By the Book

Kazuo wakes from rogue dreams to find something's followed him out of them. Of COURSE this gives Mamoru an Idea.

Date: 2017-05-27
Pose Count: 16
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 00:04:37 77269
It's the morning after the dreams before: oddly enough, possibly because he was so very, very tired, Mamoru didn't dream. Kunzite, on the other hand, spent the night dreaming a D&D session with a bunch of people-- and Mamoru wasn't even privy to it. Probably because he wasn't dreaming and Kunzite wasn't having nightmares-- unless 'flesh' as a contrast color is a nightmare to the white-haired man.

The prince wakes up slowly, pulling himself up out of the dreamlessness like he's surfacing from under a lake of honey or something.

He yawns.

It's a mistake.

A half second later Kunzite, if he wasn't already awake, is probably awake now, because Mamoru's spluttering and pulling long white hair out of his mouth.

At the far end of the room, by the door, the caracal makes a sound suspiciously like a snicker.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 00:11:52 77271
Not precisely a nightmare, so much as wildly annoying. But Kunzite's been resigned for some time now to 'wildly annoying' being a fact of day-to-day life, so: not a nightmare. For all that nightmares were certainly involved.

The yawn is enough to trigger Kunzite's eyes flicking open. The spluttering is enough for that to come with actual wakefulness. He frees a hand and slides it up along Mamoru's cheek, trying to gather wayward locks and free them from an unwary prince. "My hair," he says to Mamoru, "is not intended to be your breakfast."

He slides the other arm up, propping himself enough to roll half away from Mamoru and give him a little more safe margin ... except that the motion stops before he can detach properly. Because his fingertips, under his pillow now, touched something that should not be there. And while he doesn't put it past the caracal to drop things in his bed while he's sleeping, the genius loci lacks hands.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 00:37:43 77274
Mamoru makes himself be still so he doesn't end up pulling Kunzite's hair in the process, and would mock-sulk except he's too comfortable, so he just leans his face briefly into that hand instead. Then, "It's not like I wanted your hair for breakfast. It decided that all by itself. You might need Rei to ofuda it," he says with the silly unfilteredness of just-awake.

Watching Kazuo as he starts to prop himself up, the prince frowns slightly at the stop. "What--?" he asks, lifting his own hand to first mash it through his hair to get it out of his eyes, then reach for his knight's wrist-- the one with the hand half-under the pillow. He only rests his fingertips against it, gentle about being nosy and impatient.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 00:41:46 77276
"I am not inviting the miko to exorcise my hair. It might be insulted and stop behaving. You'd disapprove if I had to cut it again." The banter is distracted, though; Kunzite touches fingertips more deliberately against Mamoru's cheek, then finishes pushing himself up, propped on his elbow. That lets him reach up and take the pillow out of the way.

There was not a book under the pillow last night. There is now. An aged and tattered and insect-chewed thing; the leather binding bears the word 'Memories' just-visible on the spine.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 00:55:19 77280
Okay, now Endymion pushes himself up into sitting; even with half of his own pillow blocking the view of what's beneath Kunzite's, an old book has a scent all its own. So does leather. So does insect-chewed leather-and-old-book. He needs both hands to be effective about it, so instead of breaking contact, he basically uses his guardian's arm to pull himself as his other arm props him up.

And then he squints at the book.

"That looks like a bad joke," he finally says, and even if there's no tension in his voice, it's singing behind his skin. Carefully dampened alarm, mild paranoia, --of all things the idea of Sailor Earth, since Daisuke'd been making noise about looking in the Palaces for hints of her existence.

Cautiously, slowly, "...where did that come from?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 01:02:10 77283
Kunzite holds still and plays anchor, for a moment. It gives him time to study the cover more closely. The patterns of wear.

"There was a dream last night," he says. Never mind the odd phrasing. Endymion will understand what he means. "The nightmare prince sent Ariel's less fortunate mother into it. We fought her; we were able to take her armor from her. This -- this was in a treasure chest in the dream. Literally."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 01:25:11 77290
Silence, for a long stretch. It's clear that he heard and understood, he's working through the implications now.

Slowly, the black-haired boy leans-- then leans further-- then puts his head on Kunzite's shoulder and leans properly, still looking at the thing. "You went on a dream adventure without me," he says, sounding mildly offended but not feeling it. There's maybe a little worry there, since he didn't wake up, he didn't sense it going on even though he was in contact, he didn't dream himself... and Kunzite brought a book out of a dream.

Endymion's arm curls around Kunzite's. "I'm a little nervous," he says uncertainly. "You didn't bring it out on purpose. Obviously."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 01:40:42 77296
"Never my idea. Akashimaru wasn't there either." Kunzite drops the pillow aside, then settles that arm around Endymion. "Ariel. Lacrima. Yellow. Naru. Alexis. Tyrfing, and that girl with the hammer." They know several dreamwalkers, at this point. And only one of them was there.

He taps the spine lightly with a fingertip, so lightly that nothing flakes off in response. "Mn. I was the one who took it out of the chest. And I was still holding it at the end -- I didn't think to pass it off to Ariel, the way we suggested her seaside mother might be able to do something with the armor. But I didn't expect it to come with me, no."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 02:19:58 77309
"Ariel's mother..."

Mamoru trails off, frowning, and slouches into Kunzite's arm. "Sorry, I'm just trying to figure out how everyone ended up in the dream if it was only Ariel there, if she called everyone-- if someone else did... and you keep getting tagged. You've volunteered before, but this wasn't your idea-- and you brought an item back from the dream." His voice is a little far-away. "I didn't dream at all last night. I didn't even know you were dreaming. I wonder if I'm being kept out?"

Then Endymion shakes his head and leans forward slightly, reaching for the cover. He stops, glancing up and sidelong. "Sorry, books are like big red buttons for me. Any reason I shouldn't open it?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 02:27:17 77311
"Ariel didn't seem to expect us, either. She said something about it." Kunzite frowns for a moment, prodding his own memory. "That things were getting bad, if it was that easy for people to wander into other dreams."

Which doesn't offer reassurance on Mamoru's being kept out, either.

That sidelong glance wins a small tilt of Kunzite's head. "You're more qualified than I am, anyhow. When I looked in the dream, it was mostly blank. One page of text."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 02:45:00 77313
"Don't be stupid, there are no qualifications for books except for--" Mamoru's finished reaching and has gingerly picked the book up to place it closer, and opens it. Then sighs. "Physical ones." He leans around Kunzite, looking toward the night-table. "Can you get my glasses?"

In the meantime, he just puts his fingertips lightly on the words and opens his mind, the same way he did in the house with all the empty rooms, the house above Jadeite's palace, where he grew up. The same way he does when he takes his walls down for people who can't get past the initial earthworks to even make it to the sharpened wooden posts.

And he's still in contact with Kunzite, so Kunzite can feel what Endymion does when the book tells him the story that doesn't use words. There's nothing evil here, there's only sorrow-- and everything is vague, perceived through mist and smoke, heavy like the feeling in the limbs just upon falling asleep or waking.

Mamoru jerks his hands away, blinking. "I don't think it's awake. But words are good."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 03:00:47 77316
Kunzite's already shifting weight, reaching over for the requested glasses. He pauses for a moment when that contact takes form, but it's not entirely new to him; something similar in a way happened in the dream, the night before.

The glasses are set by Mamoru's hand all the same, once he's not touching the book anymore. "I hope it's not awake," he says. "Dealing with one half-awake and cranky book at once is all I care to handle."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 03:08:04 77318
Picking up the glasses and putting them on, Mamoru gives Kunzite a deliberately owlish look through them. "I'm not cranky," he says exaggeratedly huffily, and then leans in again -- both into Kunzite's side and over the book a little bit. Gingerly, he reaches to turn past the binding page to where there are words, and he scans over them quickly...

He's suddenly cold. He's cold, but it's not stopping him from turning the page just to see, he's just putting what's making him cold into a neat little box labeled 'deal with this later or as a background process'.

"...I promise it's not my qualifications that made another page of text appear," he says blankly, automatically reading it. And then not looking at Kunzite.

Mamoru has that quality right now that tends to give Kunzite headaches. Or ulcers. It's a feeling of 'nobody's going to like this idea but it's a great idea'. It's that horribly familiar defiant determination.

"I want to talk to him."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 03:13:09 77320
"I meant the wind tome that did unspeakable things to a former library." Kunzite resettles his arm over Mamoru, and adds in a meditative tone, "You are not a book. We can tell, because you don't have pages."

But Mamoru's reading, and Kunzite falls quiet, lapsing into even steadiness. While Mamoru goes cold. When Mamoru finds the second page of text. When Mamoru doesn't look at him.

When Mamoru says those last words.

"Of course you do," Kazuo sighs. "Will you let me take this to show Akashimaru first? If she can learn anything from it, it might give you a little more of a conversational edge."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 03:25:08 77323
"Yeah, it's creepy. She knows more than I ever could about this stuff, anyway," Mamoru says after a second. And he closes the book and curls into Kunzite's side, emotions roiling around like a hungry stomach-- not like a sick one, at least. Fitful, restless. Incomplete. There's someone lost out there, is all he can think. Someone like them. Someone like what they could have been-- someone like what Kunzite was, and partly like what Mamoru was.

"He found someone else," he says, finally. "And that started his fall..."

It's before coffee. He can't think about it and not be cold.

"I want you to come with me. And maybe Akashimaru can come with, too. In case he tries to take over my dream," is what the prince eventually gets out, and he's unfolding himself and pushing down on Kunzite's shoulder, like, 'stay here'. He picks the book up, pads across the room, gingerly steps around the Clydesdale-sized desert cat, opens the door, puts the book on the other side of it, closes the door, and pads back toward the bed. "Didn't I," he asks slyly, taking his glasses off again and coming within arm's reach of Kunzite, "have pages in the Golden Kingdom?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 03:45:55 77331
"That's right," the caracal rumbles, and there's a headbutt lightly against a princely leg. "Make it my problem." ... not actually enough to make Mamoru fall over.

Kunzite sits up entirely, as Mamoru comes closer. That he'll go with Endymion goes without saying. That he'll be on utter alert, likewise.

That he'll give Mamoru a long, long stare for that last line? That's pretty inevitable, too.

A hand catches at Mamoru's arm, finally, pulling him in. "I draw the line at shelving you."