Memory Lock

<LipstickThespian> After taking off her shoes, Katlyn had climbed onto the cabinets under the windows and pulled herself up to sit next to one of them. She had her camera out, she usually did this time of day, when she could get away from a class and just watch the students going by. That cute girl with the onyx skin was always nice to take shots of, she snapped a few as she watched her walk by. Then there was that younger teacher, he was always in a hurry, she loved his beard so much. It was a relaxing time, snapping candid pictures.

<@Kioku> A certain Aiko happens to be in view outside through the window, a fairly rare occasion these days since she usually stays inside and avoids much in-person contact now that she's had time to settle in and set things up. She doesn't seem in a hurry, or to have a /real/ destination or someone to meet - as if she'd meet someone if she could avoid it.

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn's viewfinder settles on the red haired girl with the blindfold. She never really got that many shots of her, always hiding in her room away from prying eyes. Zooming in on her she started to click a few shots, some of her face, it was such a cute face she thought. Some of her body, it was nice for the girl's lazy lifestyle. All in all she snapped quite a few before she lowered her camera to look over the shots.

<@Kioku> When the camera finds her is when Aiko's head turns up slightly as if she's noticed something out of place, and when the first picture is taken, she turns to face directly toward the window. Seems you've caught her attention. Better use film next time. She starts heading toward the building's entrance…

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn glances through the photos and notices the trend, of being looked at while she took her pictures. Well, she can maybe explain it, maybe. Easier to not have to right? Slipping off the ledge she quickly pulled on her flats and adjusted them, putting her camera away as she headed for the classroom door. She should head to the cafeteria anyway.

<@Kioku> Aiko moves surprisingly quickly when she wants to, and this is one of those times. She's standing right there in the hall, just out of view of the door!

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn slips into the hall and glances around, stopping when her eyes catch the red haired girl. She stares at her, wondering if she just needs into the room. Or, well fuck, she knows why she's there.

<@Kioku> Aiko leans forward slightly and twitches her nose, then smiles slightly. "Hi, Katlyn-san. I wondered if that camera might be yours." She shuffles in her backpack and takes out a tablet, gesturing like she's going to toss it to the girl.

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn catches it, as best as a girl who hates sports can, and pulls it to herself. She glances down at it, then up at Aiko. Navigating her way to a word processing app she pulls up the keyboard and types. "no." She thinks over her answer for a second before she adds, "okay. maybe."

<@Kioku> The 'tablet' is in fact a modded touchscreen kindle, but that's not important - what is, is that it works. And you can draw and write on it with the stylus or your finger. Yay. "It's okay," Aiko says, moving to lean against a wall. "It's not as though we /expect/ privacy around here." She gestures to one of the hall cameras and shrugs.

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn slips out the stylus after she's hand time to figure the thing out, well as much as a tech barely functional person can. She follows Aiko's gesture and then writes, "i guess so. ya. sorry. forgot the whole thing you do. sorry."

<@Kioku> Aiko shakes her head. "Don't apologize. At least it means you weren't thinking of me as a walking computer or something. Besides, I like being forgettable."

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn moves over to lean next to Aiko on the wall, the two of them blending in with it as students file by. "i dont think youre forgettable. you are so cool."

<@Kioku> Aiko seems just a bit surprised. "M-me? The 'nerdy otenba hikikomori' with the spooky 'onee-san is watching' power?" She shakes her head quickly. "I'm not cool."

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn watches her, a smile on her face as she hears the girl slip into her native tongue. "not conventional cool. aiko cool. ya know?"

<@Kioku> Aiko bites her lip and shuffles her feet slightly. "I really don't…" she mutters. \Aiko cool? W-what's that supposed to mean?
<LipstickThespian> Katlyn shrugs her shoulders, smiling at the awkward pain she's inflicting on the girl by complimenting her. "ya like. mad respect. should wear more skirts though."

<@Kioku> "I wear skirts plenty! J-just… not as much in the winter." Oh look at that, you've actually made her blush a bit now. And it's true, she's been known to wear skirts decently often. It's just dresses that she'll avoid like the plague. She mutters something uncomfortably about everyone seeming to know her even if she doesn't know them. \Well. Know them personally anyway. I've looked up probably everyone at the school by now.
<LipstickThespian> "i guess." Katlyn says as she watches the girl's cheek flash with color. She's enjoying this a little too much, it's such a nice little back and forth. "sorry for bugging you. should i let you get to class?"

<@Kioku> "You aren't bugging me; I wasn't on my way to class. Just got curious who was taking so many pictures of me while out on a walk." Aiko's lip quirks up in a small smile again. "Guess I found out."

<LipstickThespian> "sorry." Katlyn writes quickly as she realizes how obsessed she got snapping pictures of the girl. "i like taking pictures. you were a good subject."

<@Kioku> "N-no!" Aiko blushes a little more. "I said it was fine, didn't I? I don't mind. J-just don't sell them to perverts or anything, okay?"

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn watches the girl's reaction and breaths a sigh of relief. "okay. ill keep them just for me."

<@Kioku> Aiko quickly nods. "R-right. Good." She twitches and tilts her head sharply, pauses several moments, then shakes it. "Sorry, had a message. It can wait."

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn watches the girl's motion, a little bit of concern in her eyes. "no its okay. i dont have to keep you. sorry." She writes down.

<@Kioku> Aiko sighs and pokes Katlyn in the shoulder. "You apologize too much when you don't need to. I'm choosing to stay here and talk to you, you're not keeping me from anything I'd rather be doing."

<LipstickThespian> It's time for Katlyn to blush as Aiko pokes her in the shoulder. She looks down at the tablet so she doesn't have to watch the red haired girl. "okay. thanks. youre okay."

<@Kioku> Aiko laughs a little. "You're okay too." She stands awkwardly for a few moments. "I'm… not the most conversational person without a topic." \If only socializing were as easy as catching criminals!\ Aiko, catching criminals isn't easy… well okay, it's easier than talking to people, but not by much!

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn listens to her laugh and continues to smile at the simplicity of the interaction. She thinks for a moment before she writes, "aiko. lets talk about aiko."

<@Kioku> Aiko shifts nervously and looks a bit surprised once again. "M-me? I'm not interesting, there's not much to say!" She says that all a little too quickly…

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn watches her, her little movements, all those little actions that make Aiko herself. "okay. if you insist. i will stop prying."

<@Kioku> Aiko shuffles her feet again and turns her head downward. "I-it's not prying, there's just nothing to say… W-we could talk about Katlyn instead…" Oddly, Aiko didn't correct her, asking her to use 'Minami' instead.

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn smiles and shrugs her shoulders, "why not talk about both?" She writes as she gets closer to Aiko. Holding the tablet right between them as if the two are standing in the hall sharing a whisper. "katlyn likes the soft red hair aiko has."

<@Kioku> "Both is okay, I guess…" Aiko mutters. She takes a small sharp breath and seems yet again surprised by Katlyn, switching from speaking to adding text to the tablet. "Ah… umm… thank you. Aiko admires the way Katlyn gathers evidence unobtrusively. … Sorry, it's something I've noticed that's really cool about you…"

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn doesn't really watch the girl, instead looking at her though their little shared piece of technology. "okay." she writes under the text after it's appeared. "katlyn likes it when aiko stands up for others. like she did for katlyn. katlyn wont forget that, and what it meant to her."

<@Kioku> "Katlyn didn't deserve to be bullied. Nobody does. And harrassment like that is definitely despicable. Aiko will always stand up for Katlyn if people are bothering her when she doesn't want them to. It's the right thing to do." Aiko pauses for a few moments. "Aiko feels very ashamed for not knowing much about Katlyn… she wonders what Katlyn likes to do, what sorts of hobbies she has."

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn watches the text shoot across the screen quickly. It's more than she expected out of a reaction and she has to adjust herself against the wall from the whiplash. Despite the ebb and flow of their conversation she reaches over and draws a quick heart next to the statement of solidarity. Then she goes to respond. "katlyn is boring. she thinks aiko has fun hobbies. everyone knows shes the best girl gamer in town. katlyn wants to watch her play sometime."

<@Kioku> \Does she know about…? No, nobody knows that he's me, even Wendy, Sara and Rose had never heard of him. They woudln't have a reason to mention my other names to anyone, right?\ Aiko giggles slightly at the heart and smiles, even thinking through all of this. "Too kind. Welcome to if you want to. Could play together too, if you like. Miss multiplayer, too long without." Aiko's sentences are getting shorter and more concise as

<@Kioku> she communicates through text, but it feels somehow like this is more natural to her. "Aiko doesn't think Katlyn is boring though. Thinks she should tell about them."

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn knew a lot about Aiko, a little too much really. She watched the words and heard the soft giggle and felt like she was making a real connection. Score! Drawing a line from 'play together' she adds the note, "i suck. ill watch." She really did mean it, not just because she wanted to watch Aiko even more. "katlyn likes to draw. and play music. and take pictures. and longboard. and smoke. she is a very boring person. katlyn thinks aiko should tell her why she wears knee high socks. theyre so cool."

<@Kioku> Music gets a circle around it and text above it. "^_^ Tell Aiko if you need a mixer / make a recording." Below everything else, just after, she adds, "Sarcasm? :P It's cold. And people stare less. Aiko doesn't like attention. HATES male attention."

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn watches the emotes pop up and smiles a little. Small pictures peppering the text, how fun. She ignores the comment because she hates hearing herself played back, she is a live performer at heart. Circling the word 'male' she draws a line, "girls okay? Katlyn likes that Aiko likes girls." She smiles and glances up to look at the girl, a smile on her face.

<@Kioku> Aiko is blushing slightly when Katlyn glances up, and shakes her head as more text appears. "Aiko can be around girls. Doesn't mind them. Can befriend. Isn't interested in romance with anyone." She pauses for several seconds and seems to get a little sad. "Afraid of."

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn watches the words appear on the screen. A little torn as she reads the text and tries to figure out if she can change this reality. "come on." she writes quickly as she drops the tablet to her side and reaches over. Tapping Aiko on the hand she turns and slips back into the empty room they just left.

<@Kioku> Aiko follows curiously, and a little nervously. \What brought this on?
<LipstickThespian> Katlyn slips into the room and closes the door behind them. She steps over into the room and heads to the teacher's desk, pulling up the tablet as she walks. "what are you afraid of?"

<@Kioku> "I've never been interested in anyone. Have no sex drive. Wouldn't be fair to them." Aiko is leaving something out for sure, there's no way that's all there is to it…

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn guides the girl over and tugs on her arm to sit in her favorite place. Beside the teacher's desk, facing the window, hidden from view. She drops her bag next to her and sets the tablet in her lap. "never ever? youre a bad liar."

<@Kioku> Aiko sits and bites her lip. "Never ever, not like that. It's… I mean…" She swallows and takes a shaky breath. "Don't tell anyone?"

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn leans against the desk and looks over at the girl, before she writes back. "promise."

<@Kioku> Aiko leans back and takes another shaky breath. "I've been kissed three times," the text appears slowly. "All involuntary. The last was Rose, I don't know why she did it… I'm a little worried about being alone with her now, even though I don't think it was to hurt me."

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn watches the words appear but decides to not look at Aiko, just see her through her thoughts. She circles the word 'unvoluntary' and draws a line from it. There's a pause as she thinks of what to write, but only manages to form 'not ok.' in response. Moving across the screen she continues, "im sorry the world has made you afraid of love. i dont believe anyone deserves to have that taken from them. i hope it isnt forever."

<@Kioku> Aiko lets out a tiny sob before composing herself. "I hope not too. If I was even ever meant to love. I've never wanted to, but that could still be fear. The first was…" She trembles in place and curls up on herself just thinking about it. Images and sounds flash through her too mind, and it's just too much. "I need to go. Sorry. I need to go." Aiko scrambles to try to get up, still shaking badly.

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn looks over at Aiko as she hears the sob, her body tensing at the sudden outward show of emotion. She's seen this, she's done this herself. Shut down and want to leave. What would she want other people to do? Let her go and be in peace with her sadness. She couldn't do that to Aiko, not after the blind girl tapped her way into her life. So she grabs the girl's arm and holds the sleeve to keep her from getting up. Her other hand writing without looking at the screen. "dont go. dont run from this."

<@Kioku> Aiko freezes as her sleeve is taken. "Please let me go…" she whispers aloud. "I can't… I can't think about this, I can't face this. I want to be ready, but I'm not."

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn holds her sleeve, watching the girl freeze as she's grabbed. "you will never be ready. you cant be. i cant let you go." Her eyes never leave the girl, watching Aiko with careful intent and horrifically planned intentions.

<@Kioku> Aiko collapses back to her sitting position, looking defeated. "Mikazuki Emori," she whispers. Her tone is half hateful, half fearful, and all as if it would explain.

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn watches her fall back to sitting next to her, and she releases her grip to go abck and hold the tablet. "sorry. what?" she writes, not understanding the phrase.

<@Kioku> Aiko swallows and the kanji appear on the screen, then a series of news articles. It's all in Japanese, except a couple of English ones that she brings up last. And the headline of the article says it all. "Serial killer murders man, woman, boy; blinds 12 year old girl."

<@Kioku> "Thirty two," Aiko murmurs after a long pause.

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn watches the tablet activate and watches the things flash on the screen, across her sight. It's more than she wanted to know and she hates to admit it that. She stares for a while as she tries to absorb it, her finger running down the screen as she tries to read the article but fails to absorb the horrific nature of the crime. Or the clean way the pundits in the media report such a defining moment. She writes over the article, "thirty two?"

<@Kioku> Aiko slowly turns toward Katlyn. "If I didn't see him, if he didn't want the fame… I would be victim number thirty two. Instead, he made sure that his grinning face was the last sight I ever saw." \Right after the mutilated body of my nine year old brother.
<LipstickThespian> Katlyn listens to her and listens to her talk about it, the awful feeling of being brought into a horrific scene she wishes she never heard of. "how." she writes after a second before scratching it out to write "why do you keep going?"

<@Kioku> Aiko cannot produce enough tears to properly cry. It's the only thing that saves her blindfold from being soaked through. "What else can I do?" Aiko asks between dry sobs and her shivering. "Besides keep going? I couldn't let this stop me. I still can't." She swallows and gets the shaking under control long enough to face Katlyn, to answer her question from what feels now like long ago. "He was my first kiss. Right after he did this." She points to her blindfold sharply, voice hateful and angry rather than depressed in that moment.

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn listens to her and the pleas of a woman who has seen too much. She glances over at her and her explanation, she turns back to the tablet so she doesn't have to look at the damanged girl. "why dont you just." she writes before she quickly scratches it out as she gets to the next word. "i wish i could help. im sorry. im bad at this. what can i say to you? that he wont be your last kiss? that im glad you are here now? that i hope i can make the rest of your life wonderful to make up for it? that i hate that he has left more of a mark on you than i have? i wish i could say something."

<@Kioku> Normally, Aiko would catch that, question the meaning, why Katlyn hopes /she/ can make the rest of her life wonderful, and what that's supposed to mean. Later, she'll reflect on this and probably catch it, wonder those things, but for now, she's a trembling mess of memory and just a damaged girl. "You don't need to say anything," the tablet reads, Aiko back to not speaking aloud. "I've been talked to about it too many times. All I can do is move forward. Knowing that he's in prison and /I put him there/."

<@Kioku> Even if she's trying to be mature and logical about it, you can tell that she's still feeling scared by the memories, along with all the other emotional turmoil this kicked up.

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn watches the words pop up on the screen and follows along. Sitting next to Aiko but still so very far away. She taps the stylus against the screen a few times as she reads the words, and then she starts to draw. It was always easier for her to draw her thoughts, and almost the screen is small and her strokes are a little too broad for her she tries. Her hand moves swiftly across the screen as she wipes away the words and memories and just draws. It's quick and starts to define itself after a second or two of line work. Two girls, sitting together by a desk, both with unseen scars and fickle emotions. Smiles on their faces, holding hands, and content to ignore the world for a second. She always loved drawing people together.

<@Kioku> Aiko struggles to understand the drawing as it comes up, and it takes a while before she comprehends what the lines mean, display. When she does, she lets out a small half-sob, half-laugh, and scoots her hand toward Katlyn. It's a little thing but those smiles… she wants to smile. She wants to make the drawing a reality.

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn slips her hand over as she hears the mess of emotion shimmer through beside her, taking Aiko's hand with her own and resting it between the two of them. She continues to draw the picture, fussing with it and trying to make it her own perfect reality. Erasing Aiko's head to lower it down, laying on her own. A smile on her face as she flicks across the screen in quick motions.

<@Kioku> Biting her lip, Aiko scoots a little toward Katlyn and leans her head toward her, slowly. They look so happy in the picture, so relaxed. Maybe she can help her through this, put the thoughts of death and cruelty out of her mind.

<LipstickThespian> Katlyn feels the girl scoot, and then the head on her shoulder. Laying into her soft hoodie and staying there. She smiles as she starts to make Aiko's hair fall just right in the picture, just how she always imagined it would. She moves down to the bottom of the page and writes, "we dont need to say anything. and thats okay." Moving away from the words she goes back to continue her work. She loves this picture, she really does.

<@Kioku> Aiko nods slightly, and the words are underlined. \Okay,\ she thinks in agreement. \I prefer the silence anyway.
<LipstickThespian> Katlyn rests there with Aiko, and draws as long as it takes to make the scene just right. After a while she finishes and glances over at the red haired girl. It's nice, it really is. She flicks away from the picture and commits it to reality, writing on the page. "i want you to be ready. because i want to be there when you are. okay?"

<@Kioku> \Ready? Ready for what? For… to get past my past? To face the madness of romance, and join it, if I ever go insane like the rest of the world and actually want to?\ Aiko blushes slightly. Maybe unlike Rose, some who wish for that would wait as long as it takes. There's no telling until she sees for herself. "Okay…" she whispers aloud. \I hope she just means she wants to help me through it, not… be a participant. Last time I tried to be friends with someone like that, with Rose, it ended rather badly…
<LipstickThespian> Katlyn smiles as she hears the answer, it's better than she had hoped for. Slipping the stylus back in it's place, she clicked it off and set it beside herself on the floor. She was happy to sit there and hold Aiko's hand, have the girl lean against her. It felt nice, like really nice. It was how it should be, she decided. All the time.

<@Kioku> It's not until over half an hour later when Aiko's returned to her room after a long time of sitting and leaning, and a slightly awkward goodbye, that she realizes something. \Did I just…\ Yes, Aiko, you did. \Did I just make another friend? I wanted to stop doing that… too many and they'll inevitably conflict with each other, so I have to choose carefully and keep only a limited number of slots! Still… I haven't even told Sara and Wendy yet, about… about him, about that. It just felt so easy, opening up to her. I guess that means it's inevitable, friend slot filled.
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