A Low Level of Never-Stops

Kunzite checks to make sure Naru's home is not being invaded by energy-draining flowers. Naru keeps up her new habit of actually noticing things. Apparently stalkers get cookies. Who knew?

Date: 2016-04-14
Pose Count: 22
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-14 01:02:52 38393
First day of school: over. Home: safely arrived at, a little time ago, maybe an hour, maybe half that. Nothing out of the ordinary, really.

And almost anyone else would *still* think nothing was out of the ordinary. The light dims just a trifle, the temperature dips a barely perceptible fraction of a degree. Almost anyone else would dismiss it as a cloud passing over the sun, outside, and move on.

Naru is no longer 'almost anyone else.'
Naru Osaka 2016-04-14 01:11:17 38395
Possibly, even Naru might not have noticed, unless she wasn't curled up by the window. An open window, enjoying the good light and the warm breezes.

A chill. A change in light.

It's the change in light that draws Naru's attention up out of her sketchbook. She pauses, her pencil stilling upon the page. She frowns a little, and leans closer to the window. Because that's the best plan when things feel off kilter.

Naru glances back and forth, evaluating the scene outside and if there's killer tsunamis on the way, or further icy death.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-14 01:17:05 38397
Nothing /seems/ different outside. The sun is still out, the passersby below and the people who come in and out of the shop still seem normal. There's no draw upon Naru herself, nothing dragging at her own energy. It does not grow colder, or darker.

It will take something less than a minute, all in all, for the dimness to retreat and the light and warmth to reassert themselves that extra tiny bit. But a minute can be longer than one thinks, sometimes.
Naru Osaka 2016-04-14 01:20:36 38399
A lack of icy death. A lack of energy draining. A lack of mind control, or hazy suggestions that don't make much sense when not in that hazy state. Naru frowns a little more and then closes her notebook.

She vanishes from the window, retreating further into the apartment, and away from view from the outside. It's really not all that long later that she emerges, not from the store, but the private entrance that permits access to the apartment without having to fuss with the store, around on the far side.

Naru still has her notebook in one hand, but in the other, a plate. With cookies on it.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-14 01:29:43 38400
... caught. Well. He should, perhaps, have expected it.

Company joins her a few seconds later, a leap down from the building's roof that lands as casually as a step down a single stair. Naru's seen Zoisite's uniform, pale green, with a white cape lined with the red-brown of living earth. This one is of the same design, but a pale, colder grey rather than green. The cape is the same, though, that earth-tone almost the only color.

It is definitely not the same uniform she saw him in before. That one had no color at all.

Kunzite bows to Naru, from the place where he landed, a few steps away. "My apologies for disturbing you."
Naru Osaka 2016-04-14 01:32:54 38401
"You didn't. Well. I mean you /did/, technically, cause I noticed the change in the light." Naru corrects herself to the technically correct. The best kind of correct.

"But it's okay. I didn't mind." Naru offers the plate in his direction. "Spice cookie? There's no raisins, I'm not sure which side of the cooked raisin vs no cooked raisin divide you're on." As if that's the single most divisive issue that could be brought up.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-14 01:38:23 38402
Flicker of a blink, as Kunzite has momentarily to parse this addition to his universe. This is ... not something he is accustomed to, apparently. "Thank you," he says after a moment, and accepts a cookie. "If there is a 'raisins are food, why would you complain' side, I might join up with that one. In the mean time, and more importantly. Are you well?" -- as if that question, generally formulaic and routine, were both absolutely meant and in this instance deeply important.
Naru Osaka 2016-04-14 01:47:17 38404
The spicing in the cookies is interesting, compared to bland standard cookies, bold, almost sharp flavours, that have a hint of umami adding to it. They really are good cookies.

Naru smiles at the acceptance of raisins in Kunzite's baked goods and giggles softly. "You have /no/ idea how uptight people get about raisins in their baked goods. You should /see/ them when they expect chocolate chips and find raisins, you'd think someone had kicked their puppy."

Naru's expression sombers a little at the serious question and she looks at him a few moments before she answers. "I'm fine. Should I not be fine? Are any of the others not fine? Usagi? No.. she seemed okay at school.. it's not been /that/ long since school let out."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-14 01:54:05 38407
"Makoto. The problem's dealt with, and she's resting now. But we have no guarantee that she'll be the only one targeted." Kunzite hasn't yet made a trial of the cookie, not that the cookie is likely to be a trial; he glances down at it for a moment, and then back up to Naru. Naru who notices small changes.

"I'd like to ask you a favor. The problem was an energy drain, a slow one over some days. If you feel tired or ill, or if you see any of the others behaving as if they feel tired or ill, or if an unusual number of people at school seem to be feeling that way -- tell someone. Let us know."
Naru Osaka 2016-04-14 02:00:39 38408
"Does she need anything? Is the crew at Endy's apartment getting fed regularly, or should I come over and ensure that no one is eating random things straight from bags?" Naru offers with a nod at the mention of Makoto resting.

The mention of energy drain brings a little wrinkle to Naru's nose. She remembers that sense, even just a little, and it wasn't her favourite part of anything.

Naru nods in easy agreement to the favour request. "If I notice it being weird, I'll let you know. Or Endy. Or someone. Everyone was whining about being tired at the end of the school day, but somehow had enough energy to be goofs and running around the moment the bell went. Sooo, I don't think the school is affected en masse or anything."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-14 02:07:40 38411
"No-one is eating random things straight from bags except by choice," Kunzite assures Naru. -- Makoto would probably appreciate a change of clothes. -- no-one they know is remotely close to an appropriate size, and Makoto's own can't be rescued from her apartment till Mercury's done trying to figure out what the hell tried to eat her. Right. He leaves that unmentioned. "Right now, what she needs is a little time; rest and food, contact and light. Nephrite's with her, so any need she voices will be oversupplied in short order."

Kunzite nods to Naru in return, the motion brief and precise. "Good. We'll hope it stays that way." Which is far different from trusting that it will.
Naru Osaka 2016-04-14 02:12:16 38412
"I've never met Nephrite." Naru comments thoughtfully, a little musing notion as she nods at the assurances that Makado wants for nothing. She doesn't even let the flicker of disappointment at not being able to do /something/ show. Naru should consider a career in poker, really.

She's quiet a moment and then looks down at the other cookies on the plate and balances the plate on her notebook to be able to take one herself. She nibbles a moment and then adds into the quiet. "Thank you for coming to check up on me. I appreciate it."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-14 02:21:59 38416
"You have an experience waiting for you, then." What kind of experience is ... left undescribed. "He's fond of Makoto. I'd recommend waiting to meet him until she's feeling better." The shoe-throwing incidents shall not be mentioned in any detail.

"I appreciate your being willing to watch," he answers her thank-you. "Usagi wasn't there when I checked where she's staying; I know there's no trouble there, but I don't know whether she's all right herself. And she tries harder than she should not to trouble people when she's not well."
Naru Osaka 2016-04-14 02:29:25 38418
"So it's not just me?" Naru asks, looking up at him. "If she's sick with someting /real/.. like you guys sort of real, she tries to make sure I never find out. Possibly just before, but I think its habit now. But if she does it to you guys too, then it's not just me."

There's a pause and a little chewing on Naru's bottom lip. "She was at school, and I didn't notice anything weird with her /there/. I'd bet if you find Endy, you'll find Usagi, but that's just playing the odds there."

Another moment of quiet and then Naru asks, thoughtful. "Do you guys have stuff come up all the time? It feels like it's a low level of never-stops with stalkers, and weird and dangerous."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-14 02:35:29 38419
"It's not just you," Kunzite confirms. Something shadows his expression for a moment -- just a little more of a frown, just a hint of tension around the eyes -- but it doesn't seem to be aimed at Naru, particularly. (The memory of Usagi literally, physically, leaning on him for comfort rather than on one of her own people ... while he was still trapped in the dark-energy body Beryl gave him, and potentially subject to her surveillance at any time ... is not likely to stop troubling him any time soon.)

"Possible she's on the way," he admits to the playing of the odds. "I just left him a few minutes ago, though, and she wasn't there then. Never mind. If she arrives, I'll look her over."

-- and another good question. "I haven't had time to find out yet. But it seems likely. The two of them each have four guards for a reason."
Naru Osaka 2016-04-14 02:42:00 38420
"I'm sorry. I forget that you haven't been you for very long." Naru's tone is gently apologetic. "You feel like you just /know/, so I ask you more than I should." She twists up a little smile, as quiet as her apology. "I hadn't thought of it that way, but it's true. It's a fairly potent level of weird attraction to have four guards for a single person, says a lot about the former them." She's quiet a moment, thinking on that.

It's a moment before she smiles. "Have you found any hobbies yet? Other than climbing my building?"
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-14 03:01:22 38421
"Ask what you like. Though I don't promise always to have answers." Or always to give them when he does have them, but that's as much of a given. He studies Naru for that moment of quiet, thoughtful in turn --

And then his eyebrows twitch upward. He invited her questions because her questions are sometimes telling, or sometimes provide in themselves a perspective he'd missed. That question was not one he was expecting.

He does not actually physically bite his tongue on 'making Mamoru sleep occasionally.' Besides, that's not exactly a new hobby, anyway.

"Not yet. We'll see what happens after the construction projects are done with. Though the school term will undoubtedly slow those down somewhat." Unless someone bribes Zoisite to do Nephrite's homework, which ... is ... almost worth doing just to see what Zoi would put him through. Almost. Only almost.

Concentrate on the construction projects, anyhow. Not on the murderous, mind-controlled space alien.
Naru Osaka 2016-04-14 03:08:38 38422
Naru is here to ask the good questions. And the extraneous stupid questions, that don't have anything to do with alien stalkers, or energy draining flora.

"I think technically renovations are a hobby for some people. I mean, if you actually enjoy it, rather than simply wishing it to be overwith so that you can have your own quiet room." Naru points out with a little gesture of her free hand. She starts to say something and then pauses and then adds. "If.. well if you wanted to take up something. I could go with you. Except I dont know what, so this is a bit of a silly offer. Never mind." She shakes her head. "I should have finished thinking that through first."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-14 03:17:30 38423
There is another moment's pause, as Kunzite considers the sort of people who've suggested that kind of thing to him in the past. Fortunately, there are people he knows with extensive information on Naru, all of which indicates that she is not in fact the kind of person who thinks human sacrifice makes a good first date.

Calm rational consideration of this does not keep the cookie he's holding from seeming faintly more ominous. But she also ate one, and he chose at random, so odds of baked-goods-related doom continue to be low.

"If I take up something, and it seems as if you might be interested, I'll tell you," he suggests. And then eats the damned cookie before his propensity toward paranoia can get in his way any further. Is silent for a moment thereafter. Inevitable question: "Did you make these?"
Naru Osaka 2016-04-14 03:26:03 38424
"I don't know what, but I figure I should branch out from drawing, maybe. Unless you want to take art lessons with me, but that didn't seem really likely." Naru explains, a touch shy. Which is probably a far cry from human sacrifice. Or ninja lessons. Or taking up assassination.

"I made them yesterday, yes." Naru nods at the query about the cookies that aren't out to kill him. "I found the recipe, but I ended up having to rework it a bit, for what we had in the house. I don't think they're supposed to taste like this, but I like them."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-04-14 03:32:07 38426
"If Makoto isn't back in school tomorrow, would you be willing to bring some over for her? I think she might be interested." In the cookies, because doing interesting things with baking is Makoto's catnip. In the company, because if she's not back in school, she'll probably be longing for someone normal (and a girl) around by then. Needs are covered. Wants are a different, and sometimes more important, thing.
Naru Osaka 2016-04-14 03:36:08 38427
"I can send some back with you, if she's staying at your place." Naru offers with a bit of a smile. "I can stop by after school too, if she's not at school, but they're fresher now than they'll be tomorrow, and the recipe made a lot. Your household will nosh through them in short order, and I really shouldn't eat /that/ many cookies."