Orange Thread, Part 1 - Good Night, Prism Keeper Orange

As Reiko struggles to process the recent events reshaping her life, unexpected events bring her challenges closer to home

Date: 2016-01-24
Pose Count: 14
Reiko Touyama 2016-01-24 06:06:59 24419
Reiko Touyama lived in a house in the southern part of Uminari City, where Uminari bordered the Pikariaghakoa Ward. This made it mostly suburban. The house had a back yard and a front yard and driveway. The house had rooms, mom and dad had a bedroom, Grandpa had his own room, and Reiko had her own room. There was a kitchen a dining room a living room, two bathrooms, a garage. It was modestly decorated and supplied- mid-range to high-end appliances, and contemporary decor- clean and replaced and upkept deeply at least once every two years. Reiko's parents were NOT 'rich' but they were 'well off' where money was not an issue maybe even after two sudden emergencies.

Reiko Touyama flew into through her window today as Prism Keeper Orange and let her transformation fuzz out. Her Chroma Prism was dim- not corrupted or weak-- she just overdid it earlier, helping Ayana. She hoped that, everything was okay.

Part of the stress of everything surrounding her started to depart. Ayana was okay! This was one problem solved.

This would cause MORE problems, but for now, they weren't exactly dwelling into her.

It also gave more wiggle room for the other problems as she slumped into bed and spread out and stared at the ceiling.

Some of these problems had no soultion- she'd just need to learn to deal with it--- like Tadase. It wasn't a bad problem anymore. But it still tug at her heart. She'd 'heal' from that in time she figured.

She looked at the invitation to the 'magical dance' that a koi of hers had picked up from somewhere. Maybe she'd go to that--- girl up-- ask some handsome magical boy to dance! That'd make her feel better! She thought.

The other problems. Well. Not so easy. Misa... Mei's departue was a major problem. She sighed a bit. Maybe now that Ayana was safe, Ikiko could push some more headspace towards helping Misa-chan now.

She spent a few moments just laying down before she finally sat up and looked at the clock and blinked.

Well, it wasn't as late as she thought it was--- and she was hungry.

She peered to the door. Maybe it was time to go seek out some food before it got too late!
Griselda 2016-01-24 06:41:28 24431
    It's 11:30pm. Through the open window, Reiko sees a final light turn off in the house across the street. Outside, the moon is full, casting a dim glow on a night that's still seeing the last of its sleepy stragglers, magical or not, find their way home. These haven't been her best few days, but whatever problems this night brought are behind her now, and whatever comes next can wait until tomorrow. Even if tomorrow isn't very far now.

    It's quiet in her room, mostly. From outside, the faint rhythm of the crickets in her yard can be heard, and there seems to be little sound from within her house, at least until she draws close enough to her bedroom door to hear the whispered conversation beyond.

    A female voice. Familiar. Mom. "Shhh. She's sleeping."

    "I'm just saying . . . I think we should do something." A man's voice, though younger than her grandfather. Dad. "Does she even have any other friends?"

    Mom again. "There's Hisakata-chan? They seem to be close now. Though I think she's in a higher grade. Is that good enough? Didn't she say she was being bullied? I'm still surprised by that. The Koumoto girl seemed so nice."

    An older voice, and kinder. Gentler. Grandpa. "It would help a great deal if you talked to her."

    "I know," Mom's voice, apologetic but not really. Reiko has heard that tone before, and she likely knows what comes next, "but the conference starts tomorrow afternoon, and it's hours away. If I don't leave now, I'm going to hit morning traffic before I get there."

    There's an awkward pause, a pregnant silence that suggests uneasy glances over the dinner table. It's her dad's turn. His voice is a little sheepish. "I don't want to wake her."
Reiko Touyama 2016-01-24 07:14:01 24438
Reiko Touyama is walking to the kitchen and then slows down to a tip toe when she hears voices at her door. She frowns a bit, mom.. dad!? Home before twelve am!? Ugh. Of course on a night she didn't want to deal with this, her expression growing to one of silent dread. She listened for a bit as she sighs...

Parents... once again... who barely paid attention... trying to decide what was best for her.

She huffed silently and turned around to get into her koi-themed PJs-- light blue with orange fishies. She might aswell look like she WAS sleeping.

She walked back out and continued onto the kitchen.

If she was quiet...

Maybe no one would notice.

She opened the fridge and then a plastic jar of pickles fell out and hit the floor.

Well. There goes that idea of being quiet. She winced, and picked up the jar.

"...Just me..." she says weakly. "S-sorry...."
Griselda 2016-01-25 02:39:42 24537
    The awkward silence is interrupted by the sound of shuffling chairs and slippered feet against the floor, three figures making their way into view.

    It's grandpa who speaks first. He's often the most eager to talk to her. "Awake again, Reiko-chan? Hungry?" He would cover for her; he always has. It has often been his excuses that have helped her keep her midnight adventures insulated from the eyes from her parents. One wouldn't be blamed, though, for wondering if they'd ever be curious enough to find out, even without his interventions. The older man smiles good-naturedly, though, at his daughter and son-in-law; he has always seen the good in them. "She has been this way for the last few nights. Growing girl."

    Dad quietly moves closer, his height evident as he draws close. He stands easily fifty centimeters above her, barely looking down as he rubs an affectionate hand over Reiko's orange hair. "I'll make you something." He doesn't say anything more. He was never intentionally distant, but perhaps often a little awkward around her. Ever the academic, he was perhaps more used to relating to college students than young girls. He seems calmer as he enters the kitchen; on some level, he might view the opportunity to do something rather than speak to his daughter as a respite.

    Mom approaches next, the louder racket of dad rustling for a pan heard to Reiko's left. The woman's voice comes as a soft respite after, gentle in a motherly way, though being emotionally close perhaps isn't much balm for the physical distance that often separates her from her daughter. "How are you, dear?"
Reiko Touyama 2016-01-25 02:56:42 24544
Reiko Touyama smiles at Grandpa as she picks up the pickles , chasing it across the floor as it rolls. She holds it in her hands and she walks it back to the fridge. She puts it on a shelf that actually has a guard this time. Oh... then her dad comes in. She sighs. "Sure, Daddy." she says quietly, because that's the best she's going to muster in her tired state.

She walks along to the table and sits down in her PJs as she glances at Grandpa as Mom comes in. Ugh, Mom go to bed... leave for your conference. She doesn't care. She doesn't want to hear what you have to say right now because it'll consist of more making her frustrated.

The look of despair on her face is palpable. Though she tries to keep her mood chipper.


"Conference, huh?" she asks a little lightly and sadly.
Griselda 2016-01-25 03:17:41 24555
    Her mother's face softens. Professional commitments aside, it's hard for her to stay the neutral career woman with her daughter looking like that. Not in the moment anyway; as difficult as it might be, it has never been quite enough to make her change her plans. The woman places her hands on her knees, lowering herself down closer to Reiko's eye level. She smiles, though there's a bittersweet note in her expression which matches the pained look of her daughter. "Yeah, honey. It's a big regional biotech conference. It's really important for mama's career that she networks, you know? I'll be home on Wednesday. Do you want to do something, then? Maybe we can go out for sushi? There's a new place that opened by my office in Mitakihara. Everyone says it's great. I think you'll like it." She stands again, turning to her right toward her husband. "How about it, Taji?" The man just smiles in response.

    "Sounds like a good idea, Emiko," he says quietly, shooting a brief smile at Reiko, only to look back down at the oven in front of him as he sees her dour expression. There's a hiss as the man begins to pour something into the already-hot pan he's holding with his other hand.

    The woman looks back at her daughter's face, searching perhaps for a flicker of relief from the little girl. It's here that granddad seems to feel the need to inject a more serious note into the conversation. "How are you doing, Reiko-chan? We were worried about you. Mei has been your friend for a long time. We heard from the school that she's transferring."
Reiko Touyama 2016-01-25 03:33:36 24565
Reiko Touyama looks hesitantly. This isn't the first promise or making of plans. She's sure they'll make the plan- and then something comes up. Like it always does. Heck. If they can make it into the resturant together she might even consider it progress and be hopeful!

She just nods a bit. "Okay, Mom." she says softly. At least she isn't using the colder 'Mother' or something like that- but she's not using the more childish 'Mommy' or 'Momma' either.

She looks at Dad as she watches the hot water be put on. What's being made that needs hot water? She'd be fine with like a sandwhich. She is tired. Just. She wasn't sleeping either.

Oh. They heard about that. Her teeth clench a bit. Ugh. Darn--- she has to make up a cover story. What would make sense? What does mom or dad know?

"Yeah... her mom is sending her away to a finishing school for the rest of the third term..." she lies. It's a total, complete lie. She does sound sad about this.

She keeps her hands rested in her lap as she sighs a bit. She doesn't make eye contact with anyone right now.
Griselda 2016-01-25 04:01:18 24583
    "You can talk to us, Reiko-chan," Mom says. She slowly slides a chair out from under the table, setting herself down gracefully, though not so fully resting on the chair that it seems like she'll stay long. Even now, she seems every inch the consummate professional. She's still dressed in a well-cut gray pantsuit. She goes through a lot of those. She's the type to wear a suit like that until she's actually getting into bed. Her eyes again drift to her husband. "Papa's going to be here. And you can call me if you need to, alright?" If you need to. "I'll leave my conference hours on the fridge. I should be reachable if I'm not in the middle of a lecture."

    Whatever's in the pan isn't sizzling quite as much now. There's a fast, fluid movement from Reiko's dad, and the surface of a doughy, thick pancake can be seen rising into the air, rotating once, and landing again on the hot surface. He's good at that. He's not the greatest cook, but what he can make, he makes well. He takes pride in it, really, especially in the visual aspect of it. He used to like to show off to Reiko when she was a few years younger. Those types of tricks don't quite impress at her age now, though. He grins at her, almost a little sheepishly. "Yeah. I'll be getting home at my usual hours." Late. "You can come to me." Come to him; he'll likely be in his home office. Neither of her parents are the type for TV or aimless internet surfing in their off-hours. "I hope this holds you over until breakfast. I've still got a little bit of that hazelnut spread you like too."

    Granpda places a hand on Reiko's shoulder. He understands in moments like this. It's a quiet reassurance that things will be OK. They care, he has always said, even if it often feels like a far away feeling.

    The chair slides out. That was quick. Mom leans over, planting a brief kiss on Reiko's cheek. "Mama loves you, alright? I have to get going." She doesn't wait very long. Her bag and shoes are already by the door. Had it not been for Reiko's late night outing keeping her up until now, her mother simply would have been gone when she awoke the next morning. Louder, from near the door, as she slips on her shoes. "Be strong, OK?"
Reiko Touyama 2016-01-25 04:28:25 24597
Reiko Touyama has heard it countless times from grandpa. They don't want her to grow up like they did, with very little and all that. Reiko feels well provided for. And really, she'd feel well provided for if they lived in a smaller house and had to buy off-brand groceries and wear off-brand clothing-- if it meant having her parents around during the evening off work. Instead... they're always working. Always running around. Always in the office. She never actually sees her parents very much unless--- well she's up this late hour. and even then it's for split seconds. was cool when she was younger in 1st Grade and at least her dad was around a bit- this was before Grandpa moved in- so having a parent around was a nesscity at that point. Grandpa's mostly taken over that roll.

She looks at her pancake and begins eating it. It /is/ good and she doesn't get to eat dad's pancakes often so.. there's that.

She looks up and shakes her head. "I'm fine with this Dad..." she says softly. Just barely a smile. But it's there for a moment.

She listens to her mom. Be strong, huh? Meh.

She thought of the concert she was going to go tommrow... mmmmmm. That made her smile a bit!
Griselda 2016-01-25 05:08:35 24609
    It takes a few moments more for her dad to bring some of the spread promised. It's the usual almost-chocolatey sweet, though the jar is merely left open with the knife next to it. He just places it there; he has learned better than to apply it without asking. It's not an always thing for Reiko, nor is it easy to guess the right amount. Maybe he's thinking of some moment long past when she whined about it as he sits down; he's smiling.

    His head turns as the door closes, though, leaving only silence from the front of the house. Then the sound of her mom's car being remote-unlocked, and a car door opening and closing. He puts a hand on Reiko's shoulder. "Why don't you bring over Hisakata-chan sometime soon?" Both of her parents have that habit. They refer to her friends by their last names, even after they know them well. A reflex, maybe, from dealing with their students. The hand is withdrawn a moment later. He sits there, not quite sure what to say next.

    Grandpa probably senses the uneasy silence--he's the type that always knows these things--but he doesn't interrupt this time. He shuffles slowly to the kitchen, beginning the work of putting away the dishes. Dad finally speaks up, though not to Reiko. "Ah! Thank you, Toki-san." There's just a gruff nod in reply from the older man, and then again, silence save for the knife and fork against plate as Reiko eats.
Reiko Touyama 2016-01-25 05:38:04 24617
Reiko Touyama looks at the jar of chocolate spread and applies it to her pancake. Indeed, she used to whine about it-- when she was seven. She is nearly eleven. She will be eleven next month--- and her dad is still operaring off four year old complaints. She sighs as she continues eating as she closes her eyes as she opens them...

"Maybe soon..." she says. She's sure she doesn't want to bug Ikiko right now--- not yet. Not after what happened earlier. A few days of rest for Ikiko and her fox!

She sighs a bit and takes a deep breath.

Thanks Grandpa, she thinks, from having to have Dad ask her to do them. She won't want to. No.

Not at all.

She eats quietly and soon.... she's had enough! There's a little bit of pancake left. But not much....
Griselda 2016-01-25 06:10:50 24627
    Reiko's dad watches as she eats, seeming almost embarassingly pleased as she does. Many things change, but some things are a constant in life. Eating is perhaps a strange comfort to parents, then. Kids grow out of just about everything but that; if you make the right food (though that's perhaps itself a struggle), they'll eat it. Sweet tooths especially are hard to ditch.

    Reiko's dad stands, lifting her plate as she pushes it away. Heading to the kitchen, he pops the last little bit of pancake in his mouth, as if to test for quality after the fact. There's a brief appreciative mmm--his work passes muster--before handing the plate over to grandpa's outstretched hand. The older man rinses it quickly, efficiently, before beginning to place the semiclean dishes in the dishwasher.

    Dad turns back toward Reiko. "Do you want me to tuck you in?" She hasn't said yes to that in a long time, and so he asks rarely now, but that question still occasionally comes. He possibly only asks today for lack of a better way to show his concern and affection.
Reiko Touyama 2016-01-25 06:18:43 24631
Reiko Touyama slowly gets up and smooths her PJs out as she sighs and begins to mopely head back upstairs. She says. "Goodnight Grandpha!" exuberently. And less exuberntly, and- something she doesn't say a lot of. "Goodnight, Dad." she says. She blinks... tucked in? He does ask sometimes.

Usually. Reiko says 'No' out of spite. Sometimes she pretends she didn't hear. But this time he managed to say it to her face. She never goes 'No' cruely, she says 'No, It's fine daddy'- usually.


There's so much going wrong-- things she can't talk to dad about- and then there's the whole mess early that has her mentally and magically tired that she says...

"...yeah... maybe. Tonight. It is kind of cold out..." she says softly.

She begins upstairs. She's assuming Dad'll follow.

That, or she'll be left hanging upstairs when a bussiness call happens.

She's expecting it, really.
Griselda 2016-01-25 06:45:03 24637
    Reiko's dad is quite visibly surprised when he hears the "yeah" from Reiko. But the shock fades from his face a moment later, giving way to a pleasant grin. He seems happy. "Alright. Go ahead. I'll be right up in a minute." Reiko can hear a brief exchange between her dad and her grandpa as she ascends the stairs, though it's too quiet to make out exactly what they're saying. Presumably, they're talking about her, in that way that adults sometimes do. Conferring. Is it really that hard to talk to her?

    He doesn't make her wait, true to his word. Upstairs, Reiko's dad enters a few moments after she slides into bed. He hasn't ever had much to say in these moments. Even when she was younger, the words he offered before she fell asleep were few. He tucks the covers over her shoulders snugly and pulls the cord for the lamp next to her nightstand, leaving the room illuminated only by the light from the full moon beyond her window.

    "If you're not sure what to look forward to, look forward to bed." He tries. Sometimes he says the right thing. Sometimes he swings and misses. It's never quite clear whether he's going anywhere or not until he's done. "That's what my dad told me." He doesn't talk about his dad much. "I think he meant . . . work until you can, and then let the day be over. Whatever problems you have left can wait until tomorrow." The look on his face isn't quite certain, as if he didn't quite know whether he said something useful or not. He smiles, again a little sheepishly, before heading for the door.

    "Goodnight, Reiko-chan."