2014-03-14 - Way to Smoov, Tuxedo Mundane
|Title: Way to Smoov, Tuxedo Mundane|
Some people are normal. Other people are Tuxedo Mask. He did promise Vega he'd let Sailor Moon know, but like... he could have cryptically tracfone-texted Usagi. e.e;
A dodgy alley shortcut after nightfall.
| OOC - IC Date:|
This happens the evening after the meeting with Sailor Vega, 'So Careless With All Hearts'
SAILOR MOON IS IN DANGER.
Do not be fooled by the situation. It is only a facade. A normal schoolgirl named Usagi Tsukino cutting through an alleyway on her way home from an evening at the arcade, yes, but with a few key pieces of information, this becomes threatening.
1. Usagi Tsukino, a young maiden, is Sailor Moon, a young soldier.
2. Sailor Moon is beset on all sides by mysterious soldiers who may or may not be her allies!
3. One of them has a cat.
At any moment, Usagi could become under attack. She wouldn't even hear it coming. She has headphones in.
And that's why Mamoru's Usagi-senses have not been tingling, but it's also why he's been waiting for her to get out of the arcade. The arcade which... he left... when she got there. Because he's a dork.
But now ~Tuxedo Mask~ is doing his building-top following thing; he's been following her overhead since she left the Game Center Crown, waiting for her to get to where there wouldn't be any people.
Because that's not creepy at all. It's totally actually just practical -- no one needs to see Usagi talking to Tuxedo Kamen -- but boyola, on the outside? That's some seriously stalkeriffic behavior. Not to mention the window thing earlier this week.
He also noticed the headphones.
That's why when she cuts down the alley, he knows there is zero chance of not startling her, no matter how hard he tries, so he gives in to the urge to jump down in front of her as she's running. WHOOMPH, capebillow; t-tap, shoes on the asphalt.
And he is right
There is definite bracing for impact and yelling.
Usagi's got a little perk in her step, thanks to her music. She moves at a respectable pace, which means she crashes into Tuxedo Mask's chest at a respectable speed.
The blonde girl comes away flailing and squawking, staggering back a few steps and accidentally ripping her earphones out. They dangle from her pocket, where her phone is hidden. Usagi, bereft of tunes, finally catches her balance when she strikes a fair (if over-exaggerated) approximation of Sailor V's classic fighting pose.
At least, it is her classic fighting pose in the licensed videogame, which is surely correct.
"Hey, you jerk, watch out--"
She freezes and lowers her karate-chop-ready hands, just a little. "Tuxedo-sama? I, um, I'm so sorry! For a moment, I thought you were someone else!"
Despite being tired and somewhat unruly lately, Tuxedo Mask grins as he staggers back from the impact, and then just straightens his jacket and rights his hat while Usagi takes on her Officially Licensed Sailor V combat pose!
When she actually yells, though, that tone is so remarkably familiar that he looks up in shock for a second, wondering if his mask came off or something-- but when she starts apologizing, he straightens up and laughs (sweatdrop). "Who did you think I was?" Ha ha ha. Ha.
He glances around Usagi, leaning a little bit, seeing if Luna's following her-- whether or not she is, he lets out a little puff of breath and looks back at the girl. "There's a new Sailor. With a cat."
Oh Mamoru why can't you be normal. Oh right: sweatdrop. Subject change like a ton of bricks! Best tactic.
Someone terrible. Not that she says that. Usagi briefly adopts the Mamoru Chiba You Are Terrible face while she thinks it, however.
It's gone quickly, because it is better to smile when you feel butterflies. Tuxedo Mask is visiting her again. Being near him is just--well, he's visiting her again. Usagi Tsukino. Not Sailor Moon. She pushes the headache aside because she doesn't want to think about it right now.
Luna is nowhere to be seen. Usagi, however, looks curious enough for both of them. She juts out her lower lip as she considers. "A new sailor? Is it, um--wait, which sailors are we missing?"
For just a second, Tuxedo Mask looks very slightly alarmed. Obviously, it's because that Mamoru Chiba You Are Terrible face is a terrifying face. Obviously. It has nothing to do with him recognising it. But then--
--he looks like he's trying really hard not to actually laugh; that's gone quickly too, but only because she's smiling, which prompts the same in him, unthinkingly. His is a tiny smile, more present in the eyes behind the mask than in the little upturn of his mouth.
It takes him a moment to answer, because looking at that butterflies-smile, the expression on her face, that's--
It makes his heart ache, a little.
When he does, it's amidst the business of taking off his hat and then reaching into it. "She's not one of the planets in our system. She gave me the name of a star. Sailor Vega." He pulls out a slip of paper with a phone number on it and offers it to Usagi, managing to get his expression under control and back into 'serious'. "Her cat is Orpheus. She told me she'd very much like to meet Sailor Moon, and she seems like a very happy person."
Usagi very nearly springs forward to take the paper, but she is not that rude. Instead, she just aggressively leans forward, which ends up with her having to take a step to stop herself from falling over anyway.
"Sailor Vega," she repeats, over-pronouncing the words as she tries the name out. She stares determinedly at the number, as if it contains a secret. "And she's named after a star? Do you--do you think there's a sailor soldier for every star in the sky?"
That sort of idea requires daydreaming, and so Usagi looks up at the darkening sky above. The stars are just starting to come out, each a little sailor waiting to be found. All those friends waiting to be found. "How lovely," she murmurs.
The corner of his mouth twitches again, and Tuxedo Mask watches the dance of fleeting expressions across Usagi's face; finally, eyes bright, he turns his face skyward as well. Needless to say, he's still holding his hat; his hair ruffles in the breeze as much as his cape does.
"I don't know," he admits in a voice that belongs to reverent stillness. "It's nice to think of every one of them having someone to protect them, though. All the stars and planets--"
Quiet for another moment, and then Tuxedo Mask ruins everything again and says, "It's her cellphone number."
Usagi Tsukino looks back down. At the phone number. Because they're talking about phones right now, and not stars.
She fishes hers out of her jacket pocket, which requires that she take a moment to address the dangling headphones situation. Having successfully tangled them into huge knot, she banishes them into her pocket so she can address her phone with full attention.
"There's this thing I have to do so my phone calls people as Sailor Moon and not Usagi Tsukino," she explains, partially distracted as she taps away. A moment of silence, and she looks up, biting her lip. "Tuxedo-sama, how do you know who I am?"
"You could get a tracfone or something for those calls," is the absurdly cheerily helpful suggestion Tuxedo Kamen gives in that tap-tap-tap silence.
And then just as he's awkwardly realizing that he gave Mami his tracfone number but is somehow having trouble with the idea of giving it to Usagi-- but he's getting rid of it! as soon as the teamup is over, because they both Work Alone-- it's just as he's getting all awkward on his own recognizance that Usagi adds a whole new layer.
"Wh-what?" he asks blankly, engine abruptly stalling in a rainstorm. He looks down at her, hair falling into his mask a little, and blinks. And then he looks over her head, into the distance. Preoccupied--
"--I have... I've seen you transform," he hedges. It's like one twentieth of an answer, and he knows it, and he figures she can put that together pretty quick, and he reaches up and tugs at his collar a little, then kind of half-turns again, rubbing at the back of his head. "And I just-- when the Demon Bus--" That's right, Tuxedo Mask was there to catch Luna. "That was when I started thinking--"
But he appeared out of nowhere, and she was a bus stewardess, not Sailor Moon. He appeared out of nowhere, like he knew she was going to be there. "I know..."
You can do it, Tuxedo Mask. You can do it! You can say it!
"... a lot of things."
Or not. For the same reason he can't give her a number to call. Because he just can't. He can't say 'I know when you're in trouble. And it doesn't matter if you're Sailor Moon or Usagi.' He can't say 'And I totally saw you checking me out on the bus when I caught you talking to Luna, remember, I said 'soldier of justice' and you both squeaked' because Mamoru was there. So. He changes the subject again.
"Her cat's not nearly as smart as Luna."
"I like my phone," Usagi replies, pulling it defensively to her chest.
She clutches it there as he explains. Is it really just that? He saw her transform? She had never been extraordinarily careful with her transformations, but she never thought she had to be.
There is Lucy. Lucy transformed where Usagi could see her, and Luna's claimed magic did not protect the Mesozoic Maiden then. Why would it protect Sailor Moon?
"I see," she murmurs. If it's that easy, who else knows? Or, more accurately--is it really just that she's been terrible with the basic principles of being a masked hero? Soldier of justice, not likely. Soldier of mystery, not that either. Soldier of love...
That's bound to come down sometime.
Usagi bobs her head in agreement. "Luna's really smart." Smart enough to accurately assess Usagi's worth to the team. "I, um. I have to go. There's some things I have to take care of. I'll call Sailor Vega as soon as I can, alright?"
He's sure she doesn't see. He's not sure what she does see, but-- she doesn't look... too upset. Tuxedo Mask looks uncertain for a second, then nods firmly.
"I like your phone, too," he declares, then takes a running leap and swings up the fire escape, then up and over it onto the roof. Tap tap tap tap~~ go his footsteps, receding.
Ten minutes later, at his apartment, Mamoru's gripping his hair in his hands. "What the hell did I even /say/?" he demands of the potted plant on his table.
'I know... a lot of things.'
The words repeat in Usagi's head as she runs home.