Communicating Conditions


After Makoto's prompting, Luna finds Mamoru, which is good, and Kunzite, which is less to her taste. She has communicators for them. She also has a VERY OLD bone to pick with Kunzite, understandably enough...

Date: 2016-03-20
Pose Count: 15
Kunzite 2016-03-20 23:24:26 35033
It's not long since Kunzite -- or Kazuo, take your pick -- was talking with Makoto in Nephrite's palace. 'Nephrite's palace' is still accurate; he hasn't managed to get farther than the trees and the perpetual sunset and the stars.

This is because, while he was still talking with Makoto, Mamoru found him.

Now Kunzite's seated at the base of one of the trees, settled back against it and watching the shadows of leaves against the sky. More or less trapped. Because there's a sleeping prince leaning against his shoulder, and at the moment, Kunzite would be tempted to lose that arm than wake him unnecessarily.
Usagi Tsukino 2016-03-20 23:39:20 35035
Luna trots through Jadeite's palace. She gives the temple cat an appraising look and a haughty sniff that says 'I'm the boss when I'm around.' The temple cat licks its butt.

How rude.

There's no sign of anyone in Zoisite's palace when she pokes her nose in and sniffs the air. Kunzite's garners the same result, though she does get sidetracked with a game of Unamused Staring Contest with the caracal.

Well, Nephrite's it is. Unless they've all decided to change their routine and greatly inconvenience the moon cat.

Luna gives a snort. It would be just like those troublemakers, forcing her to search all of Tokyo for them!

Trotting through rope bridges and tree limbs, she's able to detect Mamoru by scent. Someone else is here with him, though she hasn't been around the Shitennou long enough to memorise their bouquet.

Of the five, she's pleased it will be Mamoru she's meeting. After all, while three of the other four are a new tolerance for her and the fourth is still an unknown anomaly, it's better if she has that buffer between them.

She just hopes that--

Well, crap.

Her body tenses when she sees Kunzite. Mamoru's no help with her nerves, what with him being asleep and all.

She gives a soft snort and tilts her nose in the air as she trots closer, affecting a serious air of casual indifference mixed with the most judgemental eyes ever to be eyed from a cat.

"Mako-chan came to visit me. Do you know what for?"

Her voice is quiet, of course.

After all, she likes Mamoru.
Kunzite 2016-03-20 23:59:05 35039
Young. Younger than he was when Serenity first slipped down to Earth to find out what a breeze felt like when it wasn't bounded by a dome. He's newly enough out of the earth that his scent is still more roses and greenery and petrichor than human; that will change in less than a day. He's out of uniform. The perpetual sunset light paints his shirt and skin and hair the color of fresh blood, which may be all too appropriate as far as the cat is concerned.

Careful not to let the gesture shift his shoulder, Kunzite turns his head as Luna speaks to him, inclines it to her a moment later.

Does she know what she saved her girls from, only by being there near them, being visible, being something he could not look at without being forced into memories Beryl's strictures would not let him see?

Probably not. It's probably best that way.

"No," he says, forthright but quiet in turn. "-- mn. Perhaps. She'd mentioned a favor she might ask of you, but I'd have expected her to wait a few days at least." Before another emergency happens. With Usagi already wounded, maybe she decided it was better not to wait.
Usagi Tsukino 2016-03-21 00:18:06 35043
It's the youth that makes it easy not to hiss and spit. It's the difference in the age of both times she's known him that makes it tolerable to be anywhere near him without giving into the urge to claw his face.

She stops not far from him, not out of a desire to be close but so that a carrying voice wouldn't wake the slumbering prince. She turns, just so, sits on her hind legs and proceeds to lick her paw.

But her back is not to him, and even if her eyes are mostly closed, it's obvious she's keeping him well within her sights. "A lot can change in the course of a few days, Kunzite. You ought to know that better than anyone."

Satisfied her paw is clean, she sets it back down, turning her face toward the sunset. But still, not her eyes.

"It was a very good idea she had. I do admit I had my reservations about it. And my own...conditions."

She reaches her mouth to the side, the one that's away from him, before swinging her head to toss him a silvery object. She nearly visibly winces when she's reminded of the sleeping prince, but beyond that, her expression doesn't change.

"There's a tracking device. All of ours have them. But it's a functional communicator nevertheless."

The band is a silvery white. They all are. She decided against the different colors after all. The communicator itself is housed behind a metal disc, a muted gold. And in the center is a circle drawn into quarters.

Only one is filled on it, a more obvious gold wedge, the first if one goes clockwise. Last if you go counter-clockwise.

"I have the ability to cut one or all of you off from the frequency, but the tracker will stay active. There's also some other countermeasures in place. None that will hurt you. But I fully expect not to have to resort to them."

So much Judgey Eye at that last.
Kunzite 2016-03-21 00:41:41 35045
The shift of his expression is slight: a little tightening, but he's looking away from Luna and the prince alike when it happens. "I saw Sailor Moon's condition, yes." In the course of a few days. Substituting in the most recent event for the one they both know she means.

His free hand comes up to catch that silvery glint out of the air; he studies the way the band curls about his hand, the solidity of that muted gold, the shine of the brighter. Venus' key.

He couldn't argue with the choice of that reminder if he wanted to.

There's a tracking device. "Good." He's missing the use of a hand; he fastens it about his wrist, using his teeth if he needs to, rather than either free his arm or wait. Luna's still explaining even as he's doing it. He has his head lifted again by the time she finishes.

Watching a cat like that is a contest only another cat gets to win. His eyes flicker away after a few moments, checking on Mamoru before he speaks to her again.

"You know they'd die for her, if they had to," he says, and his voice is the same quiet, the same tone. Nothing to draw dreaming attention in that. It might do it anyway; his attention's split, more of it on the prince than on the mooncat. "You know that Zoisite did."

There is always a difference between 'don't hate us' and 'don't hate them.' And Kunzite is no less willing to play the role of lightning rod now than he was at Walpurgisnacht.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-03-21 00:53:12 35046
There's vague stirring. Even quiet voices, if continuous, can wake a light sleeper-- even one who feels safe. Mamoru's face gets a frown on it before he's even properly awake, and he turns his head slightly to mash that face into Kunzite's shoulder. "We're not doing that again," he grumbles peevishly. "No more dying."

He doesn't seem particularly inclined to move further, or join the conversation properly like a civilized human being, but he's awake now, and odds are good he's going to stay that way.
Usagi Tsukino 2016-03-21 00:54:51 35048
Her eyes prickle at the reminder of what Zoisite did. She hadn't been there, she should have but her princess can be so annoyingly stubborn, but she had the wet fur after the fact.

She knows he would, to, if it came to that.So why is she so angry at him?

She knows why, of course. Has known it since her memories started to filter back. They're not all there, some times are more fragmented than other, but there are a few things that are still too crystal clear in her memories, in her heart.

"I thought I knew that then, to!" Her voice is a hiss, otherwise she'd be yelling. And, well, she still likes Mamoru, not yet realizing that he's awake. "But of all of them, you were the logical one! You never acted without thinking everything through." And she's crying, now, pathetic little kitty tears when a cat shouldn't technically be able to cry. "She loved you! What did we do that would make you do that?"

And it's too late to realize that Mamoru's awake, that he's heard.

And that just adds to her shame, so she curls up in a tight ball of miserable fur.
Kunzite 2016-03-21 01:35:38 35054
That free hand comes up and across to smooth down Mamoru's hair, so much as it will consent to let itself be. Silent assent. With the usual conditions. Forty-five minutes of argument condensed into one gesture.

The odds of the conversation further damaging his wreck of a prince are considered. Taken into account. His arm around the boy tightens, and he answers Luna anyway.

"You didn't."

He draws a breath through his teeth, lets it out normally. "I was fooled. Tricked. Every secret that I used to test the lies she was spinning, she already had, and had taken into account. Every piece of evidence that I checked, every investigation I made, no matter how unlikely a target I chose -- somehow, she managed to get there before me. Till only one explanation seemed to be left."

And she lied still more, and convinced me tht she meant the princess to live. No. He doesn't touch that excuse. Says instead, "She used that to take me, and used me to take the others. We can't be used that way again. Jadeite's proved already that he can oppose me if he needs to, now. Zoisite's learned still more caution. Nephrite won't risk Jupiter. Even if we weren't on the same side now -- it could not happen again."

That's not what Luna's asking about, to the extent that she's asking anything at all. But he can't come near to the real answers. Pragmatism and precaution, at the boundaries of it. And beyond that, within him, silence.

Because, when it comes down to it -- he means to change it; but for now, the cat's more of a human being than he's ever known how to be.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-03-21 02:03:59 35060
The prince sighs, and presses his forehead against the join between Kunzite's shoulder and chest for a second, then shifts to sit up-- he doesn't shrug Kunzite's arm off, but he does lean forward out of it, far enough to hold his arms out to Luna. "I had my cry," he tells her quietly, waiting patiently.

When Luna comes over, he gathers her up close and sits back again, tucking himself back under Kunzite's arm, and he presses his face to the top of her head for a moment. Then with a silent apology to Kunzite, he adds gravely, "That witch convinced him that neither the Senshi nor Serenity were to blame for the problems he'd been checking in on-- the ones I couldn't see, because they weren't there until he checked for them. She had him convinced that the Queen was both attacking Earth and keeping it hidden from my senses, somehow; none of us knew how Lunar magic worked, and since he did do his best to think everything through but couldn't check by me because he thought I was fooled... it was an explanation that fit the facts he saw.

"He still wouldn't move against you without my leave, but for the fact that she also told him that when they invaded the Moon, Serenity and I would be kept safe, away. He knew the Senshi would fight that, but considered-- corrupted as he already was, blinded and misinformed and full of dark energy-- that they would have to be acceptable losses. He didn't tell the others. He was under the impression that even if we hated him for it, we'd be alive, and we'd have each other. He didn't know how much Beryl hated Serenity, nor how much she wanted me.

"They were still the hardest to fell, Luna. My whole planet-- and all of Venus' troops stationed there to help suppress the rebellion-- all fell to the corruption. But still, Kunzite held on enough of himself to only be led if he thought it would ensure my safety-- and Serenity's. This time-- this time, Beryl didn't even leave him that. She knew if he knew me he would remember, he would remember it all and rebel against her." Finally, the smallest smile pulls up one corner of his mouth, and he's still hugging Luna, still petting her. "She was really dumb, thinking she could have me anywhere near him without consequences. It won't happen again-- it couldn't. Watch, certainly-- who knows what new dangers could come up? But now all of us are watching each other's backs, too. It'll be okay."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-03-21 02:10:24 35062
The prince sighs, and presses his forehead against the join between Kunzite's shoulder and chest for a second, then shifts to sit up-- he doesn't shrug Kunzite's arm off, but he does lean forward out of it, far enough to hold his arms out to Luna. "I had my cry," he tells her quietly, waiting patiently.

When Luna comes over, he gathers her up close and sits back again, tucking himself back under Kunzite's arm, and he presses his face to the top of her head for a moment. Then with a silent apology to Kunzite, he adds gravely, "That witch convinced him that neither the Senshi nor Serenity were to blame for the problems he'd been checking in on-- the ones I couldn't see, because they weren't there until he checked for them. She had him convinced that the Queen was both attacking Earth and keeping it hidden from my senses, somehow; none of us knew how Lunar magic worked, and since he did do his best to think everything through but couldn't check by me because he thought I was fooled... it was an explanation that fit the facts he saw.

"He still wouldn't move against you without my leave, but for the fact that she also told him that when they invaded the Moon, Serenity and I would be kept safe, away. He knew the Senshi would fight that, but considered-- corrupted as he already was, blinded and misinformed and full of dark energy-- that they were soldiers, guardians, just like the Shitennou; would have died rather than let their Princess be stolen away by an invading force; would have to be acceptable losses. He didn't tell the others. He was under the impression that even if we hated him for it, we'd be alive, and we'd have each other. He didn't know how much Beryl hated Serenity, nor how much she wanted me.

"They were still the hardest to fell, Luna. My whole planet-- and all of Venus' troops stationed there to help suppress the rebellion-- all fell to the corruption. But still, Kunzite held on enough of himself to only be led if he thought it would ensure my safety-- and Serenity's. This time-- this time, Beryl didn't even leave him that. She knew if he knew me he would remember, he would remember it all and rebel against her." Finally, the smallest smile pulls up one corner of his mouth, and he's still hugging Luna, still petting her. "She was really dumb, thinking she could have me anywhere near him without consequences. It won't happen again-- it couldn't. Watch, certainly-- who knows what new dangers could come up? But now all of us are watching each other's backs, too. It'll be okay."
Usagi Tsukino 2016-03-21 02:34:35 35067
Luna keeps in her tight ball as Kunzite speaks, ears flat against her skull. And everything makes sense and it just makes her feel even worse.

And Mamoru is very much indeed awake, so there's that.

There's a moment before Luna goes over to those outstretched arms. All of her kitty grace and indifference are gone as she slinks over, head low and tail curled to her side. Even though she's a cat, she may very well look like a puppy who's been scolded for messing the floor again.

She's curled in a ball again when she's in his arms, hiding her face between his upper arm and ribs.

When Mamoru speaks, her shakey limbs relax and her crying grows to sniffles. When he mentions her Princess, and what Kunzite believed, she turns her face just enough to look at the older boy with one large eye.

Really? She seems to be asking.

By the end, her tail is no longer curled in tight. It's swishing idly around, and it only hesitates the first time it hits Kunzite. After that, he's victim of tail bumps.

"She loved Earth. More than any other planet in the system. Since she was able, she would watch, try to protect within the confines of the law." She doesn't say anymore on what all was included in this law. It's not important to her story. "She felt everything for the people, but soon it wasn't enough. Soon she wanted to experience what she saw for herself. The love, the connection, the family."

There's a graceless wiping of her tears on Mamoru's shirt sleeve before she looks up at him, then to Kunzite. "It's the biggest reason why she created Serenity."

She looks down again, but this time there's a bit of grace in her posture again. "It's why at the end, all she wished was for you all to be...born again. Here."
Kunzite 2016-03-21 02:54:43 35076
Kunzite considers very little of what Mamoru's saying any kind of defense. Explanations don't change the fundamental failure. That he was blinded to Beryl's and Metalia's intent puts him more at fault, not less. The exception is Venus' troops. Is that at least one among them was of a quality that should have made him a match for Endymion's four, if not more so, with the advantages of the allied worlds' technology, their sense of ethics ...

... and that one died, rather than revert. More than died. When the corruption was taken from him, there was nothing left of him at all.

He doesn't know how his prince knows all of these things. It doesn't surprise him that he does.

When Luna turns her gaze on the older boy again, he's not looking toward her. Not looking at anything at all. The way his jaw is set is as good as an answer to her unspoken question, though.

Really.

He only looks back her way when her tail swats him the second time, and if there's any expression to it, it's perplexity. That passes. Cats and tails: these are things that happen. It's a part of Luna's body that is not pointy. He is not about to complain.

(Hell, he wouldn't complain if she were clawing him, either.)

And, at the last, Kunzite reaches over with his free hand; leaves it where his fingertips are in reach if she has any use for them, biting presumably included, the side of his hand steadied against Mamoru's arm. "Not quite the way she planned it," he says. "But we managed eventually."

(The arm around Mamoru tightens again, just a little. Just for a moment.)
Mamoru Chiba 2016-03-21 03:09:58 35081
"We did!" agrees Mamoru, then cheats and starts scritching Luna under her jaw when Kunzite's hand is in acceptance-or-biting-range. "So you can still be mad, but be mad at me, too, for just telling them Beryl was stupid instead of finding out why my smart and devoted and careful and awesome best friends were telling me things that didn't make sense. But mostly, be mad at Beryl for being a creepy entitled horror show who made a deal with a planet-eating monster to feed it the solar system in return for one guy who wasn't even that bright and would never, ever, ever have loved her anyway."

(That arm tightening around him-- that's what makes it possible for Endymion to be so facetious about this, so flippant. He's skimming the ideas to get the words out, and the words are light, floating over the top of the depths he still can't cope with plumbing. But it's for Luna. Devoted, frightened, amnesiac, desperate Luna, who tries so hard...)

"...but being mad also uses up a lot of energy we could put toward rebuilding, and building new things. I'm trying to teach myself that, too. We can try together, if you want." His hand slows, and he says more reverently, fondly, "I think she'd be pleased with where we are now, finally."
Usagi Tsukino 2016-03-21 03:31:11 35096
Her eyes nearly roll back in her head at the glorious scritches. Oh, Mamoru plays so dirty.

Being a cat, she has at least two more senses, and one of those senses Buried Emotions Just, so hopefully the sudden rumbling helps.

She's totally not purring because she's getting pet. Nope. No sirree.

However, also being a cat, and since it's so near, she does indeed bite on Kunzite's hand. Not hard in any sense, but is instead very much a reprimand of 'You are in my presence and yet you still refuse to give me offerings of pets, peasant?'

And then, just in case he doesn't get it, bonks her forehead against his knuckles.

She tilts her head back even more. Easier access for them both, you see.

"I'm not mad." Well, she was. A part of her still is, but it's more directed inward than anything.

She opens a lazy eye and looks at Mamoru. "The only things I was ever mad at you for back then were also things I was mad at the princess for." The devious glint in her eyes suggest these things would break many a rating.

She sighs, long and laborious as she moves her eyes to Kunzite. "And I suppose you did let her hold a kitty funeral."

Luna hums a happy purr at what her queen would have liked. "I think so, too."

She shifts her head then to look Kunzite in the eyes. "But if you let these hooligans of yours blow up the sewer just to see what would happen, I'm biting your toes. I've heard far too many horror stories from a giggling princess."
Kunzite 2016-03-21 03:53:58 35110
Kunzite has long experience with felines. By this we mean 'Kunzite has dealt with Zoisite for approximately forever.' The not-hard bite is interpreted almost correctly, and then Luna indicates where she wants to be petted, and the truce is duly concluded with appropriate tribute.

(Cats are just about the only entities that Kunzite is willing to pay Danegeld, and even then only in special circumstances. Luna qualifies.)

"They'll need a better excuse to be able to blow up the sewer," Kunzite assures the cat. "I'm sure they'll come up with one sooner or later, but it will at least buy us a grace period. Besides. Someone," he glances at Mamoru, "had the clever idea of making them fix the broken things. By hand. It'll be an educational precedent." For the more troublemaking of the Shitennou, certainly. Hopefully not 'educational' for the Tsukino family. They get enough of that just from having kids.

The silent agreement with Mamoru's evaluation of what Serenity's opinion might be -- well. Mamoru knows it's there, anyway.