Five Minutes to Breathe

Date: 2016-04-02
Pose Count: 14
Makoto Kino 2016-04-02 01:17:13 36741
School may be out, but Makoto hasn't been any less busy since the break started. Mostly she's been spending her time helping with the work on the Tsukinos' house, or cooking for the people who've been helping with the work on the house. And, of course, taking her turns on playing Secret Service for Mamoru in light of his new stalker.

", yeah," she's saying from the kitchenette of her apartment, where she's just set down the basket of picnicware she toted back from Usagi's house and is now stretching her arms out over her head for a moment as though to work out a kink in her back. "Not that you couldn't already telle, but that guy's definitely going to be trouble. Kunzite wasn't kidding, we really don't get breaks."

The sound that escapes Mako as she lets her arms drop and looks over toward Nephrite is half sigh, half laugh. "But anyway," she says, smiling cheerfully despite the subject matter of a moment ago. "Want anything? I don't have beer--" gently teasing, this. "--but I could make some tea or something."

There are so many potted plants in this place that it's not easy to tell when Makoto's added another, but there's one that definitely would've stood out if it had been there before - a small pot of fresh earth placed near Mamoru's little rosebush boasts a single showy pink bloom vaguely resembling a lily.
Nephrite 2016-04-02 01:47:46 36742
"But like, of course it's Mamoru, right? He's like some kind of magnet for evil jerks." Nephrite would know, being a former member of the evil jerks club. Being that he is also spending many of his days working on the Tsukino house, his attire strays into sort of an urban lumberjack look, flannel shirt thrown over a dusty t-shirt and heavy work pants. He's in the process of freeing his hair from the elastic that held it out of his face while he worked as he finishes stepping out of his shoes and follows her to the kitchenette.

"You're right, though. I don't know which part makes me hate him more. That he's being a creep, that he's being a creep to Mamoru, or that he couldn't give us five minutes to breathe before he started being a creep." He watches her stretch, a small smile playing on his lips.

He laughs. "Why does everyone assume I'm such a drunkard? Tea would be just fine. And we should probably get these some water." He holds up the bright bouquet of tulips he's been carrying. Now that he has access to both the outside world and his own funds, he can give her a proper bouquet arranged by a florist. Tulips may be a simple choice, but they are seasonably appropriate, and he thought she might appreciate that more than something shipped halfway across the world.

If the new flower were placed anywhere else, Nephrite may not have noticed it among all the greenery. But his gaze drifts automatically to the little rosebush, as he thinks about her gift with flowers and the perpetual blooms the little plant sports. "Aw man," he groans, seeing the pink exotic flower. "That one's way better than these. I should have brought you a bouquet of like ten of those."
Makoto Kino 2016-04-02 02:21:35 36743
"At least we made it through finals," is Mako's philosophical comment as she opens a cabinet to retrieve a glass vase, the same one that previously held Nephrite's forget-me-nots while they'd lasted. She brings this to the sink, but before she can start running water into it she hears his comment and looks up with a short, surprised little laugh. "What?"

Leaving the vase beside the sink for the moment, she crosses the small space of the kitchenette to come up beside Nephrite. "It's not a competition, you know," she says, looking up at him with amused fondness as she reaches to take the bouquet of tulips from his hand. "These are beautiful, and you bringing them for me makes them priceless. More special than anything I could grow for myself." Tulips in one hand, she slips her arm around him and leans. "Thank you."
Nephrite 2016-04-02 02:42:30 36744
He weaves his own arm behind her back, pulling her further into the lean. "Well that's just not true. Everything you grow is special." He grins down at her. "But I do always think of you when I come across flowers. I want to bring you every new flower I find. So you may have to get used to it." He's not that much taller than her, but the angle is just about perfect to turn his head and plant a kiss on her temple.
Makoto Kino 2016-04-02 03:01:50 36745
A tiny shiver moves through her when his lips touch her skin, and Makoto makes a soft, pleased humming sound, eyes closing as color rises in her face. She's still not used to this, any of it. The simple novelty of someone wanting to bring her flowers is a warm and faintly effervescent rush. "I'm pretty sure I can live with that. Somehow."

She's not in any hurry to pull away, but eventually Makoto sighs softly and makes herself disentangle and step away from Nephrite's side. "I'd better get these into water." She holds up the tulips, looking almost sheepish. "And make that tea."

She moves back to the sink, glancing over her shoulder as she remembers something. "This will sound a little random," she says, reaching for the tap, "but how do you feel about ice skating?"
Nephrite 2016-04-02 03:16:49 36746
He watches her pulls away with an air of contentment. No, this is not something he is used to, either. Being so eager to see someone as often as he can, having someone who actually wants him here. It feels exciting and yet easy and pleasant, even when they've got all these worries to tackle. At least they get to tackle them together.

"Ice skating?" He frowns at her back. Tries to think. He remembers watching hockey on Masato Sanjouin's giant TV screen. Remembers how he did not know the teams or the players, but he knew their moves, the names of their plays, the rules and why the ref was wrong about them.

"I don't know," he confesses. "I think I like it? Maybe."
Makoto Kino 2016-04-02 03:31:00 36748
The vase fills, the faucet shuts off, and Makoto begins fussing with transferring the tulips into the water without disrupting the arrangement. "Ami-chan got this idea that she wants me to teach Agera-san some ice dancing," she explains - not actually rolling her eyes, but looking rather like she wants to. "I really don't know how that's going to turn out. But..."

Once she's satisfied with how the tulips are resting in their vase, she picks it up, turns to place it on the kitchen island. "I just thought, if you wanted, you'd be welcome to come along with us." She's watching him hopefully over the flowers now. "If you were there I'd be able to have fun, instead of feeling like the world's most awkward third wheel."
Nephrite 2016-04-02 03:46:11 36749
Nephrite raises his eyebrows. "Wait--teach? To ice dance? I didn't know you were into that. You must be really good if you're teaching somebody!"

He grins. "I'd love to. I mean, either I'm secretly amazing and just don't remember, in which case we can be the most magnificent skating pair ever, or I've never skated in my life, in which case you can all laugh at me while you skate circles around me."
Makoto Kino 2016-04-02 03:53:55 36750
Makoto's expression quickly becomes a study in wry embarrassment at the praise. "That's why I'm saying I don't know how it's going to turn out," she protests, ducking her head a little. "I used to take lessons, but it's been years. I've only been skating once since I moved here, and that was before Walpurgis. I'm not sure I'm qualified to be teaching anyone, especially--"

Catching herself, she takes a breath. "Well, Ami-chan will be there so I'm sure he'll be on good behavior. I'm really not looking forward to trying to teach that guy anything, though." Now she looks up again, and the smile she turns to Nephrite is full of grateful warmth. "But this is good. Now I can look forward to skating with you instead, and figuring out if you know how or not."
Nephrite 2016-04-02 04:17:34 36751
"Not really a fan of his, huh?" Nephrite's eyes take on the kind of glimmer that once made Kunzite brace himself. "Want me to 'accidentally' fall on him a few times? You know, only if he acts up."

Nephrite moves to stand at the counter beside her, leaning against it. Not quite getting in her way, but close enough to brush his hand over her back as he passes. "I bet you're awesome at it. So what if you're a bit rusty? It's like riding a bicycle, isn't it?
Makoto Kino 2016-04-02 04:36:55 36752
The glimmer in his eyes, and the brush of his hand against her back, are enough to relax something in Mako that had drawn tight at the unpleasant prospect of having to spend time with Takashi Agera. "Thanks," she says, a hint of laughter bubbling up in her voice. "But it's okay. I doubt he'll run his mouth, he's too concerned about staying on Ami-chan's good side."

Feeling more assured, Makoto turns a bit to begin making the tea that she'd offered earlier. "I'm pretty confident I'll do all right skating, even though it's been a while," she says as she works. "I've always been good at things like that. But teaching someone else is different, especially when he thinks being smarter than somebody means they're stupid."

She sets the tea kettle on the stovetop and then turns back toward Nephrite, smiling ruefully. "He saved Ami-chan's life. Mamoru-niisan's too, at the North Pole. So he's not really a bad guy... it's just that he's kind of an asshole."
Nephrite 2016-04-02 04:51:00 36754
Nephrite bursts into laughter. "Well I guess an asshole can be dealt with. Seriously, the offer still stands. Maybe if he gets a little too rude, I can just fall in front of him, trip him up."

The idea makes him snicker further. "Asshole aside, it sounds like fun. And hey, a double-date thing is kind of a cute idea, right?"
Makoto Kino 2016-04-02 05:05:21 36755
"That was the thinking." In an instant, any lingering reluctance that Makoto was feeling has evaporated. Funny how that happens. "Ami-chan's excited about it, too. She'll be glad to hear you're up for it."

While he's waiting on the teapot to do its thing, Mako sidles over along the counter into Nephrite's space, until she can lean comfortably against his arm. "I know I wasn't exactly selling it as a good time, but it will be fun. Thanks."
Nephrite 2016-04-02 05:11:11 36756
Nephrite wraps his arm around her shoulders, leaning his head against hers. The kettle grumbles pleasantly. The apartment smells like greenery and flowers. "Any time with you is a good time."