Good News Comes Near

Nephrite has good news! Makoto has more motivation to work on her English, and both of them have an impending date with Alton Brown. Most immediately, Mako finally has a proper civilian name to call him by that isn't 'Mifune'.

Date: 2017-06-04
Pose Count: 19
Nephrite 2017-06-04 20:49:09 77869
The distance between the Earth Court and Makoto's apartment is too long. Neph almost considers teleporting there just to be there faster. But walking there (almost jogging with impatience) gives him time to dash off a quick text.

TXT: comin over. I have news!

When he finally arrives on her doorstep, he is still breathless and a little shaky. But grinning. He's grinning from ear to ear.
Makoto Kino 2017-06-04 20:56:49 77870
    TXT: o rly? see you soon, then!

Nephrite's text hasn't mentioned whether his news is good, bad, or somewhere in between. Whatever it is, though, Makoto figures it couldn't hurt to have something to wash it down with. In the relatively short amount of time it takes him to get to her apartment, she's set out a plate of cookies and cups for tea, and when she greets him at the door it's with a whiff of ginger around her.

"...Looks like it must be good news," she says, taking in the sight of that grin. "Come in and tell me everything."
Nephrite 2017-06-04 21:07:07 77872
There are touchstones in Nephrite's life, people who keep him grounded in specific ways. He needed his prince to hold him while he regained his memories. It's Makoto he reaches out to hold now, wrapping his arms around her and scooping her right up off her feet. "My honeybunch! My Thunderbird!" If not for the narrow hall, and the fact that he cannot progress any further inside without first removing his shoes, he would probably twirl her around and then carry her the rest of the way in. Instead he sets her back down reluctantly, and tries very hard to both shut the door and remove his shoes at the same time. "It is good news! Well, it's complicated news. But mostly good! Also you smell good and I missed you."
Makoto Kino 2017-06-04 21:16:18 77873
Makoto lets out a yelp of surprised, pleased laughter as she's swept off her feet, and her arms wrap around Nephrite's shoulders to hug him back not just for balance. "Nice to see you, too," she tells him, lightly teasing but smiling fondly all the same. "Did something happen? --wait, let me let you get in and sit down first, and then you can tell me."

Once he's gotten his shoes off she ushers him the rest of the way into the apartment, and true to her word she'll let him get settled but she's watching him with bright eyes, alive with curiosity.
Nephrite 2017-06-04 21:26:55 77876
Nephrite obediently follows her in, and even manages to wait until his butt is almost touching the seat before he starts babbling. "So, those memories that we found? I finally decided to eat mine. Not all of them yet, not the ones from way back or the ones from the Dark Kingdom. Just the ones from before the Dark Kingdom. My childhood in this life." He laughs, pushing his hair back. "I was dumb, I know, to be so scared of doing that. I thought like, maybe gaining back my old life would put this one in jeopardy. I mean, Kunzite's dad sent a PI after him, right? I didn't want to feel guilty about being happy here, or find out I have obligations somewhere else. I'm a huge chicken. I know that."

He reaches for her hand, and his expression is serious now. "Mako, I have a family. An aunt and an uncle. They adopted me when I was little. I haven't contacted them yet, but I've been looking up everything I can and... they're still alive. And my cousin, she's been running the awareness campaign about my disappearance. She's got a blog and everything. They've... never stopped looking for me."
Makoto Kino 2017-06-04 21:41:31 77879
"Of course they haven't," Mako says as she curls both of her hands around Nephrite's - as though there was never any doubt, though she knows well enough that there are all kinds of family situations and not all of them are happy ones. She would never have stopped looking - it's an item of faith to her that whatever family Nephrite has out there would still be searching for him, too. "That's great news. I'm so glad."

On pure impulse she leans in, still clasping his hand, to press a quick kiss to his forehead. "Will you be getting in touch with them sometime soon?"
Nephrite 2017-06-04 21:58:16 77882
The kiss brings his smile back. "Yeah. I'll call them first, so I don't give anybody a heart attack, and then I'll go visit. I want to figure out how easy it is to get from my palace entrance to the mainland so I don't have to be on a plane for like 12 hours every time. Maybe I'll buy a boat? Anyway, once I get that worked out, I can visit whenever I want. And, maybe you'll come with me sometimes, if you want?" He rests his other hand on hers too. "I just know they'll love you. And I hope you'll love them. Well," he snorts, "one of my cousins is a bit of a jerk. We had a prank war going when we were kids. The old bucket of ice water on the doorframe trick is very rude."

He lifts her hands to his lips and kisses them. "Just, thanks for being patient with me while I sorted this out. I know I'm not always the best person. But I'm working on it."
Makoto Kino 2017-06-04 22:11:44 77884
Makoto's face lights up with a beatific smile. "I'd love to come with you," she assures. "I want to meet them. Ami-chan's even been halping me work on my English so I'll be able to at least halfway hold a conversation... assuming they speak English, which hopefully they do or I'm in trouble." She breaks off in a slightly self-conscious laugh.

At his thanks, she shakes her head, still smiling. "I think you've been doing fine," Mako tells him. "This sort of thing isn't easy to even think about. Patience is the least I can give you while you're working through it."
Nephrite 2017-06-04 22:33:02 77886
His eyes light up. "You've been learning English?" It occurs to him how long she has been preparing for this, while he has been sitting on his hands. "God, you're just too good to me. What did I do to deserve you?" He laughs. "Well you had a fifty-fifty chance, right? Good thing I'm not from Quebec."

Nephrite scoops up a cookie. "So, as soon as I've met them again and things settle down, we should plan that. In the meantime, I haven't even asked how you are."
Makoto Kino 2017-06-04 23:00:07 77891
"I've been trying," is Mako's reply, and her smile turns into a wryly self-conscious grin. "I'm not exactly at a conversational level yet - I'm not so good with languages. Or, you know, studying in general. But that'll give Ami-chan a little more time to work on me before it's time for me to meet your relatives, so that I can say more to them than 'harro' and 'sankyuu'."

He nabs a cookie, and Mako disengages so that she can hop up and pour him a drink to go with it. "I've been fine!" she assures. "Surviving high school and everything. Niisan's had me making baked goods with magic honey to feed to Kunzite's dad, but other than that it's mostly been quiet, which means something's probably due to explode sometime soon."
Nephrite 2017-06-04 23:25:11 77894
"Ugh, I'm right there with you on the studying. The dirty looks Mamoru gives me when I avoid it is terrifying. If you ever want to practice, we can do that! I mean, Ami probably knows way more than me about English from an academic perspective. I can't tell you about sentence structure or whatever. But I've got native speaker powers."

He sighs. "Mamoru's really working hard on the Dadzite front. The guy probably has no idea how many magical forces are conspiring to try to make this work. Your kitchen wizardry is probably the only thing keeping those two civil at the moment. I remember how potent your honey is." He pauses, realizes exactly how dirty that statement sounds, and leans on the table, wagging his eyebrows. "Eh? Ehhhh?"

He shoves the cookie in his mouth to stop himself from saying anything more immature. "Ahh, don't jinx it though. I like things not exploding."
Makoto Kino 2017-06-04 23:30:32 77896
It's just as well that Nephrite stuffs the cookie into his mouth when he does, because if the sidelong look Makoto has slanted in his direction is any indication she was on the verge of doing it for him. As it is, she just shakes her head and tries, not very successfully, to pretend she's not both blushing and laughing quietly to herself. "Geez."

Leaving that without further comment, she comes around beside where Neph is sitting so that she can loop an arm around his shoulders. "I like things not exploding, too," she agrees. "It's just, you know how things tend to go around here. But maybe we'll be lucky and things will stay like this for a while longer. I could definitely use your help practicing my English on, at least." Slight subject change back to the earlier topic. "Ami-chan keeps saying the only way to really get passable with it is to immerse. It's just tough," she concludes with an over-dramatically exaggerated sigh of woe.
Nephrite 2017-06-04 23:40:45 77897
Nephrite tries not to think too deeply about how he understands Japanese. That's, perhaps, something best left to the red memorybeans. But he does remember language classes. His French is still atrocious. "Let's practice now! Hello," he says slowly in English. "How are you?"
Makoto Kino 2017-06-04 23:53:38 77898
He is treated to the startled, wide-eyed look of one who has been unexpectedly put on the spot. Ami, one must assume, has been getting this look a lot lately too.

At least he spoke slowly, and started simply enough that after a moment for the mental gears to start spinning Makoto can still parse what he said and try to come up with a response. "Um, um," she says, a bit of verbal fumbling while she reaches across the language gap from Japanese to English. "I am well." Her accent is terrible, but she's trying. "Sankyuu."

Another brief pause, while Makoto tries to remember how 'genki' translates. "Are you well today?"
Nephrite 2017-06-05 00:12:02 77903
Nephrite chuckles, but not unkindly. She's just too cute. "I am very well, thank you." He spares her any further flailing and switches back to Japanese. "Not bad! I think you're off to a great start. Maybe we should watch some American shows together for more practice. I say American shows, because I respect you too much to expose you to Canadian television." He sips at the tea that she brought him. "But if you're worried, I am more than happy to translate between you and my family. Or we can all just start communicating through sketches on a notepad? I can draw a pretty solid stick figure."
Makoto Kino 2017-06-05 00:15:49 77906
"Hmmm," Makoto muses, even as she's favoring Nephrite with a very sincerely grateful look for the switch back to her first language. "All Pictionary, all the time. Could be fun."

She's already shaking her head, though, smiling anew. "It'd be awkward if I had to have you translating for me all the time," she says. "I'll keep working on it! Trying some English language TV sounds like a good idea, too. Think we could get some Alton Brown?" Hopeful look. Side benefit of learning English: Good Eats!
Nephrite 2017-06-05 00:29:29 77909
Nephrite smacks his forehead. "Why didn't I think of cooking shows? They have instructions and visuals and everything. Alright, I'll download a whole bunch for us, and then we can have a date night with Alton." He grins. "I mean, I like having you all to myself, but that Alton is mighty good with his hands."

He takes a breath. "So uh, one other thing. Turns out I have a name. Other than Nephrite." As though that comes as a surprise to literally anybody other than him. "It's Neil. Neil Burke." Now is as good a time as any for Makoto to practice her English pronunciation, it seems.
Makoto Kino 2017-06-05 00:36:56 77910
"...Neil." Makoto repeats the name, or tries to. L sounds are tricky and it comes out sounding more like 'Near.' Making a face at her pronunciation, she tries it again, testing out the sound: "Neil. Neil."

Well, it'll be a work in progress. Bad pronunciation or no, it's not long at all before Makoto's face lights up with delight. She throws both arms around him to hug him, dragging out one of the particular English phrases she's been especially diligent about memorizing. "Very nice to meet you, Neil."
Nephrite 2017-06-05 00:46:24 77913
Somehow, Neil was not prepared for the thrill of delight at hearing his name in her voice. Accent and all, it gives him chills. He hugs her in return, once again thanking every star that brought her to him. "Nice to meet you too."