Fridges, With Bonus Horror

Makoto has been volunteered kitchen help. It's Kunzite. This is inevitably kind of weird, but oddly practical in places. It's almost reassuring, up till Makoto asks a question that turns out to get her an answer she didn't really want...

Date: 2016-04-03
Pose Count: 32
Makoto Kino 2016-04-03 19:30:15 37040
Generally speaking, Makoto's kitchen is one of her favorite places to be, but she won't deny that there are a few things that it's lacking. Space, mostly. Counter space to work on, space for more than one person at a time to do... pretty much anything other than get in each other's way. It's convenient for convincing well-meaning but cooking-challenged friends that no, really, they don't need to help, they can just sit there and keep her company.

When she actually does need the extra set of hands - like, say, when she's trying to cook for a crowd of teenagers who are going to be ravenous from several hours of manual labor - it's more of a problem.

Fortunately, the kitchen in Mamoru's mostly-unoccupied penthouse has plenty of space. That she and Kunzite had to drag over everything they were going to need from where Homura stashed all of Mamoru's belongings (as well as several things Mako brought over from her own apartment) is, at least as far as Makoto is concerned, a small price to pay.

She's done some preliminary organizing, checked to make sure all of the appliances are in working order and she's not forgetting anything she's going to need halfway through, and now she's tying on a capacious purple apron with an air of enthusiasm. "You'll have to bear with me a bit," she tells Kunzite cheerfully. "It's been a long time since I've done much cooking with anyone else. I promise I'll try not to forget you're there or anything." With the apron secured, she pauses to consider him for a moment, then goes rummaging in a pocket.

"You should tie your hair back," she says, offering over the spare ponytail holder she's come up with. "Wouldn't want it getting into anything."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-03 20:00:53 37045
It helps that school is out. It also helps that Kunzite -- by whichever name; 'Kazuo' has probably leaked into Makoto's general awareness by now, but there's no telling which one she's attached to -- has only four priorities to attend to, and being assigned as Makoto's volunteer assistant not only is one but fills parts of the other three.

It also helps, quite honestly, that there are significant elements of Kunzite's personality that come distressingly close to 'obsessive stalker' even when he's not particularly evil, and therefore he knows precisely how Mamoru's kitchen used to be set up. It makes a decent default, for Makoto to rearrange portions of at need or desire while she's using it.

On the other hand, it didn't entirely help in setup that there are parts of his memory that don't always work quite the way he'd want them to, words he couldn't always lay hands on when he needs them. But he could follow Makoto's directions without trouble, which was by far the more important part.

The ponytail holder is accepted, then regarded with that lack of expression of his for a moment. Tying his hair back is done two-handed and carefully, something he's familiar with only in theory. Maybe it's that he didn't have to worry about it for so long; maybe it's something that his subconscious has assigned as a Zoisite thing. Maybe he's just aware that without the mass of white around his face, the silent severity of his features is even more pronounced. But that's irrelevant for this. It's Makoto. It's Makoto in a kitchen that she's running. The last thing she's going to notice is appearance.

Besides, 'silent severity' is still a damn sight better than most other times she's seen him.

"I'll do my best not to remind you by being where you're about to walk." Was that an attempt at a joke? Maybe. "And if you do forget, there's always cleanup to do." Starting about fifteen seconds into any significant cooking attempt, there is always something to clean. That will usually be wanted again ten or fifteen minutes later.
Makoto Kino 2016-04-03 20:22:54 37048
Joke or not, Makoto laughs, nodding her cheerful acknowledgement of both points. "Right."

(She couldn't quite seem to decide whether to be impressed or appalled by the fact that he knew how the kitchen had been organized. Her only comment on the matter was a fondly incredulous "Who alphabetizes their spice rack? Who does that?", and then she promptly rearranged it to her own personal system, certain spices grouped with certain other spices based on what they're most likely to be used for. She promised to put it back when she was done.)

Satisfied that nobody's going to be finding any strands of silver in their lunch, she turns to regard the kitchen, a clean blank canvas ready and waiting. "All right, so... the oven's preheating... ah, I know." She homes in on the assortment of ingredients she'd brought over, comes up with an unlabeled glass pint jar full of crimson and hazy gold. "Would you start by straining this into that mixing bowl, please? And then all of the greens in that bag will need to be rinsed." 'That bag' came from another trip to the farmer's market. Makoto stopped hesitating over shopping on Mamoru's dime roughly at the same moment she found someone selling pea tips, a wealth of tender green leaves still arrayed on their vines.

Once he's got the jar, she busies herself at another section of counter measuring out dry ingredients: almond flour, baking soda, salt. Spices from the jars that she'd arranged near one another on the rack earlier: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove. The jar she gave him is of course full of honey, and it must be some of the same raw honey she and Mamoru got at the farmer's market the first time, if only because they brought back so much honey she'd have no business using any other. It smells of roses from the moment it's opened, and not just any roses but a fragrance Kunzite will know very well indeed.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-03 21:00:20 37052
(Calm deflection of that promise: "No need. I'll take care of it when the time comes." It is, after all, literally part of his job to take time-consuming details off her hands, just now. Besides. He knows which direction the labels are supposed to point. Not that he's going to say that, because 'appalled' is close enough as it is.)

The glance at the oven is next thing to instinct; it's marked and turned away from in favor of the jar and the mixing bowl. Eyebrows twitch upward when the lid's twisted off. One more difference between her current volunteered assistance and her usual would-be volunteers -- the girls would've been hard to keep out of the honey. Kunzite only comments, "So that's what that was for, is it?", and it's only the juxtaposition with the his couple of sentences a few moments ago that shows the hint of genuine interest. Overtones as habitually muted and restrained as his expressions. There's a moment when he pauses to glance over the selection of spices she's working with and nod, but only one moment, before he's putting full attention on what he's doing. Whatever Makoto is making, rose petals are not an intended ingredient. (Neither is wax, most likely; the odds are good that that and similar problems were taken care of at some earlier stage, but watching never hurts. Especially given the number of gallons that still lie in the future. Learning what to watch for doesn't hurt.)

There's an unspoken additional step between the tasks that she gave him, that he fills in without thinking. To wit: honey inevitably creates a sticky mess that gets everywhere by immediate contagion. Cleaning that up and washing hands comes before dealing with the greens. There's another of those odd little delays, just for a moment -- for a few seconds, he regards them with a blank unfamiliarity that somehow distinguishes itself from his more usual lack of expression. Less focused; less intentional. But it's a silent thing, and Makoto is working. It may well go unnoticed. And after those few seconds, sorting and rinsing those bright leaves is something done by attentive rote. He's done this before, somewhen, often enough to grind parts of it down into habit; he only has trouble when he's trying to think about it.

Which may be why the first thing he says in quite a while of silence is, not precisely absent but from the edge of routine attention, "The oven's running a couple of degrees over." Not enough for a normal cook to notice; but a couple of degrees, five or six in American terms, might be just enough to drive Makoto to mild distraction in an unfamiliar kitchen. If she didn't know.
Makoto Kino 2016-04-03 21:30:07 37059
"Mostly he wants chocolates," is Mako's bright reply to that interest. The jars of spices go back onto the rack and she turns to open a jar of tahini, find a spoon to give the contents a bit of stirring. "But I'll do that at home in smaller batches. Even Mamoru-niisan and Usagi-chan together don't need that much chocolate, and I want to see if we can have something better than powerbars handy if someone needs an emergency snack out in the field. So that's today's experiment."

The tahini is measured out into a bowl. Some of the honey he's strained goes with it, and then some vanilla extract out of entirely too large a bottle. She's combined this with what she'd measured out earlier and has just started rolling balls of the resulting dough in sesame seeds and flattening them onto a silpat baking sheet (one of her treasures from the trip to Paris) when he makes that comment about the oven. It gives her pause enough to stop what she's doing and look up, brows lifting. "--huh?"

Another second before her brain engages and her expression clears from confusion to realization - no, of course he'd be able to tell. She takes a moment to wipe her hands and goes to the oven, carefully tweaking the temperature control just slightly down. "Thanks. That's handy."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-03 21:50:00 37061
Twelve gallons of honey. For chocolates. Well. At least their extracurricular activities burn enough calories that nobody is going to have to be rolled onto the battlefield anytime soon. "Good idea. Even now, between long nights and people like Riventon, there'll be call for something restorative often enough." Though if she makes it too tasty -- well. Usagi can only sneak early snacks on the ones she's carrying herself. One more note is added to Kunzite's endless mental checklists, for future preparation.

The comment about that trick being handy is answered with a slight angling of his head, a moment's blink. "Not as much as it used to be. Modern equipment is pretty reliable even if the calibration's off." Except, of course, for hot spots and cold corners. But even those are things that a cook using the same equipment will learn in short order. As opposed to, say, campfires.

Which just means that Makoto's standards are probably correspondingly higher.
Makoto Kino 2016-04-03 22:07:48 37062
Makoto makes a brief humming sound as she goes back to what she was doing, equal parts amused and pleased at the validation of her idea from someone who makes preparing for these eventualities a way of life. "So you say," she replies easily, "but you might've just saved me some frustration a few minutes down the road. Baking can be pretty sensitive to that kind of thing." What she's making probably wouldn't come out burned from those few extra degrees, but having the first sheet come out too brown would still be irritating.

Back to squashing little balls of sesame-covered dough onto the baking sheet. "When you're done rinsing those, the leaves will need to come off the stems," she notes. Another project that will take some time; while he's at it, she finishes arraying the baking sheet and, after checking the oven to make sure it's had time to adjust to the new setting, slides it in.

"I know you kind of got volunteered for this," she observes as she brings the used bowls and utensils to the sink for a round of washing up before the next stage begins, "but I really appreciate the help. I'd probably be doing this all day by myself."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-03 22:35:51 37063
"Wisdom in every age. Never frustrate the cook." Particularly when the cook is working with the products of familiar-scented flowers. Would the honey be sensitive enough to pick up on that emotional load, and carry it down the line to irritate someone at the worst possible moment? ... not an experiment to run in the field.

Leaves are nipped off neatly, sorted out as required from stems; after a few, and a brief frown at one, the stems begin to be separated too, those with ominously stiff segments set aside from the rest. Maybe parts of them can be reclaimed, but they're certainly going to need more attention.

"I'm reasonably sure that 'get volunteered for things' is in my job description, somewhere." Probably under the general heading labeled Mamoru. He has ... habits. Also, Jadeite's attention is variable, Zoisite has a tendency to solve problems by applying more heat, and Nephrite ... is not a situation that Kunzite is about to examine while Makoto is in the room. There is always only one solution to this particular problem. "Besides. I appreciate the chance to observe competence. Take the oven; I might be able to tell you what it's doing, but I'd have had trouble remembering how to turn it on."
Makoto Kino 2016-04-03 22:53:45 37064
Washing, drying. She does it briskly, with the easy efficiency of long-practiced habit. It doesn't take much time at all for the oven to become fragrant with roses and spices and warm nutty undertones.

"That's right," she says, a little embarrassed - reminded of something she knew about him but has trouble remembering if she's not thinking about it, because she has so little to compare it to. "You have a lot of things to re-learn, I suppose. It's kind of hard to imagine." The words carry a note of apology, as Makoto sets the clean measuring cups and spoons aside and moves to fetch more ingredients from the assortment - a chunk of ginger root, a head of garlic. The bunch of garlic chives from the greenery she had him wash.

"In any case," Mako looks over from selecting a knife, eyes sparkling, "other than Mamoru-niisan and Ami-chan, you might be the only other one of us I'd trust with a knife or a hot burner. So if you'd like to learn, I'm happy to demonstrate any time."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-03 23:14:01 37065
His shrug carries a message in answer to that note of apology, but Makoto's eyes are elsewhere; he'll have to actually use words. It's probably good practice. "We have the time to do it and a relatively stable situation to do it in. On the whole, I don't think we have anything to complain about. As long as we don't let our temporary workarounds turn into crutches."

... there will be no comments from this quarter about anyone who might be tempted to use owning a five-star restaurant as a temporary workaround. Even if it weren't Makoto he were talking to, there are extenuating circumstances -- and it's Makoto he's talking to. No comments. Not one.

Makoto looking his way does prompt a glance back, so Kunzite catches the look in her eyes. ... and yes. There are people who can be trusted to save the entire world, but not to keep from setting their hair on fire. The sudden twitch upward at the corner of his mouth is damned near unwilling, but is also utterly inevitable, and there is absolutely no telling which of the blondes he was momentarily envisioning in a kitchen. Only that it must have been one of them, on one team or the other. "And there you see his devious plan," he says. "If he can't have an artist in-house, he'll get himself an apprentice instead." He inclines his head toward Makoto again; the tail of his hair slips over his shoulder, but thankfully stays otherwise confined. "And you already know we'd both be pleased if you'd accept assistance in trade."
Makoto Kino 2016-04-04 00:13:02 37074
"It's all kind of a piece, isn't it?" Mako answers with a smile, before she turns her attention to peeling the ginger. "You can't learn without doing - well, most people can't, anyway. This way, everybody wins." Especially their friends, who get to reap the benefits with none of the labor, at least until Kunzite assigns someone to dishwashing detail.

At this point the timer she'd set goes off, and Mako leaves the ginger half-peeled on the cutting board to retrieve the baking sheet of cookies from the oven. Nodding in satisfaction at the degree of browned they've reached, she finds an out-of-the-way section of empty counter space to set the sheet down for cooling, then reaches up to push some stray curls back from her eyes. "I mean - the others aren't really interested in learning, and that's fine. If everybody cooked, who would I feed? But being able to share something I love makes me happy, too. It's not a hardship."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-04 00:35:51 37078
There is no suggestion that cooling could be quickened. That would be counterproductive; the heat is still there for a reason, still doing its job. Sometimes more than half of dealing with a kitchen is knowing when not to intervene.

(Sometimes it's just knowing who not to assign to dishwashing.)

"Is this what you're interested in learning, then?" Kunzite asks. Beyond everything else, that sentence is the one that catches his attention. "In learning more of, rather. Since you know already more than many people ever do." He tests one of the set-aside stems, running fingertips along it to try to sort out whether there's anything worth an attempt at rescue; moves on to the next, which is less wooden and more promising.
Makoto Kino 2016-04-04 00:53:32 37080
"This?" The part that snagged his attention, she might not have meant in quite that way that snagged him - Makoto pauses on her way back to the cutting board and the ginger, blinks at him in a moment of clear not-quite-following. Looks at the leaves and stems that he's separated, at the half-peeled chunk of fresh ginger root in front of her. Processing.

"Well," she says after a moment, "what we're doing now isn't anything really ambitious. Not something I've made a lot, but that's only because pea tips are expensive." She flashes a quick, slightly self-deprecating smile before she gets back to peeling.

"I don't know if there's anything very specific I want to learn more of. There's so many different things to try, there'd never be time to learn to do it all, but still I kind of don't want to limit myself from anything. I've been having fun trying out new things to test on you guys."

A quiet little laugh escapes her as she finishes peeling and begins slicing. "Maybe that's not what you meant. Trying to teach somebody is new. I can't promise how good I'll be at it, but it'll be interesting to try."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-04 01:24:22 37084
The blink at him gets a small gesture in answer; Kunzite sets down the piece of stem he's evaluating for salvage and makes a little circular motion with his freed hand, encompassing the kitchen as a whole. It's not clear enough to her; he needs to work on that. (He needs to work on so many things. Having a social circle of two and a half plus monstrosities he could partly manipulate directly has done a good deal of damage to the social graces he never particularly had in the first place.)

"It's close to what I meant," he agrees. But not quite. "You love cooking. You make chocolates. Saying 'I understand you bake' would be, from the others' reactions, like saying 'the Pacific is a little damp.' With the understanding that all answers are good, including your suggesting I should mind my own business ... is this something that you do for the love of it alone, or something that you have plans for in the future?" Or both, of course. Always the potential of both.
Makoto Kino 2016-04-04 01:41:20 37088
"Oh." Again, Makoto's face clears into comprehension, though aside from that single syllable she doesn't answer right away. She focuses on what she's doing, the slow rhythm of the knife against the cutting board becoming a faster thnk-thnk-thnk as slicing turns into mincing.

"...calling it 'plans' would be going a little too far," she decides eventually. "There are a lot of things I'd like to do one day. I don't know how realistic all of them are."

A pause while she uses the flat of the knife to collect bits of ginger, before the steady tap-tap-tapping resumes. "Actually, I originally got into cooking as a way of compensating for myself. Since I'm not very feminine, I thought I should at least be good at things like this." She keeps her eyes on her work as she speaks, tone casually conversational. "But I do love it. Whatever else I end up doing, I know I'll want to keep cooking for the people I love."

Deftly Makoto scoops the minced ginger into a small dish she'd set aside for it, then looks up with a cheerful smile. "I'd like to open a bakery someday, maybe. That's a long way off, though. Right now if I make it into high school I'll be doing good."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-04 02:09:49 37092
Her eyes are on her work for a few moments, so she may well miss the look Kunzite gives in her direction at 'not very feminine.' It's a pity, since it has that rarity, an actual full change of expression. His moment of confusion is brief, at least; he chalks that one up to differing standards, with a bonus category of one of his standbys, 'people are idiots.'

He isn't someone who has a stance from which to contest that self-assessment, though. Or to query her definitions. And there is someone who is as likely as not, all else aside, to find some anodyne for at least a little of whatever underlies that casual tone.

He takes the other doubt, instead, meeting her cheerful smile with a little twitch upward of eyebrows. "You'll make it into high school," he says, as a statement of fact. "Endymion would volunteer all of us to help with that, if necessary. If he hasn't already."

... a moment later, he considers clarifying that he doesn't mean by intimidating her teachers or changing the records, but if she's thinking that already the disclaimer probably wouldn't help, and if she's not then it's probably best not to bring it up.
Makoto Kino 2016-04-04 02:22:51 37094
It's just as well he didn't voice that particular clarification; judging by the lack of any visible flash of dismay across Makoto's face, the idea hadn't actually occurred to her. She just nods, amused and a little rueful, acknowledging his point. "He pretty much already did," she allows. "If he had to, he'd probably actually organize it. I'll try to avoid letting things go that far. But hey, I successfully moved up grades with everyone this year - so far, so good."

She takes a moment to survey the preparations thus far while she rinses the cutting board and cleans the knife. "How's it going over there? Under control?" Once her hands are free, she wanders over to look at what he's doing - and, after a moment of contemplation, reaches to break off a bit of stem and put it in her mouth.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-10 23:59:15 37900
"Reasonably." Leaves: secure. Stems: divided by now into three sections, known good, known terrible, and the parts potentially reclaimed from the terrible in case the change in texture from 'perfectly edible' to 'why are you eating a twig' is in fact the only problem. Which makes testing the direct way safe.

Kunzite pauses for her evaluation -- that is after all the point of what they're doing -- and only after that's done and they're on to whatever the next task is does he follow up about schoolwork. "Are there any subjects that give you particular trouble, or is it only the degree of distraction?" Saving the world trumps getting homework done. But the homework is still there, after, and they don't even get extra credit.
Makoto Kino 2016-04-11 00:14:36 37903
Nom nom. Makoto considers the taste and the texture of the bit of green in her mouth, before presently she swallows. "There's no reason we can't use these tender bits," she pronounces. "The only thing I'm a little worried about is the tendrils making a weird texture," a fingertip nudges one of the little spiral curlicues, "but now that I think about it, it might actually be interesting. We'll just want to cut the vines into small pieces and they can go in with the leaves."

She leaves that task to Kunzite and goes back to where she'd been working before, this time to begin dismantling a head of garlic. "--oh," she says, glancing over to smile ruefully at his question, "pretty much all of them give me trouble. You can ask Mamoru-niisan or Ami-chan, I'm a terrible student. Having so many more important things to distract me doesn't help."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-11 00:34:03 37908
Kunzite resumes turning things into smaller pieces of things as directed, although in a constructive rather than destructive way. Skill reuse is always one of the side benefits of cooking.

"Mn. The distraction, true. The rest - you use in a practical sense mathematics, chemistry, physics, memorization, extrapolation. There doesn't seem to be any reason you shouldn't be able to learn them."
Makoto Kino 2016-04-11 00:56:39 37916
The look that Mako gives Kunzite as she separates and peels the cloves of garlic is a rather skeptical one. "Okay," she says, "I can see where you're getting memorization, and Agera did say something about cooking being basically chemistry - not that it's ever helped me when I'm trying to puzzle out formulas and things - but physics? And math - I can handle the basics, but once things get more complicated they get away from me in a hurry."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-11 01:21:22 37923
Kunzite glances up and over at her. This necessitates, just for a moment, a pause in his working -- not immediate, but there's only so close he'll permit a knife to get to his own hands while he's not looking.

"Physics," he says, "is only the study of how energy changes and moves over time. That's what you do. You may not think about it consciously, you may not knowingly put it into numbers, but something in you understands it far better than any of your supposed teachers are likely to."
Makoto Kino 2016-04-11 01:32:54 37927
Mako blinks once, opens her mouth and then closes it again as she realizes that she can't really dispute his point. After a moment, she laughs instead, and dips her head to him in a little nod that might as well be saying in words 'you've got me there.'

"Too bad I can't get graded on cooking, keeping a budget, and the ability to throw lightning around," she says, lining up the smooth little cloves of peeled garlic with unnecessary neatness along the edge of the cutting board she's been using. "It'd make keeping up in school a lot easier. Although at least there's home ec."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-11 01:42:03 37930
"More practical than most of what they're teaching." Knife resumes work as Kunzite's attention tracks back to what he's actually doing. Could they cast quadratic equations as varying both the amount of ingredients and the number of people being cooked for? Would it help? He's not entirely certain; his own relationship to both physics and mathematics is more visceral and kinesthetic than analytic. Nephrite or Zoisite would do better.

Nephrite also has a vested interest in seeing to it that Makoto does well. Though that might be a recipe for trouble in itself. Maybe better to stay out of it entirely and see how things develop.

And that's a reminder of another name that just came up. One that he risks touching on, though without looking at Makoto. "How is Mercury?"

Of course he doesn't use the same name for her as Makoto did. He doesn't have the right to touch that one. Not yet.
Makoto Kino 2016-04-11 02:00:52 37934
"She's fine!" No hesitation on that reply, though Mako does look over again, brows lifted a little even as she cracks a half-smile of affectionate exasperation. "Ready for the new term to start, I'm sure. Still sort-of-not-quite dating Takashi Agera."

And that was an impressive stinkface Mako just pulled, as she looks back down to select one of the garlic cloves and start mincing. "She doesn't blame you for what happened, you know."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-11 02:19:55 37941
Agera. The name isn't entirely familiar to Kunzite; isn't entirely not. There's something about it, faint and dreamlike...

"At D-point, Agera-san died saving my life. I tried with everything I had to heal him, but something in him was fighting my energy."

"Wait, he did what? But Takashi-kun hates you..."

That one. That boy. The one he's seen over and over again, linked distantly and tenuously to Ami, to a handful of others. Never close to any of them.

And a half-dreamed overheard conversation suggests some of why.

And Mercury is not-quite-dating him.

There are several seconds when Kunzite makes neither comment nor sound, and his expression fades to that neutral nothingness all over again. "Whether she blames me or not," he says, "it happened. And there are consequences." Like the not-quite-dating, which complicates life in an interesting and not always welcome fashion for all concerned. "I owe the boy too, for instance. Still. I should talk with her, fairly soon. I think we have information she may not."
Makoto Kino 2016-04-11 02:32:32 37943
By the time Kunzite speaks again, Makoto has once more stopped what she's doing and is watching him pensively, brow slightly furrowed. Maybe she shouldn't have said that; as usual, she spoke without thinking. In any case, it's too late to take the words back.

"I can tell her," she offers. "That you want to talk to her. We're going skating on Thursday, and I'm sure I'll see her before then too." Beat. "I can't help you with Agera, he and I can't stand each other. But Ami-chan could get you in touch with him."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-11 02:38:20 37945
"I'm not worried about being in touch with Agera." That's quick enough to be a reassurance, not so quick as to carry any hint of reprimand. "That will happen of itself soon enough. That I owe him a debt does not mean I'm inclined to give him information. There will be better coin in which to repay."

Quite possibly a kind of repayment that Takashi will not appreciate at the time. But that's another topic altogether.

"If you would tell her, though, I'd appreciate that. It's not an immediate matter; it's slept for a decade now, a few weeks more or less will be unlikely to make a difference."
Makoto Kino 2016-04-11 02:47:21 37946
"Sure." There's something pleased and maybe even a little relieved - albeit guiltily so, by just a tiny amount - in the smile that flickers over Makoto's face at Kunzite's reply. "I'll let her know."

A moment later, her expression begins to shade into one of curiosity. "I'm sure it's none of my business," she says, on the general basis that if it were of significance to her he'd have told her already, "but now I'm interested. What kind of information are you talking about? --That is," she adds hastily, "if it's okay for me to ask. If it'd be better to wait and see if it's something Ami-chan thinks I should know about, that's fine, too."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-11 03:02:06 37948
Cue that small frown again, but Kunzite directs it downward at the counter, at the stems and the blade, not at Makoto. "Some years ago," he says, "there were people who intended to make sure that the group of us met earlier than we did, and under better controlled circumstances. They died, or retreated, or both. It's all past history, now. And perhaps they were only trying to fit us for the fight that we already won. But if it ever becomes relevant again, I'd prefer it if Mercury had all of our information at her fingertips, not only part."

He shrugs briefly. "And if she's uninterested, well. There are other things I know that she might find useful."
Makoto Kino 2016-04-11 03:22:50 37953
The knife Makoto has been using is laid down and now she's staring at Kunzite, even the pretense of continuing at her work abandoned. Unsettled. "That's..."

It's a good several seconds before she realizes what she's doing and breaks away, stepping back from the counter. " it," she says, in place of whatever else she might have been about to say a moment ago. Turning away, she goes looking through the things they brought over until she finds a liquid measuring cup, which she brings to the sink to fill with cold water from the tap. "I'm sure Ami-chan will want to know about that," she says after taking a careful drink from the side of the measuring cup.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-11 03:35:32 37954
"We'll see. It may no longer be relevant at all." Not perhaps as reassuring as he thinks it might be. Kunzite's own attention does not lift. As if the topic were just background noise for him; the sort of thing that he needs to think about regularly, not particularly worth notice except that other people might need to know.

At least, after that, the topic is likely to drift back to what they're doing again. And cookery and kitchens are substantially more comfortable a target, and more likely to draw something faintly resembling normal reactions from her assistant, than that.