Sengoku Horizon

Look towards the Horizon

The Warring States Period: Fierce warlords fought for control of Japan, and many would perish. When a warrior falls, where does the passion they once held go? Possibly into something dear such as a favorite weapon or heirloom. These heirlooms have been labeled as “relics”, and those that carry them are labeled as “Scions." Recently more and more of these special relics have been activating, signaling the start of a great change as ancient power meets the modern world!

Now For The Local News, 06/01/2018 The Chinese delegation have now arrived at the city of Edo. Making friends and learning about Edo Culture is their current aim! In other news it is also time for the school dance event! Please bring your characters along!

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 Hair Dos and Don'ts, Open
Suzu
 Posted: Nov 18 2016, 03:01 PM
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Shinsuke liked to think of himself as a practical young man. Many young people had something that could overwhelm them. Some set of circumstances under which they would be faced by so much adversity, difficulty or information that they instinctively panicked. The Todo heir was not that way at all under most circumstances; he always believed that you could accomplish even the most difficult feat. All you had to do was break down the seemingly insurmountable into manageable steps. Once you took things in small doses you could accomplish anything you set your mind on.

The whole dilemma which Matsudaira-kun faced wasn't impossible. In fact it was much simpler to handle than intricate negotiations between two clans who were both hostile to each other and equally at fault for an incident. For Shinsuke the only part of the puzzle which was still something of an unknown quantity was his companion's mother. He'd been piecing together a portrait of her from what bits and pieces the boyish girl was telling him. Overall it did not look pleasant - the very image of an overbearing mother. What to do there?

After listening to Junko speak about this mother and ideas for hairstyles (an idol look? For Shinsuke?), Shinsuke was just as down with the idea of friendship. As awkward as Junko came off, she was actually pretty kind. It was certainly a nice change to see Junko smiling for once, to see the very clear joy and enthusiasm. He resolved to do whatever he could to help make this day and Edo Bugei the best experience possible for this new friend.

"Hm.. I'm not sure what a salon or wigmaker could do with your recently clipped hair. That is a goodly amount though, an amount I'm pretty sure your mother would notice... and if she's the kind of woman you say she is, maybe we should figure something out," Shinsuke responded, the gears in his mind already rolling, "How about this? I've heard that some sellers have human hair wigs.. and you can buy simple hair extensions that clip into your existing hair.. so maybe someone could make extensions with your old hair? That way it for sure matches and it should fool your mom if she suddenly decides to visit?"

Still unsure where to ask about that, he added, "Why don't we go to the salon first? That magazine article you mentioned sounds really cute and I'd love your help picking a style out. While it's being done I'll think about the shops in this area and try to figure out who we should ask about getting you extensions made. Does that sound okay?"

He looked across the walkway and nodded, "That salon there is very popular with Edo girl from what I hear. Shall we go?"

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Aideen
 Posted: Nov 24 2016, 03:50 PM
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"Hmm, extensions might work." Junko tapped his cheek with one finger while he walked backwards along the sidewalk. "I guess it is a lot, but I don't think I was ever going to be able to hide that it was cut. But I think she'd be less upset with four inches than fourteen." He kept smiling. "But whatever you think sounds great." He was really lucky to get somebody on the diplomat path to lead him around the city. It was like having a proper tour guide, though that might not be polite to say. Diplomats probably aspired to a little loftier goals than that. Junko knew he had his own lofty heights to achieve too.

"So what made you choose the diplomacy path, Todo-chan, I mean if I'm not being too nosy." Since his mind was on the subject, why not ask? "It seems like an interesting choice but I thought the academy was all about soldiering stuff and generals and ninjas." He'd joined to become a soldier like his father after all. Apart from that information, he hadn't really looked into what the school offered. He was closely related to a noble house, only one or two steps from inheriting the title really, but he knew that they took anyone with an artefact. A consolidation of power.

That was another interesting question. What was this girl's artefact? It could be obvious like a sword or something you wouldn't normally carry, but that didn't seem very diplomatic. It could be super subtle like his own string and sewn up inside a ribbon. Well, he was already prying into personal things. "What's your artefact, Todo-chan?" At this point, he didn't even realize that not everybody at the school was a scion. He really hadn't done much thinking at all, except for how he'd become his own person and famous for being a manly soldier that all men would aspire to be. Pipe dreams, but they kept him happy and hopeful.

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Suzu
 Posted: Nov 30 2016, 01:56 PM
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"I just thought it would be a good compromise between the illusion of longer hair and something that is real enough to look convincing. For what it's worth I think that your new hairstyle suits you well," Shinsuke responded kindly, glad to be making at least some difference for a new student. A new friend even!

At Junko's next statement of assumption Shinsuke laughed lightly - far more feminine than a young man ought to sound, oddly. He shook his head as he told her, "It's true that many students at Edo Bugei are studying on paths related to combat, but there are also many who are promising in other fields. We have blacksmiths, artisans and diplomats in addition to soldiering and stealth. Quite bigger than just the most overt role of a samurai for certain. I'm not very useful in a fight, but I've learned much about convincing others to make compromises. My family have been diplomats for a very long time, so it seemed like a good fit."

"My artifact? Very astute of you to figure out that I have one, Matsudaira-kun. Indeed, I do have one. It's the personal haori of my ancestor Todo Takatora, who was an accomplished diplomat himself. I'm not wearing it right now because.. well, I feel like I should wear it only when it's needed. Plus it doesn't really go well with this uniform so.." Shinsuke explained when the other student asked about his relic. Then he asked, "So tell me, do you have one? I'm intrigued to know what yours might do."

After hearing whatever explanation came, Shinsuke pointed to a salon, "How about we go in here? You can help me pick out a hairstyle and then we can ask about getting your hair turned into extensions!"

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Aideen
 Posted: Dec 2 2016, 02:23 PM
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"Aww, thank you so much." He smiled and brushed his hand along his hair. He must have done a good job mussing it up if the girly hair cut he had been given now suited his new manly appearance. "I knew about the ninjas, but I kind of lumped them in with fighting. It sounds like the academy is like its own miniature city." He imagined a tiny city with stores and shopping centers inside the walls of a school and a bigger city around it. The idea made him smile. "It's a mall inside a mall."

"So you're following your family line? That's super admirable. I'm trying to do the same. My dad was a soldier, it was his best friend from the squad who taught me how to shoot a bow and hunt wild game and lay traps and basically everything I know about how to be a man." Junko counted off each thing on his fingers. The memories were happy ones, even though there was sadness on the edge. "I bet they can see me now and are cheering me on. I hope I can make them proud of me." Them far more than his mother. That bus was long gone from the station.

"You mean some students don't have them?" There was wonder in Junko's voice. "I thought you could only get in by being a child of royalty or having an artefact. I mean, I'm like two steps from Matsudaira and I wouldn't have gotten in without mine." He shook his head, there was so little he knew and he didn't even know he didn't know it.

"Mine's just a little thing, it's the string from when Heibei Asaoka won the very first Toshiya competition." He reached up untied the ribbon. "I always keep it on because it reminds me of the happiest day I ever had." He looked down at it but everything seemed to become a bit blurry. He realized he was tearing up. That was no way for a man to act. "Anyway," he hurriedly said as he wiped his eyes, "I used to wear it in my hair but now I need to sew it into a scarf or something so it doesn't look so weird."

"As for what it does, well I can see everyone around me for a ways. Anything alive, I can see it." Which explained how he almost never was looking where he was going and yet managed to avoid bumping in to anyone. "That place looks nice, I bet they can help us out real good."

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Suzu
 Posted: Dec 7 2016, 08:57 PM
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He'd found himself very interested in learning more about other students' clans since going through his more recent troubles. Such loss as he'd experienced had driven home just how important it was to know people. Life may be fleeting but that made valuing others all the more important, didn't it? To that end he wanted to additionally learn more about Junko as an individual as well. Maybe treat the Matsudaira student to a meal or something as a 'welcome to Edo' gesture.

For now just listening would be his gesture of welcome - lending the new girl his ear and, as it turned out, learning about her relic. A simple string but contained within a very girlish ribbon at the moment. Given her desire to be seen as masculine he wasn't about to suggest she keep it in its ribbon. A scarf would be harder to lose as well, which was a good thing when it came to relics. Of course he also imagined a more girlish Junko wearing the ribbon in her hair and found that mental image quite adorable. It brought his smile back in full force for a moment before nodding when Junko explained its function.

"That sounds quite useful actually. I think no matter how you choose to wear it, your ancestor would be proud of you to be the one who wears it," Shinsuke commented before propping the door open and stepping inside the salon. It smelled of perfumed shampoo, hair products of varying types and all of the women inside made him feel just a tiny bit nervous. Was he really going through with this? Yes, he told himself, it would help Junko feel better.

The woman at the counter bowed to the pair, "Good day, ladies. What can we do for you?"

Shinsuke anticipated Junko becoming displeased at being called womanly and jumped in with, "Oh, we just have a couple of things today. Matsudaira-kun has a special request which is somewhat.. delicate, but we should discuss that after our other business. I'd like to have my hair styled."

After blinking in confusion, the woman nodded, "Ah, I see. Well then, come this way and we'll let you pick out what you'd like, young lady."

Shinsuke blushed at the mistaken identity, but motioned for Junko to follow him. They were led just inside the salon to a small table with a book of different hairstyles. The woman explained their stylists could do whatever they wanted, but the book was there to give them some ideas. After thanking the woman Shinsuke looked to Junko and smiled, hoping that would encourage his companion.

"So.. would you have a look and see if you can find something that might suit me? I'm very interested in your opinion," he requested, working again to get Junko's mind off anything negative.

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Aideen
 Posted: Dec 8 2016, 09:25 PM
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Junko followed after Todo-chan full of smiles. It was a nice salon, though it did feel a bit awkward being in one a second time in a single day but that wasn't really a problem, they were designed to be relaxing and this time he was with a new friend. Junko re-looped the ribbon around his neck, though a bit looser than before. A scarf was definitely the way to go. That would look proper manly and definitely give him the credibility he needed.

Letting the door swing shut behind them, Junko smiled at the lady at the counter, his smile faltered when she called them both ladies. He was just about to open his mouth when Todo-chan stepped in and spoke. Well, that was probably the more diplomatic way to handle things, he would not have been so subtle or polite. Just more proof that Todo-chan was brilliant.

In the end, he followed them to the table and slid his suitcase underneath it, though he had to nudge the blades and bow a bit to get them to stop sticking out where somebody could trip over them. By the time the book was open, though, Junko had gotten past any imagined sleight at his manhood, after all, he had a lady's hair cut and she was a professional. He would have to mess it up very good to hide that from somebody as well trained as she probably was. Not her fault.

Junko was on that book in an instant, flipping and skimming each picture, occasionally he'd pause, stare intently on a haircut without blinking, close his eyes and then turn his stare on Todo-chan, as if willing the hair to appear. Then he started talking, half to himself, half to her.

"Hmm, well a side tail is cute though it might make you look a bit younger than you are. Your face is a bit round so if we're not careful you could end up looking like a grade schooler, though tall. Of course if we go too far in the wrong direction you might look a bit too boyish." He chuckled, "Wouldn't want that. It might be funny though, people thinking you were a boy while thinking I was a girl. Silly." His chuckle became a titter and was forgotten. "You were thinking of extensions, maybe twin tails. It can look a bit immature but some girls can pull it off. It's like a sign of innocence with maturity. Very cute. But those might be too long of an extension, better a wig and even then it'd pull your scalp something awful."

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Suzu
 Posted: Dec 11 2016, 03:11 PM
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The snap judgment about distracting Junko before she became upset over the mistaken identity had been right. Though nothing came of the reference to them both as ladies Shinsuke could tell that his companion had been a bit affected by it. Glad to have assessed the situation properly he he wondered if he should've kept his hair longer. Back in his first year he'd been growing it out like a proper Chinese nobleman might. It had been all due to personal vanity and wanting to appear an educated classical gentleman. Also to impress those girls who were liable to be interested in such a man. After the earthquake he'd realized how immature the whole thing was. There was no reason to pursue the ladies that way - he wasn't actually engaged as his parents had at one time suggested. Hair that long could get in the way during a crisis too.

So he'd trimmed it himself. The result had been uneven and a bit weird looking at first and showed why he should've gone to a barber. Since he'd been growing his hair back out a bit (not that he'd cut it super short) and wearing a wig to assume the role of 'Mikoto' off and on, the cut seemed a bit misguided now. A balance between long and short would be best, he thought. If it could also look feminine, all the better he supposed. There was a particular girl he'd started thinking about of late, had started to communicate with more often. Though he had no idea what she'd think of him like this.

Bringing himself back into the present Shinsuke listened intently to Junko's analysis of possible hairstyles. There were a number of options the boyish girl (or so he still thought) ran through, which didn't help make a decision. But Junko was in good spirits and that was the important part. With a smile he was almost ready to offer his own opinion.. until the newly arrived student made a comment about mistaken identities. For a moment he was about to say something but it just ended up becoming a chuckle of his own. At some point he'd clear up his identity, but for now Junko was having fun.. he was having fun. Turning the page to a chart of different styleschart of different styles, Shinsuke thought about it for a moment before showing the chart to Junko.

"I think extensions for twin tails would be cute.. that's one option. What about #5? The very top right corner here? Or maybe C-1 or C-4? Which do you think might suit me best?" he asked, believing that more options would help make a better informed decision.

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Aideen
 Posted: Dec 13 2016, 04:40 PM
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Junko tapped his lips and looked at Todo-chan. He looked down at the hair chart and then at his friend again. It was a tricky thing. She wouldn't really need much in the way of extensions with that, though a wig was probably useful so that there were more opportunities. It was nice to have a lot of choices. Guys never seemed to have to worry about that and he was looking forward to ignoring his hair and being ruggedly handsome.

"They'd all be pretty." He replied. "Well, except B4, that'd take the youth look way too far and you'd look like a creepy tall six year old. Definitely extensions for pigtails. Same for D3. I wouldn't go for a ponytail at any of these lengths either, at least, not a low one. You'd definitely look like one of those samurai pretty boys from tv." He paused and thought about it. He tried to picture Todo-chan as one of the minor characters from one of the movies he had seen. Oddly enough, it kind of worked. "Actually, that could look really good." He paused and then hastily added "To guys who are into that kind of thing I mean. Which I am. I mean I'm a guy, not that I'm into that. Ugh, nevermind." He dropped his head to the book and table with a thunk, his face glowing scarlet. What a stupid thing to say.

"C4 is a good choice." He said, voice slightly muffled by the table. "But if we let it grow a bit longer in back and trimmed the bangs to A5 then you could easily switch between C1 and C4 as the situation calls. Then either way you would have a cute hairstyle whether you were dressing up or working out." He continued talking into the table. "I'd look at hair slightly longer than what you've got now or about the same, the stylist will be taking it down some but you'll be growing your hair into the style you want. I'd only get extensions for longer styles but even then only if I had a concrete idea. If you were to change your mind tomorrow, you'd only have wasted your time and money."

"A2 is ok, a lot like mine I guess. But it gets messy real easy as I have discovered and I'm not sure how it will clean up yet if I have to do something less casual than wandering the city." Was his blush gone now? His head still felt hot but oh well, it had surely lessened some. He sat up and sagged back against the chair. His face had returned nearly to normal though his forehead was red where he'd hit it on the book. "Stick to C4, that's my advice."

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Suzu
 Posted: Dec 18 2016, 04:05 PM
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Navigating choices of hairstyles was proving as tricky as navigating a resolution to a dispute between clans. There were plenty of options that might work out and Junko continued to analyse each one. She really was an expert on girlish hairstyles despite how masculine she aspired to be. From the awkwardness about discussing feminine things and the constant self-correction about being a man, this was a recent development. Maybe her mother was so dead set against anything but a refined princess for her daughter that Junko had only just begun to explore other options? It seemed possible.

It was more awkward for both of them when Junko made a comment about a low ponytail suiting Shinsuke. The Todo student blushed as well, not being used to a girl initiating a flirt with him. Shinsuke quietly listened to the continuing analysis of hairstyles, trying to pin down just where the other student was coming from. Clearly Junko had embarrassed herself by saying that, but somehow managed to keep talking into that book. With a gentle move he'd used on dates in the past (and hoped to utilize with a specific girl in the future) Shinsuke reached over and placed a hand on top of Junko's.

"C4 it is, then. Thanks for your help with this.. you're quite an expert on it, aren't you? Not that you're not manly.. you're just well rounded," Shinsuke noted, then asked, "Can I ask you something, Matsudaira-kun? Are you.. flirting with me?"

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Aideen
 Posted: Dec 18 2016, 04:39 PM
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He wanted to drop his head back into the book again. He certainly could feel the blush come back and cover his face. Everything was suddenly so awkward and there was nothing he could think to do to defuse it. Well, he could kind of just bare all and reveal everything to Todo-chan, but she was so nice and friendly. If he told her, she'd probably think he was a total weirdo and he didn't want to lose his first friend.

He tried to think of anything to say but he just couldn't think of anything that wouldn't make the situation worse. All the options were super cliched, like something out of an anime or tv show. It wasn't that he wouldn't flirt with her, but he wasn't flirting with her. He was just trying to be manly but still help out a friend with her hair. This would be so much easier if he could just be a girl like Todo-chan, but he wasn't. Oh well, the truth was supposed to set you free.

"I'm sorry, Todo-chan. No, I'm not trying to flirt with you I'm just...I think I might be overcompensating." He leaned in close and low, as if telling her a dark secret, which, to him, it was. "Truth is," he whisptered, "growing up, I've always been in the wrong body. But with mother in control, I had to be a dutiful daughter. Now that I'm away from home and on my own, I want to be the boy that I've known I was since I was five. I just...don't really know how. So I'm not trying to flirt with you, flirting with girls is new to me just like everything else in this city is new to me. So I'm sorry." There, it was out, it was like a weight had lifted from his shoulders, but that weight could fall right back down depending how she reacted. Would she hate him? Would she call him weird, or worse...what if she laughed at him?

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Suzu
 Posted: Dec 21 2016, 03:08 PM
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Despite himself Shinuske was actually fairly comfortable like this. Letting Junko assume his gender was fine for the moment as it was something that could come up later. Really he didn't feel too bad about dressing like this in general. Just maybe not all the time and only with a purpose. Junko's confession did that for the Todo heir, put things into perspective. His purpose here was helping what seemed like a confused girl who saw herself as being masculine find herself. A feminine figure would probably be more helpful than a boy at the moment. Rather than laugh at Junko he just smiled softly in reassurance. Gently he placed a hand on the other student's hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. He recalled that being helpful in tough emotional situations.

"You have nothing to apologize for, Jun-kun," he assured, inventing a nickname on the spot, "That sounds like it was really difficult for you. Don't worry about being who you really are, that will come in time. If there's anything I can do to help you become the man you're meant to be, consider it done. I.. might not be an expert, but I'll try. It'll probably take some time to realize it, but I think you can get there."

Then he added, "I'll let you in on a secret of mine. I'm the eldest child of my family and I've always been expected to be a good big brother figure. My sisters would get me to be more.. um.. girlish when we played, but overall I guess I've been more manly than it seems by looking at me now. What I'm saying is I think I know how you feel, even if it's only a little bit."

Shinsuke let that settle for a moment, and then nudged Junko when the stylist came by again. The time had come! With a deep breath he told the woman, "I've decided on this one, can we do that?"

Once the affirmative response had been given the woman began to lead the way to a work station. Tugging at Junko's hand he asked, "Will you sit with me? This is kind of big for me.. then we can skip the extensions for you and go do something manly if you'd rather."

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Aideen
 Posted: Dec 24 2016, 03:33 PM
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Junko smiled when Todo-chan took his hand and gave it a squeeze. It was so reassuring to know that she didn't think he was a complete weirdo. THat moment said more than a letter. He nodded as Todo-chan told him about her upbringing. No wonder she was in the diplomat track, she was so super good at it. "Really? I can't even imagine you as a tomboy. You're just like a princess, all regal and stuff." His face was the picture of surprise. "But I mean you would know what is manly. I mean, I didn't interact much with other kids growing up, it was basically like home school. You've at least interacted with boys a ton." He gave her a wink. "I bet you're super popular with them." And then he dissolved into a fit of giggles.

He'd sort of managed to get a hold of himself for the stylist. He stood and was about to go his own way to get the hair extensions or wig when Todo-chan tugged at his arm. "Of course I will, if you want." He'd stay as long as she asked. That was part of being a man, and more than that, part of being a friend. He would certainly be both now.

"But I don't really need a hair cut, just got this one like an hour ago. It'd be kind of weird to get it cut twice in a single day. Not to mention, expensive." The extensions or wig would be expensive too but they would be practical and also of use in the future whereas not getting them could come back to bite him in the butt really badly. It would be an investment in having a future, otherwise his mother might kill him. "It'll be fine here, I like hanging out with you." He grabbed her hand and gave it a squeeze this time. Supporting your friends was important, that was his manly lesson number one.

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Suzu
 Posted: Dec 27 2016, 01:57 PM
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Around this point Shinsuke started to wonder if Junko were just messing with him. Did she see through the not-so-thorough disguise and realize that he was a guy? Maybe it was time to have the conversation about them having that sort of thing in common. Then again the signs were there that perhaps the Matsudaira student really didn't see that Shinsuke was male at all. Whatever the case he had to laugh at the comparison between himself and a princess. That was something his sisters would argue as well - well, sister anyway - so it wasn't like he'd never heard such a compliment before. The tone now being so light and positive, he was pretty sure the desired effect of making Junko feel better had been achieved.

"I wouldn't say super popular, really. More like they want to smack me sometimes," his grin was somewhat impish, maybe the least formal expression he'd worn all day, "Don't worry about being manly then. If a 'princess' like me can figure it out I'm sure that you can too. Who knows, you might get the ladies falling all over you before long."

Once the stylist had indicated where to go, Shinsuke smiled at Junko. Such a thoughtful young lady - taking his hand and squeezing it in support. This was kind of a drastic measure for him since he usually went with wigs if he were going to be 'princess-y'. Somehow the process of selecting a hairstyle and going through it together had made Junko's spirits rise. Making someone else happy like that made the diplomat's day. Hopefully Junko would adjust to life at Bugei as well as Shinsuke hoped she would; if she needed more help he'd be there for her. It's what friends did.

The whole process of getting his hair styled took less time than Shinsuke had imagined that it would. His sisters had done it a few times, as had his mother. Each of those times he hand't had anything to distract himself with and they'd taken positively ages. Now that he had a friend with him it didn't seem as though it was as time consuming. Of course he did have to kind of ignore the gossiping nature of the stylist who seemed to think that he and Junko were on a date. It seemed impolite to correct someone who was tending to your hair so he didn't say much other than a singular mention that they were just friends. Once she'd done the final cleaning with some very perfumed floral shampoo and finished brushing his hair out, Shinsuke looked over at Junko again.

"Thanks for sitting with me, I really appreciate it," he told her, then as the stylist removed the apron-like cover to keep hair off of Shinsuke's clothes, he asked, "How's it look?"


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Aideen
 Posted: Jan 2 2017, 02:46 PM
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"I don't know if I can handle that. Maybe I should start with just one lady and see if I'm capable of handling her. Don't even know if it's something I'm, you know, interested in." It made sense for him to be attracted to girls, though he couldn't say he'd ever been attracted to anybody. Hachi had been really close but that probably wasn't the same thing. He didn't really feel anything like that for Todo-chan but maybe he just hadn't gotten used to being around girls yet or maybe it was just the difference of being friends with her. He still didn't know but someday he might find out.

Junko took some of the time of Todo-chan's haircut to look at possible styles for his extensions. After all, it was a lot of hair that would be lost, if he could hide that too then he would be better equipped to deal with his mother. Of course, for whatever reason Todo-chan wasn't participating in the discussion with her hair stylist. Junko was happy to join the conversation and fill in the silence, after all, he didn't know much of the city and the hairstylist seemed to know so much about so many people. It was amazing and educational though not for anything that had any real pertinence to life.

"Any time." Junko replied. This was so much fun, he wouldn't mind doing it every few weeks. "You look beautiful, just the cutest. And I love the smell of the shampoo she used, I wouldn't mind getting some for myself." He went in close and stepped around behind her so he could see every angle. "We chose pretty good, it suits you a lot better than that old unkempt hair from before. I wasn't going to say it considering my own situation too much but it made you look like you had tried to look like a boy, but now you're the prettiest girl in here." He smiled.

"I guess now we've got to get my hair taken care of." Junko picked up his bags. He walked to talk to one of the ladies who wasn't busy, leaving Shinsuke to deal with the stylist and payment and tip. She pointed him to another woman and he was explaining himself to her. It didn't take long and soon enough, he was unwrapping several feet of hair from the clothing he'd wrapped it in and laying it out to give the woman time to look at it.

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Suzu
 Posted: Jan 6 2017, 01:39 PM
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"Oh trust me, from.. er.. what I've heard from guys in the know, it's best to stick with one lady. Get to know all about her, make sure you like her and she likes you. I'd recommend you take it easy since you're new to all of this," Shinsuke suggested, trying to both speak from experience and not sound like he was talking about himself. With an awkward smile he went on, "But if you find someone you care about, don't be afraid to let them know the whole you. Be as manly as you want and if it's the right person, they'll accept you as who you are." There, that sounded like decent advice to give someone who was trying hard to be who they thought they were. Junko was a girl who felt she was more masculine, so if she wanted to be with another girl that was fine by Shinsuke. If she found a guy she liked, that was fine too. The Matsudaira student had a good heart, and that would be what mattered most; at least that was what his mother would probably say.

It was kind of a surreal experience getting a girl's haircut and styling in its own right. The stylist kept attempting to make small talk which Shinsuke couldn't really follow up on too much despite his state of dress and present company. Having always used a wig for this he really wasn't sure about getting his own hair done. Junko seemed to be completely into the small talk though. Somehow she managed to navigate it perfectly fine despite how much she spoke of being a man. Hearing the conversation just convinced Shinsuke even more that he was dealing with a girl who just wanted to forge her own path in life and happened to be overcompensating a bit. Or maybe she really did feel like she should be a man. As long as Junko was happy Shinsuke didn't care.

"Me? Cute? Beautiful? Oh come on, you sound like my sister," Shinsuke responded, laughing nervously. Okay, now things were getting a bit awkward. He really wasn't sure how to respond to his friend's kind words about him being the 'prettiest girl' in the salon. So awkward was it that he didn't respond any further before Junko went off to get the hair extensions made. Leaving Shinsuke to sit there with a stylist who had a conspiratorial look in her eyes as she watched the other student walk off.

"He's a real catch, sweety," she told Shinsuke, who raised an eyebrow in shock, "If I'm not imposing too much, I'd say that you two compliment each other very well."

"I... guess so," Shinsuke responded, idly running a hand through his now much-girlier hair.

The woman took his hand gently, "You don't find a boy who understands how to speak to a lady very often. Don't you let him get away from you."

Shinsuke paused for a long moment before telling her, "We're just friends actually. In fact we just met today.. I haven't had someone I liked for a while.. last time I did, I wasn't very considerate of them and they left me."

"Oh, I see," the woman nodded, then pat him on the hand, "If this one turns out to be someone you like, I think you'll get along very well."

So the conversation continued, the stylist doing most of the talking as Shinsuke awkwardly tap danced around the issue of dating. He'd gone out with a few girls in the past but nothing had really come of any of it. With a bit of retrospective, and now in admitting a bit of what he'd done wrong, he felt bad about letting the relationships slide. On the other hand the more he listened to the woman talk to him, the more he wondered if any of them had been the right match either. What did he want in that kind of relationship? As he listened, he began to formulate an answer to that too. Someone who was kind, possibly cute, someone who understood and accepted him as he was for sure. Someone who knew him, if that statement made sense.

By the time he'd come to that realization, Junko appeared to be getting finished with her extensions. Time certainly had flown by! He paid the stylist generously and added a couple of bottles of the shampoo and some conditioner to boot. Might as well get a nice gift for his new friend. With all of that in a bag he walked over to Junko and grinned.

"So, how's it going? All done?" he asked, then fished the shampoo out of his bag, "Here, this is for you. Consider it a 'welcome to Edo' gift."

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