2014-04-13 - Much Less Poetic

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Title: Much Less Poetic

So like, you know how Mamoru's always sitting around reading because he's kind of a nerd? Well this is the second time Mio Kuroki has interrupted him doing just that. This time, though, she knows he's Tuxedo Kamen. Life is so awkward sometimes.


Mamoru Chiba, Mio Kuroki


Uminari Seaside Park, Tokyo Bay, Shitamachi Low City

OOC - IC Date:

December 29, 2013 - 4/13/14

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

It's early afternoon, a couple of days away from the New Year. The sky's mostly overcast, pale sun occasionally breaking through the clouds but not doing a lot for the moods of those affected by seasonal affective disorder, or whatever it's called now. The air's cold but there's no wind, so it could be a lot worse.

Still and all, there aren't many people in the park for a Sunday.

There's one, anyway, sitting on a bench in the same general area-- between lawns, on a little cement patio looking out toward the sea-- that he'd been in the last time Mio ran across him.

Chiba Mamoru, dressed warmly, reading a book.

<Pose Tracker> Mio Kuroki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

It could be worse.

It could be...

Mio Kuroki is wearing a turtleneck in that striped pattern so often associated, stereotypically, with French people, along with a rather thick wrap around her shoulders. This is not immediately apparent, though, because her steps are light and, well, her quarry is reading a book.

But she speaks up from some distance away. It would seem rather rude to simply slide up and set down beside him. Even so, she's only a couple of yards, perhaps preceded by a hint of Chanel. "Ah," she says, with amused surprise. "Imagine running into you again - I suppose we have similar taste in walks. Or 'sits,' perhaps?"

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

When Mamoru glances away from his book and toward the voice, and he sees Mio, his guard goes up immediately. Warily, he puts a little heart-shaped foil candy wrapper in his book to mark the place, and slowly, he stands up as she approaches, and puts the book in his coat pocket. No school bag or anything today; it's winter break.

"If so," he points out matter-of-factly, "we share them with the better part of this area of Tokyo." Taking his glasses off, Mamoru pulls out their case and puts them away. He looks like he's going to say something else, but leaves off and just watches the purple-haired girl.

<Pose Tracker> Mio Kuroki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Mio puts a hand on her hip.

After that reply, she smiles. She lets seconds pass by fluidly, perhaps waiting. Her eyes meet Mamoru's, and then she breaks the silence with a small laugh.

"I do hope I'm not bothering you. Would you mind if I sat with you for a few moments...?" The smile on her face doesn't leave, but it does seem to get more brittle. A bit of a tremble at the edge of her lips.

"I swear I will be much less poetic," she adds, though now the (very small) joke has an air of gallows humor.

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

This guy. This guy could not be more predictable. He notices the way Mio's smile changes, and her shift in tone, and he abruptly feels like the world's biggest jerk. He lets out a breath that's some chimerical mixture of a sigh and a laugh, then gestures toward the park bench before sitting back down, himself.

Remember, she's Usagi's friend.

Caution wars with manners in his psyche; wariness and rational thought try desperately to cancel each other out. It's making words difficult. He almost asks something again, turning to Mio a little to watch her sit down, but he only gets as far as starting to open his mouth before he stops himself. Finally he just says, sighing, "I don't know anything about you."

<Pose Tracker> Mio Kuroki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Mio's voice sounds even more brittle. "I don't know anything about you either, I barely know anything about Tsukino, and things, keep, things keep /happening/--"

Her arms fold up, and she turns away. She's taut, and shaking, just a little. Her breathing is audible, deep, quick breaths.

She relaxes, almost as if by force. Her shoulders slump, as she finally sits down, on the far end of that bench.

"I'm sorry," she says. "This is unfair to you. Just... if you promise one thing," and then she swallows, loudly, and dares to glance towards the tall young man, "I'll go."

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Still, Mamoru watches Mio. Still, he feels like a complete asshole. He's causing her pain by not knowing what to say, and he doesn't even know her. How unfair this is doesn't even strike him. There's only empathy and regret and the feeling of something unfulfilled, unfinished. Unknown. He can't shake the wariness.

But he also can't shake the feeling that Usagi will be hurt if he's not nice to her friend.

"Kuroki-san," the seventeen-year-old says hesitantly, "I don't make casual promises. But I also didn't say you had to leave. What is it you want me to say, or do?"

<Pose Tracker> Mio Kuroki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"I just... I don't understand the world any more," Mio says, her voice still trembling. "I've started /seeing/ things... I met Tsukino by chance and I, I found out..."

She trails off, pressing her lips together, before striking a momentary bit of a pose. It slides her fingers in a V formation past her forehead and puts one hand on a hip. It is, of course, a very recognizable one.

She laughs, then, with evident relief, her hands going down to land on her knees. "It's a relief, even, even just to say it out loud. Well. Not say it; you know what I mean."

Taking in another deep breath, she says, "I... I suppose I hoped you would understand things better...? I don't want to plague her - I know her life is hard enough already."

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Little by little, the tension in Mamoru's shoulders eases. There's still something he can't quite put his finger on, but it's far easier to set aside when Mio's not actively being sexy at him. He braces his hands around the edge of the bench, leaning forward a little, then leans an elbow on his knee and props his chin, not stopping looking at Mio.

"She's the strongest person I know," he says straight out, like it's an incontrovertible truth. There's a little smile that tugs at the corner of his mouth, and his expression is less guarded, more at peace. Softer. "And when it comes to her friends-- and you're her friend-- she's stronger still. Don't worry about plaguing her. Just support her when you can."

Finally, he looks ahead instead of at Mio, and he has both elbows on his knees now, hands draped loosely in front of him. The bay's steel grey, reflecting the colorless sky. "I'm not really sure there's anything I can explain. None of this stuff has ever bothered me, it's never seemed unusual. I wondered why other people didn't remember things, I wondered at the things that surprised them... but I can try to answer questions you have, so long as they're not about other people."

<Pose Tracker> Mio Kuroki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Mio smiles, now, weakly. "I do what I can," she says, about Usagi. but then her eyes move towards the bay again.

She reaches up to sweep a lock of hair behind her ear as the sea wind tugs at it. "... I suppose it's normal for you, then? I... mmm. I understand, that... secrecy is very important."

Another smile, still a little wan.

"You say it's never seemed unusual... have things like... like this, been going on, then, for a long time...? You don't seem to be terribly much older than me...?"

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"I'm not," Mamoru says, glancing toward Mio with surprise. "It's just the way the world is. I don't know why some people can see it and some people can't; it's not something I've ever theorized on. But look in the history books, and even if they don't talk about demons, they talk about terrible wars and suffering and death, and they talk about heroes and miracle workers."

He looks back out at the water, then sits back and crosses his arms over his chest, warming his hands under them instead of putting on gloves. "I don't know why it's new and weird to you, I don't know why you suddenly started being able to see what happens, to remember when things happen. Just a couple of days ago-- in Sapporo-- I fought something I've never encountered before, and it was..."

Mamoru's face is shadowed, his eyes distant and his mouth, briefly, a thin line. "It was awful," he says softly. "It reminded me that there are horrors out there I can't even imagine. But right there with me was someone who's been dealing with them all his life. And that reminded me that there are always people who stand against the darkness in all its forms. That's all you need to remember-- there are a lot of really bad things out there, but good never gives up, ever. So even if it's frightening and strange, don't lose hope."

<Pose Tracker> Mio Kuroki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Don't say such scary things, Chiba," Mio says, quietly.

Her lips purse; thin, then she speaks again. "It started only recently...since I came to Tokyo. I suppose I don't know if it began when that creature, attacked me... I, I don't want to speak about it very much. It was some sort of a sliver that came out of..." She clasps a hand over her chest, lightly.

"Or if it was earlier, and I simply didn't see."

She turns her head to smile at Mamoru again, then; timidly. "I suppose I'll have to take your word for it. You do have a rather inspiring manner... and, of course, I know that there is Sailor Moon."

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Instant regret; Mamoru grimaces. "I'm sorry," he says a little hollowly, looking away, then down. He laughs, but it's not a happy one. "I guess I look at things differently from you. I would rather know, so I can be better prepared. I didn't mean to frighten you further."

His arms are crossed a little more tightly, and he closes his eyes for a moment. When he looks back to Mio, his face is apologetic. "You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. Sometimes talking makes things easier, but it can be difficult for any number of reasons."

When Mio turns a little and gives him that tiny, tentative smile, he smiles lopsidedly in return-- until she gets to the compliment, and then he turns away quickly-- but not quickly enough to avoid her being able to see him blush. "Sailor Moon is a lot more inspiring than I am. I'm just a guy with a cape and a hat."

<Pose Tracker> Mio Kuroki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"I just... need to, digest it, I suppose," Mio says, with a weak laugh, about her own request for silence.

"Mm," she says, lowering her eyes to her own lap again. "You sound as though you admire her... but I suppose it's difficult to ask more than that, isn't it?" After this slightly cryptic statement, she shifts, as if to stand up again.

"I will do what I can to support her, of course; will you promise, to do the same?"

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The secondary tragedy rears its head.

Mamoru's about to answer, and


find the silver crystal

please, bring me the silver crystal

The sorrow in her voice is crippling, and the Senshi stand in his way.

He drops his hands to the bench and sits up, studying Mio, all traces of the blushing gone and nothing but gravitas in his voice and bearing when he finally speaks. "That's not something I need to promise. I can't help but try to protect her."

His tone gentles, "What do you want to ask, Kuroki-san? Just ask. If I can't answer, I won't, don't worry about presuming. I already said I'd try to answer."

<Pose Tracker> Mio Kuroki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"I... don't even know any more," Mio says, looking out towards the sea again. Her hand comes up, delicately, to touch her hair.

"It flew away, while I was listening to you. If I remember it, though, I'll be certain to ask you... if that's alright, Chiba."

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Of course," says Mamoru, his tired voice little more than a sigh. He stands and takes a deep breath, looking out on the dull sea as the wind begins to pick up, making the water choppy.

The sky's a little darker, no more breaks in the clouds, and the wind reaches the land, smelling of salt spray and ozone and frozen air. "I'm not hard to find. Safe home, all right? That's freezing rain coming, not snow. Be careful."

He reaches into the coat pocket that doesn't have a book in it, and pulls out one of those super compact umbrellas, stepping forward to place it in her hand. "Enjoy the rest of winter break."

With a small smile, dim but present behind blue eyes, Mamoru gives Mio a slight bow, then walks away.

The wind picks up a little more, and so does his pace.