Please Be Home, Mister Chiba

Koji ran afoul of Madison Perry. He's more traumatized than injured -- and thankfully, he comes right to the ECFH for help.

Date: 2017-05-28
Pose Count: 13
A Siberian cat 2017-05-28 04:07:07 77335
What do you do when you've seen too much in one day, had too many things happening in your life... and the person you trust more than anyone in the world isn't talking to you?

You go find help.

But you do NOT ever go to help empty-handed. So before anything else, Koji makes a quick stop-off at the Korma Chameleon for a couple orders of two-star curry and rice with naan. With that bag and it's familiar smells acting as both bait and a reason to have business someplace the young man all but runs into the building that may as well have in a big neon sign over it that says 'HERE BE MAHOU'.

It's Saturday evening, and perhaps more telling is that he has not cleaned himself up since the encounter he just had with forces well beyond his understanding. Koji's clothes are patted with dust, and cut open along the arm and side of the jacket, and inside there is signs that it's come deeper than just ruining a good summer-weight uniform. His normally braided hair is mussed, and his glasses seem much duller than usual. But he moves with determination to the front door of the apartment that Mamoru Chiba lives in, and begins to knock.


"Please be home..."


"Please... please... be home, Mister Chiba..."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 04:13:52 77338
It is uneventful in the Earth Court Frat House right now. That is never a lasting state of affairs, but for the moment, it's true. The balcony door is open because it's a beautiful night outside. Mario Kart is playing the victory animation on repeat on the projector screen, abandoned and unloved and muted; someone is hammering something in one of the apartments; Akhnaten is playing as random background music from wherever the sound system is hidden; the boy who answers the door has wet hair and smells of chlorine.

The boy who answers the door has not yet heard the end of 'Mister Chiba' from Kyouko.

He blinks at Koji, then immediately steps aside. "Come in. Are you okay?"

A beat, and Mamoru rolls to disbelieve. "Did you stop for takeout on the way to the meguca free clinic after a battle? If that's the case, we need to talk about your priorities."

He's in nondescript jeans and a t-shirt that says 'Xanatos Speed Chess' on it, his feet are bare, and his glasses are smudged.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 04:25:03 77340
Upon entering, Koji will find that the 'wet hair and smells like chlorine' thing is going around. Kazuo actually has his hair tied back, in order to keep the front of his shirt from getting as soaked as the back is. Otherwise, he's dressed in his apparently-standard outfit of white shirt with rolled-up sleeves plus blue jeans. He's eyeing Mamoru's back from a little distance. "Yes," he says dryly to Mamoru. "Obviously bringing things along is only acceptable if it's you or a Puella and the thing you're bringing is beer."

There's a jerk of Kazuo's head, then, as if to usher Koji further into the apartment.
A Siberian cat 2017-05-28 04:35:38 77343
Moving with a touch of a limp, Koji first ducks to remove those old hiking boots he wears when not at school, and once into some teal house-shoes, he goes into the kitchen and leaves the bags on the counter before coming back out into the living room. Sitting down, he goes to the spot he's used before... putting himself in the worst spot for viewing video games or in any good lines for a breeze on a warm day. He sits there, and sort of rocks back and forth a moment, having to breath to get his calmness back. But then the first thing he does is takes out his smartphone and taps until a video comes up, which looks like some kind of HUD system.

"He... promised me to bring you this." Is all Koji says.

It's what happened in the dreamscape, what Kazuo clearly saw, and it's the moment that Kokoro's Device-Enhanced Dreamhammer is slamming down on the form of the Black Knight, and bursting the armor free... of the snarling face of the mad female unicorn under it who glares at the viewer, and then flees out the window. There's even some of the words going back and forth between Kokoro and Tyrfing about following, but that some battles are not their business.

Looking up between the pair, "This... has nothing to do with that. I mean... how I look now. I was on my way over when... this happened."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 04:43:44 77345
"... stopping to pick them up when injured is what I'm potentially objecting to," Mamoru tells Kazuo huffily, then watches Koji's motions carefully as the younger boy moves through the apartment. He shuts the door and follows, padding along silently; the curry's left on the counter for the moment, even though odds are about fifty-fifty that Being Normal In The Background might do more for Koji's mental balancing act than anything else.

There's a glance up at Kunzite after the clip plays, and Mamoru says quietly, "Chamomile, I think."

He crouches, then sits on his heels in front of Koji. "And just say if you want honey in. Or if you'd rather something else to settle your nerves--" he starts, then offers his hands. "--or I can give you a hand with that. Are you physically injured, Silvia-san? We can get into what just happened to you, and talking with Kazuo about the dream, after you're a little more okay."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 04:47:37 77346
The word 'chamomile' is enough to dispatch Kazuo toward the kitchen, starting to heat water before there's any other word. Dishes and utensils make a quiet reappearance in the mean time. Familiar enough with the kitchen that he could probably sort and arrange them blindfolded. But there's no question which of the two of the residents is better suited to handling this problem.
A Siberian cat 2017-05-28 04:53:04 77348
Koji replies almost absently, "Just a few cuts and bruises... nothing important." Being dismissive of his own status, as he then seems to shiver, possibly some of the endorphins wearing off after all of this time, and he closes his eyes hard for a few moments... obviously fighting tears.

It's a few more moments before he gulps and opens his eyes, and looks towards Mamoru once more, "There was an alarm that Tyrfing got. It was from the TSAB. It was some kind of attack. Tyrfing kept trying to tell me not to go, he tried to convince me that it wasn't my problem. But I went anyways. There were all of these monsters, and then this blonde woman... she had a Device. Just like Rashmi's... except a weapon."

Now he's absently rubbing at the wound on his arm, which does look like it could use a wash, some antibiotic, and then a bandage.

Sniffing again, he nods, "Her name... was Madison. But she was working for someone. I didn't get her name. But she... she just appeared out of something like a black hole."

He almost sounds like he babbling, "Reality didn't FEEL right around her. I threw my best swordstrike at her and it was nothing. She just... just..."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 05:13:38 77349

Kunzite can hear everything going on, so Mamoru doesn't need to look to see if he caught that. He listens, but as he listens, he takes closer stock of Koji's state, hands still extended-- and when Koji peters off, he calls kitchenwards, "Also a couple of washcloths and antiseptic, et cetera."

That's accompanied by Mamoru gently but firmly reaching to take Koji's hand away from the wound on his arm, and then taking his other hand as well. He's careful: he's so careful not to be overwhelming, so careful to filter himself and his power so it has more of a chance of being what Koji needs instead of the exact opposite.

The first thing is that there's no pain. The second is that there's a feeling, a sensation, of the safety of the platonic ideal of the concept of home: security, something to hide behind, welcoming and acceptance, safe space. The third is that there is, available there for Koji to grab hold of and cling to in his mind if he wants, an unshakeable mountain of calm. The reverent stillness of a deep green glade in a primeval forest, the steadiness of bedrock, the quiet humming gold of a summer meadow filled with wildflowers, the cool deep silence of caves--

It's there, it's an invitation, but it's not forced. Endymion's not going to force that. It's only an option.

Koji's still injured -- the prince doesn't want to heal that until it's been cleaned, especially since Hannah made grief seeds compatible with linker cores (maybe??) and jammed them into her skin and god knows what the hell Madison and Hana are doing and it's not like they're in the field and there's no time to do things properly. But at least the pain's not there for now.

"It wouldn't feel right around her, no. I don't know if you know anything about Puella Magi or what they fight, but the girl Madison Perry works for -- she calls herself the White Flower, and she's half Puella Magi and half what they fight. She's pretty much above everyone's pay grade."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 05:23:36 77350
Kunzite glances at the water heating, then starts a bowl filling slowly and steps back into the hall. A few moments later, there is the calm depositing on the coffee table of two towels, a stack of washcloths on the towels, and, yes, antiseptic. The bowl of water is fetched over a moment later, and then there's the patient ferrying of chamomile tea, first, and dishes awaiting curry. The curry itself will wait a few moments. There's a fine line between 'too agitated to be anything but ill at the thought' and 'suddenly ravenous,' and healing sits right on that line.

"Madison Perry is an experienced mage," Kazuo says quietly, "with backing capable of locally rewriting laws of physics and some degree of metaphysics, and without concern for the consequences of her actions. It generally takes the combined efforts of six people or so just to slow her down, before the addition of the White Flower's active assistance. There's no shame in having been overwhelmed."
A Siberian cat 2017-05-28 05:50:39 77353
It's a visible effect that Kazuo can see as the touch comes and spreads through him. Between Koji's breaths, the calm rises, slowly to replace the anxiety and fear that was taxing him. When he's finally able to look up again, there's more of the nervous and slightly embarrassed young Silvia that people are used to. Another breath and he even seems a bit more confident than he would normally be, "I'm sorry if I intruded... but you're the only person I know, Mister Chiba, who could make use or sense of any of this."

Though when he speaks, he does look up at Kazuo. The tea is picked up with a nod of thanks, letting go of Mamoru's hands to do so, and then back to Mamoru to inclines his head once more, "She... Madison that is... she said that she had been there for a year. But as a prisoner. She beat up a lot of the people there, but didn't really kill anyone. She was after something. A big thing called a Energy Sensor Array. I heard the agents there talking... it's supposed to track different kinds of magic energy locally. And it was a part of her research. There was... someone else there... someone I think I need to bring to meet you. She can confirm what I'm saying."

A sigh of relief comes from Koji as he sips at his hot tea once more, exhales heavily, and then seems almost chagrinned about this whole thing, but then it comes out in a whisper, "Tyrfing... stopped talking to me. A-after the fight with her, and the person who said she was in charge... He... it's like he's locked himself away from me. I'm scared. He's been acting strange for the last couple of days. And he was talking to the other person who was there, but wouldn't tell me what."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-28 05:56:36 77354
"It's a pretty safe bet, coming here," agrees Mamoru, who immediately starts making use of the supplies Kunzite brought over as soon as Koji can relax somewhat. He'll have to drink tea one-handed for a little bit while wound-cleaning is going on, but it's almost anticlimactic--

--as soon as every bleeding abrasion or wound is cleaned, there's a dim golden glow from Mamoru's hand over the affected area, and when he takes his hand away the skin is pink and whole and new. It's methodical, it's rote; he barely even drips water on the tile, and he doesn't really have to concentrate to take care of first-aid-level injuries.

That means he can talk.

"Even if I don't know what to do with information, either someone else here will or I'll know someone who can help. Or Kazuo will know someone. And listen, Silvia--" no honorific; he's very mildly annoyed at formality in the case of 'you are hurt and came here for help' "--you didn't intrude. These doors are always open for something like this. And I like you. You can come over whenever, even if you don't need help with something."

It's mitigated by a wry, affectionate smile, and then Mamoru's handing Koji one of the dry towels and using the other to mop up where he did drip on the floor. "Sounds like your partner's got some familiar unhealthy coping mechanisms. All I can tell you without being a buttinsky and asking you to henshin so I can chew him out ineffectually is... it'll work out. It might take some dramatics and maybe some terrifying foxhole bonding, but it'll work out. He said you were dependable. He trusts you to come through. He just needs to learn that sometimes 'coming through' means actually needing all the information."

The washcloths are dropped in the bowl, and Mamoru stands up, picking them and the floor-towel and the antiseptic up, and he heads in the direction from whence Kunzite came with them in the first place. He calls over his shoulder, "Also, if you want to stay over tonight, that's fine, too. There's an open guest room with a private bath."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-28 06:16:37 77358
"Madison has killed in the past," Kazuo says, matter-of-fact. "Not in the sense that a soldier might have; she enjoys it. I'm told that's why she was being held as a prisoner." ... it's perhaps good that he says that while Mamoru is still involved in the healing. Koji did not exactly sign up for dealing with this.

"Madison's employer, the White Flower, has made an attempt in the past to control this section of the city and turn it into something more to her preference -- to wit, a safe hunting ground for certain types of monsters with which she has an affinity. If she or her employer want to track different kinds of magical energy ... well. It may not be a particularly good thing. But if Madison Perry was voluntarily not killing her opponents, it's possible that the White Flower is holding to something like a truce for the moment, in hopes that we may not prioritize hunting her down."

Not very much like a truce, it sounds like.

There's a moment of more deliberate consideration when Koji makes that admission about Tyrfing. Kazuo indeed steps away to return with the takeout Koji brought, and dishes some of it out for the three of them. Healing takes protein even when it's faster. "I've been told," he says slowly, "that Devices of a nature similar to Tyrfing's are often more difficult to understand, one way or another. There's a great deal of history there. I can't guess at his reasons for being silent, or at whether he is upset with you or silent for some other reason. Would it be useful to you for us to put you in contact with someone else who works with a Device of similar origin? Storm Knight, for instance, and Verdrehen Sturm?"
A Siberian cat 2017-05-28 06:25:18 77359
The offers come from both sides, the help and the information... and Koji gulps once more, and then nods, "Maybe it would be for the best... Thank you, Mister Chiba."

Still not quite allowing himself anything else than to be on his best behavior, but he does then begin to clean up and notice the damage that pierced through his Knight Cloth, "Oh no... I... I..." Holding up the sleeve of his uniform coat, "I can't go to school like this." But it's something more obviously in his expression, specifically that he looks like there might be money issues. Looking at where the injury was/is, feeling that the bruises are faded and the discomfort is gone, he nibbles his lower lip and picks up the tea to sip at once more, and looks like he wants to ask something more.

Shaking his head again, he lets the unasked question die on his lips as he says softly, "If you don't mind, I'll still knock. You're all senpai, and you're all used to living with each other. I don't have any siblings, or friends like you do, Mister Chiba. I don't want to scare or embarrass someone by just coming in while someone's walking around in something less than decent dress."

Followed by a mumbled, "Like my dad does..."

So he stands up, takes his tea, and then says, "If it'd be allright, I'll use the room. I'll bring out the bedding in the morning, and make everyone breakfast in thanks. Is cinammon french toast allright?"