She's hurting and you care

Tadase and Amu again.

Date: 2016-02-03
Pose Count: 37
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 06:41:38 26627
Tadase had been... well, worried was not a strong enough word for the way his heart hurt for Amu. So after he gathered his courage (hint: that means Kiseki kicked him in the kneecap a lot) he finally texted her after school.

To Amu-Chan=Hey. Can we meet at the gardens, outside Penguin Park? Just for a little bit. I know you're probably busy with school. But I've been worried about you.

He only backspaced it out one time and rewrote it. And it's only after he sent it that he starts to panic about how she'll take it. Kiseki, though, has folded his arms. "You need to talk to her. She's hurting and you care. The worst she can do is tell you she's not ready."
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-03 06:54:14 26629
"You know you want to see him," Miki protests to Amu with arms crossed. The little blue-haired chara is floating in front of Amu, facing the pink-haired girl with a stern expression. Ran is sitting on Amu's shoulder, and Su is busy smelling some pretty flowers.

Amu, however, seems to be acting a little stubborn today. The girl crosses her arms, hugging deeper into the red-and-black striped hoodie she has on over a too-thin black summer dress. Amu suffers for fashion, and today seems to be no exception. At least she has on tall striped black stockings and garters.

"Of course I want to see him," Amu snaps back at Miki frustratedly. "I just don't want to be reminded of how I'm being a bad friend, and I should just forgive Nagihiko-kun already."

"You could try forgiving him," Miki points out exasperatedly.

Amu sighs and turns away from Miki unhappiliy. "I could," she agrees, "or I could just not have to deal with this when half the city is still busy rebuilding their house."

Miki lets out a noise of frustration, and Ran hugs Amu gently. "Amu-chan," Ran says quietly, "Just go talk to Tadase-kun, ne? Maybe he just wants to give you a hug."

Amu scowls again, but at least her feet start moving. Still hugging herself tight, she shows up in the BOtanical Gardens looking tired, cranky, and uncertain of herself.
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 07:09:28 26632
Tadase's sitting on a park bench, dressed in jeans and a white sweater. He looks extremly uneasy, and was in fact just about to give up and get up... and then he sees that pink hair in the distance, and the unmistakable sound of his heart racing... so he stays on the bench.

And he raises his hand and tries to wave her over. The look he has on his face is one of someone trying to pretend like everything's ok, even when it clearly isn't. But Kiseki's there and with him - because he'll need Kiseki for support for this.

The moment she's within hearing range, he starts up. "Amu-chan, I'm sorry for all of this. It wasn't supposed to hurt you, or make you feel bad, or trick you."
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-03 07:18:17 26635
Amu stops dead the moment he opens his mouth to apologize. She goes from uncertainly hugging herself to stubbornly glaring in approximately 0.2 seconds. But at least she's glaring at the blue-haired Chara next to her, and not at Tadase. "Told you so," she glowers angrily.

Miki just rolls her eyes and flies off to join Kiseki, but Ran stays dutifully on Amu's shoulder.

Su is still smelling the flowers.

Amu stalks the rest of the way towards Tadase, and if she were a cat there's no doubt that tail would be lashing. "Can we please ... not go here?" she says to him angrily. "I already told Nagihiko-kun I don't hate him. I'm just not ready to forgive him, yet."

Dropping down onto the bench, just a half-meter to Tadase's side, Amu huddles up tighter in her hoodie and provides her best surly face towards the little bridge not so far away. "He didn't have any right to lie to me about that, when I was staying the night at his house."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 07:33:09 26636
Tadase looks down a bit, he can see that glower. "You don't have to forgive me, either." he adds, as though he can take responsibility for all of this nonsense. "But... I miss spending time with you. I don't know what else to say."

He looks down. "I feel like there should be something I can say. Something I can do. Even though I know there isn't. But I don't want to be away from you anymore." he admits. "Everything just isn't as good when you're not talking to me. And when you're upset, it makes me sad, too."

And then he gets very, very silent, because he knows he just said a mouthful of things that he honestly feels are as likely to make her run away as anything else. But he can't get over the fact that he does feel better after letting all of it out.
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-03 07:52:04 26641
Amu's expression only hardens at Tadase's whining. "Stop," she tells him angrily. Then, with a suddenness, she rolls her eyes so hard it takes her head with it for a moment. "God, I'm not mad at you. You were just protecting your best friend's secret, and it's not like I'm your wife or something."

"I haven't been avoiding you," Amu half yells at him. "I just haven't wanted to talk to anyone. So would you please quit with the woe-is-me-my-life-is-over crap? Geeze."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 08:09:55 26644
Tadase actually looks admonished, chastized for a moment. Then he stands up. "As long as you're not mad at me. Is there anything I can do to help, then?" he asks, looking over her. "I'll stop apologizing if you don't think there's anything I need to." he says, and his tone is actually improving too.

"Or we could do something else, if you wanted. I can forget all about it for a little bit, if that's the sort of thing that would help." In a way, he's obviously still grasping for the right answer - but he's trying very hard. And he's also trying very hard not to find himself leaning closer to her as she's sitting next to him. This is having varying degrees of success.
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-03 08:18:41 26647
Amu glares up at Tadase, and then shakes her head. Once more she looks away, casting her gaze out towards the bridge, which she glares at. "Just forget about it," she says in exasperation, a few moments later. "Just ... ugh, just forget about it, okay? I don't want to talk about your stupid best friend anymore. Okay? Just leave me alone. I'll be fine, and I don't need your help dealing with it."

"Amu-chan," Ran finally pipes up, tone sadenned. "Tadase-kun just wants to help."

"I know," Amu yells at Ran. "I just said I don't need his help. Why can't everyone just leave me alone about this? Why do I have to forgive him? Why am I not allowed to be mad and hurting and feeling betrayed? I don't want to be fixed, I don't want to be helped. I just want people to leave me alone about this."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 08:24:57 26650
Tadase raises a finger slowly."Amu-chan... I just offered to talk about something else." he says, sitting down again, closer to her, and maybe even leaning in a bit. "So fine, I won't even mention it. Nada-who?" he says. It's a terrible, terrible comment or joke, and he really wishes he hadn't said it - unfortunantly, that thought comes a bit too late for the speed at which it leaves his mouth. He looks down and away for a moment.

Then he rapidly changes the subject. "But we haven't talked about anything in a while." he says, though he makes a conscious decision to avoid talking about any black alley cats. "Or we could go for a walk. I know it's cold out, but the gardens can still be really pretty in the winter. Or we could just sit here. Or whatever you want to do."

"I'd... just like to spend time with you, whatever we do or whatever we talk about."
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-03 08:32:06 26652
Amu continues staring at the bridge, arms crossed over her chest. She stares, and eventually her head dips a little. "I'm here, aren't I?" she asks him, voice squeaking a little with her whine. "I don't know what to talk about, or what you want to do. But I came anyways, even though I knew you were going to yell at me about Nagihiko, again."

There's a pause, then sighs and leans towards him, just a little. "I hate feeling like I'm the bad guy," she mumbles quietly. "My mom says a proper lady should be forgiving and kind, but I don't know how. I wish I didn't know."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 08:37:58 26655
Tadase leans in. He does something which, he knows, is liable to get hit slapped. And he does it anyways. Must be Kiseki. He can certainly blame him later, anyways.

He puts an arm around her. "Who gives a damn what other people think, Amu-chan." he says as he does. "Even if it is your mother. Who I'm sure is very nice. But you have to find your own way, and you have to deal with this in your own way. That doesn't make you the bad guy. Nobody knows what you're really feeling but you. But I imagine she's just doing what I'm doing - trying to help. But you're right. And I'm not going to yell at you about Nagihiko at all, anymore." he says. Not that he feels that he ever did yell at her, but he is at least smart enough to know not to start that particular argument right now.

"Just sit here with me, then. Just sit here with me and we'll forget about that business. I haven't really spent time alone with you in a place this nice since New Years'." Where he missed all of the signals, but that's also not relevant, is it?
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-03 08:44:41 26657
It may come as a surprise to Tadase, but Amu does not, in fact, hit him. Instead, she just continues leaning over until her head is fully on his shoulder. This necessitates bringing her legs up onto the bench beside her. She grabs her ankles with one hand, and rests the other on his leg for support.

Ran zips off of Amu's shoulder and flies over to join Miki and Kiseki, but she turns back almost immediately to watch Amu uncertainly.

"I'm not a bad guy," Amu reiterates, almost as if she's having to convince herself. As if she isn't quite listening to Tadase. But she doesn't pursue that line of thought any further. Instead, she lets out a soft sigh, lets a moment pass, then mumbles, "I liked New Years. I wish I hadn't gotten hurt. I wanted to dance more."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 08:54:43 26660
Tadase takes a moment to really relax as she leans against him, and then leans back, resting his head atop hers. "You're definantly the prettiest girl I've ever danced with." he says, quietly. Almost but-not-quite too quietly. "And the prettiest girl I've ever had a misstep. You know I'm normally... pretty good at that sort of thing. I guess I just got distracted. I'm sorry it cut our evening off a bit early, though."

"I was really enjoying myself. We'll have to do it again sometime." he adds, that hand on her shoulder squeezing a bit. "If..if you'll have me, I mean."
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-03 09:10:27 26662
Amu blushes at the compliments. Sufficiently placed, they distract her from her woes about her (former?) best friend, and draw her away from those unhappy thoughts. The pink-haired girl nestles in a little closer and mumbles, "M-maybe. I don't know." Not exactly the words she wanted to use, there. "I had a lot of fun, and it was really wonderful spending New Years with you. But ... I don't want you to wind up getting a bad reputation, and I feel like lately I've been havign to spend a lot of time dealing with people trying to hurt Tokyo. But ... but if there's time ... I hope you'll still ask me."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 09:19:44 26664
Tadase lets go of a breath he's been holding in since he made his comment. "I'm glad you'd still want to go with me after the business last time. I felt so bad. I'm normally not so clumsy!" he admits and emphatically tries to defend himself.

"But what do you mean by a bad reputation? I didn't hear anything bad about us dancing that night..." he pauses before continuing "...the only things I heard about us were that we looked cute."

And he quickly continues on to "Oh, or are you worried that dancing with a Guardian will ruin your Cool and Spicy reputation? If so you'd better not get caught by anyone leaning on me like this." He teases, but only hugs her closer as he says it - it's not something he actually wants her to take him up on.
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-03 09:37:28 26666
Stubbornness comes all too easy to Amu. She stiffens against him, and he can feel it instantly. Then she hunches her shoulders and sets on a surly face. "Yeah, well, if anyone talks bad about me for leaning on you I'm going to give them a bloody nose. Anyways, no, I meant they're going to talk bad about you because you're hanging out with That Girl. Everyone's always scared of me, and I don't want them to be scared of you."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 09:45:59 26667
Tadase blinks a couple of times. Then he laughs. Just a little bit, a soft laugh, a bemused one. "Well, two very important things. One, I think you underestimate just how much of the female student body idolizes you... two, I don't really care what they say about me for being seen with you. I mean, you're a member of the Guardians anyways. We're kind of tied together there already."

"And, if it helps, I don't think there's anything you can do that would actually make people afraid of me, even if you tried. There's a decent number of students who've seen me under a Chara Change, after all, from saying the wrong words. And yet I'm still Seiyou's King." he adds with a grin, then whispers softly, into her ear, a moment of his breath on her neck. "And it'd be worth it in any case. Besides, I still have the sparkles."
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-03 09:53:06 26670
Amu's stubbornness doesn't recede at being accused of having an adoring public. "They don't idolize me," she argues with him, "they just want to use me to get to you. There was one girl who wanted me to help her become your girlfriend. She started a club for you. And then there's another girl who tries to take everything I have, and she's got like four girls that follow her around like her little cronies. And then there's this other girl who does everything she can to make me look like a fool. I don't think I'm as idolized as you think." Except they're both right.

"And anyways," Amu says, "I never wear the cape, so most people probably forget I'm a guardian. And even if I am a Guardian they think I'm only there because I'm your g..." here she cuts off, then begins to blush. She leans away a little so she can turn to look at Tadase, then blushes harder and looks away.
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 09:59:17 26672
Tadase just doesn't move or say anything. This world is sort of news to him, as insulated as he has been from it by the Queen's Chair's tireless efforts to keep less elegant classmates far away from disturbing the King's Chair. That is to say - most people don't risk approaching him with Nadeshiko there. So this strange little world of girls wanting to get to him is odd.

"I really had no idea." he says, a bit quietly. "But... the only way that club would ever get anywhere is if it had only one member, and her name was Amu Hinamori." he adds, after a moment of reflection. "Forget the cape, you're a Guardian in ways people know and people don't know. In a lot of ways you do a lot more guarding than the rest of us."

And he picks up on that blush, looking down at her a bit. "Stop worrying about your outer character, Amu-chan. Do you know what YOU want?"
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-03 10:03:34 26674
The blush doesn't go away. She just shakes her head and very slowly, gently, sits back up on her own. Amu's hand slides off of Tadase's leg to support her weight instead against the bench. "I don't know," she says quietly, lowering her eyes to the ground. It's not what she wants to say, but it's far more the truth.
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 10:15:58 26677
Maybe it was talking with Nagihiko that emboldened him, or maybe it's the quiet of the park in winter. Maybe it's the blushing that made him realize what he did wrong on more than one occasion, including at the dance itself.

But he looks at her, and if she looks up, he'll be looking right into her eyes. "It's true, I do like being looked up to, I like being a leader." he admits. "I want to be the king of my little world. But - this time away has made me realize - not more than I want to be with you. So... if it did come down to that, I'd choose my girlfriend over anything as silly as my 'reuptation' as a Guardian anytime."
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-03 10:28:04 26678
"T...Tadata," Amu says, eyes suddenly very wide at his choice of words. The blush on her face is genuine, as is the confusion. "Girlfriend," she repeats the word, then reaches up to cover her mouth in uncertainty.

Meanwhile, Miki is staring slack-jawed at Tadase, and Ran squealing excitedly, waving her pom-poms. After a moment, Miki turns to Kiseki in confusion, then realises her counterpart had nothing to do with this one. And so, very slyly, she aerial tackles Kiseki and plants a kiss right on the little king's lips.

Amu is far less brash. She averts her gaze eventually, but a slow smile creeps across her features. "S...sorry," she says quietly. "I just ... didn't know you wanted that."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-03 10:38:57 26680
Tadase, for his part, is not as brash as Miki either (or he wouldn't have Kiseki!) - though he's not about to walk back what he said. "I should've said it a lot sooner." he admits, quietly. "...but as long as you don't think I'm being too forward with that..." he says. That moment has somewhat gone, and for now he's snuck back to being the boy who needs his Chara to do public speaking. "...then yes, lets call it what it is. OR at least, what I... and I hope, you... want it to be."

Elsewhere, Kiseki is too busy being alternately impressed with Tadase's ability to find the words and frustrate at how brief a moment it is, and before he knows it, there's a small blue chara that's placed a kiss on his own lips. After tackling him! "H-hey! You can't just go around sneaking up on kings like that! I'm supposed to be the one initating the kissing!" Not that any of that's liable to get through to Miki. And not that KIseki is fighting his way out of the tackle-kiss-attack particularly hard.
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-06 09:01:05 27203
Miki's soft snigger of self-glee is barely audible over Kiseki's protestations. "Don't act like you didn't like it," she tells him. "Besides, a king should be beloved by his people, right? Well, kissing is a way to show love."

"Miki, I don't think that's ..." Ran starts to say, but the look Miki gives her silences the little pink Chara. Scaaaary.

Meanwhile, Amu leans just a little closer to Tadase once again. "I do want it," Amu says quietly. "But ... what about Nagihiko? I think he has a crush on me, too. I think that's part of why I've been so mad at him; in retrospect it seems so obvious that he's been interested in me all along." Arrogant much?
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-06 09:05:26 27204
"Well I think if everyone loved me like this it would be rather awkward!" Kiseki 'protests' but isn't really. He turns away a bit. But, notably, given the freedom of movement, he isn't moving any further away from Miki in any of the dimensions.

Tadase, on the other hand, probably noticably stiffens a bit for a moment. Then, though, he says quietly. "Well, I guess that's up to you. If you're not interested back, then I'm sure Nagahiko won't press the issue. Na-chan is a good friend to both of us."

This, of course, does not address the potentially discomforting or concerning issue of 'what if she is'.
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-06 09:12:02 27205
"I think it's something we should talk about," Amu says quietly, "all three of us. I think we owe it to him. If it weren't for Nadeshiko's constant manipulation, we might not ..." she trails off, then sighs. "You know."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-06 09:15:58 27206
And with that, it's Tadase's turn to shift uncomfortably on the bench. "Are you sure that's such a good idea?" he asks, looking at her. "I mean... if you're right, that's gonna be a sore spot - especially with all the time Na-Chan spent helping us along." No, Tadase's not that oblivious.

"And... do you want to talk about something like this so soon, while you're still trying to forgive Na-chan?" he asks, looking into her eyes. "But if it is a thing you feel like you need to do, of course I'll come." Even if the 'Nagihiko potentially crushing on Amu' subject is picking at him like someone tapping the back of his neck with a needle.
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-06 09:23:04 27207
Amu looks uncertain, and she hunches her neck a little. "I don't know," she half-whines. "I just feel like ... even if I'm still mad at him, he has done so much for us. Not just in our relationship but also separately, as our friend. If he does feel that way, isn't it better to learn about it sooner htan later? To address it now instead of ... you know, never? Besides, he's awfully close to you, too."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-06 09:31:24 27208
Tadase looks down a bit and nods. "I guess it would be better to know sooner rather than later, so we can deal with it one way or another." The ground has once again become extremly interesting to him. "I... yeah, we're really close. Less so lately, but there's a lot of things he trusted me with, and vice versa. Na-chan was the first one I told about... what I thought about you. And really encouraged me to spend more time with you."

"I just... I hope he'd tell us if that was the case. He's good at keeping secrets. He's just bad at letting them go."
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-06 09:37:24 27209
Amu sighs and closes her eyes, putting her head on Tadase's shoulder. She doesn't say anything else. There's really nothing else to say, and she's scared of what her next conversation with Nagihiko will be like--with or without Tadase. So instead she just stays quiet, huddled up to the boy that would be her boyfriend. It's a few moments before she breaks the silence to finally say, "After that ... if nothing changes ... then I can be your girlfriend."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-06 09:42:56 27210
Tadase doesn't know what to say either - and there's a large part of him that doesn't want to say anything, that doesn't want to ask any questions, that just wants to enjoy having her huddled against him. But there's also another part to Tadase - the part that may be shown often more clearly in Kiseki, but exists within him, too.

"...if nothing changes?" he asks, his voice even raising a bit against his intent. But he doesn't like where that line of thought leads. "so... what if something does change. If Nagahiko did like you, does that mean that everything else didn't count? Everything we did?"

Kiseki is dashing away from the other three and zipping around to float behind Tadase now, though he's not sure what he can do other than be closer. "Does that really change... us, Amu-chan?"
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-06 09:51:37 27211
Amu leans away, uncertainly, at Tadase's tone of voice. She turns to look at him, a grimace on her features. "It's not that it doesn't count," she says quietly. "It's just that we need ot figure out ... what it means. For all of us. I don't want to stop this," Amu says to Tadase. "I just don't want to ... I don't know. I don't want to mess everything up."
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-06 10:01:59 27212
Amu's grimace doesn't make him feel any -better-, of course, but he's just trying to get his point across, even if he's using the wrong attitude or words. He is, in effect, verbally flailing now. "I understand but, whatever it means, the only way anything gets messed up is if we let it change us." he says, emphatically.

Then, after a sigh. "Look, we'll talk to Na-chan, together and as soon as we possibly can, but... whatever comes of that doesn't change all of the things I just told you." And they were /so hard/ to get to come out right! "I believe in you, and I believe in us. It doesn't matter if the whole planet has a crush on you. Wether he does or not, he wouldn't be the only one who'll ever have feelings for you who's not me, I'm sure." he admits.

"But it's really about how much those feelings actually matter to you..." and then he says it. It might be walking into a verbal minefield, and it might be something he berates himself for later, but he says it and right now he looks pretty secure in doing so. "... it shouldn't matter more than what I said."
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-06 10:06:53 27213
Amu looks away, down towards the ground, where she doesn't have to see those intensely beautiful eyes. "I know," she mumbles. Only right now she's feeling like she doesn't "know" anything. So she just hugs herself and rubs at her arms. "I know," she repeats quietly. "And it probably won't matter. I just ... need to talk to him. And I need you to be there, too. Okay?"
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-06 10:10:38 27214
"I already told you I would be." he says. He meant it to be reassuring, of course, but he's still got that hurt feeling in his heart - because Nagihiko shouldn't have any effect on their relationship, he thinks - certain events in his life may have made him far more defensive about this than he might otherwise be.

So his tone may be more harsh than he means it - which probably only further confuses the matter when he leans over and hugs Amu while she's busy hugging herself. "I'll be there whenever and wherever you need me, okay?"
Amu Hinamori 2016-02-06 10:17:36 27215
Amu actually winces at that tone, and curls up a little tighter around herself, even when he hugs her. "Okay," she says quietly. But she doesn't sound okay. "I should probably get home," she notes. "I'll see you later, okay?"
Tadase Hotori 2016-02-06 10:20:26 27216
Tadase can feel that wince, that curl. It's like she's trying to insulate herself - from him, from the difficult questions, from the world? He doesn't know - maybe all of them. But he can feel it.

"I'll see you soon, Amu-chan." he says, correcting her 'later' subconsciously. "And if you need anything, anytime. Call me. And I don't just mean for hero business. I really mean it for anything." he says, hugging her a bit tighter before he lets her go - never entirely sure what to do in these situations.