The Best Of Intentions

Content Warning: References to child abuse. Kukai Souma encounters Fate on her nightly hunt for the Jewel Seeds and critical fails his diplomacy check, in telling her to seek help.

Date: 2017-11-12
Pose Count: 11
Fate T. Waldia 2017-11-12 21:30:24 86472
    It's another late night. Another night of hard work and on results. Fate Testarossa is out well past any good nine-year-old's bedtime. But she has to continue her duty.
    A telepathic message is sent to Arf, her loyal familiar nearly half the city away searching another sector of Tokyo.
    <I'm going to take a little break. I need to catch my breath.>
    <Aye aye, be careful Fate, you never know when one of those dweebs might sneak up on you.>
    That exchange compleres, Fate severs the connection and lands atop a lamp post in the park, cape flowing in the wind as she stops for a moment to take a little breather from her endless searches.
Kukai Souma 2017-11-12 21:46:42 86473
The Botanical Gardens aren't quite the floral beauty in the late autumn to early winter you would expect during the spring blooming, but there are a lovely collection of oranges and yellows and the like. The wind blows quite strongly from time to time, but there are no major clouds or storms in the air. Which is good, because if it were raining Kukai Souma wouldn't have any interest in being outside and patrolling.

Tonight, though, he was patrolling not for youma but for little girls. One in particular, in fact, whom someone on HeartNET had mentioned seeing around the Botanical Gardens. So, he's out, jogging along, keeping his eyes open. He wouldn't have thought to look up, however, unless he'd caught the movement of a cape fluttering in the wind up ahead. A few steady steps up behind her, and he looked up, calling out to the small girl. "...Fate? That you?"

Kukai steps forward, then nods up at her, tapping one pocket so Daichi would stick his head out, yawning, and flit up to his shoulder. "Hey. I don't know if you know me. I don't think we've ever been introduced. I'm Kukai, Kukai Souma."
Fate T. Waldia 2017-11-12 21:54:45 86474
    Fate had landed for a break. Just a few moments to clear her head, not to be caught and called out. She's losing her edge. The call of her name is enough to make the blonde jerk where she stands, wheeling around atop the lamppost, Device swinging around with her, she aims Bardiche one-handed at the source. An unfamiliar voice.
    It's a lone youth- one she's certain she's never seen before, and that's without equating him to the selfsame Skyjack she had seen, the day the eighteenth Jewel Seed activated.
    The girl remains silent, the black axes in her hand poised to fire at any sign of aggression, she warily watches Kukai in silence for a long moment. "What do you want?"
Kukai Souma 2017-11-12 22:07:04 86475
Kukai folds up both hands as Fate wheels around, Bardiche pointed at him. "Whoa, whoa, hey! I'm a friend of Nanoha's - and yours, too, if you'll let me be. I'm not hostile. So... you don't have to blast me or anything."

He keeps his hands up and in her sight as she stares at him. "Look, so. Uh." He looks around for a moment, thinking. Now that the moment is coming to the point he isn't quite sure how to get to it. "So... Uh. I don't know how to say this. Er... Nanoha said she saw some ... bruises on you, and she was worried about it. So I wanted to find you and say that... if anyone's hurting you, any men that you have faith in or something, if they're, you know, punching you and hitting you or whatever.... you can talk about it. Maybe not even to me, if you don't want to. But to somebody. And they'll help you." He blushes a bit. Trying to figure out how to talk to someone about someone else beating on them is... a difficult conversation to have at the best of times.
Fate T. Waldia 2017-11-12 22:14:25 86476
    And right out of the gate Kukai starts saying all of the wrong things. Mentioning Nanoha by name doesn't make the girl's guard lower. If anything it only raises it even more as she shifts the aim of her Device but keeps it on Kukai. Her eyes narrow, lips set into a thin, grim line, as soon as he mentions that girl's name.
    "Is she sending all of her friends after me now?" She asks curtly. "Whatever it is, doesn't conc...ern..." That is where she trails off. Kukai's fumbling methods of trying to broach a painful topic stalling her out entirely.
    Nanoha saw...
    But those were not bruises.
    you can talk about it...
    But she can't.
    She opens her mouth to speak, to once again rebuff the youth, but then she's just staring as he goes off on a tangent that she doesn't even understand.
    "... What are you even talking about?"
Kukai Souma 2017-11-12 22:30:51 86477
Kukai sees Fate's eyes narrow and her hands clench tighter on Bardiche. He takes a deep breath and tries to remain calm as she speaks. "No, really, I don't know her super well. We've just run into one another a time or two. It's not like that. I just..." He frowns. "One or two of the kids at my school have had bruises like that before, not the sort we get from fighting monsters or stuff - ones from bigger hands."

He coughs. "I'm.. just saying. If.. If someone is treating you badly, or unfairly... Oh hell, I'm just going to say it. If Riventon is hitting you, you have to tell someone - me, or Nanoha, or whomever, and we'll stop him. We can stop him, keep him from hurting you again. But you have to talk to someone about it first."

Kukai takes a deep breath. "...And you gotta know, whomever's doing this to you, he's wrong. There's never any reason to hurt someone like that. Not if it can be prevented." Kukai is fumbling and awkward, and bad at the discussion, but he's trying, dammit.
Fate T. Waldia 2017-11-12 22:50:13 86478
    For a beat, a perplexed expression etches its way upon Fate Testarossa's face. And then Kukai is out with it. For a long few breaths, the blonde is silent, looking just as lost and confused as she had moments before, before it all sinks in and understanding dawns on the girl.
    Fate's head tips down, hair shrouding her face in a shadow. Her fingers clench around the shaft of her Device, shoulders beginning to tremble.
    "Is that what she's sending you out here for." Fate whispers. "Is that what you think this is?"
    She does not sound happy in the least, a golden sphere of light forming at the end of the black axe in her grasp. "To butt into matters that don't concern you at all...?"
    She adjusts her aim one last time, very pointedly.
    "It's none of your business." She says, voice hard and edged. "Just turn around and walk away. Please."
Kukai Souma 2017-11-12 23:02:42 86479
Kukai stares at Fate, watching her for several long moments as emotions and thoughts cross her face. He gives her a few moments, waiting for her to figure out what she's thinking, hoping she can bring herself to talk to him and explain to him why Riventon's been hurting her.

"...No, actually. Nanoha didn't send me out here to do this. I came on my own." He coughs. "I made a promise to someone else to make sure that I'm doing this for the right reasons on my own. So I need to talk to you and find out what's going on. And I'm hoping you'll tell me what this is, Fate. You gotta tell somebody at some point."

Kukai's eyes flick to that golden sphere but he redoubles his courage, insistent on working this out with her. "No, it doesn't involve me, but seriously, nobody should be hurting you like that. You don't understand how wrong it is for them to do it, no matter what the reason."

Kukai grits his teeth and stays still, hands still up. ".... I want to help. I can't just walk away, if I think you're hurting. And I'm tough enough to handle it. So if he's hurting you, then I can fight him. Please. Just.. talk to me."
Fate T. Waldia 2017-11-12 23:37:37 86480
    Fate's voice is glacially cold as she stares down, one scarlet eye visible through golden hair. Her shoulders are shaking with mixed shame and fury. Kukai doesn't know it, but he has utterly trampled on the girl's pride. "Why do you want to help me, you don't even know me. What do you gain out of it?" She demands, her voice so soft but utterly cold as her Device rattles in her grasp.
    Then she takes a breath. And just like that, she's calm. Deadly calm as an aiming rune forms in front of her scythe, circling in a ring around the bullet ready to fire. Kukai is pushing his luck, and though Fate doesn't want to open fire, she doesn't know how to make him go away any other way"
    "It's none of your concern and you should stay out of it. Please. I'll be fine, because I'm strong. And I won't have to endure it much longer."
Kukai Souma 2017-11-12 23:46:29 86481
Kukai looks up at Fate as she asks the question and lets out a breath. "... Two reasons. One, no child should be hurt the way you're being hurt. Not magical, not mundane, not any child in any situation. Period. Two?" He shrugs. ".... Riventon is a bastard and deserves every bit of screwing over I can point his way. If he's hurting you and I can prove it, then I can convince some of the others that he's bad, and that I'm not bad for something I did recently against him." He sighs. "Despite several people thinking the opposite."

Kukai sees the aiming rune, staring at the oncoming blast, knowing if she starts firing while he's not transformed it might not be fatal but it will certainly be very painful. ".... OK. Ok. I'll take off for now." He takes a few steps back, moving away. "Just, if it ever gets to be too much, if he ever gets to be too much, then you tell somebody, all right? And strong or not, it's not right. You know that." He lets out a breath, then begins backing away, moving away from Fate and leaving her to her own thoughts since she insists on it.
Fate T. Waldia 2017-11-13 00:10:46 86484
    He's leaving. He's finally leaving...
    It was a brief encounter, but it's one that only leaves Fate feeling more ashamed and crushed than before. It's as Kukai begins to back down that she lowers her Device and heaves a sigh. She lifts off the top of her lamppost and prepares to... Fly off. To go. To get as far away as she can from yet another person trying to offer her help. It's painful to turn away so many kind people, but Kukai's awkward attempts only resulted in more pain and wounded pride.
    "The pain I go through will be worth it in the end. To see her smile again." Is all she leaves with, too flustered and hurt to even correct the incorrect assumptions about the source of her pain.