Mother Hen Old Dog

In which an attempt is made to introduce Hiroshi to Aunt Sandra.

Date: 2017-10-15
Pose Count: 17
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-15 23:55:45 84846
It's early evening in the Pacific Northwest, and Neil is in the process of taking his Aunt Sandra to Jump Towards Tomorrow! --in other words, going from early evening to midmorning in Tokyo on the next day. Normally, Sunday mornings are reserved for Hiroshi and Kazuo to have their weekly ritual Uncomfortable Father/Son Breakfast, but it's entirely possible that being faced with a morning of discussion with MASATO SANJOUIN'S AUNT about MAGIC is actually the lesser of two unfortunate prospects for Hiroshi.

Either way, he's been invited over and Mamoru's buzzing around Makoto in the kitchen, trying to be helpful instead of underfoot, and definitely taking direction well.
Hiroshi Takeba 2017-10-16 00:33:24 84847
Mamoru, thus, has no idea that he has saved Kazuo from a morning of Hiroshi trying warily to talk around the question of 'so, this girl you say you might be interested in but she's too young -- does she happen to be a vampire?'

Kazuo also has no idea of this. It will undoubtedly catch up with him later.

The temptation to invent some errand suitably urgent to take him away from the apartment for the morning was very strong. But ... well. Neil's family.

Which is why, for the moment, Kazuo is doing his silent ghost-or-furniture act; he is not challenging Mamoru for a place in the kitchen. He is keeping his father company, if sitting opposite him in the living area and occasionally exchanging muted, mutually disapproving glances qualifies as company.

Actually that's still less bad than most Sundays, for Hiroshi. The real problem for Hiroshi is parsing Masato Sanjouin as having family. He's still, for all his general aversion to magic, got some basic concept somewhere of Sanjouin as having been born from spontaneous generation, already adult and with his first hundred million or so invested.
Makoto Kino 2017-10-16 00:39:05 84848
This is one of those situations where one begins to wish the kitchen had a second stove. Most of the work is done by this point, though, with only the floury fingerprints smearing Mako's all-covering apron and the disordered mess of ringlets that heat and steam have made of her hair speaking to how much effort has gone into it. What's left is plating, and she's got Mamoru in charge of dishing out fruit salad into glass dessert cups and putting the last touches on ramekins of coddled egg with bacon-and-cheese while, for her part, she's scattering fresh rose petals onto crepes that have already been dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with rose honey. Because it isn't enough that there be breakfast, breakfast has to be pretty.

A glance through the window to the living room and, looking towards Mamoru, she wonders in an undertone, "Are you sure this isn't too much?" Not that there's any time for a Plan B at this stage, but it's impossible to keep the nerves are setting in.
Nephrite 2017-10-16 00:53:21 84849
A month ago, Sandra Burke got her nephew back. And learned of the existence of magic. And that her nephew is the reincarnated guardian of a prince, and that he's living a whole new life across the world with said prince and a girlfriend who Sandra is already most fond of. It takes some sorting out of the finer details, but finally the day has come when she can make the magical jump with her nephew from the place of his old life and into the new one.

Aunt Sandra's day (evening) began with Neil appearing out of thin air on her doorstep. Then, after several quick teleports, she got to enter a pocket dimension, stroll through an ageless forest, see relics of a people whose roots she shares. And she met the Thunderbird. She has been very quiet since then, Neil noticed, even as they passed through Jadeite's palace and out into the bright autumn morning in Tokyo. Even the wonders of one of the world's greatest metropolitan centers can hardly compare to coming face-to-face with a god.

She perks up as the enter the building, raising her eyebrows at the front desk as they pass through the lobby. "When you said frat house, I was imagining something a little more dorm-like."

Neil laughs as he escorts her into the elevator, hoisting her bag over his shoulder. "It's just a nickname. I told you we're not living in some kind of hovel over here." For all that he's just done a round-trip jump across continents, he's practically bouncing in anticipation as the elevator climbs. All these different parts of his family coming together. It's practically Christmas in October.

When he finally reaches the door to the main apartment, he hardly pauses long enough to shove his key in the door before bursting through it with dramatic flair. "You all better be decent in here, because the lady is in the house! I repeat: Aunt Sandra has landed!"
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-16 01:07:13 84850
"'Extra' is never too much," Mamoru informs Makoto, finishing dishing fruit out. "Always overdress. Remember who you're talking to, here."

He's trying really hard not to look into the living room, because then he'd see Hiroshi and Kazuo and he might start laughing in despair, and that's really rude. THANKFULLY NEIL AND AUNT SANDRA ARE HERE. "Ohthankgod," he mutters, and moves everything he just finished over to the living room window counter, and really quickly rinses his hands off, then practically scuttles out of the kitchen to blast past Neil and give Sandra a hug. "Hi!"

If there is an edge of giddy anxiety to his voice, he is certain he will be forgiven.

"That's Kazuo Takeba -- Kunzite -- the one who basically raised us last time? And that's his father, Hiroshi Takeba," he says in English, turning to gesture, eyes a little too wide. His hand's on Sandra's as he adds in Japanese, "Takeba-san, Kazuo, this is Sandra Burke. She is the wonderful woman who raised Nephrite. Neil. Uh, Masato."
Makoto Kino 2017-10-16 01:18:05 84851
"Easy for you to say, Mr. White Tie On Command," Makoto replies wryly, still sotto voce. And then Neil's arriving with the guest of honor and the main response from Mako over in the kitchen is a sudden panicked squeak because, of course, she is a mess.

She ends up hastily depositing the plated crepes with the rest of breakfast on the living room window counter, shoves the remains of prep-work into the sink to deal with Later, and while Mamoru is making introductions she can just barely be seen bolting for the nearest bathroom to make some kind of effort at making herself presentable.
Hiroshi Takeba 2017-10-16 01:21:35 84852
Aunt Sandra to the rescue already, and she literally hasn't had time to step in the door! ... about three seconds take care of that. Kazuo unfolds himself to be standing when Sandra steps into the room; he bows, though not until Mamoru's actually let go of her so she can see something other than teenager. Hiroshi does as well, and for all that his movements are generally carefully polite and formal, they're downright fluid next to Kazuo's angularity. He's the one who speaks, in accented but only somewhat stilted English. "It is a great pleasure to meet you, Ms. Burke. I understand that your nephew has done wonderful things."

He may have had to look up 'nephew.'

Kazuo may possibly give Hiroshi a slightly disconcerted look at that last sentence, too, but eyes aren't so likely to be on him at the moment.
Nephrite 2017-10-16 01:34:48 84853
Sandra hugs Mamoru warmly, without hesitation, gathering him up like she remembers what it was like to do so when he was small. She pulls him away to hold him out at arm's reach, looking him over. "How are you dear? A healthier color than when I saw you last."

There is a short blink from her at the list of names he gives her nephew, and behind them Neil makes a fuss of closing the door, dropping her bag, and finding an appropriate pair of guest slippers. But now the Takebas are standing before her, trying to out-polite each other. She nods appreciatively at Hiroshi. "Thank you, Mr Takeba. Wonderful things, eh? I'll have to hear all about them. I have to say, I'm glad to see they've got at least one adult in the country looking out for them."

She glances around the room. "Did I see Makoto just a moment ago? Have I scared the poor dear off already?"
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-16 01:46:27 84854
It's not a very loud strangled noise Mamoru makes at 'at least one adult looking out for them', but it's there, and he covers it with a laugh over SOMETHING ELSE. Namely, "Well I didn't have to do any teleporting this time," he tells Sandra with a grin. "I'm like Dr. McCoy, teleporting is the worst." He steps back, and lets go Aunt Sandra's hand since there appears to be muddling through English in the offing, and he can concentrate on helping Mako out when she's back.

"Oh, she'll be right out, she had flour all over her. Come in the rest of the way! Have a seat-- I'll go ask Mako-chan if I can bring the plates out yet. She made brunch! It's so pretty," he says, probably overdoing it on 'host' because he's not being smart and leaving it to Neil and Mako is in the bathroom and and and.
Makoto Kino 2017-10-16 02:13:25 84855
There's only so much one can do with just two minutes or so in a bathroom in an apartment occupied entirely by boys. But Makoto can at least shed her apron and wash her hands and face. Her hair's a lost cause, but re-doing her ponytail at least contains most of the frizz. She takes a look in the mirror, accepts this as the best she is likely to manage, and ventures to peek out of the bathroom to see how things are going out there.

Okay yeah she should probably go rescue Mamoru from hosting.

"Welcome to Tokyo!" she calls to Aunt Sandra in her awkwardly-accented English, smiling brightly in welcome, as she comes the rest of the way out to join them in the living room. "I am sorry for, um..." vague gesture bathroom-wards. "I needed clean up a little."
Hiroshi Takeba 2017-10-16 02:22:05 84856
One adult in the country looking out for -- Kazuo adopts a particular nonexpression, carefully not looking in his father's direction. Or in Neil's. Or in Mamoru's. The air is, apparently, very interesting indeed today.

Hiroshi makes a very polite noncommittal noise, himself, inclining his head to Aunt Sandra again. It might however be notable that the adult yields conversational priority to Mamoru, neither interrupting nor giving him any cues to stop the torrent of syllables.

Kazuo takes the chance to slip in with mild inquiry, before Mamoru can resort to desperate-host-flail any further. "May we offer you something to drink, also? Tea and coffee are always available -- water, juice..." Several alternatives that are not coffee, because it's late by Sandra's internal clock. One that is coffee, because it's late by Sandra's internal clock.

... yeah, he still can't look at anybody, including her.
Nephrite 2017-10-16 02:39:43 84857
Nephrite is absolutely not grinning in Kazuo's direction, but he is grinning all the same. "Hey, some of us around here are legally adults. I also strongly suspect that Kazuo has never actually been less than 20 years old in his life."

Sandra waves him off as she follows Mamoru's directive and comes fully into the room, glancing around appreciatively at the colorful walls. "To parents, their kids are always kids. Just accept that." She gives Hiroshi a knowing smile, as though assuming this must be the same for him. To Kazuo, she also smiles. "Tea would be very nice, actually. Did Mamoru tell you about the teapot he brought me?"

And finally a Mako appears! "Makoto! Stop fretting, you look lovely. Your English sounds wonderful, dear."

Neil, for his part, rushes across the room to give Makoto a quick kiss. "I've missed you. I was like a million miles away, even though it was only for a day."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-16 02:47:21 84858
Mamoru shifts his weight but stops short of fidgeting, and then automatically starts moving things from counter over to the dining room table, which FOR ONCE has been cleared of half-finished projects and textbooks and homework, and has a glittering glass/crystal rose in a delicately latticed-upper-half glazed clay vase as its centerpiece. Kazuo can do tea things. Mako can be hostess. Neil can grin a lot. Mamoru? Mamoru can avoid talking for a little while because there's manual labor to indulge in.
Hiroshi Takeba 2017-10-16 03:07:02 84859
Hiroshi glances toward Nephrite, his eyebrows lifting. Kazuo narrows his eyes and turns his head to regard Hiroshi. Hiroshi looks amazingly placid and says nothing.

Kazuo draws a breath and bows slightly toward Aunt Sandra. "One might say that." Odds that Kazuo was dragged along on at least part of the search for it: not low. He starts for the kitchen, and begins to assemble the various required pieces. This would normally be when he faded into the background, but somewhere along the line he's picked up wearing a Western-style class ring with a yellow stone, and the flashes from his movement make that harder to pull off than usual. So rather than dropping silent, he switches to Japanese. "Makoto, the lady would prefer tea. Will your usual choice be appropriate? Or would it be too much when combined with the rest of breakfast?"
Makoto Kino 2017-10-16 03:14:17 84860
Makoto's lingering self-consciousness has her blushing, but she doesn't let that stop her from wrapping her arms around and over Nephrite's shoulders and returning that quick kiss. "Welcome back," she tells him, slipping back into Japanese for a moment. "Everything went okay, right?"

Hosting, right. Still a bit pink in the face, she steps back and turns her attention back to Sandra and Hiroshi and trying to remember English. "Mamoru-niisan and I have made breakfast," she says, bright-eyed and earnest. "It is maybe a little... much," her voice hitches slightly in a quiet laugh, "but please enjoy it."

Kazuo's question has her eyebrows lifting, and she takes a moment to consider it before replying in kind. "I think it should be fine? But then, not everybody likes flowers as much as I do. A green tea might be safer, and they can add rose honey if they want to."
Nephrite 2017-10-16 03:32:31 84861
Sandra watches the odd series of glances from Kazuo to Hiroshi. "Of course," she says more quietly to the elder Takeba as Kazuo moves into the kitchen, "still seems like they grow up in no time at all, doesn't it? Hard to think of them as adults when you still remember rocking them as children. "

Kisses dispensed, Neil dashes back to escort his aunt to the table. She gasps appreciatively at the spread that Makoto and Mamoru have laid out. "My god girl, you made this all yourself? It looks too pretty to eat!" Very soon Neil is dutifully helping Sandra figure out the photo app on her phone so that she can commemorate this. "So what do you do, Mr Takeba?" she asks, while Neil gives up and just starts taking the photos for her.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-16 04:04:38 84863
If Makoto is flustered, she's pretty and earnest and bright about it; Mamoru can't currently make direct eye contact with anyone and his smile's a little fixed, though his hands are steady and his motions are at least mechanically graceful. He just looks like he feels awkward. So awkward. But the crepes are laid out, the fruit salad, the fixings, the protein, the-- the places are set, right. He almost makes eye contact with Kazuo when he asks him, aside, "Are you getting the juice and stuff to put out? Or are you dealing with the hot things."

It's pretty clear to Kazuo, Neil, and Makoto that he'd rather not talk at all but he doesn't want to not-especially-casually touch Kazuo when Hiroshi's looking.