Half Drowned Kittens And Empty Holes

Kukai follows through on his promise to invite Unmei over for dinner. What follows is a wonderful, comedic night of table talk, and a private revelation that unveals two broken hearts.

Date: 2019-01-17
Pose Count: 19
Unmei Tama 2019-01-17 03:34:47 102762
Unmei Tama was not nervous. WAS DEFINEATELY NOT NERVOUS! Was incredibly nervous. And it wasn't even because Kukai. She... she knew she could never be his fire. His... passion. Not like Nadeshiko. And he deserved a Nadeshiko. But... this was also meeting his family. And even if Kukai would never... heck, she doubted anyone would ever look at her the way he likely did Nadeshiko... He was her friend. And she didn't want to ruin any of her friendships.

So she was wearing a simple, white sun dress, and had been super excited to meet him.

And it had been great. She'd done her makeup good, got her hair up, nice dress...

And then got hit by a rain cloud. So by the time she arrived, she was... Soaked to the bone, her dress was soaked, her hair was a mess, her makeup was gone and... She just...

She unmei'd it. She just unmei'd it.

Maybe if she could like.... transform or something. She could weave another dress for herself. And fix her hair. Not... technically a permitted use of henshin magic. BUT OH WELL!
Kukai Souma 2019-01-17 03:50:54 102764
Kukai has had a long day. Usually he has a meal with his brothers in the idea of 'everyone eats in the house at the same general time somewhere' but tonight he's asked for a family meal, because he's inviting somebody over who isn't having the best time with her family and he wants to show her a better time. They'd all agreed and knew how important family was, but they'd left Kukai with the task of either cooking or arranging all the food. At least Kaido had left him a few thousand yen to help do one or the other. Eventually he'd settled on a basic bit of catering - several large plates of different entrees they could pick and choose from. Panko breaded fish, several types of teppanyaki, and a vegetable salad in case Unmei doesn't eat meat.

In the combined floor of the apartment building where Kukai's family lived, he heard a knock at the door from inside the kitchen. He walked over and looked outside, seeing a white blob for a moment. "Oh, hey!" He opened the door to look out and.. stopped. "Oh man. Did you get caught in the rain or fight a water fountain? C'mon in."

Kukai stepped aside for Unmei just in time for someone else to enter the scene, a tall, lanky looking man, with bright blonde hair done up in a ponytail, wearing tabi, loose pants, a white shirt, and a tied up jacket bound around his middle so his right arm can rest loose inside a sort of sling. "Hey, Kukai. Is this your guest or did you find a half drowned kitten?" He grins down at Unmei in much the same sort of way Kukai does. "I'm Unkai. Hmm." He looks over at Kukai for a moment, then nods. "Kukai, introductions can come later. Rento isn't in the bathroom anymore - finally - so ask your friend if she'd like to freshen up?" Kukai blinks, then nods, bobbing his head. "Oh yeah! Unmei, the bathroom's right over here. Do you want a minute before we sit down?" He motions over to a nearby door to the apartment with a separate lock, obviously one of the bathrooms.
Unmei Tama 2019-01-17 04:01:43 102766
Unmei Tama let out a sigh of relief. Okay, just Kukai saw her, she gave a smile. "Yeah. So it ws a bit cloudy, but the news said no rain. So yeah... I was halfway here when I got caught in the middle of it," she said with a sigh. She squeezed out what she could so she didn't... drip too badly on it.

"So, if you can just show me to the bathroom before one of--" And then a brother saw her and... She looked up and up and... Stared. Holy crud . Her cheeks glowed warm as, almost immediately she felt that warm, fluttery feeling in her stomach she ALWAYS got when she first met someone cute.

Then he called her a drowned kitten and she squeaked, lowering her gaze. Welp. So much for that. She looked like an idiot... "Yes please...." she mumbled... "And please..." she said, and soon disappeared into the bathroom. There'd be a bit of.... sounds. But there was only so much she could do. When she came back out, she looked... Like a mess, but at least LESS of a mess. She managed to mostly dry her hair...

Except now it was frizzy and puffy and miserable and GAHHHHH! WAY TO MAKE THE WORST GOOD IMPRESSION AROUND CUTE BOYS! FIVE CUTE BOYS AND SHE LOOKS LIKE A HALF DROWNED CAT! "O-okay, I can do this. Unmei. You can do this. You are NOT going to be intimidated by a bit of bad weather. You are cute. And strong. And NOT scared of a bunch of boys who are being nice to you and letting you have dinner with them. No matter HOW cute they are!" she said... Completely unaware she was saying it loud enough that bits could be heard outside the room. She took a deep breath and then opened the door, her eyes burning with determination. "Okay! Kukai! I am ready!"

She looked... better, at least. Soaked, but still better.
Kukai Souma 2019-01-17 04:28:35 102771
Kukai nods and grins, escorting Unmei over to the bathroom with Unkai stepping out of the way. Once she's inside, he goes back into the kitchen to start setting up for dinner.

Inside the bathroom, it looks like 5 young men use the room. At least it smells nice - there's a scented candle set up inside it. And if Unmei looks around, there's possibly even a random tube of eyeliner, blush, and foundation stuck into one side of the large sink, although whose they are is up for grabs. Still, though, there's enough to repair the worst of the damage the rain did.

When she comes out of the bathroom, there's nobody around. Apparently everyone's still sort of doing their own thing. There are sounds from the kitchen/dining room, however. When she calls out, things go quiet in the house, almost entirely, and a few moments later Kukai sticks his head out of the kitchen and waves her over. "OK! C'mon in, it's almost ready! Hey guys! C'mon, dinn-nner!" He hollers down the other hallway towards the back of the house and leads Unmei into the room.

It's the second biggest room in the apartment, with a fridge, sink, dishwasher, stove, cabinets and bar, and a table on the back side just big enough to seat 8 people and not lean against the wall. Kukai heads over to the table and offers Unmei a seat near the front, in a good place to watch the door or get to it if she needs to. "Here you go!"

As Unmei sits down, other people start filing into the room. First is a tall young man - very, very tall, with short blue hair, wearing a close-vested blue uniform jacket, slacks, and pants, with sharp but not hateful features and small circle-rimmed glasses. He rolls his shoulders as he enters and gazes at Unmei, and she feels as if he's building an information file about her with everything she's ever done in it in that glance, the light reflecting off his glasses. "Hmm. Kukai, this must be your friend Unmei. It's nice to meet you." He bows to her politely, taking her hand and squeezing it. "You look lovely." Kukai grins. "This is Shusui. He's my second-oldest brother."

Shusui seats himself, and behind him is a shorter young man, in a purple vest over a grey shirt with brown pants matching his brown hair, who can only be described as 'almost as feminine as Unmei without actually being a girl'. He laughs, eyes crinkling, and bounds over to look down at Unmei. "Hi! I'm Rento. It's nice to meet another of Kukai's friends!" He moves over to sit down in a seat on the other side of the table, smiling.

Just as Rento sits down, two more figures enter. The one in front can only be described as a brick shaped like a man - bright reddish brown hair, a thick barrel chest the sort you only see on weight lifters or martial artists or perhaps world-class NFL linebackers and legs to match, wearing a white t-shirt and plain blue jeaks, with a stolid, unchangingly serious look on his face. He looks at Unmei and nods, his face giving nothing away. "Greetings." Kukai grins. "This is my oldest brother Kaido. He's the head of the family while mom and dad are working overseas." Kaido nods again, then looks over at the dinner. "...You made good use of the resources I gave you Kukai. Good job." He seats himself as Unkai follows in, sitting over next to where Kukai will probably sit, next to Unmai.

Kukai himself, as the host, begins pouring drinks and getting plates and silverware for everyone. "If you want something to eat, Unmei, just ask for the plate and someone will hand it over so you can get what you want. We help one another as much as we can here."
Unmei Tama 2019-01-17 04:40:05 102775
Unmei Tama did use a bit of the makeup! Or... didn't. She WANTED to... but they were someone elses. And as much as she wanted to, it wouldn't be right and she'd have been noticable and she was a guest and...

She came out, looking determined as... One... by one... they came out. "O-oh..." she said, with each one that came out. And Kukai could see that dazed, flushed, 'Oh my gosh they're so cute' look on Unmei's face... If nothing else, at least her eyes and hair didn't change color as much.

And she yelped and then quickly bowed her head. "H-hello! I'm Unmei! Just Unmei! Nice to um, nice to meet you!" she said, sitting down, staring down at her lap with her face burning red. Then... "So like... ummm... huh... I don't know what that kind of... thing is called. But it sounds fun! Never done it before," she said with a nervous smile.

"I guess we kind of did it for Thanksgiving, but that was more what..." She trailed off and shook her head. "It sounds like a lot of fun!" she finally said, cutting herself off and then... "And you made this yourself, Kukai? You never told me you could cook! Heh. It's probably good I didn't know. I might have--" And then urked and flooded red. NO PLAYFUL FLIRTING IN FRONT OF HIS BROTHERS!
Kukai Souma 2019-01-17 04:50:46 102776
Kukai grins as Unkai leans over the seat, poking Unmei's shoulder. "Well, just Unmei, are you an idol or something like the rest of Kukai's friends? Apparently being a sports star puts him in rarified air." Kukai makes an insulted noise and grins over at Unkai. "I am not famous! Or a star! I'm just on the teams."

Shusui gives Unmei a small, knowing smile. "This sort of thing is called 'dinner'. I'm surprised you've never eaten at night before. Have you eaten in the morning?" Kukai smacks Shusui lightly on the shoulder. "Oh come on, stop." He sets out drinks and things for everyone, doing the serving, and then nods. "Well think of this like a really informal Thanksgiving."

Rento bobs his head. "Yeah. It's always fun, eating with your family and friends! You can talk and enjoy your time with people you like." He cocks his head, seeming to read Unmei's emotional state in a moment's glance. "Just be yourself and relax."

Kukai snorts, loud. "Cook? Me? Does buying food already prepared count as cooking? I can make scrambled eggs and toast but I burn the bottom of the pan." Unkai notices that urk and then leans over, poking her again. "It's probably best you didn't try anything with him if you were expecting him to cook. You'd have ended up sick as a dog. I've eaten at prison cafeterias better meals than he's made." Kukai hmphs at Unkai and seats himself between Unmei and Unkai, nodding to her. "You haven't gotten any food, Unmei." He offers her a bowl of what looks like the panko breaded baked fish.
Unmei Tama 2019-01-17 05:00:09 102777
Unmei Tama blinked and then shook her head. "A-ah... no. It's... not that. It's more a..." How to term it. She finally sighed and... "More a... being... disowned thing. Not a... famous thing. It's... easier to go by Unmei. And not... I prefer not to use that... name. Frankly I don't really do anything worth notice of that kind."

And her cheeks burned. "I-I've had dinner! I used to eat dinner all the time! And... and you're messing with me and don't think I'm actually an idiot," she said, her cheeks burning as she just covered her face with her hands. She was REALLY high strung.

"I-I am relaxed..." she lied. "I'm fine, really." Please, she didn't know the meaning of the word.

She then blinked and glanced at him. She thing giggled. "I used to the do the same thing. I'd be reading a book and forget I was cooking. Kunzite really helped me learn though once I started having to cook for myself. I could teach you sometime, if you like?" she offered with a smile.

And then said probably the most STUPID thing she could. "Though I imagine Nadeshiko was probably the kind of girl who could cook a ten course meal, complete with decorations, so maybe it makes sense you never learned to cook."

She then urked. "O-oh, right. Um, thank you..." she said sheepishly, taking a small piece. It wouldn't be hard to read her from then on. She didn't... ask them to pass her anything. As if she was afraid they'd get mad. And when offered, she'd take a piece, but only a very small bit. She was way too nervous about making a bad impression... Completely blind to the impression she was giving.
Kukai Souma 2019-01-17 05:15:08 102778
The brothers around the table all make various noises of 'oh, she doesn't want to have anything to do with her family.' If there's anything else, they don't follow it up. Rento shakes his head at the other part, though. "I'm sure you do something, even if it's just something Kukai would notice! Don't think like that."

Shusui smiles more widely and honestly, reaching over to pat Unmei's hands on her face. "Yes. It's all right. I'm just teasing you." He leans back, still composed, and then nods. "If you say so."

Kukai looks at Unmei and grins. "Oh no. You'd get distracted and the food would burn? Oh, that's horrible. Did he get you a timer or something? And sure, if you want. But.."

Unkai leaps into the open place before Kukai or Unmei can be embarrassed. "Oh absolutely - that girl cooked way, way, way too much. She'd come over sometimes without Kukai even being here and cook because it helped her relax. There's nothing worse than walking to the bathroom in your towel and going past the kitchen and seeing some strange girl in there staring at you with goggle eyes. We're as well off." Kukai sputters and elbows Unkai. "You never said anything!" He grins weakly, rubbing the back of his head, the embarrassing moment mostly past at this point. Kaido, of all people, nods seriously. "She hid the beer behind the leftover trays."

After a few minutes of watching Unmei, Kukai began offering her each of the bowls on a steady basis, making sure she understood there was plenty, or that everyone had had all they wanted from whatever bowls looked nearly empty, trying to put her at ease...
Unmei Tama 2019-01-17 05:32:22 102779
Unmei Tama shrugged. "I don't know. I'm doubtful there's much about me to notice. Well, I guess nobody needs him to calm them down after freak outs like me," she joked. "Heaven knows you've dealt with enough of my freak outs to earn yourself veritable saint hood. If, you know... I was a church. But then I guess I probably wouldn't make a good one..."

"And no. He just... got me to focus. And cooking with Kunzite was... nice..." she said with a sigh. "He let me try things and didn't yell at me when I messed up or... tell me I was stupid when I didn't realize how certain things worked. I mean, like... I almost started crying when I accidentally forgot to unthaw the hamburger and he just helped me calm down and taught me a trick. And don't even get me started on noodles. I SUCK at making noodles. I finally started doing vegetable ones. I... did a lot better after that. Hardly anything breath taking but... At least I can good for myself and don't have to get takeout anymore."

Unmei then glanced to Unkai and got a mischievious grin. "So... what I'm hearing is if I come over here and cook for you guys, there's a good chance of me seeing some of you in nothing but towels? I'm sold, when can I start?" she joked. "Though I'd probably hide the beer behind the bread. Since... it's like bread, right? Liquid bread, I think I heard once?" she said with a small giggle.

And as Kukai offered, she couldn't help but accept and... Eye him a bit more. Her cheeks going red... And then giving a soft, dejected, sad sigh.

Why couldn't she be like Nadeshiko? She wasn't graceful or awesome or confident or an amazing cook or some gorgeous, majestic angel who... I mean, sure, she was drop dead gorgeous.... But even THAT was fake, a cause of the 'wish'. The real her was... similiar, but not as cute. And Kukai had seen her like that and... UGH! Bad! Stop thinking about that. She quickly shook her head.

"So! you're all Kukai's big brothers, right? You HAVE to have some embarrassing stories, right? I wanna hear ALL of them. Especially the ones I can use to blackmail him later. Doubly for those ones," she said with a wicked grin.
Kukai Souma 2019-01-17 06:19:15 102780
Kukai reaches over, patting Unmei's shoulder. "Hey, there's plenty of awesome about you. You just gotta bring it to the top. And you.. do freak out a little, but it's ok. You have a lot to panic over. And you're not a religion. Or a church." He laughs.

Unkai nods, then reaches over, pointing at Unmei. "You'll find that focus does a lot for calming panic and allowing you to do things. It's a good skill to try and work up." Shusui nods. "You sound like you need a good teacher - or that your last teacher needed to be pushed into the walk-in fridge and left there for an hour or two." Kukai frowns and nods. "Yeah. Nobody should do that sort of thing to you."

Unkai laughs and then nods. "Yeah, it's possible, but if you can't cook well enough you're out on your ear!" Rento sniffs. "Good enough for you is 'the meat is only partially burnt, I can still eat it.'" Unkai glared across the table with his brother, locking eyes with him in classic fashion. "Hey, burnt meat's still perfectly good! You calm down!"

Kukai sets the next bowl back down and hugs Unmei gently with one arm, supporting her. "It's ok. Relax. Put the bad thoughts out of your mind." He pats her back as she sits up.

Kaido thinks. "He cried when I gave him his first soccer ball." Shusui nods. "I've read the private messages he has on his phone several times. He doesn't know what 'internet security' is." Rento practically bounces. "Kukai is super duper superstitious - ghosts, Bigfoot, lucky charms, all that!" Unkai glances at Rento for a moment, then looks back to Unmei. "Kukai's super easy to get drunk. I gave him one shot of whiskey once and he fell asleep on the toilet." Kukai seems to be shrinking further into his seat at every comment until the last one, where he lets out an embarrassed yell and glares at Unkai! "Hey! That's all of that!" Unkai laughs and shrugs. "She asked.."
Unmei Tama 2019-01-17 14:35:47 102789
Unmei Tama turned bright red and smiled up at him. "Not as much as i used to. I mean... At least now i have a roof over my head that I'm not scared I'll lose. And I have a ton of friends who saved me when i..." She stopped and sighed. "When i screwed up bad enough. All the time," she chuckled softly.

Then the comment on her teachers. "Y-yeah. I uhhh... Get that a lot. I... Only... Recently found out that my parent's... Parental... Methods... Left a lot to be desired. I'm doing leagues better now. And it's actually really nice cooking for my friends. I even had a few sleep overs until my window was broken and no one complained about my cooking then... Though... They might have just been too nice. I'm certainly no Makoto, though. She's amazing..." She said with a slightly dreamy, idolizing sigh.

She then snorted. "Oh? Will you forcibly eject me? Because that might make it worth it," she teased. "Especially if you're just in the towel when you do it... Mmm..." She teased, flirting a bit shamelessly. Though it was unmei, so it was a toss up if she even noticed. "And nothing wrong with burnt meat. That's what sauce is for," she joked.

And he hugged her and her face went red... Until... "Oh my gosh, you cried?! That's so cute!" She said with a giggle. And then laughed at the next. "Really? My parents used to do that too. That's ehy you don't ever text naughty things on your phone," she teased. "Third party programs you install and uninstall before using. I hope you never caught him sexting with anyone," she laughed. "Stars know i would die if Kunzite or Mamoru found out half the stuff I've sent people." She then snickered. "And what's wrong with that? Ghosts are definitely real and i wouldn't be at all surprised to find out the othets were too. There's just so much about the world we don't know, so they probably do." She then snickered. "And wow, really? I never imagined you for a light weight. I don't know how you got past the taste. The ones I've tried tend to make me wanna wash my mouth out with soap. Though the feelings were nice sometimes. And no, come on. I wanna know all the stories... So he really cried? Are there pictures? I bet he has adorable baby pictures."

Are they sure she ever stopped being evil?
Kukai Souma 2019-01-17 15:27:37 102790
Kukai nods and pats Unmei on the back. "I'm one of them, too. And you haven't screwed up or anything in a long time, so you're doing good. At least you didn't start screwing up just so people would help you or something like that." Kukai pauses, then points at her. "Don't do that."

Kaido speaks up at the parenting comment. "It's not the duty of a child to be abused or hated. And anyone who makes learning harder by yelling or hitting someone is wrong. You can be hard on someone who says they can't do something when you know they can without raising your voice or your hand or treating them unkindly. You should understand that." He nods to Unmei, inclining his head. Rento winces. "Somebody broke a window here not too long ago and it was a booger replacing it. Thankfully we all had savings to dip into and make it." Shusui paused and looked over at Rento. "I thought I had paid for that all by myself." Kaido nodded. "I had as well." The three brothers look over at Unkai, who coughs and busies himself with more of the teppanyaki. "Boy this food's great, huh?" Shusui snorts and rolls his eyes. "We should have expected the middle manager to know how to embezzle from his family." Unkai let out a small cry and points his chopsticks at Shusui, who's pushing up his glasses. "Now you wait a minute! I didn't do anything of the sort!"

Kukai rolls his eyes at the ejection bit. "Of course they wouldn't." Unkai turns from his argument with Shusui and nods. "Absolutely. Don't try to cook? We don't mind. Try to cook and burn the food? Out. With full clothing. Towels are only for good cooks and full bellies." This comment earns him a harder smack on the arm from Kukai. "Seriously!" Unkai laughed and then nodded. "Hey, at least you know what to do with sauces!"

Kukai blinks as Unmei asks about blackmail, and then groans, hiding his face in his hands. When she says she's sent horrible things to other people he just stares at her, but then suddenly starts pointing at Kaido and Shusui at the next comment. "They DID steal my phone and sent a whole bunch of messages to Nadeshiko." He shrugs. Hell with it, she's a valid topic of conversation at this point. "And she made them all think we'd gone out and done Heaven knows what together!" Whatever had actually happened between the two had never really crossed between Kukai and his brothers. Mostly. "It was the funniest thing I've ever seen! I came home and the four of them together had been flummoxed!" Kukai grins, and then nudges Unmei. "Here's a secret about them, then - they're all REALLY BAD with women!" This leads to a chorus of three voices (Kaido, of course, is silent) and four small pieces of well-sauced foods being thrown at Kukai, who dives behind the table far too late.

After wiping himself off, Kukai sits back down and then nods. "Yup! Ghosts! Hear that? She thinks they're real too!" The brothers shake their heads, disagreeing in general. Kukai sniffs and then shoves Unmei gently with his hip. "I am not a lightweight! I just metabolize everything really fast! I was awake a few minutes later and doing just fine!" Unkai snorts and grins. "You should try a good brandy, then, or a sweet midori wine. Maybe a mixed drink... Ow!" Rento sits back up straight from where he was obviously kicking Unkai under the table. "Stop trying to get the teenage girl drunk, Unkai. And if you're going to suggest sweet alcoholic drinks, look into wine coolers or something light. If you follow our alcoholic brother here you'll wake up half-naked in an alleyway somewhere."

Kukai reaches over, putting his hands on Unmei's shoulders. "It is my solemn oath that as long as I live, you will never see my baby pictures. Ever." Kaido catches Unmei's eyes for a moment and slightly nods his head, in that unspoken 'wait till he's distracted later' motion.
Unmei Tama 2019-01-17 15:55:12 102791
Unmei Tama blinked and then snickered. "Oh. Please. I haven't done that..." And then blinked. And then a look of horror. "Oh crap i think I've done that! Oh crap i think i owe even more apologies..." She groaned, double face palming. "I am so, so lucky Kunzite is just full of forgiveness..." She grumbled.

She flushed at their comments. "Yeah. Learning is kind of fun with... Good teachers. I've had a lot more of them in my life lately..." She then blinked as they worked out thr window... And then started giggling. "Ahhhh. I see. So now i know which brother to never trust," she teased with a smile. Leaning back just a little bit.

Then sighed. "Hum. Then i have no choice but to just be an amazing cook and get all my towel-ish delights via good behavior," she said with a shrug.

And then she giggled helplessly at THAT. Her mouth opened and... She froze. Looking quizzical for a moment. His... Brothers... Didn't know? She then snorted and nodded. "You should be thankful you never tried that trick on me," she teased. "I'd have probably sent a bunch of naughty things back and had to kill you later to remove the witnesses," she joked. She cocked an eye.

"Really? All bad with women? I guess all that talent fell to you, then?" She teased. "Though i suppose this means if i set my eye on one of you, there won't be any competition? That could make it... Fun,"... She was joking, right? She giggled and held out a napkin, her focus on Kukai for a moment as she eyed him... Then that momentary moment of annoyance/frustration on her features.

She cocked an eye. "Wow. I never would have though Kukai's brothers would be so close minded. I mean... How do you know they couldn't exist? With all thr things we're constantly learning about, all the new sciences and worlds and even things under the sea we learn more about every day... Who's to say these things don't exist? It's far easier to just accept the possobility... Than ignore what might be in front of your face just because it seems unlikely," she teased.

She snickered again. "Oh, please. I'm very careful when i drink. I... Have a lot of people who kept an eye on me and helped me deal with a lot of mistakes over the years. And I'd have to be REALLY stupid to let myself go wild over a bit of alcohol. The last thing i need is another gluttony incident or worse, kissing kukai and who knows eho else again," she said... Then... Urked. "I umm... Had... A lot of... problems at one point... S-sorry..." She said sheepishly. Then... "And if he was half naked there too. It might not be so bad," she said with a low chuckle.

Unmei blinked and looked saddened... Ut then perked up when she saw the nod. "Okay, fiiiine. But i bet you were an adorable baby. I'd offer to trade but well... I don't have any of mine." She then hummed.

"So... Ummm... You're all in school, right? What are you guys going to school for?"
Kukai Souma 2019-01-17 17:31:09 102793
Kukai chortles and then pokes Unmei. "You're hopeless, but that's ok. Jeez. And yeah, he is." He leans back, listening to the argument. Unkai makes a face at that 'not to trust' comment. "Hey, that's not fair. I'm perfectly honorable!"

Kukai looks over at Unmei and then laughs. "Maybe I just learned my lesson, to do all my naughty stuff in private!" The table goes dead silent, with four sets of eyes staring at Kukai, who coughs. "Not.. that I did anything anyway!" Unkai snorts and elbows Kukai's side. "Please. You came home with dark lipstick on your cheek more than once. Don't bullshit a bullshitter - isn't that what the Americans say?"

Kukai blinks at Unmei and laughs. "Oh no. Please, don't. I mean... Ow!" Rento leans back again and smiles at Unmei. "Well hey! If she wants to date one of us over you, who're we to complain?" Kukai just... flops his mouth open and closed like a fish at that, lost for any sort of response.

Kaido coughs, then looks at Unmei. "I never said I didn't believe. Just that I don't talk about it." Whatever sort of discussion was going down that route seems to be quite cut off with the finality of his statement. Something even more serious than before emanates from the tall, muscular, serious man.

Unkai sighs and then reaches over past Kukai, patting Unmei on the shoulder. "These four hadda drag me out of my room some time back and dry me out from a long drunk. Believe me, you're doing yourself a favor not to get into alcohol or anything else addictive." Kukai nods, then pats Unkai on the back. "Yup." He tries to ignore that last comment, though.

Kukai blinks at her final comment, then the table bursts into laughter, even a few ha-has from the stolid Kaido. Shusui is the first to recover and grins, pointing at Kukai. "Barely 18." His finger moves towards Rento. "20." It moves back towards Unkai. "22." Himself. "24." And it finally points towards Kaido. "26. But thank you - I believe we're all flattered for the compliment. As for what we do, I work as a troubleshooting programmer for several larger corporations in Tokyo." Kaido nods. "Dockworker." Unkai nods. "They mentioned it earlier, but I'm a manager at a sales firm." Rento bounces. "I just started my column in Mitagihara Weekly - People About Town!" Kukai grins. "Yeah. I'm the only one still in school.

Kaido nods, then bows his head to Unmei. "It has been nice meeting you, but I believe I will take my leave now and retire to my room. I am sure Kukai will entertain you for the evening." He stands and nods to Kukai. "Dinner was fine. Good work." Rento yawns and stretches, nodding. "Yeah. I had a long day - walked a bunch. Ooh, and I have somebody I need to call. Nice to meet you, Unmei!" He stands as well and heads out behind Kaido. Shusui stands as well and heads over to the coffee maker. "I'm going to brew a cup. Do you want one Unkai, Unmei?" Unkai yawns and shakes his head. "Nah. Think I'm gonna go get a nap - I eat and I'm ready for bed, anymore." He stands and then winks at Unmei over Kukai's head. "Call me sometimes." This earns him a light punch from Kukai to the exposed stomach, and he walks out of the room, laughing and holding his side.
Unmei Tama 2019-01-17 17:52:31 102794
Unmei Tama chuckled and gave a snortle. "Oh yes. Because people who are honorable normally have to tell people that they're honorable," she teased. The poke made her blush a bit, though...

Unmei snickered and then got a mischievous grin. "Oh, no. I heard stories of some of the things Kukai does in his free time. It's probably best you don't know," she teased. "Running off with all manner of strange women. Robbing banks. Eating in library's," she joked with a soft giggle.

And then THAT comment. She sighed. "Yeah... Well, that's... Pretty much off the table, anyway," she mumbled. "I don't think I'm actually Kukai's type. Not quite the girl he deserves," she joked with... Just... A hint of hurt in her voice. And sadness in her eyes that she mostly hid well. "Though to be honest I've always had a thing for older guys," she teased.

She didn't comment on the ghosts. She wouldn't push the issue and then... "Oof. I can st least understand that. I don't wanna get to anything even resembling that kind of... Stuff. It's really hard to face people once you've managed to make a total ass of yourself," she muttered, shaking her head.

Her cheeks burned at the laughter. "I... I meant like college! That's all! And... Oh. Wow. Your brothers are awesome," she laughed. "Now i know where Kukai gets it."

And they started to retire and she waved, smiling to them and... She giggled at that last comment. "I will as soon as Kukai gives me your number," she said with a wink... And then... Once they were gone...

She deflated in her chair. "Oh by the stars how much of an ass did i make of myself? Was it bad? Do they hate me? I've never been any good at these things and and i thought i was doing okay but i don't know anything about this kind of stuff. Did i do anything really bad?" Aaaand straight to panic. Then... "And you never told them about Nadeshiko? I... I'm sorry i almost did. Do... You think they wouldn't approve?"
Kukai Souma 2019-01-17 18:40:02 102795
Kukai laughs and then nods at Unkai. "More ronin than samurai." Unkai snorted, then smacked the back of Kukai's head. "They mean the same thing, doofus." Kukai laughs and rubs the back of his head, grinning.

Shusui gave a small grin, looking at Kukai for a moment. "Yes. We all worry about how Kukai doesn't come home every night or ever call us. Wait. The opposite. You shouldn't eat in the library, though." Kukai blinks. "When am I in a library?" Shusui sighed and waved one hand, focusing back on his coffee making.

Kukai cocks his head, looking at Unmei for a moment. "...Well. I mean." He blushes, quite red for a moment. "...Maybe? I.. well, Unmei. I hadn't thought about it, honestly." He looks up at her, considering. "I mean. You're lovely, and funny, and interesting, and we get along real well. I just... I've not been in a place where my brain said 'hey, all of those things and she's interested in you.' and that's not your fault, that's mine." He laughs a bit. "To be honest, I'm not good with romance, either. I never thought about it until it grabbed me by the neck and shook me."

Kukai grins and then nods at the comment about making an ass out of herself. "Well I dunno why you keep coming around me every so often.."

Kukai smiles and waves off his brothers, then turns to nod to Unmei, who's had the air go out of her. "You were great, Unmei. You actually relaxed some. They like you just fine. You didn't do anything bad."

Kukai blinks at that last comment, then laughs. "Unmei... Nagihiko used to come over here in eyeliner and lipstick and pants and flat shirt and cook for us. Or even worse, go into my room and not be seen for hours, or even spend the night a few times. Or I'd spend it with him. I think they did it more for the idea that you didn't know who Nadeshiko and Nagihiko were, and respected her desire to be known publically as Nadeshiko. To be honest.." Kukai looks over at Shusui, who gets the message after a few seconds, finishes brewing his coffee, and takes it into the hallway towards his room, before looking back to Unmei and continuing. "To be honest? I don't think Kaido liked it to begin with. I think he thought Rento would be the one bringing a boy home, not me. Funnily enough Rento is super popular with girls." He shrugs. "He trapped me in my room and grilled me for an hour about what I was doing, what I was thinking, what was going through my head, until he was convinced I was certain about what I was doing, and then he never said anything else about it. So... no. They don't mind."
Unmei Tama 2019-01-17 18:54:52 102796
Unmei Tama froze a little bit, trying to process all that and... Let them sll leave. Once alone... "Oh. I didn't... Mean. I just... I..." She resly didn't know what to say. "Well... Yeah. Of course I'm interested in you. You're kind. Handsome. Nice. Safe. Warm. Wonderful. You make me feel good about myself but..." She sighed. "Let's... Be honest..." She mumbled. "It wouldn't work out. Hearing the way you talked about Nades... Well... I'll admit i was considering asking you oit then. A bit. Maybe. I mean... Yeah... But it's me, you know how i am. I crush on everyone."

"But I'm not her. I'm nothing like her. She's graceful and great and never went all evil and bad and isn't constantly tempted to go back. On top of that, i seriously doubt I'd ever be some... Burning fire for you... There's some things i can do. But... Not that..."

She glanced at the wall and focused on it. "And... You deserve that. You're incredible. And i know there's some beautiful, graceful girl out there who deserves you and is waiting for you. And you know, I'll bet she's an actual princess. There are a LOT of those," she joked, with a small smile.

"i... I am sorry if my flirting has... I just... I like you a lot, kukai. And i don't... Want to hurt you and i didn't mean to... I know you're still pining for Nadeshiko and... I... I don't think i could fix that. All i could do is just... Listen.. I guess... And be there. And you deserve more," she mumbled. "Besides, if you did relent snd they found out about MY issues they'd probably harass you for even longer."
Kukai Souma 2019-01-17 20:14:14 102797
Kukai smiles at Unmei, leaning on the table and looking at her. "Well.. honestly.. I think I'm interested in you too, but.." He rubs his face. "God dammit. Yes. I don't know if it'd work out or not. You know I never expected to be the sort of person to have baggage? I think part of me wants to try but part of me is this awful mess. So..." He looks down. "I think I need to have time to get over what I'm feeling now. And believe it or not this whole thing with you has been a big help for that. So if I can get over it and be the sort of person who can be fully yours, then yeah." He smiles. "I don't expect you to wait for me, though. In fact if you do I'll be kinda shocked. I'm surprised you don't have a list beating your door down. And you might crush on everybody, but you almost never act on it like this. So..." He sighs and shakes his head.

Kukai rolls his eyes and then pokes Unmei. "I was pretty certain one night that either Nadeshiko was going to kill Tadase or be critically maimed by him. They got into a knock down drag out fight that I just didn't have the give a damn to get into. And as for never going all evil, no, but mean and wicked sometimes? Absolutely. She had a naughty streak that didn't quit. So don't think you're that far behind her." He sighs and thinks, then chuckles. "I ... that fire, man, it warmed the entire planet, but when it went out it didn't leave much behind. I could use a not-fire once I'm done clearing the charcoaled brush. If I get that far."

Kukai blushes deeply as she praises him, and looks down. "I'm pretty great, maybe, but don't put yourself down like that." He looks back up at her and nods. "I like you too Unmei. I think... maybe I could get to really liking you. But I also think you're right. I'm still a wreck. I still ... I can't get over wanting things to be fixed and go right and not be an empty hole where I had a full and complete life, and I can't just plug you into that and feel normal and I don't even want to. I don't wanna use you as a Band-Aid. That's not fair to you."

Kukai sighs, then leans over, hugging Unmei tightly. "You're a great and dear friend to me. Thank you. You deserve to be more, because you are the sort of 'more' I should be looking for. I gotta fix myself though before I offer myself to anyone else. And your issues are fine. Really." He smiles and pats her back, one arm around her. "...Not what you wanted to hear tonight, I guess. Sorry."
Unmei Tama 2019-01-17 20:28:23 102798
Unmei Tama flushed and nodded. "Yeah... I just... Don't really... I may have crushes, but not many who i could have the courage to make a move on. And let's be honest, I've never really had anyone... Beat down my door. Heck, I've never even been asked out... I'd like to blame the fact i was part of eclipse at some point, but... Lacrima and others did that, and date. So the issue has to be with me. And only one who's ever had... Even the slightest interest in me is Yuzu. And her and i, we just didn't... Click. You should be happy to see your girl friend... Not..." She shook her head.

"And no. I didn't. Trust me. I realized i... Wasn't for you a while ago. You're really awesomr... You know? And... Who knows? If you ever decide that you don't need a fire any more... I'm always here. And I'm perfectly fine just being your friend. The whole hopelessly pining over someone you can't have is such an anime trope that even i wouldn't do," she said with a laugh.

"I won't wait. But I'm sure, either way, you'll find someone. And they'll be great for you. And maybe be a lot better at healing all of that. Okay? And as long as we're friends... I'm happy." She hugged him back and...

"Wanna go on patrol? I mean. My clothes are already a mess, might as well get youma gunk on them," she said with a laugh.