[The Dorms] A Perilous Acquaintance

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Kokuten
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[The Dorms] A Perilous Acquaintance

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Safeholme
The Wilderwood
During Walking to Skye


Under sunlit boughs, through which tracing rays of light drew lines of a hot, summer sun, ran Manon. She had spent the morning testing her strength by climbing trees and tumbling in the glades. It was no gym, but there was something puckish about running wild through the woods. Besides fighting the creeping chill of boredom, she needed to stay fit, maintaining the grace that lent credence to the performance of her clown magic.

She leapt over roots in plain workout attire and plainfaced. As she was, she could have passed for a regular student. Though few could miss her bright red hair. When it was just her, there was no need to stretch her appearance, no need for performance.

There hadn't been much need for performance since Summer began.

Sweaty and refreshingly tired, Manon cleared the wilderwood and made her way back to the dorms. The flat grade of the sidewalk was a nice form of a cool-down. She settled to a walk by the fountain, and paced around it. Then, unceremoniously, she dunked her head into the water. The blonde spirit that resided in the pool stared back up at her with a weary exasperation, as Manon had made this a routine.

Yanking her wetted mop from the water, she found the usual Osakan metropolitan drone occasionally washed out by sounds of exertion. It didn't sound like Mr. Caxton, and the water spirit was in her fountain. Quietly, she went around the building to find Willow trying to throw herself up the wall.

Resisting the initial urge to burst into some sort of copyrighted song and interrupt, Manon chose to watch instead. Willow was one of Johann's friends, but she and Manon had not spoken much. In fact, Manon got the distinct impression that Willow tried to pretend the clown didn't exist.

Gripped by a more powerful urge to speak now, she bent her powerful legs to begin a tumbling leap, before finding that her audience had managed to scale the wall and plant herself on the roof. Manon could only admire the feat, knowing that Willow was largely mundane. Missing her chance, Manon chose to file away Willow's presence for later and go back inside.

Safeholme
The Dormitories
Three Days After Walking to Skye


A summer storm tore hard over Osaka, replacing the nighttime's usual act of stars and moon with lightning. Rain poured in buckets, riding through in oppressive waves in the wake of gusts. After a particularly close crash a thunder, a peculiar knock was heard at Willow’s room.

It was not a knock at the door, but at the window.
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Straken
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Re: [The Dorms] A Perilous Acquaintance

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It was pleasant. The situation as a whole, that is. Willow always loved the rain, but was always disappointed that much of Britain’s famed dampness came from drizzle and mist. Japan on the other hand got some real banger storms. Having spent most of the afternoon enjoying tea by her window while watching the encroaching weather. It had been a welcome one, as the prelude that was suffocating humidity had made her farm work downright torturous. So when thunder began rumbling off beyond the horizon the teen had taken the day to relax and burn some Tin to better enjoy the coming chorus and bask in the first wisps of cool air blowing in. It was about as close as she’d probably get to meditation when the rain began to fall, and when it started to come down harder she relented and closed her window; content to listen to the white noise of rain against glass. This was probably the most relaxed she had been in God only knows how long. Not that she didn’t miss the constant stimulus of having her friends and Drysi around, but days like today were good for solace. Although tomorrow or the next day she’d probably have to go hound Drysi or the Flynns so as to avoid cabin fever.

When the storm really began its deluge Willow had switched to a different passion of hers; Korean horror movies. Tonight’s movie was The Mimic. While it was only a hair better than meh, it had been its job and was an interesting enough watch. Just when it was getting to the good part it seemed hail was beginning to fall and hit the glass. Grumbling in annoyance she turned up the volume. The sound came again.

“That was weirdly…” Willow started to comment about the weird pattern to the hail when she narrowed her eyes and paused the movie. Was that… knocking?

Pausing the movie and turning off the screen, Willow plunged the room into near darkness save for the occasional lightning flash. Grabbing her strategically placed vial of metals by her headboard, she downed the contents as she gracefully rolled off of her lofted bed and landed in a crouch. While she made a habit of coming and going from her dorm via her fourth floor window, she couldn’t think of anyone capable enough or dramatic enough to come to the window during a lightning storm. Hell, even Willow paused at the notion, if just because she imagined her powers and lightning wouldn’t mix well.

Burning Tin, Steel, and Pewter Willow searched for the knocking entity via metal possessions. Pewter came up to a good burn, ready to help her react to whatever might be outside. While Tin was kept low; she just needed to try and see a bit better, but if a particularly bad lightning strike came she could end up blinded and deafened. Moving quietly with Pewter enhanced dexterity through the darkness Willow threw the curtains open all the way to face the interloper.
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Kokuten
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Re: [The Dorms] A Perilous Acquaintance

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The rail rings shrieked with the opening of the curtain, and all that greeted her was darkness. Peering closer, there seemed to be nothing there, until her eyes adjusted.

A dark silhouette smiled back at her with a white face , red lips and white teeth. Willow could only make out the top half of it, but it had three large horns. It sunk down for a moment, and then the darkness took it. Then came another flash of movement in the stormy dark, and then a flash of lightning.

The figure had the hollowed out features of a clown, leaping for her window.

Shunt!

It planted itself in the window sill, supporting itself with all four limbs, staring down at the allomancer.

"Bonsoir!"

An ethereal stagelights illuminated the threshold to reveal Manon, her painted red nose now pressed against the glass. She was soaked, "Could you be a dear and open ze window? Someone forgot to put a door knob on this side."

With an innocent smile, Manon tilted her head to the other shoulder and pointed down at the latch on Willow's side.
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Re: [The Dorms] A Perilous Acquaintance

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Willow was grimacing before she realized it. Right, Manon had stayed behind as well. The other girl wasn’t the reason why she’d been leaving via her elevated window, but the avoidance was simply a happy side effect. Although immediately after having that thought she felt a bit guilty. It wasn’t that she disliked the French girl. It was clowns that she didn’t like. They were bizarre and unsettling, and for the life of her she couldn’t figure out why someone would want to be one. Second to that, how the actual hey now did Manon get up here?

“You actual nut!” Willow bellowed as she quickly opened the window and yanked Manon inside with a Pewter enhanced pull. “Are the French actually as looney as we make them out to be? Or do you just have a deathwish being four stories up in the air during a typhoon?”

Still riding the thrill of potential battle, Willow may have come across as a bit more combative than she should have been, but that was a crazy stunt.

“There is a door,” Willow pointed. Not dismissively, just matter of factly. “And I’m pretty sure it’s not far away from yours.”
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Re: [The Dorms] A Perilous Acquaintance

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Manon entered the room with a yelp, a jingle, and a wet flop. She was heavy, heavier than normal, as she was also wearing a laden, rough-looking schoolbag.

"You are very right, mon ami," answered the clown, erupting from her crumpled position on the floor in a shower of confetti. She stood opposite of Willow with the unwarranted confidence of a stage performer, "but I was inspired by your wall-scaling the other day, and I just had to see ze view."

Cheerily, she went over to Drysi's side of the room and set her backpack down. "I regret to say the weather has put a damper on the experience, but I am grateful for ze safe haven. Orphans like ourselves must stick together, non? We are on our own, after all."

Then, she began unpacking her bag, continuing, "My own room, she is not quite safe at ze moment, so It is my sincerest hope you don't mind if I play the role of Drysi in your room for a short time. I do not quite have ze eyes to fill out the character, but you could say I am just as fiery, non?"
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Straken
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Re: [The Dorms] A Perilous Acquaintance

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Simply gawking as the other girl made herself at home, Willow did her best to process everything going on. Part of her was surprised the summer had progressed as far as it had without a Manon encounter, but the Universe seemed as though it were balancing that with the current situation. Sighing dejectedly, Willow walked over to the light switch, killed the burn on her Tin, and flicked the switch. Standing in such a way that she worried she looked like her mother, the young Brit had her arms crossed and her hips cocked. Holding out her right hand she began to count, starting on her thumb.

“You decided to try this during a downpour. I’m not an orphan. I low key do mind you just inviting yourself to stay here. You need to pick up that confetti,” with four fingers extended Willow’s expression turned to one of mild confusion before extending her fifth finger. “What do you mean your room isn’t safe?”
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Re: [The Dorms] A Perilous Acquaintance

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"I am, as you might say, 'On ze lam'," admitted Manon, moving to address the confetti mess on the floor. The pile of colorful paper was given some thought, before she looked in the ruffles of her colorful top for a solution. First, she tugged out a popper, which exploded in her hand as she inspected it, spraying more confetti across the room. Grumbling, she pulled out what looked out a hand vacuum, and pulled the trigger a couple times, only to find it was dead. Discarding that, she slid out a long broom, and, assuring Willow with a confident smile, began to sweep.

Snap! The handle broke, and then the broom too was discarded on the floor. The clown seemed at a terrible loss, and considered her options.

”Ah! How silly, ze solution is simple," Manon slapped a hand on her forehead. She then stood up with prim resolve and clapped her hands twice. On cue, all the refuse, the messy confetti, the dead vacuum, and the broken broom, stood up and bounced along to their mistress. One after the other they leapt back into the ruffles of Manon's outfit.

”Please forgive me, mon Willow, I am evading Monsieur Casson. I made my escape from my room and these dorms earlier, and double-backed to your room from the outside," the clown pantomimed as she spoke, and paused in a strange, wary sort of way that one did when they weren't sure how much to say. "I took something from his lab that belongs to me, je pense. He does not know yet, but his fairies do, and soon he will too."

At that, Manon gave a big smile, tossing her hands up, "So, what do you say? We would be just a couple of acrobats roosting in their cave over the summer."
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Re: [The Dorms] A Perilous Acquaintance

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Willow’s stoney demeanor didn’t waiver as she watched Manon’s antics. A low grumble began to sound as her foot started lightly tapping. Just before she was about to scold Manon she caught a glimpse of herself in the reflection of the window. Lightning flashed. Willow looked away from the reflection and made herself relax and shift her posture. Deep breath in, and a wide mouthed huff.

“So, you’re in trouble, and want to hide out here?” repeated Willow as she gauged the situation. “What makes you think Mr. Caxton wouldn’t immediately check here since I’m one of the only other people staying at the dorm? How did you get up here anyway? Also, if Drysi pops in and sees you sleeping in her bed, then that is all on you. Kennit?”

As Willow spoke the last bits, she strode briskly back to the window and closed the curtain as quickly as it had been opened. She didn’t like that her reflection had reminded her of her mother. She’d seen that annoyed look enough growing up.
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It was unlike her, but Manon seemed to deflate. Her face gave the distinct impression that she had seemed to misread Willow.

However, at the sign of Willow closing the curtains, she reinflated almost immediately.

"These are all excellent questions," Manon started, pacing about with the air of a gregarious lecturer, "ze answer to your first question would be simple, Monsieur Casson has no reason to suspect that I would stay in ze dorm, much less another room. As for your second question, I climbed, of course, it is a very high window, non? Silly, tu le sais. And, for your third question..."

The clown hopped straight out of her shoes and on to Drysi's bed. Landing with her legs crossed, she melted into a sprawling, lounging pose, ”... I am getting ze strangest feeling that you don't want me here."
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Re: [The Dorms] A Perilous Acquaintance

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Making herself take a few deep breaths before speaking, Willow let out another huff. She knew her irritation was unreasonable, and her British upbringing urged her to not be rude; even to the French. The last thing she wanted to do was snap at someone without good cause. Or, did she have good cause? It wasn’t just that it was Manon as Willow was fairly sure she’d be annoyed with anyone banging on her window so late at night.

“Not exactly one for unannounced late night visitors, that’s all,” Willow answered. “Plus it interrupted my movie, and I’ve wasted a vial of metals thinking you were an intruder.”

She had almost insinuated Manon was in fact an intruder, but figured that she herself had been the one to pull the clown inside, which technically could be considered an invitation.
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