Insights Around Every Corner


An afternoon in Jadeite's palace doesn't go quite the way anyone planned - but that's for the best, considering that Kyouko and Naru have advice, and Jadeite is finally listening.

Date: 2018-09-09
Pose Count: 38
Jadeite 2018-09-09 20:23:11 97334
It is hard to be upset when there is a cat in your lap, and this is true even in the most difficult and confusing of times. Jadeite contemplates this as he sits in the cool shade offered by the largest of the trees in his palace, enjoying the feel of the wind rustling the leaves and his hair alike, scratching at the place behind the shrine cat's ears. It's shrine is not abandoned, for the komainu who typically sit upon the stairs have chosen to take it's place instead, their distant voices blending into the white noise of rustling branches and crunching leaves, brief birdsong and chattering creatures. He's been alone here for the last couple of hours, contemplating nothing more serious than the cat, and the result is a sense of genuine peace and calm for the first time in days.

This is why he stays in place when his solitude is interrupted, doing nothing more than looking up from the cat and towards the ancient wooden door that represents the entrance to his palace from the House of Empty Rooms.

"We're going to have company soon, so don't abandon me," he tells the cat.
Naru Osaka 2018-09-09 20:34:15 97335
School getting started, and painting, and training and life tends to eat into quiet time. The ancient wooden door opens quietly, and a slight figure slips through it, satchel slung over a shoulder.

Naru pauses.

There's a sense, unsettling perhaps, or just a hunch of something being different, and she steps slowly.. quietly.. only a step or two in. "Hello?"
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-09 20:39:09 97336
    Kyouko isn't with Naru. In fact, she's coming the other way. In order to walk from her own Palace back to real-life Tokyo, she has to pass through Jadeite's, as his is the only Palace with a direct real-world exit into Tokyo. That's why she is currently doing just that. She's trundling down the path through the trees, having just exited from the door which leads to her palace, dragging one of those red radio flyer wagons by the handle. The wagon is piled with food- fruit and meat in packages, mostly.

    "I can't believe food just appears in there. This is going to cut way down on our grocery bill!" She says to herself, with a self-satisfied smirk, as she pulls the wagon full of food towards the exit, apparently not yet having thought about how she is going to get a wheeled wagon full of food up a near-infinte staircase.
Jadeite 2018-09-09 20:55:48 97338
The first to enter is Naru, and because he was already looking in that direction, Jadeite is quick to greet her, lifting one arm from the shrine cat in a brief wave, voice gentle to soothe the question in the greeting. "Hey there, Naru."

He doesn't move otherwise - the place is certainly big enough for both of them, and it doesn't bother him to share. The cat, usually content to guard her shrine when others are visiting, had perked up at the sound of a new voice, and looks in Naru's direction as well. Therefore both are startled by the faint thudding of wheels over dirt and grass coming from the opposite direction. The cat, hardly a brave creature, ducks down against Jadeite's side, who twists to see who else approaches, relaxing when he recognizes the sight and sound of this visitor as well, though when he realizes she's heading for the other exit, his brows raise. He's not going to say it. He's just going to wait to see it happen.
Naru Osaka 2018-09-09 21:03:48 97339
There's a deer in headlight moment as Jadeite waves in her direction, and Naru freezes like a bunny on the lawn. Even if that should, by rights, be Usagi, who wouldnt have any qualms about bounding in. "I.. sorry to inturrupt. I didn't mean to distrupt."

And then there's the odd sound, and even Naru looks in that direction and .. well.. "Kyouko? What are you /doing/?"
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-09 21:07:24 97340
    Kyouko, despite her normally near-psychic presence-sense, doesn't seem to sense Jadeite at all. Maybe that's because this whole place basically is Jadeite, which makes him blend in rather well. Or maybe it's just because her girlfriend is unexpectedly ahead of her, which makes her smile and tug the wagon over a little quicker.

    "I'm bringing home the bacon!" She exclaims proudly. "Like, literally. Look, there's a half a pig in this damn wagon." She smacks a haunch of meat with a loud 'whack'. "I mean, this stuff just appears for free in the Palace, and I figured, why waste all that money at the grocery store if we can just get it and haul it back.." She flexes her arm. "Kind of a hike though, I admit I didn't really think about that ahead of time.."
Jadeite 2018-09-09 21:14:53 97341
Jadeite starts to say something comforting, or maybe just confused, probably along the lines of, 'You aren't interrupting anything, really', but he's pretty sure Kyouko can do more to set Naru at ease than he can, so he settles back against his tree and decides to wait it out. This is partially because he doesn't want to interrupt their conversation - but mostly because he's wondering if Naru will be the one to point out the miles long trek of stairs this hike out is going to include.

It's not that he doesn't think Kyouko can find a way, it's just that comedy like this doesn't just stroll through every day.
Naru Osaka 2018-09-09 21:18:58 97342
The look that crosses the mostly vegetarian Naru's face at the mention of 'half a pig' in Kyouko's wagon. "Pig.. is /not/ bacon, love. It is proto bacon." She ums softly, wholly distracted from inturrupting Jadeite's peace by a wagon of pig. "And.. you're going to haul it up the stairs? Or are we both doing a lot of stairwork today?"
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-09 21:21:46 97343
    Kyouko's brows draw together for a moment at Naru's question. Then she scowls. "Oh, right, the stairs." She glances towards the door that Naru had just exited from, then back to the wagon, lingering for a moment on the wheels. Then her scowl deepens. "Isn't there some law about accessability this is violating?" Not that she'd want to pull a wagon up a mile-long ramp, either.

    After a moment she sighs. "Ugh. This is why I leave the planning to you and Kunzite." She mutters, before glancing around, as if searching for ideas.. and only then noticing Jadeite sitting over under the tree. Her scowl deepens. "What are you lookin' at, kid?" She snaps at him, in mostly-faux-irritation.
Jadeite 2018-09-09 21:28:32 97344
"Dawning realization," and Jadeite's face is perfectly straight, not a single glimmer of his amusement visible. The only sign that he isn't as calm as he looks is the hand rapid-stroking the shrine cat - an outlet for the laughter he's holding in.

"We didn't really have accessibility laws when this place was built, and it's never been an easy trip, so I was wondering if you had some sort of secret plan for carrying that out."
Naru Osaka 2018-09-09 21:32:45 97346
"Love.. you guys teleport to some degree. Accessibility is kinda not a /thing/." Naru points out as she comes closer to examine, carefully, oh so very carefully, waht exactly is /in/ that wagon. She fears the half a pig comment isn't wholly hyperbole.

A glance back to Jadite and she blinks a moment. "You have a cat?"
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-09 21:35:47 97347
    "Yeah, my secret plan is shut the hell up." Kyouko shoots back at Jadite, still scowling. As Naru inspects the wagon, she'll find that it does contain an awful lot of meat, and also fruits and such. The food her Palace produces tends to be in the 'fresh and/or already prepared' category, so there was a limit on the sort of stuff she could actually safely attempt to transport en masse.

    Leaving the wagon where it is for a moment, she turns and walks across the grass towards where Jadeite is sitting, eyeing the cat in question with a hint of caution. "Does it talk? It's not giant so I'm assuming not, but then again, you never know in these places."
Jadeite 2018-09-09 21:47:30 97348
"That's a favorite plan, actually, so you're in good company." If this were yesterday, he'd have probably been sullen and irritable about the comment, the interruption, and the irritation directed his way, faux or not. Today, he's relishing in the amusement of it all. He should have come to the palace sooner. Scooping the cat up in his arms and lifting her so that she's better seen, he answers Naru, "Technically, this place has a cat. She's usually in the shrine, or catching mice, but she's playing nice for me today."

He keeps her held to his chest as Kyouko approaches, so that she doesn't run ooff, and at the question, scratches behind her ears so that she starts up purring again. "Believe it or not, I'm pretty sure she's just a cat. The komainu talk, if you're looking for a riddle or want to refereee an argument."
Naru Osaka 2018-09-09 21:53:42 97351
"She's never come to visit me when I've been here alone.. She's very pretty." Naru comments as she crouches to start separating out the groceries in the wagon into loads that look to be abotu a generous sized backpack load. Apparently they ARE likely to be doing a whole lot of stairwork today.

"Perhaps she decided you could use some feline purr therapy today, Jadeite?" Naru speculates with a gentle tone.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-09 21:56:56 97352
    Kyouko glances back to see Naru already working on organizing the food. See, they do make a good team. Kyouko makes the rash and impulsive decisions, and then Naru makes the resultant disaster into a profitable venture. Teamwork!

    The cat is then duly scrutenized. "Hmmm. Well, if it's just a cat then that's okay. Although I've always been more of a dog person." She reaches out and scritches the cat between the ears anyway, as if to show that there's no offense.

    Then, on the heels of Naru's comment, Kyouko displays her usual tact by bluntly asking, "Yeah, can you make up with Mamoru already? I'm tired of his mopey-ass drooping all over the place, it's depressing. And you too. All this negativity ain't good for my soul, and I'm supposed to be the insensitive one."
Jadeite 2018-09-09 22:15:13 97358
"Maybe she didn't think you wanted company?" He offers, glancing down at the cat and pondering her motivations. "She usually ignores me too - napping at the shrine is her first priority." And she's friendly, pressing back into Kyouko's scratching fingers without a hint of hesitation. It's a delightful moment, the sunny day, the cat, the sorting groceries and casual, light conversation.

And then Naru's speculation lands with the prick of a needle for all her gentleness, and Kyouko's following questions may as well be stabs from her spear. Ammusements= shifts to irritation, and the grip he has on the cat tightens before he remembers her presence, and the resulting squeeze earns him a pitched yowl of protest. Amazing, really, how little it takes for a bubble to burst, and something he'd regret saying is on the tip of his tongue when he decides to swallow it down instead, biting off a short, "No. We'll deal with it when we deal with it," instead.
Naru Osaka 2018-09-09 22:37:14 97363
"Well that was subtle." Naru mutters quietly as she sorts out fruit. Mostly apples, the Palace isn't crazy. "She probably didn't particularly wish to bother me. Or she was ignoring me. Or I was inturrupting her fierce nap schedule." She quietly changes the subject, mostly just to distract herself from irritating Jadeite more. "It will settle when it settles. I'm sorry to needle at it, Jadeite."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-09 22:42:46 97366
    Kyouko's scowl returns, although this time it's accompanied by a thoughtful bunching of brows as she glances between Jadeite and Naru for a second. Then she shakes her head, short hair swirling about her chin. "No, I don't think that's good enough. Because we're supposed to be a family, right? And when two members of that family are bein' jerks to each other and grumping around the place it effects everybody else, and besides, none of us like seein' either of you like this."

    She sits down, abruptly, on the grass in front of Jadeite, crossing her legs and gripping her ankles, and looks at him with those crimson eyes of hers. "So look, I don't know the whole story. Like the details, I mean. Because I wasn't there and I don't pry and you and Ma-mope-ru haven't been the most forthcoming over the past little while. But I know a thing or two about family, and what it means and what it's worth, so maybe you can talk to me about it, huh? Cuz I don't mince words and I ain't concerned with tiptoeing."

    She glances back towards Naru, still by the wagon. "Naru's pretty good on the whole advice thing too, y'know."
Jadeite 2018-09-09 23:09:53 97374
The two of them are an unfair team up. Kyouko, he could get mad at, because he could give an argument with her all he had and it probably wouldn't do more than dent her spirit. Naru, on the other hand? She arrived nervous, and where improbable grocery loads and discussion of cats had calmed her down, carelessly delivered (in sincere) words sem to have dialed it back up. "It's - " not alright, or he wouldn't have snapped. Not fine or okay either, for the same reasons, and he doesn't want to offer meaninglessly placating words. "You don't have to apologize. Not wanting to talk about it doesn't give me the right to snap at people who mean well."

He forces himself to loosen up his grip on the poor shrine cat, and she immediately shakes herself free and claims a patch of grass in the sun not far from them, grooming herself. He watches her go, and shakes his head at Kyouko in return. "It's going to need to be good enough. If he and I talk now, it won't end well. I'm not going to put it off forever, but - "

He shakes his head again, and takes a page out of Kyouko's book, going for a blunt question of his own. "How do you feel about your sister? And how do you feel about Mamoru?"
Naru Osaka 2018-09-09 23:23:07 97379
The pair of them play good cop.. wlel more gentle cop and blunt cop. Or something like that. Naru glances over to the two of them who are doing more of the talking. She is just sorting groceries. Yep. Just sortign groceries over here. She looks at the cat as she settles to groom, a moment of gentle smile as she does and then back to where Jadeite and Kyouko are chatting.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-09 23:26:17 97380
    Kyouko frowns at Jadeite. "In my experience, talking always ends more well than the alternative."

    A brow raises at the question about her sister, and Mamoru. "I love them. I would die for either of them." She says, simply, bluntly, and without hesitation.
Jadeite 2018-09-09 23:31:26 97384
"And if you had to pick one over the other?" Blue eyes the color of frost are focused on Kyouko's face, on her bright red eyes.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-09 23:48:25 97388
    "I wouldn't." Kyouko says, with the firm convinction that makes up her 'spit in the face of reality' philosophy. "I'd find a third option."
Jadeite 2018-09-10 00:04:27 97391
After a moment of silence, Jadeite nods, not agreeing with her, but accepting that the answer is the best he can hope for. "I'm glad you're confident in that. I'mn not. And until I know what I'd do, I'm not ready to talk to him."
Naru Osaka 2018-09-10 00:08:09 97392
"I'm not sure that's a question that one can decide in advance." Naru comments, as much to the package of apple bread as to the pair of them. "Choices made after much debate and thought and consideration, and choices made in the heat of things.. might not always be the same choices. It is always hard to know."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-10 00:23:19 97399
    Kyouko is silent for a moment after Jadeite's response. Then she sucks in a breath, tossing her head to clear some hair out of her eyes, and says, "Lemme tell you somethin', bro. Not a whole lot of people have heard the story, cuz I don't like to talk about it much. But I'm sure you've heard the vague outline. I used to have more of a family. A mama and a papa.. of course. Ain't none of us born by magic."

    She glances to one side and quirks her lips. "Kind of made a mess of that one. Now, don't get me wrong.. my da was a murderin' asshole, and I've learned that it wasn't all my fault. But there's no denying the fact that I threw gasoline on a smoldering fire, back then. And I ended up paying for it for a long time. And worse than that, Momo and my ma paid for it worse than I did."

    She looks back at him, intent. "And you know why that was? It was 'cause I thought I knew what I was doing. I made a decision on my own, because I was so sure I knew what was right without bothering to talk to anybody else about it."

    "So that's why I'm sayin'. There ain't nothing as important as family. Family is there to help you when things get tough. So don't sit alone and try to come to some impossible solution on your own. Talk to people. Us. Mamoru. Anybody. There's always a way- that's what magic's all about, right? We're sitting in a fucking magic underground forest for christ's sake. If that's possible, I refuse to believe there isn't a way to solve your problem, too."
Jadeite 2018-09-10 00:58:47 97408
Quiet is the only thing to offer this - both the advice that Naru offers, and the story that Kyouko shares. He knows better than to make a flippant response, better than to dismiss the significance of her past, and what it's taught her. And he can't blame her for her hope or Naru for her wisdom, not when it's true that they've made it through everything this life has thrown at them intact.

This life, where all of them are magic, where that and love have kept them all alive. Even Momo Sakura is magic.

Those two girls aren't magic. They don't have anything to do with it, and if Mamoru would listen to him, he could leave them out of it altogether. They could be normal, every day citizens, completely unaware of the magic around them, no more a target than any other random children. Mamoru isn't going to give up on them. He doesn't know how many times he can walk away from them.

"I don't know what I'm doing," he says, and it's easier to say it now that he's already said it once, already laid this bare to Kazuo. "I know that I can't figure it all out on my own, and I know I can't be sure that my choice will be the same in action as it would be now," and this is with a glance to Naru, before he drops his gaze to his knees, brow furrowed, voice quiet. "But I also can't ask anyone to make my choices for me. I don't know what to do. I don't know what I would do. And when I don't know what I'm doing, I freeze."
Naru Osaka 2018-09-10 01:13:48 97413
"No. No one makes your choices for you." Naru confirms as she settles back on her heels, settled with the groceries split into convenient piles. "Others can provide insight, guidance, thoughts, opinions to shape those choices. Others can even sometimes make you realize that when you though you had two choices, you actually have more."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-10 01:14:25 97414
    Kyouko listens in similar silence to Jadeite's words. This, at least, is something she can understand- not the freezing part (as apropos as that is for Jadeite)- that's not a reaction she has. When she doesn't know what to do, she just acts without thinking about it. Which, to be fair, often has just as poor consequences as freezing up. But she does understand not knowing what to do, and how that can make you freak out.

    After a moment, she says, "I can't tell you what to do. Nobody can. But I can tell you this- Family is important. All family. You shouldn't give up on any of it, whether it's the family you're born to, or the family you chose. If they're in danger.. just protect them. You'd do it anyway, right? But truth is, ain't nobody safe in this world. You can live the most normal life ever, and still not be safe. I can't speak for everybody, but I know for me.. I'd rather be in danger with the ones I love, than safe and without them, any day of the damned week."

    She nods to Naru, agreeing with her words completely.
Jadeite 2018-09-10 01:37:53 97420
If someone could make his choices, this would be a lot easier. He could go along with it on someone else's orders instead of agonizing over it but - no. It's his choice. He needs to make it, even if it's not alone. Dragging a hand through his hair, Jadeite sighs and looks ruefully at the other two. "I can guess what choice you two would make."

He has so much to think about. So many worries, so many fears, so many winding paths his thoughts keep taking him down, and even with these two perfectly willing to listen, to offer their ears and their advice, it still takes entirely too long for the words to come out. "I - I have two sisters, and I - ran into one of them with Mamoru, and I don't know what do about it, because I didn't want this to happen and Mamoru did, and he's mad at me for not being excited about this. That's what we've been avoiding each other over. And we've - the last time we fought it was literally the end of the world, so, I don't exactly... know how to do this."
Naru Osaka 2018-09-10 01:48:33 97427
Naru watches Jadeite for a few moments and then she smiles gently. "I'm not always quite the open book people assume, but that is generally besides the point." She is quite comfortable sitting where she is, with now a trio of piles of groceries to haul. "Although I can practically see you overthinking things, and getting your wheels stuck in thinking of all the options, most of which you can't actually act on, other than fuss about them." She takes a deep breath, let out after a moment. "I have a lot of thoughts about non magicals who are mixed up with magicals. I was one for quite some time."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-10 01:50:44 97429
    "Look, bro." Kyouko says, dead serious as she gets to her feet, leans forward, and puts one of her hands on Jadeite's shoulders. "I can tell you one thing for damn certain. Fighting with Mamoru this time ain't gonna be the end of the world. If it was, I'd have fucked us all years ago." She offers a bit of a lopsided grin, glancing over her shoulder towards Naru and sharing a look with her.

    Then she says, taking her hand back and clasping them behind her back, "But look dude. Sisters are pretty swell. So I wouldn't go and toss 'em away just because you're worried about what might happen. A lotta shit might happen. Today, or tomorrow, or never. But the fact is, we're strong. All of us, together." She makes a gesture that includes herself, Naru, Jadeite, and the rest of the group who are not present. "We protect the whole world, yeah? We can probably protect a few more people in particular and not screw it up too bad."

    "Mamoru can get overexcited about this kinda stuff. I know that, too. And he's probably being a pushy jerk because sometimes he does that, too, when he thinks he's right. Thing is, I think this time he probably is." She shrugs. Then she glances at Naru, and nods to her words, as well. "And look how that turned out." A wink for her girlfriend.
Jadeite 2018-09-10 02:09:21 97436
"It's not that I think you're an open book," Jadeite starts, because truly, he doesn't know Naru nearly as well as he likely should, "It's just that I've gotten a good sense of the choice everyone prefers." His own feelings on that choice aside, he can - he can at least se what other people would like, but whatever else he would say is derailed by Kyouko, and he looks up at her as she leans down over him - and can't help but snort as her words register. Okay. So she has more than kind of a point with that one. "Point taken."

"There's.... I might just be overthinking it," and there are, of course, things he isn't sharing, but, at some point he does have to think they could be right. Maybe it is complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Maybe he's terrified of and for his sisters, but he doesn't have to be. It's worth - thinking about, anyway. "And maybe I'm not, but - you might be right, that I shouldn't make the call on my own, without talking to someone about it. And yeah - I've never, thought that it wasn't going to end up how he wants. I just haven't really wanted to admit it," this is the closest he will come to suggesting that Mamoru could be right, at least for now.

Naru has a point, and so does Kyouko, and Jadeite pulls himself to his feet as well, so that when he looks at Naru it at least looks less awkward than it feels. "I should have thought of asking you sooner, but - if you wouldn't mind, would you share your thoughts with me? You're one of the only experts we have on non magicals getting mixed up with magicals. Even if your situation and theirs isn't the same, it - it would be a great help. I've been in this from the beginning, so I can only speculate on what it could be like for them. Like you said, you've been there."
Naru Osaka 2018-09-10 02:25:35 97443
"Well." Naru quirks a half smile. "I'd be glad to share my thoughts.. but I also need to get some of these groceries up to the apartment before we have to start testing Kyouko's iron stomach against food borne bacteria. I'm more confident on hers than mine."

"Short answer.. I was involved before I knew there was magic.. protected to greater and lesser degree.. and I was involved when I knew, but was not magical myself. All of Tokyo is involved, if we want to be or not. The whole city. Not all at once, but it's utterly a thing. We know to protect those we love from the worst of it, which is hard to think on too long, but it is what it is."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-10 02:29:07 97445
    "I ain't saying we always need to let Mamoru have his way." Kyouko says, sounding mildly sour at the very idea, when Jadeite says he 'never thought it wasn't going to end up how he wants'. "It's just that this particular time I think that he has a point, and I do think you're worrying too much about what might be instead of just taking hold of what is and making it work." She shrugs. "But that's just the way I do things. I understand it doesn't work for everyone."

    She listens to what Naru has to say, and nods her head. "That's what I meant, before. There's this whole idea that somebody like.. bein' conntected to us makes them less safe because of what we do. But I dunno if I buy that. Like.. in some very specific circumstances, maybe. But most of the time? On the whole? I think they're more safe. After all, bro, when they're your family, that makes them our family. And protecting people is what we do."
Jadeite 2018-09-10 02:43:23 97451
"Fair point. The last thing you need is anything spoiling. I can help you carry it back?" It's an offer partly motivated out of guilt - he is the one who held them up - but also because he can't help but notice that things are arranged so that three persons could carry it all in one trip, and that would have to be more convenient than someone doubling up or coming back.

"I agree with you there. He's prone to forgiving and giving too often - but in this case, I knew he was going to win. He was already two for two, with Neil and Kazuo." He hears that sour note, and he wants to reassure it. "It doesn't, but neither does being stuck in my own head for two weeks. This, it helped. I was thinking too much about the extra danger, and not about all the danger everyone in this city is already in, just by virtue of breathing here."
Naru Osaka 2018-09-10 02:50:03 97453
"I'm pretty confident I got both drained and mind controled before I became aware of magic." Naru points out as she stands, finally and quirks a brow. "Once I knew, I had a lot more options for fighting back AND being properly protected. It's a thing."

Naru gestures at the groceries. "I'd be glad of a hand, although the temptation to make Kyouko do two trips is /huge/, not gonna lie." She grins over to her girlfriend, clearly teasing.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-09-10 02:50:36 97454
    "Yeah." Kyouko agrees, with sudden good-humor. "It's a shitty, violent, god-forsaken city of monsters. But it's our damn shitty, violent, god-forsaken city of monsters, and I, for one, will be damned if I let anybody I care about get hurt just for deciding to live in it. No matter who they are or aren't related to."

    Then she turns and walks back over towars where Naru has divided the groceries up into three convinient piles. "See? This is why we make a good team." She says to the other girl, beaming. "I create useful problems, and you come up with useful solutions." She leans over for a smooch on the cheek, then starts gathering up groceries.