2015-08-30 - What Friendship Is Worth

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Title: What Friendship Is Worth

Lera texts Setsuna after the battle with Jaren. A fight ensues over text messaging.


Lera Camry and Setsuna Higashi


Lera is in her room and Setsuna is in her room. Also, Japan's 4G and LTE data networks.

OOC - IC Date:

08/20/2014 - 8/30/2015

Sent from Lera to Setsuna during the fight with with Jaren and Citadel the day before:

Hey Setsuna.

I don't really know if you want to hear from me again. I don't really know what I think, sometimes, when it comes to you. Even knowing what I know, I don't always understand you. I'm still trying, though. I think you were wrong, when you said I shouldn't get involved. Or maybe you were right. I want to be involved, though.

You were right about a lot of things. I keep getting back up, even if it hurts. Even if I think I shouldn't get back up. I always decide to. I think I do it because I'm scared of what happens if I don't. I don't want to think less of myself anymore. And... I don't want to lose anyone again. So I'll keep getting up. Even if it's annoying. <3

I'm about to get back up and do something you're gonna call stupid. I know it's what I should do. I know if it goes badly, I won't have a chance to see you again. I still don't know what I should say to you, exactly, but I know it's not nothing. So...

Thanks. For believing in me. For being a lot more than you think you are. For being my friend, even if us being friends is stupid. Even if it gets us both hurt, I think our friendship is worth it. I think it makes us both better people. I just hope I get to see you again someday so we can talk about it or argue about it or whatever. I hope I get the chance to find the right thing to say and say it to you.

But right now I have to jump off a building bye!

On the 20th:

>Hi, um. I kinda sorta didn't die or anything!

>I totally nailed the landing, too, y'know? :D

It's about fifteen minutes before Lera gets any answer at all. When she does...

>what is wrong with you

Lera sits up from where she was sitting, looks at her phone, and blinks down at the message for a second. Then her face screws up.


Then she sends an important clarification, after a moment's thought:

>it's two ?'s because it's DOUBLE THE QUESTION y'know?

Setsuna has long since been staring down at her phone. ...She's not in the mansion. For reasons. ...Reasons that might've had something to do with the delay.

>what do you mean what

>first we're not friends and second you cannot kinda die you can only die or not die so what is wrong with you

Lera blinks down at the phone. She rolls over on her back and lifts the phone up above her. It's more comfortable to sprawl out on her sofa that way, but it means her typing quality quickly dips to...

>omg first we're totally friends!! like we're super great but kinda sad friends y'know? I wanna work on the sad part but like 1 thing at a time k?

>second I was doin that understatement thingy that people do so I'm just totally not dead

>it's pretty great btw <3

...the level it reaches when Lera is comfortable texting someone.

Setsuna, however, types each and every letter with such quickness and precision that her answers are speedy and her phone...

Well it's a good thing she has a screen protector.

>that is ridiculous and i do not think friendship works that way

>that is also ridiculous

>you are ridiculous

Lera squints up at the phone and she makes a face. She sighs, before she sits up; she has been so motivated. It takes her a good fifteen minutes to compose her reply. First, she opens an art program, and draws with her finger. The first is a little finger sketch of a girl with orange hair; the second is a girl with purple hair. They both have immense happy grins on their faces.

Then she presses the 'attach' button with a pointed finger jab.

Finally, Lera flops back down, and resumes her lazy typing with pride.

> attached: bestpals.png this is us, this is our friendship, deal w/ it

Setsuna waits. And waits.

And then Lera has to wait because Setsuna takes five minutes to reply.

>i do not understand how a colored map of an unfamiliar location is relevant

"Sh-she didn't even see what it's supposed to be!" Lera whines at her phone. "Sky, Sky, look at this--"

<No.> Soaring Sky answers. <Additionally: no.>

Lera's face scrunches up as she looks down at the phone. It takes her a moment before she sighs and starts to type again.

>omg okay so it's totally us like see that's me on the left and you on the right because you're shorter than me and then there's a tree behind us because trees happen sometimes and i guess the lake was confusing but gosh!!!

Setsuna hears none of this. Instead, there is another delay of some good two minutes.

>i do not like to be mocked

>also trees do not happen they are objects not events

Lera frowns at the screen. It is irritated, at first; then it turns into a guiltier expression.

>i wasn't mocking you!! i tried to make you look cute

>sorry :(

>also trees happen but only in the cosmic sense y'know?

Setsuna also frowns at her phone. She glances up slightly, looking at the picture again.

>i do not have a large gaping mouth

>also that makes no sense

>also i am not cute

There's a pause of about thirty seconds, and then a picture of a kitten is transferred back. It is sleeping.

>there is no resemblence whatsoever

Lera purses her lips, squinting up at the phone. She glances, briefly, at Soaring Sky. The Device is careful to make no pulse or other indication that he is awake or listening. She sighs, then she pulls the picture up. She hits send a moment later.

>so i'm an art expert y'know? comes with being american!! and that's a smile! or a grin! or maybe like you're about to get a dental exam because i did get carried away huh?

Then she gets a picture of a kitty. It takes her thirty seconds to stop squealing and rolling around because of the picture. Then, she stops, and types:

>okay you're not as cute as kitty because omg kitty like look at it setsuna!! but you're actually kinda cute sorry

>except not sorry

>also omg kittyyyyyyyyyyy <3

There's no delay in this one.

>you are not american

Sometime in the midst of Lera's squealing, Setsuna adds again.

>i do not smile

Then of course, there's the response. She continues looking at it. She is still frowning.

>how severe was your head injury you should seek medical facilities

She squints up at the message, frowning long enough for her to get all of them at once; the squealing and rolling around gave her a necessary pause. Then she sighs, and she begins to type anew.

>okay i'm not american that's fair

>um I didn't get a head injury!! everything is totally okay y'know? why??

There is the briefest pauses, before she adds:

>that's another double question btw

Setsuna is somewhat mollified by Lera's concession of the point.

...Only slightly. Lera's insistence about the whole thing makes her lips press together, her eyebrow twitch slightly in irritation. She gets the second message, yes... but then the next after that, too.


Ten seconds pass.


Ten seconds pass again. ...And another six.

>leave me alone

The first reply comes quickly. Lera types it out almost reflexively, falling back on habits ingrained into her after long years of expecting to disappoint.

>sorry... :(

The second reply, though, takes longer. Lera puts her phone down and rolls over onto her side; the phone is left of the coffee table, while she turns to face the back of the sofa. The guilty feeling doesn't leave. She realizes that she shouldn't beat herself up over it; that she shouldn't offer an apology only to mollify someone.

But that leaves her not knowing what to say. She started to unlearn one behavior. She has nothing to replace it with. The insecurity that she feels is, suddenly, plainly visible to her. She rolls back over, grabs her phone, and starts typing.

She hits send.

>Are you angry with me?

Then she bites her lip, types a little more, and hits send again. She only thinks better of it afterward.

>...is it because I'm still on Earth?

There's nothing at the apology. The apology only makes things worse as far as Setsuna is concerned, and she looks down at her phone in frustration. Her hand squeezes tightly on it, and she looks at it again, unable to speak or to say anything at first. Then the questions...

Setsuna can only stare down at them. Seconds pass, and those seconds begin to accumulate. But Setsuna is not a patient girl.


>why should i be angry

>you showed me what friendship is worth

>leave me alone

Lera's lip trembles when she reads the texts. It clicks into place, then, when she sees her own words: what friendship is worth. Her eyes start to tear up; she feels grateful, then, that she isn't facing Setsuna while they said this. But more than that, she feels guilty. Her eyes drift back down at the sofa. It takes her a few seconds before she starts typing again. Ordinarily, when she gets nervous, the messages come out with careful consideration and proper grammar.

When she feels comfortable, they become loose and free.

When she feels upset, they come quickly and with every thought put into text. Coherency isn't Lera Camry's strong suit, when that happens.

>i'm sorry, i didn't know i hurt you, i just didn't know how what to say

>im stupid and i didnt want to worry you so i tried to say im okay in a silly way and make it hurt less y'know?

>all i do is make it worse for you. im sorry.

Setsuna ends up gripping her phone in both hands, staring down at it. But her expression can't be transmitted through the phone.

Her texting style is always the same... except here. She puts effort into seeming 'normal' with others, but is too agitated to remember that she's committing anything electronic. And then...

>shut up

>Shut up!

>worrying me is stupid! this is stupid! i don't care! all you're ever going to do is leave anyway

>dont talk to me anymore

When she reads the final text in that string, the words start to blur. Lera realizes why, then: once more, she is crying. She can't seem to get through a conversation with Setsuna without that happening. She crumples down into the sofa, rolling over. She starts to type again into the phone.

>i won't leave, I know bet

She deletes that. It feels wrong. It feels angry to say that to her. Lera bites her lip, before she starts to try again.

>no i won't because i

She stops typing that too and stares at it. Her fingers hover over the keys, as she realizes that she doesn't know how to finish that. So she deletes it, finally, and then drops the phone onto the floor. She closes her eyes, leaving the screen shining its light up at the ceiling until it goes dark again.