Description: In a desperate bid to escape the psychic noise of a city as teeming with life and filled with thoughts as Southtown, Daisuke flees to a spot high above the city. Unfortunately for Daisuke, no where is high enough to escape from the mental freight train that is Malin!
The closer you get to the busier urban areas of the city proper, more risky things get for Daisuke Kubo, these days. Recently, his emotional senses have grown even harder to control, and moving where a ton of people gather comes with a hell of a headache at minimum -- and at worst, all of his senses starting to malfunction.
Unfortunately, some things do necessitate going into the city proper. Like visiting the offices of the bank handling the estate and inheritance from his late adoptive father. It was... mostly alright at first, buton the return trip it started getting much worse Too many individual masses of emotional feedback, too many voices echoing into his head.
He didn't even make it to the train station before he had to dip into an alleyway for some refuge. But even that wasnt enough. He needed more distance. Fortunately, even if the buildings here are tall enough that he couldn't make the leap even by channeling enough energy into his legs to shatter them, fire escape stairs exist. Not that the redhead didnt focus the energy to letting gim making rapid leaps along it anyway, in order to clear the four stories as quickly as possible.
And all this leads to the teenager in a light track jacket to all but flopping onto his back on the roof and squinting up at the sky while kneading fingers into his temples in hopes he can at least lessen the overload of sensatioks.
The day was planned as being one for secret mission scouting. Hit the bricks, skulk around for Syndicate activities both actualized and potential, and mark down the movements of various members. To find the weak ones. To find the places where they thought were safe. To find the places where they might be keeping something worth liberating for the greater good(with a broad definition of 'greater good' doing a lot of ethical heavy lifting). And for all around mischief.
But for Malin, all those plans came to a screeching halt the moment she notices someone with a particular shock of hair color rapidly ascending to the heights of the Business district towering skyscrapers. The girl watches, standing aside and scarfing a little convenience store taiyaki treat, and she tilts her head. She can tell who it is, Malin's got an eye for that sort of thing, thought she never expected him to that good at running away from things.
But now Malin's curious about what he could be running away from. She gnaws on the fishy-shaped treat and narrows her eyes. Thankfully for Malin, she too was talented in the arts of swiftly moving the hell away. And so she follows on her own path. Scampering, skipping, climbing and clamboring with deft maneuvers and a surprising spryness for her small stature. She stops short of the roof. She flattens herself against the wall and she listens. She hears the small curse, but when she looks around she doesn't see any cavalcade of bullies or badguys giving chase. This puzzles Malin, and that's not something she greatly enjoys. So she does as Malins are wont to do and she kicks off the fire escape railing to finally reach the roof proper.
Also as is her wont, Malin stands upon landing and puts her hands to her hips. "Good to see you practicing," she says, wanting to open with a complimentary sounding phrase since she presumes Daisuke is upset in some way. She may be a braggart and open liar and cheat, but she cares, somehow she does. "Going up high is a good way to get vantage points on the criminal element."
It takes a few seconds for Daisuke to realize someone is actually talking at him. The psionic sensory overload doesn't really allow for things like that to be imminently clear at times. But once Daisuke manages to actually allocate some bandwidth to focusing on Malin, he pushes his elbows down into the roof to push his upper body upwards and blinks his eyes slowly into the general direction of Malin. Still squinting thanks to the lingering headache.
"...Where did you even come from...?" He mutters first, before forcing himself to sitting more upright and scooting his positioning over so that he is actually facing her. "... That's... not exactly what I was doing, but thanks, I guess...?"
Even the best psychics in the world aren't ready for Malin! Something that she, no doubt, would be very happy to think is absolutely true because of her own powers of self control and mindfulness. Mostly, it's because not many peoplep ay attention to her. But nevertheless she is here and she is standing before Daisuke with a self satisfied grin. "You're welcome. You're welcome," she says, lifting her hands in a gesture of faux humility. "I just like to check in on my disciples to see they're being their best."
She offers a winking thumbs up to Daisuke and a chipper, "And I see you're doing just fine."
Out comes the yo-yo. Down it goes and up it thwips back into her palm. "But if that's not what you were intending to do. . ." she starts, knowing that the kid looks troubles. She is no fool after all, positivity and confidence is just so often mistaken for foolishness. "What exactly are you hiding up here for?"
"...'Disciples'?" Daisuke repeats with an expression well baffled enough that the signs of his headache actually disappear entirely for a moment or so in the wake of it. "Is... That really what we're calling this now...?
Leaning forward, he lifts his knees up and drapes his arms along the upper portions of his legs, frowning curiously at the other teenager. A frown that disappears wehn she asks him... well, what the hell the actual deal with him is right now.
"Um... I just..." His head quickly snap-turns to the side to direct his eyes away from Malin, and he swallows with some measure of nervousness. "I just... uh... wanted to see the sights for a bit...?"
Daisuke definitely doesn't make for a very good liar.
"Until you give me a better name," Malin says, punctuating the point with a yo-yo slapping into her hand.
She is fine letting the ball sit in Daisuke's court. Let him create his thing, let him find a way out if he wishes to do so. He can be strong, she suspects he's able to if he fights and takes the heat from bullies and thugs so well. So she may as well toughen him up as far as she's concerned. Since she has, internally, no stake in the game and would let him call himself whatever he wanted if he so tried.
She walks closer to the edge of the roof and caps her eyes with her hand. "The sights, huh? Well what good intel did you get? Syndicate activity? Did Mad Gear swim across the ocean to take over South Town? Did more Darkstalkers show up to start messing up the place?" she asks rapid fire questions, suspecting that Daisuke wasn't up here for visual tactical advantage but finding no more fun way to oust a liar than to earnestly pretend and act like he was telling the total and honest truth.
"Wh-... Why would I have seen... anything at all like that? Especially that second to last part?!" Thinking too hard about THAT actually gets another sting of pain through his head, and Daisuke has to resort to rubbing at the side of his head with a subtle wince before looking back up to Malin. He seems perfectly alright with sitting down there for the time being, too.
"I was just... um..." His eyes flick from side to side quickly, trying to find *something* in his surroundings that he can fall back on at least. But there's nothing! Aaaah!
"...You wouldn't happen to believe me if I said I just saw you and figured I'd see if you could chase m eup here?" He suggests then with an akward smile. It... Might be a convincing lie if it wasn't for his tone of voice. And the words he actually started it out with.
Malin just shrugs. "That's why I'm asking, if you came up here and noticed something big and spectacular like that I wouldn't want to miss out on it. What, do you think I'd ask you to report pigeon migration?"
She turns back toward Daisuke, catching that wince of pain and frowning. Her lips purse deeply and she makes a little sound in her throat; a suspicious humming noise. "Did someone hurt you?" she asks. This time, when the yo-yo descends, flip-knives fall out of the groove along its middle, creating a whirling saw blade that closes just in time to clap into Malin's hand. "Did they? Are you running from someone that got you? You don't need to protect me from them, you know. I'm not one of those people you protect by getting yourself hurt!"
Whatever lie Daisuke hoped to use seems to be entirely, utterly left in the dust by the high speed, single track bullet train that is Malin's mind.
"... I don't know, maybe birdwatching is some hobby of yours for all I know?" Daisuke wonders out loud with her shrug mirrored in the roll of his own shoulders. His head dips slightly to look down -- only to tip his gaze right back up to Malin when the first question comes out.
"What? No, thats no-" He starts, but halts himself with a surprised little sound in the back of his throat when he realizes just what is happening with the yo-yo she's toying with. He even instinctively scoots himself back away an inch or two! "Wh-?! What's...? Is that even legal? How did you fit those in there?!"
The high speed bullet train of Malin's mind derails.
She puts her fists to her hips and stares, stares, at Daisuke. "Birdwatching?" she asks, incredulity dripping from her tone. "Birdwatching? Do you think I belong to a secret society of birdwatchers? As if!?" She waves aside the very suggesting but still feels the need to add, "If I was, you know it would be the best at birdwatching anyways. But it's not. So it's not."
She flips down the yoyo again, this time the blades stay hidden. "What, this? It's a battle yo-yo. Haven't you seen one? It's integral to the Malin-Style school of combat. What does legality have to do with it?" she questions. And the yo-yo travels down and up.
"...I mean, I dunno, everyone needs hobbies, right?" Daisuke mumbles akwardly with a single finger scratching at the very edge of his jaw. The aching in his mind is starting to relent some, at least, even if it does still persist to an extent. If nothing else, he can at least try to push himself up to standing. -- just so he can at least make an effort in letting things appear as though he isn't that badly off. Though Malin probably does have her suspicions about things being wrong already.
"...No, I definitely have never seen something like that," the redhead answers after hie's gotten up to standing again, brushing his hand along his pants to sweep some dust gathered from the rooftop's cement grounding away from the fabric. "You never really explained this... school of combat of yours anyhow. Are you, like... The sole master of it, or something?" He sounds a bit dubious, for once.
"Absolutely!" Malin agrees with Daisuke's awkward attempts to suggest and cover for his own reasons for being up on the roof. Malin cannot argue that people need hobbies. People do need the things that they enjoy to keep themselves going. And it's those hobbies that Malin swears to protect by curtailing the predatory efforts of groups like the Syndicate in Southtown.
For a long moment after her agreement, Malin stands with her head lifted and looking out over the teeming city below. Feeling proud. But then she's dragged back to earth with the questioning of her style. Always questioning. She frown and inclines her head haughtily. Given half a foot height difference between the two teenagers, the impact may be significantly less than dramatically intended. "Yes," she tells Daisuke. "I am the sole master and the greatest practitioner of Malin-Style in all of Southtown, Japan, or the world."
Se takes a step toward Daisuke and flits the yo-yo back down again. It hangs for a moment before a tug flits it back up to her hand. "Everyone always has doubts about Malin Style, are you one of the doubters too? Because all styles got to come from somewhere, don't they? Schools don't just grow from seeds with all the students in them."
Even if Daisuke can't quite get a decent reading on Malin, just her presence alone is starting to have an effect on him again. She just moves too fast! Like her mind is a train somehow rapidly switching tracks and drifting on both of them simultaneously. Somehow.
"Ugh..." It stings his head sharply, and forces his hand to rubbing uncomfortably along the top of his head again, fingers weaving through locks of red hair to knead at his scalp.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to imply anything..." He murmurs apologetically in the meantime, even dipping his head down slightly in the face of thee shorter girl's glare. "Especially since I haven't actually seen you wield it, yet. ...Or for that matter, seen anything else relating to this society of yours. Were you... actually planning on letting me in on any of that?"
Malin's mind moves as quickly as the girl herself. And for now, it's put toward making the erstwhile 'disciple' uncomfortable. Not that she intends to do so, her intention at first was the help the situation. She's just herself, and that might not be the best thing for a psychic like Daisuke.
She holds on Daisuke when he apologizes. Then she nods, grins, and flashes a peace sign, exclaiming, "Awesome!" The yo-yo goes down and up again. "And I haven't just been showing off unless I'm challenged by those smug leaders of other schools that think they're so special."
She heads toward the edge, arms going on, "And you haven't exactly proven yourself. What kind of secret society would just let everyone into the society?" she looks back at Daisuke, spinning on her heel to face him. "You need to do something to prove you're interested in keeping Southtown safe!"
"... Yeah, I think I'm okay with not causing some kind of inter-school brawl just to see what your style is like." Daisuke lets out a low, akward cough over that, and... then takes two steps back to bring some more distance between him and Malin. She's not helping the headache at all right now.
His head cants slightly to one side while he watches her moving to the edge, scarlet brows both lifting upwards slowly. "...I mean, you did also just kind of... tell me about it out of the blue? Even though it's a, uh, a secret society." One hand moves over the top of his head to smooth his hair -- or at least try to. He only needs to take so much as one step to the side and forward to circle towards Malin's side by the edge before red locks shift along all over again. Doomed to have a perpetually messy 'do, this one.
"So what would be... proof-worthy, anyhow?"
Malin puts aside the truth of inter-school brawls not being the rarest of occasions in Southtown for the purposes of keeping her mental train on track. She crosses her arms and cups her chin as she puzzles over the situation at hand. There's a number of things she can think of, but too many things come to mind and maybe she should be considering less cool and more useful. Because, as far as she knows, Daisuke does more running away than fighting.
"I think I know what you can do," she says, snapping her fingers. "Find information! You're normal, you don't stand out. You can run away fast! You're a perfect ninja!" she tells Daisuke with a bright, cheery excitement threatening to bubble over. "You can find out just where and what the Syndicate have been up to. It's been real quiet lately after everything got shook up. So they must be planning something. You find the right spots to hit, and I know just the super hero that should be all over setting things right."
Daisuke... frowns. "... I don't know how to feel about the fact that the biggest advantage you can think of about me is that I am unassuming and can run away."
Putting that particular thought aside for a moment, he subtly shuffles away from Malin again. This high up, he isn't getting overloaded by the pedestrians at least, but his head's still not really well enough to properly manage *that particular feedback from her right now.
"How would I actually do that, though? I have no idea where to even start looking..." His head cants sideways, peeking back to her with one eye after peering at the streets below for a moment. "...Andd what superhero, exactly? Do you know... a lot of those?"
Malin points at Daisuke, seeming to take offense on Daisuke's behalf for the very words that Daisuke is saying about himself. A moment of uncertainty in one way, but Malin will not allow herself any confusion. "Don't say that about yourself. All those things are hugely important to any mission! Where would we be without cleverness and skill? Just throwing fireballs around or being big and muscled?
Malin's arms quickly cross and she looks down far below. "You can't expect to have your hand held for this," she says, "Don't you have any confidence in yourself? I think you can do it, so you can apply yourself. Simple as that."
Her hand drifts to tap at her chin as thoughts shift again. "As far as superheroes, more than you'd think. There's the Super Dragon Fighter guy. I also know a pink girl. Also, also, I personally have fought with and am friends with Hayley Bretherton. We took down a Syndicate bar together."
"Wh-... but you're technically the one who said those things...?" Daisuke murmurs quietly, but not with the kind of tone that would suggest he's too interested in chasing after that particular point. Somehow he gets the feeling she would just end up throwing him for some kind of loop again anyhow.
He huffs then, and mirrors Malin's own gesturing in the way that he crosses his arms over his chest, brows furrowing downwards now. "Can I, though? Even if I was some kind of spy, wouldn't I need at least a minimum amount of intel or wahtever so I could figure out where to start looking for? Or even know *what* I am looking for."
A step taken back away from the edge, and the redhead turns to face Malin more fully. Still keeping his arms crossed t ogether, though, while his head cocks sidelong in a canine-like little mannerism. "...Pink girl...? Eh, I know Bretherton-san, at least... She's pretty tough..."
Uncertainty crosses through his head now, though... for entirely different reasons. His emerald-colored eyes shift further to the side while his lips purse in thought. "...What if I thought I could try to fight, too?" He asks then, voice brought a bit lower out of his own hesitation. He's not entirely sure he can trust her, so he's also not entirely sure if he should let her in on his 'side gig'.
"I said them in a positive manner. Skills to use, to hone and master your craft. You discounted my positivity. And no one talks bad about my friends, not even themselves," Malin states, not one to miss the beat when dropped in her lap. She wouldn't leave them alone, even if she'd only just recently inserted herself into someone's life.
But that Daisuke finally recognizes some of the names that Malin can drop, it starts to show to her that he's getting through to him. And then, and then, she hears exactly what she wants to hear. That the guy who seemed content to just run away from bullies might actually want to fight, too.
She zips to Daisuke's side and leans in. Eyes narrow, as if she had even a chance of the psychic read on things that Daisuke genuinely does. "You want to fight?" she asks, low and conspiratorial in a way that's probably somewhat hard to hear on a tall roof. "If you want to fight, then you got to fight. You got to train up. Be good at it. I don't want anyone getting hurt that doesn't deserve to get hurt."
She leans back on her heels. Her hands go behind her head. She hums and narrows her eyes. "So you think you can really fight? Is that a thing you can do?"
Daisuke blinkblinkblinks when the word 'friends' gets dropped. He's taken a little off guard by that, but not so much that he can't let it go for the time being.
And more importantly, with her suddenly getting in closer and leaning towards him still, Daisuke finds himself leaning back himself, just out of the instinctive desire to maintain some modicum of personal space. All the while he's blinking rapidly down at the other teenager with widening eyes. "U-uhm...?"
nBut then comes her answer to his question. He might be a little flustered by the sudden proximity still, but he calms enough to actually consider his potential answer to her, anyway.
"...I want to try, at least," he suggests in a low murmur. "If it's to help people, you know? I'm not really... strong or anything, but it's not like I *can't* fight, I think. And even with just that much, I can't just sit back all the time, right?"
That rocking posture to her heel has Malin lean farther back, pick up a foot and spin about to start walking in the opposite direction. "You want to try?" she asks, back to Daisuke and nodding along. Her hands leave the back of her head and she whips about to face the red-headed boy.
"Trying is good. Always got to keep trying. You fail if you don't," she says, fist pounding into her palm.
But now she puzzles, and she does so with a tapping at her chin. "And you'll only get stronger through practice. We could practice, but you were up here with what looked like a headache and all winded like, so maybe not today or nothing." She mutters to herself, but it ends with a sudden nod. "You should meet Himeko. She'd love to practice!"
Malin laughs with a smug little grin, "All you gotta do is make it seem like you don't think her style is the best and she'll want to throw down right then and there. It's awesome."
Now that Malin is moving away from Daisuke again, he can relax a little, visible in the way his shoulders slump a bit with the tension leaving them. He still keeps watching over the girl though. Still frowning a bit with his internal efforts at keeping up with her... and the bit of a che from the psionic feedback for that matter.
But with him getting called out on the actual reasons on him coming up here to the roof (even if Malin doesn't have the full picture yet), he winces self-consciously. "I... I'm really... fine right now, honest..." He tries to assure her, even if he doesn't sound entirely convincing.
But wait. She's bringing up Himeko as a potential practicing buddy? He blinks rapidly. "Wait, Himeko... That Kashiwagi girl, with the school paper? Uh..." SUddenly, he recalls the picture that very same girl showed him when she ran into him while he was masked up. "...Is... That the 'pink girl' you mentioned...?"
Malin thinks on the things for a moment. She shrugs. Figures it's cooler to be out with it than to hide things. "Yeah, nerdgirl, hangs out in the library all the time," she says, based on the last time she ran into Himeko. "She's a superhero. Didn't you know that? Secret identity and everything."
For whatever the value of 'secret is to Malin.
"She's got a pretty good style," Malin continues. "And she knows what's what about taking on the bad guys around here. Buuut." She pauses, hums, and then figures Daisuke is not one to approach in this manner. So she changes her mental track yet again to say, "She's part of my club. Or soon to be club. Our club really, you and I's."
"She's retired from that though, isn't she?" Daisuke points out with a lift of his brows. He only knows that because he interacted with her briefly with *his* secret identity, but he doesn't quite realize the presence of the potential later-discovered clue he dropped the seed of there.
"... Our... club...?" He repeats after her, bemused. A deliberate beat left there while he just leverages a deadpan stare at her. "You're not going to try to get a club room at the school or something, are you?"
Malin scoffs at the idea of anyone retiring from anything. "Not at all, it's just cover!" she says with no authority, knowledge, awareness or any sort of clue other than her own perspectives on how people act in a general sense. "Best way to keep a secret identity is to get rid of the secret identity." She has a logic to her statement, internally, but it's not the kind of thought good for pithy statements.
Malin taps her shoe, "Do you think I'm dumb. We can't just meet to discuss helping people at the school. Unless, of course, we just find an empty room and take it over. And then move from place to place under clandestine code as we dance around the authority who might be trying to find people where they shouldn't be and then kick them out so we can't go to class at all anymore." She stops her sudden ramble with a grin and a wink. "Right?"
"Enh... I guess...? But wait, she's not really keeping it a secret though is she...?" Daisuke is trying so, so hard to keep up. He really is! But between Malin's lines of logic and her rapid back and forth between conversational tracks is doing a pretty decent job of scarmbling his brain.
The accusation, then, is quickly met with both hands rising in front of him and shaking in a protesting gesture. "N-no, I didn't mean it like that, I'm sorry..." He's kind of quick to apologize for things too, isn't he? Either way, he's quickly left staring at her while she rambles on, slightly jack-slawed. Wait, did she actually think this whole thing through beforehand?
Blinking again at the wink and the single-worded prompt, he lets out a brief, utterly confused sound before he makes the effort of straightening his posture. You know, so he doesn't look like he's getting completely tossed around by Malin's force of personality! "I, uh... Right. I guess? So... hideout outside of school then, I guess...?"
Malin gives Daisuke a big thumbs up. "Definitely a good idea to find a hideout outside of school. Great idea. Get on that!" she says with a laugh. "I'm glad you offered to do this, I was getting worried I was the only one that cared about our club. It's reassuring to know you're just as excited."
She breaks out the yo-yo again, somehow pulling it form some aether she's privy to. "So, did I give you something to focus on because being around all those people got annoying?"
Daisuke gives a low, akward little laugh over the complimenting of a 'good idea', smiling wryly with one hand rubbing at the back of his head. "Ah, you know, I just figured-- wait..." And then what Malin *actually said* hits in, and the smile fades away in the wake of his rapid blinking. "Wait-- I'm the one in charge of that now?!" How does he keep getting himself drawn deeper and deeper into this without any real input from him? Such is life for Daisuke Kubo apparently. Or maybe that's just how things tend to go for people dealing with Malin.
With a faint hint of frustration, he rubs his hand over his face for a second or two, before looking back to Malin, and... actually really giving a proper think on her question. Huh. THe headache has more or less faded away by now.
"...Yeah, I guess."
And with that, Malin gets another person to agree to something. She grins, cocksure and self satisfied as she saunters toward the edge of the building. She knows she got him confused, and she knows she's convinced him to take on work he might not otherwise. But mostly, she knows she gave him something that he probably needed; a distraction. And as she drops into a sit at the edge and she uses the height to play with her yo-yo in the open air.
"Glad to help," she calls over to Daisuke. "But I could tell something was bugging you. You're a quiet guy that likes to run away. You care a lot, cause you help people. So my guess is you need to get away from everyone, even though you care about them. It's okay. You got Malin to look out for you. I'll keep you busy."
Daisuke probably should feel like he's getting taken advantage of. Well, he probably does have a suspicion on that, but he probably should feel that way even more. He's still trusting by nature. And very much the type to just not help when asked, for better or worse.
He remains standing back there while Malin settles down to sitting at the edge of the roof. He grows a bit more self-conscious over her words, and lets his eyes dip downwards while rubbing idly at his left arm with his right hand. "It's a bit more complicated," he admits. "But... well. Maybe I'll tell you one day."
Malin laughs, looking out over the edge. She kicks her feet while the yoyo slaps back up into her hand. "I have missions to take care of, so I can't just hang out here and keep an eye on you. Maybe when you can fight I'll take you on one," she says, speaking as much to the air as she is to Daisuke.
"But as far as telling me your complicated secrets goes," she says, holding up her yo-yo hand. "I will hold you to it."
With a grunt, she pushes off, and a tinny thunk can be heard as she hits the escape and begins her rapid descend in drops and bounds. The quick footed young woman making good on giving Daisuke a bit of distance and hopefully a bit more peace of mind.
Daisuke's gaze draws back up towards Malin, and he can't quite help but let out a low snort of amusement. "Didn't really ask to be babysat anyhow, but... yeah."
He doesn't have time to make any further comment on his 'secrets' and her potential curiousity on them, what with her suddenly pushing herself off the roof. The redhead's eyes widen out, and out of pure reflex, he goes running, himself. "Malin--!"
But his instinctive worries are quickly proven pointless when he actually gets to peeking over the edge and seeing the girl dexterously making her way down along the side of the building instead of turning into a Malin-shaped splatter on the curb. "...Huh. Full of surprises..."
He turns for the fire escape, himself, rubbing his index fingers to his temples for a moment. Not out of any headache this time aroudn though, but rather...
"Ugh, am I really going to be looking for a clubhouse or something now...?"
Log created on 12:40:32 06/13/2021 by Malin, and last modified on 20:13:49 06/14/2021.