Those Cookies Could Save Your Life

Mamoru comes to Mako's house to explain the KUNZITE'S DAD SITUATION a little better and ask for more long-term help with it. And they agree, unsurprisingly, that it's tough dealing with friends who don't want access to families, when they really wish they still had their own.

Date: 2017-05-13
Pose Count: 12
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-13 18:38:07 76412
As promised (warned?) in their text conversation the night before, Mamoru's knocking on Mako's apartment door sometime around the 'late lunch' period of the day-- and then leaning on it heavily, so when she opens it he'll half-fall, half-stumble in like the big jerk in a generally good mood he is right now. Not SUPER heavily because he doesn't want to smack her in the face with the door or something, and also hanging on to the door so he can stop it with physics just in case--

--you know the drill--

--but he's dressed like an Abercrombie model for some ungodly reason, and has brought a giant thermos of caramel mocha frappuccino, for every good reason on earth.
Makoto Kino 2017-05-13 18:57:15 76413
This works out pretty much exactly as Mamoru had intended. Makoto was expecting the knock; she was not expecting an Ambercrombie model carrying a giant thermos to be leaning on the door as she opened it, and ends up having to leap back from Mamoru's cheerful stumbling entrance with a quiet yelp of surprised laughter.

"Really, niisan?" is the first thing out of her mouth once she's recovered enough from the surprise to actually greet him.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-13 19:05:09 76414
"I had," Mamoru says with a huge, half-laughing smirk, and hanging into the apartment from the doorknob and holding out the thermos to Makoto, "to give immediate evidence that sometimes my plans actually work out as... uh, as planned." With the loss-of-phrasing slowdown, he also takes a moment to step in properly, adjust his shirt, and close the door behind him. "There's cold Starbucks in there, I figured bringing baked goods over would be kind of like bringing a big chunk of ice to give to some polar bears."

He bounces on his heels, taking his glasses off and hanging them from his undershirt, under the unbuttoned button-down. "So yeah it REALLY WORKED SUPER GOOD. And we need to sort of keep giving him more, I think. Until he starts producing happy on his own. Or at least being capable of it." And then he drags his hand down his face. "Oh my god I still feel so guilty about the whole thing. But I think he should-- I think it's important that Kunzite-- that his dad-- that they can..."

Helpless laugh. "He's not an evil person. I want to fix this. Is that wrong? When neither of them thinks they need or want it? I'm making decisions for people and I probably shouldn't be, here..."
Makoto Kino 2017-05-13 19:11:20 76415
Makoto's shaking her head in wry amusement as she accepts the thermos; listening to Mamoru's slightly rambling explanation, she moves off toward the kitchenette to get a pair of cups to pour frappucino into.

"You're asking the wrong person," she tells him, setting the cups down on the kitchen island countertop. "I've been trying not to push my feelings on him or Neph too much... about the family stuff, I mean. But I can't help feeling like it'd be too sad if they could never get back some kind of relationship, even if they don't feel like they need it."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-13 20:40:58 76416
It would make sense for Mamoru to lean on the wall or the counter, or to sit on furniture, but that's not something he's in the mood to do today. Frankly, he'd rather be pacing, but that's not good for reducing the potential free-floating anxiety that might affect Makoto. So he does the latest nonsensical thing in the round of personality twitches that help make up whatever passes for Mamoru's current 'comfortable with the company he is in the presence of' configuration--

--he hoists himself up and Abercrombies while sitting on her counter, hands clasped and pressed between his knees to keep him from fidgeting. "With Neph it's -- it's a little different, he's finding out he actually has a loving family, which really doesn't surprise me at all. He's outgoing, he's generally cheerful even if he's got a hell of a temper, he's good with people, he's comfortable in his skin, he's confident in his skills. So I feel okay having finally pushed him, even if I still feel a little guilty for essentially pulling rank to do it. He knew we wanted him to. I think he gets why we wanted him to. But Kunzite..."

Mamoru trails off and looks across the kitchenette, then absently reaches for one of the cups of frappuccino and almost misses it; his attention snaps back to his hand. "Growing up, he didn't have support. His mom died when he was four, and she was the one who was apparently free with love, she was the one he latched onto. His dad was different before she died. He did his best. He worried. He cared about Kazuo. He still does, but it's deep and hidden, and it comes out twisted-- because after I was born when Kazuo was seven, he started having seizures. And a single dad who was desperately trying to climb up in the world in order to provide for his increasingly difficult-to-handle kid, and who didn't really understand how much love a little kid needs as much as they need a roof and food and schooling... he got more distant, more demanding, more... I don't know, expecting Kazuo to be a mini adult, or to be quiet and content and studious. And they fought. From the time Kazuo was eight, they fought. Hiroshi tried to get help from family to take care of him, but Kazuo's cousins were cruel little bastards and took advantage of the seizures to beat him up, and when he told his dad, it was Kazuo's eight-year-old troublemaking willful word against several older cousins who colluded, and Hiroshi assumed he was lying and treated him accordingly."

Mamoru hangs his head, looking into the glass of frappuccino. "But Kazuo always went to visit his mother's grave. They both loved her so much. And Hiroshi kept trying, but he kept sucking at it. He started suffering at work, never getting promotions and stuff-- because word was that his kid was difficult and crazy, and that kind of thing... it's assumed that it runs in families, or was a failing on Hiroshi's part, so he never progressed... and then Kazuo disappeared from university at nineteen, and Hiroshi just assumed he ran. Ran while he was still Hiroshi's responsibility. Kazuo only remembers bits and pieces. I saw some of the pieces in memories he didn't know he had, because of one of Sakura's cards shoving magic on us all. So I went to see Hiroshi because I was mad at him... but I ended up trying to shove an understanding on him of what he had wrong. Of why Kazuo was always running, was having seizures, was difficult... because he was looking for me without even knowing what he was looking for. And he passed out from exposure to all that magic. But then... then he came to visit. And I'm convinced it's because of what I did. So the more of this magic we can get into him, the more I think-- I hope-- he'll recover. And he'll at least... maybe they won't be such dicks to each other. He lost so much, and it's why he's such a dick, and he shut out what he thought couldn't possibly work, what he thought didn't actually get him anywhere, because the world just takes away what he loves."
Makoto Kino 2017-05-13 21:07:55 76417
Makoto stays quiet as Mamoru talks, and her face grows more and more concerned and quietly sad at the picture that his words paint. Moving automatically, she slides the cookie jar out from its usual place on the kitchen counter and sets it down within arm's reach of where Mamo has perched himself - frappucino is sweet enough on its own, but this is seeming like a conversation that needs some cookies in it.

"They've both had such a hard time," she murmurs, looking down into her frappucino. "Maybe it is meddling that neither of them really wants, but... If he's that unhappy, we can't just leave it alone, right? I'd like to help, too, however I can."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-13 21:23:41 76418
Cookies always help. Mamoru takes one and sticks it in his mouth, chewing slowly, then washes it down with frappuccino before saying anything else. But when he does say something else, he does it while meeting Makoto's eyes.

"He's impressed by you. I think the PI told him about you, since when I said 'Mako-chan' he went still... and then we emphasized the madeleines were yours, and he got addicted to them pretty fast. And then he saw your picture, and it was clear that he basically thinks you're the superhuman personification of perfect lady." He fiddles with his drink a little, then sips some more, careful not to get brainfreeze.

"I want to keep getting him a steady supply -- not an overdose, but a steady supply -- of tasty goodies with magic honey in them. Naru said she wanted to bring him muffins and things, and I suggested asking you for some rose honey to add-- but she's really, like, she thinks her stuff doesn't Deserve It or something? And honestly yes of course you are the best baker in the world-- but she wants to help, too, so maybe if she can help you...? Because I don't think Kunzite's going to particularly want to be going to effort for his dad so you'd be down a kitchen lackey for this."

He adds quickly, "I'd definitely buy all the supplies. And I also feel terrible asking you to bake, regularly, what's essentially premium would-go-for-lots-of-money delicacies, and you giving them away-- even though you know it's for a good cause, and even though a lot of things-- and I also think that you should set a price that you'd charge other people for them, so in case he raves about them to someone else you can actually charge referred customers for goodies... so if you don't think it's insulting or embarrassing of me I do want to actually pay you for them like as if he were buying them, if that makes sense? Because he might end up also ordering goodies from you directly, and he would definitely feel like he had all kinds of obligation if you gave them to him for free."
Makoto Kino 2017-05-13 21:32:40 76419
Mako's eyes get kind of big as Mamoru explains how they've talked her up to Kunzite's father - by the time he's done, she's looking rather more intimidated than flattered, and she busies herself with her own frappucino.

"...oh come on," she says at last, with a hitch of slightly overwhelmed laughter. "Since when have I ever minded baking things for people? As long as you can cover the ingredients, it's no problem - which reminds me, the farmer's market at the UN University is open again this weekend, it'd be a good time to go." Smiling, she shakes her head a little. "I can try and come up with some kind of pricing, I guess, but I'd feel bad charging money for something I'd be doing anyway."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-13 21:43:59 76420
"Hey, we just enthused about your baking and awesomeness, and he saw your picture, and he remembered what the PI told him..." starts Mamoru at her wide-eyed reaction, quickly, but then she's talking about the baking, and he just looks kind of sheepish and sucks at the frappuccino. "Okay okay. But if he asks if he can order stuff from you, definitely you'll want a price beforehand. Because then you might get other orders. And those you should definitely charge for, because-- pride in your work, plus buying supplies if your customer base expands, plus buying new equipment-- all stuff I'd totally be willing to get, and would be getting anyway if you bake at the frat house, but it's... it's always nice to earn things with the work of your own two hands," he says, glancing away, and then quickly dropping the topic because it's the dumbest idea in the world to complain about the angst of inheriting a lot of money.

"So yeah! We should definitely go and get like another eight vats of the stuff," he says with a grin, then nicks another cookie. "And I'll help you defoliate? Is that even the right word for taking the petals off? Of a giant stack of magic roses. And-- are you down with Naru helping, if she wants to instead of maybe being too embarrassed to impose or something I don't even know? Or would you be willing to give her some of the magic ingredient to put in more mundane baked goods for Hiroshi? I mean, she didn't ask, I suggested she ask you..."
Makoto Kino 2017-05-13 22:02:26 76421
Awkwardness on both sides, and Makoto quickly raises a hand palm-out in a gesture of conciliation. "All right, all right," she agrees. "I get it. I'll figure something out, even if it'll probably be a bit make-it-up-as-I-go until I know what he might ask for."

All assuming, of course, that this will go the way Mamoru suspects... but then again, he's often right about people. Mako contemplates for a bit as she drinks her frappucino.

Asking about Naru has her swallowing hastily, nodding her enthusiastic agreement. "Of course I'm down with Naru-chan helping, or whatever she wants. Really she wouldn't even need me to make rose honey for her, I'm sure she could do it just fine if you gave her some of your roses. And if she's not sure about it, I could show her how. Some help with taking the petals off would definitely be good, though, just for saving time."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-13 22:23:14 76422
"Okay!" There is a LOT more cheerful now, all of a sudden. "I mean-- this is totally helping, we're helpers and this is helping, and even if a little conspiracy is necessary to get the help going, who cares? At least nobody has to act this time," Mamoru says with a laugh, sliding off the counter. "You got anything planned for right now, or should we actually hit up the farmer's market while we're thinking about it?"
Makoto Kino 2017-05-13 22:28:21 76423
"The helper conspiracy, that's us," Mako quips, flashing a quick grin. "I'm very glad there's no more acting involved, you'd have to ask someone else for that."

And then he's sliding off the counter and she perks up eagerly, almost starting toward the living room before she remembers she's still holding a glass and checks herself. "--Let's go now!" she saus. "Just, ah, let me finish this first." OM NOM FRAPPUCINO.