2015-08-15 - You Aren't Alone

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Title: You Aren't Alone

After the incident at the Marina with Jaren, Ren finally gets into contact with a despondent Lera...


Lera Camry and Ren Aizawa


The roof of Lindy Harlaown's apartment

OOC - IC Date:

15 August 2014 - 8/15/2015

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

After she flew off after Jaren, Lera Camry didn't show her face around Ren Aizawa, Endo Naoki, or hardly anyone. Her reasons weren't very good -- she was terrified of how angry they would be -- but they kept her away for a couple of days. Things changed and she talked it out with Fate. Then she talked things over with her mother.

For once, despite everything that happened, it feels like things are looking up. The conversation with her mother did a lot to pull away a weight that had been on her since she came to Earth. She has things to be scared about, still, but whether Meria loves her or not isn't one of them. It still doesn't feel real, and she can breathe easy in a way she hasn't in as long as she can remember. She didn't realize how wrong things felt, until that pressure was gone.

But, now, Lera has to set something right. The tension is different; this time, she knows she did something wrong. She made Ren a promise.

Then she broke it.

>Hey, Ren-chan. Want to come to Lindy-san's place? We should talk about some stuff.

After she fired the text message off, Lera returned to the roof of the apartment building. It seems like a good place to have a conversation with some privacy. The roof has a door leading down into the apartments, but provides a good view of Tokyo's skyline -- and the parks in the neighboring area. Lera is sitting near the edge, arms folded up behind her head. She leans back against the rooftop radio antennae's mounting pole.

When Ren arrives, Chrono hurries to usher her along. She may get a glimpse, though, of a woman with orange hair in a bun in the living room. Chrono doesn't wait for her to talk to her, though; she nudges her to the roof, where Lera awaits.

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

Ever since the Marina, Ren has seen hide no hair of Lera. Vividly recalling the angry mage taking off after Jaren and Citadel has given her more than enough fuel to imagine a manner of horrible scenarios -- only further exacerbated by Lera's silence. Guilt over not going after her has been plaguing her all this time, and she's sure something grave happening as a result would just...

But finally all of her fears were (mostly) put the rest when her phone buzzes and a text message from Lera is revealed. Ren feels like crying tears of joy right then and there but composes herself long enough to tap out a reply and head running out the door. The train ride that follows sees her too eager to even think about sitting still, pressing herself against the slow opening doors once the correct stop is reached. It's not long before she's at the designated apartment building that Lindy and Chrono are staying, puffing her way up the stairs to the front door which she probably knocks on with unnecessary force. Chrono comes out and proceeds to then take her to the rooftop, though not before she sees they have a guest with familiar orange hair. Ren doesn't say anything about it, though, and up to the roof they go. The door creaks open, and Ren is briefly assaulted by a gust of wind that sends her hair flying back and causes her to squint her eyes.

...And there she finally sees Lera, perched up here like nothing is wrong. Ren wastes no time running forward. "Lera-chan!" The distance between them is closed quite quickly, with Ren dropping down to her knees to throw her arms around the girl, hugging her tight. Relief.

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

Lera turns at the waist to look at Ren; she blinks and then she gawks, mouth hanging open as the planned words flee her entirely. There is a flicker of that old, familiar hesitation and fear. She expects admonishment for what she did -- or, at least, for not telling Ren where she was, and more when she fesses up.

She is surprised when Ren runs to her and hugs her. Lera laughs, then throws her arms around the other girl and hugs her back tightly. "H-Hey!" she says. "Ren-chan! Thanks for coming. I'm, um..."

Some of the guilt comes back, but it doesn't seem so terrible now. It feels like something that Lera can control and master; it feels like one wrong, instead of a litany of them that could cause her to lose every friend. She pulls back. "...I'm sorry. I should have contacted you right away. I probably worried you, y'know? A lot happened."

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

If there's any anger or frustration over Lera's actions Ren sure isn't showing it right now. She's just happy her friend is still in one piece. "You did! I should have gone with you but..." Her mind flashes back to how utterly spent she was after launching what was a powerful attack on Citadel and Jaren, only to have it be laughable ineffective against the hulking mecha-wolf. She's not sure what would have happened if she'd gone after Lera. She probably would have just gotten in the way...

"Tell me everything." She says, letting Lera go to look the mage girl directly in the eye. "I'm sorry we couldn't stop him before he got what he came to the Marina for..." Ren shudders a bit. Someone like Jaren having firepower like Citadel at his disposal now was all kinds of bad.

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

Everything, Lera thinks, is a tall order.

She can't tell Ren everything, she realizes. The information about Setsuna Higashi and Eas has to be kept a secret, for the Labyrinth Executive's own protection. She trusts Ren absolutely, but Lera's trust isn't the one in question in here. Setsuna's trust can't be broken.

"It's okay," she says quietly. "He had a lot of firepower. I wanna know where he got them from. But--" Explanations. Right. Lera meets Ren's look in the eye, but she looks back down at the gravel-covered roof for a moment. "--I kind of lost my temper. I was just so angry, thinking that... that I'd failed in why I came here, that he'd hurt you, that... I wasn't thinking."

She hesitates. "I tried to fight him by myself." The way that she said she wouldn't. "I--I didn't win. Sky tried to protect me, and he was hurt. Jaren broke him." Her fingers come up to her necklace. "Then he, um, told me that... Midchildan magic is bad at killing people. So he kicked me off a building, instead."

Lera looks to the side. "I'm okay. But he has Sky and we have to get him back," she says, quietly. "I'm... I'm so sorry, Ren. I know what I promised you. I broke it."

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

As the recap of what went down between her and Jeran comes spilling out of Lera's mouth Ren feels her stomach drop and her pulse quicken. Mention of Sky being hurt and broken, and then taken by Jaren... It's enough to make Ren hug Lera again as a show of support. She remembers how she felt when Heraut nearly broke during a Jewel Seed mishap. The device was able to self-repair over the course of a few days, thankfully, but it was still scary nonetheless.

"Lera-chan... It's going to be alright. We'll get Sky back. I promise." Just as Lera made a promise to her, Ren does the same, her voice sincere and full of conviction. "Please don't blame yourself."

That aforementioned guilt? It's rearing its ugly head inside of her right now. Maybe she could've prevented this had she gone after her...?

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

"But, I..."

Lera tries to blame herself, still, for a moment. She wants to cry out that she ran off alone, despite what she told both Ren and Endo at different points. She wants to say that she was stupid. But it rings hollow, now, before she can ever get it out. What did her mother tell her yesterday?

'You are still his partner -- so /act/ like it, child!'

"...We're gonna," she says, and she returns Ren's hug. She lets her go a couple of seconds later, before she nods her head. "Fate said she'll help. I promised I wouldn't fight Jaren or anything without a Device, but I'll help however I can. And, um..."

She holds the little necklace she always wears. The green gem inside of it, held by a spin of gold, has a soft glow for the moment. "Mom came to Earth, when she heard." A beat. She smiles at Ren, and says the understatement of the year: "We talked. It... was good, y'know? We worked some stuff out. And she gave me a program to help wake Sky up." She taps the green gem. "It's stored in here."

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

"No doubts!" Ren says, giving Lera a squeeze before letting her go. "We can do this. You. Me. Endo. Nanoha. Fate." She nods, clenching her fist tightly. This is what Lera needs to hear. That her friends have her back no matter what. "Jaren doesn't stand a chance."

Mention of Lera's mother reminds Ren of the woman she briefly saw in Lindy and Chrono's apartment. "Ah! I saw her! I'm glad she came and you guys were able to work things out!" This is a step in the right direction. Surely with the combined experience of Lindy, Chrono, and Meria they can find a way to wrestle all that power away from that sideburned jerk. Ren smiles at the green gem when it's shown to her. "Oh right! You told me she's a device meister, right? I wonder if she'll be willing to take a look at Heraut...?"

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

"Yeah," Lera says. She smiles back at Ren, nodding her head. "We'll get him. It's going to take a lot of work -- and we've gotta figure out what he wants Citadel for." Money, glory, and fame, if she has to guess. "And who he's working for."

She is less certain of that.

Lera brightens, though, at the mention of her mom. That makes Lera think for a moment -- not only about Ren and Souverain Heraut, but about what her mother told her about Devices. That bright smile becomes more thoughtful. "She might. But, Ren-chan, she told me something..."

Lera's hand lets go of the pendant, to look up at Ren. "She said that no Meister can engineer what really matters." She puts a hand over her heart. "That's what's in here. She might be able to help you, but what'll really make a difference is you making that bond with Heraut deeper. There's a lot of things I wish I told Sky. You gotta think about that, about what you and Heraut haven't come to terms with, y'know?"

She nods. "/That/ is gonna make you and Heraut even stronger."

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

Ren's eyes widen at this. "R-Really?" Her gaze moves from Lera's chest to her own, both hands coming up to rest over her heart. She can feel it thumping just as always. "I guess I never considered that." Heraut took time to point out her magical potential before during lessons but part of her had believed it was mostly his efforts that brought that power into reality, shaping it into something useful. But now...

She looks up to Lera with a smile after awhile. "There's still so much I don't know about Heraut's past." Her hands move down to dig the ornate silver ring out of her pocket, cradling it gently so that Lera can see. "But there's no more time for secrets. Do you hear that, Heraut?"


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

"Yeah," Lera answers, confidently. It was true enough; she didn't doubt her own experiences there. Even now, she could hear the last thing that Soaring Sky told her, echoing in her mind. She could trust her mother's words, too. If anyone knew about Devices, it was Meria Camry.

Her eyes drift to Souverain Heraut, and she considers him for a moment. When she first met Ren, she wondered where she received her Device. Since then, she came to accept that no small number of Intelligent Devices ended up on the Earth somehow. She wondered about that for a moment, but it wasn't an answer that she needed to pry into. She could ask Ren about Heraut later.

Besides, thinking of Devices made her think of Sky. She still missed him; she still didn't have a way to get back.

"It sounds like you two have some stuff to talk about," the orange-haired girl says. "I think Mom is gonna need some help in the kitchen--or, uh, y'know, me to help cook. How about I leave you two to it, then we can eat some lunch later?"

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

This talk has been a long time coming. Ren's just relieved that it's finally happening. Nodding, she clasps the ring with both hands as she looks back to Lera with an easy smile. Things are going to be alright.

"Ah. Yeah, you're right. That sounds like a good idea." Both the private talk and lunch. "Is it alright if I stay up here for awhile, then? I'll try not to take too long..." She's really content with letting Heraut talk as long as he needs to, though. It's not something she wants to particularly cut short after all this time.

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

"Yeah!" Lera answers. She smiles at Ren, as she stands up. She dusts her blue jeans off; some of the debris and gravel from the roof falls down towards it. She looks around for a moment, before she looks back at the other girl. "It should be totally private up here, Ren-chan. I'll tell the others you need a bit of privacy, just in case."

It wouldn't do to have them interrupted.

"I'll have lunch ready by the time you're done!" she says. She smiles and waves -- and gives them a last look. Lera turns after that, walking back towards the door. She feels another, by now familiar, pang of regret about Sky. She would get him back soon, though. And then...

Then her and Sky would have a long talk of their own.