2013-10-19 - Friendship and Exploration!
|"That's American swordfighting? I... didn't know that."|
Two friends go explore Tokyo and find out they have a lot in common. But they're hiding things.
| OOC - IC Date:|
10/19/2013 - 10/06/2013
Lera made a friend in Yukimi Amane -- maybe, hopefully, despite the rough start -- and it was a small source of hope. Her other friends had roots in being magical girls. She met Tokiko and Ren while fighting against youma. Yukimi was someone she met, who seemed to like her, without even knowing any of that. Perhaps she should blame her mother that she is now worried about getting that right. What if she scares off one of the first friends that she made without pulling out Soaring Sky?
The arranged meeting place is in Akhibara. Lera is wearing something besides her uniform today, because it's Sunday; she has a snug-fitting black shirt, a dark green jacket, and blue jeans on. The T-shirt has the words "WHITE BASE" written across the front in English. She is completely unaware of its origins from Mobile Suit Gundam.
She rocks back and forth on her heels, nervously. She stands in the middle of Akhibara, near one of the largest department stores. Thanks to her height and her red hair, she is hard to miss, even in an enormous crowd.
That makes it easy to track her down, at least! Yukimi is both nervous and excited to meet up with her new foreign exchange Infinity Institute friend, particularly have her ~*romantic encounter*~ with the man who calls himself Striker Aurum. He was so regal and handsome and gallant, the way he saved her from that monster... Ruet hasn't been very happy, but all she'd say about it was that she knew that man back in the days of Anoria, and that while she didn't like him, she had to protect him. She managed to convince Yukimi that it was thus better to watch him from afar for now and wait for a better time for introductions. Besides which...
Well, better not to wear herself out before a day out with a new friend, yes? Yukimi had been a bit disappointed, but it was true, and in retrospect, as much as she'd desperately curious as to the identity of Aurum's partner (he must definitely someone really cool and handsome too! Ahh, romance awaits her~), it's true that his first impression of her was... well... of some flaky, helpless girl that needed saving. Yukimi has to admit, she doesn't want to get revealed when *that's* the first impression she made, even if he was super-classy about it.
"Ahh, Aurum-sama..." she coos, resting a hand on her cheek as she nearly runs into someone. Her outfit isn't fancy--a dark, long-sleeved shirt, light jacket, jeans, and a baseball cap with her shoulder-length hair up in a short ponytail--but there's a certain sparkle to her, a girl in love (more more accurately, infatuation).
She might end up walking right past Lera without realizing it.
Lera notices the shorter girl start to walk past -- and then she raises an eyebrow, before she turns, and realizes that Yukimi is daydreaming and walking past. She opens her mouth, holding up her hand, and doesn't know what to say for a moment. Finally, she calls out after her. "Amane-san!" she says, a little louder than she planned. The suffix still has that slight uncertainty in its intonation.
She jogs up to catch up with the shorter-haired girl, having let her gotten ahead, and speaks a little more quietly as she does. "Sorry!" she says. "I should have told you what I chose to wear today!"
She grins, brightly, and puts her hands behind her back. She clutches her left wrist with her right hand and beams, leaning forward when she does. She is excited, after all.
The sound of her name snaps Yukimi out of her daydream, and the loudness and unexpectedness of it make Yukimi shriek a little and jump half a foot into the air. She whirls around to face Lera, clutching her chest, and then bursts out into nervous laughter. "O-oh, Camry-san! Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry, I didn't even see you there! Hahaha..."
She straightens when it becomes apparent that Lera's not upset with her, a bright, happy smile returning to her lips. "No, no, it's okay! It's my fault for spacing out! Heehee... I met a really cool guy last night, you know. <3" She looks down at Lera's outfit, and although Yukimi has no sense of fashion at all, she still gushes, "Oh, that's cute! I like your shirt!"
Then she looks back up, looking just about as excited as Lera does. "So where do you wanna go first? Akihabara's got lots of cool stuff, especially if you like electronics and stuff like that! There's a few movies I wanna pick up too--I've been saving up to buy 'em!"
"You did?" Lera asks, head tilting to the side curiously. The smile on her face is more sly than bright, though. Is this a crush? It looks suspiciously like a crush. That is easier for her to understand -- it is hardly unique to this planet, after all. She leans forward, conspiratorially, and raises an eyebrow up and down. "Was he cute? What was he like?"
She adjusts her shirt, too, subconsciously. She smiles with a slightly flustered look. "Thank you! I like this shirt a lot. I told the clerk I wanted a classic design and after speaking with him, he told me that this was a classic!"
She had no idea.
"I'd love to see these electronics and movies and the like," she says. "Lead the way!"
At least Lera and Yukimi will have *that* to bond over, as opposed to Lera having to pretend /really really hard/ that she's totally an Earthling too, you guys. And since Yukimi really wants to talk about what, yes, is her new crush, and Ruet doesn't really want to have any part of it (Yukimi doesn't expect how she could not like him though! Though Ruet doesn't really seem to be interested in romance, so maybe that's it?), so she's overwhelmed with enthusiasm over having an actual non-headspace friend to gush over.
"Oh, he was *so* cute!" she gushes. "Really tall and gorgeous, with the nicest smile, and really polite and gallant..." She sighs dreamily, cupping her cheek again. "I wish I'd gotten to talk to him for longer...!"
Oh, but she shouldn't just talk about herself, right? Nobody ever likes it when she spends all her time talking about herself. She reminds herself to focus on her new friend and nods enthusiastically at Lera. "Yeah, that's definitely a classic!" she agrees. "All right, let's get going!"
And into the department store they go! There's no lack of stores, and Yukimi soon leans Lera to her personal favorite, which is decked wall-to-wall with CDs, movies, games, mp3 players, TVs, and all kinds of electronics and electronic-related things. There's a maid cafe next door, but Yukimi doesn't even glance at it. "What kind of movies do you like, Camry-san?" she wonders as they head in. "I can recommend you a lot of good ones!"
"It is?" she asks. "I knew that I could have a normal Earth classic T-shirt if I tried very hard!"
She follows after Yukimi, catching up after a moment; she stopped to think about this. "Tall people," Lera sighs wistfully. There might briefly be hearts in her eyes. "Sometimes, it is a tragedy being so tall. You imagine leaning in to kiss someone, but you never imagine leaning down! And then you discover that boys want a girl who is shorter, which is /so/ unfair because it's not like I asked to be born tall--"
She screws her face up, rambling now while she walks. "And then they say, 'Gosh, Lera, you must be to tall to fit through the spaceship hatches' which is silly because hatches are too tall for /anyone/ to bump their heads into, everyone knows that!" She sighs. "And girls aren't much better, they figure that another girl would be their height, so--"
She walks right into the cornucopia of electronics. She stares for a moment as she looks around; the maid cafe also does not draw a glance.
"/Wow/," Lera says, nearly breathlessly. "Th--this is incredible! I never knew Ea--um, Japan had stores of such size and volume! I, ah, I wonder if, um..." She raises a hand, coughs into her fist, and nods. She is quiet when she speaks. "...I like Kamen Rider."
"Heehee, you're so funny, Camry-san!" Yukimi beams at Lera. She's assuming that Lera's making a crack based on Gundam here, or else that comment would've not made even a little bit of sense to her. Who talks like that if they aren't cracking a joke?
As Lera rants on and on about height, Yukimi nods sympathetically. ...Well, it's faked a little, because this is not a problem Yukimi will ever have and she can't relate in the slightest, and her eyes widen a little when Lera starts in on girls not liking it either, all, 'Wait, what?!'
Of course, by then they walk into the electronics store, so Yukimi decides she must have misunderstood what Lera meant, but just in case, she won't ask, b-because she's not sure how to handle that. "Kamen Rider, huh? You have some pretty boyish tastes, huh?" Yukimi remarks, though she smiles as she says it. "C'mon! There's a new Kamen Rider series that just started airing today. You won't see that in here, but I can look up the channel and air time for you--maybe we could catch it!"
She pulls out her phone and begins to mess with its internet functions. "Do you like all kinds of sentai stuff, or is it just Kamen Rider in specific? I'm more into magical girls--" after all, she is one, now! "--but sentai shows are a lot of fun even once you've grown up, don't you think? ...oh, uh," she adds, a bit of uncertainty adding her smile, "do they do that kind of thing in America? It's pretty kiddy, I know..."
"Really!?" Lera asks, turning with sudden enthusiasm. She realizes that was maybe a little too strong a moment later; she turns around quickly, turns bright red, and takes a few plodding steps forward. Then she pretends it didn't happen. "I-I wouldn't mind watching it, no!"
Yukimi's question provokes some strong feelings out of Lera. There is a pulse of guilt -- partly from having to hide that from her, partly from remembering her mother. She tilts her head down, while she thinks, and she stops in front of one of the displays. "They think it is silly, too, where I come from," she says. She watched similar shows on Mid-Childa. "My mother used to tell me I should like something more serious."
She sighs. The resentment there doesn't need empathy to detect. She looks back at Yukimi, then she smiles. "But I like them anyways. Um--what about you? You like magical girl shows?"
"Really really! I heard it was written by this guy who's been really popular lately, by the name of Ken Urofuchi, so it's probably really good!" Yukimi enthuses, not even noticing Lera's overenthusiasm until she starts shaming herself about it. Then she gives her a puzzled look, then smiles. "All right, cool! Just give me some time to look it up--hopefully we didn't already miss it! I know it's on TV Yuuhi, at least..."
Half-absorbed in that, she looks up and down at the redhead. The talk of how her mom talked down her hobby nets her a sympathetic look, and a genuine one at that. She can feel that guilt ring clear like a bell, and... well, Yukimi's no stranger to feeling guilty about her family and what they'd think if they knew about her hobbies. She's sure her parents would kill her if they knew about her urban spelunking... good thing they barely notice when she's not around.
That thought dampens her moods specifically, and she lowers her head. Yeah... she can understand that resentment too. Feeling a kinship with Lera, she lifts her head and smiles back. "Oh, yeah, but I'm really into movies and one-shots, stuff like that," she replies. "I like lots of action and adventure, the kind of thing where something interesting's always happening. Horror is really cool too! W-well, I don't like it when it's happening in real life," she adds with a nervous giggle, "but when it's just fake, it's funny! I really like Halloween... I hope--uh--I hope there's a good party this year. I'd love to be able to attend one. Ooh, romance stories are good, too! Especially if it's adventure /and/ romance in one~"
Another starry sigh. No doubt she's thinking of ~*Aurum-sama*~ again.
The gentle encouragement gets Lera out of the temptation to feel embarrassed or sad; it makes her look sideways at the other girl and she nods her head, cheerfully. The effort is easy enough to see and she feels grateful for it. "I like fantasy and adventure, too," she offers, "and horror--but I like it when the protagonists can fight back against whatever threatens them!" And, naturally, she doesn't like when it happens in real life. "Ah, and..."
She looks to the side, mildly embarrassed again. "Romance is nice too," she says. "I like it with adventure, too. That makes it more exciting."
She tilts her head to the side, smiling at the wistful sigh. She puts her hands behind her back again. "Thank you for looking up the time that it shows. You, ah, you don't mind watching it with me? I really liked the last series. I watched it before I came here, to try to understand Japan better."
She raises a finger into the air, eyelids half-lowered, and nods knowingly. "When I traveled, I learned that immersing yourself in the popular culture is key to fitting in! When you bathe like the locals, you can act like the locals!"
"Yeah, me too. It's better if people don't get, like... torn apart or cursed to death or stuff like that. That's pretty scary." Yukimi grimaces a little, then shakes her head and smile. "But hey, as long as it's fiction, who cares? It's not like it can actually happen!" Shadow hounds and hammer-wielding death midgets, though... She shivers a little in memory. Those--those are definitely scary.
She brightens when Lera continues to agree with her tastes, though. "Wow, we like a lot of the same things, don't we, Camry-san? We're a lot alike!" the brunette enthuses. "I'm glad we met!"
A beep clicks on her phone, and the time listing tells her it'll be later in the afternoon. "I don't mind at all," she reassures her. "I was pretty interested in it myself, you know! Ken Urofuchi did the writing for some great shows like Magical Girl Mikuru Miracle and Destiny/Zero, so I'm betting this'll be good too. This one's based on the Sengoku period, so you'll learn loads about history!"
Firm nod, despite the fact that sentai shows are a terrible fucking way to learn about history. Who cares what the real history was like, anyway? Movies are so much more interesting! "Do they bathe differently in America?" she wonders, offering her phone to Lera so she can check out the listing for the new Kamen Rider herself.
Lera smiles broadly and nods. Someone is affirming her research plan about Earth culture, which is to ingest as much pop culture as possible and then wing it. It appears to be working so far, because she simply has not tried very hard. She leans over to look at Yukimi's phone, staring at it, before she looks back up. She nods seriously; it's a done deal, then, she decides!
"I should watch those sometime, too, then," she says. "I imagine that I'd like them a lot! Especially if they also teach me things about Japan. Or the history of the Earth!" Because people normally specify the planet that they are all one. She puts her hands behind her back again, as she browses down one of the large aisles.
She looks back, slightly over her shoulder, and smiles. The expression is warm; a little touched, a little relieved, her emotions suggest. She has a friend that she did not make by being a magical girl. Even if Yukimi would probably love to know the truth, but she likes the fiction for a moment. "I'm glad that we met, too."
She pauses, then adds, "And I mostly shower."
"Oh, there's lots of movies and documentaries about the history of the Earth," Yukimi says confidently, once again mistaking what Lera means, as she accepts her phone back. "I'm not really as much into documentaries, but if you're into that kind of thing, I do know a few that're pretty good and not boring! C'mon, let's see if we can't find 'em. Do you have any money with you? Otherwise maybe you can just write the titles down and look 'em up on Live Door. It's, uh, it's like this thing they have in America called... uhhhh... Netflix, I think? You know, where you pay for a channel and it'll show you all the movies you want. Well, almost all, anyway. I have Live Door on my computer at home; it's the best! It's just Y2076 a month for all the movies you wanna watch or rent--what a bargain, huh? There's still movies I wanna actually own, though, and they don't have *everything*, so it's still worth it to me to pick them up on my own."
All her babbling aside, Yukimi picks up on the emotions of her new friend. Touched... and relieved? She pauses and looks back over at her, a little surprised; then she smiles effusively, touched too. Is Lera really happy to have her as a friend? Her agreement says 'yes, definitely.' This is so great...! Better yet when Ruet actually withdraws from her corner in her mind, sending out positive, encouraging feelings of congratulations. This is seriously the best day she's had in a long while! It was *so* worth it to get attacked by that monster. Too bad she can't talk to Lera about that, but the occasional non-magical friend isn't bad either, huh? Lera's from a whole other country and a prestigious school, so it's still plenty worth it!
"Oh--well, we have showers too," she continuues, brought back to Earth (so to speak). "I mean, it'd be a little bit of a hassle if you had to go to the bathhouses for every single bath ever! But they're really nice; I bet you'd like them. And you have to shower beforehand, anyway! Baths are really for soaking, honestly."
"Oh, I have some," Lera says. She has a monthly allowance from her mother -- earning money as a mage adventurer is rather hard when one can't publicly be one -- and she isn't above using it for entertainment. "We don't have to do documentaries, though! I think we should do more fun things."
Not things that put her asleep.
"A soak? That sounds nice! I should do that sometime. It would loosen the muscles up after training, too," she says. She has done that before. She taps a finger against her chin, before she stops before a rack of romance anime. She looks the titles over for a moment. They still don't mean much to her.
She looks sideways at Yukimi again, then she grins. "I think we should do that, though," she says. "This living door sounds like it must be very useful! And we could watch some of your favorite things, too. I am curious, now!"
"Fun things? Like... period dramas?" Yukimi asks quizzically. This is the first time that she gives Lera a funny kind of look. It doesn't seem to jive with her that someone would be interested in the history of the Earth but just want to watch fictional dramas about it. She gets not wanting to watch boring stuff, but you're not going to get an accurate account of history that way! You'd think an Infinity Institute student would care more about actual... learning--it's that thought that makes the brunette actually think about it for a moment, rather than write it off as she's been doing.
Still, ultimately it's no big deal. Actually, it's kind of reassuring to think that there's Infinity students who're like her, and it's not like everyone's good at the same subjects. Lera's probably just not that hot at history! It *is* pretty dry and dull, after all.
(History has many important applications... And by your viewpoint, the story of Anoria is history as well.)
/Well, I didn't mean it like that.../ Yukimi protests lamely; outwardly, her expression falls. /I mean, that's different, that's the history of a whole other world!/
Ruet sighs. (...I apologize for interrupting you. Please enjoy your time with your friend.)
/Why are you so upset? You've been like this ever since we met Striker Aurum... How bad a guy could he really be?/
But Ruet doesn't answer, and Yukimi shakes her head quickly.
"Sorry, sorry!" she reassures Lera, putting on a bright and fake-ish smile. "Sorry, I was just thinking of some period dramas, and there's a bunch that are fun but there's some that're really sad, you know? Anyway, um! Something fun, right? Yeah, let's do something fun!"
The talk of a soak after training gets a blink. "Training? Are you some kind of martial artist?" she wonders, curiosity overtaking her features. "Oh, wait, you're American, so you don't do martial arts so much, right? What d'you do instead? Boxing? Wrestling? American football?"
Those are things Americans do, right??
"It's Live Door!" she corrects her friend, smiling.
"Yeah, that'd be great! Uh, maybe not today, though." A sheepish look as she rubs the back of her head. "I wasn't planning on having any guests over at my place, and my room's a little messy... I'd be embarrassed to have people see it. Maybe next time?" The hopeful way in which she says it is essentially a check to see that there /will/ be a next time. "For now, we can just walk around and talk and shop and sightsee and stuff like that! I mean, you wanted to be shown around the area and all, so I assume you wanna see the sights!"
She passes by the romance anime titles--Yukimi likes romance, but not when the romance is all there is--and moves on instead to the one-shot movies. She picks up a title called The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and holds it out. "This one's *really* good," she enthuses. "Not too action-packed, admittedly, but it's still really interesting. I cried!"
The brief downward glance and the pause gives Lera a pause of her own. She isn't sure what prompted that; part of her starts to wonder if it was something she did, but the idea ends up dismissed when Yukimi comes back (if with a fake smile). She nods her head, cheerfully. "Something fun! We can go to your place next time! That would be a lot of fun. Let's keep looking. I want to see all the sights."
She nods, pleasantly, at that. She follows along and peers down at the movie, then looks up at Yukimi. "Is it sad?" she asks, looking away from the movie cover and back at the other girl. "The kind of sad that is fun to watch. And--oh, yes."
She nods and looks cocky. And proud. She knows the answer to this. "I have studied martial arts in the United States! I learned some when I was young and started working hard at it. I also do traditional American swordfighting!"
Then, proudly and certain of her facts, she adds: "Like Highlander!"
"Great!" Yukimi cheers, heartened by Lera's approval. She might be younger, but in a lot of the ways that count, she's superior to Yukimi, and her desire for friendship validates her. Besides which, as her senpai, she can always help her out with school things later! Probably!
"Yeah, it's a really sad story, the one I'm thinking about... You can't find it on TV or DVD or Blu-ray, though. It's a really old story, the one I'm thinking about." Yukimi's smile turns sad, and she can feel gratitude flicker from Ruet. "I'll have to show you some other ones." A pause. "Oh wait, you meant the movie!! Hahaha, boy, is my face red!" And it *is* red, because wow, was that ever a space cadet moment. She wobbles the movie case. "Y-yeah, it's sad, but it's also really heartwarming... The ending is pretty, uh, Japanese, though. I dunno if you'll like it? It was *really* popular when it came out here, though."
Handing it to Lera--or putting it back, if she won't accept it--Yukimi starts looking for other good movies while still listening to her new friend talk. "Huhh, so you did martial arts after all... Karate's pretty popular over there, right? That's what I've heard, anyway." She blinks, then turns to Lera in naked interest. "Traditional American swordfighting? Wow, cool! I didn't know that was even a thing over there!"
"Like... Highlander? You mean the movie and the TV show?" Yukimi gives her another confused look. "That's American swordfighting? I... didn't know that."
/Ruet, is she messing with me?/ she wonders.
(She seems sincere to me... I know nothing of what you two speak, so I fear I can offer little more than that. I am sorry, Yukimi.)
/Oh. Okay... I'll tell you about Highlander later, I guess./
"I'll take it!" Lera says, taking the movie. She looks sideways at Yukimi, thoughtful for a moment, realizing she mixed the two things up; she is, after all, a space cadet in a couple of senses of the world. The redhead nods, keeping the DVD case up against her side while she walks after her through the shelves.
"Oh, yes, karate and... Highlander style," she says, awkwardly. "I-I guess it's sort of a secret. That Highlander is like that. Or something. Anyways."
It is a dodge and not an artful one.
She is quiet a moment longer, before she tilts her to the side. The expression on her face softens with a little bit of thoughtfulness in it. "What's the story you were thinking of?" she says. Maybe a subject change, to not look suspicious, would be best. "I want to hear about it."
"Oh," Yukimi utters, and thankfully for everyone involved, assumes she's just too ignorant to know better and lets it drop. Maybe she was trying to tell a joke and it just fell flat? Oof, that's probably what it was, she realizes belatedly. Lera likes to tell a lot of jokes, so that was probably awkward for her too. And now she feels bad for not getting it. Maybe the humor just didn't come across because of the language barrier? Better to move on without focusing on it.
"Oh--the story? Oh, uh," she utters, then hesitates. /Ruet, what should I say? You wanted it kept a secret, right?/
(Yes, please. There is nothing wrong with conveying the barest of details, however. Kingdoms fall frequently, I regret to say...)
/Um, okay. Just stop me if I start to say something I shouldn't./
Yukimi clears her throat. "Oh, well, like I said, it's not on TV, and you can't get in on DVD or anything like that," she says airily. "But basically it's a story about an ancient kingdom with a beautiful Queen, and the forces of evil attack and eventually bring the kingdom to its knees... The King saves the kingdom at the cost of his own life, but then they all vanish and the Queen's left all alone." She sobers, remembering what Ruet had told her. Come to think of it, if there was a King, that must've been her husband, huh? Ruet's never talked about it, but if the King died... that must've been really hard on her. No wonder she's not interested in romance anymore. It makes her feel kind of stupid to only realize this now. No wonder she's been upset about her sighing like a silly schoolgirl about some guy. Her own husband's gone, after all... Nervously, Yukimi wrings her hands together. "It's really a very sad story," she concludes quietly.
"That is sad," Lera says, softly. She looks down at the ground and nods her head. Her imagination is overactive enough to fill in the details; she adds a few relishes that may not have occurred, like the queen and king saying a tearful goodbye in the end. She puts her hands on the wire rim of one of the shelves, her fingers curling around it just slightly.
"She must have missed him a great deal," she says. "But... she always has the memory of him, right?" She looks up at that and smiles; it's sad, but clearly an effort to be encouraging. "That must be something."
She has no idea the queen is literally listening to her.
It's fine if Lera fills in the details on her own. Certainly Ruet is not going to volunteer them on her own. There's a difference between allowing a story to be told--a story that has already regained relevance in another time and world, one whose relevance will continue to gain momentum as that King seeks out the Anorian artifacts of yore--and to let the more personal details come out. She says nothing when Lera observes that she must have missed him, that she would always have the memory of him, but Yukimi feels a whip-like surge of sorrow and anger emanate from her partner until Ruet puts a firm clamp down on it.
"Yeah, something," she thus replies, smiling nervously. "It was a long time ago though, so... you know, I can't say much more than that." Geez, saying stuff that's true but gives the wrong impression is hard... It's a good thing that Ruet gave her a crash course after they made their Holy Oaht. She doesn't know how she'd manage this double life thing without Ruet to guide her. Sending feelings of gratitude her partner's way, she attempts to distract from the issue by standing tall(-ish) in a stretch.
"So anyway! Let's keep looking around, all right? After this, I was figuring we could check out some museums, and the Yamanote train line will give you a good view of Tokyo, too. This place is huge, after all! You wouldn't be able to see everything in a week, let alone just one day. I'll have to show you to my favorite cafe, too!"
Yukimi may or may not actually have a 'favorite cafe' per se.
"Mm-hm..." Lera trails off with that thoughtful murmur. There isn't much more to say; it's a sad story, and sometimes those don't have happy endings. It is a sobering thought, and she doesn't linger on that for long. She looks at Yukimi, seeing her stretch, and she smiles, then. There is a wave of gratitude from her and some genuine warm regard, as she hears about what else is next.
"All of that sounds fun!" she says, more cheerful than the subdued voice she made before. "I would love to see some of the museums here. I haven't been to any, yet!"
She shakes her head at that. "Ah... thank you, Amane-san. I'm really glad that I met you," she says. She smiles -- and it's genuine, but a touch awkward, and with a slight blush. Her mother accused her of being too open with her feelings. She does wear her heart on her sleeve, even when she keeps her origins a secret. "I didn't really have a lot of friends here."
"Y-yeah, me too!" Yukimi says, beaming back at Lera. She senses those emotions, and the straightforwardness of them makes her happy. "And, you know... I know you guys aren't as formal over in America, s-so, you know, you can just call me Yukimi, if you want! It must feel awkward to be so polite with a friend, right? A-and, if you don't mind, I can just call you Lera... um, Lera-chan, maybe?"
Because they are friends, right? She just said so! But... just doing away with any suffixes at all, right away, feels pretty weird. Lera-chan is still good, right?
She just got upgraded to -chan! This is a cause for celebration and it's hard to hide that she feels elated. She remembers that one mostly as the one she wasn't allowed to call people unless they were good friends. The exact details are missed (and it may be fortunate that she has not called a boy -chan, yet), but she knows that it is significant. Lera grins, big and wide, and she nods eagerly.
"Yeah!" she says. "I-I can do that! I can call you Yukimi." It /is/ easier for her. It comes off the tongue more naturally. "Let's go, Yukimi! There are museums awaiting. We have to go before their collections come to life and do battle with us!"
And this time, Yukimi *does* burst out into giggles, thinking she gets the joke this time. She saw that movie! "Right, we'd better hurry, Lera-chan!" she replies cheerfully, feeling giddy on the fumes of friendship.
Within her, Ruet smiles softly. Well... this is good. Best that Yukimi be happy in a way that doesn't involve /that/ man.