2014-06-11 - I'm Sorry I'm Honest

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Title: Gomen Ne Sunao Janakute

Somehow Zoisite still isn't trying to kill Mamoru, and oddly, Mamoru's wandered off to the crepe stand with the disguised-as-Zoe Dark General. Still more unnervingly, there is honesty. Somewhat terrifyingly, there is a kind of agreement come to. Mamoru is an incurable optimist.


Mamoru Chiba, Zoisite


Yamanote High City

OOC - IC Date:

26 January 2014 - 6/11/14

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

My feelings for you have grown ever violent since ancient times

It's not even remotely a dream. Sometimes -- even in a world with magic and miracles around every corner -- reality's lines blur with a shocking impact, leaving the observer reeling so fiercely they are unable to process or analyze, leaving them no choice but to, well...

...go with it.

Mamoru's childproofed senshi-communicator's like molten lead in his pocket, burningly present in his awareness.

Mamoru's smartphone is in his back pocket.

Mamoru's heart is in his throat.

Yet-- as the afternoon grows older, grows colder and dimmer as the sky becomes overcast-- he's calm and businesslike, concerned and friendly. Helpful. Obliging.

The crepe stand's also obliging; it provided cold bottled water in addition to a replacement dessert for Zoe-site and a brand new dessert for Chiba-- the latter two items for which the two teenagers wait. In the meantime, Mamoru's uncapped the bottle and is holding out his hand. "Do you want me to work on it? The scarf, I mean--"

<Pose Tracker> Zoisite [None] has posed.

That would be too easy.

"Oh my, Zoë-chan, what happened?! Your lovely face..."

"Someone made the mistake of trying to take my purse. You should see how bad /he/ looks," Zoisite replies, managing a smile. "He did ruin my crêpe, though, so-"

The crêpe lady shakes her head, vehemently. "Don't you worry about a thing, dear, this one's on the house. I'm so sorry about that -- I hope it doesn't scar, you poor dear..." Her eyes wander up to Mamoru, and widen; she's only just noticed him. "O-oh! Is this y-"

"Mais non, he's just a friend," he interjects, firmly. "May we have une bouteille d'eau, s'il vous plaît? Pour ma bouche..." Vague gesture mouthward.


"No," Zoë murmurs, shaking her head slightly, "I'll just get a new one. Water won't lift bloodstains. Here, wet your handkerchief; I'd rather not have to scrub this off my chin." If the irony isn't lost on Zoisite, he doesn't show it.

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

"Moi aussi, mais-- sans l'eau, s'il vous plait," Mamoru tells the woman politely as he takes his handkerchief back from Zoe, clearly prepared to pay for his own crepe. He glances down, then, carefully wetting the cloth and then handing the redhead the bottle.

He's still looking down when he looks at Zoisite, but less so; one gloved hand comes up beneath the Shitennou's chin without touching, and he inclines his head to signal the 'exchange student' should do the same.

Then Mamoru's standing there on the sidewalk next to the crepe stand, gingerly dabbing at the stylishly frazzled redhead's bloodied face. "Careful," he breathes.

He could take care of that. Somehow, as wearingly inexplicable as the rest of his impulses around this disguised Dark General, Mamoru Chiba really wants to take care of that.

While he works, the youth's mind's finally starting to spin back into motion; with the quiet and a thing to do that takes focus, he shelves the absurdity of the top layer of what-the-fuck-are-you-doing-Mamoru. Instead, he starts to examine why he has a reflex to want to be friends with this villain, and help him, and uncover the civilization he's somehow convinced is there under Zoisite's skin.

His voice is absent, preoccupied. "I won't thank you, because I know it certainly wasn't for my sake, but I appreciate the fact that you kept me from getting my head pulled off, back there."

<Pose Tracker> Zoisite [None] has posed.

It stings. Zoisite flinches slightly under Mamoru's touch, but doesn't pull away. Magic will clean his scarf; magic might not fix a scar.

"If it was for you, it was so that ridiculous ox couldn't say he had the honour of putting you down," the Shitennou finally responds, softly, his emerald eyes still downcast. Does he really mean it? He knows he does on some level, yet...

"But he insulted me, and I never let an insult go unanswered. If I see him again, I'll requite him for this." By now, as Zoisite lifts a finger to examine his lip, Mamoru's managed to clean away the drying blood. It's left the cut exposed; shallow, by the looks of it, but facial injuries always bleed copiously no matter the severity.

It would seem the mortal youth has figured it out. He ought to make sure, though.

Vivid green eyes lift, openly examining Mamoru's face. As he watches the taller boy, Zoisite gingerly tucks a sheaf of fiery curls behind one ear. "Why didn't you run once his attentions were focused elsewhere? Don't say 'chivalry,' you did let a girl take the blow for you."

That should do it.

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

"I don't know," says the boy quite frankly, straightening up and folding his bloodied handkerchief, which he reaches to jam into his back pocket-- trades it for his wallet, he does. Lifting a gloved finger, one sec, he pays for his crepe with money and a brilliant smile, then takes them both and holds one out to Zoisite.

"And I don't know why I let you take the hit. I'm sorry-- you're terrifying, I didn't think he'd actually go through with it," he apologizes honestly, but then he finishes it up with a rueful smile.

Mamoru lifts his crepe as he starts to amble away from the stand, attention half on tentatively tasting one of the toppings and half on Zoe Palissandre. He pauses if she doesn't also start walking; he's not walking -away-. He's still not walking away.

He can't possibly know, if he's still here.

Even if Zoi spelled it out in glowing letters. Mortals don't know these kinds of things, even when they're warned and scolded and warned again.

"Do you believe in past lives?" he asks curiously. "I was reading this sociology journal and there was an extremely thought-provoking article on this general belief in the statistical likelihood of reincarnation given the number of cultures that subscribe to the idea in some way. I mean-- this isn't a pickup line, you just really seem familiar."

In order to gloss over the fact that today is apparently painful honesty day, the tall black-haired boy speaks matter-of-factly with one hand hiding his sudden mouthful of crepe while he talks with his mouth full. "So many things about you do. And whatever it is that's familiar, even if you really piss me off sometimes, it's something I think-- it's like something I didn't know I'd missed. Even though I'd never met you before that afternoon!"

<Pose Tracker> Zoisite [None] has posed.

He doesn't know?

When Mamoru returns with their sweets he will find one of Zoisite's slim eyebrows ticked upward in -- well, perhaps not /disbelief/, but certainly surprise. "Well..." he begins, slowly, "some people are too stupid to realise when they're in danger, or outmatched, or simply..." The redhead sighs, shrugging one shoulder. "There are those who only recognise and respect strength. To them, whether disguised or not, I would appear no threat. It would take a display of considerable power to convince them otherwise, and quite frankly I was not in the mood to put one on. Even if he did split my lip," he concludes in a mutter, and bites into his fresh crêpe.

He does take up walking, unconsciously staying in step with Mamoru.

"Of course I believe in past lives." It's as though Mamoru had asked whether or not Zoisite believed the sky was blue. 'Pickup line' only gets a blink. "The prevalence of reincarnation in worldwide cultural belief has less to do with it, though. It may not be something everyone experiences." It may not be possible to know if the main actors in the fall of two empires were not the only ones reborn, after all. At least, as far as Zoisite is concerned.

He 'seems familiar'...

The girl laughs, once; it's a rueful sound. "Perhaps I'm always trying to kill you, or at least make you intensely miserable, because you stir similar feelings in me. I have my mission, a duty to my queen, and uncomfortable nostalgia is a considerable distraction from both. I mean, as long as we're being *honest,*" she quips, lips pressed into a shallow smile. "I don't know, and I don't like not knowing."

Not that this conversation is making any of those feelings less uncomfortable, unfortunately. Zoisite rather feels like his gut's playing host to a ball of angry snakes.

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

As long as we're being honest...

Mamoru doesn't look surprised, he doesn't make any mention; he must have known. He's either incredibly stupid or incredibly brave, or that strange mixture of the two that's the result of burning, blinding curiosity fanned on by desperate hope,

He's so homesick for someone he never knew, he's so homesick for someplace he'll never be. There's a reason he said he'd call the piece 'Sennsucht'.

"It's not even nostalgia, that would imply memory. But since you obviously didn't know me before then, either..."

Mamoru trails off, then takes another bite of crepe. His stride's long, but he's walking slowly; it's almost as though he were practiced at keeping the right pace. He looks faintly frustrated, but in the process of dismissing it in favor of thoughtfulness.

Hitching his coat up a little, Mamoru switches his crepe to his other hand and pulls his glasses back out, putting them on once more. "Do you think you could hold off trying to kill me or make me intensely miserable until we figure it out? I don't know what your duty entails, but fighting with me's probably not part of it."

The black-haired teenager finishes off his crepe in one impressive mouthful, then licks cream off his thumb. Now he sounds perfectly, cheerfully reasonable. "If you kept your phone, I have your number, and I can text you if I find anything out, and you can text me, likewise-- I don't like not knowing, either. I've spent my whole damned life not knowing and I'm tired of it."

<Pose Tracker> Zoisite [None] has posed.

Hope is a terrible thing, terrible and dangerous.

"Sennsucht then, if you like," Zoisite replies, faintly needled. "Nostalgia for a past life, some say. I could not. Inventing answers merely to have some is foolish. There is a saying from English literature...'theorising without facts is hazardous,' I think." Delicately, he licks a groove into the ice cream ensconced in his crêpe.

'Hold off.' The shallow smile returns. "You think so, Chiba-san?" the redhead asks, glancing upward. "At best you are easy bait for 'defenders of justice,' at worst you are one yourself. That I chafe under the yoke of servitude is little secret, but it is preferable to the consequences of failure. Heroes have a disobliging habit of causing just that, even to the best of us, and our masters are not merciful."

Zoisite has taken a few extra steps while Mamoru's finished his crepe; now, he pivots a bit to eye the dark-haired boy. Autumnal curls tumble down his back and over the collar of his winter coat, framing his delicate face.

"It's somewhere," the disguised Dark General replies, shrugging. "But...perhaps I will. If there is one thing a master of spycraft can pull off, it's casual treason. Yes?"

The smile that follows just might be genuine.

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

"Yes," agrees Mamoru, expression wry and understated, possessed of that strange almost-affection he bore toward Zoe Palissandre in the music room at Ohtori, one lonely December twilight. It's faintly self-deprecating now, where it wasn't before.

"Especially," he adds under his breath, corner of his mouth curling further upward, "if the answers we're both looking for are game-changers." The smile's trying so hard not to shine, not to show how deeply hope has its hooks in him. There's more danger here than he's ever been in, danger he was explicitly warned against, and he's still here. The thing is-- he is still here: Zoisite hasn't made him the bait he just spoke of.

He fails at not smiling. At least the unknowing prince can keep his usual clampdown on things like premature celebration or how very fiercely he's wishing.

"You don't have to tell me anything that would put you at a disadvantage," he finally says, standing relaxed, hands in his pockets. Relaxed. And then, born of his own newly-generated great idea, he abruptly looks pleased as punch, and outright grins in boyish mischief.

"Tell you what: unless it's really really good news on a personal level for either of us, let's keep it to 'tell me if you find anything out about me, and I'll tell you if I find anything out about you'. That way neither of us is compromising our loyalties."

<Pose Tracker> Zoisite [None] has posed.

---<--@ @-->---

"You're only compromising yourself if you allow her power over you," Zoisite replies, squinting into his sword hilt before giving it another pass with a chamois rag. "Personally, I would not say she seems capable of consciously attempting to influence you -- it would take more guile than I believe her capable of." Finally satisfied, the General slides his blade back into its leather scabbard. "You cannot, however, disregard /appearances/. The truth matters very little when the alternative is so much more attractive. People believe what they want to believe, Endymion."

---<--@ @-->---

It's absurd. How does the boy have a chance of finding anything out from here? Ignorance marks all the heroes of Earth as surely as their various unique symbols. Unless he's got some sort of repository of ancient knowledge stashed away somewhere--

"You seem awfully pleased with yourself," the disguised Shitennou quips, once again arching a fiery eyebrow at the other boy. After a moment, though, he sighs. "Alright, fine. I won't pretend I think it's a /good/ idea, but it might be worth it at some point.

"But," and now those viridian eyes are wide and vivid, "if you use this little pact to lure me into some sort of trap, rest assured I will thereafter make it my highest priority to introduce your fragile human body to as many crystal knives as possible. I never forget a slight, Mamoru Chiba."


"Don't you have...homework...or something," he asks, with a vague wave of one hand.

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

For the moment during which Zoisite casts aspersions on Mamoru's integrity, the boy only watches the Dark General with an arch look. "I think we both know that's the sort of thing a spymaster could pull off as easily as breathing, and that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, any kind of spy. How long did it take you to drill it into my head who you are?"

He chuffs out a breath into the still cold air. "Besides, there's altogether too much to gain on both our parts by figuring this out. Even if I were a complete jerk planning on stabbing you in the back the first chance I got, I've too much invested in seeing this through to sell you out."

A pause.

"Finished it Friday night," Mamoru says with a careless shrug. "But I do have study group in half an hour. Anyway if you can't find your phone, mine's listed in the student records at Ohtori."

He doesn't say goodbye-- he finishes that off already walking backwards. He does briefly lift his hand as he turns and walks away.

What equation will solve the riddle of this feeling?

Factorization? Calculus? Trigonometry?

I feel like I know the answer but I don't