2014-04-22 - Just What is the Scent of Home?

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Title: Just What is the Scent of Home?

Having made the decision that helping the Senshi with their search is more important than he himself finding the Silver Crystal, Mamoru has begun to entertain the idea that he might not get his memories back the way he'd been counting on. Dark Amber told him that the Perfume Warriors protected memories, so he now has a sidequest.


Japanese Cherry Blossom, Tuxedo Mask


Tama, park regions

OOC - IC Date:

3 January 2014 - 4/22/14

<Pose Tracker> Japanese Cherry Blossom [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

At the beginning of a new year, a good omen for everyone is important. A bad omen can bring disaster. Protecting the luck of the nation during this time of transition is very important. And Japanese Cherry Blossom has a reason to be in the park area - the strange tree that holds the memories of her friends is also somewhere in this wooded area, a haven for the perfume warriors to enter, but also to protect.

Japanese Cherry Blossom is patrolling these woods at night. A newly fallen crust of snow makes the trees look delicate here, though perhaps not as delicate as blossoms would in spring. The magical maiden is best sought out not just by her looks, but by the scent of her perfume on the cold night wind. Perched up in a tree in the snow, she doesn't feel the sting of winter even though her outfit is less than suitable for cold weather. Though she isn't melting snow or anything, there's always a sort of springlike warmth keeping her comfortable. And, there's a tiny mascot near her - a little white fairy-dragon - sniffing at the air for trouble.

Tuner business hasn't been too bad, but... Cherry Blossom isn't really hoping to run into trouble. She likes it best when things are safe and quiet.

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

There's a different magic present here tonight-- possibly trouble, though there's no malice-- and if scents had colors, this one would be gold and a velvety purple-black; if they had temperatures, this one would be the sort of warm that comes from a lazy summer afternoon.

Below Cherry Blossom, a dark figure approaches, then slows, then stops. He's left footprints behind him in the snow; he's absurdly tall, and his cloak flows in the air with the slightest motion. He is certainly the source of the new magic.

There where he's stopped, the tall boy turns around, squinting through his bright white mask as he tries to see through the trees. There may be something going through his head to the tune of 'argh ninjas'. Then slowly--


--he looks up. "Oh," he breathes, "crap. Uh. Hi."

<Pose Tracker> Japanese Cherry Blossom [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

The little dragon, Mist, reacts first, his butterfly-like wings flapping and knocking a bit of snowdust into the air.

Cherry Blossom looks down at the young man, having picked up his scent too. But it's not dangerous.... she doesn't think. There's a nostalgia to it, but not for her personally, she decides. "Hello," she says, from atop the tree, and then jumps down. She lands quietly in the snow and looks at him, seeing now just how tall he is. "Have I see you around here before?"

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The masked boy reaches up one white-gloved hand to rub at the back of his head a little sheepishly as he looks down at Sakura, then up at the tiny dragon. "No, I-- I'm Tuxedo Kamen. I'm looking for-- I think I'm looking for you," he offers, somewhat apologetic. "Japanese Cherry Blossom?"

There's a half-step back, then, so it's even easier for them to look at each other without any neck-craning going on, and he lets his cape fall around him, hiding his arms, but not the front of his white tie dinner ensemble. "I spoke with someone named Dark Amber, who mentioned guarding memories, and I had..."

A sudden fierce burning desire for knowledge.

"...some questions."

<Pose Tracker> Japanese Cherry Blossom [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Cherry Blossom gives Tuxedo Kamen a bow, putting her hands in front of her chest for a moment. "Yes. That's me. I'm Japanese Cherry Blossom." As she rises up, he might notice a locket around her neck, shaped like a heart and studded with little crystals. It's not a thing that's familiar to him, but it catches the light.

She doesn't seem afraid, though the little dragon flits to her shoulder and looks more wary.

"If Dark Amber sent you, then you must be all right," Cherry Blossom says. "What did you want to know?"

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Friends, Dark Amber has friends. That's good. It's always good to witness confirmation of statements from others. The caped and masked boy's shoulders de-tense slightly, and he returns the bow, visibly relaxing. His blue eyes, behind the mask, only glance over the sparkling locket before flickering to Mist again, then focusing on Sakura properly.

"I'm missing," he says slowly, "a lifetime's worth, or so I understand. Until I met Dark Amber, I didn't think something like-- like bottled memories-- could happen. Or that there were people who protected them. I didn't know that memories being in danger of being stolen could happen."

A breath; his hands, white against the black of his cape, his tuxedo, lift slightly; it's as if he's steadying himself to keep going. To finish his preamble and ask.

Finally, he looks down at them, then back up at Sakura. "Is there a way to tell-- if someone stole mine? Is there a way to find them?"

<Pose Tracker> Japanese Cherry Blossom [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Cherry Blossom tilts her head, and takes another breath as she listens to his words. "I... I see. Well, it doesn't seem as if--"

She takes a moment to consider. "When the Apothecary bottles a memory, it takes something away from a person... that I can smell. You don't seem... entirely empty, to me, so there is something of you that's still there. If a lifetime of memories were missing, that bottle would have a similar smell. At least I think. When the memories are poured out too openly, anyone can see them, for a short time, but, they would return to you. I don't know for sure if that's what's happened. But ... we could try to find out. What's the last thing that you remember?"

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Tuxedo Mask thinks about this, and then glances behind him-- yes, there's a tree close enough to lean on; he leans and crosses his arms over his chest, partly because it's cold, and partly because he's afraid. Even if he couldn't identify it as such, he's afraid.

"It's-- I think-- a little more complicated than that," he confesses, looking down and away. "The first thing I remember is waking up in a hospital when I was six. I was told my name, I was told what happened to me. I remember everything that's happened since then. But there are things I remember that didn't happen, couldn't have happened."

As the boy looks up again, his face is full of that nostalgia, but it's sharper than that. It's sick with longing, with incompleteness. It's something he hides so often that he hides it well-- but not now, not this minute. "I meet people and I feel as if I know them. They say things, or they make me feel things, or they do things-- that feel like home is supposed to feel. And I met someone who-- who knows I don't remember. Don't remember who I am. So it's there! Or it was-- I'm not crazy."

<Pose Tracker> Japanese Cherry Blossom [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"Is it like..." and Cherry Blossom doesn't seem to think that he's crazy, because, she takes a few steps closer, and asks very genuinely, with open sparkling eyes. "A past life?"

She folds her hands. "That kind of thing is very real. I know because I have one too."

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"--yes," says the boy in the mask, eyes widening. "I think?"

His arms unfold, his begin to come up to his face-- but then he clenches them into fists and crosses his arms again, against the cold and against the unknown.

Tuxedo Kamen watches Cherry Blossom, almost studying her, looking for something in her face, in her posture, in her manner. The sparkling eyes, they do make him relax a little more; some of the tightness bleeds off.

"I don't know anything about it, though. I know there are people who remember me, even if I don't remember them. I know that there are things still important to me now that were important then. I think-- I think there were roses everywhere, and I had friends--"

He doesn't look tragic so much as wistful. "Do you remember yours?"

<Pose Tracker> Japanese Cherry Blossom [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Cherry Blossom seems to carry herself well. She's brave, and she's professional. She doesn't speak too loudly, but, she's not in a battle as of yet. But she does also look a little wistful, as well, as Tuxedo Kamen asks that question. "... A little. There were flowers there, too. All of us were friends there, so... we're working to regain our memories. And..." She stops. Should she really say this much? "There was someone we needed to rescue. Though, I haven't met her, yet, in this life."

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The wistfulness in the air is so thick, between the two of them: how cruel fate is, to bring a soul through the ages and only give hints, feelings and longings, pieces of what came before.

But someone told Tuxedo Mask that normal is important. The implication: this life is important. This life is real.

Finally, his hands drop, and he smiles fully at Cherry Blossom. "You will, if you're meant to-- just as, I guess, if I'm meant to, I'll find the person I'm looking for." Tilting his head a little, the boy pulls his cape closer around him. "Is there-- something you're doing, in particular, to try and regain those memories? Some technique, some magic--?"

<Pose Tracker> Japanese Cherry Blossom [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"Ah--" That wasn't Cherry Blossom, this time, but her mascot, who peers up and looks over. He flies away from her shoulder a little, fluttering wings as he approaches Tuxedo Kamen, and hovers in the air between them. "I can try to answer that. Memories are contained in scents you know? Find the right smell of home, and you could unlock the memory. But it takes time to find the right thing, unless you know what you're looking for."

"We... found a book," says Cherry Blossom, folding her hands again and looking down, just a bit, at the snow. "It seemed blank, but when we opened it, we smelled a perfume that helped us all to remember a little. I don't know if it's the same for you, but we can try."

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

That-- makes Mamoru's eyes very, very bright behind his mask, sharply so. His voice catches slightly, but he evens it out. "N-not even science understands how closely they're linked," he agrees, then takes a deep breath, closing his eyes for a second. "I've heard music played that was a piece of home. The person playing it didn't know where it was from, either. And she cried when she finished it."

Opening his eyes again, he finally straightens, up off of the tree. "I've been held by someone, while waking, and that felt like home. I've argued with someone else, and that felt like home, too. I'll see things, or hear things-- but I can't remember scents. I don't have any idea where to start, aside from--"

--one white-gloved hand unfurls from his cape, producing a perfect rose, hardy and uncut and brilliant red in the snow and leafless trees. "--these, which I think, sometimes, are made of memories of that place. But they don't make me think of anything."

<Pose Tracker> Japanese Cherry Blossom [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Mist looks at the rose. Then he flutters over to it... and takes a big whiff, smelling it carefully.

This seems to be how he 'remembers' a smell, since he then breathes out... and that same rose scent amplifies in the air, puffing out of his nose with a little powdery glitter.

"It's beautiful," says Cherry Blossom. She closes her eyes and thinks of the rose smell...

There were roses where she came from too. But this particular rose... "It's not from my world, though. I think I would remember it exactly, if it was. It must be from some other place."

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

'Impressed' doesn't really adequately describe the expression on Tuxedo Mask's face at what happens when Mist sniffs the rose and exhales.

As Cherry Blossom is speaking-- yes, it is beautiful-- and then thinking--

Mamoru's surrounded by the scent, and he closes his eyes, too. She's speaking again; they're not from her world, his roses. They're from some other place. He's in some other place, right now, and the flower's dropped from nerveless fingers into the dusting of snow, unless caught by Sakura or her dragon.

The boy's crying with the weight of 'almost'.

Magnified like that, so it fills the air, he's aware of white columns and curtains and fountains of roses, of companionable silences, of gentle breezes and fierce love, of the long curling trail of history and belonging.

But that's all there is. That's all.

It's more than there was.

He ducks his head, taking off a glove to swipe at his eyes under his mask. "Th-thank you," he whispers. "It is a place to start."

<Pose Tracker> Japanese Cherry Blossom [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Cherry Blossom looks at the dropped rose. It's almost scorching the snow, she thinks. There is a power to it, but not one she totally understands.

Mist looks at Tuxedo Kamen, lowering his head. "...Ah, I hope that didn't hurt you...."

"I think it helped," says Cherry Blossom, looking up at him. He seems flustered, though, so she doesn't try to approach. He probably wants to keep his distance if he's feeling overwhelmed. "I think you did good."

"...I try," says the little dragon, fluttering down to sniff at the rose again.

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The rose lays there, slowly melting the snow around it; the tall figure who dropped it doesn't seem so solitary as he might have, once. He looks up again as Mist flutters down to sniff at the fallen flower, and he's smiling, even if it's sad. The sadness is only an extension of the longing that was always there.

With dignity, he pulls his glove back on, and bows slightly to Cherry Blossom, and then to Mist. He doesn't approach, no, but that also seems like something inherent, rather than situational. "It did," he says softly, his voice as weightless as the clouding of his breath on the air. "Help. It didn't hurt. If it did, it was a good hurt."

The slightest of sighs, almost noiseless, and then Tuxedo Mask laughs a little bit. "And so did the assurance that my memories weren't stolen, only lost, and that work can bring them back. Thank you, both of you."

He takes a step back, almost leaving, but hesitating-- it would be wrong for either of them to be uncertain, for either of them to feel badly. He needs to be sure, looking at Sakura's face, that they understand.

<Pose Tracker> Japanese Cherry Blossom [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Cherry Blossom looks in Tuxedo Kamen's eyes, as hidden as they are, behind the mask.

She bows to him again. "Then we can try to help you find them. It's our task. To rescue memories from those who would steal them. We'll work together so that you get your memories ... no matter if they're from this life or another."

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

In what is possibly the absolute least ~mysterious~ action Tuxedo Kamen has taken this night, he fumbles through his pockets on an impulse of memory, then comes up with a tiny slip of paper. He takes a somewhat stilted step forward, and offers it. Totally digits.

"I'm not-- always easy to find. And you were pretty difficult to find," he admits, grinning crookedly. "But again-- thank you, Cherry Blossom. I will take you up on that."

Then it's not so much a theatrical exit as him producing a top hat from the folds of his cape, adjusting it on his head, and turning with a whirl of that weightless starry black cape--

--and he fades into the shadows between the trees as he walks away.