Anger Mismanagement

Ami finds Makoto playing catch with boys. No, we mean actually *throwing the boys*. It seems that Jupiter is not dealing well with what happened to Nephrite. And Jupiter just might be done with the prices she's paying...

Date: 2016-06-11
Pose Count: 16
Takashi Agera 2016-06-11 06:44:06 44480
Makoto Kino has not been particularly communicative with the senshi or shitennou lately. Not at all. Not since Nephrite decided to make use of his 'brilliant idea' and dress up as Tuxedo Nephrite, intentionally get kidnapped by a murderous space alien, and nearly die.

It's questionable if she'd even been in contact with him lately, and if anyone had called her communicator, the senshi of Thunder and Courage wasn't answering. It wouldn't take a rocket surgeon to deduce that she was a bit upset about all of that.

Her silence is punctuated, then, by the fact that Ami notices her walking by the front windows of the Crown, and grabbing, lifting off his feet, and bodily throwing a highschool boy who either had the tenacity to say the wrong thing, or maybe just got in her way while she was walking. Her fists are clenched as the boy hits the sidewalk, and he scrambles off like a cat trying to run on a marble floor.
Ami Mizuno 2016-06-11 06:54:51 44481
No one has even told Ami about 'Tuxedo Nephrite'. All she knows is her friend didn't come to school, and isn't answering her phone, and that makes Ami tentatively, hesitantly, worried. But not worried enough to form a search party. Makoto's a big girl (literally) and can mostly take care of herself.

So Ami is at the Crown doing her homework while she combines it with one of her favourite dinner: one of the Crown's works pizzas.

The hubbub outside, however, draws a lot of noise, and Ami looks up at the sound. She heads out to look down from the staircase just in time to see the kid running off from his chance encounter with Makoto. What the heck?

Whatever, he probably tried picking on her and got a bloody nose for it. Serves him right, picking on Mako-chan. Idiots. Ami puts on a smile and heads out to greet her friend. "Mako-chan!" she calls "Hey, I got a pizza if you want to share. How are you doing? You missed school today, is everything okay?"
Takashi Agera 2016-06-11 07:01:39 44482
Makoto rounds on Ami and for a moment - for a longer moment than is normal or safe - she still looks upset. Very upset. Not normal 'stupid boys being dumb' upset but a sort of anger that seems to flow outwards from her like a thunderstorm. It's the kind of anger that she shows against youma or queens who ruin milkshakes as a drink.

It leaves her slowly, too, like a valve given only the tiniest turn, but it DOES leave her because the anger isn't really directed at Ami.

"I guess they didn't tell you beforehand, either. They didn't tell ME so why would they tell YOU." she says, fists still clenched, visibly animated in her gestures. "Because I'm sure YOU would've told them what a STUPID IDEA it was!" she says. "No, I am not okay!"
Ami Mizuno 2016-06-11 07:05:03 44483
The hair on the back of Ami's neck stands on end, and she is not entirely sure whether it's lightning leaking from Jupiter, or a premonition that something is wrong. "They?" she asks. "Stupid idea?" No, she really doesn't know. She is, in fact, entirely clueless as to what's going on. And right now she wants nothing more than to take Makoto somewhere safe and figure it all out.

Reaching up, Ami gently takes Makoto's hand and guides her into the alley between the crown and the next building over. Once they're safely out of sight, and mostly out of earshot, she looks up at her friend worriedly. "Makoto, what happened? No one told me about any stupid idea. I've been locked up studying Fiore's blood, and doing schoolwork. What'd I miss?"
Takashi Agera 2016-06-11 07:10:20 44484
It's obvious the whole think is still irking her, still eating at her, and as Ami asks questions, Makoto steps away and hauls off and kicks a dumpster in the alley - which gets a good few feet of movement from the sheer violence of the expression. "Fiore. Fiore happened."

"But he happened because the boys decided the best way to get more intel was up. On the Asteroid. And do you know how this brain trust decided to do it? They dressed Nephrite - it had to be Nephrite, didn't it? - up and used illusions to cover it, and LET HIM GET SNAGGED."

"And he nearly died, Ami. He nearly died because of this. Even now he isn't even conscious. And nobody saw fit to tell me they were going to use him as bait. And I'm mad at him for going along with it!"

"And you know why he went along with it too, don't you?" she asks, walking over to Ami, and getting somewhat very much real close. "Because Endymion. Because that's his duty, like my duty is to Usagi. And that duty will override everything else, even if it kills us. AGAIN."
Ami Mizuno 2016-06-11 07:17:44 44485
Ami hugs her arms as Makoto lets her violence play out. She's never seen her friend this mad, but she also can't really disagree with anything she's saying. And the worst part is, the asteroid was kind of Ami's idea. But the last time she hid something from Makoto, it went badly. So she doesn't, this time.

"The asteroid was kind of my idea," she points out gently. "I mean, not the getting kidnapped. That part sounds really not-well-thought-out, especially because I really needed Nephrite to be working on the asteroid problem from a mathematics angle, not in some buffoonish attempt to go undercover." She sighs and lowers her gaze towards the ground.

"No one told me he did that," she promises Makoto quietly. "I'm sorry. We were just talking about how he'd have to make this choice, and I promised you it wouldn't come up again. I guess I was wrong. But I didn't expect him to do something so stupid." She pauses, then looks up at Makoto.

"What do you want us to do?" she asks her friend quietly. "We can try to get him back, but ... it won't be easy, and there isn't a lot of time left to deal with the asteroid before it's too late. We have to stop these Xenians from destroying the Earth."
Takashi Agera 2016-06-11 07:23:36 44486
Makoto shakes her head and leans against the wall. The force with which she leans her head back into the alley's brick wall is probably not at all healthy - not with that dull thud. But it doesn't seem to be breaking through the fog of her emotional state.

"They got him back. They did that much. He's in the apartment. Unconscious." Makoto looks down. "They barely got him back. I was this close to finding Nephrite dead again. How many times am I supposed to experience this sort of thing?" she says, and although she's not crying, she might distinctly be close.

"Why does he have to make that choice. Why can't I be a choice, Ami-chan. I know that question isn't fair. Because I've got my own duty. But... Nobody ever asked us."

"How am I going to open up a bake shop if I'm always running out to save the world?" she asks, rhetorically. It sounds a little ridiculous, but these are closely held dreams she's seeing slip away. "Can I just go 'sorry your cake is late, I had to save the world for the third time this week!'. I don't think I can really be expected to just live a normal life, open up a little shop, be happy with Nephrite."

"I... nobody asked us if we wanted this duty. It's just the thing we're expected to go along with and do. And..." she seems to trail off there, like she's having trouble finding the words to go with her emotions. "...haven't I paid enough yet?"
Ami Mizuno 2016-06-11 07:37:09 44487
Ami listens to her friend's rant without interruption. And if Makoto looks like she might want to cry by the time she's done, Ami absolutely has tears welling in her eyes. Those words eat at her like rot at the root, gnawing straight to the core of Ami's own doubts and worries.

Guardian of Wisdom and Knowledge? She doesn't even have the wisdom to prevent her own fall into darkness, nor the knowledge to defeat these Xenians.

She's given everything to being a Senshi, and it still asks more. Always more. And now, the most solid rock in her fortress of belief is crumbling before her eyes. And there are literally no words for Ami to comfort her with, because everything Makoto is saying is a mirror of her own worries.

How can she possibly hope to lead a normal life with all of this going on? What's the point in it all?

And the worst part is, it's not even a choice, because the alternative is that the world be destroyed.

Ami reaches up to wipe at her eyes, and a small sniffle escapes. "It's not fair," Ami replies to her friend quietly. "It's not fair, but I guess that's what life is about, Makoto: doing your duty, even though you didn't choose it; even though it isn't fair. Because what choice do we have? We chosen few, we unlucky few, who defend this world from destruction. If we falter or flag, the world will be destroyed. Beryl wins. Fiore wins. I'm sorry," Ami says, shaking, now, with the attempts to contain her own emotions. "I'm sorry, Mako-chan. It sucks. But there's nothing else we can do. We don't get to open up bake shops, or earn the Nobel Prize. We don't get 'normal'. That's not for us. I'm sorry."
Takashi Agera 2016-06-11 07:47:26 44488
Makoto listens to what Ami has to say and she's quiet. She's very, very quiet. She's not crying, or hitting the walls. The only sound for a moment is the sound of her breathing, which steadily becomes calm and measuring.

"I...I'm sorry for burdening you with this, Ami-chan." she says. She leans off the wall a little. "I know you've lost a lot too, I know you've paid a lot into this." she says, quietly. "Given up things you'd have rather had."

"I didn't mean to push my burden on top of yours. It's just... I don't know if I'd have taken up this one, given the choice. Maybe I just want to have my own happily ever after with my own stargazing, Heavenly King. He could bust himself down to prince, or knight, or something." she says with a half smile. It's a very sad, resigned half smile.

"I guess it wouldn't matter even if I quit, though. He's determined to just keep throwing himself in front of Mamoru-niisan until he can't anymore." she says, slumping a bit. Then there's a moment of silence before she looks up, and there's a distinctly odd look on her face.

"You know, we went to a lot of trouble to change the story once when we didn't like it." she says, hands in fists again. "What if I decide that I don't like this one, either? What if this isn't my storybook ending, and I want one, and I'm willing to fight for it." she says. She doesn't look like this is entirely a healthy line of determinative thought...
Ami Mizuno 2016-06-11 07:56:30 44489
Ami wipes at her eyes again, and shakes her head furiously. "No, don't," she tells Makoto--actually interrupting her apology for the burden placement. "No. You're just telling me what I already know. You're not burdening me," she promises.

When Makoto moves on to talking about Nephrite again, Ami listens once more. She's breathing heavily now, seething just a little in frustration and anger. Still crying because she can't control it, but also feeling that same anger that had her friend in such a rage to begin with.

And when she's done, Ami says something her friend might not expect: "If you believe in it, and it doesn't put the world at risk, then you fight for it. I don't ..." Ami trails off, struggling to find the words. She looks around wildly for a moment, then focuses on Makoto's face. "Usagi-chan is important. Mamoru-kun, too. But if the choice was them or the world, I'd pick the world. And if defending them gets in the way of a happy world, you should, too. Look, Mako-chan ... if you want to change the story, then do so. Just ... do it because you love him. Because you love this world. And do it /with/ love. Not with anger, or jealousy, or grief. Those are darkness. There's no good from them. Believe me, I know. But if you need a different ending, Mako-chan, then you make it. Even if it means you protect Nephrite over Mamoru. Even if it means you protect Nephrite over Usagi. Earth, and the people on it, are what matters. As long as they are free and safe, then I think you have done the right thing."
Takashi Agera 2016-06-11 08:04:57 44490
Makoto nods. She's listening, and hearing, but she's not really parsing. It's a sort of thing Ami might even be able to pick up on, or maybe knows from experience, the way a person picks up on the peices they want to hear, that matches their current thought process, and discards the rest. "You're right. If the way things are right now is making me feel this way, I should change it. Otherwise what's the point?" she says, smiling.

It's not a healthy, Sailor Senshi Says kind of smile.

"You know, Makoto Kino has sacrificed a whole lot for Sailor Jupiter." she says, hugging herself a bit now. "Maybe more than I could ever really know for sure." she muses, without elaborating, and with another one of those very severe looks of sadness on her face.

"Maybe it's time for Sailor Jupiter to do a little sacrificing on the behalf of Makoto Kino's happiness." She's clenching her fists so hard now, and there's probably the electric tinge of ozone in the air. "There's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with me being happy!"
Ami Mizuno 2016-06-11 08:11:10 44492
"Sailor Jupiter and Makoto are the same person," Ami points out bluntly. "You cannot sacrifice one for the other without both being damaged." She wipes her eyes free of those tears, then reaches up to hug Makoto very suddenly, very tightly, damn the conseqeuences.

And as she does, she places a little sticker on her friend's arm bearing a camera so small it's practically invisible. Maybe Jupiter will recognize it; Ami's given her one in her bow, before. Maybe she's too angry to realise Ami's done it.

What's important is that Ami isn't giving her the choice. "Change the story," she encourages Makoto. "But don't think you are two separate people, and remember your duty. I'll back you up," she promises. "I will always watch your back. I love you, Mako-chan. And I want you to be happy. So go ... figure out what you need to balance your duty to the people of Earth with your happiness. And if I can help, let me know."
Takashi Agera 2016-06-11 08:22:58 44493
Makoto is hugged, and that would be very nice - except for the hug coming after the words she'd just said. So instead she tenses up and doesn't return the kidness with anything warm. There's a sort of almost palpable hostility.

"I know I can't seperate them. I know I'm both. I'm a soldier, and I'm Makoto Kino." she says, not reacting as Ami puts the camera on.

"But would I even be this Makoto Kino if I wasn't also Sailor Jupiter? Would my life have been different? Would I be this tall, this strong, if I wasn't beholden to Jupiter?" she asks, looking down at Ami.

"Where does one begin and the other end, I don't know." she says. "But I know that..." she squeezes her hands. "I'm sick and tired of sacrificing my happiness for my duty. All of this strength I have but I'm expected to use it for someone ELSE."

Makoto takes a step or two back from Ami. "I use my strength to protect Usagi-chan, to protect the earth, to save people. I burn myself out for that. I'm..." she turns away and looks down.

"No, I'm done with that. I can't give up being Sailor Jupiter, and I don't need to. But I can use that strength to..." "...I can't live the life I want, still. That's already gone, Ami-chan."

"But I'm going to fight for my own happiness, now. I don't care what that means. I deserve to be happy. I deserve my own miracles. I deserve my own hope. And nobody - not Usagi, not Mamoru, not even you or Rei or Minako - should stand in the way of that." she says - though one name is perhaps notably missing there. "So don't." she presses, somewhat ominously.

"And if Nephrite's too blinded by duty to understand that, I'll have to..." she doesn't actually finish that sentance, she just turns on her heels and starts walking slowly.
Ami Mizuno 2016-06-11 08:28:53 44495
Ami steps away from Makoto and frowns at her friend. "Makoto, you wouldn't have been Makoto without Sailor Jupiter because you are literally the reincarnation of her. It's not possible to what-if-you-weren't-her. You were born her. You were her in a past life. That's like asking 'What if Nicolai Tesla had never had an original thought.' It's ... the question doesn't make sense."

She stares at her friend, then says, "So yes, you should fight for what will make you happy. But you and I both know you won't be happy if you sacrifice your duty to the people of Earth, or to Usagi-chan. Don't fool yourself into thinking otherwise. You're not fooling me."
Takashi Agera 2016-06-11 08:32:29 44497
"Well then things won't be much different, will they?" she asks, turning on her heel to look at Ami. "Do I look happy now?" she asks, her face a strange mixture of sadness and anger. "Do I look happy when the man I... when... when Nephrite tries to sacrifice himself like that? Do I look happy when I lose everything because the universe picked me as one of it's champions?"

"You don't know what this has cost me - I was wrong earlier." she says, her eyes a lot colder now. "You don't know and it's the reason one of us can ride planes and the other can't." she says, before she turns backs around and begins walking - or more accurately, stomping loudly in her boots - in the direction they walked in.
Ami Mizuno 2016-06-11 08:36:56 44498
Ami watches her friend turn to go, then sighs and shakes her head. "I understand better than anyone," she promises Makoto's back. "And I'll be watching your back. When you're done with whatever this is, I'll catch you," she promises.