2018-06-13 - LOTUS AWAKENING: Lera Camry

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Lera wakes up back on Midchilda.


Lera Camry, Meria Camry, Frederick Camry


Rigate, Rigate Region, Midchilda

OOC - IC Date:

6/13/2018 - April 25, 2015

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Slowly, Lera's eyes blink open.

Despite the slowness of the motion, there is something heavy on her chest. A sense of loss, like she had a dream that she cannot quite place; a dream about loss, and when she brings her fingers to her eyes, they come away wet. Her fingers pull back, and Lera's eyes blink a few times at the offending tears. Her fingers curl, slowly, as she looks down at her palm like it may have an answer. "Why... am I crying?"

No answer comes, though.

More questions come. She knows this place: the wooden walls, the sharply angled roof. The posters on the wall, showing rock bands that she grew up listening to. She knows the bed, too; the creaky, antique wooden one with plush pillows and bright forest green sheets. She sits up, slowly, and it pools around her waist. She wears a dark grey tank top and shorts, her preferred clothing for sleeping. She turns her head, surveying more.

Amber eyes narrow, uncertainly, at the desk: a framed photo of her and Setsuna, a second of her and the other Mages that she fought with on Earth... but, then, she looks out the window. A great, sweeping vista of a mountain -- like a painting, except the solid wall of grey granite and white snow is quite real. She knows it better than anything: the Algernhorn, the tallest mountain in the Rigate Alps. The sight of it brings a smile back.

She knows where this is. This is home, and despite the dozen little things that feel wrong, everything feels so right.

But then she jerks upright, as she hears a voice call out, sharply: "Lera! You've overslept again!"

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

And yet there's also a gentle knocking - before someone comes in. It's a feat only a parent call pull off within a teenager's room - with almost annoying ease. But this man's presence doesn't feel like an annoyance. It's her father after all. Leaning against the doorframe, he looks at Lera and puts a finger to his lips, before looking over his shoulder, "No need to worry dear. She's up."

And yet - he notices something, perhaps it's just the faintest moisture in her eyes. Looking once more over his shoulder, he quietly closes the door. Then heads forward to sit down on the bed beside her. "You must be thinking of your friends back on Earth again."

He places an arm around her, drawing her into a hug. That seems familiar. "Don't worry. Your mother almost has it figured out - then we'll be able to bring them to visit anytime."

He draws back to arm's length quickly enough, with a smile, "Still up for our father - daughter hiking trip?"

A whirr of a Midchildan camera catches both their attention at that moment, as Meria is inside the room - how is she inside despite the door still being closed!? "And there we have it. Two of my favorite two people caught on film in a touching moment!"

Lera's father quirks an eyebrow, "Couldn't hold yourself back - could you?" Meria puts a hand on a hip with a cocksure grin, "Of course I couldn't. What do you take me for? I'm not the type of woman who gushes after just my amazing daughter after all." She winks, "I also gush about my wonderful husband."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

For some reason, the sight of those familiar features -- the warm smile, the mustache, the simple brown hair and professorial clothes -- evoke a response in Lera that feels out of sorts. She opens her mouth, and she stares at the door as it closes, and then stares at him. Her mind has to race to make sense of it, as if trying to find a reason this moment shouldn't be real. She can't. She wants it to be real. Of all the things that she wanted, she wanted this more than anything.

"Dad," she answers, quietly. She hugs him, tightly, with both arms. Then, she laughs and shakes her head. "Yeah... yeah, I was. I still miss them, but... I'm glad I'm here with you. And with moment. And with..."

A little brother. "Calen, too. He's..." The memory comes easily; a boy with the same orange hair, but green eyes, and glasses. "...He's gotten bigger while I was gone."

She tilts her head up. "And I wouldn't miss it for the world, y'know? I--"

The whirr makes her head snap -- and she stares daggers at the unopened door and at her mother, standing there as proud as ever. "Mom. What'd I tell you about sneaking into my room?"

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

"He's already up for breakfast - and grousing about the fact that he can't come with us." It's not that Calen isn't /welcome/ though. They do hiking trips with the three of them all the time. "Father - daughter hiking trips are sacred though. He knows better." Just like father/son time is sacred. This all happens before her mother is in the room.

But once she is her mother allows this little triumphant laugh and gives a dismissive wave, "The committee has taken your wishes under consideration. And decided to ignore them! My right to admire my daughter and my pride as the mother of one of the youngest S-ranked mages in Midchildan history has permanent veto powers over your right to privacy."

Frederick slowly rises, walks over to her - and presses a light kiss to her forehead. "I'll run interference Lera. You just get ready to come down." "As if there's anything you could ever do to distract me from embarrassing our children - Mister Camry." Still the two exit with a laugh.

Leaving Lera alone for just a few moments to comprehend just how wonderful her life truly is...

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Breakfast, of course, had been wonderful. Lera helped her father cook, while her younger brother and mother spectated. It was the standard way of doing things in the family; Meria could make wonderful things, but her cuisine left something to be desired. The story went that Frederick won her heart with his cooking. Lera could believe it.

Which left, after a little staying around the house and cleaning up, the hike.

The air in Rigate is crisp and clear. The altitude is high, and the foothills of the Rigatian Alps are tall, steep, and challenging hikes. It isn't a day for a full climb -- Lera left her down jacket and crampons at home -- but she is still bundled up, because even in summer, there is a chill this high up. Her hand grips onto a piece of a rock, and she pulls herself up after her father.

He was always the stronger climber. She could remember him carrying her on his shoulders, even when she was little. She liked to go up high, so he helped with that. She could remember...

What could she remember?

She free climbs up to the ledge that he has already arrived at, and then she comes to the top. Lera rotates her shoulders a few times, and looks at her father with a sheepish grin. "You still get ahead of me pretty easy, y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

Frederick smiles at his daughter, brow covered in sweat, "Of course. I've decided never to let age catch up with me you know." There's just this warm smile, "We'll be doing this together for the rest of our lives." She claps a hand on her shoulder, his grip still feels strong enough that he probably could lift her on his shoulders if he wanted. "Just look at that view... breath-taking."

And it is at that. As it looks over the majesty of the Midchildan mountain range

"I have a surprise for you today though... now that you're old enough..." He says a little coyly, "... maybe you didn't know - but in my younger years. I went to Earth too. And you know your mother... she was hoping I'd bring back some old Belkan relics from when their empire stretched across the stars..." His eyes sparkle, "And I did... but that's not the only thing I brought back."

Striding easily towards another side of the peak, he gestures to the ground - at a patch... of flowers.

"They're called Forget-me-nots on Earth. The first time someone told me about how they meant true love to so many people on that big blue world... I couldn't resist. I brought them back with me." How did he get them past customs!? Well that's another story! "And replanted them up here."

He then adds gently, "And then I asked your mother up here... to pop the question with an antique ring I found - and these bright blue flowers. I always told her that her Engagement ring was the most precious Lost Logia out there." He looks at Lera with a sparkle in his eye, "I just thought it'd be nice to tell you this story so that once we manage to get that nice girlfriend of yours back here to Midchilda..."

Oh - my - gosh? Is he shipping them that hard?!

He clears his throat with this smile that's just so full of warmth, "Well this would be a nice place to bring her - don't you think?"

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

'The rest of our lives,' he says, and somehow it hurts. It seems so real, it feels so right, and it makes Lera try to think of something that she knows is wrong. She doesn't know what it is. It shows, only, in a hesitation -- and the strength in the clap of his hand on her shoulder makes the thought flicker. Lera smiles, before she turns her head, to regard the mountains that she grew up around. She sighs, her hand sliding over his and patting it.

"Mm-hm," she says. "It really is, y'know?" But, Lera falls quiet -- to let him walk away and let him explain. She turns, then, on a foot. Her eyes turn -- and she looks down at the flowers. It takes Lera a moment to understand, as she mentally hesitates on the very name of 'forget-me-not.' Why does that make her think? Even though...

Even though it's so like him, to plant flowers here. Lera smiles down at the flowers, and then looks up. She blinks -- there is a little 'aww' noise at the back of her throat -- and then it turns into a sputter. "I-I definitely wanna bring her here, but--but I'm not going to propose! E-Even if that's a really cute story, y'know! Th-that's--"

She flushes, her cheeks bright red, and she puts her hand over her face. "Dad. I-I mean... I want you to meet her! I've always wanted you to meet her. But... but... I can't do that!!"

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

"Ohh? Are you sure? The way you talk about her... you certainly sound like I did about your mother when I was your age." It's just the lightest kind of tease. But he relents in a moment, putting an arm around her instead. "I don't really mean that. You two have all the time in the world... so you should take that time. As long as you need to figure things out."

That sounds really sad doesn't it? All the time in the world.

He speaks about it like he had all the time in the world.

"Life is a great adventure like that Lera. And for all the excitement that happened on Earth - the two of you are have just started out on yours."

It like an absolution of Lera for leaving them in the first place. For leaving him - leaving her mother. Leaving her little brother. An acknowledgement that she's growing up.

"Having a few smaller adventures at home with your old man for a while though... doesn't sound so bad - does it?"

And yet it's also obvious he doesn't want her to leave again.

Not really.

Maybe that's why he brought her up here...

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"I-I mean... I like her a lot, y'know?" It is the sort of understatement one gives their parents; the truth of the relationship was more involved, deeper than Lera lets on, but she isn't likely to admit that to her father. She looks down, sheepishly, and taps her index fingers together. She smiles.

Until she thinks, really, about the words 'all the time in the world.'

She can't say why it makes her sad. She can't say what half-remembered memory, what half-obscured truth, tries to come out at the thought. There is, however, a powerful sense of longing there. Her smile fades slowly, as she thinks about that. "Mm... yeah," she says. "Going to Earth... I think I see what you meant. But, still, I..."

She looks up, and her head tilts. She blinks her eyes when she looks at him, again. He looks so real; he looks the way that she always imagined him looking, when she tried to picture what life would have been like. Her voice becomes quiet, with a slight tremor to it from emotion. "...I thought about you, every day. I wished you were with me. I thought about... about how a lot of the best parts of me, they came from you, and I never got to say thank you."

She smiles, and it's equal parts sad and happy. She looks like she might cry. She doesn't know why, but her jaw trembles. "I missed you."

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

Frederick puts his opposite hand up as if to stroke his chin. "Mmm." With that maddeningly knowing smile - like he knows just how his daughter is understating that.

And yet - he just lets Lera talk. With this understanding smile. "I missed you too kiddo... and not a day went by when me and your mother didn't talk about you. Calen too. He always wondered what souvenirs he was going to bring you."

He enfolds her into a warm bear hug, which doesn't apply too much pressure. "And don't sell yourself short. There's plenty that belongs to you that me and your mother had nothing to do with. Upbringing - blood. They only afford you so much. Those best parts? They belong to you... and only you..."

And he offers the lightest whispers, "And that's why I couldn't be prouder that my little girl grew up to be the fine young woman that stands in front of me."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Y-Yeah..." Lera trails off, trying to find words and failing. She can remember, now, bringing souvenirs from Earth back; she gave Calen a few of the popular toys there. The memories still feel foggy, and she can't say why. What is clear, though, is the person in front of her. He hugs her, and suddenly it feels like she is four again. She returns the hug, consciously that her arms are around his shoulders instead of his leg.

She bites her lip and tries to not cry, but it falls apart before she can really commit herself to the idea. She buries her face against him, not sure why it hits her so hard.

She knows, though, that this is what she wanted. This is what was missing for so long. Who was missing for so long.