2014-08-18 - The Power of a Wounded Heart

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Title: The Power of a Wounded Heart

In which Mamoru unknowingly picks the worst possible person to talk to about good magical girls going evil.


Tuxedo Mask, Hayate


Juuban Public School, on the roof

OOC - IC Date:

28 February 2014 - 8/18/2014

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

It's night and the sky's overcast, bright from the moon above and the city below; light pollution makes the chilly haze a visible thing, muted as it may be. Hat weaponized during the fight and vanished, Tuxedo Kamen is still tall and thin, but he looks much more the seventeen he is without it.

The mist clings to everything, including the foul ashes of the thing they just killed, and the masked teenager'd be writing this set of white tie and tails if it weren't magical henshin clothing.

Instead of saying anything remotely related to demon larvae or the horrible feeling of energy being leeched and devoured, Tuxedo Mask glances up and over at the Leafe Knight of Wind. "Do you know anything about someone or something called Mobius?"

<Pose Tracker> Hayate [None] has posed.

The question, apropos of nothing as it is, brings Hayate's eyes sharply toward Tuxedo Kamen, dragging his thoughts away from whatever dark path they'd been turned down. He hasn't seemed any more satisfied with this job well done than he was that night several months ago in Hokkaido, and the frown that seems as though it must practically live on his face has an even grimmer cast to it... at least, until the young man in formalwear asks about Mobius, and then Hayate just looks sharp and guarded.

"No," he answers, prompt and blunt and not leaving any room for ambiguity. "I haven't heard anything." There's a question in that stare of his, even if it's not one that he gives voice to: Why ask?

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

The white mask's translucent, but not entirely transparent: it hides Tuxedo Kamen's eyes right now, reflecting the glow of the city's nighttime. His expression's thoughtful as he takes Hayate's in, studying it.

He doesn't look away from the Leafe Knight.

"Apparently it-- or he, or she, or they-- holds the responsibility for pulling one of my allies down the path of darkness. We don't know if she's possessed, or if they've twisted her mind or drugged her or put her under some kind of spell... she's a good person, when she's herself."

He finally looks aside, gaze cast over the lights below, overlooking the streets of Azabu-Juuban. "And she was talking about misery energy and Mobius. So, asking around."

<Pose Tracker> Hayate [None] has posed.

Something comes over the Leafe Knight's face as he listens to the explanation. It's a subtle shift, difficult to see happening, but suddenly his expression harder than it was before, and lurking in his eyes there's a deep weariness that even the diffuse and uncertain light here on the rooftop can't quite obscure.

He turns his back toward Tuxedo Mask, looking off instead across the city as though at something far distant. "So," he says, voice utterly flat, "you're blaming it all on this 'Mobius'?"

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

"Not all of it," the boy says, leaning against the railing around the roof of the school, arms crossed in front of him. He doesn't see Hayate's expression, but he can hear the flatness in the man's voice-- only, his answer's neither defensive nor hurried. "The rest of the girls feel guilty enough about it, and the things she's apparently said to them have struck home often enough, that it's most likely there was a hurt this Mobius was able to latch on to."

He doesn't sound bitter, but he does sound tired and a little lost. "Maybe she felt like she was useful instead of loved. Or maybe not even useful. But that hurt wouldn't have turned around without some kind of influence. There's a difference between revenge and actually endangering the planet."

<Pose Tracker> Hayate [None] has posed.

A breath chuffs out of Hayate, too short and harsh and bitter to be called a laugh. "If that's what you think, Tuxedo Kamen," he says, turning now to fix those sharp blue eyes on the young man, "then you're a fool." His face is more than hard now, and even in the darkness there's something simmering there, taut and angry. "There's no difference but scale."

Hayate folds his arms over his chest, stands stiff and tall and drawn up into himself. "What did you think would happen, putting girls out onto the battlefield and telling them to fight? What do you think becomes of power when the heart's wounded?"

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

That... was not what Mamoru expected. He turns around on the railing to lean against it sideways, crossing his arms and tilting his head back slightly, expression mild. His eyes are hidden by the mask, now; its lenses are opaque from the outside, obscuring even the shape of his eyes. No way to read them.

His voice isn't quite cold, certainly isn't defensive-- it's not even patient. It's calm and matter-of-fact. "Who would you have do the fighting instead? Us? We just took twenty gruelling minutes to kill something Sailor Moon could have curbstomped in under one."

The boy straightens up, then, brushing off his tattered formalwear, tall and composed. "You sound like you have personal experience in the matter. And it sounds like it didn't end well. I'm sorry for that."

<Pose Tracker> Hayate [None] has posed.

"If that's what it takes," Hayate snaps back - but then he seems to catch himself and closes his mouth, lips pressing into a thin line, a visible effort at maintaining composure. Rather than go on facing the opaque stare of Tuxedo Kamen's mask, he looks away again to the distant horizon.

"...it isn't about me," he says, and maybe even believes that it's true. "Power shouldn't be an obligation. I won't ask anyone to do what I can't do for myself."

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

"The things that go wrong in this world are too wrong to rely on the hope that you can take care of things alone," Tuxedo Kamen says, motionless, watching Hayate. "Should, shouldn't-- that doesn't matter. What matters is that people have a chance to be happy."

He falls silent for a moment, and then he straightens his shoulders, refuses to look tired. His voice is reasonable, is even. "I do my best, and frequently my best is giving whatever aid I can to the ones who really can save everyone. The ones who can bring light to the dark, who can banish the evil things from this world. If they can fight, if they're willing to fight, if they have the power to do things I don't, then who am I to do anything but help shore them up so the burden isn't so heavy?"

Still watching Hayate, he takes a step closer. "I'll ask. Because what I can do on my own isn't enough, and because failing to ask for help is foolish when the stakes are as high as they are. I'll do everything in my power to help them accomplish what's asked of them, but one thing I will never do is take away their choice of whether or not to do it."

There's a pause. "But I'm pretty sure this is about you."

<Pose Tracker> Hayate [None] has posed.

As Tuxedo Mask speaks, the Knight of Wind stands very, very still. Even when he takes that step closer, there's scarcely any sign that Hayate is even still listening, save that - if one looks closely enough - he's watching the young man in the tuxedo sidelong, eyes fixed on him in a steady stare.

After that final remark, he is silent for some time.

At last, he lets out a quiet breath. "...do what you want," he says, his voice heavy and resigned and still sounding a little bitter. "I can't change your mind. But take care," he warns. "Your support can become a chain, too."

The wind picks up, whipping across the rooftop, tugging and fluttering at Tuxedo Kamen's cape and lifting Hayate's long hair as though with chilly fingers. "For your sake, I hope your choices are better than mine," Hayate says, and then in a rush of moving air he's simply gone.

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

"I hope you ask for help," Mamoru sighs into the wind after the Leafe Knight's vanished.

Which, speaking of, the masked gentleman in the tattered finery takes out his cellphone and texts a magical girl for couch space.