Knowing How You Feel

Akari meets with Runealy and Fate to talk about something the three of them have in common: what it's like to lose a mother figure.

Date: 2019-02-18
Pose Count: 18
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-18 03:02:53 103645
It's taken a while to arrange the meeting between Akari, Fate, and Runealy, but they've finally managed to nail down a time when all three of them are available. She wanted to talk to the two of them alone, and it was obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes that something is seriously wrong.

It's a chilly, somewhat breezy evening with a clear sky, when a bolt of rose red light shoots down in front of the Waldians' house, and Akari materializes atop a Belkan spell triangle. She's out of henshin in her human form, dressed in her blue track suit with Rubindorn hanging around her neck, and she looks ... well, worse than she did even when Runealy and Fate respectively saw her last. Either it's gotten worse, or she's gotten harder at controlling it.

She takes a deep breath, and Rubindorn sends Bardiche a signal to announce her arrival. Then she walks up to the front door, and gingerly knocks.
Runealy Waldia 2019-02-18 03:10:22 103646
"I'm still not entirely certain what she wanted to speak with us about, but... I'm glad you're here. If it concerns the both of us," Rune makes a soft nod to Fate, while seated on a living room couch, "Then it must be quite impor---hnn?!"

Easily alarmed, Rune's gaze snaps toward a window as the red light descends. "Either that's trouble, or her." Rune rises, looking to the door. "Apparently her, if she's knocking." The elder princess begins to pace that way, and will open the door if Fate doesn't beat her to it.
Fate T. Waldia 2019-02-18 03:12:30 103648
Fate T. Waldia is petting Arf in her puppy form in the living room on the couch that is there. Arf enjoys pettings a lot-- Arf is some sort of wolf puppy right now so of course she does! She does not baby talk to Arf (In public. Or in front of anyone.) and idly looks up. "She's here." she says before the knock. She looks at Runealy. She blinks merely once. "Oh, she had her device send a ping to mine." she says flatly, before Runealy thinks she's gained premenition based powers.

She nods and let's Runealy answer the door. She'll stand and wait for Akari to answer and be in view fairly easily just over Runealy's shoulder. She's here. She's carrying a puppy too who's staring towards the door intently and wiggling and wagging her tail before she escapes Fate's arms and she races to the door to wag her tail. "Hi! Hihi! Hello!" says Arf before the door's even fully opened.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-18 03:17:42 103649
And Akari steps in, looking like she's barely holding it together. "Hello, Runealy-san, Fate-chan," she says as she steps in, bowing to each of them in turn. She manages a faint smile, and adds, "And Arf-chan, too."

She looks around. "Is the living room a good place to ... to talk?" she says. "I mean. If it was good enough for, uh, for purifying me, it's probably fine for talking. I mean ..." She shakes her head and sighs. "You know what I mean."
Runealy Waldia 2019-02-18 03:19:52 103650
"I'm always amazed how flexible you, Arf, and Bardiche are," Rune notes back to Fate on the way to the door... then opens up to let Akari in. "Good evening... you... seem unwell. Do you need me to attempt the ritual one more time, or...?" Her voice trails as Akari redirects the inquiry. "Talking, then. Please, come in!"

The elder princess tries to show Akari in, and if need be will offer a shoulder of support over to the couch. Regardless of whether Akari accepts or not, Rune will wait until their guest is seated before taking a seat on another couch across from the nearby table.
Fate T. Waldia 2019-02-18 03:27:58 103653
Fate T. Waldia walks over to Fate and scoops up Arf. "Sorry. She's excitable. And dogs are basically magnetized to sad people." she frowns a little. "They wanna make things better." She pets Arf and she sits down on the couch. "Sit down yes please." she offers. She frowns a little as Arf still wags concernedly at Akari.

"She wants to talk about something, Runealy." she says with a small smile at Runealy. "I'm not sure about what. But I think it's important." she says as she looks to Akari with a soft little nod. "It's bothering you. I know that much." she holds up Arf. Arf squirms again and wiggles out of her hands and hops up on the couch next to Akari and makes big eyes at her with a wagging tail. Begging for pets.

"Yes, my complicated detection equipment tells me as much." she says with narrowed eyes at Arf.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-18 03:41:29 103655
Akari is physically fine, and declines Runealy's help; a part of her feels like the prospect of leaning against a princess for support is kind of weird, but that's not really important right now.

She sits down on the couch across from Fate and Runealy, and immediately starts petting Arf. Puppy pettings are definitely going to be a big help now, yes.

It takes her a moment to get started. "I'm speaking with you specifically ... b-because you both have mothers who've died," she says delicately. Uh-oh. "I ... was activated by an Eclipse scientist named Dr. Yuki Murano." As she speaks, she clearly starts to lose her self-control. "She was the one who created the Zerobots, like the horse you fought and the Gemini Kagari-san and Doiru-san fought. I ..."

She swallows, and her voice cracks. "I sort of thought of Dr. Murano as my mother, b-but I never told her, and she didn't even care about me," she says quietly. "And ... a-at the end of December, she was killed by a knight called St. George. L-Lacrima-chan's brother."

Tears are flowing freely now. "I-I ..." She sniffles. "I ..." She's starting to cry now, shuddering, and the hand stroking Arf goes still. She grasps Rubindorn, and speaks telepathically to all three of them (even Arf). 'I don't know how to deal with this,' she says. Her telepathic voice is hollow, almost lifeless, but it's better than trying to talk through her choked sobs. 'I've tried to stay around others who can help me through this, but I don't know how to deal with it and move on. I don't know how to escape feeling like this. And I hadn't seen her since October anyway. I don't know what I'm supposed to do, or how to handle it all.'
Runealy Waldia 2019-02-18 03:54:17 103658
Even attempts to be gentle about it have an immediate effect on Rune, her eyes lidding and gaze lowering at the mere mention of this subject. The elder princess' throat feels tighter, voice having a mild gasping quality to it. She's holding it together better than Akari, not descending into outright tears, but having a few years to come to terms with this situation does help.

And so Rune listens, gaze flickering between Fate to check her sister's reactions and then to Akari. Having a 'voice in your head' is still slightly odd to Rune, but she waits until Akari is done before making a very tiny nod.

"Akari, I'm really sorry to hear that! Though... 'moving on'? I... think you're going to get very different answers from us. I've been very fortunate that my mother was quite wonderful to me, and not at all like what you've faced..."
Fate T. Waldia 2019-02-18 04:02:20 103660
Wag wag wag is all Arf responds with. Dogs are good people. When Akari gets more into what's bothering her, Arf claims her lap as mount Arfenhaus and flops across it. Wag wag wag. Wag harder! Fate meanwhile listens with intensity and frowns a little when the details become more clear. "Wait- why would Lacrima-san's brother do that!?" she asks a little taken back. As if Lacrima might have been involved in someway, somehow.

She looks down to Arf in thought and then back up. She gently takes a soft breath as she closes her eyes. "I don't know how she treated you." she says quietly. "But..."

"I still love my mom." she says frankly. She says this like there's some shame in admiting this. There isn't, but still. "She wasn't really my mom, technically either I guess. Maybe only if you look to the right and squint a little. I also know she didn't love me. It was hard to distance myself enough from it early on. I had Nanoha to help a lot with that..." she trails off.

"No one killed her. She killed herself when she choose to follow that thing that inhabited the dead body of her real daughter that I just looked like into the void where it came from." she says.

"...did you admire anything about her, Akari-chan?" she asks quietly.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-18 04:22:14 103663
Akari takes a few deep breaths, trying to control her tears as she listens to Runealy and Fate speak. 'Because he hates anything magical that isn't him, and isn't capable of listening to reason, and she was in the same city block as Lacrima-chan, who he thinks is a monster wearing his dead sister's skin,' she says dully in response to Fate's first question. 'None of us know if he can be redeemed or saved anymore.'

At the second question, she hesitates. "I don't know," she says aloud, almost in a whisper. "I just ..." She switches back to telepathy. 'I've just felt as though family was the most important thing in the world to me. It's why I formed the bond with Sakura-imouto so quickly. I don't know how to feel, because my feelings about Dr. Murano have so little substance, and after Nakajima-san broke up with me, it feels like I'm so close to losing everything ...' She shakes her head. 'It's all a big tangle.'
Runealy Waldia 2019-02-18 04:31:33 103664
Rune stares with suddenly wide eyes as Akari explains the situation about St. George! "That's...!" She has no immediate words for it, and opts to instead go with the other topic at hand. "'No substance'? Your feelings seem real enough to me?" She makes a small nod to Akari, then faces Fate. "You said it yourself... you had... have," Rune corrects herself on tense, "that love even if it was one-sided. So I'm not sure just dismissing is as fake or empty really works. Now..."

Her head turns, eyes returning to Akari again. "As for getting over it? I don't think you ever completely, totally do. I've had a few years to cope with it, and it still hurts to think about. Not as bad as it used to, though. What I can say is that hiding from it made things worse. At the time, I couldn't really stop to figure out my feelings because my world was dying. It had roughly a year to survive, so I had to focus on that and only got a chance to process it all once the Barrier was fully restored."

A few low, slow headshakes follow. "So... even if it hurts, I wouldn't suggest hiding from it. It didn't help me at all, and I started doing very reckless things that came close to hurting my friends."
Fate T. Waldia 2019-02-18 04:42:32 103665
Fate T. Waldia listens intently as Arf just listens and lap sits. Fate seems to search her thoughts. "Feelings are always valid, but that's another thing Nanoha had to help me with." she says sadly. "Because there was a time I thought my feelings didn't matter."

She looks back down and up. "Right." she says in conjunction with Runealy. "You never... really get over it." she says quietly. "There's still a lot of nights before I fall asleep, where I imagine what might had been if everyone there was able to talk sense into my mother. To stop her from trying to do something not so smart."

"There's no magic switch to make you feel better. No trick, Akari-chan. Things... like this. Take time." she says quietly. "The idea is to be around friends-- both for the company, good company. Aswell as to make sure people are sure you're not being self destructive." she says.

"I... I feel like Nanoha may have been better here. But. You don't know her aswell as myself." she says ever so quietly.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-18 04:53:55 103666
Akari nods almost attentively, as if she's taking in important information. Even though she's still crying. 'I've been staying around other people as much as I can, yes,' she says telepathically. 'It took me only twelve hours or so to learn that I shouldn't just withdraw. And Ruby's been helping as well, especially once my Linker Core recovered.'

Her pendant pings and flashes. <<JA,>> she says gently. Yeah.

Akari gently strokes Arf, and sniffles, then wipes her eyes on her sleeve. 'But ... thank you both,' she says finally. 'I feel like ... it was better just to have this conversation. With ... people who had ... who know what it's like.' Even telepathically, she's stumbling over her words.
Runealy Waldia 2019-02-18 05:13:04 103667
Rune offers a sympathetic, low-headed wince to Fate's admission of those thoughts making it hard to sleep sometimes. "You, too? Thinking about how things could have turned out differently... I'm the same way. Not as often, anymore... but occasionally it still comes to mind. Seems that's... quite normal."

Then her attention returns to Akari. "I'll be glad to discuss it as much as you like, as often as you need. Fate might be able to offer better advice on this, but I can at least listen and try to help. What you're feeling right now..."

A few low headshakes follow, hair swishing softly, " awful. It's basically the worst. ...Been there." Rune's sentences are becoming lower in tone, more fragmented now.
Fate T. Waldia 2019-02-18 05:20:15 103668
Fate T. Waldia nods. "If you ever want to visit, you're welcome to." she says. "I can't promise me or Runealy will be home but I know someone should be, hopefully." she says. She nods. "I'm sorry I'm not more forthcoming... It is a hard topic for me to talk about 'mother'..." she trails off. Arf furrows her brow. "That woman was mean to master." she says as she looks up at Akari, but Arf is smart enough to know not to divulge more than that.

She nods to Runealy softly. "Of course. I think it's okay to?" she says quietly. "I think there's a difference between idle sad thoughts and letting it decide every little moment in your life..." she says quietly.

"Right?" she says. "Right--! I mean." she says. A nod for Akari.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-18 05:28:55 103669
Akari nods slowly to Rune and Fate. She sniffles. "Yeah, I've ... thought of might-have-beens, too," she says. "It was hard ... not to blame myself, at first. But I'm pretty sure I don't really blame myself anymore." At least she's speaking aloud now.

She hesitates at the invitation. Her first instinct is to say she doesn't want to be an imposition, but that doesn't actually make sense when she thinks about it. "Okay, thank you," she says. "I've been trying to do ... networking, I guess. Make more friends." She shrugs uncertainly. "Not the same as family, but ... it's better than withdrawing again. I have been looking forward to getting involved with the Aces." She looks down at Arf, frowns, and just nods once. Fate told her a bit about that business.

She frowns at Rune, looking slightly worried at the way she's acting. "... Are you all right, Runealy-san?"
Runealy Waldia 2019-02-18 05:39:05 103670
"I'm... remembering how that feels. That's all." Rune looks up, facing Akari more properly now. "In any event, Fate is right. You're quite welcome here... whether it's about the Aces project or needing to talk about how you're feeling. ...Especially if it's about your feelings," she adds after a split-second pause. "I admit I only know so much about the Aces."

"In any event," Rune rises from her seat and moves to join Akari, albeit with plenty of room between them to respect personal space, "I am glad you stopped by. If you think we were the best to help you with this... then I hope we did just that."
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-18 05:47:15 103671
Akari actually manages a faint smile, and she nods to Rune. "You've helped plenty, I think," she says. "I feel better just having it out there, with other people who know what I'm going through." A brief sniffle. "I think I want to be alone for a little while, just to process this a bit. But I'll definitely be in touch with you both."

She smiles faintly down at Arf. "... I'm going to need you to move out of my lap, though, Arf-chan."