Please Remit Payment (Mamoru Chiba)
|Please Remit Payment (Mamoru Chiba)|
|Date of Cutscene:||28 June 2016|
|Location:||Earth Court Frat House|
|Synopsis:||Of all the damage to Mamoru's apartment, one thing can still be attributed to someone alive and with money.|
|Cast of Characters:||Mamoru Chiba, Takashi Agera|
Everyone's gone home who doesn't live there, and his Shitennou are either out or finally sleeping, and Mamoru's in a room by himself for the first time in literal months. He turns from the scorched and torn-up living room to survey his bedroom, and there's Kunzite's blood on the hardwood floor and a smashed glass jar of silvery purified dirt on his bed, and under the disheveled bunny-and-moon blue-and-gold throw rug next to the bed, there's the invisible but indelible memory-mark of where Usagi nearly bled out last year. He glances up at the closet, where he'd finally been putting shirts and trousers back after Usa'd more than half emptied it and Homura'd finished the job. He looks toward the glass doors to the wide balcony that connects to the living room, and the caution tape warning people there's no balcony anymore...
...and he goes over to his desk and picks up a fragile glass pen cup, hefting it in his hand. He hauls back, face twisting, about to throw it at the wall -- then puts it down, because the smash of glass would bring one of the guys running in a second, and then he'd have to talk, and he wouldn't be alone.
As much as he'd lived alone all his life and told himself it was fine, then gained friends and people to love who loved him back, and as much as he knows he could never and would never go back to that loneliness, he still needs time to himself, time with nothing but his thoughts and only music or silence for company.
But this place, this place he sought out and chose, its size and its location and its strengths, its rooms and walls and floors he's made his own over three years in order to save it for the important people he didn't even know--
It's seen so much violence over the past year. So much threat. So much fear, the safety of it torn away and undone-- then rebuilt bit by bit, person by person, until it could be a home again-- then threatened and wrecked and made pointedly unsafe once more.
It's still his. It's shared, but it's his. And the people it's shared with are his, too-- not owned, never, but belonged to and withal. The walls and floors, the rooms and the windows and doors and balconies, the pieces of his heart and soul-- his, cherished fiercely, needed, as much a part of him as his hands and his feet, as his dreams and his power and his perception, as his connection to this planet and its heart.
And so much of the violence, the violation, can't be answered for or has been forgiven.
But the balcony.
The balcony he'd watched the moon and stars from, never knowing the source of his fascination; the balcony from which he'd watched the city below, glittering with life in so many forms; the balcony on which he'd kept the rose bush he'd cared for so long, that the Xenian had killed in its effort to kill Makoto, the roses' caretaker while he couldn't care for them himself. The balcony on which he'd had so many conversations with friends and people who've become friends; the balcony that's served as the apartment's front door for a year.
The balcony is just gone.
And it's due to the violence done his friends by the assassin with his sister's face and memories. And she was created by Takashi Agera.
He still can't hate him. He never did, even if he's seen the younger boy as variously a rude upstart, a threat, a twisted jackass, a jackass trying to turn his life around, a jackass making progress at doing so -- being a hero, getting the interest and sympathy and friendship and, for a while maybe even the love, of someone whose judgement and kindness and intelligence and determination he admires as much as Ami's; a jackass who saved his life, however accidentally he died doing it; a jackass who admitted in his mind even if he couldn't form the words that he did love Ami... a jackass who treated lost and desperate little girls with such protective care... a jackass who turned out to be the guy who's already tried to kill him multiple times, who's caused so many people so much distress and pain, including people Mamoru treasures deeply.
And this last offense, the thing he made with Makoto's face, saying such things and doing such unforgivable damage to the hearts of the people Makoto herself holds dear, keeping the real Makoto locked up and made to watch the thing try to destroy her life and the lives of her friends--
He wants to hate him.
But he can start dance politics again. Dangerous but safer than the alternative. Half petty revenge and half fun one-upmanship--
And he can start with the goddamned damage to the goddamned balcony.
Mamoru turns to his desk and calmly takes out a piece of paper and a brush and inkwell, and with exacting perfection, begins to write a formal letter with all the arrogance and insult implied in the creation of something meant to be stiffly beautiful and steeped in the abject humbleness tradition dictates-- but that uses only the formality of technical modern conversational respect.
It goes into itemized detail.
It explains why it's being sent to Takashi.
It's written in the most achingly beautiful kanji--
(so beautiful and well-crafted it's a work of art, as is the politeness of the incredible rudeness in the words themselves, as is the pedantic humor and implicit lack of actual threat in such a thing, that he also carefully takes a picture of it with his phone)
To underline the formal absurdity of the thing, Mamoru folds it with measured precision and seals it with an X-Men logo sticker turned sideways to make an upright quartered circle.
--and he wanders off cheerfully to have it delivered by insured courier to Takashi Agera, after making a few phonecalls to find out where, exactly, it should be sent.
It's a bill for the amount of money Homura quoted him for balcony replacement with extra reinforcement.
Mamoru feels a lot better all of a sudden.