A Hands-Off Survey

Takashi is collecting information on dark-energy-induced perspective changes. Kazuo does not quite induce Takashi to put him through a wall in the process, but it comes pretty close.

Date: 2017-05-30
Pose Count: 35
Kunzite 2017-05-30 16:11:07 77445
Late afternoon, and it's close enough to June that the weather is creeping up on the hotter end. It is, however, not raining. There *will* be rain, certainly; but not today. Therefore Kazuo Takeba is ...

... no, not out stalking rooftops in cape and uniform. No, not out practicing some unlikely athletic feat. No, not intimidating some local thug into leaving someone alone.

He is, instead, walking through the harbor district with a pair of reusable shopping bags weighing down one hand, full of spices and dried mushrooms. One of the less-touristy features of the area is that convenience to the port leads to good import stores.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 16:29:51 77447
Takashi Agera has been thinkinbg a lot since his Dusk Zone visit and discussion with Lacrima. It's caused him to make more visits there, and ask more questions of himself while resting in the strangeness.

Some of the most important questions aren't ones he has answers to, though, because they involve experiences he can't have without crossing a line, sudden shifts. But in a flash of insight he realized he knew of someone who had - even if he really hadn't known them personally in the best of terms.

Not like that would stop Takashi, and so here he is - or rather, here he appears, stepping out of the Dusk Zone all-too-casually as the passerbys somehow manage not to notice his appearance, finding something else more interesting as is often the case with magic.

Surely the boy in the Infinity uniform was always leaning against the side of the building. But Kunzite would notice. Takashi's not in henshin, though - not presenting as Riventon.

"It occurs to me I don't know the name you go by when you're not in uniform." he says to the older boy with the similar hair, and at least shows the decorum to not call him transformed name.
Kunzite 2017-05-30 16:46:14 77450
There isn't so much as a blink of consideration. It's a decision Kazuo made six months ago, explicitly, and rather before that where Lacrima was concerned. "Kazuo Takeba," he replies to Takashi, and steps aside from the foot traffic and turns to take up a place against the wall himself. Those bricks are not about to fall onto the street today. "Been a while. You look well." For versions of 'well' that at least include 'not evidently leaking or slowly decaying into dark energy.' It's always a concern, if not one Kazuo would insult Takashi by voicing.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 16:53:20 77452
Takashi waves his hand a little. "How is it?" he asks, pretty much instantly. "Life on the other side." There's a quick clarification, there, as though he's holding back a bunch more questions or elucidations, and then he realizes he's not entirely being clear on the subject.

"You know the last real interaction we had you were trying to kill Am..." clearly stopping himself "Mizuno-san. So we didn't have much to talk about. And yet - at the time you were maybe more like me than you are now."

"So since you've been on both sides - and were some degree of lucid on both sides - you have a unique insight I'd like to investigate." A pause.

"In a hands-off survey-over-experimentation manner, today." Today. Not necessarily forever.
Kunzite 2017-05-30 16:59:53 77454
Of course not necessarily forever. Just because Kunzite is no longer a compellingly interesting research subject doesn't mean he isn't still a good candidate. Just that it'd take some work to put him back into a proper state for it. And Kunzite is deeply aware that he's no longer possessed of remotely enough power to fight Riventon to a standstill.

All the same. "That's a broad question," he says. "And I suspect you're not looking for a general answer. This could take some time."
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 17:03:40 77455
Takashi shrugs. "I have time." But then he indicates the bags with his far hand - an open hand, no weapons. Upturned to show this, in fact. Everything shows that Takashi isn't looking for a confrontation - and that, in and of itself, might be suspicious, the degree to which he's out to show a lack of threat. "Do you?"

"If the wall isn't to your liking I'm sure we can stop in somewhere and get a snack and a seat. I'm aware, however, I'm being rather suddenly imposing."
Kunzite 2017-05-30 17:13:42 77456
"I'm not carrying anything perishable." And having a couple of bags weighing down a hand confirms that Kazuo is also unlikely to be starting anything -- given that he channels his power primarily through gesture, without the accompanying call so many people give.

Kazuo turns over the question more deliberately. "It's different, obviously. Somewhat easier to maintain rationality, though some of the pushes against that have changed. Useful possibilities become visible that were previously unthinkable or easy to disregard. Priorities change. Plans change. Flexibility increases considerably. For some people, that becomes a problem. Were there any specific areas you were curious about?"
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 17:21:18 77457
"I wish I had a simple question or series of questions to which I could seek an answer." An honest, clear desire that he can't fufill. "When someone is asking you to give up something that's such a core part of yourself, it feels crazy to even entertain the notion for a moment - even now there's a lot of me that feels this conversation is stupid."

"I've lived my whole life this way, and I don't have any past lives to judge against, either." A sign of things Takashi has learned, from where? "So it's still not the same. But you were a being of the Dusk Zone and now you're not."

"Do you miss it?" he asks, after a longer pause. "The ability to just go into that wierd world and explore? Sometimes it feels more home than my actual house."
Kunzite 2017-05-30 17:33:12 77459
There are places Takashi could have learned it from, easily enough. D-Point held secrets even for the dead. Mercury might have had a good reason to tell him. Lacrima has sources. Naru talks with Miss White. The dark Jupiter that he created -- there's no telling what it knew, and what he harvested.

"I do miss that," Kazuo acknowledges. Fully aware that he's giving away a weakness; but there's no chance of getting anywhere with Takashi by lying to him. (It feels crazy to even entertain the notion that he'll get anywhere anyhow. But then, that's the point.) "I'm not entirely limited to this space, now, but largely so. It feels ... cramped. Unsettling, not to be more aware of other spaces that might impinge on this one. The others seem to have adjusted better in that regard." Not that they talk about it, either. "At the same time ... There are certain blind spots that dark energy fosters. An inability to read some of one's own emotions and desires properly is one of them. That blind spot is now reduced, and I am aware of why I was attracted to exploring that place. And that it was not a healthy desire. Is not."
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 17:46:55 77461
Takashi nods. "I've gotten used to it. There's the power aspect, as well..." he won't do Kunzite the disservice of asking if he's less powerful, you can just stand in his aura and feel the vast difference between then and now. "...but I think it's the capability aspect, as well. The ability to utilize solutions I couldn't. And the personality aspect, but that one's harder to quantify."

"Then you get into odd questions like who you really are, and what makes you that person." He looks up. "Do you think like that, Kazuo Takeba? Do you ask yourself if the person you 'were' in that body was even really you?"

"I'd miss the ability to explore. Both there, in the Zone, and here. Getting to other planets without the Dusk Zone is probably a much more difficult endeavor..."
Kunzite 2017-05-30 18:08:51 77464
"More difficult," Kazuo agrees. "But not impossible. It was done regularly, once. It might be done again. Infrastructure existed; it could be rebuilt. Cities, populations, ecosystems -- those are more difficult. But they were, once. Those worlds were not dead; they thrived, they had commerce, without ever touching the Dusk Zone."

He stirs slightly, shifting angle against the wall to let him glance more easily Takashi's way. "The question of who I really am is perhaps less of one for me. I know which parts of myself stayed the same, between myself now and myself in that body. When one works past the memory tampering -- most of them did. It was primarily a question of which aspects were foremost. The answer is that, in that body, the worst aspects were dominant: arrogance, anger, callousness, and cruelty, for the most obvious. Behind those and fueling them, rage and vengeance and despair. I could not identify these things at the time, in part because my memories were tampered with, in part because in the name of survival my mind became complicit in that tampering. If I had not, if I had permitted the rest of my personality to become fully active or permitted myself to be aware of my own condition, I would not have survived in any meaningful fashion; either I would have committed suicide, or I would have let go of my hope and my focus and become a creature solely of malice. A particularly powerful youma, yes, but no longer fundamentally different from them."

Kazuo lifts his free hand between them, palm up, fingers curled, making a gesture somehow reminiscent of gathering. No energy moves with it. "That is, ultimately, why I was so fascinated with exploring the Dusk Zone. I could tell myself that I was seeking after power, after secrets to expand the use of that power, after competition to hone myself; I could tell myself a thousand useful reasons, and they were all individually and trivially true. But every trip exploring the Dusk Zone is a gamble, and one only has to lose once. Sooner or later, one of two things will happen. The explorer will lose the way back, lose the connection to Earth, and become lost; once lost long enough, the explorer will lose their humanity as well, and the conflict between their base personality and the darkness will be resolved in the darkness's favor. Or the explorer will encounter something that can destroy and consume them. And the conflict, again, will be resolved."
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 18:48:28 77468
Takashi is quiet for a little bit, turning over the several things Kunzite just said, filing some away for later, letting the more pertinent facts sift to the top. "I assume it would be quite stereotypical for me to insist it affects me differently, wouldn't it?" he asks with a half smile. "I've certainly not journeyed through the Zone looking for a way to end any theoretical war within myself, certainly not through a messy end."

"I'm certainly looking for many of those things you suggested, and as far as I can look within myself, that's the absolute truth." Another small smile. "If I am looking to destroy myself it's an extremely well-hidden desire, and I perhaps am truly lost."

"But the fact that even you, not born of the Zone, feel a tug back to it - it doesn't bode well for me, does it. Assuming that it can even be done. After all, your experience is somewhat different to mine. I don't think the same equation applies to my life as it did to yours... literally in fact."

Yes, Takashi's unsubtle nudge at the fact that he helped, however small, Ami with the rebirth of the man he stands near.
Kunzite 2017-05-30 19:07:40 77470
"I was unaware of it at the time, myself," Kazuo answers Takashi. "As I said, it fell into that blind spot." But there's no stress. No attempt at an Urgent Warning or a Desperate Intervention. No assertion that Takashi's situation must be parallel. It's a data point, not a contradiction.

And it's not even the most interesting data point there; because there is actual interest, and a tug at the corner of Kazuo's mouth for a moment, when Takashi describes him as 'not born of the Zone.' "That makes an interesting question. At the time, I was wearing a body that was born of it; I did not have human flesh, and for much of the time, did not remember what human flesh felt like. The Dusk Zone was not the place I was most comfortable, at the time, but certainly more so than Earth space then.

"It is, of course, that set of memories that makes the idea attractive. My current body would not find the environment nearly so amenable." Was that an acknowledgment of Takashi's nudge? Perhaps. "Also, the adjustment provides the potential for a certain counterbalance. It is not an automatic thing; it requires time and directed effort and learning a different skillset, and taking a certain set of risks. But the resultant connections to the Earth, whether this world or space itself or the people resident here, can attenuate the urge toward the Dusk Zone considerably. After a year, it is only an occasional temptation -- when exposed to considerable dark energy, or when in certain types of particularly poor mood. And few temptations can't be overcome." Talking with Lacrima about her unnatural-philosophy ventures qualifies as 'exposed to considerable dark energy,' after all.

He turns his head to study Takashi again, considering him in silence for several seconds. It hadn't occurred to him until now, though it should have, just why Mercury might choose to concentrate her attention on Alexis Raskoph and Hannah Sharpe and the Nagihiko-Nadeshiko split, rather than on broader problems.

All three of those situations, like his own a year ago, provide perspectives from which to consider Takashi's.

He really should have realized.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 19:35:26 77474
"I suppose that points to a much more philisophical question, then - wether you were at some point destroyed and rebuilt, wether this Kazuo is patterened off the old Kunzite or truly the same being. Because that's a large part on wether your fundamental primary nature 'sticks' - I'd wager you are because you still feel that strong pull to that time as a symbol that something fundamental must have been unchanged from whatever your real, deep core is. Just like how you and your ilk carry a continuous spirit from the far past to this time."

It's here Takashi stops and the half-smile is, for a moment, considerably more hazardous, more thoughtful - not amusement, but the smile of someone who lets slip something just for a moment, something going on or something yet to be going forward, and then he's back.

"I find myself no less attached to the Dusk Zone than I did before I found such... connections. But I know you are familiar with Lacrima, and I do not feel the same disconnect she does. Perhaps my situation is so unique that absent artificial induction of conditions, we'll never know the possibilities." Another one of those dangerously thoughtful smiles.

"You know, Takeba-san, for you it was a pollution, a virus, an unwanted shell. For me, it's everything that I am." It's with a sort of casual calmness he wriggles his own fingers and Dark Energy swells between them into a marble-sized orb before he squeezes it like a grape and it dissapates. "It was my ally when I was alone, and without anyone else it has brought me hope, strength, and a family. That is also a key difference that I think other people have such trouble understanding." A pause. "And I'm not really sure I expect you to, or why I'm sharing it."
Kunzite 2017-05-30 20:10:19 77476
"Philosophical question in our lives tend toward the practical," Kazuo replies. "Whether I was at some point destroyed and rebuilt, whether I am the same being, depends on what you are measuring. If you're considering the material or the form, then obviously I was destroyed and rebuilt. If you're considering the telos," the Greek word is out of place among the rest -- the final purpose, the reason for being, the essence of the soul, "if you believe in such a thing, then that has been obstructed from time to time, but never changed. I am not making an unjustified assertion; there is close to two decades of evidence behind the statement. I do not, however, believe that dark energy or the lack thereof is part of that telos in either of our cases; I believe that for us, to date, its influence is primarily a modifier. And acknowledge that I may be incorrect."

He listens, then, not visibly put off by those dangerously thoughful smiles. Considers Takashi's statements about the Dusk Zone, and Lacrima, and the differences. And artificial induction. And the rest -- only listening, for a little.

(And does not under any circumstances say to Takashi, "Because you're lonely.")

"I would call it an addiction, I think," Kazuo says quietly. "I know that I saw it, then, as bringing me strength, and as my only hope, and as the only hope of the world. As what I loved and served, and as the only possible source of true beauty. Not the same as your situation. But in some ways, not so far."

He does not stress again that he sees things differently now. He's said it already in this conversation. Takashi will incorporate that here, or not, depending on what it is he's looking for.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 20:23:47 77477
"That's a good word to use for it." Takashi muses, as to the use of telos. "But I didn't, truly, expect you to have answers. Only your own opinions I could use to measure mine against. So in that sense I appreciate your input. But I have to differ - what is a modifier for you is a core building block for me - there is no Takashi without it. Perhaps I would've been someone else, but that is the point, I would be someone else, someone different, with changed motivations and desires and strength and potential." The last two with so much severity in his voice.

"Without it, I die, as surely as you die without oxygen, and I have no past place of residence for my telos to evidence a different situation. And... I am trying to be as rational as I can, and you should see the amount of control I have over myself, over those emotions and this power, because I have not retalliated against you for the idea that I am an addict or a poisoned soul in need of care." The visible change in the air when Takashi all but spits those words out is restrained but aching to escape, to use his birthright to take vengance, to throw his strength as a visible denial to Kunzite's words - polite as though his might be, held back as they might be, Takashi can see the point.

It's the same point Ami has been trying to make.
Kunzite 2017-05-30 20:40:39 77478
"I am well aware of that degree of control. And that you have managed your situation significantly longer than I was able to successfully manage mine." Kazuo inclines his head to Takashi, calm and steady; he drops his hand back to his side...

... and presses the palm against the wall. Because that change in the air is still a temptation. Still something he could draw in. Still difficult to think past.

It is, after all, not Takashi that he actually directly called an addict.

There is silence for him, then, for a long moment. "Permit me," he says then, "one more risk. And understand that I am not voicing this question as an attack; it is not a pleasant topic for you, but it remains the best way that I can think of to raise a relevant matter worth consideration. Is Mizuno-san a fundamentally different person when she is angry with you than when she is not?"
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 20:55:38 77479
And true, it is a risk. For a moment there's silence - uncomfortable and lurking with the almost bubbling feel of danger, before it dissapates, Takashi cutting it with a bit of humor. "I long for the day that Mizuno-san is not currently angry with me on some level to compare the usual state to." It's a sort of sour humor in his voice, something's off about it, and even Kunzite can probably pick up on the intentional nature of it to diffuse the possible conflict.

The boy is really pulling a lot of stops out to remain civil.

"Ah, but to answer your question, no. And I think I see where you're going with this but I will grant you the leave to explain without my assumptions." He does, however, remove himself from the position of propping up the wall and shift to put some distance between himself and Kunzite. Just a step, but it's another step he might slow himself down, should either of their cordiality fail.
Kunzite 2017-05-30 21:11:54 77480
The sour humor is reflected, to a degree, in a faint twitch of Kazuo's expression -- without the explosive edge. Only a certain commiseration on the capability of Ami's cold anger. He keeps himself against the wall, though, one hand still holding the bags, the other pressed against brick. The best signal of nonaggression that he can manage.

"Where you expect, I imagine. The proposal that the comparison may be different only in scale -- by orders of magnitude, granted, but different in scale rather than different in essence. I could make monsters out of humans by amplifying the effects of the darkness inherent to them. It changed their form, and changed their judgment, and altered which motivations and desires they acted upon; but for the most part it did not change their nature."

For the most part.

There remain two possible exceptions.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 22:06:47 77481
Takashi nods. "Fundamentally, if this is something I do or that happens" - perhaps not ruling out the possibility it may be enforced upon him? "I hope you're right, in this case. And it's not often I hope that I'm wrong. But I think it's also unrealistic of me not to be considering what I might lose - what other people might lose, too. The world would be different if we took different turns at history, but it's impossible to know for better or worse."

Takashi stretches out his hand and generates a very familiar looking shape - it's there for just a moment before he flick-wrist palms it into some pocket dimension. It's a replica of the poison-laden orb Kunzite used to nearly kill Ami, and that in many ways started this whole path. "Things would be very different for a lot of people already if I hadn't been born the way I was, if I hadn't been given this gift - at the great personal sacrifice of another - so to throw it away carelessly seems... haphazard at best."
Kunzite 2017-05-30 22:26:08 77482
A replica of the spell that Kunzite borrowed and modified from Riventon to begin with. In at least one way, then, Riventon helped to carve out this path for himself. But he's aware of that already, too.

"I admit," Kazuo says instead, "that there's something there that confuses me. Not about that sacrifice, and not about your respect for it. Those I can understand, if only at a remove and to a degree, and respect in turn. But about the way others seem to have reacted to it."
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 22:41:51 77483
Takashi knows the pedigree of that little cantrip all too well, and hasn't shared the genesis of it with anyone else, though naturally Kunzite knows. He leans forward a bit on the balls of his feet. It's unusual for this to not have him looming over someone, but with Kunzite - well, very few actual humanoids do any looming over that.

"How do you mean, how others have reacted to it?" He doesn't quite follow.
Kunzite 2017-05-30 22:55:37 77484
"I mean," Kazuo says, "that they don't seem to have reacted." He's still leaning against the wall; it takes a little off his height, and Takashi rising up adds a little to his. Which means that Takashi has an excellent view of that little abstractly disapproving frown. Someone not Takashi has done something Kazuo doesn't appreciate one bit. "You live primarily by yourself, by all accounts I've heard. When you have backup, it's allies you've made personally, or things you've created. When incidents happen at your lab, there's no independent support staff ever reported as visible. You ought to have been the next thing to an adopted child of an entire research team; even if they somehow had no emotional connection nor respect, there should have been academic and practical interest; even if the research team were themselves part of the sacrifice, they should have had connections who took some interest. Even if you chose to shrug them off, they should have been interested, or by now working under you. And yet there's this absence, this void, where they ought to have been." The frown tightens a little, but Kazuo is looking off to the side; the question is rhetorical, not a challenge. "So where are they?"
Takashi Agera 2017-05-30 23:38:14 77492
"The same place they've always been." Takashi notes almost too casually and quickly. "Standing apart from me. Not understanding, or not wanting to, or too busy worrying about themselves to worry about me. Maybe if I wasn't so strong it would bother me more." The last line said with a sort of puffed up attitude.

He starts to pace around for a moment in the street as he talks lowly."But you know what they say. It's lonely at the top. And make no mistake, with my current aptitude and strength that's my inevitable destination. So if you're trying to make me question the situation I'm in, and what it results in, I've lived that past enough to see that future. I have a few people I can count on. White-san, Lacrima, Testarossa-san."

And then there's a sideye and he catches Kunzite's eyes with his green ones. "And I once had a pet fox I was rather fond of, but someone stole her from me. So you know, I got used to having companions I was close to, and then being isolated again."
Kunzite 2017-05-30 23:50:57 77498
Standing apart from him.

Inevitable destination. But no-one inside angling to cling to his coattails.

No-one else had reclaimed anything from the lab in Peru.

Kazuo's fingers curl agaist the wall. Almost imperceptibly, but enough to blanch the tips of them, pushing the blood away.

"No. I'm regarding the situation from the point of view of court politics, rather than business. Perhaps that's the reason for the difference." Takashi should have had a court, if a small one. He should have been a fascinated lab team's princeling. He should have hangers-on now. Instead, he has Nyubey. And Kazuo tries not to feel chilled.

... and then there's that sideye, and Kazuo's eyebrows twitch upward as Takashi reminds him of the other possible explanation. "If you hadn't left her terrified you were going to unmake her at any moment, no attempt to steal her would've worked; she'd have come straight back to you. Lacrima's never shown any sign of that kind of fear, though. So perhaps you've made your way past that sort of dealing."
Takashi Agera 2017-05-31 00:19:24 77503
Takashi glares at Kazuo. "You see here, you are looking at two sides of the same problem, but not seeing them as the same." And then in his hand he creates an orb of energy, dark power roiling in a sphere that quickly grows to bowling-ball size, and when one looks again - and Takashi moves it between thier faces - you can see the raw, multi-elemental, semi-controlled chaos of Dark Energy pulled so near effortlessly to Takashi's will: he isn't even in henshin.

Within the orb, looking inside, storms rage, fires burn, waves crash upon twisted frozen shards. "Because most normal people, when they understand what I am, what I'm capable of, what power I draw up at a whim - they fear me just like that fox, and they make the same motions to get free. Afraid of being snuffed out by flying too close."

The once-busy city street has nearly filtered out now, as people unconsciously found better places to be than near Takashi as his power built, now, the place is empty and quiet, with the two of them and Takashi's orb of energy.

"They don't even live in my world. That's the difference between most of the people in Eclipse and the ones I do associate with." The energy orb slowly flecks and disspears, falling apart into the air as though disolving into pixels. "That is also part of who I have always been."
Kunzite 2017-05-31 00:28:38 77506
And in the end, that's part of why Kazuo is willing to have this conversation with Takashi when he's out of henshin. When he's vulnerable.

Because Takashi out of henshin is very likely stronger than any defense Kunzite could muster in it. So there's relatively little point in changing.

For the first time, there's a flicker of anger behind gray eyes. At the words make the same motions to get free. Kazuo remains silent for a moment, his breathing measured and even, and does not permit himself to speak till that flicker has subsided and his voice remains even. "Not the power they fear, I think, though it does not help. The temper that goes with it." He shakes his head slightly, as if to dismiss that subject, too, as unimportant. "I wonder. What would you do if she came back?"
Takashi Agera 2017-05-31 00:44:18 77510
"Hmph." is Takashi's first verbose reponse to Kunzite's question. He turns but then stops as though he decides to answer after all. "I have long since given up that hope - I can only presume that whatever she's doing is making her happier than being with me. I gave her a part of my soul and in exchange she became the prototype for some of my more recent creations, some of which you are familiar with. So I consider the matter closed now, a settled debt."

A longer pause before he continues, honest thinking. "But if, for some reason, she did come back? It would depend on what she said. She isn't my familiar anymore. She couldn't be as trusted as she was." In fact, nobody has been as trusted as Ayana was since she left. "But I wouldn't seek to harm her unless she came bearing claw and fang."
Kunzite 2017-05-31 00:50:16 77511
The question that Kazuo follows with may or may not be the one that Takashi expected; it's quieter, and far less aggressive.

"Does it mean something to you, whether she's happy?"
Takashi Agera 2017-05-31 00:58:08 77513
Takashi doesn't answer directly with his words, but the tone of voice and the things he speaks still answers indirectly. "I have to assume she's happier now than she was, otherwise her actions don't make sense."
Kunzite 2017-05-31 01:42:08 77526
"Mnh." Not quite the sound Kazuo uses to indicate the universe is annoying him again. Not quite Takashi's hmph, either. Just an acknowledgment, almost content-free. Because there are some things even he won't risk saying, and one of them is 'she misses you.'

Another one is 'she's afraid for you, not of you.'

Or 'do you want to see her.'

"You know my opinion, I think. No need to go over it again. Did you have any other questions about the change?"
Takashi Agera 2017-05-31 02:02:11 77531
"I might have enough information to suit my desires for now." Takashi says, quietly. He's calming down - the city street is starting to become crowded again as the people stop finding excuses to be away from the magical anamoly.

"But I think - any more and we risk breaking out into something less cordial. Which is not what I want to do today. I didn't come prepared for it." Then a bit of a nod. "I do appreciate your candor. Unless you have anything further you'd like to ask me for - in which case I suppose it'd only be fair to respond if I can."
Kunzite 2017-05-31 02:07:29 77535
Kazuo inclines his head toward Takashi. "I think we've neared the end of tolerance," he says. As if to accent that, his phone chirps for attention. He ignores it. It might not have been the first time in the conversation; he ignored it then, too. "But there is something I'd like to ask you for. A further conversation, later. I don't intend it to be less cordial. Only to let us both settle down between times."
Takashi Agera 2017-05-31 02:48:43 77545
Takashi nods. "I'd be willing for that. Just that settling is going to mean not right now." he says. "But I think you know someone who can locate me when the time is better, and I know the same person who can locate you." He nods at the phone. "You should get that. And I should get going. Bad things happen if I don't monitor things with some regularity." There's a slight bow, despite all of the moments of unpleasentness - and then Takashi steps back into the Dusk Zone, instead of merely walking away.
Kunzite 2017-05-31 02:51:37 77546
That slight bow is returned without hesitation. Possibly a fraction deeper.

Even after Takashi is gone and the hints of the Dusk Zone with him, it's a couple of minutes before Kazuo straightens away from the wall nd back into the foot traffic. And a couple after that before he checks the phone.

It is entirely possible, given the text from Naru about hostile rabbit stuffies, that the conversation with Takashi may become the high point of his day.