It’s getting too crowded for her tastes. Uncomfortable shifting…
Monoko is uncertain to how she should act. To run or scream or brace herself to being stabbed or killed otherwise, she’s just very unsure.
Her hands—the four at either side (the one on her head just seems to have its fingers reaching out)—seem to droop a bit.
She awkwardly fiddles with her fingers, drool and eye fluid dripping steadily onto the ground.
Rusted eyes stared intently. Estranged, mutilated beings were nothing she had never seen before, however, this monochromatic girl was DEFINITELY something she had yet to see.
Her body pivoted to face Monoko, bony hands balled for a moment before they loosened again. She spoke up.
” Who are you. “
” I was enjoying the silence… It looks like I have more stalkers… “
Girl that is not how you smile get over here and let ‘dachi show you how the pros up in Inaba do it.
Sabitsuki was a difficult girl, perhaps one of the most difficult girls he’d ran into yet — which was definitely saying something, considering how little the detective valued them to begin with. While she was busy working through her own dilemmas, there was Adachi, wondering how he’d gotten himself wrapped in teaching someone like her how to smile, of all things.
Since when did he ever care about that? Maybe back when he had to put on an act for everyone, but there was no need for that now, so it shouldn’t matter, right? Maybe he really was just that bored.
…. Well. It would depend on the type of smile, right? Adachi had done a lot of smiling in his time; sincere smiling, wry smiling, smiling in that one creepy way that practically spelled out bad news and was probably outlawed in at least a few states…
It didn’t seem to be something that Sabitsuki really understood, and like hell was he the most intelligent guy in all of Arcadios.
Oh well. It was TEACHER TIME!! Another one of those supreme jobs that he ended up roped into for stupid reasons, but at least this time there weren’t weapons involved. Hopefully.
Holding back a chuckle, Adachi shook his head and gave her a single, short clap. “I guess it’s a start.” It was obvious that she’d at least tried her best, and it was at least a little reassuring to see that despite the obvious irritation the girl was feeling, none of it was being directed at him at the moment!
“You gotta think about something happy, then. Like… Like home. How about that? Just think about your own world and give it a go. It’s easy once you get the hang of it.” Or was that laughing? One of ‘em was contagious. “And if that doesn’t work, then we’ll just work out something else.”
Boy don’t play me like that, you can’t smile yo way outta a paper bag. So the saying goes.
It’s his own fault for choosing to befriend Sabitsuki of all people. The least sociable of any girl in Arcadios, she might as well be another bitch in the TV. Thankfully no such objects existed in this relic of a dimension.
Adachi made it this far— no credit would be taken from that. He had surprising patience for her, annoyance in the girl’s soulless antics only shown at one point in time, even if then was a bit hazy. Was it something worth thinking about? She didn’t think so.
” If you say so. “
It didn’t feel as good as she thought. Smiles were supposed to be pleasing, but… Ah, she wasn’t doing it right. That must be it.
” Home… “
Home. Hah. Her run-down apartment building in the middle of a polluted town in Nowhere, Japan. It was hardly inhabitable— her own coughed up blood littered her workspace and herself not bothering to clean it and yet… it was her place of peace.
” Ah… “
There, a more genuine grin crossed her face. She missed it home.
” I didn’t… live anywhere nice, though… “
Flora had just been making her way through the hall, not entirely sure where she had entered into. Once again she had gotten herself lost, but that was okay, it would just be like another scenic adventure! Just like yesterday… and the day before that… and the day before that.
However, as she meandered through the building, she heard something— a voice. A girl’s voice?
She quietly called out. It seemed to be repeating the same thing over, and over, like a broken record. Unlike a broken record, however, the voice would change in pitch and tone. How utterly curious! Flora couldn’t help herself as she gravitated towards a doorway in which the sound seemed to be emanating from and peered in through the crack to see a striking, silver head of hair.
She watched as the other girl grew silent— oh fiddlesticks, perhaps she had heard her? Is that why she was picking up a rock? To throw at Flora?! Oh goodness n—
Before she knew it, the silver-haired girl had hurled it, shattering whatever glass object in front of her to bits. Flora couldn’t help but let out a shrill yelp of surprise before quickly covering her mouth and closing the door— hoping the mysterious girl hadn’t heard.
She should have figured she was watched.
There were just too many people here— it was nigh impossible to remain alone for so long, especially to be given a chance of practicing what little social skill she grasped. To appear so vulnerable to someone made her increasingly uncomfortable.
The door made a slamming noise, Sabitsuki caught up and quickly raising her barriers again. The white-haired girl turned. It could’ve been the wind, but she wouldn’t take any chances. The stone was retrieved. She tread towards the door.
She was prepared to strike if whatever was behind this door chose to initiate a brawl. She would not stand down, neither for anyone nor anything.
Slowly, the door crept open. Slowly… slowly… painfully slow. Abrupt did it swing open all the way, herself wielding the stone with malicious intent only to stall.
This girl… she didn’t look any older than Sabi herself and surely means no harm.
” … “
Her hand lowered, stone rolling out of her palm and clattering on the marble floors. Christ, how long was she—
” Were you spying. “
Her voice was strained, cracked and worn from her vocal exercises. She had ways to go, it seemed.
You try, and try again.
This is what Sabitsuki was trying. She had to make a more honest effort in becoming social.
There, in front of her, stood a girl just like her, mimicking every action she did. The most minuscule of twitches were captured and replicated before her, head to toe, in nigh perfection. The world behind her was as well replicated by a hyper-clean monument. She stood in front of the reflective surface, a deep breath drawn.
” I am Sabitsuki. “
No, that was much too soft. Louder.
” Hello. I am Sabitsuki. “
Louder. More assertive.
” My name is Sabitsuki. “
” Hello! My name is Sabi—ahhh… t-tsuki… “
The girl’s voice cracked, still so unused to speaking so frequently. Rust-covered irises took their next gander into her own reflection, eyes having been closed the entire time. She repeated herself.
” Hello! I am Sabits-tsuki! “
Her faux smile quickly dropped, head lowered. This wasn’t going to work. Why did she even bother? Kneeling, a stone made a temporary safe haven in her grasp, merely ammunition to fire her rage through.
Stone met mystery material. Sheer force caused the artifact to crackle and break apart, Sabi’s head lowered and huffing in agitation.
” Damn it… “
Her variety of different was walking the line between the good sort and the bad sort; the sort that few would like to be caught around, but he found himself intrigued all the same. After all, he’d seen enough of ‘different’ from the wayward detective teenagers who’d wandered into the foggy expanse of his world. Nothing would come as much of a surprise now, not to someone with such solidified views on everyone around him.
“You’re… Happy, right?” He didn’t intend for it to sound so strained, so worn out and bordering on forceful, but after so long of deceiving those around him and deceiving himself, Adachi’s mannerisms were too good at making decisions for themselves.
At least it was a proper distraction from how terrible he probably was at this whole ‘comforting’ deal — heck, he didn’t even know if ‘comforting’ was what he was, or was supposed to be, doing in the first place. Good detective best friend.
He leaned away from her, bringing a fist to the side of his jawline; rolling his eyes up and around while mulling over what he could tell her. ‘Crying is a stupid thing to do, you’re stupid, stop it,’ wouldn’t exactly work out well. That wasn’t what a friend would say. Adachi cleared his throat, lips upturning in an easy smile.
“People cry for a whole bunch of reasons, Sabitsuki-chan. Even when they’re happy. C’mon, smile! Y’know, I heard it takes a lot less effort to smile.”
She had to calm down. These tears were irritating, uncontrollable and stung her eyes the more she rubbed at them. She hated crying so much, but she knew for a fact that what she felt right now was not related to sadness in the least bit.
” No… “
Her hands balled into fists, growing more and more frustrated by the second. This sucked. So much. She had to bite back the urge to swing at something. The girl was violent— this is not a subject up for debate.
He spoke again. She couldn’t bring herself to look at him. He urged her to smile. She wasn’t sure if she should comply. The smiling thing was difficult— a genuine smile, regardless. She had no reasons to up until now and since then, she had long forgotten how to go about the action.
Hasn’t she seen Adachi’s cheekiness first hand, though? He smiled a lot, right? How did it look… yes, the muscles at the corners of her lips must be pushed up. It sounded easy enough.
It was harder than it looked. As Sabitsuki tipped her head upwards, what showed was an awkward, lopsided variant of a smirk. She was trying, lips twitching just to get the muscle contractions right to no avail.
” This is hard. “
It no longer mattered to Shinjiro as to whether or not he knew where he was walking, but rather what the fuck was he doing still walking? He was dead. Had been dead. Maybe he’d been brought back as some moron’s idea of a joke. Or was he just some sort of zombie?
He shook his head and made the usual “tch” noise—all of those ideas were ridiculous. There wouldn’t be any special reason to him being brought back to life—only that it had happened. And then the… goddess? of this place had explained to him her plan for all of the people he had seen running around here, why they had all been gathered here.
So in the end it hadn’t mattered that I died, he thought. Figures.
Before arriving here, though, there had been nothing. Zip, nada, zilch. An apparent hole in his memory from the time he had died to his apparent revival here. It hadn’t felt like death at all, only… being asleep for a long time and suddenly waking in a strange place.
He’d been resigned to dying, though, and found himself unprepared to deal with living again. What was there left to do?
If he figured out some hidden meaning to this second chance at life, sure, that’d be great. For now he’d just sit down and rest up against wherever the hell he had ended up walking to and possibly sleep.
Maybe he’d find the place he was supposed to be sleeping later on.
Oh, what’s this? Yet another lost soul, unaware of his new setting and unsure of what to do.
This man seemed a bit different. The most she’s seen were extremely well-dressed or interestingly designed idiots, but… this man just looked like an idiot from the slums. Nostalgic… He looked like he needed spare change and a calling card for homeless services. Too bad for him.
She figured she should at least offer a direction for him to traverse, thus the young girl straying her original path in favor of meeting this newcomer. What should she say? Welcome? No, that was starting to get old. Perhaps he was among the select few who did know what they were doing here, and was just lost direction-wise. Let’s not treat him like a low-life just yet.
That’s hard to do when he dresses like one.
” A-ahem. “
What to call him…
Think of a name! Treat people like people.
” Hobo— … san? “
… that was a nice try?
The demon smiled at that, nodding his head with a quiet laugh. Weird, maybe. It was weird how he’d come about being the ‘person’ he was, but nothing he did seemed that weird to him. The Hito-Shura rested an elbow on his leg, leaning forward, his chin against his palm as he continued staring at her; trying to read her. A fruitless thing to try, really.
“… Human. What more is there to it?” She stood on two legs, had eyes, a mouth, a voice, could walk of her own volition, so by all means, she must have been human. As far as demons went, very few resembled humans so perfectly that they could deceive another demon — and the demifiend wasn’t about to believe that this girl was one of Lucifer’s new forms.
Maybe if she dyed her hair and grew it out a little, she could pull it off, but that was a strange enough thought.
“It doesn’t matter. What are you doing here?” He didn’t mean it in the sense of, ‘what are you doing in Arcadios, you’re a small, odd-looking girl, you belong at home or in school or in front of a computer screen,’ but what she was doing in that exact place. As whimsical as he was, he was under the distinct impression that everything was done for a reason.
Trying to read her, huh… good luck with that. Her barriers were up 90% of the time. Now was not an exception, not in front of a complete stranger to her. This stranger is quite the eccentric, she thought.
” People like complicating things. “
” You need to fit into a specific… hole… to… be human. You need to be like… something… if not… “
” You’re not ‘human’. “
She stretched the truth gravely here. Granted, she had her points about the social hierarchy that today’s society had set up, but she gravely overestimated it. Not being human and not being a social recluse were two separate things. However, she could not reason such. Such concepts were far too foreign to her.
” I was walking. “
Towards the central district. ” It’s… nice out. “
“I felt like it.” That, and ‘saying something’ was just so boring. Besides, he didn’t really know what he’d say, anyway. After getting her attention, what else was there? Sure, he could ask about the area, perhaps divulge more information on why everyone had been brought to this so-called paradise, but this was far more interesting.
A sucker for anything even the slightest bit dramatic, the demifiend was.
He switched positions on the ground, opting to sit rather than remain crouched down in case he lost ability to stand up at all, and kept a small smile on his face despite how unpleasant the girl sounded. Keeping his eyes trained on her, the Hito-Shura occupied himself with flicking pieces of dirt out from under his nails.
“Are you human?”
” You are weird. “
That was the general opinion of the people of Arcadios. They were either within her comfort level, or straight-up weird. It was hard finding middle ground among the mess of strange people. It seemed like Sophia did not discriminate when it came to recruiting celestial heroes.
Her eyes follow the demi-fiend’s movements, what once was surprise now settled into her typical, apathetic expression again.
” Define “human”. “
No, she did not believe herself to be a normal human. True, she was no demon, no supernatural being, but by society’s standards, she wasn’t normal. She wasn’t human.