Life After

The morning after the events of Things You Can't Take Back, Akari hasn't come in for work, so Haruna and Sakura come to investigate. When she finds out what happened, Sakura gives Akari ALL the hugs!

Date: 2019-01-03
Pose Count: 19
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-03 00:54:40 102190
It's the Sunday morning after the encounter with Lacrima -- and St. George. Sailor Mars escorted Akari back to the coffee shop, Akari went into the hidden bunker, and then ...

... went completely radio-silent. She was supposed to work today, but she hasn't shown up or called in. No phone calls, no email or texts, nothing.

Akari sits on the floor with her back against the bed, with her arms wrapped around her knees, dressed in the same blue track suit she wore when she stepped out for patrols last night and with Rubindorn hanging around her neck. She looks like she's been crying a lot; possibly she hasn't slept at all, either, but that's harder to tell.
Sakura Kinomoto 2019-01-03 01:00:29 102192
Sakura Kinomoto had, of course, been on time to work! She hadn't been working too hard, though, she just....

Okay yeah, she was doing her best to pick up the slack without Akari. Which actually wasn't so bad, after all she USED to be the only waitress here. Well, it wouldn't have been so bad, except Sakura had fallen asleep on her feet(and usually conveniently caught by Tomoyo)at least a dozen times. At least Haruna KNEW why. Darn. Bloody. Cards. ALWAYS THE CARDS! However... now that things had calmed down. Everything was cleaned. All put away, waiting...

She gave Haruna and Corvus the look. The 'Can we go check on her please and Corvus can you go and watch the store so we can do it?' look. It involved shiny, sad eyes. And a slightly pouty lower lip.
Haruna Kurosawa 2019-01-03 01:06:04 102193
Even with all the jerk Corvus is filled with- there's no way he's ignoring a Sakura pout. Nope. Not happening. He sighs and waves Haruna and Sakura off as he takes over all the thing as Haruna crosses her arms. If Akari is missing work there's gotta be a good reason for it, right?

Maybe she left a note that she's run off after her ex!? Who knows. She'll follow Sakura down when that happens as she says. "I hope everything is okay..." she says as she taps her bottom lip. "Akariiiii-chan." she calls out.

"Are you okay? You're late for your shift and I'm not upset but maybe concerned! Did you hurt yourself?" she calls. "Or sleeping in after a busy night!?" she calls out.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-03 01:18:01 102196
Inside the room, there's a familiar ping from Rubindorn. <<KOMM HEREIN!>> Come in!

Then a moment of silence, followed by Akari's voice saying, "... Come in ..."

Akari stays seated where she is. It takes her ... entirely too long to slowly look up at Haruna and Sakura. "... th ..." She sniffles, and looks like she's about to start crying again. "... hi."

Well, she clearly didn't run off after Mikoto, and doesn't have any visible injuries, but nevertheless, she is not looking good.
Sakura Kinomoto 2019-01-03 01:22:54 102197
Sakura Kinomoto walked in and... The moment she saw Akari...

Little sister mode activate! IT was hard to tell when she went from 'standing at the door' to 'holding onto Akari and clutching onto her in the way only a little sister could. But she was there. And she was holding and hugging her big sister to let her know she's not alone. She'd NEVER be alone. Never. Ever. Ever. No matter what happened, they would be there for her.

It was a very talkative hug.
Haruna Kurosawa 2019-01-03 01:26:25 102198
Lil sis hugs indeed, babble incessantly. She knows this from a matter of fact of also being a little sister herself. She frowns a little, though it's the concerned sort of frown. Sakura doesn't speak but she does. "Akari-chan?" she asks. "What happened?" she asks softly, looking over Akari a moment. "D--do I need to get a first aid kit?" she asks.

SOMETHING clearly happened, she just doesn't know what yet. She'll move to sit as close to Akari as she can get comfortably without crowding or being awkwardly close. She moves to give Akari'a shoulder a gentle squeeze.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-03 01:31:46 102200
Akari is actually visibly startled by the suddenness of Sakurahug! She almost jumps in surprise, but manages to reach one arm out to wrap one arm around Sakura, and she hugs her tightly close as if she never wants to let go.

She looks up at Haruna. Then she takes a deep breath.

And then she uses Rubindorn to talk telepathically to both Sakura and Haruna. 'I was in a fight against Lacrima-chan, who was ordered to kidnap me and take me back,' she says; her telepathic voice sounds completely drained of all life and emotion. 'But ... her brother by blood, Saint George, suddenly showed up, and ...' She sniffles. '... back in April, I was activated by an Eclipse scientist, Frau Doktor. I've known her all my life. I almost thought of her as my mother ... kind of. Sort of.' (That's clearly backpedaling.)

She closes her eyes. Tears leak out. '... Saint George killed her.'
Sakura Kinomoto 2019-01-03 01:41:07 102201
Sakura Kinomoto held on, just held on. To keep Akari grounded, maybe. SOMETHING bad happened. And then... Lacrima. Of course. They probably had a fight. There was...

And then Akari kept going. And Sakura let her hug go. Just for a second. So she could climb up and hug her around the neck, tightly. "You... lost... your mom?" she asked gently.

Sakura was shaking. She didn't know who this 'saint george' was. But she swore if she ever saw him, she was going to... Going to.... Punch him in his BIG STUPID IDIOTIC NOSE!

She gulped and... "I... I lost my mom when I was a lot younger. And.... and do you want to know what Dad told me?" she asked softly. "Not then, but... when I got older... If..."

Her voice cracked a bit. "Even if... even if your mom isn't here now... She..... she'll always be in heaven.... w-watching over you... smiling on you... So... So you c-can be as sad... as sad as you need to be. Y-you can cry as much a-as you want... As much as you need and... and that's okay... but... But..." She choked on the words a little, staring up into her big sister's eyes.

"You can't... can't ever let it s-stop you from being the person they'd be proud of. B-because.... Because w-when you go to heaven, you'll see them and you'll wanna have so many things to tell them about you. A-and you don't want them to be s-sad..." Aaaaaand now Sakura was crying a little bit.
Haruna Kurosawa 2019-01-03 01:55:51 102202
Haruna Kurosawa listens with a serious expression-- though the expression gets more concerned as she frowns. She's heard enough from the ECFH to know that this Saint George guy isn't particular a good omen when he's around. Fake heroes are always the worse.

SHe then ohs... oh. Ohhhh no. "Nrg... I'm sorry, Akari-chan." she says softly. She wishes she could say 'it gets better' but... she knows that isn't the case. She takes a sharp breath. She fidgets a moment and says.

"...Just. Relax as best as you can... deep breaths... okay?" she offers softly.

"Hyperventilation.. it can really mess you up.. and--" she just shakes her head. "Just... y--yeah." she says. She might have personal experience with that. Well. Not so much might as definitely does.

She'll let Sakura handle the major stuff though. She has the more direct experience when it comes to losing a parent. She just lost a sister. Maybe not so different. but...!
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-03 02:06:10 102204
Akari keeps holding onto Sakura, and sniffles. She just nods slowly, taking it all in and listening to her sister and pseudo-sister's words. And then she actually does start crying softly -- not as intensely as she did immediately after, but it's almost a weight off her shoulders to just let loose again.

After a moment, she sends another telepathic message, though she's still crying and squeezing Sakura tightly close. 'I thought the worst part was that this is going to keep happening, since I'm immortal and ageless,' she says. Her voice sounds a little bit less lifeless now. 'But ... now I actually feel slightly better, sort of.'
Sakura Kinomoto 2019-01-03 02:08:40 102205
Sakura Kinomoto nodded, giving her a smile and staring up at her with tears in her eyes. "W-well... Well if you are immortal, I-I promise I'll always, always watch over you. S-so, so no matter what, you'll never ever EVER be alone. Okay? I promise... I promise i promise I promise..." She whispered, as she moved in to hug the other girl, shaking a little.

Why did Akari have to suffer? Why couldn't she... just.... Why couldn't she roll back the clock? Well, she... supposed she could but it wouldn't stop this. Kero already told her about that... You couldn't undo the past....
Haruna Kurosawa 2019-01-03 02:18:05 102208
Haruna Kurosawa tries to find words but she can't because she remembers that nothing anyone told her helped back then for her either. She takes a soft breath, breathing in and then breathing out carefully. "... My sister was... thought of as dead... a few years back." she says softly. "-- and I remember. Dealing with. Those feelings. I will tell you... Akari-chan that... if people. Want to help you-- to talk to you. Please..." she says. "Let them..."

"I pushed everyone away. Back then. And all it did was end up with me hurting myself far enough that I became susceptible to some bad things." she says. "I ended up losing the couple friends I had at the time..." she says quietly.

"-and when.. Procyon... sacraficed himself to save me and my sister... I still think about him a lot. I mean he was a silly little raccoon demigod trickster-- but he was my only friend for a good long while too-- and..."

"...I dunno where I'm going with this.. but... I can tell you that-- it isn't the end of the world but I will tell you that these things take a lot of time to recover from." she says softly. "Just..."

"Please don't isolate yourself all the time, while... dealing? As best you can...?" she says. "Sakura-chan is here... and I'm here, too... and-- if you know others. You should talk to them, too..." she says with a shift.

Basically her advice is 'do the opposite of what I did.'. Which is generally the better answer she can give.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-03 02:33:48 102213
Amid her tears, Akari nods slowly. She still can't say anything, but ... what Haruna is saying makes sense, to the relatively limited extent that she can really process anything right now.

Another moment later, she sniffles, then takes a deep breath. "... th ... thanks," she mumbles. She lets go of Sakura ... well, slightly, sort of ... and leans back against the bed. "... wow. Crying ... really does help, kind of." She looks up at Haruna. "I'll ... definitely ... try to talk to people. When I can."

She looks up at the ceiling. "... The third-worst part is that she didn't even really care about me," she says softly. "She was ... she was so important to me, and ... and ... from her perspective, I was just this ... annoyance that got in the way of what she really wanted to do. At least before UMBRA."
Sakura Kinomoto 2019-01-03 02:38:22 102215
Sakura Kinomoto blinked and glanced back to Haruna. For a moment, there was that look of concern. As memories of that... of their encounters as Scorn flashed in her mind. They had never fully returned. But... She could remember a lot of it. The hugging. The crying. The fact, even then, she was picking up big sisters from bad girls. Sakura had an addiction, obviously. Big sisters ho!

And then sakura looked up at Akari and a look of determination flashed on her face. "Okay, when's the last time you ate? Now that you've had your crying, you need to regain your energy! With sweets! I'll be right back, Oneesan's!" And then ran upstairs to get apple turnovers for them. Well. To have Corvus do it. Sakura wasn't allowed to deal with the things that were too hot...
Haruna Kurosawa 2019-01-03 02:48:34 102217
Corvus provides turnovers. A tray just came out of the oven! Haruna is a little morose now, but not overly so. She takes a deep breath and gives Akari's shoulder another squeeze. "Don't worry about work right now, either. I can at least give you two weeks off to get your head together." she gives a series of hard nods.

"Good." she says. "...hiding in a hidey hole... your room... not a good thing to do for your well being." she says quietly.

"-and I'm a call away. Any time of day, if you just need someone to talk to. I can't promise I'll be available all the time.. but--" she takes a sharp breath. "I'll do my best." she says with a smile and a series of nods!
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-03 02:58:02 102219
Akari actually manages a faint smile for a second or so. "Uh, I had dinner last night before I went out on patrol," she says, "but ... yeah, okay."

She nods slowly to Haruna. "... I had Sailor Mars take me back here -- or, uh, to the outside of the coffee shop -- because I didn't want to be alone at first," she says. "I've had Ruby here, but ..." She shrugs. "... she's ... uh ..."


Akari sighs. "... 'a half-baked AI who has no experience with grief'," she translates. She shakes her head. "Well ... either way, sitting down here alone obviously didn't work out."
Sakura Kinomoto 2019-01-03 03:03:01 102220
Sakura Kinomoto returned post haste, with delicious apple fritters. She then sat down in Akari's lap, and held up the plate. "You shouldn't be skipping meals, it's not healthy. You want to grow up to be big and strong, don't you?" She paused. Then chuckled. "well, I guess you did. But it's still not healthy!"

I mean, by that logic, Sakura should have eaten five of them. She relaxed against her big sister. "And it's okay. We'll be with you as long as you need us, okay! As long as Corvus doesnt yell at us," she said with a giggle, as she leaned back.

"Becuase... we're sisters. And sisters are always there for each other... no... matter what..." she mumbled. Her eyes were beginning to droop and... As a fritter was halfway to her mouth she just kind of rolled back against Akari, her fritter falling onto her plate.

"Zzzzzzzzz..." Oof, again. Welp. Looks like Akari wasn't going to be able to escape family time even if she wanted to.
Haruna Kurosawa 2019-01-03 03:05:43 102221
Haruna scoffs. "Corvus will understand. He's a jerk, but he isn't a unfeeling cruel as---jerk." she says softly with a series of soft nod. Then Sakura is falling asleep as she sighs. "She's been working all morning trying to do two people's work and didn't want me to call in one of the other workers." she says with a nervous giggle.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-03 03:11:47 102222
Akari manages a weak giggle, and wraps one arm around Sakura. "I don't age, Sakura-imoutochan," she says, picking up a turnover. "But ... thank you."

And then she blinks as Sakura conks out then and there, and she sighs. "... I'm sorry," she says softly. "... I ... uh ... dunno if I'm going to be ready to face, um, the general public yet ... outside of school. Give me ... a couple days or so?"

Ping! <<EIN WOCHE,>> Rubindorn says flatly.

"... 'a week'," Akari translates meekly. She smiles faintly. "I definitely need help ... watching over me and figuring out what I need, at a time like this."