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Kazuo and Seishi discuss possible intervention in Kazuo's dreams.

Date: 2017-11-01
Pose Count: 13
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-01 00:50:40 85790
Halloween was not much of a Thing when Kazuo was growing up, or at least it wasn't for Kazuo. But the comings and goings from various costumed parties are very much a Thing this year, nevermind the costume last year or the costume he may or may not have enforced on him later tonight. He eyes a cluster of heavily-made-up men in identical orange as they file out the door, and takes refuge in the coffee and plain roll that he has to keep him busy while he waits.

(Of course he was early.)

(And, fortunately, given who runs the place -- of course the pumpkin spice is safe.)
Seishi Tamashige 2017-11-01 01:02:05 85792
At least Seishi is not in costume. In fact, judging by her school uniform and the school bag she's toting, she hasn't even been home as of yet. She pauses at the entrance only for a moment, eyes scanning the coffee shop and quickly homing in on that long white hair. Kazuo's not hard to find, even in a crowd.

She lifts a hand to wave to him, but detours by the counter to order a ginger milk tea before heading over to where Kazuo has seated himself.

"Were you waiting?" she asks, a little anxiously. "I'm sorry if I'm late."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-01 01:09:54 85796
"You're not late," Kazuo assures her. "I only thought it might be easier for you to spot me in the throngs than the other way around. Only a few of the costumes are taller than I am, after all." Pity the ones which involve stilts. Tokyo's better about ceiling heights than it once was, but still. "Thank you for coming."
Seishi Tamashige 2017-11-01 01:29:30 85799
The explanation gets a lopsided smile. "Well," Seishi concedes, settling into a seat opposite him, "you're not wrong."

Her school bag is stashed next to her chair, and Seishi shakes her head at the thanks. "It's not a problem. You've helped me out enough, after all. I'm glad you've decided it's time to do something about your dreams."

There's a pause while she sips her tea before Seishi adds, dark eyes very serious, "There are some things that we should probably talk about first, though."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-01 01:33:03 85800
"I can't imagine that one less thing for your acquaintance to grumble about will make any difference in the overall volume," Kazuo says with his usual deadpan. "But it might be progress of a sort, nonetheless."

He inclines his head to Seishi at her addition, hands lacing about his half-empty coffee cup. "So I would expect. Is there anything in particular you'd prefer to start with?"
Seishi Tamashige 2017-11-01 01:51:19 85803
She winces a little, smiling wryly. "He does pretty much only have the one setting," she agrees. "But it's good to head off a problem before it becomes a crisis. It'll make a refreshing change."

Another sip from her tea, and then Seishi sets the cup down and lets her hands rest one over the other on the table. "The thing is..." She hesitates, glancing away briefly before she makes herself go on. "...this kind of thing isn't really an exact science. Especially when it's your mind talking to itself instead of something from the outside corrupting your dreams. It's possible that if I go in trying to help, your mind could turn it around on you and make things worse."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-01 02:02:00 85808
"That's possible," Kazuo agrees, steady and even. Maybe he only has the one setting, too. "Especially since the dreams that seem to upset people the most are more memory than fantasy. But Mamoru says you were able to help him with a similar problem. And there is ..." He trails off for a moment. "There are a couple of other symptoms that may be related, manifesting in entirely different ways or places. I can show you, if you believe the information would be useful or necessary, though I can't show you here. So doing nothing is not an acceptable option."

He pauses for a moment, regarding Seishi. "Do you have any suggestions for safeguards that might be taken, to minimize or avoid complications of that nature?"
Seishi Tamashige 2017-11-01 02:30:03 85815
Surprise flashes quickly over Seishi's face, followed by concern. "May be related? That's not a good sign, if they are connected. What kind of symptoms?"

Rather than wait for his reply, however, she muses on, attention turned partly inward as she thinks back. "With Chiba-san, his dreams were repeating the same event, over and over. I don't know how much he told you about what happened, but for him, it turned out that breaking the cycle was enough. The other him - the past self in his dream - was aware of what was going on, when I spoke to him. That probably helped."

She breathes in, returns her focus fully to Kazuo. "If the worst of your nightmares are memories like that, then maybe taking the same kind of approach could help. Just the fact that your conscious self knows me, and will know that I'm going into your dreams to help you, will help to work in our favor. But I'd like to know more about your dreams, too. I've seen a bit, but the more context that I can understand, the more maybe I'll know what is or isn't okay to poke at. If that makes sense?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-01 03:01:23 85823
Kazuo answers none of that, therefore, until Seishi's focused on him again and finished both. He does take a drink of his coffee. Before it's had time to grow cold. Mamoru would probably tease him about it, if he were here.

"The other symptoms are metaphysical," he says. "It would be easier to show you than to explain. The dreams..." He frowns down at his coffee. Then, for equal time, at Seishi's ginger milk tea. "You're familiar with past-life problems. To say the least. Like Mamoru, I dream about them. A number of issues from this life, Mamoru and I have been able largely to work through over time. Many of them remain unpleasant, but they -- generally do not carry the same weight; they are horrors, but most of them do not draw me into them.

"But there are -- others, that are not so easy to work through with him. He'll want to be involved if he can, but -- Some of them are from after I knew him, mistakes that I made and things that I agreed to that permitted me to fall from grace, that permitted the event that he was trapped dreaming of to happen. He has forgiven me these things. But the consequences remain. And it would be a particular weight on him to have to observe what he thinks of as his failing, time and again."

(Some things it is very easy to say as a projection onto others, and very difficult to say as a fear of one's own.)

"And then there were things that happened before I knew him. I was assigned as his bodyguard when that earlier self of his was very young; he did not have enough experience of other human beings to understand that anything might be unusual, and never came to that understanding later. But I am given to understand that, given what he knows of people now, I was recognizably damaged at the time."

Kazuo pauses, watching a flock of girls with fairy wings pass; the glitter is real, the wings are not, and he finishes his coffee before saying anything else. "In that life -- when I was eight, a political dispute ended with a distant relative of my father's destroying the place where I grew up. I survived because I already had a certain control of my abilities, because my parents had had the forethought to keep that secret, and because the soldiers assigned to kill my sister and myself were in a hurry. I hid and kept a low profile, and was able eventually to find someone willing to train me as a soldier myself in trade for the use of those abilities; that gave me enough practice that, when we came into direct contact with my relative, I was able to use his own magic to kill him. That's what won me that bodyguard post. And that's the dream you drew me out of, when I was a child."
Seishi Tamashige 2017-11-01 03:27:44 85824
That, right there, was a visible flinch when Kazuo mentions Seishi's personal experience with past life problems, although perhaps he was too occupied with frowning at their respective drinks to see it. She swallows it hastily, glancing away. And, a moment or two later, picks up her milk tea to wash it down while she listens to him speak.

When he's done, she sits for a little while, silently digesting. It's a lot to process; it takes her some time before she replies, speaking slowly. "All right," she says. "I would like for you to show me those side effects, either when we leave here, or later. You must have a reason for thinking they might be connected."

She breathes in, not quite steadily, before she goes on. "Guilt is going to work against us, in your dreams. If they're your subconscious punishing you with those memories, it'll try to twist anything we do to feed itself. Chiba-san knows you better than I do, so letting him be involved might help, but in the end, that's up to you and him."

Once more she sips at her tea, distractedly, a delaying action. She's not looking at Kazuo. "I do know about past life problems," she says quietly. "And being damaged. You should know, before we take this further - during the fight with the Nightmare Prince..."

Her voice trails off, and with a quick little shake of her head she skips over wherever that was headed. "To be honest, I'm not sure I'm qualified for this. If there were anybody else who was, I'd send you to them instead, but the only expert I know is Ariel and I don't want to lay something like this on her. Not with what your dreams are."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-01 03:41:54 85825
"They would -- not be good for Ariel, no. She is gentle."

Kazuo has run out of coffee to stare at. This is slightly awkward.

"With the Prince --" He glances up to meet Seishi's eyes. "I do not know your nightmares. But I think many of us had dreams that were parallel. That we dreamed of failing the people or the ideals that we held most sacred. I don't believe that those dreams were predictive. I believe instead that those things being our nightmares speaks well for us. Because if we know how we fear we might fail at some trust, then we know better how to keep it instead."
Seishi Tamashige 2017-11-01 04:02:19 85826
Her head inclines a little, acknowledging the truth of his assessment. "Not... predictive, no. But you're not the only one who has to live with the failures of a previous life."

She draws in a deep, steadying breath, lets it out in a sigh. And finally looks up to meet Kazuo's eyes again. "It is what it is, I guess. I just thought you'd better know, before you let me start digging into your dreams trying to fix anything."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-01 04:04:54 85827
"What you did then is one thing," Kazuo says quietly. "It contributes to who you are, yes. But it does not control who you are. And I have seen ..." He trails off for a moment, then shakes his head. "I've seen your flowers."

As if that meant something. Maybe it does.

"When you're ready to go, then, I can show you the rest."