Hard Conversations in the Hamakawa House (Nanami Hamakawa)

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Hard Conversations in the Hamakawa House (Nanami Hamakawa)
Date of Cutscene: 10 February 2018
Location: Hamakawa Household
Synopsis: Nanami and Alcyone transformed in front of Nanami's parents. Some courses of action get called out on the carpet. Kaoru Hamakawa is bloody-minded.
Cast of Characters: Nanami Hamakawa

Isamu and Kaoru, by unspoken agreement, did not bother their daughter or her canine partner in crime until they had eaten, slept, and emerged of their own volition. They were used to their prickly daughter, the sharp-edged shell she kept up as a means of defending herself from the slings and arrows of bullying. An Alcyone they could talk to, who could talk back, was an unknown element, but they figured that confronting one without the other would be wrong, somehow.

After all, it was Isamu and Kaoru, as a unit, who wanted to have this discussion with Nanami and Alcyone. Best not to give either party the illusion of disadvantage. That was a quick way to get Nanami to shut down any conversation.

Nanami took her time getting ready, perched on the edge of her bed as she fussed at, braided, and re-braided her hair. Eventually, hunger overcame her impulse to just stay in her room, and Nanami got up, left hand swinging down to Alcyone's harness-handle. There was an awkward silence as they sat down, broken only by the soft noises of plates and bowls being passed around.

"Can Alcyone really talk?" Kaoru was first to venture into the uncertain waters of conversation, peering under the table at the black and furry form. There had been plenty of times she'd talked to the dog in the past, times when Nanami was incapacitated or otherwise did not require Alcyone's assistance. Knowing she was talking to someone who understood put an entirely different note on those conversations.

"Yes, I can. I've been able to since last January." It would make sense to follow that with how long, right? "Before that, I was normal..."

"So what changed?" Kaoru looked at her daughter, who was busy eating in an attempt to not talk, to not have this conversation. Alcyone let the question hang unanswered for a moment; it wasn't addressed to her, and Nanami had to face up to this sooner or later.

"Honestly? I don't know." It came after a moment of chewing and swallowing, with a small shrug. "There was another magical girl, with different powers, and something went wrong. I thought I was going to die, and all I could think of was Alcyone... and then we transformed." The weight of the three-letter word got both of her parents staring at her, going from concerned to hawks on prey in an instant. Crap.

"It's nothing either of us could have helped. Nanami was doing something any able-bodied person would have been, in her shoes. She's not reckless... If she's anything, it's too shy of risks." There was a canine growl under Alcyone's words, a deep rumble at odds with her normally sweet voice. "The only reason that crowd got that big was because Nanami is scared of the risks of facing those kinds of things, and I know where she got that idea." Nanami stopped her eating, staring down at her partner. She'd expected someone to get chewed out today, but she'd been expecting it to be her, for keeping secrets!

Kaoru and Isamu seemed equally surprised. "Well, if things get bad, she can't run..." Isamu spoke up in their defense first, shaky.

Nanami swallowed a mouthful of fear, letting out a long, silent breath through her mouth before speaking. "And that's kept me thinking I'm the most useless magical girl in Tokyo, Dad. Alcyone's right. But... I have an added layer of safety most people do not have, especially now that you know Alsie can talk." After all, Phantom Ace and the blue-haired girl had only really herded the Halfsouled toward her. She had actually put a stop to them. "I can call you for help, and there are other magical people I can call if I get up to my ears."

"I know service dogs aren't supposed to be fighters, either, but..." Kaoru was thinking, shocked out of the idea that her daughter was helpless by Alcyone's stern tone. She'd seen her daughter in physical therapy, the determined slog to get herself out of a chair and up into walking. "That's training for dogs that can't think to discriminate when it comes to aggression. It seems to me that Nanami should just hide or get somewhere defensible and let you fight if it comes to a really bad situation."

Isamu dropped his fork at the same time as Alcyone's tail slowly wagged. "I think that's a good idea!" Nanami nodded her agreement.

"And it might help you make more friends, too. If any of them want to come over, I think Isamu and I can handle having people on our couch. Just talk to us, okay, honey?" Nanami nodded again, reaching across the table to put a hand on her mother's and squeeze it.

"Yeah. I think I've had enough avoiding things to last for a lifetime."