says. "... My gut says it'd be a good idea to have me join you when you have to go feed, so I can check up on the people and give them what healing I can like I did Souma-kun, just to be a sort of safety net? But I mean, if you'd rather not, that's okay too."
Jiaying Maki 2018-09-05 03:12:38 97050
Jiaying Maki mutters, "I still think you should be able to eat lingering ghosts. That would have solved so many problems." She then shrugs again and says, "Like I said, I didn't think anything of it. Why would I? Don't worry s-... don't worry about it around me at least?" She then looks up, thinking.

Snapping from her reverie, she looks to Norie and says, "I didn't think he'd be there by his choice. I know I'm not about to ask him for a favor, but I bet he'd be easy to bait with a bit of illusion."

Finally she says, "I've finished fixing my 'door' from my room. It leads to the shrine. I think you should be okay there, initial shock aside. Could help me set up furniture and stuff."
Lacrima 2018-09-05 03:23:22 97053
Maria nods. "You're welcome to come with me when I feed just understand that well. It's creepy. I stalk people, Observe if they're alone then accost them when the time is right." she says meekly. "As long as that isn't going to sound wrong or awkward to you... it would make me feel better than trying just to leave them somewhere visible..." she says softly.

She nods. "Most of the people I know would be accepting." she says quietly. She finishes eating as she closes the bento box and slides it back into her backpack.

"Tomorrow night." she says at Miho. "I go out to feed. If you can't make it, that's fine. It's every other day, and you can come with me when you feel ready."

She looks at Jia and frowns. "I'm not saying you intend to ask him but when he sees me. He just... immediate stab attempt. He no longer even tries to have a talk with me first...."
Miho Kagami 2018-09-05 03:31:35 97054
Miho shrugs. "Well, now I know," she says. "But like I said. Touchy subject. It's, heh, it's not you, it's me." She narrows her eyes. "Yeah okay, Maki-san, you're kind of a little too chill about doing spooky stuff to people."

She nods to Maria. "I understand," she says. "But ... I also understand that you're just doing what you need to live. And if I'm helping you to make that just a little bit easier, then I'm fine with it." She smiles.

And at that point, the bell goes off. "Whoops!" Miho gets to her feet. "Uh, I'll stop by the mansion tomorrow night if I can, L--Maria-chan! I'll talk to you guys later!"