Mamoru, Kazuo, and Kyouko finally confront Naru about her behavior the last few months. And her art the last few months. And the corrupted sketchbook. And why one does not experiment on one's own brain without safeguards. Also? Biryani.

Date: 2017-10-30
Pose Count: 53
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 14:03:14 85694
The note was left pinned to the bag that had held Naru's Witch-tainted sketchbook; the locker was closed again afterward, broken lock and all.

    Drop by upstairs after school, if you wouldn't mind. We'll pick up dinner. --K.

Picking up dinner, because takeout is less distracting than cooking. Two bags of it stand on the counter, one undoubtedly already part-empty because Kyouko is alive and breathing. Coffee is hot. Baked goods probably intended for Hiroshi have been located, but not actually put out yet, because Kyouko is alive and breathing.

The sketchbook is resting by itself in the middle of the coffee table.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 14:08:20 85695
    The beautiful part of a note from 'K' is that it was left by two people but only needs one signature. Kyouko is indeed alive and breathing, and is pacing back and forth in the living room while munching on some kind of takeout. She doesn't looks like she's enjoying it much, or rather, she looks like she's eating automatically rather than taking any real pleasure in it.

    She has good reason to be distracted, as anyone in the room would agree. It's hard to tell exactly what she is feeling though- she doesn't seem angry, or sad, or even particularly worried although the restless pacing might lend some credence to that answer.

    In reality, she's trying to figure out how to say what she feels without completely putting her foot in her mouth. This is the main reason she really wanted Mamoru to be here- she does not trust herself to accomplish this.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 14:16:46 85696
"By the way so it's on the table before I'm a hypocrite--" Mamoru says without preamble, coming in and beelining to grab a piece of naan and some biryani and chutney, not looking at either of them, "--because I didn't mean to keep it secret, I just forgot to explain after I said I'd explain: it took me a while to get back to the pumpkin spice fight because I passed out the first time I tried to henshin. But I'm fine now, I mean I could after that. Just some trouble focusing."

Then he's got his food and comes over to place it on the corner of the coffee table and go back for a glass of lassi, and finally, he settles himself on the floor with his back resting against the couch, food in front of him. "Not a secret. I just forgot. Things got busy. So you don't need to intervention me--"
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 14:46:30 85698
There was a broken locker. And a note. And a very distracted day in class. Not that the whole week hasn't been distracted in class. Naru has been largely on autopilot, which fortunately is a moderately good student, but there's going to have to be extra reviewing of anything covered this week before whatever test it might be on.

It isn't immediately after school that the door upstairs is opened. There was time for a change of clothes into something that isn't a school uniform, and there was a debate of a run. Strong debate. Enough of a debate that there was another change of clothes out of running gear before she went upstairs.

"Intervention, hmm?" Naru notes as she steps into the living room just on Endy's last line, kicking off her flats as she pauses by the door to do so. She takes just a few more steps, into the room proper and then pauses to look at the sketchbook on the table rather than the people in the room.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 14:51:38 85699
"It's getting worse, then," Kazuo says to Mamoru with his usual lack of apparent concern. "If you started to notice it. I'm glad you mentioned. Would you mind if we asked you to have a talk with Mercury? We can ask her to look at me, too, if you'd prefer. In case the issues are related."

Each thing in order. Kazuo glances out of the kitchen at the new voice. "Hello, Naru. Lassi? Coffee? Something else? There is lychee."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 15:07:27 85701
    Kyouko has a sharp glance for Mamoru as he enters and, as if trying to shovel it under the encroaching carpet of Naru's arrival, reveals his problems with henshin. Her brows draw together and she opens her mouth to say something, but luckily (perhaps) for Mamoru, the door opens to admit Naru before whatever she was about to say can leave her mouth.

    Said mouth clicks back shut abruptly, and she glances at Naru, then away, a faint hint of red coming to her cheeks. It seems like she is choosing this moment, with Naru astutely spying the sketchbook on the table, to feel ashamed of what amounts to midnight-spying on her girlfriend. She fidgets, then shoves a bite of food into her mouth, as if this will save her from having to be the first one to speak.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 15:19:26 85702
"What's--" Mamoru starts asking Kunzite indignantly, but then Naru's here and he just flatfaces at Kunzite for a second before glancing up at Naru. "Keeping secrets and not talking about dangerous things nets two results: you don't get told interesting things in case you're compromised, and you eventually have an intervention staged on you by the people who love you. Welcome to your intervention. I'm a little annoyed that you and I went spelunking in your head and I brought up the fact that Hana Shiroi could have been fucking with your head and you dismissed it because you haven't talked to her in months, but you've actually been playing with her shit. Pretty sure that's a lie of omission."

He takes an irritated bite of his naan, ripping a chunk of it off with his teeth. "And you were wondering," he says with his mouth full, holding a hand in front of it so no one's subjected to see-food, "why the black mold kept creeping back in. GEE I HAVE NO IDEA."
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 15:32:08 85704
"Coffee, please." Naru replies automatically as she moves further into the room. A glance to Kyouko, quirking a brow at her best beloved's red cheeks before her attention settles on Endymion.

His words, his accusations and declarations make her frown. "But.. I haven't seen her in months. I haven't been playing with her stuff. Not beyond seeing how far I could push my sculpting." She frowns more deeply, and if she's acting about the confusion. "Which has nothing to do with her."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 15:39:19 85705
The coffee is poured, one cup for Naru, one for Kazuo; he brings both over and offers Naru one. "Neil," he says to Naru, "has already shouted at me about bypassing some of the conversational stages and going straight to breaking-and-entering. That said. I saw you hide the sketchbook. I checked your apartment. I checked your apartment six weeks later, and observed that you were still actively experimenting. We had a conversation about a hypothetical occurence and potential safe practices for experimenting with corrupted energies without unduly endangering either yourself or bystanders. Have you adopted any of them since that conversation?"
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 15:42:34 85706
    Kyouko shoots Mamoru another look, perhaps a bit sharp. Subconsciously coming to Naru's defense, even if in reality that is the exact opposite reason of why they are here- well, no, it's the exact actual reason they are here. But there's a difference between defending a person and defending that person's actions, and if Kyouko's mind has made up the difference, her heart hasn't quite yet.

    Instead, she glances at Kunzite as he speaks.. then at Naru again. "It doesn't matter if you were actively experimenting with it or not." She says quietly. "Being exposed to Witch energy, long-term, can have side-effects. Depression, dark thoughts.. that sort of thing." She says this, then stuffs another bite of food into her mouth.

    She seems torn between wanting to say her piece, and being afraid of saying too much too quickly.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 15:45:40 85707
It's not actually Kyouko's sharp look, but Naru's apparent confusion, that makes Mamoru settle down and let go of the irritation. And then Kunzite's incredibly reasonable about the questions he's asking, so Endy keeps his mouth shut except for starting to shovel biryani into it.
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 15:49:46 85709
Naru accepts her coffee, with a murmur of thanks, even as the commentary is coming at .. well.. intervention speeds and her frown hasn't lessened any. Not anger at being 'found out', but continued confusion.

Her attention upon Kunzite as he brings her coffee. "I.." She starts and then pauses, as she tries to gather her own thoughts. "I haven't been experimenting lately. I put the experiments away, so that no one could just happen upon them accidentally." She doesn't comment upon the whole breaking and entering that would be required for finding the paintings.. seriously? If you break in, it's not accidental.

Naru turns to Kyouko, and frowns more. "I shouldn't /have/ Witch energy.. I've never touched any of Hana's energy."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 16:14:00 85710
"You put them away in a place that wasn't secured against energy leaks," Kazuo says, and his tone is gentle. "They contained energies that can harm people if they're exposed to them too deeply or too long. You put them away in a place that shares walls with rooms your mother lives in. Your mother doesn't have defenses against these things. She also doesn't have defenses against youma that might be attracted to those energies. I called your attention to the potential problem. You didn't do anything about it. That suggests that being near and working with these energies is already affecting your ability to judge the situation."

Then he exhales quietly, and steps back into the kitchen. He comes out with a (clean) pair of tongs, and uses that to flip open the sketchbook, rather than touching it directly. It opens to a page with sketches from Naru's vacation. "And this one ... you carried with you for a while, and opted to hide at school. Not all of our classmates are senshi, you might recall. I don't believe it's the Flower's energy in it, no. You seem to have picked it up somewhere in Europe. But you were certainly aware enough of the contamination to know that you didn't want me seeing it closely, and didn't want one or both of the Sakura sisters coming across it. Why did you tell yourself you were hiding it?"
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 16:19:42 85712
    Kyouko meets Naru's gaze as her girlfriend turns towards her and protests that she hasn't touched any of Hana's energy. She frowns, glancing at the sketchbook.. then shrugging her shoulders uncomfortably. "I dunno where you picked it up, but it's there. I could sense it from half a building away. I can sense it now. It ain't crazy-strong, as if there were a real Witch sitting there, but it's definitely Witch energy."

    She sucks in a breath. "And the fact that I never felt it at home means that you were keeping it away from me.. whether you meant to or not." She glances down again, then to the side. "Like Kunzite says.. stuff like that can have bad side-effects. I knew about stuff like that.. you shoulda asked me." She doesn't seem angry, still.. not accusatory, either. More like she isn't sure what to think, and is being very careful with her words so she doesn't accidentally say the wrong thing.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 16:30:11 85713
Honestly these guys are handling this really well and don't actually need Endy to help, so he goes to help another way, and gets up with a mouth full of biryani and an up-lifted finger like 'be right back'. Then he goes into the kitchen to dig out the hidden pastries originally designated 'for Hiroshi' and bring them out. He also brings over Naru's lychee lassi. Both the lassi and the container of pastries get handed directly to Naru, and he gestures to the space at the coffee table that's free of other people's plates before going around to sit down again.
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 16:32:29 85714
Naru frowns a little. "I.. didn't think that through." She acknowledges to Kunzite's gentle admonishments on containtment. "Putting it on canvas has, in the past, been containment enough. That's where they've always been, since the first awful paintings, and you didn't suggest I move those long before now. I didn't really think through that the new ones were any different."

Naru watches Kunzite flip through her sketchbook to a specific sketch and she looks at it a moment, her expression thoughtful as she does. "That was in a cafe in Germany. I remember the coffee being good, the food being terrible and it was a really restless day. A day of Mom being irritable, and me being surly and sketches not looking like I wanted, and a tweaked ankle on my run.."

Naru nips at her bottom lip and then moves over to reach for the sketchbook herself. She doesn't feel obliged to use tongs, it's not like any energy within is new to /her/ at this point. She flips a few pages forward, to the page(s) of Motivational phrases, taken directly from some hipster cheesetastic 'you got this!' sort of site or book, including some self portraits to add to the effect. "That's what I was embarassed by." She gestures vaguely at the page. "That's why I hid it. It seemed utterly stupid by the time I got home." She frowns a little. "I was going to tear those pages out and burn them, but forgot to bring it home from school that day."

Naru leans forward to set her coffee down to be able to accept pastries and lassi from Endy, glancing down. "At least you're not dosing me secretly with rose honey."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 16:38:44 85715
"That's why we tell you these things are dangerous. Because the first thing that frays is your ability to recognize the problem." Kazuo lays down the tongs on the table, and steps away to make room for the delivery. "That's also part of why we work together. So that we're more likely to notice problems beginning, and catch them before they can reach the critical stage."

He glances aside at the page, then gives Naru a brief, wry smile. "Embarrassment and all." His attention flickers to Kyouko for a moment; then he steps away to acquire a plate for Kyouko. Apparently there will also be curry and biryani. Maybe just to even out the sweet from the pastries.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 16:42:50 85716
    Kyouko seems to take Kunzite's egress as an invitation, and she steps forward.. crossing the distance to where Naru stands in a few quick strides. Her hands move to catch the one Naru had been flipping the pages of the notebook with, holding it between them as she peers into the other girl's face, her red eyes concerned and her eyebrows drawn together.

    "I understand that you wanna get stronger.. and that part of that is experimenting with some stuff that could be dangerous." She says, her voice quiet, intent. "But doing it on your own isn't the way to do it safely. Trust me.. if anybody here knows that, it's me. I spent too long on my own, and paid for it in ways I don't wanna see you, or anybody I care about, have to repeat."

    She squeezes that hand a moment more.. then releases it, taking a step away again, and glancing to one side as if suddenly embarassed by this relatively tame outburst. "You might not officially be a Senshi, or a Shitennou, Naru, but you're still part of the team. Part of our team.. part of my team. You should use us, and what we can offer. To keep you safe, and to keep the people around you safe.. people that you care about and that we care about, too."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 16:49:24 85717
All Endymion actually has to add to this is a faintly diffident reminder, after washing down his current mouthful with his own lassi. "I did say you were in my Court, Hyalite. That does mean something-- it means everything Kyouko just said." A beat, and then he flushes slightly. "Yeah. Not secretly dosing you..."
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 16:57:01 85718
Naru squeezes Kyouko's hand as hers is taken. "I had the time and the attention to experiment in Europe, I didn't intentionally wait until I was away, but that's how it worked out." She pauses and then settles snacks and drinks next to the sketchbook causing all the grief, her attention turning back there. "I haven't done much experimenting since I've been back, which made warnings seem irrelevant, because I wasn't doing much right now."

The frown is thoughtful now, only vaguely edged with confusion. "So.. I need a new location for my art, because I would prefer not to destroy it all. And the sketchbook. And I don't know how to ward things." Naru glances again to Kyouko. "I have to keep getting stronger, to vaguely keep up with the rest of you." She nods in agreement with the notion of wanting to get stronger.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 17:05:35 85719
Kazuo glances over at Naru and Kyouko, then thoughtfully puts together a plate for himself as well. "Getting stronger alone is possible," he says. "But you'll note the people who adhere to that philosophy, and what happens with them on a regular basis. Riventon, for instance. Miss White. They do advance -- if they survive. But they advance slowly, and they often survive only because people who oppose them take steps."

He waits to deliver Naru's food until there's space to do so without getting between her and Kyouko. And he doesn't speak for now to that new location -- listening for what Kyouko has to say about the prospect of keeping that sketchbook. At all.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 17:15:53 85720
    "The problem with getting stronger alone," Kyouko says, with the faint note of experience in her tone, "Is that there's nobody to catch you when you start to make bad decisions about how to go about it. And you might end up doing a lotta stuff you regret later because you didn't have anybody around to say 'hey, maybe you should not do that.'" She quirks her lips to the side in a faint grimace, glancing down, then back at Naru.

    "I want you to keep getting stronger. I just want you to do it safely." She glances at Kunzite as he looks at her, then at the sketchbook. "It's dangerous to leave that around people.. even just you." She says, a frown tugging at her lips. "I.. well. If you don't wanna destroy it, it needs to be warded to prevent the negative energies creeping out and making more mold grow in your brain. I dunno about the rest of your art.. if it's not Witch-like energy I'm not sure I can really help."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 17:21:35 85721
"Neil does wards," suggests Mamoru, "but he might get super itchy because of the kind of energy it is." He looks at Kunzite, then; he doesn't have any other ideas for it, and shifts a little uncomfortably. "Or... um. Maybe store it with a grief cube?"
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 17:29:26 85722
"It.." Naru starts and then pauses. A deliberate pause as she thinks through what the initial instictive reply was, and dissects it before its spoken. "There's some aspects that don't translate well to learning together, because I don't know of anyone ... save Hana.. who does what I do, and she's only close, not the same. But working together /was/ effective, and it was too easy to dismiss that as a fluke."

Naru frowns a little. "I'd rather not distress Neil, but I also would rather not ... perhaps just destroy that page?" The hestitation is clue on how little she wishes to destroy any of it, but she's trying to compromise.

The notion of actually remembering to eat hasn't yet surfaced, not the plate that Kunzite put together, nor the pastries. She hasn't even remembered to drink her coffee.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 17:32:29 85723
"What you need to do," Kazuo says quietly, "is bring in Usagi, or one of the Prism Keepers. The art does not need to be destroyed. The energy in it does. Now, by preference. Before you come near it again, by necessity. Additionally, you need not to be without the company of someone who is aware of the problem until you can be suitably cleansed. This thing is working in you now; we can hear it."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 17:35:02 85724
    Kyouko nods her head in firm agreement. "You can cleanse the art.. um.. I think." She fidgets, then glances over at Kunzite. "Honestly Kunzite knows a lot more about stuff like that, I think, mostly I just destroy stuff. But I don't think the art itself is.. evil. Just whatever energy got attached to it." She eyes the sketchbook. "I thought it was a Familiar when I first got near it. That's what it feels like." She reaches over for a bite of the food that Kunzite brings near, conveying it into her mouth without much conscious attention.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 17:41:46 85725
"Well," says Mamoru, hesitating a little, "if purification doesn't work-- as it tends not to when it comes to Witches or soul gems-- I still think maybe sitting a grief cube on top of the sketchbook to soak the despair stuff out of it might be a potential fix. For that. It's not like it would need a grief seed, since it's not doing anything. If you've got that in you instead of dark energy, then... maybe the same thing. But it also needs to get-- you need to stop acquiring it too, and I don't know which came first, the sketchbook or your black mold."
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 17:48:29 85726
"All of it?" Naru asks before she can even stop herself, a quick glance to Kunzite. "Even the early stuff?" She pauses and then nods. "Right. Purify it all. Or... soak it up." She glances to Mamoru at his amendment and nods slowly. "I don't know either. I mean, that sketch.." She flips back to the one from the cafe. "Is from August. I only know when brain stuff got bad enough to notice, not when it started." She pauses and then notes. "It gets worse, faster now though. It's only been what.. a week? Ten days since you last dug out my head, and it's worse than its ever been again."

Naru winces faintly. "Usagi's purification hurts like hell. Are the prism keeper's purification any gentler?" Not to mention the incoming freak out when Usagi learns that Naru needs purifying. Again.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 17:57:54 85727
Kazuo regards Mamoru for a moment, then puts down his plate to walk back into the kitchen and fetch something out from the cabinet above the refrigerator. The date-labelled tupperware is probably getting familiar at this point. Particularly to Kyouko, since the Sakuras are usually the recipient when they cycle them out. This is probably, overall, a concession that Mamoru's likely-enough right.

Kazuo hands it to Kyouko rather than to Naru, then notes quietly, "If Mercury's available, she could conceivably run scans to monitor the problem. And to look for other places where it might have spread. I don't know whether the Prism Keepers' purification is actually gentler; I haven't particularly experienced it without a number of other things going on simultaneously. Orange's might be the most likely to leave the art proper intact. Her fish usually seem relatively innocuous. Perhaps they are actually so."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 18:00:20 85728
    Kyouko frowns slightly when Naru admits that her 'brain stuff' is worse than it's ever been again after so short a period, and she reaches out to squeeze the other girl's hand again, chewing faintly on her lower lip. But then she releases that grip in order to accept the tupperware from Kunzite, eyeing it for a moment before popping it open.

    "Well, worth a try I guess." She says, with a mild shrug. It wasn't something that had occured to her, but perhaps Mamoru was indeed right- Grief Cubes can suck Witch corruption out of a Soul Gem. Maybe they can suck it out of a sketchbook, too. She pulls out one of the small black cubes and places it on top of the sketch in question before withdrawing her hand.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 18:03:40 85729
Mamoru meets that regard; when Kazuo moves to go get the grief cubes, he puts his glass and fork down and brings his knees up to put his arms around them. He's still sitting on the floor between coffeetable and couch, he's just a little more folded there now.

After a moment he adds, "You can also try Amulet Heart and Platinum Royale. I know for certain that Amu's purification is remarkably gentle; Usagi was jealous when Amu used it on her, the summer before this past. I'm not sure how Tadase's feels, just that it exists."
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 18:12:45 85730
Naru watches the retrieval of the tupperware and the setting of the Grief Cube upon her sketch. She watches it a moment and then notes almost absently. "I can't actually sense the energy unless I'm actively working with it and I'm thinking that I'll get duct taped in a corner if I try working with anything in that sketchbook at the moment, so let me know if that does anything."

"I would like to leave the art intact." Naru nods slowly. "I'm not sure how much purifying my art is going to backlash on me, probably at least some." She frowns a little, thinking things through. "Orange tweaks the ego somewhat, and I'm struggling already. She is another artist, however. I.. probably am not actually currently qualified to choose who is going to purify my art, because I can come up with many excellent reasons not to call anyone."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 18:18:11 85731
"There are others," Kazuo says, "If you'd prefer it not be her. Mercury, though --" He glances toward Mamoru, and then says, "I need to talk with her anyhow. If there's any possibility that the trouble you're having is a consequence of the trouble I've been having, we need all the data we can get."

After which he reclaims his plate and moves to sit by the folded Mamoru.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 18:24:50 85732
    Kyouko snorts faintly at the mention of duct-taping Naru in the corner, shooting her a look with various connotations that hold at least a hint of amusement. "I think it's working." She then says, with regards to the Cube. "It feels.. less. I dunno. It's slow, if it's doing anything. Best just leave it there for a while."

    Then she eyes Kunzite as he mentions trouble he's having, and she scowls faintly. "I'm startin' to think I'm the only one around here who's not fucking falling apart in some way or another. Lucky for all of you I am, as ever, genki as shit." She smirks faintly.. then sighs. "So um.. intervention successful?"
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 18:32:59 85733
"Yeah," answers Mamoru, leaning his head against Kunzite's knee. "I think so. Also since Reiko's an artist who uses art in magic, Naru, it might be a good idea to try working with her. If your ego can't handle a fourth grader coping with your shit then I guess ask her to henshin to princess form, it makes her look older for some reason. But I can also try and get hold of Amu and Tadase. They've been kind of under the radar lately." He just looks unhappy about Mercury but doesn't say anything.
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 18:37:49 85734
"I think there's supposed to be more tears and hand wringing, based on American television. I think I missed the direction note about screaming, throwing things and storming out at least once too." Naru comments to Kyouko on the notion of successful interventions.

"Hey, leave me some of my inadequacy hang ups when a fourth grader pants me at an art show, hmm?" Naru notes back to Mamoru. "I am not going to be held responsible for her nightmares." She has little illusion about the subject of her work, even when it's not full of dark energy. These are not happy little trees with happy little clouds.

"Mercury probably should add to her already fairly thick file on 'ways Naru has arsed herself up this time', just for comparison's sake." Naru nods to Kunzite and then frowns at him a touch. "Does your trouble relate to your henshin?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 18:42:22 85735
"Yes," Kazuo answers Naru, straightforward enough. "I was already having trouble with energy capacity; after we resettled me in my body after the entire stealing-linker-cores incident, the interface seems not to have quite taken right. I expected it to get better over time. It hasn't. Some of the problems are known to be psychological in origin; we have a method of tackling those lined up that's waiting for the people handling that to have time to breathe. If the problem is spreading, though, we need to know, and either speed that process up or find an alternative."

He pauses and glances sidelong at Kyouko, eyebrows quirking upright. "Neil's fine. As long as you don't mention Witches in front of him. Even so, he's down to two minutes of being unable to cope from two hours."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 18:47:22 85736
    Kyouko eyes Naru. "Babe, you're in good company for arsing yourself, believe me. If you ever had any doubt that you belong in this group, that should be evidence enough. Still, let's stop short of it actually turning you evil, huh? While I have a pretty good track record of stabbing people I like turning out okay, it's the sort of record I don't like putting to the test very much."

    Then she glances to Kunzite again, and shrugs her shoulders. "Well, glad there's at least two of us on our feet.. but that is kinda worrying, if whatever's going on is contaigous." She glances at Mamoru again, her brows bunching again, recalling her recent conversation with Kunzite and Nephrite about such things.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 18:59:02 85737
"I don't think henshin problems are contagious," says Mamoru crankily, still sitting there hugging his legs and leaning his head against Kazuo's knee. "If they were, then wouldn't I have had a problem before now? I mean aside from whatever you noticed that I didn't notice and you decided not to tell me about. And just for the record, the planet's not screaming like it did when Fiore's puppetmaster was biting it a lot. I don't feel sick." Then, specifically at Kazuo, "And the caracal's been yelling at you about your wires being loose for like forever."

Endymion doesn't address how bizarrely jealous he feels over someone else having to fix a problem of Kunzite's. He doesn't want to know which of the seven deadly sins is actually fuelling it. He rolls his head a little, taking his glasses off in the process so they don't dig into his temple, and eyes Naru. "Those judges were totally biased."
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 19:05:50 85738
"To the best of my knowledge, I'm less going evil and more turning non-functional." Naru points out to Kyouko as she watches the grief cube sit on her sketchbook. Possibly waiting for the clouds to part, and sunlight break though the haze in her head. Even if that's really not how this is going to work, and she knows it.

Naru turns her attention to Kunzite a moment. "I'm not having trouble with henshin, and if anything, magic is going better, not worse. Which sounds like not quite the same thing, but more information is better than not enough."

Naru glances to Endy at his cranky comments. She can't claim a monopoly on cranky. "And I currently have the emotional depth of a puddle in a drought to work through such logical responses as 'biased judges'. Which I can see, when I'm sitting here and second guessing every single thing I think, and every single reaction.. but gut instinct? Not ideal. Never is ideal. Never /was/ ideal."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 19:16:47 85739
There's a split-second of consideration. But there is protecting Naru from having to know some things, and protecting Endy from having to -- and then there is cranky prince, and there is /showing/ Naru, and her faulty gut instinct, that they'll talk to her if she doesn't shut them out.

"Five days after you found Naru's mold problem," Kazuo says down to Endy, "you thought Usagi was in the Crown, and she wasn't. I've been watching since then. Usually you're still right about where we are. Occasionally wrong. Very occasionally, you say you don't know. It seemed like something to watch; it might have been natural, or might have been nothing to worry about, or might only have made you fret over it. But now things are apparently bad enough for you to notice on your own. Which means we lose nothing by trying to figure out how to monitor the problem."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 19:19:25 85740
    "Oh, fuck you." Kyouko snaps back at Mamoru, irritation at his crankiness flaring, though it's really just residual stress from everything going on with Naru and stuff finding a convinient outlet. "I can't keep shit secret and you know if, if I noticed anything you'd probably know I noticed before I know I noticed it. I'm the one with all these non-stabbable problems being presented, what the fuck do I know about psychological crap? I'm so far out of my depth I feel like an angler fish on Mt. Everest. But if there's something wrong with you, either of you," her suddenly heated gaze encompassing Kunzite as well, "you bet your ass I'm gonna try and figure out what's causing it. Cause you assholes mean the world to me."

    She scowls at him a moment later.. then scowls at Naru. "And as for you, missy, you are going to get purified or whatever and be cheerful again or so help me, I am going to have to do something catastrophically romantic and I don't think anyone here wants to have to deal with the fallout from that inevitable trainwreck."

    Then she seems to realize what she just said, and her face turns red and she shoves a piece of naan in her mouuth to stop it from running out of control any longer.
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 19:30:02 85741
Naru pauses in the flare of cranky all around to reach for her coffee and take a sip before Kyouko gets to the 'catastrophically romantic' and 'inevitable trainwreck' bits and then she damn near has coffee up her nose.

Coughing rather than spewing coffee everywhere, Naru leans over to settle a kiss upon a blushing cheek. "That is so very not incentive to get purified, you know that right? I so wanna see that." She gives the other girl a nudge, shoulder to shoulder before looking between Kunzite and Mamoru.

"There is a whole lot of 'not entirely running to spec' going on around here." Naru comments. "All around the same time too. I can see how you would wonder about connections, Kunzite."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 19:55:27 85742
Mamoru makes a little face at Naru. "Well let me know what I should say when you neg yourself. Anything that won't prompt you to tell me that you know intellectually but can't actually believe it. I can't say nothing, either, because then you'll just think I'm agreeing." He doesn't quite stick his tongue out, but the element's somewhere in his voice. When introverts with varying levels of self-esteem issues clash, clickbait at 11.

He does stick his tongue out at Kyouko. "Fuck you too, I was mostly yelling at Kunzite because secrets don't make friends." A beat. Interest, as Naru gets coffee almost up her nose. "If you do something catastrophically romantic, let me know so I can film it."

The prince cranes his neck to look up and back and to the side at Kunzite as he answers, having to shift position a little to make it work. And... he frowns, thinking about it, head tipping back down. "And you were in trouble. And when I woke up from having passed out-- it was my armor henshin that it happened with, by the way, not the tuxedo-- I could tell something was wrong but not who or what, not until I actually got close. So, uh, if you need me, just in case, definitely push the beepy thing on your fancy wristwatch."

It's something Naru says at the end that makes Endymion frown, then. "Connections..."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 19:59:46 85743
Kazuo reaches to ruffle fingers through Mamoru's hair. "Limited secrets," he agrees gravely. And watches with interest as Naru attempts to become a caffeine-breathing entity. Catastrophe indeed. "Naru," he says, "you may have noticed, but now and then your girlfriend is the only one of us with any sense."

He's listening for anything the others might come up with. But it may very well not be tonight.
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 20:16:59 85744
"If I had some grasp on how not to be a dumbass in my own head, I wouldnt have ended up hiding the sketchbook." Naru points out to Mamoru. "I'm begging an exception for non-coping at the moment. Ask again when coping mechnisms have been brought back online."

Naru sets her coffee down to be able to reach for a plate of food, although getting THAT up her nose isn't going to be any better if someone says something delightfully snarky.

"My girlfriend is often full of good sense." Naru agrees with Kunzite. "Especially when I am not. What about connections, Endy?"
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 20:27:45 85745
    Kyouko just blushes even more as Naru kisses her cheek, and then people praise her for her good sense, which despite the tone she can't help but feel is somehow making fun of her, because her opinion of her own good sense is variably very high and very low depending on the situation (usually one, then the other in sequence). She doesn't say anything else for the moment.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 20:37:44 85746
"I don't know," says the prince, leaning his head into the hair ruffle as much as possible; Kunzite can instantly pick up how much he wants that contact. The strengthening of that connection, rather than the attenuation suggested by changes in distance having an effect on how well he can perceive the state of his Shitennou. "Kunzite says that's what my power's focus is, sort of. I guess. But I don't know what that would have to do with my henshin issue, just what it has to do with my not being able to tell where people are. On the other hand, if you've got an issue and we've got a connection, and Kunzite's got an issue and we've got a connection, maybe the way my stuff works is spreading poison around."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 20:44:18 85747
"If you think that sounds like we are also volunteering to be purified simultaneously," Kazuo says drily toward Naru, "yes. Yes, it does."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-30 20:47:26 85748
    Kyouko suddenly finds herself bizarrely jealous as she listens to Mamoru, a faint frown touching her features. "Wait.. so does that mean that if nothing's wrong with me, maybe something is wrong with your connection to me?" She asks, "...or am I just being paranoid?"
Mamoru Chiba 2017-10-30 21:31:36 85749
Endy grinches down a little further, looking kind of defensive. "I don't know," he says in protest. "This is why Mercury even though she's always been scary about this kind of thing before. I don't know. If you guys are done then I'm going to go do my o-chem chapter. I'm just getting frustrated and it's not gonna help anyone. I'll," he says, withdrawing and getting up, then swiping more biryani, "tag Amu and Tadase and I guess Reiko unless Kazuo's got her."

It's not a flounce in any way. It's a sidestep. A sidestep all the way out of the room.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-30 21:39:16 85750
Kazuo swipes at Endy's hand lightly as he gets up, not prolonging the contact. "Go ahead and tag her," he says to the twitchy prince. "I know Yellow better, and I haven't spoken to either of them in a long time."

He turns his attention to Kyouko. Then says more quietly, once Endy's out of hearing: "Something's wrong with his connection to me. With his connection to Neil. With his connection to Usagi. If nothing turns out to be wrong with his connection to you, then that in and of itself will be notable."
Naru Osaka 2017-10-30 21:48:26 85751
"And I feel like I have no connections at all, which isn't so unusual in a magical sense." Naru pauses and frowns again before leaning on Kyouko, the literal side of gaining support from one's girlfriend. "But in an emotional sense might be colouring things." She gives a little shake of her head. "There's too many unknowns, too many questions and we aren't going to get anywhere without pulling more people in. Mercury and a purification team and hey.. perhaps the silica gel for crap energy on my sketchbook will make everything better." Naru doesn't sound convinced, but she glances to it anyhow before back to the pair of them.

"Dinner and let more pieces happen." Naru pauses and then takes a slow breath. "Thank you for the intervention." It's only moderately grudging. The grief cube isn't /that/ fast.