Cutscene: The Chocolate Strawberry Caper Aftermath

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IC Date: February 01, 2010

Characters Involved: Yoshiro Yoshino

The last six days, all of them January 31st of 2010, were a blur. Repeating days as a result of the messing of time and space... and almost all he could think about was taking advantage of that chocolate fountain promotion at Okina.

Six days straight, he tried to scheme his way to getting free chocolate-covered strawberries. The first two days, he tried to bring baskets of differeing sizes... and both failed, his bounty exploited by those around him. The third day, skipping class to come early got him caught by his father. The fourth day, a reckless drive-by on his bike backfired in a humiliating fashion. The fifth day, having taken an event for granted, he was accused of sabotage and promptly detained.

The sixth day, he decided to make a bit nicer with his mother than usual in encouraging her to check out this 'cool chocolate fountain.' With every other avenue available to his imagination blocked, he let his hopes rest on his mother. That was the final iteration of January 31st, the right to see the next day hard-won by many people... including himself.

Yoshiro stared out the window inside his dorm room on that next day. It was getting early... the sunrise had set in. Yoshiro had a hell of a headache following last night. The faint sounds of sirens in the distance opened his eyes a little more. His cellphone rang. A brief look showed today was... Sunday?! Sunday, February 1st? Monday was January 31st, wasn't it? Nonetheless, he answered by the third ring.

"Yoshiro, are you awake?" It was his mother. "Were you sleeping early again? I tried to call you last evening about the promotion they were running in Okina."

"Uhh," Yoshiro paused only to contemplate whether sleeping earlier than usual was a good enough cover for what he was actually gearing up to do on the final Monday - or was it Saturday, now? At least it happened, he thought, from the sound of it. "Yeah, sorry mom... how'd it go?"

"Oh, it was great fun!" His mother said. "I called your aunts and uncles over too. Almost all of your cousins came by! We had a blast... you wouldn't believe it, but they even had a dance number! It was so much fun."

Yoshiro simply nodded along, a finger tapping impatiently on his cell as be brought the other hand to his chin in front of his mirror. He winced a little at the stubble that grew on his chin overnight - like every night. "What about the chocolate?"

"It was delicious!" Yoshiro's mother confirmed. "We all had some of it... between you and me, I've never seen some of them so happy together! You know, things have been hard with your aunt that lives over in that remote town, right?"

"Yeah?" Yoshiro feigned interest as he started to apply the shaving cream to his face. He never kept up too well with his extended family, largely for the sheer volume of extended family he'd often be asked to do favors for.

"I've never seen her and her husband so happy together. Even when that fountain went crazy, they still danced! It's almost like they were newlyweds." Yoshiro's mother giggled. "They almost didn't care about the hail. I wish I could have brought your father. Did you know he was a good dancer when I met him?"

"I, uh, I didn't." Yoshiro shook his head. "Ah, hey, listen, mom, about the chocolate..."

"Yes, dear?"

"Did you save any strawberries for me...?" Yoshiro asked, his heart on edge as to whether or not he could have finally gotten his hands on some.

"Oh! I... didn't." Yoshiro's mother's voice took a quieter tone.

"You... didn't?!" Yoshiro's eyes widened with alarm.

"I didn't know you wanted me to save some... I'm sorry, Yoshiro."

Yoshiro's head hung, lowering the arm holding the cellphone. It dropped out of his hand with a thud against the hard wood floor. Did he really forget to ask her when he told her about the chocolate fountain?

"Yoshiro? Hello?" Yoshiro's mother asked. "Did you bump your head again?"

A great dizziness surrounded Yoshiro's consciousness, something he attempted to alleviate by placing a hand on his forehead. It began to overwhelm him, the world fading to white before he fell to a knee, fading into unconsciousness.

His vision swirled and contorted from the white void into that of a dark blue subway car, the soft ambient piano and song coming into focus much sooner than the picture itself. Sometimes, he would be standing and holding onto something. Others, he would be sitting. Here, he was firmly seated, head rising as he eyed two familiar pairs of shoes in front of him.

"Are you awake?" Asked a familiar voice as Yoshiro's vision refocused... that man with the bugged-out eyes and the long nose. As always, Igor sat forward with a hunch, both hands joined together underneath his face. There was little distance between the two, sitting across from one another in the subway car that made up Yoshiro's Velvet Room. Margaret sat next to Igor, patiently waiting her turn to speak as always.

"As you can see, the day that would not end has at long last passed. With it, life continues anew... and new opportunities present themselves." Igor gestured broadly with a hand towards a calendar, the strange date of Sunday, February 1st... the weekdays had been arranged, perhaps as residual timeline damage.

"You laid many hopes on that last repeating day, have you not? However small and short-term the ambition... how would you have truly measured your succeess?" Igor let a silence pass through the subway car. "That you had the chance to choose many times where most would only be aware of one single opportunity... I must say, however small in the big picture, it was veeeeeery interesting."

"Watching me get... embarrassed, hurt, arrested?" Yoshiro replied with a faint hint of offense.

"Do not forget what I told you when you first came here." Igor kept his tone even. "The Wheel of Fortune is always turning. Fate plays a strong part in the lives of all... try as one might, the circumstance and desire may not always fully be in one's grasp. With happiness and fortune, can come cruelty and sadness..."

"Y-Yeah... I know," he sighed. Yoshiro has heard the lecture before. He always thought it meant exactly what it sounded like - that he probably couldn't get what he really wanted.

"That does not mean one cannot affect change." Igor's hands rejoined. "Why, after so many choices made with every repeating day... your heart may have borne witness to one such change for the better within the final cycle, if you listened closely. Do you know what I speak of?"

Yoshiro didn't get a chance at those free chocolate-dipped strawberries. Money had been tight since his workplace had been investigated for possible involvement in the mysterious midnight bombings. They're steadily climbing in price even now... he really wanted one. Why should he care that his relatives had a good time at his expense? His expression soured.

"You mean my aunt that always gets me to run her errands for her?" Yoshiro scoffed. He really and truly disliked her and her family, always so dysfunctional that not even the husband could be bothered to do much any more. "That she got to have a good time with her family at... at my continued expense?"

"In coming to recognize that your choices and circumstances affect not only yourself, but others, your connections with others can only strengthen." Said Margaret, speaking as though she were reading off a cue card with a stiff voice as she withdrew a book from an overhead compartment. "Your growing bonds with others has awakened the power of another you."

Yoshiro seemed nonplussed at mention of this. He wasn't used to the idea of people praising him for having such negative opinions of some people close to him.

"It's about time! I'm Pixie!" The shrill voice, the sheer /excitement/, almost made Yoshiro's heart jump from shock. As though something deep within had strongly desired to be shown. "Let's play together already!"

"She had grown impatient." Margaret explained as she turned the pages of the book, still deadpan as always. "You have always been in such a hurry that her anticipation was almost too much to hold onto... it seems very familiar." There was an awkward pause. "I hope that was not taken as an insult."

Yoshiro decided not to voice his displeasure at the comparison. It was creepy enough seeing that image on one of the only sweaters he owned simply become a part of himself, considering who it reminded him of.

"Time and space have no meaning here... there is no need to make such haste." Igor reminded. "Now, go back to your world. We shall await your next visit. What you make of the Wheel's movements, in whichever direction... that is up to you."

Yoshiro's vision became blurry again. When he came to, he found his knelt posture got copious amounts of shaving cream all over his best pair of slacks.

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