Emo to the Last Drop

Nephrite tries to console Jadeite with beer and a game of angry frisbee. Feels happen.

Date: 2018-08-28
Pose Count: 24
Nephrite 2018-08-28 01:45:22 96229
There has been a lot of moodiness in the ECFH lately, and for once, it is not coming from Neil's direction. Actually, it seems that multiple parties are now sulking, and Mamoru's been carrying a plushie around, and Saburo's hiding in his apartment, which is especially confusing because that is usually Neph's job. If they all turn into weird hermits, there is no telling what the frat house would be reduced to.

There is really only one remedy to this. Well, one remedy that Neil knows. So when he comes knocking on Jadeite's door, there is a distinct clinking noise accompanying him that can only be from a six-pack of beer.
Saburo Yukimura 2018-08-28 01:52:32 96233
Jadeite has not been sulking. He has not been moping either. He's just been... taking a breather. Yes. That's right, he's been taking a break. He's gone on vacation. He's living his best life, except that that best life is in his room, alone, away from everyone he loves and cares about, and also he's been eating nothing but leftover pizza and leftover takeout and Usagi's snacks for like, the last couple of days.

Alright, maybe he's sulking, a little bit, sort of, kind of. And maybe he's, somewhat, possibly, willing to accept company, or at least steal beer from whatever soul has come to cheer him up now. He opens the door.
Nephrite 2018-08-28 02:03:15 96237
Yes, there is beer. There is also a bag in Neil's hand full of 7-11 sandwiches and rice balls, and maybe a tin of Mako Cookies, and also a... frisbee. The moment Saburo's opened the door, he's leaned his arm over his head against the frame, placing himself in the gap so that closing the door again might require some shoving. And he's pretty hard to shove.

"So, before you slam the door in my face, no I'm not here to tell you what to do, or ask you any questions. If you want to talk, I'm listening, but if not, don't. I'm here because I have a bunch of Canadian craft beer that needs drinking. And some of these are summer seasonals, which taste better when you're outside in the sun. So I figure, we take this frisbee and see how easy it is to throw it around your palace, with your little guardians tripping us up, or my palace, with the giant trees all in the way."
Saburo Yukimura 2018-08-28 02:14:59 96241
On the plus side, it's Neil and beer, which means it's less likely to be an interrogation. On the other hand, it's Neil and beer, which means it's more likely to be a trap. On a third, hypothetical hand, the only thing alcoholic in his apartment is the secret feel good mead, and he's not petty or vindictive enough to drink that, so...

"Your palace, no questions, and if Mamoru shows up I'm leaving," is the inevitable answer, and he rises up on his tiptoes as if that will actually make him tall enough to see anyone who could be using Neil's bulk as cover.
Nephrite 2018-08-28 02:33:17 96248
Neil smiles affably, as if he is used to being given a list of restrictions on hanging out with his friend. His palace was his preferred choice, anyway. The lack of direct access from Tokyo means less foot traffic. Lower likelihood of being interrupted. Besides, he likes having control of the sky, the way that being the driver means getting to control the radio. "No questions. Got it. I can't promise to lock him out," he adds with a tilt of the head, "but I'm not going to call him over there to try to corner you."

He waits for Saburo to get ready, and soon they're teleported into the heart of Nephrite's palace. The sun is high in a clear sky, glimmering through a thick canopy overhead. They land on top of the enormous blue sandstone quartered circle, shimmering faintly in the dappled light. Nephrite sets down his bag and the six-pack on a convenient slab of dark green jade the size of a coffee table and lays out the food and drinks. "Help yourself. The beer's all different kinds. You could have the one called Dark Matter, if you want something the same color as your mood. Or there's a Honey Hefeweizen, which is more of a summer thing. Same with Helios. I don't know, drink the sun, I guess?"
Saburo Yukimura 2018-08-28 02:50:36 96254
"I wouldn't ask you to do that," Saburo actually looks surprised - and maybe a little hurt at the assumption. "I just meant that if this is actually an intervention, I'm getting out of here."

And that's all he has to say on the subject, really. He greets Nephrite's palace with a wince - note to self, sulking in an apartment with the curtains closed will absolutely make standing out in the sun a literal pain - and a reflexive scowl as Nephrite starts in on the jokes immediately. "Very funny. I'll drink the sun - maybe it'll make the light hurt less."
Nephrite 2018-08-28 03:08:23 96260
Neil snickers, because that's what you do in the face of your friend's slight discomfort, but a thin layer of cloud might slowly make its way in to take some of the glare off. He pops the top of the Helios off and passes it over. "Sunshine it is."

He grabs the Dark Matter for himself (it has stars on the bottle) and takes a long swig before scooping up the frisbee with his free hand. "So, can you drink and toss at the same time? The goal is, don't spill your beer all over yourself. Or hit the thunderbird. Loser either gets a soaked shirt or a faceful of lightning." It's a calculated combination, even if it sounds like a half-baked plan. It's hard to mope very well when you're throwing a frisbee in an ancient redwood grove in the late summer sun, especially with a beer in-hand.
Saburo Yukimura 2018-08-28 03:25:15 96262
Saburo rolls his eyes, because he expects nothing more and nothing less than to be mocked for what he has, admittedly, brought on himself. He pops the top of his bottle and takes a swig, savoring the taste. He will never tell anyone (ever) that the fact that it's almost as bitter as his mood instantly endears it to him.

The half-baked disaster that is Neil's idea of ultimate frisbee is pretty endearing too, because no matter what happens, it's going to end with someone looking completely ridiculous. A distraction wouldn't hurt - probably the opposite, actually. "I'd say you have an unfair advantage, but all that tall just gives you more shirt to soak."
Nephrite 2018-08-28 03:46:53 96266
Nephrite grins. "That sounds like a challenge to me." He tosses the frisbee, low and casual, easy enough to grab but significantly more challenging with only one hand. "So, I agreed to no questions, but I said nothing about statements. My statement is, you have every right to feel the way you do. I've been there, and I get it. I get the pressure you're under. So when I said I wouldn't tell you what to do, I meant it. Because you deserve to deal with this however you need to."

He may or may not be bracing to get a frisbee to the face now.
Saburo Yukimura 2018-08-28 04:06:29 96269
The frisbee is caught, but at a cost - a good swallow of beer slops along the ground when it's grabbed, and while he's mourning his loss with a forelorn second swig, he's blindsided. He should have known this was too good to be true. A part of him did know - a sunlit afternoon with snacks, beer, and sports that isn't a trap?

Nephrite does not get a frisbee to the face.

He does get one to the gut though.

"You are going home with a face full of lightning, mark my words."
Nephrite 2018-08-28 04:38:47 96272
Never trust a Canadian bearing beer. Gut-frisbee is caught, at the cost of a splatter of beer down his sleeve. Neil sighs, takes a moment to shake out his damp hand, and take a few more gulps so it is less likely to spill. "Hey now, the thunderbird is very judicious in its distribution of lightning. It won't strike me down for saying stuff. Just for smacking it in the head with a stray frisbee."

Another toss in Saburo's direction. He lets the next few tosses pass in relative silence, only the grunts of effort or groan at lost beer or having to retrieve the stray disc from out of the underbrush. Finally, when hopefully more of the beer has made it into Saburo's mouth than onto the ground, he adds, "he's overbearing sometimes. Especially when it comes to this. Because it's everything he's ever imagined wanting for himself, so it's the best thing he can imagine for all of us. He's too close to his own hurt to understand yours. You know what choice I made, and yeah it was partly because I had a big jar of beans right there for him to shove at me, but it was a choice. I could have taken the memories and chosen not to act on them. But at least I had the information I needed to decide. You have the information now, or at least enough that you know where to find more. The fact is, you're not obligated to welcome anyone into your life that you don't want. It's all up to you."
Saburo Yukimura 2018-08-28 04:59:46 96277
"I just have to convince the thunderbird that what it really wants is to see your hair stand on end," is the retort, not so muc calm as coldly irritated. It's hard to stay that way with a frisbee flying at, around, and above him though, and relative peace falls as they throw the disc back and forth, only occassionally losing a bit of beer. He's not soaked, not even close, and neither is Nephrite. It's been a good game, and his beer is almost empty and he's almost - almost - ready for it, when the next statement comes. Almost, because he still chokes on his drink, and almost, because the poor frisbee still manages to get lost in the underbrush again thanks to his resulting distraction.

The sentiment is - it's not so much that it's what he wants to hear, or what he doesn't want to hear, or that it's the answer to all his problems, it's just - "They're like twelve. They're like twelve, and tiny, and adorable, and I made one of them cry in less than an hour. There's just - there's not a single chance that Mamoru is going to let that go, and we both know it. He hasn't let Kazuo's dad go, and he's past middle-age and grouchy. This is two new little sisters, and at least one of them - likes me, and whatever."
Nephrite 2018-09-05 02:15:11 97030
Never pick a fight with the team diplomat. He can, and will, shoot down your argument before you've even finished working around to it. It's not as though Saburo is entirely wrong, either. Neil and Kazuo both were pushed into reconnecting with their families, albeit in different ways, to different degrees, and with different reservations. Neil did not hesitate to race to his aunt after he remembered her. Kazuo, in contrast, is still awkward with his dad. There were varying degrees of success where the family front is concerned, but Mamoru is two for two on his track record of reuniting his guards with someone, and he has no reason to stop now.

Neil stalls for time by crossing the space between them and wading into the bushes to retrieve the lost frisbee. After a moment of casting around aimlessly with his free hand, his back turned to Saburo, he says, "Hiroshi isn't just a cranky middle-aged man. He's a parent figure. And one who was -- is -- in all kinds of pain. Mamoru's never seen a hurting person in his life that he hasn't wanted to heal."

His fingers hook under the frisbee's edge, and he stands, takes a swig of his beer, and returns to his place across from Saburo. Not pinning him with direct looks. Not invading his space too closely. "Okay. They're twelve, and this is probably overwhelming no matter who they think you are. I'd be way more shocked if they didn't cry. Also, everybody likes you. That's the default. And you think it's inevitable, but you don't seem like you're resigned to go along with it." It's technically not a question. He chucks the frisbee back.
Saburo Yukimura 2018-09-05 02:49:29 97043
Diplomacy was half empathy, being able to overlook your own feelings for the sake of understanding someone else's, and half understanding words themselves. It was being able to use them to the best of your ability, to get what you want, without bloodshed or violence and without anyone even stopping to consider that you were the one coming out with what you wanted. It was natural then, that a true diplomat would have a thorough understanding of how words, particularly careless one, could hurt, insult, and cut away context. Saburo is grimacing even before Neil counters his point, and not only because Neil is right. He might not have had much to do with Hiroshi yet, but he could hardly deny that in pain was an apt description.

The shame of it is enough to keep him still, doing nothing more than taking little sips of his drink, while Neil moves around him, retrieving the frisbee and making his comments, all the way until he throws it back.

"I shouldn't have said that about Hiroshi," he admits for lack of anything else he'd rather say. "It's unfair, and you're not wrong about Mamoru wanting to help people who are hurting. That's the problem - they're hurting, and if they weren't I could maybe convince him to let it go. But they don't like me the way little old ladies crossing the street and desperate Pok?mon Go players do. I could deal with that. It would be easy." He tosses the frisbee up, catches it with the tips of his fingers and does it again, focusing on the feel of sunwarm plastic in one hand and warming glass in the other so he can push away the stirring of memories that have been haunting him ever since the morning after he met the girl.

"My plan is to avoid it until I can't avoid it anymore." It's a great plan.
Nephrite 2018-09-05 03:22:27 97051
"I mean, it's not like you're wrong. He's a cranky old man who wasn't exactly pleasant when he first showed up, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't take a little bit of pleasure in making him squirm a bit whenever I show my face around him. But I am really damn glad that I've never had to actually use my status against Hiroshi." Neil drains the rest of his beer, and looks levelly across the clearing at Saburo. "Because I absolutely would not have hesitated to take that guy apart if he hurt Kazuo -- really hurt him. Hiroshi may be Kazuo's family, but Kunzite was ours first. I will fight anyone who threatens to hurt him, related to him or not." There is an unspoken addition in the directness of Neil's gaze: this goes for Saburo, too.

A grin breaks across his face at Saburo's last statement. "Solid plan! Never steered me wrong, except always." He plops his empty bottle down on the makeshift table and picks up another. "I hear beer goes great with avoidance. It helps if you drink it with other people instead of hiding in a cave with it."
Saburo Yukimura 2018-09-05 04:00:35 97055
That kind of promise unspoken promise shouldn't have his feet shuffling, shouldn't have a sticky hand rising to rub the back of his neck, but it does, and he hates it. It's been years since he doubted his place with his brothers, and less than an hour of conversation over a week ago and a few half-remembered dreams has brought him back to this place.

In the end, he doesn't address those words at all, an awkward, bashful sort of smile stealing across his face the only sign of his reaction.

"I figure, if I'm going to lose anyway, I might as well drag it out as obnoxiously as possible." He shakes off enough of his awkwardness to grab another bottle and stand it atop the first, one hand holding the two together to avoid the waste that dropping it would be. "Drinking alone in the dark really adds to the mysterious hermit image I'm cultivating. It's going to be the next trend, next to gin and tears and ragequitting when Pok?mon Go freezes right as you throw your last Ultra Ball."
Nephrite 2018-09-05 04:26:20 97056
The frisbee has not come back Neil's way yet, so he takes the opportunity to snatch up a Mako cookie with his free hand. It's a testament to his girlfriend's kitchen wizardry that it tastes amazing despite in no way pairing well with beer. "Oh yeah, definitely don't go gentle into that unwanted personal history," he mumbles through a full mouth. "Always rage against the familial obligations."

More beer. Yep, that definitely does not go with cookies. "Hey, I was doing the mysterious hermit thing way before it was cool. You kids and your Pokemons and your fancy gin to go with your tears. Back in my day it was cheap vodka or nothing."
Saburo Yukimura 2018-09-05 04:47:35 97058
The frisbee is still being toyed with, an impromptu stim toy, and now that the Mako cookies have been approached, it's impossible to say when it will be released to fly free once more. A sacrifice made so that Mako cookies can be eaten - Saburo honors it by selecting a Mako cookie of his own, examining it contemplatively. "Maybe I can bribe them into giving up on me with a share of Mako cookies? No, wait that's dumb. They'd have more access to cookies if they stayed."

Thwarted before the plan can even begin. He chomps his cookie to erase the stale taste of defeat and beer mixed saliva. "Every time I see a clock now, I have this half second where I think about the things I'm supposed to be doing for them. You know what I used to think about when I saw a clock? What'd happen if I replaced the hands of a grandfather clock with cuckoo birds, so that instead of cuckoo-ing outside it cuckoo-d up the numbers." And the frisbee is thrown, finally, flung straight across the distance at Neil, like the cuckoos that may now never cluck.
Nephrite 2018-09-05 04:59:52 97059
Neil was absolutely not ready to receive that frisbee. He ducks away from it instead of catching it, sloshing his full bottle of beer down his shirt. He flicks his wet hand out. "Well-played." He retrieves the frisbee from where it drifted uselessly onto the ground. "That clock sounds obnoxious. You should definitely make it and hang it up right next to Kazuo and Zoi's door."

He stands with the frisbee for a moment, trying to formulate a response that does not involve a question. But there are so many questions he wants to ask in this moment. It's that word, supposed, that's tripping him up. Like someone would make him, if they could. When he finally tosses it, what he has landed on is: "the thing about time is, stuff changes with it. Maybe they do those things for themselves now. Or somebody does."
Saburo Yukimura 2018-09-05 05:24:48 97060
"Thank you, thank you," is the response, accompanied by a courtly bow that isn't at all teasing, not in any way, shape, or form. This is a serious bow, from a serious court member. "Why put it outside of their door when I could wrap it up as a gift and get Zoi to carry it inside, forever tarnishing the fanciness with my ...clockoo."

When the frisbee hits his hand and makes him drop the bottle into the grass - that's justice for the awful name he's inflicted on the world. When he bends to grab both bottle and frisbee, he mourns to find the bottle more than half empty and rimmed wih dust. This is going to take more than a quick wipe and a blow to fix. Like that family says a voice in the back of his head, suspiciously familiar to his favorite comedian. "Maybe. Or maybe it's all just waiting for me to show up again, six years of missed buses and old homework and a dusty room."
Nephrite 2018-09-05 05:42:03 97061
There were six bottles in that case. That means two remain. Neil fishes one out and hands it to Saburo, trading it for the dirty one. "That's positively devious. I approve." Another unspoken addition: Mamoru would love that horrible pun.

He shrugs, moving back to appropriate tossing distance again. "Good thing you've already got a good room, then. Several good rooms, in fact. And a palace."
Saburo Yukimura 2018-09-05 06:01:14 97062
The fourth bottle may have met it's untimely end, but the fifth is cradled carefully. Between the catching, throwing, and surprise statements, he's only managed to consume about half a bottle and he's determined to ensure most of this one makes it into his mouth. When Neil is in throwing range, he gives the frisbee a weak little lob, so that it lands a good five or so feet out of standing-and-catching range as he takes another drink, not bothering to savor it.

"And a whole family of my own, that's just mine, and not theirs." The smile of before is back, faintly sheepish, a little bashful. "This is why it's better to just - ignore it."
Nephrite 2018-09-05 06:23:39 97063
Neil snorts good naturedly. "You call that a throw?" Oops, that was a question. But maybe Saburo won't notice, and he's smiling as he goes to retrieve the fallen frisbee.

He's standing back up as Saburo speaks, spinning the frisbee around in his hand as he turns to look at him. "Yep, and it's not going anywhere, no matter what you do. So, ignore it. I'll back you up. And if you ever change your mind, I'll still be here to provide the beer."
Saburo Yukimura 2018-09-05 06:33:24 97064
It's a question but compared to everything else he's let Neil get away with today? "I call it saving my beer."

"Make it something more goth next time. I want to really taste the emo in every drop - it'll you know, console me. And - thanks."