Hanakotoba: Poinsettia

The Flower of Christmas Eve, its message is a wish for good cheer. Nephrite and Makoto celebrate Christmas together.

Date: 2017-01-02
Pose Count: 16
Nephrite 2017-01-02 01:45:38 65235
Christmas is a time for romance. For giving and loving, and spending time with the people who are important. And good food. Nephrite never forgets that part.

He adjusts the cuffs of his jacket as he steps up to Makoto's door. The Ferrari waits down the street, cherry red paint brightly gleaming and matching the bouquet of poinsettias he carries. It took some thought and calling around for him to settle on the right restaurant--one that would be appropriately fancy (but not stuffy), has actual good food (not just expensive food), and is not actually owned by himself. He only hopes that she likes it.
Makoto Kino 2017-01-02 02:11:51 65244
There's a slight delay before Makoto comes to the door, mostly because she'd been in the bathroom panicking about her hair as Nephrite arrived. It doesn't really show, however, because any traces of stress melt away as soon as she rushes to open the door for him and sees him standing there with poinsettias in hand. Her smile lights up her face, setting her eyes sparkling.

She's dressed up for the occasion in a short pine-green sheath dress, with the forget-me-not necklace he gave her around her neck and her hair pinned up into something just a bit more formal than her usual ponytail. "Merry Christmas!" she says, stepping back a little from the door to invite him in.

(Okay, it actually comes out more like 'meri-kuri,' but who's counting?)

She's decorated for the season, a bit; the windows have been lined with twinkling fairy lights and the coffee table sports a fat green candle. The whole place smells of baking, as it often does.
Nephrite 2017-01-02 02:33:03 65249
His fidgeting ceases too, when she appears at the door, and his smile matches hers. "Merry Christmas! You look stunning." As he follows her in, he can't help brushing the tips of her hair. "I like your hair like that."

He can hardly look away to note the decorated interior. "Wow, you've gone all out! I love the little lights." He leans down and gives her a little kiss. "I hope dinner out is okay. I'm not sure what couples are supposed to do on a day like this, but I figure you can't go wrong with fancy food. And you spend enough time making mountains of it for all of us, someone else can do the heavy lifting for once."
Makoto Kino 2017-01-02 02:54:44 65256
She can't help blushing faintly, a pleased rush of pink to her cheeks as his fingertips brush her hair. "It might not stay that way all evening," she admits, glancing away. "I didn't have Usagi-chan or Zoisite helping me this time, but I'm glad you think it looks good."

A little shake of her head and Mako laughs quietly. "Going out is great! I'm pretty sure we get to choose whatever we want to do... Not that it wouldn't be nice to make a Christmas Eve dinner for you," she adds, still smiling, "sometime, but since I think I'm probably going to be spending most of the next week in the kitchen getting ready for Mamoru-niisan's New Year's party, taking tonight off sounds wonderful."
Nephrite 2017-01-02 03:17:12 65263
"I can't let you turn into Cinderella, slaving away in the kitchen all the time." He grins, taking her by the hand to kiss it. "Then my lady, your chariot awaits!"

It's a short trip by Ferrari (made longer by narrow Tokyo streets and pesky traffic laws) before they're seated by a window overlooking the bay, city lights glistening on the water. It's the kind of restaurant that has cloth napkins and a wine list almost as long as the menu. Nephrite doesn't have wine on his mind tonight, with the underaged date and the car waiting outside, but he took it as a sign of taste. "So, this place got the food critics raving, so I figure either we'll have a great dinner, or we'll have a lot of fun critiquing it."

He leans his elbows on the table. "We should get a wide assortment, right? To taste as much as possible."
Makoto Kino 2017-01-02 03:51:31 65273
Makoto was barely settled into her seat before she was distracted by the view. At the sound of Nephrite's voice, though, she tears her eyes away from the glitter of reflected lights off the ocean to grin at him across the table. "Absolutely!" she agrees. "Although, I suppose that might get expensive..." It's a reflexive concern, one born of having to carefully manage her own budget, and mildly ridiculous given that they came here in a very expensive sports car. Mako bites her lip for a moment, feeling foolishly self-conscious.

"What are you thinking?" she wonders aloud.
Nephrite 2017-01-02 04:33:32 65283
"Uh-uh, no talk of the price," Nephrite wags his finger. "This is my treat, so just relax and enjoy, alright?" He knows the money thing can be an awkward issue sometimes. He's making an effort to be a little less... out there with his money. But darn it, he can treat his girl once in a while.

He scrutinizes the menu. "Hmm, pan-fried scallops with saffron risotto? I don't know what a truffle macaroon is, but I think we need it. Steamed Kinmedai fish, Hokkaido venison..." Nephrite squints, then laughs. "Would Usagi forgive us if we ordered the rabbit?"
Makoto Kino 2017-01-02 05:02:33 65286
"Okay, okay." Mock-chastened by the finger-wag, Makoto dips her head in a little nod of concession, and silently resolves to herself to not even look at the prices on the menu. What sense would there be in spoiling the mood of a night that's supposed to be special?

Instead she bends her attention to looking over the options, at least until Nephrite's question has her eyebrows lifting. "She would," Mako decides after a moment, "but I'm pretty sure she'd sadface at us first. Better not to risk it." A pause, before she glances back down again. "...Too bad, it sounds delicious. Maybe if we didn't tell her?" Laughing softly, she keeps reading. "I know what it means, but I still think 'pastry brick' is a terrible name for something people are expected to want to eat."
Nephrite 2017-01-02 05:30:08 65289
"It can be our dirty secret," Nephrite grins. "I won't tell if you won't." His laugh is significantly less quiet than Makoto's, drawing a few curious glances from across the restaurant. "Somehow I feel like food should never include the word 'brick' in any form."

The number of things he winds up ordering is rather extravagant for only two people, but that's the point, after all. "I'm counting on your culinary expertise on this," he tells her. "You can explain to me what this pastry brick is."

When food and drinks are finally ordered, Nephrite produces an envelope from inside his jacket. "So, I know it's a bit early, but I wanted to give this to you now. And if you're not interested, we can definitely exchange them for something else, but... well, I thought you might like it." He slides the envelope across the table. Inside she will find tickets to the National Theater Company's production of The Sleeping Beauty ballet.
Makoto Kino 2017-01-02 06:08:57 65292
"Right?" Mako replies, still giggling a little. "Who wants to eat a brick? It's actually a Middle Eastern thing, filling wrapped up in very, very thin layers of pastry and fried. Nothing like a brick, except the shape a little I guess. I read about it when I was looking for stuff to try on Kunzite, although I haven't actually tried making any yet..."

Her eyebrows lift a little when he presents her with the envelope, curiosity and carefully-leashed eagerness evident on her face as she picks it up. "Oh, I have something for you, too," she says, faintly apologetic for a moment, "but it's at home... Ah!" She's finished opening the envelope, eyes widening as she reads the information printed on the tickets. "Sleeping Beauty - Neph, I love it! I've never had the chance to go to the ballet before." Hastily she tucks the tickets safely back into the envelope before she looks up, beaming at him across the table. "I can't wait. I'm sorry I didn't think to bring your present - you can open it when we get back, if you want to."
Nephrite 2017-01-06 00:08:30 66228
"Trying out some Middle Eastern dishes, eh? Should I be jealous?" Nephrite wags his eyebrows, clearly joking. If he were going to develop jealousy at any of his housemates spending time with his girlfriend, cooking experiments would be a pretty absurd place to start.

He smiles bashfully at her praise. "You really like it? I've never been either, but it made me think of you." He laughs off her apologies. "I know we didn't agree to exchange gifts tonight. This was all just part of my plan to liked the gift. If it turned out you had a burning hatred for the ballet, I could just pretend your real gift is waiting at home. Not that I know what that would be, but I'd have about 12 hours to figure it out, right?"
Makoto Kino 2017-01-06 00:29:29 66234
There's a truly impressive parade of reactions across Makoto's face at that brief teasing - blank confusion followed by wide-eyed surprise followed by a split-second or two of internal flailing that can only be described as 'lolwhatno'. "That's not it!" Mako protests around a rush of incredulous laughter. "I just want to make things people like. And that means figuring out what all of you guys like. Which is hard when it's Mr. 'personal opinions are things that happen to other people'." She lowers her voice abruptly for that last part, trying to mimic Kunzite's tone and perpetually stoic expression.


Then she lets her face relax and, still laughing, smile at Nephrite across the table. "--I really, really like it," she promises. "Thank you. It makes me happy that something like this makes you think of me."
Nephrite 2017-01-06 00:51:18 66239
Laughter positively explodes out of Nephrite now. "That's a pretty good impression. You've almost got the emotionless void that is his face just right."

His smile softens. "I get it, though. You're always doing nice things like that for everyone. All of us are so lucky to have you, but nobody's as lucky as me. And," he adds, "if anybody can make a brick appetizing, it's you."

He reaches across the table, offering up his hand for her to take. "A show full of beauty and grace about a beloved princess? I couldn't think of anything more perfect. I've got an ulterior motive, though." His dark eyes sparkle in the restaurant's dim light. "It's an excuse to be with you."
Makoto Kino 2017-01-06 01:07:35 66246
"If I lose my mind and try to cook an actual brick one day," Mako quips, "you can taste-test it for me."

She's already melting, though, a soft flush of pink rising in her cheeks as her eyes turn misty. When he holds his hand out to her, she reaches out to place hers in it without a moment of hesitation. "From where I'm sitting," she says, "I'm pretty sure that I'm the lucky one here."

And she smiles, a glint of humor sparking amidst the almost aching affection. "Good thing our ulterior motives are the same, huh? I get an excuse to be with you, too."
Nephrite 2017-01-06 01:18:50 66248
Nephrite chuckles. "I will always volunteer to be your taste tester. Even for an actual brick."

He squeezes her hand, and even the low candlelight cannot hide the open book of raw emotion on his face. Joy and gratitude and--dismay, still, that he can find himself here, with her, and so happy. For a moment he looks like he's going to try to make another joke, to shy away from it. But he just smiles at her. "Merry Christmas, Mako."
Makoto Kino 2017-01-06 01:30:28 66251
"Merry Christmas, Neph," Makoto replies quietly, blinking to chase the returning threat of happy tears out of her eyes. "I'm so glad that I get to spend it with you."