The Thinking Bush

Millie White stumbles upon a strange bush-dwelling Prism Keeper, and has a talk with her about thinking in bushes.

Date: 2018-12-12
Pose Count: 20
Mei Akatsuki 2018-12-12 03:02:59 101644
There was a slight rustling under one of the bushes scattered throughout the park, and a pair of scruffy red Converse was sticking out from under it. Nothing really suspicious, except it was incredibly suspicious. Considering how late at night it was, it could be a body or something really weird, hiding under a bush in the park.

Mei was thinking under the bush, but nobody knew that. She'd found when she spent a few nights in the park that thinking in bushes is nice. No distractions, and nobody telling you that you're a little old to be on the swings, aren't you? She was never going to be too old to lay under a bush. Hopefully.
Millie White 2018-12-12 03:12:17 101645
Millie was late. It had taken her longer than she had thought to finish up at kendo that day and it had set her schedule back. The foreigner had required groceries and she was only now returning home with them. Thankfully she knew a shortcut through the park, but even so, being out this late... and without her magic? It was like ASKING the Wolkenritter to appear.

The Cloud Knights were on her mind as she quickly made her way through the park, one hand grasping multiple grocery bags. Millie was on extra alert tonight on account of how late it was, so when she saw a pair of shoes sticking out of a bush, she froze. What... on Earth? The Canuck quickly looked around, and saw nothing else out of the ordinary. Was this... some kind of trap? No, it couldn't be. This late at night, was someone hurt?

"Hey, are you alright?" Millie called out, her Japanese slow and accented as she approached the suspicious bush.
Mei Akatsuki 2018-12-12 03:16:26 101646
The bush emitted muffled conversation, the leaves and wood really ruining any attempts at communication. It sounded something like "I'm oakley, first inkling.". What Mei had actually said was she was okay, just thinking. This was possibly hard to realise, unless such things happened frequently. She slowly scooted her way out from under the bush and scraped a few stray twigs from a mess of fiery red hair.

An older girl with groceries in the park and a weird accent... "You aren't evil are you?". For some reason, Mei felt likee this was an important question to ask right now.
Millie White 2018-12-12 03:27:16 101647
Millie squinted at the bush, trying to decipher what it was trying to say. It was a lost cause however; what was an oakley inkling? The owner of the shoes slowly scooted out from under the bush and stood, allowing Millie to get a good look at her. It was a younger girl with burning red hair. Millie almost missed the question. Almost.

"W-What? Of course not." She would have almost seemed offended if she weren't so confused. Did this girl know about magic? Rule of thumb was to never assume anything.

"Didn't quite hear you in the bush, are you alright?" Millie admitted, genuine concern joining the confusion in her emerald eyes.
Mei Akatsuki 2018-12-12 03:33:20 101648
Mei Akatsuki 's magic let itself be known in the appearance of a budding rose on the bush whenever Millie said she wasn't evil. "Oh good, I don't know what I'd have done if you were evil. I'm not ready for dealing with evil, I'm barely ready for dealing with my day to day life.". She pulled one more twig out and her hair and shook it out, framing the face of a pastel-red eyed Japanese youth.

"I said I'm alright, just thinking. Bushes make great thinking places when you don't want to be bothered. I mean, who wants to bother somebody under a bush?". She chuckled softly and then frowned. "Oh... Actually I should stop that, kind of creepy now that I think about it. Anyway, hi, I'm Mei. Akatsuki Mei.".
Millie White 2018-12-12 03:45:44 101649
A rose bloomed out of nowhere and Millie's gaze flickered from it to the girl. So she was dealing with another magical girl, that was good to know. She couldn't help but smile as the younger girl plucked twigs from her hair. The term 'endearing' came to mind. When the young redhead reaffirmed that she was alright and introduced herself, Millie nodded politely.

"A pleasure to meet you, Akatsuki-san." Millie greeted. Her voice was low in tone with a hint of a rasp, but it was full of warmth. "I'm Millie White. I'm glad you aren't hurt. Do you uh... think under bushes often?" It seemed a strange habit to her, but if it worked for Mei, who was she to judge? It could be a quiet place, now that she thought about it.
Mei Akatsuki 2018-12-12 03:52:13 101650
Mei Akatsuki 's eyes lit up like a red light. "White? Are you a Prism Keeper?". She leaned towards Millie and looked her over. "Although maybe you can't be... It only seems to affect my primary school friends...". She chewed her lip a little while looking at Millie, before deciding on something from the loosening of her features.

"You can call me Mei. Akatsuki-san is probably a mouthful. I only recently learned bushes are great for thinking really, after I spent a few nights under one before my friend offered for me to stay with her. I'm not ready to go home yet.".
Millie White 2018-12-12 04:02:04 101651
Millie blinked. A Prism Keeper? Her head tilted ever so slightly and the tips of her ears burned red as she was scrutinized. Her best guess was that perhaps the Prism Keepers were another group of magical girls. There were Pretty Cure, Puella, Device-users... perhaps a Prism Keeper was just another on the list? Millie smiled apologetically.

"I'm afraid not, White is just my surname." Her tone was regretful, since Mei had seemed so excited. When the younger girl told her to call her by her given name, Millie blinked again. That had been fast. The Canuck almost wanted to ask if she was sure, but figured that would be rude. Instead, she offered a grin.

"Mei-san it is. You can call me Millie, too." The news about Mei having spent nights in the bushes of the park had the smile flicker and fade from her face. It seemed Mei was now living with a friend, but the younger girl didn't want to go home. The Cure quickly looked around.

"...But it's late, Mei-san, won't your friend be worried about you?" She asked, hoping she could perhaps incite the girl to return home early without exactly spooking her with the reason why.
Mei Akatsuki 2018-12-12 04:11:09 101652
With a roll of her shoulders, Mei shrugged. "Reiko gets it if I don't come back fast. I'm... Working through some things. Have been for a long time, and they aren't done yet. Soon though, I guess. I'll have to... How do the Americans say... Face the tuba?". She scratched her head for a moment. "Not sure that's right, but I feel like it is close enough.".

She glanced at Millie's bags and pursed her lips. "Your stuff won't go bad if not put away soon, will it Millie-senpai? I don't want to keep you with my silliness if there are important things in there. Like hamburgers.". She gave a wistful sigh at the mention of hamburgers.
Millie White 2018-12-12 04:21:24 101653
Curses, her plan was foiled. That, and how was she supposed to tell Mei about the Wolkenritter NOW? The young girl had just admitted that she was going through some things. How could she dump all that info on her while she was like this? The Canuck's shoulders slumped slightly, but the kind smile hadn't left her face.

"Face the music, I believe." Millie answered with a chuckle, but it was clear she wasn't laughing at Mei. "As for these," Millie hefts the bags with ease, "It's mostly non-perishables, so it's alright." The wistful sigh was not lost on Millie, and a lopsided grin appeared on her face. Another fan of hamburgers, eh? The Canadian had no idea how popular the item would actually be here, but she was glad that the Japanese enjoyed them too.

"It sounds like you've got a lot on your mind. Would you like to talk about it? Perhaps over a burger?" If she couldn't get Mei to go home early, she would just have to protect her until she decided to return home.
Mei Akatsuki 2018-12-12 04:24:33 101654
There was a pause as Mei very briefly debated if having a burger with a strange upperclassman she met in the park with bags of groceries at night was a good idea. Everything anime had taught her told her yes, yes it was. That being so, Mei started to nod. "Sure, but it is a lot to take in. We might need more than one burger.".

She stretched a little, getting the crick out of her back from laying on the ground and then extended a hand towards Millie. "For now, can I help you carry some of those bags? At least for a little bit.".
Millie White 2018-12-12 04:39:22 101655
Perhaps it was a strange request. Thinking about it now, it seemed... more than odd to invite someone you just met under a bush in a park to have burgers at night, never mind that they were an underclassman. The pause had Millie worried that Mei thought so too, but her fears were erased when the girl agreed. A small spike of relief made itself known to her in her chest. At the mention of multiple burgers, Millie's lopsided grin returned and her free hand patted her stomach comically.

"I reckon we can handle it." She said confidently, but was not prepared for the girl to stretch out her hand. She wanted to help her carry the bags? A warm smile swept across her face as she nodded, handing the lighter bags to the younger girl.

"That's kind of you, Mei-san. Thank you. Did you have a burger place in mind, or will anywhere do?" The defunct Cure asked casually, her gaze flickering around their surroundings for a moment.
Mei Akatsuki 2018-12-12 04:41:41 101656
Mei Akatsuki pursed her lips. "I've been gone from Tokyo for awhile, so I'm not really sure where the best burgers are now. Do you have any ideas?". She looked at Millie hopefully. There were always new burger places, with different ideas on how to make a good burger. As long as it was yummy, Mei didn't care much where it was.
Millie White 2018-12-12 04:49:03 101657
"Well, I know there's a foodcourt around here to feed the students visitng the museums and the zoo on field trips. I think there's a burger place in there. Is that okay?" She offered thoughtfully. It was the closest to them and would likely provide the path of least resistance. Of course she would be paying for the burgers, and inwardly she was curious as to how many burgers Mei could actually eat without the poor girl making herself sick.
Mei Akatsuki 2018-12-12 04:51:22 101658
There was a nod as Mei hoisted the bags she was now carrying up just a little higher on her arm. "Are they open this late?". She looked at the moon in the sky and pursed her lips a little bit. "If not, maybe we can rain check it and I can help you get your things home?". She smiled softly at Millie, unsure if the plan was going to work out or not considering the time now.
Millie White 2018-12-12 05:05:21 101659
Millie looked at her phone to check the time. Even though it was a weekday, the food court had probably closed not too long ago. Millie let her arm fall to her side, cursing Kendo for occupying more of her time today than it should have.

"Yeah, I think you're right." She admitted, but quickly nodded. "I know a place that is supposed to have good burgers, so here's the plan." She said with a grin. "I'll walk you home, give you my number, and you can text me whenever you're free to get a burger. How does that sound?" It was like killing two birds with one stone; this way she could make sure Mei got home safely, and it meant Mei would have her contact info in case she needed help with anything. Like in case, say, the Wolkenritter attacked.
Mei Akatsuki 2018-12-12 05:11:58 101660
Mei Akatsuki rolled her shoulders in a strug. "Sounds alright to me, but what about helping you carry your stuff? That is a long extra way to walk with a bunch of bags with you.". She squinted inquisitively at Millie. "It is getting late though... As long as you're sure you'll be okay to carry them all, I guess I agree to that for sure.".
Millie White 2018-12-12 05:19:03 101661
Millie grinned broadly and hefted the bags of groceries. "It will take a lot more than groceries to take me out. I'll just treat it like extra training. You'd be helping me out, honest." She assured the underclassman, and she didn't appear to be lying; with broad shoulders and standing as tall as most men, there was no doubt that the groceries wouldn't be a problem at all. Of course, she would really have to rush home after, but it would be worth it. Peace of mind, and whatnot.
Mei Akatsuki 2018-12-12 05:27:45 101662
With a begrudging nod, Mei gave in to Millie's insistance. "Okay. I'll lead the way. Will you tell me about where you're from along the way? I like learning about new places, and your accent and other things about you say you aren't from Tokyo.". She giggled a little, offering a bright smile to Millie as she turned about and started off with a quick glance over her shoulder back at Millie.
Millie White 2018-12-12 05:33:29 101663
That was an odd request, but one she found she could not deny. Not after that smile. Millie nodded and, as they walked, regaled the younger girl with tales of Canada and her childhood.

The Canuck told Mei about her father the Police man, and her mother the Bookshop owner. How the winters were long and cold but it made the people warm and hardy. How every year she would participate it the renaissance fair as a knight in the combat arena, which was where she learned to use a sword and fight with a shield. All the while she kept an eye on their surroundings, making sure her voice never got too loud as to draw any unwanted attention.