Evening at the Old Store

Rune and Gao talk of wishes, cats, and Tokyo.

Date: 2015-06-27
Pose Count: 16
Runealy Waldia 2015-06-27 07:49:46 2987
Oddly, Rune did not return to the store yesterday. She wasn't out of touch; she did call in and tell Gao that she would be looking in to something overnight. 'Overnight' ended up including most of the day, too. It is only once nightfall has arrived that Rune sneaks in to their 'home' on Earth.

Her gaze is firmly rooted at the ground, her tone quiet. "Stopping to actually think was probably the dumbest thing I've done since we got here." A few headshakes follow as she adds, "Especially thinking about /that./" It's not exactly a standard greeting. She didn't even stop to see if anyone was nearby to hear it before opening her mouth.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-06-27 07:57:40 2989
Off in a corner of the store, Gao is sitting with a length of string and the kitten, dangling the string so that Mistpaw can play with it. He looks up when Rune walks in, looking to see if everything's okay.

Frowning at her words, he waves around the string a bit more vigorously to encourage Mistpaw to pay more attention to it, then he stands up while the kitten is distracted. "Welcome back," he says softly as he walks over to Rune. "How did your investigation go?"
Runealy Waldia 2015-06-27 08:04:11 2990
Physically, Rune seems unhurt. Yet her mood is very low, enough so that even something as adorable as Gao playing with the rescued kitten isn't immediately perking her up. "I think I wasted a lot of time that would have been better spent /doing/ things, instead of just... thinking myself around in circles. But it's still stuck in my head, so... I don't know. Maybe you'd have an idea."

She props herself against the sales-counter, facing Gao now. "You might not have an answer for this either, and it's okay if you don't. Just think on this... imagine if you had the chance to wish for almost anything. You only get one chance at it, though. No do-overs, no changing your mind if you decide it's not working out. And no matter whether you wish for something big or small, your life is going to change in huge ways and some of them aren't good for you at all. And if you don't take the opportunity, you'd have to live with that too."

None of that is actually the question at hand. With all these details laid out, she finally gets to it. "If you had that chance, what would you do? Would you walk away from it? Or would you wish for something big, or what?"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-06-27 08:17:19 2995
For a few moments, the only sound in the store is the quiet noise of Mistpaw wrestling with the string. While Gao is relieved to see Rune physically unhurt, the weight of her question keeps the mood somber.

"I honestly don't know," he finally admits. "If the wish was to avoid something that was truly hopeless, with no other options, then maybe. But beyond that? A wish, just for the sake of a wish?"

He shakes his head. "I doubt that I'd use a wish, especially such a dangerous one, just to accomplish what can be done in other ways."
Runealy Waldia 2015-06-27 08:26:09 2997
"Good answer, but... I met someone who was in that situation. Someone who had no other options." Rune's gaze lowers once more, finding it hard to make eye contact. "I think they're the scariest thing I've seen on this world. Or the saddest. They had a chance to fix the biggest problem in their life, and didn't realize it until they had already mis-used their one opportunity. They..."

She takes a breath, finding it hard to work up the nerve to speak. It takes a few seconds before she finds the words. "They did something they can never take back. They're going to have to live with that mistake forever. So I left to think about that, and I didn't find any answers. When I think about that, about what happened to them... it scares me."

She forces herself to face her friend. "I'm scared that once we finish scouting Tokyo, once we make our move, that we're going to do that. That we'll do something we can't just erase by apologizing and giving out some gold and silver. That's why I like your answer, but that's what I left to 'investigate' and I still worry about it!"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-06-27 08:43:42 2998
Gao walks over and hugs Rune. "We already know the biggest problem in our life, and we're taking steps to fix it," he reassures her. "We'll be dealing with our own changes, and the hazards that come with them, but we wouldn't be able to live with ourselves if we didn't do what we could to keep Waldia safe."

He doesn't point out that if they don't save Waldia, they might not have much of a life left to live.

"As long as we can help leave Tokyo a better place than when we first came here, everything should be alright," he continues. "There might be points when it might seem worse--"

(Probably will, even)

"--but as long as we help keep demons and the like out of Tokyo while we gather energy for the Barrier, then everything should be fine."
Runealy Waldia 2015-06-27 08:50:50 2999
It's a thought that need not be mentioned, as it runs strong in Rune's mind regardless. "I just don't know how we could 'leave it better'... but everything else makes sense, you're probably right, I just..."

Her words are starting to ramble, her thoughts a chaotic mess as she wanders onto a semi-related topic. "I met someone that I think is a Puella Magi." Her mind's eye flashes back to Nagisa Momoe; Rune isn't certain, but the context combined with Homura's carefully 'edited' explanation of her kind suggests it's a match. "And I can't get her out of my mind, because she had a chance to do the same thing I almost wish I could. And I say 'almost' because I could get what I want with a single wish," She's wrong, but she doesn't realize this. "And the price to pay is that I'd be gambling if I did. I'd be gambling my life and yours and Hinote's and everyone else's so now I'm standing here jealous of what she lost and feeling awful for her at the same time and wondering what your answer will look like when we actually carry it out! What leaving Tokyo better off will look like!"

That was a lot to say in several run-on sentences, and Rune finally takes a breath as her lung capacity insists she has said enough for the moment.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-06-27 09:10:21 3000
Gao keeps hugging Rune as her words ramble. "As long as there are more magical heroes when we leave than there were when we arrived -- more people who can help protect Tokyo from demons and youma and the like -- then Tokyo will be a better place than when we arrived."

For a moment, he idly wonders about the possible Puella Magi that Rune mentioned, but pushes aside the thought as currently unimportant. "It's okay to feel both jealousy and sorrow for someone at the same time -- even if it's both for the same thing," he remarks quietly. "But they have their path, and we have ours. As long as we work together, we should be able to accomplish our dreams with a minimum of sorrow."
Runealy Waldia 2015-06-27 09:19:01 3001
Rune calms down somewhat, leaning in to Gao. "How do we even do that? It's not like I can make everyone here a Guardian Knight, and even if you taught lots of people what you know about all sorts of things... it would only give them the knowledge, not the power to use those lessons. I just... ...you may be right, but..."

She abruptly jumps topics, seeing something out of the corner of her eye. "Um... it," a gesture over at the kitten, "hasn't tried to run off yet? After how we met, I figured it would? How did that work out?"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-06-27 09:38:17 3002
Mistpaw looks up and mews, mildly tangled in string. Gao chuckles and crouches, wiggling his fingers to get her attention. "I think she was lonely," he smiles as the kitten scampers over, trailing string. "Some food and some caring attention, and she became pretty friendly."

As he disentangles Mistpaw, he ponders Rune's words. "There's enough magical heroes of other traditions that numbers aren't a problem," he muses. "And they seem to have their own source of knowledge, whether it's innate to them or from mentors we haven't seen. What we /can/ do for them..."

He pauses, absent-mindedly petting the kitten. "We can help keep them safe from youma," he finally says. "Even if they've been weakened, we can protect them while they're the most vulnerable." It might make the Waldians' task slightly harder, but in the long run it should help keep the other magical heroes safer -- and, by extension, the citizens of Tokyo.
Runealy Waldia 2015-06-27 09:48:22 3003
"She did, huh..." Rune steps back from Gao to get a little space, then kneels down to check Mistpaw out. "It's weird to think that just a few days ago, she was bigger than some trees. And now..." She reaches out carefully to try petting the kitten, very delicate about this. "Are you planning to bring her back with you when we go home?"

Talk of plans for protecting Tokyo is suddenly not as jarring a thing to consider. She's notably more relaxed now. "The rest of that sounds about right. At this point it sounds like Tokyo has close to a few dozen. Even with this city being so huge, that seems to go a long way for them. So it sounds like you've got all this figured out. Funny, though... we're talking about worlds and demons, and... kittens at the same time." The contrast isn't lost on her, a tiny smile forming as she backs off to let Gao take over on petting Mistpaw.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-06-27 09:58:21 3004
Gao nods. "She's one of us now; of course we'll take her home," he smiles as Mistpaw rubs against Rune's hand -- the kitten certainly isn't shy about being petted! "Which home she stays with... well, we can figure that one out later," he shrugs as he pets the grey fuzzball.

He chuckles slightly at Rune's observation. "Big things and small things are both important," he points out. "So are sources of carefree happiness and worrisome sorrow. As long as we can find a balance, then we can be better prepared for whatever the future brings."
Runealy Waldia 2015-06-27 10:06:06 3005
Rune lets out a tiny, pleased noise as Mistpaw warms up to the attention; she had not expected that. "I guess that's two new citizens we've got because of you. First Hinote, and now... well." The second one is obvious. "Tell me..." Her gaze stays on the kitten, but her words are teasing. "Are you going to keep doing that? Are we going to have to figure out places to live for half of Tokyo at this rate? Not that I mind."
Gaofele Doiru 2015-06-27 10:18:39 3006
Mistpaw looks up as Gao starts to laugh, but quickly resumes rubbing against the petting hands. "I doubt I could fit half of Tokyo into my cloak," Gao replies, a playful smile on his face. "At best I might be able to manage one-tenth of them. Maybe one-fifth, if I took off the cloak and they didn't mind crowding together slightly."

A more serious expression comes to his face. "If there's somebody that doesn't have a home, that needs a home and can't find one elsewhere..." He hesitates. "I'll do what I can to help them find a home in Tokyo, but in a pinch I wouldn't rule anything out."
Runealy Waldia 2015-06-27 10:25:13 3007
"That sounds about right, in your case. You know, I wouldn't have thought about it." Rune finally lets her eyes leave the kitten and go back to Gao. "I was too busy figuring out what to do about those two, and all of a sudden you run on ahead and pick her up. I was mad at myself for walking away from a situation where we probably could have won and found out what those artifacts can do for us, but..."

Rune paces away from the counter, stretching out while talking. "...Maybe we walked away with something just as good that time. Glad you're bringing her with us, she's cute!"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-06-27 10:38:34 3008
Lots of happy purring from Mistpaw, though whether from Rune's words or Gao's petting is uncertain. "The blasts were big enough that she might have been hit, and without the artifact protecting her..." Gao shakes his head. "She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong item; why let her get hurt for that?"

He picks up the kitten, who scrambles up onto his shoulder. "Besides, we know a bit more about these 'Jewel Seeds' than we did before; perhaps we can find more at a later time," he points out. "There's powerful magic there, and it seems less malevolent than Witches and their grief seeds. Sounds less hazardous, at the very least."

Mistpaw meows insistently, and Gao's stomach quietly echoes the sentiment. "For now, though, food," he chuckles. "You hungry, Rune?"