2015-07-31 - Moments Like This

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Title: Moments Like This

Lera asks Ren to meet up at a totally authentic French cafe so that they can discuss things -- which they do!


Lera Camry and Ren Aizawa


A Cafe

OOC - IC Date:

7 August 2014 - 07/31/2015

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

No school is the best thing!

However, life hasn't been the best thing lately for Lera Camry. There have certainly been good things -- wonderful things, really, like saving Fate's life -- but there have been bad things too. One of those bad things is Jaren Zastava. She can't forget that he very nearly killed her, could have killed Ren, and has made their lives much more complicated. She hasn't had a chance to really talk to Ren about what happened. It is a conversation that needs to happen.

But, Lera wouldn't be Lera if she didn't fret about what might happen and what the other girl might think. She just became friends with Ren. She doesn't want to lose that.

She sent her a text earlier, suggesting that they get lunch in Clover Town. Now, Lera is waiting at a sidewalk cafe in the appointed place. It is a faux French place, with big sun umbrellas and a menu that is adorably but not authentically Francophone. (Lera has no idea.) She sits at a table, wearing the usual summer outfit: an orange tank-top, black biker shorts with green lining, and sunglasses with a sunflower trim perched on her brow.

Her bag hangs off the back of her chair. She drums her fingers while she awaits Ren's arrival.

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

No school really is the best thing! Ren won't disagree with that at all. She's been taking it easy -- especially ever since the Garden of Time incident. She's been reflecting on it all.

And Fate.

She hasn't seen the little blonde mage girl ever since her liberation from Precia's sinister workings. Part of her felt like keeping her distance for the moment was the best course of action. Giving Fate time to adjust was a good thing. And she's sure Nanoha has stepped up to help make the transition all the more easier. She herself will approach the younger girl when the time is right -- and Ren's determined to put her best foot forward and show Fate that she harbors no ill will towards her.

But on a much lighter note, today she's going to hang with Lera! Receiving a text from the native Midchildan was a pleasant surprise. It didn't take her long to agree to the meeting, throw on some appropriate clothing (a nice floral print summer dress and sandals), and head on over to Clover Town. She arrives is short order, spotting Lera at one of the tables immediately. "Lera-chan!" Ren shouts with a wave as she hurries over, a bright smile on her face.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Ren-chan! Hey!" Lera calls out, as she sits up straighter. She smiles, and the brightness in her expression is perfectly genuine. She is happy to see her, even if she has important business to discuss. The fretting doesn't vanish, but it gets pushed to the background of her mind while she sits up straighter. "I hope this place looks okay!"

She motions around at the cafe. It has a sign declaring it "Le Café du Culottes." The menu advertises numerous generic French and American dishes. The size of the parfaits around them suggests what people really come here for.

"I think it's German!" Lera declares with that bright, clueless sincerity. Behind her, a waiter wearing a beret waves eagerly at Ren.

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Seeing Lera is always a good thing. The two of them regularly eat lunch together at school and try to make time to hang out together outside of there. And then of course there's their mutual dedication to beating back evil things. And jerks with sideburns. /Especially/ jerks with sideburns. Ren sets her bag down next to the chair she then drops down into, folding her hands in her lap demurely.

"Huh?" She blinks at Lera's little mistake, then giggles at the waiter in the beret. "I think it's French, Lera-chan." Yes it is. But it's no big deal given Lera's not-from-around-these-parts status. "The food should be great regardless, though!" Yes, she's seen those parfaits. Yum.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"O-oooooh," Lera says, her cheeks flushing red as she realizes her mistake. She grins a moment later, sheepishly scratching at the back of her head. They eat lunch together many-a-time, but there is something nice about going to places away from school. After all, that lets them have something besides cafeteria food or whatever they prepared. "Good to know! I can't let my flawless disguise slip."

No one has told her.

Her smile remains, but softens a little. Because of the school holiday, she hasn't seen as much of Ren as usual. "How have you been?" she asks. "After... everything, with the Garden of Time. And, um, before that."

When Jaren cut down Endo, smashed Lera into the street, knocked out Sailor Moon and Poissonnier Kuniko, and then Ren only just managed to drive her off. Lera's expression dampens in its brightness with the mention of it.

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Ren nods in amusement. Lera's cover is an... interesting topic. She still remembers the first time she encountered the great Magical Cheeseburger Propane-Chan. It was /something/.

The conversation then moves to less casual matters. "Ah." Ren's face slackens a bit, though she tries to hold on to her composure the best she can to her credit. "Alright. I've been alright, really. Sometimes I have dreams but..." That's to be expected. They're getting fewer and farer inbetween now though. Or so she tells herself.

Jaren is a sore spot for the both of them -- and likely will be until he's driven off. "He hasn't shown up since then, has he?" If anything scares her it's Lera having to face him alone without help. Seeing her get pummeled by him during their last match-up still makes her wince. If she herself hasn't been able to beat him...

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Dreams? About, um... that?" Lera asks. The smile fades away. She has always felt guilty about the way Jaren went after Ren. She told her it was fine before, but hearing it doesn't make the guilt go away. She glances downward. "I'm sorry, Ren-chan. It's... it'll be okay, I promise."

She swallows, before she looks up. She can't start moping. It wouldn't be right, even if she wants to. She helped bring that problem here. She tilts her head to the side, then she shakes her head to Ren's question.

"Not yet," she says. "I'm glad for that. I don't want him making a bigger mess of things. Or going after Nanoha-chan or Fate, either..." She frowns, then glances at the side. If Jaren went after one of them, he might bite off more than he can chew. Or would he? He wrecked a city block last time and he had those drones. "I'm working on finding out what he's doing."

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Don't worry! Really!" Now Ren feels bad for mentioning the dreams. Lera obviously feels guilty. It's not her fault though. Really, it isn't. She's not responsible for Jaren's actions no matter how much she thinks that. Ren's told her this before -- often, in fact. Though she's not sure how effective her words have been thus far. "I know it'll be fine. We'll get through this." After the Garden of Time she has to admit she's been feeling pretty confident. That was a major conflict that they'd all came out of intact. A tiny bit of her began to think Jaren sort of pales in comparison... but maybe that's just her way of trying to cope.

"Heh. If he went after either of them I think he would realize his mistake pretty quickly..." Her thoughts flash back to the first time her attacked her in the park. Nanoha and Fate had been there, and along with Endo they'd managed to send him packing. Though... that time he didn't have the drones like he does now. It's troubling, still. Very much so. "If only we could find out where he's hiding most of the time..."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Right," Lera says. Her smile comes back, though it is more forced this time. She hears what Ren says, but she is prone to feeling guilty. She doesn't assign responsibility away from herself very well. "I know. We've just gotta find where he is, and... make sure we keep getting better."

She pointedly tries to not think of how yesterday's training session never quite clicked. It didn't help that she spoke with Eas instead of finishing it.

"I"m trying to find where he's staying," she says. "I might have a couple of leads. If I find one, I'll scope it out -- when he's not there, don't worry! -- and let you know." She flashes a sheepish grin at her, but it's tinged with resignation. She knows she can't do it alone. She knows that Ren would never want her to do it alone. "We'll take care of it together."

But it's a tempting though, sometimes, to go after him by herself.

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Ren nods along with Lera's plans, pausing a bit when she mentions scoping out his hideout if and when she finds it. Though her insisting she won't do it alone does bring some relief. "Good. Together or not at all." She says softly with a grin. She'd never dream of letting Lera do any of this all on her own. "Those drones are a big part of the problem, too. He has quite a bit at his disposal. And they aren't lightweights." As if that last part has to be said. The destruction they dished out still sits with her as an unpleasant memory.

"Maybe there's a way to disable them? To make them less of a threat?" Ren doesn't know too much about how that sort of magical technology works, though she can only assume it's like most electronics on some level.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Yeah, those things were..." She frowns, not finishing the thought. For something that looked like a pill tablet with noodly cable arms, they were incredibly difficult. But there was more to it than that. "They weren't like normal technology from Midchilda. Most of it's magical technology, but they had some kind of anti-magic barrier. I don't know where he got them--I mean, they looked Midchildan..."

She frowns. This is hard to describe, actually. The inner workings of Devices are distinctly not her specialty. Indeed, her failure to be good with designing magical technology is why Lera is here.

"...but they used effects that I've never seen before," Lera finishes. She sighs, before she looks back up at Ren. "I really need to ask Mom about them. But that's... kinda complicated, y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Oh..." Ren furrows her brows as Lera's explains. They really did not resemble something one would deem a threat, true. But the saying "don't just a book by it's cover" certainly applies to them in this case. The subject of Lera's mom is a delicate one, causing Ren to show sympathy. She used to think she didn't get along with her parents all that well. They never fought with her or anything like that, thankfully. She was never the unruly type. It was just... other things.

"It really would be a good idea to get her opinion on things, if possible. I know the dimensional quakes have sort of made things difficult there, though." She screws her face up a bit as she thinks back to the debriefing they got after the Garden of Time fight. It's a little complicated!

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"She sent me a message," Lera says. "She was offworld when the dimensional quakes happened, visiting a client on another world. She can talk, though it's sometimes sketchy, but..."

It isn't a technical problem that prevents Lera from getting ahold of her, at least not in the long-run. She shakes her head, before she looks back up at Ren. She doesn't quite know about the other girl's troubles with her family. It never quite sunk in. Even Lera's aren't something she discusses often, though the implications aren't hard to get.

"...I'm just worried, I guess," she says. "She might be mad at me if she hears how things are going. I don't know what to say to her. But..." Lera glances down at the table. "You're right. We need some idea. Or more help, when those drones show up."

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Ah. Ren suspected as much. Lera doesn't really share too much info about her mother but it's easy to pick up on the little things that point to their relationship not being the greatest. It makes her feel sad to see a good friend struggling with such indecision. Having to leave Midchilda and come here to Earth to hunt down Jaren is undoubtedly a huge responsibility. Ren wonders if she would be able to shoulder such a burden if their roles were reversed. Lera really is stronger than she may think in her eyes.

"I can be there with you for support." The dark-haired teenager genuinely offers. "And I can give my view on things too if you want." Maybe that'll help smooth things over? Ren can only hope so.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Really?" Lera asks, looking up and blinking. She didn't expect the offer to help. The one time she suggested it to another friend, Yukimi had seemed less than thrilled. It takes her a moment to process the offer for help, but then she smiles. She nods, quickly. "Yeah. Of course! Maybe it'll help."

Maybe it won't. She isn't sure what to expect -- or if she can get a stable feed long enough for a real-time talk. But the idea that she wouldn't be alone eases her nerves a little.

"Thanks, Ren-chan," she says. "It means a lot, I mean--um... we've never gotten along so great, and I know I don't talk about it, but it's--um, I stress about it sometimes and--um." Her face reddens again. She knows that didn't sound very coherent. "Thank you. I really mean it."

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Good." Ren says, happy to see Lera's spirits brightening somewhat. She can't explicitly guarantee things with Lera's mother will go off without a hitch. She hasn't met the elder Camry in any fashion up to now. But maybe, just maybe, she would be willing to hear them out without causing her only daughter any further grief over the situation. It made Ren a little angry, too. If Lera's mother made things worse then... then she wasn't sure /how/ she would react. It wouldn't be positive at all, though, that's for sure.

"If she wants Broken Ground back and to bring Jaren to justice for his crimes then she should be onboard with us... right?" Logic dictates this to be the truth, though one could never know how mothers from other worlds think...

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

They did just contend with a mother with very different ideas about what a mother should do.

"Yeah," Lera says, quieter. "I know that she's with us. But she..." The girl hesitates for a moment and looks down at the ground. "...I just don't want to disappoint her, y'know? She was so worried that I'd come out here and get hurt. She didn't think I could do it, and she wasn't sure about me running around with Sky. If I can't get Ground back, then--I mean..."

She might write her off as a failure, Lera silently concludes. She might cut her losses on a daughter who could never cut it as a Device Meister. She might stop giving her time, her energy, and her love. But she can't tell Ren that. It sounds so grim to think about.

"...I don't know what she'll think."

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Precia was... /wrong/. In so many ways. But on some level Ren sort of understood her pain. Even if she did use Fate to further her goals and had no intention of ever bestowing any semblance of the love she had for her "true" daughter upon her. In her mind she was doing something /right/. How many people in history have done the same? Too many to count, Ren reckons.

"Her being worried is a good sign." She points out then, smiling still. "And she never would have let you come here if she didn't think you could chase down Jaren and get Broken Ground back. Maybe she doesn't show her appreciation that well... but it /has/ to be there. I just know it."

Ren doesn't even take a moment to consider the fact that she could perhaps be assuming things that weren't true. Lera needs to hear this. "You can worry what she'll think later once you've beaten that jerk up and gotten Ground back."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

At first, Lera is quiet when she considers Ren's words. She wants to think it is true, but she can't know that for certain. But the thought is nice enough that she clings to it for the moment. She smiles, looking down at the ground, and then she nods.

"Yeah... yeah. I think you're right," she says. Even if she isn't so certain that her mother has faith, she sees another thing. She knew it all along, but sometimes it felt so distant. "When I've got Ground back, everything will be fine. She'll see that she didn't have anything to worry about."

She lets out a sigh. "Thanks, Ren-chan."

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Ren nods, satisfied with Lera's reaction. Right. Getting Ground back was going to happen. Jaren would get sent to some magic jerk prison and they'd never have to worry about him again. It was nice to sit there and dream up that kind of favorable scenario.

"So! What are we having?" Ren pulls the menu closer to her, hoping to turn things in a more lighter direction. "I... don't think I've had anything quite like what's on here." She laughs. But it's a good thing! Branching out is good! Yes!

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Lera smiles a moment longer, before she nods, and flips her menu over. She sighs, relieving some of the tension, and then she is entirely happy to throw herself into this new conversation. Forgetting her troubles, at least for a little while, is very enticing indeed.

"I'm not sure!" she says. "The parfaits look nice, don't they? But they're a lot of food--oh, but maybe one of the appetizers. Or their cheeseburger. I do like cheeseburgers..." She named her magical girl self after them, after all. Lera taps a finger against her chin. "What about you? Oh, and there's crepes! I like crepes!"

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Crepes? Oh, yeah! I like crepes." Ren smiles. "But those parfaits look delicious! Maybe I should get both?" She blushes a bit, imagining how much Endo would be teasing her for overindulging in sweets. But then again he isn't here so...

"I'll buy us each a parfait. My treat!" She states with a laugh. "It'll be a reward for our hard work, you know?" Her tone suggests that she won't let Lera say otherwise. "We definitely deserve it!"

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"I think I might get both, too, so that sounds good to me!" Lera says with a laugh, scratching at the back of her head. She feels a little embarrassed, but Ren said it perfectly: after all of their hard work, they deserve it. She grins and nods her head. "You're the best! I love parfaits. I didn't get them much back on Midchilda, y'know?"

She shakes her head. She lived in the north. They usually went for baked deserts, perhaps serving ice cream as a side dish for it.

"Oh! So you know, Fate likes ice cream," Lera offers. She winks once at Ren. She imagined Ren would be stopping by to see Fate sooner or later. That little piece of knowledge might benefit her.

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Really?" Ren hasn't really gotten to talk about the difference between Earth and Midchilda with Lera quite yet. She's ever so curious about where her friend is from. Maybe once all this Jaren business is over she'll be able to ask more questions... and even ask to visit? Leaving Earth would be pretty exciting -- she hopes so anyway!

The subject of Fate is brought up pretty unceremoniously. "Eh? Oh! Right! Umm... how is she by the way?" Taking her ice cream is a good idea though, for when she eventually goes to see her. "Things got really heavy for her."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Fate?" Lera asks. "It's complicated, y'know? But..."

Lera looks down thoughtfully for a moment, while she considers the younger girl. She can't forget Fate's promise to protect her smile; the vow that she would stay by Lera, no matter what. It almost makes Lera misty-eyed to think about it, but she keeps her composure. Her smile is genuinely happy.

"...I think she's going to be okay," she says. "It was a really rough thing that she went through, so it won't be better in a day. But when we talked, I felt like she was starting to find her way. And I know Nanoha will help her. And us too!"

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

That's a huge relief. Everything that's happened is sure to stick with Fate for a long time -- likely unforgettable even. But if she could heal... if /they/ could /help/ her heal...

"Of course we will." Ren answers affirmatively. "We can't leave it all to Nanoha. Even if she could probably handle it all on her own." The little mage girl was a force to be reckoned with, leaving Ren with zero doubts about her ability to cherish and nurture Fate's hard-earned friendship.

"And Lindy-san and Chrono-san are staying here on Earth from now on, too?" She adds this query after the fact. It took a whole lot of guts to leave an organization like the TSAB. Ren only had a flimsy grasp on what the Bureau stood for, and knew both of the Harlaown's previously held notable positions within it's structure.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Yeah," Lera says with a nod of her head. "They left the TSAB, it sounds like, and joined the Tuners. I don't know the details yet--um, I know about the Tuners, but not a lot, y'know?"

They seemed nice enough, she thought.

"I think they're helping Fate and Nanoha. We'll have to keep an eye on them," she says. She hesitates, before her voice drops a little. "I'm glad. The Time-Space Administration Bureau isn't all bad, but they'd want to take Fate back. They tend to stick their nose in things, so... it's good that things worked out like this. The Harlaowns seem really nice, too."

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Right. The Tuners. Ren had never heard of them before the mission to stop Precia. A group of magical girls all organized like that! To think it had been something she'd missed up until then was a bit overwhelming. She didn't think about joining them, though the degree of support they'd be able to provide was nothing to sneeze at.

"They don't have any jurisdiction here either, right?" She would like to know the story behind their clash with the Magic Association in detail someday soon. She only got a bit of info out of Lindy about it following the battle, and there wasn't much time to grill her about it given the aftermath. People sure did get territorial...

"Hey. We should go to the beach before school starts up again." Ren says suddenly, looking over at Lera with bright eyes. "I really do love the beach! Maybe we can get Endo and some of the others to tag along."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"They definitely don't," Lera says. "I don't know what happened exactly, but... something." It was why, her mother and her guessed, Jaren came here. That guess may be wrong, but it stood to reason. She rubs her chin, thoughtfully, and looks up. She blinks at the sudden brightness and the idea.

"The beach?" she asks. "Yeah, that would be great! I love going there!" she says, with a grin. She sways left, then right, as she imagines it; swimming, playing beach ball, and maybe they could even cook something. "Oh, there's a friend I might ask along, too. Setsuna Higashi? She's really nice!"

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Ren gets excited just from seeing Lera's excitement over the idea. "Yeah! It's been awhile since I've been..." She leaves out "with anyone" because... yeah. No need to dampen things. "I'm really looking forward to swimming again! Hope I still remember, heh heh." Sheepish grin and neck rub. She's sure Endo will go for the idea. Maybe Nanoha and Fate would be up for it, too. Fate could likely use the distraction.

"A friend? Of course! Invite her and anyone else you can think of. Maybe Kuniko-san would be willing to come too?" The more the merrier. If they could occupy an entire portion of the beach and have a good time... even better!

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Oh, she's a good idea!" Lera says. "I could ask her--ah, I'd ask Sailor Moon, but I don't know her identity, and that doesn't look like swimming gear." She has invited Sailor Moon to other things, though. The girl shrugs, cheerfully, before she nods. "I'll ask her! I bet Endo'll like the idea, too. Besides..."

She leans forward over the table and waggles her eyebrows.

"He'll get to see you in a swimsuit, Ren-chan!" She grins like she is evil. Because, at the moment, she is a little evil.

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Sailor Moon would look kind of comical on the beach all transformed up. But Ren nods nevertheless. "Couldn't hurt to ask!" Indeed it couldn't. Though what Lera says next makes Ren blush immediately.

"W-What? Lera-chan you say the weirdest things sometimes!" She did have a cute swimsuit she's been wanting to wear. And if Endo appreciates it... ahh...

Shaking her head she ducks down a bit and sticks the menu in front of her beet red face. "So how about those parfaits!" Yes. How about them.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Is that so!" Lera says with a conspiratorial laugh. She leans back, though, and she nods before she looks down at the menu. She grins down at her menu -- she isn't going to tease Ren more, because at a point, it would be mean -- and puts her chin in her hand. "Yes, let's get our parfaits! Well-deserved parfaits!"