London Bridge

Naru finally asks Mamoru for help with the dark thoughts in her head, and they find black mold creeping up the walls of her mind and decide to apply a flamethrower to it.

Date: 2017-09-29
Pose Count: 25
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-29 13:46:50 83928

<PHONE> A text from Naru Osaka at Thu Sep 28 22:41:25 2017: Are you free tomorrow at some point? (Or on the weekend)

<PHONE> A text from Mamoru Chiba: Sure! Definitely on Sunday, probably not on Saturday, maybe tomorrow (depending on takeba-san's headspace) (though if you want to come over while i'm trying to navigate that that is also more than fine)

<PHONE> A text from Naru Osaka at Thu Sep 28 22:45:13 2017: I might. You'll be super sick of navigating headspaces.

<PHONE> A text from Mamoru Chiba: ha ha ha no. what makes his hard is that i have to do it with words.

<PHONE> A text from Naru Osaka at Thu Sep 28 22:48:20 2017: Words are not super compatable with headspaces.

<PHONE> A text from Mamoru Chiba: no shit. and i've gotten better at words when i need to be, but i can barely read him. i can only really read him when he's acting more like kazuo, but even then some of the reactions are different. and we're always needing to talk about shit that makes him uncomfortable, so most of the time his body language just closes up completely.

<PHONE> A text from Naru Osaka at Thu Sep 28 22:51:37 2017: Reading him is brutal. There's a lot of silence, but I don't have to push on sore spots. I get to touch and then let them heal again, not prod at mental bruises. And mostly, I just agressively normal at him.

<PHONE> A text from Mamoru Chiba: i wish i knew how to be normal

<PHONE> A text from Naru Osaka at Thu Sep 28 22:52:11 2017: I think I'm forgetting.

<PHONE> A text from Mamoru Chiba: that's kind of a bad sign

<PHONE> A text from Naru Osaka at Thu Sep 28 22:53:51 2017: Or this is part of normal. Which is also possible.

<PHONE> A text from Mamoru Chiba: it's pretty important to hang on to normal if you've got it.

<PHONE> A text from Naru Osaka at Thu Sep 28 22:56:10 2017: That's why we're gonna talk on Sunday.

<PHONE> A text from Naru Osaka at Thu Sep 28 22:56:53 2017: Or tomorrow.

<PHONE> A text from Mamoru Chiba: yesss


After texting to make sure Naru doesn't have any tests today, and after making sure Hiroshi's either settled for a little while or doing something for a little while, Mamoru proceeded to text Kunzite:

<PHONE> A text from Mamoru Chiba: I'm going to borrow your palace to talk to Naru this morning.

<PHONE> A text from Mamoru Chiba: Also your caracal.

<PHONE> A text from Kazuo Takeba at Fri Sep 29 09:37:45 2017: Have you considered not giving him back?

<PHONE> A text from Mamoru Chiba: Yes. Very seriously. But he has a job to do and it's not just nagging you.

<PHONE> A text from Kazuo Takeba at Fri Sep 29 09:39:26 2017: Good. It'd be a little crowded if he tried to take up residence in your bedroom.

Mamoru is, in fact, still rolling his eyes at the last text when he meets Naru on the roof of Seishou High, caped and tuxedoed but unmasked-- and pulling his gloves back on. Henshin gloves are really persnickety when it comes to texting-- sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. He stands up when the roof access door opens, pocketing his phone, and holds out his hand. "No superjump, don't worry. Also don't worry, I took gravol before I left the house, so no vomit before 9 AM, either. I mean unless you stuck your finger down your throat to convince the nurse to let you go home, but if you did, that's absolutely not my fault."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-29 13:57:51 83929
There are some advantages, precious few, where being a teen girl can make rather nebulous 'I feel awful' have credence, and let Naru slip away from class without prompting a tsunami of worried tears from Usagi. Especially with a quick reassuring text that she's less dealthy ill and more needing a day away from class. Which is something that her classmates can probably relate to (other than Ami, of course.)

Naru is, of course, in her school uniform when she steps out onto the roof, her schoolbag over her shoulder. "Ew. No fingers down throats. I jealously guard my calories too much to mess with my nurition like that." Her smile doesn't quite reach her eyes, but it's there. "I'm eternally impressed that it doesn't just make you pass out asleep. I always took it to sleep on airplanes."

Light conversation, dodging the reality of heavier conversations to come. "Where are we headed?"
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-29 14:14:04 83930
"Yeah, I know a few other people it makes super sleepy. Just never has for me," Mamoru says with a light shrug and a quirk of a smile, still holding out his hand. "And we are going to visit a giant cat. You don't want to know how I managed to fit that much raw meat through the brim of my hat. In fact, I kind of wish I could forget, and I really hope it doesn't leak on everything else in there."

Everything else in his hat.

Hat of Holding.

Once Naru takes his hand, there's what is, unfairly, the gentlest of teleportations for everyone but Mamoru himself: the three seconds leading up to it make the world around them glitter increasingly gold before fading out in a wash of it, warm and enveloping and weightless. It resolves almost immediately, through what feels like a deeply embedded and solid connection, into the reality of the half-dream of Kunzite's struggling oasis in the sand: cool with shade and bright with splashes of sunlight.

There's a rumbling voice from behind them, affectionate. "What did you bring, Prince? You smell of anxiety and beef."

"Ugh, give me a minute," the pale and unsettled boy says, letting go Naru's hand to knuckle his eyes and run gloved hands through his hair and just breathe for a second.

Naru gets butted gently in the back of the shoulder before Mamoru's even done talking, the giant warm furry head tickling hair and neck with ear-tufts.
Naru Osaka 2017-09-29 14:36:40 83931
"I have faith in your hat." Naru comments as she reflexively closes her eyes to better combat the disorientation of teleporting. It's never been something that bothers her, per se (in direct contrast to jumping, or flying), but with eyes closed, the disorientation is lifted with a single blink after opening her eyes.

She knows how lucky she is, truly.

That blink also comes with a furry head in her shoulder and Naru twists, her smile emerging again at the feline's presence. "Good morning. I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was coming to visit until it was too late to bring treats." She reaches a hand up to offer apology scritches instead.

Her body language shifts in the warm sunshine and sandy oasis, some of the tension that has simply become the new normal eases out of her shoulders, not entirely, but a little.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-29 15:09:00 83932
"You are always forgiven," the caracal tells Naru solemnly, the rumbling turning to a more constant thing of a deep, understated purr at her scritching. "As long as you keep doing that and you don't stab anyone who didn't break the rules first. At which point you're lunch." That also sounds affectionate. So does, "Do let me know if you plan on it, I'll fast first. You at least deserve it being over quickly."

"Kami-sama," complains Mamoru, reaching to shove at the Clydesdale-sized desert cat's flank ineffectually. "Would you please stop planning out contingencies for eating my friends? At least out loud?"

"So you'd prefer I just think about it all the time?"


"There was beef."

Mamoru heaves a put-upon sigh, greatly exaggerated, and de-henshins to get rid of the gloves instead of just taking them off. He still pulls his hat out of nowhere, and goes over to where the floor's definitely swept clean of errant sand and sets it down. Then he reaches inside the hat and takes out the top of a garbage bag, untying it. He proceeds to start pulling out, hand-over-hand-over-hand, a length of twine with hunks of raw beef tied to it at intervals. He also informs the caracal, "You are definitely cleaning my hands after this. Hand-sanitizer towelettes only go so far. And no, I did not bring a bag of rats this time, I'm still trying to figure out how to do that without getting clawed all to hell."

As he works at this kind of gross task (yes he is wearing 'paint the house' clothes), he glances up sidelong at Naru. "So. Forgetting what normal is."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-29 16:01:50 83933
Naru moves closer to help with the gross task. Even in her school uniform, that is what oxyclean is for.

"I am fairly confident that this is entirely a mundane set of brain being a jerk." Naru points out as she arranges dead cow that Mamoru is extracting. "Which is a normal doctor visit to start managing better." There is a pause, thoughtful and extended before she continues. "But based on past history that she doesn't know, and current lifestyle that she can't know, there's some things to elimate first."

Another pause to ensure that the meat which is about to be inhaled, and in fact might well already be starting to be gnawed upon is piled with a certain aesthetic apeal before Naru admits. "And I'm failing to keep the dark thoughts out on my own anymore."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-29 16:08:33 83934
Yes, the meat is, in fact, already starting to be chommed. The caracal does also answer Mamoru pleasantly, "Of course. Wouldn't want anything to go to waste."

"Don't lick my face, though, my hair is perfect today."

The caracal not answering that one does not bode well for Mamoru's perfect coif. He sighs, then looks to Naru again, gaze going thoughtful. "Dark thoughts? Like what kind?"
Naru Osaka 2017-09-29 16:54:32 83935
"I feel as if I should have lead with something lighter. You ARE having a good hair day." Naru hedges as she fusses with the meat, as an excuse for something for her to look at. Something to occupy her hands, even if she really has to stop before her hands become part of the meat offering.

"The usual cocktail of inadequacies." Naru offers after a few moments where the nomming of caracal is the soundtrack to that silence. "In school, in life, in art, in magic. Especially in magic, in spite of having been actively working on that. The sense of isolation that is demonstrably untrue to even a passing wiff of logic or observation, but neither of those seem to have any sway. The nilhism isn't around this time, which is a nice change." She glances over, offering him a wan little smile. "My cope for social is almost nil, but I can still fake it, to a point. Which, admittedly, has been great for both running and painting. Less great for everything else."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-29 17:51:19 83936
The caracal quietly chews on the beef, delicately picking each chunk up with its teeth and tongue and snapping it up, tearing pieces off bigger hunks to gobble. At the moment, his opinions are his own, remaining unshared verbally-- there's only the dubious eyeing of Naru at her admissions.

Mamoru holds his hands out to the caracal to clean, now that the rest of the meat is out of the bag in the hat, and as he's talking, the caracal's as good as its word, taking a moment's break from chewing to carefully lick the blood off. "Has it gotten considerably worse as you've been talking to Hana Shiroi? Even gradually? You got super dodgy for a while initially... I mean, witch energy isn't dark energy, but it is despair, and it is the isolation that stems from it."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-29 17:57:54 83937
"I haven't seen or talked to Hana since.." Naru trails off as she tries to think back to exactly when and then shakes her head. "Before I went to Europe, certainly and that was early August. Its gotten worse since the summer, absolutely, but I've seen Kyubey more than Hana in months at this point."

She pauses a moment and thinks on that. "Although it's a good point, and one I hadn't considered, about witch energy being about despair and isolation. This has those notes to it, but so does garden variety depression, which makes it hard to untangle." Naru moves then, unlooping her school bag to carefully dig into it and retrieve out a tissue to wipe her hands on, cause careful or not, meat makes your hands gross.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-29 19:58:24 83943
"Let him clean you up," Mamoru says, gesturing to the caracal, who glances at Naru's hands. "And I'm sure I've got hand sanitizer in my hat somewhere. Do you want me to have a look and see if there's anything you can't see, eating away at you? I mean, Kunzite can check you for dark energy, and I'm sure he's been; he didn't look at all surprised when you blanked out in the ballroom-- but there are influences that don't manifest as energy. Dreams are another one. Seishi's anteater--" who would really be mad if he knew Mamoru just called him that "--has been on Kazuo's back for ages about his nightmares, and I know yours are pretty rotten and have been, and that had been where Hana visited you while she was a grief seed."

He sounds so reasonable. Like this is everyday stuff people should really check for, like brushing your teeth or looking for grey hairs. Or maybe that last one's just him.

He digs in his hat once the caracal's done with his hands, pulling out the black plastic bag and winding and knotting it up to dispose of later, first, and then looking for the stuff to get spirit desert cat germs off his hands. "The point of order, though, is that you haven't been able to reason yourself out of thinking like this, which from the sound of it is unusual. Maybe it's a chemical imbalance that your doctor can sort out, or try sorting out-- and maybe it's not. Can you think of anything that's happened, that you wouldn't be able to tell your doctor about, that might be adding to it?"
Naru Osaka 2017-09-29 20:13:51 83944
"Is being covered in cat spit all that much cleaner?" Naru asks and then glances to the caracal and adds. "No offense meant, of course, it's a different sort of clean." She shakes her head. "I've got some in my school bag, it's fine." She goes digging for that, a little travel container of hand sanitizer that is just the norm for most japanese school bags, really.

"If you would?" Naru sounds apologetic at the asking. She mmms softly. "Blanking out. That's an interesting phrase for it. It was slowly creeping into 'too many people' territory, and that 'alone in a crowd' feeling, which is always weird." Naru considers the question further and then shakes her head about nightmares. "I haven't been remembering my dreams as much of late, not all the time, but sometimes I just wake up and remember nothing of my dreams. Which I'm not sure makes them less awful, but does make for less awful mornings at least."

For both of them, this is everyday stuff. Flossing, checking for weird moles, confirming that there's no parasitic dream creatures making a feast of your nightmares. It's just a /thing/ that one does for good health.

Naru mmms as she cleans off her hands, the sharp scent of the alcohol a brief note in the dry air. "Well I can't exactly bring forth concerns that yeah.. my nightmares are eating my head, nor did I manage to get cursed again to my doctor. I haven't been in many fights, so cursing seems less likely. I have been working on my magic, because I /know/ we're going to be fighting Hana sooner rather than later, but that's just extensions on what i've already been doing." She frowns a little, thoughtful. "It got worse after Europe, but I also was alone for most of that trip, which makes breaking out of the brain stupid so much harder when you only have yourself to listen to."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-29 20:50:58 83948
"Well there's really not enough water here to wash your hands," Mamoru says with a shrug, after which the caracal gets this LOOK, and hunkers down over the remainder of the meat, turning his back to them both and grumbling as he eats. Mamoru leans back against him, and that, he doesn't object to.

"Sure, I'll check. It's really not a big deal, by the way, so don't feel like it is," he tells Naru, holding out a newly-sanitized hand (yes he found the stuff in his hat). But he's also still talking. "Too many people territory for me is ... well, depending on the people, pretty close to 'any more than three besides me'," he says ruefully, some distraction for Naru as he starts looking.

"And sometimes even three is too many-- and 'alone in a crowd' is actually a comfortable space. I mean, obviously, just in my head. It's the interaction or trying to track more than a few people at once that's stressful. Or, you know, if the crowd is irritable or angry, but that's no fun for anyone." In this place, it feels like less of an intrusion, even for Naru: it feels more like an extension of the calm brightness and cool shade around her, the silent sands and occasional dry wind that makes a soft susurrus around the baked stone walls. "If no one notices me, if there's no one I know personally, then I'm okay, I can just watch and be around people and there aren't any expectations."

Gentle, there's not even a sense of his presence in her head like there's been when they go looking together. Either he's gotten very much better at this, or the properties of Kunzite's palace and his own link to it make this a much easier experience. The palace of the Knight of Goddamn Taking Care Of Yourself. The caracal's finished eating already, and is quietly grooming his face and paws, and rumbling his pleasant approval of, in fact, Naru deciding to go for a checkup. "But if it got worse after Europe, even aside from being alone for most of the trip, did anything happen there? Did you run into anyone? And not remembering your dreams-- you know the guy that Seishi's crew stalks is called the Eater of Dreams, right?"
Naru Osaka 2017-09-29 22:06:12 83950
There is so much calm suffusing the whole place, it's an easy trip emotionally to relax. Naru is content to settle on the ground, crosslegged across from where Mamo is leaning on the caracal. It makes taking his hand a natural gesture, and she takes a slow breath as she listens to him, accepting the distraction as he goes looking.

"Generally I'm alright with people and I enjoy that alone in a crowd sensation too, except that it felt off kilter." Naru explains and then is rueful as she admits. "But again with the everything feels off kilter."

Having someone in her head is starting to be a vaguely familiar sense, especially when it's Mamoru who is joining her there. "I did not know that there is someone called Eater of Dreams. That makes it vaguely more concerning.." She is thoughtful a moment, thinking back to Europe and the trip. "I visited galleries, museums, did a lot of drawing and painting, worked on my magic.. because I'm actively trying to practice." She considers. "It felt like I made some break throughs?"

Her head is, plainly enough, a mess. There's active walls and barriers and clear signs that she's been working really HARD at keeping some level of sanity over the chaos. It's almost like there's the mental equivilant of black mold creeping up the walls of her mind and thoughts, heavier in some spots, just the little specks of potential spread in others.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-29 23:06:38 83952
"Even just alone-time feeling off kilter really is kind of a red flag, Naru-chan," the prince says mildly, informative rather than chiding. There's no dismay or alarm at what he's encountering, there in her mind, but he is flagging it all for her with his outside perspective on what it looks like, with basically a comparison snapshot of what it had looked like before. "And yeah, you've always been better at people-ing than I have; I've always had to force it. Well... since I was six, anyway."

Again, he's not interacting with what's hers, or even with what's not hers but is in her space; he has permission to look, but not touch. "Yeah we got an Eater of Dreams and a Prince of Nightmares running around. And the Eater of Dreams has minions. Kunzite's dealt with more of that than I have, but Seishi's the one to talk to. Maybe talk to both of them at once..."

There's a pause, and then Mamoru's frowning a little at Naru. "What kind of breakthroughs? Because this stuff is creeping, like-- like mold, or termites, or-- really manky kudzu made of infectious coal dust. It's not yours, it's not native to you. You've been fighting it off the same way you'd fight off the regular kind of depression, yeah, and you've been doing an amazing job of it, but you actually thinking it's yours means your effort isn't matching up with your gain. It's still spreading."

He doesn't let go of her hand, but she can feel him delicately withdraw in a way she couldn't feel him starting to look--

--because she's less connected to this place, less grounded suddenly, less supported... and because whatever that is, it moves in the dark, and Endymion's power is not.

He leaves the door open, but stands beyond its threshold, and he watches her face. "I don't think you can get rid of it on your own, but I don't know its nature."
Naru Osaka 2017-09-29 23:28:44 83959
"I generally like people. I prefer them in smaller doses.. where there can be conversation without voices getting lost in the noise, where it's easier to open up and not feel as if you're sharing your thoughts on a stage, but I don't usually have to force myself to be social." Naru gives her head a little shake. "When I realized that even forcing myself to be social wasn't helping, I figured I wasn't winning anymore."

She is quiet a moment and then notes. "I did absently mention to Kunzite when I didn't dream, so I didn't hide that one entirely. It's not often, but knowing it could be a thing at all, I'll see about talking to Seishi. I figured I was overtired, but .." She lets that idea trail off as conversation goes back to the mess in her head.

"More .. power I suppose is the better way of describing it?" Naru ventures thoughtfully. "Easier to grasp, easier to manipulate and mould into what I wanted and needed. I don't remember anything untoward though.. I didn't get in any fights, nothing that felt antagonistic." She can't help but frown as well. "Okay, so junk in my head.. that we don't know how to get rid of."

As Mamoru draws back a little, mentally, she closes her eyes. There's a hint of relaxation as there's just her and the gunge in her head again, that is starting to be a familiar sensation. Too familiar. "I can't see it.. even when you're telling me its there."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-29 23:51:23 83964
And that is where Mamoru's worry spikes. "You're more comfortable alone with the junk invading your head from outside than you are with me buffering you from it," he points out. "It's insidious, and it's got you convinced it belongs. You can't see it. That's a behavior that does line up with what dark energy does."

He doesn't even realize his free hand's come up to grip at his hair. "Did it eat the comparisons I gave you? I flagged it everywhere I saw it, I just-- it's not something that can be purified. You need brain bleach." His not-free hand has tightened on Naru's, as if afraid to let her go.

For a second he was looking at the floor, but now he's looking up at Naru again, blue eyes sharp. "Let me back in? And we'll do it the way we did last time, where we're both there. Look through my perspective and bring your flamethrower. And if-- if it doesn't have any effect, but if you can see it when you're looking through my eyes, will you let me try and pry it off?"
Naru Osaka 2017-09-30 00:04:53 83968
"Logically, the comparisons make total sense.. I have a sense on where I /should/ look, but it feels like asking Kyouko to notice the bedroom is messy. I see crap everywhere and stuff that needs picking up and doesn't belong, and she just sees normal." Naru squeezes Mamoru's hand in return, the only real visible sign that she's a little concerned about her brain requiring bleach and not just from clicking ill advised links on the internet.

"Alright. Flamethrowering the inside of my head." Naru considers that, nodding at his request to join her in her head again. "If it doesn't flamethower, you are welcome to pry, scrape, bleach or anything else that seems likely."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-30 01:24:23 83979
Mamoru takes a breath and relaxes a little. She's alarmed. That's good. Good. He nods, and curls up a little into the side of the caracal (who is now pretending to be asleep, or maybe pretending to ignore them; he's a cat, it's hard to tell), and he closes his eyes.

This time, while it's still gentler and less intrusive than it had been the first time, it's a little more pronounced than it was a moment ago. This time, Naru gets a mental visual of her headspace and Endymoru in it with her...

...and he's dressed in a classic Ghostbusters outfit and wearing Egon specs. He glances aside at her and grins toothily. "Too much? I mean, flamethrower, proton pack... paint scraper and gas mask, maybe..." He sighs dramatically. "Sorry, I'm still trying to figure out what the hell to do for Halloween this year."

In a heartbeat he's himself, more or less, in that strange variable-ratio admixture of the ancient prince and the modern orphan: darker than Naru's used to, a little shorter (never tell Kunzite he's right), by nature regally confident, but wearing the godawful paint-the-house clothes, and pulling on a gas mask. He waves his paint scraper at Naru, and his voice obviously isn't muffled but Faintly Spooky because that's how cinematic gas masks act. "Okay, let's get to work. Flamethrower that wall right there," he tells her, pointing with the scraper.
Naru Osaka 2017-09-30 01:33:09 83984
In spite of everything, the Egon specs and full Ghostbusters get up is enough to make Naru laugh. "I refuse to think of giant marshmallow men." She notes as she reaches down and merely picks up her flamethrower from her side. As if it's always been there, and perhaps it has, in some senses.

"I am also refusing to think too hard on the idea of flamethrowering the inside of my own head, metaphorical and allegorical and whatever other oricals that might fit here." Naru has no gas mask of her own, it's her head after all, but she lets loose a gout of flame at the wall where he directs. A good solid WOOSH.

The blackness is unimpressed and unmoved by internal flaming.

Clearly she's not /that/ bad of a straight girl.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-30 01:39:30 83986
Endymoru just sort of stares at the darkness. "Maybe if you cast magic missile at it," he suggests after a second, then grimaces. "Okay. Here we go. Depending on if it's sunk in like mold in drywall, I might have to scrape pretty deep."

He pauses. "No, this is a mental construct. You're the creative one," he complains, "I'm getting too literal again. Um. Okay..."

Here, he starts actually scraping at the black stuff on the wall with the paint scraper, and the paint scraper takes on the bright, vivid glow of his power when he's healing something terrible. Flakes and patches of the stuff start to come off and fall to the floor. "Can you see it now? Or at least the parts that fell?"
Naru Osaka 2017-09-30 01:53:19 83991
"I'm pretty sure at this point in our experiences in my head, we pretty much can take it apart like lego." Naru points out. "Peel the stickers off the lego? Okay.. now I'm getting literal."

Naru watches Endymoru take a paint scraper to the inside of her brain, a glowing golden paint scraper, no less and she watches. "When they fall, I can see them." She confirms and then aims a gout of flame at the bits on the ground. "So, once they aren't actively attached to me anymore, they .. look disgusting, actually." The glow of power isn't clear on if it makes the scraping easier, but it certainly ensures that he doesn't leave any gouges in the drywall.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-30 02:00:03 83995
The glow of power is actually all that's letting him scrape it off in the first place. He is using his power to do this: his connections, his psychic ability, his healing, his empathy-- this is actually what Zoisite is better suited to do, identifying where the illness is and burning it clean-- but this is in Naru's mind, and it's definitely an issue of self-care. So the healing golden paint-scraper continues to scrape--

--and now that Endy's gotten a better idea of how it's attached, he lets go of the scraper and it's just his hands, golden-brown and slender and strong, glowing as he digs his fingernails in underneath the creeping blackness and starts to pull sheets of it off. He pries and hauls at it; sometimes it breaks and sometimes it peels and sticks like tarpaper, and--

"Yeah, it's really gross. Sorry," he says, catching his breath for a second.
Naru Osaka 2017-09-30 02:09:12 83998
The attachment is a ragged and variable thing, some places has barely made an indent, even when it's thick and black and looks like it should be awful to get free, it comes off. Others, tiny specks really, almost small enough not to be noticed, need to almost be cut away, so tightly attached are they.

"Brains can be gross." Naru is trying to keep up with burning what Endy pulls free, without burning anything else, or him. Not that necessarily would, being a construct, but the care feels warrented. "And the thoughts that come with it are fairly gross." She watches a papery thin section go up, like a sheet of birchbark, wisping with little charred flakes of emotional ash left behind.

"This is going to make a helluva painting, though." Naru points out.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-09-30 02:13:33 84000
"Yessssss, what will you call it?" Endy asks, bright and enthusiastic; it's working, it's working, he can relax a little bit, be a little less worried. He keeps tearing at the stuff, and when there are specks he can't pull at with his fingernails, then the scraper comes out to dig. "Something symbolic and mysterious like 'London Bridge' or 'MSF'? Or descriptive? Or ... I don't know, do you name your stuff? I can't believe I never asked..."