Hang the Lights

Makoto and Nephrite attempt to outsmart some Christmas lights while they talk about Mako's birthday

Date: 2017-12-02
Pose Count: 18
Nephrite 2017-12-02 01:00:46 87258
Autumn seemed to come and go in a flash. Between school, the constant ebb and flow of mini-crises to be dealt with, and now with the mystery Kazuo has tasked Neil with watching the stars for answers for, it hardly feels like he and Makoto have had much time to themselves. He is here to fix that. After all, a big day is coming up fast, and he wants to be ready.

Neil arrives at Makoto's doorstep on a rainy afternoon with a bouquet of stargazer lilies. His boisterous knock nearly matches the bounce in his step.
Makoto Kino 2017-12-02 01:17:39 87259
The door opens after only a brief wait, letting out a breath of warm from inside. The smile with which Mako greets him is a bright and welcoming one - she scarcely had to look to know it was home. "Hey! Coming in out of the rain, huh?" It's a light, teasing question, and she darts forward a step to rise on her tose and kiss his cheek before she scoots just as quickly back to let him in.

The apartment is as cozy as ever, warm against the chilly rain outside and smelling faintly of vanilla and cedar from a wax-melter on the kitchen island. "I was just putting up some lights," Mako says, nodding vaguely in the direction of the window and the tangle of fairy lights currently halfway tacked up around the inside of the frame.
Nephrite 2017-12-02 01:31:39 87260
"Out of the rain and into your arms. Not a bad deal." That is the cheesiest line Neil can recall ever speaking out loud, and that knowledge just makes him grin wider as he steps inside and shrugs off his damp jacket. "Is it time for lights already? I guess it is fair game as of today." Without prompting, he steps into the kitchen and reaches for a vase for the flowers. He's brought her so many that it's automatic now, although he still does not have her gift for arranging them. "How about I help you put the rest up? Surely two tall people can get them hung easily."
Makoto Kino 2017-12-02 01:42:25 87261
The unrepentantly cheesy line has Makoto laughing and blushing a little at the same time. She ought to be used to these things by now, and yet somehow the novelty never seems to wear off.

"You might regret offering," she says, a hint of laughter still in her voice. "I haven't ever figured out a better way to hang them than these suction-cup hook things, short of hammering nails all in my window frames, but it's a pain in the butt to convince them all to stick and stay stuck."

She trails after him across the apartment, watching appreciatively as the lilies go into the vase. "So pretty."
Nephrite 2017-12-02 02:05:24 87262
"I'm glad they're okay. I never know what to get in winter. I thought it was too soon for poinsettias, but looks like maybe that would have worked too." He shifts some stems around, trying to get the lilies all facing out. It's still not quite as nice as Makoto would make it. If she were to covertly fix it up when his back was turned, he would not fault her for it.

He snickers as he steps closer to the window to take a better look. "Hey, we managed to get a tent pitched without a single injury. We have proven ourselves not to be entirely hopeless Millennials. We can totally nail this. Maybe literally." He picks up the tangle of lights and starts looking around for the plug. If he can find where it ends, maybe he can get them straightened out. "So before Christmas, we've got a way more important day to celebrate. What do you want to do for your birthday?"
Makoto Kino 2017-12-02 02:21:27 87263
"Any kind of flower is nice in the winter," Makoto replies in a tone of great certainty. When he leaves the vase to go investigate the window, she picks it up and carries it to set out prominently in the center of her coffee table. "Since there's not as much growing outside, it's that much nicer to have them inside."

With a last admiring look at the pink-and-white blooms, she moves to join Neil at the window. "--No literal nails. I don't want to end up putting all kinds of holes into the window frames if I don't have to." While he works at unraveling the tangled lights, she picks up her solution to the problem of 'no nails' - a package of clear suction cups with wire hooks on them, a number of which have already been stuck up along the inside of the window frame. She's fishing one out in preparation to add it to the line when his question stops her short.

"...oh geez, my birthday." A blink, and then Mako laughs. "I hadn't really thought about it much. Um..."
Nephrite 2017-12-02 02:33:46 87264
"Not as nice as you," Neil replies with a grin. He makes a triumphant noise. Plug located! Now to somehow feed it through a knot of wires and lights.

"Yeah, birthday! Yours! Okay, let's narrow it down. Do you want to do something with just the two of us, or all your friends, or both? Actually, silly question. Of course both. We can't not have a cake with everybody at the frat house for you. But do you want a birthday date too? I could take you to dinner, or we could do some kind of fancy afternoon tea. Or we could do something fun. Are we too old for laser tag?"
Makoto Kino 2017-12-02 02:43:31 87265
"Impossible," is Makoto's immediate answer to that question. "If we are, I refuse to admit it. Could we go to Tokyo Tower and see the light show go down at midnight?" As she resumes trying to stick the hook onto the window frame, she considers that idea. "...or would that be tasteless, after we had to fight Kunzite there?"
Nephrite 2017-12-02 02:56:33 87266
Neil chuckles at her response, mentally putting laser tag on the backburner for another day.

And then she asks her question, and... he pauses in his fumbling. "Oh. Yeah." The rain softly taps the windowpane in front of them, trailing down the glass in thin rivulets. "Actually, no." He turns, his dark brown eyes meeting hers, and reaches for her hand. "I don't want that to be our only memory there. We should make a new one together. Something with pretty lights."
Makoto Kino 2017-12-02 03:07:11 87267
Makoto puts the hook she was fussing with down onto the windowsill, so that she can catch the hand he reaches out to her. "Let's do it, then. I'd like to see the lights there, with you."

Her own Christmas light project can wait for at least a little while. Ignoring it for now, she smiles up at him instead, eyes sparkling. "We could go to dinner first, maybe? Or do something else fun, and then go see the light show. You know," she adds, and despite herself she can feel her cheeks turning pink, "I've heard a story about the Tokyo Tower Christmas lights."
Nephrite 2017-12-02 03:11:07 87268
"Dinner first sounds perfect." Neil is already listing out restaurant options in his head. Reservations are probably in order. He notes her flushing cheeks, and looks at her questioningly. "Oh? What's the story?"
Makoto Kino 2017-12-02 03:15:14 87269
"Well." The patterns of the raindrops on the window glass are momentarily extremely interesting. "Supposedly, if a couple sees the light display turn off at midnight together, their love will be blessed."

Still blushing, she turns her eyes back up to his, breath hitching out in a self-conscious little laugh. "I mean, I'm pretty sure we're already blessed a few times over, but it's still a pretty nice story, right?"
Nephrite 2017-12-02 03:23:08 87270
"Well then. Of course we have to do it." Neil tugs her closer and kisses her flushed cheek. "I'm grateful for every blessing we've had. So grateful that I just want more. Let's pile so many on our heads that nothing can ever get in our way again."
Makoto Kino 2017-12-02 03:29:13 87271
Without hesitation, Makoto moves the little bit closer that it takes to lean in comfortably against him. "I like that plan," she agrees with a smile. "It sounds really good to me."
Nephrite 2017-12-02 03:30:50 87272
Neil wraps his arms around her as she leans in. "Then my lady, you shall have your light show for your birthday. And maybe a little preview tonight. If we can master the delicate technique of suction cupping."
Makoto Kino 2017-12-02 03:33:55 87273
Another laugh escapes Mako; resting her head against his shoulder, she looks toward the window again. "That might be a pretty big 'if'."

She falls quiet for a bit, contemplating the half-hung strand of lights and the hooks still waiting to be stuck up around the window to complete the job. "...You know what," Makoto says suddenly. "I think I've been doing this totally wrong. What if we stuck them to the glass instead of the frame?"
Nephrite 2017-12-02 03:40:01 87274
Neil lets out a laugh. "Oh my god, we're so bad at this. That makes way more sense. Do you have Windex or something like that? I bet if we clean the glass it'll stick better." He leans forward to peer at the glass. "And here I am pretending to be going into astrophysics. We'll conquer this string of lights yet, Thunderbird."
Makoto Kino 2017-12-02 03:44:20 87275
"What are you talking about," Makoto giggles, "you're a genius. Thank you." She scoots in and reaches to catch his face between her hands just long enough to kiss him with an enthusiastic 'mwah!'. Then she's moving away, still laughing a little to herself, bubbling with high spirits. "I'll get the window cleaner."