2014-11-02 - She Knows There Is Good Here

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Title: She Knows There Is Good Here

Not talking is harder than apology.


Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask


Somewhere in the Traditional District

OOC - IC Date:

4 April 2014 - 11-02-2014

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

It was less harrowing than it's been, lately; maybe it was someone else's monster, maybe it was a distraction youma-- honestly, Sailor Moon could have taken it by herself, but Tuxedo Mask could tell she was alone, and that's the last thing he ever wants her to feel. It probably wasn't a surprise when he showed up; the two of them fighting something together, with no other backup, with no one else there to help, felt to at least the man in the formalwear like it was an echo of earlier days.

Earlier days that feel so long ago, even though it's been less than a year--

Less complicated days, when he was used to being alone, when he had a clear mission and clear priorities, when he was less worried about things, when he had fewer people to worry about.

Days when Sailor Moon had less of a safety net, so certainly days he has no desire to actually return to.

Unlike those earlier days, he doesn't bail as soon as the youma is dust.

Looking down at the pile of disintegrated evil as it blows away and scatters in the wind, minus his hat, he's silent for a second. Then he looks up at Sailor Moon and says, quietly, voice almost carried off by the same breeze that carries away the remains of the demon, "I'd like to talk with you, if that's all right. About our fight."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.


There is wonder and magic. There is healing. Healing for youmas seems to mean destruction. They speak and react, they express opinions, they have hopes and dreams. Yet, exposed to the same light that cleanses hurt and takes back death, they disappear.

If it is healing, Usagi does not know what the word means.

Sailor Moon teeters on unsteady heels. All the grace goes out of her in moments like this, right after she has shown exactly how graceful she can be. She has gotten better. There is no more breathless swooning or melodramatic staggering. There is certainly not any collapsing into unconsciousness. Maybe she isn't pushing herself in the same way anymore. Magic is a wand and a wish, and neither of those things are very good at explaining themselves.

The pretty soldier finds her balance and sets her stance like Makoto taught her. She exhales, closing her eyes to block everything out for a moment. It doesn't work. Usagi can't find the peace of a clear, unattached mind. She's not sure she even sees the point in doing so.

Tuxedo Mask speaks. Usagi looks over, an expression of curiosity coming easy to her. "Oh?" she replies, like he had mentioned reading something interesting earlier. It takes a moment for realization to lower her gaze.

"Oh. That."

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

It was an act of will not to reach to catch her, steady her at the end; it was an act of will to broach the subject at all. When Sailor Moon's reaction falls out the way it does, Tuxedo Mask is unsurprised, but the pit drops out from the bottom of his stomach anyway.

He briefly closes his eyes behind the mask, suddenly opaque from the outside, hiding his feelings, then--

Despite how bad an idea it is, he reaches up one gloved hand to take it off, to bare his face; he takes a step closer, and Mamoru reaches for Usagi's hand. "I'm sorry," he says, his voice clear and clean and unvarnished, sincere and heartfelt. "I was upset and afraid and hurt, and I hurt you with my reaction. I have answers if you still want them."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

There's no fire in her to argue this, nor thunder with which to strike. Usagi stays silent, lost in the thoughts that this topic has stirred up. She has no mask to hide her feelings, only her inability to describe them. They're there to see: melancholy, wistfulness, but is that regret or resolve?


Sailor Moon makes a soft noise of surprise when Mamoru takes her hand. She looks first, sky-blue eyes wide in her sidelong glance. She turns to face him, petrified between stepping forward and shrinking away. Red flushes her cheeks. Uncertainty remains in her expression.


The pretty soldier glances down and away, biting her lip while the blowing wind covers the lack of words. "I'm sorry that happened to you. I didn't know what was going on."

She sneaks a look at him, her face still turned mostly away. Her tone is sheepish. "I also kinda forget what we were fighting about exactly?"

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

The older boy's resolve is, at least, holding; in the face of Usagi's hesitation and uncertainty, but lack of anger, he continues to lightly hold her hand, looking down with concern in his face and a smile starting to dance behind his own dark blue eyes.

"I was angry that you were making assumptions when you knew what had happened to me before, and you were angry that I was hiding my feelings and telling you what to do. Which-- I really didn't mean to do. The telling you what to do part," he says ruefully; there's the faintest smile at one corner of his mouth, then. "It didn't occur to me until later that you had no reason to make the connection between what True Feelings did and what Mai did. When it did, I felt like a complete ass. So-- we're both sorry."

His other hand comes up, covering the back of the hand he's already holding; his eyes are bright and unhidden, with no mask of indifference or coldness or blase good cheer to obscure his purposes, with no awkwardness or hesitation, no faltering confidence. He tilts his head a little to follow the direction of her face, trying to meet that snuck look.

There's only him, whoever he really is--

"Usako. You're the only one I've ever been able to count on, and I try to make sure you can count on me. But-- I've missed your smile, and seeing you around when we're not in trouble. I'm always your ally. Can I still be your friend?"

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.



Usagi sets her jaw tightly to not let her guilt out. These things Mamoru recalls, they're things she felt and things she did, but seen through a window. She is looking at herself from another person's room. The echoes of her anger touch a part of her that is still sympathetic. Today's Usagi is not so different from yesterday's. It's not that she forgets now. It's that it's washed away by something else.

He was hurt.

He was alone.

Mai and Eri, she thought they--

His empty apartment.

And then poor Mai--

His empty past.

And Shiori, True Feelings--

His empty family.

And none of them he can trust--

His kindness, even now.

His hope, even after.

His care, always.

Usagi takes her hand away from Mamoru. He doesn't deserve that. Not even when he reaches for it, and it alone, asking for nothing else to be given to him but that small favor--he doesn't deserve it.

She leaps forward with all of her wild, thoughtless abandon, throwing her arms around him and all his hurt, trying to take all of it up into her arms at once. Her words come out with her sobs, but she fights with all of herself to keep speaking.

"Mamo-chan, never ask me that again! You already know--"

This is healing.

She knows he won't turn to ash.

She knows there is good here.

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

The set of Usagi's jaw freezes something in place in Mamoru's heart; as she looks at him, he tries not to let the strain of that show around his eyes, around his mouth; he watches her face--

--so many times he can feel her fear or her hope or any number of reasons her heart screams or dances, far out in the dark of night or close by, but he's so focused on keeping himself jammed wide open so she can't think he's hiding from her that he can't tell. He can't tell what she's feeling. He can't tell from her face or her eyes or her heart what she's feeling, and a small voice at the back of his thoughts hints that this may be close to what he puts her through, sometimes, but this hurts, leaving himself open hurts--

--and she pulls her hand from his and he cracks down the center, face beginning to shut down.


she's suddenly in his arms

wrapped around him up high, she leapt, she's crying, she's crying and speaking


Mamoru's cape wrinkles in her grasp; he doesn't care. It flows around them both, and so does her hair, her long, long hair, like spun silk made of moonlight and a black cloak made of the night sky, and he practically crushes her to him like he'll never, ever let go, but all he has for her heart is joy. He's laughing, and his laughter sounds like sobbing, breathless and thick with feeling, and instead of being bowled over, he spins them around once.

"I won't, I won't--" his voice is muffled in her hair; his mask is crushed in one hand, his chest and his arms are warm, "I'll remember-- I know-- I really won't ask you again--!"

They'll fight again, that's certain. But he's sure now-- he's sure there'll still be a place for him even if they do.

If there are any ashes here, they're only the wind-blown remnants of what had been doubt.