Kitchen Envy

Kyouko invites Makoto over to her Palace after a training session for tea and snacks. Nephrite shows up and is insecure about his kitchen.

Date: 2019-07-02
Pose Count: 30
Kyouko Sakura 2019-07-02 23:23:29 105887
    It's been a little while since Kyouko got her Palace, but truth be told she doesn't spend that much time there- not that any of the other Shitennou often hide themselves away, but for her it's more just that she's just got.. a lot to do. Between work and training and doing stuff with Naru and Momo there's just not all that much time for her to be running off to her Palace without a reason. However, that's not to say she never stops by. Because it's pretty swell, and also is full of free food.

    Maybe that's why on this particular evening, post-training-session, she had invited Makoto over to her Palace. Her friend had never been there, anyway, so there was the novelty aspect. Plus free food. (Not that Kyouko would rather have free magic food than Mako-chan's cooking, but even she isn't about to demand the Senshi cook food immidiately following a training session.)

    It's pretty easy to get to the Palace, since they're all interconnected. Follow the usual route to Jadeite's, go through a couple fancy doors, and you're there. Despite the fact that it is, objectively, located in the same place that D-point used to inhabit, Apatite's palace is nothing even remotely resembling D-point. It is neither cold nor dark, nor creepy. Instead, it takes the shape of a large, modern house, essentially a mansion at least due to its size, on a hillside overlooking a cityscape in perpetual twilight, lights twinkling from the buildings. A Palace is a reflection of the Shitennou's soul, after all, and Kyouko is a city girl through and through.

    Leading the way in through a large, open patio with double glass doors, Kyouko gestures around. "So like, turns out I'm an oujo in my heart, I guess. Make yourself at home. I'll see about getting some tea."
Makoto Kino 2019-07-02 23:36:53 105889
Honestly, Makoto figured that after seeing the guys' Palaces she was pretty well prepared for whatever Kyouko's might hold. She still ends up gawking like a tourist as Kyouko shows her in - somehow, the sheer modernness of the mansion makes it, in its way, more imposing even than Kunzite's desert fortress with its giant feline guardian. She catches herself clasping her hands behind her so she won't smudge anything.

Kyouko is no less Kyouko, at least, and that takes some of the edge off. "Fair warning, if you ever do the oujo laugh I think I might pass out," she comments with a quick flash of a grin. "I think you might actually win at Palaces... none of the guys have running water, unless Zoi's been doing some renovating that I haven't heard about."
Kyouko Sakura 2019-07-02 23:50:49 105892
    "Well, I guess I'm just a thoroughly modern girl." Kyouko comments dryly, as she drops her bag down on a sofa and heads over towards the large kitchen area. The whole floor is open-plan, so its all pretty much one big room. "Pretty sure when they formed the other Palaces there was no such thing as big screen TVs or leather couches, so.. when I think of 'Palace' this is the sort of thing I think of. Not that I designed it, persay. Apparently it just sort of.. manifests as a reflection of your soul, or something? Kinda creepy honestly, I'm not sure I like the idea of people walking around in my soul, but y'know.."

    "'Ey, who you callin' creepy?" A thoroughly Brooklyn-accented male voice calls, as a very large rat shuffles into the room from a doorway. He is about the size of a terrier, brown, and wearing a scowl that is very reminiscent of Kyouko in a bad mood. "You didn't tell me we was havin' guests, Lady." The rat grumps to Kyouko.

    She rolls her eyes. "Oh yeah. Mako-chan, this is Benjy. He's like, my spirit animal or whatever. Y'know, like Kunzite got a giant cat and stuff. I got a talking rat. I swear the universe has a sense of humor." She starts a kettle making hot water.

    Benjy, for his part, does a passable rat-bow towards Mako-chan. "Any friend of the Lady's is a friend o' mine." He tells her. "If I can do anything for youse guys while yer here, just shout." He shuffles off towards the kitchen where Kyouko is and vanishes out of sight behind the counter.
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 00:05:29 105894
"Good point," Mako allows, with a hint of a laugh in her voice at Kyouko's dry tone. She sets her own bag down more carefully on the floor next to the sofa, and trails after Kyouko to stay in conversational distance rather than avail herself of a seat just yet. "I definitely can't quite picture you having an old-fashioned castle..."

The third voice piping in gives her a moment of surprise, but only that one moment. Of course the place would have a guardian, she realizes belatedly, and by the time Benjy actually appears she's past being surprised by his appearance.


Makoto answers the rat's bow with one of her own, as politely as she might bow to the caracal or Nephrite's thunderbird. "It's nice to meet you, Benjy," she tells him. "Thank you for having me here."
Kyouko Sakura 2019-07-03 00:14:14 105896
    Kyouko mostly ignores Benjy, once introductions are made, though he continues to putter around the room. Much less dignified than the caracal or thunderbird or anything of the like, he seems to be busying himself by setting out bowls of snacks, which he manages to do quite aptly despite his size. He seems to know what his mistress desires, because before very long bowls of pretzels and apples and other snacks have appeared on the countertop.

    Kyouko meanwhile is making tea. She passes a steaming cup to Makoto a few moments later as the Senshi joins her in the kitchen-area. "Old fashioned castles are definitely not my thing, no." She glances around, then shrugs with a lopsided smile. "I like it, of course- how could I not, when it's literally designed to be suited to me? But I still prefer the real world. It feels very.." She quirks her lips to the side. "Isolated, here. Despite the city." She gestures to the cityscape out the windows. "That's all just illusion, by the way. Can't actually go there." A shrug. "But, it's still cool to have a place to get away to. And it's a lot better for entertaining than my actual cramped apartment I share with my girlfriend and sister." She laughs. "There's barely enough room for the three of us in there, let alone guests." That's a bit of an exaggeration, it's a nice-sized apartment for Tokyo, but it's still nothing on this.
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 00:45:17 105899
Makoto accepts the teacup with a nod and a murmured, "Thanks." Cradling it between her hands, she finds herself a place where she won't be in the way - with the practiced instinct of someone who spends a lot of time in kitchens and trying not to run people over in them.

"I see what you mean," she says thoughtfully after a couple of moments. "It's great to have a place you can go to get away, but even as fancy as it is, living somewhere that hardly anyone can get to without your help would be pretty lonely."

She pauses briefly to take a sip of tea, cautiously testing how much it's cooled, before she adds, "I don't think I'd considered it that way before now. Probably because the guys' Palaces seem more like hiding places than anything. Camping out in Neil's is fun, but nobody'd really want to try to live there long-term."
Kyouko Sakura 2019-07-03 00:52:28 105900
    It should be noted that Kyouko is not the kitchen type. Oh, she can make tea, and rice and stuff, but actually cooking is not really her forte. So it's very unlikely that Makoto is going to be in the way of anything important, regardless of where she stands. "Yeah," She agrees, with a nod, "It's almost like a.." A pause, then a grin, "A very fancy treehouse. When I'm grumpy I can come here and hang out a 'do not disturb' sign, but the rest of the time I'd rather be around people, y'know?"

    She sips her own tea, her other hand tapping lightly on the counter. "Well, you know of course you're on the welcome guest list, so anytime you want to stop by here you're free to." A shrug. "I'm not here very often anyway. Though don't think I haven't considered hiding out here until this whole Kyubey thing blows over. Somehow I don't really think that would help, though." Makoto has undoubtedly heard at least the basics from Nephrite- that Kyubey is attempting to pull some intergalactic legal BS to repossess Kyouko's soul for breach of her Puella contract.
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 01:02:19 105901
"You think it could really show up here and come after you?" The idea has Makoto's eyes widening in surprise and dismay. "I didn't know it was that serious." A beat, and she amends: "I mean, I knew it was pretty serious. Neil told me the gist of things." How firmly she's wrapped her mind around the concepts involved is a different story, but 'threats to friend's soul' is pretty clear at least. "But..."

She trails off, glancing around them both at the mansion Palace and leaving the rest of what she meant implied: getting into a Shitennou's Palace without their invitation is, while certainly possible, fairly serious business.
Kyouko Sakura 2019-07-03 01:11:27 105903
    "Kyubey seems to have the ability to get nearly anywhere he sets his mind to, whether he's supposed to be there or not." Kyouko says wryly. "As to whether he could actually show up here, I'm not sure, but.." She quirks her lips to the side. "I'm also not sure exactly how he proposes to respossess my soul. For all I know they just have a switch they throw somewhere and I could end up keeling over with no need to actually track me down." A shrug.

    "Luckily we have a chance to convince them I'm better off alive than dead. We figured out that the actual text of the Puella contract is on my ring.. y'know, the soul gem ring?" She holds up her hand, showing the silver ring with the red oval stone embedded in it. "But it's in Kyubey-language, which no one knows how to read. So, translating it is the first thing people are working on. Jadeite has really been workin' hard on it."
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 01:28:01 105906
Mako grimaces briefly at the explanation, a sympathetic wince. "Yikes." Another sip of tea gives her a chance to mull all of this over, but she doesn't manage to come to any reassuring conclusions. "Yeah, that all sounds... pretty bad. I'm glad there's at least a lead."

Glancing down into her cup for a moment, she sighs quietly. "I was going to ask if there's anything I can do to help, but translating Kyubey-language is definitely beyond me. You know you can call me if you need anything punched, though, right?"
Kyouko Sakura 2019-07-03 01:35:34 105908
    Kyouko makes a face. "Honestly my life has been such a parade of f-us by the universe that I'm not even all that terribly surprised. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm super grateful for all my friends," an incline of her head towards Makoto, "And family and such, but is it weird that 'one more threat on my life' isn't actually causing me to panic? I'm not sure if I'm assuming we'll figure a way out of it or if I've just lost the ability to be scared of existential threats."

    A faint sigh. "Anyway, we still have some time before we have to make our arguments to the Incubators. Mamoru is on a tear about it, you should have seen him ranting. Something about kicking the ungrateful furballs off of his planet, although unfortunately I don't think he can actually do that." A smirk.
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 01:52:48 105910
"Wow." Makoto blinks once, letting out a quiet laugh. "I'm kind of sorry I missed seeing that rant. But yeah, I can't really see him pulling that off." She tilts her head to the side, the corner of her mouth turning up ruefully. "Probably for the best."

She laughs again, this time giving way to a sigh. "Our lives are definitely not like most people's. It probably is weird, but so is pretty much everything else that happens to us, so..." Her shoulders lift in a little shrug: what can you do?
Kyouko Sakura 2019-07-03 01:56:14 105912
    "That's pretty much how I feel about it." Kyouko agrees, making a face. "Best case scenario, I don't die and we also humiliate the little white a-holes for trying to pull this crap in the first place. But honestly, at this point I'll just settle for not dying. My life is finally in a place where I actually like it, for the most part, and it would be terribly ironic if I died now because of some stupid legal technicality thought up by a.. what were Jadeite's exact words? 'A rules-lawyering build-a-bear."

    She snags an apple from one of the bowls that Benjy had previously put out. The giant talking rat has since disappeared, apparently not being one for conversation outside of periodic complaining. "I guess it's a good thing in the long run, though. I feel like the more we actually know about how the Puella contract works, the more we may be able to help other girls in the future."
Nephrite 2019-07-03 01:57:39 105913
"Knock knock! Anyone home besides the rude rat?" Nephrite's voice sounds from the Jadeite Junction door.

He enters carrying a convenience store bag. "I come bearing offerings of candy and snacks in this trying time. Even though your palace has a self-sustaining kitchen, which I am so jealous about, I figure it can have every kind of junk food out there. You have apples, but do you have apple gummy candies?"
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 02:05:05 105914
"Dying is banned," Makoto says, almost straight-faced. "Definitely not allowed. But you're right, if we can find out anything that'll help out in the future, then at least it's not all bad."

Anything else she might have been about to say is forestalled by Nephrite's arrival. Almost immediately, Mako's face brightens, and she quickly finds a bit of counter space to put down her cup of tea so she can come to meet him with a hug. "Hey! If you had a self-sustaining kitchen, what would you need me for?"

Beat; she rocks back on her heels to look up at him mock-sternly. "--Don't answer that."
Kyouko Sakura 2019-07-03 02:08:42 105915
    "Well on the plus side, apparently even if I do die now there's a good chance I'll just get reincarnated." Kyouko makes another little face. "Still not sure how I feel about that either. I mean, it's probably a positive thing but I'm not really in a hurry to test it out. Also, if my soul gets respossessed that might rule out reincarnation, which is another reason to avoid thsi particular demise."

    Kyouko glances up as Nephrite comes in, and grins. "Well it can have anything I imagine, but I hadn't imagined that so you're good." She eyes Makoto, smirking. "Snrk. Though frankly, I do have a self-sustaining kitchen and I'd still rather eat your food, so I think you're value is secure even among those you aren't dating."
Nephrite 2019-07-03 02:21:10 105916
Neil meets Makoto's hug in what would be a bone-crushing embrace if the recipient were not Makoto Kino. He takes a breath to answer her question before she cuts him off, leaving him just grinning silently instead. "Well any kitchen without you in it is lifeless anyway."

He digs through the bag for one of the individually-wrapped gummies, because all snack food in Japan comes in three layers of packaging, and tosses it to Kyouko. "I don't want to test that reincarnation theory either. For one thing, it would be insanely boring to have baby you instead of normal aged you. Would you even be able to lift a spear? Or steal my booze?"
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 02:26:55 105917
Makoto doesn't really preen, but if she ever had the inclination she'd be doing it now. As it is she turns a little pink, visibly pleased in spite of herself. "Well," she says, grinning a little foolishly, "it's nice to know I'm appreciated and can always run away to cook for Kyouko if nothing else works out."

Neil gets another quick squeeze of a hug before she steps back to let him break into the bag of gummies. "...I know I just said it a minute ago," she remarks, "but our lives really are so weird."
Kyouko Sakura 2019-07-03 02:30:41 105918
    Kyouko snorts in amusement at Makoto's words. "Well, you might have to fight Naru for the kitchen-space, but you know we wouldn't kick you out. But don't think I only value you for your cooking. I also value your ability to punch things." A wink, before she catches the wrapped gummy that is tossed her way by Nephrite.

    Cracking it open skillfully, she pops it in her mouth. "Mmm, not bad." She says approvingly of the candy. "I'd have to answer both of those questions with a 'maybe', but either way, I wouldn't want to saddle you, or any of the guys, with babysitting duty at this point anyway. Ya'll can have fun with that once Mamoru and Usagi start popping out kids, anyway, I'm going to be going on a lot of away missions around that time, I think."

    She grins at Makoto. "What tipped you off, the talking rat or the interdimensional doorways?"
Nephrite 2019-07-03 02:45:03 105919
Neil visibly pouts. "Don't steal my girlfriend away from me Kyou. I know you're cooler and better at stabbing, but you already have a Naru and I would shrivel up in a day if she were gone." He's approaching dramatics. There might be a whole monologue brewing. "Also you could never set foot in another kitchen and I'd still be happy, even if I'd still miss your cookies because they're like heaven in sugary form, because having a big kitchen is just an excuse to lure you over more often, and I was planning to tell you that I'm renovating mine so you have a second one to work in if you want." He looks at Makoto imploringly. "Please don't flee to other kitchens."
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 02:59:35 105920
"It was a little of both," Mako tells Kyouko with an answering grin - but then Neil starts pouting, and then Neil starts building up to full monologue, and Makoto's green eyes widen in alarmed dismay.

"Okay, okay! I'm not going anywhere, I promise." She hurries to reassure, catching hold of one of his arms as though to back up her words. "I'm sorry I teased you about seeing other kitchens. Anyway I would definitely have to fight Naru-chan for Kyouko's, and nobody wants that."
Kyouko Sakura 2019-07-03 03:06:05 105921
    "You definitely don't want to fight Naru. She throws stuff." Kyouko notes, chewing on the gummy. "Don't be clingy, Neph, it's uncalled for. I love Mako-chan but not in that way, and while I may occasionally appreciate her work in a kitchen, it doesn't have to be mine. I'm a polykitchenist."

    She sighs, straightening up. "Anyway, we came right here after working out, so. Now that we've had time for tea and snacks I'm going to go grab a quick shower. There's like, 400 bathrooms in this place so feel free to do likewise if you want." This directed at Mako-chan, before she eyes Neil. "But no funny business. Benjy's an innocent." The rat makes an insulted sound from somewhere nearby.

    "Anyway, I'll be back in a bit. Thanks for bringing cool snacks by the way, bro." She grins and turns to saunter out of the room.
Nephrite 2019-07-03 03:13:49 105922
Neil calms at Makoto's hand on his arm. "Really? You're not taken in by the lure of a superior stovetop?" He would really have to thank Naru for being the only thing standing in the way of his kitchen's ultimate abandonment. "A polykitchenist. Well, as long as everyone involved is consenting, who am I to judge?"

Neil looks around for the unseen guardian rat. "Okay, we'll keep talk of marble countertops to a minimum. Wouldn't want to get too frisky."
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 03:24:11 105923
This is about where Makoto can't even pretend to keep a straight face any more, and just breaks down into a fit of giggles. "Enough, enough! I give up, you win, just please stop." She ends up leaning on the arm she grabbed onto, ducking her head to hide her face while she tries to get herself back under control.

"...I brought that on myself, didn't I?" she asks, when she can breathe properly.
Nephrite 2019-07-03 03:34:45 105924
Her breaking makes him break too. Neil grins in triumph despite his own laughter. "No more, I promise. I just wanted to see you laugh." He wraps his free arm around her, letting her lean into his other one as much as she wants.

"For the record though, I think you could totally take Naru."
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 03:49:33 105925
"I like my odds," Makoto agrees blithely, laughing again. "But I'm pretty sure she'd find a way to make me regret it later. She's crafty. Better I don't risk it."

She's steadied herself by now, but she keeps leaning on Neil anyway just for the enjoyment of it, tipping her face up towards his. "You know you don't need to renovate your kitchen, right? Because I honestly can't tell if you were joking about that part, and you really don't have to." In the momentary pause that follows, she can't help taking an appreciative glance around. "...even if Kyouko's Palace does have a really nice kitchen. Honestly I'm a little jealous myself. Imagine never having to buy fresh ingredients ever again."
Nephrite 2019-07-03 04:00:52 105926
"That part was actually serious," he admits. "I don't really use my kitchen for much, because the communal one is where all your food is. But I figured maybe you'd like to have a second space to work in that's more private? And might be at slightly less risk of getting blown up or get a dragon stuck in it or something. I don't know, I thought it would be nice." He shrugs awkwardly.

He smirks at her envy. "Alas, I don't yet know how to install an instant food device. I can, however, be your delivery boy."
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 04:11:15 105927
"The part where I'd mostly be using it to cook for you is a bonus, huh?" The words are teasing, but the smile Makoto turns toward him is warm and honestly a little touched. How many guys are willing to renovate their kitchen for you?

"--I mean, you're not wrong and if you want to upgrade your kitchen for my benefit I'm hardly going to stop you. And it's sweet of you to think of it." Rising up on her toes for a moment, she kisses his cheek. "But I will cook for you regardless. Even though your kitchen doesn't automatically stock its own ingredients."
Nephrite 2019-07-03 04:23:37 105928
He grins. "That part is a bonus I might have considered, but I totally don't want you to think of it as an obligation. More like your personal test kitchen where I occasionally benefit from whatever scraps you choose to leave behind."

He laughs. "Thank you for overlooking that incredible design flaw. You and your cooking are still the best. I want to ask you your feelings on marble countertops now, but I'm afraid I already promised not to."
Makoto Kino 2019-07-03 04:36:24 105929
That gets Mako giggling again; she shakes her head, nudging companionably at him with her shoulder. "Maybe some other time, when we don't have to worry about offending Kyouko's mansion with comparisons. Or something."