Description: Miko and Kazuki chat for a bit on their way home from the prom. Sappy and awkward, just like one might expect!
The prom was certainly... an interesting experience. Skipping high school the first time means missing out on a lot of crucial life experiences. Well, Honoka missed high school -- it's still Miko's first time, after all.
But around the world, how many students at high school prom get to ride in a -blimp?- Of course they went in the blimp!
And now... Miko is walking Kazuki home, her hand in his, and with only a stole around her shoulders, she's finding herself leaning against the aikidoka for warmth in the chilly, late autumn night.
Kazuki is happy. The young man accepts the leaning with good grace, and a slight smile, as the pair walk down the night street. He hasn't had much to say, his mind going over the events of the night (such as they were). He takes in a deep breath, enjoying the scents on the air and the sounds of the street.
This is generally not a situation he'd consider "ruining" with conversation, but he feels like he has to ask. He glances at Miko.
"Are you enjoying tonight?"
Miko had been injecting thoughts into the poor boy's head from time to time... but that stopped, once he'd asked her to dance. There wasn't any need; she'd only intended to test out a theory of hers. The dance, the blimp ride... all that was just icing on the cake, as the self-declared Empress decided that maybe she should just enjoy a night off.
So, while the mistress of puppets is rarely honest in the truest sense of the word, she can be honest now.
"I've had a great time with you tonight, yes, I'd say so."
The faintest application of purple eyeshadow, the lightest touch of rouge across her cheeks... the colors now stand out in stark contrast against her current skin color, due to the wintery touch of the night air.
"It's ... nice to have a night to just relax."
Kazuki accepts the answer with a nod and a smile. He's glad she invited him; Miko can no doubt all but hear that on his mind. "I'm glad we came too," he says.
He is silent for a long moment. He's not sure if now is the time to bring it up, but... it worries him more than a little, and he's not sure why.
"Do you mind," he asks, "If I ask you a question?"
Miko's... tired. Sure, she's normally up late. But usually she's snugly in bed at her trailer by this hour. This... this is an exceptional circumstance.
Does she mind? "... Well, you're free to ask, of course." She moistens her lips, glancing over at him with a smile that could almost be classified as 'giddy.'
Kazuki swallows nervously at the smile. He likes the look of it on her, that it's directed at him. It sends a staggering mix of signals and ideas racing through him. The Aikido prodigy takes a deep breath, centering himself.
"Right when the dancing started," he says, "I... picked up on something. Something... worrysome. Dangerous. I..." Kazuki stops for a moment, his face looking concerned for a moment. "I'm not sure how to describe it. But it was out of place for where we were." He considers his next words carefully. "I think you noticed it too."
The young man realizes he hasn't actually asked anything yet. "Any idea what it was?"
Right when the dancing started... Well, technically, the dancing had been going on since long before Kazuki and Miko had arrived. But she believes she knows the situation in particular that he's referring to.
"Hmm... you mean when the chibi from grade school walked in? She -was- pretty out of place."
It's at that point that the smile becomes a bit more sly. Coquettish. He's going to have to be more direct than that if he wants a direct answer.
Kazuki frowns. He was /certain/ that Miko had noticed it. Then he remembers that Miko can be, well, a bit of a tease. So he clarifies.
"Maybe she was," he admits. "But no. I meant when the break dancing started." He considers his words carefully. "Like... someone got really excited, and not in any kind of good way. If we were anywhere else, I'd have been looking for an exit." He pauses. "I almost /was/ looking for an exit," he finally admits.
"... Huh?" Miko looks ... well, confused. As is appropriate for someone asking, 'huh.'
The young woman scratches her cheek, thinking back for a moment. "... Oh. Uh." She pauses, then flashes a smirk back at Kazuki. "Yeah, I remember. That was Rocket, I think... why do you ask?"
Kazuki scratches at the back of his head, frowning a bit. He's considering pushing something that... normally he wouldn't. Then again, that certainly seems to be a running theme tonight. Perhaps he'll keep with it.
"I know how I picked up on it," he finally says. "As I understand such things, it's a fairly unique skill set. If... if you're okay with me asking, how did you notice it?"
He gives Miko a worried glance. "You don't have to answer if you don't want to," he says hurriedly. He doesn't want to offend the woman. Doesn't want to hurt her, really. "I was just curious, is all."
"... Well, she... just asked if we were boyfriend and girlfriend, right?" Miko's memory having been appropriately jogged, the answer is quick. "... I'unno. Y'know how sometimes, when people talk about you, it's like you can tell somehow? How their voice carries a bit different?" She shrugs faintly, looking up at the gibbous moon. tapping her cheek as she continues. "Or like, if you say something embarassing, and the whole room pretty much just grows silent right then and there so they can all hear you say it?"
She laughs faintly, turning back to Kazuki with that warm grin. "Well, pretty much that! And why would I not want to answer?"
Kazuki takes that in for a moment, thinking about it. "Everyone has things they... do not like to talk about," he finally says. "I wasn't sure if that was one of those things."
Kazuki had, for a very long time, been told to keep quiet about his abilities. People would not exactly understand. They would treat him differently if they knew. These things, and the memories they evoke, are right at the front of Kazuki's mind... if there were someone capable of noticing them.
"And I didn't... want you to think I was going to push you away," he finally says.
Things they don't want to talk about. Miko... is familiar with that situation.
But she doesn't show it. That's the purpose of the sunny smile she flashes back at Kazuki. "Push me away? Hee." She squeezes Kazuki's hand, continuing to walk along him in the brisk night air.
"Maybe /you/ didn't want to talk about it, but did you notice I was pulling you -with- me all night?"
She raises a finger.
"Well, except when -you- showed some real /Gedo/ guts and asked me to dance, anyway."
Her smile is positively -radiant- at this point: charm overdrive.
Kazuki... actually blushes. "I..." Kirigana fumbles for words at this, clearly dazzled by the smile directed at him. "I've... never been on a date like this before." He sighs. "Aikido training involves learning how to follow a lead. It's... a matter of safety." He grins ruefully, "I guess I fell back on training, in this case."
Awkwardness. Hesitation. Fumbling for words. To Miko, these aren't quite as delicious as misery and suffering, but they're satisfying in their own way.
"Oh, I've never been on a date quite like this before either," agrees Miko, a faint pink tinge creeping across her cheeks. "Your training sounds... fun..."
But, as the building the pair is walking towards does appear to be a dojo of some kind, Miko skips ahead a half-stride. Her grip loosens, her delicate fingers sliding out and repositioning, such that his hand is right in front of her chin.
One kiss is placed with deliberate gentleness upon the back of his hand.
"I'm rarely so... safe," states Miko, a confident grin across her face.
But then her delicate touch loosens, pulls back a ways -- should Kazuki not be paying full attention, he might just find his hand dropping to gravity's cruel pull. Her confidence remains intact, just the same.
"But, I must ask... do /you/ know how to lead?"
Kazuki is almost /always/ paying attention. It can't be helped, given the nature of his gifts. Miko steps away, drawing a slight frown from Kazuki. The words coming out of her mouth make sense. His brain registers and parses them with average accuracy.
But he is not entirely sure what is going on here. Dates are new territory for the young man. Dates with women like Miko more so. He's not sure what to do, what's expected of him. /If/ something is expected of him.
So he answers truthfully, "In this situation, no," he admits. But he does take a slow step toward her, not threatening, but he clearly wants to stay close to the girl in front of him. He reaches for her hand again, taking it gently. "But I can learn to," he says with some confidence. "Even if I don't think that things are bad the way they are right now."
"Okay... good." Miko nods, listens, parses, and reciprocates. Quick on the draw. And certainly -not- drawing her hand away.
With her breath showing in the chill air, she states with no small amount of snark in her tone, "Because I'm freezing. And it's your call now."
She nods her head to the dojo behind her. "Unless I got the wrong dojo, in which case, whatever."
Kazuki, blinking once he realizes that they have arrived at his home, looks a little bit at a loss. He may not know /precisely/ what to do, but he does know how to act decisively when the moment comes. He pulls his suit jacket off, moving to wrap it around her shoulders.
"You have the right place," he says. "If you're ready for the night to be over."
Miko gives a ... hesitant smile, at that. She certainly doesn't resist a jacket being pulled over her shoulders. It is rather warm, at that.
"Well, it... is getting a bit late."
Her free hand goes to her mouth, barely able to suppress her yawn in time. "I... probably should be getting back..."
Kazuki considers this for a moment, nodding in agreement. "It is getting late," he agrees. He considers for a moment. "This part of town is generally pretty safe this time of night," he says. "But if it's okay with you, I could walk you home. Some parts of Southtown can be a bit dangerous for a lone person at night."
Miko blinks, as if the idea hadn't even occured to her. "... Eh?" Honestly, truly stumped for a moment, her cheeks start to redden. Here she was basically -telling- him to be forward, so that when he -is- forward, she gets flustered?
"Oh, it's..." She blinks, then points over to a four-story building in the distance. "It's... that apartment building, over there. Not far at all." She smiles, as a bit of an afterthought.
Kazuki looks a little crestfallen at this, but recovers quickly. He nods, considers. "You should be fine, then," he says carefully. It's still pretty cold out, regardless. "You can return the jacket to me at school, if you want," he says with firm politeness. "I don't know that I am going to need it before then."
Miko notes the crestfallen look.
It's adorable. "... Or you could walk me to the front door of the apartment building, since it's clearly not that far, as /I/ said so and I'm obviously right because /me/, and you can shower me with compliments along the way...?"
Miko smirks, but only a little. "... Tryin' to help you out, y'know?"
Kazuki blinks twice, rapidly, clearly not anticipating that response. As has been stated, the young man is out of his element. Then he grins, and chuckles. "I'm always glad for help," he says as he offers Miko his arm, "Especially from a wise, beautiful sempai." He's being... playful, but still honest.
Miko takes Kazuki's arm once more, leaning against it. "That's nice of you to say..." she says, dreamily.
"For a start." Smirk. "Please... continue." Yes... she can live with playful.
Kazuki swallows carefully, trying to think quickly. He turns to guide her toward the apartment building Miko had indicated. "I'll do my best," he says, still smiling. This has been, by all accounts, an excellent night.
Log created on 23:43:59 12/13/2014 by Honoka, and last modified on 10:20:54 12/16/2014.