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[14:28] <Ai> And so it began… Another day, that may be construed as a … 'date'. Possibly. With Reiko, Ai was starting to wonder when Reiko would notice, actually… But that would be a thing to deal with another day. Or today. …Whatever. Case ends up, that Ai offered to see a movie (and hint-hinted that it should probably be Black Panther because superheroes!). So now, the girl was knitting her hands at her waist outside the cinema,
[14:28] <Ai> tilting back and forth.
[14:31] <PersonaGM> [Date? Two gal pals hanging out? Who could say? (Ai could say.)-
[14:34] <PersonaGM> [Time ticked on. Even though there was still a good five minutes until the agreed upon time, Reiko hadn't arrived- cause for panic? Of course, in not-dates, everything is a cause for panic.-
[14:34] <PersonaGM> [Tick tock!-
[14:35] <PersonaGM> [… But two minutes before the agreed on time, Reiko arrived, wearing the fashionable and practical Sophia tee, her red silk summer jacket, and a white miniskirt with a pale sakura petal pattern across it.-
[14:36] <PersonaGM> ["Heeeeeeeeeeey~"]
[14:41] * Ai subtly wondered just how practical and fashionable it actually was, and then wondered why she wondered that. …But. Then! That cute skirt…~ "Ooooh. Nice skirt~" As it stood, Ai herself was in a light… what looked like maybe a sundress? Soft pink with white floral designs~ "So! You ready to watch things about heroes and kings and stuff?"
[14:48] <PersonaGM> ["I like your dress, too." Said Reiko cheerfully.-
[14:48] <PersonaGM> ["And yup, I sure am~ Bought the ticket online and everything."]
[14:54] * Ai nodded her head cheeerily. "Good, good~ I think someone was even talking about the comics around the dorm before I knew the movie was on, too… I mean I know it's starting and was gonna come over, but. You know? I forgot which one did. Still. Hype!" She jumped up and down once, giggling animatedly.
[15:01] <PersonaGM> ["Don't superheroes get you pumped?!"]
[15:30] <Ai> "Yes!" Ai saida, after a brief moment to just… sort of vibrate in place. "But yes, yes! Definitely~ And I hear like, there's a buncha breakout characters and stuff in this one~" She giggled, before starting to move a bit closer to Reiko.
[15:33] <PersonaGM> [As Reiko was about to respond, a pair of older boys walked part, snickering. She verbally backpedalled, her face flushing for a moment.]
[15:35] * Ai turned suddenly, to briefly track them with her eyes. "…" But then turned back to Reiko soon after, stepping a bit away. "Something wrong…?"
[15:44] <PersonaGM> ["N-No. Not at all." Said Reiko. "Come on, let's go see the movie. I'll buy you a chococone."]
[15:46] * Ai slowly nodded, turning again to look off towards the escaping boys… before shaking her head. "S… sure, thanks!"
[16:04] <PersonaGM> [And so they saw Black Panther, a visually delightful tale about T'Challa, the King of Wakanda and the legendary Black Panther as he grows into the role he inherited from past generations whilst confronting the sins of that legacy- of finding his own way to do right. A tale of great power and responsibility, of being more than one seems. Indeed, Wakanda is as much a superhero as its king- a mighty nation that hides beneath an unassuming facade. And like many superheroes, Wakanda must deal with the knowledge that there were times where it fell short of the mark, failed to prevent harm to others, and must now deal with the consequences. At the conclusion of things, T'Challa retakes his throne and rejects the false binary of Wakanda being either isolationist or empire; instead he takes the lessons he has learned throughout the story and puts them into practice. To be a superhero is not just about martial power, but also about embodying a symbol, and of cooperation, of bringing the best out in others.-
[16:10] <PersonaGM> […-
[16:10] <PersonaGM> ["Hmm…" Reiko rubbed her chin. "That movie… It had a more thoughtful take on superheroing than other ones."]
[16:14] * Ai had some things to think about on it, herself. So… is that maybe?… Hmmm. "I've noticed. They're… they're trying to, really, work on that. And I think maybe the story of cooperation is something that… I guess they were poking at the comics before the film came out, for." Ai said, thoughtfully.
[16:29] <PersonaGM> ["Have you read the comics?"]
[16:33] <Ai> "Not a lot, no. I saw like, a sample page or so online… But w… what I meant is like how… they were all telling me how important it was?" She said, nodding. "Or, that it is now? ..S… something." Ai waved her hands a bit. "I think they wanted people to work together, too. To… well. I guess… Sort of be a bit like T'Challa to us."
[16:41] <PersonaGM> ["To inspire us?"]
[16:42] * Ai nodded. "Yes. …Or. Educate."
[16:52] <PersonaGM> ["See? That's the thing I keep trying to say. Superheroes aren't just cheap entertainment! They can teach you things!"]
[17:03] * Ai nodded, happily. "Yes! Yes yes~ And it's nothing to be ashamed about, because … in the end it's just the heroic story, told for generations, since humanity first grasped the notion of hope and dreams!" Ai… briefly fistpumped.
[17:12] <PersonaGM> ["Superheroes are a modern version of past epics, you mean?"]
[17:15] * Ai nodded firmly! "Yes. …And… those are stories for… like. Our hearts and minds…?" She tried to explain.
[17:26] <PersonaGM> ["So it's like training. For our souls."]
[17:29] <Ai> "Yeah… Yeah, so. It tells us not just a just-so story like myths of old would, but … the heroic ones, old and new, are about… wh… who we can be, and that… even if sometimes we need a little blessing or power, that's still something in the human spirit…" She was sounding more and more passionate!
[17:38] <PersonaGM> [Reiko stood by and cheerfully watched Ai wind herself up.]
[17:48] * Ai …actually took a second to realize that Reiko was watching her do that… before blushing, looking at the other girl and sort of. Fidgeting in place awkwardly. "O… oh. I got a bit overly… pumped… d-didn't I."
[17:53] <PersonaGM> [Reiko laughed.-
[17:54] <PersonaGM> ["There's plenty in your spirit, at least, Ai-chan."]
[17:57] * Ai blushed even brighter, starting to wave her arms around! "I… I mean, yes, Reiko-san, b… b-b-b-but I. I don't need to embarrass m-myself after I might've embarrassed y… you!" …At which point she clasped one of those hands over her mouth, wide-eyed. "…Sorry."
[18:07] <PersonaGM> ["I should be more worried about embarrassing you."]
[18:25] * Ai did a brief double-take. "Wait, really? Not the other way?"
[18:29] <PersonaGM> ["I-I mean, yeah, I usually am the one who embarrasses others…"]
[18:32] * Ai was staring with wider eyes… as if this was unbelievable. "… …You …" She shook her head, and… and reached out to pat Reiko on hers (tippy-toes if needed). "Reiko-san, w… we can't both… and… but I usually got embarrassed when I'm all alone… or…" She …did let that hand linger for a second or two, before pulling back. "…So. W-was that, when you were going on, on my behalf? … …What could you even
[18:32] * Ai do t… to embarrass me?" Spoken with a tone that implied she wondered how it was physically possible.
[18:37] <PersonaGM> ["I-I mean, I don't know. I just kinda… Do." Said Reiko. "I get too into things, or I forget I'm out in public, or, or… You know…"]
[18:46] <Ai> "…Maybe I don't. …Maybe…" Ai moved just a step or two closer, staring at Reiko intently, now. "…Maybe I know all too well. …" Stare. She was breathing in and out, slowly, fidgeting. "R… Reiko-san. Think about what you just said. …Then. Th… then think about how I act. Is it… th-that different?" She had ended up gaining a bit of a watery look in her eyes, and while she did give a bit more space now, Ai looked.
[18:46] <Ai> …How to put. Worried? Concerned? …something else…?
[18:59] <PersonaGM> [Reiko went quiet with thought.-
[19:00] <PersonaGM> ["I… Hmmm." She frowned. "Do you think I'm being too self-conscious, then? Worried about embarrassing you for things you don't actually worry about…?"]
[19:05] * Ai nodded her head firmly. "Yeah. …And because I… I do them too, you know." She said, almost tensing like she wanted to flail her arms… but stopping. "And so if you don't mind when I do those stupid things… silly things… wh-why would I? When you…?"
[19:13] <PersonaGM> ["O-Ooh. You're trying to encourage me!"]
[21:20] <Ai> "Y… yes!" Ai said, nodding her head. "And it's not lie it's a… a bad thing."
[21:34] <PersonaGM> [Reiko nodded. Slowly at first, then more firmly.-
[21:34] <PersonaGM> ["Right. Right! I need more confidence that the way I present is fine. Right?"]
[21:37] * Ai pulled backwards to have enough room to clasp her hands together. "Yes! …Exuberance is fine! I… I mean. If anyone really looks at you weird, just. Just remember that we're high school girls, we're supposed to have all the energy that adults got beat out of 'em, a-and the snickering stuffyhead boys that look at us funny don't have because they won't let themselves!" She said, almost… vibrating, again. "Just. Be you!
[21:37] * Ai And that'll be good, and if anyone gets upset and you have to do something different, it's just acting, it doesn't have to change who you are and you shouldn't need to do it for long at all!"
[21:43] <PersonaGM> ["Mmmmmmmmmmm……..mmmmmmmmmm……..mmmmmmmmmmmm-" Reiko threw her hand out for Ai to slap. "Mmmmph!"]
[21:44] * Ai was maybe a little confused at the sudden… muffled noises? But. But then she saw the hand up and. No matter what the ambiguously-date-like nature of a meeting is… Ai knew one thing. One truth, one cosmic truth that'll never change. -
[21:44] <Ai> Ever. -
[21:44] <Ai> Don't leave a sister hangin'.
[21:44] <Ai> …
[21:45] * Ai so totally slapped at the hand back with a happy little "Mmmph~"
[21:45] <PersonaGM> [High Five!-
[21:47] <PersonaGM> ["You're so right. That's exactly what I needed." Said Reiko. She clenched her other hand into a fist. "I'll do my best. I know I'll fall down a few times, because… I still feel kinda shy about it. But you'll be there to reinforce me, right?"]
[21:51] * Ai clenched as well, pulling it back like a… like, bracing it, you know? It's a gesture of determination, come on. "Yes! I… I will. I will be the girder for your wall, if you fal…l…" She broke out giggling. "Oh my god that was super corny." But then just rolled her shoulders. "I'll be there for you. Even doing all this crazy stuff, I'll give you the time I can have. It doesn't always have to be happy moments. You
[21:51] * Ai can help me sure, but… I should do that for you too! …" -
[21:53] * Ai beamed with a soft warmth in her smile. "…Slowly, I'm gaining more and more courage, levelling up every little attribute. But it's no game, and it's not (always) monsters I'm beating." …Aiiiii stop dropping hints alreadyyyyy. "If we gotta team up against sads and embarrassment then that's what we'll do!"
[22:04] <PersonaGM> ["Hahaha, alright!"-
[22:05] <PersonaGM> ["I had fun today, Ai." Said Reiko. "I mean, it was a little obvious, me being me an' all, but you picked the right movie…"]
[22:07] * Ai gave a thumbs-up. "Being obvious isn't a problem for having people pick out what to do with you, so relax~"
[22:12] <PersonaGM> ["True, true. Maybe next time I'll pick the movie…"]
[22:14] <Ai> "Maybe~" Ai said, cheerily. "…And maybe there won't be such an obvious choice next time. …Some of the ones in this week were… weird. But, well." She nodded. "Anything, anytime! Worst I can say is too busy, but I'll try my best to make it up then! …Need any help getting home?" …Which, schroedinger's date notwithstanding, seemed to be stated innocently.
[22:21] <PersonaGM> ["You good to walk me back to the train station?"]
[22:22] * Ai nodded, smiling brightly! "Just fine to~"
[22:22] <PersonaGM> [ The Sun Arcana deepens…]

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