Agreeing To Disagree

Takashi and Makoto both have Ami's best interests at heart. Unfortunately they widely disagree on what that means.

Date: 2016-03-25
Pose Count: 14
Takashi Agera 2016-03-25 02:18:12 35665
After a lot of thinking, a little dreaming, and a little bit of chasing around people in search of a death book, Takashi has decided to take on a much greater challenge.

Apologizing to one of Ami's friends. Deep down, Takashi actually knows that he made a mistake. He knows that, while he doesn't agree with Makoto, he went a little bit too far. It's deep down, hidden well within him under several layers of pride and self-protection. But when he found it, he grasped it, shook it, and wrung value out of it.

This does not, of course, mean that Takashi trusts himself to say the right words or do the right things here. So he's come up with another way of communicating with Makoto - a way he hopes she understands, and a way he hopes comes across correctly.

This is why today, as Makoto Kino heads home from school, once again strangely alone, suddenly she's acosted by an unfamiliar voice. "Hey... Kino-san." And then, when she turns, there's a small boquet of flowers thrust at her. The centerpeice (and indeed, almost all of the bouquet) are bright purple bunches of individual flowers - purple hyacinths.

    Takashi has not at all considered it might be odd for him to be giving Makoto Kino flowers suddenly and dramatically. Not even for a single moment.
Makoto Kino 2016-03-25 02:46:06 35666
Thanks to Ami, of course, Makoto knew that Takashi had at least expressed the intention of apologizing... but honestly, she wasn't particularly holding her breath. When that voice once again calls her name from outside the edge of her peripheral vision, it stops her short, and forewarning or no forewarning Mako's stance has drawn up tight and guarded as she turns toward Takashi.

And blinks.

A half-second to process the sight of him holding the little bouquet out at her, and Mako's eyebrows are lifting in surprise. Not that long ago Makoto Kino was a girl who boys didn't give flowers to; now twice in one month?

He'll see it on her face the moment surprise and faint confusion click into understanding. It doesn't take long. "Agera-san," she says, still a little cautious as she reaches to accept the flowers he's pushed at her. "If this is an apology, I've got to say I'm impressed."

There's a little bit of a question in that 'if,' though, and in the way her brows begin to draw together. She's pretty sure - hanakotoba and the possibility of Takashi apologizing are both fresh in her mind - but she's not entirely ready to make too many assumptions. Especially not involving this guy.
Takashi Agera 2016-03-25 03:01:16 35668
Takashi looks up as she takes the flowers. "It's an apology, yes." he says, still a bit tense about the whole thing. "I know you like flowers, and I wanted to make sure I could apologize in a way that... I couldn't mangle, verbally."

He takes a step back, giving her some space. "I don't think my opinion was wrong..." he clarifies. He /has to/ clarify that, it's in his blood, his being, not to admit being wrong on that fundamental point. "But I do agree I went to far with some of the things I said that weren't related to the core discussion."

He looks up at her. "You're important to Ami, which means it would be really... difficult, and bad, if you were upset with me. So... in light of that, please accept my apology for my harsh words."
Makoto Kino 2016-03-25 03:33:05 35670
Mako's never been good at schooling her expression against showing every little thing she's thinking. Now is no different; she can't keep her eyebrows from creeping back upwards when Takashi decides to lead by protesting that he doesn't think he was wrong. It's a face that says, as clearly as words, 'o rly?'

She keeps her mouth shut and lets him talk, listening carefully to the rest of what he says. When he's done, rather than answer right away, Makoto looks down and contemplates the purple hyacinths in her hands.

"...apology accepted," she says at last, looking back up to meet his eyes again. "I still don't agree with you, but Ami-chan likes you. As long as you're not making her unhappy or hurting her, it's fine."

'Fine' may be overstating a little... but Makoto's expression and her tone have settled into the matter-of-fact confidence of a decision made, and a good bit of the taut wariness has deliberately dropped away.
Takashi Agera 2016-03-25 03:47:13 35671
The way her eyebrows creep upwards doesn't go unmissed either. "I have a feeling that we're not exactly going to become friends anytime soon." he agrees, looking sternly at her - perhaps a bit more stern than he ought to for someone giving an apology.

"I don't agree with you, either. I think I was too harsh, but I also still think..." He pauses. "I'm still surprised you two are friends." he admits. "But I think I can make my case without personal insults."

And then a pause. "And I could never hurt Ami-chan." he says. And for a moment, he pauses again. But it's not to think. It's a moment of self-concern, hoping that's a promise and a comitment he can truly keep.
Makoto Kino 2016-03-25 04:01:59 35672
The breath goes out of Makoto in a sigh, and for a moment her expression softens a little more into something almost regretful. "You're important to her," she points out gently. "That means you could really, really hurt her. You might not want to, or mean to, but that's not the same thing."

A beat, and then Mako's drawing herself up a little and her mouth twists wryly. "For one thing, the next time you decide to give her food with dark energy in it, it'd be nice if you let her know about that up-front. I mean, I know it's technically my fault for giving you the idea so I can't really say much, but still."
Takashi Agera 2016-03-25 04:11:02 35673
Takashi looks down for a moment. "I don't know if I'm as important to her as she is to me." he says, and then shakes that moment of strange truthfulness off quickly. It's almost like Makoto can /see/ that barrier coming back up, that wall against emotion building itself.

"Well, I'm sure she noticed when she picked them up." he says, completly honestly. Like doing that is a /normal thing/. "I had to do something - I wanted it to be special. And it was!"
Makoto Kino 2016-03-25 04:22:03 35674
It catches her off-guard, that moment of unexpected honesty that's over almost as soon as it happens. Makoto falters, uncertainty and sympathy passing over her face.

Then it's gone, and she just as suddenly looks intensely exasperated. "Of course she didn't notice. If everybody had the senses to pick up on that kind of thing, our jobs would be a lot easier." The hand that's not holding the bouquet props against Mako's hip as she goes on, "I heard from Ami-chan so I know maybe dark energy isn't a big deal to you, but most of us have to be more careful."
Takashi Agera 2016-03-25 04:31:05 35675
Takashi's eyes narrow. "Well, in any case, I'm sure it was safe. In fact, if they were alcoholic chocolates, they'd have been more unsafe than what I gave her." he says, firmly. "She doesn't need to be careful around me... I've got her best interests at heart."

"In fact, it'd be really nice if everyone wasn't constantly telling her to be careful all the time. Because she's careful enough - trust me. Maybe I'm a little frustrated hearing things like that because I'm already having so much trouble getting her to relax around me. Nevermind that I saved her life - twice - I have dark energy in me so I'm obviously dangerous to her." he says with a frown.
Makoto Kino 2016-03-25 04:38:24 35676
Makoto's mouth tightens for a moment, lips thinning. "Sure," she says tartly, "it's plenty safe. Until she has to start pulling dark energy out of somebody to save them and she doesn't know she's already got some of it in her system. If we didn't know somebody who could sense this stuff, she wouldn't have known."

She can feel her shoulders and the set of her jaw tightening, does her best to throttle down her reactions and speak evenly. "That's why I'm saying 'tell her about this stuff' instead of 'don't do it.' Ami-chan can make her own decisions about what's dangerous for her and what isn't, but not if she's missing important pieces of information."
Takashi Agera 2016-03-25 04:52:34 35677
Takashi's teeth grit out a little bit, but he holds himself back. "Fine. I'll keep her in the know next time. I thought she'd pick up on it, my mistake." he says, finding some calm somewhere. "I expected her to have that information, my mistake." he says, quietly. "Well, at least with the way you're talking, maybe it explains why she has been so... hesitant to message me since White Day." he sighs.

"I was really hoping she was just upset with me about all of this, but maybe there's more." And Takashi visibly slumps for a moment. "Sorry, I went off on a tangent." He looks at Makoto. He feels like there ought to be more to say or do, and it's visible in the way he's sort of fidgiting, but all he gets out is "Is there anything more you'd like to hear me say?" which is not at all the right way to phrase that.
Makoto Kino 2016-03-25 05:17:23 35678
Slowly, the knot of tension that was forming between Mako's shoulders begins to ease. For a few long moments she stands there studying Takashi, guarded and thoughtful.

And, at last, decides to throw him a bone. "I don't think she's upset with you," Makoto says. "She's been pretty busy taking care of a friend, and finals are coming up, too."

His question almost - almost - has a surprised laugh hitching out of her, but somehow Makoto manages to catch it and just cracks a wry half-smile instead. "Not that I can think of," she says, in a rather more amiable tone than she's taken for most of the conversation so far. Sure, it's painfully obvious that the only reason Takashi cares about staying on her good side is to stay on Ami's good side, but hey. At least he's making the effort.

"I should really be getting home. Thanks for going to the trouble." She lifts the bouquet in her hand a little, by way of illustrating what she means.
Takashi Agera 2016-03-25 05:33:10 35679
Takashi looks like someone has just removed an anvil from his shoulders. "That makes me feel a lot better. Thank you, Kino-san. And yes, I'm aware of finals." he says, with all the air of someone who is /way too aware/ of the fact finals are coming up. It sounds like he might as well be saying 'and I've been practicing for the Olympics' only the olympics are his finals.

He doesn't have a clue what to say about 'thanks for going to the trouble' either - he doesn't want to act like it's not trouble, but he doesn't want to ignore it. He just kinda shrugs. "It's what I should've done."
Makoto Kino 2016-03-25 05:48:54 35680
This time Mako does laugh, just a little, a soft breath of sound. "Anyway, see you around, Agera-san. Good luck with finals."

Her head dips toward him, a tiny nod of acknowledgement, and then Makoto turns away to start off down the sidewalk with the bouquet of hyacinths in hand. This time, her long strides are relaxed and unhurried as she moves along, not much like the last time the two of them parted at this spot.

She still doesn't like the guy, but at least now Makoto feels a little bit easier about the whole situation. It's a start.