Akari's First Date

Akari and Mikoto stop for ice cream, when suddenly Akari asks a question which changes the course of the conversation quite a bit!

Date: 2018-09-16
Pose Count: 25
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-16 22:38:57 97846
Akari and Mikoto met each other and decided it was time for ice cream. "... so, how have you been doing?" says Akari as they enter. "I mean, y'know, in the two days since we last saw each other at the kendo club." Her tone is relaxed and playful; she's opened up greatly since she first joined the kendo club, let alone the relative closeness she's had with Mikoto since the Golden Kingdom Incident.

("Akari" is turning out not to be quite as nondescript as Bell's infiltration mode is supposed to be on paper, but, y'know. Having a whole personality is its own kind of "just like everyone else." It'd be suspicious if there was nothing when people tried to get to know her better. Besides, it keeps her grounded and stops the dark energy from coming to the forefront. That's all there is to it, honest!)
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-16 22:51:25 97847
Mikoto did kind of insist on ice cream. It's not all that hot and sticky a day, but still, she needed a pick-me-up after a weekend of dealing with family. And an afternoon with Akari and Ice Cream is just what the Doctor ordered. "Well," she muses, "I find myself once again grateful for the dormitory lifestyle." She shrugs.

(Being nondescript is kind of hard with someone like Mikoto around. She's already spent hours last weekend dragging Akari from shop to shop, picking out slacks, jeans, skirts, blouses, shoes, and more. And then insisting on paying for it all. It helps that she has excellent taste.)
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-16 22:59:25 97849
Akari chuckles as they get into line. "Yeah, I know," she says. "I mean, living in an apartment probably isn't quite the same, but ... yeah." She shrugs, and glances down at herself for a moment, before she looks over at Mikoto and just gives her a warm smile. "... Thanks, by the way," she says softly. "You've been ... well, really nice to me, honestly. I don't just mean the clothes, either, it's just ..." She shrugs awkwardly. "... well ... thank you." On the whole, neither 'Akari' nor 'Nightbell' is equipped with the proper vocabulary for this sort of thing.
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-16 23:07:38 97851
Mikoto smiles back, reaching up to squeeze Akari's shoulder briefly. "Hey, what's the point of having money if not to do nice things for your friends? Besides, now you look good." Mikoto is good at formality and business ettiquette, but tends to be a lot less formal in personal matters.

Then the pair has made it to the table, and she pauses to pull out a chair and hold it for Akari, patting the back of the chair encouragingly.
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-16 23:16:48 97853
Akari smiles, blushing a bit at that shoulder-squeeze. "Mmm ... yeah, I guess I do," she says softly. Yeah, it's pretty obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes that Akari's got it bad.

She giggles a bit at the gentlemanly way Mikoto pulls out the chair, and sits down easily. She hesitates as Mikoto sits down, as if there's something on her mind that she isn't sure how to say. It looks as though she might lose it entirely in the awkwardness before she suddenly blurts out, "Hey, uh, is this a date?"
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-16 23:20:57 97854
Mikoto slides gracefully into the seat opposite Akari, settling down and starting to pick up a menu. She's certainly been enjoying her time with the other girl, a lot more than she has when she's done this sort of thing for others, before.

She's about to say something when Akari blurts out her question. She blinks, taking a moment to process it. The answer comes as much of a surprise to her as it is to Akari, really. "Do you want it to be one?" she asks. "Because I'm cool with that if you are."
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-16 23:27:29 97856
Akari's face has gone completely red now. "Well, uh ..." The tall, foreign-looking girl looks unsure. She isn't sure how this conversation is supposed to go, because none of the yuri manga she's read has had a conversation that went exactly like this. "I, uh ..."

She's about to open her mouth to say 'I like you', but then she remembers Tessen ... who she doesn't see quite as often, and she's nowhere near as friendly with her. She flounders for a moment. "Well, I ... guess we could try it," she says finally. "A date. And, uh. See where it goes."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-16 23:30:18 97857
Mikoto nods, for some reason reminded of her last spat with Nightbell, but this is far more ... comfortable. She likes a good fight, but time with a ... friend? Girlfriend? - is much better. "It's a date, then." She reaches across the table and squeezes Akari's hand. "So, do you have an idea what kind of ice cream you want?"
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-16 23:46:15 97861
Akari smiles, still red-faced, as she clutches Mikoto's hands as if she expects them to run away. "I, uh ..." She giggles nervously. "... just forgot what it was." She shakes her head. "... Wow, that was right out of a manga, wasn't it?" she adds dryly. "I mean I've ... read and watched a lot of pop culture, it's just ... I wasn't expecting to ..."

She takes a deep breath. "I've always ... kind of been an outsider," she says, struggling to put things into words. They knew well in advance that this was a reasonable thing for 'Akari' to experience, and her life at school put it into practice. "I've just ... never known ... what it's like to actually feel like this, you know?" She just smiles over at Mikoto. "Like ... even if this, uh, this doesn't end up going anywhere, just ... just ... the fact of being ... on a date."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-16 23:57:30 97864
Mikoto has to grin at that. It is just like something out of a manga, and she has to acknowledge it. "It does seem like the sort of thing that'd happen, yes... hmmm. We could go with the stereotype and get a giant parfait to share..."

She's had some experience of her own at being an outsider, fortunately not recent. "Well, you don't have to be an outsider here... you're part of the team, remember? Think about... oh, the locker room, after practice. Nobody leaves you out there, whether they're joking around, talking about boys, or... whatever." She shrugs. It's just one example, she could think of others if she wanted, she's sure. "The key is, we're both having fun. If you're not, say so. Because if you're not having fun, I'm not having fun."
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-17 00:08:16 97867
Akari giggles. Wow, just seeing Mikoto's smile is doing things to her feelings that she didn't know her programming was even supposed to have as a remote possibility. "Oh jeez, yes, we'll need to get a parfait to share, won't we?" she says. "That's, that's like the perfect ... capstone to this. Just jump straight into a cliche, why not!" Beat. "Or, I mean, not straight into it, but, y'know."

She smiles and nods. "I know, I know!" she says. "It's just ... I'm just still trying to wrap my head around, 'hey, I'm this girl who is lonely most of the time, but then suddenly I'm on a date!'"
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-17 00:32:44 97874
Mikoto smiles lightly. "We don't have to if it's too fast for you... but heck. If you want to, go for it. I'm partial to strawberries and chocolate, myself." She chuckles softly. "Not 'straight' into it, hmm?"

Not that she knows anything about Belkan war-machine programming. Or not much, anyway. She does know that her parents intend her to grow up and marry some boring brat with politically well-placed parents, all for the advantage of the Company... but she doesn't really care about that, right now. She likes Akari. She's fun to hang out with, to be around.

"Well," she finally comes out with, "At least you're not lonely anymore!"
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-17 00:42:48 97875
Akari shrugs. "No, no, I'm committed to this now!" she says, grinning. "I mean, we might as well literally just have fun with this, y'know? It's a date, it's supposed to be whatever fun we can find! So, strawberries and chocolate it is, then!" She nods. "Oh, yes, definitely, loneliness has been kind of the opposite of the thing that's going on. Ever since I joined the kendo club. And ever since ..." She sighs. "... y'know, that. The thing that stopped my birthday party from happening on my birthday." ("Akari" has no plausible way of having found out what actually happened there, so she's still 'ignorant.') "Which, I mean, on the bright side ..." She smiles. "I probably wouldn't have thought to ask if this was a date if it hadn't happened, so ..."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-17 00:48:58 97877
Mikoto nods and smiles. She hopes Akari will enjoy the strawberries-and-chocolate, it's her own favorite, but still. "That, yes... mmm." Mikoto has heard stories here and there, but very little in the way of details, so she has almost as little idea of what happened as Akari. "Hey, it brought us together... which means it was worth it, far as I'm concerned."
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-17 01:13:01 97879
Akari nods. "Exactly!" she says, just smiling over at Mikoto. Gazing into her eyes, gazing at her smile ... "You know what, I'm already enjoying myself, and all we done so far is, is just ... prattle." Now that she has a better handle on her feelings, she's starting to have second thoughts about holding out for Tessen. Still, this is just her fake identity, right?

... She refuses to let it show on her face, but once again, she feels an unexpected doubt as she thinks about things which, from Nightbell's perspective, are just common sense.
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-17 01:18:25 97881
Mikoto nods. "It's not like we have anything serious to talk about, aside from, y'know, us." She shrugs, and waves over to a waitress to get the girl to come and take their order. Having no reason to connect Akari to Nightbell, she has few qualms about getting more serious. After all, Bell is just a 'sparring partner', not a serious interest... right?
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-17 01:26:56 97883
Akari nods. "True!" she says cheerfully, putting aside the doubts for now because now's not the time. (She can't completely quiet the thought that it's never been 'the time' at first.) She gets just a little bit nervous when the waitress takes their order, just in case they're some friction from the fact that it's two girls making a shared order, but ... She suddenly stifles a giggle.
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-17 01:35:19 97884
Mikoto just smiles and nods as Akari places the order, agreeing with her without question. "Think of something funny, partner mine?" It's what she remembers calling Akari back in - that other world. Funny how things like that pop back into her head every now and then.
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-17 01:37:14 97885
Akari snorts at the reference (though there's a part of her that's still saying 'wait a minute, she remembers?'), and waits until the waitress leaves before she says in a low voice, "I just sort of ... imagined her saying 'B-b-but you're both girls!'"
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-17 01:40:29 97886
Mikoto tries to stifle a giggle of her own, turning it into a snort, but then can't hold it back any longer. "Oh, oh, oh, 'kari-chan, bad girl..." She puts on a horrified face and a soft, cutesy-little-girl voice, and says, "But that's forbidden love!"
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-17 01:43:14 97887
Akari just laughs out loud at that. And then she tries to stop herself from panicking, because nope she's just reached the limits of 'going to fast' and isn't sure she can seriously think about love at the moment, especially romantic love, she's still been 'putting off' thinking about Sakura-imouto, and ... "Ahaha, um ... uh ... y-yeah, uh ..."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-17 01:46:34 97888
Mikoto has to laugh, a little, but seeing the serious look on Akari's face, she quiets quickly. "Sorry, sorry," she offers. "A little bit much?" She sinks back in her seat, afraid that she's going to scare the girl off, just as things were going so well, too....
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-17 01:51:44 97889
Akari smiles weakly. "Yeah, sorry, sorry," she says. "I'm just ..." She shakes her head. "It's just, I'm trying to pace myself, y'know? Don't wanna ... jump straight to the inter-school championships, and all that. So to speak." She giggles. "Wow, that was a terrible metaphor, was it? Kendo and, uh, romance ..."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-09-17 02:05:12 97892
Mikoto nods, and holds a hand out, about to the midpoint of the table. "Ahhh... right, yeah, kind of a mixed metaphor, there. But, hey, so long as we both know what we're talking about... does it really matter?" She smiles back. "Let's ... keep to practicing the forms, yes?"
Rosalie Janus 2018-09-17 02:18:22 97894
Akari's smile is bigger and more sincere. In spite of everything, in spite of all the complications, and in spite of the fact that she still doesn't have a real handle on the whole 'feelings' thing ... she's happy. "An excellent plan!" she says, just as the waitress comes over with the parfait.