No Title Set

Date: 2018-03-15
Pose Count: 58
Kukai Souma 2018-03-15 15:38:01 89489
It's a cool early spring day in Tokyo. The weather is turning warmer as time passes, even though today overcast clouds seem to promise at least a damp mist in the evening. Still, the streets are clear of umbrellas and shorts, skirts, and t-shirts are appearing as the sun beams down behind the cloud cover. It's a good day to visit friends since practice was called off at the last minute, which is exactly what Kukai Souma is doing as he exits the elevator at the end of the entry hallway to the collection of apartments and rooms that make up the Earth Court Frat House, his Guardian Chara Daichi riding on his shoulder.

Kukai proceeds towards the door at the end of the hall with the 'Use This One' sign on it, still thinking to himself. Calling beforehand would have been polite, but he has a 'drop in anytime' allowance and one of the keys about getting back into the swing of things is showing up at places unexpectedly so you can see things you weren't expecting.

At least, that's what Kukai tells himself as he lets out a breath before the door. Steeling himself, he opens the front door up and steps inside, looking around. "Konnichiwa! Anyone home or did I pick the worst time ever to show up?"
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 15:41:00 89490
At the exact time Kukai opens up the front door, a pair feet gently land on the balcony. The more obvious sign of that is the gust of wind that accompanies the witch's arrival. Like Kukai, she knows this place has an open door policy but she does knock on the balcony door before opening it. "Good morning." She likewise announces her presence, though no other questions are being asked just yet.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 15:54:50 89491
Kukai even has an explicit invitation for the drop-in-anytime allowance, above and beyond the general open-door policy. The entryway hasn't changed too much: there's been a bench added for people to sit and change into house slippers, and there's a new item on the list of house rules. '11. Maximum length of stay for genetically bipedal guests: one week, except by special dispensation.'

This will probably not be a problem for Kukai. Or for Sora.

The living area hasn't much changed since Kukai's seen it, either, except that it's in 'everyday life' mode instead of 'done up for party' mode. This means that the game controllers are slightly more tangled than usual, there are biology and organic-chemistry textbooks stacked neatly on the do-they-ever-use-that-for-anything-but-studying dining table, and there are plates of extra cookies left over from yesterday on the counter that runs between living room and dining room. White chocolate chip is inevitably a thing.

There is also at least one person there besides the arriving visitors. Kazuo is already pulling out earbuds and tapping his phone to pause the video, leaving a frozen image of some foreign man with a black dress shirt worn open-collared and sleeves-rolled-up, standing in front of a cliff front of some cracked and mottled stone. "Hello to the both of you," he says. "Can I interest either or both of you in helping rescue us from slightly excessive baking?"
Kukai Souma 2018-03-15 16:15:38 89492
Kukai does take time enough to slip into house slippers, at least. Wearing shoes in through the house would be gauche, even if he intended to just sort of barge in. He picks up one of the spare guest pairs towards one side and steps into the living area, looking over the wires and detritus and accoutrements of day to day living in the ECFH. The textbooks make his eyes narrow - upcoming tests for him will be one of the things that perhaps decide if he's going to make it to college or not. Honestly, at this point, that sort of thing is the last thing he needs to worry about, even though it's approaching steadily. He calms himself, sure that he'll deal with it just fine when the time comes, and eyes the cookies with the sort of constant hunger that a growing teenager can never completely sate.

Kukai's head turns as Kazuo stands, and he smiles at the tall, imposing white haired man. "Ah, hello, Kazuo! I~" He blinks, looking over at the balcony as a girl lands on the balcony that Kukai can only describe mentally as 'hot magical librarian'. Also unknown, but the house didn't explode into dark energy alarms or something similar, and Daichi didn't stand up as she landed, even though he's watching her, so Kukai assumes she's safe. For the second. She gets a wide, friendly smile, the Jack's Grin, and a friendly bow of his head and shoulders. "Hello miss! Come on in, there's cookies apparently!" He looks back to Kazuo. "I do assume you meant the cookies?"
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 16:19:49 89493
Kazeko does not take off her shoes, instead she simply makes sure they don't end up touching the ground. A few more gusts of wind carry her to a chair, and she sits down there. "Takeba-san, Souma-kun." Kazeko greets the others and does sound somewhat interested in the prospect of baked goods, "I wouldn't turn down something tasty."%
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 16:25:03 89494
"I did, yes. Tea? Water? Pineapple soda?" Someday Kazuo will find out who keeps stocking the fridge with variations on that last and take vengeance. He hasn't been trying too hard, because the odds that it's his boss are too high. He makes his way to the kitchen, fetching out a plate of cookies to set on the table among the comfortable seating arrangement. Also known as 'comfortably away from any sign of textbooks.' Smaller plates are duly passed to Kazeko in her seat, and Kukai if and when he comes near.
Kukai Souma 2018-03-15 16:45:56 89495
Kukai makes a sound not dissimilar to the one you'd make if you mistook apple-scented anti-nail chewing spray for apple-scented breath freshener. "Pineapple soda? Who thought that was a good idea? Water's fine, thank you." He does however note that whomever the girl is, she knows his name, so there's a good chance he knows her. Who, exactly, is still beyond him.

Kukai seats himself at the table, takes a plate from Kazuo with a smile, and picks up a cookie, breaking a piece off and handing it up to Daichi, who tears his eyes off Kazeko and takes it with a thank you, munching happily. "These are really good. Makoto been on a baking tear again?" He grins. "I hope I didn't show up at a bad time. Were you busy? Or is anything going on?" He motions to Kazeko. "And if you've got something important to break in with, please, go ahead. I'm just here to hang out and talk."
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 16:55:00 89496
Meanwhile Kazeko is entirely failing to realize that Kukai might not know who she is. "I'll take the unholy abomination." She answers Kazuo with a smile, then takes a bite out of a cookie, "Delicious." She makes clear after clearing her mouth, and leans back. "Nothing important. Just been busy preparing for exams so I'm a bit out of the loop and figured I'd try to catch up."
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 17:04:21 89497
"We have an in-house prankster who occasionally decides to fill the entire fridge with soda," Kazuo says to Kukai, en route back to the kitchen for drinks. "Since there are far worse possibilities, and at least six possible candidates, only five of whom actually have opposable thumbs, I usually settle for making certain it isn't more damaging than that amount of sugar generally is. Besides, Naru Osaka seems to like it, at least. She was somewhat disappointed when they swapped flavors to orange; it took us far too long to get rid of that."

There are in fact three glasses of water fetched back, plus Sora's unholy abomination, which comes with both bottle and glass. One water for Kukai. One for Kazuo. And the house has maintained its habit of keeping chara-compatible table settings up on a separate shelf, so Daichi does not have to nearly go diving to try to get a drink (but the option is always open). "One of Makoto's students," he replies to Kukai. "This week isn't her responsibility. Though for all I know Neil's present to her yesterday may have been to ply her with ingredients and keep her company while she played in her kitchen; I have no intention of asking. And no, not a bad time; we're collectively on break from school for a few weeks, and there's no invalids recuperating here just now."

He seats himself again, glancing back and forth between the pair. "I don't know where might be a helpful place to start," he says to Sora. "Or what might be important to you. Are you concerned with, or caught up on, the business with the Raskoph boy? The Nightmare Prince's attack a few weeks ago? The ..." He gestures slightly. "I'm not sure what to think about the Jewel Seeds business myself, but that seems largely to be over with." Seems is sometimes an important word.
Kukai Souma 2018-03-15 17:18:17 89498
Kukai laughs and nods to Kazeko. "The last time I tried pineapple soda it was so sweet I couldn't stand it. I hope that one's better than my last." He blinks over at Kazuo, then scratches his head. "I like soda, but I know that if that were all I drank even as much as I train I'd get fat. So, lots of water!" He holds up his glass, then grins. "Orange soda's good, if it's got a bite to it, though." Daichi blinks at the little cup, and grins up at Kazuo. "Thank you!" He nudges Kukai. "Why haven't you done this yet?" Kukai blinks, then coughs to one side politely. "Uh. ...I dunno."

Kukai's brow furrows, then he nods. "She's teaching other people to bake? That's cool. And yeah, I had practice today, but that was it, then they called it off at the last minute, so I was out and about and figured I'd drop in. It seems like it's pretty peaceful."

Kukai shifts, looking more at Kazuo as he talks. "Yeah. Actually, she's right, that's sort of what I came by to hear about too. I haven't been paying enough attention to what all's been going on lately. I talked to Lacrima about it and she said I should talk to the ECFH people and see what they knew." He shrugs. "In the last little while I've just got wrapped up in my own things and I need to get back out there. So! All of it, and anything else, too. I don't need details, just a general list of things and then if something stands out I can ask about it. And you go first, miss." He motions to Kazeko. "You asked first."
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 17:28:30 89499
Kazeko takes a sip from the pineapple soda, "It's not terrible." She comments, and then takes a few more sips. After which, immediately taking a bite of a cookie, and once that's cleared out. "Definitely wouldn't make a habit out of drinking this. I'm not too worried about gaining weight though." There's a pause then, "Maybe then I wouldn't need to wear some weights whenever I'm visiting the doctor, just in case he wants to weigh me."

She shrugs a bit when Kazuo mentions a list of things. "I know nothing of those things. Should I?" She asks calmly, "Like I said, out of the loop."
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 17:43:45 89500
"In the interest of not being trapped between feeding our hapless household herself, and knowing we're subsisting entirely on takeout," Kazuo agrees to Kukai's semi-question about Makoto teaching people to bake. "Sometimes on takeout is acceptable." They are, after all, a household full of male university students. Elsewhere on the globe, their diet without interference would most likely consist of four food groups: pizza, coffee, alcohol, and energy drinks.

Kazeko's weight(s) problem is acknowledged with a tilt of Kazuo's head. (His college physical may have come with serious concerns about whether there would be any lingering rose material showing up on the blood tests.) "If you tell me what areas you're interested in knowing about," he says to Kazeko, "or who particularly concerns you, I can fill you in to a certain extent. Household business has kept me less in the loop than usual, as well."

Then a glance back to Kukai. "You know as much as I do about the Jewel Seed business," he says. "Precia Testarossa seems to have taken most of them with her, wherever she went at the end of that fight, and the Device users I've talked to don't seem to think she's likely to come back. The injured have been healing. Fate has been recovering. I don't know if that experience will pry her away from the people who were using her; I hope so.

"Lacrima -- as said, she was attacked by something sent by the Prince of Nightmares a little time back, and badly injured. Ariel was able to help her to recover. Her behavior has changed since then, somewhat for the better. We don't know why the Prince of Nightmares chose her as a specific target, of all the people who opposed his attempt at breaking full-force into the waking world last year. This was the first we've seen of him since then. That he was able to send something into the waking world is not a pleasant sign. We don't know whether there may be followup, or of what kind. If your dreams grow stranger or more unpleasant than usual, or you find yourself having trouble on waking, it may be a good idea to talk to others about it."
Kukai Souma 2018-03-15 18:01:10 89501
Kukai can't help but laugh. "...That's not a bad idea. I.. uh." He shakes his head, cutting off that line of thought for now, and continuing. "It's good to eat healthy, at least." He looks over to Kazeko and grins. "Well you look really good! Er. Healthy, I mean." He's not trying to flirt with her, honest, and he does his best to pull that one back. "But soda's not the place to put on weight, no."

Kukai sighs and rubs his head. "Yeah. I was on outside duty, keeping the magical defenders she set up from getting into the main group, and keeping an eye on Riventon. Which, by the way, was a heart-stopping bit of terror, knowing I was alone around him while everyone else was busy, seeing as how he's singularly mad at me still. But he was preoccupied breaking Precia's magical robots and collecting them for parts, which I was happy enough to help with since it kept them from coming in behind the group while they tried to stop Precia. So. I'm glad everyone is doing ok. Fate will have to choose for herself whatever she does."

Kukai takes a bite of his cookie and then grins. "I can add a bit to that - whatever Ariel did to help Lacrima recover has apparently made Lacrima able to feel positive emotions when she's close to Ariel, and also given her something of a crush on the unicorn girl. Dunno where that'll go." He shrugs. "As for dreams, sure, whenever I even have a mild nightmare anymore I tell somebody about it in case it gets out of hand. Anything else happening lately?"
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 18:13:06 89502
"Careful, we all know what happened the last time you decided to flirt with me." Kazeko answers Kukai with grin, not bothering to go into detail. She then moves on to consider what's being brought up. "Well, if Lacrima is able to feel positive emotions that's a clue on how to save her." She's not given up on saving Lacrima yet, "Don't tell her I said that, though. I don't think she'd take it well." She doesn't really have anything to add on the other things.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 18:39:30 89503
"It's an exceedingly long-term project," Kazuo says drily to Kazeko. Whether he means saving Lacrima, or dealing with Kukai's habitual inadvertent flirting, well ... he probably means saving Lacrima. It's not like he's not living in a glass house on the other topic himself.

Kazuo takes a sip from his water glass at last, and considers the 'anything else' question. "Alexis Raskoph is still in hiding," he says to Kukai, and then adds to Sora, "after his parents' decision late last year that what their childrearing techniques really needed was extended confinement with dark-energy brainwashing." He glances back to Kukai. "He's come to terms with the Device that helped in retrieving him. Both of them are still damaged --" that might explain the thing's lack of volume control -- "but they're working together now. He prefers to call himself Stahlritter when they do. I don't believe sharing that name is any violation of privacy, since his style is ... distinctive."

(This from someone who voluntarily deals with Hannah.)

He leans back for a moment and considers the air. "The Puella Magi have another ongoing problem: Grief Seeds and Grief Cubes are not working as effectively for them. If this continues, it's potentially lethal to them across the board. It does not appear to be Kyubey's doing that we can tell. It may or may not be related to the fact that the White Flower is working on a project; she does have an affinity for manipulating the kind of monsters that the Puella oppose. We don't know what she's doing, we don't know how to counter it or whether we need to, we can't reliably locate her, and I'm not sure who was involved in fighting her the first time or how they took her down."

He taps a fingertip on the side of his glass. "Also, there's a girl going around calling herself Sailor Earth and claiming that she has rightful rule over the planet and that Mamoru usurped her throne and powers. Given that she's fond of using mind-control abilities to recruit bystanders and empower them to fight for her, and that between her and Mamoru one is interested in world domination and one is interested in becoming a doctor to give an underserved population options inside the country, I neither believe that she's right nor actually care. She wears an outfit like the Senshi in white, black, and red, and her powers are unstable enough that she can make asphalt explode; if you run into her, please keep an eye out for splinters."
Kukai Souma 2018-03-15 19:02:12 89504
Kukai just... looks at Kazeko. Flirted with her? What? When? She is cute, though, but he's never met her before. Has he? Once again he laughs mentally about the 'fun' involved in magic keeping people's identities separate. Oh well. He shrugs and nods. "Yeah. I'd like to save Lacrima but it may be more 'change her magical makeup' than 'return her to the girl she once was'. It's above my pay grade at this point, though. I just try to help her not go crazy and eat a bunch of people."

Kukai nods to Alexis. "I actually saw him in his new form a week or two ago. He still needed bedrest, but he's got no sense of trying to take care of himself." He sighs. "You practically have to drug him unconscious to keep him from hurting himself past a point." He chuckles at the 'distinctive' bit. "He looks like a superhero from a comic book or video game, all black clothes and chains and stuff."

Kukai groans and puts his head down on the table. "Does that mean weaker Puella in general, or more Witches, too? I hope not. That whole thing sucks. And... I've never actually dealt with the White Flower. I know a little bit about her, but not enough to be able to talk about her indepth. What should I be looking for?"

Kukai grits his teeth a little. "So Sailor Earth is sort of what I thought Mamoru was for a long time, huh? Only a girl." He sighs and stretches out his arms on the table, leaning on them for a moment before picking up another cookie and breaking off another piece for Daichi, then pours out a little of his water to fill up the Chara's cup, thinking. "Do we know who she is outside of her costume? Or is she still a big question mark?"
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 19:12:39 89505
"I just want her to stop being steeped in dark energy. That stuff is bad for you. Trust me, I should know." Kazeko answers Kukai with a faint shrug. "I don't think we can ever undo what's happened to her, but we can create a future in which she can be happy. She's a friend, I refuse to give up on her." Alexis is not someone she knows, so she entirely glosses over that conversation.

"Oh right, witches. That reminds me I should get back in touch with Miss White. See how she's doing." There's a glance to the others, especially Kazuo, "Do you guys know how she's been doing?" The whole sailor earth thing is another thing she doesn't have any comment on.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 19:21:21 89506
Not giving up on Lacrima -- in both their incarnations -- wins another nod from Kazuo; the 'drug Alexis unconscious' part gets an actual wry smile. Not just a faction of one, the actual expression. Possibly Kazuo would not have risked that if either Kukai or Kazeko had a phone out. "It's a known issue," he says blandly. Part of the Definition of Alexis.

Then there's the Puella and the White Flower. "Weaker Puella leads to more of their Witches and Wraiths," he says to Kukai, "since they can't hunt them as effectively. Right now they can make up for it by increasing their hunts, but there's only so much that can be done in that direction. The White Flower -- I don't know. She calls monsters, and shapes the world around her. But the people who fought her the first time didn't leave detailed records, or at least not ones accessible to most of Virtue, and I've never been able to find out who they were. I was hoping you might be able to check and see if there was anything else; the Guardians have always seemed to have more access than the rest of us." He glances to Daichi, then back to Kukai. "Perhaps for good reason."

To Kazeko, he says, "Miss White seemed to be doing well enough the last time I saw her. Recovered, without yet having tipped over into one of her temporary ill-thought-out obsessions again yet. If that still holds, it's a good time to talk with her. I should, too; she's one of the few people in the city with real-time access to information on those creatures." Kazeko: making Kazuo qualify the word 'witch' for pretty much ever.

And back to Kukai, and Kazuo shakes his head. "We don't know who she is outside of her costume, at least not that I've yet heard. She has a tendency to leave scenes via teleport, and we haven't been able to analyze the trace energy as of yet. If it's as bad as the taste I got of her energy, that may be a good thing; there's a possibility it might wreck instruments."
Kukai Souma 2018-03-15 19:30:06 89507
Kukai nods. "Yeah. Much, much less dark energy. That's the goal. And yeah. Much happier, much less consuming other people's life force. That's it. I'm not giving up on her either." He huhs, then hmphs. "Miss White? I think she's ok. I ran into her... Geez." He scratches the back of his head. "A month ago? More? She looked ok. Something was going on, but I forget what. You'd have to ask her directly."

Kukai looks back to Kazuo, grinning more. He's getting used to the idea of Kazuo smiling, slowly, after a few years. "Yeah. Yeah, I was hoping that wouldn't be the outcome. I hate that whole thing, with a passion." He shakes his head, then whistles a bit. "She's... sort of a Witch, then? But people can talk to her? OK...." He looks over at Daichi, then nods. "I'll go through the records, and see if I can pry Tadase and Amu apart, get some info from them."

Kukai huhs. "Well.. I'll patrol more tonight. Maybe I can catch her flying around and just... talk to her. I can maybe convince her not to attack me outright, at least."
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 19:33:10 89508
"Well you're talking to a Witch right now, Souma-kun." Kazeko objects mildly to one point the Guardian makes. She ponders some of the other things said, and eventually settles on making just a simple comment. "I should still have miss White's phone number. And also Riventon-sam... san's. I should maybe call them sometime, see what they know."
Kukai Souma 2018-03-15 19:37:18 89509
Kukai erks and sits up, looking at Kazeko. "Well I mean, you're a cute witch, not a evil monster Witch! I didn't mean it like that." He grins weakly. "It's not hard to keep track of the big evil monster person eating witches and the.. uh, other, not evil witches." He then blinks and speaks more quietly. "Why do you have their phone numbers....?"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-15 19:41:01 89510
That's when Mamoru comes in, blowing his nose. He must sneeze quietly. "I have Miss White's number," he offers cheerfully.

The medical student with the magical inheritance he has no intention of upgrading from Crown Prince of Earth to Emperor High Muckety-Muck of Earth doesn't look much like either at the moment, in his masked house slippers and starry yukata hanging open over cargo shorts and one of Neil's Hawaiian shirts, hair mashed out of place after a nap and glasses smudged. "I mean, if anyone's a long-term project, she sure as hell is. I just haven't seen her since her last BBQ since I've been keeping a low profile."

There's a pause as he looks between everyone and observes the cookies, then goes to collect a fistful before investigating the kitchen for coffee.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 19:45:25 89511
"You might consider not bringing up the Raskoph topic," Kazuo says mildly to Kazeko. "It's not one that Riventon's had any particular connection to, anyhow." Unless Alexis's parents were the ones who hacked UMBRA a year ago. Hm. That's an interesting possibility. He opts not to bring it up, instead leaving Kazeko to deal with Kukai's question, and glancing Mamoru's way. ... annnnd wincing. Because yukata over Hawaiian shirt. Ow.
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 19:50:18 89512
"I have their phone numbers because I wasn't always a good witch. Lacrima-chan got me in touch with Riventon-sama...-san, and I met Miss White on my own. Both of them I worked with." She pauses a moment to add on, "And what did I say about flirting with me?" She waves to Mamoru when he comes in, and eyes his choice of clothes, "Who did you anger to get cursed with that kind of fashion sense?" She nods to Kazuo, "Ok, I won't."
Kukai Souma 2018-03-15 19:57:05 89513
Kukai eyes Mamoru as he staggers in, looking more like the Crown Prince of the nearest alleyway than of Earth. "...Mamoru, you look like you tried to dress in the dark by taking one item from everyone's dresser and going with what you fished up." He laughs. "Oh no. Um. That leaves me with an awful thought. I'll let that die on the vine. But I think that's where I saw her, too, at the barbeque."

Kukai nods at Kazuo. "No reason to talk about one to the other." He looks back over to Kazeko and ohs. "Well.. you must be good now too, or these two would've thrown you out." He motions to Kazuo and Mamoru's retreating back. "I am not flirting with you! Look, I won't say anything else, so you won't take it as a flirt!" He goes silent, filling his mouth with another bite of cookie. Daichi looks over at him, then shifts back out of Kukai's line of sight and nods his head up and down.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-15 20:04:06 89514
"I have wonderful fashion sense," Mamoru's muffled voice comes as he trails into the kitchen, then looks back over the dividing counter where they can see him. He takes the cookie out of his mouth as he starts pouring coffee. "But I'm not awake yet and I figured no one wanted to see me waltz out in boxers, so I grabbed whatever was handy, and got the benefit of seeing Kazuo wince." He looks Kazeko up and down for a second. "I'm glad to see not all good witches dress like Glinda. Usako might be disappointed though. She likes pink a lot."

He eyes Kukai for a second. "Zoisite's frillier clothes and the stuff Usa leaves all over the place in my room don't fit, so that's not gonna be a danger anytime soon. But props for more or less guessing how I got dressed."

As he comes out of the kitchen, coffee in one hand and cookies on a paper plate in the other, he shrugs. "We don't kick people out unless they're breaking the rules or being dicks to me and my friends while they're actually here. Factions get left at the door."

And then he sits on the arm of the couch closest to Kunzite and notes to Kukai, specifically, "If you're looking for asses to kick, though, I dunno if Kazuo's told you about Sailor Earth, but I'm pretty sure she's trying to preempt your King and trying to use my powers to do it."
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 20:13:05 89515
"If it makes you more comfortable," Kazuo says to Kukai, "she and Tsukiko don't make one another uncomfortable at this point." He pauses to check whether Kukai remembers who the wolf-shifter he just named is, and why that's a good thing; just because Kazuo keeps a mental list of everyone with purification abilities doesn't mean that everyone has to. ... and then he glances over at Mamoru, because that outfit being painful to look at is still easier to keep a straight face for than Daichi's nodding.
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 20:33:38 89516
"Pretty sure they'd rather not throw me out for not being good unless they thought I was about to cause trouble. Some of you guys have way too much faith in the ability to make people not-evil simply by being nice to them." Kazeko answers Kukai, and Mamoru's statement kind of proves her right. At least, part of her statement. She considers some of the other things, "Well if you need help with Sailor Megalomania, I'm fairly sure Takeba-san knows my number."
Kukai Souma 2018-03-15 20:46:55 89517
Kukai laughs at Mamoru, then shakes his head. "I forgot how much you enjoy messing with him. OK, then. Well, ... wait, who's 'Glenda'?" He looks at Mamoru and Kazeko. "... Eh." He nods again. "I know. You're really good about letting everyone in here. And he told me about Sailor Earth. I wanna find her and try to talk to her. Maybe as an outside figure I can.. I dunno. Find something out."

Kukai ahs at Kazuo, then smiles at him. "Sure, I know what you're talking about. That's good. Hopefully she can handle Amu and the Prisms, too." He turns to look at Kazeko and then shrugs. "Well my first idea was to beat the tar out of Lacrima, and that didn't work. I'm still trying it on Riventon. But yeah, I can contact you somehow through Kazuo if I need to."

Kukai huhs and looks at the time. "Crap. I need to head out, my brothers will be wondering where I'm at. I wanna come back at some point, but I gotta book it now." He smiles and stands, bowing his head to all three of them. "I hope to see you all again soon." He grabs a cookie for himself and Daichi for the road, and heads for the door.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-15 21:24:11 89518
Mamoru shrugs at Kazeko. "When it works, it works great. When it doesn't work, there's curbstomping. I mean, just as an example, I tried the nice route with Sailor Megalomania -- much to the annoyance of literally everyone who lives here and half the people who don't but are usually here anyway -- and it didn't work even a little bit, so curbstomping's next on the menu." He sips some of his black coffee, then waves a cookie at Kukai, grinning. "Definitely come back more often!"

Attention returning to Kazuko, one masked slipper bobbing jitteringly against the floor, he admits, "I'm pretty sure we're going to need all the help we can get. I mean-- she started out powerful, but she's been stealing my powers one by one on top of that. I just got a dressing-down for going to the Jewel Seeds fight versus Precia at all, since... basically I can't even henshin anymore. Which isn't common knowledge, so try not to let any of the Eclipse folks know if you talk to them. It'd just be borrowing trouble."
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 21:33:21 89519
"We still have Asclepius on speed-dial," Kazuo notes after Mamoru admits to the not-henshining, "so healing is still available. But not quite as quickly anymore."

Is someone avoiding the entire conversation on good versus evil? And also avoiding the topics of trying the nice route with Sailor Earth, and Mamoru going to fights while his powers are unreliable? Why, yes, someone is. Neither a hypocrite nor a nag be, apparently. At least sometimes.
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 21:40:18 89520
"Yes, I remember the curbstomping." Kazeko looks very distinctly at the ground when she says that, and then moves on to. "And as much as I appreciate the trust you offer me by telling me that, last I checked Takeba-san still wasn't sure if getting me magic back was a good idea." She smiles at Kazuo when she says that, "But don't worry. I won't tell anyone, I mean, unless they mind control me or something. I don't think that'll happen but you never what kind of shenanigans people with twisted morals will pull. They might even decide killing all humans would be better than allowing further injustices to happen."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-15 21:52:25 89521
"And you don't worry," says Mamoru with a little laugh, the look behind his eyes distinctly gentle, "nobody's ever responsible, in my book, for what they do when they're mind-controlled. And although decisions made while infected with dark energy may still ultimately be your responsibility to correct, it's absolutely a mitigating factor in any judgemental glaring after the fact."

He pulls one leg up to hook his heel on the edge of the couch, foot still against the floor propping him against toppling, and leans forward a little to say quietly, "Don't be too hard on yourself, okay? When you screw up and recognise it and do your best afterwards, you're definitely doing things right." Then he straightens up and grins a little crookedly. "If someone ever smacks your brain with dark energy and encourages bad ideas, insist that they upgrade from the Azrael version of Batman to at least a cranky Robin-less Batman, okay?"
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 22:42:15 89522
"I don't seem to recall having asked Zoisite to shadow us to the library -- or to your ritual -- and get the book, teleport out, and possibly try to set it on fire," Kazuo says mildly back to Kazeko. "So I must not have been entirely convinced it was a bad idea, either." Not to mention being able to vouch for Mamoru's lack of concern for former genocidal tendencies in his associates...

... which he does not mention so that he can, instead, eye the dweller on the couch-arm darkly for a moment. "Please never explain what 'the Azrael version of Batman' is supposed to mean."
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 22:46:29 89523
"Batman is a superhero from American comics, he beats up criminals because the authorities are either corrupt or incompetent. Azrael took over from the actual Batman for a while, and his approach to the problem was a lot like mine." Kazeko summarizes helpfully for Kazuo, and she shrugs a bit. "I try not to be too hard on myself, but I hurt a lot of people and it's hard to forgive myself for that."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-15 22:54:13 89524
Mamoru puts his plate of cookies down on Kazuo in order to place a hand over his heart and give Kazeko this shining-eyed look. "THANK you," he says reverently, "for a) knowing what I was talking about, and b) explaining it to Kunzite, especially since c) he told me not to."

If he can still reach his cookies, he takes them back now, glancing toward Kazeko again and being a little more serious. "I do understand that. There's a lot of stuff I had trouble forgiving myself for, even if the people I hurt had long since forgiven me. I think... I think I have forgiven myself at this point, but forgiving doesn't mean forgetting. It's okay to forgive yourself, because you can still hold what you did as a reminder not to do it again, you know?"
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 23:01:48 89525
Kazuo closes his eyes specifically so that he can rub at them with his fingertips for a moment. This does not keep him from taking one of Mamoru's cookies off the plate while it's in residence. Just the one. There are no words aloud, from him. Possibly because he is not exactly in a position to offer Kazeko advice on forgiving oneself. Possibly just to avoid further Batman references.
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 23:05:04 89526
Kazeko beams at Mamoru and Kazuo's responses to her explanation. "I try." She takes a bite out of one of her cookies and then a sip from her glass of unholy abomination (pineapple soda) before responding to the other helpful advice Mamory offers. "I guess you're right, it's just... easy to try think about what you should have done differently. I know it's not healthy, but..."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-15 23:33:38 89527
"But it's very nearly an addictive preoccupation," the medical student says in quiet agreement. "It's like picking a scab over and over again-- you're punishing yourself a little every time, and you're not letting it heal, because why should you let it when you screwed up so bad? And after you do it long enough, you end up feeling like hurting and blaming yourself is just part of who you are. Worse though--?"

Mamoru starts sliiiiding off the arm of the couch, but onto the couch side instead of the floor side. Which means he's encroaching on Kazuo's spot. "Worse is that you end up sabotaging yourself because you end up second-guessing everything as much as you second-guess what already happened."
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 23:40:45 89528
"If one lets oneself be idle, yes, it's easy," Kazuo says quietly in answer to Kazeko. "Even if one keeps busy, it's possible for it to creep up in odd moments. But for the most part, putting work in lessens the problem. If it's on the right things. Volunteer work helps, if you can find something you're suited for; it lets one, sometimes, reframe the question from 'what you should have done differently' to 'what you are doing differently now.'"

There is a pause, and he informs the person slowly sliding toward his couch seat, "You are not getting the cookie back."
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-15 23:46:19 89529
"Thanks. I'll try." Kazeko answes the pair, looking a bit uncomfortable with this degree of attention. "But I didn't come here for personal advice. I came here to get updates. I got told about the most current seeming issues, so I guess I got what I came for." She looks towards the balcony.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-15 23:49:56 89530
"Sorry," Mamoru tells Kazeko sheepishly, leaning forward to put his coffee down on the coffeetable (second red flag), and then his plate of cookies (third red flag). "My middle name is Unsolicited Personal Advice, it's usually hyphenated. If you want to make an escape, now is probably a good time, because--"

He finishes sliding into Kazuo's seat and pushing him automatically to one side, then makes a grab for the stolen cookie. "--challenge accepted."
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-15 23:56:29 89531
"Bring a familiar problem, get far too much of that," Kazuo agrees casually. He starts to say something else, but then there's a Mamoru, who has, apparently, yet to remember that Kazuo has longer arms. Which means that Kazeko probably has about three seconds of a situation still somewhat resembling decorum before Mamoru starts crawling across the couch after it, or something.
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-16 00:04:37 89532
Kazeko decides that rather than bail she help out with this situation, and flips open her book, which magically goes straight to the right page for this particular spell. She grins at the two and slowly raises her finger to point at Kazuo, "Featherwind" at which point a series of very gentle gusts of wind assault Kazuo's nose, they're utterly harmless, but it tickles. A lot.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-16 01:45:35 89533
Crawling across the couch would actually end up happening next, as the first step is crawling across Kazuo. Mamoru kicks off his masked slippers and shrugs out of the yukata haphazardly in the process of his nimble (awkward) fetch quest, and across the coffee table there is magic starting to happen, and on this side of the table there's liable to be a hand mashed into the side of Kazuo's head even as the featherlight touch of mischief-wind begins to assault Kazuo's poor, noble nose.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-16 01:51:21 89534
Clearly there is only one solution to this dilemma. Kazuo twists at an awkward angle, cookie-prize held out over the back of the couch now, and hides his nose -- and therefore Kazeko's magic -- against Mamoru's hair.

Dignity has apparently left the room. Possibly back when Mamoru put the Hawaiian shirt on.
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-16 01:58:59 89536
Clearly more thorough interventions are needed, so Kazeko's book flips a few pages down to the next spell in the list. "Hand of Wind" Immediately winds start to blow around Kazuo's hand, pushing it just a little further but especially pushing the cookie. The aim is simple, force Kazuo to let go of the cookie and return it to its rightful owner, Mamoru.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-16 02:10:42 89537
The wind pushes against Kazuo, and incidentally also somewhat against Mamoru because at this point he's halfway in front of Kazuo and climbing still, and the hand on the side of Kazuo's head -- when Kazuo's nose goes in his hair -- moves to mash against Kazuo's face in order to act as a handhold for his rock-wall scaling. And now Mamoru's actually gotten up to where he's got one foot on the couch cushion next to Kazuo and starts pushing himself up to stand and lean over to continue reaching for the prize...

...and this redistribution of weight, combined with the pushing of the very localized wind, very definitely is tilting the physics of the couch's own center of balance ba-a-a-a-ackwards~~
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-16 02:16:03 89538
It's a good plan, except that Kazuo letting go of the cookie at the moment would plausibly result (unless the wind suddenly gusts hard enough to make a cookie-kite, which in the confines of the living room might be an Issue) in the floor being the actual winner. This is not something that Kazuo will endure; he isn't up to Kyouko's level of murder-threats over wasting food, but ... well. He shifts a little further --

And then Mamoru's hand is on his face and Kazuo does not, as most people would, make an indignant noise, but yanks his hand in quite suddenly because you'd think Mamoru would have learned the last time this happened.

Also he doesn't want to break his arm when the couch goes over.

Which is probably going to be about now.
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-16 02:21:28 89539
Kazeko is not at all worried about losing control over the cookie once it's let go, so she merely puts in a bit more force as things are about to reach a tipping point. There is, however, a slight change of plans. Instead of sending the cookie to Mamoru if she yanks it free, she's going to have it float near her head.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-16 02:38:19 89540
'Learned'. As if tipping the couch over with Kunzite on it weren't half the point of these particular brouhahas. Mamoru's starting to crow in triumph when Kazuo jerks his hand back and the couch legit overbalances and begins to topple backwards, and two things happen at once, and the wind pushing the cookie out of Kazuo's jerked-back hand and away from Mamoru is not the one that makes him yelp in offended dignity and jerk his hand away from Kunzite's face--

--right before they both disappear behind the now-discouchbobulated furniture item with a resounding CRASH.

"You LICKED my HAND are you FIVE???" Mamoru's outraged voice practically screeches before the couch moves as if shoved abruptly.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-16 02:44:55 89541
Kazuo only ever said that Mamoru wasn't getting it back. Kazuo never said anything about himself keeping it. ... Kazuo's primary interest right now is probably making sure that Mamoru's skull doesn't collide with anything solid in the collapse, granted. Where 'right now' is 'during the collapse.' He's pushing off and attempting to slither sideways when the couch is shoved, which helps somewhat in getting his feet clear of it, even if he loses a house slipper in the process. After that, well, it's probably a small mercy that Kazeko can't see much directly. The 'clean up your own messes' clause is probably getting a workout today.

Kazuo's voice, on the other hand, is bland as ever. "Don't be silly. Climbing walls can't lick people."
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-16 02:49:09 89542
And thus, the cookie floats in the air next to Kazeko, who looks incredibly amused. "You know. Your unsolicited personal advice would carry a lot more weight if you behaved like someone who seemed to have some degree of self-control." She points out, and follows it up with a giggle, she clearly doesn't mind this one bit. "Is this a regular occurence around here?"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-16 02:55:49 89543
There's a definite PFFPHPHRRRPHP sound like someone just tried to bite someone else and got a mouthful of long hair and a pushed-at head for his efforts, and then a yelp of surprise and mock fury. "They can-- ow!-- when they're YOU oh my GOD Kazuo--"

Sound of a brief struggle, and then a more muffled 'ow' in that same not-very-regal prince's voice, and the couch moves another couple of inches with a thump as he kicks it again to try and get some leverage.

Mamoru's voice is very muffled as he tells Kazeko, "Yes. Just not USUALLY me and him. So no. Not nearly regular enough. Let GO! You don't even have the cookie anymore!"
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-16 03:03:07 89544
"Complaints, complaints." That's also somewhat muffled; it takes another moment for Kazuo to rearrange things so he can try and push Mamoru up to a more reasonable position without, say, a knee landing anywhere Kazuo would really rather it not. "Better get up in a hurry, or I might confiscate the rest of them."
Sora Hisakata 2018-03-16 03:14:06 89545
"Well, I'll leave you to it, then." Kazeko snaps the cookie out of the sky, lifts up into the air and floats towards the balcony door. "Thanks for catching me up, I hope to see you around." That Witch is clearly on her way out of the place, but not hurrying out.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-16 03:33:21 89546
"Okay-- sorry-- bad host, me, first the unsolicited personal advice and then the epic cookie fracas--"

Mamoru gets pushed more or less upright and, blushing fiercely, looks up over its upended seat at Kazeko. And the look of comical surprise on his face when he sees the cookie in her hand is well worth the price of admission.

And then he just starts laughing helplessly. "In a-- a surprise master play in the, the eleventh hour--" he gasps out, draping himself over the couch to watch as he hootingly sportscasts, "--the Cute Witch ab-- absconds with the, the Mabo-- Maboroshi no Ginzucookie--"
Kazuo Takeba 2018-03-16 03:35:02 89547
It is entirely possible that Kazuo sits up solely so that he can bow from that position toward Kazeko's exit. One person in the room can still have dignity! Namely, her.