2014-07-10 - Tea Towels

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Title: Tea Towels

There's a lot of free-ranging hurt floating around lately. But-- there are also moments that make it easier to bear.


Usagi Tsukino, Mamoru Chiba


Mamoru's Apartment

OOC - IC Date:

7 February 2014 - 7/10/2014

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

What did she want?

Usagi did not sleep last night. This is the question that kept her up. It was not the question itself, but the fantasies that it stirred, yet underneath it all was that mundane self-mystification.

She wanted Motoki to be more than just pleasant. She wanted Mio to explain herself. She wanted Mamoru to stop being so cold. She wanted Haruka to think of her as more than just naive. She wanted Michiru to stay happy.

She wanted Tuxedo Mask to look into her eyes and let her know that he understands.

All that happens while she stares at her ceiling, but the morning brushes it away. Usagi can barely get herself to school. Her day is distracted. The threats of failing and punishment don't stay with her. Her mind is already in the evening, and it takes awhile for her body to catch up.

Mamoru hears a knock at his door.

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

He does it again. How does he do it?

How does he show up when and where she's fighting? How does he find her? They always ran into each other, even when neither of them really wanted to--

There's a chiming sound, faint, behind the door as it opens.

It opens soon enough after Usagi knocking that it's possible Mamoru was waiting by it. It's possible.

He's not dressed up, he's not even dressed down. He's just in his uniform, minus the jacket; his face is pale and his eyes are bright behind his glasses.

Absently putting his hand in his pocket to silence the hour's pretty ringing, he takes a half-step back and opens the door wider. "Usa," he starts, then stops, awkward and suddenly flushing bright. "Hi. Come in. Please."

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


They both speak over each other. Usagi stops at the same time, turning her head and looking away. She is holding a bag from some department store.

"Um, I... I was just coming by. I can't stay."

She's still in her school uniform. This isn't unusual, even at this hour. She probably hasn't been home yet. In lieu of words, Usagi reaches into the bag.

"The last time I was here I, um, I saw that you only had one tea towel, and, um--I mean, not that it looked bad, but--"

The blonde girl is hesitates, and then thrusts a stack of neatly folded clothes at Mamoru. They're decorated with bow ties and top hats.

"I know you don't wear a bow tie," she murmurs.

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

There's a pause that's almost too long, almost. Mamoru's looking at Usagi first, listening, but only a little bit; her words are a wash for her, so he lets them drift past him, watching her actions instead.

Her motion.

The way her long, long hair trails down her back, shimmers pale when the light catches it. He watches her face not look at him, and her small hands pulling something out of her bag--

--and then he reflexively lifts his arms to catch what she might very well throw or drop at him, but doesn't. And he looks down at them for a second, and then up at her again, and the light doesn't reflect off the lenses of his glasses, obscuring his eyes.

His eyes are wide, still bright, perfectly visible. "Well--" he fumbles, "well it more or less is, it's just white-- it--"

Pedantry. Words aren't something he needs right now. Tea towels with bow ties and top hats, for him. From her. They're perfect for his silly, warm, bright, honest kitchen. They're perfect from her.


He smiles a little, looking down at them once more, and holds them a little closer. "Usako," he says, and his laughter bubbles up bright out of nowhere, and all of a sudden he's closed the distance between them and wrapped his arms around her, towels gripped in one long-fingered hand behind her.

"Thank you," he whispers in her hair for that warm, thick, eternal summer of a second; the ticking of his watch matches the heartbeat that's right there next to her head.

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

Usagi would have handed them to him, but she wasn't looking and coordination has never been on her side. Fortunately, Mamoru's got quick reflexes. They come in handy.

And then he's speaking and she doesn't hear, not really, because she's thinking of a way to excuse herself without just walking away, and then when she goes to start moving--she is moved.

With Mamoru leaning down to hug her, and Usagi standing upright in surprise, she can see over his shoulder. Just barely. Just barely, into an empty apartment. No, that's not right. The things out of place in the living room. The furniture slightly askew. People have been here. It's not just her.

That's good. Usagi's expression softens, and she melts into the hug. The idea still made her heart ache in that shameful way that was a hurt of its own, but happiness is a strong salve. She hopes Mai and Eri and the study group, an ever-growing study group, meet every day until Mamoru's apartment is a whirlwind of warm confusion.

Mamoru deserves a big family. She squeezes his shoulder, and lets the moment speak.