Getting the Point, After Getting the Point

Tuxedo Kamen brings a wounded princess to safety after Madison Perry's attack, which proves to be an interesting chance for them to speak on many topics.

Date: 2015-11-08
Pose Count: 15
Mamoru Chiba 2015-11-08 22:49:06 14395
Once the others had left and there weren't any more Familiars pouring out, Tuxedo Kamen had picked up Princess Runealy, citing that yes, he'd needed to be the one to carry her since he couldn't effectively defend at the moment; once at the safehouse, he'd dropped his henshin.

Now, Guardian Hino is outside dealing with his fury and keeping the watchful eye of wrath out for approaching threats, and Mamoru's lowering Runealy to the closest couch, her blood all over her and now all over him too.

Finally, he crouches down in front of her, looking tired but not as utterly spent as he's looked sometimes in the past, and he reaches up, hand hovering over Runealy's stomach and gaze focused questioningly on her. "I want to check and see if anything's torn again from transport; you're going to need to take it easy for a few days either way."
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-08 23:15:02 14396
Rune's transformation faded shortly after she was carried away from the store, and she held tight to Tuxedo Kamen with one arm while the other hung limp, eyes cringed shut as tears flowed. Yet she had some sense to her, enough to provide a key to the apartment she was being brought to.

The 'safehouse' apartment Virtue provided is not a top-notch upscale place, but it is nice; it was cleaned and tended to by them before they let the alien attackers move in. The TV is off, curtains to windows open to allow the daylight in. A living room couch provides a fine place to set her.

Placing her on it nets an odd 'hiss-whimper', and then as the realization of being out of immediate danger sets in... her eyes shoot wide. "I know. They're not days I want to lose, but I don't have a choice. I just...!" She's still crying, and starting to shake. "Now I know how it feels. To just go at someone for no reason they can figure out, and she was just laughing and... you! Y... you don't even... have a reason for this, you know!"

She stares at Mamoru's face, shock in the medical sense mixing with emotional confusion. "I haven't done a single thing to make you ever want to... just attacked you, used you, lied to you..." She actually keeps talking after that, but it becomes genuinely incoherent as sob-gasps and increasingly rapid word-pace means she's making frantic /noise/ rather than sentences anyone besides herself would understand.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-11-08 23:33:01 14397
Mamoru's expression goes from a gentle, matter-of-fact concern to active worry when Runealy starts shaking, and his hands go up to hold her steady. But it doesn't steady her, doesn't steady her at all, and he goes firmly into the no-nonsense mode she's seen him assume so many times before, in so many ways. It's the mannerisms, mixed, of a pediatrician and a prince.

"Stop it, Runealy," no honorific, no title, only a firm authority that expects to be listened to, "you're going to undo the work I already did. I'm going to help you calm down a little bit, and I'm going to work on your injury some more. I did just enough to get you out of immediate danger, but you're still incredibly delicate and you're going to make a lot of trouble for a lot of people if you keep working yourself up like this."

As he speaks, his hand goes over her wound again, and that warmth and strength and peace flood in again. They take away physical pain and offer an emotional rock to cling to, steady and unbreaking, unmoving, tethered to the life force of the earth on whose ground the two stand, whose atmosphere they breathe. Sunshine on the face and dragonflies buzzing over golden fields of wheat.

He slowly starts spending more and more of his energy piecing Runealy's insides together, ejecting or breaking down the toxins released by the impalement, knitting together muscles and membranes. His tone is absent, as his primary focus is not on conversation. "You feel everything so deeply, so personally. I envy that. You truly make connections with people, you don't hold yourself apart, aloof. All I can do is attempt to act rightly, is try to find solutions, is try to fix problems so that other people have the option to act rightly as well."
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-08 23:44:20 14398
Getting firm with Rune actually works. There have been a handful of times where if the situation is critical enough or if she screwed up badly enough, a certain someone back home would clamp down on the matter very decisively. It was rare, but always stood out in her mind when it happened.

This moment, with someone having tried to just kill her and coming fairly close to succeeding, strikes her as a 'rare moment' where even her mush of a thought-process accepts this. There's a single gasp in response, then she just drops the rambling 'argument.' Instead, another tiny whimper follows and she sinks into the couch to let Mamoru proceed.

When she talks now, her voice is much more quiet. Somewhat faint, even. "I almost wonder if you're talking about someone else entirely, when you say those sort of things about me. But... do you want to? To 'connect' to people? Are... you doing that? Holding yourself away from someone? Lots of someones?"
Mamoru Chiba 2015-11-09 00:04:35 14399
Once Runealy accepts the clampdown, as it were, and reacts by relaxing, Mamoru doesn't feel the need to be firm any more. Something in the back of his mind is amused because the same thing works on Sailor Moon when she's overwrought to the point of inaction... but it's irrelevant to the problems at hand, and she's always on his mind anyway.

There's a brief flicker of a smile from the older boy, and he glances up at Rune again when she asks him things, things he can tell are important to her. His eyes are on her, but he's preoccupied, his mind seeing something other than the girl he's looking at; still that golden glow works, patiently and painstakingly. "You can't see the good in you because things are so difficult, so unlike what your prior experiences have told you is the way life should be. Maybe you think the good in you doesn't count, because you've done things you regret, or because wanting something isn't enough to actually achieve it and you don't think you have the strength to get there."

Then he's not even pretending to look at her anymore, gaze dropped to his hand on her stomach. His voice is distant. "There are a few people I entrust a lot of myself to. There are many people I trust to various degrees, some people would say to my potential detriment. There are a lot of people who trust me, who think that they're connected to more of me than they are, and I'm glad to give them what they need. There's one person who has everything, and I think you know who that is. I can feel her fighting even now."

Finally, he's done as much as he has the energy to do and still be able to henshin. His hand withdraws, and Mamoru sits back on his heels and looks up at Runealy. "Take it easy for a week. Don't fight at all for three days unless you have absolutely no choice. You're going to be sore for a while." He sighs and reaches up with the less bloody hand to run his hand through his hair, get it out of his face. "All of these things are new to me. I had no friends at all until this past May. I have no parents, I have no memories from before I was six, and I grew up in institutions. I also have intense problems with being touched, primarily because I am an untrained empath, and have deliberately cultivated standoffishness for as long as I can remember because of that. Learning to connect is difficult and painful, but my life has been more rewarding because of it."
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-09 00:17:36 14400
"Not worried about what I see in me right now. The only thing I'll say about that is I know I don't have it, because I've tried and tried and... ...I'll just have to try again. We have one more chance, I think. And yes, I know who you're talking about. Her. The one you demanded I not hurt, offering yourself for her. Pretty amazing..." Rune is currently in little mood to move, just letting her body sag along the couch as the light works on her. There are no motions like nods or head-shakes to accent her words.

"I was asking about you, not me, and..." She quiets down to listen, and... looks stricken, eyes wide anew, as Mamoru explains bits and pieces of his life. "No way... that's not fair. You say 'all this' is new to you, then give me specific time to sit out, like you've seen this before and you know what to do and...!" She forces herself to somewhat calm down, still rattled but not crossing over into incoherence as she did before. "Listen. Before this mess started, I was coming to see you. To invite you to see our home, and to ask you what you hope to see and do here in Tokyo when we return."
Mamoru Chiba 2015-11-09 00:37:30 14401
Another brief flicker of a smile at 'pretty amazing': it's clear that that is Mamoru's opinion of Her, of why she's worth all of it.

Then the older boy's eyebrows go up when Runealy protests. He's about to speak again when she changes the subject, and he blinks, and it's a real, warm smile she's offered in return. "I'd love to." He rests his hands on his knees, and the smile fades slightly. "But I'm not sure how good an idea it would be until we take care of the Dark Kingdom. Their agents are actively pursuing me in addition to their other immediate goals, to the point that the Sailor Senshi-- who, for the most part, do not know I'm Tuxedo Kamen-- find it necessary that I'm escorted by a magical girl at all times. If they knew who else I was, they wouldn't let me fight anymore. But the important part of that is, I don't want them following me to your world, and that's not something I can guarantee right now."

He pauses for a second, then looks a little wry and a little self-amused. "As far as 'all new' is -- it's my willingness to trust other people, to make friends and be honest and go out of my way to help. That's all new. Knowing what to do comes from a combination of reading a lot of books, constantly observing other people very carefully, and being friendly enough with everyone that they trust me to be reasonable-- which I like to think I am. The places I grew up... they're not nice places, though some of them try. People there grow up strange and damaged, and the hierarchies and politics and hurt that thrive in such an environment are educational. A few years outside have given me good baseline expectations for people in the rest of the world, and plenty of fresh observations to make and psychological conclusions to come to."

He shrugs. "There's a lot of information available to those who are good at finding it, and I really love people. All of them. And I want to understand. It's just always been from a distance."
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-09 00:49:24 14402
Rune looks pleased for all of a split-second when Mamoru agrees to this, but that changes when he has reasons to decline her offer. "...You don't need to ask, then, for me to keep quiet about that. I get it. As far as the 'Dark Kingdom' goes," Runealy doesn't realize she has already encountered them, she's missing the association on that name to them or else can't recall it right now if she has heard it before. "...No, I'll come back to that."

She quiets down to listen to Mamoru describe more of his past, and she just stares. "'Institutions', you called them. As in, something established and common and mandated? The way you talk through all this is so..." She decides there's no good word she can finish that sentence with, and just lets out a stunned "wow" instead.

She remains largely motionless, even as her emotions compel her to do otherwise; she wants to show her shock and disbelief at all of this with more than just words. "I have no idea how to even begin making up for any of that. Maybe that's not something you 'undo', really. By the Barrier, that's just... listen."

She forces herself to redirect the topic back to Mamoru's earlier concern. "There seem to be a lot of invading nations showing up here in Tokyo... here on Earth. That's the worst part, they all seem to be from different worlds or even groups of worlds. I've been thinking that one through. My friends and I could go home, restore our Barrier, seal our portal again, and... then what? Maybe in five or ten years one of those nations finishes up with Earth, and wants /another/ world? We'd probably find them making a lot of effort to break down that seal, and they'd try to make us conquest number three or five or seven or seven hundred. They'll show up eventually. So while it's really, really nice of you to worry about bringing them to my home?"

She takes a breath after that lengthy thought, and finishes: "The offer stands. The existence of our world will probably become an 'open secret' to a lot of people within a few months, anyway. I don't think we can hide it forever. You can come with us if you want, and there will be a way back to Earth too."
Mamoru Chiba 2015-11-09 01:09:50 14403
"...clinical?" Mamoru supplies with that same self-amused little smile. "Institutions. Yes, they are. Orphanages, specifically, though there are other kinds."

But Runealy's still talking, and he shakes his head at 'listen', briefly interrupting with a lifted hand. "It's not something that needs to be made up for. I'd prefer it if you tried not to change your opinion of me, to keep it based on my own merits and failings as you've observed them. I felt you should know these secrets about me because I relentlessly asked you questions in order to understand you, before, and it's only fair that you also have a basis for understanding me."

He drops his hand, then, and lets out the smallest of laughs. "Do continue, though, I just had to make that clear."

As she does, he sits quietly and motionlessly, listening. He recognises the questions are rhetorical, and doesn't interrupt again. It's only when she really is finished that the smile comes back, the real one, the reactive one that's not actually pointed inward. "Then yes, I would love to. A visit, specifically? I can't be away from Her for long-- and all of the Senshi have important duties here that they can't leave unaddressed. But if it's a visit, yes; if it's to help you with the Barrier, then you'll certainly need more than me."
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-09 01:19:38 14404
"Orphanages... we have that word too," Rune recognizes 'institutions' under that guise. "...Never been to one. I know we fund some," her mind flickers back to times with her father pouring over the finer details of the nation's budget, making sure everything was 'in the black', "but... that's about all I could tell you about them."

"Fair? I don't know about that. You could have told me nothing, ever, and it'd still be pretty fair. You asked me questions just like I was asking her, just now, questions. Still can't believe it... she didn't give me reasons either, just like I didn't when I went after people, but... she laughed about it. That's so... it's sick. Pretty sure I didn't laugh at you when you asked."

As for help and visits, "I don't know if it's 'help with' anything. As far as our tradition ever shows, it's all on the Queen of the time. She fixes it, and that's it. I'm asking you to visit, just like I asked Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury, and I'll ask the others as soon as I get the chance. Want you to see the people there, and maybe they should see the people from the 'Unknown World' that history will record."
Mamoru Chiba 2015-11-09 01:25:02 14405
"You also cried a lot and apologized a lot and then eventually gave in and answered my questions when you got in over your head," Mamoru says bluntly, finally switching to sitting cross-legged. "You weren't the same at all."

Then his hands are clasped loosely in his lap, and he's still on the floor, looking up a bit at her. He nods, the comfortable person around comfortable or pleasant topics that he tends to be. When she mentions she asked Moon and Mercury, he grins. "Oh good, did they say yes? And oh no, don't present us as great heroes, Princess, that would be a little embarrassing."
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-09 01:29:50 14406
Rune starts to open her mouth to say something about those differences, then realizes she's honestly at a loss for words there. It's not the first time; Mamoru has managed to say things that leave her unable to come up with anything in response on a prior visit to his apartment.

And so she instead goes with the other point, head turning a little to follow his gaze. "We're still working out the d etails, but I think they're coming along, yes. Just... if you can, hide your cell phones. All the cell phones. We're really not ready for that sort of thing. Maybe we'll figure them out some day, but doing it right now... we don't even know what electricity is, really. You're probably going to be almost as surprised by our home as we are of yours."
Mamoru Chiba 2015-11-09 01:40:59 14407
As if in response to her talk of cellphones, Mamoru's jacket pocket buzzes, and he goes fishing in it--

--and comes up with no less than three actual mobiles. Cellular telephone devices. The kind the rest of the world means when they use the term.

Not, you know, Runealy cellphones.

It's his iPhone that's buzzing, so he pockets the other two as he glances at its screen. "Sailor Mercury's coming to pick me up. Sailor Moon apparently asked her to look after me while she's busy."

He just sort of gives Runealy a look like 'I am coping with the fact that I can't argue I practically need to be babysat, and it is taking a lot of effort, by damn', and then he starts to pick himself up and take his jacket off so he's not quite so covered in blood when Ami gets there. "No worries, I won't be breaking the Prime Directive. Though I will direct you to some excellent television programming in a while." A beat. "I mean, I won't be waving around inexplicable technology in front of people who might get scared or overimpressed by it."
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-09 01:46:20 14408
A lot of these references go completely over Rune's head. "'Scared or impressed' is /all/ of us. My father can see them, he needs to know about our new 'neighbor world' so that's okay, but anyone else... no. Mercury's coming here, though? That's fine."

She closes her eyes, head relaxing into the couch. "I really don't have many more secrets at that point. Whether it's Moon or Mercury or anyone else, they can know we're here. Showing me 'TV' though..." She has actually picked up that abbreviation, "Sure. Don't worry, Hino has already shown me the people on the glass aren't really there. And no matter what we end up watching..."

She smiles, an odd expression given her shut eyes. "Thanks. Thanks for being here, for doing this... if you want, I'll try to... 'connect' with you. I'd like that, if you would."
Mamoru Chiba 2015-11-09 01:50:56 14409
"...I'd like that, too," Mamoru says after a heartbeat's pause, the smile in his voice. "And I think you already have."

Then there's a knock on the door, and Mamoru leans over to briefly place his warm hand on top of Runealy's head, playfully messing up her hair a little bit. "That's Mercury. I'll see you again soon."

Hushed voices at the door a second or two later, and then the door closes gently.