Usagi and Rei come to visit Kyouko's new Palace.

Date: 2018-08-17
Pose Count: 15
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-17 22:00:26 94759
    If you're in the know about the Shitennou Palaces, it's pretty easy to get to any of them. A nondescript door in Tokyo leads to a seemingly-endless flight of stone steps down into the Earth, which eventually opens out into the beautiful gardens of Jadeite's palace. From there, a series of doors lead to the others. Formerly, the three others. But now a fourth door has seemingly appeared along with the other three- or maybe it was there all along, and just went unnoticed? Either way, it's certainly there now. It's a very modern looking black and silver door made of some kind of metal, but decorated with intricate designs.

    Pulling it open and stepping through, one finds themselves coming out of a door in the back wall of a modern, hilltop house- more of a mansion, really, though it isn't huge. It sits perched upon the side of a hill overlooking a vast cityscape that vanishes into the distance, though the house itself is surrounded by vegetation, carefully curated and manicured. It's perpetually early evening here, the light soft but still bright, the sky blue but just tinging purple on the horizon.

    The house has a large patio which extends out from the hillside, overlooking the city. It has a bunch of comfy tables and chairs strewn around, all of which are laden with food and drink of varying description, more than enough for any number of guests.
Usagi Tsukino 2018-08-17 22:39:51 94763
Usagi loves house warming parties!! Especially when they're palaces! And of course, the appropriate gift to bring -- wine!! Sadly, since no one in their right mind would let her bring wine anywhere, it's more the sparkling juice she drinks on New Year.

And what else do house warmings need? Guests! And Usagi is bringing one!

Or more like dragging.

Poor Rei.

Usagi runs through the first palace and calls out a 'hello!!' to the lion puppies then she's opening the door and dragging Rei on through! She suddenly stops, eyes starry as she stares at the view. "Woooooow! I can see for years!"
Rei Hino 2018-08-17 22:47:36 94765
Rei had *just* *BEEN* to a party, and it nearly ended reality! And she was way better at THAT party, but she was... sort of a different person then? Last week??
    Rei's still trying to sort that out in a way that makes sense.
    Regardless, when Usagi wants to go to a party, you're sort of already there before your answer can travel from your brain to your mouth, and Rei finds herself standing VERY stiffly behind Usagi with a smoke trail behind her, looking back at the door as if she's trying to figure out what it is, before she's snapped out of it by Usagi's excited exclamations.
    "Oh!" She says, rather taken aback by the view herself - and even smiling a little! - before she looks around the room.
    She can't help but feel a little under dressed.
    Rei subtly takes the bottle of juice away from Usagi - not that she doesn't trust her with it!!! - and holds it closely and a bit more securely. "Usagi." She chimes in patiently, a gentle smile on her face, "Remember to greet the hostess before you run around too much."
Usagi Tsukino 2018-08-17 22:52:34 94767
Usagi blinks at Rei for a moment. "Oh! Right!"

Usagi takes a deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breath in.


And then--

Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-17 22:52:50 94768
    Said hostess is currently standing in the middle of the patio, and Rei shouldn't be worried about being under-dressed because Kyouko is just in jeans and a t-shirt, which is her normal day-to-day outfit. The other notable thing about Kyouko right now, though, is that she is arguing with a rat.

    A big rat. Like the size of a cat. A real New York street rat. Except it's sitting up on its haunches with its paws on its hips, and arguing back at her in a voice with a heavy brooklyn accent.

    "That's what I'm sayin'," Kyouko snaps at the rat, "I think we got enough food out! Nobody's even here yet!"

    "Yeah, and when theys do show up, theys gonna think we're cheapo!" The rat snaps right back at her. "I just got this gig after bein' alone for 10 million friggin' years, I ain't gonna stuff it up now! The Mistress says food, we gotta have food, capiche?!"

    Kyouko opens her mouth to say something back when she looks up and spots Usagi and Rei, just as Usagi bellows her greeting. First she winces, because volume, and then her expression turns from a scowl into a grin. "Hey! Hi guys!" She exclaims, hurrying away from the rat who stays where he is and huffs dramatically. "Come in! Make yourselves at home! Pretty sweet view, right?" This to Usagi, who is staring off all starry-eyed. "It's not real though. I mean, it looks and sounds really real but you can't actually go there.."
Rei Hino 2018-08-17 22:56:15 94770
In the moment between the breath and the voice, all the color drains from Rei Hino's face.
    "Please don-"
    And then Usagi screams, and Rei LURCHES forward and makes the human vocal equivalent of static in sheer mortification. "KKKKKHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!"
    Rei straightens up sharply, "Usagiiiiiiii!! You can't just- I am so sorry." She switches mid stride when Kyouko appears, bowing in apology.
    Bow. Bow bow. Bow. Accompanying cartoon sound effects assumed.
    When Rei straightens up again it's with a VERY deep breath, wide eyes turned towards Usagi while still talking to Kyouko. "Thank you. You have a beautiful home."
Usagi Tsukino 2018-08-17 23:02:32 94772
It's a good thing Usagi doesn't hear what the rat says, otherwise she'd spend most of the party crying on him because he's been alone for ten million years!!!

As it is, she eagerly waves at him over Kyouko's shoulder. "Hi, Mr. Mouse! I'm Usagi, it's nice to meet you!"

She blinks large eyes at Rei. "But what did-- I think she'd be more worried if I was polite, Rei-chan." Nod nod nod! "I scare people when I'm polite."

Those large eyes get larger as she turns back to Kyouko. "It isn't?!" She looks out over the very realistic landscape. "Woooooow! Did Naru-chan paint it?"
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-17 23:07:26 94774
    Kyouko pauses, eyeing Rei as she bows and apologizes over and over again. Then she grins, laughing. "Hey, don't worry about it, Rei-san. If I ain't used to Usagi by now there's clearly something wrong with me. Besides, I ain't hardly a bastion of good manners myself.." She turns to look at the house, flushing just a little. "I mean, it's not really my home.. I still live in the apartment under Mamoru, and stuff, but. It is pretty well. I mean, I just kinda got it yesterday, so I'm still getting used to it.."

    Then Usagi is greeting the rat, who shuffles over before sitting up on his haunches again, large enough that when he does this, he is almost knee-high on Usagi. He may be a rat, but at least he looks like a clean, well-groomed rat. "Ladies." The rat says, in a debonaire voice, and performs a small bow.

    Kyouko sighs. "This is Benjy. He's my Spirit Guardian, apparently. He's kind of a prick but he's alright when you get used to him."

    Then she adds, to Usagi, "Uh no, it just kinda.. formed out of nothing based on my desires, or something? But Naru did get an art studio upstairs! I think she's still up there right now, actually, painting or something.."
Rei Hino 2018-08-17 23:15:06 94777
Rei smooths her slightly frazzled hair back into place and sighs. She'd like to argue that point, but Usagi being Usagi has already saved the planet at least once.
    And even then, Rei isn't in the business of telling Usagi not to be Usagi.
    Just maybe... *less* Usagi, circumstantially.
    "Scare *me*. Just once!" She says wryly, but she's still smiling a bit when Kyouko speaks, a bit of the guarded softness returning to her voice that seems to crack half of the time she talks to Usagi, "I'm still working on that, myself."
    And then she's being introduced to a rat.
    She hangs out with two cats, it shouldn't be weird.
    It's a *little weird!!*
    "Nice... nice to... meet you.... Benjy-san." She greets with a polite little bow
Usagi Tsukino 2018-08-17 23:23:45 94780
Usagi tilts up her nose a little. "But you're expecting it right now! You won't be scared, then!" Then she shakes her head at Rei. "She really isn't. And when she is, it's a little scary." She is, of course, remembering their polite eat off.

Then the rat is coming over! Ohhhh! Both hands go to her mouth as she stares down at him while introductions are made. Ohhhhh!

She looks up at Kyouko, then at the rat, then to Kyouko, then to the rat. "CanIhugyouMr.Mouse?!"

See! She can be polite!
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-17 23:26:47 94781
    Benjy returns Rei's bow. "Nice to meet yous." He says to her, politely. Then Usagi is asking to hug him, and he starts looking a little nervous. "Um, I ain't exactly made for huggin'.."

    "Oh, don't be a scardy rat." Kyouko sneers, nudging him with her toe. "Just once. C'mon, she's my guest."

    Benjy sighs. "Alright, fine then. But just one hug! I gots a party to supervise!"
Rei Hino 2018-08-17 23:27:21 94782
Rei's eyes are a BIT wide. "Be... be careful Usagi..."
Usagi Tsukino 2018-08-17 23:32:36 94784
Usagi plops to her knees. While he is larger than other rats, he is still the smallest of the guardians, so she doesn't hug him quite as vigorously. Or not vigorously at all, actually. But it's still warm and snug and...well, it's an Usagi hug.

Then she's standing up, all happy smiles and sunbeams. "Thank you!"
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-17 23:36:49 94785
    Benjy seems content enough with the hug, and is actually relatively fluffy for a rat! He maybe even rat-blushes a little bit at the hug, because it is an Usagi hug. When she lets him go, he clears his throat and then brushes down his fur. "Ah well, yeah. 'Course! Anything for guests. Um.. I gotta go get somethin' out of the oven!" And then he is down on all fours and scurrying back towards the house.

    Kyouko watches the whole thing with a grin, and then shakes her head. "I swear, dude's got a chip on his shoulder but he does call me 'Lady Apatite' and 'Mistress' so I can't really be that mad at him!" Then she waves to the tables and chairs set out on the patio overlooking the gorgeous (if illusory) cityscape. "Come and have some snacks! Apparently, the food is infinite! Like, if I want food I just kinda think about food and it appears?" She leans over towards Usagi and whispers, "I think that might be true of the other Palaces too, but the guys are so stingy with the eats!"

    There's pizza, and cake, and burgers, and pocky, and cookies, and maybe even like, some sushi and other proper Japanese food!
Rei Hino 2018-08-17 23:38:36 94786
Rei seems to deflate with relief, holding a hand over her heart when the hug ends safely.
    Don't get Rei wrong! She thinks Usagi's the most gentle person she's ever met!
    But she might also be the clumsiest.
    Her composure returning to her, Rei straightens up and holds the bottle out. "We brought juice as well, Kyouko-san." she offers. As if self aware that it's not a traditional offering, she smiles, "It's really good, trust me."
    "Oohhh...!" Rei clasps her hands together a bit at the spread on display, and is impressed enough that 'ethereal brain-summon food' doesn't set off alarm bells in her head. "Ah! Thank you very much, Kyouko-san." She says happily and... helps herself to some sushi. Not too much! Yet! It may be too much before long.