All The Future Stretches Out


NYE part 1: the bulk of the open party at Mamoru's apartment.

Date: 2017-01-02
Pose Count: 200
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-02 20:01:55 65321
December 31. New Year's Eve. It's a day when people gather at homes, or sometimes at shrines; it's a day for family.

Some people in the city make their own family. Which is why the doors here are open, the concierge downstairs under instructions just to let people come up. Some might be staying the night -- there are enough rooms. Some might just look in, then go home to their own family for midnight. At least one attendee won't be present physically at all. That's all right; tonight, there's room for all of them.

There are parts of the floor that aren't open to the public, granted, places that house things that could be broken in a party, or places that it was, given the inhabitants, just not physically possible to clean up in time. (Or maybe at all. Ever. Best not to ask.) But two of the living rooms are open, and there is spillover space on the roof for those who want fresh (if cold) air or to listen to the distant bells at midnight, with the important astronomical equipment taken in under protection and a couple of less expensive and more expendable scopes set up in case people want to peer.

Both the open living rooms have a similar setup: couches and chairs, low tables, extra tables laden with food and drink, an adjoining kitchen with counters likewise laden. Makoto Kino has spent a good part of the last week glorying in someone else providing the ingredients and spare manpower.

The living room that's been the living room for the last six months or so has the television set, inevitably, to NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen, where this year Shinichi Takeda is mediating between an actress as the leader of the red team and an former boy-band singer for the white. There will be enka. There will, inevitably, be lots of enka. Probably the household would disapprove of throwing anything hard enough to damage the equipment.

The living room that's been under renovation for those six months is open now -- the floor is different, mosaic tile protected by clear plastic, stable underfoot and surprisingly good for traction. The walls are covered by a mural, yielding only to the glass doors of the balcony and the openings into the kitchen and halls. There is no television playing there, probably because the gaming equipment has been moved over. The cords have been disentangled. Magic may have been involved.

In a niche not actually in either room, there is a laptop set up for video chat, though it's not necessarily to keep it there -- it's merely designed to let certain introverts not have to face the party all at once unless they want to. Someone has taped a sign beside it reading 'warning: cute supergenius (and possible evil supergenius)'.

The Apartment Rules, as ever, are posted prominently in each room. This year, they are actually framed.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-01-02 20:18:09 65322
    Kyouko arrives, for once, via the elevator. This is fairly unusual- generally, she arrives by leaping up the outside of the building, scaling the balconies of the various floors as if they were an oversized ladder. Not today though, and the reason for that is readily apparent in the fact that Naru steps off of the elevator alongside her.

    Equally, or perhaps even more shocking than the relatively mundane arrival is the fact that Kyouko appears mildly dressed up. Dressed up for Kyouko is probably 'pretty much every day' for some other women, but the difference is noticable, if subtle. She's wearing black jeans and a red shirt with gold leafy designs which has a collar, of all things, and looks new. On top of that, she appears to be wearing makeup, which people who know her probably equate to one of the signs of the apocalypse. It's not much- some lipgloss and maybe some subtle eyeliner, but people who see her every day will likely notice. And possibly faint. Her short red hair is artfully mussed in a way which suggests she may have put a little more attention into artfully mussing it than usual.

    She glances over her shoulder at Naru as they step into the apartment, grinning. "Next time, I'm jumping you up the outside." There's a teasing note in her voice. She knows Naru hates heights.
Haruna Kurosawa 2017-01-02 20:20:43 65323
Daisuke Hansuke intended to come to this event. He in fact, intended to get very drunk and read, loudly, 'fics' he found on 'blogs' because you do stupid things on the last day of the year. HOWEVER, he overextended himself saving some children and hurt certain deep parts of himself and is spending New Years in a hospital bed. He has called Kunzite, at some point, to wish him a Happy New Year, and to please pass this onto the other guys. (This includes Kyouko.). On the brightside, no one has to throw him off the top of the building for reading horribly embarassing fan fiction of peoples alter-egos.

---

Haruna Kurosawa is arriving! She's brought Corvus! She's on her shoulder. She /really/ wanted to arrive via rooftop flight but she also didn't want a repeat of last time and scare the beejeebus out of some mundane again. Corvus has politely refused to not talk. This may still be a problem. She walks into the living room and crosses her arms as she looks around. "Wow." she says. "That's a big butt Mural!" she says as she looks around. "Hi! Everyone! Happy New Year!" she says.

Another Pause.

"I'm waiting for a couple people to follow along maybe." she says.

---

Lacrima is still getting ready back in the manor and is not here yet. She is artfully trying to make sure her fancy dress is right proper. Why she is obsessing over it. She does not know. She will be late. Potentially very so.
Naru Osaka 2017-01-02 20:28:32 65324
"And next time, I will scream like a stereotypical little girl and hide even /more/ than I already want to hide." Naru quips back to Kyouko as she follows the puella into the apartment with a grin. Clearly this teasing isn't exactly new.

Naru is projecting the image of an artist, in brightly patterned leggings under a short black skirt with a lacy edge and a black and white slimly fitted striped sweater. A pretty opal necklace is settled on top of it, a far more classic piece than the rest of her outfit.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-01-02 20:40:14 65325
    "That's cool, you're cute when you scream." Kyouko laughs, then quickly dodges out of the way of any retaliation by skipping over towards the balcony doors. She peers out, then back into the living room. "I guess we're pretty much the first one's here." This is probably not surprising, considering one of them basically lives here and both of them came from just downstairs.

    Just about that time Haruna comes in, and Kyouko offers her a polite, mildly lopsided smile. "Hey, Happy New Year's." She greets, though the sun has yet to set on the old year. At the comment about the mural, she beams proudly even though she had nothing to do with it. "Naru made it." She says, jerking her thumb towards the artist in question.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-02 20:47:45 65326
Yuzuki Amemori is running late, mostly because she had been setting up a friend's show and grabbing a few party snacks on the way out. She's got her laptop case slung over her shoulders because she had been working, but she's also wearing a long coat, an orange hoodie with the hood up under it, her button up blouse with a faint (faded) pattern and a heavy duty pair of cargo pants with far too many pockets. She's following not far behind Haruna, having left a message with her that she was doing just that.

Making her way towards the apartment after some jogging of her memory, she finds the right floor and door and all that good stuff. A hand goes up and she waves while saying, "Hi there." keeping it simple.
Naru Osaka 2017-01-02 20:51:13 65327
If Naru was aiming to disprove Kyouko's claim of 'cute', that dry look she shoots her isn't going to cut it. At least no swatting, although she's got few illusions about being quick enough to /actually/ manage to swat Kyouko.

"Happy almost New Year." Naru waves to those arriving, already moving over to find herself a drink and a snack and possibly, just maybe, to dodge the acknowledgement of her as the artist in question on the new mural.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-02 20:52:46 65328
(Obviously, the drunken fanfic read will have to wait for the NEXT appropriate holiday. Maybe Valentine's. Bonus points if ridiculous pairings can be produced on demand. Instead, Daisuke has found himself with a card -- okay, probably multiple cards -- and wrapped presents, including a selection of the less perishable of the Makoto creations from the party. Possibly also including a couple of printed and bound candidates for the fanfic read. Because hospitals are boring and the household is full of trolls.)

(At least one of them may actually feature Asclepius.)

Kazuo has actually been made to dress up for the occasion. By which we mean he is wearing black slacks and jacket, and a blue dress shirt. Someone bullied him into giving up monochrome for the occasion somehow, but hey -- it's good enough not to distress either people showing up in fancy dress or people showing up in, well, cargo pants and orange hoodies. He bows gravely to the arrivals. "Thank you for coming," he says gravely, to Haruna and Yuzuki and presumably Corvus in particular. "I hope you'll be willing to help rescue the apartment from the occupying invaders." That's accompanied with a gesture toward the tables of food. They don't look particularly ominous; presumably they're not about to manifest a youma or anything.
Seth Locke 2017-01-02 20:53:06 65329
And, following Haruna, is Seth, who's wearing a semi-formal attire - matching pants and blazer in dark brown color, while for contrast he's wearing a light grey turtleneck sweater. Not exactly knowing how well he'll be received - given the outcome of the last time he was here -, he's cheerful when he says, "Happy New Year!", though he's not that cheerful.

A bit more cheerful, because the weight of responsibility doesn't fall that much on her shoulders, is a young girl, about 13 or 14 years old, wearing a light-blue party dress. "Happy New Year!", she announces. This must be Amy, whom Seth has talked about before.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-01-02 21:01:36 65330
    Kyouko glances at Naru's escaping back as she hastens over to the food and drink, and might have gone after her, but she catches sight of Kunzite at just that moment, instead. "Nii-chan~" She sing-songs, skipping over to him. It appears, due to the amount of skipping (which here just means 'very energetic bounding') that Kyouko is in an inordinately good mood. "Wow!" She makes a show of looking him up and down. "Blue! Has anyone told Jadeite you're horning in on his part of the spectrum?" She grins. "It looks good, though!" There is a hug, one-armed.
Haruna Kurosawa 2017-01-02 21:04:52 65332
Haruna Kurosawa gently head tilts at Kazuo and smirks. "I dunno what I'd call that defeating move. Gull Windy...Munch...?" she asks. She just huffs a bit and turns to Yuzuki. Her eyes look over to Yuzuki and grins. "Ah-ha! I knew you wouldn't be too far behind!... because you know, texted me and let me know. Seth here is with me. Seth isn't a jerk! I don't think he's a jerk. I brought him along, hope that's okay!" she says.

She grins back at Naru a moment. She doesn't ask about the mural. It's okay. She hates it when people ask too deeply about her hair clips. She gets it.

"I can't over do it tonight." she says. "I have a grand opening tommrow!" she insists.

Corvus is overdoing it. He already has a comically loaded plate the moment Kunzite made the food table apparently.

"H--hey!" she huffs!
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-02 21:12:59 65334
Yuzuki Amemori looks at the food and says flatly, "You joke, but I've accidentally killed a coffee monster. Literally." She shakes her head and after some thought, fishes a hairband out of her pocket and pulls her hair back into a ponytail. The mention that Seth is there gets a shrug from her, "That was oddly on point and quick there Haru, what have you been doing?"

She then patpats the other girl on the back and makes her way towards the table, looking for anything crunchy at the moment. And maybe a few other things for good measure. And then a few more things. Her plate's full and she has a drink. To which she finds a seat and begins to work her way through!

She makes no comment on it, what with a recurring bad habit of forgetting to eat for school and work right? "So... do we get to draw faces on anyone that falls asleep?"
Makoto Kino 2017-01-02 21:13:19 65335
Both of the active kitchens have been more or less Makoto's exclusive territory since the day after Christmas, and the wealth of food arrayed over the tables and counter space speak to her efforts. There is toshikoshi soba, of course, buckwheat noodles for letting go of the hardships of the old year. Elaborate lacquered boxes have been set out filled with osechi-ryori, traditional symbolic foods for the new year: sea bream for celebration, prawns cooked in sake and soy sauce for long life, kombu for joy, sweet black soybeans for health, candied chestnut with golden sweet potato for prosperity, festive "red and white" salad of daikon and carrot, sweet rolled datemaki omelet to wish for many auspicious days and slices of white-and-gold egg roulade for wealth and good fortune. Small dessert cups have been set out with sweet red bean and mochi soup, yuzu sorbet is kept chilling in the freezer, and there is amazake for sipping.

The traditional foods share space with an assortment of more standard party finger foods and drinks, not to mention a chocolate cake with carefully-piped frosting branches of pine (for longevity) and blossoming plum (for steadfastness) adorning its white icing.

Even with the kind of free rein to order Kunzite (and anyone else who dared to step foot in either kitchen) around that usually only belongs to Mamoru, it is something of a minor miracle that everything was finished in time and without major incident. Probably nobody should be surprised that Makoto is not particulary dressed up for the party - she's still got her capacious apron tied on over her sensible knit top and jeans, sleeves rolled back to her elbows, hair a mess of curls mostly restrained in her usual ponytail.

At the moment she is taking advantage of the lull between 'last rush to get everything arranged before people arrive' and 'someone got a little too enthusiastic and overturned a tray, whoops' and is leaning in the doorway between living room and kitchen with a cup in her hand, waving to people as they come in and looking simultaneously harried and very satisfied.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-02 21:20:57 65336
"If he's worried," Kazuo says aside to Kyouko, "he can fight me for it." He holds up a hand, miming holding someone at arm's length. Given that Kazuo has nine or ten inches on Jadeite... well. It also means that he can segue reasonably into returning the one-armed hug, then study Kyouko for a moment; there's a brief nod in there somewhere, followed by a just-visible knitting of brows. Approving, yes. Wondering if Kyouko has been possessed by a cosmetics demon, possibly. He doesn't bring it up, though.

Then it's others' turn again. "Good evening, Locke-san, and company," Kazuo says to Seth and his sister. "Please, be welcome." He gives the young woman a slight bow of her own. "My name is Kazuo Takeba; I'm one of the people who live here. If you have any trouble with anything, please, look for me." Given that he is also the most easily located person who lives here. Except Nephrite. Nephrite wins because Nephrite is louder, and therefore traceable from rooms and sometimes buildings away.

(Kazuo's opinion of whether Seth is a jerk is neither given nor relevant. Kazuo is a jerk, after all.)

He eases back and to the side a step then, noting to Yuzuki, "I don't see anything in the apartment rules that bans it. But you'd be doing so at risk of being mistaken for a Pokemon, so you might wish to be careful about not getting caught." Before anyone can parse that and accuse him of knowing what Jigglypuff is, he's adding to Haruna, "Tomorrow? The construction went well, then? Congratulations."
Haruna Kurosawa 2017-01-02 21:23:36 65337
Haruna Kurosawa grins some at Yuzuki. "What. Seth isn't a jerk." she insists.

Yeah she's just saying this and Seth is right there. She is being teasing. She smiles at Yuzuki. "It's a party. Just relax. Meet people. Makoto worked super hard on this. At least. I'm sure it's Mako-chan. If any of the guys could pull this off I will eat my seagull."

"No you won't!" Corvus huffs.

"Just a nibble~" insists Haruna.

She smiles at Yuzuki again. "I wouldn't tease magical types with permenant markers" she says. "I mean. I can just imagine the justice speech. About permenant markers." she says as she scrunches her nose.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-01-02 21:25:48 65338
    Kyouko grins even wider at Kunzite upon his response to her prodding. Sense of humor, check. Clearly she isn't the only one in a good mood today- well, it's a party, after all! That means food and drink and company, all things that Kyouko is very fond of. She eyes him back as he studies her, but as he refrains from comment, she just makes a little 'mmf' sound of amusement.

    Then he is turning away, and her eyes fall on Mako-chan in the doorway to the kitchen. "Mako-chan~" She greets, continuing her over-energetic rounds by bounding over to the taller girl and beaming at her. "The food looks amazing! I'm gonna eat like.. all of it, but I decided I should let other people have a go at it first." She winks, gesturing to Naru over by the food table as an example.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-02 21:36:22 65340
Yuzuki Amemori looks extremely confused about pokemon comments and the like from Kazuo. "I don't get it." She says flatly, using that as a moment to take a bite of something chocolate-y. "Are you sure? You may have to keep saying it at this rate Haru." After confirming the lock on the case, it's set down next to her seat and she relaxes back, taking another bite of food.

"I don't think I've met a Mako." Which is good timing, what with her showing up and all. She gives her a wave and says, "Yo." Before promptly eating more food. She's lucky she's so active with the way she eats, or maybe it works both ways! Beat, "Oh, uh, thank you for your hard work. It looks great!" Her hood is tugged down after like she's remembering to do the polite thing far too late.

"I don't think she'd eat you Corvus, schroe- I'm sure you taste gamey." She may be trying to see how he'll react to the obvious teasing. Seth and sister are given a wave as well, belatedly.
Naru Osaka 2017-01-02 21:49:27 65342
Nibbles of food and a glass of juice, both are check and check as Naru turns to familiar voices. She grins at Makoto as the girl appears in the kitchen. "You've outdone yourself, as usual, Mako. It all looks amazing. Thank you."

"I have WAY better options available to me than markers." Naru notes with a quirk of a smile on the notion of doodling on asleep people. Just to start, her mural paints aren't gone, just tucked away in case of needed touchups.

The juice is waved in Kunzite's direction in greeting, not feeling the need to make it over to him, nor necessarily verbally greet him, especially as a bounding Kyouko ends up where she is loitering near the kitchen entrance.

"I'm torn on if I'd rather obsessively hide from the mural, or obsessively go in there and see how many places I want to change now that I've called it done." Naru comments to Kyouko with a touch of a rueful smile and a sip from her juice.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-02 21:59:32 65344
"Half of us are banned from even attempting to cook," Kazuo confirms to Haruna. Possibly also to reassure the talking seagull. (The feasting seagull. That being what seagulls do.) "We manage not to live entirely on Makoto's mercy, but something like this..." He shakes her head, and turns to bow in Makoto's direction. Rather more deeply than he did to the guests.

Yuzuki makes her flat comment about Not Getting It, and Kazuo inclines his head to her in turn. (Or possibly to Naru's waving her juice, or maybe to both at once.) "Consider yourself fortunate," he assures her. "My housemates are addicted to pop culture. Even when it's older than they are. Who else here have you already met? Shall we make introductions?"

Shall he be keeping half an eye on the girl who came with Seth? Yes. Yes, he shall.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-01-02 22:02:35 65345
    Kyouko has turned from Mako-chan to make good on her threat of consuming the food. She tkaes one of the small plates that have been set up and begins piling stuff onto it, though she's still near to Naru, and can easily hear as the girl speaks to her.

    "Shall we go view it together?" She asks cheerfully, with regards to the mural. She pauses to shove a cracker and cheese in her mouth, chewing rapidly and swallowing before continuing, "That way, I can tell you you're being over-critical. Then you can ignore me, and then we can come back and get some more of this food." A piece of some sort of delicious meat vanishes into her maw.

    Then she steals Naru's juice and takes a sip before handing it back.
Seth Locke 2017-01-02 22:06:43 65346
Seth Locke looks at Kazuo, smiling a little, "Thank you, Takeba-san. We feel welcome."

His eyes dart off to Haruna when she mentions magic - clearly, he wasn't expecting this; he had told Amy that she shouldn't be surprised in case she saw something 'odd', but mentions of magic, plus a bird saying words... well, that takes the cake, the hors d'ouvre, the entree, the first meal, the whole banquet. For Amy.

"S-S-S-Seth...", she points to the bird, both amazed and terrified, "T-t-the bird...!"

The older brother is quick to nod. "Yes. I told you so. Don't point. It's rude."

He grabs a glass and fills it with juice. "Here. Drink this. Take a deep breath. Act normal. These people are friends."
Makoto Kino 2017-01-02 22:06:49 65347
"Very generous of you," Makoto answers Kyouko with a teasing grin. "There should be plenty--" one of the benefits of being personally acquainted with Kyouko, Usagi, and the apartment full of teenage boys is, after all, never needing to worry about making 'too much' food. "I'm counting on you to make sure there's no soba left by midnight, though."

That would be bad luck, after all. Pure superstition, but given the past year, Mako's not taking any chances.

Yuzuki gets a friendly smile, and Naru a pleased nod. "Thanks!" she says, bright with sincere pleasure at the compliments. "I had a lot of fun making everything, so I hope everyone enjoys it."
Kukai Souma 2017-01-02 22:11:58 65349
Kukai Souma sighs, leaning against one wall of the elevator, staring at his reflection in the mirror for a minute as he rubs his cheek with a partially damp hankerchief, a long (if shallow) slice along one cheek, and a few more similar slices along his tie and right side of his coat. Youma on New Year's Eve. More importantly, there was so much natural magic in the air he hadn't even noticed it swarming up from the ground. If the very idea of something trying to take advantage of this good season hadn't been enough to infuriate him enough for Sky Jack to apply cricket bat in a significant fashion, he'd probably have been even later to the party. Maybe even a bit more sliced up.

Still, he reflected, it'd gone as well as you could hope. His good jacket is damaged but not ruined, and it hadn't hit his shirt, but kisses on the cheek are probably right out until he has some time to sleep it off. Going headfirst into the pile of boxes behind the thing had made his hair stick out even more than usual. The elevator dinged and opened, and even from here the sounds of the party were audible. With a resigned hmph, Kukai stuck the hankerchief back into a pocket, rearranged his jacket and cheek as best he can, and headed for the door.

As Kukai passes through the door he calls out. "Hello, everybody! Happy New Year!" He looks around for participants, hosts, friends, wondering who all's arrived so far.
Haruna Kurosawa 2017-01-02 22:12:29 65350
Corvus hrmphs as he crosses his arms while stuffing his beak from the plate of food he's made for himself. He is not an indignant seagull.

Haruna smirks a bit over at Yuzuki. "Makoto-chan." she says. "She cooks /reallllly/ good." she says.

She grins at Kazuo. "I'm imagining what stuff you guys must have attempted to cook and I'm wondering how potatoes can still be whole and mashed at the same time now." she says tapping her bottom lip.

She grins at Yuzuki. "Basically, there's this cartoon and one of the running gags was this creature sings but the creature's singing puts people to sleep because it's thier attack. But this upsets the creature who wanted thier singing to be heard so it draws on thier faces." she says.

Seagull is indeed feasting. And trying not to think about how he might taste with gravy.

She looks back to Kukai. "Kukai! Hi! Kukai!" she says. "Yuzuki have you met Kukai yet?" she asks.
Naru Osaka 2017-01-02 22:16:23 65351
"As long as it includes the return for more food?" Naru asks of Kyouko as she just passes over her juice when its 'stolen' and then grins. "Alright, c'mon then. I don't think you've seen it since I put the finishing touches on it, unless you popped in there randomly this week."

Naru waves her plate in Kukai's direction as he arrives and there's a squint at him. "Caught a fight on the way? Everything alright?" She pauses to ask as she starts to make her way past him towards the other living room. The one without a dizzying array of food, but with a mural and game systems.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-01-02 22:22:04 65352
    "Right. More food." Kyouko nods in agreement. At least she hands the juice back, containing roughly half of the volume as when she took it. Kyouko-sips are fairly large. "I'm excited! I mean.. I don't imagine your finishing touches caused any major differences, but still! I am up for showering you in compliments, even if you'd rather I didn't."

    She links her arm with Naru's (non-juice-holding) arm, and steers her towards the other living room. She eyes Kukai though, as Naru addresses him. "Hey dude. Goin' for the 'rough and tumble' look, huh?" She sounds vaugely jealous. Maybe Kyouko likes pre-party fights.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-02 22:24:49 65354
Yuzuki Amemori listens to the description of early Pokemon and says, "I... think I missed that cartoon." She shrugs after a moment of trying to remember what she herself actually had watched. "There was that one spirit anime that I liked and... I liked the one with the girly samurai, that one was fun too." A bite of food, a sip of her drink and a look at her case, then to Naru, "Did I show you the project I'm working on?" Beat, "Uh... the one where I was trying to take pictures of the monster things before they were summarily beaten up I mean. I wonder if you can do something with them too?"

Seth's sister is given a grin and a wave, "You should go offer him food and see how chatty he gets. It's fun." Beat, "You can do it with Haru too, though you'll have to catch her inbetween hitting on guys." The last is said with laughter, clearly teasing the girl about a running joke at this point.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-02 22:31:21 65355
Kazuo's attention is pulled away for a moment by a new arrival. "Happy New Year," he calls back to Kukai. And a moment later, he adds, "Mamoru will be out in a little while; I trust you'll let him take a look at that. Do you need anything in the mean time?" Bandages? Painkillers? Probably not a hospital bed. Daisuke has that to himself for the moment.

To Haruna, he says gravely, "When they explode onto the ceiling. The impact takes care of the mashing part. Certain people will be learning how to deal with that properly. Later. After entrance exams." Then, since Yuzuki seems to know enough people not to be concerned about introductions, he adds, "Please pardon me for a moment; we seem to have a young lady in distress."

Kazuo detaches from Haruna and Yuzuki, and steps over beside Seth and Amy. Well, more or less beside. Half in front of, leaving her a wide arc of potential escape route. He settles down on one knee, part not to loom over her, part so that she can see past him instead of effectively having a mobile wall block her in. "His name's Corvus," he says, calm and straightforward. As if nothing at all were odd about the situation; as if it were nothing to panic over. "As the young lady says, he gets chatty. Would you like an introduction?"
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-02 22:38:09 65356
Sakura Kinomoto was late late late! She'd gotten out late and was now doing the only sane, logical thing to do in such a situation.

She was using the jump card to sail through the skies, leaping across sky scrapers and the like as iif she was some kind of giant bird of prey. It was only logical!

Which was why, after a bit, there was a soft knock on the patio door and then it slowly slid open. "H-hi?" she said sheepishly, looking around. "I, errr, s-sorry. Things got out a little late... sorry." She blushed and walked inside, her face burning. She was wearing a red kimono with blue flames on the bottom and a light gold sash around her waist. She looked around before... "I... I brought a gift," she said sheepishly. Holding out a small box. Inside was... laundry detergent? "It's a ummm... gift for the hosts. Daddy let me pick it out and I saw this in a magazine was good..."
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-02 22:41:38 65357
There's another new arrival as well, one Haruka Haruno. She is dressed nicely, in a pale pink high-low dress, hair bundled entirely up and adorned in sparkly bits, earrings that glint a bit, and heeled shoes. She has a couple bags with her as well, one of which is significantly larger than the other. The large bag has high-quality fertilizer (for Fiore) and the other bag has small gifts as well. Her purse has her dorm keys as well as her Keys. Keys, plural.

She sets the bag of fertilizer down near the door and casts about, smiling faintly. The party definitely seems nice, but she feels a little awkward standing on the edge here.
Seth Locke 2017-01-02 22:43:13 65359
Amy gulps the glass of juice, and then she takes a deep breath. Seth is right there, beside her, calming her down. "See? All I told you was true." He shakes his head. "This is the world I stumbled upon, the world I didn't want you to find out, or, if you had to find out, you'd find out the best way possible."

Seth sees Kazuo approaching, and Amy, dwarfed by the tall white-haired guy, can't help but instinctively move a couple of steps behind Seth.

"And this is Kazuo Takeba-san. He's... Not a bad guy, once you get to know him."

A couple of seconds, and those vivid eyes are studying the man, where she takes her brother's word for it, and she approaches him, offering a bow. "I am Amanda Katsumoto Locke, pleased to meet you, Kazuo Takeba-san."

She looks at the bird and nods silently. Totally like a fish out of water, here.

Seth, of course, will accompany her.
Naru Osaka 2017-01-02 22:47:29 65361
"You're trying to take pictures of the monsters?" Naru blinks at Yuzuki curiously. "That sounds /so cool/. I'd love to see some of your photographs if you'd be willing to share."

There's a smile as Naru manages not to drop anything when Kyouko loops her arm through hers. "You'll make me blush." Naru points out to Kyouko on the topic of the mural.

There's a wave of her juice holding hand towards Haruka as she arrives and Naru smiles. "C'mon in, make yourself comfortable. There's.. food and people and stuff." She tries to gesture, but between food and juice and Kyouko and not wishing to spill everywhere, there's not a lot of gesturing. "And another living room to hide in if things are super loud in here. Or the roof."
Kukai Souma 2017-01-02 22:47:31 65362
Kukai sniffs and can smell wonderful, tasty food. All over. He sees Naru waving at him and heads for the tables. "Yeah. Probably better me than some random person but still you'd think even a youma would take a day off once in a while. I didn't have time to go home and change afterwards, so... what's to eat?"

He nods to Kyouko and grins. "Not by choice, but I pull it off pretty good, huh? I know open wounds aren't the best party decoration though." He pats his cheek self-consciously. "It's ok though. I'll eat and celebrate and sleep and then it'll be fine."

He looks to Haruka and Yuzuki, then shakes his head, waving his hand at them. "Heya Haruka. Who's your friend? I don't think we ever actually met." Then Kazuo is talking to him and he shakes his head. "Honestly Mamoru doesn't need to - and I'm fine, really. Was a lucky shot while I was distracted - there was this party I needed to get to and I wasn't paying attention." He grins at Kazuo.
Haruna Kurosawa 2017-01-02 22:49:14 65363
Haruna Kurosawa blinks at Seth. Okay so Seth brought someone who isn't used to the magic stuff at all. "Ugh! You jerk!" she huffs. Well there goes that totally convicing herself repeatedly!

"Excuse me a moment Yuzuki." she says as she tip toes toward's Corvus and scoops him up. "Okay, that's enough bird brain." she says.

Corvus protests until Haruna hands him the plate. Corvus gets placed on her shoulder.

She takes the opputunity to walk towards Kazuo, Amy and Seth. "Hi! You're Seth's sister right? I'm Haruna. This is my friend Corvus." she says.

"Hi." says Corvus, waving a wing between bites.

"It's a little odd. To hear a bird talk. Right?"

Corvus speaks. "I'm Corvus. I am a seagull. Also. Haruna's partner in... things." he says. Not sure how deep he should go into the magic stuff.

"See. He's just like a tiny... feathery person." she says.

"Oh!" she calls out from where she is. "That's Yuzuki! She does projects! She was about to show me something then I had an emergency." she says. "Cuz bird."

"Because bird!" repeats Corvus.

"Hey Yuzuki, come over here and tell us about it." she says.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-02 22:54:40 65364
Nadeshiko is feeling rather like a lady at the moment. This is why her hair is up, why she's wearing a mildly padded bra, thigh highs (full hosiery is doomed for bunching on the best of ladies. Add a lady who's also a boy, it's just plain uncomfy!), and a cheongsam that's probably a bit shorter than what she's usually wear. (Important to sit like a lady in these!)

But, of course, she's perpetuating the stereotype of ladies everywhere and is running really late. But, to her credit, she has a legitimate excuse.

Her ankle, no longer bound in a bandange, sits on some impressive heels for someone who just ot a clean bill of health, sprain wise!

And so, she's putting on the finishing touches of her makeup in the elevator and is blotting her lips by the time it opens.

It's an almost disheveled Nadeshiko that bursts in. Temari spots Kazuo first, floating over to him with large hearts in her eyes. (Rhythm sees and tackles Daichi.)

"Kunzite-sama~!" Temari's voice is soft as she holds out a chara-sized present. So far as she's concerned, he's the host!

Not seeing the Chiba boy anywhere, a blushing Nadeshiko goes up and offers her own gifts.

"Sake, the good stuff. Here. And tickets to my show. From my mother. Exchangeable in case the dates don't work. Here's some for the Chiba boy. And for...oh hell just take them."

If this were an anime, Kazuo's arms would be full of tickets. But of course, this is real life, so its just a booklet.

And of course, her eyes fall on a tall girl. (Makoto!) Wow. Stylish! Where does she buy her clothes? Nades is pretty sure that while she won't be a match for this girl in the 'talent' department, height wise it would be very important to know where she shops! She opens her mouth to introduce herself, but there's something important she needs to address first.

"What the hell happened to you?" She turns to Kukai, voice a bit harsh, but eyes large and concerned! And they're in public, so no fretting!
Kyouko Sakura 2017-01-02 22:57:37 65365
    Kyouko, still towing Naru towards the room with the mural, though the towing keeps getting distracted as Naru keeps talking to people. At least every time Naru addresses somebody, Kyouko pauses in the towing to allow her to do so. The result is very slow progress, but Kyouko doesn't seem to mind too much, grinning first to Kukai, "Very stylish," and then offering a polite inclination of her head to Haruka when Naru speaks to her, as well.

    They're just passing near the door when Nadeshiko comes in, and Kyouko pauses, blinking, watching her step past on her way to deliver presents to Kunzite. "That chick is more lady than I could ever be." She asides into Naru's ear, innocently.
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-02 23:00:34 65366
Haruka nods at Naru, smiling. "Um... Dumb question. The rosebush from the other night, Fiore-san? Do you know where he is?" She perks a little and giggles at Nadeshiko's entrance to the party. "Hello, Nadeshiko-san!" Since she's still close to the door, she gets first-row seats to her entry. She sticks a hand in her purse, hand gently wrapped around the Rose key as she watches the party. She spots Sakura and heads over, digging in her purse for something other than the Key. She presents a small wrapped box to the younger girl with a smile. "I made something for you, Sakura-chan," she says with a small smile.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-02 23:02:32 65367
Being down on one knee does not prevent Kazuo from returning Amanda's bow, straightforward. "It's a pleasure to meet you in turn," he says to Amanda. "Please don't be too worried. The food has nothing strange about it," or if it does he will personally throttle the person responsible, "and Makoto is a very good cook. And -- ah. Thank you, Haruna." He gets to look up at the Gull and the gull. How often does that happen?

The bird and company are sufficient of a distraction that he can manage to eye Kukai past him just for a moment. But nothing about 'of course Mamoru needs to, there is a flailing thirteen-year-old who is getting dropped in the deep end and doesn't need any more scaring' actually gets said, partly because he's next to the thirteen-year-old, and partly because was that a Sakura he just heard? so not-yet-experienced ten-year-old, and partly because that was definitely Temari oh God Nadeshiko is going to kill them all.

He waits until he can see whether Amanda reacts to the floating doll-sized elegant lady before he acknowledges Temari -- because either he can do it there in front of her, or he needs to back away from the Distraction Bird to do so without getting judged a lunatic. Either way -- "Good evening, Temari, Nadeshiko. It's good to see you both --" He blinks. There are presents. "Thank you. Being able to see you dance is a gift indeed."

... Kukai is now Distraction Injury. Good, good. "Hello, Sakura, Haruka. We're glad you could make it. How many people here have you met?" How long can he keep up pretending to be social before someone who's actually good at this arrives? Hm.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-02 23:06:22 65369
Yuzuki Amemori waves to Sakura as she works on her food, having gotten through half the plate by now. She'll at least not be munching throughout the night like some of the magical sorts out and about. She does stand up and sneak behind Haruna, offering Corvus a bit of food from her plate to keep him quiet. She does an exaggerated mimicry of Haruna from behind up until she's sure the girl's about to turn around.

Kukai's given a wave, then a curious look to Kukai as she wanders over there, her teasing forgotten. "You alright?" she asks curiously, head tilted. What, he's a new face and it's all marked up! Wait, is it a new face? She scowls, trying to remember.
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-02 23:09:13 65371
Sakura Kinomoto blinked a few times and then looked around... and... "Wow. I think I know almost everyone here," she said happily. And then... Sakura rapid hug mode! Haru got one. "Big sister Haruka-sempai!' she said happily.

Then came Haruna. "Hi Haruna-sempai! I-I can't wait until tomorrow! I'll be there bright and early, I swear!" And then poor Kyouko. Ohhhh, THAT'S why she got a hug! "Hi Kyouko-chan!" Then came Yuzuki. "Yuzuki-chan!" Next... hum. Naru! "Hi naru-san!" And then, the gift! "W-wow, for me, Haruka-sempai? You didn't have to do that?" But then, she was a kid. She happily opened it. Ad once she got it... she gasped and quickly put it in. "How does it look?" Which then...

Left the new arrivals. She smiled to Seth and the other girl, bowing politely. "Hello! I'm Sakura Kinomoto, a pleasure to meet you." Easily the youngest one here, for now. Probably seemed a little out of place.

Then she turned to Kukai and Nadeshiko and... "Hi, I'm..." Then froze in place. And stared at Nadeshiko with star eyes. "W-wow... you're so pretty," she said softly, just staring.

Not awkward at all.
Naru Osaka 2017-01-02 23:09:55 65372
"I think Fiore is on the balcony, it's warmed enough at night to not freeze him." Naru replies to Haruka with a bright smile. "Not at all a dumb question, he does move around a bit. A heck of alot more than one might expect for a shrub, really."

Naru leans in to Kyouko's quiet comment into her ear and starts to laugh softly. "I covet her shoes." She comments with a grin. The move to the other living room is foiled another brief moment by Sakura hugs, awkward with food and drinks and a desire not to spill either on Sakura.

"Okay, mural." Naru comments to Kyouko, abandoning Kazuo to be a social butterfly. Buahahaha.
Haruna Kurosawa 2017-01-02 23:14:23 65373
Haruna Kurosawa turns to look to Yuzuki and squints a bit. Maybe she caught her mid mimicry. Maybe she didn't. Then SAKURA! She grins and leans down and gives the girl a snug. "Hey Sakura-chan~" she sings. "Yup! Speaking of tommrow." she stands up and smiles at Yuzuki. "I have to go do some things to get ready for tommrow." she says. "Then afterwards I'm going over to Hannahs and her folks to spend the rest of the night there." she says softly.

She gives Yuzuki a quick hug. "Happy New Year~ Enjoy the rest of the evening. Talk to people! HAVE FUN!~" she sings.

She gives a wave. "Happy New Year everyone!" she says.

"Be sure to drop by Gullwing Coffee soon!" she sings. "10 percent discount for heroes~" she says as she makes her way to the door.

She grins at Haruka on the way out. "Oh wow! You dressed up really nice." she says wide eyed. "Haruka, we'll talk soon~" she says. "Sorry I can't stay long and you just got here." she pouts.

She does eventually exit the room. Away she goes!~
Kukai Souma 2017-01-02 23:20:22 65376
Kukai has picked up a plate and is weighing the concept of how to balance one of the osechi-ryori boxes already aboard and still manage to pick up a few of what look to be buns filled with.. well it's certainly something wonderful - when he hears a familiar voice. He turns to see Nadeshiko from behind, presenting her gifts to Kazuo, and all thoughts go out of his head as he sees her in what may be the most amazing outfit he's ever seen.

Daichi, however, cheers and hugs Rhythm, and together they find the candy plate. Woohoo.

And then Na-chan is in front of him and saying words and Kukai finds himself standing in front of her, plate in hand, blinking like a brainless fool. Words. Words. Um. "Wooooow. Waaau." THOSE ARE NOT THE WORDS, KUKAI. "Uh.... youma! Found a youma on the way here, got the drop on me. Or rather the rise on me, up from the ground. It's dispelled but.." He coughs. "No big deal, really. Um. I feel much better already." His eyes are probably drinking in a powerful painkiller of 'elegant purple haired dancer in amazing outfit'. In some ways he's still completely new to this whole 'girls' thing. Which is funny in its own right.

He looks over to Yuzuki, and that helps break the spell. "Uh. Yeah, I'm fine. Hello! I'm..." He looks back over at Nadeshiko for a second. "...Uh. Who am I?"
Kyouko Sakura 2017-01-02 23:22:22 65377
    "That damn bush gets treated better than some humans around here." Kyouko grumbles, in reference to Fiore, but she doesn't really sound angry- grousing about Fiore is practically part of her job at this point.

    She laughs quietly to Naru's response. "Look, you can wear the heels. I tried it once. Didn't agree with me." Pause for traumatic flashbacks about tirimasu.

    Sakura hugs! Kyouko doesn't flinch away. She even pats the girl before sending her on her way. But then, "Mural," She agrees, steering Naru through the doorway. On the way, she wolf-whistles in Kukai's direction, observing his tongue-tied reaction. Just because she's an asshole. Then she escapes.
Seth Locke 2017-01-02 23:24:21 65379
Aaaaaaaaand, of course Seth had to be called a jerk, here. (Et tu, Haruna?) He shrugs, "Yeah, I told her, but... hearing is one thing, seeing is another entirely." He quickly cuts that off, now eyeing the exchange between the talking seagull - why is a seagull called 'Corvus', anyways? - and his sister.

Amy, on that regard, starts to get accustomed to the idea of a bird, at the end of which she's smiling brightly and exclaiming a very honest, "Kewl..."

And Seth is sighing of relief, scratching the possibility of having to run off after her. When he opens his eyes, diverting his head elsewhere, he looks at Nadeshiko, and blinks. Once. Twice... And, not thrice, because staring - and boyish stares are considered evil in anime or manga world, everybody knows that).

And there are other familiar faces, of course -- Kukai, Sakura. He approaches. "Sakura-chan, Kukai-kun, Happy New Year!"
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-02 23:25:49 65380
Temari is happy, for a little bit, to just silently float-and-follow Kazuo with hearts in her eyes. She'll get bored of it soon enough and float off to make up tiny plates of food for herself and other charas, don't worry!

And of course, Nadeshiko's cheeks turn a furious shade of pink that's noticeable through her makeup at 'Being able to see you dance is a gift indeed.' Her hands come up to cover her cheeks and she focuses on Kukai instead!

Her cheeks turn from awkwardly to pleasantly warm at his reaction to her outfit, and this is a blush she's not afraid to show! She smiles a little, very much pleased, but still a bit worried. "You sure?" She touches his cheek, careful not to press on the scratch.

And then she giggles. She places a hand on his arm and turns to Yuzuki. "This eloquent gentleman here is Kukai Souma. He--"

Another greeting, this time from Sakura! And a compliment! So much blushing for Nadeshiko today. Goodness, she's been spending too much time as Nagihiko lately! "Thank you! You look simply lovely yourself." Her fingers hover over the shoulder of the pretty kimono the girl is wearing.

A wolf whistle! From who!

And she feels eyes. She turns and catches Seth's stare.
Makoto Kino 2017-01-02 23:27:23 65381
More guests arriving! Guests in beautiful outfits. Makoto's not in any great hurry to leave the shelter of the kitchen doorway and work the room, but she does take some time away from keeping a weather eye on the food tables to admire the others girls' party styles. Haruka's lacy pink dress and Nadeshiko's killer cheongsam earn especially wistful looks.

...She could probably at least shed the apron, huh. She ducks out of sight into the kitchen for a few moments to do just that (and check on the state of the soba while she's at it), and re-emerges shortly thereafter, still in the process of rolling her sleeves back down.

There is probably no helping her hair at this point in the evening, but oh well.
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-02 23:29:52 65382
Haruka chuckles at Sakura's response, smiling. "It looks good on you!" She glances at Kyouko and pauses with a small snort, watching the other girl leave. "Well, it's not like I'm a flower princess or anything, and I sort of owe him a favor... or something." She walks over to her bag of fertilizer again, scooping it up and going to find the aforementioned bush, leaning the bag of fertilizer against his planter. That's it for now, but odds are good that when she's not dressed to the nines, she will be talking to the plant.

She's still not enough of a city mouse to be entirely comfortable in a party like this, but there's a certain... surety to her that wasn't there a few weeks ago. She takes a moment to catch her breath and head back in, in time to hear Seth's wolf-whistle at Nadeshiko. All that regal surety she is starting to radiate in civilian form hardens into a sharp edge as she glances between Nadeshiko and Seth. Sure, Nadeshiko is probably used to handling men who wolf-whistle, but...
Usagi Tsukino 2017-01-02 23:30:36 65384
Usagi's not late, she's on time!

Not really...

It's a standard whirlwind of Usagi. In she comes, grey hoodie dress with bunny ears on the hood and white tights, and she tornadoes in.

"KAZUO-KUN!" Hugs for him! And cuddles!

"DANCE PARTNER!" Hugs for Kukai! But not for long because his girlfriend is scary!

Her inner homing beacon zeros in and suddenly she's glued to Makoto's side for a nice, long snuggle!

She makes her rounds, hugging everyone! Even those she doesn't know as well as others!But! There's a Naru about! And a Kyouko! And there's pokes to be had!

"I shall return! But for now, I have a Kyouko to annoy!"
Hope Kanata 2017-01-02 23:37:08 65387
New Years Eve. The Hope Kingdom has a similar affair- but they call it something else. But he gets the general gist of it. Leave the past in the past, move forward. It's important. Thus. he has obtained a lavender tuxedo with a tan vest underneath- with long tails- and perfectly pressed pants. Pafu actually kept him late to make sure the pants were PERFECT.

This is why Hope Kanata arrives through the door and looks around. Lots of people he doesn't know. A Usagi dashes around which causes him to blink, then lightly smile as he makes his way into the party. "Hello everyone." he announces. Aroma or Pafu are not with him because he can imagine Aroma insisting on the pomp.

"I'm sorry I'm late." he says.

Eyes lay down upon Sakura and Haruka which is of course- where he naturally gravitates to. He smiles. "Hello Haruka-chan." he says. Warm smile. He looks down to Sakura and smiles. "Hello there.... Sakura...?-chan was it?" he says, as if trying to remember your name.

"I got your gift. It was very pretty." he says with a smile.

Then there's a wolf whistle and he looks up.

"Huh?" he asks.
Kukai Souma 2017-01-02 23:39:52 65389
Kukai blinks, looking around for the source of the wolf-whistle, trying to figure out what's going on. He spots Kyouko just as she slips off into the mural room, then looks back to Nadeshiko and Yuzuki. "Uh. What was that about?"

The arrival of Seth is at least a neutral concept to help Kukai focus his mind, so he turns to nod his head to him, grinning finally. "Hello. Seth, right? I believe. How're you?" As Nadeshiko touches his cheek he does his best not to wince, but nods. "Yeah. It's better than it was earlier - it's really no big deal. I promise." He reaches up, patting her hand for a moment before she turns to Sakura. "Heya there Sakura, too! Happy New Year to everybody. How is everyone?"

Kukai looks around for a moment, seeing just about every eye in the room on Na-chan and grinning to himself. as well they should.

And then there is a rushing ts-Usagi in the room, and he laughs, hugging her because what else do you do? "Heya Usagi! How're you?" One eye on Nadeshiko to hope she isn't jealous. I mean, why would she be?
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-02 23:41:08 65390
Yuzuki Amemori looks at Nade's hand on her shoulder and then over at Kukai and says, "Ah... I uh, don't think I know you at all. Hi." She offers him a wave, though there's a good chance they've met when fighting other ways.

She offers a polite nod of her head to Kukai while Haruna's wandering off, which gets a, "Call me later!" and while trying to pull away from the crowd a bit, to give herself some breathing room. Turns out this isn't quite as bad as being on stage, but it's getting there. She ducks off to the side for the time being.
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-02 23:41:47 65391
Sakura Kinomoto blushed and then giggled softly. "T-thank you!" she said to Nades, smiling to her. Then waving to Kukai. "I'm Sakura Kinomoto, nice to meet you two!" Well, Nades hadn't said her name yet, so it was nice! She didn't know who that usagi girl was, but she seemed nice. And gave a hug, too! And then she glanced over to Haruka and the new guy. She bowed politely to him. "Hello, I'm Sakura Kinomoto, have we met?" she asked with a big grin. Oh, the storm was about to be unleashed... and yet none of them knew.
Unmei Tama 2017-01-02 23:44:52 65393
Unmei Tama had finally arrived! she was wearing... a simple red tank top and blue jeans. Simple, unoticable and... as she looked around, horribly under dressed. She at least looked far, far better than she had last time. Heck, Kukai might even have trouble recognizing her. When she stepped inside her hands instantly went around herself and she mumbled a hi... before her eyes locked on Yuzuki.

"Yuzuki!" she said happily. And then walked over and hugged the girl.

It wasn't a friendly hug. It was like the hug you gave the buoy that was keeping you afloat in the middle of the ocean. She was not the best at parties and it was obvious as she held the hug a bit longer than was likely proper, then moved back and kind of... hid would be a strong word. So it will be the word used. Hid behind Yuzu, gulping. "I-I came!"

She had to keep her stomach back a little during the hug, though. Stab wounds and all.
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-02 23:49:08 65396
Haruka is immediately distracted by the entrance of another person. "Kanata-kun!" She beams at him. "I took some fertilizer out to Fiore-san, I figured that would be adequate thanks for.. that mess," she informs him with a smile. The Flower Princess beams at Sakura. "Sakura-chan, this is Kanata-kun."

As in, the Kanata it is obvious she likes, the Kanata that she is currently blushing brightly at, the Prince she met when she was little. She's also somewhat glad that Pafu and Aroma don't appear to be in attendance for now- Pafu would be fine, but Aroma... well...

He probably needs time to deal with Earth. Like, more than he's had currently.
Hope Kanata 2017-01-03 00:01:40 65399
If Aroma came he'd had blown a trumpet and introduce Kanata as his excellency Prince Hope Grand Kanata of the Hope Kingdom. This is perhaps the real reason that Kanata left him at home.

Hope Kanata, of course, didn't leave them alone. Shamour is there too. They're doing thier own New Years thing. Mascot New Years Eve. It's probably a mess in the hotel room already!

Kanata has a bright smile. "Yes, I am Kanata." he says softly. "You were the girl, who's the cards belong to. Right?" he asks curiously.

He has all but forgotten the wolf whistle.

He looks back to Haruka with a pondering smile. "Is Fiore doing well then?" he asks. "I was worried about the after effects of whatever... the thing was." he offers. He looks around. "Lots of people here. Could.. you introduce me to some?" he asks politely of Haruka. "Soon. When you feel ready. Of course." he offers.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 00:02:58 65400
Nadeshiko spots the tall girl again, but then loses her in the crowd. She has an Important Favor to ask her!

There's a whirlwind of the Tsukino girl. Nadeshiko feels exhausted, and she didn't even get a hug! "So much energy."

Relieved that Kukai probably isn't gonna keel over in the next five minutes, she's able to relax. She offers him a warm smile, lacing fingers with his for a brief moment.

Sakura gets another smile! "I'm Nadeshiko Fujisaki. It's nice to meet you, as well."

She turns to Kukai and places her hand on his arm. "Excuse me, I keep seeing someone I want to talk to. I'll be right back."

WIthout thinking, she kisses his cheek. Then blushes furiously because of it. So bold! In public! "Um, erm, I'll...ah..."

It's a flustered Nadeshiko who waves to Haruka!

And then she goes to find Makoto!

It takes a bit, but she's successful! Even with the apron, Nadeshiko can feel this is a classy lady!

"Um...pardon me. I have...well, I mean, you look the right size." She leans in and whispers off Makoto's measurements the best she can make them, keeping her voice low because this is girl talk! "Well, see, my father has some clothing he needs to get rid of. He's been procrastinating with it, but..."
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-03 00:05:32 65402
Sakura Kinomoto stared for a moment. Then her eyes lit up and she squeaked. "Oh my gosh oh my gosh!" Haruka could probably sense what was coming. But it was too late to stop. "A-are you the prince? A-are you the prince who Haruka-sempai fell in love with and she was telling me all about and you two are going to get married o-one day and have a bunch of kids and live in a great castle a-and and oh my gosh eeeee!" ... Poor Haruka. "Haruka-sempai is the most awesome ever! s-she even let me come to her princess lessons and she's so smart and nice and you're so handsome and you two are just the cutest couple in the whole wide world oh oh can I be a brides maid when you two get married?"

She was doing so well, too. Then she glanced back when Nades talked to her. "Huh? Oh, nice to meet you--" And ten the words caught in her through. She looked as if she'd just been slapped. "N-Nade... shiko?" she asked softly. Starring at her with stricken eyes.

It probably wouldn't be so bad. If she hadn't dealt with the illusion card about three days ago. She suddenly just pulled away and make a beeline for the balcony again, stepping outside and trying to stop herself from bursting into tears. She wasn't succeeding.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-03 00:10:30 65404
Yuzuki Amemori looks over her shoulder at the girl crying, about to make her way over there when another girl hugs her and it's a kind of tight hug. She hurks, then twists and returns the hug, patting Unmei's back gently. "Glad you could make it." She offers, leaning back to get a look, curious to see how she did on her own with the new tips and supplies.

Not that she's aware of the stab wounds as she leans into the hug and smiles, "I was just about to duck out of the way to the side rooms, it's getting noisy noisy. Want to?"
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 00:11:33 65405
Hurricane Usagi comes and goes; Mako gets the chance for a giggle and a good celebratory squeeze of a hug before she's off again. As for Makoto, she remains more or less content to wallflower and make sure the food stays in good supply.

...at least until Nadeshiko heads her way.

The friendly hi-I-don't-think-we've-properly-met smile that comes to her lips freezes in place the moment Nadeshiko leans in to whisper those numbers, turning into a look of baffled confusion, of not wanting to draw what seems like the most obvious conclusion because seriously who would actually go there, and yet...

Yeah this is kind of awkward. There's a long, uncomfortable pause before Makoto manages to fish up anything to say, which turns out to be: "I'm sorry?"
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-03 00:12:08 65406
Hurricane Sakura has made landfall, and Haruka is left struck dumb by the vertiable torrent of words. And she has a little sister. Lord only knows this might be something like what she will be facing with Momoka, when Momoka hits that age.

And then Sakura's mood does an abrupt one-eighty, leaving the older magical girl staring in utter bafflement. Something clearly set her off, something about Nadeshiko, but... what would cause that? Haruka follows the crying girl, gently setting a hand on her shoulder. "...What just happened?" she asks, keeping her tone gentle.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 00:15:14 65409
Sakura knows almost everyone here, and is bubbly enough to take care of the rest. That's one down. Haruna's 'ten percent discount for heroes' is marked by a twitch at the corner of his mouth. (The images of a membership card for that one entertain, all right.) Two charas are into the candy -- well, that's going to be a couple of other people's problem. Kazuo debates following Seth and Amanda, but the gathering around Kukai should be distracting enough, and besides, there is another small individual whose usual escort is rather distracted. Also by Kukai. Kazuo doesn't need to loom at her now. He glances toward Temari, and starts to say some--

-- or not, because sudden necessity of CATCHING INCOMING USAGI.

Fortunately, she ricochets, leaving him more or less in shape to bow toward Kanata. "Not late at all," he notes. "Late would be after the sun is up." No, there is no introduction made of him. Nor address. He can pick that one for himself, if Haruka lets him... Oh, good, she's letting him.

(Honestly, his sympathies are with Yuzuki and Unmei right about now.)

To that end, he busies himself with Temari briefly: grave inquiries about what she would like, and the assemblage of proper, well -- tiny plates are reserved for the suspiciously doll-sized furnishings, but a single plate for the charas is effectively putting together their own little banquet. If there's room for anything post-sugar. It at least means they don't have to compete against the full-sized people for food.

He's still keeping an eye on the likely trouble points, though. Amanda. Unmei, who just crept in, and who he hasn't met. Sakura who just fled onto the balcony in tears. ... maybe someone not him will take care of that one. His record of dealing with ten-year-old girls is ...

... let's face it, the rosebush with the bag of fertilizer leaned against it has a better shot at comforting her. Fortunately, there is also a secret flower princess. Maybe Kazuo should stick with the charas. At least Temari gets upset in a way he understands.
Hope Kanata 2017-01-03 00:16:39 65410
Sakura begins what can only probably be, what Hope Kanata processes as a stream of conciousness. He does his best to follow. About maybe... a few seconds in he perhaps wish he didn't. He blinks. Merely once- as his mouth opens and then he closes it a bit.

When this is done processing- yeah he just straight out blushes.

But then that's all forgotten because the girl begins to.. cry? and take off. He purses his lips.

He follows suite after Haruka as he listens closely to the two.

"Is everything okay?" he asks softly- echoing Haruka's concern and maybe confusion a little. He knows he didn't do anything personally wrong. But it seemed things went wrong when she said hello to that graceful girl from earlier.
Unmei Tama 2017-01-03 00:19:08 65411
Unmei Tama nodded rapidly, taking Yuzu's hand. "Yes, please, if that's okay," she said nervously, giving a week smile. "Lead on."

Her eyes glanced towards the candy bowl. "That can't be hygenic..." she mumbled softly. Eying the charas for a moment, before eeping and turning back to Yuzuki. "So, ummm... this party looks like a lot of fun!" she said happily, grinning up at her. Following her into the other room, which would hopefully have less people!
Kukai Souma 2017-01-03 00:19:26 65412
Kukai smiles politely to Yuzuki as she heads off, then he has a moment to look around, seeing the new people like Unmei and Hope enter the room. That's cool. They seem to be friends of the ECFH folk. Nadeshiko squeezes his hand, and he squeezes it back. And then he gets a kiss! He keeps his mind on not kissing her back as best he can, but winks at her slyly. "OK, sure. I'll be here."

And then Sakura looks like Nadeshiko told her she'd set her favorite dog on fire, and sprints for the balcony, leaving Kukai without either of them and blinking. "....What the hell was that?" He looks over, seeing a few others moving over to the weeping girl, and decides if they know her that's probably the best way to deal with it. He'll hear what happened later - whatever happened...

He looks around. Huh. Nobody nearby. It's probably a gaffe and a rudeness but maybe not - he considers the fact that he didn't make anybody cry - before picking up his osechi-ryori box and searching for something to drink. Best to eat now while he's got a chance, just in case.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 00:19:53 65413
Temari basks in the attention of Kunzite-sama! She flutters nearby, hiding her lower face behind her kimono sleeves. She answers his question in a small, almost shy voice. So unlike Temari!

Now that she's away from her embarassingly public display of affection, she recalls Sakura's reaction out of her peripheral. Had she done something wrong...?

She will check on it soon! For now!

She blinks at Makoto's confusion.

"Oh, I'm sorry! My name is Nadeshiko Fujisaki. It's a pleasure to meet you." A small bow is given.

When her head is lowered, a small chara with a mouth full of candy zooms in and looks up in awe at Makoto. Rhythm's experience? Assume people can't see him!

"Gosh, Na-chan! She's a tall lady! You're right, your father's clothes will fit her!"

And of course, Nadeshiko doesn't know if Makoto can see the chara or not, so she tries hard not to react. There is an eye twitch, though.
Seth Locke 2017-01-03 00:20:39 65414
It has been growing on him a while. Like... Everytime he saw them, floating around in the air; those chibi beings.

At first, he didn't think much of them, it's like he felt they were just... He doesn't know what he felt!

But then, he started to pay attention to them, and their behavioral patterns. And it's just not logical that they would be delusions from illness. Not anymore.

"Okay", he speaks calmly. "Could someone please, explain to me what exactly are these little beings that I constantly see floating around here?" He points to the nearest one, Temari, who is swooning over Kazuo, and then points to the other two on a candy raid.

Amy rejoins him, where she asks, "Seth, what're you talking about?"
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-03 00:22:54 65416
Sakura Kinomoto nodded. "I-I'm fine," she said from the balcony, wiping her eyes and trying, and failing, to make the tears stop. "I-I just h-have something in my e-e-eyes," she said. Yeah, because the way her lips were trembling, the way her eyes had those silent, big tears going down them, was something in her eyes. The way she looked like she was going to jump OFF the balcony...

She had magic so she'd be fine if she did. Jump off as in flee.

"I-I just needed some fresh air. P-please, d-don't let me mess u-up your night. I-I'll be b-b-back in soon." She sniffled a little bit, the softest little sob coming from her. She was trying to supress it all, which just made it all the worse as she shook.
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-03 00:27:34 65418
Haruka shakes her head firmly, wrapping Sakura up in a hug. "Sorry, can't do that. Knowing you're out here and crying and me going in there and ignoring it is not how a big sister works," she says in a tone that implies no arguments will be tolerated. "Now, tell me what's wrong? That will help make my night better. I'm worried' about you."

Flower Princess is
not'' letting go, and is more than happy to deal with crying ten-year-old in Kazuo's stead.

"You saw Na-chan, said her name, and pretty much freaked out. Did she do anything? If so, I can talk to her..." But she doubts it, a little. Nadeshiko doesn't seem like the kind of person to do things that would make a ten-year-old flee in tears.
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 00:33:45 65420
Makoto answers Nadehisko's polite bow with one of her own, almost on reflex, still looking rather confused. "Makoto Kino," she answers, courtesy for courtesy, eyebrows raised. "Nice to meet you...?"

Nadeshiko won't have to wonder for very long whether Mako can see Charas or not - almost immediately, Mako's green eyes flick toward Rhythm, and his words bring about an eye twitch that's almost a mirror of Nadeshiko's. It doesn't sting as much as it used to, mercifully, but her height is still something of a sensitive subject.

(The fact that Nadeshiko stands practically eye-to-eye with her is a detail that has, in the surprise and confusion of the moment, thoroughly escaped Mako's conscious notice.)

"...I'm not exactly sure how to take that," Mako says, voice hitching slightly with an award little laugh.
Hope Kanata 2017-01-03 00:35:38 65422
Hope Kanata looks back into the room when Haruka and Sakura talk. He begins to wonder, did something happen between Sakura and that girl? 'Na-chan'. Haruka says. He looks back to the two and hunches down a little. He places a hand on Sakura's shoulder. "You can tell Haruka-chan what's wrong." he says quietly. "I'll go ahead and go somewhere else. If it'll make it easier." he says with a smile.

Basically, Kanata is being his usual kind self.

"Besides. It isn't very proper of a prince to leave girls outside, crying in the cold." he insists.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 00:38:16 65424
Sakura has a prince and a princess. Good, good. Mystery girl noticed the charas: interesting, but Kazuo's scared enough people today; he doesn't delay Unmei and Yuzuki's migration.

All of which means that, on the whole, Kazuo picks up the intended-for-charas plate and transfers it to what is, ahem, clearly a display of dollhouse furniture, Amy off to one side. Platter and banquet provided, check. The boys will migrate over soon enough or not.

Annnnnd then Seth is pointing at Temari. Well, then.

"Please find it in your heart to forgive him," he says solemnly to Temari about the pointing. "He's American; they forget." Interception made, and Kazuo glances to Kukai. "I can try to explain if you'd prefer to eat," he says. "Your option."
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-03 00:38:42 65425
Sakura Kinomoto whimpered and wiped her eyes again. She looked up at Haruka and trembled, chewing on her lower lip and...

"I-I... I don't w-want you to think... I-I'm weak though... I... I wanted to be strong like... like you a-and S-spark-sensai and... and Haruna-sempai..." she said weakly.

Though her hands reached out and she clutched at Haruka's shirt weakly, her entire body shaking with silent little sobs as she struggled to keep it bottled up, only making it works.
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-03 00:41:02 65426
"I don't think you're weak for crying. I just want to know why. Something's hurting you, and it's not weak to ask for help if you're hurting." Haruka just hugs Sakura closer, tucking the smaller girl's head under her chin. She shoots Kanata a brief, thankful smile.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 00:42:13 65428
There's a finger pointing at Temari, and the person belong to the finger calls her a thing. Eyes glint. "Thing? I'm not a thing!"

She goes to fly at him to pull his hair for pointing and calling her a thing, but Kazuo's voice stops her. She turns to him, eyes still mildly glinty, but she stays put. "Yes, Kunzite-sama. I shall try."

Of course, Temari and Nadeshiko are rather linked. And if that hadn't happened at that precise moment, Nadeshiko probably would be thinking more clearly.

Of course, she isn't. Her head dips a little until her eyes are shadowed, and there's that same glint in her eye! "You got a problem with cross-dressers, lady?"
Hope Kanata 2017-01-03 00:45:45 65429
Hope Kanata gives Haruka a smile back, but he does immediatly look back with concern to Sakura. "Crying doesn't make anyone weak." he says a little softly. He softly adds. "If that was true. Well. I'd be plenty weak. So would Haruka-chan." she says softly.

He remembers that day. After all, when he first met Haruka- /she/ was crying.
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-03 00:46:38 65430
Sakura Kinomoto sniffled a little more and... and then she gave in. She began to full on wail, they might have even heard it from inside.

"I-it was h-horrible I... I f-found a-another card a-a few days and a-and i-it was the I-illusion c-card and it t-took the form of my m-mother a-and I thought it was her ghost a-and she r-reached out for me a-and I-I wanted to touch her hand b-but Naru-san s-stopped me a-and I-I almost fell into the pit a-and then I-I had to capture it a-and I thought, I-I thought it was my mom b-but it wasn't and... and I just... mommy..." she said softly, wailing into Haruka's chest, clutching her tightly and sobbing. And apparently something about Nade's triggered it./
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 00:52:36 65433
In an instant, Makoto's eyes grow huge and her mouth opens into a D: of surprise and abject dismay. Oh. Oh.

"No no no!" she exclaims, both hands flying up in front of her palms-out in a hasty gesture of denial. It takes her approximately another half-second to realize that this probably isn't going to help anything at all. "That's not what I - I mean - when you said your dad had clothes he was looking to get rid of, you meant--"

The words spill out in a rush, one thought tripping over the next. Makoto is blushing fiercely now as she tries to rein herself in. "--Wow, I just shoved my foot all the way into my mouth, didn't I? Um, could we maybe try this again?"
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-03 00:53:24 65434
Haruka listened to the explanation and stroked Sakura's hair and back, soothingly. So Sakura's mother has passed on? That'd make anyone cry, and whatever Nadeshiko did isn't really a thing she did so much as touching a raw nerve on a very sad little girl, it sounds like. Haruka makes soothing, soft noises. "I'd cry in that situation, too," she says softly.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 00:58:32 65436
The glint dissapears as Makoto starts to ramble out her apology. She blinks, eyes go wide, and then just as suddenly her shoulders droop a bit and she closes her eyes. "Oh sheesh. Hold that thought, if you please?"

She storms to the mouth of the kitchen and yells out. "TEMARI, I SWEAR TO GOD, IF YOU MAKE US BREAK RULE FOUR, YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED BACK HERE FOR A MONTH!"

Temari nearly drops her tiny plate. "What? No fair! He pointed! With his finger!"

"DON'T YOU DARE SASS ME!"

She grumbles back to Makoto and makes about the same face back. "No, no, it's fine! I'm so sorry for my reaction! You didn't have all the facts to begin with, and I knew that, but Temari gets the best of me sometimes! But yes! He has some very lovely clothes that I think would look amazing on you. And Mother's always after him to thin out his wardrobe, but he's afraid if it goes to thrift stores people will break up outfits! It would e a huge favor for us if you would!"
Hope Kanata 2017-01-03 01:02:37 65438
Hope Kanata frowns. Sakura talks about another one of those cards. And her late mother. He can't say anything here. He doesn't even know if his mother and father are even alive. He hopes they are.

He gets up and walks back into the main room with a smile, nodding to others. to Kazou as he obtains a glass of juice. He walks back out and gently squats back down a bit, to be on Sakura's level again. "Here." he says, offering the juice. "This might help." he says softly. "Small sips, and a little breath between each one. Okay?" he asks.
Seth Locke 2017-01-03 01:04:50 65439
"Please excuse my manners", Seth replies to Temari, "but I called you a 'being', not a 'thing'. And my pointing is that I wasn't sure anybody else could actually see you." He looks about, to people and the charas, and then to Kazuo. "If you can provide an explana..." Then, something about cross-dressers makes him lose his train of thought, where he shifts his attention towards Makoto and Nadeshiko. He blinks, gears in his head working.

'Nicely pulled a look, though', he thinks to himself.

But he regains his train of thought. "Sorry, lost myself for a moment, there." He looks back to Kazuo. "If an explanation can be provided, I'm all ears."
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-03 01:07:13 65440
Sakura Kinomoto nodded, sniffling and looking up at her. "I just... I just want... I want mommy back," she said weakly, wiping her eyes. "I-I know it's not... f-fair. I-I know daddy and big brother w-want her back too and... and I k-know they m-miss her too a-and they're hurting too b-but... but seeing her there and then... then hearing her name..." She gave another little sob.

She took the cup and gave it another little sip, wiping her eyes. "I'm sorry... I-I didn't mean to... to ruin your night with your boy friend Haruka-sempai," she said with another sip, taking them slowly like she was told and...

"Y-you two are going to make good m-mommy and daddys..."
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-03 01:11:43 65443
Haruka shakes her head firmly, even as things slot into place. Sakura's late mother was named Nadeshiko. "...If it helps, I usually call her Fujisaki-san," for reasons unrelated to Sakura's issues with the name Nadeshiko, but still. "I can see why that would make you upset, though."

And then the comment about her potential as a parent. Haruka's face could probably melt all but the coldest ice, and she fishes for a distraction. She digs one out of her purse, one-handed. "Sakura-chan, you want to hear something cool?" Topic change: NOW. "I got a second dress-up key a bit ago!" DISTRACTION, PLEASE LEAVE THE TOPIC OF HER BEING A MOMMY ALONE. She is not prepared for that line of thinking.
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 01:15:37 65445
Makoto is left doing more wide-eyed blinking as Nadeshiko bellows out of the kitchen at Temari. Such a contrast with the elegant image she'd put forth so flawlessly up until just a moment ago.

Mercifully, Nadeshiko isn't mad at her. By the time she's done explaining, Mako is giggling in a combination of amusement and sheer relief. "It's okay," she says with a little shake of her head. "I didn't think you were trying to be rude or anything, it's just that being tall is kind of a sensitive subject for me, and--"

Here she checks herself for a moment, looking at Nadeshiko anew as she finally properly realizes how close in height they are. "I'm sure you must know how hard it can be to find clothes that fit right," she says. "So really it'd be you guys doing a huge favor for me. I'd love to have a look, if it'd be all right with your dad."
Kukai Souma 2017-01-03 01:17:55 65447
Kukai has his NYE box in his hands and is exploring the different tastes and concepts in it - it's really, really good! Makoto should be commended. If he remembers it later. He watches Nadeshiko and Makoto talking, off to one side, then looks up, hearing Seth speak about 'little figures'. And there's Kazuo, saying he could explain it. "Hmm? Oh, wait. You mean the Charas, right? Daichi, c'mere a minute." Daichi blinks up from besides the candy bowl and flies over, landing on his feet on Kukai's shoulder. Kukai nods to him. "This is Daichi, my Guardian Chara. He is.. well, it's a long story, but some kids who have deep, heart-felt wishes and prayers they want to fulfill have Guardian Charas born from their hearts and those wishes. They're what grant us our magics."

Daichi waves at Seth, giving him a thumbs-up! "Hiya!"

Then Kukai looks up and sees Seth pointing at Temari. "Ah... maybe not... do that..." Nadeshiko, out of the corner of his eye, does everything but grab Makoto's collar and shake her for some reason. Kukai feels the nerves run all over him, but.. then she releases her and Temari vanishes into the kitchen. Kukai continues talking to Seth as the scene unfolds. "They're little examples of who we want to be and what we want to do with our lives. But they have their own minds and ideas that are... different from ours, but they can effect us in wild ways." Nadeshiko walks over to the kitchen door and yells at Temari in a most unladylike fashion. Angry Na-chan in killer cheongsam. Kukai has to look away to continue talking. "Like that. Anybody with a Guardian Chara tends to be ruled by their emotions, in one way or another."

Seth speaks up, and then he nods. "Sure, it's fine. I hope that explains things, though."
Hope Kanata 2017-01-03 01:22:04 65448
Likewise. Kanata is also not ready for that line of thinking. So he doesn't even aknowledge it. Nope. Maybe he'll ask Haruka about it later- basically: 'What have you been telling Sakura-chan now?'. But right now isn't the time.

He welcomes the topic change. "Yup! Haruka and her friends fought a creature that tried to come and take it. That key is very important." he says with a soft series of matter of fact nods. nod nod nod.

Maybe that'll shake the mental images out of his head.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 01:25:59 65450
Temari, realizing she was this close to messing up again, flies over and sulks on Kukai's shoulder. The shoulder that hides her SHAME from Kunzite! She offers a meek little wave to Seth.

Nadeshiko is, of course, oblivious to just about everything else but her current conversation.

She gives an indelicate snort at the fitting right comment, but then her eyes widen. "Are you crazy? It's hard finding clothes, but a girl your height, able to wear everything girly?"

Here, Nagihiko's voice slips. "So jealous..."
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-03 01:26:17 65451
Sakura Kinomoto nodded, blinking. "Y-you did? T-that's so cool! It looks... looks so pretty," she said wiping her eyes. She smiled up at her. "Y-you're such the coolest princess in the whole wide world, Haruka-sempai. T-thank you. I... I think I'm ready to go inside now." Her eyes were a little puffy, but she put up her big, stiff upper lip. Giving that 'I will smile no matter what' face to them. "I'm a little hungry, actually. If that's okay...."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 01:36:11 65454
Kazuo inclines his head solemnly to Temari at her promising to try. "Thank you." Kanata receives a nod in passing for entirely different reasons -- well, okay, there's gratitude involved there too.

And Kukai, thankfully, has the explanation ninety-percent in hand. Kazuo steps in for the other ten percent. "Not everyone can see the Guardian Charas," he says to Amanda, with that same typical gravity. "There's no shame in not being able to, for now. Most people can't. If you can't, then, you're still in good company; and that might change next year, or next week, for all that we know. For the most part, we treat them as we would any other guests. So you'll see people here talking to what looks like thin air, sometimes, or doing things for them. While you can't see them, they won't do you harm, they won't get in your way, and they won't play tricks on you, which means that you're in better hands with them than you probably are with some of your classmates."

And also that she's likely to forget half of this conversation in a day or so, but that's all right, too. Then again, given the magic she's peripherally exposed to on a daily basis, she might not.
Seth Locke 2017-01-03 01:38:31 65456
Seth Locke ohs, enlightened. "Extraordinary!" He actually smiles. "Makes actually a lot of sense, though. Every person wants to be something deep down, and those wishes shine the brightest when they're young, with their whole lives yet ahead of them." He also surmises, "And makes sense that emotions come as a package deal; they're part of the passion to follow through with that desire, are they not?"

He offers a wave back to the charas here assembled.

But then, he wonders, "But, what if those desires change, for some reason? Like, priorities, or something?"

Amy is listening to this, taking it in with a bit of confusion as she can't see the charas. But, she does look at Seth, having a feeling where the conversation could lead.
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 01:40:34 65457
The shift in Nadeshiko's voice doesn't escape Makoto's notice, and it stops her for a moment - but just for a moment, the 'click' of the last bit of realization coming into place. Not just her father, then.

The moment passes, and Makoto shakes her head, smiling. "I really can't, though," she says. "With my size, if I try to go really frilly and girly, I look ridiculous, like an overstuffed cushion or something."

She pauses briefly to get another look at Nadeshiko's ensemble, regarding her with visible admiration. "I wish I had half your style, really. That dress looks amazing on you!"
Usagi Tsukino 2017-01-03 01:43:01 65459
Lacrima, such a meany! It's not Usagi's fault her offer had been bad! She didn't know!

Teary-eyed Usagi, running through!
Mamoru Chiba 2017-01-03 01:43:14 65460
There is a clattering down the stairs from the roof, and the stairwell door opens and-- doesn't! let in a blast of cold air from outside, though there is a breeze, since the top door is open too. It spits out Mamoru and Nephrite, and the former's grinning. "OKAY GUYS--" he calls out over the sound of music and talking, "--move the party upstairs! The roof's got a great view of the fireworks-- and we set up a dancefloor in the winter garden! Don't need your coat!"

This said, he starts to weave through and between people toward the other living room, and literally runs straight into Usagi running the other way.

There hasn't been a collision like this in over a year.

WHUMP!
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-03 01:45:49 65462
Haruka nods at Sakura's comment about the key with a small smile. "It's actually why I came here- I wanted to talk to Mamoru and his friends about it, and what happened when it showed up." At Sakura's comment about her being the coolest princess, she blushes. "Maybe go to the bathroom before you go back to the rest of the party? Your face is all red and puffy, and a cold washcloth will help with that."

Even Haruka can hear Mamoru's announcement, and she winces at the collision, laughing nervously at it.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 01:47:54 65463
Her eyebrows raise. "There are so many clothes you could pull off better than anyone I know."

She gives a happy blush at the compliment. "Thank you. It's...well, some from my Dad, some from Mom, the rest trial and error."

And then, well, the cat might be out of the bag. She points to her own...chest area. "This? Padded. Normally I don't bother, but it adds a little extra to the dress."

And then, an idea, and it's a rare time that Nadeshiko looks a bit shy. "I could um...help...and, well--"

Oh, she hears the Chiba boy. And...holy crap, did two semis just slam into each other?
Hope Kanata 2017-01-03 01:48:34 65464
Hope Kanata smiles and nods at Haruka and then at Sakura. "I admit. I'd hoped to talk to them about it too. I am. Curious. As to why it ended up here." he says a little honestly. "I mean. When people have had enough party." he says.

Then he hears a collision and he peeks back inside quick.

"Is.. everything alright in here?" he asks as he looks back at Haruka.

"Maybe we should go up to the roof then?" he asks.
Kukai Souma 2017-01-03 01:49:32 65466
Kukai nods at Kazuo, then grins. "Yeah, what he said. Charas are for the most part harmless. Mostly." He hmms, then looks up, reaching up to pat Temari's head, careful not to muss her hair. Daichi has no such compulsions, and zips around to give the princess Chara a big hug!

He thinks, rubbing his chin. "Well... honestly, some people are special, and have multiple amazing wishes." He nods over at the candy dish, where Rhythm is still ostensibly buried. "The flying hugger over there also belongs to Nadeshiko. And if you ever see my friend Amu, she's got three - Ran, Miki, and Su, each representing a different wish or desire. And I've seen people lose Charas or change Charas.. it's rare, though. Rarer even than just having them."

He spares a moment for running feet - looks like Usagi. She's heading for the roof and- BLAM.

Kukai winces at the collision, pulling his shoulders up. "Oh geez." He takes a couple more bites from his box hurriedly - not like it wasn't close to empty anyway, Kukai's a fast eater - and sets it down near the trash can. The box is too nice to throw out. "If you've got any more questions Seth, we can probably talk about 'em later. Lemme go get Nadeshiko if we're going up."

Kukai does also take a moment to get a couple cups of amazake, one for him, one for the killer in the cheongsam, then heads over towards her and Makoto. "Hello! We wanna head on up?"
Usagi Tsukino 2017-01-03 01:49:47 65467
CRASH!!!

"Owieeee, ow ow ow! Wha--Mamo-chan~!!!" On the ground, tears forgotten, Usagi makes things worse by tackling her up-to-now beroofed boyfriend!

Snuggle! Cuddle! Happy hums!
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-03 01:50:46 65468
Sakura Kinomoto blinked and nodded, then gave her one more hug. And then... Smiled to the prince. "T-thank you! Please take good care of Haruka-sempai! She's really super, super nice and she deserves the absolute bestest boy friend ever! And she always says such good things about you so I know you have to be so nice!" She looked over and... "Oh dear.. Ummm, you two can go out to the roof if you want," soft sigh. "It's so romantic for boy friend and girl friend to make out on new years, right?" Before she made her way back inside. She stared at the mash. "Ummm... are you two okay?" she asked, moving with the crowd. Before gulping and quickly heading for the bathroom to wipe the obvious signs of her own tears off.
Nephrite 2017-01-03 01:52:13 65469
Nephrite snickers as he steps over the fallen prince and princess on his way to the kitchen. "Just like old times, huh?" His choice of attire this evening is a green sweater made to look like the classic Ugly Christmas Sweater, but rather than typical winter animals tucked into the snowflake pattern, there are dinosaurs. He gives a wave to the living room at large as he passes through. "Evening, party people! Don't forget to grab your drinks before you head up, and get ready to dance!"

He steps into the kitchen, immediately beelining for Makoto and giving her a peck on the cheek. "Hey darling, sorry I took so long upstairs. I'm just going to grab the champagne and move it up to the coolers upstairs. Everyone having fun?"
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-03 01:56:32 65473
Haruka follows Sakura in, nodding at Kanata. "I'm going to warn you, though. I haven't had any dancing lessons at all yet, so your toes might be in danger," she says sheepishly. Her cheeks color a little as she says this. She stares down at Usagi and Mamoru, offering her hands to Usagi. "Usagi-san!" Haruka beams, reaching into her purse for a gift, similar to the one she bestowed Sakura. "I made something for you, and- um." Haruka is definitely blushing furiously. "I don't think you've met Kanata-kun, but he's here too."
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 01:58:07 65474
Makoto was about to answer Nadeshiko, just even as she opens her mouth, Mamoru's making his announcement - and then sounds of wailing Usagi, followed by a collision. Oh dear.

When Kukai turns up a moment later, Mako gestures him and Nadeshiko both on with a smile. "Sounds like we'd better," she agrees. "I'd love to talk fashion with you more sometime soon, though, Nadeshiko-san--"

This is about when Nephrite sweeps in, and that quick cheek-kiss is soon followed by a doubletake on Mako's part. "Neph what even," she begins before stopping herself and shaking her head. Never mind. It's possible that this is the first time this evening that she hasn't been too distracted to notice that appalling sweater, but never mind. "Can I help carry or have you got it?" she asks instead.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 02:02:04 65476
The responsibilities of guardians of the non-Chara varieties are many and varied. Kazuo detaches temporarily from the Chara conversation in order to mirror Haruka, waiting patiently for Usagi to detach from Mamoru long enough for him to offer Mamoru a hand up.

He does not react to the Ugly Christmas Dinosaur Sweater. Nephrite got to see the non-expression it prompted earlier; he's not getting a repeat. There is merely not a word.
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 02:03:23 65477
Rhythm pokes his head out from the candy bowl and grins! He's being talked about! Yay!

Temari leans into the stroke from Kukai and nuzzles the finger, then snuggles against Daichi.

Nadeshiko beams at Makoto. "Great! I'll give you my number later if you want." She turns and beams at Kukai.

And then there's a tall and loomy Nephrite. Oh dear goodness, he didn't hear about the bra thing, did he?

A pink blush!

And a cheek-kiss, which reminds her of her own to Kukai not too long ago! More blushing!
Hope Kanata 2017-01-03 02:05:03 65479
Hope Kanata follows along with Haruka toward's Usagi as he gives Haruka a wry smile. Dancing lessons is not a thing Shamour has gotten to yet it seems. "I'm sure it'll be fine." he says, as he looks over to Usagi.

"Hello, Usagi-san." he says. "I'm Kanata. It's a pleasure to meet you." he says.

He head tilts a bit. Wow. That girl is really latched to Mamoru. He looks back behind to make sure Sakura isn't moping outside anymore, too.
Seth Locke 2017-01-03 02:06:09 65481
Seth Locke hears Mamo arriving, offers a greet to the guy, then starts to walk to where the /real/ party is gonna take place. That's when he notices the crybaby train that is Usagi running, and a huge collision sound. He winces, "Oy!!" He fast-paces to meet the ever-bumping-into-each-other couple. "Is anybody hurt?"
Usagi Tsukino 2017-01-03 02:07:25 65482
Snuggle snuggle!

But, oh, they've caused a Scene!

It's with Great Reluctance she takes Haruka's hand, and only because it takes her away from snuggles. Still, she takes it, and hops up. She gasps at Haruka. "Ooooooooooooooo? Kanata-kun? Huehuehue!" So much Huehuehueing done in one day!

And then he appears! "So you're Kanata-kun!" Oh yes, many huehuehueings!

Fortunately, they're saved by Seth! "We're fine!" She chirps. "Used to happen all the time!"
Kukai Souma 2017-01-03 02:08:07 65483
Kukai grins, offering Nadeshiko a cup of amazake and one arm. "I think the staircase is wide enough to go up two at a time. How's that sound? It's almost midnight, and if the stairs are clear of the unstoppable odangos colliding with the immovable rose then we can probably go up."

Kukai eyes Nadeshiko for a moment, leaning down. "Why're you blushing so much?"
Nephrite 2017-01-03 02:09:27 65484
Nephrite glances down at the sweater in question. "What? It's festive!" The fact that half of his housemates cringe at the sight of it is merely an added bonus.

He gives Makoto a grin and a shrug. "You've done way too much today already. How much longer until I can get you out of that apron? I'm sure I owe you a dance or two."

He gives Nadeshiko and Kukai a friendly look. Oh dear, blushing. Too much PDA, or too much intimidating loud sweater guy? "Hey, sorry if I interrupted. I just live here."
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 02:12:07 65485
Nadeshiko happily takes his arm and cup. "Two at a time sounds good. Better than one at a time!"

And then she whispers to him about why she's blushing. Something about padded bras and guys tall enough to be in the American NBA.

She offers a polite and friendly smile to Nephrite. "Oh, no. I just..." Her voice trails off as she finally notices the sweater. She's been too busy blushing to notice until now.

"I didn't know those actually existed..." She sounds almost in awe!
Mamoru Chiba 2017-01-03 02:13:19 65486
Right there on the floor, laughing and ruefully rubbing Usagi's head as she clings to him, Mamoru leans his own head down to kiss the top of hers. "Sorry!" He glances up and makes a face at Nephrite, but it's mild; he's unable to hold the laughter in for long. "It has been a while since that happened, hasn't it, Odango Atama?" he teases, cuddling her close for a moment before hands are being offered to her from another princess, and then hands are offered to him from his Kunzite.

He takes the hand up, then dusts himself off with one hand while squeezing Kunzite's lightly with his other before letting go. "I need to tell the people in the other room," he says, taking out his phone and texting Naru while blocking the path. A glance up, and there are multiple people asking if everyone's all right, and Seth is closest. He gives the other boy a crooked smile. "Yeah we're fine, thanks. Sorry for the ruckus."
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 02:16:26 65490
"We were girl-talking before you guys decided to invade," Makoto informs both Nephrite and Kukai, mock-primly. It's a pretense she can only hold up for a moment before she breaks down and shakes her head, laughing a little. "It's fine, though, Mamoru-niisan was already calling us upstairs anyway."

As they join the general herd movement up to the roof, she grins up at Nephrite, a little bit pink-cheeked herself. "Well," she says cheerfully, "since we're moving upstairs and away from the chance of anybody accidentally overturning one of the food tables... I think your chances are looking pretty good."
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-03 02:20:38 65492
Haruka just turns bright red at Usagi's laughter. "Kanata-kun, this is Usagi-san," she says brightly, and gestures between the two. She bounces slightly on the balls of her feet, looking at Mamoru. "Ah- Mamoru-san, when you get back, can I grab you for a moment? It's about what happened on the roof a while ago." She tucks the Key away, smoothing her dress down. "But-- I think Kanata-kun and I are going to the roof."
Hope Kanata 2017-01-03 02:26:06 65495
Hope Kanata blinks. Why is.. Usagi laughing. Like that. He's never heard a laugh like that before. This is a little confusing but tonight has been really confusing and he's probably going to ask Haruka awkward questions later.

"Yes, I would like to go to the roof." he says softly. "If to just watch the New Year come in on fireworks. And maybe dance." he says.

"Even if perhaps, my feet will be hating me tommrow morning." he gives Haruka a sort of playful look there.
Nephrite 2017-01-03 02:27:12 65496
Nephrite chuckles at Nadeshiko's comment. "They do if you know where to look."

Before they go, he retrieves an entire crate of champagne from the fridge. Non-alcoholic bubbly options are already in the coolers upstairs for the kids, drivers, and not boozy-inclined. "Girl-talk, huh? I always miss the good stuff." He smirks as they trail upstairs, hefting the heavy box like it's nothing. "Well good, after you've been slaving all day I think you deserve a good dance and a glass of champagne."
Kukai Souma 2017-01-03 02:33:44 65499
Kukai has the good graces to be properly embarrassed by Makoto, even if she's teasing, and bows his head, grinning. "I'm sorry. You two can keep talking if you want. I~" And then Neph sweeps in and they talk. Kukai looks back and forth, then grins at Nadeshiko after the whispering.. "OK. Um. Ok. That sounds good." He looks over at the sweater. "...What's wrong with his sweater?" He doesn't notice. Oh well.

He smiles and nods up at the staircase. "Let's head on up, huh? And... don't let Rhythm eat himself sick." He winces. "He's getting deep in the candy bowl."
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 02:36:44 65500
Temari blinks as she looks over at the recovered train wreck of people. Floating down, she takes out something from Nadeshiko's purse and floats over to Mamoru. She only struggles a little! She's tough!

She perches on the boy's shoulder and holds up her gift. It's a single wrapped truffle. She gives him a polite bow. "Thank you for allowing us into your home." Then, whether she deposits it in his pocket or his hand, she feels brave enough to heart eyes at Kunzite again!

Nadeshiko shrugs at Nephrite. "If you replace clothing with cars or sports, it's quite similar to boy talk."

She knows from experience!

And then she gives Kukai a look of disbelief, followed quickly by a look of adoration at how oblivious he is. She whispers to him. "Don't worry, that's why I help you pick out your clothes sometimes."

And then she's dragging Kukai along, because she wants to dance!

Rhythm, of course, is too far gone to be saved. He's heard rumors and talks and floats up to Makoto, holding his tiny tummy and looking miserable. "So...good...want...more..."

Comliments to the chef, after all!
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-03 02:37:51 65501
Sakura Kinomoto comes out of the bathroom, all freshened up and ready to follow them upstairs! She... kinda... sat near Haruka. Not too close, mind you. After all, she was going to make kissy face with her boyfriend at midnight.

But near enough that it was obvious she WANTED to be near her friend but far enough she wasn't actually near her.
Haruka Haruno 2017-01-03 02:42:54 65502
Who said that she was going to kiss Kanata at midnight!? Haruka smiles at him regardless. "Let's go upstairs?" she asks him. If nothing else, watching the fireworks will be nice. She hasn't had dance lessons, but the chance to watch fireworks at midnight, from the top of a taller building than she's used to at home would be quite nice.
Naru Osaka 2017-01-03 02:43:34 65503
The phone summons to the living room with the mural seems to have been effective, bringing forth a Naru tugging a Kyouko lightly by the hand into the main room and towards the stairwell to head for the roof.

They'd be quicker to the roof if there wasn't a pit stop by the food table at least, to collect up a few more tasty treats while most of the people are headed upstairs. "Let the rush get ahead or else there'll be a traffic jam on the stairs." Naru comments to Kyouko.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-01-03 02:45:09 65504
    Kyouko would never be one to complain about pausing to collect food while waiting for the stairwell to clear to a decent level. Even if she's limited to collecting food one-handed. "You are wise." She comments placidly to Naru, while seeing how many delictibles she can fit onto one plate without causing an avalanche.,
Mamoru Chiba 2017-01-03 02:46:28 65505
"It's fine," Mamoru tells Haruka, smiling and pocketing his phone after telling Naru to tell the others and also telling her to kiss her girlfriend and then getting basically patted on the head via text. "How about after the fireworks? I'll be up in a second."

Then he lets go of Kunzite's hand -- finally -- and slips his arm around Usagi's waist. "Hey you," he says softly, leaning down and in, "let's go up, right? You can even have some champagne. Just don't-- please don't overdo it..?" The request's made less of a sharp thing by his leaning further in and enfolding her in both arms, hugging her close and bending his head over hers to press his face in her hair.

A moment later, he pulls away but takes her hand to lead the way to the roof with everyone else.

    @};--',--'-,--        @};--',--'-,--

The reason Mamoru and Nephrite -- and Jadeite and Zoisite, but they seem to have vacated the roof in favor of probably stuffing their faces maybe -- were gone so long is apparent when people come up onto the roof. The prince wasn't kidding about 'winter garden', for one thing: there are evergreens everywhere, filling the air with the scent of snow and pine, and clove-studded oranges hang everywhere along with strands of glittering fairy lights demarcating the edges of the roof. A huge clear plastic tent's been set up in the middle, the movable planters and arches having been moved away from their former labyrinth configuration to make room for a large dancefloor.

The tent covers the stairwell also, and space heaters have been set up carefully inside the tent to make sure they won't be tripped over or spilt on or run into. Also inside the tent are roses-- so many different kinds, some planters and rather a lot of arrangements of 'cut' roses, their sweet scent mingling with the snowy pine and spicy orange clove. There's low-key chill atmospheric electronica playing, and there's a door leading outside the tent -- kind of an airlock of flaps -- leading out to an even more open patio ringed with soft lighting to make sure people don't miss their step, darkness for watching the fireworks. The noise from downtown, on that colder patio, is very loud; there's a great view of the glowing party in that area of the city.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-03 02:48:50 65506
Yuzuki Amemori leads the way to the main room, being a touch more gentle than she was before, what with Unmei's comment earlier. She murmurs to her on the way out, "You should have said something, that's so dangerous." scolding her friend for risks! Even if it's probably not as bad as she thinks? Or is it? She's not sure and now her mind is wandering again.

The question regarding magical sorts is given something of a shrug. "I invited you because you're a friend and I thought you'd have a good time." They're not far behind Naru and Kyouko and their idea seems like a good idea to the DJ, pausing at the table to pick out another rather large plate. Then only after she's gathered up all sorts of edibles, she jumps and says, "Oh! Uh, do you want some too?" to Unmei.
Ami Mizuno 2017-01-03 02:50:12 65507
The computer in the corner starts making a cute noise, like someone's attempting to call on the video chat. The static picture is of a blue-haired teen in the seifuku of Seishou Public's middle schoolers, and the name beneath reads 'Ami Mizuno'.
Seth Locke 2017-01-03 02:51:00 65508
"Anyways, 'hanabi' show is upstairs!" And he starts rushing up the stairs, with Amanda right after him.

He will have his fun, so will Amanda; for one night, they'll forget their dark lives in the company of friends, with their wishes being... Well, Seth will wish Amanda to succeed in life when he cannot help her anymore, while Amanda will wish for Seth to stick around in this world for a while longer. Who knows if they'll get their wishes?

And, come the dawn, the hours when everyone have partied themselves into slumber, they'll sleep in the assigned guest rooms.

There will be no dark event surrounding Seth this night.

Happy 2017!
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 02:51:18 65509
...that is an awful lot of champagne. Makoto side-eyes the crate that Nephrite's toting with a look of mild concern, before it seems that she decides not to comment. "It's not slaving if I enjoy it," she protests instead, smiling. "But I'm definitely ready for a break. A dance and a glass of champagne sound about perfect."

A beat, before she grins sidelong at Nadeshiko. "Don't be fooled," she says with a laugh, "I think Neph knows more about fashion than I do. I know he owns more clothes." Presumably they're not all terrifying sweaters. Presumably.

Poor Rhythm gets a soft sympathetic noise, and a place on Mako's shoulder if he wants it-- "Oh no, you poor thing. I'm glad you liked it, but it looks like you should take a break for a while."
Usagi Tsukino 2017-01-03 02:52:43 65510
She gasps! He called her that! She makes pufferfish cheeks at Mamoru, but it's not very effective.

It's made even less effective when he's being all sweet like that!

"I promise!" Her face is one of Serious Determination! Probably a bit overdoing it, but it's how determined she is! And it's hard to take offence, even if she did because he'd asked so sweetly, when he hugs her like that! She snuggles in, all tippy toes and snuggling her face against his neck and breathing him in and just happy, happy!

Up on the roof, her eyes are wide and full of stars! "Ohhhhh, it's so pretty up here!"
rShe just sort of stares, looking at everything! Wow!
Unmei Tama 2017-01-03 02:57:25 65511
Unmei Tama blinked a few times, then nodded. "O-oh, right, I should. And it's fine! it's not like I'm going to be doing sit ups or anything. And if it was dangerous, I'd be home still. As long as I don't have anything pushed to my stomach, it's fine." There's the occasional twitch, but nothing major.

She grabs a plate and puts a few things on it. "This is actually my... first new years party. I was really excited when you invited me. I... I'm not really good at this... being... social thing so...."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 03:00:22 65512
Fortunately, the computer in the corner is a laptop. Kazuo detaches from Mamoru once hands are let go, actually smiling faintly as he paces to go and pacify it. By which we mean make the 'cute supergenius' warning sign actually truthful. "Good evening," he says. "You're just in time. Let me take you upstairs with the others; they're going up to the garden to watch the fireworks." There's a slow pan over the room they're in, letting her (and possibly company) see the partially-demolished array of food.

He detaches the warning sign with its '(and possible evil supergenius)' addition, just in case, and the tape is transferred to the back of the laptop, the warning out of sight but where others present can see it; then the laptop is fetched upstairs, and the winter garden of evergreens and lights and roses made visible. A pretty slice of it, anyhow. Warning is still present, so that anyone who doesn't want an evil supergenius to know they're here can avoid the problem.

But really, it's not like Lacrima hasn't shown up. Last time and, in fact, this time.
Kukai Souma 2017-01-03 03:01:24 65513
Kukai escorts Nadeshiko up onto the roof, then stops near the door and looks around. "....Wow. This is a little crazy. Look at this place - it's like the Royal Garden, only in winter. It's amazing." He looks over at Na-chan and grins. "I feel underdressed. And maybe a little dirty or something."

He sniffs again, then grins. "And of course there's a thousand roses everywhere. In the middle of winter. Amazing." He rubs his chin, then looks down at her. "So you said something about dancing?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-01-03 03:04:11 65514
On the other side of the screen, Ami is dressed wholly inappropriate for Tokyo winter weather, in a white tanktop. She looks like she's sweating, and it is definitely full daylight wherever she's at. "Sorry we're late," she says with a smile at the camera. "We had some reception issues. But we're here now."

As the camera pans over all the people, she comments, "Oh wow. That's a ridiculous amount of people. Uh. Taka!" she calls over her shoulder. "It's time. There are a lot of people and we're getting taken to the roof. Hope you don't get motion sickness."
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 03:05:21 65515
Nadeshiko gives Nephrite an appraising look at Makoto's assurances. She recogizes those shoes. They're the same kind her label-concious father wears when he's dressed as a man.

"With those shoes, I believe it." And then she's off with Kukai!

It's probably telling to people who know Rhythm that he's a tad miserable when he doesn't attack her face in a hug. He sits on her shoulder and leans against her neck. "Well, maybe a little break!"

He peeks around and sees Nephrite. So tall!

And he's learned and grown up lots! Because he whispers in her ear instead of blurting it out. "I think it's pretty that you're so tall. And you look teeny next to him."

Nod, nod!

On the roof, Nadeshiko just takes a moment to look around. Her nose appreciates the mingling scents, nothing seems to detract from the other.

Then she blinks at Kukai and beams, tugging him along. "Well, my ankle's better and I haven't danced in ages because someone worries."
Hope Kanata 2017-01-03 03:06:28 65516
Hope Kanata escorts Haruka up the stairs to the top of the roof and---

"Wow." he goes as he looks around. This is really pretty, and nice. It reminds him of a place- at home perhaps just a little. The feeling is off. It's still lovely however. It's very lovely.

"This is gorgeous." he says softly to Haruka. "Isn't it?"
Nephrite 2017-01-03 03:12:14 65518
Nephrite shrugs, carefully to avoid bumping anybody with the heavy box. "I wanted to be prepared for a crowd. If anybody turns rowdy, I'll hide the rest, promise."

He gives both Makoto and Nadeshiko pleased looks at the comments on his fashion choices. "I mean, I'm not going to stop wearing designer shoes just because I am also wearing dinosaurs. That's just silly."

He grins as they emerge onto the roof. "Hey, remember when we conquered tent-pitching? I've upgraded to party tents. With minimal swearing and not a single broken finger!" He moves to a table in the corner of the tent where coolers of drinks are kept. He sets down the crate and starts setting out plastic wine glasses, preparing to fill and distribute them to whoever wants one to toast at midnight.
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-03 03:12:50 65519
Sakura Kinomoto stared, and then her eyes lit up. "Oh my gosh, this is just perfect for her! She'll love this!" And then she drew out her wand and... used the flower card!

All of a sudden... there were rose petals floating around every which way, creating a nice, romantic blizzard of rose petals to go with the roses that mamoru had probably spent days making.

He'd probably been like, 'Tuxedo mask mode! Through a rose in the bucket, give a speech, un-tuxedo mask. So cool. And a bit lame. But still so cool. Well, her escorts had apparently run off to be alooooooone. Ooooooooooh~ Which left her, as the only kid and seemingly main one without a date to run around on her own. Which involved her walking on the edge of the railing of the roof. Again. Magic. As much as she fell through thesky, she'd be fiiiiiiine. She had experience.
Takashi Agera 2017-01-03 03:17:29 65520
Takashi leans into view just as the camera pans around, but doesn't actually say anything regarding it. "I fly, motion sickness would make that really hard." he notes, leaning over her. And he's there in the background, chin on her shoulder as they're brought up to the roof. It's more familiar than it should be, so he chooses not to say much more, until other people come into view. "See, she's still OK." he notes, a bit pre-emptively.
Naru Osaka 2017-01-03 03:20:28 65521
Food acquired, drinks are upstairs and its after most people are already up on the roof that Naru and Kyouko join everyone up in the redesigned and magical winter garden. Naru blinks in surprise, especially as the roses have now gained extra fluttering rose petals and it smells like a holiday greeting card implies that it might.

"Woah." Naru's usual eloquent self has, apparently failed her for the moment and she lifts her free hand in a wave towards the laptop where Ami and Taka are visiting virtually.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 03:22:10 65522
... over by the laptop, in the blizzard of rose petals, Kazuo considers the ten-year-old railing-running. And considers the thirteen-year-old with no magic whatsoever.

The resigned sigh is probably too quiet for anyone but possibly Ami to hear; it's just that by the time he glances back toward the screen, he's swapped color schemes from blue-and-black to white-and-gray. And cape. Definitely cape. Some parties have designated drivers in case of people making bad decisions around vehicles. Some parties have designated lifeguards in case of people making bad decisions around rooftops. Guess who that is this time! At least he's familiar with Sakura-specific aerodynamics by now.

"I don't actually know who all of them are," he observes to Ami. "Good evening, Agera-san. I trust you haven't encountered any problems worse than reception issues."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-01-03 03:23:53 65523
    Kyouko, towed along by Naru, and looking suspicously red in the face (more so than she had downstairs, although the reason is not readily apparent). She's still clutching the plate of snacks, mildly diminished in her free hand.

    She glances around as they emerge. "Damn, they were working hard." She mutters, half to herself and half to Naru.

    She offers a bright smile and a wave to several people she hasn't yet seen tonight, principally Mamoru and Nephrite.
Lacrima 2017-01-03 03:23:59 65524
Lacrima steps up the stairs. Alone. Having finally dragged herself from the mural room. She purses her lips and looks around at the sight. "Ah..." she says. Which is the only response she gives. Sometimes. It sucks to have half your emotional capacity non-existent. It leaves you literarly speechless.

She hears a computer talk. She hears Taka mentioned- so she naturally gravitates toward's that area. Walking over as she peeks across the computer screen, and narrows her eyes a bit in curiosity. This is for some reason, more intresting to her than all the flowers for the moment. Lacrima is in an immaculate fancy dress.

"Ah... Taka-sama." she says. A pause. "Happy New Year." another pause. Yes. She probably shouldn't ask about how bussiness is going in a public place. She does ask.

"Are you... having fun...? Enjoying..? I'm not sure. The term I should be using." she says softly. She looks over to the right.

"There are a lot of flowers up here." she says matter of factly. Another pause.

"Mizuno-san. He is not getting into trouble. Is he?" she asks. It is obviously meant as a jest but her dull, deadpan tone doesn't help convey it as she looks over to Kazuo a moment and then back.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-03 03:24:54 65525
Yuzuki Amemori shakes her head and says, "Just take it easy alright" Gently nudging her higher than she normally would just to make sure. She settles in as comfortable as she can get herself. "You know, I didn't hear about any serious injuries at school though." Watching the computer for a moment, she has no idea who they are. Then there's a bunch of flowers in the air and she begins to wonder if Unmei's going to sprint straight towards the girl conjuring it!

The easy going smile, out of the way as she is, is back. Especially with the other girl's attempts at being sociable. She leans over and says in an undertone, "I'm not much better. I usually wear a mask to get up on stage, even in crowds this small. Makes it easier."
Ami Mizuno 2017-01-03 03:26:01 65526
The little sigh draws a bemused chuckle from Ami. The chin on her shoulder doesn't even draw a surprised look. Apparently familiarity is something she's grown more accustomed to in her time half a world away.

"At least it's not your brothers, this time," she suggests, quietly enough for him to hear but hopefully not loud enough to carry. Depends on how loud the volume is turned up.

When Lacrima's face shows up, she leans back just a little, then tilts her head. "Trouble? Oh he's getting into loads of trouble," she assures the little vampire. "But none we haven't been able to handle so far."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-01-03 03:26:10 65527
Mamoru grins down at Usagi. "Like the surprise?" he asks her unnecessarily, maybe just preening slightly. Then he's leading her toward where Kunzite's set up the laptop, and he bumps them into the frame next to the white-haired Shitennou. The princestands behind Usagi with his arms folded around her loosely, and he's hunched down a little so that his chin's on her head. "Hi guys!" he says cheerfully. "And of course she is. I trust you both! Are you having fun? It looks like a sauna over there. I'm a little jealous."

He glances aside to the Lacrima that's just joined them, and gives her a cheery welcoming smile despite Usagi just having run out of the room she was in, crying. "Hey! Glad you could make it, Lacrima!"

He glances back, lifting his head from the top of Usagi's, then lifts an arm too -- to wave to Kyouko and Naru, and then give them a huge Shipper On Deck wink.
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 03:28:30 65528
Aww, Rhythm. The faint blush on Makoto's cheeks grows a little brighter, and she tips her head gently in toward the little Chara, just enough for a light, affectionate nudge. "Thank you," she says softly.

Rhythm is now her favorite. He can stay on her shoulder as long as he wants.

Her first proper look at the setup on the roof has Mako's eyes widening in pleased admiration. "Wow!" A moment later, she's beaming a smile over at Nephrite-- "You've become an expert! Well done. I've been so busy in the kitchens I had no idea how much work you guys were doing up here... this is amazing!"

With everything to take in, it takes her a brief while to catch sight of the laptop, but as soon as she does she hurries to move close enough to wave. "Ami-chan! You made it!" A beat, while she makes an effort to swallow her complicated feelings enough to remain civil for the sake of the party mood and the sake of her friend. "Agera, too."
Unmei Tama 2017-01-03 03:29:46 65529
Unmei Tama nodded, following along side her and soon sitting by her. Her cheeks turned red. "It's fine, really. It was my own fault and... I kind of... kept it hidden. I just got out of the club early and headed to the emergency room. My parents were pissed that they had to come pick me up since I'm a minor." She sighed. Then she saw flowers. "Oh, wow, where'd these come from? They're so pretty!" She... missed the girl's display!

She smiled to her. "I know what you mean. I... like it though. I-I need to get better with that kind of thing. I... I do like crowds. It just feels... odd. Since no one here really... knows me." She wondered how many of them were enemies? "Except you." She leaned against her a bit. "Thank you. For inviting me. I... didn't really wanna be home for this. Holidays can... suck."
Usagi Tsukino 2017-01-03 03:31:12 65531
"I dooooo! It must have taken you guys forever! But ohhhhhhh so prettyyyyyy!"

And then they're in front of a laptop. It takes her a moment to look at it, because Mamoru's snuggled up behind her, all warm and cozy. Eyes closed, happy hum!

But oh! Ami!

Tears in her eyes! "Ami-chan! I miss you so much!" Lacrima's here, too... "Takashiiiiiiii, tell her I wasn't trying to be mean, so she's gotta stop being mean!"

But it's a party! She's gotta be nice.

And then there's a Makoto with a little person on her shoulder! "Mako-chan!"
Kukai Souma 2017-01-03 03:31:13 65532
Kukai nods, then grins at Nadeshiko, being pulled along off to one side of the tented rooftop, slipping his arms around her midsection and nodding. "Dancing sounds great, Na-chan. It'll be the way I wanna end the year, at least."

He looks over at the staircase as Naru and Kyouko and... ugh. Well. Still, Lacrima's making an effort to be better. She can stay. For now, Kukai is focused on the gorgeous purple haired dancer in his arms.

Even Daichi gets into things, giving Temari a big hug and then flying around to look at everybody!
Takashi Agera 2017-01-03 03:36:23 65533
"Reception issues, actual chupacabra, ciphers that have fallen out of use before I was born, dimensional distortions it seems like my mother might've had a hand in - so you know, nothing we weren't prepared for. Trouble was somewhat the intent." he answers to Lacrima's query for trouble and function.

"It's only nice in the evening." he answers Mamoru. "It's unbearable when the sun is out being hostile and making everything feel like swimming in steam. We try to sleep during the day."

"Lacrima-san, be gentle. I think she means well, usually." And then, lastly, just an entirely verbally neutral, almost robotic 'Kino-san' is directed at Makoto.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 03:38:27 65534
If his brothers fall off the roof, they're on their own -- well, okay, no, because certain parties being good at gravity-defying leaps does not actually mean they're immune to other forms of gravity. But Kunzite's expression certainly implies the 'they're on their own' when Ami makes that quiet comment. Then, though -- there's Lacrima on the one hand, and Usagi and Makoto on the other, and Mamoru sort of on both, and Kunzite steps back away from the laptop to relieve the crowding. Or possibly to avoid having to say anything to 'actual chupacabra.'

(Well, Unmei's count of 'how many of them are enemies' is now nonzero.)
Ami Mizuno 2017-01-03 03:39:02 65535
"Keeping in mind it's a sauna at 10 AM," Ami points out for Mamoru's sake. "By noon, it's an oven and far less interesting." She wrinkles her nose, then Makoto and Usagip op up on scream, and she squeals in delight. "Mako-chan, Usagi-chan! Hi! Happy new years!"
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 03:42:46 65536
Rhythm snuggles happily into the Tall Person Hugging A Tiny Person head tilt! He doesn't know what he did to deserve it, he just said the truth, but yay hugs!

And being so tiny, he has the metabolism of a humming bird! (Of course, bouncing around all the time helps with that!

FOr a moment, it looks like they're gonna stand in this spot, so he splats himself against Nephrite's face. Even if this human can't see him, yay hugs! "Your sweater is amazing! YAY!"

But oh, wait! His shoulder ride's gone! There she is! He zooms back over and retakes his perch!

There's a laptop with people gathered around it, but Nadeshiko only has eyes for Kukai at the moment. She guides him to the dance floor, grinning up at him, and is sure in his skill level to not guide his hands to around abouts where they should be. (To be fair, countless times she's mentally teased Tadase in times like these. But while he wouldn't be quite as fluid with her as Kukai is, but that's also most likely because they were never actually a couple.)

Temari hugs Daichi! She looks around, too, and happily perches on the random shoulder here and there.
Nephrite 2017-01-03 03:44:25 65537
Nephrite puffs up a little at the compliment. "We weren't working any harder than you were. We needed a backdrop almost pretty enough to match the food you prepared."

He smirks slightly as he glances at the now-transformed Kunzite and also the small child by the railing. Some things never change.

He hears mention of Ami in the direction of the group clustered around the screen and bellows a "Happy New Year Ami!" loud enough that surely she could hear him without the aid of technology before returning to his work. A full line of glasses filled with champagne slowly begins to materialize, ready for the taking.
Lacrima 2017-01-03 03:47:57 65538
Lacrima huffs! "All I did was say hello to her and she barged and ran out of the room crying!" she says.

She just leaves it there through and says. "Oh! Did you catch one for a sample? I want one to study. A carcass will be fine too." she says. "I mean. If you can manage it, Taka-sama." she says softly.

She huffs. "I know you can figure them out." she says.

"I mean between the two of you." she says. "Right?"

She looks back to the dance floor and purses her lips just softly.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-01-03 03:49:56 65539
Mamoru laughs, his hands moving to Usagi's hips as he straightens up. "Well, not too jealous then. Takashi-san, Ami-chan, I forwarded your nengajou to where you are but I have no idea how long they'll take to get there, so rest assured you have my best wishes for the new year! Fireworks are going to start soon-- maybe ten minutes left, right? So we'll see you again in a bit if you're still around!" he says warmly, then tugs Usagi away from squeaking at Ami and Mako and Rhythm, guiding her over to the champagne table to pick some up before heading toward the tent's airlock to be distressingly twee with her until the countdown.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-03 03:52:46 65540
Yuzuki Amemori looks over at the girl leaning against her and puts her arm around her to give her a warm hug, seeming content to wait for the explosion things! Looking out across the gathered people, she says, "I do alright at school because I can go head down and focus on my work. When it's something like this, it's harder right?"

Settling in, she asks, "Do you have a time you have to make it home? Don't want you getting in trouble." Beat, "Uh... I'm glad you came, it's nice getting into these kinds of things right? You get to meet all sorts!" she's kind of rambling just a touch.
Unmei Tama 2017-01-03 03:57:01 65542
Unmei Tama nodded, smiling to her friend. "Right. But... we both need to get better at it, right? I mean... to do the things we want." She gives a light giggle and looks around. She reaches out and catches a petal. "Ohhhhh. I wonder if that counts as good luck."

She then glanced over and shook her head. "Oh, no. As long as they don't have to pick me up, they don't care when I get home. Well, unless i wake them up." She frowned then... "It's not a school night, so maybe I should just stay out until morning so I know they'll be awake."

She then giggled and eyed her hair. "Yuzu, you're turning into a blue rose." She teased as the petals started getting stuck in hair.
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 04:00:40 65543
"Flatterer," Makoto quips back to Nephrite, but it's obvious from the flash of pride in her eyes that she's just as pleased at the compliments as he was at hers. Hey, she worked hard for this party! They all did.

She's discharged her duty of politeness, so now she feels safe in ignoring Takashi's existence and beaming a smile at Ami instead. "Happy New Year!" she replies. "Although I guess it doesn't tick over for you for another, what, ten hours? Still, I'm glad you were able to call in time for the countdown. Tell me you at least have some soba to send out the old year with?" Mako will stop worrying that Ami is eating properly when Ami is back in Japan, pretty much.

"--oh, I think the countdown's about to start. Hang on--" She has to dart away from the laptop for a moment - not far, still within view - over to where Nephrite is manning the champagne, so that she can steal a glass with one hand and latch onto his arm with the other before it's time for the fireworks to go off.
Ami Mizuno 2017-01-03 04:02:18 65544
"Sixteen," Ami corrects Makoto gently. "And yes, we've got soba. I made sure to buy some just for today, although neither of us is a very good cook. We'll work it out, tho--oh! Countdown!"
Takashi Agera 2017-01-03 04:06:31 65545
Takashi smiles at Lacrima. "That's why I said be gentle. And about the study material - I'm sure I can work something out along those lines."

"Thank you for the wishes." he says, politely, to Mamoru. At the mention of fireworks, though, a suspiciously devious grin sneaks onto Takashi's face, one that she can't see but perhaps other people watching the screen can...
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 04:08:32 65546
Kunzite should probably thank heaven that the only people who saw Kazuo carrying a lost six-year-old through a museum exhibit on his shoulders this morning, so she had a better chance of finding her parents, are not here. Nephrite's smirk does not need any more encouragement. Though Makoto's attention is likely to be an even better cure than complete lack of knowledge --

That's a very interesting expression on Takashi's face.

On the bright side, he's not warning Lacrima off, so he probably doesn't have explosives set in the basement.
Nephrite 2017-01-03 04:20:17 65547
The champagne is poured, and suddenly there is a girlfriend on his arm. Nephrite sets down the empty bottle in his hand and takes up a glass. "Alright, everyone who wants one, grab a glass! Everyone who needs something soft, pop is in the cooler!"

He ducks his head to press a kiss on Makoto's cheek and steers them back to the screen. Because probably Mako wants to see as much of her absent friend as she can.
Lacrima 2017-01-03 04:22:27 65548
Lacrima gently takes a glass of champagne. Why? Because she is dressed classy. She will look classy with a glass of champagne, right? She doesn't actually drink it. Not like her body processes food or drink anyways for her to get drunk or worse.

She smiles at Takashi. "Alright. I hope you find your way back safe, Taka-sama. And you too, Mizuno-san." she says softly. She does note Takashi's big grin.

She wonders what he's plotting now. But she doesn't say anything about it.
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 04:38:18 65549
Nephrite is not at all wrong, and the smile that Makoto beams up at him as he guides her back over towards the vicinity of the laptop, removing any need to choose between being near him for the countdown or being near the connection to Ami, is filled with grateful affection.

This way, she can curl her arm around his and lean in comfortably against him even as she turns her eyes back to Ami on the laptop screen. "On the bright side," she says, "toshikoshi soba really isn't too complicated! I'll send you some instructions if you want, in a bit."

It is best for everyone that she was too distracted by Nephrite to see that look on Takashi's face a moment ago.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-01-03 04:48:23 65550
And finally, a kitchen timer goes off and Mamoru detaches from Usagi -- with his champagne -- long enough to shut the electronica off. Because it's twenty seconds to the countdown--! "T-MINUS TWENTY!!" the prince bellows from the music table before scrambling back over to Usagi and pulling her through the tent flaps and the igloo-airlock of plastic out onto the cold patio.

He also henshins in the process so he has a cape to wrap around his girlfriend's grey bunny hoodie dress and white tights, and he waves everyone out-- but the tent being clear plastic, it's possible to stay in the warm and see the fireworks anyway. It's just an infinitely starrier view outside it.

Mask luminous in the moonlight, and gloves and tuxedo shirt and waistcoat illuminated by same, he's a sharply contrasting figure in the fairylights against the backdrop of the warm glow of downtown and the bright lights of Tokyo Tower. One gloved hand holds his champagne up high, and the other's curled around Usagi's shoulders, cape draped there to shield from the cold; twintails flutter out from behind it in the wind that also ruffles Tuxedo Kamen's hair.

The crowds below and away downtown have been making noise this whole time, but now the noise resolves into a steady count.

"Juu! Kyu! Hachi! Shichi! Roku! Go! Shi! San! Ni! Ichi!" And on 'ichi', bells ring out all over the city and the people filling the plazas and rooftops and streets roar distantly, and a thousand thousand exploding lights fill the skies and join the stars, a hundred shades of color dancing and burning out in brief lives of intense joy, and the thunder of them echoes from all the buildings.

If anyone's looking at Mamoru and Usagi instead of each other or the fireworks, there are two champagne glasses sitting on the ledge and the cape is now enfolded around Usagi entirely, Mamoru cradling the back of her head with one hand as he bends to kiss her, long and deeply.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-03 04:49:59 65551
Yuzuki Amemori runs her fingers through her hair and pulls some of the petals free as they build up in her hair. She then holds them in her open palm and blows, trying to get the flower petals to stick in Unmei's hair instead. Successful or not, she begins laughing while saying, "Had to give it a shot at least." It's only after that, that she says more seriously, "We should be able to work something like that out here. Might even be able to just get you a ride home if you need it right?"

Then there's the final count down and Yuzu's humming something as a running joke for herself! Though at the last three, she gives Unmei a careful hug while saying, "Happy new year!" to the new friend!
Takashi Agera 2017-01-03 04:52:27 65552
Takashi turns as the countdown hits, and looks at Ami. "Sorry, I know the timezone's off here, but with the sleeping in the days and all I'm really still on Tokyo time." And before she can process what he just said, and precisely what it means, at 'Ichi' over on the other side of the monitor, Takashi leans around and kisses her square on the lips.

Ah, that might explain the grin.
Ami Mizuno 2017-01-03 04:53:49 65553
"It's okay, me t--" Ami starts to protest, but then her lips are occupied. Rather than closing her eyes and enjoying the on-screen kiss, the bluenette's eyes widen in shock and surprise, and there is a not-entirely pleased noise from the girl. Her face turns red, and her hands flail, and very suddenly the call just drop.s
Unmei Tama 2017-01-03 04:55:36 65554
Unmei Tama blinked a few times, then giggled as some of the petals got stuck in her hair. And then the count down. "Happy new year!" she said right back, hugging her new friend and giving a little giggle. And then she looked around and... "O-oh my gosh. I... I guess the kissing thing is, errr, t-tradition here, too?" Quick, distraction! "Um, um, um ummmm..." And now she was all flustered. "G-got any new year's resolutions?" she squeaked.
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-03 04:57:46 65555
Sakura Kinomoto is staring up at the fire works, with wide eyes. "So pretty..." she whispered before moving to the edge of the roof and pulling out her cards, looking down at them. "This resolution is... to get all of you and your friends back together. So we can all be friends forever!" She then took a slow, deep breath. "And... and I promise..."

She hugged the cards to her chest, the artifacts glowing. "This time i won't forget anyone."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 04:59:30 65556
Against the distant roar of crowds, and the song of bell-echoes with the fireworks for crackling percussion, Kunzite glances at the dead place on the screen where the call had been. Then across to Lacrima.

"Well," he says. "He's finding his way somewhere safely, at least."

It must be safe. The call dropped without anything splashing on the camera first.
Lacrima 2017-01-03 05:05:59 65557
Lacrima downs the champagne. It feels bubbly. Takashi kisses Ami and she waits for Ami to smack Takashi. It seems the call drops before that can happen. Lacrima may be somewhat dissapointed, if only a little.

"Tsk, I was sure she was gonna deck Taka-sama." she says softly to Kunzite.

She frowns. "Natsumi-chan could not be here with me tonight." she says softly. Which feels worse when there's everyone kissing.

Or hugging or.. ugh.

She needs another glass of champagne because it's something to do that isn't mope like a jerk.
Nephrite 2017-01-03 05:06:57 65558
Petals falling and cheers ringing. Nephrite wraps his arm around Makoto's back and pulls her in for a kiss. He falls short of Mamoru's drama, but that's a contest he can rarely win once the cape comes out.

Before they pull back, he ducks his lips near her ear, so only she can hear. "Here's to another year with you. We'll make sure everything in the last one makes this one worth it."
Usagi Tsukino 2017-01-03 05:08:59 65559
True to her word, Usagi has been very good regarding champagne. And it's ben very good since she cut it with nonalcoholic fuzzy drink! (The face she made without is probably amusing.)

And then he's calling out the twenty second warning and Usagi feels giddy. Though the year's gotten better in later months, 2016 was a rather poopy year. (2015 ended horribly, too, even if for a week or so it had been the best year ever.) She thinks maybe next year has got to be better!

And the countdown begins, and she starts to count down with it.

To be honest, she's not sure if she quite makes it to the end of the count down or if she's always bouncing in kiss anticipation. One second she's on countdown, and the next she's wrapped in warm cape and arms and she's pretty sure the fireworks are competing with her in terms of giddy joy!

And it's her first New Years kiss, and if has her way, it very much won't be her last.

(And if her fingers are clutching a bit too tight as his tuxedo jacket and shirt, that's okay, right? She can't be blamed for that, right?)
Kukai Souma 2017-01-03 05:14:27 65560
Kukai and Nadeshiko have been in their own little world ever since they got out onto the roof, Kukai leading the considerably more talented Nades in a dance in a warm corner of the tent, arms around her, keeping her close up against him as the timer ticks down. However, as the timer goes off, Kukai stops short, looking over at the tent flap, then grins at Nadeshiko, nodding over at the 'airlock' as it's opened wide.

Without too much being said, the two of them end up over at the entrance, looking out over the city without actually exiting onto the roof (as long as Nadeshiko doesn't tug him outside...) and then raises his voice to count with the rest. "Go! Shi! Sa~!" He gets about halfway through the count before he feels a firm, irresistable tug on his tie. He looks down to Nadeshiko and grins. 2016 was a wild year. 2017 is certainly going to start off well. He leans down, arms around her shoulders, pressing his lips to hers and pulling her up close to him as the fireworks start all around them.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-03 05:17:13 65561
Yuzuki Amemori looks around at all of the couples and all the tender moments. Then she looks back to Unmei, whose question is given a bewildered shrug, "I guess? I didn't expect it." There's a moment of hesitation where she considers teasing the other girl, then says, "Oh absolutely I mean! It's to reign in the new year?"

Luckily, before it backfires on her in some comedic fashion, she's asked a question. This gets a distant look while she rolls the question around mentally, feeling like she's stumped. Shouldn't this be an easy one?
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 05:19:26 65562
"You might yet be right. Both, though, fall under the heading of 'none of our business,' by her preferences." Kunzite glances not at the screen this time but past it, keeping half an eye on Sakura and her cards --

Then inclines his head toward Lacrima. "I understand," he says. (Though he says nothing about being in the same state. For all he knows, Zoisite might be perched eighteen inches to his left, and he'd like to continue this evening's streak of no-one being set on fire.) "She would have been welcome." All of which is remarkably civil dialogue to be having with an Eclipse-employed vampire, but ... well. That happens, sometimes.

If he keeps Mamoru and Usagi in the edge of his vision, or Makoto and Nephrite, or both couples? That also happens, sometimes.
Ami Mizuno 2017-01-03 05:20:09 65563
Once again, the computer starts making that cute little sound, and the static picture of Ami shows up. Apparently they're calling back.
Unmei Tama 2017-01-03 05:21:06 65564
Unmei Tama blinked a few times, cocking her head to the side. "Yuzu? Are you okay?" She reached out and tapped her shoulder. "If... it's embarrassing, you don't have to tell me. I was just curious," she said with a grin. "But it's really none of my business no matter what you want to do, right?"
Makoto Kino 2017-01-03 05:24:22 65565
Takashi should probably send Nephrite a fruit basket or something later.

In the midst of the cheering and the bells, as fireworks glitter in the sky and petals drift around them like snow, Makoto reaches up to curl her arm around behind Nephrite's shoulders and melts into his kiss.

There might be a faint shimmer of tears in her eyes as she nods her agreement, but they're happy ones, accompanied by a brilliant smile. "Whatever the next year holds," she promises, "we'll take it on together."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-01-03 05:25:26 65566
Once they've had a good long kiss -- long enough for tights-clad legs to start getting chilly despite the cape-wrap -- Mamoru and Usagi finish their champagne and head back into the warmth of the tent to watch the rest of the fireworks show from behind plastic, on the dance floor. He's whispering something to the tiny odango'd blonde, and if his face is red, it's probably because of the cold outside the tent. And yes: he's back in his casual party clothes, which look like his usual everyday clothes. Expensive 2006-hipster slumming. There's a flash of what looks like a pink pen with a gem on top of it in his hand, offered to Usagi as he detaches from her just enough to lean over and turn the music back on.

Now it's definitely danceable music, a pre-set playlist of popular and melodic things, some fast and some slow and none objectionable to ten-year-old ears.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-03 05:27:18 65567
Yuzuki Amemori manages a confused sound, "Of course I'm okay?" She states once she snaps out of it, "I was just trying to think of a resolution. I'm terrible at that kinda thing." She briefly lapses into trying to think of what she's try to do next year. Instead, she grins and asks, "What about you, what are your resolutions this year?" Hah! Redirect it!
Lacrima 2017-01-03 05:30:11 65568
Lacrima ahs. "She likes.. Stars. She'd probably would had wanted to spend it away from the city in the field near her home. Where the lights and fireworks don't blot them out. She is..an Astrologer. She reads stars." she says.

She looks to the computer. It's beeping. She goes ahead and presses the answer button.

"Is everything alright?" she asks the video fed as she steps back so others can also talk.
Unmei Tama 2017-01-03 05:30:50 65569
Unmei Tama blinked, then hummed. "Welll... obviously to take over the world! Mwa ha ha... no," she said with a snort. "If I... had to decide? I guess... I wanna try all new things. There's no one to stop me anymore. I want to try all kinds of cute outfits, and learn how to dance properly. Oh! and get a boyfriend! And a girlfriend! I mean, I've never had either, so I should try them all, right?" she said with that grin. Then blinked. "W-wait, is that... selfish? Maybe trying all new things might be a little much. But... I mean... I-I've had to... I couldn't do stuff before. Now I can... so... I wanna try, you know?"
Takashi Agera 2017-01-03 05:30:56 65570
As the connection returns, Takashi is wearing two things on his face that are not glasses: a shit-eating grin and a very prominent red handprint from a slap. And from the sound of the conversation that comes in, he has not learned from the latter. "...get that you're upset I didn't wait for Midnight local time, but don't take it out on the equipment. Besides, we can still do it again at local midnight."
Ami Mizuno 2017-01-03 05:32:08 65571
For her part, Ami's face is still bright red, and there's been some space put between the South American pair. "We are not talking about this right now," Ami says through gritted teeth, even as she puts on her best smile for the camera. "Hi, everything's fine, we're all fine, here. How are you?"
Sakura Kinomoto 2017-01-03 05:32:17 65572
Sakura Kinomoto suddenly realizes that, it's after midnight. She yelps. "O-okay, good bye everyone! I need to get home! I'll see you all later!" Before she uses the jump card and jumps off the roof.

Fear of heights? What's that? Heading off towards home!
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 05:35:27 65574
Nadeshiko's steps may be more practiced and perhaps a touch easier than Kukai's, but she doesn't really notice or care. And then she's following Kukai along, and no, she chooses not to pull him full outside. Thigh highs and thin satin doesn't lend to warmth, and while her front would be cozy, there's not many ways to warm everything that's allowed to be done in public, even if it is a semi-private party.

(Hands wandering all over her back in public, how unseemly!)

She looks out over the city with him and is just about to count down when Kukai beats her to it. So instead, she just watches him count down instead. Vicarious, maybe, but his eyes are pretty right then.

And it's because of that that she's tugging at his tie. She matches his grin when he looks at her and wraps her arms around his shoulders. She doesn't have as much tip-toe shifting to do as some, but he's still a few inches taller than she is.

And, well, she makes good, thorough use out of a publically accepted situation for kissing in public.

Rhythm, with a better feeling tummy looks up from his small plate of food at the laptop which suddenly has people on it again. He blinks at the pair. "What didn't you wait for? Why's your face red? Are you a cyborg? Is that why it's your equipment?"
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-03 05:36:14 65575
Yuzuki Amemori shakes her head and says, "I'd think taking over the world would secretly be terrible. Nothing, but paperwork all the time. And no labrats to help with the planning stage." With the joking aside though, she gives Unmei a shrug, "I don't know if it's selfish unless you're trying both at the same time? Experiencing new things isn't too bad though right? I mean you just moved here, moved here from... Italy?" she scowls, "I'm remembering that right, right?"
Unmei Tama 2017-01-03 05:39:10 65576
Unmei Tama blushed and then grinned. "Well, if they were both okay with it! Though I guess in a relationship like that the guy would kinda be getting the raw deal, huh? Cause both us girls would get a girlfriend and a boy friend, he'd just get two girlfriends."

She then blinked a few times. "Huh? Oh! Yeah, I was from Italy," she said with a small grin. "It's a pretty nice country. And I like trying all the new things here. Especially you, Yuzu! You've been the best thing of all!"
Lacrima 2017-01-03 05:42:25 65577
Lacrima goes to say something and then Ryhtm speaks. There's just.. a slight twinge. Almost at the corner of lips. Almost. As if that almost broke through the everything dark. She doesn't lose composure at all however. It's so subtle it might aswell not even had been there for the second it was.

"Ah. I wish I had placed money on that outcome because I'd been right." she says a little more deadpan.

"I am.. kidding. If. That isn't obvious." she says politely.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 05:49:50 65578
Stars. There's a twinge of distant worry for Kunzite, but it's distant indeed; Makoto is more of a lure even than darker skies. But the connection's return is enough to distract him, and he regards Takashi's handprint calmly just for a moment. (Does not actually flinch at Sakura's departure. She jumped up first, after all. He can see that she'll be fine.)

... Lacrima made a joke.

He's rather more accustomed to being the one giving people that reaction than to being the one having it.

And then Rhythm's talking, and all he can do, really, is spread his hands in silent apology aimed Ami's direction. Charas. Not actually possible to shut up.
Usagi Tsukino 2017-01-03 05:53:41 65579
Usagi follows Mamoru back in, leaning a bit toward him, hands on his elbow. Her own red cheeks are due to the chill and nothing else.

When he offers back the pen, her cheeks turn even more pink from the cold and pushes it back toward him, leaning in to whisper something else.

So chilly!

And then she's tugging him onto the dance floor after the music starts back up. She beams up at him as they start a slow little waltz, and if she has a slight bounce in her step, it's totally to keep warm.
Takashi Agera 2017-01-03 05:54:46 65580
Takashi mumbles. "I meant the computer - I'm not a cyborg." to Rhythm. He doesn't address the Charas other questions. Not going to admit aloud he got slapped. He's got more space between him and Ami than he did when they called and people who are emotionally perceptive might be able to tell from his motions he'd prefer to bridge the gap.

"Besides, it looks like everyone else is doing fine, right?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-01-03 05:56:47 65581
Rhythm's unthinking questions hit even closer to home, and Ami's face goes from red to carmine. "Uh. Well uh. We've got a lot of work to do today and not a lot of hours left. So uh. We'll go. Um. Have fun, Kunzite. I'll call tonight as usual. Bye." Nope, she's definitely not answering the chara's questions. "Happy new year, everyone!" And then the video call goes dark once again.
Kukai Souma 2017-01-03 05:56:58 65582
Kukai has great stamina, so he's able to hold his breath for a long, long time. But eventually even he has to break the kiss with Nadeshiko, forehead leaning against hers and hugging her close against him, grinning widely, warm hands curled around her back. "mmm..." He reaches up with one hand, stroking an idle strand of hair that's come loose away from her face, then grins down at her. "Happy New Year Na-chan."

Daichi, less interested in everybody smooching, looks around for Temari and finds her mooning at Kunzite from a distance. He flits over to her and then grins. "ya know, it's New Year's. He might give you a kiss on the cheek if you ask."
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-01-03 05:57:36 65583
Yuzuki Amemori looks completely confused at what Unmei's considering a raw deal and all. "I uh, have no idea?" What, she doesn't think she'd go for that kind of thing and she's not sure of the mindset for wanting it! "Well if you can swi-. Good luck."

Quickly changing the subject, she nods and asks, "I wouldn't mind visiting Italy! I bet there's a lot of neat things to see and some really pretty countryside." The compliment actually does manage to get a blush from the girl. She does awkwardly smile as she says, "I'm glad? -... I'm glad Unmei!" Then there's a few moments of silence as she tries to think if that's the right answer.
Unmei Tama 2017-01-03 06:00:32 65584
Unmei Tama snickered softly and leaned on her friend, closing her eyes. "Though, that's honestly just idle thought. I doubt I'll find either a girl or a guy this year. Probably not for a couple years, at least and... I'm not sure i could even... handle it right now. My mind is on too many other things to just... focus on one person right now... you know?" She gave a soft giggle. Then a sad sigh.

"It's pretty in places, alright. And I'm happy you're glad. You're my best friend, Yuzu. I... I hope I haven't just been a bother to you. I know I'm not an easy person to be around."
Nagihiko Fujisaki 2017-01-03 06:02:57 65585
Rhythm blinks at the screen. When it goes black, he turns to look up at Kunzite, eyes large and wide and brimming with tears! "Did...did I do something bad?"

Temari looks up at Daichi with wide eyes! "What? No! It's not like that!" She hums and sighs. "I'll wish him a happy new years, though. But first!" She gives Daichi a kiss on the cheek! "Happy New Years, Dai-kun~!"

Then she flutters toward Kazuo. "Happy New Years, Kunzite-sama~!"

Nadeshiko is a touch breathless when Kukai pulls away, and she happily leans against him. For support! Sp she can catch her breath! Of course!

"Happy New Years, Kukai." A bright grin, and her eyes are glittery in the light.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-03 06:14:33 65586
"Happy New Year, Temari." That, first of all, because the lady has precedence. Kunzite bows to Temari solemnly, then turns his attention to Rhythm. "You didn't do anything bad," he says to Rhythm. "There were complicated things happening, that's all, and she was embarrassed over them. You couldn't have known."

(The charas are not getting into the champagne. Just. Not.)