Surprise Meter, Busted

Naru, Kazuo, and Kukai fill Ami in on the Alexis rescue.

Date: 2017-11-21
Pose Count: 51
Naru Osaka 2017-11-21 20:04:00 86928
ECFH has been the hub of a lot of quiet (and not so quiet) activity over the last very short while. Dramatic arrivals and people recouperating, and visitors bearing food. It's quiet for the moment. Long term guests are sleeping (or otherwise quiet) in their respective rooms, and those who actually live here are elsewhere. Possibly even at school. It happens!

Naru has taken over the coffee table, knelt on the floor as she works on a watercolour painting. Full of greys and browns, the forest that she's detailing is anything but friendly.
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 20:06:23 86929
Ami enters the ECFH by the front door, instead of teleporting in. She is dressed in her school uniform and carries her bag, which she places beside her shoes after taking them off. She nods to Naru and wanders over.

"That looks, well, um. It's well drawn, but not very welcoming," she observes, as she kneels across from her friend.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-21 20:10:12 86930
Voices do not instantly prompt one of the residents to turn up. It takes almost a minute for Kazuo to extract himself from the room he was keeping an eye out in, probably by way of one of the other boys taking over the spot. "Good afternoon," he says to Ami with a polite bow, then glances down at Naru's painting. From a distance. "Is that the one you mentioned earlier, Naru?" he inquires, while taking himself quietly to the kitchen. State of coffee: checked, and started if necessary. State of refrigerator: Ami's preferred soft drink acquired in preparation. A year and a half of being assigned as Makoto's at-whim kitchen minion does not have Kazuo remotely up to her level, but a few things he's learned.
Naru Osaka 2017-11-21 20:13:49 86931
"No. It's really not welcoming." Naru agrees as she glances up at Ami and then follows her as she settles. She twists at Kazuo's voice and nods. "Yeah, this is the one. Should be clean, I declined to tempt fate /that/ much." She hasn't got a coffee of her own, the potential of mixing it up with a paint cup is just entirely too high at the moment. And ew.

"Fits in with the story, however. If not 'til the end." Naru explains to Ami as she starts cleaning her brush in anticipation of letting things dry before continuing. "The super quick, spoilers galore version is that we found Alexis, rescued him and he's here and hopefully will regain consciousness sooner rather than later."
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 20:16:17 86932
Ami nods, frowning a little. "It's very good, though," she murmurs of the painting. Then there is Kazuo; she smiles up at him. "Hello. May I have a drink, please?" she asks, as she notices Kazuo go into the kitchen. Then she looks back to Naru.

"I take it there's a super long, even more spoilery version?" Her eyebrow quirks as she looks at the artist. "Is he injured? Should I scan him?" She takes a breath, to remain calm. "I would like to anyway, once he's awake enough to consent to it."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-21 20:24:08 86933
"We can always make certain, but I'd be surprised if there were trouble this soon after Tsukiko's intervention," Kazuo answers Naru. "Interested, yes. But surprised." Coffee, therefore, definitely started. And he fetches a glass of Ami's preferred drink out to her, along with a plate for both girls: a few of (probably the last of) the scones Naru baked yesterday, squares of frosted cake small enough to qualify as fingerfood, a handful of donuts that suggest strongly Lacrima's been in the area. Universal occurrence: when emergencies happen hard enough, food quality starts falling over to the sugar side. Not that Usagi ever complains.

The questions? Naru gets first crack at those.
Naru Osaka 2017-11-21 20:41:04 86936
"I think my surprise meter is busted.. but I would be interested." Naru nods to Kazuo in agreement as she reaches for a cloth to dry a brush on. Maintenance first, THEN sugar.

Naru returns her attention to Ami and nods. "Scan is probably a super good idea. He didn't have any obvious physical injuries, although to me I think he's lost weight, but I haven't seen him with his shirt off since before he was dead, so that might from that and not from this particular experience." There's a little frown as she sorts out how she wants to infodump. "So building on that spoilery bit.. we went to the warehouse, found it extremely well guarded once we found the underground part. A Device lead us to Alexis in a stasis tube, unconscious. Breathing, alive, but wired up and unconscious. We broke him out, his mother took grave offense and doubled down on the attacking, gravely wounding Kukai. So Lacrima dusk stepped us to here. Which sounds easy, but decidedly not. She was bleeding, Kukai was bleeding everywhere, and Alexis unconscious. At this point, we're down to just an unconscious Alexis." Naru pauses there, quirking her head to think of how many highlights she just hit, and glances briefly to Kazuo to see what he has to add to the short form version before back to Ami.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-21 20:49:16 86937
"By 'extremely well guarded,'" Kazuo says evenly, "Naru means standard modern security aboveground, but belowground a facility that may have had some ability to resist being incorporated in a Device user's little protect-the-civilians dimensional barrier. And that had several dozen magic-supported technological construct guards available for the first wave of security response; there were multiple waves. The lab that Raskoph was being held in was also constructed specifically to trap rescuers; his mother broke the aforementioned dimensional barrier in one blow, which is something less than easy, and reconfigured the lab's floor remotely to impale Sky Jack with a spear. Lacrima is at this point stable. Kukai remains injured but is recovering, and has been awake and conversational. Raskoph has not awakened; we don't know his mental or metaphysical condition at all. Lacrima brought the helpful Device out of the warehouse; it calls itself Kriegsfauste, and believes that Raskoph is, at least, unlikely to try to go home when he awakens."

Just a quiet, calm series of pieces of information, paced for relatively easy absorption. At least he doesn't sound like he's discussing the upcoming week's weather for once; his expression and body language are at ease, but consonants here and there are bitten off just enough to suggest that something about the situation still has him angry.
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 20:51:50 86939
Ami seems... surprised. Which is telling, for the seasoned senshi. "I wish I could have been there. You sound like you could've used the assist." She frowns deeply, but this is mostly at herself at the level of security. She sips from her drink and takes a bite of a chocolate donut, thoughtful at how angry Kazuo is. It gives her pause, and she looks up at the tall Shitennou. "What's got you upset about all of this the most?" she asks finally, aftr drinking and eating a bit.
Naru Osaka 2017-11-21 20:55:58 86941
"That was going to be pass three." Naru notes to Kazuo as he clarifies all of the details to get from her 8-bit explanation to at least standard def explanation. There's a waggle of Naru's hand. "We had a healthy group who was already hitting peak cat herding for poor Rashmi, so while absolutely more skills would have been awesome, I'm fairly comfortable with not endangering more people directly. We're not done yet by any stretch."

Brushes put away, Naru uncurls to take her cup of paint filled water to the kitchen to wash before she, or someone else, drinks it by accident.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-21 21:03:24 86944
"It's also possible that the Device may have information that would be almost as useful to you as having been there," Kazuo notes. "If it retained it, and if it can share it." ... as usual, he apparently views Ami's potential presence as something the rest of them would have been support for, rather than the other way around.

He considers Ami's question for him for a moment, turning it over. "Raskoph's mother," he says, "has a number of hallmarks of having been operating at a reasonably high level for a considerable time. Granted, her work was largely in Europe, which has never been an area I focused on. But I am angry that I did not suspect her existence, or her operation's, either when I was working in a similar area, or more recently. It's true that working with reasonable security is not compatible with Mamoru's present goals. But I find I take our lapses personally all the same. Particularly when they lead to Sky Jack nearly dying."
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 21:08:40 86945
Ami Mizuno frowns deeply. "I see. I would like to speak to the Device, if possible." Then she watches Kazuo as he speaks, his discomfort so very similar to something she's experienced before. "I understand. So the next goal is to take down Alexis-san's mother." It's not a question, just a quiet observation, as she looks at Kazuo wih compassion. "This... sounds like one doozy of a fight coming up."
Kukai Souma 2017-11-21 21:16:40 86946
So while bed rest is important for someone to heal from a major wound, it is also horrifically boring. Especially when some auburn-haired girl is telling you there's a big group of people just down the hall all talking. So, socks on, sit up, shirt on over clean white and faintly brown bandage, stand up, regret standing up a lot because your stomach muscles handle a lot of your balance when you're standing up, and slowly walk down the hallway for Kukai Souma. This is probably not the best idea for minimizing the amount of damage he's been dealt recently, but a: he's tough, b: he's stubborn, and c: he is painfully bored.

Kukai enters just in time to hear Ami mention the Device. "Was that the sort of German voice thing that was screaming when we left? I couldn't understand a word of it. Also, yeah. Alexis's mother." Kukai's face is dark. "We'll handle her. But don't worry, it won't be the worst fight we've ever had. At least nobody's died yet." With that uncharacteristically morbid comment Kukai finds a seat on the floor cushions, then grins weakly. "Sorry. I am not at top form right now." He thumps the cushion, then chuckles, wincing and holding his stomach. "I kept wanting to come hang out at the ECFH. Now that I'm here it's not quite what I had in mind."
Naru Osaka 2017-11-21 21:18:26 86947
"Honestly Kunzite.." Naru calls from the kitchen over the bing of her phone and the fetching of coffee and the rinsing of her cup. "I'm /baffled/ as to how she's stayed so underground for so long too, but I think someone's been actively covering for her. That's the only logical explination I've come up with."

Naru pokes her head back out from the kitchen, coffee in hand as she heads back to the coffee table. "Kukai's awake, he might shuffle his way out here." She notes as she glances to her phone.

"Every time I bump into a Device, I realize that they are complete mysteries to me. From language to operation, I got nothing. It seems pretty devoted to Alexis though, and not his mother." Naru glances over as Kukai makes her prediction of his appearance come true and she watches him settle. "What would you like to drink while I'm up?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-21 21:24:15 86949
"Yes," Kazuo says to Kukai's question about the screaming thing. "For some reason, the Device that Raskoph was planned to be working with is habitually about as quiet as a punch to the face. Clearly no-one could have expected this."

(Kazuo's opinion of Alexis and subtlety is pretty openly that the two should not be put in the same sentence. Then again, he works with Nephrite, so that's not exactly a complaint.)

He regards Kukai for a moment, then rises and steps out of the room; when he returns, not more than half a minute after, he's carrying two folded blankets. These are set down beside Kukai's chosen floor cushions without comment.

"That seems likely," he says aside to Naru. "Alternatively, she could conceivably have recently been possessed by a malevolent spirit formerly in a different host. One wonders about his father, really. Perhaps Raskoph will talk about the pair of them now. We can hope. We're going to need considerably more information, and soon."
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 21:27:01 86951
Ami drinks her lemonade as she thinks, watching Kukai. "Hello, Kukai, I trust you're feeling less like death now." It's meant to be polite, sweet even. But it's a bit rough coming from the bluenette as she looks back to Kazuo bringing the blankets in. She is silent, still thinking. Then, finally, she pipes up with, "If the Device won't speak to anyone but Alexis, I should probably attend to him as soon as possible. And you said Lacrima is doing all right, Kazuo?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-21 21:29:57 86953
Kazuo inclines his head to Ami in confirmation of Lacrima's status. "She was ... particularly unwell after transporting the group of us, particularly with the precautions necessary to transport the group safely through the Dusk Zone." Also known as 'the place where horrors come from.' Well, some horrors. Well, some of the horrors that aren't home-grown on Earth. "But some time ago she left with us an emergency kit, against the chance that Seth Locke, who at the time was a new and nearly uncontrolled energy vampire, would come here in a crisis. We still had it. She was able to use it to give herself the ability to recover from the worst of the damage. I wouldn't call her well, even by her standards, but she was capable of conversation."
Naru Osaka 2017-11-21 21:30:10 86954
"Its been yelling at Lacrima on a regular basis, and I think it was answering Kuzite's questions too." Naru leans on the door to the kitchen, loitering there for a few moments with her coffee. "So it's quite fond of Alexis, but it's certainly a chatterbox. Just y'know.. not in Japanese."

"I have hope that he will, Kunzite." Naru nods as she sips from her mug. "I am a little worried for his father, there's been no mention of him, no sighting of him. And I have not discounted the possession potential of his mother."
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 21:35:21 86955
Ami Mizuno tilts her head at Kazuo. "In German, you said?" She taps her lips thoughtfully. "I know how to speak German well enough." Because of course Ami does. She looks to the hallway, presumably where Alexis lies behind a door. "I don't know if we should talk to it with or without Alexis-san awake. It sounds interesting, but I don't want to disturb it if it needs time as well." She looks to Kazuo again for ideas.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-21 21:39:38 86956
"If we can locate it," Kazuo says, "presumably we can inquire of it. Lacrima held it last time I saw." This is entirely the way to make the injured Kukai reassured about the situation. "It didn't seem to have trouble in conversation, yes. Not that I could tell. I don't have much German, and I understand that its language does not map identically, but it's close enough that English gives a few cognates."

He considers that for a moment, then adds, "Terios' Device also appeared to have some data stored about the woman. So speaking with the pair of them," to Rashmi and her Device Nicomachea, "might also be useful."
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 21:42:49 86958
"That's handy," Ami says. She's not often given to sarcasm, but this time it's deep and bitter--a sure sign of mild fatigue in the slight young woman. "Sorry," she apologizes nearly immediately. "I just find it handy that Lacrima has it. I don't trust her, as much as I may like her." Much like her boyfriend? Or whatever he is? Divergence, Ami, don't go down that road.

She rubs her forehead with forefinger and thumb, looking tired. "I wasn't even there and I'm exhausted. Whatever am I going to do when it matters?" She's asking herself, mostly, but anyone chiming in wouldn't be unwelcome.

She pauses, then, and drains her glass. "I'm getting more to drink. Would anyone else like anything? Kazuo, please sit. You're looming over me when I'm seated and it's uncomfortable."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-21 21:57:50 86960
Kazuo pauses for just a moment. He doesn't apologize. He doesn't even look apologetic. He does, however, retreat to one of the chairs in the seating area, choosing a place that's convenient for both Ami's and Kukai's fields of view.

It's entirely possible that the problems at hand have him sufficiently preoccupied that he forgot he was looming. It's also entirely possible that the locals are just so used to it that nobody's called him on it in a few months.

That Ami doesn't trust Lacrima or the situation? That's simply allowed to stand. Maybe he thinks it's reasonable. Maybe it's just not something he wants to dispute now. Most likely something of both.

"The situation's exhausting now," he says quietly to Ami, "because we have too wide a field of extrapolation, and the luxury of time to spend trying to explore it. When it comes to the time that it matters ... there will be a much smaller set of variables in play. In the moment, when your friends are relying on you, you've never failed."
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 22:00:16 86961
Ami returns with more lemonade, after considering Kazuo's words. "I suppose I'm just a worrier, and too cautious." She smiles at him, but faintly, as she returns to her kneeling position in front of the coffee table. She finishes her donut before saying, "Thank you, and thank you for sitting. I shouldn't have been so rude. It was just setting off my anxiety," she explains softly. She sighs. "I want to go for a swim after this. Or play some chess." She gazes out the window.
Naru Osaka 2017-11-21 22:11:29 86964
"Lacrima is an odd one. Because she's at once devoted to Alexis. She doesn't actually like harming her friends, but at the same time, we were actively at odds and fighting on opposite sides when she and Riventon tried to kill us with a train." Naru points out from her own spot looming. She just isn't as /good/ at looming as Kazuo, somethign about the foot or more height difference. "Her devotion to Alexis on this one, however, makes me slightly more confident."

Naru returns as well, to kneel at the coffee table, considering her painting there as it dries.
Kukai Souma 2017-11-21 22:16:33 86965
"So it's perfectly suited to work with Alexis. Funny." Kukai shakes his head and chuckles. He eyes the blankets for a moment, then shifts, moving his cushion onto one and folding the other one up against his middle, so he has something to rest his arms and midsection on. "Thank you."

Kukai nods at Ami. "Heya Ami. I'm doing better. Three steps ahead instead of within grasp, I think. It'll be all right." He rubs his eyes and sighs. "I really, really wish I had passed out when I got stabbed. My eyes were wide open when we went through the Dusk Zone. I was glad that I did pass out when Sayaka and Mamoru were through with me. Wasn't the most restful thing I ever dealt with, though." He's quiet for a minute, then shrugs. "I think... it wasn't so bad. I never went to the Dusk Zone when I was Lacrima, at least, not that I remember, but it..." He rubs his head. "At least it hasn't been bad dreams that I can remember, yet. I woke up sweating last night, but I couldn't tell you why."

Kukai snorts and nods at Ami. "Lacrima is.. At her core I think she's a good person. But also at her core she's made up of dark energy, which means certain things. And that she needs more of it, so she works with the people who use dark energy. Like Riventon and Eclipse. Which means that trusting her with too much can be a major failing."

He eyes that lemonade for a moment. "That looks good." He blinks, then looks at a random wall. Somewhere on the other side of it Daichi has found Luna and Artemis and is busy playing with the cats.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-21 22:25:23 86966
"You were justified," Kazuo says to Ami. "I apologize." Oh, there it finally is. There's a brief crease at the corner of one of his eyes. "When I'm not paying attention, I think of you as Makoto's height. Which wouldn't cause trouble, if I didn't also think of Makoto as only shy an inch or two of Neil's." Of Nephrite's. Whether he means Nephrite's height with or without the hair factored in, well. "So it failed to occur to me that I was capable of looming, where you're concerned."

The discussion about Lacrima he listens to, but doesn't interrupt. Not until Kukai's done. Then inclines his head down toward him and the floor. "It also contributes that Riventon was able to offer her something to stabilize her condition and preserve her sanity. For his own reasons, yes. But she owes him, and he continues to show her consideration. To her, that outweighs the damage he does elsewhere. It makes these things difficult. Still. Other than the train, Riventon's been nearly behaving himself lately."
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 22:27:45 86967
Ami Mizuno stands without words, and goes to get Kukai some lemonade. On her return, she nods her agreement at Naru and Kukai. "Lacrima is interesting." She speaks not of Riventon. Too dangerous. She passes the lemonade to Kukai and sits again. She grins at Kazuo. "Thanks," she says for the apology. And then she quirks a brow. She's still silent on the topic of Riventon.
Naru Osaka 2017-11-21 22:31:54 86968
"Are we taking a pool on that?" Naru asks as she reaches for a piece of cake. "Because there's a number of people who have been eerily quiet, and in the toddler sort of way. Riventon is only one of them."

"I'm sorry that you were awake for the Dusk Zone, Kukai.. but selfishly I'm glad you didn't pass out. It meant we all knew you were still alive, which was really good to keep track of right then and there." Naru reaches over to offer a gentle pat to Kukai's arm.
Kukai Souma 2017-11-21 22:42:48 86971
Kukai laughs. "Kazuo, sorry, but you are practically the walking side of a fortress. You could loom over someone on your stomach. It's ok though." He nods at Ami, grinning, then shrugs back to Kazuo. "Yeah. And I appreciate that, that she's not nearly as crazy as she used to be. But I still worry that when the bill comes to be paid, it'll be a problem."

Kukai looks back over to Ami as she brings in the lemonade, and bows his head to her. "Thank you. Thank you very much." He looks at her silent face for a moment, then rolls his eyes. "Oh man. I completely forgot you and him. It slipped my mind, sorry. Do you remember the time when I was with the Seiyou swim team against your team, and he thought I was flirting with you, so he got in my face? I wish I'd been able to link him with who he was then." He scratches the back of his head. "Maybe not. I don't think busting his nose in front of every swim team in the area would have been a good thing. Maybe, though. We did end up swinging at one another, though." Kukai scratches his head again, then smiles weakly. "And then Sailor Mercury showed up and split us up. Y'know..." He grins widely at her. "I hadn't really been able to talk to you about that since then. The past few times we'd met we'd been busy, or I was chasing the Twins and out of my mind with exhaustion or worry."

Kukai looks up at Naru and then nods. "I guess so. And I got a look at something most people - heck, most mahou - never see." He rubs his eyes. "Even if it looked like hell." He reaches up, squeezing her hand tightly as she pats his arm.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-21 22:45:55 86972
Kazuo gives Kukai a wry glance, but does not dispute the 'side of a fortress' thing. He doesn't dispute the 'in the toddler sort of way' or 'when the bill comes to be paid, it'll be a problem' either, which is less reassuring.

Ami and Riventon and Sailor Mercury ... that isn't his business. And seeing the Dusk Zone --

No. Kazuo's just silent, right now. Maybe he's trying to do that 'part of the architecture' thing while in the chair.
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 22:48:24 86973
Ami Mizuno smiles softly at Kukai. "And we will. Talk, I mean. But not now. Too much going on." That's reserved for later. She glances to Naru. "Riventon is... problematic." This is said with dimplomatic carefulness. "I'm well aware." Her eyes darken a little. Then Kazuo gets a look and she gives him a little smile as well. But she respects his silence.
Naru Osaka 2017-11-21 22:56:04 86975
Naru can't help but laugh softly and nod to Kukai. "Cross it off the bucket list, and all that. I spent more time in the dark kingdom than in the dusk zone, but I'm not exactly looking for post cards of either." There's a brief glance to her watercolour. Clearly art doesn't count as a post card. Besides, it's not exactly the same.

"Riventon is challenging, but not gonna lie.. I don't know Takashi all that terribly well, nor Riventon." Naru gives a little shrug. "I wish I did, but that's unlikely to happen."
Kukai Souma 2017-11-21 23:03:28 86977
Kukai nods to Ami, then tries not to snort when she says 'problematic', busying himself with the lemonade.

Kukai shivers. "Yeah, I guess so. Looked more like the bad end of the bucket list than the good one. And yeah." He looks over at her watercolor and then shakes his head again - she's doing a reasonable job of representing things. "I didn't know either of them very well. They just keep showing up and messing things up in a dark energy sort of way. So..."

Kukai sighs and leans back, staring at his drink, thoughts swirling behind his eyes.
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 23:05:12 86978
Ami nods, eyes closing. "I know. I know," she says softly. "I can't... help it." She's feeling judged for no real reason at all. "I just want to... have a fairy tale, I guess." She glances to Naru's painting. "That's the Dusk Zone, then?" Trying, clumsily, to change the subject.
Naru Osaka 2017-11-21 23:13:04 86979
"I would /like/ to get to know him better. If he's ever willing, let me know." Naru clarifies for Ami, jsut a touch. Which really doesn't seem all that judgey. She's trying!

"More inspired by the Dusk Zone than precisely where we were." Naru gestures to the watercolour. "I've sketches of the field of crabs that we stopped in, but haven't felt obliged to paint it yet." She pauses a moment, as if considering if she's going to continue and then adds after a moment. "This one's from one of my dreams." Which does not say good things about the state of Naru's dreams.
Kukai Souma 2017-11-21 23:40:40 86980
Kukai reaches over and pats Ami on the shoulder. "It's ok. Everybody wants things to go right without the world getting in the way. I feel the same thing about my girlfriend. Life is hard. But if we work for something, we can get there. I still keep the idea that one day we can get him changed, but I don't know when or how. So..." He coughs. "Until then, I still think he needs a punching once in a while."

Kukai scratches the back of his head. "I don't know if I want to get to know him or not. Maybe. It's a hard choice. Maybe." He eyes Ami and nods. "I guess if you said he was ok." He turns to look at Naru's watercolor. "... Yeah. I mean, it's not possible to draw what we saw, I don't think. Even through Rashmi's Barrier. This is more... something we could understand and she can draw." He shakes his head. "... I'm kinda glad it looked like crabs. You can understand crabs. I've never been afraid of crabs. So..." He turns to look at Naru. "Your dreams...? That's some kinda dream."
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 23:42:57 86981
Ami Mizuno nods at Naru. "I will, if it comes up. He's often... defensive. It's hard. But I'll try," she says to the auburn-haired artist. Then she looks at Naru more closely. "Have you been purified yet?"

"I respect that," she says to Kukai a moment later, after looking at Naru worriedly. Then she sighs. "He can be okay. Sometimes. I don't..." She shrugs helplessly, confused and frustrated. She takes a breath, calming herself, and turning back to Naru.

"What next, for you?"
Naru Osaka 2017-11-21 23:49:19 86982
"I have, yeah." Naru nods and gestures vaguely. "Tsukiko did the whole roof.. save Lacrima.. after our jaunt through the dusk zone. It seemed like a reasonable precaution." She leans forward to snag herself another piece of cake, her coffee already long gone. "People are still fascinating, even if I dont' necessarily agree with them and them with me. I have had some absolutely amazing conversation with people that I have fundamental differences of opinion with."

Naru mmms softly at the question of her dreams. "My dreams are .. interesting." Which seems like an understatement of the week.

Ami's question brings a quirk of her head. "In what context?"
Kukai Souma 2017-11-21 23:58:29 86983
Kukai nods to Ami, then grins. "You wouldn't have dated him for so long if he wasn't ok sometimes. I mean I have more faith in your ability to not make yourself suffer." He pats her hand again, then looks over at Naru. "I've had fewer of those. More soccer balls, less questions, for me. I think part of it is that I'm insulting them most of the time." He leans back, letting the girls talk, just enjoying being out of bed for now, even if his stomach hurts.
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-21 23:59:42 86984
Ami grins crookedly at Kukai. "Thank you. Yes." Then she nods at Naru's question. "What.... do you think is next in the cards for you? I don't know. More art?" She's trying, awkwardly, to understand her friend better.
Naru Osaka 2017-11-22 00:13:24 86985
"I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse for an artist to have interesting dreams." Naru gives a rueful little smile to Kukai and reaches over to absently give the blanket around him a little nudge, to tuck it in.

"That.. is a big question." Naru considers Ami's question as she considers, fiddling with the handle on her coffee cup. "Art is a given. That's basically a given. I hope to make a career of it, although in what context, I don't quite know. Be it as a fine artist, or an animator.. which seems unlikely.. or other ways, I'm not sure." Naru looks ever so faintly shy, an unfamilair expression upon her. "I hope to have an art show of my own next year probably.. but that will probably depend on how spectacularly uncomfortable I am in showing some of my more powerful work, much of which is.." She gestures her hand vaguely at the horror themed painting in her sketchbook.
Kukai Souma 2017-11-22 00:55:58 86986
Kukai turns to look at Naru, nodding. "Right, you wanna do art.. I mean, it's all you do." He scratches his forehead and then looks at Naru. "What do you do that isn't art? I've never asked or found out." He nods at the sketchbook. "You're great, you do a lot of art, but... what else do you do?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-22 00:58:33 86987
Kazuo's been silent, but at that question his mouth twitches at one corner. "She confuses ballroom dance classes," he says. No attempt is made to evade any vengeance.
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-22 00:59:27 86988
Ami Mizuno smiles at Naru. "I figured. I was just wondering. You're so good at it. You're like Junji Ito." She blushes a little. "I love his work. You do really well in finding something that's good like his, but making it your own. I'm.... I'm proud of you." Flushing harder, before clearing her throat and turning to Kukai. "What do you do for fun?" the bluenette asks him curiously, before grinning faintly at Kazuo.
Naru Osaka 2017-11-22 01:02:33 86989
Naru blinks at Kukai with theatrically wide eyes. "There's things other than art!?" She gasps, a hand coming to her chest in mock horror at the very idea.

It doesn't last long before there's a soft laugh and a shake of her head. Whatever she was about to answer is paused by Kazuo's answer and she laughs all the harder. "Alright.. there's /that/ too." She waggles a finger at Kazuo. "Careful. There's another session starting in January." Her attention returns to Kukai. "My other current obsession is endurance racing, specifically triathlon at the moment." She gesture to Kazuo. "His fault."

Ami turning her question upon the sports obsessed Kukai lets Naru unfold from the floor and take her coffee cup to the kitchen for a refill. "Anyone else want anything?"
Kukai Souma 2017-11-22 01:29:26 86990
Kukai chuckles at Kazuo, then blinks at Ami. "Who? Uh... Wait, me? I do sports! Baseball, soccer, basketball, skateboarding, snowboarding, tennis, swimming, track and field, rugby, squash - every sport you can think of, I can do it!" He grins. "Maybe not football. I've been practicing my running back work, though, so maybe!" He scratches his head. "Otherwise... eating, hanging out with my girlfriend, listening to music, meeting friends... I don't have a lot of spare time. I patrol King Penguin Park, most evenings when I'm not practicing or doing something."

Kukai snorts at Naru. "No, not really. But.. you do ballroom dancing?" He thinks. "I think between Usagi and Nadeshiko I can dance a little. It's hard, though. I'm not nearly elegant or fashionable enough to dance." He grins. "Ooh. That's another hobby - insulting bad guys. Trying to come up with new insults to work for different situations is hard. Oooh, ooh, and plus, I'm a Guardian of Seiyou Public School, so I have all the jobs and responsibilities that requires too. Plus, school itself." He winces. "Time. That sounds like a good hobby, getting more time."

Kukai ooohs at Naru and nods, then points at her. "We've raced before, I remember you mentioning that. I think I beat you in the sprint, lost you in the long run, and then barely pulled ahead at the end? I felt like my legs were going to fall off afterwards!"

Kukai thinks, looking at his empty lemonade glass, and hands it to Naru.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-22 01:39:33 86991
Kazuo inclines his head to Naru, at her last question. "If I don't start drinking coffee soon," he says, "Mamoru is probably going to throw it at me. Possibly literally."

To Kukai, he says, "Shortly after the group of us moved in with Mamoru here, Naru decided that I needed a hobby. I can't imagine what would have made her think that. She delivered a catalog of evening classes, with suggested items circled. My idea of dancing is ... considerably out of date, so I conceded to a ballroom dance class, and we both attended. Some of the other students came up with interesting theories about how we knew one another. The most impressive one, I believe, resulted in several of them trying to rescue her from the presumably unwelcome arranged marriage. At least, if there were any more impressive, Naru's kept them to herself so far."

He glances at Ami, thoughtful. "And you? Do you dance at all? If it's an intrusive question, of course, I apologize, and you need not answer."
Ami Mizuno 2017-11-22 01:41:03 86992
"I'm good, Naru-chan, thank you." Then she smiles at Kukai. "We should swim together some time. I love to swim." It's about the only exercise she gets, but she does it daily, so it's okay. She blinks at Kazuo. "I do not dance, but I'm willing to learn. I may join you both in January if I can find a partner."
Naru Osaka 2017-11-22 01:47:41 86993
"Two coffees, one lemonade." Naru ventures into the kichen to climb absently on the counter and retrieve a mug for Kazuo. Much easier with a healed up shoulder. The preparation of coffees is an automatic thing. Hers takes somewhat more doctoring than Kazuo's.

"We totally did race, Kukai.. and I figured you were totally crazy in letting me choose the distance. I love long distance, and you're totally a sprint guy." Naru calls from the kitchen, the smile easy to hear in her voice. "If I keep up with training, I aim to do an Iron Man right after I turn eighteen and qualify in Japan. That's the goal. At least until something happens to mess with my plans."

Two coffees, one lemonade emerge, carefully carried in Naru's hands. "You totally needed a hobby." Is the emphatic declaration at Kazuo's words. "And the arranged marriage assumption still makes me giggle. That one took the cake, no competition." She grins brightly at Ami. "You totally should! It was surprisingly a lot of fun. I was rather sad when the course ended."

Drink delivery! Naru offers Kukai his lemonade, before passing Kazuo his coffee. Without throwing it at him.
Kukai Souma 2017-11-22 02:00:34 86994
Kukai nods at Kazuo and then laughs a bit. "Oh no. Oh, no. I have to hear what all they did. And what you two did. That sounds great."

He nods at Ami and grins. "Sure, I'd be happy to swim against you sometimes! It's a lot of fun. I'm not the greatest in the water, but it's entertaining."

Kukai shifts, then stretches out, trying to keep his stomach from being too much in pain, then nods to Naru as she comes back in. "Well..." Kukai coughs. "....Every Guardian has a weakness or a thing their Guardian Chara takes them over about. For me, it's challenges. You challenged me. I had to let you set the challenge and play against you. So..." He huhs, thinking about an Iron Man. "I... might try one of those. It seems kinda like the sort of thing you do just to hurt yourself, though." He grins weakly. "When it comes to things that aren't sports, I'm.. well, not lazy. I'd never call myself lazy." He rolls onto his back, using one blanket as a pillow, and turns his head to drink his lemonade from the straw.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-11-22 02:05:23 86995
... swimming together. Kazuo casts a brief and wary glance toward the kitchen, then toward the door, but Naru doesn't prod at him and Makio doesn't suddenly appear. He's safe for the moment! Whew.

And he's coffee'd. "Thank you, Naru." Kazuo does his usual, and laces fingers around the cup, drinking the heat more than the substance. "I started distance running when I was fairly young," he notes to Kukai. "And I think Naru's ambitions are a little unnecessariy masochistic. Fortunately," he inclines his head toward Ami, "we may be able to distract her from them temporarily." If they can find Ami a partner.

Nothing can possibly go wrong with this plan.