We All Have To Ask For Help

Kukai finally breaks down and asks the smartest person he knows, Sailor Mercury, for help with the Twin Card situation.

Date: 2017-04-05
Pose Count: 21
Kukai Souma 2017-04-05 03:23:50 74436
A few clouds hang in the sky over Tokyo even as the warmth of the days continues to bring spring forward. However, it's night now, and the moon is beginning to rise as Kukai Souma enters the Royal Garden at the Seiyou Public School.

Kukai is carrying a plastic bag in one hand, and with the other he's covering a yawn as he approaches the dias and the table in the center. He looks back and forth around the garden as he makes his way to the table, not entirely sure where the person he's called is or if she's going to just warp in again....
Ami Mizuno 2017-04-05 03:30:03 74437
It's the latter. Why walk when you can traverse most of the city in a single step? Mercury appears in the doorway, as if stepping out of it (rather than through it from the outside).

She adjusts her outfit with a simple brush of her hands, then makes her way up the walkway towards the dais, heeled boots clicking on the walkway.
Kukai Souma 2017-04-05 04:09:51 74440
Kukai hears heels, clicking, and turns to look at the walkway - and there she is. He raises a hand, pulling a small thermos, two cups, and a pack of cookies out of the bag, setting them out and pouring tea out for both of them. "Hello. Thank you for coming - I appreciate it."

He pulls open the pack of chocolate chip cookies and takes one out, sitting down heavily into one of the chairs. "Whew. First time I've sat down since this morning. It's been a busy day. How about you?" Making small talk with one of the most powerful magical girls Kukai knows feels a little weird, but not making small talk with people visiting the garden would feel even weirder.

Being Sky Jack and going to somebody else for help is the weirdest of all. But Kukai puts that thought away, as Daichi pokes his head out of a pocket, rubbing a sleepy eye, and goes over to pull his own cookie out of the pack too.
Ami Mizuno 2017-04-05 04:44:41 74441
Sailor Mercury gives a faint smile as Kukai pulls out the thermos and cookies. "I see you've figured out a way to serve your visitors," she notes, as she takes a seat at the table near him. "Last time I was here, you were lamenting that you couldn't do so."

Obligingly, she reaches for a cookie, because never in a million years will she turn down cookies.

Unless they're evil cookies.

And even then she might eat just one.

Nibbling on her cookiie, Mercury considers Daichi for a few moments of quiet thought, then looks back up to Kukai curiously. "Your text sounded a bit harried. I trust things are not alright, here at Seiyou. How can I help?"
Kukai Souma 2017-04-05 04:52:16 74442
Kukai nods and then grins. "Yup. With everyone else either busy or out of commission, I have been thinking about how to work through it. It'll do for now. The tea is this high energy high caffeine stuff they were selling, and I could use it. I hope you don't mind." He leans back, watching Daichi eat for a moment.

Mercury speaks, and Kukai looks back to her. "Things here are ok. Things with me are not ok. Well. No. Things with me are ok. Things with my friends Nagihiko and Nadeshiko are not ok." He rubs his head. "OK. Lemme figure out how far back I need to start talking. Have you maybe heard of me chasing around a pair of clowns because they attacked Nagihiko, or finding out that they're the Twin Card?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-04-05 05:05:41 74443
Considering the tea for a moment, Mercury declines to pour herself any. Instead, she finishes off the cookie, then wipes her mouth clean before smiling at him. As he starts to explain the problem, though, her smile fades in favor of a more analytical study. She listens, but she also watches his expressions, considering his words very carefully. "I vaguely recall you mentioning some clowns," she notes. "And you put a bulletin out on heartnet about them. I'm afraid I haven't see them, however. It seemed a bit dramatic, though; the cards haven't hurt anyone, that much, yet. Why would Nagihiko or Nadeshiko die over them?"
Kukai Souma 2017-04-05 05:24:23 74444
Kukai sighs and then puts his hands on his head, rubbing his skull with his fingers for a moment. "OK. Well. There's a .. a thing. A secret." He sighs, then sits up, looking at Mercury. "OK so this is not my secret to tell but I'm going to anyway and if everybody gets mad at me they can just get mad at me. I'm..." He rolls his eyes and raises one hand, wobbling it. "I'm like sixty percent sure you may already know this because Naru knows it, but even so, please keep it as private as you can."

Kukai sighs and then nods. "So the reason it might kill one of them is because Nadeshiko and Nagihiko are the same person. It's part of the Fujisaki legacy and it's sort of a long story, but that's the short version. The thing is, the Twin card separated the two sides into two people, and they have the two strongest aspects assigned to the two of them, and Sakura said that her little... I don't remember his name, her friend - said that it might be that the Twin Card is providing magical energy for one of them or the other and it's probably Nadeshiko, and if the Twin Card runs out of magical energy she may vanish into nothing and take all the parts of her that Nagihiko had and vanish them and that may take away a lot of Nagihiko's ... Nagihiko-ness."

Kukai sighs and stares at the table, then takes another long slug of the tea. "So I've been sort of missing a class here and there and a training or two and everything else I'm supposed to be doing to search for the Twins. Again. When I said I'd stop because it was ok. Because it is not ok. And I need to fix this. But I can't fix it. I am so tired I can't think straight anymore. So I came to the smartest person I knew. You." He looks up at Mercury, watching her.
Ami Mizuno 2017-04-05 05:32:40 74445
"So your boyfriend is gender fluid," Mercury summarizes quietly, "except now they've been split into two persons--one male and one female--and if the cards lose power, then the ... feminine aspect will vanish, and the masculine aspect will not recover them?" She squints a little, trying to sort through it. She certainly doesn't seem taken aback by Nagihiko's pecuilarities. "Is that right?"
Kukai Souma 2017-04-05 05:42:21 74446
Kukai nods and sighs. "Yeah. That's.. it, I think. I think that's everything. The thing about it is... I mean, imagine if your peaceful side and your angry side were torn into two parts, and you were a whole person with both of them, but you were more like.. two piles of three quarters of people when split. And then somebody made your angry side go away entirely. You wouldn't be the same person afterwards. It's kinda like that."

Kukai can't help it anymore - he yawns and then shakes his head. "Whoof. OK. Yeah, sorry. So.. um. I wanted your.. opinion or help. Or ideas. Or.. what the hell ever you can do."
Ami Mizuno 2017-04-05 05:44:41 74447
Sailor Mercury's reply is a very slow, considering, "Well," which she draws out before falling silent a moment. Her eyes flit back and forth as if she's reading some hidden computer screen, and then she focuses again, then shrugs, "I have a few ideas. And opinions. And ways to help. The question is, what does Nagihiko think is the best outcome? What does Nadeshiko think is the best outcome? Their opinions matter more than yours or mine. I can provide power to the twin card, if we can get our hands on it. But we probably don't want to sign it if we do. Signing it seals it, and then its power can only be used ... sometimes. Which is dangerous, right now, without further investigation."
Kukai Souma 2017-04-05 05:57:05 74448
Kukai looks down, thinking. "I... I'm not one hundred percent sure, but I think both of them agree that they need to merge again. I'll say that I haven't asked them directly, but they've sort of made noises to that direction. As for the Twin card, the whole problem is not being able to catch it. If Sakura Kinomoto can find it and catch it, she can provide power to it. But I've been looking for it for a month or more. I'm afraid it just doesn't want to be found. I.. don't know anything signing it or whatever."

Kukai sighs, then reaches over, taking another cookie. "It's been such hell trying to do this. I can't believe how bad it's been."
Ami Mizuno 2017-04-05 06:05:45 74449
"Ask them," Mercury replies bluntly, though not unkindly. "If they'd rather stay apart, then how I help will dramatically alter. If they'd rather merge again, then things are likely straightforward: find the twin card, and convince it to undo the separation."

Straightforward doesn't mean easy.

She doesn't belittle him by making it sound easy, either. "I'm fairly certain I can find the card, actually, now that it. Or at least, I can search Tokyo for it much more broadly than you can. It would be easier if I'd seen the card before, but I can search the city for active cards based on Maze."
Kukai Souma 2017-04-05 06:12:31 74450
Kukai takes a moment to look into his tea cup. Ask them? He'd always assumed, you know.. But it's a reasonable request, and he can take care of it. At least, it's the right thing to do. "Yeah. I will. I'll talk to them."

He looks up at Mercury and rubs his head, then chuckles. "I wish I'd known that beforehand. I might have not killed myself for a month looking for them with no luck. I just hate bothering other people for things like this. Usually I'm the one being asked to help, so... I feel weird asking for help. But I can't do this alone." He shrugs. "I suppose there's nothing wrong with that, in its own way." He sighs and then looks at her. "I guess we all help one another when we can."
Ami Mizuno 2017-04-05 06:17:56 74451
Sailor Mercury smirks just faintly, then points out gently, "Souma-kun, the Guardians formed Virtue for the very reason that we're stronger, together. The very reason we can take down villains as powerful as Queen Beryl is because we work together. 'Things like this'? Magic is exactly why we are such a sprawling organization. You should stop fussing over 'bothering people' or asking for help. It may be humbling, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Mine are in finding people and solving problems. Yours are in physical action and being adorable. I assure you, when it comes to a fight, I hide. It's literally the first thing I do. Usually behind Sailor Jupiter, but if she's not around, I'll find the next best fighter and make a shield out of them. There's no shame in it; I'm a liability on the battlefield if I'm trying to get into a standup fight. Similarly, and I mean no offense, you're a liability on the puzzlefield. Trust in Virtue. It's why we exist."
Kukai Souma 2017-04-05 06:26:02 74452
Kukai smiles and then shrugs, nodding. "Yeah, you're right. I mean, I was there for that fight. I should know. And I ... I know magic as a whole is huge. I just.." He shrugs, and then nods. "I do ok with being humble, though. And..." He arches an eyebrow at that 'adorable' bit, then grins.

Kukai hmphs. "I dunno. I've seen you fight before, you're scary when you get mad. Maybe not the strongest, but you do damage when somebody opens a target for you. But.. yeah. I'll say it. I suck at puzzles. They suck. suuuuck." He nods, then looks at her. "I'll trust in Virtue, then."
Ami Mizuno 2017-04-05 06:28:19 74453
"Illusions and tactics," Mercury counters. "I'm no good in a standup fight. Give me time to prepare, and I will win anyways." She shrugs faintly, then explains, "That's my strong suit. Planning. Preparation. And once in a while, investigation. Talk to your friends," she encourages him. "Figure out what they want to do about their separation. Meanwhile, I will start looking for the card. I'll contact you when I've got more information."
Kukai Souma 2017-04-05 06:38:48 74454
Kukai nods, and then stands, looking at the table. "Well, you are really good at all of that stuff. And ok. I'll talk to them and see what's up, and then I'll figure out what they wanna do with them. And you'll look too?" He stares at her for a moment, then suddenly lets out another huge yawn. "... Oh wow I am tired all of a sudden. Ok. Yeah, that sounds great. I'm gonna go... not look for them for the rest of the night. I can't."

Kukai reaches across the table and pats one of Mercury's hands. "Thank you. I appreciate you helping with this. I dunno what I'd do without your help." He stops for a moment, then laughs. "Yeah I do. Keep looking and fly into some big building's glass windows at full speed while asleep or something. I'd make an even bigger mess."
Ami Mizuno 2017-04-05 06:43:10 74455
Sailor Mercury considers Kukai's response with a frown. She studies him a moment longer, then sighs and shakes her head. "On your way home, stop by a convenience store and buy some unisom. Don't risk letting your stress keep you awake; you're no use to them if you're this tired." She, too, rises, then pulls two thousand yen bills from nowhere and offers them to him. "This will cover it," she promises.
Kukai Souma 2017-04-05 06:46:28 74456
Kukai blinks back at her, then ohs and nods. "Well.. yeah, I guess I could do that. Unisom, you said? OK." He blinks as she pulls out the yens, then shakes his head, waving a hand. "What? No, no, it's ok, I've got it. Not going out on dates or doing things means I tend to save up money. I have it. Thank you."

Kukai smiles and then nods to her. "I already feel a lot less stressed, just to have somebody helping me with all of this. I promise, when this is all over, I'll find a way to thank you properly."
Ami Mizuno 2017-04-05 06:50:12 74457
Ami rolls her eyes, then offers the money to Daichi. "Please see that he's not stupid about this anymore," she begs the little chara. "And tell him, when he's less tired, that he can use the money to take his partner on a date once they're merged again." She smiles, grabs one last cookie, then turns to go, leaving the money whether Daichi or Kukai protest.
Kukai Souma 2017-04-05 06:55:20 74458
Daichi takes the yen bills and stares at them for a moment as Kukai tries to protest, but then sighs and nods. Daichi hovers up and hugs Mercury's gloved hand for a minute. "Thank you Miss Mercury! And I'll tell him not to be dumb anymore." Kukai lets out a small snort and looks at Daichi as Mercury picks up the cookie and heads for the door. "Well. Lemme clean up here, then we'll get going and I'll.. go pick up some Unisom or whatever. Here, eat another cookie." He pokes another chocolate chip cookie at Daichi as he begins bagging up the teacups.