Reflected, Reprise (Kunzite)

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Reflected, Reprise (Kunzite)
Date of Cutscene: 28 June 2016
Location: Kunzite's Palace
Synopsis: Most of the disasters are past. Some problems take more time to repair.
Cast of Characters: Kunzite

There were no invading flowers, now. But the marks of their presence scarred the walls -- places where roots twined between or into blocks of stone, or where petals burst from behind mosaics, sending cracked tiles tumbling to the floor. They'd loved the carvings best, it seemed. He'd walked the halls of this place, put each crack to rights one by one; and of all the reliefs hidden in shadows and odd corners, there were only three that he had not needed to draw up a memory of and repair.

He ended his walk in a courtyard that was intact again, but not yet complete. For ten minutes, he stood there in silence, frowning at the long, empty channel at its center.

A hard nudge in the back of his shoulder and the hot breath in his hair suggested that something's patience only lasted ten minutes.

"Well?" demanded the caracal. "Are you adding yourself to the place as a new statue, or are you going to do something?"

He met it with silence and stillness. After another few minutes, the points of fangs pressed lightly against his skull, at the top of the curve and where it joins the neck.

"Empty threat," Kunzite noted clinically.

"You're boring me." The words were muffled, given the circumstances, but he knew perfectly well what the immense cat meant all the same.

"I told you I'd be back. I didn't tell you I'd be entertaining."

"So overfulfill."

"So get your teeth off of my head."

The caracal did, reluctantly. Kunzite shook his hair out with a grimace, then stepped forward to kneel at the pool's edge. He put his hand down, as if to test the water that wasn't there with his fingertips.

Like every other time he'd tried in the last ten minutes, no water answered his call. The pool remained dry, the soil by its edge the next thing to dust.

"Put your heart into it," the cat advised.

This time, Kunzite actually turned to glare at it. The oversized cat blinked once, then padded off to investigate some nonexistent bird in the far corner of the dead gardens.

Alone, or at least with a little distance between himself and the carnivore spirit, Kunzite closed his eyes and tried once more. Summoned up a memory of the place in his mind: the cool of the evening, the growing dark, the stars beginning to mirror themselves on the surface of the water, the fragrance of the myrtle. Laughter, and a flash of white vanishing.

When he looked again, the soil still sifted like fine sand from his fingers. No water, anywhere. But a few inches from his hand, a single seedling struggled to lift two wilting leaves toward the hot blue sky. The leaves might, possibly, even be the right shape.

Distracted from its imaginary play, the caracal lifted its head, sniffed at the air, squinted across the empty space at that miniscule change to the place. "You're kidding me."

Kunzite said nothing; only wrapped shadow around himself and vanished. And returned, a minute or two later, with a glass of water taken from Mamoru's apartment to soak the soil.

"Nephrite could do better in his sleep," the caracal told him.

"Nephrite had better. He has Jupiter to try to live up to." How much water did it need? He didn't know. It didn't matter. Dream-logic; going to the effort made things right, not worrying about the details. And it was a start, again. It was a start.