Staying Safe

Millie discovers that Akari is Gullwing's latest employee. The two talk about life, and Akari's current situation.

Date: 2018-12-09
Pose Count: 28
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-09 21:53:23 101486
It's the late afternoon, and there's a lull in the work today; there aren't even any customers here at the moment. Akari is sitting at the front counter, wearing simple gray clothes, an apron, and a nametag, with Rubindorn hidden away in one of her pockets.

She hasn't been working here for very long, and so work has been a bit tiring, but she's picked up things reasonably quickly. This is the sort of thing her "infiltration mode" was made for, after all.
Millie White 2018-12-09 22:03:56 101487
Late afternoon was the perfect time to visit the cafe as long as it wasn't too close to closing time. Not many people tended to hang at the cafe later in the afternoon on Sundays, likely getting ready for the week ahead of them. That made it a good time to drop in and see if Haruna was around.

The door opened with the jingle of a bell as Millie stepped through. She looked much better than she had a few days ago, almost like nothing had ever happened. When she looked up and saw Akari, there was confusion on her face mixed with pleasant surprise.

"Hayabusa-san?" The Canuck asked, quirking a brow as she came closer to the register. That was definitely Akari, she confirmed to herself, and she was wearing an employee's uniform. A small smile lit her face at the implications.
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-09 22:11:14 101488
Akari breaks into a smile as Millie enters. "Hello, welcome to Gullwing Coffee!" she says dryly. And then more seriously, "Hi, White-san! Kurosawa-san's letting me stay in ... a hideout of hers, and she offered me a job here, too." She's ... not looking entirely in top shape, really, especially once she starts to lower her guard.

She manages a smile, nonetheless. "So how's it going?" A pause. "A-also, do you want anything? Magical heroes a fifteen percent discount."
Millie White 2018-12-09 22:21:18 101492
The smile on her face turned wry when she was welcomed to the cafe, but eased back to its warm kind self only moments afterwards. With the situation briefly explained, it was easy for her to tell that the bluenette perhaps wasn't feeling the best. Concern flickered on her features as she shook her head.

"No, thanks, I popped in to see if Kurosawa-san was around. I'm much better now that I can use my arm." Millie explained and answered Akari's question, while her gaze flickered back towards the door to make sure no one was about to enter. The defunct Cure leaned over the counter slightly so that she could look Akari in the eyes.

"Are you alright, Hayabusa-san?" Her voice was low and concerned.
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-09 22:28:59 101494
Akari nods. "Haruna-san is out at the moment," she says. "It's just me here right now." She looks over Millie's arm. "Got a healer to help you out? Nice!"

She pauses at the question, then sighs. "I ran into Signum last week," she says. "She'd just drained someone else's Linker Core, Magical Girl Clotho." She hesitates, and then says, "I'm pretty sure Signum has an interest in me, and is waiting for us to fight each other again." She shrugs uncertainly. "I ... guess I started to crack, between that and the Eclipse thing and the lack of money or a safe place of my own and suddenly being single." (She would have told Millie long ago about the breakup, but she still doesn't want to talk about it.)

She manages a smile. "I think I'm getting better, though, with at least two of those getting resolved now." It's only a weak smile, though.
Millie White 2018-12-09 22:41:14 101496
Millie nodded with a smile to indicate that a healer had indeed healed her arm, even flexing the shoulder a bit to prove range of motion. "Life Witch Joy was kind enough to help me out." She said with a warm smile.

No matter how warm her smile had been, it dropped off her face at the news of Clotho. They had gotten Unmei too? An uncharacteristically angry grimace flashed across her face before she looked away. It was getting harder and harder to just sit there unable to henshin while people she cared about were being attacked and hurt. The mention of a potential interest drew her eyes back to Akari, and Millie frowned. Signum having any interest in Akari could only be a bad thing.

"Is she singling you out because you're based on their legends?" Millie asked quietly, her gaze soft. It sounded like Akari had been worrying about a lot of things for a while now. It was good that she had a place to stay and a job for income, and she would do her best to help her with the remaining issues.
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-09 22:51:42 101499
Akari nods slowly; she doesn't have anything to connect 'Life Witch Joy' to.

Getting there just too late to rescue Clotho stung her, as well. She considers the question for a few moments. "Probably," she says. "Or maybe just because I'm from Belka." She lets out a hollow laugh. "She said that we'd only fight once, though. At the time I thought it was funny, like 'Oh, I'll make her eat those words', but ..."

She fishes Rubindorn out of her pocket, and looks down at it in the palm of her hand. "The thing that has me scared about Signum in particular is ..." She shrugs. "Well. I was designed with a whole bunch of safeties in case I run out of magical power, or I'm forcibly drained, or my Linker Core gets damaged. My Linker Core is vital in the long run, but my 'software' just has so many checks and safeties to prevent permanent harm if it can't reach its magic for too long."

And then she closes her hand around the pendant. "But my gut says there's a world of difference between that and getting my Linker Core forcibly extracted by that book. I'm worried that if my Linker Core gets stolen ... I'll just disintegrate. Or, not even disintegrate. Dissipate."
Millie White 2018-12-09 23:04:55 101501
Because she was from Belka? That wasn't fair at all. It wasn't like Akari could help being Belkan, or the fact her creators designed her after the Wolkenritter. Signum was clearly very confident in their mission if she was taunting Akari like that. The Canadian's jaw clenched uncomfortably as she continued to listen to the Bluenette.

Millie's eyes widen slowly as the taller girl explained about her safeties and why they were there. Thinking about it now it seemed like such a plausible idea, but Millie hadn't thought about it like that until now. Akari was technically a spell, a magical construct reliant on magical energy to survive. If the book took that magic... Millie reached across the counter and grasped Akari's hand, closing both their fists around Rubindorn.

"We won't let that happen." Her response was immediate and confident, as if she still had her magic and wasn't just a huge liability to her circle of Magical friends. "We've been training, we've been good about not getting caught alone, and there are plenty of people willing to help. Have you told anyone else your concerns, Hayabusa-san?" Millie asked, squeezing Akari's hand before releasing it.
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-09 23:16:15 101504
Akari actually blushes faintly as Millie takes her hand. She cracks another smile, and nods. "Thank you ... um, White-san," she says softly. She shrugs. "I haven't told anyone else, really," she says. "I don't want to worry Sakura-imouto with that sort of thing, and ... I ... didn't want to suddenly dump it on Haruna-san."

She thinks about this. "Another thought I've had is that ... this entire situation isn't exactly new? People coming to Tokyo and draining people, I mean. If the Wolkenritter ..." Her voice trails off, and she looks thoughtful. "I kind of want to reach out to them. To help them, if this is something that can be helped." She shrugs. "It worked on me, after all."
Millie White 2018-12-09 23:50:09 101508
Millie's brow furrowed in thought. She was deep into 'How can I protect this person to the best of my abilities' mode it seemed. Her arms crossed over her chest as she spoke.

"Anyone who told you they'd help you with Eclipse would likely help with this as well. I know some people who are good in a fight, I can ask them for a favour if I need to." Millie said quietly as her eyes flickered back to the door once more. As Akari began to explain about wanting to help the Wolkenritter, the uncharacteristic grimace appeared on her face again and she looked away.

"I... think it's strange how much they hesitate. It doesn't feel like their heart's in it at all... but they're hurting people. They have to be stopped." She paused, her gaze softening. "I don't mind reaching out to them but... maybe let someone else do it? At least until we confirm or disprove your linker core theory?" Her voice was a bit strained, her brain having showed her images of Akari trying to make peace with the Wolkenritter only for them to turn around and-- Millie forcibly stopped her train of thought as she let out a small sigh. Of all the times to lose her shield...
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-10 00:09:25 101513
Akari regards Millie thoughtfully for a moment. "It was the Knights of Waldia who reached out to me," she says. "And I'm pretty sure Princess Fate is Takamachi-san's girlfriend. So there's no doubt in my mind that they'll know, and that it'll occur to them to raise that questioning with them."

She nods. "Right, exactly!" she says. "I noticed that, too! In fact ... I ... hmm." She frowns. "White-san, did you detect any sort of darkness on them? Or just the book?"

Rubindorn pings in her hand. <<HABE ICH NICHT!>> I didn't!

She blinks and smiles faintly at the request. "Well ... I wasn't just gonna walk up to them the way Takamachi-san did," she says. "You can certainly talk to someone while fighting them." She hesitates. "But ... yes. Sure. I won't take any unnecessary risks!"
Millie White 2018-12-10 00:18:03 101516
Millie had yet to meet these Knights of Waldia, but she had heard of them time and time again. Always good things, and always attached to the name 'Fate'. The news that Fate was potentially Nanoha's girlfriend was a surprise, but she didn't let it show on her face. The question was less of a surprise, and the henshinless Cure shook her head.

"No darkness, just the smell that device users tend to give off." Millie responded. "Device users kind of have a... well it's close to a motor oil smell I guess. Or at least the ones that use Cartridges."

At the agreement that Akari wouldn't take any unnecessary risks, Millie visibly relaxed. It was good to hear, and she trusted Akari to keep her word. "Good, good." Millie said quietly, her expression distracted. "I'm sorry I can't be of more help right now."
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-10 00:27:29 101518
Akari hums, considering this. "That nose of yours is handy," she murmurs. "I was wondering because there might have been a chance that they were like me, in the sense that they were doing because they genuinely thought it was the best thing to do, and that because the darkness or whatever was making them think aggressively."

And then she blinks. "Hey. White-san," she says, pocketing Rubindorn and putting a hand on Millie's shoulder. "You're plenty helpful. You didn't suddenly lose your observation skills or insights just because you can't transform right now." She smiles. "You reminded me to be more careful than I might have been otherwise, didn't you?"
Millie White 2018-12-10 00:44:53 101522
Yes, her nose had been handy. Now it was back to being a regular ol' sniffer. The Cure tried not to think about it. Instead, she shook her head but this time thoughtfully.

"It's possible they think they are doing it for the right reason, or even that this is their only option. We don't know their goal, so it's hard to say." Millie mused. Even if they weren't contaminated or otherwise influenced by Darkness, there were plenty of other ways to trick someone into doing something they didn't want to.

Millie blinked when Akari put her hand on her shoulder, the tips of her ears beginning to show hues of red. Her words were kind, but Millie couldn't help but feel she was sparing her feelings. "Observations and insights won't block a sword and reminders won't stop a linker core drain." She mumbled. They had lasted this long without getting linker ganked... if their luck could last until they had more information, then they had a fighting chance. A small lopsided grin appeared on her face.

"I would have told you to be more careful even if I had my shield." Millie chuckled warmly, and it was true.
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-10 00:58:49 101525
Akari goes slightly red-faced as well. She's ... trying to resist reading too much into this, especially so soon after Mikoto left her life. "Well, um." She lowers her hand and sits back, slightly awkwardly. "My point is ... not everything is about fighting, and there's some things you can do regardless of whether you can fight or not."

She looks Millie over, smiling faintly. "Um. That said, I can certainly understand feeling useless on the fighting side of things. Remember the panther-youma we fought, before I got purified?" The panther which refused to go down until Millie went on the offensive.

... She'd actually briefly forgotten that the first time she met Millie was before she got purified.
Millie White 2018-12-10 01:12:09 101529
Not everything was about fighting, that was true. She could still train, and she had been, and information gathering was important. But at the end of the day knowing that when it really came down to it, she wouldn't be able to protect her friends? That was a hard pill to swallow.

"I remember the panther, yeah." It had been the first time she had purified anything. The purification attack that she had then gone on to use against a human. Shame spiked in her chest but she pushed it down again.

"You weren't purified yet. It's weird that it feels like forever ago." Millie commented casually. The Waldians had been the ones to purify Akari, and to be fair, she hadn't really known Akari all that long before she had gotten purified to begin with. Still, time flew when you were dealing with linker core snatching alien legends. Every so often the Cure's eyes flickered to the door to watch for customers.
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-10 01:38:02 101538
They're still the only ones there at the moment, but that could change soon. Akari nods slowly, smiling faintly. "It really does, huh?" She pensively looks off to one side. "And it's only been a couple of weeks since ..." Since Mikoto.

She frowns. "Well ... it's been almost an entire month since I was purified," she says. "I guess a lot can happen in a month." She makes a face. "... It probably especially seems like a long time considering my 'uptime' is only eight months, but that probably doesn't make much of a difference since I still feel like I'm sixteen."

She frowns. "... I'm actually kind of not sure how long I'll feel like I'm sixteen," she says softly. "I ..." She shakes her head. "I'm pretty sure I'm immortal and ageless, and ... I am not entirely sure how comfortable I am with that."
Millie White 2018-12-10 01:50:14 101544
Millie had been very careful not to mention the breakup or Mikoto around Akari. As much as she wanted to make sure her friend was alright, she knew she needed to be patient. The best she could do was be there for Akari when or even if she was ever comfortable talking about it. That didn't mean she couldn't hate how sad it made her friend.

The comment about her up time only being eight months put the time scale a bit in perspective for Millie. The Bluenette was technically eight months old, but looked and felt like a sixteen year old, but was potentially immortal. That was... some heavy stuff to digest, and Millie didn't blame her for not being entirely comfortable.

"You don't age, but you require food and water. Can you get sick?" The Cure wondered aloud with a small thoughtful hum. What would that even look like for a magical construct?
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-10 02:11:40 101551
Akari thinks about the question. She isn't sure they haven't just traded one uncomfortable subject for another, however. "This form is designed to fool people," she says. "It was good enough to fool the mundane doctors who got me into Infinity University. But it doesn't actually add up to 'fully functioning human', and they probably would have noticed something off if they gave me daily checkups for months on end."

She frowns. "So, I probably can't really get sick in the conventional sense," she says. "Food and stuff ... probably just feeds directly into the magic of the spell that produces my body and into my Linker Core. I've certainly noticed it has the same effect of making me hungrier when I use more magic, just like a human." She shrugs. "Not that my creators decided to let me know. They're just full of terrible ideas." She looks back at Millie. "Hence why I don't trust them to design something that could withstand the Wolkenritter's book."
Millie White 2018-12-10 02:23:02 101557
That was both good and bad. It meant that Akari was likely immune to the mundane illnesses humans were subject to, but she was probably still subject to magical illnesses... because even though she hadn't seen or heard of any, she was positive they existed. Magic was way too weird for them not to. At her friend's last comment, Millie winced.

"You're stronger than you think, I reckon." Millie told the bluenette. "Not that I will ever take that chance. I don't care if I have magic or not, if Signum gets anywhere near you I'm kicking her in the face with my fist." Millie offered jokingly, going so far as to form a fist for the sake of the joke. It was a joke, right?
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-10 02:31:21 101561
Akari shakes her head. "Oh, no, thanks to Eclipse, I know exactly how strong I am," she says dryly. "I know precisely how far sort of my intended technical specifications I fall." She's smiling now, though.

And then she just starts laughing uncontrollably at Millie's turn of phrase. "Kicking ... with your FIST!?" she gets out between giggles. That's just too much for her now. Yep, that bad mood has been thoroughly obliterated!
Millie White 2018-12-10 02:46:37 101567
Akari might say she knew how strong she was, but no one really knew until the time came. That was the way she felt about it, anyway. Of course there was a thing to be said about probability and chance, but such things tended to be out of their control. Still, The Canadian gave a good natured yet lopsided grin, glad that she had at least gotten her friend to laugh.

"I figured since kicks tend to be stronger, I'd just kick with my fists too. That's two times more kicking, since I have two fists." Her tone was very matter-of-fact, as if she had put in a lot of time, effort, and resources into learning this secret technique.
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-10 02:58:20 101571
Akari just keeps giggling. She shakes her head, grinning at her friend. "White-san ..." She smiles at Millie. There's a whole bunch of different thoughts going through her mind, things she could say, ways she could take the conversation somewhere more seriously. But she just settles on the simplest thing. "Thank you," she says softly.
Millie White 2018-12-10 03:13:57 101575
Millie looked up at the sound of her name and noticed Akari grinning. Yes, mission accomplished! Akari would be alright, Millie thought. Now she had a place to stay and a job, she could save money and really start to build from the ground up. Yeah, she reckoned the bluenette was going to be just fine. At the soft thank you, Millie simply beamed obliviously.

"Anytime, Hayabusa-san." She said happily, her emerald gaze drifting to the door. Then, as if just remembering something, she looked back to Akari. "I know you have a place and a job now, but I'll keep making you lunches for a while. That way you can get a chance to save up some money before you have to start buying a bunch of groceries." She added. Living in Japan had taught her that groceries and meal preparation were important when living alone, so it was the least she could do.
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-10 03:21:58 101577
Akari blinks, and giggles. "Well, there's a pantry and kitchen area in Kurosawa-san's bunker, and Haruna-san keeps it well-stocked," she says. "I'm not completely fending for myself. Do you know about the, uh, closet thing?" Millie is perfectly safe, but she doesn't want to step on Haruna's toes by giving away secrets.

She hesitates. "But, um, thank you," she says. "And, uh ... and you can call me Akari, if you want."
Millie White 2018-12-10 03:36:47 101581
This was all true, and Millie knew it. Haruna had told her briefly of the bunker when they were on the way to the Mirror room that Blue-sama tended to hang out in. To all this info she merely shrugged, as if it was too late to stop her now. Millie nodded when she asked about the closet.

"Aye, Kurosawa-san told me as that's how we get to Blue-sama." She said. Honestly she had only ever been down there once to see Blue-sama, but it was hard to forget how a very strange magical door operated when all you had to do was knock a certain way. Akari thanked her again and Millie blinked when she told her to call her Akari. A slow smile spread across her face, one that was warm and reached her eyes.

"Alright, Akari-san it is. You can call me Millie, too, if you like." The foreigner was glad she had run into Akari today. Disturbing theories aside, it was nice to just hang out without doing anything like training or potentially fighting for their lives. Having said that, the lighting was beginning to change as the day progressed, and Millie looked at her phone.

"It's getting late, I should probably get back before it gets dark." Millie said half to herself. She had stopped going out after dark after she had lost her magic.
Rosalie Janus 2018-12-10 03:48:20 101585
Akari nods. "I'm in room 3," she says. "I also have Ritterglocke, the Device that contained me. Or, uh, the spell that created me when it was activated for the first time." She shakes her head. "Anyway ... I taped a note to the side with instructions on how to activate a basic diagnostics system, just in case. And it's better if you can speak German."

She smiles. "Okay, then ... Millie-chan!" she says; she feels the same way about meeting casually like this. And then she blinks as she realizes the implications regarding going out after dark. "Ah ... yeah," she says. Akari herself can teleport, but ... she hesitates. "Be safe out there, Millie-chan, all right?" she says. "I don't want you to take any unnecessary risks, either."
Millie White 2018-12-10 04:03:10 101588
Room 3, Ritterglocke, Diagnostic system, should probably learn German. Got it. Millie smiled before nodding her head before heading for the door. When she got there, she paused to turn around.

"I haven't been taking chances, if that's what you mean. I'll be fine, no need to worry." She soothed before offering a wave. "I'll see you later, alright? Take care Akari-san." With that the Cure left the cafe.