Please Do Come Back

Kokoro visits to talk to Fate since the Garden of Time incident and Nanoha is there for support and to listen.

Date: 2018-04-22
Pose Count: 20
Nanoha Takamachi 2018-04-22 04:12:15 90538
It's the afternoon on the street Midori-ya sits on. It's a moderately nice Spring Day. It's a little chilly, for whatever reason, which means the tables outside aren't seeing too much use. And the afternoon isn't really a busy time period either. Which means a moment of breaks! Before getting back to cleaning that happens during these periods.

"I think momma is gonna make his roasted sweet potatoes for dinner tonight." she says. "They're the /best/." she insists.

She settles in a bit, as she leans forward. "Is Arf-chan settling in okay, too?" she asks, curiously. "Also. Kokoro-chan was here the other week looking for you. Have... you met her yet?"

"Also something about the milkshake you made..." she scratches her head a moment in thought.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-04-22 04:18:55 90539
    A curious Fate peeks out from the bakery kitchen when she hears mention of sweet potatoes. "I've never had them." She admits, which means it'll be a first for the blonde, as she emerges with a tray containing two cups of tea. Looks like a little break from the busywork of running the bakery is in order. But then there's mention of Kokoro.
    "... Ah..."
    "She's um. The big girl yes? With the hammer?" Murmured as Fate sets the tray down. "I haven't seen her since... The Garden of Time."
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-04-22 04:23:42 90540
    "Yeah. The big girl, with the hammer."

    Oh hi Kokoro.

    With Saturday's traditional half-day over, the girl has changed into comfortable street clothes; rugged jeans, some heavy metal T-shirt or other, and a denim vest over that which looks like it was a denim jacket at one point. Her arms are bare, despite the cold. And, in fact, she seems to have grown just a little in the time since they've last run into each other. "I, uh. I had some free time, so I figured I'd walk by." Her gaze tracks over to Nanoha, to whom she gives a simple, light nod of greeting. Yo.
Nanoha Takamachi 2018-04-22 04:33:57 90541
Nanoha Takamachi nods. "Ye---oh!" she says. "Hi Kokoro-chan!" she says. "I was just talking to Fate. About how you wanted to meet with her." she says as she makes a reach out for the cup of tea. Sip. Ahhhh. Good for a cool spring day.

She head tilts. "Ah. How we're the pastries from last time?" she asks with wide eyes, remembering what Kokoro wanted that night. She smiles.

"Now's a good time to talk, it's a lull! Do you want anything?" she asks.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-04-22 04:45:42 90542
    Speak of the devil and he will appear. Or in this case, speak of the hammergirl and she comes right through the door.
    Scarlet eyes are drawn to the bakery's entrance as soon as she hears Kokoro's voice. "Oh."
    There's clear recognition there, and the timing is just perfect. Fate purses her lips for a beat as she looks between Nanoha and Kokoro, and once she's relieved of tea and sets her own cup down... She bows.
    "It's um. I... Ah..."
    Poor Fate is tripping up on her tongue here. It's been happening more often since she's been free from Precia; a rarer much more delicate side to the normally stoic girl showing through.
    "Hello." She does manage.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-04-22 04:52:21 90543
    "They were good," Kokoro replies to Nanoha, with a nod that sets the hair in front of her face swaying a little. Her eyes settle on Fate for a moment, thoughtful, then she reaches over to grab a chair and turn it around, straddling it to fold her arms on the back. "I'll... you guys got Ramune? I feel like a Ramune. Or water, if not." She then gives Fate another look, then adds in a softer voice, "I ain't-" A pause, catching herself lapsing into rough language. "...I'm not gonna bite." That's about as subtle as Kokoro ever gets for 'invitations to sit'.
Nanoha Takamachi 2018-04-22 05:02:29 90544
Nanoha Takamachi smiles brightly and goes to the cooler in the back and indeed, comes back with a Ramune, little marble and all. She'll let Kokoro pay for it later. Or maybe it's just a Ramune and Nanoha can pay for it if Kokoro assumes it's free. Either. Way. Ramune has been provided!

She then moves to sit next to Fate, on the far-side, so Kokoro can talk next to Fate, and she can sit next to Fate.

Mainly, to place a hand on one of Fate's own and gives a reassuring short squeeze and a smile, a wordless, 'It's okay!, You can do it, Fate-chan!' to help her deal with the awkwardness.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-04-22 05:12:29 90545
    Ramune provided, Fate hesitates for a beat. It's a lull in the work, and she had just made tea for a break anyway, so sitting down for a bit isn't going to hurt.
    "-No it's not... I mean..." She starts to say when Kokoro says she isn't going to bite. That's not what the blonde had been expecting anyway.
    Still, it's awkward as Fate settles down and Nanoha sits beside her.
    "... I didn't get to say 'thank you'. For trying to reach out to my mother like you did."
    She pauses there, letting the thought hang as Nanoha takes her hand, her own fingers splaying to clasp to Nanoha's, threading between them.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-04-22 05:17:35 90546
    Knowing Kokoro, she's pretty likely to pay. Borderline-delinquent though she may be, she's forthright and has a certain sense of honor - something Fate already knows, after the first time they crossed paths. And weapons.

    "Ah, that... yeah." Being reminded of her own attempt to reach Precia, Kokoro suddenly feels bashful, ducking her head slightly. "I... I dunno. I just felt like... I dunno. I ain't used to all this... this 'other people stuff'. But..." Fidget. "...guess I just felt like I had to say somethin'. A mother doin' that to her own kid... it ain't right."

    Long pause.

    "Not right. It's not right."

    Kokoro hastily goes about opening her Ramune.
Nanoha Takamachi 2018-04-22 05:37:27 90547
Nanoha Takamachi listens as the two talk, happy to sit there and listen for the moment, as she looks between Fate and Kokoro. She'll keep her hand entwined with Fate until she moves to undo herself from it. She's there for support right now as the two talk.

She gently nods a bit, in relation to Kokoro's talking points.

"I think we all did our best..." she says quietly, giving Fate's hand another squeeze.

The whole Jewel Seed mess was a big challenge for everypne. Some more than others by the end.

...she still maybe wishes she didn't break down on top of Fate-chan on that bridge. Or maybe she really needed it at the time.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-04-22 05:49:27 90548
    "Me niether."
    It's an honest, but quiet, reply from Fate, squeezing on Nanoha's fingers before she rests her hands on her own lap.
    "... Since I was born my only real... Friend was Arf and my teacher, Linith. After that when I came to Tokyo I always tried to keep my distance from everyone. Even my coworkers at UMBRA." She pauses there when a realization hits her.
    She should speak to Takashi soon.
    But not right now. Right now she's in the middle of another conversation entirely. "Even Alicia was very lonely. But that wasn't mother's fault." That is where she shakes her head though. "She used to be very loving and kind. Alicia's death made her lose who she was. I don't hold it against her.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-04-22 05:58:42 90549
    There's a troubled look on Kokoro's face for a minute after Fate says that. "'re nicer than I am," she concludes, taking a swig of her Ramune before continuing. "I..." Here, the tall girl hesitates, absently reaching up to brush at the hair that obscures half her face. "...lost my parents when I was real little. Been all over Japan. Several orphanages. Several schools. I don't... I don't feel things by half. When I laugh, I laugh big. When I'm sad, I bawl. Losing my parents made it rough for me, and then adults didn't know how to handle me, until they just gave up, and kids my own age didn't want crap to do with me when they found out I wasn't just sad over some trivial junk, and I got in fights, and I was a 'problem kid', and foster parents all wanted some perfect little angel, and-"

    Here, Kokoro catches herself. A tide of old frustration rising up, the fingers on her free hand tightly gripping the back of her chair. "...never stayed in one school a whole year. Not until..." Pause.

    Longer pause.

    " I've been in Tokyo a whole year. Been at Seiyou a whole year." She sounds like the realization just hit her, and she's having trouble processing it. "...and Monday it'll be one whole year since I found that hammer."
Nanoha Takamachi 2018-04-22 06:10:37 90550
Nanoha Takamachi watches quietly as Fate-chan talks about Alicia's memories, And about her mother. She looks to Kokoro, and listens about her own journey of adoptions and foster homes and how miserable it was.

All she can do is nod a little solemmly. She can't.. really say much on that. About not having your parents around.

"Magic has a way of kind of crashing into your life. And changing it in a dramatic way." she says with a short smile. "It's been. Wow. Maybe two years now." she says. "When I met Yuuno..." she says needing to think on the exact time frames about it.

She nods. "So. Is that a good thing? Does that mean... things are working out for you now a little Kokoro-chan?" she asks with wide eyes.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-04-22 06:24:21 90551
    "I never wanted to hurt anyone." Fate replies softly when Kokoro declares her the nicer girl.
    Her duty to her mother simply required her violence.
    Conversely though, Fate is a very quiet girl, compared to Kokoro's self description, and she sits in silence for a long moment. "It sounds like a lot has changed for you." She ventures afterwards. "I... Just started school with Nanoha." She admits. "I'm a little unused to being around others so much now." It's a very candid admission. But her topic shifts slightly.
    "Two years since I first fought Nanoha..."
    Two years of having to harden her gentle heart and cause injury to someone else. But now she doesn't have to, and it's a thought that eases the slight tension that had been making her pinch her shoulders together nearly this whole time.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-04-22 06:40:03 90552
    "You swung hard," Kokoro replies without skipping a beat. "And you didn't hesitate, either. Most folks... they don't react so well in a fight. Not until they've been in a bunch." She slams the rest of her Ramune. " thought you were doing the right thing, so you went all-in. That ain't a bad thing." It's set down on the table, and Kokoro moves to stand. There's an awkward pause. " advice, find yourself a quiet little corner of school where no one goes. It makes it easier. Having somewhere you can go to recharge, I mean. When you've had enough of the crowd." And that sounds like the voice of experience.

    She does finally turn to Nanoha, and add, "I... I guess it does. I'm still... still getting used to all this stuff. But it's better than playing musical homes, I guess." One hand goes into a pocket, and the towering girl adds, "How much I owe you?"
Nanoha Takamachi 2018-04-22 06:47:41 90553
Nanoha Takamachi smiles. "Fate-chan's doing really good in school so far. But that also sounds like a good idea." she says thoughtfully, trying to imagine a place like that... wait. Lord knows she'd need to keep a secret from Suzuka and Arisa in private and talk to Yuuno. Maybe some of those places, she thinks.

She'll need to poke around later when she's actually at school. And tell Fate them. Because if she's there that kinda defeats the purpose of 'alone quiet' she figures.

"Well that's good!" she says. "Oh, and 125 yen!" she smiles.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-04-22 07:03:51 90554
    "I didn't have room to hesitate. It was that or mother would..." She trails off. Fate opts to move right on, rather than dwell on those times or the scars on her back. "It's what I was raised for, anyway." She murmurs, frowning at herself. Raised for fightings.
    "And it's why I don't want to fight anymore." She admits, side-eyeing Nanoha somewhat. "I'm only doing so well because I have Nanoha helping me." added in regards to her new school life. "But I'll remember that advice."
    It'll probably help a lot for a girl like Fate who can be so surprisingly shy now, in spite of the past two years.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-04-22 07:10:26 90555
    'And it's why I don't want to fight anymore.'

    Kokoro winces - not from the loss of a fellow warrior, but from realizing that now would be a good time to adjust her foot-to-mouth feng shui. "...sorry." Mumble. "I, uh. If you ever need someone to swing for you. More'n just Nanoha, I mean. Brawling's just about all I'm good for, so I don't mind doing it for a good reason." Especially so someone like Fate doesn't have to.

    Coinage is deposited, and Kokoro gives kind of an awkward, "...see you around."
Nanoha Takamachi 2018-04-22 07:13:48 90556
Nanoha Takamachi nods. Nanoha knows that sometimes talking and not fighting doesn't work all the time. From experience. And bad things are still out there. Scary bad things. But she can hit as hard for Fate and herself at once.

"Come again, Kokoro-chan! You're always welcome, if even just to visit." she beams.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-04-22 07:28:17 90557
    It takes a second. It takes a second or two, but Fate realizes she might have said something poorly worded.
    "A-ah..." There's a stammer as Kokoro rises, before Fate regains her own metaphorical footing. "... Don't misunderstand me." She murmurs. "I don't want to fight for the wrong reasons anymore. I never liked it... But I understand now that there are some things worth fighting for. Like friends." She says.
    "So... If you ever need it, Bardiche and I will be there for you, too."
    This admission comes with a beat's pause of silence as Kokoro rises to leave. "-... Yes. Please do come back."