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Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

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Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Juno » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:20 am

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Mikazuki Kinomoto WORDS: 539 | TAGGED: @Madrigal | OOC: Let the games begin ^^
For all of her life Mikazuki had been cast in shadow, her vision a swirl of unrelenting darkness accompanied by the sharp click of her cane tip as it touched upon the surfaces around her. She didn't resent others for their ability to see, though she did envy them from time to time. Mika wanted to know what color was, what made a bluebird blue, and the grass green. To her these were just words without meaning, you couldn't feel the color yellow but she knew the heat of a yellow sun when it was high in the sky. Colors were an enigma lost to the milkiness of her gaze, the touch of her gentle hand, and flavorless upon her tongue, but that didn't make her crave them any less. Growing up in a small town most were used to her odd questions, though most had waved them aside not knowing how to answer a child who wished to know what red tasted like. She had come to understand that she was in this endeavor of hers alone, but she didn't blame them, not in the least.

Mika hadn't made many friends in school, it was hard to relate to most people her age while they ran back and forth across sports fields and spent their summers tearing through the backwoods of town. Everyone was kind to her, sure, but most of the time it was out of pity and their invitations to join them more out of politeness than genuine want for her to attend their pool parties or adventures to the mall. It wasn't until she had lost her mother to an illness that she started to truly feel alone, but she knew one day everything would change. Somewhere out there in the enormous population of the planet, there was someone just for her, waiting just like she was. At least that was the romantic thought she liked to fill her head with as she listened to her books on tape and prepared herself for life as an adult.

Her father had moved them into town to make things easier on her while he was constantly away on business. Seeing as she couldn’t drive and a taxi service wasn’t really an option, getting a smaller apartment for her to stay in on her own was the safest bet, and she loved it. Every morning she would make her way down the stairs of her second-story apartment and down the street to the local cafe for her usual tea with one sugar and then head to the park in the center of town to listen to the hustle and bustle of everyone’s morning. These last few weeks had been more interesting than others as it was getting chilly and that typically brought buses of tourist to their quaint town who wished to explore the local onsens they were well known for. New people in town always had its perks, but it also had its downfalls as well, one being that most were blind to a small town blind girl. Having nearly finished her tea Mika stood from her bench looking to head to the library when someone collided into her sending her staggering towards the ground.

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Madrigal » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:17 pm

Sidney 'Brenner' Brenn was enthralled.

When he had first considered going on vacation, it had been to go back home to America. He say it as a chance to check on his ailing parents back in Pittsburgh. A few days to try and help his parents adjust to life in a nursing home. Unfortunately, his plans were not to be, and his long anticipated trip was undone 'local actors in this theater'. Even a grunt like Brenner knew what this meant. Two days before his trip, a North Korean missile test had passed over the island of Kansai. A normal marine might have simply been allowed to go home. Spend his leave time back in the US. But Brenner was no typical marine. He was part of the recon force, the tip of the spear that was the Marine Corps. If the situation in Korea escalated, he'd need to be there to help lead the charge.

At first he simply considered cancelling his leave altogether. He had few chances to visit his deteriorating family. But his squadmates had confronted him, eventually coaxing him into giving up the idea. Instead, he was to spend his accumulated leave here in Japan. A whole month, to explore the island he and his fellow soldiers were told to defend. Rather than spend his time off in Okinawa, he had decided to take advantage of the Corps leniency, and visit Kansai itself. He would see all the great cities of Japan. Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. It might be his last chance after all. A small airline had taken him on the first flight to the mainland, to Osaka. After spending the morning in the town, he quickly boarded the first bus out of town. He'd never been one for crowds.

His eyes gazed out the window, watching as the high towers and shimmering glass of Osaka slowly dissolved, to be replaced with long winding roads, sleepy hamlets and old stone temples. Brenner watched them pass with polite fascination. His attention was only diverted from the passing scenery when the bus came to a slow stop, hissing as it went. It looked like he'd have to wait for another bus to take him up towards Tokyo or Kyoto. As he emerged out into the sunlight, he looked over the small town with a sense of quiet awe. He had seen villages like these before, during exercises with JSDF troops, but this was different. He strolled into town slowly, looking over his surroundings. He didn't think to stare first, but so much of the town intrigued him. The old stone lantern and small shrine along the road into town, the old mansion on the hill nearby, the townsfolk in their simple country clothes. Even the air smelled different here, much different from the smog-tinted air in Pittsburgh or the fresh sea breeze back on Okinawa. He had felt an urge to draw for some time now, though it was only when he neared the center of town that he felt the temptation overwhelm him. On a small hill nearby there was a wooden building, a distinctly Japanese structure, surrounded by a small rolling garden. Even from this distance, he could make out a couple sitting on a bench, reading a book between them. He wasn't sure what this building was, though judging by its condition and the sign in front of it, it was probably a public building. A school maybe, or a library? He stood there for a moment looking up at it. Instinctively, his hands opened the pack he had slung over one shoulder, removing the sketchbook and a pencil before he began to draw. Lines, graceful and rigid quickly appeared on the page under the guidance of his hand. He wasn't sure how long he stood there, imitating the way the sunlight fell, or the texture of the rich wooden walls. It might have been ten minutes or more. He may have stayed there for ten minutes more, were it not for the polite but firm honk of a small truck, that jolted Brenner out of his artwork.

The next few moments of his life would stay with him for the rest of his life. He stepped back, offering an apologetic wave to the driver, when he felt something behind him, before it fell to the ground. He turned quickly, only to realize his mistake. Sitting where she had been knocked to the ground was a beautiful young woman. Black hair fell along either shoulder, framing an innocent face and wide, milky eyes. Immediately, Brenner knelt down beside her.

"Λυπάμαι! Είσαι καλά?"

The words that fell from his lips were alien. Crude and crass. It took Brenner a second to realize it. He had been so surprised and embarrassed he had apologized in English instead of Japanese. He breathed in, then spoke again. His Japanese, though fluent, had a hesitating quality at first, as though afraid he might offend her further. Even so, his earnestness could be heard as he spoke in her native tongue.

"I'm incredibly sorry. Are you alright Miss? You aren't hurt?"

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Juno » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:36 am

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Mika hadn't heard anything other than the honk of a car horn, maybe that had been what distracted her from the few quicken footsteps in her direction as she had stood to go. The collision caught her greatly by surprise, sure she was used to someone bumping into her on occasion, but never at such a force and as she hit the cold concrete of the walkway she twisted her wrist trying to cushion her fall. For a long moment, she sat there in astonishment rubbing the pain that had erupted from her wrist and shot up her arm through her elbow. It was a man's voice that pulled her attention from the aftermath and brought her back to what had happened to cause it. Instantly her absent gaze turned to look at him, blindly searching for what she knew she couldn't see.

He had spoken to her in English, something that didn't happen very often in her small town. They generated most of their revenue from tourists but 90% of those travelers were Japanese from bigger cities like Tokyo and Okinawa, not American. Being able to speak English rather well herself she could tell where he was from by his accent, at least she figured it was an American accent, he certainly wasn't British. Even as he switched to speak Japanese he was genuine in his apology and she could hear the kindness behind his words, a trait that couldn't be imitated. People were kind or they weren't, it was something she had learned early on in life. She had no facial expressions or physical tells that she could rely on to tell her what a person's intent was, but she could learn a great deal from their voice, and as odd as it was to say, by their presence.

"I'm alright I think, just twisted my wrist a little..." Her voice was quiet as if she was embarrassed to even speak to the foreigner. "I didn't hear you coming, please forgive me for causing you such trouble." Slowly her attention shifted back to herself as the sensation of cold started to register. In the fall she had lost her walking cane and apparently spilled the rest of her lukewarm tea over her leggings, the chilly morning quick to cool the beverage soaking through to her skin. Feeling around with her hands she began to fumble herself for her cane with no luck.

"I don't suppose you could hand me my cane? I seem to have dropped it out of my reach." Holding up a good hand to the stranger she turned her unfocused gaze back in his general direction. Lost in a sea of uncertainty she would need his help up and to be set right once more. Trusting a stranger wasn't her favorite thing to do as she had been taken advantage of and trick too many times before, but there wasn't much she could do given her situation.

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Madrigal » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:13 pm

"Of course, Miss."

Brenner extended his strong hand, before helping her to her feet. His other hand rose, resting on her side as she rose. A lump seemed to sprout in his throat as he realized his hand was against her waist, though he quickly dispelled the unwanted thought. With his unfortunate victim on her feet Brenner turned, checking the ground quickly for anything the young Japanese girl might have dropped. It took him only a moment to find her cane and a few seconds more to pick up her tea. Or at least the disposable cup, with what little tea was left inside it. He was about to pass them back to her when he noticed the way she was holding her wrist. He set the cup back down, this time on top of his dirtied and discarded sketchbook where it had fallen when the two collided. "Ah, I can't let you go without helping you. Here."

The Marine's hands rose, holding her cane loosely in one hand as his fingers came to rest gently against her shoulders. He stepped slowly, gradually, to avoid coming off as pushy or demanding. He led her to a grassy knoll overlooking a field of grass and trees nearby, before pushing gently, encouraging her to sit. He glanced around for a moment, considering, before plucking a couple small branches from a tree nearby. Pulling a pocket knife from his pocket, he whittled them down beside her, before reaching over to her. His fingers pressed gently on her wrist to make sure it was set correctly, before she would feel something. A smooth set of sticks, that were held against her wrist. He held them there with a couple fingers, before pulling off his left shoe string. Gently, he wrapped the string around the unintended injury, before he neatly tied the string into place.

"That wrist splint will keep you from moving your wrist, at least until we can get a real splint. There’s a cafe nearby, right? We can get a pack of ice there, and I can buy you a second tea. Its the least I can offer as an apology.” He picked up her cane, and offered the cane to her as he placed the handle against her fingers, his own hand brushing against hers. “I’m Brenner.”

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Juno » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:06 pm

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Mika flinched slightly as her cold fingers met the warmth he seemed to radiate. His grip though strong and firm was gentle, and as he pulled her to her feet he was careful not to jolt her up too quickly. He even went so far as to put a steadying hand on her helping her to feel more grounded sadly it’s placement only brought a deeper shade of red to her already glowing cheeks. It seemed to be equally as awkward for him as it was for her and though she was grateful to be right again, she was more relieved as he turned away from her and started to locate her belongings. Mika stood quietly waiting, her distant gaze not fixated on anything in particular as she merely focused on listening to his actions. The slight scuffle of his feet as he moved around her, an unintentional groan as he bent to retrieve her cane, and a slight hiss of disappointment in himself upon discovering what sounded like her empty to go cup. She was about to speak out and have him discard the cup in the nearby trash can but he beat her to the punch and spoke out first.

“Oh, please, it’s fine really just a little sore, I couldn’t possibly trouble you any--” He wouldn’t seem to stand for having her be a damsel in distress and suddenly it was like she was in one of the fairy tales she had read. Like a true prince, he led her gently by her shoulder a little ways off her well-memorized path to a grassy bank to sit more comfortably. Her quiet voice stuck in her throat she could only sit there and swallow hard as she tried at guessing what it was exactly that he was doing. Snapping twigs and the sound of something sharp like a knife as it clicked open and began to whittle away. What was he doing? She wished he had handed her back her cane. Was he untying his shoe? Where she was sure being with a stranger in such a close way should have made her uneasy, for some reason she felt safe around the kind-hearted man. His voice gave him away and his warm touch and firm grip only spoke out more about his character. This was a man ready to do what was right at any cost, and as she felt his shoelace bind together the makeshift splint around her wrist, she knew she was dealing with a true gentleman.

“T-Thank you Brenner” she stuttered out, his touch like electricity as he brushed against her hand “You really shouldn’t have troubled yourself so much” her quiet voice seemed almost like a whisper against his own as she took her cane gratefully from him. “My tea was almost gone anyways, it wouldn’t be fair to ask you to replace it. After all, I was the one in the way.” Carefully they stood and Mika held her cane out in front of her to lead the way back to more familiar territory. “I’m Mikzauki Kinomoto, it’s a pleasure to meet you, even if it’s under such circumstances.” Bowing lower than she normally would she slowly straightened and offered him a genuine smile of thanks. “I’m sure I’ve taken up too much of your time already, I should go change and let you get back to exploring the area. You’re American are you not? It’s not every day we get such a distant traveler all the way out here. You must have some good tourist intel to have found yourself in the area.”

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Madrigal » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:02 pm

"A pleasure to meet you." His fingers grasped hers softly, making sure she had a good firm grasp on the handle of the cane. As Mikazuki gave a bow, he inclined his own head, returning the gesture from where he stood. Brenner opened his mouth to speak, but as her face shifted into view, he found himself questioning his next few words. Brenner had just injured the poor girl. He battled with himself for a moment, until he spoke again. "I ah, yes. I've seen towns like these once or twice in the past, but always from a distance. Its kind of strange to see a village like this at this distance."

Brenner gave the young lady one more look. Even with his homemade brace, she looked the worst for wear. Covered with tea and with an arm coated in twigs and twine. Still, part of his mind found itself assessing her more closely. After all, she had a very...attractive quality to her. With her fair skin, silken hair. Even her eyes, milky as they were, had an almost doe-like quality to it. He tried to dispel them. The two had only just met after all, and not how he would have preferred. Though the sound of his foster daughter's voice in his head wasn't helping. Were the nine year old here, he doubted he would get a word in edgewise for all Sara's excitement. "May I walk you to the doctor's office at least? You should have that looked at as quickly as possible. Its the least I can do for what happened."

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Juno » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:29 am

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Like most of the pain in her life, Mika hid the throbbing discomfort in her wrist with ease letting her smile speak for her instead of the trembling she felt in her skinned knees. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if it wasn’t her dominant hand that had been injured causing her cane to be dramatically less functional in the weaker grasp of her right hand. Things didn’t look good, she would most likely go straight to her doctor after this encounter ended, but she wasn’t sure if she could safely get there on her own. She most certainly didn’t want to be any more of a bother to this man as she had already been such a nuisance but she really had no one she could call on to help her currently. Her mind worked quietly for a little while the awkward silence building up around the two unknowingly to her before finally, she spoke out again.

“Thank you, Brenner,” she turned her face upwards to meet his once more in blind proximity. “If you have the time I think it would be the best option to have your assistance in getting to the doctor’s office. Better safe than sorry.” Carefully she folded her cane wincing slightly as she had to use her bad hand to do so, then she slid it into the deep pocket of her tan wool coat. Her next thought caused her to pause awkwardly a pink hue returning to her cheeks as she swallowed hard and reached out in her uncertainty, looping her good arm in this his so that he could properly guide her.

“Do you see the cafe on the corner across the street from here? If you follow the corner down the next street the office is a little more than halfway down the way, Dr. Yoshimasu. Thank you again, and sorry for being such trouble.” Her grip on his arm would tighten when he moved forward as she nervously adjusted to his pace and having someone else be her eyes for her. She didn’t even realize how cold she had become in the autumn air until the heat of his figure next to her seemed to spread through their joined limbs. It was comforting and at the same time caused her to relax a little in his care. His arm was toned, she could feel his muscles even through his clothing and she knew that he must be physically fit, paired with the harsh scent of his soap she slowly began to put two and two together. She had smelled that scent before a long time ago and it caused memories to flood back to her of a time when American troops had occupied the island for a short time as threats from a neighboring country had raised alarms. Brenner was far more well mannered than his predecessors…

“Are you by chance with the military?” she hazarded aloud before she even put any thought into what she was saying, instantly becoming embarrassed at her brazen and invasive question “Pardon me, I shouldn’t have spoken so personally to a someone I’ve just met.”

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Madrigal » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:31 pm

Brenner nodded gently. Despite the fact that she could not see his face, he hoped Mika could at least sense the gesture. The soldier offered his arm, and she took it. Her little arm felt so warm and frail as she wrapped it around his. Though Mika could not see his face, Brenner's face would glow a faint red as she took the offered arm. It had been some time since he had stood so close to a girl. Certainly one so young and pretty. He waited until she had a firm hold of him before he strolled forward slowly, standing close to her in case she needed to lean on his arm more. It was the least he could do after hurting her so. Even if it was an accident.

As the two walked along, he could feel her body begin to move less stiffly as she relaxed. That was a relief, he reflected to himself. He had been a little worried she would still be upset about what had happened, and the two would walk the entire way to their destination in silence, like a hostage and her keeper. As they rounded the corner by the cafe, he found himself looking over at her. She was certainly a beautiful young lady. Her long glistening black hair flowed over either shoulder like a cascade of silk. Her frame, though small, had a very womanly quality to it, her graceful movements showing even after their collision earlier. Even her eyes, empty of sight as they were, seemed to glimmer with thought, like the silhouette of a fish beneath the surface of a pond. A few more moments passed before he realized he was staring. While gawking at a young teen might be considered impolite in any society, Sidney was a foreigner here. Someone watching the two would be more than forgiven for growing suspicious. He turned his head forward, silently chastising himself for his unintended glance. Scarcely had he turned away than she turned to him.

“Are you by chance with the military?”

A chill ran up Brenner’s spine, though he continued walking along the road. He was not sure how to proceed at first. American marines were mostly honest and hard-working soldiers, though there was a current of discontent in Japan towards them, particularly in Okinawa. Did Mika share these sentiments? Would his answer make him seem suspect to her? Her next few words however soon calmed his fears. “Pardon me, I shouldn’t have spoken so personally to a someone I’ve just met.”

“Nono.” He said, shaking his head kindly in response. “I’m an American marine, Miss Kinomoto. I joined just after I left college. I’ve served for nearly three years now. I’m hoping to be discharged with honor in one year’s time.”

The clinic ahead loomed before the two as they approached the building. As they approached he raised one hand to her right shoulder, gesturing for her to stop. The bell overhead rang as he opened the door, holding it with his left arm as he strolled inside with her. He ignored the others in the front lobby, walking steadily with the young lady to the reception desk. Brenner gave her a faint bow, before raising his head and speaking in good Japanese, even if his odd accent was obvious to the woman behind the desk. He made a mental note to himself as he did so, that if Mikazuki were charged with the cost of the appointment, he would cover the costs himself.

“Good day, Miss. This young lady’s sprained her arm. Could the doctor have a look at it as soon as he can?”

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Juno » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:42 am

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Mika’s question seemed to cause an uneasiness to brew within her new companion. His arm tensed slightly and the vibe he had been carrying with him seemed to shift to something that could only be described at weary. He was worried about her opinion of him, or others perhaps, and it was understandable given the current view of the foreign invaders. It made no difference to Mika if he was or wasn’t. She had bad experiences with the foreign military, but she had also experienced a great deal of good as well, including Brenner. He was not cruel in anyway, in fact, given the way that she was so carefully handled she would even go so far as to say he didn’t have a mean bone in his body, but that was the view of a naive girl and she knew better than to jump to conclusions. Not yet anyway.

She had nearly given up on receiving an answer from the man on her question, expecting that she might have offended him when he surprised her with a truthful response. So he was a soldier, a seasoned one in fact, and she suddenly had so many more questions she wanted to ask him. It would be impolite of her to just start blurting out her curiosities, but she couldn’t help but want to better get to know the stranger fate had sent flying into her path.

In her head she had been counting the steps they made so she could have a vague idea as to where they were while Brenner escorted her. It was something she had done since she was a child, craving the independence that other children her age would enjoy she had to develop her own system of getting around. Her count would be off as she had no sense of where they started but once she touched upon familiar landmarks she could better assess her situation. Sensing the doctor’s office was close she slowed down her pace waiting for Brenner to grab the door, stopping completely when she felt his gentle touch on her shoulder. The door opened with the habitual jingling of bells and Mika’s sense of smell was instantly overwhelmed by the scent of antiseptic causing her to lift her injured wrist to her sensitive nose to help block out the overpowering scent. It was something she could never get used to and often strong smells would cause her to become ill giving her a migraine that would last for a couple of days. Brenner was kind enough to rush her right to the counter where a surprised nurse/receptionist was surprised to see Mika with a stranger, clearly foreign stranger.

“M-Mika! My goodness!” She spoke in her native tongue, “Have a seat dear, I’ll tell Dr. Yoshimasu that you’re here...” Quickly the nurse hurried off and Mika let Brenner move her to a free seat in the lobby area.

“Thank you again, Brenner, for your help, I’m afraid I’ve taken up a great deal of your free time.” From within her chair she bowed low in apology. “I’m sure I’ll be fine now, you must have a schedule of things to tend to, please don’t feel obligated to stay any longer than you already have. My apartment isn’t far from here and I’m used to moving about town on my own so please don’t worry yourself any further.” Her quiet voice was calm and steady despite her apparent discomfort of being at the doctor’s office. The door to the back office opened and a small blonde doctor appeared adjusting her lab coat as her eyes scanned the waiting area for her next patient. Seeing Mika she smiled and quickly moved over to assist the girl who seemed a little worse for wear, her wrist bound in some sort of makeshift jungle-like brace. The sight of the foreigner and brace only caused her smile to shift into a devious grin as the wheels started to turn behind the kind hazel eyes of the doctor.

“I’m surprised to hear that you’re here in the office Miss Kinomoto, it seems you’ve met with some trouble. Come, let's get that wrist looked at.” Carefully the doctor helped the blind girl up, reassuring that she could handle the situation from there, implying that Brenner wouldn’t be allowed in the office with them. Thinking that this would be the last time she would be with Brenner, Mika turned and bowed deeply once more to the American soldier.

“Thank you again, it was a pleasure to meet you.” With that, she turned and let the doctor lead her away into the back office, the heavy door cutting their connection to one another as it closed behind them.

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Madrigal » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:45 pm

Brenn raised one hand, offering a final satisfied smile and a wave, before watching her vanish into the doctor's office. The door clicked behind them, leaving him alone in the lobby. By all rights, that should have been the end of it. An odd encounter to be sure, but nothing too strange. It certainly made a nice story to tell his daughter, he reflected as he made his way back out into the street, doing his best to ignore the way his shoe seemed to flop without its strings there to hold it in place. He was certainly under no illusions that he might see his new and very unfortunate acquaintance again.

He traced his steps back the way he had come, making his way to the main street. As he went, he would stop and peer into the windows of the stores he passed. While he was familiar with the language, the elegant kanji figures the Japanese used were as alien to him as Greek. He would often need a moment or two to pause, and guess what might be inside. After making his way to the coffee shop she must have made her way from, he ordered a small meal to tide over his appetite, before setting out to find an inn to spend the night at. It took him about half an hour to find the place. A small, traditional Japanese inn. The kind one saw on postcards. Brenn couldn’t keep himself from staring at first. It was smaller than the little house on the edge of Pittsburgh he had grown up in. The lady at the desk was a small, elderly woman, dressed in a kimono. When she passed him his key, she had bowed to him. Brenner quickly returned the gesture, though his own bow was much swifter and lacked her graceful descent and rise.

After bringing his suitcase up to his room and changing into his nightwear, he settled in on the futon provided by the inn. The soft fabric and cotton felt incredible beneath him. It was certainly an improvement on the military issued bunk beds he was familiar with. With a quick movement, he pulled his phone from his pocket, typing a quick ‘good morning’ message for little Sarah back in the States. His fingers tapped at the screen to set his alarm in the morning. After his encounter with poor Mika in the park, his vacation was behind schedule. He’d have to see if he could get a refund at the bus station tomorrow, before making his way to Kyoto. A soft thud reached his ears as he threw the phone to the pillow beside him. His last thought before sleep overtook him, was a mental note to text Corporal Burns to ask how Wu was ruining the barracks with Brenn gone.

Brenner knew it was morning before he opened his eyes. He could smell the sweet scent on the breeze, and the soft chirps of the birds out in the trees just outside. Time to get moving. After climbing up out of bed and changing, he swiftly made his bed and set his clothes in his suitcase before heading down the stairs. The old woman bowed once more as she took his key. He expected it this time, matching her nearly perfectly. As he stepped out into the morning air, he took a moment to breathe in the fresh country breeze. He considered going straight to the bus stop, but would the bus stop be open so early? Besides, after his light dinner, he felt in need of a good breakfast. Coffee would shake the last of the dust from his eyes.

Finding the coffee shop was no problem for a recon marine. His sense of direction was not as strong as it might have been, but his memory and ability to pathfind was very pronounced after three years of service. Brenner stepped inside, glancing over the small space. There was a couple holding hands by the wall, another man reading the paper, and a single young lady in her late teens behind the counter. Ordering took a few moments; Brenner was fairly proficient in Japanese, but for some reason, ‘croissant with fruit’ had never come up in language training courses. After ordering his coffee—and resorting to pointing to the item he wanted and apologizing after—he offered the young lady a handful of yen before taking his breakfast dish and his cup. Taking a seat by the window, he sampled a taste of his coffee, watching the village slowly come to life.

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Juno » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:56 am

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Mika’s alarm clock went off and slowly she began to stir moving a hand heedfully towards the electric buzzing. Careful not to knock anything over her fingers traced the corner of her nightstand moving past a glass of water to the clock behind it where she felt for the correct button to push to turn off the alarm. It had been a while since she had slept so well and she easily chalked it up to all the excitement she had experienced the day before. It’s where her mind instantly wandered as the stiffness in her wrist brought back the conversation she’d had with her Doctor.

“He’s very handsome Mika-chan, in case you were wondering.” The slight giggle in her voice, as she took on a sultry tone, told Mika that the blonde doctor was smiling as she teased. “And what a gentleman to deliver you here himself. You know he’s insisted on paying your bill? Too bad he’s American, I doubt he’ll stick around for long.” The young doctor was quick to determine that she had a bad sprain and would need to wear a brace for a week or so. Mika would also have to use her walking cane in her other hand while it was healing.

“He was very kind, I feel lucky for having the opportunity to meet him” Mika would smile slightly as she committed to memory the sound of his voice and the gentleness of his touch lost in a sort of daze while the good doctor found and attached the appropriate size brace to her hand and wrist.


Sitting up in bed she tried to shake off the heavy sleep that still clung to her before she moved her legs off the side of her bed and stood up. Soon her morning routine consumed her and everything fell back to the way it always was every day. She showered, dressed, ate a lite breakfast, and pulled on her coat before starting down the stairs of her second-story apartment, exiting to the street below in front of the bakery that she lived above. The scent of freshly baked bread filled her senses as the cool autumn air hit what exposed skin she had. Holding her walking stick in her weaker hand she went slowly trying to get the hang of it before she got too far from home. Her apartment was on the other side of the town green where she spent a great deal of her time. On the other side of that was the coffee shop she went to every day to buy her hot cup of tea before she took it back to the park to enjoy.

Counting her steps she slowly made her way to the street crossing where she waited with a crowd of people to cross at the sound of the chimes. It was more people than usual, in fact, the streets were oddly busy this morning judging by the sounds of traffic and the murmur of collective conversations. It must have been the people from the busses that arrived the day before, signally the busy tourist season was truly upon their small town. Clumsily she made it across the street onto the town square without much incident but she could tell she was surrounded by strangers as they brushed past her to hurry to the next crossing before it changed to red. Quickly she was swept along with the crowd and disoriented, she knew she was in the street with the sound of the car engines nearby but someone must have stepped on the tip of her cane or it caught on something because next she knew it whipped down out of her hands.

“Oh, excuse me, could someone help me?” her timid voice called out, but soon she was alone with no one to help her. Frantically she squatted down her hands moving quickly over the ground to try and find her lifeline once more. Car horns started to blare down the line of traffic as the car at the stoplight waited for her to finish crossing, clearly, the light had changed and suddenly things seemed to become dire. Fingers finally touching upon her cane she stood just in time to hear the screeching of tires as they careened towards her in the wrong lane of traffic.

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Madrigal » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:16 pm

The croissant was delicious. A soft and fluffy shell, surrounding a sweet and savory mix of fruit. Bits of chocolate and cream were laced in between the slices of strawberries and blueberries. He would have to see if he could take a croissant home for his adoptive daughter the next time he came home. Letting the sweet taste flow through his mouth, he lifted his coffee cup to his lips, taking a sip of his coffee. While he didn’t like his coffee black, like a couple of his squadmates did, he did prefer his fairly bland compared to the coffee shops found in so many American metropolises. A light sampling of good cream in a hazelnut blend was more than enough to make him smile. Even the bitter aftertaste carried a rich tone to it. As his hands set it down, the aroma of the coffee wafting up through his nostrils, he pulled his phone up to check the news. Yet as the screen shifted in front of him, he could see something reflecting out the window. A figure who seemed familiar to him.

His bright blue eyes turned to the side. Out on the sidewalk, he recognized the face of the woman he had run into yesterday. Mika. One hand of his hands raised instinctively, even before his mind recognized her lack of sight. He considered running after her just to say ‘hello’, but dismissed the idea. After their unfortunate meeting before, he felt it would be presumptuous (and more than a little creepy) to simply ambush her. Particularly after spraining her wrist. Perhaps he would greet her when she came back this way. He had only just gone back to resuming reading his phone when a strange motion again drew his eyes to the window. He felt his blood run cold. Mika was bent over in the middle of the street, feeling around desperately for her cane. Her voice, soft and indistinct, could he heard if one listened intently. Yet no one seemed interested in helping her. And the lights were changing colors…

The clatter of his chair falling back echoed through the narrow coffee shop, drawing the eyes of its patrons even as Sidney bolted out the door. He didn’t hear the bell ring overhead. He didn’t hear the sound of the cars at the intersection. He didn’t hear the crowds on the sidewalks, watching her scramble on the ground. All he could see was Mika from where she was on her hand and knees. The horn of a truck filled his ears, but he couldn’t stop now. He couldn’t.

A strong arm wrapped around Mika’s arm. Lifting her almost effortlessly into the air as she and the figure over her hurdled forward. Her savior twisted to the side, perhaps hoping to spare her the impact of the fall. As her body came to bounce against his with a thud, a groan escaped his lips. The truck the two had barely avoided barreled on by, its driver letting out another wail from the horn in irritation. The chest Mika would have fallen against was quiet as he caught his breath, until a familiar voice rose. “Are you alright, Mika?”

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Juno » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:17 pm

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Time seemed to stand still, every little thing that happened around her in that moment seemed so crisp as if life’s antenna had been tweaked ever so slightly. She could hear her heart pounding in her chest while her lungs took in a sharp breath instinctually preparing her body for the hit from the barreling car before her. Even while her mind raced with worries over what would happen after this terrible tragedy she couldn’t help but feel a warm breeze as it passed bringing with it the happy chirping of birds nearby and she thought to herself how pleasant it was that life could be so beautiful and carry on despite the simultaneous hardships befallings others nearby. What would her father do without her? He’d be crushed to learn of her passing, not to mention that he would be all alone now. Would she see her mother when she died or was there no such thing as the afterlife? It was something she had never really given much thought to but now it seemed like the most important thought of all.

Mika hugged her cane tightly to her chest her eyes closing reflexively as she turned her body slightly not wanting to face her death head on. Suddenly she was lifted off the ground, her delicate frame jarred in the opposite direction she was anticipating and she let out a shocked cry as pain did not course through her body but rather the warmth of another as she was tightly embraced and pulled out of harm's way. How? She could feel the violent force of wind the careening truck gave off as it barely missed them, it’s horn jolting her nerves as it vibrated through her and her savior. This warm body was suddenly her life raft and she clung desperately to him like a cat heading towards water and as they hit the ground hard the scent of harsh military grade soap mixed with something she could not describe came crashing back to her from recent memory. She didn’t even need to hear him speak to know who it was; the gentleman from the previous day, Brenner. He groaned but stayed quiet as he caught his breath his lungs racing to replenish the oxygen it had burned through to get to her so quickly. Mika couldn’t move, she didn’t want to. She was in shock as she laid there on his chest unable to shake the fear that consumed her. Her hands gripped fistfuls of his shirt tighter as he spoke to her and even though she nodded silently yes to his question she could not stop shaking.

She felt safe with Brenner, even if they were just laying there on the sidewalk together, but she knew it couldn’t last. A crowd was already forming around them, people were shouting from across the street to know of her well being. Knowing how inappropriate it was to stay as she was she slowly started to sit up to address the growing concern around them.

“I’m fine, I’m alright,” she stuttered weakly her soft voice nearly inaudible to the growing buzz around her. She wanted them all to leave, to go away and leave her to her cracking emotions as she knew it wouldn’t be long before she broke down crying and she hated to do such things in front of others. Turning her attention back to Brenner as he was forced to sit up with her, she did the only thing she could think of to express the depth of her gratitude to him. Releasing the tight grip she had on his shirt her hands found their way up to his sharp jawline where they held his face gently as she leaned forward and kissed him softly on his cheek near the corner of his eye.

“Thank you Brenner, I would be dead if it wasn’t for you. From the bottom of my heart thank you.”

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Madrigal » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:36 pm

Mika’s lips rose, meeting Brenner’s cheek. They were not as chaffed as one might expect of a soldier, though perhaps the soldier regretted not spending more time before the mirror this morning. His eyes grew still as her red lips pulled away. His body simply froze, as if processing what had just happened. After a second or so, the light of consciousness returned to his eyes. He slowly rose from her, painfully aware he was a gaijin--an outsider—lying beside a blind young woman. That was not to say he would be rude of course. He was glad to help Mika to her feet. Though her face hovered mere inches from his own, she would not see his face. The bright flush that spread over his visage. The trembling lips that tried and failed over and over to find the words he was looking for. Eventually—much later than he would care to admit—he finally found the words he was looking for.

“I...o-of course, Mika. I’m just glad you’re alright.”

He steadied her arm with one hand, pressing her cane softly into one of her hands. His arm wrapped around her shoulder in a soft embrace. Something told him that she was still frightened. The danger might have passed, but the fear from her near miss was still palpable to him. The best he could do for now was to help steady the young lady. Glancing around, he could spot a line of steps, ascending into the forested hills nearby. Perhaps it led to a temple or a nature trail. He gestured to them, inwardly chiding himself for his lack of tact, before he spoke softly.

“You still seemed shakened, Mika. Here. Why don’t you should sit down for a moment?”

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Juno » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:55 am

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Gratefully she allowed her hero to help her into a standing position, but his silence after her apology caused her stomach to tie into even tighter knots. Of course, what a stupid thing to do to a complete stranger! Why had she kissed him?! Regret consumed her as she expected she must have offended him in some shape or form. She had no idea where her boldness had even come from in that moment when she couldn’t stop her knees from shaking. Before she had even known what she was doing her lips were were taking in the softness of his upper cheek and his body had stiffened beneath her. She had overstepped, and now she felt even more guilty.

Slowly the crowd dissipated much to her relief, the attention of everyone on the two of them was more than she could stand to bare much longer. Thankfully Brenner finally spoke up easing her internal struggles ever so slightly and she felt as though she may be able to finally move from her froze position on the sidewalk.

“Y-Yes, I think that’s best… Thank you…” Her voice cracked as she spoke softly unable to stop shaking. She hated this all consuming fear as it heighted all her senses, every little sound and vibration seemed to keep her on edge to the point where she might jump out of her skin. It was Brenner’s gentle and guiding touch that helped her to take a deeper breath as he led her carefully to set of long shallow stairs and she knew all at once where she was making her feel more grounded.

“Thank you, again…” she breath out with a sigh of relief, “I just can’t seem to catch a break lately.” A sudden thought struck her and she slapped a hand to her forehead with a grimace. “Oh Brenner! I’m so sorry! Here I am taking up your time again, please forgive me! I’m sure you have much to do while you’re here…” standing slowly she bowed deeply in embarrassment.

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Madrigal » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:29 pm

Brenner was quiet at first. Looking ahead at the young woman before him. His silence was not intentional—he knew exactly what he wanted to say. But finding the words, remembering a language that had been so alien to him on the spot like this was difficult. He chose what he wanted to say in English, pondered it, and then threw his thoughts out the window for a more reasonable response. One even his basic knowledge of Japanese could convey.

“Don’t say things like that. You’re in need, so I’m going to help you. And I’m not going to leave you until I know you’re safe.”

Brenner smiled to her. For what little good it did him. Still, it felt good to smile at Mika. He just hoped somehow she could sense his comforting smile. He let one arm drift around her back, an inner voice chiding him to make sure his arm was not too low. He wouldn’t want the poor girl to think he was there to ‘cop a feel’. His left hand took hers, supporting her while they walked along. The curt click and thumps of the concrete gave way to the rustle of soft green grass beneath their feet as they made their way to the hill overhead. Her body shivered beneath him. The poor girl must have still been terrified. Brenner let his arm tense for a moment, just enough to give her shoulders a reassuring squeeze. A small, almost imperceptible movement, simply to remind her that she was out of danger.

“Its alright.”

The two walked on, the grass giving way again to the stony path up to the temple. As they approached, the older man slowed, allowing her to find her footing on the carved stone steps at her own pace. As she rose one or two steps, he turned with her, taking a seat on the stairs. At this time of day, he doubted the temple attracted many visitors. What few seemed to visit temples outside of festivals at least. He waited until she was fully seated, before he took a seat by her. The steps were still cool to the touch, though far from unpleasant to sit upon. Brenner was quiet for a minute or so, letting Mika collect her thoughts. She was sure Mika was still awash with emotion after what had just happened. He watched as her breathing became softer and more regular, her motions less nervous.

“This seems like a nice town, Mika. Have you lived here all your life?”

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Juno » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:55 pm

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Mika blushed at his words, her cheeks rosy for reasons other than the autumn chill. He really was a gentleman, just like from all her stories and books she had read over the years and she was glad that he didn’t seem to mind her inconveniencing him. She had been beginning to think that such a person didn’t exist, well… at least in her small town. She could sense his smile in his words as they changed the sound and tone of his voice, and she couldn’t help but to smile back at him blindly.

Mika felt safe with Brenner, not to mention she trusted him so completely, something she hadn’t felt with another person in such a long time. Even as his arm moved back around her and he took her hand she trusted his intentions, though now her nerves shooked her thin frame for other reasons other than her calming fears. He was a man she hardly knew and in that moment he was all encompassing, draped around her like a security blanket. It was a very forward thing to do, but she quickly reminded herself of his intentions, not to mention she was just some foreign blind girl to him, a charity case. If there was no one in her own town who thought of her in a romantic light she doubted a man like Brenner could. His grip on her tightened slightly as he tried to convey his assurance, his words so close to her ear caused her heart to skip a beat sending scarlet tones to her whole face. Nodding silently to him she tried not to let him see how ridiculous she felt.

Finally he guided her up the stairs before them and eased the both of them down to the cold ground to sit and calm her swirling emotions. Swallowing hard she tried to still the rapid beat of her heart as it threatened to crash through her ribs and race away on its own. Slowly she began to take deeper and longer breaths, closing her blind eyes with a sigh as finally she felt a little better. Brenner seemed to pick up on her changing mood as he tried to further encourage the change in her attentions by keeping her focused elsewhere with his question.

“I’m afraid so,” she smiled meekly “I’ve never been beyond this town, though that’s not to say it’s not a nice place to be cooped up in. It’s just my Father and I, my mother died when I was young, but we always lived on the outskirts of town. When I graduated from school he finally allowed me to move into town to live on my own. He travels a great deal so I hardly see him, but he’s always been very adamant about me staying close by.” For the past few years she had been going to the library every day to study in preparation of going to a university, but it was her father who was holding her back from such a dream. “He’s actually forbidden me from leaving the island…” she laughed nervously suddenly feeling as though she had shared too much. “I’m sure he’ll change his mind eventually, If I can travel to the mainland I’ll be able to get a seeing eye dog. Maybe then I can avoid incidents that take up so much of your time.” Again she smiled, half joking this time around.

“You must have seen so much of the world in your profession. Tell me some of the places you’ve been, do you come from a small town?

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Madrigal » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:44 am

"Oh no."

Sidney Brenn let out a faint chuckle of amusement along with his answer, as if amused by Mika's question. He turned his gaze from her out to the village and the wide open spaces beyond. There was so much green here, it was kind of startling. Certainly different from his home. From this distance, he could pick out the citizens of the town, winding their way up and down the streets of the sleepy village. "My neighborhood was about the size of the whole village here. Not the best place to raise a young boy perhaps, but it was the best my parents could do for me. I was born in a city called Pittsburgh. It used to be a big car manufacturing town. Lots of factory workers, miners and the like. Its...not like your village here."

That was putting it mildly, he thought to himself. His nostrils flared, drinking in the air of the Japanese countryside. It was delicious, compared to the smog of his hometown. A simple breath was all it took to make him want to run endlessly here, wild and free. Were he a child again, he might just do that. His blue eyes flitted back to the girl beside him, before he felt a tremor in his throat. As if he hadn’t quite swallowed his own thoughts. His eyes drifted over her face, unaware of his gaze. A flare of heat surged in his forehead at the sight of her, which he had to fight to ignore. He turned his face forward, hoping this strange sensation was not what he thought it was. To distract himself, Brenner continued talking, hoping that would be enough to keep her engrossed and him distracted. “I got out of there as soon as I could. Not that it was easy, but I wanted to escape my dull life. I wanted to go to a famous university and become an artist. But I only had enough money saved up to go to a community school. After a couple years there...well, something terrible happened and I joined the Marines to get away from it all...”

A nervous laugh escaped him, and he rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment. “I’m sorry, I’m probably boring you to death. Well...I’ve been to sixteen countries, mostly in the Americas and East Asia, though I can only tell you about five of them. My squad is in the Marine Recon Force, so we usually scout ahead of ships or soldiers. Occasionally we do more dangerous work if no one else can take care of it. We usually don’t have the chance to see much of the countries we’re stationed in, outside the base and the nearby towns. I’m lucky I’ve been allowed to see as much of Japan as I have.”

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Juno » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:09 pm

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“An artist?” She half spoke to the man beside her more surprised than anything “How interesting, I suppose I made too many assumptions about you already” she smiled softly turning her face to the sun as it cut through the cloud cover above. The heat alerted her of its presence and she was all too grateful for it on the chilly autumn day. Quietly she let out a sigh before she continued.

“I couldn’t imagine a place bigger than this village, I can really only grasp what I’ve experienced here, but I’m sorry to hear that your dreams of being an artist were marred by tragedy. It does sounds as though you’ve had anything other than a dull life Brenner, I must admit I find myself jealous.” Her smile brightened as if she was trying to ease that pain she could sense behind his awkward bravado. It was hard for others to hide things from Mika that were of such a nature. She found that it was something most people didn’t like and so she had learned to keep her mouth shut but still it was hard to not be honest in some cases. Given Brenner was a stranger, she’d spare him of her concerns for now.

“Here I am a native of Japan and my vision of it is dimmer than my sight. You’re the most exciting thing that’s happened around here since we got traffic lights” she laughed softly raising the hand she had closest to him up to his shoulder to rest. “Traveling must be satisfying to the soul, I’ve read a great deal of other places but reading descriptions doesn’t do them justice, especially for a person such as myself. I want to touch the old stone of greek coliseums and feel their history, or know the vast emptiness of an american plain. Though to put your life on the line while experiencing such things must cast new shades of light on the meaning of it all. It’s a brave thing you do Brenner, I don’t think I’d be able to do the same. Blind or not.” Turning her face away from the sun she opened her pale eyes to gaze directly at him. Even if she couldn’t see it still helped her to feel connected more to whomever she was talking to.

“It’s not much but I could show you some of the sights here, it’s the least I could do after all you’ve done for me. That is if you have the time, I certainly wouldn’t want to impose any more than I already have.

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Re: Love That Blinds [Juno & Madrigal]

Post by Madrigal » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:42 pm

'Ha, 'artist' is a little strong.'

That's what he wanted to say. But something about the way the words slipped from those soft lips stopped the chain of thought before it could be voiced. The two of them were strangers, having only met the day before. Yet he could sense she would already disagree at his protests. Instead, he sat silently as Mika spoke. Of her life, the village, her dreams. They were her own thoughts, measured and weighed in the countless passing of days, but he felt an odd sense of familiarity as she spoke. A desire to escape her small, confined life. Not so dissimilar from his own, when he was young. The thought hummed faintly as she turned her gaze to him. Clouded pupils, shimmering with thoughts scarce confessed looked up at him. A gentle caress of the wind made her hair dance in the breeze.

She is so beautiful...

The thought had occurred to him before. But it had been abstract. A statement of obvious fact. He had thought her beautiful, the same way he might have considered a flower or the dawning horizon. Now however, looking into her face, that word seemed so much more profound. She smiled at him. All he could do was look back at her, and wonder what was this sensation? He wasn’t sure how long he might have stayed like that, if she hadn’t thankfully spoken, It took a moment or two for the echoing words to click in his mind, but when they did he smiled and nodded. This would be the perfect chance to shake these thoughts from his mind. His next few words were perfectly sincere.

“I would be delighted.”

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