Honoka - Homecoming, Part III

Description: Following several days of Ainu rituals and performances -- as both audience members and as participants, Honoka and Zach discuss what they've learned, and how it might apply on a broader scope.

The last day of Honoka's vacation in Akan began with a knock at the door. In the hands of a courier came a small box, intricately wrapped with fabric made from tree bark, bound with twine made from the same. Her Ainu name had been written upon it, so naturally she'd opened the box right up.

Inside were four simple cassette tapes, marked with katakana to indicate the intended listening order, as well as a small note in Japanese: "I was instructed to keep this hidden from you until the time was right. I believe you're ready now. Please give yourself time and space to consider what you hear.

It was surprisingly easy to find a store in town that selling three-decade-old technology. And while she had thought herself ready for listening to the first tape... well...

It's time for a walk, she's decided -- and there's no better place for it than the nature trail she'd used to walk along as a child. She'd stopped to ask Zach if he'd like to accompany her. She'd hailed a rickshaw. And it left the pair right at the beginning of the nature trail, a simple gateway made of rough-hewn logs.

"So I listened to the first one," Honoka relates, once the rickshaw driver is out of earshot, eyes on the gateway. "And it was my grandma talking to me. As clearly as if she were standing right next to me. Grandma passed away when I was ... maybe, one or two years old."

Honoka's hair cascades freely across the shoulders of her attush, fluttering in the light breeze as her straw sandals begin to traverse the path amongst the trees. "I think the next few days will be busy, Zach. There's no way I can listen to them all in one go."

Zach had never ridden in a rickshaw before, and seemed keen to try the thing out. Following Honoka's lead, he donned his own atttush. He listened to Honoka's story about the tapes, a single eyebrow raised. /Cassette tapes/? Really? Then again, if they contained a message from Honoka's /grandmother/, that'd make sense.

"So," Zach asks with polite curiousity, "What would you like me do?" He's curious about what was on the tapes, but is was likely not meant for strange ears. He doesn't ask about it. If Honoka wants to share, she will.

"I'd like you to walk with me," Honoka states simply, without any touch of judgment or sarcasm. "And enjoy the scenery. I haven't seen it in about nine years." Indeed, her mood seems to improve with each step from the road which the rickshaw had followed, as the scents and sounds of civilization fade into obscurity, replaced with the calming, comforting trappings of nature.

"I'm... trying to take in each lesson. These messages Grandma knew that... one of her grandchildren would need to hear. Auntie told her that she should record them, just in case. Her way to transcend time... and allow us to find our ancestral path." She spreads her arms wide, looking up through the boughs and branches of the trees. "And this was her first lesson. To... hear the voices of the spirits. In person."

Zach takes in Honoka's bearing. Her confidence has returned, and she seems to have regained her sense of balance. He smiles a bit at the thought, then looks around slowly. He doesn't quite get it, but he also realizes that he doesn't have the right context for it either.

And so Zach doesn't judge, and enjoys the scenery while he is here, enjoys the moment as it is.

The trees sway overhead. They are... trees. In Shinto and Buddhist religions, there are clearly-marked shrines. It's easy to tell when and where you're supposed to worship.

"In Ainu tradition... the closest we would get to a city is a village. Anything like a 'city' would just be... vulgar, really. Still is, depending on who you talk to."

She runs fingers through her hair, separating locks apart from one another, so that the light breeze can sift through them more comfortably. "But... also, getting away from the villages used to be a lot easier to do. We would spend a lot of times in forests. Just... listening."

She pauses for a moment, then shrugs her shoulders. "There's no... like... rituals or anything. Apparently the messages are just... kinda... zen, y'know? Words to live by, but I'm not expecting any grand revelations..."

She turns towards Zach for a moment, a sly grin upon her face. "But these paths used to have lots of foot traffic. So don't go thinking this is a private getaway or anything."

Zach grins back. "Hadn't crossed my mind," he replies honestly. He thinks for a moment. "So your grandmother," Zach says, "Passed along four hours of words to live by." He thinks about that a moment longer. "I mean, my grandfather's pushing ninety. Fought in two wars. How would you fit that much /life/ into four hours?" Zach looks a little wistful.

Honoka flashes a smile -- Zach's open honesty and simplicity have been two of the attributes she favored most, after all. She looks back towards the path, so as to not inadvertently trip over one of the many tree roots crossing the well-worn path as it winds through the forest.

"It's not like she was /trying/ to summarize her life for me in four hours. It was something Auntie pretty much put her up to, knowing that she and mom weren't gifted, and betting one of us would be. Cassette tapes aren't... really... the traditional way to pass down legacies."

"And this... tape in particular told me that every creature that ever lived has a singing voice in the choir. And it's not one you can hear on one visit, or two, or fifty." She looks down at her fingers, before lacing them together before her. "It's... been our legacy to sense when these songs change. And tell the people how to act accordingly, so as not to anger the spirits."

A glance is passed Zach's way. "So, at least by this first lesson... I fail, because I can't hear the voices. But that's... not how the training is meant to go. It's meant to be holistic... with each lesson building upon the next, interweaving. Some fibers strong, different fibers weak."

"... Do you 'feel' anything?" she asks, a mild sense of anxiety in her heart.

Zach listens to Honoka, then regards the sun through the trees through narrowed eyes as he reaches out with his own senses. He's silent for a moment, glancing down the trail behind them, and then up the trail ahead of them. He considers for a moment.

"Aside from the two of us," he says slowly, "There's someone back the way we came." He points up the trail, "And a couple ahead of us." His eyes narrow a bit, then go wide as Zach blushes. He coughs behind one hand. He collects himself. "There might be more," he says finally, "But if there are, they are out of range."

Honoka hadn't expected such a quick response. But then again... her grasp of the spiritual is more intuitive -- and an order of magnitude less precise than that of someone like Zach. So she's curious to hear his reactions.

And, opportunist that she is, she doesn't miss a beat when he blushes, leaning in close to examine his own responses in that regard. Coughing, collecting himself... she's eager to see exactly how that influences -Zach-. Which is at least as fascinating as the answers he actually speaks.

A reddish tinge crosses her cheeks as well as she interlaces her fingers behind her back, attush sleeves swaying with each step. "Now... are these living, or the dead...?"

It seems like a silly question to ask, but given the context...

"Alive," he says after a moment. "In the case of the couple, very /much/ so." He tilts his head to one side, curious. He regards Honoka for a moment, then tries to range his senses out a little further.

"...one... something...," he says, uncertainty in his voice and face. "Ahead of the couple," he says, shaking his head. "Couldn't say what it's from. Did something happen here? Like a battle or something? That kind of thing can leave a mark, and I can sometimes pick up on that."

Honoka squints her eyes at Zach for a moment. "Just for the record, I won't be grossed out if you want to watch 'em. Public place an' all." Honoka's face is blank -- but only because she's gauging Zach's reaction to that.

She'd flash him that mischeivous smile he ought to know well by now, regardless. "... Well. Nothing bad that I -know- of, but with a path this popular, something bad is -bound- to have happened here."

She winks back at Zach. "Lead the way, then. Your nose for this sort of stuff is a bit better than mine."

"Yeah, no," Zach says quickly as he considers for a moment. "It'd have to be something involving a lot of people. Or a lot of time. Or both." he says before he steps off to start walking toward the trail. He's looking around, and as they pass a point. Zach places a thumb and forefinger in his mouth and lets out a shrill whistle.

There is a rustling in the brush, and Zach lets out a low chuckle before moving on. After a couple more minutes, Zach just stops, staring off into the woods. He waits for Honoka to catch up; he may have been moving a bit quickly.

Honoka can't help but smirk as Zach hastens forward, taking care to avoid the happy (if a bit startled) couple. She gives them a wide berth, but that's partly because she's focusing on keeping her attush from getting caught in the snarls of roots and branches strewn about the forest floor.

Slipping between the trees, she soon finds Zach waiting for her. And realizes... she's kind of just been taking her time with this, reaching out in only a casual sense with her abilities. "I ... don't... feel anything, really. Some sort of battle...? Or was an animal involved?"

Zach just shrugs, and gestures off of the trail, looking a little confused. "I have no idea," he says after a moment. "But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious. You mean you don't..." Zach looks at Honoka for a moment, still uncertain. Zach may not know what it is, exactly, but he can't /help/ but notice it.

Maybe it's the fact that he has had, in a way, not only his own lifetime but also the time that the other Zach had to learn about his abilities, which is almost as long as Honoka has been alive all told.

The juggler shakes her head. "I... I can sense that you're pretty worked up over it. But..." Rather than continuing to belabor the point, she figures actions can speak louder than words. Closing her eyes, she draws a deep breath, reaching her senses out further. If it weren't for Zach basically telling her it should be as plain as the nose on his face, she might not have risen to the challenge.

Her lip twitches upwards -- but that's about it. "I..." she starts, slowly cracking one eyelid open. "... can sense something? Pain, sure. But... it's so faint."

Her eyes slowly acclimate to the surrounding area, as she takes in the signs. The trees show no sign of conflict. The ground, same.

Tilting her head to the side, she looks up at Zach. "It's... possible that someone, or something... died here a long time ago. And never really lost its hold on the place. My people do not make strong distinctions between the souls of animals and people, because the boundary is so malleable. But... your skills are different than mine, perhaps yours discriminate more finely?"

Zach looks a bit lost with the explanation. "Maybe?" he says after a moment. He looks around, and finds a good sized rock to sit down on. Zach then folds his arms across his chest and bows his head to think. "There's a theory," he finally says, "That our skills come from the things that make us human. The ability to think, to reason. That the energy we wield comes from the soul. Everyone has a little bit of that energy. In order to use that energy, we have to be able to perceive it somehow."

"Hmm. Well..." The urge to interject her thoughts is strong, but her entire raison d'etre for being in this part of Hokkaido is for her to -listen-, less so than speak.

Absently rubbing her shoulder -- the brace is no longer needed, but the remnants of the attack are still healing -- she nods back slowly to Zach. "I'm guessing that may be something the rest of the tapes will get to. They're... pretty dense, and my Ainu isn't as good as it could be. So it'll probably take me a few weeks to sift through."

There might not be enough of the rock for Honoka to sit upon, now, but she does lean against the rock. And her shoulder brushes against Zach. "For me, it's more... it's like that sense when you know it's going to rain soon, but you're not sure why. If you're not planning to spend time outside, it doesn't make much of a difference whether it rains or not, so why bother honing that sense?" She looks down at her open hand, flexing her fingers somewhat. "And me... I've only ever needed to influence people who I could see, who I could feel. If they smile, I tend to associate what I just felt with happiness. I never really had a trainer, Zach."

"Learning how to use your power," Zach says, "Is an intensely personal experience." He considers for a moment. "Even for me. I mean, think about it," he says. "Most fighters, when they do the amazing things that they do, they borrow the energy for those feats from nature. Maybe not all of it, but definitely some of it. We," Zach says as he gestures between himself and Honoka, "Produce that energy, all of that energy, ourselves. It comes from /inside/ you. I mean, just think about what that means for a minute."

Honoka raises an eyebrow at Zach. "I... did lose both my will to live -and- my powers in the recent past." She's keenly aware of the connection between her motivations and the powerful effects they can have. But she's also not mad at Zach -- at some point, it becomes necessary for a teacher to tell a student something they already know. And so, she's not really petulant. Just pointing out the obvious.

She takes a measured breath, and notes, "But I think I see what you're getting at. You provide this energy by eating like a racehorse. I... don't."

"Going back to the theory of where our powers come from," Zach says with a grin. Honoka's sharp; it's one of the things he likes about her. "Some people think that everyone is connected, on some deep level. You feel it when a crowd comes together for a sporting event, or political rally, or a circus. There's a /vibe/ to it, a sort of pressure." Zach shrugs slightly. "Maybe you get yours from that. Or like how extroverts seem to get a boost from being around people."

Zach knows things about Honoka that even she doesn't know -- for he was able to see another Honoka with more fully-developed powers. One who used them more openly, more overtly. At a political rally -- no doubt his word choice was particular.

But then again, Zach's also been with her in the circus. Felt the allure of the audience's boundless energy... and likely sensed some of it being siphoned off for her own use. For that... he wouldn't need to have known anything about another life.

It's not telling Honoka anything she doesn't already know -- there's no "eureka!" sensation from her as she looks off through the branches and tree trunks. She knew. And now she confirms yet something else that he knows about her.

"Yeah, probably right on that count," she assents, pushing away from the rock and turning back towards Zach. She absently brushes off the her elm bark fibers of her garment, raising an eyebrow. "It's personal, then. And perhaps it could also be a simple matter of vocabulary, giving terms to the things that I feel and can't explain. I know -something- happened here, but... I don't know what. But I wouldn't have noticed it at all if you hadn't led me here."

She raises her sleeve, pointing to different stripes upon it. A blue stripe: "This is 'aoi'." And a green stripe: "This is 'aoi' too. Until you know the word for green, and the word for indigo, and the word for cerulean... it's hard to discuss which color's which here."

Zach nods, following Honoka's finger as she points out the colors. It's at /that/ point he gets a bit confused. He points at the blue stripe, "That's blue," Zach uses the english words here. He points to the green stripe, "And that's green." He frowns a bit. "But yeah. If you can put words to things, it can help you figure them out."

"Right. And you... you've spent time figuring out things like this. If you don't embroider stripes onto sleeves, it's doubtful you really need to know the words. And... I don't generally go walking about forests trying to commune with the spirits, unless my grandmother specifically recommends it." Pausing a beat, she then smiles.

Okay, perhaps that's a bit rude: she softens the smile a bit more. "I'm learning, that's all I'm trying to say. Teach me more, sensei?"

"And you think I do," Zach says, the faintest tone of exasperation in his voice, "We're both in uncharted territory, here. Did she mention anything specific you should be trying, or was it 'go into the forest and commune with the spirits?'"

"... Well. The tone is a bit different... more like, 'our people spend time in the forest communing with spirits'." The order to stand here is kind of implied, I guess? But yeah, basically."

She looks past Zach for a moment, eyes focusing on motion she can spy off in the distance... but ultimately dismisses it. "I'm glad you're here with me? I mean... I really just got overloaded trying to think in Ainu again and just needed a break, more than anything."

She shrugs faintly with a reassuring smile upon her face. "I mean, if nothing else, I think we -did- need a change of scenery. Spending all that time, cooped up in our rooms..."

"I'm glad to be here, then," Zach says. Zach's gaze goes almost in the same direction as Honoka's; maybe he spotted something as well. He takes a deep breath, taking in the fresh air. "And fresh air is always good."

He considers something for a moment. "Mind if I ask you something?"

Honoka smiles warmly, shaking her head. "Not at all, Zach. Go ahead?"

Zach considers carefully. It's a tricky subject he's about to broach. "What is it you plan to do with all of this," he asks quietly. "I mean let's say the Butcher shows up and we completely undo what it did, and prevent it from ever happening again." Zach frowns. "What is your next step? Do you come back here and help protect and preserve the ways of your people? Do you seek some kind of retribution for what was done to them all those years ago?"

There's no heat to the question. The answer seems very important to Zach, but he is very carefully keeping the emotion out of it. "I mean, even the driest accounts I've read of what happened are pretty horrible," he says. "I'd understand if that was something you wanted."

Honoka runs through a host of fleeting emotional responses to the various topics Zach touches on, en route to his true question. The mention of the Butcher is not one that exactly sets her at ease, considering -- but actually getting pushback on her... plan, so to speak, is a different matter.

And on top of already knowing that another Honoka plotted to take over the world... he can read her in ways that other people just can't.

Honesty is the best policy. "Well. Being that I didn't know that my family tree was, y'know, /important/ until a few days ago... that changes things, right?" She laughs, mirthlessly, while lowering her gaze, and drawing Zach's hand into hers. Pressing her palms against his, and kneading her thumbs lightly against his knuckles, she gives her calm answer.

"You're asking me if I'm mad at the entire Japanese people for the callous, unfeeling acts of their ancestors? That'd be like... getting mad at the dogs and horses that get pushed about in a war machine. What good is retribution, Zach...?"

There may be no heat on the question. But simply asking about retribution is enough to illustrate his concern. "What I want, Zach... it's not really something that fits in a fortune cookie. It's... to be able to walk down the street, comfortable that I can wear whatever I want, and you can wear whatever you want... and without fear of judgment. Or reprisal. Or even /anger/."

She draws in her breath, her stress levels rising somewhat. She's... /sad/. "Pirka... you saw how mad she was at me." She pauses. "She wasn't mad at me, she was mad at what Japan made me into. Years ago. Turning my back on the Ainu ways... just to fit in."

The answer is a deep one. Zach takes it all in, the touch, the words, the tone. It's all honest enough, but it is also an answer that is not an answer. He smiles faintly. It's a good goal. A noble goal. He is calm, understanding, patient, and he lets those emotions show not just in his bearing, but in a way that Honoka will no doubt pick up in other ways.

"It's a hard thing," he says. "But anything good, worth doing, is going to be. Any idea how you want to bring this about?"

While it wouldn't be clear in her facial expression, even if she -were- looking at Zach's face instead of his hand, it would be clear to Zach that she's frustrated at being called on not... -really- answering the question. Though he's kind enough to not point it out, he does... ask it again. Rephrased.

It's hard to stay upset, as he's clearly going out of his way to avoid tripping any of the triggers that might usually set her off.

Brow furrowing, she states, "I want to teach people that we can coexist. Support bands like Oki Dub, Soul Flower Union... that try and bring our culture back into the mainstream." She laughs faintly, adding, "It's like... Rage Against The Machine put American Indians on the cultural map... for a bit. Right?" She kneads quietly into Zach's hand, lost in thought for a moment.

Self-doubt. It -is- the right way, that she's going about things.... isn't it?

"Rage Against the Machine also advocated the violent overthrow the United States government," he says, the tease evident in his voice, in the lopsided grin. Zach looks thoughtful for a moment. Music /is/ a universal language, even if it's not really his thing. He turns to look at Honoka. "It's okay," Zach says. "I was just wondering if you had thought it out, was all."

There's a moment where Honoka stops kneading, and... it could actually cross the border from comfort into pain. But it's a very short moment.

"I've been thinking about a lot of things, Zach... I have to relearn my culture basically from scratch right now. It's hard, okay? It's like..."

She trails off, frowning. "Well, you're European, right? It's nice, they have history books you can read. Whenever you like. Western civilization won. Western civilization developed writing, passed these things on."

She releases Zach's hand, laces her fingers together as she steps back to look at Zach. The frown is a bit more clear. "Now imagine most of your culture were gone. All you have is the Iliad. The Odyssey. Beowulf. Something about King Arthur. And whatever your parents happened to tell you before age twelve."

Has she thought about this? It's probably safe to assume she has.

Zach has no doubt that Honoka has though about it, but he needed to hear her say these things. He doesn't show any discomfort when she gives the squeeze; he was kind of asking for it with that comment about Rage. He doesn't mention the fact that he's only European if you go back far enough, that as an American he only sort of has that massive culture behind him.

"It's a hard thing," he says after a moment. "Hard to even wrap my mind around," he admits. "Maybe... I just needed to hear you say some of these things, I guess."

"To make sure I wouldn't go out and take over the world or something?" She chuckles -- she can tease just as well as he can. "I thought we agreed that wasn't /me/, Zach?"

He's got his doubts. If she's honest when she says she wants there to be no judgment, equal acceptance, she's got to deliver on that -- and accept that people -will- have doubts. "Listen... it's fine if you don't believe me. But, really, how many people are in this world right now who will actually try to -better- the world? Most people just... sit around, play Farmville or play pachinko all day. There's no real pressure for any one -person- to change the world, is there?"

"It's also really /hard/ for any one person to change the world," Zach says as he looks away from Honoka. "It's why they always stand out in the history books, and why those same books tend to over simplify them. To make them more concrete examples."

Zach frowns, turning to regard... /something/ off in the forest. It's the exact same direction he was looking in when the pair stopped earlier. He's noticing /something/, he just doesn't know how to put it to words, it seems.

Honoka nods quietly in agreement. "It is hard... but it can be done. Shigeru Kayano," notes Honoka, "entered the Japanese diet about the time I was born. He was the first Ainu politician to do so. And two years after he died, work he started accomplished more for the Ainu than the hundred and forty years..."

She drifts off, when she notices that Zach's attention has gone elsewhere. "... What is it?" she asks, looking in the same direction. "Another couple going at it?"

"No," Zach says after a moment. "But it's something. I still don't..." Zach pauses. "But it /does/ feel familiar." Zach frowns. "Okay," he says after a moment. "You know how you can read a person, or a crowd, right? Try extending that sense that way," he says, pointing in the direction that he is looking. It's not that far now, he thinks. Maybe two hundred meters?

"Familiar..." echoes Honoka, flicking her gaze back to Zach's face. He doesn't usually aim to deceive her, so the thought of foul play isn't really a valid one -- but she thinks it anyway.

She still looks in that direction though. And with narrowed eyes, she changes her focus, as bidden.

"It's... something, yeah...? Like, not really... but."

She doesn't bother waiting around for the committee to decide things. She starts walking towards it.

Zach, for his part is still, and waits. He finally places where he knows this feeling from, now that it's not giving him a bloody migraine. He smiles gently. "Just be careful," he says. "It's smaller than the one I was thinking of, but that's like saying water is wet."

This whole thing reminds him, faintly, of Raiden. Who claims to be a god. Or a being that ate the belly buttons of children. Hard to say.

The Iyomante ritual is a peculiar one, and the practice of it is probably the most distasteful to the shisam. A bear is captured, and raised within the village for two months, before ritually slaughtered, its essence captured within a small vessel.

This is what Honoka is afraid of encountering, as she steps close and kneels, finding a small object. It looks like a log, but closer inspection shows it to be a bit too smooth, a bit too regular. It may have begun life as part of a tree, but the carvings are too precise -- this was touched by human hands.

But the soul inside is not human. Honoka does not touch it -- merely kneels before it, brow knit in consternation. "This is a spirit..." She frowns. "It's trapped... and lost. It... was fooled by the material, and the shape, into thinking this was a tree."

"How... long has it been here?" she wonders aloud.

Zach finally follows Honoka into the forest, picking his path carefully to avoid making a mess of his attush, his attention mostly on what he is seeing. He looks at the work, letting out a low whistle. The carving is a subtle thing, and that can be hard to manage.

At the question though, Zach gives a simple shrug. "No clue," he says as he crouches in front of it. "What is this supposed to be," he asks quietly, almost reverently.

"It is not... a bear." It may sound like a non-sequitur to Zach, but it makes perfect sense to Honoka. "The Iyomante ritual is a very important one for us... but we have had to be cautious performing the ritual in mixed company. It's... quite possible that one was performed out here. Or... more likely, a child may have gotten the sacrificial vessel after the ritual ended and simply brought it here."

She sighs, reaching out and righting the overturned vessel so that it stands proudly and properly, like a tree. Taking a step back, a faint pink glow begins to emanate from her forehead and hands.

"But a forest spirit has taken residence," she states in a low voice, as the forest spirit makes its way out of the upright vessel. The spirit, glowing white, has a disproportionately large head, and is reluctant at first, peering out of the vessel cautiously. But once it notices Honoka and Zach, it laughs, head wobbling backwards at uncertain angles, and then it traipses off into the forest.

Miss Kawamoto breathes a sigh of relief. "And now... it's free."

Zach has been mostly unflappable during this trip. The only time he has not been rock steady was during the story telling with Pirka, and Zach is not made of stone.

That being established, Zach is startled by the display, and goes from a crouch to a seated position. But he listens, his brain still operating despite the surprise of the moment.

He turns to regard Honoka seriously. "I would not have known what to do there," he says after a moment.

"I'm... not sure I did the right thing, either," admits Honoka. "Auntie would have known. There is a ritual for everything... and I'm pretty sure I didn't follow it in this case..."

She stands up, and only now notices that Zach is... well, he's sitting. An eyebrow quirks upward, at that. "I was able to sense its unease, its confusion. And it seemed... harmless enough, I guess." Punctuating her statement with an uneasy smile, she reaches her hand out to Zach -- to help him to his feet, should he desire it.

"But I doubt I'd have even seen it if you didn't notice it first. The spirits are often just as confused by human activity as we are by theirs -- and their methods of communicating are much more... childish." She balls her fists and mimes a tantrum, just for effect.

She looks down for a moment, then back at Zach. "Mmm... by the way, we should probably think about lunch soon, if we're still planning on that boat tour..."

"That's what you're here to learn though, right?" Zach asks as he takes the hand. "The rituals, I mean." She doesn't have to pull hard to bring Zach to his feet, and Glenn is using his free hand to knock dirt and grass off of his attush.

"Food's always good," he says agreeably, "And yeah, the boat tour sounds like fun."

"Well. It'll... it'll take time to learn them all. The good thing is, tourists -love- most of the rituals that don't involve killing, so almost all of them will probably survive. And the better thing is, I can study videos. Auntie has taped pretty much everything, so it's like a a dance routine at that point."

Honoka doesn't so much let go of Zach's hand as changes her grip, allowing the two to walk beside one another. "Yes. Let's... get something to eat." She flashes a mischievous grin back to Zach as she steps over fallen leaves, branches and roots to make way back to the well-worn path. "Maybe something other than oysters, though."

Log created on 07:32:21 03/09/2015 by Honoka, and last modified on 16:46:59 03/22/2015.