[Free Time - Honoka]

It didn’t take much looking to find Honoka– with the metal floors everywhere, you could hear her tap shoes halfway across the station. I followed the sound of her clickity-clickity-clack-clack to the laundry room, and poked my head inside.

Honoka was tapping her feet idly as she loaded some clothes from a big laundry hamper into the washer. They didn’t look like anything I’d seen her wearing…

Tim smiles.
Timaeus

Whatcha doing?

Honoka winks.
Honoka

Oh, I just needed something to do to keep myself busy, so I’m running laundry for people! Got any sweaters for me?

Tim laughs.
Timaeus

Oh no, I don’t want to bother you–

Honoka smiles.
Honoka

I just need a little more to fill this one up! I insist!

Tim smiles.
Timaeus

Um, alright… I’ll be right back!

This was only day three, so I wasn’t sure if it was worth the trouble, but I guess if she was doing everyone’s laundry that was still two day’s worth of clothes multiplied by sixteen… Whatever floats her boat.

I retrieved the small pile of clothes from the bottom of my closet (so much red, maybe I’ll wear the green sweater sometime) and headed back to the laundry room. Honoka quickly whisked them out of my hands, stuffed them in the washer, and started the cycle.

She looked surprised to see me still standing there after she’d finished with the machine.

Honoka looks nervous.
Honoka

Um… can I help you?

Tim smiles.
Timaeus

I, uh, I just wanted to talk–

Honoka looks nervous.
Honoka

About what? Is something wrong?? Did I do something–

Tim laughs nervously.
Timaeus

N-no of course not! I just wanted to get to know you a little better…

Honoka looks embarrassed.
Honoka

Oh… sorry, I-I’m just… this is all so…

Tim smiles.
Timaeus

It’s alright! We’re, uh, all pretty stressed out, I think.

She nodded curtly and adjusted the brim of her bowler hat. Our de facto leader seems not to be so fearless after all… But I guess I’d be more worried if she acted like she did know what she was doing, in an unprecedented mess of a situation like this.

Honoka huffs.
Honoka

So! Um! What did you want to know?

Tim looks confused.
Timaeus

Oh…

I hadn’t thought that far ahead yet. Honoka smiled as I tried to come up with a question, and I heard the tapping start up again. I glanced down at her feet– they barely moved at all, but still they rattled out a steady rhythm against the floor.

She stopped suddenly. Was I staring too much?

Tim laughs.
Timaeus

Sorry! It’s just– it’s cool to watch, ahaha. You’re practically standing still!

Honoka smiles.
Honoka

…It doesn’t take much force at all, you know. Anyone can tap their feet– the trick is learning the self-control to make the taps sound how and when you want them to!

Honoka winks.
Honoka

Want me to teach you a little?

Tim yelps.
Timaeus

Hwuh? Me?! Uh..