2014-05-12 - That's Enough Of This Dark Drama

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Title: That's Enough Of This Dark Drama!

Mamoru has a problem involving romantic entanglements. For some reason he went to Mai for help.


Mamoru Chiba, Mai Tokiha, Usagi Tsukino


Linden Baum Diner

OOC - IC Date:

13 January 2014 - 5/14/14

mai i think i may have done it again i need to talk to you D: D:

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

Second time around the Linden Baum: this time, as Mai's ending her shift. Mamoru's made sure she saw him out the window, but doesn't go in; instead, he's waiting outside, loitering in style like a boss, occasionally sipping a coffee in a takeaway cup. As he leans against the building, in fact, he's also reading a book: no gloves, not if he wants to turn the pages with his thumb.

His glasses are starting to slip down his nose, and both of his hands are occupied. Mai probably steps out at the very moment that he's doing an awkward book-flipped maneuever to push them up with the back of his wrist.

It's cold and dark out, thanks to it being winter. This requires reading by the light of the diner. All in all, despite his good clothing decisions, Mamoru Chiba appears to be made out of bad decisions at the moment.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Thanks for closing up, Akane - I owe you one!" Mai emerges from the Linden Baum doors dressed in her school uniform - she wore it here, and it's marginally warmer than the waitress uniform. A bag slung over her shoulder, a scarf wrapped around her neck - she's ready to go places. Ideally home. The cat-beast must be fed.

But it's not time to go home just yet. There was a mysterious text from a ~mysterious~ friend, and Mai needs to both feed her curiosity and offer some advice. Whatever that advice might be. So she'd sent a reply on her last break - just a quick 'sure, we close at nine tonight' - and now she's looking for someone loved by the moonlight.

...he's reading by diner light. And adjusting his glasses in possibly the dorkiest fashion she's ever seen. Her sigh is audible, even to someone who's reading - and when she greets him, it's with a little bit of sing-song mockery. "You know, the diner won't have its lights on for much longer. You might need to invest in a flashlight, Chiba-san." Her hand on her hip, she's grinning.

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

It's not startling, at least; Mai announces her presence with the sound of the door and the calling out to Akane. Because it's an awkward thing he needs to talk to her about, Mamoru doesn't actually stop holding the book up like he's reading it until she addresses him.

That's when he straightens, dignified, and puts a folded piece of red foil between pages, marking his place in the book. The diner light reflects off it for a second before he closes the book and pockets it: the red foil's folded in a heart-shape.

Still dignified, Mamoru sips his coffee again before giving Mai an arch look. "Flashlights are for reding in bed, Mai-san. That'd be like wearing my pyjamas on the street."

Then he ruins it by reaching up to rub at the back of his head with his free hand, grimacing a bit lopsidedly and looking uncomfortable. "Do you know la Sirene du Nord?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mamoru's bookmark is briefly distracting - did he fold it himself, or is there yet another girl involved? Alas, the reading's done - and he has a decent counter-argument, if Mai's to be fair. If.

"Or like eating mochi on a rooftop?" She meets the look head on - then just smiles a bit more pleasantly. "The park doesn't turn off the lamps in case you want to keep reading. And there's a good bench there if you'd prefer - my coworkers are tidying up, but they'll be coming out before too long. Unless you'd like my classmates to hear about this?"

Mamoru Chiba looking uncomfortable is...a sight, certainly. One that Mai avoids after a moment by shaking her head. "Can't say I've heard of...him? Her? It?"

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

Could be another girl or one of the usual suspects. Could be he folded it himself. Could be both. Either way, the bookmark's nature passes without comment on both sides. Instead, the upperclassman's expression sets, and he gestures parkwards with a broad sweep of his coffee.

It's not until they've crossed the street and are walking toward the bench -- he hopes, hopes, it's not the bench by the fountain, hopes so hard - that Mamoru continues, answers the implied question. "All right. She's some kind of siren, very sad, and seemingly as socialized as, say, I am. There's an otter that goes around with her, she says he's her cousin; he's incredibly smart, and seems to look after her."

The tall boy's narrative continues on to the context of the issue at hand after finishing the introduction. "When the Star Shards were falling, I was there a few times-- but the first one I was present for, nearly everyone got knocked out around me, and there were only two others still up. She was one, and a little girl who'd been attacking with the youma and Tethys was the other. Ugh-- suffice it to say, she wound up with the Shard. La Sirene du Nord, that is. And she offered to trade it to me for a kiss."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The world might, however briefly, be on Mai's side - her preferred bench is one not far from a drink vending machine. One with fairly cheap canned coffee, at that - and she made enough in tips in the last half-hour that she can indulge in one. On the way there, she listens - the term 'siren' takes a bit of thought, and being as socialized as Mamoru earns a wince. And then- "An otter. Is her cousin. ...okay, pet dinosaurs, science cat, magic does strange things. Go on."

The story of the Star Shards is one she doesn't...really fully know. She was there when it ended, and the attack on Linden Baum coincided with another's appearance, but the full story is a bit more of a mystery. She mutters another comment, more to herself than anything. "Another battle over one of those shards...ugh. Glad I stayed out of that half of the mess that went down at Linden Baum..."

And then the narrative continues. Mai's voice is...very small in response. "...oh."

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

A kiss.


A nearby tree rustles. A pink moon-tipped wand drops from the leaves. Afterward, a pale, round face peers down, accompanied by two platinum-silver ponytails.

"Haha, um, dropped my wand."

Sailor Moon hops down from the tree, picks up her scepter, and dusts it off. Something roars in the distance. The pretty soldier looks immensely relieved. "Oh, there she is. Bye!" One step away, then two, and then she turns and jabs a finger over her shoulder at Mamoru.

"Be careful with a maiden's emotional heart! Being too distant can hurt just as much as being too close!" Another roar. Sailor Moon twitches her nose. "Except it's okay to be distant now. I got this. You, um," she waggles her hand toward a bench, "stay there. Sailor Moon says!"

Another false start, then to Mai--"BTW I like your dragon!"--and finally she dashes off into the night.

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

There's a heartbeat's pause after Mai's tiny little 'oh'.

Mamoru glances aside at what kind of face the girl's making, watches her reactions.

Then suddenly, a horrifyingly familiar 'WHAT?!'. Then suddenly, Sailor Moon. There's no way in hell Mamoru Chiba can do anything but stare for a second, face slowly transfiguring into deeply-rooted chagrin and no small amount of bewilderment.

Managing to hold up a finger, finally, and open his mouth, the guy completely fails at actually saying anything. His mouth snaps shut, and he's so very, very red, and he can't even watch Sailor Moon leave.

That's saying something.

Then all in a rush, under his breath, "I did."

Another brief pause, and the upperclassman's voice is a little flat, strained. He sits down on the bench stiffly. "She stood there for a second, she'd wanted to-- she said-- experience it. Uh. And then she fainted."

Angrily, Mamoru finishes his coffee. Die coffee die. "Anyway, I don't see her for months and then she was there tonight at the quiz show and she looked at me like that. And then I was standing at the podium next to her. And she was blushing. And wrong answers got you hurt-- and I knew her answer was wrong, so I-- I grabbed her hand, and I took the hit. It's a good thing I did, too, because she was the one who finished the bastard off. But. She. Kept looking at me. And she already hurts a lot, and I think I might have hurt her the same way I hurt Eri-chan, and I might also end up hurting her the same way I hurt you, but I can't read the situation well enough."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai's face is...shock, perhaps? Eyes wide, reaction still settling in-

And thank you, Sailor Moon, for that excellently timed distraction. And...justice speech addressed to Mamoru. And...complimenting Mai on her dragon.

...Sailor Moon just complimented her. Mai just stands blinking for a minute before thinking to respond - and as Sailor Moon runs off to the next battlefield, she calls after her. "Um...thank you!"

After all, it's Sailor Moon. The heroine of love and justice. Complimenting Mai Tokiha. Tonight is a good night.

After another heartbeat, Mai glances to Mamoru to make sure he's not running after her. Even though he was told to wait. This means that she's looking at him full on when he continues his tale - and Mai sits heavily on the other end of the bench, one arm slung over the back. She starts to make a comment about the fainting - but lets him finish first.

Another audible sigh - not relief, not exasperation, just...this is going to be rough. "...okay. So...wow. And it was good enough to make her faint, so...good work?" Mai dope-slaps herself in the forehead. "Not the point. Okay. Demonic quiz game, you jumped in to protect because that's the sort of thing we do, and...she's got a crush on you."

Mai closes her eyes a minute - pinches the bridge of her nose - then opens her eyes to look at Mamoru directly. "Okay. I'm going to tell you off for one thing right now." The dreaded finger darts out to jab Mamoru in the shoulder. "You didn't hurt me. You were clueless, yes, but if there's any damage being done to Mai Tokiha over that whole thing it's her own fault. You were just trying to be friends, and if you try blaming yourself for that I'll poke you until you reconsider. As for this 'Sirendu Nord' girl...she might have a thing for you. And you actually did kiss her, which could be read as a thing. So you might need-"

Mai freezes as a couple of words sink in, belatedly - and then she's folding her arms, and actually glaring. "-need to tell me what you mean by hurting Eri-chan."

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

"No--" says Mamoru resignedly, quietly, when Mai attributes swoon-causing kissing skills to him, "I think she can taste emotion or something. And she was very tired. We'd all just been fighting."

It's not mumbled, but it's pointless in the face of the problem, so it's said more out of compulsive pedantry than anything else and it sounds it.

The upperclassman takes the jab like he knows it's coming, and is just leaned back far enough at just the right time so it doesn't actively hurt. He's not wearing his leather jacket today, after all.

He holds up a finger at Mai's glare and demand, brow furrowing. "I told you part of it already. The other part's the thing that's different about me that I also already told you about. I'll explain in order."

That was almost huffy. This isn't so much; he's just gone back to the narrative. "I'm not blaming myself, not really. I might even be off the hook, if she doesn't seek me out. The problem is that I like her and she does need friends, I think. People who can encourage her to feel better about herself without-- depending on outside sources. And I don't mean that in the crush way."

The words aren't fumbling, only slow, because each one is considered, is weighed and chosen carefully. Mamoru sets his empty coffee cup on the bench between them, watching his own motion absently. His expression's gone all abstracted, like he's a million miles away. Or possibly wherever that renewed roaring and the additional tiny scream are coming from.

"Eri-chan was sad for the reasons she told you; I only knew she knew sadness, I didn't know she was still in the middle of it. And I was so overwhelmingly happy, right then--"

Mamoru's gaze snaps back to Mai, and it's most of his attention again. "I was so excited, I didn't think of her feelings. I just wanted to share mine. And I did. I can do that. I only put together that she wasn't crying out of happiness like she indicated she was-- while you and I were talking about her. She was sad, and I think-- the look she was trying to cover, I saw the whole of it in la Sirene's face tonight, when I took her hand and shifted her damage."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Taste emotion? A bit implausible. ...though admittedly Mamoru has more kissing experience than Mai, so he might know better.

Mai's glare softens a bit - and in fact she winces. Mamoru's explanation is deliberate, and she nods at a few points - though she interrupts once or twice, to clarify. "Like her as a friend, you mean. And...that might help her. Do you know much about her problems? La Sirene's, that is."

Mai has a can of coffee, and she cracks it open for a sip as Mamoru sets his coffee cup down. A hot drink, to stay focused on the here and now. She has to set it down when Mamoru returns to the topic of Eri, though - sorrow plain on her face at Eri's whole situation, the fact that she's blaming herself for the situation-

And Mamoru's focused his full attention on that expression, as it shifts from sorrow to surprise. "You can-"

She's stunned. Starring. Horrified? Realization is sinking in, as to just what that could have done to Eri... "...damn. That..." Mai lets out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding. She starts to speak - closes her mouth, reconsiders, and then chooses her words carefully. Secrets that aren't hers, details to be concealed. "Eri was...giving up hope for finding happiness. And...you're telling me you let her feel yours. Whatever that means. If La Sirene had an expression anything like what hers must have been..."

Mai swipes the coffee can, takes a long swig from it. "Okay. So...this girl might have a crush. Might be in a situation, might have pinned her hopes to you. That's...a problem. Still not your fault in that you set out to create it, but...something you might need to resolve." She stares Mamoru in the eyes - a serious look, mouth tightly set. "I...need to ask you to be honest with her, whatever chance you next get. Whatever your romance plans - moonlit dances with Sailor Moon, or dating some normal girl like Tsukino-san, or just not dating at all...tell her what you're intending. It's not your job to do this for every girl you meet, but I think you might at least have to do it for every one you kiss."

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

The cup's very deliberately out of the eleventh-grader's hands, on the bench, there between them. Deliberately: Mamoru's hands clench into fists, and he looks down and away, jamming his fists in his pockets.

He flinches in surprise when one hand hits the book he forgot he put there, and then Mamoru just looks flustered and annoyed. In profile. Because he's not looking at Mai now.

"I wasn't happy at all when I took la Sirene's hand. I wasn't trying to share anything of mine with her. I only intended to ground out the lightning she was being hit with," he says sharply, glaring at the roots of a tree in front of them, then looking at Mai sidelong. "And it worked. But that look means she must have-- it must have been more than that. It's not like I did it on purpose. But she looked so bereft when I let go her hand--"

He's looking away again, head turned to face in the opposite direction, so Mai can't see his expression at all. And his voice is flat. "I don't know anything about her problems. And she traded the Star Shard for a kiss, how is that--"

His voice drops off suddenly, strangled. Because la Sirene du Nord traded a Star Shard for a kiss from Tuxedo Kamen. She didn't even know it was his first.

"Look," he says, finally, in a voice that's only a shadow of his normal intensity in serious conversations, and he looks back at Mai, and his eyes are shuttered. "I'll see if I can get in touch with Baptiste. The otter. Because I don't know her problems, and I don't know what she's thinking of. As far as 'for every one I kiss'--"

There's a dismissive slice of his hand through the cold winter air suddenly. The one that counted is Complicated. The other one was assault. "I try not to touch people, what makes you think I spend a lot of time kissing?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

She's still watching. Even as he flinches away, Mai is still watching Mamoru. There's an explanation of what happened with La Sirene - and when his voice cuts off in a strangled gasp, she actually lets out a sigh of relief.

But she doesn't look away, and she meeds his gaze when it returns to her, and she doesn't flinch until his hand slices suddenly through the air. "...okay. It's less of a problem than you think. Because if you weren't throwing elation at her - intentionally or unintentionally...then I think it might be normal. She asked for a kiss, she might have a crush on you...and you did the dashing-hero thing. Jumped in, saved the day...to some people, that matters a lot."

She sighs, and looks up at Mamoru. "But you're right, you don't know what she's thinking of, the best I can give you is a guess, and honestly you might be best served getting the otter's opinion." A strange expression appears on Mai's face, as she marvels at the fact that those words came out of her mouth. "If he's even just a magical talking animal instead of her cousin-" She has to pause again, reflect on those words. "-he'll probably be protective of her enough to give you a straight answer, one way or another."

So that's a solution, and Mai nods in satisfaction - and then there's the other topic brought up. She takes another drink of coffee to steel herself, then meets Mamoru's gaze again. "...you hadn't mentioned the one until today. So I wasn't sure how much you've-" Mai glances down, free hand balling up. "...sorry. It's just something that means a lot to people, and I didn't know if it's something you did casually, or..."

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

"It's not something I do casually. I only did it once when I wanted to," Mamoru tells Mai fiercely, his voice low, his brow furrowed. He curls his fingers around the park bench, and unconsciously, he looks past Mai in the direction that Sailor Moon ran--

--and relaxes a little, fully half of the tension draining from him. He sits back on the bench, dragging his heels across the ground in front of him as he stretches his legs. "Sorry. I know it means a lot to people. It means a lot to me, too. It's just-- at the time, I thought it was a trade worth making, if it kept the thing everyone wanted from falling into the wrong hands. That's all I thought it was to her. And I'm really glad nothing else happened when I did."

His lips were salty, he remembers. They were salty afterwards. But that was all. Salt, quiet, and concern.

"So yeah, I'll track down Baptiste and talk to him about it. Thanks, Mai-chan," he finishes, then sighs. It is a solution. Maybe he'll stick his face in a blender or start wearing tracksuits or something. Those aren't good solutions.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

After a moment, Mai looks up cautiously. Looking for what emotion is in his eyes...and it's clear he's looking towards Sailor Moon's battle. At least for Mai, it's clear what his feelings are - relaxing as soon as he thinks of the one he loves. That's a devotion that could make a girl jealous...

...but by the time he's turned his attention away from that distant battle, Mai's expression is again one with a small smile. "Hey, I just wanted to make sure. You weren't exactly clear on what parts of being 'normal' you didn't get, so I'm going to point out the obvious sometimes. I can...understand that, yeah. And if she blew it up into more than it was...I know how that happens." The smile turns to a frown.

Mai sighs again, and finishes off her coffee. "I mean...it's kind of like a guy demanding a date after a girl says hello to him, or something. You should check with Baptiste - the otter, right? - and just make sure what's going on. For your sake as much as hers, you should know what's going on there." Shake the can, then set it next to the empty cup. "...not sure how much help that is, really. This kind of thing's going to happen - because you're a good-looking good person, judging by your penchant for heroic rescues. It should be fine as long as you don't actually encourage those crushes..."

Mai gives a wry smile. "You could always work on your ~mystery~, so that all those girls can't track you down."

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

It's probably a good sign that the young man looks thoughtful, rather than unhappy. He glances Mai's way again, catching that small smile and looking wry.

He looks vaguely back ahead of him, lacing his fingers across his midsection. "Have been. The problem is, you can't throw a rock in this town without hitting a youma. And this time it was Personal!"

Abruptly Mamoru's animated again, alight with indignation and sitting up with an offensive grace considering the length of his limbs. "It took over a quiz show! How dare he use the innocent desire of people to display their knowledge against them?" He punctuates this with a fist applied forcefully to a palm and a serious scowl. "Seriously not even remotely cool."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

And now Mai's laughing. Oh, she's being polite about it, but it's still a relentless giggle. She looks up, sees the ~righteous indignation~, and doubles over giggling again. It's a good minute before she can recover. "There you go again - you and Sailor Moon really are a matched set. Is there some kind of primer to doing a proclamation of justice? Did I miss some memo when I got my powers?"

A pause. A very long pause. "...I almost want to convince Mikoto to try giving speeches, just to see what would happen." And it's back to the giggling.

[OOC] Mai Tokiha says, "FINISHER! Mamoru Chiba has used That's Enough Of This Dark Drama!"