3975/Operation Rei-Go: For Those Gone

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Operation Rei-Go: For Those Gone
Date of Scene: 03 April 2016
Location: Alberichstadt <P:WTWM>
Synopsis: Repentence and reverie... and a crying Admiral.
Cast of Characters: Nagato, 901

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    The last time Hoshi remembers bringing Nagato to Alberichstadt, it had been cold and snowy. Most of the city and the forest outside were covered in white. Now, spring was on the way... and while the night air is still chilly, the snow has melted away into small patches, and the world around is budding to release new life for the year.

    Considering recent events, the contrast is glaring.

    The teenager lead Nagato along the streets of the Alberichstadt suburbs after about an hour of walking from the warpgate; most of the time is spent quiet. The words they had weren't really meant to be said out into the world, where it might feel like their inner selves would carry on forever. Better that they kept it quiet, shared in a place of comfort. At last, Hoshi leads them towards her door and opens it quickly with her key. She goes in first and ditches her shoes. She also gets to tell her parents very quietly that something terrible had happened, and that Nagato was going to stay the night. They seem rather perturbed, but the dead tired look on Hoshi's face has them holding back their questions.

    "I'll bring some of the extra pillows and a blanket, then," Mrs. Amakasu said with some forced cheer. Mr. Amakasu is watching his daughter with some concern. "At my daughter's request, I won't pry..." He says. "I trust that you will have the proper respect for our home, Admiral>"

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    For some reason, what her dad says makes Hoshi bristle and nod to him stiffly, before turning around to Nagato. "We have a guest room. Probably where you want to spend the night. We can hang out in either that or my room... whatever you feel more comfortable with, Admiral."

Nagato has posed:
    After a quick deposit of her equipment back at Hikari, she walks with Hoshi along the streets. That hour of walking, silence permeating the tired women. The snowy Alberichstadt that she saw the last time is different than tonight, the cold air still there but with the incoming spring... it's a different sight than what she is used to seeing. Maybe this is why she's still looking towards the ground as she follows along.

    Nagato's still in her normal outfit, making her way up the steps. She's probably taller than Mr. Amakasu, but she gives a brief nod. "I will, sir." she responds, her demeanor still professional. "I am but a guest in your home. I apologize for the short notice for the need of accomidation." she gives a practiced, formal bow towards the parents.

    Upon being granted entrance, she turns towards Ms. Amakasu, "It's appreciated, ma'am." and with that, she heads off towards the guest room, "Amakasu, the guest room will be ok." she places a hand upon Hoshi's shoulder and heads off towards that guest room. Though, she turns back towards the adults, "I have brought some tea, would it be permissible to have use of a heating implement for some hot water?"

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    Hoshi ends up fielding that request, turning to her mom. "I'll grab the blankets and pillow, so please take care of the kettle. I'll come down and get it when it's ready." She turns around again so she can direct Nagato. "It's the second door on the right."

    It's actually quite a nice home. The stairs are fairly wide, the carpet is all nice and snug. The guest room in particular is admittedly kind of bare, with only a bed and a desk, but it /does/ have it's own bathroom. So that's nice. It's also got enough fancy-looking little doodads that it's not completely boring. Plus, the bed does feel pretty comfortable, if missing a blanket and a pillow.

    That's where Hoshi comes in! Literally, in this case. She pops the door open and hauls in a blanket and comforter, as well as a thick, squishy pillow. She ends up having to kind of kick the door behind her before going to the bed and just... flopping on it with everything in her arms.

    "It's nice to lay down," comes her muffled voice. "Almost wish sometimes I never had to leave bed." Eventually, she turns on her side to look at the Admiral and ask hesitantly, "How... are you feeling?"

Nagato has posed:
    The house does look quite nice, then again, anything more than her barracks looks quite nice. "You live in a nice place, Amakasu..." she whispers, looking around the house as she makes her way to the room. Her steps are heavy and paced, and Nagato's face does look like something is bothering her, even if she's trying to hide it. She does, once she enters the room, head towards the window, staring out it.

    The room, even simple, still feels better than the barracks at the moment. And when Hoshi comes in, she turns around and watches the girl drop the stuff... and her... on the bed. The door is closed and she lets herself chuckle.. if only for a moment. "If only, right?"

    She turns back towards the window, giving a sigh as the question is asked. In a possibly obvious lie, Nagato answers. "I'm holding up." a pause, "I did what I had to do as Admiral."

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    "I think I'd wind up getting bored," Hoshi admits with a wry little smile. "Can you see me actually stopping my workouts and training? I'd go crazy." Even all the depression she'd had after her move and finding out about the Forest, she still couldn't make herself stop. Still... Hoshi may not be really bright, but she's also spent a lot of time with Nagato, just the two of them. She thinks she's starting to pick up on the Admiral's mannerisms. There was a haunted look to her eye.

    Yeah... it didn't fly. Hoshi frowns a bit and sits up on her knees. "I know, Nagato. We all know that too. Even the ones who don't want to admit it. We're alone here. You don't... have to feel like you have to hide anything. Let's promise to be honest with each other... okay?"

Nagato has posed:
    Nagato gets down to her knees, facing Hoshi. In her eyes, it's a look that Nagato has not shown, a look of regret, a look of sorrow. There's tears coming in those eyes. They were alone and the fleet would not see Nagato in a time of weakness. She was supposed to be a beacon of strength, ones people could confide in and trust... and here... she was just another person, even if Hoshi's parents called her Admiral. But Hoshi was here, not saying Admiral, just treating her like another person.

    "Ama..." she shakes her head, "Hoshi." she chokes up... "I gave the order... and two girls sank." she clutches her hands into her knees, trembling a bit. "Isuzu's sister ship was there, Natori. She was with Kuma." the trembling becomes more apparent, Nagato's fighting something back, "And Yuna. She... she went off to try and sacrifice herself for those two." Nagato's head falls to look at the ground, drops of water coming from her eyes crash into her legs, splashing around... "And I gave you the order to continue on into that mess...""

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    Hoshi winces visibly when the memory is brought up. So fresh, she can still remember the flames and the explosions. Watching two girls who had already sacrificed everything just to arrive where they were... disappear in the rising flames. Hoshi's eyes feel the sting of coming tears, and she moves across the bed to kneel down in front of Nagato and pull her into a tight hug. Even on her knees, she was still stupidly small in comparison, so she ends up resting her forehead on Nagato's neck.

    The fact that Nagato was worried about her, of all people... the one who'd gotten away scott free, this time. She headbutts Nagato's collarbone very slightly. "Stupid... I came out fine, right?" Despite her attempt to force cheer, her voice is quickly breaking, and tears start falling in a steady trickle. Now it's starting to hit her. "Oh God... Kuma and Natori..." Kuma's bright, cheerful face appears in her mind's eye... and she loses it, sobbing quietly as she gripped Nagato as tightly as she could.

Nagato has posed:
    Nagato reaches around, tugging the smaller girl closer. Hearing the sobbing come from Hoshi has the grown woman losing it as well, heavy sobbing coming from Nagato, tears flowing and dripping down to crash on Hoshi's back. The emotions in the room clearly on the destroyed side of the spectrum... "To have..." choke... "to have the fleet actively hate you for pushing them..." choke sniff... "It's... war... but I... " she doesn't say much more, just allowing herself to let her emotions free, for once in her entire life... she was going to show weakness, to show that even the stoic admiral had more emotions than 'flat'.

    Nagato's tears do not stop, and more so, the holding onto Hoshi, even tugging her into her lap to hug even tighter. The first girl she entrusted the destroyer equipment to, the one who took to the fleet like she was always a part of it. "I'm sorry, Hoshi... I shouldn't have given you that order..." she cries out, this girl who trusted the Admiral to the fullest... and she betrayed it by sending her to that.

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    Much like Nagato, Hoshi was caught in that state of sorrow where it felt like it was crushing out everything else. The bleakness of it... the pain of losing friends who had once been right beside you just before the end came. It's not something that Hoshi has never experienced before. All of it leaves her unable to say anything, curling up in Nagato's lap when she's placed there to cry into Nagato's chest..

    Hoshi's arms tighten as much as they possibly could around the Admiral; maybe to make sure that she could never go anywhere, couldn't disappear like the other two girls had.

    From far away, the voice of Mrs. Amakasu came through the door. It was hard to hear, but it was probably a good indication that the kettle was done heating. It takes a few seconds for the thought to process through her grief-stricken mind, a clear note of logic that manages to clear at least some of the fog. "I'll, uh..." Sniff. "I'll go grab the, uh... W-water." She doesn't, for another ten seconds or so, as she tries to control her breathing. Then she's up and out to take advantage of this moment of calm.

    Of course, her mom can easily tell that Hoshi's been crying... but Hoshi just shakes her head quietly. Mrs. Amakasu nods slowly and offers a tray holding a tea set. Hoshi takes it and goes back upstairs without a word to set the tray on the bed.

Nagato has posed:
    It felt like ages, the sorrow-filled embrace, the tears staining cloth from both sides, the embrace that could have lasted for centuries, to make sure neither one was to be the next one to leave... to sink... to dissapear. Nagato's arms slowly loosen, the voice of her Destroyer's parents calling out... she steels herself a bit, just enough to stop the flow of tears and to put on some semblence of her stoic face, even if that was a red tinted, obviously upset face.

    Nagato gives a brief nod when Hoshi makes mention of the water... releasing her from the embrace and staying put on her knees. "Go on... I'll still be here." she whispers, as if giving the promise that she was never going to go away. "I'll... prepare you a good cup when you get back." she tries to manage a smile, only briefly getting one before she looks towards the moonlit window... waiting for Amakasu to get back from downstairs for the water.

    Upon her return, she unhooks a small bag from the back of her belt and offers it forth... giving a slight nod, and keeping herself open in case Hoshi wanted to come back and visit round two for letting emotions finally go.

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    Yeah... Hoshi's moment of composure didn't last very long when she made her way back. The tears were on her cheeks when she leans on the bed and gives a ragged sigh. It still hurt, of course. Everything felt so raw, even the soft blanket underneath her hand. "We... all made a choice to go. To join. To fight... I know that. We chose to fight, so we also chose that we might die. I understand that now. It's something you have to accept too, Nagato."

    She pushes herself up and moves over to accept the tea bag - and indeed, go in for another hug. "Okay, Nagato? We chose. We're all... all of us are going to miss Kuma and Natori... so much. It hurts so bad... But it's what we chose. We wanted to do it... and we succeeded. Okay?"

    Once she's sure that's firmly in Nagato's head, she moves to fill the tea set's strainer with Nagato's tea. In it goes into the teapot, and once it's spent some time steeping, she pours out a serving for both of them.

Nagato has posed:
    Neither did Nagato's. Tears continue down her face, clutching her hands back into fists.. "I know. We all had a choice." she comments, "They didn't have to follow my order... but they did. Even when it knew that they could sink." she gulps a bit, listening to Hoshi, but when she mentions they chose that they might die, she looks intently at Hoshi, a frown upon her face. "Knowing this... knowing what you saw, do you still wish to be under my command, Hoshi? You're still but a child and you're becoming embroiled in a war. You have your choices and yet, you stayed to fight alongside the Fleet and I."

    Nagato takes a heavy, deep inhale. "I accepted the consequences of my actions the moment I became Flagship for the girls." she hugs Hoshi a bit, not long so she can go fix the tea. "Kuma... may turn Abyssal... giving us the chance to rescue her again, but Natori..." she pauses... "I'm... not certain about Natori. Isuzu is not going to forgive me for this, and Akebono will never let me live this down."

    Succeeded? Did they really? They lost two ships, and nearly lost a third, had Special Division Project equipment stolen... and the animosity of a few key members of the fleet... "We did succeed." she looks aside and uses the silence to think... "Kuma and Natori... the loss we've suffered won't be forgotten." she whispers, only going silent again once the tea is delivered, sipping just a bit. "This is Mutsu's favorite tea. Usually only the command ships are allowed to drink this..."

    She turns back to Hoshi, "Hoshi. Are you still okay with following me still?"

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    Nagato's question--would she be willing to stay, and keep fighting? Keep killing? It earns a hollow, dry little chuckle. Her hands start shaking, though, and it takes a few deep breaths for her to speak. "I already was in the war... I was already fighting. I had to accept the fact that I would fight to survive the moment I went through the mirror. I've chosen everything that's lead up to this." Another deep breath, but it's bringing some color to her face at least. "I'm going to keep going because I feel like making sure people didn't have to go through what I did... what you have... what we have... is the right thing to do."

    The fact that there's even any hope at all for Kuma's return is bright thing, even for how small it was. Hoshi offers Nagato her cup and takes a dip sniff of hers. "... My nose is stuffy," she grumbles. After taking a small sip, though, she smiles very slightly. "It's good... I'm sorry about Miss Akebeno and Miss Isuzu. They disagreed with you, but I think... this was best, in the end. Hopefully they'll see that. But I've... got your back, I promise."

    Surprises abound. Hoshi looks down with shock. "Ehh?... Are you sure this is okay?" Blink. "Stupid question, I guess, but... I'm honored. Thank you." The teen gives a slow, firm nod. "Yeah. I'm still with you."

Nagato has posed:
    Nagato gives a brief nod, "You've been there, by my side... by the fleet's side. The command ships like you. This tea, I believe, is good for you to have as well." Nagato pauses, "Are you becoming ill if your nose is getting stuffy? This won't do... and... I believe Mrs Amakasu would not like it if you were sick because of my command." she takes a sip of the tea, listening and nodding... "Choices are what everyone has in the world... what we strive to give everyone."

    She turns to look out the window, and in a light singing voice she starts... "Nakama ga shizumu sore mo tae, mata senjou he iku sore ga sadame to." she pauses just slightly, moving to rest a hand upon Hoshi's shoulder, "I'm... glad to have you at my side, Hoshi. You have the heart of a Battleship in the frame of a Destroyer. I'm sure... you'll go far once we can end this conflict with the Abyssals..." she pauses once more, "The right thing to do... I'm not sure Akebono or Isuzu will accept an apology." Akebono won't... that was an obvious thing there, "I can only move forward from here..."

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    Maybe it was the tea that finally started letting her mind settle. Gentle notes of taste touching her tongue, clearing out her nose... A small smile comes to Hoshi's face. "I like them too. I'm glad to be helping. I'm not sick, I promise, just...crying things." Another sip brings warmth to her body, fitting in comfortably with the melody that Nagato sings into the night from the window.

    The teen looks up when Nagato touches her shoulder, a small blush coming to her face with all of the praise. "I guess... I'm not sure I believe it sometimes. Not yet, anyway... Maybe soon." After taking another sip, she reaches out to touch Nagato's hand. "I... don't know either. But I guess it's their choice. Maybe they'll listen after a day or two... maybe not. But if need be, I'll talk to them myself."

    Peeking at the clock, Hoshi sighs and rubs her cheeks. "It's late... We should go to sleep. Do you... I don't mind sleeping on the floor. If you don't want to be alone."

Nagato has posed:
    "I will let them come to me." Nagato comments, feeling the hand upon her own and when the time was mentioned, it was getting pretty late... she gives a brief nod. "I..." she thinks a moment. Usually it was Tenryuu who played babysitter for the Destroyers, allowing them to stay in Tatsuta and Her room. But Nagato gives a light nod, "Please. The bed should be big enough to fit both of us on, I will not have you sleep on the uncomfortable floor." she looks back outside... back to the moon in the sky.

    "If you'll forgive me a moment, I'll be up a while longer... I have a few things in my mind to go through before I turn in for the night. I shall sleep shortly..."