Guardians Before D-Point

Tadase calls the Seiyou Guardians to meet one last time and prepare to join the other magical heroes in the expedition to D-Point.

Date: 2016-03-08
Pose Count: 55
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 00:54:21 32537
It's been a while since the Guardians have seen each other outside of the business of the school. To be fair, things have been chaotic in their personal and magical lives, to say the least, and for whatever reason, Easter seems to have been eschewing single targets around the school for larger performances.

But now, after the chaos of the power outage slash freak winter storm that was really Kunzite, and with the Virtue phones all abuzz with plans, Tadase is waiting for Amu, Na-chan, and Kukai at the Royal Garden where he's asked them to meet - personally, as Tadase, not on their Virtue comms as Platinum Royale - before heading off anywhere this evening.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 01:00:00 32540
Nadeshiko arrives looking a bit dishevelled.

Well, if she were anyone else, she'd probably look appropriately shevelled, but her ponytail isn't quite as in order as it should be, and her skirt has a few wrinkles in it.

"Sorry if I'm late." She sets down a bag of goodies from loose tea to finger foods. "There was some debris in the courtyard."

She sets about making tea, because tea is easy and simple. Tea is helpful. Tea is not letting the team down because she can't Chara Change.
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 01:06:09 32545
Kukai Souma arrives at the Royal Garden as quickly as he can. He'd had something to do before coming - making sure an exhausted little girl was resting safely before arriving. He looks physically tired himself, but he's still moving with speed and purpose. Lots of nerves, too.

He looks up at the bright, sunny sky, so calm and normal after the chaos of this morning, before entering the Royal Garden, waving at Tadase and Nadeshiko as he comes in. "Heeey, you two. It's good to see you." His clothes look even more wrecked than usual - he may in fact have a large slice from the bottom of the back of his jacket to the middle, but he doesn't look hurt, and his shirt is fine.
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 01:09:05 32546
Amu Hinamori is terrified of the winter storm. She's terrified of what her Virtue Phone is telling her. And she's terrified that she may have picked the worst possible time to hold onto Yoru.

But Cool and Spicy girls aren't terrified of anything, right?

Today she has on all black: a black skirt over black petticoats, a black teeshirt with the Modest Mau5 logo, black thigh-highs stockings with black stripes, black boots, and even a black hairpin holding her hair in a sidepony. She's only half a step shy of goth (she didn't put on black facepaint), but she did paint her nails black!

"Amu-chan, we need to hurry!" Ran is busy encouraging Amu, floating in front of the girl who makes her way towards the Garden with four little charas floating around her. Miki is busy drawing pictures of the epic battle she watched between Kunzite and the forces that opposed him, and Su ... Su actually seems to get Amu's emotions best of all, because she's being quiet and worried. And then there's that other chara floating with her as Amu--unhurriedly--reaches the garden door and hesitates.

"He's going to ask me to go," she notes to Yoru and the other charas.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2016-03-08 01:15:32 32550
The fourth Chara floating along with Amu is indeed Yoru. But he's not his usual cheerful and boisterous self. He floats along behind the pink-haired Amu and her Charas, ears down, paws hanging listlessly in the air. He's quiet, for once. Not that this is something major for Amu; he's been a pretty quiet houseguest since Amu brought him home.

Amu's words get a twitch of his ears. Go? He doesn't quite understand. But he doesn't ask. Either things will get explained later, or it won't come up and asking would be moot.
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 01:23:04 32552
Tadase greets each of them as they come in. The Royal Garden is as beautiful at night as it is in the day - in fact, some of the flowers in the massive garden only fully open to bloom at night. They're probably some sort of magic.

"Souma-kun, thanks for coming. Thank you so much for everything recently, actually." he says, earnestness in his voice. "You've been in a lot of places I should've been but really couldn't be while protecting the school itself, or others. And... I know you heled Chiba-kun too. Thanks for everything, Jack."

He takes some tea from Nadeshiko with a nod, and smiles. "Thank you for coming anyways, Na-chan." he says, before he suddenly hugs her as soon as he can do so without having her spill tea anywhere.

This is, of course, exactly what he's doing when Amu walks in, so he lets go of Nadeshiko and walks over to Amu. He's suddenly a lot less sharply vocal and leaderly. "It's good that you came too, Amu-chan." he says, and then smiles. "We have to talk about a lot. I have some things to ask you." He notes Yoru as well, and Kiseki gives the little cat chara a nod as he floats back to the table.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 01:28:25 32555
She offers Tadase a smile as tea is handed out and finger foods set. The Charas all get something, too. Even Yoru. A small bit of sushi-grade salmon, should he choose to accept.

"Well, someone had to come and make sure our leader's mind stays on track when Amu-chan gets here."

Yes. She sensed the girl, or heard her, or something. Or maybe it was the why Tadase's expression changed just so. Or maybe she's really psychic.

Hint: It's not the last one.

"Hello, Amu-chan." Things are more amicable these days, and she did enjoy their outing not long ago.
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 01:36:52 32558
Kukai Souma grins and goes over, hugging Nadeshiko before flumping down in the chair across from her, next to Tadase, smiling and letting out an easy, unconcerned shrug. "Nah, nah. It's fine, really. It's been really good, helping everyone both inside and outside of the school. And yeah." He grins again, a wide smile on his face as he remembers the crack as a skateboard broke. "It's what I do."

And then, Amu. Kukai looks over and sort of boggles for a moment. He hasn't seen her since that day when he'd caught her in the park in the snow, but... Wow. And who is that, wait. Daichi unbusies himself from hugging and greeting Kiseki, vocalizing it for the mute Kukai. "Kukai, she's got four charas now!" Kukai just nods, then finds his words. "Wow. Amu. That's quite a change. Wait. Is that... what's his name, Yoru?"
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 01:37:39 32559
Amu grimaces a little, opens the door, and is immediately greeted by that smile. "Tadase-kun," she says, a little morosely, as she slides in through the door. Amu makes sure all four charas are in before closing it behind her, then crosses the long path to the Garden's central table.

Nadeshiko gets a smile and almost a hint of a hug. It's at least a semi-genuine smile though it fades quickly. Amu glances over her shoulder at Yoru, then back to Kukai, then smirks at him. "This ... is Yoru. He's not mine," she explains. "But I did kinda catnap him from Ikuto for a while. It's a long story. Yoru, this is Kukai and his chara Daichi. And of course, I think everyone else here knows you."

Ran rushes straight for Daichi, wrapping the chara in a tight hug. "Hi!" she says.

Miki does the same, but her target is Kiseki. Which leaves Su sticking to Amu's side resolutely.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2016-03-08 01:41:19 32563
And this is how you know Yoru's not feeling up to his best-- he makes absolutely no move to antagonize Kiseki. That's a pretty major sign, in fact; antagonizing Kiseki is a thing Yoru likes to do. But here, he just nods back, with a quiet '...nya'. And when Amu introduces him, he raises a paw to wave it at those assembled. His ears swivel towards Daichi when he sees the other Chara.

Her mention of him being catnapped gets a nod. "Yeah. So don't think I'm all buddy-buddy with Amu now-nya!" He crosses his arms and sits back in the air, looking grumpy. He's doing a wonderful impression of Grumpy Cat right now.
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 01:49:19 32565
Kiseki takes the lack of antagonism more harshly perhaps than anyone else would. "Yoru?" he says, quietly. "I'm sorry about all of this." he adds, once the teens all begin to discuss more important business. "But you understand why, I hope." Because as antagonistic as Yoru and Kiseki can be, they're not even as much enemies as Tadase and Ikuto are - or as Tadase thinks they are. And then Miki tackles Kiseki and any attempts at talking or reconciliation are smothered, literally, by the little blue chara.

"Souma-kun... the thing with Ikuto... it's a long story. I don't... have time for it right now." Tadase hasn't had time for a lot of things, and it shows on his face. "I have a lot I want to talk with all of you about... but it has to wait. Because tonight, Virtue and a lot of others are going to fight a demon. An actual monsterous one, from the Sun. The thing that happened tonight is really just a small version of what it wants to do."

"I'm sure you've gotten texts, but it really is as bad as they say. And... I'm going." he says, resolutly. "I'm not going to let anyone else risk themselves to save the world from this monster while I wait at home. I'd like to ask you to come with me - but I know you might each have reasons why you can't. I won't ask why, if that's your choice. For Kiseki and I, it's not one at all."
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 01:59:20 32566
She gives a soft laugh as she hugs Kukai back, and she very much accepts what Amu offers. Dishes are passed out, nibbles for all. "Yoru-kun. I wasn't sure if you prefered your sushi raw or cooked. If you prefer, I could cook it for you."

Nadeshiko presses her lips into a thin line over her teacup as she listens to Charas and Guardians alike.

Her jaw clenches as her teeth grind together in a very unladylike fashion.

Calm and centered, a very lovely facade.

She sets her teacup delicately on its saucer and folds her hands in her lap. "I do hope my moral support will be enough."
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 02:04:57 32572
Daichi stays over near Yoru and Kiseki, and is wrapped up in a tight hug from Ran, which he returns happily, laughing. He looks back and forth at the other two Charas nearby and then reaches out, one arm still around Ran's shoulders, offering a hand to Yoru. "It'll be ok. Whatever's wrong, everyone's fighting to make it right. If we all work together, it'll be ok. Ok?"

Kukai nods, then leans towards Tadase, pointing a finger at him. "You know that keeping secrets from your friends makes everything harder, huh?" He grins suddenly, bright and warm, still the Jack, still filling the hearts of his friends with the confidence he shows. He reaches up and lightly taps Tadase on the forehead with his fist for good luck. "We'll have plenty of time to talk once this is over. And yes, of course I'm going. I can't let you go and not go. It'd look bad for me!"

He looks over at Nadeshiko, then reaches over, gripping one of her hands with his. "Look. I dunno what's going on but you know we're here for you, and we'll be here for you. Your moral support is worth everything, because that's your belief in us, yeah?"
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 02:10:49 32574
Which leaves Amu as the odd-one out. She settles down in her seat and sulks into her shirt, looking from guardian to guardian, then sighs heavily. "Look, I don't ... have a good reason not to go. But this whole thing just ... it seems so far beyond any of us. Can we really do this?"
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2016-03-08 02:11:40 32575
Yoru nods to Kiseki's statement. "Yeah, I get it. Doesn't mean I like it-nya." Pout! Yes, he's made up his mind he's going to be pouty. And then Tadase is explaining something, the thing that they're there to talk about probably. He floats down to the table and listens. Yes, he is totally gonna help himself to anything to eat that might be there. What is this 'manners' thing you speak of? Omnom.

Speaking of omnoms, there they are! Nadeshiko's mention of sushi gets a waved paw. "Either way is good-nya!" As ever, food lifts Yoru's spirits. Nothing new there. It's not going to make him completely better, but it'll help.

And then he goes quiet, as the Guardians start to talk. He has food to occupy him, that'll have his attention for a while yet.
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 02:20:09 32580
Tadase looks at Amu. "First off - I'm sure we can. You should see the group that's gathering. It's amazing, all of the people coming together. Virtue can seem decentralized a lot, but in times like this, where we reach out to each other, it's absolutly amazing to see." he says.

Then, after a big sigh. "And if we can't - the world is doomed - so I really don't see why we shouldn't try." he says, incredibly bluntly.

He turns to Nadeshiko. "I understand. And your moral support - your trust - your hope - that's a real kind of magic, too."

And to Kukai, an actual laugh. "Well, I'm pretty sure there's no way you'd miss anything even remotely disguised as a competition. And I know you'll have our backs, too." Tadase taps Kukai's forehead in much the same way, though it's obvious he's done it way less.

"Look, it's far beyond what I ask you to do. I know that. And it's risky. That's true too. But I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important."
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 02:28:24 32584
Both Kukai's and Tadase's words do wonders to ease the tension in her shoulders. Her eyebrows soften from a half scowl and her lips purse lightly together in amusement as she gives a flip of her hair, her other hand briefly squeazing Kukai's hand before the teacup is once again between her fingers. "Yes, well, there's no corner of the globe my grace can't reach."

She sips her tea.

"I believe you have the ability to do so, Amu-chan. I believe you all do. If I could go, I would. But that would be my choice."

Delicate sip.

"If I were a betting girl, I'd place my money on you."
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 02:47:13 32594
Kukai Souma grins and then leans on the table, tie almost getting into his tea. "Amu, yes. Absolutely. Tadase has it exactly right. We can do this because it's not just you or me or Tadase or the three of us. It's us and dozens of others. It's incredible how powerful they are and how well we work together. It'll won't be easy but it'll be something we can do."

He smiles, looking at her. "You've always been the most amazing person I've known, but you've never been able to see yourself from outside. Trust me. You'll go and be the equal of every other person there. I know it."
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 02:59:05 32596
Amu only hunches down even further at all the reassurance from her friends. "Yeah, I'm sure I'd do fine," she says. "Except ... who's going to protect Tokyo? What if someone tries to make X-Eggs during all of this?"

But Tadase said the alternative is the whole world is doomed. Amu sighs and shakes her head. "I don't even understand why all of this is happening. Why would anyone want to destroy the whole world? It's just so ... insane!"
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 03:03:37 32597
Tadase shrugs and looks at Amu. "I don't know. It's all crazy. It's crazier than Guardian Characters and Heart eggs, maybe. All I know is, I'm a Guardian. And we protect hopes and dreams. And I think this falls under that umbrella, too. After all, it's hard to have dreams without that."

Then Tadase looks at Amu, and he's looking right into her eyes. "You are more than strong enough for this just like you were for everything else. After this, I'm sure x-eggs will feel like a peice of cake!" he says, then turns around.

"Kukai's right. It's not just about you, or me, or the Guardians, or even Virtue. This is just like Walpurgisnacht. It's something bigger than just us. And we can still help out, we can do right, we can have a good impact. That's what I want to do." Tadase says, voice and eyes full of idealism and hope.

"Listen to that. Na-chan knows what's up." he says, looking at his friend with a smile. "If we couldn't win she'd say so, I'm sure." Yep, not putting words in her mouth at all.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 03:16:29 32601
Nadeshiko smirks. "You bet yer ass I would."

A delicate clearing of the throat. "So what would you be doing, whoever wishes to go? I'm aware Chiba-san is involved? And..." She snaps her fingers as she tries to remember the name she's heard. "Sailor Moon, yes? Kukai danced with her?" And yes, she gives Kukai the same eyebrow she gives Amu and Tadase. "Are they strong enough for this?"
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 03:28:26 32604
Kukai Souma nods at Amu. "Not everyone is going. There's going to be several people who stay behind just for such a reason, just in case it takes us longer to come back than we expect. Tokyo won't be safe while we're gone, but it won't be completely exposed. There will be people covering it." He grins. "The team leader wouldn't have the entire team charge downfield and let the goalie and the back line leave the net undefended. And I'm not even the best team lead I've seen. Actually I've got a lot to learn from everyone." He grins, eyes closed, one hand behind his head, his jacket falling on both sides of the chair like a tuxedo jacket. A little stuffing comes out of one side.

He opens his eyes and looks at Tadase, then nods. "...About a week after Walpurgisnacht, I revised my oath to the Guardians. I hadn't mentioned it because the new one doesn't really change anything. I realized that it's up to me to defend the students of Seiyou Public School not just while they're at school, but while they're out of it, too. And that means I defend them, their families, their friends, their aquantainces, and everyone they've seen that might cause them some harm. At that point I realized I should properly be guardian over as many people as I could reach. So I'm always out there, doing everything I can to help." He picks at his sleeve. "It hurts, and I'm tired a lot, but a lot of good happens that I'm not sure could have happened if I wasn't there. And the thing is?" He looks Amu in the eyes. "I'm the weakest one here."

He follows Amu's eyes for a long moment before he sputters and looks over at Nadeshiko. "You what?" He stares at her before grinning. "Oh, yeah. Sailor Moon. She's pretty, but what an airhead. Incredibly nice, though." He leans back forward again. "The thing about Usagi is that in a fight? She's actually sort of crap. She's not too strong, but she has the most amazing ability to work with her friends, unlike anyone else I've ever seen. And when they turn it on, and she channels her purification magic? I'm surprised there's an X-Egg or youma or Shade or Eclipse member anything using dark energy left in Tokyo. It's just a matter of getting her to focus on it. And for this? For the fight at the North Pole? She's like a giant blonde white laser."
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 03:31:45 32606
Amu, briefly, looks like she might possibly start to believe in this whole plan. But then the conversation turns to Sailor Moon and how amazing she is, and that just makes her feel all the more miserable. In fact, it's Ran who chimes in with a response of, "Amu-chan." A soft-voiced, emotional plea to the girl to stop hiding.

And then Amu perks up, very suddenly, and laughs a little. "Yeah, haha, what could go wrong, right? I'm sure everything will be just fine, if Nadeshiko says so. After all, if you can't trust Nadeshiko, who can you trust, right?"
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 03:44:28 32613
Tadase can feel the heat in those words and unconsciously makes a step between Nadeshiko and Amu, like he can possibly hope to stave off whatever sudden moment of flare up by interceding - even though he really ought to know better.

"Okay, so I'm unsurprised that Kukai's in. He's not the Jack's Chair for nothing." He nods at Kukai. "I haven't taken that oath myself, but maybe I really ought to sometime later this week." he says, firmly. It's a firm statement that there WILL be a later this week, too. Just the comment is an indictment against the doom of the apocalypse.

"But it sounds a lot like what I've been doing with Virtue. I mean yeah there are x-eggs. But there's also youma, terribads, witches - all sorts of things that want to spread that same kind of despair and mistery. And I don't care if it's one kid's corrupted dream, or some sort of witch from the sun. I'll fight it, to defend everyone's hopes."

And then he looks to Amu. It's a long look as he tries to figure her out from her limited words. "Well... is that a yes, then?" he asks. He has always been espewcially bad at figuring this one person out."
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 03:55:08 32619
Nadeshiko grinds her teeth. Her eyes almost glint when she looks at Amu-chan. "Of course. You're right. Kukai-kun. Temari is unable to show herself because I have lost faith in myself. Primarily because..." And then she doesn't force her voice high. It's settles into a smooth tenor. "My voice. Keeps." Nagihiko never really needed Temari to get angry. "FUCKING BREAKING!"

Nagihiko stands up and just fumes. "Hate me all you want, I don't give a damn anymore, because the world can fucking end in two days and there's not a damn thing I can do to help!"
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 04:00:34 32621
Kukai Souma blinks as Nadeshiko stands up. And starts talking. And her voice doesn't break. It changes. His eyes get bigger and bigger as she keeps talking, and he unconsciously keeps leaning back, until on the last bit of her tirade he lets out a startled yelp as his chair tips over backwards, making the table jump an inch and dumping him down the steps behind him.

He scrambles to his feet after a moment and picks up the chair, holding it up. "Uh. Uh. What?" This is not the sweet, serene, amazing girl he knew - who is this person?
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 04:08:15 32626
Amu sighs and starts to answer Tadase with a probably positive answer. But then she gets cut off by Nadeshiko's sudden breakdown, and her eyes widen just a little.

Amu sinks even lower in her chair, feeling pretty much as awful as she possibly could. "I don't hate you," she says with a sigh. "I'm just scared and I'm tired of being bullshitted about everything. The world is going to end, and some girl a million times more powerful than me can't stop it. What can I possibly do to help!? And the one person I thought I could always count on can't even go because she's too busy feeling sorry for herself about lying to me!"
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2016-03-08 04:19:49 32633
Yoru hides behind the teapot when Nadeshiko-- er, Nagihiko-- explodes so. Whichever form Nades is in, Nades is scary when mad! When nothing actually literally explodes, he looks between the arguers as they.... well, argue. And his brows just draw down even more.

He's been irritable ever since Amu took him from Ikuto, mainly because of his worry. It only got worse when Ikuto seemed to just disappear off the face of the earth, probably understandably. But after it all, he's worried. Scared. He understands what's at stake, and he doesn't want anybody here to die before Ikuto can explain himself. There's so much that these guys don't know. And he'd tell them now... but now is not the time. Now's the time to remind them what's at stake.

And so it's Yoru who explodes next.

"HEY! QUIT YELLIN' AT EACH OTHER-NYA!" He floats up to the center of the table, flailing his hand- and foot-paws. "If this thing's really gonna be as bad 'n scary as you're all sayin', now's the last time you oughta be yellin'-nya! What's all this I keep hearin' about workin' together an' relyin' on each other?! Where's that now?! Ya gotta go into this united-nya! Otherwise none of ya's gonna come back!"

This would be just normal yelling for Yoru... except one thing. At the last word of his tirade, his voice breaks. The catch lights in his yellow, feline eyes seem to wobble, and he sniffles. He's plainly trying to hold it together, and not having much luck. Yoru was always way too honest for his own good, and never could hide his feelings well.
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 04:25:40 32638
Tadase is, notably, quick to go over and help Kukai after he tips out of the chair. And, probably notably to Kukai, substantially not surprised by Nagihiko or the outburst, other than the ferocity of it.

"Na-chan... Amu-chan..." he says, quietly, then Yoru has his peice and Kiseki floats up - putting a hand on Yoru's shoulder - and chiming in. "He's right you know. Even if we've got problems which apparently WE STILL HAVEN'T WORKED THROUGH"Kiseki says, glaring daggers at Amu in a way Tadase never has "...we can't let that cause fights now."

And Tadase steps up, too, after helping Kukai to his feet. "Nobody is bullshitting you. You're asking what you can do to help? Help ME." he says, firmly. "I draw strength from you. I'll be better with you there. You make me stronger." he says, boldly, because any shyness died when this erupted - at least for now.

"We're gonna need everything we can get, so yeah, we need you too." And then to Kukai, and Nagihiko, he just looks like 'what do I do here'. So he turns to Nagihiko. "Na-chan, I understand. I'm sorry. I didn't want to leave you out, either. Honestly, I wasn't sure what to do. So I did what I always did - I called everyone I could." he admits. "Because I draw strength from you, too."
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 04:35:35 32646
Nagihiko is properly chastised when Kukai falls. If Tadase hadn't rushed over, he would have. He takes out his ponytail and fluffs it behind him.

He stares at Yoru as the frightened Chara chastizes them. Poor guy. "Yoru-kun. Would you like some more fish?"

He looks up at Tadase, eyes serious. "You'll always have my strength, even when I don't think I have it. I do appreciate being invited."

He picks up his duffel bag and walks out the door. He's not gone, but comes back in a moment later, dresses in comfortable trousers. He looks at Kukai. "It's a family tradition. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner."
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 04:46:39 32650
Kukai Souma finally recovers, as much as could be expected, pulling himself to his feet with Tadase's help without yanking the King onto the ground, setting the chair back in place, but before he can sit down there is a nuclear Chara-cat. Kukai stands there, leaning on the back of his chair listening to Amu and Yoru and Tadase and Nad-he-shiko, running it all through his mind, before suddenly grinning and letting out a laugh.

He reaches over, petting Yoru on the head as he hovers in midair. "You're right. You're absolutely right. Right now is not the time to doubt ourselves. Because this isn't about 'you' or 'me' or 'her' or 'him'. It's about 'us'. 'We' can do this. She can't. He can't. I really can't. All of us together, we can do it. No man is an island, or an entire soccer team, or a whole magical task force."

Daichi nods and waves his arms as well. "We've always worked better together than apart! We're a team! So we have to support one another!"

He eyes Nagihiko for a moment, quiet, before quickly moving around the table and hugging him. "You're still my friend, whatever you are!" He's maybe a little too cheerful and laughing, but he lets Nagihiko go and then moves around to Amu, slapping her on the back and putting an arm around her back. "Come on. You don't have to believe in yourself if you can't. But believe in Tadase. Believe in me. Believe in all our friends. And we'll believe in you. I believe in you."
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 04:55:54 32656
Amu throws up her hands in frustration, and slides right out of Kukai's attempt at a slap and hug. "Fine," she says, "fine. I get it." Clearly. That's why she's turning to storm away. "I'll be on the stupid mountain when it's time." No she won't. "I'm sure we'll do great without Nadeshiko. Just like we always do. Just like I always have. Not like I've ever needed her for anything before. I don't know why I thought I'd need her, now."

All three of her charas are somewhat staring in uncertainty. What should they do?! They sure as heck don't know. Well, except Miki. Miki is just rolling her eyes at Amu being stubborn again.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2016-03-08 04:56:34 32657
Sniffle! Yoru wipes his nose, hanging there in the air where he'd floated up to be heard, as if he had just run out of steam and been hung on a clothes line by his arms. His tail hangs limply behind him, his ears are all but flat down against his head, pointing out to the sides.

Then Kiseki pats him on the shoulder. Yoru looks at the tiny king. They've had a largely antagonistic relationship to to this point, and he knows that. But here? Kiseki has about time to get his piece said, because the future ruler of the world...

...Suddenly has a crying cat Chara clinging to him!

Oh, make no mistake. Yoru will deny all knowledge of this later. He'll say he was just trying to make Kiseki feel better about the pat on the shoulder. For now, though, Yoru needs a hug and he intends to get it! Even if it's from Kiseki.
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 05:08:03 32663
Tadase isn't sure if he should go after her, but - he turns to Nagihiko first. "Even though I know that, it's still nice to hear, Na-chan." he says, and nods. "You're both my oldest and best friends, and all of your help is going to be needed. I know you're still with me, Na-chan. And Kukai-kun, I know for anyone to get at my back they'll have to go through you first, and that means so much to me."

And then he's rushing over to Amu. "He's right, you know." he says, quickly settling into a walk besides her, stormy weather be damned. This is important. Too important for him to actually be cowed by her act.

"I know you're hurting right now. But you're taking it out on everyone around you. And yourself." he says. He's being uncharacteristically firm and direct. "You need to stop. Right now you've defeated yourself before we've even gotten to the enemy."

Back in the Garden itself, by the table, Kiseki hugs Yoru back. He'll probably never speak of this again - after all, not only does he often find Yoru unbearably annoying, Tadase and Ikuto are at odds, so shouldn't their charas be? But he can't help but feel the sadness in the little cat-chara's look. "We'll get this sorted out. Trust me." he says to Yoru.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 05:11:28 32665
Nagihiko...pretty much has to clear his throat and look away when Kukai's done hugging him. Fortunately, his eyes only sting a little. And he knows things aren't perfect, he's known the guy forever, but dammit, it's a good start.

Then he's grinning at Tadase. "If you want, you could even take Temari with you. I know she's asleep and all, but hey. Every bit counts, right?"

And he'd feel naked and exposed without his Temari, who is still tucked in his satchel, but if it could help he'd part with her for the time needed.

And of course Amu's words stings. They have been. But this isn't a job for him right now.

So, he shifts on his heels, a bit awkwardly.

"Soooo. Kukai-kun. Remember that kick you can't seem to get to your satisfaction? The one that's awesome but you're just not quite happy with? I...may know how to help. If you wanted. I mean, you don't have to. But. You know."
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 05:21:15 32668
Kukai Souma is about two steps away from getting up and dragging Amu back to the table for how rude she's being, but Tadase gets there first. He turns back to Nagihiko and listens. "Well... You know, sure, that'd be great. I gotta keep getting better - I've got mages and generals and revived heroes to contend with. None of them are gonna outshine me!" He grins at Nagihiko, that irrepressable grin. "I'll always take help from a friend. But you better bring it with the training!"
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 05:24:29 32670
Amu wheels around on Tadase, unshed tears barely held in her eyes. "I said I'm going!" she hisses at him. "What more do you want from me? I can't be Sailor Moon. I'm not strong enough, or brave enough, or able to purify whole cities. And I can't do this without Nadeshiko. I can't do anything without Nadeshiko. But I don't get that. So I'm going anyways. I said that already. Can't you just leave me alone about it?"
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2016-03-08 05:24:57 32671
Yoru seems to be getting himself together, so there's that. He lets go of Kiseki at the other Chara's words, and raises a hand to wipe his nose again. "You better-nya," he says. He's trying, but there's no real venom in his words. "Ikuto's gotta explain himself, and he can't do that if..." Nope, he's not going to say it. It's probably not necessary to continue, though.

He does, however, turn to regard the others that haven't left. "That goes for all of yas-nya! Got it?" He's getting a little of his fire back here.
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 05:32:14 32675
Tadase grabs her by her shoulders as if to steady her, looking into her tear filled eyes. "I didn't ask you to be Sailor Moon, or anybody else. All I wanted, all I have ever asked, is that you be Amu Hinomori. The girl with three charas. The girl brave enough to step in when I couldn't, clever enough to come up with a plan, and kind enough to get Yoru to come in on it. That's just one example of several things only you could do." he says, looking into her eyes.

"I didn't come to ask anyone of those other heroes to come personally. I came to ask YOU." he says. "And I didn't do that because you needed anyone else, but because I know your strength. You just don't see it yourself. I need you to see that strength, too. It's in your heart as much as anything!"
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 05:39:52 32677
In a picture of pure innocence, Nagihiko raises his eyebrows. "Me? Bring it?" Then his grin is sly. "You're on."

Nagihiko studies Yoru for a moment before he gives a nod. "Of course, Neko-chan."

He hears Amu's shouts and frowns in the direction of Tadase and the pink haired girl.

He wants to, but really shouldn't go out there.

"If she goes, you'll keep an eye on her, too, won't you Kukai-kun?"
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 05:42:44 32679
Kukai Souma nods. "I will always be there to take care of her, and you, and Tadase, and everyone who needs it. You don't even have to ask." He doesn't go over either, letting Tadase deal with Amu directly, looking over at Yoru and grinning. "Of course. I'm always fired up! But hey. You should get some more fish. You're gonna have to follow her out soon."
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 05:47:43 32682
Amu stares into Tadase's eyes, and then her chin grows tense and she looks away, tearing her eyes from his gaze. "You don't need me," she tells him. "You've never needed me. You're a better leader than I could ever be, and a stronger fighter, and a more compassionate friend."

Here, she reaches up to wipe at her own tears, then banishes them with a flick of her wrist to the side. "the only thing you ever needed me for was to purify X-eggs, and I'm not even the only one who can do that. You don't need me," Tadata," she says to him. "You just ... don't. And I can't do this without Nadeshiko. I can't. I'm not the girl you think I am. But I'll go anyways, because you asked me to. Just me and Miki. I'm not taking Ran or Su or Yoru up there. It's too dangerous."
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2016-03-08 05:49:11 32684
Being reminded of the fish by Kukai gets a startled look. "That's right! I forgot about it-nya!" Yes, he is VERY upset to have forgotten about food! And then he zips down to the table again. Watch out, anybody who has uneaten sushi. It might suddenly disappear!
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 05:54:30 32685
Kiseki has extricated himself from Yoru now, and seems just as willing to pretend the bro-hug didn't happen. Especially now that Yoru seems back to being Yoru, judging by the scarfing of the sushi. But Tadase needs him.

Outside, as Kiseki floats up, Tadase looks at Amu. "You could be." he says, his own eyes perhaps filling up with a little bit of tears. "You have three amazing guardian characters. Three amazing people you have it in your heart to become. And more than that, I've seen you be that girl. I'm not making it up to make you feel better."

He sighs mightily. There's a lot of things he wants to say. Most of those things he doesn't, because Kiseki is there to bolster him - to stop him from saying things that might otherwise be mean or hurtful.

"Wether you embrace the potential - I can't help that. But I'm still going to be counting on you right now, and I know you won't let me down, Amu. It's just like Souma-kun said. I will always believe in you, even if you refuse to."
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 06:04:20 32687
A grin that's not quite Nadeshiko's is his answer to Kukai. "Good."

Then he's shifty and agitatey and does the Thing he wants to do but shouldn't.

He listens for a moment. Sighs. Makes up his mind. "I could go. I cheered that one on during Walpurgisnacht." He jerked his head back toward Kukai. "And I'm awefully light on my feet."
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 06:09:49 32688
Kukai Souma walks with Nagihiko along, watching him be shifty and agitated, and then does the thing he probably shouldn't, either - be dumb. "No, absolutely not. You can't go. You need to stay here." Something seems just a bit different for just a moment, like there's more to it than just 'no', but Kukai seems to hold it back. He doesn't relent though. "I'm telling you, stay here."
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 06:41:13 32693
Amu shakes her head at Tadase and Kiseki. Once more he's put the weigh on her shoulders, and she doesn't know how to bear it. "I'll be there," she reiterates once again. But this time she does not chase it with pointed barbs of anger or frustration.

She turns, as if to go, but it's just then that Nagihiko emerges to join her and Tadase out in the cold night. Amu tries hastily to cover her tears. No she wasn't crying, she wasn't hurting. She's fine, just fine.

Nagihiko's offer, though, draws a look of horror from her. "No," she tells him. "No you can't. Not like this. Not without Temari. You just ... look, I'm going, okay? I'm going to go. But I don't know how to do anything like this without you. That's why I was so hurt. Why I'm still ... so hurt. I don't know how to do anything without Nadeshiko's help. Every time I've needed to do something terrifying, brave, or strong, you've been there to show me how. And now ..."

Amu throws up her hands in frustration, then grabs her own hair and pulls down, trying to restore some calm and order to her life. "I don't know what I did to break you. I guess it was me being so selfish and judgemental. And I'm sorry for that, okay? I'm sorry I couldn't understand, and that all I saw was how this hurt me. I'm sorry. But I need you. I can't do this. I can't be Amulet Anything without your help. I just don't ... I can't ... I can't save the world. I'm not big enough."
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 06:47:40 32694
Tadase doesn't know what to do. Not just the part of Tadase that's real, that's the actual part, but even the part that makes up Kiseki. Even, to some degree, Kiseki's at a loss. "Maybe she just needs some space." Kiseki says, quietly. "I'm sure she'll show up when it's time. You've done everything you can."

Still, Tadase knows Amu is hurting, and it's still taking a lot to give her the space Kiseki is suggesting. "I hope so." he says, to the little chara. "Right now I don't feel like much of a leader, or a king."

But before Amu can really leave, Nagihiko comes up. Tadase is about to voice his own protests before Amu brings in her own heartfelt objections and he lets her start.

He looks at her. "I'M convinced you're big enough. Nagihiko is. Kukai is. The only person here making you feel small is you." he adds, again. And that's all he's going to do to push on that point.

"They're both right though, Na-chan. I can't be worrying about you while I'm busy knocking sense into all those youma." he says with a soft smile.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 06:53:04 32696
Nagihiko scoffs and rolls his eyes. "Mother hens. That's what you all are."

He bypasses the guys and, half expecting Great Pain of the Knee, hugs Amu. While she's not looking, he slips something in her pocket. (Temari. Sorry, Tadase.)

"I know you can do this. If this Sailor Whatever was all that strong, why does she need a billionty people to go with her to help, hmm?"
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 07:02:04 32697
Kukai Souma nods and then pats Nagi and Tadase on the back, looking at Amu. "It'll be ok. Really." He looks up at the sun. "...I hate to say this but I need to run. I gotta try to tell my brothers not to call the police looking for me if I'm gone overnight."
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 07:14:50 32701
That hug from Nagihiko does more in an instant than all the words Tadase, Kukai, or Yoru have tried to cheer Amu up. Not that Yoru tried terribly hard, what with them being enemies and all. (As he's so fond of reminding her.)

Amu seems to melt a little in Nagihiko's hug, making it easier for the boy to slip Temari into her pocket unnoticed.

"Yeah," Amu says quietly, sniffling a little. "Yeah, I guess you're right," she says quietly. Then she hugs Nagihiko back, tightly. "Stay safe," she begs him. "Watch Ran, Su, and Yoru for me, okay? I'll be back for them. But ... I can't take them with me."
Tadase Hotori 2016-03-08 07:20:17 32703
Tadase steps back, and watches Nagihiko and Amu. He knows where to fight his battles with Na-chan over all this business, and when Amu does legitimately need him, that's not the time to start that sort of conversation.

    But it will be had if the apocalypse doesn't happen.

"Be careful on your own, Na-chan. I'm sure there will be other nasties out trying to take advantage of the chaos, and a lot of Tokyo's protectors are gonna be busy in the North Pole." he says, a hand on Nagi's shoulder.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2016-03-08 07:28:50 32705
And it's easier to tighten his arms around her in a nice, firm hug now that the threat of knees was not in the cards. "You guess? I know I'm right."

He sighs. "I'll stay safe. And of course I'll watch them. I'll even let Ran paint my nails if she wants to. I'll even get Yoru some more fish."

He shifts his head just slightly so he can grin at Tadase. And there's no 'neener' in his eyes. He knows when to pick his battles, too, and a scared girl isn't one of them. "I'll keep an eye out. Good luck, Kukai-kun."
Kukai Souma 2016-03-08 07:34:53 32707
Kukai Souma smiles as Nagihiko and Amu hug, and it seems to defuse the pink-haired girl. "Good. Ok. Well, I'll see you there, Amu. Na...-chan, keep the home front safe for us. Tadase, I'll see you there too." He looks at the four of them, then grins. "It'll be ok. Keep your spirits up." He waves to them, and then turns, heading down the path leading to the school exit.
Amu Hinamori 2016-03-08 07:37:55 32709
Amu breaks the hug first, then smiles at Nagihiko. She nods her head and wipes her eyes again, and then her smile grows. She's not scared anymore. She can do this. She can do this. "I'll be back for them," she promises her best friend.

And then she lets him go, and rushes back inside. "Ran, Su, Miki, Yoru!" she calls to them all, and once they're gathered she explains, "Miki and I are going to the North Pole. We have ... we have to help save the world. The rest of you are going to stay here with Nagihiko. Keep him safe, okay? And he'll keep you safe, too. I love you guys," she says, giving each of her charas a brief hug--even Yoru.

"Amu-chan!" Ran says, excited. "You can do it," she cheers the girl on. "I know you can do it."

Su chimes in, "Mmhmm! You will do great, Amu-chi!" she agrees.

Miki just rolls her eyes. "I told you," she says to Amu, as she flits over to hover over the girl's shoulder. "When are you going to start listening to me?"