Runnin' Against the Wind


OK not really against the wind, but Naru and Mamoru are doing an early morning run and Sayaka joins.

Date: 2018-03-20
Pose Count: 29
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-20 18:37:59 89635
It used to be that Kazuo ran with Naru in the early morning, but lately they've had to run separately because of scheduling. Frequently these days, Mamoru'll run with Kazuo-- but today, somethingsomething Zoisite cuddles something octopus, and Mamoru texted Naru to see if she'd be up for a run with him instead.

So it is that in the wee hours, it's the no-powers Prince of Earth in sweats and a reflective jacket that meets Naru at the starting point, phone in his pocket and Pokemon Go Plus on his wrist buzzing and flashing merrily away at every landmark and whenever it sees a wild Natu appear.

"I've got," he says solemnly, "five 10k eggs in super incubators, at various stages of development. Let's see how many hatch this morning."

Because Pokemon is as important as running and both are way more important than the fact that he can't teleport away or magically defend himself if attacked. He is unsure how much Kyouko told Naru. He doesn't want to worry her if she's unprepared for the fact that she's his impromptu bodyguard this morning. But 10k eggs? Hell yeah.
Naru Osaka 2018-03-20 18:47:57 89636
It might be spring, but O'Stupid Early is still cool. Naru is more fond of spandex than sweats, with reflective strips to at least make drivers have fewer excuses before running her off the road in the dark.

Naru quirks a brow at the mention of eggs and incubators. "I haven't opened that at all in /forever/." She admits as she sets her watch for measuring route and pace and all of those details rather than pokemon. How terribly dull. "How many 10k eggs you get this morning is going to depend a lot on how fast you run."

Naru flashes a smile as she gestures to start a gentle warm up pace sort of ramble, getting blood moving. It seems unlikely that the same girl who stared down youma as a mundane is going to be all that worried about playing bodyguard. Especially when she's quite sure that if something happened, they'd have backup before either of them blinked.

"Are you training for a race, or just trying to keep up with Kazuo?" Naru asks conversationally as they get moving.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-20 18:57:00 89637
"Burning energy off and keeping in shape, mostly," the longer-legged still-teenager answers easily enough, rambling genially alongside the redhead. "The lack of fighting for love and justice means if I don't work out like I did in middle and high school, I'll be a couch potato. Kazuo was kind of worried that that's where I was headed even before all this stupid stuff started, until I repeatedly beat him in swimming races."

Mamoru just keeps pace with Naru for now, absently pushing the button on his flashing wristband every time it buzzes. "He has a point, though. I was a lot more active before I had a comfortable nest of live-in friends and family. I used to be in Kendo Club and on the track team. So I've picked up the pace of various kinds of exercise. Still more of a sprinter than a long-distance runner, though."
Naru Osaka 2018-03-20 19:02:07 89638
"Beating Kazuo in a swimming race is not setting the bar super high." Naru comments dryly, fond, but realistic about Kazuo's swimming prowess. "I was fairly couch potato before it seemed like a really cool life extending plan to be able to run far and at least moderately fast." She might be petite, but she's at least not a novice runner on top of it.

"I'm totally a distance fan." Naru wrinkles her nose at the notion of sprinting. "Training for speed for the short triathlon was utter misery and took all the enjoyment out of my runs. I expect I'll be far happier at an olympic or ironman distance and not a sprint."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-20 19:14:34 89639
"Well no," Mamoru allows, amused at Naru's summary of Kazuo and immersion in water, and it sounds like he's going to qualify it, but then doesn't. And: "Before I figured out why I was waking up on the far side of town in formalwear in the middle of the night, I didn't really have much reason to need to run far and fast. I'd run in the mornings but it was really just jogging, and meditative. Moving fast didn't have to be long distance; it was helpful for Kendo and, well, fun. And then the whole running rooftops and jumping between them stuff happened and..."

Shrug, buzzbuzz. The buzzing sounds like getting text messages literally continuously, but it's quiet enough that it's not atrociously annoying. "You and Kazuo both, distance fans. Right now I just have to make sure I can dodge a lot and get out of blast zones fast enough for people to show up. Running far doesn't help when the person gunning for you can probably track you and can definitely teleport."
Naru Osaka 2018-03-20 19:29:29 89640
"It's true. Fast is really far more important." Naru agrees, and as if saying it makes it true, gets the pair of them to a pace that still permits conversation, but isn't quite so leisurely. Not sprint, but one can tell that she's an endurance athlete.

"Dodging is good. Getting out of blast zones is good. I found hiding helped, but I was pretty stubborn on not accepting the reality that I was probably being tracked." Naru's comments are thoughtful, pragmatic. "You don't have time to get into the zone with a sprint, but it really does work better for getting away from things." She wrinkles up her nose. "Still no running rooftops in my world."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-20 19:42:34 89641
"Well she's stealing my powers, and I can't tell where anyone is right now, so odds are pretty good she can track people connected to me-- including me-- right now," Mamoru says, now looking straight ahead as he runs. "You probably weren't being tracked, you were probably right."

He's silent for a second, and then the tall college student glances aside to Naru, smile tugging at the corner of his mouth, still keeping pace with her. He's not an endurance runner, no, but he has been practicing. His unpowered stamina will probably last him maybe three quarters of Naru's run, and then she can laugh at him when he starts panting, strength flagging and pace lagging. "You should try running balance beams and jumping fences first. But as far as the zone-- not the running zone, no, but the adrenaline high is a mighty thing."
Sayaka Miki 2018-03-20 19:50:49 89642
Sayaka Miki had gone to bed early last night after a long run-in with a witch and a labrynth. After dropping like a stone in the middle of the day from sheer exhaustion, she had woken up earlier than expected, and somehow couldn't get back to sleep. Feeling restless and anxious, she decided to head out for an early morning jog instead.

Perhaps some cool morning air and some exercise would relax her a bit. And so, with her iphone hooked to her belt and blaring some early morning radio show, she had stepped out in jogging pants and a light hoodie from her home nearby, heading in the general area of Mamoru and Naru as she sings along to the upbeat song on her radio.
Naru Osaka 2018-03-20 19:59:41 89643
"There were a couple where I wondered, but most.." Naru shakes her head a little. "Sucks that you are, though. The whole situation sucks." She humphs softly and lets the sound of their feet on the pavement take over the conversation for a few moments. Running clearly comes naturally to her, the movements efficient and seemingly effortless.

"I can do balance beams and jump fences." Naru confirms. "Stone walls about hip height I can get on, and then off of no problem." She glances over to him and her expression turns rueful. "And if I pick the wrong fence, or a higher wall, then the freak out is super distracting from the run. I really need to get back to working on that."

The sound of someone breaking the morning quiet with singing is enough to make Naru look over to see who else is up and about at O'Stupid early, quirking a brow when it's unexpectedly someone familiar. "Clearly we are not the only ones." She notes to Mamoru, nodding towards the jogging Sayaka.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-20 20:22:30 89644
"Well, do it separately from the run," suggests Mamoru reasonably, "at least at first. Just think high speed obstacle course--"

THey're going pretty fast, and in the opposite direction from Sayaka; it's a good thing Naru's looking, because Sayaka's clearly not paying attention or listening, and she's right in their path. "Guess not," he tells Naru, skirting right around the preoccupied blue-haired girl and attempting to snap fingers in front of her on the way, just to see if that breaks her trance and makes her turn to follow them and keep up.
Sayaka Miki 2018-03-20 20:27:43 89645
Sayaka Miki is indeed caught up in her own world, as she usually is when she's listening to opera music. Fortunately she DOES see the pair before she hears them, and veers to one side to avoid crashing into them. Oh hey, that's Mamoru and Naru! She grins sheepishly and pauses, pulling her headphones out of her ears as she turns to wave at them. "Hey you two!" She turns quite around and follows after them, having not seen them in quite a long while. "Gee, I guess I'm not the only one up at such a crazy hour. What are you two doing out here so early?"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-20 20:45:11 89646
"Picking our noses," Mamoru answers Sayaka amiably, then -- without slowing -- slaps his buzzy wristband again, and it buzzes sequentially eight times in a row whilst flashing multicoloured lights. He could have given a non-jerk answer, but clearly feels that since they're both wearing reflective running gear and are in fact running, the answer is obvious enough to avoid actually answering. Also, his pokemon wristband is a giveaway to his secondary reason, but he clarifies it, "And I'm hatching 10k eggs. Hey, I heard there's some trouble with seeds and cubes not doing their job really efficiently anymore, have you noticed that to be true?"
Sayaka Miki 2018-03-20 20:59:16 89648
Sayaka Miki blinks a bit at the rather unexpected humour and smirks. "Heh, very funny, Mamoru-san..It's really be quite a long time, hasn't it? How have you folks been..?" She hadn't really caught any of their earlier conversation, having been quite caught up in her own little world. She does however, notice the pokemon wristband with a slightly arched brow of amusement.

Looks like that game's a lot more popular than she thought, for people to get up THIS early to play it. The mention of the trouble with seeds and cubes does catch her attention however and she shrugs, "Well, I thought it was just my imagination, but they DID seem to be less efficient than I'm used to. Has Kyouko been having the same sort of trouble then?"

She frowns a bit at that, trying to think if there are even any other Puella Magi still left in town besides the two of them..And Kyouko's sister of course.
Naru Osaka 2018-03-20 21:05:17 89649
Naru snorts softly, amused clearly, at Mamoru's non-answer while they run. The conversation is done on the move, she's hardly about to give up distance for a chat, and it's not like any of them are so out of shape that being on the move is that much of a challenge.

"Seems to be across the board, although there's not so very many puella in Tokyo right now to ask." Naru replies to Sayaka's query about the cubes. "Have you noticed any new upticks in witches or wraiths? I haven't, but that might be that I'm just not looking."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-20 21:05:46 89650
"I've been okay," the college boy says a little hesitantly, maybe a little evasively. "Dealing with a jerk calling herself Sailor Earth who's insisting she's the real me and the Senshi and Shitennou should be her friend and following her or something? And that I'm an impostor trying to steal her name and inheritance and girlfriend. But hey, at least university has longer vacations than high school."

He pushes the button on his wristband again, catching another pokemon and glancing toward Naru as if to say 'not a word about my power loss', but doesn't flag in his running pace, keeping up. They're definitely not jogging. "But yeah, Kyouko said she heard from a Puella in another city that it's a problem everywhere."
Sayaka Miki 2018-03-20 21:18:20 89651
Sayaka Miki arches a brow, looking slightly concerned. "You sure you're okay?" she shrugs, although the rest that he says has her frowning some more. "Sailor Earth, huh? Think I heard someone mention that name before..Sounds like SHE is the real imposter. Bears some looking into, although I'm sure you've probably already done some investigating into this senshi. I'd like to meet her myself sometime, give her a piece of my mind. She sounds like a jerk."

She glances back at Naru and shrugs, "Haven't really noticed more or less witches or wraiths than usual. Mostly, their cubes and seeds just seem to not function as efficiently as before. It's like I'm going through way more than I used to. I dunno why...Maybe they're just not as strong as they used to be? I really need to talk some more about that with Kyouko."

She shrugs. "Huh, to this is not just confined to this city then? Hmmm, strange. I wonder what it could all mean..? I'll bet Kyubey would know though.." Right, she'll have to track him down next.
Naru Osaka 2018-03-20 21:23:35 89652
"She's not just a jerk, she's a delusional jerk." Naru confirms with a nod. "The /best/ kind." The dryness of that comment puts it fully in 'scarcasm' font, even without a roll of her eyes.

"My guess is that Kyubey isn't going to know either." Naru gives a little shrug. "I've never found him.. it.. it to be all that enlightening when presented with unexpected things. Granted, I've only chatted with it once, and I don't precisely have a Kyubey signal to flash onto the sky of Tokyo to request a conversation. Hana gets my blame, personally, but I'm biased."
Sayaka Miki 2018-03-20 21:41:40 89653
Sayaka Miki hmms, "She could be more than a jerk. Sounds like she's trying to stir up trouble among the senshi." she frowns, rubbing her temples, "I probably don't have to say this, but she's probably not someone you can trust. Although I suppose I'm not the greatest judge of character.." given one of her closest friends tried to drain her nearly to death and she continues to try and support Seth in spite of the tension between them now..

Saya sighs, looking down at her walkman for a moment or two as she ponders that, glad for the distraction. "Hmm, I dunno, he can be surprisingly knowledgable about things when you least expect it. It's at least worth a try. Of course he tends to buzz around girls he is trying to sign a contract more, often forgetting the Puella Magi that he's already signed up with. I hope he's not harassing you too..

Mention of the White Flower causes her frown to deepen. "Hmm, do you think she might have something to do with this too? She's caused weird mojo among the Puella in the past afterall.." she sighs, "I wish Miss White wasn't so busy lately, this sounds like a job for WPS. Too bad I'm just security there. Heck, place has been too quiet lately.."
Naru Osaka 2018-03-20 21:56:06 89654
"She's nto someone to trust." Naru confirms on the topic of Sailor Earth. "She's someone to give a good smiting too, but I haven't run into her personally in ages. Still, if you do, she's not playing on our team."

Naru glances at her watch, which is less watch and more a tracker for her runs, but the prospect of running with Mamo has made her eschew headphones today. "My experiences with Kyubey, of which there has only been one, did not provide a lot of useful information." She laughs briefly, shaking her head. "I'd be glad to see more of it, but I am not its target audience. I already have magic, and I ask too many questions." She edges her pace up just a smidge, barely anything to those who have longer legs than hers, but aiming for a better workout.

"I would not be surprised if Hana was affecting the grief seeds and cubes." Naru considers a moment. "What sort of weird mojo? She's.. exceptional, but I don't know a lot about her past."
Sayaka Miki 2018-03-20 22:04:00 89655
Sayaka Miki hmms and nods, "Dont trust Sailor Earth. Got it." she smiles, "No worries, I'll be careful if I ever do see her.." she quickens her pace as she feels she is lagging behind the other two for a bit. "Hmm, I guess that's right. I suppose maybe Kyubey will leave you alone then. That's good. Well he can be unpredictable to be honest. At times, he is a wealth of information. At other times he'll seem utterly useless, but only because it suits him. Still, it's worth looking into."

As for Hana, she shrugs, "Admittedly, I've never met this Hana, I've only heard stories from Madoka-chan and Homura-chan..How she's an exceptionally powerful Puella Magi, how she seemed to be more on the side of the witches than the Puella, how she seemingly came back from the dead. I dunno the details, all I know is that she always seemed to be trying to destroy the rest of us rather than work with us, and maybe this is another plot of hers. I'll have to do some research on her."

She sighs, "Guess things are never quiet around here, are they. I mean, what about school? I feel like I haven't had much time to study lately. I kinda miss our study sessions. I've been falling behind again, I guess when our schedules didn't match up as well in the Winter semester it kinda threw everything off and made it harder to schedule study sessions with you."

Saya's face falls a little, looking away. "I mean, at one time I figured Seth-kun could give me some tutoring as he was attending some of my classes, but..Things have been pretty awkward between us lately.."
Naru Osaka 2018-03-20 22:16:08 89656
"I wouldn't so much call her on the side of the witches, as on her own side." Naru corrects thoughtfully. "She is a Witch, but she doesn't generally play well with others." For a non-puella, Naru seems to be well versed in details on the White Flower.

"Things are never quiet." Naru grins at that reality rather than lament it. "The mix of magic, training and school keeps me more than a little bit busy. I generally feel as if I text my girlfriend more than talk to her. I mean.. it's O'stupid early and that's the best time for a run."

Naru quirks her head, turning to encourage the trio down a side street on their run, at the mention of Seth. "What happened with Seth?"
Sayaka Miki 2018-03-20 22:23:57 89657
Sayaka Miki frowns, "Sounds like you know more about her than I do..Be careful, Naru. I know you have powers but.." but she still seemed too gentle to hurt a fly. She smirks at the thought, shaking her head. "Yeah, I mean, that's why this city is full of magical people, right? Because it's a hotbed of trouble, and we really need all the help we can get to counter all the magical activity going on all the time. Not that I mind kicking badguy ass all the time, just.." she sighs, "Guess sometimes I wish I had more time for the more mundane things in life.."

Sayaka draws a deep breath as she ponders where to even start with Seth. "Well...Honestly, I haven't even seen Seth-kun in a long time, but..Well, I tried hard to help him with his..Curse, or whatever it was. And ultimately, I guess I failed. I couldn't save him from himself, and after he tried to drain my energy with a kiss, he just seemed to be getting worse, losing his humanity to whatever dark magic his father had infected him with.."

She sighs, staring at her fitbit, briefly checking her steps taken today, momentarily looking lost. "We..Were pretty close, really connected. And..He tried to kiss me again..Without the dark magic controlling him, but I'd already chosen Alex over him. Except of course, now it seems that Alex has distanced himself from me, apparently 'for my own good'. As if I can't take care of myself."

Saya laughs nervously, "So you see, it's a big mess, and I've lost the two people I care about the most in the world.."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-20 22:37:46 89658
"Naru's been careful about Hana," Mamoru speaks up, after being silent for a while. "And on the topic of balancing time and extranormal activities-- sometimes I think everyone's looking for a good balance. Because believe me, being in the time-out box sucks too. I was there before the Dark Kingdom caught me, I was there when all those flowers were attacking Earth... it's no fun when your friends are all putting their lives on the line and all you've got is studying and videogames."

He's still not looking at either of them, but his wristband's stopped buzzing, so he takes out his phone as he runs, and opens the screen-- and it says Oh? with a picture of a purple-spotted egg. "Score," he says, tapping it, and it hatches!! into a Feebas. "Stupid fish is lower CP than the one I've got," he grumbles, but another egg pops immediately thereafter, and he lets out a hoot. "Chansey! YESSSS someday I will Blissey Get--"

A sidelong glance at Sayaka. "He's been distancing himself from you for your own good? He was fucked up about his parents but he's getting better now he knows he has a lot of backup, maybe you should drop in on him again since he seems to be feeling a little less sorry for himself."
Naru Osaka 2018-03-20 22:43:03 89659
"I've been making an effort to be careful with Hana, but I can't deny that I know her quite well. As much as anyone can, really. She is her own thing, and she keeps her own counsel." Naru leans over a little to see the critters on Mamoru's phone as they hatch. "I should bring your phone with me on long runs, I'd hatch all of your critters for you."

"It does sound like a big mess." Naru agrees with a thoughtful expression. "Although my experience with Alexis says that subtle is about as effective as whistling into a typhoon, so if he's being an idiot, kick him in the shins and tell him so. Hints are not his strong suit. Nor are people, or emotions.. but I also thought he was doing better when last I talked to him." She frowns a little. "I haven't seen Seth in forever either, but we aren't especially close, so that doesn't seem terribly odd. My school-magic-life balance is on crack, I don't see a lot of people."
Sayaka Miki 2018-03-20 22:45:32 89660
Sayaka Miki arches a brow at Mamoru as he gets super excited over a game. "Pokemon, huh? I tried that once, but found it ate up so much of my phone's battery.." she makes a face, but seems amused by his antics. "Yeaah..Trying to balance school and fighting witches is sure tough. I wish Puella stuck together like Senshi. I really miss Madoka-chan. Guess she only dropped by for a brief visit here before heading back to America.."

As for Alex, she shrugs, "Well...He thinks that I'm probably a big target for his newfound enemies, I guess? Now that he's armed with that device thingy, whatchamacallit, I guess he doesn't need me to protect him anymore either. Plus all that stuff about his memories being altered by his mom.." Saya sighs, "I guess maybe Kunzite-san was right..There's nothing I can do about it. It's up to Alex to sort out his memories and decide what's real and what's not. I cant expect him to come back to me after all of that. I just have to..Get on with my life, without either of them, I suppose.."

As for dropping in on him again, she shrugs, "I dunno..I'm sure if it was meant to be, he'd be the one dropping in on me." she smirks at Naru, "I've tried being blunt with him but I'm afraid of driving him further away. I mean, last time I literally had to beat some sense into him. I dont want to have to do that again when his memories and feelings are already so uncertain and unstable. I wouldn't want to push him over the edge after all he's been through.."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-20 23:01:48 89661
"And be without my phone? Heaven forfend," Mamoru says with a laugh, "but thanks for the thought." He's more than willing to show off his Chansey to both of them; it's big and pink and sort of egg-shaped and carrying sort-of an egg. "Also it's hilarious you call them critters."

Sayaka gets a sloooow sidelong blink. "Dude did we not just say he was doing better and you should prod him with a taser or something to get him to talk? Because it's probably more useful than feeling sorry for yourself and pointedly being a martyr. I mean that's what he was doing and it literally got him nowhere."
Naru Osaka 2018-03-20 23:08:10 89662
"No one, but no one sticks together like the Shitennou." Naru comments absently, a little shrug. "They have it going on." She comments it directly to Sayaka, and when she turns to Mamoru, it's with a laugh. "They are critters!"

"We're all targets." Naru points out, "And I like Alexis a lot, but sometimes he's an idiot. Go beat more sense into him if you actually want to pursue something. I mean if it's a dealbreaker on making the relationship work, I'm not going to judge, but sorting through memories and feeling alone generally results in coming to all of the worst conclusions, especially when things have been awful."
Sayaka Miki 2018-03-20 23:10:12 89663
Sayaka Miki frowns and shakes her head. "I already saw him pretty recently, and yeah, he DID seem like he was doing better, a little, as far as he himself is concerned, anyway." she hesitates a bit. "But I suppose you're right. Making myself into a martyr wont get me anywhere. I suppose I should give it another try.." she doesn't seem terribly confident that it'll work, however, she's got little more to lose at this point. Fortunately, what Naru says, does seem to encourage her a bit more and she nods, "You know, you're right. going through memories on your own is hard. And scary. And maybe it'll be easier to figure things out if I'm at least there for him.." she smiles faintly. "Well..Thanks for the talk. It was good to see the both of you again..I should probably try and get some rest before school..Take care, okay?" She waves to the two of them before hurrying off.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-03-20 23:19:02 89664
"Good luck, Saya-chan!" Mamoru calls after the blue-haired Puella, waving. "I'm sure it'll work out just fine! Have faith!"

Once she's out of hearing, the university student heaves out a huge breath and starts slowing his pace. "I can keep running if I go back the other way, but no way am I gonna make your target-- I gotta go home and I don't wanna walk in and have Kunzite see my inglorious defeat..."