Comet Me Bro

Kazuo brings Neil up to date on the Sailor Earth news. As usual, Neil wins the conversation.

Date: 2018-01-21
Pose Count: 13
Kazuo Takeba 2018-01-21 02:47:57 88259
Kazuo lying in wait to talk to Neil is a thing that happens, but usually it's a thing that happens when Neil emerges from his cave, implying some degree of readiness to cope with the rest of the world and its inhabitants.

Neil waking up to text messages from Kazuo is much rarer, because it comes with the risk of Neil not waiting till he remembers what clothing is.

    <Kazuo> Look me up when you're awake. Probably in the living room studying.
    <Kazuo> (Studying is that thing that those of us who've noticed that finals start Monday do)
Nephrite 2018-01-21 03:00:49 88261
Neil awakens to the buzz of his phone. He rolls over, fumbles for it, peers at the screen. The stray beams of sunlight that manage to escape from between the folds of his blackout curtains inform him that it is daytime. The numbers in the corner of his phone's screen inform him that it is earlier in the daytime than he would like to be conscious. But. It is less than typical for Kazuo to call a meeting first thing in the morning. Neil groans, and blindly digs through a pile of clothes on the floor for pants.

He does not exactly rush out into the communal living room, but when Neil does finally make his appearance (clothed--lucky Kazuo!), his hair is still a mess, and he's got the squinty look of someone who is still trying to remember what daylight is and why his eyes must be forced to endure it. "I did, too, notice that finals are starting," he grumbles without greeting. "For all you know, that's what I was doing all night."
Kazuo Takeba 2018-01-21 03:10:50 88262
There is, in fact, a Kazuo in the communal living room. It is entirely possible that Kazuo didn't actually bother sleeping the night before; he is, however, showered, hair dried and combed, in fresh clothing, and generally looking at least presentable and at least ninety to ninety-five percent himself.

When the shambling sounds and the grumbling happen, Kazuo looks up from his notes, places a slip of paper in to mark where he left off, and rises, making his way to the kitchen. The cup of coffee produced a few moments thereafter is presented to Nephrite without more comment than, "All things are possible."

There are two things that are unusual about this.

One: Usagi occasionally gives Kazuo Death Wish coffee. The black package with its skull-and-crossbones logo is visible on the counter.

Two: Kazuo glanced up with a faint smile on his face. Specifically, the kind he shows when someone's just fallen for one of his traps. It has not actually as of yet gone away.

Probably it's not Nephrite. He tends not to wear that expression at Nephrite unless there is considerably more distance between them.
Nephrite 2018-01-21 03:28:37 88263
Neil eagerly accepts the coffee. He's even got it raised nearly to his lips before he notices... that look. He lowers the cup suspiciously and just... holds it instead, as he flops down on the couch. "Many things are possible, except me studying on a clear night when I've got stuff to investigate. So, no, I wasn't actually studying all night, but I could have been. If it were raining. It's raining Monday night, so that's like four-fifths of exam week that I'll be prepared for." The math totally checks out. Neil has weighed the odds and determined what he considered acceptable losses.

"And if you've called me here to ask what I've found, I have more than meteors to report on for once, but nothing concrete. There's no, like, giant flashing warning signs in the sky, but there's more like a yellow caution sign? Or it could be a "turn right ahead" sign. Because it's freaking," he glances around to make sure nobody particularly juvenile is in the room. Only him at the moment. Whew. "because Uranus. Is in opposition. Specifically in opposition to the Sun, which is connected to Mamoru's star sign. But that could mean disruption, or change, or revolution. Which is way too broad a range to be helpful."

Because he got himself on a tangent, Neil has already forgotten about his suspicion, and takes an automatic sip of coffee.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-01-21 03:45:10 88264
There are things that Neil can get away with that Kazuo cannot. Not worrying about one-fifth of exam week is very definitely in that category. Only some people can maintain star atlases in their heads and compute epicycles on the fly. Epicycles are, granted, now outmoded to the point at which he'd need to give an entire separate class to explain to most of the people in the area what the hell they were and why this was impressive, but it's still Kazuo's internal go-to example of ... well, of why he only complains about Neil's study habits instead of actively trying to do something about them.

(Kazuo is resigned to the probability that Neil's grades are still going to be better than his.)

The phrase 'more than meteors' brings Kazuo back out of the kitchen, his attention on Nephrite's expression, the angle of his head and shoulders, what he's doing with his free hand. He settles into a chair across from Neil. The notebook is abandoned to its fate. "Disruption or revolution," he repeats. And then waits for a moment for that automatic sip, and for any reaction to the hit of flavor, to pass. (The hit of 'this coffee contains at least four times the usual caffeine content' will come shortly.)

"Sailor Earth turned up at Kyouko's workplace," Kazuo says then. "They had a remarkably civil conversation, all things considered. According to what she told me, Sailor Earth was happy to explain to her once again how Mamoru was clearly stealing everything from her, including our memories of her. And our memories of her thousand-year reign of peace defending the Earth from all evil that might threaten it."
Nephrite 2018-01-21 03:57:05 88265
Neil splutters and jerks back from his coffee, dribbling some on his shirt. Luckily, it is yesterday's t-shirt (appropriately, it says "comet me bro"), and needs to be laundered anyway. "Augh! You drink it like this? Is this a legal amount of caffeine?" He lifts the corner of his shirt right up to wipe his mouth off, and goes in search of cream. A lot of cream.

He returns to Kazuo's news of Earth, and pauses, again, with his mug nearly to his lips. "She showed up at Kyouko's work? And Kyouko didn't stab her on the spot? Wait." Neil runs through that last sentence again. "Her thousand-year what now?"
Kazuo Takeba 2018-01-21 04:11:39 88266
"I have no idea if it's legal," Kazuo replies, straightfaced. "It's from Usagi. I save it for when I need very badly to be awake." Or, apparently, when Neil does. At least there is plenty of room in the cup for said cream. Because Kazuo was not in fact attempting to commit murder via caffeine overdose.

"Kyouko didn't stab her on the spot because Kyouko has a soft spot for her employer and didn't want to get her in trouble." Kazuo may by now have developed contingency plans for what to do if and when Sailor Earth mind-controls Kyouko's employer and sends her in as a faux-Shitennou assassin, or something. "And yes. You heard that last right." Kazuo glances Nephrite's way, and gray eyes gleam metal-bright. "I grant the technical possibility that that creature is from some bizarre alternate reality where such a thing actually happened. But it seems much more likely that she's being fed information by someone who got theirs, in a distorted fashion, from the Sailor Senshi. Not from us."
Nephrite 2018-01-21 04:33:18 88267
"Usagi is indeed a woman of mystery, who can procure many mystical treasures." It is very likely that Neil has never gotten over the time that she brought him underwear when he was in hiding.

He takes a long sip of coffee. It's still more bitter than he's used to, but surprisingly better than he expected despite that. He grins. "Oh man, our little sister's all grown up and refraining from committing murder on the job. You must be so proud."

He digests Kazuo's theory, along with another sip of coffee. "That would explain why she thinks we had the same lifespan as like, Moon royalty. But even then, it's like... " he rubs his head. "I'm trying to picture the past being like that, and I can't. Our whole civilization would have had to be completely different from what it was. And all the tension with the Moon, the mistrust... does she even have any idea why we went to war?"
Kazuo Takeba 2018-01-21 04:51:25 88268
Let's be fair. Usagi's care packages are mystical treasures.

Nephrite's description of Kyouko's behavior wins a further tug at the corner of Kazuo's mouth. "Spending time as the responsible adult in the room has been good for her. Even if it's only occasional." Given that Naru is frequently the responsible adult in that particular room, now that she's weaned herself off the godawful what-were-you-thinking energy usage again.

Kazuo shifts in his seat, turning to face Nephrite as reasonably as he can given the limitations of furniture construction. "The only answer she gave Kyouko about how her reign ended was that she was betrayed. Since Kyouko asked her directly, I suspect that she doesn't have any idea, no. She's never evinced any sign of caring. She only ever discusses things that she claimed affected her personally. Never anything that affects the actual world."
Nephrite 2018-01-21 05:03:56 88269
Betrayed. Neil takes another long sip of coffee. It seems to actually get better, once you adjust to it. If you like getting punched in the teeth with caffeine. He looks at Kazuo, eyes dark. "I guess if she knew the details of that, we'd have to address the elephant in the room. Why the hell she'd want anything to do with the four of us."

He shakes himself, setting his mug down to inspect the coffee stain blooming on his shirt. This conversation is getting far too grim for how early the hour is. "I guess we have to assume she'll come sauntering up to one of us any day now. Think she'll interrupt our exams? Maybe they'll get delayed." After a moment's thought he adds, "were you up all night studying? Is that why you're drinking coffee as dark as a collapsing sun?"
Kazuo Takeba 2018-01-21 05:14:46 88270
"Everything she does is aimed at destabilizing Mamoru," Kazuo answers. But he pushes himself up to his feet as he does so. "Reason enough, there." And why the hell he'd want anything to do with the four of them -- well. Mamoru's made his answer on that clear over and over again.

But he's up, and one hand resting on the back of the chair, and Nephrite's shirt is a thing of woe, it's true. "We couldn't be lucky enough for her to interrupt our exams," he says, dry. (There's a page in his notebook dedicated to figuring out who's free when Mamoru has exams, anyway, and who's in the most convenient place to stand guard over them. Because of course there is.)

As for dark as a collapsing -- Look, supernovae and planetary nebulae are plenty bright ... which ... Kazuo has never been curious enough about stellar life cycles to figure out. So he'll take that question at face value. "Studying. Talking with Kyouko. Talking with Mamoru. Planning. I slept an hour or two." That is totally why he's drinking coffee as dark as a collapsing sun.
Nephrite 2018-01-21 05:38:02 88271
"Destabilizing. Sounds an awful lot like disruption to me. So she is Uranus in this situation." The grin forming on Neil's face tells tales of the many, many dirty puns forming in his mind, and it is only the task of choosing from the sheer volume of them that stops him from blurting any of them immediately. "You might say she's the butt of every joke." There is an eyebrow waggle.

"Studying on zero sleep absolutely never goes wrong! You know it must be healthy and reasonable, because I do it all the time."
Kazuo Takeba 2018-01-21 05:40:04 88272
... it is entirely possible that Kazuo's choice of coffee was actually some kind of preemptive revenge for Neil's getting him to cover his face with a hand right now.