[X] Yes, let them eat cake and chat. Somebody else will have to help you, and you know well who she is?
It looks like you picked the wrong week to quit faffing about.
Let's do own up, however - it's your darnedest privilege to be baffled about all this mess, and for the love of God and everything still holy, you are going to take advantage of it. It feels almost as if you were in one of those cringe-worthy comedy skits, where the male lead, caught with his arm deep down some rich and famous cleavage, gives the most possibly platitudinous excuse ever: 'I have dropped my keys in there'
, and nobody ever thinks to maybe wait and let him show his empirical evidence to support the claim.
Sadly, none of the cleavages present at the moment strike you as safe enough to risk a dive.
Kaguya plays on your momentary stall and sneaks in a concern of her own. "Okay, girl talk is admissible by me," she says, "but before we go down to that, Moko, where'd you get those clothes? If I recall correctly, those aren't yours, yes?"
"Oh, we blagged them from the drier in the other wing," Mokou admits without a shade of shame. "Not our fault, okay? We sort of ran out of clobber thanks to a certain nonce who has this bizarre passion for making our rags all wet and claggy. Cut us some slack, it's not like we had much choice."
Kaguya glances once back at you, rolling her chocolate eyes, and moans. "Okay, sheesh, okay," she gives up to the other girls, "I'll lend you some of mine! Gosh, you should have asked! Why didn't you?I don't know?send for somebody to let me on and arrange some clothes? Eirin isn't going to be glad about your stealing her crew equipage, you know."
"Oh, sod that old scrubber!" Mokou huffs as if her whole existence was being made misery by this horrible 'Eirin'
phenomenon that has suddenly struck her life. "I don't care if she's glad or not. None of your habits are going to fit Miss Tiny Tits there anyhow, so bugger that noise."
Reimu rouses at the unexpected jab. "Hey! Screw you, cave-woman!"
"So yeah," Mokou goes on, making nothing of the insult, "thanks all the same, but if Eirin has a problem with us borrowing those duds, she can bloody well take it up with me. Go tell her that, if you want - we're keeping those either way - at least until ours are dry."
Kaguya moves her hands accusingly to her hips. "Moko," she chides, "I love you, but that doesn't mean you can go on about looting the Clinic as you please! Don't you know how hard it is to acquire these kinds of uniforms? Do you have any idea how much some of them cost? It is enough of a hassle to even find somebody who can supply them, Moko! Good heavens, why couldn't you be a little bit more? crappit, more considerate
or something, I don't?" ah, forget it!" the Princess tousles her hair in irritation. "Bother me, why am I even letting myself be exasperated by this?!"
Indeed, why is she?
"I reckon it's habitual," you offer, trying to look in-the-know. "Hasn't it occurred to you yet that you might be somewhat too benevolent for your own good, Princess? Or the good of others, for that matter?"
Kaguya eyes you suspiciously. "Is this a compliment, or??"
"Neither," you stand up and say. "Or perhaps both, depending on what the second option was, and if it would really be that big of a difference. I have showered you with enough flattery to last you this and the next life over, haven't I? One honour less would hardly make a change, methinks."
"Very witty, Shooter," she makes a tart smile. "Why the bad blood? Do you feel left out?"
"Not at all," you tell her. "Don't mind me, actually - go ahead, eat your cake and chat - I won't be a skank about it. Girl talk, bloody hell - it's been years since I last heard the phrase. I'd love to stay and listen, but if you don't want me to, okay, that means it's likely none of my business, and besides, I have some other things calling my attention. I'll be off to see to them now, I think. Oh, and you two," on a notion, you stride up to the Mokou and Reimu, then enfold them both concisely, kissing each on the top of the head, "don't go on tearing the place apart just yet, okay? Leave the Princess in one piece, too, if you could - I'll have need of her later. Princess," you accost Her Highness, "if you would be so kind to find a window for me in the afternoon - please, indulge me. There are still affairs we ought to discourse."
?" there are?" the Princess says, bemused, ??I mean, yes, naturally," she rectifies, "if you say so, I believe there probably are."
"On that note, then," you release the other two, "I'll be buggering off. Cheers," you salute and start for the door, but then come to a stop just as you are about to pass it. "Kaguya," you turn and stab a finger in her direction, "I'm counting on you, okay?"
Kaguya nods. "Of course."
"See you, then. Cheers, all."
Nobody said you needed your keys right away anyhow.
*** Sod's law.
Somehow it would seem you just weren't meant to have your plan go the kosher way.
Whereas the room you sought was not all that challenging to find, what you discover watching over its door, paging heedlessly through a book, fingering absently a gun-holster on her thigh, doesn't bode too well for the situation at hand. Ace - and you had thought you would be able to gen up before anybody else got to the girl?
Seeing you approach, the armed nurse stands and gives a slack curtsy. "Shooter, good morning."
"Florence, yes?" you try, to her diffident nodding. "Good morning indeed. Say, I got the correct room, yes? Is the little miss in?"
"If she wasn't, would I be standing guard here like I am?"
"No," you say, "I reckon not. So what's all this row then?"
"Detention," Florence states dryly. "Or house arrest, if you prefer, that sounds a bit milder. Shooter," she gives you a keen look, "tell me, did the Princess direct you here?"
"No, I'm on a personal lookout."
"Good," she sighs with relief, "meaning, so long as you are telling the truth, that is. Master Eirin wouldn't like it if she had."
"Something going down?"
"Not particularly. It's just that we wouldn't wish to concern Her Highness with such trite issues."
"Issues," you groan, "you know, the word seems to be plaguing me today. So what do we have here this time?"
"Several breaches of the Code of Conduct," Florence counts out, "unjustified abandoning of assigned post, exhibiting violent behaviour in defiance of a legally alloted punishment, as well as a minor case of disrespecting a senior officer, among the most recent. Not even starting on her long-term history, if you'll forgive the discretion."
"Somebody's been bad."
"Quite," the nurse makes a face, "and not with a reason I would recognise as good enough. So, Shooter," she mitigates somewhat, "you are here to talk some sense into her, I hope? None of us could get through to her, but I am led to believe she'd taken quite the liking to you, so it might be worth the shot."
"I may as well," you say. "Can you let me in?"
"One second," she hedges, going for the intercom box at the opposite wall, "we will have to report this to Master Eirin first, I fear. I wouldn't like to step on any toes and lose my berth, you understand." Florence taps the small keyboard a few times, listens, then spits out a curse. ?" piece of junk!" god damned technicians, shirking on their jobs!" Magnificent," she turns to you, "looks like I will have to go and report all this first hand. Listen, I shall let you in, but be aware that my entire career hangs on your not doing acting stupid in there. Is that clear, Shooter?"
"Brilliant," she exhales and walks to the door, where she knocks on it a few times. "Delaney, are you awake? Give us a sign if you are."
Delaney throws about on the other side and screams in a language you can't understand.
"I'm not flexible enough to do that," Florence reproaches calmly. "Also, that's louder than necessary."
Once again, the furious girl inside retorts by yelling obscenities.
"Way too hot down there at this time of year, so no - thank you. Now, Delaney, if you would be so nice as to skip over to the windowsill and stand there with your mittens in plain sight, I am sure your guest here would be most delighted with the gesture. Give us the pleasure, Delaney, please."
Surprisingly, there is a choked response, and then a hopeful question. ?? Shooter?
"Oh yes," Florence says, "he is here, and he is itching to see you, so don't make him wait. Over by the window, Delaney, and keep your hands where he can see them. I'll lock it back behind you," she warns. "If the little miss does anything you'd deem dangerous for your integrity, feel at liberty to do what's in your power to keep yourself in one piece. Nobody is going to blame you. Good luck," she pushes on the door and shoves you through, "I should be back soon, so hold fast until then. Goodbye,
? she adds and clicks the lock shut.
Which rather patently obliges you to look Delaneywards and at the cluttered room.
"Nice bed," you observe.
"Single," she snaps, "so fuck you."
Candidly enough, her bearings more than match her temper. Unwashed and unkempt, her hair sticks to her cheeks and temples, drawing attention away from the chic underwear peeking through the gaps in her torn, rumpled button-up. Her bottom is dishevelled as well, as is her cherry lipstick and eye-liner, and she makes little of the make-up flowing down her face. How remarkable - that the sharp-witted Delaney could also look this miserable, like any common teenage girl. Her acid-yellow eyes, still glistening with tears, seem convinced that this is all a cosmic joke, that the whole situation is absurd, and not just her.
"So," she speaks before you can marshal your cosmos trivia, "are you here to make fun of me, Shooter? What did they tell you?" that I am insane? Out of my mind? Come on, hit me with your best one! I'm pretty much numb to humiliation at this point."
[ ] "And if I said I wished to see you because I was worried? What would you do then?"
[ ] "No, I am here to play the White Knight part. How does refuge in my lodge sound? I have my own bathroom, and you could use a wash."
[ ] "So I went through the pain of getting here only to have you lash out at me, now? Very well, then. Screw you, Delaney. It was fun to see you like this, but there is nothing more for me to do here."
[ ] "How many disasters do you think I have averted today? If you reckon yours is special by some mean, take it all out on me, and we shall see if I find it as tragic as you say."
[ ] "No. I have questions that apparently you might be able to answer.? (Elaborate)