Why Is The World In Love Again?


Date: 2018-04-27
Pose Count: 25
Mamoru Chiba 2018-04-27 02:09:43 90822
Things have been Uncomfortably Real lately, between all the Sailor Earth garbage and that jackhole on the train and the extended grind of Mamoru having no powers and hating it and the Spring semester starting at Keio and year two of medical school being not quite as horrible as high school work-wise (funny as that sounds) but still being slightly less of a breezy party than freshman year.

Mamoru recently had a nice solid rant session with Usagi on the whole deal, which was good and cathartic and involved cuddles, and partially mitigated the discomfort of the staged fight with Rashmi, but the awful Sora birthday party and clearing out of the ECFH for it because Erf might show up is still coming up, so Mamoru's buried his head in textbooks he read two years ago but which have been updated since and he now has to read analytically with the intent of answering weird professor questions. "Who the HELL asks a sophomore," he complains in the general direction of Kyouko, "to memorize the difference between a preganglionic fiber and a postganglionic nerve?"
Kyouko Sakura 2018-04-27 02:14:19 90823
    Kyouko is sitting on the couch. She's leaving for work soon, which means she's in her standard 'uniform' of jeans and a black t-shirt rather than something more comfortable, and she's got the remains of an apple in one hand and one of her trashy shoujo manga in the other. She's holding it open with one hand and the spine is rather mangled, but she's near the end of it. It's not like they make those things to be preserved long-term. Chewing idly, she flips the page with her thumb.

    "Dunno." Is her laconic response, without looking up. "Probably your professor?" She takes another bite out of the apple, which is now mostly just core, then glances up, red eyes narrowing slightly. "Postganglionic sounds dirty." There's almost an accusing tone to her voice, as if Mamoru is perhaps trying to slip an off-color joke past her without her noticing.
Kunzite 2018-04-27 02:18:24 90825
"The same people who expect you to know the difference between food before you've eaten it and after," Kazuo provides from the kitchen. Which is not actually out of throwing-things range, given there's only half a wall between. He's only just emerged; Kyouko being on shift meant that he could steal a nap, and he's further taking advantage of her not-yet-at-work state to move slowly, eyes lazily half-closed. There is coffee in his near future. Of course.
Homura Akemi 2018-04-27 02:21:01 90827
    A portal opens in the living room. On the other side are high winds and high waves. A wave of salt water splashes through the magical gateway and crashes into the living room of Mamoru's house, carrying along with a couple of small girls who look a bit younger than they should, considering how much time is passed.

    Homura's in henshin, and her arm is wrapped securely around Madoka. In her opposite hand is a book still glowing with magical power as the gateway closes behind them. She stands back up on her feet, helping Madoka to get up too. Before looking to see where everyone is, she shouts.

    "MAMORU, WHERE IS USAGI? WE HAVE TO SAVE THE FUTURE!"

    Homura gasps heavily a few times, catching her breath as she takes in the situation. Kyouko is here. Mamoru is here. Kazuo is here. Nothing here stands out as unusual to her so far, but she's only had a few moments to take things in.

    "I mean... not our future, but... I mean I admit I'm not really sure it was a future at all, but you were there and you looked older so I mean... Look! I took pictures!"

    Homura sets Madoka down on her feet, then exchanges The Book She Really Should Not Have Used for her cellphone, booting it up and tapping it several times. "Ugh. We were only gone a week. Why so many notifications?"
Madoka Kaname 2018-04-27 02:31:10 90830
    As they're swept through the portal Madoka is also in Henshin, one arm held tightly around Homura's neck, reaching out to catch herself with the other as they land on the floor. She picks herself up quickly enough, leaving the important bits to Homura for now since she seems to have them covered.

    "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!" she gasps as she sees all the water that sloshed onto the floor with them, looking around for something clean it up with in a bit of a tizzy before fretting to Homura, "Homura-chan, you have our beach towels right? Get them to me quick! And any others!"

    Then the pink haired Puella looks between Kyouko, Kazuo and Mamoru with an embarrassed expression, very aware they're making quite a fuss out of nowhere.

    ...though clearly not how much of one.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-04-27 02:39:27 90831
    Kyouko glances up as a strange portal opens into the living room, and a wave of seawater and wind blasts out. She gets splashed in the face, and her book gets wet.

    She's generally pretty quick on the draw when it comes to reacting to a crisis, but luckily she recognizes the intruders before she has time to do more than tense for action. And while Homura's cry about saving the future does indicate some form of trouble, there don't seem to be any sea monsters following them through the portal.

    So instead of leaping to her feet, Kyouko takes a moment to run a hand through her hair, pushing the wet strands out of her face.. then place her soggy book down on the table. "Well I was done with it anyway." She mutters, still sitting there.

    Then: "Uh, so hi guys. How've you been? Next time try using the goddamn door!" She throws her apple core at Homura.

    Kunzite, perhaps, notices she hasn't quite relaxed as much as she seems to have. But she hasn't henshined, which means her Kyouko Danger Sense isn't going off either.
Kunzite 2018-04-27 02:44:04 90832
Kazuo stands silently for a moment, staring, from ... well, about as far from the wave's impact as it's possible to be. It'll take a few moments for any of the water to find its way into the kitchen, after all.

Kyouko's flinging the apple core finally prompts him to move. All he says is, "Towels," and goes for the hall. Possibly he is getting out of sight long enough to henshin. Possibly he is getting out of the way of Mamoru's reaction. Possibly he is literally just hastily getting all the towels before Kyouko's departure means he never leaves the same room as Mamoru again.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-04-27 02:53:06 90833
"You absolute toaster," Mamoru starts to retort, raising his hand to throw his pen at Kazuo, when the living room is flooded with a rush of saltwater and yelling dumping out of a lovely seascape.

In a quarter of a second he's vaulted over and is crouched behind the couch, holding his textbook high in the air like a decoy head (or, more likely, keeping it out of the flood and splashzone; it's a rental).

And then the sound of the yelling registers, and then the glimpse of the figures coming through the portal registers, and Kyouko's lack of insta-henshin and irritable slogging about her book hits him and he stands up, splashed and utterly taken aback. Kunzite's repeating 'towels' and leaving the room. And Homura's actual words register, and he manages to get out, "... uh, school? She's in-- she's at school...?" more or less on autopilot.

It's that same autopilot that makes him turn around and put his textbook down, still open, on the dining room table, and grab a wad of kleenex from the box there in order to pat the splashes dry...

...it's a full five seconds before his brain catches up with him and he vaults back over the couch at a dangerously slippery run, aimed straight for a Usagi-style tacklehug of the pair of them. His eyes may or may not already be prickling, breath catching, and he's babbling, "You're BACK I always hoped you'd come back but it's been so long and we had no idea where you went and then there was that girl who said she was Madoka but she didn't know any of us and didn't even know Homura and I was afraid that you'd died or that you left without saying goodbye and were never coming back and maybe ascended to another plane of existence and it was like she was proof you were never coming back and I've missed you so much and you're OKAY and--"
Homura Akemi 2018-04-27 02:59:40 90834
    The more time Homura has to soak everything in, the more she starts to notice the little things.

    Such as how Mamoru looks about as old as the other Mamoru she just saw.

    And how Kyouko looks... quite a bit different.

    And how there is an apple core flying at her. With both of her hands full, there's not much she can do but raise an arm in futility before it hits her in the gut. As it bounces off of her and hits the floor Homura turns to Kyouko with gritted teeth. "We don't have time for niceties. This is serious!"

    Madoka is asking for towels, and Kazuo is going to get towels, but Homura looks down at the mess she has just made and decides that the cell phone can wait. Good thing this is tile.

    "Sure, Madoka-chan." Then, to Mamoru, "School? Well, we can tell her when she gets back."

    From her shield she produces one big beach towel, then another, then a third one she brought just in case, then a hand towel, then a few more hand towels... Look this can go on for a while. Homura is a very well prepared woman. You could say she's a frood who really knows where her towel is. The first few are handed off to Madoka, and a few of them are just dropped onto the floor to start soaking, and it's in the middle of dealing with that that Mamoru comes over and starts saying some really strange things.

    The tacklehug doesn't bother her at all, because Mamoru is a friend and hugs from friends are just fine. The potential tears don't bother her because Homura is covered in saltwater already. The other things he says...

    The other things...

    "Mamo-kun, relax. I know you miss your big sister, but we've only been gone about a week."

    Only then does the truth occur to her. All of those notifications. She takes a second look at her cell phone, over Mamoru's shoulder. She notices the date.

    Her eyes widen. They are all the way open.

    It's been a lot longer than a week.
Madoka Kaname 2018-04-27 03:08:33 90835
    Madoka accepts the towels from Homura, setting two of them on a relatively dry spot before dropping to her knees and immediately starting to sop up some of the water splashed on the floor. She starts right at her feet, only to let out a little squeak and bolt over at high speed to stop a puddle slowly making it's way toward the mural, successfully diverting and damming it up.

    She's almost ready to relax when she sees the apple core go flying, looking to Kyouko and then her soaked up book. "Oh no, I'm sorry!" She goes for one of the still dry towels and immediately starts dabbing at the book, only to turn the towel over and start trying to do the same thing for Kyouko, possibly annoying the veteran Puella with a hastily fretting pat-pat-pat. "I'm sorry! You got all soaked because of us, let me help..!" At least she's being careful that her still dripping dress isn't getting on her.

    Of course now that she's up close and personal she's noticing just how dramatic the changes in Kyouko are. The haircut was obvious and easy to pick out, but the earrings are new. More different still was the subtle changes to her face. She simply looked... older?

    And then Mamoru comes charging in and hugging Homura and it seems like a sweet moment, though the things he's saying are coming so fast and shocking that her attempts at drying Kyouko are becoming a bit slow and scattered.

    "A girl who said she was me?" She looks completely baffled and nods along with Homura, but is standing behind her and doesn't see the way her eyes are widening. "All that happened in a week?! Maybe we shouldn't ever go on a vacation agai-"

    And that's when she gets a really good look at Mamoru's face, the spitting image of an older looking version of him she'd just met. Her own eyes widen and she takes a closer look at Kyouko's face. She jumps back with a sudden gasp, nearly slipping on the wet floor, "Homura-chan, I think we're in the wrong timeline. Again!"
Kyouko Sakura 2018-04-27 03:14:53 90836
    Kyouko scowls at Homura, which really more than anything ought to suggest that they are in the correct timeline. She opens her mouth to say something else, probably snappy and unwise, when Madoka starts patting at her with a towel as if she's some sort of delicate vase in need of a dusting. She shuts her mouth again, and eyes Madoka in silence.

    Then Mamoru somehow manages to tackle both of them, which at least stops the towel-patting before Kyouko finishes her mental review of whether kicking puppies is really all that bad. And he's already getting all weepy. After listening to both his rambling emotion, and the startled exclamations from Homura and Madoka, she just throws up her hands.

    "You know what, I need to go to work. Ya'll sort this out," She makes a vague gesture at the guests, the wet room, and the weeping, "And like.. text me if something needs to get stabbed within the next four hours. Otherwise, I'll be back after work and you can fill me in once all the crying is over."

    She pats Mamoru on the head on the way past, locks gazes with Kunzite on his way back into the room to make sure he acknowledges the official Change of Shift in guard duty, then pulls open the balcony door and tips herself over the side.
Kunzite 2018-04-27 03:19:27 90837
Kazuo re-arrives on cue with a stack of towels to add to the fight. He meets Kyouko's gaze, nods to her the usual fraction of confirmation, and says nothing whatsoever about the balcony door being left open. Maybe he thinks Fiore should hear this one.

"If it helps for identification purposes," Kazuo says, more than a little dry, "I first saw Homura at a fight on a bridge. I first met you at the Walpurgisnacht meeting. Venus was offended at our presence, and committed random property damage before diving out the window in a panic. There may have been embarrassing revelations and birthday alcohol involved." He pauses. "Somewhere between the two, I hear a fried chicken youma happened."

That last might possibly be revenge on Mamoru for the toaster comment. Or maybe he's hoping that having to stop to giggle will make Mamoru breathe. Either way, towels start being shaken out and dropped on the floor, right alongside Homura's contribution.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-04-27 03:35:13 90838
"I'm not crying, you're noisy!" hiccups Mamoru in Kyouko's general direction, like the lamest IM NOT CRYING YOU'RE CRYING in history, his stupidly tall form altogether ridiculous bent over in its squooshing of Homura. Later he'll probably text her asking for a conbenie burrito, more likely. "No it-- it hasn't been a week here... you've been gone for, for what, two years? It feels like a million--"

He doesn't want to let go. This isn't like him, really. It might get awkward. He makes it awkward by awkwardly letting go and taking a half-step back, then actually having to grab Homura's shoulders to avoid slip/tripping on the towel he just backstepped onto, wet on the slick plastic-coated tiled floor. And then Madoka's panicking that maybe it's the wrong timeline and also almost slipping, and he braces his feet wide like he's subway surfing and reaches out a hand to snag and steady her, nearly overbalancing in the process.

His hands are bare.

His hands are bare and that was a big hug with contact, sudden and unconcentrated, and he's touched Madoka's arm and Homura's head and there's not even the faintest hint of feedback-- or even of his presence, of the warming golden empathy that comes with contact always.

"It's us! You're ours!" he says almost desperately. "You have to be--"

And Kazuo's way more practical about it, of course, and then he has to tack that last thing on the end, and Mamoru runs out of spoons all at once. Maybe Homura has some left in her shield. Because Mamoru's suddenly laughing and crying.
Homura Akemi 2018-04-27 03:44:05 90839
    Madoka's mentioning the wrong timeline, and Homura has to consider it. It's very possible that they could've, because Homura was in a bit of a hurry when she opened the two portals she used to get here, but is that really the case?

    "Yeah, that must be it. We've entered a timeline where we vanished, apparently. A bit less dismal than the place we were just in."

    Homura has to consider that for a moment, because if this is a new timeline that had a different Homura, how would they know? "Thing is, according to my cell phone, it's currently late April, over a year since we left." Homura frowns as she looks at her phone. "If this isn't our timeline, how can we be sure?"

    Kyouko scowling at her only tells Homura that the two of them know each other. Kyouko leaving for work is... a bit indicative of the timeline Homura intended to go back to. This is so confusing.

    She's trying to figure all of this out with Mamoru clinging to her and sobbing. Well, one thing is clear: Even if this isn't the Mamoru she knows, he knows her and misses her. No harm in letting him have his moment. She'd probably feel the same way, if he was the one who had been gone for so long.

    Still, he continues to disturb her, and not with hugging. Homura is as rock solid as ever as Mamoru grasps her shoulders. Homura's been getting cuddled for a very long time, and she doesn't quite have the personal space issues she used to. At least not if it's someone she trusts.

    Two years? "Nah, it's been maybe a year and a half. To us, it should be the middle of Winter, 2016."

    Kazuo speaks, and Homura's face darkens more and more. By the time he's finished, she's got a noticeable frown.

    "All of that matches up with what I remember. The changes that have happened could be explained by the passage of time. While it's not impossible that we're in a slightly different world..." Homura pauses, and then sighs. "... Madoka-chan, if this is our timeline, I think your mother is going to kill me."

    She digs through a few of the notifications. Mamoru saying he misses her. Texts from Chisato. Texts from work. All sorts of messages from a number of different people. The more she looks at it, the more it feels... right. Which pretty much makes it all wrong.

    "I should talk to my mom, too... but... I think family needs to wait. Mamo-kun, there's some really important things I need to tell you."
Madoka Kaname 2018-04-27 03:54:36 90840
    Kyouko's scowling is probably enough for Homura, but Madoka's own memories of her know no other versions, even if there are some of Homura's she could potentially remember if she tried really hard. It's also not lost on her that she's probably being quite the pest, so she explains, "It was our mess so I'll try to clean it up..."

    Then Kunzite starts ticking off one event after another that all line up in her mind and for a moment she stands there kind of numb, going back in her mind to what Mamoru was saying and for the moment forgetting about the wet mess of the floor as more towels are given over to the cause. She starts to pale for a moment as his words hit her, only for him to clarify just how long they've been gone.

    And then his hand is there steadying her, keeping her safe and 'worrying'' about her when all of a sudden it's clear, so clear how much he's hurting. Just like only hours ago someone she knows is her friend is hurting and needs help, and unlike then she can touch him. So she does. She steps closer and hugs him, holding onto him tight and helping take some of the weight from Homura.

    "It's okay, Mamoru-kun. I didn't think so at first, but somehow I know you're right. Somehow I'm sure that this is the Mamoru-kun that's helped me so many times, who gave me a friend when I was all alone and overwhelmed in a new place."

    She closes her eyes for a moment and rests her head against his arm, for the moment ignoring the fact that she's soaking wet still and dripping water on him. She can feel his hand on her arm and none of that golden warmth she'd be expecting, but even though that should be damning evidence to the contrary she's certain he's the Mamoru she knows and cares about.

    "Eheheh... it's going to take weeks to calm Mama down, but I know she'll be happy to see me." As Mamoru cries and laughs and cries some more, Madoka reaches up to set her hand over his, giving it a little squeeze.
Kunzite 2018-04-27 03:59:57 90841
Towels down, Kazuo puts out an arm behind Mamoru -- not further entangling him, his dealings with the two girls do enough of that already. Just enough to catch him if he should slip and actually fall.

"Important things needing to be told go all around, apparently," he observes. "The White Flower's been doing something that has Kyubey unsettled." It's a casual aside, not an attempt to pry open the topic; a marker to come back to at a future time, that's all. Words that can even be ignored for now. Because Madoka and Homura have their own topics to focus on, or to be alarmed at the prospects of.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-04-27 04:13:38 90842
Some really important things she needs to tell him-- something about WE HAVE TO SAVE the FUtUrE no doubt-- but then Madoka's hugging him, and her certainty is as much of a relief as the hug. Somehow in the middle of all this (spoilers: it is probably Kunzite's steady calm and Madoka's steady belief and Homura's steady practicality all combined that manages the miracle) Mamoru remembers that he's nearly 20 and a medical student and at least sometimes still likes to pretend he still has dignity, and closes his eyes, and slowly calms down. "Sorry," he mutters, "it's been kind of a terrible month. And-- and yeah, winter of 2016 is more or less when you vanished... you're home, you really are home..."

Kazuo's arm behind Mamoru means that even with Madokahug, he's edged backward without letting go so that he's got contact there, too. "But-- yes-- okay, yes, important things, tell me. But Kazuo's important thing is also important, grief seeds and grief cubes are down to something like two-thirds efficiency. None of us can get hold of Kyubey to see if it's him being a jerkface again, but it's also global. So be careful. The rest of that might have to wait--?"
Homura Akemi 2018-04-27 04:19:04 90843
    Madoka's words stir something in Homura. The lack of connection to Mamoru only tells Homura that he's still in control of his powers... or maybe it means something more than that. It seems odd, but it's something she files away for later. Kazuo mentions Kyubey, and Homura frowns. "White Flower? ... Of course, I should've known. She was stolen from my shield, after all." Then she hears more from Mamoru. "Grief seeds and Grief cubes? ... well, we'll have to be careful about how much magic we use."

    Homura's been standing there frowning for a while, and it only then really dawns on her that she really hasn't been responding to the feelings of those around her, so wrapped up in her own little world as she is. She reaches forward to give Mamoru a tight little hug. It doesn't last long, but she hopes at the very least that it's reassuring.

    She stands there, dripping wet with salt water, stoically not caring about it for a second while secretly wishing that she could go take a shower. She gathers her wits for a moment, and starts to spill what she knows.

    "Madoka-chan and I went through a portal into what we thought another world. I'm still pretty sure that's what it was. We took a sailboat to this world's ocean, and we sailed around a bit. We didn't find any fish, we didn't see any birds, we thought nothing of it until we saw Mt. Fuji in the distance."

    "We got closer and saw a city torn to shreds. A major disaster happened there. There were people there... here."

    Homura pushes past the phone's notifications again, going to her photo album and tilting the screen so that Mamoru can see it. She shows him pictures of dried-up people with darkness where their eyes should be. She shows him the ruined city, and the destroyed city. She shows him two large crystal structures, and... more ruined cityscape?

    "Wait... that's not right. That last one should have you in it."

    Homura looks at her phone digging through her album for that one picture. "You were here! You were different and you didn't know who we were, but you were here and you looked older... well, actually you look as old as you do now..."

    Homura squints her eyes closed. This is too much to take in. She glances at Madoka-chan, both admiring and being envious of the fact that she has the emotional wherewithal to worry about others in a time like this, when Homura is struggling to keep herself together. At least she's in the same boat as Mamoru.

    "He told me... You told me... whatever... The other you said that his world needed help. The kind of help that only Usagi-chan could give."
Madoka Kaname 2018-04-27 04:35:46 90844
    "Nothing that makes Kyubey unsettled that has to do with the White Flower can possibly be good," Madoka comments, though she remains firmly hugged onto Mamoru. It also takes a moment, but she manages to smile, "Homura-chan? Were there ever any other timelines with Grief Cubes? I think those were new, even to you." It's just further proof that this really is their original timeline.

    Well, her own anyway. She'd rather Homura not go back to her original timeline.

    While Homura shows them pictures on her phone and explain Madoka stays close to Mamoru and nods, "I had no idea it was even Earth because everything was so clean and pure. Until we got to the city, anyway." When the picture that's supposed to have King Endymion in it is there she blinks and nods, "She's right! The, um, other Mamoru-kun had a white tuxedo with tails, and a mask, and lavender under the cape instead of red."

    Madoka's eyebrows come together and her lips purse for a moment, realizing she's forgetting something. Oh, right! Yes, very important. "And he has a kitten! ...though we didn't actually see it."

    Her eyes then turn to Homura, studying her for half a second. She half-detaches herself from Mamoru, leaning against him still while holding onto him with one arm, reaches over and pulls Homura close, because clearly she needs a bit of comfort too. She makes sure to give a great big squeeze to Homura's side, smiling to her afterwards before looking a bit more serious when she returns her gaze to Mamoru.

    "He was trying to protect us. He didn't even know us and he was worried about us." She gives him a soft smile, because even if it wasn't him it was, in a way. "He said it wasn't safe for us there, or really for anyone, because it was too soon after whatever happened."

    "...also I think he was a ghost or something. I went right through him when I tried to touch him."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-04-27 05:03:30 90845
The eventual return hug from Homura is actually a vast reassurance, yes. All of this is, yes, from the perspective of the Mamoru that Homura first met, wildly strange: he'd been touch starved and touch averse, but live has changed both of these things, at least with people he loves and with people who need him.

It's just... now, Mamoru's looking at the pictures and he's gone very still. Inside his own mind, he's tangled up in a memory borrowed from someone else's head in a moment of unprotected contact, in a moment of horrifying fate that's been buried under so many other things for so long that he'd forgotten. The pictures look like the same place--

--and the giant crystals, even more absolutely the same. He sees the bodies, or-- whatever-- with the missing eyesockets, and all he can think for a long moment, barely hearing anything they're saying and just letting it gather in his buffer, is that that's nothing a tiny little girl should ever have to see.

"A kitten..." he echoes, "I've wanted a kitten for a long time." His voice is very absent, distracted. "I went to go take care of Amy, to bring her here, but someone stopped me... the time dilation actually makes sense, if it's just happened, and she came here so long ago and it had still just happened. Like a sort of reverse Narnia...? Yes--"

He blinks and lets go one arm to rub his eyes. "Yes. She was looking for the Silver Crystal. She had a toy gun we didn't know was a toy... and I have no idea where she is. She tried to rob Kyouko's conbenie, too. But she was only like... five? And by then Kyou knew the gun was fake. It-- she came looking for help and she's gone..."

He takes a breath and focuses. "If he was a ghost, then it stands to reason he wouldn't show up in the picture. That all sounds pretty unnerving. But I'm glad you didn't run into an alternate me that was a dick, really."
Homura Akemi 2018-04-27 05:15:04 90846
    This might not be the timeline that Homura was born in, but it's the one she considers home, because this is where her family is.

    "Yeah... yeah Grief Cubes were new to me, too."

    At the talk of kittens and cats, Homura listens. So Mamoru thought of Amy, that was sweet of him, but someone stopped him? "Was she old enough to be my mother and looked kinda like an older me? Because that could've been my mother. She started to show up a bit right before we vanished."

    Mamoru mentions time dilation and Homura nods. "That might be it. The space there was warped and strange. It wouldn't shock me if time was being warped, too."

    Mamoru was talking about someone. Homura tried to think back. She's sure she's heard something about that, but it's been so long. "Other you mentioned that help was on the way, that it was already sent for. Maybe this person you're talking about had something to do with it?"

    The fact that Madoka senses her feelings and gives her a hug, because of course she does, because she's the woman Homura loves. The black-haired time traveller smiles at her softly, returning the one armed hug and squeeze, and also wrapping an arm around Mamoru. Like she was just thinking, her family is here.

    That said the moment Mamoru shows even the slightest discomfort or desire to stop hugging she'll let him go.

    "Yeah, he didn't cast a shadow either. Maybe that's why the camera didn't pick him up. I really didn't have time to think at the moment. He was giving me Dire Warnings and I was concerned for Madoka's safety."
Madoka Kaname 2018-04-27 05:29:31 90847
    Madoka looks up at Mamoru as he goes into analytical mode, reacting to the pictures and words together with information she knows nothing about, at a bit of a loss for who 'she' is, but gathering that whoever she is is fairly important. And five years old? Madoka blinks a little at hearing that.

    Then she smiles again, despite the seriousness of everything going on, while looking to Homura when Mamoru mentions Amy and someone who must have been Chisato. The smile doesn't last especially long before there's a bit of sadness creeping into her eyes, remembering how estranged Homura had been from her family, and now to seemingly disappear for so long a time.

    But it'll be okay, because they're back and they can be with their families again-- both biological and chosen. Her eyes close again when Homura hugs her back, giving both of them another squeeze.

    She blinks a little when Homura notes that the other Mamoru didn't cast a shadow, not having specifically caught that herself. But rather than worrying about chiding herself she focuses on something more important. "What's happened there is certainly terrible, but he also seemed very sure things would be okay in time, once the help he was waiting for came." From what Homura and Mamoru have said that's probably Usagi and her Silver Crystal.

    "But... things have also happened here, haven't they? What's going on, Mamoru-kun? Why are you being guarded so carefully and why can't I see into your mind when you touched my arm?" There's sympathy in her eyes and a soft smile, her voice soft and questioning rather than any kind of accusation. It seems she caught some of those glances between Kyouko and Kunzite earlier, and the way Mamoru had instantly retreated for cover when Tuxedo Kamen can stand tall against almost any threat.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-04-27 05:53:26 90848
"Yeah, I guess she was your mother," Mamoru says with a glance at Homura, perfectly happy to maintain the half-hug with both of them for now. "Awkward. I mean I'd only heard her voice at the meeting and was kind of evil at the time so I didn't-- I thought it would be best to just go away. But she's been taking care of Amy, so Amy's fine." He falls silent for a moment, thinking. "If ghost-me sent a five year old for help getting the Silver Crystal... I guess everyone really did die. I feel really bad for her. It's an awful thing to be that young and that alone and lost someplace you don't recognise, and it's got to be so much worse coming from something like... like that," he nods toward Homura's phone.

But then Mamoru shakes his head. "We have to find her, that's all. And figure out how to get help there with her. Usako and-- and everyone..."

After a second, there's a brief laugh. "I guess I could be good at Dire Warnings. Especially if whatever happened turned my tuxedo white. I-- I guess if it was only me..."

Mamoru abandons that thought really quickly. To be that alone and to not even be able to touch at all? No. He can't think about that right now, and even as Madoka's squeezing them both, he's latching on to the last thing Madoka asked-- and then he laughs and lets his arms drop. It's the most tired laugh in the world, and brittle. "Well, I can tell you for sure if you get Usa and go, I'm not going to be able to come with you. I have no powers. I can't even heal myself. I can't even henshin. Someone calling herself Sailor Earth has been stealing them and claiming I'm an impostor and that she's actually Endymion. It's a mess. I can tell you about it later, or maybe Kunz--"

And Kunzite has ghosted away in the interim. Mamoru drags a hand down his face. "I need to make some calls. And you should-- you should catch up with things, get settled back in. Do you want me to keep quiet that you're back so you can catch up before diving in...?"
Homura Akemi 2018-04-27 06:06:33 90849
    Homura hms. So that's the story behind the person Mamoru was talking about. Well, the story so far anyways. She thinks it over. There's a lot to take in.

    Homura's mother, visiting her house and wondering where they are. Madoka's family, probably wondering the same thing about them. The Contractors, Salamander, and the people who depended on them. All of it is a lot to take in, and being with the people she cares about is probably the only thing helping her keep it together.

    "You're Endymion. I won't listen to anything that anyone else says. Whoever this Sailor Earth is, she's a liar. If you need me to help on that front, you know where to find us. I won't be playing around with that book anymore, not after this."

    Homura releases Mamoru, and looks directly at Madoka. "I think we should see to our families first. My mother is surely worried, and your family is too. No... maybe they're past worry. We should call them... but... maybe not here."

    Homura glances around at Mahou Central, otherwise known as the Earth Court Frat House, and decides that she'd rather be somewhere a bit more mundane when they call around. Whatever happens, they'll need a non-magical excuse for why they've been gone so long.

    "We should get our stories straight. We were lost at sea all that time. The sailboat rental should prove that. Any inconsistencies should probably be explained by fuzzy memory. We were out in the heat and the elements for a very long time."

    Homura's eyes turn downward. "I don't like lying about this kind of thing, but... we don't need them learning the truth."

    To Mamoru, Homura turns. "I don't mind if you tell the people closest to you, but in my experience it's not always beneficial to volunteer too much information."
Madoka Kaname 2018-04-27 06:13:15 90850
    "Not just you," Madoka says with a shake of her head. She knows where his mind is going, because it's the exact same place hers did when the enormity of what must have happened hit her. "You and a kitten. He told us not to worry about him, that he'd be okay. So don't worry, we'll find a way to help, find the girl you're talking about, and he'll be okay. Him and everyone else."

    Though the next things he says Madoka isn't entirely sure how to address, how to make him feel better. "Someone is stealing your powers? Mamoru-kun, that's terrible. I'm sorry- please let us know if there's anything we can do to help! This 'Sailor Earth' person, she can't possibly be you because the Mamoru-kun I know would never do that to someone."

    Something silly occurs to her and Madoka lifts a hand to her mouth and almost giggles, "Actually, she can't possibly be Endymion, because we've seen another world and it was definitely you there. Maybe we should tell her the bad news?"

    Onto more serious matters, Madoka finally releases Mamoru and steps back. "Maybe you need to call your parents, but I'm going to have to see Mama and Papa in person. If I just called, well... Mama would track the phone number and kick down any door that got in her way to get to me, I think." She sounds more than a little worried and just a touch nervous as she says that.

    "Lost at sea. Maybe stranded on an island somewhere." She pauses and looks down at her skin, which has maybe gotten a little tanned from her week in the sun, but not that much. "...and I guess we had a barrel of sunscreen. Eheh."

    "If you need to make calls we can give you some space... but not before I help cleaning up the mess!" A mess that has she stopped cleaning up almost as soon as she started cleaning it, which means the water has probably spread out all over the room, by now. She grabs a fresh towel and starts sopping up water from the floor. At least she made sure none got near the mural.