Sakura-chan is kidnapped! Oh noes!

Sakura ends up in the frat house and meets the guys and girls. Has a minor break down, gets sweets and ends up capturing Voice.

Date: 2016-12-03
Pose Count: 78
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-03 22:50:52 62372
When Sakura wakes, it's in a well-furnished Western-style bedroom decorated in neutral but pleasant colors, casually large enough to suggest the owner has a lot of money. Her wand is beside her; her shoes are on the floor beside the bed. There are curtains over the windows, drawn closed; there's no light coming from beyond them, not even the grayed light of the snow this weekend. Whatever else is going on, it looks like it's night out.

There is a tray on a bedside table with a jug of water, a small plate of cookies, and a couple of pieces of fruit, along with a note. The note reads:

    Today is Saturday, December 3. You were injured in a fight yesterday. Tuxedo Kamen arranged for us to take you here for healing. He says that you were already healing yourself from the energy bolt you took; he helped that along, and he repaired damage from when it knocked you into the building you were next to. This should make you feel better than you would have, but you will probably still hurt when you wake up.

    We haven't had any way to contact your family and reassure them. It would still be a good idea to eat something before you go back to them. Anybody here should be able to help you with breakfast, or if nobody happens to be here when you wake up, there are leftovers in the fridge. (Please eat something more than just cookies.) If you need help with anything else, just ask.

    You can ask for Kazuo if you're confused, or if the person you're talking to is confused. (There are a lot of people who visit here regularly and might not have heard you were here overnight yet.)

Somewhere outside the room, she can hear noises. It sounds suspiciously like someone a couple of rooms away is playing a video game.

Possibly very enthusiastically.
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-03 22:56:48 62373
Sakura Kinomoto had woken up pretty late, groaning and sitting up. At first she'd been panicked and scared. The last thing she remembered was, well... almost dying. Someone had tried to kill her! However... once she realized she wasn't in danger, new confusion took over. Confusion that could be summed up as 'where the heck am I?' Before she could panic too much, cookies and note! Oh, and fruit! Once it was all polished off she nodded. Made sense.

From there, she texted Tomoyo. Seemed her friend let her dad think he was staying at her place. Good! All was good. He wouldn't panic then.

Slowly she crawled out of bed, or tried. Her feet got tangled and they might hear a little squeak followed by a splat. "Owwww..." she groaned. Slowly she pulled herself back up and shook her head. She gently pulled open the door and started walking down the hall towards the noise, as quietly as she could. As she walked, she wiped her eyes, trying to get the grogginess out.

Odd, she didn't know where she was but... she felt... oddly safe. This place felt warm and... fuzzy. Inside. She wondered why. Like how she imagined a grandparent's house would feel. She walked to the couch and then, as softly as she could, she spoke up. "H-hi? Ummmm... h-hello. Sir," she said softly. "Thank... thank you for saving me..." She leaned against the wall a little. "Ummmm... can... err... can you tell me what happened? Where's fancy magician man?"
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-03 23:19:18 62374
Speaking up softly with a video game blaring in the background isn't generally the best way to be heard, but luckily for Sakura, it's nearly impossible to sneak up on Mamoru Chiba in his own home. For the record, it's not Mario Kart because that's boring as hell to play alone and dangerous to play with people who might get too into it and break the house rules unintentionally. No: the black-haired boy with the messy hair and spectacles, on the couch, hunched over and enthusiastically playing Space Channel 5 in all its pixelated glory, doesn't have that much dignity.

Mario Kart as a measure for dignity.

Either way, he pauses the screen with Ulala dancing with Space Michael Jackson and glances over his shoulder, then smiles. It's bright and real. "Good morning, sunshine. It's midnight, you're safe, we can get you wherever you want to go fast -- we just didn't know where to bring you."

Standing up, the boy flicks the controller onto the couch, and it's in the exact same motion that a rose turns out to be in his hand instead. Sleight of hand? Real magic? Both? "I'm afraid the fancy magician man is only me," he says, offering the rose to the little girl. "Madison Perry whacked you pretty good with an energy knife and it threw you into a wall. Kunzite caught you, and I hadn't seen you in over a year and don't really know much about you? So since I didn't want to just heal you and leave you somewhere, I told him to bring you here, and we tagged Virtue to let them know where you were if anyone was panicking."

Whether or not she takes the rose, he bows with a theatrical flourish. "As to where here is-- I'm Mamoru Chiba, and this is apparently the Earth Court Frat House, also my home." He shoots a look toward the couch. A challenging look. Then eyes back on Sakura. Jeez he's tall. "And sorry I didn't know what your henshin name is, we had to tell Virtue Sakura. But since that's what that fairy was yelling at you anyway..."
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-03 23:26:58 62375
    Kyouko is sitting on the couch. But she's sitting upside down with her legs up over the top and her head hanging down towards the floor, her recently-short hair hanging down to brush the carpet.

    "C'mon, dude, can't we play Mario Kart again? I promise I won't break anything. Last time was a fluke! You got that blue shell and I just.. look, I bought you a new coffee table, didn't I?"

    Although Mamoru is the one who pays her.

    She blinks as Mamoru pauses the game to speak to Sakura. It's unlikely she was unaware of the girl's entrance either, but she's relaxed enough not to move from her inverted seat. She just flashes a one-fanged smile as Mamoru introduces himself and explains where they are.

    "Fancy Magician Man, huh? I dunno, has a certain ring to it.."
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-03 23:36:19 62376
Sakura Kinomoto blinked and took the rose, glancing up at him. She nodded slowly. "ummm.. Kero-chan, his name is Kero-chan." She clasped her hands in front of herself and bowed her head politely. "O-oh! Right! My name is Sakura Kinomoto, a pleasure to meet you, Chiba-san," she said with the utmost respect and politeness. Giving her name out to her kidnappers? How naive.

She then cocked her head to the side. "We've... met? Are you sure? Are you a friend of Yukito-san's?" she asked in confusion.

She then cocked her head to the side. "And... what's virtue? I don't think I've ever heard of them? Are they a company?"

She then shook her head. "T-thanks, I feel a lot better. But, ummm, I already texted Tomoyo-chan, she told my daddy I was staying with her tonight. And if it's midnight... ummmm... if... if it's okay with you, could I stay here tonight? I'll find my own way home tomorrow. If... if that's okay?" the lil girl asked. "I-I'm really sorry for being such a trouble causer! I-I know it's no real excuse but I really am just new to this whole... magic girl thing! I still have so, so much to learn but I'm trying my hardest, honest! Please bear with me, Chiba-san." And then her stomach grumbled and her cheeks turned a little red. Seems just cookies wasn't really enough to fill her up. Then it did it again and she turned completely scarlet, her eyes going down. "I... I ummm... I-I could... m-make dinner to earn my keep?" she squeaked. Hopefully they had a step stool in the kitchen due to the fact each and every one of them, aside from the midget kyouko, seemed to be giants.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-03 23:51:22 62378
Mamoru reaches over and tugs on Kyouko's foot for her comment. "It's just swapping descriptions on the tin. Still as advertised, but I don't want people spoiling the mystique," he informs her matter-of-factly. Then he looks back to Sakura and gestures at the upside-down girl. "That's Kyouko. She more or less lives here too. And yeah, Kero-- oh wait, Sakura Kinomoto?" Mamoru blinks, then laughs, and has to sit down on the back of the couch next to Kyouko's feet. "You're Touya's little sister? Yeah, I know Yukito. Nice guy. He's a grade below me. But no-- we met, sort of, when we helped purify Scorn so she could awaken as Cure Gull. Did something happen that you're still new at this--? No, nevermind, you're hungry, my questions can wait. You can keep asking, if you like. And you can definitely stay until morning."

He shoves himself up off the couch and pushes at Kyouko's feet in passing -- like a big brother would -- and heads toward what's obviously the kitchen, going by the open wall with the counter and, you know, the kitchen on the other side. "And calm down, you're a guest. That's what this place is for. Someplace to be safe, someplace to recover. You're not causing trouble."
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-03 23:56:10 62379
    Kyouko swats at Mamoru with her foot as he sits his butt on the back of the couch while talking to Sakura. She listens with absent attention while he talks about people he knows at school who are apparently related to his new girl.. nobody she's aware of, but that's not particularly shocking.

    She looks mildly excited when Sakura starts talking about making food, then sqwuaks as Mamoru pushes her feet, causing her to tip over slightly on the couch. She rolls with it, pulling her head up and leaning one elbow on the cushions as she looks over at Sakura.

    "I live downstairs," She elaborates, "But it might as well be here." She offers another smile. "And don't worry.. we were all noobs once. You'll get the hang of it."

    She gets up after a moment stretching an arm over her head, then follows after Mamoru towards the kitchen, possibly to see if he needs help but more likely to use that as a pretense to filch snacks.
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 00:07:19 62381
Sakura Kinomoto blinked a few more times. "There's that name again. I met Haru-- errrr. Cure Gull. But I've never, ever met this Scorn person. She said that too, though," she said with a frown. "I-I've only been doing this for about two weeks now. I never even knew any of this magic was real before that. I wonder if there's another book of cards around here..." She scritched her chin.

"Oh, you do know Yukito-san? Isn't he the absolute best? So kind and sweet and just the best in the whole world!" She kind of sqweed in place, wiggling a bit. Yep. Total crush.

Then the other things he said clicked. "This place is a safe house? For... ummm... girls like us?" She glanced to Kyouko. Was she a magical girl, too? "Wow, there must be even more of us than I--" Then she perked up. "W-wait, it is? Does that mean... does... does Sailor V come here, too? I-I heard she was real but I-I didn't know and I wanted to know if it was possible to meet her I mean I've tried so many of her games a-and I didn't think she was real at all but now that I know she is thanks to Jack-sempai I just absolutely positively want to meet her! If... if she has the time."

If he started to make something, she'd help, of course. Be it peeling potatoes, washing dishes, pretty much anything that needed doing. She was used to doing chores, after all. "It's nice to meet you too, Kyouko-san." Unlike the dwarf, the midget waited until she was given food to eat it. Then again, she was far less dangerous... However, as everyone was super tall, she did the most logical thing. She had to bring out her wand and activate the float card. Sure, it wasn't technically a good use of her power. But it let her reach the counter, sink, and trash can.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 00:45:27 62382
There has, all this while, been another person in the room. He's been completely silent, not drawing attention to himself by so much as lifting a hand; and he's seated on the other couch, not the one Sakura's attention's been on. Even the Look Mamoru gave him at the beginning didn't actually stir him into entering the conversation.

When the group migrates toward the kitchen, though, he unfolds himself from his seat and trails them, coming to a halt where he can lean against a wall outside the kitchen with arms folded. No sense crowding, not when there's a smaller girl in the area not accustomed to the way they move.

Also no sense crowding because he's even taller than Mamoru -- he has a full half-meter on Sakura. It's impossible for him not to loom.

White shirt, blue jeans, mane of absolutely straight bone-white hair. "Sailor V is real," he says. "She's come here once or twice. Not recently, though. She hasn't been in Tokyo as much as we'd have liked the last few months; she's been dealing with problems out of the country."

Probably he should have introduced himself at some point, there. Sometimes his social graces aren't.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 01:05:15 62385
Mamoru isn't quite sure what to do with all the help, so he sticks an apple in Kyouko's mouth and hands one to Sakura. "I'm not sure if you're expecting elegent cuisine or something, I was just going to reheat something someone creative made. It was probably Kazuo," he says, glancing up and over the girls' shoulders for a second. Then they hear why.

"Yeah, well, she came around here a lot more often before she started thinking of me as a liability. She kind of drove me a little nuts back then, and she's a lot better now from what I hear, but I miss her either way," he responds in passing to Kunzite's statement as he opens the fridge and starts digging around in it. He holds a serving-bowl of something colorful up in the air and looks questioningly at the ridiculously tall white-haired boy, but what he says -- turning to look at Sakura again after he gets his answer -- is, "I don't actually know Yukito that well. Besides, I'm taken and definitely not looking. By the way, that's Kazuo. He's the one who caught you when you hit the wall and fell from thirty floors up, then teleported you here."

The bowl gets placed on the counter and the prince turns to fiddle with the oven dials ostentatiously. "But-- anyway, not so much a safe house as enforced neutral ground with hospitality. And, yes, for magical people, girls and boys like us. And like the Sailor Senshi, or the Puella Magi, or Pretty Cures or Device users... or cardcaptors." A beat. He looks up at Sakura. "Huh. While you're up there, can you get the bowls in the top left cabinet next to the fridge? Someone got them for me one of the times I was in the hospital and I keep forgetting to bring them down. If you want to wash them, too, we can use them."
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-04 01:05:23 62386
    Kyouko wasn't really going to be much help anyway- just ask Naru or Mako. Their reaction to Kyouko following them into the kitchen is much the same as Mamoru's. This is probably why she keeps doing it.

    Looking pleased with herself, practically radiating little red sparkles, she clutches the apple and half-skips back to the couch to devour it while the others worry about heating up something more substantial.
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 01:11:09 62387
Sakura Kinomoto shrieked and jumped, banging her head on the upper cupboard. "Oh!" she whined, holding her head. "Owieeeee..." she whined, sniffling a little. And then, there he was. She eeped, bowing politely from her floatinf position. "H-hello. I ummm, I'm Sakura Kinomoto, nice to meet you."

She took the apple and took a big bite. Wow, she could eat fast for such a little thing. Then he asked her to get him something and she quickly scarfed down the apple, pounding her chest a bit. "R-r-right away," she said breathlessly, before grabbing them. She paused. Glanced down at them, then the mess up above. She frowned and... She glanced back. She then pulled out the bubble card as she put the dishes down. "Bubble! Clean these... please?"

Sure enough, they were clean! as was the sink. And other dishes. And the drain. And, well, even the internal pipes were clean now. Bubbles was efficient.

She then hopped down and smiled to him. "T-thank you for saving me. And ummm... I've met some of the pretty cutes! But none of the others. Are there really that many?"
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 01:24:48 62390
"Less your fault than some others', I think," Kazuo says to Mamoru regarding Sailor V. The questioning look receives a nod; the bowl in question will not actually set any ten-year-olds' tongues on fire. Mamoru introducing him prompts him to straighten up and bow to Sakura gravely -- then straighten up again to avoid being sideswiped by Kyouko on her half-skip through. Kyouko's absenting herself leaves space. Kazuo steps into that space, careful not to step on Sakura's toes in the process, and starts taking other things down from the cabinets.

They include cocoa.

"It's a pleasure to meet you under improved circumstances, Kinomoto-san," he says gravely down aside to her. "And thank you for helping. Madison Perry is a dangerous opponent; that we wounded her at all is thanks to your distraction." He pauses, and then adds, "Yes, there really are that many. And more."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 01:44:50 62393
The look Mamoru gives Kyouko as she skips out with her apple is endlessly both amused and affectionate. He smiles a little as he sets the oven preheating. The smile's a little fainter but also more wry when it's turned on Kazuo at the 'less your fault'.

The dishes Sakura's taken down are, actually, amazing. They are so fantastically hipster-ugly that they come around and have a strangely fascinating beauty. The beauty of complete obliviousness as to actual impression made on surroundings. The designer was clearly a visionary genius. That or sad and drunk, it's hard to say.

But they were a gift. And the patterns can be used as makeshift self-hypnosis aids.

It's just, then Sakura's not only using magic, she's suddenly using magic to deep clean the entire kitchen in seconds.

The prince's eyes go comically wide, and he freezes in place, staring. After a second, he tells her in a strangled whisper, "Thank you but don't do that again they'll get IDEAS."
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-04 01:49:00 62394
    Kyouko has resumed her upside-down seat on the couch, and is somehow managing to eat the apple in that position. It takes a true master of culinary consumption to eat upside down.

    "Nice to meet you too, Sakura-san!" She calls back, somewhat belatedly, after swallowing down a bite of apple. She glances up just in time to catch a flash of the magical cleaning through the apeture between the living room and the kitchen.

    "You know, they do got a dishwasher." She says, with an amused snort. "Fancy, I know. I got one to, I call her Momo."

    She sniggers to herself, chomping into the apple again. Considering Mamoru and Kunzite were in a potentially life-threatening situation earlier, she seems to be in a pretty good mood.

    Maybe it's the prospect of someone to stab.
Naru Osaka 2016-12-04 01:49:44 62395
The apartment really is a clearing house for people who come and go, as the fact that someone else is arriving. Not by balcony, but by normal arrival via elevator and front door.

At least it's someone with a key.

Naru pushes open the door, moving into the apartment and shaking the snow off her coat and kicking off her shoes at the door. The fact that half the world seems to be gathered there doesn't seem to surprise her even a little. Not even when one of them is upside down with an apple. "Hey Kyouko, how was work?"
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 01:54:22 62397
Sakura Kinomoto let out an eep, then quickly bowed to mamo. "I-I'm so sorry I-I didn't mean for it to clean that much it was just supposed to do the dishes I-I'm so sorry I didn't mean for that I-I hope it's not a problem I'm sorry I'm still learning my magic a-and I'm so sorry!" ... She was on the counter for this. Because her standing on the counter and bowing apologetically to Mamo was too good a mental image to pass up.

And then she looked over and... "Naru-kun?" she said, sounding shocked. Looking to her, then Mamo and... "Is every girl in Tokyo magical?" she finally asked in a hushed tone. "Was... was I the only one who didn't know?" Wouldn't that just be the way. She then hopped down and held the plates up, now cloeaned, out to him with a big smile. "I-I'm sorry it won't happen again I swear!" she actually seemed as if she really was apologetic for... cleaning their kitchen.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 02:02:20 62399
Kazuo hadn't mentioned anything -- hadn't visibly reacted -- to the initial SUDDEN SPARKLES. Mamoru's reaction, on the other hand, wins a glance with the slightest of raised eyebrows. (At least one person witnessing this would interpret it as amusement. Sakura might expect amusement to come with more of a visible reaction.) It's the stammering from the counter that prompts him to turn his attention to Sakura. "I might suggest," he says, "though I appreciate the result, that it might be considered polite to ask permission before using magic in other people's homes. You don't know what magic might already be there, for example, that might disagree with yours."

He considers Sakura for a grave moment thereafter, keeping a sharp eye out as she hops down. And then, in just the same tone as his suggestion, "How do you like your hot chocolate?" As if that there would be hot chocolate were already a foregone conclusion.

'Is every girl in Tokyo magical?' is left for Mamoru to field. Kazuo calls to the living room instead, "Good evening, Naru. Thank you for putting out that first warning."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 02:09:57 62400
"Don't you also have an actual dishwashing machine, Kyouks?" Mamoru calls out to the other room, almost chidingly. Almost. After all, he knows Momo too.

Either way, he makes a face at Kazuo and adjusts his glasses, and is about to turn to lean on the counter when Sakura fairy-girls to land on it in front of him, practically looking like either she's going to cry or he's an evil authority figure or something, and his eyes are wide again. "It's fine, jeez..." he trails off, taking the dishes.

He's just shaking his head as he takes them over to the table and sets them down. A glance to the counter where he'd left the serving bowl, and it's gone, so he takes it off his mental checklist. "Hi Naru. Can you reassure Sakura-san here that not every girl in Tokyo is magical? And that, in fact, some boys really are, too?"
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-04 02:12:57 62402
    Kyouko brightens as Naru enters the apartment. "Naru-chan!" She hops up, biting the apple core in two as she does, and consuming both pieces on her way over to throw her arms around the new arrival. "Man, I'm glad you're okay! The guys told me what happened.. sorry I wasn't there. I woulda been super upset if you went and got killed right after we made snowmen. Talk about trauma- I woulda never been able to look a snowman in the eye again."

    Mid-hug, she turns her head and sticks her tongue out at Mamoru. "She says the dishwasher is lazy and leaves spots."

    She then departs Naru in order to shrug as she faces the kitchen again. "Not every girl in Tokyo is magical. However, pretty much everybody you meet in this apartment is, boy or girl."
Naru Osaka 2016-12-04 02:19:00 62404
"Like I'm going to up and die after making snowmen, sheesh. If Fiore didn't manage to take me out, I'm hardly about to keel over now." Naru assures Kyouko in that hug with a soft laugh. "Madison wasn't paying me much attention anyhow." She just doesn't /mention/ that someone else rather was.

Naru turns her head towards the kitchen as Kyouko lets her go. "Oh hey there Sakura." Naru lifts a hand towards the younger girl who is in the kitchen and then she smiles. "No. Not quite, although the magicall community tends to be pretty tight. And I didn't know for years, so no.. you weren't the only one who didn't know. Most of our school are not magical, and there's both magical girls and boys. In this apartment, even." She watches the fact that Sakura is on the counter and quirks her head before gesturing to Kazuo. "I only kneel on the counter." She points out with a flicker of a smile.

"Thank you for the additional info, that was the first time I'd met Madison Perry." Naru replies to Kazuo as she comes only to the door of the kitchen to put in her request for a hot beverage of some sort before staying out of the way. "If the kettle's on, I'd like something please."
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 02:22:11 62405
Sakura Kinomoto eeped, shaking her head. "N-no! I didn't mean like that! I-I guess boys can be too! I mean, my cards come from a boy! well, Clow Reed and ummm... sorry..." She lowered her eyes. And Kazuo's words didn't help much, either. "I'm sorry. I just wanted to help. I... I didn't even think to ask... I didn't mean to be so selfish..." she said ever so softly. "Ummmm... with... with five marshmellows and whipped cream? If... if that's okay?" She certainly was a nervous guest. She held her hands clasped in front of her, rocking back and forth like a child who expected to get scolded. But then, she was the only real child here, surrounded by giants and a dwarf.

"Sorry I wasn't any good helping with that... lady. I didn't... I'd never really... I mean, I fougt that grass hopper person but that was almost completely Spark-sempai. And that was... when he hurt Tomoyo-chan. Sorry..." She just kept rocking back and forward, nervously staring at the ground. Idly moving a little towards Naru.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 02:39:00 62406
"You weren't being selfish," Kazuo reassures Sakura. More or less reassures, since his tone and expression don't appreciably change. "You were trying to help; that was very good of you, and we appreciate that. You didn't do anything bad, and nothing bad happened. It's just something very new to you; you're still learning, and I wanted to make sure you could learn from our mistakes on that front, instead of having to make them yourself."

(She can make all new mistakes herself. It's a grand tradition! Also how a terrifying amount of progress occurs, in practice.)

His hand settles on her shoulder for a moment, not actually stilling her rocking or holding her in place. If anything, it anchors him for a moment as he settles down to one knee beside her, evening their height a bit. "You did help with that lady. I've fought her before; I wouldn't have been able to keep her attention alone. And our keeping her attention let other people help the people who were hurt. And that lady's hurt herself, now, and that will mean she will have to choose between not hurting anybody else for a little while, or being less able to hurt people when she tried again. So your trying to help was not just very brave, but also very important. You did very well."

He exhales then, and lets his hand drop, and climbs back to his feet. "Five marshmallows, and I'll see if we have any whipped cream left. Naru? Hot chocolate, or something else?" Apparently Kyouko's and Mamoru's choices are simply assumed.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 02:49:42 62407
"I'm sorry, Sa-chan," says Mamoru contritely once Kunzite's finished telling her she's done well. "I shouldn't tease while you're nervous. Nobody here is mad at you for anything, okay? You're safe here."

Kunzite's doing the stuff that he'd like to be fussing with right now, so the prince is briefly at a loss, and then just gives up and leans against the counter after all, crossing his arms loosely. He looks perfectly at ease, and then his gaze sliiiiides over to Naru. Is she going to tell on him? Is she going to tease him forever? Or will she be gracious and pretend it never happened?
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-04 02:56:18 62408
    "This Madison Perry chick is cruisin' for a bruisin'." Kyouko scowls as she heads over towards the kitchen again, drawn by the lure of almost-ready hot cocoa. "I mean, you can't just go around blowin' stuff up. Without a good reason, I mean." Blowing stuff up is perfectly acceptable if there's a good reason, you see.

    Arriving in the kitchen doorway, she gives a bit of a lopsided grin to Sakura. "Don't worry about it, kid, you did okay from what I heard. Like nii-chan said, you helped out an' nobody died. Sounds like a success to me."

    Spying Mamoru leaning on the counter and looking far too comfortable, she walks over and mock-punches him in the stomach. Just 'cause. More a brush of knuckles than anything, as if to say 'you're open', although why he should be anything but in his own kitchen is only known to Kyou-logic.
Naru Osaka 2016-12-04 02:59:17 62409
"Hot chocolate would be fine. Bare legs, not cold. Snowball down the back of my neck? Brr." Naru gives a little shiver as she agrees to hot chocolate offer from Kazuo.

Naru's smile is gentle for Sakura as the poor girl ends up twisting herself into a pretzel of nervous. "It's alright, c'mon and sit with me on the couch and we'll let the boys cope with the kitchen. You did a lot better against Madison than I could do. I'm pretty much not a combatant at all." She pauses just a moment and then hrms softly. "Green grasshopper dude? Did he toss anyone inot a mirrored coffin? Cause if so, I know exactly who you're talking about. The coffins are very relaxing, all things considered."

Naru glances to Mamoru as his gaze sliiiiides over to her and she flashes him a little smile. If there's teasing, it isn't at the moment, but there's no promises about in private.

As she watches Kyouko mock-punch Mamoru, she takes a step back, out of the kitchen doorway. It just seems prudent.
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 03:01:33 62410
Sakura Kinomoto blinked a few times and stared at Kazuo. His kind words encouraged her and that little look of worry began to fade away. Slowly it was replaced by a little smile. "You... you really... you really think I-I did a good job? I-I helped? Really truly?" Ah, seems the young card captor practically blossomed from kind words. Get it? Because she's sakura?

She went with Naru, smiling to her. She glanced over. "I ummmm... I was... actually... going to talk with you about something. I uhhh... I mean... last time i was over. Your paintings. They felt... I ummm... if you're a magical girl. I mean. They didn't feel quite as... errr... like the clow cards. I mean, I felt something kind of like the cards, but there was also... well... I thought I felt... other magic... there. maybe? Sorry. I'm still not good at detecting magic yet."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 03:04:31 62411
'Really truly' wins a grave nod down to Sakura, before Kazuo relinquishes her to Naru's care. And then calmly, wordlessly, positions himself as a barrier between Hot Spillable Things and Kyouko-and-Mamoru. Because a barrier may be about to be necessary.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 03:21:00 62412
There is an exaggerated wildly out of proportion oof-reaction for the knucklebrush against his gut, and Mamoru claps his hand over his heart and looks at Kyouko in mock offended righteous indignation.

And then he takes his glasses off and calmly folds them on the counter.

Silence reigns as he allows people to clear the path--

--and then he calmly pushes up off the counter, smiling down at his shortest guardian, and the smile gets wider, and wider, and then all of a sudden the prince piledrives Kyouko out the other side of the kitchen clear into another apartment. (Through the doorway, but still.)

For 'enforced neutral ground' that's an awful lot of fighty sounds. Maybe the laughter and hooting through the usual battlecries and roars has something to do with why they're not getting enforced right out the window.
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-04 03:26:32 62413
    Kyouko stands there looking proud of herself, seeming not to notice people slowly getting out of the way.. until Mamoru takes off his glasses and starts to smile at her like that. She eyes him with a suddenly nervous glance, her expression faltering slightly as she glances around for an escape route..

    But too slowly, as she is forced off-screen with an undignified awk, although that's probably only a small portion as undignified as the cavalcade of sounds that follow from the other room.

    At one point, she may appear clutching at the doorframe of the door into the other apartment, stretching an arm out as if for help, only to be comically dragged backwards out of sight again.
Naru Osaka 2016-12-04 03:33:55 62414
"Some of my paintings are magical." Naru confirms for Sakura as she settles on the couch, watching Kyouko and Mamoru tumble past and then it get noisy. Somewhere else. Not far, but not here. Her attention returns to the young cardcaptor. "I imbue them with energy, and then sometimes they become real in various ways." She mmms softly and then laughs. "I can't detect, I'm not much use in a fight. I truly am mostly decorative, you really don't have to worry too hard about yourself in a fight, you did well."

Naru glances to her phone as it bings and then reaches for it. "I'll be right back."
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 03:36:32 62415
Sakura Kinomoto nods, watching the girl go. She then glanced back, sitting on the edge of the couch. Slowly she got up and walked back towards the kitchen. She cringed as Kyouko reached out for help, but alas. None was coming.

Then she lifted a hand to her mouth and giggled softly, closing her eyes as she laughed before turning to look to Kazuo. "Is it always so lively here? I... I like it. It's nice. It... feels like a safe place.' She lifted a hand to her abdomen. She felt it. This... warm... gentle feeling. So soft and nice...
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 03:42:56 62416
The fight is over, it seems, as quickly as it starts. Mamoru walks back into the kitchen, disheveled but the picture of dignity. His hair's standing every which way, his shirt has a tear in it, and there is a lone band-aid on his cheek despite the obvious lack of any visible injury whatsoever. He calmly goes back and puts his glasses back on, a smile tugging insistently at one corner of his mouth, and then he starts setting the kitchen table. "Is the cocoa ready yet?" he asks, glancing sidelong over his shoulder.
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-04 03:45:39 62417
    Kyouko re-enters the room a moment later, without a scratch on her, humming to herself as she re-arranges her hair (from chaotically mussed to artfully mussed, it's a very delicate balance). She is also smiling, because good-natured violence is how she expresses love.

    She overhears the last of Sakura's comment, and laughingly answers, "It better be safe, or else we're all out of a job." She makes a generally inclusive gesture. "Frankly, it's an old joke but, any troublemaker would have to be suicidal to try and attack this place."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 03:46:17 62418
These things, like everything else, Kazuo takes more or less in stride - though he does pause to study the fight, leaning back against the refrigerator for a moment. (It, too, is Western-style, taller and more imposing than usual for a Japanese apartment. One might wonder how many people they're feeding.) There is something faintly proprietary in his regard of whatever's happening there, out of sight from the living room.

And when the appeal for help appears for a moment, he says, "No, Kyouko, I'm not coming in there just to give you a fair fight." His mouth shifts at last, acquiring just a hint of a wicked curve. "If Mamoru wants to spend that much of his time studying, he needs to live with the consequences."

Then it's time to pour hot chocolate, just in time to hand off a mug to Naru on her way through, to offer two more to the combatants on their reappearance, and to fetch Sakura another tray with hers -- whipped cream and precisely five marshmallows, along with a bowl of whatever it was that Mamoru pulled out of the fridge; there are noodles and rice involved, yes, but also macaroni and lentils, tomatoes and crisp-fried onions (those had to have been added in the kitchen, not lurking in the fridge) and spices calibrated at a level that will not wreak vengeance on ten-year-old tongues. "Not always this lively," he answers Sakura. "Sometimes people are at school. It's usually quieter then." ... 'usually.'
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 03:56:03 62420
Sakura Kinomoto nodded, taking her cocoa and blowing on it. She then smiled up at him. "Thank you very much, Kazuo-san," she said with a nod before taking it. She then watched him begin to make food, cocking her head to the side. "are you sure it's okay? I mean, I-I don't wanna eat all your food. I-I can help cook, if you like. I-I'm pretty good at it, now! Daddy helps me all the time and I average a B plus now!" she sounded oh so proud of her decent grades as she started to rock back and forth again, a big grin on ehr face. They were all so friendly and lively. She liked this place.

"Can... can I come back? After I leave? i... I think I like it here. It feels so... special. Like a big..." She hummed. "A... a just really nice place."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 04:10:48 62421
"Living room?" asks Mamoru with a half-grin. He glances around, squinting one eye, hands already wrapped around the cocoa Kazuo'd plied with him even as the question about it was falling out of his mouth. He buries his face in it for a second and comes up with a whip-cream moustache, looking phenomenally pleased with himself. And then he goes to put it down on the table next to one of the plates, and busily fills his own plate dammit. "Or," he says, pausing to lick the cream off his upper lip, "a kitchen. A big kitchen. The kind of kitchen in family movies and books about holidays and going home for them. That's what I wanted. So I'm glad about that. Of course you can come back -- just, it's a good idea to make sure someone knows where you are, because you're ten, no offense, and this is a place where five high school or college age guys live. You are safe, but that's not necessarily something everyone might understand. You said something about a Tomoya? Just tell her whenever you come over, and give her the landline number here."

He reaches over and messes Kyouko's hair up all over again. "Especially now that the Contractors reinforced the hell out of it. Like, try and punch the wall with a super punchy air armor fist lightning attack and you'll get bruised knuckles."
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-04 04:18:20 62422
    Kyouko claims her mug as well, and then scowls at Mamoru as he messes up her hair again, huffing good-naturedly and carrying her mug across the room from him. "Five miscreant high school or college age guys, no less." She sniffs, as if she's somehow the picture of innocence.

    She drains her mug in quick order, then sighs, padding over to place it in the sink. "I should get back downstairs though." She dutifully makes a round of the room, hugs for Kazuo, hugs for Mamoru, a wink and a pat on the head for Sakura.

    "Catch you guys later." And then she's out the balcony, snow or no, and heading downstairs via gravity express.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 04:23:41 62423
"Will you at least deign to warn Mifune that ten-year-old girls might be calling," Kazuo asks Mamoru with the same gravity with which he approaches everything else, "or are you abandoning that task to me?" Dire gaze is applied, then promptly interrupted by Kyouko's sudden arrival in his vicinity. The hug occurs! It's one-armed on his part, a practiced-to-the-point-of-casual routine of making certain Kyouko always has an immediate exit. Always.

(It's also, to Sakura's eyes, probably still somewhat awkward-looking. Kazuo is not all that good at these things.)

Kyouko's style of exit does not make him blink, either. "Also," he says, "we usually cook for twelve. The odds of our running out of food are not high." He considers Sakura for a moment. "If you'd like to use our kitchen to practice, though, that's all right. Just talk to us beforehand, so we can make sure to have the ingredients on hand for you, and make sure no-one else is using it. There's one girl we particularly want to make sure always has the highest priority, and never has to clear anyone else out of the way. Mamoru's addicted to her cookies, you see, so we want to make sure she comes back."
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 04:25:49 62424
Sakura Kinomoto nodded, smiling. She sat at the table, crossed her legs. Really, with the giant people she probably barely filled the chair at all. "Itadakimasu!" she said politely before nomming away. She at least tried to eat slowly. Sure, she failed as she had a VERY healthy appetite. Like a five year old usagi(FIVE, not ten. she wasn't THAT big an eater.)

And then Kyouko jumped out. She shrieked and raced after her, wand already out and float card in hand. "KYOUKO-SAN!" Then... oh. Right. "Magical... girls... right. Eh... heh heh... oh." Yeah, she was NOT going to get used to that. Her heart was still hammering.

"Huh? Cookies?" That got her attention. "Ohhh, like those ones I had earlier? A-and I-I could bring snacks, too! Daddy makes the best desserts in the whole wide world," she said happily, with a big grin. "Though Tomoyo-chan does too. I ummm... I-I wouldn't do that. I mean, if you already have people who cook, I-I don't want to get in their way. I can... find another way to help out. Okay?"
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 04:43:31 62425
"Seeya later, malcontent," Mamoru calls cheerfully after Kyouko. And then looks mildly dismayed-- "No, she's all right! She's-- yeah... sorry."

He eyes Kunzite sidelong, fork now halfway to his mouth. "Jeez. I'll tell him. I mean I tell him all the time anyway. God knows there are five year olds calling too."

Fork gets shoved in mouth, and Mamoru sinks blissfully into his chair and just eats for a little while, as Kazuo explains kitchen matters to Sakura.

Except then she's getting all fussed again, and he finds himself wondering what she's forgetting aside from over a year of magic. And wondering if it's bad. And, honestly, wondering why bad things happen to kids. He makes himself keep eating, and it's only after he's forced his heart back down where it goes and detached his appetite from his emotions that he pauses to say gently, "You don't have to impress us, Sa-chan. You're welcome here even if you just sit on the couch and count dust motes dancing in the sunbeams. You're allowed to be a guest. If you really feel you have to, though, just bide a while and see if there's anything no one's doing, repeatedly, then ask someone if you can be the one to do it."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 04:46:16 62426
"Ideally someone who actually lives here," Kazuo adds, on the subject of 'just ask someone.' "Ideally not anyone named Momo."
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 04:49:11 62427
Sakura Kinomoto nodded, chewing on the food for a little bit. She eyed the table for a bit before... "Mamoru-san, do ummmm... who's scorn?" she asked softly. "You mentioned her before and shhe... she mentioned her too. And she seemed really upset that I didn't know her."

She pulledo ut a card and glanced at it. "Was there a cardcaptor before me? Kero-chan said there wasn't. That I woke him up but... he didn't seem to know there were other magic users, either. So... maybe there are other cards, too?"

There was a long pause, then... "Is there someone... better... at this.... than me?"
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 05:09:14 62430
Mamoru glances over at Kazuo's inscrutable face, looks like he agrees for a second, then rolls his eyes. "Five people live here. Kazuo, Izumi, Saburo, myself, and N-- ...Mifune." The last is clearly a case of Mamoru making himself say something he doesn't want to, and then he lets go of his fork and lets it land in his food with a satisfying plop that's still nowhere near as good as a mic drop. Which is good because the mic drop is supposed to happen after he says what he's about to say. So he picks the fork up again and glares with ominous eyebrows at Kazuo.

"That's not just not his name, it's a ridiculous name. I'm going to start calling him Phoenix until he uses his other real name," he says grimly, then drops his fork again.


"Anyway, you'll probably hear their real names first, which is Kunzite, Zoisite, Jadeite, and Nephrite. Kyouko is Apatite, but she's always known her civilian name. Also, if you hear anyone talking about Endy, or Endymion, that's me." Sakura's lucky she probably doesn't know from Greek mythology, or she'd eye this guy named Endymion dating Sailor Moon and think he was having her on.

Then he picks up his cocoa and sips it, adjusting his glasses. "First, you're the only cardcaptor I've ever heard of. You mentioned someone named Clow Reed earlier in conjunction with what you do. That's literally the extent of my knowledge. I had heard you get called a cardcaptor last year, in the fights you don't remember any more than the girl you helped save from an apocalyptically bad bargain."

The prince puts his cocoa down and leans his elbows on the table, sitting forward a little, hands clasped loosely under his face. "Second, I promise you, you were doing this last year. The Scorn situation was last summer, all summer. Haruna was more or less trapped into a bad deal and had an evil spirit whispering instructions over her shoulder, holding her sister's life hostage to get her to cooperate. You were one of the people who worked so hard to get through to her, to get her free. Incidentally, her sister was also saved. Now Scorn is Cure Gull."

"Third, if you woke Kero up, then the only thing he'd know about would be your specific situation. Your magic. Your task. He'd have had no reason to know about other magic users..."

Mamoru pauses.

"...except that he was also at the final fight with Scorn. There had to be a dozen or more magical girls and boys there, helping. I mentioned before that I heard your name from him at that fight. So if you can't remember, and he can't remember..."

His eyes close, and he looks tired all of a sudden.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 05:54:10 62440
Kazuo listens to Sakura's words noncommittally, as ever -- listens to Mamoru's efforts to use Nephrite's other name with an expression that is not only unchanging but suspiciously unchanging. He manages not to crack a smile under the glare. His eyes do twitch about the 'Phoenix' threat. Just a little. But he does. not. smile.

This is important.

The edges of something else fade when Mamoru goes serious. He listens, wordless, right up until Mamoru trails off and his eyes close. Then he shifts in, in Mamoru's wake.

"If you can't remember," he says, "and he can't remember, but both Mamoru and Cure Gull remember ... then it sounds very likely that you were doing this last year, and something went wrong; something caused your power to lapse, and you and this Kero to forget. So it sounds as if it's very important for you to be careful. It might only have been an accident. But it's also possible that something doesn't want you to know who you are, and what you can do. So please. Take care of yourself. Find people you can talk with, people who can stay in touch with you, or help you. In case something ever tries to make you forget again."
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 05:57:45 62441
Sakura Kinomoto blinked and stared at him, her eyes going wide. Her hands slowly moved up to her chest, as if she could protect herself from those words. She didn't believe him. She COULDN'T believe him. What he said just... wasn't possible. There was no way. "Y-you're... wrong," she said softly.

"I-I don't know how, but there's no way I've been doing this for a year. I'd know! My friends would know! The people in my class, the... the people I know. Daddy, Yukito-san, big brother..." She shook her head.

"I-I'm sorry it's just... it had to be a mistake. I can't have just... if I knew magical... if I knew about any of this, there is no way I could just forget. Just... let it go."

She lowered her eyes and then... "Is... it... possible it was all a dream? I... I mean I... sometimes have them and... and I feel like... I... I've met people in them I... hadn't... before. And sometimes when I meet the other girls it's... it's a little... familiar. And the cards. Some of them, when I hold them for the first time it's... it's like I've done it before and... and... and it..." She squeezed her knees.

"If all that happened. If all of this... if everyone I knew who... who met so much to me... if I forgot them all... what... what else... what happened? Why did I forget? what else did I forget?" She'd probably have been crying by now. Or panicking. But... this place did feel good. Really good. Safe. Warm. Secure. "I keep getting... thoughts. Like I'm going the wrong way when I go to school. Like I'm seeing people who... who are older than me, but I remember them being class mates or... or..."

"Are... are you absolutely... positively sure it was me? That... that I was the one you saw back... back then? That I helped with... scorn?" And then Kazuo made it worse. Okay, not she was shaking and... looked like she might cry.

"You... you think someone... someone erased me? Removed me... removed all of who I... who I was and... and they..." She tried to hold the tears back, though they lingered on the edge of her eyes. "And they... they could do it again? Then... then what's even... even the point?" She tried to hold them back the tears. She was succeeding, for now.
Zoisite 2016-12-04 06:08:32 62444
There's someone in the room who hadn't been there-- appearing in a corner out of Sakura's line of sight, frowning slightly. He strides over to Mamoru, offering a hand out. He can't talk right now, but... using his phone as an intermediary here seems wrong somehow.

Sakura's concern about losing memories strikes an uncomfortable chord in Zoisite- after all, for the longest time, hadn't the Shitennou forgotten their true purpose?

If you make those connections with people, there will BE a point. I forgot something nearly as important, for longer, but my connection to Mamoru fixed a lot of what went wrong because of that. There's an undercurrent there, if Mamoru takes his hand-- he wants to say more, and there's the frustration of being unable to speak. Mamoru and the others who were there when you were doing stuff the first time remember, after all. Other people can help you figure out why you forgot, and maybe even make it stop. There might be an undercurrent of 'with fire, if need be. Or even if there are many options and fire is just as good as any.'

He might have a slight problem with magic making memories go poof. Just a little.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 06:33:44 62449
"I'm sorry," is the first thing Mamoru says, and he takes his glasses off and folds them on the table, then knuckles at his eyes as Zoisite ghosts up to them, appearing almost literally from the woodwork. "I'm sorry. This is hitting pretty close to home. It was wrong of me to be so blunt."

He stretches his feet out under the table and slouches-- and then Zoisite's reaching for his hand. It's not talking, but it's better than a notepad or a phone screen. You could say that this method is a happy medium, but there's nothing about Mamoru that's happy right now. He feels what Zoi is going for before any of the words even drop into his head, and gets a funny look on his face.

He looks up at Zoisite, squinting. "Awkward. Here. I'll let you actually just talk through me. I've said enough anyway."

What it looks like from the outside is the blue-eyed prince's face going pleasantly blank, like the kind of expression you give a bank teller who says it'll be sorted out immediately we apologize for the inconvenienve, and then he says, with Zoisite's intonation and cadences and accent and inflection, "If you make those connections with people, there will BE a point. I forgot something nearly as important, for longer, but my connection to Mamoru fixed a lot of what went wrong because of that. Mamoru and the others who were there when you were doing stuff the first time remember, after all. Other people can help you figure out why you forgot, and maybe even make it stop."

There's even that undercurrent of 'kill it with fire' in the tone, there. And Mamoru's expression actually matching Zoisite's isn't creepy or anything.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 19:22:04 62460
"Mamoru knew your name earlier, before you woke up," Kazuo says quietly to Sakura. "You hadn't told it to him tonight. He knew the word 'cardcaptor,' and you seem to know it; I've been active in these things for several years, by now, and I've never run across that name or anything that would seem to fit it. So your Kero may be right; you may be the only one. Who else, then, would have given him that word?"

He glances to Zoisite, then, and turns without taking a step -- reaches a hand across to offer it to Sakura. "No-one removed all of who you were," he says quietly. "Maybe some memory. As Zoisite says --" as Mamoru says for Zoisite, and that, too, Kunzite seems overtly to be taking in stride, only a flicker of a glance hinting at the possibility he might be unnerved under the mask of calm -- "you're not the only one in the room that's been done to. Me, too, for a while. But we kept the important parts, at heart. So did you. So whatever was done -- the important parts won't last. You are still yourself. The connections you had, you'll make again, as you're doing now. This is something that you can fight back against, that you are fighting back against. Your friends can help. And will. As for the point --"

He angles his head just slightly, regarding her with those steady gray eyes, not looking aside to the others at all now. Shakes his head, a ruffle of that long bone-white hair. Almost smiles. "You are the point, Sakura."
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 19:27:19 62461
Sakura Kinomoto shuddered, putting a hand to her chest. "But... but if someone can... how could I possibly forget all this? Everyone? What kind of... that's... that's just so.... cruel," she whispered softly.

"And if they can do it again... and again... then how... how can I be the point? What if... what if it does keep happening? What if I make so many friends and catch all the cards and... and I stop the destruction and I just... and then it happens again? Everyone but me remembers me and I'm just... not... me anymore? What if more things come up? What if... what if I forget daddy? Or big brother? Or... or what if... what if I forgot mom?" she asked that last one so softly, a few tears in her eyes. Then... "And... And you and Gull-chan remember me. But how many people forgot me? How many people did i forget? what if... what if... what if people... died for me?" that last part really seemed to scare her. "W-what if there are people who... who ONLY I can remember? and... and now I don't b-but I said I would and I... and I..." Oh dear, now she was crying. Tears started to go down her cheeks, though she tried to keep them down.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 19:45:49 62466
Here is when Mamoru gently lets go of Zoisite's hand and draws his feet back up under him, and he firmly pushes Zoi down to sit in his seat (with an even firmer look), then steps around the table to wrap his arms around the little girl and place one big hand over hers. A glance at Kunzite -- kleenex? -- and his attention's then solidly on Sakura.

All of his attention.

That's no small thing: it's immense, it's ancient, it's a mountain that's glanced down and noticed; it's the continuity of ages, the history of humanity and of this planet, the heartbeat of electricity through the wires in cities, the bloodflow of water through pipes and tunnels and underground rivers and lava through fissures beneath the ocean; it's everything that Sakura is a part of just by living here, being from here, and it's grounding. It's home. It's the light on in the window of the house in the hollow in a snowstorm, it's the unlocked door, it's the beacon lighting the way through the rocks to a safe harbor. It's grassy meadows in the sunshine and quiet glades in a primeval forest.

And it's understanding.

"I promise, even if everything is taken from your memory, you'll still be you. The love you have, and the love others have for you, isn't so easily erased. Love is strong, even across vast distances, even across time and different realities. The connections you make with people can never be truly taken away, and you'll always find your way back -- or they'll find you. I promise."

There's truth in that warm touch, the truth of experience, the no-longer-bitter knowledge of things that have taken place and been recovered from. "And if you keep fighting, then you'll always be able to remember what's important-- and that's what living is. Fighting to save what's important. Isn't it? And your soul isn't your memories, but it is your magic-- so if something or someone took your memories thinking they'd defeat you that way, they're in for an unpleasant surprise."
Zoisite 2016-12-04 19:55:21 62469
There's a brief flash of protest in Zoisite's expression, but he sits down as his prince bids, folding one arm across his chest and resting his chin on the heel of his free hand. There's a soft huff of air from the shorter Shitennou's nose for a moment, before he nods in agreement to everything Mamoru is saying.

He stands up, elbowing the prince gently and putting his hand over Mamoru's. And unpleasant from more than one direction. There's a flash of something nearly-sinister, something that was once dark and malicious turned toward the light, but not much nicer for the transition.

Zoisite is one of the good guys now. That does not make him above using some of his former tactics, within reason, and there's enough of a raw wound for Zoisite to react badly to the mere concept of robbing a child of their memories. Especially one as young and guileless as Sakura is.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 20:04:38 62473
Kleenex. All it takes is the glance, and Kazuo rises and moves -- the box of tissues that he fetches is slid in on Sakura's other side, convenient to the lttle girl's free hand. That done, he fades quietly back, stepping back away from what Mamoru is doing, into the particular quality of silence that he used for a little when Sakura first came in. Not actually making an immediate escape. But fading for a moment into the background.
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 20:08:21 62475
Sakura Kinomoto sobbed into Mamo's chest, clutching him and just, well... she was a little girl. A little girl who now knew she'd lost so much time of her life. She clutched at him in that way only a child could, as if she was afraid if she let go she'd fall to her death. It wasn't a loud cry, though. This wasn't asking for attention. This was because she needed to cry. Because she was scared and worried and panicked and she didn't know what was happening or why it was happening.

Then, finally, she pulled back and looked up. "I-I'm... I'm so sorry I just... I-I got your shirt all wet and I..." And her eyes were all puffy and she looked like she might start crying again for messing up his shirt. She then blinked a little bit and glanced to Zoi. She looked confused, then looked to mamo and... "He ummm... he's... supposed to be here... right?" she asked, finally pointing to the boy. She shook her head. "S-sorry. Probably... probably my imagination." Well... that was weird.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 20:16:53 62478
Mamoru pulls out some of the kleenex with a grateful look at Kunzite, putting them in Sakura's hand, and doesn't notice about his shirt being wet until Sakura says something about it-- and the corner of his mouth starts twitching up, and it only stills when Sakura asks about Zoisite in light of the undertones of his resolve. "He's Italian," he explains, "it's fine. And look, we'll help you, okay? Hang in there, Sa-chan. Maybe Kuro knows something he doesn't know he knows, something that might be helpful in tracking this down."

He pulls her cocoa closer, and puts it in front of even her bowl of food. "Also, chocolate almost always helps."
Zoisite 2016-12-04 20:23:58 62481
There's a brief flash of confusion from Zoisite at that. He wasn't even sure of his heritage, and here's Mamoru being sure he's Italian. It sounds right, but it doesn't stop the feeling, similar to what he'd feel if he suddenly took to the idea of eating lemons whole. Mamoru doesn't need the look to tell that he's caused Zoisite considerable consternation with that casual statement, but Zoisite's certainly giving him one.

Instead of taking out his confusion and mild disress on Mamoru, he taps Sakura on the shoulder, gestures for her to wait one moment, and walks out. He walks out, going to grab an odd assortment of things. It takes slightly longer than he would normally take to grab a washcloth, bowl of cold water, and some cookies, but it's likely that only Mamoru and Kunzite can pick up on that.

Zoisite dunks the washcloth and offers it to Sakura after wringing it out slightly. The cold would help repair any swelling around her eyes from crying, and cookies?

Well, who doesn't want sweets when their entire view of their world and personal history has been upset?
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 20:29:35 62484
'Normally' Kunzite would have gone to provide chocolate. Maybe a refill. Maybe more cookies. Maybe the actual pure stuff in bar form, or possibly in appropriately and pleasantly molded shapes.

Zoisite just went thataway.

Kazuo stays instead, hanging back silently, just monitoring. Avoiding getting in the other two's ways. Marking things for later, and -- quiet.
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 20:31:39 62486
Sakura Kinomoto nodded, sniffling a bit. "S-sorry. I thought I just... I thought I sensed card magic on him. But... but I guess that'd be silly if you know him. I-I'm still kind of new at... at sensing the cards and stuff. Sorry." She did sit down, gently sipping her cocoa.

"I'm... I'm sorry I'm not any good at this. I... I know magic girls are s-supposed to be brave and strong like... Like gull-sempai and... and flora-sempai but... but then I almost drown or I fall from the sky a-and I'm so scared I'm going to die and... and now... I-I mean, what if I did? What if something really, really bad DID happen to me? What if I died?"

And then she dropped the cocoa and she almost jumped up. "W-what if one of my friends died? What if I did this? What if Tomoyo-chan died? W-what if I got her killed? K-kero said that my powers would be, w-what if I-- what if I ruined everything?" And oh wow now she may have hit her maximum panic. "S-she almost got... she got trapped in that mirror thing, i-if I hadn't, if I hadn't let her come, b-but she said she'd come even if I said no b-but what if..." And then blinked and sat down, lightly tapping her cheeks and shaking her head. "N-no. No. No. I-I'm sure that's... that's not what happened." Okay, she was panicked, but she was burying it down and trying to supress it. Maybe not the best idea, but she needed to be calm and then eeped as she saw the cocoa spilling over the table. "I-I'm sorry, I-I'll clean it up, ummm, ummm, d-do you have any napkins?"
Zoisite 2016-12-04 20:37:35 62488
Zoisite deals with the panic in a decidedly rude manner. This was part of why he'd brought the bowl of water, really. There was a good way to deal with panic, and that was by using the dive reflex against the brain (or, he supposed, for the parts of the brain that weren't dedicated to panic and freaking out). Ideally, this would have involved submerging Sakura, but the simple expedient of throwing cold water in her face would also work as a distraction, if nothing else.

It's clear without Zoisite saying anything that a great deal of what she's frazzling herself over is incredibly silly. Kunzite can handle the spilled cocoa- he seems to be sidelining himself anyway.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 21:01:15 62496
"..." says Mamoru, who is most emphatically in the splash zone.

He looks up at Zoisite, holding a wad of wet kleenex in one hand, and silently flings it at the short(er) bright-haired teenager. It will splat. Oh, will it ever splat.

"I've died before," he says cheerfully. "So has Zoisite. Kunzite's died three times. My girlfriend's died twice. I wouldn't worry too hard about that, it's a little pointless." He gets to his feet and starts wringing out his shirt, then gives up on it and henshins in a crackle of self-activating charcoal and a swirl of earth-toned and golden sparkles and immediately takes off his mask. He's still in a cape and formalwear, and after the mask's vanished somewhere, he goes about quite deliberately taking off his white gloves.

"The proper thing to do with what-ifs is list them down, cross off the ones you can't do anything about, and then make plans for the ones that you can, and look up ways to prevent them. The important thing to do during all that, and always, is to keep communication lines open. Talk to your friends. Talk to them a lot. Tell them what you're afraid of and what you're doing and planning. Don't let people tell you 'no' unless they can come up with a workable alternative." Then he pauses, and backs up, and squints at Sakura no matter what her reaction to being sopping wet and cold is. "Wait, no. Something magic took Zoi's voice away and we don't know what. What did you mean, card magic?"
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 21:14:15 62498
Zoisite moves for the water. Kazuo was already moving for the kitchen. He returns with dishtowels and resignation in time to hear Mamoru's cheerful voice. The cocoa has the priority, but once there are rapidly-darkening towels soaking that up, the remaining one is handed to Sakura as a temporary measure on his way to fetch more. 'More' means real towels, bath-sized, for little girl and for splatted Zoi and left beside Tuxedo presently-non-Kamen in case he decides he's no longer in the mood for the tuxedo part anyhow.

Apparently some are stored suspiciously close to the living room, for some reason that surely could not possibly be 'the people who live here.'

Mamoru's last question, though, still holds; Kazuo makes neither move nor sound to interrupt the two of them.
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 21:17:47 62499
Sakura Kinomoto blinked, staring at the water. She uhhh... well... probably needed that. "A... a list? That soundsl ike homework..." ... And that was truly the scariest thing she'd heard all day. She then looked to zoi.

"I... I don't know? I just... when he came near... I thought... I ummm... I thought I felt card magic on him. I-I'm not good at it yet, I'm sorry. It's probably my imagination but... ummmm..." She pulls out her cards and shows them. "These. They were made by a great wizard and... and they all have spirits in them who... keep trying to cause trouble. I don't know if there's one that can steal voices. But... I ummmm... I can... try and see if... I'm right?"

It wouldn't take her long as she moved closer to Zoi. Yay, distractions! Magical distractions! Then she'd nod. "There's... some kind of card magic about him. I could call Kero-chan, ask what he thinks? If there is a card that can steal voices?" She'd also probably like being wrapped up in a towel. If that's okay. Cause, ummm, still a bit nervous and scared. But the magic stuff was moving to help her calm down at least.
Zoisite 2016-12-04 21:20:40 62501
Zoisite pulls the gross, sodden wad of tissue off his face with a look that says Mamoru wil be getting his comeuppance for that sooner or later. Sakura's statements, however, get his full and immediate attention, cat-green eyes widening.

This could be the work of one of those cards? He puts a hand to his throat, almost self-conscious. Still, Sakura's assurance that it's probably a card gets him breathing a sigh of relief- at least with identifying the source, they can work toward a conclusion.

Sakura gets an encouraging smile and a hair ruffle from Zoisite for that, gratitude in his eyes. Not that she can probably see that or care about it while he's ruffling her hair, but still.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 21:45:36 62508
Tuxedo not-currently-Kamen glances sidelong at Zoisite, his focus sharpening with something when the other boy's hand lifts to his own throat, and then returns his attention to Sakura-- except for a glance to read Kazuo's face as the tallest of them all comes back with towels, one decidedly for the little girl. It's a brief glance, and then he crouches down in front of her and a little to one side, so he's not blocking Zoi's view of her, one knee to the floor. "Listen, Sa-chan. You are way better at card magic than all three of us put together. You're the expert. If you need Kero, that's fine, call him here. Do you need the card to fix Z-chan's voice? If you don't have it already, can we help you find it?"
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 21:53:26 62510
"Do you need anything to call this Kero, or to let him in?" Kazuo asks, proving that he himself has not actually joined Zoisite in the voice-missing corner. Once the distribution of Helpful Cloth is done, he takes up a place nearer Zoisite than the other two -- not in contact, not even too close. Only as if covering someone's back were the most natural thing for him, and right now that someone happens to be the prettiest in the room.
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 21:57:04 62512
Sakura Kinomoto gulped and then shook her head. "Ummm, no, I just need my phone. I uhh... hold on a second." She patted herself down and soon she was on the phone. "Hey, Tomoyo-chan? Is Kero-chan with you? I need to talk with him. Hey, KEro-chan? IS there a card that can steal voices? There is? Really? Why?" She was still for a long, long time. "Clow Reed made a card specifically for marco polo? That doesn't... h-how do I bring it out? Uh huh? Uh huh? Oh, I just need to sing?" And then her cheeks turned red. "WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!" she snapped, then turned off her phone in a huff.

"So, ummm... there is a card that does it! Good news! The voice card. IT steals pretty voices. And all we need to do to lure it out is... well... get a pretty voice to sing. But... well... apparently mine isn't pretty enough..." she sulked. Just a little bit.
Zoisite 2016-12-04 22:01:08 62513
Zoisite listens to the one side of the conversation he can hear and his face darkens a little. He can't talk because someone a short forever ago wanted an unfair advantage playing Marco Polo?

He briefly wishes for a time machine, and even the implication that his voice is a pretty one doesn't change the fact that he wants to go back in time to slug this Clow Reed jerk in the face. And then possibly set his hair on fire for good measure.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 22:20:13 62517
"Um..." says the tuxedo-clad prince, glancing dubiously back at Kunzite and Zoisite. Then he gives Sakura a look that's a weird cross between fierce and pleading. "Don't tell."

Abruptly his face goes red, and he turns around, facing away from all of them. "And please try and prevent it from taking my voice too. I mean if my voice is... mellifluous... enough. To lure it out." He shifts his weight. His ears are red. "Unless Kunzite wants to sing." No: no. Like he told Nephrite-- and these two-- and Kyouko and Jadeite-- he won't ever ask any of them to do anything he's not willing to do. He bows his head for a second.

Then he turns around, face bright and back straight, expression comprised entirely of grim determination. And he still won't make eye contact with anyone. But this kid doesn't do things by halves; it's not a quiet and uncertain voice that sings, it's a clear tenor with good projection and perfect enunciation.

    "Hoshi no shimei wo seou otome no
    "Kiyoki yume ni sasagu makka na bara
    "Kata ni hirugaesu wa Misty Night..."

And he clears his throat then mumbles the last three words, jerking his head to face to one side, eyes closed, frowning deeply. He crosses his arms. He has not stopped blushing angrily.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 22:29:45 62518
Zoisite is not the only one who wishes firmly that this problem could be solved by hitting something. Granted, Kazuo would probably prefer to hold Clow Reed in place for the hair-setting-on-fire part ,but that's a minor issue --

And then there's Mamoru. Kazuo doesn't have time to say anything. But he knows that dubious glance, and the turning around and the back straight. He doesn't try talking. What he does is change again, the bright flare that crosses his body half akin to Mamoru's and half akin to something almost like lightning and glinting off something that might be a gem at his forehead but that is actually there neither before or after. There's the figure that Sakura got a glimpse at earlier in the evening, white cape and all.

The room dims only an almost-imperceptible fraction. Just enough for Kunzite to track energy signatures within it. He lifts his hands quietly, but summons up no more of his power than that.

After all, Sakura's the one who knows how to deal with these things. He'll try to trap it only if she doesn't, or can't.
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 22:34:12 62520
Sakura Kinomoto can't HELP BUT NOTICE no one even TRIES to say 'oh no, your voice is pretty'. Like, she didn't even hear Tomoyo say it! TOMOYO! How cold was that?!

And then, wait, he was singing! No warning, none at all! "Wow... your voice is so pretty," she whispered. Wow, Sakura. And then, after a moment, there was al ight and the voice just... stopped. It appeared only for a second. The little pink card. Its magic was different, strange. And--

"Windy, form chains to bind voice!"

What?! It had only been a second before the card had begun to fade, but Sakura had reacted instantly. Far faster than normal. Not like she was a lil desperate to prove herself. The winds lanced out, scattering things in the room, before binding around the creature. It struggled, but sakura smiled. She lifted her wand. "Return to your true form! Clow card!" And then... a moment later... there was a card. The entire thing took only a few seconds. But... the two voices were still missing.

However, from the card, two little lgihts flickered out and slowly traveled through to the air. To Mamo and Zoi's throats, returning... A voice to them. But not necessarily their own.

Sakura, however, picked up the card and then grinned. "I-I did it! Look! I-I managed to sense it a-and capture it! I-I didn't have to be saved or anything this time! I-I managed to do it!"
Zoisite 2016-12-04 22:35:10 62521
Zoisite also turns red-- he's touched that Mamoru would start singing, cheeks coloring with it. Not to mention the fact that he's rather fond of Mamoru's singing voice. Zoisite smiles faintly at his prince, but then rallies back to what he should be doing. After all, even if he can't talk, he can fight--

--though Sakura's made that pretty redundant by capturing the card. "I'm gl--" Zoisite starts, freezing mid-sentence.

That's not his voice!
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 22:41:40 62522
It's legit Mamoru having a tsundere moment. Who knew.

But his shoulders relax a little at Kunzite's transformation, and further at the dimming of the room, and he glances sidelong at Zoisite without moving his head because he thinks Zoisite isn't looking, and then he freezes for a second too, then slowly turns to stare at Zoisite.

And then. Then. There is a wicked glint in ocean-blue eyes, and he sighs out a singsong "Ara~!"
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-04 22:47:05 62526
-- there are other things that this uniform will allow Kunzite to do, and for a split second he actually considers the teleportation option. It is remarkably tempting, just now.

Not quite tempting enough, though. He turns to Sakura instead and bows to her with that particular solemnity. Because if he breaks it, they're both going to kill him. "Thank you," Kunzite says to Sakura. "The important part is done." A brief moment's pause. "If you have any way of cleaning up the last of the detail work before injuries are actually inflicted, though, I'd appreciate that. We have to live with both of them."
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 22:49:53 62527
Sakura Kinomoto eeped and nodded, holding up the card. 'R-right! I uhhh. I need a pen." Once she had it, she marked the card and then... "Voice! Swap their voices back!" It took only a moment, and they'd be back. She then gulped. "T-try now? I ummm... did... I do good?" And now they would know the most dangerous threat wasn't the holder of the cookies. It was a little pink 10 year old girl with pretty cards and a pink wand. Alas.

"S-sorry... I hope it hasn't been too much trouble..." She held the card. "I... I think she... was just lonely," she whispered. "And... and your voice... she liked it. It made her feel... safe..."
Zoisite 2016-12-04 22:51:01 62528
"And I might strangle him if he says anything else with my voice," Zoisite says, growling. Mamoru gets a punch to the shoulder, the short Shitennou glaring at his prince. There's something that would burn Sakura's delicate ears if she caught the meaning of it, but it's in Italian anyway.

At Sakura's magic, Zoisite breathes a sigh of relief. "Thanks. I... it wasn't trouble exactly, but..." The feeling of protracted vulnerability was not something he wanted to experience ever again.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-04 22:57:24 62532
All this conspires to make for a prince who's laughing helplessly and rubbing his arm, which means that the voices get swapped back mid-laugh and it sounds really really hilariously weird, and then angry spitting cat glare or not, Mamoru steps over and throws his arms around Zoisite and hugs him close. He's not quite tall enough to chin-head him, but he doesn't have to be, it's a pretty enveloping hug.

At least he's stopped laughing, but he hasn't stopped smiling, and it's like sunshine directed at the little girl. "Thank you so much. You did amazing, not just good--"

And she says it's lonely and his smile fades, but he doesn't let go of Zoisite until Zoisite wants to be let go of. (Which might be soon. After all, Kunzite can chin his head. Granted, whether or not he will is another story. "Why is it trapped? Does it have a home?"
Sakura Kinomoto 2016-12-04 23:00:35 62533
Sakura Kinomoto looked down at the cards and... there was a softness to her eyes. The way she looked at it. Not like it was just a piece of magic, but like it was a friend. "No. I mean... not trapped but... the cards... they're... they aren't bad, honest! They're just... scared. It's my fault. I was the one who sent them scattered out into the world. If I'd been more careful. If I'd known about magic. If I'd... not messed up..."

She trailed off. She then hugged it, and the rest of the cards. "It has a home now. And it can be with all of its friends. I... I don't... care if... if i lost my memories. If I failed before. I... I won't fail this time. I will gather all the cards. I promise..."
Zoisite 2016-12-04 23:03:39 62534
Zoisite leans against Mamoru, in spite of his prior irritation. He closes his eyes, listening to Sakura. "I think I know how it felt," he mumbles into Mamoru's shirt. Not exactly like it was meant for Mamoru's ears alone, but... soft, and full of a deep and vast fondness. After all, if the cards have fond feelings for Sakura, it might be similar to how the Shitennou feel about their Prince.