In Which They Finally Actually Break Kunzite's Dad

Hiroshi turns up at the ECFH to check on his son, who missed their obligatory and resented weekly meeting yesterday and then hasn't been answering his phone or texts. Usagi explains this is because her mother has a medical emergency! Saved! Right? Except that awkward conversations are somehow more awkward when one person in them is completely failing to notice another person is a ghost... and then Hiroshi *stops* failing to notice. Oops.

Date: 2017-06-20
Pose Count: 46
Mamoru Chiba 2017-06-20 17:51:37 79138
Mamoru is, in fact, sprawled on half of one of the couches, half-under Usagi sprawled on him, and holding a glowing emerald-cut stone in his free hand-- which he's turning over and over in his fingers like it's a fidget toy instead of the soul of his first knight. It's around 5 PM on Monday, which is why Usagi and Naru are here instead of school; Koji is still asleep in a guest room, and all the second breakfast he made is put away or eaten by various parties; there's coffee on as per usual, and also a pot of tea in use, a pot of tea steeping, and a pot of tea ready to go, just in case.

Also pineapple soda pop. And little cakes, including Makoto's ridiculous delicious madeleines.

Mamoru got up about an hour and a half ago, in a less fragile mood but quiet and methodical; he took care of his assignments due this week already and did most of the assigned reading for the week, not just for his next classes.

For the most part, he's only been letting Kyouko and Usagi get anywhere near him, and presumably also Nephrite and Zoisite and Jadeite, but they're not around right now.

The prince himself is also faintly glowing. Again. Having recharged his energy stores a bit more, it's probable Mamoru can henshin again, and he certainly has enough to sustain channelling Kunzite's spirit out of the rock where everyone else can see him. He, on the other hand, is not especially talking. One reason may be the two madeleines in his mouth, but that could also just be the present excuse for not even having to answer questions.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-06-20 18:02:43 79139
    Kyouko called in to work, skipping her evening shift. She probably didn't have to, but she's never actually sick, so she doesn't feel too bad about calling in sick when she's needed elsewhere, and even if there's nothing in particular she needs to be doing here, she still feels like had she left cheerfully to go about her normal business, it would be some sort of betrayal given the weakened state of the group in general.

    She's been here all day, prowling about the suite and the roof while other people slept and recovered. The air of 'guard dog' is unmistakable, much as when she was keeping vigil over Kunzite's gem earlier in the day- maybe even stronger, given the pacing which has carried her half-a-dozen times from one room to the next, up to the roof, back down again, onto the balcony, back inside. She'd probably have been yelled at to sit the eff down if anyone had been awake to have to watch her, but luckily since the gathering earlier in the day, most people had been absent or sleeping.

    Also luckily, probably mostly for them, no would-be invaders have shown up to face her wrath. It's been quiet. And once Mamoru emerged and Naru came back and Usagi showed up, Kyouko relaxed somewhat. Which is why she is now walking out of the kitchen with madeleine in her mouth and tea in her hand. "Mmmf mf mfmfmf." She says, as she walks towards the couch.
Usagi Tsukino 2017-06-20 18:10:39 79140
She would have, probably should have been there. But Ikuko doubling over, dropping a roast and shattering the platter, well, all thoughts of being anything but a scared little girl fled her mind.

Acute appendacitis is scary to witness, and visiting hours aren't until later.

So she's trying not to feel guilty for having missed the fight. Trying, but failing, because she's Usagi, but at least she's gotten good at pretending.

She's somehow sprawling even if she's curled up, both knees over her boyfriend but one foot hooked under his knee, toes flexing. (Her other toes find a cozy Naru posterior. Those might be wiggling, too.)

She looks over at KunziGhost and her eyes narrow and her lips purse. "The lengths you go to to avoid a Pirates marathon with me. I could have done it on my own, gotta prep for Dead Man's Chest, but you had to go dramatic." And the smile she's been trying to pretend to hide is now an actual smile. "And don't lie. I can see right through you."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-06-20 18:18:52 79141
One advantage of being a ghost: nothing that you do to your uniform can actually dirty or wrinkle it. Therefore Kunzite's spirit is presently appearing seated on the floor by the couch, back leaned against one of the arms. It keeps him close to Usagi and Mamoru, without any particular risk of one of them accidentally flipping an arm or a leg through him.

At the moment, he may be feeling that incorporeality particularly strongly, because he cannot put a hand up and push any part of Usagi's body, even as gently as he would've done it.

"Don't be ridiculous," he says. "That plan wouldn't have had a ghost of a chance of working on purpose. Hello, Kyouko." That last must be gotten in fast, just in case Mamoru cuts off his conversation privileges for that comment.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-06-20 18:25:58 79142
Swallowing his mouthful of madeleines (two! two at once! good thing they're not that big), Mamoru first gives Usagi the stinkeye, and then Kunzite. No conversation-privilege is revoked in practice, only in dirty look and-- okay, he literally just put the glowing stone in his mouth. And apparently it's so he can wave his hand through Kunzite's head on purpose without the danger of weird interaction between rock and ghost (his other hand currently being occupied by petting Usagi's hair -- except for right now, when there is a lightly yanked pigtail.)

He glances up and gives Kyouko a quizzical look, because as well as he speaks mouthful, he can't actually understand it.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-06-20 18:30:57 79143
    Kyouko swallows her mouthful. "I said," She begins, as she sits down on the couch somewhere in the midst of Mamoru, Usagi, and a possible Naru. "That we should order a pizza. I have a craving for pizza. Does anyone else want pizza? Not that these like pastry thingers aren't amazing."

    She seems immune to the puns, although she watches Mamoru put the glowing gem in his mouth with a look that only someone who also has a Soul Gem can give. The look she gives Naru at this point is, luckily, untranslatable.
Naru Osaka 2017-06-20 18:36:03 79144
Naru is on the couch, somewhere in the pile. She's got Usagi toes wriggling under her butt, and a Kyouko next to her, and a sketchbook and is pretty perfectly content to just smirk at the ghosty puns floating around.

"I could go for pizza." Naru notes, but by the way she's not actually moving, clearly she's not about to be the one to phone.
Usagi Tsukino 2017-06-20 18:39:35 79145
Her grin widens at the return pun, and it's okay if Kunzite can't nudge her, it's very much implied. Her comback for the stinkeye is sticking her tongue out at Mamoru and a giggle for the pigtail tug. Her eyes widen a bit, then, but before any comment could be made, which after a floudering moment would have been about not putting strange things in his mouth, she perks up at the suggestion of pizza.

And she's a modern day gal, so of course she has her phone. And, fortunately, there's an app for ordering, no talking required! "Is it bad form to call dibs on Kunzite's slices?"

And she says it now, because, well, Kyouko may have had the same idea.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-06-20 18:44:16 79146
Kunzite takes the being waved-through largely with grace. Not quite in stride. Mostly because he abruptly closes his eyes rather tightly when one of Mamoru's fingers intersects them. "No," he says solemnly to Usagi a moment later. "Particularly since I'm not calling for it." ... of course, Usagi is already taking care of that.

Perhaps someone else has a telepathic pizza-ordering sense, because there's a polite knock at the apartment door. CLEARLY IT IS KOJI! Wait. No. He's already inside.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-06-20 18:52:18 79147
The prince misses the expression on Kyouko's and Usagi's faces because of his attention being firmly on what kind of reaction overlap gets. Experimentally, eyes sliding to Kunzite after he withdraws his hand, Mamoru closes his teeth on the gem in his mouth-- then takes it out and wipes it off on Usagi's sleeve. Good timing, too, because he can wave the glowing gem in the air like a lighter at a concert. "I'm in favor of pizza," he says, second thing out of his mouth in a while.

Then there's a smirk at Usagi. "Fair. I drank his coffee this morning--"

A knock. Who even knocks except Koji and sometimes Rashmi? There's a really short list of people, and Kunzite's dad is on that list, but he never comes over without arranging it in advance. Maybe it's a new magical person who got referred here with an injury-- if that's the case, he's going to need to dramamine it up and teleport them and himself to the palaces to get enough energy to heal...

"Um. Before you call for pizza, can you get the door?" he asks Kyouko with a puppy-face, since he's under curled-up Usagi and playing with her hair again.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-06-20 18:57:57 79148
    Kyouko might have been about to start a territory war with Usagi over either slices of pizza or Naru's butt, both of which she views as under threat by the current arrangement (though any such war would be good-natured), when there is said knock on the door. She blinks, probably for the same reason as everybody else. "Maybe it's the maintenance guy or something." She says, with a sigh, as she gets back to her feet.

    She crosses to the door. "Alright, I'm coming." She calls out, only mildly peevishly. Luckily, she is fairly presentable, at least for Kyouko, being in jeans and a black t-shirt and her hair always looks mussed anyway but at least she pulls it off so it looks like it's that way on purpose and not just because she's too lazy to brush it. She yanks the door open.
Usagi Tsukino 2017-06-20 19:06:07 79149
Usagi doesn't complain about gem spit, because of who the spit belongs to. And, well, posession may be nine-tenths of the law but there's still that ten percent that suggests the oversized shirt isn't hers, anyway.

She also sees the beginnings of war and leans forward, the toes not under Mamoru's knee wiggling. Because as it states in the Best Friend Charter of Old, when toes are cold, a friend will lend a cozy butt.

Then there are door answerings. She shifts and hunches over Mamoru's lap, one hand on his arm as her other flies over the keyboard. "I'm working on it. Getting everyone's order down."

Because of course she knows how they all like their pizza.

She hands her phone to him for his perusal. Hers will be a truck of toppings with a hint of crust. She hums at Kunzite. "Don't worry. I'll enjoy a slice just for you. No enjoying for myself on the first one. After that, I get to be happy wiggly."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-06-20 19:19:58 79151
In days of old, when toes were cold -- er. Ahem.

"I would like to propose an addition to the house rules," Kunzite says, presumably to Mamoru, without turning around to look up. "'Eleven. No soul-eating in the apartment, particularly if it may break your teeth.'" Just enough of a pause to make the change of topic perceptible, and he says to Usagi with equal gravity, "I would never want to delay your being happy wiggly."

(Somehow he manages to get that out without a pause or a change of expression. That would not have been possible a year ago. He's had a lot more exposure to Usagi in the last year.)

Standing outside the door that Kyouko yanks open is a reason that Mamoru may have to revisehis definition of 'never': Hiroshi Takeba, in a black suit absolutely identical to the one Kyouko last saw him in. (Also to the one Usagi last saw him in. It is exceedingly clear where Kazuo got his wardrobe habits.) "Good evening, Sakura-san," he says with a polite bow. "Please forgive my intrusion, but my son cancelled our visit yesterday morning quite suddenly, and something appears perhaps to have happened to his phone since then. Would you perhaps happen to know whether he has been in?"

Improvement: there has not yet been any commentary about his son clearly reverting to previous habits, and not one word about unreliability or delinquency. Maybe it's politeness, maybe it's the madeleines.
Naru Osaka 2017-06-20 19:26:43 79153
"I'd like more meat on my pizza than usual." Naru requests of the magic pizza ordering fairy, aka Usagi. Just because Naru is the weirdo who usually gets mostly veggies, today? Not so much.

There's just a little snicker at the deadpan delivery of Kunzite saying 'happy wiggly', but it's a good natured bit of grin. There's a lot of relaxed on this couch, even if /someone/ is a ghostly form and having their soul gem licked.

Naru leans over to see who is at the door, and she's probably the only one whose expression goes from puzzled to pleased at seeing Hiroshi Takeba at the door. "Good evening!" Naru uncurls from the couch, leaving Usagi's toes to fend for themselves a moment, and moving over to possibly rescue Kyouko from awkward social. "What a pleasant surprise to see you."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-06-20 19:41:51 79157
    Kyouko blinks rapidly at the person she finds standing on the other side of the door. It is not someone she expected. Her eyes widen fractionally- not because of the person in general (Hiroshi does not intimidate her overly, even if he might find conversing with her somewhat awkward) but rather because of what he asks. How does one say "Oh yeah, he's right over there, but he's a ghost?" to somebody's dad, anyway?

    She does manage to clear her throat after a moment of staring silence to say, "Uh, yeah he's been here.. I think he's.. fine.." Mostly fine. Incorporeal but fine.

    She's spared from having to try and perform any more word acrobatics by Naru's arrival, which is lucky since she is terrible at them. "Ah.. Naru.." She says, as if only just greeting the other girl, despite knowing she was here all along. She starts to say something else, then clicks her mouth shut and takes a step away from the door.

    True strength is knowing your weaknesses.
Usagi Tsukino 2017-06-20 19:54:27 79159
Usagi tilts an imperilous nose in the air. "I wouldn't delay it for just anyone. So there."

Oh, more meat than veggies? She winces with a breath through her teeth. "Poor Naru-chan."

Frigid freezing toes, unable to fend for themselves... Oh the woes of everything and all.

But hey, she knows that voice!

She lurches forward, shifting the toes from one of Mamoru's knees to the other, leaning forward on the arm of the couch so she could see. "KazuoPapa!" He gets a beaming, bright Usagi smile. "Mama's appendix decided to go 'oh hey, boom.' She's fine, now. I know this because last night she told me I better not use it as an excuse to miss school. I still cried lots. Hey!" She plops onto her elbows. "If you're staying, I needa know what pizza you want."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-06-20 20:00:38 79160
Mamoru is perfectly happy to stay right there while Usagi orders pizza, and duly glances at the phone screen -- and takes his hand off her hair to take the phone when handed to him -- and starts to read it over when he heard Hiroshi's voice and freezes, eyes wide.

He looks to Kunzite. He looks toward the door. He--

--goes "OW, Usa, ow, you're not a cat and I'm not a launchpad!" and squirms out from under her, still glowing, still holding the gem in one hand, and the other hand now goes to rub at his offended knee. He doesn't sound mad, just, well, that hurt and was a surprise and he suddenly remembers why Usa lurched while he was frozen.

Where he is, he can see Hiroshi and Hiroshi can see him, and he looks like a (glowing) deer in headlights, and given Kunzite's ghost is tethered to the stone he's holding...

"--he, uh--" Do they lie? Or can Hiroshi even see the translucent uniformed figure of his son?
Kazuo Takeba 2017-06-20 20:12:40 79161
"Osaka-san, good evening." Hiroshi bows slightly to Naru. For some reason he is not blinking at addressing teenagers as respected adults, this evening. The dread invisible hand and improbably amazing hair of Masato Sanjouin may perhaps still be stretched over them.

And then there are voices from behind the two girls, yelps about launchpads and appendicitis, and Hiroshi glances past that --


"Kazuo," he says, and there is a faintly foreboding edge to the word. "What are you doing in that ridiculous outfit?"

Kazuo, translucent and uniformed and also faintly glowing, does not allow his opinion of that phrase to find his face. Or his hands, though undoubtedly being incorporeal is unexpected assistance in the matter of not throttling his father. "Sitting," he says.

Hiroshi's expression tightens just slightly in a manner very close to the way that Kazuo's does when someone he is actually in a fight with goes gratuitously after the youngest and most uncertain target available. He says nothing for a moment, then recenters his attention quite firly on people located on the couch and bows again. "Tsukino-san, I am terribly sorry to hear about your mother. Is she well enough to be home from the hospital yet? Chiba-san, my apologies for the intrusion."

Pizza is obviously a strange European aberration, like berets and Finland.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-06-20 20:16:45 79162
    Kyouko looks mildly offended. "Hey, I happen to think that uniform looks quite dashing." She says, with only a hint of defensive sulk in her voice. She's half defending her nii-chan and half resisting the urge to henshin right then and there to show off her own similar (if slightly more feminine) version of the same uniform.

    She eyes Hiroshi for a moment more.. then turns and positively flounces back towards the couch, which is something she manages to accomplish despite not wearing anythhing traditionally used for flouncing. Once there, she sits down near to where Naru vacated from, crossing her arms, a faint frown on her face. She doesn't say anything else, but her eyes move between everyone else present, returning most often to Mamoru and Kunzite. As if to say 'what are we going to do about this, I don't want to decide but if you give me instructions I will follow them'.
Naru Osaka 2017-06-20 20:21:27 79163
As someone who spends more than her fair share of time in school uniforms that sit smack in the range of socially acceptable ridiculous, Naru doesnt' comment, just a little shake of her head. Ridiculous is in the eye of the beholder, after all.

"It is no intrusion, we were just discussing ordering some supper." Naru explains quite reasonably. "It's been an eventful short while." To most, that clearly would refer to the hospital visit of a maternal unit of the group, and not a Punchervention. Naru doesn't appear to feel obliged to correct any assumptions therein.

"Can I get you a cold drink? Or a cup of tea?" Naru offers, already moving towards the kitchen, to play the part of the hostess, and token attempts at something approximating normal conversation.
Usagi Tsukino 2017-06-20 20:42:59 79168
She winces and kisses his elbow. It would be more effective, a Booboo Kiss, if it were on his knee, but well, they have company. "Sorry."

And, apparently Hiroshi can see Kunzite. And that was awkward. So awkward, in fact, that for a moment she was actually stumbling and polite. "Um, she's well, thank you, and not yet, I'm visiting her tonight."

Mamoru edges back toward the couch and rests fingertips on Usagi's shoulder-- overlaying where the neck of the overlarge t-shirt exposes her skin-- and lets her know exactly how he feels about this. How defensive of Kunzite. How aggravated with both Kazuo and his father, both for being mulishly stubborn. How little cope he has left to spare for delicately smoothing over the sensibilities of the man so determined to interpret the world as mundane enough to turn a translucent glowing ghost into a cosplay stunt. very much he wishes he could just henshin on the spot and see what happens. How tired he is, and how close he's skating to his wits' end. In other words, she's going to have to take over explaining.

And she huffs, Pufferfish face and all, but it's not at the hand on her shoulder. In fact, if she didn't grab onto said hand, her Pufferfish Face would be complete with a Petulant Arm Cross.

"Tsk! That's rude, calling it that in front of other people! I think he looks very dashing, thank you very much, and it's more practical than mine, miles of chiffon made from moonbeams!" Wait, was her dress made of Moonbeams? If anyone could tell, it would probably be Zoisite.

She scoffs and waves her hand then, leaning back against a MamoWall. And, well, she isn't sure if this is a situation for the Truth, so she decides to put her BS Skills, honed perfectly, to good use. "Kazu-kun had to drive Mama to the hospital yesterday because Daddy was out for his job and couldn't be reached and I was supposed to tell you but I forgot because I was crying too hard. Mamo-chan was helping someone move, so he didn't know. And." The piece of resistance! Only in french, which sounds very similar. "And his phone battery is sparky, but it hasn't been replaced yet."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-06-20 20:46:21 79169
Mamoru, of course, looks even more deer in headlights over the 'miles of chiffon made from moonbeams', but it fades once Usagi leans against him and casually explains Kazuo's absence yesterday morning.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-06-20 20:49:46 79171
    Kyouko, still on the couch and still looking mildly petulant, give Usagi a 'look' for stealing her 'dashing' adjective, but lets it go given the situation and given the fact that it's just true. Maybe they should all just henshin on the spot and force Hiroshi to deal with that, dashing uniforms and all.

    She then proceeds to give Usagi looks in rapid succession at her convoluted and extremely hard to believe story. Who would believe that people were driving and had broken cellphones? Obviously 'huge battle in the forest wherein souls got sucked out' is easier to believe.

    She's been mahou for far too long.

    Finally, she jumps up from the couch. "I'mma help Naru with the drinks." She says, by way of explanation, before fleeing into the kitchen momentarily before her mouth gets her (or anybody else) in trouble.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-06-20 21:01:10 79174
... uniform? Hiroshi eyes Kyouko for just a moment, with no overt expression. Which means that he can see fairly clearly Kyouko's eyes flicker between people. That's an appeal to authority, there. For what?

The possibility of retreating in good (or at least acceptable) order now that his son is confirmed Not Missing Again undoubtedly occurs to him. But Naru ... Naru offers tea. And tea is a Social Trap. He bows to Naru, and assures her, "Tea would be most welcome," which means that he has to actually step inside after her, and close the door, and step out of shoes and into slippers. And not leave.

Not leaving is remarkably difficult for some reason that Hiroshi does not examine at this juncture. So is looking at Mamoru. (So is looking at Kazuo, honestly, but he's used enough to that that he doesn't notice it.) Fortunately, Usagi is the one talking --

The 'chiffon made from moonbeams' might change his mind on the 'fortunately' part, but it is perceptible again that this is not his first encounter with Usagi, because he takes that one in stride. "Yours sounds quite lovely," he says to Usagi instead, as if that would somehow counterbalance his comment about Kazuo.

And then there is a Story And A Half. "I'm glad that Kazuo was able to help you and your mother. And that she is doing better now. Your friends seem to have you and your family well taken care of. Still, is there anything else that you need help with?"

The question of 'how did you contact Kazuo for the drive if his phone was dead' lies there, practically out in the open on the middle of the floor. Hiroshi apparently is stepping very carefully around it.

Kunzite, on the other hand, is staying quiet. It may possibly be all he can do not to turn and stare openly at Usagi for being able to come up with that one on the fly.
Usagi Tsukino 2017-06-21 00:48:06 79176
Her eyes dart from Kyouko to Hiroshi, from Hiroshi to Kunzite, and starts the cycle over again as she tells her oddly crafted lie. And she resists the very strong urge to stick her tongue out at Kyouko, because really, she knows that look, and honest her lie makes sense, so rude.

(She's saved from the temptation to do just that as Kyouko pretends to help Naru with tea.)

And then she beams at Hiroshi. "Oh, I think it's very lovely. Just not always practicle. That's why I only wear it to...certain events?"

And of course, it's probably here she should probably stop talking because she's losing Lie Steam. Normally she lied and left. Or lied and stuffed her mouth with dinner.

Speaking of. She looks down at her phone. "Oh look, it's almost food!" She tilts her head up and back to question Mamoru. "How come it always takes less time for pizza to get to your place than it does mine?"
Mamoru Chiba 2017-06-21 01:02:39 79178
"Did you ever give Masato-kun his phone back?" Mamoru's asking Kunzite, steadfastly not looking at Hiroshi for the moment as he gingerly sits down again, hand trailing down Usagi's arm to her own hand, then pulling it lightly to get her to sit down next to him. And he looks up at her, Not Making Eye Contact with Kyouko as she leaves, and he blinks. "Because it's downstairs."

He weighs whether or not to point out that it's actually legitimately Kazuo's uniform, again, still, and then sighs a little and finally looks at Hiroshi. "It really is his uniform, and he's really not the only one with a uniform, and I'm sorry, Takeba-san-- but before you ask questions about strange things regarding the residents of this apartment and our friends, it might be a good idea to consider whether you really want those questions answered. It's frequently difficult to think of mundane cover stories for certain situations that don't sound..." A beat. "...Hollywood."

Another breath, and Mamoru -- he looks so tired, doesn't he? -- straightens his back, and his fingers curl around Usagi's hand, and his other hand tightens around the stone again. "And depending on who you ask and who's in the room, you might even get a full explanation. So do, please, have a care."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-06-21 01:03:09 79179
    Kyouko comes back out of the kitchen with a teapot and several empty cups- easier than trying to figure out how people like it and prepare it and such. She is studiously quiet as she listens to Mamoru talk to Hiroshi, while moving to the coffee table and putting down the pot and mugs, then a little dish of sugar and a thing of cream. So civilized! Especially since most traditional Japanese people do not take sugar or cream in their tea, but. Kyouko is hardly civilized and she's doing her best to play maid, at least until Naru finishes puttering.

    She looks like she might say something when Mamoru comments on Kazuo 'not being the only one' with a uniform, but then keeps her mouth shut with this look like 'I'm doing my best here and I better get a treat for it later'.

    Once she's done setting out the tea stuff, she sits back down on the couch on the side she and Naru had vacated earlier.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-06-21 01:24:46 79181
"I left it for him when I got home last night," Kunzite tells Mamoru, picking up the thread without a blink. The thread, of course, is called 'beating Hiroshi upsite the head with a verbal club.' "Charged. He should have it, unless he's being temperamental again."

He glances to Kyouko a moment after, and does meet her eyes; there's a little nod that might serve simultaneously as a thank-you for the tea and a notification that she's aware of exactly how patient she's being.

Hiroshi nods gravely to Usagi's statement about Certain Events; she dodges his query about help neatly, and he doesn't press that, either. He must have been exposed to Usagi before. It was not at the meeting in the apartment. Apparently Usagi knows EVERYONE.

The mention of Masato, however, leaves him looking slightly unsettled, and even Kyouko gets a slight bow this time as she delivers teapot and not-quite-glower. ... and Mamoru is still talking. And Hiroshi finally runs out of options other than looking at him. Looking at his face is apparently difficult; Hiroshi's attention drifts down to Mamoru's shoulders, to his hand in Usagi's, to his other hand.

And stays there.

The term for his expression is no longer slightly unsettled.
Naru Osaka 2017-06-21 01:36:19 79184
Naru emerges from the kitchen, having spent her time puttering acquiring herself coffee, and arranging delightful baked treats on a plate. Because that's what one does when company is visiting. Kyouko took the tea out, which is delighful and now there are treats to go with it.

Naru doesn't even blink at the unrelenting awkward that rampages through the room. Instead she brings the plate over to Hiroshi and smiles. "Madeleine?" She isn't trying to add to the layers of lie, there's more than enough of those already.
Usagi Tsukino 2017-06-21 01:42:00 79186
She sits, because he asks her to and he's comfortable to lean against. Her eyes widen. "How do you not eat pizza every day?"

She would, at least for a week.

Keeping their hands together, she perks at the tea and leans forward to help. And by help, it's mostly just rearrainging things within reach with one hand.

She feels the momentary weight of Hiroshi's eyes on their clasped hands and hers fidgets under the scruitiny. Not to pull away, more to shift and thread fingers together.

Her hisses her breath through her teeth and looks up at Mamoru. "I'd offer Papa's help, but I caught him in my baby stuff in the attic on Friday. He was sobbing into a onesie about his baby girl turning sixteen and somehow I don't think that would help. Because he did it again this morning."

And with her free hand she lightly pets his hair because he looks so tired.

And then her eyes and head snap toward Naru, because Madeleines.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-06-21 01:51:19 79187
Endymion finally does look at Kyouko, and it's a little sheepishly, and it's a lot apologetically, and it's fairly gratefully. But then Kunzite's answering, and he nods, looking wry. "Tempermental. Well. Unless Izumi-chan stole it to go through his contacts and rename them all with Prince lyrics again, then it's not so much tempermental as tempertantrum." He glances at the non-speaking Hiroshi and decides to verbally leave him alone for a moment-- especially because look! Madeleines! Thank God!-- but that doesn't keep him from loosening his grip in order to roll the stone over and under his knuckles like a large rectangular coin.

"Because there are so many people who want to cook here that it would basically be an insult to all of them -- especially Mako-chan! -- to eat pizza every day," Mamoru tells Usagi very, very reasonably. This time it's him who reassuringly squeezes her hand, and then he actually laughs. "Is he still mad at me for stealing his princess?" And then he looks worried. "Is he still going to try and get me to come over for my birthday?"
Kyouko Sakura 2017-06-21 02:03:24 79189
    Kyouko returns Mamoru's look with her own look, which is sort of like 'it's not your fault dude but I want ice cream and also mundane people are so inconvinient can't we just tell everybody'. But then she just sighs faintly, and is distracted by Naru arriving. Yay, it's Naru! Yay, its Madeleines! For a moment, she and Usagi look like mirrors of each other, at least in expression. Sorry Naru, you might be dating your best friend's clone.

    Not really though, since Kyouko hasn't even tried to hold Mamoru's hand. Instead she holds a tea mug, which is now full of tea, which she dumped sugar into because see above re:uncivilized. (Kyouko can drink tea without sugar like a good Japanese girl, but there's sugar available so why not).
Kazuo Takeba 2017-06-21 02:07:22 79191
Madeleine. "Thank you, Osaka-san." Hiroshi glances at Naru with something resembling a polite (and perhaps greatly relieved) smile, and reaches for one of the sanity-inducing treats.

Then Mamoru starts contact-juggling a sparkly pink glowing gem, and Hiroshi pauses, madeleine in hand, to turn his head and look back at the glitter. He manages to keep his peace through chatter about Prince lyrics and Papas and pizza, but partway through Mamoru's question about his birthday Hiroshi's self-control sharply breaks. His voice is a trifle higher-pitched than before, his pacing disjointed, and his wording ... a little unusual for him, shall we say. "What in hell is that thing."

Didn't Mamoru just warn him about asking questions?
Naru Osaka 2017-06-21 02:25:06 79192
"Are you certain you want to know?" Naru asks mildly, reminding Hiroshi about the wisdom of asking questions around here. Don't ask anything you don't /actually/ want the answer to.

The plate of madeleines are set down far enough away from Usagi and Kyouko that they have to make an effort to snarf the whole thing in one fell swoop. Hardly a certainty, but at least they have to make that effort.

Naru settles on the couch with her coffee and madeleine and considers Hiroshi quietly, the one bastion of something approximating normalacy.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-06-21 02:34:38 79193
There's a fairly helpless commiserating look given to Kyouko, and Mamoru's phone buzzes at exactly the same moment that Hiroshi finally completely loses his cool. For a second he considers putting the stone in Usagi's hand so he can check his phone, but a) she might accidentally eat it and Kunzite already proposed a new rule to be considered for the apartment regarding behavior of that sort, and b) she's about to probably have two fists full of Madeleines anyway. So instead, he lets go her hand to get his phone out and makes up for it with a kiss to the side of her head, and he stops contact-juggling the gem.

At least it's before he looks at the screen that he answers Hiroshi, and he absolutely makes eye contact-- yes, all right, still wild eyes, an affirmative answer-- and he holds up the stone, firmly gripping it. "It's the physical manifestation of your son's soul. Among my other hobbies, I'm a medium; I'm channelling him right now so that people other than me can actually see him. He's not dead, he's just separated from his body due to an attack he sustained while saving the life of a friend. I'm working on how to get him back in one piece. It shouldn't take too long. I can let you know when it's been sorted so you can come see for yourself that he's safe and whole."

Unlike all of the hedging, all the lies, this comes with absolute confidence and neither uncertainty nor delay. And then he does glance at his phone, as if literally all of this were business as usual, and he frowns and texts back with one hand. "Guys, Hannah's awake." A pause. Rapidfire buzzing back and forth. "I'm telling Haruna we'll come over after seven--" A glance at Usagi. "We can give you a ride to the hospital. And text me when visiting hours are over, maybe your dad can drop you off at Haruna's if we're still arguing with Hannah."

    <PHONE> A text from Haruna Kurosawa at Tue Jun 20 22:04:22 2017: Hannah's up. She's a mess. I
    feel guilty. :(
    <PHONE> You text Haruna Kurosawa: You'd've felt worse if she turned into a Witch. :/
    <PHONE> You text Haruna Kurosawa: Kunzite's dad is here. He came in while I was channelling
     Kunzite's ghost. Things are really awkward right now.
    <PHONE> A text from Haruna Kurosawa at Tue Jun 20 22:10:59 2017: Ugh. I'm sorry. Just. I told
    her. Not to go storm off after you until you came to her first. If that was wrong. Just. Let me
    <PHONE> You text Haruna Kurosawa: We'll come over after seven, which is when Usagi will need a
    ride to the hospital to visit her mom (appendicitis).
    <PHONE> A text from Haruna Kurosawa at Tue Jun 20 22:15:51 2017: Moon Princess Parents should be
    immune to primitive useless unevolved organs bursting! >:( Life isn't fairrrrrr right now.
    <PHONE> You text Haruna Kurosawa: It's the only reason Usa couldn't show for the fight. She
    feels bad about not having been there for Hannah, but... her mom. And don't worry. Eventually
    Hannah will actually get it. She did, a couple times, during the fight.

Finally, he looks at Hiroshi again. "We will have to leave in maybe half an hour; this is fairly pressing, and at the moment, where I go, so does Kazuo. I'm sorry."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-06-21 02:40:28 79194
    "It's not even that weird." Kyouko says to Hiroshi, with the air of someone finally getting to talk about normal stuff after having to put up with bizarrely restrained behavior for the past while. "My soul's in a gem too." She flashes her silver Soul Gem ring with its red-and-orangish gem as if showing off some new jewelry. "Having your soul in your body is so last-millenium."
Usagi Tsukino 2017-06-21 02:49:11 79196
She happily hums into the side head kiss before she does lunge forward because yes, double fists of Madeleines.

She watches Mamoru and Hiroshi and their interplay, then she leans forward with sparkly eyes. "It's so pretty, Kyou-kun!" She's said it before, of course, but it still very is!

Her heart flutters because Mama but also Hannah but Mama. She clutches the Madeleins to her chest as she gives Mamoru large eyes and a small nod. And a smaller smile. "I'll see if I can go even if you're not still arguing?"

Fortunately, Ding Dong. Distraction.

Kazuo Takeba 2017-06-21 02:57:25 79198
Is Hiroshi certain he wants to know? That pitch rises another half-tone. "Yes."

It is reasonably certain that he tracks the first sentence of Mamoru's explanation. It's less certain that he tracks any of the rest of it; the openly horrified expression, slowly intensifying, is suggestive that he might be a little distracted. "-- shadow sickness," he says, more to himself than to anyone there. "But that's only --"

A story?


How very California?

He glances aside at Naru, the whites still showing around his eyes. She's taking this calmly. Kyouko's taking this calmly -- he visibly skips over looking at her ring. Usagi's taking this calmly, and in fact enthusiastically.

Kunzite shifts quietly to be out of Usagi's way as she heads for the door, for the sake of lack of overlap if nothing else, and that and having nowhere else to go from Usagi makes Hiroshi look at him.

That this time he understands he can see through Kunzite is made evident in the way Hiroshi freezes.

And then the way that Hiroshi drops all semblance of etiquette and bolts for the door Usagi just opened, startling the poor pizza delivery guy no end (but not, given the way Mamoru tips, into dropping the pizza).

He does not stop for his shoes.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-06-21 03:04:19 79199
Mamoru stands up really fast, then, eyes briefly wide once more. And then he mutters, "Ku-SO," and closes his fist around the gem. He looks to Usagi and the pizza guy at the door, then at the shoes by said door. "Kyouko, uh. Can you take the balcony route to get him his shoes in the lobby? He's not gonna want to go around town in house slippers, and he's really not going to come back up here today."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-06-21 03:07:26 79200
    Kyouko sighs and gets up. "Are you sure that's not just gonna freak him out worse, when he gets off the elevator and I'm waiitng for him?" She asks wryly.. but she collects the shoes and makes for the balcony as instructed. "Be right back."
Naru Osaka 2017-06-21 03:09:36 79201
"Well that went about as I expected." Naru comments mildly, sipping her coffee and eating her cookie. "I might try and stop by his place tomorrow."

Not such an unusual thing, for Naru to visit, even if one that she rarely mentions.
Usagi Tsukino 2017-06-21 03:12:24 79202
"Uh huh." The delivery boy just sort of stared at her as she rambled.

"So I told him, I'm just turning sixteen, not running away to Aruba. He just started crying more." She finishes paying.

"Yeah." Is he okay? He looks kind of dazed. "Hey, listen..."

And then there's a rushing man nearly barreling them over. Usagi yelps and is quick to steady the pizza and delivery boy. "Goodness! Are you okay?"

She's sure he's not, because his cheeks are flushed. "Um, yeah, um, gotta go."

Oh, she hopes he feels better!

She pouts as she closes the door. "Poor guy musta been scared half to death! All flushed and everything." She sighs. "Not go very well, then?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-06-21 03:23:38 79203
"If you scare him worse," Kunzite says to Kyouko, deadpan, "at least he'll come running back here. I'm sure one of us will catch him before he goes off a balcony."

The disembodied spirit hasn't moved. Not yet. He glances between Mamoru and Naru, and then says to the latter -- yes, with that delay -- "Thank you."

And, suitably silently, he rises to his own feet and inclines his head to Usagi, finally beginning to look faintly apologetic. "No. I wonder what he thought he recognized."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-06-21 03:33:37 79205
At least... Usagi has pizza.

Mamoru's scrubbing at his face with one hand, holding the gem to his chest in a closed fist, and he looks up at Kunzite when Kunzite looks at him. His gaze falls away when the apparition turns to look at Naru instead-- at the 'thank you', he doesn't flinch, quite, but there's a guilty reaction there. "Yes. Thanks. I'm staying out of his way until I text him that Kazuo's okay. Or maybe I shouldn't even do that. I just--"

He stands there for a second, mouth open, and then he closes it and silently goes to open pizza boxes and stuff his face before he has to drive a girlfriend to a hospital and a ghost-boyfriend to a house to get yelled at and to yell, when literally all he wants to do is go lock himself in Kunzite's palace and figure out how to fix this.


He'll do that tonight.

"Yeah-- you should visit Hannah," he says after he's eaten two slices, rapidfire. "Even if we're not still arguing. Maybe she'll listen to you because you weren't there. But either way we should get ready to go. Do you have a shirt here that's less obviously mine?"
Usagi Tsukino 2017-06-21 03:41:35 79207
She shrugs. "He'll come around." She says this with a certainty of someone who has seen her overbearing, over protective, overly emotional at his little girl growing up father coming around.

She gobbles pizza, as well. The first slice, as promised, is eaten with a solemnity that is clearly her impression of Kunzite. And she fails at it. Her second is wiggly.

"Decide if you're gonna tell him after you sleep." She looks up at Mamoru with narrow eyes. "You're gonna sleep, right?"

She preens in place, looking prim and proper. "Oooor maybe she'll listen to me because I'm me." Probably not, but a girl can dream!

And then she blushes. "Well...yeah. In your room. I didn't go to school in your shirt, Mamo-chan." There's too much of a whistful sigh at that.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-06-21 03:48:57 79208
Kunzite does not attempt to settle Mamoru's reaction. The pizza is the best fix for that right now, aside from Usagi contact, and Usagi is Eating. ... he does, however, straighten and return utter solemnity to Usagi while she's consuming that first slice. Because Mamoru hearing his brightest star break into giggles despite herself very, very rarely hurts anything.