𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #FF741D
||| 𝔗𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #DFD989
Asuka stared out the window at the rapidly dimming vista beneath her. The lights of the city were beginning to flicker and fade, as if the town itself was disappearing amidst the shadows of darkened buildings. Distant bolts of light passed on the tracks and streets beneath her, as trains and the gleaming tail lights of automobiles disappeared into the night. She shook her head and turned from the sweeping, wall-length window looking out over the city of Hosu. This entire day really had been a sharp swerve from her ordinary life, so she probably shouldn't have been so surprised, but..."Your parents are quite well-off, aren't they?"
Asuka observed, turning to the girl seated on one of the large sofas in front of the large home entertainment system that took up practically the entire back wall of the living room."I suppose,"
Harukaze answered absentmindedly, taking a long swig of a canned cola before taking a long sigh, as if she was in a sponsored commercial or something and wanted to show how refreshed she was. That, or she looked like an office lady returned from a long day's work, kicking back and relaxing by breaking open a cold one. Given her traveling companion's rather dramatic fashion style, Asuka suddenly found herself wondering if her odd host was actually trying to give off that sort of vibe. Weird.
Strolling across the living room, she wandered over to the kitchen area on the opposite side of the penthouse's main floor. Everything was all so modern and western styled, it threw her for a bit of a loop. Compared to the rural lifestyle she was used to, this was... Well, she supposed she didn't mind it so much. Being a country bumpkin got boring rather fast, in her "cultured" opinion. The opulence of high society, on the other hand...
She reached into the fridge and snagged an orange soda, then went back over and tossed herself down on the sofa opposite Harukaze. The dark haired girl didn't seem to acknowledge her, and just kept staring off into space. So, Asuka followed suit, glancing idly up towards the second floor balcony. Apparently, the two smaller adjacent bedrooms up there would be where she and Harukaze would be staying, so she probably should have gone to check out what exactly her room was like, considering how different everything else was from what she was accustomed to... But right now, she just couldn't find it in herself to care.
She sighed. She'd only just arrived, and already things were a total mess. If only her parents' schedules hadn't changed at the last moment. Then they could have just come along and satisfied themselves that things were fine without forcing her to take time out of her own life to play babysitter for a sister who preferred to act like she didn't exist. What was she even supposed to be doing here, anyway? "Making sure Fumika was adjusting to her new school?" And how, pray tell, was she supposed to do that? Should she force her utterly unresponsive sibling to actually give a damn about other people;s opinions for once? She'd get better results talking to a brick wall. And what was all this nonsense with Harukaze? It was a pain, that was what it was. None of this should have been any of her business, so why did she have to come all this way? The more she thought about it, the more she wondered if her parents' schedules hadn't changed just a little bit too
conveniently, and if this wasn't just some kind of ploy to force Harukaze to come along with her...
Speaking of which, now that she thought about it, something else was strange here, too. They were supposed to be staying with Harukaze's parents, but... She eyed the doorway to the first floor master bedroom suite suspiciously. It was sitting slightly ajar, and the lights were off inside. There hadn't been any signs of movement since the two of them had entered a few minutes earlier, and she hadn't seen any shoes in the entryway save for their own.
"Say, Harukaze-san, this is your parents' apartment, right?"
𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #C9C916
||| 𝔗𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #3F9CB1
Once again, the voice of her guest broke Haruka from her reverie. She glanced over at where the younger Motome was lounging boredly on the other sofa, shooting a sidelong glance at her with piercing aquamarine eyes. Every time she made eye contact with Fumika's sister, the same impression always struck her. It was like looking at a mirror image of Fumika herself, and yet... Their expressions couldn't have been more different. Fumika's spacey attitude and vacant, wandering gaze made her seem like a sleepwalker, while Asuka's keen stare seemed to cut right through the air between them, with such awareness and focus that it seemed like her eyes could turn you to stone."Whaddya mean by that?"
Haruka shot back, raising an eyebrow. It was a stupid question, in her opinion. If it wasn't her parents' penthouse, then how the hell would she have gotten in?"I mean, I don't see any signs of anyone but us. They didn't just rent this place so we could use it, did they?"
Haruka breathed a faint sigh. Another annoying thing she'd have to explain, even though she really didn't want to get into it. Whatever. She was used to questions like this, at least. "No, it isn't. This really is where they live. You probably won't be seeing them, though."
Asuka raised an eyebrow at this. "They take the very last train back, so they only get here late. Then they head out as soon as they get up, so basically, we'll have the place to ourselves."
She explained as quickly as she could, wanting to wave off any unnecesary questions... Then again, there were a few ground rules she'd have to lay out, so she might as well get past all of this nuisance at once. "Speaking of which, they don't like being disturbed, since they don't get much sleep, so try not to make any noise or get in the way during the night or morning. Those are the conditions for letting us stay here.""Letting 'us' stay? Isn't that pretty strange?"
Asuka parroted back skeptically. Haruka nodded bluntly, and Asuka's already raised brow seemed practically ready to separate itself from her face and float away.
There it was again. Another annoying thing she didn't want to think about. Haruka shot upright as quickly as she could, her crutches striking the floor a little more violently than she intended. She downed the rest of her drink in a single gulp, crushed the can with a loud crunch, then tossed the flattened remains into the nearest wastebasket. She stopped only for a moment to pick up her luggage from the hallway before hobbling up the stairs with surprising swiftness."I'm going to finish moving my things into my room. You should do the same."
Glancing back over her shoulder, she gave her guest a very pointed stare, giving only this terse response. And yet, the curious girl clearly didn't get the hint."Wait, I mean, you're their daughter, right? That's totally weird-""I wonder?"
Haruka shot back, swinging open the door of her room, then slamming it just as quickly shut behind her. Sighing, she tossed down her bag next to the bed, then flung herself down, throwing her crutch to the floor. Why? Why was it that the things she just wanted to ignore kept coming back and flinging themselves in front of her? Why couldn't the world just leave her alone?
She reached into her bag. She didn't have the energy to even stand up and change into her bedclothes, but this, at least, was non-negotiable. Unzipping a hidden compartment at the bottom of her luggage, she withdrew a small plush rabbit, its long ears flapping slightly as she held it up above her. Its gold eyes seemed to be staring back at her, as if alive, as if understanding how she felt.
Why couldn't things be simple, like they had back then? She hugged the black rabbit close to her, and rolled over to bury her face in the covers, drowning the unwanted thoughts of the day she'd just suffered through with the more palatable memories of the past.
It might have been weakness, but she'd had to keep strong for so long. Surely, to feel this way wasn't a sin.
𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #F50A83
||| 𝔗𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #0A8BF5
The first thing which Fumika became aware of on the following morning was that she was cold. The second was that her body felt incredibly stiff, and even though her thoughts were back up to 100%, she still felt tired. She pushed herself upright and rubbed her eyes, trying to clear the overhang of fluff that blinded her to her surroundings. When her vision was finally clear, she looked around herself and found...Huh? Where am I, exactly?
It took her a moment before the electricity coursed through her hair, causing it to fluff up like the mane of an angry cat, the tuft that had fallen over her face righting itself and curling upward in its usual antenna-like position. Accessing her memories of the previous night, she immediately set the record straight.
She'd finished dinner as quickly as possible, but Asuka had still been glaring at her, and Haruka had seemed angry and sad, so she decided she'd send them away so Haruka would feel better. Then she'd gone back to her room to go to sleep, but found that the lights were already off, and somebody else seemed to be sleeping there. She hadn't wanted to wake them, so she'd gone off to look for somewhere else to sleep, leading her to occupy one of the couches down in the lobby once all the lights had been turned off and everybody had turned in for the night. Fortunately, she'd been low on charge, so it hadn't been tough to fall asleep, but now... Her entire body felt really stiff, like... a stick... or jello that had been put in the fridge for too long. Ew. Jello tasted weird, but frozen jello seemed like it'd just be like... really yucky ice cream. Also, didn't that defeat the purpose of jello? Jello was supposed to be squishy, but if you froze it, it wouldn't be squishy anymore. Clearly, that didn't make sense.
In any case, she was cold and uncomfortable, just like the hypothetical frozen jello which some weird person who didn't understand how jello was supposed to work might conceivably make. Also, it looked like it was only about an hour until class time, and she needed to get ready... She supposed she'd just have to head back to her room.
Fortunately, it seemed that by the time she got there, her roommate had already gotten up and left, so at least she wasn't waking her up or inconveniencing her this way. Unfortunately, she didn't have much time to get ready. She preferred to spend at least half and hour drying off after a shower, and then at least an hour longer to make sure any lingering moisture completely evaporated, to make sure her hair was completely dry so it wouldn't malfunction if she needed to use her Quirk. But, unfortunately, she didn't have the luxury of time, so she ended up having to rush. Taking a very quick shower - which was, in her opinion, the worst kind - she was just getting ready to go about her usual routine when she realized that there was another awkward problem. The bathrooms here were communal for each gender... So that meant she couldn't actually step out of the shower stall without risking somebody seeing her back. Unconsciously, she ran her hand over the crisscrossing network of knotted, burnt red flesh running upward from her right hip and tracing its way upward along her spine. It was an ugly sight. Nobody should have had to look at something so disgusting as that. It would bother people. The other girls might scream or run away. She had to come up with something... But she couldn't use her Quirk. Her hair was still dripping wet, so she'd just short-circuit herself if she tried. Ah... this was bad. No matter how she thought about it, there was only one thing she could do.
Slipping her hand out from behind the curtain, she snatched up her towel from where it hung up outside, then spent just a few minutes drying herself off. Then, she draped her small towel over her back, stepped out of the shower stall, and proceeded to walk not only through the bathroom, but also out into the hallway and across it to her own room. It felt a little weird, being clearly indoors in a building with other people, but not wearing anything to cover herself at all. She was pretty sure a few people were staring at her. But that was fine. They couldn't see her back, so it wouldn't bother them, right? After all, nothing was wrong with the rest of her. Reasoning thus, she made her way back to her room.
Her roommate still was nowhere to be seen, so that saved her the trouble of having to hide her back any further. Dropping her towel, she set about the arduous task of combing through her gigantic fluffy mane again and again, running a hair dryer over it for what felt like an eternity until it felt completely dry, save for some lingering dampness at the end of each strand. Unfortunately, there were only about ten minutes left before class... She wouldn't make it if she didn't leave soon, so she'd just have to head out as she was and hope that the wind would dry it off before she had to use her Quirk. Standing up, she headed to the door. But, stepping over the towel she discarded, she realized something was wrong. Namely, in all that time, she still hadn't actually gotten dressed.Oh. Right. I need to wear clothes. Otherwise, they'll see my back.
After a few panicked minutes of scrambling to get her uniform on in a manner that seemed right - which took a lot longer than you might expect, since she remembered perfectly how it was supposed to look, and couldn't seem to get it quite correct. Nevertheless, once she'd managed to get her tie aligned just right
with her collar, she threw on her coat and rushed out the door.
A few minutes later, she arrived at class, surprisingly faster than expected. Rubbing the sweat from her forehead, she walked in, only to stop in front of the blackboard.Huh? Teams? What are these...?
She looked until her own name jumped out at her, and right beside it was...That's odd. Did my heart just started going faster?
That seemed... kind of worrying. That wasn't normal, at any rate. Was something wrong with her? Did she get sick from sleeping without a blanket? No, that probably wasn't it. Then again, she had just run a very long way, so she was probably just still feeling the adrenaline. Anyway, it was time for class, so she figured she'd go sit down. Normally, she preferred to always sit in the same seat, but she'd sat in two places on the previous day - first beside Jett, and then later next to the Main Character Seat. But, of those two locations, the former already looked pretty crowded, and she didn't want to bother anyone...
If she'd been paying more attention, she might have noticed that she was already heading toward Yoshida's usual seat before she even realized any of these things. But, she was still sleepy, and thus the thought never struck her. Besides, she was distracted. She didn't feel at all like she had during the previous day's exercise, when she'd been nervous and desperate to prove herself. Because this time...I get to be on a team with Yoshida! He's nice, and he's cool, and maybe I can help him out so I won't be a burden to him, and then he'll praise me again!
To anyone in the know, it might have seemed odd that despite the fact that her expression remained blank, the faintest hints of a tentative, nervous and yet hopeful smile were playing at the edges of Fumika's lips. What's more, her ahoge was bobbing back and forth with barely controlled excitement as she strolled purposefully across the room, set her bag down next to the desk in the corner, and then seated herself with the air of someone awaiting an eagerly anticipated movie to begin. This opportunity was all but miraculous, and she wouldn't have missed it for the world!