Care to dance, stranger?

Date: 2018-06-03
Pose Count: 19
Mamoru Chiba 2018-06-03 02:07:54 91914
There's Some Strange Dude with a greenish-white costume eerily reminiscent of Prince Endymion's, and a spiky mask like he's trying to be the Protagonist in Persona 5, and a giant halberd on the roof of the Earth Court Frat House! The city's flooded with moonlight and it's beautiful, and it's making the white of the costume and mask practically luminous in their own right, and the guy would actually look really cool if he weren't trying to use a halberd like a sword on the end of a really long stick with an inconvenient hatchet glued to it, and frequently overbalancing.
Nephrite 2018-06-03 02:28:06 91919
Even though the rooftop is technically Mamoru's (not technically--it is) and even though it is used by all members and friends of the ECFH at varying points, Neil definitely feels like the rooftop is his. It's where he keeps his stuff, where he sits more regularly than even the now-busted couch, and it's where he drinks all his best whisky while he communes with the stars. So any masked, weapon-carrying individual on his rooftop is considered, by default, an intruder. Especially one who has the audacity to adopt a look so weirdly similar to his prince's, when doppelgangers are kind of a sore point right now.

Nephrite does not wait around to see the Frost Knight's inexpert form. He does not wait to call in backup. Very suddenly, without a word of warning, a jagged glaive shunts the halberd aside and the long blade halts just shy of the intruder's throat. At the other end, Nephrite stands planted, ready to oh-so-easily twist it into Frost Knight's neck. "Of all the rooftops for you to go swinging that, you pick this one. Care to dance, stranger?"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-06-03 02:36:25 91921
There's one blurred movement that has nothing to do with the inexpertly wielded halberd and everything to do with Nephrite probably feeling better about this later:

There's cape between the intruder's throat and the glaive's long blade pointed at it. Cape and a raised right arm holding it there, like a barrier that could hope to have a prayer against a weapon like the glaive, and done so very quickly and so very reflexively and so-- so very, very familiarly.

There's a chuff of breath from the masked stranger, and he deliberately lowers his arm. "Sure," he says with a laugh, and then, "actually yeah, because I'm really shit at this halberd thing and Eiszapfen keeps telling me how bad I am at it and I should probably try to cast a barrier so I can do it in a hurry if I need to, and then we can make a mess and not actually mess up your telescope in the process."

That voice is maddeningly familiar, too. One gloveless hand in a sleeve that echoes Nephrite's own almost insultingly comes up to tip the glaive's blade away from his neck. "That was really smooth, I've gotta say. Legit almost as smooth in a completely different way as your 'bring down the heavens' line on Mako-chan at Walpurgisnacht. That shit is legend."
Nephrite 2018-06-03 02:53:50 91924
The cape movement throws Nephrite off-balance with the deja vu, the voice even more so. The glaive sags, not quite pulling away, but definitely hovering at a less lethal distance, as he stares at the weird not-Shitennou, his brain attempting to somersault over the magical wall meant to impede him from quite connecting the identity of the person in front of him.

At the mention of his telescope and Mako-chan and Walpurgisnacht, he squints suspiciously, the grip on his glaive tightening again. "FYI, name-dropping isn't really a surefire way of proving you're friendly around here. Actually, given recent events, I am less likely to trust you if that's your idea of an introduction." After all, she tried to bring up his telescope too. "So if you're friendly, I'm gonna need something more concrete than that."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-06-03 02:59:10 91926
"--OH," says the guy, taken aback, and then he literally lifts his hand to smack the side of his head. "Baka. Kyouko didn't-- I seriously forgot and it was this afternoon," he says aggrievedly, taking his mask off.

"Like you'd think I'd remember not being able to figure out that Usako was Sailor Moon was the Moon Princess for like six months after meeting her? Ami lent me Eiszapfen, the Armed Device that Agera built when he was trying to be a good guy and then--"

Here, Mamoru's very clearly speaking to the halberd, sternly, "--hurled into the side of a mountain because he's a dickbag when he doesn't get his way, which I'd like to add is something I would never ever do."

The halberd pings sulkily at him.
Nephrite 2018-06-03 03:16:19 91929
Now the glaive drops entirely away, clunking onto the rooftop and held loosely in just one hand. "Holy crap dude, I could have taken your head off! Couldn't you have sent a text? Left a post-it on the door or something so I didn't stumble into you swinging a bloody giant axe around up here?"

He runs his hand over his face. "Okay, so I take it the uniform is all you, right? You like, converted it to look like something you'd wear? And the halberd came with it? Soooo do you have any idea how to use that thing?" He wrinkles his brow down at it the ornate blade. "Is it sentient? Does it come with a manual?"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-06-03 03:26:55 91930
Talk about sheepish. Mamoru plonks the mask back onto his face and gives Nephrite an expansive shrug. "I blocked you?" he offers. "If I were really worried I wouldn't've been anywhere NEAR it. I mean you're not the type to take people's heads off even if they're Agera, nevermind strangers, unless they're doing something unforgiveable and about to kill someone I guess. Anyway I forgot. It's really hard to remember the identity stuff works when I haven't bothered really having a secret one in years--"

--and he's so much more enthusiastic and talkative right now than he's been in HOW long? He's grinning all of a sudden. "The uniform is totally me yeah. Apparently the knight cloth? Barrier jacket? I'm not super straight on the terms yet. Apparently it basically just looks like how you think it should look. And the halberd is actually Eiszapfen! Ami modded him so he can be an arbalest, too. And he's sentient, yeah, but he's not like Tyrfing, he's more like Alexis' Device. He's definitely not like Nicomachea, Rashmi's Device, that guy's from a different planet. I have kind of a list of commands because there's no manual but Ami told me most of the stuff he can do, but the commands are all in German, and I really-- you're the one who knows German. But I can jump like I used to, and the knight cloth means I can tank about as much as I used to be able to in the tuxedo, and I can do some ice-related stuff..."

He trails off. "I have no idea how to use a halberd," he says finally.
Nephrite 2018-06-03 03:38:09 91931
Well--the smiling and the talking are good. This is a less grumpy prince than Nephrite has seen in a while. He holds up his free hand. "Okay, that's a lot of words that I only sort of know, but what I'm gathering is that you still need to operate it like a normal weapon. Check."

He glances down at the glaive. He has, literally, never used it in the time that he has lived in the ECFH. It's a relic from another lifetime, used in a war he has no interest in paying tribute to. But it is still, technically, his. "Alright, well this thing is similar enough. I haven't busted it out in centuries, but that has to be better than whatever you're doing right now. Seriously, are you holding a baseball bat? Move your hands up." He takes his own glaive in both hands to demonstrate: one hand several inches above the base, the other much further up the shaft. "It's a long-ass weapon, you gotta give yourself leverage to maneuver it."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-06-03 03:54:33 91932
"..." Mamoru opens his mouth, then looks down at how he's holding Eiszapfen, and sheepishly adjusts his grip to do it the way Neil's holding his glaive. "Sorry! I mean the closest experience I've got is really long bokken in kendo-- wow this is super unwieldy." The halberd PINGS irritably. "Well I'm sorry but you are." PING PING PING. "Jeez."

The spiky-masked white-clad prince looks up at Nephrite, expression just shy of a facial cringe. "He also doesn't like me. Uh, anyway. What are you supposed to do, spear with it? Or axe with it? Or kind of awkwardly both?"
Nephrite 2018-06-03 04:15:11 91934
Nephrite smirks. "It doesn't like you? What, does it only like assholes?"

He steps back from Mamoru, tilting his body to the side. "I mean, you're all about the swords. I get it. You can't treat this thing like a sword, though. It's just way too heavy." He turns the glaive to show how easily the blade can sweep up with just a quick turn. "Both, but preferably not clumsily. Think of it as a lot of weapons combined. The goal is to control your opponent by using all the different parts. You've got the pokey bit to do the stabbing. You've got the axe bit to slice or to hook. And you've got this--" he swings the glaive around so that it's reversed in direction, blade extended behind him and flat end pointed at Mamoru, "in case anyone gets close enough to you that the pointy bits won't work anymore. Not many things shrug off getting bashed in the face with a stick."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-06-03 04:25:04 91935
<< SPARGELTARZANRITTER IST NUTZLOS UND BENOMMEN, >> a businesslike voice announces from the halberd. Mamoru actively grimaces. "And he keeps calling me Spargeltarzanritter. Listen, man, it's Moonlight Frost Knight, okay?" he tells the halberd as he tries to mimic what Nephrite's doing. Tilt. Turn and sweep up. Make stabbing motion. Do hooking action. Swing to chop at the air and overbalance, whiffing his imaginary target. "Goddammit. Okay, and flat end is hitty and pokey. Eiszapfen, can't you be, uh... what's german for brass knuckles? I at least know how to punch people. And I really don't like stabbing."


Mamoru gives Nephrite a helpless look. At least his form's not 'large baseball bat' anymore, though it does resemble that of a nine year old who's played a lot of videogames involving halberds.
Nephrite 2018-06-03 04:46:29 91937
Nephrite stares at the halberd for a moment before bursting out laughing. "Dude, I think the thing's dissing you. I'm pretty sure it just called you a pansy." Soon he's doubling over with giggles. "It does only like assholes!"

Still snickering to himself, he forces himself back into his stance. "Okay, seriously though, no matter what the cranky weapon says, it can be used as non-lethally as you want. Remember how I said the blade can be a hook? Try this." He crosses the glaive with the halberd, twists the hooked base of the blade against it, and tugs hard.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-06-03 05:04:28 91938
" best friends are so supportive," Mamoru says with the flattest look since Kunzite was born forty. He watches Nephrite double over in laughter and gives Eiszapfen an incredibly sour look. "And it likes Ami just fine. I'm pretty sure she's not secretly an asshole. It's just still holding a grudge for that time I was Dark Endymion and beat the crap out of Agera." The corner of his mouth twitches.

Twitches, but he doesn't smile, he only looks like he might, because he is not going to laugh when the joke's at his expense, even if watching Neil crack up is always hilarious.

And then Neph's hooking the hook of his halberd and Endymion squints a little, then abruptly grins. "Okay," he says, and does, and then calls out, "Eisgltte!"


So while the prince is yanking, black ice spreads out across the rooftop, and he's the one who prepared the physics for this in advance.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-06-03 19:26:10 91940
" best friends are so supportive," Mamoru says with the flattest look since Kunzite was born forty. He watches Nephrite double over in laughter and gives Eiszapfen an incredibly sour look. "And it likes Ami just fine. I'm pretty sure she's not secretly an asshole. It's just still holding a grudge for that time I was Dark Endymion and beat the crap out of Agera." The corner of his mouth twitches.

Twitches, but he doesn't smile, he only looks like he might, because he is not going to laugh when the joke's at his expense, even if watching Neil crack up is always hilarious.

And then Neph's hooking the hook of his halberd and Endymion squints a little, then frowns, steadying himself against the yank. He unhooks it, then tries the move for himself, maybe jerking it a little (a lot, and more suddenly) than Nephrite had. He points out, "I could also tell Eiszapfen to make an ice slick as I was doing that and send an opponent sprawling, but I doubt they'd be using a glaive. Can you do that to other arms?"
Nephrite 2018-06-03 19:46:55 91941
If it is any consolation to Mamoru, Nephrite also briefly savors the thought of Dark Endymion beating the crap out of Agera. Oh, to have a video of that.

Nephrite considers how likely he would have been to fall flat on his ass if a skating rink were to form under them right now. Or worse, would have toppled forward. Onto the giant jagged sharp sticks. "Alright, Elsa. That... would probably work, yeah. You got cleats on those fancy shoes, or are you magically resistant to ice in that form? If it can put everyone else at a disadvantage, that's a pretty sweet bonus."

He lets Mamoru try out the hooking motion. "Yeah, of course. It's all about physics and leverage, right? You might not be able to twist a sword out of someone's hand, but you can turn it away, so long as they don't manage to get too close. What you're doing here is controlling the enemy's movements so they can't get a swing at you. You use the hook to push the weapon aside, then you use the pointy bit to jab at them." He demonstrates, carefully keeping said pointy bit significantly farther away from Mamoru than he had before. "You want to actually hurt them, you go for the throat. You want to just keep them at a distance, poke them somewhere they don't want to be poked."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-06-03 20:00:52 91942
...Homura actually filmed it. It is recorded for posterity. Well. Part of it. She missed the beginning which honestly was even better than the end.

On the other hand, Mamoru right now is looking unwell at the thought of, in theory, stabbing someone in the throat with a halberd. He straightens, pointy end of the weapon down, and sighs. "I'm going to have to put myself in a frame of mind I really don't like if I want to practice even doing that at the air."

<< EMPFI-- >>

"SHUT UP, I literally did not ask your opinion. Look, that wasn't me, I was as full of dark energy as Agera usually is AND I was basically mindwiped except for some lingering bullshit that fed the bullshit Beryl wanted. You never met her. If I could have taken her head clean off with you, I would have. What you were there for is I fucking failed to save Agera's life when he saved me from that giant fucking youma, and even though he's alive now I'm STILL carrying that with me, and you can shut the fuck up and stop making fun of the goddamn DOCTOR who keeps having to FIGHT, okay?!" the Prince yells, holding the halberd in front of him in both hands and giving it a shake.

Eiszapfen is silent.

"HRUGH," Mamoru vocally exhales, trying to let go of the fury with it. Grimly, he lowers the halberd at the air, turning so he's standing abreast of Nephrite instead of in opposition. "I would really prefer tanking and dodging that shit whenever necessary, but I can get that sometimes I'm going to have to stand my ground, and even if I can leap around like an idiot and stack the field against an enemy-- which, yeah, it's not cleats but I can basically ice skate or avoid sliding if I want to-- I'm a lot less agile hauling around a giant spear-axe on a stick. So. Yes. Complaining aside, thank you, and yeah."
Nephrite 2018-06-03 20:27:44 91943
Nephrite watches the argument between halberd and wielder silently, letting it play out. He shifts his own glaive to one hand, resting the base on the floor. His free hand moves to rest over Mamoru's--even if the contact doesn't have the same result as it would under normal circumstances. "I know, dude. This isn't your thing at all. It's a last resort in a dumb situation that's leaving you without other options. But what you can do is use it as a deterrent. Nobody but you and me and this shiny asshole has to know that you're not on board with the stabbing part." He pauses, considering. "And maybe Kunzite, who probably already knows that, but super doesn't have to know how close I came to taking your head off earlier."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-06-03 20:33:21 91944
"All," Mamoru says with another exhalation afterwards, closing his eyes and relaxing a little with Nephrite's hand over his, even if it doesn't come with the usual benefits of contact between Mamoru and his guardians, "our people would know that. Yeah. Okay. Showing I am physically capable of doing this, and doing it right, should be enough to keep some assholes from testing it. Okay."

He just breathes for a moment, then lowers the halberd again and turns to klonk his forehead into Neil's shoulder. "I'm excited to have magic again, even if it's not mine. Gimme a minute to remind myself of that."
Nephrite 2018-06-03 20:38:21 91945
A hand comes up to ruffle the back of Mamoru's hair. "You get a minute, and then we're working on your stance. Let's try to make it look like that giant thing isn't the only thing keeping you on the ground."