2014-03-12 - Usagi and the Dangers of the Heart
|Title: Usagi and the Dangers of the Heart|
After the incident in the alley with Sailors Neptune and Uranus, Tuxedo Mask brings poor Usagi home. Mamo gets some information, and Usagi gets still more mystery.
Rooftops, and then Usagi's bedroom window again. Bookends! Ish?
| OOC - IC Date:|
This was backscened, but it totally happened the same night as the Bad Judgement Calls scene.
Tuxedo Mask, unsurprisingly, holds on to Usagi tightly too-- what might be surprising is the fact that there is a certain amount of desperation in the feeling on his end, as well. Still, in his arms, with the cape still bundled around her, at least the night is no longer so cold, and his surefooted flying leaps from rooftop to rooftop in the windy quiet of the residential night are a beautifully calming thing.
His face is calm, too, despite the threats looming over him, and his mask is ghostly white in the moonlight.
So close, Usagi can feel his heartbeat.
In the rushing silence, the man finally says, "I hope they are, too. But I don't think I can trust them with this, not when they won't explain their motivations. I was going to give it to you, but you shouldn't have to fight them if it needs to be done. My first step still needs to be finding out what it does."
There's a small sigh, and Tuxedo Mask briefly holds on even more tightly as he tags her house's roof and then jumps improbably back to her bedroom window's wide sill. "If you can think of anyone you trust who might know about these, and tell me, I would be most grateful."
Even after all that-- he's speaking to her as an adult to an adult. Setting her down gently inside, and remaining crouched on the sill, the masked mystery man's clear blue eyes regard Usagi steadily, not taking his cape back yet. And not quite letting all contact go, either-- his hand is still lightly around her arm. He almost says something else, then doesn't.
If Usagi had to find her way home by herself, it would take her hours. Not just because she'd have to travel on foot rather than by rooftop, but because she is preoccupied. There's too much to think about, too much for her to worry about walking.
Tuxedo Mask is there for her. She is quiet and motionless in his arms, holding on tight. It's so comforting to have something solid in her grasp after facing the untouchable wind and the ungraspable water.
A thought disturbs her brooding: the heartbeat is so familiar. Can a heartbeat be familiar? No matter what Ami might say, Usagi knows the answer is yes.
In her bedroom, she slides wordlessly from his grasp, back into the lamplight. She is grasping at her collar when she turns to face him, where her brooch isn't. There is concern in her face, at least what Tuxedo Mask can see with her eyes averted. She only looks up when he asks for a recommendation.
"Mami Tomoe," Usagi answers, quietly. "Puella Magi Mami Tomoe."
It hurts. It hurts but it shouldn't. He's right to want someone else. If those mysterious sailors really are enemies, she wouldn't be able to fight them. Mami will know what to do.
And oh, Tuxedo Mask still thinks this quiet sadness is still about him yanking her around in her PJs and then hiding her in the shadows where she had to watch unpleasantness.
Awkwardly, he shifts a little in his position, squeezing her arm lightly before he lets his hand fall. "Mami. She told me to ask you about her. I told her to ask you about me."
They both value Sailor Moon's judgement that much.
Usagi steps forward suddenly, voice raising in eagerness: "You know her?"
She looks away again, but this time she is shyly recalling memories rather than hiding from someone's gaze. "Mami is... Mami's very brave. She's taught me so much about being a magical girl. Mami is really dedicated to protecting people from evil, she's tireless!"
Almost. Usagi has seen how tired Mami really is. She knows the pain Mami carries with her on those patrols. She's seen the wall around her and has come to understand why Mami wants it there.
She does not share these things. What she has said are compliments. Those belong to Usagi, and she gives them freely. What she will not say are secrets, which belong to Mami regardless of Usagi discovering them.
"I trust Mami."
"That," says the motionless man on the windowsill, "is good enough for me."
There's a long moment where he's just watching Usagi, just looking at her there as she holds her collar shut with his cape still around her. His eyes
are so blue
focused on her alone
his gaze is an almost physical thing, but it's soft.
It's almost a whisper, his voice is so quiet and low. "Are you all right? Your friends are so important to you-- and they could be your friends-- they should be your friends. And that was very unexpected."
And it was my fault, he doesn't say. He doesn't, but it's in his face, half-shadowed by his hat and his hair. The tails of his dress jacket are caught by the wind, but he doesn't ask for his cape back.
Yes. There's another person she wants to trust here, isn't there?
Usagi shrugs the cloak from her shoulders, folding it over her forearm until it is manageable. She does not move to return it to him, instead keeping it to her chest. If she gives it back, he might leave. And then whose eyes will she stare at?
Over the sound of her heart, his voice is almost too quiet to hear.
"Mm? Oh, um," Usagi shifts her weight. It's an electric nervousness that makes her teeter dangerously on her feet. "Neptune... and Uranus. They're so distant, but they've helped me many times. If they are sailors, then they must have reasons for doing what they're doing. They wanted to warn me about something."
Something bad coming. More enemies? Tougher enemies? Another new level, one that she's not prepared for? It's difficult enough surviving now. Maybe it is better to leave it to people like Mami. Could that be their reason?
They'd be right.
Usagi's heart is glass. The ugliness of her thoughts becomes a concerned expression, even as she refuses to speak. She steps forward without explaining herself, thrusting her hands out to offer the black and red silk.
A step closer, a step closer, and a step closer: Usagi's close enough now that she could easily shove Tuxedo Kamen right off her windowsill if that cape-thrusting were particularly emphatic. His eyes are momentarily wide, startled behind the mask, and they don't leave hers, even when she can't look at him.
His white-gloved hands, so warm despite the chill, so warm even through the gloves, close on Usagi's. He's on one knee in the window now, easier to balance without the bracing of his hands against the frame.
Usagi's heart is glass, and the heart of the boy in the window is a riot of compassion and worry and pain, confused and vivid, and it makes his eyes so very bright. The warm colors in Usagi's room make his face so much easier to see, and he's faintly
He looks down and away with the tiniest of smiles, and his hands squeeze hers before taking the cape back, then swirling it around his shoulders as he stands up in her window. It billows again, black and red, weightless. "Whatever the danger is," he tells her seriously, "you'll overcome it. Don't worry, Sailor Moon. And don't ever give up."
Sketching a flourish of a bow with his cape in one hand, he straightens again only long enough to tilt his hat back down and wink at Usagi. "Adieu!"
And with that, he falls backward out of the window and disappears into the night.
By Usagi's feet, a glittering gold star-shaped pocket watch lays on the floor, chain of its fob broken.
That warmth on her hand as he squeezes her own. It's startling.
Sailor Moon lives in a cold world, a place where it is always night. The moon shines, but it does not burn. Until just now, Tuxedo Mask lived in that world, too. They stole looks and brushed fingertips in the dark. They both wore gloves.
Here, intruding into her room, into Usagi's room, into the real world, Tuxedo Mask is no longer a story. He's a person. How could she ever have thought he was an enemy? Usagi breathes sharply, looking up the length of his arm to meet his eyes.
Of course he's a person. Look at the warmth on his cheeks.
His cape separates them with a woosh and a flutter. Usagi's breath catches, because she doesn't want to miss a moment of his performance. He exits, downstage, and she melts with a sigh.
Three seconds later, she's at the window, leaning halfway out. "WAIT! HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT I'M--"
Luna would be proud. Usagi slides down the wall under her window, sitting on the carpet with her hands clamped over her mouth. Luna, she thinks. I'm so bad at hiding who I am.
And there, at her feet, is a watch.