Rooftop Chat

Miss White and Tuxedo Kamen talk about goals, allies, and wishes are shared...sort of.

Date: 2015-06-26
Pose Count: 11
Mamoru Chiba 2015-06-26 14:33:57 2899
Well, she did give him a burner number.

Tuxedo Mask waited until he wasn't absolutely exploding with fury before texting it, too. Mei will be fine, she has her shapeshifting talking bird friends looking after her after fights two days in a row and her sister being in the hospital--

He figures Miss White subscribes, at least, to the same kind of honor he does: if he says he'll be alone and asks her to not bring friends, this is likely to be a thing that happens.

So it is that it's around sunset and Hat Guy, sans hat but definitely caped and masked, is waiting on a designated rooftop above a bakery playing Monsters Ate My Condo on his phone, fragrant bag of pastry invisibly tucked into his invisible top hat but nonetheless filling the air with the scent of fried mochiko.
Hannah Sharpe 2015-06-26 14:42:23 2900
Miss White, for all her myriad faults, clings to her word with a kind of obsession that borders on being a glaring weakness. She shows up, right on time, exiting a big four-door Sedan across the street. She leans in, talking to the driver that soon heads off.

She's also looking distinctly more professional these days. Barrier Jacket around her shoulders, and otherwise dressed in a lovely white suit and tie that fits her name perfectly, she alights to the rooftop on sense of smell even moreso than Raging Tempest's abilities. Somewhere along the line, she's procured a pair of Galaxybucks coffees.

One's offered over? An olive branch, or tribute to one about to get pounded. She takes a moment, and sips. Notably, the woman looks ragged, and there's shadows under her eyes. Someone's been busy as of late.

"Hey Hat Guy." She starts off. Awkward silence. She leans on the roof's edge, 'looking' down.

"...So if you want to hit me, that is perfectly fine. The kid holding up?" There's a mix of guilt, and yet, stubborn adherence to /something/.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-06-26 15:03:29 2901
The distinctive sound of the MAMC music stops as soon as Miss White gets out of the car, and the tall tall boy with the cape waits, leaning against the wall of the taller building next door. And his eyes zero in on the coffees.

He lets the awkward silence hang for a moment, studying her, then pushes off the wall and takes the proffered Galaxybucks. It gets set on the ledge while he produces his hat from somewhere in his impossible cape, then takes out the bag of dangos he'd hidden therein. "Tuxedo Kamen," he tells her, sighing, and taking out a stick of them before offering the bag to the girl he's so mad at.

"I'm not going to hit you, god," he says disgustedly. But then, dangos in one white-gloved hand and coffee in the other, hat vanished again, he leans on the edge next to Hannah. And he broods. It's probably the cape.

"I'm glad you didn't hurt her worse. I'm really angry you kicked her in the head. In the future if you're going to do something stupid like mug someone for a grief seed, maybe consider picking on someone your own size. Or taller. Or stronger. Beating up an elementary schooler is lame, and telling her she's foolish is even worse. Before you start telling everyone witches always come back, check your facts with Akemi-san first."

That seems to be the extent of his lecture. Seems.

Tuxedo Mask sips his coffee, then straightens up a little. His voice is really calm and even, reasonable and patient. He sounds like he's someone who's good at tutoring, with a voice like that. "I'm even more concerned about something else, though. I want to talk to you about the girl who's draining souls. You know she attacked a bunch of little kids? Smaller than Red-chan. Stole Red's little sister's soul, even."
Hannah Sharpe 2015-06-26 15:22:49 2902
The bag is taken, and dangos are being devoured with all the power of the food-and-sleep deprived science-slash-magical-slash-business-girl. Hopefully Tux didn't /really/ want any of those.

"I would have. Tch. Soft touch, you justice-types." She mutters in between noms, with the classic bitterness of those falling onto the wrong side of the moral divide.

Such brooding! Hannah certainly isn't prone to such, and like usual, fills the air as she's so prone to doing. It must be some kind of defense mechanism.

"I am a lot of things, but murderer is not one! Youma do not count." Huff.

Arms cross here. "She had a chance to turn it over, you know. I mean, alright, in retrospect I should have just used a binding spell and taken it from her, but she just...just makes me so angry! Stubborn little..." Pot, kettle, shake hands.

"And besides, a kid like that /really/ should not be handling something like that. What if it hatched? She is in no condition to fight a Witch alone, even at their level of power after being reborn." Even her own justifications seem a little flat, if etched with concern.

"Anyway, I will try to be a little more smart next time." It's likely as good of a promise as he's going to get. There's something increasingly desperate in her tone and actions as of late.

She rubs the back of her head. "...Well, you have me at that much. A Puella Magi using one does seem to destroy the Seed, and the Witch along with it. And you do need a pretty specific magical element to speed up the regenesis process. Not as complicated as I expected, but, a bit of a pain the behind." Then she shrugs.

"But I doubt you care much about that." Siiip.

She doesn't mention anything about Homura. That'd likely be a bad idea right now.

"...Really?" Deadpans the mage, and her brows squint in frustration and anger.

Then she smacks her head against the wall.

"You know, Hat Guy, I maaaay just have the absolute worst taste in partners in this entire world. I knew she was ruthless, but that makes me smell like roses!" After a moment of visible shaking in anger, she manages to calm down.

"Which puts me in a big problem." There's a deep sigh, depression starting to sweep over the outgoing woman. She's almost /brooding/. Either Tuxedo Kamen tends to rub off on people, and she is in one heck of a moral dilemma.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-06-26 16:35:54 2903
"She'd've had it for at most a day; if I couldn't set up a meeting for her, she was going to give it to me, and I'd pass it on to one of the Puella Magi," Mamoru casually shoots another of Hannah's arguments in the knee; "If they're hatching while you have them, maybe you should consider finding someone who you can give them to in a hurry when. If you've *got* to have one, I'll fight a Witch with you, all right? That way you aren't stealing what keeps someone alive from the someone who fought to get it."

Apparently there are times when Tuxedo Kamen has no trouble talking, and this seems to be one of those times. And though Miss White keeps talking and talking, as she is wont to do, and he listens and listens, as he does, he's tracking every last thing she says because this is... this is really important. It's really important that this girl has someone paying attention to her, to what she's doing. To how she justifies things, to how she looks like she isn't sleeping, to the tragedy she could cause and despair over, to the things that might sway her.

Also, he did manage to get one stick of dangos before Hannah glommed the bag, and it goes great with the coffee she gave him. "I care about whatever you decide to tell me, White-san," he says, faintly annoyed like don't assume jeez. But. Then she's honestly surprised about Scorn--

Blue eyes watch the distressed mage with a startling amount of empathy, which may not be as clear in his stance and body language, but is echoed in his voice when he finally says gently, an educated guess, "You've made promises and didn't know the consequences beforehand. You have things you've been told to do and you agreed before you knew what they entailed." There's a pause. He hasn't eaten his dangos yet, and he holds them out to Hannah. "What do you stand to gain? I know it's extremely important. What is the problem you need magic to solve? What's their hold on you?"
Hannah Sharpe 2015-06-26 17:23:52 2904
Hannah winces here. Mamoru has a point, but she's not about to just concede the fight here.

"Hey! Slow down, Hat Guy. Let me put it bluntly: I have no intention of causing the Grief Seed market to crash. And neither am I going to beat up a Puella for...well, okay, I might, but /they/ get their Grief Seeds back once I realize the mistake. The kid does not /need/ those things. And she does not have the resources to make use of them." The last implication there might be a little frightening.

Then she waves a hand. "Not that I will turn down the help. You /are/ pretty good at getting people 'out of dodge' as it were, and my little business model actually runs on people being alive at the end of the day."

A small huff. "Besides, the ones about to hatch are the most valuable. They give an insane amount of insight into what a Witch is, how they form, and most importantly, the mechanics behind the creation of their terrain. The fact that they start out weak is just a bonus, or their Familiar generation." The way she talks about them is somewhere between outright, irrational, personal hatred, and at once, a deeply intense curiousity beneath it all.

White 'looks' into Tux's eyes, disbelieving. Too much time around Black has made her more than a touch paranoid, and it shows. But she can't feel any lies in his words, or the outline of his body. She turns away, a tiny, petulant hmph that's far more her actual age.

There's a girl underneath all that ambition, it's just really well covered up.

The dongos are taken, nomm'd, and then she's cracking her knuckles.

"Luckily for you, I am not /that/ ruthless, or I would take you out right here." Seems just how much he deduces has hit a nerve.

"...Hmph. Well, I can say this much at least. At the time, I did not have a choice. Not back then, and not when it comes to Scorn. Sometimes you get dealt a terrible hand, and have to do things so that those you care about are alright. You have to take risks. I took a risk, and have to deal with the consequences. But there are upsides to every loss, and as long as you still breathe, you can take them and forge your own path."

She /thinks/, ignoring the young man for some time. She can't betray the Professor, or Eclipse, or Scorn, or especially Ao. Her hand snaps that stick in frustration. Desperately, she wants to reach out, but something is stopping her. Loyalty, as ever, chains her down.

"A lot, actually. Money, power, a retirement plan if I manage to not bite it, knowledge..." But her words here are a little hollow. All nice things, but they aren't what drives her from her body language.

"If I told you the real reason, you would either not believe me, or try to /really/ stop me. Not this half-arsed things you and your friends have been doing. I know the whole 'mysterious villain' bit does not suit me much, like some b-rate anime, but if I actually manage it all, you are going to know. Everyone will." Her last words, perhaps ominous, is only made worse as she breaks into a grin and deep, low chuckle of the truly desperate and ambitious.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-06-26 18:59:14 2910
The tall boy in the cape and the mask, he's still leaning against the ledge, watching Hannah and holding his coffee in both gloved hands. He's quiet throughout her entire production -- her anger, her desperation, her huffiness, her act, her truth. He just stands there, not arguing, not trying to call her on anything or pry any further. Just listening, the way he did when they talked over her thermos on that other roof, weeks ago.

The breeze ruffles his hair and makes his cape rustle very quietly, silk on silk, and the sound of traffic and chattering voices below is the humming undercurrent to their conversation. Wind and voices, the warmth of fading sunset, the heartbeat of the city and its electric arteries and veins, its subways, its underground rivers.

Miss White's words are meant to be an attack.

Tuxedo Mask, another teenager, lets them hang in the quiet cacophony of a late June twilight with her uncanny laugh.

Eventually, right before Hannah might start talking again to fill the silence, he says contemplatively, "You could take me out pretty much any time, as long as you can catch me. You can catch me really easily if you ask me to stay still. It's not really a threat, is it? Not if I gamble with my life."

He pushes off of the ledge again and finishes his coffee, standing wordlessly again. It's just for another moment of the gloaming, watching as everything fades from red and orange to purple and grey. "I'd still rather you took her in than anyone else who might want someone who can steal souls," the masked boy says, calm and unruffled, "because no matter what you're working for, working toward-- no matter how ambitious you are, who you're willing to sacrifice-- you try to minimize collateral damage and you try to make sure people don't die."

Finally, the mask turns to Hannah again, and Mamoru says flatly, "Even if it does get me killed, I believe in you. And I still believe that if anyone can help her and keep people from dying, it's you. Just try to stop picking fights with little kids and letting your kohai drain their souls, and I'll help you try to stay alive until you get what you need, whatever it is."
Hannah Sharpe 2015-06-26 19:48:40 2915
Hannah's right eye closes as that long silence finally breaks. It's like ramming into a wall of empathy, never striking, but never yielding at the same time. Hot-headed and competitive by nature, Tuxedo masks words are stronger than any weapon or magic. Annoyance plays across her face, then she's turning around. She doesn't want him to see that brief moment of her confidence slipping.

"...Has anyone ever told you that you are /very/ sneaky? A bit of a jerk, but I think you are a nice guy at heart. If you ever really put your mind to it, you could probably become strong yourself, you know?" Frown.

"I hate hurting nice guys." She mumbles, defeated for a moment. If he /really/ put his life on the line, could she really go so far as to take it?

Takashi would want her to. Miss White's hands tremble at the mere thought. It's a little too close to becoming that which she hates so much.

Then she turns around, his words catching her off guard. Silence reigns, and then she leans back bonelessly against the nearby wall. Slide slide slide.

"That is a pretty tall order. And problematic. Alright, fine, I will bend a little. If you are going that far I guess you deserve to know a little bit. I honestly hate her methods, but like you said, I made a deal under pretty bad circumstances. She took the soul of a friend of mine, Ao Karina. I had been searching for the culprit for a few days until I found you all attacking her. She fit the bill. So I gambled, gained a bit of her trust, and when we met up in the hospital I had to cut a deal to get Ao's soul back. Tch, take some advice, never try dealing with magical girls while on morphine."

There's a pained sigh. "So yeah, I am going to try to aim that drain-beam of hers at least at people who deserve it. Where is that plant-guy when you need him?"

Then her brow raises. "Though are you really sure it is okay to risk so much on me? You have things you are searching for too, right?"
Mamoru Chiba 2015-06-26 20:40:49 2921
"I'm incomplete," Tuxedo Mask says with a shrug to Hannah's comment about becoming strong, himself. His tone is frank and brittle. "I don't even know who I am; half the time I'm not even sure I'm real. There's nothing I can do about getting stronger until..."

Trailing off, he crosses his arms and leans against the ledge again, and this time it's the boy who has the defensive body language, who's closed off. If it's calculated, the only calculation is in the decision to show it: the hurt and insecurity are real. "There's someone I'm looking for who can fix that. I know she exists, but I don't know her name, I don't know what she looks like, and she wants me to find something for her, but I don't know anything about it. I'll probably spend the rest of my life searching."

Jaw working for a moment, he goes still. His gaze may be invisible to Hannah, but there's a weight to it that's a felt thing, ancient as mountains and as focused as an angry ghost.

When he speaks again, his tone isn't bleak, as maybe it should be with that kind of setup. It's firm, it's determined, and it's fierce and low. "But she's not the only person in my life worth anything to me anymore. And I've met people who can change the world, who can make it a place where no one has to grow up alone, where no one has to worry about their souls being stolen or their lives and loves being ravaged or erased. And my life is worth making sure that those with the ability to enact that change stay alive long enough to do so."

Finally, Tuxedo Kamen straightens up once more, cape falling around him in a weightless drift of darkness. His mouth twists up into the smallest smile, and there's a funny sound to his voice. "Maybe once you get what you need-- maybe then, you won't have to hurt *anyone* anymore, and maybe you'll be able to help me. Or if I'm not around, maybe you can help her, whoever she is."
Hannah Sharpe 2015-06-26 21:17:51 2923
Hannah, for her part, just /stares/ for a while at Tuxedo Mask. She seems utterly without words for once. There's no judgement. This is the stare of someone encountering some new beast or heavenly phenomenon completely beyond her.

Eyes close as uselessly as ever, and she rubs the back of her head. "...And people call /me/ obsessive. So you want to find someone, but have absolutely zero data. Back home, we cal that 'spinning your wheels'." A bit harsh, but true.

She ponders, and shakes her head again.

"Still. Do you at least know what she needs? Sounds like the only link you have. Going out on a limb here since you would not tell me what it was before, but is it a powerful magical artifact? Find its magical signature, hunt it down like a dog, and wait to see who congregates around it. About your only chance of actually finding her, realistically. Only three types are going to show up: power-hungry people like me, well-meaning magical people like you, and your princess. I would wish you luck, but of course, I want it for myself. Ask nicely and I might let you borrow it." There's a cocky little grin here, a open-faced tease, a low blow meant to drag him forcefully out of his funk. Like in all things, Miss White pushes action over brooding contemplation.

"If I actually manage /that/, then you will get your own wish most likely." She says vaguely. After all, surely the power to change the world could find a mere princess.

Then her cellphone rings. A small frown. She raises a hand apologetically.

"Sorry. Need to take this one."

A big, booming russian voice leaks through the phone, Miss White responding in the same. She rolls her eyes. She closes the call with an irritated scowl. If Tux knows any russian, there's definitely references to broken barriers and Witches and containment cells.

"I hate to cut this short, but my research subject has yet to learn its place. If you ever want to talk, come by the office. It is a lot more comfortable than the roof." She hands him a card! It has a building number and everything. Then, she leaps off, just as her driver pulls up. With typical disregard for pedestrian safety or laws, Boris and Hannah drive off.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-06-26 21:27:38 2924
The low blow earns a stiffened spine for a half-second, then relaxing and an arch look, complete with skeptically cocked head. "Psh," is Tuxedo Mask's incredibly erudite response, which means that round is definitely won. As in Hannah won it.

He takes the card, frowning a little, then lies to himself: he had a positive impact on the situation, right?


The card gets pocketed, and the masked mystery man vanishes into the night.