Common Depression

When Sailor Mercury wants to talk about Kukai's recent body-switch with Lacrima, he ends up talking about some things he's been hiding...

Date: 2017-03-12
Pose Count: 17
Kukai Souma 2017-03-12 11:18:55 73204
It was a lovely, sunny, early Spring day in Tokyo, even if the wind was still chill. There was a joy to the day that seemed infectious, which probably had something to do with not having to go to class. That being said, Kukai Souma found himself in the Royal Gardens in Seiyou Public School, drumming his fingers and staring at the door.

Kukai was meeting someone here who wanted to examine him for any lingering aftereffects of his transformation into Norie and back. So, he was willing to sit and wait patiently. He didn't feel sick. Or bad. Well. Maybe a little naughtier than before. But... that's normal, right?
Ami Mizuno 2017-03-12 11:21:26 73205
There is a faint crackle, like a sudden snap of electricity arcing through the air. It's not electricity; it's just the air sundering to a subspace portal. Sailor Mercury steps through that portal already reaching up to activate her visor. Her tiara glimmers briefly as the sapphire-colored glass panes flash across her vision.

Ami steps away from the portal, and it closes behind her with a second crack, giving Kukai more than ample warning that she's coming.

"Sky Jack?" she calls ahead of herself, as she steps out of the corner her portal took her to, heading towards the Garden's central table.
Kukai Souma 2017-03-12 11:24:58 73206
Kukai sits up, blinking at the snap leading into the Royal Garden. He stands up quickly, unsure of what just made the noise - and Sailor Mercury steps into the Garden. Daichi, sitting on the table and playing with a Chara-sized ball, is as surprised as Kukai looks as she enters.

Kukai steps forward towards the edge of the dais. "Ah... wow. Hello. Yeah, that's me, Sky Jack, in one form or another." He grins, reaching up to scratch the back of his head. "Want to come sit down? It's pretty peaceful here today."
Ami Mizuno 2017-03-12 11:27:42 73207
Sailor Mercury blinks from behind her glasses, then shrugs and steps up to join him at the table. "Sure, thanks," she says with a faint smile. "How are you feeling? Everything still in order, now that you're not uh ... you know. Female. And dark?"
Kukai Souma 2017-03-12 11:33:31 73208
Kukai pulls out a chair for her, then sits at the other side of the table. "There you go. I'm sorry I don't have any tea or cookies or anything - that was always something Nadeshiko or Amu or even Tadase would think to do. I don't really know about it."

Kukai sighs and then shrugs. "Well. I'm finding out I think I hate the Clow Cards more and more every day, but right now I'm all right. And yes, everything's in place now that I'm not female or full of dark energy." He rubs his head. "At least, I think so."
Ami Mizuno 2017-03-12 11:40:08 73209
"It's alright, I didn't come for refreshments," Mercury reassures Kukai gently. She considers everything else he says carefully, then tilts her head just a little. "I'm glad to hear you're alright. If you had any after-effects I'd do what I could, but in truth these cards are very little understood, so it would be a lot of guess work, admittedly."

With a sigh, Sailor Mercury leans back and observes him through her lenses for a moment, then shakes her head. "So much I wish we better understood," she mumbles. "If you don't mind, would you be willing to describe what happened, for me? How it began, what it was like being her ... everything you can remember."
Kukai Souma 2017-03-12 12:07:01 73210
Kukai nods, then smiles. "Well. Yeah, I'm just so used to sitting here drinking tea and eating snacks that it feels weird without it. But ok." He nods. "Yeah. I don't even think Sakura understands everything about them except 'they're not evil'. They just... do things. Awful things, sometimes." He grumbles, drumming his fingers for a second.

Kukai stares back at the lenses for a moment, then slumps back, putting his feet up in another chair and lacing his fingers behind his head. "Oh wow. OK, sure. This is a long story, but I don't mind. Lemme start with how it all began."

Kukai brings up both hands. "I was walking along the harbor, near the waterline, just... exploring. I'd finally decided that I needed to stop looking for those clowns that had attacked Nadeshiko and Nagihiko, and I was just on basic patrol. It wasn't even really patrol. I was just walking and getting out of the house for a bit." He flicks one hand, pointing a little ahead of him. "And then I see Norie on the edge of the path, looking out at the water. I stop, and talk to her for a moment, and it's friendly - as friendly as we get."

Kukai sighs. "And then I hear a voice I don't immediately recognize calling my name and hollering for me to 'stop it', and this big blue vole-mole-cat-thing jumps up and attaches itself on the front side to Norie, who starts flailing, and I grab it by the rear legs, and there's this sudden 'SNAP', and the next thing I know Sakura is sealing away the Change Card and I'm in Norie's body."

Kukai reaches up, rubbing his eyes. "... As for being in her body, imagine... all the bad things you think. All the negative thoughts, all the shame, pain, anger, embarrasment, greed, desire, envy, all of that, all of that is what you can feel. None of the joy and happiness or love or light is there. Nothing good is there. You just.. your brain isn't capable of putting those thoughts together. It's nothing but... neutral feelings, like logic, and reasoning, and then... bad things. You can reach a point where you're comfortable, where the bad things are all gone, but then you have... nothing good, either. At least, you can understand you're supposed to feel good thinking about your family or your loves or your favorite hobbies, but none of them make you feel anything positive."
Ami Mizuno 2017-03-23 03:29:18 73983
And she listens. The visor records everything she says, but hearing it firsthand is always better. So she listens, and when he comes to his conclusion, she listens a few moments more to the silence, then nods her head. "That makes sense," she agrees. "My suspicion remains that she is very similar to what Kunzite was, prior to the reconstruction of his body: a spirit without physical form, given the illusion of one by powerful magic."
Kukai Souma 2017-03-23 03:40:26 73984
Kukai sighs and leans back in his seat, thinking. "Yeah. Yeah, that would make more sense. There was a point where I got slashed by something, and I didn't bleed blood. I bled out this... dark, oozy energy stuff. It was nasty, but it was what I was made out of so..."

Kukai looks over at her. "So Kunzite seems to be in really good shape now, compared. What did it take to do that for him and would it work for Lacrima?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-03-23 04:01:48 73988
Sailor Mercury twitches her lips a little, as if taking another mental note. Then she focuses on Kukai again. "Unfortunately," she explains quietly, "giving him a new body required tapping into an ancient legend that was specific to who he is and was, and then violating several known laws of thermodynamics in very specific ways. Or in layman's terms, Kunzite was created with resurrection as a possibility from the beginning. It's possible I can alter others to accept a similar process, but not in short order. It would likely take me years, and I'd need to find a way to get non-human specimens to test on, because if I mess that up on someone like Norie, they're probably gone forever."
Kukai Souma 2017-03-23 04:25:34 73993
Kukai grumbles and rubs his head as she talks, sighing. "Oh. Well. He was built to be ganked and rebuilt, then? Crap. And... well, at least it's a beginning. If you could figure out how to do it, it may be something worth working on." He shrugs and then leans back. "Hmm. What else..."

Kukai huhs. "Oh, yes. I made some sort of... dumb decisions. I don't think any of them were really bad, though. Nothing seems to have gone too wrong and come back after me." He hmms. "It was a hard, miserable existence. The thing is, when we changed back, I hugged Norie and held her close and I said 'I hope a little bit of your darkness came back with me, and a little bit of my light went back with you.' because I didn't want her to feel like it was completely hopeless anymore."

Kukai is silent for a moment, then looks at Mercury. "..So.. real talk. Is it possible being in her body did something to my brain? Because I don't always think some of the least awful things are so awful anymore. Like... 'greater good' type stuff. The sort of thing I used to always strive against because I knew they were wrong." He sits back in his chair, lost in his own thoughts for the moment.
Ami Mizuno 2017-03-23 04:44:51 73994
Those sorts of questions require careful consideration. Ami doesn't answer right away. Instead, she sits back in her chair and steeples her fingers, thinking carefully how to respond. She does come to a conclusion, of sorts, because after about a minute she finally responds: "First off, understand that I don't actually have enough information to answer that question with anything more than conjecture. Even a hypothesis would be pure speculative at this point."

Disclaimer set, she leans forward to actually answer the question. "However, based on what little I do understand, on what you described, and on my understanding of the variable sinvolved, I don't believe it likely that you actually did make such an exchange. Nor do I think any magical alteration to your brain took place. What is more likely," Ami continues, "is that you were given a new perspective on these things, and with that new knowledge comes a better understanding. It is common for people who are forced to experience their opponents' point of view to reconsider their own.

"In America, there is a phrase: 'walk a mile in another man's shoes'. It is an admonishment against judgement without understanding."

Mercury takes a breath, then sighs and shakes her head. "My current analysis of your magical and physical makeup support the theory that you have not been altered in any way," she says, "except that your opinions have changed."
Kukai Souma 2017-03-23 05:04:21 73995
Kukai fixes his eyes on Mercury as she speaks, staying leaned back in his chair. The idea that even she would have pure speculation about this is kind of intense, since she knows a lot of stuff about a lot of things.

Kukai shifts as she leans forward, and finally gives off a small nod. "Yeah. I mean, I didn't mean it literally. I just... I wanted her to take some good away from her time in an actual human body, and to pull a chunk of the darkness away from her current state. I guess."

There's a moment at the end as Kukai considers what she's saying, then gives a rueful grin, drumming his fingers on the table. "Is it bad of me to say that I don't really like it? I mean, I just... I want to not be the sort of person who will... abandon people, or give up a fight that we could win even if it looks hopeless. I want my hope to be the strongest emotion I have, and now sometimes I feel ...less like that. Which is kinda crappy." He sighs, rubbing his eyes. "I feel bad saying that."
Ami Mizuno 2017-03-23 05:06:20 73996
Sailor Mercury gives Kukai a concerned expression, then leans forward and rewaches for his hand. She touches it gently, then says, "Listen, what you're describing sounds like common depression. It should fade, in a few days. Maybe take some time to do some things you enjoy. Help an old lady cross the street, play some soccer, drill your friend Hinamori-san with some exercise. Do something fun for yourself. It will help give you perspective, again."
Kukai Souma 2017-03-23 05:12:23 73997
Kukai blinks, then looks up as she touches his hand. He smiles, then squeezes her fingers in his hand for a moment. "...Wow. Really? I don't think I've ever been depressed before." He chuckles. "Yeah. I think... I think I have some people to call and visit and do some stuff with. That'll be a good idea. Thank you."

Kukai nods at Mercury. "Is there anything else you wanted to ask me or anything?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-03-23 05:13:31 73998
"Don't worry," Mercur y says with a faint smile. "Depression is usually temporary. If you do start to suspect it's chronic, though, you should seek professional medical help. That's ... not me," she notes carefully. "But it might be Mamoru Chiba." She clears her throat, then reaches up to banish her goggles. "No, I think that's all, for now. I hope you will remain available in case I think of something else."
Kukai Souma 2017-03-23 05:25:48 73999
Kukai nods and grins. "I don't think it will be. And Mamoru? Really? OK. Well, good. Sure, if you have anything else pop up, I'll be happy to speak to you. It was nice to talk to you today. I hope.. y'know, something good came out of this all. It was good to meet you again, too. I hope we can see each other again sometime." He stands, heading for the exit, hand already in one pocket with a phone call in mind.