Honoka - Tatsumaki

Description: Kazuki Kirigana has a new favorite place to hang out: the Gedo High dojo. It's peaceful, whenever the other guys aren't being jerks and hogging all the space. It's quiet, whenever the other guys aren't talking smack (which is never). And it's relaxing, whenever Miko Kobayashi isn't challenging him to a sparring match on the drop of a hat.

Miko has taken a greater interest in music the past few weeks. She'd always been a fan of certain artists, to be sure -- her eclectic music taste usually evidences itself in her alter-ego's dynamic performances at the Twilight Star Circus. But it'd been a while since she's really cycled those tracks; the Twilight Star, being a largely Japanese affair, has tended to stick with the tracks popular in the Oricon charts. But then a Lindsey Stirling CD got dropped into her locker, with a note, and she's been listening to it practically ever since.

The tracks from both of the artist's CDs are playing on her earbuds now, in fact as she steps into the Gedo dojo. She has a fairly specific agenda, if her t-shirt, bandaged hands and wrists, and sweatpants are any indication: as she deposits her gakuran coat onto a coat rack near the door of the dojo, she takes a walk around. This being a weekend, the damage from the day prior is still present to some degree -- splintered tatami, spiderweb-cracked walls -- but it seems serviceable until a repair crew can come out to address it all.

There are a few others here, stepping through katas and overall improving themselves. She spends a few moments looking around the dojo, in search of a particular personage.

Kazuki Kirigana was taking a short break from training, and sits (in a perfect seiza) in a corner with a book and a bottle of water. He is in his usual 'martial arts' outfit: black gi with the red embroidered Gedo logo, deep red hakama. He is, surprisinging, not wearing his own headphones but a pair of wire-frame reading glasses as he reads a book. Literature from the looks of it.

Seemingly without a cue, the Aikidoka starts bopping his head to an unheard beat. He looks up after a moment, smiling briefly as he places a bookmark in his page. He sets the book down as he stands up. He waves to Miko.

"Kobayashi-sempai," he says by way of greeting.

Lots of heads pop up whenever Miko walks into a room -- this is normal. It also makes it terrifically easy for her to discern the individual features of the people gathered here. And Kazuki's glasses cause her to scan right past him, at first.

The waving is bigger clue. Miko waves back, walking over to him with a casual smile. "Kazuki," she starts, noticing jealousy taking root in a few of the others. Miko acknowledges the effect she's having, greeting those who might speak up or try to impede her path to Kazuki with a smile and a gentle wave, but by and large, she steps past them. While she is definitely pleased at her growing list of admirers, she's here for Kazuki right now and they'll have to deal with that.

And never let it be said that Miko's not forward when she has something in mind. She holds up her fist to Kazuki -- in a friendly manner, not an -overtly- threatening one. "I think it's time you show me what you're made of."

Cue many cries of "ooooooo!" from the peanut gallery.

Kazuki frowns at this for a moment, blinking once as he removes the reading glasses. He sets them down on the book with obvious care before walking over towards the area that the crowd seems to have staked out around the pair. He heaves a quiet sigh; he doesn't care much for fighting.

He bows once, at the waist before settling into what would be a text-book standard aikido stance. Left foot forward, one hand at the waist with the other just below his own sternum. "If that is what you want," Kazuki says, "I can oblige you."

Miko smirks faintly. She'd already expected a response like that. "Your sempai requests a fight. It's as simple as that, right?"

Withdrawing her earbuds, she hands them to the nearest of the young men who was vying for her attention earlier. "Do take care of these for me, would you?" Flashing him a quick wink, she walks away -- knowing that, having seen him at the fight between Daigo and Athena the day before, she can trust him to get those headphones back.

Reaching down to adjust the fit of the bandages wrapped about her wrists, she strides out to the space cleared aside. "Besides... I think you've had enough of a break after fighting that Taiyo rat, mm?"

Miko has a very specific objective in mind, that of course she's not going to share. Not just yet. "This is just a simple spar. But I do want your full attention." She bows formally -- not wanting to take Kazuki any further out of his comfort zone, after all.

Settling into a karate readiness stance, she nods her head. The floor is now Kazuki's.

COMBATSYS: Honoka has started a fight here.

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Honoka           0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Kazuki has joined the fight here.

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Honoka           0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0           Kazuki

Kazuki nods once, and considers his course of action. His eyes close slowly, then open halfway before locking onto Miko's upper body. There's no emotion in the young man's face, but the torso is going to be the best indication of action.

But even still, he waits for Miko to do something. "You'll have it," he says evenly.

COMBATSYS: Kazuki focuses on his next action.

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Honoka           0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0           Kazuki

Miko's smile fades somewhat. It's ... probably creepy to be smiling throughout an entire fight, after all. Not quite 'serious' or something. And it's also easier for her to get a completely accurate state on the emotional state of her opponent if she is not having to worry about the emotions on her own face as well.

She does notice the particular focus he has upon her though. Has he watched her fight in the courtyard before? Perhaps he's noticed that she tends to strike with her arms.

Which makes stepping forward to deliver a kick to his midsection a particularly attractive mode of surprise for the young woman -- it allows her to keep her upper torso almost precisely identical without giving a specific sign for -where- she'd be attacking: his hip.

COMBATSYS: Honoka successfully hits Kazuki with Medium Strike.

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Honoka           1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0           Kazuki

Kazuki swipes an arm toward the the kicking leg, attempting to catch it as it comes in and moves a little too slow. He staggers slightly, wincing as he does so. However, the leg is there, and the hand is reasonably close.

He grunts, attempting to actually grab the kicking leg at the ankle. If he manages the grab, the plan is toss the leg directly upward while placing a firm hand on Miko's shoulder before shoving hard to send her to the mats!

COMBATSYS: Honoka blocks Kazuki's Medium Throw.

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Honoka           1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0           Kazuki

Miko's smirk returns for a split-second as her foot gains purchase upon Kazuki's hip, knocking him into a stagger. She doesn't attack via that vector very often, so her form could definitely use improvement.

But that's not to say that when her ankle is caught by Kazuki, that's she's caught completely unawares. One of her alter-ego's previous jobs at the circus was that of an acrobat: and it's something she continues to train here and there. When Kazuki's intention becomes clear, she leans backwards, twisting herself into a stage maneuver that has her spinning sideways -- her head pointed away from Kazuki, her body horizontal for all intents and purposes. With her entire body providing torque, she's able to wrench herself out of Kazuki's grip before he can complete his hold.

Gravity is the third participant in this dance of wills, however -- and Honoka's now effectively facing the battered tatami. As she drops, she plants both palms in front of her, twisting her hips just so. Landing on her palms and her left thigh, she drives her right foot towards Kazuki's shins for two quick taps, judging how quickly he can react to the sudden shift of momentum.

COMBATSYS: Kazuki counters Light Kick from Honoka with Impetuoso.

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Honoka           1/-----==/=======|=------\-------\0           Kazuki

Kazuki's eyes narrow as he takes a deep breath and calls to the wind. He takes a half step back, and with a swift motion hooks Miko's kicking ankle with his own ankle. He applies even more torque to the motion even as he sweeps one arm toward the young woman.

The motion brings a swift wind to send the young woman sprawling to the floor. This time for sure. Kazuki lets the breath out and retakes his stance. "You have an interesting style, Kobayashi-sempai," Kazuki comments.

Miko expected many things from Kazuki. She did not expect that. The wind obeyed the young man's call, flapping her clothing with only a single flicker of thought: fascinating.

Of course, there's a moment to consider what just happened, as she looks up to the second story of the dojo, having been planted onto her back from the sudden inversion. She won't get too nauseous -- her body's used to sudden inversions. She prefers that these sudden moves are under her own power, of course -- then her ankle, and her back and shoulders, wouldn't be hurting quite so much.

Kazuki's comment is acknowledged by her in a harried breath, "Thanks," in the midst of kipping back to her feet -- something else she had practiced greatly in her time at the circus. But she's intrigued by the feel of this... wind chi. It hurt a bit more than she would have expected from Kirigana. And not only that -- the spike of exultation she's used to feeling from people after a successful counterattack is curiously absent. Perhaps the young man is presenting his true face when he illustrates his ambivalence towards fighting, she considers.

Squaring her stance, she offers a tight-lipped smile back at Kazuki. She's only begun to fight.

And she's not holding back, now -- whereas she'd been adopting karate mannerisms, the attack she begins is anything but. She steps forward to deliver a barrage of four chops with alternating hands -- but largely, this is intended to leave an opening for her foot to snap around Kirigana's ankle. While applying her left hand to his shoulder, she'd intends to continue the string of ankle targeting attacks by pulling his ankle up to her right hand, then lifting up further. It would seem she's performed some studies of her own.

COMBATSYS: Kazuki dodges Honoka's Shitumbe Marapto.

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Honoka           1/-----==/=======|=------\-------\0           Kazuki

Kazuki does not emote joy from the counter-attack because the successful counter-attack was the /expected/ outcome. You don't get excited about things that ought to happen, accomplishing the things you are /supposed/ to do. Perhaps emotion will enter it when it's over.

Kazuki back-pedals as he weaves to avoid the chops, and rolling his shoulder back to avoid the push even as he steps back to avoid the ankle sweep. Already moving in a circular motion from this, Kazuki whips his elbow in a sharp arc towards Miko's ribcage!

COMBATSYS: Honoka blocks Kazuki's Fierce Punch.

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Honoka           1/-----==/=======|==-----\-------\0           Kazuki

Miko considers that Kazuki may be the most unusual fighter she's had the pleasure of fighting. She's fought heartless killers before, and trained assassins, but even these people had a grudge, something to prove. Kazuki's emotions are giving her no particular tells, nothing in specific to respond to. It's... an interesting battle, to her.

When he strikes towards her midsection, though... that puts it back into the realm of the familiar. Raw, uncompromised strength is clear to read, even without the emotional heraldry that tends to come with it. Miko snaps her palms out, raising them slightly to account for the slightly taller Kirigana's stance, and intercepts his elbows. Staggering backwards slightly from the blow, she aims to take advantage of his close proximity, lashing out with two quick punches -- wondering silently if the wind will aid his strikes yet again.

COMBATSYS: Honoka successfully hits Kazuki with Quick Strike.

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Honoka           1/----===/=======|====---\-------\0           Kazuki

Kazuki staggers under the twin strikes, taking two steps back. Kazuki has a frown of concentration on his face as he takes another breath. He considers for a moment, checks his surroundings quickly.

The Aikidoka snaps a quick open-palm forward, stepping in as he does so. The wind spins around the outstretched hand, throwing a tight burst of wind at the young woman with a grunt of effort!

COMBATSYS: Kazuki successfully hits Honoka with Fugue.

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Honoka           1/----===/=======|===----\-------\0           Kazuki

Miko is glad that her two quick strikes had landed. The performer has fought against the wind many a time, and the wind would have had to be something fierce to push her strikes off track. It does not, however, seem that her added measure -- the extra force and precision the diminutive woman had driven behind her blows -- was needed in this case.

What would be useful, however, is if Miko could sense the ebb and tide of chi as Kazuki can. As she circles around to a safe distance, she'd anticipated his move, had expected him to be vaulting forward into a punch. But instead, the biting wind whips forward and catches her off-guard, hitting about half a second before she'd expected.

The wind chills her to the core -- perhaps moreso than it would others of the young fighter's caliber. Her loose-fitting clothing rippled backward from the blast, she finds herself drawn back as well, knocked down to her knees to maintain an upright, if compromised stance. The young Gedo student seems nauseous in a way that even the rapid inversion earlier -ought- to have.

And yet, everything is still in accordance with her plan. Her confidence is unshaken -- she -needs- to feel this, to become acquainted with it as she has overcome other obstacles in the past. To simply -ask- Kazuki to strike her in such a fashion just smacks of poor taste.

Miko smiles, just the same, not bothering to rise to her feet just yet. "This may seem like a time to take pity on your sempai. I assure you..."

She launches forward suddenly in a bull rush, aiming to drive her shoulder towards Kazuki. If she manages to connect with this, she'd be attempting to snag an arm and a leg, and carry his torso across her shoulders as she uses the leverage from the lowered position, to lift him up -- and then pivot him back down to the tatami.

"It is not," she concludes.

COMBATSYS: Kazuki fails to counter Medium Throw from Honoka with Cesura.

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Honoka           1/-======/=======|====---\-------\0           Kazuki

Kazuki attempts to reverse the hold, and fails. Miko's simply faster in this encounter. He downs down to the mat, hard. Stars swim in his vision along with a spike of frustration. That's... not how that was supposed to go.

He doesn't get back to his feet right away. That... stung on more than one level. Throwing people who are trying to throw you, that's what Aikido is /about/. He sits up slowly, trying to shake the cobwebs loose.

"Pity's got nothing to do with it," Kazuki mutters.

Miko has made an observation in watching Kazuki numerous times: he seems to be able to tell what people are going to do before they even show signs of it. So part of her strategy, thus far, has been predicated on starting a maneuver in one direction without fully committing the attack. Her shoulder rush was an example of that -- while it looked like she could have been aiming higher, she in fact altered her direction with a subtle half-step shift, aiming lower into the pit of Kazuki's stomach. Premeditated observation counts for at least half of Miko's preferred fight strategy.

So when she bounces off of Kazuki, springing herself back to her feet, she bobs lightly on the balls of her feet, with a faint smile. "Good. It's no help to either of us if you hold back. I -am- still learning, after all."

She pauses for a moment, taking another step back. She's more than happy to allow Kazuki the moment he needs to get back to his feet, for the time being. "Your... wind attacks, I'm curious... do they cause you pain, at all?"

She makes no particular move to aggress or defend. This is just sparring, after all.

COMBATSYS: Honoka takes no action.

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Honoka           1/-======/=======|====---\-------\0           Kazuki

"No," Kazuki says as he picks himself up off of the mats. He takes a moment to straighten his outfit out. "It's a little bit of effort sometimes," he says honestly. He rolls his shoulders as he turns to face Miko again. He takes another breath to center himself.

He waits for a moment before stepping in quickly and throwing a short, sharp kick directly at Miko's midsection. He stays in close as follow-up, not giving Miko room to move.

COMBATSYS: Honoka just-defends Kazuki's Light Kick!

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Honoka           1/-======/=======|====---\-------\0           Kazuki

A bit of effort sometimes, he says -- as far as Miko can tell, it's not considerably different from the attacks she would use in a more deadly fight. Just from a different wellspring of energy. "Mm..." she acknowledges, paying close attention to -how- Kazuki recenters himself.

She takes a guarded step backwards as she notes that she's running close to the edge of the ring marked off by the numerous onlookers. Her eyelids narrow for a moment, and she lowers her hands in preparation for... something.

It seems that the people behind Miko know what's up -- they can sense Kazuki's charge. They could stand and defend against the pair, and in fact, they might actually enjoy it. Perhaps too much so. But for whatever reason, they stand aside. Perhaps they don't want to interfere with the fight.

For good cause, too, as Miko leaps backwards suddenly. When Kazuki's foot lashes out, she snaps her fingers around his foot, intercepting it like one might slap their hands to the side of a sword blade in one of those period dramas. And she has plenty of room to maneuver, as opposed to Kazuki's intentions, as there's no longer anyone in the way.

She does not keep the hold, though, letting go almost as quickly as she grasped. A faint smile slides across her lips as her feet touch down.

And then in the blink of an eye, she strikes. Nimbly, she surges forward; this time she aims to knock Kazuki off-balance with a forceful and direct palm strike to the solar plexus. Pressuring Miko, it would seem, also comes with its drawbacks.

COMBATSYS: Kazuki counters Medium Strike from Honoka with Cambiare.

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Honoka           1/=======/=======|=====--\-------\0           Kazuki

Miko might quickly discover /why/ Kazuki kept up the pressure. He snaps a hand down on extended wrist even as he is stepping to one side and sweeping Miko's forward ankle out from under her with a loud kiai.

The simple counter, however, is not complete as Kazuki increases the enforced cartwheel with another burst of wind to make the young woman spin twice more before she hits the ground!

To Miko, being present for a fight is a fundamentally different experience than simply watching it on the internet. The broad strokes are conveyed through the medium, sure enough, but the subtle nuances are often left behind. And Miko can sense things on an entirely different level as well -- one different than Kazuki.

As different as experiencing a fight is from merely watching it, so too is the difference between observing and actually participating. Miko is, admittedly, out of practice for dealing with someone with Kazuki's skill set, without her preferred implements of pain. So her reach is... less than preferable, which means that instead of an easily-dropped implement being snared, her wrist and ankle are.

And while cartwheels are normal, again, she'd rather use her own power for such maneuvers, rather than the acceleration imparted by that rapidly rushing wind that sifts right through her clothing, like a sandstorm scouring straight through to her bones and nerves.

Screwing one eye shut from the pain, she maintains enough self-control to keep from bowling over the fine young gentlemen she'd commanded to clear space for her, just moments prior. Which is a good thing, because it means colliding with a clear section of tatami rather than the unpredictable dynamics of an unsuspecting student. Landing with a painful thud, she's slow to push herself back unsteadily to her feet, feeling aches in practically all areas of her body.

And still... this is part of her plan.

"Good. I'd been hoping to awaken the sleeping dragon." It's still tricky fighting the young man who exudes no particular emotion -- but that's the challenge she'd hoped for.

Wheeling about suddenly, she launches into an acrobatic overhead kick, scything downward at Kazuki's shoulder.

COMBATSYS: Kazuki fails to counter Light Kick from Honoka with Fast Throw.

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Honoka           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0           Kazuki

Kazuki's response is easily predicted. Miko's foot comes slashing in, and the aikidoka's hands are reaching for the incoming leg. He's a moment too slow to make the grab, and drops to one knee under the impact.

"Why is it," Kirigana asks, "That people think that people who are quiet and polite have some kind of raging beast inside them waiting to be dragged out?" He lets out a breathless chuckle. "And that others feel the need to bring that out of them."

Miko withdraws her foot, its purpose served as Kazuki drops to one knee. Lucky for him, she'd left her heavy boots at the door -- with tatami mats, even the impoverished Gedo High Dojo has some modicum of honor and dignity.

She does allow him the moment to pose his question -- had it come from anyone else, there would assuredly be some sort of harsh tone accompanying it. "You must get that a lot, then," she comments, "for your remark to be so swift. I'm sorry about that."

The Empress has established a large enough sample size to create a formula that accurately describes the majority of fighters she's already come across. But it may seem that this formula is in need of a tweak.

Still. She'd asked for no pause in Kazuki's attacks, and she grants none. As Kirigana is likely able to get to his feet, she sees no further reason to stay her attack -- a backhanded punch from her left hand aimed to breach his guard, followed up by two quick strikes from her right to exploit the opening and attack the center.

COMBATSYS: Honoka successfully hits Kazuki with Medium Strike.

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Honoka           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\==-----\1           Kazuki

Kazuki is on his feet almost as soon as Miko is within striking range. He attempts to block the strikes, but the smaller girl is fast and vicious. He wobbles under the assault, but Miko likely can tell that the young man is not about to go down.

The aikido prodigy throws a swift uppercut that clearly misses the Empress. Perhaps she can feel one last stirring of the wind before it follows the path of the punch to fling the young woman!

COMBATSYS: Kazuki can no longer fight.

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Honoka           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|

Kazuki slumps to one knee gasping for breath. He's clearly done as far as this spar is concerned.

COMBATSYS: Honoka slows Sforzando from Kazuki with Ishirishina.
Glancing Hit

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Honoka           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|

Miko had a clear purpose in calling out Kazuki -- she wanted to judge their skill levels relative to one another. Taken as a whole, one could surmise that Miko was stronger. But that wasn't the only purpose for the fight; she'd wanted to know more about Kazuki's repertoire. More about his strikes, more about his grapples, more about that =chi=.

She had not hoped to demonstrate her lack of skill when it comes to unarmed combat, but that may just be an added benefit for Kazuki's sense of well-being.

As she draws her fists back from Kazuki, she can sense the retaliation. It's telegraphed, to some degree, but she hadn't expected him to miss the mark by that far.

That's when her eyes open wide. Kazuki is full of surprises.

But when that gale-force wind rushes forth -- Miko is still standing in the same place. Dodging would've probably been the prudent thing to do, but her reaction is borne of trained reflexes, kicking in even though she would probably have rather they not. Her open palm swirls in a tight circle, the motion so fast that her fingertips practically disappear into a flesh-colored blur.

It looks ridiculous. But in fact, that's literally all there is to it.

But Kazuki would probably note that the force of the chi is mitigated considerably in that circular area. Her face and upper torso are spared the brunt of the blast -- barely a hair is scattered out of place from the initial blast alone.

But Miko's legs are shaky -- she can only truly endure the winds for a half-second before the gusts knock her legs clear out from under her, sending her tumbling face-first towards the floor. If that were it, it'd be pretty silly -- but it also sends her flying into the half-dozen guys behind her, knocking them over as well, as her bones and sinew alike are assaulted by the same needlelike pinpricks from before, the very blood feeling like it's about to boil out of its veins.

Gritting her teeth, Miko extricates herself from the pile of knocked-over bodies. She... looks angry for a moment, her jaw clenched as she pushes back to her feet, her eyes damp with irritation from the sudden torrential attack.

The irritation fades, as she draws in her breath, nodding in approval to Kazuki. "S-sorry about that," she adds, numbly, to the guys she'd knocked over like tenpins.

But it's Kazuki she addresses next, walking over to him.

And kneeling to him as well, looking into his eyes. She knows he may be at a loss for what just happened, for what perturbed the flow of chi without itself leaving a trace. Her breath ragged, she notes, "I'm not sure if you realize it, Kazuki, but this has been a most productive spar."

COMBATSYS: Honoka has ended the fight here.

Kazuki blinks slowly as Honoka does... /something/. Something he can barely make out with his eyes, can't really /hear/ with either his normal hearing or his ability to hear chi flow. He's, at a minimum, curious. But too tired, too polite, to push the matter right now.

"It shouldn't surprise you," Kazuki says as he catches his breath, "That I get a lot of people trying to get a rise out of me here. It's..." Kazuki pauses before slumping into a sitting position, "Something I'm getting used to. He's silent for a moment, catching his breath.

"But I'm glad that I could help you out, Koboyashi-sempai," he says. He adjusts himself back into a seiza. It seems like that is his reflexive sitting posture when he doesn't have a chair. "It was an instructive experience for me as well."

Miko nods quietly as she listens, observing Kazuki's posture shifts with mild amusement. Seiza is not something that she can hold for long -- after getting chapped from the currents of chi smashing against her, she's pretty much not going to even try it.

"Well. That? I don't know what you want to call it, but that right there was a dragon in my book." She offers a weark smirk, leaning heavily on one knee as she pushes herself back to her feet. It's only a second or two before she has offers of assistance, quite possibly from the same folks that had been trying to get a rise out of him. She picks the closest and leans on him for support, gratefully. "I... listened to your cd. It was pretty rocksome, it's what I was listening to on the way in..."

Before she can really finish, the boy who'd been holding her headphones and music player has appeared. Grateful for this as well, she bows her head in thanks and drapes the earbuds back around her neck, clipping the music player to her shirtsleeve. "... I really like it. It's been my workout music ever since."

She glances around for a moment. There's... quite a crowd. That certainly brings a smile to Miko's face. "... Right. Let's hit the drink machines or something, eh? I'm about to pass out!"

Kazuki rises, the motion surprisingly smooth considering the beating he just took, nodding as he goes to get his book, glasses, and empty bottle of water. "It was an intersection of skill, talent, and adrenaline," Kazuki says, clearly in reference to that final burst of wind. "I wasn't angry," he says truthfully. "And doing something on that scale is pretty difficult for me." He heaves a sigh.

"I..." Really liked it as well. "Felt it was a good answer to your question." Another pause as the two head for the drink machine. "It's very hard to stay still when listening to it. You seem to me to be someone who doesn't like to stay still."

Miko agrees, trying to get some feeling back into her arms and shoulders by rubbing her knuckles along them. "Oh, I didn't... eh." The psychic could -tell- he wasn't angry, but what's the fun in telling him that?

And as she stops at the drink machine, chunking a few coins into the slot, she actually breaks into a gentle laugh. Not someone who likes to stay still? "Yeah, I'd say that's accurate."

As she makes her selection -- oolong tea -- she turns over to smile back to Kazuki as she drops in a few more coins. The body language of her gesturing to the machine is clear: his choice.

"Sometimes, though," she continues, "I need someone else to dance with."

Log created on 17:21:48 01/11/2015 by Honoka, and last modified on 23:50:17 01/11/2015.