Status

Recent Statuses

1 mo ago
Current Why is it that I can only find RPs I really want to join when my schedule is already so full I have to sacrifice eating and sleeping just to fulfill all my obligations? :|
1 mo ago
Bill Wurtz is my spirit animal.
1 like
1 mo ago
"HUMANS. They are... but stubborn... and... foolish...! It takes a journey to hell... for them to accept... and praise... their... God! A fact that tickles irony's judgement...!"
1 mo ago
My DND group decided to cut to the chase and just wander straight into the most dangerous looking area at level one. ...We were mauled by armies of two-headed dogs and now may be werewolves.
4 likes
2 mos ago
Am I the only one with Gloryhammer perpetually stuck in my head? Just minding my own business when suddenly GOBLIN KING OF THE DARKSTORM GALAXY, RIDE ON THE WINGS OF DOOOOOOOOM~ ...Pretty weird, huh?

Bio

Oh, hi. Thanks for checking in.

I'm an exceedingly enthusiastic roleplayer who's been writing for about ten years now and yet still hasn't managed to produce any kind of solo piece of writing worth reading. I like to consider myself a good writer, but that's kind of a matter of opinion, as many would argue that my tendency to ramble on at entirely excessive length about things is boring rather than interesting. I'm also incredibly OCD about formatting, so if you're wondering why my bios look so fancy, that's why. It's just something I do because... reasons, I guess.

Anyway, as you've probably noticed from my avatars and RP choices, I'm more than a bit of a fan of anime and manga, but also enjoy movies, video games, the occasional comic book... the list goes on. For you see, I am not a mere dork - I am the one spoken of in legends, the one whose dorkiness transcends all forms and boundaries. I am... the Legendary... OMNI-DORK!

...Anyway, thanks for dropping in to check on my profile! Hope to RP with you sometime!

Nyanpasu~.

Most Recent Posts


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𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #F50A83 ||| 𝔗𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #0A8BF5
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Reassured by Yoshida's answer, Fumika's slight frown softened back into her usual impassive expression, and the knot of hair atop her head slowly unwound itself once more into its usual crescent shape, bobbing back and forth as she contemplated his words. He seemed... happy. Her answer must have been a good one. She'd done it right after all, and hadn't been a nuisance. That was one weight off her shoulders. But then what did he mean about her comfort zone? True, she did feel a little less uneasy now, but that didn't really have anything to do with her. That was just because he was...

...Because of him? Now that she thought about it, that really was strange. If anyone else had been pressing her like this, she wouldn't have known what to do. If it had been Haruka, she'd probably just have given as simple an answer as possible and then quickly asked her something in return to bring the conversation back to something simpler. That was the simple solution - the path of least resistance. But she hadn't actually even considered doing that. Why was that? It wasn't like she'd come to talk to him specifically with the intention of telling him things that weren't relevant to him, that shouldn't have interested him, that, by all logical standards, should have just been bothersome to him. And yet, her first impulse when he'd asked her had been to tell him completely, despite all that. What was more bizarre, now that she'd said it and he'd smiled at her, she felt... happy? That smile. There was something contagious about it, and she'd begun mimicking it without even thinking. Because it was Yoshida - because he was smiling - because he was finally here, talking to her again... Something about all of that made her heart feel very warm.

Like an exceedingly fluffy mirror image of Yoshida himself, Fumika crossed her arms, and her head bobbed from one side to the other as he tilted his inquisitively to punctuate his question. She answered immediately, without any of the hesitation that had marked her earlier words.

"It was called Kamen Rider Wizard," She answered seriously, her choice of words making it rather obvious that she wasn't exactly as familiar with pop-culture as Yoshida himself. As she continued speaking, her unchanging tone of complete composure made it somewhat difficult to tell what exactly she'd thought of it. She rattled off a rather unexpected play-by-play analysis of what seemed to be the first episode she'd seen, her antenna twitching back and forth as she spoke with astonishing speed. It was a little hard to tell, given that her expression was a somewhat uncanny imitation of Kenichi's own, and her actual tone of speaking hadn't changed but... Whether she expressed it or not, she had been really into the show, hadn't she?

"The villains looked very strange, but it was still very cool. There was a a horned one, and his evil minions attacked the police in a big warehouse, but then this boy came in on a motorbike and sent them all flying, then fought back with a magic gun that shot silver bullets, so the horned one shot a fireball at him and there was a really big explosion, but then the boy sucked in all the fire with magic and came out in a hero costume and posed like - bam!" She struck a suitably flashy pose, sweeping out her left arm to one side, her hair fanning out behind her and curling to either side around her legs in what might have been her best attempt at imitating a coat fluttering dramatically in the wind. Slowly, she took a step forward, bringing her arm down before raising it slowly, deliberately, to one side of her face, and giving an icy, almost comically serious stare from behind it.

"'It's... showtime!'" She quoted, her voice low, each syllable emphasized to the extreme with an inflection that obviously wasn't her own.

...There was a prolonged silence. Her hair twitched uneasily back and forth. Her hand flopped anticlimactically down to her side and her intense expression immediately relaxed into a blank stare. She cleared her throat, and when she spoke, her voice was back to its calm, measured, methodical tones - just like always.

"Sorry. That was probably a very bad explanation. However, it was a very enjoyable show," She concluded earnestly.

@Zeroth

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𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #c9c916 ||| 𝔗𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #3F9CB1


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𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 ||007236
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She was finally starting to relax. It wasn’t difficult anymore. She could really… She could really afford to be herself. She didn’t have to worry about what he’d think, or what he’d say. Everything was going to be alright. She could finally tell him the truth, and then… No matter what he might say, she swore she wouldn’t regret it. IT would be difficult, but... It was the least she could do to be honest now after hiding so much for so long.

Well, perhaps not everything. There was still the matter of her greatest lie to set straight… And when that particular truth came to light, everything would have to change. But if she was hated, then it was no more than she deserved, anyway.

She sighed. Why was she thinking about this now? Even if that was the real reason why she’d allowed herself to be dragged along... No, no. This wouldn’t do. As a certain friend of hers would say, “A computer works best addressing one problem at a time.” There was still time before she’d have to tell the truth, so for now… couldn’t she be at least a little selfish? Couldn’t she enjoy this moment a little while longer?

No. No she could not. She stared in disbelief as Jett cheerfully denied her heartfelt request, throwing her own words back into her face. Was he… was he really still angry at her? Had he just been waiting all this time for her to let her guard down so he could hit her where it hurt? While she couldn’t claim that his pettiness was unjustified, still… How could he be so heartless? She opened her mouth, spluttering wordlessly as she tried to muster some kind of response, but he just grinned and laughed it off as a joke. Why… How... What… She gritted her teeth, her brow furrowing in a firm frown as her lips pursed themselves resolutely into an angry pout.

”You jerk…!” She tried to sound angry, but honestly, she was so relieved that her momentary fears had been unfounded that it was difficult to sound at all authoritative. And then he followed it up by saying such a stupidly earnest thing, and giving that damned smile like he always did… She made a herculean effort not to blush. This wasn’t good… He’d see right through her for sure.

“Even though I was being serious… Why can’t you just answer normally?” She grumbled, but he didn’t seem overly inclined to listen, and suggested that they go back. She supposed that was the reason why she’d come here… There wasn’t that much time left before school would be starting back home, and before they could return, she had wanted to spend at least one free day hanging out with Fumika. It was the best thing she could think of to encourage her, not even to mention…

One thing at a time.

“Fine… Let’s- Hey, what are you doing…?!”

Really, she should have known better, but when he’d simply taken her hand, she hadn’t actually felt that inclined to resist. After all, he wasn’t putting that much force on it. He wasn’t taking pity on her. To be sure, it was unexpected, but, honestly, she’d been elated for the small fraction of a second before he just as suddenly placed it upon his arm as a support… then snatched her crutch away right when she was distracted. Tugging on his arm, she tried to reach to grab it, but his arms were a great deal longer than hers, and he was at least a head taller, which would have make it difficult to reach even if she didn’t have to lean on him to keep her stupid fake leg from losing balance and letting her fall flat on her face. And to top it all off, why did he have to be so close?! Clinging to him like this was the last thing she wanted! ...Well, maybe not the last thing but- No, that wasn’t the point! Not like this! Definitely not like this!

“What the hell is your problem!? Give that back! I swear, I’m gonna friggin’ kick you if you keep this up!” She glared up at him, her eyes flashing with an impotent rage. “S… Stop grinning like that! This isn’t funny, Jett! Give me back my crutch!” Unable to reach around him, she gave up on the endeavor, and instead settled for unleashing a rain of rather feeble punches upon his head. In all honesty, she was still so weak from her hospitalization that they were probably little more than a mild inconvenience to him, but the resistance was gratifying to her in her present situation nevertheless.

Jett was expecting this type of reaction, and it was what he was hoping for, her slight flush covered up with an attempt to be angry at him, which turned into some weak punches upon his head. But it was all cute to him. He simply stood there and took it for a moment. ”I’m not laughing at your situation. I’m trying to help. But your little outburst is cute. It's hard not to smile at that.” He said as he held the crutch out to his side.

To be honest there was multiple reasons he did this, but he couldn’t share all of them. He rested the crutch to his right, out of her reach and raised his hand up to block her punches. You wanted to walk right?!” He asked very seriously as he looked at her with narrowed eyes feinting wincing at her blows. Then walk. Let me help you when you need it, but this crutch...is uh...a crutch in your development. He said, knowing it sounded stupid. Duh it was a crutch. So he added to his explanation. ”It’s been six months, since you lost your leg right? I’ve heard people where walking on their own in 3 or so. I know you can do it without it. So walk with me. He said with a warm smile, trying to show he was being as serious and supportive as he could.

Haruka slowly lowered her upraised fist. “...Didn’t you hear me before?” She asked quietly. “I wanted to walk on my own. Without troubling anybody else. If you’re going to be my support, then you might as well just teleport us both there, or get me a wheelchair and push. Leaning on you like this isn’t getting me anywhere.” She sighed, the fight gone from her voice. Now that he’d deigned to be serious, it would just be childish to continue bickering. “Besides, it’s not that simple. Do you know how many of these legs I’ve gone through? This one’s my fourth. It’s because every time I try to walk without a crutch, I get a little too used to it and stop holding back. If I put even the slightest amount of weight on this and let my Quirk slip even a little… You know how it is. Either I’m not using it at all, or it all comes out full blast. If I tried to go faster than tiptoeing, I’d overbalance myself, and that’s if I was lucky, not even to mention...”

Jett raised his hand to stop her. ”I understand, But if you want to walk again without any support, you’re going to have to sacrifice more legs. You’re going to have to learn how to regulate your quirk more, and that doesn’t come from relying on a crutch. Knowing you will be safe by not breaking your leg. Four legs or Four Hundred, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you don’t become reliant on this crutch. Yeah you’re going to fall a lot, and you’re going to have to rely on others for support, but it’s not weakness if you keep on pushing yourself till you don't fall, or rely on others. That’s strength. That’s the strength I always saw in you Haruka, that strength I admired since I met you.”

He took a few steps away, picking up the crutch as he did. He looked back to her expectantly. Well? Shall we? Just to the dorm building, then I'll give your crutch back.

Haruka let go of his sleeve as he pulled away and sighed. “...Please give it back to me.” She was no longer pleading or yelling at him, merely making a polite request. Her expression seemed slightly downcast… or was she angry? She was biting the inside of her lip, and looked grave.

Jett looked at her long and hard for a moment. Before allowing his head to fall with his own sigh...perhaps he pushed a little too much. Trying to make up for the last six months in the last six minutes. He slowly moved back to her and set it just infront of her, not looking at her in the eye. Haruka nodded, took hold of it… and then promptly let it go. It clattered to the ground between them, and she stepped gingerly, cautiously over it. Her footing was unsteady, but as she teetered on the verge of stumbling, she turned around, and supported herself by leaning directly against him without any apparent hesitation.

“Hold me up for a sec, will ya?”

His eyes shot open with surprise when she allowed it to fall, he watched as she slowly stepped over it and turned her back to him. He resisted the urge to reach out and stop her from falling, but she then leaned back against his chest, causing his face to somehow get really warm.

When she asked for him to hold her up for a second, he immediately complied. Placing his hands on both of her arms. Wondering what she was trying to do. He received an answer a moment later as, the joints of her artificial leg clattering slightly with the strain suddenly placed upon it, she raised her foot up and brought it down on the crutch. The wood gave way in an instant, and it snapped like a twig as a crack spread out beneath it in the pavement. She looked up at him, the lines of energy created by her Quirk glowing a pale gray as they ran up her cheeks and framed her burning amber eyes. She stuck out her tongue and grinned cheekily.

“Idioooot~! You thought I was gonna chicken out, didn’tcha!” She jeered in a sing-song voice, relishing at the chance to finally turn the tables on him. That disappointed look on his face, and now that disbelieving stare he was giving her… She’d repaid him in full for his teasing earlier!

“It’s my policy to never half-ass anything. If it’s in my way, then I’ll just break it to bits and figure my own path out later.” Saying that much was easy, but really, there still was a problem to be accounted for here. As her Quirk’s energy faded out once more, she turned slightly, placing a hand on his sleeve and speaking in a slightly softer voice.

“And… I guess… I don’t mind being helped a little bit, if it’s you.” She stared him seriously in the face. ”But you’re the one who asked for this, so don’t you dare back down on your offer, alright?”

Jett was definitely quite surprised when she snapped her own crutch in half. As she looked at him and stuck her tongue at him, he couldn’t help but smile. There she was. He simply nodded as she jeered at him.

He watched as she took his sleeve and turned slightly towards him. He didn’t realize his face was still red from having her so close to him, especially when she looked up at him with her head against his chest.

He nodded and said, ”I wouldn’t have offered If I wasn’t totally serious about it.” He said with a confident smile.

“Good.” She nodded, evidently having gotten over her earlier trepidation, and feeling quite satisfied with herself. “Then your first task for helping me is to pick those pieces up, because…” Haruka gave a sheepish grin. “I don’t think I can stoop that far without falling on my face, and I just… kind of realized I have no idea where the nearest trash can is.”

Jett laughed, I’m half tempted to see you try... he said as he bent down next to her, picking up the pieces. ”How is it I’m always the one to clean up your messes? he added with a joking tone as he stood back up after picking up all the pieces.

Haruka frowned for a moment, but then seemed to brighten and shot him a sly grin in return. “Don’t even get started on that,” She said with an oddly smug tone. “I can think of plenty of times where you were the one dragging me head-first into trouble. For example, I seem to remember this one incident… Something about a car?”

He simply narrowed his eyes at her as she brought up a car. He didn’t say anything as he took a deep breath and slipped some of the smaller pieces into his pockets and shifted it around so he could hold all the pieces in one bundle. ”Ready then...General?”

“Indeed!” She responded with gusto, standing a bit more rigidly upright and giving a rather bombastic laugh. However, after this show of bravado in response to her old title, she stopped suddenly, and seemed to think about it for a moment. “Although, I guess there’s no real point in me holding onto that stupid title anymore, is there? Even if I did become a hero, ‘General of Spring Winds’ would make a pretty stupid name. Man, what was I even thinking?” She gave a slight laugh, and seemed to be on the verge of saying something else, but thought better of it and shook her head.

“Well, whatever. Fumi’s probably waiting, so let’s head over and say hi.” She shrugged, then blinked. “Actually, that raises a different question. How do you know Fumi so well, anyway?” Her eyes narrowed. “Don’t tell me… you weren’t hitting on her, were you?”

Jett pulled his head back, clearly hurt by her statement… I NEV…. He thought back to all their encounters. Putting his finger to his lips as he racked his brain. Then nodding once he confirmed with himself. I’ve never! Flirted with Fumika. She’s just like a little sister ya know? She’s in my class, That’s how I know her.

“Like a little sister, huh?” Haruka gave a slightly wry smile. “I think I know what you mean.” She shook her head slightly. “Well, I’m glad. How has she been doing? With everyone, I mean. It seemed fine when we were at dinner, but… She’s been properly getting along with everyone, hasn’t she? She hasn’t gotten into any fights, or ignored anyone - anything like that?” Her questions came one right after the other, spoken in the tone of a voice one might expect a concerned mother to use.

He smiled as he looked at her in a new light. I don’t know exactly, I’ve been busy with other stuff. All I know is that the entire class respects her, she put up a hell of a fight in the two exams we had so far. I think she might have a little thing for Takeshi Yashiro, she’s been his shadow for a bit. But it seems he enjoys her company… Sadly I’ve been dealing with my own things and havent’ really had the chance to really hang out with her as much as I wanted to.” He said contemplating. She's an adorable tough cookie…

Haruka squinted at him a bit, seeming a bit skeptical, then shrugged somewhat dismissively. “I think you may be exaggerating a bit. It’s probably just because she doesn’t like stepping out of her comfort zone, so she prefers to stay in people’s shadows, as you put it. Still… That’s good to know.” She smiled again. “So she’s been working just as hard as ever, then... I’m proud of her. Under different circumstances… I think she’d have been a great addition to our team, y’know?” She grinned, raising a hand and cracking her knuckles. “‘I ask of you: What is a Hero?!’” She recited in a suitably dramatic voice, only to cut herself off as her balance began to wobble slightly, and she swiftly dropped her posturing and caught herself on Jett’s sleeve once again.

“Actually, I taught her our whole routine. The poses, speeches… everything we came up with as kids. We trained together, and she said one day she was going to be my sidekick, once we made our break as heroes together. And when the accident happened, the very first thing she said to me was that she’d become a hero in my place.” She sighed quietly. “She’s a good girl. But, you know, her saying that made me want to slap her across the face. Like, ‘If you don’t want to do it, then don’t! Don’t become a hero if your heart’s not in it.’ Something like… like that.” She trailed off, giving an awkward chuckle. “I don’t know. I was never good at telling her the things I think now, looking back, she really needed to hear. Guess I’m a pretty terrible role model, huh?”

Jett raised an eyebrow when she mentioned she would have would have been a great addition to the team, glancing at her as she shifted and started to go into the embarrassing monologue that she forced him to memorize. He grimaced at the thought of having to do it here, but she was cut off by her balance. Which he sighed inwardly in relief. He always found it so embarrassing to do..and only did it to stop her from nagging him. She was being generous with the ‘everything we came up with as kids.’ almost all of it was her. He smiled at the memories even though they hurt mentally.

But then she mentioned she taught Fumika all those lines and poses. And he just couldn’t see it. Maybe a little but the thought was funny. He looked to her as she mentioned she was a terrible role model. He thought for a moment to find the right thing to say. He shrugged. “I agree… terrible. Breaking into schools and skipping class and sleeping in a bush… “ He said with a smirk before adding. “ I think you taking her under your wing and teaching her those embarrassing poses and speeches is what made you a terrible role model. But that aside, she seems to be doing awesome here… even if she’s an odd duck, you might have put her on the path she needed to be on. Nothing wrong with that…”

Haruka didn’t respond immediately, and her eyes seemed suddenly fixated once more on the ground beneath her as she walked. For a moment, the air between them was as tense as it was silent, before she finally spoke in an uncharacteristically quiet voice. “I’m not so sure about that.” She sighed quietly. “Don’t you think it’s strange?” She asked at last, looking up to Jett with a surprisingly earnest expression. “You’ve hung out together with her a lot, right? But… have you ever seen her actually doing anything outside of classes? I’ve been keeping in touch with her constantly myself, and she hasn’t told me about anything except her training, what projects she’s been working on, the things she’s learned in class… That sort of stuff.” She seemed to be anticipating some kind of response, but evidently didn’t get the reaction she’d been hoping for, as a moment later she sighed once again and lowered her head. “I don’t know. I just worry about her, because I… I got her into all this, right? Even I can’t really tell what she’s thinking, or what she wants… If she’s just doing all this for me, then I...” She trailed off again. “Never mind.”

He furrowed his eyebrows and looked at her when she said she didn’t know about that. Before he could ask what she meant she went on to explain. He tried to think of things she did outside of class...admittedly he wasn’t really looking for her as he had his own quirk issue dragging on his mind. But he couldn’t really think of anything off the top of his head. His lips twisted to the side of his face as he realized somewhat of what she was saying.

He looked over to Haruka for a moment. It was nice to see her like this, worried about someone like this. She seemed to have matured….Perhaps only a little… but still it put a dorky smile on his face. He reached up and flicked her pigtail gently, something he always did to get her attention… and he really enjoyed flicking them just because. “Well why don’t you ask her then? She seems to be one who will give you a straight answer. Though… sometimes…” He trailed off as he looked into Haruka’s eyes. “Sometimes we do stuff for someone else. Because we want to in our hearts.”

He thought back to all those things they did together as kids. All those embarrassing moments and new things he tried. Was to make her happy...which...in turn made him happy. He turned red slightly and rubbed the back of his head. “I don’t know… But what I do know, is if you just taaaalk to her about it.” He said poking her side gently. “You don’t have to worry as much about her.”

Haruka nudged him back, grumbling under her breath, but then nodded. “You’re right. Of course you’re right. I know that much already,” She said with a sigh. “I guess I just… don’t really know how to break it to her that I’m not the kind of person she thinks I am.” She lowered her shoulders with a slight shrug, but forced a smile and kept on walking toward the dorms, side by side with her old friend. “I guess there’s no point worrying about it now. There’s still time for that. For now, I just want to make sure she’s happy. Making up for the things I did and didn’t say can come later.”

Jett when she nudged him back, he allowed himself to almost be pushed over, exaggerating the amount of push she gave him. Then slowly tilted back onto both feet after a moment. He then straightened his back and shoulders when she said he was right. In a joking smug face of, ‘of course i’m right.’ though it went away when she added that she should tell her how she really was He cocked his head to the side… perhaps Fumika took it quite literal when Haruka acted like a dork with her moves and stances. Was it that she was referring too? Did she not have a tsundre side while dealing with Fumika? Would make sense as she was a fluff of tough cookies. Few could actually handle Haruka’s real personality… well… to his knowledge, only he could. But he didn’t know how much Fumika witnessed.

Hmmm I don’t know… you’re not quite the same Haruka I remember…” he said with a smile in a casual voice. “Its kinda cute how you worry about Fumika, kinda like a big sister. I haven’t seen that side of you.” He looked at her and smiled even more. A genuine smile, which even his eyes joined in. ”I think you are just being too hard on yourself. No matter what you do, you seem to leave a lasting impression with those you befriend.”

Haruka frowned somewhat, and seemed torn, but if she had her doubts about what Jett said, she evidently decided not to elaborate upon them, answering only in a somewhat cryptic manner. “I guess so… I just hope that impression is a good one.” As usual, she’d ended up dancing around the thing she worried about most - even more than she’d worried about Jett ending up hating her. After all, only her feelings were at risk of being disappointed in that situation. She could live with that. Her problems had always been her own. It was best that way. But, if her own actions were to blame for Fumika’s problems, then that would be a different story. Of course, there was very little “if” about it. The girl thought the world of her - that much was obvious. But how much could she actually live up to that unrealistic opinion, when really, she’d just been-

No. Now wasn’t the time to worry about that. The truth could come later. Not yet. She wasn’t ready to risk her hatred, too. Just a little more time. She wanted to spend just a little more time being happy. Of course it was selfish, but when wasn’t she a selfish person? So, for just a little while longer, she pushed her fears out of her mind, hoped, and prayed for the best.
I'm still here, too. I was just waiting on Sloth to post, but if need be, I can put up a Luka post without him.

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𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #F50A83 ||| 𝔗𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #0A8BF5
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Fumika raised her head slightly, her brows seeming to jolt upward momentarily with what might have been surprise. Why was it, she wondered, that he could so easily say the opposite of what everyone else had always told her, and yet make her want to believe it anyway? The way he put it was simple, matter of fact. It made perfect sense. He wouldn't be talking to her, asking her these things if he thought she was boring, would he? But then... He'd told her not to approach him before, right? But then again, he'd gotten hurt somehow and couldn't talk about it... Maybe that had been because he was worried about her? Then, right now... he was telling the truth? Right? He wouldn't lie to her about something like this. He wanted to her about her. He actually cared what she was thinking about, what she'd been doing. She felt grateful, and yet...

...She had absolutely no idea where to begin. She'd been thinking about so many different things, but hadn't said any of them to anyone because she didn't want to be a nuisance. Each individual thought, burned into her perfect memory, jumped forth with crystal clarity, all clamoring to be spoken now that she finally had the chance.

"I... Umm..." She hesitated. There were too many words, too many things to say. Nothing would come out.

The view from her window was pretty. The fifth book she'd "read" the day before had an interesting hero who kind of reminded her of him. Haruka had been acting strange since her argument with Jett. She still needed to record a few things for her Quirk Usage project and, even if she could just have her copies do it for her, for some reason she'd considered asking him to help her even though it would have been bothersome and she'd thought he was mad at her. During this conversation alone, she hadn't been able to help using her Quirk to scan him at least three more times when she was sure he wasn't paying attention to her, just to confirm that he wasn't really seriously hurt anymore. For some reason, when he smiled at her, she felt lonely and didn't know why.

...For some reason, it didn't feel like she could say most of those things. The former were too unrelated to anything. There wasn't a reason to talk about them, and he hadn't asked. And as for the latter three... For some reason, she just felt like it would be very bad to talk about them. It made her face feel hot, and she felt very uncomfortable all of a sudden.

But she needed to say something - needed to answer his question. She rubbed her hair against her cheeks. She was calm. Calm. Now answer.

"Hmmm... I have a roommate now. Her name is Hatori-san." She turned around, motioning to where she thought the girl in question would be standing, only to realize that she wasn't there. Had she left her behind? She was sure Hatori had been following her... Right. She'd broken into a run for some reason, which meant...

...I was too fast and left her behind.

"...Oh." She murmured, her bangs wriggling in disappointment. She glanced back to Yoshida with a slightly sheepish look. "Umm... Anyway, she's very nice. And really strong. Oh, but when she fights, it's actually a bit scary... But she's nice, so it's alright. We're friends now. I think." That was one question, at least. But he'd asked so many. What was next?

"And... I also made friends with a few other people in class, too. Like Reina and Jett. Oh. And I visited Haruka the other day, too. We had pizza and watched a show about superheroes. It was fun."

As she spoke, a faint but nevertheless warm smile had, for the briefest of moments, crossed her face. She'd managed to answer all of his questions. She was finally keeping up with his pace without being left behind! But... how long could she really do this before it would become a problem? Already, it was getting to be a bit difficult to judge how much she should and shouldn't say. She didn't want to be a nuisance, and most of what she had to think about wasn't as interesting as whatever Yoshida might want to talk about anyway... And yet, he'd asked her to say more about herself. How much was more? Unable to answer this for herself, she stopped, frowned, and tilted her head slightly to the side, her upright antenna of hair curling itself slowly into a confused spiral.

"...Is talking like this... better? I'm sorry. I don't usually talk this much, so it's... difficult."

@Zeroth

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𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #FF741D ||| 𝔗𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #DFD989
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As her two unexpected companions had begun conversing amongst themselves, Asuka had obligingly remained silent. Having to be so passive all the time was, to be sure, mildly infuriating. She thrived on conversation, on being the center of everyone's attention and directing the flow of the talk how she wanted. And yet, time and time again, all she could do was stand around staring at her phone and pretending to be engrossed by nothing in particular, zoning out from conversations in which she was not welcome.

It was, of course, to be expected. After all, these kids were all heroes in training. It made sense that their concerns and interests - and thus, their topics of conversation - would be completely different from those in which she could readily participate. Still, hearing nothing but talk of training and martial arts couldn't but grate on her nerves after a while. It was just like listening to her own big sister and Harukaze. It was always the same stupid stuff, rehashed over and over again, how such and such hero was cool, or how they'd done such and such training in such and such way at such and such time. While she knew Kasuke wasn't as socially stunted as her sister, she wasn't so sure about the rest of the kids at this school. Couldn't they talk about normal stuff at all? Like what new TV show had just come out, or where they wanted to go shopping and what they wanted to buy, or what music they had been listening to, or the stupid thing their brother's friend's cousin had shown them, or... or something, anything - literally anything other than just fighting, nonstop, 24/7!

Thankfully, she was distracted from one frustration by another. Her sister walked into the room and, as expected, ignored her presence completely in order to strike up a conversation with her cute friend. Of course, the thing she immediately latched onto was his injuries, just as she had expected. With those unfair eyes of hers, of course that'd be the first thing she noticed. And, playing her part with gusto, of course she'd immediately act all worried over him, and then would probably pretend to be impressed when he passed off his injuries like they were nothing, and say something like "You're so cool!" in that dumb, airy way she always did. Her sister had become such a master of sliding her way into people's good opinions by feeding their egos that Asuka was almost inclined to be jealous. No, she would most certainly have been jealous, if the prideless, airheaded way in which she acted to do it wasn't so insulting to her. And of course, everyone just bent over backwards to accommodate her, giving her exactly the attention she wanted, the attention that she hadn't been able to get anywhere else.

...Her thoughts had just turned in a very unpleasant direction again. Asuka sighed. Staying to watch this would only make her question herself and her plans. When Kasuke declared her own intentions to leave, the green-eyed blonde was all too willing to join her.

"Hmm... I suppose I should go, too. I need to tell Harukaze, now that I've found my sister." She returned the rather pointed look Kasuke had sent her way, and gave a slight grin. "It should be alright. I don't think she'll be going anywhere for a while, so I can probably afford to leave these two alone." Giving a slight chuckle, she motioned her friend towards the door, but was unable to resist glancing back over her shoulder and giving one final parting remark.

"Do take care of my sister for me, Yoshida-san," She suggested, so innocently that she could only be teasing. "She can be a bit oblivious sometimes, so be sure she doesn't wander off with anyone else.~" She gave a slight giggle. "Before I come back, that is," She added, so naturally that of course, that was the only thing she could have been talking about.

She turned and headed out the door, holding it open for Kasuke to follow after her, all the while shooting her new friend - and, if her own efforts to depart quickly were any indicator, probable accomplice - another sly grin.

@Silver Carrot



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𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #F50A83 ||| 𝔗𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #0A8BF5
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Fumika's frown of worry softened slightly at his words, but never quite went away, even as he continued with his explanation. He couldn't tell her? Why? That didn't make sense. People only kept secrets when the truth would cause them difficulties. Then did that mean that if the story of how he'd been hurt got out, Yoshida would be in trouble? But why? It still didn't make sense. He was a nice person. He wouldn't do anything bad that would get him into a situation like that. There must have been some kind of mistake. But then why else wouldn't he tell her? Maybe because if she knew, it would put her in danger? That seemed more like him... so much more like him, in fact, that it seemed almost certain to be the case. But then in that case, didn't this all seem really dangerous? What kind of trouble had he gotten himself into? He'd been fighting someone... someone who even he couldn't beat. What was he trying to protect her from? Just like that, her worries only increased, but, as he'd already firmly stated that he couldn't tell her, she couldn't even find anything to say to give voice to them.

Even so, he seemed happy. But the longer he spoke, the more Fumika realized that his words were all wrong. What did he mean, saying that he wasn't great? This was the same Yoshida who had so eagerly encouraged her on the first day of classes, who had worked so hard to become a Hero, who was so much faster and stronger than her! Of course that wasn't true... But like always, he moved so fast. Before she could even say anything or try to encourage him, he had already moved to asking how she had been.

She opened her mouth to answer, but slowly came to the realization that there really wasn't much to say. She had kept training, had done her homework, and had done her best in the battle exercises for Hero class. She'd even managed to make some decent progress on her Quirk Applications report. But that wouldn't really matter to Yoshida, would it? In that case, herself... But what had she done aside from that? She'd spent some time with Haruka whenever she visited... and she'd been trying really hard to get along with her new roommate... But all of that wasn't really important either. After all, nobody ever really cared about what she did or thought. It wasn't at all interesting or special. Talking about herself would only bore him, so why had he asked? And yet, he had asked, which meant she'd have to answer.

"I've been fine," She responded curtly. She wasn't lying. Well, maybe... Technically speaking, she had gotten hurt a bit in the last exercise. But that was to be expected, and her wounds had all healed very quickly. So then why did she feel like she wasn't telling the truth? Why was it that her chest felt so tight? She had wanted to see him, but now that he was here, just talking was difficult. It didn't make any sense at all.

She wanted to say something, anything, so forced herself to continue a little further. She tried to think of it as talking to herself rather than to someone else, hoping it would help her focus and find the right words, but even then, she didn't really know what to say, and so jumped haphazardly from one thought to the next. "I worked hard in training, but I still lost. My teammates were very nice, though, and didn't get angry with me even when I slowed them down. Well, one of them wasn't actually nice. He was your replacement. He saved me from falling, but then he dropped me on the ground, and during the fight he apparently hurt a bunch of people. I haven't seen him since then, but I think I dislike him. He's very strong, but he's not nearly as cool as Yoshida. ...Oh. That is, he's not as cool as you are."

She trailed off completely, pursing her lips and exhaling quietly as her bangs, which had been curling rather wildly out to either side, let out a quiet crackle of static and slowly descended, like curtains being lowered ignominiously on a failed performance to cover the actors and conceal their shame from their silent audience. Her antenna flopped over completely, dangling across the bridge of her nose and twitching slightly with pent-up impotent frustration. Her expression didn't change, save for a slight frown as she reached up to adjust the glasses that her writhing hair had slightly displaced, but something in her eyes as they peeked between curtains of smooth, shiny hair seemed dark and gloomy by comparison.

"Sorry," Fumika said quietly at last, her voice slightly tense as she lowered her head ever-so-slightly in what might have been a bow. "I'm very bad at talking, so I'm probably being very boring." The silence that followed was practically tangible, and she couldn't help but shrink slightly. Whatever the right words might have been in this situation, even someone as dense as her couldn't help but feel that her own words must have been sorely lacking by comparison.

Yoshida must have been so disappointed. He had finally come back like he'd promised to, and she couldn't even hold a decent conversation. She fretted, fussed, twisted and tugged slightly at the ends of her braids, hoping the warmth of her own hair rubbing against her cheeks would give her whatever strength or assurance she needed to dispel such thoughts. To her consternation, however, the soft strands actually felt cold to the touch. No, that wasn't it, but rather, her face was already strangely warm...? Now that she noticed it, in fact, everything about the way she felt was strange. Fumika didn't feel well at all, all of a sudden. But why? Was this that strange kind of "wanting" she'd experienced before? But why would she be lonely? She didn't understand it one bit, and that frustrated her to no end.

She'd gotten what she wanted. He was right there, so why did she still feel lonely?

@Zeroth
Sloth and I didn't really particularly care to do a long drawn out dice battle, so we just did a short scripted thing instead. I think that's okay, since it's not like the outcome of this battle has any real effect on the plot beyond giving Zander a reason to bother Luka in the future? If not, we can always come up with stats for Sylas and do a full length battle. @Vertigo

Toukotan Park, The Asterisk
Spring, SY 3233/UC 233/AY 117

On an ordinary day, the park was quite a beautiful, peaceful place.

Indeed, Princess Lukarya Amarant, for all her dignity and pride, could easily afford to stoop to give such a simple place as this that much praise. Naturally, it paled in comparison to the size and awe-inspiring magnificence of the Golden Garden which sprawled across an entire deck of the Worldship Rysslind. A single one of the exotic specimens populating that glorious landscape was likely worth more than this entire plaza. In fact, even the small "green room" aboard her yacht was put together with a greater variety and a keener eye for art than this haphazard arrangement of a few trees, flowers, and shrubs.

Nevertheless, the simulated breeze was calming. The plaza wasn't frequently very busy, and as such, the air was very quiet and still, silent save for the rustling of the leaves in the trees. The grass was green and well-tended, and all in all, it was the perfect place to sit in quiet contemplation, and perhaps compose a few lines of a poem, or hum the tune of a beloved song. In short, it was the closest thing to a place of true culture and beauty the Princess could find on board the painfully artless and practical Asterisk station, and as such, she had begun to make a custom of frequenting the park whenever she had little else to do, as an aid both to her relaxation and to her art.

...Of course, all of this was only the case on a normal day, and today was anything but normal. With an obnoxiously loud yell of exertion that completely shattered her pleasant reverie, one airborne figure slammed headlong into another across the street. A torrent of fire was scattered by a spiral of invisible air, sending a double helix of sparks and ashes raining over the park, singeing the green boughs of the trees, tragically decimating the vibrant green grass, and, worst of all, getting soot in her meticulously styled hair.

"Just what do these barbarians think they're doing...?!" Princess Lukarya hissed, gawking at the spectacle with her eyes wide and her jaw slack. Her astonishment was only momentary, however, as her teeth very swiftly gritted themselves to stifle an unthinkably vulgar growl. Her outward show of disbelief was already well on its way to becoming a most un-ladylike rage before she even thought of composing herself - by which time, one of the two airborne figures had already been knocked straight out of the sky and crashed headlong into a nearby park bench, shattering it in a shower of split planks and splinters.

The raised heels of her boots clacked against the pavement as the red-eyed girl strode purposefully towards the fallen combatant, taking a deep breath and calming herself as best she could. Her hand twitched slightly, and the red ribbon wrapped around her left forearm flashed brightly as the winged black crest emblazoned upon it began to glow. Of course, if these imbeciles had any propriety whatsoever, they would surely know this emblem as the personal sigil of the Amarant family's youngest Princess, their fellow student and natural superior. Surely, they would recognize this obvious fact, and, if she simply exerted her authority, she could put an end to this nonsense. As a proper lady herself, she was the highest authority present on the scene. As such, it was her responsibility to correct her fellow students' misbehavior. After all, it was her duty as princess to protect and uplift the lower classes, was it not? This little farce had gone on for far too long as it was. It was a public safety hazard and a smear upon her own reputation as a student of the Asterisk!

But of course, she couldn't just throw herself into the middle of such an unseemly brawl. That would make her no better than an uncultured pig herself. No, she could afford to wait. After all, one combatant was already down, and would need time to rise again before the fight could continue. She could simply interpose herself and demand both parties to stand down before the battle could resume. She wouldn't even need to get her hands dirty. Yes, yes, this would do nicely! So reasoning, she strode forward, standing directly in front of the fallen boy who'd crashed into the bench, staring down at him with brilliant red eyes as her silver hair fluttered in the last echoes of the wind that had carried him hence. That would be sufficient for an entrance, and given his current position on the ground beneath her, the Princess could forgive the boy for not bowing of his own volition. Thus satisfied, she turned her attention to his airborne adversary, who, touching down a short distance away, began to approach slowly, hands still clenched into fists. It seemed now was her time to act, and thus, the princess spoke up.

"I demand that you cease this nonsense at-"

Princess Lukarya didn’t have the opportunity to finish her sentence before she was unceremoniously cut off by the very person she’d been trying to stop.

”Make way. This is between me and the delinquent.”

The Princess’ eyebrow twitched.

“...Do pardon me, I must have misheard you.” She gave a rather disturbingly forced laugh, staring him down with barely controlled outrage that only, after a few seconds of struggling to regain her composure, gave way to an absolutely unconvincing smile. “Surely you didn’t say what I think you just said. Just to be clear, you - some two-bit fighter who I have neither seen nor heard of before - did not just order me to ‘make way.’ That would be absurd!”

The boy in question couldn’t be bothered to muster much more than a disappointed frown, although he did have the dignity to halt his approach and place a now broken pair of glasses into one of the pockets of his uniform before addressing her again, with about as much disdain as one could possibly muster.

”I’ll have you know I’m Sylas Flaurience.”

He allowed his statement to linger in dead air for a few seconds for emphasis.

”Can’t say I’ve heard anything about some pretentious little girl getting in other people’s business.”

The “little girl” in question couldn’t help but find that her hands had, at some point, clenched themselves into fists. Her expression was frozen as it had been a moment before in that same painfully forced smile, as if her face was having trouble keeping up with the sheer incredulity and rage she now felt. What… What had he just called her? What had this complete imbecile hotshot with his unspeakable delusions of grandeur just had the sheer, inconceivable audacity to call her?!

“Well, well, fancy that!” Her voice practically oozed with false politeness as she all but spat her words through gritted teeth. “Now I know your name, and I still haven’t the slightest idea what makes you worth so much of my time as I deign to give to the gentleman who shines my boots! Are you unaware of who I am? Are you simply an idiot? Or perhaps, despite your earlier words to the contrary, you are attempting to pick a fight with me.” She gave another forced laugh, craning her head slightly and raising a hand to cover her mouth as she performed the most ear-piercingly shrill and scornfully derisive cackle she was capable of.

“Ohohohohoho~! I’m right, aren’t I? Very well, then - you leave me little choice. Consider this an honor! Since you so stubbornly refuse to respect your betters, I suppose it falls to me to educate you!” As she spoke, the ribbon around her upraised arm unfurled itself completely, stretching outward and draping itself over both of her shoulders, seeming to float there of its own accord like the raiment of an oriental goddess. By now, she had completely forgotten her original purpose. In its place, a smug sneer slowly crept across her face as, at last, her fury overturned all attempts at composure. The Princess spread her arms, the long strand of ribbon behind her slowly spiraling and wrapping around them as she entered a relaxed, open posture not unlike the stance of a dancer taking her opening bow. She raised her head, slowly bringing up her arms as the ribbons began to twist and spiral into the air.

“I, Third Princess Lukarya Ahn-Rysslind fon Zahria Amarant, will put an end to your impudence!” She declared, then brought down both arms violently downward. The ends of the ribbon cracked like a whip, descending violently from either side of Sylas with unexpected force and weight, more like the strikes of a flail than the lashings of a flimsy bit of cloth.

Sylas’ expression had, up until that moment, been one of smug assurance, and even, for a moment, mild amusement. He hadn’t bothered to move from his position even as his new opponent had begun deploying her M.A.I.D., eyeing her ribbons with scorn. As a general rule, M.A.I.D.s were in some sense a physical weapon, and how much damage could a bit of cloth possibly do? However, upon hearing her name, his expression had contorted slightly, eyes widening in momentary surprise for just a split second, realizing only too late that maybe - just maybe - he'd bitten off more than he could chew. In an instant, he released a blast of wind from his palms, launching upward into the air and slipping between the descending ribbons, flipping head over heels and bringing down a mighty cyclonic punch towards the girl, hoping he could knock her down and then quickly distance himself, disengage, and come up with some kind of plan before it was too late.

But the dancing Princess had never stopped moving, even as her attack missed. She spun, the ribbons retracting themselves in a red blur as she whirled about like a dervish, crossing her arms as the ends of both ribbons jumped up and wove themselves together into a cross-shaped barricade, then hardened, intercepting the incoming fist. A shockwave spread outward around the point of impact as dust and rubble shot into the air in all directions, but Lukarya merely grinned, standing secure at the eye of the storm as her coat flapped wildly behind her. She uncrossed her arms, the ribbons attached to each continuing to stretch and twist around her assailant’s outstretched arm. Lowering herself, she twisted the ribbon from both ends, and Sylas let out a cry as his body spun like a top before being rather indecorously slammed downward into the dirt. In that very instant, the Princess had already dismissed her M.A.I.D., the long red ribbon spiraling around her and shrinking back into her armband once again as she tossed her hair with a flippant air, and let out another long, mocking laugh. Sylas looked down and realized that he was kneeling, and his face flushed with anger and shame.

“So you can show respect, after all!” Princess Lukarya exclaimed through her now all-too-genuine laughter. “That wasn’t so hard, now, was it?” As she spoke, she pivoted, arms spread wide in a theatrical pose as if inviting applause. When none was forthcoming from the hushed, confused crowd, she let out an irritated sigh and dropped her hands back to her sides. As her temper cooled, she began to wonder what exactly she had been doing, and realized that she had completely forgotten her original intention of breaking up the fight. Well… even so, the fight was technically over now, so she had succeeded, right? She decided not to think about the part where she had stooped to the same level as the “uncultured pigs” she had been trying to stop, and thus instead moved right onward to the more comfortable step of cementing her victory.

“Well, then!” She exclaimed all-too-cheerfully, clapping together her gloved hands as if dusting them off. “I do believe that concludes this little squabble, yes?” She gave a sly smirk to her defeated adversary, as if daring him to stand back up and try again, but then turned her attention to the dazed boy who was at last hauling himself out of the rubble. “Unless, of course, there are any other objections,” She added, rather pointedly patting her armband and staring him down.

But at that moment, she was slightly distracted, because she heard some rather loud sirens getting very close all of a sudden.

“...Eh?”

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𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #F50A83 ||| 𝔗𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #0A8BF5
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The brisk footfalls of the tall blonde rang in her ears as she hastened down the hallway, flung open the door to the stairs, and then half-walked, half-tumbled down them, her slipping, slippered feet perpetually on the verge of sliding over the brink of each step as she hurtled towards the lobby as fast as she could reasonably go. In the back of her mind, she couldn't help but wonder what had struck her so much. Yes, Haruka was going to be there, and yes, she didn't want to bother her sister any further by making her wait, but neither of those things fully explained the strange sort of frenzy that she now found herself in.

A friend of yours wants to talk.

A friend.

A cheerful face, smiling down reassuringly at her, had flashed before her mind in an instant. Her face felt warm, and her heart ached.

"Of course we're friends!"

...Why was it? She supposed that it was only natural that he'd be the first person she thought of when it came to her friends at Komei. After all, he had been the first. Even so, though, she couldn't help but fixate on the possibility that it was him, despite how unlikely that actually was. There wasn't any particular reason to suspect that Yoshida in particular was there, waiting for her. The last time they'd met, he'd said all sorts of strange things... Didn't he say that he didn't want her to follow him around, didn't want her to talk to him right away? It had already been a week since then, and she hadn't even seen him once. It was like he was trying to avoid her, just in case she approached him on sight like he had told her not to...

"I'll see you later, then!" He'd been smiling as he waved to her. Even when he said things that ended up hurting her, he didn't seem angry. That didn't make sense. It wasn't like the way Asuka had looked back then at all... She had been angry, but Yoshida was always smiling warmly.

He'd said that he would see her again. That they would talk again, later, when it was more convenient for him. Just like when he'd left her alone during lunch on the day they'd met... He had promised to come back. He had come back. She had waited for him, and he had come back to get her. So, then... Wouldn't he come back this time, too?

She rounded the corner and descended the final flight of stairs. Unable to wait, her eyes flashed red, an imperceptible pulse of unseen shards of herself scattering outward over the lobby, washing over and through three figures standing in a small cluster by the door, and one of which immediately drew her attention.

Her heart seemed to jump a little, and her breath stopped in her throat. She'd had no right, no reason to expect it, but...

It's really Yoshida. He came back. He really wants to see me.

And yet, the momentary feeling she couldn't identify was completely washed away in the next moment as she realized exactly how wrong things were. His body was wrapped in bandages in several places, and his posture was all wrong. Yoshida never carried himself with such a hunched-over stance. Beneath the surface, his muscles were still straining to repair themselves, and bones once-fractured or dislocated seemed to have only freshly been set back into place. He seemed anemic and weak. Who or what had done this to him...?!

Her eyes faded back to blue and the mark in her hair disappeared. She realized she'd been standing frozen one step away from the bottom of the stairs for a few moments now, simply staring at Kenichi. Her eyes re-focused, meeting his gaze as she slowly, hesitantly approached.

"Yoshida...?" She asked, her quiet, worried voice cutting through the silent air between them. "Why... Why are you hurt? What happened to you?"

@Zeroth
@Feyblue Yes! Hello! Are you still up for this? I apologize I took so long in replying, I've only noticed your reply now lol. Anyway, I think I can scrounge er up quickly. Expect it tonight or tomorrow though, after I get back from work.


Sweet! Thanks a bunch. :D Looking forward to it!

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𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #c9c916 ||| 𝔗𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #3F9CB1
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Haruka didn't respond to Jett's words aloud, but she raised her head, and it was enough. Her amber eyes were wide as she stared at him, and found him smiling - yes, smiling, despite everything, despite all she'd done and all that had been said, and every single mistake she had made.

And then, in another second, there was a sudden flurry of motion. She was falling, too confused to process what had happened until he was already holding her, his murmured apology ringing in her ear.

There was complete silence. His arms were wrapped around her, holding her up, and this time, she didn't try at all to get away. Haruka couldn't have brought herself to move or say anything, no matter how hard she might have tried, because those words were still ringing in her mind. His answer... it was more than she could ever hoped to hear - more than she had ever deserved. And yet... it was exactly what she had most desperately wanted.

The image of her aunt and uncle rose in her mind, unbidden. How tall they had looked, standing there over her bedside. Her aunt was rubbing her eyes, while her uncle seemed so grave he could hardly speak. How many times had they apologized, wished they could have done something? How many times had they congratulated her? How little had it meant to her as she sat there, the beeping of the EKG ringing in her ears as she felt the numbness where once there had been such strength, and realized at last the enormity of all she had lost? She had felt so small, and all their words had only made her more painfully aware of that fact.

"I'm so sorry..."

Stop saying that. Don't pity me.

"You were so brave..."

Stop it. Please, stop looking at me like that...!

That dark shape in the corner, lurking always on the edge of her vision. Those innocent blue eyes staring at her with such disbelief and confusion, as if the entire world they knew had fallen apart right in front of them. Almost no words had been spoken between them. What could they have to say? Haruka couldn't lead her anymore, and as for that girl... That girl should have just realized that she had never needed her help. And yet, when she did speak...

"Haruka...? If... If you can't become a Hero, then I'll become one for you."

No.

"That's just how I am. I see things that I admire, and I counterfeit them."

That's not... this isn't how...

"So please smile, Haruka... Even just a little bit would be fine."

How can I smile when you look at me like that?!

"I'll use my power to copy your strength, and grant that wish of yours."

This isn't what I wished for at all. Why can't you see that?! Why can't anyone...?!

But they couldn't see. They were all blind to what she wanted, to what she felt. She had never wanted to be pitied, to be coddled, to be a burden to everyone. Even if it hurt, that didn't matter. What she had really wanted... the words she had really needed to hear were...!

"It’s unfortunate that you lost your leg. But this isn’t the end of your story Haruka, you can still can do good. When you get used to it, I know you’re going to turn this around into a positive. I don’t know how, that’s for you to figure out. But I want you to know that no matter what, I’m going to be there and support you in whatever you decide to do. Alright?"

Her whole body trembled, and the walls she'd built failed her at last. She realized that she was crying, but suddenly, that didn't seem to matter anymore. The words she'd wanted to say were all jumbled up inside her, and before she could make sense of what they were, they were already spilling out.

"You... You know, when my aunt and uncle came to take me out of the hospital, they put me in a wheelchair. They wouldn't even... No, I couldn't even push myself forward." The words were coming out between sobs, but once she'd begun to speak, she couldn't possibly have stopped, no matter how much she faltered. "I was so weak I couldn't even move on my own. It made me want to throw up. I hated it... I hated it so much...!" She found herself clinging to him, no matter how pitiful a spectacle it might have been. Because she knew... she knew that he understood. He alone truly understood her, and that was why he had to know. I know it's selfish, but... but... even if I failed, I wanted them to let me try to walk again...!"

She took a deep breath and rubbed her eyes. "If you.... if you had treated me like that, I don't know what I would have done... When you saw me, I was so scared... I didn't want you to see how weak I was." Slowly, she raised her head, staring up at him with reddened eyes, blushing cheeks... and the most hopeful smile she'd worn since the last time he'd seen her face, standing across from him on the station platform and making that old promise.

"Why? Why is it you always know exactly what to say? How can I forgive myself for being angry at you when you're so nice to me, you idiot?"

There was only one more thing to say.

"This is why..."

But at last she hesitated. Her voice trailed off into silence, and she slowly, bashfully lowered her head and stepped away from him. If she said something like that to him when she was like this... No, there was no way that Jett Haven, the one who had always been so kind to her, could possibly say anything other than what she wanted to hear. He would feel he had no choice in the matter. That kind of answer... that wasn't what she wanted. And for that reason... this was one thing she couldn't say. Not yet. Not until she had proven that he was right about her, that she really could make something of herself yet. And then, when that time came...

Haruka took a deep breath. Her mind was at ease. She wasn't afraid of speaking to him, afraid of what he would think or what he would say. How could she be? For all her fears and misgivings, he was still the same Jett... the same Jett Haven she had fallen in love with back then. Now was no time to cry. Her eyes were dry, her resolve steeled, and her mind made up. Once more, she met his gaze with a smile, and something of the old Hazukaze Haruka was there again, standing before him.

"...I'm sorry to be so selfish. But there's something I need to tell you before I go home again. Once I'm ready... Will you listen to what I have to say?"

@Aerandir
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