Can We Talk?

Something has been bugging Ariel. So she goes to talk to Kunzite about it. And learns more than she had initially anticipated.

Date: 2017-01-08
Pose Count: 22
Ariel Theodore 2017-01-08 01:14:09 66460
    It would seem there is a guest at the Earth Court house. It all started out with a text of 'Can we talk?'. Specifically to Kunzite. It would be highly improper and rude to just show up and invite herself over, and this is why Ariel waited for response in the positive before even thinking of showing up at the door, Lucky at her side as usual.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-08 01:26:32 66463
The answer is 'Yes. Now?' -- and a brief negotiation later, Kazuo Takeba is waiting at the appropriate door to escort Ariel and Lucky in. Notes were taken over New Year's; the bowl of fruit on the table in the living room is apple-heavy, granted, because Kyouko lives here, and the pastries that joined them have nothing more savory included than nuts.

He regards Lucky for a solemn moment. "My apologies. I'm not certain what to offer you, or in fact whether eating is even something you do. If it is, and you can indicate something appropriate, we'll do what we can."
Ariel Theodore 2017-01-08 01:36:01 66467
    The door opens and Ariel looks up. Up. A little more. Higher.
    This is something she's getting used to it seems, everyone being so astoundingly tall in comparison. But it's not like she didn't know what to expect when asking to speak with Kunzite of all people.. Still, first and foremost, Ariel is a polite girl, and that means a little bow, and a "Thank you for seeing me on such short notice." is her greeting. Greeting which Lucky follows suit, plopping on his haunches and lifting a single paw with a low rumble of "Wurf."
    In they go, though; and a slow shake of the massive hound's head indicates that, one, he can understand the qustion well enough, and two, they're probably not here to enjoy snack time until after whatever matter is discussed.
    Ariel follows in, lips pursing as she folds her hands together behind her, as though trying to figure out how to best word what she wants. "I'm sorry. I'm probably just being really nosy..." She decides to begin that way.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-08 01:42:48 66469
Lucky is bowed to solemnly in return, and the shake of his head is met with an inclination of Kazuo's own. (Though there is no pawshake. It's a pity. Nephrite would have, definitely.)

"Many people are," Kazuo replies to the unicorn, escorting her and keeping pace. Which means moving slowly, for him, but that's hardly begrudged. "There are relatively few questions we're likely to take offense at, at least the first time they're asked. And in your case, you're certainly owed what answers we can give. What's troubling you?"
Ariel Theodore 2017-01-08 01:52:40 66472
    'Owed answers'. It's a statement that makes her lips thin again; perhaps not quite sure how she feels about being owed, but it is a sidenote of little relevance. She follows Kunzite; Lucky remaining several paces behind. It is a rare display of trust, from the massive hound, in feeling that Kazuo would present no threat to his tiny ward. He'll find somewhere off to the side to curl up and laze no doubt. Ariel however seems to be bound by the unwritten laws of politeness, and will only sit once bidden do so or indicated where.
    "Well. I'm not sure I'm owed or anything. I mean. You don't even have to answer anything if you don't want." She says, at first; knowing she's digging somewhere private and all. "It's about Lacrima."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-08 01:59:20 66475
A broad gesture provides that indication, including one of the couches and a chair in possible sites. "I'm listening," Kazuo answers. "What about Lacrima? She provides a wide array of conversational topics."
Ariel Theodore 2017-01-08 02:03:57 66476
    Thusly bidden sit, Ariel takes the moment to do so; opting for the couch. Try as she might to gingerly sit down, she flops onto the cushion anyway, as children often do, as soon as weight comes off their feet, and onto the seat. She at least makes it not look TOO floppy, maintaining her dignity completely with the simple act of casually resting hands on her lap.
    "Mn." Now then. "Well. I visit her dreams. So we talk a lot. I was just wondering something. She... Thinks you really don't like her. Because of something that happened with mister Mamoru." She broaches the topic then and there. "I heard her side of what happened. ... I just wanted to hear yours."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-08 02:06:32 66478
Kazuo's eyebrows lift, and he starts to answer -- but pauses, and substitutes another question first. "Which thing that happened with Mamoru? Or perhaps I should better ask, how long ago did you become concerned?" He crosses to the chair himself while he's talking, and sits. Now he looms considerably less.
Ariel Theodore 2017-01-08 02:16:21 66481
    With that question posited right back, Ariel pauses briefly. The girl sits utterly still, in her contemplation- inhumanly still. Were the slow rise and fall of her chest not an indicator of her breathing, it would not be too far a stretch to mistake the girl for an alabaster statue. It is a few beats before she can pin a date down. "About a month ago- when she first told me. If it was longer before that, I didn't know. She said she drained someone who was important to you." She says, before adding, "And that it was him."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-08 02:44:58 66483
But she is still breathing. That's remarkably reassuring. "Ah." Kazuo settles back, apparently somewhat less concerned at this juncture. "She encountered Mamoru when he was out on his own, distracted by a game. He fit her profile. She targeted him. He proved -- particularly enticing. His being targeted by something that feeds on people when he's out on his own is, essentially, a day that ends in 'y.' I'm not concerned about that, and I appreciate her efforts to do minimal damage. But there is a very small risk that her feeding on him for too long would result in -- disproportionately large consequences, not merely to the two of them personally, nor to their acquaintances. I don't want her to feed on him because of the possibility of general disaster. Apart from that -- considering her condition, she has been trying impressively hard. I have ... a personal understanding of the degree of difficulty involved. And of the credit that's due her for it."
Ariel Theodore 2017-01-08 03:26:33 66489
    She is still breathing, yes. And she nods, too. Slowly, when Kazuo recounts the event. It lines up with what Lacrima had told her; that she found Mamoru alone, playing a game on his phone, and lined up with her... Tastes. But she frowns thoughtfully in regards to just how Kunzite describes the Earth Prince being enticing in such a manner.
    She's counting on her fingers.
    Monday, tuesday, Wednesd--...
    Then it is with a sheepish look of realization that she remembers all days end in Y.
    "Consequences?" She does ask; looking for a deeper understanding as to what could have made Kunzite react in the manner, Lacrima described to her. But then she nods again. This time in agreement. "Yes... She's trying really hard-- I'm glad you understand. I don't think she's a bad person at all, so... I just wanted to understand a little better as to why."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-08 03:39:15 66493
Kazuo gestures, somewhat vaguely. "I think there's a small chance that Lacrima losing control when feeding on Mamoru could potentially lead to the destruction of the Earth. Mamoru disagrees. We can't prove the matter one way or the other."

He considers the little unicorn solemnly for a moment. "I am also," he says, "not angry with Lacrima over her feeding on Mamoru on New Year's Day. That was his terrible idea, not hers."

There's another pause. "-- the matter with the Raskoph boy is still pending judgment, since I cannot presently be certain what she actually did to him, or why."
Ariel Theodore 2017-01-08 04:02:52 66497
    Oh that makes sense it will destroy the Earth and- wait what.
    Ariel sits in dumbfounded shock for a good long moment. Now she sits so still it's impossible to even tell if she's breathing or not, staring at Kunzite, wide eyed and mouth faintly open. It's an expression to perfectly match that of a deer trapped in the lights of an oncoming truck-- considering that notion seems to hit her equally as hard.
    It takes her a long few beats to shake it off and rally herself and her thoughts. But now she's fidgeting. She missed' anything about Lacrima feeding on Mamoru on New Years. But still it's a lot to drink in. "Ah... Um. Is it because he's..." He's the prince of the earth, yes, she has picked up on that, but she leaves the question hanging, silently but openly admitting that she has precisely zero knowledge of what that actually entails''. But then her brow just plain knots. "Raskoph boy?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-08 04:07:56 66499
"I'd prefer not to go into the exact mechanics," Kazuo admits. "It's not likely, anyhow. But that's not the sort of thing to take gambles with. And it would be because of the particular connection he has with the Earth, yes. As I said, he doesn't himself think it would be a problem."

And then there's the other question.

"Apparently," he says, "Lacrima texted Naru in a panic over having turned Naru's ex-boyfriend into a vampire. There is significant question as to what actually happened; she says she doesn't remember. I haven't been able to catch sight of either one of them yet, so I can't speak to whether or not it's true."
Ariel Theodore 2017-01-08 04:44:09 66507
    No, that's precisely the kind of thing to not gamble over. But before Ariel can comment, hse's left staring at Kazuo, once again as though caught wholly off guard. She physically cringes in her seat.
    When she speaks again after a hesitant pause, her voice is small. Smaller than the girl herself is, topaz eyes glance aside in hopes of finding something else more interesting. "I was there when she found out she could do that. In one of her dreams." She says.
    It's a few seconds before she can look at Kazuo once again. "If she says she doesn't remember doing it- if she says she wasn't in control, I believe her." This, she speaks with an utterly certain, if sad, and quiet conviction. A voice that she she believes it completely, but is still shocked to hear what happened. "She said she didn't want to do that..."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-08 04:48:01 66509
"A memory blackout suggests that she may have been critically low on energy at the time," Kazuo says, even-toned. "She behaves irrationally at such times. But she should have been at a reasonable level; so if she was low on energy, there was most likely a fight. The Raskoph boy had no magic of his own. He'd have been at a significant disadvantage. And yes -- she's not given to lying. But we don't, truly, know what happened. Or whether what she described to Naru was an accurate evaluation of his condition. Not until we find a way to gather more information. I've been looking for him. No luck so far."
Ariel Theodore 2017-01-08 05:15:16 66515
    Ariel's brow furrows. A deep contemplative look of a girl desperately pawing through her memories to find something and come up with nothing. "I don't know him." She eventually relents. Unfortunately not able to help there. It's not easy to help look for someone who she doesn't even have a face to put to a name.
    But she takes a slow breath. "I'll try and ask her." She decides, pausing long enough to rub at her eyes. This is clearly not something she had expected, nor seemed prepared to hear.
    "I just wanted to help her. But I don't really know how." She finally admits, holding back the levels of distress building in her voice. A nice slow breath helps with that. So does Lucky picking himself up and setting his head on her lap for a nice distraction. Ariel settles into petting his ears with a sigh.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-09 00:19:05 66565
"So do we," Kazuo says quietly. "If she can be helped, and if she'll accept it. But we don't have information, not yet. We know what she feeds on, what she needs to survive; we don't know whether acquiring it is helping her or is slowly strangling her further. Jiaying believes she saw something, once, that suggests that the vampiric power is a separate identity, that the girl Norie still exists at least in some partial fashion, that Lacrima may in some sense be a cooperation or meshing of the two. Whether they can be disentangled is a question. Whether that would be a good thing, and whether Norie would survive it, are different questions entirely. We don't have answers yet, however much we might want them."
Ariel Theodore 2017-01-09 00:32:52 66570
    It is a good thing to take precaution, and Ariel listens quietly for a long moment. There are a lot of factors she's in the dark about, and it makes her frown slightly; the thought that trying to help Lacrima, without knowing anything, could just as much make the situation worse as anything else. "Well..." She does muse at length. "There was someone else in her dream-- it was more like a memory from a long long time ago. From before Lacrima. When the vampire was... Someone else?" That's the best way she can think of describing it, in line with Jiaying's observation. "Ms. Jiaying was there too. I think his name was... Poderoso?"
    But if anything that seems to be a sidenote. A sidenote to something else that Kazuo says that instantly has the girl's attention, staring at him, raptly. "Norie?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-09 00:46:39 66576
There are a lot of factors they're all in the dark about. Lacrima most of all.

"Lacrima is the name she uses now. But there are people who knew her as Norie, before." Kazuo considers what Ariel says, and then takes out his phone. Typing the word into Google gives him an answer. "Poderoso. Spanish for 'powerful.'" He frowns, small and compressed. "I've never had any contacts in Spain."
Ariel Theodore 2017-01-09 00:57:01 66580
    Spanish is not a language Ariel knows. But hearing the translation makes pale lips tug into an even thinner frown. 'Powerful'. The name of the much more ancient vampire she had seen in Lacrima's dream. 'Tears'. The name Lacrima goes by now. It's not a particularly bright theme. And she goes silent, almost staring through Kazuo as she sinks into her own world of inner thought. It's a few heartbeats before she returns to the conversation. "I didn't know that was her name." She admits, sounding as though such a simple thing- auch a small lack of knowledge was infinitely more crushing than expected. "... But thank you for answering me. I'm a little less in the dark than I was, before."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-01-09 01:11:05 66587
Kazuo turns a hand over, as if to both acknowledge her thanks and brush it away. "It's not so long ago," he says quietly, "that I was the one drowning in the dark and thinking I had it under control. As long as she's still trying to find the surface, or even to remember it exists ... anyone willing to throw her a line, I'll help all I can." His expression is unchanging. But Ariel knows him better already than to read anything into that at all.