Donut Worry, Lacrima


Lacrima comes to Mamoru to see if he'd be willing to help her with her heartscape's ballroom -- and gets more than she bargained for when she's offered the opportunity to experience the memory of a Golden Kingdom grand ball/event: Prince Endymion's fourteenth birthday. She even gets to meet Endy's memory of Kunzite when he was ''actually'' 21! Finally she ends up, as is only appropriate, carrying around a ridiculous dessert mountain... doughnuts from a recipe before the dawn of time inclusive.

Date: 2017-08-09
Pose Count: 35
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-09 03:05:06 81316
It's early evening on the eighth of August, and Mamoru Chiba is massively jetlagged, which means he basically woke up about twenty minutes ago and is in the process of inhaling coffee and putting together breakfast stuff. He's wearing his ridiculous masked house slippers, fuzzy yellow pajama pants, and a deep blue yukata, open like it's a bathrobe; his hair is sticking up.

The balcony door, as usual, is unlocked. Fiore-rosebush is watching the twinkling city lights. Radiohead's new album is playing in the background.
Lacrima 2017-08-09 03:14:29 81318
Lacrima arrives via a dusk step onto the balcony. Perhaps the same one Fiorebush is on. Regardless, her arrival is silent as usual, peeking in, carrying a box from a bakery as she purses her lips. No one immedaitly. She walks into the main area that Mamoru happens to be in, wherever that is, as she blinks and purses her lips.

"Do the slippers animate while you are sleeping, and fight crime?" she asks curtly.

She gently head tilts. "I smell. Breakfast. Things. Is it one of those evenings?" she asks softly.

"Um. I brought. Cupcakes. Not muffins. However." she says as she places the box down on the coffee table gently. She sighs a bit and sits down. She's dressed in the fancy dress. This also means it's 'one of those nights' for her.

"...um." she says. "I'm not here for Kunzite this time." she says softly. "I wanted to talk about the... dream...heart..scape. Thing." she says quietly. "If that's okay?" she asks. "If it isn't. I can come back later."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-09 03:30:06 81320
Mamoru glances out the kitchen window into the living room that Lacrima's just come into, yawning, and then she gets to see the comedy that happens when someone is yawning and tries to smile. He covers his mouth and laughs a little, then gestures her in. The kitchen's always been the homiest room in the one of the apartments that Mamoru's always used, and the kitchen table's not cluttered; there's space for three people to sit around it comfortably.

Once his voice is usable, he also properly smiles and shakes his head as he says, "Not at all. My internal clock is just sixteen hours off. I just got back from Pacific Canada last... night? So I slept all day. I'm going to have to make myself pull an allnighter during term break just to wrench my circadian rhythm back around. Do you want breakfast-dinner? I definitely want cupcake-breakfast. There's also coffee."

Apparently 'breakfast' right now means 'dump a lot of things in the rice cooker and pray'. The ultimate display of laziness.

Once he's finished, he refills his coffee and holds an empty cup, waiting on Norie's say-so, and notes with a crooked little sideways grin, "If I could get my slippers to fight crime for me, I'd get enough sleep I'd be unbeatable at Mario Kart. And I'm honored you're actually here to talk to me! Is it time for another go at your heartscape?"
Lacrima 2017-08-09 03:38:40 81323
Lacrima gently looks down. "I'm not sure." she says quietly. "I found that ballroom. But it is a mess. I can't really touch it. It's not. Resisting? Just. I can't. work with it in the confines of ... magic. I can't singlehandedly fix walls and ceilings and remold glass and ..." she sighs a bit. "I've been concentrating on the garden." she says quietly. "I can show you...?" she asks. "or I can just tell you. And maybe you can take a look at the ballroom if you feel up to going in again."

"As for food. I.... literarly ate three boxes of these before I came here." she says flatly. "I don't get full. But I'd feel greedy eating your food after all that." she says softly.

She shifts a little uncomfortbly, though. Though it seems at something else. "Has Kunzite being doing okay?" she asks.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-09 03:58:31 81325
"He's as fine as he usually is," Mamoru answers with another crooked smile. "I've been out of the country, and so has Neph, which means he's probably been being a worrywart, but." He pours Lacrima a cup of coffee and fixes it with a lot of cream and sugar-- his is black. The rice cooker is closed, so he comes over and sets the coffees down on the kitchen table and drops himself into the seat in the corner; there's another wall-side seat, across from him. "Please, sit down," he invites.

Invites and also avails himself of one of the cupcakes, delicately peeling the wrapper off.

"If I could eat and eat and never get full, I'd do the same thing. And besides, there's always enough of everything for an army because of Usako and Kyouko and five guys living here, so never feel guilty about that. If you want some, when it's ready it's yours." Cupcake in one hand and coffee in the other, he gestures a little with the cupcake and says, "You can show me if it's easier. If we go in I can ask Kunzite to stand watch, or just text him to let him know we're going in to work on it. Or you can tell me, too! And I can get together some books for you on construction if you want to try working on the ballroom in the paradigm it seems to be insisting you use."
Lacrima 2017-08-09 04:14:15 81326
Lacrima shifts. "I'll be fine." she asks softly. A pause, "It's not like you were alone if you were with Nephrite. Unless he went somewhere else you weren't. But that wouldn't make sense." she says. "To travel but not with a guardian."

"If... you feel comfortable doing that." she says softly.

"I can show you then." she says softly.

"I.. know. This has been helping. Just. Small ways. So far. Not. really noticeable to anyone really. But. Easier for me to think." she says.

"Um... how do we do this again? Probably. Easier here this time. In case something happens?" she asks.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-09 04:27:34 81327
"No, but you can't stop a worrier with logic," Mamoru tells Norie with a smile, right after swallowing a giant bite of cupcake and washing it down with coffee. "And yeah, sure I'm comfortable -- but for the sake of our resident worrywart's nerves, let me just text him to let him know."

Cupcake and coffee are set down, and Mamoru pulls his phone out of his pajama pants pocket and flicks off a couple of texts to Kunzite in rapid succession. He puts the phone down to take another bite and listen, then swallows again and says, "Basically just hold my hand and close your eyes, then let me in."

The phone buzzes and he glances down, then rolls his eyes. "He's on his way but is criticizing our choice of room. But dammit, breakfast is cooking in here and I don't want to move. I mean I can, if you'd rather go into a different room, but it doesn't make any difference to me."
Lacrima 2017-08-23 06:18:28 81639
Lacrima shakes her head. "Here is fine." she says as she sighs and sort of hesitantly touches Mamoru's hand. This takes a moment before she relaxes enough to make sure that- he isn't immediately recoiling because she's subconsciously draining him or something. When no one busts through a wall/window/ceiling/floor, she relaxes more.

She tries to make herself feel like the last time he was in- which she imagines is part of the key of letting him in. This is a little harder this time for her. Maybe having Kunzite around relaxes her more. Maybe it was the location after all? But it /does/ eventually happen.

~~~~~~~

The Heartscape looks as it did last time, largely. Nothing 'reset' itself since it looks like. The wall is still there. As is the trellis in the middle and it's ceiling and the stone bench. The plants that were moved last time remain there. They seem to be doing just fine.

The dead vegitation is still here- but only in small patches and spaces. There seems to be some sort of stone path that's been uncovered- made with simple cobble/field stones. There's also tiny sprouts of various 'darker' colors. Purple. Deeper Red. Deeper Blue. Nothing overstated, but that may be expected. There's two broken trellises that have been pushed to the side of the wall next to a door that wasn't there last time. This is probably the 'Ballroom' she mentioned before. The garden closet is still there. There's no sign of the weird spindly lizard gardener thing anywhere right now. She stands up and crosses her arms a little apprehensively from the bench she always seems to just... be sitting on when she first arrives here.

The sky is a late twilight color. Not quite nighttime, but close enough. There's still clouds on the horizon in the other direction- and the few twinkles of brighter stars that make themselves known in the not quite night sky.

"Here." she says quietly. "See. It's a little better." she says. "I've been. Clearing. The dead stuff." she says a little stiltedly. "The other stuff has been growing on it's own." she says.

"Since I cleared most of the vegetation, it's been a /little/ easier to control my own actions- and think before acting." she says. "Not.. always?" she asks. "But. In smaller things. Yes." she says.

"I'm still cleaning." she says. She motions to the door. "That's the ballroom." she says.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-23 06:30:39 81640
As before, when Mamoru comes in, he's Endymion -- wearing dusky blue silk embroidered with gold leaf-and-vine patterns, a long jacket instead of his armor and cape; his skin is darker but his eyes are as ancient a blue as they always are. And again, his words sound strange: a language not Japanese that Lacrima can still understand, here, mind-to-mind.

This time his expression is even more filled with wonder than last; his eyes scan over the muted spots of color in the gloaming, and then drift upwards to the stars twinkling in the dimmed twilit sky. "It was beautiful before-- it's more beautiful still, since you've shown it care and hope and determination," he says in a quiet, reverent voice. His footsteps are nearly silent on the flagstones as he drifts toward Lacrima.

Finally he stops beside her and looks down, smiling. "Taking care of a garden is a most precious and demanding task-- and more so when the garden is yourself. You're doing very well; you're making wonderful progress." He offers his arm, then, like a fairytale prince offering an escort. "Shall we survey the ballroom, then?"
Lacrima 2017-08-23 07:32:28 81642
Lacrima nods a little. "I just hope that something like a major event doesn't wreck all the work I did. Maintaining is.. something I can do? I can come here whenever I want, when I dream." she blushes, perhaps just a little, but keeps straight faced when Mamoru talks. There's just something about him when he's like the prince. But she largely just keeps to the blush as she does in fact, take Mamoru's arm properly. She remembers how this goes. At least. From the parts of her that know old old Spanish style noble court etiquette.

Stupid. Noble vampire memories.

She walks over to the ballroom, Mamoru in tow as she opens to the door to the 'glorious' ballroom.

Which is a mess. It looks abandoned for over a century. The floor is broken up and lifted in places. revealing dirt and old foundation underneath. There's a broken large. (really large) candle chandiler in the middle that has crashed through the floor. The walls are practically coming down in places. There's a collapsed stage in the far corner. There seems to be a really really unsalvageable harpsicord up there and bits of wood and metal that might had been instruments at some point or another.

It still manages to be light in here via some candles on the wall here and there that are alight when able. Though that chandiler probably lit up the entire room grandly at one point or another.

"Well. Here." she says quietly, as she pushes a piece of the roof a little. Well as much as she can. It's a big chunk on the ground there. "Is what I mean." she says. "It's a mess..."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-23 08:05:12 81643
At least courtly etiquette has one thing going for it aside from fairytale aesthetics: it's predictable and follows rules.

"A major event outside shouldn't have the kind of power over you necessary to make you question what you've established is you, is yours," Endymion says with certainty. "It may shake you, but it won't change who you are fundamentally. And what you're doing isn't changing that -- it's discovering it and rebuilding and fortifying it. You're not making fragile things, you're fixing and reinforcing what's already you, strong and real and true. Nothing can permanently destroy that unless you let it." He gives her a small smile. "Believe me: it's something with which I am exceedingly familiar."

They get to the ballroom and he's adding almost absently, "I know that identity is what you need most, identity and connection -- but what you're doing here is creating the borders, the defensible boundaries, inside which you can safeguard the identity and connections you already have. They don't have to look like a fortress. They just have to be yours, and you have to remember that. Maybe set mnemonics if something or someone starts trying to make you forget or give them up."

He peers in the door, then steps in with Lacrima to survey it--

His gaze travels around the room, taking in the details, taking in the destruction and decay, and then perhaps unexpectedly... he stands straighter and takes a deep breath, taking in the scents of dust and rotting plaster and wood, of damp and cobwebs and dirt. And his grin is slow to form, but wildly bright as it comes to full flower. "It's a real haunted ballroom!" he says gleefully, and lets his arm slide down, catching at Lacrima's in order to pull her in further. "It needs music, it needs music we can dance to. Can you feel it? It's a mess, certainly, but right now, that's part of its beauty-- and before it can be mended, it needs recognition as it is! It needs memory and imagination, and it needs dancing."

He doesn't insist, but his enthusiasm is a palpable thing, gold and strong and bright and self-contained. And he lets go Lacrima's hands and takes a few steps back, facing her-- and he bows, a flourishing thing that one does before a court dance. Then he extends a hand again, this time clearly the offer of one: "If you have no favorite song that's yours," he says in a soft voice with the tightness of excitement behind it, "I can provide one. And then we'll dance its dreams awake."
Lacrima 2017-08-23 08:38:46 81644
Lacrima looks down. "I don't really know why it is I drain identity. It's obvious I don't absorb it. Or rather. I'm not 'stealing' other people's identity in so far as I'm stealing a little of it and assimilating it into my own. Like taking someone elses... computer disk.. and formatting it over with my own code or whatever. I suppose. Is a good description for that happens. Well. What I've been able to study about myself." she says quietly. "I don't have others dreams or desires, talents or personalities after draining them." she says quietly.

"I know that much." she says. "I have enough trouble keeping tabs on myself in my own head let alone someone else." she mutters.

She blinks when Mamoru seems to like the idea of a haunted ballroom. This makes her a little uneasy in the 'really?' sense. Not enough to come off as being unstable. More like 'I don't get that, argh!'. Maybe this is how Kunzite feels about Cargo shorts like the last time.

He says it needs dancing. "I. tried that. Alone. Actually." she says. "Because. That makes sense. Doesn't it...?" she asks quietly. "But that wasn't. With music. I think. You may need to provide it. If that's okay." she says softly. "It's been... it's been a l-little while. Since I've danced." she says quietly. "I mean. With someone That might know what they're doing. I don't have dance partners anymore." she says quietly.

But then he bows, and then something happens there.

It's a rise in panic. Mamoru can feel this feeling. Some sort of distorted image that isn't really decipherable with a red filter. But it seems to abate fairly quickly. Whatever that was it does show on Lacrima's face in a little widening of the eyes during it then a look of bewilderment, as her eyes trace the room.

"...It felt like I almost remembered something... but that isn't my memory. It's his memory." a pause. "When I say his. I mean. The one before. Poderoso. But it feels really old and incomplete. It felt panicy. That's a new feeling. When it comes to those-- him. He was confident. and cocksure. and an asshole. But never panic. I dunno why that just happened. But it may be the setting. And the mood. And the mannerism." she says.

"Are you okay? That isn't your fault. That's just happens sometimes when things line up just right. I didn't just hurt you then. Somehow. Did I?..." she asks.

"Are you okay to dance still?" she seems to have a sudden uptick of 'nervous'. Like what just happened may had hurt or annoyed Mamoru in some way. "...because I would really like to still dance..." she says just a little quietly and finally shuts up.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-23 22:18:32 81645
At the rise in panic, Endymion immediately stops, stance relaxing, and listens to Lacrima. He waits for her panic to subside, and then looks thoughtful.

"I'm fine," he says, waving a hand; he gives her a small Mamoru smile, crinkled at the corners of his eyes. "The setting and mannerisms brought it on, I'm sure of it. I remember court dances, but perhaps giving this room that sort of atmosphere is wrong for what you need to do with it. We can try different kinds of atmosphere, different vibes, different music. Something that you like that's alien to Poderoso."

The young prince grins, then. "We can do big band and swing dancing, or we can do house or happy hardcore at a rave-- anything you like, I can help you layer over this-- it won't change this, I can't change your dream, but I can overlap my own so that you see and hear what I'm thinking. I'd need to do that for the music anyway." He laughs, then, bright and easy. "Or even a school dance with terrible but familiar club music. Whatever you choose, I'm certainly still okay to dance. I can change the way I look for you, too, if that might help."
Lacrima 2017-08-23 23:08:19 81650
Lacrima shakes her head. "No... no that's fine. I mean. The look. Your look is fine." she says quietly. "I don't think that's entirely all it. But you're right. Probably shouldn't go. Too classic. Ballroom..." she frowns and purses her lips a little in thought.

"School dance. That would work." she says quietly. "At least for now." she says quietly.

"When I was in dance club. We'd do performance pieces. or musicals." she says softly.

"So that will work. I can dance as long as it has a beat." she says.

A pause. "May...I.. ask something personal?" she says. "Kunzite. Sometime talks. Of a time. before this." she says. "Like when he explained about the 'crystal' magic I found in that manor that used to belong to... a 'Melanite'?" she says quietly.

"What were events like then. Do you remember? Was dancing the same...?" she says.

"You don't need to. Tell me or show me." she says. "But it's things I wonder about. Sometimes. And it's.. not something I can... exactly find about on my own. For obvious reasons."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-28 02:53:40 81948
Endymion's begun bringing up phantom props into being around them -- tables folded up into the walls, bleachers accordioned, streamers and balloons and things-- a DJ, phantom terrible popular dance music starting to play, ghostly images of teenagers around them being awkward and dancing or wallflowering...

But then Lacrima asks about the events of the past, of his kingdom, and the phantom images from his mind fade away. Instead, a broad and boyish grin starts to spread over his face. "I'd love to show you, actually. I don't want to try impressing it upon your heartscape, but you're welcome to step into my memory and attend a ball I remember quite well, if you like. I don't get to play with them often; having lost them is painful to the guys, and no one else really remembers them. The girls didn't-- they had their own, in the Silver Millennium. But the Golden Kingdom had its own, too, and they were--"

The prince lets out a laugh, glancing down and away; when he looks up again, his eyes are shining and wistful. "They were beautiful."
Lacrima 2017-08-28 03:04:47 81949
Lacrima gently head tilts as she watches these things come... then go when she asks about the Golden Kingdom. That weird. Vauge time before time she knows it as, if only from discussions she's had in the past. She head tilts. "If... it won't hurt you. I'd like that." she says quietly. "And-- as long as it won't bother your guys...or Kunzite. If he's watching still somehow." a pause. "They don't remember, but you do?" she asks.

"How come?" she wonders, as she seems to think.

She head tilts. "I'm ready when you are then." she says gently, as she tries to relax. Not that she's tense. But that nervousness is always just kind of there.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-28 03:31:24 81950
"He's watching out for us out there in the kitchen. We'll know if he comes in, and-- if he wants to, he can--" Endymion shrugs one shoulder a little. And then his eyebrows go up. "No, no, I mean, having lost the Golden Kingdom is what's painful. They remember. I just don't want to mash it in their faces? I mean I miss it too, but-- it's complicated."

In other words, he's not one of the ones who burned the cities and regrets it with every fibre of his being.

Endy lifts a hand and gestures, and there's an archway inside the dilapidated ballroom. Through it, there's intensely bright color and laughter, there's a chamber orchestra tuning unfamiliar instruments, and there's glittering rainbow crystal walls and ceilings and mirrored floors. Scents waft through of sweet and savory, spices and mild cool things to quiet them; there are beautiful clothes everywhere-- and there are servants who look healthy and pleased with their creations as they're set out on tables, buffet plates never more than half-empty.

Endymion steps through the arch first, extending his hand to Lacrima--

--and as he does, he shrinks, almost? Gawky and awkwardly young, but still ridiculously pretty; dark-skinned and with the thinness of a recent growth spurt, but not nearly so tall as Lacrima's used to Mamoru being. Fourteen, maybe. His clothes are different, too: a darker blue silk, embroidered with red and gold, and a capelet attached to his shoulders with quartered-circle clasps; a thin gold circlet's on his head and a ceremonial sword at his hip.

"Come on in," he says conspiratorially. "I want you to see. I want you to see what was, and what's still alive, even a little, in all of us. Come see Elysion. It's my birthday here."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-08-28 03:46:20 81951
In the background, there might be the glimpse of a familiar figure. The uniform is the same one Kunzite wears now; he's the same age he looks now, with the same sweep of white hair. His back is to one of the pillars, keeping himself out of the way, keeping his height from identifying him quite so instantly. That's the same, too. Maybe a little sharper, a little colder, a little less tired and a little more (still more) intense.

There's a girl talking with him, seventeen or eighteen, wearing a deep-blue fitted jacket and a tawny golden skirt ... not matching Endymion's colors, but hinting toward them. Or, perhaps more appropriately, there's a girl talking at him. Kunzite isn't so much as looking toward her. His attention is turned to scanning the crowd, watching servants and guests and glass. Keeping tabs on anyone and everyone close enough to have a line of sight to the young prince. The girl making eyes at him might go completely unnoticed, if he didn't grant a monosyllable in answer to something she says once in a while.

Most of them are probably 'No.'
Lacrima 2017-08-28 03:50:52 81952
Lacrima watches as the archway fades into existence with interest as she walks up to it and peeks through it- but not past it to see the going ons. And the fancy clothes. And the on goings. and she looks back at Mamoru curiously as she does take the hand and---

Mamoru changes to some sort of younger form. She is used to looking way up. This is less that. He's still taller than she is, but it's almost... almmmmmost a little eye level there. Which causes her to blink. And then she squints a bit.

"Ah... so even when you were a prince. You were a nerd." she says with that hint of dry, deadpan humor behind it she tries to let carry, as she lets him guide him inside. "Birthday...?" she asks curiously. She wonders why this birthday is 'special' enough to pick out- in her head- the curiosity is palpable if Mamoru can feel it. Was there something special that happened here? Or maybe it's the lack of something special that points it out.

That's Kunzite though. Somewhere in the distance. She doesn't know if that's a dream Kunzite or a Kunzite-Kunzite. She doesn't think on it too long.

She wonders what the girl is asking. She imagines nothing important. 'Try to make small talk with someone important'. Old Golden Kingdom networking. Probably. She thinks.

Maybe she is flirting.

Good luck with that, she thinks.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-28 04:19:44 81954
It might take a while to figure out.

There are no Senshi here. He's fourteen-- only just fourteen-- he hasn't even met Princess Serenity yet. And he's not fifteen yet-- there's someone else who's here that was still his friend, that hadn't developed 'friend' into, quite, 'crush' yet..

"I was not a nerd!" Endymion hisses with amused indignation, gripping Lacrima's hand as he pulls her into the sights and sounds of a bygone age.

"Yeah, my fourteenth birthday. Haha, Kunzite's twenty-one. The other guys are here too-- oh, and that's my mom and dad, up on the dias--" Queen Demeter and her consort, King Tallaios, majestic; the Queen with eyes just like Endymion's, the king lighter in all his colors (and manner).

Automatically, things fall into place; automatically, he looks to see where Kunzite is, then glances off in three other directions, one after the other. A stranger off that way-- blonde and excruciatingly beautiful, wearing a sweeping aquamarine gown with her hair swept up and bejeweled; two boys only a little older than Endymion, outside through the crystal walls on a patio where they can see him and they can see all the pretty girls--

--and the dance is in the evening in the Summerlands, and fairy lights float freely outside, and magic light glows from fixtures that in another century might be gas lamps and in another place might be torches, and prism rainbows dance over the floors from the fairy lights coming through the bezeled crystal.

There's a girl dressed in clothing that's not as fancy as the glittering royalty and not as unadorned as the servants', but is lovely nonetheless; her black hair flows in silken waves down her back, and a necklace of dark green gems is around her neck, and a wrought circlet bearing a teardrop-shaped stone of the same type rests on her brow. Her eyes are dark, and they're fixed on the Prince.

...the Crown Prince of Earth, who, at the moment, is gleefully gripping both of Lacrima's hands and pulling her onto the dance floor. "This one's pretty easy," he says just loud enough for her to hear; the chamber orchestra's apparently finished tuning and the drums have started, giving the beat. "I'm showing you the steps; follow me. When it's time to change partners, just go through the same set of moves again. It's fast-paced, and the younger crowd doesn't know it as well, and we're in the younger crowd-- so it's just fun! If anyone asks, say you're from Themiscyra and you're Antiope's cousin. She's here and she's drunk enough to agree with anything anyone asks her!"

And the music starts, and Kunzite is now going to have to track the Prince through a muddle of laughing children and young teenagers trying to pull off an adult group dance.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-08-28 04:20:59 81955
Lacrima is right on two counts. The girl in blue and gold sways closer to Kunzite, suggesting something lower-toned: she's definitely flirting. And Kunzite detaches from the pillar, evading her entirely and stalking past, cutting her off cold. Not even to go do anything. Just for a better view of the cluster of dancers around Endymion and Lacrima.
Lacrima 2017-08-28 04:33:43 81956
Lacrima was actually wondering how this dream was going to work. After all. 'Lacrima' or 'Norie' doesn't exist here. Or if she did in some fashion she has absolutely no dreams or memories about it. So yes. The dream will see her. And she'll need the cover story, probably, as not to disrupt it- if things react here as they might a real world.
Dancing is something she gets. She does not know this dance. Endymion probably knows the dance. So she lets him lead--- which he does- in a way- with some sort of weird telepathy. She can read dance steps easily enough for sure.

She's here, dancing in a group and there's something about that. It's almost like dance club again. Except with that hint of fantasy and oddness that she might had dreamed of when she was human too.

She doesn't know these other people. She eyes the black haired girl, glancing past on a movement as she turns her eyes just time to watch Kunzite just kind of stop that girl cold and pay attention.

Part of her finds this only a little amusing. She's concentrating more on the dance.

"This place is.... lovely. It's like the floor shines like water." she mutters a little, under her breath.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-28 04:45:28 81958
"I never asked who built it, or how," Endymion tells her during one of the points that they're close enough he can admit it, "and I wish I had. For all I know, it could be solid water." Then there's a whirling out, and around them are a couple of laughing collisions-- and suddenly Lacrima knows that this is one of the points at which everyone changes partners, girls dancing with girls, boys dancing with boys.

The person she's faced with is the black-haired girl who was watching Endymion, and she has a sweet, wistful face. Right now, it's turned solidly to curiosity. As they go through the same steps again with these new partners, the girl says shyly, "I'm Beryl. Are you a friend of His Highness? You're so pretty-- are you courting him?"

Endymion is going through the same steps with a ten-year-old boy with fluffy red hair, who's laughing too hard to move straight, and Endy laughs as he has to keep picking the boy up by the hands and whirl him into the dance again. His gaze keeps flickering toward Kunzite, though, and there's just bright love and appreciation in it, and trust, as there always was.

Maybe he always wished Kunzite would join in the dancing too, even though he knew he was on duty.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-08-28 04:53:52 81959
Maybe he did. Maybe that'd be amusing, too, watching technical skill coupled with an utter lack of anything like social ability or bothering to keep up with the fashionable steps. It's not on display now, though. Kunzite's only watching, as if it's a serious concern for him that one of the ten-year-olds might suddenly produce a knife.

He's not even any more concerned about Lacrima than any of the others. She's unfamiliar, and Endymion's memories extrapolate that into his keeping an eye on her -- but unfamiliar also means she doesn't have any known grudges. Or any history of being a hothead.

Beryl, though. Lacrima's partner he's not watching so much. Not worried about her at all.
Lacrima 2017-08-28 05:13:40 81961
Lacrima is enjoying the dance. She's more lighter on her feet than probably expected, but she's enjoying this dance. Enjoyment is something she can still feel at least. And dancing makes her feel /normal/ and /grounded/ and this music is so alien and the setting is so alien enough that it's almost. /almost/ reaching some deep down inside her and buried. Then partners change and she gets nervous because Endymion, even as a young nerd prince is still familiar and this woman is not familiar to her.

This girl is not familiar to her. But she doesn't mind dancing with girls. It's just.

Themescara. Antiope's cousin she thinks to herself. This girl is pretty. And odd. and she asks questions- and her name is... Beryl? Wait.

That Beryl? Really? She blinks. She never knew Beryl, She knows who she is. In /their/ time. But this is probably. Before all that. Right?

"I am. Antiope's cousin." she says with as much confidence as she can muster. Yup.

"A friend of sorts, yes." she says. She blinks a bit. "No- No I am not courting him. We were merely dancing." she says. Yes. That is a hint of blush. "There is someone else I like. He isn't here right now." she says. Oh god, Eilam would had collapsed hours ago in this kind of dancing.

Eyes do occasionally glance around to the other dancers.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-28 05:59:59 81962
"Oh!" Beryl brightens, her skirts and Lacrima's both swirling outward at the step-out-and-spin, both hands held together, and as she comes in for the last turn before switching partners again, she gives Lacrima the sweetest smile. "Your family is so big, it must be lovely. His Highness is a wonderful person; he's so warm -- you'd do well to be good friends with him, if you're going to be around! Nice to meet you!"

Then it's time to change partners again, and this time Endymion is dancing with Beryl, and Lacrima's dancing with the giggling redheaded ten-year-old. They're all so cheerful-- and the energy of the room is buzzing with life and enjoyment, and the steps really are simple, and the other half of the dancefloor is filled with the older teenagers and adults...

...and they're (mostly) actually having as much fun as the kids are, with a dance this lively.

Very, very few people are wearing white or black except as accents. And in the memory of a fourteen-year-old prince on his birthday, the politics aren't as stand-out as they would've been to Kunzite. The awareness that the prince carries with him means that Lacrima's privy to a lot of things most people wouldn't be, means that Lacrima can tell what people's motivations are like they're written on placards above their heads-- and means that Lacrima can tell that Endymion's reflexively avoiding people whose intentions are selfish while he's having fun.

She can also tell how much he actually really does love everyone here, even if they're selfish and frustrate him--

--and the longer she's steeped in this memory, the more she can see that even through rose-colored glasses, people are people are people, no matter what age they live in. But this court's culture is so bright...

It's another three partners before she ends up back with Endymion at the end of the dance, and he's breathless and laughing and his delight buzzes against and through her as they clasp hands. (Maybe that's another reason people like dancing with the Prince-- they all come away with a little piece of that joy, multiplied in them instead of taken from him.)

"I forgot-- gods help me, Norie-chan, I forgot how much I loved these dances!" he sings out, and his voice cracks, which just makes him laugh again.

It comes to a flourishing finish, and the dancers all break up to go get things to drink and go get food, and Endymion still holds Lacrima's hand and tugs her enthusiastically toward the tables. The path takes them right by Kunzite, whose sleeve he grabs with a devilishly mischievous grin. "Kunzite, this is Norie-she-has-a-boyfriend-and-is-Antiope's-cousin--" which is said in the tone which definitely means 'humor me please please please humor me I promise I'm not going to run away with her she's probably from a village and only likes girls and wanted a party and won't be in the capitol for long' "--so you'll come have some cakes with us won't you? Pleeeease?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-08-28 06:12:43 81963
That awareness that Lacrima's privy to tells her that Kunzite knows exactly that tone, yes. And knows that the slightly narrow-eyed look Kunzite gives Endymion in return is interpreted by the prince without need for empathy as 'Nephrite's outside, you don't need me to keep him from trying to impress her'. (Of course it is. It's drawn from Endymion's memories, after all.)

What Kunzite's doing even as that look is being delivered, though, is inclining his head -- a small bow is made impossible by the sleeve-grabbing -- and saying, "Of course, Your Highness." Faintly resigned tones? Faintly resigned tones, check. "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Norie." Formalities a little out of step even with the court around them; phrasings just a little out of date, still technically correct but showing their age. "Have you been in the capitol long enough to make your way around the tables safely, or do you need help identifying anything?"
Lacrima 2017-08-28 06:25:03 81964
Dancing. Dancing... if she were human. If she were. She would wanna call her girlfriends when this was all done. And talk about this magical dance she went to that she can't really talk about in detail (because it was actually magical!?) and she had fun. She's having fun and that counts too. Is she smiling about it?...

Well. No. That's still elusive. But that feeling is there. Enjoyment. Pleasure. Not nearly as nervous. or worried.

And then it ends. "Things like this can be done in the waking world too." she whispers. "Though this makes the Augusta's Ballroom look like a gaudy nightclub." she says a little smugly.

Then Kunzite and Endymion's talking to Kunzite makes her believe that is a memory of Kunzite, rather than Kunzite who is off in the kitchen probably waiting for a flare of dark energy or something to appear. (that hasn't yet.)

"Hello Kunzite." she says like this is a first time meeting and she's never seen his face ever except for the first time tonight.

She looks to the tables. And the food. And realizes that no. She doesn't recognizes food that is probably made with fruits and vegetables that may or may not actually exist anymore in another future and also nothing comes from a prepackaged bag from a microwave or anything so...

"No. No. I'm not having any problems with that." she says softly.

"Cake sounds good." she says thoughtfully. Cake is still cake afterall, right? Like cake doesn't mean something else in the weird vauge time before time right?
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-28 06:43:33 81965
Actually 'cake' means 'tomato-basil-peanut pie'. No haha it means cake. "Yessss good," says Endymion, bouncing on his heels (and making the ceremonial sword's hilt click against his belt) and grinning. "And she can eat anything! But she really likes sweet things. I think she should try your favorites!"

Devious, devious Mamoru.

He tugs Lacrima and Kunzite a little further toward the biggest table full of desserts -- he's the Crown Prince and it's his birthday of course he demanded that dinner and dessert all be out at once -- and gets Lacrima a plate, then starts piling things on it. There's a light touch to her wrist as he hands it to her, one that carries with it the knowledge that some of these can be approximated in the modern day.

And then he legit piles some doughnuts on it too. And a frothy confection that looks like chocolate caramel mousse but is lighter and has some crunchy bits mixed in. "This one's my favorite," he asides. "And agreed, we can try to do an event like this-- we should! I'm not sure how yet, but we'll figure it out..."

He glances quickly toward Kunzite; maybe his guardian didn't hear that last. Maybe it doesn't matter. He adds in a more normal voice, "I'd love it if more people knew these dances."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-08-28 06:59:52 81966
At least it's not an actual sugar banquet. There are things to eat that are not basically confections. Just ... not at the table that might unsurprisingly have loomed largest in a fourteen-year-old's awareness.

Kunzite acquires the 'there are how many hours left in tonight' glaze to his eyes for a moment, but unlike most people watching a fourteen-year-old, he is not himself forty, so it lasts only that moment rather than dragging on him further. "She did specify cake," he says aside to Endymion, drier for a moment. And then to Lacrima, "You might like this one. Oranges and almonds, and certain spices." A narrow slice is added to Endy's enthusiastic piling. Some of the doughnut-like things are probably associated with him, too, the ones that glisten brightly with the light syrup they were soaked in, scented with rosewater and saffron. He doesn't offer commentary on them, though, no more than he tries to listen in on the lower-voiced conversation between the pair.

Any real mischief he'll find out about them later, though.

"More people do know these dances," he remarks, taking that last comment on its own. "The court adapts from the country, for the most part, not the other way around."
Lacrima 2017-08-28 07:06:18 81967
Lacrima is being given a big plate of desserts and things she definitely knows are donuts even without that knowledge that Mamoru just fed her. And some sort of weird caramel mouse thing that is lightly crunchy somehow with the bits in it. She purses her lips a little in thought at this as she takes one of the donuts and takes a bite.

That tastes about like she expects a homemade donut to taste. She gently leans over.

"If you can feed me knowledge of those dances. I can teach them elsewhere. But. I am not going to do so if you feel uncomfortable. It seems a little different, than dances back....." a look around. "Back home." rather than 'out of the dream'. Since that might sound weird to anyone that is a dream figment here.

Ah. Kunzite. Yes. He'd listen. "Yes, but. Not many dances in... Themescara." This name sounds familiar to her somehow. She'll need to look it up later online.

And text >:( faces to Mamoru later. and 'You are too a nerds' and things like that. It's coming. Just you watch.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-28 07:23:24 81969
Nerdalert in aisle three! Endymion gives Kunzite the most innocently surprised blink. "What, really? I thought they all sprang fully-formed from Jadeite's notebook!"

The innocence lasts approximately a second and a half before the young prince rolls his eyes and pushes his shoulder into Kunzite's bicep. "More than already know them, I meant. Like--" He glances at Lacrima and then nods firmly. "Like that! Or really, enough people knowing them that they're remembered forever."

Despite the 'she mentioned cake specifically', Kunzite is still the one to add more cake to Lacrima's plate-- especially since now Endymion's piling his own plate full and starting to stuff things in his mouth. He slows down after a sidelong glance in his mother's direction SHE'S LOOKING AT HIM and he actually starts bothering with a utensil too.

After a second, he puts the plate down and falls silent, looking all around, tuning out the immediate conversation-- and then his attention snaps back to Lacrima and Kunzite. To Lacrima, first, he nods. "I'll give them to you." And then he reaches to lay fingertips lightly on both of their hands. "I want to go talk to my parents for a second." His hand drops from Kunzite's, and there's an underlying meaning to what he tells Lacrima. "Then I'll come bring you to the patio and you can meet Jadeite and Nephrite. I'm going to have to dance with a lot of people and actually be a responsible prince shortly, which is the boring part."

Underlying meaning: I miss them, and I'm going to want to go back to your ballroom when I'm done remembering them for tonight. But you can take your plate with you.

As he's saying 'boring part' he's already withdrawing, leaving his plate in Kunzite's hands ha ha, and traipsing off to the dias.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-08-28 07:29:57 81970
Kunzite does not push Endymion nose-first into his own plate, during that second and a half. Which is probably one of the reasons he's assigned in here and Jadeite and Nephrite are outside. He does give a narrower glare --

-- not at Endymion. Not at Lacrima. At the beautiful young woman in the aquamarine gown some distance away through the crowd, whose current conversational partner seems to have said something exceptionally amusing, just at the moment.

"That's a shame," he says to Lacrima, instead. "But for tonight, at least, you'll be able to have all the practice you could want. And for the rest of your visit, I suspect."

Was he suggesting Endymion would set something up for her, or was he complimenting Lacrima's looks? Or both? There is more or less zero visible way to tell.

But then Endy's going to check in with his parents, and Kunzite exchanges a glance with one of the guards by the dais, and settles to guarding the prince's food (sigh) and playing guide for Lacrima while Endymion's distracted: being tall and intimidating enough to keep any inebriated rakes from troubling her, while also answering questions if she has any, while also being an easy way for the prince to find her again when he's done.

There are some ways in which not that much has changed.
Lacrima 2017-08-28 07:34:35 81971
Lacrima has this ridiculous plate for food now. She wonders if this counts as real food or just a memory of food and then she realizes it doesn't even matter where she's concerned because real food doesn't really sustain her anyways and real good just serves literarily the same purpose as dream food to her and she actually goes straight up crosseyed at this thought process as it runs through her head, as she shakes it off. She'll let herself get led to the patio.

And endure whatever Jadeite and Nephrite will put her through.

She'll enjoy this time. It's neat. and weird. And eventually go back to her ballroom---- which is still more or less the way it was when they left. But maybe the task doesn't seem as daunting anymore.

Perhaps she'll figure more of it out later.

In the meantime! She gets to ask questions of Weird-Dream Kunzite. They're all rather weird. Sometimes. While being aware of where exactly Lacrima is at the moment.

Maybeeeeee. Another time. For right now.

Well there's this ridiculous dessert mountain she's carrying around.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-08-28 07:40:13 81972
Much later, in the kitchen of the Earth Court Frat House, Mamoru finally lets go of Lacrima's hand and sits back, faint smile on his face.

And he looks up, and there's Kunzite...

...and he just starts giggling, these incredibly undignified little attempted-suppressed fits of them. "Gottagobye!" he sputters, hand clapped over his eyes, and he abandons Lacrima and Kazuo and breakfast to go laugh himself sick in his bedroom.