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…
Oh, I just needed something to do to keep myself busy, so I’m running laundry for people! Got any sweaters for me?
Oh no, I don’t want to bother you–
I just need a little more to fill this one up! I insist!
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.
Um… can I help you?
I, uh, I just wanted to talk–
About what? Is something wrong?? Did I do something–
N-no of course not! I just wanted to get to know you a little better…
Oh… sorry, I-I’m just… this is all so…
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.
So! Um! What did you want to know?
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?
Sorry! It’s just– it’s cool to watch, ahaha. You’re practically standing still!
…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!
Want me to teach you a little?
Hwuh? Me?! Uh..