2017-06-05 - A Little Frightening

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Title: A Little Frightening

In which Kasagami lets herself get caught


Kasagami Araki and Setsuna Meioh


Komiya Park

OOC - IC Date:

Mon June 5 2017 and Tues June 6 2017 / Sun Jan 24, 2015, Part 1

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Her body still scorched from the clash with Takeo, Kasagami Araki walks down the Arena stairs. She's not exactly crestfallen from her loss. Quite the opposite: the fight itself was a high she's already wishing she could still be under. But the pain grows more and more as the adrenaline wears off.

But the young man's taunts still sting, and a growing sense of frustration fills her. Blade across her now bare shoulder, she punches a nearby column as she descends. A fist sized hole is left, her knuckles now ache too, and she doesn't feel any better.

Then her phone rings. It's an expensive, popular model of course done in reds and blacks as per usual. Not a number she knows.

A shrug. She needs a distraction, a bath, and a massage. She'll take the distraction. Flick.

"Hey." Her voice sounds tired, and there's little of her usual flirtatious charm in it. She barely has the energy to walk, much less be a cad.

"This is Kasagami Araki speaking. You'd better not be a telemarketer, I'm not the mood!" Someone's had a rough night.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

That first syllable sounds so unlike the Kasagami she's experienced that Sailor Pluto begins to venture an inquisitive, "Kasa--?" Her answer interrupts. Still a relative newcomer to the mundane vagaries of mortal existence, and specifically quite new to personal cellphone possession, she doesn't know what a telemarketer is. Pluto's just glad she is not one.

She holds her iPhone, so fresh it yet lacks a patina of smudges, half an inch from one ear. "I am not, to my knowledge -- only Sailor Pluto. If my timing is poor, though. I can call back later." It usually isn't, but she's not yet well practiced with social calls.

Pluto casts her eyes back up to the featureless grey sky; a flat expanse of winter clouds reflects Tokyo's endless illumination, casting a gentle shadowless dim across the city. No stars tonight, at least not in her part of town. She sighs, and the cellphone's sensitive mic picks up the quiet sound without her realizing.

Turning her attention back to the Ohtori swordswoman on the other end of the call, Pluto recalls her last glimpse of Kasagami as she fell past the roof's edge, all laughing challenge. "On the other hand, if you're up for being caught..."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

She comes to a screeching halt as she hears the voice on the other end of the phone. She stumbles on the stairs, almost taking a very fast trip to the bottle. Kasagami is grinning, and not that fierce war grin she had not several minutes earlier.

"Pluto-chan! No, please, I just...sorry, it's been a rough day. Hearing your voice is the best thing to happen to me today." That smile is audible, and some of that flirtatiousness creeps back into her voice.

But mostly she just sounds happy. This is exactly what she needed. "For you, Pluto-chan, I would walk through a hallway lined with rusty beartraps to be caught by you. Give me a place and an hour, and I'll be anywhere you'd like."

Her steps soon have a skip to them as she takes the stairs down three at a time.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

That sounds more like her. Unseen, Pluto smiles. "It makes for an easy chase, but I will not complain." She leans back against the cool glass separating outside from in, high atop Meioh Tower; the crisp winds found at skyscraper altitude have never bothered her, so she does not let them keep her from enjoying the view.

"Dawn, at the westernmost entrance to Komiya Park in Hachioji. It's by the cemetary. By the sound of things, you could use the intervening hours to freshen up." The smile is in her voice.

"I thought I'd show you one of the places I... well, I have not been here for long. Let us call it, like and enjoy, rather than love and adore."

Dawn is long enough away to allow for a bath AND a massage.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami laughs. It's tired, stressed, and amused all at once. "I think I know where you're talking about. And yeah. I think tonight is a spa night. Dawn it is, Pluto-chan. You'll have a presentable horrible cad instead of a frizzy-haired horrible cad upon the light of tomorrow! Lightning's terrible. Though I guess we both learned that huh?"

Finally, she exits the Arena proper, and starts the trek back to her dorm, and then, a spa.

A goodbye, and a click, and hours pass.

~The Park~

A black and red abomination of a T-bird skids to a stop in a parking spot, made all the more red by the colors of the morning sun casting down upon it. The roaring engine barks out in one more rev, and shuts off. Dressed in a well-tailored red suit with dark accents, a crimson rose at her chest, Kasagami comes dressed to the nines. There's even a gold pocket watch and silver eyepatch to complete the look. A dark hat sits on her head as she exits the car, and she takes her time enjoying the scenery as she makes her way to their designated meeting point.

Near a gravestone, she turns, searching trees and walkways alike for the unmistakable figure of Sailor Pluto.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

She'd hoped that a few hours might make a difference, but the coming dawn brightens the uneven, dreamlike ceiling of clouds as well as the stately groomed shrubs and smooth stone of the nearby cemetary. Ah, well. If the clouds did not mask them, the sun would chase them off soon enough. Sailor Pluto drops her crimson eyes from heavens to earth.

In spring or summer, the thick woods at her back would swallow Pluto's tall silhouette. The arboreal skeletons of winter instead provide a white-trunked backdrop, and her gleaming mane of evergreen hair makes her easy to spot. She has chosen the border where park meets graveyard, an expectant shadow standing to one side of the stone gate bounding the path.

Tokyo is as quiet as it ever gets, at this hour, and so Pluto hears Kasagami before she sees her -- or hears her car, at least, its unsubtle roar heralding her arrival. She doesn't know it's the swordswoman, not for certain, but the senshi makes no move to hide.

Nor does she when Kasagami strides into view, though the quick little rabbit-hop deep in her chest suggests otherwise.

When she's closer Sailor Pluto endures a second impulse to hide -- no, more like, to sink into the ground. Impeccable and impressive, Kasagami has clearly more than taken the time to freshen up. While Pluto... Her long hair gleams, dancing as the wind plays with shining strands; her senshi suit is all crisp, clean lines and sharp pleats, as pristine as it has ever been. Every small key sparkles like a jewel from the dainty chain about her waist.

No matter how clean and new, it's hard to overlook that she is attired exactly as Kasagami has always seen her. She'd simply not thought to do otherwise, and so Sailor Pluto's only adornment when Kasagami approaches is the dark flush striping both cheeks. At least the Garnet Rod is nowhere in evidence.

She swallows, and sounds a bit meeker than she'd wanted: "I'm glad you could come on such short notice, Kasagami. You look... good." Simple, but sincere. "Have you been here before?"

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami, of course, does the opposite of hide as Pluto makes her appearance. Looking the picture of confidence, her smile is broad and welcoming. There's not a hint of her previous frustration, and the only signs of damage from the Duel is the hint of a bandage if one looks at just the right angle between her sleeve and everpresent gloves.

Arms cross, hand on her elbow, as she open looks Pluto up and down. A small little chuckle, she's smirking more than smiling for a second, and then she settles in. A hand reaches out, palm up and she bows just a bit.

"What sort of King wouldn't come prepared to properly greet a lady of your nobility, Pluto? I do what I can. Do you really like it? I was afraid the pocket watch might be a little too much."

Her head tilts, and she finally vocalizes that little thought they both probably hit upon.

"You look gorgeous in that. Though we really need to take you shopping. I think a nice silk purple dress would go wonderful on you. One of these days I'm going to get you to really let your hair down. Here."

She leans in, and there's a flower being tucked into her hair. It's dark, purple-blue instead of her own red.

"Now we have some color."

A laugh. "It was nothing, Pluto-chan. I should be thanking you, taking time away for me. But I'm glad. You deserve to relax. Duty is good, but driving yourself mad in the process isn't right." Adds Kasagami, her smile fading for a moment.

A sigh. "Once. I was...six, seven? Father finally got back from a trip abroad, and took me and Mother out here. Mother and I sparred, and meditated, and Father took a dozen pictures. I think I fell asleep at some point, because I woke up in my Father's lap." Her smile returns, sad, as she looks away from Pluto for a moment. Lost in thought, silence fills her, for the moment.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

As gracious as she is dashing, Kasagami lets the underdressed senshi off the hook and is rewarded with a grateful smile. "Red is your color. And how could you be sure to arrive promptly without a proper timepiece?" Indeed, her gaze lingers on the pocket watch's chain a moment before returning up to its owner's face. "I do like it, and thank you."

Sailor Pluto was not expecting a flower but, upon reflection, probably should have been -- and just when that blush was fading, too. She cups a gloved hand to the stem threaded through her hair, partly in reaction to the unusual sensation and partly out of worry that it might not be secure. Kasagami is good at this, though, and the rose is quite secure. Velvety indigo petals tickle the top of her ear.

"You and Sailor Uranus have both convinced me that I am perhaps too serious for my own good." Her smile's a bit rueful. "And my approach up until now has been shown to have some flaws, so... here I am. We both need it, as it turns out."

Slowly Sailor Pluto's hand drops to clasp the other, neat and polite, before her. She listens. It is the first time Kasagami has had the full of her attention. Pluto has an intent gaze; it borders on intense. Still, when the swordswoman turns away she drops her eyes, respectful of that small privacy.

"Those sound like good memories."

Pluto looks back up, inhales, and ventures: "I'd like to see that spot, if you would show me, Kasagami. On the way there, perhaps you could tell me what had you in such a mood when I called..."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami belts out a pleased laugh at Pluto's compliment. She poses just a little, side-eyed, the light from the morning sun framing her in the middle. It's a blazing visual aura, as hot as her blood and heart and passions. She casts a long shadow for a moment.

But just, as she finally leans back from attaching that flower. "I'm glad. As much as your friend makes me want to toss her through a skyscraper on a constant basis, she really does seem to care about you and Sailor Neptune. I can respect her wanting to work on you in that regard."

Arms spread. "Couldn't have said it better myself. We both need it indeed. And what better place than one filled with beautiful scenery and memories of good days?"

That intense gaze makes her shiver. She meets it, head on, daring and unwilling to miss such a thing. It's beautiful, and a little terrifying. She savors that gaze. Some part of her thinks that few get such attention from the mysterious Senshi of Time.

"I'd be honored. If I may escort the fine Lady?" Then she's gently taking Pluto's arms, escorting her like a proper Student Council member.

She looks down though as that question is asked. "How to put this..." Ponders Kasagami aloud, head tilting. A sigh, and there's a bitter little chuckle.

"Let's just say that I've had my own weakness put into stark relief. I know how much power I don't have, how much power others have. Embarrassing, really! Oh, Pluto-chan, my heart aches and my mind /burns/ from the humiliation!" Her free hand is at her side, and her gloves creak as she clenches it into a fist hard. Her face is briefly marred by a look of pure fury and frustration. The heat from her, for a moment, is almost enough to scorch.

With a heavy breath, she calms just a bit. "I need to get stronger, Pluto-chan. All of my training, it's still not enough. What am I missing? That's the question that haunts me right now. What skill, what technique do I lack that stops me from achieving real ability as a swordswoman? Will my efforts, my blood and sweat ever be enough?" Her smile is long gone. Her jaw is set, frustration more than evident in her face.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Sailor Pluto allows Kasagami to take her elbow, falling into step on the side opposite that flashy eyepatch. Her own arm is gloved up to that joint, where bands of black cuff smooth white. "Uranus does care," she says. "They both do." Her voice is soft, pitched to carry to the edges of the trail and no further.

She gets her answer, and does not shrink from the flame -- fury disarms Pluto less than flirtation, it seems. The first sleepy strains of birdsong filter between tree branches as she thinks.

"It's been quite the long night for you. Thank you again for coming out." She cants her chin to look sidelong at Kasagami with those bottomless garnet eyes, bangs bouncing softly as they walk. "If you miss anything, it is not motivation. Already you're turning humiliation into fuel, thinking about how to better yourself. I cannot imagine you allowing anything to come between you and your goals. It's admirable."

A few more steps. Something is on her mind, and Sailor Pluto tenses; it's palpable through their contact.

"I have a question about your goals, Kasagami, an answer I'd like before we venture too far." Whether on the path or the friendship before them, she's unspecific.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Her eye closes for a moment. "Are you saying that my defeat was a kick in the pants to keep me moving forward?" A pause. Kasagami smirks.

"You might be right. Heh. If anyone is a study in not allowing anything to come between them and their goals, it's you Senshi. I should really try to be more like you three. Ahh, but my annoying sense of honor always gets in the way. Eri-chan told me that I really am more like our enemies. And you know? She's right. In other circumstances I could see us being on opposite sides of the battlefield, Pluto. Lucky for you that Eri-chan knows how to talk to me, hmm?" There's an edge, a light taunt, before it melts to affection for the Senshi of Time.

Kasagami's eye is instantly on Pluto's own. She has to take a step back to properly side-eye the woman beside her, hands in her pockets. One of them grasps something in them. Just in case.

"Hmm! Now that's pretty bold. I like it! Normally I'd tell off anyone asking questions like that, but I like and respect your approach. Alright. Ask your question. I have my secrets, but, I'll tell you what I can."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Sailor Pluto nods; she understands secrets, and says as much. "You may have no answer for me, I know."

Tension communicates and echoes silently between the two potent magical girls; all birdsong ceases. She slows a step after Kasagami stops, and performs a slow pivot on her near foot to face her unbelievably dapper companion.

"I did not know you by name, then, but I remember meeting you not long after I came to Tokyo. At least, I believe it was you. You may in turn remember me. I came to the rescue of Madoka Kaname and Usagi Tsukino.

"Can you tell me why you took them?"

Her stance is easy, unthreatening, as she gives Kasagami the full of her attention once more.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami's gaze falls to her feet. And for just a moment, she looks lost. Her smile is gone, guilt flashing through her features.

"You know, I'm really starting to hate hearing those names? Yeesh, you can be rough, Pluto-chan, asking me /that/! What a very mean question to ask."

And then her gaze pops up with a smile. It doesn't touch her eye though.

"But I guess you've earned as close of an answer as I can give you. A chain I took up forced my hand in the matter. I won't say anything else about the incident. Oh, and in case you're worried? Water under the bridge. I'm done with cowardly acts like that."

Her head tilts, her own attention fully on the other girl. "I will act as a King. And no chain will bind my actions any longer. The only thing that matters is power and the era I will bring to this world, Pluto." Or, so the young woman tells herself.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Pluto continues to give Kasagami her full attention during that answer: no more, no less. Her face, sometimes youthful, looks ageless with the long thin shadows of branches abstracting fine features. The only part of her that moves as she listens is that long hair, strands streaming up into the air at the beckoning of a morning breeze.

The spell breaks as she nods, and the first bold warbler resumes his song in a treetop nearby.

"Thank you. I am... glad to hear you have no such future plans." She crosses the short distance between them and holds the same elbow out to Kasagami. "My questions to you so far have not been easy ones. Do you have any for me?" Warmth, hesitant, folds the corners of her eyes as she smiles once more.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami takes that elbow, pulling Pluto to her side and smiling. She looks, once again, just a bit tired.

"And I'm glad you didn't decide to use your powers to pin me to a tree and interrogate me about all of my vile deeds. You're more merciful than you know."

She walks several paces, eyeing the scenery before she finally asks her own in turn.

"Who are you, really? No, that's not quite right. What are you? I see in your eyes someone younger than your years, and yet older than the very stars. It's a little frightening, actually. Like a well painted, beautiful oil canvas of some horrible battlefield. It is so very hard to look away from, you are, Pluto-chan."

Grin. "And not just because of how entrancing you are to see move."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

"It did not fit with what I've come to know of you," Pluto ventures as they resume their stroll.

Her reaction to uncomfortable inquiries, it seems, is to withdraw. Pluto does not let it go on too long, but an interested eye will notice the way her chin tucks down, the fractional downward cant of her gaze. From afar she would be an impassive statue; the Guardian of Time is given to expressing emotion after all, just only in ways that show this close.

There are many ways to answer Kasagami's question, as many as there are truths in the universe; Sailor Pluto has a better idea of their number than many.

"You see me more clearly than you think, Kasagami. I'm..."

Not for the first time that night, she cast her gaze up and wishes they were visible.

"I am not older than most stars." Most. "And I am, I suppose, younger than my years." The ghost of a rueful grin. "Does it help to know that I find you a little frightening, too?" She skips past that a little more quickly than her other statements. "There isn't a good word for me because I am, to my knowledge, unique. I do guard time, as much as anything so primal can be guarded."

Thoughtful quiet allows the crunching of long-dead leaves its turn at filling the air between them.

"You said to me that pushing people away would make me lonely, some day. That no man is an island." Step, step; crunch, crunch. "I have been an island for a very long time, at leaast in the sense that you mean. For..." She shakes her head, lowers it; bangs hide her eyes for a moment. "For long enough that I've known almost nothing else."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami gives Pluto all the time she needs. She might be aggressive and forward in all things, but she can be patient when needed. The answer is worth it.

"In other words, you're a lonely guardian that's been doing her duty too long without anyone to relieve them. I don't know how you got set up with that kind of job, but it seems a little much for any one person to take on by themselves. Pretty unfair, but then again, time seems to be ticking on just fine."

A glance back to her, as her shoes step along the path, twigs and leaves crushed. "But it seems you have two good friends to watch your back now, quite a few interesting allies, and..." A tug of her arm gently.

"I wouldn't mind you calling me a friend, if you can put up with my terrible, terrible ways. So! I guess you're not on vacation, let's just call this an extended business lunch. Pluto-chan, you are going to go shopping. We are going to find you a good outfit, then it's dinner and a movie. Any time that you want, alright? I'm going to hear you laugh one of these days, that's a promise!"

A fist is raised in the air. "Now come on! Let me show you the treasure of my memory!" And then, with a grin, she'll try to grasp at Pluto's hand and charge off down the path.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Meioh [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

How does one become the Guardian of Time? Sailor Pluto remembers. The vast gulf of eons between that moment and now does nothing to dim the memory. Garnet eyes unfocus; a few steps later she nods and sees the path before them again.

"I've never thought of it that way. Does fairness matter, when necessity calls? We do what we must. But... thank you, for that thought. Maybe someday I'll tell you how I came by my title and my Rod."

A small smile. "After all, we'll need to save something for dinner conversation." Worry tugs at her, but for once its pull barely registers. Kasagami's bold aura leaves no room for it. "Maybe I'll get to surprise you, this time." Her smile curls at one corner, and Pluto cuts a quick glance over again to the girl she's surrendered her arm to. It's an opportunity to study the proud profile, if only for a moment.

Then she's off! No evasion, unlike the alleys in Tama; this time Sailor Pluto reaches out to meet Kasagami. Gloved hands clasped, they run, two tall mysterious figures in the pale dawn light with long hair streaming behind. The act itself, this headlong and carefree rush, nearly gets Kasagami's promise fulfilled on the spot. Pluto seals her lips around a girlish laugh, not sure what's causing it or why it bubbles up so strongly. Instead she tightens her grip on Kasagami's hand.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami ponders the question. "Right now? No, it doesn't. But it should matter. I hate things like random tragedies. Those are the sorts of things I want to get rid of."

She whistles. "I'd love to hear it. Alright! You'll be the one to pick our dinner out. I'm sure the Guardian of Time knows how to find the perfect cuisine for advanced tastes such as a member of Ohtori's Student Council!" No pressure, Pluto! Hopefully no one will tell her that tacos and fried foods are Kasagami's favorites.

And then they're running, Kasagami herself smiling the entire time. She lets the adrenaline soak in, running until her lungs burn and her legs ache. Slowly, finally, she steps to a stop and pivots suddenly as she ducks between two trees.

It's a clearing in the park. Almost circular, there's a single large tree shooting towards the sky. She lets go, does a spin, and her back thuds against the tree. Taking a moment to catch her breath, a single hand goes above her head. She taps something, then moves away.

"And here we are! Not much to look at, it's true, but this place is precious to me. Mother and I wound all around this tree while we fought. Father cheered me on, clapped, and all three of us hand lunch before I passed out. And not just me. My parents were here before."

Two sets of kanji are intertwined. The names of Kasagami's parents engraved in the tree. "They had their first date here. According to Father, Mother threw him against the tree and demanded they go out. One picnic later, and the rest is history."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Meioh [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

She knew a world without random tragedies, once upon a time.

Or did she? Pluto wonders now, that charge of unfairness churning at the back of her mind.

But there's no time to ruminate, which is part of the point of running! Winter mornings make for freezing lungfuls, but Pluto also finds the burn exhilirating. "My tastes are only the beginning of how I'll be surprising you, Kasagami!" She has to duck, too, and comes up with eyes wide to take it all in.

Pluto falls behind a few steps. It was only a moment to take in the clearing. Now, she takes in Kasagami.

She can't look away from that spin, exuberant and sure, just like the girl executing it. Nevermind the dead of winter surrounding them; in the presence of Kasagami Araki, the world comes alive. Pluto is slow to look to the kanji, but she does so, stepping close finally to join Kasagami beneath the empty branches.

"There is plenty to see here. I'm glad you shared it with me." Her hand comes up, hesitates, then completes its journey -- white-gloved fingers trace a single carved line, linger at its terminus. "You must love and adore it, like you said."

A lighter thought occurs, and she smiles. "So did her throwing him against this tree count for the first date, or was that the picnic?" After a moment, quieter: "As you might guess, I'm new to these things. What might seem obvious to some..."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Hah! Is that so!? I'll look forward to your challenge then, Sailor Pluto!" Offers Kasagami in turn, winking and offering a competitive edge! The battle of tastes shall begin soon!

Her breath produces winter's chill, as she slowly slides down the tree to her knees. She looks out at the clearing. Memories dance in her mind. More and more, she smiles in contentment. She can see her childhood flash past her in an instant.

"I don't have much to remember them by, but this place is one of the few. It's precious to me. A place for friends."

A chuckle. "I have a feeling it was somewhere between the throwing to the tree, getting dragged down into the grass, and a few snuck in beers. Father always said that Mother was the best reckless decision he ever made."

And then, she's pondering. "Oh-hoh! Have you never really..." She swallows, and shakes her head.

"That's just adorable. Alright! First rule of dating: you need to impress your date from the first date. You need to draw them in, and really take a look at who they are. Every word they say, every action says something about them. Do they take you to McDonald's in a t-shirt and jeans, then walk you home through a park? Or do they take you to a jazz restaurant in a silk dress and take you home in a limo? Were you bored as you listened to them, or did their every gaze make your heart skip a beat?"

She's suddenly very close to Pluto, smiling. "Best foot forward, and you have to expose the best of yourself on a first date. It's terrifying but you're trying to win someone's heart, either as a lover or a friend. So you can't hold back!"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Meioh [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Everything Kasagami's shared about her parents has plucked at Pluto; really, the whole morning has stirred long-still depths. Now, she realizes kinship so strong it startles her. Her eyes widen, she inhales sharply... exhales, after holding that breath long enough to warm it thoroughly, a visible cloud that drifts and then dissipates.

She doesn't say anything. Isn't really sure how, not yet. She wants to, though, somehow.

Instead she listens, ever the faithful pupil -- ask any of her professors. There is in fact something devotedly studious about the way she pays attention to Kasagami's explanation, like there's a notepad and pen working away somewhere in that busy head of hers. She feels another pang for her lack of dress, but knows it's possible to remedy, and indeed has plans where that is concerned.

Sudden proximity. Sailor Pluto swallows, then nods. Best foot forward... best of yourself. "Terrifying... yes." Don't hold back. What's the difference between winning the friend of a heart and the friend of a lover? She doesn't know.

"Your childhood sounds a bit like mine. I had one, too. My father, always gone... trailing at my mother's heels. While I could." She tilts her head, her smile shy, then reaches for the chain of Kasagami's pocket watch, the question in the way her fingers hesitate over it. "There is nothing about you that bores me, Kasagami. I hope that my secrets are not the only thing that holds your interest."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami gives a mirthful smile. "Terrifying, and yet, utterly exciting. Will you gain a companion for life, or will that chance at love crumble to bitter despair and hatred? Every date is a gamble, and most of them end up either a mistake, or a one night stand. But every now and then, you find a Queen to your King. Someone worth spending time with."

Arms open wide. "So, pick your friends and lovers wisely, Sailor Pluto. They can be your greatest strength, or your worst weakness. If you really want to live you will fill your book with mistakes and triumphs alike. And that's the point. To live life, meet people, and leave your mark on their hearts and souls."

A little wink. "And on history if you can manage it."

Kasagami doesn't move away as that chain is grasped. The watch is well made, and should Pluto pull further? It pops out. The thing opens easily. The picture inside is an old one: a dark haired young girl with a well-dressed man, and utterly martial looking woman behind them both. The man is all stoic presence, and the woman the spitting image of Kasagami's own arrogant self-confidence.

And Kasagami herself is smiling, cheerful and innocent.

"Never boring, hmm? I'm sorry." Her words aren't trite, but short and sincere. She knows that pain all too well.

But Pluto brings her out of growing doldrums. "Hah! I should hope not! And don't worry. Secrets are dangerous things. Your dedication, your beauty, and even that shy glimpse of a girl underneath the soldier...I like all of it. There's more than just a warrior to you. And I want to see entirely who you are, Pluto. You're too interesting to just let go."

A cocky smile. "Not every day you get to say 'I got to walk in the park and share happy memories with a Guardian of Time', right?"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Meioh [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Again that unwavering attention focuses on Kasagami. Pluto listens, nods, and tucks the words away. "You've given me a lot to think about, and I'd have it no other way. For our next date," there's only the slightest skip there, probably that same shyness, "I'll return the favor."

Gentle fingers cradle the timepiece; she traces the metal's smooth circular edge, admiring the family within. "Beautiful, and definitely not too much. Not for you, Kasagami. Someone else might be overwhelmed; all this finery would wear them, not the other way around."

There's a soft *click* as the precious piece closes, her fingers closing over it. Pluto tucks it back into place in its pocket.

"Never dim your light on my account, please." She reaches up to touch the rose above her ear and shares the dancing smiles in her eyes via a long-held, silent gaze, intense in an entirely different way. "Thank you, Kasagami. I'll see you again, soon."

The smiles in her eyes spread to her mouth at that last. No contesting it. "I would not myself call this a usual morning."