Painted Foliage is Safe

Naru drops by to give stuff to Kunzite, and Mamoru... hires her?

Date: 2016-05-06
Pose Count: 34
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 16:15:28 40660
It's after school, and lately, the boys haven't been going by the Crown once classes are over. Increasingly, it seems, they belong to the Go-Home Club. Today's no different -- but the concierge knows Naru, and is also curious about where Usagi is but only curious enough to have asked how she's doing -- and someone must be home, since there was no trouble unlocking the elevator for her.

It's Mamoru who opens the door, and he looks mild and tired and pale and a little disheveled, and he holds his finger to his lips and points to a fluffy head of short blond hair poking out from under a blanket on the couch as explanation. Naru's escorted to the kitchen thereafter, and Mamoru goes about putting tea together.

His voice is still low, but at least above a whisper now. "Saburo was up all night doing homework," he tells her, "so even though he's technically on duty, I'm not gonna wake him up. He's super good at going from snoring to lethal in point-oh-two seconds flat."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 16:22:20 40661
Naru Osaka has her school bag in her hands as she comes up to the apartment of general chaos. Her answer to the doorman was pleasantly noncommittal, offered with a smile. She peeks over towards the couch and moves just as quietly as Mamo into the kitchen.

"I've never actually /met/ Saburo." Naru comments, her voice as quiet as Mamoru's once they're in the kitchen. "But I have no doubt about his ability to wake in a flash if need be. Ideally I'm not actually someone that you need guarding from. I hope." She glances back out to the sleeping blonde and then back to Mamoru. "How is everyone? I hadn't yet heard anything more about your stalker, or anything.. and then school got more.. school like."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 16:40:33 40662
"Really?" Mamoru asks, startled, glancing out the kitchen door at the sleeping Jadeite, then blinking at Naru. "That's kind of hilarious -- he was the first one out, and he helped the Senshi on this side until more of us could get free. I guess there just wasn't that much crossover before you really knew what was going on."

He'd already had the kettle on, so now it's not long before he has a full teapot, steeping, on the kitchen table where there's an open chair for Naru -- and lots of room to spread out schoolwork. He gets out a couple of cups, too, and uncovers a tray of Makoto muffins that'd had a damp cloth over them in the warm oven, overnight.

Then he finally takes a seat himself, sprawling into the chair like it's an effort to remain standing. "You're totally not someone I need guarding from." He laughs a little. "I think the guys are going to go a little nuts when they find out just how many sketchy friends I have, though. Miss White stayed in the guestroom a couple nights ago, and I could feel the waves of disbelief and cranky from various parties who shall remain unnamed."

He picks up a muffin and breaks it in half, then in smaller pieces, as he talks. "Everyone's okay, more or less. Stalker's still stalking. Met another weirdo who we've got our eyes on, too. A girl that goes to your school, transfer student, named Natsumi Ginga. She's overly interested in space botany and overly interested in me, even though it got stressed to her like a hundred times how totally unavailable I am."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 16:48:44 40663
A little shake of Naru's head at the offer of muffins, but she does settle herself in with tea and books. Schoolbooks and other books that are probably far more sketchbook than class book. She at least tokenly opens up a school book, her notebook covered in doodles and sketches at points where class apparently didn't stay interesting. A lot of flower motifs and vines going on, twining over the pages.

"I am pretty confident at this point, that you know everyone." Naru comments with a bit of smile. "Every single person in Tokyo.. you know them." She teases, just a little as she doesn't work on homework, but rather expanding on the doodles that overtook math class.

Naru can't help but giggle at the last. "You do know that for some girls, being unavailable is actually a feature and just makes them /more/ interested, right?" She shakes her head, still giggling softly. "I might have to try and meet her."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 17:05:56 40664
"For guys too," mutters the upperclassman aggrievedly after he finishes fully half the muffin while Naru's talking. He quirks a half smile after he washes it all down with some of the tea he's poured them in the interim. "You wouldn't be the first person to claim that I literally know everone in Tokyo. I mean, I really don't, you know there's over thirteen million people in the city itself, and almost forty million in the prefecture, right? I don't even have time to meet everyone individually, nevermind get to know them. But I do know a lot of people."

After a second, he glances out the kitchen door again, getting an unhappy expression. "I don't wanna get up. My homework's in there next to Jadeite. I should really just get a tablet for each room and hack the textbooks' DRMs so I can copy them to all the devices..."


Finally he sits up and leans to see Naru's doodles. He should tell her to do her homework, but he absolutely found out about her doing Usagi's homework while Usa was saving the world, so he's not about to say anything. "...have you ever done murals?" he asks, squinting before he reaches into his shirt pocket for his glasses and puts them on.
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 17:11:06 40665
"Seriously?" Naru quirks a brow at him and rolls her eyes a little before she uncurls from her chair, setting her pencil down. She is quiet, she's surprisingly good at quiet actually, and slips into the other room to fetch Mamo's books.

If he does the homework within, that's his problem.

Naru returns with the stack, adding them to the table, and then reconsiders her doodles as she sits back down again. "Murals? Nope. I wanted to in my room, but my mother said no. Something about resale value." She gives a little shrug and then smiles. "But the vines would be really cool curling up a wall, and over doorframes, wouldn't it?"
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 17:17:56 40666
At least the prince has the grace to look incredibly sheepish at Naru when she calls him on his apparent laziness and goes and gets his books. "Thank you," he says ruefully, taking them and spreading them out in front of him, along with the trusty tablet. He does actually reopen them to where he'd left off, and writes on the tablet's surface as they keep talking, only occasionally glancing down at the texts to doublecheck something, and generally never at his writing hand.

"That's actually exactly what I was thinking -- and I don't plan on ever reselling this place. Can I pay you to paint on the walls and doorframes here?" he asks, then picks up his tea and sips, looking over the rim at Naru. "And you're really good at determining what people are really like, what symbolizes them, what feels like them. I mean, you've also seen the palaces for the most part-- and obviously the guys would have input and/or veto power over their own spaces..."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 17:24:14 40667
"I.." Naru starts and then quirks her head, thinking about that. "That would be really cool." She decides after a moment, as she reaches for her tea and abandons any pretense of schoolwork right at the moment. "You don't need to pay me. Although I might get you to buy the paint. OH yeah.. you guys would totally get veto and input. That's how commissions work. Otherwise it's selling prefinished work."

There's a little shake of her head at the last. "I don't know if I'm good at figuring out what people are really like. I listen a lot, I suppose. It's a survival trait when you've been friends wiht Usagi forever."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 17:29:06 40668
"You listen and observe," points out Mamoru. "Both of those contribute to figuring out what people are really like. You'd make a great social worker, and an even better diplomat. You pick up details most people miss. You see beauty in the mundane or terrifying, and you have the ability to show that beauty to other people. I'm just a selfish jerk who wants to take advantage of how good you are at that by getting you to turn this place from a home into an extension of its inhabitants. Please, good god, let me pay you the going rate. You can save it up for later. If you want I can even set it up into an investment account or something."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 17:35:05 40669
"I don't know what I want to do when I grow up." Naru admits, being one of the few who actually gets the leisure to think about long term planning and career goals like a normal student. She sets her tea down and reaches for her school books, as if that one phrase has reminded her that nothing will come if she doesn't get to her homework.

"I'd always decided I was going to go into fashion, or art. I never thought about being a diplomat. Or a social worker. I think being a social worker would be just so hard, but so rewarding. They are really special people."

"Uhh." Naru erms at the notion of being paid. "I suppose so? I could put it away for when I move out someday, and have a shoebox apartment to decorate." She smiles, teasing just a touch.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 17:56:06 40670
"You could! And then you wouldn't have to even think about it; I'll talk to your mom about it if you want, you'd just have to tell her first. And we'll make sure it doesn't interfere with your schoolwork, or with anything else you want to be doing. I mean, it'd be a long-term project, definitely," Endymion says cheerfully, putting down his stylus to finish off his tea, pleasantly infuriatingly glossing past the teasing.

"As far as what you want to do when you grow up, you have plenty of time to think about it. You're right about social work, though. I've considered it myself, but ultimately decided to go into medicine-- just as hard, but also just as rewarding. And you know, there's nothing saying you couldn't also do fashion and art." This time it's the prince's turn to tease a little. "After all, I've got ulterior motives for seeing you go into fashion, too. I've absolutely no doubt Usa would love to model for you."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 18:27:22 40671
Naru laughs and nods. "It won't interfere with my schoolwork. I have a fair bit of free time, generally. Usually I just draw, or paint, or play silly cat games. Not having to save the world on a regular basis really does leave a lot of spare time." She points out with a little smile.

"I do have plenty of time to decide, although if I'm going to do something overseas I should make more of an effort on languages now, for example. Medical school is not on the table." She gives a little wrinkle of her nose at the idea. "That one's all yours." She giggles softly and nods. "Usagi would be a great model. I've totally sketched out stuff with her in mind. I mean.. it only makes /sense/ really."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 19:20:30 40683
Endymion makes a cheerfully flippant little gesture with one hand as he pours tea with the other, slouching a little further into the kitchen chair. "I, of course, am obviously too busy to model. But I'd do it anyway if you wanted me to." Then he reaches up to rub at his face under his glasses, not at all looking like a model at the moment. He surveys his homework a little bleakly, then goes back to scrawling on the tablet in the background of the conversation. "I really don't want to write this paper. I want to take a nap. Thank you for keeping me awake."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 19:28:26 40684
"Obviously. Far too busy. Besides, I've never designed clothing for boys before." Naru points out as she giggles at him. "I expect that if I wished to get one of you to model, if I sketched up boys clothes, I could probably coax Zoisite into it. He might be willing to scare up some time in his busy schedule."

She turns to her own homework, actually at least looking at the page, and flipping past the doodles in her book to a blank page. "Is it the sort of nap that makes Kunzite nervous, or the sort of nap that says that you guys stay up all night more than seems sensible for anyone." She asks, as if that question is utterly casual and perfectly normal. "I'd offer to trade you, but you could do my homework in your sleep, which wouldnt help keep you awake."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 19:43:38 40687
"He'd love it. Everyone admitting how beautiful he is? Pf," the prince says with boundless affection and no small amound of amusement. He scribbles some more notes down, sobering a little and not looking up at Naru. "It's okay. I can normally do this in my sleep, too."

There's a pause before he answers the real question, and when he does, he does look up, and there's a crooked smile on his face. "Of course it makes Kunzite nervous. This isn't insomnia. I'm sure I'd feel better if I took to sleeping in the palaces again, and I probably will eventually, until this business is resolved. I just don't want to have to go into seclusion again."

He takes a breath, then lets it out slowly, and steadfastly looks at his tablet as he writes on it. "The flowers aren't just draining energy. There aren't any plants here because Fiore can use them to spy, and use them to fight, and his own flowers are taking the energy of the Earth itself. The whole planet's in distress, and if it's not stopped, it's another apocalypse. And if it keeps going at this rate, it's not even going to be one I can help prevent."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 19:50:43 40689
"Okay, stupid question. Everything makes Kunzite nervous." Naru says with a measure of affection in that bit of teasing, although she nods as she listens to Endy answer her actual question. She writes out an equation in her notebook, carefully setting up the variables and known quantities as she reads the problem. And listens to the problem. And one is far more compelling than the other.

"Hrm." Naru pauses there for a bit more thinking. "So how do you stop it? Short of rendering the planet into a wasteland, which is not exactly ideal for those of us who need to keep living here." She looks up and over to Mamoru. "Even if you can't prevent it yourself, do you have any ideas, or is that part of the problem?"
Kazuo Takeba 2016-05-06 19:59:19 40691
"I heard that." The owner of that deeper voice is improving. The words are spoken from just the other side of the kitchen door, rather from directly behind Naru. And quietly, to avoid waking the sleeper. "And I protest. If only in that I prefer the term 'wary.'" The 'everything' part is not disputed in the slightest. There's a glance at the teapot, after, and he goes to reach down a cup for himself.

"As for ideas. Any connection can be traced. We're working on how."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 20:14:28 40692
Initially, the prince looks up with an unfiltered expression of 'dear god no' at the idea of turning the planet into a wasteland, but manages to swallow it-- then relaxes visibly when he hears Kunzite. He scribbles a little more work on his paper thereafter, listening, then nods. "Yeah, reasoning and evidence both suggest there's a central power coordinating this; it's not Fiore, he's a tool as much, if not more, than the plants themselves are. So, seeing where the energy's being channelled should point to the location of that power, and that's going to be the target."

He presses on with the paper and the conversation, despite his overly pale face coloring slightly when Kunzite reaches past him for the pot of tea. "Either way, my really wanting a nap at all times is pretty much going to be the state of affairs for a while. Kunzite, I'm hiring Naru to paint wall art here when we get to that stage."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 20:18:04 40693
Naru Osaka starts just a little at the sound of Kunzite just behind the door but its soon replaced with a soft giggle. "Wary? Alright. I can go with wary." She amends and then looks back down at the math problem she's barely started, and already has started doodling on. Already.

"Mmm." Naru thinks on that and glances to Kunzite and then back to Mamoru and nods. She pauses and then there's a little bit of a smile. "It sounds like a movie plot, you know. Where the energy is being sucked out of this planet to fuel either another planet, or a massive weapon, depending on the story."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-05-06 20:24:58 40694
"Why not? Movies are modern mythmaking. And legends are frequently based on distant memories of truths." Kunzite rests a hand on Mamoru's shoulder for a moment -- not the one attached to the hand he's scrawling on the tablet with -- but after a couple of seconds he lets go and steps over to investigate Makoto muffins. "Wall art? Anything in particular?"

... probably he didn't actually see the doodling.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 20:50:49 40696
The corners of Mamoru's mouth turn up a little when Kunzite's hand stops briefly on his shoulder, though he doesn't look up, and the color does not yet fade. When the white-haired man moves off toward Makoto's muffins, he doesn't move his head, but glances at Naru over the tops of his glasses for a second before looking back down at his homework and answering. "Whatever she likes, with the general theme of making this place into even more of an extension of ourselves than just our home. If you look at even just the doodles she's got in her notebook -- which is what started it, that and the painting she gave Zoi -- the vines and things would look amazing trailing up doorways and from corners."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 20:54:45 40697
"Not just whatever I like." Naru corrects. "Whatever you guys like too. I don't have to live here, and look at it day in and day out." She obligingly flips her notebook back to the pages with the vines doodling around her notes, and then simply passes the notebook over to Kunzite to flip through as he might wish, and look at the sketches that keep her from dozing off in class.

"Also.. painted vines are unlikely to be part of a global plot of plant destruction." Naru adds helpfully.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-05-06 21:02:58 40698
Naru's sketches: something Kunzite has not had the opportunity to look at before. Teacup and muffin are set down, the former automatically placed a safe distance away in case any of the other residents come in (or wake up) with a typically overenthusiastic reaction of some sort, and he bends his attention to the notebook for a few moments. "True. Although if Nephrite decides to decorate with redwoods again, that may be a sign we'll need to send occasional search parties after him."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 21:09:00 40699
"Have you had a proper tour of the palaces yet, by the way? I don't know if you've seen them all," Mamoru asks absently, flipping the pages of a textbook until he gets to where he's stuck a sticky tab, then noting down stuff from it in shorthand. "Or met their guardians. Kunzite's has a giant caracal."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 21:14:25 40701
"Decorate with redwoods.. again?" Naru asks, hesitantly curious as she looks between them and then shakes her head a little, in a classic 'I do not want to know' sort of way.

"Proper tour? No." Naru shakes her head again. "I've only been the once, I think, and only to the garden, unless I'm misremembering, there's a lot of bits that are hazy." She pauses a moment. "Wait.. palaces? There's more than one?"
Kazuo Takeba 2016-05-06 21:23:15 40703
"There are four," Kunzite confirms -- half-absently, as he's paused on a particular page and is studying something in the margin. "If you're thinking of focusing on plant life, you'll want a look at them." Three of them, at least. There will, however, be a veto established on any attempts to add a caracal to the wall art. One of those is entirely enough.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 21:31:58 40704
"And strictly speaking, they're not really palaces -- it's just convenient shorthand. They're like -- little pocket dimensions, all linked together. Zoisite's is the one with the fairytale castle in it, yeah, and the garden growing over everything. Jadeite's is basically a cross between a shrine and a zen monastery at the base of a huge mountain. Neph's is a huge sprawling redwood-and-other-trees forest with some longhouses and some rope-bridge treehouses, with a cliff overlooking the ocean. Kunzite's is a fortress oasis, which I haven't really been outside. I'm not sure you can really go outside," Endymion muses, starting to chew on the end of his stylus, blush finally gone. "They each have a genius loci-- well, Jadeite's has two, they're fu lions. Zoi's is an enormous raven. Neph's is a thunderbird. Both the birds are really fond of talking in riddles. The fu dogs are a little ridiculous, but they mean well."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 21:36:17 40705
"I haven't met all of you." Naru points out but there's a little bit of a shrug. "I like the idea of the vines linking things together, but I can't say that I am necessarily fond of sticking entirely to a plant motif. It doesn't suit you all that well, Kunzite, for example. Zoisite, yes. Endy?" She looks over to Mamoru and quirks her head. "Haven't decided yet."

She listens to the descriptions of the different realms and mmms softly and nods. "I've been to Zoisite's then. I think that's it. What's a genius loci?"
Kazuo Takeba 2016-05-06 21:49:23 40706
"A spirit that guards a specific place," Kunzite answers. Naru's notebook is turned back to its initial page and offered back to her again. "In this case, so that no harm can come to those places while we're away." Among other things. He doesn't opt to go in to the other things. He does add aloud, eyeing Mamoru after Naru's 'doesn't suit you all that well,' "I will veto any attempt to add a caracal to the wall art."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 21:54:10 40707
"I love the caracal!" Endymion retorts, craning his neck to give Kunzite a stinkface. "He's such a jerk. And super comfortable to nap next to. Or on." Then to Naru, as he flips another textbook page, he explains, "He's a giant desert cat and he's sarcastic and makes casual threats and insults us when we do stupid things. And he's immensely lazy, because cat. He gives Kunzite crap, it's great. If you're inspired to paint a caracal, you can do it in a part of the apartment that isn't his."

Then he blinks at Naru, and smiles, and it's an off-guard thing, tilted and pretty. "I don't really know what suits me, either. I used to think I did, but I'm glad I was wrong."
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 21:57:45 40708
"What's.." Naru starts and then Mamoru kindly provides the answer and she smiles, taking her notebook back from Kunzite with a quiet murmur of thanks. She flips open to her math problem again, and sets her pencil to the page. It isn't math, it's cat doodles. Very cartoony cats, that are just silly, rather than specifically a caracal.

"I have faith that I will come up with something for you, Endy." Naru looks at him and then smiles. "It'll work out." She looks to Kunzite and smiles easily. "I promise to provide sketches for you to veto."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-05-06 22:01:39 40709
Kunzite is still eyeing Mamoru. "You're going to introduce her, aren't you." He turns back to Naru in time to catch at least some of that smile. "In return, let me reassure you that when the giant cat threatens to eat you, he's bluffing. Unless you've for some reason taken it into your head to attack someone else in the place." -- in which case, the caracal wouldn't take the time to threaten. Kunzite shrugs briefly rather than specifying that. "It seems unlikely you'd do something like that."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-05-06 22:09:55 40710
"Of course I am. He probably won't threaten to eat you anyway, you're too nice," the black-haired boy says, switching from Telling Kunzite to adding to Naru, then takes off his glasses and rubs his face. "Anyway, Usa said she was going to come over, but I don't know when, and if I'm going to go help Neph get his car and stuff from his old place this evening, I better go sleep a little bit. You're welcome to stay as long as you want, and if you get hungry, whatever's in the kitchen is yours. Unless Usako beats you to it."

It's when he's moving that it's more apparent: there's a little stiffness that shouldn't be there, in addition to the tiredness, as Mamoru gets up and pushes his chair out. "Good luck on your homework, Naru-chan," he finishes as he brushes past Kunzite on his way out the kitchen door.
Naru Osaka 2016-05-06 22:18:55 40711
"I am unlikely to threaten anyone." Naru confirms, as if it's really necessary. "I mean, unless they're trying to kill me or something, and even then, I don't precisely have a great track record." She wrinkles up her nose and then nods to Mamoru. "Sleep well Endy. If Usagi pops in, I'll send her to your room." Innocent, probably, but not utterly ignorant.