Sunny Chemical Real Estate Day Romance

Date: 2018-09-09
Pose Count: 9
Mamoru Chiba 2018-09-12 04:01:46 97611
When Nephrite comes up on the roof, it's a beautiful clear night, and the heat's broken, and the city's more or less recovered from the storm -- much better than the coast south of them had, which is still something Mamoru's aware of, but at least it isn't right there, staring at him.

The prince himself is actually looking through Neph's telescope, wearing the big ugly brown hoodie and a pair of ripped jeans, his glasses in one hand and his Jadeite plushie in the other, birkenstocks sliding against the rooftop surface grittily as he shifts position and leans forward again, peering through the eyepiece.

"Hey," he calls over without looking, "do you want a better telescope? I mean this one's awesome obviously, but... like... I was thinking maybe a collapsible Dobsonian with a light filter..." A beat, and he sits up and turns to face Neil, his hair lifting a little in the breeze, lit from behind by the city. With a summer tan and without his glasses, even if he's a little older than he'd been, he looks more like Endymion than Mamoru. Thank goodness for ugly hoodies and birkenstocks.
Nephrite 2018-09-12 04:02:18 97612
It has been a while since the evenings have been cool enough to justify Neil's customary thermos of coffee and whisky. He's even wearing a jacket when he comes up, carrying the thermos in one hand and the messenger bag containing his notebook, pencils, and rulers in the other. After the heat and the rains, the crisp air is a welcome reprieve.

He's surprised to find someone's beaten him to his spot, but not surprised to see it is Mamoru who has. He takes note of the often-mocked hoodie, the clutched plushie, but comments on neither as he pulls the second chair closer to plop down into it and starts setting out his supplies. "Why collapsible? Do I need to move it? Don't tell me you're finally kicking me off the roof." His tone is light, cheerful. "Who snitched that I dropped a shoe off the roof? Look, it was one time, and it definitely didn't clock anybody in the head, so it didn't even count..."

He glances up from the stack of pencils he's lined up, and the Endymion-ness is showing through Mamoru's face. And there is something natural and comfortable about that, but also something sad too, and Neil's grin fades a little. He scoops up the thermos and pulls the cup off the top. "Whisky?"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-09-12 04:02:22 97613
"Sure," says Mamoru, one corner of his mouth quirking up as he puts his glasses on one-handed, then holds that hand out, "Thanks. You keep straight whisky in a thermos? That's a new one on me." The glasses help dispel the resemblance a little, but he'll always be both of them, sometimes a little more of one than the other. Lost and found.

He glances over at the telescope, then, eyebrows up. "I didn't know about the shoe. I was just figuring it's easier to pack up and bring with you if you ever wanted to look up there outside the city," he says wryly, gaze sliding back over to Neil. "And the one I had in mind's supposed to be good for cities even without the filter; the filter would make it phenomenal."

Sometime in there, he shifted the Jadeite plushie under his arm and basically into a headlock, and either doesn't notice or is really good at keeping a straight face tonight. Maybe it's the hoodie. Once the whiskey's in his hand, he lifts it to sip, then let it burn its way down, closing his eyes. He's silent for a moment, and then he says really quietly, "If that was you, thanks. Something made him thaw the connection a little."

Mamoru finally opens his eyes and looks down at the whiskey in his hand, frowning at it. "That makes me a little less afraid. I might not have to teleport-chase him. If I do, though, now it'll be drunk and even more prone to ralphing, because I've been fasting for a day in prep." He glances up again, reflection off his glasses momentarily obscuring his eyes. "It's been long enough I was starting to think he hated me. And I started prepping to chase him because I thought-- he might be thinking-- that I disapproved of him. That I was disappointed in him. I mean, that fear was there since I talked to his sisters. That's a big-- that's The D-Word for him. And I could never be, not in any of you."
Nephrite 2018-09-12 04:02:47 97614
"It might as well be straight whisky, with the ratio I put in here tonight. You might get some coffee fumes if you're lucky." He chuckles as he passes over the cup to Mamoru. It is dark and milky with the splash of coffee, enough to give it the illusion of warmth and use besides drunkenness, but the whisky is most definitely prominent enough to burn on the way down.

He hums thoughtfully as he looks over his present telescope. "I've got this one all broken in, though. I just usually use my palace if I need to get out of the city." He thumbs the dials on the side of it, the numbers already wearing off from constant use. "I guess I like the idea of being rooted here because it keeps me within shouting distance of you guys. Sometimes I spend all night up here by myself, and then all day sleeping, and I hardly see anyone at all, but it doesn't really feel like I'm apart from you because I know any of you could just wander up when you feel like it. I'll take the sacrifice in quality if it means I still get to see you regularly." Of course, there is also the factor that until the demise of the false Sailor Earth, Neil was pretty heavily on guard duty. Irregular hours means being able to cover the times when others cannot. Another reason the thermos has only just started to join him again in the evenings, and why the whisky is particularly potent tonight: he was keeping the drinking to a minimum while watching for trouble. That he has brought it back out means that it finally feels like he's allowed to relax again. He leans back, and pours some of the whisky-with-a-dash-of-coffee into his own mug. "That filter would be nice, though. I guess it would be good to have something to take camping sometime, too."

He listens to Mamoru talk about Jadeite, taking quiet sips of his mug and nodding without interjecting. It takes him a moment to sort out where to start with all of that. "I don't know if it was me," he admits. "He was still skittish with me. Didn't want me to ask questions. I didn't, so I don't think I have a complete picture of this whole thing yet, but he did talk a bit." Neil takes another sip, then takes a breath. "He thinks it's inevitable. You getting him to reunite with his family. He thinks he has no control over this situation, other than to delay it as long as he can. I think that's why he's been so determined to push you away. To maintain what little control he thinks he has. And I'm not saying he's right," Neil is quick to add. "You promised me that you would never make us do anything you aren't doing yourself, and you've always stuck to that. But he's scared, and since he thinks you're the one who's going to push him into it, that means he's scared of you. And if you want to chase him down to clear up what's going on between you, well... I don't know if it's the right move or the wrong move, but maybe it's better than letting that fear fester."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-09-12 04:02:52 97615
Whisky burn and hot coffee burn: an amazing combination of warmth on the first mildly chilly evening in a couple months of massive heatwave. Mamoru drags another chair over with his foot, scraping it against the rooftop as it goes, then drops himself into it. "Filter it is, then, and also a more portable one if you're down with that. I mean what if we all go camping by Aunt Sandra?" He gives Neil a crooked grin, then sips the whisky coffee again, face serious while Neil goes explaining what he knows and thinks of the Jadeite situation.

"Maybe it was Kunzite," he says contemplatively. "I don't-- think-- Jadeite would have let me in even a little bit on his own, given what you just said." He puts the Jadeite plushie on his knees and stares a little blankly at it for a moment, thermos top in his hands; he leaches warmth from it, lets it warm his hands.

Finally, Mamoru chuffs out a small laugh, not really mirthful, and looks up at Neil again. "I'm not ever going to make him talk to his parents. I'm not going to order him to do anything, especially not something so personal-- I mean, I don't give orders that aren't, like, 'don't goddamn kill people unless I say it's okay first'. But that's what you said. More to the point, after finding out what his parents did to him, I'm not even going to suggest it or try and cajole him."

He glances toward the telescope and bites off a sigh. "I'm not going to ask him to talk to his sisters, either. I'm just going to let him know I can't cut them off and I need to support them, which also involves including them in our circle of protection. Their love of him, their desire to be with him, is strong enough to make them a target to monsters that go after that kind of thing-- and an opportunity for the goddamn weaselrat cat thing that makes Puella Magi."

Mamoru lets out a breath, sharp and short, and looks up at the team Cool Dad, and he says quietly but firmly, "He doesn't have to interact with them. But he is going to have to let us protect them. They already know something of what kind of situation this is; I told them I was a touch psychic and asked them to show me some of their life with their brother, and they did."

He sips the whisky again and slouches in his seat. "So yeah. I don't want him to build that shit up any more than he already has, and I miss him like I'm missing an arm or a leg, and a big short burst of fear and anger until he lets me explain..."
Nephrite 2018-09-12 04:03:13 97616
A warm smile tugs at Neil's face at the thought of camping near his aunt's place. "I know some good spots around there," he says. "No light pollution at all."

He listens as Mamoru fills in the many blanks in his understanding. "His parents," he repeats. "That makes sense." The way that Saburo spoke certainly made Neil think the danger was from an authority figure of some kind, making the 12-year-olds unlikely candidates. He nods slowly. "He probably needs to hear that. That there are options, and boundaries, and he can decide where those are. Right now probably all he sees is some kind of looming dread, and he's not thinking through the details." All this is stated frankly, without emotion or judgement. Neil knows something about dread, and avoidance, and unwanted memories. "I mean, he's still Jadeite. No matter what he thinks of those girls, he'd never want anything bad to happen to a pair of kids, especially not because of him. Even if they're a pair of harpies that he never wants to set eyes on again, he'd probably be glad to know they're being kept safe. There's no way he'd argue that part with you."

Mamoru says he misses Jadeite like a limb, and Neil remembers the plushie in his lap. "The way you're pouring your heart into his Mini Me, I'm surprised that thing hasn't had a Pinocchio moment and started talking back." He picks up the plushie and holds it up before Mamoru's face, making it wave its little Jadeite arms. "I blew up a toaster! Love me!"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-09-12 04:03:24 97617
"Oh my god Neil," Mamoru says in sputtering disbelief, waving his hand in the Jadeite plushie's face, then failing to prevent himself from laughing with a snort right in the middle of it. Then he sinks further into his chair and snatches at the doll, aiming to clutch it against his chest while he continues with the poor life decision of drinking on an empty stomach.

"It just really hurts, even if I know it's irrational gut-level fear from trauma, like I know my irrational fear from gut-level trauma made me think he hated me, would keep me out forever... it hurts that he's afraid of me. He's never been that before. So I-- I've mostly got past that, especially since he let some of the ice go..."

Then he shakes his head and laughs for real. "So emo, I'm being so emo you might as well give me a Sunny Day Real Estate t-shirt and help me gel my hair into a point covering one eye. Done. Done! with that."

Mamoru slugs back the rest of the coffeewhisky, then hauls himself back to his feet and holds the thermos lid back out to Nephrite, and considers the Jadeite doll. "Should I bring that with me? Like, make it have a conversation with me while I sit on him?"
Nephrite 2018-09-12 04:03:29 97618
The prince is laughing: mission accomplished. Neil relinquishes the plushie without further impressions, but he has a smug grin on his face as Mamoru clutches at it.

"You are both so emo right now, you should start a band. I strongly suspect he's started painting My Chemical Romance lyrics on his bedroom walls, and when I dragged him into the light of day he started hissing like Nosferatu. If you want to have an advantage over him, maybe you should have planned to stage this chase during daylight hours."

Mamoru is standing, so Neil stands with him to see him off. He snickers at the mental image of Mamoru sitting on a flattened Jadeite will holding a very serious conversation with his plushie duplicate. "I mean, it might help break the tension, and be like a good luck charm. Or it might just get dirty. I can babysit it while you're gone if you're reluctant to let it go."

Before Mamoru jumps away for what is sure to be an adrenaline-pumping chase, Neil reaches for his hand and holds it, lets him feel the steady reassurance of Nephrite's presence. "He could never hate you. You'll both get through this, one way or another, and the rest of us will still be here to catch you both. And if you collapse from teleporting all over the city on an empty stomach, call me to come get you with the car so you don't have to teleport back."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-09-12 04:03:35 97619
Solemnly, eyes brighter than they had been and starting to have the motions of someone who is pleasantly buzzed but on the road to being somewhat more than that shortly, Mamoru hands over the plushie. "Mamoru has traded Jadeite Plushie. Please take good care of him!" he states, like his Shitennou dolls are pokemon.

And then Neil's got his hand, and can feel Mamoru's determination and love and oncoming train of mistaken invincibility, and Mamoru holds that steadiness closer than he'd been holding the plushie. "Thanks," he says, eyes brightening even more behind the glasses, and then he henshins.

The self-lighting charcoal briquette line of sparking burn travels over him from the handclasp back, leaving the iconic white tie and tails in its wake, and the gloves mute the contact briefly before he lets go and over-carefully pulls them off, finger by finger. The mask comes off next, and he tosses them over his shoulder carelessly before saluting Nephrite. "I'll probably call, yeah," he says, not quite swaying, and then he forgets to take a Gravol before vanishing in a little pop of golden light.