Off the Job, Not Off the Hook

Lacrima and Bell meet at the ECFH and catch up. Lacrima learns that Mr. Mysterious has started giving others the 'capture Bell' job.

Date: 2019-04-26
Pose Count: 18
Rosalie Janus 2019-04-26 18:41:17 104620
It's a bright and sunny day out. It's the kind of day where, if you aren't on the run from Eclipse, it'd be great to go out and get some fresh air. And to arrange a clandestine meeting between friends who are forced by circumstances to be enemies. Or at least, that's the situation as far as Bell knows.

A bolt of rosy pinkish-red light shoots down onto the ECFH's balcony, and Bell materializes atop a Belkan spell triangle. She's wearing a stretchy blue track shirt, a pair of dark red shorts which are obviously too small for her, and with Rubindorn visibly hanging around her neck in pendant form. She pauses at the sliding door, and then steps in and takes her shoes off. For the most part, she's just looking generally gloomy as she moves to sit down on one of the couches.
Lacrima 2019-04-26 18:50:50 104621
Lacria takes her time arriving because she promised Mamoru and the guys that she would bring a box of donuts. She has acquired a box of artisan donuts and then takes a small dusk step to the balcony maybe about twenty minutes after Bell arrives. The box is labeled 'Donut Energy', which Lacrima has clearly added between the donut shop and here.

She walks to the kitchen and places it on the counter--- the message is a telltale of who left it to Mamoru, Jadeite and Nephrite at least as she steps away and then to the living room as she nods. "Hello, Akari-chan." she says softly. "Sorry... I had a promise to keep." she says softly. "On my way here." she says quietly. "Mamoru and the boys decided to call the energy I eat 'Donut Energy' and I've been giggling about it since. I promised to bring donuts in turn." she snorts.
Rosalie Janus 2019-04-26 18:59:59 104622
Bell only tenses up a little for a second or two when Lacrima arrives. "That's fine," she says, smiling faintly. "And ... 'donut energy', that sounds kind of amazing."

She sighs softly. "Well, uh. I'm ... only going by 'Bell' now, not 'Akari'," she says. "That identity was given to me by Eclipse, and ..." She shrugs grandiosely. "... I figured out Clara Meriva was transgender, and I've decided to incorporate that part into my sense of self, so I ... don't really miss it as much." That last part doesn't sound like she's being entirely honest with herself.

She looks up. "So ... Eclipse came after me with non-UMBRA youma-bots," she says, in a getting-down-to-business tone of voice. "Cure Victory helped me, and Sakura-imouto drained herself defending me, and ... I ..." She grimaces. "... subsequently discovered that healing magic does, in fact, work on me. I was half afraid that it just wouldn't, since I'm a magical construct and my creators were kind of dumb."
Lacrima 2019-04-26 19:19:33 104623
Lacrima gently blinks a little at the sudden berth of information as she has to take a deep breath to take it all in. "Yeah. Donut Energy. Now I can call myself a donut vampire." she says bluntly as she considers all these things Bell says.

"..So... not Akari anymore? Okay... so. Bell-chan then." she says with a curt series of nods.

"...I know lots of transgender girls. So you're not alone in that sense." she says. She doesn't push the honesty of her statements there.

It's when Bell says that she got attacked that is news to her. "Wait what?" she asks as she turns fuller attention to Bell. "But.. I wasn't... called...!" she says with a surprised tone. "I don't even have a report about it. W... when was this?" she asks. "Last night?"
Rosalie Janus 2019-04-26 19:28:29 104624
Bell nods. "Trying to figure myself out, and see if I can't come up with a new civilian identity." She seems reluctant to say more than that, though.

At the question about the attack, she shakes her head. "The night of the 31st," she says. "I ..." She looks away. "Basically I got both stir-crazy and complacent and I came out of my hideaway to Mitakihara, and I didn't do enough due diligence to prevent Mr. Mysterious from noticing me." She shrugs. "I could see right away that the youma-bots weren't anything we'd made or worked with in UMBRA."

She runs a hand through her hair. "So Ruby and I are trying to figure out ways I can be less dumb." She shrugs. "Or how to kick my habit of getting complacent until I get my ass kicked. Verbally or otherwise."
Lacrima 2019-04-26 19:49:00 104625
Lacrima just stares at Bell. "The thirty first. Great. So basically. A month ago." she says angrily as she kicks the foot of the couch. Thud! It's a normal girl powered kick so all it does it cause a low 'thud'. She isn't sending it flying through a window.

Mamoru would be SO UPSET then. She sighs and runs a hand through her hair a moment. She sighs. "Excuse me a moment." she suddenly dissapears into a Dusk Step right there and then. A minute or so passes before she appears on the balcony again and steps in angrily. "Nope. No messages about that." she says angrily. "So I guess I'm no longer in control of the operation. My apologies." she says angrily.

"If I knew anything. I'd had warned you." she says quietly. She sighs a bit frumpily. "I don't know how to help you there." she says quietly. "Have you spoke to a girl named Rashmi or a boy named Kukai? Virtue might be able to help you." she says softly. "Maybe better if I don't..." she shifts a bit uncomfortably. "Sorry. This is catching me a little off guard."
Rosalie Janus 2019-04-26 20:22:45 104626
Bell frowns, looking slightly nervous at Lacrima's outburst, and she manages to get slightly antsy during the moment she's away. "... I know Rashmi-chan," she says delicately. "She was there when you came after me at school, remember?" And also 'Nightbell' smashed her through a buildiiiiiiiing ...

She shrugs. "But, um, yes, I've met Souma-san before, Millie-chan and I warned him about the Wolkenritter," she says. "I've been meaning to get in touch with Virtue regardless, given, um ..." She shrugs again. "Everything?"

She looks up at Lacrima. "Anyway ... I feel like we should still be circumspect about the whole situation. Still only meeting in designated safe spaces, that kind of thing ..."

She sounds ... well, she doesn't sound hopeless. Just very, very exhausted.
Lacrima 2019-04-26 20:35:16 104627
Lacrima sighs. "I'm not talking about knowing them for the sake of knowing. They both handle Virtue things. You should speak to them both about it." she says softly. "Both can probably help you with things." she sighs a bit and fidgets. "Yeah. Even if I'm still not in charge it's best to still keep a distance. But. If I'm no longer on the job..." she snorts.

"Whatever." she shrugs and gently flops onto the couch. "If you see a jerk in red that 'feels' like me. That's a jerkhole named Poderoso. Punch him as hard as you can until he goes away." she says idly. She frumps some more. "Long, dumb story." she says.
Rosalie Janus 2019-04-26 20:40:30 104628
Bell blinks and nods. "Right, I got that," she says. She shrugs, and rubs her eyes with a sigh. "Well, at the very least you don't have this actually hanging over your head or anything."

She frowns at the talk of Poderoso. "Got it," she says. "I mean. It didn't take me long to start thinking of ... dark energy being the enemy in general, with you as the exception. So if this guy is particularly awful, I can deal with that."

She stops. "Sorry, am I sort of ... talking too much? Or something? Or ..." She shakes her head. "... I don't even know what I'm saying there ..."
Lacrima 2019-04-26 21:06:25 104630
Lacrima shakes her head. "No, you're not." she says softly. "I just have my own issues that have been going on, besides just the one dealing with you. Not that I'm happy you're being attacked. Just... maybe also glad it isn't me now?" she says as she rubs the back of her head.

"Hard to explain without sounding mean I guess." she says with a soft sigh. "-and just making sure you can talk to both of those people. Don't... feel awkward or 'bad' about past actions. Trust me. If I did.... I'd not even be here...!" she snorts a bit.

"I basically... almost drained Mamoru into unconsciousness once. On purpose. Well. On 'Purpose'." big air quotes. "... his 'taste' caught me off guard and I couldn't stop myself. He doesn't 'taste' like food but rather....." she scrunches her nose.

"'Humanity, if you could drink it right from the tap.''" she says softly. "So." she says softly. "When you're a thing that wants to be human again all so very much and you taste that- well...." she shrugs.

"I've been forgiven. Mamoru figured out how to let me 'feed' from him if I ever need to again without endangering his being. Though it requires people around 'just in case'. Though. It's been easier to hold my darker aspects at bay in recent months, mind you."

"So yeah. Don't feel 'bad'..." she says. "When approaching others for help if you do. Okay?" she shifts a bit uncomfortably.

"Dark things are bad. For the record. Even me. The only reason I'm not is because I have a soul, technically, and it's not like I went seeking ultimate power to be this way. I bought a fricken necklace because it looked pretty." she snorts. "So I have more agency than most of these things that are made up of the same stuff do..." she trails off a little.
Rosalie Janus 2019-04-26 21:17:19 104631
Bell nods. "Right," she says. "I still need to get in touch with Fate-chan about hacking into Rubindorn and Ritterglocke to see if they can't, say, set Ruby up to use henshin-disguise-magic." She shakes her head. "Another one of my creators' brilliant ideas ... 'Well, she'll look different, so let's actively not include something incredibly useful!'"

She nods. "I understand," she says. "I was a creature of darkness for the first seven months of my life." She looks slightly pensive. "... Which has still been 'most of my life', even though ... I'm a year old now, in terms of when I was activated." She frowns. "I wonder if I'll ... 'feel' ... as though I'm aging ... I mean I still feel like a sixteen-year-old girl? Sort of? Whatever that even means for whatever the hell I am."

She shrugs, and smiles weakly. "I'm just doing my best," she says. "It's just hard, not being able to show my face in public for the foreseeable future." She hesitates. "... And missing my classmates and kendo teammates, too." She sighs, and rubs her eyes again.
Lacrima 2019-04-26 21:37:51 104632
Lacrima snorts. "You're talking to the wrong person about aging..." she says softly. "I stop aging completely next year, as far as I can figure out. So you and I are stuck in the same boat." she says quietly. "When it comes to 'aging'. The good part, is that I spent plenty of time looking into it and you can make yourself pass for older with appropriate make up and dress." she says with a little curt nod.

"Like, will I still act sixteen even when I'm basically sixty?" she asks. "So. I get your concern. But it's also only been a year since you've been... active?" she asks. "It's okay to not feel so different I think." she says. "I mean. You also spent most of that year a horrid dark filled thing. Maybe those don't count." she asides.

"....Heck I know I wouldn't count em if I could human again." she mutters.

"...though I mean. I did meet a whole lotta people, because of all this." she mutters.
Rosalie Janus 2019-04-26 21:52:33 104633
Bell nods. "Yeah, you mentioned that," she says. "Fate-chan will ... probably age, I suppose. If she aged at all between coming to Earth and now, she's probably just going to be like any other ... human." She sighs softly. "But ... yeah. I guess, in the end, I'm still trying to figure out my place in the world." She shrugs. "Which is a constant in my life, really."

She nods. "I met a lot of people too, I suppose. Since Eclipse is the one that goes on expeditions to the Dusk Zone ..." She shrugs. "You, Rashmi-chan, the Knights of Waldia ... Murano-sensei ..." She looks away and goes quiet for a second or two, but then straightens up and looks back at Lacrima. "... I even met Sakura-imouto while I was trying to figure out how to deal with the darkness." She smiles faintly. "And that worked out. So."
Lacrima 2019-04-26 22:09:02 104634
Lacrima nods a little. "I only know Fate-san when I was working with her for Riventon. She was very quiet and kept to herself. Given what came to light after, that made sense. I don't begrudge her any, and I wasn't in a mental place to push on the subject with her." she says softly. "Most of that time anyways." she says.

"Rashmi-chan is a good person. She won't hate you if you've hurt her in the past. I'd be worried about her ability to drop Sailor Mars on me whenever she wished, apparently." she mutters.

She nods rapdly. "Family, the ones you are born with and the ones you choose, are important. But also remember that blood shouldn't... tie you either, alone... I'm... not even sure my 'actual' brother is even my brother anymore." she says quietly.

"...that's gonna be tough to explain to mom and dad. Eventually." she sighs with a huff.

"You.. do have a place to stay. Right?" she asks.
Rosalie Janus 2019-04-26 22:20:14 104635
Bell smiles faintly. "Yeah," she says. "Rashmi-chan and I made up not long after you taught me how to dusk-step. She's ... a good part of where I got my whole 'nothing personal' shtick from, I guess." She shakes her head. "I wish it could've been easier to convince me to leave Eclipse, but ... again, I was a 'creature of darkness'."

She nods. "I mean, I don't have blood family," she says softly. "So that isn't going to be an issue, I suppose. It's just ..." She shrugs. "... well, I came to realize that Murano-sensei wasn't really family, in that sense. She never really cared about me." She sniffles slightly. "Which ... hurt a lot more for a while. But ... I feel like I've been recovering that much faster." She does seem considerably better than she was immediately afterward.

She blinks. "Oh, yes, a place to stay isn't a problem," she says. "A certain Pretty Cure has a safe house where I've been living since not long after Hagane-san skipped town. She even got me a job, during the time when I was Akari." She shrugs. "I'll probably get the same job once I get a new civilian identity."
Lacrima 2019-04-26 22:34:10 104636
Lacrima shakes her head. "You have this 'Claire' was it? You say you're a brain scan off in technicality, right? Just in case some version of her comes back and tries to say you're 'family' and all that." she says quietly. "Just. Never know with some of this stuff. Considering Poderoso is about a good few hundred years old and now he's walking around after being 'killed'..." she makes air quotes. "...once already." she sighs miserably.

She nods. "... Routine is important. As 'boring' as the 'same job' or 'same thing' can get... routine is grounding. I mean. To the whole... grounding humanity thing... that... isn't even... applicable I guess. here but... " she says.

"It does impart a sense of normalcy." she insists. "Regardless. Which is important to one's well being. Even if it's just 'I get a donut from a shoppe at around the same time every other day' or 'This is the day I clean the house' or 'This is work time.'" she says.

She then snorts... "Anyways. I'm meeting the father of the person Ariel lives with in real space? And he's a normal person. Mundane. So I kinda need to lie to him about some stuff and I blurt out like an idiot that me and Ariel are dating and he starts asking questions and Ariel doesn't like to lie? But she tells him that 'she met my dad not too long ago, he's very strict and very religious'-- and..." she snorts.

"She was referring to Poderoso. Who attacked us to come after me and Ariel knows I kinda.... don't like biblical script if read earnestly? So she used that against him and---"

"Since he's the guy that my power came from it technically wasn't a lie in a weird way since you could see it that way in a certain kind of view? Like him being 'my father' in that sense? And he was very strict and a a jerk and---" she snorts.

"It was kind of silly is all. For her to think like that quickly on my account..."

"....Since I was trying to choke myself to death on a donut and maybe die and try a new identity and all that at that point since... wow that guy was intense. Like... a gargoyle masquerading as a salaryman."
Rosalie Janus 2019-04-26 22:51:44 104637
"Clara," Bell corrects. "Clara Meriva. And ..." She considers this. "... You know what, I was going to say that she lived on Belka however many thousand years ago, and that even if she didn't die from whatever explosion sent me into the Dusk Zone, there's probably no way she's still alive." She grins weakly. "But that is basically the exact line of reasoning I had with the Wolkenritter, and anyway, look at me. So ... consider the warning taken."

She nods. "Routine was one of the things that helped before I was purified," she says. "Aside from drinking too much caffeine. And having the job helped after ... after St. George, too."

She listens to the story, and sits up straighter. "Wow," she says, smiling. "Lacchan, you have one amazing girlfriend." She smiles. "I'm glad you have her to help you with ... everything, really."
Lacrima 2019-04-26 22:59:23 104638
Lacrima snorts. "Ariel is pretty great, yes. I'm just glad I met her when I did. I... remember. Almost pushing her. When I met her. Not.. fun memories. Those." she says quietly. She nods. "And I mean. She was clearly fooling around with... brain scanning and what not." she says with a slight hrf.

"I should... go now." she says. "Actually. I have some things I need to do... if--"

"If I do hear anything I'll be sure to pass it along, asap, okay?..."

Unless she's stopped... she leave a little quickly. She isn't lying. Today is gonna be busy, ugh!