No Title Set

Date: 2018-04-09
Pose Count: 31
Ami Mizuno 2018-04-09 13:43:26 90174
Ami Mizuno is sitting at a table, studying. What else would she be doing? She's got a large pot of tea beside her, and is sipping from a smaller cup of the stuff, careful not to spill on her school uniform as she works. Her blue eyes dart quickly over the pages, and she takes notes when she's not sipping at her tea. Occasionally she looks pensive, a rare look while she's studying.
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 13:49:04 90175
It's been a bit of a rarity for Naru to turn up at the Crown after school. Alright, truth be told, its been a lot of a rarity. There's always something going on, either heading off to the studio to paint, or heading off for a workout or /something/. Today, however, she's still in her school uniform, with her satchel looped over her shoulder as she heads upstairs towards where the food is. And seating, which is an added bonus.

A wave for Ami and a smile before Naru heads to the counter to order herself a lychee milkshake and a decadently chocolate dessert. The two collected, she roams back towards where Ami is sitting. "Mind if I join you?"
Kukai Souma 2018-04-09 13:54:58 90176
It is a clear if chilly afternoon in Tokyo in the middle of what should be a warm and wet season. Cool winds have blown in enough of a breeze to where people entering the Crown in shorts and skirts and short sleeved shirts move briskly to get out of the chill, talking rapidly about how cold it is.

Kukai Souma was fortunate to have worn pants today, even if he hadn't brought a jacket, so the air hasn't bothered him as much as it has others. He heads up through towards the cafe, intent on a warm sandwich and maybe a milk smoothie (because why not, even in this cool air?). He moves towards the counter, meaning to order first, but then Daichi oohs and points towards a table, where a pair of familiar girls are standing. Kukai ahs, then nods him over towards the two of them, and the little Guardian Chara lifts off as Kukai makes his way to make an order.

Daichi lands on the table and waves at Ami and Naru, bouncing a little. "Hello! I think Kukai wants to come sit here too if that's ok."
Ami Mizuno 2018-04-09 14:03:37 90177
Looking up, first at Naru, then at Daichi, Ami nods. She even looks a little... grateful?... to not study anymore... or at least be alone with her own thoughts. "I don't mind at all. C'mon and sit," she says, gesturing. It's a big enough table for everyone and then some. She quickly and neatly stacks her study materials before setting her tea in front of her, sipping slowly. "How are you, Naru? Daichi?" She smiles a little.
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 14:13:35 90178
"Hey Daichi." Naru greets the little guardian frist with a smile and then slides into a seat. "Both of you are welcome." She informs him before turning to Ami. "I'm alright. How're you?" She peers at Ami's books, possibly to confirm that she hasn't forgotten any pressing homework before her sketchbook emerges from her satchel. Cake first, however, her priorities are solid.
Stahlritter 2018-04-09 14:45:23 90179
ANd then there is a case of the Alexises.

Normally, Alex would probably be spotted from about a kilometer away just by virtue of... well, Alex, really. But ever since his little trouble with his parents, he's ended up taking on a bit more of a... subtle presence, so to say.

Or as subtle, anyhow, as a six foot teenager can be. ANd occasionally one might forget that Alex is, in spite of everything still a teenager. ANd teenagers still need to unwind some even in the middle of conducting covert information warfare upon parents who also happen to be supervillains.

So as far as places to hang out for unwinding go, the Crown isn't all that bad, really. Lots of escape angles, lot of crowds to blend in on-- and most importantly, it's practically Mahou Free Time Central.

Thus: A hoodie-clad Alex, with hood flipped up over his head, wading through the crowds with a milkshake in hand after trying (and failing) to completely destroy the high score in some light gun game. Otherwise trying to keep a low profile, but...

A bit of a beeping happens upon Ami, all of a sudden. It's the Mercury computer going off. When she happens to bring it up, a collection of Belkan symbols pop up-- along with a simple message that is, thankfully, in Japanese rather than Belkan:


Yes, Kriegsfauste is in fact taking some liberties in trying to look after his user.
Kukai Souma 2018-04-09 15:16:59 90180
Daichi grins at Ami and then suddenly flies up, hugging her neck. "Thank you!" He zips over towards Naru and gives her a hug as well, then blinks at Ami, sitting on Naru's shoulder. "Me? I'm good! Kukai does a lot of sports and challenges and that makes me feel good!"

Kukai follows over after Daichi in a few moments after he's obtained a chicken sandwich, a ubiquitous pile of fries, a chocolate 'milk smoothie', and made arrangements to order another pot of tea for the table because that looks like a good idea and why is it so chill outside. He makes his way over towards the table, nodding to the two girls. "Hey Ami, hey Naru! Aah..." Daichi bounces up. "They don't mind!" Kukai bows his head to the two of them quickly and then sits down in the booth next to Ami, taking over the edge of the table and trying not to bump her books or anything. "So! How're you two? Anything interesting going on?"
Ami Mizuno 2018-04-09 15:20:37 90182
Ami Mizuno smiles to Naru. She's about to answer, when the Mercury computer goes off. She reads it, then looks up and around for Alexis. "Ah, hey," she says once she notices him. "There's room for you, too," she calls to him, before looking to Kukai, then Naru, wryly. "I'm doing as okay as can be expected. Just, you know, a little stressed out about a few things, but nothing major... I hope." Answering both of them at once... handy!
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 15:23:56 90183
Naru offers Daichi a wee bit of her cake on the fork as he settles on her shoulder. Apparently Daichi sized serving is about all she's willing to share, but she is willing to share that far. "I'm trying to stick to just three sports, and focus on getting really good at just those so that I can do a really big race when I turn eighteen." She explains to the tiny Guardian.

At the beep of the computer and Ami's subsequent waving to Alexis, Naru turns as well and waves to the hoodied teenager and gestures for him to come join them as well.

"What's your current main stress, Ami?" Naru asks, curiously. "If you're willing to say, you don't have to." She grins to Kukai. "The usual. School, art, various degrees of foiling plots to take over the world. You?"
Stahlritter 2018-04-09 15:33:44 90184
Alex doesn't perhaps immediately recognize that Ami's voice is directed at him specifically-- but he does recognize the voice itself. So when that draws him to look, in turn, then that too brings him to realize that he's the one who's being called over.

Oh boy.

He gives a squitn of a look at the hand that has Kriegsfauste in bracelet form hidden underneath his sleeve. "You had something to do wit hthis, didn't you?" the boy grumbles, but thankfully for all involved, Kriegsfauste doesn't actually voice out an answer.

With a sigh, he turns to face the table, and brings his non-milkshake-bearing hand up in a gesture of greeting for everyone gathered there, accompanied with a sheepish "...Hey guys."
Kukai Souma 2018-04-09 15:44:15 90185
Daichi oooohs and takes the piece of cake from the fork, munching on it and mumbling out a thank you around a mouthful of sweetness. Kukai grins. "Geez. Um.. Basketball, soccer, skateboarding, snowboarding, baseball, cricket, skating, track and field, tennis, swimming..." He rubs his head. "More, I'm sure, but I forget now." Daichi bobs his head. "And Kukai is the best at all of them!" Kukai grins, shaking his head but loving the praise.

Kukai looks over, then nods to Alex as he comes over. "Hey Alexis! Find a seat, sit down. It's good. How're you doing?" He nods to Naru and shrugs. "I dunno. Bit of a vacation of sorts - things have been quiet, so I patrol and then relax. It's been nice to actually get a regular amount of sleep at night." He does seem a little different, but it's perhaps hard to pin down.
Ami Mizuno 2018-04-09 15:47:04 90186
Ami Mizuno smiles to Naru a little. "I'm mostly concerned about Earth," she says. "If you haven't met her yet, I'm sure you'll hear about her." She then gets an alert on her watch, and frowns. "Is that the time? I'll be late for cram school. Excuse me, Kukai. Sorry to run. Have a good evening." Once Kukai moves, she gathers her books and jacket, and heads out to cram school.
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 15:50:26 90187
"Take care Ami!" Naru waves after the Senshi as she hustles off to make the rest of them look bad. She settles to the rest of her cake, listening to the litany of sports that Daichi rattles off. "Running, swimming and cycling for me. That's it. I'm terribly boring."

Naru looks up as Alexis joins the group. "Hey Alexis." She pauses just a moment and then adds, with notable warmth in her voice, but a quieter tone. "Hey Kriegsfauste. Pull up a chair."

Naru nods to Kukai. "Quieter, but Earth is getting bolder, and Hana's going to bite us in the arse sooner rather than later, I'm pretty confident. So calm before the storm I think."
Stahlritter 2018-04-09 16:01:47 90188
Alexis looks on after Ami departing for a moment-- trying not to look all too bothered. Still, the fact that the bluenette left does mean that there's a chair freed for him. Pre-warmed, too!

"Hi," Alex offers all over again when he flops onto the seat previously occupied by Ami, with the milkshake set onto the table. "Krieg says hi too. But like. Inside my head. He still has trouble with the whole volume control thing.

As far as Kukai's question goes, his answer is simple: "Alive and busy." Followed immediately after by a suckle from the straw of the milkshake container while he gives a curious look to Naru.

"I didn't recognize either of those names just now," he confesses-- It's true. He has never dealt with Earth or Hana.
Kukai Souma 2018-04-09 16:22:56 90189
Kukai shifts over and then waves at Ami. "Bye, take care!" He nods, then motions to Naru. "I actually met Mirai here in the Crown." He sighs and rubs his head. "...Y'know, I know it sounds incredibly crazy, but I wonder if it's not possible that she's right? That she comes from a place where she was who she says she was, and that she got... yanked here or dropped here or somebody decided to bring her here to screw with everyone? That doesn't make this her fault. I'd be kinda crazy if everyone forgot me too." He rubs his chin. "I would say that anything she's done up to this point is her fault, specifically, but whatever has started her down this road doesn't feel like something we should blame her with. As for Hana..." Kukai sighs and leans back, looking at Naru. "Never talked to her. Wanted to, but she actually sounds terrifying."

Kukai blinks, then arches an eyebrow at Alexis. "Uh. Um, Earth - Mirai - is Sailor Earth, a girl who looks a lot like you'd think a female Mamoru does who believes that her life - her history - is the same as Mamoru's, and she resents there being someone who's replaced her and has stolen her life and her girlfriend and her defenders and friends and everything. Hana is, and I'm only going off Virtue records here, the White Flower, some sort of crazy mixture between Puella Magi and witch that looks like a girl with white hair and white clothing. She can talk, but she practically sweats witches and familiars."
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 16:29:34 90190
"I don't argue at all that it's possible that Mirai got yanked out of somewhere and dumped here, and on that level.. I might have some sympathy." Naru stabs her cake with her fork, the plate resting on her sketchbook. "But she gets full responsibility for being a complete jerkface now that she's here, and that makes her a Problem."

"Hana isn't a puella anymore." Naru shakes her head a smidge. "She's a Witch. She's an exceptional Witch in that she hasn't been completely lost in the despair and darkness. She's quite a fascinating conversationalist." Her tone speaks to having shared more than a few conversations with said Witch. "She is trying to take over the world.. or at least resculpt it to her desires. Which will also be a Problem."
Stahlritter 2018-04-09 16:38:08 90191
"... Aaaand you are having pleasant chats with this eldtrich horror that is trying to take over the world," ALex says with the subtlety of a freight train, complete with an entirely blank blink sent to the direction of Naru.

Blink. Blink.
Kukai Souma 2018-04-09 17:12:13 90192
Kukai nods. "If Mirai's being a jerkface, she needs to be called to task for that. But if there's more to it, we should help her with that. And part of that is calling her by her name." He nods at Alexis. "Like I said, my info on Hana is all second hand, but yes, she's..." He coughs, then shrugs. "Well my first sensation upon reading the reports was 'ball-chillingly terrified', so."

Kukai nods, then looks at Naru. "I.. yeah. Well. I always wondered where some of those reports came from. The idea of talking with her is... well, see my previous description."
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 17:19:01 90193
"It's complicated." Naru has the grace to look sheepish as Alexis really does put that fine a point on it. "We got to chatting when she was still a Grief Seed and lonely and she turned up in my dreams. When she emerged as a Witch.. well.. we continued to chat. There's no illusion on either side of this equation that at some point, we will be in conflict. She's also an artist, both magical and mundane." Naru pauses there and then shrugs a little, reaching for her milkshake. "I find the conversations really interesting." She frowns a touch. "I know she's powerful, but I don't find her terrifying. She's getting stronger too, by quite a bit. There's always been a certain.. aura of disorientation around her. Like a labrynth, but more diffuse, and that's gotten larger of late. I wasn't yet aware the first time she was around, so I met her blind, effectively."
Kukai Souma 2018-04-09 18:07:40 90194
Kukai just looks at Naru. "I dunno how you decided to talk to a Grief Seed but... I mean, you're still in one piece and not a Puella, so. And yeah." He sighs and rubs his head. "Man why do we end up being friends with so many people we have to beat the stuffing out of later? It sucks.." Kukai nods and then shrugs. "As long as she's not.. I dunno. Infected you with mind control magic or anything. I guess it's ok. But she doesn't have a Labyrinth? That's strange. I guess that means she moves around freely in the world?"
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 18:13:31 90195
"I didn't decide that one, so much as she found me." Naru points out and then laughs softly. "I'm pretty sure I can't be a puella at this stage. Besides, Kyubey doens't much care for me, I ask too many questions."

"I am perfectly capable of enjoying her conversation and her company and knowing full well that she and I are going to have to come to blows at some point. Our fundamental philosophies are incompatable, and she doesn't compromise." Naru gives a little shrug. "We sorted that out early, and expressed that regret and moved on. I wouldn't say that we're friends, exactly. It's.. complicated." She waggles her hand. "Kunzite and Endy generally do their best to keep an eye on my mental state. So far any messing with my head in recent times have not been from Hana." Naru is thoughtful a moment as she takes another forkful of cake. "I think she does have a labyrinth.. somewhere. She's implied that, but I don't know where exactly. Most Witches don't have the presence of mind to be subtle about things, but Hana is exceptionally clever."
Kukai Souma 2018-04-09 18:33:42 90196
Kukai grumbles. "Kyubey's the worst thing to happen to this town in years. Well. Besides everything else awful." He sighs and shakes his head. "And to be honest, Naru, I'm glad you can't be a puella. It's not good."

Kukai shrugs and nods. "I like talking to Lacrima now that she's calmed down and we've spent a week or two in each other's shoes. I understand that I'm likely to have to punt the hell out of her with soccer balls when she works with Riventon. I get it."

Kukai grins. "Well if anyone's going to keep an eye on you those two are the ones. And that sounds like someone's messed with your mind before." Kukai rubs his chin, then shakes his head again. "The idea that she's hiding her labyrinth and being clever about it is really, really scary. In ways I can't begin to describe."
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 18:52:52 90197
"Puella is a rough path." Naru nods slowly. "I'm rather fond of my best beloved, and being a puella is part of her, but it's not life on easy mode, not even a little."

Naru's smile turns rueful. "I've had my mind messed with more times than I care to think about. I've been cursed, mind controlled, slowly being corrupted by dark energy.. so far those around me have been awesome and dragged me back to being me every time. I'm very very fortunate in my friends."

Naru mmms softly, nudging aside her empty plate and pulling her milkshake closer to nurse it, even while it slowly melts. "She's biding her time, and the reality that I suspect we'll be caught surprised is what worries me. I don't particularly want to be reactive in this one, but I fully expect that is what's going to happen."
Kukai Souma 2018-04-09 18:58:42 90198
Kukai smiles and nods. "Yeah. They're great people except for the horrible side effects." He eyes Daichi. "Not that I know what that's like." He chuckles and then smiles at her. "That sounds fun. Rather, not fun at all. But yeah, you've got great friends."

Kukai sighs, looking at his similarly empty plate and empty milkshake and also empty pot of tea, both his and Ami's, which he had appropriated. "There's been a lot of threats we haven't been able to be proactive about. That's just the way it goes. We fight the sort of battle that's very defensive in nature, mostly because the big bads don't show their face because we'll wreck them as a group, one on everyone."

Kukai sighs and shrugs. "Just something we gotta handle. We'll deal with it as it comes up. Just gotta go from day to day to deal with it."
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 19:05:24 90199
"But we know that she's a threat. And we know at least some details.. wouldn't it be novel to actually come up with a proactive plan rather than wait for her to ambush us?" Naru offers and then shakes her head. "She'll be a challenge no matter how we slice it. One on one, or pile on as a group. I expect her to bring fairly substantive resources into play." She sips her milkshake through the straw.

Naru is quiet a moment and then mmms softly. "This feels like a moment where I could bring up Virtue, save that I always feel like I'm stomping all over toes when I do."
Kukai Souma 2018-04-09 19:20:15 90200
Kukai nods and then grins. "Well. Sure. But try pinning enough people down to actually focus on that instead of the big red alarm of the day, or the quote unquote one day of peace they've had in weeks? We tend to go from one crisis to another. But yeah, being proactive would be good."

Kukai nods, then sighs. "If we can get everyone together to fight her, then we can win, and hopefully we won't have to spend a month in the hospital apiece after it."

Kukai is quiet as well, then looks up at Naru for a minute. "Well.... look. Real talk, and I hope you won't go around spreading this." He chuckles. "And I feel weird, telling this to the major gossip in our circle. But.. more or less Tadase and Amu are wrapped up in each other and growing up and doing other things. For all intents and purposes I run Virtue now. And for what it's worth I have not exactly been keeping up with the maintenance work like I should be. But I'm doing what I can. So. Why, exactly, do you feel like you're stomping on toes, because I haven't heard this one."
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 19:28:42 90201
Naru quirks a brow at Kukai labelling her as a 'major gossip', but she let's it slide in favour of the rest of the conversation. She nods in understanding at the mention of Tadase and Amu. "I figured as much, that they were taking time to step back a bit and do other things. Which is valid, and good and healthy. I don't begrudge either of them that."

Naru leans back a little in her seat, quiet a moment as she gathers her thoughts into words. "I suspect that I have a sense that Virtue is a Guardian venture, and that prodding into the structure, maintenance, peeking behind the curtain if you will, is an intrusion from one who is outside that inner circle. Which might be accurate, or might be my insecurities at work. I'm uncertain enough on which to summon up a moment of potential awkward and put it out on the table."
Kukai Souma 2018-04-09 19:46:59 90202
Kukai shakes his head. "No, I don't either. It's good for them - there's other things going on that they can do - should do. It just.." He shrugs, raising one hand and dropping it. "Well, Virtue is a big thing. I'm managing it, though. Tadase still does a lot of the off-screen stuff, but the day to day direction seems to be mine since I'm the only one who's active to do it."

Kukai shrugs, then shakes his head. "Not as far as I'm concerned. I was told Virtue was a way for all of the magical boys and girls in town to communicate with one another, and that it relied on everyone working together and trusting one another. As for directing Virtue or managing it, I don't.. know much about that. Tadase's at the top, I'm next in line, and then everyone else is a member." He chuckles. "I'm not sure there's a secondary reason for it to be there. But as for intruding onto it, I don't mind. Far as I know there's nothing to hide." He looks at her. "What do you wanna know?"
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 19:59:15 90203
Naru is quiet a moment and then gives a soft little 'mmm' before she speaks plainly. "How to make it better." She nods a moment before adding. "How to make it a more effective tool for everyone involved. How to manage the information within it better." She offers a touch of a smile. "Which is probably exactly why it seems as if I'd be stepping on toes to explore any of those. I am just a member."
Kukai Souma 2018-04-09 20:11:35 90204
Kukai nods. "Sure. If you can come up with a way to make it better, I'd love that. If there's some kind of concept or idea you have, please, tell me. I'll probably have to find somebody to actually do it, because I looked at the stuff to manage Virtue once and my eyes wouldn't uncross for hours afterwards." He grins, rubbing the back of his head in a painful memory. "But sure, everything you're saying sounds good. And I don't think anyone thinks of themselves as 'just' a member of Virtue. The whole point of the thing is not that we're some regimented organization. We lead sort of in the same way a figurehead leads a boat, or a janitor leads a school - we take care of things and we send out big alerts and manage big arrangements, but Virtue lives and breathes based on how many people use it. Ideas are always good."
Naru Osaka 2018-04-09 20:23:10 90205
"There's a difference between not a regimented organization, and one that has a hands off leadership and a collective. They are different things, and different expectations, and there is a sense, possibly just to me.. that it suffers for a lack of direction, for someone to be a defined leader.. not in the 'I will tell you all what to do' way, but in that way that all groups need a focal point, or else it feels as if there is just noise into the void." Naru considers a moment and then shakes her head. "It is possible that I simply appreciate a more defined structure than Virtue was ever meant to consider, but it doesn't have a sense of community at the moment."

Naru's phone bings in her bag and she reaches to extract it, looking at it and typing out a reply message. "Kyouko's off work, and I'm meeting her for dinner. I should get going, as little as I like to drop a heavy conversation and then flee."