I Came To Say...

Date: 2018-06-22
Pose Count: 20
Fate T. Waldia 2018-06-22 23:43:54 92187
    It has been quite some time now since that night at the Garden of Time. Fate has largely been incommunicado since then, settling into what she hopes to be a much quieter future. But today things are a little different.
    Axion recieves a message from Bardiche. It's a little out of the blue and the stoic Device cuts to the chase directly in his usual laconic way. Fate wants to stop by and talk. A polite and proper declaration of intent.
    Once she receives any word of Takashi having a moment of free time for her, she arrives. Today's outfit of choice is a lacy black dress, Bardiche worn as a pendant around her neck. Following the familiar path to Takashi's office she stops at the doorway... And waits for only the span of a breath or two before she raps gently.
Takashi Agera 2018-06-22 23:57:35 92188
Takashi, elsewhere, closes the door on a strange, crystaline device with a shadowed figure inside, and then leaves the secure room. On the way past, he checks himself in a mirror, as he would for any guest - or at least, any invited guest. And then he swaps from his labcoat to a blue overcoat, before he steps through the Dusk Zone, reaching the other side of his office door, mid-reach to open it.

"Fate-c..." He pauses, sensing something has changed. Knowing it. "Fate. It's been a while. It's a good thing we've got a lax attendance policy at Umbra, isn't it?" He's trying to be jovial, at least. It's not really working.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-06-23 00:05:38 92189
    Something has changed.
    The door opens, and there she is, scarlet eyes peering up, unwavering as ever, yet... Not as hard. Not as quietly pained, nor a reflection of silent turmoil quietly hiding behind a facade of cool composure. Something has changed, when the door opens, Takashi says her name...
    And Fate smiles.
    It is a thin, unsure, smile- the look of someone who has not actually done so in a very long time, but it is a smile nonetheless.
    [HELLO, MISTER.] Bardiche pings first.
    "Hello, Agera-san." Fate follows suit, not missing the older youth's stiff attempt at levity. "May I come in?"
Takashi Agera 2018-06-23 00:12:44 92190
Takashi steps back and, with a sweeping gesture, invites Fate inwards. "Chair's still comfortable." he adds, as he moves to sit behind the desk - then thinks better of it and pulls the chair away from the desk so there's not that wedge of wood between them.

"It's good to see you smile, Fate. You wear them well." Axion is notably, far more silent. But that's been true for most of the time she's known the two of them.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-06-23 00:22:05 92191
    Once bidded enter, Fate dips her head in a nod and steps into the familiar setting of Takashi's office. It only takes her a beat to sit down and make herself comfortable, hands folding on her lap.
    The smile falters briefly as she laces her fingers together, perhaps a little surprisingly giving the occasional nervous fidget at the hem of her dress. "Thank you."
    Her gaze does not turn away, like it used to, when her eyes betrayed her pain.
    "I'm sorry I've been out of contact. I needed... Some time. After what happened."
Takashi Agera 2018-06-23 00:29:59 92192
Takashi nodded. "I figured you might. I wanted to give you your space. I thought... you might need time to figure things out. I know that you have gone through a lot. Actually, I know you've gone through more than I could ever know."

"I... have all of her notes." He didn't elaborate, and he didn't feel like he needed to do so. "I'm sorry, Fate."
Fate T. Waldia 2018-06-23 00:35:33 92193
    Fate slowly shakes her head, when Takashi apologizes.
    "Don't be." The girl says, gently.
    While it is true, taking some time and space for herself to recover after suddenly being freed from years of trauma and abuse, Fate is no longer suffering so quietly. She no longer has the burden to bear that Precia and Alicia's legacy had put upon her strong, yet fragile, shoulders.
    "I was sad, for a while. And very confused. But for all of the bad memories of what I went through and how mother treated me, I also have all of Alicia's good memories of when she was kind and gentle. I'd like to focus on those, from now on and remember the woman she used to be."
Takashi Agera 2018-06-23 00:44:13 92194
Takashi paused, and nodded. "I envy you, in a way. Not for what you went through but... because you have those memories." He reached for something under his shirt and clutched it tightly before letting it go. "Hold onto those. They're important."

"So. Now that you're free of the woman she became, you're free to choose your own destiny now." A sigh. Like he knew. Or at least, dreaded what was likely to come.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-06-23 00:58:05 92195
    Scarlet eyes curiously watch the motion into Takashi's shirt. But it is a mere curiosity rather than anything else. Yes, now Fate is free. The girl dips her head in a faint nod. So in the days after the Garden of Time what direction has she chose for herself?
    "Nanoha asked me to join Virtue, shortly after." She says it point blank, lingering on that note for the span of a few heartbeads before simply shaking her head.
    "I couldn't do that." She then admits.
Takashi Agera 2018-06-23 01:05:23 92196
Takashi looked at her, plainly. Almost like he was afraid to be too directly involved. But he visibly brightened when she said she didn't join Virtue. At least a little. "Well, that would've been a serious change, wouldn't it?" he suggested.

And then, a bit more tentatively. "You know, the room you shared with Arf is still here. Nobody has gone in there, 'cept the cleaning youma." A pause. Then no more words, just odd silence.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-06-23 01:26:47 92197
    "Mn. I appreciate that you never freed it up for anyone else." She says in regards to the room.
    But something had told Fate, Takashi might have liked to hear what she had to say about not joining Virtue. Just seeing him brighten widens the child's smile by a fraction. "It would have been." She admits. "But it's not for me. I spent all that time dedicated to a single unwavering goal, and now that I'm free from it I admit I didn't know what to do at first. But I think I've made my decision."
    Before she can get into that, though, there's a rap a the office door. Normally it would be pretty rude to interrupt this kind of one on one meeting, but Fate actually looks a little sheepish when she glances back from the door. "It's--"
    "Feeeeeeeiiiitooooo! You left me behiiiind!" The voice on the other side of the door whines. It's a familiar voice, too but there's something different about it...
    "I asked Arf to bring something. For you. You don't mind, do you?"
Takashi Agera 2018-06-23 01:37:01 92198
Takashi blinks, and then smiles a bit at the door, once he knows it's Arf on the other side. "She is welcome too, you know." he responds. "And I can only imagine what it feels like. All of that weight and now it's off your shoulders and... just trying to find your way in the world. I get that."

He almost starts to say more, but he decides to wait and see what her decision is. No sense overselling if she's already making the right one. "Anyways, yes, let her in. Also wait... for me?"
Fate T. Waldia 2018-06-23 01:48:59 92199
    Once Takashi gives permission for Arf to enter, a quick mental communication through the door-- and it comes busting open.
    That is not the Arf he knows. Instead of tall, busty, and busty, the figure that comes charging into the office is smaller than even Fate. She's carrying something, but her focus seems to be on bum-rushing Agera in his seat.
    "I'm sorry I'm late, I was on my way when I saw this cat, and I just had to chase it, and then I got lost, but couldn't fly because it's not easy now that I'm like this, and after that I took the wrong bus and wound up in a different neighborhood, and Fate said if I was late I wouldn't have any ramen so I ran as fast as I could and-"
    And Fate calms the spastic red-haired puppy-girl with a gentle pat on the head- which not only makes Arf's tail wag, but reminds her of her original mission.
    She holds out a box of cake.
    "Fate put a lot of work into this, so you better eat it all!"
Takashi Agera 2018-06-23 01:57:00 92200
Takashi blinks. Slowly. It takes him a little bit to come to terms. THIS is Arf? Now things have changed even more than he expected. "Hello, Arf-san!" he finally says, excitedly. I mean, she is adorable this way.

"A cake?" Takashi smiles, and sets it gently on the table. "I don't eat many sweets... It may take me some time, but yes, I'll eat the whole thing." He grinned. So this had to be good news. An apology, perhaps, for vanishing.

He reaches over to pet Arf if there's a spare moment there, too.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-06-23 02:04:41 92201
    That is, indeed, Arf. And Arf's tail wags when get gets petted, but now that the cake has been presented, accepted, and set on the desk she's already climbing into Fate's lap and curling up. Fate lazily runs her fingers through bright red hair.
    "I've been learning how to bake." She admits a little sheepishly. "Since I started staying with Nanoha, at her parents' bakery. Take your time with it, really. There's no rush. Let me know when you finish it a-and... Maybe I can bring you another?" She offers a tad hesitantly.
    "It's calming." She admits. "... I never liked fighting. Or hurting people."
Takashi Agera 2018-06-23 02:08:20 92202
Takashi listens intently. "Huh. You know, I tried to cook once. Because someone told me cooking is a lot like science - you follow the procedures and maybe tweak and see what the experiment is like. I thought I did well, but some other people had opinions." There was also Dark Energy involved...

He waves his hand rapidly. "Anyways, that's not important." He paused. And made a sort of face. Because of what Fate ended with. "I mean. I think I'd prefer not to fight too. Just... be able to experiment and think. But... you can't just stay on the sidelines because you want to. There are things going on now... and they're pretty serious."
Fate T. Waldia 2018-06-23 02:40:15 92203
    Cooking and baking are both sciences in their own right. But Fate's gaze droops when Takashi admits his own desire to not have to fight, either. It's not like she hadn't expected it, it just simply strikes a chord within her. "Mn..."
    She takes a slow breath and lets scarlet eyes slip closed. There's always something serious, isn't there?
    "I... I'd be lying if I didn't say I want to to not have to fight anymore." She says, distracting herself by brushing Arf's hair with her fingers. "I spent every day of my life from the day I was born being groomed to fight mother's battles for her. I did it wholeheartedly, thinking that was all there was to life- hoping I'd make her smile one day. But no matter what I did, I couldn't, it was doomed from the start. After all of that. Even if it's just for a little while. I'd like to live as long as I can without having to hurt anyone again."
Takashi Agera 2018-06-23 03:18:04 92204
Takashi... grows quiet. And he nods. Slowly. "I know. If you have that opprotunity it must be tempting." He said as if he was almost jealous. "I think I understand what you're saying."

He didn't like it, and that was obvious. But he understood it. "As long as... I don't have to see you on the other side of the field. That would be difficult. If you want to stand aside on the field I won't stop you, just... make sure you don't end up in the wrong spot. That would..." he pauses, and just repeats himself from earlier. "...make things difficult if I had to raise Axion against you, someone I have considered family. You know?"
Fate T. Waldia 2018-06-23 03:28:16 92205
    Finally, Fate stops brushing Arf's hair. Though the wolf-girl whines irritably about this, she quiets down when she sees the reason is to allow Fate to reach over and take Takashi's hands in her own.
    "That's why I didn't join Virtue." She says without missing a beat. "I feel the same way." Fate admits, smiling thinly.
    "I think... I'd like to stick to baking for a while, anyway."
Takashi Agera 2018-06-23 03:35:44 92206
Takashi nods a moment. "I understand. I... can't fault your decision. Not after what you went through. Even looking at it as an outsider... not knowing how it felt personally... I think you deserve a break. You worked hard for... what is probably a bit of a bittersweet ending."

Takashi pauses. "Your room is open if you ever need it, but I understand you've got new living arrangements you may be fond of. Either way, no pressure. Not like I need to reclaim the space." He smiles.

"Fate, I hope you find the happiness you deserve, that wasn't given to you. If I can help, please don't hesitate to call me? You're not being kicked out, just... if you make any new friends that radiate positive energy, don't bring them by without asking."