Minako goes to Makoto's to try to set things on the right path again. Artemis really loves shrimp. Minako really loves Coconut Curry. Makoto really loves Nephrite.

Date: 2017-03-12
Pose Count: 16
Minako Aino 2017-03-12 23:14:01 73230
    Artemis is being spoiled by being given another shoulder ride. He's also eating swedish fish. He looks particularly put out that Luna got half of them last night. The rest are his. his.
    Minako Aino walks up to the door of Makoto's apartment and takes a deep breath. Sailor V and Sailor Venus are bold and brash and confident and Minako is kind of less so when she is, well. Minako.
    No Masks. That's still a point that sticks in her head from Mamoru. She raises her hand up and gives a series of knocks against the door. Knock knock knock!
    She also kind of smells the air to see if Makoto is baking anything. Maybe she can smell it from out here.
Makoto Kino 2017-03-12 23:22:20 73233
If there are any scents to be caught from outside, it would probably take Artemis's nose to sniff them out. It doesn't take long for the door to open to Minako's knock, however, and as soon as it does a rich aroma wafts out, trailing after Mako from the kitchen - not the bready fragrance of baking but something spicier and with a creamy note of coconut from the stockpot that's steaming on the stovetop.

Makoto has an apron on over her clothes, and she blinks for a moment in involuntary surprise before she summons up a smile. "Minako," she says, and steps back to clear the way through the doorway. "And Artemis, hi. Come in."
Minako Aino 2017-03-12 23:47:02 73241
    Artemis probably gets a hint of something spicy, but nothing beyond that. Kitty nose knows! Minako Aino smiles. "Hi, Makoto!" she says as she steps in past Makoto and Artemis waves between chews and asks. "Hi, Makoto! How are you? That smells really spicy. It makes my nose twitch."
    Minako takes in a deep breath. "Is that a coconut curry?" she asks, making her best guess. She puts her hands behind her back.
    "It was nice meeting you the other day in the mini mart there." she says. "But!"
    Artemis hops off her shoulder and scampers closer to the pot because he wants to investigate food.
    "There was things I wanted to say I couldn't say there." she says. "About things I spoke to Ami-chan and Usagi-chan about already."
    "Maybe I should wait until you finish your cooking though? I don't want you to ruin it because I'm taking up your attention." she says with a foot fidget.
    "Also Artemis no sticking your paw into the pot and ruining it!"
    "I'm not gonna do that!" says Artemis. "Also it's hot."
Makoto Kino 2017-03-12 23:49:26 73242
"Yeah," Makoto automatically answers the question about the food first. "I'm trying a Thai style. It's okay, I can talk and cook at the same time." She's already gravitating back towards the kitchenette, but she motions for Minako to follow. The kitchen island that serves as combination table, extra counter space, and divider between kitchenette and living room also provides a convenient thing to lean against and watch without getting in the way.

Once she's back in the kitchen, Makoto takes a moment to separate out a small kitty serving from the fresh shrimp that's waiting to go into the curry, which she sets aside in a small bowl. Cat's privilege.

"It is a little difficult to talk about things out in public like that," she allows. "Kyouko knows who all the rest of us are anyway... she's kind of become one of Mamoru-niisan's knights... but I didn't want to just go busting you out without your permission or anything."
Minako Aino 2017-03-13 00:14:53 73247
    Artemis licks his lips as Makoto readies a small bowl of shrimp and if he was a normal cat he'd probably be meowing and begging. Instead, he gives a big "Thank you, Makoto-chan!" he says as he shoves his snout into the bowl.
    Minako Aino listens as she peeks into the pot. The armoma is almost Minako lifting. Maybe now she wants to dawdle until it's done so Makoto has to have her over for dinner. That would just be so horrible, would'nt it?
    Wait. No. That's a bad idea. "Well she knows who I am now. And so does Kazuo." she says. "I visited Mamo-kun recently, too."
    She finally does get to the point though. "I'm sorry I was so hard to deal with last year. I'm pretty sure 'hard to deal with' is also this incredible understatement.
    Artemis has his mouth busy to say something smarmy right now.
    "Do you know why I didn't help you guys with fighting Kunzite that night? Usagi-chan figured it out. Ami-chan had to be told."
Makoto Kino 2017-03-13 00:25:39 73250
Judging by the contemplative silence that follows Minako's question, it's not something Makoto had given all that much thought to up until now. She buys herself some time to consider the question by picking up a long-handled spoon and gently stirring the pale curry that's bubbling away in the pot.

"I guess I figured you didn't trust us enough to be able to join powers with us," she says eventually, in a dubious tone that casts a shadow of uncertainty over her answer. It takes her another second or so to look up and meet Minako's eyes directly, spoon still resting in her hand over the steaming pot. "To be honest, I'd mostly already given up on you by then. Usagi-chan was more upset about it than I was."

Her eyes remain on Minako after she's stopped speaking - watching, waiting for the explanation that seems is soon to come.
Minako Aino 2017-03-13 00:50:07 73254
    Minako Aino takes a deep breath. "In the mists of time time." she does say time twice there. Also the words she is using to describe the Sil Mil here. "I killed Zoisite, and more harder, Kunzite." she says quietly. "These were memories that Artemis gave me back when I became Sailor V. Ami-chan said she was aware of that much. She probably has records!"
    "That was something that was kind of stark in my head for a long time. When I was Sailor V, there was a boy. He called himself 'Phantom Ace'- and he was a lot like a capeless Tuxedo Kamen. The mask and throwing objects- like- playing cards instead of roses. I kinda fell in love with him and he kind of fell in love with me." she says. "But."
    "He was actually the leader of the organization I was chasing down at the time, which was an offshoot of the Dark Kingdom. His actual name was 'Danburite'. I ended up having to kill him too. His feelings were'nt even a trap."
    "Then we were going to kill Kunzite. Again. I couldn't do it. Not for the third time I could remember." she offers just a little tiredly.
    "Mamo-kun called it a mask that I wore. I acted like a jerk because I felt I had to be super strong and tough for you guys and instead I should had said things like that. About how I didn't want Usagi to have to experience what I did twice and knowing things I should had talked about."
    "So instead of telling everyone to do things and try to boss people around and not saying why and being miss surly about it, I should had just said why and I bet no one would had thought less of me for it."
    "Instead all I did was alienate people who should had been my friends and that's why I went away for a bit. To figure things out in my head."
    "-and I'm back because. I decided the mission is over." she crosses her arms and gives a stern series of nods.
    "I mean. I'm kind of retiring Sailor V. Who is a lone vigilante detective. Her mission is over. There's no more Dark Agency or Dark Kingdom and I took care of a lot of the lose ends. It's just Sailor Venus now! Who... should be helping her friends- and protecting the princess and advising when it's called for instead of wearing a mask in the dark corner like I'm a prettier Batman or something."
    "...Batman is pretty cool though." she says with wide eyes. Yup. Right from serious into the inane comment.
Makoto Kino 2017-03-13 01:04:26 73257
Again Makoto is quiet, and the only sound is the soft bubbling of the curry and maybe Artemis nomming down his shrimp over at the other end of the counter. This time, though, Mako's expression isn't so much contemplative as stricken. It's a lot to digest; it takes her a little time.

Eventually, she looks away, collecting the rest of the waiting shrimp and beginning to carefully add them into the pot. It gives her something to focus on.

"...I would've understood, you know," is what she finally says, quietly. "If you'd told us that, back then. I would've understood. I guess you felt like you couldn't, huh?"

She picks up her spoon again, distractedly stirs the curry. "I killed Nephrite, you know? The first time. I remembered after we went to the Moon. The other me... she did it your way. They were our enemies and that was that. You remember a lot more than me, so I don't know if you remember that part or not, but... she died killing him. And in the end, it didn't do anyone any good. That's part of why I wanted so much to save him this time, to save all of them."

At last, sighing, she looks up towards Minako again. "I'm not trying to get on your case for whatever you did or didn't do last year," she says. "It sounds like you've already gotten the speeches or figured stuff out for yourself anyway. I'm glad you're telling me this stuff now, at least."
Minako Aino 2017-03-13 01:37:52 73262
    Minako Aino nods a lot. "Yeah. I know." she says quietly "Which is why it was stupid of me to just keep being a jerkbutt about it a year back." she says. "The only one who has really given me a 'speech' about it, is Ami-chan and it was mostly that she said she was having a hard time doing the job I should had been doing." she says with a foot fidget.
    "I'm also back for good. No more, running away, and no more lone wolf thing."
    "-and I know it's really easy for me to just say that but now I need to prove it. So I'm going to prove it! Just. That takes time. You know? Unless----"
    She eyes Artemis. "Are you hiding a future time viewing mirror from me." she says poking his side. Artemis looks up from the mostly finished bowl of shrimp. "No. Why would I even have that and even if I did you'd just use it to see what boys you end up with, so no."
    "He's no fun." she complains as she smiles weakly. "That's the best way I can make it up to you guys."
    "But I also wanna do things with you guys, too."
    "So. I was wondering if. Maybe sometimes you can teach me how to make cardamon cookies? I'd like to learn how to make those. Becaaaaaaaause- I like how they taste."
    Yes, the fact they are Kunzite's favorite cookies has abosutely nothing to do with it.
    "Also..." she leans forward with a wider grin. "How has Nephrite been doing anyway? I have'nt seen him around yet." nosey nosey nosey.
Makoto Kino 2017-03-13 01:49:38 73267
"Cardamom, hmm?" That 'hmm' is drawn out into more of a rising inflection than it really needed to be, and there's a certain knowing look in the lift of Makoto's eyebrows. Hey, not for nothing has she been making a study of the guys' tastes over the past most-of-a-year. "Sure, we can give it a try. I'll look for some recipes, unless you've got one in mind already."

Nothing is said about Minako's promise that she's here for good, or any other predictions for the future. Makoto just stirs her curry, eyeing the state of the shrimp for a moment. All that remains now is to wait and see how things go.

She can't help smiling a little bashfully when Minako grins and asks about Nephrite. "He's doing okay," she says, maybe a little too quickly. "He's starting to remember things about who he really is - you know, in this life. It's got him a little anxious, but he'll be fine."
Minako Aino 2017-03-13 02:01:16 73271
    Minako Aino head tilts and listens. "Really? That's good! What does he know? I'm really good at the detective thing. I learned a lot during my time as Sailor V, so I can always look into things for you both if you'd like me to." she smiles.
    "Unless it'd take me out of Tokyo. That'd be breaking my promise and also Artemis is going to latch onto my face and not let go if I even step one foot outside the Tokyo city limits. I made him moon promise!"
    Artemis nods. "Yeah. That's the plan. She isn't even allowed out of Tokyo barring end of the world scenario type things and so on." he offers.
Makoto Kino 2017-03-13 02:13:09 73275
"Really?" That makes Makoto pause, genuinely curious (and a little impressed). She glances from Minako very briefly toward Artemis and back. "Do you get a pass if the rest of the team has to go out of the city for something? I mean, team business, and all..." Another quick look towards Artemis as though for confirmation.

--but yes, Nephrite. "Actually Neph's from Canada, apparently." For a moment Mako's expression turns very wry. "Ami-chan's helping me study up on English. He mentioned an aunt and uncle and cousins. I don't know if the guys have tracked them down yet or not, but they've probably got it under control, I think."
Minako Aino 2017-03-13 02:24:27 73278
    Minako Aino winks. "Really! See. I used to work with police once in a while , while I was chasing the Dark Agency and I made lots of local and Interpol enforcement contacts. Lots didn't trust me because I was a 'dangerous vigilante'." she says making air quotes.
    "But lots did and passed me information on the sly that led to me busting some plots."
    "I mean. They didn't understand the extent of what was going on. Magic and all that. It was just 'crime' to them."
    "So I can always reach out and ask for a favor. I'm sure someone I know there probably knows an enforcement agency in Canada."
    Artemis nods. "Well, I mean FOR THAT, yes. If the whole team goes or she's going as part as a group with you guys that's different. It's more 'on her own' I'm looking out for here." he says giving Minako a sideye.
    "Hey! I've behaved since I got here!". That much is true. Mostly.
Makoto Kino 2017-03-13 02:40:15 73284
Make that definitely impressed. "That's pretty cool," Makoto says, though it's followed by a slightly uncomfortable look down which turns into studious focus on stirring the curry. "Even though I knew you were Sailor V, I had no idea you'd done that much stuff."

She spoons up a bit of the curry and holds it at the edge of the pot, letting it cool a bit in the air as she looks back over at Minako again. "If the guys are having any trouble tracking down Neph's family, I'll make sure to let them know that you might have some contacts who could help. Right now I'm mostly letting him take it at his own pace, y'know, since he was a little stressed about it."
Minako Aino 2017-03-13 03:10:44 73293
    Minako Aino notices the uncomfortable look. "Well. For a long time it was just me and Artemis. As far as Mamoru and I can figure I was the first to 'wake up'. Artemis said that it was because with the Dark Agency operating, stuff could go really bad when the others 'woke up'. I defeated the Dark Agency but not with help from lots of dedicated people like that.". There is a warm smile here. "When that was done, I went off looking for you all."
    She listens to what Makoto says about Nephrite. "Yup! I bet he's a little stressed. I'm not gonna meddle unless you let me know."
    She fidgets again. "I bet that'll taste really good." she says.
    Artemis rolls his eyes. "You can just ask you know. What's the worse Makoto is going to say. 'No? Not Tonight?'"
    Minako Aino puts on pleading eyes. "Can I stay for dinner, Mako-chan?" she asks pleadingly. "It smells super good."
Makoto Kino 2017-03-13 03:15:17 73294
Makoto was just in the act of tasting that spoonful when Artemis and Minako have their little exchange, which means they're both treated to the series of amusing faces she makes trying not to start laughing with a mouthful of curry. Fortunately for everyone, she succeeds and hastily swallows.

"Sure," she says, and for what might be the first time since Minako's been back in town, her smile is quick and easy instead of being a considered thing. "Why not? It's always more fun to share, and I made plenty."