Muffins with a side order of Kyubey

It rarely goes well for the muffins when Kyubey appears for a chat and to bring a warning in the midst of making them.

Date: 2017-09-13
Pose Count: 58
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 15:04:34 82661
There was the threat, or possibly the promise of muffins. To be eaten, and to be shared and taken in offering, at least eventually. There's a couple of school notebooks tossed on the coffee table, with Naru's handwriting in them, and no doodles on the front at least.

Naru herself is in the kitchen, putting together muffin batter. They are not paperwork flavoured, this batch is lemon poppyseed. The whole kitchen smells of lemon as Naru zests it into a bowl.
Kunzite 2017-09-13 15:19:52 82662
Kazuo was not, as usual, joking when he told Naru he'd replenish the baking supplies. Dishes were done before her arrival, too. Largely because what he needs to do for the first part of her baking involves being Kunzite, and calling shadows to linger over the coffee table, checking carefully for any hint of unexpected energy in the books.

Just in case something slipped, just a little, and the brain weasels she doodled chewing on the margins of her biology notes actually did come to life.

(It's probably not that easy.)
Kyubey 2017-09-13 15:22:04 82663
    Despite a Puella being in residence (or close enough), Kyubey is not a common sight around the ECFH. This is very likely due to the fact that he knows he is not exactly a welcome guest. It might also have to do with the fact that he considers Kyouko more or less a lost cause.

    This fact makes it all the more startling, perhaps, when the little white, red-eyed cat-thing suddenly appears from behind a stack of plates, right there on the counter, his little paws silent on the surface as he sits down and begins absently cleaning a paw. "Good evening," comes that incessantly peppy voice.
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 15:25:19 82664
The little brain weasels that are nibbling on her notes are just ink, marginalia of chibi design, and of questionable academic merit, although at least it /is/ in a zoology section.

They aren't, however, magical. It is never that easy.

Naru only has to turn her head a little from where she's watching what she's doing, such that no bits of finger go in the muffins. She's quiet a moment, considering the new arrival, twisting the lemon in her fingers to find a new spot of peel to zest. "Hello."
Kunzite 2017-09-13 15:33:08 82665
Kunzite is drawing a breath to report, when there's a different voice altogether.

He does not launch any reflexive attack. He also does not step down out of henshin. He straightens instead, turning to regard the sudden arrival, and the shadows on the table do not disappear until after he confirms red eyes.

... for a number of seconds after he confirms red eyes, because for all he knows Nyubey could be wearing contacts; it's not until he also confirms no faint dark-energy emanations that he lets his power settle to rest.

"Good evening," he replies to Kyubey. "This is ... unusual."

(The Sakuras are going to be receiving the current supply of emergency grief cubes later tonight. Cycling through them early, and before they can replace any, but -- worth it. Presuming Kyubey's not here to observe any of them exploding into some horror on the spot.)
Kyubey 2017-09-13 15:35:49 82666
    Kyubey seems unconcerned by the rather chilly reception, although given his normal lack of expressiveness, this is not entirely shocking. He continues to groom his paw, and then idly swipe it over one of his long ears, as he speaks. "I came here looking for Kyouko Sakura, but she doesn't seem to be in residence this evening. I find I have more trouble sensing her location than I used to. Curious."

    Rather than pursue this line of inquiry, however, the little cat-thing moves on before any real responses can be given. "Given the circumstances, though, I suppose I can convey my message to you two just as well. It's about a rather serious situation. It wouldn't be right of me to keep it to myself."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 15:39:01 82667
"No. She's not." Naru doesn't feel obligated to note where Kyouko /is/, merely to confirm that she's not here. Immaterial of the fact that she doesn't technically live here. Neither of them do, but besides the point.

"You have a message for us?" Naru seems surprised, although that's really only a mild note in her tone. She looks back to her lemon, turning it around in her fingers to confirm that she's gotten all the bright yellow off, before setting that bowl of dry ingredients aside, and moving to slice it in half, to be able to juice it inot a measuring cup.
Kunzite 2017-09-13 15:44:30 82668
Residence has quite a number of meanings. Kyouko could live there if she wanted to, and that's the aspect Kunzite's focused on at the moment. "It must be a serious situation, if you're looking for her," he observes. "Given the last time she mentioned having had a conversation with you. And you know that we share information with her."

He almost says something else. But there's just the slightest possibility that Kyubey's serious situation involves the long-term stresses that Kyouko's soul gem has been under, rather than the White Flower. So he waits.
Kyubey 2017-09-13 15:47:25 82669
    "I am less looking for Kyouko Sakura in particular," Kyubey notes, "Than I am looking for people I know in general who might have an interest in this situation. That would, I am sure, include the both of you." He sets his paws down on the counter, turning his gaze over towards Kunzite.

    "I know that you are aware of the activities of Hana Shiroi, also called the White Flower. She is attempting to do something quite serious and ill-advised, and it has reached a point where I feel the need to make her actions known so that she does not succeed in her ambitions. It would be very bad for everyone if nobody stops her."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 15:51:29 82670
"What is she trying to do?" Of anyone, the one most able to play dumb and get another perspective on Hana's ambitions, it is Naru. She goes into the drawer to pull out the juice reamer, calm as anything as she continues to make muffins, in spite of the conversation in progress.

Naru picks up the measuring cup, examining how much lemon juice the sacrificial fruit provided, before starting to find other ingredients in the fridge. She doesn't glance over to Kunzite, the facade of ignorance is fragile enough.
Kunzite 2017-09-13 16:24:48 82671
"I understand that it's not all that common," Kunzite observes, "that something is sufficiently catastrophic for it to appear bad from both your perspective and from ours." Whatever Kyubey's perspective is. He knows enough, from Hana and Homura, from Madoka and Kyubey and Kyubey's gray-eyed twin, to know that it's dfferent. He's a little curious whether this might give him a clue to why.
Kyubey 2017-09-13 16:37:50 82672
    "It is true," Kyubey answers Kunzite first. "You humans have such petty concerns, on the whole. Worrying about your individual lives. My concerns, generally, involve a much.. broader scope." He does not elaborate, but rather shifts to look towards Naru.

    "Hana Shiroi is attempting to usurp control of the Puella System from us, its creators. She wishes to gain control of the energy that we harvest from the activities of the Puell and use it for her own ends. This has been known to us for some time, and we have not been concerned since we felt her odds of success were very slim indeed. Unfortunately, it seems she has surpassed our expectations."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 16:41:00 82673
"So she's looking to put you out of a job." Naru speculates, showing no sign of horror or distress or surprise at Hana's Grand Plan. Possibly she's merely distracted by cracking eggs into her measuring cup. Clearly that's it.

"Has she succeeded then?" Naru asks, with a faint note of curiosity, getting out a fork to be able to lightly whisk the eggs together with juice.
Kunzite 2017-09-13 17:36:37 82674
Kunzite doesn't compete for Kyubey's attention with Naru; he does pace to the edge of the kitchen, so that the critter does not have to keep shifting back and forth. If only because some of its methods of doing so are slightly ... unnerving. Its spine is not like Earth mammals' spines.

"That also raises the question," he observes, after inclining his head to Naru's question, "of whether -- from our perspective -- we should consider her a better or a worse potential custodian. You appear to believe that, on the broader scope, we should consider her worse. Why?"
Kyubey 2017-09-13 17:44:50 82676
    "Because," Kyubey says simply, choosing once again to answer Kunzite's question first, "While you may not agree with our methods, our ultimate goal is to preserve this Universe. Sacrifices must be made to do so, and perhaps you do not agree with that, but in the end what we wish for is a maintaining of stability. The status quo. Hana Shiroi would use this power in the exact opposite way. And I do not think you would be any happier than we with the result."

    He then turns his head to regard Naru once more. "She has not succeeded. Yet. But she has.. demonstrated more progress than I am comfortable with. Than I initially thought was possible. To the point that I believe if she is left to her own devices.. she will eventually do so."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 18:10:24 82677
There is no protest from Naru as Kyubey speaks to Kunzite first. It is almost as if she expects it, possibly even to the degree of being ever so faintly surprised when he remembers to return to her question. There's a soft noise, a little 'mmm' as she listens to the answers, to both questions.

"And you are incapable of stopping her?" Naru asks, simply enough. A bit of water augments the lemon juice and eggs, only a bit before she adds in the oil to the wet ingredients. There's a pause in her motions and she looks at the dry, giving them a prod with the wooden spoon and then goes on a hunt for poppy seeds.

One cannot call them lemon poppy seed muffins if one forgets to add the poppy seeds.
Kunzite 2017-09-13 18:14:35 82678
(There are, in fact, poppy seeds. There may be some counter-climbing involved. Alas, it is unlikely to give an excuse to step on Kyubey.)

Kunzite adds nothing this time; not because he's out of questions, but because he has no wish to distract from Naru's.
Kyubey 2017-09-13 18:17:49 82679
    "We are not warriors." Kyubey says, and although his expression and voice do not change, there's almost a sense of something prim about the words, as if he views such crass things as 'violence' to be below an advanced species such as his. "We are custodians and supervisors. While our intelligence and engineering skills are of cosmic scale, there is little we can do against a direct threat... aside, of course, from soliciting help from others with similar goals." He adds, almost chastisingly, "Nobody is good at everything, after all."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 18:28:01 82680
"Not everything is solved by war." Naru replies, with just a hint of that same prim. As if in their infinite cosmic wisdom, the only solution they could come up with was 'get someone else to Smash!'. Infinite cosmic wisdom. Riiiight.

Naru has no qualms about climbing up on the counter, nudging the measuring cup of liquid and the bowl of dry ingredients aside enough that she's not going to knock either of them over. She goes digging into the cupboard to look, digging through various other baking supplies in neat bags. "Of course not. Most species, however, aren't quite so hyperfocused."
Kunzite 2017-09-13 18:30:17 82681
"Teamwork is generally laudable," Kunzite agrees. "But you're continuing to leave out important information to support your point. What do you do with the energy you collect? You are arguing that you and your people make the best custodians of it; but you have yet to explain why, or why we should agree that anyone should be its custodian. I've asked Puella before; the ones I've asked said they did not know. So now," and he gives a slight bow in Kyubey's direction, though without yielding any of his ability to see the creature, "I ask you directly. After all. With that information, we can't either gauge whether we should be aiding you -- or, more practically, figure out enough about what the White Flower might be doing to understand how to counter her."
Kyubey 2017-09-13 18:37:55 82684
    "We have already tried to reason with Hana Shiroi." Kyubey says to Naru, in response to her assertion that violence may not be the answer. "She is intractable. She believes that she knows best, and refuses to consider alternative viewpoints." The irony of this statement is apparently entirely lost on the furball.

    He then regards Kunzite, unblinking. "It is not generally my policy to speak of such things to anyone, let alone those outside of the System." He says, as if considering how much it might be worth to do so. A few moments pass, and then he says, "Our entire system exists to preserve the Universe from destruction. We constructed it because vast quantities of magical energy, from Earth and untold other worlds, is needed in order to circumvent inevitable dissolution. You might say that we are the patch in the leaking dam. However, that patch needs to be maintained, or the dam will break and everything will be washed away. Hana Shiroi wishes to purposefully break that dam, because she believes that she can create a better world.. after the waters wash the current one clean. Although you may not trust me, you can believe this statement- if she succeeds, life as you know it will cease to exist, not only on Earth, but on every other world in the cosmos of which we are aware."

    "I do not know if she is correct. But the simple fact remains- even if she is, none of us here, nor anyone else you know or care about, would be around to see it."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 18:42:13 82685
"I'm certain that is most disconcertingly frustrating for you." Naru comments dryly, on the notion of stubbornly arrogant creatures. She hops down from the counter, poppy seeds in hand, reaching up to close the cupboard door.

It is her turn to quietly measure out seeds into the flour mixture, letting Kunzite take the point on the 'why are you guys any better?' conversation as she stirs.
Kunzite 2017-09-13 20:01:32 82686
Kunzite is silent for several moments, considering Kyubey. Long enough to make Naru's stirring in of seeds perhaps need a supplemental activity to eke out enough time. Fortunately, baking provides many. He is also not ... looming. Not glowering at the little weaselcatrabbit. Only considering.

"You wanted to see," he says at length, "if the universe would still seek to even out imbalance." A conversation held more than a year ago. The night that the Wraiths first manifested.

He resumes conversation as if they were having a casual chat, as if the pause or the dwelt-over words had never happened. "The interesting question, I think, is why the dam is leaking in the first place. Is the answer to that something that can be expressed to a useful degree within the limitations of this world's current understanding of mathematics, physics, and metaphysics? If not, I would like to consult with you about it at a suitable later time. Possibly in a suitable later lifetime, granted, given present human limitations, but that can be prepared for."
Kyubey 2017-09-13 20:05:01 82687
    "Yes. Just because we have a solution that works does not mean that we are above seeking out alternatives. Thus far, we have found none." Kyubey says, absently licking at his paw again as he considers Kunzite. "The Universe is not self-sustaining. It leaks energy. That energy needs to be replaced. We have found what we believe is the optimal way to accomplish this. To cease to do it would eventually lead to... nothing." It's clear that by 'nothing', he does not mean a continuation of the current affair.

    "As for why this should be the case.." Here, the tiny creature actually shrugs. "If I could answer that question for you, I would do so. Alas, despite millenia of contemplation of that question, among others, we do not posess the answer. It is as it is. I am sure that a reason exists, but we have been unable to discover it."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 20:11:20 82688
There is something in Kunzite's words that prompts Naru to settle her attention upon him for long moments as she reaches for the wet ingredients, to start pouring them into the dry as she mixes. The little 'hrm' that probably accompanies the glance is too quiet to be heard as she settles her attention upon her task.

Naru starts to say something and then pauses just before she speaks, her mouth closing again as she reconsiders her words. "So you wish for us, humanity, to play the part of your assassins?"

Because apparently that seems a better choice than whatever she was going to say.
Kunzite 2017-09-13 20:15:56 82689
Kunzite inclines his head to Kyubey; he might have had something to say as well, but Naru is -- not quite speaking. Then speaking. And it's her that he considers, not Kyubey, in the silence after her question.
Kyubey 2017-09-13 20:29:01 82690
    "I wish for you to do your part." Kyubey says, and although his tone does not change, it's easy to imagine it as sharp. "To do otherwise would be to commit both murder and suicide. It is fine for you to think that we should be able to handle this ourselves- but it does not change the fact that we cannot, nor the fact that to do nothing would result in your deaths as well as mine."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 20:35:10 82691
"I dont think you'll find threatening me with suicide is quite what you'd hoped for." Naru points out calmly as she stirs batter, ensuring that there are no floury pockets left to ambush someone biting into a muffin. That would be unnecessarily cruel.

"Your point stands, however." Naru continues. "She is a threat to you, and to all of us. As she has always been."
Kunzite 2017-09-13 20:44:21 82692
Kunzite doesn't narrow his eyes, precisely; the lids droop a little, for a moment, as if sleepy. Then he shifts, considering Kyubey, considering Naru again. "On the one hand," he says, "the history of civilization, such as it is, tends to be a history of mutual threats coming to terms of cooperation. On the other hand. It's only necessary to make one sufficiently large misjudgment. In either direction."

He inclines his head to Kyubey. "Is there any other information you would prefer us to share with the Sakuras?"
Kyubey 2017-09-13 20:47:31 82693
    "I am not making any threats. You are free to live or die at your own discretion. This is an inaliable right of all sentient beings." Kyubey does not seem upset. "I was merely informing you of the consequences of inaction. My purpose here is not to motivate you, specifically, to action. It is to spread word, so that those inclined to self-preservation might do what is required to ensure it."

    He then glances to Kunzite. "No. I only ask that you make this threat known. I will continue to seek out and speak to others, as well. Someone will stop her." He pauses. "Or no one will, in which case we will all die." This is said matter-of-factly. "That would be ost unfortunate." He then turns, padding towards the balcony. "I have said what needed to be said. The rest is up to you." And then he is gone.. the door never actually having opened.
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 21:11:55 82694
Naru is quiet as Kyubey makes his final speech and then vanishes. She's got muffins to pour into a greased tin, the paper liners are such a waste when one can just grease a tin.

"He's less annoying than I was led to expect." Naru comments in the quiet after the mundanely impossible departure of the critter.
Kunzite 2017-09-13 21:16:16 82695
"It's not what he says that makes him a problem," Kunzite answers quietly. "It's what he leaves out."

After a moment, he lets out a breath. His sliding out of henshin, like his entering it in the first place, is slowed; it takes place over stretched seconds, not near-instantaneous, and the jewel at his forehead lingers for long moments before Kazuo opens his eyes with its fade. "In the case of Puella, for instance, he leaves out the consequences to them of the contract. And the fact that their wishes will follow the letter of their desire, not the spirit of it."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 21:31:09 82696
"Isn't that always the case?" Naru asks, finally glancing over to Kunzite as he settles, slowly, into Kazuo. "What isn't said is generally far more interesting, far more relevant and far more revealing than what is put out on the table."
Kunzite 2017-09-13 21:33:35 82697
"Often," Kazuo agrees. "Not always. Honest people do exist; we even know two or three." He leans against the edge of the kitchen entrance for a moment more, considering her hands. "Did the muffins survive?"
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 21:35:37 82698
"We'll see how they rise." Naru glances at the batter in the tin as she moves to put it into the oven. "The batter is overbeaten something fierce. Should taste alright, provided I didn't forget anything else." She is quiet as she closes the oven door and then takes a step back to lean on the counter. "Even honest people leave things out. Sometimes on purpose, usually unintentionally."
Kunzite 2017-09-13 21:57:34 82699
"As long as they aren't charred bricks, someone will eat them." It's not just the appetites around; it's that Kazuo and Kyouko have nearly the same opinions about wasting food. Kazuo manages to threaten less often, but that's as much Mamoru's influence as anything else. Well. Mamoru's and Fiore's, now that they have a conceivable recipient for compost.

He considers her last words for a moment, and answers them only somewhat obliquely. "Do you have questions?"
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 22:04:51 82700
"Short of Hana .. or someone else.. destroying the world in the twenty minutes before these are done, I don't think they are going to be charred bricks." Naru points out, acknowledging that Hana isn't the only threat out there, no matter what Kyubey might think.

And if someone does destroy the world, the muffins will be the least of everyone's concern.

"I don't know." Naru replies after a few moments. "His warning felt.. patronizing and redundant." She pauses a moment, thoughtful again. "Although perhaps I am biased."
Kunzite 2017-09-13 22:30:20 82701
"If a certain person had not discussed a part of a plan with us," Kazuo says calmly, "it would have been considerably less redundant. 'Patronizing' is a rather more reasonable complaint."

He turns and investigates the refrigerator; frowns absently at the contents; closes it again and leans absently against the door. "Which of them is telling more of the truth, do you think?"
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 22:52:28 82702
"I think that both of them are telling the truth as they see it. Possibly only as they want to see it." Naru watches Kunzite consider the refigerator, and close it again without anything emerging on his inspection.

"Hana makes no bones that she aspires to remake the world. Kyubey makes no bones about the fact that he takes offense to someone else being ominipotent." Naru considers a moment. "Which is a more benevolent dictator? Interesting question. Devil you know, versus the devil you don't."
Kunzite 2017-09-13 23:18:56 82703
"Kyubey," Kazuo observes, sounding unruffled despite the refrigerator incident, "is demonstrably not omnipotent. Nor is his species as a whole." He examines the counter across from him, thoughtful. "Nor omniscient. And neither of them is working with full information."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 23:29:04 82704
"Both assume that there are no other variables beyond the other." Naru muses. "Save for those they invite in, which seems.. short sighted." She closes her eyes a moment, as if a lack of visual input would help her focus. "Hana.. she just presumes that whatever happens, she can force it to fit her paradigm."
Kunzite 2017-09-13 23:34:49 82705
"One might even be curious," Kazuo says, equally meditative, "about which of three conditions holds. That she's unaware of the problem that the Incubator described. That she's aware of it, but believes her project will account for it. Or that she's aware of it, and considers it a feature."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-13 23:39:03 82706
"That she'll end the world?" Naru offers on the problem indicated. "She believes, to the best of my knowledge, that she'll remake it as it should have been made. I'm not sure if she has an opinion on killing everyone in the world." She doesn't sound unduly distraught over that notion as she opens her eyes again. "She has no illusions about conflict. Never has. She knows people will be aiming to stop her."
Kunzite 2017-09-13 23:51:47 82707

That sound, from Kazuo, often says more than words.

"Whether she intends to end the world or not is irrelevant to the question, really. One doesn't have to intend to destroy a car; doing maintenance on a running enine without sufficient consideration for moving parts or an understanding of the nature of oil or gasoline is quite sufficient in and of itself."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-14 00:06:17 82708
"The engine isn't running properly anyhow, no matter how little Kyubey wishes to acknowledge that. She doesn't fit the model. Nor do the Wraiths, any of them." Naru points out. "She is exploring her understanding, but I agree. I expect it will not have the full awareness of all of the nuances." She pauses a moment and shakes her head a little. "Not fitting the model will make her interesting to challenge."
Kunzite 2017-09-14 00:11:41 82709
"She doesn't fit the model," Kazuo agrees. "But the Wraiths..."

He trails off for a moment, silent. Then his eyes flick over toward Naru again. "I think the Wraiths may have been what happened when Kyubey decided to see whether the Incubator system was no longer necessary."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-14 00:16:02 82710
Naru considers that a few moments. And then a few moments longer as she leans over to peer in the oven door, and check on the muffins.

"Because he wanted to retire?" Naru asks. "Because he is sick of things as they are? Was that a success or a failure in the system?" She adds into the barrage of questions, clearly not expecting answers. "And if he's had enough, then why isn't he welcoming Hana taking over? He has no love for us. Humanity us, as well as us in particular." Naru gives a little shrug. "There is a sense of damnned if we do, and damned if we don't. There is no black and white, obvious answers here."
Kunzite 2017-09-14 00:29:26 82711
"Because there was a localized effect that countered entropy on a significant scale," Kazuo answers, that small thinking frown back in its usual place. "Puella were dead, unharvested, a waste. Then Puella were not dead. Energy came from somewhere else to restore them - but there was no subsequent Walpurgisnacht. The Incubators are likely to have noticed that. It may have raised questions. Made it reasonable to check for a change of state. I read it as malice and madness at the time, but I am beginning to wonder if the 'madness' part was wrong."

Malice, apparently, remains just as viable.

"As for Hana - mn. She has stated that her goal is to become unreachable. She is, to this end, intending to take and utilize a finite pool of energy, resident in a system its creators did not fully understand. She does not believe she will require more energy thereafter. Therefore she does not believe she will need to deal, herself, with any unforeseen events. She stated that this would be the greatest artwork of her life. When I suggested that projects of a greater magnitude might be possible afterward, she did not agree even to the possibility... despite intending her own immortality. What conditions, precisely, must necessarily prevail for an artist never, in infinite time, to be able even to conceive of surpassing her work?"
Naru Osaka 2017-09-14 00:42:17 82712
"I don't know what Walpurgisnacht is. Or was." Naru notes thoughtfully. "Other than an event that was profound for many of you, but that I had even less grasp on than D-point."

Naru considers a moment, thoughtful as she thinks on Kunzite's musings. "Hana and I agree on many things." She doesn't even blink in making that comment, no wary flinch or worried admission. It is simply a thing that is true. "That there is one piece that is the pinnacle of one's body of work that is not your last?" She pauses, considers. "I wouldn't have thought her willing to rest upon her laurels, but perhaps I am forcing my own thoughts upon her where she has none. To peak and never strive again? I can imagine it, but it is not in a positive context."
Kunzite 2017-09-14 01:07:02 82713
"The storm that destroyed much of the harbor," Kazuo says, "was a Witch. Thirty or so of us fought it. Several didn't come back. But we kept it from taking the city. Its name was Walpurgisnacht."

The storm in question, it might be noted, came before the Dark Kingdom fell.

There is no wariness prompted by Naru's comment on Kunzite's side, either. Already known; already factored in. "If she intends to make herself proof against both attacks that she can imagine and those she cannot," he says instead, "the only method available is to be certain that no other entity can think of them, either. That does not seem to be a state of affairs conducive to producing art."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-14 01:27:41 82714
"I will hope that Hana doesn't defy Witch expectations in that way too." Naru comments with a brief nod.

Naru reaches to get a skewer, and crouches to open the oven and poke a muffin, checking on if its cooked through. "If she's producing her ultimate work, then presumably she would be done making art." There's a little shake of her head as she closes the oven door again, straightening. "She used to produce more art."
Kunzite 2017-09-14 01:44:55 82715
"One wonders," Kazuo says quietly, "how much of herself her plan would wind up preserving. Whether an iteration of her that is no longer an artist would really be herself at all."

(He seems not to notice the little motion of his fingers: not a twitch, only shifting together as if to hold a brush, or a pen.)

"And yet. She's convinced this is worthwhile for her."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-14 01:56:31 82716
"I don't know." Naru leans again, using the counter to support her for the moment, her eyes closing again. "If I thought of myself in that position, to change enough to no longer be an artist would no longer be me." She is quiet again.

"Does she?" Naru asks after a few moments. "Or is it something to accomplish?"
Kunzite 2017-09-14 02:01:48 82717
"I don't know." Kazuo falls silent again; his fingers curl, thumb touching ring and the others absently taking on a particular position -- but if there's any power in that gesture, there's no power in this body, and nothing happens. "She wishes to survive. If that were all ... there is the place that I retreated to, from the Dark Kingdom. Nothing reached me there. Nothing tried. It would be safe -- to a degree. But not perfectly safe. And there is nothing there to sustain her. And if a place like that one were sufficient for her, she would simply take a Labyrinth for herself and be done."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-14 02:20:04 82718
"That .. " Naru cuts that thought off before she shares it aloud and shakes her head a little, opening her eyes. "No. She doens't want to just retreat. She wants bigger than that, and she's quite certain she can do whatever she likes. She's not entirely wrong. She can, to some degree. Safe isn't something she seems generally worried about."
Kunzite 2017-09-14 02:31:33 82719
"Somewhat worried. She's learned she can be defeated. It's not a permanent setback, but it's enough of an annoyance that she's being more careful this time. Not careful enough to avoid a conflict; if she were willing to go that far, we could work with her, look for some solution that all parties could live with. But more careful."

The unruffled calm frays in those words, just a little. Strain beneath it. Something that looks very much like grief.

What lies under that, of course, is another question entirely.
Naru Osaka 2017-09-14 02:42:06 82720
"She is well aware that there will be conflict." Naru shakes her head. "If nothing else, she and I disagree on enough points that conflict is inevitable." She takes a slow breath. "That's never been in question, as odd as that sounds."

Naru takes a slow breath. "She doesn't bother with the human suit."
Kunzite 2017-09-14 02:58:42 82721
"Of course not." Kazuo lifts the same hand that's been talking for him, drags it over his face. "Of course not. Because she doesn't have the ability to discriminate between polite consideration for those around her whose goodwill she would find convenient, and abusive attacks on her person." He glances across to Naru, and the unruffled mask is back in place on his features; not quite in his eyes. Something in all of this hit him much harder than he's admitting, somewhere.

He doesn't cross the space between them, though. Not for the reason tht made Kyouko twitch for a moment. Not to hug her rather than murder, either. Just the glance, nd the words, and the silences between them.