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A Little TLC
(2013-07-04 - 2013-07-06)
Avira's laid up in bed. Mercade helps out.
Avira It's been a day yet Avira is still in bed.

It was THAT bad.

Will discovered the huntress-detective collapsed right outside the Cloud Nine in a spreading pool of her blood. On top of that, she looked extremely pale and sickly. Presumably, she was swept away by the hobo king and set up in a bed. It took some work but, depending on what help the TDA was able to drag over, she was stablized. For now, though, she's been confined to bed rest. Earlier this morning she regained consciousness and has been sullen all day.
Mercade Alexander And no one is more concerneed about a sullen, half-dead Avira than Mercade Alexander. He knocks on her doorway. "I'm here, Avira." He says, before entering. He's carrying a tray with some hot chicken soup and tea, the former made by Celina (as she's a better cook and no one's seen Max) and the latter by Mercade (because even he can't screw up tea). He smiles as he sits down next to her and waits for her to sit up. "How are you doing?"
Avira Presentily, Avira's been alternating between napping, staring at the ceiling, and reading a book. Right now it's one of the 'staring at the ceiling' moments. Her eyes focus once she hears that knock, followed by the familiar voice of Mercade. She tries to sit up for him, but winces and sinks back down on the bed. "Mercade..." she says, managing a smile.

Again she tries to sit up, especially once Mercade sits down next to her. "...seen...better days, really." She peers up at him, a very vulnerable look on her face.
Mercade Alexander Damn, she can't even sit up. She's really bad. He smiles sadly to himself, shaking his head a bit. "Don't worry about it, Avira. everything will be fine." He places the tray to one side and gives her a small hug, then leans back. "So what happened to you? I've almost never seen you this hurt."

He reaches over and picks up the teacup, handing it to her to let her have something to drink in between talking. The soup will come next.
Avira When he leans forward for the hug, Avira really makes the effort to sit up briefly so she can cling back to Mercade. She lets herself flop back down onto the bed after that moment has passed. "...I picked a fight with Souji Murasame. Well, more accurately, tried to finish my fight."

She pauses to sip that tea, carefully angling her head so she can ingest it without spilling it all over herself. "He jumped me while I was fighting Garland a while back. So I tracked him down and jumped him."
Mercade Alexander "Ugh. What a douchebag." Mercade says.

A snuffling snout pokes into the room from a pig Noise, and Mercade glares at it. it darts back out.

He looks back to Avira. "Sounds like a really complicated and ugly situation." He sighs, spooning up some soup to begin feeding Avira that way. "I am guessing you gave as well as you got, though."
Avira "You have no idea. Worst part is I almost had him! I almost did...maybe if those Palmaciean soldiers didn't interfere to stab me in the back." Tea sip. Avira pauses to catch her breath, "-I would have beaten him."

A slow sigh escapes her and she stops talking for the moment, sipping the soup off the spoon as Mercade feeds her. Chicken soup! When was the last time she had that? "Sometimes I have to wonder if I'm improving at all..."
Mercade Alexander "I don't think it's that you're not improving, Avira." Mercade replies, and he continues to spoon delicious soup into Avira. "I think... Everyone else is working to improve too. And as you improve, you keep running into more and more difficult opposition. It's because... You can handle it, Avira." Mercade smiles, leaning over a bit and propping his elbows up on his knees.

"You're always getting stronger. Not because of whatever asshole crap Garland is doing, but because you believe in yourself. You keep working at it. You genuinely want to be a better person, and so it happens."
Avira As Mercade continues to feed her, Avira realizes she likes this too. Just something about being taken care of felt good. "I dunno about being able to handle it, Mercade." Avira says sheepishly, "But I think you are right."

Ever so slightly, her cheeks redden from Mercade's words. That moment illustrates pretty well just how much color she has lost. "It's a never ending fight, isn't it, Mercade?"
Mercade Alexander Mercade chuckles, reaching out to ruffle Avira's hair. "Don't worry about it. Over time, you'll feel better. You survived, you can get stronger and try again. Eventually, you'll win as long as you're willing to pick yourself up."

Mercade leans back in his chair and gestures with the spoon. "I don't know. Can there really be an end to evil? There's always going to be people out there who are going to be assholes, but I think... You can get to a point where you can minimize it. There can't be super powerful jerks forever, right? They have to run out eventually."
Avira Avira does nothing to prevent her hair from being messed with! In fact, she pauses for a moment when Mercade does it, as if anticipating something, and deflates a little when it ends, "Keep doing that." she murmurs sheepishly, "Oh...oh I am always willing to keep going. As long as I remain living."

Mercade brings up a good point though. There won't be any end to evil. "But that also means, I think, there's no limit to how strong we can become, Mercade."
Mercade Alexander Mercade blinks as Avira seems to /really/ like her hair being ruffled.

And then he remembers. Oh, right. "Do you really like that?" He asks, curiously. "Even before the thing with...?" He gestures to one side. She knows what he means, he's sure.

For the moment, though, he needs to give Avira food, not scritchies. He spoons up more soup for her. It wouldn't do to let it get cold!

"I don't know, though." Mercade says, then. "How strong do you really... need to be?" He thinks back for a moment, an odd expression on his face. "What if it were possible to become so powerful that... You could destroy all evil? What would it do to you? Or the people you cared about?"
Avira "What? Oh..." Avira flushes bright red before she shyly admits, "Y..yeah. It wasn't just because of the...well, you know." Oh she gets it. She gets it quite well.

Fortunately, the offering of more food provides a good opportunity to get away from her embarassment over the whole hair-touching thing, which she really didn't want to equate to any sort of animal instinct.

"How strong..." she repeats, looking distant, " isn't just enough to be strong enough to survive and defend myself. I want to be strong enough to defend others too. Could I become strong enough to destroy all evil? ...I don't know."

She closes her eyes, "I don't want to give myself limits. But at the same time I don't want to..."

She pauses. Why did...that example come to mind anyway? Strange. "...become a monster. Like Garland."
Mercade Alexander Mercade waits in between spoons to let Avira talk. It wouldn't do to interrupt! "That's true. It's really hard to figure out. I mean, we're all figuring out we're different in some way. Special. We're gaining the ability to help and stop these things that are hurting people, but there's no, like... guidebook or anything on when or how you should use it."

He taps the spoon on his cheek as he ponders, absently. "It leads to a lot of strange questions. But eh. At the moment, what's important is that /you get better/." He taps Avira on the nose, grinning, before he gets back to nursing Avira back to health. With deliciosu soup.
Avira Avira trusts that Mercade will not shove a spoon in her face while she's talking. If anything, she tries not to talk too much since she'd much rather eat. For example, she simply nods when Mercade speaks of the difficulty in figuring out strengths.

Was it possible to discard limits while not becoming a monster?

But again, she nods. "I hate being stuck in bed." Avira pouts, going briefly cross-eyed when Mercade taps her on the nose. She doesn't say anything after that, happily indulging in delicious soup.
Mercade Alexander "I hate it that you're stuck in bed too." Mercade says. "When you're feeling better, let's go out and do something fun." He'll probably let Avira decide, she's always looking for something new and exciting.

Mercade's new and exciting things usually end up coming to him. Curse of being a high-level Detective. "I'm kind of worried about the others though. After Isaac and Max... And then there's Emi... It feels like a lot of things are just falling apart at once."
Avira Avira slurps down the soup pretty quickly, it turns out. She might not have eaten anything for a while there. Mostly due to the fact that she can't really get up and feed herself. While recovering she's had to call on others for help. Such as right now. "We should." Avira says quietly, "We've all had a rough time lately."

She didn't want to think back about what went down in Castle Oblivion. She wasn't even from that world and it was painful. "'s always darkest before dawn." Avira says quietly. "We can turn this around. Somehow."
Mercade Alexander Mercade seems happy to oblige. They both lead really active lives, and they're often running all over the place putting out fires. Quiet times where they can just be around each other seems to be rare. "I don't think it's nearly so dire as that yet." He smiles. Optimism, ho! "We'll get this straightened out. They're not in danger anymore, but I think they still need our help in their own ways."
Avira Avira turns a little red at Mercade's relentless optimism. He's even more positive about the future outlook than she is! It's actually pretty refreshing to hear. "Very true. They do. I want to say...Isaac especially but I've noticed that he doesn't really open up to people. I suppose...with what we saw, that is why." She sighs, "...and to get Max to open up, you really need to be a specific type of woman. Very frustrating."
Mercade Alexander "He's carrying a lot of weight on his shoulders. And when he looks at us, he sees reminders of his failure everywhere." Mercade says, sighing. "I'm not sure if any of us who he remembers from his own world can help. We keep just opening up those wounds. He might need help from someone else."

He looks down. "I don't know if 'getting him attracted to you' is the same as getting him to open up. He likes to live dangerously."
Avira "Unless it's Emi." she says, regarding Isaac, though the same could be said for Max. "Though she really is from that world. It's...sad to think. We're all just reminders of people who he was friends with. It's...making it worse if anything. As...callous as it sounds, he might just need to figure out how to get the hell over it."

Very slowly, she shakes her head. "Well Mercade, has Max opened up to /you/ at all? I really think there's an attraction factor involved..."
Mercade Alexander "He loves the Dennous like they were his daughters." Mercade agrees. He looks down at the bowl to check how much soup is left, and then tries to give Avira the rest of it. NO WASTING FOOD ON HIS WATCH. He does, however, chuckle. "Maybe. Maybe we can do to him like you guys did to me to make me get the hell over what happened to Manhattan. We'll snap him out of it."

At the question of if Max has opened up to him, Mercade frowns for a moment. "He has a lot of half-truths about him. He doesn't like talking about himself... But I haven't really asked, either. He told us his story, but I don't know much more."
Avira Avira will eat ALL THE SOUP! ALL OF IT!!!

"I hope so. I like Isaac. I worry about him. I want him to be out there, being his awesome self, and picking great music." She half-smiles. "We'll work on him."

But just as Avira has suspected, Mercade really hasn't had that much experience with Max as himself either. "Not even when he taught you those dance lessons?"

Oh, oops.
Mercade Alexander Mercade has Avira finish off the rest of the soup. That way it won't get cold. Some soups are great cold. Others are nasty. He doesn't want to experiment on which this one is. He sets aside the bowl and spoon, and nods. "It's true. We'll corner him and show him how much we care." He grins at that. "No escape from the happiness!"

And then Avira mentions the dance lessons. Mercade pauses, blinking for a moment as if remembering something. "Uhhhh... I've learned that Max is a very... strenuous teacher." He says... And then he shudders. "Look out when you ask him about that cooking lesson."
Avira Nobody wants cold chicken soup. That just doesn't work! At least Avira doesn't. She gladly finishes off the soup and falls silent for a long moment afterwards, perhaps thinking of what exactly to do about Isaac. Some ideas start rolling around in her head but for the sake of conserving her energy, she doesn't bring them up.

She stares at Mercade, though, who looks vaguely traumatized. " are we talking about?"
Mercade Alexander "Uhhhhh...." Mercade pauses. "It's best to leave that to when you're feeling better. You definately want to be in top shape before asking Max, though. Just saying." Mercade shakes his head. "Don't worry about it right now." He leans in, and gives Avira a kiss on the forehead. "You should get some more rest, all right?"
Avira "I'll keep that in mind. Right now my body doesn't feel like doing very much right now anyway." Avira smiles lightly, the smile widening when Mercade leans forward to kiss her on the forehead. "Good idea. I think I'll be taking a nice nap now that you've fed me~ Thanks for that, by the way."
Mercade Alexander "Anytime, Avira." Mercade says. "You're very important to me. I want you to be healthy, and really... It's another opportunity to spend some time together. I can't lose, can I?" He chuckles. "Get some rest, now. If you need anything, just call. I'll always be there."

This scene contained 28 poses. The players who were present were: Mercade Alexander, Avira